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Birds, especially eagles, appear rather often on ancient coins. The eagle remained an important numismatic feature up to our days.
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.
Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and to make provision for the future. This ability was considered essential for the emperor and providentia was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the imperial cult. Cicero said that providentia, memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding) are the three main components of prudentia, the knowledge what is good or bad or neither.RB95780. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II-3 260 (S), BMCRE III 1203, Hunter II 358, SRCV II 3625, Cohen II 1207 var. (no drapery), Choice aEF, dark patina, light deposits, spots of corrosion, weight 27.215 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 119 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG P M TR P COS III, laureate bust right, bare chest, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse PROVIDENTIA DEORVM (to the foresight of the gods), Hadrian standing facing, togate, lituus (or scroll?) in left hand, head left looking at eagle flying right with scepter held in talons, extending right hand to receive scepter from eagle, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; scarce; $990.00 (€910.80)
Britannicus, Son of Claudius and Messalina, b. 12 February 41 - d. 11 February 55 A.D., Alabanda, Caria
Of this type, RPC I notes, "Uncertain. This coin was published by Mi 3.307.22, and is known from a Mionnet cast. The coin [the Mionnet specimen] has been tooled ('médaille retourchée') but may perhaps represent a genuine denomination." Our coin allays the RPC I doubts. The denomination is 1/3 of 18.5g RPC I 2818.SH88430. Orichalcum AE 23, RPC I 2821 (= Mionnet III, p. 307, 22), F, porous, weight 6.496 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alabanda (Doganyurt, Aydin, Turkey) mint, 50 - 54 A.D.; obverse KΛAV∆IOC BPETANNIKOC KAIΣAP, bare-headed and draped bust right; reverse AΛABAN∆EΩN, Apollo Kissios standing left, nude, bow in right hand with raven on top, sheep standing left at feet on left ; ex Forum (2013), ex J. S. Wagner Collection; of greatest rarity; $800.00 (€736.00)
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C.
Cleopatra VII originally shared power with her father Ptolemy XII and later with her brother-husbands Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. Her relationship with Julius Caesar led to sole rule. After Caesar's assassination, she aligned with Mark Antony. Her reign marks the end of the Hellenistic Era and the beginning of the Roman Era. She was the last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.SL96992. Bronze hemiobol, Svoronos 1872; Weiser 184; SNG Cop 422; BMC Alexandria p. 123, 5; Noeske 383; Sear CRI 949, NGC VF, surface 4/5, strike 2/5, scratches, smoothing (5771373-003), weight 8.880 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 51 - 30 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Cleopatra right, characteristic melon coif; reverse KΛEOΠATPAΣ BACIΛICCHC (Queen Cleopatra), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, head left, cornucopia left, M (40 drachms = hemiobol) right; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 66 (9 Jan 2020), lot 608; NGC| Lookup; $750.00 (€690.00)
Germanicus, b. 24 May 15 B.C. - d. 10 Oct 19 A.D., Issued by Caligula
This type was issued by Caligula in honor of his deceased father. Germanicus Caesar was the son of Tiberius' brother Drusus Sr. and Antonia the daughter of Mark Antony and Octavia. He distinguished himself on the battlefield many times, most notably in Germania where he inflicted serious defeats on the barbarian tribes and recovered the legionary standards lost in the catastrophic Varus disaster. He was chosen Tiberius' successor, but died of an unknown cause. His tremendous popularity helped his son Caius (Caligula) obtain the throne after Tiberius died.RB97745. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC I Gaius 57, BMCRE I Gaius 93, BnF II Caligula 140, Hunter I Gaius 37, Cohen I 7, SRCV I 1820, gF, scattered mild pitting, weight 12.208 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 41 A.D.; obverse Germanicus in slow quadriga right, bare-headed, wearing paludamentum, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, chariot ornamented with Victory and wreath, GERMANICVS / CAESAR in two lines above horses; reverse Germanicus standing left, bare-headed, wearing cuirass and short tunic, cloak over left arm, right leg bent, raising right hand, aquila (legionary eagle) in left hand, SIGNIS - RECEPT / DEVICTIS - GERM (standards recovered from the defeated Germans) in two divided lines across the field at center, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 78 (17 Dec 2020), lot 1296, ex Lucernae prima auction (2 Jun 2020), lot 212; $500.00 (€460.00)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Seleucis and Pieria
Laodicea ad Mar was founded by Seleukos Nikator. The site was determined after an eagle snatched a piece of flesh from an altar where Seleukos was sacrificing. The exact site was indicated when he slew a boar following the eagle's flight. Perhaps the eagle on this reverse refers to the city's founding myth, though the ancients did not need a special reason to depict an eagle, the companion of Zeus.RY92564. Billon tetradrachm, Prieur 1179; Bellinger 72; SNG Cop 364; BMC Galatia p. 195, 364 (Antioch), aEF, dark even toning, areas of minor porosity, scratches, tight flan, weight 13.927 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 180o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 215 - 217 A.D.; obverse AYT•K•M•A•-•ANTΩNEINOC•CEB, laureate head right; reverse ∆HMAPX•EΞ•YΠATOC•TO•∆ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 4th time), eagle standing facing, head left, wings open, wreath in beak, star between legs; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $270.00 (€248.40)
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C., Lot of 5 Bronze Drachms
NEW Ptolemy IV's surname Philopator means father lover, ironic since according to some authorities he poisoned his father. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria. He was a cruel and evil monarch.LT96150. Bronze Lot, 5 Ptolemy IV drachms, F, encrustations, corrosion, weight c. 44 g, maximum diameter c. 37 mm, Alexandria mint, 222 - 204 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia, reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left; ex Ora Eads Collection; unattributed to type, no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photograph, as-is, no returns; $250.00 (€230.00)
Roman Republic, A. Postumius A.f. Sp.n. Albinus, c. 81 B.C.
Refers to the praetorship of L. Postumius Albinus over Spain and his successful expeditions against the Vaccaei and Lusitani, and the levying of troops for this campaign.
A fasces is a bound bundle of wooden rods, sometimes including an axe with its blade emerging. It was a Roman symbol of a magistrate's power and jurisdiction. The image has survived in the modern world as a symbol of law and governance. It was the origin of the name of Mussolini's National Fascist Party in Italy (from which the term fascism is derived). It is on the reverse of the U.S. Mercury dime and behind the podium in the U.S. House of Representatives.RR93661. Silver denarius serratus, Crawford 372/2, Sydenham 746, RSC I Postumia 8, BMCRR I Rome 2839, Russo RBW 1393, SRCV I 297, VF, toned, flow lines, some high points flatly struck, obverse a little off center, weight 3.542 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 81 B.C.; obverse veiled head of Hispania right with disheveled hair, HISPAN counterclockwise behind; reverse togate figure standing left, extending hand toward legionary eagle before him, fasces and axe behind, A· / ALBIN / N·S· in fields below center in three vertical downward lines from left to right, POST A·F· in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $200.00 (€184.00)
Aspendos, Pamphylia, 187 - 186 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great
NEW After Alexander took Perga peacefully, Aspendos sent envoys to offer surrender if he would not take the taxes and horses formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. Agreeing, Alexander went on to Side, leaving a garrison behind. When he learned they had failed to ratify the agreement their own envoys had proposed, Alexander marched to the city. The Aspendians retreated to their acropolis and again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to harsh terms - they would host a Macedonian garrison and pay 100 gold talents and 4,000 horses annually.
At the time this coin was struck, the territory of Aspendos was surrounded by the Attalid's Pergamene Kingdom but retained independence.GS95975. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2907, Cohen DCA 312/26, Müller Alexander -, aVF, light toning, light scratches, weight 16.555 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 187 - 186 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, AΣ over K[ (year 26 Era of Aspendos) lower left, spear head left (control mark) in exergue, Seleukid countermark on right: anchor in a rectangular punch; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $200.00 (€184.00)
Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C., In the Name of Philip
NEW Struck after Alexander the Great's death during the joint reign of Philip III, Alexander's brother, and the infant king Alexander IV, Alexander's son with the Bactrian princess Roxana. The two were made joint kings by Alexander's generals who only intended to use them as pawns. Philip III was imprisoned upon his return to Macedonia, and in 317 B.C. he was executed under orders from Olympias. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed by the boy's regent, Kassander, in 311 B.C. Colophon also struck nearly identical drachms during this period in the name of Alexander IV.GS95977. Silver drachm, Price P88, Müller Alexander P34, ADM I 245, aVF, dark old collection toning, light marks, weight 4.132 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus seated left on throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ΦIΛIΠΠOY downward on right, TI over star left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $150.00 (€138.00)
Amisos, Pontos, 85 - 65 B.C.
Amisos was settled c. 760 - 750 B.C. by people from Miletus, who established a flourishing trade relationship with the ancient peoples of Anatolia. Amisos came under the rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire, and then the Kingdom of Pontus. The Romans took control in 47 B.C. and Amisos remained within the Byzantine Empire after the fall of Rome. In 1200, the city was captured by the Seljuks, to be later taken over by the Ilhanlilar. Amisos today is Samsun, a city of about half a million people on the north coast of Turkey.GB97452. Bronze AE 21, SNG BM 1221; SNG Cop 134; SNG Stancomb 705; BMC Pontus p. 15, 24; SNGvA 56 var. (monogram), Choice VF, well centered and struck, dark patina with some coppery high points, light deposits, some scattered porosity, weight 7.775 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, under Mithradates VI of Pontos, 85 - 65 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse eagle standing half left on thunderbolt, head turned back right, open wings, monogram left; ex Savoca Coins auction blue 90 (29 Nov 2020), lot 205; $150.00 (€138.00)
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