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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Roman Coins (Moderator: Severus_Alexander)  |  Topic: Elusive Antoninus Pius TR P X 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Elusive Antoninus Pius TR P X  (Read 365 times)
Frans Diederik
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« on: August 11, 2018, 09:20:27 am »

It is generally assumed that no coins of Antoninus Pius exist showing TR P X as XI being the first year of following regular series.
Yet I found a very strange coin which does not give definite answers... but..
ANTONINVS AVG - PIVS PP TR P X , laureate bust right, drapery on far shoulder and fold of cloak in neck. Nice style.
COS - IIII Felicitas standing left, holding branch ( looks like a wishbone) and long caduceus.
The coin is plated as the copper core shines through at places.
The reverse type gives  away what is going on with this 'first' TRP X coin. The reverse is a one off belonging to an obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP,  BMC 527, Coh. 258 and RIC 130 and Strack 163. Cohen cites a plated coin with TR P X on the obverse. Assuming that many COS IIII coins were issued before the series with the tribunician years, the type of the Pax/Felicitas type may well be issued just before 146AD or even in that year.
The simple fact that both attested TRP X coins are plated, suggest counterfeit. Yet the style and execution of my coin suggests a skilled engraver.
My suggestion (of course open to more knowledgable criticism) is that a small counterfeit series was issued at the end of 146 or the spring of 147 by an official officina (Rome).

Frans
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2018, 02:43:37 pm »

Thanks for sharing Frans that’s a very interesting possibility (and coin!)
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curtislclay
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2018, 09:57:57 am »

Frans,

Being plated, your coin is an ancient counterfeit in my opinion: I don't think the imperial mint ever intentionally produced plated denarii.

Because of its good style, one might think the dies of your coin derive from mint dies and so attest an authentic issue which so far hasn't turned up. But we have to be cautious about deducing an otherwise virtually unknown obv. legend from an ancient counterfeit which might copy it. I would want to wait for the appearance of a solid silver example before accepting that the mint actually struck denarii for Pius dated TR P X.

Why did the mint begin placing Pius' numbered TR P on his coins? I think the decision was connected with the award of TR P to Marcus Caesar on 1 Dec. 147 because of the birth of his first child, a daughter, one day earlier. The new title was of course added to his coins, the legend of his Spes type advancing from COS II to TR POT COS II.

Marcus probably adopted Pius' tribunician day, so on 25 Feb. 148 he became TR P II, and the mint decided to include his tribunicinan number on his coins, the legend of his Fides Publica type advancing from TR POT COS II to TR POT II COS II.

Now Pius had not earlier numbered his TR P on his coins, in fact he omitted that title altogether on most of his coins of 145-early 148, his legend being simply ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P / COS IIII. The decision to number Marcus' TR P on his coins, however, led to the addition of the numbered TR P title to Pius' coins too, so on 25 Feb. 148 his obverse legend was changed from ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P to ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XI.

If this reconstruction is correct, then there should not be any official coins of Pius as TR P X, because it was the advance of his tribunician number from X to XI and of Marcus' number from I to II on 25 Feb. 148 that caused the legend changes.
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Curtis Clay
Frans Diederik
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2018, 01:33:40 pm »

Thank you Curtis,
Very sound reasoning and leaving indeed no room for TR P X. I think I can maintain the title of this thread: 'elusive'

yours,

Frans
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curtislclay
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2018, 07:57:54 pm »

In 143 Antoninus won his second imperatorial acclamation for victory in Britain, a success that he commemorated on his coinage by using IMPERATOR II or IMP II as a reverse legend with a number of types in 143-144. After 145, however, that title no longer appeared on his coinage for over a decade, until IMP II reappeared as part of his obverse legend in all denominations from about 1 Feb. 156 until the end of 158, according to Strack probably in connection with a Dacian war fought by legates of Antoninus at about that time.

According to official coins, IMP II was reintroduced quite early in Antoninus' nineteenth tribunician year, when his legend form changed from

ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XIX / COS IIII to

ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II / TR POT XIX COS IIII.

It may be, however, that IMP II was first added to Antoninus' reverse legend, before being almost immediately transferred to his obverse legend, for an ancient counterfeit of quite high silver content shows this apparently transitional legend form:

ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XIX / IMP II COS IIII.

It seems very unlikely that an ancient counterfeiter, confronted with an official coin showing IMP II at the end of the obv. legend and TR POT XIX on the reverse, decided on his own initiative to interchange the positions of the two titles, moving IMP II to the reverse and TR P XIX to the obverse. Probably he was in fact copying an official denarius, no specimens of which have yet come to light. So we should be on the lookout for official denarii with TR P XIX on the obverse and IMP II on the reverse, with all three of the reverse types that Antoninus was striking at the time, Pax standing as on the ancient counterfeit, plus Annona standing and Fortuna standing.

The pictures below show the ancient counterfeit, sold by Savoca Coins on eBay on 22 August 2018, followed by two official denarii with the same Pax standing reverse type, first with TR P XIX but before the re-introduction of IMP II, then with IMP II in the obverse legend and TR POT XIX on the reverse.
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Curtis Clay
Frans Diederik
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2018, 05:08:48 am »

Very interesting, so there are more 'elusive' coins; I have made a special mental note for the IMP II TRP XIX series!

Frans
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