Laodikeia by the Sea

Founded 1-Jan-2013
Last update 1-Jan-2013

Bronze coin References

Identification Number MLA-AE-01

Authority: autonomous municipal issue
Mint: Laodikeia by the Sea1
Period: 73/2 BC
Denomination: AE Double Unit
Weight: 7.18 g
Diameter: 19 - 20 mm
Obverse: Laureate head of Zeus right; dotted border (off flan)
Reverse: ‘ΛΑΟΔΙΚΕΩΝ ΤΗΣ ΙΕΡΑΣ’ right, ‘ΚΑΙ ΑΥΤΟΝΟΜ[ΟΥ]’ left (“of the Laodikeians of the Sacred and Autonomous [city]”); tripod; civic era date Θ (year 9, i.e. 73/2 BC)2 in inner left field; ‘ΚΑ’ in exergue
Die axis:
References: BMC 20, p. 248, No. 10 var. (Plate XXIX, 5; different date); Hunterian Coll. III, p. 203, No. 3 var. (different date); Hoover, HSC, 1405
Note: Coinage of this type started before Syria became a Roman province, and it continued up to 49/8 BC. The following dates occur on coins of this type: civic era years Β (year 2, 80/79 BC), Δ (year 4, 78/7 BC), Ζ (year 7, 75/4 BC), Θ (year 9, 73/2 BC), ΗΙ (year 18, 64/3 BC) and ΓΛ (year 33, 49/8 BC). See Hoover, HSC, 1405.



1 The city was one of the four cities of the Tetrapolis of Seleukis (Seleukeia in Pieria, Antioch, Apameia and Laodikeia). It was founded by Seleukos I and named after his mother.

Strabo, Geography, 16.2.4: Seleucis is the best of the above-mentioned portions of Syria. It is called and is a Tetrapolis, and derives its name from the four distinguished cities which it contains; for there are more than four cities, but the four largest are Antioch Epidaphne (Antioch near Daphne. i.e. Antioch on the Orontes), Seleuceia in Pieria (Seleukeia in Pieria), Apameia (Apameia on the Axios), and Laodiceia (Laodikeia by the Sea). They were called Sisters from the concord which existed between them. They were founded by Seleucus Nicator (Seleukos I). The largest bore the name of his father (Antioch), and the strongest his own (Seleukeia). Of the others, Apameia had its name from his wife Apama, and Laodiceia from his mother (Laodike).

Strabo, Geography, 16.2.9: Then follows Laodiceia (Laodikeia by the Sea), situated on the sea; it is a very well-built city, with a good harbour; the territory, besides its fertility in other respects, abounds with wine, of which the greatest part is exported to Alexandreia. The whole mountain overhanging the city is planted almost to its summit with vines. The summit of the mountain is at a great distance from Laodiceia, sloping gently and by degrees upwards from the city; but it rises perpendicularly over Apameia (Apameia on the Axios).

2 Laodikeia received a grant of autonomy in c. 81/0 BC, probably by Tigranes the Great (see Rigsby, Asylia, p. 501, and Cohen, The Hellenistic Settlements in Syria, the Red Sea Basin, and North Africa, p. 112). This means that if x is a year of the civic era then the corresponding BC time interval is from 82–x to 81–x.

The status was confirmed by Pompey the Great when he established the province of Syria. The civic era remained in use until the city began using a Caesarean era in 47 BC when it was refounded as Iouliaiea (“the city of Julius”).


Cohen, Getzel M.:The Hellenistic Settlements in Syria, the Red Sea Basin, and North Africa. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles / California - London / England, 2006.
Hoover, Oliver D.:The Handbook of Syrian Coins: Royal and Civic Issues, Fourth to First Centuries BC. The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 9. Classical Numismatic Group, Inc., Lancaster / Pennsylvania - London / England, 2009. (abbr. HSC)
MacDonald, George:Catalogue of Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection, University of Glasgow. Volume 3. Further Asia, Northern Africa, Western Europe. Elibron Classics, Adamant Media Corporation, 2003. Replica edition of the edition published by James Maclehose and Sons, Glasgow, 1905. (abbr. Hunterian Coll. III)
Rigsby, Kent J.:Asylia. Territorial Inviolability in the Hellenistic World. University of California Press, Berkeley - Los Angeles - London, 1996.
Seyrig, Henri:Notes on Syrian Coins. Numismatic Notes and Monographs No. 119, The American Numismatic Society, New York, 1950.
Strabo:Geography. Translated and ed. by H. C. Hamilton and W. Falconer. William Heinemann, Ltd., London, 1924. (The Perseus Digital Library,
Wroth, Warwick:British Museum Catalog of Greek Coins, Volume 20: Greek Coins of Galatia, Cappadocia and Syria. London, 1899 (reprint, Arnaldo Forni, Bologna, 1964). (abbr. BMC 20)