HoodedHawk

History


Alexander the Great. Silver Drachm. ~324-323 B.C. Lifetime issue.

Alexander the Great.  Lifetime issue silver drachm.

Alexander the Great. Lifetime issue (~324-323 B.C.) silver drachm.

Alexander the Great.  Lifetime issue silver drachm.

Alexander the Great. Lifetime issue (~324-323 B.C.) silver drachm. Reverse

Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, 370-340 B.C. Silver hemidrachm. VF. superb classical style, centered on a tight flan, marks, porosity, etched reverse, 2.886g, 16.3 mm, Pharsalos (Farsala, Greece) mint, 370-340 B.C. Head of Athena right, wearing pendant earring and crested Altic helmet with raised cheek flaps, adorned with scrolls, hair out from under the neck guard. T (the master engraver Telephantos) over IIL (his apprentice?) behind neck. Reverse: Horse’s head and neck right, concave field.

Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, 370-340 B.C.  Silver hemidrachm.  VF.  superb classical style, centered on a tight flan, marks, porosity, etched reverse, 2.886g, 16.3 mm, Pharsalos (Farsala, Greece) mint, 370-340 B.C.  Head of Athena right, wearing pendant earring and crested Altic helmet with raised cheek flaps, adorned with scrolls, hair out from under the neck guard. T (the master engraver Telephantos) over IIL (his apprentice?) behind neck.

Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, 370-340 B.C. Silver hemidrachm.

Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, 370-340 B.C.  Silver hemidrachm.  VF.  superb classical style, centered on a tight flan, marks, porosity, etched reverse, 2.886g, 16.3 mm, Pharsalos (Farsala, Greece) mint, 370-340 B.C.  Reverse:  Horses head and neck right, concave field

Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, 370-340 B.C. Silver hemidrachm. Reverse.

On Saturday I attended Prof. Bob Brier’s talk at the Smithsonian Ripley Center ( A Smithsonian Resident Associates talk):

Temples, Monuments, and Tombs: Exploring Egypt’s Ancient Treasures

egypt-treasuresThis was a great day of archaeology lectures!

I had planned to take the Metro into Washington, D.C., but was running late (shocker!), so drove in. No spots on Jefferson Ave in front of the S. Dillon Ripley Center (sometimes I get lucky), so I parked at a meter at the end of the Mall (on 7th). That was actually convenient, as you can use an app on your phone to pay the meter, so I just renewed my spot every 2 hours on my phone without having to go back to feed the meter. Nice.

I arrived just a few minutes after it started. I assumed walking in that I would have a crappy seat (it was a sold out event), but there were some free chairs along the side of the upper balcony in the auditorium – unobstructed view, and no one crowding. Nice! I had been to a previous lecture of Prof. Brier’s, about 6 years ago, for the release of his book, “The Secrets of the Great Pyramid”, so I knew I would like the presentation. He is a great lecturer; dynamic speaker and he keeps your interest.

In anticipation of this seminar I have also started watching his Great Courses series, The History of Ancient Egypt. Wow. Wonderful course. I’m going to have Preston watch a lecture or two with me; I think he will enjoy this.

Normally in these day-long Smithsonian symposiums you get a break for lunch and have to fend for yourself. This time, however, they included a catered, box lunch. I chose the smoked turkey sandwich (lettuce and bacon too!). Quite yummy, with a nice side of rustic red potato salad and also fresh fruit cup. I saved the brownie. I hope this box lunch is a new trend – much better than having to run around and find lunch. I found an empty classroom and had a relaxing lunch and read a few articles in the latest Nature.

After the symposium, it was only a little after 4 and I had time on the meter – so I went to the National Gallery of Art (West) for an hour. Heck, I had parked almost right in front of it! That was a nice little tour. Wish I had more time, but they close at 5. My iPhone takes some surprisingly good pictures of the artwork; lots of new wallpaper for my phone now. :)

Not much traffic on way home, so just a great day. Would have been perfect if it hadn’t been 23 degrees out. Dusting of snow made it look nice, though. :)

Anyway, below is the syllabus from the website. He followed this pretty closely.


All-Day Program
Saturday, January 7, 2017 – 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Ancient Egypt was a major Mediterranean civilization, existing for almost 30 centuries. Its culture was one of architectural innovation and artistic beauty, governed by rich religious traditions. Egyptologist Bob Brier, an expert in pyramids, tombs, and mummies, explores its timeless heritage in a day-long examination of Egypt’s spectacular historic sites, from the Giza Plateau to the Philae Temple.

9:30–10:45 a.m. Pyramids

Among the largest structures on earth, pyramids served as royal funerary structures filled with riches for the afterlife. Examine the Great Pyramid and those in Cairo, the Giza plateau, and locations in Saqqara and Dahshur.

11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. From Karnak to the Ramesseum

Karnak is the world’s second-largest religious site with more than 30 pharaohs contributing to its complex of temples. The Luxor Temples are known as the site where kings might have been crowned. Mortuary temples on the west bank include those of Hatshepsut (Deir el Bahri), Ramses the Great (the Ramesseum), and Ramses III (Medinet Habu).

12:15­­–1:15 p.m. Lunch (box lunch provided)

1:15–2:30 p.m. The West Bank of the Nile

The Valley of the Kings is the mortuary area where many pharaohs, their families, and powerful nobles are buried. The most famous is Tutankhamen’s tomb, and a recent theory suggesting that Queen Nefertiti is buried behind one of its walls sparked new searches for secret chambers.

2:45–4 p.m. The Jewel of the Nile and Abu Simbel

Philae Temple, known as the “Jewel of the Nile” was built by Greek rulers of Egypt. Abu Simbel, the massive temple of Ramses II carved into a mountain, was an inspiration for Mount Rushmore.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1 credit

Some “new” ancient coins for the collection.

Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, Silver drachm, Larissa mint, 400-380 B.C., Rare ethnic arrangement, 5.521g, 21.8mm.  BCD Thessaly II 372.10 (same dies), SNG Delepierre 1108 (same reverse die) SNG Cop 108 ff var (ethnic arrangement) Hermann pl III, 18 var (same). O: Thessalos left restraining bull leaping left using band around bull's forehead held in both hands, he is naked but for the chlamys over shoulders, petasos with cord around his neck flying above

Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, Silver drachm, Larissa mint, 400-380 B.C., Rare ethnic arrangement, 5.521g, 21.8mm.  BCD Thessaly II 372.10 (same dies), SNG Delepierre 1108 (same reverse die) SNG Cop 108 ff var (ethnic arrangement) Hermann pl III, 18 var (same). R: Bridled horse galloping right, rein trailing, no ground line. AAP above, I horizontal below horses's head. IAE below, all within incuse square
The Greek coin from Thessaly (400-380 B.C.) is depicting ancient religious games, where the young men of Thessaly participated in bull jumping and bull wrestling. Participants would jump from a horse, naked save a chlamys and cap, to bring a bull down to the ground. The obverse shows a wrestler bringing down a bull, and the reverse shows the horse running free after the leap was made.


Trajan. Silver denarius. Rome Mint, 101-102 A.D. gVF, 3.318g, 18.0mm, 180º , RSC II 228, BMCRE III 94, BnF IV 138, Woylek 520v, RIC II 52, Strack I 41, Hunter II 30 var (aegis), SRCV II R: P M TR P COS III P P, Mars advancing right helmeted, nude but for cloak around waist, transverse spear in right hand, trophy of arms over left shouler in left hand.Trajan. Silver denarius. Rome Mint, 101-102 A.D. gVF, 3.318g, 18.0mm, 180º , RSC II 228, BMCRE III 94, BnF IV 138, Woylek 520v, RIC II 52, Strack I 41, Hunter II 30 var (aegis), SRCV II O: IMP CAES NERVA TRAJAN AVG GERM, Laureate head right Next is a coin depicting Trajan (101-102 A.D.), regarded as one of Rome’s greatest emperors. Trajan was responsible for the annexation of Dacia, the invasion of Arabia, and an extensive and lavish building program across the empire. Under Trajan, Rome reached it’s greatest extent.


Constantine The Great, Billon follis, Londinium (London) mint, 312-313 A.D. Choice EF, excellent portrait, perfect centering, slight reverse die wear, some porosity, short edge cracks, 2.338g, 21.8mm, RIC VI Londinium 279, SRCV IV 16049, Cohen VII 536 O: IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, Larueate, draped and cuirassed bust right.Constantine The Great, Billon follis, Londinium (London) mint, 312-313 A.D. Choice EF, excellent portrait, perfect centering, slight reverse die wear, some porosity, short edge cracks, 2.338g, 21.8mm, RIC VI Londinium 279, SRCV IV 16049, Cohen VII 536 R: SOLI INVICTO COMITI, Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, star in left field, PLN in ewcergue
Finally, a coin of Constantine the Great (312-313 A.D.). Constantine is most famous for leading the Empire to Christianity. Before the battle of Milvian Bridge, he saw “In Hoc Signo Victor Eris” (By this sign you shall conquer) on the sun around Chi Rho. With the symbol of Christ on his army’s shields, he was victorious. He moved the capital to Constantinople. The Latin word comii, during imperial times, indicated a minister of the emperor. Even the two consuls were called “comiles”. The reverse legend on the coin therefore reads: “to the unconquered Sun, minister (of Constantine).

Went back and re-photographed the first few lots of ancient coins we acquired. Enjoy!

Received some “new” ancient coins today. Preston was already in bed by the time I got home from work, so he hasn’t even seen these yet! I used the rest of the evening to photograph the coins. They range in size from ~38mm down to a tiny ~12mm (from Corinth, c. 300 B.C.).

Preston was looking forward to the HUGE bronze Ptolemy – 43g, and almost the size of an American Silver Eagle – and from around 240 B.C.

The Ptolemaic Kingdom coin (Ptolemy III) was minted in Alexandria, Egypt over 2200 years ago. As Cleopatra was Ptolemy VII, this was a few generations before her. Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. He promoted the translation of Jewish scriptures into Greek as the Septuagint. Due to a falling out at the Seleucid court, his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus was murdered along with her infant son. In response he invaded Syria, occupied Antioch and even reached Babylon. This war, the Third Syrian War, is cryptically alluded to in Daniel XI 7-9. The Ptolemaic kingdom reached the height of its power during his reign.

The next coin is from King Philip II of Macedonia. Philip II became the ruler of all Greece when he defeated the Athenians at the Battle of Chaeroneia in 338 B.C. Philip personally selected the design of his coins. His horse, on the reverse of this coin, won a race in the Olympic Games in 356 B.C., the year his son Alexander the Great was born. His son was a wee bit successful: conquered most of the known world before he died young at 33.

Following is a little critter from Corinth. I couldn’t resist a piece of history, 2300 years old, for $25.00. Found at Halos in southeastern Thessaly in 1994.

The last two coins are Roman: Caracalla and Aurelian.

Annona (reverse of Caracalla) was worshipped in Rome as the goddess who prospered the year’s supply of grain. She was represented on an altar in the capitol. The three principal granaries of Rome were Sicily, Egypt, and the African provinces. Annona civilis was the grain which was purchased each year by the Roman state, then imported and put into storage, reserved and distributed for the subsistence of the people. Annona militaris was grain appropriated for the use of an army during a campaign.

In 274, Rome greeted Aurelian as Restitutor Orbis (“Restorer of the World”) and accorded him a magnificent triumph (victory procession), which was graced by his captives Tetricus I and his son Tetricus II. Aurelian’s conquests of the Palmyran Empire and the Gallic Empire reunited the Roman Empire.

This coin is very rare; none of the reference books have this combination of obverse and reverse. Neat!


It never ceases to thrill – touching an object that was in circulation a couple of THOUSAND years ago.

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