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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Roman Coins (Moderator: Severus_Alexander)  |  Topic: interesting enigma of different sized Postumus AE 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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cliff_marsland
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« on: April 09, 2012, 10:33:27 pm »

I've always been interested in the Postumus Double Sestertii, Sestertii and smaller module laureates and radiate AEs.  I wish they had marked the small module radiates with a II (dupondius) or some kind of mark for double sestertius.  Some think the smaller module ones were a restoration of the traditional denomination system (as/dupondius).  There's also the more prevalent Double Sestertius theory.

I remember reading in a fairly recent post that Andrew McCabe mentioned that in Republican times, small and large module Asses circulated side by side.  Face value was more important.  Maybe they were all Double Sestertii/Sestertii.  It must have been self-evident back then because of the lack of denominational markers.  Marking them would have solved the LRB mystery, though.

I'm most partial to the earliest ones overstruck on 1st-2nd century Sestertii.



The large overstruck type Double Sestertii (I have a fairly nice one, but I don't have a picture of it - I'm using pictures of ones I have pictures of in the gallery)


34.02 mm, 25.3 grams

Medium


29-30 mm, 13.35 g

Small (I don't have any of the 5-6 gram ones, at least not pictured, but you get the idea)


28mm, 10.5g.

Sestertius

 28mm., 10.5g.
A Forum member identified it as being overstruck on an Antonine dupondius.


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Adrianus
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2012, 12:06:07 pm »

Hi Cliff,

No easy answer really. The early double sestertii are invariably overstruck on earlier sestertii. Then the cast copies and smaller issues blur the whole picture. The whole sestertius/dupondius/as system was collapsing at this time due to the increasing debasement of the antoninianus coinage. This is reflected in the wide variance of Postumus' bronze...

Regards,

Adrianus
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cliff_marsland
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 04:48:20 pm »

How long do you think the Double Sestertii remained in circulation?  Judging by the wear on the heaviest one shown, I'd guesstimate until Diocletian's 294   reform.  A lot of the largest ones almost always seem to be worn.
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Adrianus
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2012, 02:16:49 am »

I don't think any of them stayed in circulation for very long, whether sestertii or double sestertii. The massive debasement of the antoninianus coinage meant that they were worth more as scrap metal than as units in an ordered monetary system. By the 270s all sestertii seem to have been going into the melting pot - to make radiate imitations

Regards,

Adrianus
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rick2
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2012, 02:55:58 am »

first problem.  are they really sestertii at all ?  i mean could you exchange them for devalued and debased antoniniani ? would you ?

second problem, weight , these large bronzes weigh from 5 to 30 grams

third problem, marks of value , some issues show a laureate head but there seems to be no correlation with weight and only 2 or 3 issue had a laureate head
some laureate sestertii were ingraved with a radiate crown suggesting a possible relation but again would you have exchanged 2 laureate issue weighing 28 grams with a radiate one weighing 14-15 grams ?

fourth problem exchange rate with gallienus coinage , what was it ? gallienus issues very debased antoniniani in this period with no silver at all , while postumus throughout his reign issues relatively good silver coins and debased copper antoniniani
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otlichnik
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2012, 03:07:15 am »

From what I have read recently:

- they were indeed either sestertii or more likely double sestertii

- they were only struck/made circa 260-262

- they were part of Postumus' attempt to create a coinage as good as or better than that of the rest of the Empire

- they were struck at a time when the sestertius and its provincial equivalents were fast fading out of use thus Postumus was grasping at a dying trend in coinage

- they may have been given a double-sestertii valuation by Postumous in recongition of the fact that their intrinsic value was shooting up when compared to that of the rapidly debasing antoninanii, however it soon became clear that the intrinsic value of the antoninaniii was falling so fast that even this double valuation of the setertius was hopeless

- the need for, and public interest in, this denomination was, at least at first, so high that many imitations were made

- the huge weight variance was due in part to the fact that, like the antoninainus they were becoming a token, or largely fiduciary, coinage - thus weight mattered less and less.

Shawn


 
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SC
(Shawn Caza, Vienna)
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