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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ ArchitectureView Options:  |  |  |   

Architecture on Ancient Coins

Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

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The "Lost Arch of Nero" was decreed by the Senate in 58 A.D. to commemorate the eastern victory of Cn. Domitius Corduba. It was located on Capitoline Hill. It was demolished shortly after Nero's downfall. No trace remains today.
SL85477. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 147, BMCRE I 187, BnF II 287, Cohen I 308, SRCV I 1962, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5, fine style, light smoothing (3762373-001), weight 27.57 g, maximum diameter c. 34 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 64 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate bust right, aegis on neck; reverse triumphal arch; surmounted by statue of Nero in a facing quadriga, led by Pax on left and Victory on right, and flanked below by two soldiers; front ornamented with statue of Mars in a niche and bas-reliefs of small figures; garland hanging in arch, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking; ex Stacks NYINC Auction (8 Jan 2016), lot 31152; ex Rockaway Collection; $1620.00 (€1441.80)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Emerita, Hispania Lusitania

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Mérida, Spain was founded by P. Carisius in 25 B.C., as Emerita Augusta, the name referring to the discharged soldiers who populated the city, by order of Augustus to protect a pass and a bridge over the Guadiana river. The city became an important city in the Roman Empire and the capital of Lusitania province. Mérida preserves more important ancient Roman monuments than any other city in Spain (including a triumphal arch of the age of Trajan).
SH84707. Silver denarius, RIC I 9b, RSC I 398, BMCRE I 291, BMCRR Spain 128, BnF I 1039, Hunter I 124, SRCV I 1627 var. (head right), gVF, full circle centering on a broad flan, mint luster, weak strike areas, die wear, small edge cracks, weight 3.775 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 90o, Emerita Augusta (Merida, Spain) mint, P. Carisius, c. 25 - 23 B.C.; obverse IMP CAESAR AVGVST, bare head left; reverse P CARISIVS LEG PRO PR (P. Carisius Legatus [Augusti] pro Praetore), bird's-eye view of town with walls around, EMERITA inscribed above gateway in front with three battlements over two arched entrances; from the Marcelo Leal Collection; $1500.00 (€1335.00)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

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The cistophorus was first struck by the Pergamene Kingdom was a tetradrachm (four-drachms coin) struck on a reduced Asian standard of about 3 grams per drachm. Its name was derived from the cista, a Dionysian cult snake basket that frequently appeared on the obverse. After the Pergamene Kingdom was bequeathed to Rome in 133 B.C., the Romans continued to strike cistophori for the Asia province, with a value equal to three denarii. The portrait of Augustus and later emperors replaced the cista on the obverse.
SH85434. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Sutherland Group VI, RPC I 2215, RIC I 479, RSC I 33, BnF I 922, BMCRE I 694, BMCRR East 262, VF, full circles strike on a broad flan, light uneven toning, light encrustations, small closed edge crack, weight 11.660 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesus mint, c. 25 - 20 B.C.; obverse IMP CAE-SAR (counterclockwise below), bare head right, linear border; reverse garlanded and filleted altar, ornamented on the front with two hinds (or stags) standing confronted, AVGVSTVS above; $1200.00 (€1068.00)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., VAR Quinctillus Varus Countermark

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The Altar of Lugdunum and the Sanctuary of the Three Gauls was dedicated by Augustus on 1 August 10 B.C., the very same day Drusus' son, the future emperor Claudius, was born in Lugdunum. All the notable men of Gaul were invited. Caius Julius Vercondaridubnus, a member of the Aedui tribe, was the first priest of the new imperial cult. The altar, which was engraved with the names of 60 Gallic tribes, was featured prominently on coins from the Lugdunum mint for many years.
CM84471. Copper as, BnF I 1485 (with c/m), RIC I 230, BMCRE I 549, SRCV I 1690, Cohen I 240; countermark: Pangerl 52e (Publius Quinctilius Varus), aF, rough, edge crack, c/m: aF, weight 8.852 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 10 - 6 B.C.; obverse CAESAR PONT MAX, laureate head right; countermark: VAR ligature (Varus) in a rectangular punch; reverse ROM ET AVG (in exergue), the Altar of Lugdunum, the front decorated with the corona civica between laurels and figures; flanked on each side by a Victory on a column standing facing center, raising a wreath and holding a palm frond; $810.00 (€720.90)
 


Roman Republic, M. Plaetorius Cestianus, 69 B.C.

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The moneyer, M. Plaetorius Cestianus, was from Praeneste, in Latium, 23 miles east-southeast of Rome, home of the great temple to Fortuna Primigenia. Her sanctuary was an immense complex of buildings rising up the hillside on five vast terraces, connected with each other by grand staircases, visible even from the sea. The reverse likely depicts a pediment in the sanctuary. The epithet of Primigenia means "Original." She was represented suckling two babes, said to be Jupiter and Juno, and she was especially worshiped by matrons. The oracle continued to be consulted down to Christian times, until Constantine the Great, and again later Theodosius I, forbade the practice and closed the temple.
SH76980. Silver denarius, BMCRR Rome 3524 (same wheel control); Crawford 405/1b; Sydenham 800a; SRCV I 340, F, banker's mark, weight 3.563 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, 69 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Fortuna Primigenia right, hair in net, wheel (control symbol) behind; reverse temple pediment, ornamented with sculpture of an anguipede (snake legged) giant holding a club(?) in his left hand, M PLAETORI (AE ligate) on the architrave, CEST S C in exergue; very rare; $720.00 (€640.80)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Augusta Traiana, Thrace

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Augusta Traiana (Stara Zagora, Bulgaria today) was founded by Trajan, c. 106 A.D. During 2nd - 3rd century A.D., it was the second largest city in Roman Thrace, after Philippopolis, and was fortified by strong walls. The city struck bronze coins from the time of Marcus Aurelius to Gallienus.
RP83509. Brass AE 31, Schönert-Geiss Augusta Traiana 163, Varbanov II 1009 (R7), SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, F, well centered, centration dimples, weight 15.997 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 0o, Augusta Traiana (Stara Zagora, Bulgaria) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV K Λ CEΠTI - CEVHPOC Π, laureate head right; reverse AVΓOVCT-HC TRAIAN-HC, tetrastyle temple on raised platform, flanked on each side by a tree and a stag leaping outward, Artemis standing right within the temple, holding bow in left hand and drawing arrow from quiver on shoulder with right hand; big 31 mm bronze!; very rare; $270.00 (€240.30)
 


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Koinon of Bithynia

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The mint location for the Koinon of Bithynia is uncertain but it was probably Nicomedia. Nicomedia was the Roman metropolis of Bithynia. Diocletian made it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 286 when he introduced the Tetrarchy system. Nicomedia remained as the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Roman Empire until co-emperor Licinius was defeated by Constantine the Great at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324. Constantine resided mainly in Nicomedia as his interim capital for the next six years, until in 330 when he declared the nearby Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) the new capital. Constantine died in his royal villa in the vicinity of Nicomedia in 337. Due to its position at the convergence of the Asiatic roads leading to the new capital, Nicomedia retained its importance even after the foundation of Constantinople.
RP84486. Bronze AE 21, RPC Online III 1017 (3 spec.); Rec Gen I.2 p. 241, 38; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; 38; BMC Pontus -, gF, brown patina, some roughness, smoothing on reverse, reverse die breaks, cracks, weight 25.115 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain (Nicomedia?) mint, 2nd issue; obverse AYT KAIC TPAI A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate head right; reverse octastyle temple (Temple of Rome and Augustus at Nicomedia?), Corinthian columns, on podium of two steps, pellet between middle columns, pediment ornamented with a small figure holding a scepter and sacrificing on an altar, KOI-NON in divided line flanking across center, BEIOYNIANC over prow right in exergue; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection, ex Classical Numismatic Group e-auction 349 (22 Apr 2015), lot 263; better than the RPC plate coin; very rare; $240.00 (€213.60)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Pautalia, Thrace

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The site of Pautalia (modern Kyustendil, Bulgaria) was settled in the Iron Age by the Thracian Dentheletes tribe. It was located near thermal springs and remains of the ancient city include a temple of Asklepios and Roman baths. In the 1990s, excavation of nearby 2nd century A.D. tumuli unearthed bronze surgical instruments and a small bronze case containing a variety of medicines.
RP63965. Bronze AE 30, Ruzicka 264 (same reverse die), Varbanov II 4653, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, aF, smoothing, weight 26.306 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 180o, Pautalia (Kyustendil, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT K Λ CEΠTI CEYHPOC ΠEP CEB, laureate head right.; reverse HΓE K AIΛIOY ONEPATOY OYΛΠIAC ΠAYTAΛIAC, tetrastyle temple seen in three-quarters perspective, no steps, Apollo-Bonus Eventus standing within, flanked by a tree left and another right; thick sestertius-like flan; rare; $200.00 (€178.00)
 


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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In 278, Probus defeated the Alamanni, expelled the Franks from Gaul, reorganized the Roman defenses on the Rhine and resettled the Germanic tribes in the devastated provinces. He adopted the titles Gothicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus.
RA76944. Silvered antoninianus, Hunter IV 32 (also 3rd officina); RIC V, part 22, 185; Cohen VI 530; Pink VI-1, p. 56-57/4; SRCV III -, Choice EF, near full silvering, superb portrait, light marks, weight 4.097 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, emission 4, 279 A.D.; obverse IMP PROBVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ROMAE AETER (eternal Rome), statue of Roma seated facing inside a hexastyle temple, head left, Victory in right, long scepter in left hand, R pellet in crescent with horns up Γ in exergue; $200.00 (€178.00)
 


Koinon of Macedonia, c. 244 - 245 A.D., Portrait of Alexander the Great

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The two temples and legend on the reverse indicate "Two Neokorie," advertising the Koinon of Macedonia held the highly prized designation "double temple guardian" of the imperial cult. The first Nekoros was awarded by Nerva. The second Neokoros, indicated by B (the Greek number two) or rarely ∆IC (double in Greek) on coins, was first received under Elagabalus. The title was rescinded but then later restored by Severus Alexander, probably in 231 A.D.
RP79978. Bronze AE 28, AMNG III 833; Mionnet supp. 3, p. 229, 446; BMC Macedonia -; SNG Cop -; SNG Hunterian -; SNG Bar -; SNG Saroglos -; Lindgren -, gF, obverse rough, smoothing on reverse, weight 11.370 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 90o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, c. 244 -245 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, diademed head of Alexander the Great right; reverse two hexastyle temple fronts, KOINON / M-AKE∆-O in two lines above, B NEΩKOPΩN / EOC (Era of Actium year 275) below;
very rare; $195.00 (€173.55)
 




  



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REFERENCES

Price, M.J. & B. Trell. Coins and Their Cities: Architecture on the Ancient Coins of Greece, Rome, and Palestine. (London, 1977).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, July 25, 2017.
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Architecture