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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).

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

|Cilicia|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.,| |Flaviopolis,| |Cilicia|, |AE| |27|
Vespasian founded both the province of Cilicia and the city of Flaviopolis in 74 A.D. as part of an imperial program for urbanization of the Cilician Plain. Prior to establishing the province, the rural hinterland and the city of Anazarbos were probably administered by the Tracondimotid dynasty from Hieropolis Castabala. The location of Flaviopolis is believed to be Kadirli, Turkey were some mosaic floors, inscriptions, and building blocks have been found. This coin was struck in year 17 of the local era, the first year that Flaviopolis issued coins.
SL21984. Bronze AE 27, RPC II 1757; SNG BnF 2171 - 2172; SNG Levante 1529; BMC Lycaonia p. 78, 1; SGICV 861; c/m: Howgego 190 (21 pcs.), NGC XF, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (countermark, 5768432-010), weight 13.107 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 0o, Flaviopolis (Kadirli?, Turkey) mint, 89 - 90 A.D.; obverse ∆OMETIANOC KAICAP, laureate head right; countermark: helmeted bust of Athena in 4 x 6 mm rectangular incuse; reverse ΦΛAVIOΠOΛEITWN ETOYC ZI (Flaviopolis year 17), laureate and draped confronted busts of the Dioscuri, each wearing laureate pileus and surmounted by star above forehead; ex FORVM 2014, NGC| Lookup; $450.00 SALE |PRICE| $405.00
 


Cilicia (Uncertain City, possibly Tarsos), 4th Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Cilicia| |(Uncertain| |City,| |possibly| |Tarsos),| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|, |obol|
SNG Levante describes the obverse type as a Pegasos forepart, however, both their coin and ours clearly depict a griffin.
GS92951. Silver obol, SNG Levante 208 corr. (Pegasos vice Griffin in error), SNG BnF -, aVF, toned, light deposits, tight flan, worn dies, edge split, weight 0.680 g, maximum diameter 8.3 mm, die axis 90o, 4th century B.C.; obverse forepart of griffin left; reverse owl standing left, head facing, crescent and olive spray behind; only one sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades - Nomos AG, obolos 5 (26 Jun 2016), lot 437 (similar condition, realized 550 CHF plus 18.5% fees = $660); extremely rare; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00
 


Kelenderis, Cilicia, c. 440 - 400 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Kelenderis,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |440| |-| |400| |B.C.|, |stater|
Kelenderis was a port town, one of the oldest in Cilicia, described in Hellenistic and Roman sources as a small, but strong castle. The land around Kelenderis was inadequate for farming but, apparently from the coins, suitable for raising goats. On the plateau behind the hills, there were vineyards and olive trees, rich sources of minerals, especially iron and woods, mainly pine and cedar, which were essential for ship building. The town was connected to the Central Anatolian Plateau with suitable passages in the valleys, but it was mainly a port, connected with Cyprus and other countries lying on the Mediterranean coasts. 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.
GS94270. Silver stater, Celenderis Hoard 3 (O15/R15); SNG BnF 46; cf. BMC Cilicia p. 52, 10 (KEΛ); SNGvA 5617 (KEΛEN); SNG Cop -; SNG Levante -, gVF, toned, weight 10.832 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Kelenderis (Aydincik, Turkey) mint, c. 440 - 400 B.C.; obverse young man riding sideways on horse galloping left, nude, preparing to dismount, bridle in left hand on near side of horse, whip in left hand, A below before hind legs; reverse goat crouching left on solid exergue line, head turned looking back right, KEΛEN over ivy spray with leaf and berries, all in a shallow round incuse; ex Numismatik Naumann Auction 77 (5 May 2019), lot 304; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00
 


Kings of Cilicia, Tarkondimotos, c. 39 - 31 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Kings| |of| |Cilicia,| |Tarkondimotos,| |c.| |39| |-| |31| |B.C.|, |AE| |22|
Tarkondimotos was made dynast by Pompey and crowned king by Marc Antony. He died at the Battle of Actium.
GB92157. Bronze AE 22, RPC I 3871; SNG BnF 1913; SNG Levante 1258; BMC Lycaonia p. 237, 1 ff.; SGCV II 5682, VF, light green patina, nice portrait, weight 6.028 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Hieropolis mint, as king in Eastern Cilicia, c. 39 - 31 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse Zeus Nikephoros enthroned left, himation around hips and legs with end over shoulder, Nike offering wreath extended in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, TAPKON∆IMO/TOY in two downward lines on left, ΦIΛANTΩNIOY in exergue; ex CNG e-auction 231 (14 Apr 2010), lot 114; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00
 


Cilicia, Persian Rule, 4th Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Cilicia,| |Persian| |Rule,| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|, |obol|
Cilicia extended along the Mediterranean coast east from Pamphylia, to the Amanus Mountains, which separated it from Syria.
SH95333. Silver obol, SNG BnF 482, SNG Levante 232, Göktürk -, Troxell-Kagan -, gVF, dark tone, tight oval flan, some porosity, tiny edge split, weight 0.702 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse crowned and bearded head (of Persian Great King?) right; reverse forepart of Pegasos right; very rare; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Tarsus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Tarsus,| |Cilicia|, |AE| |36|
The abbreviated Greek inscription A M K Γ B is a boast of this city, Πρωτη Mεγιστη Kαλλιστη, meaning First (A is the Greek number one), Greatest, and Most Beautiful city of the three (Γ is the Greek number three) adjoining provinces (Cilicia, Isauria, Lycaonia). The final B (B is the Greek number two) indicates the city held two neokorie, temples dedicated to the imperial cult.
RP88856. Bronze AE 36, SNG BnF 1737 (same dies), SNG Levante -, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Lycaonia -, ANS Mantis -, F, dark green patina, full boarders centering, earthen deposits, scattered porosity, weight 17.154 g, maximum diameter 36.4 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 245 - 246 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI IOV ΦIΛIΠΠON EVT EVC CE, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, Π − Π across field; reverse TAPCOV MHTPOΠOΛEΩC, Athena standing half left, wearing crested helmet, inverted spear in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield behind, A / M / K on left, Γ / B on right; very rare; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D., Seleucia on the Calycadnus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Trebonianus| |Gallus,| |June| |or| |July| |251| |-| |July| |or| |August| |253| |A.D.,| |Seleucia| |on| |the| |Calycadnus,| |Cilicia|, |AE| |33|
Located a few miles from the mouth of the Calycadnus (Göksu) River, Seleucia ad Calycadnum was founded by Seleucus I Nicator in the early 3rd century B.C., one of several cities he named after himself. The location up river was safer against attacks from the sea so Seleucia achieved considerable commercial prosperity as a port for this corner of Cilicia (later named Isauria), and was even a rival of Tarsus. Cilicia thrived as a province of the Romans, and Seleucia became a religious center with a renowned 2nd century Temple of Jupiter. It was also the site of a noted school of philosophy and literature, the birthplace of peripatetics Athenaeus and Xenarchus.
RP88857. Bronze AE 33, SNG BnF 1052 (same dies); cf. SNG Levante 783 (same obv. die, rev. var.); BMC Lycaonia p. 140, 51 (same); SNG Cop 221 (same); SNGvA 5848 (same), F, weak legends, a little off center, scattered porosity, a few pits, bumps and scratches, weight 18.147 g, maximum diameter 32.8 mm, die axis 180o, Seleucia on the Calycadnus (Silifke, Turkey) mint, Jun/Jul 251 - Jul/Aug 253 A.D.; obverse AV K ΓAI OVAI TPEBΩ ΓAΛΛOC, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CEΛEVKEΩN TΩN Π/POC / TΩ KAΛV, confronted draped busts of Apollo, laureate on left, and Tyche, on right, wearing kalathos, laurel branch before Apollo, cornucopia behind Tyche, KA∆NΩ below; huge 32.8mm bronze; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Macrinus,| |11| |April| |217| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia|, |AE| |35|
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire it was known as Kaicarewn (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.
RP92398. Bronze AE 35, Ziegler 346 (Vs1/Rs6), SNG Levante 1414 var. (rev. leg. arrangement), SNG BnF 2054 var. (same), SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, aF, rough, edge cracks, weight 23.1 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 217 A.D.; obverse AYT K M OΠ CEY MAKPEINOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse KAIC TΩN ΠP ANAZ EN∆O-Σ MHTPO PΩM TP, Nike (Victory) advancing left, raising wreath in right hand, trophy of captured arms in left hand, ΓB (chairman of 3 provinces, holder of 2 neocorates) upper left, ETE - ΛC (year 235 of Anazarbus) divided low across field, KEK (the meaning of these letters is unknown) lower left; rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


Mallus, Cilicia, c. 375 - 330 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Mallus,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |375| |-| |330| |B.C.|, |chalkous|
Mallus 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.
GB93602. Bronze chalkous, SNG BnF II 406 ff.; SNG Levante 172; SNG Pfalz 905; Weber 7569; Imhoof KM II p. 471, 11, VF, attractive style, green patina, well centered, spots of corrosion, weight 1.081 g, maximum diameter 11.2 mm, die axis 0o, Mallus (near Karatas, Turkey) mint, c. 375 - 330 B.C.; obverse youthful head of the river god Pyramos right, with curly hair, wearing wreath of grain, ΠY downward behind; reverse gorgoneion; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


Mopsos, Cilicia, 200 - 30 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Mopsos,| |Cilicia,| |200| |-| |30| |B.C.|, |AE| |21|
Mopsus on the Pyramus (Ceyhan) River was c. 20 km east of Antiochia in Cilicia (Adana, Turkey). Christianity was introduced very early to Mopsus. The city was repeatedly attacked, conquered, and declined until it became, under the Turkish name Misis, a little village. Misis was renamed Yakapinar in the 1960s. The Misis Mosaic Museum was founded in 1959 to exhibit mosaics found in the area. The image right is a mosaic found at Mopsus depicting the story of Noah's Ark (click it to see a larger image).Misis Mosaic Museum

GB93603. Bronze AE 21, SNG BnF 1952; SNG Cop 168; SNG Levante 1305; Ziegler Kilikiens 926; BMC Cilicia p. 103, 2; Weber 7573; SNG Pfalz -, VF, dark green patina, encrustations, weight 5.296 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Mopsus (Yakapinar, Turkey) mint, 2nd century B.C. (perhaps later); obverse laureate and draped bust of Zeus right; reverse flaming cylindrical altar on base of three lion legs, ΠA monogram left, PE monogram right, MOΨEATΩN in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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