The Cult of Asklepios as Represented in the Ancient Coins of Cilicia
Bekircan Tahberer, İ̇lter Uzel
Keywords: Asklepios, Ancient Coins, Cilicia, Hygeia
The main subjects of depiction in ancient coins were of the gods and goddesses. Asklepios, god of healing, members of his family and symbols tied to him, were among the most common subjects of the ancient coins of Cilicia. According to numismatic principles, the image of Asklepios/Hygeia on a coin had no significance unless it was related to an epidemic or to other health problems of the city minting the coin. There were many cities with a temple dedicated to the cult of Asklepios god of healing and since in ancient times coins were not just media of payment, but also propaganda symbols, cities with temples to Asklepios inevitably and frequently advertised this on their coins as part of the propaganda in their own favour. Looked at it from this point of view, it becomes clear that numismatic materials, in addition to other archaeological findings, indicate that the ancient Cilician cities of Aigeai and Irenopolis, were important centres of the Asklepios cult. Some of the points and coins analysed in this article, will shed light on elements of the cult of Asklepios in Cilicia that were unknown or at least not known well enough.