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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Types>Music PAGE 1/3123»»»

Music on Ancient Coins


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo Lysimachos captured Ephesus c. 295 B.C. and renamed it Arsinoe in honor of his wife. Thompson noted, "Some staters and tetradrachms were struck but the mint's chief output was drachms."
SH70833. Silver drachm, Thompson 174, Müller 355, VF, light red-gold toning on obverse, weight 4.179 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 270o, Ephesos mint, c. 294 - 287 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning name in right, rests left arm on round shield behind, kithara inner left, A on throne; ex CNG Auctions 288 (Oct 2012), lot 106; $750.00 (€562.50)

Olynthos, Chalkidian League, Macedonia, 420 - 348 B.C.
Click for a larger photo In 432 B.C. Olynthos broke away from Athens and, with several other cities, formed the Chalkidian league. In 393, Amyntas III of Macedonia temporally transferred territory to Olynthos when he was driven out of Macedonia by Illyrians. When he was restored and the league did not return his lands, he appealed to Sparta. Akanthos and Apollonia, also appealed to Sparta, claiming league membership was not voluntary but enforced at the point of a sword. After a long war, in 379 these cities were made "autonomous" subject allies of Sparta. Weakened by the division, the league was destroyed by Philip II of Macedon in 348 B.C.
SH64053. Silver tetrobol, Robinson-Clement group D, 38 (same dies); Traité pl. 313, 10; SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -; BMC -, VF, weight 2.043 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 0o, Olynthos mint, c. 420 - 348 B.C.; obverse OΛYNΘ (counter-clockwise), laureate head of Apollo left; reverse XAΛKI∆EΩN, kithara with eight strings, squared legend around, all within a shallow incuse square; scarce; $350.00 (€262.50)

Quietus, Fall or Winter 260 - Late 261 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Samosata was the walled capital of the Commagene Kingdom founded in 69 B.C. The town remained a regional center under Rome, and until the Ottoman period. The old town of Samsat and all its history were flooded behind the Atatürk Dam in 1989. The new town was built beside the new waterline by the government to house the displaced residents.
SH70589. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1728n (Samosata), RSC IV 4a, RIC V 3 (R2, Antioch), SRCV III 10819 (uncertain Syrian Mint), VF, porous, weight 3.628 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 180o, Samosata (Samsat, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP C FVL QVIETVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse APOLINI CONSERVA, Apollo standing left, radiate, nude but for cloak on shoulders and draped behind, branch downward in right, left rests on grounded lyre, star upper left; rare; $350.00 (€262.50)

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Pella, Macedonia
Click for a larger photo
Pan is depicted in the pose of the life-size marble statue known as the Barberini Faun (Drunken Satyr) in the Glyptothek in Munich. A Faun is the Roman equivalent of a Greek Satyr. The position of the right arm over the head was a classical artistic convention indicating sleep. The statue is believed to have once adorned Hadrian's Mausoleum. The historian Procopius recorded that during the siege of Rome in 537 the defenders had hurled down upon the Goths the statues adorning Hadrian's Mausoleum. When discovered, the statue was heavily damaged; the right leg, parts of both hands, and parts of the head were missing. Johann Winckelmann speculated that the place of discovery and the statue's condition suggested that it had been such a projectile.Barberini Faun
RP66884. Bronze AE 26, cf. Varbanov III 3757 (R4), BMC Macedonia p. 95, 46; AMNG III 35; SNG Hunterian 660; SNG Cop 287 (bust obscure); SNG ANS 639 (laureate); Lindgren -, VF, weight 10.082 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 135o, Pella mint, obverse IMP C M ANT GORDIANVS, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse COL IVL AVS PGLLA (sic, error not in refs), Pan seated left, on a rock, right arm over head, left elbow resting on syrinx; ex Gorny & Mosch Giessener Münzhandlung auction 208, lot 1783; $220.00 (€165.00)

Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Kolophon is identified as one of the most prolific Alexander drachm mints, however, the attribution of the entire series to Kolophon is not certain. In his Doctoral Dissertation, Philip Kinns suggested the possibility that the 'Colophon' sequence belongs to Pergamum. One of the reasons the sequence has been attributed to Kololphon is the occasional appearance of a lyre as a control symbol, as on this coin, which parallel the lyre on autonomous issues of the city.
GS70839. Silver drachm, Price 1768, Müller Alexander 240, VF, weight 4.172 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Kolophon mint, Menander or Kleitos, c. 323 - 319 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right foot forward, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, lyre left; $200.00 (€150.00)

Roman Republic, P. Clodius M.f. Turrinus, 42 B.C.
Click for a larger photo This coin refers to the Sabine origin of the moneyer's family, worship of Diana was introduced into Rome by the Sabines.

Lucifer means lightbringer, from the Latin lux light and ferre to bear or bring. The word Lucifer is found in only one place in the Bible -- Isaiah 14:12 -- but only in the King James and related versions: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! The King James Version is based on the Vulgate, the Latin translation of Jerome. Jerome translated the Hebrew helel (bright or brilliant one) as lucifer, which was a reasonable Latin equivalent. And yet it is this lucifer, the bright one or lightbearer, that came to be understood by so many as the name for Satan, Lord of Darkness. -- Sunrise magazine, October/November 1996.
RR63661. Silver denarius, SRCV I 492, RSC I Claudia 15, Sydenham 1117, Crawford 494/21, BMCRR 4287, aVF/F, weight 3.854 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 42 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, lyre behind; reverse Diana Lucifera (the light bringer) standing right holding two long lit torches, M•F• left, P•CLODIVS right; $195.00 (€146.25)

Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 194, Septimius Severus Augustus and Clodius Albinus Caesar were the two Roman Consuls. Septimius Severus marched with his army of 12 legions to Cilicia and defeated Pescennius Niger, the governor of Syria, at Battle of Issus. Pescennius retreated to Antioch but was executed by Severus' troops. For siding with Niger, Septimius Severus besieged Byzantium from 194 until 196; the city walls suffered extensive damage.
RS67078. Silver denarius, RIC IV 345, BMCRE IV 320, RSC III 42a, VF, weight 3.420 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, Feb 194 - 195 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG, laureate head right; reverse APOLLINI AVGVSTO, Apollo standing left, patera in right, kithara in left; rare; $185.00 (€138.75)

Kolophon, Ionia, 330 - 285 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Colophon was destroyed by Lysimachus c. 285 B.C., after which Colophon failed to recover and lost its importance. The name was actually transferred to the port village of Notium.
GB59094. Bronze AE 18, Milne Kolophon 140A-C; Waddington 1498; BMC Ionia -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG München -; SNG Tübingen -; SNG Keckman -, VF, nice patina, weight 4.8191 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 315o, Kolophon mint, magistrate Telegonos, 330 - 285 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse KOΛ, horseman prancing right, chlamys flying behind, spear in right hand, lyre upper left, magistrate's name THΛEΓONOΣ below; rare with this magistrate; $150.00 (€112.50)

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Deultum, Thrace
Click for a larger photo Cybele, the Phrygian deification of the Earth Mother, was born a hermaphrodite but castrated by the gods, she became female. Heeding the Sibylline oracle, the senate brought her worship to Rome in 204 B.C. as the first officially sanctioned Eastern cult. After approval they were dismayed to learn that the priesthood required voluntary self-castration, which was abhorrent to the Romans. Romans were barred from entering the priesthood or even entering the priest's sanctuary. The eunuch priests, recruited from outside Rome, were confined to their sanctuary, leaving only to parade in the streets during festivals in April. Claudius removed the bans on Roman participation, making worship of Cybele and her consort Attis part of the state religion.
RP63225. Bronze AE 25, Draganov Deultum 958 (O102/R420), Jurukova Deultum 271, Varbanov II 2543 corr. (obv leg, R4), VF, weight 6.915 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 180o, Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria) mint, obverse IMP C GORDIANVS PIVS FE AVG (sic, AV ligate), laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse COL FL PA-C DEVLT, Cybele seated left, kalathos on head, patera in right, transverse scepter in left, left arm resting on a tympanum, throne flanked by two lions reclining left; very rare; $135.00 (€101.25)

Chalkidian League, Olynthos, Macedonia, c. 432 - 348 B.C.
Click for a larger photo In 432 B.C. Olynthos broke away from Athens and, with several other cities, formed the Chalkidian league. In 393, Amyntas III of Macedonia temporally transferred territory to Olynthos when he was driven out of Macedonia by Illyrians. When he was restored and the league did not return his lands, he appealed to Sparta. Akanthos and Apollonia, also appealed to Sparta, claiming league membership was not voluntary but enforced at the point of a sword. After a long war, in 379 these cities were made "autonomous" subject allies of Sparta. Weakened by the division, the league was destroyed by Philip II of Macedon in 348 B.C.
SH69954. Silver tetrobol, BMC Macedonia, 68, 13; SNG ANS 537, SNG Cop 235; SNG Dreer 266, SNG Berry 22, aVF, grainy, scratches, weight 2.146 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, die axis 315o, Olynthos mint, c. 432 - 348 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, circle of dots around; reverse XAΛKIAEΩN (clockwise from upper left), kithara (lyre) with seven strings, all within incuse; $135.00 (€101.25)



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Catalog current as of Thursday, July 24, 2014.
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