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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Judean & Biblical Coins ▸ Biblical Coins ▸ Churches of RevelationView Options:  |  |  | 

Churches of Revelation

The Book of Revelation discusses the churches of seven cities. This page lists some of our coins from those cities.

- Ephesus, Ionia (Revelation 2:1-7) - the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).
- Smyrna, Ionia (Revelation 2:8-11) - the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).
- Pergamon, Mysia (Revelation 2:12-17) - the church that needed to repent (2:16).
- Thyatira, Lydia (Revelation 2:18-29) - the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).
- Sardis, Lydia (Revelation 3:1-6) - the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).
- Philadelphia, Lydia (Revelation 3:7-13) - the church that had endured patiently (3:10).
- Laodicea, Phrygia (Revelation 3:14-22) - the church with the lukewarm faith (3:16).


Vespasian the Younger, Caesar, 94 - 95 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia

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In 94 A.D., because he had no heir, Domitian adopted his two young great-nephews. He renamed them Vespasian and Domitian. The next year he executed the boys' father, his cousin, Titus Flavius Clemens, and exiled the boys' mother, his niece, Flavia Domitilla. They were charged with Atheism, a charge sometimes applied to condemn converts to Judaism or Christianity. The boys then disappeared from history and their fate is unknown.

Smyrna was the only city to strike coins in the name of Vespasian the Younger. No coins were struck for his brother.

Some scholars connect Domitilla with a Roman Matron in the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 10b) and the Deuteronomy Rabbah 2.25. When the emperor had decreed that in 30 days, the Senate would confirm an edict to kill all Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire, the Roman matron convinced her husband to stand up for the Jews. If that identification is correct, her husband Flavius Clemens converted to Judaism, after having contact with the great sage Rabbi Akiva. Flavia Domitilla is a saint in both the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church.
SH83453. Bronze AE 16, Klose p. 244, 3, pl. 31 (V1/R1); RPC II 1028; SNG Cop 1360; SNGvA 2208; BMC Ionia p. 276, 320, gF/F, weight 2.790 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 94 - 95 A.D.; obverse OYOCΠACIANOC NEΩTEPOC, bare head right; reverse ZMYPNAIΩN, Nike standing right, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand; ex Solidus Numismatik, auction 7, lot 200; rare; $950.00 (807.50)


Pergamene Kingdom, Eumenes I, 263 - 241 B.C.

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Philetaerus, an officer of Lysimachus, deserted in 282 B.C., taking control of Pergamon and a large treasure deposited there. At first nominally a Seleukid suzerainty, Pergamon grew into a strong, prosperous and independent kingdom. Loyal allies of Rome in the Macedonian Wars and against the Seleucids, they were rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia Minor. When Attalus III died without an heir in 133 B.C., to prevent a civil war, he bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic.
GS85677. Silver tetradrachm, Westermark group III; SNG BnF 1606; SNG Cop 334; SNGvA 7453; Meydancikkale 3003; BMC Mysia p. 115, 31, VF, toned, high relief portrait, bumps and marks, weight 16.882 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, struck in the name of Philetairos; obverse laureate head of Philetairos I right; reverse ΦIΛETAIPOY downward on right, Athena enthroned left, wearing crested helmet, chiton and peplos, right hand supporting grounded round shield before her, shield ornamented with a gorgoneion, resting left elbow on left arm of throne which is ornamented with a sphinx, transverse spear leaning on left arm, ivy leaf above knee, A on throne, bow outer right; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 47 (9 Oct 2016), lot 130; $430.00 (365.50)


Pergamene Kingdom, Attalos I Soter 241 - 197 B.C., In the Name of Philetairos

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Attalus, a capable general, champion of the Greeks, and loyal ally of Rome, made Pergamon a powerful kingdom. He earned the name "Soter" (savior) by defeating the Galatians, who had plundered and exacted tribute for more than a generation. In the Macedonian Wars he allied with Rome against Philip V of Macedon.
SH70868. Silver tetradrachm, Westermark Group VIB; SNG BnF 1626; BMC Mysia p. 117, 45; McClean 7685, VF/F, excellent portrait, uneven toning, weight 16.753 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, 235 - 210 B.C.; obverse Philetairos (founder of the Attalid dynasty) diademed head right; reverse Athena enthroned left, crowning dynastic name ΦIΛETAIPOY to left, holding spear and resting left arm on shield, XAP monogram inner left, bow on right; very rare with this monogram; $310.00 (263.50)


Seleukid Kingdom, Achaios, 220 - 214 B.C.

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Achaios was an uncle of Antiochos III. He proclaimed himself King in Anatolia. After a two-year siege of his capital of Sardes, Lydia, he was captured and beheaded.
GY76100. Bronze AE 15, Houghton-Lorber I 956 var. (unlisted control symbol), SNG Spaer 834 var. (same), Newell WSM 1442 var. (same), HGC 9 436 (S-R1), VF, nice green patina, weight 3.314 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 220 - autumn or winter 214 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse eagle standing right, head right, wings closed, wreath in talons, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / AXAIOY in two flanking downward lines, X (control symbol) outer right; unpublished extremely rare variant; $300.00 (255.00)


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 133 - 27 B.C.

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The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.
GB84965. Bronze AE 17, BMC Mysia p. 129, 160; SNGvA 1371; SNG BnF 1813; SNG Cop -, VF, tight thick flan, scratches, weight 8.662 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 133 - 27 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Asklepios right; reverse AΣKΛHΠIOY / ΣΩTHPOΣ, Asklepian snake coiled around omphalos, owl standing on the snake's back; $160.00 (136.00)


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Artaxerxes I - Artaxerxes II, c. 450 - 375 B.C.

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This type was minted in Lydia, 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

GA86542. Silver siglos, Carradice Type IIIb (late), pl. XIV, 36 ff.; SNG Kayhan 1029; Rosen 671 - 672; SGCV II 4682; Klein 761; Carradice Price p. 69 and pl. 18, 79 ff., VF, typical tight flan, rectangular punch on obverse, weight 5.535 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 450 - 375 B.C.; obverse kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, transverse spear downward in right hand, bow in extended left hand, bearded, crowned, stylistic drapery with broad semi-circular sweep of folds; banker's mark; reverse irregular rectangular punch; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; $160.00 (136.00)


Sardes, Lydia, 2nd Century B.C.

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Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times. Its importance was due first to its military strength, secondly to its situation on an important highway leading from the interior to the Aegean coast, and thirdly to its commanding the wide and fertile plain of the Hermus. As one of the Seven churches of Asia, it was addressed by John, the author of the Book of Revelation in the Holy Bible, in terms which seem to imply that its population was notoriously soft and fainthearted. Remains including the bath-gymnasium complex, synagogue and Byzantine shops are open to visitors year-round.
GB85236. Orichalcum AE 17, cf. SNG Cop 470 ff.; BMC Lydia p. 238, 10 ff.; SNGvA 3125 f. (all refs. various monograms, none the same), VF, nicely centered, adjustment marks, a little rough, weight 3.811 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 135o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 2nd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse club, ΣAP∆I/ANΩN divided in two lines above and below, all in oak-wreath tied on the left and closed with a vΠK monogram on the right; $80.00 (68.00)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus II Theos, 261 - 246 B.C.

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The kithara (cithara) was an ancient stringed musical instrument resembling the lyre. The lyre was a simpler folk-instrument with two strings and tortoise shell body. The kithara had seven strings and a flat back. A symbol of Apollo, who was credited with inventing it, the Kithara's origins were likely Asiatic. The kithara was primarily used by professional musicians, called kitharodes. In modern Greek, the word kithara has come to mean "guitar."
GB76831. Bronze AE 14, Houghton-Lorber 528, SNG Spaer 365, HGC 9 278, VF, desert patina, weight 2.492 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 261 - 246 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, spiral curls down neck; reverse kithara, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, anchor flukes right in exergue, control symbols outer right and left; $40.00 (34.00)


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 310 - 282 B.C.

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Pergamon, Mysia was located to the northwest of the modern city of Bergama, Turkey, 16 miles (26 km) from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the Caicus (Bakircay) River. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon under the Attalid dynasty, 281-133 B.C. Pergamon is cited in the book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia.
GB83706. Bronze AE 11, BMC Mysia p. 112, 24 - 25; SNG BnF 1587; SNG Cop 325; SGCV II 3959, F, green patina, tight flan, corrosion, weight 1.018 g, maximum diameter 10.6 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 310 - 282 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse two stars, each with six rays and a central pellet, Θ above, ΠEPΓ below; $40.00 (34.00)







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Other coins that relate to the Book of Revelation include coins of Nero and coins of the Parthian kings with an archer reverse. Verses 13 and following are a symbolic reference to Parthians attacking Rome for its vile behavior in persecuting Christ's church. Parthians themselves aren't envisioned as doing the attacking, but the serve as a great image for the diabolical forces Revelation's author had in mind. Suetonius, in The Twelve Caesars, writes of a belief among the Romans after Nero's death that he hadn't really died but would be returning with the Parthians. Nero has been identified as the 666 of Revelation (his name in gematria equals 666). Verse 8 refers to the Parthians long hair, "They had hair like woman's hair." Verse 10 includes a subtle reference to Parthian archer-horseman and their perfected technique of the parting shots, shooting over the rear of their animal while feigning retreat, "They had tails like scorpions, with stingers." Verse 14 refers to the Parthian heartland across the Euphrates.



Catalog current as of Friday, July 20, 2018.
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Churches of Revelation