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

Dioscuri

The Disocuri were Castor and Pollux (or Polydeuces), the twin sons of Leda and brothers of Helen of Troy. The twins shared the same mother but had different fathers. Pollux, the son of Zeus, was immortal but Castor was mortal. When Castor died, Pollux asked to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together. They were transformed into the Gemini constellation and the two spend alternate days on Olympus (as gods) and in Hades (as deceased mortals). The pair were regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo's fire.

Maxentius, February 307 - 28 October 312 A.D.

|Maxentius|, |Maxentius,| |February| |307| |-| |28| |October| |312| |A.D.||follis|
On 11 November 308, attempting to keep peace within the Roman Empire, at the Congress of Carnuntum, the Tetrarchy declared Maxentius a public enemy, Licinius was proclaimed Augustus, and Constantine I was made Caesar of Britain and Gaul.
RT111554. Billon follis, Hunter V 28, RIC VI Ostia 35, Cohen VII 5, SRCV IV 14975, aEF/VF, well centered, dark patina, centers a little flat/weak, weight 6.984 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Ostia (port of Rome) mint, 309 - 28 Oct 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG, laureate head right, bare right shoulder from behind; reverse AETERNITAS AVG N, Castor and Pollux, each with star above cap, naked except chlamys over shoulder, leaning on scepter with outer arm, holding bridled horse with inner hand, MOSTP in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 946 (part of); $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Thessalonica, Macedonia, Late 2nd - Early 1st Century B.C.

|Thessalonika|, |Thessalonica,| |Macedonia,| |Late| |2nd| |-| |Early| |1st| |Century| |B.C.||as|
Thessalonica was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander, King of Macedonia, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a daughter of Philip II and a half-sister of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of Macedonia Secunda and in 146 B.C. it was made the capital of the whole Roman province of Macedonia. Due to its port and location at the intersection of two major Roman roads, Thessalonica grew to become the most important city in Macedonia. Thessalonica was important in the spread of Christianity; the First Epistle to the Thessalonians written by Paul the Apostle is the first written book of the New Testament.
GB112735. Bronze as, SNG Cop 368; SNG ANS 803; BMC Macedonia p. 112, 32; Touratsoglou Macedonia 16; AMNG III.2 17; HGC 3 740 (R1), F, nice green patina, pitting/corrosion, edge cracks, weight 12.492 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 120 - 80 B.C.; obverse laureate and bearded head of Janus; reverse the Dioskouroi on horseback, facing opposite directions, each holding a spear, star above each; ΘEΣΣA/ΛONIKHΣ divided starting above and ending in exergue, grain ear below in exergue; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00 ON RESERVE


Adramytion, Mysia, 2nd Century B.C.

|Other| |Mysia|, |Adramytion,| |Mysia,| |2nd| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |20|
Adramytteion was a coastal town northwest of Pergamon in Mysia, said to be founded by Adramys, brother of King Kroisos. In classical times, Adramyttium received settlers from Athens and Delos. It later belonged to the Roman province of Asia, whose capital was Ephesus. The ancient city with its harbor has entirely disappeared. Paul, while being taken as prisoner from Caesarea to Rome, embarked upon a ship belonging to Adramyttium (Acts 27:2). It conveyed him only to Myra, in Lycia, from which he sailed on an Alexandrian ship for Italy.
GB99076. Bronze AE 20, SNG BnF 22; SNG Cop 7; AMNG IV p. 17, 35; BMC Mysia p. 3, 7; Waddington 612; SNGvA 1052 var. (no bow or quiver), aVF, attractive style, brown tone, slightly rough, inscription obscure, weight 6.543 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Adramytion (Edremit, Turkey) mint, 2nd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo left, hair tied at the back with two locks falling down neck, bow and quiver at shoulder; reverse cornucopia overflowing with grain, pomegranate, and a bunch of grapes hanging down to the left, flanked by two pilei (caps of the Dioscuri) with stars above, AΔPA-MY/TH-NΩN in two lines above and below caps; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem), Syria Palestina

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Aelia| |Capitolina| |(Jerusalem),| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |22|
In 132, a messianic, charismatic Jewish leader Simon bar Kokhba started the Bar Kokhba revolt, a war of liberation for Judea against Rome. At first the rebellion was a success. The legion X Fretensis was forced to retreat from Jerusalem to Caesarea. The legion XXII Deiotariana, which advanced from Egypt, was destroyed. The Jews re-established their sacrifices and struck coins to celebrate their independence. The rebellion would last for only 30 months. By 135, the Romans had recaptured Jerusalem, Simon bar Kokhba was dead, and the majority of the Jewish population of Judea was either killed, exiled, or sold into slavery. Jerusalem was renamed Colonia Aelia Capitolina and an altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Temple. After these events, the Jews would remain scattered without a homeland for close to two millennia.
JD111122. Bronze AE 22, RPC Online IV T6403; SNG ANS 595; Rosenberger I 11; Meshorer City-Coins 28; Sofaer 24; BMC Palestine p. 86, 21; Kadman I 22; SNG Cop 24, Fair, highlighting earthen deposits, old scrapes, weight 8.892 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem) mint, Aug 138 - 7 Mar 161 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS AVG P P P, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CO A-E CA (Colonia Aelia Capitolina), the Dioscuri, standing naked, heads turned towards each other, star above each and each holding a spear, hand on hip, eagle with spread wings standing between them; $36.00 SALE PRICE $32.40


Baktrian Kingdom, Eukratides I Megas, c. 171 - 145 B.C.

|Bactrian| |Kingdom|, |Baktrian| |Kingdom,| |Eukratides| |I| || |Megas,| |c.| |171| |-| |145| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Eucratides I Megas replaced the Euthydemid dynasty with his own. He fought the Indo-Greek kings, the easternmost Hellenistic rulers in northwestern India, temporarily holding territory as far as the Indus, until he was defeated and pushed back to Bactria. His vast coinage suggests a rule of considerable importance.
SH70829. Silver tetradrachm, Bopearachchi-Rahman 241; Bopearachchi 6E; SNG ANS 465; HGC 12 131; Mitchiner IGIS I 177ee; SNG Cop 272 - 273 var. (monogram), gVF, porous in areas, weight 16.771 g, maximum diameter 32.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pushkalavati(?) mint, c. 171 - 145 B.C.; obverse diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, wearing crested helmet adorned with bull's horn and ear; all within bead-and-reel border; reverse BAΣIΛΕΩΣ MΕΓAΛOY ΕYKPATIΔOY, the Dioskouroi on rearing horses right, each holds a spear in his right, and palm fronds in left; monogram below horses; ex CNG Auctions 291, lot 166; SOLD


Tyndaris, Sicily, c. 380 - 254 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Tyndaris,| |Sicily,| |c.| |380| |-| |254| |B.C.||AE| |23|
Tyndaris, 36 miles from Messana (modern Messina), was founded by Dionysios of Syracuse in 396 B.C., on land taken from Abakainon, peopled with Messenian exiles, and named for Tyndaris, the mythical king of Sparta and father of Castor. In Greek mythology, the Dioscuri, the twin brothers Castor and Pollux, were sons of the Spartan Queen Leda. Tyndareus was the father of Castor, thus a mortal, while Zeus was the father of Pollux, thus a demigod. Helen of Troy was the daughter of Leda and Zeus, thus the sister of the Dioscuri.
GI95231. Bronze AE 23, Calciati p. 79, 1/1; BMC Sicily p. 235, 1; Weber 1753; SNG Cop 948; HGC 2 1632 (R2); SNG ANS -; SNG Mn -; SNG Tb -; SNG Lloyd -, gVF, dark brown tone, cleaning scratches, smoothing, weight 8.876 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 45o, Tyndaris mint, c. 380 - 254 B.C.; obverse TYNΔAPIΣ, head of Helen of Troy left; wearing stephane and earring, star of eight rays and central pellet behind; reverse Castor on horseback cantering right, wearing cap and chlamys, palm frond in left hand and over left shoulder, reins in right hand; ex Forum (2018); very rare; SOLD


Roman Republic, Manius Fonteius C.f., c. 85 B.C.

|99-50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Manius| |Fonteius| |C.f.,| |c.| |85| |B.C.||denarius|
Vejovis is a little-known Italian deity. He was worshiped in a temple on the Capitol in Rome. The reverse most likely depicts a statue that was beside the statue of Vejovis in the temple. This statue may refer to the infancy of Jupiter who was suckled by the goat Amaltheia on Mount Ida.

The thyrsus is the staff carried by Bacchus and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy.
RR75243. Silver denarius, Crawford 353/1a, Sydenham 724, RSC I Fonteia 9, BMCRR I Rome 2476, Russo RBW 1350, SRCV I 271, Choice aEF, well centered and struck, nicely toned, a few light scratches, weight 3.813 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 85 B.C.; obverse MN FONTEI C F (MN and NT in monogram) downward behind, laureate head of Vejovis right, thunderbolt below neck truncation, Roma monogram below chin; reverse Cupid seated on goat right, caps of the Dioscuri above, thyrsus of Bacchus in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Naville auction 9, lot 175, ex Tkalec sale 2006, 106, ex NAC 46 (April 2008), lot 369; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

|Philadelphia|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.,| |Philadelphia,| |Lydia||AE| |17|
Older references identify imperial family members on the reverse but RPC identifies them as Dioscuri. RPC notes, "That the jugate busts probably do not represent Germanicus and Agrippina I, Germanicus and Agrippina as Apollo and Artemis, or Apollo and Artemis (see BMC; Imhoof-Blumer, LS, pp. 116-117; Trillmich, W. Familienpropaganda der Kaiser Caligula und Claudius. Agrippina Maior und Antonia Augusta auf Mnzen, pp. 130-131) since the further figure can sometimes be seen to be laureate (e.g. 2023/1 = BMC 53). It must therefore be male, and the two interpreted as the Dioscuri, who had previously appeared on the coinage of Philadelphia." The Dioscuri are also found on the imperial coinage of Caligula. In addition, since the magistrate named on the reverse is a priest, religious symbolism would be appropriate.

The facial features of the reverse busts do, however, resemble members of the family of Caligula. Perhaps the they are Nero and Drusus Caesars as the brothers Castor and Pollux.
RP16599. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 3018 (3 spec.), SGICV 415, VF, weight 4.344 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, 16 Mar 37 - 24 Jan 41 A.D.; obverse ΓANTIOΣ KANTIΣANTP, bare head right, star behind; reverse ΦIΛAΔΕΛΦΕΩN MΕΛANΘOΣ IΕPΕYΣ ΓΕPMANIKOY, laureate and jugate busts of the Dioscuri right; dark patina; very scarce; SOLD


Kingdom of Sophene, Armenia, Arsames II, c. 240 - 220 B.C.

|Armenian| |Kingdom|, |Kingdom| |of| |Sophene,| |Armenia,| |Arsames| |II,| |c.| |240| |-| |220| |B.C.||chalkous|
The Kingdom of Sophene was a Hellenistic-era political entity situated between ancient Armenia and Syria. Ruled by the Orontid dynasty, the kingdom was culturally mixed with Greek, Armenian, Iranian, Syrian, Anatolian and Roman influences. Founded around the 3rd century B.C., the kingdom maintained independence until c. 95 B.C. when the Artaxiad king Tigranes the Great conquered the territories as part of his empire. Sophene laid near medieval Kharput, which is present day Elazig. Sophene_Map
SH66374. Bronze chalkous, Nercessian Sophene 19; Nercessian 9 var. (same head right); Bedoukian ANSMN 28, 8 var. (same), aVF, weight 3.057 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 315o, Persepolis (Fars Province, Iran) mint, c. 240 - 220 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust left, wearing flat-topped tiara; reverse BAΣIΛΕΩΣ APΣAMOY, caps of the Dioscuri, two stars above; extremely rare; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Tomis, Moesia Inferior

|Tomis|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.,| |Tomis,| |Moesia| |Inferior||AE| |20|
Although Varbanov does not list this coin as rare, RPC lists only two specimens and Coin Archives lists only one sale of the type in the last two decades.

Tomis (Constanta, Romania today) was founded by Greek colonists around 600 B.C. on the Black Sea shore for trade with the local Getic population. The Roman poet Ovid was banished by Augustus to Tomis in 8 A.D. and died there eight years later. By his account, Tomis was "a town located in a war-stricken cultural wasteland on the remotest margins of the empire."
RP85844. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 1825 (2 specimens), AMNG I/II 2577, Varbanov I 4631 (R7), Moushmov 1789, SGICV 382; BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, aF, very porous, edge crack, weight 3.757 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, 16 Mar 37 - 24 Jan 41 A.D.; obverse ΓAIOC KAICAP (counterclockwise from upper left), laureate head right; reverse Dioscuri on horseback right, TOMITΩN HΓHTO in two lines below; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; very rare; SOLD







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