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

Saturn

Saturn was a major Roman god identified with the Greek deity Cronus, and the mythologies of the two gods are commonly mixed. Saturn had a temple on the Forum Romanum, which contained the Royal Treasury. Saturn is the namesake of both Saturn, the planet, and Saturday. In Roman mythology, when Jupiter ascended the throne of the Gods, Saturn fled to Rome and established the Golden Age, a time of perfect peace and harmony, which lasted as long as he reigned. In memory of the Golden Age, the Feast of Saturnalia was held every year at the Winter Solstice. Saturnalia was an occasion for celebration and visits to friends. Slaves and masters ate at the same table. No war could be declared. Executions were postponed. Homes were decorated with greenery. And it was a season for giving gifts, particularly wax candles, perhaps to signify the returning light after the solstice. Aspects of Saturnalia survive today in Christmas celebrations and carnival festivals around the world.


Roman Republic, Anonymous, 86 B.C.

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In 88 B.C., King Mithridates VI of Pontos took control of Roman Asia. Intending to severely and forever damage Roman-Hellenistic relations, he wrote to all the civic authorities of the province, ordering them to exterminate all Romans without regard to age or sex. The killings were to be carried out exactly one month after the date of his letter. Appian states that 80,000 Romans and Italians were murdered. Plutarch gives a much higher number. Rome immediately declared war. In 86 B.C., Lucius Cornelius Sulla captured Athens from the Pontic Kingdom army, and removed the tyrant Aristion. He also defeated Mithridates' greatest general, Archelaus, at the Battle of Chaeronea. In 85 B.C., Sulla would defeat Archelaus again in the decisive Battle of Orchomenus. Sulla allowed the defeated Mithridates to keep his own kingdom, in return for a huge indemnity and the loan of 70 ships to Sulla to return home to Rome.
RR88353. Bronze semis, Crawford 350B/1, Sydenham 678A (scarce), BMCRR Rome 2205, RBW Collection 1342 (scarce), Hannover 2671, SRCV I 908, F, green patina, porous/rough, weight 6.546 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 86 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Saturn right, S (mark of value) behind; reverse prow right, S (mark of value) left, ROMA above; scarce; $90.00 (79.20)


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.

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Saturn was an ancient Roman god of fertility, especially of agriculture and usually carries a sickle as his symbol. Saturn was worshiped in a winter festival called the Saturnalia and his name was and is used for the day of the week, Saturday.
RS90043. Silver antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1559a, RIC V-1 210 (S, Viminacium), RSC IV 8, Cunetio 801 (8 spec.), SRCV III 9922, Hunter IV - (p. xxxviii), F, good portrait, well centered, horn silver deposits, porous, edge crack, weight 3.355 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 254 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse AETERNITATI AVGG, Saturn standing right slightly right, head right, holding scythe in left hand; scarce; $45.00 (39.60)


Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 157 - 155 B.C.

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In 157 B.C., the Carthaginians, prevented by their treaty with Rome from engaging in armed resistance, but also guaranteed against any loss of territory, appealed to Rome against the depredations of King Masinissa of Numidia. The Roman censor Marcus Porcius Cato arbitrated a truce. While in Carthage, Cato was so struck by the Carthaginian prosperity that he was convinced the security of Rome depended on the annihilation of Carthage. From this time on, Cato repeated the cry "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" ("Moreover, I advise that Carthage must be destroyed") at the end of all his speeches, no matter what subject they concerned.
RR58571. Bronze semis, Crawford 198/2b, Sydenham 231b, BMCRR Italy -, SRCV I 847, Choice VF, weight 11.445 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 45o, Italian mint, c. 157 - 155 B.C.; obverse laureate bearded head of Saturn right, S (mark of value) behind; reverse prow of galley right, with acrostillium, rostrum tridens, apotropaic eye, oar-box, and deck structure; S (mark of value) right; ROMA below; no symbol, mint mark or monogram; ex Nilus Coins, beautiful jade-green patina; scarce; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Thursday, August 22, 2019.
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Saturn