The Mediterranean Sea basin was important in development of ancient civilizations. The sea faring empires of Greece and Rome integrated the significance of the sea, gods, ships, and rivers into their culture, history and daily life. All are found in the art and coins of Greece and Rome.
This historical collection includes five lead free pewter replicas of Greek and Roman coins related to their maritime heritage.
Itanos Silver Stater. Crete established the first maritime oriented civilization in 2,000 B.C. Ancient Greek coins of Crete reflect this heritage. For example, Itanos, the city state located on Crete's northeast coast, issued a silver stater showing Triton (merman son of Poseidon, and messenger of sea) facing right striking downward with trident and holding a fish in right hand. The reverse shows two sea monsters facing each other. 320-370 B.C. (Sear 3318)
Antigonos Doson Silver Tetradrachm. The reverse shows naked Apollo holding a bow seated left at ease on prow of galley. The reverse shows the head of Poseidon, Greek god of the sea, facing right with hair bound with marine plants. This coin cerebrates a Macedonian naval victory over the Ptolemaic fleet off the island of Andros. 229-221 B.C. (Sear 6789)
Brass Sestertius of Emperor Nero. Improvements to harbor facilities at Ostia, Rome's port at the mouth of the Tiber River, were begun under Claudius and completed by Nero in 63 A.D. The reverse shows a view of the harbor showing pier, breakwaters, a statue of Neptune, ships with the figure of the river god Tiber reclining in foreground holding rudder and dolphin. The circular design of the port eventually serves as a model for the construction of St Peter’s at the Vatican. Obverse: Shows a portrait of Nero facing right. This coin was struck at Rome in 64 A.D. (Sear 1953)
Oceanen Brass Medallion. This extremely rare medallion to an expedition to Britain undertaken by Constans in the winter of342-343 A.D. to repress the incursions of the Picts, who were desolating the Roman province. This Roman medallion memorializes the importance of Roman sea power in protecting trade and the national security of its possessions. The coin presents a galley with rowers; the emperor in a military dress, with buckler and lance, stands on the deck in the attitude of hurling the lance downwards, as if at a figure swimming in the sea. On the prow of the galley is Victory with garland and palm branch; at the stern are two ensigns. On the shore is a lighthouse. The reverse cast is from the original in the Cabinet de France. The obverse of this medal shows a portrait of Gordian III.
Demetrios Poliorketes Tetradrachm. In 306 B.C. Demetrios of Macedonia met the fleet of Ptolomy I at Salmis, off the coast of Cyprus. In the sea battle, Demetrios completely destroyed the naval power of Egypt; conquered Cyprus; and captured one of Ptolemy's sons. Demetrios ruled the Macedonian Kingdom from 306-283 B.C. The reverse of this silver tetradrachm shows Poseidon, naked standing left with right foot on rock; he rests his right arm on thigh and holds trident in left hand. The obverse shows the diadem horned head of Demetrios facing right. This Greek coin was in 289 B.C. at the Amphipolis mint. (Sear 6767)