Post a coin related to an actual historical event!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Limes, Apr 1, 2020.

  1. Limes

    Limes Well-Known Member

    hello there, in these times of being indoors I thought of a funny and interesting thread, to see if we can recreate history. My idea was to post a coin that you can relate to an actuele historical event.
    Many coins refer to a real event that once took place, so it can't be very difficult. It would be neat however if you could make the event so concrete and specific as possible, for example referring to a specific day or year when the event took place. And perhaps its most interesting not to post posthomeus (divvs) coins :)

    So, here's my attempt. The coin below was struck during Nero's coinage reform experiment of 64 AD, when he struck the as in brass. The experiment lasted 1 year, and the as was soon produced in copper again. The coin reform most likely came from the needs for funds after the great fire of 64 AD in Rome. Its interesting to imagine that this little as can be related to that specific and real event, and to think about the possiblity that the mint master, policy makers, perhaps even Nero himself, would have looked at this little and controversial coin!


    Thank you, and stay healthy and safe!

    Sources: Sear, van Meter
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
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  3. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    This coin was issued to commemorate the assistance of Tiberius to the city of Magnesia ad Sipylum fallowing its destruction in the great earthquake of 17 AD in Lydia. Up to 15 towns and cities were destroyed or badly damaged. He agreed to waive all taxes due for a period of 5 years. He further sent 10 millions sesterces to assess their needs.

    Tiberius As
    20mm 5.36g 6h
    Magnesia ad Sipylum
    Tiberius & Tyche clasping hand

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  4. David Betts

    David Betts Well-Known Member

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  5. Alegandron

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

    I have posted this one before. However, it illustrates the BACKGROUND story of how the Roman Republic grew into a World Empire. Everyone knows them by the Mighty Legions. Small amount of extremely effective fighting machines that effectively destroyed MUCH larger Armies.

    However, one of the aspects that made Rome great were their highly effective and rapid transportation of trade and troops via their ROAD SYSTEMS. This coin illustrates how a ROAD, the Via Egnatia, effectively destroyed Mithradates VI the Great (Bane of Rome for many years)...

    Makedon as the Roman Province of Macedonia:

    Roman Republic
    Province of Macedonia
    Thessalonika Mint
    Quaestor Aesillas (BC 90-70)
    AR Tetradrachm 28 mm x 16.50 grams
    Obverse: Flowing hair bust of Alexander the Great, Greek legend, MAKEDONWN (Macedonians) TH mint mark behind bust
    Reverse: Club of Hercules center, Coin Chest left field, Quaestor's chair right field. Surround be a wreath.
    Ref:BMC 81-83; Dewing 1224-1225
    Ex: @Ancientnoob (I miss this guy... he is doing a great thing by growing Children right now. :) )

    This coin is a bit strange. It bears legends in two different languages. On the obverse Makedonon ("Of the Makedonians") is written in Greek letters while the reverse features the Latin word Aesillas - the Quester in Roman Macedonia.

    King Mithradates VI of Pontos started to establish an empire of its own in the east.
    When he attempted to conquer Cappadocia, he came into conflict with another ruler of the east, King Nicomedes IV of Bithynia. Nicomedes asked the Romans for help. The Romans wanted to increase their presence in Asia Minor. Yeah, Imperator / Dictator Sulla saw his opportunity during the First Mithridatic War!

    The Romans had to secure supplies. Therefore the Via Egnatia (Roman road) through Thrace and to Asia needed to be secure. The Via Egnatia was arguably the most important strategic route connecting the West and the East.

    In the first century, a major part of the Via Egnatia crossed areas on which the belligerent tribes of Thrace had some influence. The Romans needed to ensure the Thracians as allies.

    The Romans were no dummies. They knew that they could just buy the Thracians support. So, they paid the Thracians for staying put and not to harrass the Roman Legions or their supply route. The Romans created the coins in such a way that they could be readily accepted by the Thracians. Since the time of their King Lysimachus, between 305 and 281 BC, the Thracians were used to circulating coins that bore the portrait of Alexander the Great. Therefore, the Romans depicted Alexander with flowing hair and the horn of Ammon.

    During the time of Aesillas the Via Egnatia allowed the Romans to transport troops, supplies, and money. Mithradates fate was sealed. In 63 BC, the Roman general Pompey cornered him during the Third Mithradatic War. Mithradates saw no other way than to take his own life. Placating the Thracians with payments in generally accepted Alexander coinage enabled troops and arms to freely move from Rome to Asia. The Romans became the unchallenged masters of Asia Minor.
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  6. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    The following two coins are associated with early victories over Rome's enemies to the North. The denarius was issued ca. 118 BC by the moneyer Lucius Pomponius to commemorate the Roman victory over two Gallic tribes, the Arverni and the Allobroges who were threatening Rome's trading partner and ally, Massilia. On the obverse, Roma, on the reverse, driving the biga, is thought to be the Gallic tribal leader named Bituitus. These coins were also supposed to aid in the founding of a Roman Colony in the region being set up by Comitius Ahenobarbus and Quintus Fabius Maximus. That colony became Narbo Martius, an important Roman city in later Gallia.

    The other coin is a somewhat scarcer Quinarius (1/2 denarius) issued to commemorate one of two victories by the Roman commander Caius Marius, quite a character, over two huge hordes of so called Teutonic tribes who had done serious damage in Cisalpine Gallia circa 102-101 BC. One of those tribes in Northern Italy supposedly asked Marius to let them stay on Roman territory and to give them some land to settle on. His reply was that he would give each of them a plot of land, six feet deep. Quite a character. Since this was before Romans put living leaders on their coins, this quinarius, issued by Caius Egnatuleius, has Apollo on the obverse and on the reverse is Victoria setting up a trophy. This coin may have been issued to help finance colonies of Marius' veteran soldiers in Cisalpine Gallia as his troops expected money and land for their volunteer service. Notice the "q" on the reverse denoting its value (quinarius), something not commonly found on the majority of Roman coinage (OK, X or XVI on some early denarii and HS on early silver sestertii).

    If there was one thing Romans were likely to commemorate on their coinage, it was victories over their enemies.

    IMG_1340[5189]quin and den obv.jpg IMG_1339[5191]qiun and den rev.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
  7. Dougmeister

    Dougmeister Well-Known Member

    Not mine, but the topic of this thread made me immediately think of this coin:

    (Left) Augustus Denarius (18mm, 3.01 g, 8h). Rome mint. M. Sanquinius, moneyer. Struck 17 BC. Laureate head of Divus Julius right, comet above. RIC I 338; RSC 1. (Right) Augustus. 27 BC-AD 14. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.80 g, 6h). Spanish mint – Emerita. Struck circa 19-18 BC. CAESAR AVGVSTVS, head right, wearing oak wreath / DIVVS • IVLIVS across field, comet with eight rays and tail. RIC I 37a; RSC 98; BMCRE 323-5.

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  8. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Dormant Supporter

    It is a great idea for a very interesting thread. @Limes !

    Herod’s Palace reportedly had bronze figures (probably animals) through which water was dispensed. Towards the end of his reign, Herod erected a golden eagle above the gate of the Temple. This caused some outrage within the city, and several youths removed and destroyed the eagle. They were subsequently executed.


  9. Agricantus

    Agricantus Allium aflatunense

    Et tu, Danvvivs?
    The Danube turning against Dacia.

    Sestertius from the early 100s. Ex Tony Hardy, Tom Buggey. Photo courtesy of CNG

  10. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    Great idea!

    Here is another Nero:

    This Sestertius´ reverse legend describes a historical event in the year 66 a.D. , when following the peace treaty that ended Corbulos´s campaign against the Parthians there was no war at land or sea and therefore Nero was able to close the doors of the Temple of Janus.

    Bildschirmfoto 2020-03-04 um 15.40.41.png

    NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P - Laureate head right
    PACE P R TERRA MARIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT - Temple with doors to the right
    Sestertius, Rome 65 aD
    32,42 mm / 22,85 gr
    RIC - , BMCRE 158, Giard 371, Cayon 165
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
  11. Archeocultura

    Archeocultura Well-Known Member

    'Temple with doors to the left' = to the right? Here's a nice as with the same building 4c nr 025 Nero RIC 469.jpg
  12. Gary R. Wilson


    This sestertius of Caligula tells of the ceremony in 37-38 AD that gave the Prateorean Guard 2000 sestertii per man, doubling what Tiberius had promised the Guard. If you notice the letters SC (with the consent of the Senate) is missing. It is believed Caligula did this on purpose so that the Guard knew Caligula paid this out of his own personal funds. The inscription " ADLOCVT COH" means a speech from the emperor to his army-cohorts. Too bad Caligula did not continue to respect the Guard. It eventually helped cost him his life on January 24, 41 AD.


    Caligula (Augustus)
    Coin: VF Brass Sestertius
    C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT - Laureate head left
    ADLOCVT - Gaius Caligula stg. l. on daïs, extending r. hand in gesture of address (ad locutio), a sella castrensis (camp stool) to r., before him stand five soldiers r., all helmeted, holding shields, and parazonia, four aquilae behind them, in ex. COH,
    Exergue: COH

    Mint: Rome (37-38AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 24.69g / 34mm / 180
    Rarity: Scarce
    RIC 32
    Sear'88 #612
    Cohen 1
    MIR 3, 6-4
    BMCRE 33
    Baldwin's of St. James's
    Acquisition/Sale: Baldwin's of St. James's Internet 8/9-20-17 #31 $0.00 9/17
    Notes: Sep 6, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection
  13. Alegandron

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

    The Carthage Empire made coins up until their ultimate destruction in 146 BCE... "Carthago delenda est”

    Third Punic War. Rome completely obliterated Carthage as a City and an Empire in 146 BCE, eradicating the City, killing most of the population, and enslaving the remaining few survivors. The Romans both FEARED and HATED the Carthaginians from their two prior Punic Wars. This was the final war of extermination.

    Third Punic War with Rome 149-146 BCE
    Billon Serrate Double Shekel
    12.83g, 26mm.
    Obv: Wreathed head of Tanit left
    Rev: Horse standing right, pellet below raised left leg
    Ref: SNG Copenhagen 403.
    Comment: Very fine, several (cleaning?) scratches.

    Scarce. From the last issue of Carthage before its destruction by a vengeful Rome following the Third Punic War (149-146 BC). The serrate edge is found on both Electrum and Billon coins of the period and is similar to the flan treatments of contemporary Macedonian and Seleukid bronze coins. The reason for this added detail remains a mystery. SCARCE (only 2 listed on ACSearch.)
    Jenkins & Lewis pl. 28, 14; MAA 100b; cf. SNG Copenhagen 403 (pellet below back legs)
    NONE listed on CNG Coins
    Wildwinds: 160-149/6 BCE
  14. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths


    Collecting can become an obsession-if it can be collected someone will and this latest ( and last?) area of my obsession has the mark of one whose obsession went too far.

    Apellicon of Teos was a rich peripatetic philosopher who loved books and visited libraries. Unfortunately he was caught pilfering from the library at Athens and went on the run.

    But the political situation in Athens was turning in his favour and he was allowed back and became a mint magistrate.
    This is why he appears as first magistrate on this last ever three magistrate New Style with the symbol of a leaping griffin- the badge of Teos!

    At some point he was given the task of capturing the treasury of Delos but failed.

    Athens was besieged by Sulla in Autumn 87 and took the city in March 86. This coin is thought to have been produced in 88/7 but he was probably back in Athens when Sulla arrived autumn 87.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
  15. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths

    Athens New Style Tetradrachm 89/88 BC or 88/87
    Obs : Athena Parthenos right in tri-form helmet
    32 mm 16.78 gm Thompson issue (new) 77
    Thompson catalogue: Obs:1131 Rev: Not in plates
    Rev : ΑΘΕ ethnic
    Owl standing on overturned panathenaic amphora
    on which month mark B control EΠ below
    3 magistrates : APELLICON GORGIAS DIOGE
    RF symbol : Leaping Griffin
    All surrounded by an olive wreath
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  16. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    I have a soft spot for ancient coins that were either used during a crucial moment in history, or minted to commemorate a recent event. Some that I have handy images of:

    Miletos diobol classical style.jpg
    These common Miletos diobols are theorized to have been minted just before the turn of the 5th century BC to finance the upcoming Ionian Revolt against the Achaemenid empire - a revolt that ended in total defeat and annihilation of Miletos as punishment for being the ringleader of the revolt.

    Some miscellaneous Romans, in no particular order

    Of course Julius Caesar's DICT PERPETVO coinage, minted just weeks before his assassination, and a likely cause of it.
    Julius caesar lifetime denarius macer sear 1414.jpg

    Constantius I "Invasion follis" at a temporary mint shortly before the invasion to retake Britannia from Allectus
    Constantius chorus follis invasion mint.jpg

    Antoninus Pius AE sestertius, celebrating the recent birth of two of his grandchildren, who did not survive to adulthood
    Pius sestertius temporvm felicitas lucilla and aelius.jpg

    Trajan, ARAB ADQ denarius, celebrating the annexation of Nabataea after the death of Rabbel II without an heir
    Trajan Arabia denarius.jpg

    Faustina II SAECVLI FELICIT denarius, celebrating the birth of Commodus and his twin brother Titus - the first male princes to be born in the purple since Britannacus Faustina II SAECVLI FELICIT.jpg

    Antoninus Pius' IMPERATOR II coinage celebrates the building of the Antonine Wall as a response to a crushed Caledonian raids - one of the few military operations of any significant in his quiet reign.
    Antoninus Pius Imperator II.jpg

    Julia Domna's MAT AVGG MAT SEN M PATR coinage is a desperate attempt to save the public image of her constantly bickering boys and of her insistence of remaining in politics after her husband's death.
    Julia domna mat avgg mat sen m patr.jpg

    Clodius Albinus AR denarius, GEN LVG type - minted to rally the spirits of his rebel forces stationed in Lugdunum as the prepared for war with Severus
    Clodius albinus augustus genio lugdunum.jpg

    A favorite of mine - Philip I PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS, after he ruined the economy paying off the forces of Shapur for "eternal" peace.
  17. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Luchino Visconti was Signore di Milano at the height of the Black Death in northern Italy in 1348/9. The tough quarantine measures taken by him and his brother Giovanni as Archbishop -- some even claim that the infected were walled inside their houses and left to die there -- limited the disaster inflicted by the plague in the Signoria of the Visconti, which ended up with by far fewer casualties than the rest of Italy. Ironically, he died in early 1349 by a household conspiracy, probably poisoned by his wife.

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
  18. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    If you like the idea of this thread, you will like the book
    Roman Historical Coins
    by Clive Foss. Hardcover in the Seaby series, 335 pages, organized by year of the event, with commonly one or two coins photographed on each page. Coverage begins in 121 BC. Each person, like Sulla or an emperor, has a short biography focusing on events on coins, and then a catalog of all types referring to each event.

    Gallienus, 253-268, referring to an event of 257 when Gallienus had victories along the Rhine.
    RESTITVT GALLIAR, emperor raising kneeling Gaul.
    Foss type 20 on page 222.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
  19. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    This coin from Frankfurt was a special commerative to announce Franz I Von Lothringen,s election as Holy Roman Emperor. Franz would marry Maria Theresia of Habsburg.
    Also Frankfurt an Imperial City, minted election coins for most other Holy Roman Emperors. Note: Free Mason Symbol.
    AV 3/4 Dukat 1745 IMG_0775.JPG IMG_0776.JPG IMG_0778.JPG
  20. Archeocultura

    Archeocultura Well-Known Member

    Here too; one of the scarce coins on which Pius celebrates his victory at the northern border of Britannia. RIC 732 III Antoninus Pius 0732 BRITAN as 7-0489.jpg
  21. Alegandron

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

    Thank you for the post. It is a wake up call due to my collecting Ancient Coins representing significant bookmarks in Human History. Seeing a coin that represents a History directly affecting my family took me a little aback.
    Your posting is poignant to me. Our Family lost 2 generations during the Spanish Flu Epidemic after the Great War. My Grandfather was 8 when he was orphaned, losing both parents, a brother, cousins, and others. Even our family name was altered do to these lost generations. It was difficult for me seeing several of our family’s graves ending in 1918/1919. There is a lot more to this story, but I must stop.

    One fateful swoop of a sword was so close to changing Western History into EASTERN History! It was a very impressionable concept for me.

    This is the Seller's write-up of my coin:
    "A rather seldom seen monetary issue of this Persian satrap of some historical importance; particularly nice here is the well-centered, expressive obverse portrait. Spithridates was one of the tragic heroes of the first of four great battles won by Alexander the Great as he progressed eastward from Western Asia Minor, through the Persian realm, all the way to India. Although the veracity of historical accounts purporting to depict pitched battle minutiae can always be brought into some question, Arrian's chronicle of [the Battle of] Granicus easily captures the imagination, valiantly thrusting the Macedinonian king into center field at the helm of his troops, cutting down opposing leaders while barely escaping their own mortal blows... The closest of the latter calls was apparently a deadly swing of Spithridates' scimitar aimed at Alexander, negated in the last moment through a nifty move by Cleitus, son of Dropides... The rest was, as they say - history, and regardless of whether one believes that Spithridates was truly within a hair of irrevocably changing it [Western History], he did earn his place in it - as should this fine piece in a collection of any historically-minded ancient coin enthusiast." [Brackets and BOLD are my editing for some clarity.]

    Persian Empire
    Spithridates, Achaemenid satrap of Sparda (Lydia and Ionia)
    ca 334 BC
    AE10, 1.20g
    Obv: Head of satrap r., wearing Persian headdress
    Rev: Forepart of galloping horse r., monogram above, Greek PI below
    Ref: VA 1823, Klein 367, Cop 1538
    Comment: VF+ / VF , rev. bit o/c, highlighted olive green-brown patina, scarce
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