Egypt, Alexandria , Antoninus Pius, struck 157/8 A.D., Commencement of the Sothic year Type, read history !!!

Ancient Coins -  Egypt, Alexandria , Antoninus Pius,  struck 157/8 A.D., Commencement of the Sothic year Type, read history !!!
zoom view

 Antoninus Pius, Æ drachm, (21.67 gm) Alexandria, Egypt, Year 21 = 157/8 AD, Laureate and draped bust right. / No legend. Isis, the Egyptian goddess and consort of Serapis, riding facing on a dog (Sirius) wearing a radiate crown running to right, LKA below.Sirius, the Dog star, is connected with summer heat and drought. Astrological type. Milne 2358, D2680, BMC1121. Emmett 1593, gVF, Even though this coin is rated R1 , but it is not easy to find !!!

Emmett note on page 74c :
On this coin the Sothic year is represented by Isis seated on a dog. The helical rising (first dawn appearance) of Sirius, the dog star, marked the commencement of the Sothic year. 
Wikipedia :
The Sothic cycle or Canicular period is a period of 1,461 ancient Egyptian years (of 365 days each) or 1,460 Julian years (averaging 365.25 days each). During a Sothic cycle, the 365-day year loses enough time that the start of the year once again coincides with the heliacal rising of the star Sirius (the Latinized name for Greek Σείριος, a star called Sopdet by the Egyptians, in Greek transcribed as Sothis; a single year between heliacal risings of Sothis is a Sothic year). This rising occurred within a month or so of the beginning of the Nile flood, and was a matter of primary importance to this agricultural society. It is believed that Ancient Egyptians followed both a 365-day civil calendar and a lunar religious calendar. 

The ancient Egyptian civil year was 365 days long, and apparently did not have any intercalary days added to keep it in alignment with the Sothic year, a kind of sidereal year. Normally, a sidereal year is considered to be 365.25636 days long, but that only applies to stars on the ecliptic, or the apparent path of the Sun. Because Sirius lies ~40˚ below the ecliptic, the wobbling of the celestial equator and hence of the horizon at the latitude of Egypt, as well as the proper motion of the star, causes the Sothic year to be slightly smaller. Indeed, it is almost exactly 365.25 days long, the average number of days in a Julian year.

This cycle was first noticed by Eduard Meyer in 1904, who then carefully combed known Egyptian inscriptions and written materials to find any mention of the calendar dates when Sirius rose. He found six of them, on which the dates of much of the conventional Egyptian chronology are based. A heliacal rise of Sirius was recorded by Censorinus as having happened on the Egyptian New Year's Day, between AD 139 and 142.[1] The record actually refers to July 21 of 140 AD but is astronomically calculated as a definite July 20 of 139 AD. This correlates the Egyptian calendar to the Julian calendar. Leap day occurs in 140 AD, and so the new year, Thoth 1, is July 20 in 139 AD but it is July 19 in 140-142 AD. Thus he was able to compare the day on which Sothis rose in the Egyptian calendar to the day on which Sothis ought to have risen in the Julian calendar, count the number of intercalary days needed, and determine how many years were between the beginning of a cycle and the observation. One also needs to know the place of observation, since the latitude of the observation changes the day when the heliacal rising of Sirius occurs, and mislocating an observation can potentially change the resulting chronology by several decades.[1] Meyer concluded from an ivory tablet from the reign of Djer that the Egyptian civil calendar was created in 4241 BC,[citation needed] a date that appears in a number of old books. But research and discoveries have since shown that the first dynasty of Egypt did not begin before c.3100 BC, and the claim that 4241 BC (July 19) is the "earliest fixed date" has since been discredited. Most scholars either move the observation upon which he based this forward by one cycle of Sothis to 2781 (July 19), or reject the assumption that the document in question indicates a rise of Sothis at all.[2]


Price SKU: c2084
US$ 2,900.00
  • € 2,464.42
  • £ 2,108.30
  • AUD 3,929.50
  • CHF 2,671.19
  • CAD 3,644.43

Rates for: 07/24/21

Ships from: