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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ History ▸ Enemies of RomeView Options:  |  |  | 

Enemies of Rome

Tetrarchy of Chalkis, Coele Syria, Lysanias, 40 - 36 B.C.

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Lysanias is called Tetrarch of Abila by Josephus. Lysanias' father Ptolemaios was married to Alexandra, Mattathias Antigonus' sister. Lysanias offered the Parthian satrap Barzapharnes a thousand talents and 500 women to depose Hyrcanus and put his uncle (or step-uncle) Antigonus on the throne of Judaea (Josephus B.J. 1.248). When Lysanias continued to support Antigonus against the Roman nominee Herod the Great, Mark Antony had him executed, and gave his territory to Cleopatra VII.
GB90942. Bronze AE 19, Herman 11.g, RPC I 4769, HGC 9 145 corr., Lindgren III 1243, BMC Galatia -, VF, weight 3.505 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis sub Libano mint, c. 40 B.C.; obverse veiled female bust right, no inscription; reverse double cornucopia, flanked by four ligatures ΛYCA, TETP, APX, IΦ (Lysanias tetrarch and high priest); very rare; $270.00 (240.30)


Bruttium, Italy, The Brettian League, Allies of Hannibal, c. 216 - 203 B.C.

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All coinage of the Brettii was issued during the Second Punic War when they allied with Hannibal. The Brettii joined Hannibal after his victory at Cannae. Hannibal's last base in Italy was Castra Hannibalis, in Bruttium. The ravages of war inflicted a severe blow to the prosperity of Bruttium. Roman punishment for their rebellion completed their humiliation. They lost most of their territory and the whole nation reduced to a state bordering on servitude. They were not admitted like the other nations of Italy to rank as allies but were pronounced incapable of military service, and were only employed by Rome for menial work.
GI84160. Bronze drachm, Scheu Bronze 19 (rare); SNG Cop 1672; SNG ANS 57; SNG Munchen 1284; SNG Morcom 351; BMC Italy p. 328, 76; HN Italy 1978, VF, lacking legend due to off center and uneven strike, weight 7.834 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 90o, Kroton (Crotone, Calbria, Italy) mint, c. 214 - 208 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right, ear of grain (control symbol) behind; reverse BPET−TIΩN (clockwise from upper right), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, hexagram (control symbol) left; rare; $160.00 (142.40)


Arpi, Apulia, Italy, 215 - 212 B.C., Struck Under Hannibal

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Arpi remained faithful to Rome until Rome's defeat at the battle of Cannae and then defected to Hannibal. Rome captured Arpi in 213 or 212 B.C. and it never recovered its former importance. No Roman inscriptions have been found there, and remains of antiquity are scanty.
GB72290. Bronze AE 17, HN Italy 650; SNG ANS 646; SNG Cop 613 var. (divided ethnic); BMC Italy p. 131, 12 var. (same), VF, green patina, weight 3.570 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 225o, Arpi (near Foggia, Italy) mint, 215 - 212 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet; reverse APΠANOY (upward on left), bunch of grapes; rare; $135.00 (120.15)


Arpi, Apulia, Italy, 215 - 212 B.C., Struck Under Hannibal

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Arpi remained faithful to Rome until Rome's defeat at the battle of Cannae and then defected to Hannibal. Rome captured Arpi in 213 or 212 B.C. and it never recovered its former importance. No Roman inscriptions have been found there, and remains of antiquity are scanty.
GB73614. Bronze AE 20, HN Italy 650; SNG ANS 646; SNG Cop 613; BMC Italy p. 131, 12, F, weight 3.792 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 270o, Arpi (near Foggia, Italy) mint, 215 - 212 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet; reverse APΠANOY, bunch of grapes; rare; $135.00 (120.15)


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI Eupator the Great, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Anonymous Coinage

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Mithradates VI Megas (the Great) was king of Pontus in northern Anatolia from about 119 to 63 B.C. He was of both Greek and Persian origin, claiming descent from both Alexander the Great and King Darius I of Persia. Mithradates is remembered as one of Rome's most formidable and successful enemies, who engaged three of the most prominent generals of the late Roman Republic in the so-called Mithridatic Wars: Sulla, Lucullus, and Pompey the Great. After Mithradates VI was at last defeated by Pompey and in danger of capture by Rome, he attempted suicide. The poison failed because he had taken daily doses to build immunity. He then made his bodyguard and friend, Bituitus, kill him by the sword.
GB84575. Bronze AE 26, cf. HGC 7 310 (S), SNG Stancomb 649, SNG BM 973, SNG Cop 232 (all SNG refs. with same countermarks, none with this monogram), gF, dark patina, thick heavy flan as usual for the type, bumps and marks, light corrosion, weight 19.920 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, uncertain (Amisos?) mint, c. 130 - 100 B.C.; obverse male head left in a satrapal leather bashlik cap; countermarks: helmet in round punch, gorgoneion in round punch, fulmen (thunderbolt) in a rectangular punch; reverse star of eight rays, bow facing inward, monogram between rays; scarce; $110.00 (97.90)


Parthian Kingdom, Vologases I, 51 - 78 A.D.

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"We cannot tell whether the use of 'lord' rather than 'king' implies a subordinate status; probably the rulers themselves were uncertain of the exact implications and it would be unwise to try to read too much into it." -- Sellwood, NC 1989, p. 163.
GS65700. Silver diobol, Sellwood New pl. 42, 1; Sunrise 426; Shore 379; Alram LNV 3 143; Sellwood -, VF, toned, tight flan, porous, weight 1.248 g, maximum diameter 11.6 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Persis mint, 51 - 78 A.D.; obverse bare-headed bust left, medium length beard, wavy hair, wearing diadem with loop at the top and two ends, two-line neck torque has no ends, border of dots; reverse archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne holding bow, left foot drawn back, somewhat blundered Greek inscription reading, with emendations: OΛIΓACOO[Y] TO[Y] KYPIY (Vologases the lord); $90.00 (80.10)


Syracuse, Sicily, Pyrrhus of Epirus, 278 - 276 B.C.

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In 279 B.C., Pyrrhus' forces, supporting the Greek cities of southern Italy, met and defeated the Romans at the battle of Asculum in Apulia. Pyrrhus, however, lost many men, several close associates, and all of his baggage. When one of his soldiers congratulated him on his victory, he famously replied: "Another such victory and we are ruined!" From this we have the term Pyrric victory, a victory achieved at ruinous cost.
GI75171. Bronze litra, Calciati II p. 321, 176; SNG Cop 813, SNG ANS 852; SGCV I 1214; HGC 2, 1451, VF/F, weight 11.494 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, 278 - 276 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles left, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress; reverse ΣYPA−KOΣIΩN, Athena Promachos advancing right, hurling thunderbolt with right, shield in left; $90.00 (80.10) ON RESERVE


Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, Early 3rd Century B.C.

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Agathocles, the tyrant of Syracuse, died in 289 B.C. He restored the Syracusan democracy on his death bed, stating that he did not want his sons to succeed him as king. The following year, some of his disbanded mercenaries, calling themselves Mamertines (Sons of Mars), seized Messana in northeast Sicily. The city became a base from which they ravaged the Sicilian countryside. Syracuse was weakened by his loss and Carthage began a renewal of their power in Sicily.
GB76852. Bronze AE 17, Viola CNP 94, Alexandropoulos 22, HGC 2 1674 (S), Mller Afrique 315, Weber III 8486, SNG Cop VIII 126, SGCV II 6530, BMC Sicily -, F, well centered, green patina, areas of corrosion, weight 3.626 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 90o, Carthage or uncertain Sicilian mint, early 3rd century B.C.; obverse date palm tree with two bunches of hanging fruit, no legend, symbols or monogram; reverse unbridled horse standing right, head turned back looking left, no legend, symbols or monogram; scarce; $80.00 (71.20)


Siculo-Punic, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

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Before it was incoporated within the Persian Empire in the 370s B.C., Tyre was the economic and political hub of the Phoenician world. Supremacy passed to Sidon, and then to Carthage, before Tyre's destruction by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. Each colony paid tribute to either Tyre or Sidon, but neither had actual control. The Carthaginians, however, appointed their own magistrates to rule the towns and took much direct control. This policy would result in a number of Iberian towns siding with the Romans during the Punic Wars.
GB65641. Bronze half unit, Viola CNP 126, SNG Cop VIII 96 ff. (=SNG Cop I 1022 ff.), SNG Munchen 1626 ff., SNG Morcom 897, Alexandropoulos 15, aVF, rough, nice green patina, weight 5.015 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 270o, Carthage or Sicilian mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; obverse male head left, wreathed in grain, wearing hoop earring; reverse free horse prancing right, short exergual line below rear hooves, linear border; $70.00 (62.30)


Sardinia, Punic Rule, 264 - 241 B.C.

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Head of Tanit / horse head types were likely struck at many different mints in the Punic realm. The style of this particular type, which was struck in Italy during the Second Punic War, is very atypical. Robinson suggested Locri as the possible mint, noting similarity between the style of Tanit on this type and Persephone on Locri bronzes.
GB72291. Bronze AE 15, Alexandropoulos 60 (Sardinia); SNG Cop 224 (Africa); Mller Africa 274, Fair/Fine, small flan, weight 1.612 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 0o, Sardinia mint, 264 - 241 B.C.; obverse head of Tanit left, wearing wreath of grain; reverse horse head right; scarce; $36.00 (32.04)







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Enemies of Rome