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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 (Dzici, 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; $640.00 SALE PRICE $512.00


Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - late May 238 A.D., Philadelphia, Cilicia Trachea

|Cilicia|, |Maximinus| |I| |Thrax,| |20| |March| |235| |-| |late| |May| |238| |A.D.,| |Philadelphia,| |Cilicia| |Trachea||AE| |34|
Philadelphia (Greek: brotherly love) in ancient Cilicia Trachea (later of Isauria) was on the river Calycadnus, above Aphrodisias. Its site is tentatively located near Imsi ren in Asiatic Turkey. Neither Philadelphia in Lydia (Alasehir, Turkey today) nor Philadelphia, in the Decapolis, later Arabia Petraea (Amman, Jordan today) struck coins for Maximinus Thrax.
RB98739. Bronze AE 34, SNG BnF 760, SNG Levante 580, SNGvA 5804, SNG Leypold 2580, Lindgren-Kovacs 786, RPC Online VI T6889, EF, dark patina, pitting, a little off center, weight 14.930 g, maximum diameter 34.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Philadelphia (near Imsi ren, Turkey) mint, 20 Mar 235 - late May 238 A.D.; obverse AVT K Γ IOVH MAΞIMEINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ΦILALELFFEΩN KHTIΛOC, Tyche standing left, kalathos on head, grounded rudder in right hand held by tiller, cornucopia in left hand; from the CEB Collection, ex Edward J. Waddell, big 34mm!; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00


Severus Alexander and Julia Maesa, 222 - 235 A.D., Ninica-Claudiopolis, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Severus| |Alexander| |and| |Julia| |Maesa,| |222| |-| |235| |A.D.,| |Ninica-Claudiopolis,| |Cilicia||AE| |36|
Ammianus mentions Silifke and Claudiopolis as cities of Cilicia, or of the country drained by the Calycadnus; and Claudiopolis was a colony of Claudius Caesar. It is described by Theophanes of Byzantium as situated in a plain between the two Taurus Mountains, a description which exactly, corresponds to the position of the basin of the Calycadnus. Claudiopolis may therefore be represented by Mut, which is higher up the valley than Seleucia, and near the junction of the northern and western branches of the Calycadnus. It is also the place to which the pass over the northern Taurus leads from Laranda. The city received the Roman colony name Colonia Iulia Felix Augusta Ninica.
RB91011. Bronze AE 36, cf. asiaminorcoins.com 6551 (same obv. die & c/m), SNG Levante -, RPC Online -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, BMC Cilicia -, c/m: Howgego 262, F, weak legends, porosity, edge cracks, weight 17.901 g, maximum diameter 35.8 mm, die axis 180o, Ninica-Claudiopolis (Mut, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP C SEVERUS ALEXAN∆ER AVΓ (or similar), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; c/m: Nike right in c. 5 x 8 mm oval punch (3 times); reverse IVL MAECA COL IVL FEL NINIO CLAU∆IOPOLI (or similar), draped bust of Julia Maesa right; huge 35.8 mm!; ex Forum (2015); extremely rare; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00


Cilicia, Persian Empire, c. 351 - 338 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Cilicia,| |Persian| |Empire,| |c.| |351| |-| |338| |B.C.||hemiobol|
Artaxerxes III, was King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 359/58 to 338 B.C. Before ascending the throne, he was a satrap and commander of his father's army. Artaxerxes came to power after one of his brothers was executed, another committed suicide, the last murdered, and his father, Artaxerxes II died. Soon after becoming king, Artaxerxes murdered all of the royal family to secure his place as king. He started two major campaigns against Egypt. The first campaign failed, and was followed up by rebellions throughout the western part of his empire. During the second, Artaxerxes finally defeated Nectanebo II, the Pharaoh of Egypt, bringing that country back into the Persian fold after six decades. In Artaxerxes' later years, Philip II of Macedon tried to convince the Greeks to revolt against the Achaemenid Empire. With Artaxerxes support, the city of Perinthus resisted a Macedonian siege.
SL110485. Silver hemiobol, Winzer p. 24 & pl. 1, 3.5 (notes otherwise unpublished) , NGC F (6327415-017), Cilicia, uncertain mint, c. 351 - 338 B.C.; obverse crowned, bearded, head of Great King (Artaxerxes III?) left; retrograde KTE counterclockwise on left; reverse two confronted female heads, their faces overlapping with the head on the right nearer, the face of the left is head behind the head on the right; ex Heritage auction 232236 (7 Sep 2022), lot 62147; NGC| Lookup; extremely rare; $225.00 SALE PRICE $203.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia||tetrassaria|
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.
RP110457. Bronze tetrassaria, apparently unpublished; Ziegler - (Vs6/Rs12), RPC Online VI -, VF, broad flan, green patina, some legend unstruck, a little rough, small edge cracks, weight 12.496 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 229 - 230 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AY CE AΛEΞAN∆POC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse ANAZAPBOY MHTPO, saddled horse right, left foreleg raised, ΓB (holder of 3 neocorates) above, ET ΘMC (year 249) in exergue; perhaps unique; extremely rare; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Salonina, Augusta, 254 - c. September 268 A.D., Tarsos, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Salonina,| |Augusta,| |254| |-| |c.| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Tarsos,| |Cilicia||AE| |29|
The inscription A M K Γ Γ is a boast of this city, Πρωτη Mεγιστη Kαλλιστη, meaning First (A is the Greek number one), Greatest, and Most Beautiful of the three (Γ is the Greek number three) adjoining provinces (Cilicia, Isauria, Lycaonia). The final Γ (Γ is the Greek number three) indicates the city held three neokorie, temples dedicated to the imperial cult.
RP99408. Bronze AE 29, SNG BnF 1837; SNG Levante 1198; SNGvA 6082; BMC Lycaonia p. 230, 329, aVF, full flan, some reverse roughness, weight 15.837 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, obverse KOPNHΛIAN CAΛΩNINAN CE, draped (and cuirassed?) bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulders, all within wreath; reverse TAPCOV MHTPOΠOΛEΩC, Cybele seated right, wearing tall turreted crown (kalathos?), long scepter in left hand over left shoulder, drum on seat behind, two lions at her feet, A M / K - Γ / Γ across fields in two lines; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 118 (21 Nov 2021), lot 336; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


Korykos, Cilicia, c. 50 B.C. - 50 A.D.

|Cilicia|, |Korykos,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |50| |B.C.| |-| |50| |A.D.||AE| |25|
Korykos (Corycus) was the port for Seleucia, an important harbor and commercial town. The Romans defeated the fleet of Antiochus the Great near Korykos, in 191 B.C. In Roman imperial times emperors usually kept a fleet there to watch over the pirates.

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.
RB110022. Bronze AE 25, SNG Levante 803, SNGvA 5681, SNG BnF 1100, BMC Lycaonia -, SNG Cop -, attractive aF, nice green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, scattered light pitting, edge split, weight 8.505 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 225o, Korykos (Kizkalesi, Turkey) mint, c. 50 B.C. - 50 A.D.; obverse head of Aphrodite right, wearing diadem and stephane, KOPY downward on right, aphlaston lower right; reverse Hermes standing half-right, nude except for chlamys fastened around neck and winged sandals, caduceus in right hand, messenger bag (made from an udder) in extended left hand, AYTONO-MOY in two upward lines, starting on the left, the last three letters on the right ; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


Kibyra Minor, Cilicia, 2nd-1st Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Kibyra| |Minor,| |Cilicia,| |2nd-1st| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |23|
Leake attributed this type to Kibyra in Phrygia and to the time of Claudius, but BMC Cilicia p. xxxiii notes they are earlier in style and in fabric resemble the coins of Cilician coastal towns. Head attributed them to Kibyra Minor, on the coast of Cilicia, near the Pamphylian border. The type was struck with either the numerals ∆K (24) or EK (25), which might be dates, but the era is uncertain.
GB110180. Brass AE 23, Imhoof-Blumer GM 462; SNG Levante 384 var. (EK); BMC Cilicia - (p. xxxiii); SNG BnF -; SNGvA -; SNG Cop -, F, centered on a broad flan, dark green patina, porosity,, weight 8.172 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Kibyra Minor mint, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse Hermes standing half left, head left, kerykeion in right hand, ∆K (year 24?) downward lower left, KIBYPATΩN downward on right; first ever coin of Kibyra Minor handled by FORVM, Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; very rare; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Elaiussa-Sebaste, Islands off Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Elaiussa-Sebaste,| |Islands| |off| |Cilicia||AE| |35|
Elaiussa, meaning olive, was founded in the 2nd century B.C. on a tiny island attached to the southern coast of Turkey by a narrow isthmus in Mediterranean Sea. During the reign of Augustus, the Cappadocian king Archelaus founded a new city on the isthmus. Archelaus called it Sebaste, which is the Greek equivalent word of the Latin "Augusta." The city entered its golden age when Vespasian purged Cilicia of pirates in 74 A.D. Towards the end of the 3rd century A.D. its importance began to wane, due in large part to incursions by the Sassanian King Shapur I in 260 and later by the Isaurians. When its neighbor Corycus began to flourish in the 6th century A.D., Elaiussa Sebaste slowly disappeared from history. The theater, dating to the 2nd century A.D., is small with only 23 rows of seats, whose steps and decorations unfortunately succumbed to centuries of plunder.Elaiussa Theater
GP110208. Bronze AE 35, RPC Online VII-2 2946 (9 spec.), SNG BnF 1175, SNG Pfalz 462, BMC Cilicia - (1975,0411.346), SNG Levante -, SNG Cop -, F, edge chips, flat strike, corrosion, weight 21.223 g, maximum diameter 35.1 mm, die axis 225o, Elaiussa-Sebaste (Ayash, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANTΩ ΓOP∆IANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CEBACTH IEP AC AVT NAVAPXIC, Zeus Nikephoros standing facing, head left, nude, Nike bearing wreath and palm frond in right hand, long grounded scepter vertical in left hand; BIG 35mm bronze; very rare; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Judaea, Porcius Festus, Roman Procurator under Nero, 59 - 62 A.D.

|Porcius| |Festus|, |Judaea,| |Porcius| |Festus,| |Roman| |Procurator| |under| |Nero,| |59| |-| |62| |A.D.||prutah|NEW
"Now when Festus had come into his province, after three days he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they urged him, asking as a favor to have the man sent to Jerusalem, planning an ambush to kill him on the way. Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, and that he himself intended to go there shortly...But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, "Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem, and there be tried on these charges before me?" But Paul said, "I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried; to the Jews I have done no wrong, as you know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death; but if there is nothing in their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar." Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, "You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go." - Acts 25:1-4,9-12
JD110338. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6380; Meshorer TJC 345; RPC I 4972; Sofaer, pl. 220, 66; BMC Palestine p. 266, 1, VF, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, well centered, weight 1.986 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 59 A.D.; obverse NEP/WNO/C (Nero) in wreath tied at the bottom with an X; reverse KAICAPO (Caesar) and date LE (year 5), palm frond; from an Israeli collection; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00




  



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REFERENCES

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