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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Military ▸ CombatView Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins Depicting Combat

Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, 3rd Century B.C.

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Pharsalos, built on a hillside of the Narthacius Mountains, was one of the main cities in Thessaly. In the Persian Wars, Pharsalos sided with the Athenians. In the early 4th century B.C., the city was a part of the Thessalian League. Later, it joined the Macedonian Kingdom under Philip II. The area became a theater of war where the Aetolians and the Thessalians clashed with the Macedonians, especially during the Second and the Third Macedonian Wars. After the defeat of the Macedonian Kingdom, Pharsalos and the whole area became a part of the Roman Republic. Pharsalos is famous for being the scene of the final battle between Caesar and Pompey.
GB73546. Bronze tetrachalkon, Lavva 326 (V170/R234), cf. BCD Thessaly 1299, BCD Thessaly II 674.6, HGC 4 649 (S), Rogers 505 (none with full reverse inscription), gF, green patina, strike a little weak in centers, weight 7.518 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Pharsalos (Farsala, Greece) mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse head of Athena Parthenos turned slightly to the left, wearing triple-crested Corinthian helmet, shield over her left shoulder, spear over her right shoulder; dot within Π left, dot border; reverse armored Thessalian horseman riding right, wielding flail overhead in right hand, reins in left hand; on far side at rear of horse, attendant walking right with spare flail in right hand over right shoulder, ΦAP-[ΣA?] above left, AΛN (sic) below; scarce; $200.00 (170.00)


Roman Republic, M. Sergius Silus, 116 - 115 B.C.

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The reverse depicts the moneyer's grandfather, M. Sergius Silus, who during the Punic War suffered 23 wounds and lost his right arm but continued to fight. He holds his sword and a severed Gallic head in his left hand.

EX S C indicates the issuer struck this coinage as quaestor by special decree of the Senate. Questors were the immediate superiors of the moneyers and occasionally struck coins under their own authority.
RR86467. Silver denarius, RSC I Sergia 1, Crawford 286/1, Sydenham 534, Russo RBW 1115, SRCV I 163, VF, rose toning, tight flan, obverse slightly off center, scratches, surface cracks, weight 3.813 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 116 - 115 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Roma right, EX S C before, ROMA and X (XVI ligature, mark of value=16 asses) behind; reverse helmeted horseman galloping left, sword and severed Gallic head in left hand, Q (questor) below horses forelegs, M SERGI below, SILVS in exergue; ex Warren Esty; $170.00 (144.50)


The Mamertini, Sicily, c. 208 - 200 B.C.

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Mamertini or "children of Mars," was the name taken by a band of Campanian (or Samnite) freebooters who about 289 B.C. seized the Greek colony of Messana at the north-east corner of Sicily, after having been hired by Agathocles to defend it (Polyb. 1. 7. 2). - 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
GI85684. Bronze pentonkion, Calciati I, p. 108, 41 Ds1; SNG Munchen 730; SNG Cop 462; BMC Sicily p. 111, 27; SGCV I 1144; HGC 2 853, aEF, nice patina, attractive style, obverse a little off center, areas weak or flatly struck, weight 10.143 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 60o, Messana mint, c. 208 - 200 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right, club (control symbol) behind; reverse MAMEPTINΩN, warrior advancing right, helmeted, nude, couched spear in right hand, round shield on left arm, Π (mark of value) right; $160.00 (136.00)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Amphipolis was home to an imperial cult, worshiping the living emperor, and to a cult dedicated to Artemis Tauropolos. The obverse depicts Trajan as a military victor and probably copies an imperial statue. The reverse may depict a local statue of Artemis Tauropolos.
GB90406. Bronze AE 20, Lindgren II 978 (same dies), Varbanov 7179 (R7), AMNG III 79, Hunterian I 37, Moushmov 6068, SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tub -, BMC Macedonia -, gF, centered, some porosity, weight 5.099 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse KAICAP TPAIANOC, emperor on horseback galloping right, brandishing spear to strike a prostrate foe below; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITWN, Artemis Tauropolos standing left, kalathos on head, long torch before her in right hand, small branch in left hand downward at side, grounded shield behind; rare; $130.00 (110.50)


Roman Republic, Q. Minucius M.f. Thermus, 103 B.C.

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The reverse refers to the moneyer's ancestor, Q. Minucius Q. f. L. n. Thermus, consul in 193 B.C., who distinguished himself by his bravery against the Ligurians.
RR86462. Silver denarius, Crawford 319/1, Sydenham 592, RSC I Minucia 19, BMCRR Italy 653, SRCV I 197, F, toned, banker's marks, obverse slightly off center, weight 3.821 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 103 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Mars left; reverse Roman soldier fighting barbarian, fallen soldier in center below, each holding a sword and shield, QTERMMF in exergue; $130.00 (110.50)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Amphipolis was home to an imperial cult, worshiping the living emperor, and to a cult dedicated to Artemis Tauropolos. The obverse depicts Trajan as a military victor and probably copies an imperial statue. The reverse may depict a local statue of Artemis Tauropolos.
GB90707. Bronze AE 20, Lindgren II 978 (same dies), Varbanov 7179 (R7), AMNG III 79, Hunterian I 37, Moushmov 6068, SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tub -, BMC Macedonia -, F, weight 6.620 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse KAICAP TPAIANOC, emperor on horseback galloping right, brandishing spear to strike a prostrate foe below; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITWN, Artemis Tauropolos standing left, kalathos on head, long torch before her in right hand, small branch in left hand downward at side, grounded shield behind; rare; $125.00 (106.25)


Magnentius, 18 January 350 - 10 August 353 A.D.

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On 3 June 350, Iulius Nepotianus proclaimed himself emperor and entered Rome with a group of gladiators. On 30 June, Marcellinus, a trusted general of Magnentius, defeated and killed Nepotian. Nepotian's head was put on a lance and paraded around Rome.
RL84368. Billon heavy maiorina, Hunter V 51 (also 2nd officina), RIC VIII Arles 150, LRBC II 421, SRCV V 18800, Cohen VIII 20, VF, rough surfaces from light corrosion, tight flan, weight 5.061 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Arletum (Arles, France) mint, 19 Jan 350 - 18 Aug 351 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Magnentius on horse galloping right, wearing military dress, not holding shield, spearing a barbarian on right before horse who is kneeling left with outstretched hands, shield and broken spear on the ground below horse, star upper right, SAR in exergue; $85.00 (72.25)


Smyrna, Ionia, c. 190 - 170 B.C.

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Apparently unpublished. The magistrate Pytheos is known at Smyrna but the type is not listed for Pytheos in the many references examined. We did find a couple of misdescribed examples online.

A cestus or caestus is an ancient battle glove, sometimes used in pankration. They were worn like today's boxing gloves but were made with leather strips and sometimes filled with iron plates or fitted with blades or spikes, and used as weapons.
GB84111. Bronze AE 13, cf. Milne Smyrna 1927, type L, 86; BMC Ionia p. 243, 61 ff.; SNG Cop 1166 f.; SNG Tub -; SNGvA -; Lindgren - (none by Pytheos), VF, attractive style, reverse off center, scratches, inscription weak, edge chip, weight 1.504 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna mint, magistrate Pytheos, c. 190 - 170 B.C.; obverse classical style laureate head of Apollo right, hair bunched in the back, loosely waved locks falling down neck; reverse two hands in caestus (fighting gloves) downward, the right hand is nearer with back of hand visible, the left hand is farther and clenched with palm facing, two palm fronds flanking forming arch above, ΠYΘEOΣ (magistrate name) downward on left, ZMYPNAIΩN downward on right; very rare; $80.00 (68.00)


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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The reverse legend can be translated, "Happy Times Restored" but we prefer to loosely translate it to the more current and lyrical expression, "Happy Days are Here Again!"
RL85723. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 123, LRBC II 50, SRCV V 18136, Cohen VII 46, Hunter V -, Choice VF, excellent centering, some areas flatly struck, weight 5.383 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front, A behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier standing left, with right hand spearing horseman whose mount has fallen, shield on his left arm, shield on the ground right, A left, TS∆ in exergue; $80.00 (68.00)


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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The reverse legend can be translated, "Happy Times Restored" but we prefer to loosely translate it to the more current and lyrical expression, "Happy Days are Here Again!"
RL85724. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 123, LRBC II 50, SRCV V 18136, Cohen VII 46, Hunter V -, VF, well centered, tight flan, some die wear, porosity, weight 5.123 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front, A behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier standing left, with right hand spearing horseman whose mount has fallen, shield on his left arm, shield on the ground right, A left, TS∆ in exergue; $80.00 (68.00)




  



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Catalog current as of Tuesday, December 12, 2017.
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Combat