TROAS. Ilion. Circa 188-133 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 36 mm, 17.07 g, 1 h), Kleon, son of Zoilos, 'magistrate'. Head of Athena Ilias to right, wearing laureate and triple-crested Attic helmet. Rev. AΘHNAΣ - ΙΛΙAΔOΣ Athena Ilias standing right, holding filleted spear over her right shoulder and distaff in her left hand; behind, winged kerykeion; before, owl standing right, head facing; in fields and in exergue, KΛE-ΩNOΣ / ZΩIΛOY. Bellinger, Civic, 17. Bellinger, Troy, T52. BMC 10. Very rare. A lightly toned and very attractive example struck on a particularly broad flan. A few minor marks and the reverse struck slightly off center, otherwise, good very fine.
From the Jolimont Collection, ex Classical Numismatic Group 91, 19 September 2012, 249 and Classical Numismatic Group 50, 21 September 2005, 205.
The late 3rd and early 2nd centuries BC saw two major shifts in the coining of silver in Ilion. Under Antiochos Hierax (246-227 BC), the city issued Seleukid tetradrachms, but the downfall of the usurper and the subsequent dynastic turmoil under Seleukos III and Antiochos III meant that the royal mint was closed and the city shifted to striking posthumous tetradrachms in the name of Lysimachos instead. The next major change came with the Battle of Magnesia in 190/89 BC between the Scipiones' Roman legions and the forces of the reinvigorated Seleukid Kingdom under Antiochos III. With the king's disastrous defeat and the subsequent, and this time permanent, withdrawal of Seleukid forces from Asia Minor, Ilion, like many other poleis in western Asia Minor, started striking its own independent civic silver coinage. This took the form of broad and attractive Attic tetradrachms showing the head of Athena Ilias on the obverse and a statue of her, no doubt the statue standing in her famous temple in the city, on the reverse. It is likely that the names appearing in the nominative on the reverses are not those of magistrates, but rather of wealthy citizens, who financed the rare striking of civic tetradrachms as a form of euergetism to their polis, which in turn acknowledged them by placing their names on the coins.