Monday, 10 December 2007

This is another Nabataean curiosity; a lead coin of Obodas III (30-9BC). Most of his bronze was issued at the end of his reign, and is associated with his minister, Syllaeus. The first coin is a bronze, 14mm diameter, and has Syllaeus' initial, in Nabataean script (a form of Aramaic) to the left of the crossed cornucopiae on the reverse. The obverse, a bit fuzzy because it was struck with a worn die, is Obodas' portrait.

The second coin is lead, 12mm, with a rather similar portrait of Obodas. The reverse is Nike (the Greek equivalent of Victory on Roman coins), with wings outstretched, holding out a wreath. Lead coins are well known from the region, but this is the latest one I've come across. Nobody knows why they were struck.

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