Figures on Prows (again)

I was poking through the ANS database thinking about the placement of symbols in relation to the main type.  Does the symbol float in the field?  Is it interacting with the figures?  Does it sit on a line suggesting it is on the same visual plane?  How can I be sure the placement is significant versus unintentional?  Of course I was looking for patterns, consistency, anything to suggest deliberate choice.  Doing this I stumbled upon the coins of Arados.  The mint is well studied and is well represented in most collections. See the specimen above.  Here are a few more:




These last two reminded me of our discussion of the seal of the Sidonians and possible precedents.  They confirm the use of the reclining figure on the prow in the region.

The first two make me think that small figures standing on prows were just part of the Hellenistic visual repertoire (esp. Athena) and that would make it more likely for the die engravers and/or designers to integrate a symbolic figure into the design proper….

So also the silver from Phaselis produced after 160BC when Rome detached it from Rhodes and added it to the Lycian Confederacy:


(It does look a wee bit Roman now doesn’t it.)


Enough musing back to my revisions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s