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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Bull or Cow||View Options:  |  |  |   

Cattle on Ancient Coins
Paphlagonian Kingdom, Pylaimenes III Euergetes, c. 108 - 89 B.C.

|Paphlagonia|, |Paphlagonian| |Kingdom,| |Pylaimenes| |III| |Euergetes,| |c.| |108| |-| |89| |B.C.||AE| |17|
Paphlagonia was an ancient region and Hellenistic kingdom in northwestern Asia Minor. King Pylaimenes III Euergetes, was the son of Nicomedes III of Bithynia.
GB112988. Bronze AE 17, SNG BM Black Sea 1555; SNGvA 150; HGC 7 441 (R1); Rec Gen p. 127, 3; BMC Pontus p. 103, 2 and pl. XXIII; SNG Cop -; SNG Stancomb -; Laffaille -, VF, well centered, obv. edge beveled, weight 3.761 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Paphlagonia mint, c. 108 - 89 B.C.; obverse bull head facing; reverse winged caduceus, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ΠYΛAIMENOY / EYEPΓETOY in two downward lines on the left; rare; $140.00 (131.60)


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |18|NEW
Nicaea remained an important town throughout the imperial period. Although only 70 km (43 miles) from Constantinople, Nicaea did not lose its importance when Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Empire. The city suffered from earthquakes in 358, 362 and 368; after the last of which, it was restored by Valens. During the Middle Ages, it was a long time bulwark of the Byzantine emperors against the Turks.
RP113734. Bronze AE 18, RPC Online IV.1 T5902 (3 spec.); Rec Gen 118; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, F, dark patina, rough, weight 3.172 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, Aug 138 - 7 Mar 161 A.D.; obverse AVTO KAICAP ANTΩNINOC, laureate head right, trace of drapery on left shoulder; reverse NIKAIE-ΩN, Apis-bull standing right, wearing uraeus headdress, sun disk between horns; zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $120.00 (112.80)


Drusus, Son of Tiberius, Born 13 B.C., Died 14 September 23 A.D., Philippi(?), Macedonia

|Philippi|, |Drusus,| |Son| |of| |Tiberius,| |Born| |13| |B.C.,| |Died| |14| |September| |23| |A.D.,| |Philippi(?),| |Macedonia||AE| |16|
Drusus, the only son of Tiberius, never took the throne. Drusus' wife Livilla was seduced by the praetorian prefect Sejanus. She poisoned Drusus to support Sejanus' plot to become emperor. Years later the plot was discovered and Sejanus and Livilla were executed.
RP111916. Bronze AE 16, RPC Online I 1659 (10 spec.), SNG Cop -, BMC -, F, green patina, encrustations, scratches, weight 4.145 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 30o, probably Philippi (near Filippoi, Greece) mint, obverse DRV CAES, bare head right; reverse two priests with yoke of two oxen right, plowing the pomerium (sacred boundary), founding a new colony; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $100.00 (94.00)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Parion, Mysia(?)

|Parium|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.,| |Parion,| |Mysia(?)||AE| |15|
The attribution of this very rare type to Parium is uncertain. See RPC II p. 137.

The ceremonial founding of a new Roman colony included plowing a furrow, the pomerium, a sacred boundary, around the site of the new city.
RP94451. Bronze AE 15, RPC II Online 889 (12 spec.), SNGvA 6202, F, dark brown patina, light corrosion, tight flan, weight 3.575 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Parion, Mysia(?) mint, 13 Sep 81 - 18 Sep 96 A.D.; obverse DO-MIT AVG (clockwise from the upper right), laureate head left; reverse priest plowing right with two oxen, marking the pomerium (sacred boundary marked for the foundation of a new Roman colony), GERM in exergue; zero sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $80.00 (75.20)


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Eumeneia, Phrygia

|Eumeneia|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Eumeneia,| |Phrygia||AE| |26|
Eumenea, Phrygia was founded by Attalus II Philadelphus (159 - 138 B.C.) at the source of the Cludrus, near the Glaucus, and named after his brother Eumenes. Numerous inscriptions and many coins remain to show that Eumenia was an important and prosperous city under Roman rule. As early as the third century its population was in great part Christian, and it seems to have suffered much during the persecution of Diocletian. The remains of Eumenia are located in Denizli Province, Turkey on the shore of Lake Isikli near Civril.
RP110014. Bronze AE 26, RPC Online IV-2 T1989; BMC Phrygia p. 219, 56; SNGvA 3594; SNG Leypold II 1540; Weber 7096; SNG Tbingen 4014; SNG Cop -, F, rough, black patina, weight 10.205 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 0o, Eumeneia (near Civril, Turkey) mint, obverse AVTO KAICA ANTΩNEINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, aegis on left shoulder, seen from the front; reverse EVMENEΩN AXAIΩN, hump-backed bull walking left, Nike walking left on far side of bull, wearing chiton, grasping bull's left horn and guiding bull with left hand, brandishing knife to sacrifice bull in right hand; $60.00 (56.40)


Kalchedon, Bithynia, c. 340 - 320 B.C.

|Bithynia|, |Kalchedon,| |Bithynia,| |c.| |340| |-| |320| |B.C.||half| |siglos|
The position of Chalcedon, on the eastern shore of the Bosporus, was not as favorable as that of Byzantion on the opposite side. The Persian Megabazus (Herod. iv. 144) said the founders of Chalcedon must have been blind, for Chalcedon was settled seventeen years before Byzantium; and the settlers, we must suppose, had the choice of the two places.
GA113537. Silver half siglos, SNG BM 118; SNGvA 484; SNG Stancomb 14; BMC Pontus p. 124, 8; HGC 7 518, aF, off center, etched surfaces, struck with a damaged obv. die., weight 2.293 g, maximum diameter 12.0 mm, die axis 0o, Kalchedon (Kadikoya District, Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 320 B.C.; obverse KAΛX, bull standing left on ear of grain right; reverse quadripartite incuse square of mill-sail pattern, stippled texture within incuse areas; $45.00 (42.30)


Lydian Kingdom, Kroisos, c. 561 - 546 B.C.

|Lydian| |Kingdom|, |Lydian| |Kingdom,| |Kroisos,| |c.| |561| |-| |546| |B.C.||siglos| |(half-stater)|
The Lydian King Croesus minted the first silver and gold coins. He was famous for his extraordinary wealth, but after his defeat by Cyrus in 546 B.C. Lydia became a Persian satrapy. The Persian conquerors of Lydia continued to strike the same Croesus' silver half siglos and gold stater types. This coin is an early example issued under Croesus. We can tell it is an early example because the lion and the bull were struck separately, with one punch at a time. Later examples appear to have been struck with single punch only made to look like two separate punches.
GA33281. Silver siglos (half-stater), BMC Lydia p. 7, 45, pl. 1, 18; SNG Cop 456; SNG Kayhan 1024; SNG Ashmolean 762; SNGvA 2877; Rosen 663; SGCV II 3420, gVF, weight 5.375 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, probably Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 561 - 546 B.C.; obverse on the left, forepart of a roaring lion right, confronting, on the right, the forepart of a bull left; reverse two incuse square punches, of unequal size, side by side; SOLD


Gortyna, Crete, 4th Century B.C.

|Crete|, |Gortyna,| |Crete,| |4th| |Century| |B.C.||stater|
Zeus was enamored of Europa and decided to seduce or ravish her. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father's herds. While Europa and her female attendants were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, and eventually got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete. Zeus gave her a necklace made by Hephaestus and three additional gifts: Talos, Laelaps and a javelin that never missed. Zeus later re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars, which is now known as the constellation Taurus.
SH51407. Silver stater, SNG Delepierre 2378, Svoronos Crte 64, SNG Cop 442 var. (thinker pose), VF, toned, heavy flan, over-struck on an earlier coin, weight 11.592 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 180o, Gortyna mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse Europa seated right in a tree in a playful pose; reverse bull right, head turned back left; SOLD


Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.

|Julian| |II|, |Julian| |II| |"the| |Apostate,"| |February| |360| |-| |26| |June| |363| |A.D.||double| |maiorina|
The common belief which identifies the bull with the Apis bull is probably wrong. An interesting passage from Dio Chrysostom compares a good ruler to a bull. Also, Julian was most likely born in May, in the sign of Taurus. The stars are probably the two important star clusters in Taurus, Pleiades and Hyades. Taurus or Apis, this bull is pagan and this coin was the last pagan coin type issued by the Empire.
SH32850. Billon double maiorina, RIC VIII Constantinople 164 (S), SRCV V 19157, Cohen VIII 38, LRBC II 2059 var. (pellet at end of legend not noted), EF, weight 8.601 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 3 Nov 361 - 26 Jun 363 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVB (security of the Republic), bull right, two stars above, CONSP flanked by branches in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.

|Julian| |II|, |Julian| |II| |"the| |Apostate,"| |February| |360| |-| |26| |June| |363| |A.D.||double| |maiorina|
The common belief which identifies the bull with the Apis bull is probably wrong. An interesting passage from Dio Chrysostom compares a good ruler to a bull. Also, Julian was most likely born in May, in the sign of Taurus. The stars are probably the two important star clusters in Taurus, Pleiades and Hyades. Taurus or Apis, this bull is pagan and this coin was the last pagan coin type issued by the Empire.
SH03587. Billon double maiorina, RIC VIII Constantinople 163, LRBC II 2059, SRCV V 19157, Cohen VIII 38, superb about uncirculated, weight 8.65 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 361 - 363 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, diademed draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVB (security of the Republic), bull right, two stars above horns, branch CONSPB branch in exergue; SOLD




  



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REFERENCES|

Molinari, N.J. & N. Sisci. Potamikon: Sinews of Acheloios. A Comprehensive Catalog of the Bronze Coinage of the Man-Faced Bull, With Essays on Origin and Identity. (Oxford, 2016).

Catalog current as of Sunday, December 3, 2023.
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