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Rare Roman Coins
Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Agrippina Senior Reverse

|Caligula|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.,| |Agrippina| |Senior| |Reverse||denarius|
Caius Caesar was born in 12 A.D., the son of Germanicus and Agrippina Sr. He was nicknamed Caligula, meaning "little boots," by the legions because as a child his mother dressed him in military uniforms (including little boots). Initially, he was very popular, succeeding Tiberius in 37 A.D. and for a few brief months ruling very well. However, an unknown disease drove him mad and his reign soon degenerated into debauchery and murder. He was murdered by the Praetorian Guard in 41 A.D.
SL113455. Silver denarius, RIC I 14 (Rome), RSC II Caligula and Agrippina 2; BMCRE I 15 (Rome), BnF II 24, Hunter I 7 (Rome), SRCV I 1825, ANACS VF20 (4915709), weight 3.59 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, end of 37 - early 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR POT (counterclockwise), laureate head of Gaius right; reverse AGRIPPINA MAT C CAES AVG GERM (counterclockwise), draped bust of Agrippina Senior (his mother), her hair in a queue behind, one curly lock falls loose on the side of her neck; from a Virginia Collector; ex Eastern Numismatics Inc. (Garden City, NY, 19 Aug 2010, $4250); ANACS| Verify; rare; $5000.00 SALE PRICE $4500.00


Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 280 B.C.

|before| |211| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Anonymous,| |c.| |280| |B.C.||triens|
The triens (plural trientes) was an Ancient Roman bronze coin produced during the Roman Republic valued at one-third of an as. HUGE 50.5 mm and 83.3 gram bronze!
SH110921. Aes grave (cast) triens, Crawford 14/3 var. (pellets below dolphin); Thurlow-Vecchi 3a var. (same); Haeberlin pl. 39, 15 var. (same); HN Italy 270 var. (same); Sydenham 10, VF, dark green patina, earthen deposits, a few flan flaws, weight 83.342 g, maximum diameter 50.5 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, heavy series, c. 280 B.C.; obverse fulmen (thunderbolt), four pellets (mark of value) divided across field; reverse dolphin swimming right, four pellets (mark of value) above; ex CNG auction 90 (23 May 2012), lot 1278; ex L.C. Aes Grave Collection; this coin is the only specimen on Coin Archives and the only specimen known to FORVM with the pellets above the dolphin, HUGE 50.5 mm and 83.3 gram bronze!; extremely rare variant; $2250.00 SALE PRICE $1800.00


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D.

|Otho|, |Otho,| |15| |January| |69| |-| |17| |April| |69| |A.D.||denarius|
Otho first appears as one of the most reckless and extravagant of the young nobles who surrounded Nero. This friendship was brought to an end in 58 A.D. At her insistence, Otho introduced his beautiful wife, Poppaea Sabina, to the Emperor. Poppaea soon became Nero's mistress, divorced Otho, and had Nero send Otho away as governor to the remote province of Lusitania. Otho remained in Lusitania for the next ten years, administering the province with a moderation unusual at the time. When in 68 A.D. his neighbor, the future Emperor Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, rose in revolt against Nero, Otho accompanied him to Rome. Resentment toward Nero may have impelled him to this course, but he was soon inspired by personal ambition.
SL113459. Silver denarius, RIC I 8 (R2), RSC II 17, BMCRE I 18, BnF III 10, Hunter I C 3807, SRCV I 2162, NGC Ch F, strike 3/5, surface 3/5 (2400516-012), weight 3.37 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Feb - Mar 69 A.D.; obverse IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse SECVRITAS P R (security of the people of Rome), Securitas standing slightly left, head left, raising wreath in right hand, long scepter in left hand; from a Virginia Collector, ex Eastern Numismatics Inc. (Garden City, NY, 25 Apr 2011, $2000); NGC| Lookup; rare; $2000.00 SALE PRICE $1800.00


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Claudius|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||cistophorus|
In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor the Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could establish cults and build temples for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. Communitas Asiae (Community of Asia) was pro-consular Roman province comprised of Lydia, Iconia, Caria, Mysia, Phrygia, and Hellespontus.
SL113456. Silver cistophorus, RPC Online I 2221, RIC I 120 (R3, Pergamon), RSC II 3, BMCRE I 228, SRCV I 1838, NGC F, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (2400265-002), weight 10.53 g, maximum diameter 26 mm, die axis 180o, probably Ephesos (near Selcuk, Turkey) mint, 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAES AVG, bare head left; reverse Temple of Roma and Augustus, two columns, podium with four steps, within temple Augustus and Roma stand facing, Augustus in military garb with spear in right hand and shield in left, Fortuna crowns him with wreath in right hand and holds cornucopia in left hand, ROM ET AVG (Roma and Augustus) on entablature, COM - ASI (Communitas Asiae) across field at center; from a Virginia Collector, ex Eastern Numismatics Inc. (Garden City, NY, 17 Jan 2013, $1695); NGC| Lookup; very rare; $1700.00 SALE PRICE $1530.00


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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them of money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the prosperity of the state and the abundance of wheat contained in the public granaries.
SL113467. Silver denarius, RIC III 237 (R); RSC II 518; BMCRE IV p. 119, 821; Strack III 273; Hunter II -; SRCV II -, NGC Ch MS, strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (2400906-011), weight 3.35 g, maximum diameter 18 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 153 - 154 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVII, laureate bust right; reverse LIBERALITAS VII COS IIII, Antoninus standing slightly left, bare head (with recognizable portrait!) left, togate, coin counting board in right hand, roll in left hand; from a Virginia Collector, ex Eastern Numismatics Inc. (Garden City, NY, 20 Dec 2010, $1650); NGC| Lookup; rare; $1650.00 SALE PRICE $1485.00


Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.

|Galba|, |Galba,| |3| |April| |68| |-| |15| |January| |69| |A.D.||denarius|
The reverse inscription abbreviates Senatus Populusque Romanus Ob Cives Servatos, meaning "[Awarded by] the senate and the Roman people for saving citizens." The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.
SL113458. Silver denarius, RIC I 167 (R), RSC I 287, BnF III 76, Hunter I 5, BMCRE I 34 corr. (described as laureate, plate is bare-headed), SRCV I 2109, NGC Ch F, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (2400513-007), weight 3.43 g, maximum diameter 19 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. Aug - Oct 68 A.D.; obverse IMP SER GALBA AVG, bare head right; reverse S P Q R / OB / C S in three lines within oak wreath (corona civica); from a Virginia Collector, ex Eastern Numismatics Inc. (Garden City, NY, 3 Dec 2010, $1485); NGC| Lookup; rare; $1500.00 SALE PRICE $1350.00


Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.

|Vitellius|, |Vitellius,| |2| |January| |-| |20| |December| |69| |A.D.||denarius|
Libertas (Latin for Liberty) was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty. The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some U.S. coins. On the Seated Liberty dollar, Liberty raises up a pileus (freedom cap) on a rod (liberty pole). Seated Liberty
SL113460. Silver denarius, RIC I 105 (R), RSC II 47, BMCRE I 31, BnF III 67, Hunter I 11, SRCV I 2198, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 3/5, deposits (2400511-008), weight 3.23 g, maximum diameter 18 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, May - Jul 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERTAS RESTITVTA (Liberty restored), Libertas standing facing, head right, pileus (cap worn by liberated slaves) in extended right hand, long rod vertical in left hand; from a Virginia Collector, ex Eastern Numismatics Inc. (Garden City, NY, 28 Jul 2010, $1175); NGC| Lookup; rare; $1175.00 SALE PRICE $1058.00


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Roman Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Egypt||drachm|
RPC I quotes Walkerís surface analysis of Claudius billon at 21 - 26% silver, a significant drop from the 30% silver for those of Tiberius.

The ancients did not all agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. The general impression of the ancients seems to have been that by Serapis, was to be understood the beginning and foundation of things. Julian II consulted the oracle of Apollo for the purpose of learning whether Pluto and Serapis were different gods; and he received for an answer that Jupiter-Serapis and Pluto were one and the same divinity.
SH110653. Billon drachm, RPC I 5136 (4 spec.); BMC Alexandria p. 10, 78; Kampmann 12.25; Emmett 76/3 (R4); Geissen -; Dattari -; SNG Hunterian -, F, dark patina, earthen deposits, scratches, porosity, weight 3.330 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 42 - 43 A.D.; obverse TI KΛ KA CE AY, laureate head right, L Γ (year 3) right; reverse draped bust of Serapis right, kalathos on head; the best of this type known to FORVM; very rare; $1125.00 SALE PRICE $1013.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Nicomedia, Bithynia

|Nikomedia|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Nicomedia,| |Bithynia||AE| |22|
Nicomedia was the Roman metropolis of Bithynia. Diocletian made it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 286 when he introduced the Tetrarchy system. Nicomedia remained the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Empire until co-emperor Licinius was defeated by Constantine the Great at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324. Constantine resided mainly in Nicomedia as his interim capital for the next six years, until in 330 when he declared nearby Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) the new capital. Constantine died in his royal villa near Nicomedia in 337. Due to its position at the convergence of the Asiatic roads leading to the new capital, Nicomedia retained its importance even after the foundation of Constantinople.
RP112810. Bronze AE 22, RPC Online IV T5599 (3 spec.) var. (laur. head); Rec Gen II.3 74; BMC Pontus p. 182, 17 var. (same); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, F, dark patina, high points and parts of legends weak, light deposits, rev. slightly off center, weight 6.872 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, Aug 138 - 7 Mar 161 A.D.; obverse AVT KAICAP ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse NIKOMHΔEIAC, galley with sail left, NEOKOPOY, in exergue; ex Leu Numismatik auction 25 (11-14 Mar 2023), lot 4116 (part of); ex European collection (formed before 2005); the only specimen known to FORVM with this bust variant; extremely rare; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |22|
A temple of MÍn has been excavated at Antioch, Pisidia. Luna, the Greek moon-goddess, was female, which seems natural because the female menstrual cycle follows the lunar month. But MÍn was a male moon-god, probably originally of the indigenous non-Greek Karian people. By Roman times, MÍn was worshiped across Anatolia and in Attica. He was associated with fertility, healing, and punishment. MÍn is usually depicted with a crescent moon behind his shoulders, wearing a Phrygian cap, and holding a lance or sword in one hand and a pine-cone or patera in the other. His other attributes include the bucranium and cock.
RP112809. Bronze AE 22, Krzyzanowska IX/10, pl. 8; SNG BnF -; SNG Pfalz -, nice gVF, attractive black patina with highlighting red earthen deposits, weight 5.740 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, regnal year 4, 196 - 197 A.D.; obverse IMP C S-EV PERP AV-G IIII, laureate head of Septimius Severus right; reverse ANTIOCH - COLONIAE, draped bust of MÍn right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing Phrygian cap ; ex Leu Numismatik auction 25 (11-14 Mar 2023), lot 4116 (part of); ex European collection (formed before 2005); first specimen of the type handled by FORVM, Coin Archives records only two specimens of the type at auction in the last two decades; very rare; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00




  



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REFERENCES|

Caliců, X. The Roman Avrei. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappťes sous l?Empire Romain. (Paris, 1880 - 1892).
Estiot, S. "L'Or romain entre crise et restitution (270-276 apr. J.-C.). I. Aurťlien" in Journal des Savants 1 (1999), pp. 51-148.
Giard, J., P. Besombes & S. Estiot. Monnaies de l'Empire romain. BibliothŤque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998 - ).
GŲbl, 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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