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

Rare Roman Coins
Otho, February - 9 March 69 A.D.

|Otho|, |Otho,| |February| |-| |9| |March| |69| |A.D.||denarius|
The second issue of Otho is characterized by the missing M in the obverse legend and a changed coiffure. This combined with the serene portrait makes this particular die one of the nicest ones available.
SH99261. Silver denarius, RIC I 10 (R3), RSC II 15, BMCRE I 19, BnF III 11, Hunter I 10, SRCV I 2163, F/aF, nice portrait for the grade, toned, scratches, weight 2.976 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Feb - 9 Mar 69 A.D.; obverse IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse SECVRITAS P R (security of the people of Rome), Securitas standing slightly left, head left, wreath in right hand, long scepter in left hand; very rare; $600.00 (546.00)


Judaea, Pontius Pilate, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 26 - 36 A.D.

|Pontius| |Pilate|, |Judaea,| |Pontius| |Pilate,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |26| |-| |36| |A.D.||prutah|
Pontius Pilate is chiefly known for the part he played in the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.
JD72795. Bronze prutah, Meshorer TJC 333g; Sofaer 49; Hendin 6371d, Fair, rough, reverse edge beveled, weight 1.966 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem (or unofficial?) mint, 29 - 31 A.D.; obverse TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (retrograde, counterclockwise), lituus (augural wand) curving left (reversed from the normal); reverse LIϖ in wreath; very rare; $450.00 (409.50)


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 (364.00)


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; $340.00 (309.40)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Amisos, Pontos

|Pontos|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Amisos,| |Pontos||drachm|
The Romans conquered Amisus in 71 B.C. during the Third Mithridatic War and Amisus became part of Bithynia et Pontus province. Around 46 B.C., during the reign of Julius Caesar, Amisus became the capital of Roman Pontus. From the period of the Second Triumvirate up to Nero, Pontus was ruled by several client kings, as well as a queen, Pythodorida of Pontus, a granddaughter of Mark Antony. From 62 A.D. it was directly ruled by Roman governors, most famously by Trajan's appointee Pliny the Younger. The estimated population of the city around 150 A.D. was between 20,000 and 25,000, a large city for that time. The city functioned as the commercial capital for the province of Pontus; beating its rival Sinope due to its position at the head of the trans-Anatolia highway.
RS99248. Silver drachm, RPC III 1279 (5 spec.), Recueil Gnral 91, Nordb Amisus 5b, BMC Pontus -, gF, dark spots, part of obv. legend unstruck, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.699 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 210o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, year 167, 135 - 136 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI TPA A∆PI-ANOC CEB Π Π YΠ Γ, laureate head right; reverse AMICOV EΛEVΘEPAC ETOVC PΞZ (Amisos, free city, [year] 167), Hera standing left, wearing diadem, apple in right hand, scepter in left hand; first example of this type handled by Forum, zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $300.00 (273.00)


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 Mnchen 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; $250.00 (227.50)


Nero, 13 Oct 54 - 9 Jun 68 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Nero,| |13| |Oct| |54| |-| |9| |Jun| |68| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||AE| |16|
Nero (15 Dec 37 - 9 Jun 68) was the fifth Roman emperor and the last emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, reigning from 54 until his suicide in 68. He was adopted by the Roman emperor Claudius at the age of 13 and succeeded him to the throne. Nero seems to have been popular with the members of his Praetorian Guard, and with lower-class commoners in Rome and the provinces, but was deeply resented by the Roman aristocracy. Most contemporary sources describe him as tyrannical, self-indulgent and debauched. After being declared a public enemy by the Roman Senate, he committed suicide aged 30.
RP97584. Bronze AE 16, RPC Online I 2625 (8 specimens); Imhoof-Blumer KM p. 59, 63; Karwiese MvE 5 74; SNG Cop -, BMC Ionia -, F, dark brown patina, highlighting earthen deposits, small edge chips, scattered porosity, inscriptions weak, weight 2.368 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, as caesar under Claudius, c. 49 - 50 A.D.; obverse E-ΦE divided low across field, bare-headed, draped bust of young boy, Nero caesar; reverse KOYΣINIOΣ TO ∆ (Kousinios, episkopos for the 4th time), Cult statue of Artemis Ephesia standing facing, with arm supports, wearing kalathos and veil, all within wreath; ex Naumann auction 91 (05 July 2020), lot 848; rare; $240.00 (218.40)


Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

|Postumus|, |Gallic| |Empire,| |Postumus,| |Summer| |260| |-| |Spring| |269| |A.D.||double| |sestertius|
"This interesting [reverse] legend refers to the cult of Hercules as Deuso (modern Deutz) on the Rhine which still forms the eastern bridgehead of Cologne." -- David Sear in Roman Coins and Their Values III
RB98504. Bronze double sestertius, Bastien Postume 168, cf. RIC V-2 134 (R2), Cohen VI 99, Hunter IV 120, SRCV III 11044, F, green patina, deposits, a few pits, some corrosion, weight 17.616 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 225o, 2nd officina, uncertain mint, c. 260 - 266 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CASS LAT POSTVMVS P F AV, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse HERC DEVSONIENSI, Hercules standing front in tetrastyle temple, head left, resting on club in right hand, Nemean Lion's skin in left hand; ex Leu Numismatik auction 16 (22 May 2021), lot 3636; this is the first example of this rare type handled by Forum; rare; $225.00 (204.75)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Antioch, Syria

|Antioch|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
The ruins of Antioch on the Orontes lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey. Founded near the end of the 4th century B.C. by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch's geographic, military and economic location, particularly the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Persian Royal Road, benefited its occupants, and eventually it rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East and as the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch is called "the cradle of Christianity, for the pivotal early role it played in the emergence of the faith. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Its residents are known as Antiochenes. Antioch was renamed Theoupolis after it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake on 29 November 528. Once a great metropolis of half a million people, it declined to insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes and a change in trade routes following the Mongol conquests, which then no longer passed through Antioch from the far east. 6th Century Antioch
RY99405. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 866 (v. rare), Prieur 285 (5 spec.), Dura 374, RPC VII.2 U68019, gVF, broad flan, areas of striking weakness and double strike, weight 10.410 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch mint, 240 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, radiate and cuirassed bust left, seen from the front; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOVCIAC, eagle standing slightly right facing, wings spread, head left, tail left, wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) below; rare; $215.00 (195.65)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Caesarea,| |Cappadocia||drachm|
Mount Erciyes (Argaios to the Greeks, Argaeus to the Romans) is a massive stratovolcano 25 km to the south of Kayseri (ancient Caesarea) in Turkey. The highest mountain in central Anatolia, with its summit reaching 3,916 meters (12,848 ft). It may have erupted as recently as 253 B.C., as may be depicted on Roman era coins. Strabo wrote that the summit was never free from snow and that those few who ascended it reported seeing both the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south in days with a clear sky.
RS99253. Silver drachm, Sydenham Caesarea 401 var. (laur. head r.); SNGvA 6467 var. (same); BMC Galatia p. 74, 228 var. (same, leg.); SNG Tub -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Cop -, VF, surface a little grainy, broad oval flan, edge chip, small edge cracks, weight 2.452 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 206 - 207 A.D.; obverse AY KAI Λ CEΠ CEOYHPOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse MHTPO KAICAP NEΩ, Mount Argaeus surmounted by a star; ET IE (year 15) in exergue; apparently unpublished extremely rare bust variation; $200.00 (182.00)




  



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REFERENCES|

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

Catalog current as of Monday, May 16, 2022.
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