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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 487. Estimate $1500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $850. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KYRENAIKA, Kyrene. Circa 277-275 BC. AR Didrachm (6.88 gm). Horned head of Apollo Karneios left / BA-SI, silphium plant; branch left. Cf. SNG Copenhagen 1239; BMC Cyrenaica pg. 55, 260 (same dies); EHC 123. Lightly toned, good VF, hairline flan crack, small rough spot on temple. Rare. ($1500)

Circa 300 BC, Ptolemy I appointed his son-in law Magas governor of Cyrene. Magas ruled as a Ptolemaic vassal for more than a generation until a few years into the reign of his half-brother, Ptolemy II. In the early 270's, Magas had a falling out with Ptolemy II and appointed himself king of Cyrene. He then married Apame (daughter of Antiochos I) and made a pact with the Seleucids against Ptolemy II. Magas continued to rule independently, though near the end of his life, around 250 BC, he reconciled with Ptolemy II. Following a revolution by the legal reformers Ekdelos and Demphanes (circa 249-246 BC), Cyrene returned to Ptolemaic hands. Mørkholm attributes this rare issue to a mint in the port city of Euhesperides and dates it to 290-280 BC, but the inscription BA-SI suggests that it may belong to the initial period of Magas' claimed kingship.