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The perfect gift for your favorite megalomaniac!


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Do 300-foot yachts and 20,000 square foot mansions bore you? Does it just seem that whatever you buy, no matter how expensive, you're just not satisfied? There's only one answer out there for the ambitions of that overzealous ruler. You need your own city!

Yes. Following this simple five step plan, you can have the ultimate memorial to your namesake.

First, identify the perfect place for your new city. Don't worry if people already live there. We'll get to that in step two. You need somewhere that has plenty of room for growth. It should also offer parking for your yachts and a nice flat lot for your newest palace.

Next, you need people. This is the easy part. Just round up all those groveling peons from the surrounding cities, have them pack up their stuff, and move them to your new city! It's really that easy! And hey, if they question the move, you just need to destroy their existing home and they'll find the motivation.

The third step is to build your ode to hubris. Don't worry about getting your hands dirty. That's why you moved all those people. They'll gladly perform any construction necessary when you make the alternative death. Hey! You have your standards and should never compromise.

Finally, you need to advertise your new toy to the world. Give Strabo and Pausanias a ring. Mint some coins, which will remind everyone that you did this long after you're gone.

And here's the kicker. If by some chance you ever become bored with that city - just build another one! Yes, you're the king. It's time to act like it.

Here are some coins of other kings who have followed my five step plan to royal happiness. I'm sure the members of this forum can post some others.


Demetrias, Thessaly
c. 290 BCE
AR triobol 14mm 2.39g 5h
avers : Buste drapé d’Artémis à droite, l’arc et le carquois sur l’épaule.
revers : Proue de galère à droite DHMH/TRIENWN/ (IS)
BMC.1 - GC.2077 - Cop.46 - HGCS. 4/79



Lydia, Tralleis (as Seleukeia)
3rd century BCE
AE 12 mm, 1.44 g, 11 h
Laureate head of Zeus to right.
Rev. ΣΕΛΕΥΚΕ / [....]ΕΣΙ[...] Zebu bull standing left; below, H; all within maeander pattern.
GRPC Lydia -



Antigonos I Monophthalmos
Antigoneia 305-300 BCE
29mm 16.33g
Head of young Herakles facing right, wearing a lion's skin. / ALEXANDPOY, Zeus enthroned left, holding an eagle and a sceptre, X on left, M on right, Ph below throne.
Price 3195, Müller 804



Syria, Seleukeia. Municipal coinage under Seleukos I
312 - 280 BCE
AE 12mm 1,9g
Laureate head of Zeus right /
ΣE-ΛE; winged thunderbolt, monogram EP.
not in known references, cf. Hoover 1391



Troas, Larissa-Ptolemais
400-300 BCE
AE 16mm 3.89g
Female head in sakkos left
Amphora, kerykeion to left, grape bunch above, grain to right



Troas, Kebren (as Antiocheia)
Circa 281-261 BCE
AE 17 mm, 3.62 g, 3 h
 B-K Laureate head of Apollo to right.
Rev. ΑΝΤΙΟ-XEΩΝ Head of a ram to right; behind, club.
SNG Copenhagen 272-3. SNG von Aulock -



Ptolemy I
311-305 BCE
27.5 mm 14.6g 1h
Avers : Buste cornu et diadémé d'Alexandre le Grand sous les traits de Zeus-Ammon à droite, coiffé de la dépouille d'éléphant avec l'égide.
Revers : Athéna Promachos ou Alkidemos marchant à droite, brandissant une javeline de la main droite et tenant un bouclier de la gauche ; dans le champ à gauche, un casque corinthien, un monogramme et un aigle sur un foudre tourné à droite.
Sv.162 (37 ex) - Cop.29 - GC.7750 var. - BMC.- - MP.6
Ex Robert J. Myers Auction 12, lot 291 (December 4, 1975)



Macedon, Philippoi
c. 356-345 BCE
AE 18mm, 5.70g, 11h
Head of Herakles r., wearing lion’s skin. R/ Tripod; to l., monogram above grain ear.
SNG ANS 666; BMC 11


Edited by kirispupis
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This excellent strategy was also followed by some Roman emperors, with the same level of success. Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Imperial minds discuss cities!


18 mm, 4,31 g.
Thrace, Trajanopolis. Caracalla AD 198-217. Ӕ.
AVT K M AVΡ ANTΩNINOC, laureate head right / TΡAIANOΠOΛEITΩN, flaming altar.
Moushmov 5026; Varbanov 2767 var (bust type).


16 mm, 2,32 g.
Thrace, Hadrianopolis. Gordian III 238-244. Ӕ.
AYT K M ANT ΓOΡΔIANOC, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right, seen from rear / AΔΡIANOΠOΛEITΩN, ostrich walking right.
Varbanov 3833; RPC VII.2, 806; Jurukova, Hadrianopolis 676; Moushmov 2630A.

If you already have a city with your name but you still feel something is missing, you have 2 options:  1. name them the same (Hadrian had no issues with this) 2. name a city after one of your relatives, let's say your sister. This way she can't ever say again "you forgot about my birthday because you're always gone to war" or "this year you bought me another cheap barbaric trinket, like you always do"


28 mm, 11,42 g.
Moesia Inferior. Marcianopolis. Septimius Severus, with Julia Domna 193-211 AD. Pentassarion Æ. 210-211. Flavius Ulpianus, legatus consularis. AV K Λ CEΠ CEYHΡOC IOYΛIA ΔOMNA CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Septimius Severus and draped bust of Julia Domna facing one another / ΥΦΛ ΟΥΛΠΙΑΝΟΥ ΜΑΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ, Tyche standing left, holding rudder and cornucopia; Є (mark of value) to left.
H&J, Marcianopolis; AMNG I 601; Varbanov 868; Moushmov 411.

Another happy situation is when somebody names a city after himself and the descendants  have similar/identical names. You can brag to your friends stating that it's in fact named after you 


17,8 mm, 1,8 g.
Constantius Gallus. Caesar 351-355. Ӕ follis. Constantinople.
D N FL CL CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, bust of Constantius Gallus, bare-headed, draped, cuirassed, right / FEL TEMP RE-PARATIO, soldier, helmeted, draped, cuirassed, advancing left, spearing fallen horseman with right hand and wearing shield on left arm; shield on ground to right; horseman bearded, facing soldier, extending left arm. Mintmark CONSH.


Probably the best, most revolutionary, most brilliant idea belonged to no other than Commodus. 

Inn 192 Commodus, declaring himself the new Romulus, ritually re-founded Rome, renaming the city Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana. All the months of the year were renamed to correspond exactly with his (now twelve) names: Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Herculeus, Romanus, Exsuperatorius, Amazonius, Invictus, Felix, and Pius. The legions were renamed Commodianae, the fleet which imported grain from Africa was termed Alexandria Commodiana Togata, the Senate was entitled the Commodian Fortunate Senate, his palace and the Roman people themselves were all given the name Commodianus, and the day on which these reforms were decreed was to be called Dies Commodianus.


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& technically,  this was a movement  by white settlers who had nicknamed  it  such but yes! There are way more than a dozen countries named after  people and in some cases they are  even more  curious. Saudia Arabia  is one, Uzbekistan an interesting one, the Philippines etc but my favourite is our  old  maligned on this forum East  India  Company,  Kiribati, named for an East India captain  who sailed with the first Fleet to Australia. Kiribati being a  pronunciation of Gilbert. He even  had the language named for him indirectly- Gilbertese.

For fear of  being accused of being offtopic I admit I am for  I find this topic one of the more  unsettling of ancient numismatics.  Human transhumance in the Mediterranean was not  unusual at the time and  indeed so until much later, but when I eye a lovely coin of say Hieron, one of many madcap resettlers with more than a hint  of tribal genocide to  his actions there is an unease.


So to cock a snoop at  him for   his resettling of Naxos and Katane (and getting Pindar to praise him  for it!) into Leontini for once  here's a rare  contemporary imitation.

Hieron I (478-466 BC). Litra. Imitation of the period. Obv. Head of Arethusa right. Rev. Wheel,  4 spokes.



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15 hours ago, GinoLR said:

In the late 19th C. Mr Cecil Rhodes, director of a mining company, did better than this : he had not a city but a whole country named after him : Rhodesia.

THen along came Robert Mugabe who changed the name, and turned the "Bread basket of Africa" into the "Basket case of Africa"😝

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