My first real ancient purchase - Gordian III

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by hotwheelsearl, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I made my very first "real," targeted ancient purchase. I don't consider the trash uncleaned lots to count.

    Gordian III AR Antoninianus
    21x22mm 2.8g
    Obverse: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AG; Radiate crown, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Reverse: VIRTVTI AVGVSTI; Hercules on Club (Farnese type)
    RIC IV Rome 95


    I liked this because, as an art history buff, I really enjoy seeing ancient representations of famous statues - especially ones where the original is lost.
    The Farnese Hercules type is quite famous, and the original was a bronze sculpted in bronze by the Greek Lysippos. Below is a small, Roman bronze statuette of Hercules from the Getty Villa, in what I believe is a pretty faithful recreation of the original, based on its similarities to the reverse of the coin - which was probably based on the original bronze, which in 240 AD was probably still extant. The original is long lost.

    The most famous copy is the colossal marble copy by Glykon, which was a centerpiece of the Baths of Caracalla. This one seems to depart a bit from what may be the original - here Hercules has more hair, and his head does not turn as far left as it does in the coin, or in the above statuette.

    Post your coins with representations of known statues!
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  3. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish)

    Nice example @hotwheelsearl ! I have a couple of these and I know that @Severus Alexander has some real stunners showing the Weary Heracles theme. Nice score!

    Below is my favorite example from my collection and one I enjoy posting as often as I can! :woot::D

    A Greek Artistic Masterpiece on Roman Coins
    Roman Empire
    Maximinus Daia (AD 308 - 313)
    AE Follis, Antioch mint, struck ca. AD 313
    Dia.: 20.5 mm
    Wt.: 3.9 g
    Obv.: IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG; Laureate bust right
    Rev.: HERCVLI VICTORI; Hercules standing right, leaning on lions skin and club
    Ref.: RIC VI 170b, Scarce

    Ex FSR, lot 370 (Jul. 2018)
  4. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Great choice for your first one!!
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
  5. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Good looking Gordian!

    Here is my coin with a statue:

    AE21 of Miletus, Ionia.
    AD 54-68. 4.56 g. Magistrate Ti. Dama. CEBACTOC
    Obverse: laureate head right
    Reverse: EΠI TI ΔAMA MIΛHCIΩN downwards to left and right of Apollo standing right, holding bow and stag.
    Nero, AE21 of Miletus, Ionia. AD 54-68.jpg

    The statue of Apollo Philesios on the reverse had moveable parts. Here is a link to a great write up that @Jochen1 wrote on the coin:

    A very interesting read!
  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Amen-Ra-Hotep

    Here's my Gordian III with an Apollo reverse:

    Gordian III, A.D. 238-244

    AR Antoninianus, 24mm, 4.9 grams

    Rome mint, A.D. 241-243

    Obverse: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG; Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right

    Reverse: PM TRP III CIS II PP; Apollo seated left, holding laurel branch and leaning on lyre

    Reference: RIC IV 114


  7. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much for linking that post. Really, really neat stuff.

    it's hard to imagine today how technologically advanced the Greeks really were, especially when it came to their cult statues.
    Legends tell of a pair of two statues - one iron and one magnetic lodestone. When the statues were pushed close to each other, they would "come alive" and snap together into an embrace.

    Must have been absolutely magical
    Justin Lee and furryfrog02 like this.
  8. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Not the same statue motif, but here's a nice porphyry seated Apollo
    Marsyas Mike, Jwt708, Sulla80 and 4 others like this.
  9. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  10. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Great, can't wait to blow my paychecks on this new addiction...
    Jwt708 and Justin Lee like this.
  11. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Good choice earl , here's mine:

  12. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Yours has a VERY detailed face of Hercules! It looks like he's got more hair than I had initially imagined
  13. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I have been doing that, ever since I started regrets;)
    Jwt708 likes this.
  14. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Great entry into the Ancient coin world! IMG_0022.JPG IMG_0024.JPG IMG_0723.JPG IMG_0724.JPG Here is one of Jupiter in the buff....and Hercules to boot!
  15. Fugio1

    Fugio1 Supporter! Supporter

    Great type. Hercules is one of my favorite reverse types and is seen in many Imperial issues.
    Constantius as Caesar, Mint of Alexandria, c. 304-305
    Constantius-RIC VI-40-ALE-Hercules.jpg
  16. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    That's a cool first ancient coin you got there @hotwheelsearl !

    Here's a Greek coin from Lampsakos depicting the Athena Parthnos on the reverse with Apollo on the obverse, kind of in rough shape.


    Here I am by the scale model of the Athena Parthenos in Nashville TN, she is awe inspiring for sure! My coin doesn't really do her justice does it?

  17. Broucheion

    Broucheion Well-Known Member


    Welcome to the club! A great coin to start with!

    - Broucheion
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
  18. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    Gordian III Ae Sestertius 240 A.D. Rv Felicitas standing left RIC 328 20.40 grms 30 mm gordians2.jpg
  19. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Nice to see another catch the bug!

    I have a few Gordian III's, but this is the only one I have a picture of as the "true" coin in my collection...

    Gordian III Denarius Sol Aeternitati.jpg

    This one is curious not only because the type is rare as a denarius, but also because Sol isn't Radiate either! Perhaps the celator had a sticky note next to his work station - "No radiate crowns on denarii!"

    Also, I can't believe this hasnt been posted yet, but since realizing it, I can't unsee Gordian III's modern doppelganger...

    (Will Poulter, for those unfamiliar...)
  20. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    Wow! I love that one!
  21. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    In addition to antoniniani and aurei, Hercules is available in bronze asses. By the time of Gordian III, the as was much less prominent than in earlier times so they are now much harder to find. Mine is not a great specimen but it is an as.
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