Happy world Elephant Day!!!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Sounds like a silly made up Holiday? Well, it it isn't. And if you look at the importance these big eared, long tailed Brainiacs have had on history and how they've been decisive to victory for countless ancient battles you to will agree, elephants are AWESOME!
    Cut to: you're out on a long stretch of land with some thousands of your countrymen/mercenaries/fellow soldiers that your Commander/King/Ruler has deemed fitting for a fight. You've got your best wicker/wooden/metal shield and another weapon or 2 at your side.
    The big dog says it's time to get in battles formation as the enemy is getting into theirs. But as you do, the Earth below you trembles. You hear your fellow comrades in arms begin to shout in fear. The guy next to you points and screams out in a language all to foreign to you, "For the love of the gods, LOOK OUT!!!"
    And coming straight for you is...


    It's no wonder that the second most complained about smell of the battlefield is the gore. I don't need to tell you what the first is.
    These poor massive beasts of burden were featured in so many battles, I cheated and found a quick wiki link (not that kind)

    Some notable battles involving war elephantsinclude:


    And as artists love to point out, art imitates life:



    So I thought it a must to stamped out some of my favorite Olys:


    Antiochos III Megas
    Seleukid Kingdom. Uncertain (military) mint 60. 223-187 BC. Struck 202-187 BC Bronze Æ 17mm., 4,60g. Macedonian shield with gorgoneion in central boss / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑNΤΙΟΧΟΥ, elephant walking right, anchor above, monogram of ΠΑ below. very fine SC 1089.3a; HGC 9, 490
    Former: Savoca


    Antiochos IV Epiphanes
    175-164 B.C. AE 13 (12.7 mm, 2.50 g, 11 h). Ake-Ptolemaïs mint, Struck 175-ca.173/2 B.C. Diademed, veiled and draped bust of Laodike IV right; monogram behind / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ, head of elephant left; prow to lower right; monogram above elephant's trunk . SC 1477.2; Kadman 19; SNG Spaer 1102. VF


    BAKTRIA, Indo-Greek Kingdom. Circa 130-125 BC. Æ (20x20mm, 8.82 g, 12h). Indian standard. Head of Herakles right, lion’s skin tied around neck, club over shoulder / Elephant advancing right; monograms in exergue. Bopearachchi 8A; SNG ANS 1040-7. VF, dark green patina.Ex: Timeline Auction


    Taxilla, post mauryan era, A lion with swastika and elephant. 1 1/2 karashpana.


    Denarius. AR. Rome. (125 BCE). A / Head of Rome to the right, behind ROMA and in front X. R / Macedonian shield, around M. METELLVS Q. F., all within a laurel wreath. 3.70g. FFC.204. Banker's punch. Limited. BC / BC +. Ex Pliego

    Julius Caesar 49-48 BCE AR denarius (18 mm, 3.43 g, 2 h). Military mint traveling with Caesar. CAESAR in exergue, elephant advancing right, trampling on horned serpent / Simpulum, sprinkler, axe (surmounted by a dog's head), and priest's hat. Crawford 443/1; HCRI 9; Sydenham 1006; RSC 49. Banker's mark on obverse, porous. Near fine. From the Expatriate Collection

    Now how about you show off your massive monsters on ancient Coinage!
    eparch, Cucumbor, TIF and 17 others like this.
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  3. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..i would, but its illegal(well, cheatin' anyway:p) if you don't have any:vulcan:..on the list and kool coins tho..'To the majestic Elephant", none the less! :D
    Multatuli, Alegandron and Ryro like this.
  4. David@PCC

    David@PCC Well-Known Member

    Related to Ipsus
    Seleucus I
    Apamea on the Axios
    300 to 281 BC
    Obvs: Elephant right, dotted border.
    Revs: BAΣIΛIEΩΣ ΣEΛEYKOY, bridled & horned horse head left. Horizontal anchor below.
    AE 19x20mm, 8.57g
    SC 35; HGC 10, 79(R1)
  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: Diademed head of Pietas right; stork standing right before
    REVERSE: Q C M P I beneath elephant walking left w/bell hanging from neck
    Northern Italy, 79 BC-77 BC
    3.75g; 18mm
    Caecilia 43; Crawford 374/1; Syd 750; Sear 301

    Titus 5.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head right
    REVERSE: TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP, elephant walking left
    Struck at Rome, 80 AD
    2.5g, 17mm
    RIC 115

    PHILIP I 6.jpg
    AE Sestertius
    OBVERSE: IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right
    REVERSE: AETERNITAS AVGG, elephant and driver walking left, SC in ex.
    Struck at Rome, 247-8 AD
    20.6g, 28mm
    RIC 161a
  6. Alegandron

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

    Super write up and coins, @Ryro ! Love the Battles listing... cool. I see the Carthage - Mercenary/Libyan War got 3 places!

    Here is one of my Elephants...

    Etruria 3rd C BCE
    AE Quartuncia 18mm 4.76g
    Head of African r
    Elephant r letter below
    SNG COP 48 HNI 69 SNG Paris 138-140 SNG Morcom 44

    CNG Write-up for a very similar coin (I purchased from another source):

    "ETRURIA, Arretium (?). The Chiana Valley. Circa 208-207 BC. Æ Quartunica. Head of African right; monogram to left / Indian elephant standing right, bell around neck; monogram below. HN Italy 69; SNG ANS 41 (same obv. die); SNG Copenhagen 48. rare.

    This enigmatic issue has been much discussed. It was Sestini in 1816 who first indicated their area of circulation in and around the Chiana (Clanis) valley and lake Trasimeno, dominated by the cities of Arezzo, Chiusi and Cortona. The traditional attribution of the issue to 217 BC, as representing the propaganda of Hannibal’s approach to Etruria, was modified by Robinson (op. cit.), who saw it as a provocative seditious type of Arretium, which was in a state of high tension with Rome in 209/8, in the hoped for arrival of Hasdrubal from Spain with reinforcements. However, the reverse depicts an Indian rather than African elephant with a bell around its neck reminiscent of the elephant/saw aes signatum issue (Crawford 9/1) of about 250-240 BC and associated with the battle of Maleventum (soon to be called Beneventum) in 275 BC when the captured elephants of Pyrrhus were brought to Rome in triumph. A similar Indian elephant is also depicted as a symbol on the Tarantine nomos issue (Vlasto 710-712), indicating the presence of Pyrrhus in the city in 282-276. The Barcid coinage of New Carthage (Villaronga CNH, pg. 65, 12-15) and that of Hannibal in Sicily (SNG Cop. 382) clearly depict African elephants belonging to the elephant corps from about 220 BC. As Maria Baglione points out in "Su alcune parallele di bronzo coniato," Atti Napoli 1975, pg.153-180, the African/elephant issue shares control marks with other cast and struck Etruscan coins of the region, she quotes Panvini Rosati in ‘ Annuario dell’accademia Etrusca di Cortona XII’, 1964, pg. 167ff., who suggests the type is to be seen as a moneyer’s badge or commemorative issue in the style of Caesar’s elephant/sacrificial implements issue of 49/48 BC (Crawford 443/1). The elephant, an attribute of Mercury/Turms, is an emblem of wisdom and is also a symbol of strength and of the overcoming of evil.”
  7. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    I've got an elephant on this serrate AE of Antiochus VI:
    Antiochus VI.jpg
    And on this Indian bronze of the Satavahanas:

    But I think I prefer the real, live animals, like this mother and child I photographed in Tanzania in 2015:
  8. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    AUGUSTUS/TIBERIUS, SESTERTIUS, RIC, Vol. I, Rome, No. 68, AD 36-37
    Cataloged in Wildwinds under Augustus - Sear 1784
    Cataloged in BMCRE under Tiberius - No. 126
    Obverse depiction: Augustus, radiate, togate, holding laurel branch in r. hand and long sceptre in l., seated on throne, placed on a car, drawn l. by four elephants, each bearing a mahout on its neck. The side of the car is ornamented with shields.
    Inscription across top in three lines DIVO AVGVSTO SPQR
    Reverse depiction: Large, centered S C
    Inscription clockwise from top: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST PM TR POT XXXIIX
  9. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Happy Elephant Day!

    RR - Julius Caesar - Elephant Ex Kelly 2987.jpg JULIUS CAESAR
    AR Denarius. 3.91g, 18.4mm. Military mint traveling with Caesar (in northern Italy?), April - August 49 BC. Crawford 443/1; Sydenham 1006. O: Elephant advancing right, trampling on horned serpent; CAESAR below. R: Emblems of the pontificate: simpulum, aspergillum, securis, and apex.
    Ex Michael Kelly Collection

    Antiochos VI Serrate.jpg SELEUKID KINGDOM
    Antiochos VI Dionysos

    AE24 Serrate. 7.03g, 23.8mm. Antioch mint, circa 143-142 BC. SC 2006; HGC 9, 1043. O: Radiate and diademed head of Antiochos VI right, wreathed with ivy. R: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY above elephant walking left; ΣTA above cornucopiae to right, EΠIΦANOYΣ ∆IONYΣOY below.

    Antoninus Pius - As Elephant 2017.jpg ANTONINUS PIUS
    AE As. 11.75g, 27.8mm. Rome mint, AD 148-149. RIC 862a; Sear 4308. O: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate head right. R: MVNIFICENTA AVG, Elephant standing right; COS IIII S C in exergue.

    Greco Baktrian Demetrios Elephant.jpg BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom
    Demetrios I Aniketos

    AE Trichalkon. 12.14g, 31mm. BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom, circa 200-185 BC. SNG ANS 209-11. O: Head of elephant right, wearing bell around neck. R: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΥ; Kerykeion (caduceus); N to inner left.
  10. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Alright! An opportunity to show off my elephant coins!

    This is my oldest and tiniest:

    Antiochus III elephant.jpg
    Antiochos III, 223-187 BC.
    Seleucid Æ 2.41g, 13.6 mm, 11 h.
    Lydia, Sardes.
    Obv: Laureate head of Apollo right.
    Rev: BAΣΙΛΕΩΣ ANTIOXOY, legend above and below elephant advancing left; upturned anchor before.
    Refs: SC 979; HGC 9, 560; Newell, WSM 1114; SNG Spaer 615.

    This is a Houghton* plate coin:

    Laodike IV, wife and sister of both Seleucus IV and Antiochus IV.
    Selucia in Pieria, 175-164 BC.
    AE 3.33 gm; 15 mm.
    Obv: Veiled bust of Laodike IV, r.
    Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ (of King Antiochus), elephant head l.; prow.
    Refs: Houghton, CSE 113 (plate coin); Forrer 183.

    My most-recently acquired:

    Philip I, AD 244-249.
    Roman AR Antoninianus, 3.73 g, 22.4 mm, 7 h.
    Rome, AD 247.
    Obv: IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate and draped bust, right.
    Rev: AETERNITAS AVGG, elephant guided by mahout with goad and wand, walking left.
    Refs: RIC 58; Cohen 17; RCV 8921; Hunter 31.

    *Houghton, Arthur. Coins of the Seleucid Empire from the Collection of Arthur Houghton. The American Numismatic Society, 1983.

    And my favorite of all, because it has Lady Godiva! It's pretty clear that this English die-engraver had never seen an actual elephant:

    Lady Godiva Half Penny 2.jpg
    Great Britain (Conder) Warwickshire, Coventry Halfpenny 1792
  11. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    Happy elephant day!

    Here is a skinny Sunga elephant. Someone needs to make this guy a sandwich.


    Sunga Kingdom, cast AE unit, 175-75 BC

    O: elephant, R: Three arched hills, crescent above. 16 mm, 2.3 g. Mitchiner 4366-4370

    Here's a good video to watch if you feeling a bit down.

  12. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Man O man, what a diverse pack of pachyderms!
    @ominus1, I see what you did there... Bwahahaha!!!!
    @David@PCC excellent coin and reminder of just how one of the truly great diadochi, Antigonus monophthalmus met his end.
    The elephants of Seleucus were the difference in a hotly contested battle.
    Here's another purple people eater of his son:
    Antiochos I Soter
    Shield with Anchor Æ20
    6.09 grams 20mm
    Obv. Macedonian with Anchor motif
    Above and below elephant walking right OME monogram
    (obscured by Anchor counter stamp) and club above
    Jaw bone of boar in exergue BMC 37
    Former fvrivs.rvfvs
    And @Bing bringing the heat (and the heft)! Wonderful Metellus. Who knew they made coins with elephants:wacky:
    Appreciate it @Alegandron! You never fail to surprise me, except when you do. But never with coins. Golly! Another rare beauty right there my man. Thanks for sharing her.
    Not sure what I'm more jealous of @Parthicus, the Antiochus VI or the trip to Africa. JK. Amazing coin, but that pic you took is a piece of wonderment.
    WoWiE @jamesicus, that is a highly sought after Augustus sest. Glad you shared it:wideyed:
    Is it just me or is there something spooky special and s little strange:greyalien:about that Baktrian of yours?? Now I NEED one. But doubt anything will have the same Je ne sais quoi as yours...
    @Roman Collector over here with tiny coins, plate coins and wonderful New coins. And still the coin that gets the biggest reaction from me is that beautiful/hilarious lady Godiva/slothephant!

    Cute video @chrsmat71 and I've got a hungery boy with a big head (that's the name of my new home movie) too!
  13. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Well-Known Member

    I love these elephant types! :) But I only have a pair in my collection. :-(

    Antiochus III drachm, & Antiochus VI serrated AE type seen twice above already.


  14. Alegandron

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

    Cool @chrsmat71 ! You reminded me that I had one of those decrepit Sunga elephants also...

    INDIA Sunga Dynasty 187-78 BCE Cast Copper 1-2 Karshapana 15mm 2.5g Elephant flag swastika taurine symbol - Tree 3-arched hill hollow cross MACW 4378
  15. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    My Antialkidas of Baktria drachm has the smallest (half) elephant in my collection. I do not know the connection with Zeus that caused it to be on the coin.
  16. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Well-Known Member

    I just read the Wiki article on Antiaklidas. It includes a paragraph titled "Coins", in which this is stated:

    'According to some interpretations (Grousset), the baby elephant may symbolize the Buddha Siddhartha, who took the shape of a small elephant to enter the womb of his mother Queen Maya, a scene often depicted in Greco-Buddhist art. In that case the coin scene would represent a victory of Buddhism. According to other interpretations the elephant was the symbol of the city of Taxila.'
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