A Steed or a Packhorse, Equines in the Ancient world

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by kevin McGonigal, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    HORSES are great!

    Carthage Zeugitania 400-350 BCE AE 15mm 3.39g Head of Tanit left Horse galloping r SNG Cop 97

    Sicily Akragas Punic occup 213-210 BC AR Half Shekel 19 mm 2.9g Male head r Triptolemos wreath grain -Horse leaping r Punic Ḥ SNG COP 378

    GELA AR Didrachm 490-480 BCE Horseman with spear r - Forepart of man-headed bull r
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    ...Making it early in the Notgeld series, before the worst of the inflation hit. ...How close am I?
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  4. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I believe you are correct. This notgeld is dated 1923 and here is the wikipedia on notgeld:
    Notgeld at the height of the German hyperinflation[edit]
    By July 1923, the Reichsbank had lost control of the economy. Notgeld flooded the economy, being issued by any city, town, business, or club that had access to a printing press, in order to meet the insatiable rise in prices. Even Serienscheine were being hand-stamped with large denominations to meet the demand. By September, Notgeld was denominated in the tens of millions; by October, in billions; by November, trillions.
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Terrific initial writeup and coins, @kevin McGonigal, with an amazing array of contributions from other folks. I never rode, but liked every horse I ever met. (...You kind of need to have that in the budget.) Far as I ever knew, the feeling was mutual.
    ...Um, only since other people have made minor digressions from the ancient, ahem, subject line, it seemed provisionally kosher to add a medieval one. Posted this already, but it's the best you're likely to get from here.
    Duchy of Lorraine, Ferri /Ferry I, 1251-1303. Petit denier of Nancy.
    Obv. Ferri on horseback, with helmet, sword and shield; 'FERI' below. Rev. Mailed arm holding a sword; NAN [...] CE*I. (Roberts 9291. Notoriously typical weak strike.)
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that, @furryfrog02. I took home some Notgeld notes from my summer in Germany when I was a kid --replete with what may have been the transitional ones, overstamping the original denomination. But I had no clue about the coins that preceded them.
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  7. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I don't have any of the notes but I really like the artwork on some of them.
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  8. Curtis

    Curtis Supporter! Supporter

    I love the writeup @kevin McGonigal , and great topic for everyone to contribute to, since, as you say, horses were such a universal and important part of the ancient world that they appear everywhere.

    How to focus and restrain myself when choosing which of my own horses to share? Okay, just 5. Besides the extra Byz. thumbnails at the end, I didn't include any with riders.

    The first three are free, no harnesses or anything (actually not 100% sure about the Numidian, whom I'm glad to have learned Virgil recommended). Re: the size of ancient horses, even without scale, some of these ones look intimidating to climb aboard! Then a pair ready for riders, but without any.


    Carthage EL Stater, circa 300 BCE. Such a simple design, but executed in the height of Classical style:
    CONSERVATORI-Carthage EL Stater 1.png

    Iberia, under Punic control, Halved AR Shekel (4.09g), c. 237 - 209 BCE. Even just half of the horse (and palm, behind) is enough to convey Punic style:
    halved shekel CNG 88.jpg

    Numidia, Massinissa or successors, AE or Pb Obol? (28mm, 13.6g), c. 208-118 BCE. Numidian coinage often comes across as rough combination of Carthaginian and Ptolemaic. Believe it or not, this one is actually in relatively good style and preservation for Numidian AE.

    Numidians: "One of the best breeds," according to Virgil, I was glad to learn from this post!
    CONSERVATORI-Kings of Numidia (Massinissa or Micipsa) AE Obol.png

    Aeolis, Kyme AR Tetradrachm, c. 150 BCE. For most coins, we're used to the obverse dies being much fresher than the reverse. I don't know if Kyme made a practice of replacing the reverse dies more frequently (though, anecdotally, I notice many more weak/worn die obv. than rev.), but I'm glad this one had a nice crisp rev. I'd happily take the better horse over the weaker obv. Amazon Kyme (though both are lovely designs):
    CONSERVATORI-Aeolis Kyme Tetradrachm.png
    Roman Republic, L. Censori, AR Denarius, c. 88 BCE. I love how this coin employs parsimony and "economy of design," using the empty space and anepigraphic obv to create a more dramatic and compelling image:
    CONSERVATORI-Censorinus Republican Denarius.png

    Oh, lastly, regarding @kevin McGonigal 's mention of absence of horses on Byzantine coins, I know of them only on the "equestrian" or "spearing fallen enemy" motifs on the shields of facing busts starting around the early 5th century, and through at least the 7th. This fits well with the generally "aniconic" and non-materialistic/other-worldly artistic style of Byzantium. Just thumbnails, now, but you can see it in the bottom right corner, though not always clearly, in my Justinian AE Follis and Constantine IV AV Solidus (my coin, CNG's photo) below
    CONSERVATORI-Justinian I AE Follis RY 14.png image00978[1].jpg
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
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  9. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Your horses look very happy.
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  10. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Actually, glad to see one on a medieval coin.
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  11. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Well, welcome to the club. I think most of the ones I saw went into the family scrapbook on the trip. Still somewhere vaguely in the basement of their house.
  12. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @kevin McGonigal, your endorsement is duly appreciiated! :<}
  13. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Yes I can see them, but why so tiny. As for that electrum piece that is one of the most beautiful coins I have ever seen from anybody, ancient to modern times. That celator's craft deserves to be celebrated for all time.
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