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

Agriculture on Ancient Coins

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a brilliant general and administrator, was adopted and proclaimed emperor by the aging Nerva in 98 A.D. Regarded as one of Rome's greatest emperors, Trajan was responsible for the annexation of Dacia, the invasion of Arabia and an extensive and lavish building program across the empire. Under Trajan, Rome reached its greatest extent. Shortly after the annexation of Mesopotamia and Armenia, Trajan was forced to withdraw from most of the new Arabian provinces. While returning to Rome to direct operations against the new threats, Trajan died at Selinus in Cilicia.
RB88224. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 240q (same dies), BnF IV 512 (same dies), BMCRE III 771, Banti 117, Strack 398, RIC II 478 var. (bust), Cohen 367 var. (same), VF, well centered, rough, weight 21.340 g, maximum diameter 34.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 106 - 107 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate heroic bust left, full chest exposed, drapery on left shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Ceres standing half left, head left, holding grain over modius in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) divided across field; extremely rare with this bust, struck with a superb obverse die!; $980.00 SALE PRICE $882.00


Leontini, Sicily, c. 405 - 402 B.C.

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Leontini was founded as by colonists from Naxos in 729 BC, itself a Chalcidian colony established five years earlier. It was the only significant Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, being some 6 miles inland. The site, originally held by the Sicels, was seized by the Greeks owing to its command of the fertile plain to the north. The city was reduced to subject status in 498 BC by Hippocrates of Gela, and in 476 BC Hieron of Syracuse moved the inhabitants from Catania and Naxos to Leontini.
GI86576. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 77, 3/27 (this coin); SNG Cop 360; SNG ANS 270; SNG Morcom 606; SNG Lloyd 1070; BMC Sicily p. 92, 56; Laffaille 169; HGC 2 709 (R1), gVF, dark patina, well centered and struck, weight 2.165 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, Leontini mint, c. 405 - 402 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, olive leaf and olive behind; reverse tripod lebes with loop handles, a barley kernel flanking on each side, kithara between legs of tripod, three pellets in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 6 (22 Feb 2014), lot 45; Calciati III plate coin! ; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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This coin celebrates Alimenta Italiae, a program to aid orphans and other needy children. Pliny, in his panegyric in 100 A.D., testified that infants were diligently looked after and registered, in order to be brought up at the expense of the state. "There were very nearly 5000 free-born children, whom the liberality of our prince sought out and adopted. A reserve in case of war, and an ornament in peaceful times, they are nourished at the public cost; and learn to love their country, not as their country only, but also as their nourishing mother. From the ranks of these will our camps, our tribes, be filled."
RS88842. Silver denarius, Woytek 395b2, BMCRE III 472, Strack I 173, RIC II 243, RSC II 9, BnF IV 664, SRCV II 3117, Choice gF, excellent portrait, well centered, flow lines, some die wear, a few small marks/scratches, two small edge cracks, weight 2.915 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 113 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate bust right, drapery on far shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Annona standing slightly right, looking left, stalks of grain in right hand held over child at her feet on left, cornucopia in left hand, ALIM ITAL in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1047; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Iol-Caesarea, Mauretania, North Africa, c. 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.

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Phoenicians from Carthage founded Iol as a trading station around 400 B.C. It became a part of the kingdom of Numidia under Jugurtha, c. 160 - 104 B.C. In 29 B.C., Roman emperor Augustus made the Numidian King Juba II and his wife Cleopatra Selene II (daughter of Marc Antony and Cleopatra of Egypt) king and queen of Mauretania. The capital was established at Iol, which was renamed Caesarea in honor of the emperor.
GB85358. Bronze 1/4 Unit, Alexandropoulos MAA 147; Falbe-Lindberg III, p. 177, 290 (uncertain mint); SNG Cop 684 var. (kerykeion obv. left), F, dark green patina, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 2.102 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 270o, Iol-Caesarea (Cherchell, Algeria) mint, c. 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.; obverse head of Isis left, wearing vulture crown and horned solar-disk headdress; reverse three ears of barley; extremely rare; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00


Uncertain City (Panormos?), Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 211 - 190 B.C.

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In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained for many years one of the principal cities of Sicily. It continued to issue bronze coins, bearing the names of various resident magistrates, and following the Roman system. Under Augustus, Panormus received a Roman colony.
GI89312. Bronze triens, Semuncial standard; Calciati I p. 365, 205 (Panormos); SNG Munchen 835 (Panormos); HGC 2 1691 (R1, uncertain Romano-Sicilian); SNG Cop -, aVF, off center but types on flan, a little rough, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Romano-Sicilian mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Demeter-Ceres left, small cornucopia behind neck; reverse double cornucopia, overflowing with bunches of grapes, tied with fillets, four pellets (mark of value) in a vertical line to left; rare; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Tamouda, Mauretania, 1st Century B.C.

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Tamuda (Tamusia) was founded by Berbers in the 3rd century B.C. There was likely a Phoenician presence in the next century, mainly for commerce. Rome occupied Tamuda during the reign of Augustus. Around 42 A.D., it was leveled by Roman garrisons during an insurrection. It was replaced with a fortified settlement, later a Roman castrum, and grew to be a major city of Mauretania Tingitana. Industry included fish salting and purple dye production. The region became fully Romanized, Christian and "pacified." By the time the Vandals arrived in the fifth century the city had disappeared from history and may have already been abandoned.
GB84542. Bronze AE 16, cf. Mazard 587 (anepigraphic), SNG Cop 719 (same), Mller Afrique 242 (neo-Punic TMDT behind head), SRCV II 6653 (same), F/VF, rough, dark green patina, weight 2.454 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 0o, Tamouda (near Tetouan, Morocco) mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse bearded head right; reverse two heads of grain, meander symbol and pellet between them; ex-RBW Collection; rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


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

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Bonus Eventus, the god of good outcomes, was originally worshiped by the Romans as a deity especially presiding over agriculture and successful harvests. During the Imperial era, he was associated with other types of success. The epithet Bonus, "the Good," is used with other abstract deities such as Bona Fortuna ("Good Fortune"), Bona Mens ("Good Thinking" or "Sound Mind"), and Bona Spes ("Good Hope," perhaps to be translated as "optimism"), as well as with the mysterious and multivalent Bona Dea, a goddess whose rites were celebrated by women.
RS87227. Silver denarius, RIC IV 347 (R); BMCRE V p. 83, 321; RSC III 66; cf. SRCV II 6267 (Emesa), aVF, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, small encrustations, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.853 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, Feb - Aug 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG, laureate head right; reverse BONI EVENTVS, Bonus Eventus standing left, basket of fruit in right, stalks of grain downward at side in left; rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Leontini, Sicily, c. 207 - 200 B.C.

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Leontini was founded by colonists from Naxos in 729 B.C. Six miles inland, it is the only Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, Originally held by the Sicels, the site was seized by the Greeks to gain control of the fertile plain to the north.

When the Roman general Marcus Claudius Marcellus stormed the city in 214 B.C., Leontini was subject to Syracuse and the rulers of Syracuse actually resided there. Marcellus had 2000 Roman deserters who were hiding in the city killed, and then moved to lay siege to Syracuse itself.
GB65520. Bronze AE 16, Calciati p. 81, 9; SNG ANS 274; BMC Sicily p. 93, 66; SNG Cop 366, VF, weight 4.170 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 180o, Leontini mint, c. 207 - 200 B.C.; obverse veiled head of Demeter left, plow behind; reverse ΛEON, bundle of grain; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Berytus, Phoenicia

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The ceremonial founding of a new Roman colony included plowing a furrow, the pomerium, a sacred boundary, around the site of the new city.

Rouvier notes that this type is very often incorrectly attributed to earlier emperors as the legend is frequently missing and the portrait resembles those of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nerva.
RP84807. Bronze AE 26, Sawaya cf. 540 (D98/-, unlisted reverse die); RPC Online III 3832 (23 spec.); BMC Phoenicia p. 64, 814; SNG Cop 95; Baramki AUB 52; Rouvier 520, F, tight flan, reverse slightly off center, weight 14.082 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Berytus (Beirut, Lebanon) mint, 98 - 102 A.D.; obverse IMP NER TRAIAN CAES - AVG GERM P P, laureate head right; reverse COL / IVL - AVG - FEL - BER (Colonia Julia Augusta Felix Berytus, FEL is upside down in exergue), veiled founder-priest plowing right with two oxen, plowing sacred pomerium around city; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


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

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Mark Antony and Octavian defeated the assassins of Caesar, Marcus Junius Brutus and Cassius, at the Battle of Philippi in the plain to the west of the city in October 42 B.C. They released some of their veteran soldiers, probably from legion XXVIII, to colonized the city, which was refounded as Colonia Victrix Philippensium. In 30 BC, Octavian became Roman emperor, reorganized the colony, and established more settlers there, veterans possibly from the Praetorian Guard and other Italians. The city was renamed Colonia Iulia Philippensis, and then Colonia Augusta Iulia Philippensis after January, 27 BC, when Octavian received the title Augustus from the Roman Senate.
RP77240. Bronze AE 18, RPC I 1656; Varbanov III 3770 (R4); BMC Mysia p. 103, 86 (Parium); SNG Cop IV 282 (same), gF, green patina, weight 4.887 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Philippi mint, obverse AVG, bare head right; reverse two priests with yoke of two oxen right, plowing the pomerium (sacred boundary), founding the new colony; $55.00 SALE PRICE $49.50




  



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