Monied Women in Phrygia

Asian coinage of the imperial period is replete with legends flagging sponsorship by men keen to promote their citizenship, official positions and authorization. This general pattern is little different in Phrygia, except for a one hundred year window when a number of women adorn civic bronze coins with their names. This paper proposes to identify these women and examine the coins that were struck under their sponsorship. A number of methodological questions will be addressed: 1. How is the status and initiative of these women to be assessed within the city in/for which their coins were minted, especially given the older presumption that they were mere adjuncts to their elite husbands? 2. What currency values can be assigned to their coins and how might these provide clues as to their own negotiation of the civic and political realities of the day? 3. Given the working hypothesis that sponsors of coins chose the iconography (and epigraphy) of coins, how might we discern and evaluate the identity-projection present on the coins minted by these women? 4. How might we approach the relationship between text and image on these coins, especially with the addition of official or semi-official positions held by women in the legends? 5. How are implications to be drawn from this focused sphere of female benefaction to the wider dynamics in cities and in other civic groups (including Christ-followers) in Phrygia in the first and second centuries CE. Particular reference will be made to the coins of Pedia Sekounda of Eukarpeia (especially Hermes’ “penny”) and Claudia Eugenetoriane of Kolossai (especially the widow’s goddess, Demeter).