Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by zumbly, Nov 5, 2020.
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this example that sold in a CNG auction some years ago. Because of the general rarity and desirability of the type, it sold for a whopping price, despite its low grade and problems.
I always figured I'd never score one of my own, but earlier this month, I actually managed to, and for a tiny fraction of the price of the CNG example. Though mine has even more problems and is so bargain bin that it wasn't even in the bin but probably underneath it, I'm nevertheless feeling fortunate to have it.
KINGDOM OF MAURETANIA. Cleopatra Selene II.
AE30. 12.46g, 30.2mm. Iol-Caesarea mint, circa 20 BC - AD 20. SNG Copenhagen 612; Mazard 395; MAA 214. O: [BACIΛICCA] KΛE[ΟΠΑΤΡA], diademed and draped bust right. R: KΛEΟΠΑΤ[ΡA], Crocodile right; [BACIΛICCA] in exergue.
There are a few theories regarding the issuance of coins with Cleopatra Selene's solo portrait. One is that they were struck during a possible period of her regency, when she ruled Mauretania on behalf of her husband Juba, who between 2 BC and AD 2 was traveling abroad in the entourage of Gaius Caesar (Augustus's grandson). Another is that she and Juba may have been divorced for a short period when he had married Glaphyra of Cappadocia while in the East with Gaius, and that this coinage is part of an autonomous issue struck when Selene ruled some territories independently. Obviously both of these theories are highly speculative.
This crocodile type is in any case one I especially like because of how it contrasts with the contemporary crocodile coins of Nemausus. Where the Nemausus crocodile is chained, a symbol of the Roman conquest of Egypt that the veteran soldiers who were settled in Namausus had participated in, Selene's crocodile on the other hand represents her unabashed celebration of her royal Ptolemaic lineage. It was her announcement that, "Yes, we are still here!"
My Nemausus croc:
AUGUSTUS & AGRIPPA
AE As. 12.0g, 26.4mm. GAUL, Nemausus, circa 20-10 BC. RIC I 156. O: IMP/DIVI•F•, head of Agrippa left, wearing combined rostral crown and laurel wreath, bare head of Augustus right. R: COL-NIM, crocodile right chained to palm branch, wreath above, palm fronds below.
@zumbly. Here's another Juba II as I have no Cleopatra Selene.
Kings of Mauritania, Juba II, 25 BC-AD 24, AR Denarius, Caesarea mint
Obv: Diademed head right
Rev: Cornucopia; transverse scepter in background, crescent to upper right
Notes: son of King Juba of Numidia who was killed and lost his kingdom with Caesar's victory over the Pompeians at Thapsus in 46 BC. He was educated in Rome and became friend to Octavian/Augustus, who in 25 BC gave his friend the North African Kingdom of Mauretania. He married Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt.
Lovely example of a type that’s on my want list. Thanks for showing it.
While trolling the internet last night I stumbled upon an article in the Oct-Nov 2018 NILE Magazine titled "Kleopatara Selene: The Last Ptolemy" by Rebecca Batley. It includes some very nice coin pictures. The entire magazine PDF is here.
The provenance of your Juba II/Selene coin is nice too. Stein A. Evensen is a doctor and university professor emeritus from Norway, and author of this book:
Thanks for that link, Broucheion! Great article, and yes, beautiful coins chosen to illustrate the article. I enjoyed it very much, and I think I will the rest of the magazine too!
Thanks so much, Svessien. I poked around online after I bought the coin to see what more I could find about the previous owner. I somehow missed noticing the fact that he had authored a book about Roman coins. I'll be on the look out for it.
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