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Ancient Coins of Anatolia (Asia Minor)

Anatolia is the region comprising most of modern Turkey, bounded by the Black (North), Aegean (West) and Mediterranean (South) seas; to the East it is bounded by the Taurus Mountains and main Asia. The name comes from Ionian Greek meaning "the land of the sunrise" or simply "the East." It was named Asia Minor by the Romans. The land is first mentioned by Akkadian records, and played a very important role for all subsequent Mesopotamian civilizations. We should not forget to add that Anatolia is the birthplace of coinage in the late 7th Century B.C.!

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, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; 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!; $1900.00 (1805.00)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Kyme, Aiolis

|Aeolis|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Kyme,| |Aiolis||AE| |38|
Hygieia was the Greek goddess of health. She was the daughter of Asklepios, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asklepios learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
SH91012. Bronze AE 38, SNGvA 1652; Kraft p. 111, 9a; McClean 7927; Rhousopoulous 3547; SNG Cop -; BMC Troas -, Choice VF, full circles strike on a broad flan, excellent portrait, porosity and some minor pitting, weight 21.937 g, maximum diameter 37.5 mm, die axis 180o, Kyme (near Nemrut Limani, Turkey) mint, c. 212 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse AV K M AVP ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse EΠI CTPA ΦΛA ΠAVCEPΩTOC (prefect, strategos Phla(...) Pauserotos), Hygieia on the left, standing facing, feeding snake held in her arms, head right looking at Asklepios, Asklepios on the right, standing slightly right, head turned back left, wearing himation, leaning on snake entwined staff in his right hand, KYMAIΩN in exergue; huge very rare 37.1 mm bronze!, ex Divus Numismatik, ex Forum (2018); very rare; $675.00 (641.25)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Irenopolis-Neronias, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Irenopolis-Neronias,| |Cilicia||7| |assaria|
Wandering the world in a panther-drawn chariot, Dionysos rode ahead of the maenads and satyrs, who sang loudly and danced, flushed with wine. They were profusely garlanded with ivy and held the thyrsus, a staff topped with a pine cone, a symbol of the immortality of his believers. Everywhere he went he taught men how to cultivate vines and the mysteries of his cult. Whoever stood in his way and refused to revere him was punished with madness.
RP96990. Bronze 7 assaria, Karbach Eirenopolis - (cf. 146-7 same obv. die, diff. rev. type); Leu web auction 12 (2020), 870 (same dies); SNG Levante -; SNG Paris -; SNG PFPS -, aVF/F, green patina with earthen deposits, weight 12.523 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 225o, Irenopolis (Dzici, Turkey) mint, 258 - 259 A.D.; obverse ΠOY ΛIK Γ/θ>AΛIHNOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; uncertain round countermark; reverse IPHNOΠOΛE (or similar), Dionysos drinking with his entourage, standing facing, kantharos (wine cup) in his right hand, pedum (shepherd's crook) in his left hand, Pan on right supporting him, Satyr on left standing with outstretched right hand, panther seated left at feet on left, Z (mark of value) right; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (15 Aug 2020), lot 921; the second known; $640.00 (608.00)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||medallion|
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 image on the reverse of this coin likely represents the Artemision. The thumbnail photograph to the right is the Temple of Hadrian at Ephesos, click it to see a larger image.Temple of Hadrian
RP99619. Bronze medallion, RPC III 2073; SNG Cop 387; SNG Mun 126; SNG Hunterian 1700; BMC Ionia p. 77, 224; McClean 8104; SNGvA -, F, flaw in temple pediment, light corrosion, weight 28.551 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesus mint, 11 Aug 117 - 10 Jul 138 A.D.; obverse A∆PIANOC KAICAP OΛYMPIOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis; reverse Cult-statue of Artemis Epeshia, with arm supports, wearing tall headdress and veil, within ornate temple with eight Ionic columns, the base of each decorated with a statue, three step base, four statues in pediment, EΦEC IΩN in exergue; huge 35mm bronze!; $550.00 (522.50)


Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - late May 238 A.D., Philadelphia, Cilicia Trachea

|Cilicia|, |Maximinus| |I| |Thrax,| |20| |March| |235| |-| |late| |May| |238| |A.D.,| |Philadelphia,| |Cilicia| |Trachea||AE| |34|
Philadelphia (Greek: brotherly love) in ancient Cilicia Trachea (later of Isauria) was on the river Calycadnus, above Aphrodisias. Its site is tentatively located near Imsi ren in Asiatic Turkey. Neither Philadelphia in Lydia (Alasehir, Turkey today) nor Philadelphia, in the Decapolis, later Arabia Petraea (Amman, Jordan today) struck coins for Maximinus Thrax.
RB98739. Bronze AE 34, SNG BnF 760, SNG Levante 580, SNGvA 5804, SNG Leypold 2580, Lindgren-Kovacs 786, RPC Online VI T6889, EF, dark patina, pitting, a little off center, weight 14.930 g, maximum diameter 34.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Philadelphia (near Imsi ren, Turkey) mint, 20 Mar 235 - late May 238 A.D.; obverse AVT K Γ IOVH MAΞIMEINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ΦILALELFFEΩN KHTIΛOC, Tyche standing left, kalathos on head, grounded rudder in right hand held by tiller, cornucopia in left hand; from the CEB Collection, ex Edward J. Waddell, big 34mm!; $300.00 (285.00)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Amisos, Pontos

|Pontos|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Amisos,| |Pontos||drachm|
The Romans conquered Amisus in 71 B.C. during the Third Mithridatic War and Amisus became part of Bithynia et Pontus province. Around 46 B.C., during the reign of Julius Caesar, Amisus became the capital of Roman Pontus. From the period of the Second Triumvirate up to Nero, Pontus was ruled by several client kings, as well as a queen, Pythodorida of Pontus, a granddaughter of Mark Antony. From 62 A.D. it was directly ruled by Roman governors, most famously by Trajan's appointee Pliny the Younger. The estimated population of the city around 150 A.D. was between 20,000 and 25,000, a large city for that time. The city functioned as the commercial capital for the province of Pontus; beating its rival Sinope due to its position at the head of the trans-Anatolia highway.
RS99248. Silver drachm, RPC III 1279 (5 spec.), Recueil Gnral 91, Nordb Amisus 5b, BMC Pontus -, gF, dark spots, part of obv. legend unstruck, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.699 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 210o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, year 167, 135 - 136 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI TPA A∆PI-ANOC CEB Π Π YΠ Γ, laureate head right; reverse AMICOV EΛEVΘEPAC ETOVC PΞZ (Amisos, free city, [year] 167), Hera standing left, wearing diadem, apple in right hand, scepter in left hand; first example of this type handled by Forum, zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $300.00 (285.00)


Phaselis, Lycia, c. 550 - 580 B.C.

|Lycia|, |Phaselis,| |Lycia,| |c.| |550| |-| |580| |B.C.||stater|
Phaselis was founded in 690 BC by settlers from the island of Rhodes. Later that same year, the great Rhodian seafarers also founded Gela, on the island of Sicily, thus extending their influence across the Greek world. The colony of Phaselis was the one purely Greek city in Lycia and differed in language, culture, and alphabet from the adjacent cities of the region. It should be noted that the coinage of Phaselis is among the earliest, if not the earliest, of all silver coinage struck in Asia Minor. Struck c. 530 B.C., this coin is roughly contemporary with the silver issues of King Kroisos of Lydia and represents the dawn of this medium of exchange in Asia Minor.
GA99010. Silver stater, cf. Heipp-Tamer series 3, emission 1b, 35; SNGvA 4392; Weber III -; SNG Cop -; SNG Delepierre -; BMC Lycia -, gF, tight thick flan, toned, marks, some porosity, test cut on rev., small edge crack, weight 11.054 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Phaselis (near Tekirova, Turkey) mint, c. 550 - 480 B.C.; obverse prow of galley left in the form of an abstract boar's head, with foreleg and large apotropaic eye, three round shields on gunwale; reverse incuse square punch with irregular subdivisions; $280.00 (266.00)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Apollonia Salbace, Caria

|Other| |Caria|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Apollonia| |Salbace,| |Caria||AE| |30|
This coin is an obverse die match to a coin struck by the neighboring city, Alabanda, Caria, SNG Mnchen 464, RPC Online VI T5384. Dies shared by more than one city in the region were first discovered by Konrad Kraft in 1972. Groups of smaller cities in Anatolia shared traveling mints, which would sometimes use the same obverse dies for more than one city.
RP92646. Bronze AE 30, Apparently unpublished; RPC Online -, SNG BnF -, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Caria -, F, porous, turquoise and earthen adhesions, reverse flatly struck, weight 11.787 g, maximum diameter 29.7 mm, die axis 180o, Apollonia Salbace (Edremit, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AYP CEY AΛEΞAN∆PO-C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CTPA AΓAΘEINOY TOY IH AΠOΛΛΩNIATΩN (strategos Agathinos, son of Hie.(?), Apollonia), Zeus standing slightly left, head left, wearing himation and chlamys, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; extremely rare, this is the only specimen of the type known to FORVM; $250.00 (237.50)


Plotina, Augusta 105 - 129 A.D., Wife of Trajan, Ankyra in Abbaitis, Phrygia

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Plotina,| |Augusta| |105| |-| |129| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Trajan,| |Ankyra| |in| |Abbaitis,| |Phrygia||AE| |21|
Ankyra, the chief city of the district Abbaitis in western Phrygia, should not be confused with Ankyra in Galatia, the modern capital of Turkey.

The image on the reverse resembles sculptures of Artemis, the Lady of Ephesus, including one at the Ephesus Archaeological Museum and another at the Vatican. The Ionians worshiped Artemis as a mother goddess, akin to the Phrygian Cybele. Her cult image was adorned with multiple rounded breast like protuberances on her chest. They have been variously interpreted as accessory breasts, eggs, grapes, acorns, or even bull testes. Excavation at the site of the Artemision in 1987/8 found a multitude of tear-shaped amber beads that once adorned the ancient wooden xoanon.
Artemis
RP99610. Bronze AE 21, RPC Online III 2536 (6 spec.); BMC Phrygia p. 61, 21; Waddington 5638; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Munchen -; SNG Tb -; SNG Leypold -, aF, green patina, closed flan crack, reverse scratches, scattered small shallow pitting, off center, weight 5.108 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Ankyra in Abbaitis (Ankara, Turkey) mint, 112 - Aug 117 A.D.; obverse ΠΛΩTEINA CEBACTH (from upper right), draped bust right, hair in plait behind; reverse ANKYPANΩN EΠI ΛOVKIOY (Ankyra, struck under magistrate Loikios), cult statue of Artemis standing facing, kalathos on head, arms extended with supports, flanked by two stags; very rare; $250.00 (237.50)


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 ALEXAN∆ER 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 CLAU∆IOPOLI (or similar), draped bust of Julia Maesa right; huge 35.8 mm!; ex Forum (2015); extremely rare; $250.00 (237.50)











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