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philip_I_temple_new.jpg
58 viewsPHILIP I. 244-249 AD. AR Antoninianus, Rome, struck 248 AD. Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right / Statue standing half-left within hexastyle temple. RIC IV 25b; RSC 198.
Ex. S. Beagle collection; Ex. Dorchester Hoard

This is a fairly common coin but difficult to find with both the obverse and reverse of good quality as well as having such good metal quality.
1 commentspaul1888
rjb_2011_04_11a.jpg
18 viewsPerge, Pamphylia
Mid 3rd to 1st cent. BC
Obv: Cult image of Artemis Pergaia in two-columned aedicula
or shrine, with eagle in pediment, wings spread.
Rev: "APTEMIΔOΣ ΠEPΓAIAΣ"
Quiver of Artemis, bow diagonally
behind.
SNG Cop 308; SNG France 3, 373-378; SNG Pfalz 221-223
mauseus
fX2MW3jPNE6kR9py5yTHL8ok4mcBnF.jpg
12 viewsObverse:


Laureate bust of Constantine right.


Reverse:


SARMATIA DEVICTA: Victory advancing right, captive at her feet. STR (crescent) in exergue.


Weight:


2.81 grams.


Diameter:


18.81 mm.


Comments:


Glossy dark patina. As struck, no weaknesses and very difficult to better.


References.


RIC 435.
1 commentspaul1888
unknown~0.jpg
11 viewsPhrygia, Apameia Æ20. 133-148 BC. Laureate head of Zeus right / Cult statue of Artemis Anaïtis facing; AΠAMEΩN downwards to right, AΠOΛΛ downwards to left. SNG Copenhagen -, cf. BMC 63 (unlisted magistrate). 7.78g, 20mm, 12h.Pericles J2
Intaglio.jpg
Asclepius Intaglio48 viewsMale figure Asclepius? holding two snakes.

Asclepius was the god of healing though he, like Heracles, was born as a mortal. Athena gave Asclepius two types of blood to help with his healing work, both from the gorgon, Medusa. One took life quickly but the other restored life. When Asclepius used this life restoring blood he encroached on the preserve of the gods and Zeus struck him down with a thunderbolt. One of the most famous centres for Asclepius worship was at Epidaurus on the Peloponnese. Snakes were sacred to the god and when the Romans embraced him as one of theirs his cult was supposedly taken to Rome in the body of a snake. He was preserved in the heavens as the constellation Ophiuchus, the serpent holder. The Romanised version of his name is Aesculapius.

0.34g

Greek or more likely Roman Provincial

Ex-Time Machine

Sold Forum Auctions December 2017
2 commentsJay GT4
Baktria.jpg
Baktria22 viewsAlexander the Great's empire split into rival Hellenistic kingdoms ruled by his generals. The most far-flung part was Baktria, his conquests in what is today Afghanistan, western India and Pakistan. Greek settlers ruled over a much larger indigenous population. As centuries went by, this isolated outpost of Greek culture combined elements of both Greek and native traditions, oftentimes reflected in their bilingual coins. The main mints include Aï Khanoum, Bactra, and Pushkalavati.2 commentsChristian T
T1118LG.jpg
C POBLICIUS Q F. 80 BC90 viewsHelmeted bust of Roma right / Hercules strangling the Nemean lion; bow and quiver at left; club below. Cr. 380/1.

POBLICIA, a plebian family, but of consular rank. Its cognomen on coins is Malleolus. There are fifteen varieties, all of silver, on some of which a small hammer or mallett is engraved, evidently alluding to the surname Malleolus.

The first of Heracles' twelve labours, set by King Eurystheus (his cousin) was to slay the Nemean lion.

According to one version of the myth, the Nemean lion took women as hostages to its lair in a cave near Nemea, luring warriors from nearby towns to save the damsel in distress. After entering the cave, the warrior would see the woman (usually feigning injury) and rush to her side. Once he was close, the woman would turn into a lion and kill the warrior, devouring his remains and giving the bones to Hades.

Heracles wandered the area until he came to the town of Cleonae. There he met a boy who said that if Heracles slew the Nemean lion and returned alive within 30 days, the town would sacrifice a lion to Zeus; but if he did not return within 30 days or he died, the boy would sacrifice himself to Zeus.[3] Another version claims that he met Molorchos, a shepherd who had lost his son to the lion, saying that if he came back within 30 days, a ram would be sacrificed to Zeus. If he did not return within 30 days, it would be sacrificed to the dead Heracles as a mourning offering.

While searching for the lion, Heracles fetched some arrows to use against it, not knowing that its golden fur was impenetrable; when he found and shot the lion and firing at it with his bow, he discovered the fur's protective property when the arrow bounced harmlessly off the creature's thigh. After some time, Heracles made the lion return to his cave. The cave had two entrances, one of which Heracles blocked; he then entered the other. In those dark and close quarters, Heracles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight the lion bit off one of his fingers. Others say that he shot arrows at it, eventually shooting it in the unarmoured mouth.

After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. He then tried sharpening the knife with a stone and even tried with the stone itself. Finally, Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told Heracles to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt.

When he returned on the thirtieth day carrying the carcass of the lion on his shoulders, King Eurystheus was amazed and terrified. Eurystheus forbade him ever again to enter the city; in future he was to display the fruits of his labours outside the city gates. Eurystheus warned him that the tasks set for him would become increasingly difficult. He then sent Heracles off to complete his next quest, which was to destroy the Lernaean hydra.

The Nemean lion's coat was impervious to the elements and all but the most powerful weapons. Others say that Heracles' armour was, in fact, the hide of the lion of Cithaeron.
ecoli
Eastern_Cultures.jpg
Eastern Cultures29 viewsHephthalites (White Huns), Indo-Sassanian, Indo-Skythians. Parthia, Persis, Sasanian.1 commentsChristian T
ThoriusBalbus.jpg
#L. Thorius Balbus. 105 BC. AR Denarius32 viewsRome mint. ISMR behind, head of Juno Sospita right, wearing goat skin headdress / L THORIVS below, BALBVS in exergue, bull charging right.

"The obverse refers to the the cult of Juno Sospita at Lanuvium, the moneyer's birthplace. The reverse is likely a play on the moneyer's name (Taurus sounds like Thorius). Cicero described L. Thorius Balbus as a man who lived in such a manner that there was not a single pleasure, however refined or rare, that he did not enjoy. This is one of the most common republican denarii." -- Roman Silver Coins edited by David Sear and Robert Loosley
ancientone
DSC_0203.jpg
18 viewsROME
PB Tessera (20mm, 5.77 g, 12 h)
Mercury standing facing, holding bag and caduceus
Fortuna standing left, holding rudder and cornucopia
Rostowzew 2647.1 = Rostowzew & Prou 300

The style of this piece is finer than one would expect for a common Roman type. Although difficult to tell without an illustration, Rostowzew 2647.1 is the only listed specimen near the size and is persumably of the same style.
Ardatirion
Ephesus_cult_statue_tessera.JPG
35 viewsIONIA, Ephesos
PB Tessera (17mm, 2.98 g, 7 h)
Diana Ephesia, uncertain legend around
Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm frond
Gülbay & Kireç -
Ardatirion
00033x00~1.jpg
61 viewsIONIA, Ephesos.
PB Tessera (20mm, 5.41 g)
Oleiculture scene: male figure standing right, holding stick and knocking olives from tree to right; star and crescent between; behind, stag(?) standing left; [...]POV above
Blank
Gülbay & Kireç –

Scenes of the olive harvest are entirely unknown on coinage, but some mosaics and Greek vases illustrate the practice. See in particular an Attic black figure neck amphora in the British Museum (ABV, 273, 116) depicting two men using sticks to knock olives from a tree.
1 commentsArdatirion
Lanz21.JPG
40 viewsIONIA, Ephesos
PB Tessera (19mm, 4.90 g)
Togate figure standing left, sacrificing at altar before tholos containing cult statue
Blank
Gülbay & Kireç -; Hirsch 279, lot 4922

The engraver of this die betrays no small skill in his execution of the obverse type; the circular shrine is shown in perspective, with the columns arranged so as to suggest distance while still leaving room for the statue to be visible. I was surprised to find that another specimen of this type from different, though equally elegant dies had recently sold in a Hirsch auction, there misidentified as a “bleiplombe,” or lead seal.
1 commentsArdatirion
00005x00~2.jpg
72 viewsUNITED STATES TOKENS, Hard Times. Political issues
CU Token (28mm, 8.74 g, 1h)
Dies by John Gibbs. Belleville (New Jersey) mint. Struck 1838.
* AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE
Ship under sail right
A FRIEND */ TO THE CONSTITUTION
Bull standing right
Rulau HT 24; Low 66
Ardatirion
00001x00~9.jpg
44 viewsUNITED STATES, Hard Times. Belleville, New Jersey. John Gibbs, manufacturer
CU Token. Belleville (New Jersey) mint. Dies by John Gibbs. Struck circa 1838.
* AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE, ship under sail right
J GIBBS MANUFACTURER/ [OF]/ MEDALS/ AND/ TOKENS/ &C/ NJ/ * BELLEVILLE
Rulau HT 202; Low 150

Ex Robert Williams Collection (Steve Hayden, 11 December 2016), lot 363; Steve Hayden (2 December 2012), lot 585
Ardatirion
00001x00~3.jpg
92 viewsUNITED STATES TOKENS, Hard Times. Belleville, New Jersey. “T. Duseaman, butcher”
CU Token (28mm, 10.84 g, 1h)
Belleville (New Jersey) mint. Struck 1837
AGRICULTURE & COMMERCE/ * BAS CANADA *
Bouquet
T. DUSEAMAN BUTCHER/ * BELLEVILLE *
Eagle standing left, with wings spread and head left, holding shield emblazoned with anchor; thirteens stars around
Rulau HT 204; Low 148; Corteau 71; Charlton LC-45; Breton 670

T. Duseaman never existed. This type was struck from a rejected die for the token of one Tobias Seaman, a butcher in Belleville. Mint workers added a U to the name and combined it with a damaged die from the Lower Canada series to produce this currency issue. Breton notes that the type is most often found in Canada, suggesting that it was deliberately produced at minimal cost for sale to Canadian brokers.
Ardatirion
00060x00.jpg
48 viewsMEXICO, Aztec culture. Circa AD 1200/1300-1525
Æ “Hachuela” (143mm x 150mm, 55.70 g)
Mushroom-shaped bronze pseudo-axe-head with curved “blade” and flanged shank
Hosler, Lechtman, & Holm, Axe-monies and their Relatives, type 2a
1 commentsArdatirion
00002x00~1.jpg
72 viewsCANADA, Tokens. Bas (Lower) Canada. Banque du Peuple du Montreal.
CU Sou Token (28mm, 8.73 g, 11h)
Belleville (New Jersey) mint. Dies by John Gibbs. Struck 1838.
AGRICULTURE & COMMERCE/ * BAS CANADA *
Bouquet BANQUE DU PEUPLE./ MONTREAL.
UN SOU within wreath of oak leaves
Charlton LC-5A3; Corteau 17; Breton 715
Ardatirion
LC_24A1.jpg
18 viewsCANADA, Tokens. Bas (Lower) Canada. Montreal.
CU Sou Token
Belleville (New Jersey) mint. Struck 1837-1838.
AGRICULTURE & COMMERCE/ * BAS CANADA *, bouquet
UN/ SOU within wreath; TOKEN above, MONTREAL below
Charlton LC-24A1; Breton 679
Ardatirion
00002x00~5.jpg
26 viewsCANADA, Tokens. Bas (Lower) Canada. Montreal.
CU Sou Token (27mm, 6.59 g, 12h)
Belleville (New Jersey) mint. Dies by John Gibbs. Struck 1838/9 or later.
AGRICULTURE & COMMERCE/ * BAS CANADA *, bouquet
UN/ SOU within wreath; TOKEN above, MONTREAL below
Charlton LC-27A1; Breton 710; Corteau 43B
Ardatirion
00001x00~7.jpg
25 viewsCANADA, Tokens. Bas (Lower) Canada. Montreal.
CU Sou Token (27mm, 6.79 g, 12h)
Belleville (New Jersey) mint. Dies by John Gibbs. Struck 1838/9 or later.
AGRICULTURE & COMMERCE/ * BAS CANADA *, bouquet
UN/ SOU within wreath; TOKEN above, MONTREAL below
Charlton LC-28; Breton 702; Corteau 29B
Ardatirion
LC_29E1_2.jpg
15 viewsCANADA, Tokens. Bas (Lower) Canada. Montreal.
CU Sou Token
Belleville (New Jersey) mint. Struck 1837-1838
AGRICULTURE & COMMERCE/ * BAS CANADA *, bouquet
UN/ SOU within wreath; TOKEN above, MONTREAL below
Charlton LC-29E1; Breton 697
Ardatirion
00024x00.jpg
47 viewsCANADA, Tokens. Bas (Lower) Canada. Montreal.
CU Sou Token (28mm, 8.73 g, 11h)
Belleville (New Jersey) mint. Dies by John Gibbs. Struck 1838/9 or later.
AGRICULTURE & COMMERCE/ * BAS CANADA *, bouquet
UN/ SOU within wreath; TOKEN above, MONTREAL below
Charlton LC-32B; Breton 692; Corteau 32B

Ex G.F. Landon Collection (Moore Numismatic Auctions, 10 February 2015), lot 60 (part of)
Ardatirion
LC_33A1.jpg
13 viewsCANADA, Tokens. Bas (Lower) Canada. Montreal.
CU Sou Token
Belleville (New Jersey) mint. Struck 1837-1838
AGRICULTURE & COMMERCE/ * BAS CANADA *, bouquet
UN/ SOU within wreath; TOKEN above, MONTREAL below
Charlton LC-33A1; Breton 704
Ardatirion
pepin-saint-denis.JPG
D.892 Pepin the Brief (denier, Saint-Denis?)18 viewsPepin the Brief, king of the Franks (751-768)
Denier, Saint-Denis ? (751-768)

Silver, 1.22 g, 16 mm diameter, die axis 11 h

O/ RP under a bar; pellets in the field
R/ ΛVT / TRΔ / NO

RP on the obverse means Rex Pippinus, or maybe PiPpinus Rex (the first R would then have to be read twice, the first time as a P).
The reverse is more intricate. First, the mint was identified as Antrain in Brittany. However, a lead slab has been found in Saint-Denis, on which similiar dies had been tested. As a consequence these deniers may have been minted in Saint-Denis monastery. However the legend on the reverse is still unclear (name of a moneyer, abbreviation of a latine phrase ?).
Droger
louis8-9-denier-tournois.JPG
Dy.187 Louis VIII (the Lion) or IX (Saint Louis): denier tournois19 viewsLouis VIII, king of France (1223-1226) or Louis IX, king of France (1226-1270)
Denier tournois (1223-1250)

Billon, 0.81 g, diameter 19 mm, die axis 4h30
O: +LVDOVICVS REX; cross pattée
R: +TVRONVS CIVI; châtel tournois

The question of the attribution of this denier to Louis VIII or to the first part of Louis IX's reign is difficult. Indeed, Louis VIII only ruled for 3 years and both the father and the son have the same name...
Droger
philippe6-gros-couronne-1ere.JPG
Dy.262 Philip VI (of Valois): Gros à la couronne, 1st emission7 viewsPhilip VI, king of France (1328-1350)
Gros à la couronne, 1st emission (01/01/1337)

Silver (851 ‰), 2.51 g, diameter 25 mm, die axis 5h
O: inner circle: (ringlet)PhI-LIP-PVS-REX; legend interrupted by a cross pattée; outer circle: BnDICTV⋮SIT⋮nOmЄ⋮DNI⋮nRI⋮DЄI
R: inner circle: +FRANCORVm; châtel tournois under a crown, with 3 bullets inside; outer circle: a circlet of 11 fleur-de-lis

Philip VI is the first non direct capetian king. He was the cousin of the 3 previous kings.
The Gros tournois hadn't changed since its creation by Saint Louis. During Philip VI's reign, 3 new types of Gros were struck, with lighter weight and less silver. These monetary difficulties may be related to the premisses of the One Hundred Years' war and French military defeats.

The 3 bullets in the chatel (without any star below) are characteristic of the 1st emission.
Droger
lg004_quad_sm.jpg
"As de Nîmes" or "crocodile" Ӕ dupondius of Nemausus (9 - 3 BC), honoring Augustus and Agrippa33 viewsIMP DIVI F , Heads of Agrippa (left) and Augustus (right) back to back, Agrippa wearing rostral crown and Augustus the oak-wreath / COL NEM, crocodile right chained to palm-shoot with short dense fronds and tip right; two short palm offshoots left and right below, above on left a wreath with two long ties streaming right.

Ӕ, 24.5 x 3+ mm, 13.23g, die axis 3h; on both sides there are remains of what appears to be gold plating, perhaps it was a votive offering? Rough edges and slight scrapes on flan typical for this kind of coin, due to primitive technology (filing) of flan preparation.

IMPerator DIVI Filius. Mint of COLonia NEMausus (currently Nîmes, France). Known as "As de Nîmes", it is actually a dupontius (lit. "two-pounder") = 2 ases (sometimes cut in halves to get change). Dupondii were often made out of a golden-colored copper alloy (type of brass) "orichalcum" and this appears to be such case.

Key ID points: oak-wreath (microphotography shows that at least one leaf has a complicated shape, although distinguishing oak from laurel is very difficult) – earlier versions have Augustus bareheaded, no PP on obverse as in later versions, no NE ligature, palm with short fronds with tip right (later versions have tip left and sometimes long fronds). Not typical: no clear laurel wreath together with the rostral crown, gold (?) plating (!), both features really baffling.

But still clearly a "middle" kind of the croc dupondius, known as "type III": RIC I 158, RPC I 524, Sear 1730. It is often conservatively dated to 10 BC - 10 AD, but these days it is usually narrowed to 9/8 - 3 BC.

It is a commemorative issue, honoring the victory over Mark Antony and conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. The heads of Augustus and Agrippa were probably positioned to remind familiar obverses of Roman republican coins with two-faced Janus. Palm branch was a common symbol of victory, in this case grown into a tree, like the victories of Augustus and Agrippa grown into the empire. The two offshoots at the bottom may mean two sons of Agrippa, Gaius and Lucius, who were supposed to be Augustus' heirs and were patrons of the colony. Palm may also be a symbol of the local Nemausian deity, which was probably worshiped in a sacred grove. When these coins were minted, the colony was mostly populated by the settled veterans of Augustus' campaigns, hence the reminiscence of the most famous victory, but some of the original Celtic culture probably survived and was assimilated by Romans. The crocodile is not only the symbol of Egypt, like in the famous Octavian's coins AEGYPTO CAPTA. It is also a representation of Mark Antony, powerful and scary both in water and on land, but a bit slow and stupid. The shape of the crocodile with tail up was specifically chosen to remind of the shape of ship on very common "legionary" denarius series, which Mark Antony minted to pay his armies just before Actium. It is probably also related to the popular contemporary caricature of Cleopatra, riding on and simultaneously copulating with a crocodile, holding a palm branch in her hand as if in triumph. There the crocodile also symbolized Mark Antony.

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa was born c. 64-62 BC somewhere in rural Italy. His family was of humble and plebeian origins, but rich, of equestrian rank. Agrippa was about the same age as Octavian, and the two were educated together and became close friends. He probably first served in Caesar's Spanish campaign of 46–45 BC. Caesar regarded him highly enough to send him with Octavius in 45 BC to train in Illyria. When Octavian returned to Rome after Caesar's assassination, Agrippa became his close lieutenant, performing many tasks. He probably started his political career in 43 BC as a tribune of the people and then a member of the Senate. Then he was one of the leading Octavian's generals, finally becoming THE leading general and admiral in the civil wars of the subsequent years.

In 38 as a governor of Transalpine Gaul Agrippa undertook an expedition to Germania, thus becoming the first Roman general since Julius Caesar to cross the Rhine. During this foray he helped the Germanic tribe of Ubii (who previously allied themselves with Caesar in 55 BC) to resettle on the west bank of the Rhine. A shrine was dedicated there, possibly to Divus Caesar whom Ubii fondly remembered, and the village became known as Ara Ubiorum, "Altar of Ubians". This quickly would become an important Roman settlement. Agrippina the Younger, Agrippa's granddaughter, wife of Emperor Claudius and mother of Emperor Nero, would be born there in 15 AD. In 50 AD she would sponsor this village to be upgraded to a colonia, and it would be renamed Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (colony of Claudius [at] the Altar of Agrippinians – Ubii renamed themselves as Agrippinians to honor the augusta!), abbreviated as CCAA, later to become the capital of new Roman province, Germania Inferior.

In 37 BC Octavian recalled Agrippa back to Rome and arranged for him to win the consular elections, he desperately needed help in naval warfare with Sextus Pompey, the youngest son of Pompey the Great, who styled himself as the last supporter of the republican cause, but in reality became a pirate king, an irony since his father was the one who virtually exterminated piracy in all the Roman waters. He forced humiliating armistice on the triumvirs in 39 BC and when Octavian renewed the hostilities a year later, defeated him in a decisive naval battle of Messina. New fleet had to be built and trained, and Agrippa was the man for the job. Agrippa's solution was creating a huge secret naval base he called Portus Iulius by connecting together lakes Avernus, Avernus and the natural inner and outer harbors behind Cape Misenum at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples. He also created a larger type of ship and developed a new naval weapon: harpax – a ballista-launched grapnel shot with mechanisms that allowed pulling enemy ships close for easy boarding. It replaced the previous boarding device that Romans used since the First Punic War, corvus – effective, but extremely cumbersome. A later defence against it were scythe blades on long poles for cutting ropes, but since this invention was developed in secret, the enemy had no chance to prepare anything like it. It all has proved extremely effective: in a series of naval engagements Agrippa annihilated the fleet of Sextus, forced him to abandon his bases and run away. For this Agrippa was awarded an unprecedented honour that no Roman before or after him received: a rostral crown, "corona rostrata", a wreath decorated in front by a prow and beak of a ship.

That's why Virgil (Aeneid VIII, 683-684), describing Agrippa at Actium, says: "…belli insigne superbum, tempora navali fulgent rostrata corona." "…the proud military decoration, gleams on his brow the naval rostral crown". Actium, the decisive battle between forces of Octavian and Mark Antony, may appear boring compared to the war with Sextus, but it probably turned out this way due to Agrippa's victories in preliminary naval engagements and taking over all the strategy from Octavian.

In between the wars Agrippa has shown an unusual talent in city planning, not only constructing many new public buildings etc., but also greatly improving Rome's sanitation by doing a complete overhaul of all the aqueducts and sewers. Typically, it was Augustus who later would boast that "he had found the city of brick but left it of marble", forgetting that, just like in his naval successes, it was Agrippa who did most of the work. Agrippa had building programs in other Roman cities as well, a magnificent temple (currently known as Maison Carrée) survives in Nîmes itself, which was probably built by Agrippa.

Later relationship between Augustus and Agrippa seemed colder for a while, Agrippa seemed to even go into "exile", but modern historians agree that it was just a ploy: Augustus wanted others to think that Agrippa was his "rival" while in truth he was keeping a significant army far away from Rome, ready to come to the rescue in case Augustus' political machinations fail. It is confirmed by the fact that later Agrippa was recalled and given authority almost equal to Augustus himself, not to mention that he married Augustus' only biological child. The last years of Agrippa's life were spent governing the eastern provinces, were he won respect even of the Jews. He also restored Crimea to Roman Empire. His last service was starting the conquest of the upper Danube, were later the province of Pannonia would be. He suddenly died of illness in 12 BC, aged ~51.

Agrippa had several children through his three marriages. Through some of his children, Agrippa would become ancestor to many subsequent members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He has numerous other legacies.
Yurii P
hadrian_sidon_astarte.jpg
(0117) HADRIAN16 views117 - 138 AD
AE 22 mm; 9.07 g
O: laureate head right.
R: car of Astarte: cult xoanon within,set on two-wheeled base.
Phoenicia, Sidon; SNG Copenhagen 253; BMC 226
laney
faustina_ii_ankyra_artemis.jpg
(0145) FAUSTINA II16 views147 - 175 AD
Struck ca 161-175 AD
AE 17.5 mm; 4.45 g
O: Draped bust of Faustina Jr. to right
R: Cult Statue of Artemis Ephesia, stag on either side
Phrygia, Ancyra (Ankyra); Cop 142
laney
marcus_aurel_miletos_res_d.jpg
(0161) MARCUS AURELIUS25 views161-180 AD
AE 27 mm, 10.70 g
O: M AVP AV KAI ANTΩNЄINOC, laureate head right
R: ЄPI ΘЄMICTOKΛЄOU MIΛHCIΩN NЄOKOPΩN, archaic cult statue of Apollo Didymaios standing left, holding stag in right hand and bow in arrow in left
Miletos; Mionnet 3, 169f. 788
laney
LPisoFrugiDenarius_S235.jpg
(502a) Roman Republic, L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi, 90 B.C.157 viewsSilver denarius, S 235, Calpurnia 11, Crawford 340/1, Syd 663a, VF, rainbow toning, Rome mint, 3.772g, 18.5mm, 180o, 90 B.C. obverse: laureate head of Apollo right, scorpion behind; Reverse naked horseman galloping right holding palm, L PISO FRVGI and control number CXI below; ex-CNA XV 6/5/91, #443. Ex FORVM.


A portion of the following text is a passage taken from the excellent article “The Calpurnii and Roman Family History: An Analysis of the Piso Frugi Coin in the Joel Handshu Collection at the College of Charleston,” by Chance W. Cook:

In the Roman world, particularly prior to the inception of the principate, moneyers were allotted a high degree of latitude to mint their coins as they saw fit. The tres viri monetales, the three men in charge of minting coins, who served one-year terms, often emblazoned their coins with an incredible variety of images and inscriptions reflecting the grandeur, history, and religion of Rome. Yet also prominent are references to personal or familial accomplishments; in this manner coins were also a means by which the tres viri monetales could honor their forbearers. Most obvious from an analysis of the Piso Frugi denarius is the respect and admiration that Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, who minted the coin, had for his ancestors. For the images he selected for his dies relate directly to the lofty deeds performed by his Calpurnii forbearers in the century prior to his term as moneyer. The Calpurnii were present at many of the watershed events in the late Republic and had long distinguished themselves in serving the state, becoming an influential and well-respected family whose defense of traditional Roman values cannot be doubted.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, who was moneyer in 90 B.C., depicted Apollo on the obverse and the galloping horseman on the reverse, as does his son Gaius. However, all of L. Piso Frugi’s coins have lettering similar to “L-PISO-FRVGI” on the reverse, quite disparate from his son Gaius’ derivations of “C-PISO-L-F-FRV.”

Moreover, C. Piso Frugi coins are noted as possessing “superior workmanship” to those produced by L. Piso Frugi.

The Frugi cognomen, which became hereditary, was first given to L. Calpurnius Piso, consul in 133 B.C., for his integrity and overall moral virtue. Cicero is noted as saying that frugal men possessed the three cardinal Stoic virtues of bravery, justice, and wisdom; indeed in the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, a synonym of frugalitas is bonus, generically meaning “good” but also implying virtuous behavior. Gary Forsythe notes that Cicero would sometimes invoke L. Calpurnius Piso’s name at the beginning of speeches as “a paragon of moral rectitude” for his audience.

L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi’s inclusion of the laureled head of Apollo, essentially the same obverse die used by his son Gaius (c. 67 B.C.), was due to his family’s important role in the establishment of the Ludi Apollinares, the Games of Apollo, which were first instituted in 212 B.C. at the height of Hannibal’s invasion of Italy during the Second Punic War. By that time, Hannibal had crushed Roman armies at Cannae, seized Tarentum and was invading Campania.

Games had been used throughout Roman history as a means of allaying the fears
of the populace and distracting them from issues at hand; the Ludi Apollinares were no different. Forsythe follows the traditional interpretation that in 211 B.C., when C. Calpurnius Piso was praetor, he became the chief magistrate in Rome while both consuls were absent and the three other praetors were sent on military expeditions against Hannibal.

At this juncture, he put forth a motion in the Senate to make the Ludi Apollinares a yearly event, which was passed; the Ludi Apollinares did indeed become an important festival, eventually spanning eight days in the later Republic. However, this interpretation is debatable; H.H. Scullard suggests that the games were not made permanent until 208 B.C. after a severe plague prompted the Senate to make them a fixture on the calendar. The Senators believed Apollo would serve as a “healing god” for the people of Rome.

Nonetheless, the Calpurnii obviously believed their ancestor had played an integral role in the establishment of the Ludi Apollinares and thus prominently displayed
the head or bust of Apollo on the obverse of the coins they minted.

The meaning of the galloping horseman found on the reverse of the L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi coin is more complicated. It is possible that this is yet another reference to the Ludi Apollinares. Chariot races in the Circus Maximus were a major component of the games, along with animal hunts and theatrical performances.

A more intriguing possibility is that the horseman is a reference to C. Calpurnius Piso, son of the Calpurnius Piso who is said to have founded the Ludi Apollinares. This C. Calpurnius Piso was given a military command in 186 B.C. to quell a revolt in Spain. He was victorious, restoring order to the province and also gaining significant wealth in the process.

Upon his return to Rome in 184, he was granted a triumph by the Senate and eventually erected an arch on the Capitoline Hill celebrating his victory. Of course
the arch prominently displayed the Calpurnius name. Piso, however, was not an infantry commander; he led the cavalry.

The difficulty in accepting C. Calpurnius Piso’s victory in Spain as the impetus for the galloping horseman image is that not all of C. Piso Frugi’s coins depict the horseman or cavalryman carrying the palm, which is a symbol of victory. One is inclined to believe that the victory palm would be prominent in all of the coins minted by C. Piso Frugi (the son of L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi) if it indeed signified the great triumph of C. Calpurnius Piso in 186 B.C. Yet the palm’s appearance is clearly not a direct reference to military feats of C. Piso Frugi’s day. As noted, it is accepted that his coins were minted in 67 B.C.; in that year, the major victory by Roman forces was Pompey’s swift defeat of the pirates throughout the Mediterranean.

Chrestomathy: Annual Review of Undergraduate Research at the College of Charleston. Volume 1, 2002: pp. 1-10© 2002 by the College of Charleston, Charleston SC 29424, USA.All rights to be retained by the author.
http://www.cofc.edu/chrestomathy/vol1/cook.pdf


There are six (debatably seven) prominent Romans who have been known to posterity as Lucius Calpurnius Piso:

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi: (d. 261 A.D.) a Roman usurper, whose existence is
questionable, based on the unreliable Historia Augusta.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus: deputy Roman Emperor, 10 January 69 to15 January
69, appointed by Galba.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso: Consul in 27 A.D.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso: Consul in 1 B.C., augur

Lucius Calpurnius Piso: Consul in 15 B.C., pontifex

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus: Consul in 58 B.C. (the uncle of Julius Caesar)

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi: Moneyer in 90 B.C. (our man)


All but one (or two--if you believe in the existence of "Frugi the usurper" ca. 261 A.D.) of these gentlemen lack the Frugi cognomen, indicating they are not from the same direct lineage as our moneyer, though all are Calpurnii.

Calpurnius Piso Frugi's massive issue was intended to support the war against the Marsic Confederation. The type has numerous variations and control marks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucius_Calpurnius_Piso
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=55&pos=0

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


2 commentsCleisthenes
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005d. Agrippina II89 viewsLYDIA, Hypaepa. Agrippina Jr., mother of Nero. Augusta, 50-59 AD. Æ 14mm (2.33 gm). Draped bust of Agrippina right / Cult statue of Artemis. RPC I 2541; SNG Copenhagen -.

Julia Vipsania Agrippina Minor or Agrippina Minor (Latin for "the younger") (November 7, AD 15 – March 59), often called "Agrippinilla" to distinguish her from her mother, was the daughter of Germanicus and Agrippina Major. She was sister of Caligula, granddaughter and great-niece to Tiberius, niece and wife of Claudius, and the mother of Nero. She was born at Oppidum Ubiorum on the Rhine, afterwards named in her honour Colonia Agrippinae (modern Cologne, Germany).

Agrippina was first married to (1st century AD) Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus. From this marriage she gave birth to Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, who would become Roman Emperor Nero. Her husband died in January, 40. While still married, Agrippina participated openly in her brother Caligula's decadent court, where, according to some sources, at his instigation she prostituted herself in a palace. While it was generally agreed that Agrippinilla, as well as her sisters, had ongoing sexual relationships with their brother Caligula, incest was an oft-used criminal accusation against the aristocracy, because it was impossible to refute successfully. As Agrippina and her sister became more problematic for their brother, Caligula sent them into exile for a time, where it is said she was forced to dive for sponges to make a living. In January, 41, Agrippina had a second marriage to the affluent Gaius Sallustius Crispus Passienus. He died between 44 and 47, leaving his estate to Agrippina.

As a widow, Agrippina was courted by the freedman Pallas as a possible marriage match to her own uncle, Emperor Claudius, and became his favourite councillor, even granted the honor of being called Augusta (a title which no other queen had ever received). They were married on New Year's Day of 49, after the death of Claudius's first wife Messalina. Agrippina then proceeded to persuade Claudius to adopt her son, thereby placing Nero in the line of succession to the Imperial throne over Claudius's own son, Brittanicus. A true Imperial politician, Agrippina did not reject murder as a way to win her battles. Many ancient sources credited her with poisoning Claudius in 54 with a plate of poisened mushrooms, hence enabling Nero to quickly take the throne as emperor.

For some time, Agrippina influenced Nero as he was relatively ill-equipped to rule on his own. But Nero eventually felt that she was taking on too much power relative to her position as a woman of Rome. He deprived her of her honours and exiled her from the palace, but that was not enough. Three times Nero tried to poison Agrippina, but she had been raised in the Imperial family and was accustomed to taking antidotes. Nero had a machine built and attached to the roof of her bedroom. The machine was designed to make the ceiling collapse — the plot failed with the machine. According to the historians Tacitus and Suetonius, Nero then plotted her death by sending for her in a boat constructed to collapse, intending to drown Agrippina. However, only some of the crew were in on the plot; their efforts were hampered by the rest of the crew trying to save the ship. As the ship sank, one of her handmaidens thought to save herself by crying that she was Agrippina, thinking they would take special care of her. Instead the maid was instantly beaten to death with oars and chains. The real Agrippina realised what was happening and in the confusion managed to swim away where a passing fisherman picked her up. Terrified that his cover had been blown, Nero instantly sent men to charge her with treason and summarily execute her. Legend states that when the Emperor's soldiers came to kill her, Agrippina pulled back her clothes and ordered them to stab her in the belly that had housed such a monstrous son.

ecoli
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006 Gaius Caesar. AE17 3.4gm APAMIA38 viewsobv: GAOIS KAISAR laur. head r.
rev: ROUFOS/MASONIOS/APAMEWN cult statue of artimis
"son of Agrippa and Julia"
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006. Nero (54 AD - 68 AD) 47 viewsNero, last of the Julio-Claudians, had been placed in the difficult position of absolute authority at a young age coupled with the often-contradictory efforts of those in a position to manipulate him. Augustus, however, had not been much older when he began his bid for power, and so a great deal of the responsibility for Nero's conduct must also rest with the man himself. Nero's reign was not without military operations (e.g., the campaigns of Corbulo against the Parthians, the suppression of the revolt of Boudicca in Britain), but his neglect of the armies was a critical error.

Nero As, 26x27 mm, 10.0 g. Obverse: Nero laureate right, NERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP. Reverse: Temple of Janus, with latticed window to left and closed double doors to right, PACE PR VBIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT, SC.

Check
1 commentsecoli
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008. Otho 69 AD316 viewsOTHO. 69 AD.

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. Neither Otho's person nor his bearing suggested such great courage. He is said to have been of moderate height, splay-footed and bandy-legged, but almost feminine in his care of his person. He had the hair of his body plucked out, and because of the thinness of his locks wore a wig so carefully fashioned and fitted to his head, that no one suspected it. Moreover, they say that he used to shave every day and smear his face with moist bread, beginning the practice with the appearance of the first down, so as never to have a beard; also that he used to celebrate the rites of Isis publicly in the linen garment prescribed by the cult.

AR Denarius (18mm, 3.20 gm). Bare head left / Securitas standing left, holding wreath and sceptre. RIC I 12; RSC 19. Fine. Ex-CNG
2 commentsecoli73
V669a.jpg
01 Domitian as Caesar RIC 66927 viewsÆ As, 11.05g
Rome mint, 73-74 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIAN COS II; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., leaning on column, with caduceus and branch
RIC 669 (C). BMC -. BNC 699.
Acquired from Musa Numismatics, August 2019.

The propaganda value of Pax for the Flavian dynasty after the Civil War, the revolt of Civilis, and the Jewish War cannot be underestimated. In her various guises she is one of the most popular types on Vespasian's coinage and shows up quite frequently during the reign on the coins struck for both himself and his sons. This As struck for Domitian as Caesar shows Pax leaning on a column, which likely copies a well known cult image of the goddess.

Tellingly, less than a decade later, Pax would not feature so prominently on Domitian's own coinage as Emperor.

Fine style early portrait.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
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010. Vespasian 69 AD - 79 AD36 viewsVespasian

The character of this emperor showed very little, if anything, of the pagan tyrant. Though himself a man of no literary culture, he became the protector of his prisoner of war, the Jewish historian Josephus, a worshipper of the One God, and even permitted him the use of his own family name (Flavius). While this generosity may have been in some degree prompted by Josephus's shrewd prophecy of Vespasian's elevation to the purple, there are other instances of his disposition to reward merit in those with whom he was by no means personally sympathetic. Vespasian has the distinction of being the first Roman Emperor to transmit the purple to his own son; he is also noteworthy in Roman imperial history as having very nearly completed his seventieth year and died a natural death: being in feeble health, he had withdrawn to benefit by the purer air of his native Reate, in the "dewy fields" (rosei campi) of the Sabine country. By his wife, Flavia Domitilla, he left two sons, Titus and Domitian, and a daughter, Domitilla, through whom the name of Vespasian's empress was passed on to a granddaughter who is revered as a confessor of the Faith.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century. In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!"

Denarius. IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS IIII, laureate head right / VES-TA to either side of Vesta standing left, holding simpulum & scepter. RSC 574
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011. Titus 79-81 AD28 viewsTitus. 79-81 AD.

Titus was the beneficiary of considerable intelligence and talent, endowments that were carefully cultivated at every step of his career, from his early education to his role under his father's principate. Cassius Dio suggested that Titus' reputation was enhanced by his early death. [[17]] It is true that the ancient sources tend to heroicize Titus, yet based upon the evidence, his reign must be considered a positive one. He capably continued the work of his father in establishing the Flavian dynasty and he maintained a high degree of economic and administrative competence in Italy and beyond. In so doing, he solidified the role of the emperor as paternalistic autocrat, a model that would serve Trajan and his successors well.

AR Denarius (3.44 gm). Laureate head right/Radiate figure on rostral column. RIC II 16a; BMCRE 29; RSC 289. Fine. Scarce and interesting reverse type. Ex-CNG
ecoli
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016a Aggrippina jr. AE14 2.1gm26 viewsobv: drp. bust r.
rev: cult statue of Artemis
"mother of Nero, doughter of germanicus,
sister of Caligula, wife of Claudius"
hill132
Troas,_Ilion,_020_Vespasian,_AE-,_Vespasian,_Titus,_Domitian_,_Athena,_RPC_II_893,_Bellinger_T197,_69-79_AD,_Q-001,_0h,_19,5-21mm,_8,25g-s.jpg
020p Vespasian (69-79 A.D.), Troas, Ilion, RPC II 0893, AE-21, Confronted, laureate and draped busts of Titus right and Domitian left #187 views020p Vespasian (69-79 A.D.), Troas, Ilion, RPC II 0893, AE-21, Confronted, laureate and draped busts of Titus right and Domitian left #1
avers: (AYTOK K CEBAC) OYECPACIANOC, Laureate head of Vespasian right
reverse: TITω KAICAP I ΔOMITIANΩ KA IΛI, Confronted, laureate and draped busts of Titus right and Domitian left. Between them, cult image of Athena, standing on a low base, turned half left, brandishing spear and resting a hand on the shield.
exergue: -/-//--, diameter: 19,5-21,0mm, weight: 8,25g, axis: 0h,
mint: Troas, Ilion, date: 69-79 A.D.,
ref: RPC II 0893, Bellinger T197,
Q-001
2 commentsquadrans
Caligula_denarius.jpg
04 Gaius (Caligula) RIC I 2222 viewsGaius (Caligula) 37-41 A.D. AR Denarius. Lugdunum (Lyons) Mint 37 AD. (3.3g, 18.5mm, 2h). Obv: C CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR POT COS, bare head right. Rev: anepigraphic, Augustus, radiate head right between two stars. RIC I 2, BMC 4, Sear 1808. Ex personal collection Steve McBride/Incitatus Coins.

Son of Germanicus, Gaius was adopted by Tiberius and was proclaimed Emperor on Tiberius’ death. His reign, marked by cruelty, was ended when he was assassinated by the Praetorian Guard. There is some question when the Imperial Mint was moved from Lugdunum to Rome, but the majority view holds at least Gaius’ early issues were still from Lugdunum.

With more than moderate wear and damage, this coin still has an almost complete obverse legend, and is a decent weight. It was very difficult for me to track down a denarius of Gaius.
2 commentsLucas H
043_B_C_,_P_Accoleius_Lariscolus,_AR-den-Head-Diana-r_-P_ACCOLEIVS_–_LARISCOLVS_Triple-cult_Cr_486-1_Syd-1148_43-BC_Q-001_6h_17-18mm_3,74g-s.jpg
043 B.C., P.Accoleius Lariscolus, Republic AR-Denarius, Crawford 486/1, Rome, Diana-Hecate-Selene faceing,129 views043 B.C., P.Accoleius Lariscolus, Republic AR-Denarius, Crawford 486/1, Rome, Diana-Hecate-Selene facing,
avers: Bust of Diana Nemorensis right draped, behind P•ACCOLEIVS upwards, before LARISCOLVS downwards, border of dots.
reverse: Triple cult statue of Diana Nemorensis (Diana-Hecate-Selene) faceing, behind, cypress grove, border of dots.
exergue: -/-//--, diameter: 16,5-17,5mm, weight: 3,74g, axis: 6h,
mint: Rome, date: 43 B.C., ref: Crawford 486/1, Sydenham 1148, Sear Imperators 172, B. Accoleia 1.
Q-001
quadrans
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048 - Antoninus Pius denarius - RIC 290a63 viewsObv:– ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII, laureate head facing right
Rev:– TEMPLVM DIV AVG REST / COS III, Octastyle Temple of Divus Augustus, with cult images of Augustus and Livia inside
Mint – Rome
Date Minted – A.D. 158-159
Reference RIC 290a
maridvnvm
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05 Claudius RIC I 58249 viewsClaudius 41-54 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint 50-51 A.D. (3.58g, 18.4mm, 8h). Obv: TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG P M TR P X PP IMP XVIII, laureate head right. Rev: PACI AVGVSTAE, Pax-Nemesis advancing right, holding winged caduceus pointed at snake. RIC I 58, RSC 66a. Ex CNG 258, Lot: 348.

Claudius was a capable, yet unlikely emperor. Shunned as an idiot by his family due to a limp and embarrassing stutter. After Caligula's murder the Praetorian Guard proclaimed him emperor. He governed well and conquered the troublesome island of Britain. He was poisoned by his second wife, mother of Nero. It was very difficult for me to find a denarius of Claudius, and I love this reverse.
8 commentsLucas H
Seleuco III, Soter Cerauno.jpg
05-02 - Seleuco III, Soter Cerauno (226 - 223 A.C.)52 viewsSeleuco III Sóter Cerauno (? - 223 adC). Rey de la dinastía seleúcida, hijo mayor de Seleuco II Calinico, a quien sucedió. Su apelativo Cerauno significa “el Rayo”. Su reinado fue breve (apenas tres años, desde el 225 adC). Decidió llevar a cabo el plan que su padre no pudo realizar en vida: enfrentar al rey Atalo I de Pérgamo, aliado de Antioco Hierax, hermano de Seleuco Calinico y tio suyo, el cual había muerto hace poco, pero que había ayudado a Atalo, quien había aprovechado la situación para expandir sus fronteras y conquistar toda el Asia Menor.
En el transcurso de esta campaña realizada en la región del Tauro, Seleuco III murió asesinado víctima de la traición de uno de sus oficiales llamado Nicanor, en complicidad con el galo Apaturios (223 adC).
Fue sucedido por su hermano Antíoco III Megas, contando con el apoyo de Aqueo, pariente del difunto rey quien había tenido gran influencia durante su reinado. Aqueo rechazó la corona que le ofrecieron las tropas y prefirió gobernar como regente del imperio. Nombró a Molón gobernador de las provincias superiores y él se reservó el Asia Menor; combatió con éxito contra Atalo I y lo confinó en Pérgamo, de modo que suyo fue el mérito de ganar la guerra que había empezado Seleuco III. (Wikipedia)
AE 12 mm 2.0 gr.

Anv: Busto de Artemisa viendo a der. Grafila de puntos.
Rev: "BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣEΛEYKOY" - Apolo sentado a izquierda en ónfalo (Piedra semicilíndrica centro del culto de Apolo en Delfos, fetiche de basalto y altar de la madre tierra de la religión micénica) con flecha en mano derecha levantada y apoyando la izquierda en un arco. "CE / Λ" en campo izquierdo y "AP" (Monograma) en exergo.

Ceca: Antioquía en Orontes

Referencias: B.M.C. Vol.4 (Seleucid Kings of Syria) #8 Pag.22 - Sear GCTV Vol.2 #6929 Pag.646 - SNG Spaer #518 - Newell E.T. (Western Seleucid Mints) #1036
mdelvalle
Antíoco IV, Epiphanes.jpg
08-02 - Anti­oco IV, Epiphanes (175 - 164 A.C.)68 viewsAntíoco IV Epífanes (Αντίοχος Επιφανής en griego, 215 adC-163 adC) fue rey de Siria de la dinastía Seléucida desde c. 175 adC-164 adC.
Era hijo de Antíoco III Megas y hermano de Seleuco IV Filopator. Originalmente fue llamado Mitríades, pero adoptó el nombre de Antíoco tras su ascensión al trono (o quizás tras la muerte de su hermano mayor, también Antíoco).
Subió al trono tras la muerte de su hermano Seleuco IV Filopátor que gobernó durante poco tiempo antes que él, hasta que Heliodoro, tesorero suyo, lo mató por ambición. Había vivido en Roma según los términos de la paz de Apamea (188 adC), pero acababa de ser intercambiado por el hijo y legítimo heredero de Seleuco IV, el futuro (Demetrio I Sóter). Antíoco se aprovechó de la situación, y junto con su otro hermano Antíoco, se proclamó rey con el apoyo de Eumenes II de Pérgamo y el hermano de éste, Atalo I. Su hermano Antíoco sería asesinado pocos años después.
Por su enfrentamiento con Ptolomeo VI, que reclamaba Coele-Syria, atacó e invadió Egipto, conquistando casi todo el país, con la salvedad de la capital, Alejandría. Llegó a capturar al rey, pero para no alarmar a Roma, decicidió reponerlo en el trono, aunque como su marioneta. Sin embargo, los alejandrinos habían elegido al hermano de éste, Ptolomeo VII Euergetes como rey, y tras su marcha decidieron reinar conjuntamente. Esto le obligó a reinvadir el país, y así el 168 adC, repitiendo la invasión, con su flota conquistaba Chipre. Cerca de Alejandría se encontró con el cónsul romano Cayo Popilio Laenas, instó a abandonar Egipto y Chipre. Cuando Antíoco replicó que debía consultarlo con su consejo, Popilio trazó un círculo en la arena rodeándole y le dijo: "píensalo aquí". Viendo que abandonar el círculo sin haber ordenado la retirada era un desafío a Roma decidió ceder con el fin de evitar una guerra.
A su regreso, organizó una expedición contra Jerusalén, qué saqueo cruelmente. Según él Libro de los Macabeos, promulgó varias ordenanzas de tipo religioso: trató de suprimir el culto a Yahveh, prohibió el judaísmo suspendiendo toda clase de manifestación religiosa y trató de establecer el culto a los dioses griegos. Pero el sacerdote judío Matatías y sus dos hijos llamados Macabeos consiguieron levantar a la población en su contra y lo expulsaron. La fiesta judía de Jánuca conmemora este hecho.
Antíoco, en campaña contra el Imperio Parto, envió varios ejércitos sin éxito. Mientras organizaba una expedición punitiva para retomar Israel personalmente le sobrevino la muerte. Le sucedió su hijo Antíoco V Eupátor.
Su reinado fue la última época de fuerza y esplendor para el Imperio Seleúcida, que tras su muerte se vio envuelto en devastadoras guerras dinásticas. (Wikipedia)

AE (Canto aserrado) 15 mm 3.5 gr.

Anv: Busto velado de Laodicea IV (Esposa de Seleuco IV y Hermana de Antíoco IV) viendo a der. Grafila de puntos.
Rev: "BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY" - Cabeza de elefante a izquierda, proa de galera a izquierda (El elefante simboliza las aspiraciones orientales de los reyes de Seleucia además de ser una de las grandes armas de su arsenal y la proa su importancia como ciudad puerto).

Ceca: Seleucia de Pieria (Costa N. de Siria - Puerto de Antioquía) o Akke Ptolomais

Referencias : B.M.C. Vol.4 (Seleucid Kings of Syria) #3 Pag.43 - SC#1477.2 - Houghton #113 - HGS #684-6 Pag.9 - SNG Spaer #1017-40 - SNG Cop #184 - Hoover #685
1 commentsmdelvalle
787Hadrian_RIC824.jpg
0824 Hadrian AS Roma 134-38 AD Roma standing46 viewsReference.
RIC 824; Strack 683

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P.
Bare head right.

Rev. ROMA / S - C.
Roma standing left, holding spear and palladium, with shield on his back.

11.83 gr
25 mm
6h

Note.
In Greek and Roman mythology, the palladium or palladion was a cult image of great antiquity on which the safety of Troy and later Rome was said to depend, the wooden statue (xoanon) of Pallas Athena
3 commentsokidoki
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1. Seleukos I Nikator 17 viewsSELEUKID KINGS of SYRIA. Seleukos I Nikator. 312-281 BC. Æ Seleukeia II mint. Horned horse head right / Anchor; monogram to right. SC 145.

Seleukos fled from Antigonus the one-eyed in Babylonia on horseback. He credited this animal with saving his life. He then deified the animal on his coinage and in other cult shrines.

He eventually made it to Egypt where Ptolemy sheltered him for a while until he could regroup and begin to definitively establish what would become the Seleucid empire.
ecoli
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1199 – 1216, John, AR Short cross penny, Struck 1205 - 1216 at Winchester, England22 viewsObverse: HENRICVS REX around central circle enclosing a crowned, draped and bearded facing bust of the king holding a sceptre tipped with a cross pommee in his right hand, bust extending to edge of flan.
Reverse: +ANDREV•ON•WI around voided short cross within circle, crosslets in each quarter. Moneyer: Andrev, cognate with the modern English name of Andrew.
Diameter: 19mm | Weight: 1.2gms | Die Axis: 4
Class 5b
SPINK: 1351

The class four type short cross pennies of Henry II continued to be struck during the early years of John's reign, but in 1205 a recoinage was begun and new short cross pennies of better style replaced the older issues. Sixteen mints were initially employed for this recoinage but they were reduced to ten later on. All John's coins continued to bear his father's (Henry II) title of henricvs rex.

John was King of England from 1199 until his death in 1216. The baronial revolt at the end of John's reign led to the sealing of the first Magna Carta, a document sometimes considered an early step in the evolution of the constitution of the United Kingdom.
John, the youngest of the five sons of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was not expected to inherit significant lands which resulted in him being given the nickname John Lackland. However, after the failed rebellion of his elder brothers between 1173 and 1174, John became Henry's favourite child. He was appointed Lord of Ireland in 1177 and given lands in England and on the continent. John's elder brothers William, Henry and Geoffrey died young and when Richard I became king in 1189, John was the potential heir to the throne. John unsuccessfully attempted a rebellion against Richard's administration whilst his brother was participating in the Third Crusade but despite this, after Richard died in 1199, John was proclaimed King of England.
Contemporary chroniclers were mostly critical of John's performance as king, and his reign has been the subject of much debate by historians from the 16th century onwards. These negative qualities have provided extensive material for fiction writers since the Victorian era, and even today John remains a recurring character within popular culture, primarily as a villain in films and stories regarding the Robin Hood legends.
2 comments*Alex
12-Constantius-I-Lon-RIC-14a.jpg
12. Constantius I.32 viewsFollis, ca 298-300 AD, London mint (group II).
Obverse: FL VAL CONSTANTINVS NOB C / Laureate and curiassed bust of Constantius I.
Reverse: GENIO POPVLI ROMANI / Genius standing, holding patera and cornucopiae.
Mint mark: (none)
9.71gm., 27 mm.
RIC # 14a; Sear #14034 (this coin !).

Although RIC lists these last four coins (Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius I) with other coins minted in London, a careful reading of the introduction to the mint of London (vol. VI, p. 113-122) shows the editors of RIC had serious reservations about this attribution.

The unmarked folles -- ie without a mint mark in the exergue -- can be divided into three groups. After many years of careful study, group I has been attributed to Lugdunum (Lyon, France), and groups II and III to Britain.

Of group II, RIC says (p. 115), " It is possible that the unmarked II coins were produced in Britain either from a travelling mint, or even from the "C" (Camulodunum?) mint of Carausius and Allectus, with which there are perhaps some stylistic affinities: the period of issue would fall from c. 298 onwards, perhaps until c. 300 or later."

Of group III, RIC says (p. 115), " The unmarked III coins are in everyway more sophisticated in style, and it may well be that they were produced at London, though lack of signature would be difficult to account for: probably it is best to class them as a British series which, for reasons unknown to us, was struck elsewhere. Their date is between 300 and 305."
Callimachus
DiocleAnt.jpg
1301a, Diocletian, 284-305 A.D. (Antioch)93 viewsDIOCLETIAN (284 – 305 AD) AE Antoninianus, 293-95 AD, RIC V 322, Cohen 34. 20.70 mm/3.1 gm, aVF, Antioch. Obverse: IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, Radiate bust right, draped & cuirassed; Reverse: CONCORDIA MILITVM, Jupiter presents Victory on a globe to Diocletian, I/XXI. Early Diocletian with dusty earthen green patina.


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

Diocletian ( 284-305 A.D.)

Ralph W. Mathisen
University of South Carolina


Summary and Introduction
The Emperor Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (A.D. 284-305) put an end to the disastrous phase of Roman history known as the "Military Anarchy" or the "Imperial Crisis" (235-284). He established an obvious military despotism and was responsible for laying the groundwork for the second phase of the Roman Empire, which is known variously as the "Dominate," the "Tetrarchy," the "Later Roman Empire," or the "Byzantine Empire." His reforms ensured the continuity of the Roman Empire in the east for more than a thousand years.

Diocletian's Early Life and Reign
Diocletian was born ca. 236/237 on the Dalmatian coast, perhaps at Salona. He was of very humble birth, and was originally named Diocles. He would have received little education beyond an elementary literacy and he was apparently deeply imbued with religious piety He had a wife Prisca and a daughter Valeria, both of whom reputedly were Christians. During Diocletian's early life, the Roman empire was in the midst of turmoil. In the early years of the third century, emperors increasingly insecure on their thrones had granted inflationary pay raises to the soldiers. The only meaningful income the soldiers now received was in the form of gold donatives granted by newly acclaimed emperors. Beginning in 235, armies throughout the empire began to set up their generals as rival emperors. The resultant civil wars opened up the empire to invasion in both the north, by the Franks, Alamanni, and Goths, and the east, by the Sassanid Persians. Another reason for the unrest in the army was the great gap between the social background of the common soldiers and the officer corps.

Diocletian sought his fortune in the army. He showed himself to be a shrewd, able, and ambitious individual. He is first attested as "Duke of Moesia" (an area on the banks of the lower Danube River), with responsibility for border defense. He was a prudent and methodical officer, a seeker of victory rather than glory. In 282, the legions of the upper Danube proclaimed the praetorian prefect Carus as emperor. Diocletian found favor under the new emperor, and was promoted to Count of the Domestics, the commander of the cavalry arm of the imperial bodyguard. In 283 he was granted the honor of a consulate.

In 284, in the midst of a campaign against the Persians, Carus was killed, struck by a bolt of lightning which one writer noted might have been forged in a legionary armory. This left the empire in the hands of his two young sons, Numerian in the east and Carinus in the west. Soon thereafter, Numerian died under mysterious circumstances near Nicomedia, and Diocletian was acclaimed emperor in his place. At this time he changed his name from Diocles to Diocletian. In 285 Carinus was killed in a battle near Belgrade, and Diocletian gained control of the entire empire.

Diocletian's Administrative and Military Reforms
As emperor, Diocletian was faced with many problems. His most immediate concerns were to bring the mutinous and increasingly barbarized Roman armies back under control and to make the frontiers once again secure from invasion. His long-term goals were to restore effective government and economic prosperity to the empire. Diocletian concluded that stern measures were necessary if these problems were to be solved. He felt that it was the responsibility of the imperial government to take whatever steps were necessary, no matter how harsh or innovative, to bring the empire back under control.

Diocletian was able to bring the army back under control by making several changes. He subdivided the roughly fifty existing provinces into approximately one hundred. The provinces also were apportioned among twelve "dioceses," each under a "vicar," and later also among four "prefectures," each under a "praetorian prefect." As a result, the imperial bureaucracy became increasingly bloated. He institutionalized the policy of separating civil and military careers. He divided the army itself into so-called "border troops," actually an ineffective citizen militia, and "palace troops," the real field army, which often was led by the emperor in person.

Following the precedent of Aurelian (A.D.270-275), Diocletian transformed the emperorship into an out-and-out oriental monarchy. Access to him became restricted; he now was addressed not as First Citizen (Princeps) or the soldierly general (Imperator), but as Lord and Master (Dominus Noster) . Those in audience were required to prostrate themselves on the ground before him.

Diocletian also concluded that the empire was too large and complex to be ruled by only a single emperor. Therefore, in order to provide an imperial presence throughout the empire, he introduced the "Tetrarchy," or "Rule by Four." In 285, he named his lieutenant Maximianus "Caesar," and assigned him the western half of the empire. This practice began the process which would culminate with the de facto split of the empire in 395. Both Diocletian and Maximianus adopted divine attributes. Diocletian was identified with Jupiter and Maximianus with Hercules. In 286, Diocletian promoted Maximianus to the rank of Augustus, "Senior Emperor," and in 293 he appointed two new Caesars, Constantius (the father of Constantine I ), who was given Gaul and Britain in the west, and Galerius, who was assigned the Balkans in the east.

By instituting his Tetrarchy, Diocletian also hoped to solve another problem. In the Augustan Principate, there had been no constitutional method for choosing new emperors. According to Diocletian's plan, the successor of each Augustus would be the respective Caesar, who then would name a new Caesar. Initially, the Tetrarchy operated smoothly and effectively.

Once the army was under control, Diocletian could turn his attention to other problems. The borders were restored and strengthened. In the early years of his reign, Diocletian and his subordinates were able to defeat foreign enemies such as Alamanni, Sarmatians, Saracens, Franks, and Persians, and to put down rebellions in Britain and Egypt. The easter frontier was actually expanded.

.
Diocletian's Economic Reforms
Another problem was the economy, which was in an especially sorry state. The coinage had become so debased as to be virtually worthless. Diocletian's attempt to reissue good gold and silver coins failed because there simply was not enough gold and silver available to restore confidence in the currency. A "Maximum Price Edict" issued in 301, intended to curb inflation, served only to drive goods onto the black market. Diocletian finally accepted the ruin of the money economy and revised the tax system so that it was based on payments in kind . The soldiers too came to be paid in kind.

In order to assure the long term survival of the empire, Diocletian identified certain occupations which he felt would have to be performed. These were known as the "compulsory services." They included such occupations as soldiers, bakers, members of town councils, and tenant farmers. These functions became hereditary, and those engaging in them were inhibited from changing their careers. The repetitious nature of these laws, however, suggests that they were not widely obeyed. Diocletian also expanded the policy of third-century emperors of restricting the entry of senators into high-ranking governmental posts, especially military ones.

Diocletian attempted to use the state religion as a unifying element. Encouraged by the Caesar Galerius, Diocletian in 303 issued a series of four increasingly harsh decrees designed to compel Christians to take part in the imperial cult, the traditional means by which allegiance was pledged to the empire. This began the so-called "Great Persecution."

Diocletian's Resignation and Death
On 1 May 305, wearied by his twenty years in office, and determined to implement his method for the imperial succession, Diocletian abdicated. He compelled his co-regent Maximianus to do the same. Constantius and Galerius then became the new Augusti, and two new Caesars were selected, Maximinus (305-313) in the east and Severus (305- 307) in the west. Diocletian then retired to his palace at Split on the Croatian coast. In 308 he declined an offer to resume the purple, and the aged ex-emperor died at Split on 3 December 316.

Copyright (C) 1996, Ralph W. Mathisen, University of South Carolina
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
DicletianConcordCyz.jpg
1301b, Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 March 305 A.D.57 viewsDiocletian. RIC V Part II Cyzicus 256 var. Not listed with pellet in exegrue
Item ref: RI141f. VF. Minted in Cyzicus (B in centre field, XXI dot in exegrue)Obverse:- IMP CC VAL DIOCLETIANVS AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Reverse:- CONCORDIA MILITVM, Diocletian standing right, holding parazonium, receiving Victory from Jupiter standing left with scepter.
A post reform radiate of Diocletian. Ex Maridvnvm.

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

Diocletian ( 284-305 A.D.)

Ralph W. Mathisen
University of South Carolina


Summary and Introduction
The Emperor Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (A.D. 284-305) put an end to the disastrous phase of Roman history known as the "Military Anarchy" or the "Imperial Crisis" (235-284). He established an obvious military despotism and was responsible for laying the groundwork for the second phase of the Roman Empire, which is known variously as the "Dominate," the "Tetrarchy," the "Later Roman Empire," or the "Byzantine Empire." His reforms ensured the continuity of the Roman Empire in the east for more than a thousand years.

Diocletian's Early Life and Reign
Diocletian was born ca. 236/237 on the Dalmatian coast, perhaps at Salona. He was of very humble birth, and was originally named Diocles. He would have received little education beyond an elementary literacy and he was apparently deeply imbued with religious piety He had a wife Prisca and a daughter Valeria, both of whom reputedly were Christians. During Diocletian's early life, the Roman empire was in the midst of turmoil. In the early years of the third century, emperors increasingly insecure on their thrones had granted inflationary pay raises to the soldiers. The only meaningful income the soldiers now received was in the form of gold donatives granted by newly acclaimed emperors. Beginning in 235, armies throughout the empire began to set up their generals as rival emperors. The resultant civil wars opened up the empire to invasion in both the north, by the Franks, Alamanni, and Goths, and the east, by the Sassanid Persians. Another reason for the unrest in the army was the great gap between the social background of the common soldiers and the officer corps.

Diocletian sought his fortune in the army. He showed himself to be a shrewd, able, and ambitious individual. He is first attested as "Duke of Moesia" (an area on the banks of the lower Danube River), with responsibility for border defense. He was a prudent and methodical officer, a seeker of victory rather than glory. In 282, the legions of the upper Danube proclaimed the praetorian prefect Carus as emperor. Diocletian found favor under the new emperor, and was promoted to Count of the Domestics, the commander of the cavalry arm of the imperial bodyguard. In 283 he was granted the honor of a consulate.

In 284, in the midst of a campaign against the Persians, Carus was killed, struck by a bolt of lightning which one writer noted might have been forged in a legionary armory. This left the empire in the hands of his two young sons, Numerian in the east and Carinus in the west. Soon thereafter, Numerian died under mysterious circumstances near Nicomedia, and Diocletian was acclaimed emperor in his place. At this time he changed his name from Diocles to Diocletian. In 285 Carinus was killed in a battle near Belgrade, and Diocletian gained control of the entire empire.

Diocletian's Administrative and Military Reforms
As emperor, Diocletian was faced with many problems. His most immediate concerns were to bring the mutinous and increasingly barbarized Roman armies back under control and to make the frontiers once again secure from invasion. His long-term goals were to restore effective government and economic prosperity to the empire. Diocletian concluded that stern measures were necessary if these problems were to be solved. He felt that it was the responsibility of the imperial government to take whatever steps were necessary, no matter how harsh or innovative, to bring the empire back under control.

Diocletian was able to bring the army back under control by making several changes. He subdivided the roughly fifty existing provinces into approximately one hundred. The provinces also were apportioned among twelve "dioceses," each under a "vicar," and later also among four "prefectures," each under a "praetorian prefect." As a result, the imperial bureaucracy became increasingly bloated. He institutionalized the policy of separating civil and military careers. He divided the army itself into so-called "border troops," actually an ineffective citizen militia, and "palace troops," the real field army, which often was led by the emperor in person.

Following the precedent of Aurelian (A.D.270-275), Diocletian transformed the emperorship into an out-and-out oriental monarchy. Access to him became restricted; he now was addressed not as First Citizen (Princeps) or the soldierly general (Imperator), but as Lord and Master (Dominus Noster) . Those in audience were required to prostrate themselves on the ground before him.

Diocletian also concluded that the empire was too large and complex to be ruled by only a single emperor. Therefore, in order to provide an imperial presence throughout the empire, he introduced the "Tetrarchy," or "Rule by Four." In 285, he named his lieutenant Maximianus "Caesar," and assigned him the western half of the empire. This practice began the process which would culminate with the de facto split of the empire in 395. Both Diocletian and Maximianus adopted divine attributes. Diocletian was identified with Jupiter and Maximianus with Hercules. In 286, Diocletian promoted Maximianus to the rank of Augustus, "Senior Emperor," and in 293 he appointed two new Caesars, Constantius (the father of Constantine I ), who was given Gaul and Britain in the west, and Galerius, who was assigned the Balkans in the east.

By instituting his Tetrarchy, Diocletian also hoped to solve another problem. In the Augustan Principate, there had been no constitutional method for choosing new emperors. According to Diocletian's plan, the successor of each Augustus would be the respective Caesar, who then would name a new Caesar. Initially, the Tetrarchy operated smoothly and effectively.

Once the army was under control, Diocletian could turn his attention to other problems. The borders were restored and strengthened. In the early years of his reign, Diocletian and his subordinates were able to defeat foreign enemies such as Alamanni, Sarmatians, Saracens, Franks, and Persians, and to put down rebellions in Britain and Egypt. The easter frontier was actually expanded.

.
Diocletian's Economic Reforms
Another problem was the economy, which was in an especially sorry state. The coinage had become so debased as to be virtually worthless. Diocletian's attempt to reissue good gold and silver coins failed because there simply was not enough gold and silver available to restore confidence in the currency. A "Maximum Price Edict" issued in 301, intended to curb inflation, served only to drive goods onto the black market. Diocletian finally accepted the ruin of the money economy and revised the tax system so that it was based on payments in kind . The soldiers too came to be paid in kind.

In order to assure the long term survival of the empire, Diocletian identified certain occupations which he felt would have to be performed. These were known as the "compulsory services." They included such occupations as soldiers, bakers, members of town councils, and tenant farmers. These functions became hereditary, and those engaging in them were inhibited from changing their careers. The repetitious nature of these laws, however, suggests that they were not widely obeyed. Diocletian also expanded the policy of third-century emperors of restricting the entry of senators into high-ranking governmental posts, especially military ones.

Diocletian attempted to use the state religion as a unifying element. Encouraged by the Caesar Galerius, Diocletian in 303 issued a series of four increasingly harsh decrees designed to compel Christians to take part in the imperial cult, the traditional means by which allegiance was pledged to the empire. This began the so-called "Great Persecution."

Diocletian's Resignation and Death
On 1 May 305, wearied by his twenty years in office, and determined to implement his method for the imperial succession, Diocletian abdicated. He compelled his co-regent Maximianus to do the same. Constantius and Galerius then became the new Augusti, and two new Caesars were selected, Maximinus (305-313) in the east and Severus (305- 307) in the west. Diocletian then retired to his palace at Split on the Croatian coast. In 308 he declined an offer to resume the purple, and the aged ex-emperor died at Split on 3 December 316.

Copyright (C) 1996, Ralph W. Mathisen, University of South Carolina
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
931_P_Hadrian_RPC1329.jpg
1329 Hadrian, Cistophorus IONIA Ephesus mint, Ephesian Artemis33 viewsReference
RPC III, 1329; Metcalf 6; RIC II 525

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Bust draped r. seen from behind

Rev. DIANA EPHESIA
Cult image of Ephesian Artemis flanked by stags

10.02 gr
27 mm
6h
2 commentsokidoki
745_P_Hadrian_RPC1332.jpg
1332 Hadrian, Cistophorus IONIA Ephesus mint 132-34 AD Tetrastyle temple Artemis standing63 viewsReference.
RPC III, 1332; Metcalf 8; RIC 475; RSC 536; BMCRE 1091; Pinder 70; Sear 3449.

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Bare head right.

Rev. DIA-NA / EPHESIA
Tetrastyle temple on three or four steps; within, cult image of Artemis of Ephesus

10.15 gr
28 mm
6h

Note.
Overstruck on an uncertain cistophorus of Mark Antony and Octavia.
5 commentsokidoki
789_P_Hadrian_RPC_1335A.jpg
1335A Hadrian, Cistophorus IONIA Ephesus mint 132-34 AD Tetrastyle temple Artemis standing52 viewsReference.
RPC --; Metclaf 10; RIC 475 var. (legend); RPC III 1335 var. (obv. legend).

Obv. HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS
Bare head right

Rev. [D]IA-NA / EPHESIA
Tetrastyle temple on three or four steps; within, cult image of Artemis of Ephesus (no stags)

10.97 gr
27 mm
5h

note.
There is evidence of the undertype on the obverse, below the truncation of Hadrian's neck: 'IMP CAE
3 commentsokidoki
1304_P_Hadrian_RPC--.jpg
1340A Hadrian, Cistophorus IONIA Ephesus mint, Jupiter seated left12 viewsReference.
RPC III, -- ; Metcalf --; cf RIC II 478 var. (obverse legends). cf RPC III, 1340

Obv. HADRIANVS-AVGVSTVS P P
Bare head right.

Rev. IOVIS OLYMPIVS
Jupiter seated left holding sceptre in l. and cult image of Ephesian Artemis in right

9.91 gr
31 mm
7h
okidoki
932_P_Hadrian_RPC1349.jpg
1349 Hadrian, Cistophorus IONIA Ephesus mint 132-34 AD Artemis Leukophryene24 viewsReference.
RPC III, 1349; Metcalf 21

Obv. HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P
Bare head right

Rev. COS III
Cult image of Artemis Leukophryene flanked by two birds; crowning Victories flank her

10.04 gr
27 mm
6h
okidoki
1352_P_Hadrian_RPC1353_10.jpg
1353 Hadrian, Cistophorus IONIA Miletus mint, Tetrastyle temple Apollo Didymaeus standing13 viewsReference.
RPC III, 1353/10; RIC 519; Metcalf 24; C. 287

Obv. HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P
Bare head right

Rev. COS III
Tetrastyle temple on podium of three steps; within, cult image of Apollo Didymeus standing facing, holding small stag on right hand and bow in left, within tetrastyle temple, shield in pediment

10.94 gr
28 mm
12h
1 commentsokidoki
539_P_Hadrian_RIC510.jpg
1386 Hadrian, Cistophorus SARDIS Lydia Cult statue of Kore standing51 viewsReference.
RIC II 510; Metcalf 47; RSC 279; RPC III, 1386

Obv. HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P
Bare head Right.

Rev. COS III
Cult statue of Kore standing facing; stalk of grain to left, stalk of grain and poppy to right.

9.98 gr
27 mm
12h
2 commentsokidoki
Julian2VotXConstantinople.jpg
1409a, Julian II "the Philosopher," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.143 viewsJulian II, A.D. 360-363; RIC 167; VF; 2.7g, 20mm; Constantinople mint; Obverse: DN FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, helmeted & cuirassed bust right, holding spear & shield; Reverse: VOT X MVLT XX in four lines within wreath; CONSPB in exergue; Attractive green patina. Ex Nemesis.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Julian the Apostate (360-363 A.D.)

Walter E. Roberts, Emory University
Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University

Introduction

The emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus reigned from 360 to 26 June 363, when he was killed fighting against the Persians. Despite his short rule, his emperorship was pivotal in the development of the history of the later Roman empire. This essay is not meant to be a comprehensive look at the various issues central to the reign of Julian and the history of the later empire. Rather, this short work is meant to be a brief history and introduction for the general reader. Julian was the last direct descendent of the Constantinian line to ascend to the purple, and it is one of history's great ironies that he was the last non-Christian emperor. As such, he has been vilified by most Christian sources, beginning with John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzus in the later fourth century. This tradition was picked up by the fifth century Eusebian continuators Sozomen, Socrates Scholasticus, and Theodoret and passed on to scholars down through the 20th century. Most contemporary sources, however, paint a much more balanced picture of Julian and his reign. The adoption of Christianity by emperors and society, while still a vital concern, was but one of several issues that concerned Julian.

It is fortunate that extensive writings from Julian himself exist, which help interpret his reign in the light of contemporary evidence. Still extant are some letters, several panegyrics, and a few satires. Other contemporary sources include the soldier Ammianus Marcellinus' history, correspondence between Julian and Libanius of Antioch, several panegyrics, laws from the Theodosian Code, inscriptions, and coinage. These sources show Julian's emphasis on restoration. He saw himself as the restorer of the traditional values of Roman society. Of course much of this was rhetoric, meant to defend Julian against charges that he was a usurper. At the same time this theme of restoration was central to all emperors of the fourth century. Julian thought that he was the one emperor who could regain what was viewed as the lost glory of the Roman empire. To achieve this goal he courted select groups of social elites to get across his message of restoration. This was the way that emperors functioned in the fourth century. By choosing whom to include in the sharing of power, they sought to shape society.

Early Life

Julian was born at Constantinople in 331. His father was Julius Constantius, half-brother of the emperor Constantine through Constantius Chlorus, and his mother was Basilina, Julius' second wife. Julian had two half-brothers via Julius' first marriage. One of these was Gallus, who played a major role in Julian's life. Julian appeared destined for a bright future via his father's connection to the Constantinian house. After many years of tense relations with his three half-brothers, Constantine seemed to have welcomed them into the fold of the imperial family. From 333 to 335, Constantine conferred a series of honors upon his three half-siblings, including appointing Julius Constantius as one of the consuls for 335. Julian's mother was equally distinguished. Ammianus related that she was from a noble family. This is supported by Libanius, who claimed that she was the daughter of Julius Julianus, a Praetorian Prefect under Licinius, who was such a model of administrative virtue that he was pardoned and honored by Constantine.

Despite the fact that his mother died shortly after giving birth to him, Julian experienced an idyllic early childhood. This ended when Constantius II conducted a purge of many of his relatives shortly after Constantine's death in 337, particularly targeting the families of Constantine's half-brothers. ulian and Gallus were spared, probably due to their young age. Julian was put under the care of Mardonius, a Scythian eunuch who had tutored his mother, in 339, and was raised in the Greek philosophical tradition, and probably lived in Nicomedia. Ammianus also supplied the fact that while in Nicomedia, Julian was cared for by the local bishop Eusebius, of whom the future emperor was a distant relation. Julian was educated by some of the most famous names in grammar and rhetoric in the Greek world at that time, including Nicocles and Hecebolius. In 344 Constantius II sent Julian and Gallus to Macellum in Cappadocia, where they remained for six years. In 351, Gallus was made Caesar by Constantius II and Julian was allowed to return to Nicomedia, where he studied under Aedesius, Eusebius, and Chrysanthius, all famed philosophers, and was exposed to the Neo-Platonism that would become such a prominent part of his life. But Julian was most proud of the time he spent studying under Maximus of Ephesus, a noted Neo-Platonic philospher and theurgist. It was Maximus who completed Julian's full-scale conversion to Neo-Platonism. Later, when he was Caesar, Julian told of how he put letters from this philosopher under his pillows so that he would continue to absorb wisdom while he slept, and while campaigning on the Rhine, he sent his speeches to Maximus for approval before letting others hear them. When Gallus was executed in 354 for treason by Constantius II, Julian was summoned to Italy and essentially kept under house arrest at Comum, near Milan, for seven months before Constantius' wife Eusebia convinced the emperor that Julian posed no threat. This allowed Julian to return to Greece and continue his life as a scholar where he studied under the Neo-Platonist Priscus. Julian's life of scholarly pursuit, however, ended abruptly when he was summoned to the imperial court and made Caesar by Constantius II on 6 November 355.

Julian as Caesar

Constantius II realized an essential truth of the empire that had been evident since the time of the Tetrarchy--the empire was too big to be ruled effectively by one man. Julian was pressed into service as Caesar, or subordinate emperor, because an imperial presence was needed in the west, in particular in the Gallic provinces. Julian, due to the emperor's earlier purges, was the only viable candidate of the imperial family left who could act as Caesar. Constantius enjoined Julian with the task of restoring order along the Rhine frontier. A few days after he was made Caesar, Julian was married to Constantius' sister Helena in order to cement the alliance between the two men. On 1 December 355, Julian journeyed north, and in Augusta Taurinorum he learned that Alamannic raiders had destroyed Colonia Agrippina. He then proceeded to Vienne where he spent the winter. At Vienne, he learned that Augustudunum was also under siege, but was being held by a veteran garrison. He made this his first priority, and arrived there on 24 June 356. When he had assured himself that the city was in no immediate danger, he journeyed to Augusta Treverorum via Autessioduram, and from there to Durocortorum where he rendezvoused with his army. Julian had the army stage a series of punitive strikes around the Dieuse region, and then he moved them towards the Argentoratum/Mongontiacum region when word of barbarian incursions reached him.

From there, Julian moved on to Colonia Agrippina, and negotiated a peace with the local barbarian leaders who had assaulted the city. He then wintered at Senonae. He spent the early part of the campaigning season of 357 fighting off besiegers at Senonae, and then conducting operations around Lugdunum and Tres Tabernae. Later that summer, he encountered his watershed moment as a military general. Ammianus went into great detail about Julian's victory over seven rogue Alamannic chieftains near Argentoratum, and Julian himself bragged about it in his later writing. After this battle, the soldiers acclaimed Julian Augustus, but he rejected this title. After mounting a series of follow-up raids into Alamannic territory, he retired to winter quarters at Lutetia, and on the way defeated some Frankish raiders in the Mosa region. Julian considered this campaign one of the major events of his time as Caesar.

Julian began his 358 military campaigns early, hoping to catch the barbarians by surprise. His first target was the Franks in the northern Rhine region. He then proceeded to restore some forts in the Mosa region, but his soldiers threatened to mutiny because they were on short rations and had not been paid their donative since Julian had become Caesar. After he soothed his soldiers, Julian spent the rest of the summer negotiating a peace with various Alamannic leaders in the mid and lower Rhine areas, and retired to winter quarters at Lutetia. In 359, he prepared once again to carry out a series of punitive expeditions against the Alamanni in the Rhine region who were still hostile to the Roman presence. In preparation, the Caesar repopulated seven previously destroyed cities and set them up as supply bases and staging areas. This was done with the help of the people with whom Julian had negotiated a peace the year before. Julian then had a detachment of lightly armed soldiers cross the Rhine near Mogontiacum and conduct a guerilla strike against several chieftains. As a result of these campaigns, Julian was able to negotiate a peace with all but a handful of the Alamannic leaders, and he retired to winter quarters at Lutetia.

Of course, Julian did more than act as a general during his time as Caesar. According to Ammianus, Julian was an able administrator who took steps to correct the injustices of Constantius' appointees. Ammianus related the story of how Julian prevented Florentius, the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, from raising taxes, and also how Julian actually took over as governor for the province of Belgica Secunda. Hilary, bishop of Poitiers, supported Ammianus' basic assessment of Julian in this regard when he reported that Julian was an able representative of the emperor to the Gallic provincials. There is also epigraphic evidence to support Julian's popularity amongst the provincial elites. An inscription found near Beneventum in Apulia reads:
"To Flavius Claudius Julianus, most noble and sanctified Caesar, from the caring Tocius Maximus, vir clarissimus, for the care of the res publica from Beneventum".

Tocius Maximus, as a vir clarissimus, was at the highest point in the social spectrum and was a leader in his local community. This inscription shows that Julian was successful in establishing a positive image amongst provincial elites while he was Caesar.

Julian Augustus

In early 360, Constantius, driven by jealousy of Julian's success, stripped Julian of many troops and officers, ostensibly because the emperor needed them for his upcoming campaign against the Persians. One of the legions ordered east, the Petulantes, did not want to leave Gaul because the majority of the soldiers in the unit were from this region. As a result they mutinied and hailed Julian as Augustus at Lutetia. Julian refused this acclamation as he had done at Argentoratum earlier, but the soldiers would have none of his denial. They raised him on a shield and adorned him with a neck chain, which had formerly been the possession of the standard-bearer of the Petulantes and symbolized a royal diadem. Julian appeared reluctantly to acquiesce to their wishes, and promised a generous donative. The exact date of his acclamation is unknown, but most scholars put it in February or March. Julian himself supported Ammianus' picture of a jealous Constantius. In his Letter to the Athenians, a document constructed to answer charges that he was a usurper, Julian stated that from the start he, as Caesar, had been meant as a figurehead to the soldiers and provincials. The real power he claimed lay with the generals and officials already present in Gaul. In fact, according to Julian, the generals were charged with watching him as much as the enemy. His account of the actual acclamation closely followed what Ammianus told us, but he stressed even more his reluctance to take power. Julian claimed that he did so only after praying to Zeus for guidance.

Fearing the reaction of Constantius, Julian sent a letter to his fellow emperor justifying the events at Lutetia and trying to arrange a peaceful solution. This letter berated Constantius for forcing the troops in Gaul into an untenable situation. Ammianus stated that Julian's letter blamed Constantius' decision to transfer Gallic legions east as the reason for the soldiers' rebellion. Julian once again asserted that he was an unwilling participant who was only following the desire of the soldiers. In both of these basic accounts Ammianus and Julian are playing upon the theme of restoration. Implicit in their version of Julian's acclamation is the argument that Constantius was unfit to rule. The soldiers were the vehicle of the gods' will. The Letter to the Athenians is full of references to the fact that Julian was assuming the mantle of Augustus at the instigation of the gods. Ammianus summed up this position nicely when he related the story of how, when Julian was agonizing over whether to accept the soldiers' acclamation, he had a dream in which he was visited by the Genius (guardian spirit) of the Roman state. The Genius told Julian that it had often tried to bestow high honors upon Julian but had been rebuffed. Now, the Genius went on to say, was Julian's final chance to take the power that was rightfully his. If the Caesar refused this chance, the Genius would depart forever, and both Julian and the state would rue Julian's rejection. Julian himself wrote a letter to his friend Maximus of Ephesus in November of 361 detailing his thoughts on his proclamation. In this letter, Julian stated that the soldiers proclaimed him Augustus against his will. Julian, however, defended his accession, saying that the gods willed it and that he had treated his enemies with clemency and justice. He went on to say that he led the troops in propitiating the traditional deities, because the gods commanded him to return to the traditional rites, and would reward him if he fulfilled this duty.

During 360 an uneasy peace simmered between the two emperors. Julian spent the 360 campaigning season continuing his efforts to restore order along the Rhine, while Constantius continued operations against the Persians. Julian wintered in Vienne, and celebrated his Quinquennalia. It was at this time that his wife Helena died, and he sent her remains to Rome for a proper burial at his family villa on the Via Nomentana where the body of her sister was entombed. The uneasy peace held through the summer of 361, but Julian concentrated his military operations around harassing the Alamannic chieftain Vadomarius and his allies, who had concluded a peace treaty with Constantius some years earlier. By the end of the summer, Julian decided to put an end to the waiting and gathered his army to march east against Constantius. The empire teetered on the brink of another civil war. Constantius had spent the summer negotiating with the Persians and making preparations for possible military action against his cousin. When he was assured that the Persians would not attack, he summoned his army and sallied forth to meet Julian. As the armies drew inexorably closer to one another, the empire was saved from another bloody civil war when Constantius died unexpectedly of natural causes on 3 November near the town of Mopsucrenae in Cilicia, naming Julian -- the sources say-- as his legitimate successor.

Julian was in Dacia when he learned of his cousin's death. He made his way through Thrace and came to Constantinople on 11 December 361 where Julian honored the emperor with the funeral rites appropriate for a man of his station. Julian immediately set about putting his supporters in positions of power and trimming the imperial bureaucracy, which had become extremely overstaffed during Constantius' reign. Cooks and barbers had increased during the late emperor's reign and Julian expelled them from his court. Ammianus gave a mixed assessment of how the new emperor handled the followers of Constantius. Traditionally, emperors were supposed to show clemency to the supporters of a defeated enemy. Julian, however, gave some men over to death to appease the army. Ammianus used the case of Ursulus, Constantius' comes sacrum largitionum, to illustrate his point. Ursulus had actually tried to acquire money for the Gallic troops when Julian had first been appointed Caesar, but he had also made a disparaging remark about the ineffectiveness of the army after the battle of Amida. The soldiers remembered this, and when Julian became sole Augustus, they demanded Ursulus' head. Julian obliged, much to the disapproval of Ammianus. This seems to be a case of Julian courting the favor of the military leadership, and is indicative of a pattern in which Julian courted the goodwill of various societal elites to legitimize his position as emperor.

Another case in point is the officials who made up the imperial bureaucracy. Many of them were subjected to trial and punishment. To achieve this goal, during the last weeks of December 361 Julian assembled a military tribunal at Chalcedon, empanelling six judges to try the cases. The president of the tribunal was Salutius, just promoted to the rank of Praetorian Prefect; the five other members were Mamertinus, the orator, and four general officers: Jovinus, Agilo, Nevitta, and Arbetio. Relative to the proceedings of the tribunal, Ammianus noted that the judges, " . . . oversaw the cases more vehemently than was right or fair, with the exception of a few . . .." Ammianus' account of Julian's attempt at reform of the imperial bureaucracy is supported by legal evidence from the Theodosian Code. A series of laws sent to Mamertinus, Julian's appointee as Praetorian Prefect in Italy, Illyricum, and Africa, illustrate this point nicely. On 6 June 362, Mamertinus received a law that prohibited provincial governors from bypassing the Vicars when giving their reports to the Prefect. Traditionally, Vicars were given civil authority over a group of provinces, and were in theory meant to serve as a middle step between governors and Prefects. This law suggests that the Vicars were being left out, at least in Illyricum. Julian issued another edict to Mamertinus on 22 February 362 to stop abuse of the public post by governors. According to this law, only Mamertinus could issue post warrants, but the Vicars were given twelve blank warrants to be used as they saw fit, and each governor was given two. Continuing the trend of bureaucratic reform, Julian also imposed penalties on governors who purposefully delayed appeals in court cases they had heard. The emperor also established a new official to weigh solidi used in official government transactions to combat coin clipping.

For Julian, reigning in the abuses of imperial bureaucrats was one step in restoring the prestige of the office of emperor. Because he could not affect all elements of society personally, Julian, like other Neo-Flavian emperors, decided to concentrate on select groups of societal elites as intercessors between himself and the general populace. One of these groups was the imperial bureaucracy. Julian made it very clear that imperial officials were intercessors in a very real sense in a letter to Alypius, Vicar of Britain. In this letter, sent from Gaul sometime before 361, the emperor praises Alypius for his use of "mildness and moderation with courage and force" in his rule of the provincials. Such virtues were characteristic of the emperors, and it was good that Alypius is representing Julian in this way. Julian courted the army because it put him in power. Another group he sought to include in his rule was the traditional Senatorial aristocracy. One of his first appointments as consul was Claudius Mamertinus, a Gallic Senator and rhetorician. Mamertinus' speech in praise of Julian delivered at Constantinople in January of 362 is preserved. In this speech, Claudius presented his consular selection as inaugurating a new golden age and Julian as the restorer of the empire founded by Augustus. The image Mamertinus gave of his own consulate inaugurating a new golden age is not merely formulaic. The comparison of Julian to Augustus has very real, if implicit, relevance to Claudius' situation. Claudius emphasized the imperial period as the true age of renewal. Augustus ushered in a new era with his formation of a partnership between the emperor and the Senate based upon a series of honors and offices bestowed upon the Senate in return for their role as intercessor between emperor and populace. It was this system that Julian was restoring, and the consulate was one concrete example of this bond. To be chosen as a consul by the emperor, who himself had been divinely mandated, was a divine honor. In addition to being named consul, Mamertinus went on to hold several offices under Julian, including the Prefecture of Italy, Illyricum, and Africa. Similarly, inscriptional evidence illustrates a link between municipal elites and Julian during his time as Caesar, something which continued after he became emperor. One concrete example comes from the municipal senate of Aceruntia in Apulia, which established a monument on which Julian is styled as "Repairer of the World."

Julian seems to have given up actual Christian belief before his acclamation as emperor and was a practitioner of more traditional Greco-Roman religious beliefs, in particular, a follower of certain late antique Platonist philosophers who were especially adept at theurgy as was noted earlier. In fact Julian himself spoke of his conversion to Neo-Platonism in a letter to the Alexandrians written in 363. He stated that he had abandoned Christianity when he was twenty years old and been an adherent of the traditional Greco-Roman deities for the twelve years prior to writing this letter.

(For the complete text of this article see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/julian.htm)

Julian’s Persian Campaign

The exact goals Julian had for his ill-fated Persian campaign were never clear. The Sassanid Persians, and before them the Parthians, had been a traditional enemy from the time of the Late Republic, and indeed Constantius had been conducting a war against them before Julian's accession forced the former to forge an uneasy peace. Julian, however, had no concrete reason to reopen hostilities in the east. Socrates Scholasticus attributed Julian's motives to imitation of Alexander the Great, but perhaps the real reason lay in his need to gather the support of the army. Despite his acclamation by the Gallic legions, relations between Julian and the top military officers was uneasy at best. A war against the Persians would have brought prestige and power both to Julian and the army.

Julian set out on his fateful campaign on 5 March 363. Using his trademark strategy of striking quickly and where least expected, he moved his army through Heirapolis and from there speedily across the Euphrates and into the province of Mesopotamia, where he stopped at the town of Batnae. His plan was to eventually return through Armenia and winter in Tarsus. Once in Mesopotamia, Julian was faced with the decision of whether to travel south through the province of Babylonia or cross the Tigris into Assyria, and he eventually decided to move south through Babylonia and turn west into Assyria at a later date. By 27 March, he had the bulk of his army across the Euphrates, and had also arranged a flotilla to guard his supply line along the mighty river. He then left his generals Procopius and Sebastianus to help Arsacius, the king of Armenia and a Roman client, to guard the northern Tigris line. It was also during this time that he received the surrender of many prominent local leaders who had nominally supported the Persians. These men supplied Julian with money and troops for further military action against their former masters. Julian decided to turn south into Babylonia and proceeded along the Euphrates, coming to the fortress of Cercusium at the junction of the Abora and Euphrates Rivers around the first of April, and from there he took his army west to a region called Zaitha near the abandoned town of Dura where they visited the tomb of the emperor Gordian which was in the area. On April 7 he set out from there into the heart of Babylonia and towards Assyria.

Ammianus then stated that Julian and his army crossed into Assyria, which on the face of things appears very confusing. Julian still seems to be operating within the province of Babylonia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The confusion is alleviated when one realizes that,for Ammianus, the region of Assyria encompassed the provinces of Babylonia and Assyria. On their march, Julian's forces took the fortress of Anatha, received the surrender and support of several more local princes, and ravaged the countryside of Assyria between the rivers. As the army continued south, they came across the fortresses Thilutha and Achaiachala, but these places were too well defended and Julian decided to leave them alone. Further south were the cities Diacira and Ozogardana, which the Roman forces sacked and burned. Soon, Julian came to Pirisabora and a brief siege ensued, but the city fell and was also looted and destroyed. It was also at this time that the Roman army met its first systematic resistance from the Persians. As the Romans penetrated further south and west, the local inhabitants began to flood their route. Nevertheless, the Roman forces pressed on and came to Maiozamalcha, a sizable city not far from Ctesiphon. After a short siege, this city too fell to Julian. Inexorably, Julian's forces zeroed in on Ctesiphon, but as they drew closer, the Persian resistance grew fiercer, with guerilla raids whittling at Julian's men and supplies. A sizable force of the army was lost and the emperor himself was almost killed taking a fort a few miles from the target city.
Finally, the army approached Ctesiphon following a canal that linked the Tigris and Euphrates. It soon became apparent after a few preliminary skirmishes that a protracted siege would be necessary to take this important city. Many of his generals, however, thought that pursuing this course of action would be foolish. Julian reluctantly agreed, but became enraged by this failure and ordered his fleet to be burned as he decided to march through the province of Assyria. Julian had planned for his army to live off the land, but the Persians employed a scorched-earth policy. When it became apparent that his army would perish (because his supplies were beginning to dwindle) from starvation and the heat if he continued his campaign, and also in the face of superior numbers of the enemy, Julian ordered a retreat on 16 June. As the Roman army retreated, they were constantly harassed by guerilla strikes. It was during one of these raids that Julian got caught up in the fighting and took a spear to his abdomen. Mortally wounded he was carried to his tent, where, after conferring with some of his officers, he died. The date was 26 June 363.

Conclusion

Thus an ignominious end for a man came about who had hoped to restore the glory of the Roman empire during his reign as emperor. Due to his intense hatred of Christianity, the opinion of posterity has not been kind to Julian. The contemporary opinion, however, was overall positive. The evidence shows that Julian was a complex ruler with a definite agenda to use traditional social institutions in order to revive what he saw as a collapsing empire. In the final assessment, he was not so different from any of the other emperors of the fourth century. He was a man grasping desperately to hang on to a Greco-Roman conception of leadership that was undergoing a subtle yet profound change.
Copyright (C) 2002, Walter E. Roberts and Michael DiMaio, Jr. Used by permission.

In reality, Julian worked to promote culture and philosophy in any manifestation. He tried to reduce taxes and the public debts of municipalities; he augmented administrative decentralisation; he promoted a campaign of austerity to reduce public expenditure (setting himself as the example). He reformed the postal service and eliminated the powerful secret police.
by Federico Morando; JULIAN II, The Apostate, http://www.forumancientcoins.com/NumisWiki/view.asp?key=Julian%20II

Flavius Claudius Iulianus was born in 331 or maybe 332 A.D. in Constantinople. He ruled the Western Empire as Caesar from 355 to 360 and was hailed Augustus by his legions in Lutetia (Paris) in 360. Julian was a gifted administrator and military strategist. Famed as the last pagan emperor, his reinstatement of the pagan religion earned him the moniker "the Apostate." As evidenced by his brilliant writing, some of which has survived to the present day, the title "the Philosopher" may have been more appropriate. He died from wounds suffered during the Persian campaign of 363 A.D. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.




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jovian.jpg
1410a, Jovian, 27 June 363 - 17 February 364 A.D.78 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC 179, aVF, Constantinople, 3.126g, 21.6mm, 180o. Obverse: D N IOVIANVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust left; Reverse: VOT V MVLT X within wreath, CONSPG in exergue; scarce.

Flavius Jovianuswas born in 331 at Singidunum, modern Belgrade. His distinguished father, Varronianus, had been a tribune of the legion Ioviani and a comes domesticorum, perhaps under Constantius II, who had retired to private life shortly before Jovian's elevation to the purple. Jovian married a daughter of Lucillianus, perhaps named Charito, and by her produced at least two children.

Jovian himself was a protector domesticus under Constantius II and Julian and, under Julian, primicerius domesticorum. Various Christian sources maintain that Jovian's Christianity led to his deposition by Julian, though most modern scholars dismiss this as ex post facto Christian apologetic. Jovian, recalled to the ranks if he had ever been dismissed, marched with Julian against Sapor in 363, and on 27 June, the day after that emperor's death, was acclaimed Augustus.

Ammianus and Zosimus, among others, detail the difficult straits of the Roman army during its withdrawal from Persian territory, Ammianus from the perspective of a proud soldier confident even in defeat of the superiority of Roman arms, Zosimus, in a much shorter and confused version, concentrating on the predicament of Jovian's troops and on the dire effects to the empire of the peace terms agreed to with Sapor. These terms entailed the cessation to Persia of Roman territory beyond the Tigris -- the cities of Singara and Nisibis, however, to be surrendered on the condition of the safe passage of their inhabitants -- and the guarantee of the neutrality of Rome's ally Arsaces, King of Armenia, in the event of future hostilities between Roman and Persia. Ammianus asserts that in agreeing to these terms Jovian misjudged his tactical strength and wasted an opportunity presented by negotiations with Sapor to move his forces closer to supplies at Corduena, and that Jovian acted on the advise of flatterers to preserve the fighting strength of his forces in the event of an attempt by Julian's relative Procopius to seize the throne. Others present the treaty terms as unavoidable given the Roman predicament.

Jovian appears to have treaded cautiously with regard to religious matters during the early months of his reign. Eunapius says that Jovian continued to honor Maximus and Priscus, the Neoplatonist advisors of Julian, and, upon reaching Tarsus, Jovian performed funeral rites for Julian. Nonetheless, various Christians, most notably Athanasius, took the initiative in an effort to gain Jovian's favor and support. An adherent of the Nicaean creed, Jovian did eventually recall various bishops of homoousian disposition and restore to their followers churches lost under earlier emperors. But in spite of such measures, unity among various Christian sects seems to have been the foremost concern of Jovian, whose ipsissima verba Socrates Scholasticus purports to give: "I abhor contentiousness, but love and honor those hurrying towards unanimity" (Hist. Eccl. 3.25).

Jovian died at the age of thirty-two on 17 February 364 at Dadastana on the boundary of Bithynia and Galatia. The cause of his death was most probably natural and is variously attributed to overeating, the consumption of poisonous mushrooms, or suffocation from fumes of charcoal or of the fresh paint on the room in which he was sleeping. Ammianus' comparison of the circumstances of Jovian's death to those of Scipio Aemilianus suggest the possibility of foul play, as does John of Antioch's reference to a poisoned rather than a poisonous mushroom, while John Chrysostom -- in a highly suspect literary context of consolatio-- asserts outright that the emperor was murdered. Eutropius records that he was enrolled among the gods, inter Divos relatus est. Zonaras says he was buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles and that his wife, Charito, was eventually laid to rest beside him.

Ancient authors agree that Jovian was of modest intellect but imposing physique and disposed to excessive eating and drinking.

By Thomas Banchich, Canisius College
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
Henry_VI_AR_Halfpenny.JPG
1422 - 1461, HENRY VI (First Reign), AR Halfpenny, Struck 1430 - 1434 at Calais, France29 viewsObverse: HENRICVS (pinecone) REX (mascle) ANGL. Crowned facing bust of Henry VI within circle of pellets. Mintmark: Cross patonce in legend.
Reverse: VIL(mascle)LA CALISIE (pinecone). Long cross pattée dividing legend around inner circle of pellets into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of circle.
Diameter: 15mm | Weight: 0.45gms
SPINK: 1885

This issue of coins is known as the pinecone-mascle issue because these symbols are incorporated in the obverse and reverse legends. This issue was struck between 1430 and 1434 at the mints of London and Calais.

Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471. The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months when his father died.
This was during the period of the long-running Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) and Henry is the only English monarch to also have been crowned King of France (as Henri II), in 1431. During his early reign several people were ruling for him and by the time Henry was declared fit to rule in 1437 he found his realm in a difficult position, faced with setbacks in France and divisions among the nobility at home. Henry is described as timid, shy, passive, well-intentioned, and averse to warfare and violence; he was also at times mentally unstable. Partially in the hope of achieving peace, Henry married the ambitious and strong-willed Margaret of Anjou in 1445. The peace policy failed and the war recommenced with France taking the upper hand such that by 1453 Calais was Henry's only remaining territory on the continent.
With Henry effectively unfit to rule, Queen Margaret took advantage of the situation to make herself an effective power behind the throne. Starting around 1453 Henry began suffering a series of mental breakdowns and tensions mounted between Margaret and Richard of York, not only over control of the incapacitated king's government, but over the question of succession to the throne. Civil war broke out in 1459, leading to a long period of dynastic conflict, now known as the Wars of the Roses. Henry was deposed on 29th March 1461 after a crushing defeat at the Battle of Towton by Richard of York's son, who took the throne as Edward IV. Margaret continuing to resist Edward, but Henry was captured by Edward's forces in 1465 and imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Queen Margaret, who was first exiled in Scotland and then in France, was still determined to win back the throne on behalf of her husband and son. So, when Edward IV fell out with two of his main supporters, Richard Neville the Earl of Warwick and George the Duke of Clarence, Margaret formed a secret alliance with them backed by Louis XI of France. Warwick returned with an army to England, forced Edward IV into exile, and restored Henry VI to the throne on 30th October 1470, though Henry's position was nominal as Warwick and Clarence effectively ruled in his name.
But Henry's return to the throne lasted less than six months. Warwick overreached himself by declaring war on Burgundy, whose ruler responded by giving Edward IV the assistance he needed to win back his throne by force. Edward retook power in 1471, killing Warwick at the Battle of Barnet and Henry's only son at the Battle of Tewkesbury. Henry was again imprisoned in the Tower where, during the night of 21st May he died, possibly killed on Edward's orders.
2 comments*Alex
James_III_AE_Crux_Pellit_Threepenny_Penny.JPG
1460 – 1488, JAMES III, AE Threepenny Penny struck c.1470–1480 at an unidentified mint, Scotland6 viewsObverse: + IACOBVS ‡ DEI ‡ GRA ‡ REX ‡ . Orb with rosette at centre, tilted upwards, within pelleted circle. Cross hummetty in legend.
Reverse: + CRVX ‡ PELLIT ‡ OIE ‡ CRI (Crux pellit omne crimen = The cross drives away all sin). Latin cross within quatrefoil with trefoils on cusps, within pelleted circle. Cross hummetty in legend.
Diameter: 20mm | Weight: 1.9gms | Die Axis: 9
SPINK: 5311 Type III
Very Rare

Once regarded as Ecclesiastical and connected to Bishop James Kennedy of St Andrews by earlier scholars, these coins are now, after extensive research in the second half of the twentieth century by J E L Murray of the British Numismatic Society, believed to have been a regal issue whose place of mintage has not as yet been certainly identified. During his reign James III took an interest in the coinage and introduced several new denominations. The thistle-head made its first appearance as a Scottish emblem on coins during his reign and a further innovation of his coinage were coins bearing a likeness of the king himself in the new renaissance style which predated similarly styled English coins by several years.
The 'Crux pellit' coins are often known as ‘Crossraguel’ issues, so called after a hoard containing 51 of them was found in a drain at Crossraguel Abbey, Ayrshire in 1919. J E L Murray identified these coins with those referred to in contemporary documents as “three-penny pennies” or “Cochrane's Placks”, which appear to have been greatly devalued in 1482. Cochrane's Placks comes from Robert Cochrane, one of James III's main favourites. Cochrane played a major part in the government during the 1470's and he is said to have advised the king to debase the coinage in order to raise cash.

James III was crowned at Kelso Abbey in 1460 at the age of 9, he was the son of James II and Mary of Guelders. During his childhood, the government was led by successive factions until 1469 when he began to rule for himself. That same year he married Princess Margaret of Denmark. Margaret's father, King Christian I of Denmark and Norway was unable to raise the full amount of her dowry so pledged his lands and rights in Orkney and Shetland as security for the remainder. But Christian I was never able to redeem his pledge, and Orkney and Shetland have remained Scottish possessions ever since.
Soon after his marriage, James faced great difficulties in restoring a strong central government. His preference for the company of scholars, architects and artists coupled with his extravagance and partiality to favourites alienated him from the loyalty of his nobles. Even his own brothers, Alexander, Duke of Albany and John, Earl of Mar regarded him with jealousy verging on hatred. In 1479, James' brothers were arrested on suspicion of conspiring against the Crown. John Stewart, the Earl of Mar, died in suspicious circumstances, whilst Alexander Stewart, the Duke of Albany, escaped and fled to England.
The ever-present English threat had been temporarily solved by a truce with Edward IV in 1463 but James' estrangement from his brothers and a strong faction within the Scottish nobility led to the final loss of Berwick.
Although James had tried to settle his differences with Alexander, Duke of Albany, his brother again tried to take his throne in a coup after Edward IV recognised him as Alexander IV of Scotland in 1482. Some minor members of James III's household were hanged, including Robert Cochrane, the king's favourite. But James was removed to Edinburgh Castle where he survived and Alexander was exiled to France.
After his queen's death in 1486, James lived in increasing isolation amidst the growing resentment of the nobility. Finally, in 1488, the Scottish nobles seized James' eldest son, also called James, placed him at their head, and rose against the king. At the Battle of Sauchieburn, three miles from Stirling, James III, defeated, was thrown from his horse as he fled from the field. He was carried into a nearby cottage where he was set upon and stabbed to death.
James III was buried at Cambuskenneth Abbey near Stirling and his son, the figurehead of the revolt against him, was hailed as James IV.
1 comments*Alex
1488-1513_JAMES_IV_PLACK.JPG
1488 - 1513, James IV, Billon Plack (Groat), Struck 1488 - 1513 at Edinburgh, Scotland24 viewsObverse: + IACOBVS ★ 4 : DEI ★ GRACIA ★ REX ★ SCOTTO. Crowned shield bearing lion rampant within a tressure of four arcs, crown on each side of the shield and fleur-de-lis in all the spandrels. Star stops and old English lettering in legend.
Reverse: + VILLA ★ DE EDINBVRG. Floriate cross fourchée with a saltire in the centre. Crown in each quarter of the cross. Star stops and old English lettering in legend.
Type IV issue. Scarce
Diameter: 25mm | Weight: 2.4gm | Die Axis: 3
SPINK: 5352

James IV was the King of Scotland from June 1488 until his death in battle at the age of 40 on the 9th September, 1513.
James IV's mother, Margaret of Denmark, was more popular than his father, James III, and though somewhat estranged from her husband she raised their sons at Stirling Castle until she died in 1486. Two years later, a rebellion broke out, where the rebels set up the 15-year-old Prince James as their nominal leader. The rebels fought James III at the Battle of Sauchieburn where, on 11th June 1488, the king was killed. Prince James assumed the throne as James IV and was crowned at Scone on 24th of June. However he continued to bear an intense guilt for the indirect role which he had played in the death of his father.
James maintained Scotland's traditional good relations with France, and this occasionally created diplomatic problems with England, but James recognised nonetheless that peace between Scotland and England was in the interest of both countries, and established good diplomatic relations with England as well. First he ratified the Treaty of Ayton in 1497, then, in 1502 James signed the Treaty of Perpetual Peace with Henry VII which was sealed by his marriage to Henry's daughter Margaret Tudor the next year. Anglo-Scottish relations generally remained stable until the death of Henry VII in 1509.
James saw the importance of building a fleet that could provide Scotland with a strong maritime presence, he founded two new dockyards and acquired a total of 38 ships for the Royal Scots Navy. These including the “Great Michael” which, built at great expense, was launched in 1511 and was at that time the largest ship in the world.
When war broke out between England and France, James found himself in a difficult position as an ally by treaty to both countries. But relations with England had worsened since the accession of Henry VIII, and when Henry invaded France, James reacted by declaring war on England.
James sent the Scottish navy, including the “Great Michael”, to join the ships of Louis XII of France and, hoping to take advantage of Henry's absence at the siege of Thérouanne, he himself led an invading army southward into Northumberland. However, on 9th September 1513 at the disastrous Battle of Flodden James IV was killed, he was the last monarch in Great Britain to be killed in battle. His death, along with many of his nobles including his son the archbishop of St Andrews, was one of the worst military defeats in Scotland's history and the loss of such a large portion of the political community was a major blow to the realm. James IV's corpse was identified after the battle and taken to Berwick, where it was embalmed and placed in a lead coffin before being transported to London. Catherine of Aragon, wife of Henry VIII, sent the dead king's slashed, blood-stained surcoat to Henry, who was fighting in France, with the recommendation that he use it as a war banner.
James IV's son, James V, was crowned three weeks after the disaster at Flodden, but he was not yet two years old, and his minority was to be fraught with political upheaval.
2 comments*Alex
AntoninusPius_PanoramaBlack.jpg
15 Antoninus Pius RIC 23842 viewsAntoninus Pius 138-161 AD. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. 154 - 155 AD. (3.35g, 19.71mm) Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVIII, Laureate head right. Rev: COS IIII, Vesta standing left holding simpulum and palladium, altar at feet.
RIC 238; RSC 201

Ex: Romadrome

Difficult to photograph but with the slightest of angle the picture turned out OK.
Paddy
ConsecratioPanoramaBlack.jpg
15 Marcus Aurelius for Divus Antoninus Pius RIC 43647 viewsAntonius Pius. Ar Denarius. Marcus Aurelius for Divus Antoninus Pius. Rome mint. 161 AD. Obv: Obv.: DIVVS ANTONINVS, Bare head of Divus Antoninus Pius right. Rev: CONSECRATIO, Decorated funeral pyre (pyra) of four storeys, decorated with hangings and garlands, surmounted by quadriga.
C 164; RIC 436

Very diffcult coin to photograph, but it turned out decent enough.
Paddy
Theo1Ae3Ant.jpeg
1505b, Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D. (Antioch)69 viewsTheodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D. Bronze AE 3, RIC 44(b), VF, Antioch, 2.17g, 18.1mm, 180o, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D. Obverse: D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: CONCORDIA AVGGG, Constantinopolis enthroned facing, r. foot on prow, globe in l., scepter in r., Q and F at sides, ANTG in ex; scarce.


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

THEODOSIUS I (379-395 A.D.)
David Woods
University College of Cork


Origin and Early Career
Flavius Theodosius was born at Cauca in Spain in about 346 to Thermantia and Theodosius the Elder (so-called to distinguish him from his son). Theodosius the Elder was a senior military officer serving in the Western empire and rose to become the magister equitum praesentalis under the emperor Valentinian I from late 368 until his execution in early 375. As the son of a soldier, Theodosius was legally obliged to enter upon a military career. He seems to have served under his father during his expedition to Britain in 367/8, and was the dux Moesiae Primae by late 374. Unfortunately, great controversy surrounds the rest of his career until Gratian had him hailed as his imperial colleague in succession to the emperor Valens at Sirmium on 19 January 379. It is clear that he was forced to retire home to Spain only to be recalled to active service shortly thereafter, but the circumstances of his forced retirement are shrouded in mystery. His father was executed at roughly the same time, and much speculation has centred on the relationship between these events.

[For a very detailed and interesting discussion of the Foreign Policy of Theodosius and the Civil Wars that plagued his reign, please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/theo1.htm]

Family and Succession
Theodosius married twice. His first wife was the Spanish Aelia Flavia Flaccilla. She bore him Arcadius ca. 377, Honorius on 9 September 384, and Pulcheria ca. 385. Theodosius honoured her with the title of Augusta shortly after his accession, but she died in 386. In late 387 he married Galla, daughter of Valentinian I and full-sister of Valentinian II. She bore him Gratian ca. 388, Galla Placidia ca. 388/390, and died in childbirth in 394, together with her new-born son John. Of his two sons who survived infancy, he appointed Arcadius as Augustus on 19 January 383 and Honorius as Augustus on 23 January 393. His promotion of Arcadius as a full Augustus at an unusually young age points to his determination right from the start that one of his own sons should succeed him. He sought to strengthen Arcadius' position in particular by means of a series of strategic marriages whose purpose was to tie his leading "generals" irrevocably to his dynasty. Hence he married his niece and adoptive daughter Serena to his magister militum per Orientem Stilicho in 387, her elder sister Thermantia to a "general" whose name has not been preserved, and ca. 387 his nephew-in-law Nebridius to Salvina, daughter of the comes Africae Gildo. By the time of his death by illness on 17 January 395, Theodosius had promoted Stilicho from his position as one of the two comites domesticorum under his own eastern administration to that of magister peditum praesentalis in a western administration, in an entirely traditional manner, under his younger son Honorius. Although Stilicho managed to increase the power of the magister peditum praesentalis to the disadvantage of his colleague the magister equitum praesentalis and claimed that Theodosius had appointed him as guardian for both his sons, this tells us more about his cunning and ambition than it does about Theodosius' constitutional arrangements.

Theodosius' importance rests on the fact that he founded a dynasty which continued in power until the death of his grandson Theodosius II in 450. This ensured a continuity of policy which saw the emergence of Nicene Christianity as the orthodox belief of the vast majority of Christians throughout the middle ages. It also ensured the essential destruction of paganism and the emergence of Christianity as the religion of the state, even if the individual steps in this process can be difficult to identify. On the negative side, however, he allowed his dynastic interests and ambitions to lead him into two unnecessary and bloody civil wars which severely weakened the empire's ability to defend itself in the face of continued barbarian pressure upon its frontiers. In this manner, he put the interests of his family before those of the wider Roman population and was responsible, in many ways, for the phenomenon to which we now refer as the fall of the western Roman empire.


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

There is a nice segue here, as we pick-up John Julius Norwich's summation of the reign of Theodosius, "Readers of this brief account of his career may well find themselves wondering, not so much whether he deserved the title of 'the Great' as how he ever came to acquire it in the first place. If so, however, they may also like to ask themselves another question: what would have been the fate of the Empire if, at that critical moment in its history after the battle of Adrianople, young Gratian had not called him from his Spanish estates and put the future of the East into his hands? . . . the probability is that the whole Empire of the East would have been lost, swallowed up in a revived Gothic kingdom, with effects on world history that defy speculation.

In his civil legislation he showed, again and again, a consideration for the humblest of his subjects that was rare indeed among rulers of the fourth century. What other prince would have decreed that any criminal, sentenced to execution, imprisonment or exile, must first be allowed thirty days' grace to put his affairs in order? Or that a specified part of his worldly goods must go to his children, upon whom their father's crimes must on no account be visited? Or that no farmer should be obliged to sell his produce to the State at a price lower than he would receive on the open market?

Had he earned his title? Not, perhaps, in the way that Constantine had done or as Justinian was to do. But, if not ultimately great himself, he had surely come very close to greatness; and had he reigned as long as they did his achievements might well have equalled theirs. He might even have saved the Western Empire. One thing only is certain: it would be nearly a century and a half before the Romans would look upon his like again" (Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium, the Early Centuries. London: Penguin Group, 1990. 116-7;118).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.



Cleisthenes
Theod1GlrMan.jpg
1505c, Theodosius I, 379 - 395 A.D. (Constantinople)78 viewsTheodosius I (379 - 395 AD) AE3. 388-394 AD, RIC IX 27(a)3, Third Officina. Seventh Period. 20.27 mm. 4.8gm. Near VF with black and earthen patina. Constantinople. Obverse: DN THEODO-SIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, & cuirassed bust right; Reverse: GLORIA-ROMANORVM, Theodosius I standing, facing, holding labarum and globe, CONSB in exergue (scarcer reverse). A Spanish find.



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

THEODOSIUS I (379-395 A.D.)
David Woods
University College of Cork


Origin and Early Career
Flavius Theodosius was born at Cauca in Spain in about 346 to Thermantia and Theodosius the Elder (so-called to distinguish him from his son). Theodosius the Elder was a senior military officer serving in the Western empire and rose to become the magister equitum praesentalis under the emperor Valentinian I from late 368 until his execution in early 375. As the son of a soldier, Theodosius was legally obliged to enter upon a military career. He seems to have served under his father during his expedition to Britain in 367/8, and was the dux Moesiae Primae by late 374. Unfortunately, great controversy surrounds the rest of his career until Gratian had him hailed as his imperial colleague in succession to the emperor Valens at Sirmium on 19 January 379. It is clear that he was forced to retire home to Spain only to be recalled to active service shortly thereafter, but the circumstances of his forced retirement are shrouded in mystery. His father was executed at roughly the same time, and much speculation has centred on the relationship between these events.

[For a very detailed and interesting discussion of the Foreign Policy of Theodosius and the Civil Wars that plagued his reign, please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/theo1.htm]

Family and Succession
Theodosius married twice. His first wife was the Spanish Aelia Flavia Flaccilla. She bore him Arcadius ca. 377, Honorius on 9 September 384, and Pulcheria ca. 385. Theodosius honoured her with the title of Augusta shortly after his accession, but she died in 386. In late 387 he married Galla, daughter of Valentinian I and full-sister of Valentinian II. She bore him Gratian ca. 388, Galla Placidia ca. 388/390, and died in childbirth in 394, together with her new-born son John. Of his two sons who survived infancy, he appointed Arcadius as Augustus on 19 January 383 and Honorius as Augustus on 23 January 393. His promotion of Arcadius as a full Augustus at an unusually young age points to his determination right from the start that one of his own sons should succeed him. He sought to strengthen Arcadius' position in particular by means of a series of strategic marriages whose purpose was to tie his leading "generals" irrevocably to his dynasty. Hence he married his niece and adoptive daughter Serena to his magister militum per Orientem Stilicho in 387, her elder sister Thermantia to a "general" whose name has not been preserved, and ca. 387 his nephew-in-law Nebridius to Salvina, daughter of the comes Africae Gildo. By the time of his death by illness on 17 January 395, Theodosius had promoted Stilicho from his position as one of the two comites domesticorum under his own eastern administration to that of magister peditum praesentalis in a western administration, in an entirely traditional manner, under his younger son Honorius. Although Stilicho managed to increase the power of the magister peditum praesentalis to the disadvantage of his colleague the magister equitum praesentalis and claimed that Theodosius had appointed him as guardian for both his sons, this tells us more about his cunning and ambition than it does about Theodosius' constitutional arrangements.

Theodosius' importance rests on the fact that he founded a dynasty which continued in power until the death of his grandson Theodosius II in 450. This ensured a continuity of policy which saw the emergence of Nicene Christianity as the orthodox belief of the vast majority of Christians throughout the middle ages. It also ensured the essential destruction of paganism and the emergence of Christianity as the religion of the state, even if the individual steps in this process can be difficult to identify. On the negative side, however, he allowed his dynastic interests and ambitions to lead him into two unnecessary and bloody civil wars which severely weakened the empire's ability to defend itself in the face of continued barbarian pressure upon its frontiers. In this manner, he put the interests of his family before those of the wider Roman population and was responsible, in many ways, for the phenomenon to which we now refer as the fall of the western Roman empire.


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

There is a nice segue here, as we pick-up John Julius Norwich's summation of the reign of Theodosius, "Readers of this brief account of his career may well find themselves wondering, not so much whether he deserved the title of 'the Great' as how he ever came to acquire it in the first place. If so, however, they may also like to ask themselves another question: what would have been the fate of the Empire if, at that critical moment in its history after the battle of Adrianople, young Gratian had not called him from his Spanish estates and put the future of the East into his hands? . . . the probability is that the whole Empire of the East would have been lost, swallowed up in a revived Gothic kingdom, with effects on world history that defy speculation.

In his civil legislation he showed, again and again, a consideration for the humblest of his subjects that was rare indeed among rulers of the fourth century. What other prince would have decreed that any criminal, sentenced to execution, imprisonment or exile, must first be allowed thirty days' grace to put his affairs in order? Or that a specified part of his worldly goods must go to his children, upon whom their father's crimes must on no account be visited? Or that no farmer should be obliged to sell his produce to the State at a price lower than he would receive on the open market?

Had he earned his title? Not, perhaps, in the way that Constantine had done or as Justinian was to do. But, if not ultimately great himself, he had surely come very close to greatness; and had he reigned as long as they did his achievements might well have equalled theirs. He might even have saved the Western Empire. One thing only is certain: it would be nearly a century and a half before the Romans would look upon his like again" (Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium, the Early Centuries. London: Penguin Group, 1990. 116-7;118).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Saladin_A788.jpg
1701a, Saladin, 1169-11932046 viewsAYYUBID: Saladin, 1169-1193, AR dirham (2.92g), Halab, AH580, A-788, lovely struck, well-centered & bold, Extremely Fine, Scarce.

His name in Arabic, in full, is SALAH AD-DIN YUSUF IBN AYYUB ("Righteousness of the Faith, Joseph, Son of Job"), also called AL-MALIK AN-NASIR SALAH AD-DIN YUSUF I (b. 1137/38, Tikrit, Mesopotamia--d. March 4, 1193, Damascus), Muslim sultan of Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and Palestine, founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, and the most famous of Muslim heroes.

In wars against the Christian crusaders, he achieved final success with the disciplined capture of Jerusalem (Oct. 2, 1187), ending its 88-year occupation by the Franks. The great Christian counterattack of the Third Crusade was then stalemated by Saladin's military genius.

Saladin was born into a prominent Kurdish family. On the night of his birth, his father, Najm ad-Din Ayyub, gathered his family and moved to Aleppo, there entering the service of 'Imad ad-Din Zangi ibn Aq Sonqur, the powerful Turkish governor in northern Syria. Growing up in Ba'lbek and Damascus, Saladin was apparently an undistinguished youth, with a greater taste for religious studies than military training.
His formal career began when he joined the staff of his uncle Asad ad-Din Shirkuh, an important military commander under the amir Nureddin, son and successor of Zangi. During three military expeditions led by Shirkuh into Egypt to prevent its falling to the Latin-Christian (Frankish) rulers of the states established by the First Crusade, a complex, three-way struggle developed between Amalric I, the Latin king of Jerusalem, Shawar, the powerful vizier of the Egyptian Fatimid caliph, and Shirkuh. After Shirkuh's death and after ordering Shawar's assassination, Saladin, in 1169 at the age of 31, was appointed both commander of the Syrian troops and vizier of Egypt.

His relatively quick rise to power must be attributed not only to the clannish nepotism of his Kurdish family but also to his own emerging talents. As vizier of Egypt, he received the title king (malik), although he was generally known as the sultan. Saladin's position was further enhanced when, in 1171, he abolished the Shi'i Fatimid caliphate, proclaimed a return to Sunnah in Egypt, and consequently became its sole ruler.

Although he remained for a time theoretically a vassal of Nureddin, that relationship ended with the Syrian emir's death in 1174. Using his rich agricultural possessions in Egypt as a financial base, Saladin soon moved into Syria with a small but strictly disciplined army to claim the regency on behalf of the young son of his former suzerain.
Soon, however, he abandoned this claim, and from 1174 until 1186 he zealously pursued a goal of uniting, under his own standard, all the Muslim territories of Syria, northern Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Egypt.

This he accomplished by skillful diplomacy backed when necessary by the swift and resolute use of military force. Gradually, his reputation grew as a generous and virtuous but firm ruler, devoid of pretense, licentiousness, and cruelty. In contrast to the bitter dissension and intense rivalry that had up to then hampered the Muslims in their resistance to the crusaders, Saladin's singleness of purpose induced them to rearm both physically and spiritually.

Saladin's every act was inspired by an intense and unwavering devotion to the idea of jihad ("holy war")-the Muslim equivalent of the Christian crusade. It was an essential part of his policy to encourage the growth and spread of Muslim religious institutions.

He courted its scholars and preachers, founded colleges and mosques for their use, and commissioned them to write edifying works especially on the jihad itself. Through moral regeneration, which was a genuine part of his own way of life, he tried to re-create in his own realm some of the same zeal and enthusiasm that had proved so valuable to the first generations of Muslims when, five centuries before, they had conquered half the known world.

Saladin also succeeded in turning the military balance of power in his favour-more by uniting and disciplining a great number of unruly forces than by employing new or improved military techniques. When at last, in 1187, he was able to throw his full strength into the struggle with the Latin crusader kingdoms, his armies were their equals. On July 4, 1187, aided by his own military good sense and by a phenomenal lack of it on the part of his enemy, Saladin trapped and destroyed in one blow an exhausted and thirst-crazed army of crusaders at Hattin, near Tiberias in northern Palestine.

So great were the losses in the ranks of the crusaders in this one battle that the Muslims were quickly able to overrun nearly the entire Kingdom of Jerusalem. Acre, Toron, Beirut, Sidon, Nazareth, Caesarea, Nabulus, Jaffa (Yafo), and Ascalon (Ashqelon) fell within three months.

But Saladin's crowning achievement and the most disastrous blow to the whole crusading movement came on Oct. 2, 1187, when Jerusalem, holy to both Muslim and Christian alike, surrendered to the Sultan's army after 88 years in the hands of the Franks. In stark contrast to the city's conquest by the Christians, when blood flowed freely during the barbaric slaughter of its inhabitants, the Muslim reconquest was marked by the civilized and courteous behaviour of Saladin and his troops. His sudden success, which in 1189 saw the crusaders reduced to the occupation of only three cities, was, however, marred by his failure to capture Tyre, an almost impregnable coastal fortress to which the scattered Christian survivors of the recent battles flocked. It was to be the rallying point of the Latin counterattack.

Most probably, Saladin did not anticipate the European reaction to his capture of Jerusalem, an event that deeply shocked the West and to which it responded with a new call for a crusade. In addition to many great nobles and famous knights, this crusade, the third, brought the kings of three countries into the struggle.

The magnitude of the Christian effort and the lasting impression it made on contemporaries gave the name of Saladin, as their gallant and chivalrous enemy, an added lustre that his military victories alone could never confer on him.

The Crusade itself was long and exhausting, and, despite the obvious, though at times impulsive, military genius of Richard I the Lion-Heart, it achieved almost nothing. Therein lies the greatest-but often unrecognized--achievement of Saladin. With tired and unwilling feudal levies, committed to fight only a limited season each year, his indomitable will enabled him to fight the greatest champions of Christendom to a draw. The crusaders retained little more than a precarious foothold on the Levantine coast, and when King Richard set sail from the Orient in October 1192, the battle was over.

Saladin withdrew to his capital at Damascus. Soon, the long campaigning seasons and the endless hours in the saddle caught up with him, and he died. While his relatives were already scrambling for pieces of the empire, his friends found that the most powerful and most generous ruler in the Muslim world had not left enough money to pay for his own grave.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
H.A.R. Gibb, "The Arabic Sources for the Life of Saladin," Speculum, 25:58-72 (1950). C.W. Wilson's English translation of one of the most important Arabic works, The Life of Saladin (1897), was reprinted in 1971. The best biography to date is Stanley Lane-Poole, Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, new ed. (1926, reprinted 1964), although it does not take account of all the sources.
See: http://stp.ling.uu.se/~kamalk/language/saladin.html
Ed. J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
1793_Newton_farthing.JPG
1793 AE Farthing, London, Middlesex.87 viewsObverse: Ic • NEWTON. Bare headed bust of Isaac Newton facing left.
Reverse: FARTHING. Britannia, helmeted and draped, facing left seated on globe, shield at her side, holding olive-branch in her extended right hand and spear in her left; in exergue, 1793.
Edge: “Plain".
Diameter : 21mm
Dalton & Hamer : 1160 | Cobwright : I.0010/F.0050 (listed as an evasion piece)

The die engraver for this token was most likely Thomas Wyon but the manufacturer is uncertain.

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), was an English physicist and mathematician who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. Newton shares credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the invention of calculus and also made seminal contributions to optics. He built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the many colours of the visible spectrum.
Newton's “Principia” formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, which came to dominate scientists' view of the physical universe for the next three centuries.
Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Unusually for a member of the Cambridge faculty of the day, he refused to take holy orders in the Church of England, perhaps because he privately rejected the doctrine of the Trinity.
In his later life, Newton became president of the Royal Society and became Warden of the Royal Mint in 1696. He became Master of the Royal Mint in 1699 and was very instrumental in developing techniques to try and prevent the counterfeiting of English coinage.
*Alex
NapoleonIII1855Exposition.JPG
1855. Napoleon III, Exposition Universalle A.179 viewsObv. Head of Napoleon III NAPOLEON III EMPEREUR
Rev. French Imperial crest encircled by wreath naming the exposition in full, itself surrounded by the coats of arms of all the French regions (I believe) EXPOSITION UNIVERSELLE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRIE BEAUX ARTS/ PARIS 1855. Chalon et Estienne engraved on open scroll in ex.

A medal struck in 1855 to commemorate the 'Exposition Universelle des produits de l'Agriculture, de l'Industrie et des Beaux-Arts de Paris 1855', France's first world fair, following four years on from London's Great Exhibition.
LordBest
EdwardVIIasPoW1874.JPG
1874. Edward VII, as Prince of Wales. Royal Horticultural Buildings. Taylor 180b105 viewsObv. Head of Edward left ALBERT EDWARD PRINCE OF WALES PRESIDENT, G MORGAN SC, on truncation BOEHM
Rev. The Royal Horticultural Buildings LONDON ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF ALL FINE ARTS INDUSTRIES AND INVENTIONS on scroll below central medallion MDCCCLXXIV

AE51. Taylor 180b.

This medal is arguably the most complex architectural medal ever undertaken, and in my opinion the most accomplished. The depth of view is truly astounding, though this does not come accross to well in the picture. The depiction of the buildings is used as the cover art of Taylor's "The Architectural Medal: England in the Nineteenth Century", British Museum Publication, 1978.

LordBest
s-pb-tc.jpg
1919 ALEXIUS PB TETARTERON S-Unlisted DOC 37 CLBC 2.5.1 49 viewsOBV Full length figures of John II beardless on r., and st Demetrius, holding between them labarum on long shaft. Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar piece and jeweled loros of a simplified type. Saint wears short military tunic , breastplate, and saigon; holds sword, point resting on ground, in r. hand.

REV Full length figures of Alexius on l. and of Irene, holding between them cross on long shaft. Both wear stemma, divitision, collar piece and jeweled loros of a simplified type.

Size 18 mm

Weight 6.31 gm

These lead Tetarteron are coronation issues of John II and believed to be the origin of the series of tetartera. Thessalonica Mint

DOC lists 6 examples with weights running from3.33 gm to 6.16 gm and sizes from 17mm to 19mm

My first example that I am able to get good photographs from, most are white lead very difficult to photograph, this example also has much more detail than normal.
Simon
f6~0.jpg
1921 ALEXIUS Metropolitan TETARTERON S-1921 Doc 34 CLBC 2.4.2 Grierson 1043 27 views
Bust of Christ, bearded with cross behind head, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds gospels in l. hand. UU in fields of cross.

Rev Bust of emperor wearing stemma, divitision, collar piece, and jeweled loros of simplified type; holds in r hand jeweled scepter and in l, gl. cr.

Size 18mm

Weight 3.5gm

Metropolitan Issues were minted in Constantinople, each of these coins had an added silver content of 3% and were also issued with a very light silver wash (Silver traces are common on Cosmopolitan issues but intact fully silvered coins are very rare.) These more than likely were tariffed at a higher rate than the Thessalonica issues that have been shown to have no silver content. Cosmopolitan issue are in general far scarcer than the Thessalonica issues

DOC catalog lists 3 examples with weights ranging from 1.6gm to 3.49gm and size is universal at 18mm

All of the Constantinople coins are uncommon but this one appears very rarely, I would mark its rarity 4/5 This example has a very dark patina in hand, I lightened this pic for a better view of the details. This is one of the most difficult of Alexius coins to obtain.
Simon
s-1921c.jpg
1921c ALEXIUS Metropolitan TETARTERON S-1921 Doc 34 CLBC 2.4.2 Grierson 1043 20 viewsBust of Christ, bearded with cross behind head, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds gospels in l. hand. UU in fields of cross.

Rev Bust of emperor wearing stemma, divitision, collar piece, and jeweled loros of simplified type; holds in r hand jeweled scepter and in l, gl. cr.

Size 15.63mm

Weight 4.0gm

Metropolitan Issues were minted in Constantinople, each of these coins had an added silver content of 3% and were also issued with a very light silver wash (Silver traces are common on Cosmopolitan issues but intact fully silvered coins are very rare.) These more than likely were tariffed at a higher rate than the Thessalonica issues that have been shown to have no silver content. Cosmopolitan issue are in general far scarcer than the Thessalonica issues

DOC catalog lists 3 examples with weights ranging from 1.6gm to 3.49gm and size is universal at 18mm

This is one of the most difficult of Alexius coins to obtain. This is only the third example I have seen in twenty years, not in great condition but is a great rarity.
Simon
b3.jpg
1930 ALEXIUS AE TETARTERON S-1930 DOC 39 CLBC 2.4.6 49 viewsOBV Bust of Virgin nimbate, orans, wearing tunic and maphorion.

REV Bust of emperor wearing stemma, divitision and chlamys; holds in r. hand labarum on a long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 20.10

Weight 2.8gm

This is a Thessalonica minted coin, it contains no silver. It is believed to be valued at 1/864 Hyperpyron and the Metropolitan (Constantinople) issues at 1/288 Hyperpyron. This coins are much more common than Metropolitan coins and very abundant in today’s marketplace.

DOC lists 5 examples with weights ranging from 2.05gm to 4.02gm and sizes ranging from 20mm to 22m

It is difficult to find a clean strike of this issue. This one is unusually clean. They way to differ this coin from Manuel's version is the position of Alexius arm on the labrum.
Simon
2m.jpg
1930 ALEXIUS AE TETARTERON S-1930 DOC 39 CLBC 2.4.6 56 viewsOBV Bust of Virgin nimbate, orans, wearing tunic and maphorion.

REV Bust of emperor wearing stemma, divitision and chlamys; holds in r. hand labarum on a long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 22.75

Weight 3.6mm

This is a Thessalonica minted coin, it contains no silver. It is believed to be valued at 1/864 Hyperpyron and the Metropolitan (Constantinople) issues at 1/288 Hyperpyron. This coins are much more common than Metropolitan coins and very abundant in today’s marketplace.

DOC lists 5 examples with weights ranging from 2.05gm to 4.02gm and sizes ranging from 20mm to 22m

This coin has been clearly overstruck over an earlier follis. DOC also notes 3 out the five examples are also overstruck. I believe this issue was created quickly when a shortage of the new coinage occurred. It is difficult to find a clean strike of this
1 commentsSimon
k5.jpg
1930c ALEXIUS AE TETARTERON S-1930 DOC 39 CLBC 2.4.6 18 viewsOBV Bust of Virgin nimbate, orans, wearing tunic and maphorion.

REV Bust of emperor wearing stemma, divitision and chlamys; holds in r. hand labarum on a long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 21.58mm

Weight 2.8gm

This is a Thessalonica minted coin, it contains no silver. It is believed to be valued at 1/864 Hyperpyron and the Metropolitan (Constantinople) issues at 1/288 Hyperpyron. This coins are much more common than Metropolitan coins and very abundant in today’s marketplace.

DOC lists 5 examples with weights ranging from 2.05gm to 4.02gm and sizes ranging from 20mm to 22m

It is difficult to find a clean strike of this issue.
Simon
s6~0.jpg
1947 JOHN II HYPERPYRON NOMISMA IV DOC 1 Thessalonica First Coinage SBCV-194715 views JOHN II HYPERPYRON NOMISMA IV DOC 1 Thessalonica First Coinage SBCV-1947
OBV Christ Bearded and Nimbate , wearing tunic and kolobion, seated upon a throne without back: r. hand raised in benediction , holds gospels in l.

REV Half length figure of emperor on l. and of Virgin , holding between them Partriarcghal cross on long shaft. Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar piece, and paneled loros of simplified type; holds anexikakia in r. hand. Virgin wears tunic and maphorion. Manus Dei in upeer left field.

Size 29mm

Weight 4.5gm

Thicker metal than Constantinople issue, very difficult to differentiate between the same issue from different mints.
Simon
x4.jpg
1953 JOHN II AE TETARTERON S-1953V DOC 14 Zervos Variation92 viewsOBV Half length figure of Christ, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds gospels open in l. hand

REV. Bust of emperor wearing stemma, divitision and chlamys; holds in r. hand jeweled scepter on a long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size

Weight

This is a variation of the normal SBCV-1953 first published by Orestes Zervos in Jan 2005, The difference is very subtle, the article deals with this being found in the excavations at Corinth in almost equal numbers of SBCV-1953 but I found it a difficult and rare coin to acquire.

DOC list 9 examples with weights ranging from 2.63gm to 4.19gm and sizes ranging from 19mm to 24mm
3 commentsSimon
h4~0.jpg
1953A JOHN II AE TETARTERON S-1953V DOC 14 Zervos Variation 20 viewsOBV Half length figure of Christ, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds gospels open in l. hand

REV. Bust of emperor wearing stemma, divitision and chlamys; holds in r. hand jeweled scepter on a long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 19.17mm

Weight 3.6gm

This is a variation of the normal SBCV-1953 first published by Orestes Zervos in Jan 2005, The difference is very subtle, the article deals with this being found in the excavations at Corinth in almost equal numbers of SBCV-1953 but I found it a difficult and rare coin to acquire.

Simon
c6~0.jpg
1978 MANUEL AE HALF TETARTERON S-1978 DOC 21 CLBC 4.4.8 30 views
OBV Bust of Christ beardless and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds scrolls in l. hand. Pellet in each limb of nimbus cross
.
REV Full length figure of emperor, bearded, wearing uncertain dress (stemma, short military tunic, breastplate and sagion?) holds in r. hand scepter cruciger and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 19mm
Weight 3.23gm

DOC lists 3 examples with weights ranging from 2.66 gm to 2.75 gm with sizes all 20mm

This coin differs from S-1981 not only by size but DOC notes a beard on Christ on S-1981 where as S-1978 is beardless , I however am finding that a difficult distinction to concur with, the beard on Christ can be a simple dot on his chin, however with this style of coins I am finding the lighter weight coins with perhaps a beard with one dot on chin in another example a series of dots making the beard, in these larger and heavier beards the dot on the chin is still there but not as distinct. Interesting to note that Hendy did not note a beard in his 1969 book but in his latter DOC works he does, the earlier catalogs such as Ratto do note a difference in the two styles because of the weight and beard.

This coin is a choice example Good Very Fine.
1 commentsSimon
s-1978c.jpg
1978c MANUEL AE HALF TETARTERON S-1978 DOC 21 CLBC 4.4.8 25 viewsOBV Bust of Christ beardless and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds scrolls in l. hand. Pellet in each limb of nimbus cross
.
REV Full length figure of emperor, bearded, wearing uncertain dress (stemma, short military tunic, breastplate and sagion?) holds in r. hand scepter cruciger and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 18.63mm
Weight 3.1gm

DOC lists 3 examples with weights ranging from 2.66 gm to 2.75 gm with sizes all 20mm

This coin differs from S-1981 not only by size but DOC notes a beard on Christ on S-1981 where as S-1978 is beardless , I however am finding that a difficult distinction to concur with, the beard on Christ can be a simple dot on his chin, however with this style of coins I am finding the lighter weight coins with perhaps a beard with one dot on chin in another example a series of dots making the beard, in these larger and heavier beards the dot on the chin is still there but not as distinct. Interesting to note that Hendy did not note a beard in his 1969 book but in his latter DOC works he does, the earlier catalogs such as Ratto do note a difference in the two styles because of the weight and beard.
Simon
JuliusCaesarDenVenus.jpg
1aa Julius Caesar166 views60 BC (formation of the First Triumvirate)-44 BC (assassination)

Denarius
44 BC

Caesar's head, right, eight-pointed star behind. CAESAR IMP.
Venus standing left, holding victory and scepter. P SEPVLLIVS MACER.

RSC 41

Plutarch said of the first triumvirate: There is a law among the Romans, that whoever desires the honour of a triumph must stay without the city and expect his answer. And another, that those who stand for the consulship shall appear personally upon the place. Caesar was come home at the very time of choosing consuls, and being in a difficulty between these two opposite laws, sent to the senate to desire that, since he was obliged to be absent, he might sue for the consulship by his friends. Cato, being backed by the law, at first opposed his request; afterwards perceiving that Caesar had prevailed with a great part of the senate to comply with it, he made it his business to gain time, and went on wasting the whole day in speaking. Upon which Caesar thought fit to let the triumph fall, and pursued the consulship. Entering the town and coming forward immediately, he had recourse to a piece of state policy by which everybody was deceived but Cato. This was the reconciling of Crassus and Pompey, the two men who then were most powerful in Rome. There had been a quarrel between them, which he now succeeded in making up, and by this means strengthened himself by the united power of both, and so under the cover of an action which carried all the appearance of a piece of kindness and good-nature, caused what was in effect a revolution in the government. For it was not the quarrel between Pompey and Caesar, as most men imagine, which was the origin of the civil wars, but their union, their conspiring together at first to subvert the aristocracy, and so quarrelling afterwards between themselves.

Of Caesar's military leadership, Plutarch wrote: He was so much master of the good-will and hearty service of his soldiers that those who in other expeditions were but ordinary men displayed a courage past defeating or withstanding when they went upon any danger where Caesar's glory was concerned. . . . This love of honour and passion for distinction were inspired into them and cherished in them by Caesar himself, who, by his unsparing distribution of money and honours, showed them that he did not heap up wealth from the wars for his own luxury, or the gratifying his private pleasures, but that all he received was but a public fund laid by the reward and encouragement of valour, and that he looked upon all he gave to deserving soldiers as so much increase to his own riches. Added to this also, there was no danger to which he did not willingly expose himself, no labour from which he pleaded an exemption. His contempt of danger was not so much wondered at by his soldiers because they knew how much he coveted honour. But his enduring so much hardship, which he did to all appearance beyond his natural strength, very much astonished them. For he was a spare man, had a soft and white skin, was distempered in the head and subject to an epilepsy, which, it is said, first seized him at Corduba. But he did not make the weakness of his constitution a pretext for his ease, but rather used war as the best physic against his indispositions; whilst, by indefatigable journeys, coarse diet, frequent lodging in the field, and continual laborious exercise, he struggled with his diseases and fortified his body against all attacks. He slept generally in his chariots or litters, employing even his rest in pursuit of action. In the day he was thus carried to the forts, garrisons, and camps, one servant sitting with him, who used to write down what he dictated as he went, and a soldier attending behind him with his sword drawn.
2 commentsBlindado
LucillaSestVenus.jpg
1bm Lucilla164 viewsWife of Lucius Verus, executed 182 AD

Sestertius
Draped bust, right, LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F
Venus standing facing left holding apple, drawing out robe, VENUS

RIC 1767

Daughter of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior, she married Lucius Verus in 164.

According to Herodian: For the present, however, the memory of his father and his respect for his advisers held Commodus in check. But then a disastrous stroke of ill fortune completely altered his previously mild, moderate disposition. It happened this way. The oldest of the emperor's sisters was Lucilla. She had formerly been married to Lucius Verus Caesar. . . . But after Lucius died, Lucilla, who retained all the privileges of her imperial position, was married by her father to Pompeianus.

Commodus, too, allowed his sister to retain the imperial honors; she continued to occupy the imperial seat at the theaters, and the sacred fire was carried before her. But when Commodus married Crispina, custom demanded that the front seat at the theater be assigned to the empress. Lucilla found this difficult to endure, and felt that any honor paid to the empress was an insult to her; but since she was well aware that her husband Pompeianus was devoted to Commodus, she told him nothing about her plans to seize control of the empire. Instead, she tested the sentiments of a wealthy young nobleman, Quadratus, with whom she was rumored to be sleeping in secret. Complaining constantly about this matter of imperial precedence, she soon persuaded the young man to set in motion a plot which brought destruction upon himself and the entire senate.

Quadratus, in selecting confederates among the prominent senators, prevailed upon Quintianus, a bold and reckless young senator, to conceal a dagger beneath his robe and, watching for a suitable time and place, to stab Commodus; as for the rest, he assured Quintianus that he would set matters straight by bribes.

But the assassin, standing in the entrance to the amphitheater (it was dark there and he hoped to escape detection), drew his dagger and shouted at Commodus that he had been sent by the Senate to kill him. Quintianus wasted time making his little speech and waving his dagger; as a result, he was seized by the emperor's bodyguards before he could strike, and died for his stupidity in revealing the plot prematurely.

This was the initial reason for the young emperor's hatred of the Senate. He took Quintianus' words to heart and, ever mindful of what his attacker had said, now considered the entire Senate his collective enemy.

This incident also gave Perennis sufficient excuse for taking action, for he was always advising the emperor to eliminate and destroy the prominent men. By confiscating their property, Perennis easily made himself the richest man of his time. After the attempt at assassination had been thoroughly investigated by the prefect, Commodus without mercy put to death his sister, all those actually involved in the plot, and any who were under the slightest suspicion as well.
3 commentsBlindado
CrispinaAsJuno.jpg
1bo Crispina25 viewsWife of Commodus

As

Draped bust, right, CRISPINA AVGVSTA
Juno, IVNO LVCINA

RIC 680

We know little about Crispina. The Historia Augusta notes, "[W]hen Commodus married Crispina, custom demanded that the front seat at the theater be assigned to the empress. Lucilla found this difficult to endure. . . . His wife, whom he caught in adultery, he drove from his house, then banished her, and later put her to death."
1 commentsBlindado
MaximinusDenPax.jpg
1ch Maximinus51 views235-238

Denarius

Laureate draped bust, right, IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG
Pax stg, PAX AVGVSTI

RIC 12

Herodian recorded: There was in the Roman army a man named Maximinus whose half-barbarian family lived in a village in the most remote section of Thrace. They say that as a boy he was a shepherd, but that in his youthful prime he was drafted into the cavalry because of his size and strength. After a short time, favored by Fortune, he advanced through all the military ranks, rising eventually to the command of armies and the governing of provinces.

Because of his military experience, which I have noted above, Alexander put Maximinus in charge of training recruits for the entire army; his task was to instruct them in military duties and prepare them for service in war. By carrying out his assignments thoroughly and diligently, Maximinus won the affection of the soldiers. He not only taught them their duties; he also demonstrated personally to each man what he was to do. . . .

He won their devotion by giving them all kinds of gifts and rewards. Consequently, the recruits, who included an especially large number of Pannonians, praised the masculinity of Maximinus and despised Alexander as a mother's boy. . . . The soldiers were therefore ready for a change of emperors. . . . They therefore assembled on the drill field for their regular training; when Maximinus took his position before them, either unaware of what was happening or having secretly made prior preparations for the event, the soldiers robed him in the imperial purple and proclaimed him emperor. . . .

When he assumed control of the empire, Maximinus reversed the situation, using his power savagely to inspire great fear. He undertook to substitute for a mild and moderate rule an autocracy in every way barbarous, well aware of the hostility directed toward him because he was the first man to rise from a lowly station to the post of highest honor. His character was naturally barbaric, as his race was barbarian. He had inherited the brutal disposition of his countrymen, and he intended to make his imperial position secure by acts of cruelty, fearing that he would become an object of contempt to the Senate and the people, who might be more conscious of his lowly origin than impressed by the honor he had won. . . .

[A]fter Maximinus had completed three years as emperor, the people of Africa first took up arms and touched off a serious revolt for one of those trivial reasons which often prove fatal to a tyrant. . . . The entire populace of the city quickly assembled when the news was known, and the youths proclaimed Gordian Augustus. He begged to be excused, protesting that he was too old. . . .

[In Rome], the senators met before they received accurate information concerning Maximinus and, placing their trust for the future in the present situation, proclaimed Gordian Augustus, together with his son, and destroyed Maximinus' emblems of honor. . . . Embassies composed of senators and distinguished equestrians were sent to all the governors with letters which clearly revealed the attitude of the Senate and the Roman people. . . . The majority of the governors welcomed the embassies and had no difficulty in arousing the provinces to revolt because of the general hatred of Maximinus. . . .


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TraianDecSestDacia.jpg
1cq Trajan Decius24 views249-251

Sestertius

Laureate, cuirassed bust, right, MP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG
Dacia standing left holding draco standard, or staff surmounted by a donkey's head, DACIA SC

RIC 101b

The Byzantine historian Zosimus recorded in his New History: [Philip], thinking that he had by these means established himself in the possession of the empire, he made an expedition against the Carpi, who had plundered all the country about the Ister. . . . As there were at that time many disturbances in the empire, the eastern provinces, which were uneasy, partly, owing to the exactions of exorbitant tributes, and partly to their dislike of Priscus, their governor, who was a man of an intolerably evil disposition, wished for innovation, and set up Papianus for emperor, while the inhabitants of Moesia and Pannonia were more inclined to Marinus.

Philip, being disturbed by these events, desired the senate cither to assist him against such imminent dangers, or, if they were displeased with his government, to suffer him to lay it down and dismiss him quietly. No person making a reply to this, Decius, a person of illustrious birth and rank, and moreover gifted, with every virtue, observed, that he was unwise in being so much concerned at those events, for they would vanish of themselves, and could not possibly long subsist. And though the event corresponded with the conjecture of Decius, which long experience in the world had enabled him to make, Papianus and Marinus being taken off, yet Philip was still in fear, knowing how obnoxious the officers in that country were to the army. He therefore desired Decius to assume the command of the legions in Moesia and Pannonia. As he refused this under the plea that it was inconvenient both for Philip and himself, Philip made use of the rhetoric of necessity, as the Thessalians term it, and compelled him to go to Pannonia to punish the accomplices of Marinus. The army in that country, finding that Decius punished all that had offended, thought it most politic to avoid the present danger and to set up a sovereign who would better consult the good of the state, and who, being more expert both in civil and military affairs, might without difficulty conquer Philip.

For this purpose they clothed Decius in purple, and notwithstanding all his apprehensions of future mischances, compelled him to assume the supreme authority. Philip therefore, on hearing that Decius was thus made emperor, collected all his forces to overpower him. The supporters of Decius, though they knew that the enemy had greatly the advantage in numbers, still retained their confidence, trusting to the general skill and prudence of Decius in affairs. And when the two armies engaged, although the one was superior in number, yet the other so excelled it in discipline and conduct, that a great number of Philip's partisans were slain and he himself amongst them, together with his son, on whom he had conferred the title of Caesar. Decius thus acquired the empire.

The Scythians, taking advantage of the disorder which every where prevailed through the negligence of Philip, crossed the Tanais, and pillaged the countries in the vicinity of Thrace. But Decius, marching against them, was not only victorious in every battle, but recovered the spoils they had taken, and endeavoured to cut off their retreat to their own country, intending to destroy them all, to prevent their ever again, making a similar incursion. For this purpose he posted Gallus on the bank of the Tanais with a competent force, and led in person the remainder of his army against the enemy. This expedition exceeded to his utmost wish; but Gallus, who was disposed to innovation, sent agents to the Barbarians, requesting their concurrence in a conspiracy against Decius. To this they gave a willing assent, and Gallus retained his post on the bank of the Tanais, but the Barbarians divided themselves into three battalions, the first of which posted itself behind a marsh. Decius having destroyed a considerable number of the first battalion, the second advanced, which he likewise defeated, and discovered part of the third, which lay near the marsh. Gallus sent intelligence to him, that he might march against them across the fen. Proceeding therefore incautiously in an unknown place, he and his army became entangled in the mire, and under that disadvantage were so assailed by the missiles of the Barbarians, that not one of them escaped with life. Thus ended the life of the excellent emperor Decius.

Eutropius wrote: DECIUS, a native of Lower Pannonia, born at Budalia, assumed the government. . . . When he and his son had reigned two years, they were both killed in the country of the Barbarians, and enrolled among the gods.
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ValerianAntVict.jpg
1cx Valerian38 views253-260

Antoninianus

Radiate draped and cuirassed bust, right, IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG
Victory standing left, holding wreath and palm, VICTORIA AVGG

RIC 125

Persians surrounded Valerian's army in the East in 260 and took the emperor prisoner. He died on an unknown date in captivity.

Zosimus noted: The nations subject to the Romans being unable to endure [Maximinus'] monstrous cruelty, and greatly distressed by the ravages he committed, the Africans proclaimed Gordianus and his son, of the same name, emperors, and sent ambassadors to Rome, one of whom was Valerianus, a man of consular rank, who afterwards himself became emperor. . . .

Aemilianus advanced with great speed into Italy, and the armies were very near to each other, when the soldiers of Gallus, reflecting that his force was much inferior to the enemy both in number and strength, and likewise that he was a negligent indolent man, put him and his son to death, and going over to the party of Aemilianus, appeared to establish his authority. But Valerianus brought into Italy from beyond the Alps a vast army, with which he deemed himself secure of conquering Aemilianus. The soldiers of Aemilianus, who saw that his conduct was more like that of a private sentinel than of an emperor, now put him to death as a person unfit for so weighty a charge.

By these means Valerianus became emperor with universal consent, and employed himself in the regulation of affairs. But the excursions of the Scythians, and of the Marcomanni, who made an inroad into all the countries adjacent to the empire, reduced Thessalonica to extreme danger; and though they were with muct difficulty compelled to raise the siege by the brave defence of those within, yet all Greece was in alarm. The Athenians repaired their walls, which they had never thought worth their care since Sylla threw them down. The Peloponnesians likewise fortified the Isthmus, and all Greece put itself upon its guard for the general security.

Valerianus, perceiving the empire in danger on every side, associated his son Gallienus with himself in the government! and went himself into the east to oppose the Persians. He entrusted to his son the care of the forces in Europe, thus leaving him to resist the Barbarians who poured in upon him in every direction. . . .

Valerianus had by this time heard of the disturbances in Bithynia, but his district would not allow him to confide the defence of it to any of his generals. He therefore sent Felix to Byzantium, and went in person from Antioch into Cappadocia, and after he had done some injury to every city by which he passed, he returned homeward. But the plague then attacked his troops, and destroyed most of them, at the time when Sapor made an attempt upon the east, and reduced most of it into subjection. In the mean time, Valerianus became so effeminate and indolent, that he dispaired of ever recovering from the present ill state of affairs, and would have concluded the war by a present of money; had not Sapor sent back the ambasadors who were sent to him with that proposal, without their errand, desiring the emperor to come and speak with him in person concerning the affairs he wished to adjust; To which he most imprudently consented, and going without consideration to Sapor with a small retinue, to treat for a peace, was presently laid hold of by the enemy, and so ended his days in the capacity of a slave among the Persians, to the disgrace of the Roman name in all future times.
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ClaudiusIIAntLiberalit.jpg
1di Claudius Gothicus26 views268-270

AE antoninianus

Radiate cuirassed bust right, IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG
Liberlitas stg, LIBERALITAS AVG

RIC 57

Zosimus recorded: When the troops were calmed by their commanders, Claudius was chosen emperor, having previously been designed for that dignity by general consent. Aureolus, who had for a long time kept himself out of the hands of Gallienus, presently sent agents to Claudius, to effect a peace. Surrendering himself, he was killed by the guards of the emperor, who still remembered the hatred they bore against him for his treachery.

The Scythians were by this time so elated by their former success, that they appointed a place of meeting with the Heruli, Peucae, and Gothi, near the river Tyra, which empties itself into the Pontus; where having built six thousand vessels, and put on board them three hundred and twenty thousand men, they sailed across the Pontus, and made an attempt on Tomes, a fortified town, but were repulsed from it. From thence they proceed to Marcianopolis, a city of Mysia, but failing there likewise in their attack on it, they took the opportunity of a favourable wind and sailed forward. . . . they passed through the Hellespont, and arrived at Mount Athos. Having there refitted and careened their vessels, they laid siege to Cassandria and Thessalonica, which they were near taking by means of machines which they raised against the walls. But hearing that the emperor was advancing with an army, they went into the interior, plundering all the neighbourhood of Doberus and Pelagonia. There they sustained a loss of three thousand men, who were met with by the Dalmatian cavalry, and with the rest of their force engaged the army of the emperor. Great numbers were slain in this battle on both sides, but the Romans, by a pretended flight, drew the Barbarians into an ambuscade and killed more than fifty thousand of them.

Egypt being thus reduecd by the Palmyrenians, the Barbarians, who survived the battle of Naissus between Claudius and the Scythians, defending themselves with their carriages which went before them, marched towards Macedon, but were so distressed by the want of necessaries, that many of them and of their beasts perished with hunger. They were met likewise by the Roman cavalry, who having killed many of them, drove the rest towards Mount Haemus; where being surrounded by the Roman army, they lost a vast number of men. But a quarrel ensuing between the Roman horse and foot soldiers, the emperor wishing the foot to engage the Barbarians, the Romans, after a smart engagement, were defeated with considerable loss, but the cavalry, coming up immediately, redeemed in some degree the miscarriage of the infantry. After this battle, the Barbarians proceeded on their march, and were pursued by the Romans. The pirates who cruized about Crete and Rhodes retired without doing any thing worthy of mention; and being attacked by the plague on their way home, some of them died in Thrace and some in Macedon. All that survived were either admitted into the Roman legions, or had lands assigned for them to cultivate and so become husbandmen. Nor was the plague confined to the Barbarians alone, but began to infest the Romans, many of whom died, and amongst the rest Claudius, a person adorned with every virtue. His death was a severe loss to his subjeets, and was consequently much regretted by them.
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MagnentiusCentenionalis.jpg
1ek Magnentius18 views350-353

Centenionalis

Bare-headed, draped & cuirassed bust, right, D N MAGNEN-TIVS P F AVG
Two victories, VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET CAES

RIC 173

Zosimus recorded: Magnentius thus gained the empire, and possessed himself all the nations beyond the Alps, and the whole of Italy. Vetranio, general of the Pannonian army, upon hearing of the good fortune of Magnentius, was himself inflamed with the same desire, and was declared emperor by the legions that were with him, at Mursa, a city of Pannonia. While affairs were thus situated, the Persians plundered the eastern countries, particularly Mesopotamia. But Constantine, though he was defeated by the Persians, yet resolved to subdue the factions of Magnentius and Vetranio. . . . Constantius advanced from the east against Magnentius, but deemed it best first to win over Vetranio to his interest, as it was difficult to oppose two rebels at once. On the other hand, Magnentius used great endeavours to make Vetranio his friend, and thus to put an end to the war against Constantius. Both therefore sent agents to Vetranio, who chose to adopt the friendship of Constantius rather than that of Magnentius. The ambassadors of Magnentius returned without effecting their purpose. Constantius desired that both armies might join, to undertake the war against Magnentius. To which proposal Vetranio readily assented. . . . When the soldiers heard this, having been previously corrupted by valuable presents, they cried out, that they would have no mock emperors, and immediately began to strip the purple from Vetranio, and pulled him from the throne with the determination to reduce him to a private station. . . . Constantius, having so well succeeded in his design against Vetranio, marched against Magnentius, having first conferred the title of Caesar on Gallus, the son of his uncle, and brother to Julian who was afterwards emperor, and given him in marriage his sister Constantia. . . .

Constantius now gaining the victory, by the army of Magnentius taking to flight, a terrible slaughter ensued. Magnentius, therefore being deprived ofall hope, and apprehensive lest the remnant of his army should deliver him to Constantius, deemed it best to retire from Pannonia, and to enter Italy, in order to raise an army there for another attempt. But when he heard that the people of Rome were in favour of Constantius, either from hatred to himself, or because they had heard of the event of the battle, he resolved to cross the Alps, and .seek for himself a refuge among the nations on that side. Hearing however that Constantius had likewise engaged the Barbarians near the Rhine against him, and that |65 he could not enter Gaul, as some officers had obstructed his passage thither in order to make their court to Constantius, nor through Spain into Mauritania, on account of the Roman allies there who studied to please Constantius. In these circumstances he preferred a voluntary death to a dishonourable life, and chose rather to die by his own hand than by that of his enemy.

Thus died Magnentius, having been emperor three years and six months. He was of Barbarian extraction, but lived among the Leti, a people of Gaul. He understood Latin, was bold when favoured by fortune, but cowardly in adversity, ingenious in concealing his natural evil disposition, and deemed by those who did not know him to be a man of candour and goodness. I have thought it just to make these observations concerning Magnentius, that the world may be acquainted With his true character, since it has been the opinion of some that he performed much good, who never in his life did any thing with a good intention.
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ProcopiusAEChiRo.jpg
1er Procopius18 views365-366

AE3

Diademed, draped & cuirassed bust left, D N PROCOPIVS P F AVG
Procopius standing facing, head right, holding labarum in right hand, left resting on shield set on the ground; Chi-rho in upper right field & unidentified object in left at foot; mintmark CONS Gamma.

RIC 17a

Zosimus tells us: On [Valens'] departure from Constantinople, the rebellion of Procopius commenced. This person had been intrusted by Julian, being one of his relations, with a part of his forces, and had been charged to march with Sebastianus through Adiabene, and to meet Julian, who took another route. Permission, moreover, was given him to wear a purple robe, for a reason which no other person was acquainted with. But the deity being pleased to ordain it otherwise, and Jovian having succeeded to the imperial dignity, Procopius immediately delivered up the imperial robe which he had received from Julian, confessing why it had been given to him, and entreating the emperor to absolve him from his military oath, and to allow him to live in retirement, and to attend to agriculture and his own private affairs. Having obtained this, he went with his wife and children to Caesarea in Cappadocia, intending to reside in that place, where he possessed a valuable estate. During his abode there, Valentinian and Valens being made emperors, and being suspicious of him, sent persons to take him into custody. In that they found no difficulty, for he surrendered himself voluntarily; and desired them to carry him wherever they pleased, if they would suffer him first to see his children. To this they consented, and he prepared an entertainment for them. When he perceived them to be intoxicated, he and his family fled towards the Taurica Chersonesus. Having remained there for some time, he found the inhabitants to he a faithless race, and was apprehensive lest they should deliver him to his persecutors. He, therefore, put himself and his family on board a trading vessel, and arrived in the night at Constantinople. He there resided in the house of an old acquaintance, and making observations on the state of the city after the departure of the emperor, he attempted to raise himself to the empire, and formed his design on the following incident.

A eunuch, named Eugenius, had not long before been discharged from the court, who entertained but little friendship for the emperors. Procopius therefore won this man to his interest. . . . Their first attempt was to bribe the court guards, which consisted of two legions. Then arming the slaves, and collecting with ease a considerable multitude, chiefly volunteers, they sent them in the night into the city, and occasioned a general commotion; the people issuing from their houses, and gazing on Procopiusas on a king made in a theatre. But the city being in general confusion, and no person being sufficiently collected in mind by reason of the surprise to know how to act, Procopius imagined his design to be still undiscovered, and that he might secure the empire if the enterprise were no further revealed. Having then seized on Cesarius, whom the emperors had made prefect of the city, and on Nebridius, who was appointed to succeed Sallustius in tbe prefecture of the court, he compelled them to write to the subjects of the empire whatever he wished. He also kept them separate, that they might not consult with each other. Having formed these projects, he proceeded in a splendid manner towards the palace. Ascending a tribunal before the gate, he gave the people great hopes and promises. He then entered the palace to provide for the remainder of his affairs.

The new emperors having divided the army between them, Procopius determined to send persons to the soldiers, who were as yet in confusion, and went by the command of the emperors from place to place without any order. He thus hoped to seduce some of them to his party. Nor did he fail of accomplishing his purpose with ease by distributing money amongst the soldiers and their officers; by which means he collected a considerable force, and prepared to make an open attack on the enemy. Procopius then sent Marcellus into Bithynia with an army against Serenianus and the imperial cavalry that was under his command, in hope of cutting them to pieces. This force having fled to Cyzicus, Marcellus, whose army was superior to theirs both by sea and land, took possession of that town; and having taken Serenianus, who fled into Lydia, put him to death. Procopius was so elevated by this fortunate commencement, that his forces considerably augmented, many being of opinion that he was able to contend with the emperors. Both the Roman legions and the Barbarian troops now flocked to his standard. Besides the reputation of being related to Julian, and of having accompanied him in all the wars he had ever been engaged in, attracted many partizans. He likewise sent ambassadors to the chief of Scythia beyond the Ister, who sent to his assistance ten thousand men. The other Barbarian nations likewise sent auxiliaries to share in the expedition. Procopius however considered that it would be imprudent in him to engage with both emperors together, and therefore thought it best to advance against him who was nearest, and afterwards deliberate on what course to pursue.

Thus was Procopius employed; while the emperor Valens, who heard of this insurrection at Galatia in Phrygia, was filled with consternation at the news. Arbitrio having encouraged him not to despair, he prepared the troops that were with him for war, and sent to his brother to inform him of the designs of Procopius. Valentinian however was little disposed for sending auxiliaries to one who was incapable of defending the empire committed to his charge. Valens was therefore under the necessity of. preparing for war, and appointed Arbitrio to the command of his army. When the armies were ready to engage, Arbitrio circumvented Procopius by a stratagem, and thereby seduced from him a great number of his men, from whom he received previous information of the designs of Procopius. On the advance of the emperor and Procopius towards each other, the two armies met near Thyatira. Procopius at first appeared to have the advantage, by which he would have gained the supreme authority, Hormisdas in the engagement having overpowered the enemy. But Gomarius, another of the commanders of Procopius, imparting his intention to all the soldiers of Procopius who were attached to the emperor, in the midst of the battle cried out Augustus, and gave a signal for them to imitate his example. Thus the most of the troops of Procopius went over to Valens.

After having obtained this victory, Valens marched to Sardes, and from thence into Phrygia, where he found Procopius in a town called Nacolia. Affairs having been ordered for the advantage of the emperor by Naplo, an officer of Procopius, Valens again prevailed, and took him prisoner, and soon afterwards Marcellus, both of whom he put to death.
Blindado
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2009-Austria - Carnuntum23 viewsReligion. Stone statues to the Mithras cult.berserker
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2009-Austria - Carnuntum23 viewsReligion. Stone statue to the Emperor cult.berserker
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2009-Austria - Carnuntum24 viewsReligion. Stone statues and reliefs to different cults.berserker
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2009-Austria - Carnuntum23 viewsReligion. Stone relief to the Mithras cult.berserker
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2009-Austria - Carnuntum15 viewsReligion. Mithras cult.berserker
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2009-Austria - Carnuntum34 viewsReligion. Different cults.berserker
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2015 ALEXIUS III ANGELUS-COMNENUS AE TETARTERON S-2015 DOC 5 CLBC 8.4.3 20 views
OBV Bust of St. George , beardless and nimbate , wearing tunic, breastplate wearing tunic, breastplate, and sagion; holds spear in r. hand resting on l. shoulder and in l. scroll or hilt of sword.

REV Full length figure of emperor wearing stemma, divitision, and chlamys; holds in r. hand labarum on long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

This is a Thessalonica minted coin, it contains no silver. It is believed to be valued at 1/864 Hyperpyron and the Metropolitan (Constantinople) issues at 1/288 Hyperpyron. This coins are much more common than Metropolitan coins but all tetartera from Alexius III are difficult to obtain.

Size 19.52mm

Weight 4.0gm

DOC lists 22 examples with weights from 1.91gm to 4.55gm and sizes from 17mm to 22mm
Simon
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2015A ALEXIUS III ANGELUS-COMNENUS AE TETARTERON S-2015 DOC 5 CLBC 8.4.3 42 viewsOBV Bust of St. George , beardless and nimbate , wearing tunic, breastplate wearing tunic, breastplate, and sagion; holds spear in r. hand resting on l. shoulder and in l. scroll or hilt of sword.

REV Full length figure of emperor wearing stemma, divitision, and chlamys; holds in r. hand labarum on long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

This is a Thessalonica minted coin, it contains no silver. It is believed to be valued at 1/864 Hyperpyron and the Metropolitan (Constantinople) issues at 1/288 Hyperpyron. This coins are much more common than Metropolitan coins but all examples of Alexius tetartera are difficult to obtain.

Size 17/18.5mm

Weight 4.0gm

DOC lists 22 examples with weights from 1.91gm to 4.55gm and sizes from 17mm to 22mm
Simon
alexuisiiic.jpg
2015B ALEXIUS III ANGELUS-COMNENUS AE TETARTERON S-2015 DOC 5 CLBC 8.4.3 50 viewsOBV Bust of St. George , beardless and nimbate , wearing tunic, breastplate wearing tunic, breastplate, and sagion; holds spear in r. hand resting on l. shoulder and in l. scroll or hilt of sword.

REV Full length figure of emperor wearing stemma, divitision, and chlamys; holds in r. hand labarum on long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

This is a Thessalonica minted coin, it contains no silver. It is believed to be valued at 1/864 Hyperpyron and the Metropolitan (Constantinople) issues at 1/288 Hyperpyron. This coins are much more common than Metropolitan coins but all examples of Alexius tetartera are difficult to obtain.

Size 19mm

Weight 3.4gm

DOC lists 22 examples with weights from 1.91gm to 4.55gm and sizes from 17mm to 22mm
Simon
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2015c ALEXIUS III ANGELUS-COMNENUS AE TETARTERON S-2015 DOC 5 CLBC 8.4.3 16 viewsOBV Bust of St. George , beardless and nimbate , wearing tunic, breastplate wearing tunic, breastplate, and sagion; holds spear in r. hand resting on l. shoulder and in l. scroll or hilt of sword.

REV Full length figure of emperor wearing stemma, divitision, and chlamys; holds in r. hand labarum on long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

All examples of Alexius tetartera are difficult to obtain these days, however DOC has many examples in their collection. This one has a dark black patina obscuring a very interesting portrait of Saint George.

Size 17.84mm

Weight 3.7gm

DOC lists 22 examples with weights from 1.91gm to 4.55gm and sizes from 17mm to 22mm
Simon
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201a. Julia Domna11 viewsVesta

Vesta was introduced in Rome by King Numa Pompilius. She was a native Roman deity (some authors suggest received from the Sabine cults), sister of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera and Demeter, and presumably the daughter of Saturn and Ops (or Rea). However, the similarity with the cult of Greek Hestia is notable. Vesta too protected familial harmony and the res publica. Apollo and Neptune had asked for her in marriage, but she refused both, preferring to preserve her virginity, whose symbol was the perpetually lit fire in her circular fane next to the Forum which the Romans always distinguished from a temple by calling it her "house".

As Goddess of the Hearth she was the symbol of the home, around which a newborn child must be carried before it could be received into the family. Every meal began and ended with an offering to her:

Vesta, in all dwellings of men and immortals
Yours is the highest honor, the sweet wine offered
First and last at the feast, poured out to you duly.
Never without you can gods or mortals hold banquet.

Landscape with Vesta temple in Tivoli, Italy, c. 1600.Each city too had a public hearth sacred to Vesta, where the fire was never allowed to go out. If a colony was to be founded, the colonists carried with them coals from the hearth of the mother-city with which to kindle the fire on the new city's hearth.

The fire was guarded by her priestesses, the Vestales. Every March 1 the fire was renewed. It burned until 391, when the Emperor Theodosius I forbade public pagan worship. One of the Vestales was Rea Silvia, who with Mars conceived Romulus and Remus (see founding of Rome).

3070. Silver denarius, RIC 538, RSC 221, VF, 2.30g, 17.5mm, 0o, Rome mint, 193-196 A.D.; obverse IVLIA DOMNA AVG, draped bust right; reverse VESTA, Vesta seated left, holding palladium and scepter. Ex Forum
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201a. Julia Domna66 viewsIn Rome, when the worship of Cybele, as Magna Mater, was formally initiated in 203 BC, Rome was embroiled in the Second Punic War. The previous year, an inspection had been made of the Sibylline Books, and some oracular verses had been discovered that announced that if a foreign foe should carry war into Italy, he could be driven out and conquered if the Mater Magna were brought from Pessinos to Rome. Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica was ordered to go to the port of Ostia, accompanied by all the matrons, to meet the goddess. He was to receive her as she left the vessel, and when brought to land he was to place her in the hands of the matrons who were to bear her to her destination, the Temple of Victory on the Palatine Hill. The day on which this event took place, 12 April, was observed afterwards as a festival, the Megalesian. (Livy, History of Rome, circa AD 10)

In Rome, her Phrygian origins were recalled by Catullus, whose famous poem on the theme of Attis includes a vivid description of Cybele's worship: "Together come and follow to the Phrygian home of Cybele, to the Phrygian forests of the goddess, where the clash of cymbals ring, where tambourines resound, where the Phrygian flute-player blows deeply on his curved reed, where ivy-crowned maenads toss their heads wildly."

Roman devotion to Cybele ran deep. Not coincidentally, when a Christian basilica was built over the site of a temple to Cybele, to occupy the site, it was dedicated as the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

The worship of Cybele penetrated as far as Mauretania, where, just outside Setif, the ceremonial "tree-bearers" and the faithful (religiosi) restored the temple of Cybele and Attis after a disastrous fire in AD 288. Lavish new fittings paid for by the private group included the silver statue of Cybele and the chariot that carried her in procession received a new canopy, with tassels in the form of fir cones. (Robin Lane Fox, Pagans and Christians, p 581.)

Today, a monumental statue of Cybele can be found in one of the principal traffic circles of Madrid, the Plaza de Cibeles (illustration, upper right).

In Roman mythology, Magna Mater deorum Idaea ("great Idaean mother of the gods") was the name for the originally Phrygian goddess Cybele, as well as Rhea.

Her cult moved from Phrygia to Greece from the 6th century to the 4th. In 205 BC, Rome adopted her cult.

Julia Domna Denarius. 212 AD. IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, draped bust right / MATRI DEVM, Cybele standing left, leaning on column, holding drum & scepter, lion at foot. RSC 137. RIC 382
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202. Caracalla100 viewsIn Roman mythology, Victoria was the goddess of victory. She is the Roman version of the Greek goddess Nike Nike INC , and was associated with Bellona. She was adopted by the Sabine agricultural goddess Vacuna.

Caracalla Denarius. 211 AD. ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right / P M TR P XIIII COS III P P, Victory advancing right on prow with wreath & palm. RSC 188.
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202. CARACALLA254 viewsCARACALLA. 198-217 AD.

The emperor visited Alexandria for intellectual and religious reasons, staying at the Serapeum and being present at the temple's sacrifices and cultural events. Earlier, during the German war, the emperor visited the shrine of the Celtic healing-god Grannus. Caracalla also visited the famous temple of Asclepius in Pergamum and fully participated in its program, which involved sleeping inside the temple compound and having his dreams interpreted.

It was this religious devotion that led to Caracalla's murder in 217. Although suspicious of the praetorian prefect Macrinus, Caracalla allowed himself to be accompanied by only a small, select corps of bodyguards on an early spring trip from the camp at Edessa to the temple of the moon-god at Carrhae, about 25 miles away. During the journey back on 8 April 217, Caracalla was killed. The returning guards claimed the emperor was ambushed while defecating, and that the alleged assassin was one of their own, a soldier named Martialis. Martialis was himself killed by the avenging guards, or so the story went. Suspicion was strong that Macrinus arranged the entire affair.

Caracalla's violent end seemed appropriate for an emperor who, early in his reign, had his own brother killed. Yet the moralizing about fratricide by both ancient and modern historians obscures the energetic, reformist and even intellectual character of Caracalla's reign. Some of the reforms, especially the pay raise for soldiers, would prove burdensome for future emperors, but the changes brought about in the little more than five years of Caracalla's sole rule would have long-lasting implications throughout the empire for generations to come.

AR Denarius (19mm, 3.11 gm). Struck 215 AD. ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate head right / P M TR P XVIII COS IIII PP, Sol standing left, radiate, raising right hand and holding globe. RIC IV 264a; BMCRE 139; RSC 288. EF
Ex - CNG
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202. Septimius Severus50 viewsThe Caledonians are next mentioned in 209, when they are said to have surrendered to the emperor Septimius Severus after he personally led a military expedition north of Hadrian's Wall, in search of a glorious military victory. Herodian and Dio wrote only in passing of the campaign but describe the Caledonians ceding territory to Rome as being the result. Cassius Dio records that the Caledonians inflicted 50,000 Roman casualties due to attrition and unconventional tactics such as guerrilla warfare. Dr. Colin Martin has suggested that the Severan campaigns did not seek a battle but instead sought to destroy the fertile agricultural land of eastern Scotland and thereby bring about genocide of the Caledonians through starvation.

By 210 however, the Caledonians had re-formed their alliance with the Maeatae and joined their fresh offensive. A punitive expedition led by Severus' son, Caracalla, was sent out with the purpose of slaughtering everyone it encountered from any of the northern tribes. Severus meanwhile prepared for total conquest but was already ill; he died at Eboracum (modern day York) in Britannia in 211. Caracalla attempted to take over command but when his troops refused to recognise him as emperor, he made peace with the Caledonians and retreated south of Hadrian's Wall to press his claim for the throne. Sheppard Frere suggests that Caracalla briefly continued the campaign after his father's death rather than immediately leaving, citing an apparent delay in his arrival in Rome and indirect numismatic and epigraphic factors that suggest he may instead have fully concluded the war but that Dio's hostility towards his subject led him to record the campaign as ending in a truce. Malcolm Todd however considers there to be no evidence to support this. Nonetheless the Caledonians did retake their territory and pushed the Romans back to Hadrians Wall.

In any event, there is no further historical mention of the Caledonians for a century save for a c. AD 230 inscription from Colchester which records a dedication by a man calling himself the nephew (or grandson) of "Uepogenus, [a] Caledonian". This may be because Severus' campaigns were so successful that the Caledonians were wiped out, however this is highly unlikely. In 305, Constantius Chlorus re-invaded the northern lands of Britain although the sources are vague over their claims of penetration into the far north and a great victory over the "Caledones and others" (Panegyrici Latini Vetares, VI (VII) vii 2). The event is notable in that it includes the first recorded use of the term 'Pict' to describe the tribes of the area.

Septimius Severus. AD 193-211. Æ As (25mm, 11.07 g, 7h). “Victoria Britannica” issue. Rome mint. Struck AD 211. Laureate head right / Victory standing right, holding vexillum; seated captives flanking. RIC IV 812a. Near VF, brown surfaces with touches of green and red, porous. Rare.

From the Fairfield Collection.

ex-cng EAuction 329 481/100/60
1 commentsecoli
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2028 LYDIA, Hypaepa Hadrian Ae. 24 Artemis Anaitis16 viewsReference
RPC III, 2028;

Magistrate Ioulianos (strategos)

Obv. ΑΥ ΚΑΙ ΤΡΑ ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС
Laureate head of Hadrian, r., with drapery on l. shoulder

Rev. ΕΠΙ ΙΟΥΛΙΑΝΟΥ СΤΡ ΥΠΑΙΠΗΝΩΝ
Cult-statue of Artemis Anaitis

8.50 gr
24 mm
6h
okidoki
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202a. Plautilla60 viewsVenus

The Roman goddess of love and beauty, but originally a vegetation goddess and patroness of gardens and vineyards. Later, under Greek influence, she was equated with Aphrodite and assumed many of her aspects. Her cult originated from Ardea and Lavinium in Latium. The oldest temple known of Venus dates back to 293 BCE, and was inaugurated on August 18. Later, on this date the Vinalia Rustica was observed. A second festival, that of the Veneralia, was celebrated on April 1 in honor of Venus Verticordia, who later became the protector against vice. Her temple was built in 114 BCE. After the Roman defeat near Lake Trasum in 215 BCE, a temple was built on the Capitol for Venus Erycina. This temple was officially opened on April 23, and a festival, the Vinalia Priora, was instituted to celebrate the occasion.

Venus is the daughter of Jupiter, and some of her lovers include Mars and Vulcan, modeled on the affairs of Aphrodite. Venus' importance rose, and that of her cult, through the influence of several Roman political leaders. The dictator Sulla made her his patroness, and both Julius Caesar and the emperor Augustus named her the ancestor of their (Julian) family: the 'gens Julia' was Aeneas, son of Venus and the mortal Anchises. Ceasar introduced the cult of Venus Genetrix, the goddess of motherhood and marriage, and built a temple for her in 46 BCE. She was also honored in the temple of Mars Ultor. The last great temple of Venus was built by the emperor Hadrianus near the Colusseum in 135 CE.

Roman statues and portraits of Venus are usually identical to the Greek representations of Aphrodite.

AR Denarius. PLAVTILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right / VENVS VICTRIX, Venus standing left holding apple & palm, leaning on shield, Cupid at her feet. RSC 25.
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2061 IONIA, Ephesus Hadrian, Artemis 32 viewsReference.
RPC III, 2061; BMC 229

Obv. ΑΥT ΚΑΙ ΤΡΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС СΕ
Laureate head right

Rev: ΕΦΕ-СΙΩΝ
tetrastyle temple within which cult statue of Artemis Ephesia with supports

8.2 gr
24 mm
okidoki
1247_P_Hadrian_RPC2074.jpg
2074 IONIA, Ephesus Hadrian, cult statue of Artemis5 viewsReference.
RPC III, 2074; SNG von Auock 7866; SNG Copenhagen 388; SNG München 128

Obv. ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС ΚΑΙСΑΡ ΟΛΥΜΠΙΟС
Laureate head of Hadrian right

Rev. ΑΡΤΕΜΙС ΕΦΕСΙΑ
Cult statue of Artemis Ephesia with supports between two stags

18.08 gr
29 mm
6h
okidoki
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213 AD - CARACALLA denarius35 viewsobv: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT (laureate head right)
rev: PROFECTIO AVG (Caracalla in military dress standing right, holding spear; behind two standard)
ref: RIC IVi 225 (S), RSC 508 (10frcs)
mint: Rome
2.57gms, 19mm
Scarce

This coin is commemorate the departure for a short visit to Gallia and a campaing along the borders of Upper Germany and Raetia.
Historical backround: During the German war (213 AD), the emperor visited the shrine of the Celtic healing-god Grannus.
In classical Celtic polytheism, Grannus was a deity associated with spas, the sun, fires and healing thermal and mineral springs. He seems to have embodied the notion of therapeutic heat. One of the god’s most famous cult centres was at Aquae Granni (now Aachen, Germany). Aachen means ‘water’ in Old High German, a calque of the Roman name of "Aquae Granni".
berserker
898_P_Hadrian_RPC.JPG
2142A IONIA, Miletus. Hadrian Ae 36 Zeus standing23 viewsReference.
BMC - ;SNG von Aulock- ;SNG Copenhagen -; SNG France- ;RPC - ; RPC III, 2142A.

Obv. AΔPIANOC KAICAP ΟΛΥΜΠΙΟC
Laureate head right.

Rev: POVΦOV TO B ΜΙΛΗ- CΙΩΝ ΕΠΙ
Zeus standing right, wearing chlamys, holding thunderbolt, and resting hand on hip.

26.25 gr
36 mm
6h

Note.
The worship of Hadrian as 'Zeus Olympios' in the east of the empire was also practiced in Miletus. A proof of this is this coinage, which the emperor explicitly names as 'ΟΛΙΜΠΙΟC'. In addition, the archaeological excavations in Miletus have been used to discover a large number of household altars who had been consecrated to Hadrian, who had inscriptions such as "The Caesar Trajan Hadrian Sebastos Zeus Olympios" (Friesen, Imperial Cults, p. 177)
2 commentsokidoki
1010_P_Hadrian_RPC2287.jpg
2287 CARIA, Cidramus Hadrian, cult statue of Artemis Ephesia9 viewsReference.
RPC III, 2287; vA 2587

Magistrate Pamphilos

Obv. ΑΥ ΚΑΙ ΤΡ ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС
Laureate and draped bust of Hadrian, right, with paludamentum

Rev. ΔΙΑ ΠΑΜΦΙΛΟΥ ΚΙΔΡΑΜΗΝΩΝ
Facing cult statue of Artemis Ephesia.

3.16 gr
17 mm
6h
okidoki
1305_P_Sabina_RPC2501.jpg
2501 PHRYGIA, Cadi Sabina, cult statue of Artemis Ephesia standing20 viewsReference.
RPC III, 2501; SNG von Aulock 8388

Obv. ϹΑΒΕΙΝΑ ϹΕΒΑϹΤΗ
Draped bust of Sabina, right

Rev. ΚΑΔΟΗΝΩΝ
Cult statue of Artemis Ephesia with supports

3.41 gr
18 mm
6h
2 commentsokidoki
531_P_Hadrian_Pseudo_RPC2520.jpg
2520 PHRYGIA, Tiberiopolis Ae20 Pseudo-autonomous under Hadrian9 viewsReference.
RPC III, 2520; vA, Phryg. 1187-99; SNG Copenhagen 753; BMC 3
same die pair as nr 5 on RPC 2520

Magistrate T. Ailius Flavianus Sôsthenes (archon)

Obv. ΙΕΡΑ СΥΝΚΛΗΤΟС
Draped bust of Senate, right

Rev. ΕΠΙ CΩCΘΕΝΟΥC ΑΡΧΟΝΤΟC ΤΙΒΕΡΙ (missing character)
Cult statue of Artemis Ephesia with supports between two stags

3.92 gr
20 mm
6h
okidoki
rjb_val2_04_06.jpg
253a23 viewsValerian I 253-60 AD
AE 30 mm
Sagalassus in Pisidia
Cult statue in octastyle temple
Countermark of eaglestanding facing with head turned left, wreath in beak - Howgego 335
mauseus
147_P_Hadrian__BMC_23.jpg
2541 PHRYGIA, Ancyra Sabina Ae 18 † 136 AD Cult statue of Artemis26 viewsReference. Rare
RPC III, 2541; BMC 23-24; SGICV 1308; Lindgren 885

Obv. CEBACTH CABEINA
Draped bust of Sabina, r.

Rev. ANKYPANΩN
Cult statue of Artemis Ephesia with supports flanked by two stags

4.76 gr
18 mm
12h
okidoki
1304_P_Sabina_RPC2555.jpg
2555 LYDIA, Gordus Julia Sabina, cult statue of Artemis Ephesia standing17 viewsReference.
RPC III, 2555; BMC 20-21; Wa 4975

Obv. ϹΑΒΕΙΝΑ ϹΕΒΑϹΤΗ
Draped bust of Sabina, right

Rev. ΙΟΥΛΙ ΓΟΡΔΗΝΩΝ
Cult statue of Artemis Ephesia, with supports, between two stags

3.90 gr
18 mm
6h
2 commentsokidoki
1011_P_Hadrian_RPC2577A.jpg
2577A PHRYGIA, Eumenea Hadrian Ae 25 Artemis Ephesia7 viewsReference.
RPC III, 2577A;

Obv. ΚΑΙϹΑΡ ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС
Laureate bust of Hadrian

Rev. ΕΥΜΕΝΕΩΝ ΑΧΑΙΩΝ
Cult statue of Artemis Ephesia with supports, between two stags

10.65 gr
25 mm
6h
okidoki
911_P_hadrian_RPC2580.jpg
2580 PHRYGIA, Eumenea Hadrian Ae 26 Artemis Ephesia7 viewsReference.
RPC III, 2580; BMC 53

Obv. ΑΥ ΚΑΙ ΤΡ ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС СΕ
Laureate and cuirassed bust of Hadrian r., with aegis

Rev. ΕΥΜΕΝΕΩΝ ΑΧΑΙΩΝ
Cult statue of Artemis Ephesia with supports, between two stags

8.21 gr
26 mm
6h
okidoki
772_P_Hadrian_RPC2699var_.JPG
2705A PAMPHYLIA, Perga Hadrian AE 14 Artemis standing in temple17 viewsReference.
RPC III, 2705A; SNG Pfälzer IV, 278

Obv. [ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟ]C KAI
Laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right

Rev. [ΠƐΡΓ]ΑΙΩΝ
Tetrastyle temple; within which cult statue of Artemis of Perga; eagle in pediment.

2.46 gr
14 mm
6h
okidoki
1060_P_Hadrian_RPV2706cf.jpg
2706 PAMPHYLIA, Perga Hadrian Ae after 128 AD Artemis of Perga in temple34 viewsReference.
RPC III, 2706 cf=Berlin 5296 cf weight

Issue Hadrian Olumpios

Obv. ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС ΚΑΙСΑΡ ΟΛΥΜΠΙΟС
Laureate head of Hadrian, r., with drapery on l. shoulder, and over back of neck

Rev. ΑΡΤΕΜΙΔΟС ΠΕΡΓΑΙΑС
Hexastyle temple on podium within which cult statue of Artemis of Perga

25.88 gr
38 mm
6h

Note.
apparently there are two dominations this one being 25.88 gr and Berlin coin is 17.34 gr
2 commentsokidoki
990_P_Hadrian_RPC2719var_.JPG
2719var. PAMPHYLIA Aspendus Hadrian AE 15 Cult statues13 viewsReference.
RPC III, 2719 var.; BMC 79; SNG France 162 var.; SNG Pfalz 62-63 var.; Howgego 518

Obv. ΚΑΙСΑΡ ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС
Laureate and cuirassed bust of Hadrian, r., with paludamentum

Rev. ΑС(l.)-ΠΕΝ(r.)
Cult statues of the Aphroditai Kastnietides

3.66 gr
18 mm
5h
okidoki
0100-Empire-Ags.jpg
30 denarii of the Empire101 viewsThis is a selection of 30 denarii chosen from my collection. Sometimes picking one rather than another is quite difficult. Some might have prefered something else, but this is my "today's selection"
Please, click to enlarge
Full description attribution and references of the coins are available in my different galleries
1 commentsPotator II
coin236.JPG
303. Gordian III88 viewsGordian III was a child emperor, but his reign was not perceived as having been burdened by the troubles faced by other young emperors. Competent administrators held important posts, and cultural traditions appear to have been upheld. Gordian III's unlikely accession and seemingly stable reign reveal that child emperors, like modern-day constitutional monarchs, had their advantage: a distance from political decision-making and factionalism that enabled the emperor to be a symbol of unity for the various constituency groups in Roman society. The paucity of information about Gordian III's reign makes it difficult to know whether the young emperor truly lived up to such an ideal, but the positive historical tradition about him gives one the suspicion that perhaps he did.

Antoninianus. IMP GORDIANVS PVS FEL AVG, radiate draped bust right / IOVI STATORI, Jupiter standing right with scepter & thunderbolt. RIC 84, RSC 109
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coin263.JPG
317. Tacitus 90 viewsMarcus Claudius Tacitus, (c.200 - 276) Roman Emperor from September 25, 275, to April 276, was a native of Interamna (Terni) in Umbria.

In the course of his long life he discharged the duties of various civil offices, including that of consul in 273, with universal respect.

Six months after the assassination of Aurelian, he was chosen by the senate to succeed him, and the choice was cordially ratified by the army. During his brief reign he set on foot some domestic reforms, and sought to revive the authority of the senate, but, after a victory over the Alans near the Palus Maeotis, he was assassinated at Tyana in Cappadocia.

Tacitus, besides being a man of immense wealth (which he bequeathed to the state) had considerable literary culture, and was proud to claim descent from the historian Gaius Cornelius Tacitus, whose works he caused to be transcribed at the public expense and placed in the public libraries.

However, modern research has cast considerable suspicion on this traditional image of Tacitus as a venerable old senator. Quite the contrary, evidence (from coins, for example) indicates that Tacitus was just another military emperor, whose only distiction from other short-lived emperors of the time was his attempt to cultivate the image of a learned man.

Tactitus Silvered AE Antoninianus. Gaul mint. IMP C M CL TACITVS P F AVG, radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right / FELICITAS SAECILI (sic), Felicity standing left, sacrificing over altar, holding a long cauduceus Ric 21

Check
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1224_P_Hadrian_Pseudo_RPC3303.jpg
3303 CILICIA, Tarsus, Pseudo-autonomous under Hadrian, Perseus standing27 viewsReference.
RPC III, 3303; SNG BN 1437-41;

Obv. ΑΔΡΙΑΝΗϹ ΤΑΡϹΕΩΝ
Head of bearded Heracles r., crowned with oak-leaves, club on l. shoulder

Rev. ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΕΩϹ
Perseus, wearing winged sandals, standing, l., holding cult statue of Apollo holding wolves in r. hand, chlamys and harpe in l.; at his feet, lion, l., attacking bull kneeling, l.; in field, l., ΒΟΗ/ΘΟΥ disposed either vertically, either horizontally

16.01 gr
30 mm
12h
3 commentsokidoki
394-1b_-_Postumia.jpg
394/1b. Postumia - denarius (74 BC)21 viewsAR Denarius (Rome, 74 BC)
O/ Bust of Diana right, draped, with bow and quiver over shoulder.
R/ Hound running right; spear below; C POSTVMI in exergue.
3.96g; 17mm
Crawford 394/1b (192 obverse dies/213 reverse dies, both varieties)
- ex Lockdales 145, lot 1414.

* Gaius Postumius At. or Ta. (Albinus Atilianus?):

This variant without the monogram in exergue is very rare; only three reverse dies seem to exist.

The moneyer belonged to the great patrician gens Postumia, but his family is much more difficult to ascertain. The patrician Postumii had few different branches and only one had survived by the 1st century: the Albini. There were also plebeian Postumii.

His obverse with Diana reproduces those of Aulus Postumius S.f. S.n. Albinus (RRC 335/9), and his probable son Postumius A.f. S.n. Albinus (RRC 372/1), thus implying that he was a member of the patrician family. However, the Albini never used the praenomen Gaius. It is nonetheless possible that our moneyer was adopted into the gens, as it occurred with Decimus Junius Brutus (RRC 450), adopted by an Aulus Albinus. The Postumii seem to have had difficulties producing male heirs; they indeed had 9 consulships between 186 and 99 BC, but very few magistrates bore that name in the 1st century. The disaster of the campaign against Jugurtha by the brothers Spurius and Aulus Postumius Albinus might have hit the gens hard; Aulus was also murdered during the Social War (Livy, Periochae, 75).

The monogram in exergue could therefore be deciphered as AT for the plebeian gens Atilia -- the possible family of Gaius Albinus before his adoption. Another moneyer, Lucius Atilius Nomentanus, likewise ligatured the first two letters of his name on his denarii in 141 (RRC 225/1). This theory would explain both the unusual praenomen for the gens and the monogram. His adoptive father could also be one of the two moneyer mentioned above.

Crawford links the moneyer with a Gnaeus Postumius who accused Lucius Licinius Murena, the consul elect for 62, of bribery in the famous Pro Murena by Cicero (56-58), who also says that Postumius was a (unsuccessful) candidate to the praetorship that year. The case was won by Cicero and no doubt that accusing a Consul of bribery did not help his career and the fate of the Albini, as they disappeared from history after this.
1 commentsJoss
V476-1.jpg
4.6 Hadrian AEGYPTOS denarius104 viewsHadrian denarius
132 CE, Rome mint
3.27 g, 18 mm, RIC 297

obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
bare bust of Hadrian, facing right

rev. AEGYPTOS
Egypt reclining left on couch, holding sistrum (an Egyptian musical instrument - used in many Egyptian cults) in right hand, stork at feet

part of Hadrian's Travel Series
1 commentsEcgþeow
233_P_Hadrian__Spijkerman_3.JPG
4100 ARABIA, Petra. Hadrian Tyche26 viewsReference.
RPC III, 4100; Spijkerman 3; SNG ANS 1360-3 var. (bust type)

Issue Petra metropolis

Obv. ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΩΡ ΚΑΙСΑΡ ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟС ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟϹ СƐΒΑϹΤΟС
Laureate and draped bust of Hadrian (seen from rear), r.

Rev. ΠƐΤΡΑ ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΙС
Turreted and veiled Tyche seated l. on rock, l., her r. hand extended, holding trophy in l.

13.35 gr
26 mm
6h

Note.
The Decapolis ("Ten Cities"; Greek: deka, ten; polis, city) was a group of ten cities on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire in Jordan, Israel and Syria. The ten cities were not an official league or political unit, but they were grouped together because of their language, culture, location, and political status, with each possessing a certain degree of autonomy and self-rule. The Decapolis cities were centers of Greek and Roman culture in a region that was otherwise Semitic (Nabatean, Aramean, and Jewish). With the exception of Damascus, Hippos and Scythopolis, the "Region of the Decapolis" was located in modern-day Jordan.

Petra (GreekΠέτρα, Petra, meaning "stone";
okidoki
423-1_Servilia2.jpg
423/1. Servilia - denarius (57 BC)31 viewsAR Denarius (Rome, 57 BC)
O/ Head of Flora right; lituus behind; FLORAL PRIMVS before.
R/ Two soldiers facing each other and presenting swords; C SERVEIL in exergue; C F upwards on right.
3.87g; 18mm
Crawford 423/1 (99 obverse dies/110 reverse dies)
- ROMA Numismatics, E-Sale 42, lot 484.
- Artemide Aste, 11-12 June 2016, lot 253.

* Gaius Servilius C.f. (Brocchus?):

The gens Servilia was originally patrician, but our moneyer was most likely a plebeian because at this time, the only remaining patrician branch of the gens was the Caepiones. The Servilii Gemini, likewise patricians at first, lost their status during the Second Punic War for an unknown reason and their descendants had erratic cognomina, making it difficult to reconstruct the genealogical tree of the gens. The one given by Crawford for RRC 239 is dubious, although possible.

Crawford also says that our moneyer was perhaps a brother of Marcus Servilius C.f., Tribune of the Plebs in 43 BC. He was possibly the Gaius Servilius Brocchus, son of Gaius, mentioned as Military Tribune by Flavius Josephus (Jewish Antiquities, xiv. 229), who tells that he served under the Consul L. Cornelius Lentulus Crus in Asia. It would match a career started in the 50, during which the Pompeian party was dominating, and continued as Pompey's supporter during the Civil War.

The meaning of his denarius has been debated. According to Crawford, the obverse legend refers to the priesthood of Flora, probably held by the gens, contradicting the view of Mommsen, who thought it was celebrating the establishment of the Ludi Florales in 173. This view has been in turn challenged by Robert Palmer, but without giving an explanation of his own*. It should also be mentioned that Pliny the Elder tells that there were statues of Flora, Triptolemus and Ceres by Praxiteles in the "Servilian gardens" (Natural History, xxxvi. 4), which obviously belonged to the gens, showing that Flora was of special importance for the Servilii.

The reverse reuses a common theme on Servilii's denarii: the duels of Marcus Servilius Pulex Geminus, Consul in 202, who was famous for his 23 victories in single combats (Plutarch, Aemilius Paullus, 31). The scene was depicted with variations on RRC 264 (horseback duel), RRC 327 (duel on foot), and RRC 370 (rider charging). It is also possible that RRC 239 shows another duel on horse, but disguised as the Dioscuri riding apart. The fact that our moneyer used this theme links him to the other direct descendants of Servilius Pulex Geminus, thus supporting Crawford's theory that he was a grandchild of Gaius Servilius, Praetor in 102.

* "Flora and the Sybil", in Ten Years of the Agnes Kirsopp Lake Michels Lectures at Bryn Mawr College, edited by Suzanne B. Faris, Lesley E. Lundeen, Bryn Mawr, 2006, pp. 58-70.
3 commentsJoss
46-Richard-I.jpg
46. Richard I.19 viewsPenny, London mint.
Obverse: HENRICVS REX / Crowned bust, facing, with sceptre at left.
Reverse: +STIVENE . ON . LVN / Short cross voided, with quatrefoil in each angle.
Moneyer: Stivene.
1.36 gm., 19 mm.
North #968; Seaby #1348A (old #1348).

Classification from North, Vol.1, p. 163-64, 170, Addendum; and Seaby 1994:
- The moneyer Stivene coined types 2 - 4b.
- Types 2 and 3 can be eliminated because the beard consists of small curls.
- Type 4 has beard consisting of pellets (as does this coin).
- Type 4b has a much coarser portrait and letters; the pellets in the crown run into one line.

North (1963) assigns type 4 to John, but later works (Seaby 1994, for example) assign 4a-4b to Richard. It appears that Stivene coined only for Richard. The difficulty in attribution stems from the fact that both Richard and John kept the name of their father (Henry II) on their coins.

Callimachus
47-John.jpg
47. John20 viewsPenny, London mint.
Obverse: HENRICVS REX / Crowned bust, facing, with sceptre at left.
Reverse: +ILGER . ON . LVND / Short cross voided, with quatrefoil in each angle.
Moneyer: Ilger.
1.46 gm., 18 mm.
North #970; Seaby #1351.

Classification from North Vol. 1, p. 163-64:
- Type 5 had oval eyes, two curls on each side enclosing a pellet, and five pearls on crown.
- Type 5a or 5b has a small X.
- Type 5b has a cross pattee as a mint mark on the reverse, and a normal S.

The difficulty in attribution stems from the fact that both Richard and John kept the name of their father (Henry II) on their coins.

Callimachus
coins213.JPG
501. Constantine I Cyzicus GLORIA EXERCITVS29 viewsCyzicus

Cyzicus was an ancient town of Mysia in Asia Minor, situated on the shoreward side of the present peninsula of Kapu-Dagh (Arctonnesus), which is said to have been originally an island in the Sea of Marmara, and to have been artificially connected with the mainland in historic times.

It was, according to tradition, occupied by Thessalian settlers at the coming of the Argonauts, and in 756 BC the town was founded by Greeks from Miletus.

Owing to its advantageous position it speedily acquired commercial importance, and the gold staters of Cyzicus were a staple currency in the ancient world till they were superseded by those of Philip of Macedon. (For more information on ancient coinage click here) During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) Cyzicus was subject to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians alternately, and at the peace of Antalcidas (387 BC), like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia.

The history of the town in Hellenistic times is closely connected with that of the Attalids of Pergamon, with whose extinction it came into direct relations with Rome. Cyzicus was held for the Romans against Mithradates in 74 BC till the siege was raised by Lucullus: the loyalty of the city was rewarded by an extension of territory and other privileges. Still a flourishing centre in Imperial times, the place appears to have been ruined by a series of earthquakes —the last in AD 1063— and the population was transferred to Artaki at least as early as the 13th century, when the peninsula was occupied by the Crusaders.

The site is now known as Bal-Kiz and entirely uninhabited, though under cultivation. The principal extant ruins are the walls, which are traceable for nearly their whole extent, a picturesque amphitheatre intersected by a stream, and the substructures of the temple of Hadrian. Of this magnificent building, sometimes ranked among the seven wonders of the ancient world, thirty-one immense columns still stood erect in 1444. These have since been carried away piecemeal for building purposes.

RIC VII Cyzicus 110 R5

Ex-Varangian

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501. Constantine I Lyons Sol14 viewsLyons

Originally, the important city in this area was that of Vienne, at a crossroads of Celtic trails, and port for the Greek trade. They had been largly Hellanised during the 2nd - 1st centuries BCE, then caught up in the conflicts involving Rome and Athens. Roman traders had settled there and competition started a revolt, driving the Romans to the north. At the present site of Lyons, they sought and received refuge from the Gallic tribe called Segusiavi. At that time, Lyons was just a tribe of Celts occupying the top of a hill, later to be called Fourviere. A Roman settlement was begun, and then later used by Julius Caesar to launch his campaigns against the Helvetii in 58 BCE.

The site of Lyons, being on a crossroads as well as a connection to the Mediterranean, was early recognised as being strategically important. In 43 BCE, the city of Lugdunum became an official Roman colony recognised by the Roman senate, founded by the governor of Gallia Comata (province of Comata), Lucius Munatius Plancus. Later, in 27 BCE, then Emperor Augustus divided Gallia Comata into three provinces, and Lugdunum became the capital of Gallia Lugdunensis. [The third province was Gallia Aquitania.]

Lyons became the financial center for taxation purposes of Aquitania and Lugdunum provinces, and an official mint was established there. Also, the state cult honoring Augustus [or the present Emperor] was established at Lyons, drawing many pilgrims and supplicants. Drusus, the father of Claudius, (born 10 BCE) was stationed at Lyons, being in charge of Gallia Comata. Also, a cohort of Roman policemen were stationed at lyons, to protect the mint. A bronze inscription found at Lyons records the speech given to the Roman Senate in 48 CE by Emperor Claudius, arguing for the acceptance of admission of senators from Gallia Comata.

Through Lyons [and Vienne] passed the great roads leading to the different regions of Gaul and towards Italy. Trade with Gaul, Britain and Germany passed through Lyons, mostly supplying Roman colonies on the the frontier. Later, these routes were paved by the Romans to facilitate trade and troop movement. Lyons became an important trade and military center. However, intercity rivalry with Vienne to the south never died, and indeed Vienne became jealous over time.

Lyons was burnt to the ground in 65 CE but quickly rebuilt. It prospered until 197 when it was sacked in a civil war. The city of Lyons had backed the unfortunate loser in a battle between two Roman generals. Cities to the south [Arles, Vienne, and to the north, Trier] took over the economic functions of Lyons; and the city of Lyons was again plundered 269. Lyons fought back, and the trade wars raged on, until early in the 4th century when the aqueducts of Lyons were destroyed. Without water, the hillsite of Lyons [the Fourviere Hill] became untenable. The merchants moved down to the city below, or out of the city entirely. The protection of Lyons was thus much more difficult. And the decline of the Roman Empire also spelled the decline of many of its cities.

RIC VII Lyons 34 C3

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coin555.JPG
501. CONSTANTINE I Siscia SOLI INVICTO COMIT14 viewsSol Invictus ("the undefeated Sun") or, more fully, Deus Sol Invictus ("the undefeated sun god") was a religious title applied to three distinct divinities during the later Roman Empire, El Gabal, Mithras, and Sol.

Unlike the earlier, agrarian cult of Sol Indiges ("the native sun" or "the invoked sun" - the etymology and meaning of the word "indiges" is disputed), the title Deus Sol Invictus was formed by analogy with the imperial titulature pius felix invictus ("dutiful, fortunate, unconquered").

A festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun (or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) was celebrated when the duration of daylight first begins to increase after the winter solstice,—the "rebirth" of the sun.

Christianity adopted some of the attributes of the Sol Invictus religion, as apparent in the first examples of Christian iconography, depicting Christ with solar attributes such as the radiated crown or, in a few instances, a solar chariot.

Sol Invictus had been adopted by the Church of Rome as evidenced by Christ as Apollo-Helios in a mausoleum discovered under St. Peter's Basilica and dated to 250[1], and, from the beginning of the third century, "Sun of Justice" was used as a title of Christ[2].

The date for Christmas may also bear a relation to the sun worship. According to the Syriac bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi, writing in the twelth century:

"It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day." (cited in "Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries", Ramsay MacMullen. Yale:1997, p155])
Christianity designated Sunday as the "Lord's Day" and the day of rest, rather than Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.


CONSTANTINE I

RIC VII Siscia 32 R3

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coins209.JPG
502. Constantine II Siscia GLORIA EXERCITVS24 viewsSiscia

All that remains from prehistoric inhabitants on this area are small statues of idols and tools. Indigenous Illyrian tribes were conquered in the 4th century by the Celts. Celts ethically and culturally mixed with Illyric tribes and established on the right bank of the river Kupa a settlement called Segestica. Illyric and Celtic tribes succeeded in withstanding Roman pressures until the year 35 BC when Emperor Octavian with 12,000 soldiers conquered Segestica after a thirty - day siege.

After Romans had conquered Segestica, they built Siscia on the left bank of the river Kupa (right below the centre of today's Sisak). Siscia was the capital town of the Province of Pannonia Savia, where 40,000 inhabitants resided. The town had the forum, basilicas, temples, an empire mint, a theatre and two ports.
Christianity was spreading unstoppably and encompassed the town of Sisak. The first known Bishop of Sisak was Kvirin from 284 AD until his martyr's death, probably in the year 303 AD.
With gradual collapse of the Roman Empire, the importance of Sisak declined and the great migration brought to Sisak Huns, Gauls, Avars and Slavs. Slav tribes remained in this area and eventually the Slav language became dominant.

RIC VII Siscia 253 R3
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1053_P_Hadrian_RPC5050.jpg
5050 EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian Tetradrachm 117-18 AD Dikaiosyne standing19 viewsReference.
RPC III, 5050 (this coin). Dattari-Savio Pl. 65, 1347 (this coin).Emmett 833.2

Issue L B = year 2

Obv. ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙС ΤΡΑΝΟС (sic) ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС СƐΒ
Laureate head of Hadrian, r., drapery on l. shoulder

Rev. L Β
Dikaiosyne standing facing, head l., holding scales and cornucopia

12.52 gr
25 mm
12h

Note.
From the Dattari collection.

In ancient Greek culture, Dikē (/ˈdiːkeɪ/ or /ˈdɪkiː/; Greek: Δίκη, English translation: "justice") was the goddess of justice and the spirit of moral order and fair judgement based on immemorial custom, in the sense of socially enforced norms and conventional rules. According to Hesiod (Theogony, l. 901), she was fathered by Zeus upon his second consort, Themis. She and her mother were both personifications of justice. She is depicted as a young, slender woman carrying a physical balance scale and wearing a laurel wreath while her Roman counterpart (Justitia) appears in a similar fashion but blind-folded. She is represented in the constellation Libra which is named for the Latin name of her symbol (Scales). She is often associated with Astraea, the goddess of innocence and purity. Astraea is also one of her epithets referring to her appearance in the nearby constellation Virgo which is said to represent Astraea. This reflects her symbolic association with Astraea, who too has a similar iconography.

The sculptures of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia have as their unifying iconographical conception the dikē of Zeus, and in poetry she is often the attendant (paredros) of Zeus.
In the philosophical climate of late 5th century Athens, dikē could be anthropomorphised as a goddess of moral justice.
She was one of the three second-generation Horae, along with Eunomia ("order") and Eirene ("peace")
okidoki
518-578 Justin Justinien Justin II.jpg
518-578 Justin I to Justin II - 12 nummia from Alexandria51 viewsd.m. IVS[...]
I+B , exergue AΛEξ

Difficult to tell wether this coin is of Justin I, Justinian or Justin II.
Ginolerhino
nero sest-.jpg
54-68 AD - NERO AE sestertius - struck 66 AD58 viewsobv: NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P (laureate head right, aegis on bust)
rev: ANNONA AVGVSTI CERES / S.C. (Ceres seated left with grain-ears & torch, facing Annona standing right with cornucopiae; between them, ship's stern and modius set on altar.)
ref: RIC I 137, BMCRE 127, C.16 (8frcs)
mint: Rome
27.51gms, 34mm orichalcum
Rare

Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, holds her usual attributes, grain and the torch with which she searches for her daughter, Proserpina, held captive in the Underworld for the winter months. Annona, the personification of the grain harvest,
holds a cornucopia, symbol of agricultural abundance; this is her first appearance on a coin. On the altar is a modius, a grain measure, and in the background a ship's stern, references to the transport of the grain.
1 commentsberserker
Philip-II-RIC-238var.jpg
70. Philip II as Augustus.57 viewsAntoninianus, 249 AD, Antioch mint.
Obverse: IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG / Radiate bust of Philip II facing right.
Reverse: PM TR P VI COS P P / Radiate lion walking right.
4.40 gm., 21.5 mm.
RIC 238 / 239 var; Sear 9272 / 9273 var.

This is an apparently unpublished coin. The RIC / Sear numbers above refer to coins with the bust facing left & the lion walking right; or the bust facing right & the lion walking left. Roger Bland, in his unpublished listing of Roman imperial coins from Antioch, lists a coin with bust right & lion walking right (#97); however Curtis Clay at Harlan J Berk Ltd. feels there is an error in the listing of #97 and that it refers to a coin in Paris with a left-facing bust. Details can be found at the web site of Forum Ancient Coins (http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=47620.0).

The portrait on this coin is a superbly engraved portrait, but it is not the portrait of a 11 or 12 year old boy. A radiate lion is a symbol not often seen on Roman imperial coinage. It is associated with solar cults of the East and likely has the same meaning as the radiate crown on the emperor's portrait: the power and authority of the emperor is equated with the power and authority of the sun god. The radiate lion on this coin was certainly the invention of the mint of Antioch since the prototype on which this reverse is based -- the millennium coin with a lion on the reverse, RIC 12 -- is not a radiate lion.
1 commentsCallimachus
TiberiusHierapolis.jpg
703b, Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia107 viewsBronze AE 16, RPC I 2966 (1 specimen), F, Phrygia, Hierapolis, 3.300g, 15.6mm, 0o; Obverse: TIBEPIOC KAISAR, laureate head right; Reverse: IERAPOLEITWN ZOSIMOS [...], Apollo Archegetes (Lairbenos) standing left, playing lyre; reverse countermarked with star of six rays, in oval punch, 2.5 x 3.5 mm, Howgego 445 (3 pcs, 1 of which from this magistrate); dark patina; very rare. Ex FORVM.

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

TIBERIUS (A.D. 14-37)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

The reign of Tiberius Claudius Nero (b. 42 B.C., d. A.D. 37, emperor A.D. 14-37) is a particularly important one for the Principate, since it was the first occasion when the powers designed for Augustus alone were exercised by somebody else. In contrast to the approachable and tactful Augustus, Tiberius emerges from the sources as an enigmatic and darkly complex figure, intelligent and cunning, but given to bouts of severe depression and dark moods that had a great impact on his political career as well as his personal relationships. His reign abounds in contradictions. Despite his keen intelligence, he allowed himself to come under the influence of unscrupulous men who, as much as any actions of his own, ensured that Tiberius's posthumous reputation would be unfavorable; despite his vast military experience, he oversaw the conquest of no new region for the empire; and despite his administrative abilities he showed such reluctance in running the state as to retire entirely from Rome and live out his last years in isolation on the island of Capri. His reign represents, as it were, the adolescence of the Principate as an institution. Like any adolescence, it proved a difficult time.

. . . .

It is all but inevitable that any historical assessment of Tiberius will quickly devolve into a historiographical assessment of Tacitus. So masterful is Tacitus's portrayal of his subject, and so influential has it been ever since, that in all modern treatments of Tiberius, in attempting to get at the man, must address the issue of Tacitus's historiographical methods, his sources, and his rhetoric. The subject is too vast to address here, but some points are salient. Tacitus's methods, especially his use of innuendo and inference to convey notions that are essentially editorial glosses, makes taking his portrayal of Tiberius at face value inadvisable. Further, his belief in the immutable character of people -- that one's character is innate at birth and cannot be changed, although it can be disguised -- prevents him from investigating the possibility that Tiberius evolved and developed over his lifetime and during his reign. Instead, Tacitus's portrayal is one of peeling back layers of dissimulation to reach the "real" Tiberius lurking underneath.

Overall, Tiberius's reign can be said to show the boons and banes of rule by one man, especially a man as dark, awkward, and isolated as Tiberius. For the people of the provinces, it was a peaceful and well-ordered time. Governors behaved themselves, and there were no destructive or expensive wars. In the domestic sphere, however, the concentration of power in one person made all the greater the threat of misbehavior by ambitious satellites like Sejanus or foolish friends like Piso. Furthermore, if the emperor wished to remain aloof from the mechanics of power, he could do so. Administrators, who depended on him for their directions, could operate without his immediate supervision, but their dealings with a man like Sejanus could lead to disaster if that man fell from grace. As a result, although he was not a tyrant himself, Tiberius's reign sporadically descended into tyranny of the worst sort. In the right climate of paranoia and suspicion, widespread denunciation led to the deaths of dozens of Senators and equestrians, as well as numerous members of the imperial house. In this sense, the reign of Tiberius decisively ended the Augustan illusion of "the Republic Restored" and shone some light into the future of the Principate, revealing that which was both promising and terrifying.

[For the complete article please refer to http://www.roman-emperors.org/tiberius.htm]

By Garrett G. Fagan, Pennsylvania State University.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.


Hierapolis in History

Usually said to be founded by Eumenes II, king of Pergamum (197-159 BC), Hierapolis may actually have been established closer to the 4th century BC by the Seleucid kings.

The name of the city may derive from Hiera, the wife of Telephus (son of Hercules and grandson of Zeus), the mythical founder of Pergamum. Or it may have been called the "sacred city" because of the temples located at the site. (The name Pamukkale is sometimes used just to refer to the white terraces, but the modern name of the whole area is also Pamukkale.)

With Colossae and Laodicea, Hierapolis became part of the tri-city area of the Lycus River valley. Hierapolis was located across the river from the other two cities and was noted for its textiles, especially wool. The city was also famous for its purple dye, made from the juice of the madder root.

The hot springs at Hierapolis (which still attract visitors today) were believed to have healing properties, and people came to the city to bathe in the rich mineral waters in order to cure various ailments.

Hierapolis was dedicated to Apollo Lairbenos, who was said to have founded the city. The Temple of Apollo that survives in ruins today dates from the 3rd century AD, but its foundations date from the Hellenistic period.

Also worshipped at Hierapolis was Pluto, god of the underworld, probably in relation to the hot gases released by the earth (see the Plutonium, below). The chief religious festival of ancient Hierapolis was the Letoia, in honor of the the goddess Leto, a Greek form of the Mother Goddess. The goddess was honoured with orgiastic rites.

Hierapolis was ceded to Rome in 133 BC along with the rest of the Pergamene kingdom, and became part of the Roman province of Asia. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 60 AD but rebuilt, and it reached its peak in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.

Famous natives of Hierapolis include the Stoic philosopher Epictetus (c.55-c.135 AD) and the philosopher and rhetorician Antipater. Emperor Septimus hired Antipater to tutor his sons Caracalla and Geta, who became emperors themselves.

Hierapolis had a significant Jewish population in ancient times, as evidence by numerous inscriptions on tombs and elsewhere in the city. Some of the Jews are named as members of the various craft guilds of the city. This was probably the basis for the Christian conversion of some residents of Hierapolis, recorded in Colossians 4:13.

In the 5th century, several churches as well as a large martyrium dedicated to St. Philip (see "In the Bible," below) were built in Hierapolis. The city fell into decline in the 6th century, and the site became partially submerged under water and deposits of travertine. It was finally abandoned in 1334 after an earthquake. Excavations began to uncover Hierapolis in the 19th century.

Hierapolis in the Bible

Hierapolis is mentioned only once in the Bible, when St. Paul praises Epaphras, a Christian from Colossae, in his letter to the Colossians. Paul writes that Epaphras "has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis" (Colossians 4:12-13). Epaphras was probably the founder of the Christian community at Hierapolis.

Ancient tradition also associates Hierapolis with a biblical figure, reporting that Philip died in Hierapolis around 80 AD. However, it is not clear which Philip is menat. It could be Philip the Apostle, one of the original 12 disciples, who is said to have been martyred by upside-down crucifixion (Acts of Philip) or by being hung upside down by his ankles from a tree.

Or Philip could be Philip the Evangelist, a later disciple who helped with administrative matters and had four virgin-prophetess daughters (Acts 6:1-7; 21:8-9). Early traditions say this Philip was buried in Hierapolis along with his virgin daughters, but confusingly call him "Philip the Apostle"! In any case, it seems a prominent person mentioned in Acts did die in Hierapolis.
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/hierapolis-pamukkale.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
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704a, Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.101 viewsCaligula, 37 - 41 AD, Ionia, Smyrna. AE 17mm. Klose, Smyrna 27a. RPC 2473. 2.89 gm. Fine. Menophanes, Aviola, Procos, 37-38 AD. Obverse: AION, laureate head right; Reverse: Nike holding wreath right. Ex Tom Vossen.


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

GAIUS (CALIGULA) (A.D. 37-41)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (Caligula) was born on 31 August, A.D. 12, probably at the Julio-Claudian resort of Antium (modern Anzio), the third of six children born to Augustus's adopted grandson, Germanicus, and Augustus's granddaughter, Agrippina. Caligula was the Roman Emperor between A.D. 37-41). Unfortunately, his is the most poorly documented reign of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. The literary sources for these four years are meager, frequently anecdotal, and universally hostile.[[1]] As a result, not only are many of the events of the reign unclear, but Gaius himself appears more as a caricature than a real person, a crazed megalomaniac given to capricious cruelty. Although some headway can be made in disentangling truth from embellishment, the true character of the youthful emperor will forever elude us.

As a baby he accompanied his parents on military campaigns in the north and was shown to the troops wearing a miniature soldier's outfit, including the hob-nailed sandal called caliga, whence the nickname by which posterity remembers him. His childhood was not a happy one, spent amid an atmosphere of paranoia, suspicion, and murder. Instability within the Julio-Claudian house, generated by uncertainty over the succession, led to a series of personal tragedies.

When Tiberius died on 16 March A.D. 37, Gaius was in a perfect position to assume power, despite the obstacle of Tiberius's will, which named him and his cousin Tiberius Gemellus joint heirs. (Gemellus's life was shortened considerably by this bequest, since Gaius ordered him killed within a matter of months.) Backed by the Praetorian Prefect Q. Sutorius Macro, Gaius asserted his dominance. He had Tiberius's will declared null and void on grounds of insanity, accepted the powers of the Principate as conferred by the Senate, and entered Rome on 28 March amid scenes of wild rejoicing. His first acts were generous in spirit: he paid Tiberius's bequests and gave a cash bonus to the Praetorian Guard, the first recorded donativum to troops in imperial history.

The ancient sources are practically unanimous as to the cause of Gaius's downfall: he was insane. The writers differ as to how this condition came about, but all agree that after his good start Gaius began to behave in an openly autocratic manner, even a crazed one. The sources describe his incestuous relations with his sisters, laughable military campaigns in the north, the building of a pontoon bridge across the Bay at Baiae, and the plan to make his horse a consul. Their unanimous hostility renders their testimony suspect, especially since Gaius's reported behavior fits remarkably well with that of the ancient tyrant, a literary type enshrined in Greco-Roman tradition centuries before his reign. Further, the only eye-witness account of Gaius's behavior, Philo's Embassy to Gaius, offers little evidence of outright insanity, despite the antagonism of the author, whom Gaius treated with the utmost disrespect.

The conspiracy that ended Gaius's life was hatched among the officers of the Praetorian Guard, apparently for purely personal reasons. It appears also to have had the support of some senators and an imperial freedman. As with conspiracies in general, there are suspicions that the plot was more broad-based than the sources intimate, and it may even have enjoyed the support of the next emperor Claudius, but these propositions are not provable on available evidence. On 24 January A.D. 41 the praetorian tribune Cassius Chaerea and other guardsmen caught Gaius alone in a secluded palace corridor and cut him down. He was 28 years old and had ruled three years and ten months.

Whatever damage Tiberius's later years had done to the carefully crafted political edifice created by Augustus, Gaius multiplied it a hundredfold. When he came to power in A.D. 37 Gaius had no administrative experience beyond his honorary quaestorship, and had spent an unhappy early life far from the public eye. He appears, once in power, to have realized the boundless scope of his authority and acted accordingly. For the elite, this situation proved intolerable and ensured the blackening of Caligula's name in the historical record they would dictate. The sensational and hostile nature of that record, however, should in no way trivialize Gaius's importance. His reign highlighted an inherent weakness in the Augustan Principate, now openly revealed for what it was -- a raw monarchy in which only the self-discipline of the incumbent acted as a restraint on his behavior. That the only means of retiring the wayward princes was murder marked another important revelation: Roman emperors could not relinquish their powers without simultaneously relinquishing their lives.

Copyright © 1997, Garrett G. Fagan.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Ancient Smyrna

The 5,000 year-old city of Izmir is one of the oldest cities of the Mediterranean basin. The original city was established in the third millennium BC (at present day Bayraklı), at which time it shared with Troy the most advanced culture in Anatolia.


Greek settlement is attested by the presence of pottery dating from about 1000 BC. In the first millennium BC Izmir, then known as Smyrna, ranked as one of the most important cities of the Ionian Federation. During this period, it is believed that the epic poet Homer resided here.

Lydian conquest of the city around 600 BC brought this golden age to an end. Smyrna was little more than a village throughout the Lydian and subsequent sixth century BC Persian rule. In the fourth century BC a new city was built on the slopes of Mt. Pagos (Kadifekale) during the reign of Alexander the Great. Smyrna's Roman period, beginning in the first century BC, was its second great era.

In the first century AD, Smyrna became one of the earliest centers of Christianity and it was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Both Revelation and the Martyrdom of Polycarp indicate the existence of a Jewish community in Smyrna as early as the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. The letter to the church at Smyrna in Revelation indicates that the Christians were spiritually "rich" and apparently in conflict with the Jews (2:9).

The origins of the Christian community there, which was established in the 1st century, are unknown. Ignatius of Antioch stopped at Smyrna on his way to martyrdom in Rome in 107 AD, and he sent a letter back to the Christians there from later in his journey. Smyrna's bishop, Polycarp, was burned at the stake in Smyrna's stadium around 156 AD.

Byzantine rule came in the fourth century and lasted until the Seljuk conquest in 11th century. In 1415, under Sultan Mehmed Çelebi, Smyrna became part of the Ottoman Empire.

The city earned its fame as one of the most important port cities of the world during the 17th to 19th centuries. The majority of its population were Greek but merchants of various origins (especially Greek, French, Italian, Dutch, Armenian, Sephardi and Jewish) transformed the city into a cosmopolitan portal of trade. During this period, the city was famous for its own brand of music (Smyrneika) as well as its wide range of products it exported to Europe (Smyrna/Sultana raisins, dried figs, carpets, etc.).

Today, Izmir is Turkey's third largest city and is nicknamed "the pearl of Aegean." It is widely regarded as the most Westernized city of Turkey in terms of values, ideology, gender roles, and lifestyle.
© 2005-08 Sacred Destinations. All rights reserved.
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/izmir-history.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
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705a, Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D.62 viewsClaudius. 42-43 AD. AE As.
Claudius. 42-43 AD. AE As (29 mm, 10.87 g). Obverse: TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP P P, bare head right; Reverse: CONSTANTIAE AVGVSTI / S - C, Constantiae in military dress standing left, holding spear; RIC I, 111; aVF. Ex Imperial Coins.



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

CLAUDIUS (41-54 A.D.)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

Ti. Claudius Nero Germanicus (b. 10 BC, d. 54 A.D.; emperor, 41-54 A.D.) was the third emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. His reign represents a turning point in the history of the Principate for a number of reasons, not the least for the manner of his accession and the implications it carried for the nature of the office. During his reign he promoted administrators who did not belong to the senatorial or equestrian classes, and was later vilified by authors who did. He followed Caesar in carrying Roman arms across the English Channel into Britain but, unlike his predecessor, he initiated the full-scale annexation of Britain as a province, which remains today the most closely studied corner of the Roman Empire. His relationships with his wives and children provide detailed insights into the perennial difficulties of the succession problem faced by all Roman Emperors. His final settlement in this regard was not lucky: he adopted his fourth wife's son, L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, who was to reign catastrophically as Nero and bring the dynasty to an end. Claudius's reign, therefore, was a mixture of successes and failures that leads into the last phase of the Julio-Claudian line.

Robert Graves' fictional characterization of Claudius as an essentially benign man with a keen intelligence has tended to dominate the wider public's view of this emperor. Close study of the sources, however, reveals a somewhat different kind of man. In addition to his scholarly and cautious nature, he had a cruel streak, as suggested by his addiction to gladiatorial games and his fondness for watching his defeated opponents executed. He conducted closed-door (in camera ) trials of leading citizens that frequently resulted in their ruin or deaths -- an unprecedented and tyrannical pattern of behavior. He had his wife Messalina executed, and he personally presided over a kangaroo court in the Praetorian Camp in which many of her hangers-on lost their lives. He abandoned his own son Britannicus to his fate and favored the advancement of Nero as his successor. While he cannot be blamed for the disastrous way Nero's rule turned out, he must take some responsibility for putting that most unsuitable youth on the throne. At the same time, his reign was marked by some notable successes: the invasion of Britain, stability and good government in the provinces, and successful management of client kingdoms. Claudius, then, is a more enigmatic figure than the other Julio-Claudian emperors: at once careful, intelligent, aware and respectful of tradition, but given to bouts of rage and cruelty, willing to sacrifice precedent to expediency, and utterly ruthless in his treatment of those who crossed him. Augustus's suspicion that there was more to the timid Claudius than met the eye was more than fully borne out by the events of his unexpected reign.

The possibility has to be entertained that Claudius was a far more active participant in his own elevation than traditional accounts let on. There is just reason to suspect that he may even have been involved in planning the murder of Gaius (Caligula). Merely minutes before the assassination of Gaius, Claudius had departed for lunch; this appears altogether too fortuitous. This possibility, however, must remain pure speculation, since the ancient evidence offers nothing explicit in the way of support. On the other hand, we can hardly expect them to, given the later pattern of events. The whole issue of Claudius's possible involvement in the death of Gaius and his own subsequent acclamation by the Praetorian Guard must, therefore, remain moot . . . yet intriguing

Copyright 1998, Garrett G. Fagan.
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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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
GalbaAEAs.jpg
707a, Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.66 viewsGalba AE As, 68-69 AD; cf. SRC 727, 729ff; 27.85mm, 12g; Rome: Obverse: GALBA IMP CAESAR…, Laureate head right; Reverse: S P Q R OB CIV SER in oak wreath; gF+/F Ex. Ancient Imports.

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

Galba (68-69 A.D.)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary


Introduction
The evidence for the principate of Galba is unsatisfactory. The sources either concentrate on the personality of the man, thereby failing to offer a balanced account of his policies and a firm chronological base for his actions; or, they focus on the final two weeks of his life at the expense of the earlier part of his reign. As a result, a detailed account of his principate is difficult to write. Even so, Galba is noteworthy because he was neither related to nor adopted by his predecessor Nero. Thus, his accession marked the end of the nearly century-long control of the Principate by the Julio-Claudians. Additionally, Galba's declaration as emperor by his troops abroad set a precedent for the further political upheavals of 68-69. Although these events worked to Galba's favor initially, they soon came back to haunt him, ending his tumultuous rule after only seven months.

Early Life and Rise to Power
Born 24 December 3 BC in Tarracina, a town on the Appian Way, 65 miles south of Rome, Servius Galba was the son of C. Sulpicius Galba and Mummia Achaica. Galba's connection with the noble house of the Servii gave him great prestige and assured his acceptance among the highest levels of Julio-Claudian society. Adopted in his youth by Livia, the mother of the emperor Tiberius, he is said to have owed much of his early advancement to her. Upon her death, Livia made Galba her chief legatee, bequeathing him some 50 million sesterces. Tiberius, Livia's heir, reduced the amount, however, and then never paid it. Galba's marriage proved to be a further source of disappointment, as he outlived both his wife Lepida and their two sons. Nothing else is known of Galba's immediate family, other than that he remained a widower for the rest of his life.

Although the details of Galba's early political career are incomplete, the surviving record is one of an ambitious Roman making his way in the Emperor's service. Suetonius records that as praetor Galba put on a new kind of exhibition for the people - elephants walking on a rope. Later, he served as governor of the province of Aquitania, followed by a six-month term as consul at the beginning of 33. Ironically, as consul he was succeeded by Salvius Otho, whose own son would succeed Galba as emperor. Over the years three more governorships followed - Upper Germany (date unknown), North Africa (45) and Hispania Tarraconensis, the largest of Spain's three provinces (61). He was selected as a proconsul of Africa by the emperor Claudius himself instead of by the usual method of drawing lots. During his two-year tenure in the province he successfully restored internal order and quelled a revolt by the barbarians. As an imperial legate he was a governor in Spain for eight years under Nero, even though he was already in his early sixties when he assumed his duties. The appointment showed that Galba was still considered efficient and loyal. In all of these posts Galba generally displayed an enthusiasm for old-fashioned disciplina, a trait consistent with the traditional characterization of the man as a hard-bitten aristocrat of the old Republican type. Such service did not go unnoticed, as he was honored with triumphal insignia and three priesthoods during his career.

On the basis of his ancestry, family tradition and service to the state Galba was the most distinguished Roman alive (with the exception of the houses of the Julii and Claudii) at the time of Nero's demise in 68. The complex chain of events that would lead him to the Principate later that year began in March with the rebellion of Gaius Iulius Vindex, the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis. Vindex had begun to sound out provincial governors about support for a rebellion perhaps in late 67 or early 68. Galba did not respond but, because of his displeasure with Neronian misgovernment, neither did he inform the emperor of these treasonous solicitations. This, of course, left him dangerously exposed; moreover, he was already aware that Nero, anxious to remove anyone of distinguished birth and noble achievements, had ordered his death. Given these circumstances, Galba likely felt that he had no choice but to rebel.

In April, 68, while still in Spain, Galba "went public," positioning himself as a vir militaris, a military representative of the senate and people of Rome. For the moment, he refused the title of Emperor, but it is clear that the Principate was his goal. To this end, he organized a concilium of advisors in order to make it known that any decisions were not made by him alone but only after consultation with a group. The arrangement was meant to recall the Augustan Age relationship between the emperor and senate in Rome. Even more revealing of his imperial ambitions were legends like LIBERTAS RESTITUTA (Liberty Restored), ROM RENASC (Rome Reborn) and SALUS GENERIS HUMANI (Salvation of Mankind), preserved on his coinage from the period. Such evidence has brought into question the traditional assessment of Galba as nothing more than an ineffectual representative of a bygone antiquus rigor in favor of a more balanced portrait of a traditional constitutionalist eager to publicize the virtues of an Augustan-style Principate.
Events now began to move quickly. In May, 68 Lucius Clodius Macer, legate of the III legio Augusta in Africa, revolted from Nero and cut off the grain supply to Rome. Choosing not to recognize Galba, he called himself propraetor, issued his own coinage, and raised a new legion, the I Macriana liberatrix. Galba later had him executed. At the same time, 68, Lucius Verginius Rufus, legionary commander in Upper Germany, led a combined force of soldiers from Upper and Lower Germany in defeating Vindex at Vesontio in Gallia Lugdunensis. Verginius refused to accept a call to the emperorship by his own troops and by those from the Danube, however, thereby creating at Rome an opportunity for Galba's agents to win over Gaius Nymphidius Sabinus, the corrupt praetorian prefect since 65. Sabinus was able to turn the imperial guard against Nero on the promise that they would be rewarded financially by Galba upon his arrival. That was the end for Nero. Deposed by the senate and abandoned by his supporters, he committed suicide in June. At this point, encouraged to march on Rome by the praetorians and especially by Sabinus, who had his own designs on the throne, Galba hurriedly established broad-based political and financial support and assembled his own legion (subsequently known as the legio VII Gemina). As he departed from Spain, he abandoned the title of governor in favor of "Caesar," apparently in an attempt to lay claim to the entire inheritance of the Julio-Claudian house. Even so, he continued to proceed cautiously, and did not actually adopt the name of Caesar (and with it the emperorship) until sometime after he had left Spain.

The Principate of Galba
Meanwhile, Rome was anything but serene. An unusual force of soldiers, many of whom had been mustered by Nero to crush the attempt of Vindex, remained idle and restless. In addition, there was the matter concerning Nymphidius Sabinus. Intent on being the power behind the throne, Nymphidius had orchestrated a demand from the praetorians that Galba appoint him sole praetorian prefect for life. The senate capitulated to his pretensions and he began to have designs on the throne himself. In an attempt to rattle Galba, Nymphidius then sent messages of alarm to the emperor telling of unrest in both the city and abroad. When Galba ignored these reports, Nymphidius decided to launch a coup by presenting himself to the praetorians. The plan misfired, and the praetorians killed him when he appeared at their camp. Upon learning of the incident, Galba ordered the executions of Nymphidius' followers. To make matters worse, Galba's arrival was preceded by a confrontation with a boisterous band of soldiers who had been formed into a legion by Nero and were now demanding legionary standards and regular quarters. When they persisted, Galba's forces attacked, with the result that many of them were killed.
Thus it was amid carnage and fear that Galba arrived at the capital in October, 68, accompanied by Otho, the governor of Lusitania, who had joined the cause. Once Galba was within Rome, miscalculations and missteps seemed to multiply. First, he relied upon the advice of a corrupt circle of advisors, most notably: Titus Vinius, a general from Spain; Cornelius Laco, praetorian prefect; and his own freedman, Icelus. Second, he zealously attempted to recover some of Nero's more excessive expenditures by seizing the property of many citizens, a measure that seems to have gone too far and to have caused real hardship and resentment. Third, he created further ill-will by disbanding the imperial corps of German bodyguards, effectively abolishing a tradition that originated with Marius and had been endorsed by Augustus. Finally, he seriously alienated the military by refusing cash rewards for both the praetorians and for the soldiers in Upper Germany who had fought against Vindex.

This last act proved to be the beginning of the end for Galba. On 1 January 69 ("The Year of the Four Emperors"), 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. In response, Galba adopted Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus to show that he was still in charge and that his successor would not be chosen for him. Piso, although an aristocrat, was a man completely without administrative or military experience. The choice meant little to the remote armies, the praetorians or the senate, and it especially angered Otho, who had hoped to succeed Galba. Otho quickly organized a conspiracy among the praetorians with the now-familiar 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.

Assessment
In sum, Galba had displayed talent and ambition during his lengthy career. He enjoyed distinguished ancestry, moved easily among the Julio-Claudian emperors (with the exception of Nero towards the end of his principate), and had been awarded the highest military and religious honors of ancient Rome. His qualifications for the principate cannot be questioned. Even so, history has been unkind to him. Tacitus characterized Galba as "weak and old," a man "equal to the imperial office, if he had never held it." Modern historians of the Roman world have been no less critical. To be sure, Galba's greatest mistake lay in his general handling of the military. His treatment of the army in Upper Germany was heedless, his policy towards the praetorians short sighted. Given the climate in 68-69, Galba was unrealistic in expecting disciplina without paying the promised rewards. He was also guilty of relying on poor advisors, who shielded him from reality and ultimately allowed Otho's conspiracy to succeed. Additionally, the excessive power of his henchmen brought the regime into disfavor and made Galba himself the principal target of the hatred that his aides had incited. Finally, the appointment of Piso, a young man in no way equal to the challenges placed before him, further underscored the emperor's isolation and lack of judgment. In the end, the instability of the post-Julio-Claudian political landscape offered challenges more formidable than a tired, septuagenarian aristocrat could hope to overcome. Ironically, his regime proved no more successful than the Neronian government he was so eager to replace. Another year of bloodshed would be necessary before the Principate could once again stand firm.

Copyright (C) 1999, John Donahue.
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
VitelliusARdenariusVesta.jpg
709a, Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.42 viewsVITELLIUS AR silver denarius. RSC 72, RCV 2200. 19mm, 3.2 g. Obverse: A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; Reverse - PONT MAXIM, Vesta seated right, holding scepter and patera. Quite decent. Ex. Incitatus Coins. Photo courtesy of Incitatus Coins.

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

Vitellius (69 A.D.)

John F. Donahue
College of William and Mary


It is often difficult to separate fact from fiction in assessing the life and reign of Vitellius. Maligned in the ancient sources as gluttonous and cruel, he was also a victim of a hostile biographical tradition established in the regime of the Flavians who had overthrown him. Nevertheless, his decision to march against Rome in 69 was pivotal, since his subsequent defeat signalled the end of military anarchy and the beginning of an extended period of political stability under Vespasian and his successors.

Early Life and Career

Aulus Vitellius was born in September, 15 AD, the son of Lucius Vitellius and his wife Sestilia. One of the most successful public figures of the Julio-Claudian period, Lucius Vitellius was a three-time consul and a fellow censor with the emperor Claudius. Aulus seems to have moved with equal ease in aristocratic circles, successively winning the attention of the emperors Gaius, Claudius, and Nero through flattery and political skill.

Among his attested public offices, Vitellius was a curator of public works, a senatorial post concerned with the maintenance and repair of public buildings in Rome, and he was also proconsul of North Africa, where he served as a deputy to his brother, perhaps about 55 A. D. In addition, he held at least two priesthoods, the first as a member of the Arval Brethren, in whose rituals he participated from 57 A.D., and the second, as one of the quindecemviri sacris faciundis, a sacred college famous for its feasts.

With respect to marriage and family, Vitellius first wed a certain Petroniana, the daughter of a consul, sometime in the early to mid thirties A.D. The union produced a son, Petronianus, allegedly blind in one eye and emancipated from his father's control as a result of being named his mother's heir. Tradition records that Vitellius killed the boy shortly after emancipation amid charges of parricide; the marriage soon ended in divorce. A second marriage, to Galeria Fundana, daughter of an ex-praetor, was more stable than the first. It produced another son, who was eventually killed by the Flavians after the overthrow of Vitellius, as well as a daughter. Galeria is praised by Tacitus for her good qualities, and in the end it was she who saw to Vitellius' burial.

Rise to Power and Emperorship

Without doubt, the most fortuitous moment in Vitellius' political career was his appointment as governor of Lower Germany by the emperor Galba late in 68. The decision seemed to have caught everybody by surprise, including Vitellius himself, who, according to Suetonius, was in straitened circumstances at the time. The choice may have been made to reduce the possibility of rebellion by the Rhine armies, disaffected by Galba's refusal to reward them for their part in suppressing the earlier uprising of Julius Vindex. Ironically, it was Vitellius' lack of military achievement and his reputation for gambling and gluttony that may have also figured in his selection. Galba perhaps calculated that a man with little military experience who could now plunder a province to satisfy his own stomach would never become disloyal. If so, it was a critical misjudgement by the emperor.

The rebellion began on January 1, 69 ("The Year of the Four Emperors"), when the legions of Upper Germany refused to renew their oath of allegiance to Galba. On January 2, Vitellius' own men, having heard of the previous day's events, saluted him as emperor at the instigation of the legionary legate Fabius Valens and his colleagues. Soon, in addition to the seven legions that Vitellius now had at his command in both Germanies, the forces in Gaul, Britain, and Raetia also came over to his side. Perhaps aware of his military inexperience, Vitellius did not immediately march on Rome himself. Instead, the advance was led by Valens and another legionary general, Aulus Caecina Alienus, with each man commanding a separate column. Vitellius would remain behind to mobilize a reserve force and follow later.

Caecina was already one hundred fifty miles on his way when news reached him that Galba had been overthrown and Otho had taken his place as emperor. Undeterred, he passed rapidly down the eastern borders of Gaul; Valens followed a more westerly route, quelling a mutiny along the way. By March both armies had successfully crossed the Alps and joined at Cremona, just north of the Po. Here they launced their Batavian auxiliaries against Otho's troops and routed them in the First Battle of Bedriacum. Otho killed himself on April 16, and three days later the soldiers in Rome swore their allegience to Vitellius. The senate too hailed him as emperor.

When Vitellius learned of these developments, he set out to Rome from Gaul. By all accounts the journey was a drunken feast marked by the lack of discipline of both the troops and the imperial entourage. Along the way he stopped at Lugdunum to present his six-year-old son Germanicus to the legions as his eventual successor. Later, at Cremona, Vitellius witnessed the corpse-filled battlefield of Otho's recent defeat with joy, unmoved by so many citizens denied a proper burial.

The emperor entered Rome in late June-early July. Conscious of making a break with the Julio-Claudian past, Vitellius was reluctant to assume the traditional titles of the princes, even though he enthusiastically made offerings to Nero and declared himself consul for life. To his credit, Vitellius did seem to show a measure of moderation in the transition to the principate. He assumed his powers gradually and was generally lenient to Otho's supporters, even pardoning Otho's brother Salvius Titianus, who had played a key role in the earlier regime. In addition, he participated in Senate meetings and continued the practice of providing entertainments for the Roman masses. An important practical change involved the awarding of posts customarily held by freedmen to equites, an indication of the growth of the imperial bureaucracy and its attractiveness to men of ambition.

In other matters, he replaced the existing praetorian guard and urban cohorts with sixteen praetorian cohorts and four urban units, all comprised of soldiers from the German armies. According to Tacitus, the decision prompted a mad scramble, with the men, and not their officers, choosing the branch of service that they preferred. The situation was clearly unsatisfactory but not surprising, given that Vitellius was a creation of his own troops. To secure his position further, he sent back to their old postings the legions that had fought for Otho, or he reassigned them to distant provinces. Yet discontent remained: the troops who had been defeated or betrayed at Bedriacum remained bitter, and detachments of three Moesian legions called upon by Otho were returned to their bases, having agitated against Vitellius at Aquileia.

Flavian Revolt

The Vitellian era at Rome was short-lived. By mid-July news had arrived that the legions of Egypt under Tiberius Julius Alexander had sworn allegiance to a rival emperor, Titus Flavius Vespasianus, the governor of Judaea and a successful and popular general. Vespasian was to hold Egypt while his colleague Mucianus, governor of Syria, was to invade Italy. Before the plan could be enacted, however, the Danube legions, former supporters of Otho, joined Vespasian's cause. Under the leadership of Antonius Primus, commander of the Sixth legion in Pannonia, and Cornelius Fuscus, imperial procurator in Illyricum, the legions made a rapid descent on Italy.

Although his forces were only half of what Vitellius commanded in Italy, Primus struck first before the emperor could muster additional reinforcements from Germany. To make matters worse for the Vitellians, Valens was ill, and Caecina, now consul, had begun collaborating with the Flavians. His troops refused to follow his lead, however, and arrested him at Hostilia near Cremona. They then joined the rest of the Vitellian forces trying to hold the Po River. With Vitellius still in Rome and his forces virtually leaderless, the two sides met in October in the Second Battle of Bedriacum. The emperor's troops were soundly defeated and Cremona was brutally sacked by the victors. In addition, Valens, whose health had recovered, was captured while raising an army for Vitellius in Gaul and Germany; he was eventually executed.

Meanwhile, Primus continued towards Rome. Vitellius made a weak attempt to thwart the advance at the Apennine passes, but his forces switched to the Flavian side without a fight at Narnia in mid-December. At Rome, matters were no better. Vespasian's elder brother, Titus Flavius Sabinus, the city prefect, was successful in an effort to convince Vitellius to abdicate but was frustrated by the mob in Rome and the emperor's soldiers. Forced to flee to the Capitol, Sabinus was set upon by Vitellius' German troops and soon killed, with the venerable Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus set ablaze in the process. Within two days, the Flavian army fought its way into Rome. In a pathetic final move, Vitellius disguised himself in dirty clothing and hid in the imperial doorkeeper's quarters, leaning a couch and a mattress against the door for protection. Dragged from his hiding place by the Flavian forces, he was hauled off half-naked to the Forum, where he was tortured, killed, and tossed into the Tiber. The principate could now pass to Vespasian.

Assessment

Vitellius has not escaped the hostility of his biographers. While he may well have been gluttonous, his depiction as indolent, cruel, and extravagant is based almost entirely on the propaganda of his enemies. On the other hand, whatever moderating tendencies he did show were overshadowed by his clear lack of military expertise, a deficiency that forced him to rely in critical situations on largely inneffective lieutenants. As a result he was no match for his Flavian successors, and his humiliating demise was perfectly in keeping with the overall failure of his reign.

Copyright (C) 1999, John Donahue.
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
VespasianPax_RICii10.jpg
710a, Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.134 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, 10, aVF, 3.5 g, 18mm, Rome mint, 69-71 AD; Obverse: IMP CAESA[R] VESPASIANV[S AV]G - Laureate head right; Reverse: COS ITER [T]R POT - Pax seated left holding branch and caduceus. Ex Imperial Coins.


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

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 69-79)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (b. A.D. 9, d. A.D. 79, emperor A.D. 69-79) restored peace and stability to an empire in disarray following the death of Nero in A.D. 68. In the process he established the Flavian dynasty as the legitimate successor to the Imperial throne. Although we lack many details about the events and chronology of his reign, Vespasian provided practical leadership and a return to stable government - accomplishments which, when combined with his other achievements, make his emperorship particularly notable within the history of the Principate.

Early Life and Career

Vespasian was born at Falacrina near Sabine Reate on 17 November, A.D. 9, the son of T. Flavius Sabinus, a successful tax collector and banker, and Vespasia Polla. Both parents were of equestrian status. Few details of his first fifteen years survive, yet it appears that his father and mother were often away from home on business for long periods. As a result, Vespasian's early education became the responsibility of his paternal grandmother, Tertulla. [[1]] In about A.D. 25 Vespasian assumed the toga virilis and later accepted the wearing of the latus clavus, and with it the senatorial path that his older brother, T. Flavius Sabinus, had already chosen. [[2]] Although many of the particulars are lacking, the posts typically occupied by one intent upon a senatorial career soon followed: a military tribunate in Thrace, perhaps for three or four years; a quaestorship in Crete-Cyrene; and the offices of aedile and praetor, successively, under the emperor Gaius. [[3]]

It was during this period that Vespasian married Flavia Domitilla. Daughter of a treasury clerk and former mistress of an African knight, Flavia lacked the social standing and family connections that the politically ambitious usually sought through marriage. In any case, the couple produced three children, a daughter, also named Flavia Domitilla, and two sons, the future emperors Titus and Domitian . Flavia did not live to witness her husband's emperorship and after her death Vespasian returned to his former mistress Caenis, who had been secretary to Antonia (daughter of Marc Antony and mother of Claudius). Caenis apparently exerted considerable influence over Vespasian, prompting Suetonius to assert that she remained his wife in all but name, even after he became emperor. [[4]]

Following the assassination of Gaius on 24 January, A.D. 41, Vespasian advanced rapidly, thanks in large part to the new princeps Claudius, whose favor the Flavians had wisely secured with that of Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius' freedmen, especially Narcissus. [[5]] The emperor soon dispatched Vespasian to Argentoratum (Strasbourg) as legatus legionis II Augustae, apparently to prepare the legion for the invasion of Britain. Vespasian first appeared at the battle of Medway in A.D. 43, and soon thereafter led his legion across the south of England, where he engaged the enemy thirty times in battle, subdued two tribes, and conquered the Isle of Wight. According to Suetonius, these operations were conducted partly under Claudius and partly under Vespasian's commander, Aulus Plautius. Vespasian's contributions, however, did not go unnoticed; he received the ornamenta triumphalia and two priesthoods from Claudius for his exploits in Britain. [[6]]

By the end of A.D. 51 Vespasian had reached the consulship, the pinnacle of a political career at Rome. For reasons that remain obscure he withdrew from political life at this point, only to return when chosen proconsul of Africa about A.D. 63-64. His subsequent administration of the province was marked by severity and parsimony, earning him a reputation for being scrupulous but unpopular. [[7]] Upon completion of his term, Vespasian returned to Rome where, as a senior senator, he became a man of influence in the emperor Nero's court. [[8]] Important enough to be included on Nero's tour of Greece in A.D. 66-67, Vespasian soon found himself in the vicinity of increasing political turbulence in the East. The situation would prove pivotal in advancing his career.

Judaea and the Accession to Power

In response to rioting in Caesarea and Jerusalem that had led to the slaughter in the latter city of Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers, Nero granted to Vespasian in A.D. 66 a special command in the East with the objective of settling the revolt in Judaea. By spring A.D. 67, with 60,000 legionaries, auxiliaries, and allies under his control, Vespasian set out to subdue Galilee and then to cut off Jerusalem. Success was quick and decisive. By October all of Galilee had been pacified and plans for the strategic encirclement of Jerusalem were soon formed. [[9]] Meanwhile, at the other end of the empire, the revolts of Gaius Iulius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, and Servius Sulpicius Galba , governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, had brought Nero's reign to the brink of collapse. The emperor committed suicide in June, A.D. 68, thereby ensuring chaos for the next eighteen months, as first Galba and then Marcus Salvius Otho and Aulus Vitellius acceded to power. Each lacked broad-based military and senatorial support; each would be violently deposed in turn. [[10]]

Still occupied with plans against Jerusalem, Vespasian swore allegiance to each emperor. Shortly after Vitellius assumed power in spring, A.D. 69, however, Vespasian met on the border of Judaea and Syria with Gaius Licinius Mucianus, governor of Syria, and after a series of private and public consultations, the two decided to revolt. [[11]] On July 1, at the urging of Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, the legions of Alexandria declared for Vespasian, as did the legions of Judaea two days later. By August all of Syria and the Danube legions had done likewise. Vespasian next dispatched Mucianus to Italy with 20,000 troops, while he set out from Syria to Alexandria in order to control grain shipments for the purpose of starving Italy into submission. [[12]] The siege of Jerusalem he placed in the hands of his son Titus.

Meanwhile, the Danubian legions, unwilling to wait for Mucianus' arrival, began their march against Vitellius ' forces. The latter army, suffering from a lack of discipline and training, and unaccustomed to the heat of Rome, was defeated at Cremona in late October. [[13]] By mid-December the Flavian forces had reached Carsulae, 95 kilometers north of Rome on the Flaminian Road, where the Vitellians, with no further hope of reinforcements, soon surrendered. At Rome, unable to persuade his followers to accept terms for his abdication, Vitellius was in peril. On the morning of December 20 the Flavian army entered Rome. By that afternoon, the emperor was dead. [[14]]

Tacitus records that by December 22, A.D. 69, Vespasian had been given all the honors and privileges usually granted to emperors. Even so, the issue remains unclear, owing largely to a surviving fragment of an enabling law, the lex de imperio Vespasiani, which conferred powers, privileges, and exemptions, most with Julio-Claudian precedents, on the new emperor. Whether the fragment represents a typical granting of imperial powers that has uniquely survived in Vespasian's case, or is an attempt to limit or expand such powers, remains difficult to know. In any case, the lex sanctioned all that Vespasian had done up to its passing and gave him authority to act as he saw fit on behalf of the Roman people. [[15]]

What does seem clear is that Vespasian felt the need to legitimize his new reign with vigor. He zealously publicized the number of divine omens that predicted his accession and at every opportunity he accumulated multiple consulships and imperial salutations. He also actively promoted the principle of dynastic succession, insisting that the emperorship would fall to his son. The initiative was fulfilled when Titus succeeded his father in A.D. 79.[[16]]

Emperorship

Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. Although many particulars are missing, a portrait nevertheles emerges of a ruler conscientiously committed to the methodical renewal of both city and empire. Concerning Rome itself, the emperor encouraged rebuilding on vacated lots, restored the Capitol (burned in A.D. 69), and also began work on several new buildings: a temple to the deified Claudius on the Caelian Hill, a project designed to identify Vespasian as a legitimate heir to the Julio-Claudians, while distancing himself from Nero ; a temple of Peace near the Forum; and the magnificent Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), located on the site of the lake of Nero 's Golden House. [[17]]

Claiming that he needed forty thousand million sesterces for these projects and for others aimed at putting the state on more secure footing, Vespasian is said to have revoked various imperial immunities, manipulated the supply of certain commodities to inflate their price, and increased provincial taxation. [[18]] The measures are consistent with his characterization in the sources as both obdurate and avaricious. There were occasional political problems as well: Helvidius Priscus, an advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, was exiled after A.D. 75 and later executed; Marcellus Eprius and A. Alienus Caecina were condemned by Titus for conspiracy, the former committing suicide, the latter executed in A.D. 79.
As Suetonius claims, however, in financial matters Vespasian always put revenues to the best possible advantage, regardless of their source. Tacitus, too, offers a generally favorable assessment, citing Vespasian as the first man to improve after becoming emperor. [[19]] Thus do we find the princeps offering subventions to senators not possessing the property qualifications of their rank, restoring many cities throughout the empire, and granting state salaries for the first time to teachers of Latin and Greek rhetoric. To enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus, and he also put on lavish state dinners to assist the food trades. [[20]]

In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern. He restored the depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders with eligible Italian and provincial candidates and reduced the backlog of pending court cases at Rome. Vespasian also re-established discipline in the army, while punishing or dismissing large numbers of Vitellius ' men. [[21]]
Beyond Rome, the emperor increased the number of legions in the East and continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England, the pacification of Wales, and by advances into Scotland and southwest Germany between the Rhine and the Danube. Vespasian also conferred rights on communities abroad, especially in Spain, where the granting of Latin rights to all native communities contributed to the rapid Romanization of that province during the Imperial period. [[22]]

Death and Assessment

In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!" [[23]] In fact, public deification did follow his death, as did his internment in the Mausoleum of Augustus alongside the Julio-Claudians.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century.

Bibliography

Since the scholarship on Vespasian is more comprehensive than can be treated here, the works listed below are main accounts or bear directly upon issues discussed in the entry above. A comprehensive modern anglophone study of this emperor is yet to be produced.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Flaviani, 2 vols. Rieti, 1983.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Vespasianei, 2 vols. Rieti, 1981.

Bosworth, A.B. "Vespasian and the Provinces: Some Problems of the Early 70s A.D." Athenaeum 51 (1973): 49-78.

Brunt, P. A. "Lex de imperio Vespasiani." JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

D'Espèrey, S. Franchet. "Vespasien, Titus et la littérature." ANRW II.32.5: 3048-3086.

Dudley, D. and Webster, G. The Roman Conquest of Britain. London, 1965.

Gonzalez, J. "The Lex Irnitana: A New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

Grant, M. The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to the Rulers of Rome, 31 B.C. - A.D. 476. New York, 1985.

Homo, L. Vespasien, l'Empereur du bons sens (69-79 ap. J.-C.). Paris, 1949.

Levi, M.A. "I Flavi." ANRW II.2: 177-207.

McCrum, M. and Woodhead, A. G. Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian Emperors Including the Year of the Revolution. Cambridge, 1966.

Nicols, John. Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae. Wiesbaden, 1978.

Scarre, C. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. London, 1995.

Suddington, D. B. The Development of the Roman Auxiliary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian, 49 B.C. - A.D. 79. Harare: U. of Zimbabwe, 1982.

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

Wardel, David. "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol." Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

Wellesley, K. The Long Year: A.D. 69. Bristol, 1989, 2nd ed.


Notes

[[1]] Suet. Vesp. 2.1. Suetonius remains the major source but see also Tac. Hist. 2-5; Cass. Dio 65; Joseph. BJ 3-4.

[[2]] Suetonius (Vesp. 2.1) claims that Vespasian did not accept the latus clavus, the broad striped toga worn by one aspiring to a senatorial career, immediately. The delay, however, was perhaps no more than three years. See J. Nicols, Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae (Wiesbaden, 1978), 2.

[[3]] Military tribunate and quaestorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3; aedileship: ibid., 5.3, in which Gaius, furious that Vespasian had not kept the streets clean, as was his duty, ordered some soldiers to load him with filth;,they complied by stuffing his toga with as much as it could hold. See also Dio 59.12.2-3; praetorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3, in which Vespasian is depicted as one of Gaius' leading adulators, an account consistent with Tacitus' portrayal (Hist 1.50.4; 2.5.1) of his early career. For a more complete discussion of these posts and attendant problems of dating, see Nicols, Vespasian, 2-7.

[[4]] Marriage and Caenis: Suet. Vesp. 3; Cass. Dio 65.14.

[[5]] Nicols, Vespasian, 12-39.

[[6]] Suet. Vesp. 4.1 For additional details on Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see D. Dudley and G. Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain (London, 1965), 55 ff., 98.

[[7]] Concerning Vespasian's years between his consulship and proconsulship, see Suet. Vesp. 4.2 and Nicols, Vespasian, 9. On his unpopularity in Africa, see Suet. Vesp. 4.3, an account of a riot at Hadrumentum, where he was once pelted with turnips. In recording that Africa supported Vitellius in A.D. 69, Tacitus too suggests popular dissatisfaction with Vespasian's proconsulship. See Hist. 2.97.2.

[[8]] This despite the fact that the sources record two rebukes of Vespasian, one for extorting money from a young man seeking career advancement (Suet. Vesp. 4.3), the other for either leaving the room or dozing off during one of the emperor's recitals (Suet. Vesp. 4.4 and 14, which places the transgression in Greece; Tac. (Ann. 16.5.3), who makes Rome and the Quinquennial Games of A.D. 65 the setting; A. Braithwaite, C. Suetoni Tranquilli Divus Vespasianus, Oxford, 1927, 30, who argues for both Greece and Rome).

[[9]] Subjugation of Galilee: Joseph. BJ 3.65-4.106; siege of Jerusalem: ibid., 4.366-376, 414.

[[10]] Revolt of Vindex: Suet. Nero 40; Tac. Ann. 14.4; revolt of Galba: Suet. Galba 10; Plut. Galba, 4-5; suicide of Nero: Suet. Nero 49; Cass. Dio 63.29.2. For the most complete account of the period between Nero's death and the accession of Vespasian, see K. Wellesley, The Long Year: A.D. 69, 2nd. ed. (Bristol, 1989).

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

[[12]] Troops in support of Vespasian: Suet. Vit. 15; Mucianus and his forces: Tac. Hist. 2.83; Vespasian and grain shipments: Joseph. BJ 4.605 ff.; see also Tac. Hist. 3.48, on Vespasian's possible plan to shut off grain shipments to Italy from Carthage as well.

[[13]] On Vitellius' army and its lack of discipline, see Tac. Hist. 2.93-94; illness of army: ibid., 2.99.1; Cremona: ibid., 3.32-33.

[[14]] On Vitellius' last days, see Tac. Hist. 3.68-81. On the complicated issue of Vitellius' death date, see L. Holzapfel, "Römische Kaiserdaten," Klio 13 (1913): 301.

[[15]] Honors, etc. Tac. Hist. 4.3. For more on the lex de imperio Vespasiani, see P. A. Brunt, "Lex de imperio Vespasiani," JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

[[16]] Omens: Suet. Vesp. 5; consulships and honors: ibid., 8; succession of sons: ibid., 25.

[[17]] On Vespasian's restoration of Rome, see Suet. Vesp. 9; Cass. Dio 65.10; D. Wardel, "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol," Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

[[19]] Ibid.; Tac. Hist. 1.50.

[[20]] Suet. Vesp. 17-19.

[[21]] Ibid., 8-10.

[[22]] On Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see esp. Tac., Agricola, eds. R. M. Ogilvie and I. A. Richmond (1967), and W. S. Hanson, Agricola and the Conquest of the North (1987); on the granting of Latin rights in Spain, see, e.g., J. Gonzalez, "The Lex Irnitana: a New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

[[23]] For this witticism and other anecdotes concerning Vespasian's sense of humor, see Suet. Vesp. 23.

Copyright (C) 1998, John Donahue. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, an Online Encyplopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/vespasia.htm
Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.





Cleisthenes
TitusCommColosseum.jpg
711a, Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D. 110 viewsTITUS AUGUSTUS AR silver denarius. Struck at Rome, 80 AD. IMP TITVS CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG PM, laureate head right. Reverse - TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP, elephant walking left. Fully legible legends, about Very Fine, nice golden toning. Commemmorates the completion and dedication of the Colosseum and the opening of games. SCARCE. RCV 2512, valued at $544 in EF. 17mm, 3.1g. Ex Incitatus.

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

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 79-81)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Titus Flavius Vespasianus was born on December 30, 39 A.D. He was the oldest of the three children of the founder of the Flavian Dynasty, Vespasian. Beginning in the year 70 Titus was named Cæsar and coregent; he was highly educated and a brilliant poet and orator in both Latin and Greek. He won military fame during the Jewish Revolt of 69-70. In April, 70, he appeared before the walls of Jerusalem, and conquered and destroyed the city after a siege of five months. He wished to preserve the Temple, but in the struggle with the Jews who rushed out of it a soldier threw a brand into the building. The siege and taking of the city were accompanied by barbarous cruelties. The next year Titus celebrated his victory by a triumph; to increase the fame of the Flavian dynasty the inscription on the triumphal arch represented the overthrow of the helpless people as a heroic achievement. Titus succeeded his father as Emperor in 79.

Before becoming emperor, tradition records that Titus was feared as the next Nero, a perception that may have developed from his association with Berenice, his alleged heavy-handedness as praetorian prefect, and tales of sexual debauchery. Once in office, however, both emperor and his reign were portrayed in universally positive terms. The suddenness of this transformation raises immediate suspicions, yet it is difficult to know whether the historical tradition is suspect or if Titus was in fact adept at taking off one mask for another. What is clear, however, is that Titus sought to present the Flavians as the legitimate successors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Proof came through the issuing of a series of restoration coins of previous emperors, the most popular being Augustus and Claudius. In A.D. 80 Titus also set out to establish an imperial cult in honor of Vespasian. The temple, in which cult (the first that was not connected with the Julio-Claudians) was housed, was completed by Domitian and was known as the Temple of Vespasian and Domitian.
Legitimacy was also sought through various economic measures, which Titus enthusiastically funded. Vast amounts of capital poured into extensive building schemes in Rome, especially the Flavian Amphitheater, popularly known as the Colosseum. In celebration of additions made to the structure, Titus provided a grand 100-day festival, with sea fights staged on an artificial lake, infantry battles, wild beast hunts, and similar activities. He also constructed new imperial baths to the south-east of the Amphitheater and began work on the celebrated Arch of Titus, a memorial to his Jewish victories. Large sums were directed to Italy and the provinces as well, especially for road building. In response to the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Titus spent large sums to relieve distress in that area; likewise, the imperial purse contributed heavily to rebuilding Rome after a devastating fire destroyed large sections of the city in A.D. 80. As a result of these actions, Titus earned a reputation for generosity and geniality. For these reasons he gained the honourable title of "amor et deliciæ generis humani" (the darling and admiration of the human race). Even so, his financial acumen must not be under-estimated. He left the treasury with a surplus, as he had found it, and dealt promptly and efficiently with costly natural disasters. The Greek historian of the third-century A.D., Cassius Dio, perhaps offered the most accurate and succinct assessment of Titus' economic policy: "In money matters, Titus was frugal and made no unnecessary expenditure." In other areas, the brevity of Titus' reign limits our ability to detect major emphases or trends in policy. As far as can be discerned from the limited evidence, senior officials and amici were well chosen, and his legislative activity tended to focus on popular social measures, with the army as a particular beneficiary in the areas of land ownership, marriage, and testamentary freedom. In the provinces, Titus continued his father's policies by strengthening roads and forts in the East and along the Danube.

Titus died in September, A.D. 81 after only 26 months in office. Suetonius recorded that Titus died on his way to the Sabine country of his ancestors in the same villa as his father. A competing tradition persistently implicated his brother and successor, Domitian, as having had a hand in the emperor's demise, but the evidence is highly contradictory and any wrongdoing is difficult to prove. Domitian himself delivered the funeral eulogy and had Titus deified. He also built several monuments in honor of Titus and completed the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, changing the name of the structure to include his brother's and setting up his cult statue in the Temple itself.

Titus was the beneficiary of considerable intelligence and talent, endowments that were carefully cultivated at every step of his career, from his early education to his role under his father's principate. Cassius Dio suggested that Titus' reputation was enhanced by his early death. It is true that the ancient sources tend to heroicize Titus, yet based upon the evidence, his reign must be considered a positive one. He capably continued the work of his father in establishing the Flavian Dynasty and he maintained a high degree of economic and administrative competence in Italy and beyond. In so doing, he solidified the role of the emperor as paternalistic autocrat, a model that would serve Trajan and his successors well. Titus was used as a model by later emperors, especially those known as the Five Good Emperors (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius).

Copyright (C) 1997, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Catholic Encyclopedia, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14746b.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Titus_Colosseum_Commem_AR_denarius.jpg
711a, Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.136 viewsTitus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D. AR denarius, RCV 2512, aVF, struck at Rome, 80 A.D., 17.5mm, 3.4g. Obverse: IMP TITVS CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG PM, laureate head right; Reverse: TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP, elephant walking left. Fully legible legends; nice golden toning. This coin was struck in order to commemorate the completion and dedication of the Flavian Amphitheatre (the Colosseum) and its opening games. Very scarce. Ex Incitatus; photo courtesy Incitatus.

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

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 79-81)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Titus Flavius Vespasianus was born on December 30, 39 A.D. He was the oldest of the three children of the founder of the Flavian Dynasty, Vespasian. Beginning in the year 70 Titus was named Cæsar and coregent; he was highly educated and a brilliant poet and orator in both Latin and Greek. He won military fame during the Jewish Revolt of 69-70. In April, 70, he appeared before the walls of Jerusalem, and conquered and destroyed the city after a siege of five months. He wished to preserve the Temple, but in the struggle with the Jews who rushed out of it a soldier threw a brand into the building. The siege and taking of the city were accompanied by barbarous cruelties. The next year Titus celebrated his victory by a triumph; to increase the fame of the Flavian dynasty the inscription on the triumphal arch represented the overthrow of the helpless people as a heroic achievement. Titus succeeded his father as Emperor in 79.

Before becoming emperor, tradition records that Titus was feared as the next Nero, a perception that may have developed from his association with Berenice, his alleged heavy-handedness as praetorian prefect, and tales of sexual debauchery. Once in office, however, both emperor and his reign were portrayed in universally positive terms. The suddenness of this transformation raises immediate suspicions, yet it is difficult to know whether the historical tradition is suspect or if Titus was in fact adept at taking off one mask for another. What is clear, however, is that Titus sought to present the Flavians as the legitimate successors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Proof came through the issuing of a series of restoration coins of previous emperors, the most popular being Augustus and Claudius. In A.D. 80 Titus also set out to establish an imperial cult in honor of Vespasian. The temple, in which cult (the first that was not connected with the Julio-Claudians) was housed, was completed by Domitian and was known as the Temple of Vespasian and Domitian.
Legitimacy was also sought through various economic measures, which Titus enthusiastically funded. Vast amounts of capital poured into extensive building schemes in Rome, especially the Flavian Amphitheater, popularly known as the Colosseum. In celebration of additions made to the structure, Titus provided a grand 100-day festival, with sea fights staged on an artificial lake, infantry battles, wild beast hunts, and similar activities. He also constructed new imperial baths to the south-east of the Amphitheater and began work on the celebrated Arch of Titus, a memorial to his Jewish victories. Large sums were directed to Italy and the provinces as well, especially for road building. In response to the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Titus spent large sums to relieve distress in that area; likewise, the imperial purse contributed heavily to rebuilding Rome after a devastating fire destroyed large sections of the city in A.D. 80. As a result of these actions, Titus earned a reputation for generosity and geniality. For these reasons he gained the honourable title of "amor et deliciæ generis humani" (the darling and admiration of the human race). Even so, his financial acumen must not be under-estimated. He left the treasury with a surplus, as he had found it, and dealt promptly and efficiently with costly natural disasters. The Greek historian of the third-century A.D., Cassius Dio, perhaps offered the most accurate and succinct assessment of Titus' economic policy: "In money matters, Titus was frugal and made no unnecessary expenditure." In other areas, the brevity of Titus' reign limits our ability to detect major emphases or trends in policy. As far as can be discerned from the limited evidence, senior officials and amici were well chosen, and his legislative activity tended to focus on popular social measures, with the army as a particular beneficiary in the areas of land ownership, marriage, and testamentary freedom. In the provinces, Titus continued his father's policies by strengthening roads and forts in the East and along the Danube.

Titus died in September, A.D. 81 after only 26 months in office. Suetonius recorded that Titus died on his way to the Sabine country of his ancestors in the same villa as his father. A competing tradition persistently implicated his brother and successor, Domitian, as having had a hand in the emperor's demise, but the evidence is highly contradictory and any wrongdoing is difficult to prove. Domitian himself delivered the funeral eulogy and had Titus deified. He also built several monuments in honor of Titus and completed the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, changing the name of the structure to include his brother's and setting up his cult statue in the Temple itself.

Titus was the beneficiary of considerable intelligence and talent, endowments that were carefully cultivated at every step of his career, from his early education to his role under his father's principate. Cassius Dio suggested that Titus' reputation was enhanced by his early death. It is true that the ancient sources tend to heroicize Titus, yet based upon the evidence, his reign must be considered a positive one. He capably continued the work of his father in establishing the Flavian Dynasty and he maintained a high degree of economic and administrative competence in Italy and beyond. In so doing, he solidified the role of the emperor as paternalistic autocrat, a model that would serve Trajan and his successors well. Titus was used as a model by later emperors, especially those known as the Five Good Emperors (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius).

Copyright (C) 1997, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Catholic Encyclopedia, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14746b.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
3 commentsCleisthenes
DomitianARDenariusHorseman.jpg
712a, Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.157 viewsDomitian, as Caesar, AR Denarius. 77-78 AD; RIC 242, VF, 18mm, 3.18grams. Obverse: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIA[NVS], laureate head right ; Reverse: COS V below man with hand raised out behind him on horse prancing right. RSC 49a. Scarce. Ex Zuzim Judaea.

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

Titus Flavius Domitianus(A.D. 81-96)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Domitian was born in Rome on 24 October A.D. 51, the youngest son of Vespasian, Roman emperor (A.D. 69-79) and Domitilla I, a treasury clerk's daughter. Little is known about Domitian in the turbulent 18 months of the four (five?) emperors, but in the aftermath of the downfall of Vitellius in A.D. 69 he presented himself to the invading Flavian forces, was hailed as Caesar, and moved into the imperial residence.

As emperor, Domitian was to become one of Rome's foremost micromanagers, especially concerning the economy. Shortly after taking office, he raised the silver content of the denarius by about 12% (to the earlier level of Augustus), only to devaluate it in A.D. 85, when the imperial income must have proved insufficient to meet military and public expenses.

Domitian's reach extended well beyond the economy. Late in A.D. 85 he made himself censor perpetuus, censor for life, with a general supervision of conduct and morals. The move was without precedent and, although largely symbolic, it nevertheless revealed Domitian's obsessive interest in all aspects of Roman life. An ardent supporter of traditional Roman religion, he also closely identified himself with Minerva and Jupiter, publicly linking the latter divinity to his regime through the Ludi Capitolini, the Capitoline Games, begun in A.D.86. Held every four years in the early summer, the Games consisted of chariot races, athletics and gymnastics, and music, oratory and poetry.

Beyond Rome, Domitian taxed provincials rigorously and was not afraid to impose his will on officials of every rank. Consistent with his concern for the details of administration, he also made essential changes in the organization of several provinces and established the office of curator to investigate financial mismanagement in the cities. Other evidence points to a concern with civic improvements of all kinds, from road building in Asia Minor, Sardinia and near the Danube to building and defensive improvements in North Africa.

While the military abilities of Vespasian and Titus were genuine, those of Domitian were not. Partly as an attempt to remedy this deficiency, Domitian frequently became involved in his own military exploits outside of Rome. He claimed a triumph in A.D. 83 for subduing the Chatti in Gaul, but the conquest was illusory. Final victory did not really come until A.D. 89. In Britain, similar propaganda masked the withdrawal of Roman forces from the northern borders to positions farther south, a clear sign of Domitian's rejection of expansionist warfare in the province.

Domitian's autocratic tendencies meant that the real seat of power during his reign resided with his court. The features typically associated with later courts - a small band of favored courtiers, a keen interest in the bizarre and the unusual (e.g., wrestlers, jesters, and dwarves), and a highly mannered, if somewhat artificial atmosphere, characterized Domitian's palace too, whether at Rome or at his Alban villa, some 20 kilometers outside of the capital.

On 18 September, A.D. 96, Domitian was assassinated and was succeeded on the very same day by M. Cocceius Nerva, a senator and one of his amici. The sources are unanimous in stressing that this was a palace plot, yet it is difficult to determine the level of culpability among the various potential conspirators.
In many ways, Domitian is still a mystery - a lazy and licentious ruler by some accounts, an ambitious administrator and keeper of traditional Roman religion by others. As many of his economic, provincial, and military policies reveal, he was efficient and practical in much that he undertook, yet he also did nothing to hide the harsher despotic realities of his rule. This fact, combined with his solitary personality and frequent absences from Rome, guaranteed a harsh portrayal of his rule. The ultimate truths of his reign remain difficult to know.

Copyright (C) 1997, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Perhaps the reverse of this Domitian/Horseman specimen depicts Domitian as he rode a white horse behind his father, Vespasian, and his brother, Titus, during their joint triumph celebrating their victory over Judaea (see: Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars. Trans. Robert Graves. London: Penguin, 2003. 304).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
LarryW2284.jpg
7276 Nikomedes IV, Philopator, 94-74 BC36 viewsSilver tetradrachm, 36.4mm, 15.51g, Nice VF
Diademed head of Nikomedes II right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ NIKOMHΔOY, Zeus standing left, crowning King's name with wreath in right, and holding sceptre in left hand. Eagle on thunderbolt inner left field, monogram and date (BIΣ =year 212 or 87/6 BC) below. Extremely rare date.
Ex: Forvm Ancient Coins; Wayne G. Sayles
Sear 7276; BMC Pontus, pg 213, 6v; SNG Cop 651v; SNG Von Aulock 266v
Note (courtesy Joe Sermarini): In 88 BC, Mithradates destroyed Nikomedes' army forcing him to flee to Italy. His throne was not restored until Rome defeated Mithradates in 84 BC Waddington, [RG], pp. 217-8, notes, "it is difficult to explain the very rare coins that bear the dates IC, AIC, BIC. These dates correspond to 89/8 to 87/6 BC...; but between mid-88 and the end of 83, the whole of Bithynia was in the hands of Mithradates Eupator. We are forced to conjecture (no text says so) that during this period several fortified places in Bithynia remained faithful to the legitimate king and continued to strike coins in his name."
Lawrence Woolslayer
08840p00.jpg
8. Plautilla, Augusta, silver Dearius, marriage issue189 viewsVF 3.21 g, 20.2mm, 180º, Rome Mint, 202 AD
O: PLAVTILLAE AVGUSTAE
R: PROPAGO IMPERI, Carcalla standing l, holding Plautilla's hand, facing r. seems to imply a hope for an imperial child, yet this would be quite difficult, becuase of their mutual hatred of each other.
2 commentsZam
PARLIAMENT_OF_OWLS.jpg
A Parliament of Owls6 views20 Athenian New Style tetradrachms
It was somewhat difficult to get these normally solitary aves together.

All have differing personalities some are large some are small, some are thin and some are not so thin.

Some are primadonnas, some are more down to earth.

When I got a line up just about right I would find that there had been a squabble and some had gone out of position, but in the end I got there.

20 Athenian New Style tetradrachms : Now this is a parliament of owls!



cicerokid
Doble_Maiorina_Juliano_II_RIC_103B.jpg
A135-30 - Juliano II (360 - 363 D.C.)54 viewsAE1 Doble maiorina 27x29 mm 7.6 gr.

Anv: "DN FL CL IVLI - ANVS P F AVG" - Busto diademado, con coraza y Paludamentum (capote militar) sobre ella, viendo a derecha.
Rev: "SECVRITAS REI PVB" – Toro a la derecha, viendo al frente, arriba de la cabeza dos estrellas. "•HERACL•B" en exergo.

Este reverso puede representar al toro Ápis (Dios solar, de la fertilidad, y posteriormente de los muertos, en la mitología egipcia) una imagen de culto perdida que se redescubrió durante el reinado de Juliano II. Éste es el último tipo pagano en la acuñación romana.

Acuñada: 3 Nov. 361 – 26 Jun. 363 D.C.
Ceca: Heraclea (Off.1ra.)
Rareza: S

Referencias: RIC Vol.VIII (Heraclea) #103B Pag.438 - Cohen Vol.VIII #38 Pag.48 - DVM #25 Pag.304 - Salgado MRBI Vol.III #8914.g.2 Pag.235 - Sear RCTV (1988) #4072 – G.Elmer “Die kupfergeldreform unter Julianus Philosophus” #83 – O.Voetter “Die münzen der romischen Kaiser vsw, von Diocletianus bis zum Romulus. Katalog der Sammlung Gerin” (Vienna, 1921) #4
mdelvalle
Doble_Maiorina_Juliano_II_RIC_224_1.jpg
A135-32 - Juliano II (360 - 363 D.C.)56 viewsAE1 Doble maiorina 28x27 mm 7.4 gr.

Anv: "DN FL CL IVLI - ANVS P F AVG" - Busto diademado, con coraza y Paludamentum (capote militar) sobre ella, viendo a derecha.
Rev: "SECVRITAS REI PVB" – Toro a la derecha, viendo al frente, arriba de la cabeza dos estrellas. "(Palma)TES Γ•" en exergo.

Este reverso puede representar al toro Ápis (Dios solar, de la fertilidad, y posteriormente de los muertos, en la mitología egipcia) una imagen de culto perdida que se redescubrió durante el reinado de Juliano II. Éste es el último tipo pagano en la acuñación romana.

Acuñada: 3 Nov. 361 – 26 Jun. 363 D.C.
Ceca: Thesalonica (Off.3ra.)
Rareza: S

Referencias: RIC Vol.VIII (Thessalonica) #224 Pag.423 - Cohen Vol.VIII #38 Pag.48 - DVM #25 Pag.304 - Salgado MRBI Vol.III #8914.f Pag.234 - Sear RCTV (1988) #4072 – LRBC #1695 – O.Voetter “Die münzen der romischen Kaiser vsw, von Diocletianus bis zum Romulus. Katalog der Sammlung Gerin” (Vienna, 1921) #4
mdelvalle
IMG_1890.JPG
Abdera, Thrace Tetrobol40 viewsAR Tetrobol
Size: 16mm, Weight: 2.87 grams, Die Axis: 3h

Abdera, Thrace
411 - 375 BCE

Obverse: Griffin to left, forelegs raised.

Reverse: Wreathed bust of Dionysos to left, MOΛΠAΓOPHΣ around, all within linear frame and shallow incuse square.

Notes:
- Abdera was was repopulated by citizens from Teos circa 544 BCE, who brought with them the griffin symbol. The griffin on coins from Teos face right, and on coins from Abdera, left.
- The worship of Dionysos appears to have been important in Abdera, and may have been reinforced by the pre-existence of the cult among the native Thracian population.
- The magistrate's name Molpagores also appears on staters of Abdera, where the punning reverse type is a dancing woman performing the 'molpe' (dancing and singing).

Ex Harlan J. Berk, 2018
Pharsalos
Corinth.jpg
Achaea. Corinthia, Corinth. Lucius Verus AE26 Melikertes-Palaimon160 viewsPeloponnesus. Corinthia, Corinth. Obv. bare-headed bust of Lucius Verus wearing cuirass, r. [IMP L AVR VERVS AVG] Rev. Melikertes-Palaimon riding on dolphin, l.; in pine wreath C L I COR.

A fragmentary Isthmian ode of Pindar portrays the founding of the Isthmian Games as a funerary celebration for Melikertes. Examination of the language in which Pindar speaks of the cults of other heroes at places where athletic contests were celebrated in their honour leads to the conclusion that Melikertes was worshipped as a hero at the Isthmian Sanctuary, at least by the time of Pindar, although no remains of a shrine to him before the Roman period have been found.
3 commentsancientone
corinthMarcusBellerophon2.jpg
Achaea. Corinthia, Corinth. Marcus Aurelius Æ 26mm. Bellerophon.83 views Obv: Laureate head right.
Rev: CLI COR Bellerophon riding Pegasos flying right, attacking a chimaera, facing right.
BCD 706; SNG Copenhagen -.

Bellerophon in Greek mythology was "the greatest hero and slayer of monsters, alongside Cadmus and Perseus, before the days of Heracles", whose greatest feat was killing the Chimera, a monster that Homer depicted with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail: "her breath came out in terrible blasts of burning flame.
The replacement of Bellerophon by the more familiar culture hero Perseus was a development of Classical times that was standardized during the Middle Ages and has been adopted by the European poets of the Renaissance and later.
ancientone
AE_drachm_of_Apurva_Chandra_Deva_(ca_1340-1351_(AD),_Kangra_Kingdom.jpg
AE drachm of Apurva Chandra Deva (ca.1340-1351 (?) AD), Kangra Kingdom86 views0600
Stylized horseman right / Stylized bull, inscriptions above ("Sri Apurva Chandra"). Scarce. Much nicer than these usually are. 14mm, 3.6 grams. "The Catalogue of Katoch rulers of Kangra"#148.
Kangra is a district is in the western part of Himachal Pradesh, in the low foothills of the Himalayas. It was the place of an ancient Hindu Kangra Kingdom. The kings of Kangra are almost unknown in history, their existence was shadowy and the dating of their reigns is tentative.Their coins are fairly scarce, not well-studied and difficult to find
Antonio Protti
AE_drachm_of_Rupa_Chandra_II_(second_half_of_the_14th_century),_Kangra_Kingdom.jpg
AE drachm of Rupa Chandra II (second half of the 14th century), Kangra Kingdom 88 views1295 Stylized horseman right, Sri above (not visible) / Stylized bull, inscriptions above ("Sri Rupa"), only partially visible, as always. Scarce. Much nicer than these usually are. 14mm, 3.6 grams. "The Catalogue of Katoch rulers of Kangra"#335 or similar.

Rupa Chandra II is known to have been a contemporary of the Sultan of Delhi Firuz Shah Tughluq (1351-1388 AD). The exact dates of the reign of Rupa Chandra II are not known.
Kangra is a district is in the western part of Himachal Pradesh, in the low foothills of the Himalayas. It was the place of an ancient Hindu Kangra Kingdom. The kings of Kangra are almost unknown in history, their existence was shadowy and the dating of their reigns is tentative.Their coins are fairly scarce, not well-studied and difficult to find.
Antonio Protti
Lg007_quad_sm.jpg
AE provincial, Saitta, Lydia (Sidas Kaleh, Turkey), Senate/River-God (mid-2nd to early 3d century AD) 5 viewsIЄΡA - [CYNKΛHTOC], bare-headed youthful draped bust of Senate right / CAIT[THNΩN] + [ЄPMOC] in exergue, River-God Hermos reclining left, holding reed and cornucopiae, resting arm on urn (hydria) from which waters flow.

Ӕ (base metal yellow, orichalcum?), 22 mm, 5.68 g, die axis 6.5h (coin alignment)

It is difficult to read the name of the river. I think that ЄPMOC is more likely, but VΛΛΟС is also possible, representing the other important local river, Hyllos.

Possible catalog references are BMC Lydia 25 (or 26-27?), SNG Copenhagen 398, SNG München 439.
For the Hyllos reverse, Leypold 1153.

To emphasize the autonomy of certain Hellenistic polises, even under the Roman rule they sometimes used allegorical figures of Senate or Demos on obverses of their coins instead of imperial portraits. Saitta was issuing similar-looking coins with busts of emperors and their family as well, but in this issue the town Senate is honoured as the ruler. IЄΡA CYNKΛHTOC = Holy Senate. CAITTHNΩN = Saitta, ЄPMOC = Hermos, the name of the river and its god.

River-Gods or Potamoi (Ποταμοί) were the gods of the rivers and streams of the earth, all sons of the great earth-encirling river Okeanos (Oceanus) and his wife Tethys. Their sisters were the Okeanides (Oceanids), goddesses of small streams, clouds and rain, and their daughters were the Naiades, nymphs of springs and fountains. A River-God was depicted in one of three forms: as a man-headed bull; a bull-horned man with the tail of a serpentine-fish in place of legs; or as a reclining man with an arm resting upon a pitcher pouring water, which we see in this case. The addition of cornucopia symbolizes the blessings that a particular river bestows on those who live near it.

Saitta or Saittae (Σαίτται, Ptolemy 5.2.21: Σέτται, Σάετται) was a polis in eastern Lydia (aka Maeonia), in the rivers' triangle between the upper Hyllus (modern Demirci Çayı, c. 12 km to the west) and the Hermus or Hermos (modern Gediz Nehri, c. 20 km to the south). In Roman imperial times it belonged to the "conventus" of Sardis in the Roman province of Asia (conventus was a territorial unit of a Roman province, mostly for judicial purposes).

Now its ruins are known now as Sidas Kaleh or Sidaskale in Turkey, near the village of İçikler (İcikler Mahallesi, 45900 Demirci/Manisa). They were never excavated, so are little known or cared for. Ruins of a stadium and a theatre survive, together with remains of some temples and tombs.

Not much is known about it. It was a regional centre for the production of textiles. In 124 AD the town was probably visited by emperor Hadrianus. During the Roman period the cult of the moon god Mēn Axiottenus was very popular in the city. Because of its reference to "angels" (both literally as the Greek word and by their function as god's messengers) it was possibly close to the more general Asia Minor cult of Theos Hypsistos, Θεος ὕψιστος, "the highest god" (200 BC – 400 AD), which in turn was perhaps related to the gentile following of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

Known Roman provincial coins issued by this city feature portraits of emperors from Hadrian to Gallienus, thus covering the period from 117 to 268 AD, with the peak around the Severan dynasty. The semi-autonomous issues are usually dated from mid-2nd to mid-3d century AD.

Later Saittae was the seat of a Byzantine bishopric. Bishop Limenius signed the Chalcedon Creed, while Bishop Amachius spoke at the Council of Chalcedon. Although an Islamic area now, Saittae remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church.
Yurii P
sear_2387.jpg
AE trachy Andronicus Palaeologus II SB 238724 viewsObverse: Patriarchal cross and two stars
Reverse: Andronicus st holding cross in circle on staff in each hand.
Mint: Thessalonica
Sear 2387 Gr 1449
19mm .99gm

As David Sear notes many of these coins from the mint of Thessalonica are without legends and are diffcult to differentiate between Andronicus II and III
wileyc
aigai_claudius_RPC2429.jpg
Aiolis, Aigai, Claudius, RPC 2429350 viewsClaudius, AD 41-54
AE 20, 5.04g
struck under magistrate Apollodoros Po.
obv. TI KLAVDIOC KAICAR CEBACTOC
Head, laureate, r.
re. EPI APOLLODWROV PO VIOV XALEOV TO B
cult-statue of Apollo Chresterios r.
RPC 2429
rare, F+

At the time of Britannicus there was a magistrate Chaleos. Apollodoros seems to be his son. Aigai was the centre of the worshipping of Apollo Chresterios, meaning the foresayer, the prophet. It is known from an inscription that the inhabitants of Istros about 250 BC have sent a delegation to Aigai asking wether the oracle would tolerate the introducing of Serapis to Istros.
Jochen
aigai_pseudoautonom_unbekannt.jpg
Aiolis, Aigai, pseudo-autonomous, unpublished37 viewsAE 19, 3.02g, 18.71mm, 345°
struck under the Agonothetes Ovl. Polemon
obv. IERA - CVNKLHTOC
Bust of the Senate, draped, laureate, r.
rev. EPI.AGW.OVL - [POLEMON]
Cult-statue of Apollo Chresterios, stg. frontal, both hands outstretched, holding branch(?) in l. hand and unknown small object(?) in r. hand
in l. and r. field AI - GA[I]
ref. SNG von Aulock 7674 (rev. legend only!); probably unpublished
very rare, about VF

There is a type for Sabina with the rev. legend EPI AGW OVL POLE, SNG von Aulock 7674, found by Archivum by ISEGRIM, thanks!

Agonothetes was a magistrate whose duty was the superintendence of games.
Jochen
Akarnania,_Leukas,_167-100_BC,_AR_Didrachm.jpg
Akarnania, Leukas, 87 BC, AR Didrachm46 viewsCult statue of the goddess Aphrodite Aeneias with stag standing right, holding aplustre, bird on standard behind; all within a laurel wreath.
ΛΕΥΚΑΔΙΩΝ ΦΙΛΑΝΔΡΟΣ (Leukadion Philandros) above prow of galley right.

de Callataÿ Didrachms of Leukas 195-212 dies O31/R2; BCD Akarnania 313-314; BMC 180, 101-103; Postolokas, Lambros 67, 688 var.

(23 mm, 7.90 g, 11h)
Forestier & Lambert.

Based on the study of de Callataÿ, Didrachms of Leukas, this coin was struck in the summer and autumn of 87 BC as a contribution to Sulla’s campaign against Mithrades Eupator. De Callataÿ connected it with the encampment of Sulla’s troops at Leukas that year and argued that the coinage is a pseudo-civic Greek coinage issued by and for for the Romans. This is reflected in the reverse iconography where the galley prow is distinctively Roman, identifieable as such by the wolf head on the prow, above the ram, a decorative element unknown on Greek vessels.

This coin was struck when the Hellenistic age was in advanced decline, succumbing to the expansionary drive of Rome. The coins of this issue were often struck from relatively crude dies in an advanced state of wear. Yet they retain a charm and aesthetic that in some sense seems to speak of the last gasps of a dying Hellenistic age. The obverse image is thought to depict the cult statue of Aphrodite Aeneias, whose sanctuary was situated near the town of Leukas, overlooking the shipping canal that separated the island from the mainland.
2 commentsn.igma
Punic_AR.JPG
Akragas, Sicily120 views213-211 BC (Punic Occupation)
AR 1/4 Shekel (14mm, 2.11g)
O: Head of Triptolemus right, wreathed in corn.
R: Horse galloping right; Punic letters 'ht' below.
SNG Cop 379; HGC 2, 174; Burnett, Enna 151; de Luynes 3965; Weber 8540; Walker Group II, 1st Series
ex Tom Cederlind

One of the leading centers of Greek influence in the west during the 6th and 5th centuries BC, Akragas was sacked by Carthage in 406. Conquered by Rome in 262 and retaken by Carthgage 8 years later, the city never again regained its' former status. Akragas suffered greatly during the Second Punic War (218-201), with this coin being struck just before the city fell to Rome once again in 210.
Although renamed Agrigentum, its' culture remained essentially Greek for another few hundred years until Rome granted the inhabitants citizenship after Julius Caesar's death in 44 BC.

This coin was struck on the Carthaginian standard and of debased silver.
3 commentsEnodia
25.jpg
alex003a3 viewsElagabalus
Alexandria, Troas

Obv: [AV] M AV ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from rear.
Rev: COL AL-[EX]AN AVG, cult statue of Apollo Smintheus standing on basis, right, holding bow and patera over lighted tripod.
24 mm, 7.40 gms

RPC Online 3960; Bellinger A313; CNG 88, lot 889
Charles M
1595.jpg
alex003a_29 viewsElagabalus
Alexandria, Troas

Obv: AV [M AV ANTO]NINVS ΓIVS, laureate draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from front.
Rev: COL AL-EX AVG, cult statue of Apollo Smintheus standing on basis, right, holding bow and patera over lighted tripod.
22 mm, 6.60 gms

RPC Online 3960
Charles M
1950c.jpg
alex003b4 viewsElagabalus
Alexandria, Troas

Obv: IM C M AVR ANTONINVS PI, laureate draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from rear.
Rev: COL ALE-XAN AVG, cult statue of Apollo Smintheus standing on basis, right, holding bow and patera. No altar.
21 mm, 5.05 gms

RPC Online---; Gerhard Hirsch Nachfolger, Auction 346, Lot 2768.
Charles M
Alexander_III_Tetradrachm2.jpg
Alexander III Posthumous Tetradrachm -- Amphipolis -- ~323 BC19 views16.80 g, 25 mm, 270°
Amphipolis Mint
Silver Tetradrachm
Minted during reign of Alexander III; Posthumous
Price 104

Obverse: Head of Herakles Wearing Nemean Skin Headdress Right.
Reverse: AΛEΞAN∆POY (Of Alexander), Zeus Aëtophoros Enthroned Left Holding Eagle and Staff.

Alexander III the Great, the King of Macedonia and conqueror of the Persian Empire is considered one of the greatest military geniuses of all times. He became king upon his father’s death in 336 BCE and went on to conquer most of the known world of his day. He is known as 'the great' both for his military genius and his diplomatic skills in handling the various populaces of the regions he conquered. He is further recognized for spreading Greek culture, language, and thought from Greece throughout Asia Minor, Egypt, and Mesopotamia to India and thus initiating the era of the Hellenistic World.
___________________
What a nose.
Hydro
Alexander_III_Tetradrachm_3.jpg
Alexander III Posthumous Tetradrachm -- Arados -- 328-323 BC23 views16.03 g, 26 mm, 90°
Arados Mint
Silver Tetradrachm
Minted during reign of Alexander III; Posthumous
Price 3325

Obverse: Head of Herakles Wearing Nemean Skin Headdress Right.
Reverse: AΛEΞAN∆POY (Of Alexander), Zeus Aëtophoros Enthroned Left Holding Eagle and Staff.

Alexander III the Great, the King of Macedonia and conqueror of the Persian Empire is considered one of the greatest military geniuses of all times. He became king upon his father’s death in 336 BCE and went on to conquer most of the known world of his day. He is known as 'the great' both for his military genius and his diplomatic skills in handling the various populaces of the regions he conquered. He is further recognized for spreading Greek culture, language, and thought from Greece throughout Asia Minor, Egypt, and Mesopotamia to India and thus initiating the era of the Hellenistic World.
Hydro
Alexander_III_Tetradrachm.jpg
Alexander III Posthumous Tetradrachm -- Phocis -- ~323 BC25 views16.95 g, 30 mm, 100°
Phocis Mint
Silver Tetradrachm
Minted during reign of Alexander III; Posthumous
Price 834; Muller 750

Obverse: Head of Herakles Wearing Nemean Skin Headdress Right.
Reverse: AΛEΞAN∆POY (Of Alexander), Zeus Aëtophoros Enthroned Left Holding Eagle and Staff.

Alexander III the Great, the King of Macedonia and conqueror of the Persian Empire is considered one of the greatest military geniuses of all times. He became king upon his father’s death in 336 BCE and went on to conquer most of the known world of his day. He is known as 'the great' both for his military genius and his diplomatic skills in handling the various populaces of the regions he conquered. He is further recognized for spreading Greek culture, language, and thought from Greece throughout Asia Minor, Egypt, and Mesopotamia to India and thus initiating the era of the Hellenistic World.
________________________
A nice coin, but a past owner was way too harsh in chemically cleaning this. On the obverse, the lower jaw of the lion and Herakle's cheek contains a thin line of what I believe to be black chemical burn.
Hydro
ATG_bust_Pergamon.jpg
Alexander III The Great, Macedonian Kingdom, 336 - 323 B.C.143 viewsAlexandros III Philippou Makedonon (356-323 BC), better known as Alexander the Great, single-handedly changed the entire nature of the ancient world in little more than ten years.

"Born in the northern Greek kingdom of Macedonia in 356 BC, to Philip II and his formidable wife Olympias, Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle. Following his father's assassination in 336 BC, he inherited a powerful yet volatile kingdom, which he had to secure - along with the rest of the Greek city states - before he could set out to conquer the massive Persian Empire, in revenge for Persia's earlier attempts to conquer Greece.
Against overwhelming odds, he led his army to victories across the Persian territories of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt without incurring a single defeat. With his greatest victory at the Battle of Gaugamela, in what is now northern Iraq, in 331 BC, the young king of Macedonia, leader of the Greeks, Overlord of Asia Minor and Pharaoh of Egypt also became Great King of Persia at the age of 25.

Over the next eight years, in his capacity as king, commander, politician, scholar and explorer, Alexander led his army a further 11,000 miles, founding over 70 cities and creating an empire that stretched across three continents and covered some two million square miles.

The entire area from Greece in the west, north to the Danube, south into Egypt and as far east as the Indian Punjab, was linked together in a vast international network of trade and commerce. This was united by a common Greek language and culture, whilst the king himself adopted foreign customs in order to rule his millions of ethnically diverse subjects.

Primarily a soldier, Alexander was an acknowledged military genius who always led by example, although his belief in his own indestructibility meant he was often reckless with his own life and that of those he expected to follow him. The fact that his army only refused to do so once, in the13 years of a reign during which there was constant fighting, indicates the loyalty he inspired.

Following his death in 323 BC at the age of only 32, his empire was torn apart in the power struggles of his successors. Yet Alexander's mythical status rapidly reached epic proportions and inspired individuals as diverse as Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Louis XIV and Napoleon.

He continues to be portrayed according to the bias of those interpreting his achievements. He is either Alexander the Great or Iskander the Accursed, chivalrous knight or bloody monster, benign multi-culturalist or racist imperialist - but above all he is fully deserving of his description as 'the most significant secular individual in history'."

By Dr Joann Fletcher (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/alexander_the_great.shtml)
Cleisthenes
ATGlifetimeDrachmLydiaSardes.jpg
Alexander III The Great, Macedonian Kingdom, 336 - 323 B.C. Lifetime Issue105 viewsSilver drachm, Price 2553, VF, 4.297g, 16.4mm, 0o, Lydia, Sardes mint, c. 334 - 323 B.C. Lifetime Issue; Obverse: Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; Reverse: BASILEWS ALEXANDROU, Zeus enthroned left, eagle in right, scepter in left, EYE monogram left, rose under throne. Ex FORVM.

Alexandros III Philippou Makedonon (356-323 BC)

"Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, single-handedly changed the entire nature of the ancient world in little more than ten years.

Born in the northern Greek kingdom of Macedonia in 356 BC, to Philip II and his formidable wife Olympias, Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle. Following his father's assassination in 336 BC, he inherited a powerful yet volatile kingdom, which he had to secure - along with the rest of the Greek city states - before he could set out to conquer the massive Persian Empire, in revenge for Persia's earlier attempts to conquer Greece.

Against overwhelming odds, he led his army to victories across the Persian territories of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt without incurring a single defeat. With his greatest victory at the Battle of Gaugamela, in what is now northern Iraq, in 331 BC, the young king of Macedonia, leader of the Greeks, Overlord of Asia Minor and Pharaoh of Egypt also became Great King of Persia at the age of 25.

Over the next eight years, in his capacity as king, commander, politician, scholar and explorer, Alexander led his army a further 11,000 miles, founding over 70 cities and creating an empire that stretched across three continents and covered some two million square miles.

The entire area from Greece in the west, north to the Danube, south into Egypt and as far east as the Indian Punjab, was linked together in a vast international network of trade and commerce. This was united by a common Greek language and culture, whilst the king himself adopted foreign customs in order to rule his millions of ethnically diverse subjects.

Primarily a soldier, Alexander was an acknowledged military genius who always led by example, although his belief in his own indestructibility meant he was often reckless with his own life and that of those he expected to follow him. The fact that his army only refused to do so once, in the 13 years of a reign during which there was constant fighting, indicates the loyalty he inspired.

Following his death in 323 BC at the age of only 32, his empire was torn apart in the power struggles of his successors. Yet Alexander's mythical status rapidly reached epic proportions and inspired individuals as diverse as Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Louis XIV and Napoleon.

He continues to be portrayed according to the bias of those interpreting his achievements. He is either Alexander the Great or Iskander the Accursed, chivalrous knight or bloody monster, benign multi-culturalist or racist imperialist - but above all he is fully deserving of his description as 'the most significant secular individual in history'."

By Dr. Joann Fletcher
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/alexander_the_great.shtml

"When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer."--attributed to Plutarch, The Moralia.
http://www.pothos.org/alexander.asp?paraID=96

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
AlexTheGreatMemphisTet.jpg
Alexander III The Great, Macedonian Kingdom, 336 - 323 B.C., Possible Lifetime Issue104 viewsThis is the same coin in my collection, different picture, as the Alexander tetradrachm listed as [300mem].

Silver tetradrachm, Price 3971, VF, 16.081g, 26.1mm, 0o, Egypt, Memphis mint, c. 332 - 323 or 323 - 305 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse ALEXANDROU, Zeus enthroned left, legs crossed, eagle in right, scepter in left, rose left, DI-O under throne. Ex Pavlos S. Pavlou. Ex FORVM, "The Memphis issues are among the finest style Alexander coins. Experts disagree on the date of this issue. Some identify it as a lifetime issue and others as a posthumous issue (Joseph Sermarini).

Alexandros III Philippou Makedonon (356-323 BC)

"Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, single-handedly changed the entire nature of the ancient world in little more than ten years.

Born in the northern Greek kingdom of Macedonia in 356 BC, to Philip II and his formidable wife Olympias, Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle. Following his father's assassination in 336 BC, he inherited a powerful yet volatile kingdom, which he had to secure - along with the rest of the Greek city states - before he could set out to conquer the massive Persian Empire, in revenge for Persia's earlier attempts to conquer Greece.

Against overwhelming odds, he led his army to victories across the Persian territories of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt without incurring a single defeat. With his greatest victory at the Battle of Gaugamela, in what is now northern Iraq, in 331 BC, the young king of Macedonia, leader of the Greeks, Overlord of Asia Minor and Pharaoh of Egypt also became Great King of Persia at the age of 25.

Over the next eight years, in his capacity as king, commander, politician, scholar and explorer, Alexander led his army a further 11,000 miles, founding over 70 cities and creating an empire that stretched across three continents and covered some two million square miles.

The entire area from Greece in the west, north to the Danube, south into Egypt and as far east as the Indian Punjab, was linked together in a vast international network of trade and commerce. This was united by a common Greek language and culture, whilst the king himself adopted foreign customs in order to rule his millions of ethnically diverse subjects.

Primarily a soldier, Alexander was an acknowledged military genius who always led by example, although his belief in his own indestructibility meant he was often reckless with his own life and that of those he expected to follow him. The fact that his army only refused to do so once, in the13 years of a reign during which there was constant fighting, indicates the loyalty he inspired.

Following his death in 323 BC at the age of only 32, his empire was torn apart in the power struggles of his successors. Yet Alexander's mythical status rapidly reached epic proportions and inspired individuals as diverse as Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Louis XIV and Napoleon.

He continues to be portrayed according to the bias of those interpreting his achievements. He is either Alexander the Great or Iskander the Accursed, chivalrous knight or bloody monster, benign multi-culturalist or racist imperialist - but above all he is fully deserving of his description as 'the most significant secular individual in history'."

By Dr. Joann Fletcher
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/alexander_the_great.shtml

"When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer."--attributed to Plutarch, The Moralia.
http://www.pothos.org/alexander.asp?paraID=96

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsJames Fitzgerald
alexanderx.jpg
Alexander the Great46 viewsObv: Head of beardless Herakles, right, wearing lion skin headdress.
Rev: ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ in exergue; Charioteer in Biga right, Trident below.
"Alexandria (Antigoneia)" mint, struck c.310-301 BC. Extremely rare!

Attribution to this mint has been questioned of late (Meadows, NC 2004),
although no firmer alternative has yet been put forward. A mint in the Troad
seems to be likely, given that three were found in the excavations at Troy.

This is an extremely desirable and very difficult to find item. It appears that
there are none on any of the modern sales databases, and I know of only
one other that has been offered via a 'small seller' on an online auction site.

There is one in the British museum, at least one in Berlin (I-B), one in
the Portolos collection (Athens); another in Paris (B 80); the three that
were found at Troy, the one offered online, and now this one.
Please feel free to let me know of any other known specimens.

Among the rarest bronzes of the series.
Price 1587; Gaebler p.169, 7 pl.XXXI,26;
Bellinger Troy A1; BM 1921,0213.196.
(dealer's image {edited})
OldMoney
Hadrien Alexandrie.jpg
Alexandria - Bronze drachm of Hadrian59 viewsObv. legend out of flan ; laureate bust of Hadrian.
Rev. : Decorated front of Egyptian temple, the cultus statue is visible between the pylons.
1 commentsGinolerhino
S1933.jpg
ALEXIUS Tetarteron S-1933 DOC43198 viewsFull Length figure of Christ bearded and nimbate wearing tunic and kolobion; holds Gospels in l. hand.
REV Full length figure of Emperor wearing stemma, divitision, and wearing jeweled loros of simplified type; holds in r hand labarum on long shaft and in l. gl.cr. 21/17mm

DOC lists this coin as rare in collections, it's crude style also attributes it to a uncertain mint. I aquired another example of the coin in the same week I got this one. That example is not crude but much more defined. Sear and DOC differ on the rairity of this issue but I found it was a very difficult coin to find.additional note this coin was found in Cyprus.
Simon
AugAlter2.jpg
Altar of Lugdunum928 viewsCAESAR PONT MAX
Laureate head of Augustus, right.
ROM ET AVG
Altar flanked by two columns each surmounted by Victory.
Various sacred items on top; mystic symbols to front.
Copper As 22.5 mm 9.5 gm

Augustus took a risky break with tradition by allowing
himself to be the object of cult adoration. To minimize
the affront to his fellow Romans, he permitted the
practice only in the West. Interestingly, the year of
dedication in 10 BC saw the birth of Claudius in the same
place.
Massanutten
2 commentsMassanutten
1897__Ares_Numismatics_Auction_Web_Auction_2_lot_604.jpg
anazsnglevantexxx21 viewsElagabalus
Anazarbos, Cilicia

Obv: AVT Κ Μ ΑVΡ ΑΝΤΩΝƐΙΝΟϹ CƐB, laureate draped and cuirassed bust left, seen from front.
Rev: ƐΝΔΟΞΟΥ ΖΑΡΒΟϹ ΜΗΤΡΟ →ƐΤ ΗΛϹ, cult mountain(?).
28 mm, 12.33 gms

RPC VI online 7243; Ziegler 394; SNG Levante---.

From Ares Numismatics Web Auction 2, lot 604.
Charles M
SMANdelta.jpg
ANTIOCH 1 D SMAN[delta]16 viewsThe mintmark is difficult to read and could possibly end in Z; the construction of the final letter, however, appears to suggest a delta. A reasonably rare mark but by no means excessively so.Adrianus
animal1.jpg
ANTIOCHA AD ORONTEM - SYRIA52 views"Star of Bethlehem" bronze of Antioch
Anonymous Issue under Nero, AE Small Denomination, 56/57 (Caesarean Year 105), Syria: Seleucis and Pieria-Antiochia ad Orontem ANTIOXEWN - Veiled, turreted head of Tyche right, countermark of star (of Bethlehem?) in left field - EPIKOUADRATOU Ram leaping right, looking back, star and crescent above
ET EP in exergue 16mm. Butcher Antioch 121; SNG Copenhagen 101
Michael Molnar, an astronomer, believes this coin depicts Jupiter's occultation of Aries in 6 B.C., the most probable "Star of Bethlehem."
dpaul7
021012JSB032.jpg
ANTIQUITIES, Persia, Bronze Arrowhead, c.1200-800 B.C.36 viewsNear Eastern Bronze Age arrowhead, dating to the Late Bronze Age approximately 1200 - 800 B.C.
With long, four sided tang, cylindrical midsection and rounded blade with barbed shoulders.
Arrows such as this were used by the Early Cultures of Babylonia, Assyria and Anatolia.
Unrestored, in exceptional condition.
Length: 3 inches.
superflex
Augustus_temple_(800x387).jpg
Antoninus Pius 7 viewsAntoninus Pius Sestertius temple of Augustus and Livia
Catalog: Temple of Divus Augustus
weight 28,6gr. | bronze Ø 32mm.
obv. Laureate head right ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P XXII
rev. Octastyle temple of Divus Augustus, containing cult-statues of Augustus
and Livia TEMPLVM DIVI AVG REST COS IIII S C

The Temple of Divus Augustus was a major temple originally built to commemorate the deified first Roman emperor, Augustus. It was built between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, behind the Basilica Julia, on the site of the house that Augustus had inhabited before he entered public life in the mid-1st century BC. The temple′s construction took place during the 1st century AD, having been vowed by the Roman Senate shortly after the death of the emperor in AD 14. It is known from Roman coinage that the temple was originally built to an Ionic hexastyle design. However, its size, physical proportions and exact site are unknown. During the reign of Domitian the Temple of Divus Augustus was destroyed by fire but was rebuilt and rededicated in 89/90 with a shrine to his favourite deity, Minerva. The temple was redesigned as a memorial to four deified emperors, including Vespasian and Titus. It was restored again in the mid 150s by Antonius Pius, and that was the reason for this coinage. The last known reference to the temple was on 27 May 218 | at some point thereafter it was completely destroyed and its stones were presumably quarried for later buildings. Its remains are not visible and the area in which it lay has never been excavated.

Cohen 805 | RIC 1004 | BMC 2063 | Sear 4235 R
vf
1 commentsAncient Aussie
PIUS_BI__TETRA.png
ANTONINUS PIUS / SERAPIS , Alexandria BILLION TETRADRACHM40 viewsMINTED IN ALEXANDRIA , EGYPT FROM 138 - 161 AD
OBVERSE : ANTwNINO C CEBEUC CEB Laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE : Draped bust of Serapis right,modius on head. L K
References : SNG Cop 426 ( No, L K ?)

22.2 MM AND 13.15 GRAMS.

Alexandria ( of Egypt ) issued billon tetradrachms in large numbers between the reign of Augustus and the closing of the Alexandrian mint during the reign of Diocletian. These coins were no doubt mainly intended to pay the salaries of government officials, of the permanent garrison, and of the temporary troops stationed in Alexandria for purposes of war. They were probably also the form in which taxes in money were received, and were used for trade among the people within the city of Alexandria and other Graeco-Roman cities in Egypt. They also served the purpose of providing a subsidiary coinage with Greek legends which formed the vehicle for Roman imperial propaganda throughout Egypt. On the reverse of these coins were placed the Egyptian Hellenized deities, as an indication of the goodwill of the Roman emperors towards Egypt.
The greater part of the agricultural population of Egypt had scarcely any need for coins except to pay their taxes. The real currency and measure of value in the agricultural settlements was grain, wine or oil. The chief export of Egypt was grain, and this did not bring much money to the cultivators, for most of the grain was collected as tribute, not in trade, and they got nothing in return. Consequently, there is reason to suppose that considerably fewer coins circulated in Egypt generally than the region of Alexandria.
From the reign of Nero onwards, Egypt enjoyed an era of prosperity which lasted a century. Much trouble was caused by religious conflicts between the Greeks and the Jews, particularly in Alexandria, which after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD become the world centre of Jewish religion and culture. Under Trajan a Jewish revolt occurred, resulting in the suppression of the Jews of Alexandria and the loss of all their privileges, although they soon returned. Hadrian, who twice visited Egypt, founded Antinoöpolis in memory of his drowned lover Antinous. From his reign onwards buildings in the Greco-Roman style were erected throughout the country. Under Marcus Aurelius, however, oppressive taxation led to a revolt (139 AD) of the native Egyptians, which was suppressed only after several years of fighting.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
2 commentsSam
Antoninus_Pius_RIC_M442.JPG
Antoninus Pius, 138 - 161 AD (Posthumous issue)27 viewsObv: DIVVS ANTONINVS, bare headed bust of Antoninus Pius facing right.

Rev: DIVO PIO, cult statue of Antoninus Pius enthroned left, holding a branch and a scepter.

Silver Denarius, Rome mint, 162 AD

3.2 grams, 18 mm, 180°

RIC III M. Aurelius 442, RSC 352, S5194
SPQR Matt
Antoninus_Pius_RIC_M442~1.JPG
Antoninus Pius, 138 - 161 AD (Posthumous issue)11 viewsObv: DIVVS ANTONINVS, bare headed bust of Antoninus Pius facing right.

Rev: DIVO PIO, cult statue of Antoninus Pius enthroned left, holding a branch and a scepter.

Silver Denarius, Rome mint, 162 AD

3.46 grams, 19.2 mm, 180°

RIC III M. Aurelius 442, RSC 352, S5194

Ex: FORVM
Matt Inglima
AntoSe08-2~0.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 612, Sestertius of AD 140-144 (Ops)63 viewsÆ sestertius (24.0g, 33mm, 6h) Rome mint. Struck AD 140-144
ANTONINVS AVG PI VS P P TR P COS III laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right
OPI AVG ()around S C [in ex.] Ops seated left, holding sceptre, left hand drawing back drapery.
RIC 612 (Scarce); Cohen 569 (fr.8); BMC 1258-62; Strack 842; Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali II-3) 245 (17 spec.); Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 130:67; Sear (Roman Coins & Their Values II) 4197
ex D.Ruskin (said to have been found near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK, 1994)

Ops stands for plenty, properity, power, fertility... Her cult goes back to the earliest times, supposedly founded by Romulus. She is the wife of Saturn, sometimes equated with Cybele. Appears on Roman coins only twice (second appearance on issues of Pertinax). The issue under A. Pius is probably associated with the 900th anniversary of Rome.
Charles S
AntoSe09-2.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 1001, Sestertius of AD 158-159 (Fortuna Opsequens)64 viewsÆ sestertius (22.4, Ø31mm, 12h), Rome mint, struck AD 158-159.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII , laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right.
Rev.: FORTVNA OPSEQVENS (around) COS IIII (in ex.) S C (in field), Fortuna standing left, with patera, rudder and cornucopiae.
RIC 1001 (C); BMC 2059-60; Cohen 393; Strack 1163 (4 spec.); Banti 163; Foss (RHC) 130:68

The cult of this divinity, not celebrated previously on imperial coinage, goes back to ancient times and was established by Servius Tullius, Rome's sixth king.

Even though according to RIC this coin is common, it may be scarcer. Strack found 4 specimens, but there is no example in Wildwinds nor Acsearch.info; Banti records only 1 other specimen.

Charles S
coins103.JPG
Antoninus Pius. Thrace, Philippopolis; 25 viewsAres

In Greek mythology, Ares ("battle strife") is the god of war and son of Zeus (king of the gods) and Hera. The Romans identified Mars, the god of war (whom they had inherited from the Etruscans) with Hellenic Ares, but among them, Mars stood in much higher esteem. Among the Hellenes, Ares was always mistrusted: his birthplace and true home was placed far off, among the barbarous and warlike Thracians (Iliad 13.301; Ovid); to Thrace he withdrew after he was discovered on a couch with Aphrodite ( Odyssey 8.361).

Although important in poetry, Ares was only rarely the recipient of cult worship, save at Sparta, where he was propriated before battle, and in the founding myth of Thebes, and he appeared in few myths (Burkert 1985, p.169). At Sparta there was a statue of the god in chains, to show that the spirit of war and victory was never to leave the city. At Sparta young dogs and even humans were sacrificed to him. The temple to Ares in the agora of Athens that Pausanias saw in the 2nd century AD had only been moved and rededicated there during the time of Augustus; in essence it was a Roman temple to Mars. The Areopagus, the "hill of Ares" where Paul preached, is sited at some distance from the Acropolis; from archaic times it was a site of trials. Its connection with Ares, perhaps based on a false etymology, may be purely etiological. Ares s throne at Mount Olympus is said to be covered with human skin.

Antoninus Pius AE18 of Philippopolis, Thrace. AVT AI ADRIA ANTWNEIN, bare head right / FILIPPOPOLEITWN, Ares standing left, holding spear in left hand, shield leaning against him at right. BMC 10.
ecoli
12_Caesar_portraits.jpg
Antony & The 12 Caesars257 viewsA variation on my other virtual coin trays. This one includes a lifetime portrait of Julius Caesar. It's difficult choosing which coin to include in this set, in some cases I only had one (Galba, Otho) but others I had many more to choose from. I do have better portraits of some but I thought these had more interesting reverse types or portrait styles:

Marcus Antonius denarius
Julius Caesar denarius
Augustus denarius
Tiberius denarius
Caligula AE As
Claudius AE As
Nero Dupondius
Galba AE As
Otho Tetradrachm
Vitellius denarius
Vespasian denarius
Titus denarius
Domitian denarius

Image is clickable for larger size.
To see the coins individually see them in my gallery.
9 commentsJay GT4
aodobert.jpg
Aodobert29 viewsMerovingian inscribed denier
Monarch: unknown (?Audebert)
Moneyer: Frederic
Mint: unknown
O: AodoBERT
R: FREdIRI

Merovingian deniers present a number of difficulties in identification. Inscribed Merovingian deniers are quite rare, and are often illegible or nonsensical. This is certainly legible, but not quite clear. The name 'Aodobert' is not the name of a king, but could possibly be a moneyer or a religious figure. St. Aubert (Audbert) is the traditional founder of the bishopric of Cambray (Cambrai).

The reverse seems to depict "+FREdIRI". Unclear if this is a moneyer

Ex- Comptoir Général Financier
Nap
001_50.jpg
Apameia, Phrygia93 views133-48 B.C.
Bronze Æ21
8.60 gm, 21 mm
Laureate head of Zeus right
Cult statue of Artemis Anaïtis facing; AΠAME to right
ATTA/BIAN (magistrates) in two lines to left
Sear 5121var.; BMC Phrygia pg. 80, 61;
SNG Copenhagen 172.
4 commentsJaimelai
Apameia_-_Artemis.jpg
Apameia, Phrygia 133-48 B.C.14 viewsApameia, Phrygia, c. 133 - 48 B.C. Apameia mint, Ae 18~20.6mm. 7.97g. Obv: Laureate head of Zeus right. Rev: AΠAME AΡTEMIΔ BABA, cultus-statue of Artemis Anaitis standing facing, wearing long chiton, kalathos and veil, a taenia or support hanging from each extended hand; BMC Phrygia p. 77, 48
Artemis Anaïtis was a fusion of the Persian goddess Anahita and the Greek Artemis. Tacitus (Annals 62) refers to the syncretic deity simply as the “Persian Diana”, who had a temple in Lydia “dedicated in the reign of Cyrus” (presumably Cyrus the Great).
ddwau
Phygria_Apameia.jpg
Apameia, Phrygia 133-48 B.C.12 viewsApameia, Phrygia, c. 133 - 48 B.C. Apameia mint, Ae 17.2~18.5mm. 6.57g. Obv: Laureate head of Zeus right. Rev: AΠAME AΡTEMIΔ, cultus-statue of Artemis Anaitis standing facing, wearing long chiton, kalathos and veil, a taenia or support hanging from each extended hand; BMC Phrygia p. 77, 48ddwau
Apameia.jpg
Apameia, Phrygia 133-48 B.C.12 viewsApameia, Phrygia, c. 133 - 48 B.C. Apameia mint, Ae 18~20.6mm. 7.97g. Obv: Laureate head of Zeus right. Rev: AΠAME AΡTEMIΔ, cultus-statue of Artemis Anaitis standing facing, wearing long chiton, kalathos and veil, a taenia or support hanging from each extended hand; BMC Phrygia p. 77, 48ddwau
apameia_artemis.jpg
Apameia; Zeus/ Artemis Anaitis; AE 2216 viewsPhrygia, Apameia, 8.11 g. Æ22, 133-48 BC, Obv; Laureate head of Zeus right. / Rev: ARAMEW PTEMIA Cult-statue of Artemis Anaitis standing. SNG Cop. 171. Podiceps
009n.jpg
Aphrodite (standing figure of)220 viewsLYDIA. Tralles. Tranquillina. Æ 30. A.D. 241-244. Obv: ΦOY.CAB.T-PANKYΛΛINA. Draped bust right; countermark on lower front part of bust Rev: (…)ΩNΠ (…)I.KΛ.ΦIΛIΠΠON.KENTA(…). Inscription around oak-wreath; inside wreath TPAΛΛIA-ΠYθIA on either side of tripod, which is encircled by serpent . Ref: BMC -. Axis: 165°. Weight: 12.40 g. Note: Unpublished? CM: Cult statue of Aphrodite right, in oval punch, 6 x 8 mm. Howgego 228 (16 pcs). Note: The countermark of this coin was applied at Aphrodisias in Caria, where only foreign coins were countermarked to make them valid in that city. Collection Automan. Automan
Akarnania,_Leukas,_167-100_BC,_AR_Didrachm.jpg
Aphrodite Aeneias 166 viewsAkarnania, Leukas, 167-100 BC, AR Didrachm
Cult statue of the goddess Aphrodite Aeneias with stag standing right, holding aplustre, bird on standard behind; all within a laurel wreath. / ΛΕΥΚΑΔΙΩΝ ΦΙΛΑΝΔΡΟΣ (Leukadion Philandros) above prow of galley right.
BCD Akarnania 313-314; BMC 180, 101-103; Postolokas, Lambros 67, 688 var.
(23 mm, 7.90 g, 11h)

This coin was issued as the Hellenistic age was in decline, succumbing to the expansionary drive of Rome. The coins of this issue were often struck from relatively crude dies in an advanced state of wear. Yet they retain a charm and aesthetic that in some sense seems to speak of the last gasps of a dying Hellenistic age. The obverse image is thought to depict the cult statue of Aphrodite Aeneias, whose sanctuary was situated near the town of Leukas, overlooking the shipping canal that separated the island from the mainland.
Lloyd T
julianII_225.jpg
Apis342 viewsJulian II the philosopher 360 - 363, nephew of Constantin I
AE - Maiorina, 7.30g, 25mm
Thessalonica 1. officina, summer 361 - June 26. 363
obv. DN FL CL IVLI - ANVS PF AVG
bust draped and cuirassed, pearl-diademed head r.
rev. SECVRITA[S R]EI PVB
diademed bull r., head facing, two stars above
exergue: TESA between palmbranchs
RIC VIII, Thessalonica 225; C.38
Rare; good F

APIS, holy bull of Memphis/Egypt, herald of god Ptah, making oracles in the name of the god. Each new bull should have a white triangle on the forehead or a moon-like spot at the sides. After his death buried as Osiris-Apis, from which the Serapis cult developed. Julian II has renewed this cult. For a new interpretation of the bull see the remarks in 'Jochen's Folles' to Julian II RIC VIII, 163!
Jochen
rjb_2013_12_03.jpg
Apulian16 viewsGreek Daunian culture jug or cup, 5th century BCmauseus
aquilia_ severa_226.JPG
Aquilia Severa RIC V, 226146 viewsAquilia Severa, reg. AD 220, 2. and 4. wife of Elagabal
AR - Denar, 3.23g, 19.4mm
Rome AD 220 -221
obv. IVLIA AQVILIA SEVERA AVG
draped bust, bare head r., hair waved, fixed in plait;
later coiffure without 'visor' (C.Clay)
rev. CONCORDIA
Concordia standing l., holding patera r.and double cornucopiae l.; lightened
altar l. before her
star in r. field
RIC V/2, 226; C.2; BMCR.184
Rare; EF, virtually mintstate

VESTAL VIRGINS. Aquilia Severa was one of the six Vestal Virgins who carried out the maintenance of the sacred fire and other cult ceremonies connected to the goddess Vesta. Therefore her marriage with Elagabal leads to disturbances in the priestership and the people of Rome.
6 commentsJochen
khusro.jpg
AR Drachm of Khusro II, 618 AD29 viewsOBVERSE: Right facing crowned bust of Khusro II whose name appears in Pahlavi script to his right and honorifics to the left. Astral symbols (star and crescent at 3,6 and 9 o'clock. Two rings surrounding.
REVERSE: Fire Altar with two attendants with hands resting on swords. To the right is mintmark SW (Khuzistan) and to the left is the regnal year 28 which dates the coin to 618 AD. Three rings surrounding

Weight 3.0 grams. The coin has been severely clipped since these usually weigh about 4 grams.
The Sassanid were succesors to the Parthian (Arsacid) dynasty which they conquered in the third century AD. The Sassanids were Zoroastrians who followed the teachings of their prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra) and their God was Ahura-Mazda - the God of light (or fire) and hence the reverse theme on Sassanid coins. Their rule was centered in what is Iraq and Iran and extended eastward. It lasted until the coming of Islam in the later 7th century. The ancient cultural heritage of Persia is quite distinct from that of their Semitic neighbors to the west and has repercussions in the religous and political conflicts of today.

daverino
kroton.jpg
AR Nomos of Kroton, Bruttium 500-480 BC9 viewsOBVERSE: KPO upwards on left, Tripod with legs terminating in lion's feet, heron standing left on right.
REVERSE: Incuse tripod.

A slightly chipped example. Bruttium was in the toe of Italy (Calabria). It is believed to have been settled by Greek colonists from Crotona, hence the KPO legend. The followers of the cult of Pythagoras resided here and the tripod/inverse tripod design may have been inspired by their ideas or, more likely, it depicts a trophy in Olympic events. The Greeks were mainly farmers then (and now) and were more attracted to homely themes like scenes from nature and sporting competition than philosophy as subjects on their coins.

SNG ANS 269 (5.99 gm) ex-Forvm Coins
daverino
philsyria.jpg
AR Tetradrachm of Antioch, Roman Syria 46/45 BC25 viewsOBVERSE: Diademed head of Philip Philadelphos right
REVERSE: BASILEUS PHILIPPOY EPIPHOYS PHILADELPHOY, Zeus seated left holding Nike and Sceptre, Antioch monogram to inner left. D (date) in Exergue off flan - year 4 of Caesarian era.
RPC_4128, Prieur 5. McAlee 5(b)/1 same dies
Diameter ~26 mm, wt 14.3 gms, some porosity.
This coin is particularly interesting because it shows the change in style that came about as Roman cultural influence followed conquest of the Hellenic world. The flabby and self-indulgent features of the real Philip as portrayed in his lifetime have become idealized as a warrior-hero which he never was.
daverino
rabbathmoba.jpg
Arabia Petraea, Rabbathmoba. Septimius Severus AE28.45 viewsObv: AVT KAI L CE[P CEOVP CE]B, laureate head right.
Rev: RABBAQ M W NA.., cult statue of Ares(Greek god of war), standing facing, holding spear, shield, and sword, set upon basis set on plinth.
28mm, 9.9gms.
ancientone
CeolnothBiarnred1.jpg
Archbishop of Canterbury, Ceolnoth111 viewsStruck c.865-868AD Kent, Canterbury mint. AR Penny 1.20g Ceolnoth Group III. Floriated Cross type. Obv tonsured bust facing, breaking inner circle 'ARCHIEP- CEOLNOD'; Rev 'BIARNRED MONETA' (Moneyer Beornraed) around, in inner circle a floriated cross. S.895? (Group III) N.247.

There are 58 recorded coins of Ceolnoth at the SCBI/EMC but only 3 coins of this moneyer for him. He also struck 6 more recorded coins for Alfred, Edward the Elder and some Danish imitative Alfred coins from East Anglia. This actual type is not listed in the corpus. However, a fragment at the British Museum, see BNJ28 CE Blunt 'A new coin of Ceolnoth' and JJ North plate III/9, is likely the same. Infact, I believe these coins are of the same dies and moneyer. Blunt & North describe 'LD' in the fragmented moneyer legend though it is likely 'ED' with the top half of the 'E' missing at the break. The Floriated Cross design is also found on coins of Aethelberht for the moneyers Dudda and Oshere but only 4 on database (N.621). In superb condition, a single find from the Driffield area in Yorkshire. This coin is potentially the only complete specimum and should be considered a great rarity. It is now recorded in the 2011 'The Coinage of Southern England' by Rory Naismith, Volume 1 Plate 65 C218.2b.

Gareth Williams at the British Museum kindly commented:

'I agree with your reading of the coin, and think that it is probably from the same dies as our fragment 1947, 14-4, 6, as you suggest, although it's difficult to be absolutely certain - the angle of the D on the reverse in particular looks slightly different, but that may just be the lighting on the photograph'

Rory Naismith from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge is studying the period for his PhD dissertation. He kindly commented as below:

'The Ceolnoth in particular is quite spectacular: not only is it, as you say, the only known whole floreate cross penny of Ceolnoth, but it is also a stunning coin of considerable historical importance. There is some reason to believe that it was found as part of a small hoard comprising at least three floreate cross pennies, the other two both being of Aethelberht by the moneyer Dudda. One is unfortunately only a small fragment, but the other is beautifully preserved. As the only known hoard of floreate cross coins, this is understandably a find of some significance, although it is odd to find it deposited so far north. A trawl through the BM and as many other catalogues and find records as I could find turned up only a total of nineteen floreate cross pennies, including yours, struck by seven moneyers. It was probably a lot larger than this meagre record seems to suggest: were it not for the large Dorking hoard of 1817 the preceding Inscribed Cross phase would be almost as little-known, and many moneyers who produced this type reappeared in the Lunettes coinage, so they may well have continued over the intervening period as well'.

The initial coinage of Group III has as the reverse motif a cross crosslet with pellets in the angles [coin 1, illustrated above]. Those of Ceolnoth are of good style and feature a neater tonsured bust of the archbishop possibly wearing his pallium. Those of Aethelwulf for the same period, Phase II at Canterbury, tend to have a rather crude right facing bust with thick lettering in the legend - although a few are of better style. Not all of Aethelwulf's coins of this type have pellets in the angles of the cross crosslet. This type was struck until c.852, when it was replaced by a coinage that was to become standard at Canterbury throughout the remainder of Aethelwulf's reign and the majority of the reign of his son Aethelberht. The Inscribed Cross coinage, struck only by Ceolnoth and the two aforementioned kings, have an identical reverse with a large voided cross that contains the moneyers name within and in the angles. Comparitively large numbers of these coins survive and they have been the subject of much study with regard to dating, reduced silver content and so on. Toward the end of his reign, c.854, Aethelberht minted a new coinage mirrored by Ceolnoth, the extremely rare Floriate Cross issue. These coins as would be expected have a large floriated cross on the reverse and had a very limited striking - perhaps as little as a year. Less than ten examples survive today for the king and archbishop. Illustrated below is the only known complete example of the Floriate Cross type of archbishop Ceolnoth.


AlexB
Nabataean_Kingdom,_Aretas_III.jpg
Aretas III, 87 - 62 B.C. Bronze AE 16, Meshorer 28 viewsNabataean Kingdom, Aretas III, 87 - 62 B.C. Bronze AE 16, Meshorer 2, aF, Damascus mint, 4.568g, 15.3mm, 0o, 84 - 71 B.C.; obverse head right with crested helmet, long hair as dotted lines; reverse , Nike standing left, uncertain object in left, wreath in right, crescent over “L” (=A) left. Meshorer 2 is described as, "Extremely careless style. Same as [Meshorer] No.1. Generally difficult to distinguish the details. Many of these coins are of a debased weight and struck on irregular flans." Ex FORVM, photo credit FORVMPodiceps
Pheneos_AE_Dichalkon.jpg
Arkadia, Pheneos, ca. 300-240 BC, Æ Dichalkon 17 viewsWreathed bust of Artemis Heurippa right, with bow and quiver over shoulder.
ΦENEΩN Mare grazing right; AP monogram below, HP monogram in exergue.

HGC 5, 988; BCD Peloponnesos 1626; SNG Copenhagen 274; BMC 24.

(16 mm, 3.07 g, 3h)
Gorny & Mosch 216, 16 October 2013, 2446.

Amongst the finest examples of the type known, with a beautifully detailed bust of Artemis.

Pheneos lies at the foot of Mount Kyllene, located near the modern village of Kalyvia and in the ancient region of Arkadia in the Peloponnese. It served as an important cultural centre, notably for holding the Hermaea, a series of ancient Greek festivals in honour of Hermes. The latter god figures prominently on most of the coinage of Pheneos. However, the basis for the iconography of this rare coin is the tradition that Odysseus discovered his lost mares in Phenean territory. In gratitude he erected a temple to Artemis Heurippa (the finder of horses). The legend is recounted by Pausanius (8.14.5) "There stands also a bronze Poseidon, surnamed Horse, whose image, it is said, was dedicated by Odysseus. The legend is that Odysseus lost his mares, traversed Greece in search of them, and on the site in the land of Pheneos where he found his mares founded a sanctuary of Artemis, calling the goddess Horse-finder (Heurippa), and also dedicated the image of Horse Poseidon." Little remains of the ancient city of Pheneos. Like many ancient cities, its coinage, which is of limited volume, remains the most tangible evidence of its existence.
n.igma
IMGP4547Got2combo.jpg
Artabanos II., 10 - 38 AD45 viewsAE10, 1,0gr., 9,7mm;
Sellw. 63.25, Shore 578;
mint: Ekbatana
obv.: bare-headed, left; mustache, medium-long beard represented by 5 vertical lines, medium-long straight hair, 3-layer necklace, earring;
rev.: possibly amphora;

This coin is difficult to attribute because of the rev. It could either be an amphora jug or a 3/4 goddess with a chunky torso. Open to reassignment.
Schatz
156.jpg
Artemis holding bow173 viewsCILICIA. Anemurium. Severus Alexander. Æ 31. A.D. 224/225 (year 3). Obv: ▪AV▪KAI▪M▪AV-(OVHPAΛEΞAN or similar)Δ, PON in field to left. Laureate head right; Countermark on neck. Rev: ETΓA-NE(MO)YPIEWN.Cult-Statue of Ephesian Artemis facing, single stag behind and to left. Ref: BMC -; SNG France 705 (var.). Axis: 180°. 13.22 g. CM: Artemis the huntress standing right, holding bow, in oval punch, 3.5 x 5.5 mm. Howgego - (?).There are no countermarked coins of Anemurium listed by Howgego. None of the (few) Artemis huntress groups noted matches this one. While 232 is similar, this coin is probably too late. Collection Automan.Automan
Diana_of_Ephesus_-_Claudius_AR_Tetradrachm.jpg
Artemis, (Diana of Ephesus), in her Temple139 viewsTI. CLAVD CAES AVG. Claudius bare head, facing left. / DIAN-EPHE Cult statue of Diana (Artemis) of Ephesus inside a tetra style temple, set on three tiered base; pediment decorated by figures flanking three windows.
RIC I 118; RPC I 2222; BMCRE 229; RSC 30; Sear Millennium 1839. Ephesus ca. 41-42 AD.
(25 mm, 11.14 g, 6h)

The statue of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Depicted on this coin, which was minted shortly after Claudius’ accession to the throne, there remains no trace of the statue, or the temple that housed it, other than some recently stacked column remnants to mark the location. Pliny The Elder described the temple as 115 meters in length, 55 meters in width, made almost entirely of marble; consisting of 127 Ionic style columns 18 meters in height. The original temple, which stood on the site from about 550 BC, was destroyed by arson in 356 BC. It was rebuilt around 330 BC in the form depicted on the coin, only to be destroyed by the Goths in 262 AD. Again rebuilt it was destroyed for the final time by Christians in 401 AD. The columns and marble of the temple were used to construct other buildings. Some of the columns found their way into the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (Istanbul).

The site of the temple was rediscovered in 1869 by an expedition sponsored by the British Museum, but little remains to be seen today. A Christian inscription found at Ephesus reads Destroying the delusive image of the demon Artemis, Demeas has erected this symbol of Truth, the God that drives away idols, and the Cross of priests, deathless and victorious sign of Christ. This Christian zeal explains why so little remains of the site despite its repute in the ancient pre-Christian world.

This coin is rare with a few dozen examples known. In contrast to most examples, which show a four tiered temple base, the reverse of this coin shows a three-tiered temple base. The rectangles on the pediment of the temple are frequently identified as tables, or altars. However, it is more likely that these are windows in the pediment to facilitate lighting of the statue in the interior of the temple. The Ionic style of the columns, as described by Pliny, is clearly visible in the reverse image.
1 commentsLloyd T
Pergamon_45.jpg
Asia Minor, Mysia, Pergamon, Herakles, Athena11 viewsMysia, Pergamon
Diobol, 330-284 BC
Obv.: head of Herakles right, clad in lion's skin
Rev.: ΠEΡΓAM, cult statue of Athena standing facing, holding spear and shield
Ag, 1.27g, 11mm
Ref.: SNG Paris 1558
Ex Solidus Numsimatik, auction11, Lot 100
shanxi
Pergamon_10.jpg
Asia Minor, Mysia, Pergamon, Herakles, Athena / mirrored reverse18 viewsMysia, Pergamon
Diobol, 330-284 BC
Obv.: head of Herakles right, clad in lion's skin
Rev.: mirrored !! - ΠEΡΓAM, cult statue of Athena standing facing, holding spear and shield
Ag, 1.23g, 11mm
Ref.: ---
shanxi
Trajan_06.jpg
Asia Minor, Mysia, RPC, Pergamon, Trajan, Temple16 viewsTrajan
Pergamon, Mysia
AE 18, AD 98-117
Obv: TPAIANOC CTPIΠΩΛΛIΩNOC, Tetrastyle temple containing cult statue standing facing; in pediment, pellet.
Rev: AVΓOVCTOC / ΠEPΓA, Tetrastyle temple containing statue of emperor standing facing; in pediment, capricorn.
AE, 4.59g, 18mm
Ref.: SNG France 2063
Ex Gitbud & Naumann, auction 39, lot 568
shanxi
Perge_01.jpg
Asia Minor, Pamphylia, Perge, Artemis Pergaia 22 viewsPerge
Asia Minor, Pamphylia
Obv.: Cult statue of Artemis Pergaia within distyle temple, eagle in pediment
Rev:: ΠEPΓAIAΣ, magistrate's name [A]PTEMIΔ[OΣ], bow and quiver
AE, 3.64g, 16mm
Ref.: BMC Pamphylia p. 121, 12
shanxi
Apameia_Phrygia_02.jpg
Asia Minor, Phrygia, Apameia, Zeus, Artemis15 viewsApameia
Asia Minor, Phrygia
AE20, 133-48 BC
Obv.: laureate head of Zeus right
Rev.: AΠAMEΩ / AΡTEMIΔ BABA, cult statue of Artemis Anaitis facing
AE, 8.59g, 20.2mm
Ref.: BMC Phrygia p. 77, 48
shanxi
G_289_Apameia_fac.jpg
Asia Minor, Phrygia, Apameia, Zeus, Artemis6 viewsApameia
Asia Minor, Phrygia
AE19, 133-48 BC
Obv.: laureate head of Zeus right
Rev.: AΠAMEΩN HPAKΛEI EΓΛO, cult-statue of Artemis Anaitis seen from front.
AE, 8.14g, 19mm
Ref.: SNG München 123; SNG Tübingen 3967
shanxi
148.jpg
Asklepios, hld. serpent-staff222 viewsPHRYGIA. Acmoneia. Nero. Æ 20. Circa A.D. 65. Obv: (NEPWNACE)BACTOИ-AKMONE(IC). Laureate head right, aegis on chest; above crescent; beneath winged caduceus (not visible); Countermark before. Rev: (CEP)OYHNIOYKAΠITWNO(CKAIIOYΛIACCEOYHPAC), EΠI APX TO Г in field to right. Zeus enthroned left, in right extended hand holding phiale over owl, resting left arm on sceptre. Ref: BMC 43; SNG Cop 29; RPC 3176. Axis: 330°. Weight: 4.27 g. Magistrate: L. Servinius Capito (archon). Third issue. CM: Asklepios standing, holding serpent-encircled staff, in rectangular punch, 4.5 x 9 mm. Howgego 241 (12 pcs). Note: There was a local cult of Asklepios. Collection Automan.1 commentsAutoman
Trajan_Aspendos.jpg
Aspendos, Pamphylia11 viewsObv: ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟΣ ΚΑΙΣΑΡ
Rev: ΑСΠΕΝΔΙΩΝ
Zeus to l. seated r., resting with his r. hand on sceptre and presenting, on his extended l. hand, cult statues of the Aphroditai Kastnietides to a goddess in front of him, seated l., holding patera in her extended r. hand and sceptre (or palm?) in l.

7.98g, 24mm
klausklage
Deified_Alexander_.jpg
Athena and Deified Alexander402 viewsThe deified Alexander the Great is depicted on the obverse of this coin of Lysimachos, dating to the early third century BC.

In the years following his death Alexander the Great came to be the subject of cult worship throughout the Mediterranean basin. His corpse was appropriated by Ptolemy I who transported it to Egypt, initially interring it at Memphis, then to a mausoleum and center of worship in Alexandria. It survived until the 4th century AD when Theodosius banned paganism, only to disappear without trace.

Athena depicted on the reverse of this coin was the patron goddess of Athens. She came to be worshiped throughout much of the Mediterranean basin during Hellenistic period.
7 commentsLloyd T
Athena_Parthenos.jpg
Athena Parthenos228 viewsAttica, Athens, ca. 264-267 AD, Æ 21
Helmeted head of Athena right. / AΘHN-AIΩN Athena Parthenos standing left holding Nike, shield and spear.
Kroll, Agora, 284; Sv-pl 82, 5ff; SNG Copenhagen 384.
(21 mm, 4.98 g, 6h)

The statue of Athena depicted on the reverse of this coin is a representation of Phidias cult statue of Athena in the Parthenon on the acropolis of Athens. The statue is stood in the Parthenon until the Fifth century AD, when it was destroyed by fire.

This is amongst the last of the “Roman series” of coins issued from the mint in Athens. In 267 AD Germanic raiders sacked the city bringing to an end the operations of the Athenian mint.
Lloyd T
Eleusis_AE.JPG
Athens, Attica132 viewsEleusinian Festival Coinage
340-335 BC
AE 16 (16mm, 3.65g)
O: Triptolemos seated left in winged chariot drawn by two serpents, holding grain ear in right hand.
R: Pig standing right on mystic staff; EΛEYΣI above, bucranium in ex.
SNG Cop 416; Sear 2586v

The Sons of Dysaules
The story of Triptolemus being charged with bringing agriculture to man has been well told. That of his brother Eubouleus perhaps less so.
Eubouleus was a swineherd whose pigs were lost when the Earth gaped open to swallow up Persephone.
Pigs were sacrificed during the Eleusinian Rites in a women’s mystery ritual known as the Thesmophoria. The piglets would be washed in the sea during the Procession and then brought back to the Sanctuary and ritually slaughtered.
It is interesting to note that in ancient Greek religion pigs were thought to be able to absorb miasma from humans, making this an even more appropriate offering.

"It is said, then, that when Demeter came to Argos she was received by Pelasgos into his home, and that Khrysanthis, knowing about the rape of Kore, related the story to her. Afterwards Trokhilos, the priest of the mysteries, fled, they say, from Argos because of the enmity of Agenor, came to Attika and married a woman of Eleusis, by whom he had two children Eubouleos and Triptolemos. That is the account given by the Argives."
~ Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 14. 3
8 commentsEnodia
new_style_k.jpg
ATTICA, Athens. Circa 165-42 BC 12 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 27mm, 16.6g, 12h, New Style. Socrates, Dionysodoros, and Zoilos, magistrates. Struck 116/5 BC.
Obv.: Helmeted head of Athena right.
Rev.: A-ΘE / ΣOKΡ / ATHΣ / ΔIONΥ / ΣOΔΩ / MOY / ΣΩI; Owl standing right, head facing, on amphora; in right field, facing cult statue of Apollo Delios, holding Three Graces and bow; B on amphora, ΣO below.
Reference: Thompson 616a / 17-47-601
1 commentsJohn Anthony
ARP_-_Augustus___Agrippa-3.jpg
Augustus 27BC - AD14 & Agrippa born 63BC - died 12BC22 viewsAE Dupondius - This coin was issued from 16/15-10BC - Sear #1729, RIC-155
Ch VF Strike 4/5 - Surface 5/5
Obv. - IMP DIVI F, Heads back to back of Augustus r., bare, and Agrippa l., wearing rostral crown
Rev. - COL NEM, crocodile., chained to palm tree, wreath with long ties above, two palms below.

Issue of Nemausus in Gaul (now the city of Nimes in France). The Cities coat of arms shows a palm tree with a crocodile chained to it. Veterans of the Roman legions who had served Julius Caesar in his Nile campaigns, at the end of fifteen years of soldiering, were given plots of land to cultivate on the plain of Nimes.
Richard M10
ric_126_augustus.jpg
Augustus RIC 0126 75 viewsAugustus (27 BC-AD 14), Denarius, Uncertain Spanish mint (Colonia Patricia?), 17-16 BC, (19 mm 3.73 g).
Obv: Bare head right
Rev: Augustus, Capricorn right, holding globe attached to rudder between front hooves; cornucopia above its back.
RIC I 126; RSC 21 SRCV (2000) 1592.
Purchased October 28, 2016 from vcoins store London Coin Galleries Ltd.




Although Augustus was the second Caesar covered by Suetonius, he really was the first ruler of the new Roman empire. Originally known by the name Octavian, he became Augustus as the new ruler of the empire.

The coin below is special to me for two reasons. First, I love the
anepigraphic (no legend) obverse. I feel this gives an elegant look to the portrait and make the portrait the focus of the coin. Many emperors were very particular as to how their images appeared on their coins and Augustus was no exception. It is difficult to tell when a coin of Augustus was issued by the portrait alone because his portraits did not age very much from his beginnings as emperor until his death.

Another reason I like this coin is the reverse. It depicts a Capricorn with globe and rudder. These devices appear on other coins of Augustus, and other emperors used them as well. Augustus would be associated with the image of the Capricorn for much of his rule.

Although this is not a perfect coin because of its imperfect flan shape, the combination of a great portrait and the Capricorn meant I had to have it.
4 commentsorfew
Augustus, Magnesia ad Maeandrum, Nike Crowning.JPG
Augustus, Magnesia ad Maeandrum, Nike Crowning22 viewsAE17, Augustus or Possibly Caesar
Obverse: Laureate head right crowned by a small figure of Nike
Reverse: EYFHMOSEYFHMOY MAGNHTVN, Facing cult statue of Artemis Leukophrys with two supports.
RPC 2691
17mm, 3.1gm
Jerome Holderman
082n.jpg
B in oval punch195 viewsUncertain mint, likely of Balkan origin. Uncertain emperor. Æ 21. Late 2nd - early 3rd century A.D. Obv: Inscription obliterated. Laureate bust right; countermark behind bust. Rev: Inscription obliterated. Tyche standing left, holding rudder and cornucopia (?). Axis: 30°. Weight: 4.63 g. CM: B in oval punch, 5.5 x 7 mm. Possibly Howgego 765i (125 pcs). Note: It is difficult to say which of the “B” countermark groups identified by Howgego that this coin belongs to, if any. Collection Automan.1 commentsAutoman
mazaios~0.jpg
Baal or Zeus (Interpretatio Graecia) on Cilician Stater of Satrap Mazaios266 viewsCirca 361-334 B.C. AR Stater (10.88g, 24mm, 5h). cf. SNG Levant-106; SNG Paris-. Obverse Baal of Tarsos enthroned left, head facing, holding club, bunch of grapes, wheat ear, and eagle in right hand, lotus-headed scepter in left hand, B’LTRZ (Baaltarz) in Aramaic behind, M below throne, all within a circle of dots. Reverse lion bringing down bull, attacking with teeth and claws, MZDI (Mazdai) in Aramaic above, unlisted ankh symbol, wheat ear below, all within a circle of dots. Sharply struck on an excellent metal with areas of flat strikes on high points. Choice superb EF/EF. Toned, lustrous.

Ex Ponterio and Associates Sale No. 84, November 1996, lot 141. Ex Stacks Bowers and Ponterio Sale No. 172, November 2012, lot 11680. Ex Pars Coins.

The depiction of Phoenician-Canaanite god Baal on Cilician coinage suggests the preeminence of his cult in Tarsos. He is shown enthroned, most probably on Mount Zaphon. The symbols corn-ear/barley and grapes suggest Baal’s capacity as a god involved in the seasonal cycles of life and death, or a more specific reference to Cilicia’s fertile plains. The iconography of this late coinage is also a syncretic mixture of other cultures, including Greek. The treatment of the god’s body gives us a hint of the extent of influence of Hellenic culture exerted in Eastern Asia Minor long before Alexander’s conquest, and it is said that Baal could be equated with Zeus in the Greek context. After the conquest of Alexander III of the East, Mazaios was appointed governor of Babylon. The new coinage of Alexander was strongly influenced by Mazaios’ pre-Alexandrine coinage (the Zeus Aetophoros commonly found on the reverses of his tetradrachmai is a direct descendant of this). The reverse depicts the City’s Emblem and clearly has an underlying meaning now lost to us. Some say it symbolizes the victory of Day over Night, while others suggest military conquest and subjugation of the enemies by the Persian Empire. Marvin Tameanko has persuasively argued (see Celator, Jan. 1995, pp. 6-11) that the kneeling bull (without the lion) is symbolic of Zeus, as attested on scores of later Greek and Roman coins; and the lion is symbolic of the supreme god Baal of the Cilicians. This concludes the lion-over-bull motif on this coin delivers a message that is blatantly direct and simple, if the argument put forward is to be believed.
4 commentsJason T
islamic_gold_.jpg
BCC IC135 viewsIslamic - Fatimid Dynasty
al-Mustansir Billah
18th Imam, of Cairo, Egypt.
427-487AH (1036-1095CE)
AV 1/4 Dinar
14.5mm. 0.68gm.
Date and mint off-flan.
Contemporary accounts and recent excavations
indicate that Caesarea was a thriving agricultural
town in this period.
v-drome
anguipede_lead_1.jpg
BCC L651 viewsLead Amulet
Late Roman - Gnostic
Obv: Anguipede, stylized Persian influenced snake-legged figure,
usually with head of rooster, carrying flail and shield.
Rev: ABPACAX mystical word whose letters add up to 365
in the Greek numerical system. The Gnostic cult was active at Caesarea at least
through the early 4th century. At this stage, the magical symbol itself on this amulet
has become more important than the details of that image.
22x16mm 3.86gm Axis:0
v-drome
BCC_L9_anguipede.jpg
BCC L947 viewsLead Amulet
Late Roman - Gnostic
Obv: Anguipede, stylized Persian
influenced snake-legged figure,
usually with head of rooster,
carrying flail and shield, in
Roman military dress.
Rev: IAW/ABPA/CAΞ
Retro-grade Greek inscription
in three lines on a recessed
surface. The Gnostic cult was
active at Caesarea at least
through the early 4th century CE.
Pb14x12.5mm 2.19gm Axis:0
v-drome
BCC_LT82_Artemis__Tessera.jpg
BCC LT 8216 viewsLead Tessera
Caesarea Maritima
Late Roman 1st-4th cent.
Obv: Cult statue of Artemis?,
facing, stags? to right and left.
Rev: Blank.
9 x 8 x 0.75mm. 0.36gm.
cf. Hamburger, "Surface Finds from
Caesarea Maritima - Tesserae
Excavations at Caesarea Maritima
1975, 1976, 1979 - Final Report, Levine,
Netzer. #15 and #16
cf. BCC LT25, LT26, LT35, LT72, and LT81
v-drome
Zeus_H_BCC_LT25.jpg
BCC LT2541 viewsLead Tessera
Caesarea Maritima
1st to 4th Century CE
Obv:Cult statue of Artemis
Rev: Blank
12 x 8.5mm. 0.87gm.
cf. BCC LT26, LT35, LT72
cf. Hamburger #15 and #16
v-drome
BCC_LT26_Zeus_h2.jpg
BCC LT2630 viewsLead Tessera
Caesarea Maritima
Obv: Cult statue of Artemis, or
possibly Zeus Heliopolites?
Rev: Blank
A fragmentary cult statue of
the Artemis of Ephesus was
found at Caesarea, Raban,
Holum, 1996.
12 x 8mm. 0.54gm.
cf. BCC LT25, LT35, or LT9
cf Hamburger #15 and #16
v-drome
Lt35.jpg
BCC Lt3534 viewsLead Tessera
Late Roman 1st-4th cent.
Obv: Cult statue of the
Ephesian Artemis?, or other Eastern
mummiform deity, standing,
facing, stags? to right and left.
Rev: Blank.
11.5x10mm. 0.80gm.
cf. Hamburger, "Surface Finds form Caesarea
Maritima - Tesserae. Excavations at Caesarea
Maritima 1975, 1976, 1979 - Final Report
Levine, Netzer. #15 and #16.
Also, cf. BCC LT25, LT26, LT72
v-drome
BCC_72_Artemis_tessera.jpg
BCC LT7224 viewsLead Tessera
Caesarea Maritima
Late Roman 1st-4th cent.
Obv: Cult statue of Artemis
Rev: Blank.
10.75 x 9 x 1mm. 0.69gm.
cf. Hamburger, "Surface Finds
from Caesarea Maritima - Tesserae",
Excavations at Caesarea Maritima
1975, 1976, 1979 - Final Report,
Levine, Netzer. #15 and #16,
also cf. BCC LT25, LT26, and LT35.
This is the fourth example of six, in the
present collection, of a tessera from
Caesarea with this design. A
fragmentary cult statue of the
Ephesian Artemis was recovered at
Caesarea by archaeologists ca. 1962.
v-drome
BCC_LT81_Artemis_tessera.jpg
BCC LT819 viewsLead Tessera
Caesarea Maritima
Late Roman 1st-4th cent.
Obv: Cult statue of Artemis?,
facing, stags? to right and left.
Rev: Blank.
11x8.5x1mm. 0.66gm.
cf. Hamburger, "Surface Finds from
Caesarea Maritima - Tesserae Excavations
at Caesarea Maritima 1975, 1976,
1979 - Final Report, Levine, Netzer.
#15 and #16
cf. BCC LT25, LT26, LT35, LT72,
and LT82.
This collection of very small lead
pieces from Caesarea, a corpus of
around ninety objects, includes six
very similar tesserae which display
the image of an Eastern-style mummiform
diety. This is possibly the Artemis of Ephesus,
a fragmentary statue of which was found
at Caesarea in the 1960's.
v-drome
BCC_MA28,_MA29,_MA30,_MA31_Fishhooks.jpg
BCC MA28, MA29, MA30, MA3113 viewsBronze Fish Hooks
Caesarea Maritima
Uncertain Date, Roman?
MA28: 4.1cm Weight: 2.1gm
MA29: 3.5cm Weight: 2.15gm
MA30: 2.7cm Weight: 1.9gm
MA31: 2.5cm Weight: 1.2gm
Barbed hooks with flattened tying
end, and grooves for securing line.
Dating is difficult, as the form
remained the same for so many
years. Any ideas are welcome.
These are surface finds from the
beach near Caesarea, 1971-1976.
(click for larger pic)
v-drome
herakleia_pont_sept_severus_SNGaulock378.jpg
Bithynia, Herakleia Pontika, Septimius Severus, SNG von Aulock 37849 viewsSeptimius Severus, AD 193-211
AE 30, 17.23g, 30.09mm, 195°
obv. .AV - T. - K.L.CEP. - CEVHROC P
Bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. HRAKLHAC - EN PON - TW
Herakles, nude, holding lion's skin and his club over l. arm, stg. with sidestep r., head l., holding with r.
hand three-headed Kerberos at rope who is std. at his feet r. looking up to him
ref. SNG von Aulock 378 (obv. same die, rev. different type; for rev. look at Makrinos #379); not in SNG
Copenhagen, Tübingen, SNG Lewis, Rec. Gen.
extremely rare, about VF, some roughness on obv.
Pedigree:
ex lanznumismatik, E-Bay, 2008(?)

This was the last and most difficult labour of Hersakles. For more information take a look at the Mythology Thread, coming soon!
1 commentsJochen
nikaia_sept_severus_RecGen240cf.jpg
Bithynia, Nikaia, Septimius Severus, Rec.Gen. 240 cf.28 viewsSeptimius Severus, AD 193-211
AE 15, 1.50g, 14.60mm, 180°
obv. CEPTIMI - OC AVGO
Bust, cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. NIKAI - EWN
Snake erecting in 2 coils left
ref. Gen.Reg. I/3, 240(?)
about VF, dark green patina

There are several small coins with this rev. It is difficult to attribute them correctly.
Jochen
1115.jpg
bmcx5 viewsElagabalus
Berytos, Phoenicia

Obv: Laureate draped cuirassed bust right.
Rev: Tetrastyle temple containing baitylos in center and two cult statues on both sides within the intercolumniation; stairs leading to the baitylos in center.
25 mm, 8.13 gms


BMC---, SNG Cop---, Numismatik Naumann Auction 23, lot 633
Charles M
Sullis Minerva.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Bust of Sullis Minerva67 viewsDisplayed in the Baths.

This is a wonderful gilt bronze head of Sullis Minerva and is probably from the cult statue of the deity which would have stood within her Temple beside the Sacred Spring. Found in A.D. 1727.
maridvnvm
Lady Head Front.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Head of Lady23 viewsDisplayed in the Baths.

This large sculture of the head of a lady was found in Walcot in A.D. 1715. This colossal head (much larger than life) may well have adorned a tomb. The hairstyle belongs to the late 1st Century.
maridvnvm
Lady Head Side.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, Head of Lady (View of hair detail)20 viewsDisplayed in the Baths.

This large sculture of the head of a lady was found in Walcot in A.D. 1715. This colossal head (much larger than life) may well have adorned a tomb. The hairstyle belongs to the late 1st Century. Shown from the rear to illustrate the detail of the hair.
maridvnvm
Ornamental Pediment.jpg
Britain, Bath, Aquae Sulis, The Temple31 viewsThe Temple at Bath is one of only two truly classical temples known from Roman Britain. It was where the the cult statue of the goddess Sulis Minerva was thought to have been housed. Parts of the ornamental pediment survives and are displayed in the Baths Museum.maridvnvm
Phyrigia.jpg
Bronze coin from Phrygia13 viewsA Bronze AE21 minted in Apamea, Phrygia, minted between 133-48 BC. 20.9 mm, 6.884 g.

Obverse: Head of Zeus right, wearing wreath of oak and laurel leaves

Reverse: A\\\\\\\\APAME - BIANO / MANT, cultus-statue of Artemis Anaitis facing, wearing kalathos and veil, taenia hanging from each hand

Attribution: SNG Cop 173; BMC Phrygia p 80, 65; SGCV II 5121
chuy1530
Bronze-Knife_Q-001_19x59mm_6,06ga-s.jpg
Bronze-Knife from the "Hallstatt culture" #174 viewsBronze-Knife from the "Hallstatt culture" #1
type: Bronze-Knife. Two holes are for rivets that attached a handle with C-shaped rim.
size: 19x59mm,
weight: 6,06g,
date: Early iron age 8th to 6th centuries B.C.,
ref: ???.
distribution: "By the 6th century BC, it spanned across territories north-south from the Main, Bohemia, the Little Carpathians, the Swiss plateau, the Salzkammergut, down to the border between Lower Styria and Lower Carniola, and from the western zone, that included Champagne-Ardenne, the Upper Rhine, and the upper Danube, to the eastern zone, that included Vienna Basin and the Danubian Lowland, for some 1000 km. " from Wikipedia.
Q-001
"The Hallstatt culture was the predominant Central European culture from the 8th to 6th centuries BC (European Early Iron Age), developing out of the Urnfield culture of the 12th century BC (Late Bronze Age) and followed in much of Central Europe by the La Tène culture. It is commonly associated with Proto-Celtic and Celtic populations in the Western Hallstatt zone and with (pre-)Illyrians in the eastern Hallstatt zone." from Wikipedia.
quadrans
C_Fonteius.jpg
C. Fonteius struck - AR Denarius9 viewsRome
²112 BC
¹114-113 BC
laureate Janiform heads of Dioscuri
T _ (XVI)
war galley left, acrostolium, ram and deck house at prow, three sailors and five oars amidships; deck house, gubernator, rudder, and apluster at stern
C·FO(NT)
ROMA
¹Crawford 290/1, SRCV I 167, RSC I Fonteia 1, Sydenham 555
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
3,9g
ex Aureo and Calico

"The janiform head has been identified as the Dioscuri, because the Fonteia gens came from Tusculum, the religious center of the cult of Castor and Pollux. The reverse depicts the arrival by sea of Telegonus' the son of Odysseus and Circe, and the mythological founder of Tusculum." ForumAncientCoins note Moneyer probably served as legate in 91 BC at the beginning of Civil war and was killed by rebels in Asculum
Johny SYSEL
Semis_130BC_Q_Caecillius_Metellus_cr__256_2_6_03g.jpg
Caecilia 23?33 viewsCaecilia 23? (130BC) moneyer Q. Caecilius Metellus cos 123 BC Rome

Semis

Ob: Laureate head of Saturn right; behind S
Rev: Prow right above Q ∙ MET (TE ligature), right S, in exergue ROMA

BMCRR I 1059

Sydenham 510

Crawford: 256/2a Q. METE

There is some confusion concerning which Q. Caecilius Metellus was the moneyer. Sydenham states that this difficulty arises from the fact that during this period (125-100 BC) the Metelli were at the height of their power and therefore would have multiple junior family members beginning the cursum honorum at the mint. There are a large number of variant legends.


Nice green patina, 6.03gr.
1 commentsPetrus Elmsley
Caligula_RIC_16.jpg
Caligula RIC 001674 viewsSH86638. Silver denarius, RIC I 16 (R2, Rome), RSC I 2, Lyon 167, BnF II 21, BMCRE I 17, cf. SRCV I 1807 (aureus), VF, toned, attractive portraits, bumps and marks, some pitting, lamination defects, ex jewelry, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, weight 3.443g, maximum diameter 18.2mm, die axis 180o, 2nd emission, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR POT (counterclockwise from lower right), laureate head of Caligula right; reverse DIVVS AVG PATER PATRIAE (counterclockwise from lower right), radiate head of Divus Augustus right; ex Classical Numismatic Group, e-auction 69 (23 July 2003), lot 90
Ex: Forum Ancient coins, March 2, 2018.


This is my second denarius of Gaius. I was extremely happy to get this one. I know the surfaces are a bit rough, but it is still a VF example of a rare coin. Denarii of Caligula do not show up for sale very often outside of large auction houses. When they do appear they are often very expensive. I waited for about 2 1/2 years for a coin like this to show up. As soon as it did I bought it.

I want to share a quick word about where I bought this coin. It was a purchase from Forum Ancient Coins. Coins are guaranteed authentic for eternity, and the service is second to none. Forum is also an incredible source of information concerning ancient coins. If you have a question about ancient coins, chances are that question has been asked and answered on Forum Ancient Coins. Many experts frequent this site and they are always willing to share their expertise.

Anyone trying to assemble a set of the 12 Caesars in silver will need to find a denarius of Gaius. His is one of the most difficult to add along with denarii of Claudius and Otho. It has also been suggested by some that it is the fault of 12 Caesars collectors that drives the prices so high. While true that there is a lot of competition for these coins when they appear, it is also true that there are alternatives to the denarii of Gaius. One popular choice is the Vesta As. These are quite common and can be had in nice condition for reasonable prices.

On the obverse we have the typical portrait of Gaius, while on the reverse we see a portrait of his great grandfather Augustus. Augustus is depicted as a Divus or god. The reverse legend "Pater Patriae" refers to Augustus as the father of the country. One reason Augustus was on the reverse was to remind the people of Rome of their emperor's connection to the Julio-Claudian ruling dynasty.

Why are denarii of Gaius so scarce? One explanation is has to do with Gresham's law or bad money drives out good money. The theory is that the monetary reforms of Nero, which debased to coinage in both weight and fineness, caused people to hoard the older more valuable coins of emperors like Caligula and Claudius. The problem with this explanation is that there are plenty of "tribute penny" denarii of Tiberius. The other possibility is that perhaps smaller numbers of Gaius' denarii were originally minted. Maybe there was already enough silver coinage circulating and therefore fewer were needed. Whatever the real reason, we are unlikely to ever get a satisfactory answer.
5 commentsorfew
Hyria.jpg
Campania, Hyrianoi. (Circa 405-400 BC)36 viewsFourrée Nomos (20.5mm, 6.33 g)

Obverse: Head of Athena wearing crested helmet decorated with olive-wreath and owl.

Reverse: Man-faced bull standing r. on exergual line, YDINA (retrograde) above. YDINA is in Oscan script and means "Urina", another name for Hyria.

For prototype, cf. HN Italy 539.

The city, named both Nola (new city) and Hyria (which Nola likely arose from), was situated in the midst of the plain lying to the east of Mount Vesuvius, 21 miles south of Capua. While Neapolis was the focus of minting in this general area, Neapolitan designs were adopted by several new series of coins, some of them bearing legends in Oscan script referring to communities that are otherwise unknown (such as the Hyrianoi). Complex die linking between these different series indicate, at the very least, close cooperation in minting. Didrachms sharing motives (Athena/man headed bull), but with legends referring to different issuing communities on the reverse, testify to the integration into a common material culture in Campania in the late fifth to early fourth century. The die sharing and use of legends in Oscan script allow for an interpretation of these issues as indigenous coinages struck in the Campanian mileu.

The influence of Athens on Hyria can be seen not only in the great number of Greek vases and other articles discovered at the old city but by the adoption of the head of Pallas with the Athenian owl as their obverse type.

This particular coin is an ancient forgery, which were quite common in Magna Graecia and typically of much higher quality than fourrees produced elsewhere. In ON THE FORGERIES OF PUBLIC MONEY [J. Y. Akerman
The Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Numismatic Society, Vol. 6 (APRIL, 1843–JANUARY, 1844), pp. 57-82] it is noted that ancient forgeries tend "to be most abundantly found to belong to the most luxurious, populous, and wealthy cities of Magna Graecia...Nor is it surprising that the luxury and vice of those celebrated cities should have led to crime; and among crimes, to the forging of money, as furnishing the means for the more easy gratification of those sensual indulgences, which were universally enjoyed by the rich in those dissipated and wealthy cities. Many of the coins of the places in question having been originally very thickly coated, or cased with silver (called by the French, fourrees), pass even now among collectors without suspicion."
1 commentsNathan P
caesarea_lucius_verus_Met716.jpg
Cappadocia, Caesarea, Lucius Verus Met. 716130 viewsLucius Verus AD 161-169
AR - Didrachm, 6.71g
struck AD 161-166 (as COS II)
obv. AYTOKR OYHROC CEBACTOC
bare head, r.
rev. YPA - TOS B
Agalma of Mt. Argaios, on summit man standing frontal with sceptre in l. hand (mountain god?)
Met. 716
Scarce, about EF, light toned

The Mount Argaios (Lat. Mons Argaeus) was the highest mountain in Asia Minor. Today it is Erciyes Dagi, 3916m and volcanic. This mountain was sacred since the time of the Hittits. Agalma is an item for decoration, a word, a sentence, but then too a cult statue, or a votive gift for the gods, then an idole.

For more information look at the thread 'Coins of mythological interest'
4 commentsJochen
C4.JPG
Caracalla - Cult instruments74 viewsDenarius 198
O/ M AVR ANTON - CAES PONTIF Boy's bare-headed bust draped right
R/ DESTINATO IMPERAT Lituus, apex, bucranium and simpulum
C 53 - RIC 6
Mint: Rome (4th off., 17th emission)
septimus
aphrodisias_gordianIII_SNGaulock2461cf.jpg
Caria, Aphrodisias, Gordian III, MacDonald Type 187 var. 21 viewsGordian III, AD 238-244
AE 30 (2 assaria), 14.09g, 30.48mm, 165°
struck AD 238-341 (see MacDonald below)
obv. AV KM ANT - GORDIANOC (1st N reversed)
Bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. AFROD. - EI[CIE]EWN
Cult statue of Aphrodite Aphrodisias in ependytes and with kalathos, stg. r. on plinthe, head flanked by
crescent and star, both hands outstretched forwards; l. beside her small priestress std. with raised hand
on sella r., r. beside her a fountain with arched cover.
ref. MacDonald Type 187 var., 0234 var., R432 var.; cf. SNGF von Aulock 2461; not in Leypold, Keckmann,
Sammlung Karl, BMC
rare, F+, some deposits of sand-patina

MacDonald: Types 187-189 are an exception to the rule that the portrait of the emperor appears only on the largest denominations of Aphrodisias. The reason is fairly obvious. The portraits of 0234-0236 are distinctly juvenile, and early in the reign of Gordian III there were no other members of the imperial family whose portraits might be put on the coins. When Gordian III married Tranquillina, her portrait appeared on this denomination, Types 190-192
Jochen
aphrodisias_pseudoautonom_MacDonald145.jpg
Caria, Aphrodisias, pseudo-autonomous, MacDonald 14510 viewsCaria, Aphrodisias, pseudo-autonomous, c.AD 225-250
AE 22, 4.90g, 22.39mm, 180°
obv. [IEROC] - DEMOC
Head of Demos,laureate, r.
rev. [A]FROD - E - I - CIEWN
Cult statue of Aphrodite Aphrodisias, in ependytes and with kalathos, stg. r., holding
unknown object in extended hands; l. behind her small priestress std. r., r. before her
fountain with oval cover; in upper l. field star, in upper r. field crescent
ref. MacDonald type 145 (O203/R376); BMC 34; SNG Copenhagen 107
rare, F+, flan break-out at 10h

O203 is the only die where Demos is called "holy". Regarding its style this type is later than
the types 133-144. The increase of the module suggests the time around AD 250 (MacDonald)
Jochen
getamylasa2.jpg
Caria, Mylasa. Geta AE38 Medallion. Cult statue of Artemis 83 viewsCARIA, Mylasa. GETA. As Caesar, 198-209 AD. AE Medallion (22.95 gm; 38 mm). Bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Tetrastyle temple of Zeus Labraundus, cult statue of Artemis within, holding labrys and spear; tresses hanging from each hand. Round shield with two supporters in pediment.
Akarca 90; BMC 38; Price & Trell 442.
ancientone
GRK_Rhodes_S_5074.JPG
Carian Islands, Rhodes17 viewsSear 5074 var., SNG Copenhagen 750-751 & 858-9, SNG Helsinki 384-392 var., SNG Keckman 384-421, SNG von Aulock 2796-2797 var., BMC Caria pg. 238-239, 74ff var., Laffaille 503 var.

AE 10, circa 350-300 B.C.

Obv: Diademed head of Rhodos right, hair rolled.

Rev: P-O in lower field, rose with bud to the right, H to the left.

In 408 B.C., the cities on the island of Rhodes united to form one territory and built the city of Rhodes, as their new capital on the northern end of the island. The Peloponnesian War had so weakened the entire Greek culture that it lay open to invasion. In 357 B.C., the island was conquered by the king Mausolus of Caria, then it fell to the Persians in 340 B.C., and in 332 B.C. became part of the empire of Alexander the Great. Following the death of Alexander, his generals vied for control of his empire. Rhodes formed strong commercial and cultural ties with the Ptolemies of Egypt, and together formed the Rhodo-Egyptian alliance that controlled trade throughout the Aegean in the 3rd century B.C. The city developed into a maritime, commercial and cultural center, and its coins circulated nearly everywhere in the Mediterranean. In 305 B.C, Antigonus directed his son, Demetrius, to besiege Rhodes in an attempt to break its alliance with Egypt. Demetrius created huge siege engines, but despite this engagement, in 304 B.C., he relented and signed a peace agreement, leaving behind a huge store of military equipment. The Rhodians sold the equipment and used the money to erect a statue of their sun god, Helios, which became known as the Colossus of Rhodes.

In Greek mythology, Rhodos was the goddess of the island of Rhodes and wife of Helios. She was the daughter of Aphrodite and Poseidon.
Stkp
9965.jpg
Carrhae in Mesopotamia, Septimius Severus, AE 24, Lindgren 2557122 viewsCarrhae in Mesopotamia, Septimius Severus, AE 24, 193-211 AD
Av.: CEΠTIMIOC [CE]OY.... , naked (laureate?) bust of Septimius Severus right
Rv.: ..Λ]OY KAPPH ΛKA... , front view of a tetrastyle temple, the temple of the moon god Sin, in the middle a sacred stone on tripod, on top of stone: crescent, standards (with crescents on top) on both sides inside the building; another crescent in the pediment.
Lindgren 2557 ; BMC p. 82, #4

The city and the region played an important role in roman history.

Carrhae / Harran, (Akkadian Harrânu, "intersecting roads"; Latin Carrhae), an ancient city of strategic importance, an important town in northern Mesopotamia, famous for its temple of the moon god Sin, is now nothing more than a village in southeastern Turkey with an archeological site.
In the Bible it is mentioned as one of the towns where Abraham stayed on his voyage from Ur to the promised land. Abraham's family settled there when they left Ur of the Chaldeans (Genesis 11:31-32).
Inscriptions indicate that Harran existed as early as 2000 B.C. In its prime, it controlled the point where the road from Damascus joins the highway between Nineveh and Carchemish. This location gave Harran strategic value from an early date. It is frequently mentioned in Assyrian inscriptions about 1100 BC, under the name Harranu, or "Road" (Akkadian harrānu, 'road, path, journey' ).
During the fall of the Assyrian Empire, Harran became the stronghold of its lasts king, Ashur-uballit II, being besiged and conquered by Nabopolassar of Babylon at 609 BC. Harran became part of Median Empire after the fall of Assyria, and subsequently passed to the Persian Achaemenid dynasty.
The city remained Persian untill in 331 BC when the soldiers of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great entered the city.
After the death of Alexander on 11 June 323 BC, the city was claimed by his successors: Perdiccas, Antigonus Monophthalmus and Eumenes. These visited the city, but eventually, it became part of the Asian kingdom of Seleucos I (Nicator), the Seleucid empire, and capital of a province called Osrhoene (the Greek term for the old name Urhai).
The Seleucids settled Macedonian veterans at Harran. For a century-and-a-half, the town flourished, and it became independent when the Parthian dynasty of Persia occupied Babylonia. The Parthian and Seleucid kings both needed the buffer state of Osrhoene which was part of the larger Parthian empire and had nearby Edessa as its capital. The dynasty of the Arabian Abgarides, technically a vassal of the Parthian "king of kings" ruled Osrhoene for centuries.

Carrhae was the scene of a disastrous defeat of the Roman general Crassus by the Parthians. In 53 BC. Crassus, leading an army of 50.000, conducted a campaign against Parthia. After he captured a few cities on the way, he hurried to cross the Euphrates River with hopes of receiving laurels and the title of “Emperor”. But as he drove his forces over Rakkan towards Harran, Parthian cavalry besieged his forces in a pincers movement. In the ensuing battle, the Roman army was defeated and decimated. The battle of Carrhae was the beginning of a series of border wars with Parthia for many centuries. Numismatic evidence for these wars or the corresponding peace are for instance the "Signis Receptis" issues of Augustus and the “Janum Clusit” issues of Nero.
Later Lucius Verus tried to conquer Osrhoene and initially was successful. But an epidemic made an annexation impossible. However, a victory monument was erected in Ephesus, and Carrhae/Harran is shown as one of the subject towns.
Septimius Severus finally added Osrhoene to his realms in 195. The typical conic domed houses of ancient Harran can be seen on the Arch of Septimius Severus on the Forum Romanum.
Harran was the chief home of the moon-god Sin, whose temple was rebuilt by several kings. Sin was one of the great gods of the Assurian-Babylonian pantheon.
Caracalla gave Harran the status of a colonia (214 AD) and visited the city and the temple of the moon god in April 217. Meanwhile the moon god (and sacred stones) had become a part of the Roman pantheon and the temple a place to deify the roman emperors (as the standards on both sides of the temple indicate).

Caracalla was murdered while he was on his way from Temple to the palace. If this had been arranged by Macrinus - the prefect of the Praetorian guard who was to be the new emperor – is not quite clear. On the eighth of April, the emperor and his courtiers made a brief trip to the world famous temple of the moon god. When Caracalla halted to perform natural functions, he was assassinated by one of his bodyguards, Julius Martialis, who had a private grudge against the ruler, because he had not been given the post of centurion.

In 296 AD Roman control was again interrupted when nearby Carrhae the emperor Galerius was defeated by the king Narses / the Sasanid dynasty of Persia. The Roman emperor Julianus Apostata sacrificed to the moon god in 363 AD, at the beginning of his ill-fated campaign against the Sassanid Persians. The region continued to be a battle zone between the Romans and Sassanids. It remained Roman (or Byzantine) until 639, when the city finally was captured by the Muslim armies.

At that time, the cult of Sin still existed. After the arrival of the Islam, the adherents of other religions probably went to live in the marshes of the lower Tigris and Euphrates, and are still known as Mandaeans.
The ancient city walls surrounding Harran, 4 kilometer long and 3 kilometer wide, have been repaired throughout the ages (a.o. by the Byzantine emperor Justinian in the sixth century), and large parts are still standing. The position of no less than 187 towers has been identified. Of the six gates (Aleppo gate, Anatolian, Arslanli, Mosul, Baghdad, and Rakka gate), only the first one has remained.

A citadel was built in the 14th century in place of the Temple of Sin. This lies in the south-west quarter of the ancient town. Its ruin can still be visited.

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
Carthage.jpg
Carthage, Second Punic War (220-215 BC)28 viewsAE Trishekel

29 mm, 18.21 g

Obverse: Head of Tanit left, wearing wreath of grain ears and single-pendant earring

Reverse: Horse standing right; palm tree in background to left.

MAA 84; Müller, Afrique 147; SNG Copenhagen 344.

The Second Punic War formally began when the Carthaginian general Hannibal and his army crossed the Alps in November of 218 BC and descended into Northern Italy. Battles raged on Italian soil for nearly 15 years until Hannibal and what remained of his army sailed for North Africa in the summer or fall of 203 BC. Shown above is a typical example of what would have been a lower-value coin issued by the Carthaginians in the early stages of the war.

Carthage was a Phoenician colony, and as such the Carthaginians were related to the Hebrews and the Canaanites (among others). Culturally they had much in common, including the use of the shekel as the primary unit of money. Likewise, the Carthaginians worshipped a variety of deities from the ancient Middle East. One in particular was the goddess Tanit. A Phoenician (Punic) goddess of war, Tanit was also a virgin mother goddess and a fertility symbol.
2 commentsNathan P
trajse29.jpg
CAST COPY OF: Trajan, RIC 577, Sestertius of AD 107 (Octastyle temple flanked by porticoes)82 viewsCast copy of
Æ Sestertius (26.4g, Ø33mm, 7h). Rome mint. Struck AD 107.
Obv/ IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P laureate bust of Trajan facing right.
Rev/ S·P·Q·R· OPTIMO PRINCIPI [around] S C [in ex.], Octastyle temple with porticoes on either side with steps between them leading to the central temple; A seated cult figure in centre of the temple; tympanon with seated figure in the centre flanked by reclining figures; on the roof top a central figure flanked by winged Victories on the corners.
RIC 577 [R]; Cohen 549 (20 Fr.); BMC 863; Strack 393; Foss 102:44
(Netherlands, 2001)

In the absence of any specific reverse legend, it is difficult to know for sure which temple is depicted on this coin. According to Clive Foss (1990) it is the temple of Venus Genetrix of the Forum of Julius Caesar. Since the statue in the centre of the building appears to be that of Jupiter, most assume that it is the temple of Jupiter Victor. In that case, this issue could celebrate the restoration of that temple by Trajan which event was celebrated in conjunction with the tenth anniversary of his reign. Later this temple was rededicated to Divus Traianus, and later still by Elegabalus to Sol-Elagabal. Strack however carefully studied all evidence and examined the best preserved specimens of this and related issues and concludes that the best guess is that the central figure represents the Genius Augusti and that the temple is dedicated to Divus Nerva.
3 commentsCharles S
Catane- Apollo- ISIS (Sicilia).jpg
Catene- Apollo- ISIS69 viewsI think it's a coin of Katane (Sicily). Apollo head left on obverse, Isis on reverse.

Possibly a hexas, SNG ANS 1284 if around 3-3.5 g and 16-17 mm

I can only add that the coin is probably dated after 212 BC and depicts Isis holding a bird. Below the bird the sign II, the sign of value. Isis cult was very strong in Katane.

“Isis came to the island from the sea with the armies sent by Syracuse who conquered Katane in the year 476 BC, thus changing the city's name to Aitna.”

A well known obelisk in modern Catania bears hieroglyphs identifying the goddess Isis, but probably this was brought to Catania by Romans only on 30 BC from Egypt.

John Schou
Celts_Ireland_RingMoney_vanArsdell_1-3.jpg
Celtic Ring, Eire16 viewsCelts, Eire. 2nd c. BC. AR Ring (0.87 gm) of Limerick. Plain ring, possibly proto-money, similar to 4-spoked wheel money (rouelles). VF. Bt. Lionheart Antiquities 1999. cf van Arsdell 1-3.
Prior to the use of regular round struck or cast coinage, the Celts employed items of various shapes and metals for trade. Although not conclusively identified as an early form of money, these rings have been found in coin hoards and do bear some resemblance to other Celtic objects accepted as "proto-money," such as small bronze or potin wheels. R.D. Van Arsdale, in his book The Celtic Coins in Britain (London, 1989), notes that precious-metal rings such as this may have had multiple functions; as items of personal adornment (many were hair ornaments), as a means of displaying wealth, and as a medium of exchange. The weights and diameters vary, making it difficult to establish whether denominations existed. The authors of ABC (C. Rudd. Ancient British Coins. Aylsham. 2010), on the other hand, regard these as jewelry and ornaments, albeit some ceremonial wealth-storage value attached.
Christian T
RI 049b img~0.jpg
Ceres336 viewsFaustina Senior Denarius
Obv:– DIVA FAVSTINA, Draped bust head right, hair in bun
Rev:– AVGVSTA, Ceres standing left, holding grain ears and torch
References:– RIC 360, RSC 78

Ceres, goddess of agriculture, carries grain ears and a torch used when she descended into the underworld in search of he daughter Persephone
maridvnvm
ORDO_CULTURE_SPEC_MONEY.jpg
CHINA - Ordos Culture65 viewsCHINA - Ordos Culture "Special Money" - AE Lattice piece with "+" character. Late Bronze Age, c. 1600-1200 B.C.E. 40 mm at longest part; about 19 mm wide. 3.5 g. This is described by some China monetary experts as a form of money; others say this is not the case - as with Bell Money, Bridge Money, etc. These experts seem to lean toward the theory that these were burial objects.
Per Wikipedia: The Ordos culture comprises the period from Upper Paleolithic to the late Bronze age at the Ordos Desert, in the south of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, about 300 kilometers from modern Beijing. The Ordos were predominantly Mongoloid, as known from their skeletal remains and artifacts, but numerous interactions between Europoid and Mongoloid might have also taken place in that region over the course of several centuries, until its occupation by Qin and Han dynasties.
dpaul7
WangMang2.jpg
China: Han Interregnum, Usurper Wang Mang, 7-22 A.D.88 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
chinese_charm_pan.jpg
Chinese Charm with coin inscription from Later Zhou Dynasty 951 - 960 A.D.83 viewsCast Bronze Chinese Charm, Weight 8.8g, Max diameter 26.8mm, Obv. 周 元通宝 zhou yuan tong bao "Zhou First Currency", Rev. Dragon on left, Warrior with sword on right (depicting "Zhou Chu killing the dragon"), Rich brown patina.

Background info courtsey Primaltrek.com

In addition to official coinage, China also has a long history of producing "coin-like" charms, amulets and talismans.

Coins, as a form of money, represent power. Coin-shaped charms are, therefore, a very compact form of power. They are filled with symbolism and are believed by the multitude of Chinese to have vast powers.

Cast throughout the centuries, these ancient charms, informally referred to by the Chinese as "ya sheng coins" (压胜钱), "flower coins" (huaqian 花钱) or "play coins" (wanqian 玩钱), were not used as money but rather to suppress evil spirits, bring "good luck", "good fortune" and to avert misfortune.

For the most part, all these old charms,...were privately cast and their quantities and dates are almost impossible to determine. Nevertheless, they serve as important cultural artifacts from the life of the common Chinese throughout the centuries.

Emperor Shizong did cast coins in earnest beginning in 955 AD, the second year of his Xiande (显德) reign, with the inscription zhou yuan tong bao (周 元通宝). To obtain the copper to make the coins, Emperor Shizong ordered the confiscation of bronze statues from 3,336 Buddhist temples. He also mandated that citizens turn in to the government all bronze utensils with the exception of bronze mirrors.

Zhou yuan tong bao coins are very well made and still exist in large quantities. Because the coins were made from Buddhist statues, they are considered to have special powers. For example, it was believed that the zhou yuan tong bao coin could cure malaria and help women going through a difficult labor.

Because of the common belief that the coin has special powers, the zhou yuan tong bao became very popular as the basis for charms and amulets. There are many charms with the inscription zhou yuan tong bao on the obverse and a dragon and phoenix on the reverse. Images of the Buddha, zodiac animals, and other auspicious objects can also be found on the reverse sides of zhou yuan tong bao charms.

The theme of this charm is "Zhou Chu killing the dragon".

A folk story about Zhou Chu appeared in the 430AD book "A New Account of the Tales of the World" and proved to be very popular. The story claims that Zhou Chu was such a hot-headed bully in his younger days that he was called one of the "Three Scourges" by the villagers in his hometown (in today's Yixing), along with a dragon and a tiger. Upon hearing the term, Zhou Chu went on to kill the tiger and the dragon. After he and the dragon disappeared for 3 days fighting in Lake Tai, the villagers celebrated wildly, just when Zhou Chu returned with the dragon's head. That was when he realized that he was the last scourge that the villagers feared. Determined to mend his old ways, he sought out Eastern Wu generals Lu Ji and Lu Yun, and received encouragement. Eventually he became an accomplished general beloved by his people~Wikipedia
3 commentsSteve E
valerianI_anemeurion_ lev513.jpg
Cilicia, Anemourion, Valerian I SNG Lev. 513105 viewsValerian I, AD 253-260
AE - AE 28, 11.71g
Anemourion (Anamurium), Year 2 = AD 254/5
obv. AVK PO LI OYALEPIANON
bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. ET B ANE - MOY - REWN
Cult-statue of Artemis standing facing on pedestal, with great veil, both hands
outstretched, holding r. branch(?) and l. sistrum, crescent on left below
SNG Levante 513
good F
added to www.wildwinds.com

It seems to be an unknown local cult-statue in the style of the Artemis of Ephesos. Her body is completely covered with rows of breasts denoting her fertility. Another interpretation: That may be testicles of castrated adherants.
3 commentsJochen
Cilicia_Mallos_1.PNG
Cilicia, Mallos 31-30 B.C5 viewsCilicia, Mallos 31-30 B.C

Obverse: Turreted, veiled head of Tyche right, M over shoulder.

Reverse: Cult statue of Athena Magarsis, holding spear and coiled serpent, standing facing; stars flanking head, MAI ? left and AWTWN(Athena) on the right.

17mm
Macedonian Warrior
tarsos_GIC5672.jpg
Cilicia, Tarsos, civic-issue ANG BN 1333-133434 viewsAE 21, 6.54g
struck 1st century BC
obv. Bust of the city-goddess (Tyche), veiled and turreted, r.,
on the face c/m in the shape of a male radiate head (Helios?) in circular incus.
rev. Pyre of Sandan in pyramidal shape, crowned by an eagle with spread wings, stg. r. on a small round base; within cult statue of Sandan wearing polos and holding double axe, stg. r. on a winged and horned lion, r. hand raised; besides l. and r. a baetylus; altogether on a round base decorated with garlandes.
in the r. field from top TAR[C]EWN
in the l. field from top AR / AR / DI / Q
Ref.: SNG BN 1333-1334; Sear GIC 5672
about VF, slight roughness

For more informations please look at the thread 'Mythological interesting coins'.
Jochen
maximinI_tarsos_BMC230.jpg
Cilicia, Tarsos, Maximinus I BMC 23066 viewsMaximinus I AD 235-238
AE 37, 21.89g
obv. AYT.K.G.IOY.OYH.MAXIMEINOC C
bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
in field P-P
rev. TARCOY T - HC MHTROPOLEWC
Nike, on globe, advancing l., holding palmbranch and cilicarch crown with four
imperial heads
in left field AM/K
in right field G/B
SNG Levante var. 1092; SNG Paris 1594-5 (both same dies); BMC 230
rare, nice VF
added to www.wildwinds.com

The Cilicarch was the High Priest in Cilicia, the chief priest of the provincial temple or the temples of the imperial cults.
3 commentsJochen
tarsos_trajan_decius_SNGparis1757_1.jpg
Cilicia, Tarsos, Trajan Decius, SNG Paris 175716 viewsTrajan Decius, AD 240-251
AE 35, 27.29g
obv. AV KAI G MEC KVIN.DEKIOC TRAIANO
in l. and r. field P- P
rev. TARCO - V MHTROPOLEWC GB
in l. and r. field A/M - K
Perseus, nude except chlamys over l. shoulder, stg. l., holding harpa in l. arm, head of Medusa in l. hand
and in extended r. hand cult-statue of Apollo stdg. frontal on omphalos and holding in each hand a dog
with head up.
ref. SNG Paris 1757; not in SNG Levante
rare, F+/about VF, oliv-green patina, usual roughness

Perseus was the suggested founder of Tarsos. Apollo here is often called Apollo Lykeios in error. For the correct mythology please take a look at the article 'Apollo Lykeios - or rather not' in the thread 'Mythological interesting coins'
Jochen
mazaios.jpg
Cilicia, Tarsos. Satrap Mazaios. AR Stater.128 viewsCirca 361-334 B.C. AR Stater (10.88gm, 24mm, 5h). cf. SNG Levant-106; SNG Paris-. Obverse Baal of Tarsos enthroned left, head facing, holding club, bunch of grapes, wheat ear, and eagle in right hand, lotus-headed scepter in left hand, B’LTRZ (Baaltarz) in Aramaic behind, M below throne, all within a circle of dots. Reverse lion bringing down bull, attacking with teeth and claws, MZDI (Mazdai) in Aramaic above, unlisted ankh symbol, wheat ear below, all within a circle of dots. Sharply struck on an excellent metal with areas of flat strike. Choice superb EF/EF. Toned, lustrous.

Ex Ponterio and Associates Sale No. 84, November 1996, lot 141. Ex Stacks Bowers and Ponterio Sale No. 172, November 2012, lot 11680. Ex Pars Coins.

The depiction of Phoenician-Canaanite god Baal on Cilician coinage suggests the preeminence of his cult in Tarsos. He is shown enthroned, most probably on Mount Zaphon. The symbols corn-ear/barley and grapes suggest Baal’s capacity as a god involved in the seasonal cycles of life and death, or a more specific reference to Cilicia’s fertile plains. The iconography of this late coinage is also a syncretic mixture of other cultures, including Greek. The treatment of the god’s body gives us a hint of the extent of influence of Hellenic culture exerted in Eastern Asia Minor even before Alexander’s conquest, and it is said that Baal could be equated with Zeus in the Greek context. After the conquest of Alexander III of the East, Mazaios was appointed governor of Babylon. The new coinage of Alexander was strongly influenced by Mazaios’ pre-Alexandrine coinage (the Zeus Aetophoros commonly found on the reverses of his tetradrachmai is a direct descendant of this). The reverse depicts the City’s Emblem and clearly has an underlying meaning now lost to us. Some say it symbolizes the victory of Day over Night, while others suggest military conquest and subjugation of the enemies by the Persian Empire. Marvin Tameanko has persuasively argued (see Celator, Jan. 1995, pp. 6-11) that the kneeling bull (without the lion) is symbolic of Zeus, as attested on scores of later Greek and Roman coins; and the lion is symbolic of the supreme god Baal of the Cilicians. This concludes the lion-over-bull motif on this coin delivers a message that is both blatantly direct and simple, if the argument put forward is to be believed.
6 commentsJason T
Cilicia_Mallus_2.PNG
CILICIA. Mallus. Otho8 viewsCILICIA. Mallus. Otho (AD 69)

Obverse: laureate head of Otho right

Reverse: cult image of Atargatis facing, arms extended, holding spear in right hand and flower in left, barley stalk rising from each shoulder.

AE 22mm
Macedonian Warrior
CivilWarsJupiter_RIC_125a.jpg
Civil Wars of 68-69 Jupiter / Vesta48 viewsCivil Wars. Silver Denarius (3.09 g), AD 68-69 Uncertain mint in Southern Gaul, ca. AD 69.
O: I O M CAPITOLINVS, diademed and heroic bust of Jupiter Capitolinus left, small branch before, with slight mantle showing on near shoulder.
R: VESTA P R QVIRITIVM, Vesta seated left, holding patera and torch.
- RIC 125a (Group IV); AM 96; BMC 72; RSC 432. Ex Dr. Rainer Pudill; Ex Auktionshaus H. D. Rauch GmbH Summer 2010 Lot 490

Struck for Vitellius, perhaps by his commander Fabius Valens, in southern Gaul shortly before the First Battle of Bedriacum, which saw the annihilation of Otho's forces in mid-April, AD 69. This type draws on the two most important cults in Rome. The figure of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus invokes the invincible might of Rome, while the figure of Vesta, who was the goddess of the Rome's sacred hearth, symbolizes the Empire's permanence.
1 commentsNemonater
Claudius.jpg
Claudius135 viewsClaudius Denarius. Struck 41/2 AD. Rome mint. (19mm 3.51g) TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG P M TR P, laureate head right / PACI AVGVSTAE, Nemesis walking right, holding caduceus in left hand, serpent before. RIC 10

What a difficult coin to photograph! Much better in hand.
6 commentsNemonater
Claudius II Gothicus DIVO CLAVDIO.jpg
Claudius II Gothicus DIVO CLAVDIO52 viewsClaudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 AD

Obverse:
Radiate head right

DIVO CLAVDIO

DIVO, god

CLAVDIO, Cladius

Dot in right field

Reverse:
CONSECRATIO

Showing: eagle standing left, head right

Domination: Antoninianus, Copper, size 17 mm

Mint: ???

The Helvetica tables list this as RIC V (1) 266 this also according to The helvetica is the same reference number for all mints..
It lists 2 dots below on the obverse , but my coin shows the dots to the right if I see them correctly
I'm still not sure on the mint it's either Lyons, Rome or Aquileia .

Comment: Consecratio. In the first and second centuries when a popular emperor or their family member dies, they were consecrated as gods. Their successors built a personality cult around the dead emperor, serving as chief priest, and often dedicating temples to the dead. In the third century this custom faded out as the Cristian era evolved. Some common types of these depict a cult item or temple of the deified emperor. Some include: a cart drawing the cult image of the deified emperor, an emperor throne, a funeral pyre, an eagle, altar or peacock
John S
38372_Claudius_diobol.jpg
Claudius, diobol; grain ears & caduceus11 viewsClaudius, diobol; Laureate head right; date before / AVTO-KPA across field, winged caduceus between grain ears. The date is difficult to see but the bust style does look like year 2 (LB) could be right (as in FORVM description). See also my other Claudius diobols for style. Otherwise, the FORVM description (see below) has limited value as it is for the type with six stalks and no caduceus.

Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt. RX38372. Bronze diobol, RPC I 5123, Dattari 142, Emmett 87, Kampmann and Ganschow 12.7, Fine, Alexandria mint, 7.305g, 22.3mm, 0o, 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse TIB KLAV KAI CEBAC “Γ”EPMA, laureate head right, star before; reverse AVTOKPA, bundle of six stalks of grain, LB (year 2) right. Ex FORVM, photo credit FORVM
Podiceps
claudius113_overstruck.jpg
Claudius, RIC 113 (political overstruck)30 viewsClaudius, AD 41-50
AE - As, 28.5mm, 10.3g
obv. TI CLAVDIVS CAES - ERMANICVS(sic!) IMP PP
Bare head, l.
rev. LIBERTAS - AVG
Libertas, stg. r., holding pileus in r. hand and reaching out l. hand
RIC I, 113
F+

This seems to be an overstruck on Caligula RIC I, 8 (Vesta). On the r. side of the rev. we see the big C and remnants of the back of Vesta's throne. On the obv. we find the ERMANICVS.

It is difficult to decide whether this was a small-scale official operation perhaps carried out in a provincial town or army outpost, or the unofficial initiative of some merchant, perhaps, who didn't want to be bothered to transport his Caligulan asses to one of the official mints! (Curtis Clay)
Jochen
Claude dupondius Lyon.jpg
Claudius. Dupondius51 viewsTI. CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG. P.M. TR.P. IMP.; bare head left.
[CERES] AVGVSTA : Ceres seated left on throne, holding corn-ears and torch. S C.

Claudius faced violent protests in Rome when the citizens had difficulties to find enough corn. His propaganda insisted on his efforts to supply Rome with food. Hence the Ceres reverse.

1 commentsGinolerhino
clovismidky.jpg
Clovis point. Early Paleoindian period. 15,000 - 9,000 B.C.41 viewsClovis points are the characteristically-fluted projectile points associated with the North American Clovis culture. They date to the Paleoindian period around 13,500 years ago and are named after the city of Clovis, New Mexico, where examples were first found in 1929.ancientone
Treb_gallus~0.jpg
Coele-Syria. Damascus; COL Δ AMASMETRO around wreath, within which CEBA/CMIA; ram's head below. AE 2519 viewsTrebonianus Gallus. SYRIA, Coele-Syria. Damascus. A.D. 251-253. Æ 25mm (8.6g). Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right / COL Δ AMASMETRO around wreath, within which CEBA/CMIA; ram's head below. The Olympia Sebasmia were local games celebrated as part of the Imperial cult.Podiceps
santa_marta_1-4_real.jpg
COLUMBIA - SANTA MARTA - Siege Issue39 viewsCOLUMBIA - SANTA MARTA - Siege Issue, Cu 1/4 Real, 1820. Crudely made, by Royalist holdouts in the besieged citiy of Santa Marta. Obv.: Crowned 1/2 over date 1820. Rev. shows a cross with arms. Reference: KM-B-4. COin is difficult to scan, much better in the hand.dpaul7
CommJunSos.JPG
Commodus, Sestertius, Rome, 177 AD37 viewsLAVREL COMMODVS AVG GERM SARM
Laureate, draped, cuirassed, right
IVNONI SOSPITAE TRP II IMP II COS PP / SC
Juno Sospita with spear and shield advancing right, snake before
RIC 1583, RCV 5762, BMC 1669
25.8 g
Last appearance of Juno Sospita on Rome coinage. Commodus was born in Lanuvium, the site of a major temple and cult image of the goddess.
whitetd49
Z4908.jpg
Constans AE Centenionalis34 viewsConstans, AE Centenionalis, 348-350, Third Group, Alexandria, Officina 3
D N CONSTAN_S P F AVG
Pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed bust left, globe in right hand
FEL TEMP-REPARATIO
Emperor, wearing pearl-diadem, in military dress standing left, labarum in right hand, left hand resting on shield, two bound captives with crested helmets kneeling before, looking at each other
* | E (?) across fields
ALEG in exergue
20mm x 21mm, 4.24g
RIC VIII, 64v

Note: This is a very unusual piece in several aspects - first, it is nearly fully silvered, which is very difficult to find from this period on centenionalii. Also, RIC specifically describes the emperor on the reverse as bare-headed, which he is not on this specimen. Normally, the emperor's chlamys is shown long and somewhat flying behind, but on this specimen it is extremely short, possibly so the right field would be available for the epsilon (?) mark (engraver's signature?)
TLP
coin_4_quart.jpg
CONSTANS PF AVG / GLORIA EXERCITVS AE4 follis (337-350 A.D.)29 viewsCONSTANS - PF AVG, (laurel and?) rosette-diademed, draped (and cuirassed?) bust right / GLORI - A EXER - CITVS, two soldiers facing each other, holding spears and shields, with one standard between them, the device on banner difficult to discern, maybe a little dot or O. Mintmark: SMTSA or SMTSΔ in exergue.

AE4, 16mm, 1.37g, die axis 12 (medal alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

P F AVG = Pius Felix Augustus = the pius (dutiful) and fortunate (happy) emperor. Gloria Exercitus (noun + genitive) "The Glory of the Army", SMTSA/Δ= Sacra Moneta Thessalonica, officina A or Δ (i. e. workshop #1 or #4).

CONSTANS - PF AVG legend and Thessalonica mint for a one standard design point at just a single type: RIC VIII Thessalonica 57, with both SMTSA and SMTSΔ mintmarks possible. Minting date listed for this type is late, 346-348 A.D.

Flavius Julius Constans Augustus. Born c. 323. The third and youngest son of Constantine the Great and his second wife Fausta. Caesar since Dec 333 (to his father, who was the only Augustus before his death in 337 -- and together with his brothers Costantine II (eldest) and Constantius II (middle), who were elevated to caesars earlier).

Augustus since Sept 337, also joint with his brothers (Constantius got the East while the other brothers shared the West). At first he was under guardianship of Constantine II, but that relationship was very quarrelsome. In 340 Constantine II was killed in an ambush during military operations against Constans' troops in Italy, and Constans inherited his portion (i.e. the whole West) of the Empire.

As an emperor Constans led a few successful military campaigns and was also known for his activity regarding religions: was tolerant to Judaism, promulgated an edict banning pagan sacrifices, suppressed Donatism in Africa and championed Nicene Orthodoxy against Arianism (which was supported by Constantius, this led to open warfare between the brothers). He was openly homosexual, which ultimately led to his downfall: the army was tired of the rule of Constans' favorites and barbarian bodyguards, of whom he was very fond of. Assassinated by usurper Magnentius, who led the army revolt, in Feb 350. His only remaining brother, Constantius later defeated Magnentius and consolidated the whole empire under himself.
Yurii P
constantine_pa_1.png
Constantine 9.04.00712 viewsConstantine
Obv CONSTANTINVS AVG
(L, laur, wearing trabea, holding eagle tipped sceptre)
Rev BEATA TRANQVILLITAS
(Globe on altar, above three stars)
P | A
PLON in ex
London
RIC VII 206 LMCC 9.04.007 (R)
2.3g
(In my experience, coins of Constantine with the P A bronze mark are difficult to get hold of)
Noviomagus
constantine_pa_2.png
Constantine 9.04.00811 viewsConstantine
Obv CONSTANTINVS AVG
(L, radiate, wearing trabea, holding eagle tipped sceptre)
Rev BEATA TRANQVILLITAS
(Globe on altar, above three stars)
P | A
PLON in ex
London
RIC VII 207 LMCC 9.04.008 (S)
2.8g
(In my experience, coins of Constantine with the P A bronze mark are difficult to come across)
Noviomagus
CONTINE1-14-ROMAN~0.jpg
Constantine I, Siscia RIC VII-261.A38 viewsAE3/4
Siscia mint, 337 A.D.
17mm, 1.63g
RIC VII-261

Obverse:
CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG
Rosette-diadem, draped, cuirassed bust right.

Reverse:
GLORIA EXERCITVS
A SIS*
Two soldiers standing, spear in outer hand; between them one standard.

This is an interesting coin in that there is no definite way of telling if this is CI or II. This is what RIC has to say.

"In V one coin of officina A (out of 5) and one of officina E (out of 3) are attributed to Constantine II as Augustus. It is difficult to say why, because a comparison with the coins showing the younger Constantine beyond doubt as Augustus does not reveal any marked difference. On the other hand ASIS* was continued after the death of Constantine I, and all three sons of Constantine assumed the title of Augustus in the same mark. Both Constantius and Constans appear as MAX AVG in the Siscian coinage, and accordingly there must have been specimens with MAX AVG for Constantine II also. LRBC 765, referring to CG, appears to distinguish between two different diadems, 'laurel w/ rosettes' for Constsntine I, and 'diadem with pearls' for Constantine II, although the latter, according to LRBC,has not been confirmed. Another approach to the problem would be to study the distribution of officianae. It should be noted that in the preceeding mark, ASIS, Constantine I employed off. A almost exclusively, whereas in this mark there is a preponderance of off. A coins, but also a noticeable number of coins of off. B, Γ, E. Were it not for the fact that the distribution of officinae tends to be blurred in the last Constantinian issues of Siscia, one would suggest that these coins were of Constsntine II. As a matter of fact, the diadem of off. A can more readily be described as a rosette diadem than those of the other officinae."
1 commentsrubadub
constantinII_london257.jpg
Constantine II, RIC VII, London 25746 viewsConstantine II, AD 317-337, son of Constantine I
AE - Follis, 3.18g, 19.8g
London, AD 322-323
obv. CONSTANTI - NVS IVN NC
Bust, cuirassed, radiate, l.
rev. BEAT TRA - NQLITAS (sic!)
Globe on altar inscribed with VOT/IS/XX, above 3 stars
in l. field F, in r. field B
ex. PLON
RIC VII, London 257; C.8
about VF, glossy brown patina (difficult to scan!)

2 commentsJochen
constantin_anepi.jpg
Constantinus I, Nummus40 viewsMint of Trier
Anepigraphic - Laureate bust right
CONSTAN/TINVS/AVG // STR - Inscription in three lines; laurel wreath above
2,05gr
Ref:Cohen 110

It's difficult to find this type for Trier
3 commentsbyzancia
coin11_quart.jpg
CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG (the 1st) / GLORIA EXERCITVS AE3 follis (306-337 A.D.) 23 viewsCONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, (laureate?) and rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right / GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers holding spears and shields, facing each other, two standards between them, dots on banners. Mintmark SMKB in exergue

AE3, 17.5-19mm, 1.50g, die axis 12 (medal alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

MAX AVG = Maximus Augustus, the Great Emperor, Gloria Exercitus (noun + genitive) "The Glory of the Army", SMKB = Sacra Moneta of Cyzicus (Κύζικος, now Erdek, Balıkesir Province, Turkey), officina #2

Because of the horrible surface it was very difficult to determine the type of this coin. And then I suddenly realized that the head breaks the obverse legend, and so even though it is mostly undecipherable, this immediately excludes all the ...IVN NOB C types of the three Constantine's sons. And thus we can be sure that it is a ...MAX AVG obverse of the father! By carefully looking at the second part of the legend and counting the letters I have confirmed that it is indeed NVS...AVG. Of course, the larger size and the general outlook of the head also points towards Constantine I.

The mintmark is, luckily, much more readable and with significant certainty one can see SMKB. Which points towards RIC VII Cyzicus 78 type. There is a good WildWinds example of a different officina of the same type: http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/ric/constantine/_cyzicus_RIC_vII_078.4.jpg The sources mention that this coin was minted on 330-335 A.D.

Constantine I the Great (reign 306-337), see more info at
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-147487
Yurii P
coin_5_quart.jpg
CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG (the 1st) / GLORIA EXERCITVS AE3/4 follis (306-337 A.D.)19 viewsCONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, (laurel and?) rosette diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right / GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers standing inward facing each other, holding spears, shields and two standards between them, "dot" (clearly filled) on banners. Mintmark: SMNE (?) in exergue.

AE3/4, 16.5-17mm, 2.46g, die axis 12 (medal alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

MAX AVG = Maximus Augustus, the Great Emperor, Gloria Exercitus (noun + genitive) "The Glory of the Army", SMNE = Sacra Moneta Nicomedia, "officina epsilon", i. e. workshop#5.

Limiting information to only what is known for sure: the legends with the particular breaks, two standards and four-letter mintmark starting with SM, we conclude that this is definitely Constantine I, and only 3 mints are possible: SMN... Nicomedia (RIC VII Nicomedia 188), SMH... Heraclea (RIC VII Nicomedia 111) and SMK... Cyzicus (RIC VII Cyzicus 76-79). All are minted in 330-335 A.D. If the mintmark is indeed SMN..., two variations are listed: rosette-diademed and laurel- and rosette-diademed (laurels typically designated by longish shapes and rosettes as squares with dots). Since the obverse is worn, it is difficult to judge which one is the case here. One can definitely see the rosettes, but as for laurels... probably, not. Officina may be E or S, but I think E fits better.

Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, aka Constantine the Great, aka Saint Constantine, born 27 Feb c. 272 to Flavius Valerius Constantius (aka Constantius I), a Roman Army officer of Illyrian origins, and a Greek woman of low birth Helena (aka Saint Helena). His father became Caesar, the deputy emperor in the west, in 293 AD. Constantine was sent east, where he rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under Emperors Diocletian and Galerius. In 305, Constantius raised himself to the rank of Augustus, senior western emperor, and Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in Britannia (Britain). Constantine was acclaimed as emperor by the army at Eboracum (modern-day York) after his father's death in 306 AD, and he emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against Emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 AD. He did so many a great deed that there is no point to list them here. Best known for (having some sort of Christ-related mystical experience in 312, just before the decisive Battle of the Milvian Bridge with Maxentius) being the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity and for being a champion of this faith, in particular, he played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which declared religious tolerance for Christianity in the Roman empire, and called the First Council of Nicaea in 325 that produced the statement of Christian belief known as the Nicene Creed. Died 22 May 337, famously being baptized on his deathbed. Succeeded by his 3 sons: Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans.
Yurii P
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Coriosolite Bi "boar" stater, region: Armorica (Brittany and Channel Islands), c. 56 BC24 viewsSlightly oval shape, obverse convex, reverse a bit concave. 19-20+mm, 2+mm thick, 5.05g, die axis 6h (coin alignment), material: billon of unknown silver and other metal content.

Obverse: stylized head of a god right (Celtic "Apollo", most probably a Sun or sky god) with three plaits of curly hair forming the triskelion-like spiral pattern, reverse: stylized charioteer driving a chariot right with a boar right under the horse and a curl and leaf device in front of it.

The design is loosely based on golden staters of Philip II of Macedon with laureate head of Apollo right on obverse and a charioteer driving a biga (Mediterranean two-horse chariot) right on reverse.

ID: since the obverse is worn off, it is impossible to determine exactly the variety of this coin. but the reverse features such as no reins, chariot driver's head has no long "nose" and even the weak obverse and strong clear reverse all point to series Y. The pellet eye of the pony, no ears, characteristic shape of the pony's head, "weird" driver and the leaf and curl rather than the quadrilateral banner all point to class I (roman numeral), most probably its middle group I (letter), but earlier group H or later transitional groups J or even K of class III are also possible (only the shape of the eye and nose on the obverse would have allowed to tell definitely). This is a well-developed middle chronological type, minted somewhere west of the river Rance.

Mythological and symbolic connotations of this design are very complex. The spirals (here present in the god's hair and as the device before the horse) were one of the most important Celtic symbols, with its main meaning related to the Sun and life (e. g. the Sun's "growing" from winter to summer solstice and then dwindling back, growing from child to adult, leaves and vines unfolding etc.) The double spiral meant life and death or death and rebirth, the cycle of seasons, that sort of thing. The triple spiral or triskelion was probably of the biggest mystical significance, connected to the godhead, with meaning like past+present+future = eternity or morning + day + evening = time. It definitely had to do with the change of seasons, flow of time, power over life and death. Thus the god's hear all made out of spirals with three main spiral branches. The charioteer also probably represents a deity, probably the same deity representing light and life, hunting the boar representing darkness and death. The boar symbol (if one looks closely, there is a rising or setting sun symbol -- a pellet within a circle over a line -- between the boar's legs) is connected to the darkness because boars are dark and their tusks look like crescent moons. They are also parts of many myths, e. g. Greek darkish stories of the Calydonian Boar hunted by Meleager and his many hero comrades or the Erymanthian boar killed by Heracles as his fourth (by some counts) labor: Celts shared the Greek mythological tradition, but probably imbued it with many of their own mythological connotations. God hunting the boar probably symbolizes the same as the spirals in the obverse: changing of seasons, passing of time, life and rebirth etc.

Coriosolites were a Gallic tribe. In the 1st century BC they were living in the so called "Armorica" (ar mor = by the sea) -- a region of modern Brittany around the river Rance roughly to the south of Jersey. They probably migrated there from Rhineland, running away from the Germanic expansion, since they share some cultural features with the Celtic tribes of the Rhine. This tribe on its own was hardly of much significance compared to the other neighboring Gallic tribes (Unelli, Osismii, Veneti, Redones, Abrincatui etc.), but their coin making is among the best studied of all the Celts because several huge hoards of their coins were discovered in Brittany and Jersey, and studied in detail. When Romans led by Julius Caesar came to conquer Gaul, Coriosolites were actively resisting, first on their own, then as a part of the local tribal union and, finally, contributed to Vercingetorix's war effort. The minting of these coins and hoarding them was probably related to these war activities and subsequent defeat, so since series Y is in the middle of the chronology, it can probably be dated around the middle of the Gallic wars (58 - 50 BC), but since the main event in Armorica, the stand off with Viridovix, happened in 57-56 BC, that's probably the best guess.

In addition to Caesar himself, two other Roman generals who fought Coriosolites should be mentioned: Publius Licinius Crassus (86|82? - 53 BC), a son of Marcus Licinius Crassus, Caesar's co-triumvir, who led the initial assault on Armorica, and Quintus Titurius Sabinus, who defeated the union of three Gallic tribes (Unelli, Curiosolitae, and Lexovii) under the chieftain Viridovix in 56 BC. Ironically to our discussion, when Crassus went back to Rome, his first office there was a monetalis, i. e. a Republican official with authority to issue coins.

A lot more about this type of coins can be learned here:
http://www.writer2001.com/exp0002.htm
Yurii P
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Cr 44/5 AR Denarius Anonymous19 viewsc. 211 BCE -- ish
o: Helmeted head of Roma right; behind, X
r: The Dioscuri galloping right, stars above heads; in exergue, ROMA partially incuse on raised tablet
4.10 gm 20.00 mm
This type, which is the earliest or nearly earliest denarius, is a bit difficult to confirm on this coin due to the slight corrosion on the reverse tablet. If the reverse was as nice as the obverse, it would be unambiguous. I am working on the precise sub-type.
1 commentsPMah
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Cr 167/1 AR Denarius Anonymous8 viewsRome, c. 179-170 BCE
o: Helmeted head of Roma right; behind, X
r: The Dioscuri galloping right; in exergue, ROMA
3.42 gm 20.00 mm
An "OK, meh" example of the group of anonymous denarii, likely the 167/1 although some of the distinquishing features, such as Roma's earring shape, are difficult to make out.
PMah
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Cr 197-198B/1b Æ As Anonymous1 viewsc. 157-156 b.c.e.
Laureate head of Janus, I [value] above
Prow right; I [value] before, ROMA below
16.03 gm 30mm
McCabe Group K3 (note cartoonish prowstem and peaked deck structure)
The Crawford numbering of these issues are a bit difficult to follow, and McCabe makes associations that are clearer once one can see a number of specimens of each Group.
PMah
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Cr 201/2 Æ As C. Scribonius 6 viewscirca 154 b.c.e. 30 mm, 21.38 gm.
o: Laureate head of Janus; above, mark of value "I"
r: Prow r.; above, C·SCR and before, mark of value. Below, ROMA.
Scribonia 2
Although quite worn, the centering of the reverse is quite good, as sometimes it is difficult to determine the initial of the moneyer's praenomen.
PMah
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Cr 206/1 AR Denarius S Afra24 views150 BCE Rome mint
o: Helmeted head of Roma right, X behind
r: Victory in biga right, SAFRA below horses, ROMA in exergue
Afrania 1 3.67 gm 19.00 mm
A "controversial" coin, if one is a bit of a pedant. Both Crawford and Sear note that the absence of a period/dot/stop after the "S" must lead to the conclusion that this is not issued by a "Spurius Afranius", but rather someone else. Indeed, Sear, due to his system, repeats the assertion for each of the seven types in this issue, from denarius to uncia, using up roughly a half-page of type, net. However, Sear makes no attempt to identify "S Afra", and Crawford cops out with "Safra" representing an unknown cognomen. I personally find it a bit difficult to hang such an argument on the absence of a dot but disregarding a usually distinct space between S and A. The Afranii were a fairly prolific bunch; one of them may have felt a need to be a bit hip-er than others. Plus, "Safra" does not seem to mean anything in Latin, which would be a bit unusual for a cognomen.
So, which explanation fits best: omission of a dot in a design versus a meaningless cognomen used by an unknown person who is not one of the members of a sound-alike gens that was sometimes of tertiary importance .....?

This coin is in wonderful condition for the type.
2 commentsPMah
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Cr 340/1 AR Denarius L. Piso Frugi1 views90 b.c.e. Rome Mint
Laureate head of Apollo r.; behind, control numeral V XXXXI
Horseman galloping r., holding palm branch; below, L PISO FRVGI / ROMA in monogram; above, control numeral CXVII
18mm 3.96 gm
Calpurnia 12
It is difficult to get overly-excited about this type, or its quinarius, with the nearly unlimited combinations of control numerals. (I may be mis-reading the obverse control number as having a prefix "V", but perhaps not. I need to research the combinations a bit.)
PMah
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Cr 405/2 AR Denarius M. Plaetorius Cestianus6 viewsM. Plaetorius M. f. Cestianus
Rome mint c. 69 BCE
Draped female bust r. (Fortuna?); behind, [control symbol]
M PLAETORI CEST S·C around half-length boy? girl? facing on tablet inscribed SORS.
20mm, 3.49 gm
Plaetoria 10

A fascinating type among this varied issue with four main types of denarii. There are multiple theories as to the unique figure on the reverse, clearly a reference to divination by lots "SORS", but no agreement as to exactly what it signifies. Even on nicely preserved specimens, of which there are not many, the gender of the reverse figure is difficult to say. Crawford cites reason to think it refers to the origin of the moneyer's adoptive gens, expanded greatly by Michael Harlan. To me, given that the moneyership is an electoral stepping-stone, it seems a rather obscure reference; although the "S C" indicates a special issue perhaps unconnected with regular duties. Crawford notes that Cestianus became Praetor c. 64 BCE, so perhaps he was right to trust in luck.
This type is deemed rare and this specimen's condition is not unusual for the type.
1 commentsPMah
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Crawford 312/1, Roman Republic, C. Sulpicius Galba, Denarius serratus87 viewsRoman Republic (Rome mint 106 BC.), C. Sulpicius Galba.
AR Denarius serratus (3.90 g, 18-19 mm).
Obv.: D.P.P (abbreviation of Dei Penates Publici) , before jugate, laureate heads of Dei Penates l. .
Rev.: C. SVLPICI. C. F. Two male figures (the Dei Penates) standing facing each other, each holding spear in l. hand and with r. hand pointing at sow which lies between them; above, control mark C.
Crawford 312/1 . Syd. 572 . Bab. Sulpicia 1 .

Crawford interprets this type as Aeneas landing in Lanuvium (home of Sulpicia gens) with the Penates and the subsequent miracle of the white sow that foretold the founding of Alba Longa. (David Sear, RCV 2000).

The reverse of this coin shows the sow that led Aeneas to the place, where he founded Lavinium, the mother city of Alba Longa. The cult of the Penates was closely connected with Lavinium as the Romans believed that these godheads were brought first to Lavinium by Aeneas before they came to Rome. The Penates belonged to the original gods of Rome and were not imported from the Etruscans or Greeks. The original Roman religion personified all events connected with growing, harvesting and processing the products of the field. The Penates were responsible for protecting the larder in the house of every family. There also existed Penates for the whole of Rome. They were kept at the temple of Vesta together with the palladium, the statue of Athena coming from Troy, and the holy fire. Only once a year, on June 9, the married women in Rome were allowed to see them. They came barefoot on that day to sacrifice fruits and cake.

my ancient coin database
2 commentsArminius
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Crawford 412/1, Roman Republic, L. Roscius Fabatus, Denarius serratus137 viewsRoman Republic (Rome mint 64 BC.), L. Roscius Fabatus.
AR Denarius (3.82 g, 18-19 mm).
Obv.: L.ROSCI , below head of Juno Sospita to right, wearing goat skin headdress; behind symbol: fountain basin.
Rev.: FABATI (in ex.), maiden standing right, feeding snake coiled erect before her; to left, well-head.
Crawford 412/1 (Symbol pair 102) ; Sydenham 915 ; Babelon Roscia 3 .

Juno Sospita was one of the names of the goddess Juno, emphasizing her role as protector of women, marriage, and childbirth ('Sospita' = 'she who saves'). The cult of Juno Sospita (or 'Sispes') was important in Lanuvium. She wore a goat-skin headdress and carried a spear and a shield.
At Lanuvium, Juno Sospita had a temple which was guarded by a serpent. Every year a maiden would offer cakes to the serpent. If it accepted, this was a sign that the girl was a virgin. Its refusal was an evil omen and a year of sterility was to be feared.
L.Roscius Fabatus was born at Lanuvium and was a "new man" (the first to ennoble his family by entering the Senate). In 55, he held the tribuneship. Roscius was co-author of a measure to further Caesar's plans for agrarian and municipal reform. He was a Caesarian legate in Gaul after 54, where he commanded the 13th legion. In 49, he held the praetorship and was involved as a messenger in the events of that year, which led to the fatal rupture between Caesar and Pompey. In one of his letters, Cicero reported Roscius was killed at the Forum Gallorum in 43 during the war of Mutina.
The coins of this moneyer are the last to exhibit edge serrations as a regular practice. He also utilized a large number of paired die control symbols, one for each side, which represented almost 250 everyday objects. In this, he appears to have taken an earlier moneyer, L.Papius, c. 78, as a model. Curiously, the moneyer's name on the coin is in the genitive, " . . . of Roscius Fabatus", perhaps implying "coinage of Roscius Fabatus."

my ancient coin database
8 commentsArminius
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Crawford 53/2 Denarius Group 8 (Tall X)16 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Metal: AR
Obverse: Head of Roma with Peaked visor, X mark of value behind (tall and narrow)
Reverse: Dioscuri riding r., streaming cape., ROMA in 3-line rectangular frame.
Weight: 3.82 gm
Reference: Crawford 53/2
Provenance: Purchased from Pierluigi Debernardi, Feb 26, 2013., Ex InAsta 45

Comments: The group 8 denarius has a unique style in Roma’s profile with a long straight nose. The helmet has fewer and more widely separated griffon tufts than previous groups but this is also true of group 9. The reverse is stylistically indistinguishable from group 9, and these are often difficult to differentiate. The group 8 RRC plate coin X.19, displays visor on Roma’s helmet that is rather extended at the top. This is not seen on group 9 coins and would be a distinguishing characteristic but fewer than half of the group 8 dies have this characteristic. This example is one that does not have an extended visor. The most reliable distinguishing characteristic is the tall “X” mark of value (taller than wide), always seen on coins of this style and never on other groups of 53/2.
1 commentsSteve B5
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Crawford 53/2 Denarius Group 8 (Tall X), Extended visor19 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Metal: AR
Obverse: Head of Roma with Peaked extended visor, X mark of value behind (tall and narrow)
Reverse: Dioscuri riding r., streaming cape., ROMA in 3-line rectangular frame.
Weight: 4.12 gm
Reference: Crawford 53/2
Provenance: Artemide Asta 9E, 3-July-2011

Comments: Group 8 denarius has a unique style in Roma’s profile with a long straight nose. The helmet has fewer and more widely separated griffon tufts than previous groups but this is also true of group 9. The reverse is stylistically indistinguishable from group 9, and these are often difficult to differentiate. The group 8 RRC plate coin X.19, displays visor on Roma’s helmet that is rather extended at the top. This is not seen on group 9 coins and would be a distinguishing characteristic but fewer than half of the group 8 dies have this characteristic. This is an example with an extended visor. The most reliable distinguishing characteristic is the tall “X” mark of value (taller than wide), always seen on coins of this style and never on other groups of 53/2.
1 commentsSteve B5
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Dareios of Media Atropatene, ca. 70 BC, or Phraates III., 70 - 57 BC 17 viewsAE tetrachalkous (?), 5,09gr., 16,17mm;
Sellw. 35.14, Shore 167var.;
mint: Ekbatana, axis: 12h;
obv.: bare head and torso facing, diadem and 2 broad ribbons floating above shoulders;
mustache, short beard, 2 large bunches of hair over ears; necklet w/center medallion;
cuirass; complete reed border;
rev: horse standing, right, framed by a 7-line mostly illegible square legend;

ex: CNG 90, #36,
ex: Spink Auction 08/05/83.


It becomes more and more difficult to assign denominations to Parthian bronzes. What is described as a tetrachalkous in Sellwood no longer meets the weight requirements and should be a dichalkous. Shore avoids the dilemma by using the approximate diameter of the coin for identification: AE16 in this case. I will follow his example in the following postings.
Schatz
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Darius I-Xerxes II Siglos --485-420 BC9 views5.54 g, 14 mm
Silver Siglos; Bright Surfaces
Minted sometime between reigns of Darius I and Xerxes II
Carradice Type IIIb A/B (plate XII 16-26); BMC Arabia plate XXV, 17

Obverse: Persian King or Hero in Kneeling-Running Stance Right, Holding Spear and Bow.
Reverse: Rectangular Incuse Punch.

Cyrus the Great conquered the Lydian kingdom of Kroisos in 546 BC. The Persian Empire first struck coins with Lydian types until 510, when the Daric and Siglos were introduced, each bearing the same obverse design that earned the coinage its nickname, “Archers”. The gold Daric (8.3 g) and the silver Siglos (5.3 g) continued the Lydian weight standard, circulating mostly in Asia Minor. Over nearly two centuries their archaic types hardly changed; as they bear no legends, attribution by reign can be difficult. After Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire in 330 BC, Persians used Greek coins - first Alexander's imperial coinage, and then the royal Seleukid coinage that succeeded it.
_______________________
Not exactly a Greek coin, but the Persian Wars are incredibly significant in Greek history and inspired me to add this Siglos to my collection.
Hydro
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Demetrios III Eukairos22 viewsSELEUKID KINGS of SYRIA. Demetrios III Eukairos. 97/6-88/7 BC. AR Tetradrachm (27mm, 15.87 g, 12h). Damaskos mint. Dated SE 224 (89/8 BC). Diademed head right, pellet on nose / Cult statue of Atargatis standing facing, flowers in hands, grain ears on shoulders; N above monogram to outer left, AIε (date) and monogram in exergue; all within wreath. SC 2451.11; HHV 98 (A23/P91); HGC 9, 1305; DCA 304. 1 commentsecoli
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Demetrios III Eukairos 97/6 - 88/7 B.C.21 viewsDemetrios III Eukairos 97/6 - 88/7 B.C. Ar 27.2~28.5mm. 16.04g. Tetradrachm. Damaskus, Obv: Diademed head of Demetrius III right with fringe of curly beard at jawline, diadem ends falling straight behind, fillet border. Rev: ΒACΙΛEΩC ΔHMHTPIOV ΘEOV / ΦIΛOΠΛTOPOC CΩTHPOC, Cult image of Atargatis standing facing with arms extended, holding flower in left hand, barley stalk rising from each shoulder; to outer left, ΔI above N; laurel wreath border. SC 2450.4: Babelon 1567. 1 commentsddwau
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Demetrius III Eucaerus 97/6 - 88/7 B.C. (92/1 B.C.)15 viewsDemetrius III Eucaerus 97/6 - 88/7 B.C. Ar 26.8~28.8mm. 16.07g. Tetradrachm. Damascus mint. Obv: Diademed head of Demetrius III right with thick curly beard, diadem ends falling straight behind, fillet border. Rev: ΒACΙΛEΩC ΔHMHTPIOV ΘEOV / ΦIΛOΠΛTOPOC CΩTHPOC, Cult image of Atargatis standing facing with arms extended, holding flower, barley stalk rising from each shoulder; laurel wreath border. Controls: to outer left, N above A; Date in ex AKΣ (S.E. 221 = 92/1 B.C.) SC 2451.4: SNG Spaer 2862. 1 commentsddwau
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Diadumenians, Antonius27 viewsObverse: bare head right, seen from behind.
Reverse: staff of Aesklepios" Roman cult of healing
Mint: Nikopolis on river Istrus
Date: 217-218 CE
Reference- Varbanov 3599
wileyc
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DN CONSTANTIVS PF AVG (the 2nd) / SPES REIPVBLICAE AE3/4 follis, Sirmium, 355-361 7 viewsDN CONSTAN-TIVS PF AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right/ SPES [REI - PVBLICAE], emperor helmeted, draped, cuirassed, standing left, holding globe in right hand and spear in left hand. -S- in the left field, [dot in the right field? all other examples of this type have it, but here it is difficult to say] Mintmark BSIRM in exergue.

AE3/4, 16mm, 1.43g, die axis 1h (slightly turned medal alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

Seems RIC VIII Sirmium 86 (mint mark BSIRM and –S- in the left field are enough to narrow the search down even with unclear legends), but other similar types are 80 (with clear fields and the most common) and 82, 88, 90 (no idea what they are, cannot find examples or descriptions). Mint years are probably late, 355-361, because issued together with caesar Julian coins (Julian became caesar in 355).

DN = Dominus Noster = Our Lord, P F AVG = Pius Felix Augustus = the pius (dutiful) and fortunate (happy) emperor, SPES REIPVBLICAE = The hope of the Republic, officina #2 (beta) of SIRMium mint (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia).

CONSTANTIVS II, * 317 in Sirmium, Pannonia (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) † 3 November 361 (aged 44) in Mopsuestia, Cilicia (near Adana, southern Turkey) ‡ 13 November 324 – 22 May 337: Caesar under his father, Constantine I; 337 – 340: co-Augustus (ruled Asian provinces & Egypt) with Constantine II and Constans; 340 – 350: co-Augustus (ruled Asian provinces & Egypt) with Constans; 350 – 3 November 361: mostly (see below) sole Augustus of the Roman Empire.

More biographical info in http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-147501
Yurii P
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Domitia - Kilbianoi Superiores4 views82-96 AD
draped bust right
ΔΟΜΙΤΙΑ CΕΒΑCΤΗ
facing cult statue of Artemis Ephesia, wearing polos and veil
KΙΛΒΙΑΝΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΑΝΩ
RPC II 1062; BMC 1-2; Sear GIC 913; Kurth, Kilbiani 303
5,4g 21mm
ex Savoca
Johny SYSEL
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Domitian RIC II 084546 viewsDomitian. 81-96 A.D. AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm. Rome Mint for Asia. 82 A.D. (10.73g, 25.2m, 6h). Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG P M COS VIII, laureate head r. Rev: DOMITIA AVGVSTA, bust of Domitia, draped, right, hair massed in front and long plait behind. RIC II 845. RPC 866.

Cistophoric tetradrachms show enough stylistic links that most agree they were minted in Rome, but for circulation in the East. Valued at 3 denarii, cistophori, named for the cista mystica, the basket of snakes used during the initiation rites for the cult of Dionysus, were the denomination of the kingdom of Pergamum in Asia Minor.
3 commentsLucas H
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Domitian RIC-14591 viewsAR Denarius, 3.50g
Rome mint, 82-83 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: SALVS AVGVST; Salus std. l., with corn ears and poppy
RIC 145 (R). BMC 54. RSC 412. BNC 54.

In 82 AD Domitian banished his a rationibus Tiberius Julius and then proceeded to increase the fineness of both the silver and gold coins to pre-Neronian standards. The portraits also became more refined, prompting C. H. V. Sutherland to remark they possessed an expression of 'critical disdain, of a kind familiar to the medalist of Louis XLV'.

This denarius dates to 82-83 AD when Domitian improved the quality of the precious metal coinage. The reverse depicts Salus holding grain ears and poppies, an attribute H. Mattingly speculated may refer to Domitian's care for Italian agriculture. The coin itself is darkly toned with hints of a rainbow patina.


2 commentsDavid Atherton
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Domitian RIC-25183 viewsÆ Quadrans, 3.32g
Rome Mint, 84-85 AD
Obv: (No legend) Rhinoceros stg. l.
Rev: IMP DOMIT AVG GERM; S C in centre
RIC 251 (R). BMC -. BNC 542.
Acquired from Marc Breitsprecher, February 2019.

A few years into Domitian's reign an extraordinary issue of quadrantes were struck featuring a rhinoceros. Although the coins are undated, their production can be narrowed down between late 83 when he assumed the title Germanicus and 85 when the consular date XI appeared on the quadrantes. The type is highly unusual and breaks with the standard obverses that were normally featured on the quadrans. One may ask, why a rhinoceros? Certainly the animal was rare in Rome and most difficult to obtain. The rhinoceros depicted on the coin is the African species, identified by the two horns. Martial in his book 'On Spectacles' tells of such a rhinoceros in the Colosseum. Presumably, these coins were struck with that very 'star performer' in mind. Ted Buttrey wrote about this coin type in his article Domitian, the Rhinoceros, and the Date of Martial's "Liber De Spectaculis": "it is wrong to write off the rhinoceros of Domitian's coin casually, as if the coin were a picture postcard from the zoo: 'This is a rhinoceros'. No, coin types are pointed. Everything has to do with imperial advertisement and with its importance at the moment of issue: 'This is my rhinoceros'. Domitian's rhinoceros, in its supremacy in the arena might well stand as a metaphor for the invincible success of the emperor conquering general who had recently assumed the historically-weighted title of Germanicus." Coming back to Martial, he also speaks of tokens being showered upon the cheering crowds - could these quadrantes struck cheaply and in massive quantities have been gifts to the cheering mob at the arena? In essence, can this coin double as currency and a souvenir from a long ago day at the games in the Colosseum?

This variant of the famous rhinoceros quadrans is somewhat rare (no examples in the BM) because of the obverse legend beginning in the upper right, more commonly it begins in the lower left. Artistically, most of the rhinos depicted on these coins have a lot to be desired. Some look like wild boars with horns added for effect. Happily, the animal depicted on this coin's obverse indeed looks every part the powerful and fearsome beast which awestruck Roman audiences - as a matter of fact, it appears to be charging with its head down. Perhaps the engraver was a witness to the very games martial describes?

As mentioned above, the rhino depicted on the coin is the two-horned African species. In contrast, the Indian rhino has one horn. Pliny in his Natural Histories describes the rhinoceros as a one horned creature (although confusingly he confirms its Ethiopian origins), Martial said it had two. The rhino was so rare in Rome, Pliny had to go all the way back to the games of Pompey the Great in 55 BC to find a reference for the animal on display in the city, apparently it was a one-horned Indian rhino. At any rate, both the numismatic evidence and Martial's description coincide rather nicely to confirm that Domitian, at great expense no doubt, brought to Rome an African rhinoceros for his shows in the new Colosseum. The surviving coins featuring this fantastic beast prove how important a feat this was to the emperor.

Well centred with a lovely green patina and fine style.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
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Domitian RIC-623b85 viewsÆ As, 10.13g
Rome mint, 88 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII CENS PER P P; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS XIIII LVD SAEC FEC; S C in exergue; Domitian stg. l., sacrificing over altar; to l., flute player and lyre player stg. r.; in background, temple, wreath in pediment
RIC 623b (C2). BMC 434. BNC 471.
Acquired from Künker, January 2019. Ex Heinrich Pilartz Münzhandlung.

In October 88 AD Domitian held the Secular Games, a festival featuring theatrical performances and circus games accompanied by six various daytime and nighttime religious ceremonies. The games marked the transition from one era (saeculum) to another and were supposedly held once every 110 years, or the maximum span of a human lifetime, making them a 'once in a lifetime' event. Domitian conducted his games on the Augustan calculation, rejecting the formula for the Claudian games held in 47 AD. The festival was important enough to interrupt the normal striking of reverse types on the coinage and for the mint to produce a new unique issue commemorating the event both in precious metal and bronze. The precious metal designs tended to be symbolic while the bronze were more narrative in nature, focusing on the various religious sacrifices that were at the heart of the games.

The reverse on this as features a daytime victimless sacrifice of cakes to Apollo and Diana on the sixth and last day of the celebrations, held in front of an unidentified hexastyle temple somewhere on the Palatine. The stylised nature of the reverse's design makes it difficult to pinpoint the temple in question. The generic decorative wreath in the pediment offers no clues. Another variant of the type (RIC 623a) has an eagle in the pediment, perhaps an indication the engravers were not intending to depict a specific temple at all. The scene could stand alone and be an excellent representation for all the religious ceremonies of the games. The main message of the design is to show the Roman people that Domitian provided and responsibly held the Secular Games. The fact this type was struck in fairly large quantities hints it was an important piece of Domitianic propaganda.

Struck on a large flan in fine style.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
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Domitian RIC-72651 viewsAR Denarius, 3.72g
Rome mint, 91 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
RIC 726 (C). BMC 184. RSC 268. BNC -.
Acquired from Praefectus Coins, February 2014.

Struck between 14 September and 31 December 91, this is a fairly common denarius. I had some attribution difficulty due to the partially off flan COS date, which differenates this issue from the more common following issue. Once in hand with a good loupe I was able to see it was indeed COS XV.

What stands out to me about this coin is the very high style portrait (very different than my RIC 724 from the same issue). Exceptionally well engraved in good metal with a nice large flan.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
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Domitian RIC-85567 viewsAR Cistophorus, 10.28g
Rome mint (for Asia), 95 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: Temple with two columns, inscribed ROM ET AVG in entablature, enclosing Augustus. stg. front to l., with spear, crowned by Roma to r., with cornucopiae; G in exergue
RIC 855 (C). BMC p. 352, *. RSC 407. RPC 875 (2 spec.). BNC -.
Acquired from Emerald Imports, eBay, May 2018. Formerly in NGC holder 4278229-001, grade 'Ch VF', strike 5/5, surface 4/5, 'Fine style'.

A small issue of cistophori were struck by Domitian in 95. The style and six o'clock die axis point to Rome as the probable mint. Interestingly, K. Butcher and M. Ponting's recent metal analysis of the series reveals it was struck from a different stock of metal than contemporaneous denarii, possibly from recycled republican and early imperial pieces. This rare reverse features the temple of Roma and Augustus at Pergamum copied from the cistophori of Claudius. The temple was erected in 29 BC and was an important centre of the imperial cult in the region. No archaeological remains have been found of the structure, only the coins hint at how it may have appeared. RPC speculates the 'G' in exergue may be the mark of an officina, although, why the Rome mint would use a mint mark on the cistophori and not on any other issues is quite puzzling.

This coin originally came in a NGC slab which noted it as 'fine style'. I quite agree.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
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Durotrigan Bi "Durotrigan E" or "Cranbourne Chase" type stater, region: South Britain (Dorset), c. 58 BC - 43 AD11 viewsFlan roughly circular, obverse convex, reverse concave.
18.5mm, 1.5+mm thick, 2.82g
Die axis: ~3h (Greek), assuming traditional diagonal wreath position with "eyes" right
Material: billon of unknown silver and other metal content.

Obverse: devolved head of a god (Celtic "Apollo") right , reverse: disjointed horse / chariot left with 12 pellets above and 1 below (possibly indicating 12+1 lunar months in a solar year)

The design is loosely based on golden staters of Philip II of Macedon with laureate head of Apollo on obverse and a charioteer driving a biga (Mediterranean two-horse chariot) on reverse.

References: Durotrigan E, Cranbourne Chase type, BMC 2525-2731, Mack 317-318, Sp 367, RDVA 1235-1237 etc.

Peculiarities in this case: small flan, so most of design does not fit onto it, probably indicating very late production, no usual correspondence between the "crook" crossing the "wreath" and the "left eye", pellets large and flat, obverse significantly off center, ornaments left to "cheek" clearly visible.

The Durotriges were one of the Celtic (possibly even pre-Celtic) tribes living in Britain prior to the Roman invasion. The tribe lived in modern Dorset, south Wiltshire, south Somerset and Devon east of the River Axe and the discovery of an Iron Age hoard in 2009 at Shalfleet, Isle of Wight gives evidence that they lived in the western half of the island. After the Roman conquest, their main civitates, or settlement-centred administrative units, were Durnovaria (modern Dorchester, "the probable original capital") and Lindinis (modern Ilchester, "whose former, unknown status was thereby enhanced"). Their territory was bordered to the west by the Dumnonii; and to the east by the Belgae.

Durotriges were more a tribal confederation than a tribe. They were one of the groups that issued coinage before the Roman conquest, part of the cultural "periphery" round the "core group" of Britons in the south. These coins were rather simple and had no inscriptions. The Durotriges presented a settled society, based in the farming of lands surrounded and controlled by strong hill forts that were still in use in 43 AD. Maiden Castle is a preserved example of one of these hill forts.

The area of the Durotriges is identified in part by coin finds: few Durotrigan coins are found in the "core" area, where they were apparently unacceptable and were reminted. To their north and east were the Belgae, beyond the Avon and its tributary Wylye: "the ancient division is today reflected in the county division between Wiltshire and Somerset." Their main outlet for the trade across the Channel, strong in the first half of the 1st century BC, when the potter's wheel was introduced, then drying up in the decades before the advent of the Romans, was at Hengistbury Head. Numismatic evidence shows progressive debasing of the coinage, suggesting economic retrenchment accompanying the increased cultural isolation. Analysis of the body of Durotrigan ceramics suggests that the production was increasingly centralised, at Poole Harbour. Burial of Durotriges was by inhumation, with a last ritual meal provided even under exiguous circumstances, as in the eight burials at Maiden Castle, carried out immediately after the Roman attack.

Not surprisingly, 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. In the tribe’s area, the Romans explored some quarries and supported a local pottery industry.

The Durotriges, and their relationship with the Roman Empire, form the basis for an ongoing archaeological research project (https://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/project/the-durotriges-project/) directed by Paul Cheetham, Ellen Hambleton and Miles Russell of Bournemouth University. The Durotriges Project has, since 2009, been reconsidering the Iron Age to Roman transition through a detailed programme of field survey, geophysical investigation and targeted excavation.
Yurii P
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E76 viewsNero AE As

Attribution: RIC I 313, Rome
Date: AD 65
Obverse: NERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP laureate head l.
Reverse: Victory advancing l. holding shield with “ S P Q R” inscribed, S-C in fields
Size: 26 mm
Weight: 12.3 grams
(Bust of Nero: Museo Nazionale, Rome)

“He was about the average height, his body marked with spots and malodorous, his hair light blond…His health was good for though indulging in every kind of riotous excess, he was ill but three times in all during the fourteen years of his reign.” –Seutonius Life of Nero LI

Upon the death of Claudius in AD 54, 16 year-old Nero was accepted as the next emperor. At first, he pampered the senate, made financial promises to the praetorian guard, and generally appeared to be headed in the direction of the superior reign of the divine Augustus. Problems soon became evident upon the poisoning of Britannicus, Claudius’ son. The murder of Nero’s mother, Agrippina, in AD 59 was the single most notoriously sordid act of the emperor’s entire reign. Still, he was noted for numerous other disdainful exploits as well. Nero became infatuated with Poppaea, the wife of a close friend, Marcus Otho. He had Otho appointed governor of Lusitania and soon began an affair with Poppaea. His marriage to Octavia, of course, was a problem as well, so Nero had her exiled on the island of Pandateria in AD 62. There she was accused of adultery and subsequently killed not long after. Sadly, in AD 65, while throwing a temper tantrum, Nero kicked a pregnant Poppaea to death. He did remarry again, but eventually became lovers with the boy Sporus who resembled Poppaea.

“Rumour had it that he used to roam the streets after dark, visiting taverns with his friends, mugging people in the street, attacking women, and thieving from shops and stalls. He was also accused of abusing married women and freeborn boys.” – from Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (1995)

Nero’s reign is marked by a time of financial bleeding of the imperial coffers. His “projects” and excesses were so vast, that the emperor needed to find money wherever he could. One of his most heinous rampages saw him coercing wealthy citizens to will their possessions and fortunes to him prior to forcing them to commit suicide. The Great Fire of AD 64, which started in the neighborhood of the Circus Maximus and spread rapidly to 10 of Rome’s 14 regions, brought the emperor’s popularity further down as tensions reached the boiling point. This is partially due to the fact that he diverted the blame for the fire in the direction of an emerging religious “cult”, the Christians (who were persecuted unmercifully). It is said that he even tied some Christians to posts and had them tarred and lit to illuminate his parties in the royal gardens. Later several conspiracies were unraveled and quelled, but in the end, Nero pushed his luck too far. The revolts of Vindex, Rufus, and Galba were the beginning of the end for the emperor. He was abandoned by his guards and found himself alone at the palace. One of his freedmen, Phaon, led him out of the city to a villa. There Nero committed suicide by stabbing himself in the neck (although his private secretary Epaphroditus finished the job). His last words were, “What an artist the world is losing!” He died in AD 68 at age 30.
4 commentsNoah
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Eagle190 viewsPHRYGIA. Ancyra. Sabina. Æ 20. A.D. 117-137. Obv: CA(BEINA)-CEBACTH. Draped bust right, elaborate hairdo; countermark on head. Rev: ANKYP-ANΩN.Cult-Statue of Ephesian Artemis facing, flanked by two stags. Ref: BMC 23-24; Sear GIC 1308. Axis: 180°. Weight: 3.18 g. CM: Eagle standing, head left, wings spread, E.C.H between wings and legs, in circular punch, 6 mm. Howgego -. Collection Automan.Automan
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East India Company 10 Cash Copper Ingot63 viewsDate: AD 1808
Obverse: EAST INDIA COMPANY; arms of East India Company - two rearing lions each with one back paw on globe, facing inward, leaning against shield, medieval helm above with similar rearing lion facing l. on top, two banners to l. and r. of helm; 1808 below
Reverse: Mughal inscription with X (denomination of 10) .CASH. below
Size: 25 mm, as found at shipwreck site – bent
Photo: The black & white photo between the coin obverse and reverse images is one of the divers who recovered the coins in 1985.
* Note: I purchased this at a coin shop on Grand Cayman island while on my honeymoon in 2001.

This shipwreck coin is from the 145 foot long, 36 foot in berth ship, The Admiral Gardner, that sank on January 25th, 1809, travelling through a fearsome storm in the infamous English Channel. Due to the roughness of the storm, rescue boats failed to reach the damaged ship. Bystanders watched helpessly as the triple deck square rigger constructed of oak and teak sank and took the lives of seven crewmen trapped onboard. The Admiral Gardner was headed for India, and contained coins for payment fto workers in Bengal and Madras. Found in well preserved condition on the seabed, the coins were well wrapped and secured in wooden casks.

In 1809, after the ship sank, some items were salvaged from the wreck, but the valuable cargoes deep in the hold were not reachable. Around 1984, which was 175 years after the ship sank, a local fisherman reported that he thought he was snagging his nets on the Admiral Gardner, the fate of the ship being well known locally. The divers who made the first dive on the wreck were amazed at what they saw. Exposed ribs, frames and decking outlined the shape of the ship. She was lying on a gently sloping sandy bottom at depths ranging between 45 and 60 feet of water. Along with her cargo of coins, some of which had spilled out from the barrels in which they were stowed, her cargo had consisted of a quantity of cannon balls, anchors, iron bars and copper ingots. In 1985 the wreck was listed as being of historical interest, and a license to dive on the site was granted to Richard Larn of Cornwall, the original discoverers of the wreck having formed themselves into a syndicate known as The East India Company Divers. The group, all very experienced in diving on wrecks on the Goodwin Sands, was formed to salvage and administer the legal aspects of any artifacts recovered. Some salvage was carried out in the summer of 1984, but due to weather problems and the special difficulties of working four miles offshore, the amount of coin recovered was minimal. In June 1985, professional divers from a company called SAR Diving, who were working with the EIC diving group, succeeded in recovering a large quantity of copper coins, which were passed to the legal authority for such finds, the Receiver of Wreck. The most impressive find was an intact barrel which underwent preservation treatment at Portsmouth and was estimated to contain 28,000 coins. Unfortunately, as is the case with many of these ventures, treasure (or here, at least, the copper variety) meant trouble. Strong disagreements developed between the parties involved about the methods employed on the wreck, some of which included controlled explosions. Diving on the site was suspended, and the site remains a protected wreck, with no-one currently licensed to dive on it.
3 commentsNoah
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EB0217 Zeus / Statue of Artemis4 viewsApameia, PHRYGIA, AE 20, 133-48 BC.
Obverse: Laureate head of Zeus right.
Reverse: AΠAME AΛEXAN AΠTEMI, cult statue of Artemis Anaïtis standing facing.
References: SG 5121; SNG Cop 170; BMC 33ff.
Diameter: 20.5mm, Weight: 6.412g.
EB
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EB0696 Commodus / Statue of Artemis8 viewsCommodus 177-192, AEZANIS, Phrygia, AE 18, c. 184-192.
Obverse: ΑV (ΚΑΙ) ΚΟΜΟΔΟС, laureate head of Commodus (with traces of drapery) right.
Reverse: ΑΙΖΑΝƐΙΤΩΝ, cult statue of Artemis of Ephesus standing, facing, wearing kalathos, having supports.
References: vA Aezani 68, BMC 124-5, Cop 103.
Diameter: 17.5mm, Weight: 3.08g.
EB
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EGYPT -- PTOLEMY III EUERGETES15 viewsEGYPT -- PTOLEMY III EUERGETES -- (246-221 BC) AE20. Paphos Mint, Cyprus, Horned head of Zeus-Ammon right / ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ , facing cult statue of Aphrodite. Reference: Svoronos 1007.
dpaul7
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Egypt, Alexandria, Gallienus, Dattari 528833 viewsEgypt, Alexandria, Gallienus, AD 253-268
AE - Tetradrachm, 22mm
struck AD 266/267 (year 13)
obv. AVT KP LIK GALLIHNOC CEB
Bust, bearded, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. Eagle, advancing r., holding wreath in beak, palmbranch behind
in l. and r. field L - I Gamma (year 13)
ref. Dattari 5288; Emmett 3806; Milne 4119f.; Geissen 2928; SNG Copenhagen 789; 2236
VF+
Pedigree:
ex. Sayles & Lavender
ex Boston Museum of Fine Arts Art. 88.198 (acquired in 1888!)
ex coll. Benjamin Pierce Cheney

Benjamin Pierce Cheney (1815-1895) was an American businessman, director of Wells Fargo and a founder of the firm that became American Express. He was born as son of a blacksmith and he began working in his father's shop at age 10. In 1831 he started work as a stagecoach driver. With a reputation for honesty and reliability, he was frequently entrusted with large sums of money destined for banks on his route. Cheney was elected a director of Wells Fargo in 1854. Cheney sold United States & Canada Express in 1879 to Am