For now I am concentrating on Roman Republic from 211 BC, along with Roman Empire from Constantius I to his grandsons. I am using the catalog description from the auction house when available. I do tend to buy ancients only NGC certified or from very well known dealers/auction houses.
There is really no rhyme or reason to this collection either, but the history of some of the Roman Republic designs is fascinating.
Due to the large percentage of fakes I would never dream of buying an ancient coin off eBay or similar sites that was not already slabbed.
Roman Republic From 211 BC
Anonymous. Ca. 211-210 BC. AR quinarius (17mm, 2.21 gm, 5h). Mint in Apulia. Helmeted head of Roma right wearing winged Attic helmet; V (mark of value) to left / The Dioscuri, each holding spear, on horseback riding right, stars above heads, ROMA in raised letters in exergue; MT monogram to lower right. Crawford 103/2a. King 29. RSC 33k. Rare symbol! Well struck and lustrous. NGC Choice AU 5/5.
The Dioscuri shown on the reverse are also known as the Twins, sons of Zeus (and possibly the King of Sparta who was married to their mother) they were the brothers of Helen (of Troy). One of the twins was born mortal and the other immortal. When the mortal twin was killed Zeus was asked to intervene so they could share the immortality, they are represented as the constellation Gemini. Among their exploits they rescued their sister Helen when she was abducted as a child by Greek King Theseus and accompanied Jason on the Argo.
C. Fabius Maximus Ca. 123 BC. AR Denarius, Head of Roma Right, Cornucopia with lightening bolts, surrounded by laurel. NGC EF.
L. Crassius Ca. 118 BC. Serrated AR denarius. Rome, helmeted Head of Roma right; reverse Bearded Gallic warrior in Biga right holding shield, reins, carnyx and spear. Possibly Bituitus, King of the Arverni, a Gaulish tribe. NGC EF.
A. Manlius Sergianus, 118-117 BC. AR Denarius (3.57 gm). Helmeted head of Roma / Sol in quadriga raising from waves, sun & moon above. Manlia.1. Cr.309/1. Toned aXF, some toned porosity. Very Rare. Ex.Spink, private sale 2/1/75.
L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi (90 BC). AR denarius (4.04 gm). Rome mint. Laureate head of Apollo right; two pellets behind / Naked horseman galloping right, holding palm branch; L above, L PISO FRVGI and pellet below. Crawford 340/1. Sydenham 664. RSC Calpurnia 11. NGC AU 4/5.
Q. Titius (ca. 89 BC). AR denarius (4.08 gm). Rome. Male head right with long pointed beard, wearing winged diadem / Pegasus to right, RCV 238. Crawford 341/1. RSC 1. Toned. NGC AU 4/5. You've got to love any coin with a Pegasus.
Q. Antonius Balbus 83-82 BC. Silver Serrate Denarius (4.02g). Rome. Laureate head of Jupiter right; reverse Victory in quadriga right holding palm branch and wreath, Q. ANTO.BALB in exergue. Crawford 346/1d; RSC Antonia 1. A really well struck example. NGC Mint State, 5/5.
C. Mamilius C.f. Limetanus Ca. 82 BC. Silver Serrate Denarius (3.81 g). Rome. Draped bust of Mercury right, wearing winged petasus; behind, A above caduceus. Reverse : MAMIL LIME(TA)N, Ulysses advancing right, holding staff and extending hand to his dog Argus, coming to greet him. Crawford 362/1; Sydenham 741; Mamilia 6. NCG Mint State.
The types on this coin allude to the moneyer's claim to descent from Telegonus, son of Ulysses and Circe, and hence from the god Mercury. When Odysseus returns home after twenty years disguised as a beggar and his old dog, who had been neglected, recognizes him:
"So they spoke. And a dog, lying there, lifted its head and pricked up its ears. Argus was the hound of noble Odysseus, who had bred him himself, though he sailed to sacred Ilium before he could enjoy his company. Once the young men used to take the dog out after wild goat, deer and hare, but with his master gone he lay neglected by the gate, among the heaps of mule and cattle dung that Odysseus' men would later use to manure the fields. But suddenly aware of Odysseus' presence, he wagged his tail and flattened his ears, though no longer strong enough to crawl to his master. Odysseus turned his face aside and hiding it from Eumaeus wiped away a tear then quickly said: 'Eumaeus, it's strange indeed to see this dog lying in the dung. He's finely built, but I can't tell if he had speed to match or was only a dog fed from the table, kept by his master for show.'
'Yes this dog belongs to a man who has died far away. If he had the form and vigour he had when Odysseus left for Troy you'd be amazed by the speed and power. He was keen-scented on the trail, and no creature he started in the depths of the densest wood escaped him. But now he is in a sad state, and his master has died far from his own country, and the thoughtless women neglect him. When their masters aren't there to command them, servants don't care about the quality of their work. Far-voiced Zeus takes half the good out of them, the day they become slaves.'
"With this he entered the stately house and walking straight into the hall joined the crowd of noble suitors. As for Argus, seeing Odysseus again in this twentieth year, the hand of dark death seized him" (Homer, Od. XVII.290-327).
L. Hostilius Saserna Ca. 48 BC. AR denarius (19mm, 4.12 gm, 5h). Rome. Bare head of Gallia right, her hair in disarray; carnyx (Gallic trumpet) behind / SASERNA L • HOSTILIVS Diana (Artemis) of Ephesus standing facing, laureate, wearing long hair falling down her shoulders and long flowing robes, holding spear in left hand and stag by its antlers in her right. Crawford 448/3. CRI 19. Kestner 3541. RSC Hostilia 4. Pleasing strike and bright metal. NGC Choice AU 5/3.
Diana the Roman Goddess of the Hunt (among other things), the Roman equivalent of Artemis, was the sister of Apollo and Daughter of Jupiter. Pictured here as Diana of Ephesus, the deer may represent the story of Acteon, said to have seen Diana bathing naked she turned him into a stag and had his own hunting dogs kill him. Of course it may also just represent her role as Goddess of the Hunt.
Constantius I as Caesar (A.D. 293 - 305), Bronze Follis, 9.41g., 27mm, London mint, c. A.D. 305-307, Group I, Class II(a), laureate cuirassed bust right, FL VAL CONSTANTINVS NOB C, rev., Genius standing left modius on head, holding cornucopiae with chlamys over left shoulder, patera in right from which liquor flows, exergue blank, GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, (RIC VI, 14a). Constantius was the father of Constantine the Great and spent essentially no time in London. NGC AU, dark black patina, rare.
Constantine I (AD 307-337). BIL centenionalis (2.33 gm). Constantinople, ca. 327-328. Diademed head right / Soldier standing to front, head right, with inverted spear and grounded shield. RCV 16233. RIC 16. Even dark brown patina. NGC MS* 5/5 - 5/5
Constantine I the Great (AD 307-337). Æ3 / BI nummus (2.61 gm). Heraclea, AD 327-329. Head of Constantine right, wearing jeweled diadem, eyes raised / VOT XXX in two lines within laurel wreath; •SMHB. RIC VII 92. NGC MS* 5/5 - 5/5, silvering.
Constantine I the Great (AD 307-337). Æ 3 or reduced follis / nummus (2.49 gm). Rome, AD 329. Laureate head of Constantine right / VOT XXX in wreath. Rare! RIC 320 (R5). NGC MS 5/4.
Constantine II, as Caesar (A.D. 317-337), Bronze Follis, Treveri mint (Trier, Germany), second officina, A.D. 317-318, bare-headed draped and cuirassed bust of Constantine seen from the back, FL CL CONSTANTINVS IVN N C, rev., Prince laureate standing right in military dress, holding globe and spear, PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS, BTR in exergue, F T in field (RIC 172), reverse slightly off center, otherwise practically as struck, a superb specimen, R4 in R.I.C.. NGC mint State 4/5.
Constantius II, as Caesar (A.D. 317-337), Silvered Bronze Follis, 3.18g., 18mm, Cyzicus mint (Belkis, Turkey), fourth officina, A.D. 324-325, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust left, FL IVL CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, rev., 'camp gate' (more likely a city gate') with no doors and two towers, star above, PROVIDENTIAE CAESS, SMKΔin exergue (RIC 27), practically as struck, full silvering. NGC Choice Mint State, 5/5.
Constantius II, as Caesar (AD 324-337). Æ follis (1.55 gm). Siscia, 3rd officina, ca. AD 330-333. Laureate and cuirassed bust right / Two soldiers standing facing, each holding spear and shield; standard between; ΓSIS. RIC VII 221. NGC MS 5/4.
Constans (AD 337-350). Æ follis (1.49 gm). Siscia, 1st officina. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Two soldiers standing facing, each holding spear and shield; standard between; ASIS in exergue. RIC VIII 88. NGC MS 5/5.
Justinian I (527-565), Æ 40 Nummi – Follis, 22.08g., 40mm.Cyzicus mint,
first officina, dated regnal year15 (A.D. 541 / 542), D N IVSTINI ANVS P P AVC, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, holding globus cruciger and shield with figure on horseback riding right; cross to right, rev., large M (mark of value), ANNO to left, cross above, XЧ (date) to right, A below, KYZ in exergue, (S,207).
Also referred to as Justinian the Great, and the Last Roman, Justinian embarked on an attempt to restore the Roman empire to it's previous glory while Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. Among his exploits he completely rewrote Roman Law in the form passed down to many current countries in the west, and built the Hagia Sofia, one of the great pieces of architecture in the Roman empire.