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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Anatolia| ▸ |Phrygia| ▸ |Apameia||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Greek Coins of Apameia, Phrygia

Apamea is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). After the Mithridatic Wars it became a great center for trade, largely carried on by resident Italians and Jews. Apamea is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 62a, Niddah, 30b and Yeb. 115b). By order of Flaccus, nearly 45 kilograms of gold, intended by Jews for the Temple in Jerusalem was confiscated in Apamea in 62 B.C. On the outbreak of the Jewish War, the inhabitants of Apamea spared the Jews who lived in their midst, and would not suffer them to be murdered or led into captivity (Josephus, Bell. Jud. ii. 18, 5). Great Colonnade at Apamea

Apameia, Phrygia, c. 88 - 40 B.C.

|Apameia|, |Apameia,| |Phrygia,| |c.| |88| |-| |40| |B.C.||AE| |16|
While playing the flute Athena saw her reflection in the water and disturbed by how her cheeks looked, puffed up while playing, threw away the instrument in disgust. The satyr Marsyas picked up the flute and since it had once been inspired by the breath of a goddess, it played beautifully on its own accord. Elated by his success, Marsyas challenged Apollo to a musical contest. For the prize, the victor could do what he pleased with the vanquished. The Muses were the umpires. Apollo played the cithara and Marsyas the flute. Only after Apollo added his voice to the music of his lyre was the contest decided in his favor. As a just punishment for the presumption of Marsyas, Apollo bound him to an evergreen tree and flayed him alive. His blood was the source of the river Marsyas, and Apollo hung up his skin, like a wine bag, in the cave out of which that river flows.
GB110567. Bronze AE 16, BMC Phrygia p. 77, 47; SNG Cop 191; SNGvA 3472; SNG Tbingen 3973; HGC 7 674; SNG Munchen -, F, tight flan, weight 3.469 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Apameia (Dinar, Turkey) mint, c. 88 - 40 B.C.; obverse turreted head of Artemis right, bow and quiver on shoulder behind; reverse satyr Marsyas walking right on a meander pattern, nude but for nebris (skin of a fawn) tied on his neck and flying behind, playing Athena's double flute, AΠAMEΩN downward on right, APIΣT / KHΦIΣ (Aristo... and Kephis...) magistrates' names in two downward lines on left; $50.00 (50.50)


Apameia, Phrygia, 150 - 140 B.C.

|Apameia|, |Apameia,| |Phrygia,| |150| |-| |140| |B.C.||cistophoric| |tetradrachm|
Apameia was named for Apama, the mother of the founder, the Seleucid king Antiochos I.

The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.
SH63587. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner-Noe, issue XI, 21; SNGvA 3451 and 8333; cf. BMC Phrygia p. 69, 7 (no star); SNG Cop -, VF, uneven toning, weight 12.522 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Apameia (Dinar, Turkey) mint, 150 - 140 B.C.; obverse Cista mystica with half open lid, from which a snake emerges left, all within ivy wreath; reverse two coiled serpents with heads erect, between them an ornamented bow-case with strap on right, bow sticking out from the top left side of case, snake on the right wrapped around two flutes, AΠA monogram left, pileus surmounted by star right; interesting ornate cista mystica; SOLD







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REFERENCES

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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XI, The William Stancomb Collection of Coins of the Black Sea Region. (Oxford, 2000).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, sterreich, Sammlung Leypold, Kleinasiatische Mnzen der Kaiserzeit, Vol. II: Phrygia-Commagene. (Vienna, 2004).
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