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Magna Graecia - Italy


Herakleia_Owl.JPG

Greek coins of Southern Italy

"... cast earth upon my body
And seek haven in Velia once more..."

~ Vergil

(please choose 'Position +' for proper order)

20 files, last one added on Jul 15, 2017

Magna Graecia - Taras


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Greek coins of Southern Italy

"...I would that I might end my days at Tarentum."
~ Horace

(please choose 'Position +' for proper order)

67 files, last one added on Jun 28, 2017

Magna Graecia - Sicily


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Greek coins of Sicily

"Whatever may happen to the Sicilians, they comment on it with a joke."
~ Cicero

7 files, last one added on Feb 06, 2016

Magna Graecia - Syracuse


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Greek coins of Sicily

“Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I will move the world.”
~ Archimedes

20 files, last one added on Nov 01, 2016

Punic and Siculo-Punic


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Greek coins of North Africa and Carthaginian Sicily

“We will either find a way, or make one.”
~ Hannibal Barca

3 files, last one added on Oct 08, 2013

Greek Mainland


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Greek coins of Southern and Central Greece, the Peloponnesos, and related Islands

"The glorious gifts of the gods are not to be cast aside."
~ Homer

12 files, last one added on Jun 06, 2017

Thrace and the Black Sea Region


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Greek coins from Northern Greece and the lands above the Black Sea

"Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune."
~ Dr. Thomas Fuller

7 files, last one added on Feb 15, 2017

Asia Minor


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Greek coins of Asia Minor

“Much learning does not teach understanding.”
~ Heraclitus of Ephesus

15 files, last one added on Jul 11, 2017

The Hellenistic Monarchies


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The legacy of Alexander's Empire

"Heaven cannot brook two suns, nor Earth two masters."
~ Alexander the Great

7 files, last one added on May 06, 2017

Roman Republic


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Coins of the Roman Republic

"What a lot of work it was to found the Roman race."
~ Vergil

4 files, last one added on Dec 28, 2009

Imperial Rome - The Rise


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Coins of the early Roman Empire

"I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble."
~ Augustus

10 files, last one added on Oct 22, 2016

Imperial Rome - The Fall


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Coins of the later Roman Empire

"When collapse is imminent, the little rodents flee."
~ Pliny the Elder

22 files, last one added on Jan 12, 2016

Roman Provincial


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Roman coins from the Provinces

"I came, I saw, I conquered."
~ Julius Caesar

8 files, last one added on Dec 06, 2016

Veiled Goddess


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Coins of the Goddess in mourning

"She was wearing a veil on her head, and a long dark robe
trailed around the delicate feet of the goddess.”

~ Homeric Hymn to Demeter

8 files, last one added on Jun 05, 2017

Antiquities


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My wife's collection of Greco-Roman treasures

"Everything passes, art alone is eternal."
~ Hippokrates

7 files, last one added on Apr 22, 2012

Departed


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3 files, last one added on Dec 29, 2009

16 albums on 1 page(s)

Last additions - Enodia's Gallery
Herakleia_Owl.JPG
Herakleia, Lucania22 views281-278 BC
AR Drachm (16.5mm, 3.82g)
O: Head of Athena, three-quarters facing right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with Scylla throwing stone; Φ behind.
R: Owl with wings closed, standing right on olive branch; club to right, |-HPAKΛEIΩN above, ΣΩΣI to left.
Van Keuren 114; HN Italy 1411
Scarce
ex NAC

The colony of Herakleia was a joint venture between the cities of Taras and Thurii, founded in 432 BC and intended to encourage peace between the two embattled polis’ and show a united front against the indigenous tribes of southern Italy. To this end Herakleia became the center of the newly formed Italiote League, probably around 380. This alliance consisted of emissaries from the Greek cities of Kroton, Metapontum, Velia, Thurii, and most notably Taras.
A century later, the period of this coin, Pyrrhus defeated the Roman Consul Laevinius near here, causing the Romans to try a different strategy. A political treaty was struck in 278, granting very favorable terms to the Greek city, and Herakleia became an ally of Rome. As a result the headquarters of the Italiote League was moved to Taras.
7 commentsEnodiaJul 15, 2017
Ephesus_Obol.JPG
Ephesus, Ionia10 views500-420 BC
AR Diobol (11mm, 1.06g)
O: Bee with curved wings and volute-shaped antennae; E - Φ flanking.
R: Quadripartite incuse square.
SNG Kayhan 125; Sear 3517v (Drachm)
ex Tom Vossen
1 commentsEnodiaJul 11, 2017
Ephesus_AR.JPG
Ephesus, Ionia27 views390-320 BC
AR Diobol (10mm, 1.02g)
O: Bee with straight wings, within dotted border.
R: Confronted heads of two stags; EΦ above.
SNG Cop 242-43; SNG von Aulock 1835; SNG München 32; Sear 4375v; BMC Ionia 53, 53; 
ex Forvm Ancient Coins

The bee was sacred to the goddess Artemis, whose famous sanctuary at Ephesus was tended by Her priestesses, known collectively as Melissae, a word which translates as ‘bee’, or by some accounts ‘honey gatherer’. It is no surprise then that the coins of this city should feature the bee on their obverse.
5 commentsEnodiaJul 07, 2017
Vlasto_855.JPG
Taras, Calabria21 views272-235 BC (Period VIII - The Roman Alliance I)
AR Didrachm (18.5mm, 6.50g)
O: Nude youth on horseback right, placing wreath on horse's head; ΦI behind, I-ΩΠ-YPO-[Σ] (magistrate) below.
R: Taras riding dolphin left, holding cornucopiae and trident; bee to right, Τ-ΑΡΑΣ below.
Vlasto 855; Evans VIII, B2; McGill II, 99; Cote 490-92; HN Italy 1029 SNG ANS 1183
ex Dr. Busso Peus; ex Germania Inferior Numismatics

Evans calls the insect on this reverse a cicada, a very important symbol in ancient times (see J.C.B Petropolous’ marvelous work ‘Heat and Lust; Hesiod’s Midsummer Festival Scene Revisited’, a very insightful look at ancient agricultural and fertility practices). However Vlasto lists this as a bee, and I tend to think this is likely. It sure looks more like a bee to me.
It’s a real pity that the obverse is struck off-center here, as the artistic and natural rendering of the horse is not typical of these late period didrachms.
3 commentsEnodiaJun 28, 2017
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Taras, Calabria23 views325-280 BC
AR Hemilitron (10mm, 0.39g, 11h)
O: Scallop Shell.
R: Dolphin leaping right; hare below.
Vlasto 1596; HN Italy 980
ex Saint Paul Antiques
3 commentsEnodiaJun 15, 2017
Eion_AR.JPG
Eion, Macedonia24 views500-437 BC
AR Trihemiobol (12mm, 0.92g)
O: Goose standing right, head turned back; lizard and H above, all within dotted border.
R: Quadripartite incuse square.
cf SNG ANS 276; Sear 1295v (lizard)
ex Antike & Klassische Numismatik

Some sources name this bird a swan, while most suggest a goose. No matter, since both are of the same family, and both were indigenous to Macedonia.
Perhaps more importantly though, both species are known to mate for life, and so were sacred to Hera, goddess of marriage, and also to me.
Here in Oregon, the arrival of the geese each year heralds the coming of Spring, as their departure later in the year forebode the inevitable Winter.
5 commentsEnodiaJun 06, 2017
Soloi~0.JPG
Soloi, Cilicia4 viewsCirca 100-66 BC
Ć19 (19mm, 5.02g)
O: Turreted, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right.
R: Filleted piloi of the Dioskouroi; stars above, ΣOΛEΩN and EΠ below.
SNG France 1206v (monogram); cf SNG Levante 866; Sear 5624v (monogram)
ex Gac Antiquity
EnodiaJun 05, 2017
Soloi.JPG
Soloi, Cilicia10 viewsCirca 100-66 BC
Ć19 (19mm, 5.02g)
O: Turreted, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right.
R: Filleted piloi of the Dioskouroi; stars above, ΣOΛEΩN and EΠ below.
SNG France 1206v (monogram); cf SNG Levante 866; Sear 5624v (monogram)
ex Gac Antiquity
1 commentsEnodiaJun 05, 2017
Kyzikos_AE.JPG
Kyzikos, Mysia13 views2nd-1st century BC
AE19 (19mm, 5.42g)
O: Head of Persephone right, wearing wreath of grain.
R: KY-ZI above and below monogram, all within oak wreath.
Sear 3864; BMC 148
ex Wayne Philips; ex Ancient Imports

Persephone
I saw a tender maiden plucking flowers
Once, long ago, in the bright morning hours;
And then from heaven I saw a sudden cloud
Fall swift and dark, and heard her cry aloud.
Again I looked, but from my open door
My anxious eyes espied the maid no more;
The cloud had vanished, bearing her away
To underlands beyond the smiling day.
(From a fragment by Sappho)
2 commentsEnodiaJun 04, 2017
Neapolis_AR.JPG
Neapolis, Campania14 views275-250 BC
AR Didrachm (20mm, 6.92g)
O: Diademed head of the nymph Parthenope left, wearing triple earring; poppy head behind.
R: Man-faced bull standing right; Nike flying right above, crowning bull; IΣ below, [N]EAΠOΛITΩ[N] in ex.
Sambon 510; HN Italy 586; SNG ANS 400; Hands Class VI; Sear 309v (eagle head)
ex Numisantique

The Greek colony on what is now known as the Bay of Naples was one of the earliest in Italy, originally established by settlers from Euboea, and possibly named Parthenope after the local Nymph. The city was later re-founded nearby and renamed Neapolis, or ‘New City’. Its proximity to Rome brought Italian customs to the colony, while conversely bringing a heavy Greek influence to the Romans.
It is not surprising then that Neapolis was one of the first Greek colonies to ally itself with Rome near the end of the fourth century BC, and was instrumental in repelling Hannibal a hundred years later.
3 commentsEnodiaJun 02, 2017
Velia_Owl.JPG
Velia, Lucania14 views465-440 BC (Period II: Pre-Athena Group)
AR Drachm (15mm, 3.52g)
O: Head of nymph right, wearing beaded necklace.
R: Owl with closed wing perched right on olive branch, head facing; YEΛH behind.
Williams 79; Hands Class VI; HN Italy 1265; Sear 251
ex Munzen & Medaillen GmbH

The first coins minted at Velia in the late 6th century BC were archaic drachms featuring a feeding lion on the obverse and a simple incuse square on the reverse.
The nymph head drachms such as this example, which Williams designates as ‘pre-Athena types‘, can be dated fairly accurately to the period immediately following the Battle of Cumae in 474 BC.
The combined fleet of Cyme and Syracuse defeated the Etruscans in a great naval battle off the coast of southern Italy, greatly weakening Etruscan influence in the region and thereby empowering Rome. The resulting economic boost allowed Poseidonia to begin coining again circa 470, followed by Terina in Bruttium and finally Velia. It was also around this time that Velia’s famous lion series of didrachms first appeared, and would continue for the next two centuries.
3 commentsEnodiaJun 01, 2017
Vlasto_847.JPG
Taras, Calabria18 views272-235 BC (Period VIII - The Roman Alliance I)
AR Didrachm (19mm, 6.36g)
O: Naked youth on horseback left, crowning horse with right hand; ∆I above, ΦIΛΩ / TAC in two lines below.
R: Phalanthos on dolphin left, holding kantharos and distaff; cock standing left behind, TAPAΣ below.
Vlasto 847; Evans VIII, A11; Cote 485; McGill II, 96; HN Italy 1024; SNG ANS 1173-77
ex Numisantique

The cock on the reverse of this coin may be a reference to Apollo, or might symbolize ‘a new dawn rising’, possibly referring to Taras’ recent alliance with their old nemesis, Rome.
However it is more likely that this is simply a symbol of the magistrate under whom this coin was struck, in this case one Philotos, which was not an uncommon practice on these post-Pyrrhic didrachms of Taras.
1 commentsEnodiaMay 31, 2017
Vlasto_822.JPG
Taras, Calabria19 views272-235 BC (Period VIII - The Roman Alliance I)
AR Didrachm (19mm, 6.18g, 2h).
O: Youth on horseback left, crowning horse; cornucopia in field to right, |-APEAC (magistrate) below.
R: Taras riding dolphin left, holding kantharos in extended right hand and upright trident in left; POΛY behind, ΤΑΡΑΣ below..
Vlasto 822; Evans VIII, A4; Cote 456; HN Italy 997; cf Sear 374
From the W. H. Guertin Collection; ex CNG

The symbolism of the cornucopia has many origins in ancient lore, from the story of Zeus and Amaltheia to that of Herakles and the river-god Acheloos. Dionysus is also associated with the “horn of plenty”.
All of these deities were venerated at Taras, so the appearance of the cornucopia on this coin may be connected to any of the three, although the kantharos in Taras‘ extended right hand on the reverse makes the cult of Dionysus quite compelling.
George Brauer Jr. (‘Taras: Its History and Coinage’) suggests that the cornucopia can represent “the fruits of war”, and while the city of Taras was constantly fighting one battle or another during its long history, I believe the commonly seen Nike would be a more appropriate symbol of a military victory, and the passive nature of this particular type, with Taras holding his trident in a decidedly non-threatening posture, also seems to argue against this idea. In addition the fact that the city had just been subdued by Rome would apparently put Brauer’s theory to rest, at least in this case.
Of course the answer may be as simple as a local celebration of a particularly prosperous year, or a thank you to Demeter for an abundant harvest. We may never know for certain, but this kind of speculation can be half the fun of collecting!
4 commentsEnodiaMay 11, 2017
Seleukid_AE.JPG
Seleukid Kingdom, Reign of Antiochos VI Dionysus10 views145-142 BC
AE17 Serrate (17.5mm, 4.29g)
O: Diademed and radiate head right.
R: Panther advancing left with paw raised, holding palm branch in mouth; BAΣIΛEΩΣ
ANTIOXOY and ΣTA above, star behind, EΠIΦANOYΣ ∆IONYΣOY in exergue.
SNG Spaer 1784; Houghton 241v (cornucopiae); Sear 7083
ex FortunA (Forvm Auctions)
3 commentsEnodiaMay 06, 2017
Mesembria_AE.JPG
Mesembria, Thrace15 views250-175 BC
AE19 (19mm, 5.54g)
O: Diademed female head right.
R: Athena Alkidemos advancing left, brandishing spear and holding shield; METAM-BPIANΩN to either side.
SNG Cop 661; Sear 1676; BMC 3, 12
ex Nova Coins
2 commentsEnodiaFeb 15, 2017
Vlasto_1668v.JPG
Taras, Calabria13 views280-228 BC
AR Obol (10mm, 0.57g).
O: Kantharos; pellet above and to right, flying Nike with wreath to left.
R: Kantharos; pellet above and to left, E to right.  
Vlasto 1668v (Nike to right); HN Italy 1076
Scarce
ex London Ancient Coins

Another unpublished variety, this one a mirror image of Vlasto 1668, with Nike flying left instead of right.
3 commentsEnodiaFeb 13, 2017

Random files - Enodia's Gallery
_1Baebius200.jpg
M. Baebius Q.f. Tamphilus48 views137 BC
AR Denarius (18mm, 3.92g)
O: Helmeted head of Roma left; X beneath chin, TAMP[IL] behind.
R: Apollo in quadriga right, holding bow and arrow; ROM[A] below, M BAEBI Q F in ex.
Crawford 236-1 a-d,f; Sydenham 489; RSC Baebia 12; BMC Italy 935
ex Amphora Coins
Enodia
_1HekateStraonikeia.jpg
Stratonikeia, Caria42 viewsafter 81 BC
AE17 (2.90g)
O: Laureate head of Hekate right, wearing cresent moon headdress.
R: Pegasos flying left.
SNG von Aulock 8159; SNG Cop 491; Sear 4941; BMC 150, 28
ex Gerhard Rohde

(originally a gift from my dog Liebe, used to pay the Ferryman)
Enodia
1Ephesos.JPG
Ephesos, Ionia169 views350-288 BC
AE12 (2.09g)
O: Bee with straight wings, seen from above; E - Φ on either side.
R: Stag kneeling left, looking back; astragalos above.
SNG Cop 245v; Sear 4402v; BMC 14,55
ex Jack H. Beymer
13 commentsEnodia
1Diocletian.JPG
Diocletian28 views284-305 AD
AE Antoninianus (22mm, 2.83g)
O: Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; IMP CC VAL DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG.
R: Diocletian receiving Victory from Hercules; IOV ET HERCV CONSER AVGG, XXI in ex.
RIC 275v
ex M&R Coins
Enodia