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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; $1100.00 (€1012.00)
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)
The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 36 - 37 A.D.
At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.
SH94461. Silver half shekel, RPC I 4695, Prieur 1465, BMC Phoenicia -, aVF, attractive style, toned, bumps and marks, die wear, closed edge crack, weight 6.244 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 36 - 37 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PΞB (year 162) over club left, KP over monogram right, Aramaic letter between legs; ex Forum (2010), ex Temple Tax Hoard; $775.00 (€713.00)
Hostilian, Summer - November 251 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria
Hostilian was the younger son of Trajan Decius. After the latter's death, Hostilian was elevated to Augustus by his father's successor Trebonianus Gallus. He died of plague shortly after. McAlee notes, "Hostilian's Antiochene provincial coins are the rarest of the emperors of the 3rd century."RP95883. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 1162 (very rare, same obverse die), Prieur 653 (2 spec.), Dura 574; BMC Galatia, p. 226, 627 var. (no officina indicated), VF, porosity, light deposits, weight 10.361 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 250 - summer 251 A.D.; obverse Γ OVA OCTIΛ ME KVINTOC KECAP, bareheaded and draped bust right, from the front, VI below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOVCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing right on palm branch, head right, wings open, wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; only one specimen on Coin Archives; very rare; $380.00 (€349.60)
Cilicia (Uncertain City, possibly Tarsos), 4th Century B.C.
SNG Levante describes the obverse type as a Pegasos forepart, however, both their coin and ours clearly depict a griffin.GS92951. Silver obol, SNG Levante 208 corr. (Pegasos vice Griffin in error), SNG BnF -, aVF, toned, light deposits, tight flan, worn dies, edge split, weight 0.680 g, maximum diameter 8.3 mm, die axis 90o, 4th century B.C.; obverse forepart of griffin left; reverse owl standing left, head facing, crescent and olive spray behind; only one sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades - Nomos AG, obolos 5 (26 Jun 2016), lot 437 (similar condition, realized 550 CHF plus 18.5% fees = $660); extremely rare; $360.00 (€331.20)
Valerian II, Caesar, Early 256 - 258 A.D., Alexandria, Egypt
Publius Licinius Cornelius Valerianus (Valerian II) was the son of Gallienus and Salonina, and grandson of Valerian I and Mariniana. He was made caesar upon his father's accession as co-emperor. He died two years later without ever being raised to the rank of augustus.RX95833. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 2997; Dattari-Savio 5374; Milne 2989 Kampmann 92.8; Emmett 3764.5 (R1), Choice VF, dark patina, light scratches, die break between eagle's legs, weight 10.303 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 257 - 258; obverse Π ΛIK KOP OVAΛEPIANOC KAIC CEB, bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse eagle standing left, wings closed, head right, wreath in beak, L E (year 5 of Valerian and Gallienus) divided across field; ex Phil Peck collection; scarce; $250.00 (€230.00)
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.
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.GP96510. Bronze triobol, Lorber CPE B494, Svoronos 1128, SNG Cop 203, SNG Milan 213, Weiser 52, Hosking 51, Noeske 146, Malter 155, Choice VF, well centered, some light corrosion, reverse center weakly struck, central depressions, beveled obverse edge, weight 31.538 g, maximum diameter 32.1 mm, die axis 340o, Alexandria mint, c. 221 - 219 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, ΛI between eagle's legs; $225.00 (€207.00)
Eusebeia (Caesarea), Cappadocia, 21 - 20 B.C.
Kayseri, originally called Mazaka or Mazaca, is in central Turkey on a low spur on the north side of Mount Erciyes (Mount Argaios or Argaeus in ancient times). It was renamed Eusebia in honor of Ariarathes V Eusebes, King of Cappadocia, 163 - 130 B.C. The last king of Cappadocia, King Archelaus, renamed it "Caesarea in Cappadocia" to honor Caesar Augustus upon his death in 14 A.D. Muslim Arabs slightly modified the name into Kaisariyah, which became Kayseri when the Seljuk Turks took control, c. 1080 A.D.GB95831. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 3610 (11 spec.), SNGvA 6337, HGC 7 868 (R2) corr. (date); BMC Galatia -, Choice VF, attractive style, highlighting earthen deposits on nice green patina, porous, lower reverse weakly struck, weight 6.142 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Eusebeia (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 21 - 20 B.C.; obverse head Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse eagle right atop Mount Argaios, thyrsus inner right, EVΣE/BEIAΣ in two downward lines, staring on the right, ending on the left, monogram and Iς (year 16 [of the reign of King Archelaos of Cappadocia) below; very rare; $200.00 (€184.00)
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; $160.00 (€147.20)
Antiochia, Pisidia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.
Antiochia in Pisidia, also know as Antiochia in Phrygia, and under the Roman Empire as Antiochia Caesareia or Antiochia Colonia Caesarea, was on the border of Pisidia and Phrygia, at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Aegean and Central Anatolian regions. After the death of Alexander the Great, Seleucus I Nicator, founder of the Seleucid Dynasty, took control of Pisidia. Captured places were Hellenised and, in order to protect the population, nearly 60 fortified cities were founded at strategically important places, usually on an acropolis. Seleucus gave 16 of them the name of his father Antiochos. Colonists were brought from Magnesia on the Maeander to found Antiochia in Pisidia.GB92188. Bronze tetrassarion, Imhoof KM p. 108, 5; SNG Cop 12 var. (magistrate); SNGvA 4914 var. (same, ethnic around), VF, green patina with earthen highlighting, weight 6.268 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, Antiochia in Pisidia (near Yalvaç, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse eagle standing slight right on thunderbolt, wings open, crescent above, Γ (mark of value) lower right; reverse star of six rays around central pellet, ANTIO/ΞE-ΩN in two lines, ΘEAPI∆O (magistrate's name) below; ex Gerhard Rohde Ancient Coins; extremely rare; $160.00 (€147.20)
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