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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Birds ▸ DoveView Options:  |  |  | 

Doves on Ancient Coins

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Ascalon, Philistia

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Askalon lies on the shore of the Mediterranean, ten miles north of Gaza and about 40 miles south of Joppa. Herod the Great ruled all of Palestine, except Askalon, which remained a free city. Today, a national park at Ashqelon, Israel includes ruins of Canaanite, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Crusader walls and buildings. Ascalon's era of autonomy, used to date this coin, began in 104 B.C.
BB75616. Bronze AE 22, Sofaer Collection 105; Rosenberger 138; Yashin 151, BMC Palestine p. 124, 145; SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, F, porous, weight 9.954 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, Askalon (Ashqelon, Israel) mint, 111 - 112 A.D.; obverse CEBACTOS (or similar), laureate head right; reverse ACKAΛO, Tyche-Astarte standing left on galley, standard vertical before in right hand, aphlaston cradled in left arm, altar in left field, dove over EIC (year 215) lower right; rare; $90.00 (Ä80.10)


Katane, Sicily, c. 212 - 50 B.C.

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In 212 B.C., after a two-year siege, despite defenses designed by the Greek mathematician and scientist Archimedes, the Roman general Marcus Claudius Marcellus forced his way into Syracuse. Although Marcellus wished to spare the Syracusans, he was unable to stop his soldiers from sacking the city. Archimedes was killed. Marcellus carried off the art treasures of Syracuse to Rome, the first recorded instance of a practice which was to become common.
GB66786. Bronze two chalkoi, Calciati III p. 110, 25; SNG ANS 1278; SNG Morcom 563; HGC 2 612 (R1); BMC Sicily p. 51, 65 corr.; SNG Cop -, VF, weight 3.126 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 315o, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 212 - 50 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse KATA/NAIΩN, Aphrodite Hyblaia (or Isis?) standing right, wearing kalathos on head, holding dove in extended right, II (2 chalkoi) right; $75.00 (Ä66.75)


Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 100 - 60 B.C.

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The affectionate dove, the bird of love, was sacred to the goddess Venus (Aphrodite). Doves were said to draw her heavenly chariot, and the Syrian Aphrodite Ashtarte was said to have been hatched from an egg nursed by doves. The phrase attributed to Jesus, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10.16), was no random metaphor but a traditional Syrian invocation.
SH57824. Silver triobol, BCD Peloponnesos 341; SNG Cop 101 var. (no T on obverse), VF, weight 2.284 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Sikyon mint, magistrate Polykra, c. 100 - 60 B.C.; obverse dove flying left, T above and behind wing; reverse large Σ, ΠO/Λ−Y/KPA around, all within incuse square; ex ACCG auction IV, lot 12; ex CNG auction 81, lot 2157; ex BCD Collection (not in LHS sale) with his tag dated Oct 1985; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Saturday, July 22, 2017.
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Doves