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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Olympians ▸ Athena or MinervaView Options:  |  |  |   

Athena or Minerva

Virgin goddess of wisdom, crafts, and battle strategy. Symbols are the olive tree and the owl. Daughter of Zeus, according to some traditions by Metis.


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus, 323 - 317 B.C.

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Philip III Arrhidaeus, the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa, was Alexander the Great's half-brother. Alexander's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned him as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Incapable of actual rule, he was made king upon Alexander's death only to serve as a pawn for those who wished to grab power for themselves. Olympias had him imprisoned and then ordered his execution in 317 B.C.
SH72613. Gold stater, Price P90, ADM I 228 - 230, Mller Alexander -, SNG Cop -, EF, lovely Hellenistic style, mint luster, weight 8.579 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet ornamented with a coiled snake, wearing necklace and long drop earring; reverse ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ, Nike standing left, wreath in extended right hand, grounded stylis in left at her side, TI left, rose left under wing; ex Roma Numismatics auction 8, lot 470; $5220.00 (4541.40)


Athens, Attica, Greece, New Style Tetradrachm, c. 86 - 84 B.C., Issued by Sulla

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After 1 March 86 B.C., Sulla was the master of Athens. He recovered from the Pontic king Mithradates, who had taken it by force. This issue was struck for Sulla, either at Athens or outside Athens during the siege, to pay his legions and expenses during the war against Mithradates. The silver was collected from Greeks who supported the Romans against Mithradates and requisitioned from the sacred temple treasuries at Epidaurus, Olympia and Delphi. The ancients admired these Roman-Athenian coins and called them "flats of Lucullan." The MARKOY monogram may refer to Marcus the brother of the Roman general and politician Lucullus.
SH70948. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Thompson Athens 1293; Svoronos Athens pl. 78, 11; Dewing 1653; Boehringer AMUGS V, pp. 28-31 and pl. 9, 10; Kraay-Hirmer pl. 120, 366, gVF, attractive style, well struck, nicely toned, centered on a crowded slightly irregular shape flan, weight 16.581 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, c. 86 - 84 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena Parthenos right, triple-crested helmet decorated with a griffin right above the raised earpiece, and protomes of horses above visor; reverse owl standing right on amphora on its side right, head facing, MARKOY monogram left, TAMIOY monogram right, A on amphora, all within olive wreath; ex John Jencek; rare; $2500.00 (2175.00)


Byzantion, Thrace, c. 210 - 195 B.C., Restoration of Lysimachos' Type

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In the years following his death Alexander the Great came to be the subject of cult worship throughout the Mediterranean basin. His corpse was appropriated by Ptolemy I who transported it to Egypt, initially interring it at Memphis, then to a mausoleum and center of worship in Alexandria. It survived until the 4th century AD when Theodosius banned paganism, only to disappear without trace.
SH71721. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Berry 411 (same dies), Mller 142 - 146 var (monogram), Thompson -, SNG Cop -, Meydancikkale -, Armenak -, Arslan-Lightfoot -, Black Sea Hoard -, aEF, a few weak areas, weight 16.731 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 0o, Byzantion (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 210 - 195 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, left arm on shield decorated with Gorgoneion, transverse spear against right side, Nike crowning name in right, monogram left, BY on throne; rare; $1200.00 (1044.00)


Aigeai, Cilicia, 31 - 30 B.C.

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Aegeai (various spellings, including Aigeae) means place of goats in Greek and was the name of many cities of antiquity. Aigeai, on the north-western shore of the Gulf of Issos, was the third largest city in Cilicia. It had a very important temple of Asklepios, which was considered a great privilege and which brought many visitors to the city.
SH26663. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Levante 1655, Bloesch 111, gVF, weight 14.436 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Aigeai mint, 31 - 30 B.C.; obverse veiled and turreted head of Tyche right; reverse AIΓEAIΩN, Athena standing left holding Victory and spear, shield at feet, ∆I and club in left field, Iς below, monogram in lower right field; $1030.00 (896.10)


Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, 449 - 413 B.C.

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The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH75277. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31 ff., Kroll 8, SGCV I 2526, VF, well centered, light corrosion, porosity and minor pitting, small graffito V on reverse, edge test cuts - not as detracting as the usual cut through the owl's head, weight 16.643 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, Athens mint, 449 - 413 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; $1000.00 (870.00)


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

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Lampsacus was known as center for worship of Priapus, who was said to have been born there.

Thompson notes that Lampsacus was Lysimachos' largest mint in Asia Minor, with approximately 150 known obverse dies. Output from Lampsacus declined when Amphipolis began its extensive coinage c. 288 B.C.
SH72207. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson 49, SNG BnF 2548 - 2549, SNG Delepierre 843, SNG Cop 1097 (Pergamum), Mller 399 (Sigeum), gVF, toned, some marks and porosity, weight 16.495 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 45o, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, 297 - 281 B.C.; obverse diademed head of deified Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning name in extended right hand, left arm rests on grounded round shield decorated with Gorgoneion, transverse spear against right side, ∆/Ξ monogram inner left field, crescent horns left in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics auction 11, lot 34; $990.00 (861.30)


Athens, Greece, New Style Tetradrachm, c. 111 - 110 B.C.

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The "New Style" tetradrachms were issued by Athens as a semi-autonomous city under Roman rule. The new-style Owls are markedly different from the Owls of Periclean Athens or the "eye in profile" Athena head of the Fourth Century. They were struck on thinner, broad flans, typical of the Hellenistic period, with a portrait of Athena that reflected the heroic portraiture of the period. The owl now stands on an amphora, surrounded by magistrates' names and symbols, all within an olive wreath. The amphora is marked with a letter that may indicate the month of production. Letters below the amphora may indicate the source of the silver used in production.
SH75374. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson 700b (same obv. die), HGC 4 1602; magistrates Phanokle(s), Apollonios, and Baxios, VF, toned, some die wear, weight 16.585 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, c. 111 - 110 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena Parthenos right, triple-crested helmet decorated with curvilinear ornament on the shell, a griffin right above the raised earpiece, and protomes of horses above the visor; reverse A−ΘE / ΦANO−KΛHΣ / AΠOΛ/ΛΩNIOΣ / ΣTPA/TIOΣ, owl standing right on amphora on its side, Artemis Phosphoros on right standing facing holding torch in both hands, ∆ on amphora, ΣΦ under amphora, all within olive wreath; ex CNG auction 353, lot 119; $750.00 (652.50)


Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon and Third Democracy, c. 344 - 317 B.C.

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Syracuse was a colony of Corinth. Threatened by Carthage and its ally Selinos, the Syracusans asked help from their old home. Corinth sent General Timoleon, accompanied by a small group of mercenaries. Timoleon quickly put order in Syracuse' affairs and repelled Carthage in several wars, ending with a treaty which divided the island with Carthage. A Corinthian leading a Corinthian army, it is not hard to imagine why Timoleon picked the classic coin types of Corinth when new coins were struck by his new city Syracuse. They were later used by Agathokles too.
SH75811. Silver stater, SNG ANS 494, SNG ANS 496-507, SNG Cop 711, VF, scratches and corrosion, weight 8.367 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 345o, Syracuse mint, c. 344 - 335 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣION, Pegasos flying left; reverse ΣYPAKOΣION, helmeted head of Athena right; $750.00 (652.50)


Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 449 - 413 B.C.

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The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH75323. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31 ff., Kroll 8, SGCV I 2526, VF, nice toning, test on reverse, graffito X on Athena's cheek, weight 17.071 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 345o, Athens mint, c. 449 - 413 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; ex Forum (2007); $700.00 (609.00)


Kios, Bithynia, c. 280 - 250 B.C., Restoration of Lysimachos

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According to myth, Kios (Bursa, Turkey) was founded on the Propontis (Sea of Marmara) by Herakles when he accompanied the Argonauts. According to Greek historians, it was founded in 626 - 625 B.C. by colonists from Miletos. The city joined the Aetolian League and was destroyed by Philip V of Macedon. Prusias I of Bithynia rebuilt the site, naming it for himself. An important chain in the ancient Silk Road, it became a wealthy town. Under Rome the name Kios was revived.
SH90219. Silver tetradrachm, Mller Alexander 418 (Erythrai), Meydancikkale 2668 var (monogram in ex not reversed), SNG Cop 1123 var (same), SNG Berry 451 var (same), Thompson -, VF, lightly toned, scattered marks, weight 16.966 g, maximum diameter 31.7 mm, die axis 0o, Kios mint, c. 280 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of the deified Alexander right, with horn of Ammon; reverse Athena Nikephoros seated left, Nike in right crowning king's name with wreath, left arm resting on shield behind, transverse spear against far side, club outer left, monogram inner left, bow in case and reversed AΓ monogram in exergue; ex CNG, auction 324 lot 85; rare variety; $630.00 (548.10)




  



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Athena or Minerva