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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Animals ▸ CapricornView Options:  |  |  |   

Capricorns on Ancient Coins

Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

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Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
SL89808. Bronze AE 27, Butcher 31c; SNG Cop 35; BMC Galatia p. 128, 35; SGICV 4142, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (4094544-007), weight 15.63 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ZEYΓMATEΩN, tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees, below Capricorn right; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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"Legio II Augusta took part in Claudius' invasion of Britain in AD 43 and thereafter was permanently based in the province. From AD 74/5 it was stationed as Isca (Caerleon) in sought Wales." -- David Sear, p. 200, Roman Coins and Their Values IV
RA73482. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 58 (R2), Hunter IV 4, Webb Carausius 63, Askew 143, SRCV IV 13608, aF, rough, porous, weight 2.657 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 225o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 287 - 288 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse LEG II AVG, Capricorn left, ML in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very rare; $195.00 (€171.60)
 


Cyprus, Time of Augustus, 27 B.C. - 14 A.D.

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Augustus' sun sign was Libra. We don't know why he selected the Capricorn as his emblem. Perhaps Capricorn was either his rising sign or his Moon sign. Popular astrology, of the newspaper kind, is sun sign astrology. The ancients tended to attach more importance to the Moon sign and rising signs. Perhaps Augustus selected the Capricorn because it is associated with stern moral authority. Tiberius (born Nov. 13) was a Scorpio.
RP88319. Bronze hemiobol, RPC I 3916; Bank of Cyprus 6; BMC Galatia p. 112, 4 (Commagene); SNG Cop -, F, dark patina, reverse off center, weight 2.487 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 270o, Cypriot mint, 27 B.C. - 14 A.D.; obverse capricorn right, star with six rays above; reverse scorpion left, star with six rays above (off flan); ex Ancient Imports; $145.00 (€127.60)
 


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Located near Lampsacus, Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it was in the domain of Lysimachus and then the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia within the province of Asia. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, it was in the province of Hellespontus.
RP85226. Bronze AE 22, SNG BnF 1502; BMC Mysia p. 107, 111; SNG Çanakkale -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tüb -; SNG Hunt -; Weber -; SNG Lindgren -, VF, well centered, highest points flatly struck, weight 6.428 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 45o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPE SEV MACRINVS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between legs, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; rare; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Located near Lampsacus, Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it was in the domain of Lysimachus and then the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia within the province of Asia. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, it was in the province of Hellespontus.
RP85258. Bronze AE 22, SNG BnF 1502; BMC Mysia p. 107, 111; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tüb -; SNG Çanakkale -; SNG Hunt -; Weber -; Lindgren -, VF, well centered and struck, light corrosion, weight 6.585 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 225o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPE SEV MACRINVS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between legs, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; rare; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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Tranquillitas was the goddess of tranquility, security, calmness, and peace. The capricorn had a goat-like forequarter and a hindquarter terminating in a fish tail. The capricorn alludes to the maritime transportation of Egypt’s grain harvest across the Mediterranean to Rome, which was critical to maintaining tranquility within the empire.
RB87545. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 156 (S), Cohen V 224, Banti 58, Hunter III 103, SRCV III 9019, VF, centered on a crowded squared flan, light bumps and marks, porosity, edge cracks, weight 15.120 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse TRANQVILLITAS AVGG (to tranquility of [caused by] the two emperors), Tranquillitas standing facing, head left, capricorn in extended right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; scarce; $105.00 (€92.40)
 


Livia (Julia Augusta), Augusta, 14 - 29 A.D., Wife of Augustus and Mother of Tiberius, Augusta, Cilicia

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Augusta, Cilicia was founded in 20 A.D., and named for Livia (Julia Augusta). Just over 16 km north of Adana in a loop of the river Seyhan (Sarus), and at the west end of a narrow plain bounded to the north and south by low hills. Represented at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the city probably did not long survive the Moslem invasion of Cilicia in the 7th century. The site, discovered by chance in 1955, was identified by ancient literary references and from the presence there, and in the neighboring village of Gübe, of local semiautonomous coins of Augusta. In the same year Gübe, and with it the ruins of Augusta, disappeared below the waters of the Seyhan dam, but not before the site had been partially surveyed and individual buildings planned. Among these were the foundations of a triumphal arch, two colonnaded streets crossing each other at right angles in the manner typical of town planning in Roman Cilicia, a theater, a civic basilica, some shops, a bath building, and a dam on the river. These structures were all of brick and mortar, and probably dated to the 3rd century.
RP89192. Bronze AE 16, Karbach Augusta 19.6; RPC I 4007; BMC Lycaonia p. 44, 2; SNG BnF 1891; SNG Cop 69; SNGvA 5531; Lindgren 1458; Ziegler 858; SNG Levante -, aVF, a little rough, slightly off center, weight 3.931 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Augusta (under Seyhan Dam Reservoir) mint, 20 - 29 A.D.; obverse draped bust right; reverse capricorn right, holding globe, star with eight rays around a central pellet above, AYΓOYCTA/NΩN below; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Located near Lampsacus, Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it was in the domain of Lysimachus and then the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia within the province of Asia. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, it was in the province of Hellespontus.
RP85219. Bronze AE 23, SNG BnF 1502; BMC Mysia p. 107, 111; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tüb -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Çanakkale -; Weber -; Lindgren -, VF, well centered, blue-green patina, light pitting, weight 6.829 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 225o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPE SEV MACRINVS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between legs, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; rare; $95.00 (€83.60)
 


Kingdom of Commagene, Epiphanes and Callinicus, 72 A.D.

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In 72 A.D., only two years after Antiochus IV, King of Commagene, sent troops, commanded by his son Epiphanes, to aid Titus in the siege of Jerusalem, he was accused by the governor of Syria of conspiring with Parthia against Rome. After a reign of thirty-four years from his first appointment by Caligula, Antiochus was deprived of his kingdom. He retired first to Sparta, and then to Rome, where he passed the remainder of his life and was treated with great respect. Antiochus' sons, Epiphanes and Callinicus briefly ruled the kingdom but after an encounter with Roman troops, fled to Parthia. They later joined their father in Rome.
SH90336. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 3861; BMC Galatia p. 110, 1 ff.; De Luynes 3440; SGICV 5515, F, dark patina, red earthen deposits, weight 7.954 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 45o, Samosata (Samsat, Turkey) mint, 72 A.D.; obverse Epiphanes and Callinicus riding left on horseback, each wearing chlamys, BACIΛEΩC / YIOI in exergue; reverse KOMMAΓHNΩN, Capricorn right, star above, anchor flukes left below, all within laurel wreath, border of dots; ex John Jencek; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Located near Lampsacus, Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it was in the domain of Lysimachus and then the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia within the province of Asia. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, it was in the province of Hellespontus.
RP85225. Bronze AE 22, SNG BnF 1502; BMC Mysia p. 107, 111; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tüb -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Çanakkale -; Weber -; SNG Lindgren -, gF, well centered, some light corrosion/pitting, weight 6.097 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 225o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPE SEV MACRINVS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between legs, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; rare; $90.00 (€79.20)
 




  



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