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A decursio was a military exercise, by which Roman soldiers were taught to make long marches in a given time, under arms and without quitting their ranks. They sometimes consisted of a mock fight between two divisions. Augustus and subsequently Hadrian ordered that the infantry and cavalry were to march out three times a month ten miles from the camp and ten miles back, fully armed and equipped. Decursio on this coin probably refers Nero's participation in mock military maneuvers in the circus.SH96390. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 508, Mac Dowall WCN 448, BMCRE I 316, BnF II 135, Cohen I 88, SRCV I -, Choice aEF/VF, superb portrait, well centered and struck, scratches, marks, porosity more on the reverse, weight 23.971 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 66 A.D.; obverse IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONT MAX TR POT P P, laureate head left, small globe at point; reverse DECVRSIO (in exergue), Nero and a companion on horseback prancing right, Nero holds spear in right hand, companion holds vexillum in right over shoulder, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $2070.00 (€1904.40)
Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Aegeae, Cilicia
Aegeae or Aigai was a town on the coast of ancient Cilicia, on the north side of the Bay of Issus. It is now separated from the outlet of the Pyramus (the modern Ceyhan) by a long narrow estuary called Gulf of Alexandretta. In Strabo's time it was a small city with a port. Aegae was a Greek town, but the origin of it is unknown. A Greek inscription of the Roman period has been discovered there; and under the Roman dominion it was a place of some importance. Tacitus calls it Aegeae. It was Christianised at an early date. RP92556. Bronze diassarion, RPC Online I 4031 (4 spec.), SNG Levante 1688, SNG BnF 2316, Waddington 4069, BMC Lycaonia -, VF, superb portrait, green patina with some red copper high points, earthen deposits, beveled reverse edge, weight 10.798 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Aegeae (near Yumurtalik, Turkey) mint, magistrate Eyan, c. 30 A.D.; obverse TIBEPIOY KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, laureate head of Tiberius left; reverse AIΓE/AIΩN / EYAN, inscription in three lines within wreath; from the Errett Bishop Collection, zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $800.00 (€736.00)
Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.
NEW In July 69, Vitellius learned that the armies of the eastern provinces had proclaimed their commander, Vespasian, as emperor. Vitellius, aware that he would be defeated, negotiated terms of resignation, but the praetorians refused to allow him to carry out the agreement, and forced him to return to the palace. When Vespasian's troops entered Rome he was dragged out of a lodge where he was hiding, taken to the fatal Gemonian stairs, and executed. His body was thrown into the Tiber according to Suetonius; Cassius Dio's account is that Vitellius was beheaded and his head paraded around Rome, and his wife attended to his burial. "Yet I was once your emperor," were his last words. His brother and son were also killed.RS97643. Silver denarius, RIC I 107 (S), RSC II 72, BMCRE I 34, BnF III 71, Hunter I 17, SRCV I 2200, gVF, toned, tight flan, scratches, bumps, scrapes, areas of porosity, weight 2.800 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse PONT MAXIM (high priest), Vesta seated right on throne with back, veiled, draped, patera in right hand, long scepter in left hand vertical on left (far) side; from an Israeli Collection; scarce; $700.00 (€644.00)
Nero and Poppaea, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
RPC Online I notes, "The date does look like L IB, but the coin is very battered." and "Confirmation required. Poppaea died in AD 65, so it seems unlikely that coins should have been made for her in year 12." This is the Dattari Collection plate coin and Dattari identified it as year 12. In Alexandria, Nero's year 12 began on 29 August 65 A.D. According to Suetonius, one day in the summer of 65, Poppaea quarreled fiercely with Nero over his spending too much time at the races. She was pregnant with her second child. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her. This coin suggests her death was likely on or after the 19th of August. It would have taken 9 days or more for the news of her death to reach Alexandria. This coin may have been a trial strike or perhaps one of very few struck during the first days of the new year.RX93590. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari-Savio pl. 7, 199 (this coin!); RPC Online I 5289A (this coin!, the only spec.), aVF, brown tone, corrosion, scratches, rough, weight 7.834 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 29 Aug 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAV KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AYTO, radiate bust of Nero right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust of Poppaea right, L IB (year 12) lower right; from the Kreuzer Collection, ex Naville Numismatics auction 51 (21 Jul 2019), lot 301; ex Dattari Collection; this is the only known example of this type dated year 12!; unique!?; $600.00 (€552.00)
Germanicus, b. 24 May 15 B.C. - d. 10 Oct 19 A.D., Issued by Caligula
This type was issued by Caligula in honor of his deceased father. Germanicus Caesar was the son of Tiberius' brother Drusus Sr. and Antonia the daughter of Mark Antony and Octavia. He distinguished himself on the battlefield many times, most notably in Germania where he inflicted serious defeats on the barbarian tribes and recovered the legionary standards lost in the catastrophic Varus disaster. He was chosen Tiberius' successor, but died of an unknown cause. His tremendous popularity helped his son Caius (Caligula) obtain the throne after Tiberius died.RB97745. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC I Gaius 57, BMCRE I Gaius 93, BnF II Caligula 140, Hunter I Gaius 37, Cohen I 7, SRCV I 1820, gF, scattered mild pitting, weight 12.208 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 41 A.D.; obverse Germanicus in slow quadriga right, bare-headed, wearing paludamentum, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, chariot ornamented with Victory and wreath, GERMANICVS / CAESAR in two lines above horses; reverse Germanicus standing left, bare-headed, wearing cuirass and short tunic, cloak over left arm, right leg bent, raising right hand, aquila (legionary eagle) in left hand, SIGNIS - RECEPT / DEVICTIS - GERM (standards recovered from the defeated Germans) in two divided lines across the field at center, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 78 (17 Dec 2020), lot 1296, ex Lucernae prima auction (2 Jun 2020), lot 212; $500.00 (€460.00)
Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Uncertain Mint, Anatolia or Syria
The mint, the quaestor who struck this type, and even the identity of the person in the portrait remain uncertain. The type has previously been attributed to Macedonia and the portrait identified as Brutus (Friedlander) or Caesar (Grant). David Sear notes the type has never been found in Macedonia. Finds point to Syria or Anatolia. It is possible that the type was issued, with his own portrait, by Sosius, a general under Marc Antony who was quaestor in 39 B.C. Much more likely, however, the portrait is of Augustus.RP96854. Bronze AE 27, RPC I 5409; Sear CRI 957 (Syria); AMNG II 29 (Pella), gF, dark green patina, flan adjustment marks, strike a little weak, edge crack, weight 14.989 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Anatolian or Syrian mint, c. 39 B.C.(?); obverse bare head right; reverse hasta (spear), sella quaestoria (quaestor's seat of office), and fiscus (imperial treasury), Q (quaestor) below; previously a rare type but recent finds have made it easier to acquire; from a Florida collector, ex Trusted Coins; $490.00 (€450.80)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt, Ancient Counterfeit
In 1933, J.G. Milne wrote, "There are scarcely any counterfeits or forgeries of Alexandrian coins in existence, other than those made in modern times." This coin is, however, an ancient counterfeit, a die match to two specimens in William Metcalf 's "A Hoard of Forgeries from Luxor" in Revue Belge de Numismatique CXXII (1976), pp. 65 - 77, pls. 1 - 2 (Available Online). Metcalf records a hoard of ancient Alexandrian forgeries in the American Numismatic Society collection, acquired at Luxor in March 1908, by the E.T. Newell. The 76 pieces in the ANS not be the entire hoard, since Newell was in the habit of disposing of duplicate or damaged specimens. The coins are of acceptable weight and struck, not cast, and copied coins struck 41 - 161 A.D. The hoard was clearly as intended, a hoard of counterfeits only, likely the forger's own stock. There are two specimens from the same dies in the ANS. Our coin may have been part of this original hoard or it may be a coin that the forger had already put into circulation.RX93591. Billon tetradrachm, Metcalf Forgeries p. 72, obv: IX / rev: 17 & obv: pl. 1, 11 / rev: pl. 2, 13 (for prototype see Dattari 256, struck 67/68 A.D.), VF, very close to official style, light marks, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 11.725 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 0o, criminal mint, c. 161 - 165 A.D.; obverse NEPO KΛAY KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AY, radiate bust of Nero left, wearing aegis, L I∆ (year 14) before; reverse ∆IOΣ OΛYMΠIOY, laureate bust of Zeus Olympios right, no star; ex Naville Numismatics auction 51 (21 Jul 2019), lot 241 (not identified as counterfeit); $400.00 (€368.00)
Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Caesarea Maritima, Judaea Under Agrippa II
This Judaea Capta type was minted at Caesarea Maritima, Judaea. Caesarea, built by Herod the Great about 25 - 13 B.C., was named to flatter Augustus Caesar. It became the capital of Iudaea Province and the residence of the Roman procurators and governors including Pontius Pilatus, praefectus and Antonius Felix. In 66 A.D., the desecration of the local synagogue led to the disastrous Jewish revolt. After the revolt was suppressed, 2500 Jewish captives were slaughtered at Caesarea in Gladiatorial games held by Titus to celebrate his victory. Today, Caesarea's ruins lie on Israel's Mediterranean coast about halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of Pyrgos Stratonos ("Straton's Tower").RP96395. Bronze AE 14, RPC Online II 2303 (5 spec.); Hendin 1453; Carradice INJ pl. 3, 22; Kadman -; BMC Palestine -; SNG Cop -, aF, rough dark green patina, light encrustations, weight 1.739 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, die axis 180o, Caesarea Maritima mint, struck under Agrippa II, c. 81 - 82 A.D.; obverse DOMITIANVS CAESAR DIVI F AV, laureate head right; reverse rudder, no inscription; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection; rare; $150.00 (€138.00)
Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Parion, Mysia(?)
The attribution of this very rare type to Parium is uncertain. See RPC II p. 137.
The ceremonial founding of a new Roman colony included plowing a furrow, the pomerium, a sacred boundary, around the site of the new city.RP94451. Bronze AE 15, RPC II Online 889 (12 spec.), SNGvA 6202, F, dark brown patina, light corrosion, tight flan, weight 3.575 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Parion, Mysia(?) mint, 13 Sep 81 - 18 Sep 96 A.D.; obverse DO-MIT AVG (clockwise from the upper right), laureate head left; reverse priest plowing right with two oxen, marking the pomerium (sacred boundary marked for the foundation of a new Roman colony), GERM in exergue; zero sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $130.00 (€119.60)
Judaea, Pontius Pilate, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 26 - 36 A.D.
NEW Pontius Pilate served under Emperor Tiberius and is best known from the biblical account of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. He was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from 26 - 36 A.D. He is known from the New Testament, his coins, brief mention by Tacitus, Philo of Alexandria, Josephus, the Gospel of Nicodemus, the Gospel of Marcion, other apocryphal works, and a stone in the Israel Museum inscribed with his name and "PRAEFECTUS IVDAEAE."JD97320. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1341, Meshorer TJC 331, Sofaer Collection 34, RPC I 4967, SGICV 5622, aF, green patina, a little off center, pitting, weight 1.852 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 29 A.D.; obverse IOYLIA KAICAPOC, three bound heads of barley, the outer two heads drooping; reverse TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (of Tiberius Caesar) and date LIς (year 16) surrounding simpulum (libation ladle); $110.00 (€101.20)
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