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Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III The Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Lifetime Issue
Lifetime issue! At the time of the Battle of Issus, Darius had his headquarters at Damascus. Alexander captured a great treasure there and established a mint in 330 B.C. or soon after to strike the silver into his coinage.GS82753. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3214, Müller Alexander 1342, Demanhur 3247 - 3249, Newell Reattribution 180, VF, attractive style, light toning, obverse off center but full face on flan, bumps, marks, porosity, weight 16.932 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Syria, Damaskos mint, c. 330 - 323 B.C.; obversehead of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress, forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ram forepart right in left field, A between struts under seat and ∆A below, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; very rare; $680.00 (€578.00)
Northern Syria, 3rd Century A.D.
This type has long been attributed to Pharaoh Nektanebo II. Butcher, however, notes it is quite common in the vicinity of Antioch and in Northern Syria and the obversestyle is similar to third century Antiochene zodiacal type coins. He suggests they may have been struck under Hadrian.RY77448. Bronze AE 16, Butcher p. 405, 11; Weiser p. 16, 1 (Nektanebo II, Memphis, Egypt), aVF, scratches and marks, weight 3.396 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, 3rd century A.D.; obverse ram (Ares) leaping left, head turned back right; reverse balance scale (Libra); $180.00 (€153.00)
Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria, 55 - 56 A.D.
Michael Molnar, an astronomer, believes this coin depicts Jupiter's occultation of Aries in 6 B.C., the most probable "Star of Bethlehem." We think it is unlikely; nevertheless, the type is very popular and somewhat expensive. RY83925. Bronze AE 19, McAlee 100 (rare); RPC I 4286 (6 spec.); SNG Cop 99; BMC Galatia p. 160, 69 var. (star within crescent), Choice gVF, attractive black patina with red earthen highlighting, well centered and struck, some porosity, weight 5.804 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, reign of Nero, legate series, 55 - 56 A.D.; obverse ANTIOXEΩN, veiled and turreted head of Tyche right; reverse EΠI KOYA∆PATOY, ram leaping right, looking back, star above (no crescent), ET ∆P (year 104 of the Caesarean Era) below; this type is nicknamed "The Star of Bethlehem Coin"; rare; $165.00 (€140.25)
Kebren, Troas, 5th Century B.C.
Kebren (or Cebren, or Cebrene) was in the middle Skamander valley in the Troad region of Anatolia. Its remains have been located in the forested foothills of Mount Ida (modern Kaz Dagi), approximately 7 km to the south of the Skamander. Archaeological remains suggest that in the mid-7th and early 6th century B.C. Kebren as a mixed Greco-Anatolian community. Writing in the early 4th century B.C., Xenophon implies that the population of Kebren was still both Greek and Anatolian. In the 5th century B.C., Kebren was a member of the Delian League and is listed in the Hellespontine district paying tribute to Athens. Following the defeat of Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War in 404 B.C., Kebren came under the control of Zenis, the tyrant of Dardanus, and his wife Mania who together controlled the Troad on behalf of the Persian satrap Pharnabazos. Kebren was captured by the Spartan commander Dercylidas in 399 B.C., but soon after returned to Persian control. In 360 to 359, the Greek mercenary commander Charidemus briefly captured the city before being repelled by the Persian satrap Artabazos. At some point in the 4th century B.C. Kebren produced coinage depicting a satrap's head as the obversetype, indicating the city's close relationship with its Persian overlords. Kebren ceased to exist as an independent city about 310 B.C., when Antigonus I Monophthalmus founded Antigonia Troas (after 301 B.C. renamed Alexandria Troas) and included Kebren in the synoecism.GA76288. Silver obol, Klein 312, SNG Kayhan 1051 - 1052 (Lykia?), SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Troas -, aEF, toned, grainy etched surfaces, weight 0.570 g, maximum diameter 7.3 mm, Kebren mint, 5th century B.C.; obversehead of ram left; reverse irregularly divided incuse square; rare; $130.00 (€110.50)
Pheneos, Arkadia, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 360 - 340 B.C.
Feneos lies at the foot of Mount Cyllene, mythical birthplace of the god Hermes. It therefore was an important cult center for the god, notably during the annual festival of the Hermaea. Catullus (Poem 68) mentions the seasonal flooding of the plain and says it was drained by an underground channel dug by Hercules during his Twelve Labors. According to Herodotus the river Styx originates near Feneos. In the Aeneid, Evander's fond memories of a visit by Aeneas' father Anchises to Feneos are one factor in his decision to ally his Arcadian colonists to the Trojans.GB86131. Bronze dichalkon, BCD Peloponnesos 1611; BMC Peloponnesus p. 193, 8; Traité III 893; SNG Cop -; Weber II -, F, dark green patina, well centered, bumps, marks, light corrosion, weight 4.465 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Pheneos (Feneos, Greece) mint, c. 370 - 340 B.C.; obversehead of young Hermes right, cloak tied tied around neck and petasos suspended by cord behind; reverse ΦENEΩ[N], ram standing right, ΣI below ram; ex CNG, ex BCD Collection with his handwritten tag noting, "Ex Peirese auction of 25 Nov 95, part of lot 2, the lot of 25 pcs. for FF 750 + 11%"; very rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
Pheneos, Arkadia, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 370 - 340 B.C.
Traité III 894 says ΣI below and does not describe the AP in the exergue, but the plate appears to match our coin. The other referenced examples have only ΦE above the ram and nothing below on the reverse.
Feneos lies at the foot of Mount Cyllene, the mythical birthplace Hermes. It therefore was an important cult center for Hermes, notably during the annual festival of the Hermaea. Catullus (Poem 68) mentions the seasonal flooding of the plain, drained by an underground channel dug by Hercules during his Twelve Labors. According to Herodotus the river Styx originates near Feneos. In the Aeneid, Evander's fond memories of a visit by Aeneas' father Anchises to Feneos are one factor in his decision to ally his Arcadian colonists to the Trojans.GB85898. Bronze chalkous, Traité III 894 corr. & pl. CCXXV, 3; cf. BCD Peloponnesos 1603; SNG Cop 272; BMC Peloponnesus p. 193, 7, pl. 36, 5; Weber II 4320, F, rough, weight 2.162 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 0o, Pheneos (Feneos, Greece) mint, c. 370 - 340 B.C.; obversehead of young Hermes right, cloak tied tied around neck and petasos suspended by cord behind; reverse ram standing right, ΦE above, IΣ below ram, AP in exergue; ex Pecunem auction 33 (5 Jul 2015), part of lot 767, ex CNG, ex BCD Collection with his round tag; very rare; $60.00 (€51.00)
Halos, Thessaly, Greece, c. 302 - 265 B.C.
Athamas, the mythical founder of Halos, had two children with his first wife, Nephele, Phrixus and Helle. Athamas' second wife Ino, jealous for her own two children with Athamas pretended that an oracle demanded that Phrixus and Helle must be sacrificed to Zeus. Just as the sacrifice was prepared, the cloud nymph Nephele descended and placed the children on a ram with a golden fleece given to her by Hermes. The ram flew off to safety but Helle fell off and drowned in the Hellespont, which was named for the accident. Phrixus landed in Colchis, sacrificed the ram to Zeus and hung up the fleece, where Jason would later obtain it.GB75129. Bronze dichalkon, BCD Thessaly II 86.2; Reinder series 6; Rogers 241, fig. 114; SNG Cop 64; HGC 4 8 (R2), gF, rough, corrosion, weight 2.868 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 195o, Halos mint, c. 302 - 265 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reversePhrixos clinging to neck and chest of the golden ram flying right, nude but for cloak billowing behind him, AX monogram to upper left; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 12 (1 Nov 2014), lot 268; ex Frank James Collection; rare; $36.00 (€30.60)