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

Agriculture on Ancient Coins

Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 440 - 430 B.C.

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Metapontum was one of the cities where the doctrines and sect of Pythagoras obtained the firmest footing. Even when the Pythagoreans were expelled from Crotona, they maintained themselves at Metapontum, where the philosopher himself retired, and where he ended his days. The Metapontines paid the greatest respect to his memory; they consecrated the house in which he had lived as a temple to Ceres, and gave to the street in which it was situated the name of the Museum. His tomb was still shown there in the days of Cicero.
GS91978. Silver obol, Noe-Johnston 2, pl. 44, 346.3; SNG Ash 680; SNG Stockholm 192; HN Italy 1500 var. (horns downward); HGC I 1087 (R2) var. (same); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, flow lines, slightly off center, tiny edge splits, weight 0.435 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, die axis 0o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 440 - 430 B.C.; obverse ear of barley in border of large dots; reverse ox head facing with horns pointed upward; ex FORVM (2009); very rare; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00


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

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Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. This reverse suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people. By the Code De Naviculariis, the mariners appointed to carry grain from Egypt could be executed if they did not keep the proper course; and if they did not sail in the proper season, the master of the vessel would be banished.
RB91949. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 677a (S); BMCRE V p. 130, 519; Cohen IV 33 var. (cuirassed); SRCV II 6405 var. (same), gVF/aF, superb portrait, tight squared flan typical for the period cutting off much of legends, porous, Annona's head weak, weight 18.355 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP IIII, laureate head right; reverse ANNONA AVG COS II P P, Annona standing slightly left, head left, two stalks of grain in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, modius overflowing with grain at feet on left, S - C flanking low across field; scarce; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


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

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Bonus Eventus, the god of good outcomes, was originally worshiped by the Romans as a deity especially presiding over agriculture and successful harvests. During the Imperial era, he was associated with other types of success. The epithet Bonus, "the Good," is used with other abstract deities such as Bona Fortuna ("Good Fortune"), Bona Mens ("Good Thinking" or "Sound Mind"), and Bona Spes ("Good Hope," perhaps to be translated as "optimism"), as well as with the mysterious and multivalent Bona Dea, a goddess whose rites were celebrated by women.
RS92309. Silver denarius, RIC IV 369; RSC III 68; BMCRE V p. 91, 343; SRCV II 6267; Hunter III 176 var. (IMP CE L..), Choice gVF, well centered and struck, toned, edge cracks, weight 3.208 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, laureate head right; reverse BONI EVENTVS, Bonus Eventus standing slightly left, head left, raising a shallow basket of fruit in right hand, two heads of grain downward in left; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Southeastern Anatolia, Uncertain Mint

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This type was struck in 26 B.C. when Augustus was consul for the 8th time and, as we learn from the reverse legends of their coinage, T. Vomanius and M. Memmius Flam. were quinquennial douvirs, for the second time. RPC I notes that the humped bulls on the reverse of this type, and a twin goddess reverse type struck by the same douvirs, suggest the mint was in southeastern Anatolia, but the mint city remains uncertain.
RP89869. Bronze AE 22, RPC I 5412 (3 spec.), aF, porous, a little rough, weight 7.189 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Roman colony mint, 26 B.C.; obverse IMP CAESAR DIVI F AVGVSTVS COS VIII, bare head right; reverse T VOMAN M MEMM FLAM QVINQ ITER, two priests with yoke of two humped oxen right, plowing the pomerium (sacred boundary), founding the new colony; behind, aquila between two signa; only two sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


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

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This coin celebrates Alimenta Italiae, a program to aid orphans and other needy children. Pliny, in his panegyric in 100 A.D., testified that infants were diligently looked after and registered, in order to be brought up at the expense of the state. "There were very nearly 5000 free-born children, whom the liberality of our prince sought out and adopted. A reserve in case of war, and an ornament in peaceful times, they are nourished at the public cost; and learn to love their country, not as their country only, but also as their nourishing mother. From the ranks of these will our camps, our tribes, be filled."
RS88842. Silver denarius, Woytek 395b2, BMCRE III 472, Strack I 173, RIC II 243, RSC II 9, BnF IV 664, SRCV II 3117, Choice gF, excellent portrait, well centered, flow lines, some die wear, a few small marks/scratches, two small edge cracks, weight 2.915 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 113 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate bust right, drapery on far shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Annona standing slightly right, looking left, stalks of grain in right hand held over child at her feet on left, cornucopia in left hand, ALIM ITAL in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 72, part of lot 1047; $135.00 SALE |PRICE| $122.00


Uncertain City (Panormos?), Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 211 - 190 B.C.

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In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained for many years one of the principal cities of Sicily. It continued to issue bronze coins, bearing the names of various resident magistrates, and following the Roman system. Under Augustus, Panormus received a Roman colony.
GI89312. Bronze triens, Semuncial standard; Calciati I p. 365, 205 (Panormos); SNG MŁnchen 835 (Panormos); HGC 2 1691 (R1, uncertain Romano-Sicilian); SNG Cop -, aVF, off center but types on flan, a little rough, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Romano-Sicilian mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Demeter-Ceres left, small cornucopia behind neck; reverse double cornucopia, overflowing with bunches of grapes, tied with fillets, four pellets (mark of value) in a vertical line to left; rare; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


Iol-Caesarea, Mauretania, North Africa, c. 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.

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Phoenicians from Carthage founded Iol as a trading station around 400 B.C. It became a part of the kingdom of Numidia under Jugurtha, c. 160 - 104 B.C. In 29 B.C., Roman emperor Augustus made the Numidian King Juba II and his wife Cleopatra Selene II (daughter of Marc Antony and Cleopatra of Egypt) king and queen of Mauretania. The capital was established at Iol, which was renamed Caesarea in honor of the emperor.
GB85358. Bronze 1/4 Unit, Alexandropoulos MAA 147; Falbe-Lindberg III, p. 177, 290 (uncertain mint); SNG Cop 684 var. (kerykeion obv. left), F, dark green patina, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 2.102 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 270o, Iol-Caesarea (Cherchell, Algeria) mint, c. 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.; obverse head of Isis left, wearing vulture crown and horned solar-disk headdress; reverse three ears of barley; extremely rare; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


Leontini, Sicily, c. 476 - 466 B.C., Unofficial Imitative

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The low weight, crude style, and retrograde ethnic indicate this was not an official issue of the city but, more likely, an imitative. Hoover identifies it as an imitative in the Handbook of Coins of Sicily (HGC 2).
GS91173. Silver litra, cf. HGC 2 688 (R2) (same); BMC Sicily p. 88; 22 (same retrograde legend, 0.635g); Boehringer Leontini pl. 10, B (similarly crude), VF, well centered, crude style, half the usual weight, weight 0.289 g, maximum diameter 9.7 mm, die axis 330o, unofficial Sicilian mint, c. 476 - 466 B.C.; obverse crude facing lion scalp, linear border; reverse ΛE-ON (retrograde, counterclockwise from upper right), barley kernel, linear border; ex Beast Coins, ex Imperial Coins & Artifacts; very rare; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


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

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A caduceus is a wand entwined at one end by two serpents, each of whose bodies folds again in the form of two half-circles, whilst the head passes above the wand. It was an attribute peculiar to Mercury. Prudence is generally supposed to be represented by these two serpents, and the wings which are sometimes added to the Caduceus, are the symbols of diligence, both needful qualities in the pursuit of trade and commerce, which Mercury patronized. It was also the symbol of peace and concord, which that deity is related to have received from Apollo in return for the lyre.
RS91220. Silver denarius, RIC III 136, RSC II 344, BMCRE IV 530, Hunter II 139, Strack III 166, SRCV II 4078, F, well centered, light tone, light marks, edge cracks, weight 3.169 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 145 - 161 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right; reverse COS IIII, clasped hands holding stalks of grain and caduceus; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 76 (7 Apr 2019), part of lot 942; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


Tamouda, Mauretania, 1st Century B.C.

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Tamuda (Tamusia) was founded by Berbers in the 3rd century B.C. There was likely a Phoenician presence in the next century, mainly for commerce. Rome occupied Tamuda during the reign of Augustus. Around 42 A.D., it was leveled by Roman garrisons during an insurrection. It was replaced with a fortified settlement, later a Roman castrum, and grew to be a major city of Mauretania Tingitana. Industry included fish salting and purple dye production. The region became fully Romanized, Christian and "pacified." By the time the Vandals arrived in the fifth century the city had disappeared from history and may have already been abandoned.
GB84542. Bronze AE 16, cf. Mazard 587 (anepigraphic), SNG Cop 719 (same), MŁller Afrique 242 (neo-Punic TMDT behind head), SRCV II 6653 (same), F/VF, rough, dark green patina, weight 2.454 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 0o, Tamouda (near Tetouan, Morocco) mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse bearded head right; reverse two heads of grain, meander symbol and pellet between them; ex-RBW Collection; rare; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00




  



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Agriculture