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

Ancient Coins of Sardes, Lydia

Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times. Its importance was due first to its military strength, secondly to its situation on an important highway leading from the interior to the Aegean coast, and thirdly to its commanding the wide and fertile plain of the Hermus. As one of the Seven churches of Asia, it was addressed by John, the author of the Book of Revelation in the Holy Bible, in terms which seem to imply that its population was notoriously soft and fainthearted. Remains including the bath-gymnasium complex, synagogue, and Byzantine shops are open to visitors year-round.


Seleukid Kingdom, Achaios, 220 - 214 B.C.

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Achaios was an uncle of Antiochos III. He proclaimed himself King in Anatolia. After a two-year siege of his capital of Sardes, Lydia, he was captured and beheaded.
GY76100. Bronze AE 15, Houghton-Lorber I 956 var. (unlisted control symbol), SNG Spaer 834 var. (same), Newell WSM 1442 var. (same), HGC 9 436 (S-R1), VF, nice green patina, weight 3.314 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 220 - autumn or winter 214 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse eagle standing right, head right, wings closed, wreath in talons, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / AXAIOY in two flanking downward lines, X (control symbol) outer right; unpublished extremely rare variant; $380.00 (€338.20)
 


Otacilia Severa, Augusta, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Sardis

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This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Sardis. The wreaths refer to the games sponsored by each of the two cities, the ΠYΘIA games held by Hierapolis, and the XPVCANΘINA games held by Sardes.
RP77256. Bronze AE 25, Franke-Nolle, type V, 838 (Vs. A/Rs. 11); cf. Lindgren-Kovacs 976; BMC Phrygia p. 260, 175, F, weight 7.301 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 180o, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Feb 244 - End Sep 249 A.D.; obverse M ΩT CEVHPA, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait up the back of head; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩN K CAP∆,IANΩN NEΩ/KOPΩN (ending in two lines in exergue), two wreaths side by side with inscriptions within, left wreath XPV/CAN, right wreath ΠVΘ/IA, OMONOI/A in the field above; very rare; $250.00 (€222.50)
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Sardis

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This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Sardis. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a city’s status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances.
RP77255. Bronze AE 30, cf. Franke-Nolle, type VI, 848 ff. var. (Vs.C/Rs.-, unlisted reverse die); SNGvA 3668; SNG Tubingen 4054; Lindgren III 596, aF, obverse rough, weight 10.243 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 180o, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AY• K• - ΠOY• ΛIK• OYAΛEPAN/OC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front, round countermark on face; reverse IEPAΠOΛE/ITΩN - KE - CAP∆IANΩN NEWK/OPΩN, Apollo on left, standing right, plectrum in right hand, kithara in left hand; cult statue of Kore facing, wearing kalathos and veil, OMONOYA in exergue; very rare; $190.00 (€169.10)
 


Otacilia Severa, Augusta, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Sardis

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This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Sardis. The wreaths refer to the games sponsored by each of the two cities, the ΠYΘIA games held by Hierapolis, and the XPVCANΘINA games held by Sardes.
RP77257. Bronze AE 25, Franke-Nolle, type V, 830 (Vs. A/Rs. 9); Lindgren-Kovacs 976; BMC Phrygia p. 260, 175, aF, obverse off center but on a broad flan, edge crack, porous, weight 6.144 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 180o, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Feb 244 - End Sep 249 A.D.; obverse M ΩT CEVHPA, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait up the back of head; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩN K CAP∆,IANΩN NEΩK/OPΩN (ending in two lines in exergue), two wreaths side by side with inscriptions within, XPY/CAN in the left wreath, ΠYΘ/IA in the right wreath, OMONOI/A in the field above; very rare; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


Sardes, Lydia, 2nd Century B.C.

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Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times. Its importance was due first to its military strength, secondly to its situation on an important highway leading from the interior to the Aegean coast, and thirdly to its commanding the wide and fertile plain of the Hermus. As one of the Seven churches of Asia, it was addressed by John, the author of the Book of Revelation in the Holy Bible, in terms which seem to imply that its population was notoriously soft and fainthearted. Remains including the bath-gymnasium complex, synagogue and Byzantine shops are open to visitors year-round.
GB85236. Orichalcum AE 17, cf. SNG Cop 470 ff.; BMC Lydia p. 238, 10 ff.; SNGvA 3125 f. (all refs. various monograms, none the same), VF, nicely centered, adjustment marks, a little rough, weight 3.811 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 135o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 2nd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse club, ΣAP∆I/ANΩN divided in two lines above and below, all in oak-wreath tied on the left and closed with a vΠK monogram on the right; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus I Soter, 280 - 261 B.C.

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Antiochos' reign was marred by struggle against internal and external enemies, including the betrayal and revolt of his co-regent in the east, his eldest son, whom he was forced to execute. He earned the title savior (soter) of Asia by defeated roving bands of Galatians that had terrorized the cities for years. However, not long after, he lost southern and western Asia Minor to Ptolemy.
GB71677. Bronze AE 14, Houghton-Lorber 315a; Newell WSM 1369; BMC Seleucid p. 13, 58; SNG Spaer 233; SNG Cop 77; SGCV II 6883; HGC 9 167 (R2), Choice VF, nice dark green patina, typical tight flan, minor patina flaking (stable), slightest spots of corrosion, weight 2.117 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 280 - 261 B.C.; obverse bust of Athena facing, wearing triple-crested Attic helmet; reverse Nike walking left, raising wreath in right hand, long palm frond over left shoulder in left hand,BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on right, symbol in circle over line outer left (control); $70.00 (€62.30)
 


Sardes, Lydia, c. 133 B.C. - 14 A.D.

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Sardis was the capital of the Kingdom of Lydia, an important city of the Persian Empire, a Roman proconsul seat, and in later Roman and Byzantine times the metropolis of the province Lydia. In the Book of Revelation, Sardis, one of the Seven Churches of Asia, is admonished to be watchful and to strengthen since their works haven't been perfect before God. (Revelation 3:1-6).
GB73031. Bronze AE 15, Johnston Sardis 228 - 230 var. (monograms), BMC Lydia p. 241, 45 - 46 var. (same); SNG Cop 469 var. (same), VF, corrosion, weight 3.994 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, under Roman rule, c. 133 B.C. - 14 A.D.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress knotted at neck; reverse ΣAΠ∆I−ANΩN, kantharos, no monograms; scarce; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus II Theos, 261 - 246 B.C.

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Apollo's most important attribute is the tripod lebes, a cauldron in a three-legged stand used for religious rituals. The tripod lebes is symbolic of his prophetic powers. At his temple at Delphi, his priestess sat on his tripod chewing laurel leaves and inhaling hallucinating vapors from a fissure in the floor. After she mumbled her prophesy, a male priest would translate it for the supplicant.
GB71711. Bronze AE 17, Houghton-Lorber I 522(1)a; Newell WSM 1389; SNG Spaer 351; SNG Cop 88 ff. var. (controls); BMC Seleucid p. 15, 17 var. (same); HGC 9 253a, gVF, nice style, attractive green patina, well centered, light corrosion, weight 4.880 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 261 - 246 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse tripod lebes with lion paw feet, anchor below, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, HAP monogram outer left, MIΛ downward outer right; $65.00 (€57.85)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus III the Great, c. 223 - 187 B.C.

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Antiochus' victory at the Battle of Panium in 198 B.C. transferred control of Judaea from Ptolemaic Egypt to the Seleukid Kingdom. When Antiochos conquered Asia Minor, however, the Romans responded. Antiochos' losses were so great that the whole of his empire was shattered and he was forced to content himself with the region that he had held in the beginning, Syria.
GY77860. Bronze AE 15, Houghton-Lorber I 983, Newell WSM 1435 ff., aVF, well centered on tight flan, weight 3.392 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair in corkscrew curls down neck; reverse Apollo standing left, naked, examining arrow in right hand, resting left elbow on tall tripod behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, monogram outer left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $45.00 (€40.05)
 







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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Saturday, September 23, 2017.
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Sardes