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Mid 1st Century BC Skythia Geto-Dacians Koson Stater

 
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 Posted 06/29/2022  11:19 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
New acquisition. Thoughts? Thanks.


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 Posted 06/29/2022  1:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Neat. If you don't already own one, now you'll have to try to pick up a Brutus denarius with the reverse that these Koson issues imitate.
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 Posted 06/29/2022  1:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My other recent acquisition. I did a writeup of this coin in the U.S. coin forum because of the importance of this coin to early U.S. coinage.
http://goccf.com/t/424323


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Edited by numismatic student
06/29/2022 1:41 pm
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 Posted 06/29/2022  2:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hah! I should have known you'd have this pairing completed. Well done.
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 Posted 06/29/2022  2:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I also believe that the Koson Stater is the coin that inspired this coin, the 1795 $5 U.S. half eagle. This was one of the first gold coins issued by the U.S. government. The U.S. version has the wreath in the eagle's beak, rather than in its talon. Let me know if you know of an ancient issue that matches more closely with an eagle with a wreath in its beak. Probably there are closer matches to later Roman issues.


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 Posted 06/29/2022  2:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Apparently there are many coins with this iconography in the Roman Empire, but any in the Roman Republic or elsewhere that predate the Koson or the 1st century BC?

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 Posted 06/29/2022  5:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, facing eagles with wings spread and wreaths-in-beak are common among some later (than Koson) Roman Provincial tets:
https://www.acsearch.info/search.ht...=usd&order=0

While eagles are common enough in earlier coinage, I don't know of other early examples with wreaths-in-beak - although they may be out there.
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 Posted 06/29/2022  9:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There is an extensive series of tetradrachms depicting eagles-with-wreaths, but they do not go back as far as that. The series begins during the reign of Nero, with mostly wreath-less eagles, copying the design of the "shekel of Tyre" (which likewise had an eagle without a wreath, but with a palm branch). There are a few tetradrachms of Nero with wreaths in the eagle's beak, and the wreaths become more or less ubiquitous by the time of Septimus Severus 100 years later.

The symbolism, generally, of the eagle-with-wreath-in-beak doesn't seem to have been common in the ancient world until the mid-Roman period. Representations of eagles abound in the Greek series, but they never seem to be holding wreaths. Holding a wreath is Nike's job, not a task for the familiar of Zeus.
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 Posted 06/29/2022  10:32 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the additional information. I think the coin iconography comes from the many aquila (eagle) standards carried by the Roman legions throughout its territories. Famous ones include the aquila surrounded by a wreath.



"When one comes to the standards themselves and their various types and patterns throughout imperial times there are some serious gaps in current knowledge. It can though be assumed that animal standards were used by Roman legions from earliest times and that they gradually became rationalized.

The republican is reputed by the historian Pliny the elder to have had five standards, an eagle, a wolf, a Minotaur, a horse and a boar. Marius made the eagle supreme because of its close associations with Jupiter, and the remainder were relegated or abolished. In late republican times the eagle standard (aquila) was made of silver and a golden thunderbolt was held in the claws of the eagle., but later it was made entirely of gold and carried by the senior standard bearer, the aquilifer.

It was the eagle standard which bore the famous Roman abbreviation SPQR. The letters stand for senatus populusque romanus which means 'the senate and the people of Rome'. Hence this standard represented the will of the Roman people and stated that the soldiers acted on their behalf. The abbreviation SPQR remained a potent symbol throughout the history of the empire, as the senate remained to be seen as (theoretically) the highest authority during the times of the emperors.

While the eagle was common to all legions, each unit had several of its own symbols. These were often associated with the birthday of the unit or its founder or of a commander under whom it had won a particular victory.
These symbols were signs of the Zodiac. Thus the bull signifies the period 17th April to 18th May, which was sacred to Venus the goddess mother of the Julian family; similarly the Capricorn was the emblem of Augustus.

Thus, II Augusta, one of the British legions, displayed the Capricorn for as its name denotes it was founded by Augustus. Further II Augusta also bore symbols of Pegasus and Mars. That of Mars in particular more than likely signifying some oath taken to the god of war in times of peril.

The imago was a standard of special importance, bringing the emperor into a closer relationship with his troops. This standard bearing the image of the emperor was carried by the imaginifer. In later times it also had portraits of other members of the ruling house.
"
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