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Lycia, on the southern coast of Anatolia, was first recorded in the Late Bronze Age records of ancient Egypt and the Hittite Empire. In 546 B.C. when Lycia was involuntary incorporated into the Persian Empire, the local population was decimated, and the area received an influx of Persians. Lycia fought for Persia in the Persian Wars. Intermittently free after the Greeks defeated the Achaemenid Empire, it briefly joined the Athenian Empire, it seceded and became independent, was under the Persians again, revolted again, was conquered by Mausolus of Caria, returned to the Persians, and went under Macedonian hegemony at the defeat of the Persians by Alexander the Great. Lycia was totally Hellenized under the Macedonians. The Lycian language disappeared from inscriptions and coinage. On defeating Antiochus III in 188 the Romans gave Lycia to Rhodes for 20 years, taking it back in 168 B.C. The Romans allowed home rule under the Lycian League, a federation with republican principles, which later influenced the framers of the United States Constitution. In 43 A.D. Claudius dissolved the league and made Lycia a Roman province. It was an eparchy of Byzantine Empire. A substantial Christian Greek community lived in Lycia until the 1920s when they were forced to migrate to Greece following the Greco-Turkish War.
Anatolia (Lycia?), 5th Century B.C.
Although unlisted in the major references, a similar hemidrachmtype was first published by 1897. Six obols of this type, including this coin, are listed on Coin Archives having been offered at auction in the last two decades.
The chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia, composed of the parts of three animals - a lion, a snake, and a goat or stag. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ending with a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.GS87477. Silver obol, 6 specimens known from auctions, otherwise unpublished; cf. Boston MFA 2325 (hemidrachm), Greenwell 1897, p. 281, 2 (= Boston MFA 2325), VF, well centered, toned, lightly etched surfaces, bumps and scratches, die wear, weight 0.662 g, maximum diameter 7.8 mm, die axis 270o, uncertain (Lycian?) mint, 5th century B.C.; obversechimera standing (right?) with heads of a lion (in center with looking left), stag, and serpent, joined on one quadruped body at the center and radiating outward; reversegorgoneion (facing head of Medusa), snaky locks, tongue protruding, within incuse square; ex Numismatic Naumann, auction 62 (4 Feb 2018), lot 127; extremely rare; $280.00 (€238.00)
Lycia, Uncertain Dynast, c. 400 - 350 B.C.
Although we cannot find a match with this inscription, Historia Numorum lists lion scalp and helmeted head of Athena types struck by several dynasts in the first half of the 4th century B.C.GA87325. Silver obol, Apparently unpublished, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Tüb -, Vismara -, Podalia Hoard -, BMC Lycia -, F/VF, significant edge chip, weight 0.579 g, maximum diameter 10.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obverselion scalp facing, from above; reversehead of Athena left, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, Lycian letters (EK?) above, dot border, all within a round incuse; extremely rare; $100.00 (€85.00)
Lycian League, Myra, Masicytus, Lycia, c. 35 - 27 B.C.
Cragus and Masicytus were the two principal districts of Lycia, named for the Cragus and Masicytus mountain ranges. Xanthus, Patara, and Tlos were towns in Cragus. Myra, the primary town in Masicytus, was on the river Myros, 5.4 kilometers from the sea. Saint Paul visited the port on his way to Italy. The remains of the ancient city are some of the most beautiful ruins in Lycia and include a large theater. GB86566. Bronze half unit, Troxell 174 (4 spec.); Waddington 3089; BMC Lycia p. 70, 5 corr. (MY); RPC I 3315; Müseler -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, F, green patina, scratches, obverse off center, weight 2.327 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 0o, Myra (Demre, Turkey) mint, c. 35 - 27 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse bow and quiver in saltire (crossed), ΛYKI (Lycia) above, M-A (Masicytus) across field, all within an incuse square; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; very rare; $70.00 (€59.50)
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