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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ AnatoliaView Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Anatolia (Asia Minor)

Anatolia is the region comprising most of modern Turkey, bounded by the Black (North), Aegean (West) and Mediterranean (South) seas; to the East it is bounded by the Taurus Mountains and main Asia. The name comes from Ionian Greek meaning "the land of the sunrise" or simply "the East." It was named Asia Minor by the Romans. The land is first mentioned by Akkadian records, and played a very important role for all subsequent Mesopotamian civilizations. We should not forget to add that Anatolia is the birthplace of coinage in the late 7th Century B.C.!


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 104 - 98 B.C.

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The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.

The thyrsus is the staff carried by Bacchus and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy.
GS86489. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Pergamum 12; Pinder 95; SNG Cop 420; BMC Mysia p. 124, 106; SNGvA -; SNG BnF -, VF, attractive toning, light marks, weight 12.591 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 104 - 98 B.C.; obverse Cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a snake emerges, all within wreath of ivy with berries; reverse bow-case ornamented with an apluster, strung bow emerging upper left, flanked on each side by a snake with head erect, ∆I above between heads of snakes, straps from case draped over snakes below, Pergamon monogram to left, snake entwined thyrsos to right; $240.00 (€204.00)


Tripolis, Lydia, 14 - 37 A.D.

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Tripolis on the Meander (called at other times Neapolis, Apollonia, and Antoninopolis) was an ancient city on the borders of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, on the northern bank of the upper course of the Maeander, and on the road leading from Sardes by Philadelphia to Laodicea ad Lycum. It was 20 km to the northwest of Hierapolis. Ruins are near Yenicekent, Denizli Province, Turkey. The ruins, mostly from the Roman and Byzantine periods, include a theater, baths, city walls, and a necropolis. An ancient church, dating back 1,500 years, was unearthed in 2013.
RP86475. Bronze AE 15, RPC I 3053 var. (obv. legend on right), SNG Cop 741 var. (same), SNG München 810 var. (same), SNGvA -; SNG Tübingen -; BMC Lydia -, Lindgren -, VF, nice blue green patina, tight flan, small spots of light corrosion, weight 3.454 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Tripolis (near Yenicekent, Turkey) mint, magistrate Hieratikos, 14 - 37 A.D.; obverse ΣEBAΣTH downward on left, bust of Livia left; reverse club, IEPATIKO/Σ in two lines downward on left, TPIΠOΛEI/TΩN in two lines upward on right; all examples in references have the obverse legend on the right behind Livia but we know of several other examples with the legend on the left; very rare; $130.00 (€110.50)


Sardes, Lydia, c. 133 B.C. - 14 A.D.

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Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times. Its importance was due first to its military strength, secondly to its situation on an important highway leading from the interior to the Aegean coast, and thirdly to its commanding the wide and fertile plain of the Hermus. As one of the Seven churches of Asia, it was addressed by John, the author of the Book of Revelation in the Holy Bible, in terms which seem to imply that its population was notoriously soft and fainthearted. Remains including the bath-gymnasium complex, synagogue and Byzantine shops are open to visitors year-round.
GB86476. Bronze AE 20, SNGvA 3129; SNG Mün 463; SNG Tüb 3784; SNG Righetti 1079; Weber 6901; SNG Cop 463 var. (control); BMC Lydia p. 242, 49 ff. var. (control), VF, well centered on a tight flan, weight 8.099 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 133 B.C. - 14 A.D.; obverse turreted and veiled bust of Tyche right; reverse Zeus Lydios, wearing himation and chiton, standing left, eagle in extended right hand, scepter in left hand, monogram (control) lower left, ΣAP∆IANΩN downward on right; $120.00 (€102.00)


Aigai, Aiolis, 3rd Century B.C.

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Aegae (or Aigai) means place of goats and was the name of many cities of antiquity. Aigai, Aiolis was also an important sanctuary of Apollo. It was within the Lydian Empire, then the Achaemenid Persian Empire, but had its brightest period under the Attalid dynasty, which ruled from nearby Pergamon in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. It changed hands from Pergamon to the Seleucid Empire, but was recaptured by Attalus I of Pergamon in 218 B.C. In the war between Bithynia and Pergamon, it was destroyed by Prusias II of Bithynia in 156 B.C. After a peace was brokered by the Romans, the city was compensated with 100 talents. In 129 B.C., the Kingdom of Pergamon became part of the Roman Empire. Aigai was destroyed by an earthquake in 17 A.D. and received aid for reconstruction from Tiberius. The ruins are near the village of Yuntdagi Koseler in Manisa Province, Turkey.
GB86099. Bronze AE 9, SNG Cop 2; SNGvA 1593 var. (no legend), BMC Troas -, SNG Munchen -, aVF, green patina, weight .0717 g, maximum diameter 8.9 mm, die axis 0o, Aiolis, Aigai (near Yuntdagi Koseler, Turkey) mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse AIΓAE, head and neck of goat right; a very tiny coin; $14.00 (€11.90)


Kibyra, Phrygia, c. 100 - 84 B.C.

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Kibyra (Cibyra) near the modern town of Gölhisar in south-west Turkey, was possibly originally settled by Lydians. According to Strabo, the Lydian language was still being spoken by a multicultural population in the 1st century B.C.; thus Kibyra was the last place where the Lydian culture, by then extinct in Lydia proper, persevered.
GB86109. Brass AE 10, SNG Cop 271; SNG München 284; SNG Tübingen 4079; BMC Phrygia p. 134, 20; SNGvA -, F, dark patina with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, weight 1.396 g, maximum diameter 10.3 mm, die axis 270o, Kibyra (near Gölhisar, Turkey) mint, c. 100 - 84 B.C.; obverse helmeted bust of Kibyras right, wearing Corinthian helmet; reverse humped bull butting right on ground line, KIBYPA in exergue; rare; $28.00 (€23.80)


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Caesaraea-Eusebia, Cappadocia

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Kayseri, Turkey was originally named Mazaca. It was renamed Eusebia by Ariarathes V Eusebes, King of Cappadocia, 163 - 130 B.C. The last king of Cappadocia, King Archelaus, renamed it "Caesarea in Cappadocia" to honor Caesar Augustus upon his death in 14 A.D. Muslim Arabs slightly modified the name into Kaisariyah, which became Kayseri when the Seljuk Turks took control, c. 1080 A.D.
RS86472. Silver hemidrachm, RPC II 1659; Metcalf 17; Sydenham Cappadocia 94; BMC Galatia p. 47, 17; SNGvA 6362, aVF, toned, obverse slightly off center, marks and scratches, weight 1.666 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesaraea-Eusebia (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, c. 69 - 79 A.D.; obverse AYOKP KAICAP OVECΠACIANOC CEBA, laureate head right; reverse Nike right, wreath in extended right hand, palm over left shoulder in left hand; ex Vaughn Rare Coin Gallery; $100.00 (€85.00)


Elaea, Aeolis, 138 - 192 A.D.

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The head on this type has traditionally been identified as Lucius Verus; however, Lucius Verus was 30 years old when he was made caesar and he was made augustus simultaneously. The legend and young portrait suggest it might be someone else. RPC identifies the identity of the head as uncertain and lists Lucius Verus, Lucius Aelius and Commodus as possibilities.
GB86137. Orichalcum AE 15, RPC IV temp 216; SNG Cop 197; SNGvA 1612; SNG Mun 427; SNG Delepierre 9; SNG Leypold I 513; BMC Troas p. 130, 46; Lindgren III 330; McClean III 7943, VF, centered on a tight flan, porous, weight 2.708 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 0o, Aeolis, Elaea mint, 138 - 192 A.D.; obverse Λ OVKIOC - KAICAP, head of youthful Caesar (Lucius Verus, Annius Verus or Commodus) right; reverse EΛAI-TΩN, kalathos containing poppy in center and four stalks of grain; $70.00 (€59.50)


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Cyzicus, Mysia

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This is the finest of only two specimens of this type known to Forum, the other example in SNG Von Aulock. Although we can't quite agree, NAC graded it extremely fine.
RP86162. Bronze AE 26, SNGvA suppl. 7377, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tübingen -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Righetti -, SNG Leypold -, BMC Mysia -, McClean -, Mionnet -, gVF, nice dark green patina, marks, small patina chips, reverse slightly off center, weight 10.976 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 180o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 194 - 217 A.D.; obverse IOYΛIA CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse KYZIKHNΩN NEOKOPΩN, man sitting right on rocks under a tree, milking goat standing right, goat's head turned back looking left; ex Numismatica Ars Classica auction 100 (29 May 2017), lot 1212; ex Gorny & Mosch sale 237 (7 Mar 2016), 1656; ex Gitbud & Naumann auction 34 (2 Aug 2015), lot 581; extremely rare; $1500.00 (€1275.00)


Telmessos, Lycia, 133 - 81 B.C.

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Telmessos (Fethiye, Turkey today) was the most important city of Lycia, with a recorded history starting in the 5th century B.C. The city became part of the Persian Empire after the invasion of the Persian general Harpagos in 547 B.C. Telmessos joined the Delian League in mid-5th century B.C. Although it later became an independent city, it continued its relations with the league until the 4th century B.C. Legend says in the winter of 334 - 333 B.C., Alexander the Great entered Telmessos harbor with his fleet. The commander of the fleet, Nearchus, received permission from King Antipatrides for his musicians and slaves to enter the city. Disguised warriors with weapons hidden in flute boxes captured the acropolis during the festivities that night.
GB86100. Bronze AE 11, SNG Cop 135; SNGvA 4453, BMC Lycia p. 86, 2, F, rough, weight 1.389 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, Telmessos mint, 133 - 81 B.C.; obverse head of Hermes right, wearing petasos; reverse bee, T - E flanking head, all within incuse square; very rare; $50.00 (€42.50)


Chios, Islands off Ionia, c. 290 - 275 B.C., Civic Coinage in the Name and Types of Alexander the Great

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Lysimachus may have controlled Chios after Antigonus was killed at Ipsus in 301 B.C. A Chian inscription honoring one of his generals supports this view. But Chios is likely to have had significant autonomy even if it continued to be ruled by a foreign monarch. Beginning c. 290 B.C., the island struck precious metal for the first time in over half a century. At the same time they began developing close economic and political relations with other Greek cities and states. Lysimachus lost his life at the Battle of Corupedium in 281 B.C. The victor, Seleukos, was murdered less than a year later and his empire plunged into political chaos. Chios was almost certainly completely autonomous by this time. -- Lagos, Constantinos. A study of the coinage of Chios in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. PhD thesis, Durham University. (1998). Available at Durham E-Theses Online: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/4848/
GS86313. Silver drachm, Price 2322; Müller Alexander 1534; Bauslaugh Posthumous p. 4, series 4 (no die matches); SNG Cop 903; SNG Munchen -; SNG Alpha Bank -, Choice EF, fantastic detail, exotic style, toned, weight 4.181 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Islands of Ionia, Chios mint, under Lysimachos or autonomous, c. 290 - 275 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, monogram over bunch of grapes left; $450.00 (€382.50)











Catalog current as of Thursday, December 14, 2017.
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Anatolia