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A coin celebrating the building of Carthage on Rome's birthday/ A Carthage appreciation thread: Go ahead, eat a baby. You know you want to


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It was with a bit of irony and luck that I was able to win this very rare type celebrating the building of Carthage on arch enemy and ultimate destroyer, Rome's supposed 2777 birthday!?


★ The Building of Carthage ★

PHOENICIA. Tyre. Elagabalus, 218-222. Tetrassarion (Bronze, 26 mm, 13.55 g, 11 h). IMP CAES M AV ANTONINVS AVG Laureate and cuirassed bust of Elagabalus to right, seen from rear. Rev. TVRIORVM ΔΕΙΔΩ The building of Carthage: Dido standing, left, wearing peplos, holding small sceptre in left hand and torch in right, surveying construction, in front of city gate flanked by two towers; on top and below, mason above gate, with pick-axe digging before gate, above, murex shell in upper central field, palm tree to right of Dido. Rouvier 2375–6. RPC VI 8613 (temporary). Very Rare and with a most interesting mythological scene on the reverse. Well centered and with nice details. Nearly very fine.

Dido was the, possibly mythical, first queen and founder of Carthage.


She supposedly founded it in 814 BCE (making Carthage older than Rome itself, as Rome was 753 BCE). 


Unfortunately most of what we know of her is found in Virgil's Aeneid, which was written well after Rome's total destruction of Carthage. Though the story of Romans sowing the earth with salt is made up, after the needless third war against Carthage they did raise the city to the ground. 


Carthage made some amazing coins and who knows the art and history that we lost with its destruction. 

Here are a few coins from there before it's destruction:


Carthage, billon dishekel (8.19g) SNG Cop. 351; Ex-Forum 73094.aVF, scratches 


ZEUGITANA Carthage Late fourth–early third century BC. Æ 19.3 (6.69 gm). Palm tree / horse head right. SNG Copenhagen 102 

Though only one sided, how about the artistry of the horse!?


CARTHAGE. Circa 300 BC. AR Three-quarter Shekel(?) (18mm, 2.80 g,). Carthage mint. Wreathed head of Tanit left / Horse standing right, head left; Punic ‘ayin below. MAA 37 variante; CNP 102a; SNG Copenhagen 143. Obverse eroded. Rare 

And here a coin from what had been Punic Sicily until Rome took over and shared their amazing artistry😉


Sicily, Syracuse Roman Occupation, Bronze, After 212 BC, AE (g 7,04 mm 2o), Head of Zeus r., dotted border, Rv. ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, Isis standing l., holding istrum and sceptre. Dotted border. CNS II, n. 240 SNG Copenhagen 904 SNG ANS 1065. 


Thanks for taking a look and please share your coins of Carthage, or thoughts on what history would look like if Carthage had won and raised Rome to the ground!

Edited by Ryro
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  • Ryro changed the title to A coin celebrating the building of Carthage on Rome's birthday/ A Carthage appreciating thread
  • Ryro changed the title to A coin celebrating the building of Carthage on Rome's birthday/ A Carthage appreciation thread: Go ahead, eat a baby. You know you want to
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Severus II
A.D. 305- 306
27x31mm       10.4g
FL VAL SEVERVS NOB CAES; Laureate head right.
SALVIS AVGG ET CAESS FEL KART; Carthage standing facing, head left, holding fruits in both hands; H in left field.
In ex. Γ       RIC VI Carthage 40a


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That's a fantastic coin @Ryro!

I can't bring  myself to participate in ownership given they systematically destroyed most of the mints  I'm most fond of in western (and  much of the rest of!) Sicily. I know there's  no  internal logic to that and then owning coins from plenty of other places that did similar. My excuse is when I was a  child a long time ago I stayed for a while near Sousse  in Tunisia and was really shocked at the tophet we saw on some lane to nowhere (no doubt somewhere now again). I know the stories vacillate between child sacrifice and the expected high infant mortality but back then it was called child sacrifice. Rows  on either side of little stone coffins (this was not the  tophet of Carthage). That kind of put an early negative spin on them for little me.

The section of the Aeneid set there is extraordinarily beautiful nonetheless 🙂.

I have coins highly likely minted from captured Carthaginian booty, and others likely from war indemnities exacted from them, but that's little harsh here!



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I have this puny ("Punic-like") coin that I believe to be from Carthage, but at the other end after the Roman city was destroyed. Somehow, it got as far as south Wales when no-one was using coins.

Vandal Kingdom Palm Tree Nummus, 440-490
Carthage. Bronze, 9mm, 0.47g. Pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right. Palm tree with multiple fruits on each side (BMC Vandal 68). Found Morriston, Swansea, Wales.

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Interesting provincial with a neat and unusual reverse. How many ancient coins showing construction work are there?

Here are my Carthage coins:


Carthage, AE17, ca. 400–350 BC, Carthage mint (?). Obv: Wreathed head of Tanit l. Rev: Horse standing r. in front of palm tree; to right, three pellets in triangle with another pellet below. 17mm, 3.64g. MAA 18 var.; SNP 194; SNG Copenhagen 118 var. Ex Bing.

My second coin is overstruck on the Tanit/standing horse-type shown above:



Carthage, AE17, late 4th or early 3rd c. BC, Sicilian mint. Obv: male head r., flanked by grain ears. Rev: galloping horse r. 17mm, 3.59g. Ref: MAA 19; SNG Copenhagen (Africa) 120; Sylloge Numorum Punicorum 128. Struck over MAA 18; Sylloge Nummorum Punicorum 194 (head of Tanit/horse standing in front of palm tree). Ex Roma Numismatics Ltd, E-Sale 52, lot 1245 (multiple lot).


Carthage, AE 18 (Shekel?), ca. 300–264 BC, mint on Sicily or Sardinia (?). Obv: head of Tanit l. Rev: head of horse r.; Punic letter (crescent-shaped) before. 18mm, 4.43g. Ref: SNG Copenhagen 151. Ex André Cichos.

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Great pickup with an interesting history + scene.

Here's my only coin of Carthage.


Circa 400-350 BCE
AE 15mm, 2,4g
Head of Tanit to left, wearing wreath of grain ears.
Rev. Horse standing right; palm tree in background.
MAA 18. SNG Copenhagen 109

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Carthaginian Domain, Sardinia, c. 264-241 BC. Æ (20mm, 4.88g, 3h). Wreathed head of Kore-Tanit l. R/ Head of horse r.; letter before. Piras 54; SNG Copenhagen (Africa) 151.

I can't help thinking the eating babies stuff is just another example of the victors writing  history to suit their narrative. Not saying they were angels mind you. Septimius Severus was born in the town of Leptis Magna and spoke Punic. Well he spoke Latin too but with a Punic accent. Just a bit of trivia for you! 

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Of the several Carthaginian coins I have, this is the most interesting:Carthageerror.jpg.15e5d33f7581f3b93126c66a20f4ee1a.jpg

On the obverse is the top of Tanit's head in the lower left, and another image of the Tanit's neck at 12 o'clock. This has implications on how the Carthaginians were striking coins. The lack of depressions around the strike indicates this all happened through only one striking, on an obverse die with at least two complete obverse images! The obverse die must've been the fixed/bottom die. Perhaps they alternated striking while a second worked placed the next blank on the other image.


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Very cool acquisition, @Ryro! Those foundation of Carthage types are popular and hard to get. I know @zumbly has a bunch of cool ones.

I have quite a few Carthagineans (for a generalist, that is).  Artistry-wise, this is probably my best, a shekel from the early 3rd c. BCE. (Yours looks to be the same type, @mcwyler... probably Carthage rather than Sardinia. The references I have recorded are MAA 57x; Müller, Afrique 286; SNG Copenhagen 151. Referencing Carthaginean coins is annoyingly difficult, I find!)


At the same time, they were issuing these ugly things in Sardinia:


Perhaps the residents of Sardinia weren't as enamoured of Tanit as the residents of Carthage? 😆

This is my newest acquisition, from the Libyan revolt, 241-238 BCE:


From Spain at the time of Hannibal, a quarter-shekel:


The late issues (200-146 BCE) are surprisingly difficult to find!  Here's my trishekel (27mm, 18.69g):


Under the Romans:


And under the Vandals:


23 hours ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

Sadly, the only Carthage issues I have are Byzantine.

Those are cool too!! 😄  Here's my Heraclian revolt pentanummium (608-610):


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Here are my two Carthage coins. Neither are from the time of the second Punic war but they are very pretty coins. I love the detailed portrait of a horse. Carthage was known and famous for horses. Probably that coin will be on my top coins list of 2024. 





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