Book Series The Numismatic Studies, vol. 42

Hidden Power: Late Cistophoric Production and the Creation of Provincia Asia

Lucia Carbone

  • Pages: vii + 266 p.
  • Size:216 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:226 b/w, 32 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2020

  • ISBN: 978-0-89722-363-8
  • Hardback
  • Available


Lucia Carbone is an ancient historian and numismatist who holds BA and MA degrees from Università Sapienza (Rome) as well as MPhil and PhD degrees from Columbia University (New York). She is currently the Assistant Curator for Roman Coins at the American Numismatic Society. Her main research interest is the impact of Roman imperialism on the monetary and administrative systems of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire between the second and first centuries BC.


Using the production and circulation patterns of the Asian cistophorus as a case study, Hidden Power seeks to develop a better understanding of Roman monetary policy in the province of Asia between its establishment in the 120s BC and the beginning of the Mithraditic Wars.

Hidden Power catalogues and illustrates some 1,737 cistophoric tetradrachms and fractions from the mints of Ephesus, Pergamum, Tralles, Laodicea, Apamea, Adramyteum, Nysa, and Smyrna. Most of the coins included in the study are late cistophori, issues between 134.3 BC and the 60s BC.

Appendix I provides a discussion of the late cistophori of Tralles struck after 89 BC, showing not only the direct correlation between cistophori and Roman military campaigns, but also Roman taxation.

In Appendix II, circulation data have been combined with data derived from the Tralles die study in order to calculate cistophoric production for the entirety of provincia Asia until the end of the late cistophori. This estimate provides a means to assess the financial impact of Roman taxation and exploitation by Roman imperatores over the course of the first half of the first century BC.



Chapter 1: The 2002 Hoard (90/89 BC): An Overview
Chapter 2: Cistophoric Production at Pergamum
Chapter 3: Cistophoric Production at Ephesus
Chapter 4: Cistophoric Production at Tralles
Chapter 5: Cistophoric Production at Laodicea
Chapter 6: Cistophoric Production at Apamea
Chapter 7: Cistophoric Production at Adramyteum
Chapter 8: Cistophoric Production at Nysa
Chapter 9: Cistophoric Production at Smyrna
Chapter 10: Conclusions

Appendix I: Late Cistophoric Production at Tralles after 89 BC
Appendix II: Cistophoric Production and the Impact of Roman Taxation (105–ca. 58 BC)