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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Olympians ▸ Poseidon or NeptuneView Options:  |  |  |   

Poseidon or Neptune

Lord of the Sea; god of the seas, earthquakes and horses. Symbols include the hippocamp and the trident. Son of Cronus and Rhea. Brother of Zeus and Hades.


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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NEP RED on the reverse abbreviates Neptuno Redux, Neptune who brings back the Emperor in safety by sea. Hadrian toured Greece, 124 - 125, made a detour to Sicily, and returned to Italy in 126. This type honors Neptune for ensuring Hadrian's safety during his sea voyages.
RB88005. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 651, BMCRE III 1318, Cohen II 980, SRCV II 3612, Hunter II 438 var. (dolphin vice acrostolium), VF, well centered, nice style, Tiber patina, edge cracks, weight 22.893 g, maximum diameter 33.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 126 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Neptune standing right, left knee bend and left foot on prow, nude but for cloak over left thigh, trident vertical with head down behind in right hand, acrostolium in left hand, NEP - RED / S - C in two divided lines across field; ex William Rosenblum, mailbid sale 38C (5 Jun 2008), lot 120; $280.00 (€238.00)
 


Poseidonia, Lucania, Italy, c. 470 - 445 B.C.

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Poseidonia was founded around the end of the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Sybaris. In the fifth century B.C., Poseidonia was conquered by the Lucani. Archaeological evidence indicates Greek and Oscan cultures thrived together. In 273 B.C., after the Poseidonians had sided with Pyrrhus against Rome, Poseidonia was refounded as the Roman city of Paestum.
GS87516. Silver nomos, SNG ANS 646, SNG Fitzwilliam 544, SNG Cop 1281, SNG München 1056 var. (inscription), HN Italy 1114 var. (same), SNG Tübingen -, SNG Lockett -, F, well centered, toned, some marks and scratches, etched surfaces, weight 7.712 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 90o, Poseidonia mint, c. 470 - 445 B.C.; obverse Poseidon advancing right, chlamys over shoulders, brandishing trident in raised right hand, left arm outstretched before him, ΠOMES retrograde downward on right; reverse bull standing right, within round incuse, ΠOMES retrograde above; ; $240.00 (€204.00)
 


Messana, Sicily, c. 324 - 318 B.C.

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Founded in the 8th century B.C., until the 5th century Messina was called Zancle, meaning "scythe" because of the shape of its harbor. Carthage sacked the city in 397 B.C. and then Dionysius I of Syracuse conquered it. In 288 B.C. the Mamertine mercenaries seized the city by treachery, killing all the men and taking the women as their wives. The city became a base from which they ravaged the countryside, leading to conflict with Syracuse. Initially Carthage assisted the Mamertines. When Syracuse attacked a second time, the Mamertines asked Rome for help. Rome was initially reluctant, but allied with the Mamertines to limit Carthaginian power.In 264 B.C., Roman troops were deployed to Sicily, the first time a Roman army acted outside the Italian Peninsula. At the end of the First Punic War, Messana was a free city allied with Rome.
GB85698. Bronze litra, Caltabiano 761 group III (D28/R51); cf. Calciati I p. 52, 15; SNG ANS 393; HGC 2 833 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG Mün -; BMC Sicily -, gVF+, superb style, attractive patina, areas of corrosion and encrustation, weight 6.303 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Messana (Messina, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 324 - 318 B.C.; obverse ΠOΣEI∆AN, laureate head of Poseidon left, torch behind, K below; reverse MEΣΣANIΩN, ornate trident head, flanked on each side by a dolphin with head down; rare; $225.00 (€191.25)
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C.

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Hieron II was tyrant and then king of Syracuse, c. 270 to 215 B.C. His rule brought 50 years of peace and prosperity, and Syracuse became one of the most renowned capitals of antiquity. He enlarged the theater and built an immense altar. The literary figure Theocritus and the philosopher Archimedes lived under his rule. After struggling against the Mamertini, he eventually allied with Rome.
GB81527. Bronze AE 19, cf. Calciati II p. 395, 197 ff.; SNG Cop 844 ff., SNG ANS 964 ff., SGCV I 1223 (various controls), aVF, well centered, nice patina, weight 5.663 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, 275 - 215 B.C.; obverse head of Poseidon left; reverse IEPΩ−NOΣ, ornamented trident head, dolphins at sides, uncertain control marks below; ex Forum (2014); $110.00 (€93.50)
 


Mygissos, Caria, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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Many Greek cities had names beginning MY, and this type has been attributed to many of them. Most references attribute the type to Myus. Mygissos is most likely correct because nearby Nisyros issued coins with a very similar reverse with NI above the dolphin.
GB69183. Bronze chalkous, SNG München 335 (MY...), SNG Cop 1022 (Myus), SNGvA 2114 (Myus), SNG Tüb 3115 (Myus), SNG Keckman 235 (Myndos?), SNG Kayhan 847 (Myndos), VF, pitting, weight 1.910 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 270o, Mygissos mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Poseidon right; reverse dolphin right, MY above, trident right below; rare; $85.00 (€72.25)
 


Amphipolis, Macedonia, c. 148 - 31 B.C.

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In 168 B.C., the Romans invaded Macedonia and overthrew King Perseus in the First Battle of Pydna. In 149 B.C., Andriskos, at that time ruler of Adramyttium only, claiming to be Perseus' son, announced his intention to retake Macedonia from Rome. Andriskos traveled to Syria to request military help from Demetrius Soter of Syria. Demetrius instead handed him over to Rome. Andriskos escaped captivity, raised a Thracian army, invaded Macedonia, and defeated the Roman praetor Publius Juventius. Andriskos then declared himself King Philip VI of Macedonia. In 148 B.C., Andriskos conquered Thessaly and made an alliance with Carthage, thus bringing the Roman wrath on him. In 148 B.C., in what the Romans called the Fourth Macedonian War, he was defeated by the Roman praetor Q. Caecilius Metellus at the Second Battle of Pydna. He fled to Thrace, whose prince gave him up to Rome. Andriskos' brief reign over Macedonia was marked by cruelty and extortion. After this, Macedonia was formally reduced to a Roman province.
GB79921. Bronze AE 19, SNG ANS 128 corr.; SNG Cop 66 var. (control); BMC Macedonia p. 49, 46 ff. var. (controls); HGC 3.1 424 (R2), F, centered, green patina, cleaning scratches, weight 8.717 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 30o, Amphipolis mint, c. 148 - 31 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Poseidon right wearing taenia; reverse horse trotting right, AMΦIΠ−O/ΛITΩN divided above and below, ATP monogram (control) above; rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


Mygissos, Caria, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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Many Greek cities had names beginning MY, and this type has been attributed to many of them. Mygissos is most likely correct because nearby Nisyros issued coins with a very similar reverse with NI above the dolphin.
GB67788. Bronze chalkous, SNG München 335 (MY...), SNG Cop 1022 (Myus), SNGvA 2114 (Myus), SNG Tüb 3115 (Myus), SNG Keckman 235 (Myndos?), SNG Kayhan 847 (Myndos), F, weight 1.655 g, maximum diameter 11.1 mm, die axis 0o, Mygissos mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Poseidon right; reverse dolphin right, MY above, trident right below; very rare; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 212 - 133 B.C.

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This type was perhaps the last pseudo-autonomous issue of Syracuse.
RP79995. Bronze AE 19, Calciati II p. 434, 240/9 (same obverse die), SNG Morcom 838, SNG ANS 1099, SNG München 1483, Fine/Fair, obv off-center, ragged flan, weight 4.933 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 345o, Syracuse mint, c. 212 - 133 B.C.; obverse diademed, bearded male (Serapis, Poseidon or Zeus) head right; reverse ΣYPAKOCIΩN, female (Isis?) standing left, wreath (or sistrum?) in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; ex Forum (2011); scarce; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.

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Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Neptune was the brother of Jupiter and Pluto; the brothers presided over the realms of Heaven, the earthly world, and the Underworld. Salacia was his consort. Neptune was likely associated with fresh water springs before the sea. Like Poseidon, Neptune was worshiped by the Romans also as a god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester, a patron of horse-racing.
RA87973. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 1044, Huvelin 1990 38, Komin 1267, Cohen VI 184, RIC V-1 214 var. (• or A in ex.), SRCV III 11353, aVF, well centered, reverse struck with a worn die, weight 3.917 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, issue 3, c. early – mid 270; obverse IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate head left; reverse NEPTVN AVG, Neptune standing slightly left, head left, nude but for cloak on left shoulder, dolphin in right hand, trident vertical in left hand; $60.00 (€51.00)
 


Amphipolis, Macedonia, c. 168 - 31 B.C.

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In 168 B.C., the Romans invaded Macedonia and overthrew King Perseus in the First Battle of Pydna. In 149 B.C., Andriskos, at that time ruler of Adramyttium only, claiming to be Perseus' son, announced his intention to retake Macedonia from Rome. Andriskos traveled to Syria to request military help from Demetrius Soter of Syria. Demetrius instead handed him over to Rome. Andriskos escaped captivity, raised a Thracian army, invaded Macedonia, and defeated the Roman praetor Publius Juventius. Andriskos then declared himself King Philip VI of Macedonia. In 148 B.C., Andriskos conquered Thessaly and made an alliance with Carthage, thus bringing the Roman wrath on him. In 148 B.C., in what the Romans called the Fourth Macedonian War, he was defeated by the Roman praetor Q. Caecilius Metellus at the Second Battle of Pydna. He fled to Thrace, whose prince gave him up to Rome. Andriskos' brief reign over Macedonia was marked by cruelty and extortion. After this, Macedonia was formally reduced to a Roman province.
GB87756. Bronze AE 18, SNG ANS 123; BMC Macedonia p. 49, 47; cf. SNG Cop 64 (monogram off flan); HGC 3.1 423 (R2), F, porous, light corrosion, weight 6.852 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 90o, Amphipolis mint, c. 168 - 31 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Poseidon right wearing taenia; reverse horse trotting right, ΩΣ monogram (control) right, Θ (control) below, AMΦIΠO/ΛITΩN above and below; rare; $50.00 (€42.50)
 




  



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Poseidon or Neptune