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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.

Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C.

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.|, |stater|
Born a leader, his genius and charisma led the Macedonian army to create an empire covering most of the then-known world, from Greece to India. His reign begins the Hellenistic Age, a time when civilization flourished. He was regarded as a god and his fame grew even greater after his premature death at thirty-two.
SL95868. Gold stater, Price 168a (same dies), Müller Alexander 193, Newell Tarsos 12, HGC 3.1 893a (S), ICG AU80 (1507680109, Tarsos, Pr#3004), Macedonia, Amphipolis mint, struck under Antipater, c. 328/5 - 323/319 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right wearing earring, necklace, and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake; reverse Nike standing slightly left, head left, wreath in extended right hand, stylus in left hand, kantharos left; nice style, high relief, good strike, and mint luster, ICG| Lookup; scarce; $5200.00 SALE |PRICE| $4680.00
 


Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D.

|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |solidus|
Theodosius I abolished the last remaining expressions of Roman religion by making its holidays into workdays, banning blood sacrifices, closing Roman temples, confiscating Temple endowments, and disbanding the Vestal Virgins. He ordered, authorized, or at least failed to punish, the closure or destruction of many temples, holy sites, images and objects of piety throughout the empire. In 393, he issued a comprehensive law that prohibited any public non-Christian religious customs. He discontinued the ancient Olympic Games, last recorded in 393, though archeological evidence indicates that some games were still held after this date.
SH94407. Gold solidus, RIC X Theodosius I 20b (S); Depeyrot p. 169, 9/2; SRCV V 20412; Cohen VIII 37; Hunter V -, gVF, well centered, nice portrait, slight double strike, die wear, part of flan edge ragged with splits, weight 4.375 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, Jan 389 - Apr 391 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGG (victory of the two emperors), two emperors, crowned and nimbate, seated facing on double-throne, legs draped, holding a globe together, the emperor on right holding mappa in left hand, Victory behind above center facing with spread wings, palm frond low center, M-D divided across field, COM in exergue; ex Gorny & Mosch Auction 196 (7 March 2011), lot 3040; scarce; $1650.00 SALE |PRICE| $1485.00
 


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

|Kingdom| |of| |Thrace|, |Kingdom| |of| |Thrace,| |Lysimachos,| |305| |-| |281| |B.C.,| |Portrait| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great|, |tetradrachm|
Thompson notes that Pyrrhus held Pella until 286 B.C. It was one of the last, if not the last, mint opened by Lysimachos. Twenty-six obverse dies are known for the tetradrachms.
SH93849. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson 248, HGC 3.2 1750p (S), Müller 353 var. (monogram in ex.), VF, superb high relief portrait, light toning with some darker spots, bumps and marks, weight 16.645 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 180o, Pella mint, 286 - 281 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning name in her right hand, resting left arm on grounded round shield behind, transverse spear against right side, HP monogram outer left, monogram inner left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ΛYΣIMAXOY downward on left; ex Divus Numismatik; scarce; $750.00 SALE |PRICE| $675.00
 


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 275 - 250 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |275| |-| |250| |B.C.|, |nomos|
In angst at not seducing Ulysses with her voice, the siren Parthenope, threw herself into the sea and died. Her body washed up on the shore near Neapolis. There she was not envisioned as one of the insidious monsters of Homer, but rather like a dead hero, she was enshrined and deified and her name was given to an early settlement on the site. Neapolis held funerary torch-races to commemorate Parthenope and her nearby tomb and sanctuary were among the local places of interest. The river god Achelous was her father.
SH95243. Silver nomos, SNG Cop 440; SNG ANS 381; BMC Italy 100, 63; Sambon 483; HN Italy 586; SNG Cop -, Choice VF, fine style, toned, well centered on a tight flan, porous, light marks, weight 7.114 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 45o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse head of siren Parthenope left, wearing taenia, triple-pendant earring, and necklace, EY behind neck; reverse the river-god Achelous in the form of a man-faced bull, walking left, head turned facing, Nike flying left above, placing wreath on river-god's head, ΛOY below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ in exergue; ex Forum (2018); $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00
 


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

|Kingdom| |of| |Thrace|, |Kingdom| |of| |Thrace,| |Lysimachos,| |305| |-| |281| |B.C.,| |Portrait| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great|, |tetradrachm|
Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and Chersonesos after Alexander's death. He became one of the diadochi (successors of Alexander) who were initially generals and governors, but who continuously allied and warred with each other and eventually divided the empire. In 309, he founded his capital Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonesos with the mainland. In 306, he followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. In 281, he was killed in battle against Seleucus, another successor of Alexander.
GS94259. Silver tetradrachm, HGC 3.2 1750, VF, well centered on a broad flan, nice portrait, toned, bumps and marks, weight 16.424 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 135o, obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning name in her right hand, resting left arm on grounded round shield behind, transverse spear against right side, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ΛYΣIMAXOY downward on left, no control marks; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 83 (1 Sep 2019), lot 87; $550.00 SALE |PRICE| $495.00
 


Side, Pamphylia, c. 145 - 125 B.C.

|Side|, |Side,| |Pamphylia,| |c.| |145| |-| |125| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
In 190 B.C. a fleet from Rhodes, supported by Rome and Pergamum, defeated the Seleucid fleet under the command of the fugitive Carthaginian general Hannibal. The Seleucid defeat freed Side from the overlord-ship of the Seleucid Empire. The Treaty of Apamea (188 B.C.) left Side in a state of uncertain freedom. It was during this period of autonomy that Side struck these tetradrachms. It would last until 36 B.C. when the city came under the rule of the Roman client King of Galatia, Amyntas.
GS92896. Silver tetradrachm, SNGvA 4796 (also with anchor c/m); SNG BnF 694; BMC Pamphylia p. 148, 46 (KΛE-YX), Choice VF, well centered, reverse strike a little flat, obverse flattened opposite of countermark, weight 16.505 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Side (near Selimiye, Antalya Province, Turkey) mint, magistrate Kleuch-, c. 145 - 125 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in a crested Corinthian helmet; reverse Nike advancing left, wreath extended in right hand, pomegranate in left field, KΛ-E (magistrate's name) divided across field below center; countermark: anchor within incuse rectangle; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 77 (5 May 2019), lot 287; $500.00 SALE |PRICE| $450.00
 


Terina, Bruttium, Italy, c. 440 - 400 B.C.

|Italy|, |Terina,| |Bruttium,| |Italy,| |c.| |440| |-| |400| |B.C.|, |stater|
Terina was on a hill top called Piano di Tirenathe on the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Euphemia, about 20 km (12 mi) from Lamezia Terme in Calabria. The hill is surrounded by two rivers merging, Savuto and Grande, perfectly matching a description by the Greek historian Strabo in his major work Geographica, first published around 20 A.D. The site of the city was found in 1922 near the modern village of Sant'Eufemia Vetere. A systematic archaeological investigation began in 1997. Coins, inscriptions and other artifacts retrieved from the site can be seen in the Museo Archeologico Lametino in Lamezia Terme.
SL51931. Silver stater, HN Italy 2610, SNG ANS 870, HGC 1 1745, NGC VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (5768432-006), weight 7.567 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 225o, Terina mint, c. 440 - 400 B.C.; obverse TEPINAIΩN, head of Nymph Terina right, wearing ampyx and necklace; reverse TEPIN, winged Nike seated left on kippos, bird tipped scepter in right hand, left hand at side resting on kippos, Π lower right; rare; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00
 


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C., Minted by Praefectus C. Clovius

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.,| |Minted| |by| |Praefectus| |C.| |Clovius|, |dupondius|
On 17 March 45 B.C., in his last victory, Julius Caesar defeated the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the younger in the Battle of Munda. Labienus died in battle, Pompey the younger was executed, but Sextus Pompey escaped to take command of the remnants of the Pompeian fleet.
RR94484. Bronze dupondius, Sear CRI 62, BMCRR I 4125, Crawford 476/1a, RPC I 601, Sydenham 1025, RBW Collection 1667, SRCV I 1417, gF/VF, dark brown patina, porous, areas of corrosion, weight 11.619 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 0o, Italian (Rome or Mediolanum?) mint, late 46 - early 45 B.C.; obverse CAESAR DIC TER (Dictator for the third time), draped bust of winged Victory right; reverse C CLOVI PRAEF (C. Clovius, praefectus), Minerva standing left, trophy over right shoulder, shield decorated with Gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa) in left hand, snake at feet left; from an Israeli collection; $360.00 SALE |PRICE| $324.00
 


Cappadocian Kingdom, Ariarathes VII Philometor, 116 - 101 B.C., In the Name and Types of Antiochos VII of Syria

|Cappadocian| |Kingdom|, |Cappadocian| |Kingdom,| |Ariarathes| |VII| |Philometor,| |116| |-| |101| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |and| |Types| |of| |Antiochos| |VII| |of| |Syria|, |tetradrachm|
When Ariarathes VII Philometor was a child under the regency of his mother Laodice, Cappadocia was seized by King Nicomedes III of Bithynia, who then married Laodice. Laodice's brother King Mithridates VI of Pontus soon expelled Nicomedes and the restored the Cappadocian throne to Ariarathes VII. When Ariarathes VII learned that his father's assassin was under Mithridates' protection (Mithridates had arranged the murder), he prepared for war. Before the battle, the King of Pontus had him killed and put his own son Ariarathes IX on the Cappadocian throne.
GY91996. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber 2148; HGC 7 829; HGC 9 1069, gVF, areas a little rough, a few deposits, weight 16.604 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 0o, Eusebia-Mazaka mint, 107/6 - 104/3 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos VII right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ APIAPAΘOY ΦIΛOMHTPOΣ, Athena Nikephoros standing left, Nike right in extended right offering wreath, spear and grounded shield in left hand, monogram above A outer left, O inner left, Λ inner right; all within laurel wreath; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 227; $270.00 SALE |PRICE| $243.00
 


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

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.|, |as|
The as is a rare denomination for Septimius Severus.
RB95801. Copper as, RIC IV 805, BMCRE V 200, Cohen IV 545, Hunter III -, VF, nice green patina, nice style, tight flan, light encrustations, part of legends weak, small edge split, weight 11.403 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 210 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XVIII COS III P P, Victory standing right, holding vexillum transversely in both hand, flanked by seated at feet on each side, S - C across field below center; Roma Numismatics sale 68 (27 Feb 2020) lot 1091; ex European Collection; scarce; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00
 




  



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REFERENCES|

Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Die Flügelgestalten der Athena und Nike auf Münzen" 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 Sunday, May 31, 2020.
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