Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
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OINS of a variety of types and countries, and in great numbers, are constantly found by the watchful excavator in Cyprus, for every dominant power has, in turn, left behind it these ancient and almost imperishable testimonies of its existence, buried in the soil where they were in former times the tangible and outward representative of wealth and all that empire possesses of resource and unity. I found numerous examples, in fairly good states of preservation, but generally very much clipped,1 of Phœnician, Cypriote, Greek, Roman, Venetian, and Lusignan numismatics; but, inasmuch as most of these classes are well known, and have been treated exhaustively in works especially devoted to their elucidation, it is unnecessary for me to describe these coins on this occasion. I shall, however, here put on record a short notice of some of the Cypriote coins, because the knowledge which numismatists at present possess on this branch of Cypriote antiquities is very unsatisfactory, and for the most part tentative. The only works on the subject of Cypriote coins which I have been able to consult are—that by M. le Duc de Luynes, entitled Numismatique et Inscriptions Cypriotes, fol., 1852;2 a tractate by Mr. R. H. Lang, late Consul at Larnaca, upon

1 This circumstance has been noticed by the writers on Cypriote coins.
2 A fine work, as far as the numismatics and history are concerned, but greatly marred by the erroneous readings of the Cypriote characters.

two hoards of coins found at Larnaca, or Kitium, in the Numismatic Chronicle, New Series, vol. xi; and a paper by M. le Comte de Vogue, in the Journal Asiatique, Aug. 1867, entitled "Inscriptions Phéniciennes de l'Ile de Chypre", with some further " Notes Epigraphiques" on the same subject, at p. 479, et seq. I am also indebted to M. Six, of Amsterdam, for notes on some of the early Cypriote coins in my collection. Mr. Lang, describing the early specimens, states that to the coinage which has a punch-mark on the reverse, as in the earliest coins of Athens, numismatists generally assign a date anterior to B.C. 600; and as Cyprus was, at that distant period, in no way behind her neighbours in knowledge and practice of the arts, we may safely assume, he says, a similar date for the Cypriote coinage of that character. I believe, however, that all numismatists do not agree with this assumption. Of these, I have a coin, bearing on the obverse a sphinx, seated, to the right, the wings expanded; on the reverse a punch-mark (fig. 321).

The sphinx was a common emblem of Assyria, and its use upon a Cypriote coinage may reasonably indicate the time when the Island of Cyprus was under the government, or a dependency of that mighty empire. This period may, perhaps, be about contemporary with the well-known and oft-recorded visit of the seven Kings of Cyprus to Sargon at Babylon, B.C. 707. The same number of kings are said to have contributed towards the embellishing of the palace of Esarhaddon at Nineveh, about 670 B.c. Mr. Lang gives their names as Ǽgisthus, King of Idalium; Pythagoras, King of Kitium; Ithodagon, King of Paphos; Eurylus, King of Soli; Damastes, King of Kurium, and the anonymous Kings of Salamis and of Tamissus. Several variants of the sphinx and punch-mark type are given by Mr. Lang, and the Duc de Luynes figures others. I cannot say whether my type is variant from these or not. The ram was a favourite Cypriote emblem. It occurs on a coin of Evelthon, King of Salamis, which bears on the obverse a ram couchant to the left, with indistinct characters in the field (fig. 322). The reverse is a plain surface, or punch-mark. Mr. Lang mentions a type which bears a ram on the one side and a ram's head on the other, and the Duc de Luynes figures several other types on which the ram or ram's head occurs. Another coin of Evelthon in the collection (fig. 323) bears on the obverse a ram couchant to the right, with an inverted crescent enclosing a pellet and Cypriote characters in the field overhead, and in the exergue. On the reverse, within a cushion-shaped depression, an ornamental crux ansata. The devices of this type were known to the Duc de Luynes and to Mr. Lang. Another, probably of this class, is undetermined (fig. 324). The reverse is the same as that of- the previous coin. The coins of Azbaal, King of Gebal, or Gabala, and Baal-melek, of which I possess several types (figs. 325, 326), are attributed, according to Mr. Lang, by the M. Le Comte de Voglie, to Kitium, in the Journal Asiatique. They date about B.c. 560, according to Mr. Lang. In the British Museum collection of coins, a date of b.c. 448-410 is attributed to Baal-melek, and B.c. 410-387 to Azbaal. We have in this class (which bears on the obverse a full-length figure of Hercules to the right, wearing a cloak, and lifting up a weapon in the right hand over'his head, the left hand being stretched out at full length; on the reverse, within a pearled or beaded square, is a lion devouring a stag, with Phœnician inscriptions in the field above them), the currency of Tyre, a currency which naturally was in large circulation in the Phœnician colonies of Cyprus, and,

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