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

Capricorns on Ancient Coins

Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

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Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
SL89808. Bronze AE 27, Butcher 31c; SNG Cop 35; BMC Galatia p. 128, 35; SGICV 4142, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (4094544-007), weight 15.63 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ZEYΓMATEΩN, tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees, below Capricorn right; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins; $250.00 (220.00)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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"Legio II Augusta took part in Claudius' invasion of Britain in AD 43 and thereafter was permanently based in the province. From AD 74/5 it was stationed as Isca (Caerleon) in sought Wales." -- David Sear, p. 200, Roman Coins and Their Values IV
RA73482. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 58 (R2), Hunter IV 4, Webb Carausius 63, Askew 143, SRCV IV 13608, aF, rough, porous, weight 2.657 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 225o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 287 - 288 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse LEG II AVG, Capricorn left, ML in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very rare; $195.00 (171.60)


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Kibyra, Phrygia

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Kibyra (Cibyra) near the modern town of Glhisar in south-west Turkey, was possibly originally settled by Lydians. The city was in the far south of Phrygia adjoining Lycia. It is uncertain whether the city was part of the Province of Asia or of Lycia in the early imperial period. According to Strabo, the Lydian language was still being spoken by a multicultural population in the 1st century B.C. Thus Kibyra was the last place where the Lydian culture, by then extinct in Lydia proper, persevered.
RP89888. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2882 (5 spec. online); SNG Fitzwilliam 4954 (same dies); SNGvA 3727; Imhoof GM p. 397, 88; Waddington 5819; SNG Cop -; BMC Phrygia -, aVF, green patina, most of ethnic off flan, small edge splits, weight 4.425 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 270o, Kibyra (near Golhisar, Turkey) mint, obverse bare head right; reverse capricorn right, head turned back left, CEBATOC above, KIBYPATWN counterclockwise below and upward on right; rare; $150.00 (132.00)


Valerian II, Caesar, Early 256 - 258 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Located near Lampsacus, Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it was in the domain of Lysimachus and then the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia within the province of Asia. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, it was in the province of Hellespontus.
RP92066. Bronze AE 21, Apparently unpublished in standard references, SNG Righetti 743 var. (obv. legend), BMC Mysia -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Tb -, SNG Hunt -, F, well centered, bumps an scratches, weight 3.806 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, Early 256 - 258 A.D.; obverse VALERIANVS NOBIL CAES, laureate, draped (and cuirassed?) bust right; reverse Capricorn swimming right, cornucopia on back, holding celestial globe between legs, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; ex John Jencek; extremely rare, unpublished in standard references, two specimens known to Forum (from auctions); $140.00 (123.20)


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

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Located near Lampsacus, Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it was in the domain of Lysimachus and then the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia within the province of Asia. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, it was in the province of Hellespontus.
RP85226. Bronze AE 22, SNG BnF 1502; BMC Mysia p. 107, 111; SNG anakkale -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tb -; SNG Hunt -; Weber -; Lindgren -, VF, well centered, highest points flatly struck, weight 6.428 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 45o, 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 Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between legs, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; rare; $110.00 (96.80)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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Tranquillitas was the goddess of tranquility, security, calmness, and peace. The capricorn had a goat-like forequarter and a hindquarter terminating in a fish tail. The capricorn alludes to the maritime transportation of Egypts grain harvest across the Mediterranean to Rome, which was critical to maintaining tranquility within the empire.
RB87545. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 156 (S), Cohen V 224, Banti 58, Hunter III 103, SRCV III 9019, VF, centered on a crowded squared flan, light bumps and marks, porosity, edge cracks, weight 15.120 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse TRANQVILLITAS AVGG (to tranquility of [caused by] the two emperors), Tranquillitas standing facing, head left, capricorn in extended right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; scarce; $105.00 (92.40)


Kingdom of Commagene, Epiphanes and Callinicus, 72 A.D.

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In 72 A.D., only two years after Antiochus IV, King of Commagene, sent troops, commanded by his son Epiphanes, to aid Titus in the siege of Jerusalem, he was accused by the governor of Syria of conspiring with Parthia against Rome. After a reign of thirty-four years from his first appointment by Caligula, Antiochus was deprived of his kingdom. He retired first to Sparta, and then to Rome, where he passed the remainder of his life and was treated with great respect. Antiochus' sons, Epiphanes and Callinicus briefly ruled the kingdom but after an encounter with Roman troops, fled to Parthia. They later joined their father in Rome.
SH90336. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 3861; BMC Galatia p. 110, 1 ff.; De Luynes 3440; SGICV 5515, F, dark patina, red earthen deposits, weight 7.954 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 45o, Samosata (Samsat, Turkey) mint, 72 A.D.; obverse Epiphanes and Callinicus riding left on horseback, each wearing chlamys, BACIΛEΩC / YIOI in exergue; reverse KOMMAΓHNΩN, Capricorn right, star above, anchor flukes left below, all within laurel wreath, border of dots; ex John Jencek; $90.00 (79.20)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Founded in 709 B.C., the ancient city of Parion was a major coastal city, near Lampsacus, with two harbors used to connect Thrace with Anatolia. Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it came under the domain of Lysimachus, and subsequently the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia in the province of Asia. It was the main customs station through which all goods bound for Byzantium from Greece and the Aegean had to pass. When this coin was minted, Parium was within the Conventus of Adramyteum. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, Parium was in the province of Hellespontus. Today it is the village of Kemer in the township of Biga, Canakkale province, Turkey.
RP85746. Bronze AE 22, RPC Online VI temp 3875 (3 spec., all same dies), SNG anakkale 226 var. (same obv. die, normal rev.), SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG BnF -, BMC Mysia -, VF, edge flaws, minor pitting, weight 4.930 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 195o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse IMP CAEƧ L ƧEP ƧEV ALEXANDER, laureate and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front, cuirass with Gorgoneion; reverse Capricorn swimming left, holding celestial globe between legs, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) retrograde below (the entire reverse is retrograde - the normal type is Capricorn right); rare; $70.00 (61.60)







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Capricorn