top of page
  • Writer's picturesulla80

Myndos, Caria

Dionysos, god of wine, pleasure, wildness was the son of Zeus and princess Semele of Thebes. His mother was killed by Hera's jealousy before his birth, the child rescued and sewn into the leg of Zeus to gestate. The two coins for today are both from Myndos, a drachm with Zeus on the obverse and a hemidrachm with Dionysos. After his birth, his care was entrusted to Seilenos and the nymphs of Mount Nysa. I will stop there as introduction to the deity shown on the obverse of the first coin below.


Myndos a Dorian city on the south western edge of modern Türkiye. The Dorians were one of four classical Greek ethnic groups, distinguished by the dialect. The other three groups are the Aeolians, Achaeans, and Ionians.

Greek tradition holds that the sons of Herakles, the Heraklidae, were driven from the Pelopennese (southern most tip of mainland Greece) by Eurystheus of Mycenea. Eurystheus was a grandson of Perseus whose father, Sthenelus, was killed by one of the Heraklidae, Hyllus. One of the sons of Herakles was adopted by Aegimius, the king of Doris (Dorian meaning "from Doris").

"When Troezen died, Pittheus gathered the inhabitants together,  incorporating both Hyperea and Anthea into the modern city, which he  named Troezen after his brother. Many years afterwards the descendants  of Aetius, son of Anthas, were dispatched as colonists from Troezen, and  founded Halicarnassus and Myndus in Caria."
-Pausianus 2.30.9 

Myndus shown in Wikimedia Maps

By the 8th century, Dorian colonists had migrated east to the coast of Anatolia (modern Türkiye), and founded Myndos and other colonies, and after the 8th century they spread across Italy, Sicily, North Africa and the Black sea to found Corcyra, Syracuse, Gela, Acragas, Taras, Cyrene and other colonies.

At the end of the fourth century (309 BC), Egyptian control of this region begins with Ptolemy I Soter seized Caunus and Myndus in Caria, Phaselis and Xanthus in Lycia, and the island of Cos.

Near the time of these coins, during the 3rd century Myndus was an ally of Egypt. The spread of Egyptian cults of Isis and Serapis is attested by the second coin which illustrates Serapis and Isis' headdress or crown.

Rome was at war with Philip V of Macedonia, the Second Macedonian Wars (200-196 BC). At this time Livy describes the relationship between Rome, Egypt, Macedon, and the Selecid Empire and Caria (including Myndus). With the news of the Roman victory over Philip V:

"Their fear of Philip having been dispelled by the receipt of this news, the Rhodians abandoned their design of going to meet Antiochus with the fleet; their other concern they did not forget, to wit, that of maintaining the liberty of the cities allied with Ptolemy, which were threatened with war by Antiochus. For some they helped with reinforcements, some by warnings and information as to the enemy's plans, and they were responsible for preserving the liberty of the people of Caunus, Myndus, Halicarnassus, and Samos."
-Livy xxxiii.20.9 

In the war between Seleucid Antiochus III and Rome in AD 192-188BC Myndus provided supplies to the Roman Navy. These coins date from some time after this to some time before the incorporation of Caria into the Roman province of Asia Minor in 129 BC.

For photos of Myndus from the perspective of modern tourist, see


Caria, Myndos, 180-140 BC, AR hemidrachm (1.81g, 3 h), struck under the magistrate Philon

Obv: Wreathed head of youthful Dionysos to right

Rev: ΜΥΝΔΙΩΝ / ΦΙΛΩΝ Winged thunderbolt; in right field, caduceus

Caria, Myndos, 180-140 BC, AR drachm (16.5mm, 3.47g), Hermolykos, magistrate

Obv: Laureate head of Sarapis right, crowned with atef

Rev: [ΜΥ]-ΝΔΙѠΝ / [ЄΡ]-ΜΟΛΥΚ on either side of basileion (Isis crown) on two ears of grain; in exergue, torch; dotted border

Excerpt on Myndos from "Historia numorum, a manual of Greek numismatics" by Head, Barclay Vincent, 1844-1914; Published 1887 in Oxford, Clarendon Press

Additional references:

60 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page