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

Cattle on Ancient Coins
Sybaris, Lucania, Italy, c. 550 - 510 B.C.

|Italy|, |Sybaris,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |550| |-| |510| |B.C.||nomos|NEW
The origin of this unusual design is difficult to pinpoint (Rutter 1997). It served no practical purpose in facilitating the stacking of coins, since even with matching images in relief and negative, irregularities would have hindered this method of storage. It has been suggested that Pythagoras, who lived in all three of the cities that pioneered incuse coins and died in Metapontum itself, introduced the technique in an attempt to realize in concrete form a confrontation of opposites that was characteristic of the Pythagorean system of thought. Despite the poetic appeal of this suggestion, it seems highly unlikely, considering that the incuse technique appears to have been adopted about twenty years before Pythagoras made it to southern Italy.
SH98006. Silver nomos, Dewing 405, SNG ANS 817, HN Italy 1729, HGC I 1231 (S), F, porous, scratches, weight 6.930 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 0o, Sybaris mint, c. 550 - 510 B.C.; obverse bull standing left, head turned back right, YM above, dotted border between two circles; reverse incuse of obverse; from the CEB Collection, ex Frank L. Kovacs; scarce; $800.00 (656.00)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Tyana, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Tyana,| |Cappadocia||AE| |29|
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 sepulchral grottoes.
RP97247. Bronze AE 29, SNGvA 8732, SNG Cop -, BMC Galatia -, Ganschow -, F, mild smoothing, small edge crack, weight 17.290 g, maximum diameter 29.3 mm, die axis 0o, Tyana (Kemerhisar, Turkey) mint, 212 - 213 A.D.; obverse A KAI M AYP ANTΩNINOC, laureate head right; reverse ANT KOΛΩNIAC, emperor, radiate and togate, globe in extended right hand, plow in left hand, plowing left, marking the pomerium (sacred boundary) to found the new colony, TVANΩN / ET Iς (year 16) in in two lines in the exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 87 (1 Mar 2020), lot 345; this is the first example of this type handled by FORVM; only five sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades, including the Naumann auction for this coin; very rare; $140.00 (114.80)


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; $130.00 (106.60)


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Alexandria Troas, Troas

|Troas|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Alexandria| |Troas,| |Troas||AE| |21|
Alexandria Troas (modern Eski Stambul) is on the Aegean Sea near the northern tip of the west coast of Anatolia, a little south of Tenedos (modern Bozcaada). The city was founded by Antigonus around 310 B.C. with the name Antigoneia and was populated with the inhabitants of Cebren, Colone, Hamaxitus, Neandria, and Scepsis. About 301 B.C., Lysimachus improved the city and re-named it Alexandreia. Among the few structure ruins remaining today are a bath, an odeon, a theater and gymnasium complex and a stadium. The circuit of the old walls can still be traced.
RP97240. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 190; Bellinger Troy A439; SNG Canakkale 410 var. (obv. leg); SNGvA 7572 var. (legends); BMC Troas p. 30, 164 var. (legends, bust), gVF, bare toned bronze, flow lines, a little off center, scattered porosity, weight 4.139 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC VALERIA, laureate, draped, and bearded bust right, seen from behind; reverse CO AVG TRO, eagle flying right, bull forepart right in its talons; $120.00 (98.40)


Caria (Uncertain City), c. 460 - 440 B.C.

|Other| |Caria|, |Caria| |(Uncertain| |City),| |c.| |460| |-| |440| |B.C.||hemiobol|
Troxell notes that hoard provinces indicate this type was struck in Caria, however, the issuing city remains unknown. SNG Kayhan identifies the denomination as a Milesian standard tetartemorion. SNG Keckman lists it as a Persic hemiobol.
GS92103. Silver hemiobol, Troxell Carians 11C, SNG Keckman 913 ff.; cf. SNG Kayhan 968 ff. (no star), SNG Tb 3329 (same), BMC Caria -, F/VF, obverse off center, light marks, light encrustations, weight 0.265 g, maximum diameter 6.9 mm, die axis 0o, Carian mint, c. 460 - 440 B.C.; obverse foreparts of two bulls confronted; reverse forepart of bull left, star below; ex Civitas Galleries; scarce; $100.00 (82.00)


Apollonia, Illyria, Greece, Roman Protectorate, c. 229 - 30 B.C.

|Illyria|, |Apollonia,| |Illyria,| |Greece,| |Roman| |Protectorate,| |c.| |229| |-| |30| |B.C.||drachm|NEW
The cities of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium (Epidamnus) were established in the Archaic period by Corcyra and her mother city Corinth on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, in the Illyrian lands to the north of Epirus. When the Illyrian and Macedonian kingdoms threatened their prosperity in the last third of the 3rd century BC, they turned to the Romans for military support and subsequently assumed the privileged status of a Roman protectorate (Polybius 2.12.2, Appian, Ill. 7 - 8). As early as 228 BC, these two Adriatic cities concluded an alliance with the Roman Republic. They served as Adriatic naval bases for the Republic, and soon became centres of Roman operations in the interior of the Balkans. Essentially, the late drachms of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium were Roman controlled issues (Ujes-Morgan 2012). -- Illyrian Coinage From Thrace by Brendan Mac Gonagle.
GS97269. Silver drachm, Ceka 22; Maier p. 15, 101; BMC Thessaly p. 58, 40; HGC 3.1 4 (S), aVF, some porosity, weight 3.101 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Apollonia mint, magistrates Aristen... & Psellos, c. 229 - 30 B.C.; obverse APIΣTWN (moneyer), cow standing left, head turned, suckling calf right; torch in left field, wreath below; reverse AΠOΛ - ΨYΛ−Λ-OY (magistrate), double stellate pattern within double linear square with sides curved inward; $100.00 (82.00)


Dyrrhachion, Illyria, Greece, Roman Protectorate, c. 229 - 30 B.C.

|Illyria|, |Dyrrhachion,| |Illyria,| |Greece,| |Roman| |Protectorate,| |c.| |229| |-| |30| |B.C.||drachm|NEW
This type circulated alongside, and presumably at parity with, Roman Republican denarii. BMC calls the figure on the right side of the obverse a statue. Ceka identifies the figure as a female. The figure is Harpokrates, the male Greek-Egyptian god of of secrecy and silence, clearly identified by his right index finger held to his lips. Unfortunately on this coin Harpokrates is unstruck and off flan.
GS97270. Silver drachm, Maier p. 25, 278; BMC Thessaly p. 71, 94; HGC 3.1 40; Ceka 325 corr., VF, toned, tight flan and off center, weight 2.628 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 90o, Dyrrhachium (Durrs, Albania) mint, magistrates Meniskos and Lykiskos, c. 50 B.C.; obverse MENIΣKOΣ, cow right, head turned back toward suckling calf left, Harpokrates on the right (off flan), standing facing, wearing hemhem crown, finger to lips; reverse ∆YP - ΛY-KIΣ-KOY, double stellate pattern within double linear square with sides curved inward; $100.00 (82.00)


Dyrrhachion, Illyria, Greece, Roman Protectorate, c. 229 - 30 B.C.

|Illyria|, |Dyrrhachion,| |Illyria,| |Greece,| |Roman| |Protectorate,| |c.| |229| |-| |30| |B.C.||drachm|NEW
After the decisive defeat of the Illyrians to Rome in 229 B.C., the new Roman rulers renamed the city. The original name, Epidamnos, was similar to the Latin word damnum, meaning "loss" or "harm." Dyrrhachion is Greek for "bad spine" or "difficult ridge," probably referring to imposing cliffs near the city. This type circulated alongside, and presumably at parity with, Roman Republican denarii.
RP97906. Silver drachm, Ceka 362; BMC Thessaly p. 74, 131 - 132; HGC 3.1 40; Maier -, VF, toned, off center, double struck area on reverse, weight 3.247 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 315o, Dyrrhachium (Durrs, Albania) mint, magistrates Xenon & Philodamos, c. 229 - 30 B.C.; obverse cow standing right, head turned back left, suckling calf right; eagle right over ZENΩN above, hound running right in exergue; reverse ∆YP - ΦIΛO-∆A-MOY, double stellate pattern within double linear square; $100.00 (82.00)


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Sardes, Lydia

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Seleukos| |I| |Nikator,| |312| |-| |281| |B.C.,| |Sardes,| |Lydia||AE| |14|
The Indian humped bull type, along with his well-known anchor symbol, was used only by Nikator. The Indian humped bull on the reverse recalls when Nikator, with only his bare-hands, stopped a similar bull that had broken free while Alexander the Great was sacrificing it at the altar. Seleucus captured Sardes from Lysimachus in 282 B.C. This type has been attributed to Sardes based on find locations.
GY97882. Bronze AE 14, Houghton-Lorber I 6(2)b, Newell WSM 1628, HGC 9 107a (S), SNG Spaer 69 var. (monogram behind bull), SNG Cop 45 var. (same), aVF, green patina, slight porosity, tight flan, weight 2.293 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 270o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 282 - 281 B.C.; obverse winged head of Medusa right; reverse humped bull butting right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) above, ΣEΛEYKOY in exergue, monogram between hind legs; scarce; $80.00 (65.60)







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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 Saturday, September 25, 2021.
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