Classical Numismatics Discussion Members' Gallery
  Welcome Guest. Please login or register.

Members' Gallery Home | Member Collections | Last Added | Last Comments | Most Viewed | Top Rated | My Favorities | Search Galleries
Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > Carausius

Early Coinage to 218 BCE


15609101635682810728644357871581.jpg

Over a few hundred years, as the Roman Republic evolved from small town to small empire, its monetary system evolved from weighed bronze lumps (Aes Rude) to a bi-metallic, struck coinage. This album captures that period of intense development. By the early third century BCE, Rome began producing currency bars (Aes Signatum) which circulated as bullion, and heavy cast bronze coins (Aes Grave) which were subsequently issued in various series from circa 280 to 215 BCE. While the mint of Rome produced Aes Grave and Currency Bars, Italo-Greek cities to the south struck the first silver Didrachms and related bronze coins bearing the legend “ROMANO.” The Didrachm coinage was issued infrequently until circa 240 BCE, when the ROMANO inscriptions were replaced with ROMA and Didrachm production increased. Perhaps with the influx of silver from the Carthaginian’s indemnity following the First Punic War, Rome introduced the large issue of Quadrigati circa 225 BCE, though Quadrigatus production would eventually decentralize when the Second Punic War ensued.

22 files, last one added on Jul 11, 2019

Second Punic War (218-200 BCE)


15609101840072427343326582000083.jpg

The immense financial pressure of defending Hannibal’s invasion of Italy, and subsequent successes, are reflected in periods of debasement, reform and renewal in the Republican coinage of the Second Punic War period. This album depicts the upheaval and rebirth. We see gradual reduction in the weight standard of the bronze coinage and debasement of the Quadrigatus silver coinage. The semilibral reduction in the bronze coinage occurs from 217-215 BCE and is soon followed by further weight reductions. Bronze overstrikes are common during this period as coinage of defeated regions are restruck by Rome (Roman overstruck on foreign) and as Rome reduced the weight standard of its bronze currency (Roman overstruck on Roman). Eventually, the monetary system is completely reformed with the introduction of the Denarius coinage of good silver, the Victoriatus coinage (of not such good silver!) and the so-called sextantal struck bronzes. This denarius system would continue with occasional changes for the next 450 years.

25 files, last one added on Jul 11, 2019

Second Century (199-100 BCE)


43767.jpg

During the second century BCE, we see Roman moneyers becoming progressively more independent, both in terms of type selection and messaging on the coinage. The office of moneyer was an important early rung on the Cursus Honorum - the imposed political path toward consulship and personal prestige.   Testing traditional constraints, moneyers gradually chose types and inscriptions to increase their name recognition and brand for future elected offices.  Early in the century we see standard types (Roma/Dioscuri or Bigati) paired with symbols, initials and abbreviated monograms.  By the close of the century, full names and creative devices (some focusing on a moneyer's illustrious ancestors) are common. This use of the coinage as a propaganda device would continue to expand in the next century.

21 files, last one added on Jul 15, 2019

Late Republic (99-49 BCE)


TitiaAsCombined.jpg

By the first century BCE, the Republican coinage had fully-matured into a personal propaganda medium for politicians on the rise.  Many of these politicians sided with Marius or Sulla during their supremacy struggle, and the selection of coin types sometimes reflect those alliances.  The abilities of the mint were tested during the Social War crisis of 90 BCE, which required massive expenditure in coined money to put down.  By the close of this period, a new supremacy struggle echoing Marius and Sulla would emerge - that between Pompey and Caesar - which would plunge the Roman world into years of civil war and eventually end the Republic.

32 files, last one added on Jul 07, 2019

Imperatorial (49-27 BCE)


LepidusCombined.jpg

This era of the Roman Republic is referred to as the "Imperatorial" period, because it is marked by the political and military struggle for supremacy among the premier generals ("imperator" in Latin).  It begins with Caesar crossing the Rubicon with his legion,  challenging and ultimately defeating Pompey.  In preparing for his next great military challenge against the Parthians, Caesar would produce coins bearing his own portrait and honors - the first Roman to do so - completing the evolution of personal propaganda on Republican coinage.  Caesar would be assassinated before his Parthian campaign could launch.  The next 20 years of Roman coinage depict and reflect the various protagonists and antagonists and their repective allies in the supremacy struggles among Caesarians, Republicans, Octavian and Antony.  Following the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium, Octavian (later known as Augustus) would at last emerge as undisputed master of Rome and the Mediterranean world . This marks the end of the Republican coinage, and the commencement of Imperial coinage.

35 files, last one added on Jul 15, 2019

 

5 albums on 1 page(s)

Last additions - Carausius's Gallery
43767.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Julius, AR Denarius - Crawford 323/11 viewsRome, The Republic.
L. Julius, 101 BCE.
AR Denarius (4.0g; 20mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma, facing right; corn ear behind

Reverse: Victory in biga galloping right; L.IVLI below.

References: Crawford 323/1; Sydenham 585; BMCRR 1676; Julia 3.

Provenance: Ex Collection of a World War II Veteran; acquired July 1963 from Richard M. Muniz.

The moneyer was likely not a Caesar, though a member of the same Julia gens. Comparatively, just a few years earlier, in 103 BCE, an L. Julius Caesar struck coins with a prominent “CAESAR” inscription. The corn ear on the obverse may refer to a corn distribution, the purchase of which might have been the purpose of the coins.
CarausiusJul 15, 2019
LepidusCombined.jpg
ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, AR Denarius - Crawford 495/2d8 viewsRome. The Imperators.
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Octavian, 42 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.70g; 20mm).
Military Mint in Italy.

Obverse: LEPIDVS· PONT· MAX· III· V· R· P· C; bare head of Lepidus facing right.

Reverse: C· CAESAR· IMP· III· VIR· R ·P· C; bare head of Octavian facing right.

References: Crawford 495/2d; HCRI 140a; Sydenham 1323var (rev legend); Aemilia 35var (rev legend); BMCRR (Africa) 29-31var (rev legend); Banti & Simonetti 7 (this coin illustrated).

Provenance: Ex Leu Numismatik Auction 8 (30 Jun 2019) Lot 949; Leu 7 (9 May 1973) Lot 317; Joseph Martini Collection [R.Ratto (24 Feb 1930) Lot 1334]; R. Ratto FPL (1927) Lot 629; Dr. Bonazzi Collection [R.Ratto (23 Jan 1924) Lot 1352].

This reverse die differs from most of this denarius issue in that the inscription begins with the initial “C” for Octavian's first name (Caius), while the remainder of the issue begins, simply, "CAESAR." The coins appear to celebrate the formation of the Second Triumvirate, although it is unclear why Lepidus did not also strike coins with Antony’s portrait.
1 commentsCarausiusJul 15, 2019
15609101840072427343326582000083.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous Post Semi-Libral AE Uncia - Crawford 41/106 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous (Post Semi-libral Series), 215-212 BCE.
AE Uncia (7.87g; 24mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma facing right; pellet (mark-of-value) behind.

Reverse: Prow facing right; ROMA above; pellet (mark-of-value) below.

References: Crawford 41/10; McCabe Group A1; RBW 135.

Provenance: Ex Nomisma E-Live Auction 10 (18 Jun 2019) Lot 12.

This series is the second of the “prow” struck bronze series. It is most easily recognized by the left side of the prow device which has a clearly delineated edge, while on later series the left side of the prow appears to extend off the side of the coin. The series was issued during the Second Punic War and reflects the continued reduction in weight standard of the Roman bronze coinage during the conflict; this issue having occurred on the heels of the “semi-libral reduction” of 217-215 BCE. It would soon be followed by further weight reductions.
2 commentsCarausiusJul 11, 2019
15609102152135298521374562440152.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Q. Marius, AE As - Crawford 148/13 viewsRome, The Republic.
Q. Marius, 189-180 BCE.
AE As (31.17g; 32mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Head of Janus; I (mark of value) above.

Reverse: Prow facing right; Q.MARI above; I (mark of value) to right; ROMA below.

References: Crawford 148/1; Sydenham 367 (R7); BMCRR 822; Maria 1.

Provenance: Ex Nomisma E-Live Auction 10 (18 Jun 2019) Lot 22; Bombarda Collection; NAC 9 (16 Apr 1996) Lot 587.

This is a particularly fine example of this scarce type. Not much is known of the moneyer beyond his coins. He is likely NOT an ancestor of Gaius Marius who would later serve seven consulships and challenge Sulla.
1 commentsCarausiusJul 11, 2019
15609101635682810728644357871581.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AE Litra - Crawford 27/21 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous, 230-226 BCE.
AE Litra (3.58g; 18mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Mars head facing right, beardless with Corinthian helmet; club behind.

Reverse: Horse rearing to right; club above; ROMA below.

References: Crawford 27/2; Sydenham 23a; BMCRR (Rom-Camp) 53.

Provenance: Ex Nomisma E-Live Auction 10 (18 Jun 2019) Lot 7; Numismatica Gino Marchesi.

This is one of the last series of struck bronzes issued by the Roman Republic before the introduction of standard "prow" types on the aes grave circa 225 BCE. Unlike many prior struck bronze issues, this coin is related to a contemporaneous issue of silver didrachms which bears the same devices and club symbol.
CarausiusJul 11, 2019
TitiaAsCombined.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Q. Titius, AE As - Crawford 341/4d3 viewsRome, The Republic.
Q. Titius, 90 BCE.
AE As (14.45g; 27mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Head of Janus.

Reverse: Prow facing right; Q.TITI above; * (control) to right.

References: Crawford 341/4d; Sydenham 694b (R4); Banti 8 (R7); Titia 4.

Provenance: Ex Naville 50 (23 Jun 2019) Lot 386.

This coin has a few problems, but it is exceptional in several other respects that help overcome those problems. First, it is extremely fine, showing practically no actual wear with only a few areas of flatness due to strike and flan production flaws. Republican struck bronzes in EF are extremely rare. Second, it has an exceptional patina. Third, it bears a star control mark before the prow, making it one of the rarer varieties of Titius asses – Rarity 4 in Sydenham and Rarity 7 in Banti.
CarausiusJul 07, 2019
AntCaesSchottCombined.jpg
ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Marc Antony, AR Denarius - Crawford 488/29 viewsRome, The Imperators.
Marcus Antonius. 43 BCE.
AR Denarius (4.19g; 19mm).
Military mint in Cisalpine Gaul.

Obverse: M.A[NTON IMP RPC]; Antony's bare, bearded head facing right; lituus behind.

Reverse: CAESAR DIC; Laureate head of Julius Caesar facing right; jug behind.

References: Crawford 488/2; HCRI 123; Sydenham 1166; BMCRR (Gaul) 55; Antonia 5-6.

Provenance: Ex Roma E-Live Auction 1 (25-6 Jul 2018) Lot 531; Bernard Poindessault Collection [Oger-Blanchet (17 Nov 2017) Lot 148]; Edouard Schott Collection [E. Bourgey (21 Mar 1972) Lot 337].

This is one of Antony’s earliest issues following the creation of the Second Triumvirate with Octavian and Lepidus. The titulature "RPC" (tip of "C" just barely visible beneath Antony’s portrait on this specimen) reflects the new status. Antony is depicted with a slight beard of mourning, as is Octavian on his coins until the defeat of the Tyrannicides at Philippi the following year. Both Antony and Caesar have symbols of the augurate behind their portraits, as both were members of the college of augurs, and this served to highlight their common bond. The somewhat comical portrait style is reflective of the military mint, with limited die engraver talent.
1 commentsCarausiusJul 07, 2019
AntonyLegV.jpg
ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Antony Legion V Denarius10 viewsRome. The Imperators.
Marcus Antonius, 44-31 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.79g; 19mm).
Military Mint traveling with Antony, 32-1 BCE.

Obverse: ANT AVG III VIR R P C; galley facing right.

Reverse: LEG V; Aquilia between two standards.

References: Crawford 544/18; HCRI 354; Sydenham 1221; BMCRR (East) 196; Banti 75 (this coin); Antonia 110.

Provenance: Ex Kress 109 (24-25 Oct 1958), Lot 749.

Produced by Antony in the lead-up to his final defeat at Actium by Octavian’s navy (commanded by Agrippa), the legionary series was a huge issue that recognized 23 legions under Antony’s command. These coins would continue to circulate throughout the Empire for several centuries after Antony’s loss, partly because their notoriously debased silver discouraged hoarding. Thirty-seven examples of the LEG V variety appeared in the 1905 Delos hoard of 604 Antony Legionary denarii, making it one of the most common varieties of the series. However, an example with a verifiable old provenance, such as this coin, is quite rare.
2 commentsCarausiusJul 07, 2019
4948493l.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AE Litra - Crawford 16/1a24 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous. 275-270 BCE.
AE Litra (9.89g; 22mm).
Southern Italian Mint.

Obverse: Nymph’s head, facing right, wearing diadem.

Reverse: Lion walking right, head facing; ROMANO in exergue.

References: Crawford 16/1a; Syd 5; BMCRR (Romano-Campanian) 23-27; RBW 10; HN1 276.

Provenance: NAC 114 (7 May 2019) Lot 1241; Hoskier Collection [Hess (15 Feb 1934) Lot 543].

This is one of the larger issues of early Roman struck bronzes. Hoard evidence suggests a mint south of Rome. Fabric and style also support a South Italian mint, as the flan, which appears to have been cast with hemispheric molds that leave characteristic edge sprues, is typical of Neapolitan coins of similar age. The lion on the reverse is sometimes shown with a spear in its mouth and sometimes not. There is no spear evident on this coin. There does not seem to be any direct connection between this issue and contemporaneous silver issues. Connections to contemporaneous silver would be evidenced on later struck bronze coins by common devices and symbols (i.e. club and sickle series).
1 commentsCarausiusJun 14, 2019
1879890l.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, L Series, AE As - Crawford 97/22a21 viewsRome, The Republic.
L Series. 211-208 BCE.
AE As (27.67g; 37mm).
Luceria Mint.

Obverse: Janus head; --- (mark of values) above; L below.

Reverse: Prow to right; ROMA below; I (mark of value) above.

References: Crawford 97/22a; RBW 417-419.

Provenance: Ex Ambrose Collection [Roma X (9 Sept 2015), Lot 659]; Bombarda Collection [Tkalec AG (8 Sept 2008), Lot 236].

Possibly over-struck, though the under-type is not attributable.

1 commentsCarausiusJun 14, 2019
1681141l.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AE Half-Litra - Crawford 26/421 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous. 234-231 BCE.
AE Half Litra (1.58g; 12mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Head of Roma in Phrygian helmet, facing right.

Reverse: Dog prancing toward right; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 26/4; BMCRR (Romano-Campanian) 44-48.

Provenance: Ex NAC 84 (20 May 2015), Lot 765; purchased privately from Or Gestion Numismatique (Paris) in 2009.
1 commentsCarausiusJun 14, 2019
ArriusSecundus.jpg
ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, M. Arrius Secundus, AR Denarius - Crawford 513/233 viewsRome, The Imperators.
M. Arrius Secundus. 41 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.82g; 20mm).
Rome mint.

Obverse: M. ARRIVS - SECVNDVS; bare head, with slight beard, facing right.

Reverse: Victory honors - wreath, spear and phalera.

References: Crawford 513/2; HCRI 319; Sydenham 1084; BMCRR 4210; Arria 2.

Provenance: Nomisma 59 (14 May 2019) Lot 134; Munzen und Medaillen XIX (5-6 Jun 1959) Lot 172; Munzhandlung Basel 10 (15 Mar 1938) Lot 486.

M. Arrius Secundus was likely son of Quintus Arrius, who had a victory in the Servile War against one of Spartacus’ lieutenants, but subsequently lost a battle to Spartacus himself. He was the only member of his gens to strike coins, and not much else is known about him.

The slightly-bearded, obverse portrait, while probably depicting the moneyer’s father, Quintus Arrius, also bears a striking resemblance to contemporaneous portraits of Octavian. However, without any inscription naming Caesar, a positive identification of the portrait remains debated by scholars. David Sear suggests that the portrait is deliberately ambiguous, as the political and military climate was very risky and the moneyer likely wanted plausible deniability that the portrait was Octavian. The reverse shows awards of victory granted to the moneyer’s father for his Servile War victory: a laurel wreath, golden spear and phalera (a military decoration attached to a harness and worn over a cuirass).
2 commentsCarausiusJun 14, 2019
CassiusTripod.jpg
ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Cassius, AR Denarius - Crawford 500/125 viewsRome, The Imperators.
C. Cassius Longinus. 44-42 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.38g; 20mm).
Military Mint in Smyrna.

Obverse: C. CASSI – IMP; tripod with cauldron and laurel fillets.

Reverse: LENTVLVS SPINT; jug and lituus.

References: Crawford 500/1; HCRI 219; Sydenham 1308; BMCRR (East) 79; Cassia 14.

Provenance: Nomisma 59 (14 May 2019) Lot 121; P&P Santamaria (4 May 1961) Lot 168.

This coin was struck for Cassius, one of the chief assassins of Julius Caesar, when Brutus and Cassius met in Smyrna, circa early 42 BCE. The tripod obverse type was borrowed from a slightly earlier Aureus produced for Cassius by his legate, M. Aquinus. The tripod may reference Cassius’ membership in one of the sacred colleges. Cassius was elected to the augurate in 57 BCE, to which the implements on the reverse of this coin certainly allude. The coin was produced on Cassius’ behalf by P. Cornelius Lentulus Spinther, who also produced coins for Brutus at the same time. For more information on Spinther, see my example of his Brutus denarius at: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-145289

Until the discovery of a large, mint-state, hoard in the early 2000’s, this was one of the rarest types in the Roman Republican series. While recent hoard examples of the type are scarce, old provenanced examples, like this, remain extremely rare.
2 commentsCarausiusJun 14, 2019
1509851748950942426521.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AE Double Litra - Crawford 17/1a15 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous. Before 269 BCE.
AE Double Litra (5.7g; 18mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Goddess in crested Corinthian helmet, facing left.

Reverse: Bridled horse head on base, facing right; ROMANO behind.

References: Crawford 17/1a; Sydenham 3; BMCRR (Rom-Camp) 6-7.

Provenance: Ex Dan Clark Collection (active 1980s-1990s).

This is one of the larger issues of early Roman struck bronzes. There does not seem to be any direct connection between this issue and contemporaneous silver issues. Connections to contemporaneous silver would be evidenced on later struck bronze coins by common devices and symbols (i.e. club and sickle series).
CarausiusJun 14, 2019
Litra25combined.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AE Litra - Crawford 25/312 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous. 241-235 BCE.
AE Litra (2.67g; 15mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Beardless head of Mars in crested Corinthian helmet, facing right.

Reverse: Bridled horse head facing right; sickle behind; ROMA below.

References: Crawford 25/3; Sydenham 26; BMCRR (Romano-Campanian) 64-67.

Provenance: Ex Volteia Collection.

This series is the first Roman coinage to bear the inscription ROMA, a change from the earlier ROMANO inscriptions. The early ROMANO inscriptions may have been either an abbreviation of the genitive plural ROMANORVM (“of the Romans”) or dative ROMANO (“by the Romans”) either of which would be similar grammar to Greek coin inscriptions. The move to the nominative case ROMA, may have been a simple shift to Roman/Latin usage consistent with the coinage taking on a more “Roman” character, as minting activity had moved from southern Italy to Rome many years before. The sickle symbol on the reverse, as well as common devices across denominations, links this issue to contemporaneous Roman silver didrachms also bearing the sickle. This marks the first time in the emerging Roman coinage that a clear-intentioned, bi-metallic series emission can be established.
CarausiusJun 14, 2019
MusaClioCombined.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Q. Pomponius Musa, AR Denarius - Crawford 410/322 viewsRome, The Republic.
Q. Pomponius Musa, mid-50s BCE
AR Denarius (3.58g; 19mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Laureate head of Apollo(?), hair tied-up, facing right; tied scroll behind.

Reverse: Q. POMPONI – MVSA; Clio, muse of history, facing left and leaning on column, while reading open scroll.

References: Crawford 410/3; Sydenham 813; BMCRR 3610-11; Pomponia 11.

Provenance: Ex Heritage Auction 3072 (15 Jan 2019), Lot 35407; E.J. Haeberlin Collection [Cahn-Hess (17 Jul 1933) Lot 2490].

As the muse of history, Clio is typically depicted in ancient art with an open scroll or tablet.

Q. Pomponius Musa, who punned his name by depicting the Muses on a series of coins, is unknown except for his coins, which makes precise dating of the series difficult. For many years, scholars (including Crawford) dated the series to 66 BCE. However, the absence of any examples of the series in the large Mesagne hoard caused Hersh and Walker to bring down the date of the series to 56 BCE. Michael Harlan, retracting his reticence with the Mesagne dating, later proposed a date of 52 BCE.

There are two varieties of Musa denarii: the first depicts Apollo/Hercules Musarum (see my gallery example); the second, of which there are nine sub-varieties, depict Apollo and a Muse. The above coin is of the second variety.

Apollo is often depicted androgynously on ancient coins. The standard references consistently attribute the obverse heads on both varieties of Musa’s coins as Apollo; but the depictions are notably different between the Hercules and Muse varieties. On the Hercules variety, the deity’s hair is down and tied, and generally consistent with many depictions of Apollo on other Roman Republican coins (see, e.g., denarii of L. Calpurnius Piso and C. Calpurnius Piso). Comparatively, the head on the above Muse variety is considerably more feminine in appearance and laureate, though lacking earrings, necklaces or other feminine accents. Admittedly, this more feminine type head has also been attributed by scholars as Apollo on other coin types (see, e.g., denarii of P. Clodius and C. Considius). However, within the same series the different styled heads appear to depict different deities. Given the Muse emblems behind each head on the nine Muse types, it’s possible that the feminine heads do not represent Apollo, but the Muses themselves. Michael Harlan agrees with this interpretation in both editions of "Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins." More research on this issue is needed.
3 commentsCarausiusMar 31, 2019

Random files - Carausius's Gallery
ArriusSecundus.jpg
ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, M. Arrius Secundus, AR Denarius - Crawford 513/233 viewsRome, The Imperators.
M. Arrius Secundus. 41 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.82g; 20mm).
Rome mint.

Obverse: M. ARRIVS - SECVNDVS; bare head, with slight beard, facing right.

Reverse: Victory honors - wreath, spear and phalera.

References: Crawford 513/2; HCRI 319; Sydenham 1084; BMCRR 4210; Arria 2.

Provenance: Nomisma 59 (14 May 2019) Lot 134; Munzen und Medaillen XIX (5-6 Jun 1959) Lot 172; Munzhandlung Basel 10 (15 Mar 1938) Lot 486.

M. Arrius Secundus was likely son of Quintus Arrius, who had a victory in the Servile War against one of Spartacus’ lieutenants, but subsequently lost a battle to Spartacus himself. He was the only member of his gens to strike coins, and not much else is known about him.

The slightly-bearded, obverse portrait, while probably depicting the moneyer’s father, Quintus Arrius, also bears a striking resemblance to contemporaneous portraits of Octavian. However, without any inscription naming Caesar, a positive identification of the portrait remains debated by scholars. David Sear suggests that the portrait is deliberately ambiguous, as the political and military climate was very risky and the moneyer likely wanted plausible deniability that the portrait was Octavian. The reverse shows awards of victory granted to the moneyer’s father for his Servile War victory: a laurel wreath, golden spear and phalera (a military decoration attached to a harness and worn over a cuirass).
2 commentsCarausius
AntonyLegV.jpg
ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Antony Legion V Denarius10 viewsRome. The Imperators.
Marcus Antonius, 44-31 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.79g; 19mm).
Military Mint traveling with Antony, 32-1 BCE.

Obverse: ANT AVG III VIR R P C; galley facing right.

Reverse: LEG V; Aquilia between two standards.

References: Crawford 544/18; HCRI 354; Sydenham 1221; BMCRR (East) 196; Banti 75 (this coin); Antonia 110.

Provenance: Ex Kress 109 (24-25 Oct 1958), Lot 749.

Produced by Antony in the lead-up to his final defeat at Actium by Octavian’s navy (commanded by Agrippa), the legionary series was a huge issue that recognized 23 legions under Antony’s command. These coins would continue to circulate throughout the Empire for several centuries after Antony’s loss, partly because their notoriously debased silver discouraged hoarding. Thirty-seven examples of the LEG V variety appeared in the 1905 Delos hoard of 604 Antony Legionary denarii, making it one of the most common varieties of the series. However, an example with a verifiable old provenance, such as this coin, is quite rare.
2 commentsCarausius
33103.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Overstruck "Anonymous" Corn Ear AE Quadrans - Crawford 42/2var19 viewsRome, The Republic.
Corn Ear Series (No Corn Ear), 214-212 BCE.
AE Quadrans (16.76g; 29mm).

Obv: Head of Hercules right in boarskin; three pellets (mark of value = 3 unciae) behind.

Rev: Bull leaping over snake; three pellets (mark of value) above; ROMA below.

Reference: Crawford 42/2var (no corn ear): See Russo, Essays Hersh (1998) p. 141.

Provenance: ex Agora Auction 70 (21 Nov 2017) Lot 194; ex RBW Collection duplicate (not in prior sales); ex P. Vecchi Auction 6 (14 Sep 1981) Lot 245.

In "Roman Republican Coinage", Michael Crawford recognized many silver “symbol” Republican series for which there were parallel “anonymous” types omitting the symbols. This coin is an anonymous version (missing symbol) of the Corn Ear Quadrans of the Crawford 42 series, produced in Sicily. It is identical in style to the Sicilian Corn Ear coins and only misses the symbol. Roberto Russo wrote about these anonymous coins in his article “Unpublished Roman Republican Bronze Coins” (Essays Hersh, 1998), where he notes that the parallel issue of anonymous silver coins to series with symbols applies equally to the bronze coins. Andrew McCabe takes this approach much further in his article “The Anonymous Struck Bronze Coinage of the Roman Republic” (Essays Russo, 2013) in which he links many of the anonymous Republican bronzes to symbol series based on precise style considerations. The takeaway from all this is that for many of the Roman Republican symbol series of the late Second Punic War and early 2nd Century BCE, there are parallel anonymous series identifiable by style. The rationale for these parallel issues is unclear, though possibly related to (a) governmental approvals for the issue or (b) mint control of the precious metal source from which the issue was struck or (c) workshop identification.

This particular example is overstruck, showing particular evidence of the under-type on the reverse. Based on that evidence and weight of the coin, I’ve concluded the under-type a Hieron II AE Obol imitative of Ptolemy II. The edge of the reverse shows the hairline of Zeus as depicted on this Hieron II issue.
1 commentsCarausius
1681149l.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, VB Series Victoriatus - Crawford 95/1b15 viewsRome. The Republic.
VB Series, 211-208 BCE
AR Victoriatus (3.35g; 18mm).
Uncertain mint.

Obverse: Laureate “small” head of Jupiter facing right.

Reverse: Victory crowns trophy; VB ligate in field; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 95/1b; RBW 390; Sydenham 113; BMCRR (Italy) 235; RSC 36m.

Provenance: Ex NAC 84 (20 May 2015), Lot 773; privately purchased from Or Gestion Numismatique (Paris) in 2009.

About 212 BCE, when the Romans introduced the denarius system, they also introduced a collateral denomination of silver coin, the victoriatus. As evidenced by its different weight standard, debased metal, iconography and missing denominational mark, the victoriatus was not integral to the denarius system but was produced for a special purpose. While the denarius and its fractions, the quinarius and sestertius, all depicted Roma and the Dioscuri, victoriati depicted Jupiter and Victory crowning a trophy. Further, while denarii were produced from nearly pure silver, victoriati were made from debased silver of about 70% purity. Based on the weight standard of Magna Graecia drachms, victoriati were likely designed specifically for payments to Greek cities of southern Italy and hoard evidence supports circulation largely in southern Italy.

The VB Victoriati were issued in two, distinct obverse styles: one with a large head of Jupiter in high relief and nearly filling the obverse field; the second with a smaller head. This coin is the small-head variety.

Rome ceased issuing victoriati circa 170 BCE. Perhaps because of their debased metal (which discouraged hoarding), victoriati continued to circulate in Gaul for many years until they functioned as de facto quinarii due to metal loss from wear. Their continued popularity caused Rome to later issue quinarii bearing the same devices (Jupiter/Victory and trophy).
Carausius