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Faustina Friday – A Couple of Coins from Tabala in Lydia

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Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina fanatics! I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead. If you celebrate, have a very merry Christmas!

Today I'd like to discuss a couple of coins from Tabala in Lydia. I have
previously discussed one of them, but in the context of its hairstyle, not in terms of its mint city or reverse iconography. Today's installment will discuss a bit about the coinage issued for Faustina the Younger in the context of the city's coinage overall and a bit about the various reverse types featured on its coins.

Tabala (Greek: Τάβαλα) was a Roman town situated in Lydia on the northern bank of the Hermos river,[1] near the modern city of Burgaz.[2]


From "Asia citerior," Auctore Henrico Kiepert Berolinensi. Geographische Verlagshandlung Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen) Berlin, Wilhemlstr. 29. (1903). David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.

The city issued coins from the time of Antoninus Pius through Gordian III, with most of its coins issued during the Antonine period. These coins feature Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Faustina the Younger, Lucius Verus, Commodus, Crispina, and personifications of Demos and the Senate.[3] The names of various hieres (Antonine) or archons (Severus Alexander) often appear on coins of the city.[4]

The chief reverse types on coins of Tabala are an Ephesian-type Artemis,[5] Cybele seated with or without a lion at her feet, and a radiate hero on horseback wielding a double axe. Other notable types are the river god Hermos, Helios driving a chariot, Leto carrying her children, and Athena Nikephoros before an altar. Of these types, the coins of Faustina the Younger depict only the Artemis, Cybele, and Leto designs. These are illustrated below with examples from my own collection in the case of the first two, and with the example from the Staatliche Museen in Berlin[6] in the case of the third.


Faustina II, 147-175 CE.
Roman provincial Æ 19.1 mm, 5.23 g, 6 h.
Lydia, Tabala, 2nd emission, perhaps part of one of the two issues of Menophantos, hiereus, under Pius, 151-154 CE.
Obv: ΦΑVϹΤЄΙΝΑ ϹЄΒΑϹ, bare-headed and draped bust right (Beckmann Type 3 hairstyle).
Rev: ΤΑΒΑΛЄΩΝ, cult statue of Artemis of Ephesus wearing kalathos, standing facing.
Refs: RPC IV.2, 3343 (temporary); GRPC 27; SNG Cop 565; Hochard 2308.


Faustina II, 147-175 CE.
Roman provincial Æ 23.3 mm, 7.46 g, 7 h.
Lydia, Tabala, 4th emission (?), under Antoninus Pius or Marcus Aurelius, 155-163 CE (my dating).
Obv: ΦΑΥ
ΤΕΙ·ΝΑ·Ε·, bare-headed and draped bust, right, in Beckmann/Fittschen type 5 hairstyle.
Rev: ΤΑΒΑΛЄΩΝ; turreted Cybele seated, left, holding patera and resting arm on tympanum.
Refs: RPC IV.2,
1528 (temporary); BMC 6; Sear GIC 1769; SNG von Aulock 3191.
Notes: Double die-match to
von Aulock specimen. The authors of RPC incorrectly identify the hairstyle as Fittschen type 7; it is actually the earlier Fittschen type 5/Beckmann type 5 coiffure. This renders the assigned dating in RPC inaccurate.


RPC IV.2, 9940 (temporary); Inventory no. 1914/649, Staatliche Museen, Berlin.

Let's see your coins of Tabala or anything you feel is relevant!



1. Ramsay, William Mitchell. The Historical Geography of Asia Minor. Cambridge University Press, 2011, p. 131.

2. Head, Barclay Vincent. A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum: Lydia. Printed by Order of the Trustees, 1901, p. cxix. Available
online at Forum Ancient Coins.

3. Of the
33 entries for Tabala in RPC online, 23 date to the Antonine period. There are additional issues not listed in RPC featuring coins of Septimius Severus, Julia Domna, and Macrinus at Asia Minor Coins.

4. Head, op. cit., pp. cxix-cxx.

5. An interesting discussion of the iconography of the Artemis type is to be found in the remarks by Patricia Lawrence (slokind) at Forvm. She argues that the cult statue depicted is not that of the temple in Ephesus, but a similar but distinct local Anatolian Artemis type from a temple devoted to her in Tabala. "Domna from Tabala with Artemis, Reply #1." Forvm`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board, Forvm Ancient Coins,

6. The coin appears to be unique, with no other specimens to be found at the usual online databases, such as acsearchinfo, WildWinds, and Asia Minor Coins.

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Nice coins. The Leto type is now on my want list.

I have only one coin from Taballa, a GRPC Lydia plate coin, but to tell the truth, not exactly a beauty.


Lydia, Tabala
Pseudo-autonomous issue, AD 200-300
AE 17
Obv.: Turreted bust of Tyche right.
Rev: TABAΛЄΩN, Nemesis standing left, holding cornucopia; wheel at feet.
AE, 3.59g, 16.7mm
Ref.: GRPC Lydia Vol.4 Tabala 14 (this coin)



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