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

Camels on Ancient Coins

The camel was a symbol of Arabia.


Roman Republic, A. Plautius, c. 55 B.C.

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In 67 B.C., Aristobulus II rebelled against his older brother Hyrcanus II, the king of Judaea. Both brothers appealed to Pompey's deputy Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, who, bribed by a gift of 400 talents, decided in favor of Aristobulus. When Pompey arrived in Syria in 63 B.C., both brothers sent delegates to Damascus, but Pompey did not make an immediate decision. Aristobulus' followers refused to open the gates of Jerusalem and Romans forces besieged and captured the city. Pompey deemed Hyrcanus II, the elder, weaker brother a more reliable ally. Hyrcanus was restored as high priest, but not as king. Aristobulus was taken to Rome as a prisoner. In 57 B.C. Aristobulus escaped to Judaea and instigated another rebellion. A young cavalry commander, Marc Antony, led several men to scale Aristobulus' fortifications leading to his recapture. At the time this coin was struck in 55 B.C., Aristobulus was a prisoner in Rome. Julius Caesar released him in 49 B.C., hoping to turn Judaea against Pompey, but on his was to Judaea he was poisoned by a Pompey supporter. With help from the Parthians, Aristobulus' son Antigonus rebelled against Rome and became king in 40 B.C. He was defeated by Rome and killed in 37 B.C.

This special issue was struck by an Aedile Curule. Aediles supervised public works and staged games. Since this issue bears turreted Cybele, we may speculate it was to finance a building project.
RR91410. Silver denarius, RSC I Plautia 13, Sydenham 932, Crawford 431/1, BMCRR Rome 3916, Russo RBW 1540, SRCV I 395, VF, old collection toning, reverse a little off center, weight 3.803 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 55 B.C.; obverse AED CVR S C downwards on left, A PLAVTIVS downwards on right, turreted head of Cybele right, wearing cruciform earring, hair rolled and in knot at the back, locks falling down neck; reverse Bacchius Judaeus (Aristobulus II High Priest and King of Judaea) kneeling right, with left hand holding reins of camel standing right on his far side, raising olive branch in right hand, IVDAEVS upward on right, BACCHIVS in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $250.00 (220.00) ON RESERVE


Roman Republic, Marcus Aemilius Scaurus & Publius Plautius Hypsaeus, 58 B.C.

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M. Aemilius Scaurus, in 62 B.C., as quaestor to Pompey, was sent against King Aretas but withdrew when Aretas paid 300 talents. This was the first time a moneyer publicized his own career on coinage. Aemilius was curule aedile when this coin was struck. This was the first time a moneyer publicized an event from his own career on coinage. Later he was praetor and propraetor, lost a campaign for Consul, and successfully defended Cicero. In 52 B.C., he was charged with bribery and went into exile.
RR91807. Silver denarius, BMCRR Rome 3878 (also HYPSAEVE), Crawford 422/1b var., Sydenham 913 var., RSC I Aemilia 8 var., RBW Collection 1519 var., SRCV I 379 var., Choice gVF, deep old cabinet toning, well centered on the usual tight flan, weight 3.945 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 58 B.C.; obverse Aretas, King of Nabataea, kneeling beside camel, holding reins and raising olive branch with fillet, M SCAVR above, EX - S C at sides, REX ARETAS in exergue; reverse Jupiter in quadriga left, reins in right, hurling thunderbolt with left, scorpion below, P HYPSAEVE / AED CVR above, CAPTV on right, C HYPSAE COS / PREIVE in exergue; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 31 (10 March 2019), lot 392; SOLD


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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This type was issued to commemorate the founding of the Roman province Arabia Petraea, consisting of the former Nabataean kingdom in Jordan, the southern Levant, the Sinai Peninsula, and the northwestern area of the Arabian peninsula. Trajan completed the Via Nova Traiana, a road from Bostra through Petra to the port at Aqaba, made Bostra the capital of the province, and awarded Petra the status of metropolis. Unlike Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Assyria, Rome held Arabia long after Trajan's rule. In Diocletian's restructuring of the empire in 284 - 305, the province was enlarged to include parts of modern-day Israel. After Diocletian, Arabia became a part of the Diocese of Oriens ("the East"). In the Byzantine period, Arabia was the frontline of Byzantine-Sassanid Wars. In the 5th or 6th century, it was transformed into Palaestina Salutaris.
SH26657. Silver denarius, RIC II 245, Woytek 396b, RSC II 26, BMCRE III 474, SRCV II -, aEF, attractive dark glossy toning, weight 3.055 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 112 - 115 A.D.; obverse IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse ARAB ADQ (in ex) S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Arabia standing front, head left, holding branch and bundle of cinnamon sticks, camel walking left behind at feet; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Monday, August 19, 2019.
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Camels