In 251 A.D., a fifteen-year plague began in the Roman Empire.
RB57193. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC IV 215, Cohen 31, VF, weight 18.400 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, 250 - early 251 A.D.; obverse C VALENS HOSTIL MES QVINTVS N C, bare headed and draped bust right, from behind; reversePRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS S C, Apollo seated left, extending branch, resting left elbow on lyre; rare; $495.00 (€381.15)
Olynthos, Chalkidian League, Macedonia, 420 - 348 B.C.
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 and Clement Group D, 38 (same dies); Traité pl. 313, 10; SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -; BMC -, VF, weight 2.044 g, maximum diameter 10.015.3 mm, die axis 0o, Olynthos mint, c. 420 - 348 B.C.; obverseOLUNQ (counter-clockwise), laureate head of Apollo left; reverseCALKIDEWN, kithara with eight strings, squared legend around, all within a shallow incuse square; scarce; $350.00 (€269.50)
Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.
The reverse composition is clearly based on sculpture. Placing the lyre atop a rock provided additional structural support for sculpture. Several Roman sculptures with a similar composition, with the lyre resting on a stump, have survived.
RP55002. Orichalcumsestertius, SRCV III 10008, RIC V 152, Cohen 22, aVF, weight 21.046 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 255 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassedbust right; reverse APOLINI CONSERVA S C, Apollo standing half-left, laurel-branch in right, resting left on lyre placed on small rock; $250.00 (€192.50)
Roman Republic, Q. Pomponius Musa, 66 B.C.
Many of the Roman moneyers had a good sense of humor and word play with homonyms was very popular. Pomponius Musa, playing on his name, issued coins depicting nine different Muses, creating one of the most interesting and sought after series of the Republican coinage. This coin depicts Calliope, the Muse of Epic Poetry.
SH56076. Silver denarius, Crawford 410/2b, RSC IPomponia 10, Sydenham 812, F, weight 3.362 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 66 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, lyre-key behind; reverse MVSA on right, Q POMPONI on left, Calliope, Muse of Epic Poetry, standing right, playing lyre resting on column to right; $240.00 (€184.80)
Roman Republic, P. Clodius M.f. Turrinus, 42 B.C.
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 IClaudia 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; reverseDianaLucifera (the light bringer) standing right holding two long lit torches, M•F• left, P•CLODIVS right; $220.00 (€169.40)
Teos, Ionia, c. 320 - 294 B.C.
A few examples of this type have sold at auction in the last few years. A CNG auction for this type refers to a similar coin in unpublished Ph.D. dissertation by Philip Kinns. It is apparently a diobol issued by the same magistrate but with the magistrates name downward on the left vice right.
GS58815. Silver diobol, H. D. Rauch GmbH, auction 89, lot 1150 (this coin); CNG auction 267, 184; Kinns 95 var (magistrate name left); SNG Cop -; BMC Ionia -, VF, toned, weight 0.956 g, maximum diameter 10.2 mm, die axis 0o, Teos mint, obversegriffin seated right, left forepaw raised; reverseTHI MENTWR (magistrate), chelys; ex H. D. Rauch GmbH; rare; $180.00 (€138.60)
Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Koinon of Thessaly
The Thessalian League was a loose confederacy of city-states and tribes in the Thessalian valley in Northern Greece. Philip II of Macedon took control of Thessaly in 344 B.C and it remained under Macedonia until the Roman victory in 197 B.C. The league was reestablished in 196 B.C. but had little autonomy after Thessaly became part of the province of Macedonia in 146 B.C.
RP63959. Bronze triassarion, Burrer 9, BCD Thessaly II 922, RPC I 1433, SNG Evelpidis 1669, F, weight 13.554 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, strategos Antigonos, 45 - 54 A.D.; obverseQESSALWN SEBASTHWN, laureate head of Claudius left; reverseANTIGONOU STRATHGOU, Apollo Citharoedus standing right, playing cithara, Antigonos monogram inner left; $180.00 (€138.60)
Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.
Cybele, called mother of the gods, was originally Anatolian mother goddess. In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater ("Great Mother"). Roman mythographers reinvented her as a Trojan goddess, and thus an ancestral goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas. With Rome's eventual hegemony over the Mediterranean world, Romanised forms of Cybele's cults spread throughout the Roman Empire.
RS57063. Silver denarius, RIC IV (Caracalla) 382, BMCRE V 16, RSC III 137, VF, weight 3.064 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 211 - 215 A.D.; obverse IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, draped bust right; reverseMATRI DEVM, Cybele standing facing, leaning with left arm resting on a column, head left, towered and veiled, legs crossed, drum in right, long scepter resting against left arm, lion at feet left; $145.00 (€111.65)
Teos, Ionia, c. 320 - 294 B.C.
Democritus (460-390 B.C.) was a native of Teos. Only a few fragments of his works have survived. He declared that a single scientific discovery was worth more than being King of Persia. According to Democritus, nothing disappears or changes its form, it always remains the same. But besides being, there is also non-being or empty space. According to Democritus, matter is composed of indivisible, invisible particles distinguished in form, position in space, size and weight. These particles Democritus called "atoms." Democritus thus laid the foundations of a mechanist approach to natural philosophy, but in ancient times his views were to remain undeveloped. His approach to natural philosophy was taken up again only at the beginning of the modern age. He was the first to discover the law of cause and effect.
GS54505. Silver diobol, reduced Rhodian standard; SNG Kayhan 612, aVF, weight 0.884 g, maximum diameter 9.9 mm, die axis 0o, Teos mint, obversegriffin seated right, left forepaw raised; reverseTHI ALUPIWN (magistrate), lyre; $140.00 (€107.80)
Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Odessos, Moesia Inferior
RP48782. Bronze AE 21, AMNG I/II 2256, VF, weight 4.624 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, Odessos mint, obverseAUT K M AUR ANT KOMODOC, laureate head right; reverseODHCCEITWN, Apollo seated left, branch in right, resting left on lyre which sits on stele behind; beautiful dark jade patina; $125.00 (€96.25)