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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Military ▸ LegionaryView Options:  |  |  |   

Coins of the Roman Legions

Legionarii is the name give to the foot soldiers of the Roman legions. The horsemen were distinguished by the appellation of Equites. The term of sixteen years was the period fixed for the service of the Legionarii. Before the reign of Septimius Severus they were not permitted to marry, or at least to have their wives with them in the camp. The military discipline of these troops was very severe. They led a life of great hardship, and made long marches, laden with heavy burdens. During peace they were employed in working on the fortifications of towns and of camps, as well as in repairing the high roads.

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG XI

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This may have been a legion raised by Antony and disbanded by Augustus. The XI Claudia, an old legion of Caesar's, fought for Octavian (and won the title Actiaca at the battle of Actium).
SL79267. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/25, Sydenham 1229, BMCRR II East 203, RSC I 39, NGC F, strike 3/5, surface 2/5, banker's marks (2400602-008), toned, weight 3.48 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - XI, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; NGC certified (slabbed); $450.00 SALE PRICE $405.00

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., CHORTIS SPECVLATORVM

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Speculatores served the legions as spies, scouts, messengers, lookouts, and executioners. Aboard ship, speculatores stood watch as lookouts in a turret (specula) at the stern, explaining their unusual standards. Normally ten speculatores were assigned to each legion. Anthony formed a separate cohort of speculatores which served him personally and also acted as his personal bodyguard. Augustus would later create a speculatorian cohort at Rome to serve as the inner corps of the praetorian guard. This coin probably refers to the naval equivalent, who were comparable to the Marines and provided a shipboard bodyguard for Antony.
RR84667. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1484, Crawford 544/12, Sydenham 1214, BMCRR II East 185, RSC I 6, Sear CRI 386, VF, off center, porous, weight 3.463 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Patrae(?) mint, autumn 32 - spring 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with fluttering banners at prow, border of dots; reverse CHORTIS SPECVLATORVM, three standards, each decorated with two wreaths and a model war galley prow, border of dots; rare; $400.00 SALE PRICE $360.00

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG V

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This may have been the famous V Alaudae ('the larks'), a Caesarean legion which remained loyal to Antony but was later retained by Augustus. There are other possibilities, however: V Macedonica, a Caesarean legion about which little is known; V Urbana, disbanded after Actium (and therefore quite likely an Antonian legion); and V Gallica, a Caesarean legion that was probably the one that under Lollius lost its eagle to German raiders in Gaul in 17 B.C.
RS79795. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/18, Sydenham 1221, BMCRR II East 196, RSC I 32, Sear CRI 354, VF, obverse slightly off-center, banker's mark on obverse, weight 3.714 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT AVG III. VIR. R. P. C., galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - V, legionary aquila between two standards; $360.00 SALE PRICE $324.00

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG XIX

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Pliny xxxiii 9 notes, ?Antonius as Triumvir mixed iron (sic) into his denarii.? Actually, it was copper that Antony used to debase his denarii and extend his budget. Some coppery spots are clearly visible on the reverse of this coin. Most of Antony's legionary denarii are well worn. The Roman people knew these legionary denarii were debased. When deciding which coins to hoard and save, and which to spend, they would choose good silver to save and spend Antony's debased denarii before all others. Most legionary denarii were heavily circulated and are heavily worn.
RR83582. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/35, Sydenham 1242, BMCRR II East 214, RSC I 55, VF, toned, coppery areas, light scratches and marks, a little off-center, weight 3.681 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 270o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / IIIVIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - XIX, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 21, lot 658; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00

Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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Septimius Severus was the commander of Legio XIIII Gemina Martia Victrix when Pertinax was murdered in 193 B.C. After the victory against Didius Julianus, most coins of the legionary series coins honored the soldiers who made their commander an emperor. The legion was raised by Octavian, who made the capricorn its symbol (depicted on coins as well). It is one of the legions that participated at the invasion of Britain under Claudius and later defeated queen Boudica receiving the Martia Victrix cognomen from Nero. The legion later moved to Gaul, then Germany, were it participated to the Saturninus' rebellion. Domitian moved it further East to Pannonia replacing the XXIth Rapax which was destroyed by the Sarmatians. Trajan used it in his Dacian wars. Lucius Verus used it in his Parthian war and Marcus Aurelius used Carnumtum as headquarters for three years during the Marcomannic wars. Only 18 specimens in the Reka Devnia hoard.
RS83527. Silver denarius, RIC IV 14 (S); RSC III 272; BMCRE V p. 22, 19; Hunter III 5; SRCV II 6302, gVF, superb portrait, reverse a little weak, some reverse die wear, edge cracks, weight 3.084 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG, laureate head right; reverse LEG XIIII GEM M V, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards topped with wreaths and decorated with Capricorns, TR P COS in exergue; scarce; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00

Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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"Legio IV Flavia Felix, reconstituted by Vespasian in AD 70 from the disgraced Legio IV Macedonica, had been stationed at Singidunum (Belgrade) in Moesia from the time of Hadrian. However, there may have been a detachment serving in Britain at the time of Carausius' revolt." -- Roman Coins and Thier Values by David R. Sear
RA73248. Billon antoninianus, cf. Carausius Webb 88; RIC V, part 2, 69 (R); Askew 146; SRCV IV 13611; Casey -, aVF, small ragged flan cutting off most of legends, pitting, scratches, weight 2.518 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 286 - 288 A.D.; obverse IMP [C?] CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse LEG IIII FL, lion walking right, ML in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very rare; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00

Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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This coin was dedicated to the fidelity of the Pretorian Guard or perhaps to "the leaders." In either case, in the end, Gallienus lost the fidelity of his guard and officers. He was ambushed and murdered by his own men. The future emperors Claudius Gothicus and Aurelian were likely both involved in the conspiracy leading to his assassination.
RA90710. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 518d, RIC V S568 (Siscia), RSC IV 216 (Siscia), SRCV III 10211, Hunter IV p. lx, Normanby -, VF/F, nice portrait, well centered, ragged tight flan cutting off the tops of legend letters, flan cracks, some corrosion, weight 2.035 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 262 - 263 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse FIDEI PRAET, legionary aquila (eagle) between two legionary standards, the standards on the left topped with a wreath, the standards on the right topped with an open hand; RIC lists this type as common but market evidence clearly indicates it is rare; rare; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00

Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

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In July 221, Elagabalus was forced to divorce his new bride, the Vestal Virgin Aquilia Severa. He then married Annia Faustina, his third wife. After five months he returned to Severa claiming the divorce was invalid. Meanwhile, according to the historian Cassius Dio, Elagabalus had a stable homosexual relationship with his chariot driver, the slave Hierocles.
RS74521. Silver denarius, RIC IV 78, BMCRE V 201, RSC III 44, SRCV III 7514, VF, some marks, light corrosion, weight 3.019 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 220 - 221 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse FIDES MILIT (the loyalty of the soldiers), aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, shield at base of each standard; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG X

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Antony's legion X may have been disbanded by Augustus. The famous X Fretensis ('from the Channel') fought for Octavian, and the early history of X Gemina is obscure.
RR77173. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/24, Sydenham 1228, BMCRR II East 202, RSC I 38, F, weight 3.499 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - X, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00

Philippi, Macedonia, 41 - 68 A.D.

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This coin has traditionally been attributed to Augustus, but due to its copper composition, RPC attributes it as likely from Claudius to Nero; Philippi probably did not issue copper coins during the reign of Augustus.
RP83476. Bronze AE 23, RPC I 1651, Varbanov III 3229, SGICV 32, SNG Cop 305, AMNG III 14, BMC Macedonia 23, VF, centered on a tight flan, grainy green patina, small edge cracks, weight 4.619 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Philippi mint, 41 - 68 A.D.; obverse VIC - AVG, Victory standing left on base, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder; reverse COHOR PRAE PHIL, three standards; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00



Catalog current as of Sunday, February 26, 2017.
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