GREEK/CAPPADOCIA; Ariarathes IV Eusebes BCE 220-163

AR Drachm 4.03 g, 20 mm, 1h,   RY 33=BCE 188/7

Simonetta 15

BMC 32,10

O: diad bust of Ariarathes IV r.

R: Athena stg l. holding Nike, BAΣIΛEΩΣ/APIAPAϴOY/EYΣEBOYΣ, H in far left field Δ in far right, monogram inner left beneath Nike. ГΛ in ex.

Simonetta writes on pp. 21-22 that the coins of Ariarathes IV "...issued in the 33rd year are most numerous. To account for the fact of so many drachms having been issued in the 33rd year of his reign, Reinach pointed out that in 188 BC Ariarathes was compelled to hand over to the Romans a very large amount of money, as punishment for the help he had given Antiochus. Cn. Manlius Vulso had, in fact, imposed upon him a tribute of 600 talents (1 talent=6,000 drachms) that came, eventually , to be halved through the intercession of his son-in-law Eumenes, king of Pergamum, an ally of the Romans."

In a note Simonetta continues "It might be thought that this enormous sum (for the times and for a small kingdom) of 1,800,000 drachms (600 talents x 6,000=3,600,000, reduced by half after the intercession of the King of Pergamum) could not have been paid over in coined money, but in bullion; however we are lend to believe that the greater part was handed over in coin, because of the very large number of drachms still extant: it suffices to recall that 31 varieties of the drachms of year 33 have been recorded here, and amongst this great diversity at least 77 obverse dies are known (Mørkholm, NC 1969, 26). If we reckon that each obverse die could have struck 10,000 specimens (Sellwood, NC 1963, 229), then, according to our present knowledge, at least 770,000 drachms came from the mint in this year. It is obvious, too, that many dies are not represented on the extant specimens, hence the number of drachms struck must be an even higher figure. There was also a clear advantage to Ariarathes in adopting this method of payment; these drachms are very often a little less in weight than they should be. Multiplying this small difference in weight by hundreds of thousands of examples, the saving becomes considerable."