T'was beauty killed the beast: A few of my favorite ancients and the why. Let's see yours!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, May 4, 2021.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    A CT pal and I have been PMing back and forth on some of our recent wins, what's beautiful to us and why we like them. And it's been really fun as our tastes are similar but we have different goals. It reminded me just how much I enjoy hearing about why others are drawn to this unique/quirky/sexy hobby of ours.
    Frankly, I really don't understand why more folks aren't into history, specifically ancients!
    What are they all thinking NOT collecting ancients!?!

    Anyways, on to the coins!
    This might be my first favorite coin. The kind when it finally arrives you can't believe you have it so much that the next day you are still eager to get it in hand to run it through your fingers and look at it through good light. Oh, and artistry, dolphins, beautiful lady, history, Sicily and it having been made by an actual Celator:artist: and not some scrub die engraver:clown:;)
    She's a

    SICILY. Syracuse. Deinomenid Tyranny
    485-466 BC. AR Tetradrachm (24mm - 17.45 g). Struck circa 480-475 BC. Charioteer driving walking quadriga right, holding kentron and reins; Nike flying above crowning horses / Diademed head of Arethusa right, surrounded by four dolphins swimming clockwise. Boehringer 134 (V60/R93); SNG ANS 38 (same dies); Randazzo -. rev sl off-ctr, sl surface imperfections,most notably a horizontal scratchlike flaw in obv right field.

    And then my next "favorite" came along. And she was BIG, beautiful and a

    from one of the most fascinating and pivotal times in all of history... imagine if Hannibal HAD marched on Rome!?
    ROMAN REPUBLIC. Anonymous. AE Aes Grave Triens (92.37 gms), Rome Mint, ca. 225-217 B.C. VERY FINE.
    Cr-35/3a; TV-53. Obverse: Helmeted head of Minerva left; four pellets (mark of value) below; all set upon raised disk; Reverse: Prow right; four pellets (mark of value) below; all set upon raised disk. A pleasing specimen despite its crudeness, with charming green surfaces. A test cut across Minerva's face is noted for completeness.
    Ex Stacks & Bowers

    Somewhere around or slightly before this I realized just how excited I was for... you guessed it, MSCs! When Alexander the Great and later his Diadochi were conquering everything in sight

    THIS was the coinage of basic commerce for the polis:
    Macedonian Kingdom. Anonymous issues.
    Ca. 323-310 B.C. AE half unit (17 mm, 3.93 g, 1 h). Uncertain mint in Western Asia Minor. Head of Herakles facing 3/4 right, wearing lion's skin headdress, forming central boss of Macedonian shield ornamented with five double crescents / Crested Macedonian helmet with cheek guards; caduceus to right, monogram to left. var (monogram and symbol arrangement); SNG Alpha Bank 849 var (quarter unit, no monogram); cf. Liampi 139-156. VF. Rare Variety.
    Former Savoca

    The Antigonid dynasty lasted for generations, but started with Antigonus the one eyed:
    Antigonos I Monophthalmos
    As king, 306/5-301 BC. Æ Unit (15mm, 3.75 g, 12h). Salamis mint. Struck under Demetrios I Poliorketes. Macedonian shield, boss decorated with facing gorgoneion / Macedonian helmet; kerykeion and monogram to lower left and right. Price 3159 (c. 323-315 BC); Zapiti & Michaelidou 7–8. VF, dark patina
    Ex: Savoca

    Antiochos III Megas
    Seleukid Kingdom. Uncertain (military) mint 60. 223-187 BC. Struck 202-187 BC Bronze Æ 17mm., 4,60g. Macedonian shield with gorgoneion in central boss / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑNΤΙΟΧΟΥ, elephant walking right, anchor above, monogram of ΠΑ below. very fine SC 1089.3a; HGC 9, 490
    Former: Savoca

    So great were these that, just like everything else Greek, the Romans had to get in on the fun. If course to the Greeks the Romans were the
    Macedonia under Roman rule
    AR tetradrachm- 16,21 gram,31 mm, struck after 168AD at Amphipolis
    obv: diademed head of Artemis Tauropolos facing right with quiver over shoulder in the center of a Macedonian shield, shield decorated with seven eight-pointed stars within double crescents
    rev: Club of Herakles within oak wreath, monograms and legend around, thunderbolt at left
    AMNG III, 159, SNG Cop 1314, BMC 2
    Ex NB-Numismatics
    "After the defeat of Perseus at the battle of Pydna in 168 BC, the Romans divided Macedonia into four separate autonomous administrative regions ( merides ). The first region (ΠPΩTEΣ) lay east of the Strymon with its capital at Amphipolis, the second (ΔEYTEPAΣ) between the Strymon and Axios with its capital at Thessalonica, the third between the Axios and Peneos with its capital at Pella, and the fourth (TETAPTHΣ) included most of Upper Macedonia with its capital at Heraclea Lynci. These four regions only lasted until 148 BC when the country was finally united to constitute a Roman Province and proceeded to issue coins under the authority of its legatus pro praetore. Livy informs us that initially all commerce between the regions, exploitation of the silver and gold mines and the importation of salt were forbidden. Almost all the coinage of this period is struck in the name of the first region and runs parallel to the mass coinages of Thasos and Maroneia from about 158 BC. The first region was the most prolific in its coin issues, striking huge issues of tetradrachms and bronze. The second region had only two issues of tetradrachms and the fourth had only two issues of bronzes. Coins from these two regions are very rare today. No coinage is known from the third region."

    I have a feeling this was minted under Nero, but no proof to back that up other than similarities:
    Pseudo-autonomous issue, 1st century AD. (Bronze, 17 mm, 4.97 g), Beroia. Macedonian shield. Rev. MΑΚΕΔΟΝΩΝ Nike standing to left on globe, holding wreath with the extended right hand and palm branch with the left. SNG Cop. 1331. SNG ANS.-. RPC -. Unusual and rare; a very interesting exampleA very interesting and scarce emission of the Macedonian Koinon
    MACEDON. Koinon of Macedon. Ex: Munzzentrum

    And then the Romans kind of had this fun little coin caked the Denarius:woot: Oh, funny. On top of the stellar artistry and toning it's the portrait of Philip V, the last truly GREAT:jimlad: King of Macedon:
    L. MARCIUS PHILIPPUS. Denarius (112 or 113 BC). Rome.
    Obv: Head of Philip V of Macedon right, wearing diademed royal Macedonian helmet with goat horns; Roma monogram to upper left, Φ to lower right.
    Rev: L PHILIPPVS .
    Equestrian statue right; mark of value in exergue. Crawford 293/1. VF 3.99 g. 19 mm. Ex Numismatik Naumann
    Purchased Jan/2021

    And how about Greek style and level of beauty and artistry mixed in with whimsy and mythology:kiss: I'll take two please;
    Creperius, Rocus
    Denarius. 68 BC. Uncertain mint. (Ffc-657). (Craw-399-1b). (Cal-522). Obv: Bust of the back of the Sea Goddess to the right, C to the right, to the left crab. Rev .: Neptune with trident, in biga pulled by hippocampi to the right, below Q CREPER M (F) / ROCVS. Ag. 3.61 g. Usually struck off center. Very scarce. VF.
    Ex: Tauler & Fau
    "There is barely anything known about the gens Crepereia, which makes it difficult to explain the marine imagery present on this type. Eckhel regards this coin as referring to the colony of Corinth, but Caesar did not annexe the region as a province until 44 BC, which is in disagreement with the dating of the coin. There were, however, cults at Corinth dedicated to both Neptune and Venus well into the Roman age. There are inscriptions which confirm that the gens maintained a trading presence throughout the Mediterranean, being recorded as active in the East and North Africa; it is possible the moneyer's family also had a presence at or connection to Corinth which was significant to them, but is now lost to history.
    The female bust on the obverse is often described as the sea-goddess Amphitrite, but in his analysis of the coin, Andrew McCabe argues that Venus is the more likely candidate to accompany Neptune.
    While we cannot be certain as to why the moneyer chose this particular imagery, Tacitus does relate how Neptune was less than propitious towards his descendent Crepereius Gallus who was killed in an assassination attempt against Agrippina when he boarded the self-sinking boat Nero had commissioned."

    If I have to tell you why I'm in love with this coin, we'll first off, welcome to Coin Talk. I'm Ryro aaaand

    Julia Domna
    Denarius . 193-196 AD . Rome . (Ric- 536 ). Ob .: IVLIA DOMNA AVG, Bust draped to the right . Rev .: VENERI VICTR, Venus standing to the right, leaning on a column, holding a palm and an apple . Ag . 3.18 g. Displaced. Tone . EBC . Tauler & Fau Jan 2021

    I, and we, would love to see some of YOUR favs and maybe read why they appeal to youo_O
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  3. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ..another great 'Ryro Productions" thread! :)...my favs include, but are not limited to...the social wars denarius L Rubius Dossenus featuring a riderless triumphal quadriga reverse, Marius against Sulla, whose actions would eventually bring about the end of the republic. Otho, who's coin it took me years to get, of course Nero's flying victory coins and a gift coin from a great cointalker friend..:) L Rubrius Dossenus 001.JPG L Rubrius Dossenus 002.JPG Otho!! 001.JPG Otho!! 002.JPG Nero AeAs SPQR shield victory flying 001.JPG Nero AeAs SPQR shield victory flying 003.JPG Domna Venus   Numerian alex. tet 001.JPG Domna Venus   Numerian alex. tet 003.JPG
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  4. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    So hard to choose my favorites, but if pressed...

    My current avatar is a tetradrachm of the Parthian king Artabanos IV (c.10-38 AD). I love the style of this coin. The obverse portrait with shaggy hair, plain clothes and no fancy crown or tiara, just a simple cloth diadem to show his rank- coupled to the reverse featuring the king on horseback; this is a callback to the original Parthian spirit- nomadic horsemen of the endless steppe:

    Artabanos II tet.jpg

    These two sestertii of Trajan (98-117 AD) commemorate his victories in the Parthian campaign and subsequent establishment of pliant local rulers- Rex Parthis Datus (A King Given to Parthia) and Regna Adsignata (Kingdoms Assigned). Extremely historical types, which unite my interest in Roman and Parthian history. Surely there was a musical fanfare at the ceremonies to introduce the new kings:

    Trajan Regna Adsignata.jpg
    The Khazars controlled trade along the Volga river basin for several centuries, and affected the destinies of their powerful neighbors, but are almost forgotten today. Even their (very rare) coins are simply imitations of coins that passed through in commerce. Once they lived their lives, just as wonderful and full of meaning as ours, and now they are barely shadows. Who will remember us, a thousand years from now?

    And of course, if I'm listing my favorite coins, I have to include my Julius Caesar lifetime portrait denarius, struck January-February 44 BC, less than three months before his assassination. If you have to ask why this is a favorite, you probably shouldn't be reading the Ancients board.

    Julius Caesar.jpg
    And one last coin. I don't have music for it, but this silver stater of the Phoenician city of Arados just makes me smile when I look at it. It's a significantly non-round coin, thick and lumpy (reminding us that the coin's value was in its weight of precious metal), and the designs and inscription are very traditionally Phoenician, with no sign of the Hellenistic monoculture.
    Arados stater.jpg
  5. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Man O man I do love your Nero. I need one with Victory playing some B-ball myself! And your long sought after Otho has one of the best heads of... "hair" I've seen. And that last one, where have I seen that booty before?? Of course I mean booty as in loot;)
    ominus1 likes this.
  6. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Hmm :) usually when I buy a coin, there is something about it that I like. This is why we collect, I guess, right?

    From my latest wins:

    A coin that was presented only twice in this thread, surely we need more

    I always liked Vespasian portraits. And I only have 3 Denarii from his era, unfortunately 2 of them same RIC. So a hemidrachm from Caesarea in decent condition was a good addition for me.

    I had some buyer's remorse with this one, but in the end I think it was a good decision as you don't see Caligula coins every day

    I am still a beginner and by budget is limited, so I simply don't want to spend too much on a single coin. I did this when I was collecting modern coins, there was that joy of getting a rare piece, but if it's not balanced with the sadness of the hole in the wallet, well...
    So I am glad when I get a new emperor. I had no coins of Philip Arab, this antoninianus did the trick. I also like that it doesn't have the "standard" reverse - somebody seated or standing.

    And one of the cities I wanted a coin from - Alexandria.
    Too bad about the corrosion, but the good part is that the portrait is still OK, the reverse is also good and most likely if the coin wasn't affected, the price would have been bigger than what I was willing to pay for one.
  7. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Sigh, I really need coin-friends. A coin arrived today, and the only reaction I got was "not again, why do you keep spending money on these things?!?".

    Anyway, my favorite? Difficult to choose and it shifts from year to year and new additions make it more fluent, but if I were to make a top 10 list of all my coins, this one would definitately be in it, and a contender for #1 position.
  8. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    We're all your coin-friends! Very few of us have them in real life.
  9. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Haha, thanks Donna, you're too kind. :)

    And @Ryro, i did not mention it above, but your coins are amazing. I wish to hold a Syracuse Tetradrachm in my own hands one day...

    (PS. and to be clear, my wife is the best in the world, and she does tolerate me and this money consuming hobby. :))
    DonnaML and Ryro like this.
  10. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    8A42E38D-F44B-4349-8872-4EFFF5391C19.jpeg C211EB98-F6D7-4E3E-A89D-5FCD7FE620C1.jpeg

    I love these coins because they inspire me to read history, they are beautiful, they are made of gold, and they are part of my daughters heritage. Having heart surgery gives you a new perspective. I now feel a lot of joy and purpose in building wealth for the next generation.


    I have a lot of attraction towards this coin these days. Why? It’s perfect, it represents a historical event with the monetary reforms of Diocletian, and it was a heck of a good buy.
  11. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    I have three 80 drachmae of Cleopatra. Of the three, two had to be treated for bronze disease; this is the best example and came to me BD-free. While it isn't the high grade type that commands mega-bucks,

    I find this coin very appealing and very nice for this type, with an expressive portrait.

    Egypt, 50-31 BC
    Cleopatra VII
    80 Drachmae Diobol
    Sear 1871
    17.4 grams

    D-Camera Egypt Cleopatra VII 80 drachmae 50-31 BC Sear 1871 17.4g 5-5-21.jpg
  12. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Great coins shown!.....Find the reasons 'why' really interesting! We're such a diverse lot!
    Here's my favourites for today....
    This nicely detailed Licinius ae follis was my very first ancient coin! I'd never held an ancient coin before and it quite blew me away! It sent me into the dark side without a fight...
    Licinius I AE Follis 20mm/3.43gr (Emperors name Misspelled)
    Obverse-IMP LICINVS PF AVG- laureate, cuirassed bust right
    Reverse-REV SOLI INVICTO COMITI- Sol standing right, looking left, chlamys across chest and over his left arm, holding globe and raising right hand. C-S across fields
    Exergue-PARL- minted 313-318AD Arles...Licinius I (RIC VII#155 Arles)-Unlisted-
    licinius black with sol.jpg

    Denarius.....I pick this lady up most days;)....I love the portrait, toning and general fabric of the coin....Not rare nor expensive just really appealing to me.
    Beautiful, with a long neck and brains what more do you want!
    Julia Domna. Augusta, AD 193-217. AR Denarius (3,84g). Rome mint.
    Struck under Septimius Severus, circa AD 200-207.
    Obverse.JVLIA AVGVSTA Draped bust right
    Reverse.PIETAS AVGG Pietas standing left, holding acerrum (incence box) and dropping incense onto lighted and garlanded altar to left.
    RIC IV#572 (Septimius); RSC 150.

    Large bronzes......Has to be my avatar...I love these big chunks of bronze but on a budget it can be quite frustrating to pick up anything with high detail....This one I really find attractive and a bit of a wow factor in hand..
    Antoninus Pius. 138-161 AD. AE Dupondius (11.76 gm, 25.3mm). Rome mint. Struck 154-155 AD.
    Obv.. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVIII, radiate head right.
    Rev.. LIBERTAS COS IIII / S - C, Libertas with pileus and sceptre standing left.
    RIC 933....BMC 1469. gVF.
    AP BLACK DUP.jpg

    Greek......I have no silver!........But this sweet little bronze called to me with its simplistic designs....
    Ionia Samos AE13 Circa 350 BC, 13.07 mm/3.08 grams
    Obverse: Head of Hera left
    Reverse: Lion's scalp facing
    SNG Copenhagen 1694
    hera black.jpg

    And lastly my main passion is Kashmir coinage....There are a lot more to add but
    I have no individual favourite the set is the favourite!
    big kash.jpg
  13. Alegandron

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

    LOL great OP and thread, @Ryro !

    I have way too many (ALL) of my coins that are my favorites!

    Syracuse Gelon 485-478 BCE AR Tet 24mm 16.7g Slow Biga Victory Arethusa 4 dolphins Sear-Greek S 914 Ex Charles Reeve
  14. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    That avatar is a stunner:wideyed: Huge ups for the lifetime Caesar. But that Phoenician ship at sea has such a fun style of artistry that just draws you in.
    One of my only Phoenicians and only coin with Zeus and Hera together (Sorry about the pic, awkward):
    Phoenicia. Arados
    136-51 BCE. Bronze Æ 16mm., 3,2g. Jugate heads of Zeus and Hera or Poseidon and Amphitrite right / Prow left surmounted by Athena standing left, Phoenician lettering above and date in Phoenician below. very fine Cf. BMC 346
    1266142_1593782816.l-removebg-preview.png share4912640179344803899.png
  15. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Haha, thanks for the laugh (and love) Svessien :D
    And great coins too!
    svessien and Ryro like this.
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