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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.


Mark Antony and Octavia, 39 B.C., Ephesos, Ionia

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Mark Antony is depicted on the obverse with the attributes of Dionysus.
SH24805. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, RPC I 2201, Cohen 2 (35 Fr.), Sydenham 1197, Sear CRI 262, gVF, obverse grainy, weight 12.001 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 0o, obverse M ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT, head of Antony right, wreathed in ivy, lituus below, all within wreath of ivy and grapes; reverse III VIR R P C, bust of Octavia right on cista flanked by snakes; SOLD


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

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SH54006. Silver cistophorus, RIC I 120, SRCV I 1838, RSC II 3, BMCRE I 228, Nice VF, banker's mark, weight 10.700 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesus mint, 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAES AVG, bare head left; reverse COM ASI ROM ET AVG, temple of two columns, within temple Claudius stands facing holding a spear and is crowned by Fortuna holding a cornucopia; toned; very rare (R3); SOLD


Marc Antony, Octavian and Lepidus, Triumvirs, 26 November 43 - 36 B.C.

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RPC notes uncertainty regarding the reverse legend of this type. Apparently, none are fully and clearly legible. There is some question regarding the final Z. They note it may be Ξ. On our example however, it seems clearly to be Z.

The Second Triumvirate officially expired after two five-year terms in 33 B.C., but Octavian unilaterally expelled Lepidus in 36 B.C. While this effectively ended the three-man Triumvirate, Octavian and Mark Antony continued to serve as "triumvirs" despite their number.
SH60337. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2573, BMCRR 194 corr., VF, nice for the type, weight 3.400 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, 39 B.C.; obverse three jugate heads of the Triumvirs right; reverse APXIEPEYΣ ΓPAM ΓΛAYKΩN EΦE MAZAΣ, facing cult statue of Artemis with supports; attractive green patina, ex CNG; rare; SOLD


Ephesos, Ionia, Phanes, c. 625 - 600 B.C.

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Known to be among the oldest coins because a hemihekte from the issue was found in the foundation of the temple of Artemis at Ephesos. Seven different denominations are linked by the stag type, a common weight standard, and reverse die links. The stag is a symbol of Artemis and thus of Ephesus. The two larger denominations bear the name Phanes, who was likely a prominent citizen of Ephesus, perhaps a despot, a magistrate, or a wealthy money-lender.
GA59457. Electrum 1/48 stater, SNGvA 778, Zhuyuetang 10, SNG Cop -; Weidauer -, Rosen -, VF, weight 0.211 g, maximum diameter 5.0 mm, obverse head of stag right; reverse irregular pattern within square incuse; probably less than 20 known to exist; very rare; SOLD


Ephesos, Ionia, Phanes, c. 625 - 600 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit Electrum Plate Over Silver

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The official coin, of which this is an ancient counterfeit, was from the very first issue of Ephesos and among the very first coins man produced. This coin is undoubtedly one of the very first counterfeit coins man produced. Criminal counterfeiters were evidently a problem from the very beginnings of coinage.
SH21112. Fouree electrum plated hekte, cf. Weidauer 35; Traité pl. II, 18; BMC Ionia 4 (official, Ephesos, electrum), VF, electrum over silver, weight 1.645 g, maximum diameter 9.6 mm, illegal mint, after c. 625 B.C.; obverse forepart of stag left, head turned right, three pellets before; reverse incuse square with raised lines; SOLD


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

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The cistophorus was first struck by the Pergamene Kingdom was a tetradrachm (four-drachms coin) struck on a reduced Asian standard of about 3 grams per drachm. Its name was derived from the cista, a Dionysian cult snake basket that frequently appeared on the obverse. After the Pergamene Kingdom was bequeathed to Rome in 133 B.C., the Romans continued to strike cistophori for the Asia province, with a value equal to three denarii. The portrait of Augustus and later emperors replaced the cista on the obverse.
SH85434. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Sutherland Group VI, RPC I 2215, RIC I 479, RSC I 33, BnF I 922, BMCRE I 694, BMCRR East 262, SRCV I 1587, VF, full circles strike on a broad flan, light uneven toning, light encrustations, small closed edge crack, weight 11.660 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesus mint, c. 24 - 20 B.C.; obverse IMP CAE-SAR (counterclockwise below), bare head right, linear border; reverse garlanded and filleted altar of Diana (artemis, ornamented on the front with two hinds standing confronted, AVGVSTVS above; SOLD


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

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This coin was previously attributed as Thompson 166, but that type has a bee under Athena's arm and a similar, but not identical, monogram in the exergue. We were unable to find another example of this type.
GS77555. Silver tetradrachm, Apparently unpublished; Müller -, Thompson -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tüb -, Armenak Hoard -, VF, high-relief unusual style portrait, toned, tiny flan crack, light marks, weight 14.309 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesus(?) mint, c. 294 - 281 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) ΛYΣIMAXOY (Lysimachos), Athena enthroned left resting arm on shield, transverse spear resting against right side, Athena holds Nike crowning name with wreath, ΣΠE(?) monogram under her hand; ex Roma Numismatics e-auction 5 (23 Feb 2014), lot 353; extremely rare; SOLD


Ephesos, Ionia, Phanes, c. 625 - 600 B.C.,

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Known to be among the oldest coins because a hemihekte from the issue was in the famous "Artemision Find" in the foundation of the temple of Artemis at Ephesos in 1904. Seven different denominations are linked by the stag type, a common weight standard, and reverse die links. The stag is a symbol of Artemis and thus of Ephesus. The two larger denominations bear the name Phanes, who was likely a prominent citizen of Ephesus, perhaps a despot, a magistrate, or a wealthy money-lender.
SH90358. Electrum 1/24 stater, SNGvA 7773, BMC Ionia -; Rosen -; Traité -; Weidauer - (cf. 36-37, 1/12 stater), VF, scratches, weight 0.571 g, maximum diameter 6.9 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesos mint, Phanes, c. 625 - 600 B.C.; obverse forepart of stag right, head turned left; reverse incuse square with raised lines; rare; SOLD


Ephesos, Ionia, c. 500 - 420 B.C.

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In 479 B.C., the Ionians, allied with Athens and Sparta, were able to oust the Persians from the shores of Asia Minor. In 478 B.C., the Ionian cities entered with Athens and Sparta into the Delian League. Ephesus did not contribute ships but gave financial support.
GS86219. Silver drachm, SNG Kayhan 140, SNGvA 7819, SNG Cop 210, SNG Tübingen 2758, Traité II, p. 1090, 1867 & pl. CLII, 12; BMC Ionia -, SNG München -, Choice gVF, toned, well centered on a tight flan, weight 3.343 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, c. 500 - 420 B.C.; obverse EΦ-EΣI-O-N, bee seen from above; reverse quadripartite incuse square, divided by thin raised bands, incuse quarters rough; rare issue with full ethnic; SOLD


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

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Lysimachos captured Ephesus c. 295 B.C. and renamed it Arsinoe in honor of his wife. Thompson noted, "Some staters and tetradrachms were struck but the mint's chief output was drachms."
SH70833. Silver drachm, Thompson 174, Müller 355, VF, light red-gold toning on obverse, weight 4.179 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 270o, Ephesos mint, c. 294 - 287 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning name in right, rests left arm on round shield behind, kithara inner left, A on throne; ex CNG Auctions 288 (Oct 2012), lot 106; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 22, 2019.
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Ephesus