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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Military| ▸ |Combat||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins Depicting Combat
Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

|Constantius| |II|, |Constantius| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |3| |November| |361| |A.D.||light| |maiorina|
The reverse legend can be translated, "Happy Times Restored" but we prefer to loosely translate it to the more current and lyrical expression, "Happy Days are Here Again!"
RL99001. Billon light maiorina, Hunter V 125 (also 8th officina), RIC VIII Antioch 132, LRBC 2625, SRCV V 18171, Cohen VII 46, VF, green patina, centered on a tight flan, light earthen deposits, porous, weight 4.549 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Soldier standing left in military attire, shield on left arm, spearing diademed and bearded fallen horseman turned to face him and raising arm, Γ (control) in upper left field, ANH in exergue; $80.00 (83.20) ON RESERVE


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

|Constantius| |II|, |Constantius| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |3| |November| |361| |A.D.||heavy| |maiorina|
On 15 March 351, Constantius II elevated his 25-year-old cousin Constantius Gallus to Caesar at Sirmium in Pannonia. He arranged a marriage with his sister Constantina and put Constantius Gallus in charge of the Eastern Roman Empire. Constantius II marched West with a large army (60,000 men) to fight against Magnus Magnentius. When he defeated the usurper Magnentius he ruled all the empire. Constantius died on his way to fight Julian II, who then became emperor.
RL99000. Billon heavy maiorina, Hunter V 103 (also 6th officina), RIC VIII Cyzicus 92, LRBC II 2486, SRCV V 18166, Cohen VII 46, VF, dark green patina, tiny edge splits, weight 4.379 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 135o, 6th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 351 - 354 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), helmeted soldier standing left, spearing fallen bearded horseman laying over horse's neck, head turned back, raising hand toward soldier, oval shield on the ground at feet, Γ (control) upper left, SMKS (Sacra Moneta Kyzikos Sextus - sacred money of the Cyzicus mint, sixth officina) in exergue; $70.00 (72.80) ON RESERVE


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

|Constantius| |II|, |Constantius| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |3| |November| |361| |A.D.||heavy| |maiorina|
On 7 May 351, after Constantius Gallus arrived at Antioch, a Jewish revolt broke out in Palestine. In 352, Gallus sent his general (magister equitum) Ursicinus to put down the revolt. The rebels destroyed Diopolis and Tiberias. Diocesarea was razed to the ground. Ursicinus gave the order to kill thousands of Jews, even children. After the revolt, a permanent garrison was stationed in Galilee.
BB99586. Billon heavy maiorina, cf. RIC VIII Nicomedia 92, LRBC II 2306, SRCV V 18162, Cohen VII 46, F, green patina, tight flan, weight 4.181 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, Nicomedia(?) mint, 15 Mar 351 - 6 Nov 355 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, ∆ behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier advancing left, spearing fallen horseman, shield at feet, S upper left, [SMN...?] in exergue; Ed Strivelli Collection, ex FORVM (2019); $24.00 SALE PRICE $21.60


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

|Trajan|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.||sestertius|
This is an extremely rare heroic bust variety of a scarce type. There is only one auction record on Coin Archives for this variety: NAC Auction 59 (4 Apr 2011), lot 968 (a beautiful near EF example). It sold for $48,717 including fees.
SH73454. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 203q+2 (same obv die), RIC II 535 (S, no belt), BMCRE III 838 var. (no belt), BnF IV 565 var. (no belt), VF, well centered, high relief bust, Tiber patina, porous, areas of corrosion, weight 25.631 g, maximum diameter 34.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 104 - 107 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust left, full chest exposed, with drapery on left shoulder, military belt (balteus) across chest; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Trajan in military dress on horseback right, thrusting spear at Dacian warrior trampled and falling under fore-hooves, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; extremely rare variety; SOLD


Taras, Calabria, Italy, c. 302 - 281 B.C.

|Italy|, |Taras,| |Calabria,| |Italy,| |c.| |302| |-| |281| |B.C.||nomos|
Taras, the only Spartan colony, was founded in 706 B.C. The founders were Partheniae ("sons of virgins"), sons of unmarried Spartan women and Perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta). These out-of-wedlock unions were permitted to increase the prospective number of soldiers (only the citizens could be soldiers) during the bloody Messenian wars. Later, however, when they were no longer needed, their citizenship was retroactively nul|lified and the sons were obliged to leave Greece forever. Their leader, Phalanthus, consulted the oracle at Delphi and was told to make the harbor of Taranto their home. They named the city Taras after the son of Poseidon, and of a local nymph, Satyrion. The reverse depicts Taras being saved from a shipwreck by a dolphin sent to him by Poseidon. This symbol of the ancient Greek city is still the symbol of modern Taranto today.
SH75332. Silver nomos, Vlasto 696 corr. (∆A not WA), SNG ANS 1071 corr. (same), HN Italy 967, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, gVF/VF, superb style, excellent centering, attractive toning, light corrosion, weight 7.302 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, c. 302 - 281 B.C.; obverse warrior on horseback right, thrusting spear downward with right hand, holding two spears and shield in his left hand, ΣI upper left, ∆AKIMOΣ below right; reverse Phalanthos (or Taras) on dolphin left, small dolphin in his extended right hand, cradling cornucopia in left arm, TAPAΣ downward behind, ∆A below right; rare; SOLD


Taras, Calabria, Italy, c. 272 - 240 B.C.

|Italy|, |Taras,| |Calabria,| |Italy,| |c.| |272| |-| |240| |B.C.||nomos|
Taras, the only Spartan colony, was founded in 706 B.C. The founders were Partheniae ("sons of virgins"), sons of unmarried Spartan women and Perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta). These out-of-wedlock unions were permitted to increase the prospective number of soldiers (only the citizens could be soldiers) during the bloody Messenian wars. Later, however, when they were no longer needed, their citizenship was retroactively nul|lified and the sons were obliged to leave Greece forever. Their leader, Phalanthus, consulted the oracle at Delphi and was told to make the harbor of Taranto their home. They named the city Taras after the son of Poseidon, and of a local nymph, Satyrion. The reverse depicts Taras being saved from a shipwreck by a dolphin sent to him by Poseidon. This symbol of the ancient Greek city is still the symbol of modern Taranto today.
SH75331. Silver nomos, SNG Cop 927, Vlasto 890, HN Italy 1037, gVF, fine style, well centered on a tight flan, toned, some marks, scratches, and light corrosion, weight 6.332 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, c. 272 - 240 B.C.; obverse |−HPAK/ΛHTOΣ below, helmeted and cuirassed warrior on horseback right, shield on his back, transverse spear downward in right hand; reverse TAPAΣ, Phalanthos on dolphin left, flower in extended right hand, cornucopia in left hand, EΓ monogram and thymiaterion (incense burner) behind; SOLD


Paeonian Kingdom, Patraos, 335 - 315 B.C.

|Kingdom| |of| |Paeonia|, |Paeonian| |Kingdom,| |Patraos,| |335| |-| |315| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
As discussed by Wayne Sayles in "Ancient Coin Collecting III, Numismatic Art of the Greek World," the obverse of this coin is minted with the modern profile eye. This type was produced with both the archaic eye, "with the frontal almond eye common to the art of a century earlier" and the modern profile eye. "The contrast is not one of stylistic transition, but rather of artistic intention. In fact, the archaizing version seems to have been issued toward the end of the series."

Patraos was allied with Macedonia, and Paeonian light-armed cavalry were important in Alexander's campaign. Curiously, the fallen soldier has a Macedonian shield and wears Macedonian armor.
SH98015. Silver tetradrachm, Paeonian Hoard 184 (same dies), SNG ANS 7.1 1032, Peykov E2170, HGC 3.1 148 corr. (no symbols), VF, attractive style, tight flan, light marks, two tiny test cuts on edge, weight 12.940 g, maximum diameter 12.5 mm, die axis 45o, Astibos or Damastion mint, 335 - 315 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, with short hair and profile eye; reverse ΠATPAOY, armed warrior on horse prancing right, spearing fallen enemy in crested helmet who holds spear, fallen enemy's shield is not visible on this die, horse blanket ornamented with diagonal lines, kantharos tilted left (control symbol) in low left field; from the CEB Collection; ex Edward J. Waddell, auction II (2 Sep 1987), lot 119; SOLD


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Ilion (Troy), Troas

|Troas|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Ilion| |(Troy),| |Troas||AE| |24|
In Greek and Roman mythology, Hector was a Trojan prince and the greatest warrior for Troy in the Trojan War. He acted as leader of the Trojans and their allies in the defense of Troy, killing countless Greek warriors. He was ultimately killed by Achilles.

Did Hector really live? The most valuable historical evidence for the Battle of Troy are treaties and letters mentioned in Hittite cuneiform texts of the same approximate era, which identify an unruly Western Anatolian warlord named Piyama-Radu (possibly Priam) and his successor Alaksandu (possibly Alexander, the nickname of Paris) both based in Wilusa (possibly Ilios), as well as the god Apaliunas (possibly Apollo). The name E-ko-to (along with 20 other names from the myth) is known from Linear B tablets, not referring to the hero, but proving that this name existed in Greek in Mycenaean times.
RP97548. Brass AE 24, cf. Bellinger Troy T192; SNG Mnchen XIX 254; SNG Cop 405, BMC Troas -, F, rough, parts of legends illegible, central dimple (as usual for the type) on reverse, weight 8.121 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, Ilion (Troy), Troas mint, Mar/Apr 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.; obverse AV K M (or Λ?) AY - KOMO∆OC, laureate and draped bust right; reverse E-KTOP, Hector of Troy galloping biga right, head turned back left, wearing helmet and military dress, transverse spear in right hand, shield and reins in left hand, IΛIEΩN in exergue; extremely rare, Coin Archives records only one sale of this type in the past two decades (also listed are a few specimens of the similar and also very rare AE36 and AE19 Hector reverse types struck for Commodus at Ilion); SOLD







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