Version classiqueVersion mobile

La monnaie dans le Péloponnèse

 | 
Charles Doyen
, 
Eva Apostolou

The coinage of Alea (c. 400-146 BC)1

Le monnayage d’Alea (c. 400-146 av. J.-C.)

Dimitrios A. Kousoulas

Résumé

Située à la frontière de l’Arcadie et de l’Argolide, Aléa est connue par la description qu’en donne Pausanias et par un petit nombre de trouvailles archéologiques. Les monnaies frappées en son nom constituent une source précieuse pour l’histoire de la cité, en raison de la rareté même des trouvailles archéologiques. Elles se rangent en trois séries distinctes : la première série (11 monnaies de bronze portant la tête d’Artémis / ΑΛ[εάτων]) est datée des années 380-370 av. J.-C. La seconde série est constituée de monnaies particulièrement rares, bien que leurs types soient plus variés que ceux de la première. On y trouve une monnaie d’argent présentant la tête d’Athéna Aléa au droit et deux monnaies de bronze à la tête d’Artémis au droit et, au revers, l’inscription ΑΛΕΑ[των] au centre d’une couronne de laurier. Ces monnaies appartiennent probablement à la période de domination macédonienne, consécutive à l’expédition de Philippe (345 av. J.-C.). La troisième série est constituée par les monnaies frappées pendant la période du Koinon achéen. La datation des monnaies entre 380/370 et 146 av. J.-C. fournit un indice sérieux pour le développement architectural des murs de la cité. Quant à savoir dans quelle mesure Aléa aurait aussi frappé de la monnaie d’or, nous préférons ne pas nous prononcer.

Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 I am grateful to Prof. Katerini Liampi and Dr Antonio Corso for their helpful observations and corr (...)
  • 1 W. K. Pritchett, Studies in Ancient Greek Topography VI (1989), pp. 2-3; A. Miliarakis, Γεωγραφία π (...)
  • 2 W. Gell, The Itinerary of the Morea (1817), pp. 146, 168.
  • 3 A. Miliarakis (n. 1), p. 53.

1The as yet unexplored city of Alea may be characterized as a kome, as it seems to have been under the immediate control of Orchomenos. It was built in the mountainous Peloponnese, near the border between the Argolid and Arcadia.1 The site was discovered by European travellers in the 19th century, and it was the English antiquarian William Gell who first identified its ruins, in 1817.2 In 1886, Antonios Miliarakis described the ruined site as follows:3 “In this area there is also Alea, the ruins and the walls of which are preserved and are visible at the northern part of the homonymous plain. Part of the city wall descends till this plain…”

The ancient authors – Pausanias’ text

  • 4 Cf. Pausanias 8.23.1: μετὰ δὲ Στύμφαλόν ἐστιν Ἀλέα, συνεδρίου μὲν τοῦ Ἀργολικοῦ μετέχουσα καὶ αὕτη, (...)

2No references to Alea exist in the ancient authors, except Pausanias’ Description of Greece. His testimony is considered to be valuable: “… after Stymphalos comes Alea, which too belongs to the Argive federation, and its citizens point to Aleos, the son of Apheidas, as their founder. The sanctuaries of the gods here are those of Ephesian Artemis and Athena Alea, and there is a temple of Dionysos with an image…”.4 Pausanias refers to three temples at the site, dedicated to Artemis Ephesia, Athena Alea and Dionysos. We will see that two of the cults mentioned are indicated by the numismatic sources.

3The surviving coins of Alea are dated to c. 380/370 BC and 146 BC and can be classified as belonging to three periods. To the first period belong bronze coins, which are part of different collections.

The early coinage of Alea – phase A (380-370 BC)

  • 5 BCD Peloponnesos, p. 322, nos. 1347-1348.
  • 6 Cf. J. Warren, “The 1980 Kato Klitoria Hoard”, in G. Le Rider et al. (eds.), Kraay – Mørkholm Essay (...)

4The early coins of Alea are dated, according to Alan Walker,5 to 380-370 BC. From the first period, 11 coins have been counted, which belong to museums and collections. Most of them derive from excavations. It is very interesting to see that two bronze coins of Alea belonged to the Kato Kleitoria hoard, the date of which was estimated by Jennifer Warren as c. 340-330 BC.6 This provides a terminus ante quem of 340 BC for these coins.

  • 7 N. Yalouris, Die Skupturen des Asklepiostempels in Epidauros (1992), pp. 42-45, pls. 47d-53.
  • 8 M. P. Nilsson, Geschichte der griechischen Religion I2 (1955), pp. 497-500.
  • 9 G. Steinhauer, Τα Μνημεία και το Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο του Πειραιά (1998), pp. 49-50, pl. 13.
  • 10 C. Rolley, La sculpture grecque II. Période classique (1999), pp. 292-293, fig. 302.

5On the obverse of these coins, Artemis’ head is represented in profile, while on the reverse is depicted a strung bow and the legend ΑΛ ( “of Aleans”) in the Arcadian alphabet. Other scholars dated them to 431-370 BC. However, Alan Walker has proposed a date between 380 and 370 BC. In my opinion, this date is persuasive. The type of Artemis’ head, which can be stylistically compared to the heads from the west pediment of the Asklepieion of Epidauros,7 belongs to the third decade of the 4th century BC. The goddess is endowed with masculine features, which, according to Nilsson,8 underline her status as a “hunt-goddess” (Jagdgöttin). The same concept applies to Euphranor’s bronze statue of Artemis, found at Piraeus,9 and to Leochares’ free-standing masterpiece, known through Hellenistic copies like the one exhibited at Versailles.10

Fig. 1-5. NMA, no. 4520a-b, E 171-173 (ph. D. Kousoulas).

6Five coins of the first period (figs. 1-5), struck in different moulds, belong to the Numismatic Museum of Athens. Their inventory numbers are 4520a, 4520b, E 171, E 172 and E 173. Despite their erosion, the iconographical types can be easily identified.

  • 11 M. Jost, Sanctuaires et cultes d’Arcadie (1985), pp. 107-108.
  • 12 P. R. Franke, Η Μικρά Ασία στους ρωμαϊκούς χρόνους: τα νομίσματα καθρέφτης της ζωής των Ελλήνων (20 (...)
  • 13 For the iconographical type of Artemis multimammia in general, see R. Fleischer (n. 12), pp. 755-75 (...)

7Through the study of the earlier coins, we find that the cult of Artemis was a basic element of the religious life at Alea from earliest times onwards. According to Madeleine Jost, the iconographical type of Artemis on these coins implies either that the epithet Ephesia was imported after 370 BC from Ephesos and attributed to an earlier cult of Artemis, or that Artemis Ephesia replaced a pre-existing cult of the 5th century BC.11 However, the representation of Artemis as a Jagdgöttin is also common on the coins of Ephesos,12 while the multimammia-type13 was a late Hellenistic innovation.

The second phase of Alea’s coinage – coins under the Macedonian expansion

  • 14 Cf. SNG Copenhagen 17, no. 213; E. Babelon, Traité des monnaies grecques et romaines III (1914), p. (...)
  • 15 For the first Conference of Corinth (338 BC) and the subsequent political intrusion of Philip II in (...)
  • 16 Pausanias 8.7.4.
  • 17 Cf. E. Meyer, Peloponnesische Wanderungen (1939), p. 26.

8The second series of Alea’s coins that can be chronologically distinguished is extremely small, as it includes just two bronze coins and a silver one. The coins are exhibited in the Louvre and the Danish National Museum (Copenhagen) and may be dated to the second half of the 4th century BC. The type of Artemis’ head on the obverse of the bronze coins is the same, while there is variation in the types on the reverse.14 There is no strung bow and the legend ΑΛΕΑ (instead of ΑΛ) is placed within a laurel wreath. By comparison with examples from the Roman period and from Peloponnesian history of the second half of the 4th century BC, I suggest that these coins were minted to commemorate a specific historical event, probably an agreement with Philip II. Indeed, the Macedonian king tried to intrude politically in various cities of strategic interest after the first Conference of Corinth (338 BC).15 Evidence for this is the testimony of Pausanias in his eighth book, where he refers to the peaceful conquest of Arcadian cities by Philip.16 The date proposed for these coins is also contemporary to the second phase of the city walls,17 which are well-preserved in spite of damage by vegetation. The laurel wreath on these coins may be an indication of an unknown victory of Alea at this time.

Fig. 6. Fragment of the course of the toichobates of the temple dedicated to Athena Alea in Tegea, built in a modern house (ph. D. Kousoulas).

  • 18 A. Stewart, Skopas of Paros (1977), pp. 80-81; N. J. Norman, “The Temple of Athena Alea at Tegea”, (...)
  • 19 N. J. Norman (n. 18), pp. 181-182, ill. 11, 14.
  • 20 Ibid., pp. 190-191.
  • 21 A. Stewart (n. 18), p. 50, fig. 4.
  • 22 G. Waywell, “The Ada, Zeus and Idrieus Relief from Tegea in the British Museum”, in O. Pallagia, W. (...)
  • 23 Ibid., p. 84.

9At a recent conference on the Parian artist Skopas, held in Paros last June, I assumed that the artistic school of the renowned architect and sculptor was responsible for the erection of the temple of Artemis Ephesia at Alea. The presence of Ionic and specifically Ephesian elements is obvious in the decoration18 and proportions of the Skopadic temple at Tegea, i.e. the course of the toichobates (fig. 6) and the epikranitis blocks,19 while the Asiatic type of the altar20 and its place in relation to the temple (fig. 7) may have been copied, according to Stewart,21 from the Ephesian temple. Waywell22 believes that some of Skopas’ pupils followed him during his artistic journeys through mainland Greece and Asia Minor, and suggests that the Hekatomnids supported the works at Tegea financially.23 I propose that the temple of Ephesian Artemis at Alea may have been designed by one of Skopas’ pupils, soon after the end of the works at Tegea, in around 350-340 BC.

Fig. 7. Tegea, sanctuary of Athena Alea. The position of the altar in relation to the temple (according to A. Stewart, Skopas of Paros [1977], fig. 4).

  • 24 SNG Copenhagen 17, no. 214.
  • 25 C. Dugas et al. (n. 18), pp. 2-3; LSJ, s.v. “ἀλεείνω”.
  • 26 A. Stewart (n. 18), pp. 80; N. J. Norman (n. 18), pp. 191-194.
  • 27 Pausanias 3.19.7.
  • 28 Pausanias 8.9.6.

10The silver coin is very interesting, as the iconographical types recognized are the helmeted head of Athena Alea on the obverse and a laurel wreath on the reverse.24 Athena is represented as a war-goddess, confirming the derivation of her name from the Homeric verb ἀλεείνω,25 which means “I avoid”. I am not aware of any relations between the cities of Alea and Tegea in earlier phases. However, I believe that the expansion of Athena Alea’s cult throughout the Peloponnese occurred after 350 BC, when the Skopadic temple at Tegea was finished26 and the builders searched for employment in nearby cities. This would be an appropriate opportunity for Alea to prove a fixed connection to Tegea as a mother city, as the cult of Athena Alea was probably at the centre of an Arcadian amphictyony. Her cult was also expanded to Amyclae27 and Mantinea.28

The coinage of Alea under the Achaean league

  • 29 Cf. H. Bengtson (n. 15), pp. 395-412.

11To the third phase of Alea’s coinage belongs a series represented by two bronze coins, which are dated to the period 191-146 B.C. Their date corresponds to a period when the Macedonian kingdom was fighting against Rome that concluded with the Roman conquest of Greece.29 On the obverse of the coin is represented a nude standing Zeus, holding a figure of Nike and a long sceptre, while on the reverse is depicted a seated female figure, holding a wreath and a long sceptre. This figure personifies Achaia. The inscription ΑΧΑΙΩΝ ΑΛΕΑΤΑΝ is written on the reverse, in a circular way.

  • 30 Cf. BCD Peloponnesos, p. 375, no. 1583.
  • 31 M. G. Clerk, Catalogue of the Coins of the Achaean League (1895), pp. 52, 100.
  • 32 BCD Peloponnesos, p. 107.

12These coins are valuable evidence for the participation of Alea in the Achaean League, after the defeat and expulsion of the Macedonians from the Peloponnese. The types are common on the coins of Orchomenos30 and belong to the fourth group, according to Clerk’s classification.31 This group, which includes the main coinage of the League, was struck between 195 and 146 BC and consisted of a massive production of light coins and an extensive series of bronzes in the names of over 40 towns, some of which would never again strike coins.32

Conclusions

13Through the study of Alea’s coinage, we can discover interesting aspects of its history and cultural life. Alea was an independent city, as it had its own coinage. The date of the coins, from 380 till c. 146 BC, declares the strategic significance of the city from the late Classical period. However, the Roman presence at the site, as the investigations of Ernst Meyer and Nikolaos Verdelis have proved, implies that the city was not abandoned, even after the Roman conquest. In addition to this, the existing coins of Alea prove the presence intra muros of two of the sanctuaries that Pausanias mentions.

  • 33 J. B. Bury, R. Meiggs (n. 15), p. 536.

14In sum, there is much still to learn about the history of the northern Peloponnese from the beginning of the Peloponnesian war. The 4th century is considered as a period in which religious and cultural elements were imported from Asia Minor either by Xenophon33 and his soldiers or by the artists who worked at Ephesos and Halicarnassus. With regard to Artemis Ephesia, it is very interesting to investigate the expansion of her cult throughout the Mediterranean world in the wake of the Ionian renaissance.

Bibliographie

Further bibliography

A. Delivorrias, A Guide to the Benaki Museum (2000).

E. Dodwell, A Classical and Topographical Tour through Greece during the Years 1801, 1805 and 1806 (1819).

F. Imhoof-Blumer, Ancient Coins Illustrating Lost Masterpieces of Greek Art: A Numismatic Commentary on Pausanias (1964).

U. Muss, “Early Cults at Ephesos: Their Relation to the Mycenaeans and to the Ionic Migration”, in D. Katsonopoulou et al., Helike III: Helike and Aigialeia: Archaeological Sites in Geologically Active Regions (2005), pp. 133-151.

U. Muss, “Potnia Theron im Artemision von Ephesos”, in C. Franek et al. (eds.), Thiasos: Festschrift für Erwin Pochmarski zum 65. Geburtstag (2008), pp. 669-676.

Notes

1 W. K. Pritchett, Studies in Ancient Greek Topography VI (1989), pp. 2-3; A. Miliarakis, Γεωγραφία πολιτική νέα και αρχαία του νομού Αργολίδος και Κορινθίας (1886), pp. 53-54.

2 W. Gell, The Itinerary of the Morea (1817), pp. 146, 168.

3 A. Miliarakis (n. 1), p. 53.

4 Cf. Pausanias 8.23.1: μετὰ δὲ Στύμφαλόν ἐστιν Ἀλέα, συνεδρίου μὲν τοῦ Ἀργολικοῦ μετέχουσα καὶ αὕτη, Ἄλεον δὲ τὸν Ἀφείδαντος γενέσθαι σφίσιν ἀποφαίνουσιν οἰκιστήν. θεῶν δὲ ἱερὰ αὐτόθι Ἀρτέμιδός ἐστιν Ἐφεσίας καὶ Ἀθηνᾶς Ἀλέας, καὶ Διονύσου ναὸς καὶ ἄγαλμα.

5 BCD Peloponnesos, p. 322, nos. 1347-1348.

6 Cf. J. Warren, “The 1980 Kato Klitoria Hoard”, in G. Le Rider et al. (eds.), Kraay – Mørkholm Essays. Numismatic Studies in Memory of C. M. Kraay and O. Mørkholm (1989), p. 297 no. 40.

7 N. Yalouris, Die Skupturen des Asklepiostempels in Epidauros (1992), pp. 42-45, pls. 47d-53.

8 M. P. Nilsson, Geschichte der griechischen Religion I2 (1955), pp. 497-500.

9 G. Steinhauer, Τα Μνημεία και το Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο του Πειραιά (1998), pp. 49-50, pl. 13.

10 C. Rolley, La sculpture grecque II. Période classique (1999), pp. 292-293, fig. 302.

11 M. Jost, Sanctuaires et cultes d’Arcadie (1985), pp. 107-108.

12 P. R. Franke, Η Μικρά Ασία στους ρωμαϊκούς χρόνους: τα νομίσματα καθρέφτης της ζωής των Ελλήνων (20062), p. 125, no. 507. For the earlier iconography and the type of πότνια θηρῶν, cf. U. Muss, “Kultbilden und Statuetten-Göttinnen im Artemision”, in U. Muss (ed.), Die Archäologie der ephesischen Artemis: Gestalt und Ritual eines Heiligtums (2008), pp. 63-64; R. Fleischer, “Artemis Ephesia”, LIMC II.1 (1984), pp. 755-763, at 757-762, inv. cat. 29-129c.

13 For the iconographical type of Artemis multimammia in general, see R. Fleischer (n. 12), pp. 755-758. Fleischer dates the type to the time of the emperor Hadrian.

14 Cf. SNG Copenhagen 17, no. 213; E. Babelon, Traité des monnaies grecques et romaines III (1914), p. 630, nos. 949-950.

15 For the first Conference of Corinth (338 BC) and the subsequent political intrusion of Philip II in the Peloponnese after 338 BC, cf. H. Bengtson, Ιστορία της Αρχαίας Ελλάδος (1991), pp. 293-295; J. B. Bury, R. Meiggs, Ιστορία της Αρχαίας Ελλάδας III (1998), pp. 687-691. N. Papachatzis focuses on Philip’s attempt to associate the Arcadian cities with him while he camped at the nearby site of Nestani. Cf. N. Papachatzis, Παυσανίου Ελλάδος Περιήγησις IV. Αχαϊκά – Αρκαδικά (1980), pp. 194-195; Pausanias 8.7.4-8.

16 Pausanias 8.7.4.

17 Cf. E. Meyer, Peloponnesische Wanderungen (1939), p. 26.

18 A. Stewart, Skopas of Paros (1977), pp. 80-81; N. J. Norman, “The Temple of Athena Alea at Tegea”, AJA 88 (1984), pp. 169-194, at 171-172, 181-188; A. Stavridou, Τα Γλυπτά του Μουσείου Τεγέας: περιγραφικός Κατάλογος (1996), pp. 62-64, inv. nos. 17, 20; C. Dugas et al., Le sanctuaire d’Aléa Athéna à Tégée (1924), pp. 45-50, 59-63, pls. 52-54, 64-65, 74, 77-80.

19 N. J. Norman (n. 18), pp. 181-182, ill. 11, 14.

20 Ibid., pp. 190-191.

21 A. Stewart (n. 18), p. 50, fig. 4.

22 G. Waywell, “The Ada, Zeus and Idrieus Relief from Tegea in the British Museum”, in O. Pallagia, W. Coulson (eds.), Sculptures from Arcadia and Laconia. Proceedings of an International Conference held at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (April 10 – 14 1992) (1993), pp. 79-86, at 81.

23 Ibid., p. 84.

24 SNG Copenhagen 17, no. 214.

25 C. Dugas et al. (n. 18), pp. 2-3; LSJ, s.v. “ἀλεείνω”.

26 A. Stewart (n. 18), pp. 80; N. J. Norman (n. 18), pp. 191-194.

27 Pausanias 3.19.7.

28 Pausanias 8.9.6.

29 Cf. H. Bengtson (n. 15), pp. 395-412.

30 Cf. BCD Peloponnesos, p. 375, no. 1583.

31 M. G. Clerk, Catalogue of the Coins of the Achaean League (1895), pp. 52, 100.

32 BCD Peloponnesos, p. 107.

33 J. B. Bury, R. Meiggs (n. 15), p. 536.

Notes de fin

1 I am grateful to Prof. Katerini Liampi and Dr Antonio Corso for their helpful observations and corrections, as well as to Ms Euterpi Ralli, Ms Antonia Nikolakopoulou and Ms Dimitir-Eleni Ladogianni for the photographs of the coins from the Numismatic Museum of Athens.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1-5. NMA, no. 4520a-b, E 171-173 (ph. D. Kousoulas).
URL http://books.openedition.org/efa/docannexe/image/7787/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 18k
Légende Fig. 6. Fragment of the course of the toichobates of the temple dedicated to Athena Alea in Tegea, built in a modern house (ph. D. Kousoulas).
URL http://books.openedition.org/efa/docannexe/image/7787/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 35k
Légende Fig. 7. Tegea, sanctuary of Athena Alea. The position of the altar in relation to the temple (according to A. Stewart, Skopas of Paros [1977], fig. 4).
URL http://books.openedition.org/efa/docannexe/image/7787/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 17k

Auteur

MA Student of Classical Archaeology (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität, Bonn).

© École française d’Athènes, 2018

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search