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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Cybele||View Options:  |  |  | 

Cybele

Cybele was the Phrygian deification of the Earth Mother.

Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||drachm|
Cybele was born a hermaphrodite, but castrated by the gods, she became female. Heeding the Sibylline oracle the senate brought her worship to Rome in 204 B.C. as the first officially sanctioned Eastern cult. After approval, they were dismayed to learn that the priesthood required voluntary self-castration, which was abhorrent to the Romans. Romans were barred from entering the priesthood or even entering the priest's sanctuary. The eunuch priests, recruited from outside Rome, were confined to their sanctuary, leaving only to parade in the streets during festivals in April. Claudius removed the bans on Roman participation, making worship of Cybele and her consort Attis part of the state religion."Cybele
RX92509. Bronze drachm, RPC Online IV.4 T14962; Dattari-Savio 2689; Geissen 1778; Milne 2330; BMC Alexandria p. 121, 1042; Emmett 1600/20 (R1), aF, well centered, porous, edge splits, beveled obverse edge, weight 24.026 g, maximum diameter 32.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 156 - 28 Aug 157 A.D.; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P - ANTWNINOC, laureate head right; reverse Cybele seated left on throne flanked by two seated lions, wearing chiton and peplos, phiale in right hand, resting arm on drum, L - K (year 20) flanking high across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior, Pseudo-Autonomous, c. 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.

|Marcianopolis|, |Marcianopolis,| |Moesia| |Inferior,| |Pseudo-Autonomous,| |c.| |2nd| |-| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.||AE| |20|
Renamed by Trajan after his sister, Ulpia Marciana, Marcianopolis was an important strategic center for centuries. The city was repeatedly destroyed by barbarians (Goths, Huns, Avars and others) but was repeatedly rebuilt and prospered. During Valens' conflict with the Goths, it was a temporary capital of the empire and the largest city in Thrace. An Avar raid destroyed the city in 614 or 615.
RL95898. Bronze AE 20, H-J Marcianopolis 6.0.31.4 (R3), AMNG I/I 539, RPC Online VIII U73840 (3 spec.), VF, green patina, uncleaned, encrustation, off center on a broad flan, weight 3.982 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, c. 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.; obverse MAPKIANO-ΠOΛIC, turreted and draped bust of Tyche right, kalathos on head; reverse MAPKIANO-ΠOΛEITΩN, Cybele enthroned left, wearing kalathos, phiale in right hand, left elbow on tympanum (drum), two lions flanking throne; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $40.00 SALE |PRICE| $36.00
 


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

|99-50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |First| |Triumvirate,| |A.| |Plautius,| |c.| |55| |B.C.||denarius|
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 way 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.
RR94469. Silver denarius, Crawford 431/1, Sydenham 932, RSC I Plautia 13, BMCRR Rome 3916, Russo RBW 1540, SRCV I 395, Choice gVF, well centered on a broad flan, light tone on mint luster, areas of weak strike, light marks, weight 3.867 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, 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 an Israeli collection, ex Münzzentrum Rheinland, auction 177 (14 Sep 2016), lot 304; SOLD







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