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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Anatolia| ▸ |Lydia| ▸ |Philadelphia||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Philadelphia, Lydia

Alasehir, Turkey began as one of the first ancient cities with the name Philadelphia. It was established in 189 B.C. by King Eumenes II of Pergamon (197-160 B.C.). Eumenes II named the city for the love of his brother, who would be his successor, Attalus II (159-138 B.C.). His loyalty earned him the nickname "Philadelphos," literally meaning "one who loves his brother." The city is perhaps best known as the site of one of the seven churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation.


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

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Older references identify imperial family members on the reverse but RPC identifies them as Dioscuri. RPC notes, "That the jugate busts probably do not represent Germanicus and Agrippina I, Germanicus and Agrippina as Apollo and Artemis, or Apollo and Artemis (see BMC; Imhoof-Blumer, LS, pp. 116-117; Trillmich, W. Familienpropaganda der Kaiser Caligula und Claudius. Agrippina Maior und Antonia Augusta auf Münzen, pp. 130-131) since the further figure can sometimes be seen to be laureate (e.g. 2023/1 = BMC 53). It must therefore be male, and the two interpreted as the Dioscuri, who had previously appeared on the coinage of Philadelphia." The Dioscuri are also found on the imperial coinage of Caligula. In addition, since the magistrate named on the reverse is a priest, religious symbolism would be appropriate.

The facial features of the reverse busts do, however, resemble members of the family of Caligula. Perhaps the they are Nero and Drusus Caesars as the brothers Castor and Pollux.
RP16599. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 3018 (3 spec.), SGICV 415, VF, weight 4.344 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, 16 Mar 37 - 24 Jan 41 A.D.; obverse ΓAIOΣ KAIΣAP, bare head right, star behind; reverse ΦIΛA∆EΛΦEΩN MEΛANΘOΣ IEPEYΣ ΓEPMANIKOY, laureate and jugate busts of the Dioscuri right; dark patina; very scarce; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

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The usual reverse legend reads ΓAIOΣ. The obverse legend seems similarly confused ending in a letter that is not clearly Σ or Y.
SH58895. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 3020 var. (legend variations), VF, weight 4.071 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, 16 Mar 37 - 24 Jan 41 A.D.; obverse ΓAIOΣ KAIΣAP (Σ blundered), bare head of Caligula right; reverse ΦIΛA∆EΛΦIΩN ΓAIOY IOYΛIOC ∆IOΛO(?), jugate laureate and draped busts of the Dioscuri right; very rare; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

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Older references identify imperial family members on the reverse but RPC identifies them as Dioscuri. RPC notes, "That the jugate busts probably do not represent Germanicus and Agrippina I, Germanicus and Agrippina as Apollo and Artemis, or Apollo and Artemis (see BMC; Imhoof-Blumer, LS, pp. 116-117; Trillmich, W. Familienpropaganda der Kaiser Caligula und Claudius. Agrippina Maior und Antonia Augusta auf Münzen, pp. 130-131) since the further figure can sometimes be seen to be laureate (e.g. 2023/1 = BMC 53). It must therefore be male, and the two interpreted as the Dioscuri, who had previously appeared on the coinage of Philadelphia." The Dioscuri are also found on the imperial coinage of Caligula. In addition, since the magistrate named on the reverse is a priest, religious symbolism would be appropriate.

The facial features of the reverse busts do, however, resemble members of the family of Caligula. Perhaps the they are Nero and Drusus Caesars as the brothers Castor and Pollux.
RP58868. Bronze AE 18, RPC I 3023, BMC Lydia 53, SNG Cop -, VF, weight 3.846 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, 16 Mar 37 - 24 Jan 41 A.D.; obverse ΓAIOΣ KAIΣAP, bare head right, star behind; reverse ΦIΛA∆EΛΦEΩN EPMOΓENHΣ OΛYMΠIONIKHΣ, laureate and jugate busts of the Dioscuri right, palm branch behind; scarce type, rare magistrate; SOLD


Philadelphia, Lydia, c. 133 - 100 B.C.

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Alasehir began as perhaps one of the first ancient cities with the name Philadelphia. It was established in 189 B.C. by King Eumenes II of Pergamon (197-160 B.C.). The last Attalid king of Pergamum, Attalus III Philometer, lacking an heir, bequeathed his kingdom, including Philadelphia, to his Roman allies when he died in 133 B.C. Rome established the province of Asia in 129 B.C. by combining Ionia and the former Kingdom of Pergamum. The city is perhaps best known as the site of one of the seven churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation.
GB87138. Bronze AE 18, BMC Lydia p. 189, 19 ff. var. (monogram); SNG Cop 351 var. (same); SNGvA -; SNG Mün -; SNG Tüb -; SNG Leypold -; Imhoof-Blumer LS -, VF, light earthen deposits, light marks, mild corrosion, weight 4.355 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, c. 133 - 100 B.C.; obverse jugate laureate and draped busts of the Dioskouroi right; reverse pilei (caps) of the Dioskouroi surmounted by stars, ΣΩ/TP monogram between, ΦIΛA∆EΛΦEΩN horizontal below; very rare; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

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Vipsania Agrippina, also known as Agrippina Major, Agrippina Senior, or Agrippina I, was the wife of Germanicus and Caligula's mother. She was the granddaughter of Augustus, the daughter of his daughter Julia. She was the sister-in-law, stepdaughter, and daughter-in-law of Tiberius. She was the maternal second cousin and sister-in-law of Claudius and the maternal grandmother of Nero.
RP84954. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 3032; BMC Lydia p. 195, 55; SNG Cop 372, VF, nice dark patina, scratches, reverse slightly off center, weight 4.126 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Artemon Hermogenous; obverse ΓAIOC KAICAP ΓEPMANIKOC NEOKAICAPEΩN, laureate head right; reverse AΓPIΠΠINA APRTEMΩN EPMOΓENOYC, Agrippina (as Demeter?) seated right, long scepter vertical behind in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 43, lot 708; rare; SOLD


Domitia, Wife of Domitian, 81 - 96 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

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Philadelphia, located south-east of Sardeis, was founded by Attalos II Philadelphos, King of Pergamon. It was an important and wealthy trade center that retained its importance until late Byzantine times. Saint Paul and Saint John the Theologian, visited, and established the first Christian churches. St. Ignatius of Antioch visited on his trip to his martyrdom in Rome. Philadelphia is among the Seven Churches named in John's Book of Revelation.
GB71756. Bronze AE 15, RPC II 1336; BMC Lydia, p. 198, 64 - 65; SNG Cop 379; SNG München -, VF, centered, green patina, encrustations, weight 3.350 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, 81 - 96 A.D.; obverse ∆OMITIA AYΓOYCTA, draped bust right; reverse EΠI ΛAΓETA ΦIΛA∆EΛΦE, bunch of grapes; scarce; SOLD


Philadelphia, Lydia, 193 - 211 A.D.

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Philadelphia, located south-east of Sardeis, was founded by Attalos II Philadelphos, King of Pergamon. It was an important and wealthy trade center that retained its importance until late Byzantine times. Saint Paul and Saint John the Theologian, visited, and established the first Christian churches. St. Ignatius of Antioch visited on his trip to his martyrdom in Rome. Philadelphia is among the Seven Churches named in John's Book of Revelation.
RP91392. Bronze AE 22, SNG Cop 364; SNG Righetti 1056; Lindgren I 776; Mionnet Supp. VII p. 399, 377; SNGvA -; BMC Lydia -; Imhoof-Blumer Lydien -, aVF, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, reverse a little off center, scratches on reverse, weight 6.235 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, 193 - 211 A.D.; obverse ΦIΛA∆EΛΦIA, turreted, and draped bust of Tyche of Philadelphia right; reverse EΠI ∆OK-IMOVA (Dokimos [magistrate, archon]), Zeus standing slightly left, head left, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, only one sale recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; SOLD


Agrippina Junior, Augusta 50 - March 59 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

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Philadelphia was an important and wealthy trade center in ancient Lydia that retained its importance until late Byzantine times. In 17 A.D., the city suffered greatly in an earthquake. After Tiberius aided in rebuilding, it took the new name of Neocaesarea. Under Vespasian, it was titled Flavia. Saint Paul and Saint John the Theologian, visited, and established the first Christian churches. St. Ignatius of Antioch visited on his trip to his martyrdom in Rome. Philadelphia is among the Seven Churches named in John's Book of Revelation. But in the 6th century, paganism still held on in the face of a Christianizing Empire, and the city became known as "little Athens" for its dedication to deities. Today the modern city is called Alasehir.
RP87144. Bronze AE 15, RPC I 3042; BMC Lydia p. 196, 59; SNG Cop 375; SNGvA -, VF, dark green patina, reverse off center, weight 3.827 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Ti. Neikanor, c. 54 - 59 A.D.; obverse AΓPIΠΠINA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust right, hair in long plait down back of neck and looped at end, long loosely curled lock down side of neck; reverse cornucopia overflowing with fruit and grain, ΦIΛA−∆EΛΦE/ΩN N−EIKA/NΩ−P across field in three divided lines; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 39 (26 Aug 2017), lot 410 ; SOLD


Philadelphia, Lydia, c. 217 - 268 A.D.

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Philadelphia was in the administrative district of Sardis. In 17, the city suffered severely from an earthquake, and Tiberius relieved it of having to pay taxes. In response, the city granted honors to Tiberius. Evidence from coinage reveals that Caligula also helped the city. Under Vespasian, Philadelphia received his cognomen, Flavia. Under Caracalla, Philadelphia housed an imperial cult; its coins bore the word Neokoron (literally, "temple-sweeper," meaning caretaker of the temple). A small theater located at the northern edge of Toptepe Hill is all that remains of Roman Philadelphia.
RP80416. Bronze AE 25, BMC Lydia p. 193, 39 and pl. XXI, 14, aVF, full circle centering on both obverse and reverse, nice green patina, some encrustation, weight 6.777 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, Time of Caracalla to Gallienus, c. 217 - 268 A.D.; obverse ∆H-MOC, draped head of young Demos right, hair long and bound with taenia, border of dots; reverse ΦΛ ΦIΛA∆EΛΦEΩN NEΩKOPΩN, Venus Genetrix standing right, wearing chiton, apple in left, left elbow on column, with right holds peplos over right shoulder; SOLD


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Flavia Philadelphia, Lydia

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Philadelphia was in the administrative district of Sardis. In 17, the city suffered severely from an earthquake, and Tiberius relieved it of having to pay taxes. In response, the city granted honors to Tiberius. Evidence from coinage reveals that Caligula also helped the city; under Vespasian, Philadelphia received his cognomen, Flavia. Under Caracalla, Philadelphia housed an imperial cult; its coins bore the word Neokoron (literally, "temple-sweeper," meaning caretaker of the temple). A small theater located at the northern edge of Toptepe Hill is all that remains of Roman Philadelphia.
GB36269. Bronze AE 22, RPC II 1329; BMC Lydia p. 197, 61, VF, cleaning scratches, weight 7.707 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, 1 Jul 69 - 24 Jun 79 A.D.; obverse OYECΠACIANOC KAICAP, laureate head right; reverse EΠIMEΛHΘ ΠTOΛEMAIOY HPΩ∆OY KAI ΦΛABI ΦIΛA∆EΛ, Zeus Lydios standing left; ex CNG; scarce; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Monday, November 18, 2019.
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Philadelphia, Lydia