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Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.
SH86312. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer Series XIVb, 489 (V258/R351); SNG ANS 156 (same dies); Weber 1583 (same obv. die); BMC Sicily, p. 156, 80; Jameson 762; HGC 2 1312, EF, mint luster in recesses, light tone, obverse die wear, uneven strike, reverse off center, weight 17.391 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 466 - 460 B.C.; obverse charioteer driving slow quadriga right, holding reins in both hands, goad in right hand, Nike above flying left crowning driver with wreath, Ketos (sea serpent) right in exergue; reverse ΣYPAKOΣON, head of Arethusa right, wearing pearl or bead necklace and earring with loop and finial pendant, thin band wound once around her head and tying back hair in queue, four dolphins around swimming clockwise; ex CNG auction 102 (18 May 2016), lot 135; ex Colin E. Pitchfork Collection; ex Dr. Neil Geddes (20 Nov 2002); ex Noble auction 54 (22 July 1997), lot 1640; ex Stack’s sale, 6 Dec 1995, lot 65; $2270.00 (€1929.50)
Thebes, Boiotia, c. 368 - 364 B.C.
The largest city in Boeotia, leader of the Boeotian confederacy, and rival of Athens, Thebes sided with Persia during Xerxes' invasion in 480 B.C. Thebes ended Sparta's power at the Battle of Leuctra in 371. The Sacred Band of Thebes famously fell to Philip II at Chaeronea in 338. After a revolt in 335, Alexander the Great destroyed the city, except, according to tradition, the house of the poet Pindar.SH87858. Silver stater, BCD Boiotia 531; Hepworth 69; BMC Central p. 83, 154; SNG Cop 343; Head Boeotia p. 65; HGC 4 1332 (S), VF, toned, light marks, some porosity, weight 12.554 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 210o, Thebes mint, magistrate Klion, c. 368 - 364 B.C.; obverse Boeotian ox-hide shield; reverse ornate amphora, KΛ−IΩ divided across field below center, all within a round concave incuse; ex Savoca Coins, silver auction 26, lot 161 ; scarce; $680.00 (€578.00)
Persian Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Synnesis, c. 425 - 401 B.C.
Syennesis was a Persian satrap of Cilicia in the late 5th century B.C. In 401 B.C., Cyrus the Younger, marching against Artaxerxes, arrived at the borders of Cilicia. Syennesis was guarding the passes but when he received intelligence that Cyrus' advanced forces under Meno had already entered Cilicia, he withdrew and allowed Cyrus to pass. When Cyrus reached Tarsus, the Cilician capital, he found that Meno's soldiers had already sacked the city. Cyrus commanded Synnesis to appear before him. Syennesis had fled for refuge to a stronghold among the mountains, but he was induced by his wife, Epyaxa, to obey the summons. Synnesis received gifts of honor from the Cyrus, whom he supplied in his turn with a large sum of money and a considerable body of troops under the command of one of his sons. At the same time, however, Syennesis sent his other son to Artaxerxes, to represent his meeting with Cyrus as having been something he'd been forced to do, while his heart all the time was with the king, Artaxerxes. From Xenophon's telling it appears that Syennesis, although a vassal of Persia, affected the tone of an independent sovereign.GA87789. Silver stater, Hunterian III p. 546, 4 & pl. LX, 7; cf. Casabonne D2, pl. 2, 10; SNG BnF 213; Traité II 523; BMC -; SNGvA -; SNG Cop -; SNG Levante -, aVF, dark toning, well centered, struck with a worn obverse die, light scratches, weight 10.561 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 420 - 410 B.C.; obverse Horseman (Syennesis?) walking horse left, wearing kyrbasia, lotus flower in right hand, reins in left hand, bow in bowcase on saddle, Aramaic TRZ (Tarsos) in exergue (off flan); reverse Archer kneeling right, drawing bow, quiver over shoulder, ankh behind, all within dotted square border within incuse square; very rare; $650.00 (€552.50)
Mopsion, Thessaly, c. 350 - 300 B.C.
Mopsion issued only bronze coins, and only c. 350 - 300 B.C. In Nomos 4, BCD notes, "The bronzes of Mopsion are practically impossible to find in nice condition and without flaws or corrosion. They are also very rare and desirable because of the their spectacularly eloquent reverse. The nicest one to come up for auction realized $18,000..."
Mopsion, in the Peneus valley half way between Larissa and Tempe, took its name from the Lapith Mopsos, a son of Ampyx. Mopsos learned augury from Apollo, understood the language of birds, and became an Argonaut seer. As depicted on this coin, he was one of the Lapiths who defeated the Centaurs. This battle was a favorite subject of Greek art. While fleeing across the Libyan desert from angry sisters of the slain GorgonMedusa, Mopsos died from the bite of a viper that had grown from a drop of Medusa's blood. Medea was unable to save him, even by magical means. The Argonauts buried him with a monument by the sea, and a temple was later erected on the site.GB87120. Bronze trichalkon, BCD Thessaly II 484, BCD Thessaly I 1210, Rogers 412, McClean 4648, HGC 4 537 (R2), SNG Cop -, Pozzi -, BMC Thessaly -, gF, dark garnet and black patina, well centered, a little rough, weight 8.082 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 225o, Mopsion (Bakraina(?), Greece) mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obversehead of Zeus facing slightly right, vertical thunderbolt to right; reverse MOΨ-EI-ΩN, Lapith Mopsos standing facing, nude, his head turned right, raising club in right hand and extending his left hand, fighting centaur that is rearing left and raising a bolder over its head with both hands preparing to throw it; ex BCD with his round tag noting, "HK ex Thess., April 02, $275.-"; very rare; $450.00 (€382.50)
Clodius Albinus, Late 195 or Early 196 - 19 February 197 A.D.
The Historia Augusta says of Clodius Albinus, "He was tall of stature, with unkempt curly hair and a broad expanse of brow. His skin was wonderfully white; many indeed think it was from this that he got his name. He had a womanish voice, almost as shrill as a eunuch's. He was easily roused, his anger was terrible, his rage relentless. In his pleasures he was changeable, for he sometimes craved wine and sometimes abstained. He had a thorough knowledge of arms and was not ineptly called the Catiline of his age." RS87921. Silver denarius, RIC III 20b (R) var.; Hunter III 26 var.; BMCRE IV 284 var., RSC III 24 var., SRCV II 6166 var. (all var. none with slight drapery), gVF, iridescenttoning, off center, scratches and marks, edge cracks, weight 2.701 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, issued as Augustus; obverseIMP CAES D CLO SEP ALB AVG, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverseFIDES LEGION COS II, clasped hands, holding aquila (legionary standard topped with an eagle standing on thunderbolt above wreath); rare; $450.00 (€382.50)
Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta
This type celebrates the success of Vespasian and Titus in quelling the First Jewish Revolt. Coins commemorating this event are referred to as "Judaea Capta" issues.SH87933. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 2; Hendin 1479; BMCRE II 35; RSC II 226; Hunter I 18; SRCV I 2296, aVF, nice portrait, clear IVDAEA, toned, bumps and scratches, obv. slightly off center, struck with a worn rev. die, weight 3.182 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 69 - 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESARVESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse Jewess captive seated right in attitude of mourning under a trophy of captured arms, IVDAEA below; $370.00 (€314.50)
Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Alexandreia Troas, Troas
RPC II notes this extremely raretype was previously attributed to Apamea in Bithynia. The issue, however, included two reverse types, this Victorytype and one with Apollo Smintheus, and the cult of Apollo Smintheus was centered on the Troad. Also, an example of the Apollotype was found at Alexandria. Both types are extremely rare. These were the first coins issued by Alexandria Troas, which otherwise did not strike coins before Antoninus Pius.RP86548. Copper semis, RPC II 896/1 (2 spec., same obv. die); Milne NC 1953, p. 23, 6 (Apamea); Rec Gén p. 252, note 4 (same); Bellinger -; BMC Troas -; SNG Cop -, aF, tight flan, light corrosion, light deposits, reverse a little off center, weight 4.930 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverseVICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory standing right, wearing long chiton, filleted wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand, D - D flanking low across field; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins, ex Sayles & Lavender (2009); extremely rare; $340.00 (€289.00)
Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D., Judea Capta
This type appears to refer to a victory on the Sea of Galilee during the recapture of Judaea.RB82679. Copper as, RIC II-1 p. 112, V753 (R); BnF III p. 173, V734; Cohen I 363 var. (head left); BMCRE II -; Hunter I -; SRCV I -, VF, well centered, rough light green patina, small edge chip, weight 7.964 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 74 A.D.; obverse T CAESAR IMP COS IIICENS, laureate head right; reverseVICTORIA AVGVST (the victory of the Emperor), Victory advancing right on prow, wreath in extended right hand, palm across left shoulder in left hand, S - C across field below center; rare; $300.00 (€255.00)
Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus V Eupator, 164 - 162 B.C.
Antiochus V was just nine years old when crowned. The kingdom was ruled by his regent Lysias. In 163 or early 162 B.C., the Roman legate Gnaeus Octavius enforced the Treaty of Apamea by burning the Seleukid fleet and killing the army's war elephants (private citizens assassinated him for this outrage). Soon after, Ptolemaeus, the satrap of Commagene, declared independence. Only two years after becoming king, his uncle Demetrius escaped captivity, claimed the throne and had Antiochos V and his regent executed. GY87638. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1575(2), Newell SMA 75, SNG Spaer 1246, HGC 9 752, VF/F, light scratches and marks, porous, slightly off center, weight 16.006 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 164 - 162 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos V right, diadem ends fall straight behind, filletborder; reverse Zeus seated left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, Victory in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, EYΠATOPOΣ (the good father) in exergue, monogram (appears as E downward) outer left; $280.00 (€238.00)
Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos VI Epiphanes Nikator, c. 96 - 94 B.C.
Seleucia ad Calycadnum (Silifke, Turkey) is near the Mediterranean coast, a few miles inland from the mouth on the Göksu River. It was founded by Seleucus I Nicator in the early 3rd century B.C., one of several cities he named after himself. The towns Olbia (or Olba) and Hyria were probably united to populate the new city. The residents of the nearby Holmi moved to Seleucia because the coast was vulnerable to raiders and pirates. Seleucia achieved considerable commercial prosperity as a port for this corner of Cilicia (later named Isauria), and was even a rival of Tarsus. Cilicia thrived as a province of the Romans, and Seleucia became a religious center with a renowned Temple of Jupiter. It was also the site of a noted school of philosophy and literature, the birthplace of peripatetics Athenaeus and Xenarchus.GS87612. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2405(9); SNG Spaer 2782, Kraay-Mørkholm Essays p. 93, 59 ff.; HGC 9 2405, VF, toned, well centered on a tight flan, light scratches and marks, weight 14.620 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 0o, Seleukeia on the Kalykadnos mint, c. 96 - 94 B.C.; obverse diademed head of the Seleukos VI right, diadem ends falling straight behind, filletborder; reverseAthena standing left, Nike standing right offering wreath in Athena's right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield, grounded spear vertical behind, ANEIΣI (ANE ligate) downward inner left; $260.00 (€221.00)