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

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, c. 238 - 268 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 -, 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; $240.00 (€213.60)
 


Termessos Major, Pisidia, c. 238 - 268 A.D.

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Hercules' 11th labor was to steal three of Hera's immortality-giving golden apples from the Garden of the Hesperides, guarded by Ladon, a never-sleeping, hundred-headed dragon. Hercules asked Atlas to steal the apples, agreeing to hold up the world so Atlas could complete the task. Atlas returned but refused to take back his burden. Hercules, pretending to enjoy the task, convinced Atlas to hold the world while he made a pad of the lion skin. Hercules then ran away and never took back the task.
GB83543. Bronze AE 37, SNGvA 5363, BMC Lycia -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNG PfPs -, SNG Righetti -, F, well centered, porous and rough, centration dimples, weight 27.232 g, maximum diameter 36.5 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, Herakles standing slightly right, head left, nude, club downward in right hand, apples of Hesperides in right hand, Nemean lion skin draped over left arm, Θ right; about twice the weight of the similar smaller and less rare coin with the same types (SNG BnF 2192, AE33, 15.17g); very rare; $240.00 (€213.60)
 


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; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


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; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


Selge, Pisidia, c. 300 - 190 B.C.

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Selge, Pisidia on the southern slope of Mount Taurus where the river Eurymedon (Köprücay) forces its way through the mountains, was once the most powerful and populous city of Pisidia. Protected by precipices, torrents, and an army of 20,000 regarded as worthy kinsmen of the Spartans, Selge was never subject to a foreign power until Rome. In the 5th century A.D. Zosimus calls it a little town, but it was still strong enough to repel a body of Goths.
GS83581. Silver obol, cf. SNG Cop 251; BMC Lycia p. 259, 23 ff.; Klein 630; SNG BnF -; SNGvA -, VF, weight 0.972 g, maximum diameter 10.2 mm, die axis 0o, Selge mint, c. 300 - 190 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) with long hair, resembling Apollo or Helios; reverse head of Athena right in crested Athenian helmet, astragalos(?) behind, snake(?) below; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 16, lot 194; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


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; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


Termessos Major, Pisidia, c. 238 - 268 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).
RP83560. Bronze AE 29, BMC Lycia p. 275, 54; SNG BnF 2191 var. (no AVTONOMΩN); SNGvA 5361 var. (same); SNG Cop 329 var. (same); SNG PfPs -; SNG Righetti -, gF, well centered, green patina with earthen highlighting, minor pitting, weight 13.105 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 180o, Termessos Major mint, c. 238 - 268 A.D.; obverse TEPMHCCEΩN AVTONOMΩN, laureate and bearded head of Zeus right, Θ below; reverse TΩN MEIZONΩN, Tyche standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, Θ right; rare; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

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Pisidia's geographic and strategic position made it difficult to maintain peace. To strengthen control, Rome colonized the area with military veterans, who were attracted to the area by the fertile soil. An important Roman colony, the city was, like Rome, divided into seven quarters called "vici" on seven hills. The formal language was Latin until the end of the 3rd century A.D.
RP78010. Bronze AE 27, Krzyzanowska I/3; SNG BnF 1273; BMC Lycia p. 197, 119; SNG Cop 79; SNGvA 4974, Choice F, well centered, porous, weight 10.254 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, Jul/Aug 247 - Late 249 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS P F AVG P M, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse CAES ANTIOCH COL, Pax advancing left, raising olive branch in right hand, scepter in left hand, wearing long chiton, S - R flanking across field; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253(?) A.D., Baris, Pisidia

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Baris, Pisidia (modern Isparta, Turkey) was on the Roman road about halfway between Sagalassos and Seleukeia. The town struck bronze provincial and semi-autonomous coinage from Hadrian to Trebonianus Gallus and Volusian. There are several remains of Greek Orthodox churches from the Byzantine and Ottoman periods (14th - 19th century). The Byzantine fortress is mostly in ruins.
RP78011. Bronze AE 24, BMC Lycia p. 208, 7; SNG BnF 1401; vA Pisidiens II 316; Waddington 3648; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, aF, well centered, corrosion, weight 6.804 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 0o, Baris (Isparta, Turkey) mint, Jul 249 - Apr/Aug 253(?) A.D.; obverse EPENNIA ETPOVCKIΛΛACE, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair plait looped at the back of neck; reverse BAPHNΩN, Tyche standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, wearing long chiton and peplos, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; very rare; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Selge, Pisidia, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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Selge, Pisidia on the southern slope of Mount Taurus where the river Eurymedon (Köprücay) forces its way through the mountains, was once the most powerful and populous city of Pisidia. Protected by precipices, torrents, and an army of 20,000 regarded as worthy kinsmen of the Spartans, Selge was never subject to a foreign power until Rome. In the 5th century A.D. Zosimus calls it a little town, but it was still strong enough to repel a body of Goths.
GS68737. Silver obol, SNGvA 5266 ff.; SNG BnF 1930; SNG Kayhan 1061; BMC Lycia p. 257, 7; cf. SNG Cop 246 ff. (no tongue); SGCV II 5478, VF, toned, edge chip, weight 0.768 g, maximum diameter 10.4 mm, die axis 45o, Selge mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) with protruding tongue; reverse helmeted head of Athena right, astragalos behind; $75.00 (€66.75)
 




  



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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).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
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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 Sunday, April 30, 2017.
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Pisidia Coins