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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.

Roman Republic, Dictatorship of Julius Caesar, C. Vibius C. f. C. n. Pansa Caetronianus, c. 48 B.C.

|after| |50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Dictatorship| |of| |Julius| |Caesar,| |C.| |Vibius| |C.| |f.| |C.| |n.| |Pansa| |Caetronianus,| |c.| |48| |B.C.||denarius|NEW
The events of 48 B.C. are among the best known of ancient history. Caesar defeated Pompey at Pharsalus and later was greeted at Alexandria with a gift of Pompey's head. The twenty-one year old Cleopatra VII had herself delivered to him rolled in a carpet and became his mistress. Caesar and Cleopatra defeated Ptolemy XIII, but during the battle the Library of Alexandria was burned.
RR99591. Silver denarius, Crawford 449/2, Sydenham 946, BMCRR Rome 3976, RSC I Vibia 16, SRCV I 421, Sear CRI 21, gVF, uneven strike with weak areas, tight oval flan, uneven toning, weight 3.757 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, c. 48 BC; obverse head of young Bacchus right, wearing ivy-wreath, PANSA downwards behind; reverse CVIBIVS CFCN counterclockwise behind, Ceres walking right, wreathed in grain, draped, extending a lit torch in each hand, searching for her daughter Proserpina, who had been abducted by Hades and taken to the underworld, idle plow before her; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 95 (13 Apr 2022), lot 852; ex Z.P. Collection (Austria); $180.00 (171.00)


Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D., Prusa ad Olympum, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Diadumenian,| |Mid| |May| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Prusa| |ad| |Olympum,| |Bithynia||diassarion|NEW
Ajax was considered the second-best hero at Troy, after his cousin Achilles. Once Achilles dies, Ajax and Odysseus debate over who should receive his armor. When Odysseus is given the armor, Ajax goes mad. He kills Greek cattle believing that it is the Greek warriors. After he becomes aware of what he has done, he commits suicide. Ajax believes that after the cattle incident, killing himself is the only way to keep his status as a hero and to avoid bringing shame to his noble father Telamon.
RP99135. Bronze diassarion, Rec Gn II-4 p. 592, 123; SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Bithynia -, Lindgren -, F, green patina, light encrustations/deposits, areas of porosity, scratches, off center on a broad flan, weight 7.535 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, Prusa ad Olympum, Bithynia mint, as caesar, 217 - 218 A.D.; obverse M OΠEΛ ANTΩNINOC ∆IA∆OYMENIANOC, bare head right; reverse ΠPOYCAEΩN, Ajax falling on his sword to commit suicide, kneeling left before a rocky outcropping, nude but for crested helmet and balteus, shield and cuirass on ground before him; Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; extremely rare; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |34|NEW
In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus were the twin sons of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, fathered by the god of war, Mars. They were abandoned in the Tiber as infants. Faustulus, a shepherd, found the infants being suckled by the she-wolf (Lupa) at the foot of the Palatine Hill. Their cradle, in which they had been abandoned, was on the shore overturned under a fig tree. Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia, raised the children. Lupa (she-wolf) was an ancient Latin slang term for prostitute. In some versions of the myth, Larentia was a prostitute. Romulus was the first King of Rome.
RP99090. Bronze AE 34, Krzyzanowska p. 175 & pl. XXX, X/21; SNG Cop 55; SNG BnF 1186; SNGvA 4948; SNG Pfalz 81; SNG Leypold 2002; BMC Lycia p. 186, 63; RPC VI T6581, aVF, well centered, dark brown patina, weight 19.387 g, maximum diameter 34.3 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES SEVER ALEXANDER, laureate head right; reverse COL CAES ANTIOCH, she-wolf right suckling the twins Romulus and Remus, fig tree behind and above, S R (Senatus Romanum) in exergue; $120.00 (114.00) ON RESERVE


Rhegion, Bruttium, Italy, c. 470 - 425 B.C.

|Italy|, |Rhegion,| |Bruttium,| |Italy,| |c.| |470| |-| |425| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Iokastos was the founder of Rhegion. He died of a snakebite. Iokastos was one of six sons of Aiolos, ruler of the Aeolian islands, all of whom secured their own realms in Italy and Sicily.

Of all the coins that have passed through my hands, this is one of my favorites - Joe Sermarini
SH33193. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Lockett 651; SNG ANS 640 var. (swan vice snake); BMC Italy p. 374, 14 (snake not mentioned); Pozzi -; SNG Cop -, Choice gVF, weight 17.312 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 150o, Rhegion mint, c. 470 - 425 B.C.; obverse facing lion's scalp, sprig with two olives right; reverse PHΓI−NOΣ (retrograde), Iokastos seated left, staff in right, left resting on seat, snake beneath seat, all within laurel wreath; toned, hairline crack, slightly bent, reverse lightly double struck; rare; 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


Rhegion, Bruttium, Italy, c. 450 - 445 B.C.

|Italy|, |Rhegion,| |Bruttium,| |Italy,| |c.| |450| |-| |445| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Iokastos was the founder of Rhegion. He died of a snakebite. Iokastos was one of six sons of Aiolos, ruler of the Aeolian islands, all of whom secured their own realms in Italy and Sicily.
SH46848. Silver tetradrachm, SNG ANS 636, SNG Cop 1928, HN Italy 2477, VF/F, damaged reverse die, weight 16.915 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, Rhegion mint, obverse facing lion's scalp, sprig with two olives right; reverse PHΓI−NOΣ (retrograde), Iokastos seated left, staff in right, left resting on seat, snake beneath seat, all within laurel wreath; high relief sculptural obverse; SOLD


Roman Republic, Sextus Pompey, Imperator and Prefect of the Fleet, Executed 35 B.C., Portrait of Pompey the Great

|Pompeians|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Sextus| |Pompey,| |Imperator| |and| |Prefect| |of| |the| |Fleet,| |Executed| |35| |B.C.,| |Portrait| |of| |Pompey| |the| |Great||denarius|
The inscription PRAEF CLAS ET ORAE MARIT abbreviates Praefectus Classis et Orae Maritimae, which translates Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet and the Sea Coasts. This title was held by both Pompey the Great and his son Sextus Pompey. Although Sextus Pompey was the supreme naval commander, Octavian had the Senate declare him a public enemy. He turned to piracy and came close to defeating Octavian. He was defeated by Marcus Agrippa at the naval battle of Naulochus (3 September 36 B.C.) and was executed by order of Mark Antony in 35 B.C.
SH91677. Silver denarius, Crawford 511/3a, RSC I Pompey the Great 17, Sydenham 1344, BMCRR Sicily 7, Sear CRI 334, SRCV I 1392, VF, deep old-cabinet toning, slightly off center, banker's mark on cheek, weight 3.703 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Sicilian mint, 42 - 40 B.C.; obverse MAG PIVS IMP ITER, head of Pompey the Great right, between capis and lituus (augural symbols); reverse Neptune standing left, right foot on prow, nude but for chlamys on left arm, holding apluster, flanked by the Catanaean brothers, Anapias and Amphinomus, running in opposite directions with their parents on their shoulders, PRAEF above, CLAS ET ORAE / MARIT EX S C in two lines in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; SOLD


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

|Caracalla|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Cerberus, a multi-headed (usually three-headed) hound, guards the gates of Hades to prevent those who have crossed the river Styx from ever escaping. Capturing Cerberus alive was the twelfth and final labor King Eurystheus assigned to Hercules. In the underworld, Hercules met Hades and asked his permission to bring Cerberus to the surface. Hades agreed to if Hercules could overpower the beast without using weapons. Hercules was able to overpower Cerberus, sling the beast over his back, and drag it out of Hades through a cavern entrance in the Peloponnese. Eurystheus was so frightened by the beast that, in return for releasing him from his labors, he asked Hercules to return it to the underworld.
SH34981. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 261c; RSC III 299a; BMCRE V 124, Choice EF, well centered on a broad flan, weight 5.154 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 215 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P XVIII COS IIII P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 18 years, consul for the 4th time, father of the country), Pluto seated left, extending right hand, holding vertical scepter in left; at his feet to left, Cerberus seated left, turning his three heads right; unusual reverse type; rare; SOLD


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D.

|Otho|, |Otho,| |15| |January| |69| |-| |17| |April| |69| |A.D.||denarius|
Vesta was originally a household spirit but was later personified as the goddess of the hearth and given the stature of her Greek equivalent, Hestia. In the temple of Vesta her flame was kept alive by Vestal Virgins.
SH41731. Silver denarius, RIC I 24 (R3), RSC II 7, BMCRE I 11, BnF III 29, SRCV I 2161, Hunter I -, gF, weight 3.046 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 9 Mar - 17 Apr 69 A.D.; obverse IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse PONT MAX (high priest), Vesta seated left, veiled, patera in right hand, scepter in left hand; very rare; SOLD


Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.

|Vitellius|, |Vitellius,| |2| |January| |-| |20| |December| |69| |A.D.||denarius|
"This refers to Vitellius' membership in the priestly college of the quindecimviri Sacris Faciundis, 'fifteen men for the conduct of sacred matters.' This body had care of the Sibylline prophecies and were famous for the opulence of their banquets, a feature of the priesthood which particularly appealed to the gluttonous emperor." - David R. Sear, Roman Coins and Their Values
SH21376. Silver denarius, RIC I 70, RSC II 155, BMCRE I 3, VF, attractive bold portrait, weight 3.349 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERMANICVS IMP, bare head right; reverse XV VIR SACR FAC (fifteen men for the conduct of sacred matters), Tripob-lebes with dolphin laying right on top and raven below; scarce; SOLD







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