Numismatic and History Discussions > History and Archeology

Aizanoi, Turkey

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Virgil H:
I have visited this place a couple of times, I can't pronounce or spell the current Turkish town. I discovered it when going to Ephesus after 40 years and realizing that the cruise ships have totally ruined visiting places within the range of buses from the ships which is around 150 miles inland. My wife and I had heard about this but didn't realize how bad it was. So, we completely rerouted our driving trip to go inland after seeing the busses and crowds at Ephesus. We liked this place, Aizanoi and ended up going back, as well as to a great town on a huge inland lake. Anyway, I am dying to get a coin from here at some point, but they appear to be fairly rare and mostly from the Roman era. It has a history going back to Cybele and Artemis, then Roman with an amazing temple to Zeus. Here is an article relating to some archaeology of the city. I could write a lot about what we saw there and we were literally the only tourists there, much like it was when I first went to Ephesus in the late 70s before the cruise ships destroyed everything in so many places, like Venice and Barcelona. And tourists from cruise ships spend very little in these locations. At least in Venice at least, they all go back their ships in late afternoon, so Venice is at least nice in the evenings. I have heard that Venice has finally banned cruise ships, so at least that is good. Anyway, back to Aizanoi, the ancient city in Turkey.


Steve Moulding:
Wow. Looks a very cool place, Virgil. I just took a look on google maps...many amazing sites and you're the 3D photos that I saw it's basically empty.  Very nice.

Hi VH,

The overwhelming majority of the coins in the photo in the link appear tp have been issued under Augustus.


Hi VH,

I have a coin that was minted in Phrygia, Aizanis (first coin):

I assume it is the same city. It is a pedigreed coin from the Lindgren collection.


Mark Fox:
Dear Virgil, Steve, Meepzorp, and Board,

Yes, Meepzorp, there is only one Aezani (also spelled Aezanis, Aizanoi, etc.) that struck coins (and city that bears that name, that I am aware of).  Its first coins, issued as a separate Greek polis in probably the first century B.C., carried the ethnic "ΕΖΕΑΝΙΤΩΝ" (including the early Augustan period issues RPC I 3066–3067) as opposed to the more normal "ΑΙΖΑΝΙΤΩΝ" (beginning later in Augustus' reign) and ΑΙΖΑΝЄΙΤΩΝ (commending under Domitian).  Earlier, as part of the league of the Epicteteis (Epikteteis, Phrygia Epictetus, etc.), Aezani is believed to have been the minting place for the probable 2nd century B.C. federal coinage labeled "ΕΠΙΚΤΗ(ΤΕΩΝ)."  As a result, rightly or wrongly, catalogers will often treat Epicteteis as a synonym for Aezani.       

Aezani happens to be one of the cities that I avidly study, with a collection of ~40 coins strong so far, albeit not all in the best condition and with a lot of duplicates of more or less common types.  As a whole, Aezani was a major coin-producing city, although mainly during the Julio-Claudian period.  All later coinage, with perhaps a slight exception under Gallienus, is much scarcer by comparison.

I could go on and on, but I hope the little I shared helps.

Best regards,

Mark Fox


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