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

Ancient Coins of Ephesos, Ionia

Ephesos, on the west coast of Anatolia, was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. It was famous for its Temple of Artemis, completed around 550 B.C., one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The cult image of the Ephesian goddess has a mummy-like body with the feet placed close together, is many-breasted, and from each of her hands hangs a long fillet with tassels at the ends. At her side stands a stag raising its head to the image of the goddess. The usual symbols of this nature-goddess are the torch, stag, and the bee. Coins of Ephesos most frequently depict a bee on the obverse. The high-priest of the temple of Artemis was called the King Bee, while the virgin priestesses were called honey-bees (Melissae). Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia cited in the Book of Revelation and the Gospel of John may have been written there.

Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia|, |AE| |36|
See this type online:
RPC Online VI
Asia Minor Coins
ANS Mantis (No photo on ANS, but photo of this specimen is available on RPC Online.)
SH87621. Bronze AE 36, Karwiese MvE 5.2 p. 164, 750b (O3/R3, only 1 spec. of this variety); RPC Online VI T4956 (5 spec.); ANS Mantis 1972.185.5, Choice EF, excellent centering, olive green patina, some legend weak, small flaw/punch on reverse, porous, weight 25.344 g, maximum diameter 36.3 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesos mint, obverse AYT K M AYP CEB AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse M-ONΩN - ΠPΩTΩN - ACIAC, on left: cult statue of Artemis standing facing, wearing ornate kalathos, flanked on each side by a stag, arms with supports; on right: Demeter enthroned left, wreathed in grain, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical in left hand; EΦECIΩN in exergue; only the second known of this variety with stags flanking Artemis, fantastic HUGE 36mm provincial bronze!; $2655.00 SALE |PRICE| $2390.00
 


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia|, |AE| |23|
At the beginning of the third century, Ephesus asked to build temples to Caracalla and Geta, brother-emperors and sworn enemies. Both agreed, but on separate temples. Caracalla allowed the honor of his to go to Ephesus' patron goddess Artemis. A new temple was to be built for Geta. After Caracalla killed Geta and any sign of worship for the dead brother was eradicated. Based on the youthful portrait and only two neokorie listed in the reverse legend, this coin was likely struck before the temples to Artemis and Geta were approved.
RP92639. Bronze AE 23, Apparently unpublished, Karwiese MvE -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Hunter -, SNG Mun -, SNG Turkey -, BMC Ionia -, Lindgren -, Mionnet -, Choice gF, well centered, uneven toning, porous, some legend weak, tiny edge crack, weight 5.660 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesos mint, c. 198 - 202 A.D.; obverse AV K M AY ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, without beard, seen from the front; reverse EΦECIΩN B NEOKOIC,PΩN (last O in the lower right field, the last three letters in exergue), Artemis right, bringing down stag right, knee on back and holding antlers; from the Errett Bishop Collection, possibly unique, this is the only specimen of this type known to Forum; extremely rare; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia|, |AE| |25|
When Artemis was a child, she found five gigantic hinds (female deer) grazing in Thessaly and captured four of them to draw her chariot. The fifth escaped across a river to Mt. Cerynaea, on the border of Achaea and Arcadia. The Ceryneian or Golden Hind was sacred to Artemis. Although female, it had golden antlers like a stag and hooves of bronze. It was said that it could outrun an arrow in flight. Artemis allowed Heracles to capture the hind, his third labor, after he promised to liberate the animal after completing his task.
RP95365. Bronze AE 25, Karwiese 1131(a1) (O13/R95); SNG Munchen 260; SNG Hunterian XII 1749; SNG Cop 519; SNGvA 7889; SNG Tub -; BMC Ionia -, gVF, well centered on a broad flan, obverse die wear and minor die breaks, weight 6.759 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, obverse AYT K ΠO ΛIKI ΓAΛΛIHNOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse EΦECIΩN A D• NE•Ω•KOPΩN, agonistic urn (prize crown) containing palm fronds, band across the crown is marked EΦECIAI; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
 


Ephesos, Ionia, c. 245 - 202 B.C.

|Ephesos|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia,| |c.| |245| |-| |202| |B.C.|, |obol|
Unpublished but there are eight sales of the type recorded on Coin Archives. The attribution to Ephesus and the date are less than certain. Lacking a legend, this rare issue has been attributed to Ephesos because Artemis and stag types are typical of Ephesos.
GS94046. Silver obol, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Kayhan -, SNG Mün -, Klein -, BMC Ionia -; cf. CNG mail bid sale 75, lot 374, VF, etched surfaces, porous, weight 0.388 g, maximum diameter 7.7 mm, die axis 90o, Ephesos(?) mint, c. 245 - 202 B.C. or later; obverse bust of Artemis right, bow and quiver over shoulder; reverse forepart of stag left, head reverted; very rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


Ephesos, Ionia, c. 340 - 325 B.C.

|Ephesos|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia,| |c.| |340| |-| |325| |B.C.|, |hemidrachm|
In 356 B.C. the temple of Artemis was burned down, according to legend, by a lunatic called Herostratus. Ephesus planned a larger, grander temple and at once started rebuilding. When Alexander the Great defeated the Persian forces at the Battle of Granicus in 334 B.C., the Greek cities of Anatolia were liberated. The pro-Persian tyrant Syrpax and his family were stoned to death, and Alexander was greeted warmly when he entered Ephesus in triumph. When Alexander saw that the temple of Artemis was not yet finished, he proposed to finance it and have his name inscribed on the front. But the Ephesians demurred, saying it was not fitting for one god to build a temple to another.
GS94111. Silver hemidrachm, Karwiese Series VI, SNG Kayhan 247, SNG Keckman II 210, SNG Lockett 2806, SNG Munchen 22, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Tub -, F, dark tone, light corrosion, die wear and cracks, tiny edge crack, weight 1.468 g, maximum diameter 12.1 mm, Ephesos mint, c. 340 - 325 B.C.; obverse bee with straight wings seen from above, E−Φ flanking head; reverse quadripartite incuse square, divided by thin raised bands, incuse quarters rough; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


Ephesos, Ionia, c. 390 - 320 B.C.

|Ephesos|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia,| |c.| |390| |-| |320| |B.C.|, |diobol|
In 356 B.C. the temple of Artemis was burned down, according to legend, by a lunatic called Herostratus. Ephesus planned a larger, grander temple and at once started rebuilding. When Alexander the Great defeated the Persian forces at the Battle of Granicus in 334 B.C., the Greek cities of Anatolia were liberated. The pro-Persian tyrant Syrpax and his family were stoned to death, and Alexander was greeted warmly when he entered Ephesus in triumph. When Alexander saw that the temple of Artemis was not yet finished, he proposed to finance it and have his name inscribed on the front. But the Ephesians demurred, saying it was not fitting for one god to build a temple to another.
GS94113. Silver diobol, SNG Kayhan 204; SNG Cop 242; SNGvA 1835; SNG Munchen 32; SNG Tubingen 2764; BMC Ionia p. 53, 53, VF, dark toning, well centered on a tight flan, remnants of pre-strike flans, weight 0.959 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, c. 390 - 320 B.C.; obverse bee with straight wings, seen from above, E−Φ flanking high across field; reverse confronted heads of two stags, EΦ above center; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia|, |AE| |28|
Artemis is depicted here in the same pose as The Diana of Versailles, a slightly over life-size Roman marble statue from the 1st or 2nd century A.D., copying a lost Greek bronze original attributed to Leochares, c. 325 B.C. The sculpture has a stag at her side, rather than a hound. The sculpture may have come from a sanctuary at Nemi or possibly from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. In 1556, it was given by Pope Paul IV to Henry II of France, a subtle allusion to the king's mistress, Diane de Poitiers. It is now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
RP94243. Bronze AE 28, Karwiese 1032(c); SNGvA 1922; SNG Cop -; SNG Hunter -; BMC Ionia -, aVF, green patina, earthen deposits, light corrosion, weight 7.719 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesos mint, obverse AYT K ΠO ΛIKIN BAΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse EΦECIΩN Γ NEOKOPΩN, Artemis advancing right, bow in left hand, with right hand drawing arrow from quiver, on shoulder, hound at feet behind running right; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


Ephesos, Ionia, c. 390 - 320 B.C.

|Ephesos|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia,| |c.| |390| |-| |320| |B.C.|, |diobol|
In 356 B.C. the temple of Artemis was burned down, according to legend, by a lunatic called Herostratus. Ephesus planned a larger, grander temple and at once started rebuilding. When Alexander the Great defeated the Persian forces at the Battle of Granicus in 334 B.C., the Greek cities of Anatolia were liberated. The pro-Persian tyrant Syrpax and his family were stoned to death, and Alexander was greeted warmly when he entered Ephesus in triumph. When Alexander saw that the temple of Artemis was not yet finished, he proposed to finance it and have his name inscribed on the front. But the Ephesians demurred, saying it was not fitting for one god to build a temple to another.
GS94115. Silver diobol, SNG Kayhan 194; SNG Cop 243; SNGvA 1835; SNG Munchen 32; BMC Ionia p. 53, 53, aVF, dark tone, off center on a tight flan, weight .0885 g, maximum diameter 9.5 mm, die axis 315o, Ephesos mint, c. 390 - 320 B.C.; obverse bee with straight wings, seen from above; reverse confronted heads of two stags, EΦ above; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


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

|Hierapolis|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia| |in| |Homonoia| |with| |Ephesus|, |AE| |32|
This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Ephesus. 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.
RP77245. Bronze AE 32, Franke-Nolle, type VII, 743 (Vs. B/ Rs. 39); cf. BMC Phrygia p. 264, 188; SNG Hunterian 1957; SNG Righetti 1189, aVF, slightly ragged flan, potentially active corrosion, weight 10.522 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AV• KE• - ΠOV ΛIK OYA/ΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis from which two snakes rise; reverse IEPAΠOΛEI/TΩN - K EΦECIΩN, Serapis standing right, kalathos on head holding transverse scepter; to right, Artemis Ephesia facing, resting each hand on the head of a stag, one stag flanking on each side, NEΩ/KO/PΩ/N in four lines in center field, OMONOIA in exergue; very rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


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

|Hierapolis|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia| |in| |Homonoia| |with| |Ephesus|, |AE| |33|
This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Ephesus. 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.
RP77249. Bronze AE 33, SNG Hunterian 1957 (same dies); cf. Franke-Nolle, type VII, 736 (Vs. A/Rs. -, unlisted reverse die); BMC Phrygia p. 264, 188; SNG Righetti 1189, aVF, large edge split, potentially active corrosion, weight 17.950 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 190o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse A K Π Λ OVAΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩ-N K EΦECIΩN, Serapis standing right, kalathos on head, holding transverse scepter; to right, Artemis Ephesia facing, with two supports, flanked by a stag on each side, NE/OK/O in three lines in center field, OMONOIA in exergue; very rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 




  



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