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Roman Provincial: Lydia-Thyatira

Roman Provincial, Lydia-Thyatira, Nero (54-68), AE20, c.62-65
Laureate head of Nero right, staurogram countermark on portrait
Draped bust of Poppaea right
19mm x 20mm, 3.27g
BMC Lydia p. 302, 65; SNG Cop --; SNG von Aulock --
Ex Midwest "Coins of Christianity" Collection

Consignor notes and comments:

Thyatira was located in modern-day western Turkey. It was best known for its dye and textile industries. The Book of Acts 16 tells of the first European Christian convert named Lydia, who was a dealer in purple fabric. Thyatira was also named as one of the Seven Churches in Revelation 2.

The area around Thyatira also had a large population of the Samaritan and Jewish diaspora. It's obvious from this countermark that a Samarian had reached a prominent position that allowed him to "qualify" or "certify" coins. The fact that a staurogram was allowed to be used as a countermark design is very unusual.