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Horses on Ancient Coins

Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

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SH86312. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer Series XIVb, 489 (V258/R351); SNG ANS 156 (same dies); Weber 1583 (same obv. die); BMC Sicily, p. 156, 80; Jameson 762; HGC 2 1312, EF, mint luster in recesses, light tone, obverse die wear, uneven strike, reverse off center, weight 17.391 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 466 - 460 B.C.; obverse charioteer driving slow quadriga right, holding reins in both hands, goad in right hand, Nike above flying left crowning driver with wreath, Ketos (sea serpent) right in exergue; reverse ΣYPAKOΣON, head of Arethusa right, wearing pearl or bead necklace and earring with loop and finial pendant, thin band wound once around her head and tying back hair in queue, four dolphins around swimming clockwise; ex CNG auction 102 (18 May 2016), lot 135; ex Colin E. Pitchfork Collection; ex Dr. Neil Geddes (20 Nov 2002); ex Noble auction 54 (22 July 1997), lot 1640; ex Stack’s sale, 6 Dec 1995, lot 65; $1900.00 (€1672.00)
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

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Following Heron's death, democracy was restored in 466 B.C. Similar to at Athens, the polis was governed by a council and popular assembly with an executive consisting of elected generals or strategoi. Syracuse fought against Athens 427 - 424 B.C. and again 415 - 413 B.C.; ultimately Syracuse was victorious. With further reforms by Diocles, the democratic nature of Syracuse's political structure was further strengthened.
SH89722. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer Series XX, 698 (V344/R476); SNG ANS 233 (same dies); BMC Sicily p. 161, 115 (same); Weber 1592 (same); HGC 2 1322 (S), VF, elegant nymph well centered on a tight flan, obverse strike weak and crowded by tight flan, weight 16.854 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 425 - 420 B.C.; obverse male charioteer driving a walking quadriga to right, wearing a long chiton, goad in his right hand, reins in both hands, Nike above flying left to crown the charioteer; reverse ΣYPAKOΣION upward on right, Head of Arethusa right, her hair in a sakkos and an ampyx, bound with olive-wreath and a double decorated fillet, wearing earring and a necklace with a lion's head, four dolphins swimming around; scarce; $1260.00 (€1108.80)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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"Trajan, having crossed the Ister by means of the bridge, conducted the war with safe prudence rather than with haste, and eventually, after a hard struggle, vanquished the Dacians. In the course of the campaign he himself performed many deeds of good generalship and bravery, and his troops ran many risks and displayed great prowess on his behalf. It was here that a certain horseman, after being carried, badly wounded, from the battle in the hope that he could be healed, when he found that he could not recover, rushed from his tent (for his injury had not yet reached his heart) and, taking his place once more in the line, perished after displaying great feats of valor." -- Roman History by Cassius Dio
SH92857. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 461b, BMCRE III 970, RIC II 598 (S), Cohen II 499, SRCV II -, Choice gF, excellent portrait, well centered, nice toned brass surfaces, legends and centers weak, closed crack, weight 25.570 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 103 - 111 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate bust right, aegis on left shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Trajan on horseback left, spear vertical in right hand, reins and small Victory in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; $560.00 (€492.80)
 


Eastern Celts, Imitative of Philip II of Macedonia, "Dachreiter" Type, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Although the body and head of the horseman on the prototype drachm of Philip III of Macedonia have been replaced by an S-shaped line over three pellets, the horseman's leg can still be found on the side of the horse!
SH89462. Silver tetradrachm, Göbl OTA tf. 15, 170/4; Lanz 448, aVF, light toning, reverse slightly off center, light marks, weight 11.953 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, tribal mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse laureate and bearded head of Zeus right; reverse stylized horseman prancing left, rider's head and body reduced to an S-shaped line over three pellets, leg of horseman on side of the horse; $540.00 (€475.20)
 


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 300 - 150 B.C.

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According to mythology, Larissa was founded by Acrisius, who was killed accidentally by his grandson, Perseus; the nymph Larissa was a daughter of the primordial man Pelasgu; Achilles was born at Larissa, and Hippocrates, the "Father of Medicine"; died there. Today, Larissa is the capital and largest city of the Thessaly region and an important commercial, agricultural, and industrial center of Greece.
GB92063. Bronze trichalkon, BCD Thessaly 1172.1 (same countermark), BCD Thessaly II 394.1 (same countermark), SNG Cop 147, Rogers 309, HGC 4 530 (S), BMC Thessaly -, VF, well centered, attractive dark patina, interesting countermark, some flatness of strike, edge crack, beveled obverse edge; c/m: VF, weight 11.952 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 300 - 150 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa right, monogram behind; countermark on cheek: spiked helmet with visor, neck and cheek guards in a c. 6mm oval punch; reverse cavalryman prancing right, wearing spiked helmet, couched lance in right hand, star upper left, ΛA-PI/ΣNΩN divided above and below; ex Numismatik Lanz München, auction 112 (25 Nov 2002), 193; scarce; $400.00 (€352.00)
 


Roman Republic, M. Tullius, 120 B.C.

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The wreath might represent an eclipse that occurred on 11 November 120 B.C., which the Romans declared indicated divine support for their recent victories in southern France. The reverse more likely commemorates the victories of Servius Tullius, the moneyer's ancestor, over the Sabines. He was the first Roman to be awarded the laurel wreath. The mark of value (X) on the reverse is very unusual.
RR92757. Silver denarius, SRCV I 155, Sydenham 531, Crawford 280/1, RSC I Tullia 1, Choice aEF, beautiful style, attractive iridescent toning, light marks, weight 3.924 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 120 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Roma right, ROMA behind; reverse Victory in a quadriga right, reins in both hands, palm frond in left, wreath above, X below, M•TVLLI in exergue; $350.00 (€308.00)
 


Belgic Celts, Bellovaci, c. 100 - 57 B.C.

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The Bellovaci, among the most powerful and numerous of the Belgian tribes of north-eastern Gaul, were conquered by Julius Caesar in 57 B.C. The name survives today in the French city of Beauvais, called by the Romans Caesaromagus. The Bellovaci territory extended from modern Beauvais to the Oise River, along the coast. When Caesar learned the Bellovaci intended to conquer the territory of their Suessiones neighbors, he decided to oppose them and prove Roman superiority. The Bellovaci were surprised by the arrival of Roman troops but, despite his force of about 30,000 men, Caesar was intimidated by the size of the Bellovaci forces. Neither initiated battle. The Belgic warriors set traps in the woods for Roman foragers. Caesar called for reinforcements and built a bridge across a marsh to position his troops within range of the Bellovaci camp. The Bellovaci retreated and then attempted an ambush. Caesar learned of their plan and had reinforcements ready to attack, but the Bellovaci were defeated and their general Correus killed, even before he arrived. After the battle, the Bellovaci were impressed by Caesar's clemency but some of their leaders fled to Britain. Belgae_Map
CE92095. Bronze AE 16, cf. Delestrée-Tache I 307, CCCBM III 1, Scheers Traité 601, De la Tour 7276, VF, attractive olive green patina, obverse off center, weight 2.676 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 270o, c. 100 - 57 B.C.; obverse figure running right, ornaments around; reverse human-headed horse galloping right, one large globule above and another below; ex CGB Numismatique Paris; rare; $230.00 (€202.40)
 


Gallic Celts, Uncertain (Lemovices?), c. 100 - 50 B.C.

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The tribe and mint that issued this obol type are unknown, but the Lemovices struck quinarii with similar types, including a human head above the horse on the reverse. It is possible the Lemovices also issued this rare type.
CE89067. Silver obol, Delestrée-Tache 3699; cf. CCBM II S404 ff., De la Tour 4561 (Lemovices, severed head series quinarii), F, well centered, toned, etched surfaces, weight 0.633 g, maximum diameter 10.8 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 100 - 50 B.C.; obverse female head right in classic style; reverse horse galloping right, small human head right above; ex CGB Numismatique Paris; rare; $220.00 (€193.60)
 


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 405 - 370 B.C.

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BCD Thessaly II notes this obverse die appears to have been altered (reworked).
GS73413. Silver drachm, Lorber-Shahar early group 3 (O25/R6), BCD Thessaly II 197 (same dies), Lorber Early 11.- (same obverse die), F, etched surfaces, die wear, weight 5.793 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 405 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly right, partially radiate hair with hornlike locks of hair on crown above ampyx, drop earring, plain necklace; reverse horse grazing right, legs straight, ΛAPI above; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "T/ne ex Thessaly, Sept. 2004, €55.-" ; $180.00 (€158.40)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

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Struck in the name of King Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander the Great's half-brother, under the regent Perdikkas. Philip III and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV, were made joint kings after Alexander's death. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule and both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias to ensure the succession of her grandson.
SL85510. Silver 1/5 Tetradrachm, Le Rider pl. 46, 24; SNG ANS 706; Troxell Studies Group 8, 378;, NGC XF, strike 5/5, surface 2/5 (2490378-001); NGC attributes it to Philip II, weight 2.558 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 0o, Amphipolis mint, struck under Polyperchon, c. 318 - 317 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Apollo right; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOY, nude horseman cantering right, crescent horns right below; $180.00 (€158.40)
 




  



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