Roman Republic, Octavian (Later Augustus), Imperator and Consul, Autumn 30 - Summer 29 B.C.
David Sear writes that CAESAR is on the reverse separated from IMP may indicate that it does not refer to Octavian, but rather to Julius Caesar. Also, the star in the center of the shield may represent the Julian star, and thus the divine Caesar. Mars on the obverse would then suggests Octavian is the avenger of his slain adoptive father.RR73978. Silver denarius, RSC I 44a, RIC I 274, Sear CRI 428, BMCRE 644, BnF I 87, SRCV I 1563, VF, some porosity, weight 3.929 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Italian (Rome?) mint, autumn 30 - summer 29 B.C.; obverse beardless head of youthful Mars right wearing a crested Corinthian helmet, IMP below; reverse round shield, CAESAR inscribed around upper part of the rim, boss ornamented with a star, sword and spear crossed in saltire behind; ex CNG e-auction 346, lot 422; $450.00 (391.50)
Persian Empire, Tarkumuwa (Datames), Satrap of Cilicia & Cappadocia, c. 384 - 360 B.C., Tarsus, Cilicia
Datames' enemies in Artaxerxes' court accused him, perhaps falsely, of intending to revolt against the Great King. Secretly warned, he then did, in fact, revolt, c. 370 B.C. The revolt appeared to be leading to a breakup of the entire western half of the empire into autonomous states. His own son's desertion to Artaxerxes was, however, the beginning of the end, which came when Datames was assassinated, c. 362 B.C.SH70110. Silver stater, Casabonne series 1; Moysey issue 4; SNG BnF 248; SNG Cop 264; BMC Lycaonia p. 165, 18; SNG Levante -; SNGvA -, aVF, spotty toning, faint porosity, weight 10.220 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 225o, Tarsos mint, obverse female head facing slightly left, wearing earring and necklace; reverse Aramaic legend: TRDMW (Datames) on left, bearded and helmeted male head (Ares?) right, wearing crested Athenian helmet, O/T monogram right; ex CNG auction 269, lot 146; $390.00 (339.30)
Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.
The as is a rare denomination for Septimius Severus.SH66874. Copper as, RIC IV 683, BMCRE V 527A, Cohen IV 313 (4 Fr), VF, weight 11.298 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VIIII, laureate head right; reverse MARS PATER, Mars walking right, nude but for helmet and cloak over shoulder flying behind, transverse spear in right hand, trophy of captured arms in left over shoulder; very rare; $280.00 (243.60)
Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.
RIC lists this type as common, but that is certainly an error. This is the first example we have handled and there are very few examples online.RS90472. Silver denarius, RSC III 166b, RIC IV 248 (C), BMCRE VI 803, SRCV II 7883, Choice VF, toned a few small coppery spots, weight 2.741 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 232 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, Laureate, draped, cuirassed, bust right; reverse MARS VLTOR, Mars standing left, leaning on shield and holding spear; standard resting on his right arm; rare; $270.00 (234.90)
Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.
Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.RS70542. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, Vespasian 948 (C); RSC II 65; BMCRE II Vespasian 221; BnF III Vespasian 195; SRCV I -, Choice aVF, nice portrait, toned, well centered on a broad flan, weight 3.459 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse T CAESAR IMP VESPASIANVS, laureate head right; reverse COS VI, Mars standing left, nude but for crested helmet and cloak behind in belt at waist, transverse spear in right hand, trophy of captured arms in left; $220.00 (191.40)
Sillyon, Pamphylia, 3rd Century B.C.
Sillyon was a relatively unimportant city but a significant fortress. According to one legend, it was founded as a colony from Argos; another holds that it was founded, along with Side and Aspendos, by the seers Mopsos, Calchas and Amphilochus after the Trojan War. Sillyon is first mentioned in c. 500 BC by Pseudo-Scylax. From 469 B.C., it became part of the Athenian-led Delian League. It is mentioned in the Athenian tribute lists from c. 450 B.C. and again in 425 B.C., and then disappears again from the historical record until 333 B.C., when Alexander the Great unsuccessfully besieged it. It was well-fortified and had a strong garrison of mercenaries and "native barbarians," so Alexander, pressed for time, abandoned the siege after the first attempt at storming it failed. The city was extensively rebuilt under the Seleucids, especially its theater. Later, when most of western Asia Minor was subject to the Kingdom of Pergamon, Sillyon remained a free city by a decision of the Roman Senate.
GB73951. Bronze AE 16, BMC Lycia p. 165, 1; Lindgren-Kovacs 1178; SNG BnF 952; SNGvA 4567 var (star over thunderbolt left), SNG Cop -, VF, weight 2.745 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 0o, Sillyon mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse bearded head of Ares right, wearing crested helmet; reverse ΣEΛYNIYΣ, Apollo(?) standing left, nude, right hand extended, rolled chlamys in left, thunderbolt in left field; rare; $185.00 (160.95)
Roman Republic, Anonymous, 241 - 235 B.C.
In 235 B.C. in Rome, the consul Titus Manlius Torquatus presided over the first ever closing of the gates of the Temple of Janus, signifying peace. RR72276. Bronze litra, Crawford 25/3, Sydenham 26, BMCRR Romano-Campanian 64, HN Italy 299, SNG Cop 204, F, rough, tight flan, weight 2.789 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 45o, Rome(?) mint, 241 - 235 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of beardless Mars right; reverse bridled horse's head right, sickle behind, ROMA below; scarce; $180.00 (156.60)
Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.
In 231, Severus Alexander accompanied his mother Julia Mamaea to Syria and campaigned against the Persians. Military command rested in the hands of his generals, but his presence gave additional weight to the empire's policy. The Romans were defeated and withdrew to Syria. After heavy losses on both sides, a truce was signed accepting the status quo. In 233, Alexander celebrated a triumph in Rome to commemorate his "victory."SH73431. Silver denarius, RSC III 161c, BMCRE VI 837, RIC IV 246, SRCV II 7882, NGC XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (2412821-034), weight 2.87 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, seen from the front; reverse MARS VLTOR, Mars walking right in military garb, transverse spear in right hand, shield on left arm; ex Heritage auctions 231502 (8 Jan 2015), lot 62081; $175.00 (152.25)
Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.
In 164, the governor of Syria, Avidius Cassius, one of Lucius Verus' generals, crossed the Euphrates and invaded Parthia. He completely destroyed Seleucia on the Tigris. He captured Ctesiphon, but it was returned to Parthia after the end of the war. When the army returned from Parthia they brought back a pandemic known as the Antonine Plague, which significantly depopulated the Roman Empire.
RS90723. Silver denarius, SRCV II 4919, RIC III 92, RSC II 469, BMCRE IV 264, aEF, nice portrait, well centered on a tight flan, struck with a worn reverse die, weight 3.548 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 163 - Dec 164 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG ARMENIACVS, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XVIII IMP II COS III, Mars standing right, helmeted, in military dress, inverted spear in right hand, left rests on grounded shield at left (far) side; $170.00 (147.90)
Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.
The reverse legend dedicates this coin to Mars Propugnator, Mars the Champion or Defender.RB73010. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 332a (S), Hunter III 148, Cohen V 157, SRCV III 8718, VF, superb portrait, edge chip on reverse, weight 18.308 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 243 - 244 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse MARS PROPVGNAT, Mars advancing right, wearing military garb, transverse spear in right hand, shield in left, S - C flanking low in field; scarce; $165.00 (143.55)
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