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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Crocodile||View Options:  |  |  |   

Crocodiles on Ancient Coins

The crocodile was a symbol of Egypt.


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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The crocodile was the Roman symbol for Egypt and this coin may refer to the quelling of a revolt in Egypt, perhaps related to the Bar Kokhba revolt. This anepigraphic reverse type seems to be quite rare. RIC II and RSC II misdescribe the emperor as having a foot on a prow. The type is missing from the British Museum and Hunter Coin Cabinet. There are only two on Coin Archives and one has a left facing bust. This is the first example of the type handled by Forum.
RS74387. Silver denarius, SRCV II 3551; RIC II 294 corr. (S, prow vice crocodile); RSC II 1503a corr. (same); BMCRE III p. 338, * (note); Hunter III - (p. lvii), aVF, weight 3.318 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse Emperor standing right, wearing military garb, inverted spear in right hand, parazonium in left hand, left foot on crocodile, no inscription; vary rare; SOLD


Augustus and Agrippa, c. 9 - 3 B.C., Colonia Augusta Nemausus, Southern Gaul

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The reverse commemorates the conquest of Egypt in 30 B.C. This theme was probably used at Nemausus because the colony was settled by Egyptian Greeks and veterans from Anthony's army that had surrendered to Octavian at Actium.
SH70945. Bronze dupondius, RIC I 158, RPC I 524, SNG Cop 699, SNG Tb 152, SRCV I 1730, VF, well centered, green patina, flan flaw below busts, weight 13.251 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 315o, Nemausus (Nimes, France) mint, c. 9 - 3 B.C.; obverse IMP DIVI F, back to back heads of Agrippa and Augustus, Agrippa (on left) facing left wearing a rostral crown, Augustus laureate head right; reverse COL NEM, crocodile right chained to a palm, wreath with long ties above, two palm fronds below; ex Roma Numismatics; SOLD


Augustus and Agrippa, 16 - 15 B.C., Colonia Augusta Nemausus, Gaul

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The reverse commemorates the conquest of Egypt in 30 B.C. and was probably issued in connection with Augustus' visit to Gaul in 16 B.C.
RP46954. Bronze dupondius, RIC I 157, SNG Cop 697, SNG Tb 142, RPC I 523, SRCV I 1729, aVF, weight 12.023 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 180o, Gaul, Nemausus (Nimes, France) mint, 16 - 15 B.C.; obverse IMP DIVI F, back to back heads of Agrippa and Augustus, Agrippa (on left) facing left wearing a rostral crown, Augustus bare head right; reverse COL NEM (NE ligate), crocodile right chained to a palm, wreath with long ties above, two palm fronds below; rare variant; SOLD


Augustus and Agrippa, 10 - 14 A.D., Colonia Augusta Nemausus, Gaul

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The reverse commemorates the conquest of Egypt in 30 B.C. This theme was probably used at Nemausus because the colony was settled by Egyptian Greeks and veterans from Anthony's army that had surrendered to Octavian at Actium. This was the last of the COL NEM issues, distinguished by the addition of the title P P (Pater Patriae), an honor bestowed to Augustus in 2 B.C.
RP08467. Bronze dupondius, RIC I 159, RPC I 525, SNG Cop 699, SNG Tb 161, SRCV 1731, VF, weight 12.50 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 45o, Colonia Augusta Nemausus (Nimes, France) mint, 10 - 14 A.D.; obverse IMP DIVI F P P, back to back heads of Augustus and Agrippa, Agrippa (on left) head left wearing a rostral crown, Augustus laureate head right; reverse COL NEM, Crocodile right chained to palm tree, wreath with long ties above, two palms fronds below; flatly struck obverse; SOLD


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Arranging the numeral Iς above the letter L, a symbol meaning year, was probably an attempt to give a double meaning to the number. The coin was struck in year 16 and 16 cubits was considered the ideal height of the annual Nile flood. The Romans were particulary amused by double meanings.
RX54639. Bronze drachm, Milne 1329 ff.; Dattari pl. 87, 1794; SNG Cop 369; BMC Alexandria p. 93, 788; Geissen 1056 var. (date arrangement); Kampmann-Ganschow 32.519, aVF, weight 22.185 g, maximum diameter 35.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 131 - 132 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI TRA A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse Nilus seated left on rocks, reed in right hand, scepter in left hand, crocodile right climbing up rocks, Iς / L above left (year 16); rough, over-cleaned, area of corrosion on reverse left, flan crack, huge 35 mm bronze!; SOLD


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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The Greek numeral sixteen (Iς) above Nilus refers to what was considered the ideal height of the annual Nile flood, sixteen cubits. Less could mean drought or famine. Even in modern times, grand celebrations were held when the flood reached 16 cubits. In years when the flood failed to reach 16 cubits, the celebrations were canceled, and prayers and fasting were held instead. The peak flood occurred at the end of August, which explains why the Egyptian year began on 29 August.
RX59549. Bronze drachm, Geissen 1001; Dattari 1808; Milne 1276; SNG Cop 350; BMC Alexandria p. 92, 785; Kampmann-Ganschow 32.470; Emmett 1014, Choice F, weight 27.286 g, maximum diameter 35.5 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 128 - 28 Aug 129; obverse AVT KAIC TPAI A∆PIA CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, wearing aegis, from behind; reverse Nilus reclining left on a crocodile right, himation around waist and legs, cornucopia in right from which an infant genius emerges, reed in left, Iς above, L TPICKAI (year 13) in exergue; big attractive 35 mm bronze; SOLD


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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RPC notes that a worn specimen of this type "has recently turned up in a small hoard of bronzes from Syria, which otherwise had nothing later than AD 121/2." Prior to that date, only Augustus and Tiberius ruled long enough to issue coins dated year 21 and RPC suggests attribution to Augustus. We disagree. Year 21 of Augustus was seven years before his first dated coins. Tiberius ruled long enough, but the Alexandria mint stopped striking bronze in his year six. Trajan died on 8 or 9 August of his 20th year. In Alexandria, Trajan's 21st year would have begun on 29 August 117. We believe this type was struck after 29 August 117, in the few days before the mint was informed of his death. The short period explains the great rarity. After the mint was informed of Hadrian's accession, they changed the reverse type to the Apis bull right and the date to L B, year 2 of Hadrian.
RX85457. Bronze dichalkon, RPC I 5111 (5 spec.), Dattari 50, BMC Alexandria 2629, Kampmann A.5, Emmett 4260 (R5 for year 20, a misreading of year 21), Geissen -, F, irregular underweight flan, date weak, weight 0.810 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, posthumous, 29 Aug - early Sep 117 A.D.; obverse ibis right; reverse crocodile right, L KA (year 21); very rare; SOLD


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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RX39363. Bronze drachm, SNG Cop 388; Dattari 1787; BMC Alexandria p. 93, 794, VF, scratches, weight 25.706 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 133 - 134 A.D.; obverse AVT KAIC TRA A∆PIANOC CEB (or similar), laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse Nilus reclining left, long reed in right hand, scepter in left hand, crocodile below, L IH above (year 18); SOLD


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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RX10773. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 1197, Dattari 1436, VF, weight 12.00 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 135 - 136 A.D.; obverse AYT KAIC TPA A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate head left; reverse L K, Nilus seated left, holding cornucopia and reed, crocodile below; SOLD


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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RX28519. Bronze drachm, Dattari 2739 var. (obv legend and date arrangement); BMC Alexandria p. 137, 1156 var. (same); Milne 2360 var. (same); Geissen -; SNG Cop -, VF, weight 23.310 g, maximum diameter 34.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 157 - 28 Aug 158 A.D.; obverse AYTK AIΛ A∆P − ANTWNINOC - CEB, laureate head right, wearing aegis; reverse KA - L, Nilus seated left on rocks, crowned with lotus, reeds in right, looking back at cornucopia in left from which infant genius emerges offering him a wreath, crocodile lower right; ex J. W. Curtis collection, ex J. Aiello collection; ex Schulmen auction, no. 1842, 3/25/62; ex Monz auction 6/56; ex Closseum Coin Exchange; SOLD




  




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Crocodiles