[Fellows, Coins of Ancient Lycia, London, 1855.
J. P. Six, Monnaies lyciennes, R. N., 1886, 1887.
E. Babelon, Les Perses Achménides, pp. lxxxix-cxiii, 63-82, 1893.
G. F. Hill, N. C., 1895, pp. 1-44.
„ Brit. Mus. Catal. of Greek Coins, Lycia, 1897.
E. Babelon, Inventaire de la Coll. Waddington, pp. 153-177, 1898.
J. P. Six, N. C., 1898, pp. 199-217.]
The coinage of Lycia confirms in a most striking manner the testimony
of ancient writers, especially Strabo, with regard to the Federal constitution of the country. Among no other ancient people do we find Federal
institutions so wisely framed and so firmly rooted as among the Lycians.
Although the majority of the early coins represent individual dynasts, it
is clear that there existed some sort of federation between these rulers,
more or less under Persian suzerainty. The abundant coinage testifies to
the great prosperity of the country in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.
The distinctive symbol on the money of the various cities which took
part in this Federal coinage is the Triskeles or so-called Triquetra, which
sometimes takes the form of a tetraskeles or of a diskeles. Various
hypotheses have been advanced as to the intention of this strange
symbol (Bab., Tr., ii. 510 f.). The most reasonable is that which has
been put forward by L. Müller, that it is a solar emblem symbolizing
rotatory motion. In this case it would refer to the worship of the
1Det saakaldte Hagekors’s Anvendelse og Betydning, Copenhagen, 1877.
national Lycian deity, ApolloΑυκιος, the God of Light. The animal
types—Boars, Winged lions, Griffins, Bulls, &c.—must remain for the most
part unexplained. (but the boar was associated with Apollo). The Lycian
silver money falls into the following classes. The weight-standard is the
Babylonic, but shows considerable irregularity, and a tendency to fall to
the Euboïc standard, the staters weighing from about 155 to under
120 grains. The staters are divided into thirds (tetrobols), sixths
(diobols), &c., but also occasionally into halves (drachms).
SERIES I. Circ. B.C. 520-480.
AR Staters and diobols. Rev. Inc. sq., at first rude, then decorated with lines,
letters, and in one case with bull’s head within radiating pattern (Babelon, Perses
Achém, Pl. XI. 6). Obv. types: Boar, Forepart or Head of boar, Forepart of winged
boar; on shoulder, sometimes, Greek letters (ΠV, ΜΘ, ΚVΒ), the last of which
probably represent Κυβερνις, son of Kossikas (Hdt. vii. 98). Babelon, Traité, ii.
SERIES II. Circ. B.C. 500-460, or later.
AR Staters, tetrobols, diobols. Obv. types: Boar, Forepart of boar, Bull kneeling,
Lion standing with head reverted, Sphinx, Winged female figure, Helmeted head.
Rev. Inc. sq.; Lion’s head in profile or facing, Eagle’s Head, Tortoise, Forepart
of kneeling bull, Head and neck of bull, Bull’s head facing between + +, Ram's
head, Crab, Forepart of griffin, Head of Ares, Bearded head. Babelon, Tr., ii.
SERIES III. Circ. B.C. 500-450.
AR Staters, tetrobols, diobols. Obv. types: Boar, Forepart of boar, Two foreparts
of boars conjoined, Crab. Rev. Inc. sq.; Triskeles, Triskeles on shield, behind
which two diskeles crossed. A small triskeles, or Lycian letters (Χ, ΠΟ, &c.)
often occur on the animal’s flank or in field. Babelon, Tr., ii. Pl. XXII.
SERIES IV. Circ. B.C. 480-390.
This series includes the remaining coins with the triskeles or its
modifications (except those given in Series V), and a series with heads
of deities and dynasts. A number of the Lycian inscriptions which now
appear have been identified as the names of cities or dynasts. The
legends are frequently retrograde. Vol. I of the Tituli Asiae Minoris
(ed. Kalinka, Vienna 1901) contains a nearly complete vocabulary and
all the latest material for the study of the language; for many of the
dynasts mentioned on the coins see especially the account of the Xanthian stele (op. cit., p. 46). Only a selection of the types, without reference to denominations, can be given here. The rev. is, unless otherwise
stated, in an incuse square.
Circ. B.C. 480-460.
Boar, triskeles on flank. Rev. Forepart of lion; in field, triskeles.
Dog lying. Rev. Triskeles.
Lion crouching, or devouring prey. Rev. Triskeles.
Boar or Forepart of boar. Rev. Triskeles of cocks’ heads; sometimes with
letters. (Fig. 315, p. 689.)
Two dolphins with astragalos and eye, Dolphin and fish with F+ΞΤ↑Ζ
(Vahñtäzä̧ = ‘of Antiphellus’) or Dolphin. Rev.ΑΠ or Π Triskeles.
Kubernis (?). Class I. Circ. B.C. 480-450. Inscr. ΚΟΠΡΛΛΕ (Kuprlli) or
abbreviations. Obv. types: Dolphin, Boar (inscr. ΡΡ, Marra), Forepart of
boar, Facing head of panther, Human eye, Griffin crouching, Forepart or head
of griffin, Foreparts of two lions (?) conjoined, &c. Rev. Triskeles (sometimes
with cygnets’ or monsters’ heads), ‘Heptaskeles.’
Class II. Circ. B.C. 450-410. Inscr. as on Class I, seldom retrograde.
Obv. types: Herakles wielding club, Hermes (?) carrying ram, Nude winged
figure, Bearded head of Ammon, Bearded head of Ares on shield (ΜΑ, Ma).
Beardless male head, Human eye, Lion (slaying bull, walking, crouching, forepart of), Winged lion (walking, crouching, or on shield), Horse (standing, kneeling), Mule (standing, or licking hind leg), Bull (walking, with inscr. ΑΡΞ =
Arñ, ‘Xanthus’), Butting bull, Forepart or head and neck of bull. Foreparts of
two bulls conjoined, Foreparts of bull and horse conjoined, Winged man-headed
bull, Forepart of winged bull, Cow suckling calf, Goat (standing or kneeling),
Sow, Dolphin, Dove between two myrtle-branches, Bird flying, Sphinx, Griffin.
Rev. Triskeles, as in Class I; sometimes inc. circle.
Uncertain. Circ. B.C. 400. Obv.Lion seated, forepaw raised. Rev. Forepart of
Pegasos or of fawn.
Zagama (?). Circ. B.C. 400. Obv.Dolphin. Rev. ΖΥΜ(?) Triskeles.
(Babelon, Inv. Wadd., Pl. VI. 12.)
Täththiväibi. Circ. B.C. 480-460. Obv. Forepart of boar, Forepart of cow, Winged
lion, Two cocks and (all these on shield), Forepart of boar, Griffin seated,
Head of Seilenos facing, Cock, Head of Aphrodite. Rev. Τ↑ΕΓ↑ΕΒΕ
(sometimes with one ) Tetraskeles.
Sppñtaza. Circ. B.C. 470-450. Obv. Cow suckling calf, Head of Aphrodite, Head of
Athena, Head of bearded Herakles. Rev. SΠΠΞΤΖ or SΠΠΞ Tetraskeles.
Inc. sq. or circle: Head of bearded dynast in Persian
dress, inscr. ↓↑ΡΕ, ↓↑Ρ+↑, or ↓↑ΡΕ
ΡΞΝ+↑ (Arñnahä, ‘of Xanthus’), sometimes
with symbol ; Bull; Forepart of man-headed
bull; Large , inscr. ↓↑Ρ ΤΛFΕ (Tlavi,
Telmessus (Tälähähi): dynasts’ names Ärbbina (Arbinnas), Aruva̧tiyäsi (Aryandes ?) and Ddänävälä. Circ. B.C. 410-400. Obv. Head of Athena, of Ddänävälä in satrapal headdress, Lion’s scalp. Rev. Inc. sq. or circle. Bearded head
of Herakles (Τ↑Λ↑Β↑+Ε+↑ or abbreviations, Τ↑Λ↑Β ↑ΡΒΒΕΝ,
ΔΔ↑Ν↑F↑Λ↑, or none), Herakles fighting (↑ΡΒΒΕΝ), Lion at bay
(ΡΟFΤΕΙ↑SΕ), Head of Athena (ΔΔ↑Ν↑F↑Λ↑ or abbreviation), Large ,
Triskeles (ΡΟFΤΕΙ↑SΕ or abbreviation).
SERIES V. Circ. B.C. 400-362.
The later style and fabric of the following coins induce me to class
them to a more recent period than any of those which I have described
above. They are characterized by their flatter and larger flans, and by
the gradual disappearance of the well-marked incuse square, which is
present on all the earlier Lycian series. The coinage doubtless ended
with the acquisition of Lycia by Mausolus in 362 B.C. The silver does
not show the degradation towards the Attic weight which is found in
Series IV, but conforms more rigidly to the Babylonic standard. Bronze
now first appears. The following are the more important varieties :—
(2) Tlos (Tlavi). Obv.Lion’s scalp or Head of Athena. Rev. Inc. circle. ΤΛ,
ΤΛFΕ or no inscr. Head of Apollo facing or to l., Diskeles or between
two lions seated confronted.
(1) Zä̧mu and Trbbänimi. Inscr., ΖΜ, ΖΜΟ+Ο, ΖΤ, Ζ↓Μ,
ΤΡΒ, ΤΡΒΒ^ΝΕΜΕ, some coins bearing both names. Types:Obv. Lion's
scalp, Head and leg of lion, Head of Artemis nearly facing. Rev. Inc. sq. or
circle. Triskeles, Head of Athena. Adjuncts: club, small triskeles or
On his march from Caria into Pisidia Alexander reduced Lycia under
his sway, and from this time down to the date of the defeat of Antiochus
by the Romans, B.C. 190, the country was subject successively to the
Ptolemies and the Seleucidae.
Of coins of Alexander’s types few, if any, seem to have been struck in
this district except at Phaselis, q. v. The triskeles is, however, found on
bronze coins of the types of Alexander and of the Macedonian interregnum, which provenance shows to be Lycian. Telmessus also
issued a bronze coin in the time of Ptolemy I. Coins of Rhodes and of
the Ptolemies, &c., circulated (cf. J. H. S., xv, p. 114). After the defeat
of Antiochus the Romans in 188 gave Lycia (except Telmessus) to the
Rhodians. A few of the cities may have begun to issue small bronze
coins early in the second century, but with the exceptions noted no coins
were produced in the country during all this period.
Circ. B.C. 168-43 A.D.
In B.C. 168 the Romans restored to the Lycians their full freedom, and
the Lycian towns now formed themselves into an independent League
under Roman auspices (Livy, xliv. 15; Polyb., xxx. 5), which lasted
until the reign of Claudius, A. D. 43, who made the country into a
province with Pamphylia.
The coinage of this new Lycian League has much in common with the
contemporary coinage of the Achaean League in Peloponnesus. It consists of silver drachms (κιθαρηφοροι) and hemidrachms (?) of degraded
Rhodian weight—characterized by the reappearance of a sharply defined
incuse square on the reverse—and of several varieties of bronze.
Head of ApolloΑυκιος, laureate (or
sometimes wearing taenia), bow and
quiver at shoulder; after about B.C.
81 the hair is in formal curls; on
either side usually Λ—Υ.
Flat, sharply defined incuse square,
within which a lyre and, usually,
initials of mint with ΛΥΚΙΩΝ (or
AR Drachms 45 grs.
(usually much lighter)
Head of Artemis, with bow and quiver
at her shoulder.
The Federal bronze coinage is more varied than the silver, the
prevalent types being, on the obv., Heads of Apollo, Artemis, Hermes,
&c.; on rev., Apollo standing, Lyre, Tripod, Stag, Bow and quiver crossed,
Quiver, Caduceus, &c. The inscription consists of the initials of the
city or district, with or without ΛΥΚΙΩΝ. The coins without any
indication of mint were probably struck at Xanthus. The two great
districts, Cragus and Masicytes, were united for monetary purposes and
struck coins for general circulation; the initials of the various cities
were also often combined with those of Cragus or Masicytes according
to the district to which they belonged. The following 22 cities are known
to have taken part in the currency of the League: in the Cragus
district, Telmessus, Pinara, Sidyma, Tlos, Xanthus, Patara, Dias; in the
Masicytes district, Myra, Cyaneae, Ty(benissus) or Ty(mena), Arycanda,
Antiphellus, Phellus, Aperlae, Apollonia; in other districts, Limyra.
Gagae, Rhodiapolis, Olympus (?), Trebenna, Oenoanda, Bubon (?). Strabo
(xiv. 664) says that there were twenty-three towns in the confederacy.
A change in the style of the coins is noticeable about B.C. 81, when
Murena reorganized the country, and some new cities were added to
the League. The last coinage of the League includes light Rhodian
drachms and denarii, with the portraits of Augustus and Claudius;
inscr., ΛΥ; types—one or two lyres, Apollo, Artemis, &c.; also bronze of
Claudius, without ΛΥ; types—Goddess of Myra in temple, Apollo standing,
&c. (Imhoof, Zur gr. u. röm. Münzk., 1908, pp. 21 f., 170). The coinage
of denarii was even continued, after the dissolution of the League by
Claudius, under Domitian, Nerva, and Trajan, with the Emperors’ titles
in Greek, ΥΠΑΤΟΥ ΙΖ, ΔΗΜ. ЄΞ. ΥΠΑΤ. Β., &c. The Imperial coinage
of the Lycian towns belongs almost exclusively to the reign of Gordian
Autonomous (Chiefly Post-Alexandrine), Federal, and Imperial
Coinage of the Towns of Lycia.
Acalissus (Giauristan-lik). Imperial of Gordian. Inscr., ΑΚΑΛΙCCЄWΝ, Horseman galloping (Rev. Num., 1853, 90). Helen between
Dioskuri; Herakles standing.
Antiphellus (Andifilo), on the coast opposite Megiste. Æ of second
century B.C.; inscr., ΑΝΤΙΦΕΛΛΙΤΩΝ or ΑΝΤ; Head of Apollo, Veiled
head, Dolphin. Federal Æ. ΛΥΚΙΩΝ ΑΝ, and Imperial of Gordian,
Apollonia (Avassari, north of Aperlae ?). Federal Æ. ΛΥΚΙΩΝ
Araxa (Ören). Imperial of Hadrian, ΑΡΑΞЄΩΝ, Zeus with Nike.
Arycanda (Aruf). Æ of second century; inscr., ΑΡ; Radiate head
(Sozou ?), Apollo sacrificing. Federal AR (?) and Æ. ΛΥΚΙΩΝ ΑΡ
or ΑΡΥ. Imperial—Gordian, Tranquillina, ΑΡΥΚΑΝΔЄWΝ, Tyche,
Herakles, Horseman-deity (Sozon ?), Naked Warrior, Eagle on boar's
Dias (in the Cragus district). Federal Æ; ΔΙ and ΛΥ (or ΛΥΚΙ) ΚΡ.
Gagae (Ak-tash). Federal AR (ΛΥΚΙΩΝ ΓΑ) and Æ (Archaic veiled
goddess, &c.), and Imperial of Gordian and Tranquillina, ΓΑΓΑΤWΝ
Nemesis; Temple with two figures of goddess (?).
Limyra on the Limyrus (Duden-Su). Æ of early second century, ΛΙ
or ΛΙΜΥΡΕΩΝ; Head of Apollo, Thunderbolt. Federal AR and AE
ΛΥΚΙΩΝ (or ΛΥΚΙ) ΛΙ. Imperial of Gordian and Tranquillina,
ΛΙΜΥΡЄWΝ, Zeus seated, Athena, Tyche, Bull and dog at oracular
fountain, ΧΡΗCΜΟC (cf. Plin., N. H., xxxi. 22), River-god ΛΙΜΥΡΟC.
Myra (Dembre = τα Μυρα) on the Myros, chief town of the Masicytes
district. Federal AR and Æ, ΛΥΚΙΩΝ ΜΥ, ΜΥΡΑ, ΜΑ ΜΥ, &c.;
on Æ, bust of Artemis Eleuthera of Myra, veiled, facing; Nike. Imperial
of Gordian, ΜΥΡΕWΝ, Agalma of Artemis Eleuthera or Myrrha in tree
attacked by men with axes and defended by snakes (Fig. 316, p. 695),
cf. Aphrodisias in Caria; Agalma in temple, sometimes with Nike;
Tyche. Alliance coins of Gordian with Patara (see below) and Side (?).
Oenoanda (Urludja). AR, Attic stater, second century B.C. Obv.
Head of Zeus with sceptre; rev. ΟΙΝΟΑΝΔΕWΝ, Eagle on thunderbolt.
Olympus, on the east coast at the foot of Mount Olympus. Federal (?)
AR, ΟΛΥΜ or ΟΛΥΜΠΗ; Æ, Head of Athena and thunderbolt; Imperial of Gordian and Tranquillina, ΟΛΥΜΠΗΝWΝ. Hephaestos forging
shield; Apollo resting on column.
Phaselis (Tekirova), a town of Dorian origin on the east coast, has
a history and coinage distinct from the rest of Lycia. Its chief type,
the galley, may be a type parlant (see Forcellini, s. v. phaselus).
Regal staters and tetradrachms of types of Alexander (ΦΑ surmounted
by stars, Müller, 1276) and Philip III (ΛΥ and prow, Müller, 100).
Circ. B.C. 276-168.
During the earlier part of this period, until 204, Phaselis belonged to
the Ptolemies; towards the end it probably issued the Alexandrine
tetradrachms with Φ, dated Α to ΛΑ (Müller, 1178-1195; Imhoof, Kl. M.,
During the earliest period of the League, Phaselis, like Olympus,
struck coins of Federal types, reading ΦΑΣΗΛΙ, but without ΛΥΚΙΩΝ;
it was probably, however, not a member of the League (Strabo, xiv.
After belonging to Pergamum from B.C. 189 to 133, it became independent, and struck small Æ (size .45) with head of Hermes, rev. ΤΕΛ, Fly in
incuse square. It probably joined the League about B.C. 81. Federal
AR, inscr., ΛΥ ΤΕ ΚΡ, and Æ, inscr., ΛΥ ΤΕΛ ΚΡ or ΤΕΛ ΛΥ.
Termessus Minor (ad Oenoanda), a colony of the Pisidian Termessus.
(See N. Chr., 1897, pp. 25 ff.)
Xanthus. Æ of second century B.C. Head of Apollo, rev. ΞΑΝΘΙΩΝ
Lyre. The federal coins without mint-name were probably struck here :
AR kitharephoroi, &c., and Æ Head of Helios facing, rev. ΛΥΚΙΩΝ
Chimaera, &c.; also ordinary federal AR and Æ: ΛΥΚΙΩΝ ΞΑ, ΛΥ ΚΡ
ΞΑΝ, ΞΑΝ ΚΡ.