Category Archives: Obol

Olbia: Ancient Greek Coins of the Black Sea’s Northern Coast

By Steve Benner for CoinWeek …..   The northern coast of the Black Sea (Euxine Sea), which is southern Ukraine and Russia today, was considered to be at the extreme edge of the ancient Greek world. The area was settled during the great colonization period of Greek history in the eighth through sixth centuries BCE. […]

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Athens Before the Owls: The Wappenmünzen Coins – CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. Thanks to rich silver deposits discovered at Laurion[1] in Attica in 483 BCE, the abundant “owl” tetradrachms of Athens became the dominant trade coin in the ancient world for over a century. But the Athenians had issued a variety of silver coins beginning around the year 560 BCE during […]

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Sea Creatures on Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …..   ANCIENT PEOPLE WHO lived around the shores of the Mediterranean were intimately familiar with the marine life around them. Fish were a critical resource for these societies, figuring prominently in their culture, art, and mythology from very early times. When coinage came into wide […]

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NGC Ancients – Coins From the Strait of Messina

Ancient Coins issued from colonies bordering the Strait of Messina are numerous and interesting Strait of Messina Coins By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) …… The Strait of Messina, which separates Italy and Sicily and is just two miles wide at its narrowest point, has been the scene of many historic events. Countless armies have crossed […]

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Bee All That You Can Bee: Honeybees on Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …..   From the dawn of human society, the nature and origin of the bee have awakened the curiosity and interest of man. For thousands of years, honey was the only sweetening material known, and it is quite natural that in ancient times, the little busy creature who produced this […]

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NGC Ancients – Collecting Greek Coins on a Budget

Greek coins are available for every budget   By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) …… As we saw in the last column, ancient Roman coins offer some unexpected opportunities for collectors at most every level of budget. This month we’ll focus on similar bargains available in the field of ancient Greek coins, many of which are […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: The Ptolemies, Part III

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series  by Mike Markowitz ….. THE TRAGIC AND CHAOTIC last generations of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt were dominated by the growing power of Rome, and the fickle loyalties of Alexandria’s unruly population (usually described by historians as “the mob”). A lack of ancient statistics makes numerical estimates risky[1], but the consensus is that […]

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Ancient Greek Coins – The Eagles and Coinage of Akragas

By Russell A. Augustin, AU Capital Management, LLC The Colosseo Collection …… Akragas was a wealthy and powerful Greek state on the southern coast of Sicily, second only to Syracuse in importance. The city was famous for its lavish building projects, proudly displaying its wealth in the form of numerous massive temples, many of which […]

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God of Money: Hermes on Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….   Muse, sing in honor of Hermes, the son of Zeus and Maia, lord of Kyllene, lord of Arcadia with all its sheep, bringer of luck, messenger of the gods. His mother was Maia with the wonderful hair, a shy and shamefaced nymph who stayed in her […]

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Dogs on Ancient Coins

  CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. You ain’t nothing but a hound dog, crying all the time. You ain’t nothing but a hound dog, crying all the time. You ain’t never caught a rabbit, and you ain’t no friend of mine. –Elvis Presley, 20th-century American philosopher, covering Big Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog” […]

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Ancient Greek Coins – The Eagles and Coinage of Akragas

By Russell A. Augustin, AU Capital Management, LLC The Colosseo Collection …… Akragas was a wealthy and powerful Greek state on the southern coast of Sicily, second only to Syracuse in importance. The city was famous for its lavish building projects, proudly displaying its wealth in the form of numerous massive temples, many of which […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Sphinxes on Ancient Coins

The business of a sphinx is to be mysterious By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….   …somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs…[1] — W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming” (1920) IN […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Janus, God of January

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. ANCIENT ROMANS KNEW even less about the prehistoric origins of their religion than we do, since we have knowledge from centuries of archaeology. Latin writers of the Classical era tried to connect their own native Italian gods to the prestigious gods of ancient Greece, with their complex genealogies and […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Janus, God of January

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….   ANCIENT ROMANS KNEW even less about the prehistoric origins of their religion than we do, since we have knowledge from centuries of archaeology. Latin writers of the Classical era tried to connect their own native Italian gods to the prestigious gods of ancient Greece, with their complex genealogies […]

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Turtles and Tortoises on Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. A hare one day ridiculed the short feet and slow pace of the Tortoise, who replied, laughing: “Though you be swift as the wind, I will beat you in a race.” … On the day appointed for the race the two started together. The Tortoise never for […]

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Ancient Coins – Charon’s Obol Coins for the Dead

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. My advice for those who die, Declare the pennies on your eyes — The Beatles, “Taxman”, Revolver (1966) IN THE HOLLYWOOD EPIC FILM Troy (2004), King Priam of Troy (Peter O’Toole) visits the tent of the Greek hero Achilles (Brad Pitt) by night to beg for the […]

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Coinage of Kyrene: A Greek City in Libya

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz…. THE JEBEL AKHDAR OR “GREEN MOUNTAINS” OF LIBYA stretches eastward from Benghazi for a hundred miles (160 km) along the coast. With an average annual rainfall of 15-20 inches (375-500 mm), these limestone hills are the most forested region in North Africa. In ancient times, before centuries of […]

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Ancient Coins: The Eagles of Akragas

By Russell A. Augustin, AU Capital Management, LLC The Colosseo Collection …… Akragas was a wealthy and powerful Greek state on the southern coast of Sicily, second only to Syracuse in importance. The city was famous for its lavish building projects, proudly displaying its wealth in the form of numerous massive temples, many of which […]

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