An ancient map on a coin

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by kirispupis, Jan 16, 2022.

  1. kirispupis

    kirispupis Supporter! Supporter

    I noticed this coin some time ago and put it on my list. So, when another coin I really wanted came up, I added it to the order. At first glance the reverse of this coin may resemble an alien bringing his lunchbox to school, but most experts now concur that it’s a map of the Ephesus hinterlands.


    Huh? But no. Here’s the description that I pillaged from another web site: On the right (north) are the Tmolos and Messogis mountains between the river valleys of the Caÿster and Maeander, to the left of which are three mountain ridges (Madranbaba Dagi, Karincali Dagi, and Akaba Tepesi, Turkey).

    This, of course, makes me ask a number of questions.

    So, you have a whole bunch of soldiers wandering around with swords and anxious to kill the enemy. They’re lost, so they take one of these coins out of their pocket and ask “so, do we take the path going to the left?”

    Another situation: The next day, they get lost again. “Hey Harold! Tell us which way to go.” When Harold doesn’t reply, they just all shake their heads. “You bastard! You spent that on chips, didn’t you?”

    There are much finer versions of this coin in silver, and if I wanted to sell my car I could buy one. However, since I don’t live near Ephesos, I don’t really need a silver coin with a map. Even if I did, I’d just use a GPS. But, this bronze coin cost a whole lot less and has the same map and pudgy king with a scepter and bow.

    So, I picked it up because it’s an odd coin. Supposedly it was minted by Memnon to pay his troops after they won the battle. The map just commemorates the victory so they could take their pay home and show their kids where dad killed people the other day. “See this mountain right here, son? I chopped off that bastard’s head and kicked it straight into the valley.”

    Feel free to show other coins with maps, or just things you wouldn't normally expect to find on a coin.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Ryro

    Ryro Trying to remove supporter status Supporter

    Awesome! Can't say that I recall seeing one of these before:bookworm::cigar:
    I'll give you directions to this place on Crete, but I'm so Bad with directions that when you leave you may as well follow a piece of twine to find your way out:
    Crete. Knossos circa 200-100 BC. Æ 24 mm, 10,02 g
    Obv: Zeus head left
    Rev: Labyrinth
    Svoronos 112.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2022
    PeteB, ominus1, Johndakerftw and 9 others like this.
  4. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    I have one of the same type as the OP coin, and yeah, it seems weird that they'd show a relief map on the reverse. But I've seen the comparison to the topological map of that area, and it is a pretty good match, plus I can't think of anything else that reverse could be intended to represent, so... [shrugs shoulders]. Anyway, here's my example of the type:
    Achaemenid AE.jpg
    PeteB, ominus1, Johndakerftw and 7 others like this.
  5. BasSWarwick

    BasSWarwick Well-Known Member

    Those are interesting coins.
    Even more interesting because I have travelled to both Ephesus and Knossos
    Thanks for the info and scans
    ominus1, Bronwen and kirispupis like this.
  6. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Neat type, @kirispupis. On my want list!

    Nobody knows what the reverse of this LRB is intended to depict.

    Crispus camp plan 846653.jpg CRISPUS
    AE3. 3.35g, 19.9mm. Thessalonica mint, AD 319. RIC VII Thessalonica 69. O: D N FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust right. R: VIRT EXERC, plan of Roman camp (?), Sol standing left at center; TSЄ in exergue.
    Ex AMCC 2, lot 248

    As the description above suggests, the traditional view is that it's Sol standing in the middle of a Roman camp. o_O I think this not only sounds but looks unlikely. Another theory is that the entire design shows some kind of statuary of Sol at Thessalonica, the only mint city to strike this type. My own thought is that it might be an ancient reference to a circus act of some sort...

    PeteB, ominus1, Johndakerftw and 5 others like this.
  7. BasSWarwick

    BasSWarwick Well-Known Member

    More likely standing at the corner of a 4 lane Roman Crossroad :eek:
    kirispupis likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page