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Favorite Century & Favorite Coin


Sulla80

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Posted (edited)

I have been building a webpage with >2000 years of coins and picking a coin from each half-century between 350 BC and 1900 AD. I may even go as far as the 2000's but still have a while to go before I get there.

https://www.sullacoins.com/projects-8

I would like your advice - which ruler, issuer of coins, or subject of coins would you want to highlight from your favorite century?  For my favorite century for coins, 1st Century BC, I chose C. Cassius Longinus as I find him more appealing than the more familiar Julius Caesar. Cassius is named as the leading instigator of the plot to kill Julius Caesar by Plutarch and Appian.  Other sources are more vague. According to Plutarch, he had both personal and political grievances against Caesar. Cassius was married to Junia Tertia,  half-sister to Marcus Junius Brutus.  More on this in my notes: https://www.sullacoins.com/post/cassius-conspirator.

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The field is not limited to Greek & Roman - as you can see on the webpage https://www.sullacoins.com/post/cassius-conspirator

Share you favorite century and a coin of your favorite ruler from that time period.

 

Edited by Sulla80
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Posted · Supporter

Great thread idea and coin!

I hear you and agree that the late republic is a super interesting time to have lived. But mine has to be on the outskirts of Greece from 336-323 BCE:

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Alexander lII the Great (336-323 BC). AR tetradrachm (28mm, 10h). ANACS XF 40. Lifetime issue of Amphipolis, ca. 336-323 BC. Head of Heracles right, wearing lion skin headdress, paws tied before neck / AΛEΞANΔPOY, Zeus seated left on backless throne, left leg drawn back, feet on ground line, eagle in right hand, scepter in left; Macedonian shield in left field. Price 57. Purchased from Heritage Auctions October 2021

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Posted (edited)

Difficult to choose. For Rome my favorite is 2nd century. I consider this the peak of artistry. My focus is on Trajan but I also like Pius coins for example. 

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For Greece it would be 4th century BC. Same reasons. 

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Edited by ambr0zie
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1 hour ago, Ryro said:

Great thread idea and coin!

I hear you and agree that the late republic is a super interesting time to have lived. But mine has to be on the outskirts of Greece from 336-323 BCE:

image004.png.4fe334e025125e2811e108020eb7da45.png.4cf0867c8be144a26d48052253e177f2.png.82f75dc38c82ba6966eb629a322a43be.png

Alexander lII the Great (336-323 BC). AR tetradrachm (28mm, 10h). ANACS XF 40. Lifetime issue of Amphipolis, ca. 336-323 BC. Head of Heracles right, wearing lion skin headdress, paws tied before neck / AΛEΞANΔPOY, Zeus seated left on backless throne, left leg drawn back, feet on ground line, eagle in right hand, scepter in left; Macedonian shield in left field. Price 57. Purchased from Heritage Auctions October 2021

A nice Alex III tet- sadly even my uncrossed legs issues from this time are not lifetime issues e.g. this drachm a posthumous issue of Sardes, ca. 323-319 BC.  Philip III Arrhidaios AR Drachm. Struck under Menander or Kleitos. 

Obv: Head of Heracles right, wearing lion skin headdress, paws tied before neck

Rev: AΛEΞANΔPOY, Zeus enthroned left, left leg drawn back, feet on ground line, eagle in outstretched right hand, grounded scepter in left; EY monogram above bee in left field. Price 2597.

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Second century CE!!! The best time to be a Roman! Prosperity, stability, and generally competent people at the helm: Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius! I have hundreds of coins from the second century. Don't make me choose!

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My difficulty is that for my view of the greatest century and area for  coins (5th century BC Syracuse) fits ill with issuers of those  coins who weren't murderous or worse, or were just unknown. To find a great leader under whom amazing  coins are  issued  moves me -

1) to 4th century Taras, and the truly incredible  leader Archytas,  a great general, musical  theorist,  mathematician,  mechanic,  philosopher/friend and rescuer of Plato, & proposer of supernumerary ratios on which scales were built (Unison: 1:1, Major second: 9:8, Major third: 5:4, Perfect fourth: 4:3 etc etc), the list goes on....

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or

2) 4th century Timoleon, who even if not as  god-touched as Plutarch wants us to  believe, was clearly special -

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11 minutes ago, Deinomenid said:

My difficulty is that for my view of the greatest century and area for  coins (5th century BC Syracuse) fits ill with issuers of those  coins who weren't murderous or worse, or were just unknown. To find a great leader under whom amazing  coins are  issued  moves me -

1) to 4th century Taras, and the truly incredible  leader Archytas,  a great general, musical  theorist,  mathematician,  mechanic,  philosopher/friend and rescuer of Plato, & proposer of supernumerary ratios on which scales were built (Unison: 1:1, Major second: 9:8, Major third: 5:4, Perfect fourth: 4:3 etc etc), the list goes on....

  00018q00_orig1.jpg.aa2e1674ad801403b90a49034ebabb18.jpg

Love it @Deinomenid the coin and the link to Archytas (435/410–360/350) BC from Taras.  I could pair this up with this coin from Taras circa 380 BC.

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56 minutes ago, Roman Collector said:

Second century CE!!! The best time to be a Roman! Prosperity, stability, and generally competent people at the helm: Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius! I have hundreds of coins from the second century. Don't make me choose!

I would have expected a selection from this time period.... 🙃

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Posted (edited)

My collection focuses on two different cultures.

For the Romans, my favorite period is from the Imperatorial period to the end of the Pax Romana, which other posters have covered extensively. Another fascinating era is the split of the empire and the fall of the Western Half, particularly the 5th century AD.

This Solidus of Basilicus is one of my favorite coins from that period, minted around the year Rome fell. Just imagine if Basiliscus wasn't such a bonehead during the Battle of Cape Bon.

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During the 11th century AD, Rajendra Chola of the Chola dynasty assembled his naval armada to conquer the Sri Vijaya kingdom due to their heavy taxes on Tamil merchant ships. This was an unique achievement for an Indian dynasty to engage in overseas battles in distant lands. Although, the Pallavas and Pandyas had navies, they mainly used them for small-scale invasions into Sri Lanka. My write up 

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This 1/8th Kahavanu of Rajendra Chola (1014-1044 AD, 0.45g) commemorates the conquest of neighboring kingdoms of Chera, and Pandya, depicted as the royal emblems-Cholan tiger, flanked by the Pandyan twin fish to its right, and the Cheran bow behind the tiger, all under the single rule symbolized by the umbrella.

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Edited by JayAg47
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Cool idea @Sulla80.

It’s outside of your stated date range but the century I find most interesting is the 5th century BC. I am fascinated by the Persian Wars as well as the Peloponnesian Wars that bracket the century.

I have several coins from this century that can contend for my favorite coin of the century. This is one such coin with a great provenance, a connection to the myth of Dionysus at Thebes and a Peloponnesian War issue to boot. 

Thebes_Stater_Shield_Dionysus_Fin.jpeg.6e0f44c60e15400582dcefcf27bfcc0f.jpeg

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BOEOTIA, Thebes
AR Stater, struck ca. 425-400 BC
(22 mm, 3h, 11.84 g)
Obv.: Boeotian shield. 
Rev.: Θ-Ε Bearded head of Dionysos to right, wearing ivy wreath. 
Ref.: BCD Boiotia 438. An attractive, toned example.
Ex Collection of Kommerzienrat Heinrich Otto Jr. (H Otto), Stuttgart (1856-1931†), Adolph Hess Nachf. (Luzern) Auktion 207, Lot 422 (Dec. 1, 1931); Ex W. F. Stoecklin Collection, Amriswil (1888-1975†), acquired from Münzen und Medaillen in Basel prior to 1975; Ex Obolos 8, lot 224 (Dec. 2, 2017)

 

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Posted (edited)

2nd and Third Century. While the 2nd perhaps features the most interesting types and execution of craftsmanship on the large bronze pieces, the third offers up a story both of power and pathos in the ascension of the Severan dynasty and the eventual decline as well as the recovery under the barracks emperors including Claudius, Aurelian, and Probus prior to Diocletian, who perhaps best exemplifies the transition from Imperium to Dominate. The image of the Four tetrarchs illustrates an Empire that has turned its focus on outside enemies. Each tetrarch looks furtively out on an uncertain world, grasping the pommel of his sword. Meanwhile the title Dominus Noster was adopted showing the internal reforms on the personage of the Emperor.

 

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Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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