EGYPT. Alexandria. Antoninus Pius, 138-161. Drachm (Bronze, 35 mm, 29.67 g, 12 h), Sebennyte Nome, RY 8 = 144/5. ΑΥΤ Κ Τ ΑΙΛ ΑΔΡ ΑΝΤⲰΝΙΝΟC CЄΒ ЄΥC Laureate head of Antoninus Pius to right. Rev. CЄΒЄΝΝΥΤΗC / L - H Ares-Anhur standing front, head to left, holding spear in his right hand and parazonium in his left. Dattari (Savio) 6383. Emmett 1810.8. K&G N46.5. RPC IV.4 online 15150. Very rare and in exceptional condition for the issue, arguably one of the finest known examples. Light deposits, otherwise, very fine.
From the Rhakotis Collection, formed in the 1960s and 1970s (with collector’s ticket).
This coin forms part of the 'nome coinage', struck under several emperors starting from Domitian and ending with Antoninus Pius. The division of Egypt into nomes (smaller districts) had its roots in the pharaonic administration, but continued to be used in the Graeco-Roman period. On the reverse of the bronze drachms, the respective nomes are identified through the legend and a local deity is depicted. In this case, we see Anhur, an Egyptian war god who was equated with the Greek Ares and who had a temple in Sebennytos, the capital of the Sebennyte nome. A. Geissen (‘The Nome Coins of Roman Egypt’, in C. Howgego, V. Heuchert & A. Burnett (eds.), Coinage and Identity in the Roman Provinces, Oxford, 2005, p. 167-170) has suggested that the final emission of nome coins in year 8 of Antoninus Pius is most likely linked to the marriage of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina the Younger in the same year.