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

Agriculture on Ancient Coins

Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

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Annona was the goddess of harvest and Ceres the goddess of agriculture. This reverse refers to the transportation of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people. By the Code De Naviculariis, the mariners appointed to carry grain from Egypt could be executed if they did not keep the proper course; and if they did not sail in the proper season, the master of the vessel would be banished.
SH94037. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 137, BMCRE I 128, Mac Dowall WCN 119, BnF II 273 var. (NERO CLAVDIVS...), Cohen I 24 var. (same), Hunter I -, SRCV I -, VF, well centered on a broad flan, nice green patina, pin-prick pitting, weight 26.678 g, maximum diameter 35.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate bust right wearing aegis; reverse ANNONA AVGVSTI CERES, Annona standing right, right hand on hip, cornucopia in left hand, facing Ceres enthroned left, holding grain-ears in right hand, torch in left hand, modius on garlanded altar in center between them, ship's stern in background, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex Pegasi Numismatics; $1500.00 (1320.00)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.
SH92409. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II-1 T334 (R2), BnF III T246 var., Hunter I T21 var., BMCRE II 237 var., SRCV I 2687 var., Cohen I 32 var. (all var. bust right), F, nice portrait, well centered on a broad flan, light marks, light corrosion, weight 18.218 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 80 A.D.; obverse CAES DIVI AVG VESP F DOMITIAN COS VII, laureate and draped bust left; reverse CERES AVGVST, Ceres standing left, holding grain ears and torch; from the Errett Bishop Collection; with head left this type is missing from all references except the new RIC II-1, zero sales recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $400.00 (352.00)


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 440 - 430 B.C.

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Metapontum was one of the cities where the doctrines and sect of Pythagoras obtained the firmest footing. Even when the Pythagoreans were expelled from Crotona, they maintained themselves at Metapontum, where the philosopher himself retired, and where he ended his days. The Metapontines paid the greatest respect to his memory; they consecrated the house in which he had lived as a temple to Ceres, and gave to the street in which it was situated the name of the Museum. His tomb was still shown there in the days of Cicero.
GS91978. Silver obol, Noe-Johnston 2, pl. 44, 346.3; SNG Ash 680; SNG Stockholm 192; HN Italy 1500 var. (horns downward); HGC I 1087 (R2) var. (same); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, flow lines, slightly off center, tiny edge splits, weight 0.435 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, die axis 0o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 440 - 430 B.C.; obverse ear of barley in border of large dots; reverse ox head facing with horns pointed upward; ex FORVM (2009); very rare; $300.00 (264.00)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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Bonus Eventus, the god of good outcomes, was originally worshiped by the Romans as a deity especially presiding over agriculture and successful harvests. During the Imperial era, he was associated with other types of success. The epithet Bonus, "the Good," is used with other abstract deities such as Bona Fortuna ("Good Fortune"), Bona Mens ("Good Thinking" or "Sound Mind"), and Bona Spes ("Good Hope," perhaps to be translated as "optimism"), as well as with the mysterious and multivalent Bona Dea, a goddess whose rites were celebrated by women.
RS92309. Silver denarius, RIC IV 369; RSC III 68; BMCRE V p. 91, 343; SRCV II 6267; Hunter III 176 var. (IMP CE L..), Choice gVF, well centered and struck, toned, edge cracks, weight 3.208 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, laureate head right; reverse BONI EVENTVS, Bonus Eventus standing slightly left, head left, raising a shallow basket of fruit in right hand, two heads of grain downward in left; $160.00 (140.80)


Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.

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Annona was worshiped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year's supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capital. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated to the use of an army during a campaign.
RB91541. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II-1 137, BMCRE II 153, BnF III 152, Cohen I 15, SRCV I -, F, excellent portrait, light corrosion, edge split/crack, weight 24.897 g, maximum diameter 34.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 80 - 81 A.D.; obverse IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII, laureate head left; reverse ANNONA AVG, Annona standing left, statuette of Aequitas in her right hand, cornucopia in left hand, modius with grain-ears at feet, laureate prow behind, no S C; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $140.00 (123.20)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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In ancient Roman religion and myth, Tellus Mater or Terra Mater ("Mother Earth") is a goddess of the earth. Although Tellus and Terra are hardly distinguishable during the Imperial era, Tellus was the name of the original earth goddess in the religious practices of the Republic or earlier. The scholar Varro (1st century B.C.) lists Tellus as one of the di selecti, the twenty principal gods of Rome, and one of the twelve agricultural deities. She is regularly associated with Ceres in rituals pertaining to the earth and agricultural fertility.
RS92847. Silver denarius, RIC II 276(d), RSC II 1427, BMCRE III 739, SRCV II 3543, Choice VF/F, well centered, toned, flow lines, light scratches, small edge crack, weight 3.023 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 133 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse TELLVS STABIL, Tellus standing left, plow handle in right hand, rake in left hand, two stalks of grain at feet on right; $140.00 (123.20)


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Perinthos, Thrace

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Perinthos, later called Heraclea and Marmara Eregli today, is 90 km west of Istanbul near a small pointed headland on the north shore of the Marmara Sea. It is said to have been a Samian colony, founded about 599 B.C. It is famous chiefly for its stubborn and successful resistance to Philip II of Macedon in 340 B.C.; at that time it seems to have been more important than Byzantium itself.
RP92876. Bronze AE 20, CN Online Perinthos CN_4717, Schonert Perinthos 380, Varbanov III 100 (R6), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, gVF, nice portrait, uneven patina, a little off center, weight 4.140 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 128 - c. 136 A.D.; obverse CABINA - CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse Π-EPIN-ΘIWN, Demeter standing left, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $130.00 (114.40)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. When Severus Alexander was away on his Persian and German campaigns (231-235) he continuously struck Annona types to indicate his care for the grain supply despite his distance from Rome.
RB92606. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 548, BMCRE V 346, Cohen IV 35, SRCV II 7962, Hunter III -, VF, well centered, attractive style, die wear, edge crack, weight 21.085 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 222 - 231 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M AVR SEV ALEXANDER AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ANNONA AVGVSTI, Annona standing left, veiled, holding stalks of grain in right hand over modius at feet, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across fields; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 (105.60)


Judaea, Pontius Pilate, Roman Prefect under Tiberius, 26 - 36 A.D.

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Pontius Pilate is chiefly known for the part he played in the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.
JD72808. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1342 - 1343, SGICV 5623 - 5624, Meshorer TJC 333 - 335, aF, green patina, slightly irregular flan with flat spots where sprues were cut off, weight 1.842 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 135o, Jerusalem mint, 29 - 31 A.D.; obverse TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC, lituus (augural wand); reverse uncertain year in wreath; $100.00 (88.00)


Uncertain City (Panormos?), Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 211 - 190 B.C.

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In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained for many years one of the principal cities of Sicily. It continued to issue bronze coins, bearing the names of various resident magistrates, and following the Roman system. Under Augustus, Panormus received a Roman colony.
GI89312. Bronze triens, Semuncial standard; Calciati I p. 365, 205 (Panormos); SNG Mnchen 835 (Panormos); HGC 2 1691 (R1, uncertain Romano-Sicilian); SNG Cop -, aVF, off center but types on flan, a little rough, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Romano-Sicilian mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Demeter-Ceres left, small cornucopia behind neck; reverse double cornucopia, overflowing with bunches of grapes, tied with fillets, four pellets (mark of value) in a vertical line to left; rare; $100.00 (88.00)




  



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Agriculture