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Nicomedia, Bithynia (Izmit, Turkey)

Nicomedia, Bithynia (in Asia Minor, on the Black Sea) was described by ancient writers as a city of superior size and magnificence, ranking next to Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch in the splendor and beauty of its buildings. Diocletian worked to make Nicomedia the equal of Rome itself. Dates of operation: 294 - c. 474 A.D. (reopened as a Byzantine mint, 498 - 627). Mintmarks: MN, N, NIC, NICO, NIK, SMN.


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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The cross was rarely used in early Christian iconography, perhaps because it symbolized a purposely painful and gruesome method of public execution that most early Christians would have personally witnessed. In 315, Constantine abolished crucifixion as punishment in the Roman Empire. The Ichthys, or fish symbol, was used by early Christians. Constantine adopted the Chi-Rho Christ monogram (Christogram) as his banner (labarum). The use of a cross as the most prevalent symbol of Christianity probably gained momentum after Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, traveled to the Holy Land, c. 326 - 328, and recovered the True Cross.
RL89948. Billon light maiorina, Hunter V 88 (also 4th officina), RIC VIII Nicomedia 67, SRCV V 18232, Cohen VII 41, Voetter 34, LRBC II 2290, Choice aEF, well centered and struck, scattered spots of light corrosion, weight 3.982 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 348 - 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust left, globe in right hand; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), emperor standing left, labarum (monogram of Christ on a Roman standard) in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield behind, two kneeling bound captives at feet before him, SMN∆ exergue; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Nicomedia, Bithynia

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Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey today) city of Bithynia on the Black Sea in Anatolia. It is described by ancient writers as a place of superior size and magnificence, ranking next to Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch in the splendor and beauty of its buildings; and was one which Diocletian studied to make the equal of Rome itself.
RP89882. Bronze assarion, RPC VI T3370 (same dies), SNGvA 7114, SNG Cop 576, Rec Gén 326, BMC Pontus -, F/VF, a little rough, tight flan, weight 3.704 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 225o, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, obverse M AVP CE AΛEΞAN∆POC AVΓ, laureate head right; reverse NIKO/MH-∆-E/Ω-N / TRPIC NEΩ/K (MH ligate), octastyle temple, pellet on pediment; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

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Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the official sun god of the late Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274, Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Scholars disagree whether the new deity was a refoundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol, a revival of the cult of Elagabalus, or completely new. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 A.D. and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them.
BB88563. Billon follis, Hunter V 42 (also 3rd officina), RIC VII Nicomedia 73b, SRCV IV 14892, Cohen VII 161, aF, well centered, rough, weight 3.818 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, early 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse SOLI INVICTO (to the invincible sun god), Sol standing left, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, head of Serapis wearing kalathos in left, Γ in left field, SMN in exergue; $2.50 (€2.20)


Licinius Junior, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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Nicomedia was at the center of the Diocletianic Persecution of Christians which occurred under Diocletian and his Caesar Galerius. On 23 February 303 AD, the pagan festival of the Terminalia, Diocletian ordered that the newly-built church at Nicomedia be razed, its scriptures burnt, and its precious stones seized. The next day he issued his "First Edict Against the Christians," which ordered similar measures to be taken at churches across the Empire. At the end of the month a fire destroyed part of Diocletian's palace, followed 16 days later by another fire. Although an investigation was made into the cause of the fires, no party was officially charged, but Galerius placed the blame on the Christians. He oversaw the execution of two palace eunuchs, who he claimed conspired with the Christians to start the fire, followed by six more executions through the end of April 303. Soon after Galerius declared Nicomedia to be unsafe and ostentatiously departed the city for Rome, followed soon after by Diocletian.
RL88810. Billon follis, Hunter V 32 (also 5th officina), RIC VII Nicomedia 34 (R1), SRCV IV 15419, Cohen VII 39, aVF, unusual portrait, porous, rough, weight 2.452 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 317 - 318 A.D.; obverse D N VAL LICIN LICINIVS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (to the foresight of the two princes), Jupiter standing facing, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, scepter in left hand, Victory presenting wreath standing on globe in Jupiter's right hand, palm frond left, pellet over E right, SMN in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $18.00 (€15.84)
 


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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n 348, the Goth bishop Wulfila escaped religious persecution by the Gothic chieftain Athanaric and obtained permission from Constantius II to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia and settle near Nicopolis ad Istrum (Bulgaria).
RL88542. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Nicomedia 49, LRBC I 1149, SRCV V 18073, Cohen VII 335, Hunter V -, VF, green patina, tight flan, encrustations, small edge split, weight 1.211 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Nicomedia mint, 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed head right; reverse VOT / XX / MVLT / XXX in four lines within wreath, SMNE in exergue; $14.00 (€12.32)
 


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

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The meaning of the CMH ligature, used at Nicomedia and Cyzicus, is uncertain but it may be a mark of value indicating 48 coins per pound of bronze.
RT91859. Billon follis, Hunter V 35 (also 3rd officina), RIC VI Nicomedia 66c, SRCV IV 14827, Cohen VII 34, VF, uneven strike with weak areas, porosity, weight 6.791 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 310 - 311 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI CMH (CMH ligate), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, SMNΓ in exergue; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

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The meaning of the CMH ligature, used at Nicomedia and Cyzicus, is uncertain but it may be a mark of value indicating 48 coins per pound of bronze.
RT91861. Billon follis, Hunter V 35 (also 3rd officina), RIC VI Nicomedia 66c, SRCV IV 14827, Cohen VII 34, Choice aVF, well centered, green patina, minor encrustations and earthen deposits, small edge splits, weight 4.932 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 310 - 311 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI CMH (CMH ligate), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, SMNΓ in exergue; $50.00 (€44.00)
 


Licinius Junior, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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Nicomedia was at the center of the Diocletianic Persecution of Christians which occurred under Diocletian and his Caesar Galerius. On 23 February 303 AD, the pagan festival of the Terminalia, Diocletian ordered that the newly-built church at Nicomedia be razed, its scriptures burnt, and its precious stones seized. The next day he issued his "First Edict Against the Christians," which ordered similar measures to be taken at churches across the Empire. At the end of the month a fire destroyed part of Diocletian's palace, followed 16 days later by another fire. Although an investigation was made into the cause of the fires, no party was officially charged, but Galerius placed the blame on the Christians. He oversaw the execution of two palace eunuchs, who he claimed conspired with the Christians to start the fire, followed by six more executions through the end of April 303. Soon after Galerius declared Nicomedia to be unsafe and ostentatiously departed the city for Rome, followed soon after by Diocletian.
RL91635. Billon follis, Hunter V 32 (also 5th officina), RIC VII Nicomedia 34 (R1), SRCV IV 15419, Cohen VII 39), aVF, well centered and struck, porosity, areas of corrosion, weight 3.201 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 317 - 318 A.D.; obverse D N VAL LICIN LICINIVS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (to the foresight of the two princes), Jupiter standing left, scepter in left, Victory on globe presenting wreath in right hand, palm frond left, pellet over E right, SMN in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $45.00 (€39.60)
 


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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Hercules is depicted in the same pose as the Farnese Hercules, a massive marble sculpture, which depicts a muscular yet weary Hercules leaning on his club, which has his lion-skin draped over it. He has just performed the last of The Twelve Labors, which is suggested by the apples of the Hesperides he holds behind his back. The Farnese Hercules is probably an enlarged copy made in the early third century A.D., signed by Glykon, from an original by Lysippos that would have been made in the fourth century B.C. The copy was made for the Baths of Caracalla in Rome (dedicated in 216 A.D.), where it was recovered in 1546. Today it is in Naples National Archaeological Museum. The statue was well-liked by the Romans, and copies have been found in many Roman palaces and gymnasiums. It is one of the most famous sculptures of antiquity, and has fixed the image of the mythic hero in the human imagination.Farnese Hercules
RL91319. Billon follis, cf. Cohen VII 59 (obv. legend), RIC VI 68 (Maximinus II), SRCV IV 15200 (Antioch); references list this rev. for Licinius only at Antioch, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, superb style, highlighting patina, light marks, scattered minor porosity, weight 5.020 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Nicomedia mint, 313 - 317 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse HERCVLI VICTORI, Hercules leaning right on club, on top of which are lion skins, ∆ left, SMN in exergue; although unpublished in references examined by Forum we know of eight other specimens; rare; $320.00 (€281.60)
 


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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A comrade of Galerius, Licinius was made Augustus after abdication by Diocletian and Maximianus. After Maximinus II invaded his territories, Licinius defeated him. Over the years, relations with Constantine deteriorated, ending with Licinius' defeat. Intervention by Licinius' wife, Constantine's sister, spared his life for a short time, however, he was soon executed.
RL88816. Billon follis, Hunter V 142 (also 1st officina), RIC VII Nicomedia 44 (R1), SRCV IV 15223, Cohen VII 74, aF, porosity, weight 1.889 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 321 - 324 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing slightly left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, Victory on globe presenting wreath in right hand, long eagle-topped scepter vertical in left hand, eagle standing left with wreath in beak at feet on left, in right field: X/IIΓ over bound bearded captive seated right and looking left, SMNA in exergue; scarce; $12.00 (€10.56)
 




  







Catalog current as of Friday, November 22, 2019.
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Nicomedia