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

Cattle on Ancient Coins
Poseidonia, Lucania, Italy, 420 - 410 B.C.

|Italy|, |Poseidonia,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |420| |-| |410| |B.C.||nomos|
Poseidonia was founded around the end of the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Sybaris. In the fifth century B.C., Poseidonia was conquered by the Lucani. Archaeological evidence indicates Greek and Oscan cultures thrived together. In 273 B.C., after the Poseidonians had sided with Pyrrhus against Rome, Poseidonia was refounded as the Roman city of Paestum.
GS98741. Silver nomos, Noe Poseidoni 11 (O10/R11); SNG Lloyd 473 (same dies); SNG ANS 669; BMC Italy p. 269, 34; SNG Cop 1287 var. (Γ obv. lower left), VF, toning, flow lines, light marks, die wear, small die cracks, weight 7.723 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, Poseidonia (Paestum, Italy) mint, 420 - 410 B.C.; obverse ΠOMEΣ (downward on right), Poseidon striding right, beardless, nude but for chlamys falling over his shoulders, extending his left arm before him, brandishing a trident overhead in right hand, no series letter, three row dot border; reverse bull standing left, ΠOΣEI∆A (retrograde) above, cockle shell below bull and above exergue line, exergue line comprised of a line a dots between two solid lines, all within a round incuse; ex Numismatic Fine Arts (Beverly Hills, CA); $600.00 SALE PRICE $540.00


Sybaris, Lucania, Italy, c. 550 - 510 B.C.

|Italy|, |Sybaris,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |550| |-| |510| |B.C.||nomos|
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; $510.00 SALE PRICE $459.00


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; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Kings of Cappadocia, Ariarathes V Eusebes Philopator, c. 163 - 130 B.C.

|Cappadocian| |Kingdom|, |Kings| |of| |Cappadocia,| |Ariarathes| |V| |Eusebes| |Philopator,| |c.| |163| |-| |130| |B.C.||AE| |15|
Ariarathes V Eusebes was known for his excellent character and cultivation of philosophy and liberal arts. Some historians name him as the greatest Cappadocian king. He was the son of Ariarathes IV and Antiochis (daughter of the Seleucid King Antiochus III). On the advice of Rome, he rejected marriage with Laodice V, the sister of Demetrius I Soter. Demetrius made war upon Ariarathes, deprived him of his kingdom, and put his brother on the throne. The Romans restored Ariarathes' to his throne. In 154, Ariarathes assisted Attalus II of Pergamon in his war against Prusias II of Bithynia. In 130, Ariarathes was killed while supporting the Romans in their war against Aristonicus of Pergamon. In return for the assistance that cost his life, Rome added Lycaonia and Cilicia to the dominions of his family.
GB99181. Bronze AE 15, Simonetta p. 79, 1a (Ariarathes IV - VII); BMC Galatia p. 43, 4 (Ariarathes X); HGC 7 814 (R2) var. (serrate edge);, F, dark green patina, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 3.745 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, c. 163 - 130 B.C.; obverse zebu (humped bull) standing right; reverse BAΣIΛ APIAPA, bow in gorytos (bow case and quiver); ex CNG e-auction 496 (21 Jul 2021), lot 176; very rare; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


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


Selinous, Sicily, c. 466 - 415 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Selinous,| |Sicily,| |c.| |466| |-| |415| |B.C.||didrachm|
Selinus was once one of the most important Greek colonies in Sicily. In 409 B.C., the Carthaginians attacked with a vast army believed to include at least 100,000 men. Selinus, with a population of about 30,000 excluding slaves, was unprepared and an auxiliary force promised by Syracuse, Agrigentum and Gela did not arrive. The Selinuntines defended themselves with courage, and after the walls were breached, continued to fight from house to house. After tens days the city fell. Of the citizens, 16,000 were slain and 5,000 made prisoners, but more than 2,600 escaped to Agrigento.
SL90860. Silver didrachm, SNG ANS 702 - 705 (same obverse die); BMC Sicily, p. 141, 34; SNG Lloyd 1243; SNG Munchen 889 ff.; SNG Cop -, NGC XF, Strike 4/5, Surface 3/5 (4165998-006), weight 7.64 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 90o, Selinus (Selinunte, Sicily) mint, c. 466 - 415 B.C.; obverse ΣEΛINOTION, nude Herakles advancing right, subduing the Cretan bull; reverse HVYAΣ, river-god nude standing left, holding phiale over canopied altar in right hand and branch in left; snake coiled around altar, heron under selinon leaf to right; ex Forum (2007); NGC| Lookup; SOLD


Sumerian (Uruk?), Limestone Cup Ornamented with Animals, Jemdet Nasr Period, 4th Millennium B.C.

|Vessels| |&| |Tableware|, |Sumerian| |(Uruk?),| |Limestone| |Cup| |Ornamented| |with| |Animals,| |Jemdet| |Nasr| |Period,| |4th| |Millennium| |B.C.|
AAA31037. height 7 cm (2 5/8"), rim diameter 6 cm (2 3/8"); The Louvre Near Eastern Antiqities, Ur Excavations Volume 4 The early periods (nearly identical), Collectible condition, two lion's attacking two bulls, high relief, one small piece re-attached, chips from rim; SOLD


Thourioi, Lucania, Italy, 4th Century B.C.

|Italy|, |Thourioi,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |4th| |Century| |B.C.||nomos|
Thourioi, also called Thurii and Thurium, issued similar types with a hippocamp, griffin or laurel wreath on the Attic helmet. On those ornamented with Scylla, she is sometimes shading her eyes and scanning the horizon, holding a trident, spear, oar or octopus, or hurling a stone or a spear.
SH58669. Silver nomos, cf. SNG ANS 1007 (holding spear, same rev die as our coin), SNG Ashmolean 958 (holding spear), HN Italy 1802 (refs Oxford), VF, punches on reverse, weight 7.646 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 225o, Thourioi (near Sibari, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy) mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing Attic helmet decorated with Skylla pointing; reverse ΘOYPIΩN, Bull butting right, tunny fish in exergue; SOLD


Roman Republic, Dictatorship of Julius Caesar, L. Valerius Acisculus, 45 B.C.

|after| |50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Dictatorship| |of| |Julius| |Caesar,| |L.| |Valerius| |Acisculus,| |45| |B.C.||denarius|
The ascisculus, a pickaxe used by stone-cutters, behind Apollo is a punning allusion to the moneyer's cognomen, Acisculus.

Zeus was enamored of Europa and decided to seduce her. He transformed into a tame white bull and joined her father's herds. When Europa got onto his back, Zeus ran to the sea and swam to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity. Europa became the first queen of Crete. Zeus re-created the shape of the bull in the stars, which is now known as the constellation Taurus.
SH23634. Silver denarius, Crawford 474/1a, Sydenham 998, RSC I Valeria 17, SRCV I 469, EF, weight 3.701 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, obverse ACISCVLVS, head of Apollo right, ascisculus (pickaxe) behind; reverse L VALERIVS, Europa seated on bull walking right, holding billowing veil; slight flatness in center, reverse 1/5 off-center, mint luster and light golden toning; 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|
On March 5, 363 Julian departed Antioch with an army of 90,000, marching against the Sassanid Empire. On 29 May Julian arrived under the walls of the Sassanid capital and defeated the army of Shapur II at the Battle of Ctesiphon, but he was unable to put the city under siege. On June 16, Julian began a retreat from the Sassanid Empire. The Sassanids attacked the retreating Romans and on 26 June Julian was killed in battle. The general Jovian was proclaimed Emperor by the troops on the battlefield.
SH58901. Billon double maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 412 (R), LRBC II 1259, SRCV V 19150, Cohen VIII 38, Choice gVF, nice glossy black patina, excellent centering, weight 8.974 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, summer 361 - 26 Jun 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 standing right, two stars above, BSIS flanked by palm fronds in exergue; ex Ancient Numismatic Enterprise; rare; 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 Wednesday, July 6, 2022.
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