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Hieron I, the brother of Gelon, was tyrant of Syracuse, Sicily, 478 - 467 B.C. He greatly increased the power of Syracuse. He removed the inhabitants of Naxos and Catania to Leontini, peopled Catania (which he renamed Aetna) with Dorians. He defeated the Etruscans and Carthaginians at the Battle of Cumae (474 B.C.), by which he saved the Greeks of Campania from Etruscan domination. He was a liberal patron of literature and culture. He established the first secret police in Greek history. He was an active participant in panhellenic athletic contests, winning several horse and chariot races. He died at Catania in 467 and was buried there. His grave was destroyed when the former inhabitants of Catania returned.SH98005. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer series XI, 244 (V110/R165); HGC 2 1307, aVF, centered on a tight flan, toned, light deposits, scratches and marks, uneven strike, die wear, pre-strike casting sprues, weight 17.379 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 315o, Syracuse mint, c. 475 - 470 B.C.; obverse slow quadriga driven right by bearded male charioteer, kentron in right hand and reins in left hand, Nike above flying right crowning horses; reverse ΣVRAKOΣION (clockwise on right), head of Arethousa right, hair turned up in a krobylos, wearing a pearl diadem earring and necklace, four dolphins around; from the CEB Collection, ex Frank L. Kovacs; $1250.00 (€1025.00)
Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius III, c. 96 - 87 B.C.
The inscription on the reverse of this coin translates, "King Demetrios, the god, father-loving, savior." He was nicknamed Eucaerus ("the Timely") by the Syrian Greeks but was called Acaerus ("the Untimely) by the Jews. He defeated the Hasmonaean priest king Alexander Jannaeus but was forced to withdraw from Judaea by the hostile population. While attempting to dethrone his brother, Philip I Philadelphus, he was defeated by the Arabs and Parthians, and taken prisoner. He was held in confinement in Parthia by Mithridates II until his death in 88 B.C.SL94920. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber 2450(2); HGC 9 1305; cf. BMC Seleucid p. 101, 1 (SE 217, same controls); SNG Spaer 2863 (SE 219, different controls), NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (5771210-005), weight 16.501 g, maximum diameter 30.10 mm, die axis 0o, Damaskos (Damascus, Syria) mint, 97 - 96 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios III right, fringe of curly beard at jawline, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩS / DHMHTPIOY / ΘEOY - ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ / ΣΩTHPOΣ, cult image of Atargatis standing facing, holding flower, barley stalk behind each shoulder, two monograms (controls) outer left, date CIS (Seleucid Era year 216) in exergue, ∆H monogram (control) in exergue on right, laurel wreath border; from the Ray Nouri Collection, NGC| Lookup; scarce; $900.00 (€738.00)
Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Irenopolis-Neronias, Cilicia
Wandering the world in a panther-drawn chariot, Dionysos rode ahead of the maenads and satyrs, who sang loudly and danced, flushed with wine. They were profusely garlanded with ivy and held the thyrsus, a staff topped with a pine cone, a symbol of the immortality of his believers. Everywhere he went he taught men how to cultivate vines and the mysteries of his cult. Whoever stood in his way and refused to revere him was punished with madness.RP96990. Bronze 7 assaria, Karbach Eirenopolis - (cf. 146-7 same obv. die, diff. rev. type); Leu web auction 12 (2020), 870 (same dies); SNG Levante -; SNG Paris -; SNG PFPS -, aVF/F, green patina with earthen deposits, weight 12.523 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 225o, Irenopolis (Düzici, Turkey) mint, 258 - 259 A.D.; obverse ΠOY ΛIK Γ/θ>AΛIHNOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; uncertain round countermark; reverse IPHNOΠOΛE (or similar), Dionysos drinking with his entourage, standing facing, kantharos (wine cup) in his right hand, pedum (shepherd's crook) in his left hand, Pan on right supporting him, Satyr on left standing with outstretched right hand, panther seated left at feet on left, Z (mark of value) right; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (15 Aug 2020), lot 921; the second known; $810.00 (€664.20)
Lampsacus (as Colonia Gemella Iulia Lampsacus), Mysia, c. 45 - 35 B.C.
M. Grant (Grant FITA, p. 246) first and convincingly attributed this type to Lampsacus. P. Brunt (Italian Manpower, p. 600) argues convincingly that the colony at Lampsakos was founded by Julius Caesar about 45 B.C. (a twin colony to another at Parium) and disappeared after its occupation by Sextus Pompey in 35 B.C. The reverse legend identifies Q. Lucretius and L. Pontius as the colony's first duoviri. This type was likely struck at the time the colony was founded or very soon after.RP96982. Bronze as, RPC Online I 2273 (7 spec.); Grant FITA p. 246, 5; Robinson NC 1921 p. 7, 6 (Parion); Imhoof MG p. 252, 126 (Parion), VF, green patina, earthen encrustation, inscriptions not fully struck, weight 3.550 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, dictatorship of Julius Caesar, c. 45 - 44 B.C.; obverse C G I L (Colonia Gemella Julia Lampsakos), bearded head of Janus, C G I L (Colonia Gemella Julia Lampsakos) divided across field, countermark: monogram; reverse Q LVCRET L PONTI-O IIVIR COL DED PR (Q. Lucretius [and] L. Pontius, duoviri colonia deducta primis), prow of war galley right; Coin Archives records only four sales of this type (two with this countermark) in the last two decades; very rare; $500.00 (€410.00)
Kingdom of Bithynia, Nikomedes I, c. 279 - 255 B.C.
Nicomedes I was the first King of Bithynia to strike coins. He is primarily known for bringing the Gauls known as Galatians to the Asia Minor in 277 B.C. to fight against his brother and Antiochus I. This short-sighted mistake brought troubles for local Greeks for a century. About 264 B.C., according to Eusebius, he moved the capital to Nicomedia on the Propontis. Mørkholm describes the very similar portrait of Nikomedes on his tetradrachms as "the realistic portrait of an aged king with large and rugged facial features."GB96095. Bronze AE 17, Rec Gen I-2 p. 219, 4, & pl. 29, 5; HGC 7 609 (R2); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tub -; BMC Pontus -, F, scratches, corrosion, rough, weight 4.477 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, c. 279 - 255 B.C.; obverse diademed head of the King right; reverse Warrior goddess Artemis-Bendis seated left on rock, two vertical spears in right hand, left hand resting on sword in sheath, circular shield on ground leaning on rock on near side, tree behind on far side of rock, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King) downward on right, NIKOMH∆OY (Nikomedes) downward on left, EP monogram outer left; only one sale of this type recorded on Coin Archives for the last two decades; extremely rare; $400.00 (€328.00)
Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia
Romans refounded Tyre as a colony in 64 B.C., when Pompey annexed Phoenicia to the Roman Empire. Tyre flourished under the Rome and remained a Roman port city, even under the Byzantine Empire, until the 7th century when it was taken by Muslim conquest.RP96396. Bronze dichalkon, BMC Phoenicia p. 289, 465 var. (murex shell on right); Rouvier -; Baramki AUB -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Cop -, F, rough dark green patina, earthen deposits, weight 16.345 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, Oct 253 - Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, laureate bust right; reverse COL TVRO METR, river-god (Adonis?) standing facing, head left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right hand dropping incense on flaming altar at her feet on left, long grounded reed vertical in left hand, murex shell on left; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1971 Caesarea Maritima surface find; Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; extremely rare; $400.00 (€328.00)
Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem), Judaea, Syria Palestina
At each summer solstice Elagabalus celebrated a great festival during which he paraded the holy stone through the city of Rome. Herodian described the spectacle: "A six horse chariot carried the divinity, the horses huge and flawlessly white, with expensive gold fittings and rich ornaments. No one held the reins, and no one rode in the chariot; the vehicle was escorted as if the god himself were the charioteer. Elagabalus ran backward in front of the chariot, facing the god and holding the horses' reins. He made the whole journey in this reverse fashion, looking up into the face of his god.RP98115. Bronze AE 22, Sofaer 124 (same dies), Meshorer Aelia 134, cf. Rosenberger I 69 (legends); Kadman Aelia 130 (same), BMC Palestine -, SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, aVF, green patina with highlighting earthen deposits, some corrosion along obverse edge upper right, weight 6.994 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem) mint, 218 - 222 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR ANTONI, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse COL AEL CA COMM P F (Colonia Aelia Capitolina Commodiana Pia Felix), draped bust of Serapis right, wearing kalathos; very rare; $270.00 (€221.40)
Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.
As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, the son of Seleucus IV, was held in Rome as a hostage. After Antiochus IV (his uncle) died, he claimed the right to rule but Rome preferred Antiochus V, a weak child. Demetrius escaped, was welcomed in Syria and took his throne. Antiochus V and his regent were executed. Demetrius defeated Judas Maccabaeus and restored Seleukid control over Judaea.GY95964. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1637a; SNG Spaer 1257; Newell SMA 81; BMC Seleucid p. 47, 33 & pl. XIV, 2; HGC 9 796 (R1), aVF, toning, light corrosion/porosity, weight 15.785 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 162 - 155/4 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios right with light beard, short hair, diadem ends falling straight behind, laurel wreath border; reverse Tyche seated left on throne without back, fully clothed, short scepter in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, seat supported by winged tritoness, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ∆HMHTPIOY downward on left, monogram (control) outer left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $260.00 (€213.20)
Katane, Sicily, c. 415 - 404 B.C.
Katane was captured by Dionysios of Syracuse in 403 B.C., who sold the population into slavery and resettled the city with Campanian mercenaries. The city submitted to Rome during the First Punic war. GI96877. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 91, 1; SNG ANS 1272; BMC Sicily p. 50, 51; HGC 2 607 (S); SNG Cop -; SNG Mun -, VF, nice green patina, attractive style, centered on a tight flan, light marks, scattered small pits, weight 1.668 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 270o, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 415 - 404 B.C.; obverse AMENANOΣ (clockwise on left), young head of river-god Amenanos left, with horns and wavy hair; reverse winged thunderbolt, wings open, K-A flanking under wings, three small pellets around (two above wings, one right); scarce; $260.00 (€213.20)
Mylasa, Caria, c. 167 - 130 B.C.
NEW Mylas is an ancient city on the coast of southwestern Turkey. They traded and did business with the people of Rhodes. "The Pseudo-Rhodian Drachms of Mylasa" by Richard Ashton in Numismatic Chronicle 1992 catalogs and discusses a hoard of very similar drachms attributed to Mylasa. His coin number 274 (and others) shares the same obverse die with our coin. This reverse and the control marks on this example were missing from that hoard and from the many references examined by Forum.GS97273. Silver drachm, Pseudo-Rhodian drachm; cf. Ashton Mylasa 274 (same obv. die - A98, Π−E / ∆−∆); BMC Caria p. 249, 211 ff. (controls); SNG Cop 922 ff. (same), gVF, toned, slightest porosity, weight 1.837 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 0o, Mylasa (Mylas, Turkey) mint, c. 167 - 130 B.C.; obverse head of Helios facing (not radiate), eagle with wings closed standing right in front of right cheek; reverse rose on stem with branch and bud on both sides, Π-A / ∆−∆ (magistrates or controls) flanking across field divided by flower and stem; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 92 (2 Aug 2020), lot 290; rare variant; $250.00 (€205.00)
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