Coinage of the Cilician Cities as a Mirror of Historical and Cultural Changes (V c. BCE – III c. CE)

  • Edward Dąbrowa Jagiellonian University
Keywords: Cilicia, numismatics, mints, ancient coinage

Abstract

In antiquity Cilicia was a small but important area. The geographical setting, between the Taurus Mountains, the Mediterranean Sea and Anatolia, and the fact that territory of Cilicia was crossed by several routes connecting Anatolia with the Mediterranean sea shore and Syria determined its strategic significance. The geography of the area held importance for its cultural development as well. The northern part of Cilicia, Cilicia Aspera, was mountainous, sparsely populated and poorly urbanized; cities were few and located mainly on the seashore. The southern part, Cilicia Pedias, was much more prosperous and intensively urbanized. Its location made it a bridge for various cultural and religious influences coming from neighboring countries, but also an object of their expansion. Both parts of Cilicia experienced governance of many powers: Achaemenid Persia, local rulers, Hellenistic kings, and the Romans. Each of them left own political and cultural imprint on the area. Effects of this cultural mixture are clearly visible in archaeological excavations and in many types of artefacts. Another type of evidence which reflects the complicated past of Cilicia is also available: numismatic evidence. There are a few Cilician cities in which coins were minted from the Achaemenid times to the Roman Empire. This paper attempts to look into the iconography of their coinage and analyze political and religious symbols and their subjects of depiction. The aim is to find out how specific powers ruling over cities influenced local traditions, what were the remnants of those, and how they eventually evolved over time.

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Published
2019-12-31
How to Cite
Dąbrowa, Edward. 2019. “Coinage of the Cilician Cities As a Mirror of Historical and Cultural Changes (V C. BCE – III C. CE)”. Studies in Ancient Art and Civilisation 23 (December), 113-35. https://doi.org/10.12797/SAAC.23.2019.23.06.
Section
Articles