Text Box: (All copyrights © are protected, November, 2009; September, November 2010)
Coins of the Kingdom of Galatia
There are two types of coinage from Galatia: coins issued by the Kingdom of Galatia and the coins issued by the Roman Province of Galatia.  While both types of the Galatian coinage are rare, the coinage from the Kingdom of Galatia is the most rare.  This rarity could be partially explained by the relatively short duration of the Galatian kingdom.  There are three Galatian kings who struck coins in their names: Deiotarus. Brogitarus and Amyntas.
Furthermore, none of the known Galatian coins contain the busts of the Galatian kings but their deities.  Indeed, the deities shown in Galatian coins confirm the information given by Julius Caesar, regarding the deities of Gauls in Europe.  Julius Caesar mentions that Gauls had equivalent of Roman Gods such as Apollo, Mars (Ares,) Jupiter (Zeus,) Minerva (Athena,) and Hermes.[1]  In addition, Caesar narrates that Gauls told him that  they are the children of Dis.  It is not apparent whether they meant “Zeus,” or “Hades.”  Some historians believe that the Gauls must have meant “Hades” since Gauls count the new day starting by night and Hades is the god of dark underworld.
In Galatian coins, too, we see the busts of Hermes, Artemis, Minerva, Jupiter and Hercules.  It looks like Hermes, Minerva and Jupiter had kept their importance among the Galatians while Artemis and Hercules were added as deities.  In contrast, Mars and Apollo appears to have lost popularity over time.  In addition to the Greco-Roman deities that enjoyed popularity among Gauls of Asia Minor, Cybele , the local Phyrigian deity, also shows up on some Galatian coins up to and including the 3rd century AD coins of the Province of Galatia.
Because of their rarity, these coins rarely show up in the hands antique coin dealers.  Their prices range from $60.00 upwards to $1500.00 depending on the quality of the preservation and the type of the metal.  It would be safe to say that there may be more types of Galatian coins that are yet to be discovered.  A common theme among the coins of Galatian Kingdom is the rarity of silver coins and almost non-existence of gold coins.  The only known silver Galatian coins are the ones issued during the reigns of Brogitarix and his son Amyntas.  There are some non-classified Galatain coins as well non-cataloged ones.  Often, the similarity of Galatian coins to some of the earlier Asia Minor coins is the cause of confusion as to which coin had been issued by which state or kingdom.
Coins of Deiotarus (64-40 B.C.)
Following the Basileus title bestowed on him by Pompey and confirmed by the Senate in B.C. 59, Deiotarus issued bronze coins.  Deiotarus, some of them containing the inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ and some containing his monogram on the reverse side.  The following is the list of coins minted by Deiotarus:
1. Head of Nike on the front, Eagle holding a sword in sheath on the reverse.[2]
2. Head of Zeus on the front.  Eagle with head reverted and monogram in the back[3]
3. Head of Zeus on the obverse side.  Monogram and Gallic shield on reverse side.[3]
4. Head of Zeus on the front.  Eagle standing on thunderbolt with head reverted in the back [3]  (This could be the same coin with #1 above, due to difference in interpretation)
5. Men bust on the front. Double cornucopiae on the reverse side.[3]
6. On the obverse side: Bust of man wearing pileus covered with stars and a crescent behind shoulders.  A humped bull butting left on the reverse side. [12]

 
  
           
Above are two depictions of the same coin obtained from 19th century numismatic sources when cameras where not readily available or the cameras were less than capable of producing crisp details.  However, I was able to find a picture of the above coin.  As seen below, the quality of the photo is less than adequate.
 
Issued by Deiotarus I, the above coin is from the collection of the British Museum.[4] On the obverse side, there is the head of Nike with her hair bunched in the back and wings in her shoulder.  On the reverse side there is an eagle looking right while grabbing on a sword in sheath and a pileus.  In addition, “ΔΗΙΟΤΑΡΟΥ” (DEIOTAROS) below the eagle is legible.
 
Above is another Deiotarus coin with the head of Zeus on the obverse side.  On the reverse side there is an eagle holding a sword in a sheath with the monogram of Deiotarus to the right.
 

 

Above are three similar coins from the reign of Deiotarus.  On the obverse side there is a lauerated head of Zeus.  On the obverse side the monogram of Deiotarus and an oval Gallic shield are visible.  I assume that the Gallic shield represents the protectorship of Deiotarus over all Galatians, thus inline with his lifelong aspiration to be the ruler of all Galatian tribes.
 
Above is another coin from the reign of Deiotarus.  Obverse side displays the bust of Zeus.  Eagle on the reverse side with a partially visible monogram of Deiotarus.

On the Deiotarus coin seen above, there is a countermark of the Asclepius’ staff.  In old coins we frequently see countermarks pressed on at a later date.  It is interesting that the location of the countermark in the reverse coincides to the location of Deiotarus’ monogram.   I cannot find a specific reason for this countermark in this particular case.  
Coins of Brogitarus (63-50 B.C.)
Until the second half of the 19th century, the only silver Galatian coin (a tetradrachm) known was the one struck by Brogitarus, a king of the Trocmi tribe.  I have not been able to find a picture but an extensive description[5] of it.  On the obverse side of the coin, there is the head of Zeus with oak-wreath.  On the reverse side, monograms  , , and letter .[6]  Below is a low-pixel quality photo of the tetradrachm that I acquired later. [7] I could not read the words on the reverse of the coin with the exception of the word “Basileus.”  However, the monograms mentioned above appear to be on the reverse, exactly as described.  

The letter C indicates the 6th year of Brogitarus’ reign.  Brogitarus was a high priest as well as the king of the Trocmis.  He literally bought his title and position by bribing a Roman official and assumed his title in the year B.C. 58.  So the coin must have been struck in the year B.C. 53.  The reverse side of the coin contains an eagle on thunderbolt with a military standard behind it and the words “ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΡΟΓΙΤΑΡΟΥ ΦΙΛΟΡΩΜΑΙΟΥ” (King Brogitarus Friend of Rome)[8]
Coins of Amyntas (37-25 B.C.)
Amyntas was the last king of Galatia.  Most of the coins discovered belong to the era of Amyntas.  Amyntas was the son of the Trocmi king, Brogitarus.  Upon the death of his father, Trocmi territory was incorporated into the territory of Tolistobois by their king Deiotarus.  We, then, see Amyntas becoming an aid to Deiotarus and marrying his daughter.  Later, we see Amyntas being the commander of a Galatian detachment sent by Deiotarus to the battle of Phillippi during the Roman Civil War between Marc Antony and Brutus.  Upon the death of Deiotarus and his son at a young age, Amyntas becomes the de facto king of Galatia and his title is also confirmed by Octavianus Augustus.
Around the 1840’s, silver tetradrachms of the Galatian king Amyntas surfaced in the numismatic circles in Paris and London.  Because of their rarity, these coins show up even more rarely in the antique coin shops.  There are also gold coins of Amyntas that share the same physical attributes with the silver tetradrachms.  These golden coins, numbering no more than ten pieces, are subject to dispute for being fake.  Most of the remaning coinage from the Kingdom of Galatia are minted on less valuable metals such as copper and bronze.  Following are the known Amyntas coins:
1. Tetradrachm, Athena head on the obverse side, Victory (Nike) walking on the reverse side (Silver)
2. Artemis head with quiver over shoulder in front. Stag left (Bronze) on the reverse side
3. Hercules’ head with club over shoulder on the obverse side, Lion advancing on the obverse side (Bronze)
4. Hermes’ head  on the obverse and caudecus on the back (Bronze)
5. Hectadrachmm Athena head right, and walking Nike on left [9] (Gold)

 

Above is a hand drawn depiction of a silver coin, a tetradrachm from the time of Amyntas.  This coin is the only silver coin known from the reign of Amyntas.  On the obverse side there is the head of Minerva/Athena and to the left a monogram of Amyntas is visible.  On the reverse side a winged victory (Nike) is swiftly walking and holding a sceptre and diadem on her right hand and holding her drapery with her left hand.  The sceptre and diadem, originally symbols of divinity, probably symbolized the regality of Amyntas.  The words Basileus and Amyntas are clearly visible.  The letters IB are said to indicate the date of issue, the 12th [10] year of his reign, based on comparison of similar coins of the period.  As mentioned earlier there are golden coins of the tetradrachm design.  However, experts are in disagreement whether all or some of the golden coins are fake.
 
  
Above are the actual pictures of  silver tetradrachms from the reign of Amyntas.  On the obverse side, there is the head of Athena wearing a corinthian helmet as usual.  And on the upper one there is a partial monogram of the mint maker behind the bust of Athena , to the left.  The specters and diadems are of slightly different designs on the reverse of the coins.  The letters IB show up only in the upper coin, indicating the 12th year of Amyntas reign.
 
The above picture is one of the few gold hectadrachms that circulate in the hands of collectors.  This coin belongs to the Newnham Davis Coins collection.  I do not know if this coin is one of the contraversial gold coins of Amyntas as mentioned earlier.  However, it is the only picture of hectadrachm that I was able to find.  As it is seen, it looks same as the silver tetradrachms of Amyntas.
 
The bronze coin above is from the time of king Amyntas, issued during his 7th year of his reign.  Apparently the letter “H” on the reverse side indicates “year 7” based on the numismatic evaluation of similar coins.  The eagle on the reverse is not clear bu it is holding a thunderbolt.
 
Above is an Amyntas coin with head of Hercules and with a club on his shoulder and further above a letter “C” is visible.  The “C” may be the mintmakers monogram.  The obverse side contains a lion walking and the monogram of King Amyntas at the bottom.  The letter “D” at the top marks the 6th year of his reign.  The coin was minted slightly off-center which is a common defect among the coins of this technology and age.  Below is a similar Amyntas coin with the words “BASILEUS” and “AMYNTAS” spelled out on the reverse side.

This one is one of the best surviving Amyntas coins.  Above the club, letters IB is hardly legible, denoting his 12th year of reign.  The reign of Amyntas lasted slightly longer than 10 years possibly with a few months borrowed from the neighboring years in the beginning and the end.  So he must have assumed his position as a king towards the end of 37 B.C. and his death must have occurred during the first few months of 25 B.C.  
Another interesting observation is that the face of the Hercules on the coin minted in the 12th year of Amyntas’ reign is quite different compared to the face of Hercules minted in the coins during the earlier years of his reign.  It is a known practice that rulers sometimes would portray the images of deities in their own image.  It also makes sense that a ruler would attempt such an identification after he has consolidated sufficient political power in his hands.  Therefore, it is possible that the later images of Hercules were based on the actual image of Amyntas.  Are we, indeed, seeing the actual image of Amyntas here? 

Above is another Amyntas coin designed in similar fashion as the others further above.  The words “ΒΑΣHΛΕΩΣ” and “AMYNTOY” are readily legible on the reverse side.  Apart from being one of the best preserved Amyntas’ coins, this one also appears to be a silver mint.  Also, there appears to be a spelling difference compared to other Galatian coins.  This is the only that has the letter “H” as opposed to letter “I” for the fourth letter of the word “BASILEUS.”  Furthermore, the circular dotted lines in the perimeter present a different technique of manufacturing compared to all other Amyntas coins of the time and the slight off-centeredness of similar coins is not seen here.  Could this be a fake Amyntas coin? 

 


Above are three Amyntas coins (bronze) with the head of Hermes on the obverse sides.  Both sides contain a caudecous, symbol of Mercury/Hermes.
 

 
 

 

Above are five Amyntas coins showing Artemis with bow and quiver over her shoulder on the obverse side.  On the obverse side of the last two coins, the letters E and C are visible, meaning numerals 5 and 6.  On the reverse, a standing stag and the words “Basileus,” and “Amyntas” appear in some of the coins.  On the reverse side of the last two coins, letter “B” probably indicates the second year of Amyntas reign with the monogram of Amyntas at the bottom.
Coins of Galatia of uncertain denomination
There may certainly be more coins from the Kingdom of Galatia that are currently unknown.  Below are a few of them that are not readily identified or cathalogued yet.
 
The above is an unpublished and undocumented coin that possibly belongs to the reign of Deiotarus.  On the obverse side is the bust of Athena wearing a crested Corinthian helmet and on the reverse side is a bull getting ready to charge.  This coin suspiciously resembles to the Macedonian coins of the 2nd century B.C.  The majority of the Galatian coins look similar to the earlier coinage from the same region that are also likely to be minted by the same mint makers in Asia Minor.  A partially legible word “…IOTA…” appears at the bottom on the reverse side, likely to represent “DEIOTARUS.”  However, it appears that the earliest eastern Celtic coins were immitations of Macedonian coinage and those of certain cities such as Thasos and Larissa. [11]  In a recent archaeological publication [12] there is a description of a new Deiotarus coin of Pessinus origin that resembles the coin above. [12] (also see the description of Deiotarus coin #6 under the heading “The coins of Deiotarus,” above) If that is the case, then the above coin may well be the earliest known coin of Deiotarus.
 
Another Galatian coin from the 1st century B.C. is shown above.  On the obverse side are the busts of Cybele (Sibel) and Attis.  On the reverse side is a lion sitting with its left paw on a tympanum.  Two stars (attributed to Dioskouroi?) visible on either side of the lion.  A fragmentary word for “PESSINUS” is visible to the left.  Also, to the left, the lion is holding an unidentifiable object.  The 3 shapes to the right are sometimes attributed to Dioskouroi hats.  If that is true then the third item still remains to be identified.  Further right, a partial word “MHT…” visible, possibly MHTPOΠOΛ (Metropolis?)
 
The above coin is also from Pessinus,Galatia and dated to 1st century B.C.  Pessinus was the capital of the Tolistoboi clan.  There is the bust of Tyche with turreted headdress on the obverse side.  On the reverse, there is a lion sitting with one paw on tympanum.

Ephesos?, Ionia, 245 - 202 B.C., very rare.  This silver coin is documented as Ionian coin.  However, at least, one expert does not agree as to the location of issue, Ephesus vs. Side.  On the obverse side, there is the bust of Artemis with bow and quiver over her shoulder.  On the reverse side, there is the front part of stag with head reverted.  Mark Kreuzer, a numismatic expert, notes that Artemis and stag types were also used by King Amyntas, who was awarded Galatia by Antony in 37/6 B.C. and who continued to rule until his death in 25 B.C. Artemis might have been portrayed with the features of Cleopatra VII of Egypt, apparently as a sign of deference to Antony and his Egyptian queen.
Conclusions
Numismatics could provide us additional clues on Galatians and their culture provided that the interpretation of the clues continually updated and confirmed in comparison to existing knowledge, historical writings, archeological findings, and anthropological studies.  Such a continuous re-evaluation would inhance our knowledge on all fields of Galatian studies, re-affirm or reject our existing assumptions.  From the above data we reach certain conclusions which may or may not have been thought or published elsewhere.
There are three known Galatian kings who had coins struck on behalf of them: Deiotarus, Brogitarus and Amyntas.  There may be other Galatians kings who struck coins as well, such as Deiotarus II, yet none is known to date.  There may be many existing coins that had been erroneously attributed to the non-Galatian sources.  In addition, there may be unpublished, uncathaloged coins to date.  Many such coins may have already been unearthed and may be in the hands of private collectors, museums, etc.  Particularly, the ones in the museums are not put on display until an interpretation is made.  Typically, the interpretations are done by the scientists who actually participate in the digs.  Eventhough the newly numismatic artifacts are turned in to museums, the involved scientists have the privilege of keeping pictures of them without sharing them with public.  Many of these scientists do not have neither spare time nor resources to identify such coins.  As a result, their study is sometimes postponed for decades or forgotten altogether considering the short life span of our species.
As seen above, most Galatian coins are of bronze with very few silver and even fever and disputable golden coins.  It is possible that political domination of Rome may have prohibited minting of Galatian coins on more valuable metals.  Similarly, we do not see the faces of Galatian kings on the coins but deities where as provencial coins of Galatia do contain actual images of the Roman rulers.  The Galatian deities used on the coins