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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Greek Imperial ▸ EgyptView Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Provincial Coins from Egypt

From Augustus' conquest until Diocletian's monetary reforms, Egypt maintained a separate currency. Hoard evidence indicates that when crossing into Egypt all imperial coinage had to be exchanged for Egyptian and when leaving all Egyptian coinage had to be exchanged for imperial coinage. Coins are dated according to the Egyptian year which began on 29 August, or 30 August following a leap year. The Egyptian tetradrachm was officially valued at one denarius.


Roman Egypt, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D.

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Both the obverse and reverse types on this tessera are published but the combination does not appear to be published. Nor did we find another example online. According to Milne, lead tesserae served as local small change in Egypt during the first to the third century A.D.
RX90574. Lead tessera, Unpublished; cf. Dattari 6444 and Geissen 3584 (for obverse type) and Dattari 6493 and 3575 (for reverse type), VF , weight 5.107 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 270o, Alexandria(?) mint, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D. (possibly later); obverse Antinous on horseback right, wearing hem hem crown, caduceus in right hand; reverse Nilus reclining left on crocodile right below, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, reeds in his right hand, cornucopia in left; before him at his feet stands Euthenia (prosperity) wearing chiton and peplos, offering wreath held in right hand; extremely rare; $380.00 (€338.20)
 


Roman Egypt, Antinoopolites Nome(?), Portrait of Antinous, c. 130 - 153 A.D.

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Antinous probably joined the entourage of Hadrian when it passed through Bithynia in about 124. He became Hadrian's constant companion and lover but in October 130 Antinous drowned in the Nile. Hadrian's grief knew no bounds; he enrolled him among the gods, erected a temple, and on 30 October 130 A.D., Hadrian founded the city of Antinoopolis on the very bank of the Nile river where Antinous drowned. It was the capital of a new nome, Antinoopolites. Artists vied with each other in immortalizing his beauty. Temples and statues to his memory were erected all over the Empire, and there began a Cult of Antinous. On this coin he is depicted in the guise of Hermanubis.
RX90575. Lead tessera, Dattari 6536, Geissen 3559 var. (11.23g), Emmett 4397 (R4), F, weight 4.666 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antinoopolis (or Alexandria?) mint, c. 130 - 153 A.D.; obverse draped bust of Antinous right, wearing hem-hem crown of Harpocrates, crescent before; reverse Serapis standing left, wearing chiton, himation, and kalathos on head, right hand raised, long scepter vertical behind in left; rare; $250.00 (€222.50)
 


10 Billon Tetradrachms, Roman Provincial Egypt, c. 275 - 310 A.D.

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These coins are unattributed by emperor and reverse type and may include scarcer types. Counting them we saw the group includes Probus, Carinus, Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius I, and possibly other emperors.
SP50740. Billon Lot of 10 Roman Egyptian billon tetradrachms, unattributed, Alexandria mint, the coins in the photo were randomly selected from the same group; bulk lot, as is, no returns; 10 coins, ONLY LOT ONE LEFT; $235.00 (€209.15)
 


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Tyche (Greek for luck; the Roman equivalent was Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city).
SH66838. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5342; Geissen 2982; Kampmann-Ganschow 91.47; SRCV III 10716; BMC Alexandria p. 2266; Milne 4140, Choice aEF, weight 11.345 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 266 - 28 Aug 267 A.D.; obverse KOPNHΛIA CAΛWNEINA CEB, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges and in plait looped below ear; reverse Tyche reclining left on couch, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, LI∆ (year 14) above; $200.00 (€178.00)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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RS73963. Silver tetradrachm, Dattari 2141/2143; Milne 1927; Geissen 1562; Curtis 571/572; Kampmann 35.384; Emmett 1358/11; BMC Alexandria -, F, inscriptions partially unstruck and off flan, weight 14.284 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 147 - 28 Aug 148 A.D.; obverse ANTWNEINOC CEB EYCEB (clockwise from upper right), laureate head right; reverse L EY∆EKATOY (year 11), Apollo Didymaios (Milesios) standing facing, laureate, nude, small stag in extended right hand, bow in left at side; scarce; $180.00 (€160.20)
 


Roman Egypt, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D.

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Both the obverse and reverse types on this tessera are published but the combination does not appear to be published. Nor did we find another example online. According to Milne, lead tesserae served as local small change in Egypt during the first to the third century A.D.
RX74430. Lead tessera, Unpublished; cf. Dattari 6444 and Geissen 3584 (for obverse type), F, weight 3.300 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria(?) mint, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D. (possibly later); obverse Antinous on horseback right, wearing hem hem crown, caduceus in right hand; reverse bust of Serapis(?) right, kalathos (?, on head), cornucopia on shoulder behind, snake entwined staff before; extremely rare; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt, Hermonthite Nome

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Struck during a period when the Alexandria mint demonstrated a remarkable diversity of types. The nome coinage named specific provinces in Egypt, though it was struck in Alexandria alongside other bronze and circulated throughout Egypt. A comparison may be made to America's state quarters.
RX84090. Bronze obol, RPC Online 6324 (14 spec.); Dattari 6263; Kampmann N17.2; BMC Alexandria p. 363, 99; Emmett 1259.11; Geissen -; SNG Cop -; SNG Milan -; SNG Hunter -, aF, glossy green patina, some porosity and tiny pits, weight 3.677 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 126 - 127 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI TPAI A∆PIA CEB, laureate head right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse EPMWNΘ, Montou-Apollo standing slightly left, head left, wearing himation over left shoulder and arm, and around hips and legs, long scepter in right hand, small Boukhis bull in extended left hand, L IA (year 11) downward lower right; rare; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Euthenia is the personification of abundance or plenty. To the Romans she was Abundantia. Her attributes are heads of grain and the cornucopia. She can be seated or standing and is sometimes shown emptying a cornucopia.
RX59567. Bronze drachm, cf. Milne 1609 ff.; Geissen 1301; SNG Hunterian 4146; Dattari 2561; BMC Alexandria p. 138, 1162; SNG Cop 430; Kampmann 35.21; Emmett 1518, aF/gF, weight 22.959 g, maximum diameter 33.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 138 - 28 Aug 139 A.D.; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P − ANTΩNINOC EYCEB, bare-headed bust right; reverse EYΘHNIA, Euthenia reclining left on sphinx, wearing uraeus, chiton, and peplos, fold in lap filled with fruit, stalks of grain and poppies in right, LB (year 2) in ex; $145.00 (€129.05)
 


Numerian, February or March 283 - October or November 284 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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RX72854. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5611; Milne 4724 var. (unbroken legend); Kampmann 114.9; BMC Alexandria p. 320, 2467 var. (no star); Geissen 3195 var. (same), Choice VF, highlighting patina, weight 8.197 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 29 Aug 283 - 28 Aug 284 A.D.; obverse A K M A NOVM-EPIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Nike advancing right wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, L - B (year 2 of Carus) divided across field, star in right field; rare; $145.00 (€129.05)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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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.
RX66478. Bronze drachm, Geissen 1708 (same dies); Savio 2764 (same dies); Milne 2230; BMC Alexandria p. 136, 1152; Kampmann 35.602; SNG Cop -; Hunterian -, aF, weight 22.106 g, maximum diameter 32.18 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 153 - 28 Aug 154; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P ANTWNINOC CEB EYC, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse Nilus reclining left, reed in right, genius emerging from cornucopia in his left, wearing lotus crown, himation from waist down, domed Nilometer in background on left, L I-Z (year 17) above, crocodile right and water plants below; $125.00 (€111.25)
 




  



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REFERENCES

Blum, G. "Numismatique D’Antinoos" in JIAN 16. (Athens, 1914). pp. 33 - 70.
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Curtis, J.W. The Tetradrachms of Roman Egypt. (Chicago, 1957).
Dattari, G. Numi Augg. Alexandrini. (Cairo, 1901).
Emmett, K. Alexandrian Coins. (Lodi, WI, 2001).
Geissen, A. Katalog alexandrinischer Kaisermünzen, Köln. (Cologne, 1974-1983).
Kampmann, U. & T. Ganschow. Die Münzen der römischen Münzstätte Alexandria. (Regenstauf, 2008).
Milne, J. G. A Catalogue of the Alexandrian Coins in the Ashmolean Museum. (Oxford, 1933).
Pool, R. S. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Alexandria. (London, 1892).
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
Savio, A. ed. Catalogo completo della collezione Dattari Numi Augg. Alexandrini. (Trieste, 2007).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values. (London, 1978 - ).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 8: Egypt, North Africa, Spain - Gaul. (New Jersey, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale, Vol. 4: Alexandria I, Augustus - Trajan. (Zurich, 1998).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Part 2: Roman Provincial Coins: Cyprus-Egypt. (Oxford, 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Italy, Milano XIII, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, Aegyptus (Egypt), Part 2: Octavianus Augustus - Lucius Verus. (Milan, 1991).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Italy, Milano XIII, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, Aegyptus (Egypt), Part 3. Commodus - Galerius Caesar. (Milan, 1992).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
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Roman Egypt