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Tyre, Phoenicia, 80 - 79 B.C., The Temple Tax Coin
Half Shekel - the currency of the Jerusalem Temple.
At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied on Jews was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were not always used in everyday commerce, but were the only coins accepted by the temple. Many taxpayers required a currency exchange, so money changers set up in the Temple court. Jesus found this business and their shouting (advertising rates) offensive, so he threw over their tables. SH86530. Silver half shekel, HGC 10 358; Cohen DCA 921 (S); BMC Phoenicia p. 251, 226 var. (different monogram right); cf. Rouvier 2131 (this year and monogram, shekel), aVF, centered, toned, scrapes, edge chips and lamination defects, corrosion, rough, weight 5.430 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre mint, 80 - 79 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, ZM (year 47) over club left, ΦIΛ monogram right, Aramaic letter bet between legs; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; $850.00 (€722.50)
Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old StyleTetradrachm
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.
During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War. SH86507. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, VF, well centered on a tight flan, nice toning, banker's marks, light marks, die wear and cracks, small edge cracks, weight 17.07 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obversehead of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; $800.00 (€680.00)
Pergamene Kingdom, Attalos I, 241 - 197 B.C.
Attalus, a capable general, champion of the Greeks, and loyal ally of Rome, made Pergamon a powerful kingdom. He earned the name "Soter" (savior) by defeating the Galatians, who had plundered and exacted tribute for more than a generation. In the Macedonian Wars he allied with Rome against Philip V of Macedon. GS86503. Silver tetradrachm, BMC Mysia p. 117, 43 (same tiny die break on monogram); SNGvA 1360; SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tub -, SNG Delepierre -, SNG Hunt -, Meydancikkale -, VF/F, superb portrait, light toning, bumps, marks, porosity, small test cut from edge, weight 16.393 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 0o, Mysia, Pergamum (Bergama, Turkey) mint, 215 - 197 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Philetaerus right in taenia; reverse ΦIΛETAIPOY downward on left, Athena enthroned left, crowning dynastic name with wreath in right hand, left arm resting on shield at side ornamented with a gorgoneion, transverse spear on her far side, ME monogram inner right under arm, star over bee outer left, strung bow right; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; very rare variant; $560.00 (€476.00)
Kos, Carian Islands, c. 345 - 340 B.C.
Herakles was traveling by sea when Hera, who hated him, sent a storm, sinking his boats. Hercules and only a few friends survived, swimming to Kos. Once ashore they asked a shepherd for food and shelter. The shepherd refused and insulted Hercules and they fought. People from nearby Antimachia joined the fight against Hercules. Hercules and his friends slipped into a house, disguised as women, and escaped. Another town welcomed Hercules and declared war on Antimachia. Hercules killed the king of Antimachia and married the newly elected king's sister, Halkiopi. Their son, Thessalos, would later be the king of Kos and Nisyros. GS86516. Silver didrachm, Pixodarus p. 234, 13 (A2/P7); SNG Cop 619; Weber 6629; HGC 6 1305 (R1); BMC Caria p. 195, 18 ff. var. (magistrate); SNG Keckman 287 var. (same), gVF, attractive style, bold strike, toned, tight flan cutting off ethnic, corrosion, edge cracks, weight 6.369 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Kos mint, Ma[...], magistrate, c. 345 - 340 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse veiled female (Halkiopi?) head left, MA (magistrate) behind, KΩION below; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; rare; $540.00 (€459.00)
Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Alexandreia Troas, Troas
RPC II notes this extremely raretype was previously attributed to Apamea in Bithynia. The issue, however, included two reverse types, this Victorytype and one with Apollo Smintheus, and the cult of Apollo Smintheus was centered on the Troad. Also, an example of the Apollotype was found at Alexandria. Both types are extremely rare. These were the first coins issued by Alexandria Troas, which otherwise did not strike coins before Antoninus Pius.RP86548. Copper semis, RPC II 896/1 (2 spec., same obv. die); Milne NC 1953, p. 23, 6 (Apamea); Rec Gén p. 252, note 4 (same); Bellinger -; BMC Troas -; SNG Cop -, aF, tight flan, light corrosion, light deposits, reverse a little off center, weight 4.930 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverseVICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory standing right, wearing long chiton, filleted wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand, D - D flanking low across field; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins, ex Sayles & Lavender (2009); extremely rare; $380.00 (€323.00)
Tarsos, Cilicia, c. 164 - 27 B.C.
The Tyche / Sandantype was the only autonomous silver issue of Tarsos. Sandan was a Hittite-Babylonian sun, storm, or warrior god, also perhaps associated with agriculture. The Greeks equated Sandan with Herakles (Hercules). At Tarsus an annual festival honored Sandan-Herakles, which climaxed when an image of the god was burned on a funeral pyre. GS86512. Silver drachm, cf. SNG Levante 925; SNG BnF 1295; BMC Lycaonia p. 178, 94; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, VF, bold strike, tight flan, iridescenttoning, light marks, slight porosity, weight 3.918 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 164 - 27 B.C.; obverse turreted head of Tyche right, bead and reelborder; reverseSandan standing right on the back of a mythical horned and winged goat-like animal walking right, he draped and wears a high headdress, bow case and sword on his left side, right hand extended, ax in left hand; two monograms behind (off flan), TAPΣEΩN (downward on right); from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; very rare; $360.00 (€306.00)
Knidos, Karia, 2nd Century A.D.
"In Roman times Cnidus seems from its scanty coinage to have lost its former importance. Only a few coins exist, Nero to Caracalla..." -- B. V. Head in Historia Numorum RP86514. Bronze AE 20, RPC Online IV temp 975 (19 spec.); Nordbø XXIX 1262; SNG Cop 331; BMC Caria p. 97, 97; Lindgren I 639; SNGvA -; SNG Keckman -; SNG Mün -; SNG Tüb -, VF, tight flan cutting off parts of obverselegend, obverselegend weak, bumps and marks, light corrosion, weight 7.174 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Caria, Cnidus mint, legate Eupoleitas, 2nd century A.D.; obverse T K T EΠI EYΠOΛEITA, bearded male head right; reverse flaming column altar, KNI-∆IΩN divided across field; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; very rare, none on Coin Archives, RPC lists only three examples sold at auction, the last sold in 2006; $360.00 (€306.00)
Collossae, Phrygia, c 177 - 192 A.D.
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; reverseHelios 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; $360.00 (€306.00)
Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 356 - 320 B.C.
The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos. GS86544. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly I 1156; BMC Thessaly p. 30, 61; HGC 4 454; BCD Thessaly II 323 var. (same obv. die, trident head left control), VF, toned, etched surfaces, tight flan, small edge cracks, weight 5.869 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa mint, c. 356 - 320 B.C.; obversehead of the nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing ampyx, pendant earring represented by three pellets in a vertical line, and simple necklace; reverse horse crouching right, left foreleg bent and raised, preparing to roll onto the ground, small plant (control) below, ΛAPIΣ/AIΩN in two lines, the first above, second in exergue; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; $340.00 (€289.00)
Melita, Malta, c. 150 - 146 B.C.
Melite or Melita (present-day Mdina) Malta began as a Bronze Age settlement, which grew into the city Maleth under the Phoenicians, and became the administrative center of the island. The city fell to Rome in 218 B.C., and it remained part of the Roman and later the Byzantine Empire until 870 A.D., when it was destroyed by the Aghlabids. The city was then rebuilt and renamed Medina, giving rise to the present name Mdina. It remained Malta's capital city until 1530. Only a few vestiges of the Punic-Roman city have survived. The most substantial are the ruins of the Domvs Romana, an aristocratic town house, in which a number of well-preserved mosaics and statues have been found. Sparse remains of other buildings and parts of the city walls have been excavated, but no visible remains of the city's numerous temples, churches, and other public buildings survive.GI86525. Bronze AE 26, Calciati III p. 353, 7; SNG CopVIII 463; SNG Dreer 607; Coleiro 3, F, red-black patina, reverse a little off center, light marks and corrosion, weight 12.228 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 0o, Melita (Mdina, Malta) mint, under Roman rule, c. 150 - 146 B.C.; obverse MEΛITAIΩN (clockwise on right), head of Isis (Coleiro says Astarte) left, wearing uraeus crown, composite of symbol of Tanit and caduceus in left field; reverseOsiris kneeling left on left knee, with four open wings, wearing double crown, short scepter in right hand, flail in left hand; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; very rare; $300.00 (€255.00)