Which Ptolemy and which province?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by kevin McGonigal, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I could use some assistance in nailing down a couple questions. First is the Ptolemy Tetradrachma. I can't tell Ptolemy the First from Ptolemy the Umpteenth. I "think" it might be a Ptolemy XII (Neo Dionysius) as its weight is a bit on the lighter side at 13.6 grams and according to Sear the weight of his coins was from the normal average of 14.1 all the way down to just under 12 grams. Also his facial features sem to be of a younger man so it might be from his first reign. I think the date is Etous theta (or omicron?). But again when I look at these Ptolemies they all look alike to me. If you can see something that is tip off as to which one, could you point it out?
    The second coin is a brass sestertius of Claudius (Spes Augusta on reverse) and because of its light weight, 18.3 grams and somewhat barbaric appearance, I am guessing it to be an imitation issue. There is no counterstamp on the coin and from the amount of wear it looks to have circulated for some time and looks to be of good brass. What I am trying to ascertain is whether this is a copy from Britain or one of the Balkan provinces. Does anything point to one rather than the other. Thanks for any help you can offer with these two coins.
    IMG_2061Claudius Ptolemy obv.jpg IMG_2062Claudius Ptolemy rev.jpg
    Alegandron, Ryro, 7Calbrey and 3 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Your Claudius ae coin could be a gallic imitation. See eg this coin and description: https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=141027
    Description also matches the wear you describe, as these coins apparently circulated and were used a lot.
    Cant help you with the other coin.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
  4. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I had no idea some of these were minted in Gallia. As for the Ptolemaic coin I actually thought I would get more responses on that than on the Claudius piece. Thanks again.
  5. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Anybody on the Ptolemy coin?
  6. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    I just did a Google Image search of Ptolemy XII tetradrachm and came up with a Vcoins hit that has the same dates as yours:

    PTOLEMAIC EGYPT. Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos (Auletes) (80-51 BC). AR tetradrachm (23mm, 13.26 gm, 12h). VF. Dated Regnal Year 9 (73/72 BC). Diademed head of Ptolemy right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMOY, eagle standing left on thunderbolt; LΘ before, ΠA behind. Svoronos 1856. SNG Copenhagen 382.


    As for Claudius imitative issues, Augustus Coins (@Valentinian) has an excellent roundup here:


    Hope that helps.
  7. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Mike. Yes it does help as also the Valentinian write up. i was stating to wonder if anybody had much interest in the Ptolemaic coin series and went into our search forum and found very little in previous posts on these coins, including a few from myself a while back. Maybe the similarity of the different issues makes it a difficult field to study or collect in. Thanks again for the references.
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  8. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Whenever I get a Ptolemaic bronze, I go to this site:


    Things are always a bit confusing with these, but this site has helped me a lot. There is probably silver along the same lines (I only have one Ptolemaic silver coin, so I don't really have much need for attribution info in this area.)

    Nice OP, by the way.
    7Calbrey and kevin McGonigal like this.
  9. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    I have dabbled with the Ptolemaic Silvers for a bit but have not studied them enough.

    Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy I Soter
    Obv:– Diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis
    Rev:– ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ, Eagle standing left on thunderbolt, monogram left
    Minted in Alexandria, B.C. 294
    Reference:– Svoronos 236, SNG Cop 75
    14.379g, 29.9mm, 0o


    Struck on a briefly used standard of 21-attic obols. Broad flan. Overstruck over an Alexander tetradrachm, which had a banker's mark. Undertype visible at 4:00 on obverse. Minor chip. Rare overstrike

    Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy II Soter

    Silver tetradrachm
    Obv:– Diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis
    Rev:- PTOLEMAIOY [SOTERWS], eagle standing left, head left, on thunderbolt, wings closed, PT and ME monograms left, date AL and Q right
    Minted in Galilee, Ake Ptolemais, Year 31. B.C. 255
    Reference:– BMC.112 var. Svoronos 774 pl. XXV/10 (4 ex.) SNG Cop.470. Delepierre- Gülnar 2/4074 pl. 129(6 ex.)


    Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy VI Philometor

    Obv:– Diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis
    Rev:- PTOLEMAIOY BASILEOS, eagle standing left, head left, on thunderbolt, wings closed
    Minted in Alexandria, B.C. 180-145
    Reference:– Svoronos 1489, SNG Cop 262


    14.031g, 27.3m, 0o

    Additional comments from Forum - "Ptolemy VI became king in 180 B.C. at the age of about 6 and ruled jointly with his mother, Cleopatra I, until her death in 176 BC. From 170 to 164 B.C., Egypt was ruled by Ptolemy, his sister-queen and his younger brother Ptolemy VIII Physcon. In 170 BC, the Seleukid King Antiochus IV invaded and was even crowned king in 168, but abandoned his claim on the orders from Rome. In 164 Ptolemy VI was driven out by his brother. He went to Rome and received support from Cato. He was restored the following year. In 152 BC, he briefly ruled jointly with his son, Ptolemy Eupator, but his son probably died that same year. In 145 B.C. he died of battle wounds received against Alexander Balas of Syria. Ptolemy VI ruled uneasily, cruelly suppressing frequent rebellions."

    Ptolemaic Kingdom, Cleopatra III and Ptolemy X Soter

    Silver tetradrachm
    Obv:– Diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis
    Rev:- PTOLEMAIOY BASILEOS, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, L I (year 10 of Cleopatra's reign) left, PA right;
    Minted in Paphos, B.C. 110
    Reference:– Svoronos 1668, SNG Cop -, Noeske -,


    14.258g, 24,1mm, 0o

    After the death of Ptolemy VIII in 116 B.C. Cleopatra III ruled jointly with her mother Cleopatra II and her son Ptolemy IX. Cleopatra III expelled Ptolemy IX 110 B.C. and replaced him as co-regent with her second son Ptolemy X. Ptolemy IX regained the throne in 109 but was again replaced in 107 B.C. In 101 B.C., after 6 years of joint rule Ptolemy X had his mother Cleopatra III murdered.
    Alegandron, Ryro, 7Calbrey and 3 others like this.
  10. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Thanks. After looking at that site I don't think I want to investigate Ptolemaic bronze at all. Whew, that's a lifetime of research and I should have started 55 years ago.
  11. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Thanks, this post needs to be archived. looking at the Ptolemies here I thought mine was probably a Ptolemy XII but as I look at the Ptolemy X, that's pretty close, too but the weight on this one is close to the norm while those of the XII tended to be more erratic and mine is a bit on the light side except for those of Ptolemy XII. I also guess Ptolemy X was NOT known as Philometer.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page