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Ancient Greek Coins from Pisidia

Pisidia included the mountainous country between Phrygia and the north of Pamphylia and north-east of Lycia. Uncivilized in early times, only Selge struck money before the time of Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great conquered Sagalassos on his way to Persia, but Termessos defied him. After Alexander died, the region was ruled by Antigonus Monophthalmus, and possibly Lysimachus of Thrace, after which Seleucus I took control. The Seleukids founded colonies at strategically important places and the local people were Hellenised, but the area was contested by the Attalids of Pergamon and invading Galatian Celts. Through the Treaty of Apamea, Pisidia officially passed to the Attalids in 188 BC. Attalos III, the last king of Pergamon, bequeathed his kingdom to Rome in 133 B.C. Rome gave Pisidia to the Kingdom of Cappadocia, but the Pisidians allied with pirate-dominated Cilicia and Pamphylia. Roman rule was restored in 102 B.C. In 39 B.C. Mark Antony bestowed Pisidia upon Amyntas, king of Galatia, who held it until his death in 25 B.C. Pisidia was then made part of the new province of Galatia. In 6 B.C., Augustus founded a line of colonies, Antiocheia, Olbasa, Cremna, and Comama.


Termessos Major, Pisidia, 3rd Century A.D.

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Alexander the Great likened Termessos, high in the Taurus Mountains, to an eagle's nest after he surrounded it but failed to conquer it in 333 B.C. An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. Independence was maintained continuously for a long time, the only exception being an alliance with Amyntas king of Galatia (reigned 36-25 BC). This independence is documented also by the coins of Termessos, which bear the title "Autonomous." Termessos was abandoned after its aqueduct was destroyed by an earthquake (date unknown).
GB83542. Bronze AE 38, SNGvA 5364; BMC Lycia p. 273, 41; SNG BnF -; SNG Cop -; SNG PfPs -; SNG Righetti -; SNG Tub -, aVF, green patina, rough, pitting, corrosion, smoothing, edge chip, centration dimples, weight 28.152 g, maximum diameter 37.8 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos Major mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 238 - 268 A.D.; obverse TEPMHCCEΩN AVTONOMΩN, laureate and bearded head of Zeus right; reverse TΩN MEIZONΩN, Athena standing slightly left, head left, wearing helmet, long chiton, and peplos, holding Nike offering wreath in right hand, spear in left hand, shield at feet on far side of right leg, trophy of captured arms behind, Θ left; about twice the weight of the similar smaller and less rare coin with the same types (SNG BnF 2189, AE33, 14.06g); very rare; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


Termessos Major, Pisidia, c. 198 - 217 A.D.

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An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. This long continued independence is documented by the legends of this coin and by other coins which bear the title "Autonomous." The reverse legend on this coin, eleutheros, is an adjective meaning "free," which is here in the genitive plural case, agreeing with the genitive plural of the ethnic on the obverse. So together the legends literally read, "Of the free people of Termessos," or paraphrased "Of the people of Termessos" on the obverse, "Who are free" on reverse.
RP85011. Bronze AE 25, SNG BnF 2177 (same dies), SNGvA 5353 (same), Waddington 4012 (same), SNG Cop -, SNG Tubingen -, SNG Righetti -, SNG PfPs -, BMC Lycia -, VF, well centered, some corrosion, weight 7.382 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos Major mint, c. 198 - 217 A.D.; obverse T-EPMHC-CEΩN, bare-headed draped bust of Hermes right, kerykeion over far shoulder; reverse EΛEYΘEPΩN, Athena standing left, wearing helmet, long chiton, and peplos, pouring from phiale in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand; very rare; $180.00 (€153.00)
 


Termessos Major, Pisidia, 3rd Century A.D.

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Alexander the Great likened Termessos, high in the Taurus Mountains, to an eagle's nest after he surrounded it but failed to conquer it in 333 B.C. An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. Independence was maintained continuously for a long time, the only exception being an alliance with Amyntas king of Galatia (reigned 36-25 BC). This independence is documented also by the coins of Termessos, which bear the title "Autonomous." Termessos was abandoned after its aqueduct was destroyed by an earthquake (date unknown).
RP85008. Bronze AE 34, SNG BnF 2189 var. (Θ rev. center); SNGvA 5362 var. (same); BMC Lycia p. 273, 41 var. (Θ rev. l.); SNG Cop -; SNG PfPs -; SNG Tub -, aVF, well centered, some legend weak, light corrosion, weight 18.257 g, maximum diameter 33.9 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos Major mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 238 - 268 A.D.; obverse TEPMHCCEΩN AVTONOMΩN, laureate and bearded head of Zeus right, Θ below; reverse TΩN MEIZONΩN, Athena standing slightly left, head left, wearing helmet, long chiton, and peplos, holding Nike offering wreath in right hand, spear in left hand, shield at feet on far side of right leg, trophy of captured arms behind; big 34 mm bronze; rare; $170.00 (€144.50)
 


Termessos Major, Pisidia, Late 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.

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Alexander the Great likened Termessos, high in the Taurus Mountains, to an eagle's nest after he surrounded it but failed to conquer it in 333 B.C. An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. Independence was maintained continuously for a long time, the only exception being an alliance with Amyntas king of Galatia (reigned 36-25 BC). This independence is documented also by the coins of Termessos, which bear the title "Autonomous." Termessos was abandoned after its aqueduct was destroyed by an earthquake (date unknown).
RP84971. Bronze AE 30, SNG BnF 2188 var. (same obv. die, no rev. Θ), SNG Cop 330; SNGvA 5355 var. (no Θ's); BMC Lycia p. 274, 51 var. (same), VF, uneven strike with weak areas, bumps and marks, corrosion, weight 12.799 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 180o, Termessos Major mint, c. 193 - 268 A.D.; obverse TEPMH-CCEΩN, laureate and bearded bust of Zeus right, •Θ• below; reverse TΩN MEI-ZO-NΩN, Tyche standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left, Nike flying left behind her, crowning Tyche with wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, Θ low center; rare; $150.00 (€127.50)
 


Termessos Major, Pisidia, Late 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.

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Alexander the Great likened Termessos, high in the Taurus Mountains, to an eagle's nest after he surrounded it but failed to conquer it in 333 B.C. An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. Independence was maintained continuously for a long time, the only exception being an alliance with Amyntas king of Galatia (reigned 36-25 BC). This independence is documented also by the coins of Termessos, which bear the title "Autonomous." Termessos was abandoned after its aqueduct was destroyed by an earthquake (date unknown).
RP84974. Bronze AE 28, cf. SNG BnF 2188; SNG Cop 332; SNGvA 5355; SNG Righetti 1445; BMC Lycia p. 274, 51; McClean 9036, VF, centered on a tight flan, bumps and marks, light corrosion, weight 15.217 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 180o, Termessos Major mint, c. 193 - 268 A.D.; obverse TEPMHC-CEΩN, laureate and bearded bust of Zeus right; reverse TΩN M-EI-ZONΩN, Tyche standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left, Nike flying left behind her, crowning Tyche with wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand; rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Termessos Major, Pisidia, Late 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.

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Alexander the Great likened Termessos, high in the Taurus Mountains, to an eagle's nest after he surrounded it but failed to conquer it in 333 B.C. An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. Independence was maintained continuously for a long time, the only exception being an alliance with Amyntas king of Galatia (reigned 36-25 BC). This independence is documented also by the coins of Termessos, which bear the title "Autonomous." Termessos was abandoned after its aqueduct was destroyed by an earthquake (date unknown).
RP85004. Bronze AE 28, BMC Lycia p. 274, 51 var. (leg. also ends in ex.); McClean 9036; SNGvA 5355; SNG Cop 332; SNG Righetti 1445; SNG BnF 2188 var. (Θ below bust), F, centered on a tight flan, light marks, light corrosion, weight 16.613 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 180o, Termessos Major mint, c. 193 - 268 A.D.; obverse TEP-MHCCEΩ-N, laureate and bearded bust of Zeus right; reverse TΩ-N M-EIZO-NΩN, Tyche standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left, Nike flying left behind her, crowning Tyche with wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand; rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

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A temple of Mên has been excavated at Antioch, Pisidia. Luna, the Greek moon goddess, was female, which seems natural because the female menstrual cycle follows the lunar month. But Mên was a male moon-god, probably originally of the indigenous non-Greek Karian people. By Roman times, Mên was worshiped across Anatolia and in Attica. He was associated with fertility, healing, and punishment. Mên is usually depicted with a crescent moon behind his shoulders, wearing a Phrygian cap, and holding a lance or sword in one hand and a pine-cone or patera in the other. His other attributes include the bucranium and cock.
RP79565. Bronze AE 24, Krzyzanowska -, BMC Lycia -, SNG BnF -, SNG PfPs -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Righetti -, SNG Hunterian -, Lindgren -, VF, attractive unusual bust with aegis, dark patina with coppery high points, weight 5.635 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis; reverse ANTIOCH FORTVNA COE, Mên standing facing, head right, wearing Phrygian cap, crescent with horns up rising behind shoulders, left foot on bucranium, leaning with left elbow on cippus, long scepter vertical in right hand, Nike in left hand, cock standing left at feet on left; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Termessos Major, Pisidia, 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.

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Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the god of commerce and thieves. He was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. His symbols include the caduceus and winged sandals.

Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, industry, justice, and skill. Her usual attribute is the owl and Nike is her frequent companion.
RP85005. Bronze AE 25, SNG BnF 2178; SNGvA 5349; SNG Cop 321; SNG Tubingen 4505; BMC Pisidia p. 271, 31; SNG PfPs 547; SNG Righetti -, VF, well centered, highest points struck flat, bumps and scratches, centration dimples, weight 11.601 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos mint, 2nd - 3rd century A.D.; obverse T-EP-MHCCEΩN, draped bust of Hermes right, kerykeion across shoulder; reverse TΩN ME-IZONΩN, Athena Nikephoros standing left, Nike offering wreath in right hand, inverted spear vertical in left hand; scarce; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

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A temple of Mên has been excavated at Antioch, Pisidia. Luna, the Greek moon-goddess, was female, which seems natural because the female menstrual cycle follows the lunar month. But Mên was a male moon-god, probably originally of the indigenous non-Greek Karian people. By Roman times, Mên was worshiped across Anatolia and in Attica. He was associated with fertility, healing, and punishment. Mên is usually depicted with a crescent moon behind his shoulders, wearing a Phrygian cap, and holding a lance or sword in one hand and a pine-cone or patera in the other. His other attributes include the bucranium and cock.
RP79936. Bronze AE 23, Krzyzanowska, group A, XIX/25; SNGvA 4927; Lindgren-Kovacs 1205; BMC Lycia p. 180, 22; SNG Cop -, VF, nice green patina, brassy high points, weight 5.406 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antiocheia mint, obverse IMP SEP SEV PERT AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse ANTIOCH COLONIAE, Mên standing facing, crescent on shoulders, head right, wearing Phrygian cap, left foot on bucranium, long scepter vertical in right hand, Nike in left hand, rooster left at feet behind; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Termessos Major, Pisidia, 69 - 68 B.C.

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Alexander the Great likened Termessos, high in the Taurus Mountains, to an eagle's nest after he surrounded it but failed to conquer it in 333 B.C. An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. Independence was maintained continuously for a long time, the only exception being an alliance with Amyntas king of Galatia (reigned 36-25 BC). This independence is documented also by the coins of Termessos, which bear the title "Autonomous." Termessos was abandoned after its aqueduct was destroyed by an earthquake (date unknown).
GB83515. Bronze AE 18, SNG BnF 2109 (same obverse die), SNG Cop 293, SNG PfPs 496, Cohen DCA 706, SNGvA -, BMC Lycia -, VF, well centered, green patina, scratches, light earthen deposits, weight 4.139 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos Major mint, pseudo-autonomous, 69 - 68 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus left; reverse horse springing left, Γ (year 3) above right, TEP below; $100.00 (€85.00)
 










REFERENCES

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Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (London, 1992 - ).
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, Vol. III, Part 2. (London, 1929).
Grose, S. Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fitzwilliam Museum, Vol. III: Asia Minor, Farther Asia, Egypt, Africa. (Cambridge, 1929).
Hill, G. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Lycia, Pamphylia, and Pisidia. (London, 1897).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. Kleinasiatische Münzen, Vol. II. (Vienna, 1902).
Klein, D. Sammlung von griechischen Kleinsilbermünzen und Bronzen. Nomismata 3. (Milan, 1999).
Krzyzanowska, A. Monnaies Coloniales de Antioche de Pisidie. (Warsaw, 1970).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Lindgren, H. & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coins of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 6: Phrygia to Cilicia. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 6: Phrygien-Kappadokien; Römische Provinzprägungen in Kleinasien. (Berlin, 1998).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock. Vol. 3: Pisidia, Lycaonia, Cilicia... (Berlin, 1964).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale. Vol. 3: Pamphylia, Pisidia, Lycaonia, Galatia. (Paris, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Schweiz II, Katalog der Sammlung Jean-Pierre Righetti im Bernischen Historischen Museum. (Bern, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 6: Burdur Museum, Vol. 1: Pisidia, Part 1: Adada - Prostanna. (Istanbul, 2011).
von Aulock, H. "Kleinasiatische Münzstätten, VI: Die römische Kolonie Komama in Pisidien" in JNG XX (1970).
von Aulock, H. Münzen und Städte Pisidiens. (Tübingen, 1977).

Catalog current as of Friday, December 15, 2017.
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Pisidia Greek Coins