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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).

Judaea, Porcius Festus, Roman Procurator under Nero, 59 - 62 A.D.

|Porcius| |Festus|, |Judaea,| |Porcius| |Festus,| |Roman| |Procurator| |under| |Nero,| |59| |-| |62| |A.D.||prutah|NEW
"Now when Festus had come into his province, after three days he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they urged him, asking as a favor to have the man sent to Jerusalem, planning an ambush to kill him on the way. Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, and that he himself intended to go there shortly...But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, "Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem, and there be tried on these charges before me?" But Paul said, "I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried; to the Jews I have done no wrong, as you know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death; but if there is nothing in their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar." Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, "You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go." - Acts 25:1-4,9-12
JD110338. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6380; Meshorer TJC 345; RPC I 4972; Sofaer, pl. 220, 66; BMC Palestine p. 266, 1, VF, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, well centered, weight 1.986 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 59 A.D.; obverse NEP/WNO/C (Nero) in wreath tied at the bottom with an X; reverse KAICAPO (Caesar) and date LE (year 5), palm frond; from an Israeli collection; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Tarsos, Cilicia, c. 164 - 27 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Tarsos,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |164| |-| |27| |B.C.||AE| |20|
In ancient Greek mythology, Tyche was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city. She wears a mural crown (a crown that resembles the walls of the city).
GB110118. Bronze AE 20, cf. SNG Levante 918 ff.; SNG BnF 1285 ff.; SNG Cop 326 f.; SNGvA 5973; BMC Lycaonia p. 181, 115 (various controls), aF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, c/m: VF, weight 5.513 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 164 - 27 B.C.; obverse turreted head of Tyche right, hair rolled, two strands with loose curls down back of neck, monogram (control) behind; countermark: bow in bowcase in a rectangular punch; reverse Zeus seated left on throne with high back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, long scepter topped with an eagle in right hand, TAPΣEΩN downward on left, two monograms (controls) on right; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia||tetrassaria|
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire it was known as Kaicareωn (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.
RP110457. Bronze tetrassaria, apparently unpublished; Ziegler - (Vs6/Rs12), RPC Online VI -, VF, broad flan, green patina, some legend unstruck, a little rough, small edge cracks, weight 12.496 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 229 - 230 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AY CE AΛEΞAN∆POC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse ANAZAPBOY MHTPO, saddled horse right, left foreleg raised, ΓB (holder of 3 neocorates) above, ET ΘMC (year 249) in exergue; perhaps unique; extremely rare; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Cilicia, Persian Empire, c. 351 - 338 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Cilicia,| |Persian| |Empire,| |c.| |351| |-| |338| |B.C.||hemiobol|
Artaxerxes III, was King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 359/58 to 338 B.C. Before ascending the throne, he was a satrap and commander of his father's army. Artaxerxes came to power after one of his brothers was executed, another committed suicide, the last murdered, and his father, Artaxerxes II died. Soon after becoming king, Artaxerxes murdered all of the royal family to secure his place as king. He started two major campaigns against Egypt. The first campaign failed, and was followed up by rebellions throughout the western part of his empire. During the second, Artaxerxes finally defeated Nectanebo II, the Pharaoh of Egypt, bringing that country back into the Persian fold after six decades. In Artaxerxes' later years, Philip II of Macedon tried to convince the Greeks to revolt against the Achaemenid Empire. With Artaxerxes support, the city of Perinthus resisted a Macedonian siege.
SL110485. Silver hemiobol, Winzer p. 24 & pl. 1, 3.5 (notes otherwise unpublished) , NGC F (6327415-017), Cilicia, uncertain mint, c. 351 - 338 B.C.; obverse crowned, bearded, head of Great King (Artaxerxes III?) left; retrograde KTE counterclockwise on left; reverse two confronted female heads, their faces overlapping with the head on the right nearer, the face of the left is head behind the head on the right; ex Heritage auction 232236 (7 Sep 2022), lot 62147; NGC| Lookup; extremely rare; $225.00 SALE PRICE $203.00


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Elaiussa-Sebaste, Islands off Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Elaiussa-Sebaste,| |Islands| |off| |Cilicia||AE| |35|
Elaiussa, meaning olive, was founded in the 2nd century B.C. on a tiny island attached to the southern coast of Turkey by a narrow isthmus in Mediterranean Sea. During the reign of Augustus, the Cappadocian king Archelaus founded a new city on the isthmus. Archelaus called it Sebaste, which is the Greek equivalent word of the Latin "Augusta." The city entered its golden age when Vespasian purged Cilicia of pirates in 74 A.D. Towards the end of the 3rd century A.D. its importance began to wane, due in large part to incursions by the Sassanian King Shapur I in 260 and later by the Isaurians. When its neighbor Corycus began to flourish in the 6th century A.D., Elaiussa Sebaste slowly disappeared from history. The theater, dating to the 2nd century A.D., is small with only 23 rows of seats, whose steps and decorations unfortunately succumbed to centuries of plunder.Elaiussa Theater
GP110208. Bronze AE 35, RPC Online VII-2 2946 (9 spec.), SNG BnF 1175, SNG Pfalz 462, BMC Cilicia - (1975,0411.346), SNG Levante -, SNG Cop -, F, edge chips, flat strike, corrosion, weight 21.223 g, maximum diameter 35.1 mm, die axis 225o, Elaiussa-Sebaste (Ayash, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANTΩ ΓOP∆IANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CEBACTH IEP AC AVT NAVAPXIC, Zeus Nikephoros standing facing, head left, nude, Nike bearing wreath and palm frond in right hand, long grounded scepter vertical in left hand; BIG 35mm bronze; very rare; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Coracesium, Cilicia Trachea

|Cilicia|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Coracesium,| |Cilicia| |Trachea||AE| |19|
In Strabo's reckoning, Coracesium marked the boundary between ancient Pamphylia and Cilicia Trachaea. Because of its natural strategic position on a small peninsula into the Mediterranean Sea below the Taurus Mountains, Alanya has been a local stronghold for many Mediterranean-based empires, including the Ptolemaic, Seleucid, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires.
RP110223. Bronze AE 19, RPC Online III 2742 (18 spec.); Levante Korakesion 2; SNG BnF 613; SNG Levante 388; SNG Cop 109; SNG Leypold 2460; SNG Pflzer 780; Waddington 4234, gVF, green patina, edge flaw, reverse edge beveled, weight 4.432 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Coracesium (modern Alanya, Turkey) mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPATWP TPAIANOC, laureate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse KOPAKHCIWTWN, Demeter standing facing, head left, wearing long chiton, stalks of grain in right hand, lighted long torch grounded and vertical in left hand; rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Kibyra Minor, Cilicia, 2nd-1st Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Kibyra| |Minor,| |Cilicia,| |2nd-1st| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |23|
Leake attributed this type to Kibyra in Phrygia and to the time of Claudius, but BMC Cilicia p. xxxiii notes they are earlier in style and in fabric resemble the coins of Cilician coastal towns. Head attributed them to Kibyra Minor, on the coast of Cilicia, near the Pamphylian border. The type was struck with either the numerals ∆K (24) or EK (25), which might be dates, but the era is uncertain.
GB110180. Brass AE 23, Imhoof-Blumer GM 462; SNG Levante 384 var. (EK); BMC Cilicia - (p. xxxiii); SNG BnF -; SNGvA -; SNG Cop -, F, centered on a broad flan, dark green patina, porosity,, weight 8.172 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Kibyra Minor mint, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse Hermes standing half left, head left, kerykeion in right hand, ∆K (year 24?) downward lower left, KIBYPATΩN downward on right; first ever coin of Kibyra Minor handled by FORVM, Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; very rare; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Anazarbus, Cilicia, 114 - 115 A.D.

|Cilicia|, |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia,| |114| |-| |115| |A.D.||hemiassarion|
The torch is a symbol that can be related to either Artemis or Demeter. Although goddess on the reverse is usually identified in references as Artemis, we believe it is Demeter. In year 132, this type was struck at Anazarbus with larger denominations depicting Trajan on the obverse, some with reverses depicting Trajan's sister Marciana, and others with reverses depicting her daughter, Trajan's niece, Matidia. Circulating alongside the other coins, these coins advertised the importance of Marciana and Matidia to the imperial family and suggested that they, similar to Demeter and her daughter Persephone, were essential to the prosperity of the empire.
GB110042. Bronze hemiassarion, Ziegler 122; RPC III 3375; BMC Lycaonia p. 31, 3; SNG BnF 2026; cf. SNG Levante 1380 (year 132); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Righetti -, F, dark green patina, scratches, reverse edge beveled, weight 3.023 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 114 - 115 A.D.; obverse KAICAPIA ANAZAP, veiled bust of Persephone right, grain ears and poppy before; reverse veiled bust of Demeter right, wearing polos (resembling a pileus), flaming torch before, ET ΓΛP (year 133) upward behind; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Hierapolis-Kastabala, Cilicia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Hierapolis-Kastabala,| |Cilicia,| |2nd| |-| |1st| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |20|
Hierapolis-Kastabala is located three kilometers north of the Ceyhan River (the ancient Pyramus) in the southern Turkish province of Osmaniye. Alexander the Great stopped at Kastabala before the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C. Antiochus IV renamed the city Hierapolis.
GB110012. Bronze AE 20, SNG BnF 2217 var. (monogram); SNGvA 5570 var. (same); BMC Lycaonia p. 82, 3 var. (same); SNG Levante 1569 var. (same); SNG Cop 144 var. (same), gF, green patina, scratches, weight 6.685 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Hierapolis-Castabala (Kirmitli, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse veiled head of Tyche right with turreted crown, monogram (control) behind; reverse The river-god Pyramos swimming right, eagle standing right on right hand, IEPO/ΠOΠITΠN in two lines above, TΩN ΠPOΣ TΩ/I ΠYP AMΩI in two lines below; ex Classical Numismatic Group, ex Richard L. Horst Collection; monogram missing from references but one specimen on coin archives; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50


Korykos, Cilicia, c. 50 B.C. - 50 A.D.

|Cilicia|, |Korykos,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |50| |B.C.| |-| |50| |A.D.||AE| |25|
Korykos (Corycus) was the port for Seleucia, an important harbor and commercial town. The Romans defeated the fleet of Antiochus the Great near Korykos, in 191 B.C. In Roman imperial times emperors usually kept a fleet there to watch over the pirates.

Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the god of commerce and thieves. He was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. His symbols include the caduceus and winged sandals.
RB110022. Bronze AE 25, SNG Levante 803, SNGvA 5681, SNG BnF 1100, BMC Lycaonia -, SNG Cop -, attractive aF, nice green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, scattered light pitting, edge split, weight 8.505 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 225o, Korykos (Kizkalesi, Turkey) mint, c. 50 B.C. - 50 A.D.; obverse head of Aphrodite right, wearing diadem and stephane, KOPY downward on right, aphlaston lower right; reverse Hermes standing half-right, nude except for chlamys fastened around neck and winged sandals, caduceus in right hand, messenger bag (made from an udder) in extended left hand, AYTONO-MOY in two upward lines, starting on the left, the last three letters on the right ; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00




  






REFERENCES

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