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A decursio was a military exercise, by which Roman soldiers were taught to make long marches in a given time, under arms and without quitting their ranks. They sometimes consisted of a mock fight between two divisions. Augustus and subsequently Hadrian ordered that the infantry and cavalry were to march out three times a month ten miles from the camp and ten miles back, fully armed and equipped. Decursio on this coin probably refers Nero's participation in mock military maneuvers in the circus.SH96390. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 508, Mac Dowall WCN 448, BMCRE I 316, BnF II 135, Cohen I 88, SRCV I -, Choice aEF/VF, superb portrait, well centered and struck, scratches, marks, porosity more on the reverse, weight 23.971 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 66 A.D.; obverse IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONT MAX TR POT P P, laureate head left, small globe at point; reverse DECVRSIO (in exergue), Nero and a companion on horseback prancing right, Nero holds spear in right hand, companion holds vexillum in right over shoulder, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $2070.00 (€1904.40)
Germanicus, b. 24 May 15 B.C. - d. 10 Oct 19 A.D., Issued by Caligula
NEW 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)
Eastern Celts, Imitative of Philip II of Macedonia, "Dachreiter" Type, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.
Although the body and head of the horseman on the prototype drachm of Philip III of Macedonia have been replaced by an S-shaped line over three pellets, the horseman's leg can still be found on the side of the horse!SH89462. Silver tetradrachm, Göbl OTA tf. 15, 170/4; Lanz 448, aVF, light toning, reverse slightly off center, light marks, weight 11.953 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, tribal mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse laureate and bearded head of Zeus right; reverse stylized horseman prancing left, rider's head and body reduced to an S-shaped line over three pellets, leg of horseman on side of the horse; $400.00 (€368.00)
Gallic Celts, Uncertain (Lemovices?), c. 100 - 50 B.C.
The tribe and mint that issued this obol type are unknown, but the Lemovices struck quinarii with similar types, including a human head above the horse on the reverse. It is possible the Lemovices also issued this rare type.CE89067. Silver obol, Delestrée-Tache 3699; cf. CCBM II S404 ff., De la Tour 4561 (Lemovices, severed head series quinarii), F, well centered, toned, etched surfaces, weight 0.633 g, maximum diameter 10.8 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 100 - 50 B.C.; obverse female head right in classic style; reverse horse galloping right, small human head right above; ex CGB Numismatique Paris; rare; $175.00 (€161.00)
Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 250 - 225 B.C.
Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the area in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became a lynchpin of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society and becoming a cultural center of the Roman Republic. During the Samnite Wars, the city, now a bustling center of trade, was captured by the Samnites; however, the Romans soon took the city and made it a Roman colony. During the Punic Wars, when this coin was struck, the strong walls surrounding Neapolis repelled the forces of the Carthaginian general Hannibal.GB92739. Bronze AE 16, Sambon 761; HN Italy 593; cf. SNG ANS 538 ff. (initials); SNG Cop 555 ff. (same); BMC Italy p. 117, 249 (same); HGC 1 479 (R1, same), aF, some corrosion, weight 3.609 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 250 - 225 B.C.; obverse head (a Dioskuros?) right, star with eight rays behind; reverse rider (Kastor?) on horse galloping right, wearing pileus, chlamys flying behind, XAI (magistrate initials or control) below, NEAΠOΛIT in exergue; very rare; $105.00 (€96.60)
Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D., Alexandreia Troas, Troas
NEW Alexandria Troas (modern Eski Stambul) is on the Aegean Sea near the northern tip of the west coast of Anatolia, a little south of Tenedos (modern Bozcaada). The city was founded by Antigonus around 310 B.C. with the name Antigoneia and was populated with the inhabitants of Cebren, Colone, Hamaxitus, Neandria, and Scepsis. About 301 B.C., Lysimachus improved the city and re-named it Alexandreia. Among the few structure ruins remaining today are a bath, an odeon, a theater and gymnasium complex and a stadium. The circuit of the old walls can still be traced.RP93130. Bronze AE 21, BMC Troas p. 27, 143; Bellinger Troas A405; SNGvA 1480 var. (rev. legend); RPC Online IX 424 ff. (obv. legend variations); SNG Cop -, F/VF, scratches, obverse legend weakly struck/worn, scratches, edge cracks, weight 5.817 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, Jun/Jul 251 - Jul/Aug 253 A.D.; obverse IMP C VIBI TRIB GALLVS AVG (or similar), laureate, draped bust right, from behind; reverse COL AVG O, TROA (clockwise above, ending in exergue), horse grazing right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $70.00 (€64.40)
Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 119 - 100 B.C.
The comets depicted are almost certainly the comets described in Justin's epitome of the Historiae Philippicae of the Augustan historian Pompeius Trogus (Justin 37.2.1-2): "The future greatness of this man [Mithridates Eupator] had been foretold by heavenly portents. For both in the year in which he was born [134/133 B.C.] and in the year in which he first began to rule [120/119 B.C.], a comet gleamed so brightly for 70 days throughout each period that the whole sky seemed to be on fire. In its extent, each of these comets filled one quarter of the sky and surpassed the sun in brilliance. They took four hours to rise and four hours to set."GB89134. Bronze AE 11, SNG BM 984; SNG Stancomb 653; Lindgren III 154; HGC 7 317, VF, earthen deposits, weight 2.328 g, maximum diameter 11.2 mm, Pontos, uncertain mint, c. 119 - 100 B.C.; obverse horse-head right, with comet star of eight points and central pellet on and below neck; reverse comet star of seven points, central pellet, and tail to right; rare; $60.00 (€55.20)
Kyme, Aiolis, 2nd Century B.C.
The types on this coin are unusual. In a recent auction, Nomos AG noted the male figure in the chariot is not only wearing military garb but on some specimens also appears to have a laurel wreath on his head (not visible on this coin). If he is laureate, he could be a Roman emperor, which would date this type to the 1st or early 2nd century A.D. We agree, the long accepted Hellenistic date for this type could be wrong. GB96107. Bronze AE 16, SNG Cop 113; SNGvA 1644; SNG Munchen 512; BMC Troas p. 113, 96, aVF, slightly rough, die damage reverse center, obverse off center, weight 3.797 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, Kyme (near Nemrut Limani, Turkey) mint, 2nd century B.C.; obverse Artemis standing right, long torch in left hand, quiver and bow on back, clasping right hands with Amazon Kyme, Kyme standing left, transverse scepter in left hand, K-Y flanking the figures; reverse two figures in a slow quadriga right, draped female (Kyme?) in front holding reins, male behind, wearing military dress, holding a long transverse spear; $60.00 (€55.20)
Magnesia ad Maeandrum, Ionia, c. 145 - 100 B.C.
Magnesia ad Maeandrum was an inland city of Ionia, located on a small tributary of the Maeander River about 12 miles southeast of Ephesus. "..the temple of Artemis Leukophryene, which in the size of its shrine and in the number of its votive offerings is inferior to the temple at Ephesos, but in the harmony and skill shown in the structure of the sacred enclosure is far superior to it. And in size it surpasses all the sacred enclosures in Asia except two, that at Ephesos (to Artemis) and that at Didymoi (to Apollo)" -- Strabo, Geography 14. 1. 40.GB93594. Bronze AE 21, SNG Kayhan 431, SNG Cop 850, SNGvA 2043, BMC Ionia p. 163, 44, F, earthen deposits, parts of reverse inscriptions off flan, weight 8.780 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Magnesia ad Maeandrum (near Tekin, Turkey) mint, c. 145 - 100 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet; reverse cavalryman galloping right, wearing crested helmet, cuirass and chlamys, holding couched spear, MAΓN-HTΩN above, N left, EYKΛHΣ / KPATINOΣ (Eukles [son of] Kratinos) in two lines below; $50.00 (€46.00)
Kyme, Aeolis, c. 350 - 250 B.C.
Cyme, one of the oldest Aeolian cities, was probably a colony of Cyme in Euboea, though according to tradition it was founded by the Amazon Kyme. Its large capable port was a valuable maritime asset to the Persian Empire, contributing ships to Dareios in 512 B.C. and to Xerxes in 480 B.C. After the Battle of Salamis, the remnants of Xerxes' fleet wintered at Cyme. After Persia, Aeolis was held successively by the Macedonians, Seleucids, Pergamenes, Romans, Byzantine, and Ottomans.GA96767. Silver hemiobol, SNG Cop 34; SNG Kayhan 91; BMC Troas p. 106, 15; cf. SNGvA 7692 (tetartemorion), F, dark toning, centered on a tight flan, weight 0.280 g, maximum diameter 7.0 mm, Kyme (near Nemrut Limani, Turkey) mint, c. 350 - 250 B.C.; obverse K-Y, forepart of horse right; reverse rosette of eight petals and central pellet; $50.00 (€46.00)