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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. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 178, BMCRE I 131, Mac Dowall WCN 120, BnF II 299, Hunter I 39, Cohen I 37, SRCV 1953, 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.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR 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; an attractive example of a highly desired type!; SOLD
Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Antioch, Syria
In 5 A.D., Agrippina the Elder married Germanicus, her second cousin; and Livilla married Drusus Julius Caesar, Tiberius' son.SH95272. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 187; Prieur 57; RPC I 4158; BMC Galatia p. 169, 147; SGICV 107; Cohen DCA 401, VF, nice portrait, toned, centered on a tight flan, slight porosity, weight 14.717 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 5 - 6 A.D.; obverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, Augustus laureate head right; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPOΠOΛEΩΣ, Tyche seated right on rock, palm in right hand, river-god Orontes swimming right below, ςΛ (year 36 Actian era) above, ANT (Antioch) monogram and ∆N (year 54 Caesarian era) right; ex CNG e-auction 187 (30 Apr 2008), lot 108; SOLD
Gela, Sicily, 490 - 475 B.C.
In 485, Gelo, the tyrant of Gela, took advantage of an appeal by the descendants of the first colonist of Syracuse, the Gamoroi, who had held power until they were expelled by the Killichiroi, the lower class of the city, and made himself master of that city. He left his brother Hieron in control of Gela.SH96810. Silver didrachm, Jenkins Gela, group I, 100 (O30/255); HGC 2 363 (S); SNG ANS IV/2 19; SNG Cop 257; BMC Sicily p. 67, 19, VF, attractive man faced bull, well centered, light corrosion, struck with a worn obverse die, small edge split, weight 8.377 g, maximum diameter 21.39 mm, die axis 90o, Gela mint, 490 - 475 B.C.; obverse horseman galloping right, nude, wearing pileus, brandishing spear overhead in right hand; reverse forepart of man-faced bull (river god) swimming right, long beard, dotted truncation, CEΛAΣ below, all within a round incuse; ex Numismatic Fine Arts, Fall 1988 (12 October), lot 98; ex Dr. George Brauer Collection; upon request we will include the NFA Fall 1988 catalog with this coin - use checkout comments to request the catalog; scarce; SOLD
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, 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; SOLD
Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 275 - 250 B.C.
In angst at not seducing Ulysses with her voice, the siren Parthenope, threw herself into the sea and died. Her body washed up on the shore near Neapolis. There she was not envisioned as one of the insidious monsters of Homer, but rather like a dead hero, she was enshrined and deified and her name was given to an early settlement on the site. Neapolis held funerary torch-races to commemorate Parthenope and her nearby tomb and sanctuary were among the local places of interest. The river god Achelous was her father.SH95243. Silver nomos, SNG Cop 440; SNG ANS 381; BMC Italy 100, 63; Sambon 483; HN Italy 586; SNG Cop -, Choice VF, fine style, toned, well centered on a tight flan, porous, light marks, weight 7.114 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 45o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse head of siren Parthenope left, wearing taenia, triple-pendant earring, and necklace, EY behind neck; reverse the river-god Achelous in the form of a man-faced bull, walking left, head turned facing, Nike flying left above, placing wreath on river-god's head, ΛOY below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ in exergue; ex Forum (2018); SOLD
Brettii, Bruttium, Italy, c. 216 - 214 B.C., Second Punic War Issue
All coinage of the Brettii was issued during the Second Punic War when they allied themselves with Hannibal.SH95921. Silver drachm, Scheu Silver S14; SNG Tüb 491; SNG ANS 19; HN Italy 1960; BMC Italy p. 321, 20 corr. (palladion vice trophy); HGC Italy 1356 (R3) var. (controls), EF, attractive style, light tone, flow lines, mild die wear, obverse a little off center, weight 4.631 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 225o, Brettii mint, c. 216 - 214 B.C.; obverse bust winged Nike right, wearing stephane necklace, and earring, hair bound behind with a fillet, tiny ⌟ and trophy (controls) behind; reverse river god Aisaros standing facing, horned, nude, crowning himself with wreath in right hand, cloak over left arm, long scepter in left hand, BPETTIΩN upward on left, thymiaterion (control) right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; SOLD
Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Tarsos, Cilicia
With a history going back over 6,000 years, Tarsus has long been an important stop for traders and a focal point of many civilisations. It was the scene of the first meeting between Mark Antony and Cleopatra, and the birthplace of Paul the Apostle. Under Rome, Tarsos was an important intellectual center, boasting its own academy. One of its leading disciples, the philosopher Athenodorus Cananites, was the Augustus' tutor, which secured continuous imperial patronage for the city. It was made the capital of the Roman province of Cilicia.SH86513. Silver tetradrachm, RPC I 4004; Prieur 748 (12 spec.); SNG Levante 988; SNG BnF 1388; AMC I 1424; Walker Metrology I 566; BMC Lycaonia -, VF, toned, well struck, centered on a tight flan cutting off tops of part of legend, rough and porous surfaces, weight 13.090 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 1 B.C. - 10 A.D.; obverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, laureate head of Augustus right; reverse MHTPOΠOΛEΩΣ, Tyche (city goddess) seated right, turreted and veiled, palm frond in right hand, river-god Kydnos swimming right below, TAP (Tarsos) monogram in right field; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; SOLD
Mytilene, Lesbos, c. 454 - 427 B.C.
Mytilene revolted against Athens in 428 B.C. but was overcome by an Athenian expeditionary force. The Athenian public assembly voted to massacre all the men of the city and to sell the women and children into slavery but changed its mind the next day. A fast trireme sailed the 186 nautical miles (344 km) in less than a day and brought the decision to cancel the massacre.SH85699. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 52 (c/η); Boston MFA 1700; SNG Cop 325; SNGvA 7731; SNG Fitzwilliam 4344; BMC Troas p. 121, 56 & pl. 32, 25; HGC 6 978 (R1), aVF, weight 2.573 g, maximum diameter 11.3 mm, die axis 0o, Mytilene mint, c. 454 - 427 B.C.; obverse young male head (river god?) right, short hair, wearing taenia; reverse archaizing bearded male head (Dionysos?) right, long pointed beard, within incuse square; SOLD
Hannibalianus, Rex Regum, 337 A.D.
Hannibalianus, the nephew of Constantine I, was named rex regum et Ponticarum gentium (King of the Pontic Land and Peoples) in early 337. He was to take the place the pro-Roman King Tigranes of Armenia, who had recently been ousted by the Persian King Shapur II. Constantine, however, died on 22 May, before retaking Armenia. Later in 337, Hannibalianus, Dalmatius and many other male relatives, were murdered at the behest of one or all of Constantine’s sons (though they denied it). Hannibalianus was the Roman king who never actually ruled any territory.RL85021. Billon reduced centenionalis, cf. RIC VII Constantinople 147 (R2), LRBC I 1034, SRCV IV 16905, Cohen VII 2, VF/F, nice portrait, attractive green patina, reverse a little softly struck, tight flan cutting off mintmark, weight 1.470 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 336 - 337 A.D; obverse FL HANNIBALLIANO REGI, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SE-CVRITAS PVBLICA (security of the public), Euphrates reclining right leaning on scepter, urn at his side, reed behind, CONSS(?) in exergue; rare; SOLD
Poseidonia, Lucania, Italy, c. 450 - 390 B.C.
Poseidonia was founded around the end of the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Sybaris. In the fifth century B.C., Poseidonia was conquered by the Lucani. Archaeological evidence indicates Greek and Oscan cultures thrived together. In 273 B.C., after the Poseidonians had sided with Pyrrhus against Rome, Poseidonia was refounded as the Roman city of Paestum.GS85718. Silver nomos, cf. HN Italy 1127, SNG ANS 677 ff., SNG Cop 1278 ff., SNG Lockett 442, Weber 817, De Luynes 531 (none with these controls), F, toned, bumps and marks, die wear, porosity, weight 7.242 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 135o, Poseidonia mint, c. 420 - 410 B.C.; obverse Poseidon advancing left, trident in raised right, left arm outstretched before, POSEI downward on right, tiny Θ(?, control) in left field; reverse bull standing left, POSEI (retrograde, Σ appearing as M) above, tiny M (control) below; SOLD
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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