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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
10700057

“One is Zeus Sarapis”
Celebrating the Renovation of the Serapeum

Triton XXI, Lot: 57. Estimate $1500.
Sold for $2250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian. AD 117-138. Æ Drachm (34mm, 23.09 g, 12h). Dated RY 8 (AD 123/124). ΑΥΤ KAI ΤΡΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑ CЄΒ, laureate bust right, slight drapery / ЄΙC Ζ[ЄΥ]C CΑΡΑΠΙC (“One [is] Zeus Sarapis”), Zeus-Sarapis, radiate, standing facing on column, head right, holding a vertical scepter with his right hand, and an uncertain figure (or object, perhaps a modius?) in his extended left hand; L H (date) to either side of column. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) –; K&G –; RPC III 5466/1 (this coin, illustrated on pl. 270); Emmett –; Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 63 (this coin); Staffieri, “EIC ZEYC CAPAΠIC–Su una Dramma Alessandrina Inedita” (NACQT Vol. XXV, Lugano, 1996), pp. 255-69, Fig. 1 (this coin illustrated). Near VF, brown patina with touches of green, attractive surfaces. Unique.


From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex Numismatic Art & Ancient Coins FPL 6 (Zürich, Fall 1988), lot 212.

In the aforementioned article by Giovanni, he cites “parallels for the inscriptions, and linked the coin design to the so-called ‘Colonna di Diocleziano’ at the Serapeum in Alexandria. In the new catalog of his collection, Alexandria In Nummis, he states that this important type can be linked to Hadrian’s “renovation of the entire area of ​​the Serapeum in Alexandria, which emphasized the transformation into the Pantheon of all divinities.” Syncretic gods were to become the norm in Roman Egypt (see Dattari-Savio 7790 for a Zeus-Sarapis pantheistic bust type, perhaps also from RY 8, but the date is almost illegible).