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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.


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") (382 B.C. - 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
GS84682. Silver drachm, Price 1801, Müller Alexander 1336, SNG Alpha Bank 613, SNG Saroglos 1743, SNG Munchen -, VF, well struck with high relief dies, very light corrosion, scratches, weight 4.199 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, c. 310 - c. 301 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, B left, N under throne; $170.00 SALE PRICE $153.00
 


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, Ionia be found south of the town Degirmendere Fev in the Menderes district of Izmir Province, Turkey.
GS71651. Silver drachm, Price 1751, Müller Alexander 314, SNG Cop 947, SNG München 501, SNG Alpha Bank 605, SNG Saroglos 728, VF, well centered and struck, bumps and marks, weight 4.213 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, Menander or Kleitos, c. 323 - 319 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, feet on footstool, right foot drawn back, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, barley kernel under throne strut, spear-head upward outer right; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C., Struck in the Name of Philip

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Struck in the name of King Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander the Great's half-brother, under the regent Perdikkas. Philip III and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV, were made joint kings after Alexander's death. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule and both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias to ensure the succession of her grandson.
SH75320. Silver drachm, Price P43, Müller Alexander P50, SNG Munchen 938, aEF, some die wear, weight 4.238 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, c. 323 - c. 319 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOY, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right foot drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, lyre left; ex Forum (2005); $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed") (382 B.C. - 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
GS76140. Silver drachm, Price 1798, Müller Alexander 271, SNG Cop 924, SNG Munchen 518, SNG Saroglos 740, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, well centered and struck, toned, light marks, weight 4.214 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, c. 310 - c. 301 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long lotus tipped scepter vertical behind in left hand, crescent horns right in left field, N under throne below strut; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
 


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

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Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed") (382 B.C. - 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 Macedonia, which the family held, off and on, until it was conquered by Rome in 168 B.C. -- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
GS76144. Silver drachm, Price 1826, Müller Alexander 274, Prokesch-Osten 306, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, toned, head on reverse flatly struck, light marks, weight 4.364 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, c. 310 - c. 301 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on backless throne, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, crescent horns right over lion head left in left field, Π under throne; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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, Ionia be found south of the town Degirmendere Fev in the Menderes district of Izmir Province, Turkey.
GS76145. Silver drachm, Price 1759, Müller Alexander 317, SNG Cop 950, SNG Alpha Bank 606, SNG Saroglos 731, SNG Munchen 506, Thompson-Bellinger Colophon 6, VF, toned, tight flan, porous, scrape on reverse, weight 3.936 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, Menander or Kleitos, c. 323 - 319 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress 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; $155.00 SALE PRICE $140.00
 


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

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Lysimachus, a bodyguard for Alexander the Great, was made a strategos (general) after Alexander's death. He became one of the diadochi (successors) of Alexander who divided the empire and continually allied and warred with each other. In 305, he took the title of basileus (king), ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. He was killed in battle against Seleukos.

Colophon was about 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Ephesus. The same type with the same symbols was also issued by Colophon in the name of Alexander (examples are listed in Forum's catalog).
GS84602. Silver drachm, Price L23, Thompson 123, Müller L19, SGCV II 6812, gF, well centered, toned, weight 4.000 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, c. 299 - c. 296 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Zeus enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, lion forepart and crescent left, pentagram under throne; from the Lawrence Woolslayer Collection, ex Forum (2004); $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00
 


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.
GS85123. Silver drachm, Thompson 127, Müller 20, Price L28, VF, toned, light porosity, scratches on reverse, weight 4.014 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, c. 299 - 296 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle extended in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, forepart of lion left over crescent on left, pentagram under throne; ex CNG auction 395, lot 52; ex W. H. Guertin Collection; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed") (382 B.C. - 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
GS76139. Silver drachm, Price 1779 var. (AΛ), Müller Alexander 1679 var. (same), SNG Cop 926 var. (same), Prokesch-Osten I 311 var. (same), SNG Munchen -, VF, dark uneven toning, weight 4.206 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, c. 310 - 301 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, ΛEI monogram left, ΛA under throne; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
 


Kolophon, Ionia, Late 6th Century B.C.

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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.
GA85103. Silver tetartemorion, SNG Kayhan 343, SNGvA 1810, SNG Cop -, Milne Kolophon -, Rosen -, Klein -, EF, well centered, toned, slightly etched surfaces, weight 0.185 g, maximum diameter 5.8 mm, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, late 6th century B.C.; obverse head of Apollo left; reverse irregular quadripartite incuse square; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Babelon, E. La collection Waddington au cabinet des médailles. (Paris, 1897-1898).
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Head, B. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Ionia. (London, 1892).
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Kim, H.S. & J.H. Kroll. "A Hoard of Archaic Coin of Colophon and Unminted Silver (CH I.3)" in AJN 20 (2008).
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Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 17, 2017.
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Colophon