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

River Gods

Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

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The name Ostia was derived from the Latin "ostium" - river mouth. At the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was Rome's seaport. Construction of the port facilities began under Claudius and was likely completed just before this sestertius was struck in 64 A.D. Trajan and Hadrian expanded the facilities. The port was abandoned due to silting and now lies 3 km from the sea. The site is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings, magnificent frescoes and impressive mosaics.
SH86120. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 178, BMCRE I 131, Cohen I 37, Mac Dowall WCN 120, BnF I -, VF, well centered, nice portrait, near black patina, scratches on obverse lower right field, some porosity and tiny pitting, weight 26.031 g, maximum diameter 34.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 64 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate bust right, wearing aegis; reverse AVGVSTI above, S - C divided by POR OST below, bird's-eye view Ostia harbor: pharos lighthouse with Neptune statue on top at far side center; crescent-shaped pier with building and figure sacrificing at far end, crescent-shaped row of breakwaters or slips on right with figure seated on rock at far end, 7 ships within port; river god Tiber reclining left holding rudder and dolphin below; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 195 (7 Mar 2011), lot 405; an attractive example of a highly desired type!; SOLD


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 275 - 250 B.C.

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In angst at not seducing Ulysses with her voice, the siren Parthenope, threw herself into the sea and died. Her body washed up on the shore near Neapolis. There she was not envisioned as one of the insidious monsters of Homer, but rather like a dead hero, she was enshrined and deified and her name was given to an early settlement on the site. Neapolis held funerary torch-races to commemorate Parthenope and her nearby tomb and sanctuary were among the local places of interest. The river god Achelous was her father.
GS84679. Silver nomos, SNG Cop 440; SNG ANS 381; BMC Italy 100, 63; Sambon 483; HN Italy 586; SNG Cop -, Choice VF, fine style, toned, well centered on a tight flan, porous, weight 7.114 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 45o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse head of siren Parthenope left, wearing taenia, triple-pendant earring, and necklace, EY behind neck; reverse the river-god Achelous in the form of a man-faced bull, walking left, head turned facing, Nike flying left above, placing wreath on river-god's head, ΛOY below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ in exergue; SOLD


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Tarsos, Cilicia

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With a history going back over 6,000 years, Tarsus has long been an important stop for traders and a focal point of many civilisations. It was the scene of the first meeting between Mark Antony and Cleopatra, and the birthplace of Paul the Apostle. Under Rome, Tarsos was an important intellectual center, boasting its own academy. One of its leading disciples, the philosopher Athenodorus Cananites, was the Augustus' tutor, which secured continuous imperial patronage for the city. It was made the capital of the Roman province of Cilicia.
SH86513. Silver tetradrachm, RPC I 4004; Prieur 748 (12 spec.); SNG Levante 988; SNG BnF 1388; AMC I 1424; Walker Metrology I 566; BMC Lycaonia -, VF, toned, well struck, centered on a tight flan cutting off tops of part of legend, rough and porous surfaces, weight 13.090 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 1 B.C. - 10 A.D.; obverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, laureate head of Augustus right; reverse MHTPOΠOΛEΩΣ, Tyche (city goddess) seated right, turreted and veiled, palm frond in right hand, river-god Kydnos swimming right below, TAP (Tarsos) monogram in right field; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; SOLD


Mytilene, Lesbos, c. 454 - 427 B.C.

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Mytilene revolted against Athens in 428 B.C. but was overcome by an Athenian expeditionary force. The Athenian public assembly voted to massacre all the men of the city and to sell the women and children into slavery but changed its mind the next day. A fast trireme sailed the 186 nautical miles (344 km) in less than a day and brought the decision to cancel the massacre.
SH85699. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 52 (c/η); Boston MFA 1700; SNG Cop 325; SNGvA 7731; SNG Fitzwilliam 4344; BMC Troas p. 121, 56 & pl. 32, 25; HGC 6 978 (R1), aVF, weight 2.573 g, maximum diameter 11.3 mm, die axis 0o, Mytilene mint, c. 454 - 427 B.C.; obverse young male head (river god?) right, short hair, wearing taenia; reverse archaizing bearded male head (Dionysos?) right, long pointed beard, within incuse square; SOLD


Hannibalianus, Rex Regum, 337 A.D.

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Hannibalianus, the nephew of Constantine I, was named rex regum et Ponticarum gentium (King of the Pontic Land and Peoples) in early 337. He was to take the place the pro-Roman King Tigranes of Armenia, who had recently been ousted by the Persian King Shapur II. Constantine, however, died on 22 May, before retaking Armenia. Later in 337, Hannibalianus, Dalmatius and many other male relatives, were murdered at the behest of one or all of Constantine’s sons (though they denied it). Hannibalianus was the Roman king who never actually ruled any territory.
RL85021. Billon reduced centenionalis, cf. RIC VII Constantinople 147 (R2), LRBC I 1034, SRCV IV 16905, Cohen VII 2, VF/F, nice portrait, attractive green patina, reverse a little softly struck, tight flan cutting off mintmark, weight 1.470 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 336 - 337 A.D; obverse FL HANNIBALLIANO REGI, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SE-CVRITAS PVBLICA (security of the public), Euphrates reclining right leaning on scepter, urn at his side, reed behind, CONSS(?) in exergue; rare; SOLD


Poseidonia, Lucania, Italy, c. 450 - 390 B.C.

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Poseidonia was founded around the end of the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Sybaris. In the fifth century B.C., Poseidonia was conquered by the Lucani. Archaeological evidence indicates Greek and Oscan cultures thrived together. In 273 B.C., after the Poseidonians had sided with Pyrrhus against Rome, Poseidonia was refounded as the Roman city of Paestum.
GS85718. Silver nomos, cf. HN Italy 1127, SNG ANS 677 ff., SNG Cop 1278 ff., SNG Lockett 442, Weber 817, De Luynes 531 (none with these controls), F, toned, bumps and marks, die wear, porosity, weight 7.242 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 135o, Poseidonia mint, c. 420 - 410 B.C.; obverse Poseidon advancing left, trident in raised right, left arm outstretched before, POSEI downward on right, tiny Θ(?, control) in left field; reverse bull standing left, POSEI (retrograde, Σ appearing as M) above, tiny M (control) below; SOLD


Leucas-Claudia (Balanea), Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, c. 45 - 150 A.D.

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This type is so rare that RPC is uncertain of the complete legends and questions if the standing god has his foot on a prow.

Baniyas (ancient Balaneais, Balanaea or Balanea, also called Leucas or Leucas-Claudia) is in northwestern Syria, 55 km south of Latakia (ancient Laodicea) and 35 km north of Tartous (ancient Tortosa). It was founded as a colony of Aradus. In Phoenician and Hellenistic times, it was an important seaport. On a nearby hill stands the Crusader castle of Margat (Qalaat el-Marqab), a huge Knights Hospitaller fortress built with black basalt stone.
RY86403. Brass AE 17, RPC I 4465A (2 specimens); de Saulcy 21, 3, VF, some flatness of high points, porosity, slightly off center on a tight flan; the best of the three specimens known to Forum, weight 4.142 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 45o, Leucas-Claudia (Baniyas, Syria) mint, c. 45 - 150 A.D.; obverse TWN KAI KΛAY∆IAIWN, male god standing facing, wearing tiara, long scepter vertical in right hand, left foot on small prow; reverse ΛYKA∆IWN, upper part of river god Chrysoroas swimming right; extremely rare; SOLD


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 275 - 250 B.C.

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Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
SH86580. Silver didrachm, Sambon 523, HN Italy 586, SNG ANS 395 ff. var., SNG BnF 836 ff. var.; SNG München 250 ff. var., SNG Cop 451 ff. var. (all var., no dolphin control), VF, attractive classical style, well centered and struck, toned, bumps and marks, edge crack, weight 7.118 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph left, wearing triple-pendant earring, dolphin head down (control symbol) behind; reverse man-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, being crowned by Nike flying right above, IΣ (control or magistrate initials) below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue; SOLD


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Traianopolis, Thrace

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Hebros is the Romanized version of the original Thracian Ebros. Today it is the Maritsa river or, in Greece, the Evros. The river enters the Aegean Sea near Enez. The lower course of the Maritsa/Evros forms part of the Bulgarian-Greek border and most of the Greek-Turkish border. The upper Maritsa valley runs east-west in Bulgaria. The unnavigable river is used for power production and irrigation.

The Three Graces, named Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Thalia, were the attendants of Venus (Aphrodite).
SH74540. Brass AE 31, Schönert-Geiss Augusta Traiana 27 (V13/R24), Varbanov III 2739, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, F, well centered, cleaning scratches, smoothing, weight 11.934 g, maximum diameter 31.2 mm, die axis 15o, Thrace, Traianopolis mint, hegemon Statilus Barbarus; obverse AYK Λ CEΠ - CEYHPOC Π, laureate head right; reverse HΓ CTATI BAPBAPOY TPAIANOΠO−ΛITΩN, River-god Hebrus reclining left on upturned urn; the Charites (the Three Graces) behind his legs standing facing; left and middle Charites with heads right, left Charis holding rod(?), middle Charis holding apple; big 31 mm bronze!; very rare; SOLD


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Antioch, Syria

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In 5 A.D., Tiberius conquered Germania Inferior. The Germanic Cimbri and Charydes tribes sent ambassadors to Rome.
SH91289. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 187; Prieur 57; RPC I 4158; BMC Galatia p. 169, 147; SGICV 107; Cohen DCA 401, F, dark toning with bright silver areas, weight 14.947 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 5 - 6 A.D.; obverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, Augustus laureate head right; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPOΠOΛEΩΣ, city goddess seated on rock, palm in right, river-god Orontes swimming right below, ςΛ (year 36 Actian era) above, ∆N (year 54 Caesarian era) over (Antioch) monogram right; ex Numismatik Lanz; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Fluss- und Meergötter auf griechischen und römischen Münzen (Personifikationen der Gewässer)" in RSN 23 (1923), pp. 173-421.
Malloy, A. "The Danubian Celts" in Alex G. Malloy Auction Sale XLVI, June 24, 1997. NumisWiki webpage
Molinari, N.J. & N. Sisci. Potamikon: Sinews of Acheloios. A Comprehensive Catalog of the Bronze Coinage of the Man-Faced Bull, With Essays on Origin and Identity. (Oxford, 2016).

Catalog current as of Thursday, December 5, 2019.
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River Gods