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Home>Catalog>Judean&BiblicalCoins>BiblicalCoins>ChurchesofRevelation

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).


Claudius and Agrippina Junior, 50 - 13 October 54 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia
Click for a larger photo Agrippina Jr. was daughter of Agrippina Sr. and Germanicus, sister of Caligula, and mother of Nero. She seduced and married her uncle Claudius, murdering him after she secured the thrown for Nero. A soothsayer prophesied if Nero became emperor, he would kill his mother, Agrippina replied "Let him kill me, only let him rule!" Nero executed her in 59 A.D.
RP70082. Bronze AE 21, Klose XXX; RPC I 2475; SNG Cop 1348; BMC Ionia p. 270, 281; Lindgren I A561A, VF, nice near black dark patina, small areas of light corrosion and encrustation, strike weak upper reverse, weight 5.197 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna mint, 51 - 13 Oct 54 A.D.; obverse jugate laureate head of Claudius and draped bust of Agrippina Junior right, ΣMYP below; reverse EΠI ΦIΛIΣTOY EIKA∆IOΣ (stephanephoros Philistos and strategos Eikadios), Cybele seated left, patera in right, left arm resting on tympanum on seat beside her, small lion right under seat on exergue line; rare; $300.00 (€225.00)

Smyrna, Ionia, 2nd Century B.C.
Click for a larger photo Homer is a legendary ancient Greek epic poet, traditionally said to be the author of the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. Smyrna was one of several cities that claimed to be the birthplace of the poet and at the source of the Meles River was a cave where the residents claimed he composed his poems. The city had a temple with a square portico in honor of Homer, which they called the Homerium. According to Strabo, they also called their bronze coins, this very type, Homerium.
SH66578. Bronze Homerium, cf. SNG Cop 1127 ff.; SNG Tübingen 3175 ff.; BMC Ionia, p. 244, 79 ff.; SNGvA 2167; SGCV II 4572 (all different magistrates), VF, green patina, flan adjustment marks, weight 8.091 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna mint, 2nd Century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse ΣMYPNAIΩN, Homer seated left in himation, right hand raised to chin, left holding volume on his knees, magistrate's name ∆IO∆POΣ / ΦANAΓOPOΣ (or similar, magistrate name) on left; $220.00 (€165.00)

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; $160.00 (€120.00)

Pergamon, Mysia, c. 2nd Century B.C.
Click for a larger photo Pergamon, Mysia was located to the north and west of the modern city of Bergama, Turkey, 16 miles (26 km) from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the Caicus (Bakirçay) River. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon under the Attalid dynasty, 281-133 B.C. Pergamon is cited in the book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia.
GB63744. Bronze AE 18, SNG BnF 1893; SNG Cop 397; BMC Mysia p. 131, 179, SNGvA -, gVF, glossy green patina, weight 5.665 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, c. 2nd Century B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse AΘHNAΣ NIKHΦOPOY, trophy of arms, Pergamon monogram lower right, o/∆I monogram inner left; $150.00 (€112.50)

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)

Pergamon, Mysia, c. 133 - 16 B.C.
Click for a larger photo When the Pergamene king Attalus III died without an heir in 133 B.C., to prevent a civil war, he bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic.

The Greeks and Romans did not view snakes as evil creatures but rather as symbols and tools for healing and fertility. Asclepius, the son of Apollo and Koronis, learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
GB63756. Bronze AE 20, SNG BnF 1803 ff.; BMC Mysia p. 129, 158, VF, nice dark green patina, weight 8.198 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, c. 133 - 16 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Asklepios right; reverse AΣKΛHΠIOY / ΣΩTHPOΣ, Asklepian snake coiled around omphalos, uncertain countermark; $100.00 (€75.00)

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; $100.00 (€75.00)

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)


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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, April 24, 2014.
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Churches of Revelation