The paper presents a study of countermarks on coins of Asander, a Bosporus archon. We believe that the countermarks when
stamped at the time of Polemon I. We have discovered that the countermark
with a mace, or a fighting stick different was stamped at the Dioscurias
strategy mint. We date the countermark back to 14 BC, which was the time when
the Bosporians confronted Polemon I for the first time. A star-like
countermark was used at the mint of Aspurgians and appeared as a result of
the uprising against Polemon I in the Asian side of Bosporus
as a reaction to Polemon I’s marriage to Pifodorida. This countermark had
been stamped starting from 12 BC and used until the death of the Roman appointee. We have analyzed the
monogram containing the symbols of “A”, “E” and “T”, on the newly
identified countermark and we also date it back to 12 BC. We believe that
these symbols stand for the first letters of the name and indicate the
position of the nobleman who was the rebel leader and had ruled Tanais and
the neighbouring towns before the Roman appointee.
We believe that at the time of Polemon I there were
regional power centers emerging in the eastern part of the Bosporan Kingdom
beyond the control of the official Panticapaeum, and such centers could
authorize countermarking. Judging by the countermarks, most of them lasted
for a relatively short time. For example, coins with a mace countermark were
extremely rare, as were bronze coins with a monogram. At the same time, there
was a star-like countermark on the set of obols circulating in the time of
Asander. In our opinion, this fact testifies to the duration of the emission
center and the power body authorizing the countermarks on coins.
We believe that the countermarks on coins indicate how
severe the crisis in the Bosporan Kingdom was in terms of the state’s
reaction towards the Roman interference in kingdom’s internal affairs at the
turn of the new age.
words: Bosporus, history, numismatics,
Asander, Dynamis, Polemon I, differents, monogram, countermark.