Monday, March 7, 2011

Type 09: Eros with Down-turned Torch and a Bow

Despite the down-turned torch, this reverse type cannotbecause of the bowpossibly represent Thanatos. 

These attractive little coins were issued only in Nicopolis ad Istrum in Moesia and in Aphrodisias in Caria (on the coins of the latter city there is also a tiny figure, possibly a winged butterfly, at Eros’s feet).

* Nicopolis ad Istrum in Moesia, coins of Septimius Severus (the three specimens that we know of are illustrated below), Caracalla (the two specimens known to us are illustrated) and Geta Caesar.

Æ 16, 2 h, 2.71 g. Obv. ΑΥ K Λ CΕΥΗΡOC. Laureate head of Septimius Severus r. Rev. ΝΙΚΟΠΟΛIT… Eros standing facing, head l., holding a down-turned but flaming torch in his r. and a bow in his l. 

Æ 16, 1.30 h, 2.76 g. Similar (Private collection, photos by permission)

Æ 18, 2.54 g. Similar (Photos courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.,

Æ 18, 2 h, 2.26 g. Obv. ΑΥ K M ΑΥ ANTΩ[NIN]. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Caracalla r. Rev. [Ν]ΙΚΟΠΟΛITΩN ΠΡΟC Ι. Similar reverse type. 

Æ 18, 2 h, 2.60 g. Similar.

Æ 18, 3 h, 3.2 g. Obv. [Λ ΑΥΡ KAI ΓETAC?]. Bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust of Geta Caesar r. Rev. ΝΙΚΟΠΟΛI[TΩN ΠΡΟC Ι]. Similar reverse type (Private collection, photos by permission).

Æ 18, 8 h, 2.42 g. Similar.

Æ 18, 8 h, 2.53 g. Similar.

* Aphrodisias in Caria, half-assarion coins struck c.209-220, with obverse type of bust of Boulé r., veiled and draped, and a tiny figure (?) at the feet of Eros on the reverse (this has been interpreted as a butterfly, reflecting the legend of Eros and Psyche, though on the few specimens that I have seen it looks more like a second tiny Eros).

Æ 21, 6 h, 4.94 g. Obv. EIEPA BOYΛH. Veiled, draped bust of Boulé r. Rev. [A]ΦP[OΔ]EICIEΩN. Eros standing facing, head l., holding bow and burning downturned torch, with perhaps a small figure at his feet. 


Nicopolis ad Istrum / Septimius Severus
References: Hristova/Jekov; Varbanov 2481 (incorrectly described, and estimated as R3 = From 500 to 1000 exemplars, which is not plausible)
Rarity: RR

Nicopolis ad Istrum / Caracalla 
Previously unpublished?
Rarity: RRR

Nicopolis ad Istrum / Geta
Reference: Hristova/Jekov 
Rarity: Scarce

Aphrodisias / Boulé
Reference: RPC IV, 2156
Rarity: Common

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