Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cleopatra VII, Damascus, Tyche of Antioch Type




  • Cleopatra VII, Damascus, Syria 
  • YES, THEE Cleopatra, Greek Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt, Caesar and Mark Antony's mistress, last queen of Egypt before Augustus and Rome took over
  • Greek
  • Bronze AE 21mm
  • Circa 33/32BC
  • Obv: Cleopatra, draped and diadem
  • Rev: Seated Tyche on rock left, holding cornucopia, river god swimming at fee
  • Ref: Roman Provincial Coins I 4783
  • Seated Tyche of Antioch Type

Golden Gate of Constantinople

Golden Gate as seen from inside the Yedikule Fortress
Inside Wall


The Golden Gate of the land walls of Constantinople (Istanbul). Built by Theodosius some time between 388 and 391, initially as a Triumphal Arch, it stood all alone out on the Via Egnatia. It was eventually incorporated into the Theodosian land walls by Theodosius II. It had been walled off long before the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453.

After the fall Mehmet II had a fort built behind it in 1458, the Yedikule Fortress. It was used over the years as a archive, treasury and prison.

During my trip and tour of the land walls I experienced several snowstorms in one day capping off some of the worst winter weather for Istanbul in 33 years. Notice that I arrived at the fortress and took some pictures in the sun. By the time I got to the top of the gate it was close to being a whiteout. I couldn't get to the outside of the gates. They were closed off. I had to hop a fence just to see the outside wall gate.

I included an older picture so you could see what the gate looked like at the beginning of the 20th century.
Outside wall entrance to the Golden Gate
Outside wall entrance to the Golden Gate
Golden Gate inside the Yedikule Fortress, Inside wall
Golden Gate inside the Yedikule Fortress, Inside wall












On top of the Golden Gate during a snowstorm, overlooking what was once the Thracian Plains
On top of the Golden Gate during a snowstorm, overlooking what was once the Thracian Plains


At the beginning of the 20th century, outside the wall

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ancient Roman Coin: Trajan's Column



  • Trajan, Rome
  • Roman Imperial
  • Denarius
  • Circa 114 AD
  • Obv: Trajan, Laureate, draped bust right. 
    • IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC
    • To the Imperator Caesar Nerva Trajan Best Augustus Germanicus Dacicus
  • Rev: Trajan's Column: statue of Trajan on column on rectangular base ornamented by bas-reliefs, two eagles at base of column
    • PM TRP COS VI PP SPQR
    • Pontifex Maximuns Tribunician Power (potestas) Consul VI (in the year of his sixth consulship)  Pater Patriae (Father of the Country) Senate and People of Rome
  • Ref: Roman Silver Coins 284, Roman Imperial Coinage 356
  • Yes, thee Trajan's Column, still visible today in Rome. Pics below from my sojourn to Rome some years back. Nice coin, like a photograph of the original. The statue that surmounts it today is St. Peter. There is a spiral staircase that winds its way through the interior of the column to the top. The spiral frieze is famous for the information it provides on how the Roman Legions functioned on campaign. 







Friday, October 12, 2012

Ancient Coin: Antoninus Pius and Faustina Senior, Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem)

  • Antoninus Pius and Faustina Senior - Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem), Judea
  • Roman Provincial (Greek Imperial)
  • Bronze AE23 (diameter in milimeters)
  • Circa 138-141
  • Obv: Antoninus Pius Laureate, draped bust right. 
  • Rev: Faustina Senior, draped bust right
  • Ref: Sear's Greek Imperial Coins 1518
  • After the Bar Kokhba revolt (132-136 AD) the Emperor Hadrian rebuilt and resettled Jersusalem as a Roman colony, renaming it "Aelia Capitolina" and even going so far as to rename the province of Judea to "Syria Palaestina". Below is the "Cardo Maximus" (photos from my trip some 9 years ago), a major north/south paved avenue, built by the Romans after the refolt. It was 22.5 meters wide running from the Damascus gate (part of that Roman gate is shown in the last photo shown below) to as of yet an unknown point somewhere under "modern" Old Jerusalem. Practically the whole way was colonnaded on either side, forming a 12 meter wide roadway. The porticos created by these colonnades was ideal for shops and shaded pedestrians from the summer heat. Antoninus Pius became Emperor after Hadrian died in 138, so the rebuilding of the city was completed during his reign. 





Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ancient Coin: Caracalla - Laodicea ad Libanum, Tyche


  • Caracalla - Laodicea ad Libanum, Syria
  • Roman Provincial (Greek Imperial)
  • Bronze AE24 (diameter in milimeters)
  • Circa 215-217 AD
  • Obv: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right. 
  • Rev: Tyche seated left on rock being crowned from behind by Nike, river god Libanum swimming below
  • Seated Tyche of Antioch Type
  • Ref: Lindgren III 1289 (could possibly be Geta)

Tyche, Mural Crown and Rudder (Constantinople)


Marble statue of Tyche (Goddess of Cities and Fortune) in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum (Constantinople). Notice the mural crown she wears and the rudder she uses to steer the fate of the city. This statue was found in Nicomedia, present day Izmit. Roman Period, 2nd Century AD. (Istanbul Trip, January 2012).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trebonianus Gallus, Antioch, Seated Tyche of Antioch

  • Trebonianus Gallus-Antioch, Syria
  • Roman Provincial (Greek Imperial)
  • Bronze AE27 (diameter in millimeters)
  • 251-253AD
  • Obv: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right. 
  • Rev: Tetrastyle Shrine, containing Tyche (city-goddess) seated facing on rock, river-god Orontes swimming at her feet; above shrine, ram running right, SC in Exergue.
  • Seated Tyche of Antioch Type
  • Ref: Sear's Greek Imperial Coins 4350



Monday, October 8, 2012

Faustina Senior, Cybele


Faustina Senior, Sestertius, obv: Bust, veiled right, DIVA AVGVSTA FAVSTINA, rev: Cybele, towered, seated right on throne between two lions, holding drum in left hand on left knee, right arm on throne, MATRI DEVM SALVTARI S.C. Nice patina. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Faustina, IVNO (Juno)


Faustina Senior, obv facing right, DIVA FAVSTINA, rev Juno standing left, holding scepter and patera, IVNO

Fausitna Senior, veiled, with peacock

Faustina Senior, Minted under her husband’s regin, Antoninus Pius Obv Veiled head right, DIVA FAVSTINA Rev: Peacock walking right, on a scepter, head left, CONSECRATIO
Augusta (Empress) 138-141AD

Faustina Senior with Peacock

First ancient coin I ever bought…notice the intricate hair style of that era, her hair is laced with pearls…Faustina Senior, Minted under her husband’s regin, Antoninus Pius Obv head right, DIVA FAVSTINA Rev: Peacock walking right, on a scepter, head left, CONSECRATIO
Augusta (Empress) 138-141AD