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

Helios

Helios was imagined as a handsome Sun god crowned with the shining aureole of the sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. Helios is sometimes identified with Apollo. Greek poets never described Apollo driving the chariot of the sun, but it was common practice for Latin poets. Worship of Helios (and later Sol) was sometimes considered a cult in conflict with traditional worship.


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C., In the Name of Philip III

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Coins from this issue were struck in the names of both of Alexander the Great's co-ruling heirs. Most, including this example, were struck in the name of his brother Philip III, but some were struck in the name of his son Alexander IV. During this period, Archon, Dokimos, and Seleukos I ruled in succession as Macedonian satraps in Babylon. Archon was appointed satrap of Babylonia after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. Perdiccas suspected Archon of colluding in the theft of Alexander's corpse and, in 321 B.C., sent Dokimos to replace him. Archon was defeated and died from battle wounds. Seleucus, was made satrap by Perdiccas' rival Antipater, arrived in Babylon in October or November 320 B.C. and defeated Dokimos.
GS87622. Silver tetradrachm, Price P205, Müller Alexander P117, SNG Cop 1083, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG Saroglos -, VF, light toning, fine style, well centered, flatly struck on the highest points, scratches, bumps and marks, tiny edge splits, weight 17.056 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 90o, Babylon mint, Archon, Dokimos, or Seleukos I, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, ΦIΛIΠΠOY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in exergue, radiate head of Helios facing on left, KY under throne; $290.00 (€246.50)
 


Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Tripolis ad Maeandrum, Lydia

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Tripolis on the Meander (Tripolis ad Maeandrum, also Neapolis, Apollonia, and Antoninopolis) was on the borders of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, on the northern bank of the upper course of the Maeander, and on the road leading from Sardes by Philadelphia to Laodicea ad Lycum. It was 20 km to the northwest of Hierapolis. The earliest mention of Tripolis is by Pliny (v. 30), who treats it as Lydian. Ptolemy (v. 2. § 18) and Stephanus of Byzantium describe it as Carian. Hierocles (p. 669) likewise calls it Lydian. Some modern academics have placed it in Phrygia. The ruins of Tripolis ad Maeandrum mostly date from the Roman and Byzantine periods and include a theater, baths, city walls, and a necropolis. An ancient church, dating back 1,500 years, was unearthed in 2013.
RP87200. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 3056, SNG Cop 743, SNGvA 3317, SNG München 809, Waddington 2681, Weber 3407, gF, green patina with red earthen highlighting, flatly struck, minor edge chipping, pits on reverse, weight 3.711 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Tripolis ad Maeandrum (near Yenicekent, Turkey) mint, magistrate Menandrou Metrodoros Philokaisar; obverse TIBEPION KAICAPA TPI/ΠOΛEITAI, laureate head right; reverse MENAN∆POC ΦIΛOKAICAP, radiate head of Helios right, O/T/∆ in right field; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 47 (9 Oct 2016), lot 327; scarce; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia

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Mount Erciyes (Argaios to the Greeks, Argaeus to the Romans) is a massive stratovolcano located 25 km to the south of Kayseri (ancient Caesarea) in Turkey. The highest mountain in central Anatolia, with its summit reaching 3,916 meters (12,848 ft). It may have erupted as recently as 253 B.C., as may be depicted on Roman era coins. Strabo wrote that the summit was never free from snow and that those few who ascended it reported seeing both the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south in days with a clear sky.
RP87685. Silver didrachm, cf. RPC IV Online 10073; Metcalf Cappadocia 146a; SNGvA 6441; SNG Cop 250 var. (legends); Sydenham Cappadocia Supp. 370a var. (same); BMC Galatia -, aVF, frosty porous surfaces, bumps and marks, tine edge split, reverse legend ending in exergue is obscure, weight 3.343 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, COS III, 181 - 182 A.D.; obverse AYT M AYPH KOMO - ANTΩNINOC C, laureate head right; reverse UΠATOC Γ - ΠAT ΠA-[TP...(?)], Mount Argaios with rocks and trees, surmounted by Helios standing left on summit, globe in his right hand, long scepter in left hand; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip V, 221 - 179 B.C.

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Philip's reign was principally marked by an unsuccessful struggle against the emerging power of Rome. Philip was attractive and charismatic as a young man. A dashing and courageous warrior, he was inevitably compared to Alexander the Great and was nicknamed the darling of all Greece.
GB83488. Bronze AE 25, Mamroth Bronze 24a; SNG Alpha Bank 1110, SNG München 1181; SNG Cop 1258 ff. var. (monograms), AMNG III/2 25 var. (same), aVF, nice sea-green patina, edge bump, edge split, marks, light corrosion, weight 13.892 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 180o, Macedonian mint, 183 - 182 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Helios right; reverse winged thunderbolt, ∆I monogram over BAΣIΛEΩΣ above , ΦIΛIΠΠOY below, all within oak wreath; $110.00 (€93.50)
 


Rhodos, Caria, c. 40 B.C. - 25 A.D.

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Helios is the god and personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. He is the son of the Titan Hyperion and the Titaness Theia (according to Hesiod), also known as Euryphaessa (in Homeric Hymn 31) and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn. Helios was described as a handsome young man crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. In the Homeric Hymn to Helios, Helios is said to drive a golden chariot drawn by steeds (HH 31.14–15); and Pindar speaks of Helios's "fire-darting steeds" (Olympian Ode 7.71). Still later, the horses were given fire related names: Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon. The equivalent of Helios in Roman mythology was Sol.
GB87753. Bronze AE 19, SNG Keckman 751; SNG München 673; SNG Cop 875; BMC Caria p. 263, 359; Weber III 6758; HGC 6 1470 (S), F, green patina, edge crack, weight 3.894 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. 40 B.C. - 25 A.D.; obverse radiate head of Helios right; reverse PO∆IWN, full blown open rose with four pedals, from above, term; scarce; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Hierapolis-Kastabala, Cilicia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Hierapolis-Kastabala was an ancient city in Cilicia Pedias, three kilometers north ancient Pyramus. Alexander the Great stopped at Kastabala before the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C. Antiochus IV refounded the city with the name Hierapolis. In the first century B.C., Hierapolis was the capital of a small local kingdom under the rule of the former Cilician pirate Tarcondimotus I, an ally of Mark Antony. Cicero referred to the city as Rome's most loyal ally beyond the Taurus and the best friend of the Roman people. The city was known for its temple of Artemis Perasia. Strabo wrote of her priestesses who, in a trance, would walk barefoot over hot coals without damage.
GY73092. Bronze AE 15, cf. CNG e-auction 250, lot 112; otherwise apparently unpublished; SNG BnF -, SNG Levante -, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Lycaonia -, F, well centered, highlighting "desert" patina, some corrosion, weight 2.776 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 90o, Cilicia, Hieropolis-Kastabala mint, 2nd - 1st centuries B.C.; obverse radiate, draped bust of Helios right, dotted border; reverse eagle standing left on torch, wings open, head left, IEPOΠOΛITΩN above, ΠPOΣ TΩI ΠYPA[NA?] below; extremely rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


Side, Pamphylia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Side was founded by Greeks from Cyme, Aeolis, most likely in the 7th century B.C. The settlers started using the local language and over time forgot their native Greek. Excavations have revealed inscriptions written in this language, still undeciphered, dating from as late as the 2nd century B.C. The name Side is from this indigenous Anatolian language and means pomegranate.
GB90296. Bronze AE 18, BMC Lycia p. 151, 70 (with same Helios countermark); SNG Cop 411 (same); SNG BnF 750 ff.; SNG PfPs 501; Lindgren -, VF, unusually broad flan with full legends, nice green patina, reverse flattened by countermarking, weight 2.667 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, Side (Antalya Province, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, in crested Corinthian helmet; countermarks: facing head of Helios, helmeted head of Athena right, ΣI∆HTΩN horizontal above; reverse Nike advancing left, holding wreath; wearing long chiton, peplos around waist and left arm, pomegranate in left field, ΣI∆H−TΩN horizontal above divided by Nike's head; ex Frascatius Ancient Coins; $50.00 (€42.50)
 







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Helios