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Roman Provincials: Nicomedia-Bithynia

Severus Alexander, AE21, 222-235, Nicomedia-Bithynia
Laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right, seen from behind
NI_KO / MH(ligate) | DE / W | IN(ligate)
Octastyle temple with flared base and horned roof, pellet in pediment
DIC NEW / KO in exergue
19mm x 21mm, 4.97g
Recueil General p. 558, no. 325, pl. XCVI, 29; BMC Bithynia -; SNG Copenhagen --

Note from Pete Burbules - The reverse legend means Nikomedia, Second (DIC) Neocory (NEOKO), the second neocory bestowed on the town, an honor earned by the city by building and maintaining a temple dedicated to the Roman emperor.

General note from Curtis Clay on the Moneta-L email list:  "Neokopos. 'Temple adorner', a name given to the warden or sacristan of a temple."  (J. Melville-Jones, Dict. of Anc. Greek Coins, p. 155)  In Roman times a Greek city that constructed and cared for a provincial temple of the emperor, and that oversaw the periodic festival and games connected with that temple, was permitted to assume the title Neokopos.  If it cared for two such temples, then "twice neocorate" and so on. The damnatio of an emperor honored by such a temple would mean the loss of the neocorate, unless the temple was transferred to another honoree, so the neocorate number could fall as well as increase. These privileges and titles were keenly sought after and honorary titles including Neokoros, the temples which justified the neocorates, and the games celebrated in that connection, are some of the commonest themes on Greek city coinages during the Roman empire."

Severus Alexander, AE18, 222-235, Nicomedia-Bithynia
Laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right, seen from behind
NIKO_MH (ligate)_D_EWN
Octastyle temple with flared base and horned roof, crescent in pediment
DIC NE (ligate) W in exergue
18mm x 19mm, 3.04g
SNG Copenhagen 576
Ex Time Machine, August 2003