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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Animals ▸ PigView Options:  |  |  | 

Boars, Sows and Piglets on Ancient Coins

Pontus (Amisos?), Roman Quaestor (Lucius Lucullus?), 100 - 50 B.C.

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The Q identifies the bare male head as a Roman Quaestor. This letter is not noted in RPC but is visible here and clear on other examples known to Forum. Perhaps the image is of Lucius Lucullus, an important Quaestor of Sulla, about whom Plutarch wrote. The reverse legend, the Latin FETIA, refers to the fetial ceremony, part of the treaty making process, during which a pig was sacrificed to sanctify the oaths. The mint location is unknown but Imhoof-Blumer placed it at Amisus, where Leypold acquired his specimen.
SH66800. Brass AE 20, RPC I 2156, SNG Leypold I p. 24, 69, F, cleaning scratches, weight 7.222 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Pontus(?) mint, c. 80 B.C.(?); obverse bare male head right, Q below; reverse two standing figures holding a pig between them, each with a hand raised, taking an oath of fealty, FETA IA in exergue; rare; $340.00 (302.60)

Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 340 - 335 B.C., Eleusinian Festival Coinage

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Triptolemus was a demigod of the Eleusinian mysteries who presided over the sowing of grain-seed and the milling of wheat. His name means He who Pounds the Husks. In myth, Triptolemos was one of the Eleusinian princes who kindly received Demeter when she came mourning the loss of her daughter Persephone. The young goddess was eventually returned to her from the Underworld, and Demeter in her munificence, instructed Triptolemos in the art of agriculture, and gave him a winged chariot drawn by serpents so that he might travel the world spreading her gift.
GB77129. Bronze dichalkon, Kroll 38h-k; BMC Attica p. 113, 14; SNG Cop 416; Svoronos Athens pl. 103, 5, F/aVF, pitting, light scratches, weight 2.993 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 45o, Athens mint, c. 340 - 335 B.C.; obverse Triptolemos seated left in winged chariot drawn by two serpents, stalk of grain in his right hand; reverse Piglet standing right on mystic staff, EΛEYΣI above, bucranium (control symbol) in exergue; rare; $200.00 (178.00)

Phokis, Greece, Federal Coinage, c. 449 - 447 B.C.

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Phocis was mainly pastoral. The twenty-two confederate Phocian towns held their periodic synedrion (assembly) in a building called Phokikon, near Daulis, and here, perhaps, rather than at any one of the Phocian towns, the federal mint may have been established. Money would be issued at this mint only on the occasions of the meetings of the synedrion, when it may be supposed that a concourse of people from all parts of the Phocian territory was gathered together, and that a fair or market was held for the exchange and purchase of commodities, as at Delphi during the Pythian festivals. The bull's head is perhaps symbolic of a special sacrifice held on behalf of the whole people, when a prize bull may have been the victim.
GA68398. Silver obol, cf. BCD Lokris 246, Williams Phokians 227, SNG Cop 104 ff., SNG Lockett 1713, VF, nice style, high relief bull head, weight 0.839 g, maximum diameter 9.4 mm, die axis 315mo, Phokikon mint, c. 449 - 447 B.C.; obverse Φ−O, facing bull head, parallel lines for hair; reverse forepart of boar right, stippled hide, both legs showing, right foreleg bent; $140.00 (124.60) ON RESERVE

Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 480 - 400 B.C.

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Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world. During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) Cyzicus was subject to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians alternately. In the naval Battle of Cyzicus in 410, an Athenian fleet completely destroyed a Spartan fleet. At the peace of Antalcidas in 387, like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia. Alexander the Great captured it from the Persians in 334 B.C.
GA71821. Silver hemiobol, SNG BnF 386; SNGvA 1215, SNG Ashmolean 540, Von Fritze II 13, SNG Kayhan -, aEF, porous, weight 0.399 g, maximum diameter 9.9 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 480 - 400 B.C.; obverse forepart of boar running left, retrograde K on shoulder, tunny fish upwards behind; reverse head of roaring lion left, small facing panther head above left, all within a shallow incuse square; $110.00 (97.90)

Paestum, Lucania, Italy, c. 264-241 B.C. B.C.

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Paestum (originally Poseidonia) was founded near the end of the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Sybaris. From the archaeological evidence it appears that Greeks and Oscans thrived alongside one another. Poseidonia became the Roman city of Paestum in 273 B.C. after the residents sided with Pyrrhus, the loser in a war against Rome. Paestum remained faithful to Rome against Hannibal and afterward was granted special favors, including minting coins. The city declined after the 4th century and was abandoned during the Middle Ages. Its ruins only came to notice again in the 18th century, after the rediscovery Pompeii and Herculaneum.

On 9 September 1943, the U.S. 36th Infantry Division landed at Paestum. Heavy fighting persisted within and around the town for nine days before the Germans withdrew.
RR75812. Bronze sextans, Crawford Paestum 12/1; SNG ANS 757; HN Italy 1218; BMC Italy p. 276, 21; SGCV I 633, VF, attractive style and dark green patina, edge splits, weight 3.948 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 180o, Paestum mint, c. 218 - 201 B.C.; obverse head of Ceres right, wreathed with grain, two pellets left; reverse ΠAIS, forepart of wild boar running right, two pellets below; from the Andrew McCabe Collection, private purchase from Ancient Imports (2006); scarce; $105.00 (93.45)

Nemausus, Gaul, 120 - 60 B.C.

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The Volcae Arecomici surrendered of their own accord to the Roman Republic in 121 B.C., after which they occupied the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis (the area around modern day Narbonne), the southern part of Gallia Transalpina. They held their assemblies in the sacred wood of Nemausus, the site of modern Nmes.
GB67906. Bronze AE 15, CCBM III 204 - 212; De la Tour 2698; Castelin 119; Blanchet 436, fig. 476; SNG Cop -; SNG Dreer -, VF, green patina, tight flan, weight 1.827 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 180o, Nemausus (Nimes) mint, 120 - 60 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo left; reverse boar left, NAMA/SAT starting above, the second line in exergue; $75.00 (66.75)

Lesbos, c. 500 - 450 B.C.

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A most unusual use of illusion on a coin. The two confronting boars' heads can also be viewed as the facing head of a panther.
GA70935. Billon 1/10th stater, BMC Troas p. 151, 14; SNG Cop 287; Trait I, p. 350, 564; SNGvA 7712 var.(no ethnic); SNG Mnchen 645 ff. var. (same); Rosen 542 var. (same), VF, dark toning, tight flan, weight 1.264 g, maximum diameter 9.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Koinon of Lesbos mint, c. 500 - 450 B.C.; obverse ΛEΣ (above), confronting boar heads, creating the illusion of a facing head of a panther; reverse incuse square punch; from Matt Kreuzer, ex Mediterranean Coins; $70.00 (62.30)

Lesbos, c. 500 - 450 B.C.

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A most unusual use of illusion on a coin. The two confronting boars' heads can also be viewed as the facing head of a panther.
GA59008. Billon 1/10th stater, SNGvA 7712, SNG Mnchen 645, Rosen 542, Trait 566, SGCV II 3488, SNG Cop -, aVF, weight 1.046 g, maximum diameter 9.2 mm, uncertain Koinon of Lesbos mint, c. 500 - 450 B.C.; obverse confronting boar heads, creating the illusion of a facing head of a panther; reverse tripartite incuse square punch; $45.00 (40.05)

Arpi, Apulia, Italy, c. 325 - 275 B.C.

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Arpi was located 20 miles inland, 5 miles north of modern Foggia. Its territory extended to the sea, and Strabo says that from the extent of the city walls one could gather that it had once been one of the greatest cities of Italy. Legend attributed its foundation to Diomedes. The figure of a horse, which appears on its coins, shows the importance of horse-breeding in the district. As a protection against the Samnites, Arpi became an ally of Rome. In the war with Pyrrhus, the Arpi aided Rome with a contingent of 4000 infantrymen and 400 cavalrymen. Arpi remained faithful to Rome until Rome's defeat at the battle of Cannae. The consul Quintus Fabius Maximus captured it in 213 B.C. and it never recovered its former importance. No Roman inscriptions have been found there, and remains of antiquity are scanty.
GB90742. Bronze AE 23, HN Italy 642, SNG ANS 635, SNG Cop 603, SNG Mnchen 438, SNG BnF 1228; BMC Italy p. 130, 4; SGCV I 569, F, edge chip, weight 6.677 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 270o, Arpi (near Foggia, Italy) mint, c. 325 - 275 B.C.; obverse laureate and bearded head of Zeus left, thunderbolt behind; reverse Kalydonian boar right, spear head right above, APΠANΩN in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics; $45.00 (40.05)


Catalog current as of Wednesday, May 25, 2016.
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