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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ AstronomyView Options:  |  |  |   

Astronomy on Ancient Coins

Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Miletos, Ionia

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The New Testament mentions Miletus as the site where the Apostle Paul in 57 A.D. met with the elders of the church of Ephesus near the close of his Third Missionary Journey, as recorded in Acts of the Apostles (Acts 20:15?38). It is believed that Paul stopped by the Great Harbor Monument and sat on its steps. He may have met the Ephesian elders there and then bid them farewell on the nearby beach. Miletus is also the city where Paul left Trophimus, one of his travel ling companions, to recover from an illness (2 Timothy 4:20). Because this cannot be the same visit as Acts 20 (in which Trophimus accompanied Paul all the way to Jerusalem, according to Acts 21:29), Paul must have made at least one additional visit to Miletus, perhaps as late as 65 or 66. Paul's previous successful three-year ministry in nearby Ephesus resulted in the evangelization of the entire province of Asia (see Acts 19:10, 20; 1 Corinthians 16:9). It is safe to assume that at least by the time of the apostle's second visit to Miletus, a fledgling Christian community was established in Miletus.
RP86540. Billon AE 22, RPC I 2710 (6 specimens); SNG Cop 1008; SNG Tübingen 3083; BMC Ionia p. 198, 147; SNGvA -; SNG München -, VF, attractive style, near black dark patina, scratches, reverse slightly off center, weight 5.875 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, Miletos (near Balat, Turkey) mint, 25 Jan 41 - 13 Oct 54 A.D.; obverse ΣEBAΣTOΣ (counterclockwise behind), laureate head right, star of eight rays before; reverse male lion walking right on exergue line, head turned back left looking at star of eight rays above, MIΛH-ΣIΩN (starting in exergue, then counterclockwise on right); not even a single of auction recorded for this type on Coin Archives; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; extremely rare; $400.00 (€340.00)
 


Roman Republic, P. Clodius M.f. Turrinus, 42 B.C.

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In October 42 B.C., the Republican army was defeated by the legions Antony and Octavian at Philippi. Cassius and Brutus committed suicide. Brutus' body was brought to Antonius' camp, where he cast his purple paludamentum over his dead body and ordered an honorable funeral for his erstwhile comrade. The Republican cause was crushed; Rome rested in the hands of the Second Triumvirate.
RR85018. Silver denarius, Crawford 494/21, Sydenham 1115, Sear Imperators 182, RSC I Claudia 17, BMCRR Rome 4287, Russo RBW 1726, SRCV I 491, VF, broad flan, porous and a little rough, weight 3.296 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, c. 42 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Sol right, quiver behind; reverse crescent moon with horns upward, surrounded above by five six-pointed stars in a semi-circle, P•CLODIVS over •M•F below; scarce; $270.00 (€229.50)
 


Kyrene, Kyrenaica, North Africa, Ptolemaic Rule, c. 300 - 275 B.C.

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Magas was the stepson of Ptolemy I, the son of Berenice I, and half-brother to Ptolemy II. In 276 B.C., he crowned himself King in Kyrene, married the daughter of Antiochos I and invaded Egypt with his Seleukid allies. The Seleukid army was defeated by Ptolemy II and Magas faced an internal revolt of Libyan nomads. Still, Kyrene remained independent as long as he lived.
GS75115. Silver hemiobol, BMC Cyrenaica pl. XXV, 8 (plates only, missing from text); Müller Afrique -; SNG Cop -; SNG Milan -, gVF, toned, scratches, weight 0.419 g, maximum diameter 9.3 mm, Kyrene mint, Magas, as Ptolemaic governor, c. 300 - 275 B.C.; obverse diademed male head right; reverse star of eight narrow rays around central pellet; ex Roma Numismatics E-sale 17 (April 2015), lot 375; extremely rare; $220.00 (€187.00)
 


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 130 - 50 B.C.

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This is apparently a recently discovered new type. All the known examples might be from a single find.
GB83691. Bronze AE 14, Unpublished in standard references, six examples known to Forum, VF, earthen deposits, spots of corrosion, weight 2.216 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Pontic mint, c. 130 - 50 B.C.; obverse star of six rays and center pellet superimposed on pileus; reverse star of eight rays and central pellet; extremely rare; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 130 - 50 B.C.

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This is apparently a recently discovered new type. All the known examples might be from a single find.
SH71047. Bronze AE 14, Unpublished in standard refs, six specimens known to Forum, F, cleaning scratches, weight 2.121 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, uncertain Pontic mint, c. 130 - 50 B.C.; obverse star of six rays and center pellet superimposed on pileus; reverse star of eight rays and central pellet; extremely rare; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Kingdom of Commagene, Epiphanes and Callinicus, 72 A.D.

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In 72 A.D., only two years after Antiochus IV, King of Commagene, sent troops, commanded by his son Epiphanes, to aid Titus in the siege of Jerusalem, he was accused by the governor of Syria of conspiring with Parthia against Rome. After a reign of thirty-four years from his first appointment by Caligula, Antiochus was deprived of his kingdom. He retired first to Sparta, and then to Rome, where he passed the remainder of his life and was treated with great respect. Antiochus' sons, Epiphanes and Callinicus briefly ruled the kingdom but after an encounter with Roman troops, fled to Parthia. They later joined their father in Rome.
SH90336. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 3861; BMC Galatia p. 110, 1 ff.; De Luynes 3440; SGICV 5515, F, weight 7.954 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 45o, Samosata (Samsat, Turkey) mint, 72 A.D.; obverse Epiphanes and Callinicus riding left on horseback, each wearing chlamys, BACIΛEΩC / YIOI in exergue; reverse KOMMAΓHNΩN, Capricorn right, star above, anchor flukes left below, all within laurel wreath, border of dots; ex John Jencek; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Pontos, 130 - 100 B.C.

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An enigmatic and very rare coin with unusual curious types.
GB84121. Bronze AE 11, SNG BM 984; SNG Stancomb 653; Lindgren III 154; HGC 7 317, VF, green patina, scratches, earthen highlighting, weight 1.430 g, maximum diameter 11.2 mm, die axis 180o, Pontos, uncertain mint, 130 - 100 B.C.; obverse horse-head right, with star of eight points and central pellet on neck; reverse comet star of seven points, central pellet, and tail to right; very rare; $135.00 (€114.75)
 


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 130 - 50 B.C.

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This is apparently a recently discovered new type. All the known examples might be from a single find.
SH90651. Bronze AE 13, Unpublished in standard references, six examples known to Forum, VF, green patina, earthen encrustation, light scratches, reverse off-center, weight 2.431 g, maximum diameter 12.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Pontic mint, c. 130 - 50 B.C.; obverse star of six rays and center pellet superimposed on pileus; reverse star of eight rays and central pellet; extremely rare; $130.00 (€110.50)
 


Pontos, 130 - 100 B.C.

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An enigmatic and very rare coin with unusual curious types.
GB84563. Bronze AE 12, SNG BM 984; SNG Stancomb 653; Lindgren III 154; HGC 7 317, VF, small flan, slightly off center, green patina with buff earthen highlighting, weight 1.623 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, Pontos, uncertain mint, 130 - 100 B.C.; obverse horse-head right, with star of eight points and central pellet on neck; reverse comet star of seven points, central pellet, and tail to right; ex Agora Auctions sale, lot 25; very rare; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Pontos, 130 - 100 B.C.

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An enigmatic and very rare coin with unusual curious types.
GB72181. Bronze AE 12, SNG BM 984; SNG Stancomb 653; Lindgren III 154; HGC 7 317, VF, tight flan, reverse, off-center, weight 2.263 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, Pontos, uncertain mint, 130 - 100 B.C.; obverse horse-head right, with star of eight points and central pellet on neck; reverse comet star of seven points, central pellet, and tail to right; very rare; $120.00 (€102.00)
 




  



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Catalog current as of Wednesday, January 17, 2018.
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Astronomy