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Though Antoninus Pius has plenty of Isis reverses of all sorts at Alexandria, his aren't numerous elsewhere that I know of.  Today I received in the mail one that I have coveted for a long time.  Not only is it Isis but it is signed by Zeno, so dates from early in Antoninus's reign and must count among the earliest coins with Imperial portraits at Nicopolis, but in checking up on it I learned that, like the Zeno Apollo Sauroktonos for Antoninus Pius, this type also exists in an unsigned edition.  My interest in such parallel issues also extends to the term in office of Auspex, early in Septimius's reign.
Anyhow, the Isis coin is, in my opinion, as pretty as a coin can be, and here she is (followed by the CoinArchives image of the unsigned parallel one).
• 08 05 07 Æ24  11,07g  axis 6:30h  Nicopolis ad Istrum.  Issued by Zeno.  Antoninus Pius, bareheaded, head to r.  AVT AI ADRIA  |  ANTÔNEINOS.  Rev., Isis stg., to l. in traditional crown, holding sistrum (with clapper rendered) and ritual situla.  Still unlisted, so far as I know.  NEIKOPOL PROS  |  IST ÊGE ZÊNÔNOS.  One WITHOUT THE SIGNATURE OF ZENO sold by Lanz in 2001 (Aukt.  102, no. 597).  That one, too, was thought to be unlisted in 2001.
Possibly in Varbanov (English) I.
Pat L.

David Atherton:
Nice obverse die match.

A beautiful coin with a rich, dark patina. Artistically engraved as well.

A very nice coin.  The signature is fascinating.  As usual, the detailed description throws up a number of questions and answers ..

I looked up "situla" .. So, the item which so many attributions of Isis Faria call a "basket" is actually more of a bucket. "Basket" does not imply the ability to carry water; "situla" does. 

What does "clapper rendered" mean?  The sistrum I see on coins is a sort of loop with bells or rattlers attached, with a handle at the base. 


Love this one. The most noble of emperors has been given the reverence he deserves and the reverse is both charming and graceful at the same time. (Let us in on your secret Pat, where do you FIND these coins?)


A sistrum is an Egyptian noisemaker, which worked like a clapper used to scare crows from the cornfield or like the Hallowe'en clappers we used to get as children.  I guess that, like bells which scared the diabolic influences away from churches, they are basically sonic purifiers or perhaps beckoners.  But that's what I don't know, though I do know that they have a hieroglypph of their own.  They are very old and very Egyptian. 

K.S.=Kathleen Schlesinger, an historical musicologist, who contributed a number of articles to the EB 11th of 1910.  She was editor of Portfolio of Musical Archaeology and author of The Instruments of the Orchestra.

P.S. The Lanz coin aslo is Varbanov I (English) no. 2124, and I got mine from the dealer friend from whom I bought my very first ancient coin.  And I may have been wrong that the thing that shows at the top is its clapper (real ones exist, not just pictures of them).   P.L.
In RPC Ant on line, search Antoninus Pius Isis and go to p. 24/24, where you will find the only comparanda to the N ad I coin, from Argos and Corinth, the latter BCD Corinth no. 676.  But most interesting of all is one from an unknown mint:

These three refer, I should think, to a standard but not Alexandrian statuary type, a Greek one, that was the prototype also for the Nicopolis coins.  They are the only ones there (in RPC on line) that are comparable to the Nicopolis Isis.  I'd better submit mine, I think.
There's  an Alexandria with a sistrum reverse in RPC, and here's the Isis from an unknown mint.


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