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A Provincial Æ23 of Valerian I with Asklepios and Family

Roman Collector

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I recently acquired this interesting snack from the mint at Cotyaëum (modern Kütahya) in Phrygia Salutaris. The city lies on the upper Tymbres (also Tembris; modern Porsuk River) at 969 meters (3179 ft) above sea level, about 50 km (30 miles) north of Appia, on the road from Acmoneia to Dorylaëum. The region of Cotyaëum has large areas of gentle slopes with agricultural land culminating in high mountain ridges to the north and west. It was the largest city in Phrygia Salutaris.[1,2]


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

The coinage of Cotyaëum extends throughout the Imperial period from Tiberius to Gallienus. The coins of the city were issued under the authority of a chief magistrate, or First Archon, whose name typically appears on the coins' reverse. Additional, extra-official or honorary titles appear in the inscriptions. This coin was issued under P. Aelius Demetrianus, whose titles also included ἱππικός (Equester) and ἀρχιερεύς (High Priest). His name appears only on coins during the joint reign of Valerian I and Gallienus. The coinage demonstrates that he was succeeded by High Priest Diogenus Dionysius during Gallienus' sole reign.[3]

The coin features Valerian facing left, armed for battle with shield and spear. However, this reverse type is more commonly encountered paired with a typical right-facing, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust. Its reverse features the god of medicine, Asklepios, and his family: his daughter Hygieia and son, Telesphoros. It is a very busy reverse type, with the reverse inscription broken up and placed wherever it would fit, occupying every bit of the fields.


Valerian I, 253-260 CE.
Roman provincial Æ 23.5 mm, 7.57 g, 7 h.
Phrygia, Cotyaëum; P. Ael. Demetrianos, archon 253-260 CE.
Obv: AVT K Π ΛIK OYAΛEPIANO, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield.
Rev: EΠ Π AIΛ ΔHMHTPIANOY IΠ, AP/X in upper field, KOTIAEΩN in exergue, Hygieia and Asklepios standing face-to-face, left and right respectively, with their usual attributes; Telesphoros stands, facing, between them.
Refs: BMC 25.177,94; SNG von Aulock 3790.

Please post coins of Cotyaëum, coins depicting Asklepios or his family, or anything you feel is relevant!



1. "Kütahya." Wikipedia, 8 June 2023, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCtahya

2. Head, Barclay Vincent. Catalogue of the Greek Coins of Phrygia. Printed by Order of the Trustees, 1906, p. li.

3. Ibid., p. liii.

Edited by Roman Collector
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