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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
640729
Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 729. Estimate $300. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SYRIA, Decapolis. Gadara. Gordian III. 238-244 AD. Æ 25mm (13.33 gm). Dated year 303 (240/1 AD). Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind / Galley being rowed right; date in exergue. Spijkerman 93/1; Rosenberger 90. Good VF, brown patina. Rare. ($300)

At first the glance, the appearance of a sea-going galley is an oddity on a coin from a land-locked desert city. But the Gadarenes never forgot their origins as a foundation by the great Roman naval commander Pompey. Other coins refer specifically to the naumachia, or naval games sponsored by the city, as a festival located on the nearby Yarmuk river.