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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Roman Coins (Moderator: Severus_Alexander)  |  Topic: Unlisted Arelate Fausta & RIC correction 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Unlisted Arelate Fausta & RIC correction  (Read 1607 times)
Congius
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« on: January 31, 2008, 07:21:26 am »

I was pleased to just aquire this unlisted Fausta. The SALVS reverse is unlisted for this issue (cf SPES RIC VII Arles 308 R5), and Fausta is anyways only known from a single specimen of RIC 308 for this, her last issue at Arles.

An additional point  of interest is the head facing reverse, which highlights an error in RIC. RIC describes all the Arleate Fausta reverses as having the empress facing head left, but appears to be in error for RIC 298, 300 and 308. All examples I've seen of RIC 298 (5 specimens), and RIC 300 (3 specimens) have the same head facing reverse as my unlisted coin here, and based on this pattern I would also assume that RIC 308 (which I have not seen) also has the head facing reverse.

RIC seems to be correct for the Q*AR and Q*AR. issues - all specimens of these I've seen (incl. the unlisted Q*AR. SALVS - Munz & Med 20 # 423) have a facing, head left reverse.

IssueSALVSSPES
Q*AR277279Facing, head left
Q*AR.unlisted285Facing, head left
QAuRL298300Facing
QARL SFunlisted308Facing

Ben
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ROMA
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2008, 12:35:55 pm »

The detail of the reverse is particularly nice too. Its rare to see an example where the heads of the infants are so clear.
Here's an example of RIC 300, sited as head facing left. The detail is not perfect, but it seems to me that it is facing left...
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2008, 01:35:40 pm »

Your coin is London mint rather than Arles, and is indeed facing left. RIC VII Arles 300 would have exergue QA  crescent RL.

Ben
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Gert
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2008, 01:02:21 pm »

Here's a RIC 298.
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Gert
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2008, 03:56:59 pm »

Those are the cutest suckling infants I ever have seen on this typePat L.
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2008, 03:12:04 pm »

Nice coin, I'm jealous.  I have yet to add an Arelate to my Fausta set yet. (let alone an unlisted one)

This is my favorite of the infants:
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Congius
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2008, 11:54:46 am »

That has to be Sirmium - they are consistently well engaved like that.

It's interesting to wonder how old the infants were and therefore which mint(s) got it right. Were they older infants needing to be held on the mother's hip a la Sirmium, or young babies snuggled into her chest as at the other mints?

As Failmezger notes in his book, it's tempting to think the infants may be Constantius II and Constans, but Constantius, born in 317, would seem to be too old (7 in 324), so it may be Constans (born 320 or 323) and Helena - birthdate unknown.

Ben
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2008, 03:07:31 am »

I am convinced that the caesares of the time, Constantius II and Constantine II, were referenced in the coin design. Sure, they weren't infants anymore in real life, but the message and the poignant image of Fausta as an archetypical mother was considered more important. When the legends accompanying the type are taken into concern (the 'Spes' and the 'Salus' of the empire), I think this coin type propagates the continuing well being of the empire because of Constantine's dynasty, which is personfied in the Caesares, Constantius II and Constantine II, and their mother, Fausta. It is no surprise that the reverse of an issue for Fausta celebrates her being the mother not just of a couple of children, but of the empire's next emperors. One other thing pointing towards this, is the date of the Fausta issues. which coincides with the elevation of Consantius II to Caesar (AD 324).
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Gert
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Robert_Brenchley
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2008, 03:59:55 pm »

The message of the coin is surely 'Look at me, I've given birth to your future Emperor'. That doesn't need realism, so we get a symbolic image.
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2008, 05:00:20 pm »

I don't think the type is driven by the appointment of Constantius II to caesar... This is 324 and Constantine has just attained sole rule by way of defeating Licinius. He celebrates his expanded power by making Helena & Fausta augustae and Constantius caesar, and by completely revamping his bronze coinage (all new reverse types).

The occasion all but requires the new augustae to be reflected on the coins and get their own type(s). Constantius is not the focus of attention, and his elevation goes all but (except VOT V) unnoticed on the bronze coinage other than as another obverse.

The SALVS & SPES types afforded Fausta are no doubt somewhat dynastic, but I don't see any reason why the depiction of Fausta with infants would have been taken at anything other than face value - she did have young infants! Constantine II had already been depicted on the coinage for 8 years (since age 1) as a young soldier, so why would anyone equate him with an infant in Fausta's arms when there was a much more obvious infant - a real one - to associate it with?! Ditto Constantius II who is also immediately depicted as a young prince.

Ben
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jamesicus
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2008, 07:08:23 pm »

Quote from: ROMA on January 31, 2008, 12:35:55 pm
.......... Here's an example of RIC 300 ..........

A nice example of this hard to come by London Mint coin, Roma -- congratulations!

James
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jamesicus
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2008, 07:14:36 pm »

..........  but I don't see any reason why the depiction of Fausta with infants would have been taken at anything other than face value - she did have young infants! Constantine II had already been depicted on the coinage for 8 years (since age 1) as a young soldier, so why would anyone equate him with an infant in Fausta's arms when there was a much more obvious infant - a real one - to associate it with?! Ditto Constantius II who is also immediately depicted as a young prince ..........

Right, Ben -- for instance, the portrait depictions of Constantine II and Constantius II on London Mint Coins are products of the coin engraver's imaginations. They are both depicted as young men -- or at least teenagers -- on the obverse of coins issued upon their investiture as Caesar, when in fact Constantine II was only one year old when he was designated Caesar in 317 AD and Constantius II was only seven years old when he was designated Caesar in 324 AD.

James
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2008, 04:52:07 am »

I think the legends SALVS and SPES are far too grand to refer to children that weren't at the time dynastically important, and these coins of Fausta no doubt broadcast dynastic messages. The empire's 'Hope' and well being is safeguarded by the Constantinian caesares, the future emperors. That is why this issue coincides with the elevation of Constantius II as Caesar, which evidently was a milestone in Constantine's building of his dynasty, just like eliminating the rival Licinian dynasty was.
By the way, another dynastic milestone, the elevation of Crispus and Constantine II to caesar AD 317, prompted the first emergence of Fausta on coinage, together with Helena and Constantine's real and fictitious forefathers.
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Gert
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2008, 07:28:23 am »

Maybe we'll have to disagree on the SALVS and SPES types. I just don't see the poignancy of the Fausta types... Why look for special meaning there and not on the SECVRITAS type for Helena? Surely these are all entirely generic 4thC Rome wishes, and Fausta or the caesars have no more to do with the health of the empire than, for example, Isis does when paired with the same legend on Claudius II's coinage. I really think the appearance of Fausta/Helena is simply due to their appointment as augustae and the overall celebratiojn of Constantine's sole rule. Fausta is just being depicted as she is, a worthy model of fecundity and motherly virtues. I agree in presuming that the (otherwise entirely generic) SPES legend is meant to assume some dynastic overtone when paired with this image of Fausta, but this is a loose projection at best.

By the way, another dynastic milestone, the elevation of Crispus and Constantine II to caesar AD 317, prompted the first emergence of Fausta on coinage, together with Helena and Constantine's real and fictitious forefathers.

I think these events are too far apart to assume any connection. The special Thessalonica issues incl. Fausta/Helena as NF coincided with the introduction of the centenionalis (higher silver content coinage) in 318-319 alongside the VLPP at other mints. The caesars had been appointed 1-2 years earlier c.317 while the follis was still being issued. Fausta had incidently made her first appearaence in 307 on a half-argenteus with Venus reverse.

Grandpa Claudius had been invented c.309-310 and first mentioned in a paneyric dated by content to 310. The necessity of this was the embarassing disappearance of Constantine's auctor imperii Maximianus, and thus the need for some alternate claim to legitimacy.

Ben
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