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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Anatolia| ▸ |Lydia| ▸ |Philadelphia||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Philadelphia, Lydia

Alasehir, Turkey began as one of the first ancient cities with the name Philadelphia. It was established in 189 B.C. by King Eumenes II of Pergamon (197-160 B.C.). Eumenes II named the city for the love of his brother, who would be his successor, Attalus II (159-138 B.C.). His loyalty earned him the nickname "Philadelphos," literally meaning "one who loves his brother." The city is perhaps best known as the site of one of the seven churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation.

Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Philadelphia (Neocaesarea), Lydia

|Philadelphia|, |Tiberius,| |19| |August| |14| |-| |16| |March| |37| |A.D.,| |Philadelphia| |(Neocaesarea),| |Lydia||AE| |15|NEW
At the time RPC I was printed, the identity of the Tiberius on the obverse was uncertain. All known specimens of this rare type were struck with the same dies and not one specimen had a clear legend. Vagi identified the head as Tiberius Gemmellus. RPC I attributed the type as uncertain but likely the emperor Tiberius. Since publication, specimens from two different obverse dies including some with a clear obverse legend have been added to RPC Online I. The legend on these specimens clearly identifies the portrait as the emperor "Tiberius Augustus."
RP99392. Bronze AE 15, RPC I 3017; Vagi 480 (Tiberius Gemmellus); SNG Cop 373; Winterthur 3855; Waddington 6359; Imhoof-Blumer LS p. 120, 24, nice F, green patina, weight 3.316 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, Philadelphia-Neocaesarea (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, circa 17 A.D.; obverse TIBEPION CEBACTON, bare head right; reverse NEOKEC-APEIC, winged fulmen (thunderbolt); very rare; $140.00 (133.00)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

|Philadelphia|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.,| |Philadelphia,| |Lydia||AE| |15|NEW
Several ancient cities were named Philadelphia, but this one is the sixth among the seven churches listed by John in the Book of Revelation. A letter to the Philadelphian church is recorded in Revelation 3:7-13. According to which, the Philadelphian Christians were suffering persecution by the local Jews. The city's history of earthquakes may lie behind the reference to making her church a temple pillar. Philadelphia shares with Smyrna the distinction of receiving nothing but praise from Christ, except Smyrna was warned of temptation lasting "ten days," while Philadelphia was promised a total exemption from temptation. This explains why modern Protestant churches sometimes use "Philadelphia" as a component in the local church's name as a way of emphasizing its faithfulness.
RP99402. Bronze AE 15, GRPC Lydia III 219; RPC Online II 1331; SNG Leypold 1126; BMC Lydia p. 197, 62; Winterthur 3863, aF, green patina, a little off center, corrosion, weight 2.462 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 180o, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 79 - 81 A.D; obverse ∆OMITIAN KAICAP, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΦΛLBI ΦIΛA∆EΛFEΩN, Apollo standing half right, head right, wearing long belted chiton, plectrum in right hand low at side, Kithara (lyre) in left hand and arm; $80.00 (76.00)


Tiberius Gemellus, Caesar, 35 - 37 A.D., Philadelphia (Neocaesarea), Lydia

|Philadelphia|, |Tiberius| |Gemellus,| |Caesar,| |35| |-| |37| |A.D.,| |Philadelphia| |(Neocaesarea),| |Lydia||AE| |14|
RPC notes all examples of this type were struck with a single obverse die. The obverse right side legend is illegible on all known examples. RPC attributes this type as uncertain but likely Gemellus' uncle, the emperor Tiberius. Vagi attributes it as certainly Tiberius Gemmellus. Forum sees a very strong resemblance between the portrait on this coin and busts of Gemellus and agrees with Vagi.

Tiberius Julius Caesar Nero, known as Tiberius Gemellus, born 19 A.D., died 37 or 38 A.D., was the son of Drusus and Livilla, Tiberius' grandson, and Caligula's cousin. Gemellus is a nickname meaning "the twin". His twin, Tiberius Germanicus Caesar, died in infancy. Tiberius made Caligula and Gemellus joint-heirs but favored Caligula because Livilla had been Sejanus' lover and he believed Gemellus was really Sejanus' son. Caligula adopted Gemellus as heir after becoming emperor, but soon ordered him killed for an alleged plot.
SH80385. Bronze AE 14, RPC I 3017 (Tiberius), Vagi 480, SNG Cop 373, Winterthur 3855, aVF, nice patina and portrait, soft strike from 3:00 to 6:00 on the reverse, weight 2.920 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 180o, Philadelphia-Neocaesarea (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, 35 - 37 A.D.; obverse TIBEPION CEBACTON, bare head right; reverse NEOKEC-APEIC, winged fulmen (thunderbolt); very rare; SOLD


Agrippina Junior, Augusta 50 - March 59 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

|Philadelphia|, |Agrippina| |Junior,| |Augusta| |50| |-| |March| |59| |A.D.,| |Philadelphia,| |Lydia||AE| |15|
Philadelphia was an important and wealthy trade center in ancient Lydia that retained its importance until late Byzantine times. In 17 A.D., the city suffered greatly in an earthquake. After Tiberius aided in rebuilding, it took the new name of Neocaesarea. Under Vespasian, it was titled Flavia. Saint Paul and Saint John the Theologian, visited, and established the first Christian churches. St. Ignatius of Antioch visited on his trip to his martyrdom in Rome. Philadelphia is among the Seven Churches named in John's Book of Revelation. But in the 6th century, paganism still held on in the face of a Christianizing Empire, and the city became known as "little Athens" for its dedication to deities. Today the modern city is called Alasehir.
RP76961. Bronze AE 15, RPC I 3042; BMC Lydia p. 196, 59; SNG Cop 375; SNGvA -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, nice patina with highlighting earthen fill, weight 3.923 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 90o, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Ti. Neikanor, c. 54 - 59 A.D.; obverse AΓPIΠΠINA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust right, hair in long plait down back of neck and looped at end, long loosely curled lock down side of neck; reverse cornucopia overflowing with fruit and grain, ΦIΛA−∆EΛΦE/ΩN N−EIKA/NΩ−P across field in three divided lines; ex Pecunem, Gitbud & Naumann auction 34 (2 Aug 2015), lot 696; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

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