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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Architecture||View Options:  |  |  |   

Architecture on Ancient Coins
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||sestertius|
The reverse legend translates, "The gates of Janus' temple are closed because peace of the Roman people is set on both land and sea." On the rare occasions when Rome was not at war the doors of the 'Twin Janus' were ceremonially closed, an event Nero commemorated extensively on the coinage of 65 - 67 A.D. -- Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. 1 by David R. Sear
SL96449. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 583, Mac Dowall WCN 475, BMCRE I -, Cohen I -, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, NGC AU, strike 5/5, surface 2/5, scuff (5745271-004), weight 30.31 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 66 - 67 A.D.; obverse IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P MAX TR P P P, laureate head right, globe at the point of the bust; reverse PACE P R TERRA MARIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT, view of the Temple of Janus from the front left corner, temple front on the right with garland over closed doors within arch, the left side of the temple to the left with long latticed window, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; ex Heritage NYINC Sale 3081 (12 Jan 2020), lot 30178; ex Roma e-auction 4 (29 Nov 2018), lot 733; ex Private European Collection; NGC| Lookup; $2340.00 (€2152.80)
 


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

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||sestertius|
The Lost Arch of Nero. This arch is undoubtedly the one that Tacitus says was voted to Nero for Corbulo's victory in Armenia in 58, and that he further reports was being constructed "in the middle of the Capitoline Hill" in 62, despite a successful invasion of Armenia by the Parthians in that year. No traces of the arch have ever been found. The arch was completely destroyed either shortly after Nero's death with the damnatio memoriae Nero received when the senate proclaimed him an enemy of the state, or in one of the two fires that consumed the Capitoline hill in 69 and 80. However, the quadriga on top of the arch is similar to that depicted on sestertii at the center of the Flavian amphitheatre (the Colosseum). It may have been reallocated.
SH96391. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 144, BMCRE I 184, Cohen I 306, Mac Dowall WCN 134, SRCV I -, Choice gVF, excellent portrait, dark patina, well centered, light marks, scattered light porosity, weight 27.125 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER PM TR P IMP P P, laureate head left, globe at point of bust; 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; ex Pegasi Numismatics; $1850.00 (€1702.00)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Akko-Ptolemais, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Akko-Ptolemais,| |Phoenicia||AE| |27|
Akko was refounded as a Roman colony, colonia Ptolemais, probably in 53 or 54 A.D., the last year of Claudius' reign or the first year of Nero’s. Akko was one of hundreds of cities in the Roman provinces that minted civic coins. In the mid 3rd century cities stopped producing their own coins. The last city coins were struck under Gallienus, and Akko was among the very last cities to strike its own coins.
JD96394. Bronze AE 27, BMC Phoenicia p. 138, 50 var. (obv. leg.); Rosenberger 86 var. (same); Kadman Akko 256 var. (same, draped); Sofaer 293 ff. (draped, etc.); SNG Cop -, aF, rough green patina, light earthen deposits, a little off center, weight 13.158 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, 253 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES LIC GALLIEN[VS AVG], laureate head right; reverse COL P-TOL, portable shrine containing a statue of Zeus Heliopolites, shrine consisting of a frame within two pillars supporting a architrave with hatched decoration, two carrying poles projecting from bottom, figure of deity within standing facing on rock or base, wearing short chiton, double axe in right hand, harpe(?) in left hand; an unpublished variant of a very rare type; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1977 surface find at Caesarea Maritima, Israel; $550.00 (€506.00)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||drachm|
 
RX92507. Bronze drachm, Dattari-Savio 3008, Geissen 1700, Emmett 1448/17 (R1), BMC Alexandria -, SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, Milne -, Choice VF, nice portrait, well centered on a broad slightly irregular flan, dark brown patina, light marks, some light porosity, edge split/cracks, beveled obverse edge, weight 28.302 g, maximum diameter 37.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 153- 28 Aug 154 A.D.; obverse AVT K T AIΛ A∆P - ANTWNINOC CEB E-VC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Altar of Agathodaimon with hexastyle temple facade with Corinthian columns, two-tiered base, garlanded entablature, aplusters (or snakes?) as acroteria at corners, pyre of burning pine-cones on top center, no statue within, L - I flanking across field and Z in exergue (year 17); from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare variety; $400.00 (€368.00)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Louis of Burgundy, 31 Jul 1313 - 2 Aug 1316

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Louis| |of| |Burgundy,| |31| |Jul| |1313| |-| |2| |Aug| |1316||denier| |tournois|
Louis of Burgundy was a younger son of Robert II, Duke of Burgundy and Agnes of France. On 31 Jul 1313, he married Matilda of Hainaut to whom Philip I of Taranto gave the Principality of Achaea. Louis ceded his family lands in Burgundy to his elder brother in exchange for the title of "King of Thessalonica." Matilda and Louis arrived separately in Achaea, she sailing directly from Marseille to Navarino with 1,000 troops. Matilda's army was defeated on 22 Feb 1316 by Ferdinand of Majorca, who also claimed the principality. Louis came by way of Venice to solicit aid from the Republic. He defeated Ferdinand, who was killed in the battle, on 5 July 1316. Four weeks later, Louis died. The Chronicle of the Morea attributes his death to a fever, while the Catalan Declaratio summa states that he was poisoned by John, count of Cephalonia. His death left Achaea in an unsettled state, with his brother Eudes, his wife, and the Angevins all attempting to gain it.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88490. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 29; Metcalf Crusades pl. 40, 993; Schlumberger XII 23, aVF, excellent centering, coppery spots, strike a little soft, tiny edge chip, weight 0.640 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 135o, Clarentza mint, 5 Jul - 2 Aug 1316; obverse + LODOVIC'•D'•B'•P•AChE, cross pattée; reverse (annulet) DE CLARENCIA (annulet), castle tournois, surmounted by cross, annulet left of castle; from the Louis G Estate; very rare; $360.00 (€331.20)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Ferdinand of Majorca, Pretender, Jun 1315 - 5 July 1316

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Ferdinand| |of| |Majorca,| |Pretender,| |Jun| |1315| |-| |5| |July| |1316||denier| |tournois|
Ferdinand of Majorca, as the third son of King James II, was an infante (prince) of the Kingdom of Majorca. It is this title on the obverse of this coin. He was also Viscount of Aumelas and Lord of Frontignan. Ferdinand married Isabella, daughter of Margaret of Villehardouin and they had a son who held the claim on the Principality of Achaea. Margaret and then his wife died in 1315, and soon after he set out with a small company for the Morea to uphold the claim now held by his son. He seized Clarenza in June 1315 and briefly took control of the Morea. In the autumn of 1315 he took a second wife, Isabella of Ibelin. However, his rival claimant Matilda of Hainaut, and her husband Louis of Burgundy returned to the Morea in the spring of 1316 with Venetian aid. Ferdinand's expected aid from Majorca and Sicily was tardy, as was the Catalan Company from Athens. Facing superior numbers, he was killed at the Battle of Manolada on 5 July 1316.Frankokratia_Map
CR88491. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 31a, Metcalf Crusades 987 - 992, VF, well centered, clashed dies, weak strike, part of edge ragged, weight 0.684 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 270o, Clarentza mint, pretender, Jun 1315 - 5 July 1316; obverse +IFANSFD'MAIORK, cross pattée; reverse (annulet) DE CLARENCIA (annulet), castle tournois, surmounted by cross, surmounted by cross, annulet left and right of the castle; from the Louis G Estate; extremely rare; $360.00 (€331.20)
 


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |249| |A.D.,| |Zeugma,| |Commagene,| |Syria||AE| |27|
Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
SL89808. Bronze AE 27, Butcher 31c; SNG Cop 35; BMC Galatia p. 128, 35; SGICV 4142, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (4094544-007), weight 15.63 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ZEYΓMATEΩN, tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees, below Capricorn right; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins, NGC| Lookup; $200.00 (€184.00)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Duchy of Athens, William or Minority of Guy I de La Roche, 1280 - 1294

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Duchy| |of| |Athens,| |William| |or| |Minority| |of| |Guy| |I| |de| |La| |Roche,| |1280| |-| |1294||denier| |tournois|
This type was minted either under William de La Roche, 1280 - 1287, or during the minority of Guy I de La Roche, 1287 - 1294. William I de la Roche succeeded his brother, John I, as Duke of Athens in 1280. William reversed the territorial losses of his brother's reign, extending his control over Lamia and Gardiki. He married Helena Angelina Komnene, daughter of John I Doukas, ruler of Thessaly, securing a military alliance with him.Arms_of_Athens
CR88468. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 83 (R), Metcalf Crusades GR101, pl. 41, 1025 var. (stops), VF, tight flan, uneven strike, weight 0.097 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 195o, Thebes mint, perhaps minority of Guy I de La Roch, 1280 - 1294; obverse +;G:DVX:DATENES: (; = double trefoil stop, : = double pellet stop), cross pattée; reverse ;ThEBE:CIVIS: (; = double trefoil stop, : = double pellet stop), castle tournois, 2 arches, open circles on corners, surmounted by cross; from the Louis G Estate; rare; $140.00 (€128.80)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Florent of Hainaut, 1289 - 1297

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Florent| |of| |Hainaut,| |1289| |-| |1297||denier| |tournois|
Florent of Hainaut was Prince of Achaea in right of his wife, Isabella of Villehardouin. He was the son of John I of Avesnes and Adelaide of Holland. From his father he received the stadholdership of Zeeland. After he left Zeeland, he took up service with Charles II of Naples, who made him constable of the Kingdom of Naples. Florent settled with his wife in Morea. He negotiated the Treaty of Glarentsa with the Byzantine Empire in 1290; however, the situation for the Franks in Greece was hopeless by this time. The fall of the Angevins in Sicily meant that they were preoccupied with recouping territory there and few Western governments would send troops to defend Morea. Florent thus made peace and maintained it until 1293, when the Greeks retook Kalamata. Florent did not despair and did not reopen the war which had been ongoing until his succession: he instead sent an embassy in protest to Andronikos II Palaiologos, and the emperor returned Kalamata. In 1296, the Greeks retook the castle of Saint George in Arcadia. Florent besieged the castle, but died before it could be taken.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88457. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 13c; Metcalf Crusades type F4, pl. 39, 961, VF, well centered, toned, weight 0.785 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Clarentza mint, 1289 - 1297; obverse + ⚜FLORENS P AchB, cross pattée; reverse DE CLARENCIA', castle tournois surmounted by a cross; from the Louis G Estate; $125.00 (€115.00)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, William of Villehardouin, 1246 - 1278

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |William| |of| |Villehardouin,| |1246| |-| |1278||denier| |tournois|
William of Villehardouin became Prince of Achaea when his brother Geoffrey II died in 1246. He conquered the remaining Peloponnese territory and built the fortress of Mistra near Sparta. In 1249 he accompanied Louis IX of France on the Seventh Crusade, joining him in Cyprus with 400 knights and 28 ships. Louis gave him a license to mint coins in the style of royal French money. William defeated Venice in the War of the Euboeote Succession and defeated the Duke of Athens in 1258, reaffirming his power over the duchy. In 1259 he formed an alliance with the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus against Nicaea. He led the Achaean forces against the Nicaeans, but the Epirote army deserted and William was defeated. He fled and hid under a haystack, but was captured. He remained captive until 1262 and permanently lost all his power.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88480. Billon denier tournois, Tzamalis Frankish GV222; Metcalf Crusaders pl. 39, 938; Malloy Crusaders 10b, VF, centered, toned, uneven strike, encrustations, weight 0.755 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 270o, Corinth mint, obverse +•G•PRINCEPS, cross pattée; reverse :CLARENCIA▼ (R with a wedge foot = Corinth), castle tournois, spire in the form of Λ, surmounted by cross; from the Louis G Estate; $125.00 (€115.00)
 




  



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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).

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