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

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is in eastern Anatolia, in the center of what is now Turkey. After ending Persian rule, Alexander the Great intended to rule Cappadocia through one of his military commanders, but Ariarathes, a Persian aristocrat, somehow made himself king of the Cappadocians. Ariarathes I was successful and extended the borders of the Cappadocian Kingdom as far as the Black Sea. After Alexander's death, Perdiccas designated Eumenes to rule the area. Ariarathes was defeated, captured and crucified, but due to Macedonian infighting Ariarathes' son recovered his inheritance. He left the kingdom to a line of successors, who mostly bore the name of the founder of the dynasty. Under Ariarathes IV, Cappadocia became an ally of Rome. The kingdom maintained independence until A.D. 17, when the Tiberius reduced Cappadocia to a Roman province.


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia, Titus Reverse

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After a successful campaign in Judaea Vespasian was declared emperor by his troops at Alexandria. Upon the defeat of Vitellius, he went to Rome and consolidated his power. Vespasian was popular, down to earth and witty. Responsible for an economic and military recovery of Rome, he was one of the greatest Roman emperors.
GS89792. Silver didrachm, RPC II 1650, Sydenham Caesarea 102, Metcalf Cappadocia 4, SNG Righetti 1761, aVF, toned, light bumps and marks, minor encrustations, obverse off center, weight 7.093 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 76 - 77 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPA KAICAP OYECΠACIANOC CEBACTOC, laureate bust of Vespasian right; reverse AYTO KAI OYECΠACIANOC CEBACTOY YIOC, laureate bust of Titus right; ex Eukratides Ancient Numismatics; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


Cappadocian Kingdom, Ariobarzanes I Philoromaios, c. 96 - 63 B.C.

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Ariobarzanes I was a Cappadocian nobleman of obscure Persian descent. After the Roman Senate rejected the claims of Ariarathes IX, he was made king through a vote of Cappadocian citizens and with the support of the Roman consul Lucius Cornelius Sulla. He ruled a kingdom that was a Roman protectorate but was removed three separate times by Mithridates before not only securing but actually increasing his lands under Pompey in the Third Mithridatic War. He abdicated to make way for the rule of his son Ariobarzanes II.
GS87950. Silver drachm, Simonetta Collection 9, Simonetta 6, SNG Cop 927, SNG Berry 1326, Cohen DCA 460 (94/93 B.C.), HGC 7 846, BMC Galatia -, VF/F, well centered, toned, bumps and scratches, weight 4.146 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Mazaka-Eusebeia (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, c. 93 - 92 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ API•BAPZAN•Y ΦIΛ•PΩMAI•Y (King Ariobarzanes, friend of the Romans), Athena Nikephoros standing left, Nike extending wreath in right hand, left hand on grounded shield and spear, monogram inner left, monogram inner right, Γ (year 3) in exergue; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


Cappadocian Kingdom, Ariobarzanes I Philoromaios, 96 - 63 B.C.

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Ariobarzanes I was a Cappadocian nobleman of obscure Persian descent. After the Roman Senate rejected the claims of Ariarathes IX, he was made king through a vote of Cappadocian citizens and with the support of the Roman consul Lucius Cornelius Sulla. He ruled a kingdom that was a Roman protectorate but was removed three separate times by Mithridates before not only securing but actually increasing his lands under Pompey in the Third Mithridatic War. He abdicated to make way for the rule of his son Ariobarzanes II.
GS87952. Silver drachm, Simonetta 13a; Simonetta Collection 21b; SNGvA 6319; SNG Cop 149; Cohen DCA 460 (84/83 B.C.); HGC 7 846; BMC Cappadocia -, VF, toned, well centered, light marks, weight 4.108 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Mazaka-Eusebeia (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 83 - 82 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ APIOBAPZANOY ΦIΛOPΩMAIOY (King Ariobarzanes, friend of the Romans), Athena Nikephoros standing left, Nike crowning name with wreath in Athena's right hand, left hand on grounded shield and spear behind, monogram inner left, IΓ (year 13) in exergue; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


Cappadocian Kingdom, Ariarathes V Eusebes Philopator, 163 - 130 B.C.

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Ariarathes V Eusebes Philopator reigned 33 years, and was perhaps the greatest king of Cappadocia. He was distinguished by his excellence of character and his cultivation of philosophy and the arts. Allied with Rome, according to Livy, he was educated there. When his throne was taken, Rome restored it to him. The year this coin was struck, Ariarathes V died in battle supporting Rome against Eumenes III of Pergamum. In return for his contribution to the Romans success in Pergamum, Lycaonia and Cilicia were added to the dominions of the Cappadocian Kingdom.
GS87954. Silver drachm, Simonetta Coll. p. 51, 31a (Ariarathes IV); Simonetta p. 24, 23b (same); SNGvA 6872; SNG Cop supp. 689 corr. (monogram); HGC 7 811; BMC Galatia -, VF, nice portrait, well centered, reverse die wear, light marks, weight 4.056 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Mazaka-Eusebeia (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 130 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ APIAPAΘOY EYΣEBOYΣ (King Ariarthes the Pious), Athena Nikephoros standing half left, head left, Nike crowning King's name in right hand, left hand on grounded spear and shield, monogram outer left, monogram inner left, ΓΛ (year 33) in exergue; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


Cappadocian Kingdom, Ariobarzanes I Philoromaios, 96 - 63 B.C.

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Ariobarzanes I was a Cappadocian nobleman of obscure Persian descent. After the Roman Senate rejected the claims of Ariarathes IX, he was made king through a vote of Cappadocian citizens and with the support of the Roman consul Lucius Cornelius Sulla. He ruled a kingdom that was a Roman protectorate but was removed three separate times by Mithridates before not only securing but actually increasing his lands under Pompey in the Third Mithridatic War. He abdicated to make way for the rule of his son Ariobarzanes II.
GS87957. Silver drachm, Simonetta 28, Simonetta Collection 41, HGC 7 846 (S), Cohen DCA 460 (78-77 B.C.), BMC Galatia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, VF, well centered and struck, light marks, edge cracks, weight 4.180 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Mazaka-Eusebeia (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, c. 75 - 74 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ APIOBAPZANOY ΦIΛ•PΩMAI•Y (King Ariobarzanes, friend of the Romans), Athena Nikephoros slightly left, head left, Nike offering wreath in Athena's right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield with spear behind, monogram inner left, KA (year 21) in exergue; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia

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Mount Erciyes (Argaios to the Greeks, Argaeus to the Romans) is a massive stratovolcano 25 km to the south of Kayseri (ancient Caesarea) in Turkey. The highest mountain in central Anatolia, with its summit reaching 3,916 meters (12,848 ft). It may have erupted as recently as 253 B.C., as may be depicted on Roman era coins. Strabo wrote that the summit was never free from snow and that those few who ascended it reported seeing both the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south in days with a clear sky.
RP87685. Silver didrachm, cf. RPC IV Online 10073; Metcalf Cappadocia 146a; SNGvA 6441; SNG Cop 250 var. (legends); Sydenham Cappadocia Supp. 370a var. (same); BMC Galatia -, aVF, frosty porous surfaces, bumps and marks, tine edge split, reverse legend ending in exergue is obscure, weight 3.343 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, COS III, 181 - 182 A.D.; obverse AYT M AYPH KOMO - ANTΩNINOC C, laureate head right; reverse UΠATOC Γ - ΠAT ΠA-[TP...(?)], Mount Argaios with rocks and trees, surmounted by Helios standing left on summit, globe in his right hand, long scepter in left hand; $105.00 (€92.40)
 


Cappadocian Kingdom, Ariobarzanes I Philoromaios, c. 96 - 63 B.C.

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Ariobarzanes I was a Cappadocian nobleman of obscure Persian descent. After the Roman Senate rejected the claims of Ariarathes IX, he was made king through a vote of Cappadocian citizens and with the support of the Roman consul Lucius Cornelius Sulla. He ruled a kingdom that was a Roman protectorate but was removed three separate times by Mithridates before not only securing but actually increasing his lands under Pompey in the Third Mithridatic War. He abdicated to make way for the rule of his son Ariobarzanes II.
GS87953. Silver drachm, cf. Simonetta Collection 59; Simonetta 44b; SNGvA 6324; SNG Cop 157; BMC Galatia p. 40, 21; Cohen DCA 460; HGC 7 846, VF, light toning, slightly off center, small edge crack, weight 4.074 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Mazaka-Eusebeia (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, c. 66 - 65 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse BAΣIΛE•Σ API•BAPZAN•Y ΦIΛ•PΩMAI•Y (King Ariobarzanes, friend of the Romans), Athena Nikephoros standing left, Nike left extending wreath in Athena's right hand, left hand on grounded shield and spear behind, monogram inner left, obscure date (Λ? = year 30) in exergue; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Cappadocian Kingdom, Ariobarzanes I Philoromaios, 96 - 63 B.C.

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Ariobarzanes I was a Cappadocian nobleman of obscure Persian descent. After the Roman Senate rejected the claims of Ariarathes IX, he was made king through a vote of Cappadocian citizens and with the support of the Roman consul Lucius Cornelius Sulla. He ruled a kingdom that was a Roman protectorate but was removed three separate times by Mithridates before not only securing but actually increasing his lands under Pompey in the Third Mithridatic War. He abdicated to make way for the rule of his son Ariobarzanes II.
GS87956. Silver drachm, Simonetta Collection 53b, Simonetta 38e; cf. BMC Galatia p. 40, 23 (date off flan); Cohen DCA 460 (71/70 B.C.); HGC 7 846; SNGvA -, aVF, well centered, toned, light marks and scratches, weight 4.138 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Mazaka-Eusebeia (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 68 - 67 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ API•BAPZAN•Y ΦIΛ•PΩMAI•Y (King Ariobarzanes, friend of the Romans), Athena Nikephoros slightly left, head left, Nike offering wreath in Athena's right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield with spear behind, monogram inner left, KH (year 28) in exergue; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Cappadocian Kingdom, Ariarathes X Eusebes Philadelphos, 42 - 36 B.C.

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Ariarathes X Eusebes Philadelphos (Pious, brother-loving) was the king of Cappadocia from c. 42 - 36 B.C. He was of Persian and Greek ancestry. His father was King Ariobarzanes II of Cappadocia and his mother was Queen Athenais. He became king after his brother Ariobarzanes III Philoromaios was killed. His rule did not last long as Mark Antony of Rome removed and executed him, replacing him with Sisines of Komana, who became Archelaus of Cappadocia.
GB83633. Bronze AE 15, HGC 856 (R2); Simonetta p. 48, 4 (uncertain attribution), F, encrustations, small flan, weight 2.584 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 0o, Mazaka-Eusebeia (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 42 - 36 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Artemis left, wearing diadem, bow and quiver on shoulder; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ APIAPAΘOY, stag standing left; rare; $50.00 (€44.00)
 


Eusebeia (Caesarea), Cappadocia, Time of Archelaus, King of Cappadocia, c. 36 B.C. - 17 A.D.

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Kayseri, Turkey was originally named Mazaca. It was renamed Eusebia by Ariarathes V Eusebes, King of Cappadocia, 163 - 130 B.C. The last king of Cappadocia, King Archelaus, renamed it "Caesarea in Cappadocia" to honor Caesar Augustus upon his death in 14 A.D. Muslim Arabs slightly modified the name into Kaisariyah, which became Kayseri when the Seljuk Turks took control, c. 1080 A.D.
GB67798. Bronze AE 20, SNGvA 6334, SGCV II 5703, SNG Cop 166 corr. (laureate head/fillets vice lion skin on club), BMC Galatia -, SNG Fitzwilliam -, F, weight 6.498 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Eusebeia-Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, c. 36 B.C. - 17 A.D.; obverse bare-headed bust of Herakles right, lion skin draped over shoulders; reverse EVΣE BEIAΣ, lion skin draped on club, monogram below; rare; $40.00 (€35.20)
 







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REFERENCES

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Bland, R. "The last Coinage of Caesarea in Cappadocia" in Studia Arslan.
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (London, 1992 - ).
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, Vol III, Part 2. (London, 1926).
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Metcalf, W. The Silver Coinage of Cappadocia, Vespasian - Commodus. ANSNNM 166. (New York, 1996).
Mørkholm, O. "A Further Comment on the Coinages of Ariarathes VIII and Ariarathes IX" in Quaderni Ticinesi 4 (1975), pp. 109 - 138.
Mørkholm, O. "The Coinages of Ariarathes VI and Arirathes VII of Cappadocia" in SNR 57 (1978).
Mørkholm, O. "The Coinages of Ariarathes VIII and Arirathes IX of Cappadocia" in Essays Robinson (1968), pp. 241- 258, pl. 30 - 33.
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
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Simonetta, A. The coinage of the Cappadocian kings: a revision and a catalogue of the Simonetta Collection. Parthica 9. (Pisa-Rome, 2007).
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Sydenham, E. The Coinage of Caesarea in Cappadocia, with supplement by A. Malloy. (New York, 1978).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 6: Phrygien - Kappadokien; Römische Provinzprägungen in Kleinasien. (Berlin, 1998).
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Wroth, W. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Syria. (London, 1899).

Catalog current as of Thursday, July 18, 2019.
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Ancient Coins of Cappadocia