Cherson, ancient coins of
Coins of ancient Cherson are scarce and often
grade. Here are several, one from the Greek period and four from the
period. The primary reference
is Anokhin's book, The Coinage of
Chersonesus, which is in Russian and has been translated into
English by H. Bartlett Wells (BAR International Series 69, 1980). Five
types are listed in Sear's Greek
Coins and their Values, volume I, 1664-1668 on pages
165-166. SNG XI Stancomb and SNG IX British Museum, The Black
Sea, also cover this region, but not nearly as thoroughly.
AE21. 12:00. 6.23 grams.
Artemis kneeling left on prostrate stag which she spears
XEP (the beginning of "Cherson" in Greek) below (not legible on
/bull butting left with club and quiver beneath (not visible on this
late 4th - first half of 3rd C. B.C.
Cherson received "freedom" or "independence" under Antoninus Pius.
After that, the city's coins often mention "freedom." However, the lack
of an imperial name or any other identification of a date means they
must be dated by other means. Anokin seems to use the criterion that
cruder is later (which seems justifed) but picks time spans of
arbitrary length for each type. I am not at all convinced we know when
the following types were issed.
22 mm. 6:00. 5.24 grams.
Female bust right, sometimes considered to be Julia Domna, wife of
Septimius Severus. (See also the second-next coin.)
EΛPCO-HNCEOV [Eleutheria = "Freedom" in Greek]
Artemis advancing right with bow and arrow, right hand raised overhead,
stag head below right
Anokhin 287 variety, with a significantly different portrait. 212-217
AD, regarded as an issue at the time of Julia
AE25-21. 7.92 grams. Extremely rare, especially in this
condition. (It has been smoothed and corrosion cut off, but most are
even further from original surfaces than this one. A remarkable coin
City of Cherson. Struck
during an era of "Freedom," period
of AD 145-268, the "second liberation".
= "Freedom", in Greek. Laureate bust right, with lyre. BMC calls
The Maiden (Artemis) moving left but facing right, with spear and bow,
stag at her feet right.
Anokhin (Cherson) 302, attributed to 222-235, which would be the reign
of Severus Alexander.
The arguments given by Anokhin to attribute it to this specific time
period within the greater "freedom" period do not convince me.
SNG Stancomb --, but cf. 960 of "Elagabalus" with some similarities but
different arrangement of the elements.
Cherson AE23-22. 7:00. 5.88 grams.
EΛPCΘ-HNCEOV [Eleutheria = "Freedom" in Greek] Laureate
bust right, with lyre. BMC calls
Anokhin thinks this might be Julia Domna, for reasons I think are
weak. Therefore, he dates it to c.212-217 AD.
He sees another coin as possibly having the portrait of Caracalla as
enough similar to this one that they should be from the same time
period, and therefore this might be Julia Domna. But neither looks much
like the supposed person, and the lyre makes it clear this is not Julia
It must be struck, as the coin above, during the "Freedom,"
of AD 145-268, the "second liberation".
It is not the last type of the period, since the next coin is
obviously later (because it is cruder and smaller). Being the about the
last type, the next coin could be near the end of the period. That is
why Anokhin gives it to Gallienus.
Anokhin 287, same dies.
SNG Stancomb -- but style close to 954 but with Artemis going the other way.
22-19 mm. 2:00. 5.21 grams. Possibly time of Caracalla.
Bull butting right.
EΛEVΘ-EP AC in ex. [Eleutheria = "Freedom" in Greek]
Anokhin 293 variety (293 is
both lighter in weight and smaller in diameter, although it can be
impossible to tell since Anokin's images are not always life size. They
are ofter somewhat larger than the coin. Since his image of 293 is
significantly smaller than this coin, I conclude they are not the same
BMC Thrace --, Stancomb --, SNG BM Black Sea --, SNG Pushkin --
Cherson AE20. 1:00. 3.65 grams.
Bust as above, but much cruder and flan size smaller.
[Eleutheria = "Freedom" in Greek] Laureate bust right, with lyre.
The second-previous reverse legend is XEPCON-HOCY
and there are signs of it on this coin, but I could not read it if I
didn't know what it was supposed to say.
Anokhin 306 (same dies), attributed to the period of Gallienus, 253-268
Stancomb 959 Variety.
Cherson AE21. 12:00.
Artemis standing front, head
right, bow in left arm right
Anokhin 301 "222-235 AD"
SNG Stancomb --, SNS BM Black Sea --.
Anokin dates this "222-235 AD"
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