Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Figure 76

© Bertolami Fine Arts (Photographs courtesy of Andrea Pancotti)
Bone or ivory tesserae (tesserae nummulariae) seals which were attached to a coin bags (folles), certifying that the coins within were of the right number and genuine, by a mint official called a nummularius.

Figure 75

The left is a small white tessera (mosaic tile). To the right is a replica of an ivory or bone token (tessara theatralis) used as a theater ticket for entrance into special events. The token would have various images or writing depending on the performance.

Figure 74

Ostracon found at Masada bearing the name “ben Yair” which could be short for Eleazar ben Ya’ir, the leader of the Zealots at Masada.

Figure 73

© 2000 David Steeves
Artist’s depiction of the high priest with the breastplate over the ephod and Aaron’s rod that budded.

Figure 72

Drawing of the opening section of the Balaam text from Tell Deir ‘Alla.
Balaam text (“Balaam, the son of Beor; a divine seer is he,”) from Tell Deir ‘Alla, ca. 700 BC. The writing appears to be laid out as a column of a scroll. The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies describes it as “the oldest example of a book in a West Semitic language written with the alphabet, and the oldest piece of Aramaic literature.”  Allan Millard. “Authors, Books and Readers in the Ancient World.” In J. W. Rogerson, and Judith M. Lieu. The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2006), 554. ISBN 978-0199254255. See Also

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Figure 71

Archaeological Museum of Epidaurus, Greece
© Photo Michael F. Mehnert
Statue of Asclepius, exhibited in the Museum of Epidaurus Theater.

Figure 70

© 2017 David E. Graves
Column in the courtyard of the entrance (propylon) of the Asclepion (hospital), from the lower site of Pergamum, decorated with three symbols of health: snakes, olive branches, and the wheel of life. Snakes were worshiped in the cult of Asclepius, the god of healing. The way serpents shed their skins to renew themselves became a symbol of new life. John stated that Satan lived in Pergamum, and some believe that this is one of the local references. The symbol of the intertwined snakes still decorates medical emblems today

Figure 69

Mycenae Museum, Greece
© Photo by Janmad, PD
Reconstruction of Mycenaean replica swords, the left one being a machaira-type sword. From the museum in Mycenae.

Figure 68

© Photo by Rama, PD
Replica of the Pompeii gladius sword.

Figure 67

© 2017 David E. Graves
The partially restored Trajaneium in Pergamum.

Figure 66

© 2017 David E. Graves
The remains of the Altar of Zeus. The structure around the altar is actually not a temple but an open air altar. The two trees mark the location of the altar, but the structure which surrounded it is now in the Staatliche (formerly Pergamum) Museum in Berlin.

Figure 65

Pergamum museum, Berlin, Germany
© Photo by Raimond Spekking
The Great Altar of Pergamum. Some of the details, researched by Otto Puchstein based on coins, may not be accurate.

Figure 64

© Photo by Bernard Gagnon, PD
The Hellenistic theater (ca. 225–200 BC) carved vertically out of the side of the mountain with a capacity of ca. 10,000 citizens.

Figure 63

© Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. (CNG).
Photograph courtesy of
Cistophoric Tetradrachm coin from Pergamum (ca. 160–150 BC).

Obv.: A basket used for housing sacred snakes (Lat. cista mystica); all within an ivy wreath.

Rev.: A bow-case with serpents; and stylis (BMC 88)

Figure 62

© Photo by Bernard Gagnon, PD
Statue of Galen of Pergamum.

Figure 61

© 2017 David E. Graves
The Pergamum Asclepion, the sanctuary of Asclepios Soter.

1). Small theater
2). North Stoa
3). Small Library
4). Via Tecta, Colonnaded Sacred Way leading to the Acropolis
5). Propylaeum and Forecourt
6). Cult niche
7). Temple of Asclepius
8). Treatment center
9). Cryptopoticus, a vaulted underground tunnel
10). South Stoa
11). Latrines
12). Southwest Hall
13). West Stoa
14). Hellenistic temple and Sacred Spring
15 & 16). Incubation complex
17). Pool
18). Peristyle House

Figure 60

© 2017 David E. Graves
Asclepeion complex and the north stoa viewed from the theater.

Figure 59

© 2017 David E. Graves
The acropolis Library at Pergamum, Turkey. The holes used for the pins for the wooden shelves are still visible in the wall.

Figure 58

© Photo by Wladyslaw Sojka with overlay by David E. Graves
A model of the acropolis of the ancient Greek city of Pergamum, showing the situation in the second cent AD, by Hans Schleif (1902–1945).

1). Theater
2). Trajaneium
3). Arsenal Terrance
4). Barraks
5). Palace
6). Citadel Gate
7). Heroon
8). Library
9). Athena Temple
10). Altar of Zeus
11). Upper agora
12). Dionysius Temple
13). Stoa Terrace

Figure 57

Pergamon Museum, Berlin Germany
© Photo by Nicolás Pérez, PD
A Hellenistic portrait of the king of Pergamum, Attalus I.

Figure 56

© 2017 David E. Graves
Acropolis of Pergamum, with the Hellenistic theater (ca. 225–200 BC) carved vertically out of the side of the mountain with a capacity of ca. 10,000 citizens. Visible on the top are the pillars of the Temple of Trajan (second cent. AD).

Figure 55

İzmir Archaeological Museum (Turk. İzmir Arkeoloji Müzesi),
Turkey © 2017 David E. Graves
Bronze statue of a runner wearing the laurel wreath (crown) awarded to the winner. Found in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Cyme. Roman copy of a late Hellenistic statue dating to the second cent. AD.

Figure 54

© Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. (CNG).
Photograph courtesy of
Silver Tetradrachm coin from Smyrna (ca. 155–145 BC).

Obv.: The Anatolian goddess Tyche/Cybele wearing a turreted crown.

Rev.: Displaying the magistrate’s monogram ΙΜΥΡ ΝΑΙΩΝ (izmur naiōn) within a laurel wreath.

Figure 53

Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park, Israel
© 2017 David E. Graves
Painting of a phoenix from the Musicians Cave, part of the Sidonian caves, Israel.

Figure 52

Istanbul Archaeology Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
© 2017 David E. Graves
Small reliefs of the mother goddess Cybele/Tyche. Her image frequently appeared on the coins of Smyrna. The worship of Cybele was introduced to Rome as Magna Mater (Gr. “great mother”) because the Romans believed that Aenaes, a member of the Trojan royal family, was their ancestor (30 BC–AD 395, from various sites in Western Anatolia).

Figure 51

St. Polycarp Roman Catholic Church, Izmir Turkey
© 2017 David E. Graves
Painting of the martyrdom of Polycarp on the ceiling of the St. Polycarp Roman Catholic Church, the oldest Catholic Church in Izmir. He was burned to death after refusing to deny Christ, saying “86 years I have served Him and He never did me any injury, how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?” (Mart. Pol. 9:5). Permission to build a chapel to Polycarp was granted in 1520 by Suleyman the Magnificent, sultan of the Ottoman Empire 1520–1566.

Figure 50

St. John Anglican Church, Izmir
© 2017 David E. Graves
Stained glass window depicting Polycarp.

Figure 49

İzmir Archaeological Museum (Turk. İzmir Arkeoloji Müzesi),
İzmir, Turkey
© 2017 David E. Graves
Priest of the imperial cult at Smyrna (30 BC–AD 395).

Figure 48

Istanbul Archaeology Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
© 2017 David E. Graves
Faustina the Younger, wife of Marcus Aurelius (second cent. AD).

Figure 47

© 2017 David E. Graves
Arch in the western stoa (portico) of the state agora in Smyrna (second cent. AD). At the top of the arch is a portrait of Faustina the Younger (see Fig. 48), honored for financing the rebuilding of the city.

Figure 46

© 2017 David E. Graves
The Corinthian columns of the stao of the commercial agora, Smyrna.

Figure 45

© Copyright the Trustees of the British Museum, London, England
Photo by  David E. Graves
Homōnoia (Gr. “political concord”) coin from Smyrna.

Obv.: Three temples to Emperor Tiberius, the goddess Roma and the emperor Hadrian at Smyrna, minted by Caracalla (AD 211–217). Homōnoia coins from Smyrna were prevalent during the reigns of Marcus Aurelius, Commodus, Faustina, Caracalla, and Gordian (ca. AD 160–249). Smyrna had the closest homōnoia relationship with Laodicea, Thyatira and Philadelphia.

Figure 44

© 2017 David E. Graves
Harbor of Izmir (Smyrna) from Mount Pagus, surrounded by the modern city. The ruins of the second cent. state agora (market) are visible on the left side of the photo.

Figure 43

© 2017 David E. Graves
Emperor Tiberius Caesar Augustus (42 BC–AD 37). In AD 26, Tiberius granted Smyrna the right to build a second temple to the the dea Roma (Lat. “goddess Roma”; Tacitus Ann. 4.55–56).

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Figure 42

© Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. (CNG).
Photograph courtesy of
The Ephesian tetradrachm coin struck under Archidamos (ca. 340–325 BC).

Obv.: E-Φ, A bee depicting the Artemision priestess.

Rev.: ARCIDAMOS, A stag in front of the sacred palm tree (tree-shrine) depicting the sacred groves. (BMC 34, see also 28–51).

Figure 41

Ephesus Archaeological Museum
(Turk. Efes Müzesi), Selçuk, Turkey
© 2017 David E. Graves
Woman lighting an oil lamp on a lampstand.

Figure 40

© 2017 David E. Graves

Relief on the arch of Titus, Rome, depicting the removal of the menorah or lampstand from the temple in Jerusalem following its destruction in 70 AD by the Romans.

Figure 173

Kunsthistorisches Museum (no. IX A 79) Photograph by James Steakley, PD Roman cameo of Gemma Augustea (AD 9–12). A depiction of Emperor...