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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).


Sardes, Lydia, c. 133 B.C. - 14 A.D.

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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.
GB86476. Bronze AE 20, SNGvA 3129; SNG Mn 463; SNG Tb 3784; SNG Righetti 1079; Weber 6901; SNG Cop 463 var. (control); BMC Lydia p. 242, 49 ff. var. (control), VF, well centered on a tight flan, weight 8.099 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 133 B.C. - 14 A.D.; obverse turreted and veiled bust of Tyche right; reverse Zeus Lydios, wearing himation and chiton, standing left, eagle in extended right hand, scepter in left hand, monogram (control) lower left, ΣAP∆IANΩN downward on right; $120.00 (102.00)


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia

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Caius Caesar was nicknamed Caligula (little boots) by the legions because as a child his mother dressed him in military uniforms (including little boots). For a few brief months he ruled well. However, an unknown disease drove him mad and he sunk into debauchery and murder. The Praetorian Guard murdered him, ending the madness.
RP86726. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2473; Klose Smyrna XXVII A; BMC Ionia p. 269, 277; SNG Cop 1345; SNGvA 7994, Fine/Fair, green patina, corrosion, scratches, off center, weight 3.452 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, 38 - 39 A.D.; obverse ΓAION KAICAPA EΠI AOYIOΛA, laureate head right; reverse ZMYPNAIΩN MHNOΦANHC, Nike advancing right, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond over shoulder in left; proconsul C. Calpurnicus Aviola and magistrate Menophanes; scarce; $95.00 (80.75)


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; $90.00 (76.50)


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 2nd Century 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.
GB73551. Bronze AE 20, SNGvA 1374; SNG Cop 396; SNG BnF 1875; BMC Mysia p. 131, 172 ff., Choice VF, weight 7.491 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 2nd century B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse AΘHNAC NIKHΦOPOY, trophy of captured arms, Pergamon monogram lower right; $80.00 (68.00)


Smyrna, Ionia, c. 190 - 170 B.C.

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Apparently unpublished. The magistrate Pytheos is known at Smyrna but the type is not listed for Pytheos in the many references examined. We did find a couple of misdescribed examples online.

A cestus or caestus is an ancient battle glove, sometimes used in pankration. They were worn like today's boxing gloves but were made with leather strips and sometimes filled with iron plates or fitted with blades or spikes, and used as weapons.
GB84111. Bronze AE 13, cf. Milne Smyrna 1927, type L, 86; BMC Ionia p. 243, 61 ff.; SNG Cop 1166 f.; SNG Tub -; SNGvA -; Lindgren - (none by Pytheos), VF, attractive style, reverse off center, scratches, inscription weak, edge chip, weight 1.504 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Pytheos, c. 190 - 170 B.C.; obverse classical style laureate head of Apollo right, hair bunched in the back, loosely waved locks falling down neck; reverse two hands in caestus (fighting gloves) downward, the right hand is nearer with back of hand visible, the left hand is farther and clenched with palm facing, two palm fronds flanking forming arch above, ΠYΘEOΣ (magistrate name) downward on left, ZMYPNAIΩN downward on right; very rare; $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; $45.00 (38.25)


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; $45.00 (38.25)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus III the Great, c. 223 - 187 B.C.

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Antiochus' victory at the Battle of Panium in 198 B.C. transferred control of Judaea from Ptolemaic Egypt to the Seleukid Kingdom. When Antiochos conquered Asia Minor, however, the Romans responded. Antiochos' losses were so great that the whole of his empire was shattered and he was forced to content himself with the region that he had held in the beginning, Syria.
GY77860. Bronze AE 15, Houghton-Lorber I 983, Newell WSM 1435 ff., aVF, well centered on tight flan, weight 3.392 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair in corkscrew curls down neck; reverse Apollo standing left, naked, examining arrow in right hand, resting left elbow on tall tripod behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, monogram outer left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $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 Thursday, April 26, 2018.
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Churches of Revelation