Bronze coin of Ephesos, reign of Valerian

Roman, AD 253-260
Minted at Ephesos, modern Turkey

A coin showing one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

This bronze coin of Ephesos comes from the period of the rule of the Roman emperor Valerian (AD 253-260). As with many coins of this period and area, the obverse (front) carries a portrait of the reigning emperor, while the reverse shows a scene with some local significance.

The reverse of this coin bears a depiction of the famous Artemisium, or Temple of Artemis (Diana), at Ephesos, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The peculiar cult statue of the goddess can be clearly seen between the columns of the temple.

The depiction of local architecture is common on such reverse designs, and marks these Greek issues of the Empire as, in one sense, distinctively Roman-influenced. Indeed, the architectural designs on these coins often form our best evidence for the appearance of ancient buildings.

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More information


M.J. Price and B.L. Trell, Coins and their cities: archit (London, 1977)

T. Cornell and J. Matthews, Atlas of the Roman world (Phaidon, 1987)

K. Butcher, Roman provincial coins: an int (London, Seaby, 1988)

A.M. Burnett, Coinage in the Roman world (London, Seaby, 1987)


Weight: 14.240 g
Diameter: 32.000 mm

Museum number

CM 1970-9-9-84



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