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

Smyrna, Ionia

Smyrna was an ancient Greek city in Ionia. Located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia and aided by its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defense and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence before the Classical Era. Smyrna claimed to be the birthplace of the poet Homer. In Revelation 2:8-11, Smyrna, Ionia is the church that would suffer persecution. The core of the late Hellenistic and Roman Smyrna is preserved in the Izmir Agora Open Air Museum.


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; $1050.00 (€892.50)
 


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)
 


Vespasian Junior, 95 - 96 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia

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Vespasian Junior was the son of Flavius Clemens, Domitian's cousin and co-consul in 95 A.D. He was renamed Vespasian Junior when he was designated as Domitian's successor.The only coins of Vespasian Junior are this type, struck at Smyrna Ionia.
SH62518. Orichalcum AE 17, RPC II 1028, BMC Ionia 319, VF, weight 2.322 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, 95 - 96 A.D.; obverse OYECΠACIANOC NEΩTEPOC, bare-headed bust of Vespasian the Younger right; reverse ΣMYPNAIΩN, Nike walking right, wreath in right hand, palm branch over left shoulder; very rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES

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Babelon, E. La collection Waddington au cabinet des médailles. (Paris, 1897-1898).
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Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Franke, P.R. & M.K. Noellé. Die Homonoia-Münzen Kleinasiens und der thrakischen Randgebiete. (Saarbrücken, 1997).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber. (1922 - 1929).
Head, B. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Ionia. (London, 1892).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. Kleinasiatische Münzen. (Vienna, 1901 - 1902).
Klein, D. Sammlung von griechischen Kleinsilbermünzen und Bronzen, Nomismata 3. (Milano, 1999).
Klose, D.O.A. Die Münzprägung von Smyrna in der römischen Kaiserzeit. AMUGS X. (Berlin, 1987).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Lindgren, H., & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coinage of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
MacDonald, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection. (Glascow, 1899)
Milne, J.G. "The Autonomous Coinage of Smyrna" in NC 1923, 1927, and 1928.
Mionnet, T. E. Description de Médailles antiques grecques et romaines. (Paris, 1807-1837).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 1: Pontus, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Mysia, Troas, Aiolis, Lesbos, Ionia. (Berlin, 1957).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki, Part II: Asia Minor except Karia. (Helsinki, 1999).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 5: Tire Museum, Vol. 1: Roman Provincial Coins From Ionia, Lydia, Phrygia, etc. (Istanbul, 2011).
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Thompson, M. "Posthumous Philip II Staters of Asia Minor" in Studia Naster (1982).

Catalog current as of Thursday, June 21, 2018.
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Smyrna