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Old Sep 17, 2011, 12:18 PM   #1
TheLoneKnight
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Question Translation?

Ok it is not a coin. A friend brought me back some currency from his tour in Afghanistan as a gift. While I looked over the currency I noticed the bank seal reminded me of an ancient coin design and had ancient Greek around the seal. I am intrigued however, I cannot locate information online as to the history of the bank seal or what it signifies. Any translation help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Old Sep 17, 2011, 03:11 PM   #2
vozmozhno
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The Greek inscription reads: "Of the great king Eukratides."
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Old Sep 17, 2011, 04:33 PM   #3
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Thank you very much for the translation. Now I found the coin I had seen that image on before thanks to your help.

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Old Oct 8, 2011, 04:28 PM   #4
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minor observation, or, better, question

Hi,

Saw your post. I've oftened wondered if these genetive constructions--"of such-and-such" found on these coins are simply genetive absolutes since the construction stands alone, not within a sentence. If so, it would simply be rendered "the Great King Eukridates" rather than "of the Great King Eukridates." Seems reasonable in my mind, but I could be wrong. A minor detail, but to me, and interesting one.

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Old Oct 10, 2011, 10:26 AM   #5
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The genitive construction is most commonly understood as implying a missing word, "coin."

The inscription means "(coin) of the great king Eukratides."

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Old Oct 10, 2011, 12:14 PM   #6
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Hi Dave,

I've heard of this theory, but a simple genitive of possession or source would make more sense in my mind than a genitive absolute, which by definition involves the use of a participle.

Voz

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Old Oct 10, 2011, 05:04 PM   #7
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This discussion roused my curiosity enough to do a bit of digging. I found the following in Thomas R. Martin, "Coins, Mints, and the Polis" HfM 72 (1995) 266:

The most common legend on Greek coins consists of genitive ethnics, whose meanings obviously depend on what these genitives are to be understood as modifying. The only (so far a I know) archaic or classical coins from Greek poleis to include a nominative substantive with the genitive of the ethnic come from Gortyna and Phaestus in Crete, carrying the legend "the paima of Gortyna" and "the paima of the Phaestians". The noun paima has been explained as derived from the verb paiein, "to strike". Kraay therefore translates paima as "the striking (of Gortyna or Phaestus)" and calls it part of "an explicit explanatory legend on the initial issues" of these mints, which produced "the first native Cretan coinages" in about the third quarter of the fifth century B.C. Both mints produced coins with the same types (Europa riding a bull on the obverse, a facing lion's head on the reverse), the only difference being that the obverse type faced right on the coins of Gortyna and left on the coins of Phaestus. Therefore, it seems that, at least in the beginning of the production of these issues (which later carried no inscriptions), the two mints wanted explicitly to distinguish their otherwise nearly identical products. They did so by inscribing them with legends that amounted to saying, on the one hand, "This was struck by the Phaestians" and, on the other, ""This was struck at Gortyna". Thus, the genitive ethnic in the legend indicates origin in a somewhat loose fashion.
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 07:14 PM   #8
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Good catch on the required verbal, Voz. I apparently did not dust off my Greek enough to remember the need of the participle in this construction.
Despite the fact that prevailing opinion seems to point toward labeling these ethnics "genitives of possession," perhaps they are more suitably termed genitives of origin (your "source"), but this would be to further split hairs I suppose.
I'm wondering about the two arhaic Crete issues you cite. As you note, they raise the very interesting question of whether or not the use of the genitive of origin in ethnics was common throughout the Greek world as early as the 5th century BC. If I read you correctly, the evidence that the issuers of these two Cretan coins had this construction in mind from very early on seems strong. I did not note if these were AEs or precious metal pieces that would have naturally been circulated more widely via trade? Is there record of these issues beyond Crete's shores? I'm not up on Cretan coin circulation patterns, but I must assume that given its history that the island and its currency stood to be immensely influence and be influenced by the rest of the Greek world.

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Old Oct 15, 2011, 07:59 PM   #9
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The inscription in Arabic letters above (read right to left) is "D A-F-Gh-A-N-S-T-A-N B-A-N-K".
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