Countermarks: Domitian Laodicea Artemis Head; Seleucid Anchors; Neapolis "A"

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Marsyas Mike, Jun 2, 2021.

  1. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    May '21 was a really good month for countermarks for me. So if you don't mind some show & tell...:angelic:

    Two different Domitian AEs from Laodicea with the same Artemis head countermarks, two Seleucid anchors, as well as an Elagabalus from Neapolis in Samaria countermarked "A." As with most countermarks, they've been used hard, so eye-appeal is low. But for some reason I just really like these things.

    CM - Laodicea Domitian Artemis on Tyche standing May 2021 (0aa).jpg
    Domitian Æ 19
    [Yr. 141 (93-94 A.D.)]
    Syria, Laodicea ad Mare

    [ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΩΡ ΔΟΜΙΤ...], laureate head left / ΙΟΥ[ΛΕΙΩΝΤΩΝ ΚΑΙ...], Tyche standing
    left holding wreath and cornucopia, rudder in right field
    RPC II 2035; BMC 39.
    (6.41 grams / 19 x 17 mm)
    Countermark Obverse: Artemis bust right, quiver over shoulder in rectangular punch, 4.9 x 4.2 mm (RPC dimensions) Howgego 181; RPC Countermark 308; GIC 181.

    CM - Laodicea Artemis on Domitian Tyche Bust May 2021  (0).jpg
    Domitian Æ 24
    [Yr. 132 (84-85 A.D.)]
    Syria, Laodicea ad Mare

    [ΔOMET...NIKO], laureate head left, [BΛP before] / [IOYΛIEΩN...KEΩN], veiled
    and turreted head of Tyche right; [XA-CA?] across field.
    RPC II 2027 - 2030 (uncertain)
    (9.21 grams / 24 x 23 mm)
    Artemis bust right, quiver over shoulder in rectangular punch, 4.9 x 4.2 mm (RPC dimensions)
    Reverse: Same at point of Tyche's chin? (obscure).
    Howgego 181; RPC Countermark 308; GIC 181.

    CM - Antiochos I facing Athena cm anchor May 2021 (0a4).jpg
    Seleucid Kingdom Æ 13
    Antiochos I Soter
    Smyrna or Sardes Mint
    n.d. (c. 281-261 B.C.)

    Helmeted facing head of Athena / [ΒΑΣ]ΙΛΕΩΣ Α[ΝΤ]ΙΟΧΟ[Υ] Nike standing left, holding wreath and palm frond, monogram outer left.
    Houghton-Lorber 315a; Newell WSM 1369; BMC Seleucid p. 13, 58; SNG Spaer233; SNG Cop 77; SGCV II 6883; HGC 9 167 (R2).
    (1.95 grams / 13 mm)
    Seleucid anchor in 4 x 3 mm oval (reverse left).
    CM2: Uncertain (head?) in 3 mm circle (reverse, on wing).

    CM - Antiochos II Tripod cm anchor May 2021 (0aa).jpg
    Seleucid Kingdom Æ 15
    Antiochos II Theos
    Sardes or Tralles Mint
    n.d. (c. 261-246 B.C.)

    Laureate head of Apollo right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIO[XOY], to right and left of tripod, YΓΡ
    monogram in left field, Φ (?) in right field, anchor in exergue.
    SC 537; HGC 9, 253b.
    (3.87 grams / 15 mm)
    Countermark: Seleucid anchor in 4 x 3 mm oval (reverse exergue, over host coin anchor).

    CM - Neapolis Samaria Elagab CM A May 2021 (0).jpg
    Elagabalus Æ 18
    (c. 218-222 A.D.)
    Samaria, Neapolis

    [AVTKMAVP] ANTωNINOC, laureate draped & [cuirassed?] bust r. / [Φ]Λ NEACΠ[OΛEΩ CYP Π], Mt. Gerizim, temple, stairway, colonnade, etc.
    cf. SNG ANS 6 997 ff.; Rosenberger III 36 ff.
    (9.84 grams / 18 mm)
    Countermark: Incuse A in 3 mm square obverse. Howgego 666, (37 pcs).
    Attribution Note: Host coin is difficult to pin down; several varieties but many vague or contradictory online citations. Numista goes with this: SNG ANS 997-1005; Rosenberger 37-39 (but Ros. 36 in a FORVM sale is similar).


    In general I don't know a whole lot about these countermarks. The Seleucid anchors are very common, but a specific "why" has been difficult for me to pin down.

    The Artemis heads are found on Domitian issues from Laodicea, but not on anything else, at least that I've found; I didn't find a lot of them, so I am guessing they are a bit scarce. Again, not sure about the occasion of their issue - lots of Roman countermarks in The Holy Land in those days.

    That Neapolis "A" is a common countermark (Howgego records 37 pcs., which is a lot). They all seem to be on Elagabalus issues. I wonder why?

    Not wanting to make this longer than it already was, I left a couple of photos in thumbnails so you can see the relative size of the Seleucids and the Domitians.

    I always enjoy looking at countermarks, so if you have any you want to share, don't be shy. ;)

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