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Nero and Poppaea, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
RPC Online I notes, "The date does look like L IB, but the coin is very battered." and "Confirmation required. Poppaea died in AD 65, so it seems unlikely that coins should have been made for her in year 12." This is the Dattari Collection plate coin and Dattari identified it as year 12. In Alexandria, Nero's year 12 began on 29 August 65 A.D. According to Suetonius, one day in the summer of 65, Poppaea quarreled fiercely with Nero over his spending too much time at the races. She was pregnant with her second child. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her. This coin suggests her death was likely on or after the 19th of August. It would have taken 9 days or more for the news of her death to reach Alexandria. This coin may have been a trial strike or perhaps one of very few struck during the first days of the new year.RX93590. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari-Savio pl. 7, 199 (this coin!); RPC Online I 5289A (this coin!, the only spec.), aVF, brown tone, corrosion, scratches, rough, weight 7.834 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 29 Aug 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAV KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AYTO, radiate bust of Nero right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust of Poppaea right, L IB (year 12) lower right; from the Kreuzer Collection, ex Naville Numismatics auction 51 (21 Jul 2019), lot 301; ex Dattari Collection; this is the only known example of this type dated year 12!; unique!?; $750.00 (€690.00)
Kyrene, Kyrenaika, N. Africa, c. 325 - 313 B.C.
Cyrene was an ancient Greek and later Roman city near present-day Shahhat, Libya. It was the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the region. It gave eastern Libya the classical name Cyrenaica that it has retained to modern times. Cyrene lies in a lush valley in the Jebel Akhdar uplands. The city was named after a spring, Kyre, which the Greeks consecrated to Apollo. It was also the seat of the Cyrenaics, a famous school of philosophy in the fourth century BC, founded by Aristippus, a disciple of Socrates.GB91338. Bronze AE 19, Asolati 18 var.; Buttrey Cyrene 139 var.; SNG Cop 1219 var.; BMC Cyrenaica p. 58, 277 - 278 var.; Müller Afrique 93 var. (all no caduceus/trident), gVF, very nice for the type, caduceus and trident not visible on other examples known to FORVM, light deposit, edge crack, weight 8.525 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, c. 325 - 313 B.C.; obverse head of Ammon with horn and beard right, small caduceus before; reverse shield (or wheel?) with handle and six ribs, small trident to right, shallow incuse; very rare; $650.00 (€598.00)
Kyrene, Kyrenaika, N. Africa, c. 325 - 313 B.C.
Silphium, which is now extinct, was so critical to the Kyrenian economy that most of their coins depict it. The plant was used as a spice and to treat all kinds of maladies including cough, sore throat, fever, indigestion, pain, and warts. It was so widely used as a contraceptive that it was worth its weight in denarii. The traditional heart shape, the symbol of love, is probably derived from the shape of the silphium seed due to the use of silphium as an contraceptive.
"By the next day this maiden and all her girlish apparel had disappeared, and in the room were found images of the Dioscuri, a table, and silphium upon it." - Description of Greece, Pausanias 3.16.3, 2nd Century A.D.GB96101. Bronze AE 15, Asolati 12/2 (same dies); cf. Müller Afrique 228 ff.; Buttrey Cyrene I 12, SNG Cop 1226; BMC Cyrenaica p. 45, 198, VF, porosity, some corrosion, tight flan, weight 3.799 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, 325 - 313 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo Carneius right, short curly hair, THP (magistrate) upward behind; reverse triple silphium plant, seen from above, K-Y-P around divided by members, all within a round incuse; rare; $650.00 (€598.00)
Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
RX92507. Bronze drachm, Dattari-Savio 3008, Geissen 1700, Emmett 1448/17 (R1), BMC Alexandria -, SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, Milne -, Choice VF, nice portrait, well centered on a broad slightly irregular flan, dark brown patina, light marks, some light porosity, edge split/cracks, beveled obverse edge, weight 28.302 g, maximum diameter 37.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 153- 28 Aug 154 A.D.; obverse AVT K T AIΛ A∆P - ANTWNINOC CEB E-VC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Altar of Agathodaimon with hexastyle temple facade with Corinthian columns, two-tiered base, garlanded entablature, aplusters (or snakes?) as acroteria at corners, pyre of burning pine-cones on top center, no statue within, L - I flanking across field and Z in exergue (year 17); from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare variety; $400.00 (€368.00)
Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius, Roman Provincial Egypt
Tyche was the presiding tutelary deity who governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. In mythology, she is the daughter of Aphrodite and Zeus or Hermes. Polybius wrote that when no cause can be discovered for events such as floods, droughts, frosts, or even in politics, then the cause was likely Tyche. In the Hellenistic period, cities began venerating iconic versions of Tyche specific to their city. This practice continued even into the Christian period but by then the Tyche were probably seen as merely personifications of the city with little religious significance. Roma was depicted in military garb. Constantinopolis carried a cornucopia. The Tyche of Antioch had the river god Orontes swimming at her feet. The Tyche of Alexandria usually stood holding grain and resting her foot on the prow of a ship.RX92513. Bronze drachm, Geissen 1965; BMC Alexandria p. 164, 1337; RPC Online IV.4 13740; Dattari 3298 var. (date arrangement); Milne 2150 var. (same); Emmett 2006/15 (R2), VF, well centered on a tight ragged irregular flan, dark tone, highlighting chalky encrustations, scratches and bumps, some scattered small pits, weight 25.844 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 151 - 28 Aug 152 A.D.; obverse ΦAVCTIN CEB EVCEB ΘVΓ, draped bust of Faustina right; reverse Tyche reclining left on a couch, base of couch adorned with garlands, kalathos on head, wearing chiton and peplos, rudder held by tiller in right hand, propping head with left hand, L IE (year 15) upper left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $360.00 (€331.20)
Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
NEW The Nilometer measured the height of the annual Nile flood. Sixteen cubits was considered the ideal height of the annual Nile flood. Less could mean drought or famine. Even in modern times, grand celebrations were held when the flood reached 16 cubits. In years when the flood failed to reach 16 cubits, the celebrations were canceled, and prayers and fasting were held instead. The peak flood occurred at the end of August, which explains why the Egyptian year began on 29 August.RX95862. Bronze drachm, RPC Online IV.4 T15735 (3 spec.); Dattari-Savio pl. 138, 2705bis var. (draped); Emmett 1613/10 (R5); Geissen -; Milne -; BMC Alexandria -; SNG Cop -, aF, well centered, light corrosion, obverse edge beveled, weight 20.203 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 146 - 28 Aug 147; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P ANTWNINOC CEB EYC, laureate head right; reverse L ∆E-KATOY (year 10), Nike standing right, nude to the waist, left foot on helmet, inscribing NI/KH on an oval shield set on her left knee and a column before her; extremely rare; $350.00 (€322.00)
Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
NEW Ptolemy Soter integrated Egyptian religion with that of the Hellenic rulers by creating Serapis, a deity that would win the reverence of both groups. This was despite the curses of the Egyptian priests against the gods of previous foreign rulers (i.e Set who was lauded by the Hyksos). Alexander the Great had attempted to use Amun for this purpose, but Amum was more prominent in Upper Egypt, and not as popular in Lower Egypt, where the Greeks had stronger influence. The Greeks had little respect for animal-headed figures, and so an anthropomorphic statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force). Ptolemy's efforts were successful - in time Serapis was held by the Egyptians in the highest reverence above all other deities, and he was adored in Athens and other Greek cities.RX92528. Billon tetradrachm, RPC Online VIII U2541 (10 spec.); Dattari 4875; Milne 3526; Geissen 2709; BMC Alexandria p. 252, 1947; Kampmann 74.23; Emmett 3484.2 (R3), Choice VF, centered on a broad flan, flow lines, areas of light corrosion, weight 12.857 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 244 - 28 Aug 245 A.D.; obverse A K M IOV ΦIΛIΠΠOC EVCEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse radiate and draped bust of Helios right, seen from behind, L - B (year 2) across the field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $250.00 (€230.00)
Valerian II, Caesar, Early 256 - 258 A.D., Alexandria, Egypt
NEW Publius Licinius Cornelius Valerianus (Valerian II) was the son of Gallienus and Salonina, and grandson of Valerian I and Mariniana. He was made caesar upon his father's accession as co-emperor. He died two years later without ever being raised to the rank of augustus.RX95833. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 2997; Dattari-Savio 5374; Milne 2989 Kampmann 92.8; Emmett 3764.5 (R1), Choice VF, dark patina, light scratches, die break between eagle's legs, weight 10.303 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 257 - 258; obverse Π ΛIK KOP OVAΛEPIANOC KAIC CEB, bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse eagle standing left, wings closed, head right, wreath in beak, L E (year 5 of Valerian and Gallienus) divided across field; ex Phil Peck collection; scarce; $250.00 (€230.00)
Kingdom of Mauretania, Juba II and Cleopatra Selene, 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.
After his father's defeat and suicide, Juba II was take to Rome and paraded in Caesar's triumph. He was then raised in Caesar's household where he and Octavian became lifelong friends. He accompanied Octavian on campaigns after Caesar's death even fighting at the battle of Actium against his future wife's parents. Cleopatra Selene was the daughter of Cleopatra VII by Marc Antony. After the battle of Actium, she was raised by Octavia, Octavian's sister. Augustus restored Juba II as the king of Numidia c. 28 B.C. and later arranged for him to marry Cleopatra Selene II giving her a large dowry and appointing her queen.SL95881. Bronze AE 27, Alexandropoulos 209, Mazard 351 (RRR), SNG Cop 605, De Luynes 4013, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 2/5, lt. smoothing (5872605-040), weight 18.59 g, maximum diameter 27 mm, die axis 90o, Caesarea (Cherchell, Algeria) mint, 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.; obverse REX IVBA, diademed and draped bust right, club over shoulder; reverse BACI−ΛICCA / KΛEOΠATPA, headdress of Isis, with stalks of grain, crescent above; NGC| Lookup; very rare; $225.00 (€207.00)
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.
Ptolemy IV's surname Philopator means father lover, ironic since according to some authorities he poisoned his father. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria. He was a cruel and evil monarch.GP96510. Bronze triobol, Lorber CPE B494, Svoronos 1128, SNG Cop 203, SNG Milan 213, Weiser 52, Hosking 51, Noeske 146, Malter 155, Choice VF, well centered, some light corrosion, reverse center weakly struck, central depressions, beveled obverse edge, weight 31.538 g, maximum diameter 32.1 mm, die axis 340o, Alexandria mint, c. 221 - 219 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, ΛI between eagle's legs; $225.00 (€207.00)
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Strauss, P. Collection Maurice Laffaille - monnaies grecques en bronze. (Bàle, 1990). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 8: Egypt, North Africa, Spain - Gaul. (1994).
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