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curtislclay
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« on: May 20, 2007, 12:19:29 am »

At the recent Chicago coin show I made a modest addition to my (and hopefully the British Museum's) collection of the variants in bronze of this well-known reverse type of Septimius Severus and Caracalla.

ANTONINVS PIVS AVG - PONT TR P VII, laureate, draped portrait of youthful Caracalla r.

INDVLGENTIA AVGG around, IN CARTH in exergue, SC in field, Dea Caelestis seated side-saddle on lion leaping r. above water emerging from rock; she wears mural crown, looks r., holds thunderbolt and scepter.

Copper As, 12.57 gr., axis 12h.  Rome, 204 AD.  Little worn, but corroded, especially on the reverse.

This is the fifth specimen of this As that I have seen, the others being in Glasgow, Vienna, Klosterneuburg Monastery just north of Vienna, and the collection of Forvm member Whitetd49, though Whitetd49's specimen was most regrettably stolen by a postal worker when I attempted to send it back to him several years ago.  All five specimens are from the same pair of dies.

This As of Caracalla is not in the standard catalogues, but was certainly to be expected, since there is a corresponding piece of Septimius dated TR P XII, and since the same reverse type was known for Caracalla on common denarii, rare aurei (3 spec. in my die catalogue), and a unique sestertius (see my second posting below).  The rev. die of the Caracalla As was also used for Septimius, as on the BM specimen also shown below.
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2007, 02:17:12 am »

Some holes still remain in my/the BM's collection of the variants of this type in bronze.

The type occurs in two further variants on asses of the preceding year, TR P XI for Septimius and TR P VI for Caracalla, 203 AD.  On the first variant, Dea Caelestis holds a drum rather than a thunderbolt and her head is facing rather than looking right.  The BM has nice specimens of this As for both emperors, nos. 1 and 3 on the extract from BMC pl. 50 shown below.

On the second variant of 203, the head of the goddess is also facing, but she holds a thunderbolt, as in 204, instead of a drum.  The BM has a specimen of this As for Septimius, from my collection, formerly in the Dutch Royal collection, sold in a J. Schulman auction of 1974.  It is the first coin on the second image below, and shares its obv. die with Septimius' asses showing the earlier variant with drum, BMC pl. 50.1, also illustrated below.  I have seen only one other specimen of this coin, in trade many years ago with Alex Malloy.

The corresponding As of Caracalla is, as far as I know, unique in Vienna.  I still need it for the BM!  Neither of these asses with the goddess facing and holding thunderbolt in 203 is in the standard catalogues.

The only known INDVLGENTIA dupondius is of Caracalla as TR P VI, with the goddess holding drum, one specimen in BM pl. 50.2 (below), another in Naples.

INDVLGENTIA sestertii are also extremely rare, and only two of the six variants are in my collection or the BM's, leaving four still to acquire!

Septimius TR P XI/Caracalla TR P VI, 203, first type, goddess facing and holding drum.  Two known for Septimius, in ANS and Mazzini; one for Caracalla, in Venice.  Both lacking in BM/Clay.

Same dates, second type, goddess facing and holding thunderbolt.  Only known for Septimius, a unique specimen in Paris, but will have been struck for Caracalla too.  Neither coin is in BM/Clay.

TR P XII/TR P VII, 204, third type, goddess looking right and holding thunderbolt.  Three known for Septimius: Berlin, Paris ex Captain Smyth, and my collection from Christie's 1948 Earl Fitzwilliam sale, then in Cornelius Vermeule's collection, sold to me by Barry Murphy, the second coin in the second picture below. 

Only one INDVLGENTIA sestertius of 204 is known for Caracalla, in BM from my collection, bought at the 1974 J. Schulman auction of coins from the Dutch Royal collection, formerly in J. Hirsch 31, 1912, lot 1534.  A nice coin, but a little tooled; the third coin in the second picture below.  This sestertius corresponds exactly to the As of Caracalla (above) that I recently purchased at the Chicago coin show.

Summary of INDVLGENTIA bronzes:

Asses, six types known, one still needed by BM/Clay.

Dupondii, only one type known, BM has.

Sestertii, five types known, a sixth can be reliably postulated, four still needed by BM/Clay.

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Curtis Clay
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2007, 04:45:57 pm »

Here is a picture of the lost waif.  Not good but not bad from a lot of uncleaned coins (Yes, Forum Ancient Coins).

Curtis, I am struck by your patience waiting for these to show up!
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curtislclay
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2007, 01:34:21 am »

The INDVLGENTIA denarii add something new, which was unknown before 1988 so is absent from the standard catalogues: a rare and obviously very short-lived earliest version of the first type, with Dea Caelestis looking front and holding drum, but without the words IN CARTH in exergue

A denarius of Caracalla with this type first appeared in Münzzentrum Köln 64, 1988, Meyer-Coloniensis 3, lot 406; my bid was unfortunately not high enough to secure the coin.  Around 2000, however, I did manage to acquire the second-known specimen of the type, shown below, this time coupled with an obverse of Septimius, and struck from a different reverse die.  Note the little ground line below the lion's hind legs, another apparently early feature, in addition to the short legend, which was eliminated from all three of the later versions of the type.

Apparently the mint had second thoughts about the comprehensibility of the type: after initially assuming that the mere figure of Dea Caelestis would adequately specify Carthage as the recipient of the emperors' generosity, the designers soon decided to remove any question by naming the recipient in words, IN CARTH.

The corrected version of the first type, goddess holding drum with IN CARTH added in exergue, is rare on denarii:  the Reka Devnia hoard contained only three such denarii for Septimius, and none for Caracalla.  Indeed, I have never seen a denarius of Caracalla with this reverse type, not in any museum or private collection, nor on the market, though I have been searching diligently for decades!  Since the same type is known on a denarius of Caracalla without IN CARTH (see above), and since the type with IN CARTH is attested on Caracalla's sestertii, dupondii, asses, and aurei, there seems little doubt that such a denarius with IN CARTH was struck and will eventually turn up.

The short duration of the first INDVLGENTIA type, as indicated by its rarity on denarii, suggests that it was a designing error:  the drum was the proper attribute of Cybele riding on a lion, but not of Dea Caelestis, so it was soon replaced by her proper thunderbolt.  No wonder the mint had felt it necessary to add IN CARTH to the original short legend: the original rev. type with drum might seem to indicate Asia Minor rather than Carthage!

The second and third versions of the INDVLGENTIA type, in which the goddess holds a thunderbolt and looks first front, then right, are both common on denarii for both emperors.  The Reka Devnia hoard contained 198 specimens of the two types together for Septimius, and 94 specimens of both types for Caracalla; unfortunately the head front and head right coins were not distinguished in Mouchmov's publication of the hoard, as also in most other hoard publications, because Cohen and RIC do not separate these two varieties.  We have no reason to doubt that, as on the bronze coins, the first and second versions of the INDVLGENTIA type on the denarii belong to 203 AD, and the third version to 204 AD.

Almost all INDVLGENTIA denarii have the standard obv. types, SEVERVS PIVS AVG, Head laureate r., for Septimius, and ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, Bust laureate, draped r., or occasionally laureate, draped, cuirassed r., for Caracalla.  A few rare exceptions occur, however, in each case coupled with the third reverse type, goddess holding thunderbolt and looking right:

1.  A unique denarius of Septimius in my collection with the normal obv. legend, but his bust draped and laureate, shown below.

2.  A very rare denarius of Caracalla with normal obv. legend, but long-necked laureate portrait omitting the drapery, not yet in the BM or my collectionVienna has a specimen.

3.  A unique denarius of Septimius in my collection with the normal head-laureate portrait type, but the dated legend of the bronze coins, SEVERVS PIVS AVG - P M TR P XII, shown above as the fourth coin in the scan made from my plaster casts.

This is only the second-known denarius of Septimius of any type to show a dated obv. legend, which was normally confined to the bronze coins and aurei; the other is also of Septimius with the same TR P XII date, but from a different obv. die and with the Saecular Games rev. type DI PATRII, Hercules and Liber standing, recently auctioned by CNG from the Robert Kutcher collection.  I competed for that coin but was outbid!

Thanks to Susan Headley for producing all of the scans of actual coins, casts, and BMC plate images in my three contributions to this thread.



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Curtis Clay
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2007, 03:14:18 am »

Dear Curtis,

This is why this Forum is so great!! I own an INDVLGENTIA AVGG / IN CARTH denarius of Caracalla, the common scepter and thunderbolt version with Dea Caelestis looking right. It is so exciting to keep learning more about these coins!!! My most sincere thanks for making your vast knowledge public (and to Joe for making this possible).

Regards,
Ignasi
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maridvnvm
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2007, 08:54:10 am »

Curtis,
Those really are wondeful specimens. Thanks you for sharing them. The draped bust seems to turn up very rarely on denarii of Septimius Severus with the majority of the obvsrese being simply a Laureate head right. The draped / cuirassed busts seem significantly scarcer on denarii but turn up on aureii more frequently. Is there any known reason for this?
Regards,
Martin
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Goodies
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2007, 04:25:27 am »

hi ! This is an interesting thread  Smiley

What does "indulgentia", the personification of "generosity" signify here..

I found a neat little document hosted by The American Philological Association (APA) which is this PDF by Noreña. It  states that its frequent occurrence on Caracalla coins had to do with the Emperor's grant of citizenship to all free Romans in the empire. Quote:

"(.... ) The paper begins with the official publicization of the edict during Caracalla’s reign. The main
evidence comes from the imperial coinage. One distinctive feature of the coinage under Caracalla was
the marked prominence of the Indulgentia type (RIC 214, 300, etc.). The type had appeared during earlier
reigns, but analysis of the relative frequency of the Indulgentia type reveals that it was far more common
under Caracalla than any of his predecessors. This emphasis on the Indulgentia type on Caracalla’s
coinage is interpreted here as the regime’s attempt to publicize the grant of universal citizenship on its
most pervasive medium of communications—not, however, through advertisement of the edict itself, but
rather, in characteristic Roman imperial style, of the virtue that had underpinned it: indulgentia.
In order to establish the connection between the Indulgentia type and the edict of 212, the paper
then turns to analysis of the term indulgentia. Indulgentia was regularly employed in conjunction with
other virtues, especially liberalitas, munificentia and clementia, and often meant simply “generosity;” it
also had a paternalistic flavor (cf. Cic. Cael. 79). With reference to the emperor, indulgentia was used
most often to characterize various imperial beneficia, including grants of citizenship (Cotton, Chiron
1984, 254-55). This usage is attested in both literary (e.g. Plin. Ep. 10.5, 10.106, Pan. 39.2) and
documentary (e.g. the Tabula Banasitana, ll. 4-5) sources. The association of the term indulgentia with
generosity and paternalism in general, and with imperial grants of citizenship in particular, suggests that
this was the most appropriate virtue through which to commemorate the grant of universal citizenship."

(Carlos F. NOREÑA at the annual meeting)

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curtislclay
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2007, 02:32:31 pm »

It is difficult to elucidate the meaning of this reverse type.  Two questions arise, both difficult to answer; especially since it has been many years since I investigated the question, and I can't immediately locate my notes!

1.  What was the favor that the emperors bestowed upon Carthage?

It has been deduced from the waters issuing from a rock in the type that Septimius and Caracalla may have built an aqueduct for Carthage.  If I recall correctly, there are remains of an aqueduct at the site, but with no proof that Septimius and Caracalla had anything to do with its construction. 

However, can the stream issuing from a rock really indicate an aqueduct?  Two earlier coin types commemorating the construction of an aqueduct, shown below, were much more explicit: the late Republican denarius of L. Marcius Philippus names the aqueduct, AQVA MARC, and shows its characteristic arches; bronze coins of Trajan again name the aqueduct, AQVA TRAIANA, and show a personification of the river that was tapped and a channel for the water below the rivergod. 

I am inclined to think that the rocks and water in the INDVLGENTIA AVGG IN CARTH type are just adjuncts of Dea Caelestis, like the lion of Africa or the palm tree of Phoenicia, that have nothing to do with the imperial favor bestowed upon Carthage.  But I know of no other monuments and no text that would support this conjecture by associating rocks and a stream with Dea Caelestis!

We have literary or juristic evidence for other favors bestowed by Septimius and Caracalla upon Carthage: the ius italicum, relieving the city of tribute; construction of an odeum, a small theater for musical competitions; and permission to celebrate a periodic festival.  Inscriptions show that in 202 (I think) Carthage and its citizens adopted the honorary epithet Septimian, apparently in gratitude for the favors, but also a favor itself, since such a change required imperial permission.
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2007, 05:15:24 pm »

2.  Were the favors to Carthage accorded during a visit of the emperors to Africa?

This has long been assumed, and the INDVLGENTIA coin types have been used to date the supposed visit to 203-204.  More recently, as in Birley's biography, the visit has been pushed back to 202-203, mainly on the basis of the inscription showing the Carthaginians as "Septimian" already in 202.

There are problems, however.  Birley assumes that the emperors returned to Rome from Syria early in 202, so had time for Septimius' decennalian games, a distribution of money to the people, and the marriage of Caracalla to Plautilla, which we know they carried out in the capital, before departing for Africa c. autumn 202.  On the coins, however, the old PART MAX trophy type continues well into 202, and the new types commemorating the return to Rome and the decennalian games and third largesse would appear to have been introduced only towards the middle and end of the year.  If correct, this chronology leaves little time for a voyage to Africa too before the end of 202!

I am not convinced that the emperors ever visited Africa at all.  An anecdote about a philosopher indeed refers to "the time when Septimius was in Libya and was gathering about himself the most eminent intellectuals of the civilized world".  But the point of the anecdote is a pun on "Libya", whose meaning might have been stretched so the joke could be made.  I wonder whether the anecdote might merely refer to Septimius' known visit to EGYPT in 199-200.  In that case the visit to Africa would be a phantom that never took place, explaining the difficulty we experience when we try to fit it in somewhere among the other known events of the reign!

On the other hand the mention of a provincial city on the coinage of the realm is extraordinary, and might make more sense if the emperors actually visited the city while granting it favors.  Dio Cassius must certainly have recounted the visit, if it really took place; but unfortunately we have only a selective Byzantine summary of his work, with no mention of an imperial trip to Africa, rather than his full text!  So we can't tell whether it was Dio who didn't describe such a visit, because it never took place, or merely his epitomator who omitted Dio's account of it.

Norena's article, quoted above by Goodies, refers to different INDVLGENTIA types of Caracalla, which were struck in 212-213, so might refer to Caracalla's granting of Roman citizenship to all free inhabitants of the empire.
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Curtis Clay
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2007, 11:11:24 pm »

Dea Caelestis seems to have been associated with, or a variant of, Cybele, who was supposed to have a mountainous origin, particularly relating to Mount Ida.  So you can trace a possible connection to the rock, if a large rock can stand for a mountain.  On the coin, Dea Caelestis is riding away from the rock. 

I know this is very tenuous, but I am just throwing it in as an idea.
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2007, 10:16:39 am »

Yes, an image of CYBELE on lion with rocks or stream as adjunct would also be relevant!

To clear up a small matter.  I said above that I had never seen a denarius of Caracalla of the first INDVLGENTIA type (drum) and with IN CARTH in exergue.  But BMC p. 209, no. 282 seems to describe just such a coin!

I was aware of this description, but couldn't remember whether I had ever checked the coin itself in the BM trays.  Richard Abdy, the BM curator of Roman coins, has now done that for me, and reports that the coin in fact shows Dea Caelestis holding a thunderbolt not a drum.  The BMC description, "As on No. 279", should be corrected to "As on No. 280."
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2009, 12:16:39 pm »

I'm not sure I should post in this thread, as it's warning me that it is an old one, but I think it's relevant... If not, please feel free to remove.

I have just purchased a compilation of articles on Severan culture edited by Swain, Harrison and Elsner, and have just been browsing through it. On page 310, I have found a picture of an INDVLGENTIA IN CARTH denarius of Septimius that is both draped and cuirassed and shows a drum instead of a thunderbolt. As this coin is not shown on this thread, I thought I'd include it, as it is, I think, very interesting! (Sorry about the picture... I'll try to scan it some time soon). It does not say where the coin is, but the author thanks Chris Howgego and Alessia Bolis for providing pictures of coins.

Regards,
Ignasi
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curtislclay
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2009, 08:46:47 am »

I think the coin illustrated is an aureus not a denarius, from the same dies as BM 333, pl. 35.12.
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Curtis Clay
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2009, 08:54:50 am »

Makes sense, given the intricate detail of Dea Caelesti's hairdo and clothing. Of course, the photo is B&W, so impossible to tell.

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Ignasi
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2010, 04:09:16 am »

Unfortunately only one of those "Gallic" casts :



imitative Æ As or Dupondius (23 mm / 4,01 g), yellow material (orichalcum),
Obv.: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG - PONT TR P VI , laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust of the young Caracalla right, seen from behind.
Rev.: [INDVL]GENTIA AVG-G / IN CARTH / S C , Dea Caelestis, holding drum and sceptre, galloping r. on lion over rushing waters gushing from a rock.
for prototype, cf. RIC IV, I, 279, 415c (R) .

 Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2010, 04:10:58 pm »

I know it's a bit old, but wow....thank you Curtis. This thread alone is a wealth of information on the subject. Great stuff.
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Emilio Siculo
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« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2011, 04:00:06 am »

Dear all,

what about the specimen posted below, found on the Internet? Which variant you attribute to?
Thanks a lot for posting such interesting discussions.

Best regards
ES 
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2012, 07:08:13 am »

I am not convinced that the emperors ever visited Africa at all. 

I just read this thread again, because I own my first denarius of this type (the common RIC 266) and wanted to update my knowledge about the type.

In addition to your comment I want to add that in Jörg Spielvogels biography on Septimius Severus he takes the visit of Sep. Severus to Carthago as granted. I just browsed through the passages of the book: As far as I can see he does not mention the exact date of the visit and he does not mention the Dea caelestis coin type at all.

Semper pax
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« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2017, 10:07:52 am »

I just wanted to contribute my new Septimius Severus coin to the great discussion! Because I'm a beginner I have some further questions, maybe someone could help me out?

1) The space between INDVLGEN_TIA looks "not normal" to me. Is this a part of the head or an error?
2) I'm guessing that Dea Caelestis who's looking to the front is more rare than Dea Caelestis headed right?

I really appreciate further information about my coin so I can learn more about it. Thanks a lot in advance.  Smiley
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curtislclay
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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2017, 11:47:44 am »

Dea C. is turreted or wearing some other headgear. I noted that one of the five specimens in Oxford also has the break GEN - TIA.

For relative rarity we want hoard figures, but unfortunately Cohen and RIC - and as a result most hoard reports - do not distinguish between head front and head right. You could get a rough idea by counting the numbers of specimens in ACSearch. Both of these varieties are reasonably common on denarii.

Yours is an attractive specimen, an any case!
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Curtis Clay
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