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Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world. It was said to have been founded by Pelasgians from Thessaly, according to tradition at the coming of the Argonauts; later, allegedly in 756 B.C., it received many colonists from Miletus. Owing to its advantageous position it speedily acquired commercial importance, and the gold staters of Cyzicus were a staple currency in the ancient world till they were superseded by those of Philip of Macedon. The site of Cyzicus, located on the Erdek and Bandirma roads, is protected by Turkey's Ministry of Culture.SL89446. Electrum hekte, SNG BnF 241; SNGvA 1180; BMC Mysia p. 32, 98; Von Fritze I 102; Rosen 482; de Luynes pl. XCII 2460; SNG Cop -, NGC XF, strike 3/5, surface 3/5 (2490378-004), weight 2.674 g, maximum diameter 11.4 mm, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 500 - 450 B.C.; obverse satyr left, tunny fish vertical with head down to left; reverse quadripartite incuse square; extremely rare; $1000.00 (€880.00)
Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D.
In 36 A.D., Herod Antipas suffered major losses in a war with Aretas IV of Nabataea, provoked partly by Antipas' divorce of Aretas' daughter. According to Josephus, Herod's defeat was popularly believed to be divine punishment for his execution of John the Baptist. Tiberius ordered Vitellius, the governor of Syria, to capture or kill Aretas, but Vitellius was reluctant to support Herod and abandoned his campaign upon Tiberius' death in 37.SL89779. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 5, 152; RIC I 30 (C); BMCRE I 60; RSC II 16a; SRCV I 1763, NGC MS, strike 5/5, surface 3/5, brushed (2490381-004), weight 3.157 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 270o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 36 - 37 A.D.; obverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right, laurel wreath ties fall in small undulations (waves); reverse PONTIF MAXIM (high priest), Pax (or Livia as Pax) seated right on chair with decorated legs, a single line below, long scepter vertical behind in her right hand, branch in left hand, feet on footstool; photos taken before certification, now in a NGC holder; $810.00 (€712.80)
Judah, Macedonian or Ptolemaic Rule, Satrap Hezekiah, c. 333 - 301 B.C.
Josephus identifies Hezekiah as the High Priest of the Jews who offered friendship to Ptolemy I after his conquest of Palestine. Josephus mentions Hezekiah was sixty years old at the time of Ptolemy. Mildenberg identifies the head right on the obverse of this type as Ptolemy I.SL89836. Silver half ma'ah, Hendin 1066; Meshorer TJC 25; Meshore AJC I 12; Mildenberg Yehud p. 189 & pl. 22, 23; HGC 10 452 (R1 - R2), NGC NGC XF, strike 2/5, surface 3/5 (4283488-002), weight 0.189 g, maximum diameter 7.2 mm, die axis 90o, Jerusalem(?) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse male head (Ptolemy I?) right; reverse forepart of winged and horned lynx left; Aramaic inscription lower right: YHZQYH (Hezekiah); NGC certified with photo certificate of authenticity, not in a plastic holder; rare; $800.00 (€704.00)
Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus, 323 - 317 B.C.
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.SL89735. Silver drachm, Price P56, SNG München 947, SNG Cop 1105, HGC 3.1, 974e (S), Müller Alexander -, SNG Alpha Bank -, NGC MS, 5/5 strike, 5/5 surface, fine style (4629644-013), weight 4.26 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Magnesia ad Maeandrum (near Tekin, Turkey) mint, struck under Menander or Kleito, c. 323 - 319 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, feet on footstool, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, IAT monogram left, ΦIΛIΠΠOY downward on right; ex Giessener Munzhandlung D. Gorny GmbH; $750.00 (€660.00)
Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Legio X Fretensis Countermark
In 72 A.D. the Roman governor Lucius Flavius Silva laid siege to Masada, a desert fortress, the last outpost of the Jewish rebels following the end in 70 of the First Jewish Revolt. The Legio X Fretensis surrounded the mountain fortress with a 7-mile long siege wall and built a rampart of stones and beaten earth against the western approach. In the Spring of 73 A.D., 960 Zealots under the leadership of Eleazar ben Ya'ir committed mass suicide when defeat became imminent.SL89795. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II 1156, Lyon 41, BMCRE II , Cohen I , SRCV I; countermark: Howgego 733 (reign of Domitian, 84-96 A.D.), NGC G, strike 4/5, surface 3/5, countermark LXF [=Legio X Fretensis] (2490386-006), weight 10.912 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG COS III (or IIII), radiate head right, globe at point of bust; countermark: LXF (Legio X Fretensis) in a rectangular punch; reverse SECVRITAS AVGVSTI, Securitas seated right, resting head on raised hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, flaming altar to right, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $600.00 (€528.00)
Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus II Gonatas, 277 - 239 B.C.
Antigonus II Gonatas was a powerful ruler who solidified the position of the Antigonid dynasty in Macedon after a long period defined by anarchy and chaos and acquired fame for his victory over the Gauls who had invaded the Balkans. He was the grandson of Antigonus I Monophthalmus, who then controlled much of Asia. His maternal grandfather was Antipater. who controlled Macedonia and the rest of Greece and was recognized as regent of the empire, which in theory remained united.SL89733. Silver drachm, Panagopoulou 152; AMNG III-2 p. 187, 5; SNG Cop 1203; SNG Mün 1079; SNG Alpha Bank 984; SNG Lockett 1526; SNG Berry 360; HGC 3.1 1044 (R3), NGC Ch VF, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (4629570-003), weight 3.59 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, Pella mint, 272 - 239 B.C.; obverse wreathed head of Poseidon right; reverse Athena Alkidemos advancing left, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, shield decorated with aegis on left arm, Macedonian helmet inner left, TI inner right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (Greek: king) downward on right, ANTIΓONOY downward on left; ex CNG Triton IX (10 Jan 2006), lot 829 (realized $600 plus fees); ex Robert Weimer Collection; very rare; $540.00 (€475.20)
Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Struck by Agrippa II(?), Caesarea Maritima(?), Syria Palestina
Julius Marcus Agrippa was a teenager studying in Rome when his father died. He was too young to rule and his father's kingdom was made a Roman province. About 6 years later, he was given the kingdom of his uncle Herod of Chalcis. Later more was added. It was before Herod Agrippa II that Saint Paul was tried. Agrippa sided with the Romans during the Jewish rebellion. Though he continued to rule until at least 95 A.D., the temple was destroyed and in the end his assigned territories were in Syria, not Judaea. The attribution to a mint at Caesarea Maritima under Agrippa II is traditional, and supported by recorded finds 90% of which are around Caesarea Maritima. Still, it may have been struck at Caesarea Paneas, which better fits the style, or it may have been struck by a Roman procurator.SL89827. Bronze AE 24, RPC I 4848 (6 spec.); Hendin 1263; Meshorer TJC 356; SNG ANS 744; BMC Palestine p. 12, 3; Rosenberger 1; Kadman -, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 3/5, Agrippa II, 49 - 95, Caesarea (4283488-004), weight 8.78 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 45o, Caesarea Maritima (or Paneas?) mint, c. 49 - Oct 54 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IM P P, laureate head of Claudius right; reverse inverted anchor with ring on each end, within oak wreath; scarce; $500.00 (€440.00)
Rhodos, Caria, c. 88 - 84 B.C.
This type is from an emergency issue struck, c. 88 - 84 B.C., when Rhodes was under siege by Mithradates VI. They probably replaced the Jenkins Plinthophoric group E silver drachms due to a shortage of silver. Ashton suggests these large bronzes are likely thihemiobols or light-weight diobols.SL65231. Bronze AE 28, Ashton Siege 141-146; SNG Keckman 731 ff. var., SNG Cop 851 var., BMC Caria 312 var., SNGvA 2834 var. (all var. control symbols), NGC XF, strike 4/5, surface 2/5 (2490386-002), weight 18.111 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 315o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. 88 - 84 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Helios right; reverse rose in incuse square, small tendril on each side of stem, diagonal thunderbolt (control symbol) left, owl on palm frond (control symbol) right, P - O flanking stem; interesting large bronze!; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 169 (12 Oct 2008), lot 760; $350.00 (€308.00)
Macedonian Kingdom, Demetrius I Poliorketes, 306 - 286 B.C.
Demetrius I Poliorketes (The Besieger), son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus, was given the title king by his father in 306 B.C. after he defeated Ptolemy I at the Battle of Salamis. In 294 he seized the throne of Macedonia by murdering Alexander V. The combined forces of Pyrrhus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus, forced him out of Macedonia in 288. Abandoned by his troops on the field of battle he surrendered to Seleucus in 286 and died in captivity in 283 B.C.SL87623. Silver tetradrachm, Newell 30, pl. III, 13 (XXXIV/69); Newell Tyrus 32, pl. III, 7 (same dies); Hersh Tyrus 43a; HGC 3 1011; SNG Alpha Bank -, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (2490378-002), weight 16.877 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 180o, Phoenicia, Tyre mint, c. 306 - 295 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, club left in a circle on left, AP monogram under throne, ∆HMITPIOY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) below; rare; $340.00 (€299.20)
Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D.
A "Tiber patina," sometimes called a river patina, is technically not a patina at all. Rather, submersion in anaerobic fresh water or mud on a river bottom has prevented a normal patina from forming. The shiny original surfaces of the coin often becomes subdued and grainy or porous. Curvy lines of corrosion, with an appearance similar to worm holes in wood, are seen on this coin and are common on river found coins. We don't know what causes these strange flaws.SL89519. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 99, SRCV I 1853, BMCRE I 124, Cohen I 85, NGC Ch VF, strike 4/5, surface 1/5 (24900381-001), Tiber patina with porosity and corrosion typical of a fresh water find, weight 23.735 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, die axis 180o, Western branch "barbarous" mint, c. 41 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, laureate head right; reverse SPES AVGVSTA, Spes walking left, flower in extended right hand, raising fold of chiton with left hand, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection, photos taken before certification, now in a NGC holder; $300.00 (€264.00)