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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.


Laodicea ad Lycum, Phrygia, c. 14 - 37 A.D.

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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 chicken. A temple of Mên has been excavated at Antioch, Pisidia.
RP84485. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2907; SNG Cop 513 ff.; BMC Phrygia p. 288, 64 ff.; Lindgren-Kovacs 984, VF, attractive style, nice green patina, reverse slightly off center, some light corrosion, weight 3.892 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Laodikeia ad Lycum mint, time of Tiberius, c. 14 - 37 A.D.; obverse ΛAO∆I−KEΩN, bust of Mên right, draped, wearing Phrygian cap with ear flaps, laurel wreath, and necklace, crescent behind shoulders; reverse KOP (ligate), ∆IOΣKOYPI∆HΣ (Cornelius Dioskurides, magistrate), eagle standing slightly right on branch (or club), head left, wings slightly open; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection, ex Gitbud & Naumann e-auction 33 (5 Jul 2015), lot 372; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


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, Time of Tiberius, 14 - 37 A.D.

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Laodicea on the Lycus was the ancient Hellenistic metropolis of Phrygia Pacatiana, in Anatolia near the modern village of Eskihisar, Denizli Province, Turkey. It is one of the Seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

A labrys is a double-headed ax, also known to the classical Greeks as a pelekus or sagaris, and to the Romans as a bipennis.
RP84894. Bronze AE 14, RPC I 2910; BMC Phrygia p. 288, 59; SNG Cop 512; SNG Munchen 348, VF, attractive black surfaces, some light marks, areas of slight porosity, earthen deposits, weight 3.146 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, Laodikeia mint, magistrate of Pythes, son of Pythes; obverse Aphrodite standing left, dove in extended right hand, B over ΠYΘ monogram (magistrate Pythes II) on left, ΛAO∆IKEΩN downward on right; reverse river god Lykos in wolf form, labrys across shoulder, all within laurel wreath; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 27, lot 257; rare; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


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 Munchen 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)
 


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 Munchen 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; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


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 Munchen -; SNG Tub -; 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)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Bloesch, H. Griechische Münzen in Winterthur, Vol. 2: Bosporus, Pontus, Armenia, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Mysia, Troas, Phrygia.... (Winterthur, 1987).
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de Callataÿ, F. "Le premier monnayage de la cité d'Amastris (Paphlagonie)" in SNR 2004.
Head, B. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Phrygia. (London, 1906).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Anatolia, Pontos, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Phrygia...5th to 1st Centuries BC. HGC 7. (Lancaster, PA, 2012).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. Kleinasiatische Münzen. (Vienna, 1901-2).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. Zur griechischen und römischen Münzkunde. (Geneva, 1908).
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).
Mildenberg, L. & S. Hurter, eds. The Dewing Collection of Greek Coins. ACNAC 6. (New York, 1985).
Newell, E. The Alexandrine Coinage of Sinope. (New York, 1919).
Price, M. The Coinage in the name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. (Zurich-London, 1991).
Radet, G. En Phrygie. (Paris, 1893).
Reinach, T. L'histoire par les monnaies: essais de numismatique ancienne. (Paris, 1902).
Reinach, T. Numismatique Ancienne: Trois Royaumes De L'asie Mineure, Cappadoce-Bithynie-Pont. (Paris, 1888).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Strauss, P. Collection Maurice Laffaille - monnaies grecques en bronze. (Bàle, 1990).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 4: Bosporus-Lesbos. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 24: Phrygien. (Berlin, 1989).
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, Great Britain III, R.C. Lockett Collection, Part 5: Lesbos - Cyrenaica. Addenda. (gold and silver). (London, 1949).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections, Part 6: Asia Minor: Pontus-Phrygia. (London, 1965).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IX, British Museum, Part 1: The Black Sea. (London, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XI, The William Stancomb Collection of Coins of the Black Sea Region. (Oxford, 2000).
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Wroth, W. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Pontus, Paphlagonia, Bithynia. (London, 1889).


Catalog current as of Monday, April 24, 2017.
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Phrygia Coins