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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Mints| ▸ |Ephesus||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ephesos, Ionia (Turkey)

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 cult image of the Ephesian goddess has a mummy-like body with the feet placed close together, is many-breasted, and from each of her hands hangs a long fillet with tassels at the ends. At her side stands a stag raising its head to the image of the goddess. The usual symbols of this nature-goddess are the torch, stag, and the bee. Coins of Ephesos most frequently depict a bee on the obverse. The high-priest of the temple of Artemis was called the King Bee, while the virgin priestesses were called honey-bees (Melissae). Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia cited in the Book of Revelation and the Gospel of John may have been written there. Ephesos continued to strike cistophoric tetradrachms from Augustus to Claudius. During his bid for the throne, Vespasian opened the mint for denarii (rare) and aurei (extremely rare) production from 70 to 74 A.D. Mintmarks: EPHE.Celsus library

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.||denarius|
Ephesus peaked during the 1st and 2nd century A.D. when it was second in importance and size only to Rome, with a population estimated at 400,000 to 500,000 in 100 A.D. The city was famous for the Temple of Artemis, the Library of Celsus, and its theater, seating 25,000 spectators. Ephesus also had several large bath complexes and one of the most advanced aqueduct systems in the ancient world. Water powered numerous mills, one of which has been identified as a sawmill for marble. The city and temple were destroyed by the Goths in 263 A.D., marking the decline of the city's splendor.
RS99595. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 1428, RPC II 830, RSC II 67 (corr.), BMCRE II 453, BnF III 343, SRCV I 2269, gVF, attractive toning, scratches, flow lines, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.834 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesus mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPAS AVG COS III TR P P P, laureate head right; reverse CONCORDIA AVG (harmony of the Emperor), Concordia (or Ceres) seated left on high-backed throne, feet on footstool, two stalks of grain and a poppy in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, EPE in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 95 (13 Apr 2022), lot 928; ex Z.P. Collection (Austria); $360.00 (342.00)


Mark Antony and Octavia, 39 B.C., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesus|, |Mark| |Antony| |and| |Octavia,| |39| |B.C.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||cistophoric| |tetradrachm|
The obverse legend abbreviates Consul Designatus, Iterum et Tertium, meaning Consul Elect for the second and third time. The reverse legend abbreviates Triumvir Reipublicae Constituendae, the title adopted in November of 43 B.C. by the three Caesarian leaders (Mark Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus) when they formed the Second Triumvirate to oppose the tyrannicides Brutus and Cassius.
SH86609. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, RPC I 2202, Sydenham 1198, Crawford 263, RSC Octavia and M. Antony 3, Sear CRI 263, BMCRR East 135, SRCV I 1513, Choice gVF, toned, well centered, some die wear and rust, scratches, weight 11.723 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, summer - autumn 39 B.C.; obverse M ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT (Consul Elect for the 2nd and 3rd time), conjoined head of Antony and bust of Octavia right, Antony nearer and wreathed in ivy, Octavia draped; reverse Dionysus standing half left on cista mystica, in his right hand, thyrsus in his left hand, flanked by two interlaced snakes with heads erect, III VIR (triumvir) downward on left, R P C (Reipublicae Constituendae) upward on right; SOLD


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Claudius|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||cistophorus|
This issue celebrated their marriage and Agrippina Junior's elevation to Augusta. Julia Agrippina was a great-granddaughter of Augustus, great-niece and adoptive granddaughter of Tiberius, sister of Caligula, niece and fourth wife of Claudius, and mother of the Nero. She is described by the ancient sources as ruthless, ambitious, violent and domineering, but also beautiful and reputable. According to Pliny the Elder, she had a double right upper canine, a sign of good fortune. Many ancient historians accused Agrippina of poisoning Claudius. A soothsayer prophesied if Nero became emperor, he would kill his mother, Agrippina replied "Let him kill me, only let him rule!" Nero had her executed in 59 A.D.
SH79841. Silver cistophorus, RPC I 2223, RIC I 117 (R), BMCRE I 234, BnF II 294, RSC II 2, SRCV I 1887, VF, excellent portraits, toned, nice surfaces, highest points flatly struck, reverse slightly off-center, weight 11.054 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesus mint, 50 - 51 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG P M TR P X IMP XIIX (counterclockwise), laureate head of Claudius right; reverse AGRIPPINA AVGVSTA CAESARIS AVG (counterclockwise), draped bust of Agrippina Jr. right, hair in queue at back, hair in three rows of curls above ear and long curly strand below ear; rare; SOLD


Mark Antony and Octavia, 39 B.C., Ephesos, Ionia

|Cistophori|, |Mark| |Antony| |and| |Octavia,| |39| |B.C.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||cistophoric| |tetradrachm|
Triumvir Reipublicae Constituendae, abbreviated on this coin with III VIR R P C, was the title adopted in November of 43 B.C. by the three Caesarian leaders (Mark Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus) when they formed the Second Triumvirate to oppose the tyrannicides Brutus and Cassius.
SH85436. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, RPC I 2202, Sydenham 1198, Crawford 263, RSC Octavia and M. Antony 3, Sear CRI 263, BMCRR East 135, SRCV I 1513, VF, well centered, toned, weight 12.035 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, summer - autumn 39 B.C.; obverse M ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT, conjoined head of Antony and bust of Octavia right, Antony nearer and wreathed in ivy, Octavia draped; reverse Dionysus standing half left on cista mystica, in his right hand, thyrsus in his left hand, flanked by two interlaced snakes with heads erect, III VIR (triumvir) downward on left, R P C (Reipublicae Constituendae) upward on right; SOLD







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