MAIASK. 2015. No. 7

M.M. Choref (Nizhnevartovsk, Russia).

CountermarkS on copper coins of the Bosporus archon Asander

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Pages: 279-299

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 Is 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 states reaction towards the Roman interference in kingdoms internal affairs at the turn of the new age.


Key words: Bosporus, history, numismatics, Asander, Dynamis, Polemon I, differents, monogram, countermark.


Received December 28, 2015
Accepted for publication December 31, 2015


About the author:

Choref Mikhail Mikhailovich (Nizhnevartovsk, Russia). Candidate of Historical Sciences, Senior Research scientist at the Regional Historical Research Laboratory, Nizhnevartovsk State University.