First coin of 2020 : Antinous

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by zumbly, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    But for a twist of fate that brought him, at the age of about 12, to the attention to Emperor Hadrian, Antinous might have lived and died anonymously out in the Roman provinces. Instead, the beautiful Bithynian youth would grow to become Hadrian's lover and constant companion for almost five years, until his tragic death in October 130, when he drowned in the Nile river under mysterious circumstances while accompanying Hadrian on a tour of Egypt.

    Antinous was deified almost immediately by the grieving emperor, who also had an entire city, called Antinopolis, built at the site of his death. Throughout the empire, Hadrian ordered busts and statues of Antinous set up, coins in his name and bearing his image minted, and numerous cults established dedicated to the newly ascended god. Remarkably, while these acts may have been the result of nothing more than the public grieving of an emperor, the cult of Antinous would become surprisingly popular, especially in the eastern, Greek regions of the Empire, so much so that even centuries after the death of Hadrian, the worship of his beautiful, young and immortalized lover would continue.

    A coin of Antinous has been on my dream list for years, but it had always been difficult bringing "nice enough" and "cheap enough" close enough together. In this instance, I think I was actually able to win it at a price I liked because in the auction pictures, the colour of the surfaces looked abit "off" for an Alexandrian drachm. Nevertheless, I liked the coin, so I decided I'd take a gamble that the colour would be fine in hand, and that the oddness in the auction pictures reflected only lighting that was angled to bring out the details of the devices. I was anxious during the course of the week it took it to arrive, but after I gingerly opened the package, I discovered a coin that not only had the hoped for "Alexandrian" patina, but was in fact a fair bit nicer than expected. It's possible the last time I felt as much relief was when my son was delivered and I counted off ten fingers and toes. :shame:

    As always, please feel free to share anything related!

    Antinous - Drachm.jpg ANTINOUS
    AE Drachm. 20.94g, 32.5mm. ALEXANDRIA, Egypt, RY 19 of Hadrian (AD 134/5). RPC 6062; Dattari (Savio) 8003-4; Emmett 1346. O: ANTINOOV HPѠOC, draped bust right, wearing hem-hem crown. R: Antinous, cloaked and holding caduceus, on horseback right; L IΘ (date) across fields.
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Fantastic acquisition @zumbly!
    zumbly likes this.
  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Antinous PB Tessera - 4.57g, 19mm

    Alexandria, Egypt. Circa 2nd-3rd centuries AD.

    Obverse: Antinous on horseback right, wearing hem-hem crown and holding caduceus

    Reverse: Nike advancing left, holding wreath and palm. Köln 3584; Milne 5420.

    I am fortunate as I had the opportunity to visit Antinopolis on one of my Egyptian excursions, modern village of Sheikh el-Bada, across the Nile from Hermopolis Magna (the city of Thoth/Hermes).


    A picture of the town in the 18th century


    And the man who adopted him:

    Egypt, Alexandria - Hadrian. (117-138)

    Year 127-128

    Type: AE Drachm, 32mm 24.42 grams

    Obverse: AVT KAI TPAI AAPIA CEB, Laureate draped and cuirassed bust right

    Reverse: LDW (delta) EK in exergue, Nilos reclining left upon a crocodile, holding cornucopia and reed, Genius emerging from the cornucopia and pointing at letters IS in upper field

    Reference: Milne 1269



    So far as the town goes, there is not much left as the site was ransacked for marble to build kilns to cook sugar cane. Plus, the local villagers, as the village head man told me, believe that the site is occupied by evil jinn.
  5. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member! great coin z...:)
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  6. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Wow, amazing first coin for the year, congrats. I like it very much.
    zumbly likes this.
  7. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    What a superb coin!!

    I've always been intrigued by the mysterious death of Antinous ever since I picked up a copy of Royston Lambert's Beloved and God - an utterly fantastic book about Hadrian's relationship with Antinous.
    zumbly and thejewk like this.
  8. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Beautifull portrait of Antinous , congrats zumbly

    galley with Hadrian and Antinous in the backseat?

  9. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    You gambled, and won - big time! Such a hard slot to fill, especially with an appealing specimen like that one. I think 2020 will be a good year for you, even if you buy only a handful of other coins!

    Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 8.42.14 AM.jpg
  10. Andrew McMenamin

    Andrew McMenamin Well-Known Member

    Very nice - Congrats!
    zumbly likes this.
  11. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Excellent grab!

    There were two that went up for auction in the past week - my bids got stomped down both times! He's in my "maybe someday" wish list.

    Which auction house was that one from? I dont remember seeing it when cruising through listings
    zumbly likes this.
  12. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    Wow zumbly, that is an absolute stunner! What a superb example of an iconic type.
    zumbly likes this.
  13. Parthicus Maximus

    Parthicus Maximus Well-Known Member

    Congrats with a great acquisition!

    bare head left, draped
    Fortuna standing left with rudder on globe & cornucopiae, shaking hands with Hadrian

    Hadrian 117-138
    AR Denarius
    Struck 134-138
    Ric 248 (not recorded with this left bust)
  14. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    What could I say other than "very jealous" ?
    That's exceptional

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  15. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Thanks for the kind comments, everyone!

    Thanks! I've read some interesting quotes from that book and intend to buy it soon.

    I remember reading as much. Still, it must have been amazing to visit the site.

    I can totally imagine them chilling out in the back. :D Hey, I have one of those too!

    Hadrian 3130249.jpg
    Thanks, Sev. The first coin I bought last year ended up being my favorite of the year, and it's hard for me to imagine topping this one this year. Even if it's the only coin I buy in 2020, I'd consider it a good year! Love that Hadrian of yours, btw!

    This one was from Roma's E-sale 66. It's been a busy start to the year for me and I only managed to look through that section of the catalog on the day of the auction. It was a big bet for me, budgetwise, but I'm glad I made it!

    Thanks, and great coin!
  16. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Great addition, your off to a fantastic start:happy:Z
    zumbly likes this.
  17. Alegandron

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

    KILLER COIN, @zumbly ! Just fantastic! It is on my hit list!
    zumbly likes this.
  18. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Fantastic acquisition, Z! Glad that turned out well :).

    So true!

    I hope to find as good an Antinous for as good a deal someday.

    Meanwhile, I have a tessera to contribute:

    EGYPT, Antinoöpolis. Antinous
    2nd-3rd centuries CE
    PB tessera, 25 mm, 7.63 gm, 11h
    Obv: draped bust of Antinous right, wearing hem-hem crown; crescent before, AN behind
    Rev: Serapis standing right, head left, raising hand and holding scepter; to left, ЄYC/YBA/[...]
    Ref: Peus 386 (26 April 2006), lot 759 (same dies); Milne –; Dattari (Savio) –; Köln –
  19. Broucheion

    Broucheion Supporter! Supporter

    Hi @zumbly,

    A great find! Here is my smaller diobol.

    Dattari-2085; Emmett-1348.19; Geissen-1277; Milne-1485a


    - Broucheion

    Attached Files:

  20. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Very nice diobol, Broucheion, thanks for showing it!

    Here's a tetradrachm of Hadrian, a wonderful gift I received from @Deacon Ray this past Saturnalia. It was struck at Alexandria the year Hadrian and Antinous visited Egypt, and the latter tragically drowned in the Nile.

    Hadrian Alexandria 8mSRtiN6Pr9C7jgMTZ5sKxQ23Hbrmy.jpg
    Billon Tetradrachm. 12.55g, 26.2mm. EGYPT, Alexandria, RY 15 (AD 130/131). Dattari 1268; RPC III 5768; Emmett 845.15. O: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from rear. R: Alexandria standing on left holding vexillum and presenting grain ears to Hadrian, wearing toga and holding sceptre, standing on right; L-IE in fields.
    Ex CoinTalk Secret Saturnalia 2019
  21. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    Well, aren't we starting off the year with a bang? I have to say, if I had seen that coin for sale at the price you paid, I'd have seriously considered jumping on it. Great score!
    zumbly likes this.
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