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

Phoenix on Ancient Coins

The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Pronoia (foresight) was an Oceanid nymph and wife of the Titan Prometheus, who was sentenced to eternal torture for stealing fire from the Olympian gods for use by humans.
RX88206. Billon tetradrachm, RPC III 6252; Milne 1560; Geissen 1243; Dattari 1450; BMC Alexandria p. 72, 598; Kampmann 32.770; Emmett 881.22, VF, well centered, light marks and encrustations, weight 12.827 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 137 - 10 Jul 138 A.D.; obverse AVT KAIC TPAI A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate head right; reverse ΠP-O-NOIA, Pronoia (providence, foresight) standing left, wearing a chiton, peplos, and wreath on her head, radiate phoenix in right hand, long scepter transverse in right hand, KB / L (year 22) in lower left field; $90.00 (Ä76.50)


Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D.

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The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'
RL20035. Billon quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 241, LRBC II 1134, Voetter 26, SRCV V 18717, Cohen VII 22, Choice aEF, weight 3.043 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 348 - 19 Jan 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), radiate Phoenix standing right on pyre, ∆SIS and symbol in exergue; SOLD


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'
RL38127. Bronze quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Constantinople 93 (S), LRBC II 2019, Voetter 36, SRCV V 18253, Cohen VII 57, Hunter V -, nice VF, weight 2.536 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 348 - 15 Mar 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), radiate Phoenix standing right on globe, CONSΓ* in exergue; scarce; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Saturday, April 20, 2019.
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Phoenix