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

Agriculture on Ancient Coins

Akrai, Sicily, c. 211 - 80 B.C.

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Akrai was a small colony founded by Syracuse in 664 B.C. to secure the inland road to Gela. Constructed on the peak of a hill, Akrai was difficult to attack and ideal for watching the surrounding territory. Loyal to Syracuse, it nevertheless had administrative and military autonomy. Thanks to its strategic position, the city achieved great prosperity, peaking during the reign of Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C. Its coinage was only issued after the fall of Syracuse in 211 B.C. when it became part of the Roman province Acre. The city continued to be under Roman rule into the Byzantine period.
GI79952. Bronze AE 23, SNG ANS 902; SNG Cop 9; Calciati III p. 37, 1 var. (KP ligate); BMC Sicily p. 2, 1 var. (same); HGC 2 180 (S) var. (same); SNG Morcom -, aF, glossy lime-green patina, scratches, uneven strike, weight 7.517 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Akrai (Palazzolo Acreide, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 210 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Persephone right, hair rolled and wreathed with barley; reverse AK-P-AIΩN, Demeter standing left, wearing long chiton and peplos, torch in right hand, scepter in left hand; rare; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


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 flanking across field; rare; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


Leontini, Sicily, c. 405 - 402 B.C.

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Leontini was founded as by colonists from Naxos in 729 BC, itself a Chalcidian colony established five years earlier. It was the only significant Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, being some 6 miles inland. The site, originally held by the Sicels, was seized by the Greeks owing to its command of the fertile plain to the north. The city was reduced to subject status in 498 BC by Hippocrates of Gela, and in 476 BC Hieron of Syracuse moved the inhabitants from Catania and Naxos to Leontini.
GI76342. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 77, 3; SNG Cop 360; SNG ANS 270; SNG Morcom 606; SNG Lloyd 1070; BMC Sicily p. 92, 56; Laffaille 169; HGC 2 709 (R1), VF, well centered, glossy dark patina, weight 1.891 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 180o, Leontini mint, c. 405 - 402 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, olive leaf and olive behind; reverse tripod lebes with loop handles, a barley kernel flanking on each side, kithara between legs of tripod, three pellets in exergue; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


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

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Romans used the poppy both for cooking and medicinal purposes. For cooking, it was used mainly as a garnish or sprinkled on bread, perhaps also in desserts. Pliny sites the medicinal purpose, "..allow the poppy sap to thicken, roll it into pastilles and allow these to dry in the shade. It is a tranquilizer, but if you take too much, you will die in your sleep." (N.H. XX-lxxvi)
RS79258. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 520 (C); BMCRE II 86; BnF III 75; RSC II 164; Hunter I 38; SRCV I 2291, F, well centered, corrosion, polished, flan cracks, weight 3.056 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 73 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESP AVG PM COS IIII CEN, laureate head right; reverse FIDES PVBL, clasped hands holding winged caduceus, flanked on each side by a poppy and stalk of grain; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


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

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Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.
SH84236. Silver denarius, RIC III AP360, BMCRE IV AP408, RSC II 78, SRCV II 4582, Choice EF, well centered, mint luster, some reverse die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.086 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right, pearls in hair and hair in elaborate bun on top; reverse AVGVSTA, Ceres standing half left, veiled, stalks of grain downward in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $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)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 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.
RS90694. Silver denarius, RIC III 260, RSC II 1016, BMCRE IV 883, SRCV II 4128, gVF, struck with worn dies, weight 3.215 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 156 - 157 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS IMP II, laureate head right; reverse TR POT XX COS IIII, Annona standing right, left foot on prow, rudder in right hand, modius in left; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


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 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; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


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. By the Code De Naviculariis, the mariners appointed to carry grain from Egypt could be executed if they did not keep the proper course; and if they did not sail in the proper season, the master of the vessel would be banished.
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, cornucopia in left hand, right foot on prow; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


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, S - C flanking across field; ex Johnathan K. Kern; $130.00 (€115.70)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 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. By the Code De Naviculariis, the mariners appointed to carry grain from Egypt could be executed if they did not keep the proper course; and if they did not sail in the proper season, the master of the vessel would be banished.
RB65292. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 981, BMCRE IV 2038, SRCV II 4254, Cohen II -, F, weight 21.364 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 157 - 158 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II, laureate head right; reverse TR POT XXI COS IIII, Annona standing slightly slightly left, stalks of grain pointed downward in her right over modius overflowing with stalks of grain at feet on left, rudder vertical behind in left resting on prow of galley right, S - C flanking low across field; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 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.
RS83904. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, Vespasian 974 (R); RSC II 31; BMCRE II Vespasian 321; BnF III Vespasian 282, Hunter I V35, SRCV I 2437, F, toned, weight 3.249 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse T CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG (counterclockwise), laureate head right; reverse CERES AVGVST, Ceres standing half-left, veiled and draped, two stalks of grain and poppy in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; rare; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


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; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


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 München 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; $115.00 (€102.35)
 


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); $115.00 (€102.35)
 


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 Black Sea 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; $115.00 (€102.35)
 


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; $110.00 (€97.90)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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The prominent flow lines from the portrait into the fields is a common characteristic of Antoninus Pius denarii, but unusual for other emperors. It appears that during his reign, the blank planchets were somewhat dome shaped. The peak of the dome ensured that portrait was usually full struck. The metal flowing from the center to the edges wore the prominent "flow lines" into the die. These flow lines grew stronger as the die wore over time. It seems likely the effect was intentional.
RS77329. Silver denarius, RIC III 175; RSC II 284; BMCRE IV p. 95, 657; Strack III 191; cf. SRCV II 4067 (TR P XI), VF, well centered, toned, strong flow lines, weight 3.515 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, Rome mint, 148 - 149 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate head right; reverse COS IIII, Annona standing left holding stalks of grain over modius left and anchor; $110.00 (€97.90)
 


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

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In 193, Laodicea was sacked by the governor of Syria, Pescennius Niger, in his revolt against Septimius Severus. In 194, Septimius Severus reorganized Syria into five new provinces. One of these, Coele-Syria, including all of northern Syria, briefly had its capital in Laodicea before reverting to Antioch. Septimius sought to punish Antioch for having supported Pescennius Niger. Septimius Severus endowed Laodicea with four colonnaded streets, baths, a theater, a hippodrome, numerous sanctuaries and other public buildings in the city. The city was a key strategic seaport for Roman Syria.
RS90492. Silver denarius, RIC IV 511(a), RSC III 4 55a; BMCRE V p. 294, 712; SRCV II -, aEF, toned, nice style, good strike, weight 3.375 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 200 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX, laureate head right; reverse P MAX TR P VIII COS II P P, Fides standing facing, head left, raising a plate of fruits in right, two stalks of grain downward in left; $105.00 (€93.45)
 


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 München -, 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; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


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 München 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; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


Neandreia, Troas, c. 300 B.C.

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Neandreia, Troas was located 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 - 452; SNGvA 1558; BMC Troas p. 74, 8 - 10, VF, green patina, patina edge flaking (stable), weight 6.932 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 315o, Neandreia mint, 300 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse NEAN, horse grazing to right, grain kernel in exergue; rare; $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)
 


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

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Ceres' known mythology is indistinguishable from Demeter's. Her virgin daughter Proserpina (Persephone) was abducted by Hades to be his wife in the underworld. Ceres searched for her endlessly lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Ceres (Demeter) searched, she was preoccupied with her loss and her grief. The seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse on the world that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to the underworld to bring Proserpina back. However, because had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. Therefore, it was decreed that she would spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Ceres grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Proserpina's return brings the spring.
RB63872. Copper as, RIC III 1169, SRCV II 4645, BMCRE IV 1566, Cohen II 80, VF, nice portrait, green patina, weight 10.727 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 147 - 161 A.D.; obverse DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right; reverse AVGVSTA S C, Ceres standing half left, veiled, grain-ears downward in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $95.00 (€84.55)
 


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; $95.00 (€84.55)
 


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; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Berytus, Phoenicia

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RPC I attributes this type to Q. Caecilius Metellus Creticus Silanus the legate of Syria, 12/13 - 17 A.D.

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 and defeat of Jerusalem, Titus gave gladiatorial games at Berytos, in which the combatants were Jews.
RP83561. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 4540; BMC Phoenicia p. 58, 52; Baramki AUB 30; SNG Cop -, F, green patina, crowded flan, scratches, earthen deposits, weight 9.145 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Berytus (Beirut, Lebanon) mint, struck under the legate Silianus, c. 12 - 14 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR AVGVSTVS, bare head right; reverse COL IVL, priest with yoke of two oxen right, plowing the pomerium (sacred boundary), founding the new colony; $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.
GS67480. Silver hemilitra, SNG München 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; $85.00 (€75.65)
 


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 25, RPC II 1389; SNG Cop 210; SNGvA 3491; SNG München 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; $85.00 (€75.65)
 


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; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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 München 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; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 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 capitol. 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.
RB78068. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC III - (cf. RIC III 956, as); BMCRE IV - (BMCRE IV p. 337, *, as); Hunter II -; SRCV II -, F, centered, green patina, scratches, weight 16.941 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 155 - 156 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II, radiate head right; reverse TR POT XIX COS IIII, Annona seated right, holding cornucopia in both hands, modius at feet to right, S C in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; very rare; $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 capitol. 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)
 


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; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


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 Tübingen -; 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; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


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; Gordian on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed from behind; Serapis on right, draped, 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; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


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; $65.00 (€57.85)
 


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 mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena left; reverse grain kernel, E-Λ flanking at sides, all within olive wreath; $65.00 (€57.85)
 


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 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 S C, Providentia (or Annona) standing left, holding grain over modius in right, anchor in left; $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 München 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)
 


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 München 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 flanking low across field; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $50.00 (€44.50)
 


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; $45.00 (€40.05)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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The Romans used poppy for cooking and medicinal purposes. For cooking, it was used mainly as a garnish or sprinkled on bread, perhaps also in desserts. Pliny sites the medicinal purpose: '..allow the poppy sap to thicken, roll it into pastilles and allow these to dry in the shade. It is a tranquilizer, but if you take too much, you will die in your sleep.' (N.H. XX-lxxvi)
RS79862. Silver denarius, RIC III 44 (S) var. (two corn ears); RSC II 834b, BMCRE IV 88, Strack III 44, Hunter II, SRCV, F, rough, cleaning scratches, burnishing, corrosion, small edge cracks, weight 2.154 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 139 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, bare head right; reverse TR POT COS II, modius with single poppy in center of four stalks of grain, two stalks flanking on each side; scarce; $45.00 (€40.05)
 


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

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The ceremonial founding of a new Roman colony included plowing a furrow, the pomerium, a sacred boundary, around the site of the new city.
RP90152. Bronze AE 19, SNG ANS 1373 ff., SNG Cop 150, Spijkerman 56, Rosenberger 35, BMC Arabia -, aF, weight 6.509 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Petra mint, obverse IMP C M AVP ANTONINOC, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse PETΛA COLONIA, founder ploughing right with pair of oxen, togate, right hand raised; $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; $40.00 (€35.60)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Struck in the year that Faustina Senior died.
RX58856. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 1327; Dattari 2183; Kampmann 35.61; BMC Alexandria p. 109, 934 var. (poppy head(?) vice crescent); Milne 1655 var. (obv leg); Emmett 1374, F, weight 12.362 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 140 - 28 Aug 141 A.D.; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P ANTWNINOC, laureate head right; reverse bust of Demeter right, wearing kalathos ornamented with a crescent, veil, necklace, earrings and chiton, torch over right shoulder, L ∆ (year 4) in right field; $36.00 (€32.04)
 


Side, Pamphylia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Side was founded by Greeks from Cyme, Aeolis, most likely in the 7th century B.C. The settlers started using the local language and over time forgot their native Greek. Excavations have revealed inscriptions written in this language, still undeciphered, dating from as late as the 2nd century B.C. The name Side is from this indigenous Anatolian language and means pomegranate.
GB59669. Bronze AE 17, SNG BnF 759 ff.; BMC Lycia p. 172, 51; SNG Cop 381 ff., VF, weight 3.543 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 270o, Side mint, 2nd - 1st Cent B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse pomegranate; $32.00 (€28.48)
 


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 capitol. 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, 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; $30.00 (€26.70)
 




  



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