HoodedHawk

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

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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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Lisa Randall signing my copy of “Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs”

 
Lisa Randall was at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington DC tonight, giving a very interesting talk about Dark matter and the Universe. In her new book, Dark Matter and the Dinosars, she ties in the dinosaurs by speculating how Dark matter may have been responsible for popping a comet out of the Oort Cloud, thus sending it on its way to crash into the Earth 65 million years ago- wiping out the dinosaurs and most life on the planet.  

Her talk was great; first book tour talk I’ve been to that was like a classroom lecture:  she had slides with diagrams, pictures and explanatory text.  So easy to follow and really engaging. 

Her book, “Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs” was just released yesterday.  Here she is signing my copy.

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Actors playing as real live rock band before the play.

 
Saturday night – Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. Wonderful production of Titus Andronicus in the new indoor venue for Chesapeake Shakespeare Company in Baltimore.  They had a live rock band play before the show and during intermission, as well as doing the music during the play.  The were great!  

This was my first time seeing Titus Andronicus, and they did a wonderful job.  I took my teenage son- ‘yeah, Dad, it didn’t suck’.  High praise!  

I saw Much Ado About Nothing here with my younger son last month, and we already have tickets to Macbeth in the spring.  

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Some “new” ancient coins for Preston’s collection. The youngest is over 1600 years old. The oldest is over 2300 years old! More than two thousand years. I get a kick out of holding a coin that was used to buy something so long ago, and could have traveled around the ancient world in somebody’s “pocket” (or whatever). These are our first real ancient coins. I suspect we will be scouting for more as time goes on…

Some history of the coins:

The Honorius is neat: On 23 January 393, Theodosius I proclaimed his son Honorius, age 8, co-ruler (Augustus) of the Western Roman Empire. Thought Preston would appreciate that. The coin is a bit smaller than a US nickel.

The Greek Philip II is nice, though harder to see details. 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. The coin is about the size of a US penny, but thicker.

And the Silver denarius? Just looked freakin cool. Silver! Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. This reverse suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people. The coin is about the size of a US dime.

I haven’t done a lot of macro photography, so I suspect my images of coins will get better over time. Still working on lighting.

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