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

River Gods

Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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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, 15 Jan 69 - 17 Apr 69 A.D.; obverse AYTOK MAPK OΘΩNOΣ KAIΣ ΣEB, laureate head right, beveled edge; reverse bust of Nilus right, wearing papyrus diadem, cornucopia behind right shoulder, date LA (year 1) before; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare; $840.00 (€739.20)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Antioch, Syria

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In 2 B.C. Augustus was proclaimed Pater Patriae (father of the country) by the Roman Senate. The title was the logical consequence and final proof of Augustus' supreme position as princeps, the first in charge over the Roman state. His personal life did not go so well. His daughter, Julia the Elder, was exiled to Pandateria on charges of treason and adultery; her mother Scribonia accompanied her.
RY89755. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 185; Prieur 55; RPC I 4156; BMC Galatia p. 168, 144; Cohen DCA 400, F, dark toning, rough areas, scratches, weight 10.953 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 2 - 1 B.C.; obverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, laureate head right; reverse ETOYΣ Λ NIKHΣ (year 30 Actian victory era), Tyche of Antioch seated right on rocks, turreted, holding palm branch, half-length figure of river-god Orontes swimming right below, his head turned facing, YΠA monogram IΓ (13th consulship) over (Antioch) monogram in the right field; $215.00 (€189.20)
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon and the Third Democracy, c. 344 - 317 B.C.

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Timoleon installed a democracy in 345 B.C. After the long series of internal struggles had weakened Syracuse's power, Timoleon tried to remedy this, defeating the Carthaginians near the Krimisos river in 339 B.C. Unfortunately the struggle among the city's parties restarted after his death and ended with the rise of another tyrant, Agathocles, who seized power in 317 B.C.
GI91325. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 211, 92 DS 25 (same obv. die); BMC Sicily p. 188, 304 var. (no helmet); SNG ANS 1384 var. (same); HGC 2 1505 (S); SNG Cop -; SNG Mün -, gVF, well centered, rough corrosion/encrustation, weight 2.588 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, Syracuse mint, c. 336 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of head of nymph Arethusa facing slightly left, Thessalian helmet (control symbol) left; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, Pegasos forepart flying left, archaic curved wing; Ex Eric J. Engstrom Collection; scarce; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


Ziz (Panormos), Punic Sicily, c. 405 - 380 B.C.

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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; reverse man-faced bull advancing left, head turned facing; $115.00 (€101.20)
 


Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

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The Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire.
RA72656. Billon antoninianus, Cunetio 2371, RSC IV 355b, Schulzki AGK 88c, RIC V-2 87, SRCV III 10991, Elmer 123, Hunter IV - (p. lxxxviii), gVF, reverse scratches, weight 3.812 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 1st emission, 2nd phase, 260 - 261 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS PROVINCIARVM (health of the provinces), river-god Rhenus (Rhine) reclining left, horned, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, resting right forearm on prow of a boat, reed cradled in left hand and arm, left elbow resting on urn behind; $105.00 (€92.40)
 


Metropolis, Thessaly, Greece Late 3rd - Early 2nd Century B.C.

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The man-faced bull on the coinage of Metropolis is probably Acheloios Pamisos since Metropolis (modern Karditza) is located near the source of the Pamisos River. -- Potamikon: Sinews of Acheloios. A Comprehensive Catalog of the Bronze Coinage of the Man-Faced Bull, With Essays on Origin and Identity by Nicholas J. Molinari & Nicola Sisci
GB87119. Bronze trichalkon, Potamikon 497; BCD Thessaly I 1208.1; BCD Thessaly II 483.1-3; Rogers 411; Pozzi 2828; BMC Thessaly p. 36, 3; HGC 4 257 (S), VF, well centered, dark patina, part of reverse legend weak, porous, weight 8.951 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Metropolis (Karditsa, Greece) mint, Late 3rd - Early 2nd Century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse MHTPOΠOΛITΩN, forepart of river-god Acheloios Pamisos as man-faced bull left, head facing, ribbons hanging from head, Ω/Z monogram (control) below; ex BCD with his tag noting, "Herc. ex Macedon, March 1987, 3000 drs."; scarce; $105.00 (€92.40)
 


Danubian Celts, Serdi Region, Moesia, 168 - 31 B.C.

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Celtic imitative of a rare Macedonian issue struck under Philip V or Perseus, 187 - 168 B.C. The choice was appropriate for the Serdi Celts as the river Strymon runs through the Serdi region.
CE46730. Bronze AE 20, Malloy Danubian Celts type C3A; imitative of a Macedonian Kingdom (Philip V or Perseus) type, 187 - 168 B.C., SNG Cop 1299, VF, nice green patina, crude style, edge splits, weight 6.087 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, tribal mint, 168 - 31 B.C.; obverse reed-wreathed head of the river god Strymon right; reverse trident, stylized dolphin ornaments between prongs and flanking shaft, blundered illiterate inscription; ex Alex G. Malloy Serdi Celts Collection; rare; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 317 - 280 B.C.

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Before it was refounded as Neapolis (meaning "new city"), Naples was called Parthenope, named for the daughter of the river-god Achelous and the Muse Terpsichore. Parthenope cast herself into the sea and drowned when her songs failed to entice Odysseus. Her body washed ashore at Naples. When people from the city of Cumae settled there, they named their city Parthenope in her honor. Roman myth tells a different tale, in which a centaur called Vesuvius was enamored with Parthenope. In jealousy, Zeus turned the centaur into a volcano and Parthenope into the city of Naples. Thwarted in his desire, Vesuvius's anger is manifested in the mountain's frequent eruptions.
GB85096. Bronze AE 17, Potamikon 267, Sambon 636, Taliercio IIa 32, HN Italy 582, VF, tight flan, pitting, weight 4.325 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 317/310 - 280 B.C.; obverse NEOΠOΛITΩN, laureate head of Apollo left, ∆P monogram behind; reverse Acheloios Sebethos as a man-faced bull standing right, head turned facing, lightning bolt over E above; from the Molinari Collection; rare; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Danubian Celts, Serdi Region, Moesia, 168 - 31 B.C.

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Celtic imitative of a rare Macedonian issue struck under Philip V or Perseus, 187 - 168 B.C. The choice was appropriate for the Serdi Celts as the river Strymon runs through the Serdi region.
CE46725. Bronze AE 20, Malloy Danubian Celts type E1C; imitative of a Macedonian Kingdom (Philip V or Perseus) type, 187 - 168 B.C., SNG Cop 1299, aVF, green patina, edge crack, weight 5.332 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, tribal mint, 168 - 31 B.C.; obverse reed-wreathed head of the river god Strymon right; reverse trident, bar across near base of prongs, stylized dolphin ornaments between prongs and flanking shaft, monograms flanking shaft below, blundered inscription imitating and very similar to MAKE∆ONΩN; ex Alex G. Malloy Serdi Celts Collection; scarce; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, 317 - 270 B.C.

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Before it was refounded as Neapolis (meaning "new city"), Naples was called Parthenope, named for the daughter of the river-god Achelous and the Muse Terpsichore. Parthenope cast herself into the sea and drowned when her songs failed to entice Odysseus. Her body washed ashore at Naples. When people from the city of Cumae settled there, they named their city Parthenope in her honor. Roman myth tells a different tale, in which a centaur called Vesuvius was enamored with Parthenope. In jealousy, Zeus turned the centaur into a volcano and Parthenope into the city of Naples. Thwarted in his desire, Vesuvius's anger is manifested in the mountain's frequent eruptions.
GB85093. Bronze AE 12, Potamikon 295, Sambon 581, Taliercio IId 1, SNG ANS 435, aVF, dark toning, nice style, reverse off center, bumps scratches, tiny pitting, weight 1.524 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, 317/310 - 270 B.C.; obverse NEOΠOΛITΩN, head of Apollo right; reverse forepart of Acheloios Sebethos as a man-faced bull right, dolphin swimming right above; from the Molinari Collection; $70.00 (€61.60)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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).

Catalog current as of Friday, August 23, 2019.
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River Gods