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Churches of Revelation

The Book of Revelation discusses the churches of seven cities. This page lists some of our coins from those cities.

- Ephesus, Ionia (Revelation 2:1-7) - the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).
- Smyrna, Ionia (Revelation 2:8-11) - the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).
- Pergamon, Mysia (Revelation 2:12-17) - the church that needed to repent (2:16).
- Thyatira, Lydia (Revelation 2:18-29) - the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).
- Sardis, Lydia (Revelation 3:1-6) - the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).
- Philadelphia, Lydia (Revelation 3:7-13) - the church that had endured patiently (3:10).
- Laodicea, Phrygia (Revelation 3:14-22) - the church with the lukewarm faith (3:16).

Pergamon, Mysia, c. 200 - 133 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Herodotus describes the following story relevant to the olive wreath. Xerxes was interrogating some Arcadians after the Battle of Thermopylae. Asked why there were so few Greek men defending the Thermopylae, they answered, "All other men are participating in the Olympic Games." And when asked "What is the prize for the winner?", "An olive-wreath" came the answer. Then Tigranes, one of his generals uttered a most noble saying: "Good heavens! Mardonius, what kind of men are these against whom you have brought us to fight? Men who do not compete for possessions, but for honor."
GB62329. Bronze AE 16, BMC Mysia p. 131, 183; SNG Cop -, aVF, weight 2.048 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, c. 200 - 133 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse AΘHNAΣ NIKHΦOPOY, small owl standing slightly right, head facing, Pergamon monogram below, all within an olive wreath; $140.00 (105.00)

Sardis, Lydia, c. 133 - 40 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Sardis was the capital of the Kingdom of Lydia, an important city of the Persian Empire, a Roman proconsul seat, and in later Roman and Byzantine times the metropolis of the province Lydia. In the Book of Revelation, Sardis, one of the Seven Churches of Asia, is admonished to be watchful and to strengthen since their works haven't been perfect before God. (Revelation 3:1-6).
GB65538. Bronze AE 15, SNG Cop 470 ff. var (monogram), BMC Lydia, p. 238, 10 ff. var (same); SGCV II 4736, VF, patina chipping (stabilized), weight 4.827 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 180o, Sardis mint, c. 133 - 40 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse ΣAP∆I/ANΩN, club, monogram below, all within oak wreath; $110.00 (82.50)

Sardes, Lydia, c. 2nd - 1st Century B.C.
Click for a larger photo Apollo's lover Coronis was pregnant with his child, Asclepius. A white raven which he had left to watch her informed him that she had an affair. Angered that the bird had not pecked out her lover's eyes, Apollo flung a curse scorching its feathers, which is why all ravens are black today. Apollo also had Coronis killed but saved the child.
BB64021. Bronze AE 16, SNG Cop 497; cf. BMC Lydia p. 240, 32 ff. (magistrate); SNGvA 3134 (magistrate); Imhoof-Blumer -, VF, weight 3.564 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes mint, c. 2nd - 1st Cent B.C.; obverse laureate head of Herakles right, lion's skin around neck; reverse ΣAP∆IANΩN / MOΣΞ−EOY(?), Apollo standing facing, naked, head left, crow in right, laurel branch in left, monogram upper left, uncertain magistrate's name lower left, all within wreath; $90.00 (67.50)

Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus II Theos, 261 - 246 B.C., Sardes, Lydia
Click for a larger photo Antiochos II was voted the title Theos (God) by the Milesian civic body after he removed Timarchos, the pro-Egyptian tyrant of Miletos.
GB55835. Bronze AE 17, Houghton-Lorber I 527.1, Newell WSM 1400, SNG Spaer 355, F, weight 3.433 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Sardes mint, 261 - 246 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY, tripod lebes, anchor right in exergue, monograms in outer left and outer right fields; $40.00 (30.00)

ITEMS PER PAGE 13510203050


Other coins that relate to the Book of Revelation include coins of Nero and coins of the Parthian kings with an archer reverse. Verses 13 and following are a symbolic reference to Parthians attacking Rome for its vile behavior in persecuting Christ's church. Parthians themselves aren't envisioned as doing the attacking, but the serve as a great image for the diabolical forces Revelation's author had in mind. Suetonius, in The Twelve Caesars, writes of a belief among the Romans after Nero's death that he hadn't really died but would be returning with the Parthians. Nero has been identified as the 666 of Revelation (his name in gematria equals 666). Verse 8 refers to the Parthians long hair, "They had hair like woman's hair." Verse 10 includes a subtle reference to Parthian archer-horseman and their perfected technique of the parting shots, shooting over the rear of their animal while feigning retreat, "They had tails like scorpions, with stingers." Verse 14 refers to the Parthian heartland across the Euphrates.

Catalog current as of Thursday, December 18, 2014.
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Churches of Revelation