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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.

Anazarbus, Cilicia, 113 - 114 A.D.

|Cilicia|, |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia,| |113| |-| |114| |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.
GB98207. Bronze hemiassarion, BMC Lycaonia p. 31, 2; SNG Levante 1380; Ziegler 100; cf. SNG BnF 2026 (year 133); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, gF, green patina, reverse off center, light scratches, edge crack, weight 4.472 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 113 - 114 A.D.; obverse KAICAPIA ANAZAP, veiled bust of Persephone right, grain ears and poppy before; reverse ET BΛP (year 132), veiled bust of Demeter right, wearing polos (resembling a pileus), flaming torch before; $110.00 (90.20)


Paestum, Lucania, Italy, c. 218 - 201 B.C.

|Roman| |Italy| |&| |Sicily|, |Paestum,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |218| |-| |201| |B.C.||sextans|
Paestum (originally Poseidonia) was founded near the end of the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Sybaris. From the archaeological evidence it appears that Greeks and Oscans thrived alongside one another. Poseidonia became the Roman city of Paestum in 273 B.C. after the residents sided with Pyrrhus, the loser in a war against Rome. Paestum remained faithful to Rome against Hannibal and afterward was granted special favors, including minting coins. The city declined after the 4th century and was abandoned during the Middle Ages. Its ruins only came to notice again in the 18th century, after the rediscovery Pompeii and Herculaneum.

On 9 September 1943, the U.S. 36th Infantry Division landed at Paestum. Heavy fighting persisted within and around the town for nine days before the Germans withdrew.
GI93428. Bronze sextans, Crawford Paestum 19/3; SNG ANS 760; HN Italy 1211; BMC Italy p. 276, 27, VF, rough green patina, weight 2.405 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Paestum mint, Second Punic War, c. 218 - 201 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter (or Ceres) right, wreathed with grain, two pellets (mark of value) behind; reverse wild boar running right, QVA (VA ligate) over two pellets (mark of value) below; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $100.00 (82.00)


Uncertain City (Panormos?), Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 211 - 190 B.C.

|Roman| |Italy| |&| |Sicily|, |Uncertain| |City| |(Panormos?),| |Sicily,| |Roman| |Rule,| |c.| |211| |-| |190| |B.C.||triens|
In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained for many years one of the principal cities of Sicily. It continued to issue bronze coins, bearing the names of various resident magistrates, and following the Roman system. Under Augustus, Panormus received a Roman colony.
GI89312. Bronze triens, Semuncial standard; Calciati I p. 365, 205 (Panormos); SNG Munchen 835 (Panormos); HGC 2 1691 (R1, uncertain Romano-Sicilian); SNG Cop -, aVF, off center but types on flan, a little rough, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Romano-Sicilian mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Demeter-Ceres left, small cornucopia behind neck; reverse double cornucopia, overflowing with bunches of grapes, tied with fillets, four pellets (mark of value) in a vertical line to left; rare; $80.00 (65.60)


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Perinthos, Thrace

|Perinthus|, |Sabina,| |Augusta| |128| |-| |c.| |136| |A.D.,| |Perinthos,| |Thrace||AE| |20|
Perinthos, later called Heraclea and Marmara Eregli today, is 90 km west of Istanbul near a small pointed headland on the north shore of the Marmara Sea. It is said to have been a Samian colony, founded about 599 B.C. It is famous chiefly for its stubborn and successful resistance to Philip II of Macedon in 340 B.C.; at that time it seems to have been more important than Byzantium itself.
RP92875. Bronze AE 20, CN Online Perinthos CN_4717, Schonert Perinthos 380, Varbanov III 100 (R6), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, VF, green patina, well centered on a tight flan, small edge splits, porosity, weight 5.147 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 128 - c. 136 A.D.; obverse CABINA - CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse Π-EPIN-ΘIWN, Demeter standing left, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $80.00 (65.60)







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