A study of the coinage of Chios in the Hellenistic and Roman periods
The central part of the thesis consists of the chronological arrangement and discussion of the coin series struck by the Chian mint from the beginning of the Hellenistic period (c 332 BC) down to its demise during the late Roman Imperial period (c 270 AD). After establishing a sequence of issue for the individual series I consider other aspects of the coinage, such as patterns of issue, links with the economy, and developments in typology and denominations. These topics are presented and discussed in general chapters following that of the coin series. The study of coin typology has contributed to our knowledge of Chian society and economy of the period. For example the adoption and permanent use of sphinx type on the obverse of the coinage offered the opportunity to trace the development of the main civic symbol of an ancient Greek city over a continued period of six centuries. The wine amphora appearing on the reverse of most coins revealed that this jar was manufactured locally at Chios throughout the Roman period, which archaeology has failed to record. This finding has repercussions on our idea of contemporary Chian economy since it constitutes strong evidence that the export of wine -known to have been an important economic activity for Chios in earlier periods- continued after Roman domination. A separate chapter on the denominational system at Chios proved of particular importance for understanding the denominations used in the Eastern Greek world in general, since Chian coinage of the Roman period is one the few bearing marked denominational values. Numismatic findings have also contributed much to the meager information we have on the local history during Hellenistic and Roman periods. The last chapter discusses the Chian issues as economic objects and their circulation overseas. The study has established a link between the Chian trade pattern and foreign finds of this coinage during the same period.