Bronze coin of Ephesos, reign of emperor Macrinus

Roman, AD 211-217
From Ephesos, modern Turkey

Imperial bronze coin from the Greek East, showing a scene of emperor worship

This bronze coin of Ephesos comes from the reign of the Roman emperor Macrinus, in AD 217-218. As with many coins of this region and period it carries on the obverse (on the front) a portrait of the reigning emperor, and on the reverse a scene of local significance. The reverse of this coin bears a scene of sacrifice in front of a temple. Within the temple is a statue of a Roman emperor (it is unclear which one), indicating that the temple is dedicated to a deified Roman emperor. The possession of such an imperial temple was a source of much pride to provincial cities in the Roman world. Possession of an imperial cult entitled a city to the title neokoros ('temple-warden'). Ephesos was thus honoured several times over: at the time of Macrinus the city was titled neokoros three times, and would be granted one more by the emperor Elagabalus (ruled AD 218-222).

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More information

Bibliography

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

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

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

S.R.F. Price, Rituals and power: the Roman i (Cambridge, 1984)

Dimensions

Weight: 20.200 g
Diameter: 34.000 mm

Museum number

CM BMC Ephesus 293

CGR8579

Location

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