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Exceptional Rarity from Etenna


PISIDIA, Etenna. Late 4th-early 3rd centuries BC. AR Stater (25mm, 10.78 g, 12h). Two wrestlers grappling; monogram between / Male figure in throwing stance right, preparing to hurl sickle-shaped knife in his right hand; ETENNEΩN to left, triskeles to right. Von Aulock, Pisidiens II 399–400; KM p. 368, 1 (same obv. die as illustration); otherwise, unpublished in the standard references. Underlying luster, traces of find patina, slightly weak strike. EF. Extremely rare.

Ex Nomos 22 (22 June 2021), lot 203.

This rare issue of Etenna closely follows the obverse type of its Pisidian neighbor, Selge, and that of Aspendos in nearby Pamphylia. The reverse is quite different than that of either city, however, which typically depict either a slinger drawing his sling taut above his head, or (more rarely) Herakles brandishing a club. Here we see a warrior wearing a belted chiton brandishing a curved bladed weapon resembling a small sickle, termed a sica in ancient texts. Such lightly clad skirmishers were an important and frequently overlooked component of ancient armies.