American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Athenian Tetradrachm, late 5th BC (1968.34.40)


The ANS collection of ancient Greek coins is one of the five major collections in the world and comprises some 100,000 items, classified according to regions and mints of the ancient world, from west to east, from Spain and Gaul (Celtic coins), Italy and Sicily through mainland Greece, all the way to modern Afghanistan. It includes all Greek coins, struck roughly between 650 B.C. and the time of the Roman conquest, and also the bronze coinages of the Greek cities under Roman administration, the so-called "Greek imperials", better defined as Roman provincial.

More than half of the Greek collection comes from the bequest of Edward T. Newell, ANS president 1916-1941 and foremost scholar in the field of Hellenistic numismatics. Until this day, the ANS holdings reflect the interest of this remarkable collector: the ANS has the largest collection of the coinages in the name of Alexander the Great of Macedonia and is particularly strong in the coins of the successors: Lysimachus of Thrace, the later Macedonian kings, the Seleucids of Syria and the Ptolemies of Egypt.

Harry W. Fowler's bequest in 1995 added to the already strong holdings of Bactria, so that today the ANS houses the most comprehensive collection of Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek coins, now published in the Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum (SNG) series. Substantial recent gifts by the late John Leggett, Arnold-Peter Weiss and Abraham D. Sofaer have also significantly enhanced the archaic, classical and ancient Jewish parts of the collection.

The coins of Magna Graecia and Sicily and those of Palestine and Judaea are published in the SNG series.

Inquiries about the Greek collection should be directed to Peter van Alfen.

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