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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Birds| ▸ |Phoenix||View Options:  |  |  | 

Phoenix on Ancient Coins

The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'

Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius

|Faustina| |Sr.|, |Faustina| |Sr.,| |Augusta| |25| |February| |138| |-| |Early| |141,| |Wife| |of| |Antoninus| |Pius||sestertius|NEW
Antoninus Pius wrote of his wife Faustina, "I would rather live with her on Gyara [an island of exile] than without her in the palace." Sadly, Faustina died just two years into his 23 year reign. At his request, the Senate deified her, and he minted a massive series of commemorative coins in her honor.
RB98688. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV AP1415A, RIC III AP1103B, Hunter II 55, Cohen II 20, SRCV II 4606 var. (no AVG in obv. leg.), F, scrapes, rough, porous, parts of legends weak/off flan, weight 28.447 g, maximum diameter 34.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 1st issue, 141 A.D.; obverse DIVA AVG FAVSTINA, draped bust right, hair elaborately waived and banded, drawn up at the back and piled in a round coil at top; reverse AETERNITAS, Aeternitas seated left, nimbate Phoenix on globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, feet on footstool, S - C (senatus consulto) across field below center; $80.00 (65.60)


Faustina Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of Antoninus Pius

|Faustina| |Sr.|, |Faustina| |Sr.,| |Augusta| |25| |February| |138| |-| |Early| |141,| |Wife| |of| |Antoninus| |Pius||sestertius|
Faustina I was the wife of Antoninus Pius. Little is known of her, except that she was regarded as vain and frivolous, though this may have just been malicious gossip. Antoninus Pius loved her greatly, and upon her death in 141 A.D., she was deified and a temple was built in her honor.
RB65382. Orichalcum sestertius, BMCRE IV AP1606, RIC III AP1104 var. (veiled bust), Cohen 19 var. (same), cf. SRCV II 4606 var. (DIVA FAVSTINA), VF, weight 24.562 g, maximum diameter 33.6 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, posthumous, c. 147 A.D.; obverse DIVAE FAVSTINAE, draped bust right, hair elaborately waived and banded, drawn up at the back and piled in a round coil at top; reverse AETERNITAS, Aeternitas seated left, Phoenix on globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; very rare; SOLD


Constans I, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D.

|Constans|, |Constans| |I,| |9| |September| |337| |-| |19| |January| |350| |A.D.||quarter| |maiorina|
The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'
RL89594. Billon quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Antioch 131 (S, unlisted officina), LRBC II 2619, SRCV V 18667, Cohen VII 21, Hunter V -, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.166 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 90o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), radiate Phoenix standing right on globe, star right, ANS in exergue; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher), ex Alex G. Malloy (Mar 1993); very scarce; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Tuesday, January 18, 2022.
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