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Roman Coins of the Recovery of the Empire

Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.

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The ancients did not all agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. The general impression of the ancients seems to have been that by Serapis, was to be understood the beginning and foundation of things. Julian II consulted the oracle of Apollo for the purpose of learning whether Pluto and Serapis were different gods; and he received for an answer that Jupiter-Serapis and Pluto were one and the same divinity.
BB85274. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC temp 1021 (60 spec.), Huvelin Antioche 8, Hunter IV 74, RIC V-1 201 (S), gF, well centered, earthen encrusted, weight 3.272 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. end 268 – end 269; obverse IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CONSER AVG, Serapis standing facing, head left, right hand raised, scepter in left hand down at side, Γ in exergue; scarce; $.99 (€.84)


Numerian, February or March 283 - October or November 284 A.D.

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In 283, Carus left Carinus in charge of the West and moved with Numerian and his praetorian prefect Arrius Aper to the East to wage war against the Sassanid Empire. The Sassanids had been embroiled in a succession dispute since the death of Shapur and were in no position to oppose Carus' advance. According to Zonaras, Eutropius, and Festus, Carus won a major victory against the Persians, taking Seleucia and the Sassanid capital of Ctesiphon (near modern Al-Mada'in, Iraq), cities on opposite banks of the Tigris. In celebration, Numerian, Carus, and Carinus all took the title Persici maximi.
RA85606. Billon antoninianus, Venèra IV 1927 (12 ex.); RIC V-2 361; Cohen VI 76; Hunter IV 2 var. (KA∆); SRCV III -, Choice VF, excellent portrait, attractive surfaces, light marks, light encrustations, weight 3.172 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Rome mint, as caesar, Nov/Dec 282 - Feb/Mar 283 A.D.; obverse M AVR NVMERIANVS NOB C, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PRINCIPI IVVENTVT (to the Prince of Youth), Numerian standing left, baton pointed downward in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, ∆KA in exergue; $140.00 (€119.00)


Magnia Urbica, Augusta Mid 283 - Mid 285 A.D.

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It was Sulla who in a dream first saw Venus as Venus Victrix (victorious Venus), with the weapons of Mars. He made her to his personal patroness. Pompey was inaugurating the cult of Venus Victrix in Rome. In the night before the battle of Pharsalus 48 B.C. Pompey was dreaming of Venus Victrix - seemingly a lucky sign -, whereas Caesar was sacrificing to Venus Genetrix, but issued as watchword 'Venus Victrix', and defeated Pompey!
RA86189. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 343 (S); Cohen VI 17; SRCV III 12424; Hunter IV p. 216, 4 var. (dot in crescent), F, centered on a broad flan, bumps and marks, weight 3.416 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Rome mint, 284 - 285 A.D.; obverse MAGN VRBICA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, hair brushed in straight lines, plait carried up the back to top of head and running under stephane; reverse VENVS VICTRIX (victorious Venus), Venus standing left, helmet in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet on left, KA crescent ς in exergue; scarce; $250.00 (€212.50)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Adventus reverse types commemorate the emperor's arrival at Rome, either at the commencement of his reign or on his return from a distance. They may also refer to his arrival in some other city or province of the empire. At their accession, emperors were not conveyed in a chariot nor in any other vehicle, but went on horseback or on foot when they made their first public entry into the capital of the Roman world.
RA86183. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 904 (S); Cohen VI 69; Pink VI-1, p. 43; Hunter IV 311 var. (A in ex); cf. SRCV III 11195 (Rome mint, etc.), Choice aEF, well centered, some silvering, porosity, light marks and corrosion, weight 3.752 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 2nd emission, end 276 - beginning 277 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), radiate, helmeted, and cuirassed bust left, spear in right hand over right shoulder, oval shield decorated with charging horseman on left arm; reverse ADVENTVS PROBI AVG (the arrival of Emperor Probus), Probus on horseback left, raising right hand in salute, long scepter in left hand, horses' right foreleg raised over bound captive seated left, nothing in exergue; scarce; $180.00 (€153.00)


Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D.

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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.
RA84976. Billon antoninianus, La Venèra 3359 - 3362, RIC V-2 239, Cohen VI 6, SRCV III -, Hunter IV -, gVF, much silvering, some luster, broad flan, tiny pitting, weight 3.435 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 135o, 7th officina, Rome mint, 283 - 284 A.D.; obverse IMP CARINVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse AEQVITAS AVGG (equity of the two emperors), Aequitas standing half left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, KAZ in exergue; $120.00 (€102.00)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA85002. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 435 corr. (also cuirassed), Hunter IV 112 corr. (same), Cohen VI 819, Pink VI-1 p. 61, Choice VF, nice portrait, much silvering on reverse, some light corrosion, weight 3.724 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing facing, helmeted head left, Victory in right hand, resting left hand on grounded spear and shield, QXXT in exergue; $140.00 (€119.00)


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

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Mars holds both the implements of war and the olive branch of peace. "Peace through strength" is an ancient phrase and concept implying that strength of arms is a necessary component of peace. The phrase has famously been used by many leaders from Roman Emperor Hadrian in the first century A.D., to Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
RA84987. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3408 (96 spec.), RIC V-1 145, BnF XII 1681, La Venèra 1565 - 1604, Gloucester 727, Maravielle 785, Hamburger Kunsthalle 1573, Choice VF, silvering, well centered, some light corrosion, weight 4.335 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, issue 2, early ? June 276; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse MARTI PACIF (to Mars the peacemaker), Mars advancing left, wearing crested helmet and military dress, olive branch raised in right hand, transverse spear and oval shield in left hand, S in exergue; $125.00 (€106.25)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA84026. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V-2 816; SRCV III 12071 var. (...P F AVG); Cohen VI 894; Hunter IV -, Choice EF, full silvering, full circles centering, some flatly struck areas, weight 3.888 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, emission 5, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P AVG, radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), Mars walking right, helmeted, nude but for cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, transverse spear upward right in right hand, trophy of captured arms over left shoulder in left hand, XXIV in exergue; $120.00 (€102.00)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.; EQVITI Series II of Ticinum, E, PXXI

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Ticinum mint EQVITI series II - click "EQVITI" to read the NumisWiki article, "Coins of Probus with Coded Markings of EQVITI Embedded in the mint mark." The letter "E" in the reverse field is the first letter of the codeword EQVITI. The letter "P" in the exergue indicates this coin was struck by the first officina (mint workshop). The letters of the word EQVITI are coded in the mint marks of coins from all the officinae of the mint, with the specific letters of the codeword assigned to each officina in order corresponding with their officina numbers. This codeword probably refers to cavalry. It may be AEQVITI truncated because there were only six officinae in operation.
RA83456. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 480; Pink VI-1 p. 67; Cohen VI 121; SRCV III 11965 var., Choice VF, full circles strike, traces of silvering, weight 4.463 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, emission 9, 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C PROBVS AVG, radiate and mantled bust left, holding an eagle-tipped scepter; reverse CONCORD MILIT (harmony with the soldiers), Concordia standing slightly, head left, flanked by two standards, one in each hand, E left, PXXI in exergue; $80.00 (€68.00)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to Minerva the companion of Probus. Minerva was the Roman virgin goddess of wisdom, trade, medicine, arts, and magic. From the 2nd century B.C., the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena and often depicted her with her sacred owl. Minerva was born from the head of Jupiter. After impregnating the Titaness Metis, Jupiter recalled a prophecy that his own child would overthrow him. Fearing their child would rule the Heavens in his place, Jupiter swallowed Metis whole. The Titaness forged weapons and armor for her child while within the father-god, and the constant pounding and ringing gave him a headache. To relieve the pain, Vulcan used a hammer to split Jupiter's head. From the cleft, Minerva emerged, whole, adult, and bearing her mother's weapons and armor.
RA83487. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 69; Bastien IX 315; Hunter IV 83; Cohen VI 106; SRCV III 11963; Pink VI-1 p. 70, VF, nice green patina, traces of silvering, some light scratches, weight 4.018 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C PROBVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse COMITI PROBI AVG (to the companion of Emperor Probus), Minerva standing slightly left, head left, raising olive branch in right hand, spear and shield at feet in left hand, I (officina number) in exergue; $60.00 (€51.00)











Catalog current as of Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
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Recovery of the Empire