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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Denominations| ▸ |Imperial Quadrantes||View Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Imperial Quadrantes

Quadrantes, like quinarii, were issued only occasionally, perhaps exclusively for imperial distributions. Suetonius reported that, from the roof of the Basilica Julia "Caligula threw coins among the people." Perhaps the small coins below were personally thrown to the crowd by an Emperor at a similar event. The most common theme for the quadrans was the modius, a Roman grain container. This coin was probably redeemable for a modius of grain. The so-called 'anonymous quadrantes' date from the late 1st century to the mid-2nd century A.D., from the reign of Domitian to the reign of Antoninus Pius. The usual anonymous types are the head of a deity on the obverse with a reverse related to that deity. The most common anonymous type, for example, has the helmeted head of Minerva on the obverse and an owl on the reverse.

Annius Verus Caesar(?), 166 - 170 A.D., Deceased Son of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Jr.

|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Annius| |Verus| |Caesar(?),| |166| |-| |170| |A.D.,| |Deceased| |Son| |of| |Marcus| |Aurelius| |and| |Faustina| |Jr.|, |quadrans|
Variants of this "four seasons" anonymous quadrans have the head of Winter veiled and with reeds, Summer with wheat, and Fall with bunches of grapes. The deities on anonymous quadrantes occasionally resemble the emperor or a member of the imperial family. The same types are often issued with some portraits very clearly including the features of the imperial family member and others with idealized portraits that do not resemble anyone. In the case of this rare issue, Cohen suggested the boy may be Annius Verus, one of the youngest sons of Marcus Aurelius and Caesar with his brother Commodus between 166 and his death in 170 A.D. The portrait on this coin resembles the portrait of Annius Verus on a medallion issued while he was caesar.
RB30344. Bronze quadrans, Anonymous Four Seasons Quadrans, Autumn variant, SRCV I 2929, RIC II 34 var., Cohen III 31, VF, nice portrait for the type, weight 3.474 g, maximum diameter 18.20 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 166 - 180 A.D.(?); obverse draped bust of boy autumn (Annius Verus?) right, wreathed with vine-leaves, grape-clusters around neck; reverse S C within wreath of vine-leaves and grapes; rare; SOLD


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta

|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.,| |Judaea| |Capta|, |quadrans|
The palm tree symbolized Judaea.
RP39929. Bronze quadrans, RIC II-1 351, BMCRE II 618, Hendin 784, VF, weight 2.001 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP VESPASIAN AVG, palm tree; reverse P M TR P P P COS III, vexillum, S C at sides; restruck brockage or clashed dies - incuse retrograde S C on obverse field; rare; SOLD


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

|Domitian|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.|, |quadrans|
RB28945. Copper quadrans, RIC II 236, EF, weight 2.804 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 84 - 85 A.D.; obverse IMP DOMIT AVG GERM, helmeted and draped bust of Minerva right; reverse SC within laurel wreath; SOLD


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

|Domitian|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.|, |quadrans|
Minerva, equated with the Greek Athena, was the Roman virgin warrior goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic, and the inventor of music. She was worshiped on the Capitoline Hill as one of the Capitoline Triad along with Jupiter and Juno.
RB82631. Copper quadrans, RIC II 237, aEF, spot of encrustation, weight 2.030 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 85 A.D.; obverse IMP DOMIT AVG GERM, helmeted and draped bust of Minerva right; reverse owl standing right, head facing, S - C across fields; SOLD


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Ulpianum Mines Issue

|Trajan|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Ulpianum| |Mines| |Issue|, |quadrans|
This type is from a series of semisses and quadrantes struck in Rome for use in the closed imperial mine communities of the Balkan region. Some types name the mines in the reverse legends: METALLI VLPIANI DELM (for Dalmatia), METALLI VLPIANI PANN (for Pannonia) and DARDANICI (for Dardania, Moesia).
RB86484. Bronze quadrans, Woytek 611b, Simic-Vasic 11, BMCRE III - (p. 234 note & pl. 45, 13), RIC II 704 (R2) var., BnF IV 973 var., SRCV II 3252 (all var. obv. leg.), F, nice portrait, corrosion/porosity, part of reverse legend unstruck, weight 2.813 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 235o, Rome mint, c. 107 - 109 A.D.(?); obverse IMP CAES TRAIAN AVG GER DAC, laureate bust right, drapery on far shoulder; reverse METALLI VLPIANI, Aequitas (or Moneta?) standing half left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; very rare; SOLD


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.|, |quadrans|
Quadrantes, like quinarii, were issued only occasionally, perhaps exclusively for imperial distributions. Suetonius reported that, from the roof of the Basilica Julia "Caligula threw coins among the people." Perhaps this small coin was thrown to the crowd by the Nero himself at a similar event.
RB89528. Orichalcum quadrans, BMCRE I p. 258, 300 (same legend breaks); Mac Dowall WCN 342a; RIC I 258, BnF I 353; Cohen I 110; Hunter I -; SRCV I -, aEF, nice red and green patina, porosity, obverse slightly off center, weight 1.910 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 64 - 66 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAV CAE AVG 16, owl, with wings spread, standing facing on garlanded altar, snake winding up the right side of the altar; reverse GER P M TR P IMP P P, upright olive-branch, three tiny dots (mark of value) below, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking at sides; from the Errett Bishop Collection; SOLD


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

|Trajan|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.|, |quadrans|
Interesting coin which appears to be a mule. The she-wolf reverse is proper to the Trajan bust obverse (BMCRE III 1061), while the Hercules obverse is proper to the boar reverse (BMCRE III 1062).
RB13602. Copper quadrans, BMCRE III -, RIC II -, SRCV II -, Cohen II -, VF, weight 2.50 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, obverse IMP CAES TRAIAN AVG GERM, diademed bust of Hercules right; reverse she-wolf walking left, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; SOLD


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

|Trajan|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.|, |quadrans|
RB21428. Copper quadrans, BMCRE III 1061, SRCV II 3246, Cohen II 340, RIC II 694 var., Choice gVF, very attractive coin!, weight 3.192 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 107 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG, laureate bust right with drapery on left shoulder; reverse she-wolf standing left, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; SOLD


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

|Trajan|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.|, |quadrans|
In the first century A.D., the Roman satirist Juvenal observed that his countrymen were made content with two things: bread and circus games. Games were part of religious celebrations and holidays. At one time, across the Empire, Romans celebrated more than forty different games each year. Glory was the main reward for athletes. The actual prize was usually a simple palm frond, wreath, ribbon, or basket.
RB59932. Copper quadrans, BMCRE III 1068, RIC II 687, Cohen II 349, VF, weight 2.363 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 98 - 102 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse prize urn containing palm frond beside wreath, both on a three-quarter view table, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; SOLD


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.|, |semis|
Most references list this type as a quadrans but examples without patina appear to be orichalcum (brass) vice copper. Yellow brass indicates the type is a semis. This coin has a near black patina, which is more common on brass than on bronze or copper, and the few spots of bare metal do look to be brass.
RB77189. Orichalcum semis, RIC II 625 (S), BMCRE III 1279, Cohen II 1167 (5 fr.), SRCV II 3704, Strack II 579, Hunter II 380 var. (standing left, head right), gVF, nice dark patina, weight 2.989 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, Rome mint, 120 - 123 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, eagle standing half right, head turned left, wings open but not spread; reverse P M TR P COS III, horizontal winged thunderbolt, S C (senatus consulto) below; scarce; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Besombes, P. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, IV Trajan (98-117 aprs J.-C.). Catalogue Bibliothque nationale de France. (Paris, 2008).
Carradice, I. & T. Buttrey. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. II, Part 1: From AD 69 to 96. (London, 2007).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 2: Nerva to Antoninus Pius. (Paris, 1883).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 3: Marcus Aurelius to Clodius Albinus. (Paris, 1883).
Giard, J. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, I Auguste. Catalogue Bibliothque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
Giard, J. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, II De Tebre Nron. Catalogue Bibliothque nationale de France. (Paris, 1988).
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
King, C. "Quadrantes from the river Tiber" in NC 1975, pp. 56-90.
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins from the Lindgren Collection. (Quarryville, 1993).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 1: Augustus to Vitellius. (London, 1923).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 2: Vespasian to Domitian. (London, 1930).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 3: Nerva to Hadrian. (London, 1936).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 4: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1940).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. II: Vespasian to Hadrian. (London, 1926).
Mlasowsky, A. Die antiken Tesseren im Kestner Museum Hannover. (Hannover, 1991).
Mac Dowall, D. The Western Coinages of Nero. ANSNNM 161. (New York, 1979).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. I. Augustus to Nerva. (Oxford, 1962).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. II. Trajan to Commodus. (London, 1971).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. II: The Accession of Nerva to the Overthrow of the Severan Dynasty AD 96 - AD 235. (London, 2002).
Simic, V. & M. Vasic. "La monnaie des mines romaines de I'llyrie" in RN 1977.
Strack, P. Untersuchungen zur rmischen Reichsprgung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, Teil II: Die Reichsprägung zur Zeit des Hadrian. (Stuttgart, 1933).
Sutherland, C. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
von Kaenel, H. Mnzprgung und Mnzbildnis des Claudius. AMUGS XI. (Berlin, 1986).
Weigel, R. "The anonymous quadrantes reconsidered" in Annotazioni Numismatiche, supplemento XI. (Milan, 1998).
Woytek, B. Die Reichsprgung des kaisers Traianus (98-117). MIR 14. (Vienna, 2010).

Anonymous Follis references: RIC II pp. 216 - 219; Cohen VIII pp. 267 - 271; SRCV I p. 519 - 520.

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