Pontos, Amisos. Period of the tyrant Straton, circa 36-31/30 BC. Ae 21. Second known example.

Pontos, Amisos. Period of the tyrant Straton, circa 36-31/30 BC. Ae 21. Second known example.

Pontos, Amisos. Period of the tyrant Straton, circa 36-31/30 BC. Ae 21 mm. 7.85 gm., struck under an uncertain Quaestor (=Q) allied to Mark Antony. Obv: Bare male head, with very individualistic features, to left; below neck, Q. Rev: AMI-ΣΟY Bare male head, balding and with individualistic features, to right, dividing the legend. RPC 1, 2156A. The second known.

This coin is exceptionally enigmatic: the only things one can be certain about are the identification of the obverse portrait with a quaestor (uncertain which one), and that the mint of Amisos, which struck this coin. This allows us to place the coin during the period between Antony’s appointment of a certain Straton as tyrant of Amisos, and his removal by Octavian in c. 31. The Roman Republican-looking portrait on the obverse, which is immediately reminiscent of that on the well-known issue from an uncertain mint in southern Asia Minor (RPC 5409-5411), now dated to sometime early in the reign of Augustus, must be of the quaestor in charge of the general area; while the head on the reverse is a much  different looking individual. Combined with the city name in the usual genitive, it would be reasonable to associate the man portrayed with the city itself. The only suitable person would be Straton.

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