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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.


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

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Fecunditas (Latin: "fecundity, fertility") was the goddess of fertility. She was portrayed as a matron, sometimes holding a cornucopia or a hasta pura, with children in her arms or standing next to her.
RS84969. Silver denarius, RSC III 6, RIC IV 332, BMCRE VI 913, Hunter III 9, SRCV II 8208, gVF, well centered, mint luster in recesses, nice portrait, die wear, small deposits, edge cracks, weight 3.491 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Severus Alexander, c. 232 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, with looped plait at the back of neck; reverse FECVND AVGVSTAE, Fecunditas enthroned left, reaching out with her right hand to small boy standing before her nude with hands raised, left arm on chair; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


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.
SH66879. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 708, BMCRE VI 389, Cohen IV 83, SRCV II 8236, VF, green patina, well centered, weight 24.538 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 315o, 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 (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


Bruttium, Italy, The Brettian League, Allies of Hannibal, c. 216 - 203 B.C.

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All coinage of the Brettii was issued during the Second Punic War when they allied with Hannibal. The Brettii joined Hannibal after his victory at Cannae. Hannibal's last base in Italy was Castra Hannibalis, in Bruttium. The ravages of war inflicted a severe blow to the prosperity of Bruttium. Roman punishment for their rebellion completed their humiliation. They lost most of their territory and the whole nation reduced to a state bordering on servitude. They were not admitted like the other nations of Italy to rank as allies but were pronounced incapable of military service, and were only employed by Rome for menial work.
GI84160. Bronze drachm, Scheu Bronze 19 (rare); SNG Cop 1672; SNG ANS 57; SNG Munchen 1284; SNG Morcom 351; BMC Italy p. 328, 76; HN Italy 1978, VF, lacking legend due to off center and uneven strike, weight 7.834 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 90o, Kroton (Crotone, Calbria, Italy) mint, c. 214 - 208 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right, ear of grain (control symbol) behind; reverse BPET−TIΩN (clockwise from upper right), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, hexagram (control symbol) left; rare; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00


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

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Antoninus Pius wrote of his wife Faustina, "I would rather live with her on Gyara [an island of exile] than without her in the palace." Sadly, Faustina died just two years into his 23 year reign. At his request, the Senate deified her, and he minted a massive series of commemorative coins in her honor.
RB79861. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV AP1482 (same legend breaks), RIC III AP1103A, Hunter II 89, Cohen II 15, SRCV II 4606, F, nice portrait, near black patina, light corrosion, weight 24.141 g, maximum diameter 32.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, c. 147 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right, strings of pearls in hair, hair drawn up into an elaborate bun on top; reverse AETERNITAS, Aeternitas seated left, feet on footstool, nimbate Phoenix on globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Tauropolos is an epithet for the goddess Artemis, variously interpreted as worshiped at Tauris, or pulled by a yoke of bulls, or hunting bull goddess. A statue of Artemis "Tauropolos" by Iphigenia in her temple at Brauron in Attica was supposed to have been brought from the Taurians. Tauropolia was a festival of Artemis held at Athens. - Wikipedia
RP83505. Bronze AE 18, Varbanov III 3225 (R4); AMNG III / 2 p. 42, 83; SNG Hunterian 775; SNG Cop 107; SNG ANS 191; BMC Macedonia p. 57, 112; SGICV 1720, VF, well centered and struck, green patina, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 3.014 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 90o, Amphipolis mint, 146 - winter 175/176 A.D.; obverse FAVCTEINA CEBACTH, draped bust right, hair in a braided bun at the back; reverse AMΦIΠOΛITΩN, Artemis Tauropolos riding aside facing on bull galloping right, bow in left hand extended before her, drawing arrow from quiver at shoulder with right hand; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV, 9 B.C. - 40 A.D.

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Aramaic is read from right to left and vowels are unwritten. The letters of the reverse legend read, HRTT / SQY/LT. Shuqailat was Aretas' second wife. They were married in 16 A.D.
GB86853. Bronze AE 18, Meshorer Nabataean 112, SNG ANS -, Huth -, VF, attractive coin, well centered on a tight flan, weight 3.301 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Petra mint, 16 - 40 A.D.; obverse jugate laureate and draped busts of Aretas IV and Shuqailat right; Nabataean shin lamed mem (not ligate) indicating the denomination (one) above, Aramaic initials heth (Aretas) left and shin (Shuqailat) right; reverse two cornucopias crossed and filleted, Aramaic legend, "Aretas, Shuqailat" in two lines above and one below; scarcer variety with the denomination above the busts on the obverse; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 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.
RS79616. Silver denarius, RIC IV S572, BMCRE V S165, RSC III 150, Hunter III 16, SRCV II 6600, VF, nice portrait, full circles centering on obverse and reverse, some die wear, flan cracks, weight 3.543 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 204 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, flat coil at back of head; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Pietas standing half left, veiled, dropping incense on altar with right hand, box in left hand; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


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

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On 11 March 222, Elagabalus was assassinated, along with his mother, Julia Soaemias, by the Praetorian Guard. Their mutilated bodies were dragged through the streets of Rome before being thrown into the Tiber. Severus Alexander succeeded Elagabalus. He was only 13 years old, his mother, Julia Avita Mamaea, governed the Roman Empire with the help of Domitius Ulpianus and a council of 16 senators.
RS84952. Silver denarius, RIC IV 343, RSC III 35, BMCRE VI 43, Hunter III 1, SRCV II 8212, Choice EF, much mint luster, excellent centering, some die wear, reverse die clashed, small edge crack, weight 3.415 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 11 Mar - 31 Dec 222 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, draped bust right; reverse IVNO CONSERVATRIX, Juno standing half left, veiled, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, peacock right at feet on left; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


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

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Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
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, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in plait looped up the back of head; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, scepter in left hand; $105.00 SALE PRICE $95.00


Julia Mamaea, Augusta, 13 Mar 222 - Feb/Mar 235 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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The Tyche of Antioch was a cult statue of the city goddess (fortune) of Antioch, venerated in a temple called the Tychaion. The statue was made by Eutychides of Sicyon (c. 335 - c. 275), a pupil of the great Lysippus. It was the best-known piece of Seleucid art, remarkable because it was sculpted to be viewed from all directions, unlike many statues from the period. Although the original has been lost, many copies exist, including the one in the photograph right, now at the Vatican. The goddess is seated on a rock (Mount Sipylus), has her right foot on a swimming figure (the river Orontes), wears a mural crown (the city's walls), and has grain in her right hand (the city's fertility).Tyche of Antioch
RY84567. Bronze 8 assaria, cf. McAlee 857(a) (scarce); Waage 665; BMC Galatia p. 209, 491; SNG Hunterian 3044; SNG Cop 257; Butcher 491b (all rev. leg. variants), aVF, broad flan, corrosion, weight 13.501 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse IVΛ MAMAEA CEBACTH, draped bust right, wearing stephane; reverse ANTIOXE-WN MH KO, Tyche seated left on rocks, wearing turreted crown, chiton and peplos, grain ears in right hand, left hand resting on rock; ram above leaping left with head right; star inner right; river-god Orontes swimming left below; ∆ - E over S - C in two lines divided flanking across field above center; $105.00 SALE PRICE $95.00


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., with Agrippina Junior

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Ephesos, on the west coast of Anatolia, was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. It was famous for its Temple of Artemis, completed around 550 B.C., one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The cult image of the Ephesian goddess has a mummy-like body with the feet placed close together, is many-breasted, and from each of her hands hangs a long fillet with tassels at the ends. At her side stands a stag, raising its head to the image of the goddess. The usual symbols of this nature-goddess are the torch, stag, and the bee. Coins of Ephesos most frequently depict a bee on the obverse. The high-priest of the temple of Artemis was called King Bee, while the virgin priestesses were called honey-bees (Melissae). Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia cited in the Book of Revelation and the Gospel of John may have been written there.
GB85248. Bronze assarion, Karwiese MvE 5.2 Claudius & Agrippina O27/R70; RPC I 2624; SNG Cop 373; BMC Ionia p. 73, 205; Weber 2875; SNG München -; SNGvA -, F, dark green patina, weight 6.476 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, c. 49 - 50 A.D.; obverse jugate heads right of Claudius, laureate, and Agrippina, draped; reverse stag standing right, KOYΣI/NIOΣ (Causinius, magistrate) in two lines above, o/T monogram left, ∆ right, EΦE below; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, 300 - 264 B.C.

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In 278 B.C., envoys from the Sicilian cities of Agrigentum, Syracuse, and Leontini asked Pyrrhus for military aid to remove the Carthaginian dominance over that island. With an army of 20,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry, 20 War Elephants, and some 200 ships, Pyrrhus defeated the Carthaginian forces and captured the city-fortress of Eryx. Carthage sued for peace, but Pyrrhus demanded Carthage renounce its claims on Sicily entirely. Pyrrhus set his sights on conquering Carthage itself, and began outfitting an expedition. However, his ruthless treatment of the Sicilian cities and his execution of two Sicilian rulers led to such animosity that he was forced out of Sicily and abandoned his plan.
GI85854. Bronze AE 20, Viola CNP 252f, Alexandropoulos 57h, SNG Cop 164, Müller Afrique 276, aVF, centered on a tight flan, weight 4.739 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, Sardinian(?) mint, 300 - 264 B.C.; obverse head of Kore-Tanit left wearing barley wreath, triple-pendant earring, and necklace; reverse horse's head right, pellet before; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


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

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Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
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, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, scepter in left hand; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50


Julia Paula, Augusta July or August 219 - about September 220 A.D., First Wife of Elagabalus

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In 219, Julia Maesa arranged for her grandson Elagabalus to marry Julia Paula. The wedding was a lavish ceremony and Paula was given the honorific title of Augusta. In 220, he divorced her and married Aquilia Severa, a Vestal Virgin.
RS85664. Silver denarius, BMCRE V 172, RSC III 6a, RIC IV 211, Hunter III 1, SRCV II 7655, VF, attractive portrait, light toning, weight 3.597 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 219 - 220 A.D.; obverse IVLIA PAVLA AVG, bare-headed, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, looped plait at back of neck; reverse CONCORDIA (harmony), Concordia seated left, patera in right hand, left elbow resting on arm of throne, star in left field; scarce; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50


The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.

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In 67, Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were divided by a power struggle, a brutal civil war erupted, the Zealots and the Sicarii executed anyone who tried to leave the city.
JD86851. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1360, VF, weakly struck areas, scratches, weight 2.857 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, year 2, 67 - 68 A.D.; obverse amphora with broad rim and two handles, year 2 (in Hebrew) around; reverse vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew) around; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50


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 Munchen 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; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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

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Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
RS72575. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 59b, RSC IV 19, Hunter III 10, SRCV III 9495, VF/F, well centered, light toning, porosity, reverse die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.874 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 250 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in plait looped at the back of head; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, scepter in left hand; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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

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After Apollo insulted him, Eros (cupid) shot Apollo with an arrow that caused him to fall in hopeless love with Daphne, a mortal woman. Eros shot Daphne with an arrow which made her incapable of loving Apollo. Nevertheless Apollo pursued her, and out of desperation Daphne escaped by having herself turned into a laurel. Ever after, winners of the games to honor Apollo wore wreaths of laurel in honor of Apollo's Daphne.
RB73718. Bronze sestertius, RIC IV SA694, BMCRE VI SA190, Cohen IV 62, SRCV II 8232, VF, excellent portrait, attractive reverse style, well centered, tiny flan crack, cleaning scratches, weight 13.843 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 224 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse VENERI FELICI, Venus standing facing, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, cupid seated facing her in her left hand, cupid is naked, winged and extends his hands toward her, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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).
RB83576. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1756, BMCRE IV 1161, Cohen III 54, Hunter II 27, SRCV II 5505, F, glossy dark sea-green patina, light corrosion on obverse, rough areas on reverse, squared tight flan, weight 19.43 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 164 - 166 A.D.; obverse LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, draped bust right; reverse PIETAS, Pietas standing left, veiled, raising her right hand, perfume-box in left hand, flaming altar at feet on left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI Eupator the Great, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Anonymous Coinage

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Mithradates VI Megas (the Great) was king of Pontus in northern Anatolia from about 119 to 63 B.C. He was of both Greek and Persian origin, claiming descent from both Alexander the Great and King Darius I of Persia. Mithradates is remembered as one of Rome's most formidable and successful enemies, who engaged three of the most prominent generals of the late Roman Republic in the so-called Mithridatic Wars: Sulla, Lucullus, and Pompey the Great. After Mithradates VI was at last defeated by Pompey and in danger of capture by Rome, he attempted suicide. The poison failed because he had taken daily doses to build immunity. He then made his bodyguard and friend, Bituitus, kill him by the sword.
GB84575. Bronze AE 26, cf. HGC 7 310 (S), SNG Stancomb 649, SNG BM 973, SNG Cop 232 (all SNG refs. with same countermarks, none with this monogram), gF, dark patina, thick heavy flan as usual for the type, bumps and marks, light corrosion, weight 19.920 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, uncertain (Amisos?) mint, c. 130 - 100 B.C.; obverse male head left in a satrapal leather bashlik cap; countermarks: helmet in round punch, gorgoneion in round punch, fulmen (thunderbolt) in a rectangular punch; reverse star of eight rays, bow facing inward, monogram between rays; scarce; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50


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

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Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
RS72574. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 59b, RSC IV 19, Hunter III 10, SRCV III 9495, Choice VF, full circles strike on a broad flan, golden toning, porosity, reverse die wear, small edge cracks, weight 3.135 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 250 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, scepter in left hand; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


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; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


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

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Victory seems an odd attribute for the goddess of love but both Sulla and Pompey dreamed of Venus Victrix. Julius Caesar, who claimed Venus as his ancestor, sacrificed to her and she ensured he was always victorious. The use of Victrix on the reverse of Mamaea's coinage at this time, not only appealed for her aid against the Persians, but also reminded the Romans that the empress too was in Syria accompanying the legions on campaign.
RS73862. Silver denarius, RIC IV 358, RSC III 76, BMCRE VI 713, Hunter III 5, SRCV II 8216, VF, well centered on a broad slightly ragged flan, die wear, porous, bumps and scratches, weight 2.771 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 231 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, draped and diademed bust right; reverse VENVS VICTRIX (victorious Venus), Venus standing half left, helmet extended in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield on left at feet against far side; ex Harlan J. Berk; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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In the 12th century, Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that Constantine's mother Helena was a Briton, the daughter of King Cole of Colchester. Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae, an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. Afraid of the Romans, Cole submitted to Roman law so long as he retained his kingship. However, he died only a month later, and Constantius took the throne himself, marrying Cole's daughter Helena. They had their son Constantine, who succeeded his father as King of Britain before becoming Roman Emperor. Historically, this series of events is extremely improbable. Constantius had already left Helena by the time he left for Britain. Additionally, no earlier source mentions that Helena was born in Britain, let alone that she was a princess.
RL79452. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17500 ff. (various mintmarks), EF, nice sharp portrait, attractive glossy green patina, tight flan, edge cracks, areas of slight porosity, weight 1.271 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, diademed and mantled bust right wearing necklace; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch pointed down in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, [...]TR[...] in exergue; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


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

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Faustina I was the wife of Antoninus Pius. Little is known of her, except that she was regarded as vain and frivolous, though this may have just been malicious gossip. Antoninus Pius loved her greatly, and upon her death in 141 A.D., she was deified and a temple was built in her honor.
RB84504. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III AP1133(a) (R), BMCRE IV AP1424, Strack III 1237, Cohen II 183, Hunter II 59 var. (veiled), SRCV II 4624 var. (same), aF, porous, corrosion, weight 24.168 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, posthumous, 141 - 147 A.D.; obverse DIVA AVGVSTA - FAVSTINA, draped bust right, pearls in hair and hair in elaborate bun on top; reverse CONSE-CRATI-O, Faustina seated facing on an eagle flying upward right, her head right, scepter in her left hand, her mantle in her right hand, fluttering behind her and decorated with five stars, S C (Senatus consulto) below; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; rare; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Tauropolos is an epithet for the goddess Artemis, variously interpreted as worshiped at Tauris, or pulled by a yoke of bulls, or hunting bull goddess. A statue of Artemis "Tauropolos" by Iphigenia in her temple at Brauron in Attica was supposed to have been brought from the Taurians. Tauropolia was a festival of Artemis held at Athens. - Wikipedia
RP84828. Bronze AE 17, Varbanov III 3225 (R4); AMNG III / 2 p. 42, 83; SNG Hunterian 775; SNG Cop 107; SNG ANS 191; BMC Macedonia p. 57, 112; SGICV 1720, VF, legends weak, encrustations, flan flaws obverse right, corrosion, weight 4.313 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 315o, Amphipolis mint, 146 - winter 175/176 A.D.; obverse ΦAVCTEINA CEBACTH, draped bust right, hair in a braided bun at the back; reverse AMΦI−ΠO−ΛE−ITΩN, Artemis Tauropolos riding aside facing on bull galloping right, bow in left hand extended before her, drawing arrow from quiver at shoulder with right hand; ex Alex G. Malloy; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Brettian League, Bruttium, Italy, c. 214 - 211 B.C., Time of Hannibal

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All coinage of the Brettii was issued during the Second Punic War when they allied themselves with Hannibal.
GI84833. Bronze quarter unit, Scheu Bronze 27, SNG Cop 1679, HN Italy 1982, F, toned copper surfaces, a little rough, weight 2.682 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 135o, Brettii mint, c. 214 - 211 B.C.; obverse NIKA, diademed head of Nike left, head of grain behind; reverse BPETTIΩN, Zeus standing right, nude, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, long scepter in extended left hand, star between legs, cornucopia right; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Domitia, Augusta, 82 - 96 A.D., Nakrasa, Lydia

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Domitia Longina was the daughter of the famous general Cnaeus Domitius Corbulo and was taken from her husband and married to Domitian in 70 A.D. In 83 A.D., she was exiled for her affair with the actor Paris. Domitian seems to have forgiven her, as ancient sources identify her as a part of the plot that ended the emperor's life. She died in the reign of Trajan or Antoninus Pius.
RP84899. Bronze AE 17, RPC II 935 (3 spec.), SNG Cop 297, SNG Munchen 342; Mionnet IV 507; BMC Lydia -; SNGvA -, F, green patina, porous, light deposits, light corrosion, a little off center, weight 2.662 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Nakrasa (near Kirkagach, Turkey) mint, 82 - 96 A.D.; obverse ∆OMITIA CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse NAKPACEITΩN, kithara (lyre); ; very rare; $75.00 SALE PRICE $67.50


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.

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This type was struck during Salonina's lifetime, so the unusual reverse legend was not struck in memorial. There has been some fanciful speculation that "IN PACE," meaning "in peace," was a Christian phrase indicating the empress had converted to Christianity.
RS65817. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1231a, RIC V S60, RSC IV 20, Hunter III 25, Cunetio 1535, SRCV III 10626, gF, toned white metal, green encrustations, weight 2.153 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 266 - 267 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders; reverse AVGVSTA IN PACE (Augusta in peace), Pax seated left on throne without back, olive branch downward in right, long transverse scepter in right; rare; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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Helena is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches and famed for her piety. Her feast day as a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church is celebrated with her son on May 21, the "Feast of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles." Her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church falls on August 18. Her feast day in the Coptic Orthodox Church is on 9 Pashons. Eusebius records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces (though not her discovery of the True Cross). She is the patron saint of new discoveries.
RL79448. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17500 ff. (various mintmarks), EF, sharp detail, glossy dark green patina, spots of porosity, both sides slightly off-center, tiny edge crack, weight 1.637 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 0o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, diademed and mantled bust right wearing necklace; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch pointed down in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, [...]TR[...] in exergue; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


Theodora, Augusta, 2nd Wife of Constantius I, Grandmother of Caesars and Emperors

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Constantius I divorced his first wife Helena to marry Theodora, the daughter and step-daughter of the emperor Maximianus. Her grandchildren included Delmatius, Hanniballianus, Constantius Gallus, Julian II, Licinius II and Nepotian. Her coins were struck after Constantine's death and after the massacre of most of her descendants. Although the date of her death is unknown, her title Augusta and her coinage were probably posthumous. The reason for her coinage is uncertain, but it may have been directed by Constantine the Great's will.
RL79462. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17500 ff., Cohen VII 4, gVF, well centered on a tight flan, some die wear, weight 1.645 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (Treveri?) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, wearing diadem, elaborate hairstyle, and pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, mintmark in exergue (off flan); $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


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. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1081, Cohen II 282, Strack III AP1224, 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 (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $65.00 SALE PRICE $58.50


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.

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This type was struck during Salonina's lifetime, so the unusual reverse legend was not struck in memorial. There has been some fanciful speculation that "IN PACE," meaning "in peace," was a Christian phrase indicating the empress had converted to Christianity.
RB65809. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1377e, RIC V S58, RSC IV 17, SRCV III 10626 var. (mint mark), Hunter IV S27 var. (obv. legend), aVF, slightly ragged flan, weight 3.539 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 266 - 268 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders; reverse AVG IN PACE, Salonina seated left, olive-branch downward in right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, MS in exergue; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


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-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; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


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, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, thin crescent behind shoulders; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE (to eternal Rome), 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; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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Several relics purportedly discovered by Saint Helena are now in Cyprus, where she spent some time. Among them are items believed to be part of Jesus Christ's tunic, pieces of the holy cross, and pieces of the rope with which Jesus was tied on the Cross. The rope, considered to be the only relic of its kind, has been held at the Stavrovouni Monastery, which was also founded by Saint Helena. According to Byzantine tradition, Helena is responsible for the large population of cats in Cyprus. Local tradition holds that she imported hundreds of cats from Egypt or Palestine in the fourth century AD to rid a monastery of snakes. The monastery is today known as "St. Nicholas of the Cats" and is located near Limassol.
RL79449. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Trier 63; LRBC I 112; SRCV V 17493; Voetter 7; Cohen VII 4; Hunter V p. 218, 2 var. (1st officina), EF, some mint luster, light corrosion on reverse, tight flan, weight 1.455 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL IVL HE-LENA AVG, diademed and mantled bust right wearing necklace; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch pointed down in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, •TRS• in exergue; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Thessalian League

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The Thessalian League was a loose confederacy of city-states and tribes in the Thessalian valley in N. Greece. Philip II of Macedon took control of Thessaly in 344 B.C and it remained under Macedonia until the Roman victory in 197 B.C. The league was reestablished in 196 B.C. but had little autonomy after Thessaly became part of the province of Macedonia in 146 B.C. BCD notes, "The League coinage for Domitian must have been quite abundantly struck. It circulated over a wide area, and for a very long time, almost certainly until the reign of Gallienus."
RP83541. Bronze diassarion, RPC II 277; Rogers 88; Burrer p. 167, 1 ff.; BCD Thessaly I 1407; BCD Thessaly II 946; BMC Thessaly p. 7, 76; SNG Cop 339; SNG Munchen 253, F, well centered, marks and scratches, centration dimple on reverse, weight 5.427 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalian League mint, 1st emission, c. 13 Sep 81 - 83 A.D.; obverse ∆OMITIANON KAIΣAPA ΘEΣΣAΛOI, laureate head of Domitian right; reverse ∆OMITIAN ΣEBAΣΣTHN, draped bust of Domitia Longina right, her hair in a long queue tied up at the back; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


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

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After Apollo insulted him, Eros (cupid) shot Apollo with an arrow that caused him to fall in hopeless love with Daphne, a mortal woman. Eros shot Daphne with an arrow which made her incapable of loving Apollo. Nevertheless Apollo pursued her, and out of desperation Daphne escaped by having herself turned into a laurel. Ever after, winners of the games to honor Apollo wore wreaths of laurel in honor of Apollo's Daphne.
RB55439. Bronze sestertius, RIC IV SA694, BMCRE VI SA190, Cohen IV 62, SRCV II 8232, aVF, weight 20.624 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 224 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse VENERI FELICI, Venus standing facing, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, cupid seated facing her in her left hand, cupid is naked, winged and extends his hands toward her, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $55.00 SALE PRICE $49.50


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

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Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was for Romans the highest regarded female virtue. For an unmarried girl, pudicitia meant virginity. For a wife, it meant faithfulness and devotion to her husband. Romans loved the story of Arria, an ultimate example of Roman pudicitia. When the emperor Claudius ordered her husband Paetus to end his own life, he hesitated. Arria took his dagger and stabbed herself to set an example, saying, "Paetus, it doesn't hurt."
RS84402. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 59b, RSC IV 19, Hunter III 10, SRCV III 9495, VF, well centered, nice portrait, edge cracks, light corrosion, die wear, weight 3.552 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 250 A.D.; obverse HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, scepter in left hand; $45.00 SALE PRICE $40.50


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 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.
RS65807. Billon antoninianus, RIC V p. 200, 92; RSC IV 67b; SRCV III 10641; Göbl MIR 1619m var. (crescent vice star), VF, well centered, porous, reverse legend weak, weight 3.145 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 263 - 264 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, bust resting on thin crescent; reverse IVNO REGINA, Juno standing left, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, peacock left at feet on left, star upper left; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.

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This type was struck during Salonina's lifetime, so the unusual reverse legend was not struck in memorial. There has been some fanciful speculation that "IN PACE," meaning "in peace," was a Christian phrase indicating the empress had converted to Christianity.
RB65814. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1377e, RIC V S58, RSC IV 17, SRCV III 10626 var. (mint mark), Hunter IV S27 var. (obv. legend), gF, much silvering, weight 3.008 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 266 - 268 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders; reverse AVG IN PACE, Salonina seated left, olive-branch downward in right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, MS in exergue; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00


Eudoxia, Augusta 9 January 400 - Early October 404 A.D., Wife of Arcadius

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Eudoxia was the strong-willed wife of emperor Arcadius. They were married on 27 April 395 A.D. She exercised considerable influence over government policy, much to the disgust of many high ranking Romans, notably in the Church. Eudoxia died in childbirth in early October 404 A.D. Eudoxia and Arcadius had five children, including Theodosius II and Pulcheria, who were made emperor and empress after Arcadius died in 408 A.D.
RL79790. Bronze centenionalis, RIC X Arcadius 101 (S), LRBC II 2231, DOCLR 274, SRCV V 20892, aVF/aF, marks and scratches, weight 2.718 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 401 - 403 A.D.; obverse AEL EVDOXIA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, hand of God holding wreath over her head; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICAE (health of the Republic), Victory seated on cuirass inscribing Christogram on shield, CONSA in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00


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.
RS65819. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1605c (7 spec.), RIC V 67; RSC IV 103, SRCV III 10651 var. (star or wreath above, uncertain Syrian mint), Hunter IV 35 ff. var. (same), VF, centered, toned, porous, weight 4.017 g, maximum diameter 21.8 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 (to eternal Rome), 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; $35.00 SALE PRICE $31.50


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS65803. Silvered antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1302r, RIC V S61 (Milan), RSC IV 51, Hunter III S22 var. (PVBLICA), SRCV III 10635,, F, full circles centering, struck with a worn reverse die, weight 3.786 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 262 - 263 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders; reverse FELICIT PVBL, Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, legs crossed, short caduceus in right hand, leaning with left arm on column; $14.00 (€11.90)


Crispina, Wife of Commodus, Augusta 178 - 182 A.D.

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Juno was the chief female divinity in the Roman pantheon, the protector and special counselor of the Roman state, and a member of the Capitoline Triad. She was a daughter of Saturn, the sister and wife of Jupiter, and the mother of Juventas, Mars, and Vulcan. 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. Her Greek equivalent is Hera.
RS85201. Silver denarius, RIC III 283, RSC II 21, BMCRE IV 41, Hunter II 10, SRCV II 6001, VF, light toning, well centered on a tight flan, light marks and scratches, light corrosion, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.254 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 180 - 182 A.D.; obverse CRISPINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse IVNO, Juno standing facing, veiled, head left, patera in right hand, long scepter in left hand, peacock left at feet on left; scarce; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00




  



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