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Ancient Coins of Lydia (Other Cities and Uncertain Mints)
Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Magnesia ad Sipylum, Lydia
Britannica 1859, Roman History notes: "[Caligula] encircled his own head with the oriental diadem armed with spikes or rays, the well-known symbol of divinity in the East." Prior to this, the radiate crown had been used to indicate the divinity of Divus Augustus achieved after his death. This is the first time that this crown is shown on a coin of a living Roman. RP90987. Bronze assarion, RPC I 2455 (same dies, 4 spec.); SNG Cop 257 (same dies); BMC Lydia p. 145, 51; SNGvA -, VF, dark patina, scratches, some porosity, small edge split, weight 5.668 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, 25 Jan 41 - 13 Oct 54 A.D.; obverse GAION KAICA-P-A - C-E-BACTON, radiate head of Caligula right; reverse MAΓN,HTΩN AΠO CIΠY,ΛOY (first three letters in exergue, continuing counterclockwise on the right, last three letters upward on left), Germanicus (on left) stands facing in toga capite velato, patera in right hand, behind Agrippina as Demeter, grain in right hand, scepter in left hand, [ΓEP/M / AΓ/PI in four lines in center field (not visible on this coin and not visible on the RPC plate coin)]; very rare; $320.00 (€281.60)
Maionia, Lydia, c. 161 - 217 A.D.
Omphale was queen of the Lydian Kingdom, the wife of Tmolus, the oak-clad mountain king. After he was gored to death by a bull, she continued to reign on her own. She bought Herakles from Hermes, who sold him after an oracle declared Hercules must be sold into slavery for three years. Hercules had sought the oracle to learn what he must do to purify himself, after he murdered his friend Iphitus and stole the Delphic tripod. As a slave, Herakles was forced to do women's work and even wear women's clothing and hold a basket of wool while Omphale and her maidens did their spinning. Meanwhile, Omphale wore the skin of the Nemean Lion and carried Herakles' olive-wood club. But it was also during his stay in Lydia that Herakles captured the city of the Itones and enslaved them, killed Syleus who forced passersby to hoe his vineyard, and captured the Cercopes. He buried the body of Icarus and took part in the Calydonian Boar Hunt and the Argonautica. After some time, Omphale freed Herakles and took him as her husband. The Greeks did not recognize Omphale as a goddess. Omphale's name, connected with omphalos, a Greek word meaning navel (or axis), may, however, represent a Lydian earth goddess. Herakles' servitude and marriage may represent the servitude of the sun to the axis of the celestial sphere, the spinners being Lydian versions of the Moirae. This myth may have been an attempt to explain why the priests of Herakles wore female clothing.GB86735. Bronze AE 20, SNG Leypold I 1053 (this scarcer rev. legend arrangement); RPC Online IV 1325; SNG Cop 222; SNGvA 3011; SNG München 302; BMC Lydia p. 129, 17, VF, rough, reverse scratches, weight 5.130 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Maeonia mint, c. 161 - 217 A.D.; obverse bearded head of Herakles left; reverse MAIONΩN, Omphale advancing right, draped in Hercules’ lion skin, carrying his club in her left hand over her left shoulder; $120.00 (€105.60)
Tabala, Lydia, 178 - 180 A.D.
There is almost nothing about Tabala online or in the numismatic references. Online there are conflicting opinions of its location. In BMC Lydia head writes, 'Tabala, on the north side of the Hermus, near the modern village Burgas Kale, where there still stands a medieval citadel which once commanded the entrance of the Hermus gorge." RP89557. Bronze AE 20, RPC Online IV-2 T9941 (21 spec.), SNG Tübingen 3833, SNG Lewis 1542, SNG Righetti 1096, SNG Cop 562, Lindgren I 825, Weber 6917, BMC Lydia -, SNGvA -, aVF, well centered, attractive style, near black patina, earthen deposits,, weight 5.064 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, Tabala (Diskaya, Turkey?) mint, time of Marcus Aurelius, 178 - 180 A.D.; obverse IEPA CYNKΛHTOC (clockwise from upper right), draped youthful bust of the Roman Senate right; reverse TABAΛEΩN, river-god Hermos reclining left, reed in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, resting left arm on urn, EPMOC in exergue; ex Gerhard Rhode; $100.00 (€88.00)
Tripolis, Lydia, 3rd Century A.D.
Tripolis on the Meander (called at other times Neapolis, Apollonia, and Antoninopolis) was an ancient city on the borders of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, on the northern bank of the upper course of the Maeander, and on the road leading from Sardes by Philadelphia to Laodicea ad Lycum. It was 20 km to the northwest of Hierapolis. Ruins are near Yenicekent, Denizli Province, Turkey. The ruins, mostly from the Roman and Byzantine periods, include a theater, baths, city walls, and a necropolis. An ancient church, dating back 1,500 years, was unearthed in 2013.RP79979. Bronze AE 19, SNG Cop 724; SNGvA 3314; BMC Lydia 19; pseudo-autonomous issue, Choice VF, excellent centering, nice green patina, weight 4.170 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Tripolis (near Yenicekent, Turkey) mint, 3rd century A.D.; obverse bust of Athena right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet and aegis; reverse TPIPOLEITWN, Tyche standing slightly left, kalathos on head left, rudder held by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $90.00 (€79.20)
Sala, Lydia, c. 2nd Century A.D.
Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the god of commerce and thieves. He was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. His symbols include the caduceus and winged sandals.RP77505. Bronze AE 17, SNG München 455; BMC Lydia p. 229, 15; SNG Cop 416, VF, well centered, nice green patina, areas of corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 2.643 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Sala mint, c. 2nd century A.D.; obverse ∆HMOC CAΛHNΩN, laureate and draped bearded bust of Demos; reverse EΠI AN∆PONEICOY, Hermes standing slightly left, nude, chlamys draped over left arm, purse in right hand, caduceus in left hand; ex Divus Numismatik; rare; $65.00 (€57.20)
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