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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ DemocracyView Options:  |  |  | 

Democracy (Demos - The People)

Demos is the personification of the people. Here we will also include coins that depict personifications of the Senate, citizens councilman (boule), and elders (gerousia).


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

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The representation of the decurions of Alexandria depicted on the reverse of this type is unique within the Roman provincial series. The decurions were members of municipal senates responsible for procuring funds for new public works, festivities and games, as well as for welfare networks. Their fiscal responsibilities also extended to the collecting of imperial taxes, for which they were expected to cover any shortfalls.
RP87204. Bronze AE 22, RPC IX 432 (12 spec.); Bellinger A409; SNG Çanakkale 376; BMC Troas p.27, 145; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, aVF, dark green patina, reverse slightly off center, tiny encrustations, some legend weak, edge cracks, weight 4.586 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, Jun/Jul 251 - Jul/Aug 253 A.D.; obverse IMP C VIBI TRIBO GALLVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse The curia decurionum of Alexandria in session: nine men wearing togas seated in a semicircle, two outer men seated on curule chairs, two in center holding short staffs, AVG above, two steps below, ALEXAND on upper step, decorative pattern on lower step, TROADA in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics, e-sale 40 (28 Oct 2017), lot 429; very rare; $1450.00 (€1232.50)
 


Sala, Lydia, c. 2nd Century A.D.

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Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the god of commerce and thieves. He was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. His symbols include the caduceus and winged sandals.
RP77505. Bronze AE 17, SNG München 455; BMC Lydia p. 229, 15; SNG Cop 416, VF, well centered, nice green patina, areas of corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 2.643 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Sala mint, c. 2nd century A.D.; obverse ∆HMOC CAΛHNΩN, laureate and draped bearded bust of Demos; reverse EΠI AN∆PONEICOY, Hermes standing slightly left, nude, chlamys draped over left arm, purse in right hand, caduceus in left hand; ex Divus Numismatik; rare; $75.00 (€63.75)
 


Ankyra in Abbaitis, Phrygia, c. 193 - 217 A.D.

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Ancyra means anchor in Greek. There were two cities named Ancyra in Anatolia, the one in Abbaitis, Phrygia that issued this coin, and another larger city in Galatia, now the capitol of Turkey. Ankyra in Abbaitis may have struck autonomous coins as Abbaetae Mysi in the 2nd century B.C. Under Rome, Ankyra in Abbaitis struck civic coinage from the rule of Nero to the rule of Philip the Arab.
RP87095. Brass AE 22, BMC Phrygia p. 59, 11 ff.; SNG Cop 132; SNGvA 3424; SNG München 88 var.; SNG Tübingen 3937; SNG Leypold 1421-1422 var., aVF, weight 8.072 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Ankyra in Abbaitis mint, Severan period, c. 193 - 217 A.D.; obverse ΘEON CYN-KLHTON, young draped bust of the Senate right; reverse AN/KYPA/NWN in three lines within laurel wreath; $75.00 (€63.75)
 


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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On this coin Commodus boasts that he has been honored as Pater Senatus, the Father of the Senate. Referring to this coin type, Vaillant observed that Commodus should have been called Senatus carnifex - the executioner, rather than the father, of the Senate. Commodus had thinned the ranks of that once powerful body by the slaughter of its most illustrious members, especially after the discovery of his sister Lucilla's conspiracy. The abject Senate responded by lavishing flattery on Commodus in proportion to his cruelty.
RS85041. Silver denarius, RIC III 157, RSC III 397, BMCRE IV 222 223, MIR 18 734-4/30, SRCV II 5666, aVF/F, centered on a tight flan, toned, marks and scratches, edge cracks, weight 1.996 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 187 A.D.; obverse M COMM ANT P FEL AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse PATER SENAT P M TR P XII IMP VIII COS V P P, Commodus as Father of the Senate standing left, togate, raising branch in extended right hand, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


Hierapolis, Phrygia, c. 221 - 268 A.D.

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The AKTIA festival and games at Hierapolis were founded in honor of Augustus' victory at Actium.
RP77253. Bronze AE 24, Johnston Hierapolis 74; BMC Phrygia p. 242, 89; SNG Cop 444; SNGvA -; SNG Tüb -; SNG Hunt -; Waddington 6128; Weber -; McClean -; c/m: Howgego 278, F, well centered, edge crack, punch or flan flaw on the reverse; countermark: F, weight 5.388 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 221 - 268 A.D.; obverse IEPA CY-NKΛHTO-C, draped bust of the senate right; countermark: male figure standing, an uncertain object in right hand, scepter or spear in left hand, letter(s) in field, irregularly shaped punch; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩN NEΩKOPΩN, A/KTI/A in three lines within a demos crown (laurel wreath); very rare; $60.00 (€51.00)
 







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REFERENCES

Kurth, D. Demos, The Personification of the People. (2010).
Martin, K. Demos, Boule, Gerousia: Personifikationen städtischer Institutionen auf kaiserzeitlichen Münzen aus Kleinasien. (Bonn, 2013).


Catalog current as of Wednesday, November 21, 2018.
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Democracy