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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Biblical Coins| ▸ |Churches of Revelation||View Options:  |  |  | 

Churches of Revelation

The Book of Revelation discusses the churches of seven cities. This page lists some of our coins from those cities.

- Ephesus, Ionia (Revelation 2:1-7) - the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).
- Smyrna, Ionia (Revelation 2:8-11) - the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).
- Pergamon, Mysia (Revelation 2:12-17) - the church that needed to repent (2:16).
- Thyatira, Lydia (Revelation 2:18-29) - the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).
- Sardis, Lydia (Revelation 3:1-6) - the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).
- Philadelphia, Lydia (Revelation 3:7-13) - the church that had endured patiently (3:10).
- Laodicea, Phrygia (Revelation 3:14-22) - the church with the lukewarm faith (3:16).

Sardis, Lydia, c. 133 - 40 B.C.

|Sardes|, |Sardis,| |Lydia,| |c.| |133| |-| |40| |B.C.||AE| |17|
Sardis was the capital of the Kingdom of Lydia, an important city of the Persian Empire, a Roman proconsul seat, and in later Roman and Byzantine times the metropolis of the province Lydia. In the Book of Revelation, Sardis, one of the Seven Churches of Asia, is admonished to be watchful and to strengthen since their works haven't been perfect before God. (Revelation 3:1-6).
GB110087. Bronze AE 17, GRPC Lydia 4 pl. 275, 63 (this coin); SNG Cop -, BMC Lydia -, F, nice green patina, off center on a broad flan, reverse die wear, weight 3.202 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 133 - 40 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair rolled; reverse ΣAPΔI-ANΩN divided in two lines by club, all within oak-wreath closed at the bottom with AMY monogram; $45.00 SALE PRICE $40.50


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C.

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.||stater|
Athena's bust is in fine style with more attention to detail than usual. For example, lines indicating Athena's hair are visible through the eye slits in the helmet (quite unusual for the type).
SH56812. Gold stater, Price 2633; Mller Alexander 30, aEF, rev die wear, fine style, weight 8.597 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 323 - 319 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake, wearing necklace and pendant earring; reverse AΛΕΞANΔ[POY], Nike standing half left, wreath in extended right hand, stylus in left, race torch left below wing, monogram off flan below right wing; a few small die breaks, lustrous fields, superb bust of Athena; SOLD


Lydian Kingdom, Kroisos, c. 561 - 546 B.C.

|Lydian| |Kingdom|, |Lydian| |Kingdom,| |Kroisos,| |c.| |561| |-| |546| |B.C.||siglos| |(half-stater)|
The Lydian King Croesus minted the first silver and gold coins. He was famous for his extraordinary wealth, but after his defeat by Cyrus in 546 B.C. Lydia became a Persian satrapy. The Persian conquerors of Lydia continued to strike the same Croesus' silver half siglos and gold stater types. This coin is an early example issued under Croesus. We can tell it is an early example because the lion and the bull were struck separately, with one punch at a time. Later examples appear to have been struck with single punch only made to look like two separate punches.
GA33281. Silver siglos (half-stater), BMC Lydia p. 7, 45, pl. 1, 18; SNG Cop 456; SNG Kayhan 1024; SNG Ashmolean 762; SNGvA 2877; Rosen 663; SGCV II 3420, gVF, weight 5.375 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, probably Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 561 - 546 B.C.; obverse on the left, forepart of a roaring lion right, confronting, on the right, the forepart of a bull left; reverse two incuse square punches, of unequal size, side by side; SOLD


C. Cassius Longinus, Proconsul and Imperator, Committed Suicide in 42 B.C.

|The| |Tyrannicides|, |C.| |Cassius| |Longinus,| |Proconsul| |and| |Imperator,| |Committed| |Suicide| |in| |42| |B.C.||denarius|
Gaius Cassius Longinus (before 85 B.C. - October 42 B.C.) was a Roman senator, the prime mover in the conspiracy against Julius Caesar, and the brother in-law of Brutus.
SH68259. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1446, BMCRR East 79, RSC I 7, Crawford 500/1, Sydenham 219, EF, weight 4.033 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, struck near Smyrna, Ionia(?), mobile military mint, early 42 B.C.; obverse CCASSI IMP, tripod surmounted by cauldron and two laurel branches, fillet hanging from either side; reverse LENTVLVS / SPINT (moneyer L. Cornelius Lentulus Spinther), capis and lituus (emblems of the Augurate); ex CNG auction 312, lot 174; very rare; SOLD


Lydian Kingdom, Uncertain King Before Kroisos, c. 625 - 546 B.C.

|Lydian| |Kingdom|, |Lydian| |Kingdom,| |Uncertain| |King| |Before| |Kroisos,| |c.| |625| |-| |546| |B.C.||Trite| |(1/3| |Stater)|
According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to use gold and silver coins and the first to establish retail shops in permanent locations. It is not known, however, whether Herodotus meant that the Lydians were the first to use coins of pure gold and pure silver or the first precious metal coins in general. Despite this ambiguity, this statement of Herodotus is one of the pieces of evidence most often cited on behalf of the argument that Lydians invented coinage, at least in the West, even though the first coins were neither gold nor silver but an alloy of the two called electrum.
SH85433. Electrum Trite (1/3 Stater), Weidauer Series XVI 86, SNGvA 2869, SNG Kayhan 1013, Rosen 655, Boston MFA 1763, VF, banker's mark, some light scratches, weight 4.683 g, maximum diameter 12.5 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 625 - 546 B.C; obverse Head of roaring lion right, with knob and rays atop snout; reverse two incuse squares; SOLD


Pergamene Kingdom, Eumenes I, 263 - 241 B.C.

|Pergamene| |Kingdom|, |Pergamene| |Kingdom,| |Eumenes| |I,| |263| |-| |241| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Upon his succession, Eumenes, perhaps with the encouragement of Ptolemy II, who was at war with the Seleucids, revolted, defeating the Seleucid king Antiochus I near the Lydian capital of Sardis in 261 B.C. He was thus able to free Pergamon and greatly increase the territories under his control. Although he never took the title of king, Eumenes did exercise all of the powers of one. Since he had no surviving heir, Eumenes adopted his second cousin, Attalus I, who succeeded him as ruler of Pergamon.
SH54018. Silver tetradrachm, Westermark group V (V.LXXXV), SNG BnF 1618, Meydancikkale 3041, VF, high relief portrait, weight 16.345 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 263 - 241 B.C.; obverse Philetairos (founder of the Attalid dynasty) diademed head right; reverse Athena enthroned left, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, crowning dynastic name with wreath in right hand, ΦIΛETAIPOY downward on left, spear leaning transverse on her far side, resting left arm on round shield leaning against throne, grape bunch to outer left, A to inner left, bow to right; rare; SOLD


Pergamene Kingdom, Eumenes I, 263 - 241 B.C.

|Pergamene| |Kingdom|, |Pergamene| |Kingdom,| |Eumenes| |I,| |263| |-| |241| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Upon his succession, Eumenes, perhaps with the encouragement of Ptolemy II, who was at war with the Seleucids, revolted, defeating the Seleucid king Antiochus I near the Lydian capital of Sardis in 261 B.C. He was thus able to free Pergamon and greatly increase the territories under his control. Although he never took the title of king, Eumenes did exercise all of the powers of one. Since he had no surviving heir, Eumenes adopted his second cousin, Attalus I, who succeeded him as ruler of Pergamon.
SH10706. Silver tetradrachm, Westermark group III (V.XVIII/R.4); SNG BnF 1606; SNG Cop 334; SNGvA 7453; Meydancikkale 3003; BMC Mysia p. 115, 31, Choice gVF, superb high relief portrait, well centered and struck, attractive toning, minor porosity, weight 16.92 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, obverse head of Philetaerus right, wearing entwined laurel wreath and diadem; reverse ΦIΛΕTAIPOY downward on right, Athena enthroned left, wearing crested helmet, chiton and peplos, right hand supporting grounded round shield before her, shield ornamented with a gorgoneion, resting left elbow on left arm of throne which is ornamented with a sphinx, transverse spear leaning on left arm, ivy leaf above knee, A on throne, bow outer right; SOLD


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Laodicea, Province of Asia

|Laodicea| |ad| |Lycus|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Laodicea,| |Province| |of| |Asia||cistophoric| |tetradrachm|
Like many of the cistophoric tetradrachms of Hadrian, this coin is overstruck on a coin of Augustus.
RS42470. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, RIC II 497 var., RSC II 275 var., BMCRE 1066 var., SRCV I 3441 var., Metcalf Cistophori 56 var. (all var. with bare head right), aVF, overstruck, weight 10.129 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 195o, Laodicea ad Lycus (near Denizli, Turkey) mint, 129 - 132 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, bare-headed draped bust right; reverse COS III, Zeus Laodiceus standing left, draped to the feet, eagle in right hand, scepter in left hand; very rare; SOLD


Agrippina Junior, Augusta 50 - March 59 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

|Philadelphia|, |Agrippina| |Junior,| |Augusta| |50| |-| |March| |59| |A.D.,| |Philadelphia,| |Lydia||AE| |15|
Philadelphia was an important and wealthy trade center in ancient Lydia that retained its importance until late Byzantine times. In 17 A.D., the city suffered greatly in an earthquake. After Tiberius aided in rebuilding, it took the new name of Neocaesarea. Under Vespasian, it was titled Flavia. Saint Paul and Saint John the Theologian, visited, and established the first Christian churches. St. Ignatius of Antioch visited on his trip to his martyrdom in Rome. Philadelphia is among the Seven Churches named in John's Book of Revelation. But in the 6th century, paganism still held on in the face of a Christianizing Empire, and the city became known as "little Athens" for its dedication to deities. Today the modern city is called Alasehir.
RP76961. Bronze AE 15, RPC I 3042; BMC Lydia p. 196, 59; SNG Cop 375; SNGvA -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, nice patina with highlighting earthen fill, weight 3.923 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 90o, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Ti. Neikanor, c. 54 - 59 A.D.; obverse AΓPIΠΠINA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust right, hair in long plait down back of neck and looped at end, long loosely curled lock down side of neck; reverse cornucopia overflowing with fruit and grain, ΦIΛA-ΔΕΛΦΕ/ΩN N-ΕIKA/NΩ-P across field in three divided lines; ex Pecunem, Gitbud & Naumann auction 34 (2 Aug 2015), lot 696; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

|Philadelphia|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.,| |Philadelphia,| |Lydia||AE| |17|
Older references identify imperial family members on the reverse but RPC identifies them as Dioscuri. RPC notes, "That the jugate busts probably do not represent Germanicus and Agrippina I, Germanicus and Agrippina as Apollo and Artemis, or Apollo and Artemis (see BMC; Imhoof-Blumer, LS, pp. 116-117; Trillmich, W. Familienpropaganda der Kaiser Caligula und Claudius. Agrippina Maior und Antonia Augusta auf Mnzen, pp. 130-131) since the further figure can sometimes be seen to be laureate (e.g. 2023/1 = BMC 53). It must therefore be male, and the two interpreted as the Dioscuri, who had previously appeared on the coinage of Philadelphia." The Dioscuri are also found on the imperial coinage of Caligula. In addition, since the magistrate named on the reverse is a priest, religious symbolism would be appropriate.

The facial features of the reverse busts do, however, resemble members of the family of Caligula. Perhaps the they are Nero and Drusus Caesars as the brothers Castor and Pollux.
RP16599. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 3018 (3 spec.), SGICV 415, VF, weight 4.344 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, 16 Mar 37 - 24 Jan 41 A.D.; obverse ΓANTIOΣ KANTIΣANTP, bare head right, star behind; reverse ΦIΛAΔΕΛΦΕΩN MΕΛANΘOΣ IΕPΕYΣ ΓΕPMANIKOY, laureate and jugate busts of the Dioscuri right; dark patina; very scarce; SOLD







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Other coins that relate to the Book of Revelation include coins of Nero and coins of the Parthian kings with an archer reverse. Verses 13 and following are a symbolic reference to Parthians attacking Rome for its vile behavior in persecuting Christ's church. Parthians themselves aren't envisioned as doing the attacking, but the serve as a great image for the diabolical forces Revelation's author had in mind. Suetonius, in The Twelve Caesars, writes of a belief among the Romans after Nero's death that he hadn't really died but would be returning with the Parthians. Nero has been identified as the 666 of Revelation (his name in gematria equals 666). Verse 8 refers to the Parthians long hair, "They had hair like woman's hair." Verse 10 includes a subtle reference to Parthian archer-horseman and their perfected technique of the parting shots, shooting over the rear of their animal while feigning retreat, "They had tails like scorpions, with stingers." Verse 14 refers to the Parthian heartland across the Euphrates.



Catalog current as of Wednesday, September 27, 2023.
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