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Roman Coins of the 3rd Century Crisis and Decline of the Roman Empire

Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Viminacium, Moesia Superior

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Viminacium was a Roman Colony founded by Gordian III in 239 A.D. The usual legend is P.M.S. COL. VIM., abbreviating Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium. The usual type is a female personification of Moesia standing between a lion and a bull. The bull and the lion were symbols of the Legions VII and IV, which were quartered in the province.
SL84535. Bronze AE 28, H-J Viminacium 24 (R2); Varbanov I 130; AMNG I/I 96; BMC Thrace p. 16, 17; SGICV 3874; Mousmov 36, ANACS F12 (4988740), maximum diameter 28 mm, die axis 225o, Viminacium (Stari Kostolac, Serbia) mint, autumn 243 - autumn 244 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS PIVS FEL AVG P M, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M S COL VIM (Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium), Moesia standing facing, head left, extending hands over bull on left standing right and lion on right standing left, AN V (year 5 of the Viminacium colonial era) in exergue; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $80.00 (€71.20)

Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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Eternal peace was just wishful thinking during the reign of Philip I (just as it has always been).
SL84533. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 41, RSC IV 102, Bland 23, SRCV III 8939 var. (pax standing left), Hunter III 12 var. (AETERNA), NGC AU, strike 3/5, surface 4/5, weight 5.03 g, maximum diameter 23 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PAX AETERN (eternal peace), Pax advancing left, branch in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand; certified (slabbed) by NGC, from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $135.00 (€120.15)

Alexandreia Troas, Troas, 253 - 268 A.D.

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Alexandria Troas (modern Eski Stambul) is on the Aegean Sea near the northern tip of the west coast of Anatolia, a little south of Tenedos (modern Bozcaada). The city was founded by Antigonus around 310 B.C. with the name Antigoneia and was populated with the inhabitants of Cebren, Colone, Hamaxitus, Neandria, and Scepsis. About 301 B.C., Lysimachus improved the city and re-named it Alexandreia. Among the few structure ruins remaining today are a bath, an odeon, a theater and gymnasium complex and a stadium. The circuit of the old walls can still be traced.
RP84513. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 117; SNG Munchen 63; BMC Troas p. 15, 53 ff. var. (legends); RPC Online IX 497 var. (same); Bellinger Troy A490; SNGvA -, VF, tight flan, sharp detail, slightly rough, weight 4.852 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, reign of Gallienus, 253 - 268 A.D.; obverse AL-EXA TRO, turreted and draped bust of Tyche of Alexandria Troas right, vexillum behind; reverse CO - A-VG - TRO, eagle flying right, bull head right its talons; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $70.00 (€62.30)

Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Cyrrhus, Cyrrhestica, Syria

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Cyrrhus was founded by Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, shortly after 300 B.C., and named for Cyrrhus in Macedonia. It was taken by the Armenian Empire in the 1st century B.C., then became Roman when Pompey took Syria in 64 B.C. By the 1st century A.D., it had become a Roman administrative, military, and commercial center on the trade route between Antioch and the Euphrates River crossing at Zeugma and minted its own coinage. It was the base of the Roman legion Legio X Fretensis. The Sassanid Persian Empire took it several times during the 3rd century. In the 6th century, the city was embellished and fortified by Justinian. It was taken by the Muslims in 637, the Crusaders in the 11th century, and Nur ad-Din Zangi recaptured it in 1150. Muslim travelers of the 13th and 14th century reported it as a large city and largely in ruins. Its ruins are located in northern Syria, near the Turkish border, about 70 km northwest of Aleppo and 24 km west of Kilis, Turkey.
RY84847. Bronze AE 29, Butcher 21c; BMC Galatia p. 137, 34; SNG Munchen 505; Price-Trell 673; SNG Cop 49 corr. (Philip I); SGICV 4143, aVF, porous, reverse a little off center, weight 15.867 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cyrrhus mint, Jul/Aug 247 - Late 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOY IYΛ ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, cuirassed and draped bust to right, from behind; reverse ∆IOC - KA-TEB-ATOY, KYPHCTΩN, hexastyle temple Zeus Kataibates, in which statue of the god is seated facing with thunderbolt in right hand, scepter in left hand, eagle at his feet on left, bull leaping right above temple; $110.00 (€97.90)

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior

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The Three Graces, named Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Thalia, were the attendants of Venus (Aphrodite). They are shown on Roman provincial coins as a statuary group, nude and sometimes holding apples.
RP84853. Bronze AE 21, H-J Marcianopolis (same dies), Varbanov 1908, AMNG I -, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, Mionnet -, Moushmov -, VF, dark green patina, porous, centration dimples, weight 4.432 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Marcianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, 240/241 A.D.; obverse M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AVT, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right from the front; reverse MAPKIANOΠOΛITΩN (the final N in exergue), The Three Graces standing, nude, the outer two facing, with heads turned outward and holding apples in outer hand, the middle with back facing and with arms around other two; ex CNG e-auction 225, lot 242; ex Mark Staal Collection of the Three Graces; ex Palladium, Sep 1997; rare; $135.00 (€120.15)

Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Alexandreia Troas, Troas

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In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus were the twin sons of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, fathered by the god of war, Mars. They were abandoned in the Tiber as infants. Faustulus, a shepherd, found the infants being suckled by the she-wolf (Lupa) at the foot of the Palatine Hill. Their cradle, in which they had been abandoned, was on the shore overturned under a fig tree. Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia, raised the children. Romulus was the first King of Rome.
RP84560. Bronze AE 23, SNG Cop 187; Bellinger A442; BMC Troas p. 30, 167 var. (legends); SNG Hunterian 1296 var. (same); SNGvA -, gVF, excellent portrait, well centered and struck on a broad flan, porous, tiny edge cracks, weight 4.844 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 225o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP LIC V-ALERIAN, laureate, draped, and bearded bust right, from behind; reverse COL AV, TRO (TRO in exergue), she-wolf standing right, head turned facing, suckling Romulus and Remus; ex Agora Auction 52, lot 90; $140.00 (€124.60)

Kingdom of Edessa, Mesopotamia, Abgar X with Gordian III, 242 - 243 A.D.

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Abgar X Frahad bar Manu was raised to the throne when Gordian III recovered Mesopotamia from the Persians. His rule and the Kingdom of Edessa both ended with Gordian's assassination and a Sassanid takeover in 244 A.D.
GB84832. Bronze AE 24, BMC Arabia p. 115, 148; Babelon Edessa 97; cf. SNG Cop 225 (draped and cuirassed), SNG Hunterian 2579 (same), VF, porous, minor pitting, some legend unstruck, reverse a little off center, weight 7.981 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, Mesopotamia, Edessa mint, 242 - 243 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, laureate bust of Gordian III right, slight drapery on left shoulder, star lower right; reverse ABΓAPOC BACIΛEYC, draped bust of Abgar right, bearded, wearing a diademed Parthian-style tiara, star behind; $75.00 (€66.75)

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

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Nicaea remained an important town throughout the imperial period. Although only 70 km (43 miles) from Constantinople, Nicaea did not lose its importance when Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Empire. The city suffered from earthquakes in 358, 362 and 368; after the last of which, it was restored by Valens. During the Middle Ages, it was a long time bulwark of the Byzantine emperors against the Turks.
RP79959. Bronze AE 19, Rec Gen II.3 p 489, 713; SNGvA 653; SNG Cop -, VF, nice portrait, well centered and struck, attractive sea-green patina, flan crack, scratches, weight 3.252 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AVΓ, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse three legionary standards topped with wreaths, N-IK-AI-E/ΩN in two lines, the first divided by the standards, the last two letters in exergue; $80.00 (€71.20)

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Edessa, Macedonia

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Edessa, Macedonia struck coins from 27 B.C. to 268 A.D. Located on the Via Egnatia, the city prospered in under the Romans but disappeared from history after 500 A.D. In 304 B.C., Seleucus I Nicator commemorated Edessa, Macedonia by founding a city named Edessa in northern Mesopotamia.
RP83477. Bronze diassarion, Papaefthymiou 33 ff., (D12/-); BMC Macedonia p. 40, 27; Varbanov II 3669 (R4); SNG Cop 169; Lindgren 1086 (none with this reverse die), F, well centered, green patina, centration dimple on reverse, large pit on reverse, weight 10.085 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 0o, Edessa mint, obverse AV K M AN ΓOP∆IANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse E∆ECCAIΩN, Roma seated left on shield, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, Nike in right hand, parazonium in left hand; Tyche standing behind Roma, wearing turreted crown, crowning Roma with a wreath in her right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $60.00 (€53.40)

Philip I and Otacilia Severa, 244 - 249 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior

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The Greeks and Romans did not view snakes as evil creatures but rather as symbols and tools for healing and fertility. Asclepius, the son of Apollo and Koronis, learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RP83492. Bronze pentassarion, H-J Marcianopolis (R6), Varbanov I 2083, AMNG I/I 1206, Mouchmov 850, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, gVF, green patina, porous, small edge splits, centration dimples, weight 12.529 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Prastina Messallinus, 244 - 247; obverse AYT M IOYΛ ΦIΛIΠΠOC AVΓ M WTAK, CEBHPAC / E (ending in two lines in exergue), confronted busts of Philip I on left, facing right, laureate, draped, and cuirassed, and Otacilia Severa, on right, facing left, diademed and draped; reverse YΠ ΠPACT MECCAΛΛEINOY MAPKIANOΠOΛEIT,ΩN (final two letters in column in right field), serpent in four coils, erect head nimbate right, E (mark of value) in left field; $190.00 (€169.10)

Catalog current as of Sunday, April 30, 2017.
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Crisis and Decline