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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; $310.00 SALE PRICE $279.00


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 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 SALE PRICE $40.50


Ephesos, Ionia, 133 - 88 B.C.

|Ephesos|, |Ephesos,| |Ionia,| |133| |-| |88| |B.C.||stater|
The Ephesians believe that Artemis was born in Ephesus and her temple at Ephesus, the Artemision, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Antipater of Sidon described the temple in his list of the world's Seven Wonder: "I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, "Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand."
SH87300. Gold stater, Jenkins Hellenistic, pl. B, 6; Montagu I 567; SNGvA 1869 var. (control); Head HN p. 69, 2 ff. var. (control); Gulbenkian 985 var. (same); SNG Cop -, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, attractive style, die wear, bumps and marks, weight 8.463 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, c. 123 - 119 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Artemis right, wearing stephane and single-pendant earring, hair drawn together and tied in the back, bow and quiver over shoulder; reverse Ephesian Artemis cult statue facing, kalathos on head, fore-arms outward horizontal at sides, fillet hanging from each hand, Ε-Φ flanking head, thymiaterion (control) inner right between legs and fillet; rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES

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