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Sextus Pompey


rr_1074_revised_Large.jpg

Sextus Pompeius Pius Magnus: Imperator, Prefect of the Fleet, and Youngest Son of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great). Brigand and pirate or the last bastion of the Republican struggle and (to turn a sentence of Sear’s on its head) “... the [ ]worthy sole inheritor of a once great cause)...”? (Sear, CRI, p. 200). Although I am interested in the issues surrounding the career of Sextus and its revision, you will not find those discussed here. What you will find are three (to me) wonderful examples of Crawford 511s, namely a 2 and a 3 and a 4, with some very nice pedigrees. Perhaps someday I’ll add a Crawford 511/1 to this gallery? In the interest of your health and welfare please do not hold your breath. I will not be holding mine.

6 files, last one added on Jun 15, 2019

Larissa


Larissa_Trihemiobol.jpg

The city of Larissa was named after the local water nymph, said to be the daughter of Pelasgos. He was said to be the ancestor of the pre-Greek Pelasgians. According to myth Larissa drowned while playing ball on the banks of the Peneios river. In the sixth century BC Larissa became the preeminent city of Thessaly. Minting (silver coinage) began in the first half of the 5th century BC and apparently continued down to the early 2nd century BC, both in terms of fractional silver based upon a reduced Aiginetic standard and bronze. (HGC 4 p. 130 and 131). Currently this album consists mostly of facing head drachms, with a bull wrestling drachm and rider/seated Larissa trihemiobol thrown in for good measure. I like to include auction catalogs when I am able.

8 files, last one added on Nov 27, 2019

Vabalathus and Aurelian


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The joint billon antoninianus coinage of Vabalathus and Aurelian at Antioch, c. November 270 AD to c. March 272 AD. Or should that be the joint coinage of Aurelian and Vabalathus? Which side is the obverse and which side is the reverse is one of the things, besides the general history of the Palmyrene empire and its relations with Rome, that interests me in this coinage. All eight officina are represented here. Apparently the claim in some of the literature of a ninth officina is mistaken. Currently the inverted Z mint mark is not represented in this gallery. In the future I hope to acquire an example of such.

8 files, last one added on Mar 07, 2019

Severina


Severina_Concordiae_Militvm_Large.jpg

Ulpia Severina, wife of the emperor Aurelian, Augusta 274 AD. That there was an interregnum between the murder of Aurelian and the Senatorial appointment of Tacitus as emperor is undisputed. What is disputed, however, is the length of the interregnum as well as its meaningfulness. For whatever period of interregnum that did exist, did Severina actually rule the empire? The single coin in this gallery representing the type Concordia Militum has at various times been taken as an example of the coinage minted during the interregnal period between Aurelian and Tacitus. But was it? Perhaps in the future other of Severina’s coin types will join the single coin in this gallery.

1 files, last one added on Apr 20, 2019

Aurelian and the Palmyrene Empire


Aurelian_Cyzicus.jpeg

The theme of this gallery is a simple one, in theory. It is intended to be filled with the coinage of Aurelian that, in the opinion of Sylviane Estiot in her monumental work Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1/XII.2: D’Aurelian à Florien, directly references the Palmyrene Empire in terms of the threats that it posed to Rome, the movement of Aurelian’s troops towards Palmyra, the victories over it that Aurelian accomplished, etc. In praxis, however, I find the theme not so easy to collect. Learning to read French is more time consuming then the time that I currently have, and at first blush it appears to me that many of the coins that fit the theme are quite rare and so I assume that I won’t be obtaining them. Spending more time learning French, scouring Estiot’s work, making a list of the theme fitting coins that I can obtain, finding those coins on the market...all of this will ensure that this gallery grows. For now, please enjoy the single coin that you will find inside.

1 files, last one added on Dec 14, 2019

Random Aurelians


Aurelian_Concordia_Siscia_270.jpg

This gallery is as the title implies: a random collection of the coinage of Aurelian.

7 files, last one added on Dec 24, 2019

Sasanian Empire


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For now a random collection of Sasanian coinage, primarily the coinage of Khusro II.

2 files, last one added on Jan 16, 2020

Random Coins


Lesbos_Diobol.jpg

The gallery contains coins that have caught my eye and which I was lucky enough to obtain.

2 files, last one added on Jan 28, 2020

8 albums on 1 page(s)

Last additions - Tracy Aiello's Gallery
Lesbos_Diobol.jpg
The Island of Lesbos27 viewsCity of Mytilene - Apollo and Aphrodite

Obv: laureate head of Apollo facing r.
Rev: head of Aphrodite facing r., circular earing, hair rolled, coiled snake r. (control symbol) in the lower r., MY (off flan).
Denomination: silver diobol; Mint: Mytilene; Date: 400 - 350 BC; Weight: 1.292g; Diameter: 12.4mm; Die axis: 0º; References, for example: BMC Troas, p. 185, 8 - 14 var., coiled snake control symbol not listed; SNG Cop vol. 21, 368 var., amphora control symbol; SNGvA vol. 5, 1744 var. stars for control symbol; SNGvA vol. 16, 7749 and 7750 var., amphora and cicada for control symbol; SNG Ashmolean 1544 var., cicada for control symbol.
Also see Classical Numismatic Group Electronic Auction 460 January 29, 2020, Lot 238 for an example with coiled snake control symbol and intact legend.

Provenance: Ex Forum Ancient Coin January 22, 2020, from the Maxwell Hunt Collection.

Photo Credits: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

BMC Troas: Wroth, Warwick. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum. Greek Coins of Troas, Aeolis, and Lesbos. London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1894.
SNG Ashmolean: Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Vol. V, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, Part IX Bosporus - Aeolis. The British Museum Press, 2007.
SNG COP: Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum: Aeolis - Lesbos, Vol. 21. Copenhagen: Einar Munksgaard, 1945.
SNGvA: Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Deutschland, Sammlung v. Aulock. 5 Heft. Troas - Aeolis - Lesbos: Nr. 1439 - 1767. Berlin: Verlag Gebr. Mann, 1959.
SNGvA: Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Deutschland, Sammlung v. Aulock. Nachträge II. 16 Heft. Mysien - Troas - Aeolis - Lesbos: Nr. 7191 - 7758. Berlin, Verlag Gebr. Mann, 1967.
3 commentsTracy AielloJan 28, 2020
Athenian_Tetradrachm.jpg
Athens7 viewsAthenian Old Style Tetradrachm

Obv: head of Athena facing r., crested Attic helmet with three olive leaves and floral scroll, hair across forehead in parallel curves, almond shaped eye, round earing, wire necklace.
Rev: owl standing r. with erect posture, tail feathers as a single prong, head facing forward, a crescent and then an olive sprig to the l., A☉E at 90º and downward to the r., all within incuse square.
Denomination: silver tetradrachm; Mint: Athens; Date: 454 - 404 BC;1 Weight: 17.2g; Diameter: 24mm; Die axis: 270º; References, for example: BMC vol. 11, 62; SNG Cop vol. 14, 31; SGCV I 2526; Kroll 8; SNG München issue 14, 49; HGC 4 1597.

Notes:
1This is the date range given in HGC 4. SGCV I gives 449 - 413 BC.

NGC rates this coin as About Uncirculated with a 5/5 strike and a 4/5 surface. I intend to someday free it from its encapsulation.

This coin is part of an enormous issue apparently begun in order to pay for work necessary to rebuild the city’s temples. Subsequent decades saw huge quantities of tetradrachms minted in order to finance the building of the Parthenon and other such massive projects, and later decades saw such minting in order to pay for the Peloponnesian War. (SGCV I, p. 236).

Provenance: Ex Forum Ancient Coins January 12, 2018; Ex Heritage Auction 231723 June 8, 2017, lot 62016.

Photo Credits: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

BMC 11: Head, Barclay V. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum. Atica - Megaris - Aegina. London: Longmans & Co., 1888.
HGC 4: HGC: Hoover, Oliver D. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: Achaia Phthiotis, Ainis, Magnesia, Malis, Oita, Perrhaibia, Thessaly, Akarnania, Aitolia, Lokris, Phokis, Boiotia, Euboia, Attica, Megaris, and Corinthia, Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. Lancaster/London: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc, 2014.
Kroll: Kroll, John H. and Walker, Alan S. “The Athenian Agora. Results of Excavations Conducted by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, vol. XXVI: The Greek Coins”. New Jersey: The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1993.
SGCV I: Sear, David. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. I, Europe: Coins of Spain, Gaul, Italy, Sicily, the Balkan lands, Greece, the Cyclades and Crete; also the Cletic issues of Western and Central Europe. London: Seaby, 1978.
SNG COP: Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum: Attica - Aegina, Vol. 14. Copenhagen: Einar Munksgaard, 1944.
SNG München: Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Deutschland, Staatliche Münzsammlung München. 14 Heft. Attika, Megaris, Ägina: Nr. 1 - 601. München: Hirmer Verlag, 2002.
1 commentsTracy AielloJan 25, 2020
Khusro_II_5_WYHC.jpg
Sasanian Empire7 viewsKhusro II -- Year 5 -- Ctesiphon

Obv: Pahlavi script legend: to the l. on two lines reading down leftward and outward is GDH/’pzwt (xwarrah abzūd) and to the r. on one line reading down is hwslwd (Husraw) = Khusro has increased the royal glory; frontal bust facing r. of bearded Khusro II with a hair globe drawn to the back of the neck, crown with three merlons and attached to the top of the crown cap are wings (lines within the base, wings open) with an attached crescent and star, double pearl diadem with three ribbons behind, earring made up of three dots, neckline edged with a row of pearls, both shoulders decorated with a crescent and star, double row of pearls from shoulders to breast, two dots on the breast, star in upper l. field, star and crescent in upper r. field, two dotted rims with a star on a crescent at 3h, 6h, and 9h.
Rev: Pahlavi script legend: to the l. reading down is year ḥwmŝ‵ of Khusro II’s reign and to the r. reading down is the mint mark WYHC = year 5 of Khusro II’s reign, Ctesiphon; fire altar with a base consisting of two slabs and a shaft with two ribbons pointing upwards to the r. and l. of the shaft with four altar slabs on top and flames consisting of four tiers rendered as four then three then two then one upward stroke, star to the l. and crescent to the r. of the top two tiers, to the l. and r. of the altar are two frontal facing attendants each holding a sword pointing downwards with the r. hand over the l. hand and wearing a rounded cap, three dotted rims with a star on a crescent at 3h, 6h, 9h, and 12h.

Denomination: silver drachm; Mint: Ctesiphon;1 Date: year 5, 594 - 595 AD; Weight: 4.10g; Diameter: 31.34mm; Die axis: 90º; References, for example: Göbl II/2.

Notes:

1See Schindel (2005) pp. 296 - 299 for an argument identifying the Pahlavi mint signature WYHC with Ctesipon.

See Daryaee (1997) for an interesting study of the religious and political iconography on the coinage of Khusro II*. He argues that Khusro II implemented iconographic changes in regnal year 2 (591 - 592 AD) as a direct result of suppressing the rebellion (with the assistance of the Byzantine Emperor Maurice) of the brilliant general Wahrām Chōbēn (Wahrām VI) in 591 AD. Further iconographic changes were carried out in regnal year 11 (600 - 601 AD) in response to the final defeat in 600 AD of the 10 year rule/rebellion of Wistahm**, his uncle (as the brother-in-law of his father Ohrmazd IV) and former staunch supporter.

*The study cannot be intended to be complete. For example, there is no discussion of the legend ’pd that appeared, beginning in the 12th regnal year but not present for all subsequent years or at all mints, in the second quadrant outside of the rims on the obverse. Gariboldi 2010 (p.64) translates the legend as “good”, “excellent”, “wonderful” while Göbl 1983 (p. 331) translates it as “praise”.

**There is some debate about when Wistahm was finally eliminated. Daryaee, following Paruck 1924, relies on (purported?) numismatic evidence that the last coin minted in his name was for year 10. Therefore Daryaee states that 600 AD was the year of elimination (Daryaee 1997, p. 53 n. 38. Also see Daryaee 2009, p. 33 n. 166 for a slightly more tepid assertion). Frye 1984 implies a 10 year rule for Wistahm, stating that “it was not until 601 that the rule of Chosroes [Khusro] was restored over all of the empire…” (p. 336). Göbl SN, however, states that 10 years of reign are said to be represented, although personally he had only seen coins of years 2 through 7 (p. 53). Thus Wistahm’s years in SN’s Table XI are listed as “591/2 - 597?” Malek 1993 also lists Wistahm’s years as 591/2 - 97 (p. 237).

Provenance: Ex Marc R. Breitsprecher, Classical Numismatist October 2, 2018.

Photo Credit: Marc R. Breitsprecher, Classical Numismatist

Sources

Daryaee, Touraj. “The Use of Religio-Political Propaganda on Coins of Xusrō II.” The Journal of the American Numismatics (1989-), vol. 9 (1997): 41-53.
Daryaee, Touraj. Sasanian Persia: The Rise And Fall Of An Empire. London: I. B. Tauris, 2009.
Frye, Richard. The History of Ancient Iran. Munich: C.H. Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1984.
Gariboldi, Andrea. Sasanian Coinage and History: The Civic Numismatic Collection of Milan. Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers, 2010.
Göbl, Robert. Sasanian Numismatics. Braunschweig: Klinkhardt and Biermann, 1971.
Göbl 1983: Yarshater, Ehsan, ed. The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 3 (1), The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanian Periods. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983: 322 - 336.
Malek, Hodge. “A Survey of Research on Sasanian Numismatics.” The Numismatic Chronicle (1966-), vol. 153 (1993): 227 - 269.
Paruck, F.D.J. Sasanian Coins. Bombay: 1924.
Schindel, Nickolaus. “Sasanian Mint Abbreviations: The Evidence of Style.” The Numismatic Chronicle (1966-), vol. 165 (2005): 287 - 299.
1 commentsTracy AielloJan 16, 2020
Khusro_II_WYHC.jpg
Sasanian Empire17 viewsKhusro II -- Year 35 -- Ctesiphon

Obv: Pahlavi script legend: to the l. on two lines reading down leftward and outward (with the first word extending through the inner rim) is GDH/’pzwt (xwarrah abzūd) and to the r. on one line reading down is hwslwd (Husraw) = Khusro has increased the royal glory; frontal bust facing r. of bearded Khusro II with a hair globe drawn to the back of the neck, crown with three merlons and attached to the top of the crown cap are wings (lines within the base, wings open) with an attached crescent and star, double pearl diadem with three ribbons behind, earring made up of three dots, neckline edged with a row of pearls, both shoulders decorated with a crescent and star, double row of pearls from shoulders to breast, two dots on the breast, star in upper l. field and star and crescent in upper r. field both extending through the inner rim, two dotted rims with a star on a crescent at 3h, 6h, and 9h.
Rev: Pahlavi script legend: to the l. reading down is year pncsyh of Khusro II’s reign and to the r. reading down is the mint mark WYHC = year 35 of Khusro II’s reign, Ctesiphon; fire altar with a base consisting of two slabs and a shaft with two ribbons pointing upwards to the r. and l. of the shaft with four altar slabs on top and flames consisting of four tiers rendered as four then three then two then one upward stroke, star to the l. and crescent to the r. of the top two tiers, to the l. and r. of the altar are two frontal facing attendants each holding a sword pointing downwards with the r. hand over the l. hand and wearing a crescent cap, three dotted rims with a star on a crescent at 3h, 6h, 9h, and 12h.
Denomination: silver drachm; Mint: Ctesiphon;1 Date: year 35, 624 - 625 AD; Weight: 4.11g; Diameter: 32.6mm; Die axis: 90º; References, for example: Göbl II/3.

Notes:

1See Schindel (2005) pp. 296 - 299 for an argument identifying the Pahlavi mint signature WYHC with Ctesipon.

See Daryaee (1997) for an interesting study of the religious and political iconography on the coinage of Khusro II*. He argues that Khusro II implemented iconographic changes in regnal year 2 (591 - 592 AD) as a direct result of suppressing the rebellion (with the assistance of the Byzantine Emperor Maurice) of the brilliant general Wahrām Chōbēn (Wahrām VI) in 591 AD. Further iconographic changes were carried out in regnal year 11 (600 - 601 AD) in response to the final defeat in 600 AD of the 10 year rule/rebellion of Wistahm**, his uncle (as the brother-in-law of his father Ohrmazd IV) and former staunch supporter.

*The study cannot be intended to be complete. For example, there is no discussion of the legend ’pd that appeared, beginning in the 12th regnal year but not present for all subsequent years or at all mints, in the second quadrant outside of the rims on the obverse. Gariboldi 2010 (p.64) translates the legend as “good”, “excellent”, “wonderful” while Göbl 1983 (p. 331) translates it as “praise”.

**There is some debate about when Wistahm was finally eliminated. Daryaee, following Paruck 1924, relies on (purported?) numismatic evidence that the last coin minted in his name was for year 10. Therefore Daryaee states that 600 AD was the year of elimination (Daryaee 1997, p. 53 n. 38. Also see Daryaee 2009, p. 33 n. 166 for a slightly more tepid assertion). Frye 1984 implies a 10 year rule for Wistahm, stating that “it was not until 601 that the rule of Chosroes [Khusro] was restored over all of the empire…” (p. 336). Göbl SN, however, states that 10 years of reign are said to be represented, although personally he had only seen coins of years 2 through 7 (p. 53). Thus Wistahm’s years in SN’s Table XI are listed as “591/2 - 597?” Malek 1993 also lists Wistahm’s years as 591/2 - 97 (p. 237).

Provenance: Ex Forum Ancient Coins June 8, 2018, from the Jyrki Muona Collection; Ex CNG e-auction 59 (26 Feb 2003), lot 77; Ex CNG e-auction 57 (4 Apr 2001), lot 47.

Photo Credit: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

Daryaee, Touraj. “The Use of Religio-Political Propaganda on Coins of Xusrō II.” The Journal of the American Numismatics (1989-), vol. 9 (1997): 41-53.
Daryaee, Touraj. Sasanian Persia: The Rise And Fall Of An Empire. London: I. B. Tauris, 2009.
Frye, Richard. The History of Ancient Iran. Munich: C.H. Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1984.
Gariboldi, Andrea. Sasanian Coinage and History: The Civic Numismatic Collection of Milan. Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers, 2010.
Göbl, Robert. Sasanian Numismatics. Braunschweig: Klinkhardt and Biermann, 1971.
Göbl 1983: Yarshater, Ehsan, ed. The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 3 (1), The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanian Periods. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983: 322 - 336.
Malek, Hodge. “A Survey of Research on Sasanian Numismatics.” The Numismatic Chronicle (1966-), vol. 153 (1993): 227 - 269.
Paruck, F.D.J. Sasanian Coins. Bombay: 1924.
Schindel, Nickolaus. “Sasanian Mint Abbreviations: The Evidence of Style.” The Numismatic Chronicle (1966-), vol. 165 (2005): 287 - 299.
2 commentsTracy AielloJan 13, 2020
Aurelian_Concordia_Siscia_270.jpg
Lucius Domitius Aurelianus - Aurelian, Emperor 270 - 275 AD5 viewsAurelian -- Concordia Mili -- Siscia

Obv: IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG; bust of Aurelian radiate, draped, cuirassed, facing r.
Rev: CONC/ORDIA MILI; two Concordiae standing facing each other slightly inward, Concordia on the l. holds a standard in the r. hand while the Concordia on r. holds a standard in the l. hand; between them another standard is held by both, S in exergue.
Denomination: billon antoninianus; Mint: Siscia; Officina: 2; Issue: 1; Date: October - November 270 AD; Weight: 2.96g; Diameter: 20.9mm; Die axis: 180º; References, for example: RIC V v.1 199; Hunter IV, no. 1 p. cxii ; SRCV III 11521;1 BnF XII.1 681 (same legend break, different officina mark); MER-RIC 1952.

Notes:

1This reference matches the obverse legend, the reverse legend, and the reverse type. One must go back to 11479 for the bust type.

Provenance: Ex Forum Ancient Coins December 20, 2019.

Photo Credit: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

BnF: Estiot, Sylviane. Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1: D’Aurelian à Florien. Bibliothèque nationale de France: Poinsignon Numismatique, 2004.
MER - RIC: Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276. http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/home
Robertson, Anne. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, Vol. IV Valerian I to Allectus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.
Sear, David. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. III: Maximinus I to Carinus. London: Spink, 2005.
Webb, Percy. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. V, Part 1: Valerian to Florian, edited by Harold Mattingly and Edward Sydenham. London: Spink & Son, 1927.
Tracy AielloDec 24, 2019
Aur_and_Jupiter_Serdica_Off_S.jpg
Lucius Domitius Aurelianus - Aurelian, Emperor 270 - 275 AD3 viewsAurelian -- Emperor and Jupiter -- Serdica Officina 2

Obv: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG; bust of Aurelian radiate, cuirassed, facing r.
Rev: IOVI CON/SER; Emperor in military dress standing r., holding scepter1 in l. hand, receiving in r. hand a globe from Juipter who is standing l. naked except for a cloak hanging from his l. arm, handing a globe to Aurelian with his r. hand while holding a long scepter in his l. hand, S in exergue.
Denomination: billon antoninianus; Mint: Serdica; Officina: 2; Issue: 4; Date: early 273 - early 274 AD; Weight: 3.76g; Diameter: 26.75mm; Die axis: 180º; References, for example: RIC V v.1 260; BnF XII.1 1005;2 MER-RIC 2612 (Aurelian’s scepter is long) or 2617 (Aurelian’s scepter is short).

Notes:

1Since this part of the coin is worn off I cannot determine if Aurelian holds a short or a long scepter.
2If this coin represented Aurelian holding a short scepter, then the reference would be an exact match.

Provenance: Ex Marc R. Breitsprecher, Classical Numismatist July 13, 2018.

Photo Credit: Marc R. Breitsprecher, Classical Numismatist

Sources

BnF: Estiot, Sylviane. Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1: D’Aurelian à Florien. Bibliothèque nationale de France: Poinsignon Numismatique, 2004.
MER - RIC: Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276. http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/home
Webb, Percy. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. V, Part 1: Valerian to Florian, edited by Harold Mattingly and Edward Sydenham. London: Spink & Son, 1927.
Tracy AielloDec 24, 2019
Aur_and_Jupiter_Serdica_Off_P.jpg
Lucius Domitius Aurelianus - Aurelian, Emperor 270 - 275 AD3 viewsAurelian -- Emperor and Jupiter -- Serdica Officina 1

Obv: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG; bust of Aurelian radiate, cuirassed, facing r.
Rev: IOVI CON/SER; Emperor in military dress standing r., holding long scepter in l. hand, receiving in r. hand a globe from Juipter who is standing l. naked except for a cloak hanging from his l. arm, handing a globe to Aurelian with his r. hand while holding a long scepter in his l. hand, P in exergue.
Denomination: billon antoninianus; Mint: Serdica; Officina: 1; Issue: 4; Date: early 273 - early 274 AD; Weight: 3.5g; Diameter: 20.69mm; Die axis: 180º; References, for example: RIC V v.1 260; BnF XII.1 1002;1 MER-RIC 2596.

Notes:

1With the exception of this reference mentioning Aurelian holding a short scepter, the reference is a match.

Provenance: Ex Marc R. Breitsprecher, Classical Numismatist July 13, 2018.

Photo Credit: Marc R. Breitsprecher, Classical Numismatist

Sources

BnF: Estiot, Sylviane. Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1: D’Aurelian à Florien. Bibliothèque nationale de France: Poinsignon Numismatique, 2004.
MER - RIC: Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276. http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/home
Webb, Percy. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. V, Part 1: Valerian to Florian, edited by Harold Mattingly and Edward Sydenham. London: Spink & Son, 1927.
Tracy AielloDec 23, 2019
Aur_and_Jupiter_Siscia_.jpg
Lucius Domitius Aurelianus - Aurelian, Emperor 270 - 275 AD3 viewsAurelian -- Emperor and Jupiter -- Siscia

Obv: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG; bust of Aurelian radiate, cuirassed, facing r.
Rev: IOVI CON/SER; Emperor in military dress standing r., holding short scepter in l. hand, receiving in r. hand a globe from Juipter who is standing l. naked except for a cloak hanging from his l. arm, handing a globe to Aurelian with his r. hand while holding a long scepter in his l. hand, ✶Q in exergue.
Denomination: billon antoninianus; Mint: Siscia; Officina: 4; Issue: 5 or 6;1 Date: end 271 - autumn 272 AD or autumn 272 - early 274 AD;2 Weight: 3.37g; Diameter: 23.13mm; Die axis: 180º; References, for example: RIC V v.1 225; Hunter IV 78 and 78 (except for officina mark); BnF XII.1 789 - 793 or 805 - 806; MER-RIC 2157 or 2220.

Notes:

1,2I am unable to discern the differences between issues 5 and 6, so I am unable to place this coin in its proper issue and date.

Provenance: Ex Marc R. Breitsprecher, Classical Numismatist July 13, 2018.

Photo Credit: Marc Breitsprecher - Classical Numismatist

Sources

BnF: Estiot, Sylviane. Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1: D’Aurelian à Florien. Bibliothèque nationale de France: Poinsignon Numismatique, 2004.
MER - RIC: Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276. http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/home
Robertson, Anne. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, Vol. IV Valerian I to Allectus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.
Webb, Percy. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. V, Part 1: Valerian to Florian, edited by Harold Mattingly and Edward Sydenham. London: Spink & Son, 1927.
Tracy AielloDec 22, 2019
Aurelian_Sol_Rome.jpg
Lucius Domitius Aurelianus - Aurelian, Emperor 270 - 275 AD4 viewsAurelian -- Oriens Augustus -- Sol -- Rome

Obv: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG; bust of Aurelian radiate, cuirassed, facing r.
Rev: ORI/ENS AVG; Sol standing half l., radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, r. hand raised, l. hand holding a globe, bound captive in oriental dress seated l. in front of Sol, bound captive in oriental dress seated r. behind Sol and with head turned l., VI in r. field, XXI* in exergue.1
Denomination: reformed antoninianus, i.e. the aurelianus; Mint: Rome; Officina: 6; Issue: 8; Phase: 2; Date: spring - summer 274 AD; Weight: 4.558g; Diameter: 24.5mm; Die axis: 0º; References, for example: RIC V v.1 63; BnF XII.1 144; MER-RIC 1755.

Notes:

1The presence of XXI on this coin indicates that it is post-reform. Volumes of ink have been spilled by numismatists discussing the meaning of XXI on Aurelian’s post-reform coinage. What do the marks mean? I will paraphrase short sections from Roger Bland’s summation and translation of Estiot (2004 v.1), pp. 39 - 48: Envisioning a restoration of a trimetallic monetary system composed of gold, silver and bronze, the radiate silver aurelianus was intended to be the central element of this restoration. A thin silver wash was applied in order to improve its appearance and its weight was raised to a theoretical 4.03g, or 1/80 of a Roman pound. XXI was a guarantee of the coin’s 5% silver content and can be taken to mean “20 for 1” or “20 to make 1”. This “1” refers to the intended reintroduction [never carried out] of a pure [100%] silver coin, the argenteus, such that 20 aureliani would equal 1 agrenteus. The aurelianus was valued at 2 denarii. (“Monetary System,” Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276, accessed December 17, 2019, http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/info/sysmon).

Provenance: Ex Forum Ancient Coins October 6, 2017.

Photo Credit: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

BnF: Estiot, Sylviane. Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1: D’Aurelian à Florien. Bibliothèque nationale de France: Poinsignon Numismatique, 2004.
MER - RIC: Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276. http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/home
Webb, Percy. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. V, Part 1: Valerian to Florian, edited by Harold Mattingly and Edward Sydenham. London: Spink & Son, 1927.
Tracy AielloDec 19, 2019
Aurelian_Mars_Serdica.jpg
Lucius Domitius Aurelianus - Aurelian, Emperor 270 - 275 AD8 viewsAurelian -- Oriens Augustus -- Mars and Sol -- Serdica

Obv: IMP C L DOM AVRELIANVS P F AVG; bust of Aurelian, radiate, cuirassed, facing r.
Rev: ORI/ENS AVG; Mars in military dress on the l. and standing r., long scepter in l. hand, r. hand receiving globe from Sol; Sol on the r. and standing l., whip in l. hand, r. hand passing globe to Mars, Sol’s r. foot resting on a bound captive in oriental dress seated l., head turned r. looking at Sol, XXI•P in exergue.1
Denomination: reformed antoninianus, i.e. the aurelianus; Mint: Serdica; Officina: 1; Issue: 7; Phase: 2; Date: April - November 274 AD; Weight: 3.352g; Diameter: 22.8mm; Die axis: 180º; References, for example: MER-RIC 2671.1 (this very coin).2

Notes:

1The presence of XXI on this coin indicates that it is post-reform. Volumes of ink have been spilled by numismatists discussing the meaning of XXI on Aurelian’s post-reform coinage. What do the marks mean? I will paraphrase short sections from Roger Bland’s summation and translation of Estiot (2004 v.1), pp. 39 - 48: Envisioning a restoration of a trimetallic monetary system composed of gold, silver and bronze, the radiate silver aurelianus was intended to be the central element of this restoration. A thin silver wash was applied in order to improve its appearance and its weight was raised to a theoretical 4.03g, or 1/80 of a Roman pound. XXI was a guarantee of the coin’s 5% silver content and can be taken to mean “20 for 1” or “20 to make 1”. This “1” refers to the intended reintroduction [never carried out] of a pure [100%] silver coin, the argenteus, such that 20 aureliani would equal 1 agrenteus. The aurelianus was valued at 2 denarii. (“Monetary System,” Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276, accessed December 17, 2019, http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/info/sysmon).
2This coin is the only specimen known to the MER-RIC program.

Provenance: Ex Forum Ancient Coins July 9, 2018.

Photo Credit: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

Estiot, Sylviane. Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1: D’Aurelian à Florien. Bibliothèque nationale de France: Poinsignon Numismatique, 2004.
MER - RIC: Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276. http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/home
1 commentsTracy AielloDec 18, 2019
Aurelian_Billon_Denarius_Rome.jpg
Lucius Domitius Aurelianus - Aurelian, Emperor 270 - 275 AD13 viewsAurelian -- Victoria Augusta -- Rome

Obv: IMP AVRELI/ANVS AVG; bust of Aurelian, laureate, curaissed, facing r.
Rev: VICT/ORI/A AVG, Victory walking l., wreath extended in r. hand, palm frond in l. hand, bound captive in Parthian garb seated l. at Victory's feet, head turned back r. looking at Victory, B in exergue.
Denomination: billon denarius1; Mint: Rome; Officina: 2nd; Issue: 11; Date: early - September 275 AD; Weight: 2.756g; Diameter: 19.3mm; Die axis: 0º; References, for example: RIC V v.1 73; Hunter IV, no. 3 pp. cviii-cix; SRCV III 116412; BnF XII.1 260; MER-RIC 1854.

Notes:

1Estiot (2004, v.1) interprets a denarius minted in Rome at this point in time (275 AD) as a coin playing a part in Aurelian’s coinage reform, best known by coins (aureliani) bearing the mark XXI (XX at the Ticinum mint, sometimes XX•I at the Siscia mint) and the Greek equivalent KA. For a discussion of this see Roger Bland’s summation and translation of Estiot (2004 v.1), pp. 39 - 48, at “Monetary System,” Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276, http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/info/sysmon.
2I found Sear’s reference a bit confusing. I believe that it is not enough to look at the previous reference, per Sear’s write-up. Both 11640 and 11639 must be consulted in order to piece this coin together: 11640 for the obverse (which actually references 11637) and 11639 for the reverse.

Provenance: Ex Forum Ancient Coins August 23, 2017.

Photo Credit: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

BnF: Estiot, Sylviane. Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1: D’Aurelian à Florien. Bibliothèque nationale de France: Poinsignon Numismatique, 2004.
MER - RIC: Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276. http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/home
Robertson, Anne. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, Vol. IV Valerian I to Allectus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.
Sear, David. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. III: Maximinus I to Carinus. London: Spink, 2005.
Webb, Percy. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. V, Part 1: Valerian to Florian, edited by Harold Mattingly and Edward Sydenham. London: Spink & Son, 1927.
4 commentsTracy AielloDec 15, 2019
Aurelian_Cyzicus.jpeg
Lucius Domitius Aurelianus - Aurelian, Emperor 270 - 275 AD7 viewsAurelian and the Palmyrene Empire

Obv: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG; bust of Aurelian, radiate, curaissed, facing r.
Rev: RESTITVT•OR/IENTIS; emperor in military dress standing l., holding a long sceptre in l. hand, with the r. hand raising a kneeling female figure who is facing r., a modius on her head, ✶C✶ in exergue.
Denomination: antoniniani; Mint: Cyzicus; Officina: 2nd; Issue: 5; Date: early - summer 272 AD; Weight: 4.25g; Diameter: 24.01mm; Die axis: 150º; References, for example: RIC V v.1 351; Hunter IV 101; SRCV III 11596; BnF 1160; MER - RIC 2952.

Regarding this type/issue at Cyzicus Sylviane Estiot states “The type Restitut●Orientis, the emperor raising the hand of a kneeling woman crowned with a modius (not turreted), resumed a type contemporary with Sisica, 5th issue.” (Estiot 2004 v.1, p. 109. Translation is my own). Regarding the referenced type, 5th issue, at Sisica Estiot states “...the new type Restitutor Orientis depicts the emperor in a military costume standing left, under his hand the personification of a female of the Orient kneeling, not turreted, but with a modius: it is, again, an iconographic detail that alludes to the Roman supply of cereals, compromised by the expansionism of Palmyra in the Orient.” (Estiot 2004 v.1, p. 86. Translation is my own). Although the legends on the two coins at Cyzicus and Sisica are slightly different, the reverse types are the same. Thus, the coin here from Cyzicus is a reference to the threat of the Palmyrene Empire.

Photo Credit: Marc R. Breitsprecher, Classical Numismatist

Sources

BnF: Estiot, Sylviane. Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1: D’Aurelian à Florien. Bibliothèque nationale de France: Poinsignon Numismatique, 2004.
MER - RIC: Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276. http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/home
Robertson, Anne. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, Vol. IV Valerian I to Allectus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.
Sear, David. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. III: Maximinus I to Carinus. London: Spink, 2005.
Webb, Percy. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. V, Part 1: Valerian to Florian, edited by Harold Mattingly and Edward Sydenham. London: Spink & Son, 1927.
1 commentsTracy AielloDec 14, 2019

Random files - Tracy Aiello's Gallery
Severina_Concordiae_Militvm_Large.jpg
Ulpia Severina - A Coin of an Interregnum?14 viewsUlpia Severina, Augusta (274 AD), wife of Aurelian
Obv: SEVERINA AVG; Bust of Severina, diademed, draped, on a lunar crescent, facing right.
Rev: CONCORDIAE MILITVM; Concordia standing left, facing left, flanked by two standards, one in each hand, VI in left field, XXI in exergue.
Denomination: billion antoninianus; Mint: Antioch; Officina: 6th; Issue: 6; Date: early 275 to September 275 AD; Weight: 3.77g; Diameter: 23.3mm; Die axis: 180º; References, for example: RIC V v.1 20; MER - RIC 3198.

Notes:

Is this a coin of an interregnum?
That there was an interregnum, in the literal meaning of the word, between the murder of Aurelian and the Senatorial appointment of Tacitus as emperor is undisputed. What is disputed, however, is the length of the interregnum as well as its meaningfulness, i.e. for whatever period of interregnum that did exist, did Severina or the Senate actually rule the empire and thereby make decisions that engendered consequences and/or directed actions? This coin type (although not the only coin type) has played a part in the interregnum story. In Aurelian and the Third Century (London and New York: Routledge, 1999) Alaric Watson dedicates seven and a half pages (pp. 109 - 116) to discussing the interregnum, where he vociferously argues that there was no meaningful interregnum. As part of this discussion he references, on p. 115, this particular coin type and in footnote 66 he cites a number of sources that assign this type in the name of Severina to the period after Aurelian’s death. For example:
Percy Webb in RIC, vol. V, part 1 (1927), pp. 4, 35, and 253 does not take a stance on the possible length of the interregnum, but on p. 253 he states that if the interregnum lasted eight months, then the mints certainly could not have been closed and so “...it is necessary to find coins representing their output.”1 This coin type, dedicated to Concordia and in the name of Severina alone, might represent that output. In “The Imperial Recovery” (chapter nine of The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. XII, The Imperial Crisis and Recovery AD 193 - 324. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1939) Harold Mattingly acknowledges that although the length of the interregnum is in debate “... the coinage shows clearly that for some considerable period government was carried on in the name of the Empress Severina for the the dead Aurelian.” (p. 310). In all officina for several mints the coinage of Severina, such as the “Concordia Militum” type “...bear witness to the conditions of the interregnum.” (p. 310). In “The Reform of Aurelian” (Revue Numismatique, 6th series, vol. 7, 1965: 225 - 235) R. A. G. Carson mentions on pp. 233 and 234 that Severina’s Concordia Militum type is for Severina alone, and that as such it was minted after the death of Aurelian (p. 233). Carson is not concerned with the question of an interregnum, but his placement of this coin type for Severina alone after Aurelian’s death allows this coin type to be taken as evidence of an interregnum. Eugen Cizek in L’Empereur Aurélien Et Son Temps (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1994) also refers to this coin type (not by specific legend, but by reference to “concord with the soldiers”) when discussing the interregnum. He notes that other scholars assign this coinage to the interregnum, a position that he appears to adopt. In Repostiglio della Venèra Nuovo Catalogo Illustrato Aureliano II/I (Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider, 1995) Sylviane Estiot also assigns this coin type to the period after Aurelian’s death.2

But what of the coin here, this coin actually attributed to the 6th officina, mint of Antioch, 6th issue? Estiot attributes this coin not to an interregnal period between Aurelian and Tacitus, when Severina might have ruled in her own right. Rather, on p. 90 of “Aureliana” (Revue Numismatique, 6th series, vo. 150, 1995: 50 - 94) Estiot attributes this coin, because of exact parallelisms to Aurelian’s coinage at Antioch at this time, to a period of joint coinage between Aurelian and Severina.3

Footnotes:

1He actually allows for the possibility of coinage even if the interregnum was short. See footnote 1, p. 253.
2I assume this to be the case. Although I have no reason to doubt Watson’s citation I was unable to verify it because I am unable to obtain a copy of this book by Estiot.
3Also see Estiot, Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1: D’Aurelian à Florien (270 - 276 apres J.-C.). Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2004, pp. 28 (table 1) and 122.

Provenance: Ex Forum Ancient Coins March 11, 2019.

Photo credits: Forum Ancient Coins
Tracy Aiello
Aurelian_Billon_Denarius_Rome.jpg
Lucius Domitius Aurelianus - Aurelian, Emperor 270 - 275 AD13 viewsAurelian -- Victoria Augusta -- Rome

Obv: IMP AVRELI/ANVS AVG; bust of Aurelian, laureate, curaissed, facing r.
Rev: VICT/ORI/A AVG, Victory walking l., wreath extended in r. hand, palm frond in l. hand, bound captive in Parthian garb seated l. at Victory's feet, head turned back r. looking at Victory, B in exergue.
Denomination: billon denarius1; Mint: Rome; Officina: 2nd; Issue: 11; Date: early - September 275 AD; Weight: 2.756g; Diameter: 19.3mm; Die axis: 0º; References, for example: RIC V v.1 73; Hunter IV, no. 3 pp. cviii-cix; SRCV III 116412; BnF XII.1 260; MER-RIC 1854.

Notes:

1Estiot (2004, v.1) interprets a denarius minted in Rome at this point in time (275 AD) as a coin playing a part in Aurelian’s coinage reform, best known by coins (aureliani) bearing the mark XXI (XX at the Ticinum mint, sometimes XX•I at the Siscia mint) and the Greek equivalent KA. For a discussion of this see Roger Bland’s summation and translation of Estiot (2004 v.1), pp. 39 - 48, at “Monetary System,” Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276, http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/info/sysmon.
2I found Sear’s reference a bit confusing. I believe that it is not enough to look at the previous reference, per Sear’s write-up. Both 11640 and 11639 must be consulted in order to piece this coin together: 11640 for the obverse (which actually references 11637) and 11639 for the reverse.

Provenance: Ex Forum Ancient Coins August 23, 2017.

Photo Credit: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

BnF: Estiot, Sylviane. Monnaies de L’Empire romain XII.1: D’Aurelian à Florien. Bibliothèque nationale de France: Poinsignon Numismatique, 2004.
MER - RIC: Maison de l’Orient et la Méditerranée: Monnaies de l’Empire Romain/Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276. http://www.ric.mom.fr/en/home
Robertson, Anne. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, Vol. IV Valerian I to Allectus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.
Sear, David. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. III: Maximinus I to Carinus. London: Spink, 2005.
Webb, Percy. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. V, Part 1: Valerian to Florian, edited by Harold Mattingly and Edward Sydenham. London: Spink & Son, 1927.
4 commentsTracy Aiello
Sextus_Pompey_Scylla.jpg
Sextus Pompey -- Pharos and Scylla77 viewsSextus Pompey, Imperator and Prefect of the Fleet
[Youngest Son of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great)]
Obv: MAG⦁PIVS⦁IMP⦁ITER; Pharos of Messana, Neptune on top standing r. with r. hand on a trident and l. hand on a rudder, resting l. foot on prow. Galley sailing l., aquila atop a tripod placed in prow and a scepter tied with a fillet in stern. Border of dots.
Rev: PRAEF⦁ORAE⦁MARIT⦁ET⦁CLAS⦁S⦁C [AEs and MAR ligatured]; Scylla attacking l. wielding a rudder in both hands, the torso of a nude woman with two fishtails and the foreparts of three dogs as the lower body. Border of dots.
Denomination: silver denarius; Mint: Sicily, uncertain location1; Date: summer 42 - summer 39 BC2; Weight: 3.566g; Diameter: 19.8mm; Die axis: 225º; References, for example: BMCRR v. II Sicily 20 variant3, Sydenham 1349 variant3; Crawford RRC 511/4d; Sear CRI 335b.

Notes:

Obverse legend: MAG[NUS]⦁PIVS⦁IMP[ERATOR]⦁ITER[UM]
Reverse legend: PRAEF[ECTUS]⦁ORAE⦁MARIT[IMAE]⦁ET⦁CLAS[SIS]⦁S[ENATUS]⦁C[ONSULTO]

1Grueber BMCRR v. II Sicily, p.557 and Sear CRI, p. 203 suggest Messana as a possible mint location. DeRose Evans (1987), p. 124 hesitatingly suggests Mitylene (on the island of Lesbos).

2This is the date range suggested by Estiot 2006, p. 145, as she recommends going back to Crawford’s proposal of 42 - 40 BC. Crawford RRC, p. 521 suggests the period in 42 BC after Sextus Pompey defeated Q. Salvidienus Rufus. Grueber BMCRR v. II Sicily, p.556 proposes 38 - 36 BC. Sydenham, p.211 follows Grueber. DeRose Evans (1987), p. 129 submits 35 BC.

3Grueber BMCRR v. II Sicily 20 and Sydenham 1349 list MAR (ligatured) I but the coin here is clearly MAR (ligatured) IT. Neither Grueber nor Sydenham record MAR (ligatured) IT as part of this reverse legend for this coin type. Crawford and Sear do.

Provenance: Ex Forum Ancient Coins 15 January 2019; Nomos Obolos 10, 30 June 2018 lot 349.

Photo credits: Forum Ancient Coins

Sources

Crawford, Michael H. Roman Republican Coinage v. I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001 reprint with the 1982 corrections.
DeRose Evans, Jane. "The Sicilian Coinage of Sextus Pompeius (Crawford 511)" in Museum Notes (American Numismatic Society), vol. 32 (1987): 97 - 157.
Estiot, Sylviane. “Sex. Pompée, La Sicile et La Monnaie: Problèmes de Datation.” In Aere Perennivs, en hommage á Hubert Zehnacker, édité par Jacqueline Champeaux et Martine Chassignet. Paris: L’Université Paris - Sorbonne, 2006.
Grueber, H. A. Coins of the Roman Republic in the British Museum v. II. London: 1910.
Sear, David R. The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49 - 27 BC. London: Spink, 1998.
Sydenham, Edward A. The Coinage of the Roman Republic. New York: Arno Press, 1975, rev. ed.
7 commentsTracy Aiello