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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Rarities||View Options:  |  |  |   

Rare Roman Coins
Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D., with Licinius II Caesar

|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.,| |with| |Licinius| |II| |Caesar||follis|
 
SH35421. Billon follis, Bastien, NC 1973, pp. 87 - 97, VF, weight 3.590 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 330o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 317 or 318 A.D.; obverse DD NN IOVII LICINII INVICT AVG ET CAES (Domini Nostri Iovii Licinii Invicti Augustus et Caesar), confronted busts of Licinius I and II, holding trophy of arms between them; reverse I O M ET VIRTVTI DD NN AVG ET CAES (Iovi Optimo Maximo Virtuti Domini Nostri Augustus et Caesar), Jupiter standing facing to the right of trophy of captured arms with two bound captives at base, Jupiter nude except for cloak over shoulder and holds long scepter in left hand, SMATS in exergue; extremely rare; SOLD


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!?; $540.00 (€442.80)
 


Lampsacus (as Colonia Gemella Iulia Lampsacus), Mysia, c. 45 - 35 B.C.

|Lampsakos|, |Lampsacus| |(as| |Colonia| |Gemella| |Iulia| |Lampsacus),| |Mysia,| |c.| |45| |-| |35| |B.C.||as|
M. Grant (Grant FITA, p. 246) first and convincingly attributed this type to Lampsacus. P. Brunt (Italian Manpower, p. 600) argues convincingly that the colony at Lampsakos was founded by Julius Caesar about 45 B.C. (a twin colony to another at Parium) and disappeared after its occupation by Sextus Pompey in 35 B.C. The reverse legend identifies Q. Lucretius and L. Pontius as the colony's first duoviri. This type was likely struck at the time the colony was founded or very soon after.
RP96982. Bronze as, RPC Online I 2273 (7 spec.); Grant FITA p. 246, 5; Robinson NC 1921 p. 7, 6 (Parion); Imhoof MG p. 252, 126 (Parion), VF, green patina, earthen encrustation, inscriptions not fully struck, weight 3.550 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, dictatorship of Julius Caesar, c. 45 - 44 B.C.; obverse C G I L (Colonia Gemella Julia Lampsakos), bearded head of Janus, C G I L (Colonia Gemella Julia Lampsakos) divided across field, countermark: monogram; reverse Q LVCRET L PONTI-O IIVIR COL DED PR (Q. Lucretius [and] L. Pontius, duoviri colonia deducta primis), prow of war galley right; Coin Archives records only four sales of this type (two with this countermark) in the last two decades; very rare; $500.00 (€410.00)
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Tyre,| |Phoenicia||dichalkon|
Romans refounded Tyre as a colony in 64 B.C., when Pompey annexed Phoenicia to the Roman Empire. Tyre flourished under the Rome and remained a Roman port city, even under the Byzantine Empire, until the 7th century when it was taken by Muslim conquest.
RP96396. Bronze dichalkon, BMC Phoenicia p. 289, 465 var. (murex shell on right); Rouvier -; Baramki AUB -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Cop -, F, rough dark green patina, earthen deposits, weight 16.345 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, Oct 253 - Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, laureate bust right; reverse COL TVRO METR, river-god (Adonis?) standing facing, head left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right hand dropping incense on flaming altar at her feet on left, long grounded reed vertical in left hand, murex shell on left; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1971 Caesarea Maritima surface find; Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; extremely rare; $400.00 (€328.00)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D. Laodicea ad Mare

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mare||denarius|NEW
In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RL98395. Silver denarius, RSC III 22a; RIC IV 500 var. (head right); BMCRE V p. 285, 650 var. (same); SRCV 6259 var. (same); Hunter III 197 var. (same), aVF/F, well centered, toned, scratches, some legend unstruck, flan crack, weight 2.57 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 315o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, late 198 - 202 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse AEQVITATI AVGG, Aequitas standing slightly left, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; rare bust variant; $400.00 (€328.00)
 


Roman Syria-Palestina, Jewish, Lead Bulla Seal, 7 Branched Menorah, c. 5th - 6th Century A.D.

|Seals|, |Roman| |Syria-Palestina,| |Jewish,| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal,| |7| |Branched| |Menorah,| |c.| |5th| |-| |6th| |Century| |A.D.||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
A bulla (plural, bullae) is a lump of clay or lead molded around a cord and stamped with a seal that identifies the sender. With a bulla in place, a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, revealing the tampering. Bullae depicting a menorah are known but very rare and not well documented. Dattari-Savio p. 327, 3 is a 1901 rubbing of a very similar menorah sealing. Michael Still lists two menorah sealings in his thesis on Roman seals, 1696 with a Latin inscription reverse, 1765 with a Hebrew inscription reverse. The recently published catalogue of the Vossen collection by Gert Boersema and Bill Dalzell, has two Menorah seals, numbers 181 and 182, both with blank reverses. There are also a few examples known from auctions. A FORVM member posted a bulla of this exact type from his collection on the Classical Numismatic Discussion on the Forum Ancient Coins website. We received three examples of this type on consignment, all with the same fire damage, suggesting they were found together.
JD98656. Lead bulla (tag seal), VF/Fair, light earthen deposits, raised bumps from exposure to an ancient fire that heated and expanded air bubbles within the lead, c. 5th - 6th Century A.D.; obverse seven branched menorah with tripod base; reverse lulav, uncertain Syriac inscription (obscure); very rare; $380.00 (€311.60)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Apollonia Salbace, Caria

|Other| |Caria|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Apollonia| |Salbace,| |Caria||AE| |30|
This coin is an obverse die match to a coin struck by the neighboring city, Alabanda, Caria, SNG München 464, RPC Online VI T5384. Dies shared by more than one city in the region were first discovered by Konrad Kraft in 1972. Groups of smaller cities in Anatolia shared traveling mints, which would sometimes use the same obverse dies for more than one city.
RP92646. Bronze AE 30, Apparently unpublished; RPC Online -, SNG BnF -, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Caria -, F, porous, turquoise and earthen adhesions, reverse flatly struck, weight 11.787 g, maximum diameter 29.7 mm, die axis 180o, Apollonia Salbace (Edremit, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AYP CEY AΛEΞAN∆PO-C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CTPA AΓAΘEINOY TOY IH AΠOΛΛΩNIATΩN (strategos Agathinos, son of Hie.(?), Apollonia), Zeus standing slightly left, head left, wearing himation and chlamys, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; extremely rare, this is the only specimen of the type known to FORVM; $280.00 (€229.60)
 


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D.

|Lucius| |Verus|, |Lucius| |Verus,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |February| |169| |A.D.||denarius|
In 165, the Parthians sued for peace after the Roman captured Artaxata, Seleucia on the Tigris, and Ctesiphon. The Parthians left Armenia and eastern Mesopotamia, which both became Roman protectorates. Unfortunately the Antonine plague (perhaps smallpox) came from the East with the returning soldiers. It spread throughout the Empire, lasted for roughly twenty years, and killed about 5 million people, probably including Lucius Verus.
RS97929. Silver denarius, Hunter II 25 (same dies), RIC III 548 var., RSC II 286 var., BMCRE IV 413 var., SRCV II 5358 var. (all var. laureate head right), aVF, well centered, flow lines, toned, holed with closed crack to edge, small punch above head, marks, small edge cracks, weight 2.996 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 165 - Dec 166 A.D.; obverse L VERVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, laureate and cuirassed bust left; reverse TR P VI IMP III COS II, Parthian captive seated right on ground, wearing pointed cap, tunic, and breeches to ankles, hands bound behind back, quiver, bow, and shield at his feet; zero sales of this left facing bust variety listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare bust; $200.00 (€164.00)
 


Constantius Gallus, Caesar, Mid-March 351 - Winter 354 A.D.

|Constantius| |Gallus|, |Constantius| |Gallus,| |Caesar,| |Mid-March| |351| |-| |Winter| |354| |A.D.||maiorina|
This reverse control symbol variety with a star upper center is unpublished for Constantius Gallus in the primary references. The usual, common, type with a dot, not a star, is published for Constantius II (RIC VIII Constantinople 112) and Constantius Gallus (RIC VIII Constantinople 113). This star control symbol is published only on a scarce variant struck for Constantius II (RIC VIII Constantinople 114).
RL97860. Billon maiorina, RIC VIII Constantinople 113 var. (star vice dot), LRBC I 2034 var. (same), SRCV V 18985 var. (same), Cohen VIII 8 var. (same), Hunter V -, F, dark green patina, porous, a little rough, scratches, scrape, small edge splits, star control clear in hand, weight 4.712 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Mar 351 - winter 354 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front, ∆ behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier standing left spearing fallen horseman, shield on the ground, horseman wears a pointed cap and falls on the horses neck, B upper left, * upper center, CONSB in exergue; extremely rare, unpublished in the many references examined by FORVM, there is a similar specimen from the 7th officina on wildwinds.com; $140.00 (€114.80)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||AE| |25|
Agonistic "urns" or "crowns" were awarded to winners at ancient Greek games, similar to modern trophies. They are called "crowns" because they may have been placed on the head of the victor.
RP95365. Bronze AE 25, Karwiese 1131(a1) (O13/R95); SNG Munchen 260; SNG Hunterian XII 1749; SNG Cop 519; SNGvA 7889; SNG Tub -; BMC Ionia -, gVF, well centered on a broad flan, obverse die wear and minor die breaks, weight 6.759 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, Aug 253 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse AYT K ΠO ΛIKI ΓAΛΛIHNOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse EΦECIΩN A D• NE•Ω•KOPΩN, agonistic urn (prize crown) containing palm fronds, band across the crown is marked EΦECIAI; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00 ON RESERVE




  



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REFERENCES|

Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l?Empire Romain. (Paris, 1880 - 1892).
Estiot, S. "L'Or romain entre crise et restitution (270-276 apr. J.-C.). I. Aurélien" in Journal des Savants 1 (1999), pp. 51-148.
Giard, J., P. Besombes & S. Estiot. Monnaies de l'Empire romain. Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998 - ).
Göbl, R., et al. Moneta Imperii Romani. (Vienna, 1984 - present).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham, et al. The Roman Imperial Coinage. (London, 1926 - 2020).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. (London, 1923 - 1963).
Monnaies de l'Empire Romain / Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276 (RIC V Online) http://www.ric.mom.fr
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow. (Oxford, 1962 - 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values. (London, 2000 - 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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