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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).

Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D. (or Otho or Galba?), Mallus, Cilicia

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.| |(or| |Otho| |or| |Galba?),| |Mallus,| |Cilicia||AE| |25|
In "An intriguing new coin from Mallus, Cilicia" (2008), Jyrki Muona, based on a high grade specimen with an excellent portrait, identified the head on this type as Otho. He noted the portrait is influenced by the style of the Antioch mint. Indeed the portrait on that specimen looks very much like the portraits of Otho from Antioch. RPC I attributes the type to Nero but notes, "The portrait does not look much like Nero, but the date seems clear. Could it possibly be a coin of Galba?" We are following RPC I, listing it as Nero, but noting the other possibilities.
RP112383. Bronze AE 25, RPC Online I 4024 (3 spec.), SNG Levante 1269, aVF, dark green patina with traces of red, cleaning scratches, minor flan flaws on rev. edge, weight 9.678 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 0o, Mallus (near Karatas, Turkey) mint, 67 - 68 A.D.; obverse ...CEBACTOC..., laureate head right; reverse MAΛΛΩTΩN, Athena Magarsis standing facing, spear vertical in right hand, star above each arm, EΛP (year 135) outer left; ex CNG e-auction 538 (10 May 2023), lot 413; very rare; $650.00 SALE PRICE $585.00


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 ALEXANΔER AVΓ (or similar), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; c/m: Nike right in c. 5 x 8 mm oval punch (3 times); reverse IVL MAECA COL IVL FEL NINIO CLAUΔIOPOLI (or similar), draped bust of Julia Maesa right; huge 35.8 mm!; ex Forum (2015); extremely rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


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 AΛΕΞANΔPOC, 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; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


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!; $170.00 SALE PRICE $153.00


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 ; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Cilicia, 4th Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Cilicia,| |4th| |Century| |B.C.||obol|NEW
Attractive artistic style and composition. Perhaps struck at Tarsos under the Persian satrap Mazaios, 361 - 334 B.C.
GS112753. Silver obol, Gktrk 42, SNG BnF 472, SNG Levante 229, SNGvA 5424, Traite II-2 706, gVF, obv. off center but full head on flan, rev. centered, mild porosity/corrosion, weight 0.623 g, maximum diameter 10.9 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, uncertain mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse head of Herakles facing, wearing Nemean Lion skin, with scalp on his head; reverse eagle standing left on head of stag, antlers flanking eagle, all in dotted square; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Plautilla, Augusta 202 - 22 January 205 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Plautilla,| |Augusta| |202| |-| |22| |January| |205| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia||assarion|
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 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.
RP111634. Bronze assarion, SNG Levante 1411, Ziegler 295, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, VF, well centered, broad flan, obverse encrustation, scratches, weight 4.399 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 202 - 203 A.D.; obverse ΦOY ΠΛAYTIΛΛA, draped bust right; reverse ANAZAPBEΩN NEΩK ET, prize-crown inscribed OΛYMΠIA, AKC ([year] 221) above; rare; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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 KOMOΔOC CEB, mantled bust right, wearing demiurgic crown; club of Hercules behind; reverse AΔP KOM - TAP MHO (Hadrianeia, Kommodeios - Tarsos Metropolis), agonistic crown inscribed KOMOΔEI, 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; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


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

|Cilicia|, |Tarsos,| |Cilicia,| |c.| |164| |-| |27| |B.C.||AE| |20|
In ancient Greek mythology, Tyche was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city. She wears a mural crown (a crown that resembles the walls of the city).
GB110118. Bronze AE 20, cf. SNG Levante 918 ff.; SNG BnF 1285 ff.; SNG Cop 326 f.; SNGvA 5973; BMC Lycaonia p. 181, 115 (various controls), aF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, c/m: VF, weight 5.513 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 164 - 27 B.C.; obverse turreted head of Tyche right, hair rolled, two strands with loose curls down back of neck, monogram (control) behind; countermark: bow in bowcase in a rectangular punch; reverse Zeus seated left on throne with high back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, long scepter topped with an eagle in right hand, TAPΣEΩN downward on left, two monograms (controls) on right; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Hierapolis-Kastabala, Cilicia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Hierapolis-Kastabala,| |Cilicia,| |2nd| |-| |1st| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |20|
Hierapolis-Kastabala is located three kilometers north of the Ceyhan River (the ancient Pyramus) in the southern Turkish province of Osmaniye. Alexander the Great stopped at Kastabala before the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C. Antiochus IV renamed the city Hierapolis.
GB110012. Bronze AE 20, SNG BnF 2217 var. (monogram); SNGvA 5570 var. (same); BMC Lycaonia p. 82, 3 var. (same); SNG Levante 1569 var. (same); SNG Cop 144 var. (same), gF, green patina, scratches, weight 6.685 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Hierapolis-Castabala (Kirmitli, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse veiled head of Tyche right with turreted crown, monogram (control) behind; reverse The river-god Pyramos swimming right, eagle standing right on right hand, IEPO/ΠOΠITΠN in two lines above, TΩN ΠPOΣ TΩ/I ΠYP AMΩI in two lines below; ex Classical Numismatic Group, ex Richard L. Horst Collection; monogram missing from references but one specimen on coin archives; $75.00 SALE PRICE $67.50




  



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REFERENCES

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