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Venus is the Roman goddess principally associated with love and beauty, the rough equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. The son of Venus and Mars, Cupid to the Romans, Eros to the Greeks, is the god of desire, affection and erotic love.
Leukas, Akarnania, Greece, c. 350 - 320 B.C.
There should be Λ behind the goddesses head but it is missing on this coin. Perhaps it was, in error, not engraved on the die, or perhaps it was unstruck because the letter on the die was filled with dirt. Although we have seen coins of this type struck from nearly a dozen different reverse dies, we have not found a die match to help determine why the Λ is missing.SH63533. Silver stater, Pegasi II 413, 84 (same obverse die); BMC Corinth p. 129, 51 ff.; BCD Akarnania 221 var. (types right); SNG Cop -, VF, toned, weight 8.163 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Leukas mint, c. 350 - 320 B.C.; obversePegasus flying left, Λ below; reversehead of Athena (or Aphrodite) left in Corinthian helmet over leather cap, Λ (unstruck) and kerykeion behind; $360.00 SALE PRICE $324.00
Julia Titi, Augusta c. 79 - 89 A.D.
Julia Titi was the daughter of the emperor Titus, and although married, she had an affair with her uncle Domitian. In 83 A.D., Domitian divorced his wife and lived openly with her. It has been said that she died because Domitian forced her to have an abortion but modern research indicates this allegation is false.SH72986. Silver denarius, RSC II 14; BMCRE IITitus 141; RIC II, part 1, Titus 56; Hunter p. 275, 1; BnF IIITitus 106; SRCV I 2612, F, slightly irregular flan, weight 3.030 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 79 - 81 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA TITI AVGVSTI F, diademed and draped bust right, hair in a long plait in back; reverseVENVS AVGVST, Venus standing right, viewed from behind, nude to the hips, right knee bent, leaning with left elbow and forearm on column, transverse spear on far side in left hand, raising up helmet in right hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection collection, ex Zuzim Judaea (2012); only the second example of this type handled by Forum; rare; $340.00 SALE PRICE $306.00
Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D., Paphos(?), Cyprus
Titus visited the Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Paphos in 69 A.D., when the future emperor was on his way to Egypt. He consulted the oracle of Aphrodite, and was told that he had a great future.
The 1.2 mm high gray-green conical stone, which once stood at the center of the Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Paphos, was found by archaeologists near the temple and is now in the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia. It is not a meteorite. RP59007. Silver didrachm, RPC II 1809, F, encrustations, weight 5.636 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos(?) mint, obverse AYTOKPATΩP TITOC KAICAP, laureate head left; reverseETOYC NEOY IEPOY, temple of Aphrodite at Paphos, conical stone (xoanon) at center, Θ in exergue; rare; $280.00 SALE PRICE $252.00
Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.
Venus in her aspect as the divine ancestress of the Roman people was known as VenusGenetrix. According to legend, and as recorded in Virgil's Aeneid, Aeneis was the son of Venus who fled Troy after its destruction and founded the city of Rome. Julius Caesar, being of the GensJulia, claimed direct descent from VenusGenetrix and Aeneas. Julius Caesar built a Temple of VenusGenetrix in his new forum. Most depictions of VenusGenetrix on Roman coinage are of the statue in the Forum, and do not directly refer to pregnancy or fertility.RS79617. Silver denarius, RIC IV C388c, RSC III 212, Hunter III 13, BMCRE V C25, SRCV II 7106, Choice EF, fantastic portrait, mint luster, tiny green spots of encrustation, weight 3.246 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, reign of Caracalla, 216 A.D.; obverse IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, draped bust right; reverseVENVS GENETRIX (Mother Venus), Venus enthroned left, extending right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; $225.00 SALE PRICE $203.00
Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius
Uncirculated, bold, mint luster. Minted under her father, Antoninus Pius.RS77581. Silver denarius, RIC III AP495a, RSC II 15, BMCRE IV AP1099, SRCV II 4700, EF, well centered on tight flan, small edge cracks, strong flow lines, die wear, weight 2.977 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Antoninus Pius, 157 - 161 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right with head bare, hair waived and coiled on back of head; reverseAVGVSTI PII FIL (daughter of the pius emperor), Venus standing slightly left, head left, Victory in right, resting left hand on shield set on helmet; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
Katane, Sicily, c. 212 - 50 B.C.
In 212 B.C., after a two-year siege, despite defenses designed by the Greek mathematician and scientist Archimedes, the Roman general MarcusClaudius Marcellus forced his way into Syracuse. Although Marcellus wished to spare the Syracusans, he was unable to stop his soldiers from sacking the city. Archimedes was killed. Marcellus carried off the art treasures of Syracuse to Rome, the first recorded instance of a practice which was to become common. GB66799. Bronze two chalkoi, Calciati III p. 110, 25; SNG ANS 1278; SNG Morcom 563; HGC 2 612 (R1); BMC Sicily p. 51, 65 corr.; SNG Cop -, VF, weight 3.768 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 212 - 50 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse KATA/NAIΩN, Aphrodite Hyblaia (or Isis?) standing right, wearing kalathos on head, holding dove in extended right, II (2 chalkoi) right; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00
Mytilene, Lesbos, 400 - 350 B.C.
Mytilene on the southeast edge of Lesbos, opposite the mainland, was founded about 1054 B.C. It was initially confined to a small island just offshore that later was joined to Lesbos, creating a north and south harbor. In the 7th century B.C., Mytilene successfully contested for the leadership of Lesbos with Methymna, on the north side of the island. Mytilene became the center of the island's prosperous eastern hinterland.GS76292. Silver diobol, BMC Troas, p. 185, 8-14 var.; SNG Cop 368 var.; SNGvA 7749 - 7750 var.; HGC 6 1037 (R1) var.; Weber 5670 var. (none with grapes), VF, nice style, grainy surfaces, uneven toning, weight 1.290 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 180o, Mytilene mint, 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reversehead of Aphrodite right, hair rolled, MY behind, bunch of grapes (control symbol) lower left; very rare variety of a raretype - we were unable to find another example with the grapes control symbol; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00
Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.
Julia Domna was born in Emesa in 170 A.D. She was the youngest daughter of high-priest Julius Bassianus, a descendant of the Royal House of Emesa. Emesa was famous for its Temple of the Sun, the center of worship for the ancient pagan cult El-Gebal (or Elagabal). El-Gebal, worshiped in the form of a conical black stone, was the Aramaic name for the Syrian Sun God and means God of the Mountain. Emesa was also the birthplace of three other Roman empresses, Julia Maesa, Julia Mamaea and Julia Soaemias, and one emperor, Julia Domna's nephew, Elagabalus.RS76585. Silver denarius, RIC IV S536; RSC III 194; BMCRE V p. 27, S49; Hunter III 3, SRCV II 6608, VF, tight flan, struck with a worn reverse die, weight 2.719 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, 193 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right; reverseVENERI VICTR, Venus standing right, seen from behind, naked to below the buttocks, apple in extended right hand, palm frond over shoulder in left, resting left elbow on column; scarce; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
Soloi, Cilicia, c. 100 - 30 B.C.
Soli (or Soloi) was a colony of Rhodes, founded c. 700 B.C. southwest of Tarsus, in Cilicia. It was destroyed in the 1st century B.C., and refounded by Pompey the Great as Pompeiopolis (not to be confused with the Pompeiopolis in Paphlagonia).GB57540. Bronze AE 26, cf. SNG BnF 1197, SNG Levante 872, SNG Cop -, aVF, weight 9.225 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Soloi mint, c. 100 - 30 B.C.; obverseaegis with winged gorgoneion in center; reverse ΣOΛEΩN (below), Aphrodite riding bull right, owl before, monogram above left; rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.
Victory seems an odd attribute for the goddess of love but both Sulla and Pompey dreamed of VenusVictrix. Julius Caesar, who claimed Venus as his ancestor, sacrificed to her and she ensured he was always victorious. The use of Victrix on the reverse of Mamaea's coinage at this time, not only appealed for her aid against the Persians, but also reminded the Romans that the empress too was in Syria accompanying the legions on campaign.RS73862. Silver denarius, RIC IV 358, RSC III 76, BMCRE VI 713, Hunter III 5, SRCV II 8216, VF, well centered on a broad slightly ragged flan, die wear, porous, bumps and scratches, weight 2.771 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 231 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVG, draped and diademed bust right; reverseVENVS VICTRIX (victorious Venus), Venus standing half left, helmet extended in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield on left at feet against far side; ex Harlan J. Berk; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00