The Ancient Botanical Gardens of CoinTalk

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Carl Wilmont, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. Carl Wilmont

    Carl Wilmont Supporter! Supporter

    Welcome to this ancient “numismatical” garden! Have an interest in horticulture, forestry, or botany? Relish opportunities to take a hike (even virtually) through the flora in a park? Enjoy the variety, artistry, and symbolism of plants on ancient coins? Well, you’re invited to walk the pathways of this thread and help build a beautiful ancient botanical garden! Cultivate your plant examples here! I’ve enjoyed some CoinTalk threads featuring the animal kingdom such as ones populating ‘zoos’ with various creatures on ancient coins. Here’s a thread for the plant kingdom to be accentuated!

    In various posts, I’ve admired many instances of plants on your coins. A great thread highlighting the now extinct Silphium Plant was contributed by @Jochen1. How many plant species are represented across the ancient coin collections of CoinTalk members?

    Please help expand and enhance these grounds. All “growing zone” needs are accommodated. Multiple examples of plant types are appreciated. The only planting requirement in this garden is that ancient “seeds” (coins) are used.

    I’ve started things off by filling that small plot on the hillside near the entry gates with a few specimens from my collection. I’m looking forward to watching this garden flourish with trees, flowers, leaves, vines, fruits...

    Rhodes AE10 with Rhodos.jpg

    Rhodes AE10. (10.47 mm, 1.40 g) 350-300 BC.
    Diademed head of Rhodos right. Rose with bud to right.

    Hendin 1360 Reverse Jewish War Year 2.jpg
    Judaea, The Jewish War. Æ Prutah (2.69 g), 66-70 AD. Jerusalem, year 2 (67/8 AD). 'Year two' (Paleo-Hebrew), amphora with broad rim and two handles. Reverse:'The freedom of Zion' (Paleo-Hebrew), vine leaf on small branch with tendril.

    athens tetradrachm.jpg

    Attica. Athens circa 454-404 BC
    AR Tetradrachm (25 mm, 17.20 g)
    Head of Athena to right, wearing disc earring, pearl necklace and a crested Attic helmet adorned with three olive leaves and a spiral palmette. / ΑΘΕ, Owl standing to right, head facing the viewer; to left, olive sprig and crescent moon; all within incuse square.

    Hendin 1335 Gratus.jpg

    Æ Prutah (2.64 g, 17 mm) of Valerius Gratus, procurator of Judea under Tiberius. 16 AD. Greek inscription IOY/ ΛIA (Julia) in inverted wreath. / Three lilies stemming from between two leaves and the date L [Γ] (year three).
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  3. John Conduitt

    John Conduitt Well-Known Member

    I have very few plants for some reason, but I do have:
    AE16, Sicily, Carthaginian Domain, c330-320BC. 15mm, 2.47g. Palm tree. Pegasus flying left (CNS III, 16; SNG Copenhagen 107; HGC 2, 1672).

    Fittingly, it has a green patina.
  4. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Guess we've got room for some nice wheat, courtesy of this AE prutah of Agrippa I:
    Agrippa I.jpg
  5. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I'll till a lil plot and sow some seeds from my garden.

    Some palms, grain ears, laurel, and a selinon leaf.

    Cherronesos, Thrace
    AR Hemidrachm, Circa 400-338 BC
    Obverse: Forepart of lion right, head turned back.
    Reverse: Quadripartite incuse square with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, with a dot and selinon leaf on stem (wild parsley or celery) in each of two opposing quarters.
    References: Apparently unpublished
    Very rare symbol.
    cf: CNG E-Auction 104, Lot #37;
    NN Auction 67 (7/1/2018), Lot #57

    Cherronesos, Thrace
    Circa 480-350 BC
    AR Hemidrachm
    Obverse: Forepart of lion right, head turned back.
    Reverse: Quadripartite incuse square with a dot and palm branch in each of two opposing quarters.
    References: Sear 1602-1606, BMC Thrace 10, McClean 4081

    Sicily, Himera
    AE Hemilitron, Circa 420-407 BC
    Obverse: Head of nymph left, hair bound in ampyx and sphendone; six pellets before, IM-E across neck.
    Reverse: Six pellets within laurel wreath.
    References: CNS I, p. 43, 35; SNG ANS 186; HGC 2, 479

    Carthage, Libyan Revolt
    Circa 241-238 BC, AE Half Shekel
    Probably Caralis (Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy) mint on Sardinia
    Obverse: Wreathed head of Tanit left.
    Reverse: Three grain ears; inverted crescent above.
    References: MAA –; CNP 696a; SNG Copenhagen 252 var. (pellet below crescent).
    Size: 20mm, 3.18g
    Ex: CNG Auction 447, Lot 44 (7/3/2019)

    And a lil "Garden of Eden"...
    Julia Domna, Wife of Sept. Severus,
    Empress 193-217 AD, AE Sestertius,
    Rome Mint, Struck 193-196 AD
    Obverse: IVLIA DO-MNA AVG, Bust of Julia Domna, hair waved and coiled at back, draped, right.
    Reverse: VENERI VICTR, Venus, naked to waist, standing left, holding apple in extended right hand and palm sloped over left shoulder in left hand, resting left elbow on column, S-C across fields.
    References: RIC IV 842
    Size: 30mm, 18.3g
  6. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Here are a few, include a Byzantine one :smug:

    Parthian Empire: Vologases IV (147-191) Æ Dichalkon, Seleucia on the Tigris, 459 SE (Sellwood 84.136)
    Obv: Bust facing with tapering square-cut beard wearing tiara decorated round crest with "hooks", with earflaps; on right, Greek letters ΘΝΥ; circular border of pellets
    Rev: Tyche seated left on column, right hand to face; in front, palm branch; circular border of pellets
    Dim: 3.62 gm; 18 mm

    Byzantine Empire: Heraclius (610-641 CE) Æ 6 Nummi, Alexandria (Sear-864; DOC 200; MIB 211)

    Obv: Large S
    Rev: Palm tree with dates

    Ancient Judaea, The Jewish War: Anonymous (66-70 CE) Æ Prutah, Jerusalem, RY 2 (Hendin 1360; TJC 196)
    Obv: Amphora with broad rim and two handles
    Rev: Vine leaf on small branch with tendril

    Ancient Judaea, Procuratorial: Valerius Gratus (15-26 CE) Æ Prutah, Jerusalem, RY 4 of Tiberius (Hendin 1336; TJC 326)
    Obv: IOY ΛIA; vine leaf and small bunch of grapes
    Rev: Narrow-necked amphora with scroll handles; across field, L Δ
  7. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight I AM the Senate! Supporter

    Maroneia’s vines helped make the wine the city was famous for in antiquity.

    Maroneia, Thrace
    AE 14
    Obv: Horse prancing right, PNK monogram below
    Rev: MAΡ-ΩNI-TΩN around linear square containing vine, VE-monogram below
    Mint: Maroneia
    Date: 400-350 BC
    Ref: BMC 66

  8. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Here's Andronikos II at Thessalonica holding large lilies in each hand, ca. 1303-1306:

  9. Evan Saltis

    Evan Saltis College Dorm Collector

    Here is my example.
    Also, I think it is barley ;)
    IMG_9204.jpeg IMG_9205.jpeg
  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    How about a palm shoot?

    Augustus-Agrippa Dupondius.jpg

    There should always be room for another rose:

    Rhodes Plinthophoric Drachm Helios radiate right, Rose on rev. COMBINED jpg.jpg

    Four grain ears in a modius, with a poppy in the middle (Hadrian):

    Hadrian - Annona (Modius) COMBINED.jpg

    An olive branch, held by Pax (Commodus):

    Commodus Denarius jpg version.jpg

    Another palm branch, held by Victory, along with a wreath (Septimius Severus):

    Septimius Severus - Victory.jpg

    Venus holding apple (Julia Soaemias)

    Julia Soaemias Denarius - Venus Caelestis - jpg version.jpg

    Annona holding grain ears over modius (Philip I):

    Philip I - Annona reverse.jpg

    Spes holding flower (Herennius Etruscus)

    Herennius Etruscus - Spes (1024x489).jpg
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
  11. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    Metapontion Ar Nomos 330-290 BC Obv Head of Demeter wearing wreath of barley Rv. Seven grained ear of barley. Johnson C8.12 7.66 grms 21 mm photo by W. Hansen This is actually my first Greek coin I bought in 1986 from Tom McKenna metapontum2.jpeg
  12. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

  13. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..kool thread..i have a big plant in my house (along with a artifical Christmas tree, for now)..and right off the flip i know there's a plant on this republican denarius under the equestrian statue, my lastest coin :) L. Phillipus Marcius Equestrian on Aquaduct 003.JPG L. Phillipus Marcius Equestrian on Aquaduct 002.JPG
  14. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Yes, you're probably right. Can you tell I'm a lifelong city-slicker and have never actually seen grain growing in a field?
  15. Evan Saltis

    Evan Saltis College Dorm Collector

    my dad is in the mass-produced bread industry, ;)
    Quant.Geek and Carl Wilmont like this.
  16. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Great idea for a thread!

    The one below is my favorite coin acquired this year. I love how the plane (platanus) tree which Europa is seated in fills practically the entire obverse.

    01 CRETE Gortyna - AR Stater Europa Bull 3981 new2.jpg
    CRETE, Gortyna
    AR Stater. 11.68g, 27mm x 24.5mm. CRETE, Gortyna, circa 330-270 BC. BMC Crete pg. 38, 9, pl. IX. 8 (same rev die); SNG Cop 442; Svoronos 59. O: Europa, wearing chiton with short sleeves and peplos over lower limbs, seated right in plane (platanus orientalis?) tree; right hand on tree, heading resting pensively on left arm which is bent and supported by her knee. R: Bull standing right, head reverted, right hind leg lifted.
    Ex Matthew Curtis Collection; ex Classical Numismatic Group 100 (7 October 2015), lot 1398

    A date palm and olive tree on the provincial below:

    Trajan Decius - Samaria.jpg

    AE28. 19.77g, 27.8mm. SAMARIA, Caesarea Maritima, circa AD 249-251. Kadman 154; Rosenberger 129. O: IMP C C MES Q TRA DECI[VS AVG], laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right. R: COL PR F AVG F C [CA]ES METR P, Altar of Apollo, with horns; behind, palm tree with dates on left, olive tree on right.
    Ex NAC 59 (4 April 2011), 1420
    Notes courtesy of CNG : Kadman (p. 262) notes: " must be remembered that according to the myths of the Greeks, Apollo was born under a date-palm and an olive tree. His mother, Leto, who was known in Egypt and Palestine as Lat and in Italy as Latona, was regarded as the fertility goddess of the date-palm and the olive. We may, therefore, assume with virtual certainty, that this altar was consecrated to Apollo."

    And an oak tree on the reverse scene depicting one of Rome's founding myths.

    Antoninus Pius - As Pigs 103.jpg ANTONINUS PIUS
    AE As. 11.02g, 28.6mm. Rome mint, AD 140-144. RIC 733; Cohen 450. O: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right. R: IMPERATOR II, Sow seated by a river under an oak tree suckling three piglets, another one before her; SC in exergue.
    Ex Old Sable Collection

    "And now, lest you think this sleep's idle fancy, you’ll find
    a huge sow lying on the shore, under the oak trees,
    that has farrowed a litter of thirty young, a white sow,
    lying on the ground, with white piglets round her teats,
    That place shall be your city, there’s true rest from your labours.

    - Virgil, The Aeneid
    Book VIII : 26-65 Aeneas's Dream
  17. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I can't let this thread go without Silphium. The story goes that the last one was given to Nero who ate it. I'd guess the chances of that being true are not all that great but it is a fun story. One has to wonder if Silphium would cure Covid. I think they used it for everything else before they used up the supply in the wild.

    Kyrene, AE23 3rd century BC

    My other Silphium is not all that pretty but is a lot harder to find. The three plants are arranged 'starwize' bases to bases.
    Kyrene AE16 before 308BC

    Surely someone here has a silver Silphium???
  18. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Good idea for a thread! Here are my contributions to the garden.

    Pine tree
    corinth~0.jpg Achaea. Corinthia, Corinth. Caracalla Æ24.
    Obv: Laureate, draped bust of Caracalla left. Melikertes-Palaimon.
    Rev: CLI COR / Melikertes-Palaimon reclining right on the back of a dolphin, pine tree in background.
    24mm., 8.1 g.
    BCD Corinth 930.

    Poppy and grain
    laertesTrajan2.jpg Cilicia, Laertes. Trajan Æ21. Demeter seated
    Obv: Laureate head right.
    Rev: Demeter seated left, holding poppy and grain ears in right hand, scepter in left.
    SNG France 589-90; SNG Levante 371.

    What kind of tree is this?
    apamea.jpg Phrygia, Apamea. Demos AE24
    Obv: ΔΗΜΟϹ / bare head of the Demos (youthful), r.
    Rev: ΑΠΑΜƐΩΝ / tree

    Pine cone
    c4.jpg Phrygia, Hierapolis in alliance with Ephesus. AE22 Pseudo-autonomous. Boule/Men.
    Obv: IEPAPOLEITWN K EFECIWN, Veiled bust of Boule r.
    Rev: NEWKOPWN OMON(OIA), Men in Phrygian cap standing r., head l., r. foot on bull's skull, holding pine cone and scepter.
    BMC 187, pl. 52.5 and SNG Copenhagen 470, but seems to be from new dies on both sides.

    Commemorating the harmony with Ephesus in Ionia. Assigned to the time of Valerian/Gallienus.
  19. Alegandron

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

    Some plants of North Africa BCE

    GRAIN EARS - Libyan War

    Carthage - LIBYAN REVOLT Rebels 241-238 BCE 9.63g 24mm Shekel Sardinia mint Tanit 3 Grain ears Crescent SNG Cop 247


    KYRENAICA Kyrene Æ25 9.6g 250 BCE Diademed Zeus-Ammon r - K-O-I-N-O-N; Silphium plant; monogram SNG Cop 1278 BMC 16-19


    Carthage - Zeugitana AV 1-10th Stater-Shekel 350-320 BCE 0.94g 7.5mm Palm- Horse Head SNG COP 132
  20. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    COMMAGENE, Zeugma.

    Philip I the Arab. 247-249 AD.

    Æ31, 19.2g; 6h

    Obv.: AYTOK K M IOYΛI ФIΛIΠΠOC CЄB; Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.

    Rev.: ZЄYGM-ATЄΩN; Peribolos containing grove of trees, seen in perspective; tetrastyle temple in distance, draped figure within (Zeus?); in exergue, capricorn to right.

    Reference: Butcher 31c; BMC 35.


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