AE19. 3.44g, 19mm
MINTED: LYDIA, Thyateira, AD 55-60
REF: RPC 2382; BMC 62; SNG Cop 597
OBVERSE: NEΡΩN KAYΔIOC KAICAP CEBA, bare headed, draped bust right.
REVERSE: ΘYATEIPHNΩN, double headed axe.
Fine. Dark brown patina with cover of hard, earthen concretions.
Thyateira, a town located on the border of Lydia and Mysia, was significant in ancient times for its prolific production of purple cloth. Their purple, however, was not true Tyrean purple (which was made using rare dyes obtained from the murex shellfish), but a cheaper vegetable pigment made from the root of the madder plant (Rubia tinctorum) that was closer to maroon than purple. Thyateira also had merchant guilds for its leather-workers, tanners, linen and wool workers, and potters.
The labrys (double-bladed axe) that appears on some of the coins of Thyateira was a symbol of Tyrimnos, the chief deity of the Thyateirans, who was a Lydian sun-god the Greeks conflated with Apollo.
NERO . LYDIA, Thyateira . AE19 . Labrys (double-bladed axe)
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