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rjb_2019_07_03.jpg
1179 viewsHadrian 117-38 AD
AE sestertius
Obv "HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP"
Draped bust left
Rev "RESTITVTORI ACHAIAE SC"
Emperor standing left raising Achaea, vase between
Rome mint
RIC 938
mauseus
antpius as-concordia.jpg
138-161 AD - ANTONINUS PIUS AE as - struck 140-143 AD62 viewsobv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TRP COS III (laureate head right)
rev: CONCORDIA EXERCITVM / S.C. (Concordia standing left, holding Victory and aquila)
ref: RIC III 678, C.140 (2frcs)
10.26gms, 26mm

This reverse symbolises the concord between the emperor and the army. The reign of Antoninus Pius was the most peaceful in the entire history of the Principate; while there were several military disturbances throughout the Empire in his time, the Moors in Mauretania (AD150), the Jews in Iudaea (for seventeen years the Romans didn't allow the Jews to bury their dead in Betar, after the Bar Kokhba revolt), the Brigantes in Britannia (AD 140-145, the Antonine Wall being built ca. 40 miles further north), the different Germanic tribes at the Germania limes, the Alans in Dacia (AD158), and had to put down rebellions in the provinces of Achaia and Egypt (AD154).
berserker
100_1635.JPG
140 Hadrian41 viewsSestertius, 134-8 A.D. Rome.
bare head,draped, bust l.; HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP. Rv. Togate emperor standing l. receiving Achaea who kneels before him, vase between them; RESTITVTORI ACHAIAE, S C in ex. RIC 938; BMC 1783(same obv. die ?); Cohen 1220

If the patina had remaind, this would be an impressive coin, I got it as is and dont know how it was cleaned, but its a good example of why patina is good.
randy h2
Julian2VotXConstantinople.jpg
1409a, Julian II "the Philosopher," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.143 viewsJulian II, A.D. 360-363; RIC 167; VF; 2.7g, 20mm; Constantinople mint; Obverse: DN FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, helmeted & cuirassed bust right, holding spear & shield; Reverse: VOT X MVLT XX in four lines within wreath; CONSPB in exergue; Attractive green patina. Ex Nemesis.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Julian the Apostate (360-363 A.D.)

Walter E. Roberts, Emory University
Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University

Introduction

The emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus reigned from 360 to 26 June 363, when he was killed fighting against the Persians. Despite his short rule, his emperorship was pivotal in the development of the history of the later Roman empire. This essay is not meant to be a comprehensive look at the various issues central to the reign of Julian and the history of the later empire. Rather, this short work is meant to be a brief history and introduction for the general reader. Julian was the last direct descendent of the Constantinian line to ascend to the purple, and it is one of history's great ironies that he was the last non-Christian emperor. As such, he has been vilified by most Christian sources, beginning with John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzus in the later fourth century. This tradition was picked up by the fifth century Eusebian continuators Sozomen, Socrates Scholasticus, and Theodoret and passed on to scholars down through the 20th century. Most contemporary sources, however, paint a much more balanced picture of Julian and his reign. The adoption of Christianity by emperors and society, while still a vital concern, was but one of several issues that concerned Julian.

It is fortunate that extensive writings from Julian himself exist, which help interpret his reign in the light of contemporary evidence. Still extant are some letters, several panegyrics, and a few satires. Other contemporary sources include the soldier Ammianus Marcellinus' history, correspondence between Julian and Libanius of Antioch, several panegyrics, laws from the Theodosian Code, inscriptions, and coinage. These sources show Julian's emphasis on restoration. He saw himself as the restorer of the traditional values of Roman society. Of course much of this was rhetoric, meant to defend Julian against charges that he was a usurper. At the same time this theme of restoration was central to all emperors of the fourth century. Julian thought that he was the one emperor who could regain what was viewed as the lost glory of the Roman empire. To achieve this goal he courted select groups of social elites to get across his message of restoration. This was the way that emperors functioned in the fourth century. By choosing whom to include in the sharing of power, they sought to shape society.

Early Life

Julian was born at Constantinople in 331. His father was Julius Constantius, half-brother of the emperor Constantine through Constantius Chlorus, and his mother was Basilina, Julius' second wife. Julian had two half-brothers via Julius' first marriage. One of these was Gallus, who played a major role in Julian's life. Julian appeared destined for a bright future via his father's connection to the Constantinian house. After many years of tense relations with his three half-brothers, Constantine seemed to have welcomed them into the fold of the imperial family. From 333 to 335, Constantine conferred a series of honors upon his three half-siblings, including appointing Julius Constantius as one of the consuls for 335. Julian's mother was equally distinguished. Ammianus related that she was from a noble family. This is supported by Libanius, who claimed that she was the daughter of Julius Julianus, a Praetorian Prefect under Licinius, who was such a model of administrative virtue that he was pardoned and honored by Constantine.

Despite the fact that his mother died shortly after giving birth to him, Julian experienced an idyllic early childhood. This ended when Constantius II conducted a purge of many of his relatives shortly after Constantine's death in 337, particularly targeting the families of Constantine's half-brothers. ulian and Gallus were spared, probably due to their young age. Julian was put under the care of Mardonius, a Scythian eunuch who had tutored his mother, in 339, and was raised in the Greek philosophical tradition, and probably lived in Nicomedia. Ammianus also supplied the fact that while in Nicomedia, Julian was cared for by the local bishop Eusebius, of whom the future emperor was a distant relation. Julian was educated by some of the most famous names in grammar and rhetoric in the Greek world at that time, including Nicocles and Hecebolius. In 344 Constantius II sent Julian and Gallus to Macellum in Cappadocia, where they remained for six years. In 351, Gallus was made Caesar by Constantius II and Julian was allowed to return to Nicomedia, where he studied under Aedesius, Eusebius, and Chrysanthius, all famed philosophers, and was exposed to the Neo-Platonism that would become such a prominent part of his life. But Julian was most proud of the time he spent studying under Maximus of Ephesus, a noted Neo-Platonic philospher and theurgist. It was Maximus who completed Julian's full-scale conversion to Neo-Platonism. Later, when he was Caesar, Julian told of how he put letters from this philosopher under his pillows so that he would continue to absorb wisdom while he slept, and while campaigning on the Rhine, he sent his speeches to Maximus for approval before letting others hear them. When Gallus was executed in 354 for treason by Constantius II, Julian was summoned to Italy and essentially kept under house arrest at Comum, near Milan, for seven months before Constantius' wife Eusebia convinced the emperor that Julian posed no threat. This allowed Julian to return to Greece and continue his life as a scholar where he studied under the Neo-Platonist Priscus. Julian's life of scholarly pursuit, however, ended abruptly when he was summoned to the imperial court and made Caesar by Constantius II on 6 November 355.

Julian as Caesar

Constantius II realized an essential truth of the empire that had been evident since the time of the Tetrarchy--the empire was too big to be ruled effectively by one man. Julian was pressed into service as Caesar, or subordinate emperor, because an imperial presence was needed in the west, in particular in the Gallic provinces. Julian, due to the emperor's earlier purges, was the only viable candidate of the imperial family left who could act as Caesar. Constantius enjoined Julian with the task of restoring order along the Rhine frontier. A few days after he was made Caesar, Julian was married to Constantius' sister Helena in order to cement the alliance between the two men. On 1 December 355, Julian journeyed north, and in Augusta Taurinorum he learned that Alamannic raiders had destroyed Colonia Agrippina. He then proceeded to Vienne where he spent the winter. At Vienne, he learned that Augustudunum was also under siege, but was being held by a veteran garrison. He made this his first priority, and arrived there on 24 June 356. When he had assured himself that the city was in no immediate danger, he journeyed to Augusta Treverorum via Autessioduram, and from there to Durocortorum where he rendezvoused with his army. Julian had the army stage a series of punitive strikes around the Dieuse region, and then he moved them towards the Argentoratum/Mongontiacum region when word of barbarian incursions reached him.

From there, Julian moved on to Colonia Agrippina, and negotiated a peace with the local barbarian leaders who had assaulted the city. He then wintered at Senonae. He spent the early part of the campaigning season of 357 fighting off besiegers at Senonae, and then conducting operations around Lugdunum and Tres Tabernae. Later that summer, he encountered his watershed moment as a military general. Ammianus went into great detail about Julian's victory over seven rogue Alamannic chieftains near Argentoratum, and Julian himself bragged about it in his later writing. After this battle, the soldiers acclaimed Julian Augustus, but he rejected this title. After mounting a series of follow-up raids into Alamannic territory, he retired to winter quarters at Lutetia, and on the way defeated some Frankish raiders in the Mosa region. Julian considered this campaign one of the major events of his time as Caesar.

Julian began his 358 military campaigns early, hoping to catch the barbarians by surprise. His first target was the Franks in the northern Rhine region. He then proceeded to restore some forts in the Mosa region, but his soldiers threatened to mutiny because they were on short rations and had not been paid their donative since Julian had become Caesar. After he soothed his soldiers, Julian spent the rest of the summer negotiating a peace with various Alamannic leaders in the mid and lower Rhine areas, and retired to winter quarters at Lutetia. In 359, he prepared once again to carry out a series of punitive expeditions against the Alamanni in the Rhine region who were still hostile to the Roman presence. In preparation, the Caesar repopulated seven previously destroyed cities and set them up as supply bases and staging areas. This was done with the help of the people with whom Julian had negotiated a peace the year before. Julian then had a detachment of lightly armed soldiers cross the Rhine near Mogontiacum and conduct a guerilla strike against several chieftains. As a result of these campaigns, Julian was able to negotiate a peace with all but a handful of the Alamannic leaders, and he retired to winter quarters at Lutetia.

Of course, Julian did more than act as a general during his time as Caesar. According to Ammianus, Julian was an able administrator who took steps to correct the injustices of Constantius' appointees. Ammianus related the story of how Julian prevented Florentius, the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, from raising taxes, and also how Julian actually took over as governor for the province of Belgica Secunda. Hilary, bishop of Poitiers, supported Ammianus' basic assessment of Julian in this regard when he reported that Julian was an able representative of the emperor to the Gallic provincials. There is also epigraphic evidence to support Julian's popularity amongst the provincial elites. An inscription found near Beneventum in Apulia reads:
"To Flavius Claudius Julianus, most noble and sanctified Caesar, from the caring Tocius Maximus, vir clarissimus, for the care of the res publica from Beneventum".

Tocius Maximus, as a vir clarissimus, was at the highest point in the social spectrum and was a leader in his local community. This inscription shows that Julian was successful in establishing a positive image amongst provincial elites while he was Caesar.

Julian Augustus

In early 360, Constantius, driven by jealousy of Julian's success, stripped Julian of many troops and officers, ostensibly because the emperor needed them for his upcoming campaign against the Persians. One of the legions ordered east, the Petulantes, did not want to leave Gaul because the majority of the soldiers in the unit were from this region. As a result they mutinied and hailed Julian as Augustus at Lutetia. Julian refused this acclamation as he had done at Argentoratum earlier, but the soldiers would have none of his denial. They raised him on a shield and adorned him with a neck chain, which had formerly been the possession of the standard-bearer of the Petulantes and symbolized a royal diadem. Julian appeared reluctantly to acquiesce to their wishes, and promised a generous donative. The exact date of his acclamation is unknown, but most scholars put it in February or March. Julian himself supported Ammianus' picture of a jealous Constantius. In his Letter to the Athenians, a document constructed to answer charges that he was a usurper, Julian stated that from the start he, as Caesar, had been meant as a figurehead to the soldiers and provincials. The real power he claimed lay with the generals and officials already present in Gaul. In fact, according to Julian, the generals were charged with watching him as much as the enemy. His account of the actual acclamation closely followed what Ammianus told us, but he stressed even more his reluctance to take power. Julian claimed that he did so only after praying to Zeus for guidance.

Fearing the reaction of Constantius, Julian sent a letter to his fellow emperor justifying the events at Lutetia and trying to arrange a peaceful solution. This letter berated Constantius for forcing the troops in Gaul into an untenable situation. Ammianus stated that Julian's letter blamed Constantius' decision to transfer Gallic legions east as the reason for the soldiers' rebellion. Julian once again asserted that he was an unwilling participant who was only following the desire of the soldiers. In both of these basic accounts Ammianus and Julian are playing upon the theme of restoration. Implicit in their version of Julian's acclamation is the argument that Constantius was unfit to rule. The soldiers were the vehicle of the gods' will. The Letter to the Athenians is full of references to the fact that Julian was assuming the mantle of Augustus at the instigation of the gods. Ammianus summed up this position nicely when he related the story of how, when Julian was agonizing over whether to accept the soldiers' acclamation, he had a dream in which he was visited by the Genius (guardian spirit) of the Roman state. The Genius told Julian that it had often tried to bestow high honors upon Julian but had been rebuffed. Now, the Genius went on to say, was Julian's final chance to take the power that was rightfully his. If the Caesar refused this chance, the Genius would depart forever, and both Julian and the state would rue Julian's rejection. Julian himself wrote a letter to his friend Maximus of Ephesus in November of 361 detailing his thoughts on his proclamation. In this letter, Julian stated that the soldiers proclaimed him Augustus against his will. Julian, however, defended his accession, saying that the gods willed it and that he had treated his enemies with clemency and justice. He went on to say that he led the troops in propitiating the traditional deities, because the gods commanded him to return to the traditional rites, and would reward him if he fulfilled this duty.

During 360 an uneasy peace simmered between the two emperors. Julian spent the 360 campaigning season continuing his efforts to restore order along the Rhine, while Constantius continued operations against the Persians. Julian wintered in Vienne, and celebrated his Quinquennalia. It was at this time that his wife Helena died, and he sent her remains to Rome for a proper burial at his family villa on the Via Nomentana where the body of her sister was entombed. The uneasy peace held through the summer of 361, but Julian concentrated his military operations around harassing the Alamannic chieftain Vadomarius and his allies, who had concluded a peace treaty with Constantius some years earlier. By the end of the summer, Julian decided to put an end to the waiting and gathered his army to march east against Constantius. The empire teetered on the brink of another civil war. Constantius had spent the summer negotiating with the Persians and making preparations for possible military action against his cousin. When he was assured that the Persians would not attack, he summoned his army and sallied forth to meet Julian. As the armies drew inexorably closer to one another, the empire was saved from another bloody civil war when Constantius died unexpectedly of natural causes on 3 November near the town of Mopsucrenae in Cilicia, naming Julian -- the sources say-- as his legitimate successor.

Julian was in Dacia when he learned of his cousin's death. He made his way through Thrace and came to Constantinople on 11 December 361 where Julian honored the emperor with the funeral rites appropriate for a man of his station. Julian immediately set about putting his supporters in positions of power and trimming the imperial bureaucracy, which had become extremely overstaffed during Constantius' reign. Cooks and barbers had increased during the late emperor's reign and Julian expelled them from his court. Ammianus gave a mixed assessment of how the new emperor handled the followers of Constantius. Traditionally, emperors were supposed to show clemency to the supporters of a defeated enemy. Julian, however, gave some men over to death to appease the army. Ammianus used the case of Ursulus, Constantius' comes sacrum largitionum, to illustrate his point. Ursulus had actually tried to acquire money for the Gallic troops when Julian had first been appointed Caesar, but he had also made a disparaging remark about the ineffectiveness of the army after the battle of Amida. The soldiers remembered this, and when Julian became sole Augustus, they demanded Ursulus' head. Julian obliged, much to the disapproval of Ammianus. This seems to be a case of Julian courting the favor of the military leadership, and is indicative of a pattern in which Julian courted the goodwill of various societal elites to legitimize his position as emperor.

Another case in point is the officials who made up the imperial bureaucracy. Many of them were subjected to trial and punishment. To achieve this goal, during the last weeks of December 361 Julian assembled a military tribunal at Chalcedon, empanelling six judges to try the cases. The president of the tribunal was Salutius, just promoted to the rank of Praetorian Prefect; the five other members were Mamertinus, the orator, and four general officers: Jovinus, Agilo, Nevitta, and Arbetio. Relative to the proceedings of the tribunal, Ammianus noted that the judges, " . . . oversaw the cases more vehemently than was right or fair, with the exception of a few . . .." Ammianus' account of Julian's attempt at reform of the imperial bureaucracy is supported by legal evidence from the Theodosian Code. A series of laws sent to Mamertinus, Julian's appointee as Praetorian Prefect in Italy, Illyricum, and Africa, illustrate this point nicely. On 6 June 362, Mamertinus received a law that prohibited provincial governors from bypassing the Vicars when giving their reports to the Prefect. Traditionally, Vicars were given civil authority over a group of provinces, and were in theory meant to serve as a middle step between governors and Prefects. This law suggests that the Vicars were being left out, at least in Illyricum. Julian issued another edict to Mamertinus on 22 February 362 to stop abuse of the public post by governors. According to this law, only Mamertinus could issue post warrants, but the Vicars were given twelve blank warrants to be used as they saw fit, and each governor was given two. Continuing the trend of bureaucratic reform, Julian also imposed penalties on governors who purposefully delayed appeals in court cases they had heard. The emperor also established a new official to weigh solidi used in official government transactions to combat coin clipping.

For Julian, reigning in the abuses of imperial bureaucrats was one step in restoring the prestige of the office of emperor. Because he could not affect all elements of society personally, Julian, like other Neo-Flavian emperors, decided to concentrate on select groups of societal elites as intercessors between himself and the general populace. One of these groups was the imperial bureaucracy. Julian made it very clear that imperial officials were intercessors in a very real sense in a letter to Alypius, Vicar of Britain. In this letter, sent from Gaul sometime before 361, the emperor praises Alypius for his use of "mildness and moderation with courage and force" in his rule of the provincials. Such virtues were characteristic of the emperors, and it was good that Alypius is representing Julian in this way. Julian courted the army because it put him in power. Another group he sought to include in his rule was the traditional Senatorial aristocracy. One of his first appointments as consul was Claudius Mamertinus, a Gallic Senator and rhetorician. Mamertinus' speech in praise of Julian delivered at Constantinople in January of 362 is preserved. In this speech, Claudius presented his consular selection as inaugurating a new golden age and Julian as the restorer of the empire founded by Augustus. The image Mamertinus gave of his own consulate inaugurating a new golden age is not merely formulaic. The comparison of Julian to Augustus has very real, if implicit, relevance to Claudius' situation. Claudius emphasized the imperial period as the true age of renewal. Augustus ushered in a new era with his formation of a partnership between the emperor and the Senate based upon a series of honors and offices bestowed upon the Senate in return for their role as intercessor between emperor and populace. It was this system that Julian was restoring, and the consulate was one concrete example of this bond. To be chosen as a consul by the emperor, who himself had been divinely mandated, was a divine honor. In addition to being named consul, Mamertinus went on to hold several offices under Julian, including the Prefecture of Italy, Illyricum, and Africa. Similarly, inscriptional evidence illustrates a link between municipal elites and Julian during his time as Caesar, something which continued after he became emperor. One concrete example comes from the municipal senate of Aceruntia in Apulia, which established a monument on which Julian is styled as "Repairer of the World."

Julian seems to have given up actual Christian belief before his acclamation as emperor and was a practitioner of more traditional Greco-Roman religious beliefs, in particular, a follower of certain late antique Platonist philosophers who were especially adept at theurgy as was noted earlier. In fact Julian himself spoke of his conversion to Neo-Platonism in a letter to the Alexandrians written in 363. He stated that he had abandoned Christianity when he was twenty years old and been an adherent of the traditional Greco-Roman deities for the twelve years prior to writing this letter.

(For the complete text of this article see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/julian.htm)

Julian’s Persian Campaign

The exact goals Julian had for his ill-fated Persian campaign were never clear. The Sassanid Persians, and before them the Parthians, had been a traditional enemy from the time of the Late Republic, and indeed Constantius had been conducting a war against them before Julian's accession forced the former to forge an uneasy peace. Julian, however, had no concrete reason to reopen hostilities in the east. Socrates Scholasticus attributed Julian's motives to imitation of Alexander the Great, but perhaps the real reason lay in his need to gather the support of the army. Despite his acclamation by the Gallic legions, relations between Julian and the top military officers was uneasy at best. A war against the Persians would have brought prestige and power both to Julian and the army.

Julian set out on his fateful campaign on 5 March 363. Using his trademark strategy of striking quickly and where least expected, he moved his army through Heirapolis and from there speedily across the Euphrates and into the province of Mesopotamia, where he stopped at the town of Batnae. His plan was to eventually return through Armenia and winter in Tarsus. Once in Mesopotamia, Julian was faced with the decision of whether to travel south through the province of Babylonia or cross the Tigris into Assyria, and he eventually decided to move south through Babylonia and turn west into Assyria at a later date. By 27 March, he had the bulk of his army across the Euphrates, and had also arranged a flotilla to guard his supply line along the mighty river. He then left his generals Procopius and Sebastianus to help Arsacius, the king of Armenia and a Roman client, to guard the northern Tigris line. It was also during this time that he received the surrender of many prominent local leaders who had nominally supported the Persians. These men supplied Julian with money and troops for further military action against their former masters. Julian decided to turn south into Babylonia and proceeded along the Euphrates, coming to the fortress of Cercusium at the junction of the Abora and Euphrates Rivers around the first of April, and from there he took his army west to a region called Zaitha near the abandoned town of Dura where they visited the tomb of the emperor Gordian which was in the area. On April 7 he set out from there into the heart of Babylonia and towards Assyria.

Ammianus then stated that Julian and his army crossed into Assyria, which on the face of things appears very confusing. Julian still seems to be operating within the province of Babylonia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The confusion is alleviated when one realizes that,for Ammianus, the region of Assyria encompassed the provinces of Babylonia and Assyria. On their march, Julian's forces took the fortress of Anatha, received the surrender and support of several more local princes, and ravaged the countryside of Assyria between the rivers. As the army continued south, they came across the fortresses Thilutha and Achaiachala, but these places were too well defended and Julian decided to leave them alone. Further south were the cities Diacira and Ozogardana, which the Roman forces sacked and burned. Soon, Julian came to Pirisabora and a brief siege ensued, but the city fell and was also looted and destroyed. It was also at this time that the Roman army met its first systematic resistance from the Persians. As the Romans penetrated further south and west, the local inhabitants began to flood their route. Nevertheless, the Roman forces pressed on and came to Maiozamalcha, a sizable city not far from Ctesiphon. After a short siege, this city too fell to Julian. Inexorably, Julian's forces zeroed in on Ctesiphon, but as they drew closer, the Persian resistance grew fiercer, with guerilla raids whittling at Julian's men and supplies. A sizable force of the army was lost and the emperor himself was almost killed taking a fort a few miles from the target city.
Finally, the army approached Ctesiphon following a canal that linked the Tigris and Euphrates. It soon became apparent after a few preliminary skirmishes that a protracted siege would be necessary to take this important city. Many of his generals, however, thought that pursuing this course of action would be foolish. Julian reluctantly agreed, but became enraged by this failure and ordered his fleet to be burned as he decided to march through the province of Assyria. Julian had planned for his army to live off the land, but the Persians employed a scorched-earth policy. When it became apparent that his army would perish (because his supplies were beginning to dwindle) from starvation and the heat if he continued his campaign, and also in the face of superior numbers of the enemy, Julian ordered a retreat on 16 June. As the Roman army retreated, they were constantly harassed by guerilla strikes. It was during one of these raids that Julian got caught up in the fighting and took a spear to his abdomen. Mortally wounded he was carried to his tent, where, after conferring with some of his officers, he died. The date was 26 June 363.

Conclusion

Thus an ignominious end for a man came about who had hoped to restore the glory of the Roman empire during his reign as emperor. Due to his intense hatred of Christianity, the opinion of posterity has not been kind to Julian. The contemporary opinion, however, was overall positive. The evidence shows that Julian was a complex ruler with a definite agenda to use traditional social institutions in order to revive what he saw as a collapsing empire. In the final assessment, he was not so different from any of the other emperors of the fourth century. He was a man grasping desperately to hang on to a Greco-Roman conception of leadership that was undergoing a subtle yet profound change.
Copyright (C) 2002, Walter E. Roberts and Michael DiMaio, Jr. Used by permission.

In reality, Julian worked to promote culture and philosophy in any manifestation. He tried to reduce taxes and the public debts of municipalities; he augmented administrative decentralisation; he promoted a campaign of austerity to reduce public expenditure (setting himself as the example). He reformed the postal service and eliminated the powerful secret police.
by Federico Morando; JULIAN II, The Apostate, http://www.forumancientcoins.com/NumisWiki/view.asp?key=Julian%20II

Flavius Claudius Iulianus was born in 331 or maybe 332 A.D. in Constantinople. He ruled the Western Empire as Caesar from 355 to 360 and was hailed Augustus by his legions in Lutetia (Paris) in 360. Julian was a gifted administrator and military strategist. Famed as the last pagan emperor, his reinstatement of the pagan religion earned him the moniker "the Apostate." As evidenced by his brilliant writing, some of which has survived to the present day, the title "the Philosopher" may have been more appropriate. He died from wounds suffered during the Persian campaign of 363 A.D. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.




2 commentsCleisthenes
Hadrian_achaiae.jpg
Achaea sestertius29 views1 commentsRobert R8
AchaeanLeague_Patrai_Benner49.jpg
Achaean League, Patrai.14 viewsAchaean League, Patrai in Achaia . 196-146 BC. AR Hemidrachm (2.32 gm). Laureate head of Zeus Amarios, r. / Large AX monogram, ΦI above, Ξ to l., ΠA to r., and dolphin below. nEF. Benner 49; BCD Peloponessos 508.4-5; HGC 5 #55; SNG Cop 253.Christian T
al.JPG
ACHAIA, ACHAEAN LEAGUE, a, (Anonymous) Mid III Century BC.114 views AR Hemidrachm (2.63 gm).
Obv: Head of Zeus of fine style
Rev: Monogram within wreath.
Toned aVF, some porosity.
BCD.374. ex BCD Collection.
Rare.
Dino
aegira.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Aigeira. c. 167-146 BC231 viewsAR Hemidrachm, Obv: Laureate head of Zeus r. Rx: Forepart of goat r. over monograms Achaean League AX monogram with AL to left, KI to right; all within laurel wreath, tied below. Rare. Ex John Twente Animal Collection; ex Craig Whitford NBD Bank Money Museum Collection Part II, lot 87. VF/EF, 2.49g. BCD-399 (same rev. die), Agrinion-571a, Clerk-16, Benner-Aigeira-5. HJBerk BBS 159, lot 166.2 commentsCGPCGP
aigiewn.JPG
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Aigieon. ca. 88-30 BC.139 viewsAR Hemidrachm (2.17 g.).
obv: Laureate head of Zeus right. AIGIEWN.
rev: Achaian League monogram;CTO to left, API above, DA right, MOC below;all within laurel-wreath, tied below.
Sear-2973;BMC 24f.; SNG Cop. 235; BCD 430; Benner-Aigion-20.
Gorny & Mosch
1 commentsCGPCGP
IMG_0003.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Aigieon. ca. 88-30 BC.84 viewsAR Hemidrachm 15mm (2.2 g.).
obv: Laureate head of Zeus right. AIGIEWN.
rev: Achaian League monogram;CTO to left, API above, DA right, MOC below;all within laurel-wreath, tied below.
Sear-2973;BMC 24f.; SNG Cop. 235; BCD 430; Benner-Aigion-20.
3 commentsDino
ant~0.JPG
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Antigoneia (Mantineia). Circa 188-180 BC217 viewsAR Hemidrachm (13mm, 2.43 g). Laureate head of Zeus right / Monogram; A-N across field, monogram below; all within wreath tied at the bottom. Clerk 195; BCD Peloponnesos 1491; SNG Copenhagen 281. VF, toned. ex BCD Collection (not in LHS sale); Benner-Antigoneia-2. CNG auction 179 lot 40.CGPCGP
greek6.JPG
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Antigoneia (Mantineia). Circa 188-180 BC.73 viewsAR Hemidrachm (13mm, 2.32 g). Laureate head of Zeus right / Monogram; A-N across field, monogram below; all within wreath tied at the bottom. Clerk 195; BCD Peloponnesos 1491; SNG Copenhagen 281; Benner-Antigoneia-2. Toned. CGPCGP
Argosal.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Argos. 175-168BC 59 viewsAR Hemidrachm (15mm, 2.4g). Laureate head of Zeus left / AX Monogram: Harpa above; Monogram below; all within wreath tied above. Agrinion 307; Benner-Argos-9.
CGPCGP
argos1.jpg
Achaia, Achaean League, Argos. 195-188 BC.66 viewsAR Triobol or Hemidrachm (15mm, 2.40 g, 6h).

Obv: Laureate head of Zeus left
Rev: AX monogram; TK monogram above; below, wolf’s head right; all within laurel wreath.

Benner 3; Clerk 141/5; BCD Peloponnesos 1130; HGC 5, 714.

From the BCD Collection (not in previous sales).

CNG e-auction 288, Lot: 156.
Dino
DSC06579.JPG
Achaia, Achaean League, Argos. 196-146 BC.64 viewsAR Hemidrachm. Laureate head of Zeus left / AX monogram, AKT monogram above, wolf head right below.CGPCGP
argos221.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Argos. Circa 160-146 BC. 48 viewsAR Hemidrachm (16mm, 2.33 g, 11h). Laureate head of Zeus right / Monogram of the Achaian League; above, club right; to right, TK monogram; all within laurel wreath. Benner 16; BCD Peloponnesos 1137. VF, toned.

Ex BCD Collection (not in previous sales); Coin Galleries FPL (Winter 1981-1982), no. 51; CNG 221, lot 79
Dino
corinth.JPG
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Corinth. c. 167-146 BC279 viewsAR Hemidrachm, Obv: Laureate head of Zeus l. Rx: Pegasus flying r. over AX monogram with A-K-S across fields; all within laurel wreath, tied left. Ex John Twente Animal Collection; ex HJB Buy or Bid, 2/17/1981. About VF, 2.27g. BCD-73.2, Agrinion-583, Clerk-111; Benner-Korinth-11. HJBerk BBS 159, lot 167.3 commentsCGPCGP
corinth221.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Corinth. Circa 195-188 BC.62 viewsAR Hemidrachm (14mm, 2.31 g, 10h).
obv: Laureate head of Zeus right
rev: Monogram of the Achaian League; to left, koppa; below, monogram; all within laurel wreath.

Benner 6; BCD Peloponnesos 71. VF, toned.

Ex BCD Collection (not in previous sales); CNG 221, lot 82.
1 commentsDino
dyme.jpg
Achaia, Achaean League, Dyme. 88-30 BC.138 viewsAR Hemidrachm. Obv: Laureate head of Zeus r. Rx: Monograms above and to left of AX monogram F to right, fish r. below; all within laurel wreath. Ex John Twente Animal Collection; ex CNA Mail Bid Sale XXI, June 26, 1992, lot 674 (part). VF, 2.36g. BM-30, Clerk-53; Benner-Dyme-16. HJBerk BBS 159, lot 165.1 commentsCGPCGP
elisco.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Elis. c. 188-180 B.C.70 viewsSilver hemidrachm, BMC Peloponnesus p. 4, 46; S 3003 var, VF, Elis mint, 2.312g, 12.8mm, 315o, c. 196 - 146 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse large AX monogram in laurel wreath, F - A at sides, CW/CIAC below; Agrinion 334a; BCD 665.1; Benner-Elis-5. ex Coin Galleries auction, 23 November 1963, #423; ex Forum.CGPCGP
elisa.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Elis. 167-146 BC.135 viewsAR Hemidrachm. 2.30g. Laureate Head of Zeus right/ AX, F-A across, LY above, Sigma Omega below; all within laurel wreath. Dark toning. EFBCD-664, Agrinion-349a, Clerk-281; BCD 664; Benner-Elis-27. HJBerk BBS 160, lot 105.4 commentsCGPCGP
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ACHAIA, Achaean League, Elis. 175-168 BC62 viewsAR hemidrachm. Laureate head of Zeus right/Achaian League monogram. A - FA - N monograms across fields. All within wreath tied at bottom. Clerk 290; Agrinion-337c; BCD 665.2; Benner-Elis-11.CGPCGP
elis.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Elis. 88-30BC.78 viewsAR hemidrachm.
Zeus right KALLIPOS behind.
XA with monograms around. Thunderbolt below.
BCD 689, Benner Elis 42.
1 commentsDino
elis553.JPG
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Elis. Circa 175-168 BC.109 viewsAR hemidrachm. 15mm, 2.3g. Laureate head of Zeus right / AX monogram, F-A across, LY above; all within wreath tied at the bottom. BCD 665.5. Clerk 280.CGPCGP
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ACHAIA, Achaean League, Elis. Circa 175-168 BC. Bronze dichalkon?134 viewsBronze Dichalkon? (16mm). Laureate head of Zeus right / AX monogram, F-A across, LY above; all within wreath tied at the bottom.

If fourree core - Imitating BCD 665.5/Clerk 280?
CGPCGP
elis221.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Elis. Circa 191-188 BC. 86 viewsAR Hemidrachm (16mm, 2.42 g, 6h).
obv: Laureate head of Zeus right
rev: Monogram of the Achaian League; above, eagle standing right; in fields, N-I/Σ-Ω; below, FA; all within laurel wreath.

Benner 1; BCD Peloponnesos 663; Agrinion Hoard 331a (same obverse die)
VF, toned.

Ex BCD Collection (not in previous sales); CNG 221, lot 89.
2 commentsDino
elis~0.JPG
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Elis. Circa 88-30 BC.83 viewsAR hemidrachm. Laureate head of Zeus right/Achaian League monogram. 14 mm 2.2g. FA DWE XE monograms across fields. Thunderbolt below. All within wreath tied at bottom. BCD 680-1; Clerk 259; Benner-Elis-52. Toned. ex. Christopher Morcom collection. ex CNG auction 173 lot 219.CGPCGP
sparta~0.JPG
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Lakedaimon, Sparta 88-30 BC.113 viewsAR hemidrachm. Laureate head Zeus right/Achaian League monogram. Caps of the dioscuri across fields. Monograms above and below All enclosed within laurel wreath tied at bottom. Clerk 318a; Benner-Sparta-6. exHCC, Inc.1 commentsCGPCGP
megalopolis.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Megalopolis. Circa 160-150 BC. Bronze dichalkon 81 viewsBronze dichalkon or fourree core. 14.2mm. 2.27 g.
Obverse: Laureate head of Zeus right
Reverse: Large X with ΞB above, K-A across, M and thunderbolt below, all within wreath

Attribution: cf. BCD Peloponnesos 1551.1 Date: 160-150 BC

Ex BCD with tag. Note from BCD stating that this is a bronze coin struck from an identified offical die for a hemidrachm. This would make it possibly a test strike in bronze or a fouree core from a stolen die.
1 commentsDino
Picture_001.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Megara. 175-168 BC.115 views AR Hemidrachm. Laureate head of Zeus right / DW Monogram on left and PO Monogram on right side of Large AX monogram; above, lyre; all within laurel-wreath, tied below. Clerk 120; BCD 27.1; Benner-Megara-4.3 commentsCGPCGP
messene~0.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Messenia-Messena. Circa 175-168 BC.103 viewsAR Hemidrachm (18mm, 2.46 g).
Laureate head of Zeus right / Monogram; O-OP-N across field, M below; all within wreath tied at bottom.
Agrinion 325d-e; Clerk 304; BCD 722.7, 724; Benner-Messene-23 (same obverse die).

exBeast Coins.
2 commentsCGPCGP
pal~0.JPG
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Pallantium. 88-30 BC.70 viewsAR Hemidrachm (12mm, 1.89 g). Laureate head of Zeus right / Monogram; P - A - L across field, Trident and AN monogram below; all within wreath tied at the bottom. Toned. Clerk 220; BCD 1593.1; Benner-Pallantion-3.CGPCGP
patras~0.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Patrai-Patras. 167-146 BC. 125 views AR hemidrachm. 16mm 2.55g.
Laureate head Zeus right/ Achaian league monogram. Monogram A-TEI-N across fields. dolphin below. All within laurel wreath tied at bottom.
Agrinion Hoard 553a (same rev. die); Clerk 82a; Benner-Patrai-29 (this coin).
exBeast Coins.
4 commentsCGPCGP
100_0227.JPG
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Patrai-Patras. 167-146 BC. 52 viewsAR hemidrachm.
obv: Laureate head Zeus right
rev: Achaian league monogram. Monogram X-Theta E-E across fields. dolphin below. All within laurel wreath tied at bottom.

Agrinion 560-563; McClean 6411; SNG Cop. 249; Hunterian 14; Dewing 1845, Clerk 80/18; Benner-Patrai-32.
CGPCGP
troizen.JPG
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Patrai-Patras. 175-168 BC.202 viewsAR Hemidrachm (2.31 g.).
Obv: Laureate head Zeus right
Rev: Achaian League monogram; D left, M above, I right, trident below facing right; all within laurel wreath tied below.
Clerk 186/3; McClean 6461; Benner-Patrai-22.

exGorny & Mosch

SNG Cop. 274f. ; BMC 98
3 commentsCGPCGP
DSC03059~0.JPG
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Patrai-Patras. 195-188 BC.92 viewsAR Hemidrachm (15.3mm, 2.36g). Laureate head of Zeus right / AX Monogram; Monograms to left and right; Trident below; all within wreath tied at the bottom. Clerk 47(Ceryneia); Agrinion Hoard 270; Benner-Patrai-4.

exAmphora Coins.
CGPCGP
patras2.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Patrai-Patras. 88-30 BC.70 views AR hemidrachm. 15mm 2.16g.
Laureate head Zeus right/ Achaian league monogram. XE SW PA across fields. dolphin below. All within laurel wreath tied at bottom.
VF. Toned. BCD 508.7 (this coin); Clerk 81; Benner-Patrai-51 (this coin). exBeast Coins.
2 commentsCGPCGP
IMG_0005~1.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Patrai-Patras. 88-30 BC.53 viewsAR hemidrachm. 16mm 2.4g
obv: Laureate head Zeus right
rev: Achaian league monogram. Monograms and letters across fields. dolphin below. All within laurel wreath tied at bottom.

BMC 42; McClean 6409-10; SNG Cop 252; Leake 3643-5; Clerk 77/15 & 78/16; BCD 508.6.

3 commentsDino
sikyonc221.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Sikyon. Circa 160-146 BC.44 viewsAR Hemidrachm (16mm, 2.34 g, 6h).
obv: Laureate head of Zeus right
rev: Monogram of the Achaian League; above, ME monogram; in fields, N-I; below, dove flying right; all within laurel wreath.

Benner 18; BCD Peloponnesos 322.1. Near VF, toned, a little porous.

Ex BCD Collection (not in previous sales); CNG 221, lot 156.
1 commentsDino
sikyona221.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Sikyon. Circa 195-188 BC. 49 viewsAR Hemidrachm (14mm, 2.42 g, 10h).
obv: Laureate head of Zeus right
rev: Monogram of the Achaian League; in fields, Σ-I; below, EY; all within laurel wreath.

Benner 3; BCD Peloponnesos 321.2. VF, toned.

Ex BCD Collection (not in previous sales); CNG 221, lot 152.
Dino
teg.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaean League, Tegea. 88-30 BC. 138 viewsAR Hemidrachm (2.49 g, 8h). Laureate head of Zeus right / XA monogram; T-E across field; all within wreath. Clerk 223; BCD 1744; SNG Copenhagen 293; Benner-Tegea-4. Toned.

From Collection C.P.A. Ex Tkalec (24 October 2003), lot 94.

exCNG 78, lot 695.
4 commentsCGPCGP
ACHAIA,_Achaian_League__Tegea__Early_1st_century_BC__AR_Triobol_or_Hemidrachm_(15mm,_2_31_g,_9h).jpg
Achaia, Achaian League AR Triobol or Hemidrachm12 viewsACHAIA, Achaian League. Tegea. Early 1st century BC. AR Triobol or Hemidrachm (15mm, 2.31 g, 9h) Laureate head of Zeus right/ Achaian League monogram; T-E across field; all within wreath. Benner 4; BCD Peolponnesos 1744; HCG 6, 1075. VF, tonedOctopus Grabus
Pallantion.jpg
Achaia, Achaian League. Pallantion AR Triobol or Hemidrachm12 viewsACHAIA, Achaian League. Pallantion. Early 1st century BC. AR Triobol or Hemidrachm (15mm, 2.03 g, 1h) Laureate head of Zeus right / AX monogram; in field, Π-Α-Λ; below, EY monogram and trident; all within laurel wreath. VF, some tooling and fields lightly smoothed on the obverseOctopus Grabus
Patrai.jpg
ACHAIA, Achaian League. Patra c. 86 B.C.12 viewsACHAIA, Achaian League. Patrai. Circa 86 B.C. AR Triobol – Hemidrachm (14.2mm, 2.30 g,). Obv: Laureate head of Zeus right. Rev: Achaian League monogram; above, AP monogram; ΞE and ΠA flanking; below, dolphin swimming right; all within laurel wreath. Benner 47; BCD Peloponnesos 508.6; HGC 5, 55.ddwau
IMG_0008~1.jpg
ACHAIA, Aigieon. 37-31 BC.71 viewsAE hexachalkon (5.67 g)
Theoxios and Kletaios, magistrates.
obv: Laureate head of Zeus right
rev: Zeus standing right, holding eagle on outstretched arm and preparing to cast thunderbolt; ΘEOΞIOΣ KΛHTAIOΣ around. Kroll, Bronze 2; BCD Peloponnesos 436.

Located along the northern coast of the Peloponnesos, Achaia was a narrow territory between Sicyon and Elis. One theory suggests that Achaia’s original inhabitants were driven to the area from Achaia Phthoitis, which itself was located across the Gulf of Corinth in southern Thessaly. A number of prehistoric and Mycenaean ruins in the western part of the Achaia indicate that the district was long inhabited, even into remote antiquity. Twelve city-states were located there: Aigai, Aigira, Aigion, Bura, Dyme, Helike, Olenos, Patrai, Pherai, Pelene, Rhypes, and Tritaia. Achaian colonies were established in Magna Graecia at Kroton, Kaulonia, Metapontion, and Sybaris. From the mid-5th century onward, much of the history of Achaia is interconnected with the Achaian League.
Dino
Achaia,_Dyme,_AE_Dichalkon.jpg
Achaia, Dyme, ca. 300-250 BC, Æ Dichalkon11 viewsVeiled head of Demeter right.
ΔY within wreath with ties to left.

HGC 5, 37 (R1); BCD Peloponnesos 476; BMC 2; Traite 834, MG 29; SNG Copenhagen (Phliasia) 145.

(16 mm, 2.18 g, 8h).
Classical Numismatic Group, February 2009; ex- BCD Collection (not in LHS sale); found in Thessaly according to BCD collection tag.

Minor softness on reverse.
Very rare, less than a dozen specimens known.
n.igma
Argolis,_Argos,_Hemidrachm_.jpg
Achaian League, Argos, ca. 195-188 BC, AR Hemidrachm 19 views Laureate head of Zeus left.
Wreath surrounding AX monogram; TK monogram above and wolf’s head below.

HGC 5, 714 (this coin) (R1); BCD Peloponnesos 1130 (this coin); Agrinion 302 (b) (same dies); Clerk 141.

(15 mm, 2.43 g, 6h).
Kirk Davis Classical Numismatics Catalogue 50, Fall 2006, 46; ex-BCD Collection: LHS Numismatics 96, 8 May 2006, 1130; ex-Coin Galleries Winter FPL 1981/82, 52.
1 commentsn.igma
Elis,_Achaean_League,_AR_Hemidrachm,_40-30_BC.jpg
Achaian League, Elis, 40-30 BC, AR Hemidrachm 7 viewsLaureate head of Zeus right, ΘPACYΛEΩN behind.
Wreath surrounding AX monogram in centre; FA monogram to left, ANTK monogram above and XE monogram to right, thunderbolt below.

BCD Peloponnesos 688; HGC 5, 541 (R1); Clerk 272; BMC 70; Sear GCV 2994.

(16 mm, 2.19 g, 11h).
John Jencek Ancient Coins & Antiquities; ex- Frank Kovacs Collection.
n.igma
Achaia,_Achaian_League,_Elis,_AR_Hemidrachm_.jpg
Achaian League, Elis, ca. 50 BC, AR Hemidrachm 11 viewsLaureate head of Zeus right, KA monogram in outer right field.
Wreath surrounding AX monogram in centre; FA monogram to left, Ω above ELIΣ monogram (Elis) in upper field and XE monogram to right, thunderbolt below.

BCD Peloponnesos 685 (this coin); HGC 5, 540 (R2); Clerk 261; SNG Copenhagen 306.

(15 mm, 2.39 g, 6h).
Classical Numismatic Group e-Auction 160, 14 March 2007, 44; ex- BCD collection: LHS Auction 96, 8-9 May 2006, 685; ex- Danish National Museum, Copenhagen (c.f. SNG Cop 306 deaccessioned duplicate).
n.igma
Messenia,_Messene,_Hemidrachm.jpg
Achaian League, Messene, 191-183 BC, AR Hemidrachm7 viewsLaureate head of Zeus left.
Large AX monogram, Ξ-E across fields, ΠAY monogram above and ligate ME below, all within laurel wreath.

HGC 5, 595 (this coin); BCD Peloponnesos 706 (this coin); Agrinion 314 (same obverse die); Clerk 310.

(14 mm, 2.50 g, 1h)
Auctiones GmbH 1, 19 December 2011, 28; ex- BCD Collection: LHS 96, 8-9 May 2006, 706; ex- de Nicola, May 1982.
n.igma
Patrai_Hemidrachm_adj.jpg
Achaian League, Patrai, ca. 86 BC, AR Hemidrachm 6 viewsLaureate head of Zeus right.
Wreath surrounding AX monogram in centre; ΦΙ above, ΞE to left, ΠA to right, dolphin swimming right below.

BCD Peloponnesos 508.4; HGC 5, 55.

(15 mm, 2.32 g, 11h).
Jencek Historical Enterprise; ex- BCD Collection (private sale); ex- Coin Art, Feb. 1974 per BCD ticket.
n.igma
AchaeanLeague_Dyme_Benner17.jpg
Achaian League. Dyme 15 viewsAchaian League, Dyme in Achaia. Circa 86 BC. AR Hemidrachm (2.32 gm). Laureate head of Zeus Amarios, r. / League AX monogram; ΧΔ monogram above, T to left, ΑΡ monogram to right, fish below; all within wreath. gVF. CNG EA 254 #115. Benner 17; BCD Peloponnesos 488; HGC 5 #41; SNG Cop 240; Clerk pl 111 #3. Christian T
Achaian_League.jpg
Achaian League. Elis. Hemidrachm6 viewsACHAIA, Achaian League. Elis. Circa 45-30 BC. AR Hemidrachm. Kallippos, magistrate. Laureate head of Zeus right; [KAΛΛIΠΠ]OΥ (magistrate) behind / Monogram; FA to left, Φ above and X to right, thunderbolt below; all within wreath tied at the bottom. Clerk 273 var. (name in genitive); BCD Peloponnesos 690; SNG Copenhagen 298. 1 commentsPodiceps
greek8.jpg
Achain league, Pallantion Ar Tetrobol92 views1st cent. BC
Obv.: Laureate head of Zeus.
Rev.: Monogram of the Achaian League.
BCD Peloponnesos 1593.2
2 commentsMinos
Athenian_Tetradrachm.jpg
Athens5 viewsAthenian Old Style Tetradrachm

Obv: head of Athena facing r., crested Attic helmet with three olive leaves and floral scroll, hair across forehead in parallel curves, almond shaped eye, round earing, wire necklace.
Rev: owl standing r. with erect posture, tail feathers as a single prong, head facing forward, a crescent and then an olive sprig to the l., A☉E at 90º and downward to the r., all within incuse square.
Denomination: silver tetradrachm; Mint: Athens; Date: 454 - 404 BC;1 Weight: 17.2g; Diameter: 24mm; Die axis: 270º; References, for example: BMC vol. 11, 62; SNG Cop vol. 14, 31; SGCV I 2526; Kroll 8; SNG München issue 14, 49; HGC 4 1597.

Notes:
1This is the date range given in HGC 4. SGCV I gives 449 - 413 BC.

NGC rates this coin as About Uncirculated with a 5/5 strike and a 4/5 surface. I intend to someday free it from its encapsulation.

This coin is part of an enormous issue apparently begun in order to pay for work necessary to rebuild the city’s temples. Subsequent decades saw huge quantities of tetradrachms minted in order to finance the building of the Parthenon and other such massive projects, and later decades saw such minting in order to pay for the Peloponnesian War. (SGCV I, p. 236).

Provenance: Ex Heritage Auction 231723 June 8, 2017, lot 62016.

Photo Credits: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

BMC 11: Head, Barclay V. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum. Atica - Megaris - Aegina. London: Longmans & Co., 1888.
HGC 4: HGC: Hoover, Oliver D. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: Achaia Phthiotis, Ainis, Magnesia, Malis, Oita, Perrhaibia, Thessaly, Akarnania, Aitolia, Lokris, Phokis, Boiotia, Euboia, Attica, Megaris, and Corinthia, Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. Lancaster/London: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc, 2014.
Kroll: Kroll, John H. and Walker, Alan S. “The Athenian Agora. Results of Excavations Conducted by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, vol. XXVI: The Greek Coins”. New Jersey: The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1993.
SGCV I: Sear, David. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. I, Europe: Coins of Spain, Gaul, Italy, Sicily, the Balkan lands, Greece, the Cyclades and Crete; also the Cletic issues of Western and Central Europe. London: Seaby, 1978.
SNG COP: Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum: Attica - Aegina, Vol. 14. Copenhagen: Einar Munksgaard, 1944.
SNG München: Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Deutschland, Staatliche Münzsammlung München. 14 Heft. Attika, Megaris, Ägina: Nr. 1 - 601. München: Hirmer Verlag, 2002.
1 commentsTracy Aiello
phig.jpg
Bronze - ACHAIA, Achaean League, Phigaleia, 208 BC80 viewsÆ Tetrachalkon
Attribution: SNG Cop 345, BMC 169
Date: 208 BC
Obverse: Zeus standing left
Reverse: Achaia seated left
Size: 20.15 mm
Weight: 5 grams
Rarity: 8
Description: A very nice example of this rare and crude issue
CGPCGP
DSC08118.jpg
Bronze - ACHAIA, Achaean League, Phlius. Circa 191-146 BC.38 viewsÆ Tetrachalkon (18mm, 4.6 g).
obv: Zeus standing left, holding Nike and scepter; monogram in left field
rev: Female figure (Achaia) seated left, holding wreath and scepter.

BMC 146. BCD 147.

Ex BCD Collection (with BCD tag, not in previous sales)
Dino
Sikyon~1.jpg
Bronze - ACHAIA, Achaean League, Sikyon14 viewsBronze tetrachalkon, BCD Peloponnesos 323; BMC Peloponnesus p. 13, 147; Clerk 20; Benner 4; HGC 5 285 (S), F, dark patina, tight flan, marks, scrape on reverse, corrosion, 4.581g, 17.9mm, 45o, Sikyon mint, 191 -146 B.C.; obverse Zeus standing left, nude, Nike in extended right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, DA monogram lower left; reverse AXAIWN SIKYWNIWN, Achaia seated left, wreath in extended right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; ex J. Cohen Collection, ex BCD Collection (acquired from old German collection in Oct. 1993); rareDino
ALS.jpg
Bronze - ACHAIA, Achaean League, Sikyon. ca. 251 B.C.78 viewsÆ Tetrachalkon
20x17.5.
Obv. Zeus Amarios standing l. holding Nike and scepter, AT monogram before.
Rv. Demeter Panachaea seated l. holding wreath and scepter; AXAIΩN (ΣI) KYΩN(ΩN). Cf.SNG Cop 330-1. Rare. Upper margin flatly struck. Olive-brown. Very Fine.

ex Stack's St. Ludovico and Firth of Clyde Collection sale, lot 1100.
CGPCGP
sikyonb221.jpg
Bronze - ACHAIA, Achaean League, Sikyon. Circa 191-146 BC. 57 viewsÆ Tetrachalkon (19mm, 5.49 g, 10h).
obv: Zeus standing left, holding Nike and scepter; monogram in left field
rev: Female figure (Achaia) seated left, holding wreath and scepter.

Warren, Bronze 4a; Benner 4; BCD Peloponnesos 323. Near VF, green patina.

Ex BCD Collection (not in previous sales); CNG 221, lot 154.
Dino
DSC08141.jpg
Bronze - ACHAIA, Achaean League, Sikyon. Circa 191-146 BC.41 viewsÆ Tetrachalkon (19mm, 5.3 g).
obv: Zeus standing left, holding Nike and scepter; monogram in left field
rev: Female figure (Achaia) seated left, holding wreath and scepter.

Warren, Bronze 4a; Benner 4; BCD Peloponnesos 323. Near VF, green patina.

Ex BCD Collection (not in previous sales)
Dino
DSC08143.jpg
Bronze - ACHAIA, Achaean League, Sikyon. Circa 191-146 BC.92 viewsÆ Tetrachalkon (19mm, 5.0 g).
obv: Zeus standing left, holding Nike and scepter; monogram in left field
rev: Female figure (Achaia) seated left, holding wreath and scepter.

Warren, Bronze 4a; Benner 4; BCD Peloponnesos 323.

Ex BCD Collection (not in previous sales)
1 commentsDino
Tegea~0.jpg
Bronze - ACHAIA, Achaean League, Tegea17 viewsBronze tetrachalkon, cf. BCD Peloponnesos 1325, BMC Peloponnesus p. 15, 171 ff., Clerk 89 ff., SNG Cop 347 ff., aF/VF, 4.511g, 18.6mm, 90o, Tegea (Alea, Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece) mint, 191 -146 B.C.; obverse Zeus Amarios standing left, nude, Nike in right hand, long vertical scepter in left hand, obscure magistrates name downward behind; reverse AXAIWN - TEGEA-TWN, Achaia seated left, wreath in her right hand, long scepter vertical in her left hand; ex Gitbud & Naumann auction 23 (5 Oct 2014), lot 254Dino
2010069.jpg
Bronze - ACHAIA, Achaean League, Tegea. Circa 191-146 BC. 116 viewsÆ Tetrachalkon
20mm (4.99 g, 3h).
obv: Zeus Homarios standing left, holding Nike and scepter
rev: Achaia seated left, holding wreath and scepter.

Warren, Bronze 836 (this coin); BCD Peloponnesos 70; SNG Copenhagen 348. CNG Sale 201, Lot: 69. Fine, brown patina, rough.

From the J. S. Wagner Collection.

CNG
1 commentsCGPCGP
Achaean_League.jpg
Bronze - ACHAIA, Achaean League. Anonymous. Circa 250 BC.81 viewsÆ Dichalkon (13mm, 2.54 g, 2h).
obv: Laureate head of Zeus right
rev: League monogram within wreath . Benner 5; BCD Peloponnesos 377; SNG Copenhagen 229.
Near VF, rough green patina, encrustation.

CNG Electronic Auction 215, Lot: 172.
CGPCGP
Larissa_Bull_Wrestling_Large.jpg
Bull Wrestling Drachm98 viewsThessaly Greece, the City of Larissa

Obv: The hero Thessalos1 to r. naked, except for chlamys around his shoulders and petasos, flying in the air, attached to his neck by a cord, holding with both hands a band that is around the forehead of a bull leaping r. All within a border of dots (not here visible).
Rev: ΛΑΡΙ above, Σ to the r. (not here visible), ΙΑ below (not here visible), bridled horse with trailing rein prancing r., no ground line. All within incuse square.
Denomination: Silver Drachm; Mint: Larissa; Date: c. 420 - 400 BC2; Weight: 6.06g; Diameter: 18mm: Die axis: 270º; References, for example: HGC 4, 423 (same obv.); Lorber 2008, pl. 43, 59 (same dies); BCD Thessaly II 372.7 (same dies).

Notes:
1Considered the ancestor of all Thessalians. The figure is also sometimes considered to be Jason (of Jason and the Argonauts), who according to one tradition was the father of Thessalos (HGC 4, p. 132).
2This is the date given in HGC 4. According to Lorber 2008 this coin should be placed in the revived bull wrestling drachm coinage, beginning c. 450 - 440 BC.

This type is related to the Thessalian sport of bull wrestling (taurokathapsia) “...regularly showcased at the Taureia games honoring Poseidon Taureios.” (HGC 4, p. 132).

Provenance: from the BCD collection, reportedly found 8 kms west of Pharsalus, May 1997.

Photo credits: Shanna Schmidt Numismatics

Sources

BCD Thessaly II: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly. Triton XV Auction. (3 January 2012, New York).
HGC: Hoover, Oliver D. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: Achaia Phthiotis, Ainis, Magnesia, Malis, Oita, Perrhaibia, Thessaly, Akarnania, Aitolia, Lokris, Phokis, Boiotia, Euboia, Attica, Megaris, and Corinthia, Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. Lancaster/London: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc, 2014.
Lorber, Catharine C. “Thessalian Hoards and the Coinage of Larissa” in American Journal of Numismatics, second series 20 (2008): 119 - 142.
7 commentsTracy Aiello
Crusaders,_Achaia,_Karl_II__(1285_-_1289),_Clarentza_mint,_K_R_PRINC_ACh_,_DE_CLARENTIA,_Q-001,_7h,_17,5-18,5mm,_0,97g-s.jpg
Crusaders, Achaia, Charles II. of Anjou (1285–1289 A.D.), AR-denar, Achaia, ͓̽ ✠ ͓̽DЄ͓̽CLΛRЄNTIΛ, Châtel tournois, #1118 viewsCrusaders, Achaia, Charles II. of Anjou (1285–1289 A.D.), AR-denar, Achaia, ͓̽ ✠ ͓̽DЄ͓̽CLΛRЄNTIΛ, Châtel tournois, #1
avers: ✠•K•R•PRINC'ΛCh•, Cross pattée, the legend flanked by •, and has unbarred Λ's.
reverse: ͓̽ ✠ ͓̽DЄ͓̽CLΛRЄNTIΛ, Châtel tournois.
diameter: 17,5-18,5mm, weight: 0,97g, axis: 7h,
mint: Clarentza, mint mark: ,
date:1285-1289 A.D., ref: Metcalf, Crusades,; Malloy CCS 12,
Q-001
"Charles II, known as "the Lame" (French le Boiteux, Italian lo Zoppo; 1254 – 5 May 1309), was King of Naples and Sicily, titular
King of Jerusalem, and Prince of Salerno.
He was the son of Charles I of Anjou, who had conquered the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily in the 1260s. His mother was Beatrice of Provence."
quadrans
Crusaders,_Achaia,_Florent_of_Hainaut_(1289–1297),_Clarentza_mint,_FLORENS_P_ACh,_DE_CLARENCIA,_Q-001,_9h,_17-18mm,_0,77g-s.jpg
Crusaders, Achaia, Florent of Hainaut (1289–1297 A.D.), AR-denar, Achaia, ✠DЄCLΛRЄNCIΛᴮ. Châtel tournois, #1120 viewsCrusaders, Achaia, Florent of Hainaut (1289–1297 A.D.), AR-denar, Achaia, ✠DЄCLΛRЄNCIΛᴮ. Châtel tournois, #1
avers: ✠ꭝFLORЄNS•P•ΛChᴮ. Cross pattée, the legend flanked by small B and a fleur-de-lis, and has unbarred Λ's.
reverse: ✠DЄCLΛRЄNCIΛᴮ. Châtel tournois.
diameter: 17,0-18,0mm, weight: 0,77g, axis: 9h,
mint: Clarentza, mint mark: ,
date:1289-1297 A.D., ref: Metcalf, Crusades, 953-7; Malloy CCS 13c! Scarce!
Q-001
"Florent of Hainaut (also Floris or Florence; Hainaut, also spelled "Hainault") (c.1255 – 23 January 1297) was Prince of Achaea
from 1289 to his death, in right of his wife, Isabella of Villehardouin. He was the son of John I of Avesnes and Adelaide of Holland.
From his father he received the stadholdership (government) of Zeeland."
quadrans
Larissa_Head_BCD_Thessaly_II_316_.jpg
Facing Head of Larissa43 viewsThessaly Greece, the City of Larissa
Obv: Head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly l., round curl to the l. of the head, wearing ampyx flanked by two hornlike locks, a pendant earring, and a simple necklace.
Rev: Horse crouching r., l. foreleg raised and bent (almost parallel with belly/ground), preparing to roll. ΛAPIΣ above horse and AIΩN in the exergue.
Denomination: Silver Drachm; Mint: Larissa; Date: c. 356 - 342 BC1; Weight: 5.920g; Diameter: 19.2mm; Die axis: 135º; References, for example: Lorber Hoard, pl. 3, 27 (same dies); BCD Thessaly I 11582; BCD Thessaly II 316; HGC 4 4543.

Notes:
1This is the date range stated in BCD Thessaly I. This coin appears to fall within Lorber’s Phase Late II or Phase Late III. See Lorber Hoard and Lorber 2008.
2The coin referenced in this auction catalogue is actually a silver stater, but in discussing the coin the catalogue states that the earliest Larissian staters “...bear the normal types of a drachm….”
3The picture of the coin in this reference does not show the foreleg raised and bent, but the entry does reference BCD Thessaly II, lots 312 - 320, which matches one of the references here.
The city of Larissa was named after the local water nymph, said to be the daughter of Pelasgos. He was said to be the ancestor of the pre-Greek Pelasgians. According to myth Larissa drowned while playing ball on the banks of the Peneios river. (HGC 4 p.. 130).

Provenance: from the BCD collection, with his tag noting "Thz. G/ni ex Thess., Apr. 94, SFr. 100.-"

Photo credits: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

BCD Thessaly I: Nomos AG, Auction 4. Coins of Thessaly, the BCD Collection. (10 May 2011, Zurich).
BCD Thessaly II: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly. Triton XV Auction. (3 January 2012, New York).
HGC: Hoover, Oliver D. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: Achaia Phthiotis, Ainis, Magnesia, Malis, Oita, Perrhaibia, Thessaly, Akarnania, Aitolia, Lokris, Phokis, Boiotia, Euboia, Attica, Megaris, and Corinthia, Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. Lancaster/London: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc, 2014.
Lorber Hoard: Lorber, Catharine C. “A Hoard of Facing Head Larissa Drachms” in Schweizerische Numismatische Rundschau, vol. 79 (2000): 7 - 15.
Lorber, Catharine C. “Thessalian Hoards and the Coinage of Larissa” in American Journal of Numismatics, second series 20 (2008): 119 - 142.
1 commentsTracy Aiello
Larissa_Head_BCD_Thessaly_II_323_var.jpg
Facing Head of Larissa64 viewsThessaly Greece, the City of Larissa
Obv: Head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly l., round curl to the l. of he head, wearing ampyx flanked by two hornlike locks, a pendant earring represented by three pellets in a vertical line, and a simple necklace.
Rev: Horse crouching r., l. foreleg raised and bent (almost parallel with belly/ground), preparing to roll, small plant (control mark) below. ΛAPIΣ above horse and AIΩN in the exergue.
Denomination: Silver Drachm; Mint: Larissa; Date: c. 356 - 342 BC1; Weight: 5.869g; Diameter: 18.3mm; Die axis: 0 º; References, for example: BMC Thessaly p. 30, 61; BCD Thessaly I 1156; BCD Thessaly II 323 var. [same obv. die, but no trident (control mark) below the horse pointing to the left].

Notes:
1This is the date range stated in BCD Thessaly I. This coin appears to fall within Lorber’s Phase Late II or Phase Late III. See Lorber Hoard and Lorber 2008.
The city of Larissa was named after the local water nymph, said to be the daughter of Pelasgos. He was said to be the ancestor of the pre-Greek Pelasgians. According to myth Larissa drowned while playing ball on the banks of the Peneios river. (HGC 4 p. 130).

Provenance: from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins.

Photo credits: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

BCD Thessaly I: Nomos AG, Auction 4. Coins of Thessaly, the BCD Collection. (10 May 2011, Zurich).
BCD Thessaly II: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly. Triton XV Auction. (3 January 2012, New York).
BMC Thessaly: Gardner, Percy. A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thessaly to Aetolia. London, 1883.
HGC: Hoover, Oliver D. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: Achaia Phthiotis, Ainis, Magnesia, Malis, Oita, Perrhaibia, Thessaly, Akarnania, Aitolia, Lokris, Phokis, Boiotia, Euboia, Attica, Megaris, and Corinthia, Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. Lancaster/London: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc, 2014.
Lorber Hoard: Lorber, Catharine C. “A Hoard of Facing Head Larissa Drachms” in Schweizerische Numismatische Rundschau, vol. 79 (2000): 7 - 15.
Lorber, Catharine C. “Thessalian Hoards and the Coinage of Larissa” in American Journal of Numismatics, second series 20 (2008): 119 - 142.

3 commentsTracy Aiello
Larissa_Head_BCD_Thessaly_II_283_.jpg
Facing Head of Larissa60 viewsThessaly Greece, the City of Larissa

Obv: Head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly r., wearing ampyx, pendant earring, and wire necklace. Border of dots.
Rev: reverse horse crouching l., l. foreleg raised, preparing to roll and lie down. ΛAPI above horse and ΣAIΩN in the exergue.
Denomination: Silver Drachm; Mint: Larissa; Date: c. 380 - 365 BC1; Weight: 5.812g; Diameter: 20.8mm; Die axis: 90º; References, for example: BCD Thessaly I 1149; BCD Thessaly II 283; McClean 4623; HGC 4, 441; Lorber - Shahar, Middle Series 1 Type A (O1/R42

Notes:
1This is the date range stated in BCD Thessaly I.
2Unfortunately this website no longer functions and it will not be brought back up (Catharine Lorber, personal communication, September 7, 2018).
The city of Larissa was named after the local water nymph, said to be the daughter of Pelasgos. He was said to be the ancestor of the pre-Greek Pelasgians. According to myth Larissa drowned while playing ball on the banks of the Peneios river. (HGC 4 p. 130).

Photo credits: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

BCD Thessaly I: Nomos AG, Auction 4. Coins of Thessaly, the BCD Collection. (10 May 2011, Zurich).
BCD Thessaly II: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly. Triton XV Auction. (3 January 2012, New York).
HGC: Hoover, Oliver D. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: Achaia Phthiotis, Ainis, Magnesia, Malis, Oita, Perrhaibia, Thessaly, Akarnania, Aitolia, Lokris, Phokis, Boiotia, Euboia, Attica, Megaris, and Corinthia, Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. Lancaster/London: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc, 2014.
Lorber, Catharine and Shahar C. “The Silver Facing Head Coins of Larissa.” 2005. http://www.lightfigures.com/numismat/larissa/index.php. Note: this website no longer functions.
McClean: Grose, S. W. Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Volume II The Greek Mainland, The Aegaean Islands, Crete. London: Cambridge University Press, 1926.
4 commentsTracy Aiello
Larissa_Obe_and_Rev.jpg
Facing Head of Larissa43 viewsThessaly Greece, the City of Larissa

Obv: Head of the nymph Larissa 3/4 facing l., wearing ampyx flanked by two hornlike locks, round curl to the l. of the head1; earring on the r. (?), wearing wire necklace (?). Border of dots.
Rev: Horse crouching r., l. foreleg raised and bent (parallel with the lower part of the hind legs), preparing to roll, ΛAPIΣ above horse and AIΩN in the exergue.
Denomination: Silver Drachm; Mint: Larissa; Date: c. 356 - 346 BC2; Weight: 6.05g; Diameter: 19mm; Die axis: 130º; References, for example: Lorber Hoard, Phase L-III; SNG COP 121.

Notes:
1On p. 10 of Lorber Hoard Catharine Lorber observes that on later Phase L-III head types the round curl to the left of the head “...tends to evolve into a long wavy lock scarcely different from the others above and below it.” Therefore, perhaps this coin falls earlier in Phase L-III.
2This is the date range given in Lorber Hoard, p. 11. She states that the Third Sacred War must have been the historical context for the intensive Phase L-III drachm production.
The city of Larissa was named after the local water nymph, said to be the daughter of Pelasgos. He was said to be the ancestor of the pre-Greek Pelasgians. According to myth Larissa drowned while playing ball on the banks of the Peneios river. (HGC 4 p. 130).

Provenance: ex. Pegasi Auction, A22, lot 117

Photo credits: Harlan J. Berk Ltd.

Sources

HGC: Hoover, Oliver D. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: Achaia Phthiotis, Ainis, Magnesia, Malis, Oita, Perrhaibia, Thessaly, Akarnania, Aitolia, Lokris, Phokis, Boiotia, Euboia, Attica, Megaris, and Corinthia, Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. Lancaster/London: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc, 2014.
Lorber Hoard: Lorber, Catharine C. “A Hoard of Facing Head Larissa Drachms” in Schweizerische Numismatische Rundschau, vol. 79 (2000): 7 - 15.
SNG COP: Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum: Thessaly - Illyricum. Copenhagen: Einar Munksgaard, 1943.
4 commentsTracy Aiello
Larissa_AI_Signed.jpg
Facing Head of Larissa - AI Signed30 viewsThessaly Greece, the City of Larissa

Obv: Head of the nymph Larissa facing ¾ l., wearing ampyx with ΓΕΥ inscription (not visible)1, hair floating freely above head, tiny IA above top locks of hair (off of flan), prominent raised right shoulder2 (garment clasp visible?), spherical earring with bead pendant. Border of dots.
Rev: Horse crouching r., bucranium brand on haunch, forelegs spread, raised tail (off of flan), tiny AI under belly3, reign trails into exergue with exergue line sloping downward under horse’s muzzle, ΛΑΡΙΣΑΙ directly below exergue line with ΣΑΙ breaking into that line.
Denomination: Silver Drachm; Mint: Larissa; Date: c. 405/400 BC - c. 370 BC4; Weight: 6.11g; Diameter: 19mm; Die axis: 90º; References, for example: SNG Cop vol. 11, 126; Herrmann Group VII, Series I, Reverse II, pl. VI, 16 and 19; HGC 4, 434; Lorber - Shahar Group 3 Head Type 14 (O35/R2 - Sp. b, this very coin) = Florilegium Numismaticum Group One Head Type 11 with Reverse 21.2 - Sp. b (this very coin).

Notes:
1Lorber presumes that these letters are “...an abbreviated epithet of the nymph Larissa.” (Lorber Early in FlorNum, p. 261).
2Lorber invites us to interpret this “distinctive gesture” as the nymph “...tossing her ball, an action regularly depicted on trihemiobols and obols of the fifth century.” (Lorber Early in FlorNum, p. 262).
3Lorber understands these letters to be the signature of the mint’s chief engraver, who replaced ΣΙΜΟ. See Lorber Early in FlorNum, p. 261.
4This is the date range provided in Lorber 2008, p. 126.

The city of Larissa was named after the local water nymph, said to be the daughter of Pelasgos. He was said to be the ancestor of the pre-Greek Pelasgians. According to myth Larissa drowned while playing ball on the banks of the Peneios river. (HGC 4 p. 130).

Provenance: Ex Numismatica Ars Classica Auction 29, May 11, 2005, lot 176; Ex Numismatic Fine Arts Auction XXXIII, May 3, 1994, lot 929.

Photo credits: Shanna Schmidt Numismatics

Sources

Herrmann, Fritz. “Die Silbermünzen von Larissa in Thessalien.” Zeitschrift für Numismatik 35 (1925): 1 - 69.
HGC: Hoover, Oliver D. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: Achaia Phthiotis, Ainis, Magnesia, Malis, Oita, Perrhaibia, Thessaly, Akarnania, Aitolia, Lokris, Phokis, Boiotia, Euboia, Attica, Megaris, and Corinthia, Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. Lancaster/London: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc, 2014.
Lorber, Catharine C. “The Early Facing Head Drachms of Thessalian Larissa.” In Florilegium Numismaticum: Studia in Honorem U. Westermark Edita. Edited by H. Nilsson. Stockholm: Svenska Numismatiska Föreningen, 1992: 259 - 282.
Lorber, Catharine C. and Shahar C. “The Silver Facing Head Coins of Larissa.” 2005. http://www.lightfigures.com/numismat/larissa/index.php. Note: this website is no longer functional but I printed some of the catalogues in PDF format before the website was completely taken down. I was never able to see any of the images on the website. At the time of my first visit only the PDFs were functional.
Lorber, Catharine C. “Thessalian Hoards and the Coinage of Larissa” in American Journal of Numismatics, second series 20 (2008): 119 - 142.
SNG COP: Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum: Thessaly - Illyricum, Vol. 11. Copenhagen: Einar Munksgaard, 1943.

4 commentsTracy Aiello
aigieon.jpg
GREEK, Achaean League, Aigieon. ca. 88-30 BC.150 views AR Hemidrachm 15mm (2.2 g.).
obv: Laureate head of Zeus right. AIGIEWN.
rev: Achaian League monogram;CTO to left, API above, DA right, MOC below;all within laurel-wreath, tied below.
Sear-2973;BMC 24f.; SNG Cop. 235; BCD 430; Benner-Aigion-20.
Dino
Achaia,_Archean_League,_Argos_AR_Hemidrachm_-_CNG_160__Lot_43.jpg
GREEK, Achaean League, Argos, ca. 175-168 BC, AR Hemidrachm - Agrinion 308292 viewsLaureate head of Zeus right. / Wreath surrounding AX monogram in centre; TK monogram above and Harpa right below.
BCD Peloponnesos 1136 (this coin); Clerk 147; Agrinion 308 (same dies).
(17 mm, 2.47 g, 12h)
ex- BCD Collection; LHS 96, Lot 1136 (8 May 2006); ex- Empire Coins Fixed Price List 76 (September 1995).

One of the more refined images of Zeus on this series of Achaian League emissions, complimented by the slightly oval flan.
3 commentsLloyd T
elis221~0.jpg
GREEK, Achaean League, Elis. Circa 191-188 BC. 142 viewsAR Hemidrachm (16mm, 2.42 g, 6h).
obv: Laureate head of Zeus right
rev: Monogram of the Achaian League; above, eagle standing right; in fields, N-I/Σ-Ω; below, FA; all within laurel wreath.

Benner 1; BCD Peloponnesos 663. VF, toned.

Ex BCD Collection (not in previous sales); CNG 221, lot 89.
1 commentsDino
Messene__-_BCD_723_this_coin~0.jpg
GREEK, Achaean League, Messene, 175-168 BC, AR Hemidrachm 167 viewsLaureate head of Zeus Hamarios left.
Large AX monogram; N - Φ across fields, M below; all within wreath.
HGC 5, 597 (this coin); Benner 23 (this coin); BCD Peloponnesos 723 (this coin); Agrinon 323g (same dies); Clerk 216 (Megalopolis); SNG Copenhagen 315.
(15 mm, 2.44 g, 5h)
ex- BCD Collection: LHS 96 (8-9 May 2006) Lot 723
3 commentsLloyd T
patras.jpg
GREEK, Achaean League, Patrai-Patras. 167-146 BC. 316 viewsAR hemidrachm. 16mm 2.55g.
Laureate head Zeus right/ Achaian league monogram. Monogram A-TEI-N across fields. dolphin below. All within laurel wreath tied at bottom.
Agrinion Hoard 553a (same rev. die); Clerk 82a; Benner-Patrai-29 (this coin).
exBeast Coins.
1 commentsDino
troizen~0.jpg
GREEK, Achaean League, Patrai-Patras. 175-168 BC.285 viewsAR Hemidrachm (2.31 g.).
Obv: Laureate head Zeus right
Rev: Achaian League monogram; D left, M above, I right, trident below facing right; all within laurel wreath tied below.
Clerk 186/3; McClean 6461; Benner-Patrai-22.

exGorny & Mosch

SNG Cop. 274f. ; BMC 98
5 commentsDino
patras2_(1).jpg
Greek, ACHAIA, Achaean League, Patrai-Patras. 88-30 BC.143 viewsAR hemidrachm. 15mm 2.16g.
Laureate head Zeus right/ Achaian league monogram. XE SW PA across fields. dolphin below. All within laurel wreath tied at bottom.
VF. Toned. BCD 508.7 (this coin); Clerk 81; Benner-Patrai-51 (this coin). exBeast Coins.
Dino
Hadrien -1.jpg
Hadrian Sestertius22 viewsAE Sestertius
Restitutor type, Achaiae
Ovb: HADRIANVS AVG.COS III P.P.;
Rev: RESTITVTORI ACHAIAE S.C.
RIC 938
Tanit
HADRSE40.jpg
Hadrian, RIC 938, Sestertius of AD 134-138 (Restitutor Achaea)23 viewsÆ sestertius (26.58g, Ø31mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 134-138.
Obv.: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P laureated draped bust right.
Rev.: RESTITVTORI ACHAIAE (around) S C (ex.), Hadrian standing left raising kneeling Achaea, vase with palm between them.
RIC 938f [R]; Cohen 1218 (20 Fr.); BMCRE 1872; Strack 767
Ex Harlan J. Berk ltd, Chicago Buy/Bid Sale 132 (2005)
photo by Harlan J. Berk
Charles S
MISC_Venice_Tornesello_Venier.JPG
Italian States. Venice. Republic.65 viewsStahl 14-17, CNI VII, p. 112 48-57, Papadopoli, p. 321 7.

Billon tornesselo, 16 mm., struck 1382-1400 under Doge Antonio Venier (October 21, 1382 – November 23, 1400).

Obv: + • ANTO’ • VENERIO DVX [retrograde Ns], central cross pattée.

Rev: + • VEXILIFER VENETIA[L or R] [retrograde Ns], winged lion of St. Mark, seated facing, holding a book.

Note: As far as can be ascertained from the portions of the legend that are legible, this coin is a variant that is not recorded in the CNI. Of the ten variants recorded there, only two (Nos. 56 and 57 have retrograde Ns (with No. 56 ending in an L and No. 57 ending in an R). The obverse cross on this coin does not match the style on either of these, and the configurations of small pellets also differs.

Note: The tornesselo was minted in Venice, starting in 1353, for use in its Greek colonies of Coron and Modon, Negroponte and Crete, after the Frankish mints of Athens and Achaia ceased striking the denier tournois, in 1350. The name “tornesello,” meaning “little tower,” is derived from the tower on the reverse of the local Frankish coins that preceded it. The reverse legend is a truncated form of “Vexilifer Venetiarum,” meaning, “standard-bearer of Venice.” The coin’s use spread beyond the Venetian colonies until it became the principal coinage in Greece. They were struck in an alloy of eight parts copper to one part silver, and are typically poorly struck.
Stkp
MISC_Italian_States_Venice_Tornsello_Lando.jpg
Italian States. Venice. Republic.9 viewsCNI VII, p. 315 214 var.

Billon tornesselo, 0.46 g., 13.07 mm. max., 270°, struck under Doge Pietro Lando (1538-1545).

Obv: +[ • PET • ]LANDO • DVX, central cross pattée with pellets in quarters and at ends of cross arms.

Rev: + S MARCVS • VENET •, winged lion of St. Mark, seated facing, holding a book.

This coin is a variant that is not recorded in the CNI. Unlike the three Lando tornesello recorded there (Nos. 212-214), this coin lacks pellets on the reverse before and after the S.

The tornesselo was minted in Venice, starting in 1353, for use in its Greek colonies of Coron and Modon, Negroponte and Crete, after the Frankish mints of Athens and Achaia ceased striking the denier tournois, in 1350. The name “tornesello,” meaning “little tower,” is derived from the tower on the reverse of the local Frankish coins that preceded it. The original reverse legend was a truncated form of “Vexilifer Venetiarum,” meaning, “standard-bearer of Venice,” but that legend was changed during the reign of Doge Cristoforo Moro (1462-1471) to an abbreviated form of Saint Marks Venice. The coin’s use spread beyond the Venetian colonies until it became the principal coinage in Greece. They were struck in an alloy of eight parts copper to one part silver, and are typically poorly struck. By the time this coin was struck, Venice had lost all of its colonies for which the tornesello was originally intended other than Crete.
Stkp
MISC_Italy_Venice_Contarini_tornesello.jpg
Italian States. Venice. Republic. 10 viewsStahl 8-11, CNI VII, pp. 101-102 58-69, Papadopoli, p. 217 7-8.

Billon tornesello, struck under Doge Andrea Contarini (1367-1382), .59 g., 16.52 mm. max., 90°.

Obv: + • ANDR’ • CTAR•’ DVX •, central cross pattée.

Rev: + VEXILIFER[...] VENETIAʯ,, winged lion of St. Mark, seated facing, holding a book.

Note: This coin is a variant that is not recorded in the CNI. Of the twelve variants recorded there, none have a pellet between the second R and the apostrophe on the obverse.

Note: The tornesello was minted in Venice, starting in 1353, for use in its Greek colonies of Coron and Modon, Negroponte and Crete, after the Frankish mints of Athens and Achaia ceased striking the denier tournois, in 1350. The name “tornesello,” meaning “little tower,” is derived from the tower on the reverse of the local Frankish coins that preceded it. The reverse legend is a truncated form of “Vexilifer Venetiarum,” meaning, “standard-bearer of Venice.” The coin’s use spread beyond the Venetian colonies until it became the principal coinage in Greece. They were struck in an alloy of eight parts copper to one part silver, and are typically poorly struck.
Stkp
MISC_Italy_Venice_Steno_tornesello.jpg
Italian States. Venice. Republic. 13 viewsStahl 18-19, CNI VII, pp. 117-118, 38-43, Plate III 27; Papadopoli, p. 240 7.

Billon tornesello, struck under Doge Michael Steno (1400-1413), .55 g., 16.96 mm. max., 180°.

Obv: •+• MIChAEL STEN' DVX, central cross pattée.

Rev: +• VEXILIFER • VENET[IAʯ,] [retrograde N], winged lion of St. Mark, seated facing, holding a book.

Note: This coin is a variant that is not recorded in the CNI. Of the six variants recorded there, none have a pellet on either ide of the cross but do not have pellets between words on the obverse.

Note: The tornesello was minted in Venice, starting in 1353, for use in its Greek colonies of Coron and Modon, Negroponte and Crete, after the Frankish mints of Athens and Achaia ceased striking the denier tournois, in 1350. The name “tornesello,” meaning “little tower,” is derived from the tower on the reverse of the local Frankish coins that preceded it. The reverse legend is a truncated form of “Vexilifer Venetiarum,” meaning, “standard-bearer of Venice.” The coin’s use spread beyond the Venetian colonies until it became the principal coinage in Greece. They were struck in an alloy of eight parts copper to one part silver, and are typically poorly struck.
Stkp
MISC_Italy_Venice_Gradenigo_tornasello.jpg
Italian States. Venice. Republic. 11 viewsStahl 3, CNI VII, p. 82-83, 21-27, Plate III, 21; Papadopoli, p. 192, 8.

Billon tornesello, struck under Doge Giovanni Gradenigo (1355-1356), .54 g., 16.60 mm. max., 0°.

Obv: •+• IO : GRADOICO • DVX, central cross pattée.

Rev: +• VEXILIFER : VENECIAʯ,, winged lion of St. Mark, seated facing, holding a book.

Note: The tornesello was minted in Venice, starting in 1353, for use in its Greek colonies of Coron and Modon, Negroponte and Crete, after the Frankish mints of Athens and Achaia ceased striking the denier tournois, in 1350. The name “tornesello,” meaning “little tower,” is derived from the tower on the reverse of the local Frankish coins that preceded it. The reverse legend is a truncated form of “Vexilifer Venetiarum,” meaning, “standard-bearer of Venice.” The coin’s use spread beyond the Venetian colonies until it became the principal coinage in Greece. They were struck in an alloy of eight parts copper to one part silver, and are typically poorly struck.
Stkp
Lakonia,_Lakedaimon_(Sparta)_AR_Hemidrachm_85_BC.jpg
Lakonia, Lakedaimon (Sparta), ca. 85 BC, AR Hemidrachm - in the style of the Achaian League 12 viewsLaureate head of Zeus right.
Central AX monogram; pilei of the Dioskouri flanking, ΛAI monogram above and ΩΠMY monogram below, all within laurel wreath.

HGC 5, 643 (S); Clerk 319; BCD Peloponnesos 865.4; SNG Cop 320.

(13 mm, 2.36 g, 6h).
Classical Numismatic Group, August 2007; from BCD Collection (not in LHS sale); ex-Johan Christian Holm (Denmark) 1976.

Although this coin is in the style of the Achaian League style, it was issued at a time when Sparta was not a member of the League. It is believed that the issue of this coin type was a “voluntary” contribution to the Roman campaign when Sulla was fighting Mithradates VI. This issue was struck the style of the coinage of the League, which was more acceptable to the Greek mercenaries who received it as pay while engaged by Rome. Sparta also issued autonomous silver coinage (example below) around the same time and for the following thirty years.
n.igma
eumeneia_pseudoautonom_SNGcop384cf.jpg
Phrygia, Eumeneia, pseudo-autonomous, cf. SNG Copenhagen 38435 viewsAE 17, 2.99g, 17.33mm, 0°
obv. bust of Dionysos, draped, wreathed with ivory
rev. EVME - NEWN - AXAIWN
Athena, wearing double chiton and helmet, stg. l., holding patera in r. hand and in l. hand spear and
shield set on ground
ref. cf. SNG Copenhagen 384
VF, sand patina

On the epithet Achaion:
(1) William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, 1854: Achaion seems to allude to the destruction of Corinth 146 BC in which Attalus II was involved (4th Macedonian War).
(2) Barclay Head, Historia Numorum, 1911: (Achaion) shows that some of the influential families claimed an Achaian origin.
1 commentsJochen
Larissa_Trihemiobol.jpg
Rider and Larissa Seated24 viewsThessaly Greece, the City of Larissa

Obv: Rider on a horse prancing r., holding a single spear transversally with petasos flying backwards and chlamys on his back, beneath horse’s belly a lion’s head facing r. Border of dots or small grains.1
Rev: The nymph Larissa2 seated r. on a chair with a back ending in a swan’s head, r. hand resting on her lap or thigh and holding a phiale, l. arm raised with palm forward,3 Λ and Α above to l. and r. of head with R and Ι to r. of body turned 90º and downward, all within a shallow incuse square.
Denomination: Silver Trihemiobol; Mint: Larissa; Date: mid- to late 5th Century BC4; Weight: 1.28g5; Diameter: 13mm; Die axis: 60º; References, for example: BMC Thessaly p. 25, 13; Weber 2838; Traité IV, 651, pl. CCXCVI, 9; Herrmann Group II, Pl. 1, 7; BCD Thessaly II 154; HGC 4, 466.

Notes:
1Forrer, BCD Thessaly II, and Hoover refer to the border as composed of dots; Babelon refers to the border as composed of small grains.
2Herrmann does not associate the figure on the reverse with the nymph Larissa. Instead he refers to the figure as a “sitting male” and cites two examples from Berlin and Warren 687 as having the indication of beards (p.9). He declares that the meaning [interpretation] of the sitter cannot be determined, but he invites us to think of a deity (p. 11).
3Forrer and BCD Thessaly II state that Larissa is holding a mirror, Hoover mentions only that the arm is raised, Babelon indicates that the left arm is raised with palm forward, and Herrmann describes the left hand as raised in an “adoring gesture”. On the coin here the left hand clearly has the thumb separated from the rest of the fingers with the palm facing forward; there is no indication that the hand is holding anything. I wonder what the intention of the gesture could have been.
4Dates in the sources cited here run the gamut of the 5th Century BC. Herrmann: c. 500 - 479 BC; Babelon: c. 470 - 430 BC; HGC: c. 440 - 420 BC; Forrer: c. 430 - 400 BC. In light of Kagen (2004) and his belief that Herrmann’s Group I ended c. 460 BC it seems appropriate to choose the date range specified in BCD Thessaly II.
5Herrmann argues that Group II was struck on the Persian weight standard. (He believed that the same held true for Group I). Kagan (2004) demonstrates that Larissain coinage was not struck on the Persian weight standard.

The city of Larissa was named after the local water nymph, said to be the daughter of Pelasgos. He was said to be the ancestor of the pre-Greek Pelasgians. According to myth Larissa drowned while playing ball on the banks of the Peneios river. (HGC 4 p. 130).

Photo Credits: Nomos AG

Sources

BCD Thessaly II: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly. Triton XV Auction. (3 January 2012, New York).
BMC Thessaly: Gardner, Percy. A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thessaly to Aetolia. London, 1883.
HGC: Hoover, Oliver D. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: Achaia Phthiotis, Ainis, Magnesia, Malis, Oita, Perrhaibia, Thessaly, Akarnania, Aitolia, Lokris, Phokis, Boiotia, Euboia, Attica, Megaris, and Corinthia, Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. Lancaster/London: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc, 2014.
Kagan, Jonathan. “The So-Called Persian Weight Coins of Larissa”. Obolos 7. 2004.
Traité: Babelon, Ernest. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines: Tome Quatrième. Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1926.
Weber: Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber: Volume II. London: Spink & Son, 1924.
3 commentsTracy Aiello
IMG_9265.JPG
Sparta11 viewsACHAIA, Achaian League. Lakedaimon (Sparta). Circa 85 BC. AR Hemidrachm (15mm, 2.32 g, 8h). Laureate head of Zeus right / Achaian League monogram; monogram above, piloi of the Dioskouroi flanking, ΠY below; all within laurel wreath. Benner 15; BCD Peloponnesos 865.1; HGC 5, 643. Good VF, tone, slightly off center. Good metal.

From the J. Cohen Collection.

A note from the previous collector:

This collection of Peloponnesian coins was born from my personal interest in ancient Greek history and inspired primarily by the BCD sales. The collection was formed as a study of the varying coinage types produced through the ruling cycles of the Peloponnese. Initial focus of the collection was on Sparta, the coinage produced under Roman rule and issues produced bearing the iconography of the Achaean League. Given the less than amicable relationship between the League and Sparta, this area proved highly interesting to collect. The initial phase of collecting Sparta/Lacedaemon pieces set the groundwork for the evolution of the collection.

The collection was then expanded to Sparta's immediate neighbor in Messene and then to the entire Peloponnese. As I moved through the wider Peloponnesian regions I aimed, where possible, to collect an example of Achaean League coinage of the respective City States, examples of the Greek Imperial coinage and finally, Roman Provincial coinage. The goal being to develop a snapshot of the evolution of coins issued within the Peloponnese. Collecting in this way allowed for a timeline of both political and artistic change throughout the Peloponnese to be mapped out. The uniform coinage, both in silver and bronze of the Achaean league can be compared against the unique iconography of the corresponding Imperial issues and the later, highly stylized Roman issues. From a historical perspective, the evolution and membership of the League as well as the wars within the region can also be viewed through the issuing of coinage.

Numismatically, the primary goals of this collection have been broadly achieved by focusing on the smaller issues of the City States within the Peloponnese, no large silver issues beyond the enigmatic Tetradrachms have representation within the collection. The product of my labors is what I believe to be a highly diverse, interesting and accessible group of coins which provides an insight into one of the most interesting periods and regions of the Ancient world.
ecoli
 
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