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

Capricorns on Ancient Coins

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

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Augustus' sun sign was Libra. We don't know why he selected the Capricorn as his emblem. Perhaps Capricorn was either his rising sign or his Moon sign. Popular astrology, of the newspaper kind, is sun sign astrology. The ancients tended to attach more importance to the Moon sign and rising signs. Perhaps Augustus selected the Capricorn because it is associated with stern moral authority.
SH84736. Silver denarius, BnF I 1271 (same dies, attributed to auxiliary workshop, Colonia Patricia), RIC I 126 (R2), RSC I 21, BMCRE I 346, Hunter I 145, SRCV I 1592, Choice aMS, nearly as struck, mint luster, well centered and bold strike, a few light marks, obverse die wear, weight 3.809 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Spanish (Colonia Patricia?) mint, 16 B.C.; obverse bare head right, dot border, anepigraphic; reverse capricorn right, filleted cornucopia overflowing with grain and fruit on its back, celestial globe and rudder with tiller held between hooves, AVGVSTVS below; from the Marcelo Leal Collection; scarce; $3150.00 (2803.50)


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 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.
RP70938. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 304; SNGvA 1343; BMC Mysia p. 108, 116, VF, perfect centering, struck with a damaged obverse die, weight 4.774 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate,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; ex Russian Coins; $360.00 (320.40)


Kingdom of Thrace, Rhoemetalkes I, c. 11 B.C. - 12 A.D.

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When the Cotys VII, King of Thrace, died about 48 B.C. Rhoemetalces I became the guardian of his nephew Rhescuporis I, his brother's young son and heir. In 13 B.C., Rhescuporis I was defeated and slain in battle by Vologases, chief of the Thracian Bessi, who was leading a revolt against Rome. As Rhescuporis I had left no heir, Rhoemetalces became king. An ally of Augustus, the Roman Historian Tacitus described Rhoemetalces as attractive and civilized. After his death, Augustus divided his realm, half for his son Cotys VIII and the other half for Rhoemetalces' brother Rhescuporis II. Tacitus states that Cotys received the cultivated parts, most towns and most Greek cities of Thrace, while Rhescuporis received the wild and savage portion with enemies on its frontier.
RP72883. Bronze AE 15, Youroukova 159, RPC I 1707, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, SNG Stancomb -, VF, weight 1.999 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 225o, c. 11 B.C. - 12 A.D.; obverse K ΣEBAΣTOY, capricorn right, globe upper right between legs; reverse POIMH, Nike advancing right, raising wreath in extended right, grounded palm frond before her in left; rare; $200.00 (178.00)


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, 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; $170.00 (151.30)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

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Butcher notes coins of Elagabalus from Zeugma share obverse dies with his coins from Antioch and were probably struck at the Antioch mint.

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.
RY90698. Bronze AE 32, BMC Galatia p. 127, 28; Butcher 29; SNG Cop 31 var. (AVT K M AV -..., and slight drapery), F, weight 18.971 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 315o, Antioch(?) mint, obverse AVT KAI MAP AVP - ANTΩNEINOC CE, laureate head right; reverse ZEYΓM−ATEΩN (Z reversed), tetrastyle temple of Zeus(?) with peribolos containing grove of trees, capricorn right in exergue; big 32 mm bronze!; $125.00 (111.25)


Otacilia Severa, Augusta, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

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A tetrastyle temple is a temple with four columns. A peribolos is a court enclosed by a wall, especially one surrounding an ancient Greek or Roman temple.
GB90700. Bronze AE 29, BMC Galatia p. 128, 34; Butcher 31b; SNG Munchen 435 var. (capricorn right); SGICV 4056 var. (same); SNG Cop -, Choice VF, perfect centering, weight 18.168 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 180o, Zeugma mint, Feb 244 - end Sep 249 A.D.; obverse MAP ΩTAKIΛ CEOYHPAN CEB, draped bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulders; reverse ZEYΓM−ATEΩN, tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees, statue of seated Zeus within temple, capricorn left in exergue; $110.00 (97.90)







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Catalog current as of Thursday, March 30, 2017.
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Capricorn