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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Anatolia| ▸ |Ionia| ▸ |Ephesos||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Ephesos, Ionia

Ephesos, on the west coast of Anatolia, was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. It was famous for its Temple of Artemis, completed around 550 B.C., one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The cult image of the Ephesian goddess has a mummy-like body with the feet placed close together, is many-breasted, and from each of her hands hangs a long fillet with tassels at the ends. At her side stands a stag raising its head to the image of the goddess. The usual symbols of this nature-goddess are the torch, stag, and the bee. Coins of Ephesos most frequently depict a bee on the obverse. The high-priest of the temple of Artemis was called the King Bee, while the virgin priestesses were called honey-bees (Melissae). Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia cited in the Book of Revelation and the Gospel of John may have been written there. The image on the right is the beautiful facade of the Celsus library at Ephesos. It was the third largest library in the Roman Empire. The interior of the library and its contents were destroyed in a fire that resulted either from an earthquake or a Gothic invasion in 262 C.E., and the facade by an earthquake in the tenth or eleventh century. It lay in ruins for centuries until the faade was re-erected by archaeologists between 1970 and 1978. Click it to see a larger image.Celsus library

Ephesos, Ionia (or perhaps Bargylia, Caria or Amyntas, King of Galatia), c. 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

|Ephesos|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia| |(or| |perhaps| |Bargylia,| |Caria| |or| |Amyntas,| |King| |of| |Galatia),| |c.| |2nd| |-| |1st| |Century| |B.C.||trihemiobol|
The type is most often attributed to Ephesos, but the style and denomination/weight do not strongly support any link to that city. NGC tags for the type note the origin may be Bargylia, Caria. The style certainly fits Bargylia better than Ephesos. The consignor of this coin, a professional numismatist, believes it was struck under Amyntas, King of Galatia, 37 - 25 B.C. Amyntas also issued Artemis and stag types.
GS98643. Silver trihemiobol, cf. SNG Davis 270, SNG Cop -, SNG Kayhan -, SNGvA -, BMC Galatia -, aVF, toned, light marks and scratches, weight 1.337 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos (near Selçuk, Turkey) mint, c. 2nd - 1st Century B.C.; obverse draped bust of Artemis right, quiver at shoulder; reverse forepart of stag right, head turned back left; extremely rare; $310.00 (285.20)


Ephesos, Ionia, 48 - 27 B.C.

|Ephesos|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia,| |48| |-| |27| |B.C.||AE| |24|
As the goddess of the hung, Artemis' most distinctive attributes were her bow, arrows and quiver, hounds and stags, but she was also called the torch-bearing goddess. Artemis was honored at Amphipolis with torch-races called Lampadephoria.
GB110655. Bronze AE 24, SNGvA 1870; SNG Cop 339 var. (M above); BMC Ionia p. 69, 179 var. (A above); SNG Tbingen 2800 var. (same), aF, green patina, scratches, earthen deposits, weight 7.088 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos (near Selçuk, Turkey) mint, 48 - 27 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Artemis right, bow and quiver on shoulder behind; reverse forepart of stag right, looking back left, flaming long torch behind, Θ above, E-Φ flanking stag's neck, ΔHMTPIOC (magistrate) below; $45.00 (41.40)


Julia Titi, Augusta c. 79 - 89 A.D. Ephesos Ionia, Ancient Counterfeit

|Julia| |Titi|, |Julia| |Titi,| |Augusta| |c.| |79| |-| |89| |A.D.| |Ephesos| |Ionia,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||cistophorus|
Julia Titi was the daughter of the Emperor Titus, and although married, she had an affair with her uncle Domitian. In 83 A.D., Domitian divorced his wife and lived openly with her. It has been said that she died because Domitian forced her to have an abortion but modern research indicates this allegation is false.
RS94294. Fouree silver plated cistophorus, cf. RIC II-1 p. 330, D848, RPC II 871, BMCRE 258 (official prototype, solid silver, very rare), F, gaps in silver plate, scratches, potentially active corrosion, weight 9.560 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, 81 - 90 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA DIVI TITI F, draped bust right, hair in a knot in back; reverse Vesta seated left, palladium in right hand, scepter in left hand, VESTA in exergue; SOLD


Ephesos, Ionia, 89 - 88 B.C.

|Cistophori|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia,| |89| |-| |88| |B.C.||cistophoric| |tetradrachm|
In 88 B.C., King Mithridates VI of Pontus invaded Greece. Defeating the Roman forces four times in succession, he conquered Bithynia, Phrygia, Mysia, Lycia, Pamphylia, Ionia and Cappadocia. The Roman province of Asia was dismantled. On the king's orders, the local authorities in every city of the province rounded up and put to death all resident Italians - men, women, and children - in a single day (App. Mith.85-91). Plutarch (Sulla 24.4) says that 150,000 were killed, other sources estimate 80,000 people.
GS81776. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Ephesus 47, Pinder 37, Macdonald Hunter 27 (var. no bow), Cohen DCA 324, BMC Ionia -, SNGvA -; SNG Cop -, SNG Fitzwilliam -, aVF, toned, weight 12.438 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos (near Selcuk, Turkey) mint, 89 - 88 B.C.; obverse cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a snake emerges, all within wreath of ivy with berries; reverse bow-case ornamented with an apluster, strung bow within emerging top left, flanked on each side by a snake with head erect, straps from bottom o the case draped over snakes, crown of Isis above between snakes' heads, MC (year 46) over ΕΦΕ on left, flaming torch on right; scarce; SOLD


Ephesos, Ionia, 90 - 89 B.C.

|Cistophori|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia,| |90| |-| |89| |B.C.||cistophoric| |tetradrachm|
The torch is an attribute of Artemis and a civic symbol of Ephesus.

In 89 B.C., Mithridates VI of Pontus invaded Bithynia and Cappadocia beginning the First Mithridatic War.
GS76188. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Dated 46, Pinder 36, SNG Cop 326, Cohen DCA 325, BMC Ionia -, SNGvA -, SNG Fitzwilliam -, VF, dark uneven toning on reverse, obverse struck with a worn die, weight 12.674 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos (near Selcuk, Turkey) mint, 90 - 89 B.C.; obverse cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a snake emerges, all within wreath of ivy with berries; reverse bow-case ornamented with an apluster, strap lower right, flanked on each side by a snake with head erect, serpent-entwined staff above between snakes' heads, MΕ (year 45) over ΕΦΕ on left, flaming torch on right; SOLD







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REFERENCES

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