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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Olympians ▸ Aphrodite or VenusView Options:  |  |  | 

Aphrodite or Venus

Goddess of love, beauty and sexuality. Daughter of Zeus and Dione or, in other traditions, of Uranus. Symbols include the dove.


Parium, Mysia, c. 45 B.C.

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This type commemorated the foundation of the colony of Parium by Julius Caesar. It was founded with a twin colony at Lampsakos. The head is probably Venus and intended to flatter Julius Caesar, who claimed descent from Venus. The reverse was also like intended to honor Caesar, the Pontifex Maximus, the head priest of Rome. The praefericulum was a metal ewer used by Roman augurs and pontiffs to hold wine dedicated to libations. It was carried in religious processions and, like the lituus, praefericula were among the sacerdotal insignia frequently depicted on coins of the pontiffs and augurs.
RP88940. Bronze semis, RPC I 2255 (5 spec.); Imhoof-Blumer MG, p. 251, 123; BMC Mysia -; SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, VF, attractive red-brown patina, porosity, some pitting, weight 5.363 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, time of founding by Julius Caesar, c. 45 BC; obverse female (Venus?) head right, wearing stephane; C - G / I - P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Pariana - The Julian Twin Colony of Parium) around; reverse praefericulum (ewer), C MATVINVS downward on left, T ANICIVS downward on right, AED (aediles) below; $230.00 (195.50)


The Sileraioi, Sicily, c. 357 - 330 B.C.

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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 Mnchen -; 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; reverse SIL (retrograde, upward behind), warrior advancing right, spear in right hand, shield in left; rare; $190.00 (161.50)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C.

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Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. He promoted the translation of Jewish scriptures into Greek as the Septuagint. Due to a falling out at the Seleucid court, his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus was murdered along with her infant son. In response, he invaded Syria, occupied Antioch, and even reached Babylon. This war, the Third Syrian War, is cryptically alluded to in Daniel XI 7-9. The Ptolemaic kingdom reached the height of its power during his reign.
GP85912. Bronze trihemiobol, Lorber CPE B447; Svoronos 1005; SNG Cop 644; Weiser 107; BMC Ptolemies p. 52, 57; SNG Milan 199; Weber 854; McClean 9789; Noeske -; Hosking -, VF, dark patina, well centered, some red earthen deposits, porosity/light corrosion, central cavities, weight 17.135 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Paphos mint, series 5; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), cult statue of Aphrodite standing facing on base, wearing polos, chiton and peplos, right arm across breast, left arm downward away from side; $180.00 (153.00)


Roman Republic, Gaius Norbanus, 83 B.C.

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In 83 B.C., Sulla returned from Greece and defeated the popular forces led by the consul Norbanus (probably the father of this moneyer). The reverse type alludes to the elder Norbanus' activity during the Social War, when he raised troops, organized a fleet, and provisioned the town of Rhegium.

Fasces, from the Latin fascis meaning "bundle," is a bound bundle of wooden rods, sometimes including an axe with its blade emerging. The fasces originated with the Etruscans and was passed on to ancient Rome, where it symbolized a magistrate's power and jurisdiction. The image has survived in the modern world as a representation of magisterial or collective power, law and governance. The fasces frequently occurs as a charge in heraldry. It was the origin of the name of the Mussolini's National Fascist Party in Italy (from which the term fascism is derived). It is on the reverse of the U.S. Mercury dime and behind the podium in the United States House of Representatives.
RR88001. Silver denarius, RSC I Norbana 2, Sydenham 739, Crawford 357/1b, BMCRR I Rome 2810, SRCV I 278, aF, light toning, scratches, banker's mark, weight 3.458 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 83 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Venus right, wearing single drop earring and pearl necklace, Roman numeral control number behind, CNORBANVS below; reverse fasces between grain ear on left and caduceus on right; $110.00 (93.50)


Nagidos, Cilicia, c. 420 - 280 B.C.

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Nagidos, a colony of Samos, was located in Cilicia on a hill at the mouth of the Sini Cay (Bozyazi Dere) near modern Bozyazi in Mersin Province, Turkey. Nagidos minted coins with a grape cluster as a symbol of the city, some with both Greek and Aramaic inscriptions, and one type bearing the name of the Persian satrap Pharnabazus. Aphrodite appears most often on the coins, indicating her sanctuary was the most important in the city. Alexander the Great conquered Cilicia in 133 B.C. After his death, Cilicia briefly came under Seleucid rule. About 270 B.C., the Ptolemaic Empire conquered Cilicia. When the city of Arsinoe was founded on land claimed by Nagidos, the Nagidians refused to recognize the settlers. To resolve the dispute, Nagidos was designated as the mother city and the citizens of both shared a single citizenship. Cilicia came under Seleucid rule in 197 B.C. Nagidos was abandoned in the middle of the second century B.C., possibly due to attacks by the Cilician pirates.
GS88168. Silver obol, SNG BnF 11, Trait II 1507, Gktrk 3 var. (NAGΓ), SNG Levante 3 var. (types right); Lederer Nagidos -, SNG Cop -, BMC Lycaonia -, VF, toned, obverse off center, die wear, light marks, mild porosity, weight 0.716 g, maximum diameter 9.1 mm, die axis 270o, Nagidos (Bozyazi, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 380 B.C.; obverse head of Aphrodite left, with hair in sphendone; reverse bearded head of Dionysos left, NAΓI upward on left; ex Triskeles auction 26 (VAuction 334), lot 188; $95.00 (80.75)


Roman Empire, Anonymous, Domitian to Antoninus Pius, c. 81 - 161 A.D.

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Quadrantes, like quinarii, were issued only occasionally, perhaps exclusively for imperial distributions. Suetonius reported that, from the roof of the Basilica Julia "Caligula threw coins among the people." Perhaps this small coin was thrown to the crowd by the emperor himself at a similar event.
RB87147. Bronze quadrans, RIC II p. 218, 25; King Quadrantes p. 71, 7, VF, thin flan, some striking weakness, very light corrosion/deposits, weight 0.954 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 81 - 161 A.D.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Venus right, no legend; reverse dove standing left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 40 (28 Oct 2017), 558; $80.00 (68.00)


Katane, Sicily, c. 212 - 50 B.C.

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In 212 B.C., after a two-year siege, despite defenses designed by the Greek mathematician and scientist Archimedes, the Roman general Marcus Claudius 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.
GB82650. 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 -, aVF, green patina, scratches, porous, 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; $80.00 (68.00)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy I Soter, 305 - 282 B.C.

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In Coins of the Ptolemaic Empire, C. Lorber writes, "This series combines a type of local significance -- Aphrodite, patroness of Cyprus -- with Ptolemy's personal badge, the eagle on thunderbolt, and names Ptolemy as issuing authority." Of the likely mint, Lorber writes, "The pattern of finds for this issue is consistent with an origin at Palai Paphos, home to the great sanctuary of Aphrodite Cypria."
GP85879. Bronze hemiobol, Lorber CPE B120; Svoronos 81 (2 spec.); BMC Ptolemies p. 7, 60; SNG Milan 28; SNG Cop 643; Weiser 3; Noeske -; Malter -, F, tight flan, rough corrosion, weight 3.046 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Palai Paphos(?) mint, 294 - 282 B.C.; obverse head of Aphrodite Paphia right, wearing plain taenia; reverse eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, ΠTOΛE (upward on left); rare; $70.00 (59.50)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy I Soter, 305 - 282 B.C.

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In Coins of the Ptolemaic Empire, C. Lorber writes, "The pattern of finds for this issue is consistent with an origin at Palai Paphos, home to the great sanctuary of Aphrodite Cypria..." But, she then, noting that the hemiobol is the only denomination with two varieties, one with Aphrodite wearing a taenia and the other wearing a stephane, writes, "the variety with stephane, not found at Curium, could have been struck at Neo Paphos."
GP88272. Bronze hemiobol, Lorber CPE B123; Svoronos 80 (5 spec.); SNG Cop 643; BMC Ptolemies p. 7, 59; Weiser 3; SNG Milan 27; Noeske -; Hosking -, F, rough, weight 4.460 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Nea Paphos(?) mint, 294 - 282 B.C.; obverse head of Aphrodite right, wearing a stephane; reverse eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings open, ΠTOΛE upward on left, wreath left; ex Ora Eads Collection; ex CNG Sale 41 (19 Mar 1997), lot 1035 (part of); scarce; $60.00 (51.00)


Tarsos, Cilicia, c. 380 - 360 B.C.

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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.
GS58069. Silver obol, SNG BnF 310 - 311, SNG Levante 217 - 218, F, weight 0.458 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, obverse uncertain female head facing slightly left; reverse bust of Aphrodite right, wearing tainia; $36.00 (30.60)







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Aphrodite or Venus