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Stratum plus. 1999. № 6

V. P. Alexeev (Odessa, Ukraine)

About Olbia’s Monetary Art in the Classical and Early Hellenistic Time

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Pages: 74-83

The article classifies Olbian coins of this time by type of artistic interpretation of their images: traditional interpretation (“A”) and non-traditional one (innovative) (“Á”) and by level of professional graphic realisation of images: craftsman’s realisation (p) and master’s (ě) one (Tables I – ApAě and II – ÁđÁě). Most distinctive are original works realising the principles of some artistic styles of Hellenistic epoch: grotesque (table II – Áě, 1-4) and fine decorative (table II – Áě, 6-8), expressive dynamic (table II – Áě, 9, 10) and naturalistic (table II – Áđ, 1-4). The fine artistic analysis of the eagle with extended wings depicted on the asses with Demeter and on the silver staters led to two conclusions contradicting the ones established in the literature. The originality of this motive does not consist in a special “Olbian pose” of the eagle, but in an original, specific for Hellenistic art, interpretation of archaic composition at its basis (table II – Áě, 6-10). The first emissions of the silver staters with the aforementioned motive (tables Ap, 6; Aě, 11, 12) were made before the asses of the same type (table I – Ap, 7, 8), as their constructive peculiarities are much more similar to the principles of archaic composition than those of the asses. The Olbian mono-typological monetary emissions suggest a system in alternation of styles and its coincidence with the structure of one of the cyclic models of artistic styles evolution in the European art: archaic – classic – decorative – naturalistic – stylisation. The cause for such alternation of styles is explained by a different position of the stimulator of image and fight between alternatively active contents and form, canonical and personal principles. The Olbian monetary art in the period from the last third of V to the last quarter of IV centuries B. C. is characterised by the phenomena typical for the Hellenistic epoch: secularisation (table I – Ap, 2, 3, table II – Áđ, 2-4), promotion of aesthetic principles (table I – Aě, 6, 13, 14; table II – Áě, 6-8) and spread of archaistic style enhancing the sacred nature of the depicted image (table I – Ap, 4-8, Aě, 11, 15).


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