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Birds, especially eagles, appear rather often on ancient coins. The eagle remained an important numismatic feature up to our days.
Britannicus, Son of Claudius and Messalina, b. 12 February 41 - d. 11 February 55 A.D., Alabanda, Caria
Of this type, RPC I notes, "Uncertain. This coin was published by Mi 3.307.22, and is known from a Mionnet cast. The coin [the Mionnet specimen] has been tooled ('médaille retourchée') but may perhaps represent a genuine denomination." Our coin allays the RPC I doubts. The denomination is 1/3 of 18.5g RPC I 2818.SH88430. Orichalcum AE 23, RPC I 2821 (= Mionnet III, p. 307, 22), F, porous, weight 6.496 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alabanda (Doganyurt, Aydin, Turkey) mint, 50 - 54 A.D.; obverse KΛAV∆IOC BPETANNIKOC KAIΣAP, bare-headed and draped bust right; reverse AΛABAN∆EΩN, Apollo Kissios standing left, nude, bow in right hand with raven on top, sheep standing left at feet on left ; ex Forum (2013), ex J. S. Wagner Collection; of greatest rarity; $990.00 (€871.20)
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C.
Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. He promoted the translation of Jewish scriptures into Greek as the Septuagint. Due to a falling out at the Seleucid court, his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus was murdered along with her infant son. In response, he invaded Syria, occupied Antioch, and even reached Babylon. This war, the Third Syrian War, is cryptically alluded to in Daniel XI 7-9. The Ptolemaic kingdom reached the height of its power during his reign.GP93402. Bronze hemidrachm, Lorber CPE B936; Svoronos 965; SNG Cop 173; Weiser 72; BMC Ptolemies p. 55, 89; SNG Milan 166; SNG Blackburn 1165; Noeske 120; Hosking 31; Weber 8259, Choice EF, attractive style, well centered, mottled burgundy, red, brown and olive patina, ares of light corrosion, central depressions,, weight 30.905 g, maximum diameter 35.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 246 - 222 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, chi-rho monogram between eagle's legs; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $700.00 (€616.00)
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.
Huge 71.416 g, 46.8 mm bronze! The largest of all Ptolemaic bronze coin types.GP92402. Bronze octobol, Lorber CPE B365; Svoronos 446; Weiser 19; BMC Ptolemies p. 37, 158; SNG Cop 142; Noeske 64; Hosking 13; Malter 67, gVF, well centered on a broad flan, partial red encrustation/patina, light double strike on reverse, central depressions, beveled obverse edge, weight 71.416 g, maximum diameter 46.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 285 - 246 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head turned back right, E between legs; from a New England Collector; scarce; $630.00 (€554.40)
Alabanda, Caria, c. 162 - 161 B.C., Civic Coinage in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
Alabanda was on the river Marsyas, about twenty miles south of its confluence with the Maeander. It allied with Rome in the war against Philip V of Macedon, c. 197 B.C. Antiochus III took it soon after and renamed it Antiocheia until his defeat in 190 B.C. at the battle of Magnesia. Price dated this series of Alexandrine tetradrachms beginning in 173 B.C. and ending in 167 B.C., when Alabanda was defeated after invading Rhodian territory. Cohen begins the era in 167 B.C., after Caria and Lycia were declared free by the Roman Senate.SH91501. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2466, Müller Alexander 1148, SNG Cop 757, Cohen DCA 311, Choice VF, centered on a very broad flan, toned, light graffiti (MENA?) in obverse right field, weight 16.484 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alabanda (Doganyurt, Aydin, Turkey) mint, c. 162 - 161 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Pegasos flying left in lower left field, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, ⊏ (year 6) under throne; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $500.00 (€440.00)
Sinope, Paphlagonia, c. 330 - 300 B.C.
Long used as a Hittite port, Sinope was re-founded as a Greek colony by Miletus in the 7th century B.C. Sinope flourished as the Black Sea port of a caravan route that led from the upper Euphrates valley. The city escaped Persian domination until the early 4th century B.C. In 183 B.C. it was captured by Pharnaces I and became the capital of the kingdom of Pontus. Lucullus conquered Sinope for Rome in 70 B.C., and Julius Caesar established a Roman colony there, Colonia Julia Felix, in 47 B.C. It remained with the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantines). It was a part of the Empire of Trebizond from the sacking of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204 until the capture of the city by the Seljuk Turks of Rûm in 1214.SH91741. Silver drachm, SNG BM 1481; SNG Stancomb 770; SNG Pontus p. 97, 13 ff. var. (magistrate); SNG Cop 284 f. var. (same); HGC 7 399 (S), VF, centered on a tight flan, porous, dark areas, weight 4.748 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 180o, Sinope (Sinop, Turkey) mint, c. 330 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of nymph left, hair in sakkos, wearing triple pendant earring and necklace; reverse eagle left with dolphin left in talons, AΓPEΩΣ (magistrate) below wing, ΣINΩ below dolphin; scarce; $470.00 (€413.60)
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.
Ptolemy IV's surname, Philopator, means father lover, ironic since according to some authorities he poisoned his father. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria. He was a cruel and evil monarch.GP93420. Bronze drachm, Lorber CPE B495; Svoronos 1125; Noeske 140; SNG Cop 199; Weiser 49; BMC Ptolemies p. 57, 106; Hosking -, Choice VF, attractive Zeus, well centered and struck, dark tone with areas of red and blue-green patina, bumps and marks, central depressions, beveled obverse edge, weight 67.115 g, maximum diameter 42.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 219 - 204 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, ∆I between eagle's legs; from the Errett Bishop Collection, a massive 67g Ptolemaic bronze!; $450.00 (€396.00)
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IX Soter II (Lathyros), 2nd Reign, 88 - 80 B.C.
Ptolemy IX Soter II Lathyros was the elder son of Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra III. After his father died in 116 B.C., he ruled jointly with his mother Cleopatra III. His first reign ended in 110 B.C. when his mother replaced him with her favorite son, Alexander, who ruled as Ptolemy X. In 109 B.C., Ptolemy IX Soter successfully recovered the throne. In 107 B.C., however, his mother claimed that he had tried to kill her and Ptolemy X Alexander was again made king. Ptolemy IX ruled Cyprus. Ptolemy X Alexander had their mother, Cleopatra III, murdered in 101 B.C. Ptolemy IX Soter II Lathyros became king of Egypt again in 88 B.C., after Ptolemy X Alexander was killed in battle, until his death in 81 B.C.GP88180. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 1687 & pl. 57, 31 (6 spec.); SNG Cop 375; BMC Ptolemies p. 114, 79 & pl. xxviii, 8; Cohen DCA 64; Noeske -; Hosking -, SNG Milan -, gVF, toned, flow lines, full legend, high points of hair not fully struck, weight 13.793 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 88 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, LKΘ (year 29) left, ΠA right; from a New England collector; very rare; $400.00 (€352.00)
Kroton, Bruttium, Italy, 530 - 500 B.C.
According to Herodotus (3.131), the physicians of Kroton were considered the foremost among the Greeks, and among them Democedes, son of Calliphon, was the most prominent in the 6th century B.C. Accordingly, he traveled around Greece and ended up working in the court of Polycrates, tyrant of Samos. After the tyrant was murdered, Democedes was captured by the Persians and brought to King Darius, curing him of a dislocated ankle. Democedes' fame was, according to Herodotus, the basis for the prestige of Kroton's physicians.GS90988. Silver stater, SNG ANS 248; SNG Ashmolean 1467; SNG Lloyd 596; HN Italy 2081; BMC Italy p. 343, 9; SNG Cop -, VF, spread fabric, heavy natural patina, edge chip, weight 7.646 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Kroton (Crotone, Calbria, Italy) mint, 530 - 500 B.C.; obverse tripod lebes with three lion's feet and three handles, PO upward on left, marsh bird (crane or heron) standing left on right; reverse incuse tripod lebes, PO upward on left, marsh bird (crane or heron) standing left on right; ex David Mitten Collection, ex Antioch Associates (Lindgren); $400.00 (€352.00)
Mesembria, Thrace, c. 250 - 175 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
Mesembria, Nesebar Bulgaria today, was a Doric settlement on a Black Sea island just off mainland Thrace. Thrace was invaded by the Galatians in 279 B.C. Only the wealthy coastal cities, including Mesembria, withstood their attacks. Following that chaos, rule of Thrace was divided between many tribes. Philip V, 221 - 179 B.C., tried to regain control of the area for the Macedonian Kingdom, but his success was limited and short lived. Mesembria was taken by Mithradates VI in the First Mithradatic War and surrendered to Rome in 71 B.C. The city struck Alexandrine tetradrachms as early as 275 B.C., more than 50 years after Alexander's death, and probably issued the very last Alexandrine tetradrachms struck anywhere, possibly under Roman rule as late as 65 B.C.SH91294. Silver tetradrachm, Karayotov p. 83 & pl. VI, 21 - 22 (O7/R10, same die break on exergue line); Price 992; Müller Alexander 436, Mektepini 9, HGC 3.2 1567 (R1), VF, attractive style, well centered and struck, light toning, weight 17.003 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 30o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 250 - 175 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on left, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Corinthian helmet right over (ΠA monogram) in inner left field under arm; $350.00 (€308.00)
Odessos, Thrace, c. 280 - 200 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
Odessos (Varna, Bulgaria) was created when Miletian Greeks founded an apoikia (trading post) at an existing Thracian settlement around 600 B.C. Odessos was in the Delian league in the 5th century B.C. Philip II besieged it unsuccessfully in 339. Getae priests persuaded him to make a treaty but the city surrendered to his son Alexander the Great in 335. In 313 B.C., in coalition with other Pontic cities and the Getae, Odessos rebelled against Lysimachus. After Lysimachus' death in 281, the city reverted to striking in the types and names of Alexander the Great and continued to strike Alexandrine tetradrachms until at least 70 B.C. After the Battle of Pydna in 168 B.C., Thrace passed to Rome. The Thracians, however, did not all readily accept Roman dominion. Several revolts occurred. The next century and a half saw the slow development of Thracia into a permanent Roman client state.SH91295. Silver tetradrachm, Black Sea Hoard 311 - 312 (OK/R32), Price 1160, AMNG II 2116, HGC 3.2 1584, Müller Alexander -, VF, attractive style, well centered and struck, tight flan, light toning, weight 16.621 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Odessos (Varna, Bulgaria) mint, c. 280 - 200 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, K∆ monogram (magistrate) below arm, O∆H Odessos monogram under throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right; $350.00 (€308.00)