The Classical Economies Collection  

THE COLLECTION
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MYSIA

GAMBRION
Gorgion

Circa 400 BC

                AR Tetrobol (3.24 g, 12mm, 5).

      Obv: Head of Apollo right, wearing laurel wreath.
      Rev: Forepart of bull butting right, head facing; Kerykeion above
      Ref: SNG Mysia 895 var. = Traité II 47 var. = J.-P. Six, "Monnaies
                grecques, inédites et incertaines," in NC 1894, p. 315, n. 1 var.
                (name of Gorgion above bull); CNG 87, lot 522.
      Pedig: Ex Numismatik Naumann 44 (7 June 2016), lot 354.

Notes: Gorgion was a son of Gongylos the Eretrian, who, in 475 BC, had been awarded by the Persian King Xerxes I a number of cities of Mysia in return for his betrayal of the Greeks during the Persian Wars (Diod. 11.44). After his father's death (circa 425 BC?), Gorgion was given the towns of Gambrion and Palægambrion, while his brother, Gongylos II, received Myrina and Grynion (Xen. Hell. 3.1.6). The brothers joined the Spartan general Thimbron when he arrived in the region to support the Ionians against the Persian Tissaphernes, but they disappear from the historical record thereafter. The coins of Gorgion are only known from Gambrion, and are exceedingly rare. The present and CNG 87 pieces appears to be a new variety with a kerykeion above the bull; previously, the type was only known with Gorgion's name above the bull. The absence of Gorgion's name may imply that this is an issue immediately preceding or following Gorgion's reign (there are silver and bronze issues of this type with the city ethnic ΓAM above the bull, which must post-date Gorgion's reign). Interestingly, the type is extremely similar to issues of Ionian Magnesia in the 5th century, though there are subtle differences in the depiction of the bull. This suggests a certain relationship between the two cities that is presently unknown.