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The known mythology of Demeter and Ceres is identical. Demeter's (Ceres') virgin daughter Persephone (Proserpina) was abducted by Hades (Pluto) to be his wife in the underworld. Demeter searched for her endlessly, lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Demeter searched, preoccupied with her loss and her grief, the seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus (Jupiter) sent his messenger Hermes (Mercury) to the underworld to bring Persephone back. However, because Persephone had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. It was decreed that she must spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Demeter grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Persephone's return brings the spring.
Lokri Opuntii, Lokris, Greece, 360 - 340 B.C.
Lokrian Ajax (the Lesser) was a Greek mythological hero, son of Oileus, the king of Locris. Locrians are mentioned by Homer in the Iliad as following Ajax, the son of Oïleus, to the Trojan War in forty ships, and as inhabiting the towns of Kynos, Opus, Calliarus, Besa, Scarphe, Augeiae, Tarphe, and Thronium. Lokrian Ajax was called the "lesser" or "Lokrian" Ajax, to distinguish him from Ajax the Great, son of Telamon. He is also mentioned in the Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid. SH84346. Silver stater, BCD Lokris 58, Gulbenkian 491, HGC 4 992 var. (no star), BMC Central -, SNG Cop -, SNG UK -, aVF/F, superb classical style, high relief obverse die, well centered, light marks, light porosity, weight 11.715 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, Lokri Opuntii mint, 360 - 340 B.C.; obversehead of Demeter left, wreathed in grain, wearing drop earring; reverse OΠONTIΩ−N, Ajax son of Oileus, advancing right in fighting attitude, wearing Corinthian helmet, nude, short sword in right, broken spear on ground in background, palmette above griffin right (control symbols) inside shield, eight-rayed star (control symbol) lower right; ex Pegasi Numismatics; $1050.00 SALE PRICE $945.00
Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.
This coin declares Caesar as dictator for the second time, consul for the third time, augur and pontifex maximus. The head of Ceres refers to the grain producing wealth delivered to Rome by his victory in Africa. The D (and on similar coins an M) indicates this type was struck to be distributed as a donativum (largess) or munus (gift) to his legions. Some may have been distributed at Caesar's quadruple triumph celebrated in 46 B.C., when celebrations included public banquets, plays and gladiatorial games, lasting forty days. Vercingetorix was paraded and executed. Also in 46 B.C., Caesar made his nephew Octavian his heir. Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt, Caesar's mistress, and Caesarion, his bastard son by her, moved into one of his residences on the Tiber. They would remain in Rome as Caesar's guests until his assassination on 15 March 44 B.C. SH84609. Silver denarius, Crawford 467/1a, Russo RBW 1637, Sydenham 1023, RSC I 4a; Sear CRI 57, BMCRRAfrica 21, SRCV I 1403, gVF, dark toning, some marks and scratches, reverse slightly off center, weight 3.283 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, African, Utica(?) mint, 46 B.C.; obverseDICT ITER - COS TERT (counterclockwise from lower right, dictator for the 2nd time, consul for the third time), head of Ceres right, wreathed with grain; reverse implements of the augurate and pontificate: simpulum (ladle), aspergillum (sprinkler), capis (jug), and lituus (wand), AVGVR (augur) above, below D (donativum = largess) to right, PONT MAX (pontifex maximus) below; from the James Campbell Collection, purchased in 2004 from Roma Numismatica (9A Via Barberini, Rome); $670.00 SALE PRICE $603.00
Kabyle, Thrace, c. 219 - 215 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
The obverse dies for this type were also used with reverse dies naming the Gaulish King Kavaros. Die wear shows the Alexanderine types followed Kavaros' coinage, indicating this type was likely struck during the revolt of the Thracians, which brought about the chieftain's death and the end of Gaulish rule. Kavaros ruled until at least 219 B.C., when he participated in a treaty between Byzantium and Bithynia. The style compares closely with contemporary issues of Dionysopolis, Mesembria, and Odessus.SH69935. Silver tetradrachm, Price 882a, Draganov Cabyle 845 ff., Müller Alexander 399, VF, weight 16.205 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 0o, Cabyle mint, time of the Thracian Revolt, c. 219 - 215 B; obversehead of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, Demeter standing facing torch in each hand; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00
Dionysopolis, Moesia Inferior, Late 3rd - 2nd Century B.C.
Dionysopolis was founded by Thracians and later colonized by Ionians who named it Krounoi. The city was renamed Dionysopolis during the second half of the 3rd century B.C., after a statue of Dionysus was found in the sea nearby. Most of the types from Dionysopolis are scarce or rare. Today it is Balchik, Bulgaria, a Black Sea seaside resort town. IΦI is the only magistrate Draganov lists for this type.SH75655. Bronze AE 17, Draganov Dionysopolis 5, SNG Stancomb 115 - 116, SNG BM Black Sea -, SNG Cop -, AMNG I -, BMC Thrace -, aVF, tight flan, weak reverse center, weight 5.502 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 270o, Dionysopolis (Balchik, Bulgaria) mint, magistrate Iphia–, c. 3rd - 2nd century B.C.; obversehead of Demeter right wearing veil and crown made of city walls; reverse ∆IONY / IΦIA, poppy head on stalk on left, stalk of grain on right; very rare, unpublished until 1997; $280.00 SALE PRICE $252.00
Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 300 - 250 B.C.
Metapontum or Metapontion was an important city of Magna Graecia, on a plain of extraordinary fertility on the Gulf of Tarentum, between the river Bradanus and the Casuentus (modern Basento). It was distant about 20 km from Heraclea and 40 from Tarentum. The ruins of Metapontum are located in the frazione of Metaponto, in the comune of Bernalda, in the Province of Matera, Basilicata region, Italy.SH70576. Bronze AE 14, Johnston Bronze 62, SNG ANS 574, SNG Cop 1261, SNG Fitzwilliam 534, SNG Forbat 55, SNG Lloyd 420, SNG Evelpidis 232, HN Italy 1698, BMC Italy -, gVF, nice style, well centered, weight 3.426 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 270o, Metapontion mint, c. 300 - 250 B.C.; obversehead of Demeter right, hair rolled and wreathed with barley, wearing pendant earring; reverseMETA (upwards on left), head of barley with leaf right, fly (bee?) on right flying right above leaf; $240.00 SALE PRICE $216.00
Menaion, Sicily, c. 204 - 190 B.C.
In the West foothills of the Hyblaei Mountains of Sicily, an indigenous settlement on a high peak under the name of Menai, flourished until 453 B.C. when its inhabitants were moved to nearby Paliké near the well-known sanctuary of the Palici. No traces of life survive from between the second half of the 5th c. B.C. and the end of the 4th c. B.C. The city, under the name of Menainon, began once more to flourish in the Hellenistic period, as attested by its rich necropolis. After the Roman conquest the city minted its own coinage. Its existence during the Roman period is attested by Cicero (Verr. 3.22.55; 3.43.102) and Pliny (HN 3.91). The site continued to be inhabited until the Arab Conquest and again during the following centuries.GI76345. Bronze trias, Calciati III p. 186, 7; SNG Cop 384; SNG München 617; BMC Sicily p. 97, 5; HGC 2 760 (R1); SNG ANS 290 var. (∆ vice IIII), VF, scratches, porosity, weight 3.135 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Menaion (Mineo, Sicily, Italy) mint, Roman Rule, c. 204 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled bust of Demeter right; reverse MENAINΩN, crossed torches, IIII (mark of value) below; scarce; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00
Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Anchialus, Thrace
When the Odrysian kingdom was abolished in 45 A.D., Anchialos (Pomorie, Bulgaria today) became part of the Roman province of Thrace. It was formally proclaimed a city under Trajan. Anchialos thrived in the 2nd and 3rd centuries serving as the most important import and export station of Thrace and acquired the appearance of a Roman city under the Severan Dynasty.RP68711. Bronze 4 assaria, Varbanov 464 (R5), AMNG II 555, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, Lindgren -, aVF, glossy green patina, weight 14.534 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 45o, Anchialus (Pomorie, Bulgaria) mint, 209 - 212 A.D.; obverse AY K Π CEΠ ΓETAC, laureate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverse OYΛΠIANΩN AΓ−X−IAΛEΩN, Demeter standing left, reaching with right toward serpent coiled around large torch before her, small torch cradled in her left, two small pellets over ∆ in center field; rare; $215.00 SALE PRICE $194.00
Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 300 - 250 B.C.
Metapontum or Metapontion was an important city of Magna Graecia, on a plain of extraordinary fertility on the Gulf of Tarentum, between the river Bradanus and the Casuentus (modern Basento). It was distant about 20 km from Heraclea and 40 from Tarentum. The ruins of Metapontum are located in the frazione of Metaponto, in the comune of Bernalda, in the Province of Matera, Basilicata region, Italy.GI76341. Bronze AE 14, Johnston Bronze 59b, SNG Lloyd 421, SNG Forbat 56, HN Italy 1695, SNG Cop -, SNG ANS -, BMC Italy -, gVF, tight flan, porosity, weight 3.014 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 270o, Metapontion mint, c. 300 - 250 B.C.; obversehead of Demeter right, hair rolled and wreathed with barley, wearing pendant earring; reversehead of barley with leaf left, META downward on right; rare; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00
Katane, Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 212 - 50 B.C.
As observed by Strabo the location of Katane at the foot of Mount Etna on the east coast of Sicily was both a source of benefits and of evils. On the one hand, the violent outbursts of the volcano from time to time desolated great parts of the city's territory. On the other, the volcanic ashes produced fertile soil, especially suitable for the growth of vines. (Strab. vi. p. 269.).GI76962. Bronze as, cf. Calciati III p. 101, 14; BMC Sicily p. 54, 91; SNG Cop 206; SNG Morcom 558; SNG München 470; SNG ANS 1303; HGC 2 619 (S), gF, well centered, reverse left side weak, weight 12.263 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 315o, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 212 - 50 B.C.; obversehead of Janus, wearing kalathos, two monograms left, one monogram right; reverse KATA-ΩN-IAN (clockwise from upper right), Demeter standing half left, stalks of grain in extended right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00
Priapos, Mysia, 3rd - 1st Century B.C.
Unpublished in the references examined and the only example of the type known to Forum.
Priapos (Karabiga, Turkey today) is located on the Mysian coast, on a small east-facing bay at the mouth of the Biga River, about a third of the distance from ancient Parium to Cyzicus. Strabo mentions that the area produced fine wine and that the god Priapus gave the town its ancient name. Thucydides mentions the town as a naval station. In 334 B.C., the town surrendered to Alexander the Great without contest, prior to the Battle of Granicus. Deities worshiped there included Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, and Dionysus. Under the Eastern Roman Empire, the town was known as Pegae and was the site of a Byzantine fortress.GB83634. Bronze AE 13, cf. BMC Mysia p. 177, 14 (AE20, full ethnic 2 lines, bucranium); SNG Tübingen 2500 (same); SNG BNF 2410 (similar); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; Lindgren -, VF, green patina, corrosion, weight 2.400 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 0o, Priapos (Karabiga, Turkey) mint, 3rd - 1st century B.C.; obversehead of Demeter right, veiled and wreathed with grain; reverse ΠPIA within grain wreath; extremely rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00