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Mytilene on the southeast edge of Lesbos, opposite the mainland, was founded about 1054 B.C. It was initially confined to a small island just offshore that later was joined to Lesbos, creating a north and south harbor. In the 7th century B.C., Mytilene successfully contested for the leadership of Lesbos with Methymna, on the north side of the island. Mytilene became the center of the island's prosperous eastern hinterland.SH86292. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 13, SNGvA 1685, SNG Cop 301, Boston MFA 1679; BMC Lesbos p. 157, 20; HGC 6 938 (S), Choice EF, weight 2.547 g, maximum diameter 10.3 mm, die axis 0o, Mytilene mint, c. 521 - 478 B.C.; obverse roaring lion's head right; reverseincuse calf's head left; $2000.00 (€1700.00)
Paeonian Kingdom, Lykkeios, c. 358 - 335 B.C.
"There is no particular historical record preserved on king Lycceius, the heir of Agis. It is known that after the death of Agis in 359/8 BC, Paeonia had to recognize the Macedonian sovereignty, after it was defeated by the newly enthroned Macedonian king Phillip II (359–336 BC) (Diod. XVI. 4.2); at that time, Lycceius was probably already ruling in Paeonia. Still, it seems that at the time of Lycceius, Paeonia had not completely lost its independence, but it rather had a subordinate status to Macedonia (Merker 1965, 44). His monetary production testifies for the existence of a separate state identity, and it of course confirms his factual reign of the Paeonian Kingdom. Actually, it was Lycceius who was the first Paeonian king who issued coins with his own name. These are specimens that are very rare, and they are not often discovered, especially not as hoarded wealth." -- Eftimija Pavlovska in "A Coin Hoard of the Paeonian King Lycceius"SH86518. Silver tetradrachm, Pavlovska, type I, 1 (O(I)1/R2); Paeonian Hoard 63; SNG ANS 1019; AMNG III/2, p. 200, 8; Babylon IV 1253; HGC 3.1 142 (S), aEF, attractive style, toned, obverse off center, light scratches, edge cracks, weight 13.154 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 90o, Astibos or Damastion mint, c. 358/356 - 335 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse ΛYKK-EIOY, Herakles crouching left, nude, strangling Nemean lion with left arm, club in raised right hand, bow and quiver on ground lower right; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins, ex HarlanBerk; rare; $1450.00 (€1232.50)
Mytilene, Lesbos, c. 521 - 478 B.C.
Mytilene on the southeast edge of Lesbos, opposite the mainland, was founded about 1054 B.C. It was initially confined to a small island just offshore that later was joined to Lesbos, creating a north and south harbor. In the 7th century B.C., Mytilene successfully contested for the leadership of Lesbos with Methymna, on the north side of the island. Mytilene became the center of the island's prosperous eastern hinterland.SH86212. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 13 (b/ζ), SNGvA 1685, SNG Cop 301, BMC Lesbos p. 157, 20; HGC 6 938 (S), gVF, well centered, edge cracks, weight 2.579 g, maximum diameter 10.7 mm, die axis 90o, Mytilene mint, c. 521 - 478 B.C.; obverse roaring lion's head right; reverseincuse calf's head right; scarce; $1200.00 (€1020.00)
Knidos, Caria, c. 210 - 185 B.C.
The ancient Carian city of Knidos, near modern Tekir, Turkey, was described by Strabo as "built for the most beautiful of goddesses, Aphrodite, on the most beautiful of peninsulas." The legendary Aphrodite of Praxiteles, one of the most beautiful sculptures of antiquity, once graced her temple at Knidos. It has perished, but late copies exist, of which the most faithful is in the Vatican Museums. A fine seated statue of Demeter and a colossal figure of a lion found there are in the British Museum.GS86557. Silver didrachm, SNG Cop 318, Imhoof-Blumer Karische 32, Waddington 2312, SNG Keckman -, SNGvA -, SNG Kayhan -, SNG Mün -, SNG Tüb -, SNG Mugla -, BMC Caria -, aEF, toned, tight flan typical for the type, encrustations, light corrosion, edge cracks, weight 5.531 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Knidos (near Tekir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Agephon..., c. 210 - 185 B.C.; obversehead of Helios facing slightly right; reverse forepart of roaring lion right, club to left, KNI∆ION above, AΓEΦΩN (magistrate) below; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; rare; $580.00 (€493.00)
Lydian Kingdom, Kroisos, c. 561 - 546 B.C.
The Lydian King Croesus minted the first silver and gold coins. He was famous for his extraordinary wealth, but after his defeat by Cyrus in 546 B.C. Lydia became a Persian satrapy. The Persian conquerors of Lydia continued to strike the same Croesus' silver half siglos and gold stater types. This coin is an early example issued under Croesus. We can tell it is an early example because the lion and the bull were struck separately, with one punch at a time. Later examples appear to have been struck with single punch only made to look like two separate punches. GA86620. Silver siglos (half-stater), BMC Lydia p. 7, 45, pl. 1, 18; SNG Cop 456; SNG Kayhan 1024; SNG Ashmolean 762; SNGvA 2877; Rosen 663; SGCV II 3420, VF, toned, etched surfaces, minor flan flaw on lion, weight 5.174 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, probably Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 561 - 546 B.C.; obverse on the left, forepart of a roaring lion right, confronting, on the right, the forepart of a bull left; reverse two incuse square punches, of unequal size, side by side; $380.00 (€323.00)
Syracuse, Sicily, Agathokles, 317 - 289 B.C.
With an army of mercenaries, through deceit, and after banishing or murdering some 10,000 citizens, Agathocles made himself master of Syracuse and later most of Sicily. Machiavelli wrote of him, "It cannot be called prowess to kill fellow-citizens, to betray friends, to be treacherous, pitiless, and irreligious" and cited him as an example of "those who by their crimes come to be princes." According to the historian Justin, very early in life Agathocles parlayed his remarkable beauty into a career as a prostitute, first for men, and later, after puberty, for women, and then made a living by robbery before becoming a soldier and marrying a rich widow.GI76945. Bronze litra, Calciati II p. 287, 150 Ds 14 Rs 63; BMC Sicily p. 196, 391; SNG ANS 740; SNG Cop 767; HGC 2 1465 var. (R1, 4th Democracy, different controls), aEF, dark sea-green patina, light marks, small spots of light corrosion, flan with ragged edge splits, weight 8.501 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 315o, Syracuse mint, 305 - 295 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, head of young Herakles left, wearing taenia, star (control symbol) behind neck; reverselion walking right, right foreleg raised, club right above, arrow right (control symbol) in exergue; $240.00 (€204.00)
Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D., Hierapolis, Cyrrhestica, Syria
Modern Membij, was renamed Hierapolis, (Holy City) by Seleucus Nicator and his wife Stratonice when they built a temple for the goddess of fertility and water, Atargatis (dea Syria). The city retained the name Hierapolis for only a few hundred years. Religious ceremonies before Roman times may have included child sacrifice. -- The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and Their Fractions by Michael and Karin PrieurRY85320. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 947 (43 spec.), Bellinger Syrian 108, SNG Cop -, BMC Galatia -, VF, light toning, attractive style, tight flan, reverse slightly off center, light marks, porous, edge split, weight 13.025 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Cyrrhestica, Hierapolis-Bambyce (Membij, Syria) mint, Middle May - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AYT K M OΠEΛ ANTΩEINOC, radiate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC (holder of Tribunitian power, consul), eagle standing facing, wings spread, head right, wreath in beak, lion walking right between eagle's legs; $225.00 (€191.25)
Phistelia, Campania, Italy, c. 325 - 275 B.C.
The Samnites were early Rome's most formidable rivals. The Samnite Wars extended over half a century, involving almost all the states of Italy. By 290 B.C., after decades of hard fought battles the Romans broke the Samnites' power. They rose up again and allied with Pyrrhus during the Pyrrhic War. After Pyrrhus was defeated Samnium submitted to Rome but rose up again and joined Hannibal during the Second Punic War. The Samnites were the last tribal group holding out against Rome in the Social War. Sulla conducted an ethnic cleansing campaign against this most stubborn and persistent of Rome's adversaries and by 82 B.C. forced the remnant to disperse. So great was the destruction that it was recorded that "the towns of Samnium have become villages, and most have vanished altogether." Phistelia was apparently among those that vanished. At present it is known only by its coins. GS86685. Silver obol, SNG ANS 584; SNG France 1134; Rutter pg. 180, Group IV; HN Italy 619, VF, toned, small flan crack, lightly etched surfaces, weight 0.611 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 180o, Phistelia mint, c. 325 - 275 B.C.; obverse female head facing slightly left; reverselion left, snake left with one coil in exergue; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex CNG e-auction 148 (20 Sep 2006), lot 93; ex David Herman Collection; ex CNG Sale XXXI (9-10 Sep 1994), lot 21; $180.00 (€153.00)
Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.
Cybele, called mother of the gods, was originally Anatolian mother goddess. In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater ("Great Mother"). Roman mythographers reinvented her as a Trojan goddess, and thus an ancestral goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas. With Rome's eventual hegemony over the Mediterranean world, Romanised forms of Cybele's cults spread throughout the Roman Empire.RS85214. Silver denarius, RIC IV C382 (S); BMCRE V p. 432, 14; RSC III 137; SRCV II 7401, Choice gVF, bold well centered strike, light toning, weight 3.517 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, reign of Caracalla, 211 - 215 A.D.; obverse IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, flat coil at back of head, looped plait from ear and on neck; reverseMATRI DEVM, Cybele standing facing, legs crossed, leaning with left arm resting on a column, head left, towered and veiled, drum in right hand, long scepter resting against left arm, lion left at feet half visible from behind legs to left; scarce; $160.00 (€136.00)
Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 450 - 400 B.C.
These very small fractions always weigh less than the theoretical weight for the denomination. They were often struck significantly below the theoretical weight. Wear, corrosion and porosity have usually further reduced the weight over time. They may even weigh less than half their theoretical weight. Assigning the denomination during attribution is often speculative.GA85721. Silver obol, SNG BnF 378; SNG Cop 48; SNG Kayhan 55; BMC Mysia p. 35, 118; Von Fritze II 11, gVF, sharp detail, lightly etched surfaces, earthen deposits, tight flan, weight 0.798 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 270o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse forepart of boar running left, reversed E on side, tunny fish upwards behind (tunny off flan); reversehead of roaring lion left within incuse square; $150.00 (€127.50)