1st century BC
AE19. 4.3g, 18.7mm
MINTED: CILICIA, Tarsos, circa 1st century BC
REF: SNG France 1365-71; BMC p. 183, 126-127; Sear 567
OBVERSE: Zeus enthroned left, holding Nike and scepter; star to left, ΤΑΡΣΕΩΝ to right.
REVERSE: Club, monograms to left and right, all within oak wreath.
The ancient city of Tarsos in Cilicia (southern Asia Minor) was for much of its history the chief city of the region. Ruled by the Assyrians, followed by the Persian Empire, the Macedonian Empire, and then the Seleukid Kingdom, the city flourished and for many centuries grew both in terms of size and wealth. Numerous grand palaces, markets and temples were built in the city, which also gained renown for its scholars and philosophers. Strabo, writing some decades after Tarsos came under Roman rule in 67 BC, noted anecdotally that in Rome, the greatest number of learned men in the city were from Alexandria and Tarsos. For example, Athenodorus Cananites, tutor to Augustus, the first Roman emperor, was a native of Tarsos. The city retained its importance throughout the Roman period and well into the Byzantine era.
CILICIA, Tarsos . 1st century BC . AE19 . Zeus Enthroned / Club
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