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Nakrasa, Lydia

An usual location for a Roman Provincial coin of Hadrian is as good a reason as any to add it to a collection. I didn't recognize "Nakrasa" when I bid on this coin and so far there is a not a lot that I can find on this Lydian city. An unusual coin with only 4 that I can find in ACSearch and 10 examples cited in RPC. Today's notes are an accumulation of references that I can find for Nacrasa/Nakrasa.

Roman Provincial, Lydia, Nakrasa, Hadrian (AD 117-138), Bronze Æ (19mm, 3.63g, 12h)

Obv: ΑΥΤΟ ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟϹ ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟϹ, laureate and cuirassed bust of Hadrian, right

Rev: ΝΑΚΡΑϹΙΤΩΝ, Tyche standing left, wearing kalathos, holding rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left

Ref: RPC 1805 (example #7 this coin - added post publication)

Claudius Ptolemaeus, an Alexandrian from 2nd century Roman Egypt describes Nakrasa in coordinates (5.2.16, also on ToposText):

or this 15th century copy:

B.V. Head British Museum 1901

"Nacrasa. Site at or near the modern Bakir in North Lydia, between Thyatira and Pergamum (B. M. C., Lyd., p. lxxvi). Originally a Seleucid stronghold, but no coins are known before Imperial times. Quasi-auto- nomous and Imperial coins—Domitian to M. Aurelius. Inscr., ΝΑΚΡΑ- CΙΤΩΝ or ΝΑΚΡΑCЄΙΤΩΝ, down to the time of the Antonines, later ΝΑΚΡΑCЄΩΝ. "
-Head, B. V., Brit. Mus. Cat., Lydia, 1901.

David Magie 1950

Hadrian may have visited Nacrasa, as they raised a stature to him. Neighboring Thyateira received gifts from the emperor.

"A visit of Hadrian to the interior of Lydia is suggested by a decree subsequently passed by the citizens of Thyateira recording gifts received from the Emperor, as well as by the existence in the city of both a public building and a festival named after him, and by the erection of a statue by the Council and People of Nacrasa. His interest in Lydia and Mysia was shown especially in the creation of several cities which subsequently bore his name. These, in the conviction that civilization could best be promoted by urbanization, were founded in various places, not only in the plain of the upper Caicus, where the old community of Stratoniceia was revived, but especially in the sparsely inhabited regions of central and eastern Mysia, as well as in the Bithynian-Paphlagonian borderland."
-David Magie, Asia Minor, p.616 

-David Magie, Asia Minor II p 978, 1950

and here is C.I.G. 3522

Edward M. Anson describes Nakrasa as a Macedonian settlement in Lydia. (see: "The Hellenistic Settlements in Europe, the Islands, and Asia Minor" published in 1996)

"The location of Nakrasa is not definitely known.  It was in the upper Kaikos valley and is usually placed either at Bakir, Maltepe (two kilometers east of Bakir), or Ilyaslar (six kilometers east of Maltepe)."
-Anson, 1996

Here is Bakir's location on a modern googlemap of Türkiye.

"Nakrason is one of a number of colonies of Macedonians in Lydia; others include AGATHEIRA, AKRASOS, DODYE, -ESPOURA, HYRKANIS, KOBEDEDYLE, and THYATEIRA.  Although there is evidence indicating the Seleukos I founded Thyateira and that the settlers at Hyrkanisworshipped Zeus Seleukeios, the earliest information about most of the other colonies dates from the second century BC, i.e., the period of Attalid rule.  Nevertheless it is likely that the Mcedonian colonies were founded by The Seleukids rather than the Attalids."  
-Anson, 1996

Here's a more detailed map of Lydia, showing Nakrasa.

Arnaoutoglou, Ilias. “CRAFTSMEN ASSOCIATIONS IN ROMAN LYDIA — A TALE OF TWO CITIES?” Ancient Society, vol. 41, 2011, pp. 257–90.


It was a fun surprise to find that this coin is one of the examples (#7) in RPC online for this coin type. RPC also references an earlier sale of this coin : Pecunem 38, 6 Dec. 2015, lot 503. The coin is not noticeably different from ~8 years ago.

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