. CELTIC, Veneti Tribe, Northwest Gaul, circa 100-50 BC. AR Stater: 7.19 gm, 19.5 mm, 8 h. Obverse: Head of Ogmios surrounded by strings of pearls & spirals. Reverse: Charioteer holding a stem with a rosette on top while driving a man-headed horse, running boar below, Gruel & Morin 469. Very rare. Some of the Celtic coins from Gaul & Eastern Europe have bizarre & surreal images that influenced a number of modern artists from the 20th century. CELTIC Britain, Trinovantes & Catuvellauni, Cunobelinus, circa AD 10-43. Camulodunum Mint. AV Stater: 5.42 gm, 18 mm, 12 h. Obverse: Ear of grain & letters CA MV. Reverse: Prancing horse with palm branch above & war shield below, CVNO in exergue. ABC 2768; Van Arsdell 2010-1. Ex CNG Triton XXIV, lot 13.65; Ex Dix Noonan Web 114, lot 1281, September 18, 2013. This is the most iconic coin type from Celtic Britain, & the first to identify a king & the mint where it was struck. Cunobelin was the most powerful king of the Britons & an important trading partner with the Romans. Septimius Severus, AD 193-211 (struck AD 194/5), Rome Mint. AE Sestertius: 24.58 gm, 32 mm, 6 h. Obverse: Laureate & cuirassed bust of Severus. Reverse: Goddess Africa with an elephant-skin headdress, drawing a fold of her drapery, striding lion behind her. RIC IV 676. Ex CNG Inventory 861656, January 2010. Severus was the first emperor born in Africa, & his reign changed the face of Roman history. Under his control the military became the dominate force in Roman politics while the senate became a mere legislative body void of any real power. JUDAEA, Caesarea Maritima, Caracalla, AD 198-217 (struck AD 215/217) Mintmark: flaming torch surrounded by a serpent. Billon Tetradrachm: 14.69 gm, 25 mm, 1 h. Prieur 1660/1661 (obverse/reverse). Rare. Caracalla was the eldest son of Septimius Severus & Julia Domna. After the death of Severus, he plotted to have his younger brother assassinated so he could rule the empire alone. His ambition to conquer the Persian empire, as Alexander the Great did, was his undoing. His praetorian prefect, Macrinus, had him assassinated before his army reached Carrhae, Mesopotamia. Pisidia-Antiochia, Gordian III, AD 238-244. AE 25.82 gm, 34.1 mm, 7 h. Krzyanowska dies XX/85; RPC VII 2 (unassigned ID 3373) Rare. The young prince became emperor of Rome at the age of 13. The Historia Augusta states "he was light-hearted, handsome, & loved by the people, senate, & the soldiers as no prince before him ever was". Despite the crude lettering & light adjustment marks on the obverse, I couldn't resist adding this coin to my collection. Gordian's portrait is exceptional for a provincial coin & it feels great in the hand. Romano-Gallic Empire, Marcus Cassianius Latinius Postumus, AD 260-269, Treveri Mint (Trier, Germany), 3rd emission, AD 261. AE Sestertius: 25.5 gm, 32 mm, 6 h. Obverse: Laureate & cuirassed bust of Postumus. Reverse: Victory striding left with wreath & palm branch, captive at her feet. RIC V 170. Postumus is the most well-known & important of all the Gallic usurpers. He was appointed by Valerian as Imperial Ligate of Germania Inferior. As Valerian & his co-emperor Gallienus were fighting barbarians, the Roman empire rapidly decayed. The soldiers under the command of Postumus elected him as emperor of Gaul & Germania. He held that position for 9 years until he was assassinated by his own troops. Zeno (2nd reign), AD 476-491, Constantinople Mint. AV Solidus: 4.49 gm, 21 mm, 6 h. Obverse: Zeno with helmet & spear dressed in battle gear. Reverse: Victory holding a long cross. Flip-over double strike. RIC X 910. Rare. Flip-over double strikes are not common on Byzantine copper coins & rarely seen on gold coinage. The main images on the coin weren't distorted, so the mint inspector probably missed it or decided it was good enough to mix with the good coins. Justinian I, AD 527-565 (struck year 31, AD 557/8) Nicomedia Mint, Officina 2. AE 40 Nummi: 18.43 gm, 33 mm, 6 h. Hard green deposits on the reverse & die rust on both sides. Sear 201. Ex Peter J. Merani Collection, purchased from Mark E. Reid (The Time Machine), December6, 1998. Justinian I is considered by most historians as the greatest of all Byzantine emperors. His military leaders temporarily recovered all the territory that had been lost by the previous late Roman emperors. The "Great Plague" epidemic occurred during his reign, & Justinian was also stricken with the plague but miraculously recovered. I usually don't buy coins that look this rough, but you can't be too fussy with Byzantine coins. Romanus IV & Eudokia, AD 1068-1071, Constantinople Mint. AV Histamenon Nomisma: 4.43 gm, 27 mm, 6 h, 18K. Obverse: Jesus Christ flanked by Romanus & Eudokia. Reverse: Michael VII flanked by Constantius & Andronicus. Sear 1859. The collecting fraternity refers to these common syphate coins as "6 headers". Well struck examples that haven't been clipped or bent can be very expensive. Romanus IV is best remembered for leading the Byzantine army & mercenaries in the Battle of Manzikert, which turned out to be the greatest disaster in Byzantine History. In the heat of the battle most of Romanus' troops deserted him, but he fought bravely until he was forced to surrender to the Sultan of Baghdad, Alp Arslan. The Sultan allowed him to return to Constantinople where he was immediately arrested. Romanus, in a public demonstration, had his eyes removed with a red-hot iron poker, & was then paraded on a jackass to a church he had built. He died an agonizing death several days later. Endokia was also arrested & sent to a church she had built. She was never seen in public again. AUSTRIA, Holy Roman Empire, 1564-1595, Hall Mint. AR Thaler: 28.20 gm, 40 mm, 12 h. Obverse: Ferdinand II, Duke of Austria, Archduke of Burgundy, Count of Tyrol, crowned & armored, holding a scepter & the other hand on a sword hilt. Reverse: Coat of arms of Austria surrounded by the Order of the Golden Fleece. Davenport 8094. This coin obviously isn't ancient, it is an early Baroque Period machine-made coin that replaced the hand-struck coinage of the Gothic Period. It was made on a screw press that was usually operated by two strong men. This new method of manufacturing coins attracted some of the finest engravers in Europe, especially Germany, Austria, Italy & France. The new Baroque style was highly detailed, the lettering was done in the simple Roman style that was easier to read than Gothic lettering, & the finished product surpassed anything made before it in quality.