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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Animals ▸ LionView Options:  |  |  |   

Lions on Ancient Coins

Aspendos, Pamphylia, c. 465 - 420 B.C.

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In 467 B.C. the Athenian statesman and military commander Cimon, and his fleet of 200 ships, destroyed the Persian navy based at the mouth of the river Eurymedon in a surprise attack. In order to crush to Persian land forces, he tricked the Persians by sending his best fighters ashore wearing the garments of the hostages he had seized earlier. When they saw these men, the Persians thought that they were compatriots freed by the enemy and arranged festivities in celebration. Taking advantage of this, Cimon landed and annihilated the Persians. Aspendos then became a member of the Attic-Delos Maritime league.
SH87202. Silver stater, SNG BnF 13; SNGvA 4484 var. (turtle control symbol on obv. and rev.); BMC Pamphylia p. 94, 9 & pl. XIX,6; SNG Cop -, SNG Pfalzer -, VF, well centered, toned, bumps and marks, obverse struck with a very worn die, edge crack, weight 11.209 g, maximum diameter 21.53 mm, Aspendos mint, c. 465 - 420 B.C.; obverse warrior advancing right, wearing crested helmet, couched spear in right hand, round shield on left arm; reverse triskeles of human legs left, lion crouching left on far side, EΣT above, all within an incuse square; very rare; $800.00 (680.00)


Syracuse, Sicily, Agathokles, 317 - 289 B.C.

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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; reverse lion walking right, right foreleg raised, club right above, arrow right (control symbol) in exergue; $195.00 (165.75)


Marion, Cyprus, Stasiakos II, c. 330 - 312 B.C.

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Stasiakos II, king of Marion, was deposed in 312 B.C. by Ptolemy I and the city of Marion was destroyed. This extremely rare type was apparently unpublished until 1998. Coin Archives lists only one sale of this type in the past two decades.
GB87141. Bronze AE 20, Destrooper 16; Bank of Cyprus 10; Symeonides 63 ff., cf. Tziambazis 57 (AE16, lion head facing), SNG Cop -, BMC Cyprus -, VF, rough, weight 7.634 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, Marion mint, c. 330 - 312 B.C.; obverse round shield ornamented with laurel wreath; reverse MAPIEYΣ (below), lion head left; extremely rare; $175.00 (148.75)


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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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; reverse MATRI 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; $140.00 (119.00)


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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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); reverse head of roaring lion left within incuse square; $135.00 (114.75)


Rhegion, Bruttium, Italy, c. 415 - 387 B.C.

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Rhegion reached great artistic and cultural heights. It was home to academies, such as the Pythagorean School, and to well-known poets, historians and sculptors such 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 (Acts XXVIII:13).
GS79976. Silver litra, SNG Cop 1936; SNG ANS 670; SNG Munchen 1588; SNG Tub 536; HN Italy 2495; BMC Italy p. 376, 30, VF, well centered, nice style, uneven toning, light corrosion, weight 0.722 g, maximum diameter 10.2 mm, die axis 90o, Rhegion mint, c. 415 - 387 B.C.; obverse facing lion scalp mask; reverse olive sprig with two olives, PH between the leaves; $125.00 (106.25)


Leontinoi, Sicily, 477 - 466 B.C.

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Leontini was founded as by colonists from Naxos in 729 B.C., itself a Chalcidian colony established five years earlier. It was the only significant Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, being some 6 miles inland. The site, originally held by the Sicels, was seized by the Greeks owing to its command of the fertile plain to the north. The city was reduced to subject status in 498 B.C. by Hippocrates of Gela, and in 476 B.C. Hieron of Syracuse moved the inhabitants from Catania and Naxos to Leontini. This coin was struck during a period of independence during which Leontini sought the support of Athens against Syracuse. In part, this request led to Athens' failed Sicilian Expeditions, after which Athens declined. Leontini was again made subject to Syracuse in 415 B.C.
GS85702. Silver obol, Boehringer Leontinoi 19; SNG Fitz 1039; SNG Mn 547; BMC Sicily p. 88, 19; SNG ANS 214 var. (ΛE/ON); SNG Cop 342 var. (same); HGC 2 687 (same), gVF, toned, well struck, weight 0.550 g, maximum diameter 10.8 mm, die axis 90o, Leontinoi mint, 477 - 466 B.C.; obverse facing lion scalp; reverse ΛE-ON (clockwise), barley grain, in shallow round incuse; $125.00 (106.25)


Chersonesos, Thrace, c. 400 - 338 B.C.

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Chersonesos is Greek for 'peninsula' and several cities used the name. The city in Thracian Chersonesos (the Gallipoli peninsula) that struck these coins is uncertain. The coins may have been struck at Cardia by the peninsula as a league, or perhaps they were struck by lost city on the peninsula named Chersonesos. Chersonesos was controlled by Athens from 560 B.C. to 338 B.C., aside from a brief period during this time when it was controlled by Persia. It was taken by Philip II of Macedonia in 338 B.C., Pergamon in 189 B.C., and Rome in 133 B.C. It was later ruled by the Byzantine Empire and then by the Ottoman Turks.
GS86794. Silver hemidrachm, BMC Thrace p. 183, 10; McClean 4081; SNG Cop -, VF, well centered, light encrustations, some die wear, minor flan flaws on reverse, weight 2.021 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 0o, Chersonesos mint, c. 400 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left; reverse quadripartite incuse with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, palm frond in one sunken quarter, pellet in the opposite sunken quarter; $110.00 (93.50)


Pantikapaion, Tauric Chersonesos, c. 480 - 470 B.C.

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Panticapaeum (Kerch, Ukraine) was an important city and port in Tauric Chersonesos on the western side of the Cimmerian Bosporus. It was founded by Milesians in the late 7th or early 6th century B.C. In the 5th century B.C. it became the capital of the Thracian kings of Bosporus. The last of the kings of Bosporus left it to Mithridates VI Eupator, king of Pontus. After his defeat to Rome, he committed suicide at Panticapaeum in 63 B.C. In that same year, the city was partly destroyed by an earthquake.
GA86537. Silver hemiobol, Frolova, type I, 25 - 26; SNG Stancomb 511; SNG Fitzwilliam 1592; Klein 73; McClean II 4442; HGC 7 40 (R2), gF, toned, tight irregular flan, etched porous surfaces, weight 0.613 g, maximum diameter 9.1 mm, die axis 0o, Pantikapaion (Kerch, Crimea) mint, c. 480 - 470 B.C.; obverse facing lion head; reverse quadripartite incuse square; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; rare; $100.00 (85.00)


Lycia, Uncertain Dynast, c. 400 - 350 B.C.

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Although we cannot find a match with this inscription, Historia Numorum lists lion scalp and helmeted head of Athena types struck by several dynasts in the first half of the 4th century B.C.
GA87325. Silver obol, Apparently unpublished, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Tub -, Vismara -, Podalia Hoard -, BMC Lycia -, F/VF, significant edge chip, weight 0.579 g, maximum diameter 10.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse lion scalp facing, from above; reverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, Lycian letters (EK?) above, dot border, all within a round incuse; extremely rare; $100.00 (85.00)




  



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