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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Anatolia| ▸ |Pamphylia| ▸ |Side||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Greek Coins of Side, Pamphylia

Side was founded by Greeks from Cyme, Aeolis, c. 7th century B.C. The settlers used the local language and over time forgot their native Greek. Excavations have revealed inscriptions written in this language, still undeciphered, dating as late as the 2nd century B.C. The name Side means pomegranate in this indigenous Anatolian language. Under Alexander the Great, then Ptolemaic, then Seleukid rule the city readily adapted Hellenistic culture, grew prosperous, and became an important cultural center. The Treaty of Apamea in 188 B.C. left Side autonomous until 36 B.C. when the city came under the rule of the Roman client King of Galatia, Amyntas. In 25 B.C., Augustus placed Pamphylia and Side in the Roman province of Galatia. Side began another prosperous period as a commercial center trading in olive oil and slaves, and some piracy. Its population grew to 60,000 inhabitants. Wealthy merchants paid for public works, monuments, competitions, games, and gladiator fights. Most of the extant ruins at Side date from this period of prosperity which lasted well into the 3rd century A.D. In the 4th century, Side's defensive walls could not stop successive highlander invasions. In the 5th and 6th centuries, Side experienced a revival, but Arab fleets raided and burned Side during the 7th century. The combination of earthquakes and Arab raids, left the site nearly abandoned by the 10th century, its citizens having emigrated to nearby Antalya.Agora at Side


Side, Pamphylia, c. 145 - 125 B.C.

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In 190 B.C. a fleet from Rhodes, supported by Rome and Pergamum, defeated the Seleucid fleet under the command of the fugitive Carthaginian general Hannibal. The Seleucid defeat freed Side from the overlord-ship of the Seleucid Empire. The Treaty of Apamea (188 B.C.) left Side in a state of uncertain freedom. It was during this period of autonomy that Side struck these tetradrachms. It would last until 36 B.C. when the city came under the rule of the Roman client King of Galatia, Amyntas.
GS92896. Silver tetradrachm, SNGvA 4796 (also with anchor c/m); SNG BnF 694; BMC Pamphylia p. 148, 46 (KΛE-YX), Choice VF, well centered, reverse strike a little flat, obverse flattened opposite of countermark, weight 16.505 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Side (near Selimiye, Antalya Province, Turkey) mint, magistrate Kleuch-, c. 145 - 125 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in a crested Corinthian helmet; reverse Nike advancing left, wreath extended in right hand, pomegranate in left field, KΛ-E (magistrate's name) divided across field below center; countermark: anchor within incuse rectangle; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 77 (5 May 2019), lot 287; $500.00 (€440.00)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Side, Pamphylia

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A thyrsos and a torch on another Side reverse mentioning the Agon Mystikos (BMC 118) indicates the Sidetan Mystikos was dedicated to Dionysos and Demeter, and perhaps also to the Roman emperor (see J. Nollé: Der Agon Mystikos in Side, in: Chiron 16 (1986), pp. 204-206). As Dionysos is, among other roles, a god of the arts, it was likely an artistic rather than athletic competition. Nollé dated the conferment of the Sidetan Agon Mystikos to the time of Hadrian, but as the first reference to it comes from coins of Gallienus (such this coin). More likely, the Agon was founded in the mid 3rd century, perhaps in fact under Gallienus, whose interest in mystery cults is well attested and who was famously initiated into the Eleusian Mysteries himself (like Hadrian!).
RP88915. Bronze AE 32, SNG PfPs -, SNG BnF -, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Lycia -, Lindgren -; ISEGRIM -; et al. -; c/m: Howgego 805 (169 pcs, applied 253 - 268 A.D.), aF, legends weak, a little off center, rough and porous, weight 17.252 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 30o, Side (near Selimiye, Antalya Province, Turkey) mint, joint reign, Aug 253 - 260 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI ΠOY ΛI ΓAΛΛIHNOC CE, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; countermark on right: E (5 assaria) in 7.5mm round punch obliterating IA (prior mark of value); reverse IEPA ΠVΘIAE IEPOC MYCTIKOC (holy Pythian [games], sacred, mystical), two prize urns containing palms, set on an agonistic table, table edge inscribed CI∆HW, uncertain object(s) or inscription below table top and in exergue (if any); we could not find a single specimen of this type online or in our many references - this is the only specimen of this type known to FORVM; extremely rare; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Side, Pamphylia

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The great ruins of Side are among the most notable in Asia Minor. They cover a large promontory which a wall and a moat separate from the mainland. There are two agoras: a commercial agora and the "state" agora. The commercial agora is over 8000 square meters, surrounded by columns, with shops, exedras and latrines and washing places. On it inconceivable numbers of slaves must have been traded, for during part of its history Side was a major center for pirates who stationed their fleet here. At its center, there is a round temple, well-restored, that was dedicated to the protective goddess of the city, Tyche. The present construction dates from the 2nd century A.D. and was still in use in Byzantine times.Temple of Tyche
RP88917. Bronze 5 assaria, SNG Pfalz 823; SNG BnF 922; BMC Lycia p. 161, 117; Waddington 3495; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Righetti -; Lindgren -; c/m: Howgego 805 (169 pcs.), VF, broad flan, porous, edge crack (from counter-marking?), weight 13.494 g, maximum diameter 30.0 mm, die axis 180o, Side (near Selimiye, Antalya Province, Turkey) mint, joint reign, Aug 253 - 260 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI ΠO ΛI ΓAΛΛIHNOC CE (AI in error, should be ΛI, but error is normal for this type), laureate bust right, wearing paludamentum and cuirass, eagle right below with wings open; countermark on right: E (5 assaria) in 7.5mm round punch obliterating IA (prior mark of value); reverse CI∆HTΩN NEΩKOPΩ, draped bust of Tyche right, wearing veil and mural crown, pomegranate on branch right (not fully struck) below; scarce; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Side, Pamphylia, c. 400 - 360 B.C.

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Side was founded by Greeks from Cyme, Aeolis, most likely in the 7th century B.C. The settlers started using the local language and over time forgot their native Greek. Excavations have revealed inscriptions written in this language, still undeciphered, dating from as late as the 2nd century B.C. The name Side is from this indigenous Anatolian language and means pomegranate.
GS92983. Silver obol, Atlan 121 ff. var. (unlisted dies), SNG BnF III 739, SNGvA 4775, Waddington 3934, VF, toned, flow lines, a few light scratches, slightest porosity, weight 0.731 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, die axis 90o, Side (near Selimiye, Antalya Province, Turkey) mint, c. 400 - 360 B.C.; obverse lion head roaring left; reverse head of Athena right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet and necklace; ex CNG e-auction 255 (15 Jul 2015), lot 399; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Side, Pamphylia

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The great ruins of Side are among the most notable in Asia Minor. The well-preserved city walls provide an entrance to the site through the Hellenistic main gate. Next comes the colonnaded street, all that remains of the marble columns are a few broken stubs near the old Roman baths. The street leads to the public bath, restored as a museum displaying statues and sarcophagi from the Roman period. Next is the square agora with the remains of a round Temple of Tyche in the middle. The agora was a trading center where pirates sold slaves. The remains of the theater, which was used for gladiator fights and later as a church, and the monumental gate date back to the 2nd century. The early Roman Temple of Dionysus is near the theater. The fountain gracing the entrance is restored. At the left side are the remains of a Byzantine Basilica. A public bath has also been restored. The remaining ruins of Side include three temples, an aqueduct, and a nymphaeum. The photograph right is of ruins of the temple of Apollo.Temple of Apollo
RP88913. Bronze 5 assaria, SNG Cop 4844 (same obv. die), SNG BnF 924, BMC Lycia p. 160, 110, SNG Pfalz -, SNG Cop -, SNG Righetti -, Lindgren -; c/m: Howgego 805 (169 pcs), VF, well centered on a broad flan, porous, weight 17.834 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 30o, Side (near Selimiye, Antalya Province, Turkey) mint, joint reign, Aug 253 - 260 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI ΠOY ΛI ΓAΛΛIHNOC CE, laureate bust right, wearing paludamentum and cuirass, eagle right with wings open below; countermark on right: E (5 assaria) in 7.5mm round punch obliterating IA (prior mark of value); reverse CI∆HTΩN NEΩKOPΩN, Apollo standing front, head left, wearing short chiton, chlamys and boots, patera in right hand, left hand rests on laurel tipped staff, pomegranate on branch right; scarce; $130.00 (€114.40)
 







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REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 22, 2019.
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Side Coins