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

Serapis
Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IV| |Epiphanes,| |175| |-| |164| |B.C.||AE| |36|
From the extraordinary "Egyptianizing" coinage of Antiochus IV, celebrating his triumph over the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt by using a reverse type strongly associated with the Lagid dynasty, an eagle perched on a thunderbolt.

The villain of Hanukkah. Antiochos IV assumed divine epithets, which no other Hellenistic king had done, such as Theos Epiphanes (God Manifest). His subjects made a pun on his name, calling him Epimanes (madman). In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil.
GY98882. Bronze AE 36, Houghton-Lorber II 1413; SNG Spaer 979; Newell SMA 59; BMC Seleucid p. 38, 42; Houghton CSE 118; Svoronos 1416; HGC 9 643 (S-R1), aF, rough, central cavities, obverse edge beveled, weight 32.540 g, maximum diameter 35.5 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, autumn 169 - autumn 168 B.C.; obverse laureate and diademed head of Serapis right, taenia diadem with Osiris cap at peak; reverse eagle standing right on thunderbolt, wings closed, head right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two downward lines on the right, ΘEOY EΠIΦANOYΣ in two downward lines on the left; big 36mm bronze!; scarce; $110.00 (104.50)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Neapolis, Samaria, Syria Palestina

|Roman| |Judea| |&| |Palestina|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Neapolis,| |Samaria,| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |17|
Neapolis, Samaria, the biblical Shechemis, is now Nablus, Israel. It is the site of Joseph's Tomb and Jacob's well. Jesus spoke here to a Samaritan woman. Neapolis is home to about half the remaining worldwide Samaritan population of 600.
RP98108. Bronze AE 17, Sofaer 116 (same dies); Rosenberger III 47; BMC Palestine p. 62, 106 ff.; Lindgren III 1508; SNG ANS -, VF, well centered, dark green patina with highlighting earthen deposits, flan adjustment marks, small spot of corrosion on reverse, weight 7.870 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, Neapolis (Nablus, Israel) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AV ANTWNIN, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΦΛ NEACΠOΛEWC, bust of Serapis right, draped, wearing kalathos; ex Menashe Landman Collection; $105.00 (99.75)


Maximinus II Daia, May 310 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |May| |310| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|
Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the official sun god of the late Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274, Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Scholars disagree whether the new deity was a re-foundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol, a revival of the cult of Elagabalus, or completely new. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 A.D. and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them.
RT97848. Billon follis, Hunter V 110 (also 8th officina), RIC VI Antiochia 167b, SRCV IV 14894, Cohen VII 161, VF, well centered, porous, some pitting, weight 4.614 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, 8th officina Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse SOLI INVICTO (to the invincible sun god), Sol standing facing, head left, radiate, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, head of Serapis wearing kalathos in left hand, H left, star right, ANT in exergue; from a Norwegian collection; $60.00 (57.00)


Maximinus II Daia, May 310 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |May| |310| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Roman People, etc. The legend GENIO AVGVSTI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Augusti, the Emperors.
RL94872. Billon follis, RIC VI Alexandria 162b, SRCV IV 14843, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V 126 var. ( no wreath), aVF, heavy earthen deposits, weight 5.300 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Alexandria mint, 313 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genius standing slightly left, kalathos on head left, head of Serapis in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star upper left, N over palm-branch left, Γ over wreath right, ALE in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $50.00 (47.50)


Maximinus II Daia, May 310 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |May| |310| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Roman People, etc. The legend GENIO AVGVSTI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Augusti, the Emperors. The figure depicted is the statue of the Spirit of the Roman People which was then in the Roman Forum (it is now lost). The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted.
RL94877. Billon follis, RIC VI Alexandria 149b, SRCV IV 14841, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V 124 var. (2nd officina), aVF, well centered, dark green patina, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 5.691 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Alexandria mint, 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genius standing facing, head left, kalathos on head, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, head of Serapis wearing kalathos in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, X lower left, Γ right, ALE in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $45.00 (42.75)







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