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Classical Numismatic Group > Triton XIAuction date: 8 January 2008
Lot number: 471

Lot description:
MYSIA, Miletopolis. Axiochus. 1st century BC-1st century AD. Æ 21mm (5.50 g, 12h). O DHMOC AXIOCON, bare head right / [MILHTOPOLITWN], draped bust of Athena right, wearing Corinthian-style helmet and [aegis]. RPC I 2237.3 (this coin); Imhoof-Blumer, GRMK p. 48, 2 and pl. V, 4 = FITA p. 391 and pl. XI, 60; SNG France -; SNG von Aulock 7417; SNG Copenhagen -. Near VF, brown patina. Extremely rare.

From the Patrick Villemur Collection.

While the portrayal on the obverse of this coin may be either the individual Axiochus or the Demos of Miletopolis, the obverse inscription makes it clear that this coin was struck to honor one of that city’s benefactors. By following Greek epigraphic convention, the name of the dedicatee (AXIOCON) is placed in the accusative case, while the verb of dedication is not indicated, but implied: “The Demos honors Axiochus.”

Just who this Axiochus was remains a mystery. The name is not unknown in the Greek world (a dialogue of the same name ascribed to Plato is known), and several Romanized Axiochi are attested in inscriptions and graffiti (cf. CIL VI.13.19 - Sex. Pompeius Axiochus). What is clear is that Axiochus was one of the numerous euergetai, or benefactors of the Roman Empire: wealthy individuals who supported public projects, or liturgies, in their hometowns. By doing so, they alleviated the burden of the imperial treasury, while at the same time, improving their own standing in the community.

Estimate: 300 USD