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

Ancient Coins of Sardes, Lydia

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.


Lydian Kingdom, Kroisos, c. 561 - 546 B.C.

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In Greek and Persian cultures the name of Croesus became a synonym for a wealthy man. Croesus' wealth remained proverbial beyond classical antiquity: in English, expressions such as "rich as Croesus" or "richer than Croesus" are used to indicate great wealth to this day. According to Herodotus, Croesus encountered the Greek sage Solon and, secure in his own wealth and happiness, asked Solon who was the happiest man in the world. He was disappointed by Solon's response that three had been happier than Croesus: Tellus, who died fighting for his country, and the brothers Kleobis and Biton who died peacefully in their sleep after their mother prayed for their perfect happiness because they had pulled her to a festival in an oxcart. Solon explained that Croesus cannot be the happiest man because the fickleness of fortune means that the happiness of a man's life cannot be judged until after his death. Sure enough, Croesus' hubristic happiness was reversed by the tragic death of his accidentally-killed son, his wife's suicide at the fall of Sardis, and his defeat at the hands of the Persians.
GS86220. Silver stater, SNG Kayhan 1018; SNG Cop 455; SNGvA 2873; SNG Ashmolean 760; BMC Lydia p. 7, 37; Traité II/1 407, pl. X, 7; Sunrise 10; Rosen 662; SGCV II 3419, F, toned, weight 10.478 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 560 - 546 B.C.; obverse on the left, forepart of a roaring lion right, confronting, on the right, the forepart of a bull left, pellet above lion's head; reverse two incuse square punches, of unequal size, side by side; $1200.00 (€1020.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Achaios, 220 - 214 B.C.

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Achaios was an uncle of Antiochos III. He proclaimed himself King in Anatolia. After a two-year siege of his capital of Sardes, Lydia, he was captured and beheaded.
GY76100. Bronze AE 15, Houghton-Lorber I 956 var. (unlisted control symbol), SNG Spaer 834 var. (same), Newell WSM 1442 var. (same), HGC 9 436 (S-R1), VF, nice green patina, weight 3.314 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 220 - autumn or winter 214 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse eagle standing right, head right, wings closed, wreath in talons, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / AXAIOY in two flanking downward lines, X (control symbol) outer right; unpublished extremely rare variant; $380.00 (€323.00)
 


Lydian Kingdom, Kroisos, c. 561 - 546 B.C.

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King Kroisos minted the first silver and gold coins. He was famous for his extraordinary wealth, but with his defeat by Kyros in 546 B.C. Lydia became a Persian satrapy.
GS86286. Silver 1/6 stater, SNG Kayhan 1019, Sunrise 13, Rosen 667, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Lydia -, Traité -, Boston MFA -, VF, well centered and struck, porous, uneven toning, weight 1.721 g, maximum diameter 11.3 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 550 - 546 B.C.; obverse on the left, forepart of a lion right, confronting, on the right, the forepart of a bull left; reverse two incuse square punches, of unequal size, side by side; rare; $300.00 (€255.00)
 


Persian Empire, Darius I, 505 - 486 B.C., Lydia, Anatolia

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This type was minted in Lydia in Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire

GA86285. Silver 1/3 siglos, Carradice type II, SGCV II 3429, SNG Kayhan 1027, Klein 755, Winzer 1.7, Sunrise 22, gF, dark patina, weight 1.762 g, maximum diameter 10.7 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 505 - 486 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, drawing bow, bearded, crowned, quiver at shoulder; reverse oblong punch; rare; $230.00 (€195.50)
 


Otacilia Severa, Augusta, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Sardis

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This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Sardis. The wreaths refer to the games sponsored by each of the two cities, the ΠYΘIA games held by Hierapolis, and the XPVCANΘINA games held by Sardes.
RP77256. Bronze AE 25, Franke-Nolle, type V, 838 (Vs. A/Rs. 11); cf. Lindgren-Kovacs 976; BMC Phrygia p. 260, 175, F, weight 7.301 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 180o, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Feb 244 - End Sep 249 A.D.; obverse M ΩT CEVHPA, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait up the back of head; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩN K CAP∆,IANΩN NEΩ/KOPΩN (ending in two lines in exergue), two wreaths side by side with inscriptions within, left wreath XPV/CAN, right wreath ΠVΘ/IA, OMONOI/A in the field above; very rare; $220.00 (€187.00)
 


Lydian Kingdom, Kroisos, c. 561 - 546 B.C.

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King Kroisos minted the first silver and gold coins. He was famous for his extraordinary wealth, but with his defeat by Kyros in 546 B.C. Lydia became a Persian satrapy.
GA86284. Silver 1/12 stater, Berk Croesus 26; Traité I 413; SNG Kayhan 1020; SNGvA 8213; Boston MFA 2072; BMC Lydia p. 8, 53; SNG Ashmolean 775 (Persian Period), VF, well centered, die wear, etched surfaces, weight 0.855 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 550 - 546 B.C.; obverse confronted foreparts of roaring lion right (on left), and bull left (on right); reverse incuse square punch; rare; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Sardis

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This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Sardis. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a city’s status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances.
RP77255. Bronze AE 30, cf. Franke-Nolle, type VI, 848 ff. var. (Vs.C/Rs.-, unlisted reverse die); SNGvA 3668; SNG Tubingen 4054; Lindgren III 596, aF, obverse rough, weight 10.243 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 180o, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AY• K• - ΠOY• ΛIK• OYAΛEPAN/OC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front, round countermark on face; reverse IEPAΠOΛE/ITΩN - KE - CAP∆IANΩN NEWK/OPΩN, Apollo on left, standing right, plectrum in right hand, kithara in left hand; cult statue of Kore facing, wearing kalathos and veil, OMONOYA in exergue; very rare; $170.00 (€144.50)
 


Otacilia Severa, Augusta, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Sardis

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This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Sardis. The wreaths refer to the games sponsored by each of the two cities, the ΠYΘIA games held by Hierapolis, and the XPVCANΘINA games held by Sardes.
RP77257. Bronze AE 25, Franke-Nolle, type V, 830 (Vs. A/Rs. 9); Lindgren-Kovacs 976; BMC Phrygia p. 260, 175, aF, obverse off center but on a broad flan, edge crack, porous, weight 6.144 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 180o, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Feb 244 - End Sep 249 A.D.; obverse M ΩT CEVHPA, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait up the back of head; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩN K CAP∆,IANΩN NEΩK/OPΩN (ending in two lines in exergue), two wreaths side by side with inscriptions within, XPY/CAN in the left wreath, ΠYΘ/IA in the right wreath, OMONOI/A in the field above; very rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Artaxerxes I - Artaxerxes II, c. 450 - 375 B.C.

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This type was minted in Lydia in Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire
GA85700. Silver siglos, Carradice Type IIIb (late), pl. XIV, 36 ff.; SNG Kayhan 1029; Rosen 671 - 672; SGCV II 4682; Klein 761; Carradice Price p. 69 and pl. 18, 79 ff., gF, well centered, dark toning, scratches, weight 5.181 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 450 - 375 B.C.; obverse kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, transverse spear downward in right hand, bow in extended left hand, bearded, crowned, stylistic drapery with broad semi-circular sweep of folds; banker's mark; reverse irregular rectangular punch; $130.00 (€110.50)
 


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; $100.00 (€85.00)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Saturday, November 18, 2017.
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Sardes