Featured Coins of Occupation

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Justin Lee, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    The past year or so I've had a special interest in coinage surrounding the Punic wars. And with war comes coins that were struck while a foreign power conquered and occupied their enemies' cities and lands. I thought it would be interesting (I've been wanting to do this thread since early April) to walk through some of the coin examples I have when an invading force (in my case, Punic or Roman) overtakes a city and sets up a mint and begins striking and circulating coins.

    In 237 BC, in the wake of the 1st Punic War, Hamilcar Barca sought to expand his family's fortune and expand control in the name of Carthage by traveling with his army to the Iberian peninsula, set up base in Gades, and began overtaking Iberian tribes working northward. Hamilcar's son, Hannibal, at just 9 or 10 years old begged to join his father on this campaign. Story has it that before allowing young Hannibal to join him, Hamilcar held his son over a sacrificial chamber with fire burning beneath made him promise to never befriend Rome.

    Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 8.42.52 PM.png

    During that time, the Barcids military mint struck a coin like this while occupying Gades:
    [​IMG]
    Punic Iberia, 237-209 BC
    AE Unit, Barcid Military Mint, Prior and during 2nd Punic War, Gades mint
    Obverse: Wreathed head of Tanit left.
    Reverse: Head of horse right.
    References: ACIP 584, SNG BM Spain 68-73
    Size: 21mm, 9.82g
    Notes: Degenerate or crude style.


    About 10 years later (228 BC), Hamilcar died while fighting Iberian tribes. Hannibal's brother-in-law, Hasdrubal the Fair; 42yo (as opposed to is blood brother Hasdrubal; 17yo) takes over command of the Carthaginian forces in Iberia continuing to establish control over the peninsula. Hasdrubal names a town called Mastia with the best harbor in the area naming it after their motherland of Carthage, Qart Hadasht, Punic for "New City"—the same name of the original city of Carthage in Northern Africa. Eventually, Rome will conquer this Punic Iberian capital at the end of the 2nd Punic War (209 BC) and dub it Carthago Nova.

    Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 8.51.17 PM.png

    From the time Hasdrubal took control through to the start of the 2nd Punic war, Carthage struck coins like these two examples while occupying Carthago Nova:
    [​IMG]
    Punic Iberia, 228-221 BC
    AE unit, Second Sicilian War, SW Spanish mint (Cartago Nova)
    Obverse: Wreathed head of Tanit left.
    Reverse: Horse’s head right; in right field, Punic letter ‘Beth’ or ‘Bet’.
    References: MHC, L. Villaronga, Las monedas hispano-cartaginesas, Barcelona 1973, Class VIII, 111B; AB 511
    Size: 25mm, 9.96g
    Ex: Ibercoin, Auction 25, #126 (1/30/19)
    Notes: A very rare variety with this Punic letter before the horse.


    [​IMG]

    Punic Iberia
    Punic Occupation, 237-209 BC
    AE 1/5 Unit, Carthago Nova mint
    Obverse: Wreathed head of Tanit right.
    Reverse: Head of horse left.
    References: ACIP 590, SNG BM Spain –, Voila 279
    Size: 13.66mm, 1.59g
    Rare.


    As mentioned, eventually Carthago Nova is captured in the name of Rome by a spunky ~26 year old Roman General, Scipio Africanus, creating that name of Carthago Nova (209 BC). Rome didn't take long to then take over the mints, and probably the same celators (considering the similarities of style, yet uniqueness of the Roman aesthetic), and started to strike Roman coinage. Here are two examples of such coins minted in Carthago Nova just after the change of occupation to Rome.

    [​IMG]
    Iberia, 2nd Punic War
    Roman Occupation, 209-206 BC
    AE Unit, Carthago Nova mint
    Obverse: Bare male head left.
    Reverse: Horse standing right; palm tree in background.
    References: CNH Class XI, 282; SNG BM Spain 127-128; ACIP 609
    Size: 22.8mm, 10.49g
    Ex: Forvm Ancient Coins
    Rare.


    [​IMG]
    Iberia, 2nd Punic War
    Roman Occupation, 209-206 BC
    AE 1/5 Unit, Carthago Nova mint
    Obverse: Bare male head left.
    Reverse: Head of horse right.
    References: MHC 283; Robinson, Punic, Series 8, d (Gades); ACIP 610; SNG BM Spain 129; CNH p. 72, 70
    Notes: Possibly bust of Scipio Africanus.
    Rare.


    The Iberian peninsula is not the only place that either Carthaginian or Rome forces occupied during the 2nd Punic War. In 218 BC, Hannibal begins making his way via land over the Pyrenees into northern Italy. During his campaign, Hannibal occupied many areas and cities working southward. In 216 BC, he began minting silver coins while occupying Capua in the Campania region about 100 miles southeast of Rome.

    Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 9.36.03 PM.png

    One example of such coins struck in Punic occupied mid-Italy is this quarter shekel:
    [​IMG]
    Zeugitania, Carthage, 2nd Punic War
    AR ¼ Shekel, Hannibal’s time in Italy
    Punic military mint in Campania (Capua) Carthaginian occupation, Circa 216-211 BC
    Obverse: Head of Tanit-Demeter left, wreathed with grain, wearing necklace and pendant earring.
    Reverse: Free horse standing right on ground line, linear border.
    References: MMA 78, SNG Cop 335
    Size: 14mm, 1.67g
    Ex: Savoca Coin Auction, 3rd Silver, Lot #90 (9-15-2019)


    Not much later (215 BC), Hannibal's reach expanded southward where his forces conquered the very southern Italian city of Lokroi Epizephyrioi in the Bruttium region and began minting coins.

    Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 9.32.31 PM.png

    These Punic coins minted in south Italy have a very south Italian style compared to the traditional style of North African or even Sicilian or Sardinian struck coins of Carthage. Here are two examples of coins struck during this Punic occupation:

    [​IMG]
    Carthaginian Occupation of Southern Italy
    Lokroi Epizephyrioi, Bruttium (under Hannibal)
    AE Unit, Circa 215-205 BC, 2nd Punic War
    Obverse: Head of Tanit-Demeter left, wearing wreath of grain ears.
    Reverse: Head of horse right; Punic ‘ayin or aleph to right.
    References: Robinson, Second Punic War, p. 53, 4a; HN Italy 2022; SNG Cop 370
    Size: 25mm, 13.05g
    Notes: A very South Italian style of Tanit-Demeter bust and horse head compared to other mints.
    Obverse Die Match/cf: CNG E-Auction 456 (11/13/2019), Lot #22


    [​IMG]
    Carthaginian Occupation of Southern Italy
    Lokroi Epizephyrioi, Bruttium (under Hannibal)
    AE Half Unit*
    Circa 215-205 BC, 2nd Punic War
    Obverse: Head of Tanit-Demeter left, wearing wreath of grain ears.
    Reverse: Head of horse right; Punic letter ‘Beth’ or ‘Bet’.
    References: Robinson, Second Punic War, p. 53, 5c; HN Italy 2023, SNG Cop 370
    Size: 26mm, 8.4g
    cf: CNG E-Auction 327 (5/28/2014), Lot #319
    Notes: A very South Italian style of Tanit-Demeter bust and horse head compared to other mints. Similar bust designs/styles contemporary to other coins struck by the Bretti (ex: HN Italy 1982 & 1997).

    *Based on size of design and weight of flan, regardless of the large diameter of flan, I believe this to be a half unit simply struck on a thinner, oversized flan.

    For a small amount of time towards the end of the war (213 BC), Carthage continued to battle and overtake cities in Sicily. For about 2 years from 213-211 BC, Carthage occupied Akragas before Rome later defeated them to regain control in 211 BC and renamed it Agrigentum.

    Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 9.30.59 PM.png

    Yet, during those 2 years of Punic occupation, they were able to strike coins, such as this one:
    [​IMG]
    Punic Occupation of Sicily
    Akragas, Sicily
    AR Quarter Shekel
    Circa 213-211 BC, 2nd Punic War
    Obverse: Wreathed head of Triptolemos right.
    Reverse: Free horse prancing right, Punic letters “HT” below.
    References: SNG ANS 1233; SNG Cop 380; HGC 2, 173
    Size: 14mm, 1.86g
    Ex: Artemide Aste Auction 50E (2/29/2020), Lot #86


    In a similar timeframe as the above tug-of-war on Sicily, Rome eventually won out led by Marcellus and defeated the Carthaginian army. In 212 BC, Syracuse then falls to Rome who now control the island.

    Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 9.39.05 PM.png

    During this Roman occupation of Syracuse, Rome struck these two coin examples:
    [​IMG]
    Syracuse, Sicily, Under Roman occupation
    AE20, Struck after 212 BC
    Obverse: Laureate head of Zeus right.
    Reverse: ΣYPAKO-ΣIΩN, Tyche standing left, holding rudder and scepter; prow to right.
    References: HGC 2 1473, Calciati 239, BAR Issue 102
    Size: 19.7mm, 6.5g


    [​IMG]
    Syracuse, Sicily, Under Roman occupation
    AE22, Struck after 212 BC
    Obverse: Helmeted head of Ares right.
    Reverse: ΣYPA-KOΣIΩN, Nike Bouthutousa kneeling facing on bull crouching right, preparing to sacrifice it.
    References: SNG ANS 1087-9, Calciati 233
    Size: 21.8mm, 8.5g

    Notes: The figure of Nike sacrificing a bull, or Nike Bouthutousa, frequently appears in Classical art, representing the celebratory sacrifice for victory. Along with the portrait of Ares on the obverse, this coin may commemorate the recent capture by the Romans of the city of Syracuse in 212 BC. It was during the siege of this city that the mathematician and geometer Archimedes devised numerous engines by which the city might be saved. With the fall of Syracuse, Rome was able to cut off support for Hannibal, then in southern Italy, thereby forcing him to finally withdraw from the peninsula.

    In conclusion: There were many wars, battles, skirmishes, and invading that took place in antiquity, and it appears that a common act when being successful is to set up a mint and begin striking coins for circulation as a way to leave your mark, flex your power, pay local soldiers, bribe local govts, and control the local economy (and get your name/face out in the public).

    Do you have any occupation coins to share?
     
    fomovore, svessien, Bing and 17 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest



    to hide this ad.
  3. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight I AM the Senate! Supporter

    Minted by the Sassanians when they occupied Egypt during the last Roman-Persian War.

    Khosrau II, Sassanian Empire
    AE 12 nummi
    Obv: Facing bust of Khusru II, beardless, wearing chlamys and crown surmounted by a cross; star to left, crescent to right
    Rev: Cross potent on globe, I to left, B to right
    Mint: Alexandria
    Mintmark: ALEZ
    Date: 618-628 AD
    Ref: SB 855

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Great write up, @Justin Lee !
     
    Carl Wilmont and Justin Lee like this.
  5. Alegandron

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

    Super job, @Justin Lee ! I am a sucker for the Punic Wars. Cool stuff. I will post mine soon. So cool, with maps!
     
    Justin Lee likes this.
  6. Alegandron

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

    Second Punic War - Carthage Occupation Coins

    SICILY
    upload_2020-6-29_23-8-56.png
    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


    BRUTTIUM
    upload_2020-6-29_23-10-16.png
    Bruttium Carthage occup 2nd Punic War AR Half-Shekel 216-211 Tanit Horse SOLAR-O HN Italy 2016 SNG Cop 361-3


    CAPUA
    upload_2020-6-29_23-11-47.png
    Campania Capua 216-214 BC Æ Uncia 20.5mm 6.1g Laur hdJupiter r star value l Victory trophy star value r Monete 21 HN Italy 493


    SPAIN
    upload_2020-6-29_23-12-54.png
    Carthage Iberia 218-208 BC AE 13 1-4 Calco Barcid Military Mint 2nd Punic War Tanit Helmet
     
  7. Alegandron

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

    MERCENARY WAR 241-238 BCE -
    Carthage Mercenary Troops REBEL against Carthage

    Between Carthage and Libya
    upload_2020-6-29_23-15-14.png

    Carthage-LIBYAN UPRISING - Mercenaries issue
    Mercenary War 241-238 BCE
    7.36g AR DiShekel
    Herakles Head in Lion's Head-
    Lion walking; Punic M above; LIBYA below
    R SNG Cop 240f
    Overstrike
    Coins were struck in the name of Libya and "M", which has been taken as either "machanat" - the Camp (of the mercenaries), or perhaps Matho, their leader.

    Sardinia
    upload_2020-6-29_23-18-8.png
    Carthage - LIBYAN REVOLT Rebels 241-238 BCE 9.63g 24mm Shekel Sardinia mint Tanit 3 Grain ears Crescent SNG Cop 247
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  8. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Very cool!!! I only have the common 12 nummi... Yours is so cool!
    Thanks, RC!
    I've said it before and I'll say it again... I never get tired of seeing your Punic era collection!

    Any idea what the undertype is? Is that a wing on his nose?
     
  9. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Fantastic coins and history Justin, very well explained and great maps. Sicily sure did have some turbulent times. I have this Selinos coin minted just about the time Carthage sacked the place. 44406.jpg
    Sicily, Selinos, Attribution: CNS 11; HGC 2, 1238
    Date: Circa 415-409 BC
    Obverse: Head of Herakles right, in lion skin headdress
    Reverse: ΣE; Bow and Quiver
    Size: 16.35mm
    Weight: 3.62 grams
     
  10. Alegandron

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

    YES!

    @TIF was the savior with some incredible detective work to SOLVE the overstrike / Understrike coin
    https://www.cointalk.com/threads/overstrike-detective-work.335938/

    [​IMG]

    The wheat grains are partly off flan on the example host coin but I think in total it is enough to declare it a definite match for the undertype :).”

    She ultimately came down to the Understruck coin... and I actually had an example in my collection! Bizarre coincidence.

    upload_2020-6-30_0-1-0.png
    Carthage Zeugitania
    Libyan Revolt
    AR Shekel
    24mm 7.34g
    241-238 BCE
    Wreathed Tanit
    Horse stndg control mark and Punic M
    SNG Cop 236
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  11. svessien

    svessien Senior Member

    This is an interesting topic to collect. Nice posts and coins!
    Here are two drachma from Bruttium during their stint with the Carthaganians.

    AE33A369-CFD9-4D89-9511-14E39DE3CCA9.jpeg
    AAD31941-0185-4406-BD15-E37DDD33EB41.jpeg
    Greek Italy. Bruttium, The Brettii. AR Drachm, 216-214 BC.

    Obverse: Head of Hera Lakinia right, diademed, veiled; behind, helmet.

    Reverse: Zeus standing left, right foot on Ionic capital, holding scepter; before, crab.

    Reference: GCV 515, BMC 1.14, HN Italy 1969. AR. g.

    Weight: 4.02g Diameter: 18mm Conservation: Toned. VF/About VF.


    «The Bruttians (Greek: Βρέττιοι, romanized: Bréttioi, Latin: Bruttii) were an ancient Italic tribe of Lucanian descent. They inhabited the southern extremity of Italy, from the frontiers of Lucania to the Sicilian Straits and the promontory of Leucopetra. This roughly corresponds to the modern region of Calabria.

    As early as 282 BC they joined and the Lucanians and Samnites against the growing power of Rome.[14] A few years later they are mentioned as sending auxiliaries to the army of Pyrrhus; but after the defeat of that monarch, and his expulsion from Italy, they had to bear the full brunt of the war, and after repeated campaigns and successive triumphs of the Roman generals, Gaius Fabricius Luscinus and Lucius Papirius, they were finally reduced to submission, and compelled to purchase peace by the surrender of one-half of the great forest of Sila, so valuable for its pitch and timber.»
    (Wikipedia)
     
  12. Alegandron

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

    ROME OCCUPYING MAKEDON

    upload_2020-6-30_19-2-52.png
    Roman Republic
    Roman Occupied Macedonia
    Gaius Publilius, Questor
    Amphipolis Mint
    As AE26 As
    ROMA Griffin
    MAKEDONWN TAMIOV GAIOV POPAILIOV oak wreath
    BCE 148-146
    SNG COP 1318


    MAMERTINI - SAMNITES occupying Messana

    upload_2020-6-30_19-7-41.png
    Sicily Mamertini 288-278 BCE AE Pentonkion Mars-Eagle Mercenary Samnites Messana


    PYRRHUS occupying SYRACUSE ?
    He really ticked them off...

    upload_2020-6-30_19-9-12.png
    Syracuse Sicily Pyrrhus Epirus 278-276 BCE AE Litra 11.4g 23.3mm Herakles Nemaean Lion scalp - Athena Promachos tbolt shield SNG Cop 813, SNG ANS 852 Left
     
  13. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Very beautiful!!!
     
  14. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I've got these two...

    [​IMG]
    Macedonia, Thessalonika
    As Roman Protectorate and during 3rd Macedonian War
    AE Unit, 187-167 BC

    Obverse: Laureate and bearded head of Janus, I above.
    Reverse: ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟ/ΝΙΚHΣ, two centaurs facing opposite directions, both holding branches and rearing.
    References: SNG Cop 370-1, SNG ANS 804
    Size: 18mm, 5.17g


    [​IMG]
    Macedonia, Thessalonika
    As Roman Protectorate and during 3rd Macedonian War
    AE Unit, 187-167 BC

    Obverse: Laureate and bearded head of Janus, I above.
    Reverse: ΘΕΣ-ΣA/ΛΟΝΙΚΗΣ, the Dioscuri on horseback, facing opposite directions and holding lances; grain ear below.
    References: SNG Cop 368, SNG ANS 803
    Size: 22mm, 13.5g
    Rare.
     
    Carl Wilmont and Johndakerftw like this.
  15. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I love me some Mamertines! And they did certainly forcefully occupy!

    [​IMG]
    Sicily, Messana, The Mamertinoi
    Circa 288-278 BC, AE Quadruple Unit
    Series I struck circa 288-285 AD

    Obverse: APEOΣ, Laureate head of Ares right; helmet head behind.
    Reverse: MAMEP-TI-NΩN, Bull butting left.
    References: Särström Series I, Group A; Calciati I pg. 91, 1; SNG ANS 399; SNG Copenhagen 428; SNG Morcom 623
    Size: 27mm, 17.51g
    Ex: CNG Auction 447, Lot 20 (7/3/2019);
    CNG Mail Bid Sale 67, Lot 287 (9/22/2004);
    From the Tony Hardy Collection


    [​IMG]

    Sicily, Messana, The Mamertinoi
    Circa 288-278 BC, AE Double Unit

    Obverse: APEOΣ, Laureate head of Ares right; spear head behind.
    Reverse: MAME-P-TINΩN, Eagle standing left on thunderbolt.
    References: SNG ANS 401; Calciati I pg. 91, 2
    Size: 22mm, 8.0g


    [​IMG]
    Sicily, Messana, The Mamertinoi
    Circa 220-200 BC, AE Pentonkion

    Obverse: Laureate head of Zeus right, dotted border around.
    Reverse: MAMEPTINΩN, warrior advancing right, wearing helmet and holding shield and spear; Π (mark of value) to right; dotted border around.
    References: CNS 41, SNG ANS 441
    Size: 29x26mm, 11.7g
     
    Johndakerftw and Carl Wilmont like this.
  16. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I want to get myself a Pyrrhus of Epiris... Someday.
     
    Alegandron likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page