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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)

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 ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - [...], aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; $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 Mnchen 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)

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)

Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Ba'Alshillem II, c. 401 - 366 B.C.

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Sidon, named for the "first-born" of Canaan, the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:15, 19), is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezekiel 27:8; 28:21, 22; 32:30; Joel 3:4). The Sidonians long oppressed Israel (Judges 10:12) but Solomon entered into a matrimonial alliance with them, and thus their form of idolatrous worship found a place in the land of Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 33). Jesus visited the "coasts" of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24) where many came to hear him preach (Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17). After leaving Caesarea, Paul's ship put in at Sidon, before finally sailing for Rome (Acts 27:3, 4).
GA77819. Silver 1/16 shekel, Elayi 2004 851 ff.; Hoover 10 240; Betlyon 27 (Abd'astart, Straton I); BMC Phoenicia p 146, 36 (same); SNG Cop 197 ff. (same), Fair/Fine, toned, weight 0.780 g, maximum diameter 8.7 mm, Phoenicia, Sidon mint, c. 371 - 370 B.C.; obverse war galley left, Phoenician letter beth above; reverse King of Persia (to left) standing right, slaying erect lion to right, Phoenician letter ayin (O) between them; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren Collection; $28.00 (24.92)

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

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RR74109. Silver denarius, cf. Crawford 544/14, Sydenham 1216, BMCRR II East 190, RSC I 27 ff., Fair/Poor, weight 2.990 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 1801o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - [...], aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; $.99 (.88)




Schaaff, Ulrich. Mnzen der rmischen Kaiserzeit mit Schiffsdarstellungen im Rmisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum. (Munich, 2003).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, May 24, 2016.
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