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Coins minted by the cities and provinces of the Roman empire without the emperor's portrait on the obverse are described as pseudo-autonomous Roman provincial (or Greek Imperial) coins.
Plarasa and Aphrodisias, Caria, 1st Century B.C.
During the middle of the second century B.C., the neighboring towns of Plarasa and Aphrodisias united, forming a single community. The union was undoubtedly approved and probably encouraged by Rome to improve their security. The order of the names indicates Plarasa was the dominant community when the agreement was made. At that time Aphrodisias may have been little more than a small village with a sanctuary to Aphrodite. By the middle of the first century B.C., however, Aphrodisias was the prominent partner. Sometime during the reign of Augustus, the name Plarasa was dropped. The weightstandard is apparently that of a late Roman Republican denarius.GS84797. Silver drachm, Macdonald CoinageType 2 (O2/R3), SNG Keckman I 13 (same dies), SNGva 2434 (different dies), cf. BMC Caria p. 27 (illegible), SNG Cop -, aVF, die break behind head on obv., scratches, polished, almost all of reverselegend is off flan or unstruck, weight 3.478 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Aphrodisias-Plarasa mint, pseudo-automomous, 1st century B.C.; obversebust of Aphrodite right, veiled and draped, wearing stephane, earring and necklace; reverse ΠΛAPAΣEΩN KAI AΦPO∆EIΣEIΩN (or similar, none known with end of legend legible), eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, MY/ΩN in two lines in left field, ΞE/NO/KPA/THΣ / ME/NAN/∆PO/Y (magistrate Xenokrates Menandrou) in nine lines in right field; extremely rare; $600.00 SALE PRICE $540.00
Termessos Major, Pisidia, c. 238 - 268 A.D.
Alexander the Great likened Termessos, high in the Taurus Mountains, to an eagle's nest after he surrounded it but failed to conquer it in 333 B.C. An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. Independence was maintained continuously for a long time, the only exception being an alliance with Amyntas king of Galatia (reigned 36-25 BC). This independence is documented also by the coins of Termessos, which bear the title "Autonomous." Termessos was abandoned after its aqueduct was destroyed by an earthquake (date unknown).GB83542. Bronze AE 38, SNGvA 5364; BMC Lycia p. 273, 41; SNG BnF -; SNG Cop -; SNG PfPs -; SNG Righetti -, aVF, green patina, rough, pitting, corrosion, smoothing, edge chip, centration dimples, weight 28.152 g, maximum diameter 37.8 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos Major mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 238 - 268 A.D.; obverse TEPMHCCEΩN AVTONOMΩN, laureate and bearded head of Zeus right; reverse TΩN MEIZONΩN, Athena standing slightly left, head left, wearing helmet, long chiton, and peplos, holding Nike offering wreath in right hand, spear in left hand, shield at feet on far side of right leg, trophy of captured arms behind, Θ left; about twice the weight of the similar smaller and less rare coin with the same types (SNG BnF 2189, AE33, 14.06g); very rare; $215.00 SALE PRICE $194.00
Termessos Major, Pisidia, c. 238 - 268 A.D.
Hercules' 11th labor was to steal three of Hera's immortality-giving golden apples from the Garden of the Hesperides, guarded by Ladon, a never-sleeping, hundred-headed dragon. Hercules asked Atlas to steal the apples, agreeing to hold up the world so Atlas could complete the task. Atlas returned but refused to take back his burden. Hercules, pretending to enjoy the task, convinced Atlas to hold the world while he made a pad of the lion skin. Hercules then ran away and never took back the task.GB83543. Bronze AE 37, SNGvA 5363, BMC Lycia -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNG PfPs -, SNG Righetti -, F, well centered, porous and rough, centration dimples, weight 27.232 g, maximum diameter 36.5 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos Major mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 238 - 268 A.D.; obverse TEPMHCCEΩN AVTONOMΩN, laureate and bearded head of Zeus right; reverse TΩN MEIZONΩN, Herakles standing slightly right, head left, nude, club downward in right hand, apples of Hesperides in right hand, Nemean lion skin draped over left arm, Θ right; about twice the weight of the similar smaller and less rare coin with the same types (SNG BnF 2192, AE33, 15.17g); very rare; $215.00 SALE PRICE $194.00
Iol-Caesarea, Mauretania, NorthAfrica, c. 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.
Phoenicians from Carthage founded Iol as a trading station around 400 B.C. It became a part of the kingdom of Numidia under Jugurtha, c. 160 - 104 B.C. In 29 B.C., Roman emperor Augustus made the Numidian KingJuba II and his wife Cleopatra Selene II (daughter of Marc Antony and Cleopatra of Egypt) king and queen of Mauretania. The capital was established at Iol, which was renamed Caesarea in honor of the emperor.GB85358. Bronze 1/4 Unit, Alexandropoulos MAA 147; Falbe-Lindberg III, p. 177, 290 (uncertain mint); SNG Cop 684 var. (kerykeionobv. left), F, dark green patina, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 2.102 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 270o, Iol-Caesarea (Cherchell, Algeria) mint, c. 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.; obversehead of Isis left, wearing vulture crown and horned solar-disk headdress; reverse three ears of barley; extremely rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00
Thessalonica, Macedonia, 88 - 31 B.C.
King Cassander of Macedonia founded Thessalonica in 315 B.C. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great. The Romans made Thessalonica the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia 168 B.C.GB79940. Bronze AE 26, AMNG III 19, pl. 23, 9; SNG ANS 804; SNG Cop 369; BMC Macedonia p. 112, 35, F, green patina, weight 11.809 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 88 - 31 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Janus, I above; reverse two Centaurs prancing, back to back, each with cloak flying behind and holding a branch, ΘEΣΣAΛO/NIKHΣ in two lines in exergue; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00
Alexandreia Troas, Troas, c. Mid 3rd Century A.D.
Alexandria Troas (modern Eski Stambul) is on the Aegean Sea near the northern tip of the west coast of Anatolia, a little south of Tenedos (modern Bozcaada). The city was founded by Antigonus around 310 B.C. with the name Antigoneia and was populated with the inhabitants of Cebren, Colone, Hamaxitus, Neandria, and Scepsis. About 301 B.C., Lysimachus improved the city and re-named it Alexandreia. Among the few structure ruins remaining today are a bath, an odeon, a theater and gymnasium complex and a stadium. The circuit of the old walls can still be traced.RP84498. Bronze AE 22, RPC IX 478 (9 spec., same dies), SNGvA 1465 (same dies), SNG Cop 106 (same dies), Bellinger Troy A495, SNG Munchen -, BMC Troas -, Choice gVF, nice green patina, attractive style, weight 6.754 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, c. mid 3rd century A.D.; obverse CO - ALEX TR, turreted bust of Tyche right, vexillum with CO over AV on ensign behind; reverse she-wolf right, head turned back left, suckling the twins Romulus and Remus, COL AVG above, TROA in exergue; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00
Tripolis, Lydia, 3rd Century A.D.
Tripolis on the Meander (called at other times Neapolis, Apollonia, and Antoninopolis) was an ancient city on the borders of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, on the northern bank of the upper course of the Maeander, and on the road leading from Sardes by Philadelphia to Laodicea ad Lycum. It was 20 km to the northwest of Hierapolis. Ruins are near Yenicekent, Denizli Province, Turkey. The ruins, mostly from the Roman and Byzantine periods, include a theater, baths, city walls, and a necropolis. An ancient church, dating back 1,500 years, was unearthed in 2013.RP79979. Bronze AE 19, SNG Cop 724; SNGvA 3314; BMC Lydia 19; pseudo-autonomous issue, Choice VF, excellent centering, nice green patina, weight 4.170 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Tripolis mint, 3rd century A.D.; obversebust of Athena right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet and aegis; reverse TPIPOLEITWN, Tyche standing slightly left, kalathos on head left, rudder held by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $145.00 SALE PRICE $131.00
Syracuse, Sicily, Roman Rule, 212 - c. 189 B.C.
Overcoming formidable resistance and the ingenious devices of Archimedes, the Roman General MarcusClaudius Marcellus took Syracuse in the summer of 212 B.C. Archimedes was killed during the attack. The plundered artworks taken back to Rome from Syracuse lit the initial spark of Greek influence on Roman culture.GB69016. Bronze AE 22, Calciati II p. 424, 227; SNG ANS 1066 ff.; SNG Cop 900; SNG Munchen 1472 ff.; HGC 2 1474 (S), gVF, nice green patina, unusual style, weight 7.757 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 45o, Syracuse mint, 212 - c. 189 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus left; reverseNike in galloping in a biga right, whip(?) in right, reins in left, crescent above, ΣYPAKOΣIΩN in exergue; scarce; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00
Olba, Cilicia, Late 1st Century B.C.
Olba was an ancient city located in present-day southern Turkey. The priests of the city's temple of Zeus (photograph right) were once kings of the country. In Roman times the city became a Roman colony in the province of Isauria.
GB70786. Bronze AE 22, RPC I 3723; SNGvA 5782; SNG Levante 645; SNG BnF 839; SNG Cop -, gVF, weight 6.391 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Olba mint, 1st century B.C.; obverse EP, empty throne of Zeus, turned half right; reverse OΛBEΩN, winged thunderbolt, NI upper right; rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
Termessos Major, Pisidia, 69 - 68 B.C.
Alexander the Great likened Termessos, high in the Taurus Mountains, to an eagle's nest after he surrounded it but failed to conquer it in 333 B.C. An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. Independence was maintained continuously for a long time, the only exception being an alliance with Amyntas king of Galatia (reigned 36-25 BC). This independence is documented also by the coins of Termessos, which bear the title "Autonomous." Termessos was abandoned after its aqueduct was destroyed by an earthquake (date unknown).GB83515. Bronze AE 18, SNG BnF 2109 (same obverse die), SNG Cop 293, SNG PfPs 496, Cohen DCA 706, SNGvA -, BMC Lycia -, VF, well centered, green patina, scratches, light earthen deposits, weight 4.139 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos Major mint, pseudo-autonomous, 69 - 68 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus left; reverse horse springing left, Γ (year 3) above right, TEP below; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00