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In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil. John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of Judah Maccabee, the hero of the Hanukkah story. John Hyrcanus was the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name.RR88350. Bronze triens, Crawford 179/3, Sydenham 354b, BMCRR 614, RBW Collection 759, SRCV I 974, F, well centered, marks, porosity, some corrosion, edge crack, weight 13.464 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, central Italy mint, 169 - 158 B.C.; obverse head of Minerva right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, four pellets above; reverse prow of galley right, BAL (AL ligate) above, four pellets on right, ROMA below; scarce; $105.00 (€92.40)
Roman Republic, M. Marcius Mn.f., 134 B.C.
The First Servile War, 135 - 132 B.C., was an unsuccessful slave rebellion against the Roman Republic. The war was prompted by slave revolts in Enna on the island of Sicily. It was led by Eunus, a former slave claiming to be a prophet, and Cleon, a Cilician (from present-day Turkey) who became Eunus's military commander. After some minor battles won by the slaves, a larger Roman army arrived in Sicily and defeated the rebels.RR88355. Bronze quadrans, Crawford 245/3, Sydenham 501a, BMCRR I Rome 1017, RBW Collection 1011, SRCV I 1151, aF, dark green patina, corrosion, edge crack, weight 5.255 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, 134 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion's scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow of galley right, M MARCI / MN F (MAR and MNF ligate) in two lines above, three pellets before, ROMA in exergue; ex Rudnik Numismatics, with an old collector tag dated 30 November 1932, with the cost noted as $.25; $105.00 (€92.40)
Roman Republic, OPEI (Q. Opeimius?), 169 - 157 B.C.
In Roman mythology, Janus (or Ianus) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, and of beginnings and endings. Janus is believed to be one of the few major deities in Roman mythology that does not have a Greek origin or counterpart. RR88348. Copper as, Crawford 190/1, Sydenham 363, BMCRR Rome 598, RBW Collection 811, SRCV I 701, F, bumps and marks, obverse off center, small edge splits/cracks, weight 26.339 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 169 - 157 B.C.; obverse laureate head of bearded Janus, I (mark of value) above, linear border; reverse galley prow right, OPEI above, I (mark of value) right, ROMA below, linear border; $90.00 (€79.20)
Roman Republic, Anonymous (Unofficial?), c. 91 B.C.
Russo suspects this type may be unofficial because, despite the attractive style, the prow does not include the usual features found on most coins of the period.RR88352. Copper quadrans, RBW Collection 1244 (unofficial?), Crawford 339/4a, Sydenham 679c, BMCRR Rome 2208, SRCV I 1195, VF, porous, rough, edge splits, weight 2.114 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial(?) mint, c. 169 - 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow right, apotropaic on side, ROMA above, three pellets below; $85.00 (€74.80)
Roman Republic, Anonymous, 86 B.C.
In 88 B.C., King Mithridates VI of Pontos took control of Roman Asia. Intending to severely and forever damage Roman-Hellenistic relations, he wrote to all the civic authorities of the province, ordering them to exterminate all Romans without regard to age or sex. The killings were to be carried out exactly one month after the date of his letter. Appian states that 80,000 Romans and Italians were murdered. Plutarch gives a much higher number. Rome immediately declared war. In 86 B.C., Lucius Cornelius Sulla captured Athens from the Pontic Kingdom army, and removed the tyrant Aristion. He also defeated Mithridates' greatest general, Archelaus, at the Battle of Chaeronea. In 85 B.C., Sulla would defeat Archelaus again in the decisive Battle of Orchomenus. Sulla allowed the defeated Mithridates to keep his own kingdom, in return for a huge indemnity and the loan of 70 ships to Sulla to return home to Rome.RR88353. Bronze semis, Crawford 350B/1, Sydenham 678A (scarce), BMCRR Rome 2205, RBW Collection 1342 (scarce), Hannover 2671, SRCV I 908, F, green patina, porous/rough, weight 6.546 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 86 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Saturn right, S (mark of value) behind; reverse prow right, S (mark of value) left, ROMA above; scarce; $80.00 (€70.40)
Roman Republic, Anonymous, 86 B.C.
Both sides of this coin are incuse. That might indicate it was overstruck, but more likely the flan was struck twice, and flipped, between strikes. This type is from a late, massive and intriguing anonymous issue undoubtedly struck by the moneyer triumvirate of Gargonius, Ogulnius and Vergilius. Their signed coins (SRCV I 263 - 265) have identical types and are scarce or rare.RR88391. Silver denarius, Crawford 350a/2, Sydenham 723, RSC I 226, BMCRR I Rome 2622, RBW Collection 1333, SRCV I 266, VF, flip strike, toned, scratches, weight 3.733 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 86 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, thunderbolt below neck truncation; reverse Jupiter in quadriga right, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, reins in left hand; ex Classical Numismatic Group; $80.00 (€70.40)
Aetolian League, Aetolia, Greece, 205 - 150 B.C.
The Aetolian League was a confederation of tribal communities and cities centered in central Greece, probably established to oppose Macedon and the Achaean League. Other Greeks considered Aetolians to be semi-barbaric, but their league had an effective political and administrative structure and a powerful army. By the end of the 3rd century B.C., it controlled the whole of central Greece outside Attica. At its height, the league included Locris, Malis, Dolopes, part of Thessaly, Phocis, and Acarnania. Some Mediterranean city-states, such as Kydonia on Crete, joined. As the first Greek ally of the Roman Republic, the league helped defeat Philip V of Macedon. Roman meddling in Greek affairs shifted opinion and a few years later the league sided with Antiochus III, the anti-Roman Seleucid king. Antiochus' defeat in 189 B.C. forced the league to sign a treaty that allowed it to exist but made it an feeble pawn of the Roman Republic.RR88356. Bronze hemiobol, BCD 578, Tsangari 1534a, cf. SNG Cop 35; BMC Thessaly p. 99, 64; SGCV I 2323, aF, a little rough, edge crack, weight 3.726 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 45o, Aetolian mint, 205 - 150 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet; reverse Herakles standing facing, head right, leaning on club in right hand, Nemean Lion's skin draped over left arm, AITΩ/ΛΩN in two downward lines starting on the right; $70.00 (€61.60)