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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Mythology||View Options:  |  |  | 

Mythology and the Ancient Gods

Many ancient coins depict the gods and goddesses of the Greeks, Romans and other ancient cultures. Collecting as many different gods and goddesses as possible is a fun, educational and affordable collecting theme. Every ancient gods and goddesses has their mythical function, biography, lineage and other facts and fictions that make them interesting. Here we will present as many different gods and goddesses as we can and provide some of the stories about them that fascinate us. We hope they fascinate you too.

Julia Soaemias, Augusta 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

|Julia| |Soaemias|, |Julia| |Soaemias,| |Augusta| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.||denarius|
Venus (Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.
RS111520. Silver denarius, RIC IV 243, RSC III 14, BMCRE V 56, Hunter V 7, SRCV II 7720, Choice gVF, well centered, light tone, luster in recesses, flow lines, weight 2.963 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 220 A.D.; obverse IVLIA SOAEMIAS AVG, draped bust right; reverse VENVS CAELESTIS (heavenly Venus), Venus diademed seated left on throne, apple in right hand, scepter in left hand, child at her feet raising arms; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 881 (part of); $195.00 SALE PRICE $176.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||hemiassarion|
According to myth, Hermes and Dionysos were sons of Zeus, but Hermes' mother was the princess Semele and Dionysos' mother was the minor goddess Maia. To protect the infant Dionysos from his wife Hera, Zeus entrusted him to Hermes, who together with a band of nymphs, hid the child near Mt. Nysa in Anatolia.
RP111796. Bronze hemiassarion, RPC Online IV 5875 (3 spec.); Rec Gen 79; SNG Cop 480 corr. (obv. leg., M. Aurelius), aVF, dark and earthen patina, weight 4.044 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, obverse AVT KAICAP ANTΩNINOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKAIEΩN, Infant Dionysos seated right in cradle, extending both arms, thyrsus in cradle behind (not visible); Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; very rare; $150.00 SALE PRICE $120.00


Anazarbus, Cilicia, 114 - 115 A.D.

|Cilicia|, |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia,| |114| |-| |115| |A.D.||hemiassarion|
The torch is a symbol that can be related to either Artemis or Demeter. Although goddess on the reverse is usually identified in references as Artemis, we believe it is Demeter. In year 132, this type was struck at Anazarbus with larger denominations depicting Trajan on the obverse, some with reverses depicting Trajan's sister Marciana, and others with reverses depicting her daughter, Trajan's niece, Matidia. Circulating alongside the other coins, these coins advertised the importance of Marciana and Matidia to the imperial family and suggested that they, similar to Demeter and her daughter Persephone, were essential to the prosperity of the empire.
GB110042. Bronze hemiassarion, Ziegler 122; RPC III 3375; BMC Lycaonia p. 31, 3; SNG BnF 2026; cf. SNG Levante 1380 (year 132); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Righetti -, F, dark green patina, scratches, reverse edge beveled, weight 3.023 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 114 - 115 A.D.; obverse KAICAPIA ANAZAP, veiled bust of Persephone right, grain ears and poppy before; reverse veiled bust of Demeter right, wearing polos (resembling a pileus), flaming torch before, ET ΓΛP (year 133) upward behind; $60.00 SALE PRICE $48.00


Apameia ad Maeandrum, Phrygia, c. 88 - 40 B.C.

|Apameia|, |Apameia| |ad| |Maeandrum,| |Phrygia,| |c.| |88| |-| |40| |B.C.||AE| |16|
While playing the flute Athena saw her reflection in the water and disturbed by how her cheeks looked, puffed up while playing, threw away the instrument in disgust. The satyr Marsyas picked up the flute and since it had once been inspired by the breath of a goddess, it played beautifully on its own accord. Elated by his success, Marsyas challenged Apollo to a musical contest. For the prize, the victor could do what he pleased with the vanquished. The Muses were the umpires. Apollo played the cithara and Marsyas the flute. Only after Apollo added his voice to the music of his lyre was the contest decided in his favor. As a just punishment for the presumption of Marsyas, Apollo bound him to an evergreen tree and flayed him alive. His blood was the source of the river Marsyas, and Apollo hung up his skin, like a wine bag, in the cave out of which that river flows.
GB110567. Bronze AE 16, BMC Phrygia p. 77, 47; SNG Cop 191; SNGvA 3472; SNG TŁbingen 3973; HGC 7 674; SNG Munchen -, F, tight flan, weight 3.469 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Apameia ad Maeandrum (Dinar, Turkey) mint, c. 88 - 40 B.C.; obverse turreted head of Artemis right, bow and quiver on shoulder behind; reverse satyr Marsyas walking right on a meander pattern, nude but for nebris (skin of a fawn) tied on his neck and flying behind, playing Athena's double flute, AΠAMEΩN downward on right, APIΣT / KHΦIΣ (Aristo... and Kephis...) magistrates' names in two downward lines on left; $45.00 SALE PRICE $36.00


Brutus, Proconsul and Imperator, Committed Suicide 42 B.C.

|The| |Tyrannicides|, |Brutus,| |Proconsul| |and| |Imperator,| |Committed| |Suicide| |42| |B.C.||denarius|
M. Junius Brutus (also called Q. Caepio Brutus) is the most famous of Caesars assassins.
SH21615. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1431, Crawford 500/7, Sydenham 1310, Sear CRI 198, EF, weight 4.127 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, near Smyrna, Ionia(?) military mint, moneyer Lentulus Spinter, early 42 B.C.; obverse BRVTVS, simpulum between ax and sacrificial knife; reverse LENTVLVS / SPINT, jug and lituus; SOLD


Carthage, Zeugitana, c. 310 - 290 B.C.

|Carthage|, |Carthage,| |Zeugitana,| |c.| |310| |-| |290| |B.C.||shekel|
SH30333. Electrum shekel, SNG Cop 137, SGCV II 6462, gVF, weight 7.439 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Carthage (near Tunis, Tunisia) mint, obverse head of Tanit left, wreathed in grain, wearing necklace and triple-drop earring, dot border, pellet under chin; reverse horse standing right, three pellets in exergue; fine style; scarce; SOLD


Constantius I, May 305 - 25 July 306 A.D., The Eleventh Labour of Hercules

|Constantius| |I|, |Constantius| |I,| |May| |305| |-| |25| |July| |306| |A.D.,| |The| |Eleventh| |Labour| |of| |Hercules||antoninianus|
Hercules' 11th labor was to steal three of Hera's immortality-giving golden apples from the Garden of the Hesperides, guarded by Ladon, a never-sleeping, hundred-headed dragon. Hercules asked Atlas to steal the apples, agreeing to hold up the world so Atlas could complete the task. Atlas returned but refused to take back his burden. Hercules, pretending to enjoy the task, asked Atlas to hold the world while he made a pad of the lion skin. He never took back the burden and ran away.
SH53629. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 670, Cohen VII 299, gVF, areas of encrustation, weight 4.103 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 294 A.D.; obverse FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Hercules in the Garden of the Hesperides, standing half right, club in right, apple in left, apple tree entwined with serpent right, XXIT in exergue; very rare and desirable; SOLD


Pertinax, 31 December 192 - 28 March 193 A.D.

|Pertinax|, |Pertinax,| |31| |December| |192| |-| |28| |March| |193| |A.D.||denarius|
In Roman mythology, Aequitas, also known as Aecetia, was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also a personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). She is depicted with a cornucopia and a balance suggesting Aequitas Augusti is a source of prosperity.
SH21377. Silver denarius, RIC IV 1a (R2); BMCRE V p. 3, 15; RSC III 2; Hunter III 5; SRCV II 6038, VF, weight 3.228 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 28 Mar 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG, laureate head right; reverse AEQVIT AVG TR P COS II, Aequitas standing slightly left, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; very rare; SOLD


Kyme, Aeolis, 165 - 140 B.C.

|Aeolis|, |Kyme,| |Aeolis,| |165| |-| |140| |B.C.||stephanophoric| |tetradrachm|
In Greek mythology, the Amazons were a nation of all-female warriors Herodotus placed them in a region bordering Scythia in Sarmatia (modern territory of Ukraine). Other historiographers place them in Asia Minor or Libya.
SH35556. Silver stephanophoric tetradrachm, SNGvA 1636; SNG Cop 103; BMC Troas p. 111, 73; Weber 5502, superb EF, light toning with golden hues, weight 16.845 g, maximum diameter 31.8 mm, die axis 0o, Kyme (near Nemrut Limani, Turkey) mint, 165 - 140 B.C.; obverse head of Amazon Kyme right, wearing taenia; reverse horse walking right, oinochoe below raised left foreleg, KYMAIΩN downward on right, KAΛΛIAΣ (magistrate) in exergue, all in laurel wreath tied at the bottom; SOLD


Pertinax, 31 December 192 - 28 March 193 A.D.

|Pertinax|, |Pertinax,| |31| |December| |192| |-| |28| |March| |193| |A.D.||denarius|
In Roman mythology, Aequitas, also known as Aecetia, was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also a personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). She is depicted with a cornucopia and a balance suggesting Aequitas Augusti is a source of prosperity.
SH27768. Silver denarius, RIC IV 1a (R2); BMCRE V p. 3, 15; RSC III 2; Hunter III 5; SRCV II 6038, VF, toned, weight 3.195 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 28 Mar 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG, laureate head right; reverse AEQVIT AVG TR P COS II, Aequitas standing slightly left, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; very rare; SOLD







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