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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |North Africa||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of North Africa
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Kyrenaica, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon), 163 - 145 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Kyrenaica,| |Ptolemy| |VIII| |Euergetes| |II| |(Physcon),| |163| |-| |145| |B.C.||hemidrachm|
Ptolemy VIII was made co-ruler of Egypt with his older siblings in 170 B.C. Soon after, Ptolemy VI was captured in the Sixth Syrian War and Ptolemy VIII became sole king. When the war ended in 168 B.C. Ptolemy VI was restored to joint rule. The brothers quarreled and in 164 B.C. Ptolemy VIII drove out his brother out and became sole king, but he was in turn expelled in 163 B.C. As a result of Roman intervention, Ptolemy VIII was awarded rule of Kyrenaica. After Ptolemy VI's death in 145 B.C., Ptolemy VIII returned to Egypt as co-ruler with his sister.
GP95307. Bronze hemidrachm, Svoronos 1641, pl. LVI, 14; Asolati 84; SNG Cop 651; BMC Ptolemies p. 94, 78; Malter 242; Weiser -; Noeske -, EF, some areas of weakness, reverse with some doubling, obverse edge beveled, central depressions, weight 36.92 g, maximum diameter 44.0 mm, die axis 0o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, c. 150 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus Ammon right, taenia with basileion above forehead; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY EYEPΓETOY, eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, Φ right; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 10 (7 Dec 2019), lot 619; rare; $700.00 (€574.00)


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Kyrenaica, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon), 163 - 145 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Kyrenaica,| |Ptolemy| |VIII| |Euergetes| |II| |(Physcon),| |163| |-| |145| |B.C.||hemidrachm|
Ptolemy VIII was made co-ruler of Egypt with his older siblings in 170 B.C. Soon after, Ptolemy VI was captured in the Sixth Syrian War and Ptolemy VIII became sole king. When the war ended in 168 B.C. Ptolemy VI was restored to joint rule. The brothers quarreled and in 164 B.C. Ptolemy VIII drove out his brother out and became sole king, but he was in turn expelled in 163 B.C. As a result of Roman intervention, Ptolemy VIII was awarded rule of Kyrenaica. After Ptolemy VI's death in 145 B.C., Ptolemy VIII returned to Egypt as co-ruler with his sister.
GP95308. Bronze hemidrachm, Svoronos 1641, pl. LVI, 14; Asolati 84; SNG Cop 651; BMC Ptolemies p. 94, 78; Malter 242; Weiser -; Noeske -, EF, areas of weak strike, obverse edge beveled, edge crack, weight 36.82 g, maximum diameter 43.0 mm, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, c. 150 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus Ammon right, taenia with basileion above forehead; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY EYEPΓETOY, eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, Φ right; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 10 (7 Dec 2019), lot 618; rare; $700.00 (€574.00)


Nero and Poppaea, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Nero| |and| |Poppaea,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
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!?; $540.00 (€442.80)


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra III and Ptolemy IX Soter II, 116 - 110 B.C. and 109 - 107 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |III| |and| |Ptolemy| |IX| |Soter| |II,| |116| |-| |110| |B.C.| |and| |109| |-| |107| |B.C.||obol|
The reattribution from Ptolemy V to Cleopatra III and Ptolemy IX is based on a hoard found in Egypt and the contents of an Egyptian shipwreck that contained these coins mixed with tetradrachms attributed with certainty to Ptolemy IX and Cleopatra III. The ΣΩ in the left field probably refers to the epithet of Ptolemy IX Soter II.
GP95822. Bronze obol, Svoronos 1191, Weiser 114, SNG Cop 534, Noeske 187, Cohen DCA 35, VF, highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan cutting off right side of reverse legend, old scratch, obverse edge beveled, central depressions, weight 8.199 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, series 8, 115 - 114 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, K behind; reverse ΠToΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, Ω over Σ in left field, LΓ (year 3) in right field; rare; $200.00 (€164.00)


Kyrene, Kyrenaika, N. Africa, c. 325 - 313 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Kyrene,| |Kyrenaika,| |N.| |Africa,| |c.| |325| |-| |313| |B.C.||AE| |15|
Silphium, which is now extinct, was so critical to the Kyrenian economy that most of their coins depict it. The plant was used as a spice and to treat all kinds of maladies including cough, sore throat, fever, indigestion, pain, and warts. It was so widely used as a contraceptive that it was worth its weight in denarii. The traditional heart shape, the symbol of love, is probably derived from the shape of the silphium seed due to the use of silphium as a contraceptive.

"By the next day this maiden and all her girlish apparel had disappeared, and in the room were found images of the Dioscuri, a table, and silphium upon it." - Description of Greece, Pausanias 3.16.3, 2nd Century A.D.
GB91339. Bronze AE 15, Asolati 12/2; Müller Afrique 229; Buttrey Cyrene 12, SNG Cop 1226; BMC Cyrenaica p. 45, 198, F, green patina, earthen encrustations, reverse off center, weight 3.690 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, 325 - 313 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo Carneius right, short curly hair, THP (magistrate) upward behind; reverse triple silphium plant, seen from above, K-Y-P around divided by members, all within a round incuse; rare; $110.00 (€90.20)


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||drachm|
Cybele, the Phrygian "Great Mother" earth goddess, was born a hermaphrodite, but castrated by the gods, she became female. After dire prodigies, including a meteor shower and a failed harvest, seemed to warn of Rome's imminent defeat to Hannibal, the Roman senate consulted the Sibylline oracle. Heeding the oracle's advice, the senate brought worship of Cybele to Rome in 204 B.C. as the first officially sanctioned Eastern cult. After approval, they were dismayed to learn that the priesthood required voluntary self-castration, which was abhorrent to the Romans. Romans were barred from entering the priesthood or even entering the priest's sanctuary. The eunuch priests, recruited from outside Rome, were confined to their sanctuary, leaving only to parade in the streets during festivals in April. Claudius removed the bans on Roman participation, making worship of Cybele and her consort Attis part of the state religion.Cybele
RX92509. Bronze drachm, RPC Online IV.4 T14962; Dattari-Savio 2689; Geissen 1778; Milne 2330; BMC Alexandria p. 121, 1042; Emmett 1600/20 (R1), aF, well centered, porous, edge splits, beveled obverse edge, weight 24.026 g, maximum diameter 32.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 156 - 28 Aug 157 A.D.; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P - ANTWNINOC, laureate head right; reverse Cybele seated left on throne flanked by two seated lions, wearing chiton and peplos, phiale in right hand, resting arm on drum, L - K (year 20) flanking high across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 (€73.80)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||dichalkon|
In 112, one or the greatest Roman historians, Publius Cornelius Tacitus, was Governor of the Roman province of Asia (in Anatolia). The surviving portions of his two major works - the Annals and the Histories - examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors.
RX93583. Bronze dichalkon, RPC Online III 4774 (9 spec.); SNG BnF IV 1178, Dattari-Savio 7249, Kampmann 27.525, Emmett 726 (R5), Geissen -, SNG Cop -, Choice VF, nice dark near black patina with earthen highlighting, some porosity, ragged irregular edge, reverse edge beveled, weight 1.701 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 112 - 28 Aug 113 A.D.; obverse laureate head right; reverse oinochoe (one-handled jug for pouring wine), L - Iς (year 16) flanking in lower fields; scarce; $90.00 (€73.80)


Maximinus I Thrax, March 235 - May 238 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Maximinus| |I| |Thrax,| |March| |235| |-| |May| |238| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
In 237, King Ardashir I of Persia renewed his attacks on the Roman province of Mesopotamia.
RX94235. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 2585; Dattari 4590; Milne 3285; BMC Alexandria p. 231, 1803; Kampmann 65.67; Emmett 3328/4 (R3), Choice F, well centered, dark brown patina, weight 12.256 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 236 - 28 Aug 237 A.D.; obverse AVTO MAΞIMINOC EVC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust, seen from behind; reverse Nilus reclining left, lotus on head, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, cornucopia in left hand, reed in right hand, elbow resting on hippopotamus, date L∆ (year 4) left; $80.00 (€65.60)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||dichalkon|
In 103, Legio X Gemina moved to Vienna, where it remained until the 5th century.
RX94976. Bronze dichalkon, Dattari-Savio 7196, RPC Online III 4770/8, Kampmann 27.524, Emmett 692/16 (R3), BMC Alexandria 2913 corr. (Hadrian), Geissen -, Milne -, SNG Cop -, gF, dark tone, earthen deposits, obverse edg beveled, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 1.291 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 102 - 28 Aug 103 A.D.; obverse no legend, laureate head right; reverse no legend, kerykeion (caduceus) between two ears of grain, L - IS (year 16) divided low across field (off flan); from the Ray Nouri Collection; rare; $80.00 (€65.60)


Trajan Decius, September 249 - June or July 251 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Trajan| |Decius,| |September| |249| |-| |June| |or| |July| |251| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
In 249, Decius began persecuting the Christians and others refusing to participate in Emperor worship.
RX88862. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 2813; Dattari 5083; SNG Cop 735; Kampmann-Ganschow 79.15; Emmett 3642.1; BMC Alexandria p. 270, 2076 var. (...DEKIOCE), aVF, well centered, dark brown toning, areas of corrosion, edge cracks, weight 12.609 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, Sep 249 - 28 Aug 250 A.D.; obverse A K Γ M K TPAIANOC ∆EKIOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse Nike walking right, raising wreath tied with fillet in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand, L - A (year 1) divided across field; $70.00 (€57.40)




  






REFERENCES|

Alexandropoulos, J. Les monnaies de l'Afrique antique: 400 av. J.-C. - 40 ap. J.-C. (Toulouse, 2000).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Falbe, C. & J. Lindberg. Numismatique de L'Ancienne Afrique. (Copenhagen, 1860-1862).
Müller, L. et. al. Numismatique de l'ancienne Afrique. (Copenhagen, 1860-1862).
Roman Provincial Coinage Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Strauss, P. Collection Maurice Laffaille - monnaies grecques en bronze. (Bàle, 1990).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 8: Egypt, North Africa, Spain - Gaul. (1994).

Catalog current as of Saturday, January 22, 2022.
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