Agesilaos Antik Sikkeler Nümzimatik

Greek Islands Of Ionia Chios

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Antik Sikkeler

4 Şub 2022
Greek Islands Of Ionia Chios

Chios was one of the original twelve member states of the Ionian League and was, at the end of the 7th century BC, one of the first cities to strike coinage, quickly establishing the Sphinx as its civic emblem.


Chios's ability to play a pivotal role in the League was made possible by the fact that it was one of the wealthiest cities in the world during the Archaic and Classical periods, prospering through maritime trade and the production and export of local wine.

The Chians were very active in the establishment of overseas trading posts, most famous of which was Naukratis in Egypt, which has been shown by archaeological evidence to have had a prominent Chian presence. It appears that in the early Archaic period Chian traders were invested in the transit of goods between Asia Minor and mainland Greece, a trade that was centred on luxury items manufactured in the Near East which became popular in mainland Greece around this time, this being facilitated both by Chios' favourable geographical position, and by possession of one of the largest merchant fleets in the region.

Large-scale export of wine appears to have begun in the early 6th century, and the quality of this wine was particularly excellent, such that it quickly became renowned throughout the Greek world. By virtue of their existing trade connections, the Chians were able to easily promote this wine abroad and trade it on a comparatively large scale. Both of these pillars of the Chian economy are represented on the present coin type along with the principal device of the city.

As the civic badge of the city, the sphinx is known to have been used on pottery stamps, coin weights, headings of official decrees and gravestones of Chians abroad, and as the principal device of their coinage it was employed for a period of approximately eight hundred years - a great span of devotion to their emblem that no other Greek city can match.

Click for more coin images of the ancient city Chios.