PHOKAIA circa 253-268 AD (time of Valerian and Gallienus) bronze


IONIA, PHOKAIA, circa 253-268 AD (time of Valerian and Gallienus), minor, no date, Obverse: turreted bust of Phokaia R, ΦΩKEA, Reverse: prow of galley R, caps of Dioskuroi above, ΦΩKAIEΩN, bronze, 19.5mm, 3.85g, Lindgren-522, BMC118, VG

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Phokaia (Phocaea) was a city on the western Anatolian coast. There were Greeks in the area by 1000 BC. Conquered by Croesus of Lydia, who was conquered by the Persians, who were conquered by Alexander, then by Pergamon, then by Rome.

Ionia is the western coastal region of Anatolia, Asia Minor, now part of Turkey.

The Romans, as they were building their empire, preferred to let the local coinage arrangements remain in place. As they developed their political system into the Cult of Personality that was the Empire, they started putting imperial portraits on the local coins. Later, as the Empire began to shrink, they preferred to centralize their coinage operations, eliminating local control. There were also allied and client states, some of which, at times, issued coins celebrating the alliance or subservience. The main catalog reference for these coins on this web site is Greek Imperial Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

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.