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Other Animals on Ancient Coins

Our animals theme also includes the many mythological creatures depicted by ancient people.


Urso (Osuna), Hispania Ulterior, 150 - 100 B.C.

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Urso is today Osuna near Seville in southern Spain. The battle of Munda, the last battle won by Julius Caesar in person, was probably fought outside of Osuna.
GB53986. Bronze AE 27, SNG BM 1527 - 1528, aVF, weight 12.438 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 180o, Urso mint, 150 - 100 B.C.; obverse VRSO, helmeted male head right; reverse MARC Q, bear squatting right; excellent for the type; very rare; SOLD


Celts, Boii in Bohemia, Devil, Mid 1st Century B.C.

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The Boii first appear in history in connection with the Gallic invasion of north Italy, 390 B.C., when they made the Etruscan city of Felsina their new capital, Bononia (Bologna). They were defeated by Rome at the Battle of Mutina in 193 and their territory became part of the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul. According to Strabo, writing two centuries after the events, rather than being destroyed by the Romans like their Celtic neighbors, "the Boii were merely driven out of the regions they occupied; and after migrating to the regions round about the Ister, lived with the Taurisci, and carried on war against the Daci until they perished, tribe and all - and thus they left their country, which was a part of Illyria, to their neighbors as a pasture-ground for sheep." The new Boian capital was a fortified town on the site of modern Bratislava, Slovakia, which is where minted their silver coins. Around 60 B.C., a group of Boians joined the Helvetians' ill-fated attempt to conquer land in western Gaul and were defeated by Julius Caesar, along with their allies, in the battle of Bibracte. Caesar settled the remnants of that group in Gorgobina, from where they sent two thousand to Vercingetorix's aid at the battle of Alesia six years later. The eastern Boians on the Danube were incorporated into the Roman Empire in 8 A.D. Devil is presumably the name of a king.
SH56021. Silver tetradrachm, Lanz 76, Paulsen 782 ff., Forrer Keltische pl. XXXVIII, 550, De la Tour 10163, Allen-Nash -, F, weight 16.322 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 45o, Slovakia, Bratislava mint, obverse beardless male head right with short; reverse bear(?) walking right on ground line, DEVIL in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Phokaia, Ionia, 625 - 522 B.C.

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Phocaea, or Phokaia, was the northernmost Ionian city, on the boundary with Aeolis. The Phocaeans were the first Greeks to make long sea-voyages, developed a thriving seafaring economy, became a great naval power, and founded the colonies Massalia (Marseille, France), Emporion (Empķries, Spain) and Elea (Velia, Italy). They remained independent until all of mainland Ionia fell to Croesus of Lydia (c. 560-545 B.C.). In 546 B.C., Lydia was conquered by Cyrus the Great of Persia. After the Greeks defeated Xerxes I, Phocaea joined the Delian League, but later rebelled with the rest of Ionia. In 387 B.C., Phocaea returned to Persian control. After Alexander, it fell under Seleucid, then Attalid, and finally Roman rule.
SH87220. Electrum 1/24 stater, Bodenstedt Em 2.2; BMC Ionia p. 204, 9; Weber 6066; Pozzi 2494; Rosen 334; Traitť I 131; SNG Cop -, Choice EF, well centered and struck, among the nicest of the type known to Forum, edge cracks, weight 0.633 g, maximum diameter 6.1 mm, Phokaia mint, 625 - 522 B.C.; obverse head of seal left; reverse quadripartite incuse square; ex Savoca Numismatik, auction 4 (30 Aug 2015), lot 290; SOLD


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 140 - 175 A.D.

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King Minos demanded that, every ninth year, Athens send seven boys and seven girls to Crete to be devoured by the Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull monster that lived in the Labyrinth. Theseus, son of Aigeus, the king of Athens, volunteered to take the place of one of the youths and slay the monster to stop this horror. Upon his arrival to Crete, Ariadne, King Minos' daughter, fell in love with him and gave him a ball of thread to help him find his way out of the Labyrinth. Theseus promised Ariadne that if he escaped he would take her with him. Using the string to mark his path, he made his way to the heart of the Labyrinth, slew the Minotaur, followed the string out, and then rescued the Athenian boys and girls. Athena told Theseus to leave Ariadne and Phaedra behind on the beach. Distressed by his broken heart, Theseus forgot to put up the white sails that were to signal his success. Upon seeing black sails, his father committed suicide, throwing himself off a cliff into the sea, causing this body of water to be named the Aegean.
GB77873. Bronze drachm, BMC Attica p. 105, 764; SNG Cop 341; Svoronos Athens, pl. 96, 1; Kroll 276, aF, corrosion, weight 7.132 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, Athens mint, pseudo-autonomous under Rome, c. 140 - 175 A.D.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; reverse AΘHNAIΩN, Theseus right, preparing to slay the Minotaur, nude, planting knee on the back of Minotaur, raising club in his right hand, a horn of the Minotaur in his left hand, the Minotaur falling right on left knee; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren (Antioch Associates); very rare; SOLD


Judah, Macedonian or Ptolemaic Rule, Satrap Hezekiah, c. 333 - 301 B.C.

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Josephus identifies Hezekiah as the High Priest of the Jews who offered friendship to Ptolemy I after his conquest of Palestine. Josephus mentions Hezekiah was sixty years old at the time of Ptolemy. It was common for obverse dies in this series to have been used after they were completely deteriorated (see J.-P. Fontanille, "Extreme Deterioration and Damage on Yehud Coin Dies," INR 3 [2008], pp. 45Ė50).
SH35682. Silver quarter obol, Hendin 1065 - 1066; Meshorer TJC 24 - 25; Mildenberg Yehud pl. 22, 19 & 23; HGC 10 451 - 452 (R1 - R2), Fair/VF, weight 0.239 g, maximum diameter 6.9 mm, Jerusalem(?) mint, c. 350 - 333 B.C.; obverse youthful male head left or right (off flan and/or struck with a deteriorated die); reverse forepart of winged and horned lynx left; Aramaic inscription lower right: YHZQYH (Hezekiah); rare; SOLD


Thraco-Macedonian Tribes, c. Mid-5th Century B.C.

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Monkeys were kept as pets in antiquity. We know of only two ancient coin types depicting monkeys. One is this very rare type, with the monkey squatting either left or right. The other is an electrum hemihekte from Kyzikos, Mysia with fewer than five known specimens.
SH52084. Silver tetartemorion, Tzamalis 67, VF, weight 0.206 g, maximum diameter 6.1 mm, uncertain mint, c. Mid-5th century B.C.; obverse monkey squatting left; reverse round shield within incuse square; very rare; SOLD


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Beroea, Cyrrhestica, Syria

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Aleppo is called Halab in Hittite documents of the second millennium B.C. The city opened its gates to Alexander after the Battle of Issus. Seleucus built a new city nearby and named it Beroea. Saint Paul records that his preaching at Beroea was a great success. The city was sacked by the Persians in 540, and captured by the Muslims without a fight in 637.
RY48308. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 896, gVF, fantastic portrait, toned, weight 12.054 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 225o, Cyrrhestica, Beroea (Allepo, Syria) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AYT K M OΠ-CE MAKPINOC CE, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC Π Π (holder of Tribunitian power, consul, father of the country), eagle standing front, wings spread, head left, wreath in beak, B - E flanking winged animal standing facing between eagle's legs; SOLD


Kindya, Caria, c. 510 - 490 B.C.

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Previously attributed to Phokaia in Ionia.


In Greek Mythology, Ketos was a hideous sea-monster, daughter of Gaia and Pontos. In time it became the name of any sea-monster. Our word cetacean is derived from this name.
SH20398. Silver tetrobol, SNG Keckman 920, SNG Kayhan 810, Asyut 687, Rosen 617, EF, weight 2.088 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, Kindya mint, c. 510 - 490 B.C.; obverse head of Ketos left; reverse incuse geometric pattern; SOLD


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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RB58894. Bronze quadrans, RIC II-1 248; BMCRE II 496; BnF 536, F, reverse pitted, weight 2.453 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, obverse rhinoceros walking right; reverse IMP DOMIT AVG GERM, S C (senatus consulto) in center; SOLD


Nagidos, Cilicia, c. 374 - 333 B.C.

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Nagidos, a colony of Samos, was located in Cilicia on a hill at the mouth of the Sini Cay (Bozyazi Dere) near modern Bozyazi in Mersin Province, Turkey. Nagidos minted coins with a grape cluster as a symbol of the city, some with both Greek and Aramaic inscriptions, and one type bearing the name of the Persian satrap Pharnabazus. Aphrodite appears most often on the coins, indicating her sanctuary was the most important in the city. Alexander the Great conquered Cilicia in 133 B.C. After his death, Cilicia briefly came under Seleucid rule. About 270 B.C., the Ptolemaic Empire conquered Cilicia. When the city of Arsinoe was founded on land claimed by Nagidos, the Nagidians refused to recognize the settlers. To resolve the dispute, Nagidos was designated as the mother city and the citizens of both shared a single citizenship. Cilicia came under Seleucid rule in 197 B.C. Nagidos was abandoned in the middle of the second century B.C., possibly due to attacks by the Cilician pirates.
GS48918. Silver stater, BMC Lycaonia p. 114, 23 - 24 var. (initials), aVF, weight 8.999 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 45o, Nagidos (Bozyazi, Turkey) mint, obverse Aphrodite seated left, sacrificing out of patera over altar, Nike flying toward her with wreath in both hands, mouse below throne; reverse NAΓI∆OΩN, Dionysos standing left, grapes in right, resting on thyrsos in left, monogram in upper left, AΓ (?) in lower left; SOLD




  




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