The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by King Eurystheus (his cousin), was to slay the Nemean lion and bring back its skin. It could not be killed with mortal weapons because its golden fur was impervious to attack. Its claws were sharper than swords and could cut through any armor. Herakles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight the lion bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. Wise Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt. This type was struck with dozens of different pose variations on the reverse. In some scenes it even appears Herakles might lose. There are so many variations that it may be possible to take the photographs of the reverses and arrange them in a flip book to animate the fight.
GS67287. Silver diobol, Vlasto 1254 ff., HN Italy 914, SGCV I 351, aVF, grainy, small flan, obverse off center, weight 0.749 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 180o, Taras mint, c. 380 - 325 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested attic helmet decorated with a hippocamp; reverse TAPANTINΩN(?), young Heracles standing right strangling the Nemean lion, nude, club behind, K between Herakles legs; $110.00 (€95.70)
Selge, Pisidia, c. 350 - 300 B.C.
Selge, Pisidia on the southern slope of Mount Taurus where the river Eurymedon (Köprüçay) forces its way through the mountains, was once the most powerful and populous city of Pisidia. Protected by precipices, torrents, and an army of 20,000 regarded as worthy kinsmen of the Spartans, Selge was never subject to a foreign power until Rome. In the 5th century A.D. Zosimus calls it a little town, but it was still strong enough to repel a body of Goths.
GS68737. Silver obol, SNGvA 5266 ff.; SNG BnF 1930; SNG Kayhan 1061; BMC Lycia p. 257, 7; cf. SNG Cop 246 ff. (no tongue); SGCV II 5478, VF, toned, edge chip, weight 0.768 g, maximum diameter 10.4 mm, die axis 45o, Selge mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverseGorgoneion head facing with protruding tongue; reverse helmeted head of Athena right, astragalos behind; $110.00 (€95.70)
Apollonia Pontika, Thrace, c. Late 4th Century B.C.
Apollonia Pontica was founded as Antheia by Greek colonists from Miletus in the 7th century B.C. They soon changed its name to Apollonia after building a temple for Apollo. The temple contained a colossal statue of Apollo by Calamis, which was later taken to Rome and placed in the Capitol. The anchor on the coinage is evidence of the importance of its maritime trade.
GS68929. Silver diobol, Topalov Apollonia p. 387, 1; SNG BM 167; SNG Stancomb 41; SNG Cop 461, VF, weight 1.256 g, maximum diameter 10.8 mm, die axis 0o, Apollonia Pontica (Sozopol, Bulgaria) mint, Late 4th century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo facing; reverseanchor flukes up, thick flukes, rectangular stock, A on left and crawfish seen from above on right between flukes and stock; $110.00 (€95.70)
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia
Kayseri, Turkey was originally named Mazaca. It was renamed Eusebia by Ariarathes V Eusebes, King of Cappadocia, 163 - 130 B.C. The last king of Cappadocia, King Archelaus, renamed it "Caesarea in Cappadocia" to honorCaesarAugustus upon his death in 14 A.D. Muslim Arabs slightly modified the name into Kaisariyah, which became Kayseri when the Seljuk Turks took control, c. 1080 A.D.
RP90613. Silver hemidrachm, Metcalf 86a; Sydenham Caesarea 255; BMC Galatia p. 62, 140; SNGvA 6413; SNG Cop 223 var (draped and cuirassed), gF, well centered, struck with worn dies, weight 1.560 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea mint, 120 - 121 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAIC TPAI A∆PIANOC CEBACT, laureate bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverseVictory advancing right, wreath in extended right, palm frond over shoulder in left, ET ∆ (year 4) in right field; ex CNG auction 326, part of lot 713; $105.00 (€91.35)
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection
SNG Kayhan is a standard reference for the archaic silver fractional coins of Ionia and Karia and a very good overall for pre-Roman Greek coins from those areas (Ephesos and Miletos in particular). The book largely covers the private collection of the author and this particular volume consists solely of Greek coinage (i.e. Roman Provincials are not present). While there is some coverage of areas such as Thrace, Macedonia, Boiotia, Attika, Bithynia, Mysia, Troas, Aiolis, Lydia, Phrygia, Lykia, Pamphylia, Pisidia, Isauria, Kilikia, Cyprus, Syria, Egypt, Incerti, it is Ionia and Karia that get most attention.
BK65561. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection, Istanbul, 2002, quatro, 41 pages of plates with corresponding pages of descriptions (1,076 coins); $100.00 (€87.00)
Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, Mid - Late 5th Century B.C.
Pharsalos, built on a hillside of the Narthacius Mountains, was one of the main cities in Thessaly. In the Persian Wars it sided with the Athenians. In the early 4th century B.C., the city was a part of the Thessalian League. Later, it joined the Macedonian Kingdom under Philip II. The area became a theater of war where the Aetolians and the Thessalians clashed with the Macedonians, especially during the Second and the Third Macedonian Wars. After the defeat of the Macedonian Kingdom, Pharsalos and the whole area became a part of the Roman Republic. Pharsalos is famous for being the scene of the final battle between Caesar and Pompey.
GS90188. Silver hemidrachm, Lavva 31 (V21/R19); SNG Cop 217 - 218; BCD Thessaly II 664; BMC Thessaly p. 43, 2; SGCV I 2189, aF, weight 2.656 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 45o, Pharsalos mint, Mid - Late 5th century B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right, crested helmet, ear-flap raised; reverse horse head and neck right, Φ−AP downward on right; $100.00 (€87.00)
Kyme, Aiolis, c. 480 - 450 B.C.
Cyme, one of the oldest and noblest of the Aeolian cities, was probably a colony of Cyme in Euboea, though according to tradition it was founded by the Amazon Kyme. Its inhabitants were mainly agricultural and averse to seafaring.
GA71547. Silver hemiobol, SGCV II 4174, BMC Troas 11, Klein 333, SNGvA 7690, SNG Kayhan 84, VF, dark toning, weight 0.397 g, maximum diameter 7.8 mm, Kyme mint, c. 480 - 450 B.C.; obverse KY, eagle head left; reverseincuse mill-sail pattern; $100.00 (€87.00)
Samos, Islands off Ionia, c. 400 - 380 B.C.
Samos is the birth place of Pythagoras. One of the famous attractions of the island is the aqueduct-tunnel which was dug through a mountain to bring water to the city from an inland secret the spring. The tunnel was in use for a very long period and discovered in 19th century thanks to Herodotos' writing of it. The tunnel is over 1000m long, an engineering marvel dug from both ends by two simultaneously working teams.
GS71552. Silver diobol, Barron p. 212, 1 ff.; SNG Cop 1690; SNGvA 2295; SNG Kayhan 667; BMC Ionia p. 363, 140 ff.; HGC 6 1224 (R2), F, grainy, weight 1.099 g, maximum diameter 9.8 mm, die axis 90o, Samos mint, c. 400 - 380 B.C.; obverse facing lion head (scalp?); reverse prow of Samian galley right, ΣA below; rare; $100.00 (€87.00)
Halikarnassos(?), Caria, c. 400 - 340 B.C.
In Kadmos 37 (1998), K. Konuk identifies Halikarnassos as a possible reading of the ethnic Carian reverselegend. The ram's head may be a symbol of Apollo as the god of flocks and herds.
GS73023. Silver hemiobol, SNG Kayhan 996; SNG Keckman 873; noted in Troxell Carians, weight 0.490 g, maximum diameter 7.6 mm, die axis 0o, Carian mint, c. 400 - 340 B.C; obverse head of ram right; reverse young male head right, ethniclegend across lower fields; $100.00 (€87.00)
Pisidian Tribes (Pisidic, Galatian, or Celtic?), Imitative of Selge, Pisidia, c. 350 - 190 B.C.
This coin is a barbaric tribal imitative of a similar type struck by Selge. Selge was a fortress-like Greek colony on the southern slope of Mount Taurus in Pisidia, a wild frontier inhabited by warlike tribes, pirates, and bandits. Herodotus called the indigenous Pisidic people "Lakuna" but this was just one of many Pisidic tribes. The Hellenistic kings were never able to govern these indigenous people or the invading Galatian and Celtic new arrivals. In 39 B.C. Marc Antony entrusted Pisidia to the Galatian client king Amyntas and charged him with putting down the bandit Homonadesians, who threatened the roads connecting Pisidia to Pamphylia. After Amyntas was killed in the struggle in 25 B.C., Rome made Pisidiapart of the new province of Galatia. The Homonadesians were finally wiped out in 3 B.C.
GS73027. Silver obol, cf. Traité II 1586, pl. CXLIV, 15 (similarly crude, Athena head left); for Selge prototype see: SNG BnF 1930; SNG Cop 246; BMC Pisidia p. 259, 23, gVF, toned, weight 0.732 g, maximum diameter 9.3 mm, die axis 180o, Pisidian tribal mint, c. 350 - 190 B.C.; obverse crude facing Gorgon with short radiating hair, pellet eyes, thin nose, high cheeks, and closed mouth; reverse crude head of Athena right in a crested helmet, astragalos behind; very rare; $100.00 (€87.00)