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Ancient Coins of North Africa
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Kyrenaica, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon), 163 - 145 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Kyrenaica,| |Ptolemy| |VIII| |Euergetes| |II| |(Physcon),| |163| |-| |145| |B.C.||hemidrachm|
Ptolemy VIII was made co-ruler of Egypt with his older siblings in 170 B.C. Soon after, Ptolemy VI was captured in the Sixth Syrian War and Ptolemy VIII became sole king. When the war ended in 168 B.C. Ptolemy VI was restored to joint rule. The brothers quarreled and in 164 B.C. Ptolemy VIII drove out his brother out and became sole king, but he was in turn expelled in 163 B.C. As a result of Roman intervention, Ptolemy VIII was awarded rule of Kyrenaica. After Ptolemy VI's death in 145 B.C., Ptolemy VIII returned to Egypt as co-ruler with his sister.
GP95307. Bronze hemidrachm, Svoronos 1641, pl. LVI, 14; Asolati 84; SNG Cop 651; BMC Ptolemies p. 94, 78; Malter 242; Weiser -; Noeske -, EF, some areas of weakness, reverse with some doubling, obverse edge beveled, central depressions, weight 36.92 g, maximum diameter 44.0 mm, die axis 0o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, c. 150 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus Ammon right, taenia with basileion above forehead; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY EYEPΓETOY, eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, Φ right; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 10 (7 Dec 2019), lot 619; rare; $800.00 SALE |PRICE| $720.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Kyrenaica, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon), 163 - 145 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Kyrenaica,| |Ptolemy| |VIII| |Euergetes| |II| |(Physcon),| |163| |-| |145| |B.C.||hemidrachm|
Ptolemy VIII was made co-ruler of Egypt with his older siblings in 170 B.C. Soon after, Ptolemy VI was captured in the Sixth Syrian War and Ptolemy VIII became sole king. When the war ended in 168 B.C. Ptolemy VI was restored to joint rule. The brothers quarreled and in 164 B.C. Ptolemy VIII drove out his brother out and became sole king, but he was in turn expelled in 163 B.C. As a result of Roman intervention, Ptolemy VIII was awarded rule of Kyrenaica. After Ptolemy VI's death in 145 B.C., Ptolemy VIII returned to Egypt as co-ruler with his sister.
GP95308. Bronze hemidrachm, Svoronos 1641, pl. LVI, 14; Asolati 84; SNG Cop 651; BMC Ptolemies p. 94, 78; Malter 242; Weiser -; Noeske -, EF, areas of weak strike, obverse edge beveled, edge crack, weight 36.82 g, maximum diameter 43.0 mm, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, c. 150 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus Ammon right, taenia with basileion above forehead; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY EYEPΓETOY, eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, Φ right; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 10 (7 Dec 2019), lot 618; rare; $720.00 SALE |PRICE| $648.00


Nero and Poppaea, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Nero| |and| |Poppaea,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
RPC Online I notes, "The date does look like L IB, but the coin is very battered." and "Confirmation required. Poppaea died in AD 65, so it seems unlikely that coins should have been made for her in year 12." This is the Dattari Collection plate coin and Dattari identified it as year 12. In Alexandria, Nero's year 12 began on 29 August 65 A.D. According to Suetonius, one day in the summer of 65, Poppaea quarreled fiercely with Nero over his spending too much time at the races. She was pregnant with her second child. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her. This coin suggests her death was likely on or after the 19th of August. It would have taken 9 days or more for the news of her death to reach Alexandria. This coin may have been a trial strike or perhaps one of very few struck during the first days of the new year.
RX93590. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari-Savio pl. 7, 199 (this coin!); RPC Online I 5289A (this coin!, the only spec.), aVF, brown tone, corrosion, scratches, rough, weight 7.834 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 29 Aug 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAV KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AYTO, radiate bust of Nero right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust of Poppaea right, L IB (year 12) lower right; from the Kreuzer Collection, ex Naville Numismatics auction 51 (21 Jul 2019), lot 301; ex Dattari Collection; this is the only known example of this type dated year 12!; unique!?; $600.00 SALE |PRICE| $540.00


Kyrene, Kyrenaika, N. Africa, c. 325 - 313 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Kyrene,| |Kyrenaika,| |N.| |Africa,| |c.| |325| |-| |313| |B.C.||AE| |15|
Silphium, which is now extinct, was so critical to the Kyrenian economy that most of their coins depict it. The plant was used as a spice and to treat all kinds of maladies including cough, sore throat, fever, indigestion, pain, and warts. It was so widely used as a contraceptive that it was worth its weight in denarii. The traditional heart shape, the symbol of love, is probably derived from the shape of the silphium seed due to the use of silphium as an contraceptive.

"By the next day this maiden and all her girlish apparel had disappeared, and in the room were found images of the Dioscuri, a table, and silphium upon it." - Description of Greece, Pausanias 3.16.3, 2nd Century A.D.
GB96101. Bronze AE 15, Asolati 12/2 (same dies); cf. Müller Afrique 228 ff.; Buttrey Cyrene I 12, SNG Cop 1226; BMC Cyrenaica p. 45, 198, VF, porosity, some corrosion, tight flan, weight 3.799 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, 325 - 313 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo Carneius right, short curly hair, THP (magistrate) upward behind; reverse triple silphium plant, seen from above, K-Y-P around divided by members, all within a round incuse; rare; $580.00 SALE |PRICE| $522.00


Roman Provincial Egypt, c. 81 - 249 A.D., Lot of 25 Bronze Drachms

|Greek| |Bulk| |Lots|, |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt,| |c.| |81| |-| |249| |A.D.,| |Lot| |of| |25| |Bronze| |Drachms||Lot|
The following list was provided by the consignor and has not been verified by FORVM:
1) Domitian, arch, RPC II 2728
2) Domitian, quadriga of elephants right, Milne 528
3) Trajan, Emperor in biga of Centaurs, Year 13
4) Trajan, Eleutheria reclining
5) Hadrian, Nilus reclining, crocodile before
6) Hadrian, bust of Sarapis
7) Hadrian, two standing figures
8) Antoninus Pius, Nilus reclining, Nilometer before, aF, obverse pitted, scarce
9) Antoninus Pius, Nilus reclining
10) Lucius Verus, Year 5, Nilus reclining right on river bank, Emmett 2153.5, aF
11) Philip I, Year 5, Homonoia standing left, aF, porous
12-18) Hadrian
19-22) Antoninus Pius
23-25) Uncertain
LT96185. Bronze Lot, Lot of 25 Roman provincial Egypt drachms, c. 30mm, c. 22g, Fair to aF, Alexandria mint, c. 81 - 249 A.D.; unattributed to type, no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photograph, as-is, no returns; $440.00 SALE |PRICE| $396.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||drachm|
The Nilometer measured the height of the annual Nile flood. Sixteen cubits was considered the ideal height of the annual Nile flood. Less could mean drought or famine. Even in modern times, grand celebrations were held when the flood reached 16 cubits. In years when the flood failed to reach 16 cubits, the celebrations were canceled, and prayers and fasting were held instead. The peak flood occurred at the end of August, which explains why the Egyptian year began on 29 August.
RX95862. Bronze drachm, RPC Online IV.4 T15735 (3 spec.); Dattari-Savio pl. 138, 2705bis var. (draped); Emmett 1613/10 (R5); Geissen -; Milne -; BMC Alexandria -; SNG Cop -, aF, well centered, light corrosion, obverse edge beveled, weight 20.203 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 146 - 28 Aug 147; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P ANTWNINOC CEB EYC, laureate head right; reverse L ∆E-KATOY (year 10), Nike standing right, nude to the waist, left foot on helmet, inscribing NI/KH on an oval shield set on her left knee and a column before her; extremely rare; $310.00 SALE |PRICE| $279.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra III and Ptolemy IX Soter II, 116 - 110 B.C. & 109 - 107 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |III| |and| |Ptolemy| |IX| |Soter| |II,| |116| |-| |110| |B.C.| |&| |109| |-| |107| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
After Ptolemy VIII died in 116 B.C., Cleopatra III ruled with her mother Cleopatra II and son Ptolemy IX. In 110 B.C., she replaced Ptolemy IX as co-regent with her second son Ptolemy X. Ptolemy IX regained the throne in 109 but was again replaced in 107 B.C. In 101 B.C., Ptolemy X had his mother Cleopatra III murdered and then ruled alone or with his niece and wife, Berenice III.
GP94923. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 1659, pl. LVII, 1; SNG Cop 347; Cohen DCA 60/1, Weiser -, Noeske -, Malter -, VF, scratches, spots of corrosion, slightly uneven strike, reverse slightly off center, tight flan, weight 13.607 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 116 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, L A (year 1) left, ΠA right; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra III and Ptolemy IX Soter II, 116 - 110 B.C. and 109 - 107 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |III| |and| |Ptolemy| |IX| |Soter| |II,| |116| |-| |110| |B.C.| |and| |109| |-| |107| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
After Ptolemy VIII died in 116 B.C., Cleopatra III ruled with her mother Cleopatra II and son Ptolemy IX. In 110 B.C., she replaced Ptolemy IX as co-regent with her second son Ptolemy X. Ptolemy IX regained the throne in 109 but was again replaced in 107 B.C. In 101 B.C., Ptolemy X had his mother Cleopatra III murdered and then ruled alone or with his niece and wife, Berenice III.
GP96052. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 1671, Noeske 308, SNG Cop 356, Cohen DCA 60/10, Weiser -, Malter -, gVF, centered on a tight flan, toned, scrapes, weight 13.083 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 108 - 107 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle with wings closed stands half left atop fulmen, LI (year 10) left, ΠA right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $260.00 SALE |PRICE| $234.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C., Lot of 5 Bronze Drachms

|Greek| |Bulk| |Lots|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |IV| |Philopator,| |221| |-| |204| |B.C.,| |Lot| |of| |5| |Bronze| |Drachms||Lot|
Ptolemy IV's surname Philopator means father lover, ironic since according to some authorities he poisoned his father. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria. He was a cruel and evil monarch.
LT96150. Bronze Lot, 5 Ptolemy IV drachms, F, encrustations, corrosion, weight c. 44 g, maximum diameter c. 37 mm, Alexandria mint, 222 - 204 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia, reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left; ex Ora Eads Collection; unattributed to type, no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photograph, as-is, no returns; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra III and Ptolemy IX Soter II, 116 - 110 B.C. and 109 - 107 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |III| |and| |Ptolemy| |IX| |Soter| |II,| |116| |-| |110| |B.C.| |and| |109| |-| |107| |B.C.||obol|
The reattribution from Ptolemy V to Cleopatra III and Ptolemy IX is based on a hoard found in Egypt and the contents of an Egyptian shipwreck that contained these coins mixed with tetradrachms attributed with certainty to Ptolemy IX and Cleopatra III. The ΣΩ in the left field probably refers to the epithet of Ptolemy IX Soter II.
GP95822. Bronze obol, Svoronos 1191, Weiser 114, SNG Cop 534, Noeske 187, Cohen DCA 35, VF, highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan cutting off right side of reverse legend, old scratch, obverse edge beveled, central depressions, weight 8.199 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, series 8, 115 - 114 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, K behind; reverse ΠToΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, Ω over Σ in left field, LΓ (year 3) in right field; rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00










REFERENCES|

Alexandropoulos, J. Les monnaies de l'Afrique antique: 400 av. J.-C. - 40 ap. J.-C. (Toulouse, 2000).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Falbe, C. & J. Lindberg. Numismatique de L'Ancienne Afrique. (Copenhagen, 1860-1862).
Müller, L. et. al. Numismatique de l'ancienne Afrique. (Copenhagen, 1860-1862).
Roman Provincial Coinage Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Strauss, P. Collection Maurice Laffaille - monnaies grecques en bronze. (Bàle, 1990).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 8: Egypt, North Africa, Spain - Gaul. (1994).

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