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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Nautical & Marine ▸ ShipsView Options:  |  |  |   

Galleys and Other Ships on Ancient Coins

Roman Republic, Anonymous Luceria, 211 - 206 B.C.

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In 321 B.C., the Roman army was deceived into thinking Luceria was under siege by the Samnites. Hurrying to relieve their allies the army walked into an ambush and were defeated at the famous Battle of the Caudine Forks. The Samnites occupied Luceria but were thrown out after a revolt. The city sought Roman protection and in 320 B.C. was granted the status of Colonia Togata, which meant it was ruled by the Roman Senate. In order to strengthen the ties between the two cities, 2,500 Romans moved to Luceria. From then on, Luceria was known as a steadfast supporter of Rome.
RR75356. Bronze uncia, Crawford 97/7c, Sydenham 304, BMCRR Italy 173, SRCV I 1320, F, nice green patina, weight 4.316 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 45o, Luceria mint, 211 - 206 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Roma right, pellet (mark of value) behind; reverse ROMA, galley prow right, ROMA above, L and pellet (mark of value) below; scarce; $65.00 (€57.85)

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

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In the final years of his reign, Constans developed a reputation for cruelty and misrule. Dominated by favorites and openly preferring his select bodyguard, he lost the support of the legions. In 350, the general Magnentius declared himself emperor at Augustodunum with the support of the troops on the Rhine frontier and, later, the western provinces of the Empire. Constans was enjoying himself nearby when he was notified of the elevation of Magnentius. Lacking any support beyond his immediate household, he was forced to flee for his life. As he was trying to reach Hispania, supporters of Magnentius cornered him in a fortification in Helena (now Elne) in the eastern Pyrenees of southwestern Gaul, where he was killed after seeking sanctuary in a temple. A prophecy at his birth had said Constans would die in the arms of his grandmother. His place of death happens to have been named after Helena, mother of Constantine and his own grandmother, thus realizing the prophecy.
RL57035. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 122, LRBC II 1649, SRCV V 18675, Cohen VII 13, Hunter V 56 var. (3rd officina), VF, a little rough, weight 4.384 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right, A behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans standing left on galley, Victory on globe in right hand, labarum (chi rho Christogram standard) in left, Victory seated in stern steering ship, A in left field, TSA in exergue; $60.00 (€53.40)

Roman Republic, L. Cornelius Cinna, 169 - 157 B.C.

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On 22 June 168 B.C., at the Battle of Pydna (in southern Macedonia) Roman forces under Lucius Aemilius Paulus decisively defeated Perseus and his Macedonian forces, ending the Third Macedonian War. Perseus was captured spent the rest of his life in captivity at Alba Fucens, near Rome. The Macedonian Kingdom was broken up into four smaller states. All the Greek cities which offered aid to Macedonia, even just in words, were punished. Rome took hundreds of prisoners from the leading families of Macedonia, including the historian Polybius.
RR72169. Bronze as, Crawford 178/1, Sydenham 368, BMCRR I Rome 804, SRCV I 699, aF, weight 32.645 g, maximum diameter 31.4 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 169 - 157 B.C.; obverse laureate bearded head of Janus, I (mark of value) above; reverse galley prow right, CINA above, I (mark of value) right, ROMA below; $55.00 (€48.95)

City of Constantinople Commemorative, 332 - 335 A.D.

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On some examples from this mint, Constantinopolis wears a pearl diadem and helmet.
RL77783. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Cyzicus 107 (R5), LRBC I 1249, SRCV IV 16478, Cohen VII 21, VF, nice green patina, earthen deposits, weight 2.195 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 332 - 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINOPOLI, laureate and helmeted bust of Constantinopolis left, wearing imperial cloak, scepter over left shoulder; reverse Victory standing left, right foot on prow, scepter in right, resting left on grounded shield, •SMKS in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $55.00 (€48.95)

Panormos, Sicily, c. 241 - 70 B.C.

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In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained one of the principal cities of Sicily. It continued to issue bronze coins, bearing the names of various resident magistrates, and following the Roman system. Under Augustus, Panormus received a Roman colony.
GI76787. Bronze AE 14, Calciati I p. 338, 41; SNG ANS 580; SNG Cop 545; SNG München 778; BMC Sicily p. 123, 23; HGC 2 1085 (S), aF, weight 4.262 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 225o, Panormos (Palermo, Sicily) mint, Roman rule, c. 241 - 70 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter left, veiled and wreathed in grain, plow(?) behind; reverse war galley prow right, Panormos Greek monogram above; scarce; $45.00 (€40.05)

Tripolis, Phoenicia, c. 77 - 76 B.C.

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Although this type is dated, the date it was struck is uncertain. Cohen dates the civic era from 205 B.C., when Tripolis received autonomy from the Seleukid Kingdom.
GB74036. Bronze AE 16, BMC Phoenicia p. 203, 15 ff.; SNG Cop 272; HGC 10 312 (S); Cohen DCA 726 (R2), F, weight 3.616 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 180o, Tripolis mint, c. 77 - 76 B.C.; obverse bust of Tyche right, wearing turreted crown and veil, palm frond behind shoulder; reverse prow right, pilei (caps of the Dioscuri) above, LΘK (year 29) downward on left, TPIΠOΛITΩN below; scarce; $45.00 (€40.05)

City of Constantinople Commemorative, 334 - 335 A.D.

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On 11 May 330, Constantine I refounded Byzantium, renamed it Constantinopolis after himself, and moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to his new city. Coins were issued with types for Rome and Constantinople to advertise the importance of the new capital.
RL77774. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Siscia 241, LRBC I 751, SRCV IV 16469, Cohen VII 22, Choice VF, well centered on full flan, green patina, light scratches, weight 1.857 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 334 - 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINOPOLIS, laureate and helmeted bust of Constantinopolis left, wearing imperial cloak, scepter over left shoulder; reverse Victory standing left, right foot on prow, scepter in right, resting left on grounded shield, •BSIS• in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $45.00 (€40.05)

Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 90 B.C.

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In 91 B.C., the tribune Marcus Livius Drusus proposed extending Roman citizenship to allied Italian cities, but was assassinated, leading to the Social War.
RR71889. Bronze semis, Crawford 339/2, Sydenham 679a, BMCRR 2196, SRCV I 901, F, weight 4.213 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, c. 90 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Saturn right, S (mark of value) behind; reverse prow right, S (mark of value) above, ROMA below; $40.00 (€35.60)

Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. This reverse suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people.
RB73741. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC III 656, BMCRE IV 1330, Cohen II 36, SRCV II 4264, aF, rough, weight 11.298 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 140 - 144 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PI-VS P P TR P COS I, radiate head right; reverse ANNONA AVG, Annona standing slightly right, head right, two stalks of grain downward in right over modius at feet on left, cornucopia in right, ships stern in background on right, S - C flanking across field; $40.00 (€35.60)

Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos IV Philopater, 187 - 175 B.C.

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Antiochus IV seized the Temple in Jerusalem and dedicated it to Zeus. Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. after Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. There was only enough oil to fuel the eternal flame for one day. Miraculously, it burned for eight days, enough time to prepare fresh oil.
GY77861. Bronze serrated AE 19, Houghton-Lorber I 1316.3c, SNG Spaer 893 var. (center monogram), SGCV II 6970, HGC 9 586, F, centered on a tight flan, corrosion, centration dimples, weight 6.986 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 187 - 175 B.C.; obverse bust of Dionysos right, wearing ivy-wreath, thyrsus over far shoulder, A/B monogram behind; reverse galley prow left, AB above galley left of railing, HAP monogram above prow in center, BAΣIΛEΩΣ above, ΣEΛEYKOY below; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $38.00 (€33.82)

Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VII Euergetes Sidetes, 138 - 129 B.C., Sidon, Phoenicia

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After his brother Demetrius was captured by the Parthians, Antiochus VII was made king. He married Demetrius' wife Cleopatra Thea. He defeated the usurper Tryphon at Dora and laid siege to Jerusalem in 134. According to Josephus, the Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus opened King David's sepulcher and removed three thousand talents, which he then paid Antiochus to spare the city. Sidetes then attacked the Parthians, supported by a body of Jews under Hyrcanus, and briefly took back Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Media before being ambushed and killed by Phraates II. His brother Demetrius II had by then been released, but the Seleucid realm was now restricted to Syria. Antiochus VII was the last Seleucid king of any stature.
GY77866. Bronze AE 16, Houghton-Lorber II 2104, SNG Spaer 2000, Babelon Rois 1172, Rouvier V 1261, Houghton CSE II 624, Cohen DCA , HGC 9 1074 (R1), F, broad flan, rough, corrosion, weight 2.479 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, 134 - 133 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos VII right, ΘOP (Seleukid era year 179); reverse galley left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY in two lines above, ΣI∆ΩNΩN over Phoenician script "of the Sidonians" below; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $24.00 (€21.36)

Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius II Nikator, 146 - 136 and 129 - 125 B.C.

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Paul spent a week with the disciples in Tyre on his return from his third missionary journey (Acts 21:4).
GY77865. Bronze AE 20, Houghton-Lorber II 1968(2), Newell Tyre 100, HGC 9 1000 (R1-2), Cohen DCA 171 (S), F, potentially active corrosion, weight 5.105 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, Tyre mint, 145 - 144 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios II right; reverse stern of galley left,BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ∆HMHTPIOY in two lines over L HΞP (Seleucid Era year 168 ) above, TYPIΩN over Phoenician script "of Tyre" below; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $16.00 (€14.24)

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C.

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RR74144. Silver denarius, cf. Crawford 544/14, Sydenham 1216, BMCRR II East 190, RSC I 27 ff., Fair/Poor, weight 2.895 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - [...], aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; $12.15 (€10.81)




Schaaff, Ulrich. Münzen der römischen Kaiserzeit mit Schiffsdarstellungen im Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum. (Munich, 2003).

Catalog current as of Monday, June 27, 2016.
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