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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Anatolia ▸ Ionia ▸ ColophonView Options:  |  |  | 

Colophon, Ionia

Kolophon was once the strongest of the Ionian cities and renowned both for its cavalry and for the inhabitants' luxurious lifestyle until Gyges of Lydia conquered it in the 7th century B.C. Kolophon then went into decline and was eclipsed by neighboring Ephesus and by the rising naval power, Miletus. After the death of Alexander the Great, Perdiccas expelled the Athenian settlers on Samos to Kolophon, including the family of Epicurus, who joined them there after completing his military service. Antigonus controlled Kolophon until general Prepelaus sized the area for Lysimachus in 302 B.C. Lysimachus destroyed Kolophon (and Lebedos) and forced the survivors to emigrate to Ephesos. After his death in 281, Kolophon was reestablished, but it never fully recovered and the name was eventually transferred to the port village of Notium. Kolophon was one of several cities that claimed to be the birthplace of the poet Homer.


Kolophon, Ionia, 190 - 30 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.
GB91175. Bronze half obol, Milne Kolophon 175 (6 spec.); Imhoof MG p. 285, 38; Waddington 1501; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Mün -; SNG Tüb -; BMC Ionia -, gVF, beautiful facing head, nice dark green patina, reverse off center, light earthen deposits, weight 5.185 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, Demetrios, magistrate, 190 - 30 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo facing slightly left; reverse tripod lebes, ∆HMHTPIOΣ (magistrate) upward on left, KOΛOΦΩNIΩN (ethnic) upward on right; very rare; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C.

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Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and the Chersonesos after Alexander's death. He became one of the diadochi (successors of Alexander) who were initially generals and governors, but who continuously allied and warred with each other and eventually divided the empire. In 309, he founded his capital Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonesos with the mainland. In 306, he followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. In 281, he was killed in battle against Seleucus, another successor of Alexander.
SH88882. Silver drachm, Thompson 127, Price L27, Müller Alexander L21, HGC 3 1752e (R1), Choice VF, well centered, attractive toning, weight 3.377 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, 299 - 296 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, eagle in right hand, scepter in left hand, right leg drawn back, lion-forepart left over Φ (control symbols) in left field, pentagram (control symbol) under throne, ΛYΛIMAXOY downward on left, BAΣIΛIΩΣ below; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

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Struck shortly after Alexander's death during the joint reign of Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and Alexander's infant son with Roxana, Alexander IV. Kolophon also struck coins during this period in the name of Philip. Traditionally coins naming Alexander have been attributed to Alexander III the Great, but undoubtedly the Alexander named on this coin was the infant son of Roxana, Alexander IV. The two were made joint kings by Alexander's generals who only intended to use them as pawns. Philip III was imprisoned upon his return to Macedonia, and in 317 B.C. he was executed under orders from Olympias. Olympias was Alexander the Great's mother and Alexander IV's grandmother, but not Philip III's mother. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed by the boy's regent, Kassander, in 311 B.C. The ruins of Kolophon are south of the town Degirmendere Fev in the Menderes district of Izmir Province, Turkey.
GS85756. Silver drachm, Price 1759, Müller Alexander 317, SNG Cop 950, SNG Alpha Bank 606, SNG Saroglos 731, SNG München 506, Thompson-Bellinger Colophon 6, aVF, toned, tight flan, marks and scratches, some porosity, weight 3.937 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 335o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, Menander or Kleitos, c. 323 - 319 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 waist, himation around hips and legs, feet on footstool, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, star with eight rays left, spearhead upward outer right; $130.00 (€114.40)
 


Kolophon, Ionia, 330 - 285 B.C.

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Colophon was destroyed by Lysimachus c. 285 B.C., after which Colophon failed to recover and lost its importance. The name was actually transferred to the port village of Notium.
GB59094. Bronze AE 18, Milne Kolophon 140A-C; Waddington 1498; BMC Ionia -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG München -; SNG Tüb -; SNG Keckman -, VF, nice patina, weight 4.8191 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 315o, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, magistrate Telegonos, 330 - 285 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse KOΛ, horseman prancing right, chlamys flying behind, spear in right hand, lyre upper left, magistrate's name THΛEΓONOΣ below; rare with this magistrate; $50.00 (€44.00)
 







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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Tuesday, June 25, 2019.
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Colophon