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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Military ▸ Nike or VictoryView 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.


Roman Republic, Dictatorship of Julius Caesar, L. Plautius Plancus, 47 B.C.

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Both the obverse and reverse designs of this type were also popular designs for intaglio engraved gems during the late republic. -- Roman Republican Coinage by Michael H. Crawford

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RR37542. Silver denarius, SRCV I 429, Sydenham 959b, Crawford 453/1c, RSC I Plautia 14, VF, weight 3.439 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 47 B.C; obverse head of Medusa facing, wearing hoop earrings, L·PLAVTIVS below; reverse Victory leading four horses right, palm frond in left, PLANCVS below; SOLD


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

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SH30320. Gold aureus, Calico 655, BMCRE II 399, RIC II 297 corrected, Choice aEF, rev slightly flat, weight 7.277 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III, laureate head right; reverse PACI AVGVSTI, Nemesis advancing right, winged, drawing drapery from top of gown with right, caduceus in left, snake at feet right; nice centering on a full flan; scarce; SOLD


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

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Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
SH30323. Gold aureus, RIC III 281c, Calico 1680, Cohen II 1032, BMCRE IV 912 var. (laureate head right), Choice aEF, weight 7.197 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 157 - 158 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II, laureate and draped bust left; reverse COS IIII, Victory walking left, extending wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand; superb high-relief bust, well centered, great style; rare; SOLD


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

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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.
SH51587. Gold aureus, Calico 1333/1334b (same rev die), RIC II 77c, BMCRE III 133, Hill 232, cf. Cohen 1104, aEF, ex jewelry, weight 7.279 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, Rome mint, 119 - 122 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P COS III, Roma seated left on cuirass, shield at her side, Victory in right and vertical spear in left, shield bow and quiver behind; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C.

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SH32292. Gold stater, Price 898 var. (monogram; cf. Price 927 tetradrachm), EF, weight 8.443 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Kallatis (Mangalia, Romania) mint, c. 250 - 225 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake; reverse AΛEΞAN∆P[OY], Nike standing half left, wreath in extended right, stylus in left, KAΛ monogram to left; high relief, bold, mint luster and a rare variety, small scratch on reverse; SOLD


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

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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.
SH58612. Gold aureus, RIC IV 237; Calico 2517 (same dies); BMCRE V p. 361, 23 & pl. 53, 13 (same obv die); S 6229, aVF, weight 7.240 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 210 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XVIII COS III P P, Victory advancing right, head left, leading captive with right, trophy over shoulder in left; full circle centering on both obverse and reverse, ex Forum (2008), ex Harlan Berk, very conservative Sear grade; rare; SOLD


Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D., Mule with Constantius II Reverse

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An interesting mule between a Constans obverse and a Constantius II reverse. The correct legend for Constans is VOT X MVLT XX.
SH24842. Gold solidus, Depeyrot p. 215, 6/5 (2 spec);obverse RIC VIII 74 / reverse Constantius II RIC VIII 71, Choice EF, full circle centering, weight 4.238 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 340 - 350 A.D.; obverse CONSTANS AVGVSTVS, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, all within wreath; reverse VICTORIAE DD NN AVGG (victories of our two lord emperors), two victories facing one another, holding wreath inscribed VOT XX MVLT XXX, TES in exergue, all in wreath; ex Harlan Berk; very rare; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C.

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Possible lifetime issue with beautiful style.
SH27864. Gold stater, Price -, Müller Alexander -, cf. Price 2948 ff. for ∆I symbol on tetradrachm and drachm, cf. Price table IX 2957 for style and iconography, EF, weight 8.559 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain (Side, Pamphylia?) mint, c. 325 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet decorated with griffin; reverse BA−ΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Nike standing left holding wreath and ship's mast, DI monogram lower left; very rare; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

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Philip III Arrhidaeus, the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa, was Alexander the Great's half-brother. Alexander's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned him as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Incapable of actual rule, he was made king upon Alexander's death only to serve as a pawn for those who wished to grab power for themselves. Olympias had him imprisoned and then ordered his execution in 317 B.C.
SH72613. Gold stater, Price P90, ADM I 228 - 230, Müller Alexander -, SNG Cop -, EF, lovely Hellenistic style, mint luster, weight 8.579 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet ornamented with a coiled snake, wearing necklace and long drop earring; reverse ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ, Nike standing left, wreath in extended right hand, grounded stylis in left at her side, TI left, rose left under wing; ex Roma Numismatics auction 8, lot 470; SOLD


Syracuse, Sicily, Deinomenid Tyranny (time of Gelon and Hieron), c. 485 - 479 B.C.

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Ex Numismatic Fine Arts with old NFA envelope.
SH28065. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Boehringer 123 (V56/R84) and SGCV I 914, EF, toned, weight 17.425 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 270o, obverse slow quadriga driven right by male charioteer holding goad, Nike above flying right crowning horses; reverse ΣYPAKOΣION, Artemis-Arethusa right, hair slightly waved in front turned up under diadem of beads, surrounded by four dolphins swimming clockwise; SOLD




  




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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).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 23, 2018.
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Nike or Victory