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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.

Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit

|Galba|, |Galba,| |3| |April| |68| |-| |15| |January| |69| |A.D.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||denarius|
This coin is dedicated to Rome reborn, presumably due to the leadership of Galba. To Galba it seems rebirth primary concerned an attempt to restore state finances. To this end he undertook a number of unpopular measures, the most dangerous was his refusal to pay the praetorians the reward promised to them in his name. Galba scorned the notion that soldiers should be "bribed" for their loyalty. According to the historian Suetonius, Galba levied massive taxes against areas that were slow to receive him as emperor.
RS99191. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC I 43, BMCRE I 180, RSC II 211, Hunter I 68, SRCV I 2095 (official, solid silver, Tarraco mint, Apr - late 68 A.D., minor variations), VF, toned, small core exposures, scratches, bumps, weight 2.846 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial, counterfeiter's mint, c. April 68 - 69 A.D.; obverse IMPERATO (sic) GALBA, laureate head right, globe at the point of neck; reverse ROMA RENASCENS (Rome Reborn), Roma advancing right, wearing helmet and military garb, Victory on globe presenting wreath in right hand, transverse spear in left hand; ex CNG e-auction 500 (22 Sep 2021), 735 (part of); ex Mercury Group Collection, ex Thomas Cederlind (20 Nov 2002) ; $490.00 (509.60)


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; $200.00 (208.00)


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; $135.00 (140.40)


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander II Zabinas, 128 - 122 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |II| |Zabinas,| |128| |-| |122| |B.C.||unit|
Zabinas claimed to be an adoptive son of Antiochus VII, but may have been the son of an Egyptian merchant. He was used as a pawn by the Egyptian king Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon). Zabinas managed to defeat Demetrius II and thereafter ruled parts of Syria, but soon ran out of Egyptian support and was defeated by Demetrius' son Antiochus VIII Grypus. As a last resort, Zabinas plundered the temples of Antioch. He is said to have joked about melting down a statuette of the goddess of victory, Nike, which was held in the hand of a Zeus statue, saying "Zeus has given me Victory." Enraged by his impiety, the Antiochenes expelled Zabinas, who was captured and executed soon after. "Zabinas" is a derogatory name meaning "the bought one," implying he was Ptolemy's slave.
GY98892. Bronze unit, Houghton-Lorber II 2231(1)d var. (controls inner left), HGC 9 1162, aVF, highlighting earthen deposits, centered, shallow pit on rev., edge cracks, obv. edge beveled, weight 6.707 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 30o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 126 - 125 B.C.; obverse head of Alexander II right, wearing lion-scalp headdress; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Nike walking left, wreath extended in right hand, palm-branch over shoulder in left hand, over palm frond (controls) outer left; the only specimen known to FORVM with controls outer left vice inner left; very rare variant; $130.00 (135.20)


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

|Cappadocia|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Tyana,| |Cappadocia||AE| |19|
Tyana was an ancient city in the Anatolian region of Cappadocia. Under Caracalla the city became Antoniana colonia Tyana. After having sided with Queen Zenobia of Palmyra it was captured by Aurelian in 272, who would not allow his soldiers to sack it, allegedly because Apollo appeared to him, pleading for its safety. The ruins of Tyana are at modern Kemerhisar, three miles south of Nigde. There are remains of a Roman aqueduct and of cave cemeteries and sepulchral grottoes.
RP99126. Bronze AE 19, RPC III 2956 var (date across field), Waddington 6805, cf. Cox Tarsus p. 59, 234 & Pl. XI (year 21), VF, green patina, patina chips, porosity, tight flan, weight 5.028 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Tyana (Kemerhisar, Turkey) mint, 135 - 136 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAIC TPAI A∆PIANOC CEBACTOC, laureate head right; reverse TYANEΩN TΩN ΠP TA IEP ACY AYTO, Athena standing slightly left, head left, Victory bearing wreath and palm frond in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield, vertical spear resting against shield, ETK (year 20) lower left; $130.00 (135.20)


Carus, Early September 282 - c. July or August 283 A.D.

|Carus|, |Carus,| |Early| |September| |282| |-| |c.| |July| |or| |August| |283| |A.D.||antoninianus|NEW
Very scarce with the spelling KARVS. This example counts to the earliest issue of coins of Carus at Ticinum bearing the Greek version of the emperors name Karus. The Latin version was soon replaced by engraving new dies to erase the small error. Speculations has been made that perhaps a Greek die engraver was responsible for these first issues.
RA110015. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 85 (S), Venra IV 246, La Venra 4045, Pink p. 26, SRCV III 12181, Cohen VI 94, Hunter IV - (p. clvi), VF, full obverse legend, green patina, some encrustation, weight 3.486 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, c. Oct 282 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR KARVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse VICTORIA AVG, Victory advancing left, wearing chiton, raising wreath in right hand. palm frond in left hand over left shoulder, PXXI in exergue; scarce; $100.00 (104.00)


Eudoxia, Augusta 9 January 400 - Early October 404 A.D., Wife of Arcadius

|Eudoxia|, |Eudoxia,| |Augusta| |9| |January| |400| |-| |Early| |October| |404| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Arcadius||centenionalis|NEW
The Christogram (also called a Monogramma Christi or Chrismon) is a ligature of Chi (X) and Rho (P), the first two letters of Christ in Greek. It was among the earliest symbols of Christianity. The crucifix was rarely used in early Christian iconography, perhaps because most people then had personally witnessed its gruesome use for public execution.
RL110194. Bronze centenionalis, Hunter V 4 (also 3rd officina), RIC X Arcadius 104 (S), LRBC II 2800, DOCLR 288, SRCV V 20895, VF, dark green patina, earthen encrustation, weight 3.216 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 135o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 401 - 403 A.D.; obverse AEL EVDOXIA AVG, diademed and draped bust right with hand of God holding wreath over her head; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICAE (health of the Republic), Victory seated right on cuirass, inscribing Christogram on shield resting on cippus, ANTΓ in exergue; scarce; $90.00 (93.60)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.||follis|
In 320 A.D., Licinius reneged on the religious freedom promised by the Edict of Milan, and began a new persecution of Christians in the Eastern Roman Empire. He destroyed churches, imprisoned Christians and confiscated their property.
RL99315. Billon follis, RIC VII Nicomedia 24 (R2), SRCV IV 15236, Cohen VII 116, Hunter V 138 ff. var. (officina), Choice gVF, full legends, traces of silvering, flow lines, light marks, tiny encrustations, weight 3.377 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 330o, 7th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 317 - 320 A.D.; obverse IMP LICI-NIVS AVG, laureate consular bust left, mappa in right hand, globe and scepter in left hand; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the two Emperors), Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, Victory on globe presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter in left hand, palm frond left, Z right, SMN in exergue; from a private collector in New Jersey; scarce; $80.00 (83.20)


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

|Eumeneia|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Eumeneia,| |Phrygia||AE| |26|NEW
Eumenea, Phrygia was founded by Attalus II Philadelphus (159 - 138 B.C.) at the source of the Cludrus, near the Glaucus, and named after his brother Eumenes. Numerous inscriptions and many coins remain to show that Eumenia was an important and prosperous city under Roman rule. As early as the third century its population was in great part Christian, and it seems to have suffered much during the persecution of Diocletian. The remains of Eumenia are located in Denizli Province, Turkey on the shore of Lake Isikli near Civril.
RP110014. Bronze AE 26, RPC Online IV-2 T1989; BMC Phrygia p. 219, 56; SNGvA 3594; SNG Leypold II 1540; Weber 7096; SNG Tbingen 4014; SNG Cop -, F, rough, black patina, weight 10.205 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 0o, Eumeneia (near Civril, Turkey) mint, obverse AVTO KAICA ANTΩNEINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, aegis on left shoulder, seen from the front; reverse EVMENEΩN AXAIΩN, hump-backed bull walking left, Nike walking left on far side of bull, wearing chiton, grasping bull's left horn and guiding bull with left hand, brandishing knife to sacrifice bull in right hand; $80.00 (83.20)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Stobi, Macedonia

|Stobi|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Stobi,| |Macedonia||AE| |23|
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.
RP97766. Bronze AE 23, Josifovski Stobi 445 (V106/R141); Varbanov III 4054 (R3); BMC Macedonia p. 105, 11 var. (same, no globe); SNG Cop 334 var. (same), gF, dark green patina, corrosion, scratches, light deposits, reverse a little off center, central depressions, weight 5.313 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Stobi (Gradsko, Macedonia) mint, 209 - 211 A.D.; obverse M AVRE ANTONI, laureate head right; reverse MVNICIP STOBE, Victory standing right on globe, wreath extended in right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder; $70.00 (72.80)




  



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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).

Catalog current as of Thursday, October 6, 2022.
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