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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ AgricultureView Options:  |  |  | 

Agriculture on Ancient Coins

Tamouda, Mauretania, 1st Century B.C.

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Tamuda (Tamusia) was founded by Berbers in the 3rd century B.C. There was likely a Phoenician presence in the next century, mainly for commerce. Rome occupied Tamuda during the reign of Augustus. Around 42 A.D., it was leveled by Roman garrisons during an insurrection. It was replaced with a fortified settlement, later a Roman castrum, and grew to be a major city of Mauretania Tingitana. Industry included fish salting and purple dye production. The region became fully Romanized, Christian and "pacified." By the time the Vandals arrived in the fifth century the city had disappeared from history and may have already been abandoned.
GB84542. Bronze AE 16, cf. Mazard 587 (anepigraphic), SNG Cop 719 (same), Müller Afrique 242 (neo-Punic TMDT behind head), SRCV II 6653 (same), F/VF, rough, dark green patina, weight 2.454 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 0o, Tamouda (near Tetouan, Morocco) mint, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.; obverse bearded head right; reverse two heads of grain, meander symbol and pellet between them; ex-RBW Collection; rare; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


Leontini, Sicily, c. 207 - 200 B.C.

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Leontini was founded by colonists from Naxos in 729 B.C. Six miles inland, it is the only Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, Originally held by the Sicels, the site was seized by the Greeks to gain control of the fertile plain to the north.

When the Roman general Marcus Claudius Marcellus stormed the city in 214 B.C., Leontini was subject to Syracuse and the rulers of Syracuse actually resided there. Marcellus had 2000 Roman deserters who were hiding in the city killed, and then moved to lay siege to Syracuse itself.
GB65520. Bronze AE 16, Calciati p. 81, 9; SNG ANS 274; BMC Sicily p. 93, 66; SNG Cop 366, VF, weight 4.170 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 180o, Leontini mint, c. 207 - 200 B.C.; obverse veiled head of Demeter left, plow behind; reverse ΛEON, bundle of grain; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


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

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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.
RB64531. Bronze quadrans, RIC II.1 243, Cohen 17, VF, weight 2.181 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, obverse IMP DOMIT AVG GERM, bust of Ceres (possibly with the features of Domitia) left, wreathed with grain; reverse bundle of three poppies and four stalks of grain, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; rare; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


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

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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.
RS70258. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, Vespasian 976; RSC II 30; BMCRE II Vespasian 323; BnF III 285; SRCV I 2636, F, centered, toned, weight 3.372 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS, laureate head right; reverse CERES AVGVST, Ceres standing slightly left, head left, stalks of grain in right hand, torch in left hand; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


Elaea, Aeolis, c. 340 - 300 B.C.

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Aristophanes in Plutus makes a humorous comment on victorious athletes who are crowned with wreath made of wild olive instead of gold: "Why, Zeus is poor, and I will clearly prove it to you. In the Olympic games, which he founded, and to which he convokes the whole of Greece every four years, why does he only crown the victorious athletes with wild olive? If he were rich he would give them gold."
GB71614. Bronze AE 18, BMC Troas p. 125, 6; SNG Cop 171 var. (plain helmet); SNGvA 1606 var. (same and monogram in exergue); cf. SGCV II 4204 (AE10), gVF, green patina, light corrosion, weight 5.498 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 90o, Elaea (near Zeytindag, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left in crested Corinthian helmet ornamented with a snake, wearing necklace and cruciform earring; reverse grain kernel, flanked by E - Λ, all within olive wreath; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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These reverses are commemorative of the careful and vigorous attention, which characterized the proceedings of that excellent emperor [Severus Alexander], with respect to the provision of wheat to the people, brought to Rome, at his own expense, from abroad: the frumentarian funds having been left exhausted by his infamous predecessor. - Vaillant, Praest, Num. Impp. Rom. p. 280.
RS73537. Silver denarius, SRCV II 7858, RIC IV 187, BMCRE VI 496, RSC III 27, Hunter III -, aEF, well struck, well centered, frosty surfaces, weight 3.201 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 228 A.D.; obverse IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate head right; reverse ANNONA AVG, Annona standing left, heads of grain in right hand, scepter in left hand, right foot on prow; $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)
 


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C.

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Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and the Chersonesos after Alexander's death. He became one of the diadochi (successors of Alexander) who were initially generals and governors, but who continuously allied and warred with each other and eventually divided the empire. In 309, he founded his capital Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonesos with the mainland. In 306, he followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. In 281, he was killed in battle against Seleucus, another successor of Alexander.
GB68080. Bronze AE 13, Müller 14, SNG Cop 1168, SGCV II 6822, VF, weight 2.519 g, maximum diameter 12.8 mm, die axis 0o, Kallatis (Mangalia, Romania) mint, c. 297 - 281 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right clad in lion's scalp headdress; reverse BAΣI/ΛYΣI within a wreath of grain; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


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

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In 78 AD, Gnaeus Julius Agricola was made governor of Roman Britain. Before the end of the year he conquered the Silures and the Ordovices, in Wales. It's unclear whether the Silures were 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." According to Tacitus, Gnaeus Julius Agricola exterminated the whole Ordovices tribe. Although the tribe completely disappeared from the historical record, in view of the mountainous terrain of the area, it is unlikely Agricola could have wiped out the entire population.Pre-Roman Wales
RS70236. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 980; BMCRE II 216; RSC II 216; BnF III 190; SRCV I 2293, aVF, toned, weight 3.466 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse modius filled with stalks of grain, IMP - XIX flanking across field; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. This reverse suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people.
RS73678. Silver denarius, RIC IV 188, RSC III 29a, BMCRE IV 674, SRCV II 7859, Hunter III -, aEF, both sides slightly off-center but broad flan so only the tops of a few letters off flan, some die wear, die break below bust, weight 3.168 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 231 A.D.; obverse IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate head right, with neatly trimmed beard; reverse ANNONA AVG, Annona standing left, two heads of grain downward in right hand over modius overflowing with grain at feet left, grounded anchor in left hand; ex Forum (2004); $100.00 (€89.00)
 


Kalchedon, Bithynia, c. 340 - 320 B.C.

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The position of Chalcedon, on the eastern shore of the Bosporus, was not as favorable as that of Byzantion on the opposite side. The Persian Megabazus (Herod. iv. 144) said the founders of Chalcedon must have been blind, for Chalcedon was settled seventeen years before Byzantium; and the settlers, we must suppose, had the choice of the two places.
GS75218. Silver half siglos, SNG BM 118; SNGvA 484; SNG Stancomb 14; BMC Pontus p. 124, 8; HGC 7 518, gVF, off-center, light marks, tiny edge split, weight 2.430 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, Kalchedon mint, c. 340 - 320 B.C.; obverse KAΛX, bull standing left on ear of grain; reverse quadripartite incuse square of mill-sail pattern, stippled texture within incuse areas; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

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Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. This reverse refers to the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people.
RS75003. Silver denarius, RIC IV 59; RSC III 13; Hunter III 26, BMCRE V p. 549, 126; SRCV II 7503, EF, excellent portrait, toned, slightly irregular flan, flan cracks, weight 3.249 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, c. late 219 - 220 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse ANNONA AVGVSTI, Annona standing left, grain ears in right hand over modius at feet, leaning with left arm resting on rudder behind set on globe; scarce; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D., Berytos, Phoenicia

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Named for the daughter of Augustus, Colonia Iulia Augusta Felix Berytus was founded in 14 B.C. with veterans of the 5th and 8th legions. Herod the Great, Herod Agrippa I, and Herod Agrippa II built sumptuous monuments and sponsored gladiatorial combats at Berytos. After the siege of Jerusalem, Titus gave gladiatorial games at Berytos, in which the combatants were Jews.
RP55005. Bronze AE 25, RPC II 2045; Rouvier 513; BMC Phoenicia p. 63, 80; Lindgren-Kovacs 2257, F, green patina, scratches, reverse off-center, weight 13.564 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 180o, Berytos (Beirut, Lebanon) mint, obverse IMP T CAESAR AVG F, bare head left; reverse COL IVL AVG, priest with yoke of two oxen right, plowing the pomerium (sacred boundary), founding the new colony; $95.00 (€84.55)
 


Iaetia, Sicily, 4th Century B.C.

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Iaitas was located on Mount Jato, near modern San Giuseppe Jato, a village in a hilly region of Palermo's hinterland, 31 km from the Sicilian capital. The settlement dated back to prehistoric times, with influence of Greek culture from the 6th century B.C.
GB65643. Bronze AE 13, Calciati I p.383, 1; SNG ANS 1343; SNG Cop -; SNG Munchen -, aF, rough, weight 1.332 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 180o, Iaetia mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse IATINΩN, man-faced bull right; reverse head of grain on left, grain kernel (or a second head of grain) on right; very rare; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


Leontini, Sicily, c. 476 - 455 B.C.

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Leontini was founded by colonists from Naxos in 729 B.C. Six miles inland, it is the only Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, Originally held by the Sicels, the site was seized by the Greeks to gain control of the fertile plain to the north.
GS65783. Silver hemilitra, SNG Munchen 548; Boehringer Leontini B; cf. HGC 2 688 (R2, obol); SNG ANS 216 (obol, finer style); BMC Sicily p. 88, 22 (same); SNG Cop 342 (same), F, toned, porous, crude style (perhaps a barbaric imitative), weight 0.297 g, maximum diameter 9.5 mm, die axis 225o, Leontini (or unofficial?) mint, c. 476 - 466 B.C.; obverse crude facing lion scalp, dot border; reverse LE/ON (retrograde), barley grain, within shallow round incuse; from the old stock of a retiring Ohio dealer acquired by Forum in 2012; very rare; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


Leontini, Sicily, c. 476 - 455 B.C.

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Leontini was founded by colonists from Naxos in 729 B.C. Six miles inland, it is the only Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, Originally held by the Sicels, the site was seized by the Greeks to gain control of the fertile plain to the north.
GS65784. Silver hemilitra, SNG Munchen 548; Boehringer Leontini B; cf. HGC 2 688 (R2, obol); SNG ANS 216 (obol, finer style); BMC Sicily p. 88, 22 (same); SNG Cop 342 (same), aVF, toned, crude style (perhaps a barbaric imitative), weight 0.280 g, maximum diameter 9.5 mm, die axis 0o, Leontini (or unofficial?) mint, c. 476 - 466 B.C.; obverse crude facing lion scalp, dot border; reverse LE/ON (retrograde), barley grain, within shallow round incuse; from the old stock of a retiring Ohio dealer acquired by Forum in 2012; very rare; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


Neandreia, Troas, c. 400 - 310 B.C.

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Neandreia, Troas was located near the summit of Mount Chigri about 9 km east of Alexandria Troas. In 310 B.C., Antigonus I Monophthalmus founded Antigonia Troas (renamed Alexandria Troas by Lysimachos in 301 B.C.) and moved the citizens of nearby cities, including Neandreia to his new city. In the 1st century A.D., Pliny the Elder listed Neandreia among the settlements in the Troad which no longer existed.
GB71690. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 451; SNGvA 1558; SNG Munchen 297; BMC Troas p. 74, 8, VF, green patina, patina edge flaking (stable), weight 6.932 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 315o, Neandreia (on Mount Chigri, Turkey) mint, 300 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse NEAN, horse grazing to right, grain kernel in exergue; rare; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


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

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Annona was worshiped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year's supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capital. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated to the use of an army during a campaign.
RA84351. Billon antoninianus, Venèra IV 1189 - 1192, Hunter IV 36 var. (bust), RIC V 447 var. (same), SRCV III 12253, Pink VI-2 p. 29, Cohen VI 83, VF, nice portrait, well centered, dark toning, weight 3.490 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, Feb/Mar 283 - Oct/Nov 284 A.D.; obverse IMP NVMERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PROVIDENT AVGG (the foresight of the two emperors), Providentia (Annona?) standing slightly right, head left, stalks of grain downward in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, modius at feet on left, VXXI in exergue; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


Lokri Opuntii, Lokris, Greece, c. 350 - 340 B.C.

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Lokrian Ajax (the Lesser) was a Greek mythological hero, son of Oileus, the king of Locris. Locrians are mentioned by Homer in the Iliad as following Ajax, the son of Oïleus, to the Trojan War in forty ships, and as inhabiting the towns of Kynos, Opus, Calliarus, Besa, Scarphe, Augeiae, Tarphe, and Thronium. Lokrian Ajax was called the "lesser" or "Lokrian" Ajax, to distinguish him from Ajax the Great, son of Telamon. He is also mentioned in the Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid.
GS84492. Silver triobol or hemidrachm, BCD Lokris 369; SNG Lockett 1697; BMC Central p. 3, 26; SNG Cop -, F, well centered, high relief, lamination defects, scratches, edge chips, corrosion, silver encrustations, weight 1.924 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 0o, Lokri Opuntii mint, c. 350 - 340 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wreathed in grain, wearing drop earring and necklace; reverse OΠON−TIΩN, Ajax son of Oileus advancing right in fighting attitude, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, nude, short sword in right hand, oval shield on left arm, shield ornamented inside bottom with a lion forepart right (control symbol), spear on ground in background; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Philippi, Macedonia

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Mark Antony and Octavian defeated the assassins of Caesar, Marcus Junius Brutus and Cassius, at the Battle of Philippi in the plain to the west of the city in October 42 B.C. They released some of their veteran soldiers, probably from legion XXVIII, to colonized the city, which was refounded as Colonia Victrix Philippensium. In 30 BC, Octavian became Roman emperor, reorganized the colony, and established more settlers there, veterans possibly from the Praetorian Guard and other Italians. The city was renamed Colonia Iulia Philippensis, and then Colonia Augusta Iulia Philippensis after January, 27 BC, when Octavian received the title Augustus from the Roman Senate.
RP77240. Bronze AE 18, RPC I 1656; Varbanov III 3770 (R4); BMC Mysia p. 103, 86 (Parium); SNG Cop IV 282 (same), gF, green patina, weight 4.887 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Philippi mint, obverse AVG, bare head right; reverse two priests with yoke of two oxen right, plowing the pomerium (sacred boundary), founding the new colony; $85.00 (€75.65)
 


Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D., Berytos, Phoenicia

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Named for the daughter of Augustus, Colonia Iulia Augusta Felix Berytus was founded in 14 B.C. with veterans of the 5th and 8th legions. Herod the Great, Herod Agrippa I, and Herod Agrippa II built sumptuous monuments and sponsored gladiatorial combats at Berytos. After the siege of Jerusalem, Titus gave gladiatorial games at Berytos, in which the combatants were Jews.
RP78052. Bronze AE 25, RPC II 2045; Rouvier 513; BMC Phoenicia p. 63, 80; Lindgren-Kovacs 2257, F, legends partially unstruck, tight flan, weight 13.319 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, Berytos (Beirut, Lebanon) mint, obverse IMP T CAESAR AVG F, bare head left; reverse COL IVL AVG, priest with yoke of two oxen right, plowing the pomerium (sacred boundary), founding the new colony; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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

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Annona was worshiped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year's supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capital. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated to the use of an army during a campaign.
RB65254. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 168a, Cohen V 26, VF/F, grainy with some marks and encrustations, weight 15.635 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ANNONA AVGG S C, Annona standing left, grain in right over modius at feet, cornucopia in left; $75.00 (€66.75)
 


Leontini, Sicily, c. 476 - 455 B.C.

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Leontini was founded by colonists from Naxos in 729 B.C. Six miles inland, it is the only Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, Originally held by the Sicels, the site was seized by the Greeks to gain control of the fertile plain to the north.
GS67480. Silver hemilitra, SNG Munchen 548; Boehringer Leontini B; cf. HGC 2 688 (R2, obol); SNG ANS 216 (obol, finer style); BMC Sicily p. 88, 22 (same); SNG Cop 342 (same), VF, weight 0.282 g, maximum diameter 10.3 mm, die axis 225o, Leontini (or unofficial?) mint, c. 476 - 466 B.C.; obverse crude facing lion scalp, dot border; reverse LE/ON (retrograde), barley grain, within shallow round incuse; very rare; $75.00 (€66.75)
 


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

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Apamea is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). After the Mithridatic Wars it became a great center for trade, largely carried on by resident Italians and Jews. Apamea is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 62a, Niddah, 30b and Yeb. 115b). By order of Flaccus, nearly 45 kilograms of gold, intended by Jews for the Temple in Jerusalem was confiscated in Apamea in 62 B.C. On the outbreak of the Jewish War, the inhabitants of Apamea spared the Jews who lived in their midst, and would not suffer them to be murdered or led into captivity (Josephus, Bell. Jud. ii. 18, § 5).

This type, the only issue by Apamea in the Flavian Period, may have been issued to finance recovery from an earthquake and fire mentioned by Suetonius (Vesp. 17).
Great Colonnade at Apamea
RP77369. Bronze AE 26, RPC II 1389; SNG Cop 210; SNGvA 3491; SNG Munchen 152; BMC Phrygia p. 95, 150, Fair, nice portrait for grade, nice green patina, weight 9.728 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Apamea of Syria mint, struck under Plancius Varus, Praetorian Legate; obverse AYTOKPATΩP KAIΣAP ΣEBAΣTOΣ OYEΣΠAΣIANOΣ, laureate head right; reverse EΠI ΠΛANKIOY OYAPOY KOINON ΦPYΓIAΣ AΠAMEIΣ, bundle of five stalks of grain; $75.00 (€66.75)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Philippi, Macedonia

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Mark Antony and Octavian defeated the assassins of Caesar, Marcus Junius Brutus and Cassius, at the Battle of Philippi in the plain to the west of the city in October 42 B.C. They released some of their veteran soldiers, probably from legion XXVIII, to colonized the city, which was refounded as Colonia Victrix Philippensium. In 30 BC, Octavian became Roman emperor, reorganized the colony, and established more settlers there, veterans possibly from the Praetorian Guard and other Italians. The city was renamed Colonia Iulia Philippensis, and then Colonia Augusta Iulia Philippensis after January, 27 BC, when Octavian received the title Augustus from the Roman Senate.
RP77243. Bronze AE 18, RPC I 1656; Varbanov III 3770 (R4); BMC Mysia p. 103, 86 (Parium); SNG Cop IV 282 (same), F, green patina, scratches, weight 5.207 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Philippi mint, obverse AVG, bare head right; reverse two priests with yoke of two oxen right, plowing the pomerium (sacred boundary), founding the new colony; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Elaea, Aiolis

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Elaea was the ancient port of Pergamum, located near the modern town of Zeytindag, Izmir Province, Turkey. The name of Elaea occurs in the history of the kings of Pergamum. According to Strabo, from Livy (xxxv. 13), travelers who would reach Pergamum from the sea, would land at Elaea. One of the passages of Livy shows that there was a small hill near Elaea, and that the town was in a plain and walled. Elaea was damaged by an earthquake in the reign of Trajan, at the same time that Pitane suffered. The ruins of the silted port's breakwater can be seen on satellite photos.
GB77997. Bronze AE 16, BMC Troas p. 129, 42; SNGvA 1611; SNG Munchen 424, SNG Cop -, aVF, nice dark green patina, weight 3.197 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 0o, Elaea (near Zeytindag, Turkey) mint, 11 Aug 117 - 10 Jul 138 A.D.; obverse AVTO - TPAI A∆P, laureate head and draped bust right; reverse EΛA/ITΩN, basket containing two poppy-heads in center, flanked on each side by two dropping stalks of grain; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $65.00 (€57.85)
 


Kyrene, Kyrenaica, North Africa 300 - 277 B.C.

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The silphium plant, which appears frequently on the coins of Kyrene, was used to cure just about anything and the stalk was eaten as a vegetable. The fruits were considered both an aphrodisiac and a contraceptive. It apparently went extinct c. 1st century A.D. The story is that Nero ate the last one.
GB69665. Bronze quarti, Asolati 51Gi, BMC Cyrenaica p. 62, 316; SNG Cop 1264, F, rough, weight 5.069 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, Kyrene mint, 300 - 277 B.C.; obverse head of Zeus-Ammon with short beard right; reverse K−Y/PA−I, palm tree with fruit, silphium plant on right, legend across fields; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $60.00 (€53.40)
 


Lysimachia, Thracian Chersonesos, c. 309 - 220 B.C.

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A barley kernel lower or leaf on the lower left is not described in the references and this could just be a die break. Some of the plate coins appear to have a similar object. Most examples are described with a monogram below.
GB69753. Bronze AE 15, cf. Lindgren II 873; SNG Milan 195; SNG Cop 918; BMC Thrace p. 196, 16 ff.; SGCV 1623; SNG Tub -; SNG ANS -, aVF, nice green patina, weight 3.039 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 180o, Lysimachia (Eksemil, Turkey) mint, c. 309 - 220 B.C.; obverse lion head right; reverse ΛY− ΣI, ear of barley on stalk, barley kernel(?) or leaf(?) lower left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $60.00 (€53.40)
 


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior

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Renamed by Trajan after his sister, Ulpia Marciana, Marcianopolis was an important strategic center for centuries. The city was repeatedly destroyed by barbarian raids (Goths, Huns, Avars and others) but also was repeatedly rebuilt and prospered. During Valens' conflict with the Goths, Marcianopolis was a temporary capital of the empire and the largest city in Thrace. An Avar raid destroyed the city in 614 or 615.
RP70504. Bronze pentassarion, H-J Marcianopolis 6.37.5.- var. (R6, obv legend, reverse legend arrangement), Varbanov I 1976 ff. var. (R3, same); SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, scratches, flan cracks, centration dimples, weight 11.799 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Tullius Menophilus; obverse M ANTΩNIOX ΓOP∆IANOC AY, confronted busts of Gordian on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed, seen from behind; and Serapis on right, draped, wearing kalathos on head; AYT K M below; reverse YΠ MHNOΦIΛOY MAPKIANOΠOΛ,I/T/Ω/N (last four letters in right field), Demeter standing facing, wearing kalathos, grain in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand, E in left; an unpublished variation of a scarce type; $60.00 (€53.40)
 


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

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Laertes, on the coast of Cilicia east of Coracesium, struck coins from the reigns of Trajan to Saloninus.
RP78023. Bronze AE 19, RPC III 2748/47 (Lycia-Pamphylia); SNG Levante 371; SNG BnF 589; SNGvA 5690; SNG Cop 156; BMC Lycaonia p. 91, 3 and pl. XV, 5, gF, well centered, green patina, corrosion, scratches, weight 4.461 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Laerte mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPATWP TPAIANOC, laureate head right; reverse ΛAEPTITWN, Demeter seated left, holding stalks of grain and poppy-head in left hand, long grounded torch vertical behind in left hand; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $60.00 (€53.40)
 


Leontini, Sicily, 2nd Century B.C.

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In 214 B.C., Roman forces lead by Marcus Claudius Marcellus stormed Leontini, which had been subject to Syracuse. Marcellus executed 2000 Roman deserters who were hiding in the city and then moved to lay siege to Syracuse. The siege would last for two years, thwarted in part by the military machines created by the famous inventor Archimedes.
GB69013. Bronze AE 22, Calciati III p. 85, 21; SNG Cop 362, SNG Munchen 572, HGC 2 715 (R1); SNG Morcom -, aVF, green patina, uneven strike with weak areas, weight 8.810 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 45o, Leontini mint, Roman rule, 2nd century B.C.; obverse laureate bust of Artemis (or Apollo) right, quiver behind shoulder; reverse ΛEONTIN−ΩN (clockwise from upper right), Demeter standing left, grain ears upward in extended right, long long torch vertical behind in left, plough at feet left; rare; $55.00 (€48.95)
 


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

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Elaea was the port of Pergamum; the site is not precisely determined but is near Zeytindag, Izmir Province, Turkey.
GB73449. Bronze AE 11, SNG Cop 169; BMC Troas p. 125, 11; SGCV II 4204, VF, green patina, weight 1.262 g, maximum diameter 11.1 mm, die axis 0o, Elaea (near Zeytindag, Turkey) mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena left; reverse grain kernel, E-Λ flanking at sides, all within olive wreath; $55.00 (€48.95)
 


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

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Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.
RB57166. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III AP1116(a), Cohen II 79, SRCV II 4614, F, weight 23.322 g, maximum diameter 32.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right; reverse AVGVSTA S C, Ceres standing half left, grain-ears in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $50.00 (€44.50)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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Annona with a modius and anchor suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces, especially from Africa, and its distribution to the people. When Severus Alexander was away on his Persian and German campaigns (231-235) he continuously struck Annona types. With the legend PROVIDENTIA AVG, "The Foresight of the Emperor," he assured that, though he was away, he would be carefully monitoring Rome's grain supply!
RB66646. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 645; BMCRE VI p. 196, 815; Cohen IV 509; SRCV II 8013, F, flaw on obverse, weight 19.429 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate bust right with drapery on left shoulder; reverse PROVIDENTIA AVG (the foresight of the Emperor), Providentia (or Annona) standing left, holding grain downward in right hand over modius at feet on left, anchor in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; $50.00 (€44.50)
 


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

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Demeter in Greek mythology is the goddess of grain and fertility, the pure; nourisher of the youth and the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death; and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, dated to about the seventh century B.C. she is invoked as the "bringer of seasons," a subtle sign that she was worshiped long before she was made one of the Olympians. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.
GB90177. Bronze AE 17, BMC Troas p. 127, 20; SNGvA 7685; SNG Cop 181; SNG Munchen 395; SGCV II 4206, VF, weight 2.581 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Aeolis mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing grain wreath, dot border; reverse EΛ−AI/T−ΩN, lit torch within grain wreath; ex Gerhard Rohde; $50.00 (€44.50)
 


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.
RB78071. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III M1728; BMCRE IV p. 575, 1194; Cohen III 2; Hunter II 47; MIR Szaivert 24; SRCV II 5496, F, centered, porous, weight 22.446 g, maximum diameter 31.2 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), two stalks of grain in right hand, torch in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $45.00 (€40.05)
 


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia

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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 honor Caesar Augustus 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.
RP78030. Bronze AE 22, Sydenham Caesarea 616; SNG Cop 311; BMC Galatia p. 93, 346 ff.; SGICV 3778; SNGvA -, aVF, tight flan, porous, weight 5.863 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea mint, 243 - 244 A.D.; obverse AV KAI M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse MHTP KAI B NE, six stalks of grain bound together, ET - Z (year 7) divided across lower field; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $40.00 (€35.60)
 


Lysimachia, Thracian Chersonesos, 309 - 220 B.C.

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Lysimachia was built by Lysimachus in 309 B.C., when he was preparing for his last struggle with his rivals; for the new city, being situated on the isthmus, commanded the road from Sestos to the north and the mainland of Thrace. To obtain inhabitants for his new city, Lysimachus destroyed the neighboring town of Cardia, the birthplace of the historian Hieronymus, and settled the inhabitants of it and other Chersonese cities here. Lysimachus no doubt made Lysimachia the capital of his kingdom and it must have rapidly risen to great splendor and prosperity.
GB71306. Bronze AE 11, Lindgren II 874, SNG Cop 920, BMC Thrace -, VF, some corrosion, weight 0.814 g, maximum diameter 10.7 mm, die axis 0o, Lysimachia (Eksemil, Turkey) mint, 309 - 220 B.C.; obverse lion head right; reverse stalk of barley, Λ−Y flanking across field; scarce; $36.00 (€32.04)
 


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

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Annona was worshiped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year's supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capital. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated to the use of an army during a campaign.
RA79885. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 37, La Venèra IV 1400, RIC V 447, SRCV III 12253, Pink VI-2 p. 29, Cohen VI 83, aF, well centered, earthen encrustation, some corrosion, weight 3.513 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, Feb/Mar 283 - Oct/Nov 284 A.D.; obverse IMP NVMERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PROVIDENT AVGG (the foresight of the two emperors), Providentia (Annona?) standing slightly right, head left, stalks of grain downward in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, modius at feet on left, VIXXI in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren, ex Frank S. Robinson; $25.00 (€22.25)
 







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