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Holy Hippo!


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I simply love the coins struck at Alexandria during the Flavian era, especially those of Domitian. My latest coin is a good example why!

 

RPC2591a.jpg.bedc81a79f6472a28f3f3a56580c28f2.jpg

Domitian

Æ Obol, 4.49g
Alexandria mint, 90-91 AD
Obv:
ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙϹΑΡ ΔΟΜΙΤ ϹƐΒ ΓƐΡΜ; Head of Domitian, laureate, r.
Rev: LΙ;
Hippopotamus, r.
RPC 2591 (0 spec.). Emmett 320.10. Dattari-Savio 615.
Acquired from London Ancient Coins, May 2022. Ex Naville Numismatics 72, 27 March 2022, lot 254.

The Alexandrian mint under Domitian around regnal year 10  experienced a 'dramatic improvement in style' and the 'adoption of a wide range of new types' (Milne). One of those new types was this ethnic hippopotamus reverse that had previously been struck under the Julio-Claudians. The hippo in local Egyptian mythology was a potent symbol of prosperity, rebirth, and regeneration. In the days of the pharaohs the killing of a hippo was symbolic of courage and strength. Hippo hunts were necessary due to the animal's habit of grazing and destroying precious crops. Today the Nile hippopotamus is extinct in Egypt. This Domitanic hippo obol is extremely rare, likely due to it being sparingly struck for just a couple of issues.

Feel free to show off your hippos, Alexandrian coins, or anything else you think appropriate.

Thanks for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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That's cool, @David Atherton! I have the more frequently encountered issues of Otacilia Severa.

Otacilia Severa SAECVLARES AVGG Antoninianus.jpg
Otacilia Severa, AD 244-249.
Roman AR Antoninianus, 2.90 g, 21.4 mm, 1 h.
Rome, AD 248.
Obv: OTACIL SEVERA AVG, bare-headed and draped bust, right, on crescent.
Rev: SAECVLARES AVGG, hippopotamus standing right; IIII in exergue.
Refs: RIC 116b; Cohen 43; RCV 9160; CRE 526; Hunter 8.
 
1786102828_OtaciliaSeveraSAECVLARESAVGGSCSestertius.thumb.jpg.bfeaa6c675d0eff010723edb130a02d9.jpg
Otacilia Severa, AD 244-249.
Roman Æ sestertius; 11.52 g, 30.4 mm.
Rome, AD 248.
Obv: MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AVG, diademed and draped bust, right.
Rev: SAECVLARES AVGG SC, Hippopotamus standing right.
Refs: RIC 200; Cohen 65; RCV 9170; Hunter 26.
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2 hours ago, ominus1 said:

...one cant have too many hippos...

Very true. 

And then, of course, there was Hipponion in Calabria (later Vibo Valentia). However, I'm pretty sure there were no hippos there, back in the day or even now 😄. Always liked the name though.

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40 minutes ago, rNumis said:

Very true. 

And then, of course, there was Hipponion in Calabria (later Vibo Valentia). However, I'm pretty sure there were no hippos there, back in the day or even now 😄. Always liked the name though.

Hippo is Greek for horse. A hippopotamus is a “river horse”.

 

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Posted (edited)

A wonderful coin, @David Atherton!

My only hippo, posted here recently, is the toothy variety from Otacilia Severa, issued by Philip I as part of the SAECVLARES AVGG series in AD 248, to commemorate Rome's 1000th anniversary:

image.thumb.jpeg.21e5acd7ab6d9540a0dfb94aef860899.jpeg

And then there are my two hippocamps, one from the Gallienus Zoo Series and the other a Mudie medal (No. 39). They should count, right?

image.jpeg.4358d9380567cab09b33061c0e4ccf3f.jpeg

image.jpeg.c90781accae25625906a55965afcbcd2.jpeg

 

Edited by DonnaML
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Here is the Uber-Rare nature's own Horned LAND-Hippo...  😄 😄 😄

image.jpeg.f7f327becffac653a0438360f8967031.jpeg

RI Trajan Egypt AE Dichalkon Laureate hd L HORNED LAND-HIPPO >Rhinoceros< walking L LI-Z yr 17 CE 113-114 12.9mm 1.25g Emmet 719 var. rhino right

Kinda the same idea as the:

image.png.9500ec0db296794fa2790e1b82e6703e.png

 

Edited by Alegandron
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21 minutes ago, Alegandron said:

Here is the Uber-Rare nature's own Horned LAND-Hippo...  😄 😄 😄

image.jpeg.f7f327becffac653a0438360f8967031.jpeg

RI Trajan Egypt AE Dichalkon Laureate hd L HORNED LAND-HIPPO >Rhinoceros< walking L LI-Z yr 17 CE 113-114 12.9mm 1.25g Emmet 719 var. rhino right

Kinda the same idea as the:

image.png.9500ec0db296794fa2790e1b82e6703e.png

 

..no...possums are kool &  inoffensive ....armadilias tear your yard to pieces...i wouldn't mind'em diggin' if they'd just refill the hole 9_9..

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2 minutes ago, ominus1 said:

..no...possums are kool &  inoffensive ....armadilias tear your yard to pieces...i wouldn't mind'em diggin' if they'd just refill the hole 9_9..

Remember:  Armadillos are ARMORED Possums... they dig up your yard cuz they are preparing for TRENCH WARFARE!  😄 😄 😄 

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Posted (edited)

 Sweet!! => Hey David, congrats on snagging that fantastic Hippo coin (great addition)

Here is a sweetie from my old collection ... one of my favs

 

Otacilia Severa. Augusta, Æ Sestertius (below)

AD 244-249

Secular Games issue., 4th officina. 9th emission of Philip I, AD 248

Rome mint

Diameter: 28 mm

Weight: 15.99 grams

Obverse: Draped bust right, wearing stephane

Reverse: Hippopotamus standing right

Reference: RIC IV 200a (Philip I); Banti 13

Other:12h … Good VF, dark brown patina, with some red

Ex-stevex6 … from the Ex Robert O. Ebert Collection

 

Otac Hippo.jpg

 

... big-n-lovely (that's what Philip the Arab called her)

 

Edited by Steve
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1 hour ago, Steve said:

 Sweet!! => Hey David, congrats on snagging that fantastic Hippo coin (great addition)

Here is a sweetie from my old collection ... one of my favs

 

Otacilia Severa. Augusta, Æ Sestertius (below)

AD 244-249

Secular Games issue., 4th officina. 9th emission of Philip I, AD 248

Rome mint

Diameter: 28 mm

Weight: 15.99 grams

Obverse: Draped bust right, wearing stephane

Reverse: Hippopotamus standing right

Reference: RIC IV 200a (Philip I); Banti 13

Other:12h … Good VF, dark brown patina, with some red

Ex-stevex6 … from the Ex Robert O. Ebert Collection

 

Otac Hippo.jpg

 

... big-n-lovely (that's what Philip the Arab called her)

 

..x6?...that's the coin that persuaded  meto get one....:D (that and Roman Collector educating me on what i had :P)

Edited by ominus1
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