Lycian League - Circa 48-20 BCE - Hemidrachm

Denomination:  AR Hemidrachm

Mint: Masikytes, Lycia is a mountainous region in Asia Minor, west of Pamphylia on the southern Mediterranean shores of modern Turkey. Myra was an important town and principal mint for the Monetary District of Masikytes, and was one of the main regions of the Lycian League. 

Description: ObverseHead of Apollo high, wearing Taenia. Apollo, is one of the most important and diverse of the Olympian deities. He has been variously recognized as a god of light, the sun, truth, prophecy, archery, medicine, healing music, poetry, the arts and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, Artemis. Apollo was worshiped in both Ancient Greek and Roman religion, as well as in the modern Greco-Roman Neopaganism. Apollo was an oracular god - the prophetic deity of the Oracle at Delphi. Medicine and healing were associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague as well as one who had the ability to cure. Reverse: The kithara (Lyre); all within incuse square. The Kithara is an ancient stringed musical instrument resembling the lyre. The kithara had seven strings and a flat back. The kithara is a symbol of Apollo and he is credited with inventing it. Its true origins were likely Asiatic. The kithara was primarily used by professional musicians, called kitharodes. In modern Greek, the word kithara has come to mean “guitar”

History: "The Lycian League is the first known democratic union in history. The Lycians always had an instinct for collaboration with a strong regional-cultural identity. Lycia is famous for its tradition of independent city-states that joined the League. It was, in many ways, a model political organization. Despite the steep, rugged, mountainous terrain that divides the region of Lycia, the League was protected from invasions and opposing forces". 

"Lycia's system of elected representatives was unique in the ancient world and much admired by ancient writers and later peoples. In fact, the writers of the constitution of the United States studied the Lycian federal system of government with proportional representation as a possible model for their own government. Not many of us know, but Alexander Hamilton and James Madison knew. The “Lycian Confederation” is mentioned four times in the U S Federalist Papers that were produced between 1787–1788".