Coins about...money! One of our favorite collecting themes. Roman propaganda often recorded largesses (represented by Liberalitas) on coins. She is usually depicted holding what was traditionally described as an abacus, a counting board. The object is also described as a tessera, type of banner, showing a number of painted marks equal to the number of aurei or denarii offered. Curtis Clay suggested it is actually a money shovel, a wooden shovel with shallow round depressions which could extract the exact number of coins needed from a chest. Another popular type is that of Moneta holding scales. One quite interesting coin is the Republic denarius of T.Carisius depicting mint tools: an anvil, tongs, a hammer and a die.
Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.
LIBERALITAS coins commemorate largesses, distributions of money to the people of Rome, usually made upon important events or the return of the emperor after a longer absence. This coin commemorates Antoninus' fourth Liberalitas.
RB72532. Orichalcumsestertius, SRCV III 4187, RIC III 774, BMCRE IV 1688, Cohen II 498, gF, porous, weight 23.165 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 145 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P, laureate head right; reverseCOS IIII above, LIBERALITAS AVG IIII in exergue, Antoninus Pius seated left on platform, Liberalitas on left holding abacus and cornucopia, officer behind; citizen standing below holding fold of drapery with both hands to receive donation from the emperor. S - C flanking across field; ex Forum (2012); rare; $225.00 SALE PRICE $203.00
Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.
Emesa was famous for its Temple of the Sun, the center of worship for the ancient pagan cult El-Gebal (or Elagabal). El-Gebal, worshipped in the form of a conical black stone, was the Aramaic name for the Syrian Sun God and means God of the Mountain. Julia Domna was born in Emesa in 170 A.D. She was the youngest daughter of high-priest Julius Bassianus, a descendant of the Royal House of Emesa.
RS65354. Silver denarius, RSC III 279a, RIC IV 398, BMCRE V 373, SRCV II 6305 var (LIBERA AVG), gVF, porous, weight 3.554 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, laureate head right; reverseLIBER AVG, Liberalitas standing left, polos on head, counting board in right, cornucopia in left; scarce; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00
Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.
Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. It appears they were held over a container, covered with coins and the excess swept away back into the container. The proper number of coins would fill the holes and then would be dumped out to the recipient. On coins this symbol indicated the prince had given to the people money, grain, or other articles of consumption. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the abundance of wheat contained in the public graineries.
RS68507. Silver denarius, RIC IV 100, RSC III 81a, BMCRE V 214, SRCV 7521 var (cornucopia on base), VF+, centered, toned, weight 2.973 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 219 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverseLIBERALITAS AVG II, Liberalitas standing left, counting board in right, cornucopia in left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren with Antioch Associates tag; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.
Julia Domna was born in Emesa in 170 A.D. She was the youngest daughter of high-priest Julius Bassianus, a descendant of the Royal House of Emesa. Emesa was famous for its Temple of the Sun, the center of worship for the ancient pagan cult El-Gebal (or Elagabal). El-Gebal, worshipped in the form of a conical black stone, was the Aramaic name for the Syrian Sun God and means God of the Mountain. Emesa was also the birthplace of three other Roman empresses, Julia Maesa, Julia Mamaea and Julia Soaemias, and one emperor, Julia Domna's nephew, Elagabalus.
RS49580. Silver denarius, RIC IV 627 var (reverselegend), SRCV II 6591 var (same), F, weight 2.695 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Emesa (Homs, Syria) mint, 194 - 195 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right; reverseLIBER AVG, Liberalitas standing left, counting board in right, cornucopia in left; very rare; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50
Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.
This type has the earliest depiction of the Three Monetae on coinage.
RB63622. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC III 500, Fair, weight 19.208 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 187 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANT P FELIX AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverseP M TR P XII IMP VIIICOS V P P/ MON AVG/ S C, Three Monetae standing left, each holding scale in right and cornucopia in left; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00
Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.
Three Monetae are depicted, one for each metal: gold, silver and copper.
RB65851. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC IV 670, SRCV II 6404, Fine/Fair, flan crack, weight 19.409 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERTAVG IMP III, laureate head right; reverseMONET AVGCOS II P P S C, three Monetae standing facing, each with head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left; scarce; $55.00 SALE PRICE $49.50
Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D.
A scarcedenomination for the period.
RB90373. Bronze as, RIC 120a, Cohen 71, aF, rough, corrosion, weight 7.785 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverseLIBERALITAS AVG, Liberalitas standing left, counting board in right, cornucopia in left, S - C flanking across field; scarce; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00
Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.
In 86 A.D., Domitian reinstituted the Capitoline Games, which had fallen into disuse. In Ancient Rome, the Capitoline Games (Latin: Ludi Capitolini) were annual games (ludi), lasting sixteen days, instituted by Camillus, 387 B.C., in honor of Jupiter Capitolinus, and in commemoration of the Capitol's not being taken by the Gauls that same year. The reinstituted games were modelled after the Greek Olympic Games. Every four years, in the early summer, contestants came from several nations to participate in various events. Rewards and crowns were bestowed on the poets, and placed on their heads by the Emperor himself. The feast was not for poets alone, but also for champions, orators, historians, comedians, magicians, etc. These games became so celebrated, that the manner of accounting time by lustres (periods of five years) was changed, and they began to count by Capitoline games, as the Ancient Greeks did by Olympiads.
RP71787. Copper as, RIC II, part 1, 493 (C3);BMCRE II 389; BnF III 418; cf. SRCV I 2807 (COS XV, etc., 90 - 91 A.D.), aF, weight 10.866 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 86 A.D.; obverseIMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XII CENS POT P P, laureate bust right, wearing aegis; reverseMONETA AVGVSTI, Moneta standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left, S - C flanking across fields; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00
Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.
Festivities celebrating Postumus' quinquennalia continued into 266 A.D. and very little troubled his empire in 267. A sudden deterioration in the coinage in 268 shows, however, that Postumus faced increasing challenges and the need to buy off an increasingly discontented army.
BB70780. Billonantoninianus, RSC IV 199, RIC V 75, VF, weak reverse, weight 3.077 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 266 - 267; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverseMONETA AVG, Moneta standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left; $36.00 SALE PRICE $32.40