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Roman Provincial Coins of Egypt

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


Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 270, Claudius II Gothicus died of plague while preparing to fight the Vandals and Sarmatians, who had invaded Pannonia.
RX91020. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4248; Curtis 1683; Geissen 3028; Dattari 5417; BMC Alexandria p. 303, 2333; Kampmann-Ganschow 104.16; SRCV III 11418; Emmett 3879, gVF, orange-red earthen deposits, well centered on a tight flan, weight 11.478 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 269 - 270 A.D.; obverse AYT K KΛAY∆IOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse eagle standing left, looking back, holding wreath in beak, L - B (year 2) flanking across field; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


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

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In 257 Valerian began his persecution of Christians: his edict orders bishops and priests to sacrifice according to the pagan rituals, and prohibited Christians, under penalty of death, from meeting at the tombs of their deceased.
RX91834. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 2963; Dattari 5320; BMC Alexandria 2273; Hunter 946; SNG Cop 804; Kampmann -Ganschow 91.14; Emmet 3747.5, aVF, well centered, a little rough, small edge split, weight 9.644 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 257 - 28 Aug 258 A.D.; obverse KOPNHΛIA CAΛWNEINA CEB, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges; reverse eagle standing left, head turned back right, wreath in beak, L - E (year 5) flanking across field; $36.00 (€31.68)
 


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Elpis was the Greek personification of Hope. According the Hesiod's famous story, Elpis was the last to escape the Pandora's box. It can be debated whether she was really about "hope" as we understand it, or rather mere "expectation." In art, Elpis is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, and raising a fold of her dress with her left hand. Elpis' Roman equivalent was Spes. She was also named "ultima dea" - the last resort of men.

RX91839. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 3286; Dattari 5875; Milne 4828; Curtis 2071; BMC Alexandria p. 329, 2556; SNG Cop 1024; Hunter 1139; Kampmann 120.17; Emmett 4114.;, gVF, well centered, strong flow lines, brown tone, die wear, weight 8.090 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 286 - 28 Aug 287; obverse A K M A OYA MAXIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower raised in right hand, raising drapery with left hand, star upper right, L - B (year 2) flanking across field; $65.00 (€57.20)
 


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Elpis was the Greek personification of Hope. According the Hesiod's famous story, Elpis was the last to escape the Pandora's box. It can be debated whether she was really about "hope" as we understand it, or rather mere "expectation." In art, Elpis is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, and raising a fold of her dress with her left hand. Elpis' Roman equivalent was Spes. She was also named "ultima dea" - the last resort of men.
RB91840. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 3285; Milne 4814; Curtis 2067; BMC Alexandria p. 329, 2555; SNG Cop 1023; Savio 10709; Kampmann 120.16; Emmett 4114; Dattari 5873 (star), gVF, green patina, centered on a tight flan, ragged edge, weight 6.814 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 286 - 28 Aug 287; obverse A K M A OYA MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right hand, raising drapery with left hand, L - B (year 2) flanking across fields, no star; $65.00 (€57.20)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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"Eirene is the Koine (New Testament) Greek word for "harmony." It's actually translated "peace" in most places. But in Greek culture, the idea of peace was not a passive concept or an absence of conflict. Rather peace was something active, where parties worked to find common ground and maintain a relationship. Or where a person worked to maintain a harmonious relationship with his or her environment." -- Becca Shouse, Notes from Eirene Farm
RX92009. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5236; Milne 4114; Geissen 2929; BMC Alexandria p. 284, 2177; SNG Cop 786; Kampmann 90.87; Emmett 3810.13, VF, well centered, nice portrait, tiny edge cracks, weight 8.670 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 265 - 266 A.D.; obverse AVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Eirene (Peace) standing left, olive-branch in raised right, scepter in left, palm right, date LIΓ (year 13) left; ex FORVM (2008); $120.00 (€105.60)
 


Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 275, Aurelian prepared a campaign against the Sassanids in Asia Minor. In Thrace, while waiting to cross the Bosphorus with his army, he ordered severe punishments for corrupt soldiers and made a list of high-ranking officers marked for execution. In September, Aurelian fell victim to a conspiracy of the Praetorian Guard and was murdered near Byzantium (Istanbul, Turkey).
RX91483. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5477; Geissen 3096; BMC Alexandria p. 306, 2362; Milne 4456; Curtis 1773; SNG Cop 883; Kampmann 106.54; Emmett 3923, EF, well centered, excellent portrait, edge splits, weight 7.948 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 274 - 28 Aug 275 A.D.; obverse A K Λ ∆OM AVPHΛ IANOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ETOVC S (year 6), eagle standing left head turned back, wreath in beak; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Anubis, represented as a jackal or as a man with the head of a jackal, was the Egyptian god of the dead. He presided over the embalming of the dead and conducted souls into the underworld. The Greeks and Romans often scorned Egypt's animal-headed gods as bizarre and primitive (they mockingly called Anubis the Barker) but they also identified Anubis with Hermes, morphing them into Hermanubis.
RX91484. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5392; Geissen 3038; BMC Alexandria p. 303, 2327; Milne 4240; Curtis 1701; SNG Cop 847; Kampmann-Ganschow 104.25; Emmett 3883, F, tight flan, a little rough, weight 8.700 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 269 - 28 Aug 270 A.D.; obverse AVT K KΛAV∆IOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse bust of Hermanubis right, wearing modius with lotus-petal in front, himation over shoulder, date LB (year 2) in left field, winged caduceus over palm in right; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $60.00 (€52.80)
 


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

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In 127, Hadrian returned to Rome after a seven year voyage to the Roman provinces. Also in 127, acting on the advice of his proconsul of Asia, Minucius Fundanus, Hadrian determined that Christians would not be put to death without a trial.
RX91049. Bronze obol, Dattari 1664; Geissen 956; Milne 1237a; BMC Alexandria p. 81, 684; Milne 1237a; Hunter 324; Kampmann 32.342; Emmett 1150 (R3); SNG Cop -, F, dark patina, scratches, weight 4.731 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 126 - 28 Aug 127 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI TPAI A∆PIA CE, laureate head right; reverse Demeter standing right, veiled and wreathed with grain, wearing chiton and peplos, long torch vertical behind in right hand, stalks of grain and poppies in left hand, L - IA (year 11) divided high across field; scarce; $36.00 (€31.68)
 


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 281 A.D., Probus returned to Rome, where he celebrates his triumph over the Vandals and the usurpers Bonosus, Julius Saturninus and Proculus.
RX91485. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4618; Dattari 5525; BMC Alexandria p. 313, 2410; SNG Cop 936; Geissen 3152; Emmett 3878; Curtis -, VF, nice brown tone, reverse a little off center, weight 7.970 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 280 - 28 Aug 281 A.D.; obverse A K M AVP ΠPOBOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse Athena seated left, cuirass besides throne, Nike in right, LS (year 6) left; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


Maximinus I Thrax, March 235 - May 238 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In Greek mythology, Selene is the goddess of the moon. She is the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia, and sister of the sun-god Helios, and Eos, goddess of the dawn. She drives her moon chariot across the heavens. Several lovers are attributed to her in various myths, including Zeus, Pan, and the mortal Endymion. In classical times, Selene was often identified with Artemis, much as her brother, Helios, was identified with Apollo. Selene and Artemis were also associated with Hecate, and all three were regarded as lunar goddesses, but only Selene was regarded as the personification of the moon itself. Her Roman equivalent is Luna.
RP89035. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari (Savio) 4601; BMC Alexandria p. 228, 1775; Milne 3267; Kampmann 65.73; Emmett 3300.1; SNG Cop -; Geissen -, aVF, full border centering on a broad flan, dark brown patina, mild corrosion, edge cracks, weight 12.190 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 237 - 28 Aug 238 A.D.; obverse AVTO MAΞIMINOC CEV CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Maximinus I right, seen from behind; reverse head of Selene right, wearing tainia and chiton fastened on left shoulder with a fibula, L∆ (year four) behind, large crescent right with horns left; ex CGB mail bid sale 13 (30 Jul 2001), lot 557; $145.00 (€127.60)
 




  






REFERENCES|

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

Catalog current as of Sunday, December 8, 2019.
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Roman Provincial Egypt