Bronze coin of Ephesos, reign of emperor Macrinus


British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

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).


  • Title: Bronze coin of Ephesos, reign of emperor Macrinus
  • Date Created: 217/218
  • Physical Dimensions: Weight: 20.200g
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Registration number: BNK,G.553
  • Production place: Minted in Ephesus
  • Period/culture: Roman Provincial
  • Material: alloy
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Authority: Ruler Macrinus
  • Acquisition: Donated by Bank of England

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