Category Archives: Mike Markowitz

Coinage of King Pyrrhus – CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. EPIRUS IS A rugged corner of northwestern Greece and southern Albania. It emerged as an independent kingdom in the fourth century BCE, a time when other contemporary Greeks regarded the region’s tribes as “semi-barbarian”. About 319 BCE a prince of Epirus was born, named Pyrrhus, whose father was a […]

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CoinWeek Podcast #140: What Made Alexander Great?

 CoinWeek Podcast #140: What Made Alexander Great? Mobile phone users. Stream this podcast for free by downloading the podomatic app or subscribe to the CoinWeek Podcast on iTunes. “This is Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek… asking what made Alexander so Great?” With these words, ancient coin expert and CoinWeek Podcast guest host Mike Markowitz begins to spin […]

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Coins of Herod the Great – CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. IN BIBLICAL HISTORY and popular legend, Herod “the Great”, Rome’s client king of Judaea from 40 to 4 BCE, is an evil tyrant. But ironically, the atrocity he is best remembered for–the “Massacre of the Innocents” (Matthew, 2:16–18)–probably never happened. Herod was born about 73 BCE. Herod’s wealthy father, […]

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Byzantine Coinage of the Empress Irene – CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. ATHENS IN THE eighth century was a provincial small town living on memories of past glories. But its aristocrats were proud of their daughters, reputedly the most talented and beautiful women in the Eastern Roman (“Byzantine”) empire. When Emperor Constantine V needed a bride for his son and heir, […]

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The Byzantine Anonymous Follis – CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series

  By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. IN THE ANCIENT WORLD, gold and silver were the coinage of the elite, but humble copper was the coinage of the common folk. For over 120 years, the single denomination of copper coinage issued by the Eastern Roman (“Byzantine”) Empire was “Anonymous”. The Anonymous follis did not bear […]

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One of a Kind: Some Unique Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. “This is a very rare coin; only two examples known! Unfortunately, the only guy in the world who cares has the other one.” — Classic Numismatic Joke (source unknown) “Unique” means one of a kind. The ultimate rarity. The rarest anything can be. This designation, […]

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The Gaius & Lucius Denarius of Augustus – CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …..   A BRILLIANT ORGANIZER and commander, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa[1] engineered Octavian’s rise to supreme power in the waning days of the Roman Republic. Agrippa’s two sons with his wife Julia, Octavian’s only daughter, were Gaius Caesar[2] (born 20 BCE) and Lucius Caesar[3] (born 17 BCE). Gaius and Lucius would […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Macedon Before Alexander

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …..   The extent of the Kingdom of Macedonia is as ill-defined as its history is fragmentary (Raymond, 3). ANCIENT MACEDONIANS[1] were marginal Greeks. Although permitted to compete in the Olympics, the Macedonians spoke a distinctive dialect. While their neighbors were creating novel forms of government like democracy, oligarchy and […]

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Coinage of the Mughals

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. The Mughal (or “Moghul“[1]) Empire ruled much of South Asia for over three centuries. Mughal emperors accumulated vast wealth, with an economy based on a stable and abundant coinage in gold, silver and copper. They commissioned magnificent buildings and works of art – including some of the largest, costliest, […]

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Coins of Medieval Hungary: Part 2

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. Link to Part I When King Andrew III, last survivor of Hungary’s Árpád dynasty, died without an heir in 1301, succession to the throne was disputed by royal relatives. The subsequent history of Hungary often set foreign-born kings on a shaky throne. Twelve-year-old Wenceslaus III of Bohemia[1], betrothed to […]

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Coins of Medieval Hungary: Part I

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. ABOUT THE YEAR 895, THE MAGYARS, a federation of nomadic tribes whose origin was in the distant forests of Siberia, crossed the Carpathian Mountains led by a chieftain named Árpád (c. 845-907), and occupied the wide, fertile Danubian basin. Known to the Romans as “Pannonia”, this region had seen […]

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Mike Markowitz: The Coins of Shakespeare

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …..   Shakespeare’s works are rich in allusions to coins. Such references were meant to bring his audiences into closer identification with the play by mentioning a familiar aspect of life … The Elizabethan was familiar with many foreign coins not only because of trade with the Continent, but because […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Travels With Hadrian

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. IN THE ANCIENT WORLD, TRAVEL was hazardous and uncomfortable, even for the elite. Yet remarkably, the Roman emperor Hadrian spent half of his 21-year reign on the road, visiting almost every province of the vast empire. The mint celebrated these grand tours with extensive coinage in gold, silver and […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coins of the Vikings

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. On JUNE 8, 793, A BAND of Norse raiders sacked Lindisfarne, a monastery on the Holy Island off the northeast coast of England. Historians date this as the beginning of the Viking Age. And over the next three centuries, these fierce Scandinavian warriors shaped much […]

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Mythical Monsters on Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed. ― G.K. Chesterton, a la Criminal Minds (CBS, 2007) CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY IS FILLED with monsters. For the civilizations of the ancient […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coins of the Nabataeans

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. …[G]reat must have been the opulence of a city, which could dedicate such monuments to the memory of its rulers… (Burckhardt, 431)   IN 2019, OVER A MILLION tourists visited the spectacular ancient site of Petra in the Jordanian desert, about 98 miles (157 km) south of Jerusalem. Surrounded […]

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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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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series – Ravenna: From Imperial Capital to Byzantine Outpost

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. …the sick promenade while the doctors lie abed, the baths freeze while the houses burn, the living are thirsty while the buried swim, thieves are vigilant while the authorities sleep, the clergy lend money while the Syrian merchants sing psalms… (Deliyannis, 50) —Sidonius Apollinaris (c. 430-489 describing Ravenna as […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: The Celtic Coinage of Gaul

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in ours Gauls, the third. All these differ from each other in language, customs and laws (Caesar, 1).   FOR MOST AMERICANS, “Celtic” means […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coinage of the Guptas

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. IN INDIA’S LONG HISTORY, the Gupta Empire (c. 319 – 550 CE) is remembered as a golden age of art, literature, science, and culture. Economically it was truly a golden era; Gupta kings issued a flood of beautiful gold dinaras – coins that reflected the prosperity created by the […]

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So You Want to Be a Classical Numismatist? Ancient Coins for Beginners

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….. THE HIGHEST PRAISE THAT one ancient coin collector can give another is to say he or she “has an eye for coins.” Someone with this remarkable ability can look at a tray of a hundred nearly identical pieces and unerringly pick out the three or four best […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coins of the Visigoths in Spain

  Visigoths in Spain By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. …[T]he history of the Visigothic kingdom is one long struggle between the nobility and the monarchy. The kings were supported by the clergy in their efforts to consolidate the royal power and transmit it from father to son, while the nobles strove to keep it […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coins of the Kushan Empire

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. During the first centuries of the Christian era, a vast inland empire stretched across Central Asia under the name Kushan. They have been referred to as a super power of their time along with the Chinese, Persians and Romans … Just how and when the Kushan dynasty was formed continues […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coins: Coins of Medieval Armenia

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….. THE CILICIAN KINGDOM OF ARMENIA (1199 – 1375) produced a vibrant culture strongly influenced by interaction with neighboring Crusader states[1]. Wealth derived from trade between East and West led to an extensive royal coinage that includes some of the most handsome and popular medieval coins collected today. Cilicia[2] is a […]

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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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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: The Earliest Russian Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….. SINCE ANCIENT TIMES, RUSSIA’S great rivers have served as trade routes, sending Baltic amber, luxury furs, beeswax, honey, and slaves southward in exchange for the wine, silver, silks and fine metalware of the Mediterranean and Islamic civilizations. About the year 860, Riurik[1], a legendary Scandinavian adventurer, was invited by […]

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Watch: Talking Ancient Coins with Mike Beall and Mike Markowitz, Part I

  In Part I of Talking Ancient Coins, collector Mike Beall sits down with CoinWeek Ancients writer Mike Markowitz to take a numismatic tour of the ancient world. Discussed in this 45-minute episode are examples of the earliest known ancient coins, archaic coins from ancient Greece, the signed dekadrachms of Sicily, large-sized Aes Gracia As […]

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Coins of the Bad Popes

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….. Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God. THE POPE’S resounding modern titles give […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series – The Seleucids and Their Coins: Part IV

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….. The Seleucid empire fell apart as things do – internal failures and others’ successes, inevitability and chance. The epithets of kinglets accumulated, reechoing because the core was hollow… When at last the lots were shaken and the world divided, the kingdom’s west fell to Rome and its east to […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series – The Seleucids and Their Coins: Part III

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….. Part I | Part II Antiochus V & Timarchus When Seleucid king Antiochus IV died unexpectedly in 164 BCE, he left his nine-year-old son in the care of Lysias, a trusted official. As Antiochus V, the boy’s portrait appears on the coinage[1] with the epithet Eupatoros (“son of a […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series – The Seleucids and Their Coins: Part II

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….. Part I Antiochus III When Seleucus III was poisoned by his officers in 223 BCE, his 18-year-old son, Antiochus, inherited an empire that was rapidly falling apart. In a reign of 35 years, Antiochus III tried to emulate the conquests of Alexander, earning the epithet Megas (“the Great”). The […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series – The Seleucids and Their Coins: Part I

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….. MURDEROUS AND TREACHEROUS, the Seleucids, a Greek dynasty who ruled much of the Middle East from 312 to 64 BCE, were a nasty lot. But they had exquisite artistic taste, rather like those brutal Italian Renaissance princes who sponsored sculptors, painters and architects who created sublime masterpieces of enduring […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series – Heraclius: The Greatest Emperor You’ve Never Heard of

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series  by Mike Markowitz ….. Of the characters conspicuous in history, that of Heraclius is one of the most extraordinary and inconsistent. In the first and last years of a long reign, the emperor appears to be the slave of sloth, of pleasure, or of superstition, the careless and impotent spectator of the public […]

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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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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: The Ptolemies, Part II

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series  by Mike Markowitz ….. Ptolemy IV Philopator (222 – 204 BCE) THE LONG DECLINE OF Ptolemaic Egypt began with the reign of Ptolemy IV, who was born about 245 BCE and came to the throne on the death of his father in 221. He is known by the epithet “Philopator” (“Beloved of His […]

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Ancient Coin Books: A Collector’s Reference Library for Classical Numismatics

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series on Ancient Counterfeiters by Mike Markowitz …. The best advice this or any other coin collector ever got is, “Buy the book before you buy the coin.” For beginning collectors of early and modern American coins, the choice of reference books is simple. If you have The Official Red Book®, you’re probably good to go. With […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coinage of the Mongols

By Mike Markowitz …. The couriers of the Khan galloped over fifty degrees of longitude, and it was said that a virgin carrying a sack of gold could ride unharmed from one border of the nomad empire to the other. — Harold Lamb, Genghis Khan[1]: The Emperor of All Men, p. 112 The Rise of […]

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Medieval Numismatics: Coins of the Crusaders

Crusaders coins survive in surprising abundance and have much to tell us about this distant era, which has so many parallels to contemporary events. By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. Between 1096 and 1291, the Church of Rome, the aristocracy, and the peoples of Western Europe launched a series of military campaigns against the Muslim […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: The Ptolemies: Part I

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series on Ancient Counterfeiters by Mike Markowitz …. Of all the successors of Alexander the Great, the family of Ptolemy, son of Lagos, was the most successful, ruling Egypt for nearly three centuries (305 – 30 BCE). Oddly enough, the story begins with a hijacking. When Alexander died in Babylon on 10 June 323 BCE, his corpse, […]

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Ancient Coins: What about Spartan coins ?

Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek… Spartans disdained many things that other ancient Greeks valued. One of these things was money, even Spartan coins. Hundreds of different Greek cities issued coins between the birth of coined money around 650 BCE and the end of Greek civic coinage some time after 300 CE. The apparent exception […]

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What Were They Worth? The Purchasing Power of Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coins Series by Mike Markowitz…. Throughout the history of ancient coins  two contradictory concepts have competed with each other. According to one concept, a coin is a piece of precious metal whose value is essentially equivalent to the value of the bullion from which it was made, and the stamp on its face […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coins, Aliens and UFOs

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. On the wall of his office in the FBI building’s basement, Special Agent Fox Mulder of the TV series The X-Files has a UFO poster that proclaims: I WANT TO BELIEVE. The sentiment is widely shared, even among numismatists, who are generally a rather skeptical bunch. The “Alien” Coin […]

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Bad Money – Ancient Counterfeiters and Their Fake Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series on Ancient Counterfeiters by Mike Markowitz …. Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur “The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.” — attributed to Petronius, 1st-century Roman satirist AROUND 650 BCE, on the eastern shore of the Aegean Sea, coinage was invented. Very soon afterward, Ancient Counterfeiters and their counterfeit […]

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Grading Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. FEW TOPICS IN CLASSICAL NUMISMATICS provoke more ferocious argument than the grading of ancient coins. Among collectors of classic American coins the 70-point “Sheldon Scale”[1] is universally accepted as a standard. Machine-made modern coins in the highest grades have literally, never been touched by human hands. Ancient […]

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Monster: The Coinage of Caligula

  CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz…. Oderint, dum metuant (Let them hate, so long as they fear). — Caligula THE ANNALS OF THE ROMAN HISTORIAN TACITUS (56 – 117 CE) survived in one damaged medieval manuscript at the Monte Cassino monastery[1]. The section covering the reign of Emperor Caligula is missing, and we […]

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Imperial Wannabes: The Ancient Coinage of Roman Usurpers

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. IMPERIAL ROME NEVER REALLY solved the problem of orderly succession to power. The “normal” pattern of inheritance in a monarchy is an elderly ruler replaced after his natural death by a well-qualified adult son. For Rome, this was an exception, not a rule. Officially, an emperor had […]

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Ancient Coins on Modern Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. COINAGE IS CONSERVATIVE. IF a denizen of ancient Rome picked up a modern American dime, he would recognize familiar symbols: a torch, an olive branch, oak leaves. He could even understand the Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM (“Out of Many, One”). Similarly, if that ancient Roman picked […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: The Terrible Ninth Century

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. MOST PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT MEDIEVALISTS would be hard pressed to name one thing that happened between the years 800 and 900. For many Europeans during that terrible century, it was the worst of times. Viking raiders descended from the north, Arab marauders attacked from the south, and kingdoms […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Ancient Coinage of Yemen

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. The ancient coinage of Southern Arabia is one of the most obscure branches of numismatics. In origin it is Greek; but in development it is Semitic. For the proper study of it a numismatist who is equally well equipped on the Greek and Semitic side is required; […]

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Building Museums One Coin at a Time: Mike Markowitz Interviews David Vagi of NGC Ancients

By CoinWeek …. Earlier this year, Charles teamed up with CoinWeek’s resident Ancient Coin expert Mike Markowitz to check out the New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC). Among the many dealers and collectors we spoke to, Mike caught up with NGC Ancients director and grading finalizer David Vagi, for whom Mike offers effulgent praise indeed. […]

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CoinWeek Ancients Video: The Dekadrachm – Quarter Million Dollar Ancient Coin

 CoinWeek Ancients writer Mike Markowitz joins David Guest at the New York International Numismatic Convention to discuss one of the most famous and important coin in the history of the world, The Dekadrachm of Syracusa. This silver coin, worth more than a month’s salary of a soldier, at the time it was struck, today […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series – Mark Antony’s Legionary Denarius

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. Those very things that procured him ill repute bear witness to his greatness… Antony was thought disgraced by his marriage with Cleopatra, a queen superior in power and glory … to all who were kings in her time. Antony was so great as to be thought by others worthy […]

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Tales from the Road: The New York International Numismatic Convention

By Charles Morgan for CoinWeek ….. For many dealers, the road is a fact of life. With the hamster wheel of the coin show schedule comes a weekly slog of airplane rides and long car trips; the repetitious monotony of setting up and tearing down, packing and unpacking; the taking of meals of various qualities […]

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Does This Toga Make Me Look Fat? Clothing on Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. And if any man will sue thee at law and take away thy coat [Greek: chiton; Latin: tunica], let him have thy cloak [Greek: himation; Latin: pallium] also. —Matthew, 5:40[1] LIVING IN A WORLD OF CHEAP, machine-made textiles, it is easy for us to forget that every […]

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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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The Image of Jesus on Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. As with politicians, nothing is more important to gods than image … Perhaps this is the secret of the longevity of the God of Israel, that He never allowed an image of Himself[1]. THE OLD TESTAMENT’S STRICT PROHIBITION of idolatry inhibited the development of religious art in […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Lions on Ancient Coins

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek…. Hektor came on against them, as a murderous lions on cattle who in a low-lying meadow of a great marsh pasture by hundreds, and among them a herdsman who does not quite know how to fight a wild beast off from killing a horn-curved  ox… —Iliad, Book 15:630-636 MORE THAN THIRTY THOUSAND YEARS AGO, […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Heroic Nudity on Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. It hardly needs repeating here that the gap between ancient and modern sensibilities is unbridgeable. — Caroline Vout (2007)[1] FOR MUCH OF THE YEAR, the Mediterranean climate is hot, and it makes a certain amount of sense for clothing to be optional. Every bit of thread in […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Ancient Coins Under $100

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….   Aren’t they very expensive? Along with How do you know they’re authentic?, this is probably the most common question that classical numismatists are asked about ancient coins. Well, yes and no. The price of an ancient coin, like any other price in an imperfect market economy, […]

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Ancient Coin Collectors Guild Continues Fight Against Coin Seizure

By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek…. Until the early years of the 21st century, it was relatively easy and completely legal for an American collector to import ancient coins from most other countries. But in recent years there has been a definite trend toward ever-increasing restrictions on such activities. The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG) was […]

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The Star and Crescent on Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. OUR MOON IS SOLID, not transparent. So it is impossible for a star to appear between the points of a crescent moon. But ancient artists did not care about this, even if they understood it. Because the orbits of the Earth, the Moon and the planets all […]

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The Coinage of Aksum

by Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek…. Ancient Coin Series – the Coinage of Aksum Where the south declines towards the setting sun lies the country called Ethiopia, the last inhabited land in that direction. There gold is obtained in great plenty… –Herodotus, The Histories, Book 2 (c. 450 BCE) Five days march inland from the Red Sea, […]

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The Coinage of Aksum

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….   Where the south declines towards the setting sun lies the country called Ethiopia, the last inhabited land in that direction. There gold is obtained in great plenty… –Herodotus, The Histories, Book 2 (c. 450 BCE) FIVE DAYS MARCH INLAND from the Red Sea, on the hilly […]

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CAPTA: The Coinage of Roman Imperial Conquest

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….   He hath brought many captives home to Rome Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: — Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2 ROME LIVED BY CONQUEST. THE SPOILS of conquered territories and peoples helped to pay the expenses of the state. Mark Antony’s funeral oration […]

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CAPTA: The Coinage of Roman Imperial Conquest

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. He hath brought many captives home to Rome Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: — Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2 ROME LIVED BY CONQUEST. THE SPOILS of conquered territories and peoples helped to pay the expenses of the state. Mark Antony’s funeral oration for […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coinage of the Normans in Sicily

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. FOR ENGLISH SPEAKERS, THE Norman conquest of England in 1066 is one of the most memorized events in Western history. But few have ever heard of the Norman conquest of Sicily. Descendants of ferocious Vikings who settled in the French province of Normandy, the warlike Normans were eventually Christianized. […]

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Numismatic Literary Guild Announces Award Winners at 2017 ANA Show

Complete List of Winners By Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) ……   BOOK OF THE YEAR The work having the greatest potential impact on numismatics – 1792: Birth of a Nation’s Coinage, by Pete Smith, Joel Orosz and Leonard Augsburger BEST SPECIALIZED BOOK United States Coins (tie) – The $2½ and $5 Gold Indians of Bela […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Collecting Ancient Weights

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….   Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin[1]. — Leviticus, 19:35-36 PEOPLE ARE NOT VERY GOOD AT estimating or comparing weight. Before the rise of market economies, people measured commodities mainly by […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coins Series: How Ancient Coins Were Made

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. BRICKS WERE PROBABLY the first mass-produced industrial product. Cast bronze arrowheads, produced by the millions, might well have been the second. But ancients coins were the most challenging mass-produced industrial product in antiquity. The successful mass production of ancient coins required many advances in metallurgy and a complex division […]

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CoinWeek Ancients Series: War as Depicted on Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. FOR MUCH OF HUMAN HISTORY, WARFARE has absorbed our resources, energy and creativity. War is much older than coinage. One of the earliest images of war in Western art is the “Battlefield Palette”, a carved slate from pre-Dynastic Egypt dated c. 3100 BCE[1]. It depicts the aftermath […]

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Why Hollywood Gets Ancient Coins Wrong

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. I have endured what no one on earth has endured before. I kissed the hands of the man who killed my son. I loved my boy from the moment he opened his eyes until the moment you closed them. Let me wash his body. Let me say […]

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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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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coins, Aliens and UFOs

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. On the wall of his office in the FBI building’s basement, Special Agent Fox Mulder of the TV series The X-Files has a UFO poster that proclaims: I WANT TO BELIEVE. The sentiment is widely shared, even among numismatists, who are generally a rather skeptical bunch. The “Alien” Coin […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coinage of the Jewish War

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. The other practices of the Jews are sinister and revolting, and have entrenched themselves by their very wickedness. Wretches of the most abandoned kind who had no use for the religion of their fathers took to contributing dues and free-will offerings to swell the Jewish exchequer; and other reasons […]

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Comets and Meteorites on Ancient Coins

By Mike Markowitz for Coinweek …. Ancient Coin Series THE NIGHT SKY WAS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT to ancient people. This can be hard for us to understand, living as we do in a world where light pollution denies us a clear view of the stars. What people saw in the sky – or thought they saw […]

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Cultural Property Law Leads to Arrests of Coin Collectors in Munich

By CoinWeek Staff Reports …. If the March 4 arrests of coin collectors and a coin dealer at the 50th Numismata in Munich are any indication, collectors in the United States have reason to fear that Germany’s new Cultural Property Protection law may live down to the predictions of those who signed last year’s petition […]

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Teen Weirdo Emperor: The Coinage of Elagabalus

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….   …[To] sport with the passions and prejudices of his subjects, and to subvert every law of nature and decency, were in the number of his most delicious amusements. A long train of concubines, and a rapid succession of wives, among whom was a vestal virgin, ravished […]

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The Origin of Specie: How Gold and Silver Became Money

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. …And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver. –Genesis, 20:16 ABIMELECH, PHILISTINE KING OF GERAR, gravely offended the patriarch Abraham by trying to appropriate his wife, Sarah, having been led to believe that Sarah was actually Abraham’s sister[1]. In […]

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Ancient Coins – How Elephants were Depicted on Ancient Coinage

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. STRONG, INTELLIGENT AND LONG-LIVED – yet surprisingly gentle – elephants have long exerted a powerful hold over the human imagination. Prehistoric cave paintings depict elephants and their extinct cousins, the wooly mammoth and mastodon. Ivory from elephant tusks was a precious raw material in the ancient world […]

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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 Podcast #51: Globetrotting with Numistourist Howard Berlin

CoinWeek Podcast #51: Globetrotting with Numistourist Howard Berlin The CoinWeek Podcast won the 2016 NLG Award for Best Audio Program. If you’d like to help the podcast grow and continue to bring you in-depth and thoughtful interviews and news coverage, then leave us a five-star review on the iTunes store. You can also download all […]

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CoinWeek Podcast #51: Globetrotting with Numistourist Howard Berlin

CoinWeek Podcast #51: Globetrotting with Numistourist Howard Berlin The CoinWeek Podcast won the 2016 NLG Award for Best Audio Program. If you’d like to help the podcast grow and continue to bring you in-depth and thoughtful interviews and news coverage, then leave us a five-star review on the iTunes store. You can also download all […]

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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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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Bridges on Ancient Coins

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….   ROMANS WERE PROUD of their bridges, some of the most spectacular feats of ancient engineering. The high priest of the Roman state religion was called the Pontifex Maximus–literally the “supreme bridge-builder”–a title later adopted by the Popes of the Roman Catholic Church. A number of Roman coins depict […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Modern Fakes of Ancient Coins

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….   “To declare that a forged coin is genuine is a mistake, but to declare that a genuine coin is a forgery is a crime.” –Leo Mildenberg (1913 – 2001)[1] FOR CLASSICAL NUMISMATISTS any discussion of fake ancient coins is… a delicate subject. Dealers worry that fear of fakes […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Modern Fakes of Ancient Coins

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. “To declare that a forged coin is genuine is a mistake, but to declare that a genuine coin is a forgery is a crime.” –Leo Mildenberg (1913 – 2001)[1] FOR CLASSICAL NUMISMATISTS any discussion of fake ancient coins is… a delicate subject. Dealers worry that fear of fakes will […]

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Philosopher King: The Coinage of Marcus Aurelius

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil. –The Meditations, 2:1 OF ALL THE ROMAN EMPERORS, Marcus Aurelius comes […]

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CoinWeek Podcast #46: Ancient Coins – What We Can Learn. How Coins Changed Us.

CoinWeek Podcast #46: Ancient Coins – What We Can Learn. How Coins Changed Us. Mobile phone users. Stream this podcast for free by downloading the podomatic app or subscribe to the CoinWeek Podcast on iTunes. CoinWeek Ancients Writer Mike Markowitz sits down with editor Charles Morgan in Baltimore to discuss ancient coins, the societies that created them, the […]

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The Global War Against Collectors of Ancient Coins

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. By including antiquities within the political construction “cultural property” nationalist retentionist cultural policies often claim all antiquities from beneath, or on the soil of lands within their borders as cultural property and of importance to their national identity, and their citizens’ collective and individual identities.[1] THERE IS A GLOBAL […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Two Heads Are Better Than One

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. THE RICH VOCABULARY OF NUMISMATICS has many terms to describe the things we see on coins. When a coin depicts two heads side by side, the usual description is “jugate busts”. The word derives from the Latin iuga, meaning “yoke”. Think of a pair of oxen yoked together. Jugate […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coins of Julius Caesar

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed, that he is grown so great? —Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2 What makes Caesar so Great? PEOPLE WHO KNOW NOTHING ELSE about ancient history recognize the name Julius Caesar but might be hard-pressed to say what he ever did, […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coins of Julius Caesar

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed, that he is grown so great? —Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2 What makes Caesar so Great? PEOPLE WHO KNOW NOTHING ELSE about ancient history recognize the name Julius Caesar but might be hard-pressed to say what he ever did, […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coinage of the Merovingians

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek …. The Franks had little idea of the state as a public institution, and the regnum Francorum (kingdom of the Franks), while remaining a family inheritance, was inherited according to the rules of private law, divided on each occasion between the sons or nearest male relatives of the deceased (Grierson […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coinage of the Merovingians

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ….   The Franks had little idea of the state as a public institution, and the regnum Francorum (kingdom of the Franks), while remaining a family inheritance, was inherited according to the rules of private law, divided on each occasion between the sons or nearest male relatives of the deceased […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: The Christianization of Roman Coinage

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek…. We speak sometimes of the Roman religion as though it possessed a firm basis, but in fact it was constantly changing, the gods melting away and being replaced by others (Hale, 73). Decline of Paganism BY THE BEGINNING OF THE FOURTH CENTURY CE, the religious life of the Romans was […]

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Why Museums Hate Ancient Coins

The Fitzwilliam Museum – Cambridge, England By Mike Markowitz for Coinweek …. Ancient Coin Series AS COLLECTORS OF ANCIENT COINS, one of the most Frequently Asked Questions we encounter is “Don’t these things belong in museums?” The answer, sometimes with a patient sigh, sometimes with a snort of derision, is an emphatic, “No!” The Dirty Little Secret […]

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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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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coinage of Pergamon

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek…. NOW AND THEN IN HISTORY, economic, political and social forces come together in just the right combination to make a particular city the dynamic locus of cultural creativity. We see this in Athens in the time of Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BCE), Florence during the Renaissance (c. 1350 – 1450 […]

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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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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series – Horses on Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz …. MORE THAN ANY OTHER ANIMAL (except perhaps the dog), the horse is beloved for its strength, intelligence, speed, loyalty and beauty. The earliest images of horses created by people appear on the walls of Chauvet Cave in France, dated to almost 30,000 years ago[1]. People first domesticated […]

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CoinWeek’s Weekly News Roundup – March 4, 2016

By Coinweek …. Here is a recap of some of the interesting, offbeat and other news items CoinWeek has come across this week. Brain Food 1.) The Evolution of Money Alex Hernandez, tech writer and founder of smartphone and computer technology site Techaeris.com, writes a brief introduction to the history of money and monetary payment […]

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CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series – Coinage of the Phoenicians

By the third millennium BCE, a unique culture was emerging on a narrow strip of the eastern Mediterranean coast that would have an enormous impact on Western civilization. CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz ….   A SEMITIC PEOPLE, the Phoenicians developed remarkable proficiency in shipbuilding, seafaring and trade, as the prophet Ezekiel (lived […]

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Bad Money: Ancient Counterfeiters and Their Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz…. Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur “The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.” — attributed to Petronius, 1st-century Roman satirist AROUND 650 BCE, on the eastern shore of the Aegean Sea, coinage was invented. Very soon afterward, counterfeit coinage appeared, and it has been with […]

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Mike Markowitz: CoinWeek Coins of the Bible Video Series, Part VIII: Coin with Image of the Menorah. Video: 3:57

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series Writer Mike Markowitz has long brought context and his unique insights into the fascinating world of ancient coins to contemporary collectors. In this multi-part educational video series, Mike discusses the coins referenced in the Bible. This presentation was given at the March 2015 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo. David Lisot, Producer. In this episode of Coins of […]

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Serenissima: Medieval Coinage of Venice

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz…. BETWEEN THE YEARS 1200 and 1600 a handful of feisty Italians created one of the greatest commercial and maritime empires in history. Venetians wrecked the Byzantine state, fought the Ottoman sultans to a standstill, defied a series of Popes and German emperors, and adorned their city with masterpieces […]

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Ancient Coin Profiles: Byzantine Empire – Manuel I Aspron Trachy

Overview: In 1092 CE the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus enacted sweeping coinage reforms. He stopped production of previous denominations and introduced five new ones: the gold hyperpyron (which served as the unit of account for the new money), the electrum aspron trachy, the billon (copper and silver) aspron trachy, the copper tetarteron, and the […]

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Mike Markowitz: CoinWeek Coins of the Bible Video Series, Part IX: Prutah of Pontius Pilate. Video: 2:52

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series Writer Mike Markowitz has long brought context and his unique insights into the fascinating world of ancient coins to contemporary collectors. In this multi-part educational video series, Mike discusses the coins referenced in the Bible. This presentation was given at the March 2015 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo. David Lisot, Producer. In this final episode of Coins […]

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Mike Markowitz: CoinWeek Coins of the Bible Video Series, Part VIII: Coin with Image of the Menorah. Video: 3:57

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series Writer Mike Markowitz has long brought context and his unique insights into the fascinating world of ancient coins to contemporary collectors. In this multi-part educational video series, Mike discusses the coins referenced in the Bible. This presentation was given at the March 2015 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo. David Lisot, Producer. In this episode of Coins of […]

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Mike Markowitz: CoinWeek Coins of the Bible Video Series, Part V: Coins from the Time of Hanukkah

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series Writer Mike Markowitz has long brought context and his unique insights into the fascinating world of ancient coins to contemporary collectors. In this multi-part educational video series, Mike discusses the coins referenced in the Bible. This presentation was given at the March 2015 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo. David Lisot Producer. In […]

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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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Mike Markowitz: CoinWeek Coins of the Bible Video Series, Part 4 (Thirty Pieces of Silver)

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series Writer Mike Markowitz has long brought context and his unique insights into the fascinating world of ancient coins to contemporary collectors. In this multi-part educational video series, Mike discusses the coins referenced in the Bible. This presentation was given at the March 2015 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo. David Lisot Producer. In […]

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CoinWeek Celebrates Its First 10,000 Facebook Fans

By CoinWeek…. As of May 1, Coinweek now has 10,000 fans on Facebook *Doing our best Sally Field impersonation* You like us, you really like us! It’s been a good year for us at CoinWeek.com. We’ve greatly expanded our reach and scope, and had a lot of fun doing it. Whether it’s breaking news, insightful […]

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CoinWeek Weekly Coin Market Report – April 10, 2015 – Video: 8:12.

CoinWeek Editor Charles Morgan discusses the week’s top numismatic story – the resolution of a year-long federal court case regarding the ownership of a 1974-D Aluminum Cent. Also, Charles previews Mike Markowitz’s new multi-part video series CoinWeek: Coins of the Bible. Heritage Auction’s CSNS Platinum Night sale gets an animated preview. You’ll want to check that […]

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Those Darned Etruscans: Coins of the Rasna

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz… THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN TUSCANY before the Romans are often described as “enigmatic” or “mysterious.” We know them as “Etruscans”[1] from the name that the Romans called them; they called themselves “Rasna.” The last speakers of the Etruscan language probably died out in the first century of […]

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Eroticism on Ancient Coins (Adults Only)

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz…. Through a long chain of pious frauds and medieval myth-making, the February 14 feast day of St. Valentine, an obscure third century martyr, became a day for celebrating romantic Love in Western popular culture. It may be no surprise to the reader that classical numismatics has relatively little […]

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First Read: Coinage in the Roman Economy

First Read, a continuing series of essays about classic and contemporary works of numismatic literature… Essay by Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek…. Coinage in the Roman Economy by Kenneth Harl, Ph.D. Buy the book before you buy the coin. -Numismatic proverb (attributed to Aaron Feldman) I’m always a little embarrassed when CoinWeek describes me as an […]

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Coinage of the First Caliphate

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz… BY THE BEGINNING of the seventh century, the lands of the Eastern Mediterranean had been ravaged by plague, earthquake and decades of war between the Eastern Roman (“Byzantine”) and Sasanian Persian empires. Along the coast, the great cities were mostly Greek-speaking. In the fertile hill country, villagers spoke […]

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The Nativity on Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz… The Nativity of Jesus is such a familiar image in visual media–from greeting cards to stained glass windows–that it is startling to discover that it does not appear anywhere in Western art until the fourth century, and – with one unique medallic exception – not on coinage until […]

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The Last Ancient Coin

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz… “What was the last ancient coin?” The question is unanswerable. There was no “last” ancient coin, just as there was no “last” ancient person. Classical antiquity didn’t just stop — it morphed gradually into the medieval world, which morphed, in turn, into what we understand as the modern […]

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Metal Monsters: The Biggest Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series By Mike Markowitz…. In 2007, Canada captured a world record by producing five examples of a 100 kilogram gold piece (220.5 pounds, or a bit over 3215 troy ounces). It was 53 centimeters in diameter (21 inches) and three centimeters thick, denominated at one million Canadian dollars. “Why did the Royal […]

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The Magnificent Ancients of the Nelson Bunker Hunt Coin Collection

Ancient Coin Series: Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek….   Fitzgerald: The rich are different than you and me. Hemingway: Yes, they have more money. In the arcane language of Classical Numismatics, when coins are described as “important,” it means they cost a lot. How much? If you have to ask, you can’t afford them. Nelson Bunker […]

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This Little Piggy Went to Market: Boars, Hogs, Sows and Piglets on Ancient Coins

Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek…. Intelligent, adaptable and omnivorous, pigs have long been companions to humans. We know from cave paintings that Palaeolithic hunters pursued wild boars. The earliest evidence for the domestication of pigs dates from about 8000 BCE (Larson). Even though it is surrounded by many cultural and religious taboos, […]

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Small Change: The Tiniest Ancient Coins

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: By Mike Markowitz “Parva Ne Pereant” In 2014 the British Royal Mint issued a gold proof 50p coin only 8 mm in diameter*, weighing in at 1/40 Troy ounce (0.8 grams.) This is the smallest coin the UK has ever struck and surely one of the smallest modern coins. For comparison, […]

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The Ancient Coinage of Crete

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz….  Labyrinths and Minotaurs and Bulls, Oh My! For the Ancient Greeks, Crete was a place of myth and legend. It was the birthplace of Zeus and the site of the Labyrinth. It was home to the Minotaur and the Cretan Bull. It was also the center of Minoan […]

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193: The Year of Five Emperors

Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek…. The Death of Commodus In Ridley Scott’s film Gladiator (2000), demented emperor Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) is slain in the Colosseum by mortally wounded general-turned-gladiator Maximus (Russell Crowe). In the closing scene, we are left to imagine that wise Senator Gracchus (Derek Jacobi) and lovely princess Lucilla (Connie […]

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Ancient Coins: What about Sparta?

Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek… Spartans disdained many things that other ancient Greeks valued. One of these things was money. Hundreds of different Greek cities issued coins between the birth of coined money around 650 BCE and the end of Greek civic coinage some time after 300 CE. The apparent exception was Sparta. Many […]

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Ancient Coins: Coinage of the Barbarian Invaders

Ancient Coin Series by Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek… Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas? Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts, and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds? Why are they carrying elegant canes beautifully worked in silver and gold? Because the barbarians […]

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The Coinage of Aksum

by Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek…. Ancient Coin Series   Where the south declines towards the setting sun lies the country called Ethiopia, the last inhabited land in that direction. There gold is obtained in great plenty… –Herodotus, The Histories, Book 2 (c. 450 BCE) Five days march inland from the Red Sea, on the hilly Tigray […]

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Bert: Why Did Byzantine Coins Become Cup-Shaped?

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ……. Ancient Coin Series …… On March 27, 2014 the US Mint released its first curved coins: five-dollar gold, one-dollar silver and 50-cent copper-nickel clad proof commemoratives celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame.  The reverse shows the stitching of a baseball (convex side), while Cassie McFarland’s […]

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Why Did Byzantine Coins Become Cup-Shaped?

By Mike Markowitz for CoinWeek ……. Ancient Coin Series …… On March 27, 2014 the US Mint released its first curved coins: five-dollar gold, one-dollar silver and 50-cent copper-nickel clad proof commemoratives celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame.  The reverse shows the stitching of a baseball (convex side), while Cassie McFarland’s […]

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