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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Nude or Erotic||View 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.

Aspendos, Pamphylia, 333 - 250 B.C.

|Aspendos|, |Aspendos,| |Pamphylia,| |333| |-| |250| |B.C.|, |stater|
After Alexander took Perga peacefully, Aspendos sent envoys to offer surrender if he would not take the taxes and horses formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. Agreeing, Alexander went on to Side, leaving a garrison behind. When he learned they had failed to ratify the agreement their own envoys had proposed, Alexander marched to the city. The Aspendians retreated to their acropolis and again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to harsh terms - they would host a Macedonian garrison and pay 100 gold talents and 4,000 horses annually.

This type is a late example and likely among the last of the wrestler and slinger staters. Struck during economic crisis, perhaps resulting from the harsh terms set by Alexander after their treachery, the flans are underweight, crudely cast and appear to be of debased silver. The wrestlers and slinger are carelessly depicted. It is not as attractive as earlier examples but it is certainly much scarcer.
GS95992. Silver stater, Tekin Series 5, SNGvA 4576, SNG BnF 122, SNG Cop 240, Arslan-Lightfoot -, Choice gVF, attractive style, toned, obverse edge beveled, edge cracks, weight 10.440 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 333 - 250 B.C.; obverse two wrestlers grappling, nude, wrestler on left holds the right wrist of his opponent with his right hand and right forearm with his left hand, E between their legs, tiny die break on right, beveled edge; reverse slinger, wearing short chiton, discharging sling to right, EΣTFE∆IY upward behind, O between legs, clockwise triskeles of human legs above club on right, round border of dots; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $900.00 SALE |PRICE| $810.00


Aspendos, Pamphylia, 370 - 333 B.C.

|Aspendos|, |Aspendos,| |Pamphylia,| |370| |-| |333| |B.C.|, |stater|
The countermark appears to be a Hoplite advancing right with sword in right and round shield in left, in oval incuse. The hoplite represents the soldiery for which Aspendus was famous. The astonishing abundance of the silver money of Aspendus is a proof of the commercial importance of the town; and the number of countermarks and barbarous imitations shows that it circulated widely in the region.22.6
SH95389. Silver stater, Arslan-Lightfoot 39; SNGvA 4561; Tekin Series 4, 11; SNG BnF 84; SNG Cop 231; SNG Berry 1224 (all same obv die), VF, attractive rainbow toning, typical slightly flat strike, weight 10.855 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 370 - 333 B.C.; obverse two wrestlers, the left one holds the wrist of his opponent with his right and right forearm with his left hand, AK between their legs; reverse slinger, wearing short chiton, discharging sling to right, triskeles on right with feet clockwise, EΣTΦE∆IIYΣ upward on left, countermark lower right: lion head right in a round 3.6mm punch; ex Forum (2011); $750.00 SALE |PRICE| $675.00


Numerian, February or March 283 - October or November 284 A.D.

|Numerian|, |Numerian,| |February| |or| |March| |283| |-| |October| |or| |November| |284| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Consular busts are scarce for this dynasty.
RA93244. Billon antoninianus, Bastien 562 (3 spec. cited), RIC V-2 -, Cohen VI -, SRCV III -, Hunter V -, La Venra -, Choice aVF, well centered, flow lines, tiny encrustations, scattered light porosity, weight 3.080 g, maximum diameter 22.85 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 6th emission, c. 284 A.D.; obverse IMP C NVMERIANVS AVG, radiate bust wearing imperial mantle right, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse MARS VICTOR (Mars the Victor), Mars advancing right, nude except for helmet and cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, transverse spear in right hand, trophy over left shoulder in left hand, C in right field; very rare; $475.00 SALE |PRICE| $425.00


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

|Thasos|, |Thasos,| |Thrace,| |c.| |500| |-| |480| |B.C.|, |stater|
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; $380.00 SALE |PRICE| $342.00


Greek, Terracotta Eros Figure, 4th Century B.C.

|Malloy| |Terracotta|, |Greek,| |Terracotta| |Eros| |Figure,| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|,
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
AT31187. Average, beige terracotta; full figure of nude Eros, winged, legs spread, holding fruit; 6.5 cm (2 1/2") high; unmounted; $280.00 (257.60)


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

|Tacitus|, |Tacitus,| |25| |September| |275| |-| |June| |276| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
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 emperors and kings, 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; $190.00 SALE |PRICE| $171.00


Galerius, 1 March 305 - 5 May 311 A.D.

|Galerius|, |Galerius,| |1| |March| |305| |-| |5| |May| |311| |A.D.|, |follis|
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 IMPERATORIS dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Imperators. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RB93241. Billon follis, Hunter V 77 (same officina), RIC VI Alexandria 107a, SRCV IV 14524, Cohen VII 47,, Choice EF, attractive style, well centered, dark brown tone, weight 7.591 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Alexandria mint, c. 308 - 311 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO IMPERATORIS (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor as Commander in Chief), Genius standing left holding patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, crescent right, K - B / P at sides, ALE in exergue; $190.00 SALE |PRICE| $171.00


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

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.|, |follis|
"This reverse is modeled after the famous statue of the Spirit of the Roman People in the Roman Forum. It is unclear when this statue was last seen as it is now lost. Although the coins celebrate a wide range of spirits (e.g., Rome, Augustus, the Army, etc.), the basic design comes from the same statue." -- Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity 294-364 A.D. by Victor Failmezger
RT92316. Billon follis, RIC IV Alexandria 144b, cf. Cohen VII 3 (IMP C GAL VALER...), Hunter V 122 (K-P vice K-X), SRCV IV -, Choice EF, perfect full-border centering, bold strike with sharp dies, some silvering, flow lines, minor flan flaw obv. right side, weight 7.910 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Alexandria mint, c. 311 - 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GALER VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse BONO GENIO PII IMPERATORIS (to the good guardian spirit of the pious Emperor), Genius standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left, crescent horns up upper left, K lower left, Γ over X right, ALE in exergue; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

|Maximian|, |Maximian,| |286| |-| |305,| |306| |-| |308,| |and| |310| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "Jupiter the Protector of the Emperors." The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored those in positions of authority similar to his own. 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 was therefore the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.
RA92341. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 506, SRCV IV 13143, Cohen VI 355, Hunter IV 4 ff. var. (5th officina not listed), Choice EF, superior style for the period, well struck, full borders, some silvering, weight 3.677 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Rome mint, c. 286 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jupiter the protector of the two emperors), Jupiter standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over left shoulder, thunderbolt in right hand, long scepter in vertical in left hand, XXIE in exergue; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

|Maximian|, |Maximian,| |286| |-| |305,| |306| |-| |308,| |and| |310| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
In 292, the Roman general Achilleus was proclaimed emperor in Alexandria. For two years he ruled over Egypt, but in the end his rebellion was crushed by Emperor Diocletian.
RA92344. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 561a, Cohen VI 336, SRCV V 13141 var. (...P F AVG), Hunter IV - (p. clxxxix), Choice gVF, attractive portrait, full legends, brown tone, light deposits, weight 3.509 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 292 A.D.; obverse IMP C M A VAL MAXIMIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVAT (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing slightly left, head right, nude, long grounded scepter in left hand, thunderbolt in left hand, B left, XXIT in exergue; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00




  



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