[...] Our present study is divided into four Parts. Part I is devoted to the geography and history of Argilos and Bisaltia. The first chapter chronicles the attempts to find the ancient city of Argilos, until it was finally successfully located, in the 19th century, at a site called Palaiokastron on the Bisaltian coast, west of the river Strymon. This is followed by the geography and history of all Bisaltia, in order to provide a full picture and grasp of the wider environs of Argilos. Described for the same reason are also the cities, settelements and sites of Bisaltia mentioned in the sources or revealed by the archaeological spade, including also those mentioned in the sources but as yet unidentified.
Argilos comprises a separate entity in Part I, with full examination of all existing sources, literary, epigraphical and archaeological, so as to compose its history. We have paid particular attention to the founding of the city in the 7th century B.C. in connection with general speculation about the composition of the colonists, whether they were solely Andrians or included also Greeks from further south. The question of the origin of the name Argilos has elicited discussion and it was therefore necessary to include the traditional ancient interpretations, as well as the various attempts by modern scholars. [...]
In the second Part of the book, the corpus of the Argilos numismatic material is catalogued and analysed. Two phases can be distinguished in the mint`s production. The first takes in the chronological period from around 520/515 B.C. to approximately the middle of the 5th century B.C. It includes the silver coins of the city, struck on the `Thraco-Macedonian` and Euboian weight standards. To the second phase belong the bronze coins, issued during the second quarter of the 4th century B.C. [...]
The third Part of the study comprises matters of mythology, numismatic typology, style, metrology, the technique and the inscriptions on the coins. The mythological foundation of the basic type, Pegasos, shown on the Argilos coins, and its comrade the hero Bellerophon is introduced. Plausible versions of interpretation of the adoption of Pegasos by the mint of Argilos are discussed in connection with other myths. It became necessary to refer also to the coins of other issuing authorities that likewise depicted Pegasos on their coins, such as Corinth, various Asia Minor or other cities. [...]
Part IV covers the geographical range of circulation of the coins of Argilos in areas neighbouring and further removed, where the coins have been discovered in excavations or where their provenance is known through valid information. Studied in a separate chapter were all the excavation coins brought to light by the spade in the course of fifteen years of excavation at Argilos. These are silver and bronze coins issued by the city itself, foreign coins and coins of the kings, of cities nearby or further away. Study of the numismatic circulation within the city, which we divided into five periods, yielded interesting results. It enabled us to ascertain its economic floruit beginning in the last quarter of the 6th century B.C. and its gradual decline until around the middle of the 2nd century B.C. [...]
Our fragmentary knowledge of the history of the ancient region of Bisaltia and the lack of recent corpora of the northern Greek mints impelled the publication of this book. Our purpose was to throw light on a Late Archaic mint of the northern Greek region and to attain a definitive classification and attribution of the Pegasos coins to the mint of Argilos. The study of the Andrian colony of Argilos establishes the political, economic and numismatic history of the city and shows it to be an important centre on the coast of Bisaltia from Late Archaic to Hellenistic times.
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