Classical Numismatics Discussion Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
July 29, 2014, 04:44:45 am
Search Calendar Login Register

Recent Additions to Forum's Shop


FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Roman Coins (Moderator: Severus_Alexander)  |  Topic: Caracalla Indvlg Fecvndae 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: Caracalla Indvlg Fecvndae  (Read 1264 times)
Gert
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1016



WWW
« on: March 22, 2012, 07:06:21 am »

Hello,
I am wondering what this particular reverse type propagates. I know in general what 'indulgentia' and 'fecunditas' means, but my knowledge of Latin is not sufficient to propose a translation. I am wondering about that too.
Regards
Gert


Caracalla AD 198-217, AR denarius Rome 213
ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT; Laureate bust r.
INDVLG FECVNDAE; Indulgentia (Domna?), veiled and towered, seated left on curule chair, extending r.hand and holding sceptre
RIC 214; RSC 104; 3.10g; 19mm


Logged
curtislclay
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 9014



« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2012, 08:47:17 am »

My suggestion:

This type probably commemorates Caracalla's generosity (Indulgentia) in extending the Roman citizenship to all inhabitants of the Roman empire.  Hence the World, towered as on Hadrian's RESTITVTORI ORBIS TERRARVM sestertius, is depicted sitting on the curule chair, symbolic of the consulship, praetorship, and curule aedileship, the highest offices open to Roman citizens
Logged

Curtis Clay
Gert
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1016



WWW
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2012, 07:40:56 am »

Hi Curtis,
Thanks for your thoughts and suggestion. But how does fertility fit into this? Or is 'fecundae' an adjective meaning something like 'rich and overflowing generosity'?
Regards
Gert
Logged
slokind
Tribuna Plebis Perpetua
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7137


Art is an experimental science


WWW
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2012, 03:00:23 am »

That's as fine a portrait die of Caracalla in his mid-twenties as I can recall seeing.  And I think you're right about FECVNDAE being an adjective and spelled out so that we know the case of INDVLG though abbreviated (genitive or dative).
Pat L.
Logged
curtislclay
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 9014



« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2012, 06:37:06 pm »

Thanks for your thoughts and suggestion. But how does fertility fit into this? Or is 'fecundae' an adjective meaning something like 'rich and overflowing generosity'?

I suppose the generosity could be called "fertile" because it changed the status and would hopefully improve the lives of a great number of inhabitants of the empire. But that's only a guess, not something I have investigated or thought about much!
Logged

Curtis Clay
dougsmit
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1723



WWW
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2012, 12:21:14 pm »

John Melville Jones,  Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (p.113) suggests 'fruitful fondness' referring to Domna's love for her children.  This does seem a bit awkward considering the timing and circumstances of Geta's death.

'What were they thinking' is always a difficult game to play but can be fun.  What I would really like to know is at what level the decision was made as to what type coins would be issued.  Did Caracalla do this himself or was it the task of some low level manager at the mint?  It is easy to see certain trends at the mint but hard to prove any question starting with 'Why".
Logged

Ginolerhino
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 284


WWW
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2012, 12:27:01 pm »

This reverse depiction is curious : on the other Indulg. fecundae denarii of Caracalla I know, the deity on the rev. wears a mural crown. On yours she is only veiled.

Before this emission, Indulgentia appeared on Roman coins under Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Septimius Severus. She was always depicted as a deity seated left on a throne, bare-headed and holding sceptre. And there is a big emission of septimius Severus or Caracalla (as a young boy) with "Indulgentia Augg. in Carth(aginem)", where indulgentia is depicted as Juno Caelestis wearing mural crown, holding thunderbolt and sceptre, riding a lion.

So, the Indulgentia of this later emission is the classic Indulgentia plus the mural crown, maybe to remember the Juno Caelestis of the previous Septimius Severus / Caracalla older emissions. She is also sitting on a curule chair, unlike all previous Indulgentia depictions.

Technically, an indulgentia is a tax reduction. This coin could very well advertise some kind of tax reduction in favor of cities, in order to boost prosperity (like the indulgentia in favor of Banasa, Inscriptions Antiques du Maroc II, 100). Lower taxes create economic growth, everybody knows this. Maybe this is what "Indulgentia fecunda" means...

This inscription about an indulgentia of 216 says explicitely that, in Caracalla's mind, the indulgentia granted to the city must help the city paying more taxes in the future : (inscr. n° 282) :
http://books.google.fr/books?id=zBurLat60hIC&lpg=PA228&ots=geLit_S2WT&dq=%22banasa%22%20%22caelestia%22&hl=fr&pg=PA228#v=onepage&q=%22banasa%22%20%22caelestia%22&f=false
Logged

curtislclay
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 9014



« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2012, 12:53:08 pm »

Interesting, but objections might arise.

I'd say Indulgentia is not specifically a tax reduction, but a favor of any sort. Melville-Jones cites the coin of Patras recording the granting of permission to issue coins as an imperial favor, INDVLGENTIAE AVG MONETA IMPETRATA.

The goddess on the lion is not Indulgentia herself, but Dea Caelestis, the chief goddess of Carthage, representing the city, the recipient of the emperors' generosity. In the same way I think the INDVLG FECVNDAE type depicts the recipient of the generosity, in this case the whole Roman world, not Indulgentia herself.

The curule chair is explained by my suggestion, since only Roman citizens could obtain curule offices, but remains mysterious if the reference is to tax remissions. Plus, we know that Caracalla granted universal citizenship at around the time that the INDVLG FECVNDAE type appeared, but we hear nothing about a lowering of taxes important enough to be commemorated on imperial denarii, at this time or any time during Caracalla's reign!
Logged

Curtis Clay
Ginolerhino
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 284


WWW
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2012, 01:20:17 pm »

We could discuss this at length. Of course the godess riding a lion is not Indulgentia but Juno (or Dea) Caelestis. But no need to look in literary historical records for an important tax reduction under Caracalla : after all the coins are mere propaganda.

The curule chair is some new feature for an Indulgentia reverse. I agree, of course : only a Roman citizen could hold a curule office (in fact, only a member of the Senatorial nobility). But I am not convinced by the hypothesis according to which this reverse could advertise the Constitutio Antoniniana. After all, Indulgentia on coins is a classic reverse theme, already used under Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Septimius Severus. After this emission you will find it on Elagabalus (for Sev. Alex. caesar), under Gallienus, Postumus, Carus... No need for an exceptional event for this.

What do you think about the inscription of Banasa, where Caracalla himself tells the reason why he grants indulgentiae?
Logged

curtislclay
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 9014



« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2012, 01:58:57 pm »

But no need to look in literary historical records for an important tax reduction under Caracalla : after all the coins are mere propaganda....But I am not convinced by the hypothesis according to which this reverse could advertise the Constitutio Antoniniana. After all, Indulgentia on coins is a classic reverse theme, already used under Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Septimius Severus. After this emission you will find it on Elagabalus (for Sev. Alex. caesar), under Gallienus, Postumus, Carus... No need for an exceptional event for this.

What do you think about the inscription of Banasa, where Caracalla himself tells the reason why he grants indulgentiae?

I would argue that each of the early appearances of indulgentia commemorated a specific act of imperial generosity, even if that act has not been recorded in the written or epigraphical sources.

For example INDVLGENTIA AVG appeared for Septimius Severus in spring 197, when we know he was being generous to the Roman people, distributing his second largesse and holding games, in anticipation of his departure to Syria for his second Parthian campaign.

No one doubts that the INDVLGENTIA AVGG IN CARTH type of 203-4 refers to specific favors accorded by the emperors to Carthage, since the recipient city is named in the legend and depicted in the type!

INDVLGENTIA AVG with the Spes type for Severus Alexander as Caesar had a very specific meaning: Elagabalus was boasting of his generosity in promoting his cousin to the Caesarship, which Maesa had persuaded him to do, but which he very soon came to regret!

It seems perverse to deny a possible connection of the INDVLG FECVNDAE type with Caracalla's citizenship decree, when we know that the type was approximately contemporaneous with the decree and the depiction of the World seated on a curule chair seems to fit very well!

I am unfamiliar with the Banasa inscription, but if that was a favor to one minor city, it would certainly not have been commemorated in a denarius reverse type! Having now read the decree in the link you provided, I am mystified what you think this very specific tax remission to one small city in 216 has to do with the INDVLG FECVNDAE type of 212!
Logged

Curtis Clay
Gert
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1016



WWW
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2012, 02:45:23 am »

The one thing that's bothering me about this is the word 'Fecundae' in the rev. legend. If that word strictly means 'fertile', and can't be translated metaphorically 'rich/overflowing', it seems to me a peculiar phrasing for the citizenship grant.
Regards
Gert
Logged
Pekka K
Tribunus Plebis 2013
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3524


...one coin at a time...


« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2012, 03:56:28 am »


In Collins dictionary we have:

fecundus a.   fertile, fruitful; fertilizing; (fig.) abundant, rich, prolific.

Pekka K
Logged

Gert
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1016



WWW
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2012, 05:01:39 am »

Thanks Pekka! I agree with Curtis that this issue being contemporaneous with Caracalla's citizenship grant is hard to overlook, but I think the translation of the word fecundae must be part of the explanation. With Pekka's reference, interpreting the legend as propagating the 'Abundant generosity' of the emperor would be a possibility.
Regards
Gert
Logged
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Roman Coins (Moderator: Severus_Alexander)  |  Topic: Caracalla Indvlg Fecvndae « previous next »
Jump to:  

Recent Price Reductions in Forum's Shop


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 1.165 seconds with 50 queries.