IONIA, EPHESOS, bronze minor, circa 280-258 BC


IONIA, EPHESOS, minor, no date (circa 280-258 BC), Reverse: bee, Ε Φ, Obverse: turreted female head L, bronze, 10mm, 1.33g, SG4409, corroded, VF

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The bee was one of the badges of Ephesus. Industrious, makes honey, honey rhymes with money, yeah, that’s what they meant.

Ephesos (Ephesus) was a port city on the western Anatolian coast. There were people in the region during Neolithic times. Colonists from Athens founded the Greek city around 1000 BC. The city was conquered by Croesus of Lydia, who went on to attack Persia, which was a mistake. Ephesos stood with Croesus and was defeated and absorbed in the Persian Empire. It was part of the Seleukid Empire, then was part of the Pergamene Kingdom, then was taken by the Romans.

Ionia is the central part of the western coast of Anatolia and the near hinterlands. Lydia was to the north, to the south was Caria. Greek colonies started developing in the Bronze Age. The Persians conquered all of Anatolia. Rebellions began in Ionia,beginning the decline of Persia, culminating in its conquest by Alexander.

We think that our culture grew out of the culture of Greece because it was in Greece (and in China) that people started thinking about how things could be different than they were in a world where everything was dangerous and might made right. They also established principles of artistic expression that we still use today. We see this approach to art in their coins.

“Ancient Coins” includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.