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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).

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia, Matidia Reverse

|Cilicia|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia,| |Matidia| |Reverse||diassarion|NEW
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire it was known as Kaicare?n (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.
RP111017. Bronze diassarion, Ziegler 114 (Vs1/Rs5), RPC III 3370, SNGvA 5477, SNG Levante 1385, SNG Cop -, SNG BnF -, gVF, attractive portraits, tight flan, obv. legend weak, light marks, weight 14.483 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 45o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 113 - 114 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAIC NEP TAPIANOC CE ΓEPM ∆A, laureate head of Trajan right; reverse KAICAPE ANAZAP MATI∆IAN CEB (PE ligate), draped bust of Matidia right, hair in a small bun behind neck, ET BΛP (year 132) low across field; scarce; $850.00 (858.50)


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; $575.00 (580.75)


Trajan Decius, September 249 - June or July 251 A.D., Augusta, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Trajan| |Decius,| |September| |249| |-| |June| |or| |July| |251| |A.D.,| |Augusta,| |Cilicia||AE| |19|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.
RP111040. Bronze AE 19, apparently unpublished; SNG BnF -, SNG Levante -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Tahberer -, SNG Pflzer -, BMC Cilicia -, Lindgren -, VF, near centered, dark patina, choice reverse, light marks, weight 4.773 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Augusta (under Seyhan Dam Reservoir) mint, autumn 249 - Jun/Jul 251 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI KYN ∆EKION TPAIANON CEB, laureate head right, light beard; reverse AVΓOVCTANΩN ET ΘKC (of Augustus, year 229), draped bust of ivy wreathed Dionysos right; zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $250.00 (252.50)


Balbinus, 22 April - 29 July 238 A.D., Tarsos, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Balbinus,| |22| |April| |-| |29| |July| |238| |A.D.,| |Tarsos,| |Cilicia||AE| |36|NEW
When the province of Cilicia was divided, Tarsus remained the civil and religious metropolis of Cilicia Prima, and was a grand city with palaces, marketplaces, roads and bridges, baths, fountains and waterworks, a gymnasium on the banks of the Cydnus, and a stadium. Tarsus was later eclipsed by nearby Adana, but remained important as a port and shipyard. Several Roman emperors were interred here: Tacitus, Maximinus II, and Julian the Apostate, who planned to move his capital here from Antioch if he returned from his Persian expedition.
RP110639. Bronze AE 36, RPC Online VII.2 2997; SNG Levante 1110; SNG BnF 1624; SNG Cop 380; BMC Cilicia p. 208, 239; Mionnet III, p. 642, 520, Fair, centered, green patina, rough, weight 29.502 g, maximum diameter 36.4 mm, die axis 180o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 238 A.D.; obverse AVT KEC KAIΛ BAΛBEINOC CEB (Imperator Caesar Caelius Balbinus Augustus), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from front, Π − Π (pater patriae) across field; reverse TAPCOV MHTPOΠOΛEWC, Apollo Lykeios standing facing on omphalos, nude, head left, holding forepaws of a wolf in right hand, chlamys over left arm, bow and arrow in left hand, in field A/M/K on left, Γ / B on right; huge 36mm bronze!; very rare; $230.00 (232.30)


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; $225.00 (227.25)


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!; $215.00 (217.15)


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 (202.00)


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Uncertain Caesarea, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.,| |Uncertain| |Caesarea,| |Cilicia||AE| |25|NEW
Many ancient cities of the Roman Empire were named Caesarea. Some cities used the name only for a limited period. The particular city that issued this coin is not entirely certain. The location of finds suggests the city was in Cilicia Pedias.
RP111037. Bronze AE 25, RPC Online I 4086; Ganschow I p. 58, X4; BMC Lyconia p. 31, 4; SNGvA 6350; SNG Tub 4526; SNG Leypold 2759; Lindgren 1422; Waddington 6744, gVF, attractive glossy green patina, nice portrait, weight 8.981 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, uncertain Caesarea mint, 45 - 46 A.D.; obverse TIBEPIOC KΛAY∆IOC KAICAP, bare head right; reverse Tyche seated right on pile of rocks, river god swimming at her feet, KAIC / APEΩN in two lines upper right, ETOYC E (year 5) upward on left; $160.00 (161.60)


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 ; $120.00 (121.20)


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 (121.20)




  



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REFERENCES

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