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Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.
This is a scarcer variety of the type with the elephant's legs parallel and a human-like ear, attributed to Spain. The engravers were apparently unfamiliar with elephants. The round ear may indicate the elephant depicted is a North African Forest Elephant. The lower portion of modern elephant's ears have a distinctly triangular shape. The North African Forest Elephant species is thought to have become extinct around the 1st or 2nd century A.D. If the Romans used them in the Colosseum and other games, it would go some way to explain their extinction around that time. A hippopotamus species from Lower Egypt and a lion species from Mesopotamia are also suspected to have been butchered to extinction in Roman games.SH48302. Silver denarius, BMCRR Gaul 27 (also with human-like ear), Russo RBW 1557 (same), RSC I 49, Sydenham 1006, Crawford 443/1, Sear CRI 9, SRCV I 1399, EF, attractive toning, weight 3.897 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 225o, Spain, traveling military mint, traveling with Caesar, 49 B.C.; obverse elephant walking right trampling on a carnyx (Celtic war trumpet) ornamented to look like a dragon, CAESAR below; reverse implements of the pontificate: culullus (cup) or simpulum (ladle), aspergillum (sprinkler), securis (sacrificial ax), and apex (priest's hat); from the Scott Schaut Collection; SOLD
Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 148 - 147 B.C., New Style Silver Tetradrachm
The "New Style" tetradrachms were issued by Athens as a semi-autonomous city under Roman rule. The archons (magistrates) full names were likely Ammonios and Dionysios. The letters below the amphora are believed to be a bullion marking, indicating the source of the silver used to strike the coin.SH48284. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 124 (bullion mark), gVF, flat strike areas, weight 17.076 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, obverse head of Athena Parthenos right, wearing triple-crested Attic helmet ornamented with horse protomes above the visor, flying Pegasos above the raised earpiece, and an aplustre on the bowl; reverse A−ΘE, owl standing right on amphora, head facing, A∆EI left, HΛIOover trident right, MH below amphora, all within olive wreath; SOLD
Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Temnos, Aeolis
Temnos (Temnus) on the western coast of Anatolia near the Hermus River, was a small Greek city-state of Aeolis, later incorporated in the Roman province of Asia. Under Augustus it was already on the decline, under Tiberius it was destroyed by an earthquake, and in the time of Pliny (23 - 79 A.D.) it was no longer inhabited. It was, however, rebuilt later. One of the city's more noteworthy figures was the rhetorician Hermagoras.SH48288. Silver tetradrachm, Price 1680, VF, well struck on a broad flan, rusty dies, weight 16.696 g, maximum diameter 36.8 mm, die axis 0o, Aeolis, Temnos (Menemen?, Izmir, Turkey) mint, posthumous civic issue, c. 188 - 170 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus AŽtophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, ong scepter vertical behind in left hand, monograms above oinochoe within vine tendril in left field, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; SOLD
Aspendos, Pamphylia, 400 - 370 B.C.
Aspendos is about 40 km east of Antalya, Turkey about 16 km inland on the Eurymedon River. In 546 B.C. it fell to Persia. After a Persian defeat in 467, the city joined the Attic-Delos Maritime League. Persia took it again in 411 B.C., Alexander in 333 B.C., and Rome in 190 B.C. Although often subject to powerful empires, the city usually retained substantial autonomy.SH48341. Silver stater, SNG BnF 84 (same obv. die), SNGvA 4561, SNG Cop 226, gVF, flat high points, weight 10.826 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 400 - 370 B.C.; obverse two wrestlers, the left one holds the wrist of his opponent with his right and right forearm with his left hand, AK between their legs; reverse EΣTΦE∆IIYΣ on left, slinger, wearing short chiton, discharging sling to right, triskeles on right with feet clockwise, no trace of incuse square; SOLD
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.
Ptolemy is recorded by Pliny the Elder as having sent an ambassador named Dionysius to the Mauryan court at Pataliputra in India, probably to Emperor Ashoka: "But [India] has been treated of by several other Greek writers who resided at the courts of Indian kings, such, for instance, as Megasthenes, and by Dionysius, who was sent thither by Philadelphus, expressly for the purpose: all of whom have enlarged upon the power and vast resources of these nations." -- Pliny the Elder, "The Natural History", Chap. 21SH48289. Silver tetradrachm, Lorber CPE 305, Svoronos 552 (23 spec.), Noeske 50, Meydancikkale 3867 - 3882, SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, Weiser -, gVF, nice style, banker's marks, weight 14.194 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 0o, Egypt, Alexandria mint, obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, monogram / shield in left field, monogram in upper right field; scarce; SOLD
Fulvia, Second Wife of Marc Antony, Autumn - December 43 B.C.
In 42 BC, Antony and Octavian left Rome to pursue Julius Caesar's assassins. Fulvia was left behind as the most powerful woman in Rome. Cassius Dio wrote that she "..managed affairs herself, so that neither the senate nor the people transacted any business contrary to her pleasure." When Octavian returned in 41 BC, he accused Fulvia of aiming at supreme power. With Lucius Antonius, she raised eight legions to fight against Octavian, an event known as the Perusine War. Octavian's soldiers at Perusia used sling bullets inscribed with insults directed at Fulvia personally. Octavian besieged and starved Lucius into surrender in February 40 BC, after which Fulvia fled to Greece. Anthony reconciled with Octavian, blaming Fulvia for their quarrel. Fulvia, in exile at Sicyon, died soon after of an unknown illness. Anthony married Octavian's sister Octavia, and she reared all of Fulvia's children.SH49524. Silver quinarius, Crawford 489/5, Sear CRI 122, Sydenham 1160, RSC I 4, RPC I 512, BMCRR Gaul 40, SRCV I 1518, aVF, toned, weight 2.142 g, maximum diameter 13.3 mm, die axis 270o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, autumn - Dec 43 B.C.; obverse winged bust of Victory right, with the likeness of Fulvia; reverse LVGV/DVNI (counterclockwise, in exergue and above), lion walking right, flanked by A - XL (year 40, Anthony's age); scarce; SOLD
Roman Republic, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, 41 - 40 B.C.
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus supported Cassius and Brutus following the assassination of Caesar and served as a naval commander in the Ionian Sea, opposing the Second Triumvirate, when this coin was struck. He later reconciled with Mark Antony and his son, and only child, was married to the daughter of Antony and Octavia. Disgusted with Anthony's relationship with Cleopatra, he switched his allegiance to Octavian before Actium. He was a great-grandfather of the emperor Nero.RS48320. Silver denarius, Crawford 519/2, Sydenham 1177, RSC I Domitia 21, F, well centered, weight 3.546 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 270o, Uncertain Adriatic or Ionian mint, 41 - 40 B.C.; obverse AHENOBAR, bare head of Ahenobarbus right; reverse CN DOMITIVS IMP, trophy on prow right; budget example of a very desirable type!; SOLD
England, Henry VI, 1422 - 1461 and 1470 - 1471
Henry seems to have been a decent man, but completely unsuited to kingship. He was totally dominated by the power-hungry factions at court and powerless to stop the outbreak of bloody civil war. It was clearly too much for him to cope with, as his recurring mental illness from 1453 onwards showed. During the Wars of the Roses it was his queen, Margaret, who was the driving force behind the Lancastrian faction, while Henry was captured first by one side, then the other. Whoever had the king in their possession was able to claim to be ruling in his name.
In 1590, William Shakespeare wrote a trilogy of plays about the life of Henry VI: Henry VI, part 1, Henry VI, part 2, and Henry VI, part 3. Henry also appears as a ghost in Richard III.SH48280. Silver groat, Annulet issue, SCBC 1836, North 1427, gVF, toned, weight 3.816 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, Calais mint, first reign, 1427 - 1430; obverse + HENRIC' DI' GRA' REX ANGLIE Z FRANC (Henry, by the Grace of God, King of England and France), facing crowned bust of Henry, an annulet on each side of neck, within a tressure of nine arcs; reverse POSVI DEVM ADIVTORE MEVM (I have made God my helper), VILLA CALISIE (Town of Calais), long cross pattťe, three pellets in each quarter; SOLD
Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Beroea, Cyrrhestica, Syria
Aleppo is called Halab in Hittite documents of the second millennium B.C. The city opened its gates to Alexander after the Battle of Issus. Seleucus built a new city nearby and named it Beroea. Saint Paul records that his preaching at Beroea was a great success. The city was sacked by the Persians in 540, and captured by the Muslims without a fight in 637.RY48308. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 896, gVF, fantastic portrait, toned, weight 12.054 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 225o, Cyrrhestica, Beroea (Allepo, Syria) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AYT K M OΠ-CE MAKPINOC CE, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC Π Π (holder of Tribunitian power, consul, father of the country), eagle standing front, wings spread, head left, wreath in beak, B - E flanking winged animal standing facing between eagle's legs; SOLD
Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.
The Romans believed that Fortuna, after deserting the Persians and Assyrians, took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Egypt and into Syria. At last arriving on Mount Palatine, she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever.RS48337. Silver denarius, RIC III 300a, RSC II 383, EF, weight 3.221 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 159 - 160 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIII, laureate head right; reverse FORTVNA COS IIII, Fortuna standing right, long rudder on globe in right hand, cornucopia turned inward in left hand; a beautiful denarius, fine style; SOLD