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 > Second Punic War (218-200 BCE)

TITLE  +   - 
FILE NAME  +   - 
DATE  +   - 
POSITION  +   - 
L_Victoriatus_Combined.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC - L Series Victoriatus - Crawford 97/1b47 viewsRome. The Republic.
L Series, 211-208 BCE
AR Victoriatus (3.13g; 18mm).
Luceria mint

Obverse: Laureate head of Jupiter facing right; bead-and-reel border.

Reverse: Victory crowns trophy; L between; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 97/1b; RBW 395; Sydenham 121; BMCRR (Italy) 157-8.

Provenance: Ex Andrew McCabe Collection; ex RBW Collection (not in prior sales); private purchase from H.J. Berk 15 May 1994.

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.

Like the LT Series victoriati that were also struck in Luceria, Crawford notes that the L Series Victoriati went through three obverse phases: the first, with bead-and-reel border and Jupiter with scraggly hair; the second, with bead-and-reel border and Jupiter with neat ringlets; and the last, with dot border. This coin clearly belongs to the second phase.

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).
3 commentsCarausius
Lsemisuncia.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC - Luceria - AE Semuncia - Crawford 97/825 viewsRome, The Republic.
L Series, circa 211-208 BCE.
AE Semuncia (3.52g; 18mm).

Obverse: Mercury head facing right, wearing winged petasus.

Reverse: Prow r; above ε; be ROMA; before L; above, ε (mark-of-value).

References: Crawford 97/8; Sydenham 178g (R5); Kestner-Hannover 1090; BMCRR (Italy) ----.

Provenance: Ex Bertolami Fine Arts 24 (22 Jun 2016), Lot 371.

There are only four examples of this rare semuncia of Luceria in the Paris collection. There were no examples in the British Museum collection at the 1910 publication of BMCRR.
1 commentsCarausius
32887_4.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, "Anonymous" Staff and Club Series, AE Semis - Crawford 106var23 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous Staff and Club Series, 208 BCE.
AE Semis (16.22g; 28mm).
Etrurian Mint.

Obverse: Laureate head of Saturn, facing right; S (mark-of-value) behind

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

References: Crawford106/5 var (no symbol above prow); McCabe Group E1.

Provenance: Ex Naville 48 (7 Apr 2019) Lot 326; Otto Collection [Hess (Dec 1931), Lot 822]; Niklovitz Collection [L. Hamburger 76 (19 Oct 1925), Lot 240].

In "Roman Republican Coinage", Michael Crawford recognized many silver “symbol” Republican series for which there were parallel “anonymous” types omitting the symbols. In his article “Unpublished Roman Republican Bronze Coins” (Essays Hersh, 1998), Roberto Russo noted that the parallel issue of anonymous silver coins to series with symbols applies equally to the bronze coins. (Essays Hersh, 1998, p. 141). 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 metal source from which the issue was struck or (c) workshop identification.

This coin is an anonymous version (missing symbol) of the Staff and Club Semis of the Crawford 106 series, produced in Etruria. It is identical in style to the Etrurian Staff and Club coins and only misses the symbols. Not surprisingly, these coins are commonly misattributed as Crawford 56 anonymous bronzes.
1 commentsCarausius
38sextans.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous (Semilibral) Series, AE Sextans - Crawford 38/536 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous (Semilibral) Series, 217-215 BCE.
AE Sextans (24.25g; 31mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Mercury facing right wearing petasus; ●● (mark-of-value=2 unciae), behind.

Reverse: Prow right; ROMA above; ●● (mark-of-value=2 unciae), below.

References: Crawford. 38/5; Sydenham 85; BMCRR 59.

Provenance: Ex Burgan Numismatique Auction (17 Nov 2017), Lot 102; ex Etienne Page Auction, Hotel Drouot (1972).

The economic hardship imposed by Hannibal’s invasion led to a rapid decline in the weight of Roman bronze coins, resulting in the adoption of a semi-libral bronze standard (AE As of ½ Roman pound) and eventual elimination of cast coins. From 217-215, Rome produced two, contemporaneous series of struck bronzes on this new, semi-libral weight standard. From hoard evidence, we know the first of the two series was Crawford 38, consisting of “prow” types derived from the libral and semi-libral prow Aes Grave (Crawford 35 and 36) that preceded it. These coins were almost certainly produced in Rome and likely also in satellite military mints as needed. The second series of struck semi-libral bronzes was the enigmatic Crawford 39 series, with its unusual types (see them in this gallery), production of which commenced after the start of the 38 Series prow-types (hoards containing 39s almost always include 38s) and produced in much smaller numbers than the huge 38 Series. The Crawford 38 series of struck bronzes, to which the above coin belongs, consisted of only four denominations: sextans, uncia, semuncia and quartuncia. In addition, Aes Grave production continued on a semi-libral basis for the As, Semis, Triens and Quadrans. Those Aes Grave denominations would later be replaced with struck coins when the weight standard reduced even further.
3 commentsCarausius
quinarius.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous AR Quinarius - Crawford 45/246 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous, c. 211 BCE.
AR Quinarius (2.22g; 15mm).
Rome Mint.

Obv: Helmeted head of Roma facing right; V (mark-of-value=5 asses) behind.

Rev: Dioscuri galloping right with couched spears; ROMA in frame below; ** above.

References: Crawford 45/2; SRCV 42

Provenance: Ex NAC 73 (18 Nov 2013), Lot 19; ex NAC sale 8 (1995), Lot 464.
1 commentsCarausius
15609101840072427343326582000083.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous Post Semi-Libral AE Uncia - Crawford 41/1033 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 commentsCarausius
AnonSpearheadVic.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous Spear Head Victoriatus - Crawford 83/1b - RARE12 viewsRome. The Republic.
Anonymous Spear Head (First) Series, 211-210 BCE
AR Victoriatus (2.67g; 17mm).
S.E. Italian mint

Obverse: Laureate head of Jupiter facing right.

Reverse: Victory crowns trophy; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 83/1b; RBW 337; Sydenham 223var (no spear head); BMCRR 320var (no spear head).

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.

Like early denarii, victoriati were produced in both anonymous series and in series marked with letters or symbols. Some anonymous series are clearly related to letter/symbol series of identical style and fabric, and it's interesting to ponder whether the anonymous or letter/symbol series came first and why. This rare coin is an anonymous version of Spear Head Series victoriatus, being identical in style to its marked cousin. Note, on the obverse, the three loose ringlets at Jupiter’s neck and, on the reverse, the large knot and drape in the front of Victory’s garment and the bulbous, round base to the trophy stem – all these stylistic cues are identical in those marked Victoriati of the first Spear Head Series.

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).

For further information on anonymous victoriati, I recommend Ken Friedman’s and Richard Schaefer’s guide hosted on Steve Brinkman’s website: http://stevebrinkman.ancients.info/anonymous/AnonymousVictoriatii.html.

Carausius
75102_l.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AR Denarius - Crawford 53/229 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous, ca. 209-208 BCE
Uncertain Italian Mint
AR Denarius (4.64g; 19mm)

Obv: Head of Roma in peaked-visor helmet, facing right; X (mark of value = 10 asses) behind.

Rev: Dioscuri galloping right with couched spears; two stars above; ROMA, within full trapezoidal frame, below.

Reference: Crawford 53/2.

Provenance: Ex Hess Divo 331 (1 Dec 2016), Lot 75; ex Giesseener Munzhandlung Dieter Gorny Auktion 44 (1989), Lot 525.
1 commentsCarausius
10200777.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AR Sestertius - Crawford 44/772 viewsRome. The Republic.
Anonymous, 212-208 BCE
AR Sestertius (1.0g; 12mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma, right; IIS (mark of value) behind.

Reverse: Dioscuri galloping right with spears; two stars above; ROMA below in linear frame.

References: Crawford 44/7; Sydenham 142; BMCRR 13-18.

Provenance: Ex Volteia Collection [CNG 102 (18 May 2016), Lot 777]; ex August Voirol Collection [Munzen und Medaillen 38 (6-7 Dec 1968), Lot 105].

The IIS mark of value denotes that the coin is worth 2 asses + a semis, or 2.5 asses. This quarter-denarius denomination was part of the introduction of the denarius coinage following the Roman sack of Syracuse. The subsequent reduction in the weight standard and size of the bronze coinage eliminated the need for this tiny silver denomination, and it was soon discontinued. However, the denomination would be resurrected for short times during the Social War and Imperatorial eras.
4 commentsCarausius
32128.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, AR Quinarius, c. 212-211 BCE - Crawford 44/647 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous, c. 212-211 BCE.
AR Quinarius (2.55g; 16mm).
Rome Mint.

Obv: Helmeted head of Roma, facing right, with early, curved visor; V (mark-of-value=5 asses) behind.

Rev: Dioscuri galloping right with couched spears and stars above heads; ROMA below in linear frame.

References: Crawford 44/6; Sydenham 141; BMCRR 9-12.

Provenance: Ex RBW Collection [Agora 68 (15 Aug 2017), Lot 150]; ex CNG XXVII (29 Sep 1993).
2 commentsCarausius
CM_Victoriatus_combined.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, C/M Series Victoriatus - Crawford 71/1a22 viewsRome. The Republic.
C/M Series, 211-208 BCE
AR Victoriatus (3.26g; 18mm).
Sicilian mint (?)

Obverse: Laureate head of Jupiter facing right; C behind.

Reverse: Victory crowns trophy; M between; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 71/1a; RBW 300; Sydenham 112; BMCRR (Italy) 252.

Provenance: Ex Andrew McCabe Collection; Vecchi 7 (6 Oct 1997) Lot 571; NAC 1 (29 Mar 1989) Lot 561.

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.

Crawford’s attribution of the C/M Series victoriati to a Sicilian mint is uncertain and partly based on style.

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).
1 commentsCarausius
ClubAs3-1.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Club Series, AE As - Crawford 89/310 viewsRome. The Republic.
Club Series, 208 BCE.
AE As (54.36g; 37mm).
Southeastern Italian Mint.

Obverse: Head of Janus; I (mark of value = 1 As) above.

Reverse: Prow facing right; club, above; I (mark of value), before; ROMA, below.

References: Crawford 89/3; Sydenham 213; BMCRR 312.

Provenance: Ex Roma E-Live Auction 2 (30 Aug 2018), Lot 495.

Club Series Asses are massive. Crawford suggests that the weight standard of this series was based on an As of approximately 54 grams, and the weight of this well-preserved example is consistent with that proposed weight standard. The fabric of this coin and other examples (see, e.g., McCabe “Anonymous Struck Bronze Coinage,” example RRC89.3.3) display a pronounced, conical-shaped flan consistent with flans produced in open molds. Note how the reverse face of this coin has a much smaller diameter than the obverse face, evidencing the conical flan.
Carausius
CornearKAsextansOverstrike.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Corn-ear and KA Series Sextans overstruck on Heiron II bronze11 viewsRome. The Republic.
Corn Ear and KA Series (211-208 BCE), overstruck on bronze of Hieron II (275-215 BCE)
AE Sextans (5.87g; 20mm).
Sicilian Mint.

Obverse: (overtype) Mercury head right, wearing petastos, two pellets above; (undertype) Poseidon head left.

Reverse: (overtype) Prow right, corn-ear above, IC before, ROMA below; (undertype) Trident; dolphin on either side; IEPѠNOΣ below

Overtype References: Crawford 69/6b; Sydenham 310d.
Undertype References: SNG Copenhagen (Sicily) 844-856
Overstrike References: Crawford Table XVIII, No. 65.

Provenance: Ex Forum Ancient Coins.

During the Second Punic War, Roman military mints often overstruck war booty bronzes into Roman types. Weights of the bronze undertypes were of little consequence since the coins were fiduciary anyway; thus we often see a wide-range of weights on these overstruck coins. Module was perhaps more important for visual differentiation. Sometimes, the undertype is barely noticeable. Other times, the result is a clear melding of the devices of overtype and undertype, as on this coin. Here we clearly see Poseidon’s remaining profile from 6-9h on the obverse. The reverse shows signs of the trident base at 8h to the left of the prow. The Mercury/Prow overtype is remarkably crisp and complete. Crawford contains a table of known overstrikes in the Roman Republican series which includes the types combined on this coin.
Carausius
IMG-20170204-WA0011.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, H Series, AR Quinarius - Crawford 85/1a15 viewsRome, The Republic.
H Series, 211-210 BCE.
AR Quinarius (2.3g; 17mm).
Rome mint.

Obverse: Roma wearing helmet with splayed visor, facing right; V (mark-of-value = 5 asses) behind.

Rev: Dioscuri galloping right; H below horses; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 85/1a; Sydenham 174; BMCRR (Italy) 199.

Provenance: Ex Student and Mentor Collection [NAC 73 (18 Nov 2013), Lot 32]; ex Nicolas Collection [Leu 17 (1977) Lot 41].

The H quinarii should be divided into multiple series, because several distinct styles have become apparent which are not contemporaneous per the hoard evidence. This particular coin is from the earliest phase, notable for its splayed visor and simple necklace on obverse, and “large” H and raised horse tail on reverse.
Carausius
1879890l.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, L Series, AE As - Crawford 97/22a32 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 commentsCarausius
00264Q00.JPG
ROMAN REPUBLIC, L Series, AE Quadrans - Crawford 43 (unlisted) and 97/5b - EXTREMELY RARE!9 viewsRome, The Republic.
L Series, 214-212 BCE.
AE Quadrans (22.56g; 29mm).
Luceria Mint.

Obverse: Hercules facing r wearing lion skin; ●●● (mark-of-value=3 unciae), behind and below.

Reverse: Prow right; ROMA above; L●●● (mark-of-value=3 unciae), below.

References: Crawford 43 (unlisted) and 97/5b; Syd --; BMCRR --; RBW 400 (see discussion at 399); see Russo, “Unpublished Roman Republican Bronze Coins” (Essays Hersh, 1998), #37 discussion.

Provenance: Ex Kölner Münzkabinett Auction 109 (16 Nov 2018); ex Prof. Hildebrecht Hommel Collection; purchased from Cahn (Basel), 13 Mar 1973.

This type is extremely rare, with no examples appearing in the Paris collection as of 1974, none in Berger’s Kestner-Museum Hannover catalogue, and only 4 examples in addition to my coin on ACSEARCH as of 31 December 2018. Crawford cites an example in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, collection. Both Roberto Russo and Andrew McCabe have persuasively argued that Crawford 97/5b should be reassigned to the Crawford 43 L series, which otherwise lacks a quadrans. Both the weight and style of this coin are consistent with the earlier Crawford 43 series, which is based on an As of about 83 grams. McCabe notes that the Oxford example, on which Crawford based 97/5b, was badly corroded and probably lightweight. Subsequent examples of the type in trade have weighed 22+ grams, consistent with an As of about 85-90 grams.
Carausius
Combined_LT_Victoriatus.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, LT Series Victoriatus - Crawford 98A/1b20 viewsRome. The Republic.
LT Series, 211-210 BCE
AR Victoriatus (3.06g; 18mm).
Luceria mint

Obverse: Laureate head of Jupiter facing right.

Reverse: Victory crowns trophy; LT ligate between; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 98A/1b; RBW 429; Sydenham 137; BMCRR (Italy) 178-80.

Provenance: Ex Andrew McCabe Collection; private purchase in 2012 from CNG #910522; ex CNG 88 (14 Sep 2011) Lot 1130.

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.

Like the L Series victoriati which were also struck in Luceria, Crawford notes three phases of the LT Series victoriati: the first, with a small head and mint/control letters split between obverse and reverse; the second, with larger head and monogram LT on reverse; the last, with careless, spread devices and mint/control marks again split between obverse and reverse. This coin belongs to the second phase of the series’ development. While the L almost certainly represent Luceria, the meaning of the additional letter T is uncertain. Crawford suggests it may be a magistrates initial or indicate the purpose of the expenditure.

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).
1 commentsCarausius
1102312_(1).jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, MT Series, AR Victoriatus - Crawford 103/1c - VERY RARE9 viewsRome, The Republic.
MT Series, 211-210 BCE.
AR Victoriatus (2.79g; 17mm).
Apulian mint.

Obverse: Laureate head of Jupiter facing right, hair falling in neat ringlets; border of dots.

Rev: Victory crowning trophy; MT ligate in lower right field; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 103/1c; Crawford Plate XX (same dies); Sydenham 117; BMCRR (Italy) 232.

Provenance: Ex RBW Collection [NAC 61 (Oct 2011), Lot 457]; purchased from Ed Waddell in Dec. 1983.


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 MT Victoriati come in three varieties: those with straggly hair (which come with either a bead and reel border or border of dots) and those with neat hair. This example is the “neat hair” variety. MT Series Victoriati are very rare; there were only three examples (including this specimen) on acsearch on 9/15/18. Crawford counted only six obverse and five reverse dies covering all 3 varieties of the type.

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
33103.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Overstruck "Anonymous" Corn Ear AE Quadrans - Crawford 42/2var23 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
1681997l.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Semi-incuse Early AR Denarius - Second Punic War - Crawford 44/541 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous, ca. 212 BCE
Rome Mint
AR Denarius (4.48g)

Obv: Head of Roma in splayed-visor helmet, facing right; X (mark of value = 10 asses) behind.

Rev: Dioscuri galloping right with couched spears; two stars above; ROMA, semi-incused, below.

Reference: Crawford 44/5; Sydenham 167; RSC Anonymous 1a.

Provenance: ex NAC 84 Part II (21 May 2015), Lot 1622.

This example is among the earliest of the very first denarii issue by the Roman Republic, circa 212 BCE. From 218-212 BCE, the excessive cost of the war with Hannibal and Carthage had necessitated debasement of Rome's silver quadrigatus coinage and several weight standard reductions in the bronze coinage. It was possibly the sack of Syracuse in 212 BCE that provided the silver infusion that Rome needed to reform their debased currency and introduce the denarius system. The earliest denarii had a semi-incuse ROMA inscription on the reverse, as seen here, reminiscent of the fully-incuse and semi-incuse inscriptions on the earlier quadrigati coinage. This early-style inscription was soon replaced by a relief inscription within a linear frame.
2 commentsCarausius
151042538908771083813.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Semilibral Struck AE Quadrans (Crawford 39)11 viewsRome, The Republic.
Semilibral Reduction, 217-215 BC
AE Struck Quadrans (37.12g; 33mm)

Obv: Youthful hd of Hercules in boarskin r; three pellets (mark of value=3 unciae) behind

Rev: Bull leaping right, snake below; three pellets (mark of value = 3 unciae) above; ROMA below

Reference: Crawford 39/2; Sydenham 94

Provenance: Dr. W. Neussel Sen. (d. Dec. 1975) Collection [Peus Auction 420/421 (1 Nov 2017), Lot 65]

This coin is part of a short-lived series struck collateral to the standard prow types (Crawford 38) in 217-215 BC. The economic hardship on Rome imposed by Hannibal’s invasion led to a rapid decline in the weight of Roman bronze coins, resulting in the adoption of a semi-libral bronze standard (AE As of ½ Roman pound) and eventual elimination of cast coins. The Series 39 types and their relationship to contemporaneous Second Punic War events are interesting to ponder. Hercules is an important figure, appearing on two of the 10 available sides of the series. Likely this is a paradigm of Roman stregnth and heroism during the War. While Crawford attributes the 39 series to the Rome mint, I believe the types and fabric of the coins are inconsistent with the contemporaneous, Crawford 38 prow types which are also attributed to Rome.
Carausius
Craw39quadresized.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Semilibral Struck AE Quadrans (Crawford 39)7 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous, Semilibral Reduction, 217-215 BCE.
AE Struck Quadrans (38.77g; 31mm).
Uncertain Italian Mint.

Obverse: Youthful head of Hercules in boarskin headdress, facing right; three pellets (mark of value=3 unciae) behind.

Reverse: Bull leaping right, snake below; three pellets (mark of value = 3 unciae) above; ROMA below.

Reference: Crawford 39/2; Sydenham 94; BMCRR (Romano-Campanian) 116.

Provenance: Ex SKA/Credit Suisse (Bern) 7 (27-29 Apr 1987), Lot 656; Dr. Busso Peus Auction 300 (28 Oct 1980), Lot 206; Munz Zentrum Auktion XXX (21 Nov 1977) Lot 76; Signorelli Collection.

This coin is part of a short-lived, semi-libral series, struck collateral to the standard prow types (Crawford 38) in 217-215 BC. The economic hardship on Rome imposed by Hannibal’s invasion led to a rapid decline in the weight of Roman bronze coins, resulting in the adoption of a semi-libral bronze standard (AE As of ½ Roman pound) and eventual elimination of cast coins. The Series 39 types and their relationship to contemporaneous Second Punic War events are interesting to ponder. Hercules is an important figure, appearing on two of the 10 available sides of the series. Likely this is a paradigm of Roman strength and heroism during the War. While Crawford attributes this series to the Rome mint, I believe the types and fabric of the coins are inconsistent with the contemporaneous, Crawford 38 prow types which are also attributed to Rome.

Frequent visitors to my gallery may notice that this coin is a duplicate of a coin already in my collection. Indeed, I recently chose to upgrade my original specimen (viewable here: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-143993 ) with this companion. The type is difficult to find as well preserved as this specimen, so when I saw this coin, I snatched it up. For now, I’ll keep them both. The pair illustrates the general fabric of this series – well made, conical flans, likely produced in open moulds; flat fields (struck from flat-planed dies); and generally low relief.

1 commentsCarausius
39sextanscombined.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Semilibral Struck AE Sextans (Crawford 39)9 viewsRome. The Republic.
Semilibral Reduction, 217-215 BCE.
Æ Sextans (24.15 grams; 30 mm).
Uncertain Italian Mint.

Obverse: She-wolf suckling the twins, Romulus and Remus; ●● (mark of value) below.

Reverse: Eagle facing right holding flower in beak; ●● (mark of value) behind; ROMA before.

References: Crawford 39/3; Sydenham 95; BMCRR (Romano-Campanian) 120-124.

Provenance: Ex Goldberg 87 (15 Sep 2015), Lot 2084; Sternberg XXII (20-21 Nov 1989), Lot 173.

Crawford attributes the 39 series to the Rome Mint, circa 217-215 BCE. While I agree with the dating, I question the mint attribution. They are among the earliest Roman struck bronze coins intended for use in central Italy. Previously, Roman struck bronzes were generally intended for use in Magna Graecia, while the cast bronze Aes Grave were used in Rome and central Italy.

The types in this series are beautiful, bold and unusual, and, excluding the Hercules/bull Quadrans type, were never wholly repeated in subsequent Roman Republican bronze series. The types are entirely pro-Roman, at a time that the Republic was in dire straits under threat of Hannibal’s invasion. This Sextans depicts the favorable founding of Rome, with the She-wolf suckling the City’s mythical founders, Romulus and Remus, on one side, and a powerful eagle bringing them additional nourishment or good omen on the other. This is the first depiction of the Wolf and Twins on a Roman bronze coin, the scene previously being depicted on a silver didrachm circa 269 BCE (Crawford 20/1).
Carausius
00278q00.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Semilibral Struck AE Triens (Crawford 39)37 viewsRome. The Republic.
Semilibral Reduction, 217-215 BCE
Æ Triens (54 grams; 37 mm).
Uncertain Italian Mint.

Obverse: Head of Juno (?) right, wearing double-crested diadem, her hair tied in three ringlets down neck; scepter or sword over left shoulder (?); ●●●● (mark of value) behind.

Reverse: Hercules, naked but for lion skin, grasping centaur by hair and preparing to strike him with club; ●●●● (mark of value) before; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 39/1; Sydenham 93 (R6); BMCRR (Romano-Campanian) 113-115.

Provenance: Ex Munzen und Medaillen 47 (1972), Lot 74.

Crawford dates his 39 series of collateral, semilibral struck bronzes to the early years of the Second Punic War, 217-215 BC. The economic hardship on Rome imposed by Hannibal’s invasion led to a rapid decline in the weight of Roman bronze coins, resulting in the adoption of a semi-libral bronze standard (AE As of ½ Roman pound) and eventual elimination of cast coins. Crawford deduces that Hannibal’s defeat of Rome at Trasimene in 217 B.C. likely tipped the financial scales to the semilibral reduction. He notes that Capua overstruck Roman coinage of the late semi-libral period when Capua joined with Hannibal in 216-215. Further, in Roman Republican Coin Hoards, Crawford reports that hoard #56, found at Capua in 1909, contained three trientes and four sextantes of the “collateral” series; thus the series must have circulated in Capua for a time before the town switched sides to Hannibal in 216-215. It appears that the standard, prow-type semilibral coins (Crawford 38) came first, because hoards containing the Crawford 39 coins almost always contain semilibral prow types as well.

The obverse of this Triens is particularly enigmatic. Both before, during and after production of this series, the goddess depicted on trientes was typically Minerva. In Roman iconography, Minerva’s attributes are the Corinthian helmet, aegis and spear. The goddess on this triens lacks the Corinthian helmet that was used to depict Minerva in previous Aes Grave series of libral and semilibral weight standard (See Crawford 35 and 38 Aes Grave) and on the subsequent, prow-type, struck trientes (Crawford 41 and 56). Some authors are non-committal as to the goddess’ identity (Crawford, for one, in his catalogue; though elsewhere in his text he refers to “Juno”); others attribute the goddess as Juno who, as Jupiter’s consort, is typically rendered with a diadem crown and scepter; and others believe the goddess is Bellona, a war goddess who is typically rendered with helmet and weapon. Firm identification depends, in part, on proper understanding of the headgear. I think attempts to call the headgear a “helmet” or “partial helmet” are misguided efforts to explain the crest. In my opinion, the headgear is a crested diadem. The odd crest attached to the end of the diadem is possibly a misinterpreted element borrowed from portraits of Tanit on Punic coinage, which always show Tanit with a stylized wheat leaf in this location (Tanit’s depiction was likely borrowed by the Carthaginians from Syracusan tetradrachms). There is also some confusion as to what the goddess holds over her left shoulder. Condition issues and poor strikes on some examples often eliminate this aspect of the design. Fortunately, my example is quite clear and one can see the shadowy image on the left shoulder which extends in straight-line behind the left side of the goddess’ head ending in a visible, rounded point above her head. Crawford may have thought the lower part of this element represented the goddess’ far-side curls (“hair falls in tight rolls onto BOTH shoulders” emphasis added), but this interpretation does not explain the point above her head. The point is not likely to represent the opposite crest, as the crest on the visible side does not extend above head-top level. A more plausible theory, proposed by both Grueber and Sydenham, is that the goddess is holding a scepter over her left shoulder, which is consistent with Juno’s attributes. Other possibilities are that she bears a spear, which is an attribute of Minerva, or a sword, which is an attribute of Bellona.

The Series 39 types and their relationship to contemporaneous Second Punic War events are interesting to ponder. Hercules is an important figure, appearing on two of the 10 available sides of the series. Likely this is a paradigm of Roman heroism during the War. In the myth depicted on this Triens, Hercules kills a centaur for assaulting his wife – is this an allegorical reference to Hannibal’s assault on Italy (and the likely response from Rome)?

Despite its beauty, this type would never again be repeated on a Roman coin. However, related imagery can be found on quincunxes of Capua and quadrantes of Larinum, Apulia, immediately following the defection of those towns to Hannibal’s side of the Second Punic War.
3 commentsCarausius
unciaRBW.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Semilibral Struck AE Uncia (Crawford 39)17 viewsRome, The Republic.
Semilibral Reduction, 217-215 BC.
AE Struck Uncia (10.88g; 24mm).
Uncertain Mint.

Obverse: Facing draped bust of Sol; pellet (mark of value) to left.

Reverse: Crescent, two stars and pellet (mark of value) above; ROMA below.

References: Crawford 39/4; Sydenham 96; BMCRR (Romano-Campanian) 125-135.

Provenance: Triskeles 5 (27 June 2013), Lot 95; ex RBW Collection (not in prior sales); purchased privately from Ed Waddell in 1994.

This coin is part of a short-lived, collateral series struck contemporaneously with the standard prow types (Crawford 38) in 217-215 BC. The economic hardship on Rome imposed by Hannibal’s invasion led to a rapid decline in the weight of Roman bronze coins, resulting in the adoption of a semi-libral bronze standard (AE As of ½ Roman pound) and eventual elimination of cast coins.

In attributing the 39 series to the Rome mint, Crawford relied on the earlier analysis of Rudy Thomsen in “Early Roman Coins”. However, Thomsen’s analysis of the hoard evidence was flawed, in my opinion, because he included temple deposits north of Rome which deceptively widened the apparent circulation dispersal of this collateral series. Eliminating these temple deposits shows a clearer circulation focus south of Rome, in Campania. Also, the types and fabric of the coins are inconsistent with the contemporaneous, Crawford 38 prow types which are similarly attributed to Rome (and which do have Roman prototypes in the prow series Aes Grave). However, some of the unusual collateral types are copied by Campanian towns after their defection to Hannibal. Further study is needed.
1 commentsCarausius
1681149l.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, VB Series Victoriatus - Crawford 95/1b17 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
   
26 files on 1 page(s)