Macedon under Roman Rule, First Meris. c. 167-149 BC

Macedon under Roman Rule, First Meris. c. 167-149 BC


AR Tetradrachm, 16.82g (30mm, 8h). Diademed and draped bust of Artemis right, bow and quiver over shoulder, in the centre of a Macedonian shield / Club; AP monogram and MAKEΔONΩN above, ΠPΩTHΣ below; all within oak wreath, thunderbolt to left.

Pedigree: Ex Roma Numismatics E-Sale 8, 31 May 2014, lot 184

References: Prokopov, Silver 208–11 var. (O54/R– [unlisted rev. die]); SNG Copenhagen 1310–1

Grade: Near EF (gk1233)

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Macedonia was conquered by the Romans with the Battle of Corinth in 148 BC, however, this coin is struck prior to this event. The conflict that led to the first rule of the Romans over the Greeks was after the battle in Illyria when the ruler of the Ardiaei, a tribe in Macedonia, switched to the losing side from the Romans to Perseus of Macedonia.

This coin is struck under the ‘First Meris’. The ‘merides’ or four administrative districts were implemented after the change in government. When the Romans conquered the Macedonians the minting rights were initially taken away. Once they were reinstated it was to these four administrative districts. Coins bearing the name of Macedonia and of Greek identity were struck through the first century BC. This practice finally gave way to Latin inscriptions and identification with the Roman emperors.

This type is particularly beautiful in that the coin is transformed into a shield encompassing the glory of the former strength of the Macedonian people.