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

Ancient Greek Coins of Cilicia

In antiquity, Cilicia (also spelled Kilikia) was a southern coastal region of Anatolia, extending inland north from the Mediterranean coast, east from Pamphylia, to the Amanus Mountains, which separated it from Syria. It existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia and Byzantine Empire. Cilicia Trachea (rugged Cilicia) is a mountain district formed by the spurs of Taurus, which often terminate in rocky headlands with small sheltered harbors, a feature which, in classical times, made the coast a string of havens for pirates and, in the Middle Ages, outposts for Genoese and Venetian traders. Cilicia Trachea lacked large cities and was covered in ancient times by forests that supplied timber to Phoenicia and Egypt. Cilicia Pedias (flat Cilicia), to the east, included the rugged spurs of Taurus and a large coastal plain, with rich loamy soil, known to the Greeks for its abundance, filled with sesame and millet and olives and pasturage for horses. Many of its high places were fortified. Through the rich plain ran the great highway that linked east and west, on which stood the cities of Tarsos (Tarsus) on the Cydnus (Berdan River), Adana on the Sarus (Seyhan river), and Mopsos (Yakapınar) on the Pyramus (Ceyhan River).


Cilicia (Uncertain City, possibly Tarsos), 4th Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Cilicia| |(Uncertain| |City,| |possibly| |Tarsos),| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|, |obol|
SNG Levante describes the obverse type as a Pegasos forepart, however, both their coin and ours clearly depict a griffin.
GS92951. Silver obol, SNG Levante 208 corr. (Pegasos vice Griffin in error), SNG BnF -, aVF, toned, light deposits, tight flan, worn dies, edge split, weight 0.680 g, maximum diameter 8.3 mm, die axis 90o, 4th century B.C.; obverse forepart of griffin left; reverse owl standing left, head facing, crescent and olive spray behind; only one sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades - Nomos AG, obolos 5 (26 Jun 2016), lot 437 (similar condition, realized 550 CHF plus 18.5% fees = $660); extremely rare; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00
 


Kings of Cilicia, Tarkondimotos, c. 39 - 31 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Kings| |of| |Cilicia,| |Tarkondimotos,| |c.| |39| |-| |31| |B.C.|, |AE| |22|
Tarkondimotos was made dynast by Pompey and crowned king by Marc Antony. He died at the Battle of Actium.
GB92157. Bronze AE 22, RPC I 3871; SNG BnF 1913; SNG Levante 1258; BMC Lycaonia p. 237, 1 ff.; SGCV II 5682, VF, light green patina, nice portrait, weight 6.028 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Hieropolis mint, as king in Eastern Cilicia, c. 39 - 31 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse Zeus Nikephoros enthroned left, himation around hips and legs with end over shoulder, Nike offering wreath extended in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, TAPKON∆IMO/TOY in two downward lines on left, ΦIΛANTΩNIOY in exergue; ex CNG e-auction 231 (14 Apr 2010), lot 114; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00
 


Cilicia, Tarsos, c. 425 - 400 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit

|Cilicia|, |Cilicia,| |Tarsos,| |c.| |425| |-| |400| |B.C.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit|, |obol|
Tarsus is a historic city in south-central Turkey, 20 km inland from the Mediterranean. With a history going back over 6,000 years, Tarsus has long been an important stop for traders and a focal point of many civilizations. During the Roman Empire, Tarsus was the capital of the province of Cilicia, the scene of the first meeting between Mark Antony and Cleopatra, and the birthplace of Paul the Apostle.
GS90992. Fouree silver plated obol, cf. SNG France 207, Trait II 530bis (official civic issue, silver, square dot border within rev. incuse), VF, minor plating breaks, scratches, weight 0.726 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, c. 425 - 400 B.C.; obverse forepart of a winged animal (griffin?) left; reverse ankh-like Persian dynastic symbol, within incuse square; very rare; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Tarsus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Tarsus,| |Cilicia|, |AE| |36|
The abbreviated Greek inscription A M K Γ B is a boast of this city, Πρωτη Mεγιστη Kαλλιστη, meaning First (A is the Greek number one), Greatest, and Most Beautiful city of the three (Γ is the Greek number three) adjoining provinces (Cilicia, Isauria, Lycaonia). The final B (B is the Greek number two) indicates the city held two neokorie, temples dedicated to the imperial cult.
RP88856. Bronze AE 36, SNG BnF 1737 (same dies), SNG Levante -, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Lycaonia -, ANS Mantis -, F, dark green patina, full boarders centering, earthen deposits, scattered porosity, weight 17.154 g, maximum diameter 36.4 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 245 - 246 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI IOV ΦIΛIΠΠON EVT EVC CE, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, Π − Π across field; reverse TAPCOV MHTPOΠOΛEΩC, Athena standing half left, wearing crested helmet, inverted spear in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield behind, A / M / K on left, Γ / B on right; very rare; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D., Seleucia on the Calycadnus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Trebonianus| |Gallus,| |June| |or| |July| |251| |-| |July| |or| |August| |253| |A.D.,| |Seleucia| |on| |the| |Calycadnus,| |Cilicia|, |AE| |33|
Located a few miles from the mouth of the Calycadnus (Göksu) River, Seleucia ad Calycadnum was founded by Seleucus I Nicator in the early 3rd century B.C., one of several cities he named after himself. The location up river was safer against attacks from the sea so Seleucia achieved considerable commercial prosperity as a port for this corner of Cilicia (later named Isauria), and was even a rival of Tarsus. Cilicia thrived as a province of the Romans, and Seleucia became a religious center with a renowned 2nd century Temple of Jupiter. It was also the site of a noted school of philosophy and literature, the birthplace of peripatetics Athenaeus and Xenarchus.
RP88857. Bronze AE 33, SNG BnF 1052 (same dies); cf. SNG Levante 783 (same obv. die, rev. var.); BMC Lycaonia p. 140, 51 (same); SNG Cop 221 (same); SNGvA 5848 (same), F, weak legends, a little off center, scattered porosity, a few pits, bumps and scratches, weight 18.147 g, maximum diameter 32.8 mm, die axis 180o, Seleucia on the Calycadnus (Silifke, Turkey) mint, Jun/Jul 251 - Jul/Aug 253 A.D.; obverse AV K ΓAI OVAI TPEBΩ ΓAΛΛOC, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CEΛEVKEΩN TΩN Π/POC / TΩ KAΛV, confronted draped busts of Apollo, laureate on left, and Tyche, on right, wearing kalathos, laurel branch before Apollo, cornucopia behind Tyche, KA∆NΩ below; huge 32.8mm bronze; $135.00 SALE |PRICE| $122.00
 


Maximinus I Thrax and Maximus Caesar, 20 March 235 - late May 238 A.D., Flaviopolis, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Maximinus| |I| |Thrax| |and| |Maximus| |Caesar,| |20| |March| |235| |-| |late| |May| |238| |A.D.,| |Flaviopolis,| |Cilicia|, |AE| |34|
Flaviopolis was founded in 74 A.D. by Vespasian, as part of an imperial program for the urbanization of the Cilician Plain. Until then the rural hinterland, as well as the city of Anazarbos, was probably administered by the Tracondimotid dynasty from Hieropolis Castabala. Some mosaic floors, inscriptions, and building blocks have been found at Kadirli, and a 6th century church has been excavated. Flaviopolis was bishopric of Cilicia Secunda in the Christian era.
RP92397. Bronze AE 34, RPC VI online T7466 (15 spec.), SNG BnF 2196, SNG Levante 1553, SNGvA 5565, SNG Pfalz 517, F/aF, well centered, nice portraits for the grade, porous, weight 16.432 g, maximum diameter 34.3 mm, die axis 180o, Flaviopolis mint, 235 - 236 A.D.; obverse AYT K Γ IOY OYH MAΞIMEINOC Γ I OYH MAΞIMOC K, laureate and draped bust of Maximinus I right (on left), confronting radiate and draped bust of Maximus left; reverse FΛAVIOΠOΛEITWN, Serapis seated facing, sacrificing from patera in right hand over lighted altar on left, cornucopia in left hand, amphora at feet on left, crater at feet on right, ET ΓΞP (year 163) in exergue; rare; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Macrinus,| |11| |April| |217| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia|, |AE| |35|
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire it was known as Kaicarewn (Caesarea), and was the Metropolis (capital) of the late Roman province Cilicia Secunda. It was the home of the poet Oppian. Rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justin I after an earthquake in the 6th century, it became Justinopolis (525); but the old native name persisted, and when Thoros I, king of Lesser Armenia, made it his capital early in the 12th century, it was known as Anazarva.
RP92398. Bronze AE 35, Ziegler 346 (Vs1/Rs6), SNG Levante 1414 var. (rev. leg. arrangement), SNG BnF 2054 var. (same), SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, aF, rough, edge cracks, weight 23.1 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 217 A.D.; obverse AYT K M OΠ CEY MAKPEINOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse KAIC TΩN ΠP ANAZ EN∆O-Σ MHTPO PΩM TP, Nike (Victory) advancing left, raising wreath in right hand, trophy of captured arms in left hand, ΓB (chairman of 3 provinces, holder of 2 neocorates) upper left, ETE - ΛC (year 235 of Anazarbus) divided low across field, KEK (the meaning of these letters is unknown) lower left; rare; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


Antiocheia ad Kydnum (Tarsos), Cilicia, c. 175 - 164 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Antiocheia| |ad| |Kydnum| |(Tarsos),| |Cilicia,| |c.| |175| |-| |164| |B.C.|, |AE| |20|
Tarsos was renamed Antiocheia ad Kydnum under Antiochos IV Epiphanes, and reverted to Tarsus c. 164 B.C.
GB92170. Bronze AE 20, cf. SNG Levante 916, SNG BnF 1279 ff., SNG Cop 325 (different monograms), VF, well centered on a tight flan, dark patina with light buff earthen highlighting, light bumps, scratches and porosity, weight 9.600 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antiocheia ad Kydnum (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 175 - 164 B.C.; obverse club within oak wreath; reverse ANTIOXEΩN TΩN ΠPOΣ TΩI KY∆NΩI (almost entirely off flan), cornucopia flanked by four monograms; ex Neptune Numismatics; scarce; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


Seleukeia Kalykadnos, Cilicia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Seleukeia| |Kalykadnos,| |Cilicia,| |2nd| |-| |1st| |Century| |B.C.|, |AE| |18|
The Cilician Seleukia was founded by Seleukos I on the course of river Kalykadnos and soon became an important city, rivaling Tarsos.
GB85027. Bronze AE 18, SNG Levante 697, SNG BnF 925, SNG Cop 205 ff. var. (monograms), VF, reverse off center, weight 4.078 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Seleukeia ad Calycadnum (Silifke, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, ΣYM upward behind; reverse ΣEΛEYKEΩN TΩN ΠPOΣ TΩI KAΛYKA∆NΩI, forepart of horse right, complex monogram above, PE and M∆H monograms below; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Laertes, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Laertes,| |Cilicia|, |AE| |19|
Laerte was on the coast of Cilicia, east of Syedra, and 25 km northwest of Coracesium (modern Alanya, Turkey). The identity of the ruins was confirmed when the name of the town was found on the foot of a statue of Vespasian. A Phoenician tablet found there indicates the town already existed in 625 B.C. Strabo describes Laertes as a fortress on the crest of a breast-shaped hill. Laertes fell under the control of pirates in Hellenistic times. They were expelled in 67 B.C. No Hellenistic buildings have survived; they were completely replaced in Roman and Byzantine times. The heyday of the town was in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. when it was densely populated and retired Roman soldiers would settle there. The town probably declined after the harbor silted up and may have been abandoned after attacks by Arab pirates.
RP88200. Bronze AE 19, SNG Levante 374 (same obv. die); RPC III Online 2751; SNG BnF 594; SNG Leypold 2499; BMC Cilicia p. 91, 4, F, green patina, patina chips, edge chip, light earthen deposits, weight 3.307 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, Laertes (25 km NW of Alanya, Turkey) mint, 11 Aug 117 - 10 Jul 138 A.D.; obverse AY KAI TRA A∆PIANOC, laureate head right; reverse ΛAEPTEITWN, Tyche standing half left, head left, polos on head, grounded rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; ex Alex G. Malloy; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Friday, February 28, 2020.
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Cilicia