According to the writer Strabo, Kyme was the largest and noblest of the cities in Aeolis, a region of Asia Minor. The legendary founder of the city was the Amazon Kyme, whose portrait begins to appear on their coinage after about 250 B.C. The people of Kyme were almost exclusively agricultural and the horse may symbolize their rural nature or perhaps was related to the god Poseidon. The amphora might relate to the cult of Apollo. The horse and amphora in combination may also be symbolic of the games. The inscription, “MHTROFANHS,” on the reverse refers to the name of the magistrate Metrophanes, under whose authority this coin was issued. The other Greek inscription, “KYMAION,” means “of” or “belonging to the people of Kyme.” Kyme was under the domination, successively of Persia, the Seleucids, the Attalids, and finally Rome. Ultimately, the city was devastated by an earthquake in A.D. 17.
How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or your purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after us. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and place, whether currency in the age we live or an artifact of a long forgotten empire. This ancient coin is more than an artifact; it is a memorial to the glories of an ancient city passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation. - (C.0399)