Europe’s Crisis of Faith: The Protestant Reformation and the Wars of Religion

In 1517, Martin Luther’s act of protest ignited a religious movement that would consume Europe for the next 150 years. This remarkable collection features genuine silver coins that circulated in Europe during the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent period of religious conflict known today as the Thirty Years’ War.4REFORMATIONBOX

Continue reading

Posted in Religious Coins | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Grandeur That Was Rome

This remarkable collection of genuine silver denarii features coins from the zenith of the Roman Empire: the so-called “Good Emperors” Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius; as well as Faustina the Elder and her daughter Faustina the Younger, the wives of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius respectively.

6GOODEMPSLBOX

Continue reading

Posted in Ancients, Roman Coins | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mystery of the Book of Revelation: Which Roman Emperor is the Antichrist?

god

The Apocalypse of St. John the Divine—better known as the Book of Revelation—is the final book of the Christian Bible, and also the strangest. Its prophesy of the End of Days is filled with veiled references, obscure symbols, and enigmatic allusions, the most famous being Revelation 13:17-18: “No one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or name of the beast, or the number of his name, and his number is 666.”

For two millennia, this mysterious sentence has both attracted and baffled the finest minds in Christendom, from early Church fathers Irenaeus and Augustine, to modern scholars Robert Graves and Elaine Pagels. Who, or what, is “the beast”? What does the beast have to do with buying and selling? And what is the meaning of 666?

Continue reading

Posted in Ancients, Roman Coins | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greece Wants to Cut its Bills in Half? It Wouldn’t be the First Time.

Alexis Tsipras, the newly-minted populist prime minister of Greece, is faced with an impossible task: making good on its massive debt obligations, while also alleviating some of the drastic austerity measures imposed to generate the necessary revenue. As the fate of the world economy rests uneasily on the finances of the Greeks, it’s worth noting that not quite a hundred years ago, Greece found itself in a similar financial pickle—and escaped in a brilliant fashion that would have made Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle proud.

Aristotle: no dummy.

Continue reading

Posted in Lore of Money, Numismatics in the News | Leave a comment

Love & Death on February 14: The St. Valentine’s Day Coin

Many are the tales of St. Valentine, the third-century priest martyred on February 14—what we now know as Valentine’s Day.

Records from that period of Roman history, the so-called Age of Chaos, are spotty, but this is what has been handed down to us: Continue reading

Posted in Ancients, Roman Coins | Tagged , , | Leave a comment