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The name Ostia was derived from the Latin "ostium" - river mouth. At the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was Rome's seaport. Construction of the port facilities began under Claudius and was likely completed just before this sestertius was struck in 64 A.D. Trajan and Hadrian expanded the facilities. The port was abandoned due to silting and now lies 3 km from the sea. The site is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings, magnificent frescoes and impressive mosaics.SH86120. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC I 178, BMCRE I 131, Cohen I 37, Mac Dowall WCN 120, BnF I -, VF, well centered, nice portrait, near black patina, scratches on obverse lower right field, some porosity and tiny pitting, weight 26.031 g, maximum diameter 34.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 64 A.D.; obverseNEROCLAVDCAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate bust right, wearing aegis; reverse AVGVSTI above, S - C divided by POR OST below, bird's-eye view Ostia harbor: pharos lighthouse with Neptune statue on top at far side center; crescent-shaped pier with building and figure sacrificing at far end, crescent-shaped row of breakwaters or slips on right with figure seated on rock at far end, 7 ships within port; river god Tiber reclining left holding rudder and dolphin below; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 195 (7 Mar 2011), lot 405; $4000.00 (€3400.00)
Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
Otho ruled for just a few months. The mint of Alexandria struck coins with his name, though the portrait bears little resemblance to those of the other mints. It is possible that Alexandria produced coins without having an image of the new emperor.RP84745. Bronze hemidrachm, RPC I 5364 (3 spec.); Geissen 257; Dattari 336; BMC Alexandria 217; Milne 376; SNG BnF 710; Kampmann-Ganschow 18.13; Emmett 189 (R4); SNG Milan -, F, attractive brown tone, flan crack, light scratches, smoothing, weight 16.768 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 69 A.D.; obverse AYTOK MAPK OΘΩNOΣ KAIΣ ΣEB, laureate head right, beveled edge; reversebust of Nilus right, wearing papyrus diadem, cornucopia behind right shoulder, date LA (year 1) before; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare; $1050.00 (€892.50)
Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Traianopolis, Thrace
Hebros is the Romanized version of the original Thracian Ebros. Today it is the Maritsa river or, in Greece, the Evros. The river enters the Aegean Sea near Enez. The lower course of the Maritsa/Evros forms part of the Bulgarian-Greek border and most of the Greek-Turkish border. The upper Maritsa valley runs east-west in Bulgaria. The unnavigable river is used for power production and irrigation.
The Three Graces, named Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Thalia, were the attendants of Venus (Aphrodite).SH74540. Brass AE 31, Schönert-GeissAugusta Traiana 27 (V13/R24), Varbanov III 2739, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, F, well centered, cleaning scratches, smoothing, weight 11.934 g, maximum diameter 31.2 mm, die axis 15o, Thrace, Traianopolis mint, hegemon Statilus Barbarus; obverse AYK Λ CEΠ - CEYHPOC Π, laureate head right; reverse HΓ CTATI BAPBAPOY TPAIANOΠO−ΛITΩN, River-god Hebrus reclining left on upturned urn; the Charites (the Three Graces) behind his legs standing facing; left and middle Charites with heads right, left Charis holding rod(?), middle Charis holding apple; big 31 mm bronze!; very rare; $400.00 (€340.00)
Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 275 - 250 B.C.
Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.SH86580. Silver didrachm, Sambon 523, HN Italy 586, SNG ANS 395 ff. var., SNG BnF 836 ff. var.; SNG München 250 ff. var., SNG Cop 451 ff. var. (all var., no dolphin control), VF, attractive classical style, well centered and struck, toned, bumps and marks, edge crack, weight 7.118 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples) mint, 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph left, wearing triple-pendant earring, dolphinhead down (control symbol) behind; reverseman-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, being crowned by Nike flying right above, IΣ (control or magistrate initials) below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue; $400.00 (€340.00)
Leucas-Claudia (Balanea), Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, c. 45 - 150 A.D.
This type is so rare that RPC is uncertain of the complete legends and questions if the standing god has his foot on a prow.
Baniyas (ancient Balaneais, Balanaea or Balanea, also called Leucas or Leucas-Claudia) is in northwestern Syria, 55 km south of Latakia (ancient Laodicea) and 35 km north of Tartous (ancient Tortosa). It was founded as a colony of Aradus. In Phoenician and Hellenistic times, it was an important seaport. On a nearby hill stands the Crusader castle of Margat (Qalaat el-Marqab), a huge Knights Hospitaller fortress built with black basalt stone.RY86403. Brass AE 17, RPC I 4465A (2 specimens); de Saulcy 21, 3, VF, some flatness of high points, porosity, slightly off center on a tight flan; the best of the three specimens known to Forum, weight 4.142 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 45o, Leucas-Claudia (Baniyas, Syria) mint, c. 45 - 150 A.D.; obverse TWN KAI KΛAY∆IAIWN, male god standing facing, wearing tiara, long scepter vertical in right hand, left foot on small prow; reverse ΛYKA∆IWN, upper part of river god Chrysoroas swimming right; extremely rare; $380.00 (€323.00)
Gela, Sicily, 420 - 405 B.C.
Gela, named after the river Gela, was founded by colonists from Rhodos and Crete around 688 B.C. In 424 B.C., the Congress of Gela established a "Sicily for the Sicilians" platform and formed a league that pushed back the Athenian attempt to conquer the island. The city had a history of internal strife between its plebs and aristocrats. When the Carthaginians arrived in 311 BC, they easily captured the Gela with the help of its elites. In 282 B.C., Phintias of Agrigento ruthlessly destroyed Gela to crush its power forever. In Roman times it was only a small settlement.SH76948. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 17, 32/1; Jenkins Gela 516; SNG ANS 115; SNG Cop 283; SNG München 314; BMC Sicily, p. 73, 66; HGC 2 379 (S), gVF, well centered on a broad flan, nice green patina, light marks and corrosion, weight 3.408 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 90o, Gela mint, 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse bull standing left, head lowered and turned slightly facing, barley kernel over ΓEΛAΣ above, three pellets in exergue; reverse horned head of beardless young river-god Gela right, no diadem, floating hair, barley kernel behind; scarce; $260.00 (€221.00)
Leontini, Sicily, c. 455 - 430 B.C.
Leontini was founded as by colonists from Naxos in 729 B.C., itself a Chalcidian colony established five years earlier. It was the only significant Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, being some 6 miles inland. The site, originally held by the Sicels, was seized by the Greeks owing to its command of the fertile plain to the north. The city was reduced to subject status in 498 B.C. by Hippocrates of Gela, and in 476 B.C. Hieron of Syracuse moved the inhabitants from Catania and Naxos to Leontini. This coin was struck during a period of independence during which Leontini sought the support of Athens against Syracuse. In part, this request led to Athens' failed Sicilian Expeditions, after which Athens declined. Leontini was again made subject to Syracuse in 415 B.C.GI86593. Silver litra, SNG Munchen 567 (same dies); Boehringer Leontini 58; SNG ANS 264; SNG Cop 356; SNG Lloyd 1069; BMC Sicily p. 91, 46; HGC 2 692 (R2); SNG Tubingen -, VF, attractive style, dark toning, some roughness, weight 0.658 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 180o, Leontini mint, c. 455 - 430 B.C.; obverse VEO-N (V is upside down Λ), head of roaring lion right; reverseApollo (or river god Lissos?) standing left, nude, pouring libations from phiale over altar in right hand, laurel branch in left hand, barley kernel right; very rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00 ON RESERVE
Akragas, Sicily, Tyrant Phintias, 287 - 278 B.C.
The head on the obverse is variously identified in Calciati as Apollo, in BMC Sicily and SNG Cop as Persephone, in Weber as Apollo or Persephone, and in SNG ANS, McClean, and HGC 2 as a river god. There is also a similar coin with a bust of Artemis wearing earring, necklace and quiver on the obverse. We are convinced the obversebust on this type is the river god Akragas, wreathed in reeds, not Apollo, who should be laureate, or Persephone, who should be more feminine, wearing jewelry, and wreathed in barley.GB86319. Bronze AE 22, BMC Sicily p. 20, 136; SNG Cop 103; McClean 2105, SNG ANS 1123 corr. (NΓ ligature in error); Calciati 117 var. (no monogram); HGC 2 170 (R2), gVF, green patina, minor encrustations, cleaning scratches, spots of slight corrosion, weight 7.379 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, Akragas (Agrigento, Sicily, Italy) mint, 287 - 279/8 B.C.; obversehead of the river god Akragas left, wearing a wreath of reeds, NE ligature behind; reverse wild boar charging left, BAΣIΛEOΣ above, ΦINTIA in exergue, linear border; rare; $160.00 (€136.00)
Gela, Sicily, c. 465 - 450 B.C.
Gela, named after the river Gela, was founded around 688 BC by colonists from Rhodos (Rhodes) and Crete, 45 years after the founding of Syracuse. In 424 B.C., the Congress of Gela established a platform of "Sicily for the Sicilians" and formed a league that pushed back the Athenian attempt to conquer the island.GS86587. Silver litra, Jenkins Gela 335, 1 (= SNG Mün 291); HGC 2 373 (S); SNG ANS 54 ff. var.; SNG Cop 272 ff. var.; BMC Sicily p. 68, 28 ff. var. (var. all leg. arrang.), Choice aEF, well centered, light rose toning, bumps and scratches, porosity/corrosion, weight 0.737 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, die axis 45o, Gela mint, c. 465 - 450 B.C.; obverse bridled horse right, laurel wreath above left, dotted exergue line, bridle hanging down from mouth to right in shape of a crescent, dot border; reverse forepart of man-faced bull (river god) swimming right, dotted truncation, CE-ΛA (CE above, ΛA downward on right), no border, all within shallow round incuse; a beautiful little gem seen in-hand at actual size; $150.00 (€127.50) ON RESERVE
Ziz (Panormos), Punic Sicily, c. 405 - 380 B.C.
Some authorities have identified the male head on the obverse as Apollo. Indeed, on some examples the head does resemble other depictions of the youthful sun god, but on other examples the god is horned. On this coin the head seems to better resemble traditional depictions of Herakles or Baal. The type usually has the Punic ethnic above the bull. Sometimes it is below. Most likely it should be above on this coin but is merely unstruck.GS79961. Silver obol, cf. Jenkins Punic (SNR 50) 14; BMC Sicily p. 249, 27; SNG ANS 551; SGCV I 889 (all w/ Punic ethnic "sys" above bull), aVF, toned, reverse slightly off center, weight 0.547 g, maximum diameter 9.1 mm, die axis 45o, Ziz (Palermo, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 405 - 380 B.C.; obverse male head left; reverseman-faced bull advancing left, head turned facing; $130.00 (€110.50)
Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Fluss- und Meergötter auf griechischen und römischen Münzen (Personifikationen der Gewässer)" in RSN 23 (1923), pp. 173-421.
Malloy, A. "The Danubian Celts" in Alex G. Malloy Auction Sale XLVI, June 24, 1997. NumisWiki webpage
Molinari, N.J. & N. Sisci. Potamikon: Sinews of Acheloios. A Comprehensive Catalog of the Bronze Coinage of the Man-Faced Bull, With Essays on Origin and Identity. (Oxford, 2016).
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