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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ AnatoliaView Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Anatolia (Asia Minor)

Anatolia is the region comprising most of modern Turkey, bounded by the Black (North), Aegean (West) and Mediterranean (South) seas; to the East it is bounded by the Taurus Mountains and main Asia. The name comes from Ionian Greek meaning "the land of the sunrise" or simply "the East." It was named Asia Minor by the Romans. The land is first mentioned by Akkadian records, and played a very important role for all subsequent Mesopotamian civilizations. We should not forget to add that Anatolia is the birthplace of coinage in the late 7th Century B.C.!


Ephesos, Ionia, 133 - 88 B.C.

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The Ephesians believe that Artemis was born in Ephesus and her temple at Ephesus, the Artemision, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Antipater of Sidon described the temple in his list of the world's Seven Wonder: "I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, "Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand."
SH87300. Gold stater, Jenkins Hellenistic, pl. B, 6; Montagu I 567; SNGvA 1869 var. (control); Head HN p. 69, 2 ff. var. (control); Gulbenkian 985 var. (same); SNG Cop -, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, attractive style, die wear, bumps and marks, weight 8.463 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, c. 123 - 119 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Artemis right, wearing stephane and single-pendant earring, hair drawn together and tied in the back, bow and quiver over shoulder; reverse Ephesian Artemis cult statue facing, kalathos on head, fore-arms outward horizontal at sides, fillet hanging from each hand, E−Φ flanking head, thymiaterion (control) inner right between legs and fillet; rare; $6800.00 (5780.00)


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 550 - 450 B.C.

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Kyzikos, purportedly the first Milesian colony, was located on the southwest shore of the Propontis in ancient Mysia next to the river Aisepos. Its prosperity was due principally to its two fine harbors, which made the city a convenient stopping point for merchant ships trading between the Aegean and Black Seas. Its principal export was the tunny, of which its waters had abundant stock. The prevalence of winged beings in Kyzikene coinage is a reflection of archaic mythological convention that assigned wings to most divine or sacred entities as an immediately visible and understandable symbol of their nature, and in the case of gods, of their power to move at will across great distances. In the case of the winged animals, we should probably understand these to be attributes of or animals sacred to a particular Olympian god.
SH86217. Electrum stater, Von Fritze I (Nomisma VII) 104 & pl. 3, 23; Boston MFA 1433; SNG BnF 245; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; BMC Mysia -, VF, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 16.091 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos mint, c. 550 - 450 B.C.; obverse winged dog seated left, head turned back right, curved archaic wing, wearing collar, tunny fish below to left; reverse quadripartite incuse square; extremely rare; $6660.00 (5661.00)


Western Anatolia, c. 620 - 600 B.C., Plain Globular Type

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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

Unpublished! The majority of the earliest electrum issues were struck on the lighter Milesian weight standard, with hectes weighing approximately 2.35 grams. This example, however is on the heavier Phocaic standard that was used at mints such as Cyzicus, Mysia and Phocaea, Ionia.
SH85577. Electrum hekte, Phokaic standard 1/6 stater; unpublished, EF, flan cracks, weight 2.721 g, maximum diameter 8.96 mm, uncertain western Anatolia mint, c. 620 - 600 B.C.; obverse plain globular surface; reverse one small incuse square punch; extremely rare; $3250.00 (2762.50)


Mark Antony and Octavia, 39 B.C., Ephesos, Ionia

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The obverse legend abbreviates Consul Designatus, Iterum et Tertium, meaning Consul Elect for the second and third time. The reverse legend abbreviates Triumvir Reipublicae Constituendae, the title adopted in November of 43 B.C. by the three Caesarian leaders (Mark Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus) when they formed the Second Triumvirate to oppose the tyrannicides Brutus and Cassius.
SH86609. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, RPC I 2202, Sydenham 1198, Crawford 263, RSC Octavia and M. Antony 3, Sear CRI 263, BMCRR East 135, SRCV I 1513, Choice gVF, toned, well centered, some die wear and rust, scratches, weight 11.723 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, summer - autumn 39 B.C.; obverse M ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT (Consul Elect for the 2nd and 3rd time), conjoined head of Antony and bust of Octavia right, Antony nearer and wreathed in ivy, Octavia draped; reverse Dionysus standing half left on cista mystica, in his right hand, thyrsus in his left hand, flanked by two interlaced snakes with heads erect, III VIR (triumvir) downward on left, R P C (Reipublicae Constituendae) upward on right; $3000.00 (2550.00)


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

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The cistophorus was first struck by the Pergamene Kingdom was a tetradrachm (four-drachms coin) struck on a reduced Asian standard of about 3 grams per drachm. Its name was derived from the cista, a Dionysian cult snake basket that frequently appeared on the obverse. After the Pergamene Kingdom was bequeathed to Rome in 133 B.C., the Romans continued to strike cistophori for the Asia province, with a value equal to three denarii. The portrait of Augustus and later emperors replaced the cista on the obverse.
SH85434. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Sutherland Group VI, RPC I 2215, RIC I 479, RSC I 33, BnF I 922, BMCRE I 694, BMCRR East 262, SRCV I 1587, VF, full circles strike on a broad flan, light uneven toning, light encrustations, small closed edge crack, weight 11.660 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesus mint, c. 24 - 20 B.C.; obverse IMP CAE-SAR (counterclockwise below), bare head right, linear border; reverse garlanded and filleted altar of Diana (artemis, ornamented on the front with two hinds standing confronted, AVGVSTVS above; $1080.00 (918.00)


Kelenderis, Cilicia, c. 410 - 375 B.C.

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Kelenderis was a port town, one of the oldest in Cilicia, described in Hellenistic and Roman sources as a small, but strong castle. The rider on the obverse may be Castor, who was not only a horse trainer but also the protector of sailors, an appropriate type for a port town.
GS86211. Silver stater, Casabonne type 4; BMC Cilicia p. 55, 25 & pl. X, 3; cf. SNG BnF 75 (KEΛEN); Celenderis Hoard-; SNG Levante -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, aEF, attractive style, centered on a tight flan, die wear and minor die cracks, marks, weight 10.800 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 30o, Celenderis mint, c. 410 - 375 B.C.; obverse young man riding sideways on horse galloping right, preparing to dismount(?), nude, whip in right hand, bridle in left hand; reverse goat crouching left on dotted exergue line, head turned looking back right, KEΛ[E?] above; very rare late issue with rider right and goat left; $1080.00 (918.00)


Vespasian the Younger, Caesar, 94 - 95 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia

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In 94 A.D., because he had no heir, Domitian adopted his two young great-nephews. He renamed them Vespasian and Domitian. The next year he executed the boys' father, his cousin, Titus Flavius Clemens, and exiled the boys' mother, his niece, Flavia Domitilla. They were charged with Atheism, a charge sometimes applied to condemn converts to Judaism or Christianity. The boys then disappeared from history and their fate is unknown.

Smyrna was the only city to strike coins in the name of Vespasian the Younger. No coins were struck for his brother.

Some scholars connect Domitilla with a Roman Matron in the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 10b) and the Deuteronomy Rabbah 2.25. When the emperor had decreed that in 30 days, the Senate would confirm an edict to kill all Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire, the Roman matron convinced her husband to stand up for the Jews. If that identification is correct, her husband Flavius Clemens converted to Judaism, after having contact with the great sage Rabbi Akiva. Flavia Domitilla is a saint in both the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church.
SH83453. Bronze AE 16, Klose p. 244, 3, pl. 31 (V1/R1); RPC II 1028; SNG Cop 1360; SNGvA 2208; BMC Ionia p. 276, 320, gF/F, weight 2.790 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 94 - 95 A.D.; obverse OYOCΠACIANOC NEΩTEPOC, bare head right; reverse ZMYPNAIΩN, Nike standing right, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand; ex Solidus Numismatik, auction 7, lot 200; rare; $950.00 (807.50)


Mytilene, Lesbos, c. 377 - 326 B.C.

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Mytilene was famous in ancient times for its great output of electrum coins struck from the late 6th through mid - 4th centuries B.C. The usual denomination was the hekte (1/6th stater). Warwick Wroth noted in the British Museum Catalog, "The Sixths of [this Lesbos electrum series] form one of the most beautiful coin-series of the ancient world. This will be evident from a glance."
SH87219. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 100B (k/ξ); SNG Cop 317; SNGvA 1715; Boston MFA 1718, HGC 6 1026, aEF, fine style, well centered and struck, light deposits, weight 2.542 g, maximum diameter 10.27 mm, die axis 0o, Mytilene mint, c. 377 - 326 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, coiled snake lower left; reverse head of Artemis right, hair in sphendone, all within linear frame and incuse square; ex Roma Numismatics, auction XV (5 Apr 2018), lot 196; $900.00 (765.00)


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., portrait of Alexander

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Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and the Chersonesos after Alexander's death. He became one of the diadochi (successors of Alexander) who were initially generals and governors, but who continuously allied and warred with each other and eventually divided the empire. In 309, he founded his capital Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonesos with the mainland. In 306, he followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. In 281, he was killed in battle against Seleucus, another successor of Alexander.
SH82663. Silver tetradrachm, Mller 517, Thompson -, SNG Cop -, Meydancikkale -, VF, excellent portrait, sculptural high relief, well centered, light uneven toning, light bumps and marks, weight 16.984 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 90o, Ionia, Magnesia ad Maeandrum (near Tekin, Turkey) mint, 297 - 282 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse Athena enthroned left, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, Nike crowning name in right hand, rests left arm on shield, transverse spear against right side, Φ inner left under arm, AP on throne, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ΛYΣIMAXOY downward on left; scarce; $850.00 (722.50)


Rhodos, Carian Islands, c. 170 - 150 B.C.

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The c. 3 gram drachm standard on which this coin is struck, used by Rhodes and other Carian cities, is called 'Plinthophoric' for the square incuse around the reverse type (plinthos = brick or ingot). The archaized incuse reverse revived a characteristic more typical of the 5th century B.C.
SH87324. Silver hemidrachm, Jenkins Rhodian, group B, 37; BMC Caria p. 257, 301; SNG Cop 844; HGC 6 1462 (S) SNGvA -, gVF, toned, minor flaw on reverse, some die wear, porous, weight 1.506 g, maximum diameter 12.36 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. 170 - 150 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Helios facing slightly right; reverse rose with bud to right, ∆EΞIKPATH[Σ] (Dexikrates) above, winged caduceus (control symbol) lower left, P-O across field under flower, all within an incuse square; $840.00 (714.00)




  







Catalog current as of Friday, July 20, 2018.
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Anatolia