I am currently engrossed in a book (The Genius of China, by Robert Temple) detailing all of the inventions that China had created, which were eventually adopted by Europeans without giving due credit to the Chinese. (It's a big book, so I look forward to everything else it has to offer.) One of these inventions was an effective horse harness. While I was reading the chapter, I suddenly realized why so many horses are seen pulling chariots on ancient European coins. Let me explain below:
In Europe, the only horse harness was a throat-and-girth harness. Basically, it wrapped around the horse's throat and belly to give a secure attachment. The disadvantage to this arrangement was that the horse gets severely choked and thus becomes quite inefficient. The author claims this is the reason why the Roman Empire had to import all of their grain from egypt; without an effective method to transporting Italian grain by land, it proved to be better to just import the grain by sea....
Since I have joined and introduced myself a while back, I have not yet posted an awful lot of Chinese coins. I must say school has kept me rather busy, and so has reading the new posts on this forum. This weekend however, we had our annual ONS (Oriental Numismatic Society)-meeting, and I made a purchase I am sure you would all quite enjoy.
I am sure the majority of you are all familiar with the ancient Chinese Cash-style coins; a round coin, with a square hole. This type arrived somewhere in the mid to late Warring states period, in the state of 秦 Qin . This however, was not the first type of round coinage of the ancient Chinese states. For the earliest type of round coin was most likely issued by cities in the state of Wei (魏, after the capital move of 361 BC also called 梁 Liang). These earliest round coins, supposedly evolving either from the jade 璧 Bi-disks or bronze vessel rings (both theories are at least somewhat farfetched in my opinion), are rather...
Sasanian Kingdom. AR obol (14.5mm, 0.70g). Ardashir I (c.224-240 AD). Obverse: King's bust right in Sasanian-style crown, legend in Pahlavi script around "Mazdisn bagi Artashatr malkan malka Airan minuchetri meni" ("the Mazda-worshipper, the divine Ardashir, King of Kings of Iran, descended from the gods"). Reverse: Zoroastrian fire-altar, legend around "Nura zi Artashatr" ("Fire of Ardashir"). CNG Auction 407, lot 247 (2017).
Ardashir I was the founder of the Sasanian or Neo-Persian dynasty. He was (depending on the source) either the son or the grandson of a Persian nobleman named Sasan, for whom the dynasty would eventually be named. At the time, Persis was merely one of the parts of the Parthian kingdom, where a local ruler was allowed some autonomy as long as he remained loyal to the central Parthian government and continued to pay taxes and levy troops. Ardashir apparently overthrew the...
This token has been on my wish list since August 30, 2013 when I visited the ruins of the Byron Hot Springs Hotel and Resort.
I finally got one.
Byron Hot Springs Hotel and Sanitarium Token
Brass, 21mm, 4.57gm
Obverse: BYRON HOT SPRINGS / HOTEL AND SANITARIUM / CAL
Reverse: GOOD FOR / 12½ CENTS / IN TRADE AT BUFFET
The token dates from the period 1901 to 1912 when the hotel operated as a health resort and sanitarium.
Byron Hot Springs and the town of Byron are located in California's Central Valley, near the cities of Stockton and Sacramento.
Byron Hot Springs Hotel entrance in 2013
The sulfur springs originally attracted Indians and then settlers.
The first hotel ran from 1889 to 1901, the second as the Byron Hot Springs Hotel and Sanitarium ran from 1901 to 1912, and the third as the Byron Hot Springs Hotel and Resort ran from 1913...
After coming across a tin William and Mary halfpenny (1690), I was forced to learn something about the coinage of tin farthings and halfpence.
Charles II (1660-1685) started minting tin farthings in 1684 for very understandable reasons. First, he wanted to bolster the suffering tin industry. Second, the intrinsic value of tin was lower than copper. This would assure a greater profit for the Crown by replacing the more expensive copper with tin.
As an anti-counterfeiting measure, a square plug of copper was placed in the center of the coin. This effort to prevent counterfeiting with the copper plug did not increase the coins’ popularity (or aesthetic appeal), however.
(Charles II tin farthing 1684. Not my coin. Not my picture.)
His successor James II (1665-1668) ordered tin halfpence with a copper plug in 1685.
(James II halfpenny from 1687. Not my picture. Not my coin.)
After supplanting James in 1688, William and Mary...
You may already be familiar with the “Follow the Leader" threads in the World coin forum. Let’s start a similar thread here in the Ancients forum.
We will keep it simple. If you can post an item depicting the current theme, then you get to post a second item of your own to start a new theme. Post your coin & state the theme that goes along with your coin. The theme might be coins with owls, coins with COS II, or coins with severed heads. Anything goes (coin, token, medal, artifact, etc) but we should keep it to something ancient. The next poster then posts something containing that theme & then posts/declares some new theme.
Here is an example. If someone posts a coin with an owl on it, and declares the theme to be "owls", the next person has to post an ancient item with an owl on it. That person then posts another coin (or the same coin) & states the new theme. OK? Let’s try this for a few days & have some fun.
We can start this thread with my new Tarentum coin. I...
Hello friends! On a recent trip exploring the Adriatic coast of the Balkan Peninsula I was fortunate to be able to visit a site with a fascinating cultural and numismatic history. I decided to put together a write up about what I learned since I have a feeling many of you will also enjoy learning about the site and its connection to ancient coins (The coins shown are housed at the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Daorsi AE17, Daorson mint ca. 2nd cent. BC
Found at Doarson, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Wt.: 5.03 g
Dia.: 17 mm, 3h
Obv.: Male head wearing kausia facing right
Rev.: Ship, ΔΑΟΡΣΩΝ
Ref.: Basler 1971, 335
Perched on the peak of a commanding hill top location in modern Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most fascinating archeological sites in South-Eastern Europe. The site was the capital and primary cultural center of a small tribe of technologically advanced Illyrians known as the Daorsi. However, the name of this tribe (and their...
Servius Sulpicius Galba was born on December 24, 3 BC in Terracina, Italy to a well-connected and very wealthy family. His paternal grandfather was Servius Sulpicius Galba, praetor in 54 BC and his maternal grandfather was politician Quintus Lutatius Catulus. In his youth, Galba was remarked by both Augustus and Tiberius to have great abilities and destined to be important.
He became a Consul in 33 AD, followed by a military command in Upper Germany, and then a proconsul in Africa. Just prior to becoming imperator, he was the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis (Spain). Suetonius describes his Hispania tenure as “…variable and inconsistent. At first he was vigorous and energetic… but he gradually changed to sloth and inaction, not to give Nero any cause for jealousy, and as he used to say himself, because no one could be forced to render an account for doing nothing.”
Galba would become the first emperor in the so-called “Year...
At the death of Thibaut IV de Blois, Count of Blois, Champagne and Brie in 1152, Sancerre became the inheritance for Thibaut's third son Etienne, who in turn became count of a rather small territory carved from the de Blois lands in the province of Berry. As brother of two of the most powerful barons of the realm -- Thibaut V de Blois and Henri II de Champagne -- Etienne became a key figure in the politics of both feudal France and the Holy Land.
In the Histoire de Berry, Gaspard Thaumas de La Thaumassière calls Thibaut IV de Blois: "le Grand, le Liberal, le Pere du Conseil, le Tuteur des Pauvres & des Orfelines, grand Justicier, Comte Palatin de Champagne & de Brie..."
Etienne's rule as count was in the same vein as his father's, and was marked by social and economic development, a stable and strong monetary system -- visible from the quality of the billon and craftsmanship of the coins and...
The coins I get the most excited about adding to my collection are those that tell the most compelling story. Those coin types that can be traced to long distant events that inspire the imagination. I feel very fortunate to have acquired just such an ancient coin recently. This coin was very likely struck from silver looted from some of the most famous cities of the ancient world and then used by the Roman Republic to pay for the soldiers and supplies needed to fend off the assaults of the mighty Hannibal. This denarius was the first of its kind (Crawford 44/5) and would go on to become one of the most iconic and influential issues in numismatic history. Be aware that this is likely to become a long (even for me) two part post.
Roman Republic, Second Punic War (218-201 BC)
AR Denarius. Anonymous, struck ca. 211 BC
Wt.: 4.2 g
Dia.: 20 mm
Obv.: Helmeted head of Roma right. X in left field
Rev.: Dioscuri galloping right. ROMA in exergue and...
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