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In Greek mythology, Talos (or Talon) was a giant winged man of bronze who protected Europa in Crete from pirates and invaders. He circled the island's shores three times daily. The author of Bibliotheke thought Talos' bronze nature might indicate he was a survivor from Hesiod's mythical Age of Bronze. The satirist Lucian took this absurd notion that men of Hesiod's Age of Bronze were actually made of bronze and, for humorous effect, extended it to men of the Age of Gold. GB85359. Bronze AE 17, Svoronos Crète 74; SNG Cop 520; BMC Crete p. 64, 27-28, F, a little rough, weight 3.702 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 225o, Phaistos mint, c. 3rd century B.C.; obverseTalos advancing right, nude, hurling stone in his right hand, holding another in his left hand; reverse hound on the scent to right, ΦAIC/TIΩN in two lines, starting above, ending in exergue; rare; $250.00 (€212.50)
Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.
Julia Domna and her children as Terra and the Four Seasons! "The flatterers of Julia Domna pretended that all things were owing to her. The star-besprinkled globe represents the Roman world, which with her husband Septimius Severus she governed; and to the empire of which she destines her two sons, Caracalla and Geta, who, together with as many daughters, are the proof of her fecundity." -- Rasche, T. ii pl l p 932.RS85789. Silver denarius, RIC IV S549 (R), RSC III 35, BMCRE V S21, Hunter III S22, SRCV II 6579, F, well centered, slightly rough with light even corrosion, edge cracks, weight 2.369 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 207 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, bun at back of head; reverseFECVNDITAS (fertility), Terra reclining left under a vine, nude to the waist, right hand set on globe spangled with stars, leaning on left arm on basket of fruits, in background four children representing the four seasons; rare; $250.00 (€212.50)
Herakleia, Lucania, Italy, 3rd Century B.C.
The sea god Triton, the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, lived with his parents in a golden palace on the bottom of the sea. Also called Tritons were a group of fish-tailed sea gods or daimones, the Satyrs of the sea. Some, called Ikhthyokentauroi (Sea-Centaurs), had the upper bodies of men and the lower bodies of Hippokampoi (fish-tailed horses).
Glaucus began his life as a mortal fisherman from Anthedon, Boeotia. He discovered a magical herb which could bring fish back to life, and decided to try eating it. The herb made him immortal, but he grew fins and a fish tail, forcing him to dwell forever in the sea. Glaucus was initially upset by this side-effect, but Oceanus and Tethys received him well and he was quickly accepted among the deities of the sea, learning from them the art of prophecy.GB83465. Bronze AE 13, cf. Van Keuren 144 ff.; SNG ANS 116 ff.; BMC Italy p. 234, 66; SNG Cop 1141; SNG Morcom 265; HN Italy 1437, VF, well centered, nice style, green patina, weight 2.151 g, maximum diameter 13.1 mm, die axis 180o, Heraklea (in Matera Province, Italy) mint, c. 276 - 250 B.C.; obversebust of Athena right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet; reverse marine deity (Triton or Glaukos?) right, spear in right hand, shield in left hand, HPAKΛEIΩN below; very rare; $240.00 (€204.00)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Kyrene, c. 322 - 313 B.C.
Silphium grew only in Kyrenaica and most coins of the region, including this one, depict it. The stalk was eaten as a vegetable. Parts of the plant were used to treat all kinds of maladies including cough, sore throat, fever, indigestion, pain, and warts. The fruit was considered both an aphrodisiac and a contraceptive, and was worth its weight in denarii. Unfortunately, we will never know if its medicinal properties were real or imagined because the plant became extinct in the first century A.D. It's said that Nero ate the last plant.GB84582. Bronze AE 14, Asolati 9, Müller Afrique 84, BMC Cyrenaica 199, SGCV II 6342, F, weight 3.923 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 270o, Kyrene mint, governor Ophellas, c. 322 - 313 B.C.; obversehead of Karneios right, [AN∆P]; reverse silphium plant, K-Y flanking across field; rare; $110.00 (€93.50)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Mostene, Lydia
Mostene, in ancient Lydia, prospered in Roman and Byzantine eras. There is debate, based on a line in Tacitus, over whether Mostene was a Macedonian colony or a native Lydian city. In 17 A.D. the city was hit by an earthquake and was assisted by relief from Tiberius.RP84897. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 2462 (2 specimens), Imhoof-Blumer LS 4a, BMC Lydia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Tubingen -, VF, dark patina, encrustations, light corrosion, slightly off center, weight 2.457 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Mostene (Kepecik, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 50 - 54 A.D.; obverse NEPONA KAICAPA, bare-headed and draped bust right; reverse EΠI ME∆ANIOY MOCTHNΩN, city goddess of Mostene seated left, kalathos on head, two grain ears in right hand, double axe in left hand; very rare; $110.00 (€93.50)
Achaean League, Tegea, 191 - 146 B.C.
The obverse probably depicts temple-statue of Zeus Homagyrius or Homarius, in whose temple the assembly of the Achaeans met.GB85899. Bronze tetrachalkon, cf. BCD Peloponnesos 1325, BMC Peloponnesus p. 15, 171 ff., Clerk 89 ff., SNG Cop 347 ff., aF/VF, weight 4.511 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 90o, Tegea (Alea, Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece) mint, 191 -146 B.C.; obverse Zeus Amarios standing left, nude, Nike in right hand, long vertical scepter in left hand, obscure magistrates name downward behind; reverse AXAIΩN - TEΓEA-TΩN, Achaia seated left, wreath in her right hand, long scepter vertical in her left hand; ex Gitbud & Naumann auction 23 (5 Oct 2014), lot 254; rare; $100.00 (€85.00)
Lix, Mauretania, c. 50 - 1 B.C.
Ancient Lixus is located within modern Larache, on the right bank of Loukkos River the about three km inland from the Atlantic ocean. Lixus was first settled by the Phoenicians in the 7th century B.C. and was later annexed by Carthage. When Carthage fell to Rome, Lixus became an imperial outpost of the Roman province Mauretania Tingitana. Among the ruins, there are Roman baths, temples, 4th-century walls, a mosaic floor, a Christian church and the intricate remains of the Capitol Hill.GB84541. Bronze AE 18, Alexandropoulos MAA 168, Mazard 633, SNG Cop 694, SGCV II 6643, Fair, rough, scratches, weight 5.653 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Lixus (Larache, Morocco) mint, c. 50 - 1 B.C.; obversehead of Chusor-Phtah right, wearing pointed cap with long tassel; reverse bunch of grapes, neo-Punic inscription: MPM - LKS divided across field; ex-RBW collection; rare; $90.00 (€76.50)
Kios, Bithynia, c. 325 - 203 B.C.
According to myth, Kios (Cius) was founded on the Propontis (Sea of Marmara) by Herakles when he accompanied the Argonauts. According to historians, it was founded in 626 - 625 B.C. by colonists from Miletos. Kios was often subject to greater powers, predominantly the Persian Empire until Alexander the Great invaded and took the city in 334 B.C. After disputes with Alexander's successors, Kios joined the Aetolian League, in opposition to Macedonia. In 202 B.C., Philip V of Macedonia and Prusias I of Bythinia destroyed the city and massacred, banished, or enslaved its citizens. Prusias built a new city on the site and named it for himself (Prusias ad Mare). After this atrocity, the Rodians asked the Roman Senate for help. The Romans seized this opportunity to invade Greece and defeat Philip V. In 74 B.C., after the death of King Nikomides III, the Romans occupied Kios and the whole of Bythinia. Under Rome, the name Kios was revived. An important link in the ancient Silk Road, Kios became a wealthy town.GB71987. Bronze AE 14, SNG Cop 381; SNGvA 7004; BMC Pontus, p. 131, 20; Rec Gen I.2 7, VF, dark green patina, porous, weight 2.880 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, die axis 315o, Kios (Bursa, Turkey) mint, c. 325 - 203 B.C.; obverse young beardless male head (Mithras?) right, wearing a Phrygian cap and laurel wreath; reverseKantharos between two bunches of grapes hanging on vines which emerge from the cup, A above, K-I divided by stem, all within wreath of two stalks of grain; rare; $85.00 (€72.25)
Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Ascalon, Philistia
The Philistines conquered Canaanite Ashkelon about 1150 B.C. and it became one of the five Philistine cities that were constantly warring with the Israelites and the Kingdom of Judah. The last of the Philistine cities to hold out against Nebuchadnezzar, it finally fell in 604 B.C.; burned and destroyed, its people exiled, the Philistine era ended. Ashkelon was rebuilt, dominated by Persian culture. After the Alexander's conquest, Ashkelon was an important Hellenistic seaport. The Jews drove the Greeks out of the region during the Maccabean Revolt, which lasted from 167 to 160 B.C. In 63 B.C. the area was incorporated into the Roman Republic. Cleopatra VII used Ashkelon as her refuge when her brother and sister exiled her in 49 B.C. The city remained loyal to Rome during the First Jewish Revolt.BB75619. Bronze AE 18, Sofaer Collection 82; Rosenberger 116; RPC II 2213; BMC Palestine p. 122, 129; SNG ANS -, F, some corrosion, weight 7.108 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Askalon (Ashqelon, Israel) mint, 85 - 86 A.D.; obverse laureate head left, CE downward on left; reverse Phanebal standing facing, wearing military dress, raising sword above head in right hand, shield and palm frond in left hand, ΘΠP (year 189 of the Ascalon Era) downward on left, AC upward on right; rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
Ambrakia, Epeiros, 238 - 168 B.C.
Dione in Greek mythology seems to be the equivalent of Gaia the Earth Mother and is Aphrodite's mother. Her name is really less a name than simply a title: the "Goddess", etymologically a female form of Zeus. After the Iliad, Aphrodite herself was sometimes referred to as "Dionaea" and even "Dione," just "the goddess." Roman "Diana" has a similar etymology but is not otherwise connected with Dione.GB90141. Bronze AE 18, SNG Munchen 520 (also with B and P reversed); BMC Thessaly p. 94, 9; SNG Evelpidis 1769; SNG Cop 23 var. (Dione right), aVF, weight 6.450 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 135o, Ambrakia (Arta, Greece) mint, 238 - 168 B.C.; obverse laureate and veiled head of Dione left; reverse obelisk of Apollo, A-M/B-P (letters B and P reversed) in two divided lines across field, all withing laurel wreath; rare with head left; $70.00 (€59.50)