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

Ancient Coins of Lydia, Antatolia

Lydia lies in east-central Anatolia (Asia Minor) between Ionia and Phrygia. The kingdom of Lydia gradually rose in power in the 7th Century B.C. and by the time of Alyattes and Croesus, it was controlling most of Anatolia after rebuking Medes (the pre-Achaemenid empire). The most important city was Sardis, today Sart, housing impressive ruins. The Lydians were viewed as a merchant people and the kings as extremely wealthy. Croesus gained mythical status and today we still use the expression, "rich as Croesus."

Seleukid Kingdom, Achaios, Usurper in Anatolia, 220 - 214 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Achaios,| |Usurper| |in| |Anatolia,| |220| |-| |214| |B.C.|, |AE| |17|
Achaios (Achaeus) was an uncle of Antiochos III. In 223 B.C., Antiochus III appointed Achaeus to the command of Anatolia on the western side of Mount Taurus. Achaeus recovered all the districts which had been lost; but was falsely accused by Hermeias, the minister to Antiochus, of intending to revolt. In self-defense he assumed the title of king. Antiochus marched against Achaeus after he concluded the war with Ptolemy. After a two-year siege of his capital of Sardes, Lydia, Achaios was captured and beheaded.
GY89996. Bronze AE 17, Houghton-Lorber I 956 corr. (unlisted control symbol), SNG Spaer 834 var. (same), Newell WSM 1442 var. (same), HGC 9 436 (S-R1), VF, green and garnet patina, off center, light deposits, tiny edge split, weight 3.260 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 220 - autumn/winter 214 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair in formal (corkscrew) curls; reverse eagle standing right, head right, wings closed, wreath in talons, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, AXAIOY downward on left, A (control symbol) outer right; apparently unpublished and only two sales recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus I Soter, 280 - 261 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |I| |Soter,| |280| |-| |261| |B.C.|, |AE| |14|
Antiochos' reign was marred by struggle against internal and external enemies, including the betrayal and revolt of his co-regent in the east, his eldest son, whom he was forced to execute. He earned the title savior (soter) of Asia by defeated roving bands of Galatians that had terrorized the cities for years. However, not long after, he lost southern and western Asia Minor to Ptolemy.
GB95356. Bronze AE 14, Houghton-Lorber 315a; Newell WSM 1369; BMC Seleucid p. 13, 58; SNG Spaer 233; SNG Cop 77; SGCV II 6883; HGC 9 167 (R2), Choice aVF, dark patina, weight 2.294 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 280 - 261 B.C.; obverse bust of Athena facing, wearing triple-crested Attic helmet; reverse Nike walking left, raising wreath in right hand, long palm frond over left shoulder in left hand, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on right, symbol in circle outer left (control), no control right; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


Maionia, Lydia, c. 161 - 217 A.D.

|Other| |Lydia|, |Maionia,| |Lydia,| |c.| |161| |-| |217| |A.D.|, |AE| |20|
Omphale was queen of the Lydian Kingdom, the wife of Tmolus, the oak-clad mountain king. After he was gored to death by a bull, she continued to reign on her own. She 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 Boar Hunt 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 an attempt to explain why the priests of Herakles wore female clothing.
GB86735. Bronze AE 20, SNG Leypold I 1053 (this scarcer rev. legend arrangement); RPC Online IV 1325; SNG Cop 222; SNGvA 3011; SNG Munchen 302; BMC Lydia p. 129, 17, VF, rough, reverse scratches, weight 5.130 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Maeonia mint, c. 161 - 217 A.D.; obverse bearded head of Herakles left; reverse MAIONΩN, Omphale advancing right, draped in Hercules’ lion skin, carrying his club in her left hand over her left shoulder; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


Thyatira, Lydia, 2nd Century B.C.

|Thyatira|, |Thyatira,| |Lydia,| |2nd| |Century| |B.C.|, |AE| |16|
We were unable to identify another specimen with the monogram right. It may be present on some published or online specimens that are just too worn or off center. This same monogram is found on other types from Thyatira.
GB91506. Bronze AE 16, SNG Cop 571 var.; SNGvA 3199 var.; SNG Munchen 574 var.; SNG Tübingen 3836 var.; BMC Lydia p. 292, 4 var.; et al. - (none with monogram), gF, beautiful jade-like patina, earthen deposits, small edge chips, weight 3.125 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, Thyatira (Akhisar, Turkey) mint, 2nd Century B.C.; obverse head of Apollo right; reverse double-axe (labrys), ΘYATEI/PH-NΩN in two lines staring above, below divided by shaft, monogram to right of axe blade; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; rare variety; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.

|Persian| |Lydia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Lydia,| |Anatolia,| |Darius| |II| |-| |Artaxerxes| |II,| |c.| |420| |-| |375| |B.C.|, |1/4| |siglos|
This type was minted in Lydia, 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
GS94117. Silver 1/4 siglos, Carradice type IV; BMC Arabia p. 167, 143, pl. XXVI, 27; Rosen 679, F, toned, porous, round flan, weight 1.176 g, maximum diameter 8.5 mm, probably Sardis (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 375 B.C.; obverse kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, drawing bow, bearded, crowned, quiver at shoulder; reverse square incuse; very rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


Hierocaesarea, Lydia, c. 100 - 150 A.D.

|Other| |Lydia|, |Hierocaesarea,| |Lydia,| |c.| |100| |-| |150| |A.D.|, |AE| |17|
Hierocaesarea from the Greek for 'sacred' and the Latin for 'Caesar's', also known as Hieracome or Hierakome, was a town and bishopric in the late Roman province of Lydia, the metropolitan see of which was Sardis. Judging from its coins, it worshiped the goddess Artemis Persica.
RP92869. Bronze AE 17, Imhoof-Blumer LS 23; RPC III Online 1854; BMC Lydia p. 103, 6; SNG Cop 176; Waddington 5001; SNGvA -; Weber -, VF, nice green patina, obverse off center, broad flan, weight 3.163 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Hierocaesarea (near Sazoba, Turkey) mint, c. 100 - 150 A.D.; obverse ΠEPCIKH, bust of Artemis Persica right, bow and quiver at shoulder; reverse IEPOKAICA-PE-ΩN (the last two letters in exergue), stag walking right; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Sardes, Lydia, c. 212 - 217 A.D.

|Sardes|, |Sardes,| |Lydia,| |c.| |212| |-| |217| |A.D.|, |AE| |16|
The Zeus who was worshiped at Laodicea was a Hellenized form of the old native god, Men. Men had been the king and father of his people. When Greeks settled in the area they continued to worship the god whose power was supreme in the district, but they identified him with their own god Zeus. Thus at Sardis and elsewhere in the region the native god became Zeus Lydios.
RP92868. Bronze AE 16, SNG Munchen 499; BMC Lydia p. 248, 86; Johnston Sardis 262; Lindgren-Kovacs A809A; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, aVF, well centered, dark green patina, porosity, weight 1.991 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 180o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, time of Caracalla, c. 212 - 217 A.D.; obverse ZEYC - ΛY∆IOC, diademed and draped bust of Zeus Lydios right; reverse CAP∆IANΩN, Herakles standing facing, head left, resting right hand on grounded club, Nemean lionskin on left arm; scarce; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


Hyrkaneis, Lydia, c. 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.

|Other| |Lydia|, |Hyrkaneis,| |Lydia,| |c.| |2nd| |-| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.|, |AE| |14|
Hyrcanis or Hyrkaneis, also known as Hyrcania, was a Roman and Byzantine city and bishopric on the Hyrcanian plain in ancient Lydia, now in western Turkey. It was named for a colony of Hyrcanians settled there by the Persians. Later some Macedonians also settled in the district, which is why they are called "Macedones Hyrcani" by Pliny the Elder and Tacitus. Lydia_50_AD
RP93587. Bronze AE 14, SNG Munchen 170; SNG Fitzwilliam 4863; BMC Lydia p. 123, 9; Mionnet IV 320; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, VF, dark patina, earthen encrustations, scratches, small edge split, weight 1.491 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 180o, Hyrcanis (near Halit Pasa, Turkey) mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse YPYKANΩ-N, lion advancing right; rare; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Xerxes I - Darius II, c. 485 - 420 B.C.

|Sardes|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Lydia,| |Anatolia,| |Xerxes| |I| |-| |Darius| |II,| |c.| |485| |-| |420| |B.C.|, |siglos|
After the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, the Jews were taken into the seventy-year Babylonian captivity. When ancient Persia took control of Babylon, Haman, the royal vizier, convinced King Ahasuerus to destroy all the Jews. Esther, Ahasuerus' queen and, unknown to him, a Jew, interceded on behalf of her people. By law the King could not rescind the order to slaughter the Jews, so he issued a second decree that permitted the Jews to defend themselves with armed force. The King replaced Haman with Mordecai, a palace official, cousin and foster parent of Esther. The Jews defeated Haman, killing his ten sons that were leading the attacks, and then hanged Haman. The day after the battle was designated as a day of feasting and rejoicing. Scholars identify King Ahasuerus as the historical king Xerxes I, 485 - 465 B.C. Xerxes is the Greek version of his name but the Babylonians knew him as Khshayarsha. The Hebrew name Ahasuerus, appears to be derived from Khshayarsha, with the letter A added at the beginning.
GA88198. Silver siglos, Carradice type IIIb (early), pl. XII, 16 ff.; Rosen 673; SGCV II 4682; Carradice NC 1998 pl. 7, 155 ff.; Carradice Price p. 67 and pl. 17, 1 ff., F, toned, scratches, porosity, weight 5.065 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 485 - 420 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, transverse spear downward in right hand, bow in extended left hand, bearded, crowned; reverse irregular oblong punch; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


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

|Hierapolis|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia| |in| |Homonoia| |with| |Sardis|, |AE| |30|
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 Tübingen 4054; Lindgren III 596, aF, obverse rough, weight 10.243 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, 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; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00




  






REFERENCES|

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