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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 hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, peacock left at feet on left, ς in exergue; $175.00 (€155.75)


Magnia Urbica, Augusta middle 283 - middle 285 A.D.

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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 snake bringing another snake 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.
RA84361. Billon antoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 349 (R2); Cohen VI 7; SRCV III 12419; Hunter IV - (p. clxviii), F, well centered, porous, rough, edge chip, weight 3.044 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 284 A.D.; obverse MAGNIAE VRBICAE AVG, diademed and draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders; reverse SALVS PVBLICA (health of the public), Salus enthroned left, from patera in right hand, feeding snake rising up from altar on left, A (1st officina) right, SMSXXI in exergue; very rare; $170.00 (€151.30)


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.
SH65151. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III AP1118, BMCRE IV AP1514, Hunter II 119, Cohen II 88, SRCV II 4614, Nice VF, green patina, small patina edge chip on rev, weight 27.399 g, maximum diameter 32.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right, pearls in hair and hair in elaborate bun on top; reverse AVGVSTA, Ceres standing facing, veiled head left, torch raised in right hand, stalks of grain downward in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $160.00 (€142.40)


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.
SH66879. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 708, BMCRE VI 389, Cohen IV 83, SRCV II 8236, VF, 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 S C, Vesta standing half-left, veiled head left, palladium in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; $160.00 (€142.40)


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; $160.00 (€142.40)


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; $160.00 (€142.40)


Koinon of Macedonia, Reign of Gordian III, 238 - 244 A.D., Alexander and Bucephalus

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Plutarch tells the story of how, in 344 B.C. Philonicus the Thessalian, a horse dealer, offered a massive wild stallion to Alexander's father, King Philip II. Since no one could tame the animal, Philip was not interested. Alexander, however, seeing that the horse was afraid of his own shadow, promised to pay for the horse himself should he fail to tame it. He was given a chance and surprised all by subduing it. Alexander spoke soothingly to the horse and turned it towards the sun so that it could no longer see its shadow. Eventually Bucephalus allowed Alexander to ride him. Embarrassed, Philip commented "O my son, look thee out a kingdom equal to and worthy of thyself, for Macedonia is too little for thee." Alexander named the horse Bucephalus because the horse's head seemed "as broad as a bull's." Bucephalus died of battle wounds in 326 B.C., in Alexander's last battle. Alexander founded the city of Bucephala (thought to be the modern town of Jhelum, Pakistan) in memory of his wonderful horse.
SH65202. Bronze AE 25, AMNG III 724; cf BMC Macedonia p. 22, 102 (one neokorie); SNG Cop -; SNG Hunterian -; SNG Bar -; SNG Saroglos -; Lindgren -, F, weight 10.822 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, head of Alexander the Great right, as Herakles, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse KOINON MAKE∆ONΩN B NEΩ, Alexander galloping left on his horse Bucephalus, about to spear a lion leaping left below; rare; $155.00 (€137.95)


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; $150.00 (€133.50)


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; $150.00 (€133.50)


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, worshiped 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.
RS84440. Silver denarius, RSC III 65, RIC IV S624 (S), BMCRE p. 103 note citing Cohen 65 (Hamburger Coll.), SRCV II -, VF, nice style, toned, porous, light marks, small deposits, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 45o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right; reverse FORTVN REDVC, Fortuna seated left on throne without back, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; ; rare; $150.00 (€133.50)


Eastern Celts or Other Tribal, 3rd - 2nd Century B.C., Alexander the Great Chios Mint Imitative

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Clearly the engraver was illiterate and did not even know the correct letter forms. Looking at the throne, it seems the engraver may have never actually seen a chair.
CE76171. Silver drachm, Price B19 var. (nothing under throne); Muller Alexander 2324 var. (same), gVF, interesting barbaric style, toned, tight flan, weight 3.858 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Tribal mint, 3rd - 2nd century B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aλtophoros seated left on high back throne, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, M in circle over grapes left, ΛE (E reversed) below throne; $140.00 (€124.60)


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; $135.00 (€120.15)


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; $135.00 (€120.15)


Fausta, Augusta 324 - 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great

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Fausta is depicted as Spes, the Roman personification of hope. She holds her infant children, Constantine II and Constantius II, her hopeful promise for the future of the "Republic."
RL76975. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier p. 209, 484; LRBC I 36; SRCV IV 16560; Cohen VII 17, EF, excellent centering, green patina, cleaning scratches, spot of corrosion, weight 2.804 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 326 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right, hair waved, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIP-VBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, PTR followed by dot over crescent with horns up in exergue; $135.00 (€120.15)


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 hand, scepter in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; ex Forum (2009); scarce; $130.00 (€115.70)


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 (senatus consulto) flanking very low in field; ex CNG e-auction 243 (27 Oct 2010), lot 385; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; $130.00 (€115.70)


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; $125.00 (€111.25)


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; 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; $125.00 (€111.25)


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; $120.00 (€106.80)


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."
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, 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; $120.00 (€106.80)


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C., In the Name of Alexander

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Struck after Alexander's death during the joint reign of Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and Alexander's infant son with Roxana, Alexander IV. The two were made joint kings by Alexander's generals who only intended to use them as pawns. Philip III was imprisoned upon his return to Macedonia, and in 317 B.C. he was executed under orders from Olympias. Olympias was Alexander the Great's mother and Alexander IV's grandmother, but not Philip III's mother. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed by the boy's regent, Kassander, in 311 B.C.
GS75257. Silver drachm, Price 2264, Prokesch-Osten I 378, SNG Berry 231, SNG Munchen 593, Mόller Alexander -, SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, well centered on a crowded flan, uneven toning, die wear, weight 3.970 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Teos mint, struck under Menander or Kleitos, 323 - 319 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, Πο over ∆I left; scarce; $120.00 (€106.80)


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, Hunter III 16, SRCV III 9505, 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, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges, plait looped at the back of neck; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia (modesty) seated left, drawing veil with right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $110.00 (€97.90)


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; $110.00 (€97.90)


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; $110.00 (€97.90)


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 hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; ex Johnathan K. Kern; $110.00 (€97.90)


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; $110.00 (€97.90)


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; $110.00 (€97.90)


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; $100.00 (€89.00)


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 (piety of the Emperor), Pietas standing left, veiled, extending right hand, box of incense in left; $100.00 (€89.00)


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; $100.00 (€89.00)


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

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On 14 September 326 A.D., Helena, mother of Constantine I, discovered the so-called True Cross and the Holy Sepulcher (Jesus's tomb) in Jerusalem. On her pilgrimage, she paused on the Aegean island of Patros where she is said to found the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani.
RL79454. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V p. 281, 2 (also 1st officina); RIC VIII Trier 63; LRBC I 112; SRCV V 17493; Cohen VII 4, Choice EF, mint luster, nice portrait, slightly tight flan, areas of slightest porosity, weight 1.442 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, 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, •TRP• in exergue; $100.00 (€89.00)


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

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Theodora is often referred to as a stepdaughter of Emperor Maximian by ancient sources, leading to claims by historians Otto Seeck and Ernest Stein that she was born from an earlier marriage between Eutropia, wife of Maximian, and Afranius Hannibalianus. This man was consul in 292 and praetorian prefect under Diocletian. Timothy Barnes challenges this view stating that all "stepdaughter sources" derive their information from the partially unreliable work Kaisergeschichte (written in the 4th century), while more reliable sources refer Theodora as Maximian's natural daughter. He concludes that she was born no later than c. 275 to an unnamed earlier wife of Maximian, possibly one of Hannibalianus' daughters.
RL84220. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Trier 91, LRBC I 129, Hunter V 3, Voetter 4, SRCV V 17502, Cohen VII 4, VF, well centered, green patina, nice portrait, reverse struck with a worn die, edge cracks, weight 1.731 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, wearing diadem, elaborate hairstyle, pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, TRP and branch in exergue; $100.00 (€89.00)


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

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Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101-106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town peaked during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty. In 447, Nicopolis was destroyed by Attila's Huns. In the 6th century, it was rebuilt as a powerful fortress enclosing little more than military buildings and churches, following a very common trend for the cities of that century in the Danube area. It was finally destroyed by the Avar invasions at the end of the 6th century.
RP84571. Bronze AE 21, Varbanov III 1842 (R9, same dies, noted as otherwise unpublished), AMNG I/I -, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, SGIC -, VF, excellent portrait, attractive glossy dark green patina, tight flan, some legend unstruck or off flan, centration dimples, weight 4.601 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Plotinopolis (Didimochito, Greece) mint, 211 - 217 A.D.; obverse IOVΛ ∆O - CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse ΠΛΩTEINO-ΠOΛEITΩN, Tyche-Fortuna standing facing, head left, kalathos on head, grounded rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; extremely rare; $100.00 (€89.00)


Fausta, Augusta 324 - 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great

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Fausta is depicted as Spes, the Roman personification of hope. She holds her infant children, Constantine II and Constantius II, her hopeful promise for the future of the "Republic."
RL74497. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Nicomedia p. 621, 131 (R4); LRBC I 1102; SRCV IV 16575; Cohen VII 17, VF, excellent centering, dark green patina, marks, light corrosion, weight 2.800 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right hair waved, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIPVBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, MNA in exergue; scarce; $95.00 (€84.55)


Otacilia Severa, Augusta February or March 244 - September or October 249 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."
RB79787. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 209a, Cohen V 55, SRCV III 9169, Hunter III - (p. cxi), aVF, nice portrait, attractive green patina, light corrosion, edge crack, scratches, weight 20.081 g, maximum diameter 32.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AVG, diademed draped bust right; reverse PVDICITIA AVG, Pudicitia seated left, drawing veil from face with right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand,S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $95.00 (€84.55)


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

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In 318, Emperor Constantine the Great renamed Drepana in Asia Minor, Helenopolis, after his mother Helena.
RL79456. 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, mint luster, tight flan, areas of slight porosity, weight 1.604 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 165o, 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; $95.00 (€84.55)


Fausta, Augusta, 324 - 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great

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Fausta is depicted as Spes, the Roman personification of hope. She holds her infant children, Constantine II and Constantius II, her hopeful promise for the future of the "Republic."
RL84214. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Ticinum p. 387, 203; LRBC I 488; SRCV VII 16565; Cohen VII 17, Choice VF, attractive chocolate surfaces, very light marks and porosity, weight 2.918 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, c. 326 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right with hair waved, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIPVBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, S crescent T in exergue; rare; $95.00 (€84.55)


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.
SH84236. Silver denarius, RIC III AP360, BMCRE IV AP408, RSC II 78, SRCV II 4582, Choice EF, well centered, mint luster, some reverse die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.086 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right, pearls in hair and hair in elaborate bun on top; reverse AVGVSTA, Ceres standing half left, veiled, stalks of grain downward in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $95.00 (€84.55)


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 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; $90.00 (€80.10)


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; $90.00 (€80.10)


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 headdress; reverse ΣYPA−KOΣIΩN, Athena Promachos advancing right, hurling thunderbolt with right, shield in left; $90.00 (€80.10)


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

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The palladium, a small figure of Minerva (Pallas Athena) holding a spear and shield, had a mythological origin from Troy. Troy was believed to be safe from foreign enemies as long as the palladium remained within the city walls. But Odysseus and Diomedes stole the image and soon after the Greeks took the city. The palladium was later taken by Aeneas to Rome where for centuries it was kept in the temple of Vesta in the Forum. In Late Antiquity, it was rumored that Constantine had taken the palladium to Constantinople and buried it under the Column of Constantine.
RB77887. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III AP1125, BMCRE IV AP1521, Cohen II 113, SRCV II 4618, F, full circle strike on obverse, bumps and marks, light corrosion, weight 24.809 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right, pearls in hair and hair in elaborate bun on top; reverse AVGVSTA, Vesta standing half left, long torch in right hand, palladium with shield in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $90.00 (€80.10)


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

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Jerusalem was still being rebuilt following the destruction caused by Emperor Hadrian. He had built a temple over the site of Jesus's tomb near Calvary, and renamed the city Aelia Capitolina. Accounts differ concerning whether the Temple was dedicated to Venus or Jupiter According to tradition, Helena ordered the temple torn down and, according to the legend that arose at the end of the 4th century, chose a site to begin excavating, which led to the recovery of three different crosses. The legend is recounted in Ambrose, On the Death of Theodosius (died 395) and at length in Rufinus' chapters appended to his translation into Latin of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, the main body of which does not mention the event. Then, Rufinus relates, the empress refused to be swayed by anything short of solid proof and performed a test. Possibly through Bishop Macarius of Jerusalem, she had a woman who was near death brought from the city. When the woman touched the first and second crosses, her condition did not change, but when she touched the third and final cross she suddenly recovered, and Helena declared the cross with which the woman had been touched to be the True Cross. On the site of discovery, Constantine ordered the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; churches were also built on other sites detected by Helena. Sozomen and Theodoret claim that Helena also found the nails of the crucifixion. To use their miraculous power to aid her son, Helena allegedly had one placed in Constantine's helmet, and another in the bridle of his horse.
RL79446. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17500 ff. (various mintmarks), EF, mint luster, light marks, tight flan, weight 1.409 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL IVL 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, cross lower left, TRP or similar (off flan) in exergue; $90.00 (€80.10)


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; $90.00 (€80.10)


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

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Helena gave birth to the future emperor Constantine I on 27 February of an uncertain year soon after 270 (probably around 272). At the time, she was in Naissus (Nis, Serbia). In order to obtain a wife more consonant with his rising status, Constantius divorced Helena some time before 289, when he married Theodora, Maximian's daughter under his command. (The narrative sources date the marriage to 293, but the Latin panegyric of 289 refers to the couple as already married). Helena and her son were dispatched to the court of Diocletian at Nicomedia, where Constantine grew to be a member of the inner circle. Helena never remarried and lived for a time in obscurity, though close to her only son, who had a deep regard and affection for her.
RL79451. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V p. 281, 2 (also 1st officina); RIC VIII Trier 63; LRBC I 112; SRCV V 17493; Cohen VII 4, Choice EF, well centered on a slightly tight flan, sharp detail, some luster, slightly rough in areas (die rust?), weight 1.647 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, 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, •TRP• in exergue; $90.00 (€80.10)


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; $90.00 (€80.10)


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

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Helena died around 330, with her son at her side. She was buried in the Mausoleum of Helena, outside Rome on the Via Labicana. Her sarcophagus is on display in the Pio-Clementine Vatican Museum, although the connection is often questioned. Next to her is the sarcophagus of her granddaughter Saint Constantina (Saint Constance). Her skull is displayed in the Cathedral of Trier, in Germany.
RL79455. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V p. 281, 2 (also 1st officina); RIC VIII Trier 63; LRBC I 112; SRCV V 17493; Cohen VII 4, EF, well struck and centered on a ragged flan, end of reverse legend not fully struck, some light corrosion, weight 1.921 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 30o, 1st officina, 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, •TRP• in exergue; $90.00 (€80.10)


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, Venθra 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 (harmony with the soldiers), Fides Militum standing facing, head left, flanked by a standard in each hand, A in right field, XXIR in exergue; ex Harlan J. Berk; $85.00 (€75.65)


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, Gφbl 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; $80.00 (€71.20)


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. RSC II 139a (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; $80.00 (€71.20)




    



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