Featured Ptolemaic hockey puck (or Eskimo Pie)

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ancient coin hunter, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Inspired by @furryfrog02 - I just picked up a giant piece of Egypto-Greek bronze (AE Drachm, 75.52 grams) featuring the syncretic king of the gods Zeus-Ammon on the obverse. By combining the Egyptian supreme god with Zeus, the supreme god of the Greeks, an all-powerful deity was created.

    Ptolemy IV Philopator, or full regnal name in Egyptian "Iwaennetjerwy-menkhwy Setepptah Userkare Sekhemankhamun," a designation that means "Heir of the [two] Beneficent Gods, Chosen of Ptah, Powerful is the Soul of Re, Living Image of Amun."

    Relief depicting Ptolemy IV making an offering to Montu at Deir el-Medina. The cartouche on the right reads "Ptolemaios may he live forever and ever."

    He was somewhat dissolute according to the sources, mainly Polybius, favoring strong drink and other pleasures and ignoring foreign affairs, hence Syria was lost to the Seleucid Kingdom and the natives also revolted in Upper Egypt. Also, silver came into short supply and as a result, more of the large bronze types were struck.

    He eventually recruited an army of 55,000 men and marched against Antiochus III at Raffa in Palestine where he was victorious, or at least the Seleucid forces were turned back...the battle was notable as Ptolemy had a large corps of war-elephants which frightened the Seleucid horse. As a builder, Ptolemy was very active in building new temples and upgrading older ones. A case in point is the temple of Horus at Edfu, which was started by Ptolemy III but mainly completed during his reign.

    Temple of Horus at Edfu, which I visited a few years back. Enjoyed a nice breakfast of Fuul, eggs, pomegranate, flatbread and okra that day courtesy of my inn proprietor Osman Pasha, which was less than a km from the monument (Asar).

    And now on to the coin:



    Ptolemy IV 221-205 BC AE Drachma. ( 75.52g, 41mm, 12h)

    Obverse: Bust of Zeus Ammon right

    Reverse: ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ, Eagle standing left on thunderbolt, cornucopiae in front, ΛΙ between legs

    Reference: SNG Cop 199.


    Please share any coins of Ptolemy IV or other Ptolemies that you wish. Curious to see if anyone on CT has a heavier coin...
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  3. Alegandron

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

    Great coin @ancient coin hunter , and nice write up.

    Naw, mine is not heavier, it is dinky compared to yours. I DO have a much heavier STAMPED coin, but it is not from Egypt.

    Ptolemy IV
    221-205 BCE
    AE Tet
    40mm 7.2mm thick 69.5g
    Zeus Ammon
    TIF, dlhill132, Shea19 and 17 others like this.
  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

  5. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    Great chunky drachm and travel picture!

    You can't believe how jealous I am of your trip to Egypt: I had planned to travel there in 2011 but had to cancel because of the Arab Spring and obvious security concerns. After the political situation had calmed down in 2014, I once more planned to go, but this time I got a grad school offer in the US and was strongly advised not to travel to the Middle East during the visa application process. Now I'm back in Europe and it would actually be a good time to go, but COVID crossed my plans again... Hopefully, it's going to work out eventually!

    Also, so many forum members acquired nice Ptolemies lately – I'm running out of coins to post in reply in order to express my appreciation. Well, I'm just going to show this one again since it's a personal favorite:

    Ptolemäer – Ptolemaios III Evergetes, AE trihemiobol, Lotosserie; Svoronos 841..png
    Ptolemy III Evergetes, Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt, AE trihemiobol, ca. 246–222 BC, Cyprus mint. Obv: diademed head of Zeus-Ammon r. Rev: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY; eagle standing l. on thunderbolt; in field l., lotus flower. 26mm, 16.37g. Ref: Svoronos 841; Lorber, lotus series I.1 (for Ptolemy II or III).
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
    TIF, dlhill132, nicholasz219 and 19 others like this.
  6. Alegandron

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

    I am more of a MOON PIE guy rather than an Eskimo pie guy.

    MUCH yummier! :D

    TIF, dlhill132, Edessa and 8 others like this.
  7. Ryro

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

    Very fun write up and bombastic fatty lumpkin of a coin!
    I have a chunkier RR but nothing in the range of your monolith!
    Ptolemy IV Philopator
    222-205/4 BCE
    Æ (11.5mm, 1.39 g, 12h). Uncertain mint on Cyprus. Diademed head of female (Aphrodite/Arsinoe III or Cleopatra VII?) right / Filleted cornucopia. Svoronos 1161; SNG Copenhagen 649. VF
    TIF, kaparthy, Broucheion and 13 others like this.
  8. Alegandron

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

    I have a couple other smaller denominations from Ptolemy IV than my Tet above:

    Egypt Ptolemy IV 221-205 BC AE 37mm 42g Drachm Zeus-Ammon Eagle Tbolt SV 974

    Egypt Ptolemy IV 221-205 BC AE 33mm 35g HemiDrachm Zeus-Ammon Eagle Tbolt
    TIF, nicholasz219, kaparthy and 15 others like this.
  9. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    221-204 BC
    Weight: 79.27g
    Diameter: ??? for some reason I didn't record it.

    Head of Zeus with Diadem
    Eagle on lightning, in the field l. cornucopia

    From the collection M. Weder.
    SNG Cop. 219

    Greece Egypt 221 11.jpg
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  10. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Great write up and coin @ancient coin hunter !
    Can we see it next to something to get a sense of size? I’d love to see how thick it is, because it is only a few mm larger than mine but 2x the weight!
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    I don't have it in hand yet - depends on the vagaries of delivery from the U.K. Sent insured and tracked I guess but who knows. I'm thinking it would approximate the size of an oatmeal cookie. But I'll snap a pic of it next to a quarter when it arrives.
  12. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    That's a giant one at 79 grams and I think it takes the cake. Let see if anybody else has one that's even heavier!
    +VGO.DVCKS and Chris B like this.
  13. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    I forgot to mention that the inn proprietor, Osman Pasha, was something of a character. He told me in Arabic that his breakfast was renowned throughout the country (Al-Misr) as the very largest, and also "free". And I didn't eat again til the next day. The hotel fee was £50 Egyptian pounds (about $8 dollars). Nevertheless, he sent his assistant, Mr. Atta, running after me as I left to visit the temple that morning, saying bakhsheesh was in order in the amount of £50. So I paid up. One of the temple guards told me he was the reincarnation of Horus and would be glad to give me a private tour at no cost. Since he had an AK-47 slung over his shoulder I didn't disagree, but that's another story.
    ominus1, kaparthy, zumbly and 6 others like this.
  14. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @ancient coin hunter, I was looking forward to your posting this since you first mentioned getting it. Um, you Did Not Disappoint!!! (And everyone else's are pretty great, too! Always wanted one ...nothing fancy.) Terrific writeup, too. Really remarkable the degree to which the Ptolemies appropriated Pharoahnic culture, religion included. Right, replete with syncretism. Easy to see how it disseminated through the Roman world from that point.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  15. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    This is not a Ptolemy, but has a similar Zeus Ammon / Eagle.

    SELEUKID EMPIRE. Antiochos IV Epiphanes. 175-164 BC. Æ 43mm, 71.83 g
    “Egyptianizing” series. Antioch on the Orontes mint. Struck 169-168 BC.
    Obv: Laureate head of Zeus-Serapis right, wearing tainia with Osiris crown at tip
    Rev: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY ΘEOY EΠIΦANOYΣ (King Antiochos God Manifest); Eagle standing right on thunderbolt.
    ex-Classical Numismatic Group, e-Auction 426, August 2018, lot 221

    It looks very much like it was holed, and the hole subsequently broke. Yet the cataloger believed it was a "flan flaw". The weight is 95% of yours, and might have given your a run for the money before the damage.
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  16. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Curious as to why Antiochus would have struck this type, but highly interesting Ed...
    +VGO.DVCKS and Magnus Maximus like this.
  17. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    I went after al-Sissi took power and they were looking to increase tourism. Since then the pound has floated against the dollar and the current exchange rate is about £16 Egyptian pounds to the dollar, so a traveler's paradise. I did get lots of questioning when I got back to the US by customs - why was I in Egypt, what was I trying to accomplish, and so forth, kind of irritating.
  18. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I went through the Suez right before and right after the fall of Morsi in 2013. Good times.
  19. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Must have been tough.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  20. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Naw, we had 6759 tons of US Navy might behind us :p
  21. Edessa

    Edessa Supporter! Supporter

    Large clunky Egyptian bronze can be an obsession. This is in the SD box, so I can't give you a photo of scale. But I believe it is a good 6mm thick. Even heavier examples are out there.

    Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt. Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246-222 BC. Æ Octobol (44mm, 97.75g). Alexandreia mint, Series 4E. Obv: Horned head of Zeus-Ammon right, wearing taenia with basileion over forehead, dotted border. Rev: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY; Eagle with wings spread standing left on thunderbolt, head right; no control mark. Ref: CPE B388; Svoronos 412; SNG Copenhagen 141.

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