- So if you don't know Bucephalus was Alexander the Great's famous horse that he rode into battle with. Today, I will be sharing four extremely rare Tetradrachms and Drachms struck by Seleukos I Nikator and Antiochos I Soter that feature this famed horse. I hope you enjoy, and if any of you have these coins PLEASE post them!
With an extremely low survival rate, these virtually unknown Tetradrachms struck by Seleukos feature a magnificent portrait of a horse on the obverse and an elephant on the reverse. You should know that this issue is one of the rarest Seleucid Tetradrachms with only a few dies recorded and only 10 examples left in existence.
The reverse reads King Selekou (BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣEΛEYKOY). Monograms such as HΡ and ΣI can be shown in between the elephant’s legs. A few examples feature no monograms, but a bee above the elephant on the reverse. Otherwise, most varieties for this type remain unpublished.
The coins were struck in Pergamon around...
- If there is one thing thing students of Ancient History know about that time period, it is that people of that time took religious belief very seriously. Whether that meant being religious in the modern day sense ofreligious beliefs and practices is debatable but both the citizenry and the state saw religious practices as essential for the welfare of the state. Unless the gods were kept happy with the appropriate devotions,bad things could happen, to individuals and the state. Best to keep on their good side
For the most part the official state sponsored worship of the Olympian deities was a civic duty but the gods of Olympus were not seen as loving and kind. Often the exact opposite, capricious, arbitrary and, sometimes, just plain nasty. One did not love the gods. One was wary of them. However, in addition to the state sponsored religion there were a number of cults, frequently known as "mystery religions" because their ceremonies were kept secret from the uninitiated. Perhaps...
- This is an updated version of a previous post of mine from some time ago. I do not pretend to be very knowledgeable regarding this restoration coinage - in fact, I actually know relatively little about it. However, I put together the following information after encountering numerous coins so identified for sale at coin shows and online (and actually adding a few to my collection) and realizing that in most cases neither I, or the seller, really knew much about their meaning or purpose.
With that said, here are some background notes I have compiled:
Although both Restoration and Restitution are employed by modern day authors to describe this coinage, I employ Restoration here because that is the nomenclature used by Harold Mattingly in his seminal reference: THE "RESTORED" COINS OF OF TITUS, DOMITIAN AND NERVA - The Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Royal Numismatic Society Fourth Series, Vol. 20 (1920), pp. 177-207 (31 pages) and on which much of the...
- Another low-grade, poorly-described couple of ancients just came in from eBay (thank you US Postal Service!).Not everybody's cup of tea when it comes to collecting, but it keeps me out of the taverns (somewhat) and costs very little.Under COVID-19 quarantine , and a bit bored (the taverns are closed!), I am going to inflict this on you folks!
Something that surprises me about this kind of collecting is how I will occasionally get something that is "rare" that seems like it ought to be common.From what I've seen on CT over the past couple of years, ancient rarities are actually pretty common as a category, if that makes sense.Yesterday a low-grade Hadrian as and a cute little Ptolemaic bronze showed up in the mail ($9.95 for the pair, free shipping!).
The Ptolemy is indeed a common type (Svoronos 1426 /1427, Ptolemy V, VI/VIII or IX-XII, depending on who you ask).Here is a typical auction description for one of these (from acsearch):PTOLEMAIC...?
- So this post is more of a beginners guide, but I thought I'd share this for the enjoyment of advanced collectors and new collectors as a whole. Feel free to post your regnal date Ptolemaic coins for others to try and figure out.
Ptolemy XII Auletes or Neos Dionysos
Ptolemy XII Auletes, famously known as Neos Dionysos, was the half brother of previous ruler Ptolemy XI Alexander II who ruled only 19 days in 80 BC. Neos Dionysos, however, enjoyed two reigns from 80-58 BC and then again from 55-51 BC.
The reason to know this information: Tetradrachms were struck in all periods of Neos Dionysos’ reign. They are labeled 1st reign and 2nd reign. Tetradrachms labeled 1st reign were struck from 80-58 BC and 2nd reign Tetradrachms were struck from 55-51 BC. They continued being struck during his absence.
What makes it simple is that all the Tetradrachms were struck at Alexandria or Paphos—and there isn’t any major varieties.
Analyzing the Regnal Dates...
The Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD) enjoyed visiting provinces of the Empire, spending more than half of his time outside of Italy.In these tours, the first of which began in 121 AD, he would inspect the borders, encourage military discipline, and launch building projects.In 122 AD, he began the ~six-year construction of the well-known Hadrian’s Wall which stretched 73 miles from coast to coast to mark the northern limit of Britannia.Hadrian had been nicknamed “Graeculus” (“little Greek”) as a youth, and as a philhellene world leader, sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire.
In 130 AD, Hadrian visited Iudaea. He found Jerusalem still in ruins, 60 years after its fall in 70 AD during the first Jewish-Roman War of 66-74 AD.General Titus led the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple.Proceeds from war spoils and Jewish slaves were used to construct the Amphitheatric Flavium (now known as the...
- When Seleucus I Nikator was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceranus in 281, it nearly spelled the end of the Seleucid State. With the death of Seleucus, the majority of his army defected to Ptolemy and opportunistic powers in Asia Minor quickly took advantage of the chaos. Seleucus's son, Antiochus I, hearing of the disaster, made his way straight for Anatolia. In an ideal world Antiochus would return to Asia Minor, kill Ptolemy, and finish his father's reconquest of Macedon. However, when Antiochus reached Antioch he found the entire Syrian countryside in revolt; most importantly the main calvary garrison in Apamea Syria had defected to the rebels.
After his victory against the rebels in 275, Antiochus moved to Sardis to survey the damage. In the six years since Seleucus's murder; Ptolemy Ceranus had died in battle with the Celts, who then pillaged northern Greece and had made their way into Asia Minor. In late 275 or early 274, Antiochus decided it was time to...
Many amateur astronomers had the chance to observe Sunday in the sky of East Africa, for the summer solstice, a rare solar eclipse of the type "ring of fire".
This astronomical phenomenon, which occurs only once or twice a year, began shortly after sunrise in central Africa, crossing the Democratic Republic of the Congo , South Sudan, northern Ethiopia, before taking the direction of Asia, to finish in the Pacific Ocean, south of the island of Guam, at 9:32 GMT. In this type of eclipse, the Moon passes in front of the Sun, in an alignment with the Earth sufficiently perfect to hide it. But not entirely, as during a total eclipse: the Moon not being close enough to Earth, it is an annular eclipse, that is to say that at its maximum, there remains a ring around the Sun, called "ring of fire". Only 2% of the Earth's surface...
Public Domain image, C. Comiers, "Pratique Curieuse", 1735.
The Sibylline books were consulted by Romans from the time of the republic through to the end of the Empire.The books were destroyed with the temple of Jupiter in 83 BC, but a copy was found and arbitrated.Augustus moved them to temple of Apollo in 12 BC. There are many references to these books over time, here are just three for illustration.Livy writes of the books being consulted in 399 BC after bout of pestilence:“As neither a cause nor a cure could be found for its fatal ravages, the senate ordered the Sibylline Books to be consulted.”
- Livy 5.13?
This resulted in a lectisternium being set up for the first time i.e. a couch (pulvinar) for images of the gods to recline with a meal served to them on a table.Seutonius reports...
- I accidentally started this on another thread, but I thought it might be fun to list animal on ancient coins in terms of rarity. I will throw something against the wall, if you disagree or want to add to it, just post and we can update it. It could actually be helpful to newcomers to the hobby if they want to buy a coin of their favorite animal to know how challenging it will be, (*cough* rhinos *cough*). Sorry, it still greaves me personally the low number of rhino coins, but I digress.
Here is a rough attempt to start it:
Very Common: Eagle, horses, lions, elephants, snakes
Common: Dolphins, "fish", bull/cow, Owl, bee, turtle,
Scarce: Pigs/boar, camel, crabs, mollusks, dogs/wolf, chickens, ducks, gazelle/deer, crocodile, goat, peacock, crayfish, rabbit/hare, donkey/mule, scorpion, octopus
Rare: Hippos, Ostrich, swan, stork/ibis, leopard/snow leopard, raven, fox, moose, manta ray
Very Rare: Apes, (1 type), rhino (2 types), Bear, (know of 1 now), seal
I had Bear as...
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