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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Roman Provincial Coins (Moderators: slokind, jmuona, tjaart)  |  Topic: A mysterious river god from Nikopolis 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: A mysterious river god from Nikopolis  (Read 148 times)
Jochen
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« on: April 11, 2019, 09:08:46 am »

Hallo!

This coin is on the way to me:

Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Diadumenian, AD 217-218
AE 27, 12.45g
issued under governor Marcus Claudius Agrippa
Obv.: M OΠEΛΛI [ΔI] - AΔOVMENIANOC K
          Bust, draped and cuirassed, seen from behind, bare-headed, r.
Rev: VP A[ΓPIΠΠA NIKO]ΠOΛITΩN / ΠPOC ICT
         Youthful river god, in hip dress and with chlamys, which is fallen
         down from his left  shoulder, std. l., resting with right arm on  
         Prora  behind him and holding in his left arm aquatic plant; the left
         hand rests on unknown object
Ref: a) AMNG I/1, 1807, plate XVIII, 4 (1 ex., in trade, same die)
        b) Varbanov 3645 (same dies)
        c) Hristova/Hioeft/Jekov (2018) No. 8.25.32.3 corr.
        d) Megaw NIK4.38e (shown in HrHJ!)
rare, F+, pretty green patina, somewhat eccentric, legends partly unreadable

It is certainly the representation of a river god, although here the vessel from which the water usually flows is missing. But the water plant in the left arm and the Prora in the background leave no doubt. Because of the Prora it will be a navigable river, which here would be the Ister (Danube).

But the further description of the details on the back side causes problems:
(1) What Megaw called Thyrsos, I think is most likely a Chlamys, which  falls down from his left shoulder.
(2) But what is the river god sitting on? At least he is not sitting on the ground. But it is nor a rock, as Megaw means. The easiest way to do it is for those who have omit naming it completely.
(3) On what does he rests the left arm? The object seems to be hollow. An urn, like some mean? I guess not because the flowing water is missing. A ton or a barrel? A shield? That would be very unusual.

Then I found Pick's note at AMNG I/1 no. 1698 for Macrinus, where he says that it reminds him of a Kline also known from river god representations from Thrace. In addition fits that I see quite clearly 2-3 feet of a seat and left in front of it possibly 2 pillows. With the badly drawn support of the left arm the back of the Kline could be meant then, whereby the die cutter mixed up the back of the Kline and an urn, which otherwise occurs frequently. Another mistake is the distance of the left arm from the round support, so that it does not rest at all.

I have coloured the critical parts:
(a) yellow: feet of the seat
(b) green: questionable pillows
(c) blue: unknown object
(d) orange: Chlamys
(e) white: aquatic plant

What do you think of this explanation? I would be happy about any opinion!

Best regards
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shanxi
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2019, 11:17:53 am »

The depiction on your coin looks like a simplified (abstract) version of the coin in the link below. Beside the "chlamys" everything is there including the yellow triangle.

https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=3581285

- The white structure is called branch but it somehow looks also like an aphlaston. -
- If you look closely at your coin you will see a thin line left of the urn (above the baseline), which might be the water flowing out of the urn.
- The green structure might be part of the robe.
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Jochen
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2019, 02:55:49 am »

Thank you for sharing your opinion. And yes, it seems to be the same kind of seat.

Jochen
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Roman Provincial Coins (Moderators: slokind, jmuona, tjaart)  |  Topic: A mysterious river god from Nikopolis « previous next »
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