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HOME : Greek Coins : Greek City States : Pisidian Silver Obal of Selge
Pisidian Silver Obal of Selge - C.7496
Origin: Minted in Selge
Circa: 350 BC to 300 BC

Collection: Numismatics
Medium: Silver

Location: United States
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Obverse: Gorgoneion with protruding tongue

Reverse: Head of Athena facing right, wearing a crested helmet

Little is known about the history of the ancient Pisidian city of Selge. According to Strabo, the city was founded during the 2nd millennium B.C. by Calchas, a mythical soothsayer who appeared in stories of the Trojan War. Various waves of colonists thereafter settled in Selge, including the Spartans and the Rhodians. Protected by cliffs and valleys, Selge was built on three hills and fortified by a city wall, which had several entrance gates and defense towers. Strabo mentioned the natural beauty of the city, with its large fruit gardens, fertile valleys and forests. The city’s wealth came from the production of olives, herbal medications, and wine. The Pisidian city of Termessos was a bitter rival of Selge, and after Termessos allied themselves with Alexander the Great, Selge was besieged by Alexader’s army during his fabled conquests. However, through much of its history, Selge managed to maintain its independence, most notably throughout the duration of the Roman Empire and into the Byzantine era. Selge was the first Psidian city to mint coins in this region, dating to the 5th century B.C. during the Persian rule of Asia Minor. They continued to mint their own coins until 3rd century A.D., which provides evidence of both their independence and economic might.

How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or your purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after us. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and place, whether currency in the age we live or an artifact of a long forgotten empire. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine-made currencies. This coin is more than an artifact; it is a memorial an ancient city passed down from the hands of one generation to another, from one civilization to another. - (C.7496)


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