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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Military| ▸ |Nike or Victory||View Options:  |  |  |   

Nike or Victory on Ancient Coins

Victoria or Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory, personifies victory. She was described variously in different myths as the daughter of the Titan Pallas and the goddess Styx, and the sister of Kratos (Strength), Bia (Force), and Zelus (Zeal). Nike and her siblings were close companions of Zeus. According to classical (later) myth, Styx brought them to Zeus when the god was assembling allies for the Titan War. Nike assumed the role of the divine charioteer, a role in which she often is portrayed in Classical Greek art. Nike flew around battlefields rewarding the victors with glory and fame, symbolized by a wreath of laurel leaves. Victory or Nike is one of the most common figures on Greek and Roman coins.

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; $550.00 SALE PRICE $495.00


Judaean Kingdom, Herod Agrippa II, c. 49 - 95 A.D., for Domitian

|Agrippa| |II|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |Herod| |Agrippa| |II,| |c.| |49| |-| |95| |A.D.,| |for| |Domitian||full| |unit|
We use the dating provided by RPC Online, which adopts 60/61 A.D. for year 1 of the era used by Agrippa II. This solves a number of issues with previous dating schemes, but adds the oddity of a large number of issues of posthumous coinage for Vespasian and Titus. This coin struck for Titus, for example; dated year 30 using this era is 89/90 A.D. Titus died in 81 B.C.
JD98848. Bronze full unit, Hendin 6328 (RR); RPC Online II 2296; BMC Palestine p. 243, 56; SNG ANS 315; Meshorer TJC 179; Sofaer p. 268 & pl. 218, 260, gF, well centered, earthen encrustation, edge split, weight 10.858 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Paneas (Banias, Golan Heights) mint, 94 - 95 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPA ∆OMITIA KAICAP A ΓEPMANI (Emperor Domitian Caesar Germanicus), laureate head of Titus right; reverse Tyche-Demeter standing slightly left, head left, stalks of barley in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, ETOY - EΛ BA / AΓPI-ΠΠA (year 35, King Agrippa) in two lines divided across the field below center; from an Israeli collection; rare; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Stobi, Macedonia

|Stobi|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Stobi,| |Macedonia||diassarion|
Stobi was an ancient town of Paeonia, conquered by Macedonia, and later made the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia Salutaris. Stobi prospered under Rome and in 69 A.D. was designated a municipium. Citizens of Stobi enjoyed Ius Italicum and were citizens of Rome. Theodosius I stayed in Stobi in 388. In 479, Stobi was sacked by the Ostrogothic king Theodoric. The town was rebuilt, but in 518 was struck by a powerful earthquake. Avaro-Slavic invasions in the 6th century ruined the city's economy and infrastructure. Stobi is perhaps the most important archaeological site in the Republic of Macedonia.
RP97765. Bronze diassarion, Josifovski Stobi 160 ff.; Varbanov III 3908 (R3); SNG Cop 333 var. (rev. leg).; BMC Macedonia p. 104, 7 var. (same), gVF, excellent portrait, broad flan, near full legends, brown and green patina, central depressions, weight 6.151 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, Stobi (Gradsko, Macedonia) mint, 194 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, chignon at back of head; reverse MVNICI STO-BEN, Victory walking left, wreath extended in right hand, palm frond in left hand over shoulder; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


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

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.||denarius|
This type refers to Severus' victories over Parthia. Severus assumed the title "Parthicus Maximus," greatest of Parthian conquerors.
RS99246. Silver denarius, BMCRE V p. 288, 675; RIC IV 514 corr. (palm vice trophy); RSC III 741; SRCV II 6373; Hunter III 200, Choice VF, light toning, flow lines, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.054 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 198 - 202 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX, laureate head right; reverse VICT PARTHICAE, Victory walking left, wreath in extended right hand, trophy of captured arms in left; Parthian captive at feet on left, bearded and wearing a Parthian cap, seated left, looking up and back at Victory, hands bound behind back; $165.00 SALE PRICE $149.00


Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - Late May 238 A.D.

|Maximinus| |I|, |Maximinus| |I| |Thrax,| |20| |March| |235| |-| |Late| |May| |238| |A.D.||denarius|
Maximinus' first campaign was against the Alamanni, whom he defeated despite heavy Roman casualties. After the victory, he took the title Germanicus Maximus. The Historia Augusta, mentions that Maximinus marched north from Moguntiacum (today's Mainz) about trecenta (300) to quadringenta (400) Roman miles. Since this was thought to be impossible, the passage was often "corrected" to read triginta (30) to quadraginta (40) Roman miles. New evidence indicates Maximinus did launch a campaign deep into Germania and defeated a Germanic tribe in a battle at the Harzhorn pass in Northern Germany. The site of the battle was discovered in 2000 by hobby archaeologists using metal detectors. The latest coins found at the site to date were struck under Severus Alexander. By 2008 it was clear from the artifacts discovered that this was the site of a battle involving a large number of Roman troops. The current hypothesis is that the Roman troops were on their way back from the North German Plain. They found the Harzhorn pass blocked by a large number of Germans, and successfully fought their way through by using their superior technology, Roman artillery.
RS99254. Silver denarius, RIC IV 23, RSC III 107, BMCRE VI 187, SRCV III 8318, Hunter III 19, Choice gVF, centered on a broad flan, flow lines, flan cracks, die wear, weight 2.335 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Jan 236 - Apr 238 A.D.; obverse MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse VICTORIA GERM (victory over the Germans), Victory standing half left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, captive seated left at feet on left; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


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

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.||denarius|
Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
RS98485. Silver denarius, RIC IV 504 (S), RSC III 100, BMCRE V 657, SRCV II 6270, Hunter III 196, gVF, choice obv., nice slightly off center rev., light amber toning, flow lines, small edge cracks, weight 3.605 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 150o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 198 - 202 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX, laureate head right; reverse COS III P P, Victory advancing left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand; scarce; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Judaea Capta, Caesarea Maritima, Samaria, Judaea

|Domitian|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.,| |Judaea| |Capta,| |Caesarea| |Maritima,| |Samaria,| |Judaea||AE| |18|
This Judaea Capta type was minted at Caesarea Maritima, Judaea. Caesarea, built by Herod the Great about 25 - 13 B.C., was named to flatter Augustus Caesar. It was the capital of the Roman Iudaea province and the residence of the Roman procurators and governors including Pontius Pilatus. In 66 A.D., the desecration of the local synagogue led to the disastrous Jewish revolt. After the revolt was suppressed, 2500 Jewish captives were slaughtered at Caesarea in Gladiatorial games held by Titus to celebrate his victory. Today, Caesarea's ruins lie on Israel's Mediterranean coast about halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of Pyrgos Stratonos ("Straton's Tower").
JD99070. Bronze AE 18, RPC Online II 2306, Hendin 6483, Meshorer TJC 393, Meshorer AJC 8, SNG ANS 495, Sofaer 30, F, red-brown patina, highlighting earthen deposits, rough, a little off center, weight 5.210 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima (Keisaria, Israel) mint, 81 - 82 A.D.; obverse IMP DOMITIANVS CAES AVG GERMANICVS, laureate head right; reverse no legend, Nike (Victory) in flowing gown advances left, wreath tied with ribbon in right hand, trophy of captured arms in left hand; ex Savoca auction 118 (21 Nov 2021), lot 393; from the Tareq Hani collection; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Judaean Kingdom, Herod Agrippa II, c. 49 - 95 A.D., Judaea Capta for Domitian

|Agrippa| |II|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |Herod| |Agrippa| |II,| |c.| |49| |-| |95| |A.D.,| |Judaea| |Capta| |for| |Domitian||half| |unit|
A Judaea Capta issue minted by a Jewish king! Agrippa was a devout Jew and a loyal vassal of Rome. It may seem strange he would commemorate the defeat of his people but he believed the Jews could flourish under Rome and sided with Rome during the rebellion. Agrippa II sent 2,000 men, archers, and cavalry to support Vespasian. He accompanied Titus on campaigns and was wounded at the siege of Gamla. He ruled until at least 95 A.D., but his territories were in Syria, Northern Palestine, and Galilee and excluded Jerusalem and Judaea.
JD98846. Bronze half unit, Hendin 6315 (S); RPC Online II 2278; BMC Palestine p. 244, 40; Hunterian III, p. 291, 6; Meshorer TJC 165; SNG ANS 309; Sofaer -, gF, nice portrait, brown patina, scratches, tight flans, small edge flaws, weight 6.980 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Paneas (Banias, Golan Heights) mint, 85 - 86 A.D.; obverse ∆OMITIANOC KAICAP, laureate head of Domitian right; reverse ETO Kς BA - AΓPIΠΠA (year 26, King Agrippa), Nike (Victory) standing right, nude to waist, inscribing shield resting on left knee, ∆O on shield, left foot on crested helmet; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.||sestertius|
Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
RB97216. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 337a, Cohen V 351, SRCV III 8741, Hunter III 155, Choice F, well centered, dark green patina, light earthen deposits, light scratches, edge cracks, weight 21.274 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 241 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AETER (eternal victory), Victory standing half left, head left, shield in right hand resting on captive seated left at feet on left, palm frond in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00


Magnentius, 18 January 350 - 10 August 353 A.D.

|Magnentius|, |Magnentius,| |18| |January| |350| |-| |10| |August| |353| |A.D.||heavy| |maiorina|
In 352, Constantius II invaded northern Italy in pursuit of the usurper Magnus Magnentius, who withdrew with his army to Gaul. Constantius declared an amnesty for Magnentius' soldiers, many of whom deserted to him. By the end of the year Constantius entered Milan. After another defeat in battle, Magnentius committed suicide in 353.
RL93376. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Arles 179, Bastien MM 268, LRBC II 437, SRCV V 18824, Cohen VIII 68, Hunter V -, gVF, tight oval flan, uneven strike with small weak areas on edges, tiny deposits, tiny edge cracks, weight 4.424 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, spring 351 - August 353 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right, A behind; reverse VICTORIAE DD NN AVGG ET CAE (victories of our lords, the two emperors and two caesars), two Victories holding shield inscribed VOT V MVLT X, E over IS low center, PAR in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $105.00 SALE PRICE $95.00




  



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REFERENCES|

Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Die Flgelgestalten der Athena und Nike auf Mnzen" in NZ III (1871)., pp. 1 - 50.
Marest-Caffey, L. "Seleukos I's Victory Coinage of Susa Revisited: A Die Study and Commentary" in AJN 28 (2016).

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