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Author Topic: Another piece of the Stobi puzzle  (Read 44001 times)
whitetd49
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« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2007, 10:08:53 am »

During the Severan period of production at Stobi several new reverse types were introduced.  One of these was a representation of Serapis wearing a kalathos or polos, holding a patera and a snake.  This latter attribute is quite unusual for depictions of Serapis.  Here, a new specimen suggests that the reverse is actually a syncretic Serapis-Asklepios.

The reverse presents a long haired (veiled?), kalathos on head, robed figure standing facing (head NOT turned left), one arm raised holding a patera, the other arm clearing holding a staff with a snake draped over the hand and top of staff.  The presence of a staff can be confirmed on at least one other specimen in my gallery.  Thus, it appears it is a combination of the attributes of Serapis and Asklepios.  The only other possibility that I can suggest is some variation of Hygieia (snake and patera) but that makes the kalathos and raised arm problematic.

The size of the coin is itself problematic.  It is only ~20 mm and 4.3 g.  The middle module (diassarion) coins for Caracalla are typically 22-24 mm and average 6.1 g (the lightest is 4.87g.).  Four specimens of the rare small module (assarion) coins are 17.4 - 19.7 mm.  Two specimens issued by Marcus Aurelius weigh ~4.2 g. and two issued by Caracalla weigh ~3.2 g.  I'm trying to convince myself that I have a third specimen of an assarion known for Caracalla with a new reverse type.
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« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2007, 10:14:25 am »

Here is a very similar reverse for Julia Domna but it is a large module, 27 mm and ~10g., specimen.  One can see that there is a distinct staff and hanging snake.
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« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2007, 11:03:14 am »

I don't see the staff on either coin, can you describe where it is?

Shouldn't the r. hand just be stretched out in greeting, rather than holding a patera?

Fascinating type!
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« Reply #53 on: August 07, 2007, 11:22:13 am »

It is clearer on the first specimen.  The staff is held at an upward 45 degree angle and appears to be a continuation of the snake across the leg of the figure but you can see the tail of the snake hanging straight down.  Upon further examination, it could be the lower arm held across the leg indicating that the snake is held in the crook of the elbow.  I attach a photo with the arm/staff, the snake's tail, and another object on the opposite side of the body that I initially took as drapery outlined in red.
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« Reply #54 on: August 07, 2007, 02:45:43 pm »

Thank you so much for posting about this type! I have been waiting to see your pictures of them!
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« Reply #55 on: August 07, 2007, 04:19:32 pm »

This is one of 10 new Stobi coins I listed in my gallery today.  I was wondering about the use of PIA on the obverse.  I have not seen this before? Also any idea if the full legend is AVGVSTA IVLIA PIA? The begining of mine is to worn to read and I think off flan.
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« Reply #56 on: August 07, 2007, 05:25:36 pm »

Robin, your specimen is only the fourth that I have seen.  You really did a nice job acquiring Stobi issues this summer!  I have already identified a couple in your gallery.

Julia Domna
AVGVSTA IVLIA PIA
Bust draped, right
STOBE MVNI
Nike standing right, holding wreath and palm
Cohen IV 269, SNG Cop Mac 332
Josifovski 224, same dies (V74, R76), Pl. XIX, citing specimen in private collection, AE 24.4, 5.0 g. This obverse legend not listed and recorded as AVGVSTA [ ]IA. Confirms entire legend for obverse die 74.
PIA in the obverse legend was apparently only used during Caracalla's reign after the death of Septimius Severus. This is a rare opportunity to date one of these issues, 211 - 217 AD.

But your reverse die is different... an unlisted die pair.  I'll see if that reverse die is known...
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« Reply #57 on: August 07, 2007, 07:24:46 pm »

Wonderful information! I really appreciate it- I would like to get a reference that might help me some.  What would you recommend that is obtainable?
Though it doesn't have anything to do with coins- I just bought STOBI The Hellenistic and Roman Pottery by Anderson-Stojanvic
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« Reply #58 on: August 07, 2007, 07:50:17 pm »

Wonderful information! I really appreciate it- I would like to get a reference that might help me some.  What would you recommend that is obtainable?
Though it doesn't have anything to do with coins- I just bought STOBI The Hellenistic and Roman Pottery by Anderson-Stojanvic
As far as I can tell, the considerable literature on Stobi archeology does not address numismatics.  The only exception is a description of a mainly Roman Republican hoard that does not help us.  The best reference is Josifovski, The Roman Mint at Stobi.  I expect that with patience, a copy will appear on ebay from Germany or Serbia.  Otherwise, Stobi issues are included in various SNG catalogs, BMC, and AMNG but these are expensive and barely address StobiVarbanov (Eng.) Vol. III is about to be released and will include Stobi.  I have no idea how he will deal with the huge issues with similar or identical legends that Stobi presents.  You can be sure that a minority of the known issues will be illustrated.  I am presently awaiting my own copy of Varbanov.  I will let the Boards know how well it deals with Stobi!

BTW:  Robin, there are only two obverse dies of Julia Domna whose legends are not simply some variation of IVLIA AVGVSTA.  You managed to get both of them!
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« Reply #59 on: August 07, 2007, 08:52:25 pm »

I will keep my eyes peeled for Josifovski, I've checked every Book store I could think of including small and rare dealers.  I'm sure one of these days a copy will pop up.  I will wait to see what you have to say on Varbanov!

Quote
BTW:  Robin, there are only two obverse dies of Julia Domna whose legends are not simply some variation of IVLIA AVGVSTA.  You managed to get both of them!


Yay me!  I did not realize that when I bought them.  I think for now I will use your gallery to try to identify. Smiley
(The PIA and radiate Caracalla popped in a buy it now- so I lucked out.)  I have one more still in the mail. 
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« Reply #60 on: August 08, 2007, 07:30:18 am »

Robin, that radiate bust of Caracalla provides a "Eureka moment".  It is especially appropriate as we were just discussing Serapis reverses.

 
Robin’s (V15, R unlisted)

Arminius’ (V15, R15), Josif 293, AMNG 13
 
Josif Add 3 (V unlisted, Caracalla R15)
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« Reply #61 on: August 08, 2007, 07:31:53 am »

And the J Domna die....
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« Reply #62 on: August 27, 2007, 02:06:27 pm »

I think that I might actually be making some progress here.  In posting this first coin, I meant to offer an exceptional, almost Hellenistic portrait of Julia Domna from Stobi.  Another feature to note is the device on the wheel on the reverse.  It appears to be perhaps a hub and shaft for the wheel?  It does not appear on any other issues apparently.  I am also reposting the Domna/Serapis from the top of the page as a possible obverse die match.
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« Reply #63 on: August 30, 2007, 07:15:57 pm »

Two more I added this week. They are both not in great condition, but not as bad as the photos- I'm still adjusting to the new camera!

1. AG M AVR - ANTONINVS; Bust laureate, draped, cuirassed, right, seen from behind
    STOBE MVNICI; Serapis standing facing, holding patera in raised arm, holding snake

2. A C M AVR ANTONINVS; Bust laureate, draped, cuirassed, right, seen from behind
    MVNICI STOBE; Zeus, nude to waist, seated left, holding Nike and scepter

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« Reply #64 on: August 31, 2007, 12:13:33 pm »

Robin, it is remarkable that your two new coins are from the same late emission and hence the similar reverse legends.  The first is V52 and an unlisted Serapis reverse.  I have only seen one other specimen, it is in ecoli's gallery at:

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=search&cat=0&pos=3

a much poorer specimen.

The second coin is V7 and an unlisted Zeus reverse.  This reverse die is actually shared by V6, V7, and V52.  Below is my specimen for comparison.
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« Reply #65 on: August 31, 2007, 01:37:21 pm »

Thank you for the information. The Serapis I spotted in a lot of provincials on "that" site.  Grin (What luck for me!)  The other I bought seperate.  I have one other I have not photographed yet.
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« Reply #66 on: September 05, 2007, 04:31:36 pm »

While on the subject of emissions, here is one with many missing pieces.  The new coin is Josif 367 (V74, R84).  The second is V74, R127.  The latter coin provides a die link to V10 which is known with five reverse dies.  There should be at least 2 more linked obverse dies in this group....
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« Reply #67 on: September 07, 2007, 10:44:32 am »

Relevent dates:

193   Septimius named AVGVSTVS, PERT 195 - 198
196   Caracalla named CAESAR and MARCVS AVRELIVS
196   Domna named IVLIA AVGVSTA
198   Caracalla named AVGVSTVS
198   Geta named CAESAR and P SEPTI GETA, PONT 199 - 209
202   Caracalla marries Plautilla
205   Caracalla banishes Plautilla
209   Geta named AVGVSTVS, first bearded portraits
211   Septimius, Geta, Plautilla dead (Feb.)
211   Domna named PIA
214   Caracalla reforms Imperial monetary system, introduction of Antoninianus
217   Caracalla dead (Apr.)

It appears that production at Stobi was sporatic, not continuous during the Severan period.  Critical observations;
PERT never included in legends of Septimius, no production before 198 AD
Caracalla never as Caesar, no production before 198
Geta as Caesar with legends including PONT, production possible 199 onwards
Geta always named P SEPTI GETA, production 199 onwards
Plautilla never portrayed at Stobi, 202 - 205 no production?
Geta as Augustus rare, the few portraits are never bearded, no production 210 - 211?
Large module tetrassaria discontinued after deaths of Septimius and Geta
Middle module diassaria introduced after banishment of Plautilla, continued to at least after 211, Domna as PIA

This chronology should be regarded as tentative, comments are welcome!

A mature but beardless portrait of Geta, ~209-210?
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« Reply #68 on: September 07, 2007, 02:02:40 pm »

Is it possible for a moderator to transfer this thread to Classical Numismatics since it contains lots of valuable and interesting information?
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« Reply #69 on: September 25, 2007, 10:09:31 am »

This new specimen (AE26)reveals a new Axios and Erigon variant for Septimius.  The reverse shows the river gods with a cross-legged figure in the middle figure.  It is of course Stobi's Nike advancing with wreath and palm.  This variant is only know for Caracalla on middle (diassaria) module issues.  Other details like a legend, reeds, hydria, etc are gone.  This unlisted reverse is paired with V24 so the third known die pair.  I'm posting another obverse die match.
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« Reply #70 on: September 25, 2007, 10:27:57 am »

"This unlisted reverse is paired with V24 so the third known die pair."

Do you mean that this is the third rev. die known to have been coupled with this obv. die?

Neat type, great discovery!
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« Reply #71 on: September 25, 2007, 10:40:53 am »

"This unlisted reverse is paired with V24 so the third known die pair."

Do you mean that this is the third rev. die known to have been coupled with this obv. die?

Neat type, great discovery!

Yes, but I do not have a picture of the third die pair, Josif 138 (V24, R24), Nike stepping on a globe. 
One further note, I find it odd that these earlier large module coins are red, rich in copper.  In contrast, the later middle module coins are yellow bronze.  Seems to be the reverse of the use of medal at other mints?
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« Reply #72 on: October 04, 2007, 03:05:26 pm »

Another one for the puzzle:

Stobi in Macedonia, Caracalla, 209-217 AD.,
Æ22 (21-22 mm / 6,05 g),
Obv.: M AVREL - ANTONI , laureate head of Caracalla right.
Rev.: MVNICIP - S-TOBEN, Nike advancing right, stepping on globe, carrying wreath and palm.

Same reverse die (R139) as Josifovski 443, 447 citing private collections (?).

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« Reply #73 on: October 04, 2007, 04:00:50 pm »

The puzzle just got more complex.  This obverse die is V68, nearly identical to a linked die, V67.  Three known reverses (all Nike advancing right) were used with V68:  R75, MVNIC S/TOBEN; R88, MVNICI STOBEN; R112, MVNICIP S/TOBENSI.  Thus, your reverse die fits nicely within this grouping but must be an unlisted die pair.  V67 is known to occur with this reverse type (Nike right, stepping on globe), R145, MVNICIP STOBEN.  I do not have a picture of R139 but it must be a different die from yours.  R139 is only linked to V105 which in turn is very different from the very similar V67, V68, V82, V93.

I am attaching a nice example of V67.
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« Reply #74 on: October 05, 2007, 10:24:22 am »

An older Caracalla for the puzzle:

Stobi in Macedonia, Caracalla, 209-217 AD.,
Æ24 (24 mm / 7,03 g),
Obv.: A C M AVR AN[TONINVS] , laureate and cuirassed bust of the older Caracalla right, seen from behind.
Rev.: MVNICIP - STOBEN , Nike-Nemesis walking l. with wreath and palm, wheel at her feet l.

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