Goodness gracious, snakes alive, as my grandmother would (almost) say. I’ve picked up three very unusual depictions of serpents this year, all with similar motifs. Cue up the Steve Miller Band and behold the marvelous Snake Cowboy: EGYPT, Alexandria. Domitian. Regnal year 10, CE 90/91. Æ diobol (25mm, 10.86 g, 12h). AVT KAICAP ΔΟ ΜΙΤ CEB ΓΕΡΜ, laureate head right / Agathodaemon serpent, wearing the skhent crown (emblematic of upper and lower Egypt), on horseback galloping left; L I (date) below. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) –; K&G 24.109; RPC II 2585; SNG Copenhagen 214; Emmett 277.10 (R5). Ex Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex West Coast/Lloyd Beauchaine Collection (Classical Numismatic Group 41, 19 March 1997), lot 1110; Classical Numismatic Review Vol. XVI, No. 1 (January 1991), lot 316; Numismatic Fine Arts Fall Mail Bid Sale (18 October 1990), lot 2365. Appearances: Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 39 (this coin). Obverse illustrated in Emmett as the header for the Domitian section, p. 24 (this coin); fully illustrated in Emmett, p. 26 (this coin, discussing the unusual reverse). The Domitian was one of those I must have this coin occasions. I avidly collect coins of Roman Egypt, particularly those with unusual or Egypt-specific reverses. The portrait is grand; the patina lovely, the reverse amazing, and the pedigree interesting. Also, this particular coin appears not once but twice in Emmett’s book which is remarkable because he has so few coin illustrations. I grew up in Texas and can attest to never seeing a snake riding a bridled horse . So what on earth does this wacky reverse mean? From Emmett: "Vegetative regeneration is symbolized on this coin which depicts Agathodaemon, the good serpent, riding a horse. The horse represents the changing of the seasons, and the serpent represents rebirth or regeneration of the crops upon which Egyptian life and prosperity depended". Hence the animation ... Far too soon after the budget-busting Domitian was acquired, this apparently best-of-type Caracalla rarity appeared. What else could I do? Air conditioner repair will simply have to wait . LYDIA, Philadelphia. Caracalla. Æ 31, 16.7 gm, CE 198-217. Ioulianos, strategos. AVT K M AVP ANTΩNЄINOC; laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right / ЄΠI CTPA IOVΛIANOV A ΠOΛ ΦIΛΑΔЄΛΦЄΩN; horse prancing left surmounted by serpent coiled left. BMC 85. Very rare. I don't know if we can carry over the same meaning to this Lydian Snake Cowboy. It looks like the snake may be coiled around a baetyl or omphalos. There aren't many examples of this coin so it's hard to say. A serpent coiled around a baetyl or omphalos is a known scene on coins of Lydia so that makes it plausible, although I'm not sure what its carriage on a horse connotes. Maybe the baetyl was on parade, if it is a baetyl. This coin needs more research . ... Lastly-- for now-- is a type of coin I underbid on a time or two before finally buying our good friend Stevex6's example. Not exactly a beauty pageant winner but it will be well loved in my house . This Snake Cowboy has the head of Serapis! Ancient Egyptian coin designers sure were fond of mixing Serapis with other deities. That's a subset I'm actively growing-- syncretic depictions of Serapis. EGYPT, Alexandria. Antoninus Pius. Æ drachm (32mm, 23.0 g, 12h); RY 23 (CE 159/60). Laureate bust right, slight drapery / Serapis-Agathodaemon serpent erect right on horseback advancing right; L K Γ (date) across field. Only the K is visible on this coin but this is the only year of issue for the type. Cf. Köln 1852-3; Dattari (Savio) 8939; K&G 35.820; Emmett 1679. Ex X6 Collection. ... I had intended to post the Domitian along with a comprehensive review of snakes on ancient coins but I put it off awaiting the Caracalla, and then the A-Pi... and such a writeup would be huge. Someday. I'll be working on it. For now though I want more cowboy snakes! Post any snake coins you wish to show off. The weirder the better Thanks to @Severus Alexander for coining the term "snake cowboy".