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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Wolf||View Options:  |  |  | 

Wolves on Ancient Coins

The she-wolf was the symbol of Rome from ancient times. The famous "lupa capitolina" suckled the legendary Romulus and Remus.

Laranda, Lycaonia, c. 324 - 323 B.C.

|Lycaonia|, |Laranda,| |Lycaonia,| |c.| |324| |-| |323| |B.C.||obol|NEW
Jugate heads first appear on this coinage of Laranda. They would be widely copied on coins ever after.
GS99145. Silver obol, Unpublished variety, Gktrk 64 var. (star right vice club, nothing below), SNG BnF 2311 var. (same), BMC Lyconia -, VF, porous, die wear, tight flan, weight 0.422 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 0o, Laranda (Karaman, Turkey) mint, 324 - 323 B.C.; obverse jugate diademed male heads right; reverse wolf forepart right, upper left, ΛAP above wolf's head, star below, club right; extremely rare symbols variant, only one other specimen known to FORVM; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |34|NEW
In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus were the twin sons of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, fathered by the god of war, Mars. They were abandoned in the Tiber as infants. Faustulus, a shepherd, found the infants being suckled by the she-wolf (Lupa) at the foot of the Palatine Hill. Their cradle, in which they had been abandoned, was on the shore overturned under a fig tree. Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia, raised the children. Lupa (she-wolf) was an ancient Latin slang term for prostitute. In some versions of the myth, Larentia was a prostitute. Romulus was the first King of Rome.
RP99090. Bronze AE 34, Krzyzanowska p. 175 & pl. XXX, X/21; SNG Cop 55; SNG BnF 1186; SNGvA 4948; SNG Pfalz 81; SNG Leypold 2002; BMC Lycia p. 186, 63; RPC VI T6581, aVF, well centered, dark brown patina, weight 19.387 g, maximum diameter 34.3 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES SEVER ALEXANDER, laureate head right; reverse COL CAES ANTIOCH, she-wolf right suckling the twins Romulus and Remus, fig tree behind and above, S R (Senatus Romanum) in exergue; $120.00 (114.00) ON RESERVE


City of Rome Commemorative, 333 - 335 A.D.

|Commemoratives|, |City| |of| |Rome| |Commemorative,| |333| |-| |335| |A.D.||reduced| |centenionalis|
On some high grade examples of the VRBS ROMA series, a certain symbol can be seen or guessed on the shoulder of the wolf. It might look like the letter Θ (at Thessalonica and Alexandria) or a flock of hair, while on a well struck Rome mint specimen we have seen a clear star with rounded tips, different from the two above. There are no such symbols on earlier depictions (Republic and early empire) of the she-wolf as far as we know.
RL99006. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Alexandria 63 (R1), SRCV 16527, LRBC I 1431, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V 18 var. (2nd officina), gVF, nice green patina, light earthen deposits, reverse slightly off center, weight 2.513 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Alexandria mint, 333 - 335 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse she-wolf standing left, head turned back right, suckling the infant twins Romulus and Remus, two stars above, SMALA in exergue; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Amisos, Pontos, 85 - 65 B.C.

|Pontos|, |Amisos,| |Pontos,| |85| |-| |65| |B.C.||AE| |21|
Amisos, the mythical home of the Amazons, was settled c. 760 - 750 B.C. by people from Miletus, who established a flourishing trade relationship with the ancient peoples of Anatolia. Amisos came under the rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire, and then the Kingdom of Pontus. The Romans took control in 47 B.C. and Amisos remained within the Byzantine Empire until it was captured by the Seljuks in 1200, to be later taken over by the Ilhanlilar. Amisos today is Samsun, a city of about half a million people on the north coast of Turkey.
SH73961. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 165; SNGvA 66; SNG BM 1218; SNG Stancomb 704; Rec Gen p. 56, 38; HGC 7 244; Laffaille -, VF, green patina, earthen encrustations, weight 7.574 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, Mithridatic War issue, 85 - 65 B.C.; obverse head of Amazon right, wearing wolf scalp headdress; reverse Nike walking right, extending wreath in right hand, palm frond over shoulder in left, AMI−ΣOY horizontal divided across field; scarce; SOLD


Maxentius, February 307 - 28 October 312 A.D.

|Maxentius|, |Maxentius,| |February| |307| |-| |28| |October| |312| |A.D.||follis|
This interesting reverse includes two sets of twin brothers; Romulus and Remus suckling the she-wolf are flanked by the Disocuri twins Castor and Pollux, with their horses.
RB72416. Billon follis, RIC VI Ostia 16, Cohen VII 10, SRCV IV 14976, Hunter V 25 var. (2nd officina), gVF, weight 6.821 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Ostia (port of Rome) mint, 308 - 310 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG, laureate head right, bare right shoulder from behind; reverse AETERNITAS AVG N, Castor and Pollux, each with star above cap, naked except chlamys over shoulder, leaning on scepter with outer arm, holding bridled horse with inner hand, she-wolf suckling twins in center, MOSTA in exergue; SOLD







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