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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numism  |  Reading For the Advanced Collector  |  Topic: The most complex pediment for Maxentius! 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: The most complex pediment for Maxentius!  (Read 6027 times)
Jochen
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« on: September 16, 2007, 04:50:50 pm »

Hi!

Today I came across this follis of Maxentius from Rome showing the temple of Roma with the most cmplex pediment I have ever seen, and clear, I couldn't resist!

Maxentius, AD 306-312
AE - Follis, 24.52, 6.1g
Rome, 4th officina, AD 308-310
obv. IMP C MAXENTIVS PF AVG
head, laureate, r.
rev. CONSERV - VRB SVAE
Hexastyle temple with Roma std. within, holding sceptre and small Victory on globe, shield beside(?); architrave decorated with wave-line and dots; pediment see below! as l. acroterion a wreath, as r. acroterion a male figure with long torch.
in ex. RBQ
Ref. RIC VI, Rome 206 var.(?)
about VF, weak strike on upper right obv. and lower right rev.
A plate coin from the Failmezger coll. too from which several are for sale today!

The pediment is decorated with a group of four figures. The l. figure in the centre male, stg. facing and holding sceptre, r. hand extended; the r. figure in the centre male, stg. facing, resting with r. hand on club, holding in l. hand unknown object; in the l. angle the upper part of the body of a river-god; in the r. angle Sol, radiate, in extended l. hand holding globe(?)

[1] RIC 208 should have sometimes a sculptured pediment and Victories as acroteria. No direct match!
[2] From RIC 205 (with different mint-marks!) Dioscuri flanked by river-gods are known. But I don't know a Dioscur resting on a club. For me the figures look more like Jupiter l. and Hercules r.! And the figure in the r. angle is obviously Sol wearing radiate crown. So no match!
[3] From RIC 213 (coll. Mossop) - according to note 6, p.378 - male figures with long torch are known as acroteria. But not wreath l. and male figure with torch r.! No match!
 
I'm very confused! Do you have any suggestions to the depictions in the pediment and the acroteria? And how this coin should be listed?

Any opinion highly welcomed!

Best regards
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curtislclay
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 05:29:14 pm »

We have had two coins with Jupiter and Hercules in pediment, one RIC 204 and one RIC 208.  Neither had your radiate figure of Sol (?), however.  The small figure on l. could be a suppliant captive, begging for mercy.

Clearly these pedimental figure deserve further study!
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Curtis Clay
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007, 05:33:32 pm »

I found this one in the plates for Victor Failmezger's book, Roman Bronze Coins...294-364 A.D.  for which I have the CD as well.  It is no. 127iM3 notes 179, 183.  Here is Doug Smith's image, and I'll go see what the notes say.  Pat L.
As I suspected, you have just purchased the Failmezger coin.  Note 179 just says that it is the new T. of Roma and Venus, which Maxentius had just restored.  Note 183 further confirms that you have the Failmezger specimen: the identifications of Hercules and Sol match his.  He adds, "Clearly they" (also the truncated figures) "are meant to represent the gods chosen to be the protectors of the Tetrarchy."
Pat L.
Curtis and I posted simultaneously!
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curtislclay
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2007, 05:35:58 pm »

That is the identical specimen Jochen bought, as he says.  But I was wondering if Failmezger wrote anything about the figures in the pediment.
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Curtis Clay
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2007, 06:51:00 pm »

Nice catch Jochen! I'd seen one of these before but filed it as RIC 204 (Dioscuri) without checking close enough.

Here's the pediment detail of your coin (Doug Smith's photo from the CD that comes with Failmezger's book). If you don't have the hi-res photo, PM me with your e-mail address.

It definitley appears to be Jupiter and Hercules, with a river god on one side and Sol on the other. Not quite sure what Sol is doing. A rather odd composition!

Here's another example of (almost?) the same type from Gorny & Mosch 107 #578. The Gorny coin has symmetrical figures as acroatia, vs yours where the left and right appear different.

Ben
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*Alex
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2007, 04:38:15 am »

Excellent coin Jochen, and, allowing for artistic licence, it appears it could be the same temple as on this sestertius of Vespasian (which is, sadly, not mine).

Alex.

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Jochen
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2007, 04:50:26 am »

Wow, what a beautiful coin! And thank you all for your help! According to the mintmark RBQ my Maxentius follis obviously belongs to the edition of AD 308-310. I think it is correct to call it RIC 208 var. because a new depiction in the pediment doesn't deserve a new RIC number. We see that the variability of the pediment depiction is much greater than RIC has listed!

BTW For the river-god I vote for Tiber!

Best regards
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Congius
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2007, 05:26:31 am »

allowing for artistic licence, it appears it could be the same temple as on this sestertius of Vespasian

I may be inspired by the same temple, but I don't think it's meant to be the same one. The Maxentius Conserv Vrb Svae type commemorated a major building/repair program of his, one part of which was rebuilding the temple of Roma & Venus that had been damaged by fire; since Roma is always shown inside the temple on this series, I assume that's what it's meant to be referring to. However, the contents of the pediment and other accessory details vary quite wildly, so these are either fantasy or maybe elements from other temples that are being referred to.

Without any specific knowledge, I'd guess that the Vespasian sestertius might be depicting the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus since Jupiter is shown as the main figure inside.

Ben

P.S. Here's another unlisted RIC 208 variant (same place, Jochen). Maybe the Dioscuri this time?
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Jochen
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2007, 05:32:30 am »

Yes, I think this is the type with the Dioscuri flanked by altars, and Victories as acroteria.

Best regards
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mix_val
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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2007, 09:01:16 am »

Interesting discussion.  I have a similiar coin without the fancy pediment  Sad  Just a wreath.
But I was wondering for my coin below, what does the H (or B) in the reverse field mean?  It's to the left of the temple.
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Bob Crutchley
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http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/index.php?cat=16147
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2007, 10:16:48 am »

The letter is an "H" and most likely is meant as a "Herculean" mark per the West=Herculean, East=Jovian tetrarchic associations. It's a little surprising to see Maxentius use this tetrarchic concept since he seems otherwise to have rejected the tetrarchy.

Ben
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gordian_guy
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2007, 07:49:47 pm »



While looking through a box of coins I ran across this follis of Maxentius that I have forgotten about.

Obverse: IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG; Laureate bust right
Reverse: CONSERV - VRB SVAE; AQS; Roma seated l. on shield in tetrastyle temple, handing with r. globe to Maxentius in military dress standing r., in Roma's left hand a scepter; Maxentius' left foot on captive seated between them. Victories as acroteria; wolf and twins within pediment.
RIC VI, Aquileia, 113.

c.rhodes
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Jochen
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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2007, 04:35:17 pm »

I think that all are nice variants of the upper part of the Roma temple! I have found these variants for the pediment:
- empty
- dots
- cross
- star
- crescent
- wreath
- she-wolf with twins
- dioscuri stg.
- dioscuri with altars on both sides
- dioscuri with river-gods
- Juppiter and Hercules with river-god and Sol

Best regards

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Numerianus
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2007, 12:58:56 pm »

Due to this thread, I became more interested in Maxentius coinage.
My recent purchase is this RIC 208.
The metal looks as a real bronze.  Probably, it merits some cleaning.
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gordian_guy
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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2007, 04:30:45 pm »

Probably, it merits some cleaning.

Or not. It is a great coin as it is. Nice going!!

c.rhodes
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« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2007, 02:33:31 am »

The green encrustations should come off easily and that would improve the appearance of the coin in my opinion.

These seems even to be some silvering remaining obove the temple roof.

Semper pax
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Numerianus
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2007, 10:33:49 am »

I relocated my budget and, instead a single sestertius of Maximinus, I have bought 3 lots with
27 cheap coins for 410 EUR (+19% charges). It seems that my hesitation was recompencated by Fortune
(or, maybe, market is in decline).  It is an exciting time to study them.
This is the first one, Aquilea, RIC 113, I want to share with you. It is is not rare (you notice of course, several specimens recently sold by FORVM).
Flat strike but the figure of the emperor is amazingly sharp and detailed!   
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Jochen
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2007, 12:18:14 pm »

Yes, a nice depiction of the emperor! Especially his military boots are beautiful!

Best regards
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2007, 07:44:38 am »

I used a natural lighting for this blow-up.
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