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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.

Thourioi, Lucania, Italy, c. 443 - 410 B.C.

|Italy|, |Thourioi,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |443| |-| |410| |B.C.||didrachm|NEW
Nearly 70 years after Sybaris was destroyed by the Crotoniats, a new colony was founded on the site on the Gulf of Taranto. Soon after, on the advice of an oracle, the settlers moved a short distance away near a fountain named Thuria, after which the new city was named. The head of Athena is probably that of the sea-goddess Athena Skyletria. The bull may have been adopted from the archaic coins of Sybaris and symbolize the river Krathis or it may represent the rushing waters of the fountain Thuria from which the city took its name. This denomination is described as a stater, nomos or didrachm in various references and sales listings.
SH96811. Silver didrachm, cf. SNG ANS 876; SNG Cop 1412; HGC 1 1258 (R2); HN Italy 1775; Pozzi 221; Jörgensen p. 168, 3 & pl. VIII, 4, VF, high relief, attractive style, well centered on a tight flan, flow lines, die wear, graffito on reverse, weight 7.918 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 325o, Thourioi mint, c. 443 - 410 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Athenian helmet ornamented with an olive wreath, not control letter visible; reverse bull walking left with head lowered, ΘOYPIΩN above, tunny fish left in exergue, no control letter visible; very rare; $900.00 (€828.00)
 


Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 333 B.C.

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.||obol|
Meshorer-Qedar lists Athena on the obverse, but on the three specimens known to FORVM it is clear that Athena is on the reverse. The types copy contemporary Cypriot stater types from Kition (obverse) and Lapethus (reverse).
GS95808. Silver obol, Meshorer-Qedar 102, cf. Sofaer Collection 63 (hemiobol), HGC 10 -, VF, well centered, toned, struck with worn dies (as are all specimens of this type known to FORVM), weight 0.65 g, maximum diameter 8 mm, die axis 10o, Samaria (10 km NW of Nablus, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse lion right atop and attacking a stag fallen right, (Aramaic 'šn', abbreviating Samarian) above; reverse head of Athena facing, wearing crested Attic helmet; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 11 (22 Feb 2020), lot 1128; ex Canaan Collection; only three sale of this type recorded on Coin Archives for the last two decades (and one of the three is this coin); very rare; $500.00 (€460.00)
 


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

|Domitian|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
The Flavian Palace, also known as Domus Flavia, was completed in 92 A.D. It was part of the vast residential complex of the Roman Emperors on the Palatine Hill in Rome. Well known for its grandeur, the Flavian Palace was more commonly used for purposes of state, while the Domus Augustana, an enormous, lavishly ornamented palace south of the Flavian Palace, was the Emperor's primary residence.Flavian Palace
JD97441. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 732 (C3); RSC II 272; BMCRE II 192; BnF III 178; Hunter I 80, SRCV I -, EF, light iridescent toning, broad flan, flow lines, die wear, weight 3.356 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 13 Sep 92 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XI, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXI COS XVI CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet behind; ex Numismatica Ars Classica auction 100 (30 May 2017), lot 1825; $270.00 (€248.40)
 


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

|Domitian|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
In 88 A.D., the First Dacian War ended. Decebalus became a client king of Rome, he received money, craftsmen and war machines and agreed to protect the borders (Limes) of the Roman Empire. For the remainder of Domitian's reign Dacia remained a relatively peaceful client kingdom, but Decebalus also used the Roman money to fortify his defenses against Rome.
JD97442. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 580, RSC II 234, BMCRE II 119, BnF III 116, Hunter I 45, cf. SRCV I 2737 (TR P XIIII), Choice VF, well centered, nice portrait, flow lines, areas of dark toning, scratches, weight 3.266 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan - 13 Sep 88 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XIIII COS XIIII CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet behind; $150.00 (€138.00)
 


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 / ANTIOΞOΨ ιν τωο λινεσ αβοϖε, ΦIΛOΠATOPOS below; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $110.00 (€101.20)
 


Termessos Major, Pisidia, 3rd Century A.D.

|Pisidia|, |Termessos| |Major,| |Pisidia,| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.||AE| |38|
Alexander the Great likened Termessos, high in the Taurus Mountains, to an eagle's nest after he surrounded it but failed to conquer it in 333 B.C. An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. Independence was maintained continuously for a long time, the only exception being an alliance with Amyntas king of Galatia (reigned 36 - 25 B.C.). This independence is documented also by the coins of Termessos, which bear the title "Autonomous." Termessos was abandoned after its aqueduct was destroyed by an earthquake (date unknown).
GB83542. Bronze AE 38, SNGvA 5364; BMC Lycia p. 273, 41; SNG BnF -; SNG Cop -; SNG PfPs -; SNG Righetti -; SNG Tüb -, aVF, green patina, rough, pitting, corrosion, smoothing, edge chip, central cavities, weight 28.152 g, maximum diameter 37.8 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos Major mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 238 - 268 A.D.; obverse TEPMHCCEW below; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $110.00 (€101.20)
 


Termessos Major, Pisidia, 3rd Century A.D.

|Pisidia|, |Termessos| |Major,| |Pisidia,| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.||AE| |38|
Alexander the Great likened Termessos, high in the Taurus Mountains, to an eagle's nest after he surrounded it but failed to conquer it in 333 B.C. An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. Independence was maintained continuously for a long time, the only exception being an alliance with Amyntas king of Galatia (reigned 36 - 25 B.C.). This independence is documented also by the coins of Termessos, which bear the title "Autonomous." Termessos was abandoned after its aqueduct was destroyed by an earthquake (date unknown).
GB83542. Bronze AE 38, SNGvA 5364; BMC Lycia p. 273, 41; SNG BnF -; SNG Cop -; SNG PfPs -; SNG Righetti -; SNG Tüb -, aVF, green patina, rough, pitting, corrosion, smoothing, edge chip, central cavities, weight 28.152 g, maximum diameter 37.8 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos Major mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 238 - 268 A.D.; obverse TEPMHCCEWrare; $110.00 (€101.20)
 


Termessos Major, Pisidia, 3rd Century A.D.

|Pisidia|, |Termessos| |Major,| |Pisidia,| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.||AE| |38|
Alexander the Great likened Termessos, high in the Taurus Mountains, to an eagle's nest after he surrounded it but failed to conquer it in 333 B.C. An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. Independence was maintained continuously for a long time, the only exception being an alliance with Amyntas king of Galatia (reigned 36 - 25 B.C.). This independence is documented also by the coins of Termessos, which bear the title "Autonomous." Termessos was abandoned after its aqueduct was destroyed by an earthquake (date unknown).
GB83542. Bronze AE 38, SNGvA 5364; BMC Lycia p. 273, 41; SNG BnF -; SNG Cop -; SNG PfPs -; SNG Righetti -; SNG Tüb -, aVF, green patina, rough, pitting, corrosion, smoothing, edge chip, central cavities, weight 28.152 g, maximum diameter 37.8 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos Major mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 238 - 268 A.D.; obverse TEPMHCCEWN AVTONOMΩN, laureate and bearded head of Zeus right; reverse TΩN MEIZONΩN, Athena standing slightly left, head left, wearing helmet, long chiton, and peplos, holding Nike offering wreath in right hand, spear in left hand, shield at feet on far side of right leg, trophy of captured arms behind, Θ left; about twice the weight of the similar smaller and less rare coin with the same types (SNG BnF 2189, AE33, 14.06g); very rare; $100.00 (€92.00)
 


Amphipolis, Macedonia, c. 148 - 31 B.C.

|Amphipolis|, |Amphipolis,| |Macedonia,| |c.| |148| |-| |31| |B.C.||tetrachalkon|
Excavations of Roman Amphipolis have revealed traces of all the impressive architecture one would expect from a thriving Roman city. A bridge, gymnasium, public and private monuments, sanctuaries, and cemeteries all attest to the city's prosperity. From the early Christian period (after 500 CE) there are traces of four basilicas, a large rectangular building which may have been a bishop's residence, and a church. --
GB91465. Bronze tetrachalkon, SNG Cop 85, SNG ANS 147, BMC Macedonia -, HGC 3 -, VF, green patina, scratches, crude style, weight 13.246 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 30o, Amphipolis mint, c. 148 - 32/31 B.C.; obverse Winged gorgoneion facing slightly to right; reverse Athena Nikephoros standing half left, Nike in right hand, spear and grounded shield in left; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $95.00 (€87.40)
 


Kingdom of Chalkis, Coele Syria, Ptolemaios, 85 - 40 B.C.

|Kingdom| |of| |Chalkis|, |Kingdom| |of| |Chalkis,| |Coele| |Syria,| |Ptolemaios,| |85| |-| |40| |B.C.||AE| |20|
Ptolemaios son of Mennaios (also known as Ptolemy I), an Ituraean Arab dynast, established the Kingdom of Chalkis, c. 85 B.C., during the collapse of the Seleukid Empire. The kingdom, with its capitol at Chalcis sub Libano at the foot of Antilibanus, included Heliopolis, the valley of the Marsyas, and the mountainous region of Ituraea. In 64 B.C., he bribed Pompey the Great to forgo annexing his kingdom into the new Roman province of Syria and to allow him to continue ruling his territory as Tetrarch. Ptolemaios was succeeded by his son Lysanias, who was put to death by Marc Antony for supporting Mattathias Antigonus over Herod the Great. Antony gave the tiny kingdom of Chalkis to Cleopatra as a gift.
GB88239. Bronze AE 20, Herman 9.a (same countermark), Lindgren III 1232 (same countermark), HGC 9 1445 (R1), SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, BMC Galatia -, aF, well centered, bumps and marks, corrosion, rough, weight 4.162 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis ad Libanon mint, 85 - 40 B.C.; obverse bust of Athena right, draped, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; countermark: male head right in round punch; reverse Dioskouroi standing facing each other, each holding a spear; monograms around; ex Forum (2000), ex Phil DeVicchi Collection; rare; $90.00 (€82.80)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus I Soter, 280 - 261 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |I| |Soter,| |280| |-| |261| |B.C.||AE| |14|
Antiochos' reign was marred by struggle against internal and external enemies, including the betrayal and revolt of his co-regent in the east, his eldest son, whom he was forced to execute. He earned the title savior (soter) of Asia by defeated roving bands of Galatians that had terrorized the cities for years. However, not long after, he lost southern and western Asia Minor to Ptolemy.
GB95356. Bronze AE 14, Houghton-Lorber I 315a; Newell WSM 1369; BMC Seleucid p. 13, 58; SNG Spaer 233; SNG Cop 77; SGCV II 6883; HGC 9 167 (R2), Choice aVF, dark patina, weight 2.294 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 280 - 261 B.C.; obverse bust of Athena facing, wearing triple-crested Attic helmet; reverse Nike walking left, raising wreath in right hand, long palm frond over left shoulder in left hand, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on right, symbol in circle outer left (control), no control right; $90.00 (€82.80)
 


Indigets, Untikesken, Emporion, Iberia, c. 130 - 90 B.C.

|Iberia|, |Indigets,| |Untikesken,| |Emporion,| |Iberia,| |c.| |130| |-| |90| |B.C.||as|
Early in the 2nd century B.C., Emporion began striking bronze coinage with the Iberian inscription UTIKENSKEN, which refers to the Indigets tribe that inhabited the town and its surrounding area. The earliest coins were struck at a one ounce standard of 1/12 Roman pound. In the mid 2nd Century B.C., the standard changed to 1/15th of the Roman pound. Some of these coins were marked XV, most were marked with an Iberian EI mark, which means 15. The names of magistrates were added to some coins in the second half of the 2nd century B.C. Weights were gradually reduced until coinage with Iberian inscriptions ended in the 1st century B.C.
GB88304. Bronze as, reduced Roman ounce standard, Villaronga-Benages 1043 (same dies), Villaronga CNH 50, cf. SNG BM Spain 522, F, dark patina with attractive highlighting earthen deposits, soft strike, weak reverse, weight 14.462 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 90o, Emporion (Empúries, Catalonia, Spain) mint, c. 130 - 90 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena-Minerva right, Iberian mark before: EI (15); reverse Pegasos springing right, head modified, laurel wreath above rump, palm frond outer right, Iberian inscription above exergue line: UTIKESKEN; ex Jenceck Historical Enterprise; $80.00 (€73.60)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

de Callataÿ, 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.

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