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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Non-Olympian ▸ SolView Options:  |  |  |   

Sol

Sol sometimes called Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the solar deity in Ancient Roman religion. Worship of Sol began early but seems to have become more significant from the reign of Aurelian until the abolition of paganism under Theodosius I.


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C.

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In 41 B.C., Mark Antony met Cleopatra VII in Tarsus (Cilicia) and formed an alliance. He returned to Alexandria with her and they became lovers in the winter of 41 - 40 B.C. To safeguard herself and Caesarion, she had Antony order the execution of her (half) sister Arsinoe IV, who was living at the temple of Artemis in Ephesus.
SL86807. Silver denarius, BMCRR II East 91 (larger head from later in the issue), Crawford 496/3, Sear CRI 129, Sydenham 1169 (very scarce), RSC I 70, SRCV I 1468, ANACS VF30, countermark, scrape (6030741); toned, bankers' marks on obverse, weight 3.71 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, late 42 - early 41 B.C.; obverse bare head of Mark Antony right, beardless, IMP upward over lituus behind; reverse M. ANTONIVS III VIR. R.P.C. (clockwise from upper right), radiate head of Sol right ; military mint traveling with Antony in Greece and Asia; ex Heritage - NYINC Signature Sale 3063 (16 Jan 2018), lot 33377; ex CNG e-auction 392 (1 Mar 2017), lot 502 ("From the Collection of a Director"); rare; $675.00 SALE PRICE $608.00


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

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By the time Alexander and his mother arrived to face his German enemies, the situation had settled, and so his mother convinced him that to bribe the Germans and avoid violence was the more sensible course. Though they were not yet expected to personally fight in battle during Alexander's time, emperors were increasingly expected to display general competence in military affairs. Alexander's taking of his mother's advice, his dishonorable method of dealing with the Germanic threat, and the relative failure of his earlier military campaign against the Persians were all deemed highly unacceptable by the soldiers. Alexander was assassinated on 19 March 235, together with his mother, in a mutiny of the Legio XXII Primigenia at Moguntiacum (Mainz) while at a meeting with his generals. The assassinations secured the throne for Maximinus.
RS85586. Silver denarius, RIC IV 125, RSC III 453, BMCRE VI 963, SRCV II 7917, Hunter III -, Choice gVF, nice style, well centered and struck, dark old collection toning, weight 3.198 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Jan - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from the front; reverse P M TR P XIIII COS III P P, Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, left arm and flying behind, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip in left hand; scarce last issue of reign; $275.00 SALE PRICE $248.00


Roman Republic, P. Clodius M.f. Turrinus, 42 B.C.

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In October 42 B.C., the Republican army was defeated by the legions Antony and Octavian at Philippi. Cassius and Brutus committed suicide. Brutus' body was brought to Antonius' camp, where he cast his purple paludamentum over his dead body and ordered an honorable funeral for his erstwhile comrade. The Republican cause was crushed; Rome rested in the hands of the Second Triumvirate.
RR85018. Silver denarius, Crawford 494/21, Sydenham 1115, Sear Imperators 182, RSC I Claudia 17, BMCRR Rome 4287, Russo RBW 1726, SRCV I 491, VF, broad flan, porous and a little rough, weight 3.296 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, c. 42 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Sol right, quiver behind; reverse crescent moon with horns upward, surrounded above by five six-pointed stars in a semi-circle, PCLODIVS over MF below; scarce; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Providentia (foresight) was an important moral and philosophical abstraction in Roman discourse. Cicero says it is one of the three main components of prudentia, "the knowledge of things that are good or bad or neither," along with memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding). The reverse legend dedicates this coin to the providence of the gods.
RA85659. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 848 corr. (no cuirass); Cohen VI 474; Pink VI/1, p. 45; Hunter V -, Choice VF, broad flan, bumps and marks, reverse slightly off center but full legend, weight 3.793 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 2nd emission, c. late 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C PROBVS INVICTVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PROVIDEN DEOR (the foresight of the gods), Fides standing right holding standard in each hand facing Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, * low center, KAΓ in exergue; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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On 8 October 314, at the Battle of Cibalae, Constantine defeated Licinius near Colonia Aurelia Cibalae (modern Vinkovci, Croatia). Licinius was forced to flee to Sirmium and lost all of the Balkans except for Thrace. The two Augusti initiated peace negotiations, but they failed and they would not make peace until 1 March 317.
RL85191. Billon follis, RIC VII Ticinum 21 (R1), SRCV IV 16087, Cohen VII 536, cf. Hunter V 139 (TT, 314 A.D.), Choice EF, nice portrait and reverse style, green patina, weight 3.279 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 314 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVI-C-TO COMITI, Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, celestial globe in left hand, star in left field, TT in exergue; rare; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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

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Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. The date 25 December was selected for Christmas to replace the popular Roman festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."
RB73721. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 538d, BMCRE VI 593, Hunter III 154, SRCV II 8004, Cohen IV 449 var. (bust), Choice aVF, nice portrait, well centered, nice green patina with some smoothed red areas on the reverse, light corrosion, weight 21.746 g, maximum diameter 31.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 234 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse P M TR P XIII COS III P P, Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip in left hand, S - C across field below center; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00


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

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The star in the field, a symbol of the sun-god, stands for the mint of Rome.
RS77436. Silver denarius, RIC IV 40b, RSC III 184, Hunter III 49, BMCRE V p. 567, 244; cf. SRCV II 7533 (TR P III), VF, well centered, nice portrait, toned, some die wear, porous, weight 3.150 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, Rome mint, 221 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS III P P, Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for cloak over shoulders and left arm and flying behind, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip vertical in left hand, star in left field; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00


Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D.

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Sear identifies this denomination for Aurelian as either an as or a reduced sestertius. The as (or reduced sestertius) is a very scarce denomination this late in the empire.
RA76203. Bronze as, MER-RIC 1871, Gbl MIR 145d0(1), BnF XII 297, Hunter IV 33, SRCV III 11646, RIC V-1 80 var. (officina number), Hunter IV 27 var. (4th officina), VF, well centered, nice green patina, flan crack, weight 6.041 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina(?), Rome mint, issue 11, early - September 275; obverse IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVG (harmony of the Emperor), Emperor and empress clasping hands, above and between them a radiate and draped bust of Sol right; $105.00 SALE PRICE $95.00


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

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Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. The date 25 December was selected for Christmas to replace the popular Roman festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."
RS76202. Silver denarius, RIC IV 111, RSC IV 39, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, toned, porous, light marks, weight 3.115 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan 241 - Jul 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse AETERNITATI AVG, Sol standing slightly right, radiate head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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On May 21 the Orthodox Christian Church celebrates the "Feast of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles."
RT77400. Billon follis, Hunter V 182 (also 1st officina), RIC VII Rome 27, SRCV IV 16097, Cohen VII 536, Choice VF, silvering, clashed dies, weight 3.046 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 314 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]), Sol standing half left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, R over X on left, F on right, R P in exergue; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00




  



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Catalog current as of Wednesday, February 21, 2018.
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