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

Isis

Isis was an ancient Egyptian goddess of motherhood, magic, nature and fertility, worshiped as the ideal wife and mother. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, and the downtrodden, and she listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats, and rulers. Worship of Isis spread throughout the Greco-Roman world, continuing until the suppression of paganism in the Christian era.


Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C.

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References disagree on the date of this type. Dates range from the rule of Hieron II beginning in 275 B.C. to the end of the 5th Republic in 212 B.C.
GS86619. Silver 2 1/2 litrae, SNG Cop 882, SNG ANS 903, SNG Mnchen 1439, HGC 2 420 (R2) corr., BMC Sicily -, VF, well centered, toned, light bumps and marks, ethnic weakly struck, weight 2.229 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 216 - 215 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo left; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIOI, Isis standing facing, looking up to heaven, veil billowing out behind around head, scroll in right hand, filleted palm frond in left hand, A upper right; very rare; $360.00 (306.00)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C.

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From the extraordinary "Egyptianizing" coinage of Antiochus IV, celebrating his triumphs over the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt by using a reverse type strongly associated with the Lagid dynasty, an eagle perched on a thunderbolt.

In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil.
GY87392. Bronze AE 26, Houghton-Lorber II 1414; Newell SMA 60; Houghton CSE 121; SNG Spaer 981; SNG Cop 192; Svoronos 1417 (Antiochus III, occupied Egypt); HGC 9 644 (S-R1), VF, attractive style, surfaces, and black patina, obverse off center but full head on flan, light marks, light earthen deposits, central depressions, weight 16.884 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, autumn 169 - autumn 168 B.C.; obverse head of Isis right, wearing wreath of grain and tainia with Isis crown, beveled edge; reverse eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings closed, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY in two lines downward on right, ΘEOY / EΠIΦANOYΣ in two lines downward on left; scarce; $165.00 (140.25)


Iol-Caesarea, Mauretania, North Africa, c. 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.

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Phoenicians from Carthage founded Iol as a trading station around 400 B.C. It became a part of the kingdom of Numidia under Jugurtha, c. 160 - 104 B.C. In 29 B.C., Roman emperor Augustus made the Numidian King Juba II and his wife Cleopatra Selene II (daughter of Marc Antony and Cleopatra of Egypt) king and queen of Mauretania. The capital was established at Iol, which was renamed Caesarea in honor of the emperor.
GB85358. Bronze 1/4 Unit, Alexandropoulos MAA 147; Falbe-Lindberg III, p. 177, 290 (uncertain mint); SNG Cop 684 var. (kerykeion obv. left), F, dark green patina, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 2.102 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 270o, Iol-Caesarea (Cherchell, Algeria) mint, c. 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.; obverse head of Isis left, wearing vulture crown and horned solar-disk headdress; reverse three ears of barley; extremely rare; $140.00 (119.00)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy VI Philometor, 180 - 145 B.C., Cleopatra I Thea as Regent

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The references given attribute this rare type to Ptolemy V. In Faucher, T. & C. Lorber, "Bronze Coinage of Ptolemaic Egypt in the Second Century BC" in AJN 22 (2010), pp. 35-84, this type is missing (overlooked?) from the identified series. Of this type they only note, "The Tebtunis hoard of 1900 (IGCH 1705) contained 104 specimens of Sv. 1426/27 together with two of Sv. 1237 and one issue of Cyrene (Sv. 1158), but not a single coin from Series 7." and "We can cite no other instances in which Sv. 1237 is associated with Sv. 1426/27." Dan Wolf suggests Ptolemy VI is most probable based on existing evidence.
GP87400. Bronze tetrobol, Svoronos 1237 (7 spec.); SNG Cop 253; SNG Milan 296, Malter 186, Hosking -, BMC Ptolemies -, Weiser -, Noeske -, F/aF, burgundy patina, earthen deposits, bumps, scratches, central dimples, weight 4.944 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 180 - 176 B.C.; obverse head of (Cleopatra I as) Isis right, wearing barley wreath, hair in long spiral curls down her neck; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, no control mark; very rare; $100.00 (85.00)


Syracuse, Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 212 - 133 B.C.

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This type was perhaps the last pseudo-autonomous issue of Syracuse.
RP79995. Bronze AE 19, Calciati II p. 434, 240/9 (same obverse die), SNG Morcom 838, SNG ANS 1099, SNG Mnchen 1483, Fine/Fair, obv off-center, ragged flan, weight 4.933 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 345o, Syracuse mint, c. 212 - 133 B.C.; obverse diademed, bearded male (Serapis, Poseidon or Zeus) head right; reverse ΣYPAKOCIΩN, female (Isis?) standing left, wreath (or sistrum?) in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; ex Forum (2011); scarce; $70.00 (59.50)


Katane, Sicily, c. 216 - 206 B.C.

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As observed by Strabo the location of Katane at the foot of Mount Etna on the east coast of Sicily was both a source of benefits and of evils. On the one hand, the violent outbursts of the volcano from time to time desolated great parts of the city's territory. On the other, the volcanic ashes produced fertile soil, especially suitable for the growth of vines. (Strab. vi. p. 269.).
GI85823. Bronze chalkous, Calciati III p. 109, 23; SNG ANS 1275; HGC 2 627 (R2), F, dark blue-green patina, obverse a little off center, weight 1.369 g, maximum diameter 12.7 mm, die axis 135o, Katane mint, c. 216/5 - 206 B.C.; obverse jugate busts right of Serapis (nearer), laureate and wearing atef crown, and Isis, wearing her crown with horns, orb, and plumes; reverse KATA-NAIΩN (starting upward on left, ending upward on right), two ears of barley, with leaves; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; very rare; $60.00 (51.00)







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Catalog current as of Sunday, October 21, 2018.
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Isis