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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 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; $350.00 (353.50)


Ephesos, Ionia, 500 - 420 B.C.

|Ephesos|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia,| |500| |-| |420| |B.C.||tetartemorion|
Ephesos, on the west coast of Anatolia, was one of the 12 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 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.
GA110533. Silver tetartemorion, Karwiese series IV, type 2; SNG Kayhan 132; SNG Cop 211; BMC Ionia p. 50, 24, VF, toned, obv. off center, tight flan, weight 0.146 g, maximum diameter 7.3 mm, die axis 90o, Ephesos mint, 500 - 420 B.C.; obverse Bee seen from above, E-Φ flanking bee's head, front legs not visible, rear legs clearly articulated, wide-open slightly curved wings extending beyond border of dots; reverse head of eagle right, EΦ clockwise upper right, all within an incuse square; from the Rod Sell collection; ex Noble 85 (24 July 2007), lot 3376 (part of) ; $100.00 (101.00)


Ephesos, Ionia, 500 - 420 B.C.

|Ephesos|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia,| |500| |-| |420| |B.C.||tetartemorion|
Ephesos, on the west coast of Anatolia, was one of the 12 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 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.
GA110534. Silver tetartemorion, Karwiese series IV, type 2; SNG Kayhan 132; SNG Cop 211; BMC Ionia p. 50, 24, VF, light tone, porous, tight flan, weight 0.200 g, maximum diameter 6.0 mm, die axis 90o, Ephesos mint, 500 - 420 B.C.; obverse Bee seen from above, E-Φ flanking bee's head, front legs not visible, rear legs clearly articulated, wide-open slightly curved wings extending beyond border of dots; reverse head of eagle right, EΦ clockwise upper right, all within an incuse square; from the Rod Sell collection; ex Noble 85 (24 July 2007), lot 3376 (part of); $100.00 (101.00)


History of the Coinage of Ephesus

|Greek| |Coin| |Books|, |History| |of| |the| |Coinage| |of| |Ephesus|
1979 reprint of the 1880 edition.
BK23930. History of the Coinage of Ephesus by Barclay V. Head, hardcover, light age and shelf wear, 89 pages, 5 plates, international shipping at actual cost of shipping; $20.00 (20.20)







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REFERENCES

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