Featured Themistokles: The First Portrait Coin in History or a Very Drunk Blacksmith?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Curtisimo, Feb 12, 2021.


Who do you think is shown on the obverse?

  1. Themistokles

  2. Hephaestus

  3. The guy who invented bacon bits

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  1. Alegandron

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

    I have to post this again, cuz it is one of my favorites...

    Campania, Capua
    Bronze circa 216-211,
    Æ 14.5mm., 2.35g.
    Obv: Diademed and veiled bust of Hera r.; lotus-tipped sceptre over shoulder.
    Rev: KAPV in oscan character Grain ear; in r. field, tripod-like object.
    Ref: SNG France 517. SNG ANS 219. Historia Numorum Italy 500 Campania
    From the collection of EE Clain Stefanelli
    Ex: Naville Numismatics

    Comments: When Hannibal came through Italia, he promised the Capuan Magistrates that Capua would become the capital of Italia should he destroy Rome. Obviously, the Roman Republic prevailed in the Second Punic War. Since Capua sided with Hannibal, all coins, and anything that Capua created to popularize Hannibal were destroyed, melted down, etc. Makes Capuan coins scarcer from this Era.
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  3. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker Supporter

    A very enjoyable thread, Curtis!

    I learned a lot about the travels of Themo that I didn't know before.

    You have to hand it to him for going to Persia and talking his way into a good situation. He was clearly not shy. Great pickup on that rare coin.

    Curtisimo likes this.
  4. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    That is a fascinating coin! Thanks for sharing Brian.

    Thanks John! Yes, Themistokles is one of the most fascinating characters in history. I wish we had better documentation on what he got up to when he went to Persia. I bet those adventures would have been just as fascinating as his Persian War story.
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  5. Alegandron

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

    Thank you, Curtis. I have 3 Capua coins from the Hannibal Occupation. I really like them for their unique history. I always think of the “what if” game should it would had happened.

    LOL, I grew up with a gal whose last name is DeCapua. I explained to her that she was a traitor. LOL.
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  6. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

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  7. eparch

    eparch Well-Known Member

    Curtismo - fascinating stuff, thank you.
    I don't have any coins of Themistokles sadly,
    but I do have an interesting early and rare portrait of the satrap Spithridates

    Ionia, Achaemenid Period. Spithridates, Satrap of Lydia and Ionia, under Darius III. Circa 335-334 BC. AR Tetrobol (14mm, 2.97g). Head of satrap left, wearing Persian headdress / Forepart of Pegasos right, ΣΠI - ΘPI behind and below. BMC 18. Traité II 2, pl. LXXXIX, 1-3. L. Mildenberg, Vestigia Leonis, p. 9, pl. III, 26. W. Wroth, NC (1900), pp. 289-90, no. 23. H.A. Cahn, Revue des etudes anciennes 91 (1989), pp. 97-105. C. Harrison in: Oikistes. Studies in Honor of A.J. Graham (Leiden, 2002), pp. 301-319. J. Bodzek, Israel Numismatic Review 3 (2008).
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  8. Alegandron

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

    Wow, beautiful coin, @eparch . Very nice.

    I really enjoy the history behind this Satrap... amazing fate in history. I have an AE version...

    Persian Empire
    Spithridates, Achaemenid satrap of Sparda (Lydia and Ionia)
    ca 334 BC
    AE10, 1.20g
    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
    Ex: Rudnik Numismatics
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
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  9. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Thanks for the kind word @eparch and great Spithridates coins!

    I’ll post my Spithridates example Ex @Ryro !
    Achaemenid Empire
    Spithridates as Satrap
    AE10, mint in Ionia or Lydia, struck 334 BC
    Dia.: 10 mm
    Wt.: 1.5 g
    Obv.: Head of Spithridates right, wearing bashlyk
    Rev.: Forepart of horse right; TO monogram in upper left
    field, ΣΠ-I below and in right field
    Ref.: SNG Copenhagen 1538; SNG von Aulock 1823; Klein 367; Babelon, Perses 380
    Ex Ryro Collection
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