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

Galleys and Other Ships on Ancient Coins

Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

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Ptolemy Soter wanted to integrate the Hellenistic and Egyptian religions by finding a deity that could win the reverence of both groups. The Greeks would not accept an animal-headed figure, so a Greek-style anthromorphic statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force).
RS64640. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 358, Schulzki AGK 91; Hunter IV 91; RIC V, part 2, 329; Cunetio 2421 (24 spec.); Elmer 382; SRCV III 10992, gF, excellent centering, white metal, cracks, die wear, porous, weight 3.438 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippina (Cologne) mint, c. 266 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse SERAPI COMITI AVG, Serapis standing left, raising right hand, long transverse scepter in left, ship's prow left at feet on left; $45.00 (€40.05)

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)

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)

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)

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

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On 14 April 70 A.D. Titus surrounded Jerusalem. He allowed pilgrims to enter to celebrate Passover but this was a trap to put pressure on supplies of food and water; he refused to allow them to leave. On 10 May he began his assault on the walls. The third wall fell on 25 May. The second wall fell on 30 May. On 20 July Titus stormed the Temple Mount. On 4 August 70 A.D. Titus destroyed the Temple. The Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av mourns the Fall of Jerusalem annually on this date.
RS70216. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 19; RSC II 84; BMCRE II 7; BnF III 7; SRCV I -, Fine/Fair, excellent portrait, uneven toning, weight 3.291 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, Jan - Jun 70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse COS ITER FORT RED, Fortuna standing left, resting right hand on prow at feet on left, cornucopia in left hand; $35.00 (€31.15)

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)

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

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Regarding religion, Constans was tolerant of Judaism and promulgated an edict banning pagan sacrifices in 341. He suppressed Donatism in Africa and supported Nicene orthodoxy against Arianism, which was championed by his brother Constantius. Although Constans called the Council of Sardica in 343 to settle the conflict, it was a complete failure, and by 346 the two emperors were on the point of open warfare over the dispute. The conflict was only resolved by an interim agreement which allowed each emperor to support their preferred clergy within their own spheres of influence.
RL83817. Billon quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 120, LRBC II 1642, SRCV 18732, Cohen VII 10, aVF, green patina with coppery high-points, reverse slightly off center, areas of light corrosion, weight 2.904 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 348 - 349 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans standing left on galley, Phoenix on globe in right hand, labarum in left hand, Victory seated in stern steering ship, TESA in exergue; $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; $10.00 (€8.90)

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; $2.49 (€2.22)




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

Catalog current as of Sunday, August 28, 2016.
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