Tuesday 25 May 2021


The Mariner's Museum at Newport News, Virginia continues to put out YT videos.

A recent one deals with ancient coinage by using examples from the museum's collection. Some of the coins in the collection are exceptionally fine.

Many of the coins include details of ancient galleys .

The ancient war-galley required a large and well-motivated crew and finding the money to pay them was always a problem. One could argue the Peloponnesian War was settled by the Spartans being able to offer a higher rate of pay to oarsmen. 

When offered personal riches by Cyrus the Younger, Lysander famously replied he would rather receive enough coin to pay his rowers an extra obol on their wage. He was given the money and proceeded to 'empty the ships of his enemies' by this simple means.

A Persian 'Daric' - key to the Peloponnesian War stalemate

A Mysian silver obol of c.400BC - 4 of these was the monthly pay of a war-galley oarsman

This video is well worth a view to get a quick overview of the minting, use and iconography of ancient coins.

Watch the vid HERE.