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

Ancient Greek Coins of Hierapolis

Hierapolis (Greek: "Holy City") was located on hot springs in Phrygia in southwestern Anatolia. Its ruins are adjacent to modern Pamukkale, Turkey and are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hierapolis became part of Roman Asia in 133 B.C., when Attalus III bequeathed his kingdom to Rome. An early church was founded under the influence of Saint Paul and the town's Martyrium was built upon the spot where Philip, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, was said to have been crucified. After a major quake in 60 A.D., the city was rebuilt with imperial financial support. The theater was built in 129 for a visit by Hadrian. When Caracalla visited the town in 215, he bestowed the much-coveted title of neocoros. This was the golden age of Hierapolis. New building projects were started: two Roman baths, a gymnasium, several temples, a main street with a colonnade, and a fountain. Thousands of people came to benefit from the medicinal properties of the hot springs, with many patrons retiring or dying there. The large necropolis is filled with sarcophagi. Hierapolis excelled in the arts, philosophy, and trade; grew wealthy, and to 100,000 inhabitants. During his campaign against the Sassanid Shapur II in 370, the Valens made the last-ever imperial visit to the city. Hierapolis flourished under Byzantine rule and remained an important center for Christianity. The Roman baths were transformed to a Christian basilica. In the early 7th century, the town was devastated first by Persian armies and then by another earthquake. In the 12th century, the area came under the control of the Seljuk sultanate of Konya before falling to crusaders under Frederick Barbarossa and their Byzantine allies in 1190. In 1354, the great Thracian earthquake toppled what little remained of the ancient city.

Hierapolis, Phrygia, in Homonoia with Ephesos, 253 - 260 A.D.

|Hierapolis|, |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia,| |in| |Homonoia| |with| |Ephesos,| |253| |-| |260| |A.D.||diassarion|
The title NEOKOPON on the reverse of this type, and other similar coins, has been the topic of debate for more than a century. Hierapolis was honored with a neokoros (imperial temple) either during the reign of Caracalla or Elagabalus. Caracalla rarely gave this honor, but if the honor was given by Caracalla, it would have lasted many decades. If the honor was given during the reign of Elagabalus, as many numismatists and historians believe, it would have been lost with his damnatio. Yet, the title appears here, on a coin struck long after Elagabalus' demise. This coin, however, was struck by Hierapolis honoring its alliance (homonoia) with Ephesos, Ionia. After Elagabalus, at Hierapolis, neokoros titles only appear on homonoia coinage. It seems odd, especially since the title is on the reverse with the name Hierapolis, but the most supported argument is that NEOKOPON refers to a temple at Ephesos, not one at Hierapolis.
RP97256. Bronze diassarion, Franke-Nolle, type IX, 760 - 763 (B/49); Weber HpH p. 74 (A/b); Johnston Hierapolis -; BMC Phrygia -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Mün -; SNG Tüb -, gVF, well centered and struck with full legends, nice dark green patina, some porosity, weight 5.120 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, time of Valerius and Gallienus, 253 - 260 A.D.; obverse OMONY/A - K EΦEC-IΩN (clockwise from 3:00), laureate, veiled, and draped bust of Boule right; reverse IEPAΠ-O-ΛEITΩN; NEOKO-PΩN in fields, clockwise from lower left, Nike advancing left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond against left shoulder in left hand; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (15 August 2020), lot 886; this coin is one of only two specimens of this type listed in Coin Archives auction records spanning the last two decades; very rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00
 


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia

|Hierapolis|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia||cistophoric| |tetradrachm|
Stack's listing described this coin as "one of the finest extant specimens from this mint." That may be a bit of hyperbole, but it is a very nice coin with excellent provenance.

Hierapolis (Greek: "Holy City") was located on hot springs in Phrygia in southwestern Anatolia. Its ruins are adjacent to modern Pamukkale in Turkey and are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hot springs have been used as a spa since the 2nd century B.C., with many patrons retiring or dying there. The large necropolis is filled with sarcophagi.
SH68895. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Metcalf Cistophori type 53, pl. 16, 241 (this coin), Pinder 61, RIC II 482, BMCRE II 1054; RSC II 285, SNGvA 6617, VF, full circle centering, overstruck, weight 10.826 g, maximum diameter 29.3 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, 129 - 130 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, bare-headed bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, laureate Apollo wearing the robe of a citharoedus, standing front, plectrum in right, cithara (lyre) in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Stack's Bowers and Ponterio sale 173 (NYINC, 11 Jan 2013) lot 5118, ex Hirsch 24 (10 May 1909), lot 1393; SOLD


Paullus Fabius Maximus, Roman Proconsul of Asia, c. 10 - 9 B.C., Hierapolis, Phrygia

|Hierapolis|, |Paullus| |Fabius| |Maximus,| |Roman| |Proconsul| |of| |Asia,| |c.| |10| |-| |9| |B.C.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia||AE| |16|
Paullus Fabius Maximus was related to Augustus by marriage and was a descendant of Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus (220 - 160 B.C.), the conqueror of King Perseus of Macedon. As a quaestor, he accompanied Augustus on his trips to the East from 22 to 19 B.C. He was consul in 11 B.C. and subsequently proconsul (governor) of Asia. He apparently enjoyed poetry and was a correspondent of both Horace and Ovid (both mentioned him in their works). His portrait on coinage indicates Augustus' friendship and appreciation.
RP81197. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 2941 (4 spec.); AMC I 1386; Imhoof-Blumer KM p. 238, 14; Imhoof-Blumer GM 688; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; BMC Phrygia -, VF, weight 3.056 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, c. 10 - 9 B.C.; obverse ΦABIOΣ MAΞIMOΣ, bare head of Fabius Maximus right; reverse IEPAΠO/ΛEITΩN / ∆PYAΣ in three lines within laurel wreath tied at the bottom; very rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

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de Callataÿ, F. "Le premier monnayage de la cité d'Amastris (Paphlagonie)" in SNR 2004.
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 2: Caria, Lydia, Phrygia, Lycia, Pamphylia. (Berlin, 1962).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, Univ. of Glasgow, Part 1: Roman Provincial Coins: Spain-Kingdoms of Asia Minor. (Oxford, 2004).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Schweiz II, Katalog der Sammlung Jean-Pierre Righetti im Bernischen Historischen Museum. (Bern, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 5: Tire Museum (Izmir), Vol. 1: Roman Provincial Coins From Ionia, Lydia, Phrygia, etc. (Istanbul, 2011).
von Papen, F. "Die Spiele von Hierapolis" in ZfN 26 (1908), pp. 161-182.
Weber, L. "Die Homoniemmünzen des Phrygischen Hierapolis" in JIAN (1912), pp. 65-122.
Weber, L. "The Coins of Hierapolis in Phrygia (Continued)" in NC 13 (1913), pp. 133-161.
Weber, L. "Zur Münzprägung des phrygischen Hierapolis" in Xapites (1911), pp. 480-490.

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