Memoranda Numismatica Atheniensia 2

Sergei A. Kovalenko

Monetary portraiture in the northern Black Sea littoral
MNA 2 (2018)

This essay focuses on the matter of portraits appearing on monetary issues of cities and states along the northern Black Sea littoral.

The author Sergei Kovalenko turns his attention on the sporadic appearance of ruler portraits in the coinage of Olbia (cases like Skilouros and Pharzoios) and in that of the Tauric Chersonesos (Mithradates III).

Among else, special mention is made to the coin series of the kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporos and more precisely to the issues bearing the name Pairisades. A proposal is put forward that the portrait heads of the coins in question might not depict the effigies of several rulers, but there may be an archetypic portrait, that of Pairisades I, echoing analogous practices of certain other Hellenistic kingdoms pertaining to the founder of a dynasty.

The basis of this text was a lecture given by Sergei A. Kovalenko at the closure of the periodical exhibition Heads and Tails – Tales and Bodies. Engraving the Human Figure from Antiquity to the Early Modern Period (Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow), on October 31, 2016.