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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ DemocracyView Options:  |  |  | 

Democracy (Demos - The People)

Demos is the personification of the people. Here we will also include coins that depict personifications of the Senate, citizens councilman (boule), and elders (gerousia).


Collossae, Phrygia, c 177 - 192 A.D.

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Colossae was on the Lycus (a tributary of the Maeander River) 10 miles southeast of Laodicea, 13 miles from Hierapolis, and 3 miles from Mount Cadmus. In the 4th century B.C., Xenophon described it as one of six large cities of Phrygia. Antiochus the Great relocated two thousand Jewish families from Babylonia and Mesopotamia to Colossae. The city's commerce included trade in wool and woven fabric. It was known for its religious fusion (syncretism) of Jewish, Gnostic, and pagan influences, described in the first century A.D. as an angel-cult. The Apostle Paul addressed an epistle (letter) to the city's Christian community which addressed the cult and exalted the supremacy of Jesus Christ. The city was overrun by the Saracens in the 7th and 8th centuries A.D. and ultimately destroyed by the Turks in the 12th century. As of 2015, it had never been excavated, but there are plans for an Australian-led expedition.
RP86524. Bronze AE 32, RPC Online temp 1899; vA Phrygiens II 496 - 505; SNGvA 3765; SNG Mün 307; SNG Hunt 1938; McClean III 8789; BMC Phrygia p. 155, 5 (all same dies?), F, broad flan, earthen deposits, porous, weight 19.959 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 180o, Colossae mint, c. 177 - 192 A.D.; obverse ∆HMOC - KOΛOCCHNΩ-N, laureate head of young Demos right; reverse Helios standing in galloping quadriga, facing, wearing radiate crown, globe in left hand, torch in right hand, KO-ΛOC/CH-NΩN in two divided lines below horses; ex David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; very rare; $400.00 (€340.00)
 


Roman Republic, L. Cassius Longinus, 63 B.C.

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This coin honors the moneyer's ancestor, L. Cassius Longinus Ravill. The obverse alludes to his appointment as quaesitor in 113 B.C. for the retrial of three Vestal Virgins accused of unchastity. The reverse commemorates his successful proposal of the Lex Cassia Tabellaria in 137 B.C., changing the Republic's voting system to the secret ballot. To vote on a law, Roman ballots were marked V for uti rogas, meaning "as you ask," or the negative A for antiquo, meaning "maintain things as they are." For judicial votes, not guilty ballots were marked either A for absolvo or L for libero. Guilty ballots were marked either C for condemno or D for damno.

The obverse control letters come only from the moneyer's praenomen and nomen, L CASSI. A reversed S was used to indicate the second S in his name.
RR86173. Silver denarius, BMCRR I Rome 3929 (same A control letter), Crawford 413/1, Sydenham 935, RSC I Cassia 10, SRCV I 364, gVF, toned, bumps, banker's marks, reverse off center, weight 3.811 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 63 B.C.; obverse veiled bust of Vesta left, kylix behind, A (control symbol) before; reverse voter standing left, dropping tablet (ballot) inscribed V into a cista, LONGIN III•V• downward behind; from the Lucas Harsh Collection; $300.00 (€255.00)
 


Sala, Lydia, c. 2nd Century A.D.

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Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the god of commerce and thieves. He was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. His symbols include the caduceus and winged sandals.
RP77505. Bronze AE 17, SNG Munchen 455; BMC Lydia p. 229, 15; SNG Cop 416, VF, well centered, nice green patina, areas of corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 2.643 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Sala mint, c. 2nd century A.D.; obverse ∆HMOC CAΛHNΩN, laureate and draped bearded bust of Demos; reverse EΠI AN∆PONEICOY, Hermes standing slightly left, nude, chlamys draped over left arm, purse in right hand, caduceus in left hand; ex Divus Numismatik; rare; $85.00 (€72.25)
 


Ankyra in Abbaitis, Phrygia, c. 193 - 217 A.D.

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Ancyra means anchor in Greek. There were two cities named Ancyra in Anatolia, the one in Abbaitis, Phrygia that issued this coin, and another larger city in Galatia, now the capitol of Turkey. Ankyra in Abbaitis may have struck autonomous coins as Abbaetae Mysi in the 2nd century B.C. Under Rome, Ankyra in Abbaitis struck civic coinage from the rule of Nero to the rule of Philip the Arab.
RP87095. Brass AE 22, BMC Phrygia p. 59, 11 ff.; SNG Cop 132; SNGvA 3424; SNG München 88 var.; SNG Tübingen 3937; SNG Leypold 1421-1422 var., aVF, weight 8.072 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Ankyra in Abbaitis mint, Severan period, c. 193 - 217 A.D.; obverse ΘEON CYN-KLHTON, young draped bust of the Senate right; reverse AN/KYPA/NWN in three lines within laurel wreath; $75.00 (€63.75)
 


Hierapolis, Phrygia, c. 218 - 268 A.D.

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Telesphorus was a son of Asclepius. He frequently accompanied his sister, Hygieia. He was a dwarf whose head was always covered with a cowl hood or cap. He symbolized recovery from illness, as his name means "the accomplisher" or "bringer of completion" in Greek. Representations of him are found mainly in Anatolia and along the Danube. Telesphorus is assumed to have been a Celtic god in origin, who was taken to Anatolia by the Galatians in the 3rd century B.C., where he would have become associated with the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, perhaps in Pergamon (an Asclepian cult center) and spread again to the West due to the rise of the Roman Empire, in particular during the 2nd century A.D., from the reign of Hadrian.
RP77250. Bronze AE 23, Johnson Hierapolis 70 (3 spec.); BMC Phrygia p. 242, 86; SNG Cop 445; SNGvA -; SNG Tub -; SNG Mun -; SNG Hunt -; et al. -; c/m Howegego 278, aF, attractive for grade, weight 6.085 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 218 - 268 A.D.; obverse IEPA CY-NKΛHTO-C, draped bust of the senate right; countermark: male figure standing, an uncertain object in right hand, scepter or spear in left hand, letter(s) in field, irregularly shaped punch; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩN NEΩKOP,ΩN (last two letters in left field), Hygieia seated left, kalathos on head, from phiale in her right hand, feeding snake rising before her, resting left elbow on cushion(?), small Telesphoros behind; very rare; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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On this coin Commodus boasts that he has been honored as Pater Senatus, the Father of the Senate. Referring to this coin type, Vaillant observed that Commodus should have been called Senatus carnifex - the executioner, rather than the father, of the Senate. Commodus had thinned the ranks of that once powerful body by the slaughter of its most illustrious members, especially after the discovery of his sister Lucilla's conspiracy. The abject Senate responded by lavishing flattery on Commodus in proportion to his cruelty.
RS85041. Silver denarius, RIC III 157, RSC III 397, BMCRE IV 222 223, MIR 18 734-4/30, SRCV II 5666, aVF/F, centered on a tight flan, toned, marks and scratches, edge cracks, weight 1.996 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 187 A.D.; obverse M COMM ANT P FEL AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse PATER SENAT P M TR P XII IMP VIII COS V P P, Commodus as Father of the Senate standing left, togate, raising branch in extended right hand, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


Hierapolis, Phrygia, c. 221 - 268 A.D.

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The AKTIA festival and games at Hierapolis were founded in honor of Augustus' victory at Actium.
RP77253. Bronze AE 24, Johnston Hierapolis 74; BMC Phrygia p. 242, 89; SNG Cop 444; SNGvA -; SNG Tub -; SNG Hunt -; Waddington 6128; Weber -; McClean -; c/m: Howgego 278, F, well centered, edge crack, punch or flan flaw on the reverse; countermark: F, weight 5.388 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 221 - 268 A.D.; obverse IEPA CY-NKΛHTO-C, draped bust of the senate right; countermark: male figure standing, an uncertain object in right hand, scepter or spear in left hand, letter(s) in field, irregularly shaped punch; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩN NEΩKOPΩN, A/KTI/A in three lines within a demos crown (laurel wreath); very rare; $65.00 (€55.25)
 







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REFERENCES

Kurth, D. Demos, The Personification of the People. (2010).
Martin, K. Demos, Boule, Gerousia: Personifikationen städtischer Institutionen auf kaiserzeitlichen Münzen aus Kleinasien. (Bonn, 2013).


Catalog current as of Thursday, June 21, 2018.
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Democracy