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Goddess of love, beauty and sexuality. Daughter of Zeus and Dione or, in other traditions, of Uranus. Symbols include the dove.
The Sileraioi, Sicily, c. 357 - 330 B.C.
Sileraioi was not a city. The Sileraians were Campanian mercenaries who took their name from their proximity to the river Silaros. These rare coins have been found at the site of their settlement, Cozzo Mususino, a natural strong-hold in north central Sicily. The coins are often overstruck on coins from Syracuse minted c. 375 - 345 B.C.SH68704. Bronze Calciati p. 301, 2; HGC 2 1243 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG München -; SNG Morcom -, VF/F, reverse rough, weight 7.521 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 90o, Sileraian mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse ΣI−ΛEPAIΩ−N (retrograde counterclockwise from 3:00), man-faced bull forepart charging right; reverseSIL (retrograde, upward behind), warrior advancing right, spear in right hand, shield in left; rare; $215.00 (€182.75)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C.
Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. He promoted the translation of Jewish scriptures into Greek as the Septuagint. Due to a falling out at the Seleucid court, his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus was murdered along with her infant son. In response, he invaded Syria, occupied Antioch, and even reached Babylon. This war, the Third Syrian War, is cryptically alluded to in Daniel XI 7-9. GP85912. Bronze trihemiobol, Svoronos 1005; SNG Cop 644; Weiser 107; BMC Ptolemies p. 52, 57; SNG Milan 199; Weber 854; McClean 9789; Noeske -; Hosking -, VF, dark patina, well centered, some red earthen deposits, porosity/light corrosion, central dimples, weight 17.135 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, Salamis mint, c. 204 - 202 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), cult statue of Aphrodite standing facing on base, wearing polos, chiton and peplos, right arm across breast, left arm downward away from side; $200.00 (€170.00)
Paphos, Cyprus, Timarchos or Nicoles, c. 350 - 332 B.C.
The Greeks agreed that Aphrodite had landed at the site of Paphos when she rose from the sea. According to Pausanias (i. 14), her worship was introduced to Paphos from Syria; but much more probably it was of Phoenician origin. The cult of Aphrodite had been established before the time of Homer (c. 700 B.C.), as the grove and altar of Aphrodite at Paphos are mentioned in the Odyssey (viii. 362). Archaeology has established that Cypriots venerated a fertility goddess before the arrival of the Greeks, in a cult that combined Aegean and eastern mainland aspects. Female figurines and charms found in the immediate vicinity date as far back as the early third millennium. The temenos was well established before the first structures were erected in the Late Bronze Age. There was unbroken continuity of cult from that time until 391 A.D. when the Roman Emperor Theodosius I outlawed all pagan religions and the sanctuary fell into the ruins in which we find it today.GB87116. Bronze AE 15, Bank of Cyprus p. 71 & pl. 5, 22; BMC Cyprus p. 44, 49 var. (11.4mm); SGCV II 5788 var. (same); Tziambazis -, SNG Cop -, VF, rough surfaces, weight 3.623 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, c. 350 - 332 B.C.; obversehead of Aphrodite left, wearing stephane ornamented with circles and palmettes; reverse rose, tendril left; rare; $105.00 (€89.25)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy I Soter, 305 - 282 B.C.
Ptolemy was satrap (governor) of Egypt from 323 B.C., effectively king after the murder of Alexander IV in 309 B.C., and assumed the tile of king early in 304 B.C., but back-dated the start of his reign to 7 Nov 305 B.C. This coin was struck while he was still a Macedonian satrap, before he declared himself king.GP85879. Bronze dichalkon, Svoronos 79 (1 spec. = BMC 61); BMC Ptolemies p. 7, 61; SNG Milan 28; SNG Cop 643; Weiser 3; Noeske -; Malter -, F, tight flan, rough corrosion, weight 3.046 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, as Macedonian satrap, 310 - 306 B.C.; obversehead of Aphrodite Paphia right, wearing tainia; reverseeagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, ΠTOΛE (upward on left); rare; $90.00 (€76.50)
Soloi, Cilicia, c. 100 - 30 B.C.
Soli (or Soloi) was a colony of Rhodes, founded c. 700 B.C. southwest of Tarsus, in Cilicia. It was destroyed in the 1st century B.C., and refounded by Pompey the Great as Pompeiopolis (not to be confused with the Pompeiopolis in Paphlagonia).GB57540. Bronze AE 26, cf. SNG BnF 1197, SNG Levante 872, SNG Cop -, aVF, weight 9.225 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Olba mint, c. 100 - 30 B.C.; obverseaegis with winged gorgoneion in center; reverse ΣOΛEΩN (below), Aphrodite riding bull right, owl before, monogram above left; rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
Roman Empire, Anonymous, Domitian to Antoninus Pius, c. 81 - 161 A.D.
Quadrantes, like quinarii, were issued only occasionally, perhaps exclusively for imperial distributions. Suetonius reported that, from the roof of the BasilicaJulia "Caligula threw coins among the people." Perhaps this small coin was thrown to the crowd by the emperor himself at a similar event.RB87147. Bronze quadrans, RIC II p. 218, 25; King Quadrantes p. 71, 7, VF, thin flan, some striking weakness, very light corrosion/deposits, weight 0.954 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 81 - 161 A.D.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Venus right, no legend; reverse dove standing left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 40 (28 Oct 2017), 558; $80.00 (€68.00)
Katane, Sicily, c. 212 - 50 B.C.
In 212 B.C., after a two-year siege, despite defenses designed by the Greek mathematician and scientist Archimedes, the Roman general MarcusClaudius Marcellus forced his way into Syracuse. Although Marcellus wished to spare the Syracusans, he was unable to stop his soldiers from sacking the city. Archimedes was killed. Marcellus carried off the art treasures of Syracuse to Rome, the first recorded instance of a practice which was to become common. GB82650. Bronze two chalkoi, Calciati III p. 110, 25; SNG ANS 1278; SNG Morcom 563; HGC 2 612 (R1); BMC Sicily p. 51, 65 corr.; SNG Cop -, aVF, green patina, scratches, porous, weight 3.768 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 212 - 50 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse KATA/NAIΩN, Aphrodite Hyblaia (or Isis?) standing right, wearing kalathos on head, holding dove in extended right, II (2 chalkoi) right; $80.00 (€68.00)
Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.
After Apollo insulted him, Eros (cupid) shot Apollo with an arrow that caused him to fall in hopeless love with Daphne, a mortal woman. Eros shot Daphne with an arrow which made her incapable of loving Apollo. Nevertheless Apollo pursued her, and out of desperation Daphne escaped by having herself turned into a laurel. Ever after, winners of the games to honorApollo wore wreaths of laurel in honor of Apollo's Daphne.RB73718. Bronze sestertius, RIC IV SA694, BMCRE VI SA190, Cohen IV 62, SRCV II 8232, VF, excellent portrait, attractive reversestyle, well centered, tiny flan crack, cleaning scratches, weight 13.843 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 224 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEAAVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverseVENERI FELICI, Venus standing facing, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, cupid seated facing her in her left hand, cupid is naked, winged and extends his hands toward her, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $70.00 (€59.50)
Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius
Venus (Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.RB71296. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC III 1081, Cohen II 282, Strack III AP1224, SRCV II -, F, some pitting and corrosion, weight 25.927 g, maximum diameter 33.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 138 - 141 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PII P P, draped bust right; reverseVENERI AVGVSTAE, Venus standing right, raising drapery on shoulder with right, apple raised in extended left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $45.00 (€38.25)
Tarsos, Cilicia, c. 380 - 360 B.C.
In historical times, Tarsos was first ruled by the Hittites, followed by Assyria, and then the Persian Empire. Tarsus, as the principal town of Cilicia, was the seat of a Persian satrapy from 400 B.C. onward. Indeed, Xenophon records that in 401 B.C., when Cyrus the Younger marched against Babylon, the city was governed by King Syennesis in the name of the Persian monarch. Alexander the Great passed through with his armies in 333 B.C. and nearly met his death here after a bath in the Cydnus. By this time Tarsus was already largely influenced by Greek language and culture, and as part of the Seleucid Empire it became more and more Hellenized. Strabo praises the cultural level of Tarsus in this period with its philosophers, poets and linguists. The schools of Tarsus rivaled those of Athens and Alexandria.GS58069. Silver obol, SNG BnF 310 - 311, SNG Levante 217 - 218, F, weight 0.458 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, obverse uncertain female head facing slightly left; reversebust of Aphrodite right, wearing tainia; $40.00 (€34.00)