Mint of Cherson. Χρονολόγηση. Γεωγραφικός εντοπισμός Cherson, Crimea IΔΡΥΜA ΜΕΙΖΟΝΟΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΣΜΟΥ. 1. Introduction - PDF

Για παραπομπή : Παπαδοπούλου Παγώνα, , 2008, Περίληψη : The production of the Cherson mint is attested with interruptions during the Early, Middle and possibly Late Byzantine periods. Its activity can

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Για παραπομπή : Παπαδοπούλου Παγώνα, , 2008, Περίληψη : The production of the Cherson mint is attested with interruptions during the Early, Middle and possibly Late Byzantine periods. Its activity can be connected with the city s role as an outpost on the empire s frontier. The mint produced copper coins exclusively; first struck and later cast, they were intended for local circulation. They present particular metrological and iconographic features that distinguish them clearly from the products of other imperial mints. Χρονολόγηση 5 th c. - 12/13 th c. Γεωγραφικός εντοπισμός Cherson, Crimea 1. Introduction The mint of Cherson, active since the 4 th century B.C., ceased its production under the Roman emperor Gallienus.( ). 1 The resumption of minting in the Byzantine period can only be connected with the city s new role as a stronghold on the empire s frontiers. Its coinage was produced in order to respond to local needs and circulated almost exclusively in the Crimean peninsula. Although in most cases it can be securely identified thanks to its strong presence in the local numismatic material, the Cherson coinage still presents problems concerning dating, duration of issuing and value. Two periods of production can be clearly discerned in the Early and the Middle/Late Byzantine periods respectively. 2. Early Byzantine Period 2.1. Fifth century Some scholars consider that mint-activity in Cherson resumed already under the emperor Zeno ( ). 2 They attribute to the local mint a group of copper coins frequently found in the region. The coins belong to the AE2 denomination and bear the profile bust of the emperor on the obverse and a standing emperor with spear stepping on a prisoner on the reverse. Their module and to some extent their iconography continue those of the copper coins of Theodosios II ( ) and Leo I ( ), produced by the Constantinopolitan mint for circulation in Cherson. 3 For this reason, recent studies also tend to consider Zeno s coins that lack a mintmark as metropolitan products intended for circulation in Cherson. 4 In any case, it is interesting to note that the adoption of the heavier AE2 module for the Cherson currency, a denomination discontinued elsewhere after 395, indicates a special monetary situation in the region, a fact also corroborated by the later use of the pentanummium as basis of the local monetary system Sixth century Pentanummia No coins are known from the mint of Cherson for Anastasios I ( ). Under Justin I ( ) the local mint issued a single denomination without mark of value. 5 Judging from the weight range though (3.2g 1.7g) those coins must have represented pentanummia. Their iconography continued the Late Roman tradition with a profile bust on the obverse and a standing figure on the reverse, as would also be the case for the earliest Cherson issues of Justinian I ( ) [Fig. 1]. Both types are commonly found in the Crimea and not elsewhere. Sometime early in Justinian s reign a new type was introduced bearing on the reverse a Greek monogram reading ΠOΛΙC ΧΕΡCΩΝΟC [Fig. 2]. 6 The use of this monogram instead of that of the emperor s name was more likely meant as a demonstration Δημιουργήθηκε στις 14/3/2017 Σελίδα 1/9 Για παραπομπή : Παπαδοπούλου Παγώνα, , 2008, of the city s autonomy than merely as an administrative, i.e. mint, mark Folles and half-folles The next period in the numismatic history of Cherson saw the introduction of.folles and half-folles. They all share the same iconography: standing figures of an emperor and an empress on the obverse and a smaller standing figure along with the mark of value on the reverse. Thanks to differences in epigraphy and value marks three different series can be clearly distinguished: the first one bears the inscription ΧΕΡCΩΝΟC on the obverse and the value marks M (40) for the follis and K (20) for the half-follis; the second one includes the name of the city with an omicron (ΧΕΡCOΝΟC) and the marks of value H (8) [Fig. 3] and Δ (4) [Fig. 4], in that case the basic unit being the pentanummium and not the nummus; 8 the third series, finally, presents the same features as the second one but the city name on the obverse is replaced by the inscription D(ominus) N(oster) MAVRIC(ius) P(er)P(etuus) AVG(ustus). This last series is the only one that can be securely dated. As for the first two anonymous series, only their relative order can be established with certainty: the M/K issues, representing the imperial standard used all over the empire, precede the H/Δ ones, later adopted also on Maurice s local issues. The identification of the imperial couple on the obverse, as well as of the smaller figure on the reverse, constitutes another problem regarding the anonymous issues. Different views have been expressed by scholars in this respect. According to the latest theory, the imperial couple is Justin II and Sofia, while the figure of the reverse represents again the emperor. 9 If this is the case, the minting of the folles and half-folles in Cherson must have started under Justin II ( ) 10. It is unclear when exactly the M/K series was replaced by the H/Δ one or for how long this latter had been issued. However, given the great numbers in which specimens of the H/Δ anonymous series are found, it is possible that its production continued under Tiberius II Constantine ( ) 11 or even later. 12 As already mentioned, only the H/Δ coins of Maurice( ) can be securely dated. It should be noted however that their attribution to Cherson has been contested recently. An attribution to Bosporos (modern Kerch) has been suggested instead, due to the preponderance of these coins in the numismatic material coming from the city and its surroundings Seventh century Folles No coins from the mint of Cherson can be securely attributed to the reign of Phocas.( ), although certain scholars assign to it some specimens belonging to the anonymous series bearing the city s name. 14 Under Heraclius.( ) folles.with the value mark H are attributed to the mint of Cherson. They bear the standing figures of the emperor and his son Heraclius Constantine with the circular inscription DD NN HER ET HERACON (Domini nostri Heraclius et Heraclius Constantinus) on the obverse, and the standing figure of Martina, Heraclius second wife, with the value mark H on the reverse. 15 Despite their almost complete absence from the archaeological material of Cherson and its surroundings, these coins are traditionally attributed to the city s mint because of the distinctive use of the pentanummium as base unit, a feature that characterises previous issues of that mint. 16 Recently however, V. Sidorenko has suggested assigning them to a mint in Bosporos, where most of the known specimens come from. 17 Another feature of the Crimean coinage under Heraclius is the countermarking of older coins with the emperor s monogram. Since the countermarks were applied mainly to local issues, the procedure must have taken place in the Crimea. Both Cherson and Bosporos have been considered as plausible candidates. 18 It has been suggested that the last Chersonesan imperial issue of the Early Byzantine period is provided by a rare type of Constans II ( ). 19 On the obverse the standing figures of the emperor and his son Constantine IV are represented, while on the reverse we find again the depiction of Constans II with the letters K B. Given the known provenances, it seems that the issue should be Δημιουργήθηκε στις 14/3/2017 Σελίδα 2/9 Για παραπομπή : Παπαδοπούλου Παγώνα, , 2008, transferred to the mint of Bosporos, in which case the letters K B on the reverse would stand for the name of the emperor and the mint respectively Solidi The coin types mentioned up to this point are all copper ones. There is nonetheless some evidence that also gold coins (solidi) were struck by the mint of Cherson. W. Hahn attributes to it a rare variety of solidi of Heraclius and Constans II with the letter X interpreted as the mint s initial after the regular inscription CONOB. 21 Due to the lack of provenance, however, the attribution remains questionable Eighth century Cast Imitations Finally, a note must be made of the locally produced cast coins imitating the Cherson anonymous half-folles of the 6th century with the value mark Δ. They had previously been dated to the reign of Maurice, yet it seems that they are later in date. They definitely predate the creation of a theme in Cherson.(834), but cannot be chronologically too remote from it, since their technique is the one used for the Cherson coins of the 9th century (see below). Thus, they can be tentatively dated to the second half of the 8th century Middle and Late Byzantine Period (9th 12/13 th Centuries) The creation of a theme with Cherson as its capital led to the renewal of minting activity in the city. The coins of this period differ significantly from the rest of imperial coinage as far as technique, metal composition and iconography are concerned: they are cast, 24 made from a poor alloy of copper and lead, 25 while their types are mainly composed by the initials or monograms of the ruling emperors. This last feature creates ambiguity concerning the attribution of certain types to reigns, since the name of Romanus and the combination of Basil and Constantine each occurs twice between 866 and 989. Apart from the classification into reigns, the precision of the denominations these coins represent is also problematic since they are very diverse in size and weight. 26 Moreover, it is unclear when the series ceased to be produced and different dates, varying from the 10 th to the 13 th centuries, have been proposed. Their minting place however can be securely identified on the basis of known provenances: the coins are found only in Cherson and the Crimean peninsula Ninth century It is generally accepted that minting activity in Cherson started again under the reign of Michael III ( ) with small coins bearing on one face a Π (for ΠΟΛΙC) and on the other a X (for ΧΕΡCΩΝΟC) [Fig. 5]. 27 The re-opening of the mint in Cherson coincided with a temporary cessation of copper minting in Constantinople as well as the appearance of a new enemy in the region, the Rus, that both created special needs in the local coin circulation. 28 Although anonymous, this first issue can be dated thanks to its close resemblance to the second Cherson type of Michael s reign with the initials of the two emperors Michael and Basil on the obverse. 29 The size and type of this last issue carries on into the reign of Basil I ( ): his first issue bears on the obverse the emperor s initial and a cross, while on the reverse appears the letter Π crowned by a small o (for ΠΟΛΙC), flanked sometimes by crosses. On the subsequent issue, the monogram of the city on the reverse is substituted by a cross on steps [Fig. 6], a feature that can be found on the coinage of his successor as well. Two issues combining the initials B and K (for Basil and Constantine) have also been attributed to this reign by Ph. Grierson, but the attribution has been questioned Tenth century Δημιουργήθηκε στις 14/3/2017 Σελίδα 3/9 Για παραπομπή : Παπαδοπούλου Παγώνα, , 2008, All 10 th century emperors are represented in the monetary production of the Cherson mint. 31 Issues of Leo VI ( ) and Alexander ( ) generally continue the tradition of imperial initials on the obverse and cross on steps on the reverse, although Leo introduced a new type bearing the imperial bust on the obverse [Fig. 7]. This type had a brief period of favour, since there are coins with the bust of Constantine VII ( ) and that of Romanus I ( ) combined either with a monogram [Fig. 8] or the bust of colleagues on the reverse. With Constantine VII and Romanus II ( ) more complicated monograms came into fashion, in an attempt to include as much letters of the emperor s name as possible. They become highly complicated under the reigns of Nikephoros II ( ), John I ( ) and Basil II ( ) [Fig. 9]. 32 It has been traditionally considered that the reign of Basil II, and more precisely the capture of Cherson by the Russian prince Vladimir (989), marked the end of minting activity in the city. There are though some enigmatic coins, generally known as the rho monogram coins that indicate a continuation of local production well into the 12 th or even the 13 th century The rho monogram coins The rho monogram issues are the heaviest and most numerous among the Cherson coins. The series owes its name to the presence of the Greek letters rho and omega on its obverse, forming a vertical monogram of the word ΡΩΜΑΝΟC. It is combined on the reverse with another vertical monogram of the word ΔΕCΠΟΤΗC (Δ Π) [Fig. 10] or a cross on steps. Given the presence of a simple Romanus monogram, these coins have been traditionally attributed to Romanus I. 33 Some observations however render the identification unacceptable: the heavier module of these coins, the fact that many of them have been subjected to a special procedure rendering them concave (a feature of imperial Byzantine coinage from the mid 11 th century onwards), 34 their absence from 10 th century hoards and their significant presence in later ones dating even from the mid 13 th century 35 indicate that the production and circulation dates of the series have to be reconsidered. Yet it is unclear when exactly their production started or ended and possible dates, varying from the 11 th to the 13 th century, have been suggested by scholars. 36 Further investigation is required to clarify dating. In any case, the rho monogram issues represent the last products of the Byzantine mint of Cherson. * The entry is still in editing process (ed.note) 1. An overview of the coinage of Cherson in the Antiquity and the Middle Ages is offered in Anokhin, V.A, The Coinage of Cherson, IV Century B.C. XII Century A.D. (translated from the Russian by H. Bartlett Wells) (BAR International Series 69, Oxford 1980). 2. Соколова И.В. Монеты и печати византийского Херсона(Ленинград 1983) p ; Anokhin, Coinage of Cherson, p Although the AE2 coins of Theodosius II and Leo I are found almost exclusively in Cherson, they bear the mint-mark of the Constantinopolitan mint identifying them as metropolitan products. Kent, J.P.C., The Roman Imperial Coinage. Vol. X. The Divided Empire and the Fall of Western Parts AD (London 1994) p. 92, 105; Grierson, Ph. Mays, M., Catalogue of Late Roman Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection. From Arcadius and Honorius to the accession of Anastasius (Washington D.C. 1992) p Hahn, W., The Numismatic History of Cherson in Early Byzantine Times a Survey, Numismatic Circular 86 (1978) p. 414; Grierson Mays, Catalogue of Late Roman Coins, p. 174; Kent, Roman Imperial Coinage, p V. Anokhin considers that the coins attributed to Justin I are in fact specimens of Justinian s coinage with blundered legends. Anokhin, Coinage of Cherson, p. 90. However, on several specimens that came to light after V. Anokhin s publication, the emperor s name is clearly visible. Hahn, W. (with the collaboration of Metlich, M.A.), Money of the Incipient Byzantine Empire (Anastasius I Justinian I, ) (Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Numismatik und Geldgeschichte der Universität Wien 6, Wien 2000) (henceforth MIBE) p. 39; Hahn, W., Zur Münzprägung des frühbyzantinischen Reiches. Anastasius I. bis Phocas und Heraclius-Revolte, (Wien 2005) p Δημιουργήθηκε στις 14/3/2017 Σελίδα 4/9 Για παραπομπή : Παπαδοπούλου Παγώνα, , 2008, 6. The exact date of this change is not known but sometime in the 540 s is indicated by the relative frequency of Justinian s two types (1:3) and the iconographic resemblance between the monogram type and dated issues of the mints of Nicomedia and Constantinople. Белова Л.Н., Неизданные монеты Херсонеса, Советская археология 7 (1941) p ; MIBE, p. 65; Hahn, Zur Münzprägung, p MIBE, p The use of a monetary system based on a denomination other than the common nummus, was not limited in Cherson: at about the same time, Egypt had a system based on a dodecanummium (12 nummi) and for a while under Justinian Thessalonica struck a series of values peculiar to itself. Grierson, Ph., Byzantine Coins (London 1982) p These views are summarized in Sidorenko, V., The Copper Coinage of Byzantine Bosporos (ca ), in Aibabin, A. Ivakin, H. (ed.) (with a Foreword by I. Ševčenko), Kiev Cherson Constantinople. Ukrainian Papers at the XXth International Congress of Byzantine Studies (Paris, August 2001) (Kiev Simferopol Paris 2007) p ; Hahn, The Numismatic History, p , ; Anokhin, Coinage of Cherson, p Lately W. Hahn, originally supporting the identification of the reverse figure with Tiberius, caesar from 574 to 578, tends to identify this figure with the emperor, who would then be represented on both sides of the coin according to the local tradition. Hahn, Zur Münzprägung, p The same view has been expressed by Salamon, M., Eine Wende in der Münzgeschichte Chersons unter Justin II , in Kluge, B. Weisser, B. (ed.), XII. Internationaler Numismatischer Kongress Berlin Akten Proceedings Actes II (Berlin 2000) p Salamon, Eine Wende, p Anokhin, Coinage of Cherson, p. 93; Hahn, Zur Münzprägung, p. 137, On the basis of political developments in the Crimean peninsula, V. Sidorenko has recently suggested to date the beginning of the issue of the second anonymous series in the 590 s. Sidorenko, Coinage of Bosporos, p As for the duration of their minting, on the evidence of countermarking under Heraclius, he proposed to extend it to the reign of this emperor as well. Sidorenko, Coinage of Bosporos, p Sidorenko, Coinage of Bosporos, p According to W. Hahn, these H/Δ specimens with the inscription ΧΕΡCΩΝΟC are characterised by smaller dies, the absence of halos from the heads of the figures and a simpler cross on the reverse. Hahn, Zur Münzprägung, p I. Sokolova also attributed part of the anonymous H/Δ series with specific features lower weight, roughness of the flan, misspelling of the city name etc. to the reign of Phocas. Соколова И.В. Монеты и печати византийского Херсона (Ленинград 1983), p V. Sidorenko though attributes these coins to the reign of Heraclius, since they were found within 7th-century assemblages. Sidorenko, Coinage of Bosporos, p. 86, W. Hahn s identification of the represented figures differs a little, since he considers that the female figure is represented on the obverse. Hahn, W., Moneta imperii Byzantini. Rekonstruktion des Prägeaufbaues auf synoptisch-tabellarischer Grundlage, Band I-III (Wien ), III, p A new interpretation of the female figure on Heraclius coins has been suggested by C. Zuckerman, who sees in her not Martina but the emperor s daughter Epiphania- Eudocia. Zuckerman, C., «La petite augusta et le Turc. Epiphania-Eudocie sur les monnaies d Héraclius», Revue Numismatique (1995) p Grierson Ph., Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Volume 2, Phocas to Theodosius III, (Washington D.C. 1968) p. 38, 381, n 311; Hahn, The Numismatic History, p. 521; Anokhin, Coinage of Cherson, p. 94; Grierson, Byzantine Coins, p Sidorenko, Coinage of Bosporos, p Cherson : Anokhin, Coinage of Cherson, p ; Соколова И.В. Монеты и печати византийского Херсона (Ленинград 1983), p ; Bosporos : Golenko, K., Gegenstempel auf chersoner Münzen des Maurikios Tiberios, Hamburger Beiträge zur Numismatik 1
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