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


The Disocuri were Castor and Pollux (or Polydeuces), the twin sons of Leda and brothers of Helen of Troy. The twins shared the same mother but had different fathers. Pollux, the son of Zeus, was immortal but Castor was mortal. When Castor died, Pollux asked to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together. They were transformed into the Gemini constellation and the two spend alternate days on Olympus (as gods) and in Hades (as deceased mortals). The pair were regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo's fire.

Dioscourias, Colchis, c. 105 - 90 B.C.

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The Milesian Greek colony of Dioscurias was named for the Dioscuri, the twins of myth, Castor and Pollux. Commerce between Greece and the indigenous tribes was bustling in the city, wares were imported from many parts of Greece, and local salt and Caucasian timber, linen, and hemp were exported. It was also a center of slave trade. The multitude of languages spoken in its bazaars was remarkable. Under Augustus, the city assumed the name of Sebastopolis, but its prosperity was in the past. The Black Sea had continuously encroached upon the city and in the 1st century Pliny the Elder described it as nearly deserted. The towers and walls of Sebastopolis are still underwater today. In 542, the Romans evacuated the remaining residents and demolished its citadel to prevent it from being captured by the Sassanids. In 565, Justinian I restored the fort and Sebastopolis remained a Byzantine stronghold until it was sacked by the Arab conqueror Marwan II in 736.
GB85237. Bronze AE 16, SNG BM Black Sea 1021, SNG Cop 102, SNG Stancomb 638, Lindgren II 5 SGCV 3629, HGC 7 205, VF, cleaning scratches, reverse off center, weight 5.367 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, Dioscourias (Sokhumi, Abkhazia, Georgia) mint, c. 105 - 90 B.C.; obverse two piloi (caps of the Dioscuri), surmounted by stars; reverse ∆IOΣ/KOY-PIA/∆OΣ in three lines divided by thyrsos in center; ex Roma e-sale 28 (2 Jul 2016), lot 123; $80.00 (71.20)

Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus II Theos, 261 - 246 B.C.

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Antiochus II Theos was the son of Antiochus I and Princess Stratonice, the daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes. He inherited a state of war with Egypt and while he was thus occupied, his satraps in Parthia and Bactria declared independence. To make peace with Egypt and to seal the treaty, Antiochus repudiated his wife Laodice I, exiled her to Ephesus, and married Ptolemy II's daughter Berenice. Antiochus later left Berenice and their infant son Antiochus, to live again with Laodice. Laodice poisoned him, had Berenice and her infant son murdered, and proclaimed her son Seleucus II as King.
GB71666. Bronze AE 20, Houghton-Lorber 565(2)b, SNG Spaer 348A, Newell WSM 1312, HGC 9 254 (R2), SNG Cop 87 var. (no monogram), BMC Seleucid -; c/m: Houghton-Lorber -, aVF, oval flan, edge crack, light encrustation and corrosion, weight 4.254 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 315o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 261 - 246 B.C.; obverse the Dioscuri galloping on horseback right, spears raised in right hands; reverse Athena Promachos standing right, brandishing javelin in right hand, shield in left hand, anchor with flukes left below, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in upward line on left, ANTIOXOY in upward line on right, monogram (control) inner left, countermark: ΠA monogram in a square punch; rare; $70.00 (62.30)

Tripolis, Phoenicia, 13 - 14 A.D.

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Tripolis (Tripoli, Lebanon) was the center of a Phoenician confederation of Tyre, Sidon and Arados, hence the name Tripoli, meaning "triple city" in Greek.

In 14 A.D., a census begun in 8 A.D. concluded there were 4,973,000 citizens of the Roman Empire.
RP73059. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 4515; BMC Phoenicia p. 207, 33 - 36; Rouvier 1679; SNG Cop -, F, green patina, weight 9.468 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 45o, Tripolis (Tripoli, Lebanon) mint, 13 - 14 A.D.; obverse jugate laureate heads of the Dioskouroi right; reverse TPIΠOΛITΩN, Nike standing right on a war galley prow right, extending wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, L M∆ (Actian era year 44) above prow, TKE (Seleukid era year 325) below prow; $55.00 (48.95)

Rhegion, Bruttium, Italy, c. 215 - 150 B.C.

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Rhegion reached great artistic and cultural heights. It was home to academies, such as the Pythagorean School, and to well-known poets, historians and sculptors such as Ibycus, Ippy, and Pythagoras. It was an important ally of the Roman Republic. Rhegium flourished during the Imperial Age but was devastated by several major earthquakes and tsunami. St. Paul passed through Rhegium on his final voyage to Rome (Acts XXVIII:13).
GI79581. Bronze triens, HN Italy 2557; SNG ANS 766; SNG Cop 1981; SNG Munchen 1710; BMC Italy p. 384, 105, aF, rough, weak reverse strike, weight 3.330 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rhegion (Reggio, Calabria, Italy) mint, Second Punic War, c. 211 - 201 B.C.; obverse jugate heads of the Dioskouroi right, wearing pilei and laurel wreaths, two stars above; reverse Demeter standing facing, head left, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical in left hand, crescent over IIII (mark of value) on left, PHΓINΩN downward on right; ex John Jencek; $45.00 (40.05)

Tripolis, Phoenicia, c. 77 - 76 B.C.

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Although this type is dated, the date it was struck is uncertain. Cohen dates the civic era from 205 B.C., when Tripolis received autonomy from the Seleukid Kingdom.
GB74036. Bronze AE 16, BMC Phoenicia p. 203, 15 ff.; SNG Cop 272; HGC 10 312 (S); Cohen DCA 726 (R2), F, weight 3.616 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 180o, Tripolis mint, c. 77 - 76 B.C.; obverse bust of Tyche right, wearing turreted crown and veil, palm frond behind shoulder; reverse prow right, pilei (caps of the Dioscuri) above, LΘK (year 29) downward on left, TPIΠOΛITΩN below; scarce; $36.00 (32.04)


Catalog current as of Sunday, September 24, 2017.
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