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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Anatolia ▸ Lydia ▸ PhiladelphiaView Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Philadelphia, Lydia

Alasehir, Turkey began as one of the first ancient cities with the name Philadelphia. It was established in 189 B.C. by King Eumenes II of Pergamon (197-160 B.C.). Eumenes II named the city for the love of his brother, who would be his successor, Attalus II (159-138 B.C.). His loyalty earned him the nickname "Philadelphos," literally meaning "one who loves his brother." The city is perhaps best known as the site of one of the seven churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation.


Tiberius Gemellus, Caesar, 35 - 37 A.D., Philadelphia (Neocaesarea), Lydia

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RPC notes all examples of this type were struck with a single obverse die. The obverse right side legend is illegible on all known examples. RPC attributes this type as uncertain but likely Gemellus' uncle the emperor Tiberius. Vagi attributes it as certainly Tiberius Gemmellus. Forum sees a very strong resemblance between the portrait on this coin and busts of Gemellus and agrees with Vagi.

Tiberius Julius Caesar Nero, known as Tiberius Gemellus, born 19 A.D., died 37 or 38 A.D., was the son of Drusus and Livilla, Tiberius' grandson, and Caligula's cousin. Gemellus is a nickname meaning "the twin". His twin, Tiberius Germanicus Caesar, died in infancy. Tiberius made Caligula and Gemellus joint-heirs but favored Caligula because Livilla had been Sejanus' lover and he believed Gemellus was really Sejanus' son. Caligula adopted Gemellus as heir after becoming emperor, but soon ordered him killed for an alleged plot.
SH80385. Bronze AE 14, RPC I 3017 (Tiberius); Vagi 480, SNG Cop 373, Winterthur 3855, aVF, nice patina and portrait, soft strike from 3:00 to 6:00 on the reverse, weight 2.920 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 180o, Philadelphia-Neocaesarea (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, 35 - 37 A.D.; obverse TIBEPION CEBACTON, bare head right; reverse NEOKEC-APEIC, winged fulmen (thunderbolt); very rare; SOLD


Agrippina Junior, Augusta 50 - March 59 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

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Philadelphia was an important and wealthy trade center in ancient Lydia that retained its importance until late Byzantine times. In 17 A.D., the city suffered greatly in an earthquake. After Tiberius aided in rebuilding, it took the new name of Neocaesarea. Under Vespasian, it was titled Flavia. Saint Paul and Saint John the Theologian, visited, and established the first Christian churches. St. Ignatius of Antioch visited on his trip to his martyrdom in Rome. Philadelphia is among the Seven Churches named in John's Book of Revelation. But in the 6th century, paganism still held on in the face of a Christianizing Empire, and the city became known as "little Athens" for its dedication to deities. Today the modern city is called Alasehir.
RP76961. Bronze AE 15, RPC I 3042; BMC Lydia p. 196, 59; SNG Cop 375; SNGvA -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, nice patina with highlighting earthen fill, weight 3.923 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 90o, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Ti. Neikanor, c. 54 - 59 A.D.; obverse AΓPIΠΠINA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust right, hair in long plait down back of neck and looped at end, long loosely curled lock down side of neck; reverse cornucopia overflowing with fruit and grain, ΦIΛA−∆EΛΦE/ΩN N−EIKA/NΩ−P across field in three divided lines; ex Pecunem, Gitbud & Naumann auction 34 (2 Aug 2015), lot 696; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

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Older references identify imperial family members on the reverse but RPC identifies them as Dioscuri. RPC notes, "That the jugate busts probably do not represent Germanicus and Agrippina I, Germanicus and Agrippina as Apollo and Artemis, or Apollo and Artemis (see BMC; Imhoof-Blumer, LS, pp. 116-117; Trillmich, W. Familienpropaganda der Kaiser Caligula und Claudius. Agrippina Maior und Antonia Augusta auf Münzen, pp. 130-131) since the further figure can sometimes be seen to be laureate (e.g. 2023/1 = BMC 53). It must therefore be male, and the two interpreted as the Dioscuri, who had previously appeared on the coinage of Philadelphia." The Dioscuri are also found on the imperial coinage of Caligula. In addition, since the magistrate named on the reverse is a priest, religious symbolism would be appropriate.

The facial features of the reverse busts do, however, resemble members of the family of Caligula. Perhaps the they are Nero and Drusus Caesars as the brothers Castor and Pollux.
RP16599. Bronze AE 17, SGICV 415, RPC I 3018 (3 specimens cited), VF, weight 4.344 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, 16 Mar 37 - 24 Jan 41 A.D.; obverse ΓAIOΣ KAIΣAP, bare head right, star behind; reverse ΦIΛA∆EΛΦEΩN MEΛANΘOΣ IEPEYΣ ΓEPMANIKOY, laureate and jugate busts of the Dioscuri right; dark patina; very scarce; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Babelon, E. La collection Waddington au cabinet des médailles. (Paris, 1897-1898).
Bloesch, H. Griechische Münzen In Winterthur. (Winterthur, 1987).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, Vol. III, Part 1. (London, 1926).
Franke, P. & M. Noellé. Die Homonoia-Münzen Kleinasiens und der thrakischen Randgebiete. (Saarbrücken, 1997).
Head, B. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Lydia. (London, 1901).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. Kleinasiatische Münzen. (Vienna, 1901 - 1902).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. Lydische Stadtmünzen, neue Untersuchungen. (Geneva and Leipzig, 1897).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Lindgren, H & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coinage of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
Mionnet, T. Description de Médailles antiques grecques et romaines, Vol. 4. Lydia - Armenia. (Paris, 1809).
Roman Provincial Coinage Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 5: Ionia, Caria, and Lydia. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 23: Lydien. (Berlin, 1997).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 5: Karien und Lydien. (Berlin, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 2: Caria, Lydia, Phrygia, Lycia, Pamphylia. (Berlin, 1962).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothèque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain VI, Corpus Christi College Cambridge, The Lewis Collection II: The Greek Imperial Coins. (Oxford, 1992).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Part 2: Roman Provincial Coins: Cyprus-Egypt. (Oxford, 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Österreich, Sammlung Leypold, Kleinasiatische Münzen der Kaiserzeit. Vol. I. Pontus - Lydien. (Vienna, 2000).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Schweiz II. Münzen der Antike. Katalog der Sammlung Jean-Pierre Righetti im Bernischen Historischen Museum. (1993).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Thursday, November 23, 2017.
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Philadelphia, Lydia