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

Phrygia

Phrygia lies in western central Anatolia (Asia Minor) between Bithynia, Mysia, Lydia, Pisidia and Galatia. The cities were found in the valleys and high plains between the many high mountains of the land. The native Phrygians, whose inscriptions have not yet been deciphered, fell under Lydian, then Persian, then Macedonian rule. Greek and Macedonian settlers were planted in Phrygia by the Seleucids and Attalids in mutual rivalry, but northern Phrygia was overrun by Celts (eventually it would become Galatia). After the defeat of Antiochus at Magnesia, Phrygia was assigned to the kingdom of Pergamum in 188 B.C., after which it became intensely Hellenized and first struck coins. Rome took control, along with the rest of the Pergamene kingdom, in 133 B.C.


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Apamea, Phrygia, Gaius Caesar Reverse

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Strabo wrote, Apamea was a place of great trade in the Roman province of Asia, next in importance to Ephesus. Its commerce was owing to its position on the great road to Cappadocia, and it was also the center of other roads.
RP77314. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 3129, SNGvA 3484, BMC Phrygia p. 93, 139, Weber 7033, SNG Cop -, aVF, green patina, earthen encrustation, weight 5.986 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Apamea mint, obverse ΣEBAΣTOΣ, laureate head of Augustus right; reverse ΓAIOΣ KAIΣAP ΓAIOΣ MAΣΩNIOΣ POYΦOΣ AΠAMEΩN, Gaius Caesar in facing quadriga; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Ankyra, Phrygia

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Ancyra minted its first coinage under Nero and this type with a young portrait and the name Claudius in the emperor's titles may have been the first type struck by the city.
RP84539. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 3108; SNG Cop 135; SNGvA 8227; Weber 7019; Mionnet IV p. 220, 152, VF, attractive young portrait of Nero, flan flaw upper left, weight 4.200 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Ancyra (Ankara, Turkey) mint, magistrate Klaudios Artemidoros, c. 55 - 60 A.D.; obverse NEPΩNA KΛAY∆ION KAICAPA ANKYPANΩN, bare head right; reverse EΠI KΛAY∆IOY APTEMI∆ΩPOY IEPEΩC, Zeus standing left, nude, anchor downward in right hand, long scepter in left hand; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


Laodicea ad Lycus, Phrygia, c. 189 - 133 B.C.

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The animal on the reverse is identified as a lion in the references. SNG München, however, notes "or wolf?" It is almost certainly the river god Lycus in the form of wolf.
GB67148. Bronze AE 12, SNG München 341 (lion or wolf), BMC Laodiceia p. 283, 22 (lion), SNG Cop 496 (lion), SNGvA -, VF, weight 1.600 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 0o, Laodikeia mint, c. 189 - 133 B.C.; obverse turreted head of Tyche (or Aphrodite or Kybele) right; reverse ΛAO∆I/KEΩN, river god Lycus seated left, raising right foreleg; very rare; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Cadi, Phrygia

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Cadi (Gediz, Turkey) was near the sources of the Hermus at the foot of Mount Dindymus. Gediz suffered major earthquakes in 1866, 1896, 1944, and 1970. The 7.2 magnitude earthquake on 28 March 1970 killed 1,086 people and left 1,260 people wounded and many thousands homeless. The town was relocated after the destruction to a new place 7 km away under the name "Yeni Gediz" (Turkish: New Gediz).
RP73085. Bronze AE 24, BMC Phrygia p. 119, 16 (same reverse die?); RPC I 3063; SNG Cop 248, VF, weight 4.336 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cadi mint, magistrate Meliton Asklepiadou, c. 50 - 54 A.D.; obverse KΛAY∆IOC KAICAP, laureate head right; reverse EΠI MEΛITΩNOC ACKΛHΠIA∆OY (magistrate Meliton, son of Asklepiados), Zeus Laodiceus standing left, eagle in right hand, scepter in left hand, KA−∆O/HNΩN flanking upwards in two lines one before and one behind Zeus; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Laodikeia on the Lykos, Phrygia, c. 133 - 67 B.C.

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Laodicea on the Lycus was located in the Hellenistic regions of Caria and Lydia, which later became the Roman Province of Phrygia Pacatiana. In 188 B.C., the city passed to the Kingdom of Pergamon. After 133 B.C. it fell under Roman control. It suffered greatly during the Mithridatic Wars but quickly recovered under the dominion of Rome. Towards the end of the Roman Republic and under the first emperors, Laodicea, benefiting from its advantageous position on a trade route, became one of the most important and flourishing commercial cities of Asia Minor. It contained one of the Seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
GB77497. Bronze AE 14, SNG Cop 506, HGC 7 741 (S), SNGvA 3805 var. (rev leg arrangement), BMC Phrygia p. 286, 44 var. (same), VF, dark green patina with earthen highlighting, weight 3.063 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 0o, Laodikeia (near Denizli, Turkey) mint, c. 133 - 67 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo, long curls down neck; reverse ΛAO∆IKEΩN, tripod lebes; ex Divus Numismatic, ex H. D. Rauch auction 92 (22 Apr 2013), lot 1117; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Apamea, Phrygia

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Apamea is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). After the Mithridatic Wars it became a great center for trade, largely carried on by resident Italians and Jews. Apamea is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 62a, Niddah, 30b and Yeb. 115b). By order of Flaccus, nearly 45 kilograms of gold, intended by Jews for the Temple in Jerusalem was confiscated in Apamea in 62 B.C. On the outbreak of the Jewish War, the inhabitants of Apamea spared the Jews who lived in their midst, and would not suffer them to be murdered or led into captivity (Josephus, Bell. Jud. ii. 18, § 5).

This type, the only issue by Apamea in the Flavian Period, may have been issued to finance recovery from an earthquake and fire mentioned by Suetonius (Vesp. 17).
Great Colonnade at Apamea
RP77369. Bronze AE 26, RPC II 1389; SNG Cop 210; SNGvA 3491; SNG München 152; BMC Phrygia p. 95, 150, Fair, nice portrait for grade, nice green patina, weight 9.728 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Apamea of Syria mint, struck under Plancius Varus, Praetorian Legate; obverse AYTOKPATΩP KAIΣAP ΣEBAΣTOΣ OYEΣΠAΣIANOΣ, laureate head right; reverse EΠI ΠΛANKIOY OYAPOY KOINON ΦPYΓIAΣ AΠAMEIΣ, bundle of five stalks of grain; $75.00 (€66.75)
 


Peltai, Phrygia, 188 - 133 B.C.

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The location of Peltai is unknown but it was probably on the Meander River. In 188 B.C., in accordance with the Treaty of Apameia, Peltai came under the rule of the Pergamon Kingdom. In 133 B.C., Attalos III Philometor bequeathed his kingdom, including Peltai, to the Roman Republic.
GB69814. Bronze AE 18, HGC 7, 755 (R1); BMC Phrygia p. 347, 7 corr. (Zeus); SGCV 5169; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG München -; SNG Tübingen -; Lindgren -, F, dark green patina, weight 2.927 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Peltae mint, 188 - 133 B.C.; obverse head of bearded Herakles right; reverse ΠEΛTH/NΩN, club with handle upward, Nemean lion skin draped over handle; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $60.00 (€53.40)
 


Abbaitis, Phrygia, 2nd Century B.C.

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In the chaotic period after Alexander's death, northern Phrygia was overrun by Celts, eventually to become the province of Galatia. The former capital, Gordium, was captured and destroyed by the Gauls soon afterward and disappeared from history. In 188 B.C., the southern remnant of Phrygia came under the control of the Attalids of Pergamon. In 133 B.C., the remnants of Phrygia passed to Rome. For purposes of provincial administration the Romans maintained a divided Phrygia, attaching the northeastern part to the province of Galatia and the western portion to the province of Asia.
GB59298. Bronze AE 20, BMC Phrygia p. 1, 1 ff.; SNG Cop 1; SNGvA 3330, VF, nice green patina, weight 6.452 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Abbaitis mint, obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse MUSWN / ABBAITWN and thunderbolt within wreath; $60.00 (€53.40)
 


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Aizanis, Phrygia

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Aizanoi (Cavdarhisar, Turkey) was an important political and economic center in Roman times. Surviving remains from the period include a well-preserved Temple of Zeus, an unusual combined theater-stadium complex, and a macellum inscribed with the Price Edict of Diocletian.
RP90552. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 3088; BMC Phrygia p. 34, 85; SNG Cop 83; Von Aulock Aizanoi 40; Lindgren 872, VF, some roughness, weight 4.234 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 315o, Aizanoi (Cavdarhisar, Turkey) mint, magistrate Klaudios Hierax; obverse AIZANITAI − KΛAY∆ION KAICKAPA, laureate head right; reverse EΠI KΛAY∆I−OY − IEPAKOC, Zeus of Aezanis standing facing, head left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; $60.00 (€53.40)
 


Apameia, Phrygia, c. 133 - 48 B.C.

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Artemis was a goddess of virginity, women's concerns, the hunt and the underworld. The enigmatic cult statue covered in apparent fertility symbols was a unique combination of the Greek virgin-huntress Artemis with an indigenous Anatolian goddess.
GB70874. Bronze AE 22, BMC Phrygia p. 84, 88; SGCV II 5121, aVF, weight 6.209 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Apameia mint, c. 133 - 48 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse AΠAME − MHNO∆O/MENEMA, cultus-statue of Artemis Anaitis facing; $45.00 (€40.05)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 24: Phrygien. (Berlin, 1989).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 2: Caria, Lydia, Phrygia, Lycia, Pamphylia. (Berlin, 1962).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain III, R.C. Lockett Collection, Part 5: Lesbos - Cyrenaica. Addenda. (gold and silver). (London, 1949).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IX, British Museum, Part 1: The Black Sea. (London, 1993).
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Catalog current as of Friday, March 24, 2017.
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Phrygia Coins