New monetary issues from the ancient City of Shkodra


  • Shpresa Gjongecaj


In this article are published, for the first time, new issues minted by monetary workshops of Scodra, which shed new light both on the history of this city - a very important centre of Illyrian Kingdom, and on the relations the city maintained with
Lissos, Dyrrhachion and King Gentius. According to the following study, we have come to some conclusions : - Scodra and Lissos susteined very strong economic relations that were regulated by a monetary alliance based on minting of the same types of currencies that held not only the same symbols, but also the same weight. On the other hand, each city preserved its own political autonomy, which is expressed by the legend of each city minting the coins, an autonomy that lasted until the rule of Gentius. - Both cities mainteined strong economic and trade relations with Dyrrachion: this is explained by the use of Zeus head in one of the main coins of Scodra, a symbol quite common in bronze coins of Dyrrhachion, as well as the same weights. It is worth mentioning that the new shield/semi-ship type has the same weight and diameter as the coins bearing the head of Heraclius/arms, minted by Dyrrhachion. They presente a 10 mm diameter and weight about 1-2 gr. These elements persist on other coins from Scodra, such as Zeus/ship type which is equal to the type of Zeus/Tripod from Dyrrhachion. According to the results of the archeological excavations undertaken by the Albanian-German team in the city of Lezha, the coins of Dyrrhachion dominate with 62% of all coins (out of a total of 168).- Minting coins of smal dimentions shows that during the III-II centuries BC the economy was monetarised, the exchange in nature was replaced by the monetary one. On daily life bases, different values were required to obtain goods of different value. - The typology of the coins by Scodra and Lissos, expresses a pro-Macedonian orientation, clearly related to the political situation and the alliances of the Illyrian kings with Macedonia against Rome, but which will be further strengthened during Gentius period when the image of the king will will be accompanied by the kausia, just like the Macedonian kings. With his coming to power, Gentius, along with other measures, established a taxation system and carried out a reform in the monetary system.


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How to Cite

Gjongecaj, S. (2023). New monetary issues from the ancient City of Shkodra. Iliria, 40(40), 97–109. Retrieved from