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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Architecture||View Options:  |  |  |   

Architecture on Ancient Coins
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

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

|Trajan|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
"The celebrated Trajan's Column, commemorating the emperor's victories in the Dacian wars and still a prominent landmark of modern Rome, was dedicated on 12 May A.D. 113." -- Roman Coins and Their Values by David R. Sear
RS113125. Silver denarius, Woytek 493v, BnF IV 804, RIC II 307, RSC II 115, Strack I 226, BMCRE III 522, Hunter II - (p. xl), SRCV II -, VF, flow lines, scratches, rev. die wear, weight 3.330 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 114 - 117 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC P M TR P, laureate, draped bust right; reverse COS VI P P S P Q R, Trajan's Column surmounted by statue of the Emperor, at base two eagles; $400.00 SALE PRICE $360.00

Crusaders, Principality of Achaea, William II of Villehardouin, 1245 - 1278

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |William| |II| |of| |Villehardouin,| |1245| |-| |1278||denier|
William of Villehardouin became Prince of Achaea when his brother Geoffrey II died. He conquered the remaining territory of the Peloponnese and built the fortress of Mistra near Sparta. In 1249 he accompanied Louis IX of France on the Seventh Crusade, joining him in Cyprus with 400 knights and 28 ships. Louis gave him a license to mint coins in the style of royal French money. William defeated Venice in the War of the Euboeote Succession and defeated the Duke of Athens in 1258, reaffirming his power over the duchy. In 1259 he formed an alliance with the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus against Nicaea. He led the Achaean forces against the Nicaeans, but the Epirote army deserted and William was defeated. He fled and hid under a haystack, but was captured. He remained captive until 1262 and permanently lost all his power.
CR112805. Bronze denier, Malloy Crusaders p. 356, 3; Metcalf Crusades pl. 38, 877; Schlumberger p. 313 & pl. 12, 7; Tzamalis F56, aVF, centered, tight flan, center weak, edge ragged with splits, weight 0.702 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, Corinth mint, 1245 - 1278; obverse G•Π•AC-CA-IE•, long cross pattée, extending beyond inner circular border and dividing legend, right arm shorter making space for •; reverse COR/INT/Vm (squared legend, clockwise from 2:00, N appears as H, m appears as ligate on), fortified gateway with central tower surmounted by cross pattée flanked by pellets; $200.00 SALE PRICE $160.00

Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Charles II of Anjou, 1285 - 1289

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Charles| |II| |of| |Anjou,| |1285| |-| |1289||denier| |tournois|NEW
Charles II succeeded his father, Charles I, in Achaea as well as Sicily (now reduced to the Kingdom of Naples), but he was a prisoner in Aragonese hands. In the interim, the rule of Achaea devolved upon a series of baillis chosen from the Morean nobility. Not long after his release and coronation in 1289, he granted the Principality to Isabelle of Villehardouin upon her marriage with Florent of Hainaut, in part to redress the greedy application of the Treaty of Viterbo at William's death. However, he retained feudal overlordship over the Principality, and his grant provided that neither Isabelle nor any daughter who was her heir might marry without his consent.Charles_II_of_Anjou
CR113764. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders p. 360, 12 (S); Metcalf Crusades pl. 39, 942; Tzamalis Frankish KA101; Schlumberger XII 17, Choice VF, well centered, toned, edge cracks, weight 0.947 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 270o, Clarentza mint, 1285 -1289; obverse + • K•R•PRINC ACh• (curly foot R = Clarentza mint), cross pattée within inner border; reverse :DE: CLARENCIA (colons indicate double x stops, DE probably abbreviates denarius, curly foot R = Clarentza mint), castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend; scarce; $150.00 (€141.00) ON RESERVE

Italy, Campobasso, Nicolas I of Montforte, 1422

|Italy|, |Italy,| |Campobasso,| |Nicolas| |I| |of| |Montforte,| |1422||tornese|
Robert of Anjou gave Campobasso as a fief to Richard de Montfort in 1326, to reward him for his loyalty. Nicolas I de Montfort was his descendant. Campobasso is the capital of the Molise region and of the province of Campobassoa in southern Italy; located in the high basin of the Biferno river, surrounded by the Sannio and Matese mountains. The main tourist attraction is the Castello Monforte, built by Nicolas II over Lombard or Norman ruins. The castle has Guelph merlons and stands on a commanding point, where traces of ancient settlements (including Samnite walls) have been found. The castle was rebuilt after the earthquakes in 1456 and 1805.
ME98087. Billon tornese, Biaggi 538 (R5); CNI XVIII p. 234, 10; cf. MIR 10 369 (stops, Nicolas II), MEC Italy III 938 (same), VF, well centered, light corrosion, light deposits, tiny edge crack, weight 0.673 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 180o, Campobasso mint, 1422; obverse * NICOLOA CONI * (closed C's and unbarred A, rosette stops), Châtel tournois topped with a cross; reverse + • CAmPIbASSI • (closed C and unbarred A's, pellet stops), cross pattée; ex Nomisma SpA (San Marino) auction 31 (Mar 2006), lot 325; very rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $144.00

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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Egypt||drachm|
"ALEXANDRIA (31°13'N, 29°55'E), was founded on the site of a fishing village at the mouth of the Nile in Egypt by Alexander the Great in 331 BC and after his death in 323 BC it was ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty until Octavian seized it for Rome in 30 BC. Famous as an intellectual and trading center, it was the second largest city in the Roman Empire with a population of 500,000 at the time of Christ. It had long struck coins for Egyptian circulation, and briefly struck Imperial denarii (192-194) before Diocletian in 294 commenced normal imperial issues, continuing until 421 (and briefly under Leo I 457-474)." - from Moneta Historical Research by Tom Schroer
RX111023. Bronze drachm, RPC Online 13749/36 (this coin); Dattari-Savio 8855; Geissen 1672; SNG Milan 1299; BMC Alexandria p. 143, 1201; Emmett 1449, aVF, well centered, some corrosion/pitting, edge splits, obv. edge beveled, weight 27.079 g, maximum diameter 34.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 151 - 152 A.D.; obverse AVT K T AIΛ AΔP ANTWNINOC CEB EVC, laureate bust right, with aegis on far shoulder; reverse Peristyle altar of Agathodaemon, with four columns and garlanded entablature, female figure sacrificing within, burning pyre and acroteria in form of aphlasta above; L in exergue, I-E (year 15) across fields; ex Naville Numismatics 40 (27 May 2018), lot 298; ex Roma Numismatics e-auction 41 (2 Dec 2017), lot 491; $155.00 SALE PRICE $140.00

Maxentius, February 307 - 28 October 312 A.D.

|Maxentius|, |Maxentius,| |February| |307| |-| |28| |October| |312| |A.D.||follis|NEW
With the legend CONSERVATORES KART SVAE, Maxentius declares he is the Savior of the Carthage, protecting its customs and privileges.
RT111562. Billon follis, RIC VI Carthago p. 432, 60; SRCV IV 14999, Cohen VII p. 171, 50; Hunter V -, Choice gVF, well centered, dark tone, mild porosity, weight 8.060 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 210o, 3rd officina, Carthage (near Tunis, Tunisia) mint, summer 307 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXENTIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse CONSERVATORES KART SVAE, temple with six columns, Carthago standing facing within, head left, holding fruits in both hands, PKΓ in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 946 (part of); $130.00 (€122.20) ON RESERVE

Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Duchy of Athens, Guy II de La Roche, 1287 - 1308

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Duchy| |of| |Athens,| |Guy| |II| |de| |La| |Roche,| |1287| |-| |1308||denier|NEW
Guy II de la Roche was the Duke of Athens from 1287, the last duke of his family. He succeeded as a minor on the death of his father, William I, at a time when the duchy of Athens had exceeded the Principality of Achaea in wealth, power, and importance. Guy was originally under the tutorship and regency of his mother, Helena Angelina Komnene, who was forced to make submission to Isabella of Villehardouin. In 1299, Guy was engaged to Matilda, daughter of Isabella and and her husband, Florent of Hainaut. Charles objected, as his permission had not been sought, but Pope Boniface VIII intervened on the young couple's behalf. In 1307, Guy was made bailli of Achaea by its new prince, Philip I of Taranto. He governed well, but for barely a year. He died, 5 October 1308, at the age of twenty-eight, but was respected and renowned for his chivalry and manners.Frankokratia_Map
CR113826. Billon denier, Metcalf Crusades pl. 42, 1078 (also no stops); Malloy Crusaders p. 388, 96, Choice VF, well centered, dark tone, clashed dies, encrustations, edge splits, weight 0.887 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 315o, Thebes mint, majority, 1294 - 1308; obverse +GVI DVX ATENES (no stops), cross pattée within inner border; reverse ThEBAHI CIVIS (no stops), castle tournois, surmounted by cross dividing legend, pierced mullet (heraldic six-pointed star-shaped spur rowel) below; ex Fritz Rudolf Künker auction 390 (24 Jun 2023), lot 3432 (part of); $140.00 SALE PRICE $112.00

Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Paphos, Cyprus

|Cyprus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Paphos,| |Cyprus||hemiobol|
The 1.2 mm high gray-green conical stone, which once stood at the center of the Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Paphos, was found by archaeologists near the temple and is now in the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia. It is not a meteorite.

Ritual prostitution seems to have been a significant part of the cult of Aphrodite at Paphos. It was said that every young maiden went once in her lifetime to the sanctuary to make love with a stranger. The man chose his maiden, and threw some money at her feet (the sum was unimportant) and pronounced the formula, "I invoke the goddess upon you." Beautiful maidens were able to fulfill their duty quickly, while the ugly had to wait sometimes as long as four years to get it over with.
ME113245. Bronze hemiobol, RPC Online I 3906; SNG Cop 69; BMC Cyprus, p. 73, 2; Mionnet III p. 671, 2; Waddington 4845; AMC I 727; Grant FITA 143; Amandry Cyprus 2a, aVF, dark patina, highlighting red earthen deposits, obv. edge beveled, weight 4.153 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, c. 21 - 20 B.C.; obverse DIVI F IMP CAESAR, head of Augustus right; reverse A PLAVTIVS PRO COS, temple of Aphrodite at Paphos, containing a conical xoanon within, and a semicircular entry courtyard; $120.00 SALE PRICE $96.00

Maxentius, February 307 - 28 October 312 A.D.

|Maxentius|, |Maxentius,| |February| |307| |-| |28| |October| |312| |A.D.||follis|
With the legend CONSERV VRB SVAE, Maxentius declares he is the Savior of the City (Rome), protecting its customs and privileges.
RT111557. Billon follis, Hunter V 14, RIC VI Roma 210, SRCV IV 15001, Cohen VII 52, Choice gVF, well centered, dark patina, edge cracks/splits, areas of weak strike, areas of mild porosity, weight 7.798 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 308 - 310 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse CONSERV - VRB SVAE, Roma seated facing in ornate hexastyle temple, head left, holding globe in right hand, spear in left hand, shield at side on right, wreath in pediment, Victories as acroteria, RBS in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 946 (part of); $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00




Price, M.J. & B. Trell. Coins and Their Cities: Architecture on the Ancient Coins of Greece, Rome, and Palestine. (London, 1977).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, December 6, 2023.
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