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Greek Islands Ancient Coins

"Milos Coin-Silver Stater"

Milos enjoyed great prosperity from as early as the prehistoric period, deriving from its monopoly in obsidian in the Aegean. The prehistoric settlement of Phylakopi was one of the important centres on the island. The first colonists were Spartans. The Milians took part in the battles of Salamis and Plataea, and their name was inscribed on the tripod dedicated at Delphi. After the Persian Wars the island was a member of the Delian Confederacy, though it refused to pay the tribute proportionate to its size. In 426 BC the Athenians laid siege to Milos, killed the entire male population, and settled cleruchs there. The island remained under Athenian rule until 405 BC, when it was liberated by Lysander. Thereafter, Milos shared in the fortunes of the rest of the Cyclades and came successively under the suzerainty of the Macedonians and the Romans. The atheist philosopher Diagoras and the geometrician Dionysodoros are said to have come from Milos.

Milos was the only Aegean island to strike Archaic staters on the Milesian or Lydian standard. The preeminent numismatic type of the island is the apple, which probably had some religious significance, though at the same time it was a «punning representation» of the island's name. The variety of representations on the reverses of the coins is attested by the hoard discovered in 1907, which contains about 100 staters. Study suggests that these staters were the product of a hasty issue, designed to meet the emergency faced by the Milians before the Athenian attack.

A second numismatic phase, involving silver and bronze coins, began at the end of the century, when the Milians returned to their native island. In it the apple continues to be the main numismatic type for the obverse, but the iconographic motifs on the reverse vary. By way of example, we may mention the depictions of Apollo kitharodos, Athena brandishing a thunderbolt, a kantharos, etc. these are all rare coins designed to meet purely local needs.

rare coins - silver stater rare coins - silver stater
Silver stater c. 420-416 BC. O. Apple R. Crescent moon

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