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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Olympians| ▸ |Demeter or Ceres||View Options:  |  |  | 

Demeter or Ceres

The known mythology of Demeter and Ceres is identical. Demeter's (Ceres') virgin daughter Persephone (Proserpina) was abducted by Hades (Pluto) to be his wife in the underworld. Demeter searched for her endlessly, lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Demeter searched, preoccupied with her loss and her grief, the seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus (Jupiter) sent his messenger Hermes (Mercury) to the underworld to bring Persephone back. However, because Persephone had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. It was decreed that she must spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Demeter grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Persephone's return brings the spring.

Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||sestertius|
One explanation for Nero's slight beard on this coin is that it is his "beard of mourning" for the death of his wife Poppaea. According to Suetonius, one day in the summer of 65, Poppaea quarreled fiercely with Nero over his spending too much time at the races. She was pregnant with her second child. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her. The story of her death may have been a lie, part of a larger effort to denigrate Nero after his suicide. Certainly Poppaea was deeply mourned by Nero. During the mourning period, Nero may have followed Roman customs and not shaved his face. A similar light beard also occurs on some tetradrachms of Antioch dated 65 - 66 A.D.
SH110379. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 138, BMCRE I 129, Mac Dowall WCN 128, Cohen I 18, BnF II -, Hunter I -, SRCV -, EF, superb portrait, full legends, attractive toning, bumps, light smoothing, weight 26.564 g, maximum diameter 35.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P (Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Pontifex Maximus Tribunicia Potestate Imperator Pater Patriae), laureate head left, short beard visible, no globe at point of bust; reverse ANNONA AVGVSTI CERES, Annona standing right, right hand on hip, cornucopia in left hand, facing Ceres enthroned left, veiled, feet on footstool, stalks of grain in right hand, torch in left hand; in center modius on garlanded altar, prow behind, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $3500.00 SALE PRICE $2800.00


Agrippina Junior, Augusta 50 - March 59 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia

|Hierapolis|, |Agrippina| |Junior,| |Augusta| |50| |-| |March| |59| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Phrygia||assarion|
Hierapolis (Greek: "Holy City") was located on hot springs in Phrygia in southwestern Anatolia. Its ruins are adjacent to modern Pamukkale in Turkey and are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hot springs have been used as a spa since the 2nd century B.C., with many patrons retiring or dying there. The large necropolis is filled with sarcophagi.
RP110002. Bronze assarion, RPC I 2983 (4 spec.); SNGvA 3649; BMC Phrygia p. 249, 127, VF, rough areas of light corrosion, legends weak, weight 3.731 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, magistrate Magytes Neoteros, c. 55 A.D.; obverse AΓPIΠΠINA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust right; reverse MAΓYTHΣ NEΩTEPOΣ IEPAΠOΛEITΩN, Demeter seated left on throne, stalk of grain and two poppies in right hand; rare; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Coracesium, Cilicia Trachea

|Cilicia|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Coracesium,| |Cilicia| |Trachea||AE| |19|
In Strabo's reckoning, Coracesium marked the boundary between ancient Pamphylia and Cilicia Trachaea. Because of its natural strategic position on a small peninsula into the Mediterranean Sea below the Taurus Mountains, Alanya has been a local stronghold for many Mediterranean-based empires, including the Ptolemaic, Seleucid, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires.
RP110223. Bronze AE 19, RPC Online III 2742 (18 spec.); Levante Korakesion 2; SNG BnF 613; SNG Levante 388; SNG Cop 109; SNG Leypold 2460; SNG Pflzer 780; Waddington 4234, gVF, green patina, edge flaw, reverse edge beveled, weight 4.432 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Coracesium (modern Alanya, Turkey) mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPATWP TPAIANOC, laureate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse KOPAKHCIWTWN, Demeter standing facing, head left, wearing long chiton, stalks of grain in right hand, lighted long torch grounded and vertical in left hand; rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Byzantion, Thrace, Late 3rd - 2nd Century B.C., Alliance with Kalchedon, Bithynia

|Byzantion|, |Byzantion,| |Thrace,| |Late| |3rd| |-| |2nd| |Century| |B.C.,| |Alliance| |with| |Kalchedon,| |Bithynia||AE| |27|
Byzantion was founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 657 B.C. The city was rebuilt as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine I in 330 A.D. and renamed Constantinople. It became the capital of the Ottoman Empire when it was conquered in 1453. Today it is Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, and the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart.
GB110075. Bronze AE 27, Schnert-Geiss Byzantion 1271 - 1275; SNG Cop 530; MacDonald Hunter p. 398, 2; HGC 3.2 1428 (R1), aVF, rough corrosion, weight 10.658 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, Byzantion (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, late 3rd-2nd centuries B.C.; obverse veiled head of Demeter right, wearing wreath of grain; reverse Poseidon seated right on rock, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, raising aphlaston (apluster) in extended right hand, transverse trident in left hand over left shoulder, inner right, BYZAN downward on right, KAΛXA downward on left; rare; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Byzantion, Thrace, Late 3rd - 2nd Century B.C., Alliance with Kalchedon, Bithynia

|Byzantion|, |Byzantion,| |Thrace,| |Late| |3rd| |-| |2nd| |Century| |B.C.,| |Alliance| |with| |Kalchedon,| |Bithynia||AE| |26|
Byzantion was founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 657 B.C. The city was rebuilt as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine I in 330 A.D. and renamed Constantinople. It became the capital of the Ottoman Empire when it was conquered in 1453. Today it is Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, and the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart.
GB110076. Bronze AE 26, Schnert-Geiss Byzantion 1257 - 1262; SNG Cop 530; MacDonald Hunter p. 398, 2; HGC 3.2 1428 (R1), VF, corrosion, weight 10.392 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Byzantion (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, late 3rd-2nd centuries B.C.; obverse veiled head of Demeter right, wearing wreath of grain; reverse Poseidon seated right on rock, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, raising aphlaston (apluster) in extended right hand, transverse trident in left hand over left shoulder, ∆A inner right, BYZAN downward on right, KAΛXA downward on left; rare; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Kibyra, Phrygia, c. 138 - 192 A.D.

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Kibyra,| |Phrygia,| |c.| |138| |-| |192| |A.D.||AE| |21|
Kibyra (Cibyra) near the modern town of Glhisar in south-west Turkey, was possibly originally settled by Lydians. The city was in the far south of Phrygia adjoining Lycia. It is uncertain whether the city was part of the Province of Asia or of Lycia in the early imperial period. According to Strabo, the Lydian language was still being spoken by a multicultural population in the 1st century B.C. Thus Kibyra was the last place where the Lydian culture, by then extinct in Lydia proper, persevered.
RP110161. Bronze AE 21, RPC IV.2 T1953 (10 spec.); Kurth Demos 358; SNG Cop 276; SNGvA 3724; BMC Phrygia p. 135, 25; SNG Mu -; Lindgren -, aVF/VF, dark green patina, rough, porous, earthen deposits, broad flan, weight 6.631 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, Kibyra (near Golhisar, Turkey) mint, c. 138 - 192 A.D.; obverse ∆HMOC (clockwise from upper right), laureate head of Demos right, unbearded; reverse KIBYPATWN, Demeter standing slightly left, head left, wearing long chiton and veil, poppy and grain in right hand, long torch in left hand; rare; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

|Domitian|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.||dupondius| |(or| |as)|
This type was struck as both a dupondius and an as, distinguishable only by the metal, orichalcum vs. copper, and weight, c. 13g vs. c. 9g. The as appears to be quite rare and the dupondius seems to be much more common. This coin is probably a dupondius.
RB99572. Copper dupondius (or as), RIC II-1 Titus 280 (R); BMCRE II T237; BnF III p. 230, T246; Hunter I p. 274, T21 (Lugdunum); Cohen I 32; SRCV I -, aF, well centered, brown patina, porous, part of reverse legend unstruck, weight 10.664 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 80 - 81 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DIVI AVG VESP F DOMITIAN COS VII, laureate head right; reverse CERES AVGVST, Ceres standing slightly left, head left, veiled and draped, two stalks of grain downwards in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; from the Ed Strivelli Collection, ex FORVM (2018); $60.00 (60.60)


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, 334 - 330 B.C.

|Italy|, |Metapontion,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |334| |-| |330| |B.C.||1/3| |stater|
Gold coins of Magna Graecia are scarce and were only minted for exceptional occasions, such as paying mercenaries. Most likely this rare issue was struck when Alexander Molossus, the Epirote King, helped Metapontion against the Lucanians and Bruttians. Molossus was Alexander the Great's uncle and Olympia's brother.
SH86428. Gold 1/3 stater, SNG Lockett 406; SNG ANS 395; HN Italy 1578; Noe-Johnston 3, G1 and pl. 18; SNG Lloyd -; SNG Cop -; Jameson -; Gulbenkian -; Pozzi -; Weber -, aVF+, fine style, marks, reverse double struck, weight 2.574 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 180o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 334 - 332 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing stephane and pendant earring; reverse METAΠON, barley stalk, bird right on leaf to right; ex Forum (2007), ex Christie's Auction (1993) ; very rare; SOLD


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||sestertius|
After the Great Fire of Rome in July 64, Lugdunum sent a fortune to Rome to aid in the reconstruction. However, during the winter of 64 - 65, Lyon suffered its own catastrophic fire. Nero reciprocated, sending money to Lugdunum for their reconstruction.
RB37367. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 431, Choice VF, some smoothing, weight 27.786 g, maximum diameter 35.6 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head left, large globe at point of bust; reverse ANNONA AVGVSTI CERES S C, Annona standing right, right hand on hip, cornucopia in left hand, facing Ceres enthroned left, holding grain-ears and torch; in center modius on garlanded altar, prow behind; ex CNG 217, 345 (8/26/09, sold for $1045); dark green restored patina; SOLD







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