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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XXI, Lot: 176. Estimate $300.
Sold for $325. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Marcus Aurelius. AD 161-180. BI Tetradrachm (24mm, 13.60 g, 12h). Dated RY 4 (AD 163/164). Μ AVΡΗΛ ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝΟC CЄ, laureate bust right, wearing aegis / Radiate and draped bust of Sarapis-Pantheos right, wearing kalathos and horn of Ammon; before, serpent staff of Asklepios; L ∆ (date) across field. Köln 2025 var. (obv. bust type and legend); Dattari (Savio) 3383 var. (same); K&G 37.198 var. (same); Emmett 2081.4 (R3); Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 175 (this coin). VF, toned, some porosity. Very rare. A one-year type for Marcus Aurelius.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex Historical Coin Review (Victor England) Vol. XIII, No. 7 (September 1988), no. 30.

Sarapis was a syncretic god, combining Hellenistic Greek and Egyptian religious beliefs. His name is of Egyptian origin and derives from a synthesis of Ausar (Greek, Osiris), the Egyptian god of the Underworld, and Hapi (Greek, Apis), a manifestation of the god Ptah. Under the Ptolemies, Sarapis became the chief tutelary god and the subject of a royally-sponsored cult, whose emphasis on an afterlife made the worship of Sarapis one of the more popular mystery cults. His immense popularity soon extended to his creation as Sarapis-Pantheos, a hybrid deity incorporating other divine elements. In the case of the present specimen from the Staffieri collection, he is depicted with the radiate crown of Helios, his own kalathos, the ram’s horn of Ammon, and the serpent staff of Asklepios.