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

Ancient Coins of Lydia, Antatolia

Lydia lies in east-central Anatolia (Asia Minor) between Ionia and Phrygia. The kingdom of Lydia gradually rose in power in the 7th Century B.C. and by the time of Alyattes and Croesus, it was controlling most of Anatolia after rebuking Medes (the pre-Achaemenid empire). The most important city was Sardis, today Sart, housing impressive ruins. The Lydians were viewed as a merchant people and the kings as extremely wealthy. Croesus gained mythical status and today we still use the expression, "rich as Croesus."


Lydian Kingdom, Alyattes, c. 610 - 560 B.C.

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Alyattes (Lydian: Walwates?) reigned c. 610 - 560 B.C. He was succeeded by his son Croesus. A battle between his forces and those of Cyaxares, king of Media, was interrupted by the solar eclipse of 28 May 584 B.C. After this, a truce was agreed and Alyattes married his daughter Aryenis to Astyages, the son of Cyaxares. The alliance preserved Lydia for another generation, during which it enjoyed its most brilliant period. Alyattes continued to wage a war against Miletos for many years but eventually he heeded the Delphic Oracle and rebuilt a temple, dedicated to Athena, which his soldiers had destroyed. He then made peace with Miletos.
SH93570. Electrum hekte, 1/6 stater; cf. Weidauer Group XVII, F, obverse porous, low weight, struck with a very worn obverse die, weight 1.907 g, maximum diameter 9.6 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 610 - 560 B.C.; obverse head of lion left, roaring, jaws open, solar disk with four rays on forehead, [confronting another lion head facing right, WALWET in retrograde Lydian script] (as usual for the denomination only one of the lion heads is on the flan); reverse double incuse square punch; ex Roma e-sale 58 (20 Jun 2019), lot 280; ex private Swiss collection; $500.00 (€440.00)


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, 323 - 301 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed") (strategos of Asia, 320 - 306/5 B.C., king, 306/5 - 301 B.C.) was a nobleman, general, and governor under Alexander the Great. Upon Alexander's death in 323 B.C., he established himself as one of the successors and declared himself King in 306 B.C. The most powerful satraps of the empire, Cassander, Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus, answered by also proclaiming themselves kings. Antigonus found himself at war with all four, largely because his territory shared borders with all of them. He died in battle at Ipsus in 301 B.C. Antigonus' kingdom was divided up, with Seleucus I Nicator gaining the most. His son, Demetrius I Poliorcetes, took Macedon, which the family held, off and on, until it was conquered by Rome in 168 B.C. -- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
GS91306. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2665; Müller Alexander 164; SNG Cop 858; Prokesch-Osten I 126; SNG Oxford 2840; Thompson ADM I, series XIX, 386, VF, centered on a tight flan, struck with high relief dies, bumps and scratches, small spots of horn silver, weight 17.040 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 319 - 315 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, star over YE monogram in left field, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; $220.00 (€193.60)


Seleukid Kingdom, Achaios, Usurper in Anatolia, 220 - 214 B.C.

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Achaios (Achaeus) was an uncle of Antiochos III. In 223 B.C., Antiochus III appointed Achaeus to the command of Anatolia on the western side of Mount Taurus. Achaeus recovered all the districts which had been lost; but was falsely accused by Hermeias, the minister to Antiochus, of intending to revolt. In self-defense he assumed the title of king. Antiochus marched against Achaeus after he concluded the war with Ptolemy. After a two-year siege of his capital of Sardes, Lydia, Achaios was captured and beheaded.
GY89996. Bronze AE 17, Houghton-Lorber I 956 corr. (unlisted control symbol), SNG Spaer 834 var. (same), Newell WSM 1442 var. (same), HGC 9 436 (S-R1), VF, green and garnet patina, off center, light deposits, tiny edge split, weight 3.260 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 220 - autumn/winter 214 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair in formal (corkscrew) curls; reverse eagle standing right, head right, wings closed, wreath in talons, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, AXAIOY downward on left, A (control symbol) outer right; apparently unpublished and only two sales recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $200.00 (€176.00)


Seleukid Kingdom, Achaios, Usurper in Anatolia, 220 - 214 B.C.

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Achaios (Achaeus) was an uncle of Antiochos III. In 223 B.C., Antiochus III appointed Achaeus to the command of Anatolia on the western side of Mount Taurus. Achaeus recovered all the districts which had been lost; but was falsely accused by Hermeias, the minister to Antiochus, of intending to revolt. In self-defense he assumed the title of king. Antiochus marched against Achaeus after he concluded the war with Ptolemy. After a two-year siege of his capital of Sardes, Lydia, Achaios was captured and beheaded.
GY89995. Bronze AE 18, Houghton-Lorber I 955(1)c, SNG Spaer 836, HGC 9 435 (R2), cf. Newell WSM 1441ε (same countermark, no control), F, dark patina, scratches, a little rough, light earthen deposits, weight 5.599 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, Lydia, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 220 - autumn/winter 214 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair in formal (corkscrew) curls; reverse eagle standing right, head right, wings closed, transverse palm frond on far side, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, AXAIOY downward on left, X (control) outer right, countermark: horse head right in a 6.5mm round punch; scarce; $160.00 (€140.80)


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Artaxerxes II - Darius III, c. 375 - 340 B.C.

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This type was minted in Lydia, Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire
GA92206. Silver siglos, Carradice Type IV (late) C, 46 ff.; BMC Arabia 172 ff.; SNG Kayhan 1031; SGCV II 4683; Rosen 674; Klein 763; Carradice Price p. 77 and pl. 20, 387 ff., VF, toned, tight flan, porous, banker's mark, weight 5.425 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 375 - 340 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, bearded, crowned, dagger in right hand, bow in left hand; reverse irregular oblong punch; $150.00 (€132.00)


Sardes, Lydia, c 98 - 117 A.D.

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CTP in the reverse legend identifies the magistrate, Lo. Io. Libonianos, as a strategos. Strategos, plural strategoi, is Greek meaning "general." In the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Empires the term was also used to describe a military governor. In the modern Greek army, it is the highest officer rank.
RP82728. Bronze AE 16, RPC Online III 2393 (18 spec.); SNG Cop 508; SNG Leypold 1201; SNG Tatis 757; Imhoof-Blumer LS p. 139, 13; BMC Lydia p. 246, 75; Winterthur 3917, VF, attractive dark green patina, bumps and marks, earthen deposits, weight 2.366 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, time of Trajan, c. 98 - 117 A.D; obverse CAP∆IA-NΩN, draped youthful bust of Dionysus right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse CTP ΛO IO ΛI-BΩNIANOY, filleted thyrsus, bee to right; ex Numismatic Naumann GmbH auction 60, lot 326; $145.00 (€127.60)


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.

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This type was minted in Lydia, Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire
GA91528. Silver siglos, Carradice Type| IV (middle) B; Carradice Price p. 73 and pl. 19, 223; BMC Arabia p. 171, 172 ff., pl. XXVII, 7 ff.; Rosen 678; SGCV II 4683, gF, old collection toning, no banker's marks, typical tight flan, weight 5.403 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 375 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, bearded, crowned, dagger in right hand, bow in left hand; reverse irregular oblong punch; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $140.00 (€123.20)


Maionia, Lydia, c. 161 - 217 A.D.

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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)


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Xerxes I - Darius II, c. 485 - 420 B.C.

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After the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, the Jews were taken into the seventy-year Babylonian captivity. When ancient Persia took control of Babylon, Haman, the royal vizier, convinced King Ahasuerus to destroy all the Jews. Esther, Ahasuerus' queen and, unknown to him, a Jew, interceded on behalf of her people. By law the King could not rescind the order to slaughter the Jews, so he issued a second decree that permitted the Jews to defend themselves with armed force. The King replaced Haman with Mordecai, a palace official, cousin and foster parent of Esther. The Jews defeated Haman, killing his ten sons that were leading the attacks, and then hanged Haman. The day after the battle was designated as a day of feasting and rejoicing. Scholars identify King Ahasuerus as the historical king Xerxes I, 485 - 465 B.C. Xerxes is the Greek version of his name but the Babylonians knew him as Khshayarsha. The Hebrew name Ahasuerus, appears to be derived from Khshayarsha, with the letter A added at the beginning.
GA92803. Silver siglos, Carradice type IIIb (early); Carradice NC 1998 pl. 7, 155 ff.; Rosen 673; SGCV II 4682; Winzer 1.11; Sunrise 25, aVF, reverse test cut, weight 5.491 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 485 - 420 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, transverse spear downward in right hand, bow in extended left hand, bearded, crowned; reverse irregular rectangular punch; $110.00 (€96.80)


Tralleis, Lydia, c. 200 - 30 B.C.

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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.
GB88999. Bronze AE 15, BnF Gallica btv1b8525284s; Imhoof-Blumer LS p. 169, 4; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; BMC Lydia -, VF, brown tone, tight flan, ragged edge, light corrosion, weight 1.480 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tralleis (Aydýn, Turkey) mint, c. 200 - 30 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse ∆IOΣ ΛAPAΣIOY KAI ∆IOΣ EYMENOY, Zebu (hump-back cattle) standing left; ex Frascatius Ancient Coins; very rare; $100.00 (€88.00)




  






REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Saturday, September 21, 2019.
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Lydia, Anatolia