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Goddess of love, beauty and sexuality. Daughter of Zeus and Dione or, in other traditions, of Uranus. Symbols include the dove.
Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.
"The coin that killed Caesar." The obverselegend declares Caesar is "Dictator for Life" and he wears the veil, symbolic of his life-term position as Pontifex Maximus. Caesar would be both the dictator and high priest of Rome for the remainder of his life, but his life would end only a few weeks after this coin was struck. For Caesar to put his image on coins and in effect declare himself king was too much for Brutus and his republican allies. On the Ides of March (15 March) 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed to death by as many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theater of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come," meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied, "Aye, Caesar; but not gone." This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."
Minted for Caesar's planned Parthian war, this type was often carelessly struck indicating the mint was working under great pressure.SH85584. Silver denarius, Crawford 480/16, Sydenham 1067, Sear CRI 111, RSC IJulius Caesar 9, BMCRR I Rome 4185, SRCV I 1415, aVF, toned, weight 3.464 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, moneyer C. Cossutius Maridianus, Feb - Mar 44 B.C.; obverseCAESAR DICT PERPETVO, veiled and wreathed head of Caesar right; reverse C MARIDIANVS, Venus standing left, Victory in extended right hand, resting left arm on shield at side on right; $1500.00 (€1275.00)
Plarasa and Aphrodisias, Caria, 1st Century B.C.
During the middle of the second century B.C., the neighboring towns of Plarasa and Aphrodisias united, forming a single community. The union was undoubtedly approved and probably encouraged by Rome to improve their security. The order of the names indicates Plarasa was the dominant community when the agreement was made. At that time Aphrodisias may have been little more than a small village with a sanctuary to Aphrodite. By the middle of the first century B.C., however, Aphrodisias was the prominent partner. Sometime during the reign of Augustus, the name Plarasa was dropped. The weightstandard is apparently that of a late Roman Republican denarius.GS84797. Silver drachm, Macdonald CoinageType 2 (O2/R3), SNG Keckman I 13 (same dies), SNGva 2434 (different dies), cf. BMC Caria p. 27 (illegible), SNG Cop -, aVF, die break behind head on obv., scratches, polished, almost all of reverselegend is off flan or unstruck, weight 3.478 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Aphrodisias-Plarasa mint, pseudo-automomous, 1st century B.C.; obversebust of Aphrodite right, veiled and draped, wearing stephane, earring and necklace; reverse ΠΛAPAΣEΩN KAI AΦPO∆EIΣEIΩN (or similar, none known with end of legend legible), eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, MY/ΩN in two lines in left field, ΞE/NO/KPA/THΣ / ME/NAN/∆PO/Y (magistrate Xenokrates Menandrou) in nine lines in right field; extremely rare; $540.00 (€459.00)
Magnia Urbica, Augusta Mid 283 - Mid 285 A.D.
It was Sulla who in a dream first saw Venus as VenusVictrix (victorious Venus), with the weapons of Mars. He made her to his personal patroness. Pompey was inaugurating the cult of VenusVictrix in Rome. In the night before the battle of Pharsalus 48 B.C. Pompey was dreaming of VenusVictrix - seemingly a lucky sign -, whereas Caesar was sacrificing to VenusGenetrix, but issued as watchword 'Venus Victrix', and defeated Pompey!RA86189. Billonantoninianus, RIC V-2 343 (S); Cohen VI 17; SRCV III 12424; Hunter IV p. 216, 4 var. (dot in crescent), F, centered on a broad flan, bumps and marks, weight 3.416 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Rome mint, 284 - 285 A.D.; obverseMAGN VRBICA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, hair brushed in straight lines, plait carried up the back to top of head and running under stephane; reverseVENVS VICTRIX (victorious Venus), Venus standing left, helmet in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet on left, KA crescent ς in exergue; scarce; $250.00 (€212.50)
The Sileraioi, Sicily, c. 357 - 330 B.C.
Sileraioi was not a city. The Sileraians were Campanian mercenaries who took their name from their proximity to the river Silaros. These rare coins have been found at the site of their settlement, Cozzo Mususino, a natural strong-hold in north central Sicily. The coins are often overstruck on coins from Syracuse minted c. 375 - 345 B.C.SH68704. Bronze Calciati p. 301, 2; HGC 2 1243 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Munchen -; SNG Morcom -, VF/F, reverse rough, weight 7.521 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 90o, Sileraian mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse ΣI−ΛEPAIΩ−N (retrograde counterclockwise from 3:00), man-faced bull forepart charging right; reverseSIL (retrograde, upward behind), warrior advancing right, spear in right hand, shield in left; rare; $240.00 (€204.00)
Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 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 Julia Domna's coinage at this time, not only appealed to the goddess for aid against Pescennius Niger, but also reminded the Romans that the empress too was in Syria with the legions on campaign. It was during this time that Julia Domna was given the honorary title, MATER CASTORVM, or mother of the camp.RS85793. Silver denarius, RIC IV S536; RSC III 194; BMCRE V p. 27, S49; Hunter III S3, SRCV II 6608, VF, toned, some porosity, edge cracks, weight 2.041 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 193 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges and large bun at back of head; reverseVENERI VICTR (victorious Venus), Venus standing right, facing away, seen from behind, naked to the buttocks, resting left elbow on waist high column, transverse palm frond in left hand, apple in extended right hand; $160.00 (€136.00)
Persian Empire, Tarkumuwa (Datames), Satrap of Cilicia & Cappadocia, c. 384 - 362 B.C., Tarsus, Cilicia
In historical times, Tarsos was first ruled by the Hittites, followed by Assyria, and then the Persian Empire. Tarsus, as the principal town of Cilicia, was the seat of a Persian satrapy from 400 B.C. onward. Indeed, Xenophon records that in 401 B.C., when Cyrus the Younger marched against Babylon, the city was governed by King Syennesis in the name of the Persian monarch. Alexander the Great passed through with his armies in 333 B.C. and nearly met his death here after a bath in the Cydnus. By this time Tarsus was already largely influenced by Greek language and culture, and as part of the Seleucid Empire it became more and more Hellenized. Strabo praises the cultural level of Tarsus in this period with its philosophers, poets and linguists. The schools of Tarsus rivaled those of Athens and Alexandria.GS84907. Silver obol, SNG BnF 310, SNG Levante 217, Sunrise 48, Waddington 4567, Traite II 600, Gorturk -, VF, well centered and struck, toned, earthen deposits, light corrosion, weight 0.714 g, maximum diameter 11.1 mm, die axis 135o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, obversehead of female facing slightly left, drapery around neck; reverse draped bust of female (Aphrodite?) right, wearing tainia, hoop earring, and pearl necklace; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 28 (2 Jul 2016), lot 229; $150.00 (€127.50)
Plautilla, Augusta 202 - 22 January 205 A.D., Wife of Caracalla
Sulla in a dream first saw Venus with the weapons of Mars as VenusVictrix and made her his personal patroness. In the night before the battle of Pharsalus 48 B.C. Pompey dreamed of VenusVictrix - seemingly a lucky sign. Caesar sacrificed to VenusGenetrix, but issued as watchword 'Venus Victrix', and defeated Pompey!RS85215. Silver denarius, RIC IV 369, RSC III 25, BMCRE V 429, Hunter III 9, SRCV II 7074, Choice aVF, full circles centering on a broad flan, edge cracks, weight 2.939 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 202 - 205 A.D.; obverse PLAVTILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, looped plait at back of neck; reverseVENVS VICTRIX (victorious Venus), Venus standing left, bare to waist, apple in right hand, palm frond in left hand, resting left elbow on shield, Cupid at her feet on left holding crested helmet; $120.00 (€102.00)
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, Cilicia, Olba 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; $90.00 (€76.50)
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; $90.00 (€76.50)
Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.
After Apollo insulted him, Eros (cupid) shot Apollo with an arrow that caused him to fall in hopeless love with Daphne, a mortal woman. Eros shot Daphne with an arrow which made her incapable of loving Apollo. Nevertheless Apollo pursued her, and out of desperation Daphne escaped by having herself turned into a laurel. Ever after, winners of the games to honorApollo wore wreaths of laurel in honor of Apollo's Daphne.RB73718. Bronze sestertius, RIC IV SA694, BMCRE VI SA190, Cohen IV 62, SRCV II 8232, VF, excellent portrait, attractive reversestyle, well centered, tiny flan crack, cleaning scratches, weight 13.843 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 224 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEAAVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverseVENERI FELICI, Venus standing facing, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, cupid seated facing her in her left hand, cupid is naked, winged and extends his hands toward her, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $90.00 (€76.50)