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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Personifications| ▸ |Democracy||View Options:  |  |  | 

Democracy (Demos - The People)

The image of Demos, the personification of the People, was used on ancient coinage as early as the 5th century BC. In Roman times, many towns under Roman domination struck pseudo-autonomous coinage depicting either the bust or head of Demos, or showed him standing with the emperor, Boule, or the Demos of another city.

Here we will also include coins that depict personifications of the Senate, citizens councilman (boule), and elders (gerousia), and any coin that depicts voting.

Trapezopolis, Caria, c. 150 - 200 A.D.

|Other| |Caria|, |Trapezopolis,| |Caria,| |c.| |150| |-| |200| |A.D.||AE| |23|
In ancient Greece the chief magistrate in various Greek city states was called eponymous archon. Archon means "ruler" or "lord," frequently used as the title of a specific public office, while "eponymous" means that he gave his name to the year in which he held office, much like the Roman dating by consular years.
RP99558. Bronze AE 23, RPC Online IV.2 T2743.4 (this coin, 4 spec.); Kurth Demos 840; Weber 6596; Imhoof-Blumer GRMK p. 98, 1, Choice aF, nice green patina with light highlighting earthen deposits, scratches, weight 5.102 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Trapezopolis (near Boli, Turkey) mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 150 - 200 A.D.; obverse ΔHMOC TPAΠEZOΠO (Z retrograde), laureate youthful head of the Demos right; reverse EΠI AP AI AΠΟΛΛΩN (eponymous archon Ai. Apollonios), Cybele standing, facing, head, left, wearing kalathos, flanked on each side by a seated lion; from the M. Arslan Collection, one of four specimens in RPC Online, the first of the type handled by FORVM; very rare; $120.00 (110.40)


Bagis, Lydia, c. 193 - 268 A.D.

|Other| |Lydia|, |Bagis,| |Lydia,| |c.| |193| |-| |268| |A.D.||AE| |26|
Inscriptions uncovered by Keppel place ancient Bagis near Sirghe on the left (south) side of the Hermos River. Modern scholars pinpoint a site at Gre, Usak Province, Turkey. The "Treasures of Croesus" findings from Lydian tumuli around the town were plundered in the 1960s but recovered by the 2000s and now in the Usak Museum.
RP99127. Bronze AE 26, GRPC Lydia II pl. 29, 36; SNG Cop 45; SNG Mn 45; SNG Tb 3667; BMC Lydia p. 33, 16; Winterthur 3702; Weber 6786; SNGvA -, VF, attractive style, well centered on a tight flan, green patina, weight 9.455 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Bagis (Gre, Turkey) mint, c. 193 - 268 A.D.; obverse CVNK-ΛHTOC, youthful draped bust of the Roman Senate right; reverse KAICAPEΩN BAΓHNΩN, Tyche standing sightly left, head left, kalathos on head, holding grounded rudder by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $110.00 (101.20)


Daldis, Lydia, 69 - 79 A.D.

|Other| |Lydia|, |Daldis,| |Lydia,| |69| |-| |79| |A.D.||hemiassarion|
The Zeus who was worshiped at Laodicea was a Hellenized form of the old native god, Mn. Mn had been the king and father of his people. When Greeks settled in the area they continued to worship the god whose power was supreme in the district, but they identified him with their own god Zeus. Thus at Sardis and elsewhere in the region the native god became Zeus Lydios.
GB96503. Bronze hemiassarion, GRPC Lydia 4; RPC Online II 1325 (12 spec.); BMC Lydia p. 70, 2; SNG Cop 110, F, green patina, tight flan cutting off much of legends, legends weak, earthen deposits, weight 3.818 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Daldis (near Narlkale, Turkey) mint, time of Vespasian, 69 - 79 A.D.; obverse ΘEON CYNKΛHTON, draped bust of the Senate right; reverse EΠI TI ΦΛA YΛA ΦΛA KAICAP ΔΑΛΔI (struck under Titus Flavius Hylas [at] Flaviocaesaria Daldis), Zeus Lydios standing left, wearing long chiton and himation, eagle in right hand, scepter in left hand; rare; $100.00 (92.00)


Cibyra, Phrygia, 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Cibyra,| |Phrygia,| |2nd| |-| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.||AE| |26|
Nemesis, the winged balancer of life, is the goddess of revenge, the avenger of crimes and punisher of wicked doers. She distributes fortune, good or bad, in due proportion to each according to what is deserved. She often holds a lorum, a long scarf worn by Roman magistrates, to symbolize her authority as judge, and sometimes holds scales and cubit rule to measure each man's just deserts. The wheel of fate sometimes rests against her side. On this coin she holds her adamantine bridles to restrain the frivolous insolences of mortals.
RP110162. Bronze AE 26, SNGvA 3726; SNG Cop 277; BMC Phrygia p. 136, 33, aVF/F, well centered, dark tone, earthen encrustation, weight 10.162 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 180o, Kibyra (near Glhisar, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.; obverse BOYΛH (clockwise from upper right), laureate, veiled, and draped bust of Boule right; reverse KAIC KIBY-PATΩN, Nemesis standing facing, head left, pulling out chiton from her breast with right hand, adamantine bridles in left hand hanging down at side; rare; $70.00 (64.40)


Kibyra, Phrygia, c. 138 - 192 A.D.

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Kibyra,| |Phrygia,| |c.| |138| |-| |192| |A.D.||AE| |21|
Kibyra (Cibyra) near the modern town of Glhisar in south-west Turkey, was possibly originally settled by Lydians. The city was in the far south of Phrygia adjoining Lycia. It is uncertain whether the city was part of the Province of Asia or of Lycia in the early imperial period. According to Strabo, the Lydian language was still being spoken by a multicultural population in the 1st century B.C. Thus Kibyra was the last place where the Lydian culture, by then extinct in Lydia proper, persevered.
RP110161. Bronze AE 21, RPC IV.2 T1953 (10 spec.); Kurth Demos 358; SNG Cop 276; SNGvA 3724; BMC Phrygia p. 135, 25; SNG Mu -; Lindgren -, aVF/VF, dark green patina, rough, porous, earthen deposits, broad flan, weight 6.631 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, Kibyra (near Golhisar, Turkey) mint, c. 138 - 192 A.D.; obverse ΔHMOC (clockwise from upper right), laureate head of Demos right, unbearded; reverse KIBYPATWN, Demeter standing slightly left, head left, wearing long chiton and veil, poppy and grain in right hand, long torch in left hand; rare; $65.00 (59.80)







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REFERENCES|

Kurth, D. Demos, The Personification of the People. (2010).
Martin, K. Demos, Boule, Gerousia: Personifikationen stdtischer Institutionen auf kaiserzeitlichen Mnzen aus Kleinasien. (Bonn, 2013).


Catalog current as of Saturday, June 10, 2023.
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