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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Military |  |  |    ▷▷

Military, Combat & Arms on Ancient Coins

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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This is an extremely rare heroic bust variety of a scarce type. There is only one auction record on Coin Archives for this variety: NAC Auction 59 (4 Apr 2011), lot 968 (a beautiful near EF example). It sold for $48,717 including fees.
SH73454. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 203q+2 (same obv die), RIC II 535 (S, no belt), BMCRE III 838 var (no belt), BnF IV 565 var (no belt), VF, well centered, high relief bust, Tiber patina, porous, areas of corrosion, weight 25.631 g, maximum diameter 34.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 104 - 107 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust left, full chest exposed, with drapery on left shoulder, military belt (balteus) across chest; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Trajan in military dress on horseback right, thrusting spear at Dacian warrior trampled and falling under fore-hooves, S C in exergue; extremely rare variety; $6000.00 (€5220.00)


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus, 323 - 317 B.C.

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Philip III Arrhidaeus, the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa, was Alexander the Great's half-brother. Alexander's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned him as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Incapable of actual rule, he was made king upon Alexander's death only to serve as a pawn for those who wished to grab power for themselves. Olympias had him imprisoned and then ordered his execution in 317 B.C.
SH72613. Gold stater, Price P90, ADM I 228 - 230, Müller Alexander -, SNG Cop -, EF, lovely Hellenistic style, mint luster, weight 8.579 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet ornamented with a coiled snake, wearing necklace and long drop earring; reverse ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ, Nike standing left, wreath in extended right hand, grounded stylis in left at her side, TI left, rose left under wing; ex Roma Numismatics auction 8, lot 470; $5220.00 (€4541.40)


Roman Civil Wars, Revolt of Galba, Governor of Spain, April - June 68 A.D.

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Galba lived in Tarraco for eight years. This coin was issued by Galba as governor of Spain in revolt against Nero. The obverse is copied from Republican denarii struck in 62 B.C. by the moneyer L. Scribonius Libo.
SH63560. Silver denarius, RIC I 9, RSC II 396, BMCRE I 9, SRCV I 2072, F, toned, weight 3.515 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 225o, Tarraco(?) mint, Apr - Jun 68 A.D.; obverse BON EVENT, young female head (Bonus Eventus) right, fillet around forehead; reverse ROM RENASC, Roma standing right in military garb, Victory on globe in right hand, eagle-tipped scepter over left shoulder in left; bargain priced for this interesting rarity implying the restoration of the Republic!; very rare (R4); $1300.00 (€1131.00)


Byzantion, Thrace, c. 210 - 195 B.C., Restoration of Lysimachos' Type

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In the years following his death Alexander the Great came to be the subject of cult worship throughout the Mediterranean basin. His corpse was appropriated by Ptolemy I who transported it to Egypt, initially interring it at Memphis, then to a mausoleum and center of worship in Alexandria. It survived until the 4th century AD when Theodosius banned paganism, only to disappear without trace.
SH71721. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Berry 411 (same dies), Müller 142 - 146 var (monogram), Thompson -, SNG Cop -, Meydancikkale -, Armenak -, Arslan-Lightfoot -, Black Sea Hoard -, aEF, a few weak areas, weight 16.731 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 0o, Byzantion (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 210 - 195 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, left arm on shield decorated with Gorgoneion, transverse spear against right side, Nike crowning name in right, monogram left, BY on throne; rare; $1200.00 (€1044.00)


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D.

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This Victory type was likely struck in anticipation of the upcoming war with Vitellius. One of Galba's latest reverse types is identical except for the legend: VICTORIA P R instead of VICTORIA OTHONIS. Several Otho coins struck with what appear to be re-cut Galba reverse dies are known.
SH72953. Silver denarius, RIC I 17, RSC II 24a, BMCRE I 25, BnF III -, SRCV I -, aVF, nice portrait, toned, light scrape on obverse, weight 3.282 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 15 Jan - Feb 69 A.D.; obverse IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse VICTORIA OTHONIS, Victory standing left on globe, wreath extended in right, palm frond in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Angel Fernandez; 17/1000 coins of this type in Jyrki Muona' Otho die-study; very rare; $1000.00 (€870.00)


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

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Lampsacus was known as center for worship of Priapus, who was said to have been born there.

Thompson notes that Lampsacus was Lysimachos' largest mint in Asia Minor, with approximately 150 known obverse dies. Output from Lampsacus declined when Amphipolis began its extensive coinage c. 288 B.C.
SH72207. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson 49, SNG BnF 2548 - 2549, SNG Delepierre 843, SNG Cop 1097 (Pergamum), Müller 399 (Sigeum), gVF, toned, some marks and porosity, weight 16.495 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 45o, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, 297 - 281 B.C.; obverse diademed head of deified Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning name in extended right hand, left arm rests on grounded round shield decorated with Gorgoneion, transverse spear against right side, ∆/Ξ monogram inner left field, crescent horns left in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics auction 11, lot 34; $990.00 (€861.30)


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D.

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This Victory type was likely struck in anticipation of the upcoming war with Vitellius.
SH72952. Silver denarius, RIC I 16, RSC II 24, BMCRE I 24, BnF III 21, SRCV I 2165, F, nice style portrait and reverse, attractive toning, porous, weight 3.038 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 15 Jan - Feb 69 A.D.; obverse IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse VICTORIA OTHONIS, Victory walking left, wreath extended in right, palm frond in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, 23/1000 coins of this type in Jyrki Muona' Otho die-study; very rare (RIC R3); $900.00 (€783.00)


Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D.

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Macrinus was the first emperor who was not of Senatorial rank, his birth was obscure, and he had never distinguished himself in any matter of public service. Rumors soon spread that he was born a slave, was trained as gladiator, and was complicit in Caracalla's murder. Doomed from the moment his father took the purple, Diadumenian paid with his life for his father's hubris.
SL70860. Silver denarius, RIC IV 102a, BMCRE V 87, RSC III 3, SRCV II 7449, NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 4/5 (4161195-005), weight 2.79 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, 11 Apr 217 - mid May 218 A.D.; obverse M OPEL ANT DIADVMENIAN CAES, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINC IVVENTVTIS, Diadumenian standing slightly left, head right, in military dress, standard in right, short scepter in left, two grounded standards behind on right; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; scarce; $800.00 (€696.00)


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

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Lampsacus was known as center for worship of Priapus, who was said to have been born there.

Thompson notes that Lampsacus was Lysimachos' largest mint in Asia Minor, with approximately 150 known obverse dies. Output from Lampsacus declined when Amphipolis began its extensive coinage c. 288 B.C.
SH72206. Silver tetradrachm, Gorny & Mosch auction 138 (7 Mar 2005), lot 1196; Thompson -, Müller -, SNG Cop -, SNG BnF -, SNG Delepierre -, SNG Tüb -, Arnold-Biucchi -, et al. -, Nice gVF, fine style, sculptural high relief, nice toning, light marks, weight 16.910 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, c. 280 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of deified Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning name in extended right hand, left arm rests on grounded round shield decorated with Gorgoneion, transverse spear against right side, Λ/ο monogram inner left; unpublished in the references examined by Forum, one other example referenced from trade; ex Roma Numismatics auction 11, lot 39; very rare; $760.00 (€661.20)


Florianus, June or July - August or September 276 A.D.

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Florian's harmony with the military would not last, his officers murdered him after a reign of less than three months.
SH71637. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 4293; Alföldi 1940, 2,2; Venèra Hoard II 2734; BnF XII 1950; RIC V part I, 57 var (officina, Ticinum); Cohen VI 11; SRCV III 11851, Choice EF, near full silvering, some porosity, weight 3.658 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 135o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, July - August 276; obverse IMP C M AN FLORIANVS P AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORD MILIT, Florian togate standing right, claping the hand of Concordia standing left, S in exergue; officina not in RIC; $600.00 (€522.00)


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG V

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This may have been the famous V Alaudae ('the larks'), a Caesarean legion which remained loyal to Antony but was later retained by Augustus. There are other possibilities, however: V Macedonica, a Caesarean legion about which little is known; V Urbana, disbanded after Actium (and therefore quite likely an Antonian legion); and V Gallica, a Caesarean legion that was probably the one that under Lollius lost its eagle to German raiders in Gaul in 17 B.C.
RS74074. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/18, Sydenham 1221, BMCRR II East 196, RSC I 32, Sear CRI 354, VF, banker's marks, weight 3.281 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT AVG III. VIR. R. P. C., galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - V, legionary aquila between two standards; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 229, lot 1161; $440.00 (€382.80)


The Sileraioi, Sicily, c. 357 - 330 B.C.

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Sileraioi was not a city. The Sileraians were Campanian mercenaries who took their name from their proximity to the river Silaros. These rare coins have been found at the site of their settlement, Cozzo Mususino, a natural strong-hold in north central Sicily. The coins are often overstruck on coins from Syracuse minted c. 375 - 345 B.C.
SH68704. Bronze Calciati p. 301, 2; HGC 2 1243 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG München -; SNG Morcom -, VF/F, reverse rough, weight 7.521 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 90o, Sileraian mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse ΣI−ΛEPAIΩ−N (retrograde counterclockwise from 3:00), man-faced bull forepart charging right; reverse SIL (retrograde, upward behind), warrior advancing right, spear in right hand, shield in left; rare; $400.00 (€348.00)


Roman Republic, Second Triumvirate, Mark Antony and Octavian, Spring - Early Summer 41 B.C.

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AVG in the obverse legend, abbreviates Antony's official position as Augur (not Augustus, a title which did not yet exist). The augur was an official and priest, whose main role was to interpret the will of the gods by studying the flight of birds: whether they are flying in groups or alone, what noises they make as they fly, direction of flight and what kind of birds they are. This was known as "taking the auspices." The ceremony and function of the augur was central to any major undertaking in Roman society, public or private, including matters of war, commerce, and religion. The Roman historian Livy stresses the importance of the augurs: "Who does not know that this city was founded only after taking the auspices; that everything in war and in peace, at home and abroad, was done only after taking the auspices?"

Octavian's "equivalent" position as Pontifex, a priest, is abbreviated PONT in the reverse legend.

The moneyer M. Barbatius was a friend of Julius Caesar. In 41 B.C. he was a quaestor pro praetore to Antony in the East.
RR73605. Silver denarius, RSC I Mark Antony and Augustus 8, BMCRR 103, Sydenham 1181, Crawford 517/2, SRCV I 1504, F, well centered, toned, grainy surfaces, weight 3.156 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, military mint moving with Antony, Ephesus(?) mint, spring - early summer 41 B.C.; obverse M ANT IMP AVG III VIR R P C M BARBAT Q P (MP and AV ligate), bare head of Antony right; reverse CAESAR IMP PONT III VIR R P C, bare head of Octavian right; scarce; $400.00 (€348.00)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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Dacia defeated! After his defeat in 101 A.D., King Decebalus complied with Rome for a time, but then incited the tribes to pillage Roman colonies across the Danube. Trajan marched into Dacia in 105 A.D. After defeating the surrounding mountain fortresses, in 106 A.D. Trajan besieged Sarmizegetusa, the Dacian capital. With the aid of a Dacian traitor, the Romans found and destroyed water pipes supplying the city. Running out of water and food the city fell and was burned to the ground. Decebalus fled but, followed by the Roman cavalry, committed suicide rather than face capture. The Romans found Decebalus' treasure, estimated at 165,500 kg of gold and 331,000 kg of silver, in the river of Sargesia.
SH72484. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 326b, RIC II 564, BMCRE III 785, BnF IV 1042, Cohen II 534, Strack I 396, SRCV II 3196, Nice aVF, handsome portrait, well centered, weight 27.190 g, maximum diameter 34.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 105 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Dacian mourning, seated left on pile of shields, wearing peaked cap, resting head on right hand which is propped on drawn up right knee, left hand on knee, trophy of captured arms on left before her, S C in exergue; $360.00 (€313.20)


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG III

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This legion was probably Caesar's old III Gallica, which fought for Antony. Another possibility is III Cyrenaica, which was perhaps taken over from Lepidus. The III Augusta was probably an Octavian legion.
RS73643. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/15, Sydenham 1217, BMCRR II East 193, RSC I 28, aVF, weight 3.378 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis ,180o, Patrae(?) mint, fall 32 - spring 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow, border of dots; reverse LEG - III, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; $350.00 (€304.50)


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

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This type may refer to a victory on the Sea of Galilee during the recapture of Judaea.
RB68879. Copper as, RIC II, part 1, 335; BMCRE II 617; Cohen I 632; SRCV I -, F, well centered, nice green patina, small areas of corrosion on obv, weight 12.620 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III, radiate head right; reverse VICTORIA NAVALIS, Victory standing right on a prow, wreath in right, palm frond over should in left, S C in exergue; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $310.00 (€269.70)


Himera, Sicily, 420 - 409 B.C.

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In 409 B.C., Carthage attacked Himera. The city was unprepared; its fortifications weak. At first they were supported about 4000 auxiliaries from Syracuse, but their general, Diocles, seized with panic for the safety of Syracuse itself, abandoned Himera. The city was utterly destroyed, its buildings, even its temples, were razed to the ground. More than 3000 prisoners were put to death by General Hannibal Mago as a human sacrifice to the memory of his grandfather General Hamilcar who had been defeated at the Battle of Himera in 480 B.C.
GB70582. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati I p. 41, 27; SNG Cop 318, SNG München 365; SNG ANS 184 var (grasshopper control), VF, well centered, nice patina, weight 5.272 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 90o, Himera mint, 420 - 409 B.C.; obverse Pan on a goat prancing right, nude but for chlamys fluttering in the wind behind, preparing to blow on conch in right, thyrsus in left over shoulder, Corinthian helmet (control symbol) below; reverse HIMEPAION, Nike flying left, apluster with dangling fillets in extended right, fold of long chiton in left, six pellets (mark of value) left below arm; $260.00 (€226.20)


Crispus, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 326 A.D.

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On 3 July 324, at Adrianople, Constantine defeated Licinius forcing him to retreat to Byzantium. Crispus destroyed Licinius' fleet at the Battle of Hellespont in the Dardanelles, allowing his father to cross over the Bosporus and besiege Licinius. On 18 September, Constantine I decisively defeated Licinius at the Battle of Chrysopolis and became sole emperor.
RL90695. Silvered centenionalis, RIC VII London 279, Cohen VII 27, SRCV IV 16726, Choice EF, centered, interesting decoration on shield, traces of silvering, weight 3.008 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 135o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint, 323 - 324 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOBIL C, laureate and cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield; reverse BEAT TRA-NQLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLON in exergue; scarce; $250.00 (€217.50)


Kingdom of Thrace, Rhoemetalkes I, c. 11 B.C. - 12 A.D.

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When the Cotys VII, King of Thrace, died about 48 B.C. Rhoemetalces I became the guardian of his nephew Rhescuporis I, his brother's young son and heir. In 13 B.C., Rhescuporis I was defeated and slain in battle by Vologases, chief of the Thracian Bessi, who was leading a revolt against Rome. As Rhescuporis I had left no heir, Rhoemetalces became king. An ally of Augustus, the Roman Historian Tacitus described Rhoemetalces as attractive and civilized. After his death, Augustus divided his realm, half for his son Cotys VIII and the other half for Rhoemetalces' brother Rhescuporis II. Tacitus states that Cotys received the cultivated parts, most towns and most Greek cities of Thrace, while Rhescuporis received the wild and savage portion with enemies on its frontier.
RP72883. Bronze AE 15, Youroukova 159, RPC I 1707, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, SNG Stancomb -, VF, weight 1.999 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 225o, c. 11 B.C. - 12 A.D.; obverse K ΣEBAΣTOY, capricorn right, globe upper right between legs; reverse POIMH, Nike advancing right, raising wreath in extended right, grounded palm frond before her in left; rare; $250.00 (€217.50)


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

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Aelia Flaccilla was a fervent supporter of the Nicene Creed. Sozomen reports her preventing a conference between Theodosius and Eunomius of Cyzicus who served as figurehead of Anomoeanism, a sect of Arians. Ambrose and Gregory of Nyssa praise her Christian virtue and comment on her role as "a leader of justice" and "pillar of the Church." She is commemorated as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church; her feast day is 14 September.
RL70543. Bronze AE 4, RIC IX Siscia 35, VF, excellent centering, weight 0.926 g, maximum diameter 13.3 mm, die axis 0o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse AEL FLACCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust right; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICAE, Victory seated right inscribing Christogram on shield set on cippus, BSIS• in exergue; scarce (R2); $225.00 (€195.75)


Roman Egypt, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D.

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Antinous probably joined the entourage of Hadrian when it passed through Bithynia in about 124. He became Hadrian's constant companion and lover but in October 130 Antinous drowned in the Nile. Hadrian's grief knew no bounds; he enrolled him among the gods, erected a temple, and on 30 October 130 A.D., Hadrian founded the city of Antinoopolis on the very bank of the Nile river where Antinous drowned. It was the capital of a new nome, Antinoopolites. Artists vied with each other in immortalizing his beauty. Temples and statues to his memory were erected all over the Empire, and there began a Cult of Antinous. On this coin he is depicted in the guise of Hermanubis.
RX90585. Lead tessera, Giessen 3584 (same obverse die), Milne 5420, Savio 11711, Emmett 4398 (R4), F, weight 5.252 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 45o, Alexandria(?) mint, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D. (possibly later); obverse Antinous on horseback right, wearing hem hem crown, caduceus in right hand; reverse Nike taking flight left, wreath in extended right, palm frond upright in left; rare; $225.00 (€195.75)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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They look similar, but there is a significant physical difference between angels and Victory. Angels are all male. Victory (Nike) is female.
SL73455. Silver denarius, RIC II 60, Cohen II 242, BMCRE III 121, SRCV II 3147, NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5, deposits (2410838-004), weight 3.31 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 101 - 102 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse P·M·TR·P·COS·IIII·P·P, Victory walking left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left; $225.00 (€195.75)


Aigai, Aiolis, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Aegae (or Aigai) means place of goats and was the name of many cities of antiquity. Aegae, Aeolis was located at the mid-point between the modern cities of Ýzmir, Manisa, Bergama and Aliaða.
GB90401. Bronze AE 17, SNG Cop 12 var (different monograms); SNGvA 1598 var (same); SNG München 368 var (same); BMC Troas p. 96, 14 (no monograms); SGCV II 4169, gVF, weight 4.601 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Aigai mint, 2nd - 1st Centuries B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse AIΓAEΩN, Nike standing left, wreath in righ, palm in left, monogram left, monogram right; $220.00 (€191.40)


Crispus, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 326 A.D.

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On 3 July 324, at Adrianople, Constantine defeated Licinius forcing him to retreat to Byzantium. Crispus destroyed Licinius' fleet at the Battle of Hellespont in the Dardanelles, allowing his father to cross over the Bosporus and besiege Licinius. On 18 September, Constantine I decisively defeated Licinius at the Battle of Chrysopolis and became sole emperor.
RL90682. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII London 281, Cohen VII 28, SRCV IV 16726, Choice EF, green patina, perfect centering, small die break on reverse at 8:00, weight 4.026 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint, 323 - 324 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOBIL C, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield; reverse BEAT TRANQLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLON in exergue; scarce; $220.00 (€191.40)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Amphipolis was home to an imperial cult, worshiping the living emperor, and to a cult dedicated to Artemis Tauropolos. The obverse depicts Trajan as a military victor and probably copies an imperial statue. The reverse may depict a local statue of Artemis Tauropolos.
GB90707. Bronze AE 20, Lindgren II 978 (same dies), Varbanov 7179 (R7), AMNG III 79, Hunterian I 37, Moushmov 6068, SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tüb, BMC Macedonia -, F, weight 6.620 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse KAICAP TPAIANOC, emperor on horseback galloping right, brandishing spear to strike a prostrate foe below; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITWN, Artemis Tauropolos standing left, kalathos on head, long torch before her in right hand, small branch in left hand downward at side, grounded shield behind; rare; $220.00 (€191.40)


Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.

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Constantine II was about eight years old when this coin was minted. Here he is draped and cuirassed as a powerful child Caesar with the world in his hands!
SH63721. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 382 (R3) corr. (no cuirass), SRCV IV 17155, Cohen VII 23, gVF, well centered on a tight flan, nice green patina, weight 2.868 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 322 - 323 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust left, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, mappa in left, head of Medusa on cuirass; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS, altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX, surmounted by globe, three stars above, •STR• in exergue; rare; $215.00 (€187.05)


Judean Kingdom, Herod the Great, 37 - 4 B.C.

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The eight prutot was Herod's largest denomination.
JD64052. Copper eight prutot, Hendin 1169, Meshorer TJC 44, Meshorer AJC II 1, RPC I 4901, F, weight 7.360 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Samaria mint, 40 B.C.; obverse military helmet facing, with cheek pieces and straps, wreathed with acanthus leaves, star above, flanked by two palm-branches; reverse HPΩ∆OY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (of King Herod), tripod, ceremonial bowl (lebes) above, LΓ - P (year 3 of the tetrarchy) across fields; $200.00 (€174.00)


Armenian Kingdom, Tigranes II the Great, 95 - 55 B.C.

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Tigranes was called "Tigranes the Great" by Plutarch. The "King of Kings" never appeared in public without having four kings attending him. At its height, Tigranes' empire extended from the Pontic Alps to Mesopotamia and from the Caspian to the Mediterranean. In 83 B.C., the Syrians offered him the crown and after conquering Phoenicia and Cilicia, he effectively ended the Seleucid Empire. His southern border reached as far as Akko-Ptolemais. The first Armenian ruler to issue coins, he adopted the Seleucid tradition and struck coins at Antioch and Damascus during his occupation of Syria from 83 to 69 B.C. In 66 B.C., Pompey advanced into Armenia with Tigranes' own son as an ally. Tigranes, now almost 75 years old, surrendered. Pompey treated him generously and returned some of his kingdom in return for 6,000 talents of silver. His unfaithful son was sent back to Rome as a prisoner. Tigranes continued to rule Armenia as an ally of Rome until his death in 55 B.C.
SH66375. Bronze four chalci, cf. Nercessian 84; Bedoukian 119; BMC Seleucid p. 104, 12 (half chalkous); SNG Cop -, aF, weight 9.332 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus mint, c. 83 - 69 B.C.; obverse head of Tigranes I right wearing five-pointed Armenian tiara, A behind; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ TIΓPANOY, Nike advancing left, wreath in extended right, left hand on hip, uncertain letters outer left; ex Gianni Aiello Collection; rare; $200.00 (€174.00)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Amphipolis was home to an imperial cult, worshiping the living emperor, and to a cult dedicated to Artemis Tauropolos. The obverse depicts Trajan as a military victor and probably copies an imperial statue. The reverse may depict a local statue of Artemis Tauropolos.
GB90406. Bronze AE 20, Lindgren II 978 (same dies), Varbanov 7179 (R7), AMNG III 79, Hunterian I 37, Moushmov 6068, SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tüb, BMC Macedonia -, gF, centered, some porosity, weight 5.099 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse KAICAP TPAIANOC, emperor on horseback galloping right, brandishing spear to strike a prostrate foe below; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITWN, Artemis Tauropolos standing left, kalathos on head, long torch before her in right hand, small branch in left hand downward at side, grounded shield behind; rare; $200.00 (€174.00)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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The empire is history but Rome is still today, the eternal city.

Rome's influence on Western Civilization can hardly be overestimated. In sum, Rome has perhaps had greater influence than any other city on earth, making important contributions to politics, literature, culture, the arts, architecture, music, religion, education, fashion, cinema and cuisine.
RA71554. Silvered antoninianus, Alföldi Siscia V type 61, n° 32; cf. RIC V 738 (obverse) / 737 (reverse); Cohen 561, EF, near full silvering, coppery high spots, porous areas, weight 3.940 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 315o, 6th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 277 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust left, spear pointed forward in right, shield in left; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE, hexastyle temple, Roma seated within, Victory in her right, long scepter in her left, shield at her near side leaning on seat, XXIVI in exergue; not in RIC - very rare; $200.00 (€174.00)


Vetranio, 1 March - 25 December 350 A.D.

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This reverse is much scarcer than Vetranio's usual HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS and CONCORDIA MILITVM types.
SH66576. Bronze AE 2, RIC VIII Siscia 296, VF, weight 1.684 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 350 A.D.; obverse D N VETRANIO P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGVSTORVM, emperor, standing right, holding spear and globe, at feet seated captive, ΓSIS in exergue; scarce; $195.00 (€169.65)


Tisna, Aeolis, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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GB68074. Bronze AE 10, Traité II 2074, pl. CLVII, 22; Klein 345 var (head right); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, SNG München -, BMC Troas -, Lindgren -, VF, weight 1.214 g, maximum diameter 10.3 mm, die axis 225o, Tisna mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse youthful head of river-god Tisnaios left; reverse sword in scabbard with strap, TIΣNA/ON (in two lines, one above, one below); very rare; $195.00 (€169.65)


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, as Satrap of Babylonia, 317 - 311 B.C.

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A rare denomination struck only at the Babylon mint.

When Alexander's empire was divided, his general Seleucus received the satrapy of Babylonia. From about 317 to about 311 B.C., however, Antigonus I Monophthalmus (The "One-Eyed") took over as ruler of all Mesopotamia. Seleucus took refuge with Ptolemy of Egypt and with his aid was able to reenter Babylon in 312 B.C. In 306 Antigonus became the first of the Macedonian generals to take the royal title. In 301 he was defeated and killed by the combined armies of Seleucus and Lysimachus.
GS68012. Silver 1/30th tetradrachm, Price 3729, Müller Alexander -, VF, reverse scuff, uneven toning, weight 0.530 g, maximum diameter 8.92 mm, die axis 0o, Babylon mint, 317 - 311 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse MYP monogram in wreath over XA monogram on left, club, bow and quiver; $190.00 (€165.30)


Hostilian, Summer - November 251 A.D.

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Hostilian was the younger son of Trajan Decius. After the latter's death, Hostilian was elevated to Augustus by his father's successor Trebonianus Gallus. He died of plague shortly after.
RS72392. Billon antoninianus, An apparently unpublished variant of a rare type; RIC IV 201 (R) var (C OVL OSTIL...), RSC IV 65 var (same), SRCV III 9569 var (same), aVF, rough, porous, debased, weight 4.839 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch mint, as caesar, late 250 - summer 251 A.D.; obverse C OVAL OSTIL MES COVINTVS CAESAR, radiate and draped bust right, small VII below bust; reverse VICTORIA AVG, Victory running left, extending wreath before her in right, palm frond upright in left; ex Classical Numismatic Group; this is the only example of this variant known to Forum; $190.00 (€165.30)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RB90829. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 171a, Cohen V 51, gVF, Tiber patina, superb portrait, grainy, edge cracks, tight flan, edge clip at 12:00 (pre-strike to adjust flan weight?), weight 13.589 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 244 - 249 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FIDES EXERCITVS, four legionary standards, second from left signum militaria with hand on top, third an aquila, S C in exergue; $185.00 (€160.95)


Numerian, February or March 283 - October or November 284 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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RX72854. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5611; Milne 4724 var (unbroken legend); Kampmann 114.9; BMC Alexandria p. 320, 2467 var (no star); Geissen 3195 var (same), Choice VF, highlighting patina, weight 8.197 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, as Augustus, c. Oct 283 - 28 Aug 284 A.D.; obverse A K M A NOVM-EPIANOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Nike advancing right wreath in right hand, palm frond in left, L - B (year 2 of Carus) divided across field, star in right field; rare; $185.00 (€160.95)


Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.

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In 68 A.D., Buddhism officially arrived in China with the building of the White Horse Temple.
RB73696. Copper as, RIC I 431, Cohen I 274, aF, weight 9.157 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 68 A.D.; obverse SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG PON MA TR P, laureate head right; reverse legionary aquila (eagle) on thunderbolt between two military standards, S - C across fields; ex Forum (2009); rare; $185.00 (€160.95)


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

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In 77 or 78 A.D., Gnaeus Julius Agricola was made governor of Roman Britain, a post he occupied until 84. In his first year, Agricola subdued the Ordovices in Wales and pursued the remnants of the tribe to Anglesey, the holy island of the Druids. According to Tacitus, he exterminated the whole tribe. The Ordovices do completely disappear from the historical record, but considering the mountainous terrain, it is unlikely killed the entire population. Another tribe, the Silures, was either also militarily defeated or simply agreed to terms. Tacitus wrote of the Silures: non atrocitate, non clementia mutabatur - the tribe "was changed neither by cruelty nor by clemency." A Roman squadron, sent by Agricola, explored the north of Scotland for the first time, discovering the Orkney and Shetland Islands.Pre-Roman Wales
RS70179. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, Vespasian 957; RSC II 49; BMCRE II 234; BnF III 207; SRCV I 2638, VF, superb portrait, toned, weight 3.303 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS, laureate head right; reverse COS V, helmeted rider on rearing horse right; $180.00 (€156.60)


Jovian, 27 June 363 - 17 February 364 A.D.

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In 363, Jovian negotiated a disastrous peace with Persia, surrendering four of the five Roman provinces gained by Galerius in 298, and the cities Nisibis and Singara.
SH90399. Bronze AE 1, RIC VIII Thessalonica 238, VF, green patina, weight 8.537 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 135o, 4th officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 27 Jun 363 - 17 Feb 364 A.D.; obverse D N IOVIAN - VS P F AVG, laurel and rosette diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA ROMANORVM, Jovian standing facing, head right, holding Victory on globe and Chi-Rho standard, •TES∆•; rare; $180.00 (€156.60)


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta

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On 14 April 70 A.D. Titus surrounded Jerusalem. He allowed pilgrims to enter to celebrate Passover but this was a trap to put pressure on supplies of food and water; he refused to allow them to leave. On 10 May he began his assault on the walls. The third wall fell on 25 May. The second wall fell on 30 May. On 20 July Titus stormed the Temple Mount. On 4 August 70 A.D. Titus destroyed the Temple. The Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av mourns the Fall of Jerusalem annually on this date.
SH90414. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 2; Hendin 1479; BMCRE II 35; RSC II 226; SRCV I 2296, F, toned, weight 2.312 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 69 - 70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse IVDAEA, Jewess seated right, mourning, veiled, supporting chin with left hand, trophy of captured arms behind her; $180.00 (€156.60)


Mark Antony and Octavian, Thessalonica, Macedonia, 37 B.C.

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The reverse inscription abbreviates, MAPKOΣ ANTΩNIONΣ AYTOKPATΩP ΓAIOΣ KAIΣAP AYTOKPATΩP. The bust of Libertas on the obverse "refers to the grant of freedom by the Triumvirs to Thessalonica in 42 BC after the battle of Philippi (the victory which is celebrated on the reverse)." -- RPC I, p. 29
SH72307. Leaded bronze AE 31, BMC Macedonia p. 115, 63; RPC I 1551/20-26; Sear CRI 672; SNG Cop 374; SNG ANS 823, aVF, weight 17.561 g, maximum diameter 29.3 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 37 B.C.; obverse ΘEΣΣAΛONKEΩN EΛEYΘEPIAΣ, diademed and draped bust of Eleutheria (Liberty) right, E (year 5) below chin; reverse M ANT AYT Γ KAI AYT, Nike advancing left, extending wreath in right, palm frond in left; $180.00 (€156.60)


Polyrhenion, Crete, c. 330 - 280 B.C.

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GB73555. Bronze AE 11, SNG Cop 534, SGCV I 3357, BMC Crete p. 68, 17, Choice gVF, green patina with earthen highlighting, weight 1.301 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 180o, Polyrhenion mint, c. 330 - 280 B.C.; obverse round shield, bull's head in center, border of dots; reverse arrow-head pointed upwards, Π−O/Λ−Y flanking in two lines; $180.00 (€156.60)


Mark Antony and Octavian, Thessalonica, Macedonia, 37 B.C.

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The reverse inscription abbreviates, MAPKOΣ ANTΩNIONΣ AYTOKPATΩP ΓAIOΣ KAIΣAP AYTOKPATΩP. The bust of Libertas on the obverse "refers to the grant of freedom by the Triumvirs to Thessalonica in 42 BC after the battle of Philippi (the victory which is celebrated on the reverse)." -- RPC I, p. 29
SH63716. Leaded bronze AE 31, BMC Macedonia p. 115, 63; RPC I 1551; Sear CRI 672; SNG Cop 374; SNG ANS 823, F, weight 18.710 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 37 B.C.; obverse ΘEΣΣAΛONKEΩN EΛEYΘEPIAΣ, diademed and draped bust of Eleutheria (Liberty) right, E (year 5) below chin; reverse M ANT AYT Γ KAI AYT, Nike advancing left, extending wreath in right, palm frond in left; $175.00 (€152.25)


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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This bust variation not listed in Cohen or RIC for the reverse type. No other examples online. This is only the 2nd example known to FORVM (the other cited by Bastien).
RB90486. Silvered antoninianus, Bastien XI 181 (1 example cited). RIC V 369 var (bust type), Cohen 265 ff. var (same), gVF, weight 4.002 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 225o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, emission 5, autumn 287 - autumn 289 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXIMIANVS P AVG, radiate, helmeted, and cuirassed bust right; reverse HERCVLI INVICTO AVGG, Hercules standing facing, head left, Victory on globe in right hand, lion-skin over left arm and leaning with left hand on club, S left; extremely rare; $175.00 (€152.25)


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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Did you read the description and wonder, what is a vexillum and what is a staurogram? If so, note the terms are in blue text. Click on any blue text in our website catalog to open a page or website where you will find a definition, explanation or related information.This type was issued with various Christian symbols on the banner.
RL71441. Bronze centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 125, LRBC 2614, Voetter 22, Choice gVF, weight 4.209 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust left, globe in right hand; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), emperor standing left, vexillum with staurogram on flag in right, resting left on grounded shield behind, two kneeling bound captives at feet before him, star left, ANB in exergue; $175.00 (€152.25)


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG XX

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Antony's XX must have been disbanded by Augustus. The well-known XX Valeria Victrix (which later took part in the conquest of Britain) was probably constituted by Octavian, perhaps after Actium.
SL70953. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/36, Sydenham 1243, BMCRR II East 215, RSC I 57, ANACS G4 (4756278), maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 90o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow, border of dots; reverse LEG - XX, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; $175.00 (€152.25)


Procopius, 28 September 365 - 27 May 366 A.D.

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After Jovian's death, the new emperors, Valentinian I and Valens, sent some soldiers to arrest Procopius. He surrendered, but asked to meet his family; he had his captors dine and drink, and then seized the opportunity to flee with his family, first to the Black Sea and later to the Tauric Chersonese, where they hid. However, Procopius feared a betrayal, and decide to go to Constantinople and to declare himself Emperor.
RL73604. Bronze centenionalis, LRBC II 1930, RIC IX Heraclea 7, Cohen VIII 9, SRCV V 19881, VF, dark sea green patina, tight flan with slightly ragged edges, weight 3.425 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 28 Sep 365 - Apr 366 A.D.; obverse D N PROCO-PIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust left; reverse REPARATIO FEL TEMP (happy times restored), Procopius standing facing, head right, labarum in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, chi-rho Christogram above right, pellet right, SMHin exergue; rare; $175.00 (€152.25)


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

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Tribal peoples outside the Empire struck coinage imitative of Roman types beginning in the second century B.C. and continued to strike imitative types even after the Western Empire ceased to exist. Several official issues used this reverse type, but the style is exotic and crude. These legends were never used on any official issues.
RS90386. Silver denarius, cf. RIC IV 516, RSC III 719, BMCRE V 678 (official, Laodicea ad Mare, 198 - 202 A.D.), VF, weight 2.520 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, tribal mint, c. 198 - 210 A.D.; obverse S VERVS - AVGVSTVS P, laureate head right; reverse TR-PO CO VIII VICTO AVG, Victory ascending left, open wreath in both hands, round shield on a low base at feet on left; $170.00 (€147.90)


Mesembria, Thrace, 300 - 250 B.C.

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The wheel on the reverse is depicted with a degree of perspective, which is unusual on ancient coins.
GB71334. Bronze AE 18, SNG Stancomb 229, SNG Cop 658, SNG BM Black Sea 276 var (helmet left), VF, weight 4.093 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 270o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 300 - 250 B.C.; obverse Thracian helmet with cheek guard right; reverse MEΣAMBPIANΩN, wheel with hub; rare; $170.00 (€147.90)


Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D.

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In Roman religion every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Roman people, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENI EXERCITVS ILLVRICI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the army in Illyria (an area in the western Balkans).

Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RB73735. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 119b (S), Cohen V 56, SRCV III 9404, Hunter III 35 var (EXERC. ILLVRICIANI), VF, superb portrait, nice near black patina, weight 9.594 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate, cuirassed and slightly draped bust right, from front; reverse GENIVS EXERCITVS ILLVRICIANI, Genius standing left, naked except for polos on head and cloak over shoulder, patera in right, cornucopia in left, grounded standard behind, S - C flanking across field; ex Croydon Coin Auction 134 (London, 20 Feb 1996), lot 655; scarce; $165.00 (€143.55)




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