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

Smyrna, Ionia

Smyrna was an ancient Greek city in Ionia. Located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia and aided by its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defense and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence before the Classical Era. Smyrna claimed to be the birthplace of the poet Homer. In Revelation 2:8-11, Smyrna, Ionia is the church that would suffer persecution. The core of the late Hellenistic and Roman Smyrna is preserved in the Izmir Agora Open Air Museum.


Smyrna, Ionia, 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.

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Zeus had the title Akraios ("of the peak"), among others, at his shrine on Mt. Laphystion, in Boeotia, his mythical birthplace. Noble Thessalian youth went annually to worship Zeus Akraios dressed in ramskins, at his shrine on Mt. Pelion, in southeastern Thessaly. The remains of a temple appropriate for Zeus Akraios have been found at ancient Smyrna, on a height directly over the gulf (though by no means mountainous). It would have been an east facing temple, visible from afar, with ten Corinthian columns on its short side and perhaps twenty three on its longer side, with dimensions comparable to the Olympieion in Athens. The modern city of Izmir covers most traces of this temple and the other temples of ancient Smyrna.
RP88115. Bronze AE 19, BMC Ionia p. 258, 190 (same rev. leg. arrangement); SNG Cop 1290; SNGvA 2187; Weber -, aVF, well centered, porous, weight 3.766 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 3rd century A.D.; obverse ZEVC AKPAIOC, head of Zeus Akraios ("of the peak" or "on the heights") right; reverse CMYPNA-I,ΩN (last two letters in exergue), prow of a war galley right, with acrostolium and ram; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Smyrna, Ionia, c. 211 - 260 A.D.

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In the reverse legend Smyrna boast that has three neokoroi. A neocorate was a rank or dignity granted by the Roman Senate and the Roman Emperor to certain cities which had built temples to the Emperor or had established cults of members of the Imperial family. The city itself was referred to as neokoros (pl. neokoroi). A temple dedicated to the emperor was also called neocorate. There were approximately 37 cities that held a neocorate at one time or another, but holding three was rare.
RP88968. Bronze AE 24, Klose XXI, p. 201, 33 (VS16/R19); SNG Cop 1321 (same dies); SNGvA 2191 (same dies); BMC Ionia p. 264, 237; RPC VII 325; SNG Tubingen -, gF, porosity, earthen deposits, weight 5.821 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 180o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, c. 211 - 260 A.D.; obverse IEPA CV - N KΛHTOC, youthful draped bust of Senate right; reverse CMVPNAIΩ-N Γ NEΩK,OPΩN (last four letters in exergue, 3 neokoroi), tetrastyle temple, inside standing figure of Tyche with rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, O in pediment; ex Gerhard Rohde; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Smyrna, Ionia, c. 211 - 260 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
In the reverse legend Smyrna boast that has three neokoroi. A neocorate was a rank or dignity granted by the Roman Senate and the Roman Emperor to certain cities which had built temples to the Emperor or had established cults of members of the Imperial family. The city itself was referred to as neokoros (pl. neokoroi). A temple dedicated to the emperor was also called neocorate. There were approximately 37 cities that held a neocorate at one time or another, but holding three was rare.
RP88977. Bronze AE 26, Klose XXI, p. 200, 23 (VS16/R19); RPC VII 325; SNG Cop 1321; SNGvA 7990; BMC Ionia p. 264, 235; SNG Tubingen -, F, dark patina, earthen deposits, weight 6.333 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, c. 211 - 260 A.D.; obverse IEPA CV - N KΛHTOC, youthful draped bust of Senate right; reverse CMVPNAIΩ-N Γ NEΩKO,PΩN (last three letters in exergue, 3 neokoroi), tetrastyle temple, inside standing figure of Tyche with rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, O in pediment; ex Gerhard Rohde; $50.00 (€44.00)
 







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REFERENCES|

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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki, Part II: Asia Minor except Karia. (Helsinki, 1999).
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Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 15, 2019.
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Smyrna