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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. 440 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

|Athens|, |Athens,| |Attica,| |Greece,| |c.| |440| |-| |404| |B.C.,| |Old| |Style| |Tetradrachm||tetradrachm|
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SL110173. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, NGC Ch AU, strike 5/5, surface 4/5 (6556678-005), weight 17.212 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 225o, Athens mint, c. 440 - 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, ΑΘΕ downward on right, all within incuse square; ex Classical Numismatic Group, NGC| Lookup; $1530.00 SALE PRICE $1377.00


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 440 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

|Athens|, |Athens,| |Attica,| |Greece,| |c.| |440| |-| |404| |B.C.,| |Old| |Style| |Tetradrachm||tetradrachm|
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SL110170. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, NGC Ch AU, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (6556678-002), weight 17.189 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, c. 440 - 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, ΑΘΕ downward on right, all within incuse square; ex Classical Numismatic Group, NGC| Lookup; $1450.00 SALE PRICE $1305.00


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

|Athens|, |Athens,| |Attica,| |Greece,| |c.| |454| |-| |404| |B.C.,| |Old| |Style| |Tetradrachm||tetradrachm|
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
GS110594. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, VF, tight flan, die wear, weight 16.576 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 270o, 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, ΑΘΕ downward on right, all within incuse square; from the CEB Collection; $700.00 SALE PRICE $630.00


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius, Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Faustina| |Junior,| |Augusta| |146| |-| |Winter| |175/176| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||drachm|
This coin was struck during the reign of her father Antoninus Pius. Faustina II was the daughter, wife, and mother of emperors and empresses. When she gave birth to the first of many children she was given the title of Augusta, which for a time made her superior in rank to her husband. She was a devoted wife and mother and accompanied her husband on all his military campaigns.
RX110732. Bronze drachm, Geissen 1954 (same obv. die); RPC Online IV.4 T13703; BMC Alexandria p. 163, 1334; Kampmann 38.60; Emmett 1976; Dattari 3279 var. (L - I∆), F, attractive green-brown patina, centered, most of legend weak/unstruck, small edge splits, obv. edge beveled, weight 25.632 g, maximum diameter 33.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 150 - 28 Aug 151 A.D.; obverse ΦAVCTINA CEB EVCEB ΘVΓ (from upper right), draped bust right; reverse Athena standing facing, head left, wearing crested helmet, chiton with diplois and aegis, Nike in her extended right hand offering wreath and bearing palm frond, spear vertical in left hand, L I-Δ (year 14) divided across fields, no shield; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus II Theos, 261 - 246 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |II| |Theos,| |261| |-| |246| |B.C.||AE| |17|
Antiochus II Theos was the son of Antiochus I and Princess Stratonice, the daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes. He inherited a state of war with Egypt and while he was thus occupied, his satraps in Parthia and Bactria declared independence. To make peace with Egypt and to seal the treaty, Antiochus repudiated his wife Laodice I, exiled her to Ephesus, and married Ptolemy II's daughter Berenice. Antiochus later left Berenice and their infant son Antiochus, to live again with Laodice. Laodice poisoned him, had Berenice and her infant son murdered, and proclaimed her son Seleucus II as king.
GY99608. Bronze AE 17, Houghton-Lorber I 592, Newell ESM 196, HGC 9 268 (R2), VF, dark green patina with highlighting earthen deposits, weight 3.964 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Seleukeia on the Tigris (south of Baghdad, Iraq) mint, c. 250 - 246 B.C.; obverse helmeted and draped bust of Athena slightly left, wearing triple crested helmet; reverse Apollo seated right on omphalos, holding kithara on lap with right hand, tall tripod lebes behind on left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, monograms (controls) outer left and outer right; ex CNG e-auction 513 (6 Apr 2022), lot 178; this coin is the only specimen of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Nabataean Kingdom, Anonymous Issue, c. 272 - 72 B.C.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Anonymous| |Issue,| |c.| |272| |-| |72| |B.C.||AE| |18|
There has been much debate over the dating of this bronze type, imitative of the gold staters of Alexander. Great variation in style suggests a long period of striking and they are often overstruck on coins of Ptolemy I - III. They were most likely struck at the desert citadel of Petra before Aretas III lost Damascus to Tigranes II in 72 B.C., and then transferred his royal mint to Petra.
GB110809. Bronze AE 18, Barkay CN 1, Meshorer Nabataea 1; Huth 44; HGC 10, 671, gF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, obv. edge beveled, central dimples, weight 3.911 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 90o, Petra (Jordan) mint, c. 272 - 72 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse Nike advancing left, wreath in extended right hand, Λ in left field; scarce; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Tyana, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Tyana,| |Cappadocia||AE| |19|NEW
Tyana was an ancient city in the Anatolian region of Cappadocia. Under Caracalla the city became Antoniana colonia Tyana. After having sided with Queen Zenobia of Palmyra it was captured by Aurelian in 272, who would not allow his soldiers to sack it, allegedly because Apollo appeared to him, pleading for its safety. The ruins of Tyana are at modern Kemerhisar, three miles south of Nigde. There are remains of a Roman aqueduct and of cave cemeteries and sepulchral grottoes.
RP111720. Bronze AE 19, RPC III 2956; Henseler 1517; Waddington 6805; cf. Cox Tarsus p. 59, 234 & Pl. XI (year 21), gF, green patina, porous, scratches, light earthen deposits, tight flan, weight 5.839 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tyana (Kemerhisar, Turkey) mint, 135 - 136 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAIC TPAI AΔPIANOC CEBACTOC, laureate head right; reverse TYANEΩN TΩN ΠP TA IEP ACY AYTO, Athena standing slightly left, head left, Victory bearing wreath and palm frond in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield, vertical spear resting against shield, ET-K (year 20) across fields; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D.

|Claudius|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.||as|
Minerva was ancient even to the Romans. She was of Italian or Etruscan origin and directly identified with the Greek Athena. Although a war goddess, she was also the patron of handicrafts and of wisdom. The latter is probably what made her attractive to Claudius who reportedly authored several histories, none of which, unfortunately, have survived.
RB110690. Copper as, RIC I 100, Hunter I 62, BMCRE I 149, BnF II 179, Cohen I 84, SRCV I 1861, F, green patina, slightly off center, weight 10.011 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, bare head left; reverse Minerva striding right, brandishing javelin in right, shield on left arm, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50


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

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.,| |Aezani,| |Phrygia||AE| |20|
Aizanoi, Latinized as Aezani, was an Ancient Greek city in western Anatolia. Located in what is now Cavdarhisar, Kutahya Province, its ruins are situated astride the River Penkalas, some 1,000 meters above sea level. The city was an important political and economic center in Roman times. Surviving remains from the period include a well-preserved Temple of Zeus, unusual combined thereat-stadium complex, and macellum inscribed with the Price Edict of Diocletian. The city fell into decline in Late Antiquity. Later serving as a citadel, in 2012 the site was submitted for addition to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
RP110649. Bronze AE 20, RPC Online II 1368; SNG Mn 35; SNGvA 3353; BMC Phrygia p. 36, 97; vA Aezani p. 41, 42, aVF, dark green patina, light earthen deposits, rev. off center, weight 5.587 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, Aezani (Cavdarhisar, Turkey) mint, 13 Sep 81 - 18 Sep 96 A.D.; obverse ΔOMITIANOC KAICAP CEBAC, laureate head left; reverse AIZANEITWN, Athena standing half left, head left, wearing crested helmet, patera in right hand, spear in left hand, round shield grounded at feet on right; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Mesembria, Thrace, 2nd Century B.C.

|Mesembria|, |Mesembria,| |Thrace,| |2nd| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |23|
Mesembria (Mesambria) was a Doric settlement on an island at the Black Sea coast. Today a man-made isthmus connects it to the mainland. The modern name is Nesebar, an important seaside resort. Several ancient churches and ruins are preserved on the peninsula.
GB110698. Bronze AE 23, SNG BM 284 ff., SGCV I 1677, SNG Cop 660, SNG Stancomb 236, Choice F, attractive style and surfaces, edge crack, weight 7.156 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 2nd Century B.C.; obverse diademed female head right; reverse Athena Promachos advancing left holding shield and brandishing javelin, crested helmet inner left, MEΣAM/BPIANΩN in two downward lines, the first on the right, the second on the left; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00




  



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REFERENCES|

de Callata, F. "Le monnayage d'argent au type d'Athna Parthnos mis 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 Flgelgestalten der Athena und Nike auf Mnzen" in NZ III (1871)., pp. 1 - 50.

Catalog current as of Tuesday, May 30, 2023.
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