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Ancient Coins of Lydia (Other Cities and Uncertain Mints)
Maionia, Lydia, 161 - 180 A.D.
Omphale was queen of the kingdom of Lydia, the wife of Tmolus, the oak-clad mountain king of Lydia. After he was gored to death by a bull, she continued to reign on her own.
Omphale bought Herakles from Hermes, who sold him after an oracle declared Hercules must be sold into slavery for three years. Hercules had sought the oracle to learn what he must do to purify himself, after he murdered his friend Iphitus and stole the Delphic tripod. As a slave, Herakles was forced to do women's work and even wear women's clothing and hold a basket of wool while Omphale and her maidens did their spinning. Meanwhile, Omphale wore the skin of the Nemean Lion and carried Herakles' olive-wood club. But it was also during his stay in Lydia that Herakles captured the city of the Itones and enslaved them, killed Syleus who forced passersby to hoe his vineyard, and captured the Cercopes. He buried the body of Icarus and took part in the Calydonian BoarHunt and the Argonautica. After some time, Omphale freed Herakles and took him as her husband.
The Greeks did not recognize Omphale as a goddess. Omphale's name, connected with omphalos, a Greek word meaning navel (or axis), may, however, represent a Lydian earth goddess. Herakles' servitude and marriage may represent the servitude of the sun to the axis of the celestial sphere, the spinners being Lydian versions of the Moirae. This myth may have been and attempt to explain why the priests of Herakles wore female clothing.GB83463. Bronze AE 19, SNG Cop 222; SNGvA 3011; SNG Munchen 302; BMC Lydia p. 129, 17, VF, superbstyle, well centered, light marks and corrosion, weight 4.380 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Maeonia mint, rule of Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 180 A.D.; obverse bearded head of Herakles left; reverse MAIONΩN, Omphale advancing right, holding lion's skin and club across shoulder; $315.00 (€280.35)
Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Wife of Hadrian, Tmolus, Lydia
The primary reference for Tmolus is: Foss, C. "A neighbor of Sardis: the city of Tmolus and its successors" in Classical Antiquity, vol. 1, no. 2 (Oct. 1982), pp. 178-201, available online: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25010770
Foss wrote that the small city of Tmolus was first authorized to strike coins under Hadrian. He believed that Tmolus issued coinage only very sporadically and the coins were probably struck at the mint of their neighbor Sardis.RP85354. Bronze AE 19, RPC Online III 2388 (5 spec.); SNG Cop 635; NC 1903, p. 337, 29 and pl. X, 12 rev.; Foss Tmolus p. 181, type I, VF, grainy surface, edge split, weight 4.542 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 190o, struck for Tmolus at Sardis(?) mint, 128 - c. 136 A.D.; obverse CEBACTH CABEINA, draped bust right, wearing stephane; reverse TMΩΛITΩN, Apollo standing right, nude, bow in right hand, arrow in left hand; very rare; $200.00 (€178.00)
Tripolis, Lydia, 3rd Century A.D.
Tripolis on the Meander (called at other times Neapolis, Apollonia, and Antoninopolis) was an ancient city on the borders of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, on the northern bank of the upper course of the Maeander, and on the road leading from Sardes by Philadelphia to Laodicea ad Lycum. It was 20 km to the northwest of Hierapolis. Ruins are near Yenicekent, Denizli Province, Turkey. The ruins, mostly from the Roman and Byzantine periods, include a theater, baths, city walls, and a necropolis. An ancient church, dating back 1,500 years, was unearthed in 2013.RP79979. Bronze AE 19, SNG Cop 724; SNGvA 3314; BMC Lydia 19; pseudo-autonomous issue, Choice VF, excellent centering, nice green patina, weight 4.170 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Tripolis mint, 3rd century A.D.; obversebust of Athena right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet and aegis; reverse TPIPOLEITWN, Tyche standing slightly left, kalathos on head left, rudder held by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $130.00 (€115.70)
Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Magnesia ad Sipylum, Lydia
Magnesia ad Sipylum was a city of Lydia, situated about 65 km northeast of Smyrna (now Izmir) on the river Hermus (now Gediz) at the foot of Spil Mount. Nowadays this is the location of Manisa in Turkey. It became a city of importance under the Roman dominion and, though nearly destroyed by an earthquake in the reign of Tiberius, was restored by that emperor and flourished through the Roman Empire.
Ploutos the personification of wealth is the son of Eirene, goddess of peace. GB85348. Bronze AE 15, RPC Online VI 1330 (13 spec.); BMC Lydia p. 147, 59; SNG Cop 262; SNG Mun 268; SNG Leypold 1040; Waddington 5082; Mionnet IV 406; SNGvA -; SNG Tub -, VF, porous, die break obverse lower left, weight 2.788 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 180o, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, as caesar, c. 140 A.D.; obverse KAI AYPHΛIOC, bare-headed, draped bust right, slight beard; reverse MAΓNHTΩN XIΠYΛOY, child (Ploutos) standing left, clad in short chiton, which he raises in front above his waist with both hands, he carries fruit in its folds; $120.00 (€106.80)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Mostene, Lydia
Mostene, in ancient Lydia, prospered in Roman and Byzantine eras. There is debate, based on a line in Tacitus, over whether Mostene was a Macedonian colony or a native Lydian city. In 17 A.D. the city was hit by an earthquake and was assisted by relief from Tiberius.RP84897. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 2462 (2 specimens), Imhoof-Blumer LS 4a, BMC Lydia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Tubingen -, VF, dark patina, encrustations, light corrosion, slightly off center, weight 2.457 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Mostene (Kepecik, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 50 - 54 A.D.; obverse NEPONA KAICAPA, bare-headed and draped bust right; reverse EΠI ME∆ANIOY MOCTHNΩN, city goddess of Mostene seated left, kalathos on head, two grain ears in right hand, double axe in left hand; very rare; $110.00 (€97.90)
Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Akrasos, Lydia
Akrasa is not the same as Nakrasa. The cities were near each other, along with Germe and Stratonicea in northern Lydia.RP84689. Bronze AE 18, Weber III 6777; Hunterian II p. 447, 2; SNG Cop 8 var. (obv. leg.); SNGvA 2886 var. (same); BMC Lydia p. 13, 22 var. (same); SNG Mün 22 var. (same), F, well centered, dark green patina, weight 3.169 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Akrasos mint, obverse AV KA Λ C CEOVHPOC, laureate head of Septimius Severus right; reverse AKPCIΩTΩN, Asklepios standing slightly right, head turned back left, snake entwined staff in right hand; rare; $100.00 (€89.00)
Sala, Lydia, c. 2nd Century A.D.
Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the god of commerce and thieves. He was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. His symbols include the caduceus and winged sandals.RP77505. Bronze AE 17, SNG Munchen 455; BMC Lydia p. 229, 15; SNG Cop 416, VF, well centered, nice green patina, areas of corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 2.643 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Sala mint, c. 2nd century A.D.; obverse ∆HMOC CAΛHNΩN, laureate and draped bearded bust of Demos; reverse EΠI AN∆PONEICOY, Hermes standing slightly left, nude, chlamys draped over left arm, purse in right hand, caduceus in left hand; ex Divus Numismatik; rare; $95.00 (€84.55)
Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Apollonoshieron, Lydia
Apollonoshieron, so called from a temple of Apollo, poliosis noticed by Pliny as a place of little note (V. 29.). It appears to have been afterward a bishopric; (Hierocl p. 670.) and if it is the place mentioned by Aristides, (I. p. 625, 629.) it was seated on a hill, and about 47 KM from Pergamum, a distance which rather agrees with the Apollonias of Strabo.RP73125. Brass AE 15, RPC I 3044, SNGvA 2906, Weber 6782, aF, over-cleaned to bare metal, rough, weight 4.220 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 0o, Apollonoshieron mint, 19 Aug 14 - 16 Mar 37 A.D.; obverse TIBEPIOΣ KAIΣAP, laureate head right; reverse AΠOΛΛΩNIEPEIΩN, lyre; very rare; $45.00 (€40.05)
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