Top 15 Roman Provincials for 2021

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, Dec 3, 2021.


Vote for up to 3 favorites

  1. # 1. Roman Egypt, Claudius/Antonia

  2. # 2. Roman EGypt, Nero/Divus Augustus

  3. #3. Cilicia, Anazarbus (Domitian/Domitia)

  4. #4. Roman Egypt, Trajan/Trajan in Quadriga of Elephants

  5. #5. Roman Egypt, Hadrian/Serpent Agathodaemon

  6. #6. Roman Egypt, Hadrian/Pharaoh (Amenemhat III)

  7. #7. Roman Egypt, Hadrian/Mummiform Ptah-Sokar-Osiris

  8. #8. Roman Egypt, Hadrian/Isis with Infant Harpocrates

  9. #9. Roman Egypt, Hadrian/Sphinx

  10. #10. Cappadocia, Caesarea, Hadrian/Club

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I'm too indecisive to narrow the list down to 10, so I've decided to post 15, in chronological order to the extent that's possible. Of course the photos won't all fit in one post, but the second one shouldn't take long to finish after I put up the first one. Unfortunately, the poll template appears to allow the listing of only ten choices, so if you want to vote for one of nos. 11-15 as well (or instead), I encourage you to post a "write-in" vote by naming the coin in a comment.

    I'm omitting or cutting short a lot of the footnotes I wrote for these coins, but will try to find the links to the original threads and post them here for anyone interested. To save space, I will also try to give the full citations to the various catalogs and other reference works I cite only the first time I cite them.

    There's no way to say this without coming across as being overly defensive, but please don't judge these coins by the same standards of condition and quality that you would Roman Imperial or Roman Republican coins. Full, readable legends? Wishful thinking for the most part! As our resident expert on Roman Provincials, especially Roman Egyptian coins, has said, it's all (or mostly) about finding coins with interesting reverses. Plus, even if the designs are often rather crude compared to a lot of Roman Imperials or Republicans -- never mind many ancient Greek coins -- I find many Provincials to be extremely appealing visually nonetheless. De gustibus non disputandum est, as the Romans used to say. (Or would have said had they ever really existed, now that we know that's in question.)

    1. Claudius I, billon [Sear]/AR [RPC] Tetradrachm, Year 2 [41/42 AD], Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate head right, ΤΙ ΚΛΑVΔΙ ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒΑ ΓΕΡΜΑΝΙ ΑVΤΟΚΡ around, LΒ [Year 2] under chin / Rev. Draped bust of Antonia [Claudius’s mother] right, ΑΝΤΩΝΙΑ upwards to left, ΣΕΒΑΣΤΗ downwards to right. ); RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. I 5117 (1992); RPC I Online at; Emmett 73.2 [Emmett, Keith, Alexandrian Coins (Lodi, WI, 2001)]; Sear RCV I 1868 (ill.); Sear GIC 492 (ill.) [D. Sear, Greek Imperial Coins and their Values (1982)]; BMC 16 Alexandria 65 at p. 9 [Poole, Reginald Stuart, A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Vol. 16, Alexandria (London, 1892)]; K&G 12.3 [Kampmann, Ursula & Granschow, Thomas, Die Münzen der römischen Münzstätte Alexandria (2008)]; Milne 61-64 at p. 3 [Milne, J.G., Catalogue of Alexandrian Coins (Oxford 1933, reprint with supplement by Colin M. Kraay, 1971)]; Dattari (Savio) 114 [Savio, A. ed., Catalogo completo della collezione Dattari Numi Augg. Alexandrini (Trieste, 2007)]. 24 mm., 11.25 g.

    Claudius I - Antonia (mother) Roman Alexandria Tetradrachm jpg version.jpg

    2. Nero and Divus Augustus, Billon Tetradrachm, Year 13 (66/67 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Radiate head of Nero left, ΝΕΡΩ ΚΛΑV ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒ ΓΕΡ AY; in left field, LIE (Year 13) / Rev. Radiate head of Augustus right, ΘΕΟΣ ΣΕΒΑΣΤΟΣ. 24 mm., 11.6 g. RPC I Online 5294 (see, Emmett 113.13, Milne 251 at p. 7, BMC 16 Alexandria 112 at p. 15, Dattari (Savio) 184, Sear RCV I 2007 (ill. p. 394).

    Nero-Divus Augustus Alexandrian Tetradrachm.jpg

    3. Domitian and Domitia, AE 22.7, 93/94 AD, Cilicia, Anazarbus. Obv. Laureate head of Domitian to right, AYTO KAI ΘΕ YI ΔOMITIANOC CE ΓEP around from upper right / Rev. Draped bust of Domitia left, date IB P (= Year 112, = 93/94 AD)* across fields, star behind head, KAICAPEΩN ΔOMETIA CEBACTH around from lower left. RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. II 1749; RPC Online at ; SNG Levante 1367 [Levante, E., Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Switzerland I, Levante-Cilicia (Zurich, 1986)] (see; BMC Vol. 21 Lycaonia, Anazarbus 9 p. 32 [Hill, G.F., A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Greek Coins of Lycaonia, Isauria, and Cilicia (London, 1900)]. 22.7 mm., 10.09 g. (Purchased from Zuzim Inc, Brooklyn, NY Jan. 2021; exported from Israel 2016 pursuant to IAA [Israel Antiquities Authority] Export License No. 531619, April 17, 2016.) (Double die-match to RPC II 1749, specimen no. 16; see

    COMBINED Domitian & Domitia Cilicia, Anazarbus.jpg

    *Year 1 of era was 19 BCE, date of founding of Anazarbus after visit of Augustus.

    4. Trajan, AE Drachm, Year 15 (111/112 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate bust right, nude and with aegis on left shoulder, ΑΥΤ ΤΡΑΙΑΝ ϹЄΒ ΓЄΡΜ ΔΑΚΙΚ / Rev. Emperor (Trajan), laureate and togate, standing in elephant quadriga, right. holding eagle-tipped sceptre and branch; first three elephants with trunks turned down at end and fourth elephant with trunk turned up; in exergue, L IƐ (Year 15). RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. III 4605.4 (2015); RPC Online at ; Emmett 462.15; Dattari (Savio) 769; BMC 16 Alexandria 512; Milne 669 at p. 19. 33.5 mm., 21.26 g. Purchased from Odysseus- Numismatique, Montpellier, France, June 2021.

    alexandria-trajan-elephant quadriga drachm.jpg

    5. Hadrian, Billon Tetradrachm, Year 3 (118/119 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate head right, drapery on left shoulder, AYT KAIC TPAIANOC -AΔΡΙΑNOC ϹƐΒ (clockwise from 5:00) / Rev. Serpent Agathodaemon standing erect right, crowned with pschent/skhent [the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt] , tongue protruding, with coils enfolding caduceus to left and stalks of corn to right; L - Γ (Year 3) across fields. RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. III 5149; RPC III Online at; Emmett 803.3; BMC 16 Alexandria 665 (at p. 79) [ill. as RPC III 5149, specimen 2]; K&G 32.68 (at p. 118); Dattari (Savio) 1541; Milne 918 at p. 25 [ill. as RPC III 5149, specimen 13]. 24 mm., 13.81 g., 12 h. Purchased from July 2021, ex. Collection of Aymé Cornu (1926-2020) (Engineer. - Head of the mass spectrometry laboratory at the Center for Nuclear Studies in Grenoble, France; see *

    Hadrian Agathodaemon, jpg version.jpg

    *The serpent Agathodaemon or Agathos Daimon -- translated variously as good spirit, noble spirit, or good genius -- was sacred to Serapis, and was worshipped in every Egyptian town. “On the coins he is always represented erect, and usually wearing the skhent, in the midst of corn and poppies, generally with a caduceus, also rising from the ground.” BMC 16 Alexandria, p. lxxxvi. The Numiswiki definition of Agathodaemon, at, states as follows: “Agathodaemon (Greek: ‘good spirit’) was a god of the vineyards and grainfields and of good luck, health and wisdom. It was customary to drink or pour out a glass of unmixed wine to honor him in every meal. He was the spouse or companion of Tyche Agathe (later Agatha). He was represented in art as a serpent or as a young man bearing a cornucopia and a bowl in one hand, and a poppy and an ear of corn [U.S.: grain] in the other. The agathodaemon was later adapted into a general daemon of good luck, particularly of the abundance of a family 's good food and drink.”

    It should be noted that there is a wide variety of coin types showing the Agathodaemon, under Hadrian and other emperors (and empresses) from Nero to Gallienus. For example, the serpent Agathodaemon frequently appears on tetradrachms, diobols, and drachms, and is shown both with and without the caduceus and corn stalks -- and, sometimes, when they are present, with the corn stalks to the left and the caduceus to the right. The Agathodaemon is also sometimes shown with the head of Serapis, and sometimes appears with the Uraeus snake facing it. It occasionally appears riding a horse. There is also a variety, at least for Hadrian, with a star in the right field of the obverse.

    The article entitled “The Agathos Daimon in Greco-Egyptian religion,” by João Pedro Feliciano, at is quite informative, and it is worth quoting it extensively even though its primary focus is on the Agathodaemon as represented on stelae and statues, rather than on coins. [Remainder of footnote, with lengthy discussion of and quotation from the cited article, is omitted. It can be found at]

    6. Hadrian, AE Nome Obol, Year 11 (126/127 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint (for Arsinoite Nome). Obv. Laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder, AΥΤ ΚΑΙ - ΤΡΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑ ϹΕΒ / Rev. Head of Egyptian Pharaoh right, no beard [identified with Amenemhat III, under Greco-Roman name of Pramarres], wearing nemes [royal striped headdress] with uraeus [sacred cobra, worn by deities and pharaohs] at forehead; APCI (= Arsi[noites]) to left, date L IA (Year 11) to right. RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. III 6296 (2015); RPC Online at ; Emmett 1211.11; BMC 16 Alexandria, Nomes 72-73 at p. 357; Sear RCV II 3831 (ill.); Köln 3381/82 [Geissen, A., Katalog alexandrinischer Kaisermünzen, Köln, Band II (Hadrian-Antoninus Pius) (Cologne, 1978, corrected reprint 1987)]; K&G N6.6; Milne 1229 at p. 30 (var. with beard; see p. 139 col. 2 bottom). 19.4 mm., 5.32 g. (Purchased from Zuzim Inc., Brooklyn, NY Jan 2021; ex. Fontanille Coins, Auction 96, July 2017, Lot 7, sold as “the finest example [that dealer] ha[d] seen.”)*

    [Photo has obv. to right and rev. to left]
    Fontanille coins Auction 96 July 2017 No. 7 (Hadrian-Pharaoh, Alexandria Yr 11).jpg

    *The Nomes (from Greek: Νομός, "district") were the 60-70 administrative divisions of Egypt under the Ptolemies and Romans; the Egyptian term for a nome was “sepat.” See The Arsinoite Nome (known as “Arsinoites”), the capital of which was the city of Arsinoe, corresponded to the area of the Fayum Oasis or Basin, Lake Moeris, etc., west of the Nile and southwest of Cairo. See It encompassed, among other things, the pyramid of Amenemhet III near the town of Hawara, north of the lake (the site of the famous necropolis where the Fayum mummy portraits were discovered). See id., see also the discussion, with photos including one of the Hawara pyramid, by “@jochen1” at

    The Nomes coins were small bronze issues minted in Alexandria, each with the head of the reigning emperor on the obverse, and the name (in full or abbreviated, as with this coin) of a different Nome written in Greek on the reverse, together with an image ostensibly bearing some relationship to a deity or to cult worship associated with that Nome. They were issued under Domitian, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius Caesar. See Numiswiki, supra. See also Emmett at p. xv for a discussion of the Nomes coinage, noting that Hadrian issued “the most nome coins in terms of numbers of coins issued, numbers of different reverse types and numbers of nomes.” Indeed, Emmett specifically singles out this type from among Hadrian’s extensive series of bronze Nome obols and dichalkons issued in Year 11, as one of “only two interesting reverse types that appear on Hadrian’s obols: that of a bust of an Egyptian King on his Arsinoite nome obol”; it is the only Nomes type bearing such an image. Id. Emmett makes no attempt to identify which “King.” However, RPC III 1749 expressly identifies the reverse image as “head of Premarres (Amenemhet III),” who reigned in the 12th Dynasty, from 1842-1797 BC. (The more common spellings seem to be “Pramarres” and “Amenenhat.”). The evidence available online appears to support that identification. [Remainder of footnote, with lengthy discussion of the evidence, is omitted. It can be found at]

    7. Hadrian, Billon Tetradrachm, Year 12 (127/128 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from rear, ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ - ΤΡΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑ ϹƐΒ / Rev. Mummiform Ptah-Sokar-Osiris* standing right, wearing solar disk as headdress, holding was scepter tipped with jackal head, L ΔWΔƐ-ΚΑΤΟΥ [= Year 12 spelled out]. RPC III Online 5713 at, Emmett 883.12; BMC 16 Alexandria 637 & Pl. XXIII [Poole, Reginald Stuart, A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Vol. 16, Alexandria (London, 1892)]; Sear RCV II 3732; Köln 982; Dattari (Savio) 1445; Milne 1262 at p. 31 (scepter with jackal-head top); K&G 32.458. 24 mm., 13.85 g., 11 h.

    Hadrian Alexandria - mummiform Osiris jpg version.jpg

    *From the description in the CNG Triton XXI Catalog (Staffieri Collection, Jan 9. 2018) of the example from the Dattari Collection (No. 1445), sold in the Triton XXI auction as Lot 61: “The image of the Ptah-Sokar-Osiris divinity belongs to Egyptian theology, and in particular to funeral worship. It brings together three famous members of the Pharaonic Pantheon through their respective symbols: the headdress and scepter for Ptah, the solar disk for Osiris, and the mummiform wrappings for Sokar – the ‘Lord of the Necropolis.’ These three associated divinities call upon the concepts of ‘mourning’ and ‘life’, evoking at the same time the pain associated with death and the hope of resurrection. The main sanctuaries of Ptah, Sokar, and Osiris were at Memphis and Abydos.”

    8. Hadrian, AE Diobol, Year 16 (131/132 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from rear, ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ - ΤΡΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑ ϹƐΒ / Rev. Isis as mother, crowned with disk and horns, seated right on throne, offering left breast to infant Harpocrates (Horus-as-child) sitting on her knee crowned with skhent and holding lotus stalk in left hand; on corners of back of throne, two hawks/falcons (representing Horus), facing each other, each wearing skhent, L - IϚ [= Year 16] across fields. Emmett 1138.16; RPC III Online 5813 at; BMC 16 Alexandria 762 at p. 90 & PL. XVI Dattari (Savio) 1749; Köln 1046; K&G 32.530 cf. Milne 1345-1346 at p. 33 [var. Isis seated left*]. Purchased from Shick Coins, Ashdod, Israel, Dec. 2020; Israel Antiquities Authority Export License No. 42927, 02/02/2021. 23 mm., 8.6 g.

    Hadrian Roman Alexandria Diobol, Isis & Harpokrates reverse.jpg

    *The description in Milne may be erroneous, since neither Emmett nor BMC 16 lists any diobols for Hadrian with Isis seated left holding Harpocrates, whether in Year 16 or any other year.

    9. Hadrian, AE Drachm, Year 18 (133/134 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate head right wearing cloak (paladumentum) and cuirass, seen from behind, AVT KAIC TPAIAN - ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟϹ ϹƐΒ / Rev. Sphinx with female human head and body of lioness, seated left, crowned with kalathos, wearing long drop earrings, wings curled upwards, tail erect, right forepaw resting on wheel, LI - H (Year 18) across fields. RPC III Online 5915 (see ), Emmett 1053.18, Milne 1427 at p. 34, BMC 16 Alexandria 848 at p. 99, K&G 32.603 (ill. p. 145), Dattari (Savio) 1996, Köln (Geissen) 1134 (same obverse die). Ex. Economopoulos Numismatics, Holicong PA, Oct. 2021 (Nick Economopoulos, formerly of Pegasi Numismatics); ex. CNG (Classical Numismatic Group), Mail Bid Sale 58, Lot 976, Sep. 19, 2001 (ill. at Catalog p. 108). 33 mm., 26.23 g.

    COMBINED Hadrian - Sphinx - Alexandria.jpg

    10. Hadrian, AR Didrachm, 128-138 AD, Caesarea. Cappadocia Mint. Obv. Laureate head right, ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟϹ - ϹΕΒΑϹΤΟϹ/ Rev. Club, handle at top, ΥΠΑΤΟϹ Γ ΠΑ-ΤΗΡ ΠΑΤΡΙΔΟϹ [ΥΠΑΤΟϹ Γ = COS III, 128-138 AD; ΠΑΤΗΡ ΠΑΤΡΙΔΟϹ = Pater Patriae]. RPC III Online 3109 at ; Sydenham 280 [E. Sydenham, The Coinage of Caesarea in Cappadocia (1933)]; Metcalf, Caesarea 280 [Metcalf, W.E., The Silver Coinage of Cappadocia, Vespasian-Commodus. ANSNNM (American Numismatic Society, Numismatic Notes & Monographs) No. 166 (New York 1996)]; SNG Von Aulock 6422 [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 3: Pisidia, Lycaonia, Cilicia, Galatia, Cappadocia, Cyprus, Imperial Cistophori, Posthumous Lysimachus, Alexander tetradrachms (Berlin, 1964)]; Ganschow 178d [Ganschow, T., Münzen von Kappadokien, Band 1 Konigreich und Kaisareia bis 192 n. Chr. (Istanbul 2018). 21 mm., 6.02 g. Double die match to CNG E-Auction 110, 16 Mar 2005, Lot 134. See

    Hadrian didrachm - club reverse Caesarea  Cappadocia jpg version.jpg

    [Nos. 11-15 in next post, to follow shortly. As stated above, if you want to vote for one of those coins instead of or in addition to selecting from nos. 1-10, it appears that you'll have to post a "write-in" vote by naming the coin in a comment.]
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    11. Hadrian, AE 18, Baris, Pisidia (SW Anatolia N of Lycia, near today’s Farı mevkii, Kılıç, Turkey), 118-138 AD. Obv. Laureate and draped bust right, AYT TRAI AΔPIANOC / Rev. Emperor in military dress, on horseback galloping right, brandishing javelin at serpent beneath horse’s hooves, BAPHNΩN. RPC III Online 2776 (see (4 specimens; 14 on acsearch); Von Aulock, Pisidiens II 236-7 leg. corr.; SNG Copenhagen Part 32 107-108 var. (obv. legend); SNG von Aulock Vol. 3 5009 var. (same). Purchased at JAZ Numismatics Auction 195, Lot 10, 2 Dec. 2021; ex. Auktionshaus H. D. Rauch GmbH, Auction 103, Lot 107, 23 March 2017. 18 mm., 3.9 g., 6 h.

    Photo by our own @John Anthony:

    Hadrian - Pisidia Baris (Hadrian on horseback with serpent).jpg

    Additional “false color” photo by @John Anthony to show details better, including the “Dünne Reinigungskratzer” on reverse, mentioned in the H.D. Rauch 2017 description:

    COMBINED false color Hadrian - Pisidia, Baris.jpg

    12. Antoninus Pius AE Drachm, Zodiac Series, Sun in Leo (day house), Year 8 (144-145 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate head right, ΑYΤ Κ Τ ΑΙΛ ΑΔΡ ΑΝΤѠΝƐΙΝΟϹ ϹƐ-Β ƐYϹ (legend begins at 8:00) / Rev. Lion springing right; above to left, bust of Helios, radiate and draped; above to right, 8-pointed star; L H (Year 8) below. RPC IV.4 Online 13547 (temp.) (see ); Emmett 1530.8 (ill. p. 74A); BMC 16 Alexandria 1084 at p. 127 (ill. Pl. 12); Milne 1813-1815 at p. 44 (No. 1815 has same obv. legend break as this coin, i.e., ϹƐ-Β ƐVϹ); Dattari (Savio) 2968; K&G 35.278 (ill. p. 173); Köln (Geissen) 1495. Ex. Dr. Busso Peus Nachfolger, Auction 428, Lot 555, 28 Apr. 2021; ex. Heidelberger Münzhandlung Herbert Grün e.K., Auction 79, Lot 1284, 10 Nov. 2020.* 33 mm., 20.95 g.


    *See Classical Numismatic Group, Triton XXI Catalog (“The Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection of the Coins of Roman Alexandria,” Jan 9. 2018), Lot 124, p. 68 (not this coin) (available at

    “The Great Sothic Cycle was a calendrical cycle based on the heliacal rising in July of the star Sirius (known to the Greeks as Sothis) and lasting approximately 1460 years. According to ancient Egyptian mythology, in a Golden Age, the beginning of the flooding of the Nile coincided exactly with the rising of Sirius, which was reckoned as the New Year. Only once every 1460 years did Sirius rise at exactly the same time. Thus, the coincidence of this along with the concurrent beginning of the flooding of the Nile gave the event major cosmological significance by heralding not just the beginning of a new year, but the beginning of a new eon. This event also was thought to herald the appearance of the phoenix, a mythological bird which was reborn every 500 to 1000 years out of its own ashes. According to one version of the myth, each new phoenix embalmed its old ashes in an egg of myrrh, which it then deposited in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis. So important was the advent of the new Great Sothic Cycle, both to the realignment of the heavens and its signaling of the annual flooding of the Nile, that the Egyptians celebrated it in a five-day festival, which emphasized the important cosmological significance.

    In the third year of the reign of Antoninus Pius (AD 139/40), a new Great Sothic Cycle began. To mark this event, the mint of Alexandria struck an extensive series of coinage, especially in large bronze drachms, each related in some astrological way to the reordering of the heavens during the advent of the new Great Sothic Cycle. This celebration would continue throughout Pius’ reign, with an immense output of coinage during the eighth year of his reign in Egypt, which included this coin type, part of the Zodiac series.” [Remainder of footnote omitted; it can be found at]

    13. Elagabalus, Billon Tetradrachm, Year 3 (219/220 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate head right, Α ΚΑΙϹΑΡ ΜΑ ΑΥΡ - ΑΝΤѠΝΙΝΟϹ ƐΥϹƐΒ / Rev. Nike advancing right, holding wreath out with right hand and palm branch over left shoulder with left hand, L Γ [Year 3] before her. RPC VI Online 10053 (temporary) (see; Emmett 2939.3 (R2); Dattari (Savio) 4122; Milne 2776 at p. 69 (wreath-ties “d,” one turned forwards, the other backwards); Geissen (Köln) 2320; K&G 56.28. 23 mm., 12.40 g., 12 h. Ex. CNG E-Auction 403, Lot 432, Aug 9, 2017 (see; Ex. Hermanubis Collection.

    Elagabalus - Alexandria tetradrachm - Nike on reverse - jpg version.jpg

    14. Philip II, AE Tetrassarion, 247-249 AD, Moesia Inferior, Tomis [now Constanţa, Romania]. Obv. Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from rear, Μ ΙΟΥΛ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟC ΚΑΙCΑΡ / Rev. Griffin seated left with right paw on top of wheel [representing Nemesis*], ΜΗ-ΤΡΟ-Π-ΠΟ-ΝΤΟ, continued in exergue in two lines: Υ ΤΟΜΕ/ΩϹ(ME ligate), Δ in right field [signifying the denomination, 4 assaria]. 27 mm., 12.22 g. RPC VIII Online 28171 [temporary ID number] (see [this coin is Specimen 7, used as primary illustration for type, see ]; Varbanov 5781 [Varbanov, Ivan, Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Volume I: Dacia, Moesia Superior & Moesia Inferior (English Edition) (Bourgas, Bulgaria, 2005)]. Purchased from Herakles Numismatics, Jan. 2021; ex. I-Nummis, Paris, Mail Bid Sale 6, Nov. 7, 2008, Lot 399 (see|348|399|a3b582d0b87f863b39d084dd851a7a89). [“Scarce”: 11 specimens in RPC (including this coin), 6 examples in ACSearch (including this coin).]

    Philip II Moesia, Tomis (Gryphon & wheel) jpg version.jpg

    *See : “The image of a griffin supporting one of its forepaws on a wheel appears in Roman art by the first century AD. The wheel, a symbol of the cyclical movement of human fortune, and the winged griffin are both distinctive attributes of Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance, who is also often represented with wings. In a first-century AD wall painting from the House of the Fabii at Pompeii, Apollo and two female figures are accompanied by a winged griffin with a wheel. This motif also occurs on coins of Alexandria dating to the reign of the emperor Domitian (AD 81–96). Scenes depicting Nemesis with a griffin are especially common during the second and third centuries AD and occur in many different media, including coins, gems, statues, and funerary and votive reliefs. The particular image of a griffin resting its paw on a wheel, typically seated at the foot of Nemesis, is so pervasive that it eventually became a symbol for the goddess herself. For example, a limestone mold of the second to third centuries AD from Egypt, possibly from Alexandria, shows a griffin and a wheel with the Greek inscription Nemesis.

    Representations of the griffin with a wheel unaccompanied by Nemesis, as in the Getty mosaic, are particularly common in North Africa and the eastern periphery of the Roman Empire. The motif appears in the second and third centuries AD in Egyptian statuettes in faience [see image at], relief stelai from the amphitheater at Leptis Magna in present-day Libya; tomb paintings in Jordan; a votive marble statue from Erez, Israel, bearing a dedicatory inscription in Greek (dated AD 210–211); gems from Caesarea Maritima in Israel and Gadara in Jordan; and terracotta tesserae from Palmyra. While the worship of Nemesis was widespread across the Roman Empire, it was particularly prevalent in Egypt, where she had a pre-Roman cult, and in Syria and the surrounding regions, where she was associated with several important local deities, including the classical goddesses Tyche (personification of fortune) and Nike (personification of victory) and the Arabic deities Allath (goddess of war) and Manawat (goddess of fate).” [Footnotes omitted.]

    15. Trajan Decius, billon Tetradrachm, 249-251 AD, Syria Coele, Antioch Mint. Obv. Radiate bust right, three pellets below (•••), ΑΥΤ Κ Γ ΜƐ ΚΥ ΔƐΚΙΟϹ ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟϹ ϹƐΒ / Rev. Eagle standing left on palm branch, wings spread, wreath in beak, ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ƐΞΟΥϹΙΑϹ [= Tribunicia Potestas], in exergue: S C. [Group II, Officina 3.] RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Online IX 1644 (see ); Prieur 540 (11). McAlee 1120c. 24 mm., 12.85 g.

    Trajan Decius-eagle Antioch tetradrachm jpg version.jpg
  4. El Cazador

    El Cazador Well-Known Member

    @DonnaML - great coins, but honestly hoping to see your top 20 RR denarii

    PS - Voted for #1, 10, 3
    Severus Alexander and DonnaML like this.
  5. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks. All in good time. I've explained why I can't choose those yet. Sorry you're disappointed to see these instead -- I was afraid that that would be the reaction. Roman Provincials aren't for everyone.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
    panzerman, galba68 and El Cazador like this.
  6. kirispupis

    kirispupis Supporter! Supporter

    Nice provincials! I'd have to go with the Trajan quadriga or the Philip II tetrassarion. I really love the reverses of these coins.
    DonnaML likes this.
  7. El Cazador

    El Cazador Well-Known Member

    With all honesty - I do like provincials, but that list is limited to Syrian Tetradrachms of the 12 Caesars & decent Caracalla portraits: pretty much what @Al Kowsky collects
  8. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    I liked the griffin and the elephants.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
    DonnaML likes this.
  9. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Sweet coins DonnaML! Ialways find provincial coins interesting and appealing. I can imagine collecting provincials when Im done with the emperors, which are interesting but tend to be less imaginative in design. Never mind the lesser quality etc, you decide what to collect and like. Some just like the shiny neat stuff. Im somewhere in between, going for imperial coins with interesting reverses :D

    Haha, 15, really? Rub it in my face! My total this year is just about 18....

    J/k, of course. Its a very interesting collection of provincial coins. Ill stick to ten for my list, I like the challenge of deciding, although I like all my additions.

    I voted for no. 4 and 6, and add no 12 in this reply.
    DonnaML likes this.
  10. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Voted for the snake
    DonnaML and spirityoda like this.
  11. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    These are all great Donna, so many interesting Alexandrians in this group.

    The Trajan drachm (#4) with the elephant quadriga is by far my favorite…incredible reverse, nice portrait, great patina, and even a clear obverse legend. A wonderful coin.

    I also love the big Hadrian bronze with the Sphinx reverse (#9) and the Hadrian tet with the great Agathodaemon reverse (#5).
    DonnaML likes this.
  12. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Donna, You scored some great Roman provincials this year :happy:! My favorite should be no surprise, it's #15, the stunning Trajan Decius Tet :D. My 2nd favorite is the hefty Trajan drachm with the elephant quadriga :joyful:, & my 3rd favorite is the Hadrian drachm with sphinx ;). I was lucky to score a nice looking Trajan Decius Tet, also from the 3rd officina, several years ago pictured below. My coin has a completely different reverse with the eagle facing the other way. There are an amazing number of different coin types for Trajan Decius, especially when you consider how short his reign was.
    T.D. (2).jpg
    Seleucis & Pieria, Antioch. Trajan Decius, AD 249-251 (struck AD 250/1). Billon Tetradrachm: 14.05 gm, 27 mm, 11 h, Officina #3 (three dots). Prieur 581; McAlee 1125c (this coin illustrated). Ex CNG 439, lot 403. Ex Michel Prieur Collection.
  13. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    All fun coins, @DonnaML! I love Roman provincials! Among your top 10, I went with the elephant quadriga (because who doesn't like elephant quadrigas?) but I really like the Phil II/Sphinx from Tomis and -- probably because I'm a Leo myself as well as an Antonine collector -- the AP with the sun in Leo reverse type. You had a fantastic year of collecting!
    DonnaML likes this.
  14. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    A great group and unsurprisingly, my three favorites are Alexandrian: Hadrian Arsinoite nome obol with pharaoh, Hadrian tet with mummiform Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, and Trajan drachm with elephant quad.

    I like every one of the coins on the list and it's easy to see why you chose each of them. :)
  15. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

  16. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    LOVE all of your ancient Egyptian iconography:kiss::bookworm::singing:
    For better or worse, whenever given an option to vote on favorites I give my opinion even when it's an area I'm not well versed in (we've all opinions and armpits:happy:). Hard not to fall for a coin with the image of a Pharoah on it:jawdrop: and an elephant quadriga :woot::woot::woot::woot: get outta town. Amazing! And lastly, though I could very easily have gone with a big bad ace CLUB in silver (can you say club envy, Hadrian?), I couldn't resist the sphinx:cat:
    What a wonderful year:)
    Best I can offer up is a tiny Egyptian T rage with the Hemhem crown reverse:
    25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D. dichalkon Alexandria mint, 1.660g, 14.3mm, die axis 0o obverse no legend, laureate head right; reverse no legend, Hemhem crown, date in lower field divided by ram horns; Emmett 707, F, a bit rough, ragged flan
    from the Ray Nouri Collection
    The Hemhem crown, also known as the triple Atef crown, was symbol of Pharaonic power and authority credited with magical abilities that would protect Egypt from any enemy. It originated during the 18th dynasty was first seen in an image of the pharaoh Akhenaten in a tomb at Amarna. A Hemhem crown is worn Tutankhamen on the back of the gilded throne discovered in his tomb. No examples of this type of crown are known to have survived.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
    panzerman, Limes, Broucheion and 5 others like this.
  17. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    All wonderful selections, @DonnaML! :)

    I especially like your coins #1 and #3, since both have empress portraits. Your #5 and #11 (coins with snake design) are my favorites as well.

    I wonder if there is any special meaning of a horseman spearing a snake. I have seen coin designs of spearing a dragon or fallen enemies, but not snakes.
    DonnaML likes this.
  18. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Ancient Kingdoms Supporter

    Wow, what a year :singing: Great portraits and reverse sides.

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
    panzerman, Carl Wilmont and DonnaML like this.
  19. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Great stuff Donna.
    DonnaML likes this.
  20. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    I like 4, 5 & 9. It is hard to go wrong with elephants, snakes and Sphinx.
    DonnaML likes this.
  21. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Hi @DonnaML - lots of interesting coins in your list - Trajan and his elephants stand out, and I also liked the Cappadocia Hadrian didrachm.
    DonnaML likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page