Amastris Homer Coin

Amastris Homer Coin 2.jpg

Object image: Glasgow, Hunterian Museum, catalogue number 42139, image (c) The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2014.

Object description: A bronze coin showing a portrait head of the poet Homer issued by the city of Amastris between 101 and 200 AD. It is thought to resemble the Apollonius of Tyana Type Homer, and has been used as a criterion for its identification.

Obverse: A bearded head of Homer facing right and wearing a taenia fillet.

Obverse inscription: ΟΜΗΡΟΣ (‘Homer’)

Reverse: A personification of the river Meles (Homer’s supposed father), reclining on an urn, and facing left. He holds a lyre in his right hand and a reed in his left arm.

Reverse inscription: ΜΕΛΗΣ ΑΜΑΣΤΡΙΑΝΩΝ (‘Meles’ ‘of the Amastrians’)

Dimensions: diameter 28mm; weight 12g

Examples in major collections (after Ashmolean Museum: Roman Provincial Coinage Online):

  • Berlin, Staatliche Museen
  • Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale
  • Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale
  • Copenhagen, Nationalmuseet, no. 251
  • Glasgow, Hunterian Museum, no. 42139
  • Milan, Civiche Raccolte
  • St Petersburg, Hermitage
  • Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, 15287


  • Boehringer, R. B. and Boehringer, E. 1939. Homer Bildnisse und Nachweise. Breslau. 19-41.
  • Esdaile, K. A. 1912. ‘An Essay towards the Classification of Homeric Coin Types.’ The Journal of Hellenic Studies 32: 298-325.
  • Goddard, J. 2004. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum : The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow. Roman provincial Coins : Spain - Kingdoms of Asia Minor, vol. 12, pt. 1. Oxford. no. 1139.
  • Richter, G. M. A. 1965. The Portraits of the Greeks, vol. 1. London. 144.
  • Richter, G. M. A. and Smith, R. R. R. 1984. The Portraits of the Greeks. 49, 56.
  • Schefold, K. and Bayard, A.-C. 1997. Die Bildnisse der Antiken Dichter, Redner und Denker. Basel. 404.
  • Roman Provincial Coinage Online Oxford: Ashmolean Museum (accessed 1st February 2014) record 4905.
Relevant guides Homer: A Guide to Sculptural Types