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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Anatolia ▸ Ionia ▸ Other IoniaView Options:  |  |  | 

Ionia

Ionia lies in central Western Anatolia (Asia Minor) on the shores of the Aegean Sea. The region is rather small and mountainous unsuited for agriculture but excellent for seafaring. Greek settlement took place in the 11th to 10th Centuries B.C. despite hostilities with the native Luwians (Indo-European people related to the Hittites and Lycians). After resisting fairly well to the Cimmerian invasion, the Ionians were gradually conquered by the Lycian Kingdom, and later by the Persian Empire. Ionia was freed by Alexander but became a contested prize for the Hellenistic kings, until the last king of Pergamum bequeathed his land to Rome. Ionia offered the world countless philosophers and men of science, and a fabulous school of art.


Klazomenai, Ionia, c. 386 - 301 B.C.

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The ruins of Klazomenai (or Clazomenae) are in the modern town Urla near Izmir in Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the first cities to issue silver coinage. Clazomenae was attacked by the Lydian king Alyattes II in the 6th century. During the 5th century it was for some time subject to the Athenians, but about the middle of the Peloponnesian War, c. 412 B.C. it revolted. After a brief resistance, it again acknowledged the Athenian supremacy, and repelled a Lacedaemonian attack. In 387 B.C. Klazomenai and other cities in Asia were taken over by Persia, but the city continued to issue its own coins. Under the Romans, Clazomenae was included in the province of Asia, and enjoyed an immunity from taxation.
GB72669. Brass AE 16, BMC Ionia p. 24, 56; SNG Cop 85; SNG München 484; SNGvA 1993, gVF, weight 4.894 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, Klazomenai (Urla, Turkey) mint, c. 386 - 301 B.C.; obverse bust of Athena, head turned slightly right, wearing triple crested helmet, earrings and necklace; reverse ram walking right, KΛAZOME/NIΩN in two lines above, uncertain control symbol (trophy?) right; ex Roger Liles Collection; rare; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C., In the Name of Alexander

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Struck after Alexander's death during the joint reign of Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and Alexander's infant son with Roxana, Alexander IV. The two were made joint kings by Alexander's generals who only intended to use them as pawns. Philip III was imprisoned upon his return to Macedonia, and in 317 B.C. he was executed under orders from Olympias. Olympias was Alexander the Great's mother and Alexander IV's grandmother, but not Philip III's mother. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed by the boy's regent, Kassander, in 311 B.C.
GS75257. Silver drachm, Price 2264, Prokesch-Osten I 378, SNG Berry 231, SNG München 593, Müller Alexander -, SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, well centered on a crowded flan, uneven toning, die wear, weight 3.970 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Teos mint, struck under Menander or Kleitos, 323 - 319 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, Πο over ∆I left; scarce; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


Samos, Islands of Ionia, c. 300 B.C.

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Samos is the birth place of Pythagoras. A famous attraction on the island is the tunnel-aqueduct dug through a mountain to bring water to the city from an inland secret the spring. An engineering marvel over 1000m long, it was dug from both ends by two teams working simultaneously and used for a very long period. Herodotus' wrote of it, which led to its discovery in the 19th century.
GB83703. Bronze AE 18, cf. SNG Cop 1704 - ; BMC Ionia p. 365, 168 - 170; HGC 6 1252 (S); SNGvA -, F, nice green patina, weight 6.058 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Samos mint, c. 300 B.C.; obverse head of Hera left, wearing stephane and necklace; reverse lion's scalp facing, magistrate's name (off flan) below; ex Ancient Imports; very scarce; $130.00 (€115.70)
 


Klazomenai, Ionia, 190 - 30 B.C.

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The ruins of Klazomenai (or Clazomenae) are in the modern town Urla near Izmir in Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the first cities to issue silver coinage. Clazomenae was attacked by the Lydian king Alyattes II in the 6th century. During the 5th century it was for some time subject to the Athenians, but about the middle of the Peloponnesian War, c. 412 B.C. it revolted. After a brief resistance, it again acknowledged the Athenian supremacy, and repelled a Lacedaemonian attack. In 387 B.C. Klazomenai and other cities in Asia were taken over by Persia, but the city continued to issue its own coins. Under the Romans, Clazomenae was included in the province of Asia, and enjoyed an immunity from taxation.
GB79286. Bronze AE 18, BMC Ionia p. 29, 105 - 107; SNG Cop 104, SNG München 504, VF, tight flan, some corrosion, weight 4.234 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 270o, Klazomenai mint, 190 - 30 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus; reverse club, handle left, KΛAZOME/NIΩN divided in two lines, starting above, ending below; very scarce; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


Persian Empire, Satrapy of Sparda (Lydia and Ionia), Spithridates II, 344 - Early Spring 334 B.C.

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Spithridates II was the Persian Empire's satrap (governor) of Sparda, a region which included Lydia and Ionia. His rule may have begun as early as 344 but there is no historical record of him until Alexander the Great's invasion of Asia. This coin type was likely struck to support the Persian defense. Spithridates II died in the very first battle against Alexander, the Battle of Granicus, allegedly just as he was poised to strike down Alexander himself.
GB76668. Bronze chalkous, Winzer 19.4; SNG Cop 1538; SNGvA 1823; SNG Tüb 2756; SNG Kayhan 672; BMC Ionia p. 327, 19; Babelon Traité II/2 72; Klein 367; Weber 6242, VF, well centered, green patina, encrustation, corrosion, weight 1.379 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 0o, Ionian mint, 335 - early spring 334 B.C.; obverse head of satrap Spithridates right, wearing bashlyk (Persian tiara); reverse horse forepart leaping right, monogram above, ΣΠI below; $85.00 (€75.65)
 


Ionia(?), c. 450 - 350 B.C.

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This type is apparently unpublished and we were unable to find another example. This rosette obverse type is known, paired with a variety of incuse punch reverses for this denomination. Those coins may be earlier issues from the same uncertain mint in Ionia.
GS75854. Silver tetartemorion, Apparently unpublished, VF, rough, weight 0.116 g, maximum diameter 4.8 mm, uncertain Ionian(?) mint, c. 450 - 350 B.C.; obverse rosette; reverse head of bull left; ex Failla Numismatics (2013); $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Phygela, Ionia, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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Phygela was a small coastal town south-west of Ephesos.
GB77498. Bronze AE 14, SNG Cop 1074; SNGvA 2150; SNG München 865; SNG Kayhan 586; BMC Ionia, p. 228, 4, aVF, nice green patina, weight 2.674 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Phygela mint, magistrate Sokrates, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse bust of Artemis Munychia facing, head slightly left, wearing stephane; reverse bull butting left, palm tree on left, ΦYΓ above, ΣΩKPATHΣ below; ex Divus Numismatik; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Leukai, Ionia, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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Leukai (also Leucae or Leuce) was a small town of ancient Ionia, close to Phocaea. Leukai was, according to Pliny, on an island promontory. From Scylax we learn that it had harbors. According to Diodorus, the Persian admiral Tachos founded the town on an eminence on the sea coast in 352 B.C. Shortly after Tachos died, and the Clazomenians and Cymaeans quarreled over the town until the former took control. Leukai was near the site of the battle between the consul Publius Licinius Crassus Mucianius and the Pergamene rebel Aristonicus in 131 B.C.
GB71755. Bronze AE 10, cf. SNG München 584 (ΛEO in exergue); BMC Ionia 5 - 6; SRCV II 4472 (AE 17, etc.); SNG Tübingen -, VF, nice green patina, weight 1.130 g, maximum diameter 10.4 mm, die axis 0o, Leukai mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo left; reverse swan standing left, wings open, head down, ΛEO(?) upward behind; $65.00 (€57.85)
 


Lebedos, Ionia, 133 - 80 B.C.

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Centered a small peninsula south of Smyrna and 22.2 km west of Colophon, Lebedos flourished thanks to its commerce and its famous mineral springs. It was, however, one of the smaller cities of the Ionian League, handicapped by limited space and a poor port. Antigonus I Monophthalmus unsuccessfully tried to join the city with Teos. In 292 B.C., Lysimachus moved its population to Ephesus. Lebedos recovered and, under Roman rule, it flourished anew, and celebrated festivals in honor of Dionysus. Its scanty remains are near the modern town of Seferihisar.
GB24567. Bronze AE 19, cf. SNG Cop 796 - 797; BMC Ionia p. 155, 11 - 12; Weber 5992; Lindgren 369; Imhoof-Blumer KM 3 - 5 (all refs various magistrates), aF, weight 4.699 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 45o, Lebedus mint, 133 - 80 B.C.; obverse bust of Athena facing slightly left, wearing triple-crested helmet; reverse ΛE (downwards lower left), Dionysos standing half left, kantharos in right, thyrsus vertical behind in left, illegible magistrate's name downwards on right; rare; $60.00 (€53.40)
 


Erythrai, Ionia, c. 133 - 30 B.C.

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In 334 B.C. Alexander the Great made Erithrae a free city. According to Pliny (HN 5.116) and Pausanias (2.1.5), Alexander planned to cut a canal through the peninsula of Erythrae to connect Teos bay with the gulf of Smyrna. When Alexander returned to Memphis in April 331 B.C., envoys from Greece were waiting for him, saying that the oracles at Didyma and Erythrae, which had been silent for a long time, had suddenly spoken and confirmed that Alexander was the son of Zeus. Alexander was already thinking that he was of a more than human nature when he entered Greece, after all, the people of Didyma and Erythrae could not have known that Alexander was recognized as the son of Ra and wanted to be called "son of Zeus." Erythrae was later associated with Pergamum and with Rome, and after the death of Attalos III in 133 BC, when the Pergamene kingdom was bequeathed to the Romans, it flourished as a "civitas libera" attached to the Roman province of Asia. Erythrai_amphitheater
GB75487. Bronze trichalkon, BMC Ionia p. 140, 212; SNG Cop 721; SNG Tübingen 2873; SNGvA -; SNG München -, VF, green patina, weight 2.524 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 90o, Ionia, Erythrai (north of Ildiri, Turkey) mint, magistrate Herakleos, c. 133 - 30 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse Bow-in-bow case above, HPAKΛEOΣ / EΠIKOYPOY (magistrate's name and patronymic) in two lines across center, bee left lower left, club over EPY lower right; scarce; $60.00 (€53.40)
 







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REFERENCES

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Head, B. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Ionia. (London, 1892).
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Catalog current as of Sunday, March 26, 2017.
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Other Ionia