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Roman Egypt, Antinoopolites Nome(?), Portrait of Antinous, c. 130 - 153 A.D.
Antinous probably joined the entourage of Hadrian when it passed through Bithynia in about 124. He became Hadrian's constant companion and lover but in October 130 Antinous drowned in the Nile. Hadrian's grief knew no bounds; he enrolled him among the gods, erected a temple, and on 30 October 130 A.D., Hadrian founded the city of Antinoopolis on the very bank of the Nile river where Antinous drowned. It was the capital of a new nome, Antinoopolites. Artists vied with each other in immortalizing his beauty. Temples and statues to his memory were erected all over the Empire, and there began a Cult of Antinous. On this coin he is depicted in the guise of Hermanubis. RX90575. Lead tessera, Dattari 6536, Geissen 3559 var. (11.23g), Emmett 4397 (R4), F, weight 4.666 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antinoopolis (or Alexandria?) mint, c. 130 - 153 A.D.; obverse draped bust of Antinous right, wearing hem-hem crown of Harpocrates, crescent before; reverseSerapis standing left, wearing chiton, himation, and kalathos on head, right hand raised, long scepter vertical behind in left; rare; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00
Roman Egypt, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D.
Both the obverse and reverse types on this tessera are published but the combination does not appear to be published. Nor did we find another example online. According to Milne, lead tesserae served as local small change in Egypt during the first to the third century A.D.RX74430. Lead tessera, Unpublished; cf. Dattari 6444 and Geissen 3584 (for obversetype), F, weight 3.300 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria(?) mint, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D. (possibly later); obverseAntinous on horseback right, wearing hem hem crown, caduceus in right hand; reversebust of Serapis(?) right, kalathos (?, on head), cornucopia on shoulder behind, snake entwined staff before; extremely rare; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
The ancients did not agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. On this coin, Pluto's influence is evident with the fearsome Kerberos at Serapis' feet.RP72130. Bronze drachm, cf. Dattari-Savio 8907 - 8908, Dattari-Savio Suppl. pl. 20, 165, Geissen 1616/1620, Milne 2011, Kampmann-Ganschow 35.444, Emmett 1668, aF, porous, rough, flan cracks, weight 22.957 g, maximum diameter 34.6 mm, die axis 45o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 148 - 28 Aug 149 A.D.; obverse AVT K T AIΛ A∆P ANTWNINOC CEB EVC, laureate head right; reverse L ∆W∆EKATOV (year 12), temple with two columns, Serapis seated left within, right hand resting on a headCerberus at his feet, long scepter vertical behind in left, orb in pediment; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
Menaion, Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 200 - 150 B.C.
Mineo, Sicily (ancient Menaion) is inland about 64 km southwest of Catania. It was a Sikel city, founded around 458 B.C. by King Douketios. In 396 B.C. it was captured by Dionysios I of Syracuse. Under Roman rule Cicero mentions Menaion among the "civitatis decumanae," cities that pay one tenth of their annual harvest to Rome. Today it has about 5,600 residents.GI73159. Bronze pentonkion, Calciati III p. 183, 2; SNG ANS 292; SNG Cop 379; SNG MŁnchen 610; HGC 2 757, Choice VF, centered, nice green patina, weight 3.677 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Menaion (Mineo, Sicily, Italy) mint, Roman Rule, c. 200 - 150 B.C.; obverse laureate and draped bust of Serapis right, wearing atef crown; reverseNike in biga charging right, Π (mark of value) below, MENA/INΩN divided in two lines above and below; scarce; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
Katane, Sicily, c. 2nd - 1st Century B.C.
This type was probably first struck, in finestyle, in the 3rd century, probably shortly before Roman rule was established in 212 B.C. This and some other examples, appear to be part of a later issue, struck under Roman rule, imitating the earlier type, but with a cruder style. Despite HGC listing it only as scarce, both the finer style and this cruder style appear to be very rare.GI76589. Bronze AE 18, Calciati III p. 108 - 109, 22; SNG Cop 191; SNG ANS 1277; SNG MŁnchen 489; cf. HGC 2 609 (S, finer style, earlier?), F, crude late style, weight 3.965 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Katane mint, c. 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obversejugate heads right of Serapis (nearer), both wearing a simplified Isistype headdress, ear of barley behind; reverse KATANAIΩN, Apollo standing half left, nude but for chlamys over arms, laurel branch in his right hand, bow in his left hand, left forearm resting on pillar, quiver and omphalos at feet on left; very rare; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.
The ancients did not all agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. The general impression of the ancients seems to have been that by Serapis, was to be understood the beginning and foundation of things. Julian II consulted the oracle of Apollo for the purpose of learning whether Pluto and Serapis were different gods; and he received for an answer that Jupiter-Serapis and Pluto were one and the same divinity.
RS71515. Silver denarius, RIC IV 263f, RSC III 296, BMCRE V 133, VF, full circles centering, toned, reverse a little weak, small encrustations, weight 3.102 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 215 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate head right; reverseP M TR P XVIII COS IIII P P (high priest, tribune of the people for 18 years, consul for the 4th time, father of the country), Serapis standing facing, head left, draped, raising right hand, scepter in left; scarce; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
The ancients did not agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. On this coin, Pluto's influence is evident with the fearsome Kerberos at Serapis' feet.RX76581. Billontetradrachm, Kampmann 32.571, Geissen 1094, Dattari 1479, Milne 1399, Emmett 892, BMC Alexandria 623, SRCV II 6739 var. (date), aF, well centered, grainy and porous, weight 10.343 g, maximum diameter 13.74 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 133 - 28 Aug 134 A.D.; obverse AYT KAIC TPAIAN A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverseSerapis seated left, reaching with right to Cerberus at feet left, long scepter vertical in right, LI - H (regnal year 18) across fields; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior
Renamed by Trajan after his sister, UlpiaMarciana, Marcianopolis was an important strategic center for centuries. The city was repeatedly destroyed by barbarian raids (Goths, Huns, Avars and others) but also was repeatedly rebuilt and prospered. During Valens' conflict with the Goths, Marcianopolis was a temporary capital of the empire and the largest city in Thrace. An Avar raid destroyed the city in 614 or 615.RP70504. Bronze pentassarion, H-J Marcianopolis 6.37.5.- var. (R6, obv legend, reverselegend arrangement), Varbanov I 1976 ff. var. (R3, same); SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, scratches, flan cracks, centration dimples, weight 11.799 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Tullius Menophilus; obverse M ANTΩNIOX ΓOP∆IANOC AY, confronted busts; Gordian on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed from behind; Serapis on right, draped, kalathos on head; AYT K M below; reverse YΠ MHNOΦIΛOY MAPKIANOΠOΛ,I/T/Ω/N (last four letters in right field), Demeter standing facing, wearing kalathos, grain in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand, E in left; an unpublished variation of a scarcetype; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00
Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace
The Romans, whose fondness for new gods increased with the influence of their foreign conquests, introduced the worship of Serapis with the walls of their city; not, however, without opposition and resistance for a season on the part of the senate to the popular thirst after such novelties. Through the influence of P. Victor an altar was erected to Serapis in the Circus Flaminii, and it quickly assumed the form of a superb temple which, after its Alexandrine prototype, was called the Serapeon. The principal Italian cities, never far behind Rome, soon imitated her example, and it was not long before the worship of Serapis was extended from Italy by the different colonies sent from that country into Asia Minor.RP59690. Bronze AE 28, Varbanov II 3842 - 3843 var. (obv.legend), BMC Thrace p. 120, 27 var. (same), SNG Cop -, aVF, weight 9.782 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 0o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, obverse AVT K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AVΓ, laureate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEITΩN, Serapis standing half left, raising right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand; rare variety; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00
Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.
Ptolemy Soter wanted to integrate the Hellenistic and Egyptian religions by finding a deity that could win the reverence of both groups. The Greeks would not accept an animal-headed figure, so a Greek-style anthropomorphic statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force). RS64677. Billonantoninianus, RSC IV 360a; Schulzki AGK 90; Hunter 92; RIC V, part 2, 329; Cunetio 2437 (56 spec.); Elmer 383; SRCV III 10992, VF, centered on a ragged flan, edge cracks, light deposits and corrosion, weight 3.975 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 267 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassedbust right; reverseSERAPI COMITI AVG (to Serapis companion of the Emperor), Serapis standing left, raising right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00