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

Serapis
Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Roman Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Egypt||drachm|
RPC I quotes Walkers surface analysis of Claudius billon at 21 - 26% silver, a significant drop from the 30% silver for those of Tiberius.

The ancients did not all agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. The general impression of the ancients seems to have been that by Serapis, was to be understood the beginning and foundation of things. Julian II consulted the oracle of Apollo for the purpose of learning whether Pluto and Serapis were different gods; and he received for an answer that Jupiter-Serapis and Pluto were one and the same divinity.
SH110653. Billon drachm, RPC I 5136 (4 spec.); BMC Alexandria p. , 78; Kampmann 12.25; Emmett 76/3 (R4); Geissen -; Dattari -; SNG Hunterian -, F, dark patina, earthen deposits, scratches, porosity, weight 3.330 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 42 - 43 A.D.; obverse TI KΛ KA CE AY, laureate head right, L Γ (year 3) right; reverse draped bust of Serapis right, kalathos on head; the best of this type known to FORVM; very rare; $1250.00 SALE PRICE $1125.00


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
Ptolemy Soter wanted to integrate the Hellenistic and Egyptian religions by finding a deity that could win the reverence of both groups. The Greeks would not accept an animal-headed figure, so a Greek-style anthromorphic statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force). Ptolemy's efforts were successful - in time Serapis was held by the Egyptians in the highest reverence above all other deities, and he was adored in Athens and other Greek cities.
RX111457. Billon tetradrachm, RPC Online I 5274; Dattari 251; Milne 222; BMC Alexandria p. 19, 156; Geissen 160; Kampmann 14.77; Emmett 133.10, VF, well centered on a tight flan, porous, weight 12.133 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 63 - 28 Aug 64 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAY KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP, radiate head right; reverse AYTOKPA, draped bust of Serapis right, wearing taenia and polos ornamented with lotus, LI (year 10) lower right; from the CEB Collection; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Caesarea Maritima, Samaria, Syria Palestina

|Roman| |Judea| |&| |Palestina|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Caesarea| |Maritima,| |Samaria,| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |25|
Kadman Caesarea plate V, 53 is from the same dies. No other examples know to FORVM are from the same dies. Kadman listed it as otherwise unpublished, attributed it to Lucius Verus and read the obverse legend as IMP CAES L AVR VERVS AVG ARM. This portrait does favor Lucius Verus. On the Kadman coin the legend clearly starts IMP CAES but the rest is obscure (at least in the photo). On our coin the right side legend is much clearer and certainly ends ONINVS AVG. The combined legible obverse legend is IMP CAES [... ANT]ONINVS AVG, appropriate for Marcus Aurelius.
RP111377. Bronze AE 25, RPC Online IV.3 T6318, BMC Palestine p. 22, 83 ff.; SNG ANS 778 f.; SNG Righetti 2383; SNG Hunt II 3560; Kadman I pl. V, 53, aVF, nice dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan, obv. off center, small edge split, weight 14.564 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima (Keisaria, Israel) mint, 7 Mar 161 - 17 Mar 180 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS AVG (all As shaped as Α), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse COL PRIMAE FL AVG CAESAR, draped bust of Serapis right, wearing kalathos; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


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; $45.00 SALE PRICE $40.50


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; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00







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