Pig-hoo-o-o-o-ey: A Porcine Denarius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Orielensis, May 8, 2021.

  1. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    Here is a recent Roman Republican addition to my collection. As an avid reader of P.G. Wodehouse and great admirer of the Empress of Blandings, I simply couldn't resist this reverse.

    There already are multiple good write-ups on this type on CT as well as an informative webpage by @dougsmit, which is why I will not go into great detail here. The obverse of this denarius shows the jugate heads of the dei penates, the Roman deities of domestic affairs and guardians of the storeroom. On the reverse, we probably see a scene from the Aeneid: Aeneas and his companions find a white sow along with her litter lying under an oak tree, which acoording to an earlier prophecy marks the location where they are supposed to build the city of Lavinium.

    Römische Republik – RRC 312:1, Serratus, Sulpicus, Penaten u. Schwein.png
    Roman Republic, moneyer: C. Sulpicius, AR denarius serratus, 106 BC, Rome mint. Obv: D. P. P; jugate, laureate heads of the dei penates publici l. Rev: C. SVLPICI. C. F; two male figures standing facing each other, each holding spear in l. hand and with r. hand pointing at sow which lies between them; above, control-letter C. 20mm, 4.00g. Ref: RRC 312/1.

    Please show your coins with pigs and boars of all sorts!
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
    Choucas, galba68, ancientone and 22 others like this.
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    That's a fantastic serrate denarius from the Republic! I would like to acquire one of this type for my collection someday.

    Here's one of the few coins in my collection to depict a pig of any kind. I'm not claiming it depicts a boar realistically, mind you. It's one of my favorite coins, though:

    Philip II as Caesar, AD 244-247.
    Roman provincial Æ 25.2 mm, 7.72 g, 6 h.
    Phrygia, Laodicea ad Lycum, Sardis Workshop, AD 244-247.
    Obv: •Μ•ΙΟVΛΙ••ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟϹ•Κ•, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust of Philip II, right, seen from front.
    Rev: ΛΑΟΔΙΚЄ|ΩΝ ΝЄ|ΩΚΟΡΩΝ, river Caprus as boar and river Lycus as wolf seated back to back, heads facing each other.
    Refs: BMC 25.324,260 (same rev. die); RG 6326 (same obv. die); RPC VIII unassigned, ID 20777; SNG Cop 607; SNG Leypold 1678.
    galba68, ancientone, Limes and 14 others like this.
  4. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    What a lovely example of that issue, @Orielensis, congrats! The detail on the sow is fantastic.

    My favourite pig/boar is on this quadrans of Trajan:
    trajan quadrans.jpg
    galba68, ancientone, Limes and 15 others like this.
  5. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Here's a Lycian boar. No idea which dynast.

    Aegean, sale 2, Feb 2017, lot 130 (unsold). Dealer's picture.

    520-480 BC, Tetrobol, 2.47g
    Obv: Forepart of a boar left
    Ref: Incuse pattern with three high points and an "X" pattern
    Test cut on the reverse. The style of cut is common on these.

    I have not been able to find much discussion of this type, here or in published studies.
    galba68, ancientone, Limes and 12 others like this.
  6. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    Stunning coin. I've not seen the type. But am sure could search for a long while for one better. Everybody loves you Elvis...

    20190326_180721_09237FE9-4916-452F-9B9F-0984329177F1-406-000000EEDE315927.png 20190326_151542_D2F33993-559D-413D-9211-4E0F7AD9BF97-406-000000C5483451CA.png Screenshot_20201208-164007_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png
  7. Alegandron

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

    Great coin, @Orielensis ...

    ANTI-Roman Republic

    Campania, CAPUA
    2nd Punic War - Hannibal promises Capua as Capital of Italia after Rome destroyed
    Attribution: SNG ANS 210
    Date: 216-211 BC
    Obverse: Bust of Diana right, with bow and quiver over shoulder
    Reverse: Boar right, one pellet above, KAPV (retrograde) in exergue
    Size: 20.72 mm
    Weight: 6.56 grams
    Ex: Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher)
  8. Alegandron

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


    Roman Republic
    M Volteius Mf
    AR Denarius
    78 BCE
    18mm 3.96g
    Hd Hercules R lion skin headdress -
    Erymanthian boar
    Cr 385-2
    ex SteveX6 (da Man)
  9. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  10. Alegandron

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

    I betcha this is why the Pig is not a symbol of Rome.

    RR C Hosidius C F Geta 68 BCE Diana bow quiver Boar Hound spear Dog Sear 346 Craw 407-2
  11. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    I'm not sure I see the family resemblance, but life in Roman days was probably a little rougher & wilder.
    Your coin has a great obverse too. Here's mine which I was surprised to see show up in the Schaefer die project:
    ex Naville Auction 41 24 Jun 2018 Lot 425
    Sulpicius penates.jpg
    C. Sulpicius C. f. Galba AR Serrate Denarius, Rome, 106 BC
    Obv: Conjoined laureate busts of the Dei Penates left; D•P•P before
    Rev: Two soldiers swearing oath over a sow; L above; C•SVLPICI•C•F in exergue
    Ref: Crawford 312/1; Sydenham 572; Sulpicia 1
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
  12. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    Well, there's this one - three men and a pig:

    Denarius of Ti. Veturius
    Obv.: X TI VET - Draped bust of Mars right
    Rev.: ROMA - Youth kneeling left, between two warriors who touch with their swords a pig which he holds
    Mint: Rome (137 BC)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 3.80g / 19mm / 11h
    • RSC 1 (Veturia)
    • Sydenham 527
    • Crawford 234/1

    A sow symbol victoriatus:

    Obv.: Laureate head of Jupiter right
    Rev.: ROMA - Victory right, crowning trophy; between, sow
    Mint: Rome (ca. 206-195 BC)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 2.10g / 16mm / -
    • RSC 24i (Anon)
    • Sydenham 253
    • Crawford 121/1
    • RBW 554

    As of the same issue:

    Obv.: Laureate head of Janus; above, mark of value
    Rev.: ROMA - Prow of galley right; above, sow
    Mint: Rome (ca 206-195 BC)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 37.50g / 33mm / 12h
    • Sydenham 254
    • Crawford 121/3
    • Russo RBW 556

    Quadrans of the same issue:

    Obv.: Head of Hercules right, wearing lion’s skin; three pellets behind
    Rev.: ROMA - Prow of galley right; above, sow; below, three pellets
    Mint: Rome (ca 206-195 BC)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 9.27g / 21mm / 2h
    • Sydenham 254c
    • Crawford 121/6


    And a couple of favourites, the Hosidia denarius later recreated under Augustus.

    Denarius of C. Hosidius C. f. Geta
    Obv.: GETA / III VIR - Diademed and draped bust of Diana right, bow and quiver on shoulder
    Rev.: C HOSIDI C F - Wild boar of Calydon right, pierced by spear and attacked by dog
    Mint: Rome (64 BC)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 3.87g / 16mm / 8h
    • RSC 1 (Hosidia)
    • Sydenham 903
    • Crawford 407/2

    Obv.: AVGVSTVS - CAESAR - Bare head right
    Rev.: M DVRMIVS / III VIR - Calydonian boar right, spear in shoulder
    Mint: Rome (19-18 BC)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 3.88g / - / -
    • RIC 317
    • Ex. T.R. Hardaker Collection

    Oink, oink
  13. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    My Titus denarius only has two piglets which I am told is less common than the ones with three three but most people prefer the three little pigs version before the wolf got 'straw'.
  14. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    An assortment of pigs, sows, and boars. I'm pretty sure I've posted them all before, so I won't bother with the descriptions this time.

    One pig of unidentified gender:

    COMBINED Ti. Veturius (Mars - pig & 2 soldiers).jpg

    Sows, with or without piglets:

    Sulpicius Galba - Sow 2.jpg

    Detail sulpicius galba.jpg

    Three-piglet sow, two beneath and one behind:

    Titus - Sow & Piglets.jpg


    Mysia, Kyzikos, Boar-Lion diobol, jpg version.jpg
    Volteius (Hercules-Boar) jpg version.jpg

    New Hosidius Geta Diane-Boar COMBINED.jpg

    Bonus: Egyptian Faience Sow Amulet (Goddess Nut as sow, with piglets beneath), 30 mm. Third Intermediate/Late Period. Circa 600 BC. Ex Bron Lipkin collection. Acquired from C J Martin in 1992. Previously said to have been in a collection in Israel. Purchased from Collector Antiquities, UK, April 2021.

    From dealer's description:

    "A deep green faience amulet of the goddess Nut shown as a sow with her piglets. The explanation for this representation is gruesome. The sow is thought to be a reference to Nut’s role as the sky goddess giving birth to, and then devouring the sun each day, as some sows devour their young."

    I'll bet you never before thought of the sky and sun as a sow giving birth to and then devouring her young every day!

    (Dealer's low-resolution photos; I haven't had a chance to take mine yet.)

    Faience amulet of Nut as sow 3.jpg

    Faience amulet of Nut as sow 4.jpg

    Faience amulet of Nut as sow 2.jpg
  15. Alegandron

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

    How about EIGHT men and a pig?

    Oath ceremony of the Eight Tribes of the Marsic Confederation, banding together to fight the unfairness of Rome against her Allies for The Social War...

    Marsic Confederation / Italian Allies
    Social War 90-88 BCE
    AR Denarius
    19x17.9mm, 3.7g
    Anonymous Issue, Corfinium Mint
    Obv: Italia head, l, ITALIA behind
    Rev: Oath-taking scene with eight warriors, four on each side, pointing their swords towards a sacrificial pig, which is held by an attendant kneeling at the foot of a standard. -

    Binding the Marsi, Picentines, Paeligni, Marrucini, Vestini, Frentani, Samnites, and Hirpini Tribes into the Marsic Confederation against Rome during the Social War

    Comment: The reverse is based on the gold Stater and Half-Stater from the Second Punic War, and the Ti Viturius denarius...
    Sear 227 SYD 621 SCARCE
  16. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks for the kind words and for showing your porcine coins, everyone!

    Certainly. But it wasn't as rough as those days of yore in Kyzikos when poor boars were split right in the middle and their hind parts replaced with a tunny fish:
    Griechen – Mysien, Kyzikos, hemiobol, Löwe und Wildschwein.png
    Mysia, Kyzikos, AR hemiobol (?), c. 480–450 BC. Obv: roaring lion’s head l.; star above. Rev: forepart of boar l.; tunny behind. 8mm, 0.25g. Ref: BMC 120; Sear Greek 3850.

    I even see nine guys. In my eyes, that's a rather unfair pig-human ratio.

    I certainly didn't. It's a rather uncanny image, isn't it? But your faience amulet looks terrific!

    And that comic strip pretty accurately explains my own personal aversion against social media. (CT being, of course, an exception.)
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
  17. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    I posted these before, as threads with pigs keep returning on CT.
    But I am certainly not bothered, as it's one of my favorite menus ... ahem, I mean reverse types and coin themes.

    This was the coin that made me switch completely to ancients.

    Titus AD 79-81. Rome
    Denarius AR
    20 mm., 2,43 g.
    Obverse Legend: T CAESAR VESPASIANVS
    Type: Head of Titus, laureate, right
    Reverse Legend: IMP XIII
    Type: Sow left, with three piglets
    RIC Vespasian 986

    I had some coins in my collection but I wasn't sure I want to start an ancient coins collection for good. Saw this, found out it's not rare, not too expensive, won it, became an ancients coin fan :)

    And a coin with a pig (well, boar, but ...) along with 3 friends: a tunny fish (who was too shy and didn't want to appear in the coin), a lion and a panther.

    The coin in my avatar is a proof that pigs can fly.

  18. Alegandron

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

    No Sir, it is a mannequin holding the pig. :)
    Orielensis likes this.
  19. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Salapia.jpg APULIA. Salapia. Ae (Circa 225-210 BC). Plotios, magistrate.
    Obv: ΣΑΛΑΠΙΝΩΝ. Laureate head of Zeus right.
    Rev: ΠΛΩTIOY. Boar advancing right; wreath above.
  20. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Speaking of Zeus and pigs ...

  21. Alegandron

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

    Flying Pigs are fun...

    Ionia Klazomenai 480-400 BC AR Drachm Pentobol 3.5g 13mm Forepart winged boar r gorgoneion incuse sq Cf SNG Copenhagen 12 R
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