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

Lions on Ancient Coins

Assos, Troas, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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Assos was a harbor city on the Gulf of Adramytteion, just north of the island of Lesbos. Hermias, a student of Plato, ruled Assos for a time during the 4th century B.C. He invited Plato's most famous student, Aristotle, who lived and taught in Assos for more than three years. When the Persians took the city, they executed Hermias and Aristotle fled to Lesbos. After visiting Alexandria Troas, Paul walked to Assos and visited the Christians there (Acts 20:13).
GS85697. Silver triobol, Trait II 2304 var. (AΣΣOON), cf. Weber 5320 (drachm), SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Mn , SNG Ash , SNG Kayhan -, SNG Keckman -, VF, attractive style, well centered and struck, a little porous, weight 1.743 g, maximum diameter 12.1 mm, die axis 90o, Assus mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse helmeted and laureate head of Athena left; reverse AΣΣION (retrograde), roaring lion head left, within square incuse; ex Gitbud & Naumann auction 49, lot 177; very rare; $450.00 SALE PRICE $405.00


Miletos, Ionia, c. 600 - 550 B.C.

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By the 6th century B.C., Miletus had earned a maritime empire with many colonies, but brushed up against powerful Lydia at home, and the tyrant Polycrates of its neighbor to the west, Samos. When Cyrus of Persia defeated Croesus of Lydia in the middle of the 6th century B.C., Miletus fell under Persian rule.
SH85713. Electrum 1/24th stater, SNG Kayhan 453, SNGvA 1803, Klein 416, Mitchiner ATEC 210, SNG Cop -, Rosen -, Choice VF, attractive well centered lion head, weight 0.586 g, maximum diameter 6.3 mm, die axis 0o, Miletos (near Balat, Turkey) mint, c. 600 - 550 B.C.; obverse facing lion's head, mane radiating around; reverse irregular incuse punch; $350.00 SALE PRICE $315.00


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; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00


Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D., Hierapolis, Cyrrhestica, Syria

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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 Prieur
RY85320. 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 cuirassed bust 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; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00


Elaios, Thracian Chersonesos, c. 350 - 281 B.C.

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The city of Elaios in Thracian Chersonesos occupied a strategic position on what is now called the Gallipoli peninsula. In the ancient world, it was know for its sanctuary of the Trojan hero Protesilaos. Philostratos, writing of this sanctuary in the early third century A.D., speaks of a temple statue of Protesilaos standing on a base which was shaped like the prow of a boat. Of all the references listed in this coin's attribution, SNG Copenhagen is the only to list any coins of this rare city.
GB85370. Bronze AE 13, SNG Cop 898 (also same countermark); BMC Thrace -, Corpus Nummorum Thracorum -, SNG Tub -, SNG BM -, SNG Stancomb -, SNG Pushkin -, VF, well centered, highlighting earthen deposits, some marks, some corrosion, reverse slightly flattened by counter marking, weight 2.392 g, maximum diameter 13.3 mm, die axis 0o, Elaios mint, c. 350 - 281 B.C.; obverse veiled female head (Demeter?) right (wreathed in grain?); countermark: lion forepart right in an round punch; reverse bee upward, seen from above, EΛAIOY/ΣIΩN flanking in two upward lines first on left, ΠA monogram below; extremely rare; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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This type indicates Severus granted a special favor to Carthage. The water may indicate that he improved the water supply, possibly construction of an aqueduct.
RS79924. Silver denarius, RIC IV 130a; RSC III 97; BMCRE V p. 208, 280; Hunter III 38; SRCV II 6806, Choice VF, nice youth portrait, excellent centering, edge cracks, weight 3.228 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 201 - 206 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse INDVLGENTIA AVGG IN CARTH, Dea Caelestis riding lion right over water gushing from rock, thunderbolt in right hand, scepter in left hand; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Miletos, Ionia, c. Late 6th Century B.C.

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One of the earliest coins struck in silver.
GA85710. Silver 1/12 stater, SNG Kayhan 462; SNG Cop 952; BMC Ionia p. 186, 34; SGCV II 3533, Choice EF, attractive lion, bold strike, toned, weight 1.192 g, maximum diameter 9.8 mm, die axis 0o, Miletos (near Balat, Turkey) mint, c. late 6th century B.C.; obverse forepart of lion left, head turned back right; reverse ornamental pattern in incuse square; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Miletos, Ionia, c. Late 6th Century B.C.

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Before the Persian invasion in the middle of the 6th century B.C., Miletus was the greatest and wealthiest of Greek cities and had a maritime empire with many colonies. After Cyrus of Persia defeated Croesus of Lydia in the middle of the 6th century B.C., Miletus fell under Persian rule.
GA85711. Silver 1/12 stater, SNG Kayhan 476; SNG Cop 944; BMC Ionia p 185, 22; SGCV II 3532, Choice EF, toned, light marks, slight porosity, weight 1.179 g, maximum diameter 10 mm, die axis 0o, Miletos (near Balat, Turkey) mint, c. late 6th century B.C.; obverse forepart of lion right, head turned back left; reverse ornamental pattern in incuse square; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Akanthos, Macedonia, c. 525 - 470 B.C.

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Akanthos was on the Athos peninsula of Chalcidice, near modern Ierissos. The name Akanthos (derived from the acanthus bush) may refer to the thorny nature of the town's foundation. According to Thucydides, in the 7th century B.C., colonists from Andros and Chalcis arrived on the shore near Acanthus at the same time. The frightened natives fled. When the colonists realized the town was empty, each group sent a runner to take the town first. The Chalcidian was the fastest but the Andrian, seeing he was losing, stopped and threw his spear in the city's gate before his opponent arrived. A court case followed, which was won by the Andrians because they had "taken over" the city first.
GA85066. Silver tetrobol, SNG Cop 7; SNG ANS 18; SNG Berry 4; Weber II 1875, BMC Macedonia p. 33, 10; AMNG III/2 13; Rosen 84, VF, well centered, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.317 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, Akanthos (Ierissos, Greece) mint, c. 525 - 470 B.C.; obverse forepart of lion right, head turned so the top of the head is seen, floral ornament (acanthus?) above, dotted line at truncation, dotted ground line; reverse quadripartite incuse square; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 245, part of lot 1906; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


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; 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; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00




  



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