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Trajan_Denarius.jpg
32 viewsTrajan. 98-117AD. AR Denarius (19.5mm, 2.97g). Rome mint. Struck January 101 AD to December 102 AD. IMP CAESAR NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM, laureate head right. / P M TR P · COS · IIII P P, Hercules standing facing on low base, holding club in right hand and lion skin over left arm. RIC II, pg 247, #49. Good VF, attractive blue iridescent toning toning around the devices. NICE EYE APPEAL !!

Ex. Auktion Numismatica Wendt KG, Wien 12 (1976), 256; Ex. Münzen & Medaillen GmbH (DE) 13, #642. Oct. 9, 2003.
1 commentspaul1888
capricorn.jpg
41 viewsVespasian, 69-79
Denarius 79, AR 3.52 g. Laureate head r. Rev. Capricorn l; below, globe. C 554. RIC 1058.
Ex CNG 42, 1997 lot 860; Triton VI, January 14, 2003 lot 836, Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG, Auction 92, May 23, 2016 lot 2140, Heritage Auction 3060, 1/16/2018 lot 33400, CNG Web Store (841947); NGC certification 4244139-018
5 commentspaul1888
_1_Pertinax_RIC_11.jpg
21 Pertinax Denarius34 viewsPERTINAX
AR denarius, Rome
January 1–March 28, 193 AD

O: IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG, laureate head of Pertinax right

R: PROVID DEOR COS II, Providentia standing l., raising r. hand toward star.
BMCRE 13. RIC 11(a). RSC 43. Very fine

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica
RI0132
Sosius
Dyrrhachion_Dracma.jpg
ILIRIA - DIRRAQUIO/EPIDAMNOS20 viewsAR dracma 18X16 mm 2.4 gr.

Anv: "MENIΣ [KOΣ ]" (Nombre de la Autoridad Monetaria que la acuña), sobre una Vaca a der. mirando a su ternero que se amanta a izq.
Rev: "AYP / ΔIO / [NY] / [ΣIOY]" – Doble Forma estrellada, dividida por dos líneas y rodeada por una doble línea formando un contorno cuadrado.
Los diseños del reverso de Korkyra así como de sus colonias, Apollonia (Apolonia) y Dyrrhachion (Dirraquio), han sido objeto de mucha especulación numismática. Eckhel (Doctrina numorum veterum [Vienna, 1792/3], II:155) aceptó la opinión de Laurentius Beger (Observationes Et Conjecturae In Numismata Quaedam Antiqua [Brandenburg, 1691]), que argumentó que el diseño del reverso representa el jardín de Alkinoos, el mítico rey de Phaiakia, descrito en detalle por el poeta Homero (Od. 7.112-133). Basado en el supuesto de que mítica Phaiakia era la isla de la antigua Korkyra (mod. Corfú), y sabiendo que Korkyrans colonizaron tanto Apollonia y Dyrrhachion, Beger (ya través de él, Eckhel) concluyeron que los elementos centrales eran flores y que el diseño general debe representar tanto el diseño del jardín, o las puertas que conducen a ella. Más tarde, la mayoría de los numismáticos, como Böckh, Müller, Friedlander, y von Sallet, argumentaron que los elementos centrales del diseño eran más como la estrella, mientras que Gardner favoreciendo una interpretación floral, aunque sea como una referencia a Apolo Aristaios o Nomios, no el jardín de ALKINOOS. Más recientemente, Nicolet-Pierre volvió a examinar la cuestión del diseño del reverso en su artículo sobre la moneda arcaica de Korkyra ("À props du monnayage archaïque de Corcyre," SNR 88 [2009], pp. 2-3) y ofreció una nueva interpretación. Tomando nota de un pasaje de Tucídides (3.70.4) en la que ese autor citó la existencia en la isla de un recinto sagrado (temenos) dedicado a Zeus y ALKINOOS, sugirió que el diseño del reverso podría haber sido inspirada por esto, y no en el jardín de ALKINOOS que detalla Homero.

Acuñación: 200 - 30 A.C.
Ceca: Dyrrhachion - Illyria (Hoy Durré en Albania)

Referencias: Sear GCTV Vol.I #1900 var Pag.187 – BMC Vol.7 #62-64 Pag.69 – SNG Copenhagen #467 - Maier #201 - Ceka #320
mdelvalle
image02453.jpg
30 viewsROME. Germanicus. Died AD 19.
Æ Tessera (21mm, 3.72 g, 2 h)
Cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; all within wreath
Large III; all within wreath
Buttrey 17/III

Ex Alberto Campana Collection (Numismatica Ars Classica 64, 17 May 2012), lot 2453
Ardatirion
Y04281.jpg
36 viewsSYRIA, Uncertain. Eloucion?
Magistrate, 2nd-3rd century AD.
PB Tessera (17mm, 3.06 g, 11 h)
HΛOV CION, bust of Shamash right, atop eagle(?)
Nike advancing left; star above crescent before, wheel below
Unpublished

The bust of Shamash (or perhaps Sol) on the obverse is distinctly Syrian in nature. Additionally, the style is dramatically different from the issues of Asia Minor.
1 commentsArdatirion
0001.jpg
0001 - Quadrans Nero 64 AC89 viewsObv/NERO CLAV CAE AVG GER, owl on altar.
Rev/PM TR P IMP PP, SC on field, olive branch.
Quadrans of small module, no value-mark.

AE, 12.84mm, 1.70g
Mint: Rome.
RIC I/260 [C] - Cohen 185 - RCV 1988 - BMCRE p.258
ex-Numismática Saetabis
dafnis
0009.jpg
0009 - Denarius Papia 79 BC107 viewsObv/Head of Juno Sospita r., wearing goatskin, symbol behind.
Rev/Gryphon dancing r., symbol below, L PAPI in ex.

Ag, 19.9mm, 3.82g
Moneyer: L. Papius.
Mint: Rome.
RRC 384/1 [dies o/r: 211/211] - Syd. 773 - Calicó 1057 - RCV 311 - RSC Papia 1 - Cohen Papia 1
ex-Numismática Saetabis
1 commentsdafnis
Aigina_turtle.jpg
002a, Aigina, Islands off Attica, Greece, c. 510 - 490 B.C.86 viewsSilver stater, S 1849, SNG Cop 503, F, 12.231g, 22.3mm, Aigina (Aegina) mint, c. 510 - 490 B.C.; Obverse: sea turtle (with row of dots down the middle); Reverse: incuse square of “Union Jack” pattern; banker's mark obverse. Ex FORVM.


Greek Turtles, by Gary T. Anderson

Turtles, the archaic currency of Aegina, are among the most sought after of all ancient coins. Their early history is somewhat of a mystery. At one time historians debated whether they or the issuances of Lydia were the world's earliest coins. The source of this idea comes indirectly from the writings of Heracleides of Pontus, a fourth century BC Greek scholar. In the treatise Etymologicum, Orion quotes Heracleides as claiming that King Pheidon of Argos, who died no later than 650 BC, was the first to strike coins at Aegina. However, archeological investigations date the earliest turtles to about 550 BC, and historians now believe that this is when the first of these intriguing coins were stamped.

Aegina is a small, mountainous island in the Saronikon Gulf, about midway between Attica and the Peloponnese. In the sixth century BC it was perhaps the foremost of the Greek maritime powers, with trade routes throughout the eastern half of the Mediterranean. It is through contacts with Greeks in Asia Minor that the idea of coinage was probably introduced to Aegina. Either the Lydians or Greeks along the coast of present day Turkey were most likely the first to produce coins, back in the late seventh century. These consisted of lumps of a metal called electrum (a mixture of gold and silver) stamped with an official impression to guarantee the coin was of a certain weight. Aegina picked up on this idea and improved upon it by stamping coins of (relatively) pure silver instead electrum, which contained varying proportions of gold and silver. The image stamped on the coin of the mighty sea power was that of a sea turtle, an animal that was plentiful in the Aegean Sea. While rival cities of Athens and Corinth would soon begin limited manufacture of coins, it is the turtle that became the dominant currency of southern Greece. The reason for this is the shear number of coins produced, estimated to be ten thousand yearly for nearly seventy years. The source for the metal came from the rich silver mines of Siphnos, an island in the Aegean. Although Aegina was a formidable trading nation, the coins seemed to have meant for local use, as few have been found outside the Cyclades and Crete. So powerful was their lure, however, that an old proverb states, "Courage and wisdom are overcome by Turtles."

The Aeginean turtle bore a close likeness to that of its live counterpart, with a series of dots running down the center of its shell. The reverse of the coin bore the imprint of the punch used to force the face of the coin into the obverse turtle die. Originally this consisted of an eight-pronged punch that produced a pattern of eight triangles. Later, other variations on this were tried. In 480 BC, the coin received its first major redesign. Two extra pellets were added to the shell near the head of the turtle, a design not seen in nature. Also, the reverse punch mark was given a lopsided design.

Although turtles were produced in great quantities from 550 - 480 BC, after this time production dramatically declines. This may be due to the exhaustion of the silver mines on Siphnos, or it may be related to another historical event. In 480 BC, Aegina's archrival Athens defeated Xerxes and his Persian armies at Marathon. After this, it was Athens that became the predominant power in the region. Aegina and Athens fought a series of wars until 457 BC, when Aegina was conquered by its foe and stripped of its maritime rights. At this time the coin of Aegina changed its image from that of the sea turtle to that of the land tortoise, symbolizing its change in fortunes.

The Turtle was an object of desire in ancient times and has become so once again. It was the first coin produced in Europe, and was produced in such great quantities that thousands of Turtles still exist today. Their historical importance and ready availability make them one of the most desirable items in any ancient coin enthusiast's collection.

(Greek Turtles, by Gary T. Anderson .
1 commentsCleisthenes
0040~0.jpg
0040 - Denarius Hadrian 136 AC16 viewsObv/HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP, Hadrian bare head r.
Rev/HISPANIA, Hispania reclining l., holding branch and resting l. arm on rock; in front of her, a rabbit.

Ag, 18.0mm, 3.25g
Mint: Rome.
RIC II/305a [C]
ex-Numismática Pliego, auction 38, lot 237
dafnis
0048.jpg
0048 - Denarius anonymous 115-4 BC61 viewsObv/ Helmeted head of Roma r.; behind, X; below, ROMA.
Rev/Roma seated r. on pile of shields, holding spear; before, she-wolf r. suckling twins; two birds in the field.

Ag, 22.0mm, 3.93g
Moneyer: anonymous.
Mint: Rome.
RRC 287/1 [dies o/r: 82/102] - Syd. 530 - RCV 164 - RSC 176 - Calicó 58 - BMCRR Italy 562
ex-Numismática y Arqueología J. Antonio Salvador
2 commentsdafnis
0054~0.jpg
0054 - Denarius Vespasian 71 AC16 viewsObv/IMP CAESAR VESP AVG PM, Vespasian laureate head r.
Rev/AVGVR TRI POT, l. to r. simpulum, aspergillum, jug and lituus (emblems of the augurate and potificate).

Ag, 18.9mm, 3.19g
Mint: Rome.
RIC II.1/356 [CC] - RCV 2282 - BMCRE 64 - RSC 45
ex-Numismática Craven (Valencia Coin Fair)
dafnis
0079.jpg
0079 - Denarius Tituria 89 BC178 viewsObv/Bearded head of king Tatius r., before TA, behind SABIN.
Rev/Rape of Sabines, two Roman soldiers hurrying l. carrying two Sabines; L TITVRI in ex.

Moneyer: L. Titurius L.f. Sabinus.
Mint: Rome.
RRC 344/1a [dies o/r: 294/327 (1a to 1c)] - Syd. 698
ex-Numismática Ramos
dafnis
0080~0.jpg
0080 - Denarius Trajan 114-7 AC12 viewsObv/IMP CAES NER TRAIAN OPTIM AVG GERM DAC, laureate head of Trajan r., with aegis.
Rev/PHARTICO PM TR P COS VI PP SPQR, Felicitas standing l., holding caduceus and cornucopiae.

Ag, 19.2mm, 3.30g
Mint: Rome
RIC II/333 - Cohen 294
ex-Numismática Ramos
dafnis
0097.jpg
0097 - Denarius Domitian 81 AC30 viewsObv/ IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M, laureate head of D. r.
Rev/ COS VII TR P, dolphin coiled around anchor.

Ag, 18.7 mm, 3.12 g
Mint: Roma.
RIC II.1/2
ex-Numismática Craven (AENP Coin Convention Valencia, feb 2011)
dafnis
0106.jpg
0106 - Punic - AE unit - 242-209 BC42 viewsObv/ Head of Tanit (rough) l.
Rev/ Horse's head (rough) r.: before, punic letter “aleph”.

AE, 21.5 mm, 10.35 g
Mint: Qart Hadasht (Cartagena, Spain)
CNH/HC45 [R1]
ex-Sanrode Numismática – eBay, art. #260689847460
dafnis
0107.jpg
0107 - As Caligula 37-38 AC28 viewsObv/ C CAESAR AVG GERMANIC IMP PM TR P COS, laureate head of C. r.
Rev/ PM CN ATEL FLAC CN POM FLAC II VIR Q VINC, Salus (Cesonia?) r.; SAL - AVG in field.

AE, 29.0 mm, 14.76 g
Mint: carthago Nova.
APRH/185
ex-Numismática Hinojosa – eBay, art. #290555714886
dafnis
0120.jpg
0120 - Punic - 1/2 AE 242-209 BC41 viewsObv/ Head of Tanit l.
Rev/ Horse standing r.: behind, palm tree; before, three dots.

AE, 16.5 mm, 3.20 g
Mint: Qart Hadasht
CNH/HC --
ex-Numismática Hinojosa, eBay june 2011 - art. #280699851930
dafnis
0121.jpg
0121 - Denarius Cipia 115-4 BC42 viewsObv/ Helmeted head of Roma r.; before, M CIPI MF; behind, X.
Rev/ Victory in biga r., holding reins and palm-branch tied with fillet; below, rudder; in ex. ROMA.

Ag, 17.5 mm, 3.93 g
Moneyer: M. Cipius M.f.
Mint: Roma.
RRC 289/1 [dies o/r: 535/669] - Bab. Cipia 1 - Syd. 546
ex-Numismática Hinojosa, eBay june 2011 - art. #350470428453
dafnis
0134.jpg
0134 - Nummus Constantine I 319-20 AC28 viewsObv/ IMP CONSTANTIN-VS AVG, helmeted bust of C. l., cuirassed and with spear on r. shoulder.
Rev/ VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP, two Victories standing face to face, holding vota shield, with VOT / PR inscribed within; diamond mint mark inside altar, PLN in ex.

AE, 17.5 mm, 2.92 g
Mint: Londinium.
RIC VII/158 var. [S]
ex-Numismática Hinojosa, eBay jul 2011 - art. #280702971071
1 commentsdafnis
0148.jpg
0148 - Denarius Rustia 76 BC30 viewsObv/ Helmeted head of Minerva r.; behind, SC; before, crossed X.
Rev/ Ram r., L RVSTI in ex.

Ag, 18.5 mm, 3.74 g
Moneyer: L.Rustius.
Mint: Roma.
RRC 389/1 [dies o/r: 42/47] - Syd. 782 - RSC Rustia 1
ex-Numismatica Tintinna, auction e11, lot 1063
dafnis
0149.jpg
0149 - Denarius Antoninus Pius 147-8 AC16 viewsObv/ ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P XI, laureate head of A.P. r.
Rev/ PRIMI DECEN COS IIII, inside oak wreath.

Ag, 18.5 mm, 3.29 g
Mint: Roma.
RIC III/171 [S]
ex-Numismatica Tintinna, auction e11, lot 2031
dafnis
0150.jpg
0150 - Nummus Crispus 323-4 AC20 viewsObv/ CRISPVS NOBIL C, laureate and cuirassed bust of C. l., spear on r. shoulder and shield on r.h.
Rev/ BEATA TRA-NQLITAS, globe set on altar inscribed VOT/IS/XX in three lines; above, three stars; PLON in ex.

AE, 19.8 mm, 2.50 g
Mint: Londinium.
RIC VII/278 [R3]
ex-Numismatica Tintinna, auction e11, lot 2122
dafnis
montaje.JPG
02.- Attica Tetradrachm (287-262 BC)11 viewsATTICA, Athens. Circa 287-262 BC. AR Tetradrachm (23mm, 16.80 g). Helmeted head of Athena right / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig and crescent behind; all within incuse square.
Purchased at Filatelia Numismatica Santos in 2015.
Oscar D
Hadrian_AE-quadrans_HADRIANVS-AVGVSTVS_COS-III-P-P-Caduceus_RIC-II-734_Rome_132-134-AD_Q-001_6h_16-17mm_2,50g-s.jpg
032 Hadrianus (117-138 A.D.), RIC II 0734, Rome, AE-Quadrans, COS-III P P, Winged Caduceus, Very Rare !183 views032 Hadrianus (117-138 A.D.), RIC II 0734, Rome, AE-Quadrans, COS-III P P, Winged Caduceus, Very Rare !
avers:- HADRIANVS-AVGVSTVS, Bust of Hadrian, laureate, right.
revers:- COS III P P, Winged, Caduceus.
exe: -/-//--, diameter: 16-17mm, weight: 2,50g, axis: 6h,
mint: Rome, date: 132-134A.D., ref: RIC-II-734-p-, Very Rare !
"BMC p. 464, *, citing Cohen 506 (Gréau Sale, 6 francs).
Strack 495b: two spec. in Vatican, one in Vienna." by Curtis Clay
Q-001
2 commentsquadrans
RI_064fl_img.jpg
064 - Septimius Severus denarius - RIC -50 viewsObv:– IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG, Laureate head right
Rev:– TR P IIII IMP II COS II, Mars standing right, resting on spear and shield
Minted in Alexandria, A.D. 194
References:– BMCRE -, RIC -, RSC -. RIN (Rivista Italiana di Nvmismatica Vol. XCVI (1994/1995)

2.72g. 17.78mm. 0o

Additional information from Curtis Clay:-
"Die match to example in British Museum, found at the site of a Roman villa in Kent, GB, in 1952. The same obv. die also occurs with the types MONETA AVG and LEG III IT AVG TR P COS.
Bickford-Smith recorded three other specimens, of which I also have plaster casts: his own coll. (probably now in BM), Klosterneuburg, and U.S. private collection. On these the rev. legend apparently ends COS rather than COS II.
This type was clearly struck in 194, when Septimius was TR P II and IMP III or IIII, so TR P IIII IMP II in the rev. legend is an error, the origin of which is obvious: the type is a rote copy of the identical type and legend on denarii of Lucius Verus of 164, Cohen 228-9. The titles apply to Lucius in 164, not Septimius in 194!"
maridvnvm
RI_064is_img.jpg
064 - Septimius Severus denarius - RIC -56 viewsObv:– IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG, Laureate head right
Rev:– TR P IIII IMP II COS, Mars standing right, resting on spear and shield
Minted in Alexandria, A.D. 194
References:– BMCRE -, RIC -, RSC -. cf. RIN (Rivista Italiana di Nvmismatica Vol. XCVI (1994/1995)

Old image.
4 commentsmaridvnvm
RI_064is_img~0.jpg
064 - Septimius Severus denarius - RIC -39 viewsObv:– IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG, Laureate head right
Rev:– TR P IIII IMP II COS, Mars standing right, resting on spear and shield
Minted in Alexandria, A.D. 194
References:– BMCRE -, RIC -, RSC -. cf. RIN (Rivista Italiana di Nvmismatica Vol. XCVI (1994/1995)

2.59g. 18.71mm. 0o

Additional information courtesy of Curtis Clay:-

"Bickford-Smith recorded three other specimens, of which I also have plaster casts: his own coll. (probably now in BM), Klosterneuburg, and U.S. private collection. On these the rev. legend apparently ends COS rather than COS II.
This type was clearly struck in 194, when Septimius was TR P II and IMP III or IIII, so TR P IIII IMP II in the rev. legend is an error, the origin of which is obvious: the type is a rote copy of the identical type and legend on denarii of Lucius Verus of 164, Cohen 228-9. The titles apply to Lucius in 164, not Septimius in 194!"
maridvnvm
RI_064nm_img.jpg
064 - Septimius Severus denarius - RIC -31 viewsObv:– IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG, Laureate head right
Rev:– TR P IIII IMP II COS, Mars standing right, resting on spear and shield
Minted in Alexandria, A.D. 194
References:– BMCRE -, RIC -, RSC -. cf. RIN (Rivista Italiana di Nvmismatica Vol. XCVI (1994/1995)

Additional information courtesy of Curtis Clay:-

"Bickford-Smith recorded three other specimens, of which I also have plaster casts: his own coll. (probably now in BM), Klosterneuburg, and U.S. private collection. On these the rev. legend apparently ends COS rather than COS II.
This type was clearly struck in 194, when Septimius was TR P II and IMP III or IIII, so TR P IIII IMP II in the rev. legend is an error, the origin of which is obvious: the type is a rote copy of the identical type and legend on denarii of Lucius Verus of 164, Cohen 228-9. The titles apply to Lucius in 164, not Septimius in 194!"
maridvnvm
RI_064qy_img.jpg
064 - Septimius Severus denarius - RIC -19 viewsObv:– IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG, Laureate head right
Rev:– TR P IIII IMP II COS, Mars standing right, resting on spear and shield
Minted in Alexandria, A.D. 194
References:– BMCRE -, RIC -, RSC -. cf. RIN (Rivista Italiana di Nvmismatica Vol. XCVI (1994/1995)
maridvnvm
RI_071ae_img.jpg
071 - Elagabalus denarius - RIC 8736 viewsElagabalus Denarius
Obv:– IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, horned, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev:– INVICTVS SACERDOS AVG, Elagabalus standing holding patera over an altar and branch. Star in right field. Horn on ground to his left
Minted in Rome. A.D. 222
Reference– BMC 209 note. RIC 87 (where it is rated Common citing Cohen). RSC III 58. Cohen 58 (illustrated with star in right field) valued at 50 Fr. No examples in RD.
ex Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG Sale 42, Lot 379, 20th November 2007, ex Barry Feirstein Collection, previously privately purchased from Harlan J. Berk.
Described as Lightly toned and good extremely fine by NAC.
21 mm. 3.11 gms. 0 degrees.

The coin would certainly seem to be scarcer than the "Common" rating given in RIC would imply. No examples in RD, only one example on acsearch (this coin). No examples on Wildwinds (the RIC 87 there would appear to be in error).
1 commentsmaridvnvm
119_Diocletianus,_Heraclea,_RIC_VI_10a,_AR-Argenteus,_DIOCLETI_ANVS_AVG,_VICTORIAE_SARMATICAE,_296_AD_Q-001_0h_18,5-19mm_3,5g-xs.jpg
119a Diocletianus (284-305 A.D.), Heraclea, RIC VI 010e (Not in RIC this Officina), AR-Argenteus, -/-/HЄ, VICTORIAE SARMATICAE, Four Tetrarchs, Very Rare! #1142 views119a Diocletianus (284-305 A.D.), Heraclea, RIC VI 010e (Not in RIC this Officina), AR-Argenteus, -/-/HЄ, VICTORIAE SARMATICAE, Four Tetrarchs, Very Rare! #1
avers: DIOCLETI ANVS AVG, Laureate head right.
reverse: VICTORIAE SARMATICAE, The Four Tetrarchs sacrificing in front of 6 turreted City gate.
exergue: -/-/HЄ, diameter: 18,5-19,0mm, weight: 3,50g, axis:0h ,
mint: Heraclea, date: 296 A.D., ref: RIC VI 010e (? Not in RIC this Officina), p-, Jelocnik -; RSC 491b, Not in RIC this Officina Very Rare!
Q-001
3 commentsquadrans
Constantinus-I__AR-Argenteus_IMP-CONSTANTI-NVS-AVG_VICTORIA-LAETAE-PRINC-PERP-VOT_PR_PTR_RIC-not_C-not_Trier_318-319-AD__Q-001_19mm_2,73g-s.jpg
136 Constantinus I. (306-309 A.D. Caesar, 309-910 A.D. Filius Augustorum, 307-337 A.D. Augustus), Trier, RIC VII ???, AR-Argenteus, -/-//PTR, VICTORIA LAETAE PRINC PERP, Not in RIC !!!161 views136 Constantinus I. (306-309 A.D. Caesar, 309-910 A.D. Filius Augustorum, 307-337 A.D. Augustus), Trier, RIC VII ???, AR-Argenteus, -/-//PTR, VICTORIA LAETAE PRINC PERP, Not in RIC !!!
avers:- IMP CONSTANTI NVS AVG, bust l., high-crested helmet, cuir., dr., spear across r. shoulder..
rever:- VICTORIA LAETAE PRINC PERP, two Victories stg. facing one another, together holding shield inscribed VOT/PR on altar. PTR in exergue.
"UNLISTED ISSUE. This issue is listed erroneously in RIC VII as regular follis (TRIER 208A, p. 181), but in fact it is "billon argenteus" (c. 25% of silver) and belongs to the group of TREVERI 825-826 in RIC VI. Note that only PTR mark is correct, because of only one officina working at that time at Treveri. Note also that the bust type is similar to H11 from RIC VII, but there are also a few differences: bust is usually larger, half-length, and could be described as cuirassed and draped. Coin should be listed after TREVERI 826. See: Bastien, P., "L’émission de monnaies de billon de Treves au début de 313", Quaderni Ticinesi (Numismatica e Antichità Classiche) 1982, XI, p. 271-278. See: CORRIGENDA, VOL. VII, p. 181, CORRIGENDA, VOL. VI, p. 224" by Lech Stepniewski, in "Not in RIC" , thank you Lech Stepniewski,
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/notinric/6tre-826.html
exergo: -/-//PTR, diameter: 19mm, weight: 2,73g, axis: h,
mint: Trier, date: 318-319 A.D., ref: RIC VI Trier 825-6?, RIC VI, "TREVERI [after 826], CONSTANTINE I, UNLISTED ISSUE" by Lech Stepniewski,
Q-001
quadrans
1213_P_Hadrian_RPC3805.jpg
3805 SYRIA Laodicea ad Mare. Hadrian Tetradrachm 123-24 AD Tyche 42 viewsReference.
RPC III, 3805/6; Prieur 1109; Adra 1562-5; Paris 1157

Issue Year 170 (OP)

Obv. ΑΥΤΟΚΡ ΚΑΙСΑΡ ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟС ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС СΕΒΑСΤ
Laureate and cuirassed bust of Hadrian right, with gorgoneion on breastplate

Rev. ΙΟΥΛΙΕωΝ ΤωΝ ΚΑΙ ΛΑΟΔΙΚΕωΝ
Turreted and draped bust of Tyche, right; in field, right, ΟΡ soldiers arming the battlements/towers on Tyche's head

13 gr
25 mm
12h

Note.
From the Michel Prieur Collection. Ex Robert O. Ebert Collection (Part I, Stack’s Bowers & Ponterio 174, 11 January 2013), lot 5142; Numismatica Ars Classica 1 (39 March 1989), lot 862; Münzen und Medaillen AG FPL 279 (August 1967), no. 40.
7 commentsokidoki
SNGCop_520_NICEA_Severo_Alejandro.jpg
59-55 - SEVERO ALEJANDRO (222 - 235 D.C.)17 viewsNICEA en Bitinia
Hoy Iznik, situado en la orilla de un lago cerca de la costa asiática del mar de Mármara

AE19 19 mm 3.4 gr.

Anv: ”M AVP CEV AΛE[ΞANΔPOC ---]” – Cab. laur. viendo a der.
Rev: ”NI/KA/IE/ΩN", Leyenda entre tres estandartes militares.

Acuñada: 222-235 D.C.

Referencias: BMC 13 #99-100 P.168, Sear GICV #3287 var. (Corte Leyenda reverso) P.312, SNG Cop #520 var. (Corte Leyenda reverso), RG II #617 p.477, SNG Von Aulock #623 var. (Corte Leyenda reverso)
mdelvalle
SNGCop_520v_NICEA_Severo_Alejandro_1.jpg
59-56 - SEVERO ALEJANDRO (222 - 235 D.C.)10 viewsNICEA en Bitinia
Hoy Iznik, situado en la orilla de un lago cerca de la costa asiática del mar de Mármara

AE20
20 mm 3.4 gr.

Anv: ”M AVP CEV AΛEΞANΔPOC AV” – Cab. laur. viendo a der.
Rev: ”N/IK/AI/E", Leyenda entre tres estandartes militares, "ΩN" en exergo.

Acuñada: 222-235 D.C.

Referencias: BMC 13 #102-103 P.168, Sear GICV #3287 P.312, SNG Cop #520 var. (busto anverso), RG II #617 p.477, SNG Von Aulock #623 var. (Busto anv.), Weiser #30 var.
mdelvalle
SNGCop_520v_NICEA_Severo_Alejandro.jpg
59-57 - SEVERO ALEJANDRO (222 - 235 D.C.)10 viewsNICEA en Bitinia
Hoy Iznik, situado en la orilla de un lago cerca de la costa asiática del mar de Mármara

AE20
20 mm 3.4 gr.

Anv: ”M AVP CEV AΛEΞANΔPOC AVΓ” – Busto rad., vest, y acoraz. viendo a der.
Rev: ”N/IK/AI/E", Leyenda entre tres estandartes militares, "ΩN" en exergo.

Acuñada: 222-235 D.C.

Referencias: BMC 13 #102-103 P.168, Sear GICV #3287 P.312, SNG Cop #520 var. (busto anverso), RG II #616 p.477, SNG Von Aulock #624, Weiser #30 var.
mdelvalle
590Hadrian_RIC612.jpg
612 Hadrian Sestertius Roma 122-25 AD Spes standing63 viewsReference.
Strack 576; RIC 612b; Banti 595

Obv. IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG
Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right. (with visible thunderbolt on his cuirass leather strap)


Rev. P M TR P COS III S C
Spes advancing left, holding flower and lifting dress.

28.15 gr
33 mm
6h

From the J. Eric Engstrom Collection. Ex Lepczyk 61 (13 March 1985), lot 365; Vatican Museum duplicate from St. John’s College Collection, no. 429.
2 commentsokidoki
SGICV_3671_NICEA_Gordiano_III.jpg
69-72 - Nicea - GORDIANO III (238 - 244 D.C.)12 viewsNICEA en Bitinia
Hoy Iznik, situado en la orilla de un lago cerca de la costa asiática del mar de Mármara

AE19
19 mm 3.9 gr.

Anv: ”M ANT ΓOPΔIANOC AVΓ" – Busto rad., vest, y acoraz. viendo a der.
Rev: ”N/I/K/A/I - EΩN", en exergo, Leyenda entre cuatro estandartes militares, los centrales con Águilas legionarias. "ΩN" en exergo.

Acuñada: 222-235 D.C.

Referencias: BMC 13 #119 P.171, Sear GICV #3671 P.353, SNG Cop #526, RG II #712 P.489
mdelvalle
Nero AE Sestertius.jpg
706a, Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.73 views6, Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D. AE setertius, Date: 66 AD; RIC I 516, 36.71 mm; 25.5 grams; aVF. Obverse: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONT MAX TR POT PP, Laureate bust right; Reverse: S C, ROMA, Roma seated left, exceptional portrait and full obverse legends. Ex Ancient Imports.

NERO (54-68 A.D.)

It is difficult for the modern student of history to realize just how popular Nero actually was, at least at the beginning of his reign. Rome looked upon her new Emperor with hope. He was the student of Seneca, and he had a sensitive nature. He loved art, music, literature, and theatre. He was also devoted to horses and horse racing—a devotion shared by many of his subjects. The plebs loved their new Emperor. As Professor of Classics Judith P. Hallett (University of Maryland, College Park) says, “It is not clear to me that Nero ever changed or that Nero ever grew-up, and that was both his strength and his weakness. Nero was an extraordinarily popular Emperor: he was like Elvis” (The Roman Empire in the First Century, III. Dir. Margaret Koval and Lyn Goldfarb. 2001. DVD. PBS/Warner Bros. 2003).

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
The five Julio-Claudian emperors are very different one from the other. Augustus dominates in prestige and achievement from the enormous impact he had upon the Roman state and his long service to Rome, during which he attained unrivaled auctoritas. Tiberius was clearly the only possible successor when Augustus died in AD 14, but, upon his death twenty-three years later, the next three were a peculiar mix of viciousness, arrogance, and inexperience. Gaius, better known as Caligula, is generally styled a monster, whose brief tenure did Rome no service. His successor Claudius, his uncle, was a capable man who served Rome well, but was condemned for being subject to his wives and freedmen. The last of the dynasty, Nero, reigned more than three times as long as Gaius, and the damage for which he was responsible to the state was correspondingly greater. An emperor who is well described by statements such as these, "But above all he was carried away by a craze for popularity and he was jealous of all who in any way stirred the feeling of the mob." and "What an artist the world is losing!" and who is above all remembered for crimes against his mother and the Christians was indeed a sad falling-off from the levels of Augustus and Tiberius. Few will argue that Nero does not rank as one of the worst emperors of all.

The prime sources for Nero's life and reign are Tacitus' Annales 12-16, Suetonius' Life of Nero, and Dio Cassius' Roman History 61-63, written in the early third century. Additional valuable material comes from inscriptions, coinage, papyri, and archaeology.


Early Life
He was born on December 15, 37, at Antium, the son of Cnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbusand Agrippina. Domitius was a member of an ancient noble family, consul in 32; Agrippina was the daughter of the popular Germanicus, who had died in 19, and Agrippina, daughter of Agrippa, Augustus' closest associate, and Julia, the emperor's daughter, and thus in direct descent from the first princeps. When the child was born, his uncle Gaius had only recently become emperor. The relationship between mother and uncle was difficult, and Agrippina suffered occasional humiliation. But the family survived the short reign of the "crazy" emperor, and when he was assassinated, it chanced that Agrippina's uncle, Claudius, was the chosen of the praetorian guard, although there may have been a conspiracy to accomplish this.

Ahenobarbus had died in 40, so the son was now the responsibility of Agrippina alone. She lived as a private citizen for much of the decade, until the death of Messalina, the emperor's wife, in 48 made competition among several likely candidates to become the new empress inevitable. Although Roman law forbade marriage between uncle and niece, an eloquent speech in the senate by Lucius Vitellius, Claudius' closest advisor in the senatorial order, persuaded his audience that the public good required their union. The marriage took place in 49, and soon thereafter the philosopher Seneca [[PIR2 A617]] was recalled from exile to become the young Domitius' tutor, a relationship which endured for some dozen years.

His advance was thereafter rapid. He was adopted by Claudius the following year and took the name Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar or Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, was preferred to Claudius' natural son, Britannicus, who was about three years younger, was betrothed to the emperor's daughter Octavia, and was, in the eyes of the people, the clear successor to the emperor. In 54, Claudius died, having eaten some poisoned mushrooms, responsibility for which was believed to be Agrippina's, and the young Nero, not yet seventeen years old, was hailed on October 13 as emperor by the praetorian guard.


The First Years of Rule
The first five years of Nero's rule are customarily called the quinquennium, a period of good government under the influence, not always coinciding, of three people, his mother, Seneca, and Sextus Afranius Burrus, the praetorian prefect. The latter two were allies in their "education" of the emperor. Seneca continued his philosophical and rhetorical training, Burrus was more involved in advising on the actualities of government. They often combined their influence against Agrippina, who, having made her son emperor, never let him forget the debt he owed his mother, until finally, and fatally, he moved against her.

Nero's betrothal to Octavia was a significant step in his ultimate accession to the throne, as it were, but she was too quiet, too shy, too modest for his taste. He was early attracted to Poppaea Sabina, the wife of Otho, and she continually goaded him to break from Octavia and to show himself an adult by opposing his mother. In his private life, Nero honed the musical and artistic tastes which were his chief interest, but, at this stage, they were kept private, at the instigation of Seneca and Burrus.

As the year 59 began, Nero had just celebrated his twenty-first birthday and now felt the need to employ the powers which he possessed as emperor as he wished, without the limits imposed by others. Poppaea's urgings had their effect, first of all, at the very onset of the year, with Nero's murder of his mother in the Bay of Naples.

Agrippina had tried desperately to retain her influence with her son, going so far as to have intercourse with him. But the break between them proved irrevocable, and Nero undertook various devices to eliminate his mother without the appearance of guilt on his part. The choice was a splendid vessel which would collapse while she was on board. As this happened, she swam ashore and, when her attendant, having cried out that she was Agrippina, was clubbed to death, Agrippina knew what was going on. She sent Nero a message that she was well; his response was to send a detachment of sailors to finish the job. When she was struck across the head, she bared her womb and said, "Strike here, Anicetus, strike here, for this bore Nero," and she was brutally murdered.

Nero was petrified with fear when he learned that the deed had been done, yet his popularity with the plebs of Rome was not impaired. This matricide, however, proved a turning point in his life and principate. It appeared that all shackles were now removed. The influence of Seneca and Burrus began to wane, and when Burrus died in 62, Seneca realized that his powers of persuasion were at an end and soon went into retirement. Britannicus had died as early as 55; now Octavia was to follow, and Nero became free to marry Poppaea. It may be that it had been Burrus rather than Agrippina who had continually urged that Nero's position depended in large part upon his marriage to Octavia. Burrus' successor as commander of the praetorian guard, although now with a colleague, was Ofonius Tigellinus, quite the opposite of Burrus in character and outlook. Tigellinus became Nero's "evil twin," urging and assisting in the performance of crimes and the satisfaction of lusts.


Administrative and Foreign Policy
With Seneca and Burrus in charge of administration at home, the first half-dozen years of Nero's principate ran smoothly. He himself devoted his attention to his artistic, literary, and physical bents, with music, poetry, and chariot racing to the fore. But his advisors were able to keep these performances and displays private, with small, select audiences on hand. Yet there was a gradual trend toward public performance, with the establishment of games. Further, he spent many nights roaming the city in disguise, with numerous companions, who terrorized the streets and attacked individuals. Those who dared to defend themselves often faced death afterward, because they had shown disrespect for the emperor. The die was being cast for the last phases of Nero's reign.


The Great Fire at Rome and The Punishment
of the Christians
The year 64 was the most significant of Nero's principate up to this point. His mother and wife were dead, as was Burrus, and Seneca, unable to maintain his influence over Nero without his colleague's support, had withdrawn into private life. The abysmal Tigellinus was now the foremost advisor of the still young emperor, a man whose origin was from the lowest levels of society and who can accurately be described as criminal in outlook and action. Yet Nero must have considered that he was happier than he had ever been in his life. Those who had constrained his enjoyment of his (seemingly) limitless power were gone, he was married to Poppaea, a woman with all advantages save for a bad character the empire was essentially at peace, and the people of Rome enjoyed a full measure of panem et circenses. But then occurred one of the greatest disasters that the city of Rome, in its long history, had ever endured.

The fire began in the southeastern angle of the Circus Maximus, spreading through the shops which clustered there, and raged for the better part of a week. There was brief success in controlling the blaze, but then it burst forth once more, so that many people claimed that the fires were deliberately set. After about a fortnight, the fire burned itself out, having consumed ten of the fourteen Augustan regions into which the city had been divided.

Nero was in Antium through much of the disaster, but his efforts at relief were substantial. Yet many believed that he had been responsible, so that he could perform his own work comparing the current fate of Rome to the downfall of Troy. All his efforts to assist the stricken city could not remove the suspicion that "the emperor had fiddled while Rome burned." He lost favor even among the plebs who had been enthusiastic supporters, particularly when his plans for the rebuilding of the city revealed that a very large part of the center was to become his new home.

As his popularity waned, Nero and Tigellinus realized that individuals were needed who could be charged with the disaster. It so happened that there was such a group ready at hand, Christians, who had made themselves unpopular because of their refusal to worship the emperor, their way of life, and their secret meetings. Further, at this time two of their most significant "teachers" were in Rome, Peter and Paul. They were ideal scapegoats, individuals whom most Romans loathed, and who had continually sung of the forthcoming end of the world.

Their destruction was planned with the utmost precision and cruelty, for the entertainment of the populace. The venue was Nero's circus near the Mons Vaticanus. Christians were exposed to wild animals and were set ablaze, smeared with pitch, to illuminate the night. The executions were so grisly that even the populace displayed sympathy for the victims. Separately, Peter was crucified upside down on the Vatican hill and Paul was beheaded along the Via Ostiensis. But Nero's attempt, and hope, to shift all suspicion of arson to others failed. His popularity even among the lower classes was irrevocably impaired.

[For a detailed and interesting discussion of Nero’s reign please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/nero.htm]

The End - Nero's Death and its Aftermath
Nero's and Tigellinus' response to the conspiracy was immediate and long-lasting. The senatorial order was decimated, as one leading member after another was put to death or compelled to commit suicide. The year 66 saw the suicides of perhaps the most distinguished victims of the "reign of terror," Caius Petronius and Thrasea Paetus. Petronius, long a favorite of Nero because of his aesthetic taste, had been an able public servant before he turned to a life of ease and indolence. He was recognized as the arbiter elegantiae of Nero's circle, and may be the author of the Satyricon. At his death, he left for Nero a document which itemized many of the latter's crimes. Thrasea, a staunch Stoic who had been for some years an outspoken opponent of Nero's policies, committed suicide in the Socratic manner. This scene is the last episode in the surviving books of Tacitus' Annals.

In the year 68, revolt began in the provinces. . . the end of Nero's reign became inevitable. Galba claimed the throne and began his march from Spain. Nero panicked and was rapidly abandoned by his supporters. He finally committed suicide with assistance, on June 9, 68, and his body was tended and buried by three women who had been close to him in his younger days, chief of whom was Acte. His death scene is marked above all by the statement, "Qualis artifex pereo," (What an artist dies in me.) Even at the end he was more concerned with his private life than with the affairs of state.

The aftermath of Nero's death was cataclysmic. Galba was the first of four emperors who revealed the new secret of empire, that an emperor could be made elsewhere than in Rome. Civil war ensued, which was only ended by the victory of the fourth claimant, Vespasian, who established the brief dynasty of the Flavians. The dynasty of the Julio-Claudians was at an end.

Nero's popularity among the lower classes remained even after his death.

. . . .

It is not excessive to say that he was one of the worst of Rome's emperors in the first two centuries and more of the empire. Whatever talents he had, whatever good he may have done, all is overwhelmed by three events, the murder of his mother, the fire at Rome, and his savage treatment of the Christians.

Precisely these qualities are the reasons that he has remained so well known and has been the subject of many writers and opera composers in modern times. These works of fiction particularly merit mention: Henryk Sienkiewicz's Quo Vadis, one of the finest works of the 1907 Nobel Laureate in Literature, and John Hersey's The Conspiracy. Nero unquestionably will always be with us.

Copyright (C) 2006, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

1 commentsCleisthenes
roman_emperor_otho.jpg
708a, Otho64 viewsOtho (69 A.D.)
John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction
In January 69 Otho led a successful coup to overthrow the emperor Galba. Upon advancing to the throne, he hoped to conciliate his adversaries and restore political stability to the Empire. These ambitions were never to be realized. Instead, our sources portray a leader never fully able to win political confidence at Rome or to overcome military anarchy abroad. As a result, he was defeated in battle by the forces of Vitellius, his successor, and took his own life at the conclusion of the conflict. His principate lasted only eight weeks.
Early Life and Career
Marcus Salvius Otho was born at Ferentium on 28 April 32 A. D. His grandfather, also named Marcus Salvius Otho, was a senator who did not advance beyond the rank of praetor. Lucius Otho, his father, was consul in 33 and a trusted administrator under the emperors Tiberius, Gaius and Claudius. His mother, Albia Terentia, was likely to have been nobly born as well. The cognomen "Otho" was Etruscan in origin, and the fact that it can be traced to three successive generations of this family perhaps reflects a desire to maintain a part of the Etruscan tradition that formed the family's background.
Otho is recorded as being extravagant and wild as a youth - a favorite pastime involved roving about at night to snare drunkards in a blanket. Such behavior earned floggings from his father, whose frequent absences from home on imperial business suggest little in the way of a stabilizing parental influence in Otho's formative years. These traits apparently persisted: Suetonius records that Otho and Nero became close friends because of the similarity of their characters; and Plutarch relates that the young man was so extravagant that he sometimes chided Nero about his meanness, and even outdid the emperor in reckless spending.
Most intriguing in this context is Otho's involvement with Nero's mistress, Poppaea Sabina, the greatest beauty of her day. A relationship between the two is widely cited in the ancient sources, but the story differs in essential details from one account to the next. As a result, it is impossible to establish who seduced whom, whether Otho ever married Poppaea, and whether his posting to Lusitania by Nero should be understood as a "banishment" for his part in this affair. About the only reliable detail to emerge is that Otho did indeed become governor of Lusitania in 59, and that he assumed the post as a quaestor, a rank below that of praetor or consul, the minimum usually required for the office. From here he would launch his initial thrust towards the imperial throne.
Overthrow of Galba
Nero's suicide in June 68 marked the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and opened up the principate to the prerogatives of the military beyond Rome. First to emerge was Servius Sulpicius Galba, governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, who had been encouraged to revolt by the praetorians and especially by Nymphidius Sabinus, the corrupt and scheming praetorian prefect at Rome. By this time Otho had been in Spain for close to ten years. His record seems to have been a good one, marked by capable administration and an unwillingness to enrich himself at the expense of the province. At the same time, perhaps seeing this as his best chance to improve his own circumstances, he supported the insurrection as vigorously as possible, even sending Galba all of his gold and his best table servants. At the same time, he made it a point to win the favor of every soldier he came in contact with, most notably the members of the praetorian guard who had come to Spain to accompany Galba to Rome. Galba set out from Spain in July, formally assuming the emperorship shortly thereafter. Otho accompanied him on the journey.
Galba had been in Rome little more than two months when on 1 January 69 the troops in Upper Germany refused to declare allegiance to him and instead followed the men stationed in Lower Germany in proclaiming their commander, Aulus Vitellius, as the new ruler. To show that he was still in charge Galba adopted his own successor, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus, an aristocrat completely without administrative or military experience. The choice meant little to the remote armies, the praetorians or the senate and particularly angered Otho, who had hoped to succeed Galba. Otho quickly organized a conspiracy among the praetorians with promise of a material reward, and on 15 January 69 they declared him emperor and publicly killed Galba; Piso, dragged from hiding in the temple of Vesta, was also butchered. On that same evening a powerless senate awarded Otho the imperial titles.
Otho's Principate in Rome
It is not possible to reconstruct a detailed chronology of Otho's brief eight and a half weeks as princeps in Rome (15 January-15 March). Even so, Galba's quick demise had surely impressed upon Otho the need to conciliate various groups. As a result, he continued his indulgence of the praetorian guard but he also tried to win over the senate by following a strict constitutionalist line and by generally keeping the designations for the consulship made by Nero and Galba. In the provinces, despite limited evidence, there are some indications that he tried to compensate for Galba's stinginess by being more generous with grants of citizenship. In short, Otho was eager not to offend anyone.
Problems remained, however. The praetorians had to be continually placated and they were always suspicious of the senate. On the other hand, the senate itself, along with the people, remained deeply disturbed at the manner of Otho's coming to power and his willingness to be associated with Nero. These suspicions and fears were most evident in the praetorian outbreak at Rome. Briefly, Otho had decided to move from Ostia to Rome a cohort of Roman citizens in order to replace some of Rome's garrison, much of which was to be utilized for the showdown with Vitellius. He ordered that weapons be moved from the praetorian camp in Rome by ship to Ostia at night so that the garrison replacements would be properly armed and made to look as soldierly as possible when they marched into the city. Thinking that a senatorial counter-coup against Otho was underway, the praetorians stormed the imperial palace to confirm the emperor's safety, with the result that they terrified Otho and his senatorial dinner guests. Although the praetorians' fears were eventually calmed and they were given a substantial cash payment, the incident dramatically underscored the unease at Rome in the early months of 69.
Otho's Offensive against Vitellius
Meanwhile, in the Rhineland, preparations for a march on Rome by the military legions that had declared for Vitellius were far advanced. Hampered by poor intelligence gathering in Gaul and Germany and having failed to negotiate a settlement with Vitellius in early 69, Otho finally summoned to Italy his forces for a counterattack against the invading Vitellian army. His support consisted of the four legions of Pannonia and Dalmatia, the three legions of Moesia and his own imperial retinue of about 9,000. Vitellius' own troops numbered some 30,000, while those of his two marshals, Aulus Caecina Alienus and Fabius Valens, were between 15,000 and 20,000 each.
Otho's strategy was to make a quick diversionary strike in order to allow time for his own forces to assemble in Italy before engaging the enemy. The strategy worked, as the diversionary army, comprised of urban cohorts, praetorians and marines all from Rome or nearby, was successful in Narbonese Gaul in latter March. An advance guard sent to hold the line on the Po River until the Danubian legions arrived also enjoyed initial success. Otho himself arrived at Bedriacum in northern Italy about 10 April for a strategy session with his commanders. The main concern was that the Vitellians were building a bridge across the Po in order to drive southward towards the Apennines and eventually to Rome. Otho decided to counter by ordering a substantial part of his main force to advance from Bedriacum and establish a new base close enough to the new Vitellian bridge to interrupt its completion. While en route, the Othonian forces, strung out along the via Postumia amid baggage and supply trains, were attacked by Caecina and Valens near Cremona on 14 April. The clash, know as the Battle of Bedriacum, resulted in the defeat of the Othonian forces, their retreat cut off by the river behind them. Otho himself, meanwhile, was not present, but had gone to Brixellum with a considerable force of infantry and cavalry in order to impede any Vitellian units that had managed to cross the Po.
The plan had backfired. Otho's strategy of obtaining victory while avoiding any major battles had proven too risky. Realizing perhaps that a new round of fighting would have involved not only a significant re-grouping of his existing troops but also a potentially bloody civil war at Rome, if Vitellius' troops reached the capital, Otho decided that enough blood had been shed. Two weeks shy of his thirty-seventh birthday, on 16 April 69, he took his own life.
Assessment
To be sure, Otho remains an enigma - part profligate Neronian wastrel and part conscientious military commander willing to give his life for the good of the state. Our sources are at a loss to explain the paradox. Perhaps, like Petronius, he saw it was safer to appear a profligate in Nero's court? In the final analysis, Otho proved to be an organized and efficient military commander, who appealed more to the soldier than to the civilian. He also seems to have been a capable governor, with administrative talents that recalled those of his father. Nevertheless, his violent overthrow of Galba, the lingering doubts that it raised about his character, and his unsuccessful offensive against Vitellius are all vivid reminders of the turbulence that plagued the Roman world between the reigns of Nero and Vespasian. Regrettably, the scenario would play itself out one more time before peace and stability returned to the empire.
Copyright (C) 1999, John Donahue
Edited by J.P.Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
0068.jpg
A. Postumius Albinus. Denarius43 viewsRRC 372/2
81 BC

Obverse: HISPAN, Veiled head of Hispania r
Reverse: ·S·N – ALBIN Togate figure standing l., raising hand; to l., legionary eagle and to r., fasces with axe.

Issued when Rome had won the supremacy in Italy but was still fighting the last of the Marians in Spain.

....and so the magistrate has been iddentified as the praetor Lucius Postumius Albinus who had gone to further Spain in 180 and had his term prorogued into 179. He fought two major battles with the Vaccaei, killing a reported 35,000. (....) If the magistrate on the coin is the victorious praetor, his century old triumph over the Lusitanians was especially relevant in 81, for ir was among the Lusitanians where Sertorius found the greatest support. (Harlan)

The moneyer is assumed to be a grandson of the consul of 110 and a son of the moneyer of 96 (Crawford)
--
Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 78; Lot 635, 26 - 27 May 2014
3 commentsNorbert
Alexander_Tet_Byblos.jpg
Alexander, Tet, Byblos87 viewsByblos, 330-320
obv: head of Herakles wearing lion skin right
rev: ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ; Zeus enthroned left, holding eagle and scepter
Price 431, 3426. SNG Oxford 3009
Numismatica Ars Classica AG, Zürich M (2002), 2253.
Hess-Divo AG 317/147
Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG 226/325
3 commentsareich
1Vittoriato_unito.jpg
Anonimo, Vittoriato (dopo il 211 a.C.)8 viewsDenario "vittoriato", post 211 a.C., Roma
AR, 3,24 gr, 17 mm, qBB
D/ Testa laureata di Giove.
R/ ROMA (esergo); una Vittoria che incorona un trofeo.
Cr. 44/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 15 ottobre 2018, numero catalogo 392), ex collezione Vanni, Tinia Numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino al 15 ottobre 2018)
paolo
0091.jpg
Anonymous half-unit69 viewsAnonymous half-unit (AE)

RRC 26/4
234 - 231 bc
11 mm; 1,34 gr

Av: Head of Roma r., wearing Phrygian helmet.
Rv: Rev. Dog r.; in exergue, ROMA.

This one is tiny. What you see at the side is the edge from a one Euro Cent coin.
Crawford lists this as 'half litra' and before the As of the series

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich; Auction 92 - Part II; 24 May 2016; lot no 1514
1 commentsNorbert
0092.jpg
Anonymus Quartuncia11 viewsAnonymus Quartuncia

RRC 38/8; Mc Cabe group AA?
217-215 bc
16 mm ; 2,92 gr

Av: Helmeted head of Roma r
Rv: Prow r, ROMA above


Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich | Auction 92 - Part II | 24 May 2016
Norbert
Antimachos_I_(185-170_BCE)_tetradrachm_(AR).jpg
Antimachos I (185-170 BCE) tetradrachm (AR)72 viewsObv.: Draped bust of Antimachos I r., wearing kausia Rev.: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΘΕΟΥ ΑΝΤΙΜΑΧΟΥ (Poseidon stg. facing, holding trident and palm branch; in lower r. field, monogram.) Struck at Pushkalavati (174-165 BCE) Weight: 16.98 g. Diameter: 32.4 mm Reference: Mitchiner 124ff., Bopearachchi série 1A, HGCS 12/106 Provenance: Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 84/2 (2015)

Very little is known about this enigmatic Bactrian king, although he likely belonged to the Euthydemid dynasty and was subsequently defeated by Eukratides. The kausia, a typical Macedonian hat, underlined Antimachos' Macedonian lineage, thus boosting his legitimacy. While Poseidon's appearance on the coins of a landlocked nation is remarkable, he may have been connected to the Oxus river flowing through Bactria or the numerous earthquakes that to this day plague Afghanistan.
1 commentsNick.vdw
AntoSee0.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 620, Sestertius of AD 143-144 (king of the Quadi)32 viewsÆ sestertius (22.4g, 31mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 143-144.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate and draped bust of Antoninus Pius facing right.
Rev.: REX QVADIS DATVS [around] S C [in ex.] Antoninus Pius, togate, standing left, placing a diadem in the hand of the king of the Quadi, standing right.
RIC 620 [R2]; BMC 1275; Cohen 688; Strack 852; Banti 323 (2 spec.); Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 126:42; Sear (Roman Coins & Their Values II) 4210
ex Cayón Numismática Live Auct.15.

In A.D. 143, Antoninus Pius appointed kings for the Armenians and the Quadi and dedicated separate issues for both events.
Charles S
ANTOSEg3-2.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 746, Sestertius of AD 140-144 (Italia)19 viewsÆ Sestertius (29.2, 35mm, 7h). Rome, AD 140-144.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right.
Rev.: ITALIA in ex., S | C, Italia seated left on globe holding scepter and cornucopiae.
RIC 746 (C); Strack 836
Ex Cayón Numismática, Auction 26, June, 2015.
Charles S
ANTOSEc4.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 928, Sestertius of AD 154-155 (Libertas)66 viewsÆ Sestertius (26.0g, Ø33mm, 7h). Rome mint. Struck AD 154-155.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVIII, laureate head of Antoninus Pius right.
Rev.: LIBERTAS COS IIII (around) S C (in field), Libertas, draped, standing front, head turned right, holding pileus and extending left hand.
RIC 928; Cohen 540; BMCRE IV 1962; Strack 1105 (4 collections); Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali II-3) 226 (4 specimens)
ex Aurea Numismatica s.r.o. auct. 19
Charles S
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Apollo kitharoidos, Vatican Museum, a 2nd-century AD colossal marble statue by an unknown Roman sculptor.91 viewsAn Apollo Citharoedus is a statue or other image of Apollo with a Kithara (lyre). Among the best-known examples is this Apollo Citharoedus of the Vatican Museums, a 2nd-century AD colossal marble statue by an unknown Roman sculptor. Apollo is shown crowned with laurel and wearing the long, flowing robe of the Ionic bard. The statue was found in 1774, with seven statues of the Muses, in the ruins of Gaius Cassius Longinus' villa near Tivoli, Italy. The sculptures are preserved in the Hall of the Muses, in the Museo Pio-Clementino of the Vatican Museums. Joe Sermarini
geta_amng1654~0.jpg
Apollo Sauroktonos315 viewsNikopolis ad Istrum/Moesia inferior, Geta 198-202
AE 25, 11.38g
obv. L CEPTIMI GETAC KAICAR
bust draped, bare head r.
rev. [YP AVR G]A[LL]OC NIKOPOLITWN PROC ICTRON
Apollo, naked, laureate, with crossed legs, stg. r., r. hand raised behind holding arrow, l. hand resting on tree before him; at the tree a lizard, touching Apollo
AMNG 1654, VF, lizard only partially visible due to a weak strike, but nice green patina
Rare, only one spec. in AMNG ex coll. Löbbecke

From Pliny the Elder we know the detailed description of a famous bronze sculpture of Praxiteles (4th century BC) named Sauroktonos, the Lizard-killer. The original sculpture is lost. We have two Roman marble copies in the Louvre and in the Musei Vaticani in Rome. May be the coin is the pic of Pliny's description or may be not. But the reverse shows clearly the two sides of Apollo: Here the youthful smiling bringer of light and in the same moment the merciless killer for fun.
Jochen
Athalaric_ab.jpg
Athalaric - Rome - 2 1/2 nummi59 viewsAthalaric (516-534), Ostrogothic king (526-534). Æ 2.5 Nummi (11 mm, 1.17 g), Rome. Obverse: diademed bust right, IVSTI-NIANI. Reverse: Monogram within wreath. Metlich 88.

Ex Numismatica Tintinna Auction 10, lot 2505, 2011.
1 commentsJan (jbc)
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Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, 449 - 413 B.C.125 viewsSilver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31 ff., SGCV I 2526, VF, near full crest, Athens mint, 16.410g, 25.1mm, 90o. Obverse: head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; Reverse: AQE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square.

This coin is one of the most familiar of all the coins struck throughout the ancient Mediterranean. The images of Athena and her Owl, while not static, changed undramatically, in an unhurried and deliberate way. Although its production rests firmly during the time that numismatists call the Classical era (479 BC --336 BC), this coin's "style" better reflects the earlier Archaic period.

The Athenian "Owl" (until its debasement as a result of the Peloponnesian War) was the standard of its day. Between the late 5th century BC and the late 3rd century BC, these coins were the currency against which all other coins were measured. This high esteem was due to the Athenian tetradrachms' consistent weight and quality of silver.

"The little elf-like owl dear to ancient Athens had greenish-blue-gray eyes that could see clearly where humans could not. Glaukopis -- the "shining eyed one" was often shortened to glaux, a nickname for the tetradrachm that bore the owl's likeness" (http://notes.utk.edu/bio/unistudy.nsf/0/da0222e2e80272fd85256785001683e4?OpenDocument).

It is only with the emergence of the Imperial coinage of Alexander the Great (beginning quickly after his ascension to the throne in 336 BC) that the ancient world had another coin as widely accepted. As Martin J. Price notes, "“The impressive list of twenty-three mints on Asian soil and one in Egypt, all used to strike Alexander’s imperial coinage during his lifetime, shows that there was a conscious policy of providing this form of money on an empire-wide basis" (Price, Martin J. The Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. Zurich: The Swiss Numismatic Society in Association with British Museum Press, 1991. 72).

More than two millennia after the Athenian Tetracrachm was first struck, the 26th President of The United States, Theodore Roosevelt (b. 1858; d. 1919), is said to have carried an Athenian "Owl" in his pocket--to remind him just how beautiful a coin could be.

J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
2690084.jpg
ÁTICA - ATENAS29 viewsAR Tetradracma 23 mm 16.99 gr.

Anv: Cabeza de Atenas vistiendo Casco coronado, crestado y ornamentado con tres hojas de oliva y detalles florales.
Rev: "A Θ E" – Búho parado a derecha, su cabeza viendo al frente. Una rama de olivo y medialuna detrás.
Según el catálogo "Imperial Persian Coinage" de G.F. Hill editado en 1919, el resello/contramarca/marca de Banquero que aparece en esta moneda, se encuentra individualizada con el numero 45ff, según el Autor se trataría de una creciente (hay seis tipos diferentes) y posiblemente realizada en la región indo-bactriana.

Acuñación: 431 - 413 A.C.
Ceca: Atenas - Ática

Referencias: Sear GCTV Vol.I #2526 Pag.236 – BMC Vol.11 (Attica, Megaris, Aegira) #67/71 Pag.7 – SNG Copenhagen #31 - Kroll #8 - SNG VIII Hart #774/7 - Headlam #360/1
1 commentsmdelvalle
2690083.jpg
ÁTICA - ATENAS13 viewsAR Tetradracma 23 mm 16.99 gr.

Anv: Cabeza de Atenas vistiendo Casco coronado, crestado y ornamentado con tres hojas de oliva y detalles florales.
Rev: "A Θ E" – Búho parado a derecha, su cabeza viendo al frente. Una rama de olivo y medialuna detrás.
Corte/marca de comprobación en la frente de búho en reverso.

Acuñación: 431 - 413 A.C.
Ceca: Atenas - Ática

Referencias: Sear GCTV Vol.I #2526 Pag.236 – BMC Vol.11 (Attica, Megaris, Aegira) #67/71 Pag.7 – SNG Copenhagen #31 - Kroll #8 - SNG VIII Hart #774/7 - Headlam #360/1
mdelvalle
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Atilia 137 viewsAtilia 1 (155BC)

Denarius
Ob: head of Roma; X behind
Rev: Victory in biga right with whip in right and reigns in left
SA / R underneath; ROMA in exergue

BMCRR I 744 (earring 3 drops)

Sydenham 377

Crawford 199/1a moneyer is perhaps Sex. Atilius (Serranus = Saranus) cos. 136

Northumberland Tablet II 48 “...of the object of this device, or the advantage it may celebrate,
we know nothing.”

Ex: Colosseum Coin Exchange 2007 said to be a deaccession from Vatican; no tags.
Dark toned with iridescent highlights with slight pitting on obv, larger pit over horses’ heads
1 commentsPetrus Elmsley
Augustus_RIC_37a.JPG
Augustus, 27 BC - 14 AD133 viewsObv: CAESAR AVGVSTVS, oak-wreathed head of Augustus facing right.

Rev: (D)IVVS - IVLIVS across field, a comet of eight rays with upward tail.

Note: "Sidus Iulium" or the Julian Star was a fiery comet that appeared in the heavens in May of 44 BC. On the opening day of the funeral games for Julius Caesar the comet's brightness dramatically intensified so that it was visible even in daylight. The timely appearance of the comet was taken as a sign of Caesar's apotheosis.

Silver Denarius, Caesaraugusta mint, 19 - 18 BC

3.7 grams, 19.5 mm, 180°

RIC I 37a, RSC 98, S1607 (var.), VM 57
3 commentsSPQR Coins
Tetradracma_Ateniense.jpg
ÁTICA - ATENAS99 viewsEmisión realizada en el siglo de Aristóteles.
AR Tetradracma 20 mm 17.1 gr.

Anv: Cabeza de Atenas vistiendo Casco coronado, crestado y ornamentado con tres hojas de oliva y detalles florales.
Rev: "A Θ E" – Búho parado a derecha, su cabeza viendo al frente. Un ramo de olivo y medialuna detrás.
El viejo formato almendrado del ojo de Atenas en los tetradracmas anteriores al 393 A.C., cambia a un ojo mas real de perfil. Esta es una muy extensa serie, donde la gran mayoría fue acuñada muy descuidadamente en cospeles irregulares y de gran espesor.

Acuñación: 393 - 300 A.C.
Ceca: Atenas - Ática

Referencias: Sear GCTV Vol.I #2537 Pag.237 – BMC Vol.11 (Attica, Megaris, Aegira) #132/44 – SNG Copenhagen #63/4 - SNG München #91 - SNG Lockett #1873 - SNG Delepierre #1469 - Dewing #1635 - SNG VIII Hart #786
4 commentsmdelvalle
Baduila_ab~0.jpg
Baduila - Rome - 2 or 2 1/2 nummi65 viewsBaduila (-552), Ostrogothic king (541-552). Æ 2 or 2½ Nummi (10 mm, 1.00 g), minted in Rome 550-552. Obverse: frontal bust with unusually large helmet, (...)-REX. Reverse: lion advancing right. Metlich 99.

Undescribed variant with obverse legend (…)-REX, instead of the usual DN BAD-VEL or DN BA-DV.

Ex Numismatica Tintinna Auction 10, lot 2511, 2011.

1 commentsJan (jbc)
plautilla_mv_fac.jpg
Bust of Plautilla - Citta del Vaticano / Musei Vaticani 16 viewsBust of Plautilla
Marble
ca. 202 A.D.
Citta del Vaticano
Musei Vaticani, Museo Pio Clementino, Sala dei Busti
Inv.-No. 687

With special thanks to Prof. A. Nesselrath from the Musei Vaticani who allowed me to visit this amazing girl.
nummis durensis
IMG_2090.JPG
bust of Traian128 viewsVatican museumsJohny SYSEL
0096.jpg
C. Egnatuleius C.f. Quinarius 8 viewsC. Egnatuleius C.f. Quinarius

RRC 333/1
97 bc

Av: Laureate head of Apollo r.; behind, C EGNATVLEI C F Q.
Rv: Victory standing l. inscribing shield set on trophy; on l., carnyx; between, Q; in exergue, ROMA.


Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich | Auction 92 - Part II | 24 May 2016
From the collection of E.E. Clain-Stefanelli.
Norbert
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C. Fonteius, Denar17 viewsRRC 290/1
114 - 113 BC.

Obv: Laureate janiform heads of the Dioskuri, M to left, * to the right and five pellets below,
Rev: C•FONT ROMA Galley left with three rowers, gubernator at stern,

Numismatica Ars Classica -Auction P - 05.2005

1 commentsNorbert
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C. Maianius, Quadrans16 viewsC. Maianius, AE Quadrans

RRC 203/5
153 bc

AV: Head of Hercules right, wearing lion's skin; behind, three pellets.
Rv: Prow right; above, C. MAIANI; before, three pellets; below, ROMA.

Ex Artemide Aste Asta Numismatica XLVI (3-4 Dicembre 2016 - live ore 15:00), Lot 98:
Norbert
0119.jpg
C. Scribonius, Dearius23 viewsC. Scribonius, Dearius

RRC 201/1
154 bc
3,80 gr

Av: Helmeted head of Roma, X behind.
Rv: The Dioscuri riding right, C. SCR below; ROMA in linear frame.

Ex
Artemide Aste Asta Numismatica XLVI (3-4 Dicembre 2016 - live ore 15:00), Lot 95:
1 commentsNorbert
Vlasto_140.jpg
CALABRIA, Taras. Circa 470-465 BC. AR Nomos14 views18.5mm, 8.05 g, 7h
Taras, nude, raising left hand and supporting himself with his right, riding dolphin right; TARAS (retrograde) to left, scallop shell below / Head of nymph (Satyra?) left in linear circle within concave incuse. Fischer-Bossert Group 5, 91b (V41/R60) = Vlasto 140 (this coin, illustrated in both references); HN Italy 838; Berlin 65 (same dies). VF, old cabinet tone, a few marks.

From the Gasvoda Collection. Ex M. L. Collection of Coins of Magna Graecia and Sicily (Numismatica Ars Classica 82, 20 May 2015), lot 4; A. D. Moretti Collection; Classical Numismatic Group 40 (with Numismatica Ars Classica, 4 December 1996), lot 575; Hess-Leu [11] (24 March 1959), lot 5; Kricheldorf IV (7 October 1957), lot 26; Münzen und Medaillen AG VIII (8 December 1949), lot 696; Michel Pandely Vlasto Collection; Maddalena Collection (Sambon & Canessa, 7 May 1903), lot 244.
Leo
Vlasto_155.jpg
CALABRIA. Taras. Circa 470-465 BC. Drachm19 viewsSilver, 16 mm, 4.01 g, 6 h
TAPAS (retrograde) Forepart of hippocamp to right; below, scallop shell.
Rev. Diademed head of Satyra to right, her hair tied in a bun at the back; behind neck A.
HN III 839. Vlasto 155.
Very rare early variety; toned. Very fine.

From the Vineyard Collection, ex Numismatica Ars Classica M, 20 March 2002, 2033.
Leo
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Campgate: Costantino II, AE follis, zecca di Arles8 viewsCampgate a porte aperte, zecca di Arles, R4
AE, 2,63 gr, 20 mm, MB
D/ CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C; busto laureato, drappeggiato e corazzato rivolto a sinistra
R/ VIRTVS CAESS; ARL gamma in ex; campgate con quattro torri e porte aperte decorate; sopra, una stella
Variante RIC 312/313 (officina).
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 16 agosto 2019), numero catalogo XXX. ex collezione Vanni, Tinia Numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino al 15 agosto 2019)
paolo
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Campgate: Costantino II, AE3 (318-319 d.C.), zecca di Roma I officina6 viewsCostantino II, AE3 (318-319 d.C.), zecca di Roma I officina,
AE, 2.56 gr, 19 mm, MB+/qBB, R5
D/ CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C; busto laureato, drappeggiato e corazzato.
R/ VIRTV-S AVGG; RP (esergo); campgate con tre torri; nel campo, P – R.
RIC 173 var. (officina)
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 16 gennaio 2019, numero catalogo 398), ex collezione Vanni (Tinia numismatica via ebay, Follonica Italia fino al gennaio 2019)
paolo
1Costantino_II_campgate_Siscia_delta.jpg
Campgate: Costantino II, AE3, zecca di Siscia, IV officina 15 viewsCostantino II, (326-327), zecca di Siscia, IV officina
AE, 2,04g – 19mm, MB, R2
D/ CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C; testa laureata.
R/ PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS; campgate con due torri; sopra, una stella. •ΔSIS• in ex
RIC 202
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dal 29 gennaio 2015, numero catalogo 234), ex Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia dal 2014)
paolo
1Costantino_II_Heraclea,_V_officina.jpg
Campgate: Costantino II, zecca di Heraclea, V officina 13 viewsCostantino II, zecca di Heraclea (317 d.C.), V officina
AE, 4,44 gr, 19 mm, qBB
D/ D N FL CL CONSTANTINVS NOB C; busto laureato e con mantello imperiale, con in mano globo, scettro e mappa, rivolto a sinistra.
R/ PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS, campgate con tre torri, MHTε in ex
RIC 20
Provenienza; collezione Berardengo (Roma Italia dal 29 gennaio 2015, numero catalogo 235), ex Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia, dal 2014)

paolo
1Crispo_Arles.jpg
Campgate: Crispus, zecca di Arles (324-325 d.C.)10 viewsCrispus, Arles mint
AE, 3,05 gr., 19 mm, qSpl, R3
D/FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, busto laureato, drappeggiato e corazzato a dx
R/ PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS, campgate con due torri, stella in alto. S stella AR in ex
RIC 266
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma Italia dal 12 settembre 2014, numero catalogo 216), ex Alessandro Vanni (Tinia numismatica, Follonica Italia, fino al settembre 2014, numero registro 343/14-583)
paolo
1Crispo_campgate_Siscia.jpg
Campgate: Crispus, zecca di Siscia, V officina8 viewsCrispus (326-327 d.C.), Siscia mint, V officina
AE 2,82 gr, 19 mm, NC
D/ IVL CRIS-PVS NOB C; testa laureata a destra.
R/ PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS; punto ESIS punto (esergo); campgate con due torri; sopra, una stella
RIC 201
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, 21/8/2014, numero catalogo 218); ex collezione Alessandro Vanni (Tinia Numismatica, Follonica Grosseto, Italia, prima del 2014, numero registro 343/14-375)
paolo
1campgate_Galerio_unita.jpg
Campgate: Galerio, AE follis (ca 307 d.C.), zecca di Cyzicus14 viewsGalerius, AE Follis (c. 307 AD), Cyzicus
AE, gr. 4,32, mm. 23,8, qMB, R
D/ IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS PF AVG, laureate head right
R/ VIRTVS MILITVM, campgate surmounted by four beacons or turrets. Mintmark MK?
Ric VI 39, Cohen 228/229
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, numero catalogo 267, 4 gennaio 2017); ex Tintinna numismatica, asta 60 (Deamoneta) del 4 gennaio 2017, lotto 2203
paolo
Durotriges.JPG
Celtic Britain, Durotriges (Circa 58 BC-45 AD)17 viewsStater, Abstract (Cranborne Chase) type

5.26g

Obverse: Devolved head of Apollo right

Reverse: Disjointed horse left; pellets above, [pellet below], pellet in lozenge above tail, [zigzag and pellet pattern between two parallel exergue lines].

Van Arsdell 1235-1; BMC 2525-54.

The Durotriges ("dwellers by the water" or, perhaps, "water-rat kings") were well known for their continental trade and hill forts. They were the only tribe who did not add inscriptions to their coins, perhaps indicative of decentralized rule among multiple hill-fort based tribes using a common currency, and the only tribe to strike a stater in silver.

The history of the Durotriges can be divided into two broad phases, an early phase, roughly 100-60 B.C. and a late phase from 60 B.C. until the Roman conquest. The early phase was a time of rapid development brought about by overseas trade, while the late phase was a time of retraction, isolation and economic impoverishment. The economic decline is dramatically portrayed by the progressive debasement of their coinage, particularly when you compare the magnificent white-gold Craborne Chase staters of ca. 50-40 B.C. with the crude cast bronze Hengistbury coins of ca. A.D. 10-43.

The Durotriges resisted Roman invasion in AD 43, and the historian Suetonius records some fights between the tribe and the second legion Augusta, then commanded by Vespasian. By 70 AD, the tribe was already Romanised and securely included in the Roman province of Britannia.
2 commentsNathan P
ruckser-COIN1.jpg
CHINA - Fake Song Dynasty!176 viewsXing Zhao Zhong Bao, 3 wen - Denomination: 3 wen - Metal: AE From ZENO: #1: Hua Huangpu, 3-vol edition, page 804. However, presented coin looks bad - calligraphy is wrong, and metal and patina color are similar to the modern production fakes. #2: This is one of three coins in this series. There is a similar piece with "Tang Wu" (value 5) on the reverse, and there is a smaller coin with the character "Pao" abbreviated on the obverse and with the cyclical date "Jen Shen" on the reverse. As far as I can determine, the small coin was first published in 1877 in the supplement to Ku Ch'uan Hui by Li Tso-hsien. The other two coins were first published in the 1920's or 1930's - making them a little suspicious. Ting Fu-pao's Encyclopedia (1938) shows the small dated coin, but quotes Cheng Chia-hsiang who mentions the other two coins. Another Value 3 is shown in Ku Ch'ien Hsin Tien (Guqian Xindian) [English title: New Illustrative Plates of Chinese Ancient Coins] by Chu Huo (Zhu Huo). published in 1991 and in Hua Kuang-p'u (Hua Guangpu) catalog of old Chinese coins (I have the 1999 edition). All of these Value 3 illustrations are of the same calligraphy, which is entirely different from the calligraphy of the coin shown here. The different references to these coins do not agree on the dating, attribution or even the reading of the inscription. Some read it Hsing Chao Chung Pao (Xingzhao Zhongbao) because this looks like a coin inscription -- even though this reading starts on the left, something never seen on Chinese coins. But most read it Chao Pao Chung Hsing, and this is how it is listed in Arthur Coole's index of cash coin inscriptions in Volume 1 of his Encyclopedia of Chinese Coins. Li Tso-hsien mentions a Chung Hsing reign title, but this was used in Annam from 1285 to 1293, and would require starting on the right and reading crosswise, then top to bottom. Most works date the coins to the end of the Sung dynasty, issued by loyalist generals. Zhu Huo, however, lists these coins under the Yuan dynasty and apparently believes they were made in the 1300's. The cyclical date on the small coin could be 1272 AD - near the end of the Sung dynasty - or 1332 during the Yuan dynasty. It could also be 1152 or 1212, but this seems less likely. What does the inscription mean? The top character, Chao, is the family name of the Sung emperors. Hsing means to raise up. I think the intention of the inscription is: "raise up (or restore) the Chao family (of emperors)". Grammatically it should read "Hsing Chao", but in printed works, any reference to the emperor must begin one line above the rest of the text, so the family name was put at the top. The only way I can think of using the other two characters is "chung pao", meaning simply "heavy currency". Pao could be an adjective for Chao ("precious Chao"), but then how does the "chung" fit in the inscription? So I think the correct reading is "Hsing Chao Chung Pao" or "Chao Hsing Chung Pao".
dpaul7
WangMang2.jpg
China: Han Interregnum, Usurper Wang Mang, 7-22 A.D.89 viewsChina: Han Interregnum, Usurper Wang Mang, 7-22 A.D. AE24 mm, Cash. Obv: Huo Chuan. Schjoth-165.

"As soon as his [Wang Mang's] power was sufficiently consolidated, 3 years after his return to court, lists of his political opponents were drawn up, and hundreds were executed. Shortly after this he established a new penal colony in Tibet in the far West, a sort of ancient gulag. Unfortunately we have no direct account as to the nature of the crimes of those exiled to Tibet. In 6 AD the reins of power were still more firmly in his grasp, and Mang ordered his first reform of the coinage. Fundamentally this was a stratagem to nationalize the gold stocks, and put the empire back on a copper standard. Gold was requisitioned and exchanged against very high value bronze tokens. Two years later the tokens were demonetized. The cash assets of the aristocracy and the wealthy merchants must have been largely wiped out overnight. It is in the first couple of years of Mang's independent reign that the astonishing breadth of his reform proposals appear. His reforms include:

1) the abolition of slavery.
2) the nationalization of land.
3) standard plots of arable land for all adult males who wished to work them.
4) farming families grouped in hamlets of 6 or 8, with a common tax assessment.
5) a national bank offering fair rates of interest to all.
6) government market activity to counteract cornering and monopolization.
7) a new currency system in 15 denominations - circulating by government fiat.
8) defeat of the Huns

His new taxes include

taxes to be paid in cash or kind on cultivated land (one tenth)

triple rates to be paid on uncultivated land (parks and gardens etc.)

c) all self-employed or professional people outside farming shall register for income tax, which will be universally levied at 10% per annum. Those avoiding registration, or submitting false accounts to be sentenced to one years hard labour.

d) the state monopolies on iron, salt, silk, cloth and coinage to be retained

e) a new state monopoly on wine to be introduced.

Discussion of the proposals

1) Events in his private life show Mang's abhorrence of slavery. He vilified the political system of the legalists, established in the Chin dynasty (221-206 BC) specifically by alluding to the manner in which they established market places for male and female slaves, "putting human beings in auction pens as if they were cattle."

Reforms 2, 3, 5 & 6) The nationalization of land and its distribution amongst the peasant farmers themselves is of course one solution to the central economic problem in all pre-modern civilizations, (which presumably finds its roots in the bronze age and persisting right down to the machine age). Peasants must have security of tenure and just returns for their labour, otherwise they will not be encouraged to work effectively - and the state and all within it will thereby be impoverished. However if they are made private landowners then clever, unscrupulous, hard-working individuals within and outwith the peasantry will begin to gain land at the expense of their neighbours. The chief mechanisms of this gradual monopolization of the land by a class of people distinguished by their wealth are:

Preying upon private 'misfortune', (illness, death, and marriage expenses) by loansharking.
Preying upon public misfortunes (bad harvests) by loansharking.
Creating shortages by rigging the markets, exacerbating private and public misfortunes, and then loansharking.

Unfairly biasing tax assessments, creating and exacerbating private and public misfortunes, and then loansharking.

The end result of this tendency is likely to be that the bulk of farmers lack security of tenure and or just returns, and cease to work effectively, to the impoverishment of all. Reforms 2, 3 & 5 bear on this problem in an obvious way.

Reform 6 - the "Five Equalizations" is a little more complicated, so I shall explain it at greater length. Fundamentally it required the installation of government officials at the five important markets of the empire who would "buy things when they were cheap and sell them when they were dear." In more detail: "The superintendent of the market, in the second month of each of the four seasons, shall determine the true price of the articles under their responsibility, and shall establish high, middle and low prices for each type of item. When there are unsold goods on the market, the superintendent shall buy them up at the cost (low?) price. When goods become expensive (ie exceed the high price?) the superintendent shall intervene to sell goods from the official store (and thereby reduce the price)." The regulation thus allows markets to operate, but provides for state intervention to stop speculation . . . Mang's regulations allow for a review and revision of the trading bands four times a year.

4). In resettling the people securely on the land, Mang choose to group them into "chings" of 6 or 8 families - attempting to restore the traditional "well field" system. This provided for the regular exchange of land between the families, to give all a go at the best ground, and for joint responsibility for a common tax demand. The ching system was believed, by the Confucian party in the 1st century BC at least, to have been destroyed by the growth of mercantilist exploitation under the Chin legalists. There are hints that the state went on to use the ching structure in crime prevention measures, by making all members of the ching culpable for the unreported crime of any single member. The installation of a land nationalization scheme under the banner of a return to the ancient Chou system of 'chings' had a great deal of propaganda value amongst the Confucian elite which surrounded Mang. A sentimental view of rural working class life seems to be a common weakness amongst aristocratic and middle class intellectuals of all periods. Mang's own observations of the labouring poor would necessarily have been made at a distance - perhaps he too shared in this sentimental myopia. The evidence suggests that the peasantry did not welcome this aspect of the reforms

7) Food was the first concern of Confucian government, but coinage was the second. Only fair prices could encourage the farmers. Only markets could create fair prices. Only with coins could markets exist. Mang introduced a rational set of 15 denominations of coin, valued from 1 to 1,000 cash and circulated by government fiat. Mang did not invent the idea of fiat or fiduciary currency, a brief attempt had been made to circulate one in China a century earlier. However Mang was the first to systematically think through the matter in a practical context, and to apply it over a protracted period. Future successful ancient and medieval experiments with fiat currency, first in China, then in Japan and Central Asia, and unsuccessful ones in medieval India and Persia all looked back - directly or indirectly - to Mang. The first successful fully fiduciary currencies in Europe are products of the 20th century, more than 700 years after Europeans became aware of Chinese practices. (I am neglecting a great deal of late Roman copper coin here of course. I am by no means knowledgeable on such coins, but my understanding is that in principle, if not in practice, Rome was generally on the silver or the gold standard, and copper was exchangeable on demand.) On my own reading of the text, Mang's main concern is to get gold and silver off the market, so they could not be used to bid his tokens down - his coinage was intended to replace gold coinage, not supplement it."--Robert Tye

For a more complete study of Wang Mang, see Robert Tye's compositon about this enigmatic leader at http://www.anythinganywhere.com/info/tye/Wang%20Mang.htm
Cleisthenes
1Claudio_beachy_unita.jpg
Claudio II, PAX AVGUSTI, ex Beachy Head hoard (1973)25 viewsClaudius II, antoninianus Rome mint (ex Beachy Head hoard)
AE, gr 2,7, mm 21,8 max, BB, C
D/ IMP CLAVDIVS AVG, Claudio radiato e corazzato a dx
R/PAX - AVGVSTI H|-, Pax stante a sinistra tiene ramo d'olivo nella dx e scettro trasversale nella sx
Ric V 81
Nota: il Beachy Head hoard, trovato nel 1973 nei pressi di Eastbourne Uk era composto da 5.000 antoniniani del III secolo. Il tesoro, contenuto in un secchio di bronzo tipo Hemmoor era il sesto trovato nello stesso sito. Risulta depositato nel 273 d.C. circa. registrato da The Royal Numismatic Society, è stato studiato da Bland, R F 1979 `The 1973 Beachy Head [Eastbourne,E. Sussex] treasure trove of 3rd century antoniniani' Numis Chron 139, 1979 61-107, fig, tables, refs
Provenienza: Paolo Berardengo (Roma Italia, dal 27 settembre 2014, numero catalogo 223), ex Alex Fallows collection (Cardiff, Uk fino al 2014 acquistato alla mostra numismatica di Cardiff dallo scopritore), ex Beachy Head hoard (Eastbourne East Sussex , Uk, 1973)
paolo
IMG_2100.JPG
Claudius140 viewsVatican museumsJohny SYSEL
ricIV4ORweb.jpg
Clodius Albinus Denarius, R.A. Bickford-Smith, The Imperial Mints in the East for Septimius Severus, Rivista italiana di numismatica XCVI, 1994/1995, p. 56, pl. I.8 94 viewsAlexandria mint, Clodius Albinus Denarius, as Caesar, 194-95(?) A.D. AR 17mm 2.61g, R.A. Bickford-Smith, The Imperial Mints in the East for Septimius Severus, Rivista italiana di numismatica XCVI, 1994/1995, p. 56, pl. I.8
O: D CLOD SEPT ALBIN CAES, bare head right
R: FELICITAS COS II, Felicitas standing, head left, holding caduceus and scepter
(*per C. Clay: "Mint of Alexandria, deduced from the style")
7 commentscasata137ec
1clodio_albino_posto.jpg
Clodius Albinus, denarius (194-195 d.C.)13 viewsClodius Albinus, silver denarius, Rome mint (194-195 AD)
AR, 3,82 gr, 17 mm, gVF, R1
D/ D CLOD SEPT ALBIN CAES, bare head right
R/ MINER PACIF COS II, Minerva, helmeted, standing left, olive-branch in right hand, resting left on grounded shield, spear leans against arm
RIC IV 7, SRCV II 6144, BMCRE V 98, Cohen 48
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma Italia, 20 agosto 1014, numero catalogo 217), ex Tinia Numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto Italia, fino al 2014)
paolo
Nil_Vatikan_1892.jpg
Colossal statue of the river Nile281 viewsThe new wing of the Vatican Museums, Museo Pio-Clementine, is home to Colossus of the Nile the river god, identified by the sphinxes and crocodiles, is represented as a dispenser of blessings. The 16 boys are thought to be an allusion to the number of cubits the level of the Nile rises when it floods, fertilizing the region which it crosses. The reliefs on the base represent life on the banks of the river. It is a 1st century A.D. Roman work most likely based on a Hellenistic original. Jochen
apio55.jpg
COLUMN, Antoninus Pius196 viewsAR denarius. 3.46 gr. Bare headed bust right, slight drapery on shoulders. DIVVS ANTONINVS. / Column surmounted by statue of Pius holding eagle and sceptre.Fencing in front. DIVO PIO. RIC III 440 (M.Aurelius). RSC 353
The column of Antoninus Pius was raised by his successors M.Aurelius and L.Verus in the Campus Martius. The column and statue no longer exists but the base with a dedicatory inscription,two sides with a funerary Decursio,and the last side representing the ascent of the Emperor and his wife Faustina to heaven can be seen in the Vatican.

benito
H10b.jpg
Constantine I AR Quinarius78 viewsConstantine I AR Quinarius. Treveri mint. 307 AD. IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right / VIRTVS MILITVM, four turreted gateway, with no doors. RIC 758

VERY RARE - R2
GOOD EXTREMELY FINE

Ex. Bank Leu AG, Zurich 33 (1983), 147
Ex. Numismatica Ars Classica AG, Zurich 8 (1995), 946.
Ex. Hess-Divo 2007
2 commentsTrajan
6756_6757.jpg
Constantine I, Follis, DN CONSTANTINI MAX AVG10 viewsAE Follis
Constantine I
Caesar: 306 - 307AD
Augustus: 307 - 337AD
Issued: 320 - 324AD
19.0mm 2.83gr 0h
O: CONSTAN-TINVS AVG; Laureate head, right.
R: DN CONSTANTINI MAX AVG; Wreath, badge at tope, star within, VOT/(Dot)/XX, within wreath.
Exergue: TSΓVI
Thessalonica Mint
RIC VII Thessalonica 117
Aorta: 1404: B59, O4, R46, T300, M17.
balbinusnumismatica2009/Peter Poros 183239145172
5/28/18 8/8/18
Nicholas Z
7811_7812.jpg
Constantine I, Follis, DN CONSTANTINI MAX AVG7 viewsAE Follis
Constantine I
Caesar: 306 - 307AD
Augustus: 307 - 337AD
Issued: 320 - 321AD
19.0mm 3.37gr 7h
O: CONSTAN-TINVS AVG; Laureate bust, right.
R: DN CONSTANTINI MAX AVG; Wreath, badge at top; VOT/(Dot)/XX, within.
Exergue: (Crescent), within; QT, below line.
Ticinum Mint
RIC VII Ticinum 167
Aorta: 1408: B59, O4, R46, T300, M18.
balbinusnumismatica2009 173486574207
8/26/18 12/3/18
Nicholas Z
6758_6759.jpg
Constantine I, Follis, IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG12 viewsAE Follis
Constantine I
Caesar: 306 - 307AD
Augustus: 307 - 337AD
Issued: 317 - 320AD
19.4mm 3.12gr 6h
O: IMP CONSTA-NTINVS AVG; Diademed (pearls), mantled bust left, holding mappa in right hand, scepter on globe in left hand.
R: IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG; Jupiter standing left, holding Victory on globe in right hand, scepter in left.
Exergue: Palm, left field; Z, right field; SMN, below line.
Nicomedia Mint
RIC VII Nicomedia 23, Z
Aorta: 3069: B82, O53, R103, T150, M11.
balbinusnumismatica2009/Peter Poros 183232292257
5/28/18 8/8/18
Nicholas Z
30-1.jpg
Crawford 30/1 Didrachm quadrigatus31 viewsDenomination: Didrachm
Era: c. 225-214 BC
Metal: AR
Obverse: Laureate, Janiform head of Dioscuri. Border of dots
Reverse: Jupitetr in quadriga r., driven by Vicotry. Jupiter holds scepter in l. hand and hurls thunderbolt with r. hand, ROMA incuse on raised tablet. Line border
Weight: 6.66 gm.
Reference: Crawford 30/1
Provenance: Private purchase from an associate of Matteo Cavedoni (Numismatica Florentina) 1-JUN-2007

Comments: This is Crawford’s 3rd sequence of quadrigati, distinguished by Victory standing on the tailboard of the chariot rather than in the chariot with Jupiter. Reverse slightly off-center, otherwise nicely toned and GVF.
2 commentsSteve B5
0095.jpg
Denarius "Female Head"12 viewsDenarius "Female Head"

RRC: 127/1
206-200 bc

AV: Helmeted head of Roma r.
Rv: The Dioscuri galloping r.; below, female head; in exergue, ROMA.

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich | Auction 92 - Part II | 24 May 2016
Norbert
44-5-A1cb.jpg
Denarius Group 320 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Metal: AR
Obverse: Head of Roma with three line splayed visor, X mark of value behind
Reverse: Dioscuri riding r. with streaming cape. ROMA in semi-incuse frame.
Weight: 4.44 gm
Reference: Crawford 44/5
Provenance: Numismatica Tintina Auction, July 27, 2010
Comments: Among the earliest denarii. Group 3, With three line visor, unbound hair, and sharply bent wing, pointing downward on Roma’s helmet. Reverse b. There are three reverses for this variety, one with flag cape and one with a wavy cape, and one with streaming cape. This is the streaming cape variety.

This variety is die-linked to group 1 and group 4.
1 commentsSteve B5
LT-KKUT.jpg
DIOCLETIAN Argenteus42 viewsDIOCLETI-ANVS AVG, laureate head right / VICTORIAE SARMATICAE, camp-gate with open doors, surmounted by four turrets; star above door.

*, SMNG = Nicomedia.

AR Argenteus, c295, c18mm, c3.0g.

RIC25a(R3), RSC492a.

Ex. I Jones collection.
2 commentsTLP
0560-210np_noir.jpg
Diocletian, Argenteus - *156 viewsNicomedia mint, 3rd officina, AD 295-296
DIOCLETI ANVS AVG, Laureate head of Diocletian right
VICTORIAE SARMATICAE, The tetrarchs sacrifying before a campgate. SMNΓat exergue
3.3 gr
Ref : RCV # 12615 (1000), Cohen #491 var,
6 commentsPotator II
Domitian_RIC_II_145.jpg
Domitian RIC II 014536 viewsDomitian. 81-96 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint, 82-83 A.D. (3.23g, 19.0 mm, 6h). Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG PM, laureate head right. Rev: SALVS AVGVSTS (in. clockwise from lower l.), Salus seated left with corn ears and poppy. RIC II 145 (R), BMC 54, RSC 412.

In late 82 A.D., Domitian dramatically reformed the mint, increasing the fineness of the silver issues to Augustan standards after years of decline. New reverse types, such as this Salus appeared, and Domitian’s portrait began to change to a more idealized look. Salus was the Roman goddess of safety, salvation, and welfare. Given Gresham’s Law, many of these post-reform coins are quite scarce.
2 commentsLucas H
1dracma_tolomeo_I.jpg
Egitto, dracma, dinastia tolemaica, Tolomeo I Soter (311 a.C.)9 viewsTolomeo I Soter, dracma, zecca di Alessandria
AR, 3.00 gr, 16 mm, MB, R1
D/ Testa di Alessandro Magno con copricapo a scalpo di elefante.
R/ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ; Atena Alkidemos con lancia e scudo; nel campo, ΔΙ e aquila
Svoronos 34
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 18 dicembre 2016, numero catalogo 262), ex collezione Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto Italia, fino al dicembre 2016)
paolo
Larissa_AI_Signed.jpg
Facing Head of Larissa - AI Signed17 viewsThessaly Greece, the City of Larissa

Obv: Head of the nymph Larissa facing ¾ l., wearing ampyx with ΓΕΥ inscription (not visible)1, hair floating freely above head, tiny IA above top locks of hair (off of flan), prominent raised right shoulder2 (garment clasp visible?), spherical earring with bead pendant. Border of dots.
Rev: Horse crouching r., bucranium brand on haunch, forelegs spread, raised tail (off of flan), tiny AI under belly3, reign trails into exergue with exergue line sloping downward under horse’s muzzle, ΛΑΡΙΣΑΙ directly below exergue line with ΣΑΙ breaking into that line.
Denomination: Silver Drachm; Mint: Larissa; Date: c. 405/400 BC - c. 370 BC4; Weight: 6.11g; Diameter: 19mm; Die axis: 90º; References, for example: SNG Cop 126; Herrmann Group VII, Series I, Reverse II, pl. VI, 16 and 19; HGC 4, 434; Lorber - Shahar Group 3 Head Type 14 (O35/R2 - Sp. b, this very coin) = Florilegium Numismaticum Group One Head Type 11 with Reverse 21.2 - Sp. b (this very coin).

Notes:
1Lorber presumes that these letters are “...an abbreviated epithet of the nymph Larissa.” (Lorber Early in FlorNum, p. 261).
2Lorber invites us to interpret this “distinctive gesture” as the nymph “...tossing her ball, an action regularly depicted on trihemiobols and obols of the fifth century.” (Lorber Early in FlorNum, p. 262).
3Lorber understands these letters to be the signature of the mint’s chief engraver, who replaced ΣΙΜΟ. See Lorber Early in FlorNum, p. 261.
4This is the date range provided in Lorber 2008, p. 126.

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. (HGC 4 p. 130).

Provenance: Ex Numismatica Ars Classica Auction 29, May 11, 2005, lot 176; Ex Numismatic Fine Arts Auction XXXIII, May 3, 1994, lot 929.

Photo credits: Shanna Schmidt Numismatics

Sources

Herrmann, Fritz. “Die Silbermünzen von Larissa in Thessalien.” Zeitschrift für Numismatik 35 (1925): 1 - 69.
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.
Lorber, Catharine C. “The Early Facing Head Drachms of Thessalian Larissa.” In Florilegium Numismaticum: Studia in Honorem U. Westermark Edita. Edited by H. Nilsson. Stockholm: Svenska Numismatiska Föreningen, 1992: 259 - 282.
Lorber, Catharine C. and Shahar C. “The Silver Facing Head Coins of Larissa.” 2005. http://www.lightfigures.com/numismat/larissa/index.php. Note: this website is no longer functional but I printed some of the catalogues in PDF format before the website was completely taken down. I was never able to see any of the images on the website. At the time of my first visit only the PDFs were functional.
Lorber, Catharine C. “Thessalian Hoards and the Coinage of Larissa” in American Journal of Numismatics, second series 20 (2008): 119 - 142.
SNG COP: Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum: Thessaly - Illyricum. Copenhagen: Einar Munksgaard, 1943.

1 commentsTracy Aiello
IMG_2106.JPG
Fortuna138 viewsVatican museumsJohny SYSEL
480px-Ganymede_Leochares_Vatican_Inv2445.jpg
Ganymed of Leochares263 viewsGanymedes carried off by the eagle. Marble, Roman copy after a bronze original from ca. 325 BC. Galleria dei Candelabri, Musei Vaticani/Rome. Depicted at least on one coin of Dardanos/Troas.
Jochen
1diana_accoleia.jpg
Gens Accoleia, denario (43 a.C.)18 viewsP. Accoleius Lariscolus, denario, 43 a.C., Roma
AR, 4.01 gr, 19mm, qBB
D/ P ACCOLEIVS LARISCOLVS; busto drappeggiato di Diana Nemorensis a destra.
R/ Triplice statua di culto di Diana Nemorensis (Diana, Hecate e Selene); dietro un boschetto di cipressi.
Crawford 486/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, dal 6 febbraio 2018, numero catalogo 389), ex Giovanni Dorigo Numismatica (Venezia, Italia), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto, fino al gennaio 2018)
1 commentspaolo
1aretas.jpg
Gens Aemilia, denarius (58 a.C)10 viewsM. Aemilius Scaurus e P. Plautius, denario (Roma, 58 a.C.)
AR, 3.82 gr, 17 mm, qBB
D/ M SCAVR; EX – S C; AED CVR; REX ARETAS (in ex) un cammello e il re Aretas inginocchiato che offre un ramoscello d’olivo.
R/ P HVPSAE / AED CVR; C HVPSAE COS / PREIVE; CAPTVM; Giove, su quadriga, con saetta; sotto, uno scorpione.
Crawford 422/1b
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 13 dicembre 2017, numero catalogo 387); ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia fino al dicembre 2017)
paolo
1calpurnia.jpg
Gens Calpurnia, denarius (90 a.C.)10 viewsL. Calpurnius Piso Frugi, denario (90 a.C.), Roma
AG, 3.12 gr, 17 mm, qBB
D/ Testa laureata di Apollo; di fronte, A.
R/ L PISO FRVGI; un cavaliere al galoppo con ramo di palma; sopra, punto M punto.
Crawford 340/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dal 12 agosto 2018, numero catalogo 394), ex Tinia Numismatica (Follonica Italia, fino al 12 agosto 2018)
paolo
1carisia_unita.jpg
Gens Carisia, denario (46 a.C.)22 viewsGens Carisia, denario. Coniato da T. Carisius (46 a.C.), Roma
AR, 3.34 gr, 18 mm, MB, NC
Al D/ ROMA; testa di Roma con elmo attico crestato.
Al R/ T CARISI; scettro, cornucopia su globo e timone. Una corona d'alloro come contorno.
Crawford 464/3a
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dal 29 gennaio 2017, numero catalogo 269), ex collezione Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino al gennaio 2017)
paolo
1Longino_uti_rogas.jpg
Gens Cassia, L. Cassius Longinus (63 BC), denarius22 viewsL. Cassius Longinus, denario (63 a.C.), Roma
AR, 3.37gr., 19 mm, BB
D/ Testa di Vesta, velata e drappeggiata; davanti, O; dietro, un kantharos.
R/ LONGIN IIIV; cittadino togato che getta una tavoletta con su inciso V dentro un’urna per le votazioni.
Crawford 413/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dal 2 aprile 2016, numero catalogo 252); ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino al marzo 2016)
1 commentspaolo
1cipia.jpg
Gens Cipia, denarius (115-114 a.C.)28 viewsM. Cipius M.f., Denario (115-114 a.C.) zecca di Roma
AR, 3.92 gr, 16 mm, BB
D/ M CIPI M F; testa di Roma con elmo attico alato; dietro, X.
R/ ROMA; una Vittoria, su biga, con un ramo di palma; sotto, un timone.
Crawford 289/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 10 giugno 2019, numero catalogo 399, ex collezione Tinia numismatica di Alessandro Vanni (Follonica, Grosseto, Italia fino al giugno 2019)
1 commentspaolo
1claudia_denario.jpg
Gens Claudia, denarius (111-110 a.C.)9 viewsAp. Claudius Pulcher, T. Manlius Mancinus e Q. Urbiniu, Denario, 111-110 a.C., Roma
Ag, 3.47 gr, 18 mm, MB+
D/ Testa di Roma con elmo attico alato; dietro, un oggetto traingolare con cerchio.
R/ AP CL T MAL (legato) Q VR (legato); una Vittoria su triga; tiene le redini con entrambe le mani.
Crawford 299/1a
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 18 settembre 2018, numero catalogo 393), ex collezione Vanni (Follonica, Tinia numismatica, fino al settembre 2018)
paolo
1cordia.jpg
Gens Cordia, denario (46 a.C.)23 viewsGens Cordia, denario, coniato da Mn. Cordius Rufus (46 a.C.) zecca di Roma
AR, 3,55 gr, 19 mm., MB
Al D/ RVFVS S C; testa di Venere diademata, marchi del monetiere.
Al R/ MN CORDIVS (legato), Cupido su delfino.
Crawford 463/3, Sydenham 977
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 3 ottobre 2016, numero catalogo 258), ex collezione Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto, Italia, fino al settembre 2016)
1 commentspaolo
1Cornelia.jpg
Gens Cornelia, denarius (76-75 a.C.), Spagna 15 viewsCn. Cornelius Lentulus, denario (76-75 a.C.) zecca spagnola
AR, 3.98 gr,– 19 mm, qBB
D/ G P R; il Genio del Popolo Romano.
R/ EX S C; CN LEN Q; scettro con corona vittata, globo e timone.
Cr. 393/1a
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 4 luglio 2016, numero catalogo 255), ex collezione Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto, Italia, fino al luglio 2016)
paolo
1Enobarbo_terremotati.jpg
Gens Domitia, denarius (116-115 a.C.)10 viewsGens Domitia, denarius, Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, zecca di Roma ()116-115 a.C.)
AR, 3,81 gr, 21 mm
D/ ROMA; testa di Roma rivolta a destra; dietro, X
R/ CN DOMI (in ex); Giove, su quadriga, con ghirlanda e saetta.
Crawford 285/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 4 settembre 2016, numero catalogo 261); ex Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica, Follonica Italia, fino al 4 settembre 2016. Asta pro terremotati di Amatrice e Accumoli su Nid Coins Monete antiche FB
paolo
1fannia_unita.jpg
Gens Fannia, denarius (123 a.C)20 viewsDenario, coniato da M. Fannius C.F., a Roma, nel 123 a.C.
AR, 3.79 gr, 18 mm, MB
Al D/ Testa di Roma; davanti, X; dietro, ROMA.
Al R/ M FAN C F (legato); una Vittoria, su quadriga rivolta a destra, con una ghirlanda.
Crawford 275/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 3 aprile 2017, numero catalogo 273), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto Italia, fino all'aprile 2017)
paolo
1denario_repubblicano_Flaminia.jpg
Gens Flaminia, denarius, Roma (109-108 B.C.)12 viewsGens Flaminia, monetiere L. Flaminius Chilo, Roma (109-108 a.C.), denario
AR, 3,62 gr, 18 mm
D/ ROMA; testa di Roma con elmo attico alato; davanti X
R/ L FLAMINI / CILO; una Vittoria su biga, con ghirlanda
Crawford 302/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, numero catalogo 256, dal 24 aprile 2016), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino all'aprile 2016)
paolo
1galea_fonteia.jpg
Gens Fonteia, denario (114-113 a.C.) 17 viewsC. Fonteius, denario, 114-113 a.C., Roma,
AR, 3.60 gr, 21 mm, qBB
D/ Testa laureata di Giano; a sinistra, M; a destra, una X barrata.
R/ C FONT (legato); ROMA; galea con rostro, cinque remi, due torri, tre rematori e un gubernator al timone.
Crawford 290/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 6 agosto 2018, numero catalogo 396), ex Tinia Numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino al luglio 2018)
qBB
1 commentspaolo
1fratres.jpg
Gens Herennia, denario Pii Fratres11 viewsM. Herennius, denarius (108-107 a.C.)
AR, 3,71 gr, 18 mm, qBB
D/ PIETAS (legato); testa della Pietas.
R/ M HERENNI; Anfinomo o Anapias, con il padre in braccio, che fuggono dall’eruzione dell’Etna; di fronte, •S.
Cr. 308/1b
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 17 marzo 2016, numero catalogo 250), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia fino al marzo 2016)
paolo
1lutatia_denario.jpg
Gens Lutatia, denario (109-108 a.C.)14 viewsGens Lutatia, Q. Lutatius Cerco, denario (109-108 a.C.), Roma
AR, 3.39 gr, 19 mm, MB/BB
D/ CERCO, ROMA; testa di Roma, con elmo ornato di stella e piuma; dietro, X barrata.
R/ Q LVTATI (legato) / Q; galera verso destra: a prua l’acrostolium termina con una testa elmata; a poppa, sull’aplustre, è visibile la testa del gubernator. Una corona di quercia come contorno.
Crawford 305/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 25 settembre 2017, numero catalogo 283), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia Numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino al settembre 2017)
paolo
1re_roma_unita_1.jpg
Gens Marcia, denario (88 a.C.), zecca di Roma12 viewsGens Marcia, denario coniato da C. Marcius Censorinus (88 a.C.), Roma
AR, 3.55 gr, 18 mm, MB
D/ Teste accollate di Numa Pompilio barbato e di Anco Marzio imberbe a dx; dietro, un simbolo.
R/ C CENSO; Desultor conduce due cavalli al galoppo verso destra; con berretto conico, tiene la frusta con la mano destra. In basso, XVI
Crawford 346/1a
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dal 25 dicembre 2016, numero catalogo 265), ex collezione Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto, Italia fino al dicembre 2016)
paolo
1repubblicana_aqua_marcia.jpg
Gens Marcia, denarius (56 a.C.)30 viewsL. Marcius Philippus, denario (56 a.C., Roma)
AR, 3,18 gr – 18 mm
D/ ANCVS; Testa di Anco Marzio; dietro, un lituus.
R/ PHILIPPVS; AQVA MAR; Statua equestre con base floreale su acquedotto.
Cr. 425/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dall 1 marzo 2016, numero catalogo 251); ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia fino al febbraio 2016)
1 commentspaolo
1pletoria__unito.jpg
Gens Plaetoria, denarius (67 a.C.)21 viewsConiata da M. Plaetorius M.f. Cestianus nel 67 a.C., Roma
AR, 3.96 gr, 19 mm, qSpl
D/ CESTIANVS - S C; busto con attributi di Iside, Minerva, Apollo, Diana e Vittoria, con elmo crestato e faretra e arco sulle spalle; davanti, una cornucopia.
R/ M PLAETORIVS M F AED CVR; aquila su saetta.
Crawford 409/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 3 novembre 2018, numero catalogo 397), ex collezione Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia fino al 3 novembre 2018)
1 commentspaolo
1poblicia.jpg
Gens Poblicia, denario (80 a.C.)20 viewsGens Poblicia, C. Poblicius Q.f., denario (80 a.C.), Roma
AR, 4.00 gr, 19 mm, qBB
D/ ROMA; busto drappeggiato di Roma, con elmo decorato con aquila e piume; sopra, R.
R/ C POBLICI Q F; Eracle che lotta con il leone di Nemea; ai suoi piedi, una clava; davanti, arco e faretra; sopra, una R.
Crawford 380/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 4 ottobre 2017, numero catalogo 385), ex collezione Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino al settembre 2017)
1 commentspaolo
1porcia_unita.jpg
Gens Porcia, quinarius (89 a.C.)12 viewsGens Porcia, quinarius coniato a Roma da M. Porcius Cato (89 BC)
AR, 1.59 gr, 13 mm, qBB
D/ M CATO (legato); testa di Libero con corona d'edera rivolta a destra; sotto, un simbolo
R/ VICTRIX (in ex, legato), Vittoria, seduta verso destra, con ramo di palma e patera.
Crawford 343/2b
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dall' 1 giugno 2017, numero catalogo 280), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numistatica (Follonica, Italia, fino al maggio 2017)
paolo
1postumia_unita.jpg
Gens Postumia, denarius (81 a.C.)35 viewsGens Postumia, denarius. Roma, A. Postumius A.f. Sp.n. Albinus (81 BC)
AR, 3.75 gr, 19 mm, qBB
Al D/ HISPAN; Testa velata della Hispania a destra.
Al R/ A POST A F S N ALBIN (legato); Figura togata stante a sinistra, con il braccio destra levato verso l'aquila legionaria poggiata ad ali spiegate su sostegno. A destra un fascio con scure.
Crawford 372/2
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, 9 aprile 2017, numero catalogo 274); ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia Numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto Italia, fino all'aprile 2017)
1 commentspaolo
1nuova.jpg
Gens Postumia, denarius (81 a.C.) 12 viewsConiato da A. Postumius A.f. Sp.n. Albinus nell'81 a.C., a Roma
AR, 3.37 gr, 19 mm.
D/ Busto di Diana con arco e faretra; in alto, un bucranio.
R/ A POST A F S N ALBIN (legato); una figura togata, un altare acceso e un toro; tutta la scena è posta su di una base di pietre.
Crawford 372/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 4 giugno 2017, numero catalogo 282), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia fino al maggio 2017)
paolo
1giunone_sospita.jpg
Gens Procilia, denario Giunone Sospita (80 a.C.)11 viewsL. Procilius, denarius (80 a.C., Roma)
AR, 3.92 gr., 19 mm, BB
D/ S C; testa di Giunone Sospita a dx con copricapo in pelle caprina
R/ L PROCILI F in ex; Giunone Sospita su biga rivolta verso destra; in mano tiene uno scudo e una lancia; sotto i cavalli, un serpente.
Cr. 379/2
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 17 maggio 2018, numero catalogo 391) ex collezione Alessando Vanni (Tinia numismatica, Follonica Grosseto, fino al 16 maggio 2018)
paolo
1procilia.jpg
Gens Procilia, denarius (80 a.C.)11 viewsL. Procilius, denario (80 a.C.), Roma
AR, 3.77 gr, 19 mm, MB
D/ S C; testa di Giunone Sospita con copricapo in pelle caprina, rivolta a destra.
R/ L PROCILI F ( in ex); Giunone Sospita su biga rivolta verso destra; in mano tiene uno scudo e una lancia; sotto i cavalli, un serpente.
Cr. 379/2
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 4 luglio 2016, numero catalogo 254), ex collezione Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto, Italia, fino al luglio 2016)
paolo
1scribonia_denario.jpg
Gens Scribonia, Scribonius Libo, denario (62 a.C.)15 viewsGens Scribonia, L. Scribonius Libo, Denario, 62 a.C., zecca di Roma
AR, 3.65 gr, 19 mm, qBB
D/ BON EVENT LIBO; testa diademata del Bonus Eventus, rivolta a destra.
R/ PVTEAL – SCRIBON; pozzo (puteal Scribonianum) ornato con ghirlanda d’alloro e con due lire ai lati; alla base, un martello.
Cr. 416/1a
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, 31 luglio 2016, numero catalogo 253), dono dalla collezione Luigi Berardengo (Firenze, Italia, il 24 maggio 2015), ex Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino al maggio 2015)
paolo
1sergia_unita.jpg
Gens Sergia, denarius (116-115 a.C)26 viewsGens Sergia, denario, coniato da M. Sergius Silus (116-115 a.C.), Roma
AR, 3.86 gr, 18 mm, BB
D/ ROMA EX S C; testa di Roma con elmo attico alato; dietro, X barrata.
R/ M SERGI / SILVS in ex; un cavaliere al galoppo, con la testa di un nemico in mano; sotto, Q.
Crawford 286/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 23 aprile 2017, numero catalogo 275), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino all'aprile 2017)
1 commentspaolo
1gens_spuria_denario.jpg
Gens Spuria, denario (150 a.C.)9 viewsGens Spuria, denario coniato da Spurius Afranius nel 150 a.C. a Roma
AR, 2,87 gr, 19 mm, MB
D/ Testa di Roma rivolta a destra; dietro, X.
R/ SAFRA; ROMA (in ex); Vittoria con frusta su biga
Crawford 206/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dal 27 novembre 2016, numero catalogo 264), ex collezione Vanni, Tinia Numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto, Italia, fino al novembre 2016).
paolo
1Titia_unita.jpg
Gens Titia, denario (90 a.C.)11 viewsGens Titia, denario, Roma (90 a.C.)
AR, 3.43 gr, 18 mm, qBB
D/ Testa di Libero con corona d'edera, rivolta a destra.
R/ Q TITI, Pegaso che vola verso destra.
Crawford 341/2
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dal 30 aprile 2017, numero catalogo 276); ex collezione Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino all'aprile 2017)
paolo
1quinario_titia_foto.jpg
Gens Titia, quinarius (90 a.C.)10 viewsQ. Titius, quinario, Roma 90 a.C.
AR, 1.65 gr, 14 mm, MB+
D/ Busto drappeggiato della Vittoria.
R/ Q TITI; Pegaso in atto di spiccare il volo.
Crawford 341/3
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 10 giugno 2018, numero catalogo 395), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia fino al 10 giugno 2018)
paolo
1Tituria_sabine.jpg
Gens Tituria, denario (89 a.C.), R/ Ratto delle Sabine25 viewsL. Titurius Sabinus, Denario, 89 a.C., Roma,
AR, 3,90 gr, 19 mm. qBB
D/ SABIN; testa di Tito Tazio rivolta a destra; davanti, un ramo di palma.
R/ L TITVRI (in ex); il ratto delle Sabine: due soldati romani rapiscono due donne sabine.
Cr. 344/1b
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dall' 1 febbraio 2016, numero catalogo 249), ex collezione Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino al gennaio 2016)
1 commentspaolo
1veturia_giuramento.jpg
Gens Veturia, denarius (137 a.C.)9 viewsTi. Veturius, Denario, 137 a.C., Roma,
AR, 3.86 gr, 20 mm, qBB
D/ TI VET (legato); busto di Marte, con elmo e drappeggiato; dietro, una X.
R/ ROMA; Scena del giuramento: due guerrieri, uno di fronte all’altro, puntano le spade verso un porcellino tenuto in braccio da un terzo guerriero.
Crawford 234/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 3 gennaio 2018, numero catalogo 388), ex Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto, fino al dicembre 2017)
paolo
1vonteia_unita.jpg
Gens Volteia, denarius (78 a.C)10 viewsGens Volteia, denario (Roma, 78 a.C.), Coniata da M. Volteius M.f.
AR, 3.69 gr, 18 mm, BB/qSpl
D/ Testa di Giove laureata.
R/ M VOLTEI M F; tempio tetrastilo di Giove Capitolino con saetta nel frontone.
Crawford 385/1
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 13 luglio 2017, numero catalogo 384), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino al luglio 2017)
paolo
0065.jpg
Gnaeus Domitius (Calvinus?), Denarius15 viewsRRC 261/1
128 b.c.

Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma r.; below chin, * and behind, stalk of corn.
Reverse: Victory in prancing biga r., above, ROMA. Below horses, man fighting lion; in exergue, CN·DOM.

The fight and the corn ear together seem to refer to games and the distributions of corn offered to the people by an Aedile.
Compare e.g. the coin of M. Marcius in 134 b.c. (RRC 245/1)

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 78, Lot 591, 26 - 27 May 2014
Norbert
IMG_2110.JPG
goddes129 viewsVatican museumsJohny SYSEL
H4a.jpg
Gordian I Africanus AR Denarius91 viewsGordian I Africanus AR Denarius. March - April 238 AD. Rome mint. IMP M AND GORDIANVS AFR AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind. / ROMAE AETERNAE, Roma seated l. on shield, holding victory and leaning on sceptre. RIC 4

VERY RARE - R2
EXTREMELY FINE - AS MINTED

Ex. G. Steinberg Collection
Ex. Numismatica Ars Classica AG, Zurich 16 nov. 1994, 662
Ex. Hess-Divo 2007
5 commentsTrajan
Gordian III- MOESIA.jpg
Gordian III- MOESIA49 viewsGordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

Obverse:
Laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder;

IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG

IMP: Imperator, army leader
CAES: Ceasar
M: Marcus
ANT: Antonius
GORDIANVS: Gordianus
AVG: Augustus, emperor

Reverse:
P M S COL VIM ANIIII

PMS: Provincia Moesia Superios
COL: COLonia
VIM: VIMinacium
ANIIII: Anno 4, year 4 (after the founding of the colonia of Viminacium).

The translation, then, would be "The Province of Upper Moesia. The Colony Viminacium."




Moesia standing facing, head left, extending hands to bull and lion standing at feet on either side

Domination: Bronze provincial sestertius, 29 mm

Mint: Viminacium, 242 - 243 A.D.

Comment Cutis Clay:
Here is what Pick says, AMNG p. 23, note 5: The inscription is usually expanded Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium (The Colony Viminacium of the Province of Upper Moesia; I think this is what Lars intended), but that is bad Latin and contrary to the language one normally finds in inscriptions and on coins. The two parts of the legend, Provincia Moesia Superior and Colonia Viminacium, probably stand side by side without any grammatical connection.

The translation, then, would be "The Province of Upper Moesia. The Colony Viminacium."

I don't know what others have said about Pick's suggestion since he published it in 1898!
John S
Vlasto_140~0.jpg
Greek, Catalogue of the Collection of Tarentine Coins formed by M. P. Vlasto #14063 viewsCALABRIA, Taras. Circa 470-465 BC. AR Nomos
18.5mm, 8.05 g, 7h
Taras, nude, raising left hand and supporting himself with his right, riding dolphin right; TARAS (retrograde) to left, scallop shell below / Head of nymph (Satyra?) left in linear circle within concave incuse. Fischer-Bossert Group 5, 91b (V41/R60) = Vlasto 140 (this coin, illustrated in both references); HN Italy 838; Berlin 65 (same dies). VF, old cabinet tone, a few marks.

From the Gasvoda Collection. Ex M. L. Collection of Coins of Magna Graecia and Sicily (Numismatica Ars Classica 82, 20 May 2015), lot 4; A. D. Moretti Collection; Classical Numismatic Group 40 (with Numismatica Ars Classica, 4 December 1996), lot 575; Hess-Leu [11] (24 March 1959), lot 5; Kricheldorf IV (7 October 1957), lot 26; Münzen und Medaillen AG VIII (8 December 1949), lot 696; Michel Pandely Vlasto Collection; Maddalena Collection (Sambon & Canessa, 7 May 1903), lot 244.
2 commentsLeo
Vlasto_140~1.jpg
GREEK, Italy, CALABRIA, Taras. Circa 470-465 BC. AR Nomos40 views18.5mm, 8.05 g, 7h
Taras, nude, raising left hand and supporting himself with his right, riding dolphin right; TARAS (retrograde) to left, scallop shell below / Head of nymph (Satyra?) left in linear circle within concave incuse. Fischer-Bossert Group 5, 91b (V41/R60) = Vlasto 140 (this coin, illustrated in both references); HN Italy 838; Berlin 65 (same dies). VF, old cabinet tone, a few marks.

From the Gasvoda Collection. Ex M. L. Collection of Coins of Magna Graecia and Sicily (Numismatica Ars Classica 82, 20 May 2015), lot 4; A. D. Moretti Collection; Classical Numismatic Group 40 (with Numismatica Ars Classica, 4 December 1996), lot 575; Hess-Leu [11] (24 March 1959), lot 5; Kricheldorf IV (7 October 1957), lot 26; Münzen und Medaillen AG VIII (8 December 1949), lot 696; Michel Pandely Vlasto Collection; Maddalena Collection (Sambon & Canessa, 7 May 1903), lot 244.
1 commentsLeo
Thurium_AR_Stater~0.jpg
Greek, Italy, Lucania, Thurium94 viewsAR Stater, 7.79g. 22mm. c.410-400 B.C.

Engraver, Phrygillos (?). Head of Athena to right wearing crested helmet decorated with Skylla; "phi" in field to right. Rv. Bull pawing ground with head down to right; fish in exergue. SNG Oxford 871. HN 1782; a few small marks and some small metal breaks in front of face. Toned and of fine style

Ex: Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich, Auction O, 2004, lot 1157.
Ex: A.D.M. Collection
1 commentsLeo
30334q00.jpg
GREEK, Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great, Gold stater26 viewsSH30334. Gold stater, apparently unpublished, Müller -, EF, weight 8.652 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great right wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena seated left, Victory in extended right, resting left elbow on shield, XA monogram left; sharp details with some luster, obverse slightly double-struck, ex Numismatica Ars Classica/NAC AG LondonJoe Sermarini
1_(2)~0.jpg
GREEK, Macedonian Kingdom, Lysimachos (305-281 BC), AR Drachm, Thrace190 viewsKINGS of THRACE, Macedonian. Lysimachos. 305-281 BC. AR Drachm (19mm, 4.34 g, 1h). Ephesos mint. Struck 294-287 BC. Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, with horn of Ammon / Athena Nikephoros seated left, left arm resting on shield, spear behind; tripod to inner left, Greek Z in exergue. Thompson 170 var. (monogram); Müller –; CNG 75, lot 114 corr. = Gorny & Mosch 152, lot 1287 (same obv. die); Numismatica Genevensis SA VII, lot 165 = Gorny & Mosch 155, lot 59. Superb EF, toned.

This issue parallels Thompson 170, which has the tripod to the inner left and a monogram on the throne or in exergue. For a drachm of the present variety, with the Greek Z on the throne, see CNG E-199, lot 98 (struck from the same die as the present coin).
1 commentsLeo
86308q00.jpg
GREEK, Sicily, Syracuse, Hieron, c. 478 - 466 B.C.25 viewsSH86308. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer Series X, 229 (V102/R155); HGC 2, 1306; Bement 451; Jameson 744; McClean 2611 (all from the same dies)., gVF, well centered, toned, obverse struck with a worn die, some marks and scratches, weight 17.105 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 478 - 475 B.C.; obverse slow quadriga driven right by male charioteer holding goad, Nike above flying right crowning horses; reverse ΣYP-AKO-ΣI-ON (beginning 3:30, 1st Σ reversed), head of Arethusa right, hair turned up behind under diadem of beads, wearing bead necklace, surrounded by four dolphins swimming clockwise; ex Numismatica Ars Classica auction 59 (4 Apr 2011), lot 1571Joe Sermarini
Moriaseis.png
GREEK, Thraco-Macedonian Tribes, Moriaseis, Zeus / Six-rayed star, 185-168 B.C*167 viewsBronze Æ 19
5.89 gm, 19 mm
Obv.: Laureate head of Zeus right
Rev.: Six-rayed star; M-OP-IA-ΣE-Ω-N between rays
Katalog Münzauktion Essen 64 (1992) no. 47;
P.R. Franke, MOPIAΣEΩN - Die erste Münze eines bislang unbekannten thrakisch-makedonischen Stammes, in: V. Spinoi - L. Munteanu, Miscellanea numismatica antiquitatis in honorem septagenarii magistri Virgilii Mihailescu, Bucarest 2008, p. 67-68.

* One of two coins (same dies) known from this obscure tribe - see P.R. Franke's paper for additional details.
** The other known coin recently went to auction: Heidelberger Münzhandlung Auction 64 Lot 150
*** A third coin has surfaced: CNG eAuction 346 Lot 27
4 commentsJaimelai
IMG_2081.JPG
head of Alexander the Great145 viewsVatican museumsJohny SYSEL
119_Diocletianus,_Heraclea,_RIC_VI_10a,_AR-Argenteus,_DIOCLETI_ANVS_AVG,_VICTORIAE_SARMATICAE,_296_AD_Q-001_0h_18,5-19mm_3,5g-xs~0.jpg
Heraclea, 119 Diocletianus (284 - 305 A.D.), RIC VI 010e (? Not in RIC this Officina), AR-Argenteus, -/-/HE, VICTORIAE SARMATICAE, Four Tetrarchs, Very Rare! #1106 viewsHeraclea, 119 Diocletianus (284 - 305 A.D.), RIC VI 010e (? Not in RIC this Officina), AR-Argenteus, -/-/HE, VICTORIAE SARMATICAE, Four Tetrarchs, Very Rare! #1
avers: DIOCLETI ANVS AVG, Laureate head right.
reverse: VICTORIAE SARMATICAE, The Four Tetrarchs sacrificing in front of 6 turreted City gate.
exergue: -/-/HE, diameter: 18,5-19,0mm, weight: 3,50g, axis:0h ,
mint: Heraclea, date: 296 A.D., ref: RIC VI 010e (? Not in RIC this Officina), p-, Jelocnik -; RSC 491b, Not in RIC this Officina Very Rare!
Q-001
3 commentsquadrans
1Balas.jpg
Impero seleucide: Alessandro I Bala Epifane, emidracma (152-145 a.C.)5 viewsAlessandro I Bala Epifane, emidracma, Antiochia (152-145 a.C.)
AR, 1,61 gr, 14 mm., qMB, R1
Al D/ Testa radiata.
Al R/ BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞANΔPOY; Apollo con arco e freccia.
SC (Houghton, Seleucid Coins) 1786
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, 23 ottobre 2016, numero catalogo 260), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto Italia, fino all'ottobre 2016)
paolo
MISC_Italy_Genoa_Republic_denaro.JPG
Italian States. Genoa. Republic.38 viewsBiaggi 835, MIR II Varesi 16, CNI III p3, 1 et seq.;

AR denaro; 81 g., 16.43 mm. max., 180°

The type struck from 1139-1339 in the name of Conrad III (1138-1152). The silver content ranged from a fineness of up to 0.366 gr. in 1441 to up to 0.176 gr. in 1335. This coins is a Baldassarri Group IIIa (=Metcalf IIIc) and was struck ca. 1210-1240.

Obv: + • I A • N V • A •, central castle.

Rev: CVNRADI REX, central cross pattée.

"The symbol in the obverse field of Genoa’s denaro is referred to variously as a castle or gateway, but it was almost certainly a gate rather than a castle . . . In Latin, the term ‘Ianua’ simply means ‘gate’ or ‘gateway,’ and the image was no doubt intended as a symbolic representation of the city’s name." Day, William R. Jr. "The Petty Coinage Of Genoa Under The Early Doges, 1339-1396," XIII Congreso internacional de numismática (Madrid, 15-19 septiembre 2003): Actas – Proceedings – Actes, eds C. Alfaro, C. Marcos & P. Otero, 2 vols (Madrid: Ministerio de cultura, 2005), 1295-1304, at 1296 n.3.

Conrad III, founder of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, was never crowned Holy Roman Emperor, and styled himself “King of the Romans.” In 1139 he granted Genoa the right to mint coins.
Stkp
vatican.jpg
Italian States. Papal States. Pius IX. Copper Soldo 1867 XXIR.21 viewsItalian States. Papal States. Pius IX. Copper Soldo 1867 XXIR. PIVS PONT. MAX. ANN XXI 1867, bust left / 1 SOLDO B in beaded inner circle, * STATO PONTIFICIO * 5 CENT.

KM 1372.2
oneill6217
Thurium_AR_Stater.jpg
Italy, Lucania, Thurium52 viewsAR Stater, 7.79g. 22mm. c.410-400 B.C.

Engraver, Phrygillos (?). Head of Athena to right wearing crested helmet decorated with Skylla; "phi" in field to right. Rv. Bull pawing ground with head down to right; fish in exergue. SNG Oxford 871. HN 1782; a few small marks and some small metal breaks in front of face. Toned and of fine style

Ex: Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich, Auction O, 2004, lot 1157.

Located on a fertile plain on the Gulf of Taranto near the site of Sybaris, Thurium was founded by Achaeans late in the 8th Century B.C. At the peak of its success, Sybaris had amassed a population nearly equal to that of Athens, had a six-mile defensive wall, and according to Strabo had as many as 25 cities and four native peoples under its authority. However, the thriving settlement was destroyed by Croton in 510 B.C. After two attempts to establish a new foundation on the ruined site that had been thwarted by Croton, a fresh attempt was made in the period 446 to 444/3 B.C. This remarkable undertaking was originally conceived by descendants of the Sybarites, but when the Crotonites opposed that enterprise as well, help was sought from Athens. Pericles came to their aid by sending colonists whom he had gathered from throughout Greece to participate in what he envisioned as a Panhellenic experiment in colonization. With financial and military support from Athens, the colonists set up their city, drawing on the talents of Protagoras of Abdera for its civil laws, Lampon of Athens for its sacred laws and Hippodamus of Miletus for its city-plan. Even the historian Herodotus is counted among the talented participants. As Thurium began to flourish its colonists from Greece soon ejected their co-founding Sybarites (who established another city on the river Traeis) and eventually distanced themselves even from their benefactor Athens. The city continued to prosper even after it came under Roman control following the defeat of Tarentum in 272. During the Second Punic War, Thurium was still a regional power and it held out as a Roman ally until the spring of 212, when resisting the Carthaginians became impossible. It was the last Greek city to fall to Hannibal, yet it also was the last city outside of Bruttium to remain in his camp. This was not appreciated by the Romans who consequently added its land to their ager publicus and, in 194 or 193, by which time the site was largely abandoned, founded in its place the Latin colony of Copia. Thurian coinage is substantial, and is renowned for the fine artistry of its dies. The head of Athena as an obverse type clearly is inspired by the coinage of Athens. The standing bull on the city’s early coins likely was derived from the old badge of Sybaris, yet the charging version of that animal may refer to the local spring Thuria, from which the new foundation took its name. On this example the bowl of Athena’s helmet is vividly decorated with Scylla, whose ribbed serpent-tail and dog foreparts are particularly well-engraved. Athena’s face retains the severe dignity of even the earliest issues of Thurium, making it a fine example of Attic-inspired art. The bull, as on all Thurian issues of this era, is fully animated with its tail lashing as it charges forth to engage some unseen foe.
Ex: A.D.M. Collection
2 commentsLeo
Antoninus_Pius_Column_Base.JPG
Italy, Rome, Column of Antoninus Pius, Cortile della Pigna, Vatican Museums36 viewsAbove are the four sides of the base of the Column of Antoninus Pius (Columna Antonini Pii) which was erected in the Campus Martius in memory of Antoninus Pius by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus c.A.D.158 on the twentieth anniversary of his reign. Constructed of red granite, the column was 14.75 metres high and 1.90m in diameter, unlike the otherwise similar column of Trajan it had no decorating reliefs. The masons' inscription shows that it was quarried out in A.D.106 and architecturally it belonged to the Ustrinum which was 25m north of it on the same orientation. It was surmounted by a statue of Antoninus Pius. Previous to the 18th century the base was completely buried, but the lower part of the shaft projected about 6m above the ground. In 1703, when some buildings were demolished in the area of Montecitorio, the rest of the column and the base were discovered and excavated. The base still survives and is now housed in the Cortile della Pigna in the Vatican Museums.*Alex
IMG_2986q.JPG
Italy, Rome, Original ancient door from Curia205 viewsnow it is in Basilica of St. John Lateran ... seat of Pope until he moved to Vatican1 commentsJohny SYSEL
IMG_2085q.JPG
Italy, Rome, Vatican Museums, Marble busts162 viewsVatican MuseumsJohny SYSEL
Italy- Forum Romanum- The basilica of Majencius front and back.jpg
Italy- Forum Romanum- The basilica of Majencius front and back100 viewsThe Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica Maxentii) or the Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was the last of the great civilian basilicas on the Roman Forum. The ruins of the basilica is located between the Temple of Amor and Roma and the Temple of Romulus, on the Via Sacra.

The construction of the basilica was initiated by Maxentius in 308 CE, and finished by Constantine after he had defeated Maxentius in the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 CE. As other similar buildings, it was destined for commercial and administrative activities. It is likely that the basilica housed the offices of the Prefect of the City, the highest imperial official in late antiquity.

The site chosen for the basilica was on the Velia, a low ridge connecting the Esquiline Hill and the Palatine Hill. Large parts of the Velia was levelled in preparation for the construction of the basilica. Literary sources tell that earlier the site was occupied by the Horrea Piperatica, the central market and storage facility for pepper and spices, built in the time of Domitian. Also on the site was a sanctuary of the penates publici which had to be moved.

The Basilica of Maxentius is built with arches, which is very atypical. All the other public basilicas had flat ceilings supported by wooden beams. The construction techniques used borrowed more from the great imperial baths than from the traditional basilica.
The basilica is one of the most impressive buildings on the Forum Romanum. The ground plan is rectangular, oriented E.-W., covering an area of 100×65m divided into a central nave and to lateral aisles and an atrium on the E. side where the original entrance was.

The central nave measured 80×25m and was covered by three groin vaults with a maximum height of 35m, supported by eight monolithic Corinthian columns of 14.5m. Each of the two aisles was made up of three interconnected coffered vaults, 20.5m wide and 24m high, communicating with the central nave by three huge openings.

Light was provided by two rows of three large windows in five of the six lateral vaults, and by windows in the sides of the now collapsed cross vaults over the central nave. The windows in two of the vaults in the surviving N. side of the building give a good idea of the amount of light inside the building.

The floor in both the central and the lateral spaces were a geometric pattern of squares with circles and lozenges of multi-coloured marble, similar to the floor in the Pantheon.

The walls were in opus latericium, originally with a marble veneer. The vaults were in opus caementicium with a gilded stucco finish. The roof was covered with gilded bronze tiles.

The entrance of the original project of Maxentius was to the east, from a branch of the old Via Sacra behind the Temple of Amor and Roma. It lead into an elongated atrium, connected to the central nave and the lateral aisles by five gateways.

In the W. end was a huge apse, 20m in diameter, where a colossal seated statue of Maxentius stood. This statue was later changed to look like Constantine. The statue was an acrolith (the head, hands and feet were of marble, while the rest was of other materials), and the remains of the statue were found in 1486 in the apse.

Constantine changed the plan when he took over the unfinished basilica. He had a another entrance added on the S. side, on the Via Sacra, where a monumental stairway led to a porch of four porphyry columns and via three double doorways into the central part of the S. aisle. In front of this new entrance, in the central vault of the N. aisle, another apse was added, smaller than the apse in the W. end. In back of this apse a niche held a standing statue of Constantine, and smaller, square-headed niches, two rows of four niches on each side, which might have housed a gallery of Constantine's relatives and lieutenants. This room could be closed by wooden doors, and it is likely the central part of the office of the Prefect of the City was there.

Of the original building only the three vaults of the N. aisle remain, devoid of all decorations. The vaults of the S. and central nave probably collapsed under an earthquake in c. 847. The floor plan is clearly visible, however, and the remaining structures give a vivid impression of the grandeur of the original edifice.

The remains of the Colossal Statue of Constantine I are in the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Campidoglio, and one of the columns from the central nave was moved to the Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore in 1614. The remaining columns have disappeared. The bronze tiles from the roof were reused for the first Basilica of Saint Peter.

John Schou
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and the Basilica of Majencio.jpg
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and the Basilica of Majencio38 viewsThe Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica Maxentii) or the Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was the last of the great civilian basilicas on the Roman Forum. The ruins of the basilica is located between the Temple of Amor and Roma and the Temple of Romulus, on the Via Sacra.

The construction of the basilica was initiated by Maxentius in 308 CE, and finished by Constantine after he had defeated Maxentius in the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 CE. As other similar buildings, it was destined for commercial and administrative activities. It is likely that the basilica housed the offices of the Prefect of the City, the highest imperial official in late antiquity.

The site chosen for the basilica was on the Velia, a low ridge connecting the Esquiline Hill and the Palatine Hill. Large parts of the Velia was levelled in preparation for the construction of the basilica. Literary sources tell that earlier the site was occupied by the Horrea Piperatica, the central market and storage facility for pepper and spices, built in the time of Domitian. Also on the site was a sanctuary of the penates publici which had to be moved.

The Basilica of Maxentius is built with arches, which is very atypical. All the other public basilicas had flat ceilings supported by wooden beams. The construction techniques used borrowed more from the great imperial baths than from the traditional basilica.
The basilica is one of the most impressive buildings on the Forum Romanum. The ground plan is rectangular, oriented E.-W., covering an area of 100×65m divided into a central nave and to lateral aisles and an atrium on the E. side where the original entrance was.

The central nave measured 80×25m and was covered by three groin vaults with a maximum height of 35m, supported by eight monolithic Corinthian columns of 14.5m. Each of the two aisles was made up of three interconnected coffered vaults, 20.5m wide and 24m high, communicating with the central nave by three huge openings.

Light was provided by two rows of three large windows in five of the six lateral vaults, and by windows in the sides of the now collapsed cross vaults over the central nave. The windows in two of the vaults in the surviving N. side of the building give a good idea of the amount of light inside the building.

The floor in both the central and the lateral spaces were a geometric pattern of squares with circles and lozenges of multi-coloured marble, similar to the floor in the Pantheon.

The walls were in opus latericium, originally with a marble veneer. The vaults were in opus caementicium with a gilded stucco finish. The roof was covered with gilded bronze tiles.

The entrance of the original project of Maxentius was to the east, from a branch of the old Via Sacra behind the Temple of Amor and Roma. It lead into an elongated atrium, connected to the central nave and the lateral aisles by five gateways.

In the W. end was a huge apse, 20m in diameter, where a colossal seated statue of Maxentius stood. This statue was later changed to look like Constantine. The statue was an acrolith (the head, hands and feet were of marble, while the rest was of other materials), and the remains of the statue were found in 1486 in the apse.

Constantine changed the plan when he took over the unfinished basilica. He had a another entrance added on the S. side, on the Via Sacra, where a monumental stairway led to a porch of four porphyry columns and via three double doorways into the central part of the S. aisle. In front of this new entrance, in the central vault of the N. aisle, another apse was added, smaller than the apse in the W. end. In back of this apse a niche held a standing statue of Constantine, and smaller, square-headed niches, two rows of four niches on each side, which might have housed a gallery of Constantine's relatives and lieutenants. This room could be closed by wooden doors, and it is likely the central part of the office of the Prefect of the City was there.

Of the original building only the three vaults of the N. aisle remain, devoid of all decorations. The vaults of the S. and central nave probably collapsed under an earthquake in c. 847. The floor plan is clearly visible, however, and the remaining structures give a vivid impression of the grandeur of the original edifice.

The remains of the Colossal Statue of Constantine I are in the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Campidoglio, and one of the columns from the central nave was moved to the Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore in 1614. The remaining columns have disappeared. The bronze tiles from the roof were reused for the first Basilica of Saint Peter.

John Schou
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and the temple of Vesta and the Basilica of Majencio.jpg
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum The Basilica of Majencio and the temple of Castors46 viewsThe Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica Maxentii) or the Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was the last of the great civilian basilicas on the Roman Forum. The ruins of the basilica is located between the Temple of Amor and Roma and the Temple of Romulus, on the Via Sacra.

The construction of the basilica was initiated by Maxentius in 308 CE, and finished by Constantine after he had defeated Maxentius in the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 CE. As other similar buildings, it was destined for commercial and administrative activities. It is likely that the basilica housed the offices of the Prefect of the City, the highest imperial official in late antiquity.

The site chosen for the basilica was on the Velia, a low ridge connecting the Esquiline Hill and the Palatine Hill. Large parts of the Velia was levelled in preparation for the construction of the basilica. Literary sources tell that earlier the site was occupied by the Horrea Piperatica, the central market and storage facility for pepper and spices, built in the time of Domitian. Also on the site was a sanctuary of the penates publici which had to be moved.

The Basilica of Maxentius is built with arches, which is very atypical. All the other public basilicas had flat ceilings supported by wooden beams. The construction techniques used borrowed more from the great imperial baths than from the traditional basilica.
The basilica is one of the most impressive buildings on the Forum Romanum. The ground plan is rectangular, oriented E.-W., covering an area of 100×65m divided into a central nave and to lateral aisles and an atrium on the E. side where the original entrance was.

The central nave measured 80×25m and was covered by three groin vaults with a maximum height of 35m, supported by eight monolithic Corinthian columns of 14.5m. Each of the two aisles was made up of three interconnected coffered vaults, 20.5m wide and 24m high, communicating with the central nave by three huge openings.

Light was provided by two rows of three large windows in five of the six lateral vaults, and by windows in the sides of the now collapsed cross vaults over the central nave. The windows in two of the vaults in the surviving N. side of the building give a good idea of the amount of light inside the building.

The floor in both the central and the lateral spaces were a geometric pattern of squares with circles and lozenges of multi-coloured marble, similar to the floor in the Pantheon.

The walls were in opus latericium, originally with a marble veneer. The vaults were in opus caementicium with a gilded stucco finish. The roof was covered with gilded bronze tiles.

The entrance of the original project of Maxentius was to the east, from a branch of the old Via Sacra behind the Temple of Amor and Roma. It lead into an elongated atrium, connected to the central nave and the lateral aisles by five gateways.

In the W. end was a huge apse, 20m in diameter, where a colossal seated statue of Maxentius stood. This statue was later changed to look like Constantine. The statue was an acrolith (the head, hands and feet were of marble, while the rest was of other materials), and the remains of the statue were found in 1486 in the apse.

Constantine changed the plan when he took over the unfinished basilica. He had a another entrance added on the S. side, on the Via Sacra, where a monumental stairway led to a porch of four porphyry columns and via three double doorways into the central part of the S. aisle. In front of this new entrance, in the central vault of the N. aisle, another apse was added, smaller than the apse in the W. end. In back of this apse a niche held a standing statue of Constantine, and smaller, square-headed niches, two rows of four niches on each side, which might have housed a gallery of Constantine's relatives and lieutenants. This room could be closed by wooden doors, and it is likely the central part of the office of the Prefect of the City was there.

Of the original building only the three vaults of the N. aisle remain, devoid of all decorations. The vaults of the S. and central nave probably collapsed under an earthquake in c. 847. The floor plan is clearly visible, however, and the remaining structures give a vivid impression of the grandeur of the original edifice.

The remains of the Colossal Statue of Constantine I are in the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Campidoglio, and one of the columns from the central nave was moved to the Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore in 1614. The remaining columns have disappeared. The bronze tiles from the roof were reused for the first Basilica of Saint Peter.

John Schou
1domna_unito.jpg
Iulia Domna, denario, R/VENERI VICTR (194 d.C.)33 viewsIulia Domna, denario
AR, 3,6 gr., 18 mm, BB
D/ IVLIA DOMNA AVG, busto drappeggiato a dx
R/ VENERI VICTR, Venere in piedi a dx, nuda fino alla vita, poggiata su colonna a sx, con palma e mela
RIC 536, RSC 194, BMC 49
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo, Roma Italia (6 giugno 2007, numero catalogo 114); ex collezione Antonio Ragonesi (Numismaticasicula, Roma Italia, fino al 2007).
paolo
judaea_alexander_jannaeus_Hendin474.jpg
Judaea, Alexander Jannaeus, TJC Q0470 viewsAlexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103-76 BC
AE - Prutah, 2.17g, 13.99mm, 330°
Jerusalem
obv. Paleo-Hebrew legend in 5 lines in laurel wreath:
יהונ / תןהכהן / הגדלוח / ברהיהו / דימ
from r. to l.:
YHWN / TN H KHN / H GDL W (Ch) / BR H YHW / DYM
= Yehonatan Ha Kohen Ha Gadol We Chaver Ha Yehudim
= Yehonatan the High Priest and Council of the Jews
rev. Double Cornucopiae with ribbons, between horns a pomegranate, in dotted circle (very schematical depiction)
Hendin 474; AJC Fa4; TJC Q4
VF, nice sandpatina
Jochen
IMG_2095.JPG
Julia Domna142 viewsVatican museums
Johny SYSEL
juliaden.JPG
Julia Domna Denarius37 viewsOBV: IVLIA AVGVSTA; Draped bust rt. REV: DIANA LVCIFERA; Diana standing left holding long torch with both hands.
RIC 548 (Ref: Wildwinds)

One of the many faces of Julia Domna. The portrait probably bears no resemblance to her at all but perhaps to the coin engraver's girlfriend fitted out with a million-dollar Imperial hairdo. The Romans were coming down to earth about themselves in the3rd century and their coin portraits show this very well. Not a great coin numismatically but a charming picture. Note the stray curl just above the eye brow.



daverino
3D2FD934-2E0A-4048-8689-49A2A4C3E2AD.jpeg
Kingdom of Jerusalem. Imitating al-Amir. 12th-13th centuries. AV Bezant7 viewsKingdom of Jerusalem. Imitating al-Amir. 12th-13th centuries. AV Bezant
Acre mint. Third phase . 3.9 g.
Corrupted Arabic legends both sides.
CCS 5
Ex Artemide aste XXVII Lot 549 ; Ex Numismatica Tintinna 81
Vladislav D
Paeonia,_Patraos,_AR_Tetradrachm.jpg
Kings of Paeonia, Patraos, ca. 335-315 BC, AR Tetradrachm 32 viewsLaureate head of Apollo right.
[Π]ATPAOY Warrior on horse rearing right, spearing fallen enemy who defends with shield; ligate [E]M monogram behind horse’s rear leg.

AMNG III 4; Paeonian Hoard 312 & 410 (same reverse die); SNG ANS 1040.
Damastion mint (?).

(23 mm, 12.55 g, 9h)
CNG; ex- Numismatica Ars Classica Auction N, 26 June 2003, 1242.
2 commentsn.igma
1_(2).jpg
KINGS of THRACE, Macedonian. Lysimachos. 305-281 BC. AR Drachm94 viewsKINGS of THRACE, Macedonian. Lysimachos. 305-281 BC. AR Drachm (19mm, 4.34 g, 1h). Ephesos mint. Struck 294-287 BC. Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, with horn of Ammon / Athena Nikephoros seated left, left arm resting on shield, spear behind; tripod to inner left, Greek Z in exergue. Thompson 170 var. (monogram); Müller –; CNG 75, lot 114 corr. = Gorny & Mosch 152, lot 1287 (same obv. die); Numismatica Genevensis SA VII, lot 165 = Gorny & Mosch 155, lot 59. Superb EF, toned.2 commentsLeo
0122.jpg
L. Cornelius Sulla, Denarius33 viewsL. Cornelius Sulla, Denarius

RRC 359/2
84-83 bc
4,36 gr.

AV: Diademed head of Venus r.; in r. field, Cupid standing l., holding palm branch; below, L·SVLLA.
Rv: IMPER Jug and lituus between two trophies; below, ITERVM.

Minted during his march on Rome.

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich, Auct 98, 12.12.2016, Lot 1001
2 commentsNorbert
0067.jpg
L. Licinius Crassus, Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus and associates, Denarius23 viewsRRC 282/2
118 bc

Obverse: L·COSCO·M·F Helmeted head of Roma r.; behind, X.
Reverse: Bearded warrior in fast biga r., holding shield, carnyx and reins and hurling spear; in exergue, L·LIC·CN·DOM.

Minted in Narbo (Narbonne) where a new mint had been established after the defeat of the Allobroges. This issue is special for for legend errors.

--
Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 78, Lot 597, 26 - 27 May 2014
Norbert
0132.jpg
L. Minucius, Denarius12 viewsL. Minucius, Denarius

RRC 248/1
133 bc
3,90 gr.

Av: Helmeted head of Roma r.; behind, *
Rv: Jupiter in prancing quadriga r., hurling thunderbolt and holding sceptre; below horses, ROMA and in exergue, L·MINVCI.


Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich, Auct 100, 29.05.2017, Lot 227
Norbert
1578_1579.jpg
Licinius I, Follis, DN LICINI AVGVSTI; Wreath, VOT/XX, within6 viewsAE Follis
Licinius I
Augustus: 308 - 324AD
Issued: 321AD
18.2mm 2.97gr
O: IMP LICINIVS AVG; Laureate head, right.
R: DN LICINI AVGVSTI; Wreath, VOT/XX, within.
Exergue: S(crescent)A
Arles Mint
Aorta: 562: B8, O16, R10, T95, M4.
RIC VII, 920, var.
balbinusnumismatica2009 182261605834
9/21/16 1/20/17
Nicholas Z
3751_(1)_3752_(1).jpg
Licinius I, Follis, IOVI CONSERVATORI 8 viewsAE Follis
Licinius I
Augustus: 308 - 324AD
Issued: 313 - 315AD
23.5 x 20.0mm
O: IMP LIC LICINIVS PF AVG; Laureate head, right.
R: IOVI CONSERVATORI; Jupiter standing left, holding Victory on globe and scepter. Eagle to left, wreath in beak.
Exergue: Δ, right field; SIS, below line.
Siscia Mint
RIC VII Siscia 8, Δ.
Aorta: 528: B8, O14, R28, T36, M13.
numismaticanaisus 192086517597
1/27/17 2/10/17
Nicholas Z
Lucania,_Heraclea,_276-250_BC_AE_.jpg
Lucania, Heraclea, ca. 276-250 BC, Æ 11 18 viewsLaureate male head (inferred to be young Herakles) right.
Club between a strung bow to the left and arrow quiver to the right.

Boutin, Collection Pozzi 453; Van Keuren 163; SNG ANS 114; SNG Copenhagen 1143; HN Italy 1445b; Sear 618.

(11 mm, 1.45 g, 12h).

Forestier & Lambert, January 2008; ex- CNG e-Auction 138, 26 April 2006, 15; ex- Athos Moretti Collection: Numismatica Ars Classica Auction O, 13 May 2004, 1099.

Rare: one of seven known (and counting!).
n.igma
0062.jpg
Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus, Denarius34 viewsRRC 415/1
62 b.c.

Obverse: Head of Concordia right, L PAUVLLVS LEPIDVS, CONCORDIA
Reverse: Trophy, togate figure (L Aemilius Paullus), the captives - King Perseus of Macedon and his sons; in exergue: PAVLLVS

The moneyer was a supporter of Cicero, the obverse concordia being represenation of the 'concordia ordinum', central to Ciceros politics in 63 (according to Crawford; Grüber gives a different interpretation, assumedly as he puts the coin into 71 b.c.) .

The reservse remembering the (assumed?) ancestor hailed 'imperator' three times.

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 73, Lot 153, 18 November 2013
Ex Sotheby’s sale 1-2 December 1976, Eton College, 267.
Norbert
0121.jpg
M. Furius L.f. Philus, Denarius24 viewsM. Furius L.f. Philus, Denarius

RRC 281/1
119 bc
3,86 gr

Av: Laureate head of Janus, M. FOVRI. L. F around
Rv: Roma standing left, wearing Corinthian helmet and holding sceptre, crowning trophy flanked by a carnyx and shield on each side; above her head, star; to right, ROMA; in exergue, PHLI.

On the defeat of the Allobroges and Averni and the triumph in 120.

Ex Artemide Aste Asta Numismatica XLVI (3-4 Dicembre 2016 - live ore 15:00), Lot 130:
1 commentsNorbert
3357_3358_(1).jpg
Magnus Maximus, AE2, REPARATIO REIPVB4 viewsAE2
Magnus Maximus
Augustus: 383 - 388AD
Issued: 383 - 388AD
21mm 4.30gr
O: DN MAG MAXIMVS PF AVG; Diademed (pearls), draped and cuirassed bust, right.
R: REPARATIO REIPVB; Magnus Maximus standing left, holding hand of kneeling Republica and Victory on globe.
Exergue: TCON
Arelate Mint
Aorta: 28: B1, O1, R2, T9, M2.
RIC IX Arles, 269, T; Sear 20650
numismaticaprados 201670622380
11/16/16 1/20/17
Nicholas Z
0061.jpg
Manius Aquillius Mn. f. Mn. n. , Denarius23 viewsRRC 40171
71 b.c.

Obverse: Helmeted and draped bust of Virtus right "VIRTVS" before and "III VIR" behind.
Reverse: Warrior, (Mn. Aquillius, consul in 101 BC) standing facing, looking right, holding shield, raising figure of Sicilia who is slumped to the left, "MN. AQVIL." on right and "MN. F. MN. N." on left (both MN in monogram). In ex. "SICIL."

Mn. Aquillius (the moneyer's grandfather) was consul in 101 B.C. and sent as proconsul to end the second slave war in Sicily. The slaves were under the control of Athenion, a Cilician, one of their commanders, who had already defeated L. Licinius Lucullus. Aquillius succeeded the next year in defeating Athenion and this coin type commemorates his valour (Virtus). The coin was minted during the famous slave war led by Spartacus, when Rome was trembling, which may or may not be a coincidence.

Mn. Aquillius was not so lucky after the defeat of the slaves. In 88 B.C. he went to Asia as one of the consular legates in the Mithridactic war; he was defeated and handed over by the inhabitants of Mytilene to Mithridates, who put him to death by pouring molten gold down his throat.
(FORVM)


Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 73, Lot 127
The Collection of Roman Republican Coins of a Student and his Mentor Part II
18 November 2013
1 commentsNorbert
1quinario_marco_antonio_unita.jpg
Marco Antonio, quinario (43-42 a.C.)24 viewsMarco Antonio, quinario, coniato in Gallia Trans-Cisalpina (43-42 a.C.)
AR, 1.79 gr, 13 mm, BB
D/ M ANT (legato) IMP, lituo, brocca e corvo.
R/ Vittoria che incorona un trofeo
Crawford 489/4
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dal 11 maggio 2017, numero catalogo 277), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia Numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto, fino al maggio 2017)
2 commentspaolo
0063.jpg
Marcus Aemilius Scaurus & Publius Plautius Hypsaeus; Denarius20 viewsRRC 422/1b
58 b.c.

Obverse:M . SCAVR / AED CVR above king Aretas kneeling beside a camel right. EX on ,S . C on right, REX ARETAS in ex.
Reverse: HYPSAE/AED CVR above Jupiter in quadriga left, CAPTVM on right, C. HYPSAEVS cos PREIV (ER) in ex. scorpion below horses.

One of the first moneyers commemorating on his coins an event of own history. M. Aemilius, as the Governor of Syria, repressed the incursions of the Nabathean Arabians, compelling their king, Aretas, to submit and pay a fine of 300 talents to Pompey.
He also was one of the richest and most influential men of his time. Still failed to be elected consul in 54 after a bribery case he won with the help of his friend Cicero.

Pub. Plautius was curule aedile with him in B.C. 58.

Purchased from Numismatica Varesina at "World Money Fair" 08.02.2014; Berlin
1 commentsNorbert
0064~0.jpg
Marcus Marcius Mn. f, Denarius 13 viewsRRC 245/1
134 b.c.

Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma r.; behind, modius and below chin, *
Reverse: Rev. Victory in biga r., holding reins and whip; below, M – MAR – CI / RO – MA divided by two ears of corn.

This moneyer refers to Mn. Marcius, possibly this father, who during his aedileship of 154 BC was the first to distribute corn to the people at one per modius. (Plinius)


Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 78, Lot 585, 26 - 27 May 2014
Norbert
100361.jpg
Maximianus Argenteus13 viewsMaximianus. First reign, A.D. 286-305. AR argenteus (17 mm, 3.06 g, 12 h). Nicomedia, ca. A.D. 295. MAXIMIA-NVS AVG, laureate head of Maximianus right / VICTORIAE SARMATICAE, the four tetrarchs sacrificing over tripod before six-turreted enclosure; SMNΓ. RIC 19b; RSC 552b. Small flan crack at 6 h, porosity. TLP
divus_lion.jpg
Maximianus, MEMORIAE AETERNAE Lion24 viewsMaximianus, 285 - 310 A.D., posthumous. Rare AE 4, Rome, 317-318 AD, 1.87g. RIC-123, officina P=1 (r2); C-400 (2 Fr.). Obv: DIVO MAXIMIANO SEN FORT IMP Veiled, laureate head r. Rx: MEMORIAE AETERNAE Lion walking r., RP in exergue. F+; a bit rough. Ex Vatican & H.J.BerkPodiceps
IMG_2084.JPG
Minerva122 viewsVatican museumsJohny SYSEL
Mithras_slaying_the_bull.jpg
Mithras slaying the Bull159 viewsFamous statue in the Musei Vaticani. But I couldn't find any information about its origin.
'Today the Vatican stands where the last sacrament of the Phrygian taurobolium was celebrated.'
( S. Angus, The Mystery Religions, p235)
Jochen
nikopolis_domna_HJ8_17_4_6corr.jpg
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 17. Julia Domna, HrHJ (2018) 8.17.04.08 (plate coin)36 viewsJulia Domna, AD 193-217
AE 23, 8.20g, 23.07mm, 30°
obv. IOVLIA DO. - MNA CEBA
Bust, draped, wearing stephane, r.
rev. NIKOPOLIT - ON PROC ICT / RWN
Athena, in long garment, helmeted, stg. r., resting with raised r. hand on reversed spear and holding
wit lowered l. hand shield set on altar.
ref. a) not in AMNG
b) Varbanov (engl.) 2875 corr. (schreibt POLITWN und ICTRON)
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2018) No. 8.17.4.8 (plate coin)
about VF, glossy black green patina

This coin has 2 grammatical errors: POLITON instead POLITWN and ICTRWN which is grammatically impossible.
1 commentsJochen
geta_amng1654.jpg
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 22. Geta, HrHJ (2018) 8.22.07.01 corr. #1 (plate coin)83 viewsGeta as Caesar, AD 198-209
AE 26, 11.38g, 26.03mm, 135°
struck under governor Aurelius Gallus
obv. L CEPTIMI GETAC KAICAR
bust, draped only, seen from front, bare-headed, r.
rev. VP A[VR GALL]OV NEIKOPOLITWN PROC IC
Apollo, naked, laureate, stg. r., with crossed legs, r. hand with arrow raised
behind, l. hand rested on tree before him; at the tree a lizard creeping upwards
ref. a) AMNG I/1, 1654 (1 ex., Löbbecke)
b) Varbanov (engl.) 3268 var. (cites AMNG 1654 but has OLIT PROC IC!)
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2018) No. 8.22.7.1 corr. (plate coin, writes "draped and cuirassed")
scarce, about VF, nice green patina
added to www.wildwinds.com

The depiction of Apollon Sauroktonos, a famous statue of Praxiteles, is known from a description by Pliny the Elder. The original is lost but we have 2 copies in the Vatican Museum and the Louvre. on these copies the r. hand is not raised. The statue in the Cleveland Museum of arts, acquired in 2004, is discussed.
Jochen
diadumenian_nikopolis_AMNG1843.jpg
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 25. Diadumenian, HrHJ (2018) 8.25.13.03 (plate coin)65 viewsDiadumenian, AD 217-218
AE 26, 13.08g, 25.98mm, 225°
struck under governor Statius Longinus
obv. KM OPEL DIADOV - MENIANOC K (OV ligate)
bust, draped and cuirassed, seen from behind, bare-headed, r.
rev. VP CTA LONGINOV NIKOPOLITWN PROC I / CTRW
Artemis as huntress advancing r., holding bow and drawing arrow from
quiver over r. shoulder; at her l. foot the hound leaping r.
ref. a) AMNG I/1, 1843 (1 ex., Berlin)
b) not in Varbanov (engl.)
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov No. (2018) 8.25.13.3 (plate coin)
good F

The state of this coin is not as good as my similar coin AMNG 1844, but the attitude of Artemis is much more dramatical!
1 commentsJochen
nikopolis_elagabal_cfAMNG1968.jpg
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 26. Elagabal, HrHJ (2018) 8.26.36.03 corr. (plate coin)118 viewsElagabal, AD 218-222
AE 27, 14.32g, 26.97mm, 30°
struck under governor Novius Rufus
obv. AVT M AVR - ANTWNEINOC
laureate head, r.
rev. VP NOBIOV ROVFOV NI - KOPOLITWN PROC ICTRW
Homonoia, with himation and long chiton, wearing kalathos, standing frontal,
head l., holding patera in extended r. hand and cornucopiae in l. arm
ref. a) not in AMNG:
obv. not in AMNG, found only on 'Einern'
rev. AMNG I/1, 1913 var. (legend, different legend break)
AMNG I/1, 1968 (depiction)
b) cf. Varbanov (engl.) 4037 (cites AMNG 1968)
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2018) No. 8.26.36.3 corr. (plate coin)
writes ICTRWN, grammatically impossible. It is ICTRW
rare, VF, nice portrait!

Patera with a bump in the midth, a so-called 'phiale mesomphalos' (Pat Lawrence)
3 commentsJochen
13774.JPG
Moriaseis, Thrace82 views185-168 B.C
Bronze Æ 19
5.89 gm, 19 mm
Obv.: Laureate head of Zeus right
Rev.: Six-rayed star; M-OP-IA-ΣE-Ω-N between rays
Katalog Münzauktion Essen 64 (1992) no. 47;
P.R. Franke, MOPIAΣEΩN - Die erste Münze eines bislang unbekannten thrakisch-makedonischen Stammes, in: V. Spinoi - L. Munteanu, Miscellanea numismatica antiquitatis in honorem septagenarii magistri Virgilii Mihailescu, Bucarest 2008, p. 67-68.

Special thanks to Forvm member Dapsul for his help with this attribution!
3 commentsJaimelai
Nerodu04-2.jpg
Nero, RIC 189var., Dupondius of AD 64 (Macellum Magnum)165 viewsÆ dupondius (13.4g, Ø 28mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 64.
Obv.: NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM PM TR P IMP P P, radiate head right
Rev.: MACELLVS AVGVSTI (left and right border) S C (below, left end right of the steps) II (in ex.), Frontal view of the Macellum Magnum.
RIC 189 var [R2] (reverse legend differs); Cohen 130var (reverse legend differs), Sear RCV II 1963 var; Foss (Roman Historic Coins) 12b.

ex G.Henzen (Netherlands, 1995)

The Macellum (or Macellus) Augusti, also known as the Macellum Magnum, was Rome's Great Provision Market located on the Caelium Hill. It was completed in AD 59. Part of it was later transformed to church S.Stefano Rotundo by Pope Simplicius.

This is a very rare full legend instead of the usual abbreviation "MAC AVG". In addition, the variant "MACELLVS" is used instead of the usual "MACELLVM". This is a variant of a type (with legend MAC AVG) listed as extremely rare (R2) in RIC. A coin with the same reverse die in EF condition was auctioned by Numismatica Ars Classica, 2 April 2008, Auction 45, Lot number: 91
2 commentsCharles S
NERO_Macellus~0.jpg
Nero, RIC 189var., Dupondius of AD 64 (scan)49 viewsÆ dupondius (13.4g, Ø 28mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 64.
Obv.: NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM PM TR P IMP P P, radiate head right
Rev.: MACELLUS (sic) AVGVSTI left and right border/ S C below, left end right of the steps / II in exergue, Frontal view of the Macellum Magnum.
RIC 189var [R2], C. 130var, Sear RCV II 1963var; Foss (Roman Historic Coins) 12b

The Macellum Magnum was Rome's Great Provision Market located on the Caelium Hill. It was completed in AD 59. Part of it was later transformed to church S.Stefano Rotundo by Pope Simplicius.

This is a very rare full legend instead of the usual abbreviation "MAC AVG". "MACELLVS" is a valid alterantive for "MACELLVM". This type (with normal abbreviated legend) is listed as extremely rare (R2) in RIC. A coin with the same reverse die - but much better condition - was auctioned by Numismatica Ars Classica, 2 April 2008, Auction 45, Lot number: 91
1 commentsCharles S
IMG_2102wp.jpg
Nilus 156 viewsNilus and his attributes: sphinx, crocodile, cornucopiae

Vatican Museums
Johny SYSEL
IMG_2098q.JPG
Octavianus Augustus127 viewsVatican museumsJohny SYSEL
Theoderic_nummus2_ab~0.jpg
Odovacar - Rome152 viewsOdovacar (also Odoacer, Odovacer, Odoacre) (c. 433-493), king of Italy (476-493). Æ (11 mm, 1.01 g). In the name of Zeno. Obverse: head right, reverse: monogram. References: Morello 21 var; not in RIC.

I tentatively attribute this coin to Odovacar rather than to other suggested rulers including Theoderic, Baduila and Gundobad. Three coins with this monogram have been sold at auctions (Sternberg 23, Lot 1049, 2000; Gemini VII, Lot 889, 2011; CNG 88, Lot 1761, 2011). The latter two have visible obverse legends DN Z(…) and (…)ENO P, which shows that they were minted in the name of Zeno. The monogram consists of the letters D, V, A and R and it is similar to Morello’s monogram No. 21 attributed to Odovacar. The letter O is apparently missing, or is perhaps incorporated into the upper part of the R. The design of the reverse including the thick wreath is similar to that on nummi by Julius Nepos (RIC X 3222) and I would place this coin during an early phase of Odovacar’s reign.

Ex Numismatica Tintinna Auction 6, lot 2502, 2010.
Jan (jbc)
IMG_2112q.JPG
Peafowl141 viewsVatican museums

animal of Juno ~ Hera
Johny SYSEL
IMG_2099.JPG
Philip the Arab132 viewsVatican museumsJohny SYSEL
01044AB.jpg
PHOKIS, FEDERAL COINAGE, After 351 BC48 viewsAE13, 13mm, 1.96g, 7h
Phalaikos, magistrate.

O - Bull’s head facing, wearing sacrificial fillet
R - ΦΩ within laurel wreath with ties above.

BCD Lokris 344.2 and 472.1 (this coin); SNG Copenhagen 129.

Ex Baldwin’s, May 1976.
Ex BCD Collection (Numismatica Ars Classica 55 (8 October 2010), lot 472.1.
robertpe
colossae.jpg
Phrygia, Colossae. Commodus36 viewsPhrygia, Colossae. Commodus. A.D. 177-192. Æ 34 mm. Zosimos, strategos.
Obverse: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Reverse: Artemis standing right, quiver at shoulder, holding branch and antler of stag standing behind her.
Von Aulock, Phrygiens II 575 (same dies).
Near VF, brown patina. 34 mm, 21.04 g.

Extremely rare - one of two known, the other in the Vatican museum.
3 commentsb70
ItalyPapalStatesAlexanderVIBorgiaARGrossoRome.jpg
Pope Alexander VI Borgia. AR Grosso.51 viewsAR Grosso. Rome mint.
St. Paul holding sword and gospels, St. Peter holding keys and hospels S PAVLVS S PETRVS ROMA
Papal arms ALEXANDER VI PONT MAX
Berman 532, Muntoni 15-17.
1 commentsLordBest
PORTUGAL JOAO II.jpg
PORTUGAL - Joao II78 viewsPORTUGAL - Joao II (1481-1495) Vintem. Silver. P o mintmark, (Porto), shield without border, Obverse appears to be: + CI : ETVLTRA : D : R : P : ET : A : D
Reverse: IohANES : II : R : P : ET : A : D : GVI (not quite sure); This type is scarce. Reference: A.Gomes 11.01 (5ª Edição 2006).

Thanks to JSalgado and babbitt1930 of the Forum Numismatica of Portugal http://www.forum-numismatica.com/index.php for the identification!
dpaul7
Pro_Numismatica.jpg
Pro Numismatica47 viewsPro Numismatica medal given 25th May 2014 at FNA's 100 years meeting.
135 mm.
By Erkki Kannosto.
Pekka K
1288~0.jpg
PROBUS RIC 376 VAR. VOTIS X ET XX ON SHIELD 30 viewsOBVERSE: VIRTVS PROBI AVG
REVERSE: ERCVLI PACIF[ERO]
BUST TYPE: F1 = radiate, cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield (VOTIS X ET XX inscription on shield)
FIELD / EXERGUE MARKS: -/-//SXXT
WEIGHT 3.66g / AXIS: 12h / DIAMETER: 21-22mm
RIC: 376 VAR. (UNLISTED WITH VOTIS X ET XX ON SHIELD)
COLLECTION NO. 1288

NOTE: Extremely rare and desirable shield decoration in the form of the VOTIS X ET XX inscription

Ex Ph. Gysen collection = Ex Spink, NumCirc 99/4 (1991.), 2660

Only 4th specimen of this type known to me (the other being EBAY / NUMISMATIKLANZ 2016-05-20; GLOUCESTER HOARD NO. 1252; Numismatica Ars Classica 92/665)
Barnaba6
1300~0.jpg
PROBUS RIC 542 VAR. SPECTACULAR BUST TYPE !!!23 viewsOBVERSE: IMP PROBVS AVG
REVERSE: MARTI PACIF
BUST TYPE: radiate, helmeted and cuirassed bust right, holding spear up in right hand and tropaion over left shoulder
FIELD / EXERGUE MARKS: -/-//ΔXXI
WEIGHT 3.33g / AXIS: 12h / DIAMETER: 21-22 mm
RIC: 542 VAR. (UNLISTED WITH THIS BUST TYPE)
COLLECTION NO. 1300

NOTE: Spectacular, extremely rare and desirable bust type struck only at Ticinum, only in 4th officina and only during 6th emmission! One of the most interesting bust types in the whole coinage of Probus!

Ex Ph. Gysen collection = ex Freeman & Sear auction, June 1998

Only 4th specimen of this type known to me (the other being Numismatica Ars Classica 78/1108 and 2 ex. In La Venera hoard)
Barnaba6
1336~0.jpg
PROBUS RIC 888 VAR. PERPETVO IMP PROBO AVG 14 viewsOBVERSE: PERPETVO IMP PROBO AVG
REVERSE: VIRTVS PROBI AVG (VIR-ADV)
BUST TYPE: E1
FIELD / EXERGUE MARKS: -/-//KAB
WEIGHT 4.34 g / AXIS: 6h / WIDTH 21,5 - 24 mm
RIC: unlisted WITH THIS obverse legend for this REVERSE TYPE

COLLECTION NO. 1336

Only 4th specimen known to me (the other being: LANZ 154/488; ROMA NUMISMATICS e7/1205 AND VCOINS MARCANTICA)

Ex Ph. Gysen collection = Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 5/B (1992), 2214
Barnaba6
1576_1577.jpg
Probus, Antoninianus, CONCORDIA MILITVM, P, XXIMC6 viewsAE Antoninianus
Probus
Augustus: 276 - 282AD
Issued: 280AD
21.3mm 2.38gr
O: IMP CM AVR PROBVS PF AVG; Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
R: CONCORDIA MILITVM; Probus standing left on right, holding spear, receiving wreath from Victory, to right.
Exergue: P, above line; XXIMC, below line.
Cyzicus Mint
Aorta: 2169: B87, O38, R30, T81, M2.
RIC Vol. 2, 907.
balbinusnumismatica2009 172340002540
9/21/16 1/20/17
Nicholas Z
3749_(1)_3750_(1).jpg
Probus, Antoninianus, PAX AVGVSTI, P, XXI10 viewsAE Antoninianus
Probus
Augustus: 276 - 282AD
Issued: 280AD
22.0 x 21.5mm
O: IMP CM AVR PROBVS PF AVG; Radiate bust left, wearing imperial mantle, holding scepter with eagle atop.
R: PAX AVGVSTI; Pax standing left, holding branch and scepter.
Exergue: P, right field, XXI, below line.
Siscia Mint
Aorta: B48, O38, R89, T52, M6.
RIC 77, P; Cohen 425.
numismaticanaisus 192086514365
1/27/17 2/10/17
Nicholas Z
9030_9031.jpg
Provincial, Elaia, Aiolis, AE17, εΛΑΙΤΩΝ6 viewsAE17
Roman Provincial: Elaia, Aiolis
Julia Domna
Born: ca. 170AD - Died: 217AD
Augusta: 193 - 217AD
Issued:
17.0mm 2.68gr 6h
O: IOΥ ΔΟΜΝΑ CεΒ; Draped bust, right.
R: εΛΑ-ΙΤΩΝ; Asklepios, standing right, holding serpent-entwined staff.
Elaia, Aiolis Mint
Fine
With original tag: "ex. Numismatica XIX, Lot Nr. 572 Hollschek Slg., m2a 45,- Schu 11105."
Lindgren 331; SNG von Aulock 1617; Mionnet 215; BMC -.
Savoca Auctions Munich/Claudia Savoca 20th Blue Auction, Lot 878.
5/18/19 7/6/19
Nicholas Z
IMG_2108.JPG
Pupienus122 viewsVatican museumsJohny SYSEL
47-a.jpg
Quinarius group 47a - Not in Crawford5 viewsDenomination: Quinarius
Era: c. 211 BC
Metal: AR
Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma r. Behind, “V” . Border of dots
Reverse: Dioscuri r.; in linear frame. “ROMA”. Line border
Weight: 1.96 gm.
Reference: Group 47a - not in RRC
Provenance: Private purchase from Numismaatica Ivlia, 11-JAN-2015

Comments: This quinarius from an uncertain mint is of a distinctly different style from RRC 47, but ornamentally it is very similar. The helmet visor with a top bar extending beyond the lower two bars is only otherwise found in RRC 47/1, so this variety has been classified using the RRC nomenclature to suggest it is perhaps an offshoot from 47. The style, weight, and fabric suggest an official issue. For further discusson on this type, See: P. DEBERNARDI, “The Orzivecchi hoard and the beginning of the denarius”,
NC 2014, pp. 1–15; P. DEBERNARDI and S. BRINKMAN, “An Early Roman Republican
Denarius Hoard”, in NC 2016, pp. 368–376.
Steve B5
0094.jpg
Quinarius, "H" series22 viewsQuinarius "H"

RRC: 85/1a
211-200 bc

Av: Helmeted head of Roma r.; behind, V.
Rv: The Dioscuri galloping r.; below, H; in exergue, ROMA.

16 mm, 2,14 gr

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich | Auction 92 - Part II | 24 May 2016
1 commentsNorbert
0066.jpg
Quintus Minucius Rufus, Denarius 13 viewsRRC 277/1
122 bc

Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma r.; behind, RVF and below chin, X.
Reverse: The Dioscuri galloping r.; below, Q·MINV and in exergue, ROMA.

The moneyer is presumabely Q. Minucius Rufus, Leg. 110 and elder brother of the Consul of 110 (Crawford)

--
Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 78, Lot 595, 26 - 27 May 2014
Norbert
RIC_184_Domitianus.jpg
RIC 0184 Domitianus43 viewsObv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG GERMANIC, Laureate head right
Rev: P M TR POT III IMP V COS X P P, Minerva standing left, with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her left side
AR/Denarius (19.14 mm 3.428 g 6h) Struck in Rome 84 A.D. (2nd issue)
RIC 184 (R2), RSC-BMCRE-BNF unlisted
Purchased from Tinia Numismatica
4 commentsFlaviusDomitianus
RIC_T_288_Domitianus.jpg
RIC 0288 Domitianus32 viewsObv : CAES DIVI AVG VESP F DOMITIANVS COS VII,Laureate head right
Rev : PAX AVGVST / S-C in field; Pax standing left, with branch and cornucopiae
AE/Sestertius (34.16 mm 22.62 g 6h) Struck in Rome 80-81 A.D. (Group 2)
RIC 288 (R, Titus), BMCRE unlisted, BNF 236 (Titus)
ex Numismatica Tintinna Auction 10 lot 2031
2 commentsFlaviusDomitianus
vespasian_ric_544.jpg
RIC 0544123 viewsVespasian, 69-79 A.D. AR Denarius, 3.16g. 21.41mm. Rome, 73 A.D.
Obv: IMP CAES VESP AVG CENS. Laureate head of Vespasian to right.
Rev: MAXIM PONTIF. Nemisis walking to right holding caduceus over snake. RIC 544. 
Ex: E. E. Clain-Stefanelli collection. Ex: Numismatica Ars Classica - Auction 92 Part 2, Lot 2133 May 24, 2016; Ex: Ed waddell




This denarius of Vespasian is interesting because of the reverse. The reverse features Nemesis walking with a snake. This reverse was also used earlier by Claudius. In fact, Vespasian revived many of the earlier coin types for his own coinage.

The other interesting fact about this denarius is the provenance. This coin once belonged to E. E. Clain-Stefanelli. She was senior Curator of the National Numismatic Collection in the Numismatics Division of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. She also published works concerning ancient coins and their history.
4 commentsorfew
RIC_V_662A_Domitianus.jpg
RIC 0662ADomitianus78 viewsObv : CAESAR AVG F DOMITIAN COS II, Laureate head left, bust draped.
Rev : PRINCIP IVVENT / S C (in low field), Domitian riding left, right hand raised, holding sceptre.
AE/Dupondius (28.46 mm 13.29 g 6h) Struck in Rome 73-74 A.D.
Completely unpublished; it should become RIC 662A (Vespasian)
ex Numismatica Felsinea Auction 2 lot 381
3 commentsFlaviusDomitianus
VespasianOmint.jpg
RIC 1477A Vespasian denarius71 viewsIMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG
Head of Vespasian, laureate, r., a small 'o' mint mark below neck

PON MAX TR P COS VII (from high l.)
Winged caduceus

Unknown "O" mint, 76 AD
3.17g

Ex-Numismatica Prados


A unique specimen of the caduceus type from the rare and mysterious 'O' mint. This rare variant has the reverse legend starting from the upper left, all other known examples start from the lower right. Die matched to David Atherton's example and purchased through his recommendation.

Ted Buttrey has assigned it 1477A in the upcoming RIC II.1 Addenda.
7 commentsJay GT4
RIC_1550_Vespasianus.jpg
RIC 1550 Vespasianus50 viewsObv: IMP VESPAS AVG P M TRI P P P COS IIII, Laureate head left
Rev: PAX AVGVSTI, Vespasian, naked, standing left with spear, raising Tyche, kneeling, right
AU/Aureus (16.88 mm 7.17 g 12h) Struck in Antiochia ad Orontem (Syria, Seleucis and Pieria) 72-73 A D
RIC 1550 (R2), BMCRE 504, RPC 1924
ex Nudelman Numismatica Sale 10 lot 43
3 commentsFlaviusDomitianus
Elegabalas.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE / Emperor Elagabalus ( Reign 8 June 218 – 11 March 222)43 viewsEmperor Elagabalus Silver Denarius.
Obverse: “IMP ANTO - NINVSAVG" Laureate, and draped bust right.
Reverse: “LAETIT - IA PVBL" Latetia standing left, holding wreath and rudder placed on globe.
aXF , 3.04 Gr. Max Dia 18.7.
Rome mint , RIC 95 (The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol.IV, Part II, #95)


Emperor Elagabalus (Reign 8 June 218 – 11 March 222 ) , Born in 203 or 204 A.D., Varius Avitus Bassianus was the grandson of Julia Maesa, the sister of Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus, and mother of Caracalla. Soon after the assassination of Caracalla in 217, Domna committed suicide, while Maesa planned to overthrow Caracalla’s successor, Macrinus. Her choice fell upon her eldest grandson, who was the hereditary high priest of the sun God El-Gabal at Emesa. On May 16, 218, the boy was proclaimed Emperor by the Eastern armies. He took the name of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, the same as Caracalla, whose son he claimed to be. He would be known to history as Elagabalus, referencing his fanatical loyalty to the Eastern God. He would win a victory over Macrinus near Antioch on June 8, with Macrinus being killed soon after.

One of Elagabalus’ first acts was the deification of Caracalla and Julia Domna. Coins were issued in their names, as well as Julia Maesa, and her daughter, Elagabalus’ mother, Julia Soamias. The three would reach Rome in the fall of 219 A.D. They promptly installed several of their Syrian compatriots in influential positions in the government, a fact resented by the Senate.
Elagabalus’ reign was a complete fiasco. While the earlier Severan emperors had introduced Eastern elements into the roman state religion, Elagabalus attempted to insert the worship of El-Gabal as the center of the state religion. He went as far as to “marry” the roman Goddess Minerva to El-Gabal, an act mimicked on an earthly plain by Elegabalus’ marriage to the Vestal Virgin, Aquilia Severa, an act which shocked Rome to its core.

Further, Elagabalus made no secret of being a passive homosexual, and in fact indulged his taste to its fullest. Rome was not used to an Emperor with painted eyes and rouged cheeks. As a counterbalance, his advisors forced him into a series of marriages, including the above mentioned Vestal. Between his religious extremism, and his public personal life, Elagabalus had earned the contempt and hatred of both Senate and people.

In 221, in an attempt to bolster his reign, Maesa and her second daughter, Julia Mamaea, convinced Elagabalus to adopt Mammea’s son Alexianus, as his heir. Alexianus took on the name of Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander. Alexander’s popularity soon aroused Elagabalus’ suspicions. He planned to have Alexander killed, but Maesa and Mamaea, instead had Elagabalus and his mother Julia Soaemias murdered by the Guard. Alexander would succeed his cousin on the throne.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
Sam
NERO_Macellus.jpg
Roman Empire, Nero dupondius "MACELLVS", Rome mint, AD 64160 viewsÆ dupondius, 13.4g, Ø 28mm, 6h
Obv.: NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM PM TR P IMP P P, radiate head right
Rev.: MACELLVS AVGVST[I] left and right border, S C below, left end right of the steps II in exergue, Frontal view of the Macellum Magnum.
RIC 189 [R2] var (rev. legend); Cohen 130 var (same); BMCRE p.236 * ("variety of rev. legend MACELLVS (!) AVGVST·S·C·, obv. CLAVDIVS···GERM·, radiate, r., in Naples; 'Macellus' (for 'Macellum') does not inspire confidence as an ancient reading."); Sear (Roman Coins and their Values II) 1963 var (same); Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 12b
This is a very rare full legend instead of the usual abbreviation "MAC AVG". In addition, the variant "MACELLVS" is used instead of the usual "MACELLVM". This type (with normal legend) is listed as extremely rare (R2) in RIC. A coin of the same reverse die but in (a)EF condition was auctioned by Numismatica Ars Classica, 2 April 2008, Auction 45, Lot number: 91.
Charles S
VESP_544_Combined.jpeg
Roman Empire, Vespasian, RIC 544139 viewsVespasian, 69-79 A.D. AR Denarius, 3.16g. 21.41mm. Rome, 73 A.D.
Obv: IMP CAES VESP AVG CENS. Laureate head of Vespasian to right.
Rev: MAXIM PONTIF. Nemesis walking to right holding caduceus over snake.
C 385, RIC 544. 
Ex: E. E. Clain-Stefanelli collection. Ex: Numismatica Ars Classica - Auction 92 Part 2, Lot 2133 May 24, 2016; Ex: Ed waddell
5 commentsorfew
caes.jpg
Roman Imperators, Julius Caesar, Denarius, 49 to 44 BC.49 viewsGaius Iulius Caesar, 49–44 BC.
AR Denarius, Roma mint, 44 BC.
Obv. CAESAR IMP, wreathed head of Gaius Iulius Caesar right, behind, eight-rayed star.
Rev. P SEPVLLIVS MACER, Venus standing left, holding Victory and sceptre resting on star.
RSC 41 (I, 110); Crawford 480/5b; Sydenham 1071.
3,98g.

Provenance: Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 40, lot 578.

apyatygin
NACsextans.png
ROMAN REPUBLIC - AE Aes Grave Sextans - Crawford 21/522 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous, circa 265 BCE.
AE Aes Grave Sextans (43.28g; 35mm).

Obverse: Scallop shell seen from outside; two pellets (mark-of-value=two unciae) below.

Reverse: Scallop shell seen from inside.

References: Crawford 21/5; Vecchi, ICC 45.

Provenanc: Numismatica Ars Classica 40 (2007), Lot 365.

Aes Grave were a significant departure from the previous Roman bronze money in that they were denominated with marks of value, and thus did not require weighing. At least three separate series of Roman Aes Grave use shells as types on sextantes (see Crawford 14/5 sextans in this gallery). This is likely a traditional nod to the shell shaped Aes Formatum that were used for monetary exchange prior to the adoption of Aes Grave by Rome. The old Aes Formatum astragaloi (knuckle bones) are similarly re-used on Aes Grave Unciae which depict both sides of a knuckle bone (See Crawford 14/6, 21/6 and 25/9).
1 commentsCarausius
15609101635682810728644357871581.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Anonymous, AE Litra - Crawford 27/29 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.
Carausius
TorquatusCombined.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Manlius Torquatus, AR Denarius23 viewsRome. The Republic.
L. Manlius Torquatus, 59-58 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.92g; 20mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Head of Sibyl facing right, wearing ivy wreath; SIBVLLA below; all within laurel border.

Reverse: L•TORQVAT - III•VIR; Amphora on tripod flanked by stars; torque border.

References: Crawford 411/1a; Sydenham 837a; BMCRR 3512; Manlia 11.

Provenance: Ex Baldwins Auction 100 (27 Sep 2016), Lot 505; Künker Auktion 216 (8 Oct 2012), Lot 642; Numismatica Ars Classica Auction 54 (24 Mar 2010), Lot 232; Spink Num. Circ. March 1989, No. 948.


There are two obverse varieties of this denarius: one with a laurel border (as this coin); the other with a border of dots. The torque border on the reverse is more than just a naming pun; it refers to an ancestor’s defeat of a Gallic warrior in a one-on-one challenge, following which the Manlia ancestor removed the bloody torque from the dead Gaul and wore it – earning the cognomen Torquatus. The remaining devices allude to the position of either the moneyer or an ancestor on the 15-member (quindecemviri) religious college who guarded the Sibylline Books.

With its very high obverse relief and deep reverse cupping, this coin shares similar fabric with those of C. Calpurnius Piso Frugi. Crawford dates their issues two years apart (67 for Frugi and 65 for Torquatus). However, in their analysis of the Mesagne hoard, Hersh and Walker downdated Frugi to 61 and Torquatus to 58. In “Roman Republican Moneyers and Their Coins” (2nd ed.), Michael Harlan dates both Frugi and Torquatus to 59 BCE, based on their common fabric, prosopography and because Torquatus’ small output could not have been the sole issue in his year. Indeed, Crawford estimates fewer than 10 obverse dies and fewer than 11 reverse dies for both varieties of Torquatus’ denarii which suggests a very small issue.
1 commentsCarausius
Republican_denarius.jpg
Roman Republic, L. Procilius, L.f., 80 B.C.54 viewsSilver denarius, SRCV I 306, Sydenham 771, Crawford 379/1, RSC I Procilia 1, VF, Italian mint, weight 3.781g, maximum diameter 17.6mm, die axis 90o, 80 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Jupiter right, S C (senatus consulto - authorized by special decree of the Senate) behind; reverse Juno Sospita standing right, brandishing spear and holding shield, snake before her, L.PROCILI.F behind

This coin has been stolen en route from Forum to me in the UK if canyone sees it could they let Joe know. Thanks

Ex Forum


Sospita was a surname of Juno in Latium. Her most famous temple was at Lanuvium. She also had two temples at Rome. Her statue, as described by Cicero, was covered with a goat skin. This statue may be the one now at the Vatican. Her attribute is the serpent, which inhabited a grotto near her temple, and was fed annually by a young girl, who, if a virgin, escaped unharmed, but if not was destroyed
3 commentsPhiloromaos
RosciaCombined.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Roscius Fabatus, AR Serrate Denarius20 viewsRome. The Republic.
L. Roscius Fabatus, 59 BCE.
AR Serrate Denarius (3.95g; 19mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Head of Juno Sospita, wearing goat skin headdress tied at neck, facing right; L•ROSCI, below; control symbol (two-handled cup or bowl) behind.

Reverse: Female figure feeding serpent from fold of cloak; control symbol (pileus/cap?) behind; FABATI in exergue.

References: Crawford 412/1 (Symbols 199?); Sydenham 915; BMCRR 3394 -3510; Roscia 2.

Provenance: Ex John Barton Collection; Aes Rude Chiasso 4 (6 Apr 1979), Lot 240.

Crawford dated the issue to 64 BCE, but Hersh and Walker brought that date down to 59 BCE based on their analysis of the Mesagne hoard. Harlan picks a median date of 62 BCE based on some prosopographic assumptions.

The moneyer would go on to serve as lieutenant for Caesar in Gaul in 54 BCE. In 49 BCE, he was elected praetor and intermediated between Pompey and Caesar. He was killed at Mutina in 43 BCE.

Juno Sospita was a deity who’s temple was in Lanuvium, a Latin town 32 kilometers southeast of Rome, and it’s likely that both Roscius and L. Papius, whose 79 BCE coinage is a model for Roscius’ issue, came from that town. The reverse depicts an annual rite of the Juno Sospita cult in which a girl is sent into the grotto beneath the temple to feed the sacred snake. Only chaste girls could survive the ordeal.

Like Papius’s coins, these denarii are struck on serrated flans – the last of the Roman Republic to be produced with this fabric. Like Papius’s coins, Roscius’ denarii have obverse and reverse control symbols that are paired, with no pair of symbols appearing on more than one pair of dies. On both Roscius’ and Papius’s coins, the paired control symbols have some loose relationship to one another. Roscius re-used many of Papius’s symbol pairs, but reversed their locations on the coins.

The symbol pair on my coin is very rare. As of 10/1/18, there are no matching examples on Acsearch, Coinarchives or CNG’s website database. The pair is unlisted in Babelon, Sydenham, BMCRR and Banti. It resembles symbol pair 199 in Crawford, although some differences are evident. In his manuscript on Roman Republican series marks, Charles Hersh includes a hand drawn entry AI within the section of previously unpublished Roscia symbol pairs that is a precise match for the symbols on this coin. He cites the Vienna Museum (38465) and Vatican Museum (5158) for that entry.
2 commentsCarausius
411607.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Tiberius Claudius Nero, AR Serrate Denarius24 viewsRome. The Republic.
Ti. Claudius Ti.f. Ap.n. Nero, 79 BCE.
AR Serrate Denarius (4.13g; 19mm).
Rome Mint.

Obverse: Draped bust of Diana facing right, with bow and quiver over shoulder; S.C, before.

Reverse: Victory driving biga galloping right; A.LXXXVIII below; TI CLAVD TI F AP N, in exergue.

References: Crawford 383/1; Sydenham 770a; BMCRR ;Claudia 5.

Provenance: Ex CNG Classical Numismatic Review (Fall 2015), Lot 411607; CNG Inventory 735603 (August 2003); Numismatica Ars Classica N (26 June 2003), lot 1540; Eton College Collection [Sotheby’s (1 December 1976), lot 195].

The moneyer is Tiberius Claudius Nero, son of Tiberius ("TI F") and grandson of Appius ("AP N"). He served under Pompey in the war against the pirates in 67 BCE, and was the grandfather of the Roman emperor Tiberius. There are two series of control marks for the reverse: one, marked from I to CLXV; the second marked with letter A and I to CLXXXII. Each reverse control mark has only one die. The letters S.C on the obverse mean that this coin was struck by special Senatorial decree, as opposed to routine coinage which was still authorized by the Senate but not specially marked. The reason for the special decree is not certain in this case. The obverse of the coin may refer to the introduction of the worship of Diana by the Sabines from whom the Claudii originated, though Crawford disputes this reading. The reverse may refer to the Second Punic War victories of C. Claudius Nero.

This example comes from the Eton College Collection, which was auctioned by Sotheby’s in 1976. Eton College initiated its ancient coin collection by acquiring a large group of British Museum duplicates in the 1870s, and Eton added to this collection in the ensuing years. By the mid-1970s, the ancient coin market was white-hot, and Eton decided to cash-out the lion’s share of its collection, keeping a representative core for study purposes.
2 commentsCarausius
1280px-Musei_vaticani_-_base_colonna_antonina_01106.JPG
Rome, Vatican Museum, Base of the Column of Antoninus Pius 119 viewsRome, gardens of the Vatican Museums, the base of the Antonine Column from Campo Marzio: the winged genius door between the gods Antoninus Pius and Faustina Annia deified; left, the genius of the Campus Martius, with the obelisk of Augustus; right, the goddess Roma. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Column_of_Antoninus_PiusJoe Sermarini
44-6-NAC114.jpg
RRC 44/6 Quinarius, Group 337 viewsDenomination: Quinarius
Era: c. 211 BC
Metal: AR
Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma right; V behind.
Reverse: Dioscuri on horseback right, each holding spear, star above each head; ROMA between two lines in exergue.

Mint: Rome
Weight: 1.79g.
Reference: Crawford 44/6
Provenance: Numismatica Ars Classica 114, part 1, lot 377, 6-MAY-2019; A. Tkalek AG Sale, 9-MAY-2011, lot 73; A. Tkalek AG Sale, 29-FEB-2008, lot 4 (CHF 600!).

Perfect old grey cabinet toning. About EF
1 commentsSteve B5
scribon.JPG
Scribonia36 viewsL Scribonius Libo Denarius. 62 BC. BON EVENT LIBO, diademed head of Bonus Eventus right / PVTEAL above, SCRIBON below, well-head ornamented with garland and two lyres, hammer at base. Cr416/1a, Syd 928.

Ex. Numismatica Ars Classica, auction O 13/5/2004, 1775.
1 commentsrmon
0093.jpg
Semuncia "Corn Ear"12 viewsSemuncia "Corn Ear"

RRC 42/5
214-212 bc

Av: Head of Mercury
Rv: Prow r, ROMA, corn ear above

15 mm, 4,27 gr


Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich | Auction 92 - Part II | 24 May 2016
Norbert
Serapis_vatican.jpg
Serapis of Bryaxis245 viewsRoman marble copy of the head of Serapis from the Serapeion in Alexandria made by Bryaxis, flourishing 400-350 BC. Now in the Museo Pio-Clementino, Vaticane/Rome.
Jochen
1sesterzio_argento.jpg
Sesterzio d'argento, Roma post 211 a.C9 viewsSesterzio d'argento, coniato a Roma nel post 211 a.C.
AR, 0,97 gr, 17 mm.
D/ IIS; testa di Roma con elmo attico alato.
R/ ROMA; i Dioscuri con lancia e pileo; sopra, due stelle
Crawford 44/7
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dal 13 novembre 2016, numero catalogo 263), ex collezione Vanni, Tinia Numismatica (Follonica, Grosserto, Italia, fino al novembre 2016)
paolo
!_lupa_repubblicana_lavorata.jpg
Sextus Pompeius (137 a.C.), denarius15 viewsSex. Pompeius, denario, 137 a.C., Roma
AG, 3,63g - 19mm, BB
D/ Testa di Roma a destra, con elmo attico alato; dietro, un ramoscello; davanti, X; dietro, una brocca.
R/ FOSTLVS, SEX PO; ROMA in ex; La lupa a destra, volge la testa indietro verso i gemelli che sta allattando. A sinistra il pastore Faustulus osserva la scena appoggiato al bastone. Sullo sfondo il ficus Ruminalis (un alberello di tre ramoscelli spinosi) con un uccellino sul tronco e due altri sui rami superiori.
Crawford 235/1c
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dal 18/9/2014, numero catalogo 221), ex Tinia Numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto Italia, prima del 2014)
paolo
Timoleon1.jpg
Sicily, Syracuse. Timoleon (Circa 344-338 BC)37 viewsÆ Hemidrachm (24.5mm, 15.84 g).

Timoleontic Symmachy coinage. First series.

Obverse: Laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios right; ZΕΥΣ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΟΣ (Zeus Eleutherios - deliverer of freedom)

Reverse: Upright thunderbolt; barley grain to right; ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΩΝ (Syracos)

Castrizio Series I, 1β; CNS 71; HGC 2, 1440.

Timoleon was born to an aristocratic family in Corinth in 411 BC. Little is known of his early life, but in 368 BC he fought as a common soldier in the war between Corinth and Argos. Then, still in the mid-360s BC, Timoleon dramatically murdered his brother, the power-mad and unpopular Timophanes, ending his tyranny at Corinth.

Timoleon isn’t heard from again until two decades later when he was chosen to lead an expedition to Syracuse (Corinth’s former colony) in 344 BC against the dual threat of the tyrant Dionysius II and possible invasion from Carthage. With a force consisting of 700 mercenaries and ten ships, Timoleon arrived at Tauromenium in 344 BC and promptly defeated the tyrant of Leontini, Hicetas, in a battle at Adranum. Once further reinforcements arrived Timoleon then led an attack on Syracuse itself. He was supported by several Sicilian cities tired of Dionysius’ oppressive reign over the region. The campaign was a success and Dionysius II was forced to live in exile back at Corinth.

Timoleon was not allowed to enjoy his success for long, though, as an army from Carthage chose this moment of political instability to invade Sicily yet again in 341 BC. Timoleon engaged the enemy near the river Crimisus (or Krimisos) in the west of the island and, by attacking first when their force was divided by the river and for a second time during a violent thunderstorm, managed to defeat the Carthaginians despite having a much smaller army at his disposal (6,000 against 70,000 according to Plutarch). Although defeated and having lost over 12,000 men, the Carthaginians could still field a sizeable army and cause trouble. The result was a bargain between Timoleon and the Carthaginians in 338 BCE which divided the island into two spheres of influence. He would keep to the eastern half of the island if they stayed in the western part.

Timoleon then proceeded to systematically take over the government of the various tyrannies in his domain, gave cities a greater level of autonomy, and established a new constitution at Syracuse. Shortly thereafter he died peacefully of old age in the mid-330s BC after earlier retiring voluntarily from public office when his eyesight failed. He was buried in the agora of Syracuse and the following inscription was made to commemorate his deeds: ‘He overthrew the tyrants, subdued the barbarians, repopulated the largest of the devastated cities, and then restored their laws to the people of Sicily’ (Plutarch, 187).
2 commentsNathan P
302798_0_zoom.jpg
Sicily. Messana. The Mamertinoi. Ae Quadruple Unit (288-278 BC).24 views27 mm, 19.38 g

Obverse: APEOΣ Laureate head of Ares to right; behind, helmet.

Reverse: MAMEPTINΩN Eagle standing to left on thunderbolt.

Calciati I, 92, 3. SNG ANS 402.

After the tyrant of Syracuse Agathocles died in 289 BC, the majority of his mercenaries became unemployed. Some bands dispersed but the Mamertines attempted to stay in Syracuse. Hailing from Campania (a region in southern Italy), perhaps related to the Samnites, the civilized Greeks did not take kindly to a large armed mob of uncultured barbaroi loitering around the Hellenistic center of Sicily. Barred from settling in Syracuse, these mercenaries headed north until they came across the town of Messana on the north-east tip of Sicily.

The city offered its hospitality to the band of mercenaries and in return the mercenaries slaughtered many of the men and leading figures of the city and claimed it for themselves. The women and possessions were split among the mercenaries as their own. It was at this time that the mercenaries seem to officially proclaim themselves as the Mamertines as they began to mint their own coinage. The name Mamertines means the sons of Mamers, Mamers being an Italic war god with the Latin equivalent of Mars. Soon afterwards, the Italian town of Rhegium suffered a similar fate.

With Messana and its sister city of Rhegium across the strait, the Mamertines held a commanding position in Sicily and the shipping routes that passed through the Strait of Messina. With Messana as a base of operations the Mamertines were able to plunder, pirate, and raid the surrounding countryside with considerable success. Syracuse was unable to react immediately due to its internal political disorder. This left Sicily split between Carthage in the west and disunited Greeks and Mamertines elsewhere.

When Hiero II of Syracuse attempted to dislodge the Mamertines in 265, they enlisted the aid of a nearby Carthaginian fleet, whose swift intervention forced Hiero to withdraw. The Mamertines soon regretted the Carthaginian occupation and appealed to Rome for protection, citing their status as Italians. Rome was hesitant to become entangled in a conflict outside of Italy or to come to the aid of the piratical Mamertines. Yet Rome's fear of a Carthaginian stronghold so close to Italy—and greed for plunder in what they assumed would be a short war against Syracuse—outweighed their concerns. The Romans invaded Sicily and marched to the Mamertines' aid.

When the Mamertines learned that the Romans were approaching, they persuaded the Carthaginian general to withdraw his forces from the city. The general, regretting this decision to abandon the city, took the fateful steps of allying with Hiero. The combined Carthaginian and Syracusan forces then besieged Messana. After attempts to negotiate a truce failed, Carthage and Rome began hostilities. Both sides were confident of a quick and decisive victory. Neither side anticipated the horror that was to come: a ferocious, generation-long war that would transform the Roman and Carthaginian empires, upend the balance of power in the western Mediterranean, and set the stage for Hannibal's avenging assault on Italy.
Nathan P
SileraianTetras6_86g.JPG
SICILY: The Sileraians29 viewsSICILY, The Sileraians (Sileraioi), 6.86g, ca 357-336 BC. Æ Tetras over AE Litra. OBV: Forepart of Acheloios Silaros Himera as a man-faced bull to right, SILERAIWN retrograde before, above, and behind, linear border. REV: Naked Leukaspis charging right with spear & shield. Calciati III S. 301 Em. 2/9; Campana 2; Moretti 417; Castrizio I, 2/1; MSP I, 56 (this coin illustrated); R. Cantilena, "A proposito dei Tyrrhenoi e dei Sileraioi," in Nomismata: studi di numismatica offerti ad Aldina Cutroni Tusa per il suo novantatreesimo compleanno (2016), Fig. 3 (this coin illustrated).

My favorite piece.

Ex. Lanz, Auction 153 (2011), Numismatiche Raritaeten, Los 0101

Peter keeps leaving nice comments and I keep deleting and reuploading the picture, so I've taken the liberty of adding his comment here:

Enodia: "My favorite piece". understandable, this is a terrific coin. i really love this particular MFB... nice!
1 commentsMolinari
1litra1.jpg
Siracusa, Litra, Aretusa / polipo (460-450 a.C.)14 viewsAnonimo, Litra, Siracusa (460-450 a.C.)
AR, 0,39 gr, 11 mm, qBB
D/ ΣYRA; testa di Aretusa
R/ polipo
Boehringer 415ff
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia, dal 5 novembre 2016, numero catalogo 259); ex collezione Vanni, Tinia Numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto Italia, fino all'ottobre 2016)
paolo
IMG_9265.JPG
Sparta11 viewsACHAIA, Achaian League. Lakedaimon (Sparta). Circa 85 BC. AR Hemidrachm (15mm, 2.32 g, 8h). Laureate head of Zeus right / Achaian League monogram; monogram above, piloi of the Dioskouroi flanking, ΠY below; all within laurel wreath. Benner 15; BCD Peloponnesos 865.1; HGC 5, 643. Good VF, tone, slightly off center. Good metal.

From the J. Cohen Collection.

A note from the previous collector:

This collection of Peloponnesian coins was born from my personal interest in ancient Greek history and inspired primarily by the BCD sales. The collection was formed as a study of the varying coinage types produced through the ruling cycles of the Peloponnese. Initial focus of the collection was on Sparta, the coinage produced under Roman rule and issues produced bearing the iconography of the Achaean League. Given the less than amicable relationship between the League and Sparta, this area proved highly interesting to collect. The initial phase of collecting Sparta/Lacedaemon pieces set the groundwork for the evolution of the collection.

The collection was then expanded to Sparta's immediate neighbor in Messene and then to the entire Peloponnese. As I moved through the wider Peloponnesian regions I aimed, where possible, to collect an example of Achaean League coinage of the respective City States, examples of the Greek Imperial coinage and finally, Roman Provincial coinage. The goal being to develop a snapshot of the evolution of coins issued within the Peloponnese. Collecting in this way allowed for a timeline of both political and artistic change throughout the Peloponnese to be mapped out. The uniform coinage, both in silver and bronze of the Achaean league can be compared against the unique iconography of the corresponding Imperial issues and the later, highly stylized Roman issues. From a historical perspective, the evolution and membership of the League as well as the wars within the region can also be viewed through the issuing of coinage.

Numismatically, the primary goals of this collection have been broadly achieved by focusing on the smaller issues of the City States within the Peloponnese, no large silver issues beyond the enigmatic Tetradrachms have representation within the collection. The product of my labors is what I believe to be a highly diverse, interesting and accessible group of coins which provides an insight into one of the most interesting periods and regions of the Ancient world.
ecoli
33.jpg
SRI LANKA (imitazione romana) 433-459 d.C.42 viewsSri Lanka o Sud India, imitazione monete romane del IV-V secolo (Valentiniano I o Onorio). Databile 433-459 d.C.
D/ busto con elmo a sinistra
R/ figura stante (?)
AE, 1,2 gr., 14,31 mm., MB/D
Moneta 25 (Jarman*)
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo, Roma Italia (29 aprile 2008, numero catalogo 63); ex Marc Breitsprecher collection (Ancientimports, Grand Marais MN Usa, 2007), ex Jarman collection (Germany, prima del 2007); ex collezione privata (Germany, prima parte del XX secolo); ex Sri Lanka hoard (prima parte del XX secolo)
NOTA NUMISMATICA: l'hoard di cui faceva parte questa moneta è stato acquistato da un viaggiatore tedesco a Ceylon nel XX secolo. E' passato, poi, al ph.dr. Francis Jarman*, che è stato il primo a tentare una classificazione approssimativa. Il numero di classificazione è proprio quello relativo al lavoro di Jarman e si riferisce alla moneta nell'hoard. La classificazione è stata ultimata da Marc Breitsprecher.
NOTA STORICA: si ritiene che queste imitazioni circolassero nel sud dell'India e che servissero originariamente per gli interscambi con i mercanti romani. Nel libro "Taprobane: Ancient Sri Lanka as known to Greeks and Romans"; (1996) di Don Patrick Mervyn Weerakkody (professore e capo del dipartimento dei linguaggi classici dell' University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka) si sostiene che furono introdotte nello Sri Lanka con l'invasione dall'India di re Pandu (primo dei sette baroni Pandyas) che dominò l'isola dal 433 al 455 d. C., all'inizio dell'era feudale. Si pensa che gran parte delle monete in questione fossero utilizzate dai soldati di Pandu per le donazioni ai templi e per i normali pagamenti. L'abbandono di questi hoard potrebbe essere il risultato delle interferenze che hanno accompagnato la ribellione Sinhala (cingalese) condotta da Dhatusena, che ha posto fine al regno pandiano e alla dominazione dell'India del Sud sull'isola nel 459 d.C.
* [Storico e numismatico inglese, attualmente docente alla Universität Hildesheim, Institut für Angewandte Sprachwissenschaft, in Germania]

paolo
130-1a-blk.jpg
Staff and Feather - Denarius, Crawford 130/1a11 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Era: c. 206-200 BC
Metal: AR
Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma r. with peaked visor; “X” behind; In front, Staff; Border of dots
Reverse: Dioscuri r.; Below, feather symbol; in exergue, “ROMA”.
Mint: Uncertain
Weight: 3.90 gm.
Reference: Crawford 130/1a
Provenance: Numismatica Ibericoin, 6-Jul-11

Comments:
Staff and feather. One of the few early denarii with a symbol on both the obverse and the reverse. Crawford differentiates 130/1a from 1b with a curl on the left shoulder. In this example it is just a blip at 5:30. Well centered and nearly complete but for a weak area in the near horse’s hind legs at 8:00 reverse. Really lovely surfaces and old toning, AEF.
1 commentsSteve B5
DIVOPIO_COLUMN.JPG
Struck A.D.164 under Marcus Aurelius. DIVUS ANTONINUS PIUS. Commemorative AR Denarius of Rome6 viewsObverse: DIVVS ANTONINVS. Bare head of Antoninus Pius facing right.
Reverse: DIVO PIO. Column of Antoninus Pius surmounted by statue of the emperor and surrounded by enclosure.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 3.1gms | Die Axis: 6
RIC III : 439 | VM : 137/2 | Sear : 5195

The Column of Antoninus Pius (Columna Antonini Pii) was erected in the Campus Martius in memory of Antoninus Pius by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus c.A.D.158 on the twentieth anniversary of his reign. Constructed of red granite, the column was 14.75 metres high and 1.90m in diameter, unlike the otherwise similar column of Trajan it had no decorating reliefs. The masons' inscription shows that it was quarried out in A.D.106 and architecturally it belonged to the Ustrinum which was 25m north of it on the same orientation. It was surmounted by a statue of Antoninus Pius, as is represented on the coin. Previous to the 18th century the base was completely buried, but the lower part of the shaft projected about 6m above the ground. In 1703, when some buildings were demolished in the area of Montecitorio, the rest of the column and the base were discovered and excavated. The base, all four sides of which are shown below, still survives and is now housed in the Cortile della Pigna in the Vatican Museums.
*Alex
CITYCOM_APOLLO.JPG
Struck A.D.310 - 313 under Maximinus II. CITY COMMEMORATIVE AE3/4 of Antioch23 viewsObverse: GENIO ANTIOCHENI. The Tyche of Antioch seated facing with the river-god Orontes swimming facing below.
Reverse: APOLLONI SANCTO. Apollo standing facing left, holding lyre in his left hand and patera in his right; in right field, A; in exergue, SMA.
Diameter: 16mm | Weight: 1.6gms | Die Axis: 12
Vagi 2954

This coin, often called a quarter nummus or twelfth follis, the exact denomination being uncertain, is assigned to the time of the great persecution of Christians under Galerius and Maximinus II.
The obverse of the coin shows the famous Tyche of Antioch which was made by Eutychides of Sikyon in the second half of the 4th century B.C. The reverse possibly represents the statue of Apollo of Antioch which was made my Bryaxis around 400-350 B.C.
The statue below is a late Roman marble copy of the original Greek bronze statue of the Tyche of Antioch by Eutychides and it is now in the Vatican Museum (Galleria dei Candelabri).
3 comments*Alex
1diobolo_unita.jpg
Tarentum, diobolo (380-325 a.C.)13 viewsDiobolo, Tarentum (380-325 a.C.)
AR, 0.81 gr , 13 mm., BB
D/ Testa di Atena con elmo decorato con Scilla.
R/ Eracle che combatte contro il leone di Nemea.
HN Italy 911
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dal 6 novembre 2017, numero catalogo 386), ex collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Italia, fino all'ottobre 2017)
1 commentspaolo
Tibese10-2~0.jpg
TEMPLE, Tiberius, sestertius - temple of Concordia127 viewsÆ Sestertius (26,50g, Ø 35mm, 12h). Rome, AD 36-37.
Obv.: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST PM TR POT XXXIIX around large S C.
Rev.: Hexastyle temple on podium of five steps with flanking walls to r. and l.; Concordia seated within, holding patera and cornucopiae, flanked by the statues of Hercules and Mercurius; Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, Victories and other figures above empty pediment.
RIC 67 (R); BMC 133; Cohen 70; RCV 1766
Ex Varesi Numismatica Auction 65, 10 Feb. 2015; ex Ex Astarte XII, 12 Sep. 2003, lot 485.

The temple of Concordia in the Roman Forum was restored and embellished under Tiberius. It housed so many antique statues that Pliny the Elder called it a museum of art and Greek sculpture.
1 commentsCharles S
aaatetrico.JPG
TETRICO I, antoniniano 271-274 d.C. (R/ LAETITIA AVGG)28 viewsTetrico (271-274 d.C.), antoniniano di bronzo, zecca di Magonza o Treviri.
AE, 1.846 gr, 18.2 mm, 0°, BB (VF)
D/ IMP TETRICVS P F AVG, busto radiato corazzato e drappeggiato a dx
R/ LAETITIA AVGG, Laetitia stante a sx.,una corona sulla dx e ancora a sx.
RIC 88, S 11239 S, Hunter 18
S 11239 si riferisce al III volume dell'ultima edizione del Sear, Roman Coins and Thier values (precisamente a pagina 391 del volume). Hunter: A.S. Robertston, Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow (1962-82)
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo, Roma Italia (15 settembre 2008, numero catalogo 93); ex FAC (Morehead City NC, Usa, fino al 2008)

NOTA NUMISMATICA: il plurale evidenziato dalla doppia G di AVGG potrebbe significare l'elevazione ad Augusto del figlio Tetrico II. Un'altra ipotesi è che sia un messaggio ad Aureliano con una proposta di coreggenza dell'Impero.
paolo
Tiberius2.jpg
Tiberius tribute penny44 viewsTI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS
Laureate head of Tiberius right

PONTIF MAXIM
Livia seated right holding scepter and branch, legs on char ornamented, feet on footstool

Lugdunum after 16 AD

3.14g

Sear 1763, RIC 26

Ex-Numismatica Prados

Sold to Calgary Coin Feb 2019
1 commentsJay GT4
Tibese10-2.jpg
Tiberius, RIC 67, Sestertius of AD 36-37 (temple of Concordia)16 viewsÆ Sestertius (26,50g, Ø 35mm, 12h). Rome, AD 36-37.
Obv.: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST PM TR POT XXXIIX around large S C.
Rev.: No legend, Hexastyle temple on podium of five steps with flanking walls to r. and l.; Concordia seated within, holding patera and cornucopiae, flanked by the statues of Hercules and Mercurius; Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, Victories and other figures above empty pediment.
RIC 67 (R); BMC 133; Cohen 70; RCV 1766
Ex Varesi Numismatica Auction 65, 10 Feb. 2015; ex Ex Astarte XII, 12 Sep. 2003, lot 485.

The temple of Concordia in the Roman Forum was restored and embellished under Tiberius. It housed so many antique statues that Pliny the Elder called it a museum of art and Greek sculpture.
Charles S
197.jpg
Trajan Denarius - Vesta Seated (RIC 9)38 viewsAR Denarius
Rome 98-99 AD
3.52g

Obv: Laureate head of Trajan (R), wearing aegis.
MP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM

Rev: Vesta seated (L), holding patera and torch.
PM TRP COS II PP

RIC 9; BMC 26; RSC 203

Roma Numismatics E-Sale 55, Lot 756, 18/04/19
ex. Michael Kelly Collection of Roman Silver Coins
ex. Numismatica Ars Classica 40, Lot 696, 16/05/07
2 commentsOptimo Principi
1656275_10152015672049011_1050208402_n.jpg
Trajan RIC 060; Woytek 130a39 viewsTrajan 98-117 AD. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. 102 AD. (2.86g; 19.09mm) Obv: IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM, Laureate head right. Rev: P M TR P COS IIII P P, Victory, advancing left holding wreath and palm.
Woytek 130a; RIC 60; RSC 240

Ex: Hatria Numismatica

Struck in connection with the first Dacian war, mostly in 102 AD.

Paddy
1triemiobolo_istros.jpg
Triemiobolo di ISTROS (IV secolo a.C., Moesia Inferiore)12 viewsIstros, Moesia inferiore, triemiobolo (IV secolo a.C.)
AR, 1.34 gr, 10 mm., qSpl
D/ Due facce.
R/ IΣTPIH; aquila sopra delfino, AΠ in ex
SNG BM Black Sea 239
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo (Roma, Italia dal 24 maggio 2017, numero catalogo 278), ec collezione Alessandro Vanni, Tinia numismatica (Follonica, Grosseto Italia fino al maggio 2017)
paolo
Constantinus-I__AR-Argenteus_IMP-CONSTANTI-NVS-AVG_VICTORIA-LAETAE-PRINC-PERP-VOT_PR_PTR_RIC-not_Trier_318-319-AD_Q-001_19mm_2,73gx-s.jpg
Trier, RIC VII ???, 136 Constantinus-I. (306-309 A.D. Caesar, 309-910 A.D. Filius Augustorum, 307-337 A.D. Augustus), AR-Argenteus, Trier, RIC VII ???, -/-//PTR, VICTORIA LAETAE PRINC PERP, Not in RIC !!!62 viewsTrier, RIC VII ???, 136 Constantinus-I. (306-309 A.D. Caesar, 309-910 A.D. Filius Augustorum, 307-337 A.D. Augustus), AR-Argenteus, Trier, RIC VII ???, -/-//PTR, VICTORIA LAETAE PRINC PERP, Not in RIC !!!
avers:- IMP-CONSTANTI-NVS-AVG, bust l., high-crested helmet, cuir., dr., spear across r. shoulder..
rever:- VICTORIA-LAETAE-PRINC-PERP, two Victories stg. facing one another, together holding shield inscribed VOT/PR on altar. PTR in exergue.
"UNLISTED ISSUE. This issue is listed erroneously in RIC VII as regular follis (TRIER 208A, p. 181), but in fact it is "billon argenteus" (c. 25% of silver) and belongs to the group of TREVERI 825-826 in RIC VI. Note that only PTR mark is correct, because of only one officina working at that time at Treveri. Note also that the bust type is similar to H11 from RIC VII, but there are also a few differences: bust is usually larger, half-length, and could be described as cuirassed and draped. Coin should be listed after TREVERI 826. See: Bastien, P., "L’émission de monnaies de billon de Treves au début de 313", Quaderni Ticinesi (Numismatica e Antichità Classiche) 1982, XI, p. 271-278. See: CORRIGENDA, VOL. VII, p. 181, CORRIGENDA, VOL. VI, p. 224" by Lech Stepniewski, in "Not in RIC" , thank you Lech Stepniewski,
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/notinric/6tre-826.html
exergo: -/-//PTR, diameter: 19mm, weight: 2,73g, axis: h,
mint: Trier, date: 318-319 A.D., ref: RIC VI Trier 825-6?, RIC VI, "TREVERI [after 826], CONSTANTINE I, UNLISTED ISSUE" by Lech Stepniewski,
Q-001
quadrans
Tyche_Vatican.jpg
Tyche of Antioch178 viewsLate Roman marble copy of the original Greek bronze cultic statue by Eutychides of Sicyon. Located in the Vatican Museum (Galleria dei Candelabri).Abu Galyon
Tyche_Antioch_Vatican_Inv2672.jpg
Tyche of Antioch233 viewsThe Tyche of Antioch was a cult statue of the city goddess (fortune) of Antioch, venerated in a temple called the Tychaion. The statue was made by Eutychides of Sicyon (c. 335 - c. 275), a pupil of the great Lysippus. It was the best-known piece of Seleucid art, remarkable because it was sculpted to be viewed from all directions, unlike many statues from the period. Although the original has been lost, many copies exist, including the one in the photograph right, now at the Vatican. The goddess is seated on a rock (Mount Sipylus), has her right foot on a swimming figure (the river Orontes), wears a mural crown (the city’s walls), and has grain in her right hand (the city's fertility).2 commentsJoe Sermarini
4787_4788.jpg
Valens, AE3, GLORIA ROMANORVM8 viewsAE3
Valens
Augustus: 364 - 378AD
Issued: 364 - 367AD
18.0mm 2.70gr
O: DN VALEN-S PF AVG; Diademed (pearls), draped and cuirassed bust, right.
R: GLORIA RO-MANORVM; Valens advancing right, dragging captive by hair and holding labarum.
Exergue: (Star) over A, right field; DBSISC, below line.
Siscia Mint
RIC Siscia 5b
Aorta: 557: B4, O7, R8, T15, M13.
balbinusnumismatica2009 182597604512
6/5/17 6/24/17
Nicholas Z
valentinianI_arles_RIC9(a).jpg
Valentinianus I, RIC IX, Arles 9(a)175 viewsValentinianus I, AD 364-375
AE 3, 19.0mm, 2.96g
Arles, 3rd officina
obv. DN VALENTINI - ANVS PF AVG
Bust,, draped and cuirassed, pearl-diademed, r.
rev. SECVRITAS - REI PVBLICAE
Victory advancing, l., holding wreath in extended r. hand and palm-branch in l.
arm.
in field l. and r. OF - III over dot
in ex. CON
RIC IX, Arles 9(a), type iv(c); C.37
about VF
From Forum Ancient Coins, thanks!

This type is numismatically interesting. The abbreviation OF III, standing for 3rd officina, confirms that 'officina' actually was used for the mint workshop.
Jochen
1851__Aureo___Calico,_Sale_335.jpg
varb1762_20 viewsElagabalus
Philippopolis, Thrace

Obv: AVT K M AVPH ANTΩNЄINOC, Laureate draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev: ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛEITΩN NEΩKOPΩN, naked athlete advancing right, arms up in boxing pose, fists clinched.
20 mm, 4.26 gms

Varbanov 1762

From Subastas Numismaticas Aureo & Calicó, Auction 335, lot 173
Charles M
Vatican.jpg
Vatican - Papal State44 viewsC193 - 10 Lire - 1867 (Gold)Daniel F
JP2TurinShroudBW.jpg
Vatican 500 Lire John Paul II 1998 Silver26 viewsVatican 500 Lire John Paul II, 1998, Silver; KM Y-292. Obverse: Pope John Paul II; Reverse: Head of the Turin Shroud. BU. Ex ECIN.

Pope John Paul II
(Latin: Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Italian: Giovanni Paolo II, Polish: Jan Paweł II) born Karol Józef Wojtyła on 18 May 1920; he died 2 April 2005. He reigned as the 264th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City from 16 October 1978, until his death, almost 27 years later, making his the second-longest pontificate in modern times after Pius IX's 31-year reign. He is the only Polish pope, and was the first non-Italian pope since the Dutch Adrian VI in the 1520s. He is one of only four people to have been named to the Time 100 for both the 20th century and for a year in the 21st. Although not yet formally canonized, he was made the patron of World Youth Day for 2008 in Sydney, Australia. He started those days for youth in 1986.

His early reign was marked by his opposition to communism, and he is often credited as one of the forces which contributed to its collapse in Central and Eastern Europe. In the later part of his pontificate, he was notable for speaking against war, fascism, communism, dictatorship, materialism, abortion, contraception, relativism, unrestrained capitalism, and what he deemed the "culture of death".

John Paul II was Pope during a period in which the Catholic Church's influence declined in developed countries but expanded in the Third World. During his reign, the pope traveled extensively, visiting over 100 countries, more than any of his predecessors. He remains one of the most-traveled world leaders in history. He was fluent in numerous languages: his native Polish and also Italian, French, German, Dutch, English, Spanish, Croatian, Portuguese, Russian and Latin. As part of his special emphasis on the universal call to holiness, he canonized a great number of people.

In 1992, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. On 2 April 2005 at 9:37 p.m. local time, Pope John Paul II died in the Papal Apartments while a vast crowd kept vigil in Saint Peter's Square below. Millions of people flocked to Rome to pay their respects to the body and for his funeral. The last years of his reign had been marked by his fight against the various diseases ailing him, provoking some concerns as to leadership should he become severely incapacitated, and speculation as to whether he should abdicate. On 9 May 2005, Pope Benedict XVI, John Paul II's successor, waived the five year waiting period for a cause for beatification to be opened.

John Paul II emphasized what he called the "universal call to holiness" and attempted to define the Roman Catholic Church's role in the modern world. During his lifetime, he personally experienced many of the pivotal events of the 20th century and he was a towering and at times controversial figure on the world stage. He spoke out against ideologies and politics of communism, Marxism, Socialism, imperialism, hedonism, relativism, materialism, fascism, Nazism, racism and unrestrained capitalism. In many ways, he fought against oppression, secularism and poverty. Although he was on friendly terms with many Western heads of state and leading citizens, he reserved a special opprobrium for what he believed to be the corrosive spiritual effects of modern Western consumerism and the concomitant widespread secular and hedonistic orientation of Western populations.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_Paul_II

John Paul II was a scholar (he earned--as opposed to being awarded--two doctorates in philosophy); he was an author (numerous works of "non-fiction"); he was a poet and dramatist. In his youth he was an actor. Well know for his athleticism, he was an avid enviromentalist.


The Shroud of Turin

The story of the Shroud of Turin is fascinating. It began, for me, ironically when I thought the "story" had finally been laid to rest. Carbon 14 dating conducted in 1988 had just proved that the Shroud was medieval. Along with most, I accepted these results--the fact that two of my former Alma Maters (The University of Arizona and Oxford University) were involved in the testing lent a comfortable sense of closure (to give them their due, scientists from the Institut für Mittelenergiephysik in Zurich, Columbia University, and the British Museum were also involved in the tests). I was re-engaged by the Shroud story in 2005 when an article in the scholarly, peer-reviewed scientific journal Thermochimica Acta by an equally eminent scientist, Raymond N. Rogers, of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, subverted the 1988 tests. Very briefly, the sample cut from the Shroud in 1988 was shown not to be valid. In fact, the article noted, the Shroud was much older than the carbon 14 tests suggested. Curiouser and curiouser. . . and I'll leave the story at this juncture. If you are interested, see the following site:
http://www.shroudofturin4journalists.com/pantocrator.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
1952llk.jpg
Vatican City. Aluminum 2-Lire 1952. PIVS XII PONT. MAX. A. XIV, Crowned arms / CITTA DEL VATICA L.2 - 1952, Fortuda standing with lion divides value and date. KM 50.8 viewsoneill6217
VespVicAVG.jpg
Vespasian / Victory Orichalcum Sestertius123 viewsVespasian, 69-79. Sestertius (Orichalcum, 34mm, 23.49 g 6), Rome, 71.
O: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III Laureate head of Vespasian to right.
R: VICTORIA AVGVSTI, S C in ex, Victory standing right, left foot set on helmet, writing on shield; in right field, mourning Judea seated beneath palm tree.
- BMC 582. BN 560. Cohen 625. RIC 468. Ex Oblos webauction 3 11/15 lot 292, Astarte S.A. XIX '06 Lot 956, UBS Gold & Numismatics '06 Auction 64 lot 173, Auction Numismatica Genevensis 1, Geneva, 27 November 2000, lot 147.
8 commentsNemonater
V1015_best.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-101590 viewsÆ Quadrans, 2.31g
Rome Mint, 77-78 AD
Obv: IMP VESPASIAN AVG; Rudder on globe
Rev: P M TR P P P COS VIII; S C in field; Caduceus, winged
RIC 1015 (R). BMC 740A. BNC 780.
Acquired from Numismatica Prada, April 2019.


The quadrans in the early imperial period typically lacked an imperial portrait. Possibly the denomination was deemed so lowly by mint officials that a portrait was considered improper. They were struck haphazardly and functioned primarily as an urban low value coinage in Rome and central Italy. The quadrans was the typical fee for entry into the baths, a urinal, or for a tryst in a cheap brothel. Being of rather low value quadrantes were not typically hoarded and thus are relatively scarce today. The rudder over globe suggests Vespasian's continued steady hand guiding the empire.

Nicely centred and well preserved for the type.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
V1434a.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-1434126 viewsAR Denarius, 3.28g
Ephesus Mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPAS AVG COS III TR P P P; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PACI ORB TERR AVG; Bust of woman, draped, wearing crown of towers, r.; EPHE in l. field
RIC 1434 (R). BMC 459 var. RSC 293 var. RPC 835 (14 spec.) var. BNC 356 var.
Acquired from Künker, June 2016. Ex Nudelman Numismatica Auction 10, 13 June 2011, lot 46.

RIC, alone among the major references, assigns a separate catalogue number to this rare variant with the mint mark behind the reverse bust. It's much more common to find the mint mark below bust. This variant seems to have been struck at a ratio of 1:10 compared with the common variety. A reverse type not struck at Rome.

Fantastic portraits in superb Ephesian style.
8 commentsDavid Atherton
NeroPoppaea.jpg
Zeus, laureate head left772 viewsNero and Poppaea, 62 - 65 A.D., Galatia, Tavium
5476. Bronze AE 30, SGIC 662, SNG Von Aulock 6117, Cohen 315,2, aVF, 12.1g, 29mm, 45o, Galatia, Tavium mint, 62 - 65 A.D.; obverse NERWNOS SEBASTOU, laureate head of Nero right; reverse POPPIAS SEBASTHS, draped bust of Poppaea right; scarce; nice green patina with sandy earthen highlights, countermarked; sold. Numismatically Important Countermark. RPC discusses three different possible mint cities for this type: Ancyra, Pessinus and Tavium. A strong argument that Tavium is the mint city is the countermark on this coin. The countermark on this type is always a laureate head of Zeus. Generally, countermarks are applied at the same place as the original mint. Of the three cities, only Tavium had a temple of Zeus and minted coins with Zeus as a standard type.
whitetd49
TrajSepphorisGalilee.jpg
[18H907] Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Sepphoris, Galilee220 viewsBronze AE 23, Hendin 907, BMC 5, Fair, 7.41g, 23.1mm, 0o, Sepphoris mint, 98 - 117 A.D.; obverse TPAIANOS AYTO]-KPA[TWP EDWKEN, laureate head right; reverse SEPFW/RHNWN, eight-branched palm bearing two bunches of dates.

At the crossroads of the Via Maris and the Acre-Tiberias roads, Sepphoris was the capital of Galilee and Herod Antipas' first capital. Damaged by a riot, Antipas ordered Sepphoris be rebuilt. Flavius Josephus described the rebuilt Sepphoris as the "ornament of all Galilee." Since Sepphoris was only five miles north of Nazareth, Jesus and Joseph may have found work in Antipas' rebuilding projects. Sepphoris was built on a hill and visible for miles. This may be the city that Jesus spoke of when He said, "A city set on a hill cannot be hidden."

Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a brilliant general and administrator was adopted and proclaimed emperor by the aging Nerva in 98 A.D. Regarded as one of Rome's greatest emperors, Trajan was responsible for the annexation of Dacia, the invasion of Arabia and an extensive and lavish building program across the empire. Under Trajan, Rome reached its greatest extent. Shortly after the annexation of Mesopotamia and Armenia, Trajan was forced to withdraw from most of the new Arabian provinces. While returning to Rome to direct operations against the new threats, Trajan died at Selinus in Cilicia.
See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=55&pos=0.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Trajan (A.D. 98-117)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines. It is the design of this and of the two succeeding chapters to describe the prosperous condition of their empire, and afterwards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall, a revolution which will ever be remembered and is still felt by the nations of the earth."

This is perhaps the most important and best known of all Edward Gibbon's famous dicta about his vast subject, and particularly that period which he admired the most. It was a concatenation of chance and events which brought to the first position of the principate five men, each very different from the others, who each, in his own way, brought integrity and a sense of public duty to his tasks. Nerva's tenure was brief, as many no doubt had expected and hoped it would be, and perhaps his greatest achievement was to choose Trajan as his adoptive son and intended successor. It was a splendid choice. Trajan was one of Rome's most admirable figures, a man who merited the renown which he enjoyed in his lifetime and in subsequent generations.

The sources for the man and his principate are disappointingly skimpy. There is no contemporaneous historian who can illuminate the period. Tacitus speaks only occasionally of Trajan, there is no biography by Suetonius, nor even one by the author of the late and largely fraudulent Historia Augusta. (However, a modern version of what such a life might have been like has been composed by A. Birley, entirely based upon ancient evidence. It is very useful.) Pliny the Younger tells us the most, in his Panegyricus, his long address of thanks to the emperor upon assuming the consulship in late 100, and in his letters. Pliny was a wordy and congenial man, who reveals a great deal about his senatorial peers and their relations with the emperor, above all, of course, his own. The most important part is the tenth book of his Epistulae, which contains the correspondence between him, while serving in Bithynia, and the emperor, to whom he referred all manner of problems, important as well as trivial. Best known are the pair (96,97) dealing with the Christians and what was to be done with them. These would be extraordinarily valuable if we could be sure that the imperial replies stemmed directly from Trajan, but that is more than one can claim. The imperial chancellery had developed greatly in previous decades and might pen these communications after only the most general directions from the emperor. The letters are nonetheless unique in the insight they offer into the emperor's mind.

Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the 230s, wrote a long imperial history which has survived only in abbreviated form in book LXVIII for the Trajanic period. The rhetorician Dio of Prusa, a contemporary of the emperor, offers little of value. Fourth-century epitomators, Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, offer some useful material. Inscriptions, coins, papyri, and legal texts are of major importance. Since Trajan was a builder of many significant projects, archaeology contributes mightily to our understanding of the man.

Early Life and Career
The patria of the Ulpii was Italica, in Spanish Baetica , where their ancestors had settled late in the third century B.C. This indicates that the Italian origin was paramount, yet it has recently been cogently argued that the family's ancestry was local, with Trajan senior actually a Traius who was adopted into the family of the Ulpii. Trajan's father was the first member of the family to pursue a senatorial career; it proved to be a very successful one. Born probably about the year 30, he perhaps commanded a legion under Corbulo in the early sixties and then was legate of legio X Fretensis under Vespasian, governor of Judaea. Success in the Jewish War was rewarded by the governorship of an unknown province and then a consulate in 70. He was thereafter adlected by the emperor in patricios and sent to govern Baetica. Then followed the governorship of one of the major military provinces, Syria, where he prevented a Parthian threat of invasion, and in 79/80 he was proconsul of Asia, one of the two provinces (the other was Africa) which capped a senatorial career. His public service now effectively over, he lived on in honor and distinction, in all likelihood seeing his son emperor. He probably died before 100. He was deified in 113 and his titulature read divus Traianus pater. Since his son was also the adoptive son of Nerva, the emperor had officially two fathers, a unique circumstance.

The son was born in Italica on September 18, 53; his mother was Marcia, who had given birth to a daughter, Ulpia Marciana, five years before the birth of the son. In the mid seventies, he was a legionary legate under his father in Syria. He then married a lady from Nemausus (Nimes) in Gallia Narbonensis, Pompeia Plotina, was quaestor about 78 and praetor about 84. In 86, he became one of the child Hadrian's guardians. He was then appointed legate of legio VII Gemina in Hispania Tarraconensis, from which he marched at Domitian's orders in 89 to crush the uprising of Antonius Saturninus along the Rhine. He next fought in Domitian's war against the Germans along Rhine and Danube and was rewarded with an ordinary consulship in 91. Soon followed the governorship of Moesia inferior and then that of Germania superior, with his headquarters at Moguntiacum (Mainz), whither Hadrian brought him the news in autumn 97 that he had been adopted by the emperor Nerva, as co-ruler and intended successor. Already recipient of the title imperator and possessor of the tribunician power, when Nerva died on January 27, 98, Trajan became emperor in a smooth transition of power which marked the next three quarters of a century.

Early Years through the Dacian Wars
Trajan did not return immediately to Rome. He chose to stay in his German province and settle affairs on that frontier. He showed that he approved Domitian's arrangements, with the establishment of two provinces, their large military garrisons, and the beginnings of the limes. Those who might have wished for a renewed war of conquest against the Germans were disappointed. The historian Tacitus may well have been one of these.

Trajan then visited the crucial Danube provinces of Pannonia and Moesia, where the Dacian king Decebalus had caused much difficulty for the Romans and had inflicted a heavy defeat upon a Roman army about a decade before. Domitian had established a modus vivendi with Decebalus, essentially buying his good behavior, but the latter had then continued his activities hostile to Rome. Trajan clearly thought that this corner of empire would require his personal attention and a lasting and satisfactory solution.

Trajan spent the year 100 in Rome, seeing to the honors and deification of his predecessor, establishing good and sensitive relations with the senate, in sharp contrast with Domitian's "war against the senate." Yet his policies essentially continued Domitian's; he was no less master of the state and the ultimate authority over individuals, but his good nature and respect for those who had until recently been his peers if not his superiors won him great favor. He was called optimus by the people and that word began to appear among his titulature, although it had not been decreed by the senate. Yet his thoughts were ever on the Danube. Preparations for a great campaign were under way, particularly with transfers of legions and their attendant auxiliaries from Germany and Britain and other provinces and the establishment of two new ones, II Traiana and XXX Ulpia, which brought the total muster to 30, the highest number yet reached in the empire's history.

In 101 the emperor took the field. The war was one which required all his military abilities and all the engineering and discipline for which the Roman army was renowned. Trajan was fortunate to have Apollodorus of Damascus in his service, who built a roadway through the Iron Gates by cantilevering it from the sheer face of the rock so that the army seemingly marched on water. He was also to build a great bridge across the Danube, with 60 stone piers (traces of this bridge still survive). When Trajan was ready to move he moved with great speed, probably driving into the heart of Dacian territory with two columns, until, in 102, Decebalus chose to capitulate. He prostrated himself before Trajan and swore obedience; he was to become a client king. Trajan returned to Rome and added the title Dacicus to his titulature.

Decebalus, however, once left to his own devices, undertook to challenge Rome again, by raids across the Danube into Roman territory and by attempting to stir up some of the tribes north of the river against her. Trajan took the field again in 106, intending this time to finish the job of Decebalus' subjugation. It was a brutal struggle, with some of the characteristics of a war of extirpation, until the Dacian king, driven from his capital of Sarmizegethusa and hunted like an animal, chose to commit suicide rather than to be paraded in a Roman triumph and then be put to death.

The war was over. It had taxed Roman resources, with 11 legions involved, but the rewards were great. Trajan celebrated a great triumph, which lasted 123 days and entertained the populace with a vast display of gladiators and animals. The land was established as a province, the first on the north side of the Danube. Much of the native population which had survived warfare was killed or enslaved, their place taken by immigrants from other parts of the empire. The vast wealth of Dacian mines came to Rome as war booty, enabling Trajan to support an extensive building program almost everywhere, but above all in Italy and in Rome. In the capital, Apollodorus designed and built in the huge forum already under construction a sculpted column, precisely 100 Roman feet high, with 23 spiral bands filled with 2500 figures, which depicted, like a scroll being unwound, the history of both Dacian wars. It was, and still is, one of the great achievements of imperial "propaganda." In southern Dacia, at Adamklissi, a large tropaeum was built on a hill, visible from a great distance, as a tangible statement of Rome's domination. Its effect was similar to that of Augustus' monument at La Turbie above Monaco; both were constant reminders for the inhabitants who gazed at it that they had once been free and were now subjects of a greater power.

Administration and Social Policy
The chief feature of Trajan's administration was his good relations with the senate, which allowed him to accomplish whatever he wished without general opposition. His auctoritas was more important than his imperium. At the very beginning of Trajan's reign, the historian Tacitus, in the biography of his father-in-law Agricola, spoke of the newly won compatibility of one-man rule and individual liberty established by Nerva and expanded by Trajan (Agr. 3.1, primo statim beatissimi saeculi ortu Nerva Caesar res olim dissociabiles miscuerit, principatum ac libertatem, augeatque cotidie felicitatem temporum Nerva Traianus,….) [13] At the end of the work, Tacitus comments, when speaking of Agricola's death, that he had forecast the principate of Trajan but had died too soon to see it (Agr. 44.5, ei non licuit durare in hanc beatissimi saeculi lucem ac principem Traianum videre, quod augurio votisque apud nostras aures ominabatur,….) Whether one believes that principate and liberty had truly been made compatible or not, this evidently was the belief of the aristocracy of Rome. Trajan, by character and actions, contributed to this belief, and he undertook to reward his associates with high office and significant promotions. During his principate, he himself held only 6 consulates, while arranging for third consulates for several of his friends. Vespasian had been consul 9 times, Titus 8, Domitian 17! In the history of the empire there were only 12 or 13 private who reached the eminence of third consulates. Agrippa had been the first, L. Vitellius the second. Under Trajan there were 3: Sex. Iulius Frontinus (100), T. Vestricius Spurinna (100), and L. Licinius Sura (107). There were also 10 who held second consulships: L. Iulius Ursus Servianus (102), M.' Laberius Maximus (103), Q. Glitius Atilius Agricola (103), P. Metilius Sabinus Nepos (103?), Sex. Attius Suburanus Aemilianus (104), Ti. Iulius Candidus Marius Celsus (105), C. Antius A. Iulius Quadratus (105), Q. Sosius Senecio (107), A. Cornelius Palma Frontonianus (109), and L. Publilius Celsus (113). These men were essentially his close associates from pre-imperial days and his prime military commanders in the Dacian wars.

One major administrative innovation can be credited to Trajan. This was the introduction of curators who, as representatives of the central government, assumed financial control of local communities, both in Italy and the provinces. Pliny in Bithynia is the best known of these imperial officials. The inexorable shift from freedmen to equestrians in the imperial ministries continued, to culminate under Hadrian, and he devoted much attention and considerable state resources to the expansion of the alimentary system, which purposed to support orphans throughout Italy. The splendid arch at Beneventum represents Trajan as a civilian emperor, with scenes of ordinary life and numerous children depicted, which underscored the prosperity of Italy.

The satirist Juvenal, a contemporary of the emperor, in one of his best known judgments, laments that the citizen of Rome, once master of the world, is now content only with "bread and circuses."

Nam qui dabat olim / imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se / continet, atque duas tantum res anxius optat, / panem et circenses. (X 78-81)

Trajan certainly took advantage of that mood, indeed exacerbated it, by improving the reliabilty of the grain supply (the harbor at Ostia and the distribution system as exemplified in the Mercati in Rome). Fronto did not entirely approve, if indeed he approved at all. The plebs esteemed the emperor for the glory he had brought Rome, for the great wealth he had won which he turned to public uses, and for his personality and manner. Though emperor, he prided himself upon being civilis, a term which indicated comportment suitable for a Roman citizen.

There was only one major addition to the Rome's empire other than Dacia in the first decade and a half of Trajan's reign. This was the province of Arabia, which followed upon the absorption of the Nabataean kingdom (105-106).

Building Projects
Trajan had significant effect upon the infrastructure of both Rome and Italy. His greatest monument in the city, if the single word "monument" can effectively describe the complex, was the forum which bore his name, much the largest, and the last, of the series known as the "imperial fora." Excavation for a new forum had already begun under Domitian, but it was Apollodorus who designed and built the whole. Enormous in its extent, the Basilica Ulpia was the centerpiece, the largest wood roofed building in the Roman world. In the open courtyard before it was an equestrian statue of Trajan, behind it was the column; there were libraries, one for Latin scrolls, the other for Greek, on each side. A significant omission was a temple; this circumstance was later rectified by Hadrian, who built a large temple to the deified Trajan and Plotina.

The column was both a history in stone and the intended mausoleum for the emperor, whose ashes were indeed placed in the column base. An inscription over the doorway, somewhat cryptic because part of the text has disappeared, reads as follows:

Senatus populusque Romanus imp. Caesari divi Nervae f. Nervae Traiano Aug. Germ. Dacico pontif. Maximo trib. pot. XVII imp. VI p.p. ad declarandum quantae altitudinis mons et locus tant[is oper]ibus sit egestus (Smallwood 378)

On the north side of the forum, built into the slopes of the Quirinal hill, were the Markets of Trajan, which served as a shopping mall and the headquarters of the annona, the agency responsible for the receipt and distribution of grain.

On the Esquiline hill was constructed the first of the huge imperial baths, using a large part of Nero's Domus Aurea as its foundations. On the other side of the river a new aqueduct was constructed, which drew its water from Lake Bracciano and ran some 60 kilometers to the heights of the Janiculum Hill. It was dedicated in 109. A section of its channel survives in the basement of the American Academy in Rome.

The arch in Beneventum is the most significant monument elsewhere in Italy. It was dedicated in 114, to mark the beginning of the new Via Traiana, which offered an easier route to Brundisium than that of the ancient Via Appia.

Trajan devoted much attention to the construction and improvement of harbors. His new hexagonal harbor at Ostia at last made that port the most significant in Italy, supplanting Puteoli, so that henceforth the grain ships docked there and their cargo was shipped by barge up the Tiber to Rome. Terracina benefited as well from harbor improvements, and the Via Appia now ran directly through the city along a new route, with some 130 Roman feet of sheer cliff being cut away so that the highway could bend along the coast. Ancona on the Adriatic Sea became the major harbor on that coast for central Italy in 114-115, and Trajan's activity was commemorated by an arch. The inscription reports that the senate and people dedicated it to the []iprovidentissimo principi quod accessum Italiae hoc etiam addito ex pecunia sua portu tutiorem navigantibus reddiderit (Smallwood 387). Centumcellae, the modern Civitavecchia, also profited from a new harbor. The emperor enjoyed staying there, and on at least one occasion summoned his consilium there.

Elsewhere in the empire the great bridge at Alcantara in Spain, spanning the Tagus River, still in use, testifies to the significant attention the emperor gave to the improvement of communication throughout his entire domain.

Family Relations; the Women
After the death of his father, Trajan had no close male relatives. His life was as closely linked with his wife and female relations as that of any of his predecessors; these women played enormously important roles in the empire's public life, and received honors perhaps unparalleled. His wife, Pompeia Plotina, is reported to have said, when she entered the imperial palace in Rome for the first time, that she hoped she would leave it the same person she was when she entered. She received the title Augusta no later than 105. She survived Trajan, dying probably in 121, and was honored by Hadrian with a temple, which she shared with her husband, in the great forum which the latter had built.

His sister Marciana, five years his elder, and he shared a close affection. She received the title Augusta, along with Plotina, in 105 and was deified in 112 upon her death. Her daughter Matidia became Augusta upon her mother's death, and in her turn was deified in 119. Both women received substantial monuments in the Campus Martius, there being basilicas of each and a temple of divae Matidiae. Hadrian was responsible for these buildings, which were located near the later temple of the deified Hadrian, not far from the column of Marcus Aurelius.

Matidia's daughter, Sabina, was married to Hadrian in the year 100. The union survived almost to the end of Hadrian's subsequent principate, in spite of the mutual loathing that they had for each other. Sabina was Trajan's great niece, and thereby furnished Hadrian a crucial link to Trajan.

The women played public roles as significant as any of their predecessors. They traveled with the emperor on public business and were involved in major decisions. They were honored throughout the empire, on monuments as well as in inscriptions. Plotina, Marciana, and Matidia, for example, were all honored on the arch at Ancona along with Trajan.

The Parthian War
In 113, Trajan began preparations for a decisive war against Parthia. He had been a "civilian" emperor for seven years, since his victory over the Dacians, and may well have yearned for a last, great military achievement, which would rival that of Alexander the Great. Yet there was a significant cause for war in the Realpolitik of Roman-Parthian relations, since the Parthians had placed a candidate of their choice upon the throne of Armenia without consultation and approval of Rome. When Trajan departed Rome for Antioch, in a leisurely tour of the eastern empire while his army was being mustered, he probably intended to destroy at last Parthia's capabilities to rival Rome's power and to reduce her to the status of a province (or provinces). It was a great enterprise, marked by initial success but ultimate disappointment and failure.

In 114 he attacked the enemy through Armenia and then, over three more years, turned east and south, passing through Mesopotamia and taking Babylon and the capital of Ctesiphon. He then is said to have reached the Persian Gulf and to have lamented that he was too old to go further in Alexander's footsteps. In early 116 he received the title Parthicus.

The territories, however, which had been handily won, were much more difficult to hold. Uprisings among the conquered peoples, and particularly among the Jews in Palestine and the Diaspora, caused him to gradually resign Roman rule over these newly-established provinces as he returned westward. The revolts were brutally suppressed. In mid 117, Trajan, now a sick man, was slowly returning to Italy, having left Hadrian in command in the east, when he died in Selinus of Cilicia on August 9, having designated Hadrian as his successor while on his death bed. Rumor had it that Plotina and Matidia were responsible for the choice, made when the emperor was already dead. Be that as it may, there was no realistic rival to Hadrian, linked by blood and marriage to Trajan and now in command of the empire's largest military forces. Hadrian received notification of his designation on August 11, and that day marked his dies imperii. Among Hadrian's first acts was to give up all of Trajan's eastern conquests.

Trajan's honors and reputation
Hadrian saw to it that Trajan received all customary honors: the late emperor was declared a divus, his victories were commemorated in a great triumph, and his ashes were placed in the base of his column. Trajan's reputation remained unimpaired, in spite of the ultimate failure of his last campaigns. Early in his principate, he had unofficially been honored with the title optimus, "the best," which long described him even before it became, in 114, part of his official titulature. His correspondence with Pliny enables posterity to gain an intimate sense of the emperor in action. His concern for justice and the well-being of his subjects is underscored by his comment to Pliny, when faced with the question of the Christians, that they were not to be sought out, "nor is it appropriate to our age." At the onset of his principate, Tacitus called Trajan's accession the beginning of a beatissimum saeculum, and so it remained in the public mind. Admired by the people, respected by the senatorial aristocracy, he faced no internal difficulties, with no rival nor opposition. His powers were as extensive as Domitian's had been, but his use and display of these powers were very different from those of his predecessor, who had claimed to be deus et dominus. Not claiming to be a god, he was recognized in the official iconography of sculpture as Jupiter's viceregent on earth, so depicted on the attic reliefs of the Beneventan arch. The passage of time increased Trajan's aura rather than diminished it. In the late fourth century, when the Roman Empire had dramatically changed in character from what it had been in Trajan's time, each new emperor was hailed with the prayer, felicior Augusto, melior Traiano, "may he be luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan." That reputation has essentially survived into the present day.

Copyright (C) 2000, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
PergaAthenaOwl.jpg
[2400a] Pergamon, Mysia: AE14, ca. 300 BC70 viewsMYSIA, PERGAMON, Æ14, ca. 300 BC. BMC 15, SGC 3965. 2.0 gm. VF/aVF; Pergamon mint. Obverse: Head of Athena right, in close fitting crested helmet; Reverse; ATHENAS - NIKHFOPOY either side of owl standing, facing, wings closed; all within olive-wreath. Obverse device a clean strike of a lovely Athena. Ex Inclinatiorama.

The city of ancient Pergamon (or Pergamum, today's Bergama) was created by the newly-founded royal dynasty in the mid-third century BCE. It became one of the classic late-Hellenistic cities, on a dramatically steep site, with imaginatiave solutions to the urban design problems created by the site, wonderfully embellished by the generous attention of its royal (and other) patrons. The site divides into two main sections, the steep upper town and the flat lower town. Though today's Bergama is entirely in the lower areas, a number of important remains have survived even there: the Asklepieion, one of the major healing centres of antiqity, the Red Hall (Serapeum), the stadium, a Roman Bridge and tunnel. But it is the upper town that captures the imagination, with its extensive remains, innovations, and drama.
http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~prchrdsn/pergamon.htm

The Attalids, the descendants of Attalus, the father of Philetaerus who came to power in 282 BC, were among the most loyal supporters of Rome among the Hellenistic successor states. Under Attalus I, they allied with Rome against Philip V of Macedon, during the first and second Macedonian Wars, and again under Eumenes II, against Perseus of Macedon, during the Third Macedonian War. For support against the Seleucids, the Attalids were rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia Minor.

The Attalids ruled with intelligence and generosity. Many documents survive showing how the Attalids would support the growth of towns through sending in skilled artisans and by remitting taxes. They allowed the Greek cities in their domains to maintain nominal independence. They sent gifts to Greek cultural sites like Delphi, Delos, and Athens. They defeated the invading Celts. They remodeled the Acropolis of Pergamum after the Acropolis in Athens. When Attalus III died without an heir in 133 BC he bequeathed Pergamon to Rome, in order to prevent a civil war.

The Great Altar of Pergamon is in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin. The base of this altar remains on the upper part of the Acropolis. Other notable structures still in existence on the upper part of the Acropolis include: a Hellenistic theater with a seating capacity of 10,000; the Sanctuary of Trajan (also known as the Trajaneum); the Sancturay of Athena; the Library; royal palaces; the Heroön; the Temple of Dionysus; the Upper Agora; and the Roman baths complex. Pergamon's library on the Acropolis is the second best in the ancient Greek civilisation (the ancient Library of Pergamum), after that of Alexandria. When the Ptolemies stopped exporting papyrus, partly because of competitors and partly because of shortages, the Pergamenes invented a new substance to use in codices, called pergaminus or parchment after the city. This was made of fine calf skin, a predecessor of vellum. The lower part of the Acropolis has the following structures: the Upper Gymnasium, the Middle Gymnasium, the Lower Gymnasium, the Temple of Demeter, the Sanctuary of Hera, the House of Attalus, the Lower Agora and the Gate of Eumenes.

Three km south of the Acropolis was the Sanctuary of Asclepius (also known as the Asclepeion), the god of healing. In this place people with health problems could bath in the water of the sacred spring, and in the patients' dreams Asklepios would appear in a vision to tell them how to cure their illness. Archeology has found lots of gifts and dedications that people would make afterwards, such as small terracotta body parts, no doubt representing what had been healed. Notable extant structures in the Asclepeion include the Roman theater, the North Stoa, the South Stoa, the Temple of Asclepius, a circular treatment center (sometimes known as the Temple of Telesphorus), a healing spring, an underground passageway, a library, the Via Tecta (or the Sacred Way, which is a colonnaded street leading to the sanctuary) and a propylon.

Pergamon's other notable structure is the Serapis Temple (Serapeum) which was later transformed into the Red Basilica complex (or Kızıl Avlu in Turkish), about 1 km south of the Acropolis. It consists of a main building and two round towers. In the first century AD, the Christian Church at Pergamon inside the main building of the Red Basilica was one of the Seven Churches to which the Book of Revelation was addressed (Revelation 1:12, ESV).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pergamon

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
PergamomAE17_SCGVII_3962var.jpg
[2420] Pergamon, Mysia,c. 200 - 133 B.C.62 viewsBronze AE 17, SGCV II 3962 var; BMC Mysia p. 133, 202, VF, weight 3.600 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, c. 200 - 133 B.C.; Obverse: head Athena right wearing crested helmet with star, hair in curls down neck; Reverse: AQH-NAS / NIKHFOROU, owl standing facing on palm frond, wings spread, AP and MH monograms at sides. Ex FORVM.

The city of ancient Pergamon (or Pergamum, today's Bergama) was created by the newly-founded royal dynasty in the mid-third century BCE. It became one of the classic late-Hellenistic cities, on a dramatically steep site, with imaginatiave solutions to the urban design problems created by the site, wonderfully embellished by the generous attention of its royal (and other) patrons. The site divides into two main sections, the steep upper town and the flat lower town. Though today's Bergama is entirely in the lower areas, a number of important remains have survived even there: the Asklepieion, one of the major healing centres of antiqity, the Red Hall (Serapeum), the stadium, a Roman Bridge and tunnel. But it is the upper town that captures the imagination, with its extensive remains, innovations, and drama.
http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~prchrdsn/pergamon.htm

The Attalids, the descendants of Attalus, the father of Philetaerus who came to power in 282 BC, were among the most loyal supporters of Rome among the Hellenistic successor states. Under Attalus I, they allied with Rome against Philip V of Macedon, during the first and second Macedonian Wars, and again under Eumenes II, against Perseus of Macedon, during the Third Macedonian War. For support against the Seleucids, the Attalids were rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia Minor.

The Attalids ruled with intelligence and generosity. Many documents survive showing how the Attalids would support the growth of towns through sending in skilled artisans and by remitting taxes. They allowed the Greek cities in their domains to maintain nominal independence. They sent gifts to Greek cultural sites like Delphi, Delos, and Athens. They defeated the invading Celts. They remodeled the Acropolis of Pergamum after the Acropolis in Athens. When Attalus III died without an heir in 133 BC he bequeathed Pergamon to Rome, in order to prevent a civil war.

The Temple of Athena:

Built in the 3rd century B.C.E., this is the oldest cult center of the city. The Doric order building was constructed on a peripteral plan with six columns on the facade and ten on the long sides. The krepis (the basement of the Temple) is formed by two steps and measures 41.7 x 71.4 ft. (12.72 x 21.77 m). The naos or cella (the inner sanctum) is divided in two and was dedicated to Goddess Athena but also to God Zeus.
Present state: Only some of the stepped foundations and the tunnel to the theater have survived.
http://www.goddess-athena.org/Museum/Temples/Pergamon.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

James Fitzgerald
TrajanDupondiusTrajansColumn.jpg
[902a] Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.104 viewsTRAJAN AE dupondius. Cohen 563, RCV 3323. 29mm, 14.1g. Struck circa 115 AD. Obverse: IMP CAESAR NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, radiate, draped bust right; Reverse: SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS, S-C, Trajan's column, eagles at base. This type is noticeably scarcer than the SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI type. Ex. Incitatus Coins. Photo courtesy of Incitatus Coins.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Trajan (A.D. 98-117)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines. It is the design of this and of the two succeeding chapters to describe the prosperous condition of their empire, and afterwards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall, a revolution which will ever be remembered and is still felt by the nations of the earth."

This is perhaps the most important and best known of all Edward Gibbon's famous dicta about his vast subject, and particularly that period which he admired the most. It was a concatenation of chance and events which brought to the first position of the principate five men, each very different from the others, who each, in his own way, brought integrity and a sense of public duty to his tasks. Nerva's tenure was brief, as many no doubt had expected and hoped it would be, and perhaps his greatest achievement was to choose Trajan as his adoptive son and intended successor. It was a splendid choice. Trajan was one of Rome's most admirable figures, a man who merited the renown which he enjoyed in his lifetime and in subsequent generations.

The sources for the man and his principate are disappointingly skimpy. There is no contemporaneous historian who can illuminate the period. Tacitus speaks only occasionally of Trajan, there is no biography by Suetonius, nor even one by the author of the late and largely fraudulent Historia Augusta. (However, a modern version of what such a life might have been like has been composed by A. Birley, entirely based upon ancient evidence. It is very useful.) Pliny the Younger tells us the most, in his Panegyricus, his long address of thanks to the emperor upon assuming the consulship in late 100, and in his letters. Pliny was a wordy and congenial man, who reveals a great deal about his senatorial peers and their relations with the emperor, above all, of course, his own. The most important part is the tenth book of his Epistulae, which contains the correspondence between him, while serving in Bithynia, and the emperor, to whom he referred all manner of problems, important as well as trivial. Best known are the pair (96,97) dealing with the Christians and what was to be done with them. These would be extraordinarily valuable if we could be sure that the imperial replies stemmed directly from Trajan, but that is more than one can claim. The imperial chancellery had developed greatly in previous decades and might pen these communications after only the most general directions from the emperor. The letters are nonetheless unique in the insight they offer into the emperor's mind.

Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the 230s, wrote a long imperial history which has survived only in abbreviated form in book LXVIII for the Trajanic period. The rhetorician Dio of Prusa, a contemporary of the emperor, offers little of value. Fourth-century epitomators, Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, offer some useful material. Inscriptions, coins, papyri, and legal texts are of major importance. Since Trajan was a builder of many significant projects, archaeology contributes mightily to our understanding of the man.

Early Life and Career
The patria of the Ulpii was Italica, in Spanish Baetica , where their ancestors had settled late in the third century B.C. This indicates that the Italian origin was paramount, yet it has recently been cogently argued that the family's ancestry was local, with Trajan senior actually a Traius who was adopted into the family of the Ulpii. Trajan's father was the first member of the family to pursue a senatorial career; it proved to be a very successful one. Born probably about the year 30, he perhaps commanded a legion under Corbulo in the early sixties and then was legate of legio X Fretensis under Vespasian, governor of Judaea. Success in the Jewish War was rewarded by the governorship of an unknown province and then a consulate in 70. He was thereafter adlected by the emperor in patricios and sent to govern Baetica. Then followed the governorship of one of the major military provinces, Syria, where he prevented a Parthian threat of invasion, and in 79/80 he was proconsul of Asia, one of the two provinces (the other was Africa) which capped a senatorial career. His public service now effectively over, he lived on in honor and distinction, in all likelihood seeing his son emperor. He probably died before 100. He was deified in 113 and his titulature read divus Traianus pater. Since his son was also the adoptive son of Nerva, the emperor had officially two fathers, a unique circumstance.

The son was born in Italica on September 18, 53; his mother was Marcia, who had given birth to a daughter, Ulpia Marciana, five years before the birth of the son. In the mid seventies, he was a legionary legate under his father in Syria. He then married a lady from Nemausus (Nimes) in Gallia Narbonensis, Pompeia Plotina, was quaestor about 78 and praetor about 84. In 86, he became one of the child Hadrian's guardians. He was then appointed legate of legio VII Gemina in Hispania Tarraconensis, from which he marched at Domitian's orders in 89 to crush the uprising of Antonius Saturninus along the Rhine. He next fought in Domitian's war against the Germans along Rhine and Danube and was rewarded with an ordinary consulship in 91. Soon followed the governorship of Moesia inferior and then that of Germania superior, with his headquarters at Moguntiacum (Mainz), whither Hadrian brought him the news in autumn 97 that he had been adopted by the emperor Nerva, as co-ruler and intended successor. Already recipient of the title imperator and possessor of the tribunician power, when Nerva died on January 27, 98, Trajan became emperor in a smooth transition of power which marked the next three quarters of a century.

(For a detailed and interesting discussion of the Emperor Trajan please see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/trajan.htm)

Trajan's honors and reputation
Hadrian saw to it that Trajan received all customary honors: the late emperor was declared a divus, his victories were commemorated in a great triumph, and his ashes were placed in the base of his column. Trajan's reputation remained unimpaired, in spite of the ultimate failure of his last campaigns. Early in his principate, he had unofficially been honored with the title optimus, "the best," which long described him even before it became, in 114, part of his official titulature. His correspondence with Pliny enables posterity to gain an intimate sense of the emperor in action. His concern for justice and the well-being of his subjects is underscored by his comment to Pliny, when faced with the question of the Christians, that they were not to be sought out, "nor is it appropriate to our age." At the onset of his principate, Tacitus called Trajan's accession the beginning of a beatissimum saeculum, and so it remained in the public mind. Admired by the people, respected by the senatorial aristocracy, he faced no internal difficulties, with no rival nor opposition. His powers were as extensive as Domitian's had been, but his use and display of these powers were very different from those of his predecessor, who had claimed to be deus et dominus. Not claiming to be a god, he was recognized in the official iconography of sculpture as Jupiter's viceregent on earth, so depicted on the attic reliefs of the Beneventan arch. The passage of time increased Trajan's aura rather than diminished it. In the late fourth century, when the Roman Empire had dramatically changed in character from what it had been in Trajan's time, each new emperor was hailed with the prayer, felicior Augusto, melior Traiano, "may he be luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan." That reputation has essentially survived into the present day.

Copyright (C) 2000, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
AntoninusPiusAequitasSear4053.jpg
[904a] Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.127 viewsAntoninus Pius, AD 138 to 161. Silver denarius. Sear-4053; gVF; Rome;16.4 x 17.9 mm, 3.61 g; issue of AD 138; Obverse : Head of Antoninus Pius right, with IMP T AEL CAES HADRI ANTONINVS around; Reverse : Aequitas standing left, holding scales and a cornucopiae, with AVG PIVS P M TR P COS DES II around. This is an interesting part of the Antoninus Pius series, struck in the first year of his reign, using his adoptive name of Hadrianus, and with the reverse inscription a continuation from the obverse.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

Introduction
The long reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius is often described as a period of peace and quiet before the storm which followed and plagued his successor, Marcus Aurelius. In addition to the relative peacefulness, this emperor set the tone for a low-keyed imperial administration which differed markedly from those of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian. Antoninus managed to govern the empire capably and yet with such a gentle hand that he earned the respect, acclaim, and love of his subjects.

Early Life
The future emperor was born T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus on September 19, A.D. 86 at Lanuvium, an old Latin city southeast of Rome. His father's family had originally migrated to Rome from Nemausus (Nîmes) in Narbonese Gaul, but his paternal grandfather, T. Aurelius Fulvus, had served twice as Roman consul and also as city prefect and his father, Aurelius Fulvus, also held the consulship. The future emperor's mother was Arria Fadilla and her father, Arrius Antoninus, had also been consul twice. Young Antoninus was raised at Lorium, on the via Aurelia, where he later built a palace.

Career Under Hadrian
Very little is known about Antoninus' life before he became emperor. The brief biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae credited to Julius Capitolinus refers to his services as quaestor, praetor, and consul and P. von Rohden's entry in Pauly-Wissowa dates his tenure of these offices to A.D. 112, 117, and 120 respectively. At some point between A.D. 110 and 115, Antoninus married Annia Galeria Faustina, the daughter of M. Annius Verus. Hadrian later appointed Antoninus as one of his consular administrators of Italy and between A.D. 130 and 135 Antoninus served as proconsul of Asia.
Antoninus had achieved a distinguished career under Hadrian. and could have retired from imperial service with great pride, but events in A.D. 138 changed Antoninus' future quite radically. Early in the year, the death of Aelius Verus, whom Hadrian had previously adopted and named Caesar, opened a new path. Hadrian met with the Senate and announced his decision to adopt Antoninus as his son and heir and to share both proconsular and tribunician power with him. After giving this offer careful thought, Antoninus accepted and agreed in return to adopt as his heirs his wife's nephew, M. Antoninus, the future Marcus Aurelius, and L. Verus, the son of Aelius Verus.

Imperial Reign
When Hadrian died in the following summer, Antoninus oversaw the conveyance of his body from Baiae to Rome for interment in the new imperial tomb (now Castel Sant' Angelo). To honor his adoptive father, Antoninus set up a magnificent shield, established a priesthood, and, against serious opposition in the Senate, requested and bargained for senatorial confirmation of Hadrian's deification. Antoninus' devotion to Hadrian's memory is one of the reasons cited for the Senate's bestowal upon the new emperor of the name "pius". After initially refusing the Senate's recognition of Antoninus as "pater patriae", the new emperor accepted the honor with thanks. He declined, however, the Senate's decree authorizing the renaming of the months of September and October after the new emperor and empress. The Senate did honor the new empress with the title of "Augusta". On her death only a few years later in A.D. 141, the Senate deified Faustina and voted her a temple and priestesses. In memory of his wife, Antoninus also instituted an alimentary program, similar to those of his immediate predecessors, which combined loans to Italian farmers with funds, generated by interest on those loans, set aside for the care of orphaned girls. On coins these orphans are designated as puellae Faustinianae.

Antoninus returned all of Italy's share of the aurum coronarium, the money raised in honor of his accession, and one-half of that contributed from the provinces. His economic policy in general was relatively conservative and avoided luxurious waste while supporting public works of practical application. His procurators were told to keep provincial tribute reasonable and they were held accountable for exceeding fixed bounds. The provinces in general prospered under his administration and the use of informers was ended. Julius Capitolinus summarizes the excellence of Antoninus' administration when he says: "With such care did he govern all peoples under him that he looked after all things and all men as if they were his own." In spite of his caution in raising imperial revenues, however, Antoninus provided regular gifts of money to the people and to the soldiers and produced spectacular public games with a great variety of animals on display. The emperor also used his own funds to distribute oil, grain, and wine free in a time of famine and helped relieve the devastation caused in Rome by fire, flood, and a collapse of stands in the Circus Maximus and by fires and earthquakes in the provinces.

Although the reigns of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian, had seen prolific building activity in Rome and throughout the empire, Antoninus chose to be less lavish in his public works projects. He felt an obligation to complete work begun or promised by Hadrian. Antoninus completed the Mausoleum of Hadrian along the Tiber and built the temples of the Divine Hadrian in the Campus Martius and of Faustina in the Forum. He also restored the oldest bridge in Rome, the Pons Sublicius, the Graecostadium, and the Colosseum. He may even have put some finishing touches on the Pantheon because Julius Capitolinus mentions restoration of a templum Agrippae, but the text may be corrupt and the temple of the Divine Augustus, the restoration of which is recorded on some of Antoninus' coins, may be the intended reference here. Outside Rome, Antoninus repaired several roads and renovated ports in Alexandria, Caieta, and Terracina, a bath at Ostia, an aqueduct at Antium, and the temples in his birthplace, Lanuvium.

Although some sources suggest that Antoninus went in person to Egypt and Syria to put down a revolt of peoples along the Red Sea, Julius Capitolinus says that Antoninus made his home in Rome where he could receive messages from all parts of the empire equally quickly . He also states that to avoid burdening the provinces with the expenses of housing an emperor and his associates Antoninus took expeditions out of Rome only to his estates in Campania. If correct, these actions marked a decided break with the visibility of his two predecessors in the provinces and recreated a more Rome- and Italy-centered empire. Wilhelm Weber commented on this policy: "As if, perhaps, in criticism of Hadrian's conception of his task, he sat like a beneficent spider at the centre of his web, power radiating steadily from him to the farthest bounds of the empire and as steadily returning to him again. For the last time in Imperial history the Emperor was wholly one with Rome and its centralization."

During his third consulship (A.D. 140-144), Antoninus issued a series of unusual coins and medallions which featured entirely new or modified religious/mythological images. Jocelyn Toynbee correctly pointed out that these types were issued to prepare for the celebration of Rome's nine hundredth birthday in A.D. 147/148 and she also discussed two images which represent the emperor's reaction against Hadrian's "cosmopolitanism" and his attempt to restore Rome and Italy to a superior position over the provinces. This unusual series, issued especially in bronze, commemorated Rome's connection to her distant roots from Trojans, Latins, and Sabines and honored gods who had protected the city in the past. Themes associated with Aeneas, Romulus, Numa Pompilius, and Augustus by implication tied in Antoninus as successor to these four model Roman leaders. Although the death of Faustina may have motivated Antoninus' display of public piety to some degree on these coins and medallions, the series also set the tone for the games and rituals of the birthday celebration in 147/148, renewed religious values, and restored Rome's proper relationship with protective gods who had brought the city past success both in war and in peace. Another series of coins, the "anonymous quadrantes", combines a portrait of a god or goddess on the obverse with a reverse symbol of an animal associated with the same deity. The absence of an imperial portrait or any inscription aside from the S.C. authorization of the Senate makes it especially difficult to date this series. However, the similarity of the Jupiter and Venus portraits to images of Antoninus and Faustina and other links to Antoninus' coin-types make it probable that several of these types were issued in Antoninus' reign, perhaps again in connection with Rome's birthday celebration in A.D. 147/148.

Although Antoninus' reign was generally peaceful, Capitolinus says that he fought wars, through legates, against the Britons, Moors, Germans, Dacians, and the Alans and suppressed revolts in Achaea, in Egypt, and among the Jews. The war in Britain was fought around A.D. 142 against the Brigantes and led to the construction of the Antonine Wall across the island as a second line of defense north of Hadrian's Wall. In foreign relations, the emperor's authority was respected among peoples bordering on the empire. Antoninus approved the appointment of kings for the Armenians, for the Lazi, and for the Quadi and he successfully prevented a Parthian attack on Armenia by sending the Parthian king a letter of warning.

Antoninus did continue his predecessor's interest in law and his imperial legislation is cited frequently in Justinian's Digest. Several lawyers served in the emperor's consilium and presumably advised him on legal matters. Antoninus' legislation included protections for slaves, freedmen, and for illegitimate children and further defined family and inheritance law, including consideration of a daughter's wishes in marriage arrangements.

In preparation for the succession, Antoninus' daughter Faustina married Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 145 and she soon became Augusta in place of her deceased mother. Marcus Aurelius was associated in imperial powers and he and L. Verus both held the consulship multiple times in preparation for their accession. Antoninus made sure that he would leave the Empire secure and in sound financial condition and his adopted sons inherited a large surplus (reportedly 675 million denarii) in the Treasury .

Antoninus Pius died in March of A.D. 161, after giving the appropriate imperial watchword which so typified his reign, "equanimity". He was soon afterward deified by the Senate. His adopted sons and successors, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, erected a column of red granite in his honor in the Campus Martius. The marble base for this column, which is preserved in the Vatican, includes a sculpted image of the apotheosis of Antoninus and Faustina. In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius expressed his enduring love and respect for his adoptive father: "Do all things as a disciple of Antoninus. Think of his constancy in every act rationally undertaken, his invariable equability, his piety, his serenity of countenance, his sweetness of disposition, his contempt for the bubble of fame, and his zeal for getting a true grasp of affairs." In many ways Antoninus Pius was a model emperor who justifiably earned comparison with his own model, Numa Pompilius, and provided the Empire with a period of fortune, religious piety, and security perhaps unmatched in imperial annals.

Copyright (C) 1998, Richard D. Weigel.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.



Cleisthenes
AntoPiusDenar.jpg
[904z] Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.143 viewsAntoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D. Silver denarius, RIC 232, RSC 271, F, Rome, 1.699g, 17.3mm, 0o, 153 - 154 A.D. Obverse: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVII, laureate head right; Reverse: COS IIII, Fortuna standing right, cornucopia in left, long rudder on globe in right.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

Introduction
The long reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius is often described as a period of peace and quiet before the storm which followed and plagued his successor, Marcus Aurelius. In addition to the relative peacefulness, this emperor set the tone for a low-keyed imperial administration which differed markedly from those of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian. Antoninus managed to govern the empire capably and yet with such a gentle hand that he earned the respect, acclaim, and love of his subjects.

Early Life
The future emperor was born T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus on September 19, A.D. 86 at Lanuvium, an old Latin city southeast of Rome. His father's family had originally migrated to Rome from Nemausus (Nîmes) in Narbonese Gaul, but his paternal grandfather, T. Aurelius Fulvus, had served twice as Roman consul and also as city prefect and his father, Aurelius Fulvus, also held the consulship. The future emperor's mother was Arria Fadilla and her father, Arrius Antoninus, had also been consul twice. Young Antoninus was raised at Lorium, on the via Aurelia, where he later built a palace.

Career Under Hadrian
Very little is known about Antoninus' life before he became emperor. The brief biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae credited to Julius Capitolinus refers to his services as quaestor, praetor, and consul and P. von Rohden's entry in Pauly-Wissowa dates his tenure of these offices to A.D. 112, 117, and 120 respectively. At some point between A.D. 110 and 115, Antoninus married Annia Galeria Faustina, the daughter of M. Annius Verus. Hadrian later appointed Antoninus as one of his consular administrators of Italy and between A.D. 130 and 135 Antoninus served as proconsul of Asia.
Antoninus had achieved a distinguished career under Hadrian. and could have retired from imperial service with great pride, but events in A.D. 138 changed Antoninus' future quite radically. Early in the year, the death of Aelius Verus, whom Hadrian had previously adopted and named Caesar, opened a new path. Hadrian met with the Senate and announced his decision to adopt Antoninus as his son and heir and to share both proconsular and tribunician power with him. After giving this offer careful thought, Antoninus accepted and agreed in return to adopt as his heirs his wife's nephew, M. Antoninus, the future Marcus Aurelius, and L. Verus, the son of Aelius Verus.

Imperial Reign
When Hadrian died in the following summer, Antoninus oversaw the conveyance of his body from Baiae to Rome for interment in the new imperial tomb (now Castel Sant' Angelo). To honor his adoptive father, Antoninus set up a magnificent shield, established a priesthood, and, against serious opposition in the Senate, requested and bargained for senatorial confirmation of Hadrian's deification. Antoninus' devotion to Hadrian's memory is one of the reasons cited for the Senate's bestowal upon the new emperor of the name "pius". After initially refusing the Senate's recognition of Antoninus as "pater patriae", the new emperor accepted the honor with thanks. He declined, however, the Senate's decree authorizing the renaming of the months of September and October after the new emperor and empress. The Senate did honor the new empress with the title of "Augusta". On her death only a few years later in A.D. 141, the Senate deified Faustina and voted her a temple and priestesses. In memory of his wife, Antoninus also instituted an alimentary program, similar to those of his immediate predecessors, which combined loans to Italian farmers with funds, generated by interest on those loans, set aside for the care of orphaned girls. On coins these orphans are designated as puellae Faustinianae.

Antoninus returned all of Italy's share of the aurum coronarium, the money raised in honor of his accession, and one-half of that contributed from the provinces. His economic policy in general was relatively conservative and avoided luxurious waste while supporting public works of practical application. His procurators were told to keep provincial tribute reasonable and they were held accountable for exceeding fixed bounds. The provinces in general prospered under his administration and the use of informers was ended. Julius Capitolinus summarizes the excellence of Antoninus' administration when he says: "With such care did he govern all peoples under him that he looked after all things and all men as if they were his own." In spite of his caution in raising imperial revenues, however, Antoninus provided regular gifts of money to the people and to the soldiers and produced spectacular public games with a great variety of animals on display. The emperor also used his own funds to distribute oil, grain, and wine free in a time of famine and helped relieve the devastation caused in Rome by fire, flood, and a collapse of stands in the Circus Maximus and by fires and earthquakes in the provinces.

Although the reigns of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian, had seen prolific building activity in Rome and throughout the empire, Antoninus chose to be less lavish in his public works projects. He felt an obligation to complete work begun or promised by Hadrian. Antoninus completed the Mausoleum of Hadrian along the Tiber and built the temples of the Divine Hadrian in the Campus Martius and of Faustina in the Forum. He also restored the oldest bridge in Rome, the Pons Sublicius, the Graecostadium, and the Colosseum. He may even have put some finishing touches on the Pantheon because Julius Capitolinus mentions restoration of a templum Agrippae, but the text may be corrupt and the temple of the Divine Augustus, the restoration of which is recorded on some of Antoninus' coins, may be the intended reference here. Outside Rome, Antoninus repaired several roads and renovated ports in Alexandria, Caieta, and Terracina, a bath at Ostia, an aqueduct at Antium, and the temples in his birthplace, Lanuvium.

Although some sources suggest that Antoninus went in person to Egypt and Syria to put down a revolt of peoples along the Red Sea, Julius Capitolinus says that Antoninus made his home in Rome where he could receive messages from all parts of the empire equally quickly . He also states that to avoid burdening the provinces with the expenses of housing an emperor and his associates Antoninus took expeditions out of Rome only to his estates in Campania. If correct, these actions marked a decided break with the visibility of his two predecessors in the provinces and recreated a more Rome- and Italy-centered empire. Wilhelm Weber commented on this policy: "As if, perhaps, in criticism of Hadrian's conception of his task, he sat like a beneficent spider at the centre of his web, power radiating steadily from him to the farthest bounds of the empire and as steadily returning to him again. For the last time in Imperial history the Emperor was wholly one with Rome and its centralization."

During his third consulship (A.D. 140-144), Antoninus issued a series of unusual coins and medallions which featured entirely new or modified religious/mythological images. Jocelyn Toynbee correctly pointed out that these types were issued to prepare for the celebration of Rome's nine hundredth birthday in A.D. 147/148 and she also discussed two images which represent the emperor's reaction against Hadrian's "cosmopolitanism" and his attempt to restore Rome and Italy to a superior position over the provinces. This unusual series, issued especially in bronze, commemorated Rome's connection to her distant roots from Trojans, Latins, and Sabines and honored gods who had protected the city in the past. Themes associated with Aeneas, Romulus, Numa Pompilius, and Augustus by implication tied in Antoninus as successor to these four model Roman leaders. Although the death of Faustina may have motivated Antoninus' display of public piety to some degree on these coins and medallions, the series also set the tone for the games and rituals of the birthday celebration in 147/148, renewed religious values, and restored Rome's proper relationship with protective gods who had brought the city past success both in war and in peace. Another series of coins, the "anonymous quadrantes", combines a portrait of a god or goddess on the obverse with a reverse symbol of an animal associated with the same deity. The absence of an imperial portrait or any inscription aside from the S.C. authorization of the Senate makes it especially difficult to date this series. However, the similarity of the Jupiter and Venus portraits to images of Antoninus and Faustina and other links to Antoninus' coin-types make it probable that several of these types were issued in Antoninus' reign, perhaps again in connection with Rome's birthday celebration in A.D. 147/148.

Although Antoninus' reign was generally peaceful, Capitolinus says that he fought wars, through legates, against the Britons, Moors, Germans, Dacians, and the Alans and suppressed revolts in Achaea, in Egypt, and among the Jews. The war in Britain was fought around A.D. 142 against the Brigantes and led to the construction of the Antonine Wall across the island as a second line of defense north of Hadrian's Wall. In foreign relations, the emperor's authority was respected among peoples bordering on the empire. Antoninus approved the appointment of kings for the Armenians, for the Lazi, and for the Quadi and he successfully prevented a Parthian attack on Armenia by sending the Parthian king a letter of warning.

Antoninus did continue his predecessor's interest in law and his imperial legislation is cited frequently in Justinian's Digest. Several lawyers served in the emperor's consilium and presumably advised him on legal matters. Antoninus' legislation included protections for slaves, freedmen, and for illegitimate children and further defined family and inheritance law, including consideration of a daughter's wishes in marriage arrangements.

In preparation for the succession, Antoninus' daughter Faustina married Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 145 and she soon became Augusta in place of her deceased mother. Marcus Aurelius was associated in imperial powers and he and L. Verus both held the consulship multiple times in preparation for their accession. Antoninus made sure that he would leave the Empire secure and in sound financial condition and his adopted sons inherited a large surplus (reportedly 675 million denarii) in the Treasury .

Antoninus Pius died in March of A.D. 161, after giving the appropriate imperial watchword which so typified his reign, "equanimity". He was soon afterward deified by the Senate. His adopted sons and successors, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, erected a column of red granite in his honor in the Campus Martius. The marble base for this column, which is preserved in the Vatican, includes a sculpted image of the apotheosis of Antoninus and Faustina. In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius expressed his enduring love and respect for his adoptive father: "Do all things as a disciple of Antoninus. Think of his constancy in every act rationally undertaken, his invariable equability, his piety, his serenity of countenance, his sweetness of disposition, his contempt for the bubble of fame, and his zeal for getting a true grasp of affairs." In many ways Antoninus Pius was a model emperor who justifiably earned comparison with his own model, Numa Pompilius, and provided the Empire with a period of fortune, religious piety, and security perhaps unmatched in imperial annals.

Copyright (C) 1998, Richard D. Weigel.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
MarcusAureliusLiberalitas_sestertius.jpg
[905a] Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.137 viewsMARCUS AURELIUS AE [b[Sestertius. RIC 1222. 30mm, 24.5g. Struck at Rome, 177 AD. Obverse: M ANTONINUS AVG GERM SARM TR P XXXI, laureate head right; Reverse: LIBERALITAS AVG VII IMP VIIII COS III P P, Liberalitas standing left holding coin counter & cornucopia, SC in fields. Nice portrait. Ex Incitatus. Photo courtesy of Incitatus.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 161-180)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University


Introduction and Sources
The Vita of the emperor in the collection known as the Historia Augusta identifies him in its heading as Marcus Antoninus Philosophus, "Marcus Antoninus the Philosopher." Toward the end of the work, the following is reported about him, sententia Platonis semper in ore illius fuit, florere civitates si aut philosophi imperarent aut imperantes philosopharentur (27.7), "Plato's judgment was always on his lips, that states flourished if philosophers ruled or rulers were philosophers." It is this quality of Marcus' character which has made him a unique figure in Roman history, since he was the first emperor whose life was molded by, and devoted to, philosophy (Julian was the second and last). His reign was long and troubled, and in some ways showed the weaknesses of empire which ultimately led to the "Decline and Fall," yet his personal reputation, indeed his sanctity, have never failed of admirers. Contributing to his fame and reputation is a slender volume of Stoic philosophy which served as a kind of diary while he was involved in military campaigns, the Meditations, a book which can be described as an aureus libellus, a little golden book.

The sources for understanding Marcus and his reign are varied but generally disappointing. There is no major historian. The chief literary sources are the biography in the Historia Augusta, as well as those of Hadrian, Antoninus, Verus, and Avidius Cassius. Debate about this collection of imperial biographies has been heated and contentious for more than a century. In all likelihood, it is the work of a single author writing in the last years of the fourth-century. The information offered ranges from the precisely accurate to the wildly imaginative.

Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the 230s, produced a long history of the empire which has survived, for our period, only in an abbreviated version. Fourth century historians, such as Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, occasionally furnish bits of information. Marcus' teacher, Fronto, a distinguished orator and rhetorician, is extremely useful. Papyri, inscriptions, coins, legal writings, and some of the church writers, such as Tertullian, Eusebius, and Orosius, are very important. Archaeology and art history, with their interpretation of monuments, make the history of Marcus' principate literally visible and offer important clues for understanding the context of his actions.

Early Life
He was born M. Annius Verus on April 26, 121, the scion of a distinguished family of Spanish origin (PIR2 A697). His father was Annius Verus (PIR2 A696), his mother Domitia Lucilla (PIR2 D183). His grandfather held his second consulate in that year and went on to reach a third in 126, a rare distinction in the entire history of the principate, and also served Hadrian as city prefect. The youth's education embraced both rhetoric and philosophy; his manner was serious, his intellectual pursuits deep and devoted, so that the emperor Hadrian took an interest in him and called him "Verissimus," "Most truthful," by punning on his name. He received public honors from an early age and seems to have long been in Hadrian's mind as a potential successor. When Hadrian's first choice as successor, L. Ceionius Commodus, died before his adoptive father, the second choice proved more fruitful. The distinguished senator T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus, from Cisalpine Gaul, did succeed Hadrian, whose arrangements for the succession planned for the next generation as well. He required Antoninus to adopt the young Verus, now to be known as M. Aelius Aurelius Verus, as well as Commodus' son, henceforth known as L. Aelius Aurelius Commodus (PIR2 C606). The former was a bit more than seventeen years old, the latter was eight.

Career under Antoninus Pius
The long tenure of Antoninus Pius proved one of the most peaceful and prosperous in Roman history. The emperor himself was disinclined to military undertakings and never left Italy during his reign. Disturbances to the pax Romana occurred on the fringes of empire. Responses were decisive and successful, with legates in charge in the provinces. As a consequence, neither Caesar gained military experience nor was shown to the armies, a failing which later could have proved decisive and disastrous. Marcus rose steadily through the cursus honorum, holding consulates in 140 and 145, combining magistracies with priesthoods. He received the tribunicia potestas in 147, and perhaps also imperium proconsulare. Yet he never neglected the artes liberals. His closest contacts were with Fronto (c.95-c.160), the distinguished rhetorician and orator. His acquaintance included many other distinguished thinkers, such as Herodes Atticus (c.95-177), the Athenian millionaire and sophist, and Aelius Aristides (117-c.181), two of whose great speeches have survived and which reveal much of the mood and beliefs of the age. Yet it was Epictetus (c.50-c.120) who had the greatest philosophical impact and made him a firm Stoic. In the year 161 Marcus celebrated his fortieth birthday, a figure of noble appearance and unblemished character. He was leading a life which gave him as much honor and glory as he could have desired, probably much more than his private nature enjoyed, yet his life, and that of the empire, was soon to change. The emperor died on March 7, but not before clearly indicating to magistrates and senate alike his desire that Marcus succeed him by having the statue of Fortuna, which had been in his bedroom, transferred to Marcus. There was no opposition, no contrary voice, to his succession. He immediately chose his brother as co-emperor, as Hadrian had planned. From the beginning of the year they were joint consuls and held office for the entire year. Their official titulature was now Imperator Caesar M. Aurelius Antoninus Augustus and Imperator Caesar L. Aurelius Verus Augustus. The military qualities adumbrated by the word Imperator were soon much in demand, for the empire was under pressure in the year 161 in Britain, in Raetia, and in the east, where Parthia once again posed a significant danger.

The Parthian War (161-166)
The incursion in northern Britain and the difficulties along the Danube were soon satisfactorily managed by legates. The danger in the East was of a different magnitude. Tensions between Rome and Parthia had intensified in the last years of Antoninus' reign over control of Armenia, the vast buffer state which had often aroused enmity between the two powers, since each wished to be able to impose a king favorable to its interests. With Antoninus' death and the uncertainty attendant upon a new emperor (in this case two, a dyarchy, for the first time in Rome's history), the Parthian monarch, Vologaeses III, struck rapidly, placed his own candidate upon the Armenian throne, and inflicted severe setbacks upon the Roman forces sent to oppose him. Marcus decided to send his colleague Lucius Verus, whose imperial prestige would underscore the seriousness of the empire's response. Verus lacked military experience and was sorely lacking in the attributes of leadership and command; further, he was notorious for being chiefly interested in amusements and luxury. But Marcus surrounded him with several of the best generals at the empire's disposal, chief among them Avidius Cassius (c.130-175) (PIR2 A1402). From 162 on, Rome's successes and conquests were extensive and decisive. Most of Parthia's significant cities and strongholds, such as Seleucia and Ctesiphon, were stormed and destroyed, and the army's movements eastward recalled the movements of Alexander the Great some five centuries earlier. By 166, Parthia had capitulated and a Roman nominee sat on the Armenian throne. The victory appeared to be the most decisive since Trajan's conquest of Dacia, but, when Verus returned to Italy with his triumphant army, there came also a devastating plague, which had enormous effect on all provinces.
As is the case with all ancient diseases, it is almost impossible to identify this one. In all likelihood, however, it was smallpox; how severe the toll was is debated. Clearly, it cast a pall over the triumph celebrated by the two emperors, who were honored with the titles Armeniacus and Parthicus. The last years of this decade were dominated by efforts to overcome the plague and provide succour to its victims. But already in 166, the German tribes smashed the Danubian limes, threatening the empire's stability and even existence, more than Parthia had ever done. The first campaigns were punctuated by the death of Verus in 169, leaving Marcus as sole emperor. And so began the most difficult period of his life.

The German Wars
Early in 169, the Marcomanni and Quadi crossed the Danube, penetrated the intervening provinces, and entered Italy. The culmination of their onslaught was a siege of Aquileia. The effect upon the inhabitants of the peninsula was frightful. This was the first invasion of Italy since the late second century B.C., when the Cimbri and Teutones had been separately crushed by Marius. Perhaps more vivid in the collective imagination was the sack of Rome by the Gauls in 387, when the city was saved only by the payment of ransom.
The two emperors hastened north, after a rapid mobilization of forces, which included the drafting of slaves, since the manpower potential of the empire had been so impaired by the consequences of the plague and the losses and troop commitments in the East. Verus died while in the north; Marcus returned to Rome with the body and gave his brother full honors. He then turned north again and began his counterattacks against the barbarians. He did not know it at the time, but he was destined to spend most of his remaining years on the northern frontier. The only interlude was caused by revolt in the east.

We have no record of Marcus' ultimate intentions in these campaigns, yet the various stages were clear. First and foremost, the enemy had to be driven out of Italy and then into their own territory beyond the Danube. He strove to isolate the tribes and then defeat them individually, so that the ultimate manpower superiority of the empire and its greater skill in warfare and logistics could more easily be brought to bear. It was a successful strategy, as one tribe after another suffered defeat and reestablished ties with Rome. But it was a time-consuming and expensive operation, requiring the recruitment of two new legions, II Italica and III Italica, the construction of many new camps, such as the legionary fortress at Regensburg, with success accruing year by year. He intended to create two new provinces, Marcomannia and Sarmatia, thereby eliminating the Hungarian Plain and the headwaters of the Elbe as staging areas for invasion.

This steady, slow progress was interrupted in 175 by the action of the distinguished general Avidius Cassius, governor of Syria, who claimed the empire for himself. Whether he responded to a rumor of Marcus' death or, as gossip had it, conspired with Marcus' wife, the emperor's response was quick and decisive. Leaving the northern wars, he traveled to the East, but Avidius was killed before Marcus arrived in the region. After spending time settling affairs and showing himself to some of the provinces, with particular attention shown to Athens, where he was initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries, as Hadrian and Verus had been. He returned to Italy and soon answered the call to duty once more on the northern frontier. He took with him as colleague his son Commodus, now merely sixteen years old but already long since marked out as his father's intended successor. The military campaigns proved successful, but in the spring of 180, when Marcus died, at least one more year of warfare was necessary for the attainment of the grand enterprise. Marcus recommended to Commodus continuation of the war, but the new emperor was eager to return to Rome and the ease and luxury of the imperial court and entered into a peace agreement. Never again was Rome to hold the upper hand in its dealings with the Germanic tribes beyond the now reestablished borders of the empire.

Administrative and Religious Policy
Marcus was a conscientious and careful administrator who devoted much attention to judicial matters. His appointments to major administrative positions were for the most part admirable. Difficult tasks were put in the charge of the most capable men; he was not afraid of comparison with his subordinates. Social mobility continued as it had been under his predecessors, with men from the provinces advancing into the upper echelons of the Roman aristocracy. Those of humble birth could make a good career; such a one was Pertinax (126-193), a gifted general, who in early 193 became emperor for a space of less than three months.

The judicial administration of Italy was put in the hands of iuridici, who represented the emperor and thus spoke with his authority. This was a practice which had been established by Hadrian but had been allowed to lapse by Antoninus. The centralization of government continued apace. The imperial finances were sorely stretched by the almost continuous wars. Trajan had brought great wealth, Decebalus' treasure, into the empire after his conquest of Dacia. No such profit awaited Marcus. When preparing for the northern wars, he auctioned off much of the imperial palace's valuables. In spite of the enormous expenses of war, Commodus found ample funds upon his accession as sole emperor for his expenditures and amusements.

Although Marcus was a devoted thinker and philosopher, he was deeply religious, at least outwardly. The state cult received full honor, and he recognized the validity of other people's beliefs, so that the variety of religions in the vast extent of the empire caused no difficulties for inhabitants or government, with one significant exception. The Christians were not hampered by any official policy; indeed the impact of the church spread enormously in the second century. Yet their availability as scapegoats for local crises made them subject to abuse or worse. There was violence against them in 167, and perhaps the worst stain on Marcus' principate stemmed from the pogrom of Christians in Lugdunum in southern France in 177. He did not cause it, nor, on the other hand, did he or his officials move to stop it. Indeed, Tertullian called him a friend of Christianity. Yet the events were a precursor of what would come in the century and a quarter which followed.

Building Programs and Monuments
Many of Marcus' predecessors transformed the face of the capital with their building programs, either by the vast range of their undertaking or by the extraordinary significance of individual monuments. Others did very little to leave a tangible mark. Marcus fell into the latter group. There is record of very few monuments for which he and his brother were responsible. Very early in their reign they honored the deceased Antoninus with a column in the Campus Martius, no longer in situ but largely surviving. The shaft, which seems not to have been sculpted, was used for the restoration of Augustus' obelisk, now in Piazza Montecitorio, in the eighteenth century. The base, which was sculpted on all four sides, is now on display in the Vatican Museum. The chief feature is the apotheosis of the emperor and his long deceased wife, the elder Faustina, as they are borne to heaven. Also presented on this relief are two eagles and personifications of the goddess Roma and of the Campus Martius, represented as a young male figure.

There were three arches which commemorated the military achievements of the two emperors. No trace has been found of an early monument to Verus. Two arches later honored Marcus, both of which have disappeared but have left significant sculptural remains. The eight rectangular reliefs preserved on the Arch of Constantine came from one arch. Similarly, the three reliefs displayed in the stairwell of the Conservatori Museum on the Capitoline Hill came from another. One relief has disappeared from the latter monument.

Certainly the best known monument of Marcus' principate is the column, which rises from Piazza Colonna. It is twin to Trajan's column in height and design, although the artistic craftsmanship of the reliefs which envelop the shaft is much inferior. The subject is Marcus' campaigns against the Marcomanni and Sarmati in the years 172-75. The most interesting panel represents the famous rainstorm, when the army, overwhelmed by drought, was suddenly saved by the divine intervention of rain. Although begun in the latter part of the decade, the column was not completed until 193, when Septimius Severus had become emperor.

The famous equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, which survived the centuries near San Giovanni in Laterano because the rider was identified as Constantine, no longer greets the visitor to the Capitoline, where Michelangelo had placed it in the sixteenth century. It was removed in the 1980s because pollution was destroying it. After careful treatment and restoration, it is now displayed within the museum, with a replica placed in the center of the piazza.

Although outside Rome, mention should be made of the monumental frieze commemorating Lucius Verus' victory over the Parthians in 165. It was an ornament of the city of Ephesus; the extensive sculptural remains are now in the Ephesus Museum in Vienna.

Family
As part of Hadrian's plans for his succession, when Ceionius Commodus was his choice, Marcus was betrothed to the latter's daughter. But when Ceionius died and Antoninus became Hadrian's successor, that arrangement was nullified and Marcus was chosen for the Emperor's daughter, the younger Faustina (PIR2 A716). She had been born in 129, was hence eight years younger than he. They were married in 145; the marriage endured for thirty years. She bore him thirteen children, of whom several died young; the most important were a daughter, Lucilla, and a son Commodus. Lucilla was deployed for political purposes, married first to Lucius Verus in 164, when she was seventeen, and then, after his death, to Claudius Pompeianus Quintianus of Antioch, a much older man who was an important associate of her father /ii]PIR2 C973). Commodus became joint-emperor with his father in 177 and three years later ruled alone.

Faustina's reputation suffered much abuse. She was accused of employing poison and of murdering people, as well as being free with her favors with gladiators, sailors, and also men of rank, particularly Avidius Cassius. Yet Marcus trusted her implicitly and defended her vigorously. She accompanied him on several campaigns and was honored with the title mater castrorum. She was with him in camp at Halala in southern Cappadocia in the winter of 175 when she died in an accident. Marcus dedicated a temple to her honor and had the name of the city changed to Faustinopolis.

Death and Succession
In early 180, while Marcus and Commodus were fighting in the north, Marcus became ill. Which disease carried him off we do not know, but for some days Marcus took no food or drink, being now eager to die. He died on March 17, in the city of Vindobona, although one source reports that it was in Sirmium. His ashes were brought to Rome and placed in Hadrian's mausoleum. Commodus succeeded to all power without opposition, and soon withdrew from the war, thereby stymieing his father's designs and ambitions. It was a change of rulers that proved disastrous for people and empire. Dio called the succession a change from a golden kingdom to one of iron and rust.

Reputation
Gibbon called Marcus "that philosophic monarch," a combination of adjective and noun which sets Marcus apart from all other Roman emperors. His renown has, in subsequent centuries, suffered little, although he was by no means a "perfect" person. He was perhaps too tolerant of other people's failings, he himself used opium. The abundance of children whom his wife bore him included, alas, a male who was to prove one of Rome's worst rulers. How much better it would have been if Marcus had had no son and had chosen a successor by adoption, so that the line of the five good emperors, Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus, Marcus, could have been extended. It was not to be, and for that Marcus must accept some responsibility.

Yet he was a man of ability and a sense of duty who sacrificed his own delights and interests to the well-being of the state. He was capax imperii, he did his best, and history has been kind to him. As Hamlet said to Horatio, when awaiting the appearance of the ghost of his father,

"He was a man! Take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again." (I 2, 187-88)

His memory remains vivid and tactile because of the famous column, the equestrian statue, and his slender volume of thoughts, written in Greek, the Meditations, from which I choose two quotations with which to conclude:

"If mind is common to us, then also the reason, whereby we are reasoning beings, is common. If this be so, then also the reason which enjoins what is to be done or left undone is common. If this be so, law also is common; if this be so, we are citizens; if this be so, we are partakers in one constitution; if this be so, the Universe is a kind of Commonwealth." (4.4)

"At dawn of day, when you dislike being called, have this thought ready: 'I am called to man's labour; why then do I make a difficulty if I am going out to do what I was born to do and what I was brought into the world for?'" (5.1; both in Farquharson's translation)

Copyright (C) 2001, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
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