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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Animals ▸ WolfView Options:  |  |  | 

Wolves on Ancient Coins

The she-wolf was the symbol of Rome from ancient times. The famous "lupa capitolina" suckled the legendary Romulus and Remus.


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.
RS89477. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 15, RSC IV 178, Hunter III 46, SRCV III 8957, Choice VF, nice portrait, well centered, flow lines, reverse struck with a worn die, weight 3.884 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 248 A.D.; obverse IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SAECVLARES AVGG (Secular games [provided by] the Emperors), she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, I I in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73, part of lot 970; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Laodicea ad Lycus, Phrygia, c. 1st Century B.C.

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The boar and the wolf are symbolic of the rivers Kapros and Lykos respectively.
GB88939. Bronze AE 15, BMC Phrygia p. 287, 52; Weber 7129; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, VF, dark patina, obverse a little off center, porous, weight 3.031 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 30o, Laodicea ad Lycus (near Denizli, Turkey) mint, c. 1st century B.C.; obverse wild bristle-backed boar (river Kapros) standing left, (control monogram) below belly; reverse wolf (river Lykos) standing right, ΛAO∆I/KEΩN in two lines above and in exergue; very rare; $180.00 (€158.40)
 


Argos, Argolis, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 146 - 85 B.C.

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Argos is located in the eastern Peloponnese, very near the Aegean Sea. Inhabitants worshiped Hera. Sparta was a close neighbor to the south but the city was a nominal ally of Athens in the continuous conflict between Athens and Sparta in 5th century B.C.
GS89847. Silver hemidrachm, BCD Peloponnesos 1145; BMC Peloponnesus p. 144, 111; HGC 5 690 (S); SNG Cop 47, VF, strong flow lines on obverse, die wear, porosity, weight 2.406 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 270o, Argos mint, magistrate Damar-, c. 146 - 85 B.C.; obverse forepart of wolf at bay right, forelegs parallel to neck; reverse large A, trident right below below crossbar, ∆-A/MAP (magistrate name) in two lines, all in a square incuse; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73 (6 Jan 2019), lot 113; $175.00 (€154.00)
 


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus were the twin sons of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, fathered by the god of war, Mars. They were abandoned in the Tiber as infants. Faustulus, a shepherd, found the infants being suckled by the she-wolf (Lupa) at the foot of the Palatine Hill. Their cradle, in which they had been abandoned, was on the shore overturned under a fig tree. Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia, raised the children. Romulus was the first King of Rome.
RP85227. Bronze AE 23, SNG BnF 1503, BMC Mysia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Çanakkale -, SNG Tüb -, SNG Hunt -, Weber -, aVF, nice portrait, well centered, light corrosion, weight 5.905 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 225o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPE SEV MACRINVS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana), she-wolf standing right, head left, suckling the twin infants Romulus and Remus; $95.00 (€83.60)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

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Paul of Tarsus gave his first sermon to the Gentiles (Acts 13:13-52) at Antiochia in Pisidia, and visited the city once on each of his missionary journeys, helping to make Antioch a center of early Christianity in Anatolia. Antioch in Pisidia is also known as Antiochia Caesareia and Antiochia in Phrygia.
RP86498. Bronze AE 29, Krzyzanowska (XVII/41), SNG BnF 1324 (same obverse die), SNG Cop 92 (same), SNGvA -, SNG PfPs -, BMC Lycia -, VF, blue-green patina, obverse center not fully struck, bumps and marks, weight 12.533 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, Aug 253 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse IMP CA GALIHNVS PIVS, radiate and draped bust right; reverse ANTIOCHI COL, she-wolf right standing right, head turned back looking left, suckling the twins Romulus and Remus, S R (Senatus Romanum) in exergue; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Laranda, Lycaonia, c. 324 - 323 B.C.

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Göktürk identifies this type as issued by Laranda, Lycaonia, which issued coins with the same types. Most references attribute the type to an uncertain city in Cilicia and some to Tarsos. Laranda was destroyed by Perdiccas in about 322 B.C. and later became a seat of Isaurian pirates. This type was minted with a progression of reverses, first with an incuse square, then a square border of dots, and finally with a circle of dots. The original archaic punch reverse gradually evolved into a regular die, nearly identical to an obverse die. This variant was struck near the end of that evolution, perhaps for the defense against Perdiccas.
GS89559. Silver obol, cf. Göktürk 59 (rev border single and square), SNG BnF 448 (same, uncertain Cilicia), SNG Levante 223 (single borders, rev square, uncertain Cilicia), VF, well centered, toned, light marks, some die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 0.459 g, maximum diameter 11.3 mm, die axis 30o, Laranda (Karaman, Turkey) mint, c. 324 - 323 B.C.; obverse Baal seated left on backless throne, holding grain ear in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; within a double circular border of dots; reverse forepart of wolf right, crescent horns downward above, all within a double circular border of dots; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


Laranda, Lycaonia, 4th Century B.C.

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Göktürk identifies this type as issued by Laranda, Lycaonia, which issued coins with the same types. Most references attribute the type to an uncertain city in Cilicia and some to Tarsos. Laranda was destroyed by Perdiccas in about 322 B.C. and later became a seat of Isaurian pirates. This type was minted with a progression of reverses, first with an incuse square, then a square border of dots, and finally with a circle of dots. The original archaic punch reverse gradually evolved into a regular die, nearly identical to an obverse die. This variant is from near the beginning of that evolution.
GS89572. Silver obol, Göktürk 57, SNG BnF 449 (uncertain Cilicia), SNG Levante 223 (uncertain Cilicia), VF, toned, tight flan, weight 0.654 g, maximum diameter 9.9 mm, die axis 90o, Laranda (Karaman, Turkey) or uncertain Cilician mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse Baal seated left on backless throne, grain ear and bunch of grapes in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; reverse forepart of wolf right, crescent horns downward above, within square dotted boarder in incuse square punch; ex Sayles & Lavender; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


Argos, Argolis, Peloponnesos, Greece, 370 - 270 A.D.

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The site of ancient Argos Amphilochicum is near the modern town of Loutron on the Ambracian Gulf. According to varying traditions cited by Strabo, it was founded after the Trojan War by Alkmeion or his brother Amphilochos. No Mycenaean remains have been found, but Hekataios mentions the site at the end of the 6th century B.C. The rival of Ambrakia Arta in the 5th century B.C., it was allied with Athens at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War.
GB85882. Bronze chalkous, BCD Peloponnesos 1054; Nemea 1686 - 1714; BMC Peloponnesus p. 144, 101; HGC 5 707 (S), aVF, rough, obverse double struck, weight 1.640 g, maximum diameter 12.6 mm, die axis 0o, Argos mint, 370 - 270 A.D.; obverse wolf head left; reverse large A, facing crested Macedonian helmet below crossbar; ex J. Cohen Collection.; scarce; $60.00 (€52.80)
 







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