Friday, May 26, 2006

Æ25, Flaviopolis in Cilicia, Gallienus, SNG France 2205 

AV K ΛΛΙ ΓAΛΛIHNON, Laureate draped cuirassed bust right | [ΦΛAVIOΠO]ΛIO_ΠOΛEITΩN AΠP], Herakles standing right., holding a club and lion's skin and in his extended left hand he displays the Golden Apples of Hesperides.

The eleventh of Herakles' twelve labors was to retrieve the golden apples of the Hesperides, which granted immortality.

While the most-commonly portrayed labor of Herakles is the slaying of the Nemean lion, as here, the apples of the Hesperides is also seen on these imperial coins minted at Antioch.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Salonina, Antioch, Göbl 1619f err... 

cf. T22

SALONINA AVG, Diademed draped bust right on crescent | VINO REGINA, Juno standing left, holding scepter in left hand and patera in right. Peacock at feet left. Star in left field.

This VINO REGINA ought to be a rare coin, an engraver's error (that should say IVNO REGINA), but in just a few years of looking I've found these four examples, representing a number of distinct dies.

Even if the penalty for being caught was horrible, perhaps the likelihood of being caught was very small during a time of high production of coins and maybe someone was doing it on purpose.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

AE3, Helena, Nicomedia, RIC 148 

FL HELENA AVGVSTA, Tiaraed, mantled bust right, magnia urbica hairstyle | SECVRITAS REPVBLICE, Helena as Spes standing left, holding branch with right hand, hitching skirt with left.

Helena, mother of Constantine the Great is probably best known for travels in the mid-east and proclaimed finds of various places and artifacts. True cross, bones of the Three Wise Men, John the Baptist cave, the usual tourist trap stuff.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Æ23, Anazarbus in Cilicia, Valerian, Ziegler 807 

AVT K OVAΛEPIANOC CE, Radiate cuirassed bust right | ANAZAPBOV [MH] ET BOC, City goddess standing right, holding prize crown in both hands, A / K / M in left field, Γ / Γ in right.

I've posted, years ago, a similar more common coin, featuring a left-facing goddess, which is listed in the usual references for this city. So far I haven't found this version with a right-facing goddess listed.

This excites me, even while I know that's a bit silly.

Update: Thanks to Curtis Clay who lets me know that Ziegler's Anazarbus corpus catalogs this as no. 807, and attests 7 specimens, all from this same die pair. While that may not seem as exciting as a possibly-unknown status, knowing the facts us always better, and this serves as a reminder to keep searching for Ziegler's work.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 147k 

IMP GALLIENVS P F AVG G M, Radiate cuirassed bust right | VICTORIA G M, Victoria standing left holding wreath aloft in right hand, palm in left. Captive at feet.

Valerian, on becoming emperor in 253 CE, soon raised Gallienus, his son, to be emperor with him. While Valerian took control of military operations in the eastern part of the empire, Gallienus was assigned to the west. Through 257-258, Gallienus was quite successful, and adopted the title Germanicus Maximus,  seen here, in abbreviate form, on both sides of the coin.

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