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The Coinage of Elaeussa-Sebaste

Elaeussa-Sebaste is a city which lies in Rough Cilicia. When Elaeussa was given by Augustus to Archelaus I of Cappadocia in 20 B.C. he built a palace in Elaeussa and renamed the city Sebaste.

The earliest coins of Elaeussa are dated to the 1st century B.C. These coins are of bronze but a minting of silver tetradrachm is also extant.

There are four series of bronze coins, beside the silver tetradrachm:

  1. Head of Zeus/Nike.
  2. Head of Tyche/Hermes.
  3. Head of Tyche/Nike.
  4. Head of Athena/Goddess (Aphrodite Euploia?).
  5. In these two series the names of the city (in fact the name of the people/ethnikon) is written in plural genitive.

There are four quasi autonomous series of bronze coins struck after 20 B.C. on which the name of the city is written as Sebaste:

  1. Head of Tyche/Nike.
  2. Bust of Athena/Nike.
  3. Caduceus/dolphin.
  4. Club/Nike.

The types of the bronze coins which were struck in the period of Antiochus IV (38-72 A.D.) bearing the portrait of the king are as follows:

  1. Naked figure standing (Apollo?).
  2. Tyche standing.
  3. lotape seated.

The earliest coin struck in the Roman imperial period belonged to the reign of Antoninus Pius while the latest one belonged to the reign of Valerianus. The name of the city throughout the imperial period is written as CEBACTH.

*Doç. Dr. Oğuz Tekin, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Eskiçağ Tarihi Anabilim Dalı - İstanbul

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