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

Gordian III and Tranquillina, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Tomis, Moesia Inferior

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In 241, Tranquillina's father was appointed the head of the Praetorian Guard. In May that year, Gordian married Tranquillina and she received the honorific title of Augusta. Her marriage to Gordian was an admission by the young emperor of both the political indispensability of Timesitheus and Tranquillina's suitability as an empress. Tranquillina survived her husband. She had no sons with him but they may have had a daughter, born after Gordian's death.
RP84850. Bronze tetrassarion, AMNG I/2 3511, Varbanov I 5730 var. (bust), BMC Macedonia p. 63, 60 var. (obv. leg.); SNG Stancomb 901 var. (∆/C), SNG Cop -, SNG Mun -, gVF/VF, centered on a tight flan, rough areas on reverse, weight 12.052 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 0o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, 241 - 244 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANTΩNIOC ΓOP-∆IANOC, confronted busts of Gordian on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed, from behind and Tranquillina on right, draped and wearing stephane, CABINIA TPA/NKVΛΛINA in two lines below busts; reverse MHTPO ΠONTOV TOMEΩC, Zeus seated left, patera in right hand, long scepter in left hand, ∆ right; ex Colosseum Coin Exchange; rare; $140.00 (124.60)


Salonina, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia

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Astarte, called "Ashtroth" in Scripture, was the favorite goddess of the Sidonians, Tyrians, Philistines, and Syro-Phoenicians generally. She was associated with the Greek Aphrodite and Roman Venus Genetrix, being believed by the ancients to be the goddess of generation, as well as of beauty. Astarte was chiefly worshiped and appears on the coins of Berytus, Bostra, Sidon, and Tyre. Her image is of a young woman, wearing a tall headdress; and clothed in a tunic, high in the neck- sometimes, not reaching lower than the knees, or sometimes with a longer dress, but with one knee exposed, and one foot planted on a galley's prow.
RP84808. Bronze AE 27, Rouvier VII p. 107, 2562; Lindgren II 2400; Mionnet VIII supp. p. 314, 359; BMC Phoenicia -; Baramki AUB -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Cop -; SNG Righetti -, F, red earthen fill, porous, edge bump, weight 15.353 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, Aug 253 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse CORNE SALON . . ., diademed and draped bust right; reverse COL TYRO ME TRO, Astarte standing facing, head left, wearing kalathos, right hand on trophy of arms standing on left, transverse scepter in left hand, Nike standing on column on right crowning the goddess, murex shell low inner left; very rare; $85.00 (75.65)


Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D.

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Juno was the patron deity of Trebonianus Gallus. The epithet Martialis literally means "of or belonging to Mars" or "warlike," but the depictions of Juno Martialis on the coins are not warlike. The epithet may refer to Juno as the mother of Mars. Or perhaps she is Juno of March - her festival was on 7 March. Perhaps the title refers to her temple in the Campus Martius, the old "Field of Mars" down by the Tiber. She is sometimes equated with Juno Perusina, as Perugia was where Trebonianus Gallus came from, and as such is sometimes called Juno Martialis Perusina by modern scholars.
RB85509. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 110a (R), Banti 14, Cohen V 50, SRCV III 9670, Hunter - (p. cv), aVF/F, tight ragged flan cutting off most of the legends, area of corrosion on the reverse, weight 10.908 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 251 - 253 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES C VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse IVNONI MARTIALIS, Shrine of Juno Martialis: domed, distyle rotunda with Corinthian columns, garlands hanging below dome; statue of Juno seated facing within holding two stalks of grain in extended right; rare; $160.00 (142.40)


Saloninus, Summer 260 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Saloninus, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
RA85487. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1707p (Samosata), RIC V 36 (Antioch), RSC IV 95a (Antioch), Hunter IV 12 (uncertain eastern), SRCV III 10775 (uncertain Syrian), Choice VF, well centered, nice portrait, porous, weight 4.385 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, as caesar, Jan - summer 260 A.D.; obverse SALON VALERIANVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Valerian (on left) standing right confronting Spes, wearing military garb and holding spear, Spes standing left, raising skirt with left hand and presenting flower to prince with right hand, pellet within wreath above; $170.00 (151.30)


Saloninus, Summer 260 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Saloninus, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
RA85488. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1707u (Samosata), RIC V 36 (Antioch), RSC IV 95a (Antioch), SRCV III 10775 (uncertain Syrian), Hunter IV - (p. liii), VF/F, well centered, good portrait, toned, porous, reverse rough, weight 3.449 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, as caesar, Jan - summer 260 A.D.; obverse SALON VALERIANVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes on left, raising skirt, presenting flower to prince, star above; $140.00 (124.60)


Saloninus, Summer 260 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Saloninus, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
RA85489. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1696d (Samosata), RIC V 36 (Antioch), RSC IV 95 (Antioch), SRCV III 10775 (uncertain Syrian), Hunter IV - (p. liii), F, white metal, well centered, areas weakly struck, porous, earthen deposits, weight 4.106 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, as caesar, 258 - 259 A.D.; obverse SALON VALERIANVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Saloninus (on left) and Spes (on right) standing confronted, Spes is raising skirt and presenting flower to prince, Saloninus holds scepter in left; $100.00 (89.00)


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

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As first noticed by von Sallet in the Berlin Catalogue, the obverse die of this coin was also used to strike medallions for Marcianopolis and Tomis (see AMNG Marcianopolis 1098 note).
SH85459. Bronze medallion, hexassarion; Varbanov 4434 (R8, same dies), AMNG I/II 2315 (4 specimens), EF, nice dark green patina, well centered on a broad flan, marks and scratches, weight 25.655 g, maximum diameter 36.8 mm, die axis 180o, Odessos (Varna, Bulgaria) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANT ΓOP∆-IANOC AVΓ, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust left, almost half-length, seen from front, raising right hand in greeting, globe in left hand; reverse O∆HC-C-EITON, On the left, Hygeia standing right, holding phiale in her left hand from which she feeds snake held in her right; to right, Asklepios standing left, holding serpent-entwined staff in his right hand; ex Stack's NYINC auction (9 Jan 2015), lot 261; ex Heritage Long Beach Signature Sale (25 Sep 2013), lot 23297; ex Heritage-Gemini VIII (14 Apr 2011), lot 406; $1000.00 (890.00)


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

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In 244 A.D., Philip negotiated peace with the Persia in order to deal with the troubles on the Rhine and Danube border. In 245 A.D., he campaigned against and made peace with several Germanic tribes.
RS84984. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 49b, RSC IV 227, Hunter III 16, SRCV III 8969, Choice EF, well centered, mint luster in recesses, light toning, light deposits, edge cracks, weight 3.732 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory advancing right, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left; $120.00 (106.80)


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

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"Peace founded with Persis" - after murdering young Gordian III, Philip needed a quick return Rome to secure his spot, so he made peace with Shapur and ended the campaign. The "P M" on the obverse possibly means "Persicus Maximus" boasting total victory, rather than the traditional "Pontifex Maximus".
RS84988. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 69 (S), RSC IV 113, Hunter III 120, SRCV III 8941, VF, broad flan, light toning, a few light marks, edge cracks, mild porosity, weight 3.849 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 1st issue, Feb 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP C M IVL PHILIPPVS P F AVG P M, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS, Pax advancing left, branch in right hand, scepter in left; scarce; $140.00 (124.60)


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

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Nice gift for a lawyer or a judge. In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RS84993. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 27b, RSC IV 9, Hunter III 25, SRCV III 8918, Choice EF, mint luster in recesses, light toning, well centered on a broad flan, some reverse die wear, weight 3.638 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse AEQVITAS AVGG (equity of the two emperors), Aequitas standing facing, head left, scales in right, cornucopia in left; $135.00 (120.15)











Catalog current as of Friday, September 22, 2017.
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Crisis and Decline