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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton V, Lot: 1770. Estimate $400. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $550. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

PHOENICIA, Tyre. Julia Maesa, grandmother of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander. Æ 29mm (13.34 gm). IVL[IA MAI]-SA AVGV, diademed and draped bust right / TVRIORVM above, Dido standing left, holding in right hand a rule and in left, transverse sceptre before the arched gate of the city of Tyre on left; above gate, mason at work on a tower, below, man to right digging with pick; murex shell above, palm tree to right. BMC Phoenicia -; SNG Copenhagen -; Rovier 2406, pl. III, 21 (same reverse die). Good Fine, dark grey-brown patina, porous. ($400)

From the David Simpson Collection.

Dido was the daughter of King Mutto of Tyre and sister of Pygmalion, who succeeded his father on the throne. Her husband was Sichaeus, a man of immense wealth, but Pygmalion, who coveted his treasures, caused him to be put to death. Dido, with a numerous body of friends and followers, both men and women, succeeded in effecting their escape from Tyre in several vessels, and they carried with them the treasures of Sichaeus. On arriving at the spot which they had selected as the seat of their future home, they asked the natives for only so much land as they could enclose with a bull's hide. When this was readily granted, she caused the hide to be cut into strips, and with them enclosed a spot on which she built a citadel, and called it Byrsa (a hide). Around this fort the city of Carthage arose, and soon became a powerful and flourishing city-state. It was the Tyreans, famed for their architectural know how, who helped King Solomon to design and build his great temple.