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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Roman Coins (Moderator: Severus_Alexander)  |  Topic: Three monetae, eh....why? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Three monetae, eh....why?  (Read 3993 times)
Frans Diederik
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« on: December 22, 2009, 09:04:21 am »

I recently acquired this sestertius of Septimius Severus:
L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP III laureate head of Septimius right /
MONET AVG COS II PP SC in ex
I think it is RIC 670 which is rated rare.
My question being: why were there three Monetae and what was their function?

Frans


* 8 nr 109 Septimius Severus RIC 670 Monetae 8 nr 109.jpg (495.87 KB, 2634x1308 - viewed 2 times.)
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Heliodromus
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2009, 09:26:47 am »

I believe they represent coining in the three different metals: bronze, silver & gold.

I've noticed that in the later empire the three monetae seem to be a popular medallion reverse, so obviously of some importance, but unfortunately I don't know anything else!

Ben
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Frans Diederik
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2009, 04:35:45 am »

Tank you Ben,
Numiswiki says this: MONETAE - the three standing with their accustomed attributes, sometimes with and other times without the mass of metal at the feet of
each female, make their first appearance on a brass medallion of Commodus.

Under the reign of Septimius Severus they begin frequently to display themselves; and they are also found on coins of the following princes: Elagabalus, Alexander, Maximinus, Gordianus III, the Philips, Trajan Decius, Herennius, Terbonianus Gallus, Claudius Gothicus,Tetricus, Tacitus, Florianus, Probus, Carus, Carinus Numerianus, Diocletianus, Val. Maximianus,
Constantius Chlorus, Gal. Maximianus, Maxentius, Maximinus Daza, Constantine and Family, Jovian, Valentinian, and down to Valens.


Which is nice, but does not explain their origin.
Anyone?


Frans
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commodus
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2009, 10:52:39 pm »

I believe that the three Monetæ represent the protection of Juno Moneta -- patroness of money, finance, and coinage -- over gold, silver, and copper/bronze. They seem first to appear during the reign of Commodus. Earlier representations of Moneta (i.e. Juno Moneta) are singular. Like Concordia, Pietas, etc., she came in time to be represented in the plural because of her multiple attributes and forms of patronage.

In any case, here is a sestertius of Commodus from my collection showing the three Monetæ. The type may not be the earliest numismatic representation of Moneta in the plural but it is the earliest of which I am aware:



* RI5101.jpg (63.35 KB, 540x276 - viewed 174 times.)
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Eric Brock (1966 - 2011)
Frans Diederik
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2009, 02:22:23 am »

Thanks,
the multiple aspects of Moneta may thus have caused a multiple representation. Interesting thought. makes sense anyway.


Frans
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curtislclay
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2009, 03:34:06 pm »

The traditional explanation is that the three goddesses represent the three coinage metals, gold, silver, and bronze, often each shown with a pile of coins at her feet.

That interpretation is accepted by H. Dressel in his book on the Roman medallions in Berlin, p. 183, referring to an important article on Moneta Augusti by F. Kenner, Zeitschrift für Numismatik 18, 1886, pp. 7 ff.

The earliest appearance of the type was on a unique large bronze medallion of Lucius Verus in 162 AD, formerly in the Trau Collection, Gnecchi, Medaglioni II, pl. 75.5.

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Curtis Clay
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2009, 04:30:44 pm »

Thanks Curtis,
With these Three Monetae in hand, I have finally got gold in my collection!


Frans
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2009, 06:19:25 pm »

Technically, the Monetæ are three personifications a single Goddess, Moneta, herself an epithet of Juno. The concept is not entirely unlike the Christian idea of the Trinity.

Curtis, do you know what their first appearance on circulating coinage was?
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Eric Brock (1966 - 2011)
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2009, 06:32:43 pm »

Your sestertius of Commodus in 187 AD was the first ordinary coin to show the type.
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Curtis Clay
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2009, 08:42:49 pm »

Thanks.
I had thought perhaps this was the case as I could find none earlier, but I wasn't absolutely certain.
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Eric Brock (1966 - 2011)
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2010, 12:09:32 pm »

Hi,

At Echoes of Narcissus there's a nice recent submit from juliadomna, explaining the ethymology of ''money'',

Quote:

"When the Romans established their Mint, they did not set it up in its own building, but in a temple. This was probably to give the roots of their economy divine protection from robbers and other problems. The temple they chose was the temple of Juno who Warns, or in Latin, Juno Moneta. The little stamped metal discs which issued from the temple were called ‘Things of the one who warns’- monetae. Gradually these “monetae” took on a life of their own and spawned their own deities, the three Monetae, one for every type of metal used in coinage: gold, silver and bronze. They are always shown together, each holding a set of scales and a horn of plenty"
 
Smiley
Lx

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Frans Diederik
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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2010, 01:53:13 pm »

Thanks Lex,
Nice addition!

Frans
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