Sala in Lydia: An Uncommon Woman and a Common Crop

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, May 10, 2022.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Well-Known Member

    Good evening, everyone. This coin features an uncommon woman, Domitia.

    It also features the fruit of the vine.


    This little provincial bronze is a recent acquisition. It was minted in Sala, the modern Kepecik,[1] a small town in southeast Lydia about which little is known.[2] We may infer from its coins' iconography that its wealth seems to have depended upon agriculture.[3]

    Sala (Lydia) map.jpg
    Map (uncited) from[4]

    It appears the city first struck coinage under Domitian and its last coins were struck under Severus Alexander. During the Flavian period, the city was named Domitianopolis. The various Archons under whose authority the issues were minted are frequently, though not universally, named on the coins of this city. The city struck pseudo-autonomous issues featuring such figures as Athena, Synkletos (Senate), Demos, and bearded Heracles, in addition to imperial issues depicting the Roman emperor or members of his family. The reverse types are few and frequently repeated from reign to reign.[5] These include Zeus Lydios,[6] Dionysus standing beside a column, Cybele enthroned, Hermes standing, and a bunch of grapes.[7] My coin features the bunch of grapes design.

    Domitia Sala Zeus.jpg
    Domitia, AD 82-96.
    Roman provincial orichalcum 17.5 mm, 2.0 g.
    Lydia, Sala, c. 82-96.
    Obv: ΔΟΜΙΤΙΑ ϹEΒΑϹΤΗ, draped bust of Domitia, right, her hair in a queue.
    Rev: ϹΑΛΗΝΩΝ, bunch of grapes.
    Refs: RPC II, 1345; BMC 22.321,30; Sear 916; SNG Cop 437; Lindgren I, 799; SNG Lewis 1535.

    Post any coins you have of Sala, Domitia, or featuring grapes, or anything you feel is relevant!



    1. "Sala (Lydia)." Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Dec. 2020,

    2. Note the paucity of information in online sites, such as Wikipedia (op. cit.), and in Head’s relevant volume of BMC Greek. It is not listed in Smith’s Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. See: Head, Barclay Vincent. A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum: Lydia. Printed by Order of the Trustees, 1901, p. xciv; Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. Vol. 2, Little, Brown & Co., 1865.

    3. Head, op. cit., p. xcvi.

    4., Map of Ancient Lydia,

    5. Head, op cit., pp. xciv-xcvi.

    6. Zeus Lydios (Zeus of the Lydians) is a term used by art historians to describe the iconography depicting the god as standing, holding an eagle and vertical scepter. I have discussed this in a previous post here at CT.

    7. Head, op cit., p. xcvi.
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
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  3. Ryro

    Ryro Trying to remove supporter status

    A very cooool type:cool:
    Here's mine and another fabulous Flavian front fro:
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  4. jb_depew

    jb_depew Well-Known Member

    Nice coin! Here's one from Sala struck during the reign of Marcus Aurelius under magistrate Dama. It features the 'youthful Roman Senate' and Dionysos.

    Lydia, Sala Æ 20mm
    Semi-autonomous issue
    Struck circa 161-180 AD under magistrate Dama
    Obverse: IEΡA CYNKΛHTOC; Youthful, bare-headed, draped bust of the Senate right.
    Reverse: EΠI ΔAMA CAΛHNΩN; Dionysos, loins draped, standing right, cross-legged, resting left hand on column, holding bunch of grapes and kantharos.
    References: Prowe 1535; SNG von Aulock 3110; SNG Cop 428-430; SNG Munich 456; Mionnet Supp. VII, 566; Leypold I, 1182; Bernhart 614.
    20mm; 5.83g; 6h
    Last edited: May 11, 2022
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  5. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Nice addition, @Roman Collector. I like the grape design in reverse.

    I picked up a Domitia coin in January. It is from Laodicea. With my limited knowledge of city locations, I think it is also from Lydia (or close by). :)
    Domitia (Augusta, 82-96). Phrygia, Laodicea ad Lycum.
    Æ 20mm, 4.89g, 6h. Kornelios Dioskourides, magistrate.
    Obv: Draped bust r.
    Rev: Tetrastyle temple.
    RPC II 1290; SNG von Aulock 3846; BMC 188.
    London Ancient Coins, January 2022
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  6. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Nice reverse design, @Roman Collector.
    I saw a lot of coins with this reverse in auctions but never grabbed one.
    Here is my only Domitia, a pleasant surprise because of the low price. And a good portrait too.

    Ionia. Magnesia ad Sipylum. Domitia AD 82-96.
    Bronze Æ
    15 mm, 2,86 g
    ΔΟΜΙΤΙΑ ϹƐΒΑϹΤΗ, draped bust of Domitia, right / ΜΑΓΝΗ ϹΙΠΥ, river god reclining l., holding branch of plant and cornucopia over inverted pot from which flows water
    RPC II, 986; BMC 56; Cop 259
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  7. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Nice coins everyone..Thanks for the write up @Roman Collector

    Phrygia, Eumeneia (near Civril, Turkey). Domitia, 81-96 AD. Bronze AE 15mm (2.47 gm).
    Obv.: ΔOMITIA CEBACTH, Draped bust right. Hair rolled in front and in que behind,
    Rev.: ΚΛ• ΤEΡEΝΤΥΛΛΑ ΑΡΧΙE /EΥΜE-ΝE-ΩΝ, Kybele enthroned to left, Patera in extended right hand, resting left forearm and hand on Tympanum (drum) at near side
    RPC II 1388. Rare. gVF.

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  8. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Nice addition RC!

    I'll only post my Domitia two more times. Promise!!
    Lydia, Nacrasa. Domitia Æ18
    Obv: ΔΟΜΙΤΙΑ ϹƐΒΑϹΤΗ; draped bust of Domitia, r.
    Rev: ΝΑΚΡΑϹƐΙΤΩΝ; tripod.
    RPC II, 933.

    Here's a pseudo-autonomous type.
    Time of Septimius Severus.
    Obv: CA LHNWN, helmeted bust of Athena right wearing crested Corinthian helmet and aegis.
    Rev: EPIMOLO XOY, Kybele seated left, turreted, holding patera and resting arm on tympanum.
    Magistrate Val. Moloxos (Archon).

    Grapes countermark.
    Thrace, Byzantion. Æ26. Matrikontos, magistrate.
    Obv: Veiled and wreathed head of Demeter right.
    Rev: BYZANTIΩΝ / ΕΠΙ / MATPIKONTOΣ . Cornucopia between legend.
    Countermarks: Grapes and Dolphin.
    Circa 3rd-2nd century BC
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