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Cybele was the Phrygian deification of the Earth Mother.
Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.
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; reverseMATRI 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; $160.00 (€136.00)
Samothrace, Islands off Thrace, c. 280 - 200 B.C.
Samothrace was subjugated by Philip II, and was under Macedonian suzerainty when this coin was struck. In 168 B.C., after the battle of Pydna, Samothrace became independent. Vespasian absorbed the island into the Roman Empire in 70 A.D. The Book of Acts in the Christian Bible records that the Apostle Paul, on his second missionary journey outside of Palestine, sailed from Troas to Samothrace and spent one night.
This is the first coin of Samothrace ever handled by Forum. GB86531. Bronze AE 16, CNT_ 7355, SNG Cop 1000, BMC Thrace p. 215, 2 - 10 var. (different magistrates); HGC 6 321, gVF, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 4.538 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Samothrace mint, magistrate Teisikas, c. 280 - 200 B.C.; obversehead of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; reverseCybele seated left on throne without back, kalathos on head, phiale in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ΣA-MO downward on left, TEIΣIK (magistrate) downward on right; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; $160.00 (€136.00)
Roman Republic, A. Plautius, c. 55 B.C.
In 67 B.C., Aristobulus II rebelled against his older brother Hyrcanus II, the king of Judaea. Both brothers appealed to Pompey's deputy Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, who, bribed by a gift of 400 talents, decided in favor of Aristobulus. When Pompey arrived in Syria in 63 B.C., both brothers sent delegates to Damascus, but Pompey did not make an immediate decision. Aristobulus' followers refused to open the gates of Jerusalem and Romans forces besieged and captured the city. Pompey deemed Hyrcanus II, the elder, weaker brother a more reliable ally. Hyrcanus was restored as high priest, but not as king. Aristobulus was taken to Rome as a prisoner. In 57 B.C. Aristobulus escaped to Judaea and instigated another rebellion. A young cavalry commander, Marc Antony, led several men to scale Aristobulus' fortifications leading to his recapture. At the time this coin was struck in 55 B.C., Aristobulus was a prisoner in Rome. Julius Caesar released him in 49 B.C., hoping to turn Judaea against Pompey, but on his was to Judaea he was poisoned by a Pompey supporter. With help from the Parthians, Aristobulus' son Antigonus rebelled against Rome and became king in 40 B.C. He was defeated by Rome and killed in 37 B.C.
This special issue was struck by an Aedile Curule. Aediles supervised public works and staged games. Since this issue bears turreted Cybele, we may speculate it was to finance a building project. RR86165. Silver denarius, RSC IPlautia 13, Sydenham 932, Crawford 431/1, BMCRRRome 3916, Russo RBW 1540, SRCV I 395, aF, porous, bankers mark, weight 3.308 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 182o, Rome mint, 55 B.C.; obverse AED • CVR • S • C downwards on left, A • PLAVTIVS downwards on right, turreted head of Cybele right, wearing cruciform earring, hair rolled and in knot at the back, locks falling down neck; reverse Bacchius Judaeus (Aristobulus II High Priest and King of Judaea) kneeling right, with left hand holding reins of camel standing right on his far side, raising olive branch in right hand, IVDAEVS upward on right, BACCHIVS in exergue; from the Lucas Harsh Collection, ex Vaughn Rare Coin Gallery, ex Ettinger Collection; $100.00 (€85.00)
Plakia, Mysia, c. 4th Century B.C.
Plakia, called Cilician Thebe in Homer's Iliad, was near the Troad, at the foot of Mount Placus, in a small region once called Cilicia (not the Cilicia in southern Anatolia). According to myth, it was founded by Heracles after his sack of Troy and named after his birthplace, Thebes in Boeotia. At the time of the Trojan War, people were known as the Cilicians, and ruled by King Eetion. Eetion's daughter Andromache was given in marriage to Hector, son of King Priam of Troy. The Achaians, led by Achilleus, sacked the city during the latter part of the war, killed King Eetion, his wife and his sons. They also carried off several women, including Chryseis, who became the concubine of Agamemnon. Chryseis' father attempted to ransom his to ransom his daughter, initiating the plot of the Iliad.GB72008. Bronze AE 14, SNG BnF 2378; SNG Cop 545; SNGvA 1432; BMC Mysia p. 174, 5, VF, nice dark green patina, weight 1.538 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 180o, Plakia mint, c. 4th century B.C.; obverse turreted head of Cybele right; reverse ΠΛAKIA, lion right devouring prey, grain-ear right below; rare city; $45.00 (€38.25)