Faustina Friday -- a Provincial from Hierapolis in Phrygia

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Hierapolis (with an A in the middle), which means "holy city," owed its sanctity to the local hot springs. It stood on a ridge overlooking the wide and fertile plain of the Lycus, just north of Laodicea ad Lycum.[1] Its ruins are adjacent to modern Pamukkale in Turkey and currently comprise an archaeological museum. It is not to be confused with Hieropolis (with an O in the middle), another Phrygian city, but located in the Glaucus valley to the northeast.

    Hierapolis map Kiepert.jpg
    From "Asia citerior," Auctore Henrico Kiepert Berolinensi. Geographische Verlagshandlung Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen) Berlin, Wilhemlstr. 29. (1903). David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.

    View of the site of Hiérapolis, Turkey.[2]

    Frontinus Street extending in the north-south direction of the city, Hierapolis, Phrygia, Turkey.[3]

    Part of the archeological site of Hierapolis.[4]

    The city began minting anonymous bronze issues in the second century BC, and the imperial series begins with Augustus and comes to an end with Valerian. Through the reign of Trajan, the coins bear the names of local magistrates, but the subsequent coinage lacks the magistrates' names and usually bears only the simple inscription, ΙЄΡΑΠOΛЄΙΤΩΝ, as on this coin.

    The reverse types are too numerous to list here, but the type on this coin, Zeus Laodikeus, appears on coins issued during several imperial reigns. Zeus Laodikeus (Zeus of the Laodiceans) is also known as Zeus Lydios (Zeus of the Lydians), and is a term used by art historians to describe the iconography depicting him as standing, holding an eagle and vertical scepter.

    Faustina Jr Hierapolis Phrygia Zeus with eagle and scepter.jpg
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman provincial Æ 20.0 mm, 5.91 g, 6 h.
    Phrygia, Hierapolis, c. AD 158-165.
    Obv: ΦΑVϹΤЄΙΝΑ ϹЄΒΑϹΤΗ, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: ΙЄΡΑ-ΠO-ΛЄΙΤΩΝ, Zeus Laodikeus standing left, holding eagle and scepter.
    Refs: RPC IV.2 2008 (temporary); BMC 25.251,138; SNG Cop 459; Lindgren I 971; RG 6157.

    Let's see your coins from Hierapolis, Faustina II provincials, Zeus Laodikeus, or anything you feel is relevant!



    1. Head, Barclay Vincent. Catalogue of the Greek Coins of Phrygia. Printed by Order of the Trustees, 1906, p.lxv ff.

    2. Photo by Bernard Gagnon. Used by permission. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hierapolis_01.jpg

    3. Photo by Carole Raddato. Used by permission. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:...Hierapolis,_Phrygia,_Turkey_(31528771814).jpg

    4. Photo by A. Savin. Used by permission. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hierapolis#/media/File:TR_Pamukkale_Hierapolis_asv2020-02_img17.jpg
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
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  3. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Interesting and informative post, RC, again making me just a bit smarter on a Friday. :happy:

    However, I am still not smart enough to keep all my Hierapolis/Hieropolis sites straight. :oops: From my collection of unattractive countermarks, here is Faustina II from Hierapolis-Kastabala in Cilicia:

    CM - Faustina II Heiropolis Aug 2019x (0).jpg
    Faustina II Æ 26
    Hierapolis-Kastabala, Cilicia
    (c. 146-180 A.D.)

    [ΦAYCT]INA [CEBACTH], crescent over draped bust right, / IEΡ[OΠOΛITΩN] Helios stdg. left holding whip and raising right hand, torch in left field.
    RPC 4976; SNG Levante, 1586
    (8.95 grams / 26 mm)


    Nike advancing left, [holding wreath], in oval (?) (6 x 7 mm). Howgego 258 or 260 (?).
    "Nike appeared as a type on coins of Macrinus...refer to his Victoria Parthica" (Howgego)

    Reverse: T in irregular punch. Howgego 686.
    Spaniard, galba68, Andres2 and 7 others like this.
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Your countermark collection is very interesting, @Marsyas Mike. I've thought about starting such a subcollection, but I already have too many irons in the fire.

    As to not keeping the cities named Hieropolis straight, the auction house misidentified my coin as being one from Hierapolis-Castabala in Cilicia. It took quite a bit of poking around at RPC to properly attribute it. In addition to the Hierapolis in Phrygia and the Hieropolis-Castabala in Cilicia, there's a Hierapolis in Cyrrhestica (Syria).

  5. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Come on, RC, pleasssssse start a countermark sub-collection! With your resources, expertise and energy, you would really be a big help to the Countermark Collecting Community (and, especially, me! :angelic:).

    In the meantime, since you brought it up, here are two from that "other" Hieropolis, the one in Cyrrhestica (Syria). They are very similar, but I have a weakness for Greek inscriptions in wreaths. Since this is Faustina II's father, they sort of fit in with the OP, I guess :sorry:

    Syria Cyrrhestica - Anton. Pius Oct 2020 (0).jpg
    Antoninus Pius Æ 19
    (c. 138-161 A.D.)
    Cyrrhestica, Hierapolis, Syria

    [ΑΥΤο ΚΑΙ ΤΙ ΑΙΛ ΑΔΡΙ] ΑΝΤωΝƐΙΝΟϹ ϹƐΒ, laureate bust wearing cuirass and paludamentum right / ΘƐΑϹϹΥΡ[Ι] ΑϹΙƐΡΟΠΟ,Δ below, within laurel wreath.
    RPC IV.3 8546; cf. Butcher 15.
    (7.63 grams / 19 mm)

    Syria Cyrrhestica - Anton. Pius lot Feb 2020 (0).jpg
    Antoninus Pius Æ 21
    (c. 138-161 A.D.)
    Cyrrhestica, Hierapolis, Syria

    [ΑΥΤο ΚΑΙ ΤΙ ΑΙΛ ΑΔΡΙ ΑΝΤWΝƐΙΝΟϹ ϹƐΒ ƐΥϹƐΒ] laureate bust wearing cuirass
    and paludamentum right / ΘƐΑϹ ϹΥΡΙΑϹ ΙƐΡΟΠΟ, Ɛ below, within laurel wreath.
    RPC 6977; cf. Butcher 15.
    (10.05 grams / 21 x 18 mm)
    Spaniard, galba68, Bing and 3 others like this.
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