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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

91, Lot: 124. Estimate $150.
Sold for $92. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

IONIA, Ephesus. Imperial Period. Æ 16mm [Tessera] (2.78 gm). Stag kneeling left, head reverted; CKwPI in exergue / KHRILIC wDE PROC PALVPIN, bee. BMC Ionia pg, 70, 186; Barclay Head, "Ephesian Tesserae," NumChron 1908, 281-286; SNG Copenhagen 355; SNG von Aulock 1875. VF, black-green patina.

In the ancient world, many people carried magic talismans to ward off evil. In addition to symbols, these devices often included magical incatations, though many times there is no coherent meaning to the pharse. Such incantations are known as "Ephesian letters", since their source was alleged to be Ephesus, as is the case with our example. The obverse legend may refer to the Greek verb skopew, or "look", an allusion to the "evil eye" against which many of these objects were intended. The reverse legend can best be translated as "This, as a coating toward the disease," with PALVPIN being a corruption of palurion, some type of disease.