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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.

Arcadius, 19 January 383 - 1 May 408 A.D.

|Arcadius|, |Arcadius,| |19| |January| |383| |-| |1| |May| |408| |A.D.||solidus|NEW
In 402, Germanic settlers laid siege to Milan. Honorius transferred the capital of the Western Empire from Milan to Ravenna. General Stilicho recalled troops from the frontiers of the Empire to defend Italy. On April 6 he defeated the Visigoths at the Battle of Pollentia. The Visigoths left Italy for Illyricum after Stilicho defeated them at the Battle of Verona in June 403.
SH110673. Gold solidus, RIC IX p. 84, 35(b) & RIC X Honorius p. 318, 1205(a); DOCLR 265; Depeyrot p. 171, 16/1; Hunter V p. 467, 8; SRCV V 20724, Choice EF, well centered and struck, flow lines, light scratches/bumps, weight 4.456 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 395 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Arcadius standing right, wearing military garb, standard in right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in left hand, left foot treading on thigh of bound bearded captive seated on the ground left with legs crossed, M left, D right, COMOB in exergue; $2200.00 (2222.00) ON RESERVE


Honorius, 23 January 393 - 15 August 423 A.D.

|Honorius|, |Honorius,| |23| |January| |393| |-| |15| |August| |423| |A.D.||solidus|NEW
David Sear notes, "The mint of Ravenna was opened by Honorius in AD 402. Coins of this period normally have slender busts." RIC X describes this as "Milan and Aquileia styles." A heavier bust was used from AD 408 to 423.
SH110981. Gold solidus, RIC X Honorius 1287 (S); Ranieri 11; DOCLR 736; SRCV V 20919; Depeyrot p. 188, 7/1; Cohen VIII 44, Choice VF, nicely centered, flow lines, graffito "X" right obv., weight 4.350 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Ravenna mint, 402 - 403 and 405 - 406 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed slender bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Honorius standing right, active stance, standard in right, Victory on globe in left hand, left foot treading on captive with bent knees; R-V across field, COMOB in exergue; ex FORVM 2010; scarce; $1400.00 SALE PRICE $1260.00


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

|Galba|, |Galba,| |3| |April| |68| |-| |15| |January| |69| |A.D.||sestertius|NEW
This obverse die is published in Kraay's, The Aes Coinage of Galba, combined only with an AVGVSTA, Livia seated left reverse. After an extensive search of references and online, this is the only specimen of this type known to FORVM.
RB110265. Orichalcum sestertius, Apparently unpublished, Kraay Galba - (officina B, A76/-), RIC I -, Cohen I -, BnF III -, OCRE -, SRCV I -, BMCRE I -, aVF, nice brown patina, light bumps and marks, holed and filled, weight 23.058 g, maximum diameter 35.6 mm, die axis 210o, officina B, Rome mint, 68 A.D.; obverse IMP SER GALBA CAE AVG TR P, oak-wreathed head right; reverse Victory alighting right, raising wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; extremely rare; $500.00 (505.00) ON RESERVE


Byzantine Empire, Justin I, 10 July 518 - 1 August 527 A.D.

|Justin| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justin| |I,| |10| |July| |518| |-| |1| |August| |527| |A.D.||tremissis|NEW
Of Macedonian peasant origin, Justin I rose through the ranks of the military and was proclaimed emperor by the army on 10 July 518 A.D. He was uneducated, but intelligent enough to rely upon the policy advice of his brilliant nephew, Justinian I.
SH110983. Gold tremissis, Morrisson BnF I 2/Cp/AV/17 (also with M resembling H), DOC I 4, Wroth BMC 11, Sommer 2.4, Hahn MIB I 4, SBCV 58, EF, lustrous, double struck, graffito, weight 1.482 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 491 - 518 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTI-NVS P P AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A graffito in right field; reverse VICTORIA AVGVSTORH (the victory of the Emperor), Victory advancing right, head left, holding wreath and globus cruciger, star right, CONOB in exergue; ex FORVM 2011; $550.00 SALE PRICE $495.00


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Sardes, Lydia

|Sardes|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Sardes,| |Lydia
||AE| |27|
In Greek and Roman Provincial Coins Lydia (GRPC Lydia), Dane Kurth attributes this type to Elagabalus. The only specimen known to her at the time of publication was quite worn. We believe this fierce, cruel looking portrait better resembles Caracalla and other portraits from Sardis identified as Caracalla.
RP110459. Bronze AE 27, GRPC Lydia IV p. 76, 585 corr. (Elagabalus, 1 spec., refs. only Winterthur); Winterthur 3940; RPC Online -, Choice VF, centered on a broad flan, dark green patina, marks, porosity, weight 8.453 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 180o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI M AYP ANTΩNEINO C, radiate head right; reverse CAP∆IANΩN B NEΩKORΩN, Nike advancing left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond upright in left hand; perhaps only the second known, zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.||sestertius|NEW
A "Tiber patina," sometimes called a river patina, is technically not a patina at all. Rather, submersion in anaerobic fresh water or mud on a river bottom has prevented a normal patina from forming. The shiny original surfaces of the coin often becomes subdued and grainy or porous. Curvy lines of corrosion, with an appearance similar to worm holes in wood, are seen on this coin and are common on river found coins. We don't know what causes these strange flaws.
RB110503. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV 1092, SRCV II 5013, Hunter II 113, MIR 18 95, RIC III 890 (S) var. (standard & shield before captive), Cohen III 984 var. (same), gF, well centered, attractive portrait, grainy surfaces, Tiber patina, parts of obv. legend weak, weight 19.159 g, maximum diameter 32.7 mm, die axis 15o, Rome mint, Dec 163 - Aug 164 A.D.; obverse M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG - ARMENIACVS P M, laureate head right; reverse VICT AVG TR P XVIII IMP II COS III, Victory standing half right, trophy transverse upward to right in both hands, mourning Armenian captive seated right at feet on right, wearing cap, tunic and breeches, head propped on right hand and left hand on ground, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; scarce; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00 ON RESERVE


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.||sestertius|NEW
Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenized image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.
GB110505. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 1033, Cohen III 281, BMCRE IV 1416, Hunter II 163, MIR 18 232, SRCV II 4976, gF, attractive brown tone, well centered, scattered small pits, weight 28.626 g, maximum diameter 31.2 mm, die axis 195o, Rome mint, Dec 171 - Dec 172 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVI, laureate head right; reverse IMP VI COS III (imperator 6 times, consul 3 times), Roma seated left on low seat, helmeted and draped, Victory in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, round shield at side ornamented with head of Medusa, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field at center; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00 ON RESERVE


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||as|NEW
The shield held by Victory is the golden shield that was dedicated to Augustus by the Senate and Roman People (S. P. Q. R.) in recognition of his classic, cardinal virtues. By placing the shield and Victory on his coin, Nero was claiming these same virtues were part of his regime. -- Roman History from Coins by Michael Grant
RB110365. Copper as, RIC I 312, BMCRE I 241, Mac Dowall WCN 285, BnF II 399, Hunter I 91, Cohen I 288, SRCV I 1976, F, dark green patina, broad flan, obv. slightly off center, weight 9.081 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP, laureate head right; reverse Victory flying left holding shield inscribed S P Q R (Senatus Populusque Romanus - the Senate and the Roman people), S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


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

|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.||follis|
On 30 April 313, Licinius defeated his rival Maximinus II at the Battle of Tzirallum and became emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. Maximinus fled to Nicomedia and committed suicide.
RT110135. Billon follis, RIC VII Siscia 17 (R1), SRCV IV 15212, Cohen VII 66, Hunter V 73 var. (2nd officina), Choice EF, excellent centering on a broad flan, dark chocolate patina, weight 3.943 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 315 - 316 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, eagle left with wreath in beak at feet on left, E right, SIS in exergue; scarce; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 270 - 250 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |270| |-| |250| |B.C.||AE| |21|NEW
Before it was refounded as Neapolis (meaning "new city"), Naples was called Parthenope, named for the siren Parthenope, the daughter of the river-god Achelous and the Muse Terpsichore. Parthenope cast herself into the sea and drowned when her songs failed to entice Odysseus. Her body washed ashore at Naples. When people from the city of Cumae settled there, they named their city Parthenope in her honor. Roman myth tells a different tale, in which a centaur called Vesuvius was enamored with Parthenope. In jealousy, Zeus turned the centaur into a volcano and Parthenope into the city of Naples. Thwarted in his desire, Vesuvius's anger is manifested in the mountain's frequent eruptions.
GI110559. Bronze AE 21, Potamikon 333, Taliercio IIIa.10, HN Italy 589; BMC Italy p. 115, 219, SNG Cop 505, Sambon 658, VF, irregular flan shape typical for the type with remnants of casting sprues, nice jade green patina, light corrosion, weight 5.763 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 135o, Campania mint, c. 270 - 250 B.C.; obverse NEOΠOΛITΩN, laureate head of Apollo left, long wavy hair, E behind; reverse river-god Acheloios Sebethos, as a man-faced bull, standing right, head turned facing, being crowned by Nike who flies right above, MB monogram below, possibly IΣ in exergue (off flan); $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00




  



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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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