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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ Athletics & GamesView Options:  |  |  |   

Atheletics and Games on Ancient Coins

Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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During religious games, the young men of Thessaly participated in bull jumping and bull wrestling. In bull wrestling, participants would jump from a horse, naked save a chlamys (cloak) and petasos (hat), to bring a bull down to the ground. The obverse shows a wrestler bringing down a bull and the reverse shows the horse running free after the leap was made. The game may have originated in Asia Minor and then traveled to Crete, where it is known the people of Thessaly learned the sport.
SH73402. Silver drachm, Lorber Thessalian 46, BCD Thessaly II 171, HGC 4 418 (S), BCD Thessaly I -, F, etched surfaces, weight 5.260 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Larissa mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse hero Thessalos restraining bull, both right, holding band around its head, nude but for billowing chlamys tied around his neck, petasos flying loose in the air behind him; reverse bridled horse running right, trailing rein, ΛAP/IΣAI in two lines above and below, all within shallow incuse square; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "V. ex. Thess., June 2009, 45.-"; scarce; $225.00 (200.25)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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During religious games, the young men of Thessaly participated in bull jumping and bull wrestling. In bull wrestling, participants would jump from a horse, naked save a chlamys (cloak) and petasos (hat), to bring a bull down to the ground. The obverse shows a wrestler bringing down a bull and the reverse shows the horse running free after the leap was made. The game may have originated in Asia Minor and then traveled to Crete, where it is known the people of Thessaly learned the sport.
GS73408. Silver drachm, Lorber Thessalian 50, SNG Cop 110, BCD Thessaly I 1128, BCD Thessaly II 175, HGC 4 420 (S), F, etched surfaces, porous, weight 5.509 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse hero Thessalos restraining bull, both left, holding band around its head, nude but for billowing chlamys tied around his neck, petasos tied around neck flying behind; reverse bridled horse running right, trailing rein, ΛAPI/ΣAIA in two lines above and below, all within shallow incuse square; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "Ex. Sotheby's 7 March 96, lot 252 (part), the lot of 9 AR + 49 AE for 550 +%."; scarce; $225.00 (200.25)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 440 - 400 B.C.

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During religious games, the young men of Thessaly participated in bull jumping and bull wrestling. In bull wrestling, participants would jump from a horse, naked save a chlamys and cap, to bring a bull down to the ground. The obverse shows a wrestler bringing down a bull and the reverse shows the horse running free after the leap was made. The game may have originated in Asia Minor and then traveled to Crete, where it is known the people of Thessaly learned the sport.
GS73422. Silver drachm, Lorber Thessalian 46, BCD Thessaly II 171, HGC 4 418 (S), BCD Thessaly I -, VF, well centered, obverse die wear, scrape on obverse, porous, weight 5.925 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Larissa mint, c. 440 - 400 B.C.; obverse hero Thessalos restraining bull, both right, holding band around its head, nude but for billowing chlamys tied around his neck, petasos tied around neck flying behind; reverse ΛAP/IΣAI, bridled horse galloping right, all in incuse square; ex BCD Collection with his round tag noting, "T/ne ex Thess., Feb. 87, 26500 drs."; scarce; $225.00 (200.25)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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This coin is from the issue celebrating the 1000th anniversary of the founding of Rome. Lions undoubtedly participated in the celebratory events, battles between animals, and the slaughter of condemned criminals.
RB84483. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 158 (S), Hunter III 105, SRCV III 9010, Cohen V 176, gVF, excellent portrait, red-brown coppery surfaces, tight squared flan (typical for the issue), small edge crack, weight 12.453 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SAECVLARES AVGG, lion walking right, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex Triskeles auction 14 (23 Apr 2015), lot 143; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; scarce; $240.00 SALE PRICE $216.00 ON RESERVE


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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During religious games, the young men of Thessaly participated in bull jumping and bull wrestling. In bull wrestling, participants would jump from a horse, naked save a chlamys (cloak) and petasos (hat), to bring a bull down to the ground. The obverse shows a wrestler bringing down a bull and the reverse shows the horse running free after the leap was made. The game may have originated in Asia Minor and then traveled to Crete, where it is known the people of Thessaly learned the sport.
GS73424. Silver drachm, Lorber Thessalian 52, SNG Munchen 49, BCD Thessaly I 1128, BCD Thessaly II 175, HGC 4 420 (S), F, off-center, uneven strike, die wear, weight 6.075 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 315o, Larissa mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse hero Thessalos restraining bull, both left, holding band around its head, nude but for billowing chlamys tied around his neck, petasos tied around neck flying behind; reverse bridled horse running right, trailing rein, ΛAPI/ΣAIA in two lines above and below, all within shallow incuse square; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "Thessaly Z hd. early '85."; scarce; $200.00 (178.00)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
During religious games, the young men of Thessaly participated in bull jumping and bull wrestling. In bull wrestling, participants would jump from a horse, naked save a chlamys (cloak) and petasos (hat), to bring a bull down to the ground. The obverse shows a wrestler bringing down a bull and the reverse shows the horse running free after the leap was made. The game may have originated in Asia Minor and then traveled to Crete, where it is known the people of Thessaly learned the sport.
GS73425. Silver drachm, Lorber Thessalian 50, SNG Cop 110, BCD Thessaly I 1128, BCD Thessaly II 175, HGC 4 420 (S), F, well centered, die wear, obverse rough, weight 5.760 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 45o, Larissa mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse hero Thessalos restraining bull, both left, holding band around its head, nude but for billowing chlamys tied around his neck, petasos tied around neck flying behind; reverse bridled horse running right, trailing rein, ΛAPI/ΣAIA in two lines above and below, all within shallow incuse square; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "Ex Spink's Auction 36, 30/31 May 84, lot 11 (part), the lot for 130.-"; scarce; $200.00 (178.00)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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Philippopolis today is Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
RP63960. Bronze AE 28, BMC Thrace p. 167, 44; Varbanov III 1712; Moushmov 5404; SNG Cop -, F, nice green patina, weight 13.097 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 225o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT K M AYPHΛ MA ANTΩNEINOC CEB, laureate bust of emperor right; reverse MHTPOΠOΛEΩC ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛE/ΩC NEΩKO/POY, two wrestlers grappling; USA import restricted type, ex Mark Staal Collection; scarce; $180.00 (160.20)


Philip I the Arab and Philip II, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Damascus, Coele-Syria

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Hadrian promoted Damascus to the Metropolis of Coele-Syria about 125 A.D. Septimius Severus upgraded it to a colonia in 222 A.D. Damascus was an important caravan city with trade routes from southern Arabia, Palmyra, Petra, and silk routes from China all converging on it delivering eastern luxuries to Rome. The inscriptions on the jewel and within the wreath refer to the sacred Olympia Sebasmia games, celebrated at Damascus as part of the local imperial cult.
RP83628. Bronze AE 29, Klose-Stumpf -, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, BMC Syria -, Rosenberger -, De Saulcy -, et. al. - (unpublished in refs but several known from auctions), aF, centered on a tight flan, weak legends, some corrosion, weight 16.099 g, maximum diameter 29.3 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus mint, Feb 244 - End Sep 249 A.D.; obverse laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Philip I right (on left), confronted with radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Philip II left (on right); reverse COL DAMAS METROPO, CEBA/CMIA in two lines within wreath, tied at the bottom, closed at the top by a large jewel inscribed IEPA (sacred), head of ram right between ties below; extremely rare; $160.00 (142.40)


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

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From the extensive series commemorating the Secular Games held in Autumn of 88 A.D.
RS77275. Silver denarius, RIC II 596, RSC II 76, BnF III 120, BMCRE II 131, SRCV I 2723, VF, centered, toned, die wear, marks, weight 3.206 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 14 Sep - 31 Dec 88 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII, laureate head right; reverse COS XIIII LVD SAEC FEC, herald wearing feathered cap, advancing left, wand in right, shield decorated with helmeted bust of Minerva on left arm; $125.00 (111.25)


Aspendos, Pamphylia, c. 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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After Alexander took Perga peacefully, Aspendos sent envoys to offer surrender if he would not take the taxes and horses formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. Agreeing, Alexander went on to Side, leaving a garrison behind. When he learned they had failed to ratify the agreement their own envoys had proposed, Alexander marched to the city. The Aspendians retreated to their acropolis and again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to harsh terms - they would host a Macedonian garrison and pay 100 gold talents and 4,000 horses annually.
GB79600. Bronze AE 19, SNG Cop 264 var. (star and crescent), SNGvA 4583 var. (crescent vice star); SNG BnF 148 var. (no star), BMC Lycia p. 103, 74 (same), aVF, green patina, weight 3.565 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 2nd - 1st Cent B.C.; obverse free horse galloping right, star above; reverse slinger standing right, throwing bullet, A − Σ flanking across center; ex Gerhard Rohde Ancient Coins; very rare; $125.00 (111.25)




  



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REFERENCES

Klose, D. & G. Stumpf. Sport, Spiel, Sieg. (Munich, 1996).


Catalog current as of Tuesday, April 25, 2017.
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Atheletics and Games