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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Military ▸ Nike or VictoryView Options:  |  |  |   

Victory on Ancient Coins

Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C., Portrait of Queen Philistis

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Hieron II placed his wife and son on coins during his long reign. Those of Queen Philistis are eagerly sought after by collectors.
SH84601. Silver 5 litrae, CCO Syracuse 221 (D2/R2), SNG ANS 893, SNG Lloyd 1546, SNG Cop 827, Dewing 959, McClean 2918, Weber 1708, HGC 2 1557 (R2) (all from the same dies), Choice aEF/gVF, toned, light marks, weight 4.441 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, c. 218 - 215 B.C.; obverse veiled and diademed head of Queen Philistis left, palm frond behind; reverse Nike galloping biga left, holding reins with both hands, E in front of horses' legs, BAΣIΛIΣΣAΣ above, ΦIΛIΣTI∆OΣ exergue; from the Lawrence Woolslayer Collection; Numismatica Ars Classica auction 27 (12 May 2004), lot 129; ex A.D.M. Collection; ex Ratto Collection, 1929 sale, lot 213; rare; $3000.00 (2670.00)


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

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"The coin that killed Caesar." The obverse legend declares Caesar is "Dictator for Life" and he wears the veil, symbolic of his life-term position as Pontifex Maximus. Caesar would be both the dictator and high priest of Rome for the remainder of his life, but his life would end only a few weeks after this coin was struck. For Caesar to put his image on coins and in effect declare himself king was too much for Brutus and his republican allies. On the Ides of March (15 March) 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed to death by as many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theater of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come," meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Aye, Caesar; but not gone." This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."

Minted for Caesar's planned Parthian war, this type was often carelessly struck indicating the mint was working under great pressure.
SH84733. Silver denarius, Crawford 480/13, Sydenham 1074, Sear CRI 107d, RSC I Julius Caesar 39, BMCRR I Rome 4173, SRCV I 1414, Vagi 56, Choice VF, full circle centering on a broad flan, obverse legend all on flan (highly desirable), toned, slightest porosity, weight 3.685 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, moneyer P Sepullius Macer, Feb - Mar 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR DICT PERPETVO, veiled and wreathed head of Caesar right; reverse P SEPVLLIVS MACER, Venus standing left, Victory in extended right, long scepter in left hand, shield at feet right; from the Marcelo Leal Collection; $2000.00 (1780.00) ON RESERVE


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, 320 - 300 B.C.

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Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
SH79834. Silver nomos, SNG ANS 325; Sambon 450; BMC Italy p. 99, 53; Head HN 571; SNG Cop -; SNG Mnchen -, VF, finest style, well centered and struck on a tight flan, toned, scratches and bumps, small edge splits, weight 7.252 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, magistrate Olympios, 320 - 300 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph right, wearing pendant earring and pearl necklace, no legends or symbols; reverse man-faced bull standing right, head turned facing, Nike above flying right and placing wreath on bull's head, OΛ−YM−ΠI below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ exergue; ex Fritz Rudolf Knker GmbH & Co. KG, auction 216 (8 Oct 2012), lot 48; rare; $750.00 (667.50)


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas, 152 - 145 B.C.

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Alexander Balas, of humble origin, claimed to be Antiochus IV's son and heir to the Seleukid throne. Rome and Egypt accepted his claims. He married Cleopatra Thea, daughter of King Ptolemy Philometor of Egypt. With his father-in-law's help, he defeated Demetrius Soter and became the Seleukid king. After he abandoned himself to debauchery, his father-in-law shifted his support to Demetrius II, the son of Demetrius Soter. Balas was defeated and fled to Nabataea where he was murdered.
GS84619. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1781.3a, Cohen DCA 118, HGC 9 875a, EF, excellent Hellenistic style, lightly toned, slightly off center, some die wear, light marks, light deposits on obverse, weight 16.950 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch on the Orontes (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 152 - 146 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY ΘEOΠATOPOΣ EYEPΓETOY, Zeus Nikephoros enthroned left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder, Nike offering him wreath in his right hand, scepter in his left hand, cornucopia (control symbol) outer left, ΓΞP (Seleukid Era year 163) and monogram (control symbol) in exergue; ex CNG e-auction 386 (9 Nov 2016), lot 328; $600.00 (534.00)


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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In late summer or fall of 161, Vologases IV of Parthia captured the Roman client Kingdom of Armenia, expelled its king and installed his own; Pacorus, an Arsacid like himself. In 162, Lucius Verus began the war to recover Armenia and exact vengence. Rome recovered the Armenian capital Artaxata in 163. At the end of 163, Verus took the title Armeniacus, despite having never personally seen combat. Marcus Aurelius initially declined to accept the title, but accepted it in 164. Unfortunately the victorious army returned bringing a pandemic known as the Antonine Plague, which significantly depopulated and greatly weakened the Roman Empire.
RB83578. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV 1092; RIC III 890 corr. (standard & shield rev. r.), Cohen III 984 corr. (same), MIR 18 95, Cayon III 464, SRCV II 5013, Hunter II -, VF, well centered on a tight flan, green patina, light scrape on obverse high point, some corrosion, weight 23.68 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 164 - Aug 165 A.D.; obverse M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG ARMENIACVS P M, laureate head right; reverse VICT AVG TR P XVIII IMP II COS III, Victory standing half right, trophy transverse upward to right in both hands, mourning Armenian captive at feet on right, captive seated right with head propped on right hand and left hand on ground, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; $580.00 (516.20)


Side, Pamphylia, c. 220 - 190 B.C., Seleukid Royal Countermark

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Side tetradrachms often bear Seleukid anchor countermarks. Often the coins had very little wear (and thus circulation) before countermarking. Houghton and Lorber do not attribute the countermark to a specific ruler, but it seems likely the countermarks are related to Antiochos III's offensive into Asia Minor, Thrace and Greece and the subsequent war with Rome in 190 B.C.
SH30035. Silver tetradrachm, SNGvA 4792; BMC Lycia p. 149, 50; SNG BnF -; SNG Cop -; countermark: Houghton-Lorber II 63, VF, attractive style, marks and scratches, small spots of light corrosion, some flattening on the upper reverse from countermarking, weight 16.499 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Side mint, c. 220 - 190 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in a crested Corinthian helmet, countermarked with anchor in oval incuse; reverse Nike advancing left, wreath extended in right, pomegranate in left field, CT (magistrate's initials) below; $480.00 (427.20)


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

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Issued to commemorate victory in Britain. Between 208 and 210 A.D., Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla campaigned into Scotland (then Caledonia) and also restored Hadrian's Wall. The victories in the north pacified the island for the remainder of the century, but the aged Septimius died at Eburacum (York) in 211 A.D.
SH83529. Silver denarius, RIC IV 332 (S); RSC III 727; BMCRE V p. 366, 51; Hunter III 108; SRCV II 6382, Choice gVF, some luster, perfect centering, nice portrait, light toning, small edge cracks, weight 3.369 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 210 - 211 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse VICTORIAE BRIT (victories over the British), Victory advancing right, raising wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder; scarce; $450.00 (400.50)


Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.

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In the spring of 68, Galba was informed of Nero's intention to put him to death. On 2 April 68, at Carthago Nova, Galba declared himself the "representative of the Roman people" and received salutation by the troops as Imperator. This was not quite a claim to the throne, but was clearly rebellion. This rare denarius is from a small issue struck in Gaul during the period after Galba's salutation as imperator, but before his recognition as Augustus in mid-June. On the reverse Galba claims he will achieve Victory for the Roman people.
BB76887. Silver denarius, RIC I 111 (R2), BMCRE I 227, RSC II 322, BnF III -, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, aVF, toned, scratch, light corrosion, weight 3.352 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Gaul (Narbo?) mint, c. 10 April - mid Jun 68 A.D.; obverse SER GALBA IMPERATOR (counter-clockwise from lower right), laureate and draped bust right; reverse VICTORIA P R (counter-clockwise from upper left), Victory standing left on globe, wreath in right hand, palm frond in her left; rare; $360.00 (320.40)


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D., Issued by Vetranio

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In 312 A.D., Constantine dreamed he saw a Christogram in the sky and heard the words IN HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, meaning in Latin "In this sign you will be the victor." He ordered the sign of Christ on his legions standards and shields. He won a great victory and later became the first Christian Roman Emperor.
RL90446. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 286 (S), LRBC II 1173, Voetter 51, SRCV V 18203, VF, well centered, slightly rough green patina, coppery high-points, weight 4.749 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, issued by Vetranio, 1 Mar - 25 Dec 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind, star before; reverse HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, Constantius standing facing head left, holding labarum (Chi Rho Christogram standard) and spear, Victory right crowning him, A left, ASIS in exergue (A's often appear as H in this period); scarce; $215.00 (191.35)


Kingdom of Thrace, Rhoemetalkes I, c. 11 B.C. - 12 A.D.

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When the Cotys VII, King of Thrace, died about 48 B.C. Rhoemetalces I became the guardian of his nephew Rhescuporis I, his brother's young son and heir. In 13 B.C., Rhescuporis I was defeated and slain in battle by Vologases, chief of the Thracian Bessi, who was leading a revolt against Rome. As Rhescuporis I had left no heir, Rhoemetalces became king. An ally of Augustus, the Roman Historian Tacitus described Rhoemetalces as attractive and civilized. After his death, Augustus divided his realm, half for his son Cotys VIII and the other half for Rhoemetalces' brother Rhescuporis II. Tacitus states that Cotys received the cultivated parts, most towns and most Greek cities of Thrace, while Rhescuporis received the wild and savage portion with enemies on its frontier.
RP72883. Bronze AE 15, Youroukova 159, RPC I 1707, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, SNG Stancomb -, VF, weight 1.999 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 225o, c. 11 B.C. - 12 A.D.; obverse K ΣEBAΣTOY, capricorn right, globe upper right between legs; reverse POIMH, Nike advancing right, raising wreath in extended right, grounded palm frond before her in left; rare; $200.00 (178.00)




  



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