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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ History ▸ Historic WomenView Options:  |  |  |   

Historic Women on Coins

Mark Antony and Octavia, 39 B.C., Ephesos, Ionia

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The obverse legend abbreviates Consul Designatus, Iterum et Tertium, meaning Consul Elect for the second and third time. The reverse legend abbreviates Triumvir Reipublicae Constituendae, the title adopted in November of 43 B.C. by the three Caesarian leaders (Mark Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus) when they formed the Second Triumvirate to oppose the tyrannicides Brutus and Cassius.
SH86609. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, RPC I 2202, Sydenham 1198, Crawford 263, RSC Octavia and M. Antony 3, Sear CRI 263, BMCRR East 135, SRCV I 1513, Choice gVF, toned, well centered, some die wear and rust, scratches, weight 11.723 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, summer - autumn 39 B.C.; obverse M ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT (Consul Elect for the 2nd and 3rd time), conjoined head of Antony and bust of Octavia right, Antony nearer and wreathed in ivy, Octavia draped; reverse Dionysus standing half left on cista mystica, in his right hand, thyrsus in his left hand, flanked by two interlaced snakes with heads erect, III VIR (triumvir) downward on left, R P C (Reipublicae Constituendae) upward on right; $2430.00 (2138.40)


Theodora, 21 April 1042 - 12 June 1042 and 11 January 1055 - 21 August 1056

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Zoe and Theodora, the two elderly daughters of Constantine VIII ruled jointly for 7 1/2 weeks (21 Apr - 12 Jun 1042) following the deposition of Michael V. They were unfit for rule and did not get along. The senator Constantine Monomachus was selected as a husband for Zoe ascended the throne as Constantine IX. Theodora held sole rule for a year and a half after the death of Constantine IX until her death (11 Jan 1055 - 21 Aug 1056). She nominated Michael Stratioticus, a civil servant, as her successor.
BZ89542. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III, part 2, 1c; SBCV 1837, Wroth BMC 4 var. (pellets in nimbus); Morrison BnF 1 var. (same); Ratto -, Sommer -, VF, broad flan, bumps and scratches, die wear, weight 4.186 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, sole reign, 11 Jan 1055 - 21 Aug 1056; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANITInm (Jesus Christ, King of Kings), Christ Pantokrator standing facing on dais, wearing nimbus cruciger with no pellets, pallium and colobium, right hand raised in benediction, book of Gospels cradled in left arm, double border; reverse + ΘEO∆wPA AVΓOVCTA (Theodora, Empress), Theodora (on left) and the Virgin (on left) standing facing, jointly holding labarum between them with pellet on shaft, Theodora with right hand on breast, wearing crown with pendilia, saccos with cross and loros; the Virgin nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, M - Θ (mother of God) flanking her head; from the Robert Watcher Collection; rare; $1440.00 (1267.20)


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

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RPC II notes the style of Domitian's cistophori is similar to that of the Rome mint and the die axis is always 6:00 like Rome and unlike Ephesus. It is likely they were struck at Rome. BMCRE notes the fineness is 85%.
RS89459. Silver cistophorus, RPC II 866, RIC II-1 845, BMCRE II 225, SNG Cop 431, SNGvA 6581, RSC II Domitia and Domitian 2, F, toned, scratches and marks, some legend weak, weight 9.622 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome (or uncertain Anatolian) mint, 82 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG P M COS VIII, laureate head of Domitian right; reverse DOMITIA AVGVSTA, draped bust of Domitia right, hair massed in front and in long plait behind; rare; $450.00 (396.00)


Plotina, Augusta 105 - 129 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Plotina was the wife of Trajan, married to him before his succession. She was renowned for her virtue and simplicity. In 100, Trajan awarded her with the title of Augusta, but she did not accept the title until 105. Plotina did not appear on the coinage until 112. She was largely responsible for Hadrian's succession to the throne after the death of Trajan. Plotina died in 129 A.D.
SH79967. Bronze AE 24, RPC Online III 645, SNG Evelpidis 1170, Lindgren 980, SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, BMC Macedonia -, Varbanov -, F, green patina, pitting, weight 9.487 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, 105 - 129 A.D.; obverse CEBACTH ΠΛWTEINA, draped bust right; reverse AMΦIΠOΛTWN, Tyche seated left, patera in right hand; very rare; $360.00 (316.80)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C.

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Cleopatra VII originally shared power with her father Ptolemy XII and later with her brother-husbands Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. Her relationship with Julius Caesar led to sole rule. After Caesar's assassination, she aligned with Mark Antony. Her reign marks the end of the Hellenistic Era and the beginning of the Roman Era. She was the last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.
GP87627. Bronze diobol, Svoronos 1871; Weiser 183; Noeske 380; SNG Cop 419; SNG Milan 428; BMC Ptolemies p. 123, 4; Hosking 166 (obol); Malter 284; SGCV II 7955, aF, porous, a few pits, weight 15.907 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 50 - 31 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra right, with characteristic melon coif hairstyle; reverse KΛEOΠATPAΣ BACIΛICCHC (Queen Cleopatra), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, cornucopia left, Π (80 drachms) right; $360.00 (316.80)


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Although many coin references classify Fecunditas as a personification of fertility rather than as an actual deity, Fecunditas was recognized as a Roman divinity by Nero, who erected a statue to her. Tacitus notes that upon the birth of Claudia Neronis, the senate decreed the construction of a temple of Fertility to be built at Antium. Fecunditas is always portrayed as a female figure holding a child, or children and often a scepter, cornucopia, palm branch or caduceus. Sometimes the children are depicted standing at her feet. Coins portraying her usually advertise the fertility of the imperial family.
RS89455. Silver denarius, RIC IV S534 (S); RSC III 42; BMCRE V p. 27, W46; SRCV II 6580; Hunter III -, VF/F, excellent portrait, toned, flaw on reverse, small edge cracks, weight 2.934 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 195 - 196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, large chignon at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Fecunditas seated right on throne, holding child in her arms, another child at her feet on right, standing left; very rare; $300.00 (264.00)


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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Click to see a video demonstration recreating Faustina's hairstyles.
SL89810. Silver denarius, RIC III AP506b, RSC II 155a, BMCRE IV AP1049, Strack III A491, SRCV II 4705, Hunter II -, NGC AU, strike 5/5, surface 4/5 (4163480-012), weight 2.99 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Antoninus Pius, 148 - 152 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, draped bust right, single band (of pearls?) around head; reverse LAETITIAE PVBLICAE, Laetitia standing facing, head left, diadem in right, long scepter in left; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins; $250.00 (220.00)


Roman Republic, L. Titurius L.f. Sabinus, 89 B.C.

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This moneyer traced his descent from the Sabines and perhaps from King Tatius himself. Tarpeia was daughter of the commander of the citadel in Rome. She offered to open the gates for the besieging Sabines, if they would give her what they wore on their left arms, meaning their gold bracelets. The Sabines were unable to enter the citadel; its open gates were miraculously protected by boiling jets of water created by Janus. Keeping their promise, the Sabines threw the shields they worn on their left arms upon Tarpeia, crushing her to death, and then they kicked her off a cliff. This myth was likely used to explain the Tarpeian Rock, a cliff on the Capitoline Hill from which murderers and traitors were thrown.
SL89813. Silver denarius, Crawford 344/2c, Sydenham 699a, RSC I Tituria 5, BMCRR I Rome 2326, SRCV I 252, NGC AU, strike 4/5, surface 5/5 (4282339-001), weight 3.96 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 89 B.C.; obverse bare head of Sabine King Tatius right, palm frond below chin, SABIN behind, A.PV (argento publico) before; reverse Tarpeia buried to her waist in shields, trying to repel soldiers who are about to cast shields upon her, star over and within crescent with horns up above, left TITVRI in exergue; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins; $250.00 (220.00)


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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Hilaritas, the personification of rejoicing, is usually depicted as a matron, standing with a cornucopia in her left hand and a long palm frond on the ground in her right. Green branches were a sign of gladness and for special occasions, both public and private, it was the custom in ancient times to ornament streets, temples, gates, houses, and even entire cities, with branches and leaves of trees. This tradition carries on today in the form of wreaths and Christmas trees.
RS89844. Silver denarius, RIC III MA686, RSC II 111, BMCRE IV MA100, Hunter II 6, SRCV II 5254, Choice EF, well centered, nice portrait, flow lines, struck with a worn reverse die, small edge cracks, weight 3.138 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair waived and drawn back into a coil a the back of neck; reverse HILARITAS, Hilaritas standing slightly left, head left, long grounded palm frond in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $250.00 (220.00)


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Julia Domna and her children as Terra and the Four Seasons! "The flatterers of Julia Domna pretended that all things were owing to her. The star-besprinkled globe represents the Roman world, which with her husband Septimius Severus she governed; and to the empire of which she destines her two sons, Caracalla and Geta, who, together with as many daughters, are the proof of her fecundity." -- Rasche, T. ii pl l p 932.
RS85789. Silver denarius, RIC IV S549 (R), RSC III 35, BMCRE V S21, Hunter III S22, SRCV II 6579, F, well centered, slightly rough with light even corrosion, edge cracks, weight 2.369 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 207 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, bun at back of head; reverse FECVNDITAS (fertility), Terra reclining left under a vine, nude to the waist, right hand set on globe spangled with stars, leaning on left arm on basket of fruits, in background four children representing the four seasons; rare; $180.00 (158.40)




  



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