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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Olympians| ▸ |Athena or Minerva||View Options:  |  |  |   

Athena or Minerva on Ancient Coins

Athena was the virgin goddess of wisdom, crafts, and battle strategy. Her symbols are the olive tree and the owl. She is the daughter of Zeus, according to some traditions by Metis.

Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

|Athens|, |Athens,| |Attica,| |Greece,| |c.| |454| |-| |404| |B.C.,| |Old| |Style| |Tetradrachm||tetradrachm|
This type was struck on thick flans, almost always with a diameter too small to fit all the details from the obverse die. Most of the helmet crest is usually off the flan, or Athena's nose is cut off on the right. The happy coincidence of this irregularly shaped flan allowed an unusual nearly full strike of Athena's head and crested helmet.
SH98708. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, Choice aEF, near full helmet crest, well centered on an oblong flan, flow lines, light toning, small bumps and marks, mild die wear, weight 17.159 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 90o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; $1750.00 (€1435.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, 113 - 95 B.C

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IX| |Cyzicenus,| |113| |-| |95| |B.C||tetradrachm|
After Antiochus IX's father died, his uncle Demetrius II Nicator took the throne. For his safety, his mother, Cleopatra Thea, sent him to Cyzicus (leading to his nickname). He returned to Syria in 116 B.C. to claim the throne from his half-brother Antiochus VIII Grypus, with whom he eventually divided Syria. He was killed in battle by the son of Grypus, Seleucus VI Epiphanes.
GY95956. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2384; Houghton CSE 725; Babelon Rois 1467; BMC Seleucid p. 92, 6; HGC 9 1288k (R2), gVF, well centered, dark old cabinet toning, old scratches, light deposits, weight 15.977 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, 2nd reign, 113 - 112 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos right; reverse Athena standing left, Nike in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, spear behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines downward on right, ΦIΛO−ΠATOPOΣ downward on left, ΣI∆Ω/IEP / AΣY in 3 lines over outer left, Σ (year 200) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $630.00 (€516.60)
 


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Koinon of Thessaly

|Thessaly|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Koinon| |of| |Thessaly||AE| |26|
The Macedonian Koinon (community) was the political organization governing the autonomous Roman province of Macedonia and responsible for issuing coinage. Member cities sent representatives to participate in the popular assembly. The Koinon held celebrations and games annually at Beroea (modern Verria) in honor of Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor.
RP98018. Bronze AE 26, SNG Evelpidis 1682; RPC IV.1 T4563.12; BCD Thessaly II 960.1; Rogers 94; BMC Thessaly p. 8, 78; SNG Cop -, VF, nice portrait, broad flan, marks/scratches, areas of light corrosion, weight 14.897 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 270o, Thessaly mint, 161 - 180 A.D.; obverse AVT M AVP ANTWNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse KOINWN ΘECCAΛWN, Athena Itonia striding right, hurling spear with right hand, round shield on left arm; ex Naville Numismatics auction 19 (13 Dec 2015), lot 196; $175.00 (€143.50)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Joppa, Samaria, Syria Palestina

|Roman| |Judea| |&| |Palestina|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Joppa,| |Samaria,| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |20|
Joppa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo, is an ancient port city in Israel. Joppa, or Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon and Saint Peter as well as the mythological story of Andromeda and Perseus, and later for its oranges. Monotheistic traditions says that it is named for Yafet (Japheth), one of the sons of Noah, the one who built it after the Flood.
RP98122. Bronze AE 20, cf. Sofaer pl. 44, 22; Rosenberger II p. 77, 12; BMC Palestine p. 44, 1 (Elagabalus); SNG ANS -, aF, tight flan, earthen deposits, spots of corrosion, weight 7.466 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Joppa (Jaffa, Israel) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AΛEΞAN∆ (or similar), laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ΦΛA IOΠΠHC (Flavia Joppa), Athena standing facing, head left, wearing crested helmet, long chiton, and peplos, right hand resting on grounded shield, grounded spear vertical in left hand; this type is not known to exist in high grade or with full legends; very rare; $120.00 (€98.40)
 


Indo-Greek Kingdom, Menander I Soter, c. 155 - 130 B.C.

|Indo-Greek| |Kingdoms|, |Indo-Greek| |Kingdom,| |Menander| |I| |Soter,| |c.| |155| |-| |130| |B.C.||drachm|NEW
Menander was in charge of the eastern Baktria, including modern Punjab and perhaps other regions deeper into Indian land. He expanded his influence further more into India where he is mentioned in several sources such as Milindanpanha and Mahavamsa, and an inscription on a reliquary. The tradition maintains that he was a wise and powerful King and that he converted to Buddhism. This is further evidenced by his later coin legends which translate to "follower of the Dharma."
Click here to see an Indian| sculpture of a possible Greek| King.
WA96050. Silver drachm, Mitchiner IGIS II 215f, Bopearachchi 13O, Bopearachchi Smithsonian 91, SNG ANS 808, SNG Cop 290, HGC 12 191, aVF, toned, tight flan, scratches, porosity, weight 2.196 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 0o, Paropamisadai or Gandhara, uncertain mint, c. 155 - 130 B.C.; obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ MENAN∆POY, diademed and draped bust right; reverse Kharosthi legend: maharaja tratasa Menadrasa (of Great King Menander the Savior), Athena Alkidemos standing left, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, shield on left arm, (Kharosthi monogram) lower right; $110.00 (€90.20) ON RESERVE


Indo-Greek Kingdom, Menander Soter I, c. 155 - 130 B.C.

|Indo-Greek| |Kingdoms|, |Indo-Greek| |Kingdom,| |Menander| |Soter| |I,| |c.| |155| |-| |130| |B.C.||drachm|NEW
Menander ruled eastern Baktria, including modern Punjab. He expanded his influence into India where he is mentioned in several sources such as Milindanpanha and Mahavamsa, and in an inscription on a reliquary. Tradition maintains he was a wise and powerful King and converted to Buddhism. This is evidenced by his later coin legends which translate to "follower of the Dharma".
WA96051. Silver drachm, Mitchiner IGIS II 215o, Bopearachchi 13Q, Bopearachchi Smithsonian 98, SNG ANS 822, SNG Cop 293, HGC 12 191, VF, toned, tight flan, bumps and scratches, weight 2.422 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Paropamisadai or Gandhara, uncertain mint, c. 155 - 130 B.C.; obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ MENAN∆POY, diademed and draped bust of King right; reverse Kharosthi legend: maharaja tratasa Menadrasa (of Great King Menander the Savior), Athena standing left, wearing crested helmet, shield on left arm, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, Kharosthi monogram left; $100.00 (€82.00) ON RESERVE


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, 114 - 95 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IX| |Cyzicenus,| |114| |-| |95| |B.C.||AE| |15|
After Antiochus IX's father died, his uncle Demetrius II Nicator took the throne. For his safety, his mother, Cleopatra Thea, sent him to Cyzicus (leading to his nickname). He returned to Syria in 116 B.C. to claim the throne from his half-brother Antiochus VIII Grypus, with whom he eventually divided Syria. He was killed in battle by the son of Grypus, Seleucus VI Epiphanes.
GY93776. Bronze AE 15, Houghton Lorber 2378(1), Babelon Rois 1509, SNG Spaer 2721, BMC Seleucid 32 - 34, VF, well centered, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, light marks, light corrosion, weight 2.202 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain N. Syria, Phoenicia, or Coele Syria mint, 135 - 95 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse prow right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY in two lines above, ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ below; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Persian Empire, Philistia (Gaza or Samaria), c. 375 - 333 B.C., Imitative of Athens

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Philistia| |(Gaza| |or| |Samaria),| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.,| |Imitative| |of| |Athens||obol|
A Persian Period imitation of Athenian types from the Holy Land. In the past these coins were all attributed to Gaza, however, recent hoard finds indicate a mint at Ashkelon probably also struck this type. It is likely that at least several small mints struck these imitative types.
JD97053. Silver obol, cf. Samaria Hoard pls. 45 - 50, SH269 ff.; Gitler-Tal 4.4.IX-X; SNG ANS 15 ff., aF, toned, squared flan, weight 0.738 g, maximum diameter 8.7 mm, die axis 90o, Gaza(?) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl, hair in parallel bands, eye in profile; reverse owl standing right, wings closed, head facing, olive spray with one olive between two leaves and a crescent behind, AΘE downward on right, all in incuse square, no Aramaic inscription; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Mallos, Cilicia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Mallos,| |Cilicia,| |2nd| |-| |1st| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |18|
Mallos was an ancient city of Cilicia Campestris (later Cilicia Prima) lying near the mouth of the Pyramus (now the Ceyhan Nehri) river, in Anatolia. In ancient times, the city was situated at the mouth of the Pyramus (which has changed course since), on a hill opposite Magarsa (or Magarsus) which served as its port. The district was called from it, Mallotis. The location of the site is currently inland a few km from the Mediterranean coast on an elevation in the Karatas Peninsula, Adana Province, Turkey, a few km from the city of Karatas.
GB98567. Bronze AE 18, SNG Levante 1264, SNG BnF 1919, Lindgren I 1542, BMC Cilicia -, RPC I -, gF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, scratches, obverse off center, weight 4.580 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Mallos (near Karatas, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.; obverse statue of Athena Megaris standing facing, within wreath; reverse eagle flying right, monogram left under wing, MALLΩ/TΩN in two lines below; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

|Kingdom| |of| |Thrace|, |Kingdom| |of| |Thrace,| |Lysimachos,| |305| |-| |281| |B.C.,| |Portrait| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great||stater|
In the years following his death Alexander the Great came to be the subject of cult worship throughout the Mediterranean basin. His corpse was appropriated by Ptolemy I who transported it to Egypt, initially interring it at Memphis, then to a mausoleum and center of worship in Alexandria. It survived until the 4th century A.D. when Theodosius banned paganism, only to disappear without trace.
SH48867. Gold stater, Müller 162; SNG Cop 1086 ff. var. (monogram), EF, weight 8.544 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Byzantion (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, posthumous, c. 250 - 150 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great right wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena seated left, Victory in extended right hand, resting left elbow on shield, monogram inner left, BY on throne, trident in exergue ornamented with two small dolphins; extraordinary mint luster, high relief, nice style, fantastic coin!; SOLD




  



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REFERENCES|

de Callata˙, F. "Le monnayage d'argent au type d'Athéna Parthénos émis au nom des Ainianes" in Obolos 7.
Houghton, A. "The Seleucid Mint of Mallus And the Cult Figure of Athena Magarsia" in Studies Mildenberg.
Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Die Flügelgestalten der Athena und Nike auf Münzen" in NZ III (1871)., pp. 1 - 50.

Catalog current as of Wednesday, January 19, 2022.
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