The House of Ptolemy Annex
c-net Internet Coin Project:
Recording Unique or Otherwise Unpublished Numismatic Items
Obverse: veiled female bust, facing right.
Reverse: human figure seated on a flying eagle or swan.
The style of the coin would suggest an origin somewhere in Phoenicia. The coin originally came from a dealer who's stock came from the area.
The coin appears to me to be from Marathos during the time they were putting the busts of Ptolemaic rulers such as Queen Berenice on thier small denomination bronzes. This would place it ca. 220 BC. The bust can quickly be checked against coins in Sear's Greek Coins (Vol. 2, Africa), Marathos. I've not seen a similar reverse for this type, but I don't have the proper books to check.Best guess so far is that the coin is part of the series from Marathos that depicts Berenice of Egypt. The reverse could represent either the god Apollo riding the swan Cycnus or it may be Berenice herself being taken to the skies after her death*, ca 269BCE. If the latter, this is an otherwise unique and representation of apotheosis of a Ptolemaic sovereign. There is however a possibility the coin might be a Roman type for the region.
*For example see:
(37 BC) THE ECLOGUES by Virgil====================================================
ECLOGUE IX -- MOERIS (speaking to LYCIDAS):
Ay, or to Varus that half-finished lay,
"Varus, thy name, so still our Mantua live-
Mantua to poor Cremona all too near-
Shall singing swans bear upward to the stars."
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