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In angst at not seducing Ulysses with her voice, the siren Parthenope, threw herself into the sea and died. Her body washed up on the shore near Neapolis. There she was not envisioned as one of the insidious monsters of Homer, but rather like a dead hero, she was enshrined and deified and her name was given to an early settlement on the site. Neapolis held funerary torch-races to commemorate Parthenope and her nearby tomb and sanctuary were among the local places of interest. The river god Achelous was her father.GS84679. Silver nomos, SNG Cop 440; SNG ANS 381; BMC Italy 100, 63; Sambon 483; HN Italy 586; SNG Cop -, Choice VF, finestyle, toned, well centered on a tight flan, porous, weight 7.114 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 45o, Neapolis mint, c. 275 - 250 B.C.; obversehead of siren Parthenope left, wearing taenia, triple-pendant earring, and necklace, EY behind neck; reverse the river-god Achelous in the form of a man-faced bull, walking left, head turned facing, Nike flying left above, placing wreath on river-god's head, ΛOY below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ in exergue; $580.00 (€516.20)
Phaistos, Crete, c. 3rd Century B.C.
In Greek mythology, Talos (or Talon) was a giant winged man of bronze who protected Europa in Crete from pirates and invaders. He circled the island's shores three times daily. The author of Bibliotheke thought Talos' bronze nature might indicate he was a survivor from Hesiod's mythical Age of Bronze. The satirist Lucian took this absurd notion that men of Hesiod's Age of Bronze were actually made of bronze and, for humorous effect, extended it to men of the Age of Gold.GB85359. Bronze AE 17, Svoronos Crète 74; SNG Cop 520; BMC Crete p. 64, 27-28, F, a little rough, weight 3.702 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 225o, Phaistos mint, c. 3rd century B.C.; obverseTalos advancing right, nude, hurling stone in his right hand, holding another in his left hand; reverse hound on the scent to right, ΦAIC/TIΩN in two lines, starting above, ending in exergue; rare; $280.00 (€249.20)
Herakleia, Lucania, Italy, 3rd Century B.C.
The sea god Triton, the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, lived with his parents in a golden palace on the bottom of the sea. Also called Tritons were a group of fish-tailed sea gods or daimones, the Satyrs of the sea. Some, called Ikhthyokentauroi (Sea-Centaurs), had the upper bodies of men and the lower bodies of Hippokampoi (fish-tailed horses).
Glaucus began his life as a mortal fisherman from Anthedon, Boeotia. He discovered a magical herb which could bring fish back to life, and decided to try eating it. The herb made him immortal, but he grew fins and a fish tail, forcing him to dwell forever in the sea. Glaucus was initially upset by this side-effect, but Oceanus and Tethys received him well and he was quickly accepted among the deities of the sea, learning from them the art of prophecy.GB83465. Bronze AE 13, cf. Van Keuren 144 ff.; SNG ANS 116 ff.; BMC Italy p. 234, 66; SNG Cop 1141; SNG Morcom 265; HN Italy 1437, VF, well centered, nice style, green patina, weight 2.151 g, maximum diameter 13.1 mm, die axis 180o, Heraklea (in Matera Province, Italy) mint, c. 276 - 250 B.C.; obversebust of Athena right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet; reverse marine deity (Triton or Glaukos?) right, spear in right hand, shield in left hand, HPAKΛEIΩN below; very rare; $240.00 (€213.60)
Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III The Great, 336 - 323 B.C.
The attribution of any of Alexander's or Lysimachus' coinage to Abydus is uncertain, however, the mint was definitely in the area near to Lampsacus.GS85192. Silver drachm, Price 1565, Müller Alexander -, SNG Cop -, SNG München -, SNG Saroglos -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, well centered and struck on a broad flan, die wear, porosity, scrapes on edge, weight 4.167 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Troas, Abydos(?) mint, c. 310 - 301 B.C.; obversehead of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, feet on footstool, right leg drawn back, MY monogram within grain wreath (control symbol) left, head of Mithras with Phrygian cap (control symbol) below throne; rare; $240.00 (€213.60)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.
This type indicates Severus granted a special favor to Carthage. The water may indicate that he improved the water supply, possibly construction of an aqueduct.RS79924. Silver denarius, RIC IV 130a; RSC III 97; BMCRE V p. 208, 280; Hunter III 38; SRCV II 6806, Choice VF, nice youth portrait, excellent centering, edge cracks, weight 3.228 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 201 - 206 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse INDVLGENTIA AVGG IN CARTH, Dea Caelestis riding lion right over water gushing from rock, thunderbolt in right hand, scepter in left hand; $200.00 (€178.00)
Pherai, Thessaly, Greece, c. 302 - 286 B.C.
Pherae in southeastern Thessaly, was one of the oldest Thessalian cities. In Homer, Pherae was the home of King Admetus and his wife, Alcestis, (whom Heracles went into Hades to rescue), as well as their son Eumelus (who was one of the suitors of Helen and led the Achaean forces of Pherae and Iolcus in the Trojan War) (Iliad 2.711; Odyssey 4.798).
Ennodia (the name means, "the one in the streets") was a goddess identified in certain areas with Artemis, Hecate, or Persephone. Timarete of Corinth, who died in Pella, Macedonia in the late 5th century B.C., is the only attested priestess of this Goddess.
Hypereia was a fountain nymph. In the Iliad, Hector fears that Andromache may be enslaved and forced to draw water "from Messeis or Hypereia" in far-off Greece. GS84911. Silver hemidrachm, BCD Thessaly 1321; BCD Thessaly II 714; SNG Cop 239;Traité IV 607 & pl. CCXCIV, 9; HGC 4 553; BMC Thessaly p. 48, 21 & pl. X, 15; Jameson 2474, VF, well centered on a tight flan, bumps and marks, light corrosion, weight 2.596 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Pherai mint, c. 302 - 286 B.C.; obversehead of Ennodia left, wearing myrtle wreath, triple-pendant earring, and necklace, torch behind; reverse nymph Hypereia standing left, resting right hand on a lion's head fountain, water gushing from the lion's mouth, her left hand on her waist, AS/TO in two lines within wreath lower left, ΦEPAIOYN downward on right; ex BCD Collection with his round tag; $175.00 (€155.75)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Kyrene, c. 322 - 313 B.C.
Silphium grew only in Kyrenaica and most coins of the region, including this one, depict it. The stalk was eaten as a vegetable. Parts of the plant were used to treat all kinds of maladies including cough, sore throat, fever, indigestion, pain, and warts. The fruit was considered both an aphrodisiac and a contraceptive, and was worth its weight in denarii. Unfortunately, we will never know if its medicinal properties were real or imagined because the plant became extinct in the first century A.D. It's said that Nero ate the last plant.GB84582. Bronze AE 14, Asolati 9, Müller Afrique 84, BMC Cyrenaica 199, SGCV II 6342, F, weight 3.923 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 270o, Kyrene mint, governor Ophellas, c. 322 - 313 B.C.; obversehead of Karneios right, [AN∆P]; reverse silphium plant, K-Y flanking across field; rare; $110.00 (€97.90)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Mostene, Lydia
Mostene, in ancient Lydia, prospered in Roman and Byzantine eras. There is debate, based on a line in Tacitus, over whether Mostene was a Macedonian colony or a native Lydian city. In 17 A.D. the city was hit by an earthquake and was assisted by relief from Tiberius.RP84897. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 2462 (2 specimens), Imhoof-Blumer LS 4a, BMC Lydia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Tubingen -, VF, dark patina, encrustations, light corrosion, slightly off center, weight 2.457 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Mostene (Kepecik, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 50 - 54 A.D.; obverse NEPONA KAICAPA, bare-headed and draped bust right; reverse EΠI ME∆ANIOY MOCTHNΩN, city goddess of Mostene seated left, kalathos on head, two grain ears in right hand, double axe in left hand; very rare; $110.00 (€97.90)
Orthosia, Phoenicia, c. 30 - 28 B.C.
A similar type was struck at Orthosia for Cleopatra with her bust on the obverse. After Antony and Cleopatra were defeated, under the rule of Augustus, her bust was replaced by Tyche. RPC lists this type dated with years 36, 40 and 41. No date is visible on this coin. The date may simply be worn or perhaps it is an early issue struck with an undated die. The reversestyle is so close to that of the coins struck under Cleopatra that the die may have been recycled from her last issue with her regnal year erased.SH73047. Bronze AE 20, cf. SNG Cop 175 (also no date visible), RPC I 4504 (year 36 = 29 - 28 B.C.), Rouvier 869 (same), F, corrosion, weight 8.937 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Orthosia mint, rule of Augustus, c. 30 - 28 B.C.; obverse turreted head of Tyche right; reverseBaal of Orthosia in chariot pulled by to griffins to right, crescent above his head, OPΘΩCIEΩN in exergue, undated(?); extremely rare; $90.00 (€80.10)
Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Ascalon, Philistia
The Philistines conquered Canaanite Ashkelon about 1150 B.C. and it became one of the five Philistine cities that were constantly warring with the Israelites and the Kingdom of Judah. The last of the Philistine cities to hold out against Nebuchadnezzar, it finally fell in 604 B.C.; burned and destroyed, its people exiled, the Philistine era ended. Ashkelon was rebuilt, dominated by Persian culture. After the Alexander's conquest, Ashkelon was an important Hellenistic seaport. The Jews drove the Greeks out of the region during the Maccabean Revolt, which lasted from 167 to 160 B.C. In 63 B.C. the area was incorporated into the Roman Republic. Cleopatra VII used Ashkelon as her refuge when her brother and sister exiled her in 49 B.C. The city remained loyal to Rome during the First Jewish Revolt.BB75619. Bronze AE 18, Sofaer Collection 82; Rosenberger 116; RPC II 2213; BMC Palestine p. 122, 129; SNG ANS -, F, some corrosion, weight 7.108 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Askalon (Ashqelon, Israel) mint, 85 - 86 A.D.; obverse laureate head left, CE downward on left; reverse Phanebal standing facing, wearing military dress, raising sword above head in right hand, shield and palm frond in left hand, ΘΠP (year 189 of the Ascalon Era) downward on left, AC upward on right; rare; $90.00 (€80.10)