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.
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.
In 193, Laodicea was sacked by the governor of Syria, Pescennius Niger, in his revolt against Septimius Severus. In 194, Septimius Severus reorganized Syria into five new provinces. One of these, Coele-Syria, including all of northern Syria, briefly had its capital in Laodicea before reverting to Antioch. Septimius sought to punish Antioch for having supported Pescennius Niger. Septimius Severus endowed Laodicea with four colonnaded streets, baths, a theater, a hippodrome, numerous sanctuaries and other public buildings in the city. Laodicea was a key strategic seaport for Roman Syria.
RS68071. Silver denarius, SRCV II 6822, RIC IV 337d, RSC III 168c, EF, nice boy portrait, weight 3.654 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 45o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 198 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR ANTON AVG P TR P, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseMONETA AVGG, Moneta standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left; scarce; $220.00 (165.00)
Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.
In 224, King Ardashir I defeated Artabanus IV at Hormizdegan (modern Shushtar), destroying the Parthian Empire and establishing the Sassanid dynasty. Artabanus's brother Vologases VI continued to rule with Armenian and Kushan support over outlying parts of Parthia.
SH56934. Orichalcumsestertius, BMCRE VI 204 var (S - C outer fields and lower); RIC IV 587 var (anvil not mentioned); Cohen -, cf. 179 (MONETA AVG), aVF, nice green patina, weight 19.148 g, maximum diameter 31.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 224 A.D.; obverseIMP CAESM AVR SEV ALEXANDER AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseMONETA AVGVSTI, S - C, Moneta standing half left, scales in right held over die anvil at feet on left, cornucopia in left; rare; $200.00 (150.00)
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 (93.75)
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 (90.00)
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 (63.75)
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 (60.00)
Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D.
In 302 A.D., Diocletian began passing laws against Christians and a policy of religious oppression in Antioch.
RB70869. Bronze follis, RIC VI Rome 105a, Cohen 434, VF, minor roughness, weight 8.663 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 302 - 303 A.D.; obverse IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse SAC MON VRB AVGG ET CAESS NN, Moneta standing facing, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left, star right, R P in ex; scarce; $75.00 (56.25)
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; $65.00 (48.75)
Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.
Liberalitas coins advertise distributions of money by the emperor to the people, usually on important occasions or upon his return to Rome after a long absence. This coin commemorates Antoninus' third Liberalitas, distributed in 145 A.D., perhaps for the wedding of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina the Younger.
RS67166. Silver denarius, RIC III 156, RSC II 490, BMCRE IV 574, SRCV II -, F, weight 2.967 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 145 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right; reverse LIB IIII (in ex), TR POTCOS IIII, Liberalitas standing left,vexillum in right, cornucopia in left; $50.00 (37.50)
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 (37.50)