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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)
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)
Aspendos, Pamphylia, 187 - 186 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great
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
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)
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.
Most finds of this type are from Bulgaria, suggesting a mint in Thrace. This type is found both with and without central depressions, indicating it was struck both before and after the coinage reform of 265 B.C., after which central depressions (dimples) became a feature of Ptolemaic coinage. This example is pre-reform. GP86417. Bronze AE 17, Svoronos 351, SNG Cop 100, Lorber CPE B310 var. (post reform), SNG Milan -, Weiser -, Noeske -, BMC Ptolemies -, Malter -, aVF, obv. die break from nose to edge, rev. well centered on a tight flan, bumps, marks, corrosion, without central cavities, weight 5.472 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 270o, uncertain (Thracian?) mint, pre-reform, 285 - 265 B.C.; obverse veiled and diademed bust of Arsinoe II right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on fulmen (thunderbolt), head left, wings open, ∆I over (AX monogram) left; see CNG e-auction 92 (23 Jun 2004), lot 64, for another specimen with the same obverse die break; rare; $140.00 (€128.80)
Seleukid Kingdom, Achaios, Usurper in Anatolia, 220 - 214 B.C.
Achaios (Achaeus) was an uncle of Antiochos III. In 223 B.C., Antiochus III appointed Achaeus to the command of Anatolia on the western side of Mount Taurus. Achaeus recovered all the districts which had been lost; but was falsely accused by Hermeias, the minister to Antiochus, of intending to revolt. In self-defense he assumed the title of king. Antiochus marched against Achaeus after he concluded the war with Ptolemy. After a two-year siege of his capital of Sardes, Lydia, Achaios was captured and beheaded.GY89996. Bronze AE 17, Houghton-Lorber I 956 corr. (unlisted control symbol), SNG Spaer 834 var. (same), Newell WSM 1442 var. (same), HGC 9 436 (S-R1), VF, green and garnet patina, off center, light deposits, tiny edge split, weight 3.260 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 220 - autumn/winter 214 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair in formal (corkscrew) curls; reverse eagle standing right, head right, wings closed, wreath in talons, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, AXAIOY downward on left, A (control symbol) outer right; apparently unpublished and only two sales recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $140.00 (€128.80)
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