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Ancient Coins of Lydia (Other Cities and Uncertain Mints)
Maionia, Lydia, 2nd - Early 3rd Century A.D.
Omphale was queen of the kingdom of Lydia, the wife of Tmolus, the oak-clad mountain king of Lydia. After he was gored to death by a bull, she continued to reign on her own.
Omphale bought Herakles from Hermes, who sold him after an oracle declared Hercules must be sold into slavery for three years. Hercules had sought the oracle to learn what he must do to purify himself, after he murdered his friend Iphitus and stole the Delphic tripod. As a slave, Herakles was forced to do women's work and even wear women's clothing and hold a basket of wool while Omphale and her maidens did their spinning. Meanwhile, Omphale wore the skin of the Nemean Lion and carried Herakles' olive-wood club. But it was also during his stay in Lydia that Herakles captured the city of the Itones and enslaved them, killed Syleus who forced passersby to hoe his vineyard, and captured the Cercopes. He buried the body of Icarus and took part in the Calydonian BoarHunt and the Argonautica. After some time, Omphale freed Herakles and took him as her husband.
The Greeks did not recognize Omphale as a goddess. Omphale's name, connected with omphalos, a Greek word meaning navel (or axis), may, however, represent a Lydian earth goddess. Herakles' servitude and marriage may represent the servitude of the sun to the axis of the celestial sphere, the spinners being Lydian versions of the Moirae. This myth may have been and attempt to explain why the priests of Herakles wore female clothing.GB86735. Bronze AE 20, SNG Cop 222; SNGvA 3011; SNG München 302; BMC Lydia p. 129, 17; RPC Online temp 9330, VF, rough, reverse scratches, weight 5.130 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Maeonia mint, 2nd - early 3rd century A.D.; obverse bearded head of Herakles left; reverse MAIONΩN, Omphale advancing right, holding lion's skin and club across shoulder; $150.00 (€127.50)
Plotina, Augusta 105 - 129 A.D., Wife of Trajan, Gordus-Julia, Lydia
"The colonial coins of Plotina are, according to Vaillant, of the highest degree of rarity. Amongst those bearing Latin inscriptions are issues from Cassendreia in Macedonia, and Corinth in Achaia." -- Dictionary of Roman CoinsRP83943. Bronze AE 22, RPC online III 2550 (11 spec.); SNG München 189; BMC Lydia p. 92, 18; Prowe-Egger 1460; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, aF, dark patina, legends mostly weak/unstruck, porosity, small edge chip/crack, weight 4.137 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, Gordus-Julia mint, magistrate Poplius, c. 112 - 117 B.C.; obverse ΠΛΩTEINA CEBACTH, draped bust right, hair in plait behind; reverse ΓOP∆HNΩN EΠI ΠOΠΛIOY, Zeus seated left on throne, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; very rare; $150.00 (€127.50)
Tripolis, Lydia, 3rd Century A.D.
Tripolis on the Meander (called at other times Neapolis, Apollonia, and Antoninopolis) was an ancient city on the borders of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, on the northern bank of the upper course of the Maeander, and on the road leading from Sardes by Philadelphia to Laodicea ad Lycum. It was 20 km to the northwest of Hierapolis. Ruins are near Yenicekent, Denizli Province, Turkey. The ruins, mostly from the Roman and Byzantine periods, include a theater, baths, city walls, and a necropolis. An ancient church, dating back 1,500 years, was unearthed in 2013.RP79979. Bronze AE 19, SNG Cop 724; SNGvA 3314; BMC Lydia 19; pseudo-autonomous issue, Choice VF, excellent centering, nice green patina, weight 4.170 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Tripolis (near Yenicekent, Turkey) mint, 3rd century A.D.; obversebust of Athena right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet and aegis; reverse TPIPOLEITWN, Tyche standing slightly left, kalathos on head left, rudder held by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $115.00 (€97.75)
Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Akrasos, Lydia
Akrasa is not the same as Nakrasa. The cities were near each other, along with Germe and Stratonicea in northern Lydia.RP84689. Bronze AE 18, Weber III 6777; Hunterian II p. 447, 2; SNG Cop 8 var. (obv. leg.); SNGvA 2886 var. (same); BMC Lydia p. 13, 22 var. (same); SNG Mün 22 var. (same), F, well centered, dark green patina, weight 3.169 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Akrasos mint, obverse AV KA Λ C CEOVHPOC, laureate head of Septimius Severus right; reverse AKPCIΩTΩN, Asklepios standing slightly right, head turned back left, snake entwined staff in right hand; rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
Sala, Lydia, c. 2nd Century A.D.
Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the god of commerce and thieves. He was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. His symbols include the caduceus and winged sandals.RP77505. Bronze AE 17, SNG München 455; BMC Lydia p. 229, 15; SNG Cop 416, VF, well centered, nice green patina, areas of corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 2.643 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Sala mint, c. 2nd century A.D.; obverse ∆HMOC CAΛHNΩN, laureate and draped bearded bust of Demos; reverse EΠI AN∆PONEICOY, Hermes standing slightly left, nude, chlamys draped over left arm, purse in right hand, caduceus in left hand; ex Divus Numismatik; rare; $75.00 (€63.75)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Mostene, Lydia
Mostene, in ancient Lydia, prospered in Roman and Byzantine eras. There is debate, based on a line in Tacitus, over whether Mostene was a Macedonian colony or a native Lydian city. In 17 A.D. the city was hit by an earthquake and was assisted by relief from Tiberius.RP84897. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 2462 (2 specimens), Imhoof-Blumer LS 4a, BMC Lydia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG München -, SNG Tübingen -, VF, dark patina, encrustations, light corrosion, slightly off center, weight 2.457 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Mostene (Kepecik, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 50 - 54 A.D.; obverse NEPONA KAICAPA, bare-headed and draped bust right; reverse EΠI ME∆ANIOY MOCTHNΩN, city goddess of Mostene seated left, kalathos on head, two grain ears in right hand, double axe in left hand; very rare; $50.00 (€42.50)
Domitia, Augusta, 82 - 96 A.D., Nakrasa, Lydia
Domitia Longina was the daughter of the famous general Cnaeus Domitius Corbulo and was taken from her husband and married to Domitian in 70 A.D. In 83 A.D., she was exiled for her affair with the actor Paris. Domitian seems to have forgiven her, as ancient sources identify her as a part of the plot that ended the emperor's life. She died in the reign of Trajan or Antoninus Pius.RP79877. Bronze AE 17, RPC II 935 (3 spec.), SNG Cop 297, SNG München 342; Mionnet IV 507; BMC Lydia -; SNGvA -, F, green patina, porous, light deposits, light corrosion, a little off center, weight 2.662 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Nakrasa (near Kirkagach, Turkey) mint, 82 - 96 A.D.; obverse ∆OMITIA CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse NAKPACEITΩN, kithara (lyre); very rare; $50.00 (€42.50)
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