A. Yu. Baukova GODDESS TYCHE IN THE COINAGE OF THE CITIES OF THE ROMAN PROVINCE OF ASIA
GODDESS TYCHE IN THE COINAGE OF THE CITIES OF THE ROMAN PROVINCE OF ASIA
A. Yu. Baukova
PhD (History) Assistant Professor Ivan Franko National University of Lviv 1, Universytets’ka Str., Lviv, 79000, Ukraine firstname.lastname@example.org
Ancient coins are an interesting source for studying cultural and historical processes in the Mediterranean. The transformation of Greek territories into part of the Roman state, the formation of a holistic system of money circulation and a single market contributed to the unification of coin types and styles. Despite this, representatives of the ancient Greek pantheon and local deities were often used in decoration. Interestingly, over time, some traditional deities were less commonly used in this matter. Instead, the goddess Tyсhe belongs to those deities, whose image from the little known became common in Roman times. This was probably due to the very incarnation of the goddess. She was the patron saint of luck, prosperity, providence and destiny. However, in the first centuries AD, she became the patron of cities and symbolized their prosperity. This evolution can be traced in the coinage of the cities of the province of Asia, which was a conglomeration of cities of the former kingdom of Pergamum. The image of Tyche-Fortune as a personification of the variability of choice was widely used in provincial coinage, in various denominations. Unlike other territories, in Asia the bust of the goddess was almost never depicted on the obverse. The most popular were two types of reverse decoration: Tyсhe with a cornucopia and a rudder in her hands and a bust of the goddess in a crown of city walls. The image of Tyche was especially often used by magistrates of the cities of Lydia, Mysia, Troas and other regions of the province of Asia in coinage in honor of Caracalla, Gordian III, Julia Domna, Elagabalus, Severan dynasty, Trajan etc. Coinage was a means of combating with hyperinflation and coin devaluation. The goddess Tyche was especially often used in urban coinage during the Crisis of the III century, which especially emphasizes the peculiarities of economic relations and the lack of money supply at that time. In general, the analysis of coins shows the evolution of the image of the goddess from the patroness of cities to the emphasis on the impermanence of the goddess, who distributes good and evil despite the merits of people or cities. Also, in the provincial coinage, her image emphasized that Tyche, in the guise of Fortune or Nemesis, was the goddess of choice and just retribution.
Keywords: goddess Tyche, the Roman province of Asia, coinage, temple, countermark, emperors, Imperial Crisis
Preislamic Near East 2021, (2):9-27
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