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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Scorpion||View Options:  |  |  | 

Scorpions on Ancient Coins

Roman Republic, Marcus Aemilius Scaurus & Publius Plautius Hypsaeus, 58 B.C.

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M. Aemilius Scaurus, in 62 B.C., as quaestor to Pompey, was sent against King Aretas but withdrew when Aretas paid 300 talents. This was the first time a moneyer publicized his own career on coinage. Aemilius was curule aedile when this coin was struck. This was the first time a moneyer publicized an event from his own career on coinage. Later he was praetor and propraetor, lost a campaign for Consul, and successfully defended Cicero. In 52 B.C., he was charged with bribery and went into exile.
RR91807. Silver denarius, BMCRR Rome 3878 (also HYPSAEVE), Crawford 422/1b var., Sydenham 913 var., RSC I Aemilia 8 var., RBW Collection 1519 var., SRCV I 379 var., Choice gVF, deep old cabinet toning, well centered on the usual tight flan, weight 3.945 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 58 B.C.; obverse Aretas, King of Nabataea, kneeling beside camel, holding reins and raising olive branch with fillet, M SCAVR above, EX - S C at sides, REX ARETAS in exergue; reverse Jupiter in quadriga left, reins in right, hurling thunderbolt with left, scorpion below, P HYPSAEVE / AED CVR above, CAPTV on right, C HYPSAE COS / PREIVE in exergue; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 31 (10 March 2019), lot 392; $380.00 (Ä334.40)


Cyprus, Time of Augustus, 27 B.C. - 14 A.D.

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Augustus' sun sign was Libra. We don't know why he selected the Capricorn as his emblem. Perhaps Capricorn was either his rising sign or his Moon sign. Popular astrology, of the newspaper kind, is sun sign astrology. The ancients tended to attach more importance to the Moon sign and rising signs. Perhaps Augustus selected the Capricorn because it is associated with stern moral authority. Tiberius (born Nov. 13) was a Scorpio.
RP88319. Bronze hemiobol, RPC I 3916; Bank of Cyprus 6; BMC Galatia p. 112, 4 (Commagene); SNG Cop -, F, dark patina, reverse off center, weight 2.487 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 270o, Cypriot mint, 27 B.C. - 14 A.D.; obverse capricorn right, star with six rays above; reverse scorpion left, star with six rays above (off flan); ex Ancient Imports; $145.00 (Ä127.60)


Kingdom of Commagene, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 38 - 72 A.D.

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Commagene was located in modern south-central Turkey, with its capital at Samosata (the site is now flooded by the AtatŁrk Dam). Antiochus IV was an ally of Rome against Parthia and the last royal descendant of Seleucus. He ruled with his half-sister and queen Iotape. He was deprived of his kingdom after accusations that he was conspiring against Rome. He retired to Rome where he was treated with great respect for the remainder of his life.
GB89157. Bronze AE 27, RPC I 3857; Nercessian AC 200; BMC Galatia pg. 106, 7; Lindgren-Kovacs 1882, F, dark patina, corrosion, tight flan, straight edges, weight 15.527 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 0o, Samosata (site now flooded by the AtatŁrk Dam) mint, 38 - 72 A.D.; obverse BACIΛEYΣ AΣ ANTIOXOΣ, diademed beardless bust of Antiochos IV right; reverse KOMMA-ΓHNON, scorpion and inscription within linear inner border, surrounded by laurel-wreath and dot border; $100.00 (Ä88.00)







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Catalog current as of Tuesday, July 23, 2019.
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Scorpions