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

Ancient Coins of Tralleis, Lydia

On the slopes of Mount Messogis in the valley of the Meander, Tralles, was one of the largest and richest cities of Lydia. King Attalus had a splendid palace there. The local god was Zeus Larasios, but Apollo Pythius and other divinities were also worshiped. On the defeat of Antiochus, 190 B.C., Tralles, with the rest of Lydia, was assigned to the kingdom of the Attalids, under whose gentle sway it enjoyed peace and prosperity, and was one of the chief mints of the Cistophori. When Attalus III died without an heir in 133 B.C., he bequeathed the whole of Pergamon to Rome in order to prevent a civil war. Tralles was destroyed by an earthquake but was rebuilt by Augustus and took the name of Caesarea.


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

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The mint is uncertain. Houghton-Lorber notes, issues from this unknown mint share symbols with and are otherwise identical to coins from Sardes, however, countermarks on some examples indicate a separate circulation around Tralles.
GY86888. Bronze AE 17, Houghton-Lorber I 538(b), Newell WSM 1415, VF, dark patina with highlighting earthen fill, porous, slightly rough, flan crack, weight 3.452 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes or Tralles mint, 5th Sardes series; obverse laureate head of Apollo, hair in two spiral curls, one falling forward and one back; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, tripod lebes, monogram (control) outer left, HAP monogram over ΦY monogram (controls) outer right, anchor right in exergue; $75.00 (€63.75)
 


Tralleis, Lydia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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The city of Tralles, or Tralleis, said to have been founded by Argives and Thracians (Tralli), stood upon a lofty plateau on one of the southern spurs of the Messogis range overlooking the plain of the lower Maeander. At Tralles, Zeus was called Larasios, from a sanctuary at the neighboring village of Larasa. Zeus Eumenes (the Kindly) may have had a separate sanctuary.
GB90181. Bronze AE 17, SNG Tub 3869; SNG Munchen 709; BMC Lydia p. 336, 61 var. (no star); SGCV II 4759 var. (same); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, F, weight 4.359 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 0o, Tralles (Aydýn, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse Zeus standing left, Nike in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, all within laurel wreath; reverse humped bull walking right, TPAΛΛI/ANON above and below in two lines, star above; ex Rudnik Numismatics; scarce; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


Tralleis, Lydia, c. 128 - 85 B.C.

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The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.
GS62553. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, BMC Lydia p. 330, 31; SNG Cop 661; SNGvA 8287, VF, weight 11.442 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 0o, Tralles (Aydýn, Turkey) mint, c. 128 - 85 B.C.; obverse snake emerging from a cista mystica with half-open lid, all within ivy wreath; reverse TPAΛ, ornamented bow-case flanked by two snakes, TIME (magistrate's name) above, TPAΛ left, cult statue of a veiled goddess standing facing on right; SOLD







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REFERENCES

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Franke, P. & M. Noellé. Die Homonoia-Münzen Kleinasiens und der thrakischen Randgebiete. (Saarbrücken, 1997).
Grose, S. Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fitzwilliam Museum, Vol. III: Asia Minor, Farther Asia, Egypt, Africa. (Cambridge, 1929).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 23: Lydien. (Berlin, 1997).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothèque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain VI, Corpus Christi College Cambridge, The Lewis Collection II: The Greek Imperial Coins. (Oxford, 1992).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Part 2: Roman Provincial Coins: Cyprus-Egypt. (Oxford, 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Österreich, Sammlung Leypold, Kleinasiatische Münzen der Kaiserzeit. Vol. I. Pontus - Lydien. (Vienna, 2000).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Schweiz II. Münzen der Antike. Katalog der Sammlung Jean-Pierre Righetti im Bernischen Historischen Museum. (1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 5: Tire Museum (Izmir), 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).

Catalog current as of Sunday, May 27, 2018.
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Tralleis