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Kelenderis Cilicia, c. 450 BC
Stater dolphin in the exergue rare variant
Kelenderisis a city, port and fortress in Isauria. It was one of the best harbours of this coast in ancient times and also a very strong defensive position. The city was alledgely founded by Sandocus, a grandson of Phaethon. Sandocus married Pharnace And their son Cinyras founded Paphos. The city was developed as a Phoenician settlement but later was expanded by an Ionian colony from Samos. Excavations carried revealed findings going back to the 8th century B.C. when the Samians arrived. Its strategic location as a port along the shipping lanes between the Aegean, Cyprus and Syria resulted in a prosperous econoomy. After the Persian wars Kelenderis became the easternmost city to pay tribute to the Delian league. After Alexander the Great Kelenderis aligned with the Ptolemies and faced severe difficulties from piracy. This problem persisted until Ancient Rome took military actions against the pirates and Celenderis enjoyed a second period of wealth as the Romans secured the Mediterranean trade routes. They built a city around the port with villas, palaces, waterworks, and baths. During the Middle Ages the grandeur persisted as the city was controlled by Byzantium and Armenia. In 1228 Kelenderis castle was captured from the Armenians by the Ottomans. Obverse a horseman riding sidways on a horse. Reverse a kneeling goat with its head turned back, a dolphin in exergue ΚΕΛΕΝ above.
Mint: Kelenderis (modern Aydıncık Turkey)
Provenance: Courtesy Harlan J. Berk, LTD

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