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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Anatolia ▸ Ionia ▸ SmyrnaView 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.


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

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Thompson notes there was a single emission of staters, tetradrachms and drachms at Smyrna, which commemorated Lysimachus' contributions toward the city's rehabilitation. Only one obverse die is known for the tetradrachms.
SH11407. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson 237 (same obv die), Müller 408, SGCV II 6814 var., VF, weight 16.911 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, c. 287 - 281 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, rests arm on shield, transverse spear against right side, holds Nike crowning name, Φ outer left, turreted head inner left; superb portrait in sculptural high relief, nicely toned; scarce; SOLD


Smyrna (as Eurydicea), Ionia, c. 288 - 281 B.C.

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Smyrna was briefly renamed Eurydicea at the same time that Ephesos was renamed after Arsinöe II, c. 288 - 281 BC. Eurydicea was the daughter of Lysimachos, by his first wife.
SH65990. Bronze AE 17, SNGvA 2159; SNG Cop 1105; BMC Ionia, p. 56, 75 (Ephesus as Eurydicea), VF, weight 3.839 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 180o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, c. 288 - 281 B.C.; obverse veiled bust of Eurydice right; reverse EYPY∆IKEΩN, laurel wreath on tripod lebes; very rare; SOLD


Augustus and Livia; Smyrna, Ionia; Magistrate Dionysios Kollubas

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RP81262. Leaded bronze AE 19, RPC I 2464, gVF, weight 5.973 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, obverse ΣEBAΣTΩI ZMYPNAIOI, jugate laureate head of Augustus with draped bust of Livia; reverse ∆IONIΣIOΣ KOΛΛYBAΣ, Aphrodite Stratonikis facing, holding scepter and Nike, leaning on column, dove right; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.; Smyrna, Ionia; Julia Drusilla Reverse

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Julia Drusilla was her brother Caligula's favorite and was rumored to be his lover. In 38 A.D. she fell to fever. Caligula would not leave her side, and after she died, did not want anyone take her body away. He buried his sister with the honors of an Augusta, acted as a grieving widower, and had the Senate declare her a Goddess.
RP58846. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 2472, SNG Cop 1343, VF, weight 4.977 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, Menophanes, Aviola procos, c. 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse ΓAION KAICAPA EΠI AOYIOΛA, laureate head right; reverse ∆POYCIΛΛAN ZMYPNAIΩN MHNOΦANHC, Drusilla as Persephone seated left, poppies in right, grain ears and scepter in left; scarce; SOLD


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia in Alliance with Tralleis, Lydia

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In Greek mythology, the Amazons were a nation of all-female warriors Herodotus placed them in a region bordering Scythia in Sarmatia (modern territory of Ukraine). Other historiographers place them in Asia Minor or Libya.
RP80383. Bronze AE 31, SNGvA 2249 (same dies); countermark Howgego 774i, gF, weight 16.352 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 180o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AY KAI M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, countermarked Γ; reverse ΣMYPNAIΩN OMONOIA TPHΛANΩN, turreted and cuirassed Amazon Smyrna (to left) standing right, facing turreted city-goddess of Tralles standing left, EΠΠOΛΛI/ANOY exergue; SOLD


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

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Smyrna, Ionia (Revelation 2:8-11) - the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).
RP34683. Bronze AE 20, Klose, Muenzpraegung von Smyrna in der roem. Kaiserzeit, obv. die 6 rev. die 9 (pl. 9), cat. 11 p. 164 (12 spec.), aVF, weight 3.704 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 3rd century A.D.; obverse CMYPNA, draped bust of the Amazon Smyrna left, wearing mural crown, labrys in right hand over shoulder; reverse CMYPNAIΩN, lion walking right; SOLD


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

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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. 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.
RP76968. Bronze AE 20, Klose p. 165, 28 (V8/R23); BMC Ionia p. 258, 194 (also same dies); SNG Cop 1266; SNGvA 2186; SNG Tub 3196, Nice VF, attractive style, centered, nice patina, part of reverse legend unstruck, light scratches, weight 5.033 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, pseudo-autonomous, 2nd - 3rd century A.D; obverse CMVPN-A, bust of Amazon Smyrna left, crown of turreted city walls, labrys in right hand over right shoulder; reverse CMVPNA-I,ΩN (last two letters in exergue), prow of war galley right; ex Pecunem, Gitbud & Naumann auction 34 (2 Aug 2015), lot 642; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia

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Caius Caesar was nicknamed Caligula (little boots) by the legions because as a child his mother dressed him in military uniforms (including little boots). For a few brief months he ruled well. However, an unknown disease drove him mad and he sunk into debauchery and murder. The Praetorian Guard murdered him, ending the madness.
RP77311. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2473; Klose Smyrna XXVII A; BMC Ionia p. 269, 277; SNG Cop 1345; SNGvA 7994, aVF, obverse off-center, light corrosion, pit on reverse, tiny edge split, weight 3.104 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, 38 - 39 A.D.; obverse ΓAION KAICAPA EΠI AOYIOΛA, laureate head right; reverse ZMYPNAIΩN MHNOΦANHC, Nike advancing right, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond over shoulder in left; proconsul C. Calpurnicus Aviola and magistrate Menophanes; scarce; SOLD


Smyrna, Ionia, 2nd Century B.C.

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Homer is a legendary ancient Greek epic poet, traditionally said to be the author of the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. Smyrna was one of several cities that claimed to be the birthplace of the poet and at the source of the Meles River was a cave where the residents claimed he composed his poems. The city had a temple with a square portico in honor of Homer, which they called the Homerium. According to Strabo, they also called their bronze coins, this very type, Homerium.

The interesting "Homer" series of Smyrna was struck by numerous magistrates, with nearly fifty coins in Copenhagen and many others in the British Museum. Our coin belongs to the "two magistrates" group, and oddly they have the same name! This name is not published by the references we consulted.

GB50063. Bronze Homerium, SNG Cop 1127 ff.; BMC Ionia, p. 244, 79 ff. var. (same), SNGvA 2167 var. (same), VF, weight 7.978 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, 2nd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse IMYPNAIΩN, Homer seated left in himation, right hand to chin, volume on knees in left, transverse staff behind, magistrate's name KYNHAΣ on left, IOΣIΩN below; this magistrate is not listed in the references consulted; rare variety; SOLD


Smyrna, Ionia, 105 - 95 B.C.

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Homer is a legendary ancient Greek epic poet, traditionally said to be the author of the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. Smyrna was one of several cities that claimed to be the birthplace of the poet and at the source of the Meles River was a cave where the residents claimed he composed his poems. The city had a temple with a square portico in honor of Homer, which they called the Homerium. According to Strabo, they also called their bronze coins, this very type, Homerium.
GB71327. Bronze Homerium, Milne Smyrna 285; SNG Cop 1155; cf. BMC Ionia, p. 244, 79 ff. (magistrates), VF, nice green patina, soft strike, flan adjustment marks, weight 7.927 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, magistrates Apollonios and Sepia, 105 - 95 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse IMYPNAIΩ, Homer seated left in himation, right hand raised to chin, left holding volume on his knees, transverse staff behind, magistrate's names AΠOΛΛΩNIOΣ / ΣHΠIA (IOΣ ligate) on left; ex Pecunem & Gitbud & Naumann auction 16, lot 366; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES

Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Babelon, E. La collection Waddington au cabinet des médailles. (Paris, 1897-1898).
Brett, A.B. Catalogue of Greek Coins, Boston Museum of Fine Arts. (Boston, 1955).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Franke, P.R. & M.K. Noellé. Die Homonoia-Münzen Kleinasiens und der thrakischen Randgebiete. (Saarbrücken, 1997).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber. (1922 - 1929).
Head, B. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Ionia. (London, 1892).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. Kleinasiatische Münzen. (Vienna, 1901 - 1902).
Klein, D. Sammlung von griechischen Kleinsilbermünzen und Bronzen, Nomismata 3. (Milano, 1999).
Klose, D.O.A. Die Münzprägung von Smyrna in der römischen Kaiserzeit. AMUGS X. (Berlin, 1987).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Lindgren, H., & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coinage of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
MacDonald, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection. (Glascow, 1899)
Milne, J.G. "The Autonomous Coinage of Smyrna" in NC 1923, 1927, and 1928.
Mionnet, T. E. Description de Médailles antiques grecques et romaines. (Paris, 1807-1837).
Müller, L. Numismatique d'Alexandre le Grand; Appendice les monnaies de Philippe II et III, et Lysimaque. (Copenhagen, 1855-58).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 5: Ionia, Caria and Lydia. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 4: Mysien - Ionien. (Berlin, 1989).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 1: Pontus, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Mysia, Troas, Aiolis, Lesbos, Ionia. (Berlin, 1957).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki, Part II: Asia Minor except Karia. (Helsinki, 1999).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 5: Tire Museum, Vol. 1: Roman Provincial Coins From Ionia, Lydia, Phrygia, etc. (Istanbul, 2011).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 7: Odemis Museum, Vol. 1: Roman Provincial Coins of Ionia, Lydia and etc. (Istanbul, 2012).
Thompson, M. "Posthumous Philip II Staters of Asia Minor" in Studia Naster (1982).

Catalog current as of Friday, July 20, 2018.
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Smyrna