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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.


Crispus, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 326 A.D.

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In 323, Constantine the Great defeated invading Goths and Sarmatians north of the Danube in Dacia, and claimed the title Sarmaticus Maximus.
RS85085. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 308 note, SRCV IV 16728, Cohen VII 21, Hunter V 13 (plain shield), gVF, very rare in white metal, scarce and desirable shield decoration, well centered and struck, some porosity and corrosion, light scratches, weight 3.274 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 321 A.D.; obverse IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust left, spear over shoulder in right, shield on left shoulder ornamented with she-wolf suckling the twins Romulus and Remus; reverse BEATA TRAN-QVILLITAS, altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX in three lines, surmounted by globe, three stars above, STR in exergue; $240.00 (213.60)


Alexandreia Troas, Troas, c. Mid 3rd Century A.D.

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Alexandria Troas (modern Eski Stambul) is on the Aegean Sea near the northern tip of the west coast of Anatolia, a little south of Tenedos (modern Bozcaada). The city was founded by Antigonus around 310 B.C. with the name Antigoneia and was populated with the inhabitants of Cebren, Colone, Hamaxitus, Neandria, and Scepsis. About 301 B.C., Lysimachus improved the city and re-named it Alexandreia. Among the few structure ruins remaining today are a bath, an odeon, a theater and gymnasium complex and a stadium. The circuit of the old walls can still be traced.
RP84498. Bronze AE 22, RPC IX 478 (9 spec., same dies), SNGvA 1465 (same dies), SNG Cop 106 (same dies), Bellinger Troy A495, SNG Munchen -, BMC Troas -, Choice gVF, nice green patina, attractive style, weight 6.754 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, c. mid 3rd century A.D.; obverse CO - ALEX TR, turreted bust of Tyche right, vexillum with CO over AV on ensign behind; reverse she-wolf right, head turned back left, suckling the twins Romulus and Remus, COL AVG above, TROA in exergue; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $150.00 (133.50)


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Alexandreia Troas, Troas

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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.
RP84560. Bronze AE 23, SNG Cop 187; Bellinger A442; BMC Troas p. 30, 167 var. (legends); SNG Hunterian 1296 var. (same); SNGvA -, gVF, excellent portrait, well centered and struck on a broad flan, porous, tiny edge cracks, weight 4.844 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 225o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP LIC V-ALERIAN, laureate, draped, and bearded bust right, from behind; reverse COL AV, TRO (TRO in exergue), she-wolf standing right, head turned facing, suckling Romulus and Remus; ex Agora Auction 52, lot 90; $140.00 (124.60)


Lot of 5 Trajan Quadrantes and/or Semisses with Wolf Reverses

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LT77401. Bronze Lot, 5 Trajan Quadrantes and/or Semisses, nice F+, Rome mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse laureate bust right; reverse she-wolf left (one specimen she-wolf right); no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photographs; $125.00 (111.25)


City of Rome Commemorative, 335 - 336 A.D.

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On 11 May 330, Constantine I refounded Byzantium, renamed it Constantinopolis after himself, and moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to his new city. The new capital was Christian, old gods and traditions were either replaced or assimilated into a framework of Christian symbolism. Constantine built the new Church of the Holy Apostles on the site of a temple to Aphrodite. Generations later there was the story that a divine vision led Constantine to this spot. The capital would often be compared to the 'old' Rome as Nova Roma Constantinopolitana, the "New Rome of Constantinople." Special commemorative coins were issued with types for both Rome and Constantinople to advertise the importance of the new capital.
RL76421. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Rome 370 (R2), LRBC I 556, SRCV IV 16509, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V -, VF, tight, slightly ragged flan, weight 1.840 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Rome mint, 335 - 336 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse she-wolf standing left, head turned back right, suckling the infant twins Romulus and Remus, two stars above, R * Q in exergue; first example of this rare type handled by Forum; rare; $100.00 (89.00)


Laodicea ad Lycus, Phrygia, Time of Tiberius, 14 - 37 A.D.

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Laodicea on the Lycus was the ancient Hellenistic metropolis of Phrygia Pacatiana, in Anatolia near the modern village of Eskihisar, Denizli Province, Turkey. It is one of the Seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

A labrys is a double-headed ax, also known to the classical Greeks as a pelekus or sagaris, and to the Romans as a bipennis.
RP84894. Bronze AE 14, RPC I 2910; BMC Phrygia p. 288, 59; SNG Cop 512; SNG Munchen 348, VF, attractive black surfaces, some light marks, areas of slight porosity, earthen deposits, weight 3.146 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, Laodikeia mint, magistrate of Pythes, son of Pythes; obverse Aphrodite standing left, dove in extended right hand, B over ΠYΘ monogram (magistrate Pythes II) on left, ΛAO∆IKEΩN downward on right; reverse river god Lykos in wolf form, labrys across shoulder, all within laurel wreath; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 27, lot 257; rare; $100.00 (89.00)


City of Rome Commemorative, 332 - 333 A.D.

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On 11 May 330, Constantine I refounded Byzantium, renamed it Constantinopolis after himself, and moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to his new city. The new capital was Christian, old gods and traditions were either replaced or assimilated into a framework of Christian symbolism. Constantine built the new Church of the Holy Apostles on the site of a temple to Aphrodite. Generations later there was the story that a divine vision led Constantine to this spot. The capital would often be compared to the 'old' Rome as Nova Roma Constantinopolitana, the "New Rome of Constantinople." Special commemorative coins were issued with types for both Rome and Constantinople to advertise the importance of the new capital.
RL79233. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 542, LRBC I 65, SRCV IV 16488, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V 1 var. (1st officina), Choice EF, perfect centering, reverse strike slightly weak, light porosity, weight 2.704 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 332 - 333 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse she-wolf standing left, head turned back right, suckling the infant twins Romulus and Remus, two stars above, TRS in exergue; $90.00 (80.10)


City of Rome Commemorative, 332 - 333 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
On 11 May 330, Constantine I refounded Byzantium, renamed it Constantinopolis after himself, and moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to his new city. Coins were issued with types for Rome and Constantinople to advertise the importance of the new capital.
RL79229. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 542, LRBC I 65, SRCV IV 16488, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V 1 var. (1st officina), Choice EF, full circles strike on a broad flan, porosity, small edge split, weight 2.689 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 332 - 333 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse she-wolf standing left, head turned back right, suckling the infant twins Romulus and Remus, two stars above, TRS in exergue; $80.00 (71.20)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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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.
RA73653. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1628c, RSC IV 46b, RIC V S628, Hunter IV S194, SRCV III 10171 var. (cuirassed bust left), gVF, full circles strike on a broad flan, much silvering, porous, weight 3.435 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch mint, 264 - 265 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse AETERNITAS AVG, she-wolf standing right, head left, the twins Romulus and Remus suckling below, palm branch right in exergue; $75.00 (66.75)


Laodicea ad Lycus, Phrygia, c. 189 - 133 B.C.

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The animal on the reverse is identified as a lion in the references. SNG Mnchen, however, notes "or wolf?" It is almost certainly the river god Lycus in the form of wolf.
GB67148. Bronze AE 12, SNG Munchen 341 (lion or wolf), BMC Phrygia p. 283, 22 (lion), SNG Cop 496 (lion), SNGvA -, VF, weight 1.600 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 0o, Laodikeia mint, c. 189 - 133 B.C.; obverse turreted head of Tyche (or Aphrodite or Kybele) right; reverse ΛAO∆I/KEΩN, river god Lycus seated left, raising right foreleg; very rare; $70.00 (62.30)




  



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