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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Mints| ▸ |Tarraco||View Options:  |  |  | 

Tarraco, Hispania Tarraconensis (Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain)

Tarraco was inhabited in pre-Roman times by Iberians who had commercial contacts with the Greeks and Phoenicians who settled on the coast. In 217 B.C., Roman forces arrived in Tarraco with Scipio Africanus. The population became allies and friends of the Roman people and Tarraco became a supply and winter base camp during the Roman wars against the Celtiberians. When Caesar conquered supporters of Pompey in 49 B.C., Tarraco supported his army with food. The city was made Colonia Iulia Urbs Triumphalis Tarraco, probably by Caesar after his victory in Munda. In the year 27 BC, Augustus went to Spain to monitor the campaigns in Cantabria. However, due to his poor health he preferred to stay in Tarraco. He and bestowed many marks of honor on the city, among which were its honorary titles of Colonia Victrix Togata and Colonia Julia Victrix Tarraconensis. Tarraco was the capital of the Roman province Hispania Citerior and, after Augustus' reorganization of Hispania, of Hispania Tarraconensis. Tarraco is a UNESCO World heritage site.


Gnaeus Pompey Junior, Imperator, 47 - 45 B.C., Son of Pompey the Great

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After the murder of his father, Gnaeus Pompey Magnus Junior and his brother Sextus joined the resistance against Caesar in Africa. Together with Metellus Scipio, Cato the Younger and other senators, they prepared to oppose Caesar and his army. Caesar defeated Metellus Scipio and Cato, who subsequently committed suicide, at the Battle of Thapsus in 46 B.C. Gnaeus escaped to the Balearic Islands, where he joined Sextus. Together with Titus Labienus, former general in Caesar's army, the Pompey brothers crossed over to the Hispania, where they raised yet another army. Caesar soon followed and, on 17 March 45 B.C., the armies met in the battle of Munda. Both armies were large and led by able generals. The battle was closely fought, but eventually a cavalry charge by Caesar turned events to his side. In the battle and the panicked escape that followed, Titus Labienus and an estimated 30,000 men of the Pompeian side died. Gnaeus and Sextus managed to escape once again. However, this time, supporters were difficult to find because it was now clear Caesar had won the civil war. Within a few weeks, Gnaeus Pompeius was caught and executed for treason.
RR88024. Leaded bronze as, Crawford 471/1, Sydenham 1040, RPC I 486, BMCRR Spain 84, RBW Collection, 1646, Sear CRI 53, Cohen I 16, SRCV I 1386, aF, dark patina, porous, earthen encrustations, weight 23.210 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 240o, Hispania probably Tarraco (Tarragona, Spain) mint, 46 - 45 B.C.; obverse laureate and bearded head of Janus, I above; reverse prow of galley right, I right, CN MAG (MA ligate) above, IMP below; scarce; $60.00 (Ä52.80)


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

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The inscriptions tell us this coin was dedicated by the senate and people of Rome to Augustus for improving the roads. Augustus improved many roads around Rome and personally financed and directed work on the Via Flaminia and the Milvian Bridge over the Tiber, where he erected statues and triumphal arches in his own honor. In Hispania, the old via Herculea was renamed Via Augusta shortly after Augustus' stay in Tarraco in 27 B.C., perhaps indicating he made improvements to the road during his visit.
SH66803. Silver denarius, RIC I 142 (R4), RSC I 235, BMCRE I 435, SRCV I -, VF, slightly grainy, weight 3.374 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Tarraco(?) mint, 17 - 16 B.C.; obverse S P Q R AVGVSTO CAESARI, bare head left; reverse QVOD VIAE MVN SVNT, legend in four lines between two arches atop a viaduct, each bearing an equestrian statue facing center and a trophy; among the very rarest Augustus' denarii; extremely rare; SOLD


Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.

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In July 69, Vitellius learned that the armies of the eastern provinces had proclaimed their commander, Vespasian, as emperor. Vitellius, aware that he would be defeated, negotiated terms of resignation, but the praetorians refused to allow him to carry out the agreement, and forced him to return to the palace. When Vespasian's troops entered Rome he was dragged out of a lodge where he was hiding, taken to the fatal Gemonian stairs, and executed. His body was thrown into the Tiber according to Suetonius; Cassius Dio's account is that Vitellius was beheaded and his head paraded around Rome, and his wife attended to his burial. "Yet I was once your emperor," were his last words. His brother and son were also killed.
SH68884. Silver denarius, RIC I 36, BMCRE I 94, RSC II 101, BnF III 13, SRCV I 2191, VF, a few small bumps and scrapes, weight 3.467 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Tarraco mint, Jan - Jul 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS IMP GERMAN, laureate head left, globe with palm-branch at point of bust; reverse VICTORIA AVGVSTI (the victory of the Emperor), Victory flying left, wings raised overhead, small round shield inscribed S P Q R in right; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; rare; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Wednesday, October 16, 2019.
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Tarraco