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

Agriculture on Ancient Coins
Kyrene, Kyrenaika, N. Africa, c. 325 - 313 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Kyrene,| |Kyrenaika,| |N.| |Africa,| |c.| |325| |-| |313| |B.C.||AE| |15|
Silphium, which is now extinct, was so critical to the Kyrenian economy that most of their coins depict it. The plant was used as a spice and to treat all kinds of maladies including cough, sore throat, fever, indigestion, pain, and warts. It was so widely used as a contraceptive that it was worth its weight in denarii. The traditional heart shape, the symbol of love, is probably derived from the shape of the silphium seed due to the use of silphium as an contraceptive.

"By the next day this maiden and all her girlish apparel had disappeared, and in the room were found images of the Dioscuri, a table, and silphium upon it." - Description of Greece, Pausanias 3.16.3, 2nd Century A.D.
GB96101. Bronze AE 15, Asolati 12/2 (same dies); cf. Mόller Afrique 228 ff.; Buttrey Cyrene I 12, SNG Cop 1226; BMC Cyrenaica p. 45, 198, VF, porosity, some corrosion, tight flan, weight 3.799 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, 325 - 313 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo Carneius right, short curly hair, THP (magistrate) upward behind; reverse triple silphium plant, seen from above, K-Y-P around divided by members, all within a round incuse; rare; $580.00 (€533.60)
 


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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.||sestertius|
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.
RB96498. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 891, BMCRE IV 1891, Hunter II 292, SRCV II 4148, Cohen II 50, Choice F, porosity, small die break reverse exergue left side, weight 22.430 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 151 - 152 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES T AEL HADR ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right; reverse TR POT XV COS IIII, Annona seated left, stalks of grain pointed downward in her right hand, cornucopia in left hand, modius with poppy and grain at feet left, S - C (senatus consulto) across field, ANNONA AVG in exergue; $150.00 (€138.00)
 


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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
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.
RS97455. Silver denarius, RIC III 175; RSC II 284; BMCRE IV p. 95, 657; Strack III 191; cf. SRCV II 4067 (TR P XI), VF, well centered, toned, flow lines, long closed flan crack, weight 3.091 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 148 - 149 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate head right; reverse COS IIII, Annona standing left holding stalks of grain over modius left and anchor; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 90 (29 Nov 2020), lot 1247; $150.00 (€138.00)
 


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

|Roman| |Italy| |&| |Sicily|, |Uncertain| |City| |(Panormos?),| |Sicily,| |Roman| |Rule,| |c.| |211| |-| |190| |B.C.||triens|
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 Munchen 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; $90.00 (€82.80)
 


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Perinthos, Thrace

|Perinthus|, |Sabina,| |Augusta| |128| |-| |c.| |136| |A.D.,| |Perinthos,| |Thrace||AE| |20|
Perinthos, later called Heraclea and Marmara Eregli today, is 90 km west of Istanbul near a small pointed headland on the north shore of the Marmara Sea. It is said to have been a Samian colony, founded about 599 B.C. It is famous chiefly for its stubborn and successful resistance to Philip II of Macedon in 340 B.C.; at that time it seems to have been more important than Byzantium itself.
RP92875. Bronze AE 20, CN Online Perinthos CN_4717, Schonert Perinthos 380, Varbanov III 100 (R6), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, VF, green patina, well centered on a tight flan, small edge splits, porosity, weight 5.147 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 128 - c. 136 A.D.; obverse CABINA - CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse Π-EPIN-ΘIWN, Demeter standing left, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $90.00 (€82.80)
 


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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||dupondius|
Annona was worshiped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year's supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capital. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated to the use of an army during a campaign.
RB95900. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II-3 742; BMCRE III 1334A; Strack II 588; cf. SRCV II 3675 (similar but Annona right); Cohen II 176 (perhaps this coin); Hunter II -, aVF, well centered, rough corrosion, weight 10.531 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 124 - 127 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, radiate bust right, chest bare, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Annona seated left, attendant stands before her helping to draw out a a cloth full of bread loaves(?), stern of ship in the background on right, S - C (Senatus Consulto) across field, ANNONA AVG in exergue; $80.00 (€73.60)
 


Kentoripai, Sicily, c. 211 - 190 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Kentoripai,| |Sicily,| |c.| |211| |-| |190| |B.C.||hexas|
Kentoripai was an iron age Sikel town that maintained its culture and language long after much of Sicily had become Hellenized. In 414 B.C., the town allied with Athens to help defeat a Syracusan inland expedition. In 396, Kentoripai made a treaty with Syracuse. In 344, Timoleon defeated Nikodemos, the ruler of Kentoripai and annexed the city and its territory. Kentoripai was one of the first cities in Sicily to make a treaty with Rome. The city was rewarded for its loyalty and under Roman protection it became one of the most important cities in Roman Sicily.
GI93441. Bronze hexas, Calciati III p. 175, 7; BMC Sicily p. 56, 13; SNG ANS 1323; SNG Cop 216; SNG Munchen 517; HGC 2 637 (R1), aVF, well centered on a broad flan, green patina with red copper areas, porous, small edge cracks, weight 4.435 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Kentoripai mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Demeter right, wreathed in grain, wearing earring and necklace, stalk of grain behind; reverse plow right, bird on the share, two pellets left, KENTO/PIΠINΩN in two lines, starting above, ending below, linear border; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $70.00 (€64.40)
 


Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.

|Titus|, |Titus,| |24| |June| |79| |-| |13| |September| |81| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
In 77 or 78 A.D., Gnaeus Julius Agricola was made governor of Roman Britain, a post he occupied until 84. In his first year, Agricola subdued the Ordovices in Wales and pursued the remnants of the tribe to Anglesey, the holy island of the Druids. According to Tacitus, he exterminated the whole tribe. The Ordovices do completely disappear from the historical record, but considering the mountainous terrain, it is unlikely killed the entire population. Another tribe, the Silures, was either also militarily defeated or simply agreed to terms. Tacitus wrote of the Silures: non atrocitate, non clementia mutabatur - the tribe "was changed neither by cruelty nor by clemency." A Roman squadron, sent by Agricola, explored the north of Scotland for the first time, discovering the Orkney and Shetland Islands.Pre-Roman Wales
RS94722. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 p. 129, 972; RSC II 17; BMCRE II p. 54, 319; BnF III 280; SRCV I 2436, Fair, nice portrait for the grade, weight 2.711 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse T CAESAR VESPASIANVS, laureate head right; reverse ANNONA AVG, Annona seated left, sack of grain in right, left elbow resting on throne behind; $40.00 (€36.80)
 







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