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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.

Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Hierapolis-Castabala, Cilicia

|Hierapolis|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis-Castabala,| |Cilicia||4| |assaria|
Hierapolis-Kastabala was an ancient city in Cilicia Pedias, three kilometers north ancient Pyramus. Alexander the Great stopped at Kastabala before the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C. Antiochus IV refounded the city with the name Hierapolis. In the first century B.C., Hierapolis was the capital of a small local kingdom under the rule of the former Cilician pirate Tarcondimotus I, an ally of Mark Antony. Cicero referred to the city as Rome's most loyal ally beyond the Taurus and the best friend of the Roman people. The city was known for its temple of Artemis Perasia. Strabo wrote of her priestesses who, in a trance, would walk barefoot over hot coals without damage.

The chaotic inflation of the Third Century Crisis affected not only Roman imperial coinage, but also their Roman provincial counterparts. Because the latter consisted mostly of bronze issues, revaluation, rather than debasement, was often tried as a temporary solution, commonly achieved through countermarking and the addition of value marks, as on the present coin where the delta (Δ) is believed to stand for six assaria. In Greek Imperial Denominations, ca 200-275: A Study of the Roman Provincial Bronze Coinages of Asia Minor (2007), Ann Johnston writes, "At Hieropolis Castabala, where only one (undated) issue was struck after 253 (Table 26), there is no way of knowing how the issue with value marks relates to the earlier coinage since too little material survives to give a reliable picture of how the denominations evolved. (No coinage is known between Severus Alexander and Trebonianus Gallus, when two denominations were struck: perhaps 4- and 6-assaria.) The addition of value marks for the final issue suggests a significant change of some kind - perhaps because the modules were much reduced. The flans of the labelled issue are dumpier than 3-, 4- and 6-assarion coins of comparable date in Asia or the south-west: the diameters are rather narrower but the weights are approximately the same."
RP112777. Bronze 4 assaria, SNG BnF 2247 (same dies), SNG Pfalz VI 602 (same), Lindgren III 845 (same), SNG Levante 1599 var. (Δ right), BMC Lycaonia -, RPC Online -, aVF, weight 6.120 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Hierapolis-Kastabala (near Kirmitli, Turkey) mint, Aug 253 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse AYT K ΓAΛΛIHNOC CEΒ, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust to right; reverse IEPOΠ KA-CTABA, Tyche seated to left on rock, one or more grain ears in right hand, left hand on rock, with river-god Pyramos below swimming to left, and the numerical letter Δ (value mark) in upper left field; first specimen of the type handled by FORVM, all specimens on are the variant with Δ right; very rare; $90.00 (€84.60)

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||assarion|
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.
RP87086. Bronze assarion, RPC I 2930 (7 spec.); SNG Cop 447; BMC Phrygia p. 243, 93 - 94; SNGvA -, aVF, rough encrustation/partial patina, weight 5.585 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, 10 - 9 B.C.; obverse ΦABIOΣ MAΞIMOΣ, bare head of Fabius Maximus right; reverse bipennis (double axe) with long handle bound with filet, ZΩΣIMOΣ ΦIΛOΠATPIΣ/ IEPOΠOΛEITΩN XAPAΞ (local magistrates Zosimos, Philopatris, and Charax); very rare; SOLD

Annia Faustina, 3rd Wife of Elagabalus, Augusta, 221 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia

|Hierapolis|, |Annia| |Faustina,| |3rd| |Wife| |of| |Elagabalus,| |Augusta,| |221| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia||AE| |23|
In 221, after Elagabalus was induced to end his highly controversial marriage to the Vestal Virgin Aquilia Severa, he married the recently widowed Annia Aurelia Faustina. The marriage was intended to form an alliance with the powerful aristocratic Nerva-Antonine clan, resulting from her blood relation to the dynasty. Elagabalus gave her the title of Augusta. Supporters of Elagabalus had hoped that Annia, the mother of two small children from her previous marriage, would bear him a natural heir; however, she bore him no children. There are no surviving sources providing details of Annia Aurelia Faustina's short time as a Roman empress. Before the end of 221, Elagabalus divorced her and returned to Julia Aquilia Severa. After her marriage to Elagabalus ended, she returned with her children to her Pisidian Estate where she spent the final years of her life.

The AKTIA festival and games at Hierapolis were founded in honor of Augustus' victory at Actium.
RP77251. Bronze AE 23, Johnston Hierapolis 74; BMC Phrygia p. 242, 89; SNG Cop 444; Waddington 6128; SNGvA -; SNG Tüb -; SNG Hunterian -; SNG Leypold -; Weber -; McClean -, aF, weight 7.085 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, c. 221 - 268 A.D.; obverse IEPA•CY-NKΛHTO-C, draped bust of the senate right; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩN NEΩKOPΩN, A/KTI/A in three lines within a demos crown (laurel wreath); very rare; SOLD



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