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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).

Plautilla, Augusta 202 - 22 January 205 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Plautilla,| |Augusta| |202| |-| |22| |January| |205| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia||assarion|
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire it was known as 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.
RP111634. Bronze assarion, SNG Levante 1411, Ziegler 295, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, VF, well centered, broad flan, obverse encrustation, scratches, weight 4.399 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 202 - 203 A.D.; obverse ΦOY ΠΛAYTIΛΛA, draped bust right; reverse ANAZAPBEΩN NEΩK ET, prize-crown inscribed OΛYMΠIA, AKC ([year] 221) above; rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Trajan Decius, September 249 - June or July 251 A.D., Augusta, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Trajan| |Decius,| |September| |249| |-| |June| |or| |July| |251| |A.D.,| |Augusta,| |Cilicia||AE| |19|
Augusta, Cilicia was founded in 20 A.D., and named for Livia (Julia Augusta). Just over 16 km north of Adana in a loop of the river Seyhan (Sarus), and at the west end of a narrow plain bounded to the north and south by low hills. Represented at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the city probably did not long survive the Moslem invasion of Cilicia in the 7th century. The site, discovered by chance in 1955, was identified by ancient literary sources and from finds there, and in the neighboring village of Gbe, of Roman provincial coins naming the city. Later that same year Gbe, and with it the ruins of Augusta, disappeared below the waters of the Seyhan dam, but not before the site had been partially surveyed. Two colonnaded streets crossed each other at right angles typical of Roman towns in Cilicia. The foundations of a triumphal arch, a theater, a civic basilica, some shops, a bath building, were mapped. These structures were all of brick and mortar, and probably dated to the 3rd century.
RP111040. Bronze AE 19, apparently unpublished; SNG BnF -, SNG Levante -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Tahberer -, SNG Pflzer -, BMC Cilicia -, Lindgren -, VF, near centered, dark patina, choice reverse, light marks, weight 4.773 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Augusta (under Seyhan Dam Reservoir) mint, autumn 249 - Jun/Jul 251 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI KYN ΔEKION TPAIANON CEB, laureate head right, light beard; reverse AVΓOVCTANΩN ΕT ΘKC (of Augustus, year 229), draped bust of ivy wreathed Dionysos right; zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia, Matidia Reverse

|Cilicia|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia,| |Matidia| |Reverse||diassarion|
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire it was known as Kaicare?n (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.
RP111017. Bronze diassarion, Ziegler 114 (Vs1/Rs5), RPC III 3370, SNGvA 5477, SNG Levante 1385, SNG Cop -, SNG BnF -, gVF, attractive portraits, tight flan, obv. legend weak, light marks, weight 14.483 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 45o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 113 - 114 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAIC NEP TAPIANOC CE ΓEPM ΔA, laureate head of Trajan right; reverse KAICAPE ANAZAP MATIΔIAN CEB (PE ligate), draped bust of Matidia right, hair in a small bun behind neck, ET BΛP (year 132) low across field; scarce; $850.00 SALE PRICE $765.00


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; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


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 AΛΕΞANΔPOC, 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; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


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; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


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; $75.00 SALE PRICE $67.50


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 ; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Severus Alexander and Julia Maesa, 222 - 235 A.D., Ninica-Claudiopolis, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Severus| |Alexander| |and| |Julia| |Maesa,| |222| |-| |235| |A.D.,| |Ninica-Claudiopolis,| |Cilicia||AE| |36|
Ammianus mentions Silifke and Claudiopolis as cities of Cilicia, or of the country drained by the Calycadnus; and Claudiopolis was a colony of Claudius Caesar. It is described by Theophanes of Byzantium as situated in a plain between the two Taurus Mountains, a description which exactly, corresponds to the position of the basin of the Calycadnus. Claudiopolis may therefore be represented by Mut, which is higher up the valley than Seleucia, and near the junction of the northern and western branches of the Calycadnus. It is also the place to which the pass over the northern Taurus leads from Laranda. The city received the Roman colony name Colonia Iulia Felix Augusta Ninica.
RB91011. Bronze AE 36, cf. asiaminorcoins.com 6551 (same obv. die & c/m), SNG Levante -, RPC Online -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, BMC Cilicia -, c/m: Howgego 262, F, weak legends, porosity, edge cracks, weight 17.901 g, maximum diameter 35.8 mm, die axis 180o, Ninica-Claudiopolis (Mut, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP C SEVERUS ALEXANΔER AVΓ (or similar), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; c/m: Nike right in c. 5 x 8 mm oval punch (3 times); reverse IVL MAECA COL IVL FEL NINIO CLAUΔIOPOLI (or similar), draped bust of Julia Maesa right; huge 35.8 mm!; ex Forum (2015); extremely rare; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Tarsos, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Tarsos,| |Cilicia||AE| |27|
The title Neokoros, designating a guardian of a temple of the imperial cult, was highly prized and advertised on the coins of many cities. Tarsos was the first city in Cilicia to receive the title, during the reign of Hadrian, not long after 130 A.D. This first temple dedicated to the cult of Hadrian is named in the reverse legend. A second imperial temple was dedicated to Commodus during his reign, before August 191. The B (the Greek number two) indicates this second neokorie. The Kommodeios isolympic worldwide festival was held in honor of this temple. Commodus probably honored Tarsos because its chief god was Hercules, and Commodus had come to believe he was Hercules reincarnated.
RP97264. Bronze AE 27, RPC Online IV.3 T5845, SNG Levante Supp. 260, SNG BnF 1466, SNGvA 5997, Waddington 4636, VF, nice green patina, uneven slightly off-center strike with parts of legends weak or unstruck, weight 11.189 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 30o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, Mar/Apr 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.; obverse AYT KAIC AYP KOMOΔOC CEB, mantled bust right, wearing demiurgic crown; club of Hercules behind; reverse AΔP KOM - TAP MHO (Hadrianeia, Kommodeios - Tarsos Metropolis), agonistic crown inscribed KOMOΔEI, OIKO/VME (Kommodeios worldwide) in two lines above, B / NEWKO (two neokorie) in two lines below; ex Zeus Numismatics, auction 11 (01 Aug 2020), lot 453; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00




  






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