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Hello everyone! The topic I chose today was ancient African coins. 

I own a very nice Numidian bronze coined minted under Massinissa or his son Micipsa.


Micipsa(?) Numidia, Northwest Africa AE Unit. 2nd or 1st Century BC

Info from Numidia:

Numidia was the ancient kingdom of the Numidians located in northwest Africa, initially comprising the territory that now makes up modern-day Algeria, but later expanding across what is today known as Tunisia, Libya, and some parts of Morocco

Info about Massinissa:

Massinissa was an ancient Numidian king best known for leading a federation of Massylii Berber tribes during the Second Punic War, ultimately uniting them into a kingdom that became a major regional power in North Africa.

Post your numidians (and africans) Below!

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I sold this lovely Roman-African provincial bronze at CNG Triton XXIV, lot 928 for $1,560.00 ☺️.


SYRTICA, Oea. Tiberius, AD 14-37 (struck circa AD 22-29). AE 19.25 gm, 32 mm, 3 h. Obverse: Tiberius, eagle in left field holding palm frond, olive branch in right field. Reverse: Apollo with lyre in right field, Neo-Punic inscription in left field, all surrounded by olive wreath. RPC 832.

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Numidia, Kings of Mauretania. Juba II, 25 BC-AD 24. AR Denarius (17mm, 3.37g, 9h). Caesarea mint. Struck circa AD 16-17. Obv: REX • IVBA; Diademed head right. Rev: Cornucopia and scepter in saltire; crescent above. Ref: MAA 94; Mazard 241; SNG Copenhagen 593. Good Very Fine. Ex CNG eAuction 251 (9 Mar 2011), Lot 194. 


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Kyrene, Magas
Ptolemaic governor, c. 300-282/75 BC
AR Didrachm 20mm, 7.30g, 12h
Head of Karneios r. R/ Silphion plant; ZE monogram to upper l., crab to upper r., KY-PA across lower field.
BMC 256; cf. SNG Copenhagen 1243
Ex London Ancient Coins



Ptolemy I 311-305 BCE
27.5 mm 14.6g 1h
Sv.162 (37 ex) - Cop.29 - GC.7750 var. - BMC.- - MP.6
Avers : Buste cornu et diadémé d'Alexandre le Grand sous les traits de Zeus-Ammon à droite, coiffé de la dépouille d'éléphant avec l'égide.
Revers : Athéna Promachos ou Alkidemos marchant à droite, brandissant une javeline de la main droite et tenant un bouclier de la gauche ; dans le champ à gauche, un casque corinthien, un monogramme et un aigle sur un foudre tourné à droite.



Kyrenaica. Kyrene. Ptolemaic Governor Ophellas First Reign
322-313 BCE
18.58mm 7.26 grams
Obverse: Youth on horseback right
Reverse: Wheel with four spokes and hub, silphium plant between left spokes
SNG Copenhagen 1221
Ex Marc Breitsprecher


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While small and not as attractive as other Silphium options, I believe this Kyrene AE16 Sear6341 with three plants joined at the base with legend K Y P (retrograde) is something you don't see everyday. 





So, what demand is there for equal or better of the three on acsearch  of what is probably the least appealing silphium type?  Is there a number less than zero?

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Ptolemy V Ar Drachm Alexandria Mint 200-180 BC Obv Head of Zeus Ammon right wearing taenia Rv Two eagles standing left on thunderbolt wings folded. Svoronos 1423 37.63 grms 35 mm Photo by W. HansenSv1423-2ptV.jpg.f40b260232313c69d688ae779a959c46.jpg

Starting with Ptolemy V a new series of coins was started with new designs. It would appear that in most cases from this point in time different images were placed on the coins to denote different denominations. Unfortunately for many years this was not understood and the study of the last two centuries of Ptolemaic aes has been made more difficult as a result. Naturally there is still a lot of work on this subject yet to do.

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I have yet to get a version of the OP coin... on the list.  I wish it were possible to differentiate between coins of Massinissa and Micipsa... I'd prefer the former.

No Axumite coins in the thread yet!  Here's one:


Ezana (c. 330-360) AR unit

My notes: 

In the worldview of the prophet Mani, founder of the Manichaean religion, there were four empires that ruled the world: the Empire of the North (Persia), the Empire of the West (Rome), the Empire of the East (either Mauryan India or Han China) and the Empire of the South (Axum). The fact that Axumite coins frequently turn up in southern India is an indication of the extent of their trading network.  They were essential to the trade link between Rome and India, as well as the main source of African goods to both.

Ezana (or Ezanas) was the first monarch of the Kingdom of Aksum to embrace Christianity, after he was converted by his slave-teacher and Syrian Christian, Frumentius.  Frumentius became head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, whose scripture and liturgy are still in Ge’ez.  A surviving letter from the Arian Roman emperor Constantius II is addressed to Ezana and his brother Saizana and requests that Frumentius be sent to Alexandria to be examined for doctrinal errors and be replaced by Theophilos the Indian.

Around 350, Ezana conquered the Kingdom of Kush.  Ezana’s exploits are recorded on the trilingual “Ezana Stone,” still found in the modern day town of Axum.  (The languages: Ge’ez, Sabaean, and Greek.)  The tradition of erecting monumental grave stelae probably ended during or shortly after Ezana’s reign; one of those intact is called “King Ezana’s Stele.”

He is regarded as a saint by both the Ethiopian Church and the Catholic Church.

Edited by Severus Alexander
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Numidia, Kings of Mauretania. Juba II, with Kleopatra Selene. 25 BC-AD 24. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.28g, 6h). Caesarea mint. Struck circa 20 BC - AD 24. Obv: [RE]X IVBA; Diademed head of Juba right. Rev:  •BACIΛI-CCA-KΛEΟΠΑΤΡA; Headdress of Isis set on crescent. Ref: Mazard 331; MAA 103; SNG Copenhagen 574. From the Benito Collection. Ex CNG eAuction 468 (20 May 2020), Lot 147.


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11 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

No Axumite coins in the thread yet!

Axum has some very nice gold and silver coins but my favorites are the small denomination issues where the full weight of gold is born on a bronze coin.  Most of these coins are in pretty bad shape but we do see them with gold intact.  This .4g is cataloged as Kaleb and successors 520-540 AD.  Junker?  Yes but it has intact gold. 



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Carthage - Zeugitana AR Shekel-Didrachm 360-264 BCE Tanit Horse r head l palm SNG COP 141


Carthage-LIBYAN UPRISING - Mercenaries issue
Mercenary War 241-238 BCE
7.36g AR DiShekel
Herakles Head in Lion's Head-
Lion walking; Punic M above; LIBYA below
R SNG Cop 240f
Coins were struck in the name of Libya and "M", which has been taken as either "machanat" - the Camp (of the mercenaries), or perhaps Matho, their leader

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4 hours ago, Al Kowsky said:

This coin was struck at the Rome mint, however, it honors the province of Africa, the birthplace of emperor Septimius Severus ☺️.


That's a great-looking coin, Al.  That cuirass on Septimius Severus is heavy-duty!   Here is a less pretty one, with no cuirass, RIC 668b:



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