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Eagles on Ancient Coins

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG XII

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This old Caesarean legion was known at different times as Victrix, Antiquae, Paterna and finally XII Fulminata ('the thunderers'). Its veterans settled (among other places) in Patras in Greece. After fighting without great distinction in the First Jewish Revolt, the legion was transferred to Melitene in Cappadocia, where it remained for several hundred years.
RR76782. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/20, Sydenham 1224, BMCRR II East 198, RSC I 34, VF, toned, contact marks, graffiti, weight 3.561 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - XII, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; $450.00 (€396.00)
 


Akragas, Sicily, 450 - 440 B.C.

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Located on a plateau overlooking Sicily's southern coast, Akragas was founded c. 582 B.C. by colonists from Gela. It grew rapidly, becoming second only to Syracuse in importance on Sicily, but was sacked by Carthage in 406 B.C. and never fully recovered. It was renamed Agrigentum after it fell to Rome in 210 B.C.
GI76829. Cast bronze trias, Calciati I, p. 143, 1; Westermark Fifth pl. I, 1; SNG Cop 61; SNG ANS 1015; SNG Lloyd 832; HGC 2 126 (R1);, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, some light corrosion, weight 16.186 g, Akragas mint, 450 - 440 B.C.; cast near tooth-shaped flattened cone form, four pellets on flat top, sea-eagle standing left on one side, crab opposite; rare; $400.00 (€352.00)
 


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG V

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Struck by Antony and Cleopatra at Patrae while preparing for the struggle with Octavian. Twenty-three different legions are named on coins of this issue. This may have been the famous V Alaudae ('the larks'), a Caesarean legion which remained loyal to Antony but was later retained by Augustus. There are other possibilities, however: V Macedonica, a Caesarean legion about which little is known; V Urbana, disbanded after Actium (and therefore quite likely an Antonian legion); and V Gallica, a Caesarean legion that was probably the one that under Lollius lost its eagle to German raiders in Gaul in 17 B.C.
SH77472. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/18, Sydenham 1221, BMCRR II East 196, RSC I 32, Sear CRI 354, VF, toned, minor flan flaw on obverse, light scratches, weight 3.401 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, Patrae mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT AVG III. VIR. R. P. C., galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - V, legionary aquila between two standards; $375.00 (€330.00)
 


Kabyle, Thrace, c. 219 - 215 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great

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The obverse dies for this type were also used with reverse dies naming the Gaulish King Kavaros. Die wear shows the Alexanderine types followed Kavaros' coinage, indicating this type was likely struck during the revolt of the Thracians, which brought about the chieftain's death and the end of Gaulish rule. Kavaros ruled until at least 219 B.C., when he participated in a treaty between Byzantium and Bithynia. The style compares closely with contemporary issues of Dionysopolis, Mesembria, and Odessus.
SH69935. Silver tetradrachm, Price 882a, Draganov Cabyle 845 ff., Müller Alexander 399, VF, weight 16.205 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 0o, Cabyle mint, time of the Thracian Revolt, c. 219 - 215 B; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, Demeter standing facing torch in each hand; $330.00 (€290.40)
 


Britannicus, Son of Claudius and Messalina, 12 February 41 - 11 February 55 A.D., Aeolis, Aegae

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Tiberius Claudius Britannicus was born in 41 A.D., son of Cladius I and Messalina. Although the natural heir to the empire, Britannicus was passed over in favor of Nero who then had him murdered a year after his fathers' death.
SH54008. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2431 (4 specimens), SNG Cop -, Fair, weight 3.696 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Aegae mint, 50 - 54 A.D.; obverse BPETANNIKOC KAICAP, bare head of Britannicus right; reverse AIΓAEΩN EΠI XAΛEOY, Zeus standing left, head facing, eagle in right, long scepter behind in left; extremely rare; $310.00 (€272.80)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

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Huge bronze! The largest of all Ptolemaic bronze coins.
GP75643. Bronze octobol, Svoronos 446; Weiser 19; BMC Ptolemies p. 37, 158; SNG Cop 142; Noeske 64; Hosking 13; Malter 67, aF, weight 77.706 g, maximum diameter 46.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head turned back right, E between legs; $300.00 (€264.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Seleukos, Satrap in Babylon, 311 - 306 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Struck in the name of Alexander, this coin also bears the personal badge of Seleukos, an anchor. Seleukos was first appointed satrap in Babylonia in 320 B.C. but was put to flight by Antigonus in 315. He returned in 311 only to be forced to evacuate later that year by a counterattack by Antigonus' son, Demetrius. Not long after, however, Seleukos again recovered the city.
SH60135. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 293, Price 3449 (Marthus), Müller Alexander 1512, aVF/F, weight 16.601 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 225o, uncertain mint, c. 311 - 305 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on throne, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, anchor flukes up flanked by ∆ - I in left field, monogram under throne; $290.00 (€255.20)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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MON VRB stands for MONETA VRBIS. According to H. R. Baldus this initial issue of coins was minted in Rome. Indeed the portrait style is unmistakably that of the mint of Rome, and even if the coins were actually minted in Antioch, the dies were surely engraved by the Rome mint.
SH60149. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 899, Prieur 304, BMC Galatia 507, EF, weight 13.825 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome or Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 244 or 246 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛ ΦIΛIΠΠOY CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPC EΞOYCIAC, eagle standing facing on ground line, wings open, head and tail left, wreath in beak, S - C below wings, MON VRB in exergue; double strike evident in obverse legend, minor flan crack, small encrustations, very sharp, handsome portrait and eagle; $285.00 (€250.80)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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In 248, overwhelmed by the number of invasions and usurpers, Philip offered to resign. The Senate decided to support the Emperor, with Gaius Messius Quintus Decius most vocal of all the senators. Philip was so impressed that he dispatched Decius with a special command of the Pannonian and Moesian provinces. His loyal supporter, Decius, was, however, proclaimed Emperor by the Danubian armies in the spring of 249 and defeated and killed Philip in September.
SH60141. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 907a, Prieur 357, SNG Righetti 2027, SNG Cop -, EF, weight 10.949 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, radiate and cuirassed bust left, Gorgon's head on cuirass; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠA TO Γ, eagle standing right, head right, wings open, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA / S C in exergue; $280.00 (€246.40)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III & Alexander IV - Ptolemy Keraunos, c. 323 - 280 B.C., In the Name of Alexander

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Struck posthumously in the name of Alexander the Great. Born a leader, his genius and charisma led the Macedonian army to create an empire covering most of the then-known world, from Greece to India. Alexander's reign begins the Hellenistic Age, a time when civilization flourished. He was regarded as god and his fame grew even greater after his premature death at thirty-two.
GS75177. Silver drachm, Price 2798A, Haymana Hoard 449, Müller Alexander -, gVF, some porosity, slight double strike on reverse, weight 4.414 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Anatolian mint, 323 - 280 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on backless throne, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, dolphin swimming downward (control symbol) on left, H (control letter) under throne; ex Pecunem Gitbud & Naumann auction 26 (14 Dec 2014), lot 110; extremely rare; $280.00 (€246.40)
 


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG III

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This legion was probably Caesar's old III Gallica, which fought for Antony. Another possibility is III Cyrenaica, which was perhaps taken over from Lepidus. The III Augusta was probably an Octavian legion.
RR73643. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/15, Sydenham 1217, BMCRR II East 193, RSC I 28, Sear CRI 350, aVF, weight 3.378 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis ,180o, Patrae(?) mint, fall 32 - spring 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - III, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; $270.00 (€237.60)
 


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C.

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Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and the Chersonesos after Alexander's death. He became one of the diadochi (successors of Alexander) who were initially generals and governors, but who continuously allied and warred with each other and eventually divided the empire. In 309, he founded his capital Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonesos with the mainland. In 306, he followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. In 281, he was killed in battle against Seleucus, another successor of Alexander.
SH75319. Silver drachm, Price L25, Thompson 125, Müller -, aEF, weight 4.178 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon mint, 299 - 296 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at his neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Zeus seated left on throne, eagle extended in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, forepart of lion left over ∆I on left, K under throne; ex Forum 2008, ex Harlan Berk; $260.00 (€228.80)
 


Hierapolis-Kastabala, Cilicia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Hierapolis-Kastabala was an ancient city in Cilicia Pedias, three kilometers north ancient Pyramus. Alexander the Great stopped at Kastabala before the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C. Antiochus IV refounded the city with the name Hierapolis. In the first century B.C., Hierapolis was the capital of a small local kingdom under the rule of the former Cilician pirate Tarcondimotus I, an ally of Mark Antony. Cicero referred to the city as Rome's most loyal ally beyond the Taurus and the best friend of the Roman people. The city was known for its temple of Artemis Perasia. Strabo wrote of her priestesses who, in a trance, would walk barefoot over hot coals without damage.
GY73092. Bronze AE 15, cf. CNG e-auction 250, lot 112; otherwise apparently unpublished; SNG BnF -, SNG Levante-, SNGvA-, SNG Cop -, BMC Lycaonia -, F, well centered, highlighting "desert" patina, some corrosion, weight 2.776 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 90o, Hieropolis-Kastabola, Cilicia mint, 2nd - 1st centuries B.C.; obverse radiate, draped bust of Helios right, dotted border; reverse eagle standing left on torch, wings open, head left, IEPOΠOΛITΩN above, ΠPOΣ TΩI ΠYPA[NA?] below; extremely rare; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Mesembria, Thrace, c. 125 - 65 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great

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Mesembria, Nesebar Bulgaria today, was a Doric settlement on a Black Sea island just off mainland Thrace. Today it is a seaside resort and a man-made isthmus connects it to the coast. The city struck Alexandrine tetradrachms possibly as early as 275 B.C. It is likely Mesembria issued the very last Alexandrine tetradrachms, possibly even under Roman rule, as late as 65 B.C.
GS74508. Silver tetradrachm, Price 1128; Müller Alexander 487, gVF, double struck, obverse die damage, edge crack, weight 33.92 g, maximum diameter 16.348 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 125 - 65 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse Zeus seated left, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ∆IO horizontal under arm in inner left field, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, MEΣAM below; ex Pecunem Gitbud & Naumann auction 27 (4 Jan 2015), lot 110; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus II Gonatas, 277 - 239 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Most people expect the crests on ancient helmets to strictly run from front to back. Officer's helmets, however, frequently had a crest running from ear to ear, as on the helmet used as a control symbol on the reverse of this coin. The two ear flaps dangle below the bowl and visor of the helmet.
SH75314. Silver tetradrachm, Meydancikkale 618 (same obv. die); Mathisen, Administrative VI.1, obv. die A1; Price 629; Müller Alexander 233; SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, centered, golden toning, test cut, light scratches and marks, lamination defect on reverse, weight 16.793 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 90o, Pella (or Amphipolis?) mint, c. 275 - 270 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, crested Macedonian officer's helmet facing on left, ΠAP monogram under seat strut, KE monogram in exergue; ex CNG auction 349, lot 35; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, 323 - 301 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed") (382 B.C. - 301 B.C.) was a nobleman, general, and governor under Alexander the Great. Upon Alexander's death in 323 B.C., he established himself as one of the successors and declared himself King in 306 B.C. The most powerful satraps of the empire, Cassander, Seleucus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus, answered by also proclaiming themselves kings. Antigonus found himself at war with all four, largely because his territory shared borders with all of them. He died in battle at Ipsus in 301 B.C. Antigonus' kingdom was divided up, with Seleucus I Nicator gaining the most. His son, Demetrius I Poliorcetes, took Macedon, which the family held, off and on, until it was conquered by Rome in 168 B.C. -- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
GS75273. Silver drachm, Price 1797, Müller Alexander 1322, SNG Cop 931, SNG München 517, SNG Alpha Bank 611, Prokesch-Osten I 326, Thompson-Bellinger Colophon 12, aEF, nice style, slight porosity, some light bumps and marks, weight 4.153 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, c. 310 - 301 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long lotus topped scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, N left; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon, 344 - 336 B.C.

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Threatened by Carthage and dominated by Hiketas, the tyrant of Leontini, Syracusans sent an appeal for help to their mother city, Corinth. By a unanimous vote Corinth selected Timoleon to set sail for Sicily with a few leading citizens of Corinth and a small troop of Greek mercenaries. After defeating Hiketas, Timoleon put order to Syracuse' affairs and established a democratic government. He repelled Carthage in several wars, ending with a treaty which divided the island. Timoleon then retired without any title or office, though he remained practically supreme. He became blind before his death, but when important issues were under discussion he was carried to the assembly to give his opinion, which was usually accepted. When he died the citizens of Syracuse erected a monument to his memory, afterward surrounded with porticoes, and a gymnasium called Timoleonteum.
GI76973. Bronze hemidrachm, Calciati II p. 168, 72 st 3; SNG ANS 477 ff.; SNG Cop 727, VF, nice style, nice patina, reverse off center but not detracting, small spots of corrosion on edge, weight 15.716 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 45o, Syracuse mint, c. 342 - 338 B.C.; obverse ZEYΣEA EYΘEPTOΣ, laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios right; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, thunderbolt, eagle on right standing right with wings closed; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., commemorative struck by his son Commodus

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Posthumous commemorative struck by Marcus Aurelius' son, Commodus.

BMCRE p. 62 notes that the "spear head" variety listed by Cohen is probably from an altered die. We have, however, found coins from more than one reverse die with this object. It is not clear to us why Cohen identified this indistinct object as a spear head.
RS77835. Silver denarius, RSC II 82; RIC III C271; MIR 18 478-4/10, Hunter II 4; BMCRE IV 24 var., note. p. 692, VF, small edge cracks, weight 3.130 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 180 A.D.; obverse DIVVS M ANTONINVS PIVS, bare head right; reverse CONSECRATIO, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, spear head(?) in beak; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C., Struck in the Name of Philip

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Struck in the name of King Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander the Great's half-brother, under the regent Perdikkas. Philip III and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV, were made joint kings after Alexander's death. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule and both were selected only to serve as pawns. Perdikkas held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias to ensure the succession of her grandson.
SH75320. Silver drachm, Price P43, Müller Alexander P50, SNG München 938, aEF, some die wear, weight 4.238 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon mint, c. 323 - c. 319 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOY, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right foot drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, lyre left; ex Forum (2005); $225.00 (€198.00)
 


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

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Struck by Menander, the satrap of Lydia, 331 - 321 B.C. or by Kleitos (Cleitus the White), the satrap of Lydia, 321 - 318 B.C., in the name of Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Philip and Alexander's infant son Alexander IV were made joint kings by Alexander's generals, who really only intended to use them as pawns. Perdikkas held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias, Alexander's mother, to ensure the succession of her grandson.
RS77030. Silver drachm, Price P106, ADM I Series XV, VF, nice style, toned, reverse slightly double struck, light marks, weight 4.276 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, Menander or Kleitos, c. 322 - 318 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, rose left, monogram under throne; $225.00 (€198.00)
 




    



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