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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ HistoryView Options:  |  |  |     

Collecting History through Ancient Coins

Holding an ancient coin is holding history in your hands. Some coins actually depict historical events. Many include the image of a historic king or emperor. Every ancient coin relates to the people and events of the time and place it was struck. Every ancient coin relates to an interesting historical story. The stories on this page are a primary source of our ancient coin obsession. We hope you enjoy them.


Severina, Augusta Spring 274 - November 275 A.D.

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Juno was the chief female divinity in the Roman pantheon. She was the wife of Jupiter and a member of the Capitoline Triad. She had many different aspects, such as Juno Moneta, Juno Sospita and Juno Lucina, but here she is depicted as Juno Regina, "Juno the Queen." Juno is usually shown holding a patera, scepter or a statuette of Athena, and is often accompanied by a peacock.
RB73881. Bronze as, MER-RIC 1879, RIC V 7, BnF XII 310, Hunter IV 15, Cohen VI 9, SRCV III 11711, aVF, well centered, nice portrait, light corrosion and encrustation, weight 8.524 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Rome mint, 11th issue, early - Sep 275; obverse SEVERINA AVG, diademed and draped bust right; reverse IVNO REGINA, Juno standing slightly left, head left, patera in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, peacock left at feet on left, ς in exergue; $200.00 (€176.00)


Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus

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Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.
SL73983. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III M1728; BMCRE IV p. 575, 1194; Cohen III 2; Hunter II 47; MIR Szaivert 24; SRCV II 5496, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (3761245-013), weight 26.30 g, maximum diameter 29.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 2nd issue, c. 166 - 169 A.D.; obverse LVCILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair elaborately waved and fastened in a chignon; reverse CERES, Ceres seated left on a basket (cista mystica) from which a snake is emerging, two stalks of grain in right hand, torch in left, S - C flanking across field; ex Johnathan K. Kern; $185.00 (€162.80)


Arpi, Apulia, Italy, 215 - 212 B.C., Struck Under Hannibal

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Arpi remained faithful to Rome until Rome's defeat at the battle of Cannae and then defected to Hannibal. Rome captured Arpi in 213 or 212 B.C. and it never recovered its former importance. No Roman inscriptions have been found there, and remains of antiquity are scanty.
GB72290. Bronze AE 17, HN Italy 650; SNG ANS 646; SNG Cop 613 var (divided ethnic); BMC Italy p. 131, 12 var (same), VF, green patina, weight 3.570 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 225o, Arpi (near Foggia, Italy) mint, 215 - 212 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet; reverse APΠANOY (upward on left), bunch of grapes; rare; $180.00 (€158.40)


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Wife of Hadrian

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Juno was the chief female divinity in the Roman pantheon. She was the wife of Jupiter and a member of the Capitoline Triad. She had many different aspects, such as Juno Moneta, Juno Sospita and Juno Lucina, but here she is depicted as Juno Regina, "Juno the Queen." Juno is usually shown holding a patera, scepter or a statuette of Athena, and is often accompanied by a peacock.
SL76250. Silver denarius, RIC II Hadrian 395a, BMCRE III Hadrian 940, RSC II 43, Strack II 379, Hunter II 15, SRCV II 3921, NGC VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (3819341-009), weight 3.63 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 128 - 137 A.D.; obverse SABINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair waived into crest on top of diadem, long plait falling down back of neck; reverse IVNONI REGINAE, Juno standing left, veiled, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; NGC certified and in NGC plastic holder (slabbed); $175.00 (€154.00)


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Lucifer means lightbringer, from the Latin lux light and ferre to bear or bring. The word Lucifer is found in only one place in the Bible -- Isaiah 14:12 -- but only in the King James and related versions: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! The King James Version is based on the Vulgate, the Latin translation of Jerome. Jerome translated the Hebrew helel (bright or brilliant one) as lucifer, which was a reasonable Latin equivalent. And yet it is this lucifer, the bright one or lightbearer, that came to be understood by so many as the name for Satan, Lord of Darkness.
RS77026. Silver denarius, RIC IV C373a; RSC III 32; BMCRE V p. 430, 1; SRCV II 7100, Choice VF, nice style, well centered and struck, light toning, weight 3.470 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, under Caracalla, c. 214 A.D.; obverse IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, draped bust right; reverse DIANA LVCIFERA (light bringing Diana), Diana Lucifera standing facing, head left, holding flaming long torch transverse left with both hands; $175.00 (€154.00)


Arpi, Apulia, Italy, 215 - 212 B.C., Struck Under Hannibal

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Arpi remained faithful to Rome until Rome's defeat at the battle of Cannae and then defected to Hannibal. Rome captured Arpi in 213 or 212 B.C. and it never recovered its former importance. No Roman inscriptions have been found there, and remains of antiquity are scanty.
GB73614. Bronze AE 20, HN Italy 650; SNG ANS 646; SNG Cop 613; BMC Italy p. 131, 12, F, weight 3.792 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 270o, Arpi (near Foggia, Italy) mint, 215 - 212 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet; reverse APΠANOY, bunch of grapes; rare; $170.00 (€149.60)


Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253 A.D.

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Pudicitia was the personification of modesty and chastity.
RS69156. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 59b, RSC IV 19, Hunter III 10, SRCV III 9495, EF, sharp detail, well centered, weight 3.339 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 250 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, on crescent; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, scepter in left hand; $165.00 (€145.20)


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Wife of Hadrian

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Juno was the chief female divinity in the Roman pantheon. She was the wife of Jupiter and a member of the Capitoline Triad. She had many different aspects, such as Juno Moneta, Juno Sospita and Juno Lucina, but here she is depicted as Juno Regina, "Juno the Queen." Juno is usually shown holding a patera, scepter or a statuette of Athena, and is often accompanied by a peacock.
RB73707. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II Hadrian 1028, Cohen II 38, BMCRE III Hadrian 1869, SRCV II 3934, Hunter II -, gF, spots of patina flaking, small areas of corrosion, cleaning scratches, weight 24.517 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 132 A.D.; obverse SABINA AVGVSTA HADRAINI AVG P P, diademed and draped bust right; reverse IVNONI REGINAE, Juno standing left, patera extended in right, scepter in left, S - C flanking across field below center; ex Forum (2009); scarce; $165.00 (€145.20)


Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.

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Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RB73634. Copper as, RIC IV SA669, BMCRE VI 924, Cohen IV 9, SRCV II 8241, aVF, green patina, light roughness, weight 9.921 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 15th emission, c. 232 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse FECVNDITAS AVGVSTAE, Fecunditas standing left, extending right hand over child standing before her with arms raised, cornucopia in left hand, S - C flanking very low in field; ex CNG e-auction 243 (27 Oct 2010), lot 385; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; $165.00 (€145.20)


Galeria Valeria, Augusta, June 293(?) - 311 A.D., second Wife of Galerius

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Venus (Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.
RS77051. Billon follis, RIC VI Heraclea 43, SRCV IV 14593, gVF, fantastic sharp portrait, full circles strike, upper reverse weak, light porosity and marks, weight 6.917 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, c. 309 - 310 A.D.; obverse GAL VALERIA AVG, diademed and draped bust right; reverse VENERI VICTRICI, Venus standing left, raising apple in right hand, raising drapery over shoulder with left hand, HT∆ in exergue; $165.00 (€145.20)


Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253 A.D.

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Pudicitia was the personification of modesty and chastity.
RS69200. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 59b, RSC IV 19, Hunter III 10, SRCV III 9495, aEF, attractive portrait, weight 3.927 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 250 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, on crescent; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, scepter in left hand; $160.00 (€140.80)


Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253 A.D.

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Pudicitia was the personification of modesty and chastity.
RS70595. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 59b, RSC IV 19, Hunter III 10, SRCV III 9495, gVF, well centered, weight 4.296 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 250 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, on crescent; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, scepter in left hand; $160.00 (€140.80)


Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253 A.D.

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Pudicitia was the personification of modesty and chastity.
RS74470. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 59b, RSC IV 19, Hunter III 10, SRCV III 9495, Choice EF, weight 4.389 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 250 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, on crescent; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left on throne, drawing veil from face with right hand, scepter in left hand; $160.00 (€140.80)


Otacilia Severa, Augusta, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

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A tetrastyle temple is a temple with four columns. A peribolos is a court enclosed by a wall, especially one surrounding an ancient Greek or Roman temple.
GB90700. Bronze AE 29, BMC Galatia p. 128, 34; Butcher 31b; SNG München 435 var (capricorn right); SGICV 4056 var (same); SNG Cop -, Choice VF, perfect centering, weight 18.168 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 180o, Zeugma mint, Feb 244 - end Sep 249 A.D.; obverse MAP ΩTAKIΛ CEOYHPAN CEB, draped bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulders; reverse ZEYΓM−ATEΩN, tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees, statue of seated Zeus within temple, capricorn left in exergue; $150.00 (€132.00)


Byzantine Empire, Irene, 8 September 780 - 31 October 802 A.D.

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Irene served as regent for her young son Constantine VI, but in 790 he took control and sent her into exile. Constantine was cruel, weak and unpopular. Within a year Irene was back, but with more power as co-ruler. Irene was also cruel, but not weak. In 797, she deposed and blinded her own son and took sole rule of the empire. Irene was the first woman to rule the Empire (at least officially). In 802, she was ousted in a coup, and exiled to Lesbos where she died soon after.
BZ71729. Bronze follis, DOC III, p. 345, 7, Morrisson BnF 26/Cp/AE/3, Wroth BMC 10, Tolstoi 17, Ratto 1779, SBCV 1598, Sommer 25.6, aF, green patina, tight flan, scratches, weight 2.019 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, Jan 792 - 19 Aug 797 A.D.; obverse facing crowned bust of Irene, wearing loros and crown with cross and pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand, cruciform scepter in left hand; reverse facing crowned bust of Constantine VI, beardless, wearing chlamys, globus cruciger in right hand, pellet on left, cross over pellet on right, all above horizontal bar; below bar a large M, flanked by smaller X left and N right, A below; rare; $150.00 (€132.00)


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RS75220. Silver denarius, BMCRE II p. 404, 148; RSC II 195; SRCV II 5262; RIC III MA689 var. (no stephane); Hunter II 8 var. (same), Choice VF, excellent centering, toned, weight 2.655 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, wearing stephane and earring, bun in the back; reverse SALVS, Salus seated left, feeding snake rising up from altar, from patera in right hand, resting left elbow on throne, feet on footstool; $150.00 (€132.00)


Herennia Etruscilla, Augusta July 249 - April/August 253 A.D.

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In 250 the Plague of Cyprian, a pandemic probably smallpox, began. It was still raging in 270, when it claimed the life of emperor Claudius II Gothicus. At the height of the outbreak, 5,000 people a day were said to be dying in Rome. The plague caused widespread manpower shortages in agriculture and the Roman army.
RB68394. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 136b, Cohen V 22, VF, light scratches, weight 16.030 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVG, diademed draped bust right; reverse PVDICITIA AVG S C, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil with right, transverse scepter in left; $140.00 (€123.20)


Otacilia Severa, Augusta February or March 244 - September or October 249 A.D.

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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RS73597. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 130, RSC IV 43, Hunter III 8, SRCV III 9158, Choice VF, excellent portrait, centered, toned, weight 3.923 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 247 A.D.; obverse OTACIL SEVERA AVG, draped bust right set on crescent; reverse PIETAS AVGVSTAE, Pietas standing left, veiled, extending right hand, box of incense in left; $140.00 (€123.20)


Otacilia Severa, Augusta, February or March 244 - September or October 249 A.D.

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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RS74472. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 130, RSC IV 43, Hunter III 8, SRCV III 9158, Choice aEF, nice portrait, frosty surfaces, weight 4.829 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 247 A.D.; obverse OTACIL SEVERA AVG, draped bust right set on crescent; reverse PIETAS AVGVSTAE, Pietas, veiled, standing left, extending right, box of incense in left; $140.00 (€123.20)


Aelia Flaccilla, Augusta 19 January 379 - 386 A.D., Wife of Theodosius I

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Aelia Flaccilla was a fervent supporter of the Nicene Creed. Sozomen reports her preventing a conference between Theodosius and Eunomius of Cyzicus who served as figurehead of Anomoeanism, a sect of Arians. Ambrose and Gregory of Nyssa praise her Christian virtue and comment on her role as "a leader of justice" and "pillar of the Church." She is commemorated as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church; her feast day is 14 September.
RL65425. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC IX Siscia 35.1 (R2), LRBC II 1566, SRCV V 20623, Cohen VIII 5, Choice EF, weight 1.168 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 45o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 25 Aug 383 - autumn 384 A.D.; obverse AEL FLACCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust right; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICAE, Victory seated right inscribing Christogram on shield set on cippus, BSIS• in exergue; rare; $135.00 (€118.80)


Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius

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Ceres' known mythology is indistinguishable from Demeter's. Her virgin daughter Proserpina (Persephone) was abducted by Hades to be his wife in the underworld. Ceres searched for her endlessly lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Ceres (Demeter) searched, she was preoccupied with her loss and her grief. The seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse on the world that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to the underworld to bring Proserpina back. However, because she had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. Therefore, it was decreed that she would spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Ceres grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Proserpina's return brings the spring.
SL73986. Silver denarius, RIC III 362, BMCRE IV 421, RSC II 104, SRCV II 4584, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5, (4162520-008), weight 3.00 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right; reverse AVGVSTA, Ceres standing facing, head left, long torch in right hand, raising drapery with left; $135.00 (€118.80)


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Struck in the Name of Alexander the Great

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Colophon struck this commemorative in the name of Alexander the Great under the rule of Lysimachus. The city also issued the same type with the same symbols in the name of King Lysimachus (examples are listed in Forum's catalog). Colophon was about 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Ephesus.
GS71735. Silver drachm, Price 1842, Müller Alexander 358, SNG Cop 909, VF, toned, porous, weight 4.067 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Kolophon mint, c. 301 - 297 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, right leg drawn back, lion-forepart over crescent left, pentagram under throne; $130.00 (€114.40)


Carthage, Zeugitana, 221 - 210 B.C.

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The Second Punic War, 218 - 201 B.C., is most remembered for Hannibal's crossing of the Alps, followed by his crushing victories over Rome in the battle of the Trebia, at Trasimene, and again at Cannae. After these defeats, many Roman allies joined Carthage, prolonging the war in Italy for over a decade. Against Hannibal's skill on the battlefield, the Romans deployed the Fabian strategy. More capable in siege-craft, the Romans recaptured all the major cities that had defected. The Romans defeated an attempt to reinforce Hannibal at the battle of the Metaurus and, in Iberia, Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major took New Carthage and ended Carthaginian rule over Iberia in the Battle of Ilipa. The final showdown was the Battle of Zama in Africa where Scipio Africanus defeated Hannibal, resulting in the imposition of harsh peace conditions on Carthage, which ceased to be a major power and became a Roman client-state.Hannibal's route of invasion
GB90106. Bronze AE 21, Viola CNP 106e; Alexandropoulos MAA pl. 4, 90; SNG Cop 309 ff. var (different Punic letter); SGCV II 6518 var (same), gF, weight 6.816 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Carthage mint, 221 - 210 B.C.; obverse head of Tanit left, wreathed in grain; reverse horse standing right, head turned back, right foreleg raised, Punic letter gimel below; $125.00 (€110.00)


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Julia Domna was born in Emesa in 170 A.D. She was the youngest daughter of high-priest Julius Bassianus, a descendant of the Royal House of Emesa. Emesa was famous for its Temple of the Sun, the center of worship for the ancient pagan cult El-Gebal (or Elagabal). El-Gebal, worshipped in the form of a conical black stone, was the Aramaic name for the Syrian Sun God and means God of the Mountain. Emesa was also the birthplace of three other Roman empresses, Julia Maesa, Julia Mamaea and Julia Soaemias, and one emperor, Julia Domna's nephew, Elagabalus.
RS76585. Silver denarius, RIC IV Septimius 536; RSC III 194; BMCRE V p. 27, 49; Hunter III Septimius 3, SRCV II 6608, VF, tight flan, struck with a worn reverse die, weight 2.719 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, 193 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right; reverse VENERI VICTR, Venus standing right, seen from behind, naked to below the buttocks, apple in extended right hand, palm frond over shoulder in left, resting left elbow on column; scarce; $125.00 (€110.00)


Otacilia Severa, Augusta February or March 244 - September or October 249 A.D.

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In Roman religion, Concordia was the goddess of agreement, understanding, and marital harmony. The cult of Concordia Augusta ("Majestic Harmony") was of special importance to the imperial household. She is usually depicted wearing a long cloak and holding a patera (sacrificial bowl), a cornucopia (symbol of prosperity), or a caduceus (symbol of peace).
RS74471. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 9149, RIC IV 126, RSC IV 17, Hunter III - (p. xci), Choice VF, weight 3.345 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 246 - 248 A.D.; obverse M OTACIL SEVERA AVG, draped bust right set on crescent; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG, Concordia seated left, patera in right hand, single cornucopia in left, altar at feet on left; $120.00 (€105.60)


Crispina, Augusta 178 - 182 A.D.

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Pudicitia was the personification of modesty and chastity.
RB75894. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 670 (Commodus); Szaivert MIR 18, 16-6a; BMCRE IV 419 (Commodus); Cohen III 30; SRCV II, F, weight 22.695 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 178 - 182 A.D.; obverse CRISPINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair knotted in a bun in back; reverse PVDICITIA, Pudicitia seated left, right hand on breast, left hand at side, S - C across field; scarce; $120.00 (€105.60)


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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"Saeculi Felicit" means happy times, referring to the empire's new heirs. The two infants are the twin sons of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior, Commodus and Antoninus. Antoninus died at age four. Commodus succeeded Marcus Aurelius as emperor.
RS76916. Silver denarius, RIC III 712, RSC II 191, BMCRE IV 139, Hunter II 16, SRCV II 5260, VF, well centered, flan crack, light marks and scratches, small areas of dark toning, weight 3.001 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 161 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse SAECVLI FELICIT, two infant boys seated facing on a throne; $120.00 (€105.60)


Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius

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Venus (Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.
RB71296. Copper sestertius, RIC III 1081, Cohen 282, Strack III 1224, SRCV II -, F, some pitting and corrosion, weight 25.927 g, maximum diameter 33.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 138 - 141 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII P P, draped bust right; reverse VENERI AVGVSTAE, Venus standing right, raising drapery on shoulder with right, apple raised in extended left, S - C flanking across field; $115.00 (€101.20)


Roman Republic, L. Titurius L.f. Sabinus, 89 B.C.

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This moneyer traced his descent from the Sabines and perhaps from King Tatius himself. Tarpeia was daughter of the commander of the citadel in Rome. She offered to open the gates for the besieging Sabines, if they would give her what they wore on their left arms, meaning their gold bracelets. The Sabines were unable to enter the citadel; its open gates were miraculously protected by boiling jets of water created by Janus. Keeping their promise, the Sabines threw the shields they worn on their left arms upon Tarpeia, crushing her to death, and then they kicked her off a cliff. This myth was likely used to explain the Tarpeian Rock, a cliff on the Capitoline Hill from which murderers and traitors were thrown.
RR71940. Silver denarius, Crawford 344/2c, Sydenham 699a, RSC I Tituria 5, BMCRR I Rome 2326, SRCV I 252, aVF, toned, weight 3.332 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 89 B.C.; obverse bare head of Sabine King Tatius right, palm frond below chin, SABIN behind, A.PV (argento publico) before; reverse Tarpeia buried to her waist in shields, trying to repel soldiers who are about to cast shields upon her, star over and within crescent with horns up above, left TITVRI in exergue; from the Andrew McCabe collection, ex Roma Numismatics e-auctions 10, lot 578; $115.00 (€101.20)


Galeria Valeria, Augusta June 293(?) - 311 A.D., Second Wife of Galerius

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Venus (Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.
RB73874. Billon follis, RIC VI Heraclea 50, SRCV IV 14594, VF, well centered, light marks and corrosion, weight 7.106 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, c. 310 A.D.; obverse GAL VALERIA AVG, diademed and draped bust right; reverse VENERI VICTRICI, Venus standing left, raising apple in right hand, raising drapery over shoulder with left hand, star left, HT∆ in exergue; $110.00 (€96.80)


Syracuse, Sicily, Pyrrhus of Epirus, 278 - 276 B.C.

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In 279 B.C., Pyrrhus' forces, supporting the Greek cities of southern Italy, met and defeated the Romans at the battle of Asculum in Apulia. Pyrrhus, however, lost many men, several close associates, and all of his baggage. When one of his soldiers congratulated him on his victory, he famously replied: "Another such victory and we are ruined!" From this we have the term Pyrric victory, a victory achieved at ruinous cost.
GI75171. Bronze litra, Calciati II p. 321, 176; SNG Cop 813, SNG ANS 852; SGCV I 1214; HGC 2, 1451, VF/F, weight 11.494 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, 278 - 276 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles left, clad in Nemean Lion scalp head-dress; reverse ΣYPA−KOΣIΩN, Athena Promachos advancing right, hurling thunderbolt with right, shield in left; $110.00 (€96.80)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Berenice II and Ptolemy III, 244 - 221 B.C.

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In "The Ptolemaic mint of Ras Ibn Hani," INR 2, pp. 63 - 75, Catherine Lorber identifies the mint as Ras Ibn Hani "a Ptolemaic stronghold on the Syrian coast near Lattaqiyah (ancient Laodicea ad Mare)."
GP71897. Bronze dichalkon, Svoronos 1056 (Gaza or Joppa), Noeske 131 (Gaza), Cox Curium 83 (Uncertain mint), Paphos II 57, SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, Weiser -, Hosking -, F, glossy dark patina with earthen highlighting, tiny pitting, weight 3.754 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Phoenician mint, 244 - 221 B.C.; obverse BASILISSWS BEPENIKHΣ, diademed and draped bust of Berenice II right, hair in melon coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, EY left, two oval countermarks; $105.00 (€92.40)


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Zoe, 914 - 919 A.D.

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Constantine VII was a minor when his uncle, Alexander, died leaving him as emperor. Constantine's mother, Zoe, soon took control. However after Zoe failed to halt a growing Bulgarian threat, the regency passed to Romanus I Lecapenus, commander of the fleet, a much more able leader.
BZ71739. Bronze follis, DOC III, part 2, 22; Sommer 36.14; Wroth BMC 1; Morrisson BnF 1; Ratto 1883; SBCV 1758, VF, Constantine's face obscured (unstruck or hammered by someone that didn't like him?), weight 6.337 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 914 - 919 A.D.; obverse COnStAnt' CE ZOH b', Constantine VII facing, beardless, wearing loros and crown with cross, holding long patriarchal cross with Zoe, wearing crown and chlamys; reverse COnSt/tAntino' / CE ZOH bA/SILIS Ro/meon in five lines; $100.00 (€88.00)


Severina, Augusta Spring 274 - November 275 A.D.

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Severina was the wife of Aurelian. She was possibly the only Roman empress ever to rule in her own right, which she did during the interregnum after her husband's murder.
RS73655. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 1813, RIC V 4, BnF XII 219, Venèra Hoard 1356 - 1374, SRCV III 11705, Cohen VI 7, Hunter IV 8 ff. var. (other officina), VF, much silvering, broad flan, minor double strike on both sides, weight 3.809 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Rome mint, issue 11, early - Sep 275; obverse SEVERINA AVG, diademed and draped bust right on crescent; reverse CONCORDIAE MILITVM, Fides Militum standing facing, head left, flanked by a standard in each hand, A in right field, XXIR in exergue; ex Harlan J. Berk; $100.00 (€88.00)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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This type refers to Severus' victories over Parthia. Severus assumed the title "Parthicus Maximus," greatest of Parthian conquerors.
RS75004. Silver denarius, RIC IV 176, RSC III 370, BMCRE V 256, cf. SRCV II 6323 (TR P X COS III, 202 A.D.), VF, nice portrait, attractive toning, excellent centering, some reverse die wear, weight 3.404 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 201 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PART MAX P M TR P VIIII, trophy of captured arms, flanked by two captives seated facing outward and wearing pointed caps; $100.00 (€88.00)


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Perge, Pamphylia

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The monumental fountain or nymphaeum of Perga consists of a wide pool, and behind it a two-storeyed richly worked facade. From its inscription, it is apparent that the structure was dedicated to Artemis Pergaia, Septimius Severus, his wife Julia Domna, and their sons. An inscription belonging to the facade, various facade fragments, and marble statues of Septimius Severus and his wife, all found in excavations of the nymphaeum, are now in the Antalya Museum. Nymphaeum of Perge
RP69817. Bronze AE 18, SNG Cop 323 var (CEB), Lindgren A1108A var (same), SNG Pfälzer 317 var (same), SNG BnF -, BMC Lycia -, SGICV -, Nice aVF, weight 4.618 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Perga mint, obverse IOYΛIA ∆OMNA CE, draped bust right; reverse ΠEPΓAMΩN, Artemis standing right, wearing long chiton, hair in bun, arrow downward at side in right, bow in left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; very rare; $95.00 (€83.60)


Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, c. 241 - 221 B.C.

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Carthage, a Phoenician city-state on the Gulf of Tunis in North Africa, was once a major hub of trade and dominated the western Mediterranean. Conflict with the Sicilian Greeks and the Roman Republic led to recurring war. In 146 B.C., after the third and final Punic War, Carthage was destroyed and occupied by Rome.
GB76848. Bronze shekel, Apparently unpublished control variant; Viola CNP 224, Müller Afrique 175, SNG Ashmolean 269, Alexandropoulos 63 (only ayin, bet & het listed), aVF, green patina, scratches, potentially active corrosion (appears stabilized), weight 4.303 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 90o, Carthage mint, c. 310 - 290 B.C.; obverse head of Tanit-Kore left wearing wreath of grain, wearing earring with one pendant, and pendant necklace, dot border; reverse horse standing right with all four hooves on exergue line, long caduceus on far side of horse at center, Punic control letter alef right, dot border; $95.00 (€83.60)


Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius, Tribal Imitative

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This coin was struck outside the Roman Empire, perhaps by Celts or the Getae, northeast of Dacia and Pannonia. Getae was the name given by the Greeks to several Thracian tribes inhabiting the regions to either side of the Lower Danube, in what is today northern Bulgaria and Romania.
RS90484. Silver denarius, for possible prototype, cf. BMCRE IV p. 22, RSC II 139a, RIC III -, Cohen II - (official issue, Rome mint, 139 - 141 A.D.), F, weight 2.603 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, tribal mint, c. 140 - 150 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse AVGVSTA(?), Ceres standing half left, raising right hand, long torch in left; $90.00 (€79.20)


Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius

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Ceres' known mythology is indistinguishable from Demeter's. Her virgin daughter Proserpina (Persephone) was abducted by Hades to be his wife in the underworld. Ceres searched for her endlessly lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Ceres (Demeter) searched, she was preoccupied with her loss and her grief. The seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse on the world that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to the underworld to bring Proserpina back. However, because she had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. Therefore, it was decreed that she would spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Ceres grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Proserpina's return brings the spring.
RB73698. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1120, BMCRE IV 1517, Cohen II 91, Hunter II 123, SRCV II -, F, green patina, weight 24.895 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right, hair elaborately waived and banded, drown up at back and piled in a round coil at top; reverse AVGVSTA, Ceres standing half left, veiled, holding up two short lit torches, one in each hand; ex Forum (2006); $90.00 (€79.20)


Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, Early 3rd Century B.C.

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Agathocles, the tyrant of Syracuse, died in 289 B.C. He restored the Syracusan democracy on his death bed, stating that he did not want his sons to succeed him as king. The following year, some of his disbanded mercenaries, calling themselves Mamertines (Sons of Mars), seized Messana in northeast Sicily. The city became a base from which they ravaged the Sicilian countryside. Syracuse was weakened by his loss and Carthage began a renewal of their power in Sicily.
GB76852. Bronze AE 17, Viola CNP 94, Alexandropoulos 22, HGC 2 1674 (S), Müller Afrique 315, Weber III 8486, SNG Cop VIII 126, SGCV II 6530, BMC Sicily -, F, well centered, green patina, areas of corrosion, weight 3.626 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 90o, Carthage or uncertain Sicilian mint, Early 3rd Century B.C.; obverse date palm tree with two bunches of hanging fruit, no legend, symbols or monogram; reverse unbridled horse standing right, head turned back looking left, no legend, symbols or monogram; scarce; $90.00 (€79.20)


Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, c. 350 B.C.

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By the 4th Century B.C., Sicily had become an obsession for Carthage. For sixty years, Carthaginian and Greek forces engaged in a constant series of skirmishes. By 340 B.C., Carthage had been pushed entirely into the southwest corner of the island, and an uneasy peace reigned over the island.
GB49127. Bronze AE 17, SNG Cop 121, F, weight 3.177 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 45o, Sicilian? mint, c. 350 B.C.; obverse youthful male head left between two stalks of grain; reverse horse galloping to right; overstruck on a Carthaginian bronze with head of Tanit / horse with palm behind; $85.00 (€74.80)


Siculo-Punic, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

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Before it was incoporated within the Persian Empire in the 370s B.C., Tyre was the economic and political hub of the Phoenician world. Supremacy passed to Sidon, and then to Carthage, before Tyre's destruction by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. Each colony paid tribute to either Tyre or Sidon, but neither had actual control. The Carthaginians, however, appointed their own magistrates to rule the towns and took much direct control. This policy would result in a number of Iberian towns siding with the Romans during the Punic Wars.
GB65641. Bronze half unit, Viola CNP 126, SNG Cop VIII 96 ff. (=SNG Cop I 1022 ff.), SNG München 1626 ff., SNG Morcom 897, Alexandropoulos 15, aVF, rough, nice green patina, weight 5.015 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 270o, Carthage or Sicilian mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; obverse male head left, wreathed in grain, wearing hoop earring; reverse free horse prancing right, short exergual line below rear hooves, linear border; $85.00 (€74.80)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D., Wife of Gallienus

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The empire is history but Rome is still today, the Eternal City.

During the Early Middle Ages, the population fell to a mere 20,000, reducing the sprawling city to groups of inhabited buildings interspersed among large areas of ruins and vegetation.
RL74575. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1605c (7 spec.), RIC V J67; RSC IV 103, SRCV III 10651 var. (star or wreath above, uncertain Syrian mint), Hunter IV J35 ff. var. (same), VF, very broad flan, small flan crack, weight 2.817 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE, emperor on left standing right, receiving Victory from Roma, seated left, spear vertical behind in her left hand, grounded shield behind against her near side; $85.00 (€74.80)


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Provincial Bronze Brockage

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A brockage occurs when a blank is struck with a previously struck coin which adhered to the opposite die.
Click here to read a detailed explanation.
ER62241. Bronze AE 26, Brockage, aVF, weight 10.874 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, Provincial mint, obverse ΦAVCTEINA - CEBACTH, draped bust right, hair in bun behind; reverse incuse of the obverse; $80.00 (€70.40)


Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus

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For Roman wives, piety often meant accepting neglect. It was not considered adultery for a Roman husband to have sex with slaves or unmarried women. The historian Spartianus wrote that after Lucilla complained, Lucius Verus reproached her: "Uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non voluptatis" (Wife is the name of dignity, not bliss).
RB65159. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1756, BMCRE IV 1161, Cohen III 54, SRCV II 5505, gF, well centered, nice patina, weight 23.862 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 164 - 169 A.D.; obverse LVCILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in a bun in back; reverse PIETAS S C, Pietas standing left, veiled, raising her right hand over flaming altar, perfume-box in left; $80.00 (€70.40)


Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.

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Vesta was originally a household spirit. Later she was personified as the goddess of the hearth and given the stature of her Greek equivalent, Hestia. In the temple of Vesta her flame was kept alive by Vestal Virgins.
RB73629. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 708, BMCRE VI 389, Cohen IV 83, SRCV II 8236, aVF, weight 22.263 g, maximum diameter 30.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 226 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse VESTA, Vesta standing half-left, veiled head left, palladium in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, S - C flanking; ex Ron Bude; $80.00 (€70.40)


Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius

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Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.
RB57166. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III A. Pius 1116(a), Cohen 79, SRCV II 4614, F, weight 23.322 g, maximum diameter 32.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right; reverse AVGVSTA S C, Ceres standing half left, grain-ears in right, long torch vertical behind in left; $75.00 (€66.00)


Salonina, Augusta, 254 - c. September 268 A.D., Wife of Gallienus

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In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RS57189. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1648d, Hunter IV S34, RSC IV 4, RIC V S87, SRCV III 10625, VF, bold full circle obverse strike on a broad flan, weight 4.068 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 266 - 267 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, hair in ridges and in plait up the back of her head, bust resting on thin crescent; reverse AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing half left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left, crescent upper left, VIIC• (COS VII) in exergue; $75.00 (€66.00)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Regency of Cleopatra I for Ptolemy VI Philometor, 180 - 176 B.C.

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Cleopatra I was the daughter of Antiochus III the Great, King of the Seleucid Empire, and Queen Laodice III. She married Ptolemy V, King of Egypt, in 193 B.C. In Alexandria, she was called "the Syrian." Upon her husband's death in 180 B.C., she ruled on behalf of her young son, Ptolemy VI. She was the first Ptolemaic queen to be the senior ruler of Egypt. This can be concluded from date formulas on the papyri written in the years from 179 B.C. to 176 B.C., where Cleopatra I is called Thea Epiphanes and her name is written before that of her son. Her coins bear her name on the obverse.
GP67346. Bronze AE 31, Svoronos 1380; SNG Cop 274 - 275; Weiser 146; BMC Ptolemies p. 106, 20 (Ptolemy X); SNG Milan 315 - 316; Noeske 195 - 196; Hosking 74; SGCV II 7902, aVF, uneven strike, some corrosion, weight 21.747 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 180 - 176 B.C.; obverse BAΣIΛIΣΣHΣ KΛEOΠATPAΣ, head of Zeus Ammon right with ram's horn, wearing diadem; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, two eagles with closed wings standing left on two thunderbolts, double cornucopia in left field, ΠA monogram between legs of nearer eagle; scarce; $75.00 (€66.00)


Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, c. 200 - 146 B.C.

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At its height, Carthage's influence extended over most of the western Mediterranean. Continual war with the Sicilian Greeks, and then Rome, ended with the complete destruction of the city, annexation by Rome of all Carthaginian territory, and the death or enslavement of the entire population of the city in 146 B.C.
GI90317. Bronze trishekel, Viola CNP 63g; Müller Afrique 244; SNG Cop 412; Alexandropoulos MAA 105i, F, weight 18.051 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 315o, Carthage mint, c. 200 - 146 B.C.; obverse head of Tanit left, long hair, wreathed in grain, earring with one pendant; reverse horse striding right, Punic letter bet above pellet below; ex Frascatius Ancient Coins; rare ; $75.00 (€66.00)




    



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