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

Nike or Victory on Ancient Coins

Victoria or Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory, personifies victory. She was described variously in different myths as the daughter of the Titan Pallas and the goddess Styx, and the sister of Kratos (Strength), Bia (Force), and Zelus (Zeal). Nike and her siblings were close companions of Zeus. According to classical (later) myth, Styx brought them to Zeus when the god was assembling allies for the Titan War. Nike assumed the role of the divine charioteer, a role in which she often is portrayed in Classical Greek art. Nike flew around battlefields rewarding the victors with glory and fame, symbolized by a wreath of laurel leaves. Victory or Nike is one of the most common figures on Greek and Roman coins.

Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, 113 - 95 B.C

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IX| |Cyzicenus,| |113| |-| |95| |B.C||tetradrachm|
After Antiochus IX's father died, his uncle Demetrius II Nicator took the throne. For his safety, his mother, Cleopatra Thea, sent him to Cyzicus (leading to his nickname). He returned to Syria in 116 B.C. to claim the throne from his half-brother Antiochus VIII Grypus, with whom he eventually divided Syria. He was killed in battle by the son of Grypus, Seleucus VI Epiphanes.
GY95956. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2384; Houghton CSE 725; Babelon Rois 1467; BMC Seleucid p. 92, 6; HGC 9 1288k (R2), gVF, well centered, dark old cabinet toning, old scratches, light deposits, weight 15.977 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, 2nd reign, 113 - 112 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos right; reverse Athena standing left, Nike in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, spear behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines downward on right, ΦIΛO−ΠATOPOΣ downward on left, ΣI∆Ω/IEP / AΣY in 3 lines over outer left, Σ (year 200) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $700.00 (€644.00)
 


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 300 - 275 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |300| |-| |275| |B.C.||didrachm|
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.
SH95912. Silver didrachm, SNG BnF 749 - 753 (same dies), Sambon 477, SNG ANS 370, SNG Ashmolean 116, SNG Delepierre 153, de Luynes 166, HN Italy 579, HGC Italy 453 (S), aVF, centered on a tight flan, attractive old collection toning, marks, scratches, trace of inscribed circle from pre-strike flan on rev., test cut on edge, weight 6.697 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 45o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 300 - 275 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph right, wearing triple-pendant earring, X (control letter) behind neck (unstruck); reverse man-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, Nike flying right above crowning bull with wreath, EYΞ (magistrate initials?) below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue (off flan); from the Errett Bishop Collection; $550.00 (€506.00)
 


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

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |I| |Balas,| |152| |-| |145| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
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.
SH95962. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1782.2c; BMC Seleucid p. 52, 11 var. (outer left monogram); SNG Spaer 1424 var. (same); Newell SMA 142 (same); HGC 9 875a, gVF, fine Hellenistic style, old cabinet toning, edge split, weak area at neck/date, old scratches, weight 16.327 g, maximum diameter 31.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 149 - 148 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander Balas right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY in two downward lines on the right, ΘEOΠATOPOΣ EYEPΓETOY in two downward lines on the left, Zeus seated left on high back throne, himation over left shoulder and around hips and legs, Victory in extended right hand offering wreath, lotus topped scepter in left hand, Θ outer left, PA monogram inner left, date ∆ΞP (Seleucid Era year 164) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $500.00 (€460.00)
 


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|
The Nilometer measured the height of the annual Nile flood. Sixteen cubits was considered the ideal height of the annual Nile flood. Less could mean drought or famine. Even in modern times, grand celebrations were held when the flood reached 16 cubits. In years when the flood failed to reach 16 cubits, the celebrations were canceled, and prayers and fasting were held instead. The peak flood occurred at the end of August, which explains why the Egyptian year began on 29 August.
RX95862. Bronze drachm, RPC Online IV.4 T15735 (3 spec.); Dattari-Savio pl. 138, 2705bis var. (draped); Emmett 1613/10 (R5); Geissen -; Milne -; BMC Alexandria -; SNG Cop -, aF, well centered, light corrosion, obverse edge beveled, weight 20.203 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 146 - 28 Aug 147; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P ANTWNINOC CEB EYC, laureate head right; reverse L ∆E-KATOY (year 10), Nike standing right, nude to the waist, left foot on helmet, inscribing NI/KH on an oval shield set on her left knee and a column before her; extremely rare; $350.00 (€322.00)
 


Gallic Empire, Marius, May - August or September 269 A.D.

|Marius|, |Gallic| |Empire,| |Marius,| |May| |-| |August| |or| |September| |269| |A.D.||antoninianus|
A blacksmith by trade, Marius worked his way up through the ranks until he was an officer in the Gallic Empire army under Postumus. Upon Postumus' death, Marius seized power but his reign was very short, perhaps only two or three days. He was murdered by his own officers, possibly with a sword of his own manufacture.
RA96927. Billon antoninianus, Schulzki 6a (R3), Hunter IV 10, Elmer 636, SRCV III 11122, RIC V-2 18 var. (R, no drapery), Cohen VI 20 var. (same), gVF, nice portrait, toned, flow lines, obverse a little off center, reverse struck with a worn die, edge cracks, weight 2.621 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Moguntiacum (Mainz) or Treveri (Trier) mint, May - Aug/Sep 269 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR MARIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, cuirass just visible on right shoulder; reverse VICTORIA AVG, Victory advancing right, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand; rare; $300.00 (€276.00)
 


Roman Republic, S. Afranius, 150 B.C.

|150-100| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |S.| |Afranius,| |150| |B.C.||denarius|
Traditionally attributed to S. Afranius, however, Sear states, "SAFRA would appear to represent a cognomen only, no stop being inserted after the first letter." -- Roman Coins and Their Values by David R. Sear
RR93649. Silver denarius, Crawford 206/1, Sydenham 388, RSC I Afrania 1, BMCRR Roma 670, Russo RBW 885, SRCV I 85, Choice VF, attractive style, well centered, attractive toning, radiating flow lines, light marks and scratches, weight 3.697 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 150 B.C.; obverse head of Roma right, wearing winged helmet with a three part visor and ornamented with a griffin head, earring and necklace, X (mark of value) behind; reverse Victory in a galloping biga right, reins in right hand, whip in left hand, SAFRA below, ROMA in exergue, linear border; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00 ON RESERVE


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D., Antioch, Syria, Civic Christian Persecution Issue

|Antioch|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria,| |Civic| |Christian| |Persecution| |Issue||quarter| |follis|
In 311, after the death of Galerius in late April or May, representatives from Nicomedia presented themselves before Maximinus, bringing images of their gods and requested that Christians not be allowed to live in their city. Late in 311, an embassy from Antioch, led by their curator Theotecnus, also requested permission to banish Christians from their city and its territory. Other cities followed with the same request. Maximinus support for Antioch's requests is advertised by this coin type. Fearing his co-emperors, however, Maximinus changed his mind. His edict in May 313 restored privileges and property to Christians. Later in 313, Licinius captured Antioch and executed Theotecnus.
RL93284. Billon quarter follis, McAlee 171(d), Van Heesch 2, Vagi 2955, SRCV IV 14932, gVF, dark patina, earthen highlighting deposits, weight 1.560 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 312 - May 313 A.D.; obverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the Protector), Jupiter seated left, globe in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; reverse VICTORIA AVGG (victory of the two emperors), Victory left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left, ∆ in right field, ANT in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $180.00 (€165.60)
 


Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

|Postumus|, |Gallic| |Empire,| |Postumus,| |Summer| |260| |-| |Spring| |269| |A.D.||double| |sestertius|
The radiate crown indicates the double denomination. The weights are sometimes no heavier than sestertii of the period, and they are frequently overstruck on coins of the first and second century emperors. Authorities do not agree on the mint. Also, there are also many imitatives or counterfeits, some of which are very crude style, carelessly struck, or both.
RA93326. Orichalcum double sestertius, RIC V-2 169, SRCV III 11065, Cohen VI 380, Hunter IV - (p. xcii), F, well centered on a tight flan, brown patina, weight 16.714 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 165o, uncertain (Cologne?) mint, c. 260 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CASS LAT POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVG, Victory advancing left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, captive seated left at feet on left with hands bound behind, S C in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $180.00 (€165.60)
 


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, 275 - 250 B.C., Possibly an Ancient Counterfeit

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |275| |-| |250| |B.C.,| |Possibly| |an| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||drachm|
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.
GI95913. Silver drachm, cf. Sambon 546 (controls); SNG BnF 865 (same); SNG ANS 420 (same); HN Italy 588; HGC Italy 456 (R2) (all solid silver, official, none with BΦ), F, a few bumps, encrustations, corrosion, no clear core exposure but the weight is light and signs of possible plating exist, perhaps a silver plated fouree, weight 3.092 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis or unofficial(?) mint, 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph (Parthenope?) left, BΦ behind neck; reverse man-faced bull (river-god Achelous) walking right, head turned facing, Nike above flying right and placing wreath on bull's head, IΣ below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ exergue; apparently unpublished with BΦ behind the Nymph's neck, we were unable to find another specimen with this control mark; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $150.00 (€138.00)
 


Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - Late May 238 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

|Thessalonika|, |Maximinus| |I| |Thrax,| |20| |March| |235| |-| |Late| |May| |238| |A.D.,| |Thessalonica,| |Macedonia||AE| |27|NEW
The god Kabeiros is similar in appearance to Dionysos and the rites of his cult were likely similar to those of the Dionysian mysteries. The attributes of Kabeiros are a rhyton and hammer.
RP93127. Bronze AE 27, Touratsoglou p. 252, 11 (V6/R10); BMC Macedonia p. 123, 112 (same dies); Varbanov 4504 (R4); SNG ANS 874 - 875 var. (obv. legend); SNG Cop -, gVF, nice portrait, off center and uneven strike with weak areas, attractive brown tone, flan adjustment marks, light porosity, tiny deposits, weight 12.012 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 20 Mar 235 - late May 238 A.D.; obverse AV K Γ IOV OVH MAΞIMINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΘECCAΛONEIKEΩN, Nike standing half left, head left, holding small figure of Kabeiros standing left in her extended right hand, palm frond in her left hand, Kabeiros holds a rhyton and hammer; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $140.00 (€128.80)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Die Flügelgestalten der Athena und Nike auf Münzen" in NZ III (1871)., pp. 1 - 50.
Marest-Caffey, L. "Seleukos I's Victory Coinage of Susa Revisited: A Die Study and Commentary" in AJN 28 (2016).

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