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

Ancient Coins of Sardes, Lydia

Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times. Its importance was due first to its military strength, secondly to its situation on an important highway leading from the interior to the Aegean coast, and thirdly to its commanding the wide and fertile plain of the Hermus. As one of the Seven churches of Asia, it was addressed by John, the author of the Book of Revelation in the Holy Bible, in terms which seem to imply that its population was notoriously soft and fainthearted. Remains including the bath-gymnasium complex, synagogue, and Byzantine shops are open to visitors year-round.


Seleukid Kingdom, Achaios, 220 - 214 B.C.

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Achaios was an uncle of Antiochos III. He proclaimed himself King in Anatolia. After a two-year siege of his capital of Sardes, Lydia, he was captured and beheaded.
GY76100. Bronze AE 15, Houghton-Lorber I 956 var. (unlisted control symbol), SNG Spaer 834 var. (same), Newell WSM 1442 var. (same), HGC 9 436 (S-R1), VF, nice green patina, weight 3.314 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 220 - autumn or winter 214 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse eagle standing right, head right, wings closed, wreath in talons, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / AXAIOY in two flanking downward lines, X (control symbol) outer right; unpublished extremely rare variant; $270.00 (€229.50)
 


Sardes, Lydia, c 98 - 117 A.D.

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CTP in the reverse legend identifies the magistrate, Lo. Io. Libonianos, as a strategos. Strategos, plural strategoi, is Greek meaning "general." In the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Empires the term was also used to describe a military governor. In the modern Greek army, it is the highest officer rank.
RP82728. Bronze AE 16, RPC Online III 2393 (18 spec.); SNG Cop 508; SNG Leypold 1201; SNG Tatis 757; Imhoof-Blumer LS p. 139, 13; BMC Lydia p. 246, 75; Winterthur 3917, VF, attractive dark green patina, bumps and marks, earthen deposits, weight 2.366 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, time of Trajan, c. 98 - 117 A.D; obverse CAP∆IA-NΩN, draped youthful bust of Dionysus right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse CTP ΛO IO ΛI-BΩNIANOY, filleted thyrsus, bee to right; ex Numismatic Naumann GmbH auction 60, lot 326; $185.00 (€157.25)
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Sardis

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This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Sardis. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a city’s status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances.
RP77255. Bronze AE 30, cf. Franke-Nolle, type VI, 848 ff. var. (Vs.C/Rs.-, unlisted reverse die); SNGvA 3668; SNG Tübingen 4054; Lindgren III 596, aF, obverse rough, weight 10.243 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AY• K• - ΠOY• ΛIK• OYAΛEPAN/OC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front, round countermark on face; reverse IEPAΠOΛE/ITΩN - KE - CAP∆IANΩN NEWK/OPΩN, Apollo on left, standing right, plectrum in right hand, kithara in left hand; cult statue of Kore facing, wearing kalathos and veil, OMONOYA in exergue; very rare; $135.00 (€114.75)
 


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Sardes, Lydia

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Sardis was the capital of the Kingdom of Lydia, an important city of the Persian Empire, a Roman proconsul seat, and in later Roman and Byzantine times the metropolis of the province Lydia. In the Book of Revelation, Sardis, one of the Seven Churches of Asia, is admonished to be watchful and to strengthen since their works haven't been perfect before God. (Revelation 3:1-6).
RP86895. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 3002; BMC Lydia p. 253, 120; SNG Cop 523; SNGvA 3146, SNG München -, VF, dark patina, earthen deposits, some porosity, slightly off center, weight 4.673 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, strategos Mindios, c. 59 - 62 A.D.; obverse NEPΩN KAICAP (square C), young laureate head right; reverse EΠI MIN∆IOY CAP∆IANΩN (square C), bust of young Herakles right, Nemean lion skin tied around neck; $95.00 (€80.75)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus III the Great, 222 - 187 B.C.

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In 213 B.C., after a two-year siege, allied with Attalus I of Pergamum, Antiochus III captured the rebel capital Sardes and executed the rebel king Achaeus. Houghton and Lorber explain that this that this larger denomination "A" does not fit Sardian tradition but the type is attributed to Sardes based on excavation finds. The type, overstruck on Antioch bronzes, was likely issued to support Antiochus' troops during the siege. Perhaps Antiochus' hoped larger coins would impress the troops and the local population.
GB87759. Bronze AE 25, Houghton-Lorber I 971(1); Newell WSM 1187 (Apamea); HGC 9 468 (R2), F, well centered, bumps and marks, light corrosion, weight 11.981 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 45o, Lydia, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 215 - 213 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Antiochos III as Apollo right, short hair with longer locks on back of neck; reverse tripod lebes, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ANTIOXOY (Antiochus) downward on left; rare; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Sardes, Lydia, 2nd Century B.C.

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Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times. Its importance was due first to its military strength, secondly to its situation on an important highway leading from the interior to the Aegean coast, and thirdly to its commanding the wide and fertile plain of the Hermus. As one of the Seven churches of Asia, it was addressed by John, the author of the Book of Revelation in the Holy Bible, in terms which seem to imply that its population was notoriously soft and fainthearted. Remains including the bath-gymnasium complex, synagogue and Byzantine shops are open to visitors year-round.
GB85236. Orichalcum AE 17, cf. SNG Cop 470 ff.; BMC Lydia p. 238, 10 ff.; SNGvA 3125 f. (all refs. various monograms, none the same), VF, nicely centered, adjustment marks, a little rough, weight 3.811 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 135o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 2nd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse club, ΣAP∆I/ANΩN divided in two lines above and below, all in oak-wreath tied on the left and closed with a vΠK monogram on the right; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


Sardes, Lydia, c. 193 - 235 A.D.

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Tmolus was a King of Lydia and husband to Omphale. Mount Tmolus (modern Bozdag) is named for him. It lies in Lydia with the Lydian capital Sardis at its foot and Hypaepa on its southern slope. In Greek mythology he figures as a mountain god, a son of Ares and Theogone and he judged the musical contest between Pan and Apollo. When Tmolus was gored to death by a bull on the mountain that bears his name, his widow, Omphale, became Queen-regnant of Lydia. Through her, Lydian reign passed into the hands of the Tylonid (Heraclid) dynasty.
RP87096. Bronze AE 21, BMC Lydia p. 249, 94 var. (seated right, no lagobolon); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Mün -; SNG Tüb -; SNG Leypold -; Imhoof-Blumer LS -, aF, well centered, scratches, encrustations, corrosion, weight 4.865 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Sardes mint, Severan dynasty, c. 193 - 235 A.D.; obverse ΘEA ΠΩMH, bust of Roma right, draped, wearing crested Attic helmet; reverse CAP∆IANΩN - B NEΩK-OPΩN (clockwise from lower left), mountain-god Tmolos seated left on rock, nude, extending his right hand to a grape vine before him, resting left on rock, grounded lagobolon behind resting in the crook of his left arm; very rare; $65.00 (€55.25)
 







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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
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Sardes