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Horses on Ancient Coins

Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron, c. 478 - 466 B.C.

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From the height of Syracuse preeminence amongst the Sicilian Greeks, shortly after the great victory over the Carthaginian invaders at Himera in 480 B.C.
SH86308. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer Series X, 229 (V102/R155); HGC 2, 1306; Bement 451; Jameson 744; McClean 2611 (all from the same dies)., gVF, well centered, toned, obverse struck with a worn die, some marks and scratches, weight 17.105 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 478 - 475 B.C.; obverse slow quadriga driven right by male charioteer holding goad, Nike above flying right crowning horses; reverse ΣYP-AKO-ΣI-ON (beginning 3:30, 1st Σ reversed), head of Arethusa right, hair turned up behind under diadem of beads, wearing bead necklace, surrounded by four dolphins swimming clockwise; ex Numismatica Ars Classica auction 59 (4 Apr 2011), lot 1571; $1600.00 (1360.00)


Kelenderis, Cilicia, c. 410 - 375 B.C.

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Kelenderis was a port town, one of the oldest in Cilicia, described in Hellenistic and Roman sources as a small, but strong castle. The rider on the obverse may be Castor, who was not only a horse trainer but also the protector of sailors, an appropriate type for a port town.
GS86211. Silver stater, Casabonne type 4; BMC Cilicia p. 55, 25 & pl. X, 3; cf. SNG BnF 75 (KEΛEN); Celenderis Hoard-; SNG Levante -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, aEF, attractive style, centered on a tight flan, die wear and minor die cracks, marks, weight 10.800 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 30o, Celenderis mint, c. 410 - 375 B.C.; obverse young man riding sideways on horse galloping right, preparing to dismount(?), nude, whip in right hand, bridle in left hand; reverse goat crouching left on dotted exergue line, head turned looking back right, KEΛ[E?] above; very rare late issue with rider right and goat left; $1200.00 (1020.00)


Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

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Following Heron's death, democracy was restored in 466 B.C. Similar to at Athens, the polis was governed by a council and popular assembly with an executive consisting of elected generals or strategoi. Syracuse fought against Athens 427 - 424 B.C. and again 415 - 413 B.C.; ultimately Syracuse was victorious. With further reforms by Diocles, the democratic nature of Syracuse's political structure was further strengthened.
SH85694. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer Series XXII, 672 (V338/R459); SNG ANS 222 (same dies); BMC Sicily, p. 162, 123 (same); Jameson 778 (same); Pozzi 586 (same); HGC 2 1320, VF, fine classical style, obverse die wear, bumps and scratches, somewhat ragged tight flan, weight 16.769 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, c. 430 - 420 B.C.; obverse slow quadriga driven right by male charioteer holding kentron and reins, Nike above flying right crowning horses; reverse ΣYPAKOΣION, head of Arethusa right, earring, necklace, hair bound with taenia and wound four times around; four dolphins swimming around; $900.00 (765.00)


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

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In 146, Marcus Aurelius received the imperium proconsular and Faustina the Younger was given the title Augusta.
SH73156. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV 1669, RIC III 767a, Strack III 974, Cohen II 320, Hill UCR 709, SRCV II 4168, VF, nice green patina, nice portrait, light scratches, tight flan, weight 22.051 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 146 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG - PIVS P P TR P, laureate head right; reverse Antoninus in slow quadriga left, eagle-tipped scepter in left, reins in right, COS IIII / S C in two lines in exergue; $540.00 (459.00)


Eastern Celts, Imitative of Philip II of Macedonia, "Eingesetztem Pferdefu" Type, c. 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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The type "Eingesetztem Pferdefu" literally translates "with inserted cloven hoof."
CE77589. Silver tetradrachm, Lanz 413 (same dies); cf. Gbl OTA 122/2 (for obverse) and Gbl OTA 122/3 (for reverse), aVF, obverse off-center, uneven strike, marks and scratches, weight 10.665 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 0o, tribal mint, c. 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse stylized laureate and bearded head of Zeus right; reverse stylized helmeted horseman riding left; cloven hoof above the horse's head; on left: round floral design with pellet in oval in center with many small pellet petals around; below: wheel with five spokes and five pellets between the spokes; rare; $450.00 (382.50)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, 404 - 370 B.C.

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When Larissa ceased minting the federal coins it shared with other Thessalian towns and adopted its own coinage in the late fifth century B.C., it chose local types for its coins. The obverse depicted the local fountain nymph Larissa, for whom the town was named, probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse depicted a horse in various poses.
GS85151. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly II 380.18 (same dies), Lorber Early group IV H23, 65.1(a) (this obv. die), BCD Thessaly I 1144.2, Hoover HGC 430, Choice VF, toned, fine style, areas of light etching, weight 6.075 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, 404 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly right, wearing necklace, hair confined by ampyx and floating loosely; reverse horse grazing right, legs straight, dotted exergual line, ΛAPI above; ex Art of Money (Portland, OR); $450.00 (382.50)


Roman Republic, Pre-Denarius Coinage, 225 - 215 B.C.

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Crawford describes obverse as the laureate janiform head of the Dioscuri and explains, "the Dioscuri had acquired the role of protectors of the Roman people as a result of their intervention on the Roman side at the Battle of Lake Regillus. Explaining the reverse, he states, "Jupiter was the god in whose honour a Roman triumph was held." The depiction is probably based on the statue of Jupiter in a quadriga erected on the ridge of the Capitoline Temple in 296 B.C.
RR85557. Silver quadrigatus-didrachm, Crawford 28/3, pl. IV, 5; Sydenham 65 (S); RSC I 24; SRCV I 33; BMCRR I 101, VF, porous, reverse a little off center, weight 5.587 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 225 - 215 B.C.; obverse laureate beardless head of Janus, straight neck truncation; reverse Jupiter in fast quadriga galloping right, driven by Victory with reins in both hands, Jupiter hurling thunderbolt in his right hand, transverse lotus tipped scepter in his left hand, ROMA raised in a raised linear frame below, linear border; scarce; $400.00 (340.00)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 405 - 370 B.C.

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The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos.
GS79835. Silver drachm, Lorber Early 89.1 (same dies), BCD Thessaly I 1148, BCD Thessaly II 215 var. (facing slightly right), VF, toned, area of corrosion, reverse double struck, uneven strike, weight 5.835 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 405 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing ampyx, earring, and wire necklace; reverse horse grazing right, legs straight, ΛAPIΣ above; ex Amphora Coins; $320.00 (272.00)


Phalanna, Thessaly, Greece, 360 - 340 B.C.

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Coins of Phalanna (a few miles northwest of Larissa on the left bank of the Peneius) are scarce. There was also a Phalanna on Crete, colonized by Thessalians from Phalanna in Thessaly.
GS84798. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly I 1250 (same dies); BCD Thessaly II 569; SNG Cop 199; BMC Thessaly p. 41, 1; Papaevangelou-Genakos 1; HGC 4 165 (R1), VF/F, fine classical style, toned, porous, reverse a little rough, weight 5.314 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Phalanna mint, 360 - 340 B.C.; obverse youthful male head with short, curly hair right; reverse FAΛ-ANN-A-IΩN, bridled horse prancing right without a rider; ex BCD with his round tag noting, "T/ne ex Thess., Oct. 86, 250.-"; $310.00 (263.50)


Roman Republic, Q. Antonius Balbus, 83 B.C.

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Q. Antonius Balbus was a member of the Marian party and issued this coinage by special decree of the Senate to prepare for opposition to Sulla's return to Rome. In 82 B.C. he was appointed praetor in Sardinia. He was driven from Sardinia by L. Philippus, the legate of Sulla, and slain. Sulla prevailed and the Victory on the reverse of this type was proven a false hope. -- The Coinage of the Roman Republic by Edward A. Sydenham
RR86194. Silver denarius serratus, BMCRR I 2732 (same control), Crawford 364/1b, Sydenham 742, RSC I Antonia 1a, SRCV I 279, EF, broad flan, slightly off center, weight 3.468 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 83 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Jupiter right, S C behind, M (control letter) below; reverse Victory in a quadriga right, wreath in right and reins and palm frond in left, Q ANTO BALB / PR (ANT and AL in monogram) in exergue; $280.00 (238.00)




  



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