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A decursio was a military exercise, by which Roman soldiers were taught to make long marches in a given time, under arms and without quitting their ranks. They sometimes consisted of a mock fight between two divisions. Augustus and subsequently Hadrian ordered that the infantry and cavalry were to march out three times a month ten miles from the camp and ten miles back, fully armed and equipped. Decursio on this coin probably refers Nero's participation in mock military maneuvers in the circus.SH96390. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 508, Mac Dowall WCN 448, BMCRE I 316, BnF II 135, Cohen I 88, SRCV I -, Choice aEF/VF, superb portrait, well centered and struck, scratches, marks, porosity more on the reverse, weight 23.971 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 66 A.D.; obverse IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONT MAX TR POT P P, laureate head left, small globe at point; reverse DECVRSIO (in exergue), Nero and a companion on horseback prancing right, Nero holds spear in right hand, companion holds vexillum in right over shoulder, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $1860.00 SALE |PRICE| $1674.00
Palmyra, Palmyrene, Syria, c. 150 - 225 A.D.
Palmyra, a city in a large oasis in the Syrian Desert, 215 km northeast of Damascus, was the vital silk road caravan stop known as "the Bride of the Desert." Atargatis was the chief goddess of northern Syria, primarily a fertility goddess, but, she was also responsible for the protection and well-being of the people. Her chief sanctuary was at Hierapolis, modern Manbij, northeast of Aleppo, Syria. The Romans called her Dea Syria.GB95894. Bronze AE 12, SNG Munchen 519; BMC Galatia p. 149, 2; Krzyzanowska Monnayage IV; SNG Cop -, gF, dark patina, earthen deposits, weight 1.663 g, maximum diameter 12.0 mm, die axis 0o, Palmyra mint, c. 150 - 225 A.D.; obverse Atargatis bust facing, head left, wearing turreted crown, thin crescent left, star right; reverse radiate bust of young Malakbel (solar deity) left; from the Michael Arslan Collection; extremely rare; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00
Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Rabbathmoba, Arabia
Rabbathmoba (also called Areopolis or Aresopolis), on the Karak plateau, was probably the Biblical Ir-Moab conquered by Alexander Jannaeus. Its ruins are 18 kilometers north of Kerak in Jordan. Rabbath-Moba minted coins during the reigns of the Severan emperors between 193 and 222 A.D.RY94887. Bronze AE 29, cf. Sofaer 7, Spijkerman 16, Rosenberger IV 3, SNG ANS -, F, irregular and broken flan, much of legends off flan, highlighting desert patina, weight 5.826 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rabbathmoba (near Kerak, Jordan) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AVT K Λ C CEOVHPOC (or similar), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PABBAΘMWBA (or similar), Tyche standing right, her left foot on river god, right hand resting on long scepter, small bust on her extended left hand; from the Ray Nouri Collection; scarce; $40.00 SALE |PRICE| $36.00
Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Cyrrhus, Cyrrhestica, Syria
Cyrrhus was founded by Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, shortly after 300 B.C., and named for Cyrrhus in Macedonia. It was taken by the Armenian Empire in the 1st century B.C., then became Roman when Pompey took Syria in 64 B.C. By the 1st century A.D., it had become a Roman administrative, military, and commercial center on the trade route between Antioch and the Euphrates River crossing at Zeugma and minted its own coinage. It was the base of the Roman legion Legio X Fretensis. The Sassanid Persian Empire took it several times during the 3rd century. In the 6th century, the city was embellished and fortified by Justinian. It was taken by the Muslims in 637, the Crusaders in the 11th century, and Nur ad-Din Zangi recaptured it in 1150. Muslim travelers of the 13th and 14th century reported it as a large city and largely in ruins. Its ruins are located in northern Syria, near the Turkish border, about 70 km northwest of Aleppo and 24 km west of Kilis, Turkey.RR94891. Bronze AE 29, RPC Online VIII U58851; Butcher 21c; BMC Galatia p. 137, 34; SNG Munchen 505; Price-Trell 673; SNG Cop 49 corr. (Philip I); SGICV 4143, F, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, porous, reverse slightly off center, weight 14.040 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 180o, Cyrrhus mint, Jul/Aug 247 - late 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ∆IOC KATHBATOY, temple of Zeus Kataibates with six columns, statue of left within under arch, holding thunderbolt in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, eagle at his feet on left, bull leaping right above temple, garlands above, KYPHCTΩN in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00
Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Uncertain Mint, Anatolia or Syria
The mint, the quaestor who struck this type, and even the identity of the person in the portrait remain uncertain. The type has previously been attributed to Macedonia and the portrait identified as Brutus (Friedlander) or Caesar (Grant). David Sear notes the type has never been found in Macedonia. Finds point to Syria or Anatolia. It is possible that the type was issued, with his own portrait, by Sosius, a general under Marc Antony who was quaestor in 39 B.C. Much more likely, however, the portrait is of Augustus.RP96854. Bronze AE 27, RPC I 5409; Sear CRI 957 (Syria); AMNG II 29 (Pella), gF, dark green patina, flan adjustment marks, strike a little weak, edge crack, weight 14.989 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Anatolian or Syrian mint, c. 39 B.C.(?); obverse bare head right; reverse hasta (spear), sella quaestoria (quaestor's seat of office), and fiscus (imperial treasury), Q (quaestor) below; previously a rare type but recent finds have made it easier to acquire; from a Florida collector, ex Trusted Coins; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00
Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D., Laodicea ad Mar, Seleucia and Pieria, Syria
Laodicea ad Mar (Latakia, Syria) has been inhabited since the second millennium B.C. It was on the Via Maris, a coastal road that ran south from Antioch to Damascus and Beirut. The city was renamed by Seleucus I Nicator in honor of his mother, Laodice and was a major port for the Seleukid Kingdom. Laodicea flourished under Rome and was second only to Antioch in the region. Herod the Great, king of Judaea, furnished Laodicea with an aqueduct, the remains of which stand to the east of the town. The Legio VI Ferrata was probably based in Laodicea.JD97397. Bronze AE 31, Lindgren-Kovacs 2099, BMC Galatia -, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Righetti -, aF, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, porosity/corrosion, edge split, weight 13.695 g, maximum diameter 31.4 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, as caesar, 11 Apr 217 - mid May 218 A.D.; obverse IM M OP ANTONINOS NOB CAES, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right seen from the front; reverse ROMAE FEL, she-wolf right suckling Romulus and Remus; ex CGB Numismatique Paris; very rare; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Seleucis and Pieria
Laodicea ad Mar was founded by Seleukos Nikator. The site was determined after an eagle snatched a piece of flesh from an altar where Seleukos was sacrificing. The exact site was indicated when he slew a boar following the eagle's flight. Perhaps the eagle on this reverse refers to the city's founding myth, though the ancients did not need a special reason to depict an eagle, the companion of Zeus.RY92564. Billon tetradrachm, Prieur 1179; Bellinger Syria 72; SNG Cop 364; BMC Galatia p. 195, 364 (Antioch), aEF, dark even toning, areas of minor porosity, scratches, tight flan, weight 13.927 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 180o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 215 - 217 A.D.; obverse AYT•K•M•A•-•ANTΩNEINOC•CEB, laureate head right; reverse ∆HMAPX•EΞ•YΠATOC•TO•∆ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 4th time), eagle standing facing, head left, wings open, wreath in beak, star between legs; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00
Trajan Decius, September 249 - June or July 251 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria
Trajan Decius, a general under Philip I, was sent to crush the revolt of Pacatian but was forced by his troops to declare himself emperor. He defeated Philip in a great battle at Verona. Decius spent the rest of his short reign combating barbarians. In June 251, Trajan Decius and his son Herennius Etruscus became the first Roman emperors to die in battle against a foreign enemy. The obverse legend abbreviates the Emperor's name, Gaius Messius Quintus Decius.RY93145. Billon tetradrachm, RPC IX 1607 (4 spec.), McAlee 1111 (v. rare), Prieur 510 (4 spec.), BMC Galatia -, Choice gVF, full borders on both sides, flow lines, light toning, light marks, small encrustation above head on obverse, tiny edge cracks, weight 12.018 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 249 - 250 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K ΓIA ME KYIN ∆EKKIOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing right on palm branch, wings spread, tail left, head right, wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D., Antioch, Syria
In 162, Marcus Aurelius sent Lucius Verus to lead the war against Parthia. Lucius spent most of the campaign in Antioch, though he wintered at Laodicea and summered at Daphne, a resort just outside Antioch. Critics derided Lucius' luxurious lifestyle. He took up a mistress, enjoyed the company of actors and would "dice the whole night through." The Syrian army was said to spend more time in Antioch's open-air cafés than with their units. The war was, nevertheless, a success. Despite Lucius' minimal personal participation, he was awarded the titles Armeniacus, Medicus and Parthicus Maximus and a triumph upon his return to Rome in 166.RY93576. Bronze semis, RPC Online IV.3 T7149, McAlee 610, VF, black patina, highlighting earthen deposits, obverse a little off center, weight 7.575 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 161 - 169 A.D.; obverse AVT K Λ AVPHΛ OVHPOC CEB, radiate head right; reverse S•C, uncertain Greek numeral-letter below, all within wreath; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 47 (28 Jun 2018), lot 483; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria
Richard McAlee notes that ∆ E probably abbreviates ∆ EΠAPXEIΩN, meaning "of the four eparchies. McAlee also list weights for the type ranging from 3.8 - 6.16 grams and a diameter as small as 17mm. This coin is considerably heavier and larger than most examples.RY93579. Bronze as, McAlee 799; BMC Galatia p. 205, 447; SNG Righetti 2010; Waage 600; SNG Cop -, VF, nice highlighting desert patina, broad heavy flan for the type, weight 11.221 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR ANTONINVS AVG, laureate head right, bare right shoulder seen from behind, slight drapery over left shoulder; reverse ∆ E, star below, all within laurel wreath with ten bunches of leaves and fastened at the top with a garland; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 47 (28 Jun 2018), lot 507; scarcer heavy specimen; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
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