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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Anatolia| ▸ |Lycia||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Lycia, Anatolia

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.Lycia

Persian Empire, Dynasts of Lycia, Kherei, c. 440 - 410 B.C.

|Lycia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Dynasts| |of| |Lycia,| |Kherei,| |c.| |440| |-| |410| |B.C.||stater|
Lycia had a single monarch, who ruled the entire country, subject to Persian policy, from a palace at Xanthos. The monarchy was hereditary, hence the term "dynast" has come into use among English-speaking scholars. Lycian inscriptions indicate the monarch was titled khntawati. The names of the dynasts are known mostly from coin inscriptions.
SH83587. Silver stater, Hurter New 1-6 (same rev. die); CNG mail bid 69, lot 472 (same dies, obv. die also very worn); Mørkholm-Zahle II -; Falghera -; SNG Cop -, Fair/gVF, toned, choice reverse, struck with a very worn obverse die, weight 8.860 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Xanthos mint, c. 440 - 410 B.C.; obverse bull crouching left with head raised, attacked by lion right leaping on its back; reverse bull standing left, Lycian triskeles above, dotted border, all within incuse square; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 21, lot 359; extremely rare; SOLD


Phaselis, Lycia, c. 530 - 520 B.C.

|Lycia|, |Phaselis,| |Lycia,| |c.| |530| |-| |520| |B.C.||stater|
Phaselis was founded in 690 BC by settlers from the island of Rhodes. In the same year, the great Rhodian seafarers also founded Gela, on the island of Sicily, thus extending their influence across the Greek world. The colony of Phaselis was the one purely Greek city in Lycia and differed in language, culture, and alphabet from the adjacent cities of the region. It should be noted that the coinage of Phaselis is among the earliest, if not the earliest, of all silver coinage struck in Asia Minor. Struck circa 530 B.C., this coin is roughly contemporary with the silver issues of King Kroisos of Lydia and represents the dawn of this medium of exchange in Asia Minor.
GS87793. Silver stater, Heipp-Tamer Series 3, Em. 1a, 25-27 (V-/R25 [unlisted obv. die]); Asyut 734; SNGvA 4390; Weber III 7291; SNG Cop -; SNG Delepierre -; BMC Lycia -, VF, tight flan cutting off nose of boar, bumps and marks, test cut, weight 10.967 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, Phaselis (near Tekirova, Turkey) mint, c. 530 - 520 B.C.; obverse Prow of galley right in the form of an abstract boar's head, with foreleg and large apotropaic eye, three round shields on gunwale; reverse incuse square punch, random wear pattern within; SOLD


Phaselis, Lycia, 206 - 205 B.C., Civic Issue in the Name of Alexander the Great

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Phaselis,| |Lycia,| |206| |-| |205| |B.C.,| |Civic| |Issue| |in| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great||tetradrachm|
Phaselis was under Ptolemaic control from 209 to 197 B.C., when Antiochus III took control. Antiochus III formally took possession of the Egyptian territories in Anatolia through the Peace of Lysimachia in 195. Despite the vicissitudes of the area, Phaselis seems to have retained significant autonomy and struck Alexander type tetradrachms with remarkable continuity from 218 - 185 B.C. The series ended shortly after the conclusion of the Apamea treaty, when Phaselis and the other cities of Lycia were handed over to the Kingdom of Rhodes. From 190 to 160 B.C. it remained under Rhodeian hegemony. After 160 B.C. Phaselis was absorbed into the Lycian confederacy under Roman rule. In the 1st century B.C., the city was taken over by the pirate Zekenites for a period until his defeat by the Romans.
SH05019. Silver tetradrachm, Heipp-Tamer 248 (V27/R86), Price 2853, Cohen DCA 315, aMS, weight 16.72 g, maximum diameter 32.7 mm, die axis 0o, Lycia, Phaselis (near Tekirova, Turkey) mint, 206 - 205 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, IΓ / Φ left; near Mint State, lustrous; SOLD


Persian Empire, Lycia, Uncertain Dynasts, c. 500 - 475 B.C.

|Lycia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Lycia,| |Uncertain| |Dynasts,| |c.| |500| |-| |475| |B.C.||stater|
The referenced variations all have a square border within the incuse square on the reverse. BMC identifies the lead trial impression as a class intermediate between the first and second series of the Lycian Dynasts.

BMC notes the boar may have been used as a type due to its association with Apollo. It was probably a common animal in the mountains of Lycia and Lycian hams were famous.
SH56735. Silver stater, Vismara 39, Asyut Hoard 753 var.; SNG Cop sup. 372 var.; Rosen 697 var.; cf. BMC Lydia p. xxvii & pl. xliii, 1 (lead trial); SNG Kayhan -; SNGvA -, gF, weight 9.433 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Lycian mint, c. 500 - 475 B.C.; obverse forepart of wild boar left; reverse roaring lion head with open jaws left, within incuse square; extremely rare; SOLD


Persian Empire, Dynasts of Lycia, Uncertain Dynast, c. 520 - 460 B.C.

|Lycia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Dynasts| |of| |Lycia,| |Uncertain| |Dynast,| |c.| |520| |-| |460| |B.C.||stater|
This type was minted in Lycia, Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire
GS92921. Silver stater, Müseler I1 - I2, SNGvA 4041, Babelon Traité II/1 998, SNG Cop. Suppl. 366, gVF, toned, tight flan cutting off nose, light porosity/etching, weight 9.156 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, uncertain mint, obverse head of lion right, roaring with jaws open; reverse Incuse square divided into 12 fields in a star-like shape; rare; SOLD


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Lycian League

|Roman| |Asia|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.,| |Lycian| |League||unit|
Lycia had not been a sovereign state since its defeat by the Carian King Mausolus in 362 B.C. In 168 B.C., however, the Roman Republic made Lycia an autonomous Roman protectorate governed by the Lycian League. Lycia lost its freedom when Claudius incorporated it into the Empire as a Roman province in 43 A.D. The democratic principles of the Lycian League influenced the framers of the United States Constitution.
SH68146. Bronze unit, RPC I 3346, SNG Cop -, BMC Lycia -, VF, weight 8.107 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Lycian League mint, early 42 - 43 A.D.; obverse TIBEPIOΣ KΛAY∆IOΣ KAIΣAP ΣEBAΣTOΣ, bare head left; reverse ΠATHP ΠATPI∆OΣ ΓEPMANKOΣ AYTOKPATΩP, Artemis standing half right, short torch in right, Nike in left, stag standing right at feet on right; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; rare; SOLD


Phaselis, Lycia, 207 - 206 B.C., Civic Issue in the Name of Alexander the Great

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Phaselis,| |Lycia,| |207| |-| |206| |B.C.,| |Civic| |Issue| |in| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great||tetradrachm|
Phaselis was under Ptolemaic control from 209 to 197 B.C., when Antiochus III took control. Antiochus III formally took possession of the Egyptian territories in Anatolia through the Peace of Lysimachia in 195. Despite the vicissitudes of the area, Phaselis seems to have retained significant autonomy and struck Alexander type tetradrachms with remarkable continuity from 218 - 185 B.C. The series ended shortly after the conclusion of the Apamea treaty, when Phaselis and the other cities of Lycia were handed over to the Kingdom of Rhodes. From 190 to 160 B.C. it remained under Rhodeian hegemony. After 160 B.C. Phaselis was absorbed into the Lycian confederacy under Roman rule. In the 1st century B.C., the city was taken over by the pirate Zekenites for a period until his defeat by the Romans.
SH05039. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2851, Cohen DCA 315, near Uncirculated, weight 16.64 g, maximum diameter 34.2 mm, die axis 0o, Lycia, Phaselis (near Tekirova, Turkey) mint, 207 - 206 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, IB / Φ left; some mint luster; SOLD


Persian Empire, Dynasts of Lycia, Uncertain Dynast, c. 520 - 480 B.C.

|Lycia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Dynasts| |of| |Lycia,| |Uncertain| |Dynast,| |c.| |520| |-| |480| |B.C.||stater|

Minted in Lycia, Anatolia while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. Click here to see a map of the Persian Empire about 500 B.C.
SH63914. Silver stater, SNG Cop Supp. 370, SNGvA 4049 - 4050, VF, soft strike, weight 8.701 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 90o, Lycian mint, c. 520 - 480 B.C.; obverse forepart of a boar left; reverse Incuse with square projections entering from three sides, transected by crossed narrow lines; SOLD


Dynasts of Lycia, Uvug, c. 470 - 440 B.C.

|Lycia|, |Dynasts| |of| |Lycia,| |Uvug,| |c.| |470| |-| |440| |B.C.||tetrobol|
SH66266. Silver tetrobol, Winsemann 92, SNGvA 4119, SNG Cop Supp. 430, SGCV II 5194, gVF, weight 3.005 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 180o, c. 470 - 440 B.C.; obverse forepart of winged man-headed bull right; reverse OFOV, young female (Sphinx?) head right in dotted square within incuse square; SOLD


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Patara, Lycia

|Lycia|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Patara,| |Lycia||AE| |29|
From the birthplace of Santa Clause. Patara, sometimes renamed Arsinoe, was a flourishing maritime and commercial city on the south-west coast of Lycia on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey near the modern small town of Gelemis, in Antalya Province. Patara was said to have been founded by Patarus, a son of Apollo and was renowned for its temple and oracle of Apollo, second only to that of Delphi. Apollo is sometimes mentioned with the surname Patareus. Patara is the birthplace of St. Nicholas (b. c. 15 March 270 A.D.), who lived most of his life in the nearby town of Myra (Demre).
RP87599. Bronze AE 29, SNGvA 4385; SNG Cop 117 118; BMC Lycia p. 77, 14; Von Aulock Lykien 197 , Choice F, nice green patina, well centered on a tight flan, weight 16.416 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Patara (near Gelemis, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΠATAPEWN, Apollo standing slightly left, head left, laurel branch in extended right hand, bow in left hand at side; before him, on left, eagle standing left on omphalos with it head turned back right; behind, on right, serpent-entwined tripod lebes; rare; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Heipp-Tamer, C. Die Münzprägung der lykischen Stadt Phaselis in griechischer Zeit. (Saarbrücker, 1993).
Hill, G. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Lycia, Pamphylia, and Pisidia. (London, 1897).
Hurter, S. "A New Lycian Coin Type: Kherêi, Not Kuperlis" in INJ 14 (2000-2).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Lindgren, H & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coinage of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
Noe, S "A Lycian Hoard" in Centennial Publication of the American Numismatic Society. (New York, 1958).
Mionnet, T. Description de Médailles antiques grecques et romaines, Supp. VII. Lycia. (Paris, 1809).
Mørkholm, O. "The Classification of Lycian coins before Alexander the Great" in JNG XIV (1964).
Müseler, W. Lykische Münzen in europäischen Privatsammlungen. (Istanbul, 2016).
Olçay, N. & O. Mørkholm. "The Coin Hoard from Podalia" in NC 1971.
Price, M. The Coinage of in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. (London, 1991).
Price, M. & N. Waggoner. Archaic Greek Silver Coinage, The "Asyut" Hoard. (London, 1975).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Volume 6: Phrygia to Cilicia. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
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. 2: Caria, Lydia, Phrygia, Lycia, Pamphylia. (Berlin, 1962).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki, Part II: Asia Minor except Karia. (Helsinki, 1999).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections, Part 7: Asia Minor: Lycia-Cappadocia. (London, 1967).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, United States, Burton Y. Berry Collection; Part 2. Megaris to Egypt. (New York, 1962).
Troxell, H. The Coinage of the Lycian League, NNM 162. (New York, 1982).
Vismara, N. Monetazione Arcaica della Lycia. (Milan, 1989 -1996).
Waggoner, N. Early Greek Coins from the Collection of Jonathan P. Rosen. ANS ACNAC 5. (New York, 1983).

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