Faustina Friday -- Æ 17 of Nacrasa in Lydia

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    This little provincial bronze is a recent acquisition. It was minted in Nacrasa, a former Seleucid stronghold in northern Lydia that had once been garrisoned by a Macedonian guard. It was an important fortress for the Kingdom of Pergamon, securing the road from Thyatira to Pergamum. Many scholars believe the towns known as Acrasus (Ἄκρασος) and Nacrasa (Νάκρασα) in various ancient sources are one and the same,[1,2] but this is uncertain.[3,4]

    This map (uncited) from Ancientmoney.org[4] depicts Nacrasa and Acrasus as being two separate cities.

    It appears the city first struck coinage under Domitian and its last coins were struck under Marcus Aurelius. The various Strategoi under whose authority the issues were minted are typically, though not universally, named on the coins of this city. The reverse types chiefly refer to the cults of Artemis, Kybele, and Asklepios.[5] My coin depicts a rather Greek-appearing Artemis in a tetrastyle temple.

    Faustina Jr Nacrasa Temple of Artemis.jpg
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman provincial Æ 17.2 mm, 3.73 g, 6 h.
    Lydia, Nacrasa, likely issued under Strategos Milon, AD 161-163.
    Obv: ΦΑVϹΤΕΙ-ΝΑ ϹЄΒΑ, bare-headed and draped bust of Faustina, right.
    Rev: ΝΑΚΡ-ΑϹЄ-ΩΝ, tetrastyle temple enclosing statue of Artemis standing left, holding bow, drawing arrow from quiver at shoulder.
    Refs: BMC 22.169, 26; RPC IV.2 1353 temp; Imhoff-Blumer LS 106 no. 5.

    This Greek-appearing Artemis may not accurately reflect the cult statue of Artemis as worshiped in the city. The avatar of Artemis worshiped in many cult centers of Lydia was Artemis Anaïtis, who is depicted similarly to the Ephesian Artemis, but with a tall kalathos on her head, supporting a veil which falls all the way to the ground on both sides of her body. See this thread. Indeed, many coins of this city depict an Ephesian-style Artemis, often flanked by stags, either alone or within a tetrastyle temple.

    Capture 1.JPG
    Pseudo-autonomous issue under Trajan, RPC III, 1794.

    Capture 2.JPG
    Issue under Hadrian, RPC III, 1808.

    Post any coins you have of Nacrasa or anything you feel is relevant!



    1. Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. Vol. 2, Little, Brown & Co., 1865, p. 395. Available online at The Perseus Project.

    2. "Akrasos." Pleiades, https://pleiades.stoa.org/places/554181

    3. Head, Barclay Vincent. A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum: Lydia. Printed by Order of the Trustees, 1901, pp. lxxvi-lxxvii. Available online at Forum Ancient Coins.

    4. See, for example, Ancientmoney.org, Map of Ancient Lydia, https://www.ancientmoney.org/non_greek_kingdoms/lydia_map.html.

    5. Head, op cit., pp. lxxvii-lxxviii.
    eparch, singig, Ryro and 12 others like this.
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  3. shanxi

    shanxi Well-Known Member

    Here are two more coins of Nacrasa with Artemis:

    Lydia, Nacrasa
    AD 98-117
    Obv: AV NЄP TPAIANON CЄ, Laureate head right.
    Rev: NAKPACITΩN, Tetrastyle temple, with pellet in pediment and containing Artemis standing left, holding bow and drawing arrow from quiver on back.
    AE, 4.91g, 19mm
    Ref.: Lindgren III 492; Hunter 1

    Asia Minor, Lydia, Nacrasa, Artemis, Apollo
    LYDIA. Nacrasa.
    Time of Hadrian (117-138).
    Artemidoros, strategos.
    Obv: NAKPACITΩN, draped bust of Artemis left, with quiver over shoulder; bow to left.
    Rev: ЄΠI CTPATHΓOV APTЄMIΔOPOY, Apollo standing left, holding branch.
    AE, 8.53g, 24mm
    Ref.: RPC 1808A-4 (this coin)
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I really like that type with Artemis on the obverse, such as yours at the bottom!
  5. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Nice coins. Thanks for the Faustina Friday writeup as well.
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