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193 A.D. - The Year of Five Emperors. On 1 January, the Senate selected Pertinax, against his will, to succeed the late Commodus as Emperor. The Praetorian Guard assassinated him on 28 March and auctioned the throne to the highest bidder, Didius Julianus, who offered 300 million sesterces. Outraged by the Praetorians, legions in Illyricum select Septimius Severus as emperor; in Britannia the legions select their governor Clodius Albinus, and in Syria the legions select their governor Pescennius Niger. On 1 June Septimius Severus entered the capital, put Julianus put to death and replaced the Praetorian Guard with his own troops. Clodius Albinus allied with Severus and accepted the title of Caesar. Pescennius Niger was defeated, killed and his head displayed in Rome SH86628. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC VI 14 (R), BMCRE V 20, Hunter III 8, Cohen III 3, Cayon III 1, SRCV II 6075, nice F, attractive portrait for grade, legends not fully struck, encrustations on reverse, edge crack, weight 19.044 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 28 Mar - 2 Jun 193 A.D.; obverseIMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG, laureate head right; reverseCONCORD MILIT (harmony with the soldiers), Concordia Militum standing half left, head left, legionary aquila (eagle) standard in right hand, signumstandard in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; rare; $970.00 (€824.50)
Roman Republic, C. Cassius Longinus, Proconsul and Imperator, Committed Suicide in 42 B.C.
Gaius Cassius Longinus (before 85 B.C. - October 42 B.C.) was a Roman senator, the prime mover in the conspiracy against Julius Caesar, and the brother in-law of Brutus. RR86478. Silver denarius, BMCRE East 77 78, RSC I 4 4a, Crawford 500/3, Russo RBW 1762, Sydenham 221, Sear Imperators 221, SRCV I 1447/2, nice VF, attractive style, bumps and scratches, slightly off center, weight 3.906 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, struck near Smyrna, Ionia(?), mobile military mint, spring 42 B.C.; obversehead of Libertas right, wearing stephane, earring, and necklace, C•CASSI• IMP upward behind, LEIBERTAS upward before; reverse capis (jug) and lituus (emblems of the Augurate), LENTVLVS / SPINT (moneyer legate P. Cornelius Lentulus Spinther) in two lines below; ex Numismatik Lanz München auction 164 (23 May 2017), lot 116; rare; $900.00 (€765.00)
Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Tribute Penny of Matthew 22:20-21
Jesus, referring to a "penny" asked, "Whose is this image and superscription?" When told it was Caesar, He said, ''Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:20-21). Since Tiberius was Caesar at the time, this denariustype is attributed by scholars as the "penny" referred to in the BibleSL76219. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon group 1, 144; RIC I 26 (C); BMCRE I 34; SRCV I 1762; RSC II 16; SRCV I 1763, NGC Ch XF, strike 4/5, surface 3/5, scratches (2490379-002), weight 3.806 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 135o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, early 'plain' finestyle, c. 15 - 18 A.D.; obverseTI CAESARDIVI FAVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reversePONTIF MAXIM (high priest), Pax (or Livia as Pax) seated right on chair with plain legs set on base, long scepter vertical behind in her right hand, branch in left hand, no footstool; NGC certified (slabbed); $810.00 (€688.50)
Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Tribute Penny of Matthew 22:20-21
Jesus, referring to a "penny" asked, "Whose is this image and superscription?" When told it was Caesar, He said, ''Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:20-21). Since Tiberius was Caesar at the time, this denariustype is attributed by scholars as the "penny" referred to in the Bible. SL86749. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 2, 146; RIC I 28 (S); BMCRE I 44; RSC II 16b; SRCV I 1763, NGC Choice AU, strike 5/5, surface 2/5 (4625221-001), weight 3.67 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 135o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, early ornate style, 15 - 18 A.D.; obverseTI CAESARDIVI AVG FAVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reversePONTIF MAXIM (high priest), Pax (or Livia as Pax) seated right on chair with ornately decorated legs set on base of two lines above exergue, reversed spear vertical behind in her right hand, branch in left hand, no footstool; scarce; $800.00 (€680.00)
Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.
From 114 to 117 A.D. the Jews of Cyprus revolted and massacred gentiles in great numbers. After the uprising was put down, every known Jew in Cyprus was killed and a law was passed forbidding any Jew, even from a shipwreck, to set foot on the island. Nevertheless Jewish residents remained on the island and in 610 A.D. they were sufficiently numerous to participate in an insurrection against Heraclius. In 646, and again in 1154, Cyprus was devastated by Arabs. RB86780. Orichalcumsestertius, Woytek 534v, RIC II 672, BMCRE III 1023, Hunter II 375, Cohen II 352, Banti 106, SRCV II 3192, BnF IV -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, nice portrait, brown tone, nice surfaces, minor bump on cheek, weight 24.276 g, maximum diameter 34.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, winter 114 - early 116 A.D.; obverseIMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC P M TR PCOS VI P P, laureate and draped bust right; reverseSENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS, Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $700.00 (€595.00)
Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.
Libertas (Latin for Liberty) was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty. The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins. SH86375. Silver denarius, RIC I 105 (R), RSC II 47, BMCRE I 31, BnF III 67, Hunter I 11, SRCV I 2197 var. (obv. leg), VF, excellent portrait, tight flan, some flatness in centers, light scratches, areas of porosity, weight 3.556 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVSGERMIMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverseLIBERTAS RESTITVTA (liberty restored), Libertas standing facing, head right, pileus in extended right, long rod vertical in left; rare; $500.00 (€425.00)
Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
Virtus is the personification of valor and courage. Valor was, of course, essential for the success of a Roman emperor and Virtus was one of the embodiments of virtues that were part of the Imperial cult. During his joint reign with his father, Gallienus proved his courage in battle; but his failure to liberate his father from Persian captivity was perceived as cowardice and a disgrace to the Emperor and Empire. It was not, however, actually fear that prevented a rescue. While others mourned Valerian's fate, Gallienus rejoiced in his new sovereignty.RB76153. Orichalcumsestertius, Göbl MIR 38dd, RIC V-1 248, Cohen V 1293, Hunter IV 33, SRCV III 10495, Nice gVF, excellent portrait, green patina, tight flan cutting off much legend, weight 10.962 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 253 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverseVIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Virtus standing left, wearing crested helmet and military garb, right resting hand on grounded shield, inverted spear vertical behind in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $450.00 (€382.50)
Aelius, Caesar, July or August 136 - 1 January 138 A.D.
In Roman religion, Concordia was the goddess of agreement, understanding, and marital harmony. The cult of Concordia Augusta ("Majestic Harmony") was of special importance to the imperial household. She is usually depicted wearing a long cloak and holding a patera (sacrificial bowl), a cornucopia (symbol of prosperity), or a caduceus (symbol of peace). RS86691. Silver denarius, RIC IIHadrian 436a (S), BMCRE IIIHadrian 983, Hunter II 7, RSC II 1, SRCV II 3968/3967, gVF, nice portrait, toned, a couple small light scratches, edge cracks, weight 3.261 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverseL AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right; reverseTR POTCOS II, Concordia enthroned left, holding patera in right hand, resting left elbow on cornucopia set a on a small column base, CONCORD in exergue; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex CNG 43 (1997), lot 1985; scarce; $450.00 (€382.50)
Collossae, Phrygia, c 177 - 192 A.D.
Colossae was on the Lycus (a tributary of the Maeander River) 10 miles southeast of Laodicea, 13 miles from Hierapolis, and 3 miles from Mount Cadmus. In the 4th century B.C., Xenophon described it as one of six large cities of Phrygia. Antiochus the Great relocated two thousand Jewish families from Babylonia and Mesopotamia to Colossae. The city's commerce included trade in wool and woven fabric. It was known for its religious fusion (syncretism) of Jewish, Gnostic, and pagan influences, described in the first century A.D. as an angel-cult. The Apostle Paul addressed an epistle (letter) to the city's Christian community which addressed the cult and exalted the supremacy of Jesus Christ. The city was overrun by the Saracens in the 7th and 8th centuries A.D. and ultimately destroyed by the Turks in the 12th century. As of 2015, it had never been excavated, but there are plans for an Australian-led expedition.RP86524. Bronze AE 32, RPC Online temp 1899; vA Phrygiens II 496 - 505; SNGvA 3765; SNG Mün 307; SNG Hunt 1938; McClean III 8789; BMC Phrygia p. 155, 5 (all same dies?), F, broad flan, earthen deposits, porous, weight 19.959 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 180o, Colossae mint, c. 177 - 192 A.D.; obverse ∆HMOC - KOΛOCCHNΩ-N, laureate head of young Demos right; reverseHelios standing in galloping quadriga, facing, wearing radiate crown, globe in left hand, torch in right hand, KO-ΛOC/CH-NΩN in two divided lines below horses; ex David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; very rare; $400.00 (€340.00)
Roman Republic, L. Cassius Longinus, 63 B.C.
This coin honors the moneyer's ancestor, L. Cassius Longinus Ravill. The obverse alludes to his appointment as quaesitor in 113 B.C. for the retrial of three Vestal Virgins accused of unchastity. The reverse commemorates his successful proposal of the Lex Cassia Tabellaria in 137 B.C., changing the Republic's voting system to the secret ballot. To vote on a law, Roman ballots were marked V for uti rogas, meaning "as you ask," or the negative A for antiquo, meaning "maintain things as they are." For judicial votes, not guilty ballots were marked either A for absolvo or L for libero. Guilty ballots were marked either C for condemno or D for damno.
The obverse control letters come only from the moneyer's praenomen and nomen, L CASSI. A reversed S was used to indicate the second S in his name. RR86173. Silver denarius, BMCRR I Rome 3929 (same A control letter), Crawford 413/1, Sydenham 935, RSC ICassia 10, SRCV I 364, gVF, toned, bumps, banker's marks, reverse off center, weight 3.811 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 63 B.C.; obverse veiled bust of Vesta left, kylix behind, A (control symbol) before; reverse voter standing left, dropping tablet (ballot) inscribed V into a cista, LONGIN III•V• downward behind; from the Lucas Harsh Collection; $300.00 (€255.00)
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