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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Heros| ▸ |Hercules||View Options:  |  |  |   

Hercules (Herakles)
Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

|Roman| |Macedonia|, |Roman| |Macedonia,| |"Thasian"| |Type,| |c.| |148| |-| |80| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS95927. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XII, monogram 6, 759 var. (O AE1 / R 603); Lanz (Kostial) 963 - 967; SNG Cop 1040 ff., Choice VF, toned, light graffito (AP?) obverse right, bumps and marks, edge crack, weight 16.835 g, maximum diameter 31.7 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $300.00 (€276.00)
 


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

|Greek| |Countermarked|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.,| |Kalchedon,| |Bithynia| |Countermark||drachm|
Similar head (some Demeter, some Apollo, possibly some Persephone) with K or KA monogram countermarks were found along with coins countermarked at Byzantium in the Buyukcekmece Hoard. That find provides almost certain proof that the countermarks were applied at Kalchedon. It was previously believe the head K countermarks were applied at Kallatis because some coins with these Kalchedon countermarks also bear KAΛ countermarks from Kallatis. Based on the mint dates and wear of coins in the hoard, the Buyukcekmece burial may have been connected to the war between Byzantium and Rhodes in 220/219 B.C.
SL95875. Silver drachm, countermark: See Price p. 69 and Buyukcekmece Hoard pp. 18 ff. for similar countermarks from Calchedon, NGC VF, strike 4/5, surface 1/5, scratches (5872605-039), weight 3.94 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, countermark: 280 - 220 B.C.; obverse Herakles head right wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress, countermark: head right (Apollo?), K right (and A or die break lower right), all within 8.5mm circular punch; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; NGC| Lookup; very rare countermark; $240.00 (€220.80)
 


Kroton, Bruttium, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

|Italy|, |Kroton,| |Bruttium,| |c.| |350| |-| |300| |B.C.||AE| |19|
 
SL86538. Bronze AE 19, Attianese 504; BMC Italy p. 356, 114; cf. HN Italy 2225 (2.7g); Weber 1047 (same); München 1478 (head left, 3.3g); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (2490384-011), weight 5.058 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 270o, Kroton (Crotone, Calbria, Italy) mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse crab seen from above, KPΩ below, within a shallow round incuse; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; NGC| Lookup; very rare; $200.00 (€184.00)
 


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

|Cyprus|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.,| |Kition,| |Cyprus||unit|
The "arrow" on this coin is very unusual. The description of Price 3119 includes a KT monogram but followed by (?). The monogram is missing from all examples known to Forum. We suspect the KT monogram does not exist on any Alexander bronze from Kition.
GB95811. Bronze unit, cf. Tziambazis 6, Price 3119, Bank of Cyprus --, gVF, nice green patina with buff earthen highlighting, light marks, porosity, tight flan, weight 4.731 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 225o, Kition (Larnaca, Cyprus) mint, 336 - 323 B.C. (perhaps later); obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse club right above, AΛEΞAN∆POY across center, open-mouth quiver, arrow(?) and bow below; $200.00 (€184.00)
 


Erythrai, Ionia, c. 550 - 500 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit

|Archaic| |Electrum|, |Erythrai,| |Ionia,| |c.| |550| |-| |500| |B.C.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||1/48| |stater|
During the second half of the 6th century, Erythrai struck an extensive issue hektai with head of Herakles on the obverse and an incuse square on the reverse. The earliest coins had a crude archaic style head and a simple square punch. The later coins were more refined archaic style with a quadripartite incuse square reverse. We do not know of any official coins of this small denomination.
GA97741. Fouree electrum plated 1/48 stater, cf. BMC Ionia p. 117, 7 (electrum hekte, 2.55g, official, Erythrai), aVF, areas of missing plating, bumps and scratches, weight 0.370 g, maximum diameter 6.0 mm, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, c. 550 - 500 B.C.; obverse archaic style head of Herakles left, wearing Nemean Lion's scalp headdress, almond shaped eye, large nose; reverse irregular roughly square incuse punch; $200.00 (€184.00)
 


Kingdom of Characene, Attambelos I, c. 47 - 24 B.C.

|Kingdom| |of| |Characene|, |Kingdom| |of| |Characene,| |Attambelos| |I,| |c.| |47| |-| |24| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Characene was a kingdom controlling the head of the Persian Gulf, important link in the trade with India, and was founded by Aspasine, a rebellious satrap of Antiochos IV. The kingdom was later under Parthian control and then conquered by the Sasanians. It is said that Trajan visited the capital Charax during his invasion of Parthia and seeing the ships sailing to India lamented for not being younger and not able to go there, as Alexander did.
SL96469. Silver tetradrachm, Cohen DCA 486; cf. Nicolet-Pierre Thionèsis pl. IV, 14 - 15 (years SE 281 and 283), Hill Attambelos –; BMC Arabia –, NGC Ch VF, strike 4/4, surface 2/5 (5771210-007), weight 11.248 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 0o, Charax-Spasinu (Naysan, Iraq) mint, 32 - 29 B.C.; obverse diademed head with long beard; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ATTAMBHΛOY downward lines right, ΣΩTHPOΣ / KAI EYEPΓETOY downward lines left, Herakles naked seated left on a cuirass, club in right hand resting on right knee, monograms (control) above arm, local Semitic script letter below arm, [...]ΠΣ (first letter uncertain, year 281 - 283 Seleukid era) in exergue; NGC| Lookup; $180.00 (€165.60)
 


Agyrion, Sicily, 355 - 344 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Agyrion,| |Sicily,| |355| |-| |344| |B.C.||tetras|
Agyrion (modern Agira) was a Sikel city ruled by tyrants, one of whom, Agyris, was the most powerful ruler in the center of Sicily. In 392 B.C., he and Dionysius the Elder, together successfully resisted the Carthaginians under Magno. Agira was not colonized by the Greeks until the Corinthian general Timoleon drove out the last Sikel tyrant in 339 B.C. and settled 10,000 Greeks.

According to Caltabiano, Palagkaios was probably the Sikel name for the larger of the two local rivers (Salso Cimarosa today). Molinari and Sisci propose a Semitic origin, from the Akkadian palag-āsú, 'the gushing river.'
GB91174. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 125, 10; Potamikon 14; SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -; SNG Morcom -, VF, dark green patina, undersize flan, weight 2.685 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 270o, Agyrion (Agira, Sicily, Italy) mint, 355 - 344 B.C.; obverse AΓYPINAI counterclockwise before, young Herakles' head left, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse forepart of a man-faced bull (river-god Acheloios Palagkaios) left, ΠAΛAΓKAIOΣ horizontal above, dot border; rare; $170.00 (€156.40)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Ptolemy I, as Satrap, 323 - 305 B.C.

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Ptolemy| |I,| |as| |Satrap,| |323| |-| |305| |B.C.||obol|
Aradus minted coinage in the name of Alexander during his lifetime and shortly after. When Aradus gained autonomy in 259 B.C., the city again minted coinage in the name of Alexander. After the Ptolemaic victory over the Seleukid Kingdom at Raphia in 217 B.C. Aradus fell under the control of Egypt. In 214, Aradus ceased to issue Alexander coinage and struck regal Ptolemaic issues. In 202 B.C., as Ptolemaic power waned, Aradus returned to issuing coinage of Alexander. The last Alexander coinage of Aradus was struck in 166/165 B.C.
GS89324. Silver obol, unpublished in references but several known from auctions, CNG e-auction 201, lot 34 (same dies), VF, toned, earthen encrustation, porosity, weight 0.649 g, maximum diameter 9.0 mm, die axis 13.5o, Phoenicia, Aradus mint, c. 323 - 315 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style) eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, A/P monogram (control) left; from a New England collector; $140.00 (€128.80)
 


Synnada, Phrygia, 249 - 251 A.D.

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Synnada,| |Phrygia,| |249| |-| |251| |A.D.||AE| |24|
Synnada (Suhut, Turkey today) was of considerable importance as a station on the road from Apameia to the north and east. Synnada was celebrated throughout the Roman Empire for its precious Synnadic marble, a light color marble interspersed with purple spots and veins. From quarries on Mount Persis in neighboring Docimeium, it was conveyed through Synnada to Ephesus, from which it was shipped over sea to Italy.
RP92750. Bronze AE 24, RPC IX 887 (2 spec.), SNG Tüb 4199, BMC Phrygia p. 397, 29 var. (palm fronds flank shield); SNGvA 8447 var. (same); SNG Cop 717 var. (same), VF, green patina, light earthen deposits, weight 6.418 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, Synnada (Suhut, Turkey) mint, time of Trajanus Decius, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse CYNNA∆EΩN, bare head of Hercules right; reverse ∆ΩPIEΩNIΩNΩN, distyle temple, containing ornamented shield, star in arched pediment; ex Tom Vossen; rare; $125.00 (€115.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas, 152 - 145 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |I| |Balas,| |152| |-| |145| |B.C.||AE| |19|
Alexander Balas, of humble origin, claimed to be Antiochus IV's son and heir to the Seleukid throne. Rome and Egypt accepted his claims. He married Cleopatra Thea, daughter of King Ptolemy Philometor of Egypt. With his father-in-law's help, he defeated Demetrius Soter and became the Seleukid king. After he abandoned himself to debauchery, his father-in-law shifted his support to Demetrius II, the son of Demetrius Soter. Balas was defeated and fled to Nabataea where he was murdered. Apamea, on the right bank of the Orontes River, was an ancient Greek and Roman city. It was located at a strategic crossroads for Eastern commerce and became one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Seleucus also made it a military base with 500 elephants, and an equestrian stud with 30,000 mares and 300 stallions.
GY93775. Bronze AE 19, Houghton-Lorber II 1805(1)b; SNG Spaer 1450; BMC Seleucid p. 55, 44; HGC 9 565 (R1); Babelon Rois 812; SNG Cop -, gF, dark patina, earthen deposits, central cavities, weight 7.137 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 150 - 149 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Apollo standing left, arrow in right hand, resting left hand on grounded bow, palm outer left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on left, ∆E monogram (control) right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $110.00 (€101.20)
 




  



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REFERENCES

Stoll, R. Herakles auf römischen Münzen. (Trier, 1999).
Voegtli, H. Bilder der Heldenepen in der kaiserzeitlichen griechischen Munzprägung. (Aesch, 1977).

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