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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Olympians ▸ Aphrodite or VenusView Options:  |  |  |   

Aphrodite or Venus

Goddess of love, beauty and sexuality. Daughter of Zeus and Dione or, in other traditions, of Uranus. Symbols include the dove.


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

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In Feb 44 B.C. the senate named Julius Caesar dictator for life. Fearing that he wished to become king, on the 15th of Mar, 63 senators assassinated him with their knives. His assassination plunged the Roman Republic into 17 years of civil war, after which it would re-emerge as the Roman Empire.
SH82705. Silver denarius, Alfldi Caesar, type III, 115 (this coin); BMCRR Rome 4147 (also I); Crawford 480/3; RSC I 34; Sydenham 1056; Sear Imperators 100; RBW 1678 (H) , gVF, toned, bankers mark on obverse, areas of flat strike, attractive deep old cabinet toning, with hints of iridescence around the devices, weight 3.607 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 30o, Rome mint, moneyer M. Mettius, Jan - Feb 44 B.C.; obverse CAESARIMP, wreathed head of Caesar right, cymbium (boat shaped cup used as a wine ladle) and lituus (augural wand) behind; reverse M METTIVS, Venus standing left, Victory in her extended right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, resting left elbow on shield which rests on globe, I (control letter) in lower left field; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 23 (9 Jan 2016), lot 376; ex Andrew McCabe Collection; ex CNG e-auction 237 (21 July 2010), lot 344; ex Professor L Fontana Collection; rare; $1800.00 (1530.00)


The Sileraioi, Sicily, c. 357 - 330 B.C.

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Sileraioi was not a city. The Sileraians were Campanian mercenaries who took their name from their proximity to the river Silaros. These rare coins have been found at the site of their settlement, Cozzo Mususino, a natural strong-hold in north central Sicily. The coins are often overstruck on coins from Syracuse minted c. 375 - 345 B.C.
SH68704. Bronze Calciati p. 301, 2; HGC 2 1243 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Munchen -; SNG Morcom -, VF/F, reverse rough, weight 7.521 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 90o, Sileraian mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse ΣI−ΛEPAIΩ−N (retrograde counterclockwise from 3:00), man-faced bull forepart charging right; reverse SIL (retrograde, upward behind), warrior advancing right, spear in right hand, shield in left; rare; $215.00 (182.75)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C.

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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.
GP85912. Bronze trihemiobol, Svoronos 1005; SNG Cop 644; Weiser 107; BMC Ptolemies p. 52, 57; SNG Milan 199; Weber 854; McClean 9789; Noeske -; Hosking -, VF, dark patina, well centered, some red earthen deposits, porosity/light corrosion, central dimples, weight 17.135 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, Salamis mint, c. 204 - 202 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), cult statue of Aphrodite standing facing on base, wearing polos, chiton and peplos, right arm across breast, left arm downward away from side; $200.00 (170.00)


Roman Republic, Cn. Egnatius Cn.f. Cn.n. Maxsumus, 75 B.C.

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In 75 B.C., young Julius Caesar traveled to Rhodes to study under Apollonius Molon. On his way across the Aegean Sea, he was kidnapped by Cilician pirates and held prisoner in the Dodecanese islet of Pharmacusa. Caesar was held for a ransom of twenty talents, he insisted they ask for fifty. After his release Caesar raised a fleet at Miletus, the pursued and crucified the pirates in Pergamon.
RR87412. Silver denarius, Crawford 391/3, Sydenham 787 (S), RSC I Egnatia 2, RBW Collection 1429, BMCRR I 3285, SRCV I 326, gVF, nice toning, tight flan, weight 3.702 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 76 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Libertas right, wearing triple pendant earring and necklace, MAXSVMVS downward and pileus behind; reverse Roma, on the left, standing facing, left foot on wolf's head, staff in her right hand; Venus, on the right, standing facing, staff right hand, cupid alighting on her shoulder; rudder standing on prow flanking on both sides, control letter left, CNN upward on right, CEGNATIVSCNF in exergue; ex Nomos Obolos 10, lot 339; rare; $150.00 (127.50)


Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus

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Sulla in a dream first saw Venus with the weapons of Mars as Venus Victrix and made her his personal patroness. In the night before the battle of Pharsalus 48 B.C. Pompey dreamed of Venus Victrix - seemingly a lucky sign. Caesar sacrificed to Venus Genetrix, but issued as watchword 'Venus Victrix', and defeated Pompey!
RS85786. Silver denarius, RIC III 786, RSC II 89, BMCRE IV 353, Hunter II 18, SRCV II 5492, Choice gVF, nice portrait, light tone, small edge cracks, highest points struck a bit flat, weight 2.924 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 166 - 169 A.D.; obverse LVCILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair waived and knotted low at back in chignon; reverse VENVS VICTRIX (victorious Venus), Venus standing facing, head left, right breast bare, Victory in right hand, left hand on grounded oval shield; $145.00 (123.25)


Persian Empire, Tarkumuwa (Datames), Satrap of Cilicia & Cappadocia, c. 384 - 362 B.C., Tarsus, Cilicia

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In historical times, Tarsos was first ruled by the Hittites, followed by Assyria, and then the Persian Empire. Tarsus, as the principal town of Cilicia, was the seat of a Persian satrapy from 400 B.C. onward. Indeed, Xenophon records that in 401 B.C., when Cyrus the Younger marched against Babylon, the city was governed by King Syennesis in the name of the Persian monarch. Alexander the Great passed through with his armies in 333 B.C. and nearly met his death here after a bath in the Cydnus. By this time Tarsus was already largely influenced by Greek language and culture, and as part of the Seleucid Empire it became more and more Hellenized. Strabo praises the cultural level of Tarsus in this period with its philosophers, poets and linguists. The schools of Tarsus rivaled those of Athens and Alexandria.
GS84907. Silver obol, SNG BnF 310, SNG Levante 217, Sunrise 48, Waddington 4567, Traite II 600, Gorturk -, VF, well centered and struck, toned, earthen deposits, light corrosion, weight 0.714 g, maximum diameter 11.1 mm, die axis 135o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, obverse head of female facing slightly left, drapery around neck; reverse draped bust of female (Aphrodite?) right, wearing tainia, hoop earring, and pearl necklace; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 28 (2 Jul 2016), lot 229; $135.00 (114.75)


Julia Paula, Augusta July or August 219 - c. September 220 A.D., First Wife of Elagabalus

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Julia Paula was the first wife of Elagabalus and daughter of the Praetorian Prefect Julius Paulus. They were married in 219 A.D. and divorced in less than a year.
RS87353. Silver denarius, RIC IV 222 (S, note), RSC III 21, BMCRE V 323, SRCV II 7658, cf. Hunter III 4 (Rome), VF, attractive portrait, lightly toned, tight flan, slightly uneven strike, a few tiny green deposits, weight 2.197 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, under Elagabalus, 219 - 220 A.D.; obverse IVLIA PAVLA AVG, draped bust right; reverse VENVS GENETRIX (Mother Venus), Venus Genetrix seated left on throne with high back, apple in right hand, scepter vertical in left hand; ex CNG e-auction 424 (11 Jul 2018), lot 513; ex CNG e-auction 325 (23 Apr 2014), lot 615; scarce; $130.00 (110.50)


Paphos, Cyprus, Timarchos or Nicoles, c. 350 - 332 B.C.

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The Greeks agreed that Aphrodite had landed at the site of Paphos when she rose from the sea. According to Pausanias (i. 14), her worship was introduced to Paphos from Syria; but much more probably it was of Phoenician origin. The cult of Aphrodite had been established before the time of Homer (c. 700 B.C.), as the grove and altar of Aphrodite at Paphos are mentioned in the Odyssey (viii. 362). Archaeology has established that Cypriots venerated a fertility goddess before the arrival of the Greeks, in a cult that combined Aegean and eastern mainland aspects. Female figurines and charms found in the immediate vicinity date as far back as the early third millennium. The temenos was well established before the first structures were erected in the Late Bronze Age. There was unbroken continuity of cult from that time until 391 A.D. when the Roman Emperor Theodosius I outlawed all pagan religions and the sanctuary fell into the ruins in which we find it today.
GB87116. Bronze AE 15, Bank of Cyprus p. 71 & pl. 5, 22; BMC Cyprus p. 44, 49 var. (11.4mm); SGCV II 5788 var. (same); Tziambazis -, SNG Cop -, VF, rough surfaces, weight 3.623 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, c. 350 - 332 B.C.; obverse head of Aphrodite left, wearing stephane ornamented with circles and palmettes; reverse rose, tendril left; rare; $120.00 (102.00)


Roman Republic, L. Memmius Galeria, 106 B.C.

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Venus was the guardian deity of the Memmia gens. Cupid flying above on the reverse was inspired by Victory on the tetradrachms of Syracuse.
RR84915. Silver denarius serratus, BMCRR I 1353 (also pellet / Q), Crawford 313/1c, Sydenham 574a, RSC I Memmia 2a, RBW Collection 1159 var. (control on obv.), SRCV I 190 var. (same), VF, toned, porous, reverse off center, weight 3.679 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 106 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Saturn left, harpa over ROMA behind; reverse Venus in a slow biga right, Cupid flying left above holding wreath, pellet over Q (control) below horse's foreleg, L MEMME (ME in monogram) over GAL in exergue; $110.00 (93.50)


Mytilene, Lesbos, 400 - 350 B.C.

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Mytilene on the southeast edge of Lesbos, opposite the mainland, was founded about 1054 B.C. It was initially confined to a small island just offshore that later was joined to Lesbos, creating a north and south harbor. In the 7th century B.C., Mytilene successfully contested for the leadership of Lesbos with Methymna, on the north side of the island. Mytilene became the center of the island's prosperous eastern hinterland.
GS86526. Silver diobol, cf. BMC Troas, p. 185, 8-14; SNG Cop 368; SNGvA 7749 - 7750 HGC 6 1037 (R1); Weber 5670 (various control marks), VF, tight flan cutting off legend and control mark (if any), obverse off center, marks, porosity, weight 1.254 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 0o, Mytilene mint, 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse head of Aphrodite right, hair rolled, control mark left (?, off flan); ex David Cannon collection, ex Beast Coins; $100.00 (85.00)




  



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Aphrodite or Venus