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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Military||View Options:  |  |  |   

Military, Combat & Arms on Ancient Coins
Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.

|Caligula|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.||sestertius|
The lack of the usual S C (senatus consulto) suggests that the issue was funded and struck by the Emperor, rather than the Senate. Suetonius wrote (Gaius Caligula 53), "He was as eloquent and witty as you would want, especially when he could launch an attack on someone. Words and phrases used to find him whenever he was angry—his articulation and voice too rose up so that it was impossible for him to stay in the same place thanks to excitement and he was heard well by people standing far away. When he was about to give a speech, he used to threaten to unsheathe the tool of his nocturnal strains, and he despised work composed smoothly and with style so much that he used to say that Seneca wrote 'only school-essays' and was 'sand without lime'."
SH98642. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 32 (S), BMCRE I 33, BnF II 45, Cohen I 1, Hunter I 14, SRCV I -, Choice VF, attractive portrait, near black patina, areas of slight porosity, weight 28.989 g, maximum diameter 35.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, laureate head left; reverse ADLOCVT above, COH in exergue (adlocutio cohortium - speech to the cohorts), Caligula standing left on platform, bare-headed, togate, extending right hand in gesture of address, sella castrensis (folding iron field chair) behind, addressing five praetorians standing right, each wearing helmet, parazonium at side, holding shield, the foremost soldier stands alone, the four others stand in two files and each holds an aquila; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 65 (19 Dec 2019), lot 718; ex inventory of a UK dealer; scarce; $4500.00 SALE PRICE $4050.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, 113 - 95 B.C

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IX| |Cyzicenus,| |113| |-| |95| |B.C||tetradrachm|
After Antiochus IX's father died, his uncle Demetrius II Nicator took the throne. For his safety, his mother, Cleopatra Thea, sent him to Cyzicus (leading to his nickname). He returned to Syria in 116 B.C. to claim the throne from his half-brother Antiochus VIII Grypus, with whom he eventually divided Syria. He was killed in battle by the son of Grypus, Seleucus VI Epiphanes.
GY95956. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2384; Houghton CSE 725; Babelon Rois 1467; BMC Seleucid p. 92, 6; HGC 9 1288k (R2), gVF, well centered, dark old cabinet toning, old scratches, light deposits, weight 15.977 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, 2nd reign, 113 - 112 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos right; reverse Athena standing left, Nike in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, spear behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines downward on right, ΦIΛO−ΠATOPOΣ downward on left, ΣI∆Ω/IEP / AΣY in 3 lines over outer left, Σ (year 200) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $630.00 SALE PRICE $500.00


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Ilion (Troy), Troas

|Troas|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Ilion| |(Troy),| |Troas||AE| |24|
In Greek and Roman mythology, Hector was a Trojan prince and the greatest warrior for Troy in the Trojan War. He acted as leader of the Trojans and their allies in the defense of Troy, killing countless Greek warriors. He was ultimately killed by Achilles.

Did Hector really live? The most valuable historical evidence for the Battle of Troy are treaties and letters mentioned in Hittite cuneiform texts of the same approximate era, which identify an unruly Western Anatolian warlord named Piyama-Radu (possibly Priam) and his successor Alaksandu (possibly Alexander, the nickname of Paris) both based in Wilusa (possibly Ilios), as well as the god Apaliunas (possibly Apollo). The name E-ko-to (along with 20 other names from the myth) is known from Linear B tablets, not referring to the hero, but proving that this name existed in Greek in Mycenaean times.
RP97548. Brass AE 24, cf. Bellinger Troy T192; SNG München XIX 254; SNG Cop 405, BMC Troas -, F, rough, parts of legends illegible, central dimple (as usual for the type) on reverse, weight 8.121 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, Ilion (Troy), Troas mint, Mar/Apr 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.; obverse AV K M (or Λ?) AY - KOMO∆OC, laureate and draped bust right; reverse E-KTOP, Hector of Troy galloping biga right, head turned back left, wearing helmet and military dress, transverse spear in right hand, shield and reins in left hand, IΛIEΩN in exergue; extremely rare, Coin Archives records only one sale of this type in the past two decades (also listed are a few specimens of the similar and also very rare AE36 and AE19 Hector reverse types struck for Commodus at Ilion); $500.00 SALE PRICE $450.00


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

|Postumus|, |Gallic| |Empire,| |Postumus,| |Summer| |260| |-| |Spring| |269| |A.D.||double| |sestertius|
This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance. Unfortunately for Postumus, Fides is only an imaginary goddess, his disgruntled troops killed him after he refused to allow them to sack Moguntiacum (Mainz, Germany).
RB98102. Orichalcum double sestertius, RIC V-2 123, Cohen VI 74, Bastien Postume 77, Mairat 189, Hunter IV 101, SRCV III 11040, gF, obverse a little off center, parts of legends weak/unstruck, minor edge split, minor porosity, weight 18.031 g, maximum diameter 32.7 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, France) mint, 3rd bronze emission, 261 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CASS LAT POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse FIDES MILITVM (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides Militum standing facing, head left, flanked by two signum, one in each hand; ex CGB Numismatique Paris; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 83 or 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |83| |or| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
There are many control symbol variations for Philip I tetradrachms, some are identified as lifetime issues, some as posthumous, and some as imitatives, including posthumous imitatives struck by the Romans. None of the published variations list this ∆I monogram exergue control symbol, without any other symbols outer left or inner left. Houghton-Lorber II 2464 is most similar, with this type of portrait and no controls left, but only N, Π and T exergue controls are listed. Also, this coin was part of a Leu auction lot that included other specimens of Houghton-Lorber II 2464 all in very similar condition, indicating the coins may have been found together.
GY97102. Silver tetradrachm, Unpublished control monogram; Houghton-Lorber II 2464 var. (control); SNG Spaer 2817 var. (control); HGC 9 1320 (R1); BMC Seleucid -, aVF, field cracks, weight 15.244 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, c. 88/7 - 83/75 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Philip I Philadelphos right, bulging eye, pouting lips, pronounced aquiline nose, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΦIΛIΠΠOY EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, no controls left, below throne, ∆I monogram (control) in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); unpublished control variant of a rare type; $250.00 SALE PRICE $200.00


Decentius, Caesar, July or August 350 - 18 August 353 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit or Barbaric Imitative

|Decentius|, |Decentius,| |Caesar,| |July| |or| |August| |350| |-| |18| |August| |353| |A.D.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit| |or| |Barbaric| |Imitative||maiorina|
This interesting ancient counterfeit or imitative specimen combines the mintmark of the mint at Ambianum, and the reverse field control letters S-V which are only found on issues of Lugdunum. Also, Ambianum did not use this mintmark with AMB flanked on both sides with a palm. The Bastien MM specimen was found near Lyon. We know of about a half dozen specimens of this imitative, all from the same dies.
RL98410. Bronze maiorina, Bastien MM pl. XVII, 32 (same dies); RIC VIII -; LRBC II -; Cohen VIII -; SRCV V -, gVF, good centering, very sharp detail, areas of porosity, ragged edge, A's appearing as H (as normal on official issues of the era), weight 3.158 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, barbarous imitation of Ambianum (Amiens) mint, c. 351 - 353 A.D.; obverse D N DECENTIVS NOB CAES, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIAE DD NN AVG E CAE (victories of our lords, Emperor and Caesar), two Victory's standing facing each other, between them holding a shield resting on a short column, shield inscribed VOT / V / MVLT / + in four lines, S - V flanking column, palm AMB palm in exergue; very rare; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D.

|Lucius| |Verus|, |Lucius| |Verus,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |February| |169| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
In 165, the Parthians sued for peace after the Roman captured Artaxata, Seleucia on the Tigris, and Ctesiphon. The Parthians left Armenia and eastern Mesopotamia, which both became Roman protectorates. Unfortunately the Antonine plague (perhaps smallpox) came from the East with the returning soldiers. It spread throughout the Empire, lasted for roughly twenty years, and killed about 5 million people, probably including Lucius Verus.
RS97929. Silver denarius, Hunter II 25 (same dies), RIC III 548 var., RSC II 286 var., BMCRE IV 413 var., SRCV II 5358 var. (all var. laureate head right), aVF, well centered, flow lines, toned, holed with closed crack to edge, small punch above head, marks, small edge cracks, weight 2.996 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 165 - Dec 166 A.D.; obverse L VERVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, laureate and cuirassed bust left; reverse TR P VI IMP III COS II, Parthian captive seated right on ground, wearing pointed cap, tunic, and breeches to ankles, hands bound behind back, quiver, bow, and shield at his feet; zero sales of this left facing bust variety listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare bust; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Hierapolis, Phrygia, in Homonoia with Ephesos, 253 - 260 A.D.

|Hierapolis|, |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia,| |in| |Homonoia| |with| |Ephesos,| |253| |-| |260| |A.D.||diassarion|
The title NEOKOPON on the reverse of this type, and other similar coins, has been the topic of debate for more than a century. Hierapolis was honored with a neokoros (imperial temple) either during the reign of Caracalla or Elagabalus. Caracalla rarely gave this honor, but if the honor was given by Caracalla, it would have lasted many decades. If the honor was given during the reign of Elagabalus, as many numismatists and historians believe, it would have been lost with his damnatio. Yet, the title appears here, on a coin struck long after Elagabalus' demise. This coin, however, was struck by Hierapolis honoring its alliance (homonoia) with Ephesos, Ionia. After Elagabalus, at Hierapolis, neokoros titles only appear on homonoia coinage. It seems odd, especially since the title is on the reverse with the name Hierapolis, but the most supported argument is that NEOKOPON refers to a temple at Ephesos, not one at Hierapolis.
RP97256. Bronze diassarion, Franke-Nolle, type IX, 760 - 763 (B/49); Weber HpH p. 74 (A/b); Johnston Hierapolis -; BMC Phrygia -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Mün -; SNG Tüb -, gVF, well centered and struck with full legends, nice dark green patina, some porosity, weight 5.120 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, time of Valerius and Gallienus, 253 - 260 A.D.; obverse OMONY/A - K EΦEC-IΩN (clockwise from 3:00), laureate, veiled, and draped bust of Boule right; reverse IEPAΠ-O-ΛEITΩN; NEOKO-PΩN in fields, clockwise from lower left, Nike advancing left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond against left shoulder in left hand; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (15 August 2020), lot 886; this coin is one of only two specimens of this type listed in Coin Archives auction records spanning the last two decades; very rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
This rare type is distinguished from the more common Antioch mint types by a different portrait style.
GY97103. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2464c; HGC 9 1320 (R1); SNG Spaer 2817; BMC Seleucid -, VF, well centered, tight flan as typical for the type, surface crackled with corrosion (perhaps indicating a water find), weight 15.016 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, c. 88 - 75 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Philip I Philadelphos right, bulging eye, pouting lips, pronounced aquiline nose, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΦIΛIΠΠOY EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, no controls left, (frozen control monogram) below throne, T (control) in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); rare; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


Judean Kingdom, Herod the Great, 37 - 4 B.C.

|Herod| |the| |Great|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Herod| |the| |Great,| |37| |-| |4| |B.C.||eight| |prutot|
Matthew (2:1-23) describes the Massacre of the Innocents. Wise men from the East visited Herod to inquire the whereabouts of "the one having been born king of the Jews," because they had seen his star. Herod, as King of the Jews, was alarmed. The chief priests, citing Micah 5:2, told Herod the anointed one would be born in Bethlehem. Herod sent the "wise men" to Bethlehem, instructing them to "report to me, so that I too may go and worship him." However, the Magi were warned in a dream not to report back to Herod. Joseph was warned in a dream that Herod intended to kill Jesus, so he and his family fled to Egypt. When Herod realized he had been outwitted, he gave orders to kill all boys of the age of two and under in Bethlehem and its vicinity. Joseph and his family stayed in Egypt until Herod's death, then moved to Nazareth. Herod was guilty of many brutal acts, including killing his wife and two sons, but no other source from the period refers to the massacre. Bethlehem was a small village, the number of male children under the age of two might not have exceed 20, and this may be the reason for the lack of other sources for this history.
JD98150. Copper eight prutot, Hendin 1169, Meshorer TJC 44, Meshorer AJC II 1, RPC I 4901, HGC 10 651, F, off center, uneven weak strike, pre-strike casting sprues, beveled obverse edge, weight 6.332 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, Samaria mint, c. 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse HPΩ∆OY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (Greek: of King Herod), tripod, ceremonial bowl (lebes) above, LΓ - P (year 3 of the tetrarchy = 40 B.C.) across fields; reverse military helmet facing, with cheek pieces and straps, wreathed with acanthus leaves, star above, flanked by two palm-branches; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00




  



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