SELGE, silver obol, (3rd century BC)


PISIDIA, SELGE, obol, no date (3rd century BC), Obverse: Gorgon head facing, Reverse: head of Athena R, astragalos behind, silver, 9mm, 0.66g, cf. SG5479, small edge chip, light porosity, aVF

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Selge was a rich and powerful city from the 5th century BC. It formed an alliance with Alexander the Great and therefore was not conquered.

Pisidia was a stretch of west-central southern Anatolia and some hinterland. It had a reputation for trouble. Conquerors came and regretted it. They resisted Greek culture longer than all of their neighbors. They were formally part of various Hellenistic kingdoms before they passed to Rome. Resistance continued. Rome sent colonists, who gradually Latinized the region.

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.