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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Astrology||View Options:  |  |  | 

Astrology on Ancient Coins
Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria, 128 - 129 A.D.

|Antioch|, |Antioch,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |128| |-| |129| |A.D.||trichalkon|
Michael Molnar, an astronomer, believes this coin depicts Jupiter's occultation of Aries in 6 B.C., the most probable "Star of Bethlehem." We think it is unlikely; nevertheless, the type is very popular and somewhat expensive.
GB90244. Bronze trichalkon, RPC Online III 3729, Butcher CRS 266, McAlee 125(d), SNG Hunterian II 2950, F, dark near black patina, highlighting red earthen deposits, weight 5.145 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, reign of Hadrian, 128 - 129 A.D.; obverse ANTIOXEΩN THC MHTPOΠOΛEWC, veiled and turreted head of Tyche right, weak countermark at chin; reverse ram leaping right, looking back, star within crescent above, ET ZOP (year 177 of the Caesarean Era) below; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00

Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 119 - 100 B.C.

|Pontic| |Kingdom|, |Pontos| |(Uncertain| |City),| |c.| |119| |-| |100| |B.C.||AE| |11|
The comets depicted are almost certainly the comets described in Justin's epitome of the Historiae Philippicae of the Augustan historian Pompeius Trogus (Justin 37.2.1-2): "The future greatness of this man [Mithridates Eupator] had been foretold by heavenly portents. For both in the year in which he was born [134/133 B.C.] and in the year in which he first began to rule [120/119 B.C.], a comet gleamed so brightly for 70 days throughout each period that the whole sky seemed to be on fire. In its extent, each of these comets filled one quarter of the sky and surpassed the sun in brilliance. They took four hours to rise and four hours to set."
GB99175. Bronze AE 11, SNG BM 984, SNG Stancomb 653, Lindgren III 154, HGC 7 317, VF, area of corrosion, light scratches, weight 1.110 g, maximum diameter 10.9 mm, die axis 180o, Pontos, uncertain mint, c. 119 - 100 B.C.; obverse horse-head right, with comet/star of eight points and central pellet on neck; reverse comet star of seven points, central pellet, and horse/comet tail to right; rare; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00

Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt, Zodiac Type - Jupiter in Sagittarius

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt,| |Zodiac| |Type| |-| |Jupiter| |in| |Sagittarius||drachm|
This coin is from the Zodiac series issued during year eight of the reign of Antoninus Pius, described by Emmett as "one of the more remarkable iconographic programs in the entire scope of Greek or Roman coinage. Jupiter is associated with luck and good fortune. According to, those born with Jupiter in Sagittarius attract good luck as long as they are generous, tolerant and practice what they preach. If you would like to see if you were born with Jupiter in Sagittarius (or another sign), click here to visit
RP72129. Bronze drachm, cf. RPC Online IV 14873; Dattari 2972; Dattari-Savio Suppl. pl. 19, 148; Geissen 1502; Milne 1822; BMC Alexandria p. 128, 1087; Emmett 1692/8, aF, nice reverse, obverse rough, weight 20.668 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 144 - 28 Aug 145 A.D.; obverse AUT K T AIΛ A∆P ANTWNEINOC CEB EVC, laureate (and draped?) bust right; reverse Zodiac type - Jupiter in Sagittarius: laureate bust of Zeus (Jupiter) right above a centaur (Sagittarius) leaping right and drawing bow, a star above centaur's head, L H (year 8) below; last sale for this type on Coin Archives was in 2010; very rare; SOLD

Cyprus, Time of Augustus, 27 B.C. - 14 A.D.

|Cyprus|, |Cyprus,| |Time| |of| |Augustus,| |27| |B.C.| |-| |14| |A.D.||hemiobol|
Augustus' sun sign was Libra. We don't know why he selected the Capricorn as his emblem. Perhaps Capricorn was either his rising sign or his Moon sign. Popular astrology, of the newspaper kind, is sun sign astrology. The ancients tended to attach more importance to the Moon sign and rising signs. Perhaps Augustus selected the Capricorn because it is associated with stern moral authority. Tiberius (born Nov. 13) was a Scorpio.
SH72881. Bronze hemiobol, RPC I 3916; Bank of Cyprus 6; BMC Galatia p. 112, 4 (Commagene); SNG Cop -, Choice EF, beautiful desert patina, weight 2.371 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cypriot mint, 27 B.C. - 14 A.D.; obverse capricorn right, star with six rays above; reverse scorpion left, star with six rays above; SOLD

Cornelia Supera, Wife of Aemilian, Who Reigned 253 A.D., Parion, Mysia

|Parium|, |Cornelia| |Supera,| |Wife| |of| |Aemilian,| |Who| |Reigned| |253| |A.D.,| |Parion,| |Mysia||AE| |21|
Cornelia Supera is unknown to history, except through her coins. Her coins indicate she was probably the wife of Aemilian. C G I H P is an abbreviation for Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana.
SH06010. Bronze AE 21, RPC Online IX 382 (11 spec.), SNGvA 7448, BMC Mysia -, SNG Cop -, SNG BnF -, aVF, weight 3.78 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 253 A.D.; obverse G CORN SUPERA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse Capricorn right, cornucopia on back; globe between legs (Sear describes as a star, but this appears to be a globe, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; very rare; SOLD

Luceria, Apulia, Italy c. 217 - 212 B.C.

|Italy|, |Luceria,| |Apulia,| |Italy| |c.| |217| |-| |212| |B.C.||teruncias|
In 321 B.C., the Roman army was deceived into thinking Luceria was under siege by the Samnites. Hurrying to relieve their allies the army walked into an ambush and were defeated at the famous Battle of the Caudine Forks. The Samnites occupied Luceria but were thrown out after a revolt. The city sought Roman protection and in 320 B.C. was granted the status of Colonia Togata, which meant it was ruled by the Roman Senate. In order to strengthen the ties between the two cities, 2,500 Romans moved to Luceria. From then on, Luceria was known as a steadfast supporter of Rome.
SH92202. Aes grave (cast) teruncias, Thurlow-Vecchi 283; Sydenham Aes Grave 140; Haeberlin pl. 71, 21; HN Italy 677c; Vecchi ICC 347; SNG Cop 652, F, dark green patina, minor roughness, weight 28.866 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, Luceria mint, c. 217 - 212 B.C.; obverse star of eight rays around a central pellet, all on a convex disk; reverse dolphin right, three pellets (mark of value) above, L below, all on a convex disk; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 51; ex CNG auction XXIV (9 Dec 1992), lot 120; ex Fred V. Fowler Collection; ex Stack's auction (1969), lot 288; SOLD


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