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New reverse type for me and new city


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Finally, my latest batch of coins arrived - pleasantly surprised by them overall. But the one I like the most is one that was quite cheap (the first pleasant surprise as I think the overall condition of the coin is great). For a few months I wanted a coin with Asclepius but never managed to get one. 

Here is the coin (with the original pictures from the house and my attempt - very difficult to get a good focus and the correct color - it has a beautiful and homogenous gray toning)



Phrygia, Docimeum. Pseudo-autonomous, time of the Antonines (138-192). Æ (20.5mm, 5.23g). ΔΟΚΙΜΟС, laureate head of Dokimos right / ΔΟΚΙΜƐΩΝ, Asklepios standing facing, head l., holding serpent-staff. RPC IV.2 online 8136 (temporary); SNG Copenhagen 354; BMC 7-9.

It was the first time I heard about this city and I thought the obverse character, Dokimos, is a local deity or a legendary ruler. Actually, the second option is close to the truth as it seems that the city was founded by the Macedonian officer Dokimos/Docimus, who was a member of Alexander the Great's army. 

The reverse - the first thing I noticed about this coin, offers the classical depiction of Asclepius with the snake-entwined staff.

He was a hero and god of medicine in ancient Greek religion and mythology. He is the son of Apollo and Coronis, or Arsinoe, or of Apollo alone. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters, the "Asclepiades", are: Hygieia ("Health, Healthiness"), Iaso (from ἴασις "healing, recovering, recuperation", the goddess of recuperation from illness), Aceso (from ἄκεσις "healing", the goddess of the healing process), Aegle (the goddess of good health) and Panacea (the goddess of universal remedy). He has several sons as well. He was associated with the Roman/Etruscan god Vediovis and the Egyptian Imhotep.He shared with Apollo the epithet Paean ("the Healer").The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, (similar to the caduceus) remains a symbol of medicine today.

He had the classic life of a Greek hero (studied with the centaur Chiron, took part in the Calydonian boar hunt, managed to evade death and learn how to defeat it, just a plain life). After Hades was unhappy for this last event, Zeus killed Asclepius and also banished Apollo from Olympus. 

In the end, Zeus placed his body among the stars as the constellation Ophiuchus ("the Serpent Holder"). But later, upon Apollo's request, Zeus resurrected Asclepius as a god and gave him a place on Olympus.


Let's see coins with Asclepius or coins featuring legendary city founders/figures!

Edited by ambr0zie
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Here's a relevant coin of Docimeum -- with Hygieia on the reverse.

Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman provincial Æ 17.4 mm, 4.67 g, 6 h.
Phrygia, Docimeum, c. AD 150-155.
Obv: ΦΑVСΤЄΙΝΑ СЄΒΑС, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: ΔΟΚΙ-ΜЄΩΝ, Hygieia standing, right, feeding serpent from patera.
Refs: RPC IV.2 1977 (temp); BMC 25.192, 24; SNG Copenhagen 359; Recueil général 5960.

I have lots of Asklepios coins. My favorite one is this one -- very skilled artistry on this one!

Severus Alexander, AD 222-235.
Roman Provincial Æ 27.2 mm, 8.75 g, 6 h.
Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior, Legate Um(brius?) Tereventinus, AD 226-227.
Obv: AVT K M AVP CEVH AΛEZANΔPOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: HΓ ȢM TEPEBENTINOV MAPKIANOΠOΛIT-ΩN, Asklepios standing facing, head left, holding serpent staff.
Refs: AMNG I 1027; Moushmov 696; Varbanov 1685 (same dies).

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Some very interesting coins in this thread. This is my favorite coin depicting Asklepios, and one of my favorites among all my Roman Provincial coins:

Severus Alexander, AE 22, AD 218-222, Mysia, Parion. Obv. Laureate bust right, wearing cuirass with Gorgoneion, seen from front, IMP CAEƧ L ƧEP ƧEV ALEXANDER (all S retrograde) / Rev. Asklepios seated right on throne, with right hand extended, holding and examining raised right fore-hoof of bovid (cow or bull) standing left with head raised towards his face, DEO AE ƧVB above, C G H I P [Colonia Gemella Hadriana Iulia Pariana] in exergue.* RPC VI Online 3871 (temp.) (see https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/6/3871). 20.03 mm., 4.24 g.  Purchased from Lodge Antiquities, UK, Jan. 2022.

*According to RPC VI 3871, the (blundered) reverse legend “is presumably an attempt at DEO AESCVLAP.” But see https://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?param=85231q00.jpg&vpar=1901&zpg=91146&fld=, stating that DEO AE ƧVB stands for “Deo Aesculapius subvenienti - to Aesculapius, the god who helps.”

I have one other coin depicting Asklepios, this time on the obverse (it's a little difficult to see at first glance, but I assure you there's a profile there):

Mysia, Pergamon (under Roman Republic from 133 BCE, Province of Asia), AE 19 mm., 133-27 BCE. Obv. Laureate head of Asklepios right / Rev. Bearded serpent coiled around oval Omphalos covered by net [agrenon],*  AΣKΛHΠIOY downwards to right, ΣΩTHΡOΣ downwards to left [ = Asklepios Sothros or Soter, meaning “the Savior”]. BMC 15 Mysia 158 (p. 129) & PL. XXVII no. 4 [Wroth, Warwick, A Catalogue of the Greek Coins of the British Museum, Vol. 15, Mysia (London 1892)]; Sear, Greek Coins 3967 (p. 369) (ill.) [Sear, David, Greek Coins and their Values, Vol. 2: Asia & Africa (Seaby 1979)]; SNG Von Aulock I 1377 [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 1: Pontus, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Mysia, Troas, Aiolis, Lesbos, Ionia (Berlin, 1957)]; SNG BnF 1803-1827 [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale, Vol. 5, Mysia (Paris 2001)]. 19 mm., 9.91 g., 11 h.


*See the definitions of Omphalos and agrenon at http://www.forumancientcoins.com/moonmoth/glossary.html

Omphalos: The Omphalos was a sacred stone sited near the prophetic chamber of the oracle of Delphi. The word means "navel" in Greek, indicating its position in the centre of the Hellenic world. There were several copies, and some other stones are sometimes given this name, but the Delphi stone is the original and the one which is usually meant by the term. Apollo [father of Asklepios], the patron deity of the Delphic oracle, is often shown seated on the Omphalos. It was usually shown on coins as covered by a white wool netting, the agrenon, though this is worn to invisibility on many examples.

Agrenon: A Greek word for the white wool netting which covered the Omphalos, and was also worn by soothsayers. It was related to the casting nets used by hunters. It was made of raw wool which had been carded, but not spun or died. Paintings and copies of the Omphalos showed it with this netting. It can be seen on the example to the right, criss-crossing between the body of a snake [illustration is of this coin type; see http://www.forumancientcoins.com/moonmoth/coins/pergamon_004.html].

As far as legendary city founders are concerned, the only ones I can think of for whom I have coin depictions are Romulus (has anyone ever suggested which of those two twins under the she-wolf is he, and which is Remus?) and Phalanthos, the founder of Tarentum, riding on a dolphin on the reverses of that city's coins. I've posted both frequently before, so I'll refrain from doing so here.

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Nice coins everybody.




Mysia, Pergamon
AE 20, 200-133 BC
Obv.: laureate head of bearded Asklepios
Rev.: ΑΣΚΛΗΠΙΟΥ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ, snake coiled around omphalos, monogram below,left
AE, 6.37g, 21mm



Antoninian, Mediolanum Mint
Obv: IMP GALLIENVS AVG. Radiate bust right, with slight drapery.
Rev: Rv: SALVS AVG / MP, Asclepius standing facing, leaning upon serpent-entwined staff.
20x22mm, 3.02g
Ref.: MIR 1331f; RIC p.176, 511a var. (bust type)



Severus Alexander
Mysia, Parium
Obv.: IMP CAEƧ L ƧEP ƧE ALEXANDER, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev.: DEO AEƧ VB (Deo Aesculapius subvenienti - to Aesculapius, the god who helps), Asclepius seated right, holding raised foreleg of bull standing left, C G H I P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) in exergue.
Æ, 19mm, 5.27g
Ref.: SNG Cop - , BMC - , SNG BN - , SNG von Aulock -, ISEGRIM-, RPC VI temp 3871




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Terrific new addition to your collection     Here are a couple of big sestertius-sized Provincials showing Asclepius with his daughter Hygieia (I didn't know that was his daughter, now I do thanks to your post).  These both have (different) countermarks:


Gordian III Æ 30 Irenopolis-Neronias, Cilicia Year ΒϘΡ 192 (242/243 A.D.) ΑΥΚ ΜΑΝΤωΓΟΡΔΙΑΝΟϹradiate, draped & cuirassed bust right / ƐΙΡΗΝΟΠΟΛƐΙΤωΝ, ЄT BϘP in exergue, Hygieia standing right feeding serpent from patera, facing Asclepius standing l. holding serpent staff. (22.00 grams / 32 x 31 mm) eBay Oct. 2022  Host Coin Attribution:  RPC VII.2 3218; (formerly RPC VII.2 unassigned 2075); SNG Levante 1622; SNG von Aulock 5596; SNG France 2270.  Countermark Obverse:  Figure standing with in 6 mm circle.  Howgego / RPC says this is "Tyche?" Howgego GIC 270; RPC countermark 112. Die-Matches:  RIC lists many die-matches; this one is from group: "Die-links 1–4, 8–11, 15, 18–19, 22, 24, 27, 31: same pair of dies."  These are also "same obv. die as 3221/1" (Tyche in Zodiac circle type).  Two specimens in my collection are in this same die-link group, with different  countermarks: Howgego GIC 616 (monogram) Howgego GIC 270 (Tyche?)

Gordian III  Æ 30 Irenopolis-Neronias, Cilicia Year ΒϘΡ 192 (242/243 A.D.) ΑΥΚ ΜΑΝΤωΓΟΡΔΙΑΝΟϹradiate, draped & cuirassed bust right / ƐΙΡΗΝΟΠΟΛƐΙΤωΝ, ЄT BϘP in exergue, Hygieia standing right feeding serpent from patera, facing Asclepius standing l. holding serpent staff. (10.02 grams / 30 mm) eBay Feb. 2022  Host Coin Attribution: RPC VII.2 3218; (formerly RPC VII.2 unassigned 2075); SNG Levante 1622; SNG von Aulock 5596; SNG France 2270. Countermark Obverse: Monogram in 6 mm circle PHE (EIPH? Eirenopolis), Howgego GIC 616 (7 pcs); RPC Countermark 110. Die-Matches:  RPC lists many die-matches; this one is from group: "Die-links 1–4, 8–11, 15, 18–19, 22, 24, 27, 31: same pair of dies."  These are also "same obv. die as 3221/1" (Tyche in Zodiac circle type). Two specimens in my collection are in this same die-link group, with different  countermarks: Howgego GIC 616 (monogram) Howgego GIC 270 (Tyche?)

 Caracalla put Asclepius on his imperial issues.  Here is a sestertius:


Here are two denarii - I like how the rendition of Asclepius differs on the denarii -one has his leg stuck out, in a kind of "Disco Asclepius" move.  "Stayin' alive (and stayin' healthy)" 😁 :


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23 hours ago, ambr0zie said:

coins featuring legendary city founders/figures!

Pompeiopolis was one of the seven cities founded by the Roman general Pompey the Great along the fluvial plains of Iris, Halys and Amnias in 64/63 BC


Cilicia, Pompeiopolis. Pompey AE22. Time of Tiberius.

Obv: Head of Pompey, r.
Rev: ΠΟΜΠΗΙΟΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ; ϘϚ, Athena, seated l., holding Nike; in field several letters.
Year 96 = AD 30/1
RPC I, 4001



According to Greek mythology, Olba had been built by Ajax, half-brother of Teucer.


Cilicia, Olba. Ajax/thunderbolt Æ20

Obv: ΑΙΑΝΤΟΣ ΤΕΥΚΡΟΥ / draped head of Ajax wearing cap and with caduceus, r.
Rev: ΑΡΧΙΕΡΕΩΣ ΤΟΠΑΡΧ(Ο)(Υ) ΚΕΝΝΑΤ(ΩΝ) ΛΑΛΑΣ, ΕΤ Β / winged thunderbolt.
Reign of Augustus.
RPC I, 3728

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