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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Personifications| ▸ |Democracy||View Options:  |  |  | 

Democracy (Demos - The People)

The image of Demos, the personification of the People, was used on ancient coinage as early as the 5th century BC. In Roman times, many towns under Roman domination struck pseudo-autonomous coinage depicting either the bust or head of Demos, or showed him standing with the emperor, Boule, or the Demos of another city. Here we will also include coins that depict personifications of the Senate, citizens councilman (boule), and elders (gerousia), and any coin that depicts voting.


Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D., Alexandria Troas, Troas

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The representation of the decurions of Alexandria depicted on the reverse of this type is unique within the Roman provincial series. The decurions were members of municipal senates responsible for procuring funds for new public works, festivities and games, as well as for welfare networks. Their fiscal responsibilities also extended to the collecting of imperial taxes, for which they were expected to cover any shortfalls.
RP87204. Bronze AE 22, RPC IX 432 (12 spec.); Bellinger A409; SNG Çanakkale 376; BMC Troas p. 27, 145; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, aVF, dark green patina, reverse slightly off center, tiny encrustations, some legend weak, edge cracks, weight 4.586 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, Jun/Jul 251 - Jul/Aug 253 A.D.; obverse IMP C VIBI TRIBO GALLVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse The curia decurionum of Alexandria in session: nine men wearing togas seated in a semicircle, two outer men seated on curule chairs, two in center holding short staffs, AVG above, two steps below, ALEXAND on upper step, decorative pattern on lower step, TROADA in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics, e-sale 40 (28 Oct 2017), lot 429; very rare; $1170.00 (€1029.60)
 


Smyrna, Ionia, c. 211 - 260 A.D.

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In the reverse legend Smyrna boast that has three neokoroi. A neocorate was a rank or dignity granted by the Roman Senate and the Roman Emperor to certain cities which had built temples to the Emperor or had established cults of members of the Imperial family. The city itself was referred to as neokoros (pl. neokoroi). A temple dedicated to the emperor was also called neocorate. There were approximately 37 cities that held a neocorate at one time or another, but holding three was rare.
RP88968. Bronze AE 24, Klose XXI, p. 201, 33 (VS16/R19); SNG Cop 1321 (same dies); SNGvA 2191 (same dies); BMC Ionia p. 264, 237; RPC VII 325; SNG Tubingen -, gF, porosity, earthen deposits, weight 5.821 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 180o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, c. 211 - 260 A.D.; obverse IEPA CV - N KΛHTOC, youthful draped bust of Senate right; reverse CMVPNAIΩ-N Γ NEΩK,OPΩN (last four letters in exergue, 3 neokoroi), tetrastyle temple, inside standing figure of Tyche with rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, O in pediment; ex Gerhard Rohde; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Sala, Lydia, c. 2nd Century A.D.

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Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the god of commerce and thieves. He was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. His symbols include the caduceus and winged sandals.
RP77505. Bronze AE 17, SNG München 455; BMC Lydia p. 229, 15; SNG Cop 416, VF, well centered, nice green patina, areas of corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 2.643 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Sala mint, c. 2nd century A.D.; obverse ∆HMOC CAΛHNΩN, laureate and draped bearded bust of Demos; reverse EΠI AN∆PONEICOY, Hermes standing slightly left, nude, chlamys draped over left arm, purse in right hand, caduceus in left hand; ex Divus Numismatik; rare; $55.00 (€48.40)
 


Ankyra in Abbaitis, Phrygia, c. 193 - 217 A.D.

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Ancyra means anchor in Greek. There were two cities named Ancyra in Anatolia, the one in Abbaitis, Phrygia that issued this coin, and another larger city in Galatia, now the capitol of Turkey. Ankyra in Abbaitis may have struck autonomous coins as Abbaetae Mysi in the 2nd century B.C. Under Rome, Ankyra in Abbaitis struck civic coinage from the rule of Nero to the rule of Philip the Arab.
RP87095. Brass AE 22, BMC Phrygia p. 59, 11 ff.; SNG Cop 132; SNGvA 3424; SNG München 88 var.; SNG Tübingen 3937; SNG Leypold 1421-1422 var., aVF, weight 8.072 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Ankyra in Abbaitis mint, Severan period, c. 193 - 217 A.D.; obverse ΘEON CYN-KLHTON, young draped bust of the Senate right; reverse AN/KYPA/NWN in three lines within laurel wreath; $55.00 (€48.40)
 


Smyrna, Ionia, c. 211 - 260 A.D.

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In the reverse legend Smyrna boast that has three neokoroi. A neocorate was a rank or dignity granted by the Roman Senate and the Roman Emperor to certain cities which had built temples to the Emperor or had established cults of members of the Imperial family. The city itself was referred to as neokoros (pl. neokoroi). A temple dedicated to the emperor was also called neocorate. There were approximately 37 cities that held a neocorate at one time or another, but holding three was rare.
RP88977. Bronze AE 26, Klose XXI, p. 200, 23 (VS16/R19); RPC VII 325; SNG Cop 1321; SNGvA 7990; BMC Ionia p. 264, 235; SNG Tubingen -, F, dark patina, earthen deposits, weight 6.333 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, c. 211 - 260 A.D.; obverse IEPA CV - N KΛHTOC, youthful draped bust of Senate right; reverse CMVPNAIΩ-N Γ NEΩKO,PΩN (last three letters in exergue, 3 neokoroi), tetrastyle temple, inside standing figure of Tyche with rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, O in pediment; ex Gerhard Rohde; $50.00 (€44.00)
 


Saitta, Lydia, c. 193 - 268 A.D.

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Saitta (or Saittai) was in eastern Lydia, in the triangle between the upper Hyllus river (modern Demirci Çayı) and the Hermus river (modern Sidaskale). Representations of the river gods are found on coins of the Imperial Period. The moon god Mên Akziottenos was honored, but Zeus, Dionysos, Aphrodite, Hygieia, Asklepios, Apollo, Kybele, and Herakles were also revered at Saitta. The town was a regional center for textile production. Hadrian probably visited in 124 A.D. In the city, In the Christian era Saittai was attached to the Archbishopric of Sardeis.
RP91828. Bronze AE 28, SNG Leypold 1151 (same dies); BMC Lydia p. 217, 29; SNG Cop 399, F, light corrosion/porosity, scratches, edge cracks, weight 8.121 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 180o, Saitta (Sidaskale, Turkey) mint, c. 193 - 268 A.D.; obverse IEPA-CVN KΛHT-OC, draped bust of the Roman Senate right; reverse CAITT-HNΩN, Athena standing facing, head left, wearing crested Corinthian helmet and chiton, owl(?) in right hand, grounded shield and spear in left hand; $45.00 (€39.60)
 







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REFERENCES|

Kurth, D. Demos|, The Personification of the People. (2010).
Martin, K. Demos, Boule, Gerousia: Personifikationen städtischer Institutionen auf kaiserzeitlichen Münzen aus Kleinasien. (Bonn, 2013).


Catalog current as of Sunday, December 15, 2019.
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Democracy