Sunday, 14 February 2021

Cool ancients

ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, SEXTUS POMPEY AS IMPERATOR (44-36 B.C.) Sextus Pompey initiated the use of dynastic imagery on Roman coins. In 42 B.C. Marc Antony, Octavian, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus and Sextus Pompey all were fighting for supremacy. He and his brother portrayed their deceased father on denarii as early as 45-44 B.C. This example sold for $336k in 2018.
Macedonian Kingdom. PHILIP II (359-336 B.C.) The obverse of this late posthumous issue of the ancient city of Colophon bears a portrait resembling Apollo. It clearly depicts a real person. Comparison with the posthumous Alexander coins under the Thracian King Lysimachus and surviving portrait sculpture leaves no doubt the portrait is Alexander the Great himself. The coin sold for $36k in 2020.
Zeugitana, Carthage. (circa 350-320 B.C.) Carthage became a naval powerhouse in the 5th century B.C. and challenged the cities of Sicily and Southern Italy for control of the Mediterranean. By the early 3rd century B.C., most of Central North Africa, Spain and Sicily had fallen to the Carthaginians. Mints produced coins to pay the largely mercenary army. This early stater indicates the dies were created by a Greek engraver with superior skill. This coin sold for $15k in 2019.
A powerful army was put to use by the third king of the Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-222 B.C.). Shortly after inheriting the throne, he launched an invasion of the neighboring Seleucid Kingdom of Syria. He crushed all resistance reaching Babylon, where he proclaimed himself King of Kings. The coin sold for $49,350 in 2016.