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Two Eagles on Ptolemaic Coins as Representations of Co-Regency

Two eagles as symbols of co-regents - Review of two eagle coinage


The review of early Ptolemaic bronze coinage (c. 262 BC to c. 164 BC) in Part 1 has shown good evidence that denominations were not indicated by characteristics of obverse or reverse types.  Although there is a single known exception,Exceptional use of denomination marks denominational marking was apparently not used otherwise by the Ptolemaic mint.  A summary of the conclusions from Part I can be reviewed below.

Since the two-eagle reverse type does not indicate denomination, the occurrence of two eagles on about 10% of Ptolemaic bronze reverse types requires a different explanation.  However, before investigating a possible explanation in Part 2a,  a review of two-eagle coinage is given by clicking Examples below.


Click  Examples  to review representative examples of Ptolemaic two-eagle coinage.


Summary of Conclusions from Parts 1,  1a,  1b,  1c,  1d

  The conclusion that Ptolemy III did not use denominational marking is illustrated by examples shown in Part 1a. There are no type differences of any kind among several different denominations of his coins.  Similarly,  as shown in Part 1c,  the same obverse and reverse types appear on all the denominations of Ptolemy VI's two-eagle coins;  these indicate that denominational marking was not generally used and, more specifically, that the two eagles represented on these coins had no denominational significance.

While examples of unique types appear on several of the denominations produced by Ptolemy II (see Part 1),  it was shown in Part 1a that such differences were not used by Ptolemy III when he produced the same denominations (see data).  Evidence from hoards (see Part 1b) showed that the two-eagle reverse type introduced by Ptolemy II was not used on coins of the same denomination produced by Ptolemies III and IV.  Also, there was no policy to use differences in types to facilitate identification of even small denominations where they might have been most needed (see Part 1a).

With regard to two-eagle coinage, the conclusion is that the two-eagle reverse type did not indicate any specific denomination (e.g., a double denomination or a diobol,Origin of the idea that double eagles represent a double denomination see also New Data).  With the exception of the example mentioned above,Exceptional use of denomination marks there is no evidence that the Ptolemaic mint had any policy of denominational marking.  Therefore, the general conclusion of Part I is that denominations were not indicated by obverse/reverse types; denominations were indicated by weight/size.

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Click  Examples  to review representative examples of Ptolemaic two-eagle coinage.

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