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Römische Bilderwelt in Edessa?

Ma’nu (Mannos) Philorhomaios und die Münzprägung in und um Edessa während des Partherkriegs des Lucius Verus

Sven Günther

Pages 1 - 14

Abstract: The coins ascribed to Ma‘nu VIII Philorhomaios, ruling in the small kingdom of Osrhoene in Mesopotamia from ca. AD 165/166–177, raise a couple of questions. Chronological problems concern the attribution to two different kings Ma‘nu named in the sources around the Parthian campaign (AD 161–166) of the emperor Lucius Verus. The relation of bronze coin types with legends in Syriac Estrangelo, naming a “king Ma‘nu”, to silver coin types with portraits and names of members of the imperial house on the obverse and Roman reverse types with legends in Greek language giving the name “king Mannos Philorhomaios” on the reverse is another issue. Thirdly, coins minted in similar style like the silver coin types of Mannos Philorhomaios but addressing the Roman emperors’ victorious deeds on the reverse (so-called ‚hyper nikēs‘-types) pose the question of whether and how the minting of such types was linked. The article addresses these questions by a close examination of the silver coin types, both of Mannos Philorhomaios and of the ‚hyper nikēs‘-issues, including so-far unpublished types from the auction market. It is argued that the coin types closely follow the types and iconographies issued by the imperial mint and that there are several overlaps between the Mannos Philorhomaios- and ‚hyper nikēs‘-issues. Yet given differences in die-axis and style, it seems unlikely that they were produced at one mint. However, the similarities suggest that a coordinated minting was undertaken in course of the military campaigns led by Lucius Verus, and that Mannos Philorhomaios, who is arguably identifiable with Ma‘nu VIII, took actively part in this production of a Roman “image library”, mainly for economic purposes, albeit mirroring his dependence on Roman support and power.


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