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    CYPRUS. Salamis. Nicodamus (ca. 460-450 BC). AR stater (22mm, 11.12 gm, 6h). NGC XF 4/5 - 5/5. pa-si-le-wo-se ni-ko-ta-mo (Cypriot, partly off flan), recumbent ram right; oinochoe above, dotted border / pa-si ni-ko-ta (Cypriot), head of ram left; olive branch and elaborate ankh below, all in incuse circle Bank of Cyprus -. BMC -. Traité II -. Tziambazis -. cf. Masson & Amandry, Notes de numismatique chypriote, VI-VIII in RN 1988, p. 33 and pl. II, 4-5 = Kunstfreund 169 (same obverse die). Roma XIV, 358 (same dies). Extremely Rare - the second known example and of great numismatic interest.

    Ex Roma Numismatics, Auction XVII (28 March 2019), lot 549.

    The Greek dynasty of Salamis traced its ancestry back to the legendary hero Teukros (Teucer), son of Telamon, king of the Greek island of Salamis in the Saronic Gulf. The first king and founder of the dynasty of Cypriot Salamis whose name appears on the Persian standard double sigloi and fractions is that of Evelthon (560-525 BC). It has long been recognized and confirmed by the Celenderis, Asyut, Larnaca, Zagazig and Jordan hoards, that many, if not all, of these issues were minted by his successors from ca. 515 BC until the mid 5th century BC; Herodotus (5.104) lists four successors to Evelthon: Siromos, Chersis, Gorgos and Onesilos, none of whom are believed to have been confirmed in the numismatic record. Thus it appears that the royal numismatic custom at Salamis was to continue using the types of one's predecessor, with the name of the reigning king of secondary importance to the primary message - that he was of the dynasty of Evelthon. The only other names recorded on coins before the well attested Evagoras I are: Phausis (cf. J. Kagan and K. McGregor 1995: "The Coinage of king Phausis of Salamis", CCEC 23, 3-9, 1995); and Nikotamos (cf. BMC 31-32 (Nikodamos) and Evanthes (BMC 38-9)) dated to the period 480-450 BC.

    The recumbent ram type of the obverse ultimately derives from the type instituted by Evelthon, so continuing the theme which appears to have been retained for dynastic purposes. Significantly, a coin discovered with the name of Nicodamus on the reverse also bears the name of Evelthon on the obverse (Troxell-Spengler 1969, 17). The use of the latter's name in the middle of the fifth century is significant, as it apparently confirms that Nicodamus was descended (or at least claimed descent) from Evelthon. The reverse type of a ram's head may have been an innovation introduced by Nicodamus, which appears to have been retained by his successor Evanthes, and by Gorgos II who coined an issue survived by just two known specimens, ca. 450-430 BC.

    Nicodamus himself appears to be unknown to history other than from his coins, but he must have reigned at Salamis in the years immediately preceding the expedition of the Athenian fleet under the general Kimon against the Persians on Cyprus in 450 BC.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    15th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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