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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Bull or Cow||View Options:  |  |  |   

Cattle on Ancient Coins
Thourioi, Lucania, Italy, c. 400 - 350 B.C.

|Italy|, |Thourioi,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |400| |-| |350| |B.C.|, |nomos|
The head of Athena is probably that of the sea-goddess Athena Skyletria. The bull may be a symbol of Dionysos or may have been derived from the archaic coins of Sybaris and symbolize the river Krathis. A more romantic view is that the butting bull symbolizes the rushing waters of the fountain Thuria from which the city took its name. This denomination is described as a stater, nomos or didrachm in various references and sales listings.
SH95227. Silver nomos, SNG Munchen 1192 (same dies), SNG Oxford 932, SNG Cop 1439, SNG ANS 992, HN Italy 1799, VF, well centered on a tight flan, fine classical style, light iridescent toning, light marks and scratches, weight 7.771 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Thourioi (near Sibari, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy) mint, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing Attic helmet ornamented with Scylla scanning, using left hand to shade her eyes; reverse ΘOYPIΩN, bull butting right, right foreleg raised, double exergue line, the top line solid, the bottom line dotted, fish right in exergue; ex Forum (2016), ex Gorny & Mosch auction 233 (6 Oct 2015), lot 1101; $470.00 SALE |PRICE| $423.00


Rhegion, Bruttium, Italy, c. 494 - 480 B.C.

|Italy|, |Rhegion,| |Bruttium,| |Italy,| |c.| |494| |-| |480| |B.C.|, |drachm|
Rhegion reached great artistic and cultural heights. It was home to academies, such as the Pythagorean School, and to poets, historians and sculptors such as Ibycus, Ippy, and Pythagoras. It was an important ally of the Roman Republic. Rhegium flourished during the Imperial Age but was devastated by several major earthquakes and tsunami. St. Paul passed through Rhegium on his final voyage to Rome.
SL91514. Silver drachm, HN Italy p. 190, 2469; SNG ANS 621; SNG Munchen 1565; SNG Cop 1923; BMC Italy p. 373, 1; HGC 1 1630 (R2), NGC VF, strike 4/5, surface 2/5 (2416171-008), weight 5.280 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 270o, Rhegium mint, c. 494 - 480 B.C.; obverse lion's scalp facing; reverse RE-CI-N-O-N (retrograde from 5:00), calf head left; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; very rare; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00


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

|Roman| |Judea| |and| |Palestina|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Caesarea| |Maritima,| |Samaria|, |AE| |32|
Caesarea, about 30 miles north of Joppa and about 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem, was the capital of the Roman province of Judaea, the seat of the procurators, and the headquarters of the Roman troops. It was founded by Herod the Great and named after Caesar Augustus.
JD93012. Bronze AE 32, Hendin 836, SNG ANS 766, Rosenberger 24, Kadman Caesarea 27, F, green patina, grainy, earthen deposits, weight 18.384 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, obverse IMP TRA HADRIANO CAES AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL I FL AVG, Hadrian, as priest-founder, plowing right with oxen, Nike flying left above holding wreath, CAESAREN in exergue; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (surface find, Caesarea, Israel, 1972); $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 440 - 430 B.C.

|Italy|, |Metapontion,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |440| |-| |430| |B.C.|, |obol|
Metapontum was one of the cities where the doctrines and sect of Pythagoras obtained the firmest footing. Even when the Pythagoreans were expelled from Crotona, they maintained themselves at Metapontum, where the philosopher himself retired, and where he ended his days. The Metapontines paid the greatest respect to his memory; they consecrated the house in which he had lived as a temple to Ceres, and gave to the street in which it was situated the name of the Museum. His tomb was still shown there in the days of Cicero.
GS91978. Silver obol, Noe-Johnston 2, pl. 44, 346.3; SNG Ash 680; SNG Stockholm 192; HN Italy 1500 var. (horns downward); HGC I 1087 (R2) var. (same); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, flow lines, slightly off center, tiny edge splits, weight 0.435 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, die axis 0o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 440 - 430 B.C.; obverse ear of barley in border of large dots; reverse ox head facing with horns pointed upward; ex FORVM (2009); very rare; $270.00 SALE |PRICE| $243.00


Phasis, Colchis, c. 425 - 320 B.C.

|Other| |Thrace| |&| |Moesia|, |Phasis,| |Colchis,| |c.| |425| |-| |320| |B.C.|, |half| |siglos|
Phasis, Colchis (near modern Poti, Georgia) was on the eastern Black Sea coast at the mouth of the river Phasis. It was a Milesian Greek colony founded in the 7th or 6th century B.C., probably a mixed HellenicĖbarbarian city in which Greek settlers coexisted peacefully with natives. In mythology, Jason went to Phasis to find the Golden Fleece. Phasis appears in numerous Classical sources. Strabo and Pliny identify it as important on the trade route from India to the Black Sea. Hippocrates calls it an emporion, "a trading place." Phasis came under Roman control during the Third Mithridatic War. In 65 B.C., Pompey met the admiral of his Euxine fleet at Phasis. The name "Phasis" is the origin of the word "pheasant."Kolchis_Map
GB91700. Billon half siglos, SNG Stancomb 633, BMC Black Sea 1014, SNG Cop 98, SNG Delepierre 2469, Hind 7, HGC 7 215 (C), gVF, attractive old cabinet toning, small edge splits, half of obv. and rev. borders off flan, weight 2.115 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 0o, Phasis (near Poti, Georgia) mint, c. 425 - 320 B.C.; obverse archaic female head right; reverse bull head and neck right; scarce; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00


Lamponeia, Troas, c. 5th - Early 4th Century B.C.

|Troas|, |Lamponeia,| |Troas,| |c.| |5th| |-| |Early| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|, |hemiobol|
Lamponeia was on the southern coast of Troas, on the long crest of a mountain, above the modern village of Kozlu in Canakkale Province, Turkey. From this site, the city could monitor sea traffic on the coast and control a narrow valley which connected Assos to the cities of the middle Skamander valley. The settlement was 800 m long and protected by a 7 m thick circuit wall of rough masonry and boulders, dated to the 6th century B.C. In the 5th century B.C. the city was a member of the Delian League and paid Athens a modest tribute of 1,000 drachms (on one occasion in 430/429 1,400 drachms). In the late 5th and early 4th century B.C. the city minted bronze coinage, but thereafter disappears from the historical record. It is possible that soon after the site was abandoned and its citizens moved to Assos. Late Roman and Byzantine period finds suggest that the site was reoccupied in this period, perhaps as a defensive measure against piracy and brigandage.
GS89698. Silver hemiobol, cf. SNG Cop 444 (obol); SNG TŁbingen 2649 (triobol); Traitť 2295; BMC Troas p. 72, 12 (hemidrachm); SNG Munchen Ė; SNG Kayhan -; Klein -, VF, well centered, toned, porous, oval flan, weight 0.270 g, maximum diameter 8.1 mm, die axis 0o, Lamponeia (near Kozlu, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 5th - early 4th century B.C.; obverse bearded head of Dionysos right, hair bound in taenia; reverse facing head of bull, ΛAM around clockwise from lower left, all within a shallow incuse square; ex Beast Coins, this type is apparently unpublished in references as a hemidrachm, but larger denominations with the same types are published, and five hemiobol specimens are known from auctions over the last two decades; extremely rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Parion, Mysia(?)

|Parium|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.,| |Parion,| |Mysia(?)|, |AE| |17|
The attribution of this very rare type to Parium is uncertain. See RPC II p. 137.

The ceremonial founding of a new Roman colony included plowing a furrow, the pomerium, a sacred boundary, around the site of the new city.
RP94085. Bronze AE 17, RPC II Online 889 (12 spec.), SNGvA 6202 (Germa, Galatia), BMC Mysia -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, F, mottled green patina, bumps and scratches, slightly off center, obverse legend not fully struck, weight 4.016 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Parion, Mysia(?) mint, 13 Sep 81 - 18 Sep 96 A.D.; obverse DOMIT AVG (clockwise from the upper right), laureate head left; reverse priest plowing right with two oxen, marking the pomerium (sacred boundary marked for the foundation of a new Roman colony), GERM in exergue; zero sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


Parion, Mysia, 4th Century B.C.

|Parium|, |Parion,| |Mysia,| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|, |hemidrachm|
BMC assigns the ethnic bearing side as the coin reverse. SNG Copenhagen and other references list this Parion issue with the bull side as the obverse and the Gorgoneion side as the reverse. The latter is correct since on many of the coins the Gorgoneion was clearly struck with the mobile hammer die, same as this coin.
GS95235. Silver hemidrachm, SNG BnF 1385; SNGvA 7424; BMC Mysia p. 96, 31; SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, porous, reverses a little off-center, weight 2.387 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 0o, Parion (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 4th Century B.C.; obverse bull standing left, looking right, ΠA/PI in two lines above and below bull, phiale or shield (control symbol) below; reverse gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa), surrounded by snakes; ex Forum (2015); $170.00 SALE |PRICE| $153.00


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Sidon, Phoenicia

|Roman| |Phoenicia|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.,| |Sidon,| |Phoenicia|, |AE| |23|
Zeus was enamored of Europa and decided to seduce or ravish her. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father's herds. While Europa and her female attendants were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, and eventually got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete. Zeus gave her a necklace made by Hephaestus and three additional gifts: Talos, Laelaps and a javelin that never missed. Zeus later re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars, which is now known as the constellation Taurus.
RP91511. Bronze AE 23, Rouvier 1457 (no star visible); RPC I 4612 (9 spec.); BMC Phoenicia p. 178, 208, gF, grainy and porous, scratches, weight 10.556 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse laureate head right, star lower right (star not visible, RPC notes the star is often faint but likely all originally had a star); reverse veiled Europa seated on bull left, holding bull's horn with right hand, inflated veil billowing overhead in left hand, ΣI∆ΩNOΣ over L HMP (year 148) below; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

|Amphipolis|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Amphipolis,| |Macedonia|, |AE| |23|
Tauropolos is an epithet for the goddess Artemis, variously interpreted to mean worshiped at Tauris (Crimea), or pulled by a yoke of bulls, or the hunting bull goddess. A statue of Artemis Tauropolos by Iphigenia in her temple at Brauron in Attica was said to have been from the Taurians. The festival of Artemis at Athens was called the Tauropolia.
RP92733. Bronze AE 23, RPC I 1630; SNG ANS 162; SNG Cop 92; AMNG III 71; BMC Macedonia p. 52, 76; Varbanov III 3117 (R5), F, spots of corrosion, deposits and encrustations, a little off center, weight 6.708 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Amphipolis mint, 16 Jan 27 B.C. - 19 Aug 14 A.D.; obverse KAIΣAROΣ ΣEBAΣTOΣ, bare head right; reverse Artemis Tauropolos seated facing riding on bull galloping right, holding billowing veil with both hands, ∆HMOY AMΦIΠOΛITΩN in two lines below; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00 ON RESERVE




  



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REFERENCES|

Molinari, N.J. & N. Sisci. Potamikon: Sinews of Acheloios. A Comprehensive Catalog of the Bronze Coinage of the Man-Faced Bull, With Essays on Origin and Identity. (Oxford, 2016).

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