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

Ancient Greek Coins of Cilicia

In antiquity, Cilicia (also spelled Kilikia) was a southern coastal region of Anatolia, extending inland north from the Mediterranean coast, east from Pamphylia, to the Amanus Mountains, which separated it from Syria. It existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia and Byzantine Empire. Cilicia Trachea (rugged Cilicia) is a mountain district formed by the spurs of Taurus, which often terminate in rocky headlands with small sheltered harbors, a feature which, in classical times, made the coast a string of havens for pirates and, in the Middle Ages, outposts for Genoese and Venetian traders. Cilicia Trachea lacked large cities and was covered in ancient times by forests that supplied timber to Phoenicia and Egypt. Cilicia Pedias (flat Cilicia), to the east, included the rugged spurs of Taurus and a large coastal plain, with rich loamy soil, known to the Greeks for its abundance, filled with sesame and millet and olives and pasturage for horses. Many of its high places were fortified. Through the rich plain ran the great highway that linked east and west, on which stood the cities of Tarsos (Tarsus) on the Cydnus (Berdan River), Adana on the Sarus (Seyhan river), and Mopsos (Yakapınar) on the Pyramus (Ceyhan River).

Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Irenopolis-Neronias, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Irenopolis-Neronias,| |Cilicia||7| |assaria|
Wandering the world in a panther-drawn chariot, Dionysos rode ahead of the maenads and satyrs, who sang loudly and danced, flushed with wine. They were profusely garlanded with ivy and held the thyrsus, a staff topped with a pine cone, a symbol of the immortality of his believers. Everywhere he went he taught men how to cultivate vines and the mysteries of his cult. Whoever stood in his way and refused to revere him was punished with madness.
RP96990. Bronze 7 assaria, Karbach Eirenopolis - (cf. 146-7 same obv. die, diff. rev. type); Leu web auction 12 (2020), 870 (same dies); SNG Levante -; SNG Paris -; SNG PFPS -, aVF/F, green patina with earthen deposits, weight 12.523 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 225o, Irenopolis (Düzici, Turkey) mint, 258 - 259 A.D.; obverse ΠOY ΛIK Γ/θ>AΛIHNOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; uncertain round countermark; reverse IPHNOΠOΛE (or similar), Dionysos drinking with his entourage, standing facing, kantharos (wine cup) in his right hand, pedum (shepherd's crook) in his left hand, Pan on right supporting him, Satyr on left standing with outstretched right hand, panther seated left at feet on left, Z (mark of value) right; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (15 Aug 2020), lot 921; the second known; $810.00 (€664.20)
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia||hexassarion|
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire, it was known as Caesarea and was the Metropolis (capital) of the late Roman province Cilicia Secunda. It was the home of the poet Oppian. Rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justin I after an earthquake in 525, it became Justinopolis. Despite the name changes, the old native name persisted. When Thoros I, king of Lesser Armenia, made it his capital early in the 12th century, it was known as Anazarva.

According to Ziegler (p. 124), the Γ Γ means,"[chairman of] 3 [provinces], [holder of] 3 [neocorates]." ET BOC is the date, year 272 of Caesarea. The era began in 19 B.C. when the city was visited by Augustus, refounded and renamed Caesarea, dating this coin to 253 - 254 A.D. In the reverse exergue, Anazarbus boasts A M K T (ΠPΩTH MEΓIΣTH KAΛΛIΣTH TIMΩTATH), meaning First (A is the Greek numeral one), Greatest, Most Beautiful, and Most Esteemed (or Honored).
RP97262. Bronze hexassarion, Ziegler 834 (Vs1/Rs4); SNG BnF 2162; SNG Levante 1520; SNGvA 5508; BMC Lycaonia p. 40, 43 Weber 7505; SNG Cop -, Choice VF, well centered on a broad flan, nice green patina, some legend and highest points a little weakly stuck, light marks, weight 17.070 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 180o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, Oct 235 - 254 A.D.; obverse AVT K OVAΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse ANAZAPBOV MHTPOΠ, six agonistic prize crowns arranged in two rows of three, Γ − Γ above, ET • B•OC (year 272) across center, •A•M•K•T below; ex Zeus Numismatics auction 11 (1 Aug 2020), lot 459; $140.00 (€114.80)
 


Tarsos, Cilicia, c. 164 - 37 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Tarsos,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |164| |-| |37| |B.C.||AE| |20|NEW
The patron god of the Tarsos was Sandan and a large monument to Sandan existed at Tarsos until at least the 3rd century A.D. Sandan was a Hittite-Babylonian sun, storm, or warrior god, also perhaps associated with agriculture. The Greeks equated Sandan with Herakles (Hercules). At Tarsus an annual festival honored Sandan-Herakles, which climaxed when, as depicted on this coin, an image of the god was burned on a funeral pyre. It is now thought likely that the Lion of Saint Mark on the pillar in the Piazza San Marco in Venice was in origin a winged lion-griffin from a monument at Tarsus.
GB97284. Bronze AE 20, SNG BnF 1335; SNG Levante 943 var. (only the top 2 monograms); BMC Lycaonia p. 180, 106 ff. var. (monograms), VF, porous, reverse a little off center, beveled obverse edge, weight 6.506 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 164 - 37 B.C.; obverse veiled and turreted head of Tyche right; reverse Sandan cult image standing right on horned and winged animal, on a garlanded base and within a pyramidal pyre surmounted by an eagle, three control monograms in column on left: ΠA / HB / AP, TAPΣEΩN downward on right; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Mallos, Cilicia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Mallos,| |Cilicia,| |2nd| |-| |1st| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |18|
Mallos was an ancient city of Cilicia Campestris (later Cilicia Prima) lying near the mouth of the Pyramus (now the Ceyhan Nehri) river, in Anatolia. In ancient times, the city was situated at the mouth of the Pyramus (which has changed course since), on a hill opposite Magarsa (or Magarsus) which served as its port. The district was called from it, Mallotis. The location of the site is currently inland a few km from the Mediterranean coast on an elevation in the Karatas Peninsula, Adana Province, Turkey, a few km from the city of Karatas.
GB98567. Bronze AE 18, SNG Levante 1264, SNG BnF 1919, Lindgren I 1542, BMC Cilicia -, RPC I -, gF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, scratches, obverse off center, weight 4.580 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Mallos (near Karatas, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.; obverse statue of Athena Megaris standing facing, within wreath; reverse eagle flying right, monogram left under wing, MALLΩ/TΩN in two lines below; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia||diassarion|
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire it was known as Kaicareωn (Caesarea), and was the Metropolis (capital) of the late Roman province Cilicia Secunda. It was the home of the poet Oppian. Rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justin I after an earthquake in the 6th century, it became Justinopolis (525); but the old native name persisted, and when Thoros I, king of Lesser Armenia, made it his capital early in the 12th century, it was known as Anazarva.
RP97265. Bronze diassarion, RPC Online II 1754 (11 spec.); Ziegler 86 (Vs1/Rs1); BMC Lycaonia p. 32, 7 corr. (star on obv. in error); SNG Levante 1371; SNGvA 5474; SNG Cop 41, F, nice patina, minor encrustations, light marks, scattered light porosity, weight 13.089 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 94 - 95 A.D.; obverse AVTO KAI ΘE YIOΣ ∆OMITIANOΣ ΣE ΓEP, laureate head of Domitian right, fillet border; reverse KAIΣAPEΩN ANAZAPBΩ, turreted and veiled head of Tyche right, small stars between turrets, ETOYΣ / IΓ-P (year 113) in two lines below chin; ex Zeus Numismatics auction 11 (1 Aug 2020), lot 436; first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; scarce; $85.00 (€69.70)
 


Tarsos, Cilicia, c. 95 - 80 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Tarsos,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |95| |-| |80| |B.C.||AE| |21|
Sandan was a Hittite-Babylonian sun, storm, or warrior god, also perhaps associated with agriculture. The Greeks equated Sandan with Herakles (Hercules). At Tarsus an annual festival honored Sandan-Herakles, which climaxed when an image of the god was burned on a funeral pyre.
GB97885. Bronze AE 21, BMC Lycaonia p. 180, 111; SNG BnF 1324; SNG Cop 340 var. (different controls); SNG Levante 949 var. (same), aVF, green patina, copper high spots, light earthen deposits, light marks, weight 5.589 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 95 - 80 B.C.; obverse veiled and turreted head of Tyche right; reverse Sandan cult image standing right on horned and winged animal, on a garlanded base and within a pyramidal pyre surmounted by an eagle, TAPΣEΩN downward on right, KA / MI / monogram (controls) downward in a column on left; from a Norwegian collection; $80.00 (€65.60)
 


Tarsos, Cilicia, c. 164 - 27 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Tarsos,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |164| |-| |27| |B.C.||AE| |21|
Sandan was a Hittite-Babylonian sun, storm, or warrior god, also perhaps associated with agriculture. The Greeks equated Sandan with Herakles (Hercules). At Tarsus an annual festival honored Sandan-Herakles, which climaxed when an image of the god was burned on a funeral pyre.
GB93605. Bronze AE 21, SNG Levante 940; SNG BnF 1321 - 22; SNG Cop 333 var. ff. (different controls); BMC Lycaonia p. 180, 95 var. ff. (same), VF, dark patina with highlighting red earthen deposits, bumps, porosity, weight 6.871 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 164 - 27 B.C.; obverse veiled and turreted head of Tyche right; reverse Sandan cult image standing right on horned and winged animal, on a garlanded base and within a pyramidal pyre surmounted by an eagle, two monograms over filleted club on left, TAPΣEΩN downward on right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $70.00 (€57.40)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Lifetime Issue

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.,| |<b>Lifetime| |Issue</b>||tetradrachm|
Lifetime issue. This coin was issued during the lifetime and rule of Alexander the Great. Most Alexander coins were issued after his death. In 333 BC Alexander the Great intended to lay an ambush of Darius III at Myriandrus but the battle took place near Issus.
SH26702. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3217, Newell Myriandros 17, Müller -, aEF, weight 17.166 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 0o, Myriandros (near Iskenderun, Turkey) mint, c. 330 - 325 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, scorpion on left, ME monogram under throne; fine style, choice obverse, and unusual symbol, ex G & M 160 lot 1318 (misattributed as Price 3218); very rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

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