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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ Nude or EroticView Options:  |  |  |   

Nude Figures and Erotic Images on Ancient Coins

The ancients had a grand appreciation for the beauty of the human body and a rather bawdy view of sexuality.


Thasos, Thrace, c. 500 - 480 B.C.

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Nymphs are nature spirits who appear as beautiful, young nubile maidens. They dwell in mountains, valleys and groves, by springs and rivers, and also in trees and cool grottoes. Nymphs love to dance and sing and are the frequent target of satyrs. Satyrs are male companions of Pan and Dionysus with goat-like features, including a goat-tail, goat-like ears, and sometimes a goat-like phallus. As Dionysiac creatures, Satyrs are lovers of wine and women and ready for every physical pleasure. They are obsessed with nymphs.
SH91802. Silver stater, Le Rider Thasiennes 2; SNG Cop 1008; BMC Thrace p. 216, 2; McClean 4195; Svoronos HPM pl. X, 7; Dewing 1312; HGC 6 331, Choice F, very well centered, toned, typical flat strike, scratches, weight 9.155 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, Thasos mint, c. 500 - 480 B.C.; obverse nude ithyphallic satyr kneeling-running right, carrying in his arms a struggling nymph, raising her right hand in protest, both with long strait hair indicated with dots, she wears a long chiton, her arm fingers and thumb forming a Y shape; reverse quadripartite incuse square; $480.00 (422.40)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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Hercules is depicted in the same pose as the Farnese Hercules, a massive marble sculpture, which depicts a muscular yet weary Hercules leaning on his club, which has his lion-skin draped over it. He has just performed the last of The Twelve Labors, which is suggested by the apples of the Hesperides he holds behind his back. The Farnese Hercules is probably an enlarged copy made in the early third century A.D., signed by Glykon, from an original by Lysippos that would have been made in the fourth century B.C. The copy was made for the Baths of Caracalla in Rome (dedicated in 216 A.D.), where it was recovered in 1546. Today it is in Naples National Archaeological Museum. The statue was well-liked by the Romans, and copies have been found in many Roman palaces and gymnasiums. It is one of the most famous sculptures of antiquity, and has fixed the image of the mythic hero in the human imagination.Farnese Hercules

RL91319. Billon follis, cf. Cohen VII 59 (obv. legend), RIC VI 68 (Maximinus II), SRCV IV 15200 (Antioch); references list this rev. for Licinius only at Antioch, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, superb style, highlighting patina, light marks, scattered minor porosity, weight 5.020 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Nicomedia mint, 313 - 317 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse HERCVLI VICTORI, Hercules leaning right on club, on top of which are lion skins, ∆ left, SMN in exergue; although unpublished in references examined by Forum we know of eight other specimens; rare; $400.00 (352.00)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82777. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XVI, cf. 1387 (V DA1 / R 1124); Lukanc 321 (same dies); SNG Cop 1040 ff. (Thasos), VF, light toning, light bumps and marks, obverse off center low but full head on flan, weight 16.630 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $270.00 (237.60)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82792. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, monogram 28/1, group XVI, 1525 (O DE1/ R 1207); SNG Cop 1044 ff., VF, attractive style, light toning, , tight flan, obverse slightly off center, light bumps and marks, die wear, reverse slight double strike, weight 16.358 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, monogram inner left; $240.00 (211.20)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82789. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XII, monogram 18, 639 (V AC1 / R 524); SNG Cop 1042 (Thasos); Lukanc 770, VF, toned, tight flan, bumps and marks, wavy flan, die break on cheek and hair, weight 16.838 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $225.00 (198.00)


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

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Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored those in positions of authority similar to his own.
RA91193. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 4105 (17 spec.), RIC V-1 210, BnF XII 1827, Hunter IV 71, Venra -, Choice EF, full silvering, full border centering, nice portrait, weight 4.455 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, issue 3, Jan - Jun 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Emperor (on left) standing right, holding eagle tipped scepter, receiving globe from Jupiter, Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, long scepter vertical in left hand, H in center, XXI in exergue; $220.00 (193.60)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82779. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XIX, monogram 2, 1831 (V GB4 / R 1437); Lukanc 735 (same dies); SNG Cop 1045 (Thasos), weight 16.694 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $215.00 (189.20)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS79632. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XIV, monogram 24, cf. 1100 - 1104 (V CD3 / -); SNG Cop 1046 (Thasos), VF, centered, toned, struck with a worn obverse die, scrape on chin, scratches and marks, weight 16.690 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, monogram inner left; $180.00 (158.40)


Thasos, Thrace, c. 500 - 480 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Nymphs are nature spirits who appear as beautiful, young nubile maidens. They dwell in mountains, valleys and groves, by springs and rivers, and also in trees and cool grottoes. Nymphs love to dance and sing and are the frequent target of satyrs. Satyrs are male companions of Pan and Dionysus with goat-like features, including a goat-tail, goat-like ears, and sometimes a goat-like phallus. As Dionysiac creatures, Satyrs are lovers of wine and women and ready for every physical pleasure. They are obsessed with nymphs.
SH91179. Silver stater, Le Rider Thasiennes 2; SNG Cop 1008; BMC Thrace p. 216, 2; McClean 4195; Svoronos HPM pl. X, 7; Dewing 1312; HGC 6 331, gF, nice toning, well centered, die wear, minor edge cracks, weight 8.435 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, Thasos mint, c. 500 - 480 B.C.; obverse nude ithyphallic satyr kneeling-running right, carrying in his arms a struggling nymph, raising her right hand in protest, both with long strait hair indicated with dots, she wears a long chiton, her arm fingers and thumb forming a Y shape; reverse quadripartite incuse square; ex Frank S. Robinson; $170.00 (149.60)


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Roman People, etc. The legend GENIO AVGVSTI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Augusti, the Emperors. The figure depicted is the statue of the Spirit of the Roman People which was then in the Roman Forum (it is now lost). The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted.
RT85731. Billon follis, RIC VI Nicomedia 74b, SRCV IV 14830, Cohen VII 29, Hunter V -, Choice EF, much silvering remaining, areas of porosity, weight 4.837 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genius standing slightly left, nude but for kalathos on head and chlamys over shoulders and left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand over flaming altar at feet on left, cornucopia in left hand, * over E right, SMN in exergue; $160.00 (140.80)




  



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