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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; $720.00 SALE PRICE $648.00


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!; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00


Soloi, Cilicia, c. 100 - 66 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Soloi,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |100| |-| |66| |B.C.||AE| |16|NEW
In autumn 66 B.C., Soloi was renamed Pompeiopolis, for Pompey the Great.
GB99410. Bronze AE 16, SNG BnF 1194, SNG Levante -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Cilicia -, gVF, nice green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, scratches, small patina chips, edge flaw, weight 2.312 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, Soloi mint, c. 100 - 66 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Helios right; reverse rose on stem with tendril left and right, E over Θ left, ΣOΛEΩN downward on right; rare; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Tarsos, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Tarsos,| |Cilicia||AE| |27|
The title Neokoros, designating a guardian of a temple of the imperial cult, was highly prized and advertised on the coins of many cities. Tarsos was the first city in Cilicia to receive the title, during the reign of Hadrian, not long after 130 A.D. This first temple dedicated to the cult of Hadrian is named in the reverse legend. A second imperial temple was dedicated to Commodus during his reign, before August 191. The B (the Greek number two) indicates this second neokorie. The Kommodeios isolympic worldwide festival was held in honor of this temple. Commodus probably honored Tarsos because its chief god was Hercules, and Commodus had come to believe he was Hercules reincarnated.
RP97264. Bronze AE 27, RPC Online IV.3 T5845, SNG Levante Supp. 260, SNG BnF 1466, SNGvA 5997, Waddington 4636, VF, nice green patina, uneven slightly off-center strike with parts of legends weak or unstruck, weight 11.189 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 30o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, Mar/Apr 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.; obverse AYT KAIC AYP KOMO∆OC CEB, mantled bust right, wearing demiurgic crown; club of Hercules behind; reverse A∆P KOM - TAP MHO (Hadrianeia, Kommodeios - Tarsos Metropolis), agonistic crown inscribed KOMO∆EI, OIKO/VME (Kommodeios worldwide) in two lines above, B / NEWKO (two neokorie) in two lines below; ex Zeus Numismatics, auction 11 (01 Aug 2020), lot 453; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00


Tarsos, Cilicia, c. 380 - 360 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Tarsos,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |380| |-| |360| |B.C.||obol|NEW
In historical times, Tarsos was first ruled by the Hittites, followed by Assyria, and then the Persian Empire. Tarsus, as the principal town of Cilicia, was the seat of a Persian satrapy from 400 B.C. onward. Indeed, Xenophon records that in 401 B.C., when Cyrus the Younger marched against Babylon, the city was governed by King Syennesis in the name of the Persian monarch. Alexander the Great passed through with his armies in 333 B.C. and nearly met his death here after a bath in the Cydnus. By this time Tarsus was already largely influenced by Greek language and culture, and as part of the Seleucid Empire it became more and more Hellenized. Strabo praises the cultural level of Tarsus in this period with its philosophers, poets and linguists. The schools of Tarsus rivaled those of Athens and Alexandria.
GS99576. Silver obol, SNG BnF 310 - 311, SNG Levante 217 - 218, aVF, toned, crackled, scratches, rough, edge chips, off center, weight 0.458 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 380 - 360 B.C.; obverse uncertain female head facing slightly left; reverse bust of Aphrodite right, wearing tainia; from the Ed Strivelli Collection, ex FORVM (2017); $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Adana, Cilicia, c. 164 - 64 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Adana,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |164| |-| |64| |B.C.||AE| |21|NEW
Adana was of relatively minor importance during the Roman period, while nearby Tarsus was the metropolis of the area. During the era of Pompey, the city was used as a prison for the pirates of Cilicia. For several centuries thereafter, it was a way-station on a Roman military road leading to the East.
GB99159. Bronze AE 21, Levante Adana 33 var. (monograms); BMC Lycaonia p. 15, 2 var. (same); SNG Cop 22 var. (same); SNGvA 5433 var. (same), VF, brown patina, highlighting earthen deposits, obv. off center, obv. edge beveled, rev. flatly struck, weight 8.556 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Adana (Adana, Turkey) mint, c. 164 - 64 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing veil and stephane, ∆P behind neck; reverse Zeus seated left, nude but for himation around hips and legs, Nike bearing wreath and palm frond in his extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, A∆ANEΩN downward on right, Ξ monogram lower left, monogram outer right; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00 ON RESERVE


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

|Cilicia|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.,| |Flaviopolis,| |Cilicia||AE| |16|
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.
RP99177. Bronze AE 16, RPC II 1761; SNG Levante 1533; Lindgren 1495; Imhoof-Blumer MG p. 352, 21, aVF, weight 1.689 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Flaviopolis mint, 89 - 90 A.D.; obverse ∆OMETIANOC KAICAP, laureate head of Domitian to right; reverse ETOYC ZI ΦΛAVIOΠOΛEITΩN (year 17, Flaviopolis), draped bust of Dionysos right, thyrsos over left shoulder; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


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; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Livia (Julia Augusta), Augusta, 14 - 29 A.D., Wife of Augustus and Mother of Tiberius, Augusta, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Livia| |(Julia| |Augusta),| |Augusta,| |14| |-| |29| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Augustus| |and| |Mother| |of| |Tiberius,| |Augusta,| |Cilicia||AE| |17|NEW
Augusta, Cilicia was founded in 20 A.D., and named for Livia (Julia Augusta). Just over 16 km north of Adana in a loop of the river Seyhan (Sarus), and at the west end of a narrow plain bounded to the north and south by low hills. Represented at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the city probably did not long survive the Moslem invasion of Cilicia in the 7th century. The site, discovered by chance in 1955, was identified by ancient literary sources and from finds there, and in the neighboring village of Gbe, of Roman provincial coins naming the city. Later that same year Gbe, and with it the ruins of Augusta, disappeared below the waters of the Seyhan dam, but not before the site had been partially surveyed. Two colonnaded streets crossed each other at right angles typical of Roman towns in Cilicia. The foundations of a triumphal arch, a theater, a civic basilica, some shops, a bath building, were mapped. These structures were all of brick and mortar, and probably dated to the 3rd century.
RP99174. Bronze AE 17, Karbach Augusta 19.6; RPC I 4007; BMC Lycaonia p. 44, 2; SNG BnF 1891; SNG Cop 69; SNGvA 5531; SNG Righetti 1519; Lindgren 1458; Ziegler 858, nice F, dark green patina, a little rough, earthen deposits, weight 3.630 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Augusta (under Seyhan Dam Reservoir) mint, 20 - 29 A.D.; obverse draped bust right; reverse capricorn right, holding globe, star with eight rays around a central pellet above, AYΓOYCTA/NΩN below; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00




  



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