IONIA. Magnesia ad Maeandrum. Circa 130-120 BC. Stater (Gold, 17 mm, 8.46 g, 12 h), Euphemos, son of Pausanias. Draped bust of Artemis to right, wearing stephane and pendant earring and with her quiver and bow over shoulder. Rev. MAΓNHTΩN - EYΦHMOΣ / ΠAYΣANIO[Y] Nike driving fast biga to right, holding whip in her right hand and reins with her left. Cf. CNG 106 (2017), 376, Heritage 3057 (2017), 30133 and Roma XIV (2017), 147 (all from the same dies), otherwise unpublished. Very rare and important, part of the first and only gold emission of Magnesia known. Some die rust on the obverse, otherwise, good very fine.
For a discussion of this newly emerged issue, see the note in Classical Numismatic Group 106, 13 September 2017, 376. The cataloguer is surely right in arguing that the date given in the Heritage (and, just published, Roma XIV) catalogue, circa 155-145 BC, is too early and that the emission belongs to the early years of the establishment of the Roman province of Asia. It is tempting to connect the reverse, highly unusual as it is for an autonomous issue, to a military campaign such as the Roman bellum asiaticum against Aristonikos in 133-129 BC, but we do not know if Magnesia, which had been granted autonomy by the Romans in the Treaty of Apamea, played any significant role during the revolt or not. The establishment of peace after such a devastating war would, however, certainly have been an appropriate occasion for a 'Festemission' in gold. Another possibility is to connect the issue to the sanctuary of Artemis Leukophryena and to interpret the reverse as a reference to the Leukophryeneia, the local games. The fact that an inscription of 112/1 BC mentions an Euphemos, son of Pausanias, as a neokoros of the temple of Artemis Leukophryena may support this assumption, but this argument should not be overstretched: the sanctuary would likely have played a role in possible celebrations of the ending of the bellum asiaticum or a different, unknown military campaign, too, and it is also highly unlikely that this Euphemos, son of Pausanias, the homonymous magistrate of the Magnesian Stephanophoric tetradrachms of circa 155-145 and the one on our stater are all the same person. Not only do they span a time frame of several decades, but the tetradrachms also mention a Pausanias, son of Pausanias, and a Pausanias, son of Euphemos. This confusing situation results from the common Greek habit of naming first-born sons after their paternal and second-born sons after their maternal grandfathers. Since this is not the place to reconstruct a family tree, we may simply conclude from the numismatic and epigraphic evidence that this family played an important role in Magnesia in the second half of the 2nd century. The background of the present, highly unusual emission of Magnesian gold staters therefore remains unclear for the time being and only further research and new finds can shed light on its production.