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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Anatolia ▸ Phrygia ▸ Laodicea ad LycusView Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Greek Coins of Laodicea ad Lycus

Laodiceia ad Lycum was founded probably by Antiochus II Theos (261 - 46 B.C.), and named after his wife Laodice. The principal deity of the city was Laodicean Zeus or Zeus Aseis. "Aseis" may be linked to the Arabic "aziz" which means powerful and may indicate Syrian influence on the cult. Laodiceia?s cosmopolitan population included many people of Syrian origin. There was also a large and prosperous Jewish community whose members had freedom of worship. Laodicea is one of the oldest homes of Christianity and the seat of one of the seven churches of the Apocalypse.


Laodicea ad Lycum, Phrygia, c. 14 - 37 A.D.

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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 chicken. A temple of Mên has been excavated at Antioch, Pisidia.
RP84485. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2907; SNG Cop 513 ff.; BMC Phrygia p. 288, 64 ff.; Lindgren-Kovacs 984, VF, attractive style, nice green patina, reverse slightly off center, some light corrosion, weight 3.892 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Laodikeia ad Lycum mint, time of Tiberius, c. 14 - 37 A.D.; obverse ΛAO∆I−KEΩN, bust of Mên right, draped, wearing Phrygian cap with ear flaps, laurel wreath, and necklace, crescent behind shoulders; reverse KOP (ligate), ∆IOΣKOYPI∆HΣ (Cornelius Dioskurides, magistrate), eagle standing slightly right on branch (or club), head left, wings slightly open; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection, ex Gitbud & Naumann e-auction 33 (5 Jul 2015), lot 372; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


Laodicea ad Lycus, Phrygia, Time of Tiberius, 14 - 37 A.D.

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Laodicea on the Lycus was the ancient Hellenistic metropolis of Phrygia Pacatiana, in Anatolia near the modern village of Eskihisar, Denizli Province, Turkey. It is one of the Seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

A labrys is a double-headed ax, also known to the classical Greeks as a pelekus or sagaris, and to the Romans as a bipennis.
RP84894. Bronze AE 14, RPC I 2910; BMC Phrygia p. 288, 59; SNG Cop 512; SNG Munchen 348, VF, attractive black surfaces, some light marks, areas of slight porosity, earthen deposits, weight 3.146 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, Laodikeia mint, magistrate of Pythes, son of Pythes; obverse Aphrodite standing left, dove in extended right hand, B over ΠYΘ monogram (magistrate Pythes II) on left, ΛAO∆IKEΩN downward on right; reverse river god Lykos in wolf form, labrys across shoulder, all within laurel wreath; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 27, lot 257; rare; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


Laodikeia on the Lykos, Phrygia, c. 133 - 67 B.C.

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Laodicea on the Lycus was located in the Hellenistic regions of Caria and Lydia, which later became the Roman Province of Phrygia Pacatiana. In 188 B.C., the city passed to the Kingdom of Pergamon. After 133 B.C. it fell under Roman control. It suffered greatly during the Mithridatic Wars but quickly recovered under the dominion of Rome. Towards the end of the Roman Republic and under the first emperors, Laodicea, benefiting from its advantageous position on a trade route, became one of the most important and flourishing commercial cities of Asia Minor. It contained one of the Seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
GB77497. Bronze AE 14, SNG Cop 506, HGC 7 741 (S), SNGvA 3805 var. (rev leg arrangement), BMC Phrygia p. 286, 44 var. (same), VF, dark green patina with earthen highlighting, weight 3.063 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 0o, Laodikeia (near Denizli, Turkey) mint, c. 133 - 67 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo, long curls down neck; reverse ΛAO∆IKEΩN, tripod lebes; ex Divus Numismatic, ex H. D. Rauch auction 92 (22 Apr 2013), lot 1117; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Laodicea ad Lycus, Phrygia, c. 189 - 133 B.C.

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The animal on the reverse is identified as a lion in the references. SNG München, however, notes "or wolf?" It is almost certainly the river god Lycus in the form of wolf.
GB67148. Bronze AE 12, SNG Munchen 341 (lion or wolf), BMC Phrygia p. 283, 22 (lion), SNG Cop 496 (lion), SNGvA -, VF, weight 1.600 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 0o, Laodikeia mint, c. 189 - 133 B.C.; obverse turreted head of Tyche (or Aphrodite or Kybele) right; reverse ΛAO∆I/KEΩN, river god Lycus seated left, raising right foreleg; very rare; $70.00 (€62.30)
 







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REFERENCES

Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Bloesch, H. Griechische Münzen in Winterthur, Vol. 2: Bosporus, Pontus, Armenia, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Mysia, Troas, Phrygia.... (Winterthur, 1987).
Brett, A. Catalogue of Greek Coins, Boston Museum of Fine Arts. (Boston, 1955).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Head, B. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Phrygia. (London, 1906).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Anatolia, Pontos, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Phrygia...5th to 1st Centuries BC. HGC 7. (Lancaster, PA, 2012).
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).
Metcalf, W. The Cistophori of Hadrian. ANSNS 15. (New York, 1980).
Mildenberg, L. & S. Hurter, eds. The Dewing Collection of Greek Coins. ACNAC 6. (New York, 1985).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Strauss, P. Collection Maurice Laffaille - monnaies grecques en bronze. (Bàle, 1990).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 6: Phrygia to Cilicia. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 24: Phrygien. (Berlin, 1989).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 6: Phrygien-Kappadokien; Römische Provinzprägungen in Kleinasien. (Berlin, 1998).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 2: Caria, Lydia, Phrygia, Lycia, Pamphylia. (Berlin, 1962).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain III, R.C. Lockett Collection, Part 5: Lesbos - Cyrenaica. Addenda. (gold and silver). (London, 1949).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections, Part 6: Asia Minor: Pontus-Phrygia. (London, 1965).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IX, British Museum, Part 1: The Black Sea. (London, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XI, The William Stancomb Collection of Coins of the Black Sea Region. (Oxford, 2000).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, Univ. of Glasgow, Part 1: Roman Provincial Coins: Spain-Kingdoms of Asia Minor. (Oxford, 2004).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Österreich, Sammlung Leypold, Kleinasiatische Münzen der Kaiserzeit, Vol. II: Phrygia-Commagene. (Vienna, 2004).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Russia, State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts: Coins of the Black Sea Region. (Leuven, Belgium, 2011).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 5: Tire Museum (Izmir), Vol. 1: Roman Provincial Coins From Ionia, Lydia, Phrygia, etc. (Istanbul, 2011).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
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Laodicea ad Lycus