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A decursio was a military exercise, by which Roman soldiers were taught to make long marches in a given time, under arms and without quitting their ranks. They sometimes consisted of a mock fight between two divisions. Augustus and subsequently Hadrian ordered that the infantry and cavalry were to march out three times a month ten miles from the camp and ten miles back, fully armed and equipped. Decursio on this coin probably refers Nero's participation in mock military maneuvers in the circus.SH96390. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 508, Mac Dowall WCN 448, BMCRE I 316, BnF II 135, Cohen I 88, SRCV I -, Choice aEF/VF, superb portrait, well centered and struck, scratches, marks, porosity more on the reverse, weight 23.971 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 66 A.D.; obverse IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONT MAX TR POT P P, laureate head left, small globe at point; reverse DECVRSIO (in exergue), Nero and a companion on horseback prancing right, Nero holds spear in right hand, companion holds vexillum in right over shoulder, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $2400.00 (€2208.00)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.
The Lost Arch of Nero. This arch is undoubtedly the one that Tacitus says was voted to Nero for Corbulo's victory in Armenia in 58, and that he further reports was being constructed "in the middle of the Capitoline Hill" in 62, despite a successful invasion of Armenia by the Parthians in that year. No traces of the arch have ever been found. The arch was completely destroyed either shortly after Nero's death with the damnatio memoriae Nero received when the senate proclaimed him an enemy of the state, or in one of the two fires that consumed the Capitoline hill in 69 and 80. However, the quadriga on top of the arch is similar to that depicted on sestertii at the center of the Flavian amphitheatre (the Colosseum). It may have been reallocated.SH96391. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 144, BMCRE I 184, Cohen I 306, Mac Dowall WCN 134, SRCV I -, Choice gVF, excellent portrait, dark patina, well centered, light marks, scattered light porosity, weight 27.125 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER PM TR P IMP P P, laureate head left, globe at point of bust; reverse triumphal arch; surmounted by statue of Nero in a facing quadriga, led by Pax on left and Victory on right, and flanked below by two soldiers; front ornamented with statue of Mars in a niche and bas-reliefs of small figures; garland hanging in arch; ex Pegasi Numismatics; $1850.00 (€1702.00)
Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, King Ba'lshallim II, c. 401 - 366 B.C.
NEW Sidon, named for the "first-born" of Canaan, the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:15, 19), is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezekiel 27:8; 28:21, 22; 32:30; Joel 3:4). The Sidonians long oppressed Israel (Judges 10:12) but Solomon entered into a matrimonial alliance with them, and thus their form of idolatrous worship found a place in the land of Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 33). Jesus visited the "coasts" of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24) where many came to hear him preach (Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17). After leaving Caesarea, Paul's ship put in at Sidon, before finally sailing for Rome (Acts 27:3, 4).SH96814. Silver double shekel, Elayi-Elayi Sidon 627 (D36/R48); Betlyon p. 9, 18 & pl. 2, 4; BMC Phoenicia p. 143, 17; Sunrise Collection 125; HGC 10 236 (C), gF, oval flan, porosity, obverse off center, weight 28.155 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 45o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 401 - 366 B.C.; obverse war galley rowing left, small figure figurehead in bow (off flan), row of round shields along bulwarks, standard and rudder at stern, Phoenician letter beth above, two lines of zig-zag waves below, cable border; reverse Emperor of Persia with charioteer in a biga left, bearded king wears kidaris and kandys and raises right hand, charioteer leans forward holding reigns, horses waking, king of Sidon walks behind in Egyptian crown and garb carrying a cultic scepter and votive vase, double exergue line, cable border, all in shallow round incuse; ex Superior Stamp and Coin (Beverly Hills, CA, 1990's); scarce; $1200.00 (€1104.00)
Gela, Sicily, 490 - 475 B.C.
NEW In 485, Gelo, the tyrant of Gela, took advantage of an appeal by the descendants of the first colonist of Syracuse, the Gamoroi, who had held power until they were expelled by the Killichiroi, the lower class of the city, and made himself master of that city. He left his brother Hieron in control of Gela.SH96810. Silver didrachm, Jenkins Gela, group I, 100 (O30/255); HGC 2 363 (S); SNG ANS IV/2 19; SNG Cop 257; BMC Sicily p. 67, 19, VF, attractive man faced bull, well centered, light corrosion, struck with a worn obverse die, small edge split, weight 8.377 g, maximum diameter 21.39 mm, die axis 90o, Gela mint, 490 - 475 B.C.; obverse horseman galloping right, nude, wearing pileus, brandishing spear overhead in right hand; reverse forepart of man-faced bull (river god) swimming right, long beard, dotted truncation, CEΛAΣ below, all within a round incuse; ex Numismatic Fine Arts, Fall 1988 (12 October), lot 98; ex Dr. George Brauer Collection; scarce; $1000.00 (€920.00)
Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, Second Punic War, c. 203 - 201 B.C.
NEW Tanit was a Phoenician lunar goddess, worshiped as the patron goddess at Carthage.SH96815. Billon trihemishekel, Viola CNP 104a, SNG Cop VIII 391, SNG Milan XIV 9, Alexandropoulos 81 var. (single drop earring), Müller Afrique 230 var. (same), VF, toned white metal, off center on a broad flan, beveled obverse edge, light deposits, diagonal lines from die in reverse fields, weight 9.214 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Carthage (near Tunis, Tunisia) mint, Second Punic War, c. 203 - 201 B.C.; obverse head of Kore-Tanit left, hair waved and rolled, wearing barley wreath, ear-ring with triple pendant, linear border; reverse horse standing right, head turned back left, right foreleg raised, no control marks, linear border; ex Numismatic Fine Arts, fall 1989 mail bid sale, lot 398; $500.00 (€460.00)
Eastern Celts, Imitative of Philip II of Macedonia, "Dachreiter" Type, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.
Although the body and head of the horseman on the prototype drachm of Philip III of Macedonia have been replaced by an S-shaped line over three pellets, the horseman's leg can still be found on the side of the horse!SH89462. Silver tetradrachm, Göbl OTA tf. 15, 170/4; Lanz 448, aVF, light toning, reverse slightly off center, light marks, weight 11.953 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, tribal mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse laureate and bearded head of Zeus right; reverse stylized horseman prancing left, rider's head and body reduced to an S-shaped line over three pellets, leg of horseman on side of the horse; $400.00 (€368.00)
Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon and the Third Democracy, c. 344 - 317 B.C.
Threatened by Carthage and dominated by Hiketas, the tyrant of Leontini, Syracusans sent an appeal for help to their mother city, Corinth. By a unanimous vote Corinth selected Timoleon to set sail for Sicily with a few leading citizens of Corinth and a small troop of Greek mercenaries. After defeating Hiketas, Timoleon put order to Syracuse' affairs and established a democratic government. He repelled Carthage in several wars, ending with a treaty which divided the island. Timoleon then retired without any title or office, though he remained practically supreme. He became blind before his death, but when important issues were under discussion he was carried to the assembly to give his opinion, which was usually accepted. When he died the citizens of Syracuse erected a monument to his memory, afterward surrounded with porticoes, and a gymnasium called Timoleonteum.GI95238. Silver dilitron, SNG ANS 518; SNG Cop 717; SNG Munchen 1126; BMC Sicily p. 186, 283; Weber 1644; HGC 2 1373 (R2), VF, well centered, very dark toning, porosity, edge crack, weight 1.226 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 45o, Syracuse mint, c. 344 - 317 B.C.; obverse laureate Janiform female head, ΣYPAKOΣI-ΩN upward on left, two dolphins nose to nose on right; reverse horse galloping right, barley ear right above, N below; ex Forum (2018); rare; $400.00 (€368.00)
Volusian, c. November 251 - July or August 253 A.D.
Adventus reverse types commemorate the emperor's arrival at Rome, either at the commencement of his reign or on his return from a distance. They may also refer to his arrival in some other city or province of the empire. At their accession, emperors were not conveyed in a chariot nor in any other vehicle, but went on horseback or on foot when they made their first public entry into the capital of the Roman world.RS93314. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 224(a) (R), RSC IV 2b, SRCV III 9738, Hunter III - (p. cviii), VF, attractive style, well centered, darkened bronze and turquoise encrustations, flan cracks, weight 2.800 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch mint, 252 A.D.; obverse IMP C V AF GAL VOLVSIANO AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, three pellets below; reverse ADVENTVS AVG (arrival of the Emperor), Trebonianus Gallus on horseback left, raising right hand in salute, long scepter in left hand, paludamentum flying behind, horse's right foreleg raised; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $195.00 (€179.40)
Gallic Celts, Uncertain (Lemovices?), c. 100 - 50 B.C.
The tribe and mint that issued this obol type are unknown, but the Lemovices struck quinarii with similar types, including a human head above the horse on the reverse. It is possible the Lemovices also issued this rare type.CE89067. Silver obol, Delestrée-Tache 3699; cf. CCBM II S404 ff., De la Tour 4561 (Lemovices, severed head series quinarii), F, well centered, toned, etched surfaces, weight 0.633 g, maximum diameter 10.8 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 100 - 50 B.C.; obverse female head right in classic style; reverse horse galloping right, small human head right above; ex CGB Numismatique Paris; rare; $175.00 (€161.00)
Thessalonika, Macedonia, c. 54 - 68 A.D.
Thessalonica was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander, King of Macedonia, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a daughter of Philip II and a half-sister of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of Macedonia Secunda and in 146 B.C. it was made the capital of the whole Roman province of Macedonia. Due to its port and location at the intersection of two major Roman roads, Thessalonica grew to become the most important city in Macedonia. Thessalonica was important in the spread of Christianity; the First Epistle to the Thessalonians written by Paul the Apostle is the first written book of the New Testament.GB92061. Bronze AE 16, Touratsoglou G.I/A; RPC I 1607 (13 spec. online); SNG Hunterian I 682; McClean 3776; AMNG III taf. XXIII, 23; BMC Macedonia -; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -, aVF, green patina, tight flan, weight 4.078 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, reign of Nero(?), c. 54 - 68 A.D.; obverse horse trotting right, crescent with horns upward above, star below raised foreleg; reverse ΘEΣ/ΣAΛON/IKEΩN in three lines within laurel wreath; ex CHS Basel Numismatics; very rare; $140.00 (€128.80)