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Trajan_Cos_II.jpg
70 viewsIn the picture we can see how the head of an emperor closely resembles the preceeding one. The top three coins are COS II. RIC 9 (3.6g); RIC 12 (3,40g); RIC 22 (3.31g). All have good weights and the RIC 9 is quite possibly overstruck at 3.6g.

Below the three Trajans is a Nerva and it's very similar to the first issues of Trajan. I think it's safe to say that the engravers did not meet the emperor in person.
Paddy
01141q00.jpg
13 viewsJustinian I, 527-565. 1/2 Siliqua (Silver, 14 mm, 1.31 g, 9 h), Carthage, 534/7-552. D N IVSTINIANVS P P AG Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Justinian I to right. Rev. Large monogram; cross above, S below; all within wreath. DOC -. MIB 53. SB 254 ('siliqua'). Darkly toned. Struck on the usual somewhat irregular flan, otherwise, good very fine. Quant.Geek
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
Elis_Olympia_drachm.jpg
26 viewsELIS, Olympia. AR Drachm (4.63g), c. 245-210 BC.

Eagle flying with hare in talons / Thunderbolt, F A in field. BCD 250. good Very Fine, old toning.

Ex: Dr. Paul Rynearson, with his handwritten tag.
Collecting Ancient Greek Coins (Paul Rynearson) 16d (this coin pictured).
paul1888
Boeotia_Drachm.jpg
38 viewsBoeotia, Federal Coinage, c. 304-294 BC, Drachm, 5.79g, 18mm. Boiotian shield decorated with vertical caduceus / Amphora; Δ-I across field; all within incuse square. BCD Boiotia 70; SNG Copenhagen 412 var. (pellet above amphora). Good Very fine, high relief and lovely tone1 commentspaul1888
Trajan_Denarius.jpg
32 viewsTrajan. 98-117AD. AR Denarius (19.5mm, 2.97g). Rome mint. Struck January 101 AD to December 102 AD. IMP CAESAR NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM, laureate head right. / P M TR P · COS · IIII P P, Hercules standing facing on low base, holding club in right hand and lion skin over left arm. RIC II, pg 247, #49. Good VF, attractive blue iridescent toning toning around the devices. NICE EYE APPEAL !!

Ex. Auktion Numismatica Wendt KG, Wien 12 (1976), 256; Ex. Münzen & Medaillen GmbH (DE) 13, #642. Oct. 9, 2003.
1 commentspaul1888
Sear-653.jpg
19 viewsPhocas. 602-610. Æ Follis – 40 Nummi (32mm, 12.92 g, 6h). Thessalonica mint. Dated RY 5 (606/7). Crowned facing bust, wearing consular robes, holding mappa and cross / Large XXXX; ANNO above, Ч to right; TЄS. DOC 47; MIBE 91; SB 653. Good VF, dark brown-black patina, hint of earthen deposits, cleaning marks. Overstruck on a Nicomedia follis of Maurice Tiberius (SB 512). Quant.Geek
Sear-664.jpg
11 viewsPHOCAS (602-610). Follis. Cyzicus. Dated RY 1 (602/3). Obv: Phocas, holding globus cruciger, and Leontia, holding cruciform sceptre, standing facing. Rev: Large M; cross above, A/N/N/O - I across field; KYZA. Sear 664. Condition: Good very fine. Weight: 13.74 g. Diameter: 30 mm.Quant.Geek
Sear-522a.jpg
14 viewsMAURICE TIBERIUS (582-602). Decanummium. Cyzicus. Obv: Crowned and cuirassed bust facing, holding globus cruciger and shield decorated with horseman motif. Rev: Large I; cross above, star to left, A to right; KYZ. Sear 522a; MIBE 93C. Condition: Good very fine, struck on an oddly-shaped flan. Weight: 2.92 g. Diameter: 20 mm.
Quant.Geek
Zy4o5EnCf2EqKSe3w9Ft77mQBN8sG6.jpg
6 viewsC. 328-329 AD

Reverse: PROVIDENTIAE AVGG, camp gate, SMNΓ in ex.

Toned with a super portrait and good metal.

Ref: RIC 153

3.13g

20mm
paul1888
gaul.jpg
30 viewsC. 200-49 BC

Obverse: Bust of Artemis right, monogram before.

Reverse: Lion walking right, MAΣΣA above.

Grey tone with a nice portrait and good metal. – Old collection ticket included.

Ref: SNG Cop 786

Weight: 2.54g

17mm
3 commentspaul1888
Augustus_RPC_4151~0.jpg
2 Augustus Antioch Tetradrachm45 viewsAUGUSTUS
AR Tetradrachm, Antioch, Syria. Regnal year 26 = 5 BC.

KAIΣAΡΟΣ ΣΕ—[ΒΑΣΤΟΥ], laureate head of Augustus right / ΕΤΟΥΣ ςΚ ΝΙΚΗΣ, Tyche of Antioch seated on rock, holding palm branch, river Orontes swimming at her feet, ΥΠΑ monogram & IB (= COS XII) in r. field above ANT AYT monogram.

Prieur 50, RPC 4151 Good Fine
RI0013
2 commentsSosius
Nero_Prov_As.jpg
6 Nero AE As17 viewsNERO
AE As
Moesia or Balkan mint (Perinthus, Thrace?)

O: NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM P M, Laureate head right

R: S-C, Neptune standing left, holding dolphin and trident.

RPC I 1760; BMCRE 391 note, pl. 48, 11; WCN pg. 245, 1 var. (obverse legend); RIC: not listed but mentioned on pp. 186-187.

Fine/Good
RI0044
Sosius
Galba_As_RIC_324.jpg
7 Galba65 viewsGalba.
AD 68-69. Æ As (28mm, 10.30 g, 6h). Rome mint.
Struck circa August–October AD 68.
Laureate head left / Ceres seated left, holding grain ears and caduceus.
RIC I 324 var. (bust right); ACG –. Good Fine, brown patina, porous surfaces. Rare with bust left.
From the Dr. Robert A. Kilmarx Collection.
Ex CNG - Nov 2013
4 commentsSosius
image~0.jpg
7 Galba35 viewsGalba. A.D.
68-69 AD
Æ as (27 mm, 10.29 g, 6 h). Rome.

O: IMP SER SVLP GALBA CAES AVG TR P, laureate head of Galba right

R: LIBERTAS PVBLICA, S C across fields, Libertas standing left, holding pileus and scepter.

RIC 328 var. (bare head); BMC 144; BN 160 (same dies). Dark brown and green patina, light roughness.

Good fine.

Ex Triskeles Auctions
RI0040
Sosius
rjb_car3_06_09.jpg
98cf33 viewsCarausius 287-93AD
Antoninianus
Obv "IMP CARAVSIVS PF AVG"
Radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right
Rev "PAX AVG"
Pax-Laetitia/Fortuna standing left holding branch and resting on short baton or rudder
London or irregular(?) mint
F/O//[ML]
RIC - (cf 98ff)

A curious depiction of Pax on the reverse with a mixture of attributes. A coin of otherwise good style.
mauseus
Titus_RIC_1252.jpg
11 Titus Æ Dupondius68 viewsTITUS
Æ Dupondius
(28mm, 13.13 g, 6h)
Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, under Vespasian, 77-78 AD

O: Laureate head right, globe at tip of neck

R: Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopia.
RIC II 1252 (Vespasian); Lyon 107 (Vespasian). Good VF, natural green patina, minor cleaning marks.

Ex CNG
RI0054
6 commentsSosius
Screen_Shot_2017-05-11_at_10_45_56_AM.png
15 Hadrian25 viewsHadrian. A.D. 117-138. AE sestertius. Rome mint, struck A.D. 119.
Hadrian. A.D. 117-138. AE sestertius (35.51 mm, 26.94 g, 7 h). Rome mint, struck A.D. 119. IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIA-NVS AVG P M TR P COS III, laureate, bare-chested "heroic" bust right, drapery on left shoulder / PROVIDENTIAE DEORVM S - C, Hadrian, togate, standing facing, head left, right hand receiving scepter borne by eagle descending from sky on left and scroll (?) in left hand. RIC 589; BMC 1203. good VF/VF, fantastic sensitive portrait on heroic bust, green patina with spots of red, particularly on reverse. Ex Agora Auctions 5/9/2017
1 commentsSosius
Philip_I_Sest_RIC_185a.jpg
2 Philip I18 viewsPhilip I
Æ Sestertius. Rome mint.

IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right / PAX AETERNA S C, Pax running left, holding branch and sceptre.

Cohen 110, RIC 185a, Cohen 110

good Fine
Sosius
Septimius_Severus_-_RIC_IV_201_sm.jpg
24 Septimius Severus45 viewsSeptimius Severus.
AD 193-211.
AR Denarius (19mm, 3.09 g, 7h). Rome mint. Struck circa AD 201-210.

Laureate head right / Genius standing left, sacrificing from patera over altar and holding two grain ears.

RIC IV 201; RSC 475. Good VF, toned, light porosity.

Ex CNG - Nov 2013
2 commentsSosius
Gordian_I_Tetradrachm_Alexandria_Dattari_4659~0.jpg
32 Gordian I Africanus55 viewsGORDIAN I
BI Tetradrachm of Alexandria, Egypt (22mm, 12.90 g, 12h). Dated RY 1 (AD 238)

AK M AN ΓOPΔIANOC CЄM AΦP, Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Nike seated left; LA (date) to left.

Köln 2602; Dattari 4659; K&G 68.10. Good VF, untouched brown patina with scattered red and green.
Ex Editions V. Gadoury, Auction 2012, 1 December 2012, Monaco, Lot 335.
Ex CNG 93, May 2013
4 commentsSosius
001590_l.jpg
32 Gordian I Africanus31 viewsGORDIAN I AFRICANUS
AE Sestertius, Rome Mint
27-29 mm, 17.75 g
March 19 to April 9, 238 A.D.
IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind / VICTORIA AVGG, S-C, Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm.
RIC IV, 2, p. 161, 12. Very rare. Good portrait and fully readable name. Very fine.
Ex-Auctiones

Gordian I, an 80-year-old senator, was proclaimed as emperor during a revolt in Africa but commited suicide after his son and co-ruler Gordianus II was defeated by Maximinus' legate. Their rule only lasted for 20 days, hence the rarity of their coins.
Sosius
2473d03d8982aed66455e7935ac366a0.jpeg
34 Balbinus83 viewsÆ Sestertius, 30mm, 22.61 g, 12h, Rome mint. 238 AD

O: Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right

R: Liberalitas standing facing, head left, holding abacus and cornucopia.
RIC IV 15.

Good Fine, black patina with some earthen highlights

Ex CNG
2 commentsSosius
Balbinus_Ant.jpg
34 Balbinus30 viewsBALBINUS
Ruled April 22 – July 29 238
AR antoninianus, Rome Mint. (22mm, 5.01 gm, 7h).
IMP CAES CAEL BALBINVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / CONCORDIA AVGG, clasped hands.
RIC 10. RSC 3.
Lightly toned. Some deposits. Minor die break on obverse. Large flan. Good Very Fine.
From collection of Dale Sigler, Tarzana,CA
Ex. Heritage Auctions
1 commentsSosius
Florian_RIC_116v].jpg
5 Florian18 viewsFLORIAN Jun-Aug 276 A.D.
AE Antoninianus. Cyzicus mint.
IMP FLORIANVS AVG, radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right / CONCORDIA MILITVM, Victory presenting wreath to Florian standing left, V in ex.
Cohen 15. RIC 116v.; S-11853
Good VF
Sosius
Maxentius_Ostia_RIC_45-sm2.jpg
7 Maxentius19 viewsMaxentius. A.D. 306-312. Æ Follis (24.5 mm, 5.69 g, 6 h). Ostia, A.D. 309-312. IMP C MAXENTIVS PF AVG, laureate head right / FIDES MILITVM AVG N, Fides standing left, holding standard in each hand: MOSTS in exergue. RIC 45. Good VF, brown patina.
Ex Agora Auctions - Nov 2013
Sosius
2550340.jpg
70.5 Hanniballianus12 viewsROMAN IMPERIAL
Hanniballianus
Rex Regum, AD 335-337. Æ Follis (15mm, 1.73 g, 12h). Const. mint, 6th officina. Struck AD 336-337.

O: Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
R: Euphrates reclining right, leaning upon scepter; reed behind, overturned urn below, CONSς.

RIC VII 147; LRBC 1036. Good Fine, dark green patina with some earthen deposits.

Ex CNG
Sosius
2580450.jpg
8 Macrianus13 viewsAntoninianus (20mm, 4.16 g, 12h). Samosata mint. 1st emission. 260-261 AD.

O: Radiate and cuirassed bust right

R: Indulgentia seated left, holding scepter; star to left

RIC V 8; MIR 44, 1732k; RSC 6.

Good Fine, toned, porous surfaces.

Ex-CNG
Sosius
Magnia_Urbica_Ant_RIC_V_347_-_sm.jpg
8.5 Magnia Urbica43 viewsMagnia Urbica. Augusta, AD 283-285. Antoninianus (21mm, 2.17 g, 12h). Ticinum mint. 5th emission, August AD 283. Diademed and draped bust right, set on crescent / Venus standing left, holding helmet and scepter; shield at side; SXXIT. RIC V 347; Pink VI/2 p. 29. Good VF, green patina with partial silvering, earthen highlights.2 commentsSosius
53_Good_OWLS.jpg
A 53 Parliament of Owls24 viewscicerokid
3420493.jpg
P. Clodius M.f. Turrinus32 viewsMoneyer issues of Imperatorial Rome. P. Clodius M.f. Turrinus. 42 BC. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.89 g, 1h). Rome mint. Laureate head of Apollo right; lyre behind / Diana Lucifera standing right, bow and quiver on her shoulder, holding torch in each hand. Crawford 494/23; CRI 184; Sydenham 1117; Claudia 15. Good VF, toned, a few minor scratches beneath the toning.

From the RAJ Collection. Ex CNG Inventory 914993 (2012 NYINC); Sincona 4 (25 October 2011), lots 4160 or 4161 (part of), includes ticket from a French Collectio
1 commentsecoli
00087x00.jpg
20 viewsUNITED STATES, Trade Tokens. Wooster, Ohio. Archer House. Circa 1878-1966
AL Twenty-five Cent Token (24mm, 1.48 g, 11h)
ARCHER HOUSE -:- around central hole
GOOD FOR/ 25¢/ IN TRADE

Archer House hotel was constructed in 1878 on the corner of Buckeye and Liberty Streets, on the site of the earlier wood frame Washington House tavern. The founders, tailor E.B. Connelly and his sister-in-law Melinda, named the establishment after Melinda's deceased son, Archer. Melinda Connelly later remarried to A.M. Parrish, with whom she would operate the hotel until her death. The property passed to heir great-grandson, on who's behalf it was sold to Dr. Alonzo Smith in 1923. Archer House was finally purchased by Robert Freeman in 1964, and was razed in 1966. Today, a two story professional building stands on the spot.
Ardatirion
00086x00.jpg
21 viewsUNITED STATES, Trade Tokens. Wooster, Ohio. Archer House. Circa 1878-1966.
AL Ten Cent Token (22.5mm, 1.28 g, 2h)
ARCHER HOUSE -:- around central hole
GOOD FOR/ 10¢/ IN TRADE
Lipscomb WO 8051; TC 226639

Archer House hotel was constructed in 1878 on the corner of Buckeye and Liberty Streets, on the site of the earlier wood frame Washington House tavern. The founders, tailor E.B. Connelly and his sister-in-law Melinda, named the establishment after Melinda's deceased son, Archer. Melinda Connelly later remarried to A.M. Parrish, with whom she would operate the hotel until her death. The property passed to heir great-grandson, on who's behalf it was sold to Dr. Alonzo Smith in 1923. Archer House was finally purchased by Robert Freeman in 1964, and was razed in 1966. Today, a two story professional building stands on the spot.
Ardatirion
00085x00.jpg
16 viewsUNITED STATES, Trade Tokens. Wooster, Ohio. Archer House. Circa 1878-1966.
AL Five Cent Token (21.5mm, 1.16 g, 8h)
ARCHER HOUSE -:- around central hole
GOOD FOR/ 5¢/ IN TRADE

Archer House hotel was constructed in 1878 on the corner of Buckeye and Liberty Streets, on the site of the earlier wood frame Washington House tavern. The founders, tailor E.B. Connelly and his sister-in-law Melinda, named the establishment after Melinda's deceased son, Archer. Melinda Connelly later remarried to A.M. Parrish, with whom she would operate the hotel until her death. The property passed to heir great-grandson, on who's behalf it was sold to Dr. Alonzo Smith in 1923. Archer House was finally purchased by Robert Freeman in 1964, and was razed in 1966. Today, a two story professional building stands on the spot.
Ardatirion
philippe3-denier-tournois-2.JPG
Dy.204 Philip III (the Bold): denier tournois 18 viewsPhilip III, king of France (1270-1285)
Denier tournois (1270-1280)

Billon (299 ‰), 0.85 g, diameter 19 mm, die axis 11h
O: +PhILIPVS.REX; cross pattée
R: +TVRONVS.CIVIS.; châtel tournois

Another example of this type, quite hard to find in a very good state.
Droger
cnut-pointed-helmet.JPG
S.1158 Cnut (pointed helmet penny, London)17 viewsCnut, king of England (1016-1035)
Pointed helmet penny (moneyer: Edwerd, mint: London, 1024-1030)

A/ +CNVT: - RECX A: around central circle enclosing bust in pointed helmet left holding scepter
R/ +ELEDERD ON LV(ND): around central circle enclosing quarters of short voided cross with circles in centre

silver, 1.04 g, diameter 18 mm, die axis 7h

Peck marks are very common on these pennies. A large part of them was minted in order to pay the danegeld (tax raised to pay tribute to Vikings to save a land from their raids). These peck marks are supposed to have been made by Danes when checking the penny was in good silver.

1 commentsDroger
HuoQuan.jpg
"Huo Quan" of Usurper Wang Mang (Xin Dynasty)11 viewsEmperor Wang Mang

Two large Chinese characters – Huo Quan ("spring of goods"), rim around the central hole, small raised outside rim.

Blank. 17.5mm, 1.04 grams. Hartill #9.65
Belisarius
nerva.jpg
(0096) NERVA15 views96 - 98 AD
struck 97 AD
Copper as, 28.3 mm; 10.735 g RIC II 83, BMCRE III 130, Cohen II 68, BnF III 116, Hunter I -, SRCV II
O: IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head right;
R: FORTVNA AVGVST (good fortune of the Emperor), Fortuna standing left, rudder held by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field;
Rome mint; RIC II 83, BMCRE III 130, Cohen II 68, BnF III 116, Hunter I -, SRCV II --from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren
(ex Forum)
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
V539.jpg
00 Domitian as Caesar RIC 53991 viewsAR Denarius, 3.17g
Rome mint, 73 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: CAES AVG F DOMITIAN COS II; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: No legend; Domitian on horse l.; cloak flying out behind, r. hand raised, sceptre in l.
RIC 539 (R). BMC 122. RSC 665. BNC -.
Acquired from NumisCorner, June 2018.

This is the first denarius struck at Rome for Domitian as Caesar. Fittingly, it commemorates Domitian's appearance at Vespasian and Titus' joint Jewish War Triumph - 'while taking part in the Judaean triumph, he rode on a white horse' (Suetonius, Domitian, ii), which was the normal conduct for a young prince on such occasions. The type was struck in three variants: firstly, with a clockwise obverse legend and DOMITIAN fully spelled out, as we see here. Secondly, it was shortened to DOMIT, with the legend still running clockwise. Lastly, the legend direction was changed to counter clockwise with DOMIT. The first two variants are quite rare, the last relatively common. On this coin we see a cloak flying out from behind Domitian. This interesting detail only appears on a few coins from the first variant and does not show up on subsequent issues of the type. Most likely this variant with the cloak was the earliest version of the type which was then quickly simplified by dropping the cloak all together.

Well centred in good early style.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
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000b. Pompey the Great53 viewsThe Pompeians. Sextus Pompey. 37/6 BC. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.49 g, 9h). Uncertain Sicilian mint, possibly Catana. Bare head of Pompey the Great right; capis to left, lituus to right / Neptune, holding aplustre and resting right foot on prow, standing left between the Catanaean brothers Anapias and Amphinomus running in opposite directions, bearing their parents on their shoulders. Crawford 511/3a; CRI 334; Sydenham 1344; RSC 17 (Pompey the Great). Fine, lightly toned, bankers’ marks on obverse.

AMPHINOMUS and ANAPIS (or Anapias), two brothers, of Silicy, respecting whom it is related that they saved their parents, at the peril of their own lives, from the flames of Etna, at the moment when an eruption of that volcano threatened their immediate destruction. This was a favourite subject with the ancients, in symbolising filial piety; and is often represented on Greek coins of Catana (Catania), where this noble action is alleged to have been performed. Of these two Sicilian brothers, types of that devoted love, which is ever cherished by good children towards the earthly anthors of their being, Cornelius Severus, alluding to Mount Edna, thus expresses himself: "Amphinomus and his brother, both equally courageous in the performance of a duty, whilst the flames murmured their threats against the neighbouring houses, rescue their decrepid father, and their aged mother."
1 commentsecoli
Caesar_AR-Den-plated_CAESAR-elephant-right__Syd-1014_Crawf_443-1_C-49_Gaul-mint_49-48-BC_Q-002_5h_17x20mm_2,26g-s~0.jpg
001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), AR-denarius, Crawf 443-1, Plated (Fouree), Military mint travelling with Caesar (Gaul), #266 views001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), AR-denarius, Crawf 443-1, Plated (Fouree), Military mint travelling with Caesar (Gaul), #2
avers:-CAESAR in exergue, elephant right, trampling on serpent.
revers:- Simpulum, sprinkler, axe (surmounted by a wolf's head) and priest's hat.
exerg:-/-//CAESAR, diameter: 17-20mm, weight: 2,66g, axes: 5h,
mint: Military mint travelling with Caesar (Gaul), date: 49-48 B.C., ref: Crawford-443/1, Sydneham-1006, RSC-49, BMCRR (Gaul) 27
Q-002
"This is the first coin struck in the name of Julius Caesar. The symbolism on the obverse apparently alludes to the conquest of good over evil, Caesar's victory over the Gauls, while the reverse refers to Caesar's possession of the office of Pontifex Maximus."
1 commentsquadrans
Caesar_AR-Den_CAESAR-elephant-right__Syd-1006_Crawf_443-1_C-49_Gaul-mint_49-48-BC_Q-001_axis-7h_xxmm_x,xxxg-s.jpg
001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), Crawf 443-1, Military mint travelling with Caesar (Gaul), AR-denarius, #1184 views001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), Crawf 443-1, Military mint travelling with Caesar (Gaul), AR-denarius, #1
avers:-CAESAR in exergue, elephant right, trampling on serpent.
revers:- Simpulum, sprinkler, axe (surmounted by a wolf's head) and priest's hat.
exerg:-/-//CAESAR, diameter: 19mm, weight: 3,65g, axes: 10h,
mint: Military mint travelling with Caesar (Gaul), date: 49-48 B.C., ref: Crawford-443/1, Sydneham-1006, RSC-49, BMCRR (Gaul) 27
Q-001
"This is the first coin struck in the name of Julius Caesar. The symbolism on the obverse apparently alludes to the conquest of good over evil, Caesar's victory over the Gauls, while the reverse refers to Caesar's possession of the office of Pontifex Maximus."
quadrans
Caesar_AR-Den-plated_CAESAR-elephant-right__Syd-1014_Crawf_443-1_C-49_Gaul-mint_49-48-BC_Q-002_5h_17x20mm_2,26g-s.jpg
001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), Crawf 443-1, Military mint travelling with Caesar (Gaul), AR-denarius, Plated (Fouree), #2116 views001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), Crawf 443-1, Military mint travelling with Caesar (Gaul), AR-denarius, Plated (Fouree), #2
avers:-CAESAR in exergue, elephant right, trampling on serpent.
revers:- Simpulum, sprinkler, axe (surmounted by a wolf's head) and priest's hat.
exerg:-/-//CAESAR, diameter: 17-20mm, weight: 2,66g, axes: 5h,
mint: Military mint travelling with Caesar (Gaul), date: 49-48 B.C., ref: Crawford-443/1, Sydneham-1006, RSC-49, BMCRR (Gaul) 27
Q-002
"This is the first coin struck in the name of Julius Caesar. The symbolism on the obverse apparently alludes to the conquest of good over evil, Caesar's victory over the Gauls, while the reverse refers to Caesar's possession of the office of Pontifex Maximus."
quadrans
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004b. Agrippina Senior51 viewsAgrippina Senior. Died AD 33. Æ Sestertius (34mm, 24.10 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck under Gaius (Caligula), AD 40-41. Draped bust right / Carpentum drawn left by two mules. RIC I 55 (Gaius); Trillmich Group I. Good Fine, dark gray-brown patina, rough surfaces.

Check

From the Ronald J. Hansen Collection. Ex Noble 79 (26 July 2005), lot 3590.

Ex-CNG printed sale 94 320/300
1 commentsecoli
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005. CLAUDIUS 41 AD - 54 AD53 viewsCLAUDIUS. 41-54 AD.

I, Claudius was a very sympathetic treatment of Claudius; nevertheless, along with Claudius the God, those books hold a special place in my library. Without those books, I would not have taken an interest in the classics in high school, and subsequently, ancient coins. Certainly Claudius was not a saint; nor good as we define a person now; but given the circumstances and the unlimited power he weld, few of us could have done it better.

Æ As (9.50 gm). Bare head left / Libertas standing right, holding pileus. RIC I 113; BMCRE 202; Cohen 47. Ex-CNG
1 commentsecoli
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005a Orbiana As dup63 viewsSALL BARBIA ORBIANA AVG, diademed & draped bust right / CONCORDIA AVGVSTORVM, S-C in ex, Concordia seated left on throne, holding patera & double cornucopiae. Cohen 5.
weight, 10.15g; die axis, 6h
Some copper is showing through the patina but the coin is of very good style
mix_val
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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
gordian-III_tet_ram-below-eagle_14_76gr_mar2012_amphora.jpg
01 - Gordian III Tetradrachm #3 - Ram leaping left beneath Eagle, head reverted, Crescent Moon above ram27 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Emperor Gordian III ( 238 - 244 AD ) Silver Tetradrachm.
Struck at the Roman Mint at Antioch, Syria.

(Titles in Greek)
obv: Laureate bust right, draped and cuirassed. Seen from behind.
rev: Eagle standing, holding laurel wreath in beak, head facing left.
BELOW: Ram leaping left, head turned facing behind (right), with Crescent Moon above head of Ram, all between the legs of the Eagle.

Weight: 14.76 Grams

~~~~
::Great detail on the head and beak of the Eagle, as well as on the Emperor's portrait, very nice coin, good weight for the type too. ::
~~~

*ex Amphora Ancient Coins, with photo-authenticity COA signed by David Hendin, author of Guide to Biblical Coins.
~~
~
5 commentsrexesq
Caesar_Elephant.jpg
01 01 Julius Caesar 106 viewsJulius Caesar. 49-44 B.C. AR Denarius. Military mint traveling with Caesar in Gaul. c. 49-48 B.C. (3.72g, 19.0m, 4h). Obv: CAESAR in ex., elephant r. trampling serpent. Rev: simpulum, sprinkler, axe surmounted by wolf’s head, and apex. Cr 443/1; Syd. 1006.

This is the first issue in Caesar’s name. The obverse could symbolize the victory of good over evil in general, or the victory of Caesar’s forces over the Pompeians specifically. The reverse clearly refers to Caesar’s status as Pontifex Maximus.
3 commentsLucas H
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01 Julius Caesar, Captives19 viewsJulius Caesar. AR Denarius. Military mint traveling with Caesar in Spain. c. 46-45 B.C. (3.71g, 19.5mm, 6h). Obv: Diademed head of Venus right, Cupid on shoulder. Rev: Gallia seated in attitude of mourning and a Gaulish male captive, hands bound, seated beneath trophy, possibly Vercingetorix. CAESAR in Exergue. RSC 13. Craw. 468/1.

This type was minted during Caesar’s final campaign against Pompeian forces in Spain. The obverse refers to Caesar's mythical descent from the goddess Venus. The reverse refers to Caesar's victories in Gaul and the male Gaulish captive may be Vercingetorix. Not perfect, but well centered, a good state of preservation, with a clear CAESAR on the reverse.
Lucas H
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010. Vespasian13 viewsSpes

In Roman mythology, Spes was the goddess of hope. She was traditionally defined as "the last goddess" (Spes, ultima dea), meaning that hope is the last resource available to men.
There was a temple to her in the Forum Holitorium. In art, Spes was depicted hitching her skirt while holding a cornucopia and flowers. Spes personified hope for good harvests, and for children, and was invoked at births, marriages, and other important times.

Her Greek equivalent was Elpis.

Vespasian Ae As REVERSE: Spes standing;

Check
ecoli
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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
ecoli
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02 Augustus RIC I 035960 viewsAugustus 27 B.C.-14 A.D. Moneyer L. Vinicius. Rome Mint. 16 B.C. (3.72g, 18.8m, 5h). Obv: Anepigraphic, bare head right. Rev: L Vinicivs in ex., Triumphal arch inscribed SPQR IMP CAE in two lines sur. by Quadriga bearing Augustus, r. holding laurel-branch, l. scepter; smaller arch on sides w archer on l. and slinger on r. RIC I 359 (R2). RSC 544.

This coin depicts Augustus’ triple arch, perhaps the first in Rome. Beginning as a double arch to commemorate his victory at Actium, the third arch was probably added to commemorate the return of the lost standards from Parthia. For a scarce type, this example is well centered and has good details on the reverse including complete legends.
3 commentsLucas H
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02 Domitian as Caesar RIC 788157 viewsAR Denarius, 3.36g
Rome mint, 74 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: CAES AVG F DOMIT COS III; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVT; Spes, draped, advancing l., holding up flower in r. hand and with l. holding up her skirt.
RIC 788 (C). BMC 156. RSC 375. BNC 135.
Ex Harlan J Berk 155, 31 July 2007, lot 247.

During Vespasian's reign, Domitian was given the honorary title PRINCEPS IVVENTVT or 'Prince of Youth', celebrated here on this denarius from 74 AD. The title is one that was often given to young princes who were marked out as chosen heirs.

Spes, the personification of hope, is seen here on the reverse advacing left, holding a budding flower. The flower is a symbol of future well being.

Domitian's coinage during Vespasian's rule was unique. While Titus followed closely the types of his father, Domitian struck out on his own. One wonders how much of an input the young prince had on his own series.

A very likeable coin with a good portrait and excellent centring.


2 commentsVespasian70
KnidosARdrachm.jpg
020a, CARIA, Knidos. Circa 465-449 BC. AR Drachm.63 viewsCARIA, Knidos. Circa 465-449 BC. AR Drachm - 16mm (6.06 g). Obverse: forepart of roaring lion right; Reverse: archaic head of Aphrodite right, hair bound with taenia. Cahn 80 (V38/R53); SNG Helsinki 132 (same dies); SNG Copenhagen 232 (same dies). Toned, near VF, good metal. Ex Barry P. Murphy.

While this coin falls within the time frame that numismatists call "Classical" Greek coinage, I have chosen to place it in both the "Archaic" (coin 020a) and "Classical" Greek sections of my collection. This specimen is one of those wonderful examples of transition--it incorporates many elements of the "Archaic" era, although it is struck during the "Classical" Greek period and anticipates characteristics of the later period.

As noted art historian Patricia Lawrence has pointed out, "[this specimen portrays] A noble-headed lion, a lovely Late Archaic Aphrodite, and [is made from]. . . beautiful metal." The Archaic Aphrodite is reminiscent of certain portraits of Arethusa found on tetradrachms produced in Syracuse in the first decade of the 5th century BC.

Knidos was a city of high antiquity and as a Hellenic city probably of Lacedaemonian colonization. Along with Halicarnassus (present day Bodrum, Turkey) and Kos, and the Rhodian cities of Lindos, Kamiros and Ialyssos it formed the Dorian Hexapolis, which held its confederate assemblies on the Triopian headland, and there celebrated games in honour of Apollo, Poseidon and the nymphs.

The city was at first governed by an oligarchic senate, composed of sixty members, and presided over by a magistrate; but, though it is proved by inscriptions that the old names continued to a very late period, the constitution underwent a popular transformation. The situation of the city was favourable for commerce, and the Knidians acquired considerable wealth, and were able to colonize the island of Lipara, and founded a city on Corcyra Nigra in the Adriatic. They ultimately submitted to Cyrus, and from the battle of Eurymedon to the latter part of the Peloponnesian War they were subject to Athens.

In their expansion into the region, the Romans easily obtained the allegiance of Knidians, and rewarded them for help given against Antiochus by leaving them the freedom of their city.

During the Byzantine period there must still have been a considerable population: for the ruins contain a large number of buildings belonging to the Byzantine style, and Christian sepulchres are common in the neighbourhood.

Eudoxus, the astronomer, Ctesias, the writer on Persian history, and Sostratus, the builder of the celebrated Pharos at Alexandria, are the most remarkable of the Knidians mentioned in history.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cnidus

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
Didrachm_Black~0.jpg
030/1 AR Didrachm60 viewsAnonymous. AR Didrachm. Uncertain Mint, 225-214 BC. (6.56g, 23mm, 12h) Obv: Janiform head of the Dioscuri. Rev: Jupiter, hurling thunderbolt and holding sceptre, in galloping quadriga driven by Victory; ROMA on tablet below.

Crawford 30/1; Sydenham 64.

Traces of corrosion, Good Very Fine.

Ex: Roma Numismatics

From the Andrew McCabe Collection; Ex Goodman
5 commentsPaddy
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038 - Nerva denarius - RIC II 857 viewsObv:– IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head right
Rev:– IVSTITIA AVGVST, Justitia seated half-right, holding sceptre and branch
Minted in Rome, A.D. 97
Reference:– BMC 44. RIC II 18. RSC 101.

Good style. Decent surfaces.
5 commentsmaridvnvm
RI_038b_img~0.jpg
038 - Nerva denarius - RIC II 827 viewsObv:– IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head right
Rev:– IVSTITIA AVGVST, Justitia seated half-right, holding sceptre and branch
Minted in Rome, A.D. 97
Reference:– BMC 44. RIC II 18. RSC 101.

Good style. Decent surfaces.

Updated image.
2 commentsmaridvnvm
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044 - Hadrian denarius - RIC -43 viewsDenarius
Obv:- HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P bare head right
Rev:- COS III, Virtus,standing right, holding scepter and parazonium; left foot raised, resting on helmet.
Unknown Eastern Mint. Bust style is very well executed and good enough to be from Rome.
Reference:- RIC -, cf RSC 355, cf BMC Page 380 #25 (Vienna) (draped bare head bust right) same reverse die though the image is very grainy.
1 commentsmaridvnvm
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05 Domitian as Caesar RIC 961149 viewsAR Denarius, 3.17g
Rome Mint, 77-78 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS V; She-wolf and twins l. : in ex., boat
RIC 961 (C2). BMC 240. RSC 51. BNC 208.
Ex eBay, February 2007.

The first instance of the she-wolf and twins reverse as a type on Roman Imperial coins. Domitian Caesar, unlike Titus Caesar, used different reverse types than his father Vespasian. The she-wolf and twins is unique to Domitan's coinage. One wonders how much leverage Domitian had for choosing his own reverse designs.

A wonderful coin with good metal and a pleasing portrait. The picture does not reflect this very well however.

2 commentsVespasian70
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056/3 Spanish imitation in good style29 viewsAnonymous. Ae Semis. Second or first century BC. (6.58 g, 20.55 mm) Obv: Laureate head of Saturn r.; behind, S. Rev: Prow r.; above, S and below, ROMA.
Syd 143a; Crawford 56/3

In 1982 a conference report was published that contained a joint debate between Crawford and the Spanish numismatist Villaronga. Villaronga illustrated a number of coins from site finds near Cadiz, and concluded that they were good style Spanish imitations. Every year about 10 or 20 similar coins appear on the Spanish market, but none appear in Italian sources.

Thank you Mccabe for helping with the attribution.
Paddy
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07 Domitian as Caesar RIC-108486 viewsAR Denarius, 3.28g
Rome Mint, 79 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Salus, stg. r., resting on column, feeding snake out of patera
RIC 1084 (C2). BMC 265. RSC 384. BNC 237.
Acquired from Aegean Numismatics, July 2008.

A most puzzling reverse type issued during the last months of Vespasian's reign before he died on June 24th. Perhaps a reference to Vespasian's illness and his hopeful recovery.

Worn and average with a good portrait.
vespasian70
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071 - Elagabalus denarius - RIC 8736 viewsElagabalus Denarius
Obv:– IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, horned, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev:– INVICTVS SACERDOS AVG, Elagabalus standing holding patera over an altar and branch. Star in right field. Horn on ground to his left
Minted in Rome. A.D. 222
Reference– BMC 209 note. RIC 87 (where it is rated Common citing Cohen). RSC III 58. Cohen 58 (illustrated with star in right field) valued at 50 Fr. No examples in RD.
ex Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG Sale 42, Lot 379, 20th November 2007, ex Barry Feirstein Collection, previously privately purchased from Harlan J. Berk.
Described as Lightly toned and good extremely fine by NAC.
21 mm. 3.11 gms. 0 degrees.

The coin would certainly seem to be scarcer than the "Common" rating given in RIC would imply. No examples in RD, only one example on acsearch (this coin). No examples on Wildwinds (the RIC 87 there would appear to be in error).
1 commentsmaridvnvm
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07b Domitian as Caesar RIC 108588 viewsAR Denarius, 3.08g
Rome Mint, 79 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS; Salus, stg. r., resting on column, feeding snake out of patera
RIC 1085 (R2). BMC p. 47 note. RSC 385. BNC 238.
Acquired from eBay, 10 June 2018.

A rare left portrait variant of the common Salus type struck for Domitian Caesar under Vespasian. The reverse may be an illusion to Vespasian's ill health preceeding his death on 24 June 79. No specimens in the BM's collection, citing the Paris collection. A double die match with the RIC plate coin.

Good style and well centred.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
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08b Domitian as Caesar RIC-1089181 viewsAR Quinarius, 1.46g
Rome Mint, 79 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: VICTORIA AVGVST; Victory std. l., with wreath and palm
RIC 1089 (R3). BMC -. RSC -. BNC 243.

An extremely rare quinarius struck for Domitian Caesar in 79. RIC records only one example in Paris (BNC 243) and lists the rarity as 'unique', this specimen then is the second known example. Domitian's COS VI coins most likely date towards the end of Vespasian's reign and the beginning of Titus' rule, indicating the issue was struck uninterrupted after Vespasian's death in June.

Struck in good metal in neat and fine style.
9 commentsDavid Atherton
nerva dup-~0.jpg
096-098 AD - NERVA AE dupondius - struck 96 AD62 viewsobv:IMP NERVA CAES AVG PM TRP CIS II PP (radiate head right)
rev:CONCORDIA EXERCITVM / S.C. (two hands clasped hads holding legionary eagle resting on prow)
ref:RIC55, C.26(2fr.)
11.11gms
The type of this reverse alludes to the concurrence and union of the forces, both on land and at sea, during the reign of this good prince.
berserker
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096-098 AD - NERVA AR denarius - struck 97 AD67 viewsobv:IMP NERVA CAES AVG PM TR P COS II PP (laureate head right)
rev:FORTVNA AVGVST (Fortuna standing left, holding rudder and cornucopia)
ref:RIC16, C.66
3.03gms, 19mm

Marcus Cocceius Nerva, a 60-year-old senator who became the first of the five good emperors. Following Domitian, he was the first of the emperors to select an heir rather than a blood relative.
berserker
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09e Domitian as Caesar-RIC 1496110 viewsAR Denarius, 3.17g
Ephesus (?) mint, 76 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r. 'o' mint mark below neck
Rev: PON MAX TR P COS IIII; Winged caduceus
RIC 1496 (R2). BMC 489. RSC 369. RPC 1469 (2 spec.). BNC 377.
Acquired from Britaly Coins, April 2016.

The small series struck under Vespasian this coin comes from is quite mysterious. The mint is not known for certain, although Ephesus is a prime suspect. K. Butcher and M. Ponting in The Metallurgy of Roman silver Coinage analysed the Ephesian and 'o' mint series and their data shows both issues are made from the same bullion. Not definitive proof the two series are from the same mint, but good evidence of a strong link. Unlike the Ephesian series, the 'o' issue is full of blundered legends and mules. This denarius struck for Domitian Caesar has a PON MAX reverse legend, an impossible title for the young prince. However, what the mint masters lacked in competency, the engravers made up for in their stylish portraits.

A wonderful portrait struck on a large flan. An obverse die match with my RIC V1494.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
MariusFundania1Denarius.jpg
0aa Caius Marius40 viewsC. Fundanius, moneyer
101-91 BC

Denarius

Helmeted head of Roma right, control-mark C behind

"Triumphator" (Marius) in quadriga right, holding laurel-branch and staff; a rider sits on near horse, holding laurel-branch, Q above, C FVNDAN in exergue

The reverse shows Marius as triumphator in the quadriga. He holds sceptre and laurel branch. On one of the horses rides his son. The children of the triumphator were - according to tradition - allowed to share the triumph of their father. The Q above refers to the office as quaestor the mintmaster held while minting these coins. FORVM Ancient Coins says of a similar piece, "The reverse refers to Marius triumph after victories over the Cimbri and Teutones. The rider on the near horse is Marius's son, at that time eight years old." Andrew McCabe comments, "The Triumphator on the Fundania denarius is usually taken to be Marius, with his young son on horseback. This would make it the first Roman coin to explicitly portray a living Roman politician. "

Seaby Fundania 1

Marius rose from common origins to become the First Man in Rome. Plutarch in his Life writes: There is a likeness of Marius in stone at Ravenna, in Gaul, which I myself saw quite corresponding with that roughness of character that is ascribed to him. Being naturally valiant and warlike, and more acquainted also with the discipline of the camp than of the city, he could not moderate his passion when in authority. . . . He was born of parents altogether obscure and indigent, who supported themselves by their daily labour; his father of the same name with himself, his mother called Fulcinia. He had spent a considerable part of his life before he saw and tasted the pleasures of the city; having passed previously in Cirrhaeaton, a village of the territory of Arpinum, a life, compared with city delicacies, rude and unrefined, yet temperate, and conformable to the ancient Roman severity. He first served as a soldier in the war against the Celtiberians, when Scipio Africanus besieged Numantia; where he signalized himself to his general by courage far above his comrades, and particularly by his cheerfully complying with Scipio's reformation of his army, being almost ruined by pleasures and luxury. It is stated, too, that he encountered and vanquished an enemy in single combat, in his general's sight. In consequence of all this he had several honours conferred upon him; and once when at an entertainment a question arose about commanders, and one of the company (whether really desirous to know, or only in complaisance) asked Scipio where the Romans, after him, should obtain such another general, Scipio, gently clapping Marius on the shoulder as he sat next him, replied, "Here, perhaps. . . ."

The consul Caecilius Metellus, being declared general in the war against Jugurtha in Africa took with him Marius for lieutenant; where, eager himself to do great deeds and services that would get him distinction, he did not, like others, consult Metellus's glory and the serving his interest, and attributing his honour of lieutenancy not to Metellus, but to fortune, which had presented him with a proper opportunity and theatre of great actions, he exerted his utmost courage. . . . Marius thus employed, and thus winning the affections of the soldiers, before long filled both Africa and Rome with his fame, and some, too, wrote home from the army that the war with Africa would never be brought to a conclusion unless they chose Caius Marius consul. . . .He was elected triumphantly, and at once proceeded to levy soldiers contrary both to law and custom, enlisting slaves and poor people; whereas former commanders never accepted of such, but bestowed arms, like other favours, as a matter of distinction, on persons who had the proper qualification, a man's property being thus a sort of security for his good behavior. . . .

[In Marius' fourth consulship,] The enemy dividing themselves into two parts, the Cimbri arranged to go against Catulus higher up through the country of the Norici, and to force that passage; the Teutones and Ambrones to march against Marius by the seaside through Liguria. . . . The Romans, pursuing them, slew and took prisoners above one hundred thousand, and possessing themselves of their spoil, tents, and carriages, voted all that was not purloined to Marius's share, which, though so magnificent a present, yet was generally thought less than his conduct deserved in so great a danger. . . . After the battle, Marius chose out from amongst the barbarians' spoils and arms those that were whole and handsome, and that would make the greatest show in his triumph; the rest he heaped upon a large pile, and offered a very splendid sacrifice. Whilst the army stood round about with their arms and garlands, himself attired (as the fashion is on such occasions) in the purple-bordered robe, and taking a lighted torch, and with both hands lifting it up towards heaven, he was then going to put it to the pile, when some friends were espied with all haste coming towards him on horseback. Upon which every one remained in silence and expectation. They, upon their coming up, leapt off and saluted Marius, bringing him the news of his fifth consulship, and delivered him letters to that effect. This gave the addition of no small joy to the solemnity; and while the soldiers clashed their arms and shouted, the officers again crowned Marius with a laurel wreath, and he thus set fire to the pile, and finished his sacrifice.
Blindado
Cornelia51QuinVict.jpg
0aa Defeat of Hannibal on Sicily, 222 BC11 viewsCn. Lentulus, moneyer
90-85 BC

Quinarius

Laureled head of Jupiter, right
Victory crowning trophy, CN LENT in ex

Seaby, Cornelia 51

Possibly a reference to this event: [Q. Fabius Maximus, afterwards called Cunctator] broke up his camp at Suessula and decided to begin by an attack on Arpi. . . . Now at last the enemy was roused; there was a lull in the storm and daylight was approaching. Hannibal's garrison in the city amounted to about 5000 men, and the citizens themselves had raised a force of 3000. These the Carthaginians put in front to meet the enemy, that there might be no attempt at treachery in their rear. The fighting began in the dark in the narrow streets, the Romans having occupied not only the streets near the gate but the houses also, that they might not be assailed from the roofs. Gradually as it grew light some of the citizen troops and some of the Romans recognised one another, and entered into conversation. The Roman soldiers asked what it was that the Arpinians wanted, what wrong had Rome done them, what good service had Carthage rendered them that they, Italians-bred and born, should fight against their old friends the Romans on behalf of foreigners and barbarians, and wish to make Italy a tributary province of Africa. The people of Arpi urged in their excuse that they knew nothing of what was going on, they had in fact been sold by their leaders to the Carthaginians, they had been victimised and enslaved by a small oligarchy. When a beginning had been once made the conversations became more and more general; at last the praetor of Arpi was conducted by his friends to the consul, and after they had given each other mutual assurances, surrounded by the troops under their standards, the citizens suddenly turned against the Carthaginians and fought for the Romans. A body of Spaniards also, numbering something less than a thousand, transferred their services to the consul upon the sole condition that the Carthaginian garrison should be allowed to depart uninjured. The gates were opened for them and they were dismissed, according to the stipulation, in perfect safety, and went to Hannibal at Salapia. Thus Arpi was restored to the Romans without the loss of a single life, except in the case of one man who had long ago been a traitor and had recently deserted. The Spaniards were ordered to receive double rations, and the republic availed itself on very many occasions of their courage and fidelity.

Livy, History of Rome, 24.46-47
Blindado
Sulla_L_Manlius_den.jpg
0ab Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix23 viewsL Manlivs, moneyer
82-72 BC

Denarius

Head of Roma, right, MANLI before, PRO Q behind
Sulla in walking quadriga, crowned by Victory, L SVLLA IM in ex.

Seaby, Manlia 4

Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (c. 138 BC – 78 BC) was a Roman general and conservative statesman. He had the distinction of holding the office of consul twice, as well as reviving the dictatorship. Sulla was awarded a grass crown, the most prestigious and rarest Roman military honor, during the Social War. He was the first man to lead an army to Rome to settle a political dispute, in this case with Marius. In late 81 BC, he stunned the world by resigning his near-absolute powers, restoring constitutional government. After seeing election to and holding a second consulship, he retired to private life and died shortly after.

As to the person, Plutarch wrote: LUCIUS Cornelius Sylla was descended of a patrician or noble family. . . . His general personal appearance may be known by his statues; only his blue, eyes, of themselves extremely keen and glaring, were rendered all the more forbidding and terrible by the complexion of his face, in which white was mixed with rough blotches of fiery red. . . . And when supreme master of all, he was often wont to muster together the most impudent players and stage-followers of the town, and to drink and bandy jests with them without regard to his age or the dignity of his place, and to the prejudice of important affairs that required his attention. When he was once at table, it was not in Sylla's nature to admit of anything that was serious, and whereas at other times he was a man of business and austere of countenance, he underwent all of a sudden, at his first entrance upon wine and good-fellowship, a total revolution, and was gentle and tractable with common singers and dancers, and ready to oblige any one that spoke with him. It seems to have been a sort of diseased result of this laxity that he was so prone to amorous pleasures, and yielded without resistance to any temptation of voluptuousness, from which even in his old age he could not refrain. He had a long attachment for Metrobius, a player. In his first amours, it happened that he made court to a common but rich lady, Nicopolis by name, and what by the air of his youth, and what by long intimacy, won so far on her affections, that she rather than he was the lover, and at her death she bequeathed him her whole property. He likewise inherited the estate of a step-mother who loved him as her own son. By these means he had pretty well advanced his fortunes. . . . In general he would seem to have been of a very irregular character, full of inconsistencies with himself much given to rapine, to prodigality yet more; in promoting or disgracing whom he pleased, alike unaccountable; cringing to those he stood in need of, and domineering over others who stood in need of him, so that it was hard to tell whether his nature had more in it of pride or of servility. As to his unequal distribution of punishments, as, for example, that upon slight grounds he would put to the torture, and again would bear patiently with the greatest wrongs; would readily forgive and he reconciled after the most heinous acts of enmity, and yet would visit small and inconsiderable offences with death and confiscation of goods; one might judge that in himself he was really of a violent and revengeful nature, which, however, he could qualify, upon reflection, for his interest.
Blindado
0001JUL.jpg
1) Julius Caesar159 viewsDenarius, Rome, Moneyer P. Sepullius Macer, 44 BC, 4.03g. Cr-480/11, Syd-1072; Sear, Imperators-107b. Obv: Wreathed head of Caesar r., CAESAR before, D[IC]T PERPETVO behind. Rx: Venus standing l., looking downwards, holding Victory and scepter resting on star, P SEPVLLIVS behind, MACER downwards before. Same dies as Alfoldi, Caesar in 44 v. Chr., pl. LIII, 6-8. Banker's mark behind Caesar's eye. Good portrait. Some areas of flat striking, otherwise EF

Ex HJB - purchased on the Ides of March, 2011

Gaius Julius Caesar (Classical Latin: [ˈɡaː.i.ʊs ˈjuː.lɪ.ʊs ˈkaj.sar], July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman general, statesman, Consul and notable author of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. In 60 BC, Caesar, Crassus and Pompey formed a political alliance that was to dominate Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to amass power through populist tactics were opposed by the conservative elite within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar's conquest of Gaul, completed by 51 BC, extended Rome's territory to the English Channel and the Rhine. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain.

These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to lay down his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused, and marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with a legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman territory under arms. Civil war resulted, from which he emerged as the unrivaled leader of Rome.

After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar. He centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed "dictator in perpetuity". But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March (15 March) 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus. A new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never restored. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power, and the era of the Roman Empire began.

Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The later biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are also major sources. Caesar is deemed to be one of the greatest military commanders of history. Source: wikipedia
RM0001
13 commentsSosius
Jul_Caes_Elephant.jpg
1) Julius Caesar Elephant18 viewsJULIUS CAESAR.
AR Denarius.
49-48 BC.
Military Mint traveling with Caesar in Gaul

CAESAR in exergue, elephant right, trampling on serpent / Simpulum, sprinkler, axe and priest's hat.

Cr443/1; Syd 1006; BMCRR (Gaul) 27, RSC 49, Sear5 #1399

Good Fine, multiple bankers' marks
RM0031
Sosius
c6_1_b.jpg
1.21 L. Scribonius Libo48 viewsAR Republican Denarius
Rome, 62 BC

obv. LIB - BON-EVENT
Bonus Eventus (diademed), deity of good fortune and events
Zam
Elagabalus-RIC-140.jpg
10. Elagabalus.22 viewsDenarius, 218 - 219 AD, Rome mint.
Obverse: IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS AVG / Laureate bust of Elagabalus.
Reverse: SALVS . ANTONINI . AVG / Salus standing, feeding snake held in her arms.
2.96 gm., 19 mm
RIC #140.

At this time in Roman history, people were already looking back to the reigns of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius as a Golden Age. Later emperors wanted to be associated with them, and to that end Septimius Severus adopted himself into the Antonine Dynasty. His son Caracalla assumed the name Antoninus as his official name, as did Elagabalus. The reverse of this coin pictures Salus, the goddess of good health and well-being. The legend expresses the wish, roughly translated, "Long live the Antonine Emperors."
1 commentsCallimachus
RIC_---_A_053_No_063_112_Probus_AE-Ant_IMP-C-M-AVR-PROBVS-P-FAVG_PROVIDENT-AVG_T_XXI_Bust-_RIC-xxx_p-xx_Alf-xx-No-x_Siscia-xx-emission_277_Q-001_11h_21,5mm_3,31g-s.jpg
112 Probus (276-282 A.D.), Siscia, Alföldi 0053.0063, -/T//XXI, Bust E1/G, RIC V-II 718(?), AE-Antoninianus, PROVIDENT AVG, Providentia standing left, Rare!90 views112 Probus (276-282 A.D.), Siscia, Alföldi 0053.0063, -/T//XXI, Bust E1/G, RIC V-II 718(?), AE-Antoninianus, PROVIDENT AVG, Providentia standing left, Rare!
avers: IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, Radiate, helmeted, cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield. (E1/G).
reverse: PROVIDENT AVG, Providentia standing left, holding globe and sceptre.
exergue: -/T//XXI, diameter: 21,5mm, weight: 3,31g, axis: 11h,
mint: Siscia, 7th. emission, date: 280 A.D., ref: RIC V-II 718(?), p-, Alföldi 0053.0063,
Q-001
"Your coin is registered by Alföldi (Alf. 53,63) who listed 7 examples of it. For my part, I registered 5 of them.
Yours is in a particularly good state of conservation compared to them.
Congratulations,"
S. Estiot
quadrans
RI_125aa_img.jpg
125 - Aurelian, denarius - RIC 07149 viewsObv:– IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, Laureate, cuirassed bust right
Rev:– VICTORIA AVG, Victory walking left, holding wreath and palm.
Minted in Rome, (B _ //VSV). Allocated by Estiot to Emission 10 dating to end A.D. 274.
Reference:– Paris-185, Gobl-135f2 (9 spec.), RIC-71, C-250 (Elberling, 6 Fr.).
Virtually fully silvered , a good strike, well centred and not showing much evidence of wear.
5 commentsmaridvnvm
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
Constantius1_silvered_follis.jpg
1304a, Constantius I, May 305 - 25 July 306 A.D.48 viewsSilvered follis, RIC 20a, S 3671, VM 25, gVF, Heraclea mint, 10.144g, 27.7mm, 180o, 297 - 298 A.D. Obverse: FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; Reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, Genius standing left, modius on head, naked except for chlamys over shoulder, cornucopia in left, pouring liquor from patera, HTD in exergue; some silvering, nice portrait, well centered.



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

Constantius I Chlorus (305-306 A.D.)

Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Constantius' Early Life and Marriage

Born March 31st, Emperor Flavius Valerius Constantius may have come into the world ca. 250. His family was from Illyricum. In the army he served as a protector, tribunus, and a praeses Dalmatiarum. During the 270s or the 280s, he became the father of Constantine by Helena, his first spouse. By 288 he was the Praetorian Prefect of the western emperor Maximianus Herculius.

Constantius' Reign as Caesar

On 1 March 293 Diocletian appointed Galerius as his Caesar (junior emperor) in the east and Constantius as the Caesar of Maximianus Herculius. Caesar in the west. Both Caesars had the right of succession. In order to strengthen the dynastic relationship between himself and Herculius., Constantius put aside his wife Helena and married Theodora, the daughter, or perhaps stepdaughter, of Maximianus Herculius.. The union was fruitful and of it there were six issue: Flavius Dalmatius, Julius Constantius, Hannibalianus, Constantia, Anastasia, and Eutropia. To strengthen his bond with Galerius and Diocletian in the east, Constantius allowed Galerius to keep his son Constantine as a hostage for his good behavior.

In the remainder of the time that he was a Caesar, Constantius spent much of his time engaged in military actions in the west. In the summer of 293 Constantius expelled the troops of the usurper Carausius from northern Gaul; after Constantius' attack on Bononia (Boulogne), Carausius was murdered. At the same time he dealt with the unrest of the Germans. In 296 he invaded Britain and put down the revolt of the usurper Allectus. Between 300 and 305 A.D. the Caesar campaigned successfully several times with various German tribes. It is worth noting in passing, that while his colleagues rigidly enforced the "Great Persecution in 303," Constantius limited his action to knocking down a few churches.

Constantius as Augustus and His Untimely Death

On 1 May 305 Diocletian, at Nicomedia, and Maximianus Herculius, at Mediolanum (Milan), divested themselves of the purple, probably because of the almost fatal illness that Diocletian contracted toward the end of 304. Diocletian forced Maximianus to abdicate. They appointed as their successors Constantius and Galerius, with Severus and Maximinus Daia as the new Caesars. The retired emperors then returned to private life. Constantius, as had his predecessor, ruled in the west, while Galerius and Daia ruled in the east. Almost as soon as he was appointed Augustus, he crossed to Britain to face incursions by the Picts where he died at York on 25 July 306 with his son (Constantine I, known to history as “The Great”) at his side.

Copyright (C) 1996, Michael DiMaio, Jr.
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
RI_132ga_img.jpg
132 - Probus - RIC 862 - Bust Type H (Serdica) (KAB)42 viewsObv:– IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, Radiate bust left in imperial mantle, holding sceptre surmounted by eagle
Rev:– SOLI INVICTO, Sol in a spread quadriga facing, radiate, cloak billowing out behind, raising right hand, holding whip in left
Minted in Serdica (KAB in exe)
Reference:– RIC 862 Bust type H
A lovely example with a good strike and fully silvered.
3 commentsmaridvnvm
1327_-_1377_Edward_III_billon_denier_au_leopard.JPG
1327 - 1377, EDWARD III, Billon Denier au Leopard, struck 1327 - 1362 at Bordeaux, France6 viewsObverse: + EDVARDVS : REX around beaded inner circle containing legend ANGL between two lines, Leopard facing left above, trefoil of pellets below. Cross pattée in legend.
Reverse: + DVX AQITANIE around beaded inner circle containing cross pattée. Cross pattée in legend.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 0.70gms | Die Axis: 3
Second type issue. Scarce
SPINK: 8090

Unlike English silver coins which, with few exceptions were maintained at sterling fineness, these small denomination continental coins were often debased. At the time of issue they would have had a good silver appearance, but after some use their color darkened, hence they became known as “Black Money”.
Black money coins were hastily produced in large numbers and often poorly struck. They were the common circulating medium at the time and consequently they became very worn so that, during the ensuing years during which there were frequent re-coinages, they were the first into the melting pot. Surviving examples are therefore now quite rare and most of those that have survived are of a low grade.

*Alex
aelius caesar.jpg
136-138 AD - AELIUS Caesar AR denarius - struck 137 AD47 viewsobv: L AELIVS CAESAR (bare head right)
rev: TR POT COS II (Concordia seated left, holding patera and leaning on cornucopiae), CONCORD in exergue.
ref: RIC II 436 (Hadrian), RSC 1 (12frcs), BMCRE 981(Hadrian)
Scarce
2.91gms, 18mm

Lucius Ceionius Commodus, a sleek Senator from a distinguished Roman family, was plucked from obscurity by Hadrian in 136 and named as his chosen successor, with the adoptive name Lucius Aelius Caesar. The adoption was marked by the appropriate games and ceremonies, but it soon became evident the young heir was consumptive, leading Hadrian to remark that he'd blown several million sesterces to no purpose. As governor of Pannonia did Aelius no good, the wet, frigid climate worsening his condition. In January 138, Aelius died.
berserker
100_1635.JPG
140 Hadrian41 viewsSestertius, 134-8 A.D. Rome.
bare head,draped, bust l.; HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP. Rv. Togate emperor standing l. receiving Achaea who kneels before him, vase between them; RESTITVTORI ACHAIAE, S C in ex. RIC 938; BMC 1783(same obv. die ?); Cohen 1220

If the patina had remaind, this would be an impressive coin, I got it as is and dont know how it was cleaned, but its a good example of why patina is good.
randy h2
St.Helena.jpg
1401a, St. Helena, Augusta 8 November 324 - 328 to 330 A.D., mother of Constantine the Great96 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC 148, VF, Alexandria mint, 3.243g, 19.4mm, 165o, 327 - 328 A.D. Obverse: FL HELENA AVGVSTA, diademed and mantled bust right wearing double necklace; Reverse: SECVRITAS REIPVBLICE, Securitas holding branch downward in right and lifting fold of robe in left, wreath left, I right, SMAL in exergue; rare.

The mother of Constantine the Great, born about the middle of the third century, possibly in Drepanum (later known as Helenopolis) on the Nicomedian Gulf; died about 330. She was of humble parentage; St. Ambrose, in his "Oratio de obitu Theodosii", referred to her as a stabularia, or inn-keeper. Nevertheless, she became the lawful wife of Constantius Chlorus. Her first and only son, Constantine, was born in Naissus in Upper Moesia, in the year 274. The statement made by English chroniclers of the Middle Ages, according to which Helena was supposed to have been the daughter of a British prince, is entirely without historical foundation. It may arise from the misinterpretation of a term used in the fourth chapter of the panegyric on Constantine's marriage with Fausta, that Constantine, oriendo (i. e., "by his beginnings," "from the outset") had honoured Britain, which was taken as an allusion to his birth, whereas the reference was really to the beginning of his reign.

On the death of Constantius Chlorus, in 308, Constantine, who succeeded him, summoned his mother to the imperial court, conferred on her the title of Augusta, ordered that all honour should be paid her as the mother of the sovereign, and had coins struck bearing her effigy. Her son's influence caused her to embrace Christianity after his victory over Maxentius. This is directly attested by Eusebius (Vita Constantini, III, xlvii): "She (his mother) became under his (Constantine's) influence such a devout servant of God, that one might believe her to have been from her very childhood a disciple of the Redeemer of mankind". It is also clear from the declaration of the contemporary historian of the Church that Helena, from the time of her conversion had an earnestly Christian life and by her influence and liberality favoured the wider spread of Christianity. Tradition links her name with the building of Christian churches in the cities of the West, where the imperial court resided, notably at Rome and Trier, and there is no reason for rejecting this tradition, for we know positively through Eusebius that Helena erected churches on the hallowed spots of Palestine. Despite her advanced age she undertook a journey to Palestine when Constantine, through his victory over Licinius, had become sole master of the Roman Empire, subsequently, therefore, to the year 324. It was in Palestine, as we learn from Eusebius (loc. cit., xlii), that she had resolved to bring to God, the King of kings, the homage and tribute of her devotion. She lavished on that land her bounties and good deeds, she "explored it with remarkable discernment", and "visited it with the care and solicitude of the emperor himself". Then, when she "had shown due veneration to the footsteps of the Saviour", she had two churches erected for the worship of God: one was raised in Bethlehem near the Grotto of the Nativity, the other on the Mount of the Ascension, near Jerusalem. She also embellished the sacred grotto with rich ornaments. This sojourn in Jerusalem proved the starting-point of the legend first recorded by Rufinus as to the discovery of the Cross of Christ.

Constantine I, in 327, improved Drepanum, his mother's native town, and decreed that it should be called Helenopolis, it is probable that the latter returned from Palestine to her son who was then residing in the Orient. Constantine was with her when she died, at the advanced age of eighty years or thereabouts (Eusebius, "Vita Const.", III, xlvi). This must have been about the year 330, for the last coins which are known to have been stamped with her name bore this date. Her body was brought to Constantinople and laid to rest in the imperial vault of the church of the Apostles. It is presumed that her remains were transferred in 849 to the Abbey of Hautvillers, in the French Archdiocese of Reims, as recorded by the monk Altmann in his "Translatio". She was revered as a saint, and the veneration spread, early in the ninth century, even to Western countries. Her feast falls on 18 August.

(See The Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07202b.htm)

Cleisthenes
CrispusRIC17.jpg
1404a, Crispus, Caesar 317 - 326 A.D. 38 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC 17, aEF, Cyzicus mint, 3.196g, 19.9mm, 315o, 321 - 324 A.D.; Obverse: D N FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: IOVI CONSERVATORI, Jupiter standing left holding Victory on globe in right and scepter in left, eagle with wreath in beak to left, X / IIG and captive right, SMKD in exergue; scarce (RIC R3). Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis;
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families

Crispus Caesar (317-326 A.D.)

Hans Pohlsander
SUNY Albany

Crispus was the oldest son of the emperor Constantine I and played a fairly important role in the political and military events of the early fourth century. The regular form of his full name is Flavius Iulius Crispus, although the forms Flavius Claudius Crispus and Flavius Valerius Crispus also occur. His mother was a woman named Minervina, with whom Constantine had a relationship, probably illegitimate, before he married Fausta in 307. When Minervina died or when Constantine put her aside we do not know. Nor do we know when she gave birth to Crispus; we may assume, of course, that it was before 307. Some modern authorities, on good grounds, think that it was in 305. Crispus' place of birth must have been somewhere in the East, and it is not known when he was brought to Gaul and when, where, or under what circumstances he was separated from his mother.

Constantine entrusted the education of his son to the distinguished Christian scholar Lactantius, thereby giving a clear sign of his commitment to Christianity. We are not told when Lactantius assumed his duties, but a date before 317 seems likely. Nor do we know how successful he was in instilling Christian beliefs and values in his imperial pupil. No later than January of 322 Crispus must have married a woman named Helena -- not to be confused with Constantine's mother or daughter by the same name- and this woman bore him a child in October of 322. Constantine, we learn, was pleased.

Crispus' official career began at an early age and is well documented. On March 1 of 317, at Serdica (modern Sofia), his father appointed him Caesar. The consulship was his three times, in 318, 321, and 324. While nominally in charge of Gaul, with a prefect at his side, he successfully undertook military operations against the Franks and Alamanni in 320 and 323.

In 324, during the second war between Constantine and Licinius, he excelled as commander of Constantine's fleet in the waters of the Hellespont, the Propontis, and the Bosporus, thus making a significant contribution to the outcome of that war. The high points of his career are amply reflected in the imperial coinage. In addition to coins, we have his portrait, with varying degrees of certainty, in a number of sculptures, mosaics, cameos, etc. Contemporary authors heap praises upon him. Thus the panegyrist Nazarius speaks of Crispus' "magnificent deeds," and Eusebius calls him "an emperor most dear to God and in all regards comparable to his father."

Crispus' end was as tragic as his career had been brilliant. His own father ordered him to be put to death. We know the year of this sad event, 326, from the Consularia Constantinopolitana, and the place, Pola in Istria, from Ammianus Marcellinus. The circumstances, however, are less clear. Zosimus (6th c.) and Zonaras (12th c.) both report that Crispus and his stepmother Fausta were involved in an illicit relationship. There may be as much gossip as fact in their reports, but it is certain that at some time during the same year the emperor ordered the death of his own wife as well, and the two cases must be considered together. That Crispus and Fausta plotted treason is reported by Gregory of Tours, but not very believable. We must resolutely reject the claim of Zosimus that it was Constantine's sense of guilt over these deeds which caused him to accept Christianity, as it alone promised him forgiveness for his sins. A similar claim had already been made by Julian the Apostate. We must also, I think, reject the suggestion of Guthrie that the emperor acted in the interest of "dynastic legitimacy," that is, that he removed his illegitimate first-born son in order to secure the succession for his three legitimate younger sons. But Crispus must have committed, or at least must have been suspected of having committed, some especially shocking offense to earn him a sentence of death from his own father. He also suffered damnatio memoriae, his honor was never restored, and history has not recorded the fate of his wife and his child (or children).

Copyright (C) 1997, Hans A. Pohlsander. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis;An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families:
http://www.roman-emperors.org/crispus.htm


What If?

St. Nectarios, in his book, The Ecumenical Synods, writes "Hellenism spread by Alexander paved the way for Christianity by Emperor Constantine the Great."

Constantine's upward gaze on his "Eyes to Heaven" coins recall the coin portraits of Alexander the Great (namely coins struck by the Diodochi), which served as prototypes for the divine ruler portraiture of much of the Hellenistic age. The diadem, of which this is the most elaborate type, was adopted by Constantine and the members of his house as a new symbol of sovereignty.

In the Greek Orthodox Church, Constantine the Great is revered as a Saint.

Is it just possible? Constantine, knowing what happened (or thinking that he does) to Phillip II of Macedon—assassinated on the eve of his greatness, in a plot that most likely involved his wife—and possibly his son. . . isn’t it just possible that Constantine is growing obsessively jealous of his ever more successful and adulated son? Imagine the Constantine who has proven time and again (think: Licinius) that he is a completely self-serving liar and a murderer, decides to murder again? Why "must we resolutely reject the claim of Zosimus that it was Constantine's sense of guilt over these deeds which caused him to accept Christianity, as it alone promised him forgiveness for his sins [?] (see: above). A similar claim had already been made by Julian the [Philosopher]."

Perhaps it is time to cease being apologists for the sometime megalomaniacal Constantine. As Michael Grant notes, "It is a mocking travesty of justice to call such a murderer Constantine the Great . . ." (Grant, Michael. The Emperor Constantine. London: Phoenix Press, 1998. 226).


Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


Cleisthenes
crispus_votV.jpg
1404b, Crispus, Caesar 317 - 326 A.D. (Thessalonica)35 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC 118, VF, Thessalonica mint, 2.740g, 18.0mm, 180o, 320 - 321 A.D. Obverse: FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust left; Reverse: CAESARVM NOSTRORVM, VOT V in wreath, TSDVI in exergue.

Flavius Julius Crispus was the son of Constantine I by his first wife. A brilliant soldier, Crispus was well loved by all until 326 A.D., when Constantine had him executed. It is said that Fausta, Crispus stepmother, anxious to secure the succession for her own sons falsely accused Crispus of raping her. Constantine, learning of Fausta`s treachery, had her executed too.


De Imperatoribus Romanis;
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families

Crispus Caesar (317-326 A.D.)

Hans Pohlsander
SUNY Albany

Crispus was the oldest son of the emperor Constantine I and played a fairly important role in the political and military events of the early fourth century. The regular form of his full name is Flavius Iulius Crispus, although the forms Flavius Claudius Crispus and Flavius Valerius Crispus also occur. His mother was a woman named Minervina, with whom Constantine had a relationship, probably illegitimate, before he married Fausta in 307. When Minervina died or when Constantine put her aside we do not know. Nor do we know when she gave birth to Crispus; we may assume, of course, that it was before 307. Some modern authorities, on good grounds, think that it was in 305. Crispus' place of birth must have been somewhere in the East, and it is not known when he was brought to Gaul and when, where, or under what circumstances he was separated from his mother.

Constantine entrusted the education of his son to the distinguished Christian scholar Lactantius, thereby giving a clear sign of his commitment to Christianity. We are not told when Lactantius assumed his duties, but a date before 317 seems likely. Nor do we know how successful he was in instilling Christian beliefs and values in his imperial pupil. No later than January of 322 Crispus must have married a woman named Helena -- not to be confused with Constantine's mother or daughter by the same name- and this woman bore him a child in October of 322. Constantine, we learn, was pleased.

Crispus' official career began at an early age and is well documented. On March 1 of 317, at Serdica (modern Sofia), his father appointed him Caesar. The consulship was his three times, in 318, 321, and 324. While nominally in charge of Gaul, with a prefect at his side, he successfully undertook military operations against the Franks and Alamanni in 320 and 323.

In 324, during the second war between Constantine and Licinius, he excelled as commander of Constantine's fleet in the waters of the Hellespont, the Propontis, and the Bosporus, thus making a significant contribution to the outcome of that war. The high points of his career are amply reflected in the imperial coinage. In addition to coins, we have his portrait, with varying degrees of certainty, in a number of sculptures, mosaics, cameos, etc. Contemporary authors heap praises upon him. Thus the panegyrist Nazarius speaks of Crispus' "magnificent deeds," and Eusebius calls him "an emperor most dear to God and in all regards comparable to his father."

Crispus' end was as tragic as his career had been brilliant. His own father ordered him to be put to death. We know the year of this sad event, 326, from the Consularia Constantinopolitana, and the place, Pola in Istria, from Ammianus Marcellinus. The circumstances, however, are less clear. Zosimus (6th c.) and Zonaras (12th c.) both report that Crispus and his stepmother Fausta were involved in an illicit relationship. There may be as much gossip as fact in their reports, but it is certain that at some time during the same year the emperor ordered the death of his own wife as well, and the two cases must be considered together. That Crispus and Fausta plotted treason is reported by Gregory of Tours, but not very believable. We must resolutely reject the claim of Zosimus that it was Constantine's sense of guilt over these deeds which caused him to accept Christianity, as it alone promised him forgiveness for his sins. A similar claim had already been made by Julian the Apostate. We must also, I think, reject the suggestion of Guthrie that the emperor acted in the interest of "dynastic legitimacy," that is, that he removed his illegitimate first-born son in order to secure the succession for his three legitimate younger sons. But Crispus must have committed, or at least must have been suspected of having committed, some especially shocking offense to earn him a sentence of death from his own father. He also suffered damnatio memoriae, his honor was never restored, and history has not recorded the fate of his wife and his child (or children).

Copyright (C) 1997, Hans A. Pohlsander. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis;An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families:
http://www.roman-emperors.org/crispus.htm


What If?

St. Nectarios, in his book, The Ecumenical Synods, writes "Hellenism spread by Alexander paved the way for Christianity by Emperor Constantine the Great."

Constantine's upward gaze on his "Eyes to Heaven" coins recall the coin portraits of Alexander the Great (namely coins struck by the Diodochi), which served as prototypes for the divine ruler portraiture of much of the Hellenistic age. The diadem, of which this is the most elaborate type, was adopted by Constantine and the members of his house as a new symbol of sovereignty.

In the Greek Orthodox Church, Constantine the Great is revered as a Saint.

Is it just possible? Constantine, knowing what happened (or thinking that he does) to Phillip II of Macedon—assassinated on the eve of his greatness, in a plot that most likely involved his wife—and possibly his son. . . isn’t it just possible that Constantine is growing obsessively jealous of his ever more successful and adulated son? Imagine the Constantine who has proven time and again (think: Licinius) that he is a completely self-serving liar and a murderer, decides to murder again? Why "must we resolutely reject the claim of Zosimus that it was Constantine's sense of guilt over these deeds which caused him to accept Christianity, as it alone promised him forgiveness for his sins [?] (see: above). A similar claim had already been made by Julian the [Philosopher]."

Perhaps it is time to cease being apologists for the sometime megalomaniacal Constantine. As Michael Grant notes, "It is a mocking travesty of justice to call such a murderer Constantine the Great . . ." (Grant, Michael. The Emperor Constantine. London: Phoenix Press, 1998. 226).


Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
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.




2 commentsCleisthenes
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
image~3.jpg
15. Constans II44 viewsConstans II. 641-668.
AV Solidus (10mm, 4.43 g, 6h).
Carthage mint. Dated IY 2 (AD 643/4).
Crowned and draped facing bust, holding globus cruciger / Cross potent set on three steps; ΔB (date)//CONOB.
DOC 107.2; MIB 566; SB 1029. Good VF, lightly toned.
From the Sasha Collection.
Ex-CNG
2 commentsSosius
Constans_II_Solidus.jpg
15. Constans II with Constantine IV8 viewsConstans II, with Constantine IV.
641-668.
AV Solidus (19mm, 4.32 g, 7h).
Constantinople mint, 10th officina. Struck 654-659.

O: ∂ N CONSτA τINЧS C CONSτA, crowned and draped busts facing; cross between

R: VICTORIA AVςЧ, cross potent set on three steps; I//CONOB. DOC 25j; MIB 26; SB 959.

Good VF, graffiti on the reverse.

Ex CNG
Sosius
100_6349.JPG
150 Antoninus Pius107 viewsAntoninus Pius AE Dupondius. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P, radiate head right / COS IIII S-C, Salus standing left feeding snake arising from altar to left & holding rudder to right.
Cohen 279 B.M.C. 1732 RIC 798, sear5 #4269 26mm 139 A.D.

Finally got a photo of my own that looked good enough lol.Took over a year but got it!


In 139A.D.
"The Tomb of Hadrian in Rome is completed, emperor Antoninus Pius cremates the body of Hadrian and placed his ashes together with that of his wife Vibia Sabina and his adopted son, Lucius Aelius in the mausoleum.
Marcus Aurelius is named Caesar. He marries Faustina the Younger, daughter of Antoninus Pius."
8 commentsRandygeki(h2)
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
JAMES_VI_AE_HARDHEAD.JPG
1567 - 1625, JAMES VI (James I of England), Billon Hardhead (Twopence) struck in 1588 at Edinburgh, Scotland2 viewsObverse: •IACOB•6•D•G•R•SCOTO•. Crown above IR within inner circle of pellets. Quatrefoil mintmark in legend.
Reverse: •VINCIT•VERITAS• Crowned lion rampant facing left, two pellets (mark of value = twopence) behind, all within inner circle of pellets. Quatrefoil mintmark in legend.
Second issue, November 1588.
Diameter: 21mm | Weight: 1.2gms | Die Axis: 3
SPINK: 5518

James VI issued billon and copper coins in much smaller quantities than that of previous monarchs, none at all being struck during the first sixteen years of his reign. After his accession to the English throne, James established a currency of similar weight and fineness in both countries although a 12:1 ratio between the Scottish and English denominations was still maintained.

James VI acceded to the throne of Scotland when only 1 year old on his mother’s abdication in 1567. A council of regency was established and his good education was largely due to George Buchanan. He married Anne of Denmark in 1589. The death of Elizabeth I left James as her nearest heir and he inherited the throne of England in 1603 and ruled both England and Scotland until his death in 1625. Following the gunpowder plot of 1605 James ordered severe sanctions against Roman Catholic priests and it was during his reign that the King James, or ‘authorised’ version of the Bible, still used today, was first published.

*Alex
divomaurel_RIC661(Comm).jpg
161-180 AD - MARCUS AURELIUS AE sestertius - struck 180 AD65 viewsobv: DIVVS M ANTONINVS PIVS (Marcus Autrelius bare head right)
rev: CONSECRATIO (Statue of Aurelius in quadriga drawn by elephants), S-C in ex.
ref: RIC III 661 (Commodus), Cohen 95 (30 frcs)
18.31gms, 28mm
Very rare

The last ’Good Emperor’, Marcus Aurelius died at a military encampment at Bononia on the Danube on 17 March 180, possibly of the plague, leaving the Roman Empire to his nineteen-year-old son. Upon hearing of his father's death, Commodus made preparations for Marcus' funeral, made concessions to the northern tribes, and made haste to return back to Rome in order to enjoy peace after nearly two decades of war.
1 commentsberserker
RI_170cu_img.jpg
170 - Constantius II - AE3 - Barbarous imitation of Falling Horseman41 viewsObv:- CONSTANTIVS AVG, Pearl diaidemed, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev:– FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Helmeted soldier left, shield on left arm, spearing falling horseman; shield at ground to right. Horseman turns to face the soldier, and reaches his left arm up towards him. He is bare headed
Copies a coin minted in Cyzicus (//SMK)

2.07 gms. 19.16 gms.

Remarkably good style.
3 commentsmaridvnvm
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
1713_ANNE_FARTHING.JPG
1713 Anne AE Pattern Farthing5 viewsObverse: ANNA DEI GRATIA. Draped bust of Anne facing left.
Reverse: BRITANNIA • 1713 •. Britannia seated facing left, left arm holding spear and resting on shield, raised right hand holding olive-branch; exergue blank.
Diameter: 22mm on thick flan. | Weight: 5.1gms. | Die axis: 6h
PATTERN - EXTREMELY RARE

All of Anne's farthings are patterns, no farthings were issued for general circulation during her reign. The portrait of Anne on this example was designed by John Coker (1670 - 1741). Coker joined the Royal Mint in 1697 and became chief engraver there in 1705.

Although Anne farthings are generally very rare, there are at least six distinct pattern varieties known to exist and there is one variety, dated 1714, of which, according to Peck, between 300 and 500 coins may have been produced. The fact that such a large number of these farthings were released in the last year of Anne's reign may be because the type was about to be produced for general circulation at the time of Anne's death on the 1st of August. Sir Isaac Newton was Master of the Mint, and he had high ideals about the quality of the coinage, and the Anne farthing is certainly vastly superior in striking and design to the pieces of William III. The old figure of Britannia used since Charles II's time was discarded in favour of a sharper high relief design in which the bare leg on the former figure of Britannia is covered up, reportedly on the orders of the Queen.
All the other farthing varieties are certainly patterns, and were never struck as currency for circulation.

This particular coin is of good weight and metal and it appears to be a die match for another Anne pattern farthing, in this instance struck in silver, which was sold at the 12th September 2011 Heritage Long Beach Signature World & Ancient Coins Auction. It was Lot 27289 and, for comparison purposes, I have illustrated it below.
*Alex
1794_Chichester___Portsmouth_Halfpenny.JPG
1794 AE Halfpenny Token. Chichester and Portsmouth, Sussex.29 viewsObverse: IOHN HOWARD F•R•S PHILANTHROPIST•. Bust of John Howard facing left.
Reverse: CHICHESTER AND PORTSMOUTH • / HALFPENNY; Arms of the town of Portsmouth; the sun and moon over a triple-towered castle, with the arms of Chichester above the gateway below the central tower, 1794 in exergue.
Edge: PAYABLE AT SHARPS PORTSMOUTH AND CHALDECOTTS CHICHESTER.
Diameter 29mm | Die Axis 12
Dalton & Hamer: 19

This token was probably manufactured by Peter Kempson in Birmingham and the dies were engraved by Thomas Wyon. The issuers of this token were John Chaldecott, a silversmith and cutler in Chichester and Thomas Sharp, a mercer in Portsmouth. Chaldecott was also a partner in the Chichester Old Bank and the Portsmouth, Portsea and Hampshire Bank. The two men were probably relations or close friends and they issued joint tokens in both Portsmouth and Chichester in the 18th century.

This token was struck in the name of John Howard who was born in Lower Clapton, London the son of a wealthy upholsterer. After the death of his father in 1742, he received a sizeable inheritance. Since he was wealthy and had no true vocation, in 1748 Howard left England and began to travel. However, while in Hanover he was captured by French privateers and imprisoned. It was this experience that made him consider the conditions in which prisoners were held.
In 1758 Howard returned to England and settled in Cardington, Bedfordshire. As a landowner he was philanthropic and enlightened, ensuring that his estate housing was of good standard and that the poor houses under his management were well run.
In 1773 he became High Sheriff of Bedfordshire. On his appointment he began a tour of English prisons which led to two Acts of Parliament in 1774, making gaolers salaried officers and setting standards of cleanliness.
In April 1777, Howard's sister died leaving him £15,000 and her house. He used this inheritance and the revenue from the sale of her house to further his work on prisons. In 1778 he was examined by the House of Commons, who were this time inquiring into prison ships, or “hulks”. Two days after giving evidence, he was again travelling Europe, beginning in the Dutch Republic.
His final journey took him into Eastern Europe and Russia. Whilst at Kherson, in what is now Ukraine, Howard contracted typhus on a prison visit and died. He was buried on the shores of the Black Sea in a walled field at Dophinovka (Stepanovka), Ukraine. Despite requesting a quiet funeral without pomp and ceremony, the event was elaborate and attended by the Prince of Moldovia.
Howard became the first civilian to be honoured with a statue in St Paul's Cathedral, London. A statue was also erected in Bedford, and another one in Kherson. John Howard's bust can still be seen as a feature in the architecture of a number of Victorian prisons across the UK.
*Alex
1795_John_Howard_Halfpenny.JPG
1795 AE Halfpenny, Portsmouth, Hampshire.71 viewsObverse: IOHN HOWARD F.R.S. PHILANTHROPIST •. Bust of John Howard facing left.
Reverse: RULE BRITANNIA. Britannia facing left, seated on globe, her right hand holding spear, her left arm holding laurel-branch and resting on shield at her side; in exergue, 1795.
Edge: “CURRENT EVERY WHERE ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦”
Diameter: 29mm
Dalton & Hamer: 57b

The dies for this token were likely engraved by Thomas Wyon and it was probably manufactured by Peter Kempson at his mint in Birmingham.
The Fitzwilliam Museum regards Liverpool as an alternative possibility for the place of issue.
These 18th century tokens are often generically referred to as “Conder” tokens, the name originating from James Conder, a linen draper from Tavern Street in Ipswich. Conder was an ardent collector of tokens and the author of the standard work on the subject until it was superseded by that of Atkins in 1892.

John Howard was born in Lower Clapton, London the son of a wealthy upholsterer. After the death of his father in 1742, he received a sizeable inheritance. Since he was wealthy and had no true vocation, in 1748 Howard left England and began to travel. However, while in Hanover he was captured by French privateers and imprisoned. It was this experience that made him consider the conditions in which prisoners were held.
In 1758 Howard returned to England and settled in Cardington, Bedfordshire. As a landowner he was philanthropic and enlightened, ensuring that his estate housing was of good standard and that the poor houses under his management were well run.
In 1773 he became High Sheriff of Bedfordshire. On his appointment he began a tour of English prisons which led to two Acts of Parliament in 1774, making gaolers salaried officers and setting standards of cleanliness.
In April 1777, Howard's sister died leaving him £15,000 and her house. He used this inheritance and the revenue from the sale of her house to further his work on prisons. In 1778 he was examined by the House of Commons, who were this time inquiring into prison ships, or “hulks”. Two days after giving evidence, he was again travelling Europe, beginning in the Dutch Republic.
His final journey took him into Eastern Europe and Russia. Whilst at Kherson, in what is now Ukraine, Howard contracted typhus on a prison visit and died. He was buried on the shores of the Black Sea in a walled field at Dophinovka (Stepanovka), Ukraine. Despite requesting a quiet funeral without pomp and ceremony, the event was elaborate and attended by the Prince of Moldovia.
Howard became the first civilian to be honoured with a statue in St Paul's Cathedral, London. A statue was also erected in Bedford, and another one in Kherson. John Howard's bust can still be seen as a feature in the architecture of a number of Victorian prisons across the UK.
*Alex
1813_PENNY_TOKEN.JPG
1813 AE Penny, Hull, Yorkshire.32 viewsObverse: VIMIERA•TALAVERA•BADAJOZ•SALAMANCA•VITTORIA •. Bust of Duke of Wellington facing left.
Reverse: ONE PENNY TOKEN. Britannia seated on shield facing left, holding olive branch in her right hand and trident in left; 1813 in exergue.
Edge: Centre Grained.
Diameter 34mm
Withers:1507 | Davis Yorkshire No: 93 | Charlton No: WE-12
VERY RARE.

The inscription on the obverse of this token is a list of battles fought in the Peninsular War. The dies were engraved by Thomas Halliday (c.1780 – 1854) and the token was manufactured by Edward Thomason. The type was one of several issued by J.K.Picard in his “Peninsular” series which were struck for use by the Duke of Wellington's army in Portugal and Spain. These tokens bear the portrait of Wellington, who was a good friend of the Prince Regent, the future George IV, on the obverse.

This token was issued by John Kirby Picard, the owner of the Hull Lead Works. Picard spent a lot of his time in London and became friendly with the Prince of Wales' circle of aquaintances. He gambled heavily, and became bankrupt in 1827 after eventually gambling his fortune away. He died in reduced circumstances in 1843.
*Alex
1813_STOCKTON_PENNY_TOKEN_.JPG
1813 AE Penny, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham.36 viewsObverse: CHRISTOPHER & JENNETT * STOCKTON *, incuse letters on a raised rim. View of the bridge over the Tees being crossed by several small figures including a rider on horse, rowing boat containing two figures in river below; in field above, TEES; in field below, 1813.
Reverse: BRITANNIA * ONE PENNY TOKEN *, incuse letters on a raised rim. Britannia seated facing left on shield, holding olive branch and trident, small ship in left background at her feet.
Edge: Centre-grained.
Diameter 34mm | Weight 19.7gms
Davis:6 | Withers:1109

The die engraver for this token was Peter Wyon. It was issued by Robert Christopher & Thomas Jennett who were booksellers and printers in Stockton, they were also the Stockton agents for the Sun Fire Office.
Jennett was Christopher's apprentice and on the completion of his indentures, he was taken into partnership. Matching the high standards of his companion, Jennett became well known and much respected, growing to be a man of power and influence. He became a magistrate and was mayor of Stockton three times.

The bridge shown on this token was the first bridge to serve the growing town of Stockton, it was a five arch stone bridge which was completed in 1769. Before the existence of the bridge at this location, the only way of crossing the Tees was by the Bishop’s Ferry. The bridge was subject to rent to the Bishop of Durham and the costs of building it had to be repaid, so a system of tolls was charged. These were supposed to be abolished as soon as the debt was cleared, but they remained in place until, in 1819, the local people took the law into their own hands, throwing two of the bridge gates into the river and burning the third gate in the High Street. Although the bridge was good news for Stockton’s business, it had a devastating impact on Yarm. As ships were growing in size at this time, the building of the bridge prevented many ships reaching Yarm because they were unable to navigate further up the river. This only heightened shipping in Stockton and affirmed its place as the main port on the Tees before the 1800s. The bridge also halted Yarm’s shipbuilding industry and, since Stockton was unaffected, yards sprang up east of the bridge towards the sea. By 1876 the old bridge was inadequate and in 1881 work was begun on a new bridge. This new bridge, named the ‘Victoria Bridge’ in recognition of Queen Victoria, was opened in 1887 and the old stone bridge was demolished.
*Alex
EdwardVIICoronationMedal.JPG
1902. Edward VII and Alexandra, Coronation Medal.81 viewsObv. Crowned and robed bust of Edward VII to right, resting on a wreath. EDWARD VII CROWNED 9 AUGUST 1902
Rev. Crowned, veiled and robed bust of Alexandra to right, resting on wreath, unfurled scroll to lower right. ALEXANDRA QUEEN CONSORT, 9 AUGUST 1902 on wreath.
AE55, in original case of issue.

My favourite King of England, known as the Peacemaker. Also fond of good food and women.
LordBest
George_5_KN_Penny_1918.JPG
1918 "KN" GEORGE V "Large head" AE Penny7 viewsObverse: GEORGIVS V DEI GRA:BRITT:OMN:REX FID:DEF:IND:IMP: . Bare head of George V facing left.
Reverse: ONE PENNY. Britannia seated facing right, right hand resting on shield, left hand holding trident; 1918 and small "KN" (for Kings Norton) in exergue.
SPINK: 4053
VERY RARE

George V's portrait was designed by Bertram Mackennal (1863 - 1931), this is marked by a small "BM" on the King's neck.

The “King's Norton Metal Company” (King's Norton being an area south of central Birmingham) was registered as a Limited Company in 1890 and was a general manufacturer of small metal goods. Minting did not become part of its business until 1912 when the Royal Mint placed an order for bronze blanks which were then used to strike coins. Minting was only a sideline part of the business and the company only struck coins for Britain in 1918 and 1919 after being awarded with a contract to strike George V Pennies. The pennies struck by the Kings Norton Metal Company can be identified by a small “KN” next to the date on the reverse.
*Alex
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
dime_1929_dr-martin_obv_03_rev_02.JPG
1929 Dime - Dark Toning7 views~
~~
USA, 1929 'Mercury Dime'. Struck at the Philadelphia Mint in Pennsylvania.
A gift from an elderly man I worked for who collected coins and was a professor of the classics at Princeton University. You can see quite a bit of good detail on this coin remaining, the dark toning kinda makes it less noticeable, but I really like this little guy!
~~
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rexesq
dime_1929_dr-martin_obv_02_rev_01_a.JPG
1929 Dime - Dark Toning5 views~
~~
USA, 1929 'Mercury Dime'. Struck at the Philadelphia Mint in Pennsylvania.
A gift from an elderly man I worked for who collected coins and was a professor of the classics at Princeton University. You can see quite a bit of good detail on this coin remaining, the dark toning kinda makes it less noticeable, but I really like this little guy!
~~
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rexesq
h3.jpg
1929J ALEXIUS AE TETARTERON S-1929 DOC 38 CLBC 2.4.5 Imitation 37 viewsOBV Bust of Christ, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds gospels open in l. hand. Pellet in each limb of nimbus cross.

REV. Bust facing wearing stemma, divitision, and chlamys; holds in r. hand scepter cruciger, and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 20mm

Weight 2.5gm

This is a regional 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 9 examples with weight s running from 1.82gm to 5.10gm and size from 18mm to 22mm

This is a strange example, Alexius side fits the norm a bit cruder but with good detail, the Christ side lacks the book and Christ's blessing. Imitations of this particular type of coin were created well into the 14th century. This coin was a very recent find in Paphos Cyprus.
Simon
1932.jpg
1932 ALEXIUS AE HALF TETARTERON S-1932 DOC 45 CLBC 2.4.8 21 viewsOBV Patriarchal cross on two steps.

REV Bust of emperor wearing stemma divitision and jeweled loros and in r. hand holding jeweled scepter and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 15.81mm

Weight 2.0gm

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.The half tetartera at 1/1728 Hyperpyron. These coins are much more common than Metropolitan coins and very abundant in today’s marketplace.

DOC lists 42 examples with weights ranging from .59gm to 3.22gm and sizes ranging from 13mm to 18mm

I have many of these coins that very much vary in their design, I do not believe these coins came from one mint but many different mints. The cross design changes in many different ways. This is an easy coin to acquire, the trick is finding the nice ones and with a denomination so small little effort was put into minting perfect coins. This example has good relief on both sides but the Globus Cruciger is missing due to an imperfect strike. I believe this one by style alone to be minted in Thessalonica.
Simon
s-1932c.jpg
1932A ALEXIUS AE HALF TETARTERON S-1932 DOC 45 CLBC 2.4.8 15 viewsOBV Patriarchal cross on two steps.

REV Bust of emperor wearing stemma divitision and jeweled loros and in r. hand holding jeweled scepter and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 13mm

Weight 2.09gm

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.The half tetartera at 1/1728 Hyperpyron. These coins are much more common than Metropolitan coins and very abundant in today’s marketplace.

DOC lists 42 examples with weights ranging from .59gm to 3.22gm and sizes ranging from 13mm to 18mm

This is an easy coin to acquire, the trick is finding the nice ones and with a denomination so small little effort was put into minting perfect coins. This example has good relief on both sides , it is a thicker but smaller in size version, I believe this example to be from the Thessalonica mint.
Simon
s-1934xc.jpg
1934C ALEXIUS AE HALF TETARTERON S-1934 DOC 44 CLBC 2.4.10 45 viewsOBV Bust of Virgin wearing tunic and maphorion

REV Bust of emperor wearing stemma, divitision, and chlamys; holds in r. hand labarum onlong shaft and in l. Globus crucifer.

Size 16.34mm

Weight 3.00gm

This coin and S-1933 I believe were minted in Cyprus, these coins were once very rare but recently they have been hitting the market much more frequently. Most of these offerings are coming from Cyprus dealers.

DOC lists 2 examples with weight ranging from 1.57 gm to 2.15gm and both are sized at 16mm

This example is a good very fine, my best example.
Simon
s-1976c.jpg
1976b MANUEL AE TETARTERON S-1976 DOC 19 CLBC 4.4.6 13 viewsOBV Radiate cross on three steps.

REV. Half-length figure of emperor, bearded, wearing stemma, divitision, collar piece, and jeweled loros of a simplified type; holds in r. hand labarum on laft shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 22.93mm

Weight 3.5gm

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

Good example
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
1979.jpg
1979s MANUEL AE HALF TETARTERON S-1979 DOC 22 CLBC 4.4.11 24 viewsOBV Large, often ill formed letters

REV Bust of emperor, beardless, wearing stemma, divitision, collar piece ( Most frequently decorated with 6 jewels) and paneled loros of simplified type; holds in r. hand labarum on long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 17.33mm

Weight 2.59 gm

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.The half tetartera at 1/1728 Hyperpyron. These coins are much more common than Metropolitan coins and very abundant in today’s marketplace.

This coin is good Very fine, lightly circulated. I believe this to be a perfect example.

DOC lists 27 examples with weights ranging from 1.10gm to 2.96 gm with sizes from 14mm to 18mm.
Simon
Manlia4.jpg
1aa Reign of SVLLA23 viewsL Manlivs, moneyer
82-72 BC

Denarius

Head of Roma, right, MANLI before, PRO Q behind
Sulla in walking quadriga, crowned by Victory, L SVLLA IM in ex.

Seaby, Manlia 4

Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (c. 138 BC – 78 BC) was a Roman general and conservative statesman. He had the distinction of holding the office of consul twice, as well as reviving the dictatorship. Sulla was awarded a grass crown, the most prestigious and rarest Roman military honor, during the Social War. He was the first man to lead an army to Rome to settle a political dispute, in this case with Marius. In late 81 BC, he stunned the world by resigning his near-absolute powers, restoring constitutional government. After seeing election to and holding a second consulship, he retired to private life and died shortly after.

As to the person, Plutarch wrote: LUCIUS Cornelius Sylla was descended of a patrician or noble family. . . . His general personal appearance may be known by his statues; only his blue, eyes, of themselves extremely keen and glaring, were rendered all the more forbidding and terrible by the complexion of his face, in which white was mixed with rough blotches of fiery red. . . . And when supreme master of all, he was often wont to muster together the most impudent players and stage-followers of the town, and to drink and bandy jests with them without regard to his age or the dignity of his place, and to the prejudice of important affairs that required his attention. When he was once at table, it was not in Sylla's nature to admit of anything that was serious, and whereas at other times he was a man of business and austere of countenance, he underwent all of a sudden, at his first entrance upon wine and good-fellowship, a total revolution, and was gentle and tractable with common singers and dancers, and ready to oblige any one that spoke with him. It seems to have been a sort of diseased result of this laxity that he was so prone to amorous pleasures, and yielded without resistance to any temptation of voluptuousness, from which even in his old age he could not refrain. He had a long attachment for Metrobius, a player. In his first amours, it happened that he made court to a common but rich lady, Nicopolis by name, and what by the air of his youth, and what by long intimacy, won so far on her affections, that she rather than he was the lover, and at her death she bequeathed him her whole property. He likewise inherited the estate of a step-mother who loved him as her own son. By these means he had pretty well advanced his fortunes. . . . In general he would seem to have been of a very irregular character, full of inconsistencies with himself much given to rapine, to prodigality yet more; in promoting or disgracing whom he pleased, alike unaccountable; cringing to those he stood in need of, and domineering over others who stood in need of him, so that it was hard to tell whether his nature had more in it of pride or of servility. As to his unequal distribution of punishments, as, for example, that upon slight grounds he would put to the torture, and again would bear patiently with the greatest wrongs; would readily forgive and he reconciled after the most heinous acts of enmity, and yet would visit small and inconsiderable offences with death and confiscation of goods; one might judge that in himself he was really of a violent and revengeful nature, which, however, he could qualify, upon reflection, for his interest.
Blindado
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
PCrassusDenAmazon.jpg
1ab Marcus Licinius Crassus172 viewsFormed First Triumvirate with Caesar and Pompey in 60 BC, killed at Carrhae in Parthia in 53 BC.

Denarius, minted by son, P Licinius Crassus, ca 54 BC.
Bust of Venus, right, SC behind
Amazon with horse, P CRASSVS MF.

These coins were probably minted to pay Crassus' army for the invasion of Parthia. The reverse figure is sometimes described as a warrior or Gaulish horseman, but this example clearly accords with those who identify the figure as a woman! Member of the first triumvirate, 59-53 BC.

Seaby, Licinia 18

Plutarch wrote of Crassus: People were wont to say that the many virtues of Crassus were darkened by the one vice of avarice, and indeed he seemed to have no other but that; for it being the most predominant, obscured others to which he was inclined. The arguments in proof of his avarice were the vastness of his estate, and the manner of raising it; for whereas at first he was not worth above three hundred talents, yet, though in the course of his political life he dedicated the tenth of all he had to Hercules, and feasted the people, and gave to every citizen corn enough to serve him three months, upon casting up his accounts, before he went upon his Parthian expedition, he found his possessions to amount to seven thousand one hundred talents; most of which, if we may scandal him with a truth, he got by fire and rapine, making his advantages of the public calamities. . . . Crassus, however, was very eager to be hospitable to strangers; he kept open house, and to his friends he would lend money without interest, but called it in precisely at the time; so that his kindness was often thought worse than the paying the interest would have been. His entertainments were, for the most part, plain and citizen-like, the company general and popular; good taste and kindness made them pleasanter than sumptuosity would have done. As for learning he chiefly cared for rhetoric, and what would be serviceable with large numbers; he became one of the best speakers at Rome, and by his pains and industry outdid the best natural orators. . . . Besides, the people were pleased with his courteous and unpretending salutations and greetings, for he never met any citizen however humble and low, but he returned him his salute by name. He was looked upon as a man well-read in history, and pretty well versed in Aristotle's philosophy. . . . Crassus was killed by a Parthian, called Pomaxathres; others say by a different man, and that Pomaxathres only cut off his head and right hand after he had fallen. But this is conjecture rather than certain knowledge, for those that were by had not leisure to observe particulars. . . .
2 commentsBlindado
PCrassusDenAmazon2.jpg
1ab_2 Marcus Licinius Crassus34 viewsFormed First Triumvirate with Caesar and Pompey in 60 BC, killed at Carrhae in Parthia in 53 BC.

Denarius, minted by son, P Licinius Crassus, ca 54 BC.
Bust of Venus, right, SC behind
Amazon with horse, P CRASSVS MF.

Seaby, Licinia 18

These coins were probably minted to pay Crassus' army for the invasion of Parthia. My synthesis of reviewing 90 examples of this issue revealed a female warrior wearing a soft felt Scythian cap with ear flaps (visible in this example); a fabric garment with a decorated skirt to the knees; probably trousers; an ornate war belt; a baldric; a cape, animal skin, or shoulder cord on attached to the left shoulder; and decorated calf-high boots. She matches the historically confirmed garb of the real amazons—Scythian horsewomen—and of course holds her steed. The horse’s tack is consistent with archeological discoveries of tack in use by Scythians and Romans.

Adrienne Mayor writes that amazon imagery on Greek vases suddenly appeared in 575-550 BC, initially depicting them in Greek-style armor. By the end of the century, as the Greeks learned more through direct and indirect contact with Scythians, they began to appear wearing archeologically confirmed Scythian-Sarmatian-Thracian patterned attire. (Adrienne Mayor, The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2014, 199-200). To this, artists added their own creative ideas regarding colors, fabric patterns, and decorations. “They dressed the warrior women in body-hugging ‘unitards’ or tunics, short chitons or belted dresses, sometimes over leggings or trousers. . . . In paintings and sculpture, pointed or soft Scythian caps with earflaps or ties (kidaris) soon replaced the Greek helmets, and the women wear a variety of belts, baldrics (diagonal straps), corselets, shoulder cords or bands, and crisscrossing leather straps attached to belt loops like those worn by the archer huntress Artemis. . . . Amazon footgear included soft leather moccasin-like shoes, calf-high boots (endromides), or taller laced boots (embades) with scallops or flaps and lined with felt or fur.” (Mayor, 202)
The artists apparently had detailed knowledge of gear used by real Scythian horsewomen to equip their imagined Amazons. “Archeological discoveries of well-preserved sets of clothing confirm that real horsewomen of ancient Scythian lands dressed much as did those described in Greek texts and illustrated in Scythian and Greek artwork.” (Mayor, 203)

Plutarch wrote of Crassus: People were wont to say that the many virtues of Crassus were darkened by the one vice of avarice, and indeed he seemed to have no other but that; for it being the most predominant, obscured others to which he was inclined. The arguments in proof of his avarice were the vastness of his estate, and the manner of raising it; for whereas at first he was not worth above three hundred talents, yet, though in the course of his political life he dedicated the tenth of all he had to Hercules, and feasted the people, and gave to every citizen corn enough to serve him three months, upon casting up his accounts, before he went upon his Parthian expedition, he found his possessions to amount to seven thousand one hundred talents; most of which, if we may scandal him with a truth, he got by fire and rapine, making his advantages of the public calamities. . . . Crassus, however, was very eager to be hospitable to strangers; he kept open house, and to his friends he would lend money without interest, but called it in precisely at the time; so that his kindness was often thought worse than the paying the interest would have been. His entertainments were, for the most part, plain and citizen-like, the company general and popular; good taste and kindness made them pleasanter than sumptuosity would have done. As for learning he chiefly cared for rhetoric, and what would be serviceable with large numbers; he became one of the best speakers at Rome, and by his pains and industry outdid the best natural orators. . . . Besides, the people were pleased with his courteous and unpretending salutations and greetings, for he never met any citizen however humble and low, but he returned him his salute by name. He was looked upon as a man well-read in history, and pretty well versed in Aristotle's philosophy. . . . Crassus was killed by a Parthian, called Pomaxathres; others say by a different man, and that Pomaxathres only cut off his head and right hand after he had fallen. But this is conjecture rather than certain knowledge, for those that were by had not leisure to observe particulars. . . .
1 commentsBlindado
Cleopatra80DrachEagle.jpg
1ad Cleopatra VII55 views51-29 BC

Alexandria, 80 Drachmai

Diademed, draped bust, right, KLEOPATRAS BASILIS[SHS]
Eagle standing left on thunderbolt, cornucopia in left field, mark of value P (= 80) in right field

Svoronos 1871

Plutarch wrote: [Cleopatra] was to meet Antony in the time of life when women's beauty is most splendid, and their intellects are in full maturity. . . . She received several letters, both from Antony and from his friends, to summon her, but she took no account of these orders; and at last, as if in mockery of them, she came sailing up the river Cydnus, in a barge with gilded stern and outspread sails of purple, while oars of silver beat time to the music of flutes and fifes and harps. She herself lay all along under a canopy of cloth of gold, dressed as Venus in a picture, and beautiful young boys, like painted Cupids, stood on each side to fan her. Her maids were dressed like sea nymphs and graces, some steering at the rudder, some working at the ropes. The perfumes diffused themselves from the vessel to the shore, which was covered with multitudes, part following the galley up the river on either bank, part running out of the city to see the sight. The market-place was quite emptied, and Antony at last was left alone sitting upon the tribunal; while the word went through all the multitude, that Venus was come to feast with Bacchus, for the common good of Asia. On her arrival, Antony sent to invite her to supper. She thought it fitter he should come to her; so, willing to show his good-humour and courtesy, he complied, and went. . . . For her actual beauty, it is said, was not in itself so remarkable that none could be compared with her, or that no one could see her without being struck by it, but the contact of her presence, if you lived with her, was irresistible; the attraction of her person, joining with the charm of her conversation, and the character that attended all she said or did, was something bewitching. It was a pleasure merely to hear the sound of her voice, with which, like an instrument of many strings, she could pass from one language to another; so that there were few of the barbarian nations that she answered by an interpreter. . . .
Blindado
MarcAntDenOctavian.jpg
1ae Marc Antony and Octavian43 viewsFormed the Second Triumvirate, 43-33 BC, , along with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Antony killed himself in 30 BC.

Denarius
41 BC

Marc Antony portrait, right, M ANT IMP AVG III VIR RPCM BARBAT QP
Octavian portrait, right, CAESAR IMP PONT III VIR RPC

RSC 8

Plutarch described Antony thusly: Antony grew up a very beautiful youth, but by the worst of misfortunes, he fell into the acquaintance and friendship of Curio, a man abandoned to his pleasures, who, to make Antony's dependence upon him a matter of greater necessity, plunged him into a life of drinking and dissipation, and led him through a course of such extravagance that he ran, at that early age, into debt to the amount of two hundred and fifty talents. . . . He took most to what was called the Asiatic taste in speaking, which was then at its height, and was, in many ways, suitable to his ostentatious, vaunting temper, full of empty flourishes and unsteady efforts for glory. . . . He had also a very good and noble appearance; his beard was well grown, his forehead large, and his nose aquiline, giving him altogether a bold, masculine look that reminded people of the faces of Hercules in paintings and sculptures. It was, moreover, an ancient tradition, that the Antonys were descended from Hercules, by a son of his called Anton; and this opinion he thought to give credit to by the similarity of his person just mentioned, and also by the fashion of his dress. For, whenever he had to appear before large numbers, he wore his tunic girt low about the hips, a broadsword on his side, and over all a large coarse mantle. What might seem to some very insupportable, his vaunting, his raillery, his drinking in public, sitting down by the men as they were taking their food, and eating, as he stood, off the common soldiers' tables, made him the delight and pleasure of the army. In love affairs, also, he was very agreeable: he gained many friends by the assistance he gave them in theirs, and took other people's raillery upon his own with good-humour. And his generous ways, his open and lavish hand in gifts and favours to his friends and fellow-soldiers, did a great deal for him in his first advance to power, and after he had become great, long maintained his fortunes, when a thousand follies were hastening their overthrow.
1 commentsBlindado
FulviaQuinariusLion.jpg
1ae2 Fulvia45 viewsFirst wife of Marc Antony

ca 83-40 BC

AR Quinarius
Bust of Victory right with the likeness of Fulvia, III VIR R P C
Lion right between A and XLI; ANTONI above, IMP in ex

RSC 3, Syd 1163, Cr489/6

Fulvia was the first Roman non-mythological woman to appear on Roman coins. She gained access to power through her marriage to three of the most promising men of her generation, Publius Clodius Pulcher, Gaius Scribonius Curio, and Marcus Antonius. All three husbands were politically active populares, tribunes, and supporters of Julius Caesar. Fulvia married Mark Antony in 47 or 46 BC, a few years after Curio's death, although Cicero suggested that Fulvia and Antony had had a relationship since 58 BC. According to him, while Fulvia and Antony were married, Antony once left a military post to sneak back into Rome during the night and personally deliver a love letter to Fulvia describing his love for her and how he had stopped seeing the famous actress Cytheris. Cicero also suggested that Antony married Fulvia for her money. At the time of their marriage, Antony was an established politician. He had already been tribune in 49 BC, commanded armies under Caesar and was Master of the Horse in 47 BC. As a couple, they were a formidable political force in Rome, and had two sons together, Marcus Antonius Antyllus and Iullus Antonius.

Suetonius wrote, "[Antony] took a wife, Fulvia, the widow of Clodius the demagogue, a woman not born for spinning or housewifery, nor one that could be content with ruling a private husband, but prepared to govern a first magistrate, or give orders to a commander-in-chief. So that Cleopatra had great obligations to her for having taught Antony to be so good a servant, he coming to her hands tame and broken into entire obedience to the commands of a mistress. He used to play all sorts of sportive, boyish tricks, to keep Fulvia in good-humour. As, for example, when Caesar, after his victory in Spain, was on his return, Antony, among the rest, went out to meet him; and, a rumour being spread that Caesar was killed and the enemy marching into Italy, he returned to Rome, and, disguising himself, came to her by night muffled up as a servant that brought letters from Antony. She, with great impatience, before received the letter, asks if Antony were well, and instead of an answer he gives her the letter; and, as she was opening it, took her about the neck and kissed her."

After Julius Caesar was assassinated, Antony became the most powerful man in Rome. Fulvia was heavily involved in the political aftermath. After Caesar's death, the senate realized his popularity and declared that they would pass all of Caesar's planned laws. Antony had attained possession of Caesar's papers, and with the ability to produce papers in support of any law, Fulvia and Antony made a fortune and gained immense power. She allegedly accompanied Antony to his military camp at Brundisium in 44 BC. Appian wrote that in December 44 and again in 41 BC, while Antony was abroad and Cicero campaigned for Antony to be declared an enemy of the state, Fulvia attempted to block such declarations by soliciting support on Antony's behalf.

Antony formed the second triumvirate with Octavian (the future emperor Augustus) and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus on 43 BC and began to conduct proscriptions. To solidify the political alliance, Fulvia's daughter Clodia was married to the young Octavian. Appian and Cassius Dio describe Fulvia as being involved in the violent proscriptions, which were used to destroy enemies and gain badly needed funds to secure control of Rome. Antony pursued his political enemies, chief among them being Cicero, who had openly criticized him for abusing his powers as consul after Caesar's assassination. Though many ancient sources wrote that Fulvia was happy to take revenge against Cicero for Antony's and Clodius' sake, Cassius Dio is the only ancient source that describes the joy with which she pierced the tongue of the dead Cicero with her golden hairpins, as a final revenge against Cicero's power of speech.

In 42 BC, Antony and Octavian left Rome to pursue Julius Caesar's assassins, Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. Fulvia was left behind as the most powerful woman in Rome. According to Cassius Dio, Fulvia controlled the politics of Rome. Dio wrote that "the following year Publius Servilius and Lucius Antonius nominally became consuls, but in reality it was Antonius and Fulvia. She, the mother-in‑law of Octavian and wife of Antony, had no respect for Lepidus because of his slothfulness, and managed affairs herself, so that neither the senate nor the people transacted any business contrary to her pleasure."

Shortly afterwards, the triumvirs then distributed the provinces among them. Lepidus took the west and Antony went to Egypt, where he met Cleopatra VII. When Octavian returned to Rome in 41 BC to disperse land to Caesar's veterans, he divorced Fulvia's daughter and accused Fulvia of aiming at supreme power. Fulvia allied with her brother-in-law Lucius Antonius and publicly endorsed Mark Antony in opposition to Octavian.

In 41 BC, tensions between Octavian and Fulvia escalated to war in Italy. Together with Lucius Antonius, she raised eight legions in Italy to fight for Antony's rights against Octavian, an event known as the Perusine War. Fulvia fled to Greece with her children. Appian writes that she met Antony in Athens, and he was upset with her involvement in the war. Antony then sailed back to Rome to deal with Octavian, and Fulvia died of an unknown illness in exile in Sicyon, near Corinth, Achaea.
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1af Lepidus_214 viewsQuinarius

M LEP IMP, simpulum, aspergillum, axe (surmounted by wolf's head) & ape

M ANT IMP, lituus, capis (jug) and raven

Military mint with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus & Antony in Transalpine Gaul, 44-42 BC

Cr489/3, Syd 1158a

Lepidus was a member of the Second Triumvirate.

According to Plutarch's Life of Pompey: Sulla, however, was annoyed at seeing to what a height of reputation and power Pompey was advancing, but being ashamed to obstruct his career, he kept quiet. Only, when in spite of him and against his wishes Pompey made Lepidus consul, by canvassing for him and making the people zealously support him through their goodwill towards himself, seeing Pompey going off through the forum with a throng, Sulla said: "I see, young man, that you rejoice in your victory; and surely it was a generous and noble thing for Lepidus, the worst of men, to be proclaimed consul by a larger vote than Catulus, the best of men, because you influenced the people to take this course. Now, however, it is time for you to be wide awake and watchful of your interests; you have made your adversary stronger than yourself." But Sulla showed most clearly that he was not well-disposed to Pompey by the will which he wrote. For whereas he bequeathed gifts to other friends, and made some of them guardians of his son, he omitted all mention of Pompey. And yet Pompey bore this with great composure, and loyally, insomuch that when Lepidus and sundry others tried to prevent the body of Sulla from being buried in the Campus Martius, or even from receiving public burial honours, he came to the rescue, and gave to the interment alike honour and security.

Soon after the death of Sulla, his prophecies were fulfilled, and Lepidus tried to assume Sulla's powers. He took no circuitous route and used no pretence, but appeared at once in arms, stirring up anew and gathering about himself the remnants of faction, long enfeebled, which had escaped the hand of Sulla. His colleague, Catulus, to whom the incorrupt and sounder element in the senate and people attached themselves, was the great Roman of the time in the estimate set upon his wisdom and justice, but was thought better adapted for political than military leadership. The situation itself, therefore, demanded Pompey, who was not long in deciding what course to take. He took the side of the nobility, and was appointed commander of an army against Lepidus, who had already stirred up a large part of Italy and was employing Brutus to hold Cisalpine Gaul with an army.

Other opponents against whom Pompey came were easily mastered by him, but at Mutina, in Gaul, he lay a long while besieging Brutus. Meanwhile, Lepidus had made a hasty rush upon Rome, and sitting down before it, was demanding a second consulship, and terrifying the citizens with a vast throng of followers. But their fear was dissipated by a letter brought from Pompey, announcing that he had brought the war to a close without a battle. For Brutus, whether he himself betrayed his army, or whether his army changed sides and betrayed him, put himself in the hands of Pompey, and receiving an escort of horsemen, retired to a little town upon the Po. Here, after a single day had passed, he was slain by Geminius, who was sent by Pompey to do the deed. And Pompey was much blamed for this. For as soon as the army of Brutus changed sides, he wrote to the senate that Brutus had surrendered to him of his own accord; then he sent another letter denouncing the man after he had been put to death. The Brutus who, with Cassius, killed Caesar, was a son of this Brutus, a man who was like his father neither in his wars nor in his death, as is written in his Life. As for Lepidus, moreover, as soon as he was expelled from Italy, he made his way over to Sardinia. There he fell sick and died of despondency, which was due, as we are told, not to the loss of his cause, but to his coming accidentally upon a writing from which he discovered that his wife was an adulteress.
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1ag Marcus Junius Brutus64 viewsTook his own life in 42 BC after being defeated at Philippi by Antony and Octavian

Denarius, issued as moneyer, 54 BC
Head of Liberty, right, LIBERTAS
Consul L. Junius Brutus between lictors, preceded by accensus, BRVTVS

Seaby, Junia 31

Plutarch wrote: Marcus Brutus was descended from that Junius Brutus to whom the ancient Romans erected a statue of brass in the capitol among the images of their kings with a drawn sword in his hand, in remembrance of his courage and resolution in expelling the Tarquins and destroying the monarchy. . . . But this Brutus, whose life we now write, having to the goodness of his disposition added the improvements of learning and the study of philosophy, and having stirred up his natural parts, of themselves grave and gentle, by applying himself to business and public affairs, seems to have been of a temper exactly framed for virtue; insomuch that they who were most his enemies upon account of his conspiracy against Caesar, if in that whole affair there was any honourable or generous part, referred it wholly to Brutus, and laid whatever was barbarous and cruel to the charge of Cassius, Brutus's connection and familiar friend, but not his equal in honesty and pureness of purpose. . . . In Latin, he had by exercise attained a sufficient skill to be able to make public addresses and to plead a cause; but in Greek, he must be noted for affecting the sententious and short Laconic way of speaking in sundry passages of his epistles. . . . And in all other things Brutus was partaker of Caesar's power as much as he desired: for he might, if he had pleased, have been the chief of all his friends, and had authority and command beyond them all, but Cassius and the company he met with him drew him off from Caesar. . . . Caesar snatching hold of the handle of the dagger, and crying out aloud in Latin, "Villain Casca, what do you?" he, calling in Greek to his brother, bade him come and help. And by this time, finding himself struck by a great many hands, and looking around about him to see if he could force his way out, when he saw Brutus with his dagger drawn against him, he let go Casca's hand, that he had hold of and covering his head with his robe, gave up his body to their blows.
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1ap Claudius29 views41-54

As
Bare head, left, TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP
Libertas, LIBERTAS AVGVSTA SC

RIC 97

According to Suetonius: Claudius was born at Lugdunum (Lyon) on the 1st of August 10BC in the consulship of Iullus Antonius and Fabius Africanus, on the day when the very first altar to Augustus was dedicated there, the child being given the name Tiberius Claudius Drusus. When his elder brother Germanicus was adopted into the Julian family (in 4 AD), he added the name Germanicus also. He lost his father when still an infant (in 9 BC), and throughout his childhood and youth was severely afflicted by various stubborn ailments so that his mind and body lacked vigour, and even when he attained his majority he was not considered capable of a public or private career.

Nevertheless, he applied himself to liberal studies from his earliest youth, and often published examples of his proficiency in each area, though even so he was excluded from public office and failed to inspire any brighter hopes for his future. His mother Antonia the Younger often condemned him as an unfinished freak of Nature, and when accusing someone of stupidity would say: ‘He’s a bigger fool than my son Claudius.’ His grandmother Augusta (Livia) always treated him with utter contempt, and rarely even spoke to him, admonishing him, when she chose to do so, in brief harsh missives, or via her messengers. When his sister Livilla heard the prophecy that he would be Emperor some day, she prayed openly and loudly that Rome might be spared so cruel and unmerited a fate.

Having spent the larger part of his life in such circumstances, he became emperor at the age of fifty (in AD41) by a remarkable stroke of fate. Caligula’s assassins had dispersed the crowd on the pretext that the Emperor wished for solitude, and Claudius, shut out with the rest, retired to a room called the Hermaeum, but shortly afterwards, terrified by news of the murder, crept off to a nearby balcony and hid behind the door-curtains. A Guard, who was wandering about the Palace at random, spotting a pair of feet beneath the curtain where Claudius was cowering, dragged the man out to identify him, and as Claudius fell to the ground in fear, recognised him, and acclaimed him Emperor.

Eutropius summarizes: His reign was of no striking character; he acted, in many respects, with gentleness and moderation, in some with cruelty and folly. He made war upon Britain, which no Roman since Julius Caesar had visited; and, having reduced it through the agency of Cnaeus Sentius and Aulus Plautius, illustrious and noble men, he celebrated a magnificent triumph. Certain islands also, called the Orcades, situated in the ocean, beyond Britain, he added to the Roman empire, and gave his son the name of Britannicus. . . . He lived to the age of sixty-four, and reigned fourteen years; and after his death was consecrated3 and deified.

This was the first "good" coin I ever bought and therefore marks the begiining of an addiction.
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1ar Nero52 views54-68

As

Bare head, right, IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P MAX TR P P P
Genius, GENIO AVGVSTI

RIC 86

Suetonius wrote: Nero was born nine months after the death of Tiberius, at Antium, at sunrise on the 15th of December (AD 37). . . . While he was still a young stripling he took part in a successful performance of the Troy Game in the Circus, in which he exhibited great self-possession. At the age of twelve or so (sometime in AD 50), he was adopted by Claudius, who appointed Annaeus Seneca, already a member of the Senate, as his tutor. The following night, it is said, Seneca dreamed that his young charge was really Caligula, and Nero soon proved the dream prophetic by seizing the first opportunity to reveal his cruel disposition. . . . After Claudius’s death (AD 54) had been announced publicly, Nero, who was not quite seventeen years old, decided to address the Guards in the late afternoon, since inauspicious omens that day had ruled out an earlier appearance. After being acclaimed Emperor on the Palace steps, he was carried in a litter to the Praetorian Camp where he spoke to the Guards, and then to the House where he stayed until evening. He refused only one of the many honours that were heaped upon him, that of ‘Father of the Country’, and declined that simply on account of his youth.

Eutropius summarized: To him succeeded NERO, who greatly resembled his uncle Caligula, and both disgraced and weakened the Roman empire; he indulged in such extraordinary luxury and extravagance, that, after the example of Caius Caligula, he even bathed in hot and cold perfumes, and fished with golden nets, which he drew up with cords of purple silk. He put to death a very great number of the senate. To all good men he was an enemy. At last he exposed himself in so disgraceful a manner, that he danced and sung upon the stage in the dress of a harp-player and tragedian. He was guilty of many murders, his brother, wife, and mother, being put to death by him. He set on fire the city of Rome, that he might enjoy the sight of a spectacle such as Troy formerly presented when taken and burned.

In military affairs he attempted nothing. Britain he almost lost; for two of its most noble towns4 were taken and levelled to the ground under his reign. The Parthians took from him Armenia, and compelled the Roman legions to pass under the yoke. Two provinces however were formed under him; Pontus Polemoniacus, by the concession of King Polemon; and the Cottian Alps, on the death of King Cottius.

15 When, having become detestable by such conduct to the city of Rome, and being deserted at the same time by every one, and declared an enemy by the senate, he was sought for to be led to punishment (the punishment being, that he should be dragged naked through the streets, with a fork placed under his head,5 be beaten to death with rods, and then hurled from the Tarpeian rock), he fled from the palace, and killed himself in a suburban villa of one of his freed-men, between the Salarian and Nomentane roads, at the fourth milestone from the city. He built those hot baths at Rome, which were formerly called the Neronian, but now the Alexandrian. He died in the thirty-second year of his age, and the fourteenth year of his reign; and in him all the family of Augustus became extinct.

Having successfully dispatched his scheming mother Agrippina in 59 and survived a decade on the throne, Nero must have felt like a genius when this was minted ca 64 AD!
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1at Galba31 views68-69

Denarius

Laureate head, right, SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M TR P
Victory standing on globe, VICTORIA PR

RIC 111

Suetonius recorded: Servius Galba, the future emperor was born on the 24th of December, 3BC, in the consulship of Marcus Valerius Messala and Gnaeus Lentulus, at a hillside mansion near Terracina, on the left of the road to Fundi (Fondi). He was formally adopted by his stepmother Livia Ocellina, and took the name Livius and the surname Ocella, also changing his forename to Lucius, until he became Emperor.

It is common knowledge that when calling on Augustus to pay his respects, with other boys of his age, the Emperor pinched his cheek, and said in Greek: ‘You too will have a taste of power, my child.’ And when Tiberius heard the prophecy that Galba would be emperor in old age, he commented: ‘Well let him be, it’s no concern of mine.’

Galba achieved office before the usual age and as praetor (in 20AD), controlling the games at the Floralia, he was the first to introduce a display of tightrope-walking elephants. He next governed Aquitania, for almost a year, and not long afterwards held the consulship for six months (in 33AD). When Caligula was assassinated (in 41AD), Galba chose neutrality though many urged him to seize the opportunity for power. Claudius expressed his gratitude by including him among his intimate friends, and Galba was shown such consideration that the expedition to Britain was delayed to allow him to recover from a sudden but minor indisposition. Later he was proconsul in Africa for two years (44/45AD), being singled out, and so avoiding the usual lottery, to restore order in the province, which was riven by internecine rivalry and an indigenous revolt. He re-established peace, by the exercise of ruthless discipline, and the display of justice even in the most trifling matters. . . .

But when word from the City arrived that Nero was dead and that the people had sworn allegiance to him, he set aside the title of governor and assumed that of Caesar. He then began his march to Rome in a general’s cloak, with a dagger, hanging from his neck, at his chest, and did not resume the toga until his main rivals had been eliminated, namely the commander of the Praetorian Guard in Rome, Nymphidius Sabinus, and the commanders in Germany and Africa, Fonteius Capito and Clodius Macer. . . . His prestige and popularity were greater while winning power than wielding it, though he showed evidence of being a more than capable ruler, loved less, unfortunately, for his good qualities than he was hated for his bad ones.

He was even warned of the danger of imminent assassination, the day before his death, by a soothsayer, as he offered the morning sacrifice. Shortly afterwards he learnt that Otho had secured the Guards camp, and when his staff advised him to carry the day by his presence and prestige, by going there immediately, he opted instead to stay put, but gather a strong bodyguard of legionaries from their billets around the City. He did however don a linen corselet, though saying that frankly it would serve little against so many weapons. False reports, put about by the conspirators to lure him into appearing in public, deceived a few of his close supporters, who rashly told him the rebellion was over, the plotters overthrown, and that the rest of the troops were on their way to congratulate him and carry out his orders. So he went to meet them, with such confidence, that when a soldier boasted of killing Otho, he snapped out: ‘On whose authority?’ before hastening on to the Forum. The cavalrymen who had been ordered to find and kill him, who were spurring through the streets scattering the crowds of civilians, now caught sight of him in the distance and halted an instant before galloping towards him and cutting him down, while his staff ran for their lives.
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1ax Titus96 views79-81

AE, Ankyra, Galatia
Laureate head, right AY KAICAP TITOC CEBASTO. . .
Man standing, left, SEBASTHNWN TEKTOSAGWN

RPC 1620

By Suetonius' account: Titus, surnamed Vespasianus like his father, possessed such an aptitude, by nature, nurture, or good fortune, for winning affection that he was loved and adored by all the world as Emperor. . . . He was born on the 30th of December AD41, the very year of Caligula’s assassination, in a little dingy room of a humble dwelling, near the Septizonium. . . .

He was handsome, graceful, and dignified, and of exceptional strength, though of no great height and rather full-bellied. He had an extraordinary memory, and an aptitude for virtually all the arts of war and peace, being a fine horseman, skilled in the use of weapons, yet penning impromptu verses in Greek and Latin with equal readiness and facility. He had a grasp of music too, singing well and playing the harp pleasantly and with ability. . . .

As military tribune in Germany (c57-59AD) and Britain (c60-62), he won an excellent reputation for energy and integrity, as is shown by the large number of inscribed statues and busts of him found in both countries. . . . When his quaestorship ended, he commanded one of his father’s legions in Judaea, capturing the strongholds of Tarichaeae and Gamala (67AD). His horse was killed under him in battle, but he mounted that of a comrade who fell fighting at his side. . . . [Upon] Vespasian’s accession, his father left him to complete the conquest of Judaea, and in the final assault on Jerusalem (70AD) Titus killed twelve of the defenders with as many arrows. . . .

From then on, he acted as his father’s colleague and even protector. He shared in his Judaean triumph (of AD 71), the censorship (AD 73), the exercise of tribunicial power, and in seven of his consulships (AD 70, 72, 74-77, 79). . . .

He died at the same villa as his father, Vespasian, on the 13th of September AD81, at the age of forty-one, after a reign of two years, two months, and twenty days. The people mourned his loss as if he were a member of their own family.
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1bb Nerva27 views96-98

As
Laureate head, right, IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS II
Liberty stg, LIBERTAS PVBLICA SC

The perfect propaganda reverse for the successor to a tyrant. I guess he had a nose for these things.

RIC 86

Eutropius recorded: IN the eight hundred and fiftieth year from the foundation of the city, in the consulship of Vetus and Valens, the empire was restored to a most prosperous condition, being committed, with great good fortune, to the rule of meritorious princes. To Domitian, a most murderous tyrant, succeeded NERVA, a man of moderation and activity in private life, and of noble descent, though not of the very highest rank. He was made emperor at an advanced age, Petronius Secundus, the praefect of the praetorian guards, and Parthenius, one of the assassins of Domitian, giving him their support, and conducted himself with great justice and public spirit.1 He provided for the good of the state by a divine foresight, in his adoption of Trajan. He died at Rome, after a reign of one year, four months, and eight days, in the seventy-second year of his age, and was enrolled among the gods.
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1bg Aelius29 viewsCaesar, 136-138

As

Bare head, right, AELIVS CAESAR
Pannonia standing and holding a standard, PANNONIA SC

RIC 1071

According to the Historia Augusta (note: scholars view this biography in the text as among those particularly suspect regarding veracity): Aelius Verus was adopted by Hadrian at the time when, as we have previously said, the Emperor's health was beginning to fail and he was forced to take thought for the succession. He was at once made praetor and appointed military and civil governor of the provinces of Pannonia ; afterwards he was created [in AD 136] consul, and then, because he had been chosen to succeed to the imperial power, he was named for a second consulship. . . . [I]n the province to which he had been appointed he was by no means a failure ; for he carried on a campaign with
success, or rather, with good fortune, and achieved the reputation, if not of a pre-eminent, at least of an
average, commander.

Verus had, however, such wretched health that Hadrian immediately regretted the adoption, and since he often considered others as possible successors, he might have removed him altogether from the imperial family had Verus chanced to live longer. . . .

Verus was a man of joyous life and well versed in letters, and he was endeared to Hadrian, as the malicious say, rather by his beauty than by his character. In the palace his stay was but a short one; in his private life, though there was little to be commended, yet there was little to be blamed. Furthermore, he was considerate of his family, well-dressed, elegant in appearance, a man of regal beauty, with a countenance that commanded respect, a speaker of unusual eloquence, deft at writing verse, and, moreover, not altogether a failure in public life.

This sad little flan looks a bit tubercular, like the subject of the portrait.
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1bh Antoninus Pius49 views138-161

As

Laureate head, right, ANTONINUS AVG PIVS PP TR P XI
Wreath, PRIMI DECENALIS COS IIII SC

RIC 171

According to the Historia Augusta: Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Antoninus Pius. . . was born at an estate at Lanuvium on the thirteenth day before the Kalends of October in the twelfth consulship of Domitiaiiand first of Cornelius Dolabella. . . . In personal appearance he was strikingly hand-
some, in natural talent brilliant, in temperament kindly; he was aristocratic in countenance and calm in nature, a singularly gifted speaker and an elegant scholar, conspicuously thrifty, a conscientious land-holder, gentle, generous, and mindful of others' rights. He possessed all these qualities, moreover, in the proper mean and without ostentation, and, in fine, was praiseworthy in every way and, in the minds of all good men. . . . He was given the name of Pius by the senate, either because, when his father-in-law was old and weak, he lent him a supporting hand in his attendance at the senate. . . or because he spared those men whom Hadrian in his ill-health had condemned to death, or because after Hadrian's death he
had unbounded and extraordinary honours decreed for him in spite of opposition from all, or because, when Hadrian wished to make away with himself, by great care and watchfulness he prevented him from so doing, or because he was in fact very kindly by nature and did no harsh deed in his own time. . . .

The manner of his adoption, they say, was some what thus : After the death of Aelius Verus, whom Hadrian had adopted and named Caesar, a day was set for the meeting of the senate, and to this Arrius Antoninus came, supporting the steps of his father-in-law. For this act, it is said, Hadrian adopted him. But this could not have been the only reason for the adoption, nor ought it to have been, especially since Antoninus had always done well in his administration of public office. . . .

After his accession to the throne he removed none of the men whom Hadrian had appointed to office, and, indeed, was so steadfast and loyal that he retained good men in the government of provinces for terms of seven and even nine years. He waged a number of wars, but all of them through his legates. . . . With such care did he govern all peoples under him that he looked after all things and all men as if they were his own. As a result, the provinces all prospered in his reign, informers were abolished, and the confiscation of goods was less frequent than ever before. . . .

He died in the seventieth year of his age, but his loss was felt as though he had been but a youth. . . . On the second day, as he saw that his condition was becoming worse, in the presence of his prefects he committed the state and his daughter to Marcus Antoninus. . . .
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1bq Didius Julianus93 views193

Sestertius

Laureate head, right, IMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG
Concorde w/ standard, CONCORDIA MILIT SC

RIC 14

According to the Historia Augusta: Didius Julianus. . . was reared at the home of Domitia Lucilla, the mother of the Emperor Marcus. . . . [T]hrough the support of Marcus he attained to the office of aedile [and] praetor. After his praetorship he commanded the XXII Legion, the Primigenia, in Germany, and following that he ruled Belgium long and well. Here, with auxiliaries hastily levied from the provinces, he held out against the Chauci as they attempted to burst through the border; and for these services, on the recommendation of the Emperor, he was deemed worthy of the consulship. He also gained a crushing victory over the Chatti. Next he took charge of Dalmatia and cleared it of the hostile tribes on its borders. Then he governed Lower Germany. . . .

His consulship he served with Pertinax; in the proconsulship of Africa, moreover, he succeeded him. Pertinax always spoke of him as his colleague and successor. After [Pertinax'] death, when Sulpicianus was making plans to be hailed emperor in the camp, Julianus, together with his son-in-law, . . . discovered two tribunes, Publius Florianus and Vectius Aper, who immediately began urging him to seize the throne; and. . . conducted him to the praetorian camp. When they arrived at the camp, however, Sulpicianus, the prefect of the city and the father-in-law of Pertinax, was holding an assembly and claiming the empire himself, and no one would let Julianus inside, despite the huge promises he made from outside the wall. Julianus then . . . wrote on placards that he would restore the good name of Commodus; so he was admitted and proclaimed emperor. . . .

Julianus had no fear of either the British or the Illyrian army; but being chiefly afraid of the Syrian army, he despatched a centurion of the first rank with orders to murder Niger. Consequently Pescennius Niger in Syria and Septimius Severus in Illyricum, together with the armies which they commanded, revolted from Julianus. But when he received the news of the revolt of Severus, whom he had not suspected, then he was greatly troubled and came to the senate and prevailed upon them to declare Severus a public enemy. . . . Severus was approaching the city with a hostile army. . . and the populace hated and laughed at him more and more every day.

In a short time Julianus was deserted by all and left alone in the Palace with one of his prefects, Genialis, and with Repentinus, his son-in-law. Finally, it was propose'd that the imperial power be taken away from Julianus by order of the senate. This was done, and Severus was forthwith acclaimed emperor, while it was given out that Julianus had taken poison. Nevertheless, the senate despatched a delegation and through their efforts Julianus was slain in the Palace by a common soldier. . . .
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Denarius

Laureate, horned & draped bust rightt, IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG
Elagabalus standing left, sacrificing from patera over lit tripod altar, holding branch, star in field left, SVMMVS SACERDOS AVG

RIC 146

The Historia Augusta, in the life of Caracalla, notes: Bassianus lived for forty-three years and ruled for six. . . . He left a son, who afterward received, like his father, the name Antoninus Marcus Antoninus Elagabalus; for such a hold had the name of the Antonines that it could not be removed from the thoughts of the people, because it had taken root in the hearts of all, even as had the name of Augustus.

In the life of Macrinus is recorded: Now there was a certain woman of the city of Emesa, called [Julia] Maesa or Varia; she was the sister of Julia, the wife of [Septimius] Severus Pertinax the African, and after the death of Antoninus Bassianus she had been expelled from her home in the palace through the arrogance of Macrinus. . . . This woman had two daughters, [Julia Soaemias] and [Julia] Mamaea, the elder of whom was the mother of Elagabalus; he assumed the names Bassianus and Antoninus, for the Phoenicians give the name Elagabalus to the Sun. Elagabalus, moreover, was notable for his beauty and stature and for the priesthood which he held, and he was well known to all who frequented the temple, and particularly to the soldiers. To these, Maesa, or Varia as she was also called, declared that this Bassianus was the son of Antoninus, and this was gradually made known to all the soldiers. Maesa herself, furthermore, was very rich (whence also Elagabalus was most wasteful of money), and through her promises to the soldiers the legions were persuaded to desert Macrinus. . . .

Finally, when he received the imperial power, he took the name Antoninus and was the last of the Antonines to rule the Roman Empire. . . . He was wholly under the control of his mother [Soaemias], so much so, in fact, that he did no public business without her consent, although she lived like a harlot and practised all manner of lewdness in the palace. For that matter, her amour with Antoninus Caracalla was so notorious that Varius, or rather Elagabalus, was commonly supposed to be his son. . . . In short, when Elagabalus' message was read in the senate, at once good wishes were uttered for Antoninus and curses on Macrinus and his son, and, in accordance with the general wish and the eager belief of all in his paternity, Antoninus was hailed as emperor. . . .

After he had spent the winter in Nicomedia, [218-219] living in a depraved manner and indulging in unnatural vice with men, the soldiers soon began to regret that they had conspired against Macrinus to make this man emperor, and they turned their thoughts toward his cousin Alexander, who on the murder of Macrinus had been hailed by the senate as Caesar. . . . Among the base actions of his life of depravity he gave orders that Alexander, whom he had formally adopted, be removed from his presence, saying that he regretted the adoption. Then he commanded the senate to take away from Alexander the name of Caesar. But when this was announced to the senate, there was a profound silence. For Alexander was an excellent youth, as was afterwards shown by the character of his rule, even though, because he was chaste, he was displeasing to his adoptive father he was also, as some declare, his cousin. Besides, he was loved by the soldiers and acceptable to the senate and the equestrian order. Yet the Emperor's madness went the length of an attempt to carry out the basest design; for he despatched assassins to kill Alexander. . . . The soldiers, however, and particularly the members of the guard, either because they knew what evils were in store for Elagabalus, or because they foresaw his hatred for themselves, formed a conspiracy to set the state free. First they attacked the accomplices in his plan of murdering Alexander. . . . Next they fell upon Elagabalus himself and slew him in a latrine in which he had taken refuge.
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Denarius

Laureate draped bust, right, IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG
Sev. Alex in armor, P M TR P III COS P P

RIC 74

Herodian recorded: [The soldiers] were more favorably disposed toward Alexander, for they expected great things of a lad so properly and modestly reared. They kept continual watch upon the youth when they saw that Elagabalus was plotting against him. His mother Mamaea did not allow her son to touch any food or drink sent by the emperor, nor did Alexander use the cupbearers or cooks employed in the palace or those who happened to be in their mutual service; only those chosen by his mother, those who seemed most trustworthy, were allowed to handle Alexander's food.

Mamaea secretly distributed money to the praetorians to win their good will for her son; it was to gold that the praetorians were particularly devoted. . . . . Maesa, the grandmother of them both, foiled all his schemes; she was astute in every way and had spent much of her life in the imperial palace. As the sister of Severus' wife Julia, Maesa had always lived with the empress at the court. . . .

When Alexander received the empire, the appearance and the title of emperor were allowed him, but the management and control of imperial affairs were in the hands of his women, and they undertook a more moderate and more equitable administration. . . . At any rate, he entered the fourteenth year of his reign without bloodshed, and no one could say that the emperor had been responsible for anyone's murder. Even though men were convicted of serious crimes, he nevertheless granted them pardons to avoid putting them to death, and not readily did any emperor of our time, after the reign of Marcus, act in this way or display so much concern for human life.

In the fourteenth year, however, unexpected dispatches from the governors of Syria and Mesopotamia revealed that Artaxerxes, the Persian king, had conquered the Parthians and seized their Eastern empire, killing Artabanus [IV], who was formerly called the Great King and wore the double diadem. Artaxerxes then subdued all the barbarians on his borders and forced them to pay tribute. He did not remain quiet, however, nor stay on his side of the Tigris River, but, after scaling its banks and crossing the borders of the Roman empire, he overran Mesopotamia and threatened Syria.

Traveling rapidly, he came to Antioch, after visiting the provinces and the garrison camps in Illyricum; from that region he collected a huge force of troops. While in Antioch he continued his preparations for the war, giving the soldiers military training under field conditions. . . . The Romans suffered a staggering disaster; it is not easy to recall another like it, one in which a great army was destroyed, an army inferior in strength and determination to none of the armies of old.

Now unexpected messages and dispatches upset Alexander and caused him even greater anxiety: the governors in Illyria reported that the Germans [the Alamans] had crossed the Rhine and the Danube rivers, were plundering the Roman empire. . . . Although he loathed the idea, Alexander glumly announced his departure for Illyria. . . . Alexander undertook to buy a truce rather than risk the hazards of war. . . .

The soldiers, however, were not pleased by his action, for the time was passing without profit to them, and Alexander was doing nothing courageous or energetic about the war; on the contrary, when it was essential that he march out and punish the Germans for their insults, he spent the time in chariot racing and luxurious living. . . . They plotted now to kill Alexander and proclaim Maximinus emperor and Augustus. . . . Alexander's troops deserted him for Maximinus, who was then proclaimed emperor by all. . . . Maximinus sent a tribune and several centurions to kill Alexander and his mother, together with any of his followers who opposed them.
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Sestertius

Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust, right, seen from front, right, IMP CAES D CAEL BALBINVS AVG
Felicitas standing facing, head left, holding caduceus in right hand, PM TR P COS II PP SC

RIC 18

Herodian wrote, continuing the story of the rebellions against Maximinus: When the death of the elder Gordian was reported at Rome, . . . the senate therefore thought it best to meet and consider what should be done. Since they had already cast the die, they voted to issue a declaration of war and choose two men from their own ranks to be joint emperors. . . . Other senators received votes, but on the final count [Pupienus] Maximus and Balbinus were elected joint emperors by majority opinion. . . .

[Pupienus] had held many army commands; appointed prefect of Rome, he administered the office with diligence and enjoyed among the people a good reputation for his understanding nature, his intelligence, and his moderate way of life. Balbinus, an aristocrat who had twice served as consul and had governed provinces without complaint, had a more open and frank nature. After their election, the two men were proclaimed Augusti, and the Senate awarded them by decree all the imperial honors.

While these actions were being taken on the Capitoline Hill, the people, whether they were informed by Gordian's friends and fellow countrymen or whether they learned it by rumor, filled the entire street leading up to the Capitol. The huge mob was armed with stones and clubs, for they objected to the Senate's action and particularly disapproved of [Pupienus]. The prefect ruled the city too strictly for the popular taste, and was very harsh in his dealings with the criminal and reckless elements of the mob. In their fear and dislike of [Pupienus], they kept shouting threats to kill both emperors, determined that the emperor be chosen from the family of Gordian and that the title remain in that house and under that name.

Balbinus and [Pupienus] surrounded themselves with an escort of swordsmen from the young equestrians and the discharged soldiers living in Rome, and tried to force their way from the Capitol. The mob, armed with stones and clubs, prevented this until, at someone's suggestion, the people were deceived. There was in Rome at that time a little child, the son of Gordian's daughter, who bore his grandfather's name.

The two emperors ordered some of their men to bring the child to the Capitol. Finding the lad playing at home, they lifted him to their shoulders and brought him to the Capitol through the midst of the crowd. Showing the boy to the people and telling them that he was the son of Gordian, they called him "Gordian," while the mob cheered the boy and scattered leaves in his path. The senate appointed him caesar, since he was not old enough to be emperor. The mob, placated, allowed the imperial party to proceed to the palace.

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Sestertius

Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust, right, IMP CAES PVPIEN MAXIMVS AVG
Pax seated left with branch & scepter PAX PVBLICA SC

RIC 22b

Herodian, continuing the story of the rebellion against Maximinus, wrote: [Pupienus] led most of these soldiers out to attack Maximinus; the rest remained behind to guard and defend the city. . . . In the meantime, having completed his march, Maximinus was poised on the borders of Italy; after offering sacrifices at all the boundary altars, he advanced into Italy. . . . When no opposition was offered, they crossed the Alps without hindrance. . . . While the army was in the plain, the scouts reported that Aquileia, the largest city in that part of Italy, had closed its gates and that the Pannonian legions which had been sent ahead had launched a vigorous attack upon the walls of this city. In spite of frequent assaults, they were completely unsuccessful. . . .

As time passed, the army of Maximinus grew depressed and, cheated in its expectations, fell into despair. . . . As Maximinus rode about, the [people of Aquileia] shouted insults and indecent blasphemies at him and his son. The emperor became increasingly angry because he was powerless to retaliate. . . . The emperor's soldiers were. . . in need of everything. There was scarcely even sufficient water for them. . . .

Without warning, the soldiers whose camp was near Rome at the foot of Mount Alba, where they had left their wives and children, decided that the best solution was to kill Maximinus and end the interminable siege. . . . [T]he conspirators went to Maximinus' tent about noon. The imperial bodyguard, which was involved in the plot, ripped Maximinus' pictures from the standards; when he came out of his tent with his son to talk to them, they refused to listen and killed them both. . . .

For the rest of the time the two emperors governed in an orderly and well-regulated manner, winning approval on every hand both privately and publicly. The people honored and respected them as patriotic and admirable rulers of the empire. . . . It so happened that the two men were not in complete accord: so great is the desire for sole rule and so contrary to the usual practice is it for the sovereignty to be shared that each undertook to secure the imperial power for himself alone. Balbinus considered himself the more worthy because of his noble birth and his two terms as consul; [Pupienus] felt that he deserved first place because he had served as prefect of Rome and had won a good reputation by his administrative efforts. Both men were led to covet the sole rule because of their distinguished birth, aristocratic lineage, and the size of their families. This rivalry was the basis of their downfall. When [Pupienus] learned that the Praetorian Guard was coming to kill them, he wished to summon a sufficient number of the German auxiliaries who were in Rome to resist the conspirators. But Balbinus, thinking that this was a ruse intended to deceive him (he knew that the Germans were devoted to [Pupienus]), refused to allow [Pupienus] to issue the order. . . . While the two men were arguing, the praetorians rushed in. . . . When the guards at the palace gates deserted the emperors, the praetorians seized the old men and ripped off the plain robes they were wearing because they were at home. Dragging the two men naked from the palace, they inflicted every insult and indignity upon them. Jeering at these emperors elected by the senate, they beat and tortured them. . . . When the Germans learned what was happening, they snatched up their arms and hastened to the rescue. As soon as the praetorians were informed of their approach, they killed the mutilated emperors.
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Antoninianus

Radiate draped bust, right, IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG
Liberalitas standing left with abacus & cornucopiae, LIBERALITAS AVGG II

RIC 38b

The Historia Augusta records: Philippus Arabs was made prefect of the guard [in 243]. This Philip was low-born but arrogant, and now could not contain himself in his sudden rise to office and immoderate good fortune, but immediately, through the soldiers, began to plot against Gordian, who had begun to treat him as a father. . . . Timesitheus [Gordian's father-in-law] had stored up such a quantity of supplies everywhere, that the Roman administration could not break down. But now Philip intrigued first to have the grain-ships turned away, and then to have the troops moved to stations where they could not get provisions. In this way he speedily got them exasperated against Gordian, for they did not know that the youth had been betrayed through Philip's intriguing. In addition to this, Philip spread talk among the soldiers to the effect that Gordian was young and could not manage the Empire, and that it were better for someone to rule who could command the army and understood public affairs. Besides this, he won over the leaders, and finally brought it about that they openly called him to the throne. Gordian's friends at first opposed him vigorously, but when the soldiers were at last overcome with hunger Philip was entrusted with the sovereignty, and the soldiers commanded that he and Gordian should rule together with equal rank while Philip acted as a sort of guardian.

Now that he had gained the imperial power Philip began to bear himself very arrogantly towards Gordian ; and he, knowing himself to be an emperor, an emperor's son, and a scion of a most noble family, could not endure this low-born fellow's insolence. And so, mounting the platform, with his kinsman Maecius Gordianus standing by him as his prefect, he complained bitterly to the officers and soldiers in the hope that Philip's office could be taken from him. But by this complaint in which he accused Philip of being unmindful of past favours and too little grateful he accomplished nothing. Next he asked the soldiers to make their choice, after openly canvassing the officers, but as a result of Philip's intriguing he came off second in the general vote. And finally, when he saw that everyone considered him worsted, he asked that their power might at least be equal, but he did not secure this either. After this he asked to be given the position of Caesar, but he did not gain this. He asked also to be Philip's prefect, and this, too, was denied him. His last prayer was that Philip should make him a general and let him live. And to this Philip almost consented not speaking himself, but acting through his friends, as he had done throughout, with nods and advice. But when he reflected that through the love that the Roman people and senate, the whole of Africa and Syria, and indeed the whole Roman world, felt for Gordian, because he was nobly born and the son and grandson of emperors and had delivered the whole state from grievous wars, it was possible, if the soldiers ever changed their minds, that the throne might be given back to Gordian if he asked for it again, and when he reflected also that the violence of the soldiers' anger against Gordian was due to hunger, he had him carried, shouting protests, out of their sight and then despoiled and slain.

Eutropius wrote, "When Gordian was killed, the two PHILIPS, father and son, seized on the government, and, having brought off the army safe, set out from Syria for Italy. In their reign the thousandth year of the city of Rome was celebrated with games and spectacles of vast magnificence. Soon after, both of them were put to death by the soldiery; the elder Philip at Verona, the younger at Rome. They reigned but five years. They were however ranked among the gods."
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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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Billon antoninianus

Radiate cuirassed bust, right, IMP C FVL MACRIANVS PF AVG
Aequitas standing left holding scales & cornucopiae, star to left, AEQVTAS AVGG

RIC 5

Macrianus did not rule in Rome. He and his brother Quietus took command of the army after the Persians captured Valerian but were defeated by one of Gallienus' generals when they marched west. According to the Historia Augusta: After the capture of Valerian, long a most
noble prince in the state, then a most valiant emperor, but at the last the most unfortunate of all men (either because in his old age he pined away among the Persians or because he left behind him unworthy descendants), Ballista, Valerian's prefect, and Macrianus, the foremost of his generals, since they knew that Gallienus was worthy only of contempt and since the soldiers, too, were seeking an emperor, withdrew together to a certain place, to consider what should be done. They then agreed that, since Gallienus was far away and Aureolus was usurping the imperial power, some emperor ought to be chosen, and, indeed, the best man, lest there should arise some pretender. . . . Ballista, perceiving that Macrianus, in so speaking, seemed to have in mind his own two sons, answered him as follows : "To your wisdom, then, we entrust the commonwealth. And so give us your sons Macrianus and Quietus, most valiant young men, long since made tribunes by Valerian, for, under the rule of Gallienus, for the very reason that they are good men, they cannot remain unharmed."

And so, with the consent of all the soldiers, Macrianus was made emperor, together with his two sons Macrianus and Quietus, and he immediately proceeded to march against Gallienus, leaving affairs in the East in whatever state he could. But while he was on the march, having with him a force of forty-five thousand soldiers, he met Aureolus in Illyricum or on the borders of Thrace, and there he was defeated and together with his son was slain. Then thirty thousand of his men yielded to Aureolus' power.
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AE antoninianus

Radiate, cuirassed bust, right, holding spear and shield, IMP PROBVS P F AVG
Concordia and Probus, CONCORDIA MILIT

RIC 332

Zosimus observed: Probus, having thus gained the empire, marched forward, and performed a very commendable action for the public good, as a prelude to what he should afterwards do. For he resolved to punish those who had murdered Aurelianus, and conspired against Tacitus ; though for fear of an insurrection he did not openly execute his design, but planted a company of men, in whom he had confidence, at a convenient post, near to which he invited the murderers to a feast. [Probus] gave a signal to his men to perform. As soon as they had received it, they fell on the murderers in their defenceless state. . . .

Probus obtained several victories over the Barbarians in two different wars; in one of which he himself commanded, but left the other to the conduct of his lieutenant. Perceiving that it was necessary to assist the cities of Germany which lay upon the Rhine, and were harrassed by the Barbarians, he marched with his army towards that river. . . . The emperor terminated several other wars, with scarcely any trouble ; and fought some fierce battles, first against the Logiones, a German nation, whom he conquered, [and] against the Franks, whom he subdued through the good conduct of his commanders. He made war on the Burgundi and the Vandili.

The Historia Augusta adds: After this he set out for Illyricum, but before going thither he left Raetia in so peaceful a state that there remained therein not even any suspicion of fear. In Illyricum l he so crushed the Sarmatians and other tribes that almost without any war at all he got back all they had ravaged. He then directed his march through Thrace, and received in either surrender or friendship all the tribes of the Getae, frightened by the repute of his deeds and brought to submission by the power of his ancient fame. This done, he set out for the East. . . . Having made peace, then, with the Persians, he returned to Thrace, and here he settled one hundred thousand Bastarnae on Roman soil, all of whom remained loyal. . . .

He celebrated a triumph over the Germans and the Blemmyae, and. . . gave in the Circus a most magnificent wild-beast hunt. . . . These spectacles finished, he made ready for war with Persia, but while on the march through Iliyricum he was treacherously killed by his soldiers. The causes of his murder were these : first of all, he never permitted a soldier to be idle, for he built many works by means of their labor, saying that a soldier should eat no bread that was not earned. To this he added another remark, hard for them, should it ever come true, but beneficial to the commonwealth, namely, that soon there would be no need of soldiers.

Zonaras described Probus' death differently: There was another rebellion against him. For Carus, who was in command of portions of Europe, recognized that the soldiers under him wished to proclaim him emperor and revealed this to Probus, begging that he be recalled from there. But Probus was not willing to remove him from office. Then the soldiers surrounded Carus, compelled him reluctantly to receive the empire of the Romans, and immediately hastened with him against Italy. Probus, when he had learned of this, sent an army with a commander to oppose him. As soon as those dispatched had drawn near Carus, they arrested their commander and surrendered him and themselves to Carus. Probus was killed by his own guardsmen, who had learned of the desertion of the soldiers to Carus. The duration of Probus’ sole rule had been not quite six years
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AE antoninianus

Radiate draped bust, right, IMP C M AVR CARVS P F AVG
Emperor standing right, receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter standing left, G between, XXI in ex, CLEMENTIA TEMP

RIC 118

The Historia Augusta recorded: Let us, rather, pass on to Carus, a mediocre man, so to speak, but one to be ranked with the good rather than the evil princes, yet a better ruler by far, had he not left Carinus to be his heir. . . . In regard to Cams' birthplace there is such divergence of statement among the various writers that by reason of the very great difference among them I am unable to tell what it really was. . . . He, then, after rising through the various civil and military grades, as the inscriptions on his statues show, was made prefect of the guard by Probus, and he won such affection among the soldiers that when Probus, that great emperor, was slain, he alone seemed wholly worthy of the imperial power. I am not unaware that many have suspected and, in fact, have put it into the records that Probus was slain by the treachery of Carus. This, however, neither the kindness of Probus toward Carus nor Carus' own character will permit us to believe, and there is the further reason that he avenged the death of Probus with the utmost severity and steadfastness. . . .

[Zonaras adds: Another war against Galienus was incited by Macrinus, who, having two sons, Macrianus and Quintus, attempted a usurpation. Because he was lame in one leg, he did not don the imperial mantle, but clad his sons in it.]

And so. . . , as soon as he received the imperial power, by the unanimous wish of all the soldiers he took up the war against the Persians for which Probus had been preparing. He gave to his sons the name of Caesar, planning to despatch Carinus, with some carefully selected men, to govern the provinces of Gaul, and to take along with himself Numerian, a most excellent and eloquent young man. . . . [H]e conquered Mesopotamia and advanced as far as Ctesiphon; and while the Persians were busied with internal strife he won the name of Conqueror of Persia. But when he advanced still further, desirous himself of glory and urged on most of all by his prefect, who in his wish to rule was seeking the destruction of both Carus and his sons as well, he met his death, according to some, by disease, according to others, through a stroke of lightning.

Zonaras wrote: He was a Gaul by ancestry, but brave and accomplished in matters of warfare. The account of his death has been variously composed by those who have done historical research. Some say that, having campaigned against the Huns, he was killed there. Others say that he was encamped by the River Tigris and that there, in the place where his army had thrown up a palisade, his tent was struck by lightning, and they record that, along with it, he too was destroyed.
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AE antoninianus

Radiate, draped, cuirassed bust, right, IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG
Zeus and Diocletian, CONCORDIA MILITVM

RIC 284B

According to the Historia Augusta, after the death of Numerian: Then a huge assembly was held and a tribunal, too, was constructed. And when the question was asked who would be the most lawful avenger of Numerian and who could be given to the commonwealth as a good emperor, then all, with a heaven-sent unanimity, conferred the title of Augustus on Diocletian. . . . He was at this time in command of the household-troops, an outstanding man and wise, devoted to the commonwealth, devoted to his kindred, duly prepared to face whatever the occasion demanded, forming plans that were always deep though sometimes over-bold, and one who could by prudence and exceeding firmness hold in check the impulses of a restless spirit. This man, then, having ascended the tribunal was hailed as Augustus, and when someone asked how Numerian had been slain, he drew his sword and pointing to Aper, the prefect of the guard, he drove it through him, saying as he did so, "It is he who contrived Numerian's death.''

Eutropius summarized a long and important reign: DIOCLETIAN, a native of Dalmatia, [was] of such extremely obscure birth, that he is said by most writers to have been the son of a clerk, but by some to have been a freedman of a senator named Anulinus. . . . He soon after overthrew Carinus, who was living under the utmost hatred and detestation, in a great battle at Margum, Carinus being betrayed by his own troops, for though he had a greater number of men than the enemy, he was altogether abandoned by them between Viminacium and mount Aureus. He thus became master of the Roman empire; and when the peasants in Gaul made an insurrection, giving their faction the name of Bagaudae, and having for leaders Amandus and Aelianus, he despatched Maximian Herculius, with the authority of Caesar, to suppress them. Maximian, in a few battles of little importance, subdued the rustic multitude, and restored peace to Gaul. . . .

Diocletian promoted MAXIMIAN HERCULIUS from the dignity of Caesar to that of emperor, and created Constantius and Maximian Galerius Caesars, of whom Constantius is said to have been the grand-nephew of Claudius by a daughter, and Maximian Galerius to have been born in Dacia not far from Sardica. That he might also unite them by affinity, Constantius married Theodora the step-daughter of Herculius, by whom he had afterwards six children, brothers to Constantine; while Galerius married Valeria, the daughter of Diocletian; both being obliged to divorce the wives that they had before. . . .

Diocletian, meanwhile, besieging Achilleus in Alexandria, obliged him to surrender about eight months after, and put him to death. He used his victory, indeed, cruelly, and distressed all Egypt with severe proscriptions and massacres. Yet at the same time he made many judicious arrangements and regulations, which continue to our own days. . . .

Diocletian was of a crafty disposition, with much sagacity, and keen penetration. He was willing to gratify his own disposition to cruelty in such a way as to throw the odium upon others; he was however a very active and able prince. He was the first that introduced into the Roman empire a ceremony suited rather to royal usages than to Roman liberty, giving orders that he should be adored, whereas all emperors before him were only saluted. He put ornaments of precious stones on his dress and shoes, when the imperial distinction had previously been only in the purple robe, the rest of the habit being the same as that of other men. . . .

But when Diocletian, as age bore heavily upon him, felt himself unable to sustain the government of the empire, he suggested to Herculius that they should both retire into private life, and commit the duty of upholding the state to more vigorous and youthful hands. With this suggestion his colleague reluctantly complied. Both of them, in the same day, exchanged the robe of empire for an ordinary dress, Diocletian at Nicomedia, Herculius at Milan, soon after a magnificent triumph which they celebrated at Rome over several nations, with a noble succession of pictures, and in which the wives, sisters, and children of Narseus were led before their chariots. The one then retired to Salonae, and the other into Lucania.

Diocletian lived to an old age in a private station, at a villa which is not far from Salonae, in honourable retirement, exercising extraordinary philosophy, inasmuch as he alone of all men, since the foundation of the Roman empire, voluntarily returned from so high a dignity to the condition of private life, and to an equality with the other citizens. That happened to him, therefore, which had happened to no one since men were created, that, though he died in a private condition, he was enrolled among the gods.
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1du Constantius I17 views305-306

Quarter Follis

Laureate head, right, IMP CONSTANTIVS P F AVG
Genius standing left, modius on head, naked except for chlamys over left shoulder, holding patera and cornucopiae. Mintmark: SIS, GENIO POPVLI ROMANI

Also known as Constantius Chlorus.

RIC 167

After being names Caesar, according to Eutropius: A battle was fought by Constantius Caesar in Gaul, at Lingonae, where he experienced both good and had fortune in one day; for though he was driven into the city by a sudden onset of the barbarians, with such haste and precipitation that after the gates were shut he was drawn up the wall by ropes, yet, when his army came up, after the lapse of scarcely six hours, he cut to pieces about sixty thousand of the Alemanni. . . .

CONSTANTIUS and GALERIUS were made emperors; and the Roman world was divided between them in such a manner, that Constantius had Gaul, Italy, and Africa; Galerius Illyricum, Asia, and the East; two Caesars being joined with them. [Zosimus adds: Three years after Dioclesian died, and the reigning emperors, Constantius and Maximianus Gallerius declared Severus and Maximinus (who was nephew to Gallerius), the Caesars, giving all Italy to Severus, and the eastern provinces to Maximinus.] Constantius, however, content with the dignity of emperor, declined the care of governing Africa. He was an excellent man, of extreme benevolence, who studied to increase the resources of the provinces and of private persons, cared but little for the improvement of the public treasury, and used to say that "it was better for the national wealth to be in the hands of individuals than to be laid up in one place of confinement." So moderate was the furniture of his house, too, that if, on holidays, he had to entertain a greater number of friends than ordinary, his dining-rooms were set out with the plate of private persons, borrowed from their several houses. By the Gauls1 he was not only beloved but venerated, especially because, under his government, they had escaped the suspicious prudence of Diocletian, and the sanguinary rashness of Maximian. He died in Britain, at York, in the thirteenth year of his reign, and was enrolled among the gods.
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1ec_2 Constantine the Great18 views307-337

Follis

Laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right, IMP CONSTANTINVS PF AVG
Sol standing left, chlamys across left shoulder, raising right hand and holding globe in left hand, captive to left. Mintmark RQ.

RIC VII 52

According to Zonaras: Constans, in the eleventh year of his reign since he had been proclaimed Caesar, having ruled gently and mildly, came to the end of his life while residing in Britain, having, because of his goodness, bequeathed grief for himself among those he ruled, first having appointed successor the elder of his own sons, namely Constantine the Great, whom he begat by his first wife. He also had by his second wife, Herculius’ daughter Theodora, other sons, Constantinus, Hannibalianus, and Constantius. Constantine the Great was preferred over them, since they were judged by their father to be unsuited for sovereignty. . . . Constantine, when he was still a lad, was actually given by his father as a hostage to Gallerius, in order that, serving as a hostage, at the same time he be trained in the exercise of the soldierly art.

Eutropius summarizes: CONSTANTINE, being a man of great energy, bent upon effecting whatever he had settled in his mind, and aspiring to the sovereignty of the whole world, proceeded to make war on Licinius, although he had formed a connexion with him by marriage,5 for his sister Constantia was married to Licinius. And first of all be overthrew him, by a sudden attack, at Cibalae in Pannonia, where he was making vast preparations for war; and after becoming master of Dardania, Maesia, and Macedonia, took possession also of several other provinces.

There were then various contests between them, and peace made and broken. At last Licinius, defeated in a battle at Nicomedia by sea and land, surrendered himself, and, in violation of an oath taken by Constantine, was put to death, after being divested of the purple, at Thessalonica.

At this time the Roman empire fell under the sway of one emperor and three Caesars, a state of things which had never existed before; the sons of Constantine ruling over Gaul, the east, and Italy. But the pride of prosperity caused Constantine greatly to depart from his former agreeable mildness of temper. Falling first upon his own relatives, he put to death his son, an excellent man; his sister's son, a youth of amiable disposition; soon afterwards his wife, and subsequently many of his friends.

He was a man, who, in the beginning of his reign, might have been compared to the best princes; in the latter part of it, only to those of a middling character. Innumerable good qualities of mind and body were apparent in him; he was exceedingly ambitious of military glory, and had great success in his wars; a success, however, not more than proportioned to his exertions. After he had terminated the Civil war, he also overthrew the Goths on various occasions, granting them at last peace, and leaving on the minds of the barbarians a strong remembrance of his kindness. He was attached to the arts of peace and to liberal studies, and was ambitious of honourable popularity, which he, indeed, sought by every kind of liberality and obligingness. Though he was slow, from suspicion, to serve some of his friends,6 yet he was exceedingly generous towards others, neglecting no opportunity to add to their riches and honours.

He enacted many laws, some good and equitable, but most of them superfluous, and some severe. He was the first that endeavoured to raise the city named after him to such a height as to make it a rival to Rome. As he was preparing for war against the Parthians, who were then disturbing Mesopotamia, he died in the Villa Publica, at Nicomedia, in the thirty-first year of his reign, and the sixty-sixth of his age.

Zosimus described Constantine's conversion to Christianity: For he put to death his son Crispus, stiled (as I mentioned) Caesar, on suspicion of debauching his mother-in-law Fausta, without any regard to the ties of nature. And when his own mother Helena expressed much sorrow for this atrocity, lamenting the young man's death with great bitterness, Constantine under pretence of comforting her, applied a remedy worse than the disease. For causing a bath to be heated to an extraordinary degree, he shut up Fausta in it, and a short time after took her out dead. Of which his conscience accusing him, as also of violating his oath, he went to the priests to be purified from his crimes. But they told him, that there was no kind of lustration that was sufficient to clear him of such enormities. A Spaniard, named Aegyptius, very familiar with the court-ladies, being at Rome, happened to fall into converse with Constantine, and assured him, that the Christian doctrine would teach him how to cleanse himself from all his offences, and that they who received it were immediately absolved from all their sins. Constantine had no sooner heard this than he easily believed what was told him, and forsaking the rites of his country, received those which Aegyptius offered him ; and for the first instance of his impiety, suspected the truth of divination.
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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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1eu Theodosius24 views379-395

AE4

Pearl diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right, D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG
VOT V MVLT X within wreath, ASISC in ex

RIC 29d

Zosimus recorded: [Valentinian] commanded some legions from the stations in Pannonia and Moesia, to embark for Africa [to crush a rebellion]. On this the Sarmatians and the Quadi. . . , availing themselves, of the opportunity afforded by the departure of the legions for Africa, invaded the Pannonians and Moesians. . . . The barbarians therefore revenged themselves by plundering all the country along the Ister, carrying off all that they found in the towns. The Pannonians were by these means exposed to the cruelty of the barbarians, while the soldiers were extremely negligent in the defence of their towns, and committed as much mischief as the Barbarians themselves in all places on this side of the river. But Moesia was free from harm, because Theodosius, who commanded the forces there, courageously resisted the Barbarians, and routed them when they attacked him. By that victory he not only acquired great renown, but subsequently attained the imperial dignity. . . .

When the affairs of the empire were reduced to this low condition, Victor, who commanded the Roman cavalry, escaping the danger with some of his troops, entered Macedon and Thessaly. From thence he proceeded into Moesia and Pannonia, and informed Gratian, who was then in that quarter, of what had occurred, and of the loss of the emperor [Valens] and his army. Gratian received the intelligence without uneasiness, and was little grieved at the death of his uncle, a disagreement having existed between them. Finding himself unable to manage affairs, Thrace being ravaged by the Barbarians, as were likewise Pannonia and Moesia, and the towns upon the Rhine being infested by the neighbouring Barbarians without controul, he chose for his associate in the empire, Theodosius, who was a native of a town called Cauca, in the part of Spain called Hispania Callaecia, and who possessed great knowledge and experience of military affairs. Having given him the government of Thrace and the eastern provinces, Gratian himself proceeded to the west of Gaul, in order, if possible, to compose affairs in that quarter. . . .

During the stay of the new emperor, Theodosius, at Thesslonica, a great concourse arrived there from all parts of persons soliciting him on business, both public and private; who having obtained of him whatever he could conveniently grant, returned, to their homes. As a great multitude of the Scythians beyond the Ister, the Gotthi, and the Taiphali, and other tribes that formerly dwelt among them, had crossed the river, and were driven to infest the Roman dominions, because the Huns, had expelled them from their own country, the emperor Theodosius prepared for war with all his forces. . . . The army having made this good use of the occasion afforded by fortune, the affairs of Thrace, which had been on the brink of ruin, were now, the Barbarians being crushed beyond all hope, re-established in peace. . . .

Meanwhile, the emperor Theodosius, residing in Thessalonica, was easy of access to all who wished to see him. Having commenced his reign in luxury and indolence, he threw the magistracy into disorder, and increased the number of his military officers. . . . As he squandered the public money without consideration, bestowing it on unworthy persons, he consequently impoverished himself. He therefore sold the government of provinces to any who would purchase them, without regard to the reputation or ablity of the persons, esteeming him the best qualified who brought him the most gold or silver. . . .

Maximus, who deemed his appointments inferior to his merits, being only governor of the countries formerly under Gratian, projected how to depose the young Valentinian from the empire. . . . This so much surprised Valentinian, and rendered his situation so desperate, that his courtiers were alarmed lest he should be taken by Maximus and put to death. He, therefore, immediately embarked,and sailed to Thessalonica with his mother Justina. . . . [A]rriving at Thessalonica, they sent messengers to the emperor Theodosius, intreating him now at least to revenge the injuries committed against the family of Valentinian. . . . The emperor, being delivered from this alarm, marched with great resolution with his whole army against Maximus. . . . Theodosius, having passed through Pannonia and the defiles of the Appennines, attacked unawares the forces of Maximus before they were prepared for him. A part of his army, having pursued them with the utmost speed, forced their way through the gates of Aquileia, the guards being too few to resist them. Maximus was torn from his imperial throne while in the act of distributing money to his soldiers, and being stripped of his imperial robes, was brought to Theodosius, who, having in reproach enumerated some of his crimes against the commonwealth, delivered him to the common executioner to receive due punishment. . . . The emperor Theodosius, having consigned Italy, Spain, Celtica, and Libya to his son Honorius, died of a disease on his journey towards Constantinople.
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2) The Pompeians: Quintus Sicinius17 viewsROMAN REPUBLIC
Quintus Sicinius for Pompey
AR Denarius, 49 B.C. (3.6g)

Diademed head of Fortuna Populi Romani, goddess of Fortune of the Roman people. FORT before, P.R. behind / Crossed palm branch and winged caduceus (staff carried by ambassadors in wartime), wreath above. Q. SICINIVS, III VIR

The symbols of good fortune and victory on the reverse, together with Fortuna populi Romani on the obverse, anticipate victory by Pompey over Caesar.

CR 440, Sear Imperators #1, Sicinia 5
RM0043
Sosius
100110.jpg
2. Anonymous. 206-195 BC. Æ As (33mm, 26.72 gm)163 viewsAnonymous. 206-195 BC. Æ As (33mm, 26.72 gm). Laureate head of Janus; I above / Prow of galley right; meta above, I before. Crawford 124/3; Sydenham 260; BMCRR -. Near VF, brown patina.

Ex Goodman Collection (Classical Numismatic Group 45, 18 March 1998), lot 1306.

Ex Cng sale 100 lot 110. 71/75

Check
1 commentsecoli73
Anto02Sow.jpg
2. Sow with piglets under oak tree94 viewsAntoninus Pius. 138-161 AD. Sestertius (25.9g, 33mm, 12h), Rome mint, struck 141-143 AD. Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right Rev.: S C in ex., Sow under oak tree suckling seven piglets; one more to the right.
RIC 629; BMC 1298; Cohen 775; Sear (II) 4226.

Minted in preparation of the 900th anniversary of the founding of Rome, celebrated on April 21st, 147 AD. According to Vergil, The Trojan exile Aeneas sailed up the Tiber until he came upon a white sow nursing thirty piglets, and was to found a settlement on the site of this good omen, the town of Lanuvium, the precursor to Rome.
3 commentsCharles S
Caracala-ll-RIC-346.jpg
201 AD - Caracalla 198-217 AD - Trophy with captives147 viewsANTONINVS AVGVSTVS, laureate draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse
PART MAX PONT TR P IIII COS, two captives seated at sides of trophy

Silver denarius, RIC 346, BMC 730, RSC 177, EF, 3.72g, 18.9mm, 0o, Laodicea ad Mare mint, 201 A.D. light toning

I've been looking for a good "Trophy" reverse for a while, and this one fit the bill perfectly. Ex Forum
1 commentsjimwho523
coin291.JPG
201. Macrinus; Nikopolis28 viewsTyche

A Greek goddess, originally of fortune and chance, and then of prosperity. She was a very popular goddess and several Greek cities choose her as their protectress. In later times, cities had their own special Tyche. She is regarded as a daughter of Zeus (Pindar) or as a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys (Hesiod). She is associated with Nemesis and with Agathos Daimon ("good spirit"). Tyche was portrayed with a cornucopia, a rudder of destiny, and a wheel of fortune. The Romans identified her with their Fortuna.

AE26 of Nikopolis - Tyche OBVERSE: Laureate bust right REVERSE: Tyche standing left Holding rudder and Cornucopiae 26mm - 14 grams
ecoli
RIC_0167a.jpg
201. SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS99 viewsSEPTIMIUS SEVERUS. 193-211 AD.

The order Severus was able to impose on the empire through both the force of arms and the force of law failed to extend to his own family. His now teenaged sons, Caracalla and Geta, displayed a reckless sibling rivalry that sometimes resulted in physical injury. The emperor believed the lack of responsibilities in Rome contributed to the ill-will between his sons and decided that the family would travel to Britain to oversee military operations there. Caracalla was involved in directing the army's campaigns, while Geta was given civilian authority and a promotion to joint emperor with his father and brother.

RI6

AR Denarius (19mm, 3.41 gm). Struck 200-201 AD. SEVERVS AVG PART MAX, laureate head right / RESTITVTOR VRBIS, Septimius standing left, holding patera
in right hand over tripod altar, and spear in left. RIC IV 167; BMCRE 202; RSC 9. Good VF. Ex-CNG
ecoli73
severus_RIC254.jpg
202-210 AD - SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS denarius53 viewsobv: SEVERVS PIVS AVG (laureate head right)
rev: AFRICA (Africa, wearing elephant-skin head-dress, reclining left with scorpion & cornucopiae; basket of corn-ears before)
ref: RIC IVi 254, RSC 31 (3frcs)
mint: Rome
2.67gms, 19mm
Scarce

This type was minted to mark the visit of Severus to Africa in 207 AD.
The coin has nice black patina, in reverse scratching, though the patina is good: throw a glance at the pattern of corn-ears or the tail of scorpion.
2 commentsberserker
RIC_0086.jpg
203. MACRINUS191 viewsMACRINUS. 217-218 AD.

Caracalla's mother, Julia Domna, had toyed with the idea of raising a rebellion against Macrinus shortly after her son's murder, but the empress was uncertain of success and already suffering from breast cancer. She chose to starve herself to death instead.

The grandchildren of her sister, Julia Maesa, would become the focus of the successful uprising that began on 15 May 218. Her 14-year-old grandson Avitus (known to history as Elagabalus) was proclaimed emperor by one the legions camped near the family's hometown of Emesa. Other troops quickly joined the rebellion, but Macrinus marshalled loyal soldiers to crush the revolt. Macrinus also promoted his son to the rank of emperor.

The forces met in a village outside Antioch on 8 June 218. Despite the inexperience of the leaders of the rebel army, Macrinus was defeated. He sent his son, Diadumenianus, with an ambassador to the Parthian king, while Macrinus himself prepared to flee to Rome. Macrinus traveled across Asia Minor disguised as a courier and nearly made it to Europe, but he was captured in Chalcedon. Macrinus was transported to Cappadocia, where he was executed. Diadumenianus had also been captured (at Zeugma) and was similarly put to death.

Contemporaries tended to portray Macrinus as a fear-driven parvenu who was able to make himself emperor but was incapable of the leadership required by the job. An able administrator, Macrinus lacked the aristocratic connections and personal bravado that might have won him legitimacy. His short reign represented a brief interlude of Parthian success during what would prove the final decade of the Parthian empire.

AR Denarius (18mm 3.55 gm). IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust with short beard right / SALVS PVBLICA, Salus seated left, feeding snake rising up from altar, holding sceptre in left. RIC IV 86; Good VF; Ex-CNG
2 commentsecoli73
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205. Severus Alexander27 viewsSeverus Alexander

A child when chance brought him to the principate, with only two recommendations, that he was different from Elagabalus and that he was part of the Severan family, he proved to be inadequate for the challenges of the time. Military experience was the prime attribute of an emperor now, which Alexander did not have, and that lack ultimately cost him his life. Guided by his mother and employing the services of distinguished men, he returned dignity to the imperial household and to the state. He did the best he could, but that best was not good enough in the early decades of the third century A.D., with the great threats from east and north challenging Rome's primacy and, indeed, existence.

Denarius. IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate head right / VICTORIA AVG, Victory standing left with wreath. RSC 556.
ecoli
caracalla_RIC96.jpg
207 AD - CARACALLA denarius23 viewsobv: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG (laureate head right)
rev: PONTIF TRP X COS II (Caracalla in military dress standing front, head right, holding spear and parazonium; to left river good, to right 2 reclining figure)
ref: RIC IVi 96 (S), RSC 441 (6frcs)
mint: Rome
3.07gms, 19mm
Scarce

The river good leans on an urn and usually holds a palm, one of the right figures often holds a palm. The three lean figure are probably Arabie, Parthie et Adiabéne (Trajan has a similar bronze).
According to other opinion the three figure are the rivers Eden and Tyne and Britannia.
berserker
22-Celtic-Alex-tet.jpg
22. Celtic Alexander Tetradrachm (?)42 viewsTetradrachm, ca 2'nd century BC, Danube region.
Obverse: Head of Alexander as Herakles, wearing lion's skin headdress.
Reverse: ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ / Zeus sitting, holding his attendant eagle and sceptre. Tripod at left.
17.25 gm., 28 mm.

In researching this coin, I found five coins which are from the same pair of dies as this one. These are the only examples of this type (tripod on reverse) that I've been able to find.

1. Palladium sale #10 (Nov. 1995), attributed to the mint at Pella and catalogued as Muller #146.

2. Palladium sale #11 (April 1996), described as "unlisted in Price, and apparently unknown before a recent hoard find. Variant of Price 633."

3. CNG sale #54, lot 99, described as a Celtic imitation of Alexander's coinage from the Danube region, ca 2'nd century BC. c.f. Goble, OTA, 566. This is the coin pictured above.

4. CNG sale #72, lot 13, described as "Celtic, Lower Danube, uncertain tribe, early 3'rd century BC . . . . Unpublished in the standard references . . . . By virtue of its style, fabric, and weight, this Alexander imitation is certainly an early issue, probably struck during the first decades of the third century BC."

5. Harlan J Berk 156th Buy or Bid Sale (Oct. 2007), lot 75, described as "Possibly unpublished . . . Somewhat unusual style on the obverse."

Five coins from the same pair or dies, five different attributions. I will agree, though, with the last statement of coin #4 above, that this appears to be an early issue. This coin is on a thick flan resembling coins minted during Alexander's lifetime and immediately thereafter and is made from good silver. There is something a bit barbaric about the style of this coin, although there are genuine Alexander coins listed and pictured in Martin J. Price's book which are more barbaric than this one. An interesting coin.
1 commentsCallimachus
249-3_Maenia.jpg
249/3. Maenia - quadrans (133 BC)13 viewsAE Quadrans (Rome, 132 BC)
O/ Head of Hercules right, wearing lion's skin; 3 pellets behind.
R/ P MAE ANT M F above prow right; 3 pellets before; ROMA below.
4.65g, 19mm
Crawford 249/3 (28 specimens in Paris)
- Ex-Thersites Collection (bought on 18 April 1986)
- Roma Numismatics, e-sale 33, lot 336.

* Publius Maenius M.f. Antiaticus:

Antiaticus belonged to the plebeian gens Maenia, but his relatives are not known. Other Maenii are recorded in the 2nd century, such as Titus, Gaius, and Quintus Maenius, Praetors respectively in 186, 180, and 170, or Publius Maenius, moneyer in 194-190. However, Antiaticus mentioned on his coins that he was the son of Marcus, who is not known, and none of the aforementioned Maenii shared his cognomen.

Antiaticus must have therefore belonged to another branch of the gens, which descended from Gaius Maenius, Consul in 338, Dictator in 320 and 314, who defeated the Volsci by taking their city of Antium in 338, thus putting an end to the Second Latin War and also the conquest of Latium. The cognomen Antiaticus comes from this victory, for which Gaius Maenius was also rewarded by a statue on the Forum, possibly at the top of a column (Cicero, Pro Sestio, 58; Livy, VIII, 13).

The life of Antiaticus is still very obscure, and it seems he did not hold other office. He is only known through his coins.

Eckel read ME at the end of this legend and conjectured that it might have been the first letters of an agnomen Megellus or Medulinus (V, p. 240-1), but it seems very unlikely that a moneyer could have received an agnomen so early in his career. Perhaps Eckhel could not see good examples of this type; in any case, the legend on this coin clearly reads as MF, for "Marcus filius".
Joss
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3) The Tyrannicides: Postumia 10 Denarius16 viewsIMPERATORIAL ROME
AR Denarius (16mm, 3.60 g, 3h). Rome mint, 48 BC.
Moneyer: Albinus Bruti f.

Bare head of Pietas right / Two clasped hands holding winged caduceus.

Crawford 450/2; CRI 26; Sydenham 942; Postumia 10. Good VF, slightly spotty tone, minor flan flaw on obverse.

ex CNG
RM0037
1 commentsSosius
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3. Attica, Athens. 300-287 BC. 131 viewsAr Hemidrachm (triobol).
Obv; Helmeted hd of Athena right.
Rev; Owl. Dark tone but good silver.
Scarce old collection coin.
1.97g. 13mm.
4 commentsCGPCGP
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302. BALBINUS129 viewsBALBINUS. 238 AD.

The relation between Balbinus and Pupienus had been clouded with suspicion from the start, with both fearing an assassination from the other. They were planning an enormous double campaign, Pupienus against the Parthians and Balbinus against the Carpians, but they quarrelled frequently. It was during one of these heavy discussions, on July 29, that the Praetorian guard decided to intervene. They stormed into the room containing the emperors and killed them both. On the same day, Gordian III, only 13 years old, was proclaimed emperor.

Together they ruled a little more than three months. Coins from their short reign show one of them on one side and two clasped hands on the other to show their joint power.

AR Denarius (21mm, 2.92 gm). Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Victory standing facing, head left, holding wreath and palm. RIC IV 8; BMCRE 37; RSC 27. Good VF, toned, Ex- CNG
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313 - 2013 Edictum Mediolanense - Edict of Milan 28 viewsIn February 313, Emperor Constantine I, who controlled the western part of the Roman Empire, and Licinius, who controlled the Balkans, met in Milan and, among other things, agreed to treat the Christians benevolently.

When I, Constantine Augustus, as well as I, Licinius Augustus, fortunately met near Mediolanurn (Milan), and were considering everything that pertained to the public welfare and security, we thought, among other things which we saw would be for the good of many, those regulations pertaining to the reverence of the Divinity ought certainly to be made first, so that we might grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred; whence any Divinity whatsoever in the seat of the heavens may be propitious and kindly disposed to us and all who are placed under our rule. And thus by this wholesome counsel and most upright provision we thought to arrange that no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian religion, of that religion which he should think best for himself, so that the Supreme Deity, to whose worship we freely yield our hearts) may show in all things His usual favor and benevolence. Therefore, your Worship should know that it has pleased us to remove all conditions whatsoever, which were in the rescripts formerly given to you officially, concerning the Christians and now any one of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely and openly, without molestation. We thought it fit to commend these things most fully to your care that you may know that we have given to those Christians free and unrestricted opportunity of religious worship. When you see that this has been granted to them by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made we that we may not seem to detract from any dignity or any religion. Moreover, in the case of the Christians especially we esteemed it best to order that if it happens anyone heretofore has bought from our treasury from anyone whatsoever, those places where they were previously accustomed to assemble, concerning which a certain decree had been made and a letter sent to you officially, the same shall be restored to the Christians without payment or any claim of recompense and without any kind of fraud or deception, Those, moreover, who have obtained the same by gift, are likewise to return them at once to the Christians. Besides, both those who have purchased and those who have secured them by gift, are to appeal to the vicar if they seek any recompense from our bounty, that they may be cared for through our clemency. All this property ought to be delivered at once to the community of the Christians through your intercession, and without delay. And since these Christians are known to have possessed not only those places in which they were accustomed to assemble, but also other property, namely the churches, belonging to them as a corporation and not as individuals, all these things which we have included under the above law, you will order to be restored, without any hesitation or controversy at all, to these Christians, that is to say to the corporations and their conventicles: providing, of course, that the above arrangements be followed so that those who return the same without payment, as we have said, may hope for an indemnity from our bounty. In all these circumstances you ought to tender your most efficacious intervention to the community of the Christians, that our command may be carried into effect as quickly as possible, whereby, moreover, through our clemency, public order may be secured. Let this be done so that, as we have said above, Divine favor towards us, which, under the most important circumstances we have already experienced, may, for all time, preserve and prosper our successes together with the good of the state. Moreover, in order that the statement of this decree of our good will may come to the notice of all, this rescript, published by your decree, shall be announced everywhere and brought to the knowledge of all, so that the decree of this, our benevolence, cannot be concealed.
From Lactantius, De Mort. Pers., ch. 48. opera, ed. 0. F. Fritzsche, II, p 288 sq. (Bibl Patr. Ecc. Lat. XI).
Bohemian
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319. Probus59 viewsAt an early age he entered the army, where he distinguished himself under the emperors Valerian, Aurelian and Tacitus. He was appointed governor of the East by the emperor Tacitus, at whose death he was immediately proclaimed his successor by the soldiers. Florianus, who had claimed to succeed his half-brother Tacitus, was put to death by his own troops, and the Senate eagerly ratified the choice of the army. The reign of Probus was mainly spent in successful wars by which he re-established the security of all the frontiers, the most important of these operations being directed to clearing Gaul of German invaders.

Probus had also put down three usurpers, Saturninus, Proculus and Bonosus. One of his principles was never to allow the soldiers to be idle, and to employ them in time of peace on useful works, such as the planting of vineyards in Gaul, Pannonia and other districts. This increase of duties was naturally unpopular, and while the emperor was urging on the draining of the marshes of his native place he was attacked and slain by his own soldiers. Scarcely any emperor has left behind him so good a reputation; his death was mourned alike by senate and people, and even the soldiers repented and raised a monument in his honour.

Obv:– IMP C PROBVS P F AVG, Radiate, cuirassed bust right
Rev:– RESTITVT ORBIS, Female standing right, presenting wreath to emperor standing left, holding globe and sceptre
Minted in Siscia (* in centre field, XXIQ in exe) Emission 5 Officina 4. A.D. 278
Reference:– RIC 733 Bust type F
3 commentsecoli
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4.5 Hadrian AE Denarius - Nilus71 viewsBronze denarius of Hadrian
travel series, Nile River
unusally good quality for fouree core. Suggested that this coin could be a test strike for a new die, or fouree that never had silver coating.
nice dark green patina.
silver version minted in 136 AD in Rome.
Zam
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405. CONSTANTIUS I, as Caesar53 viewsBorn March 31st, Emperor Flavius Valerius Constantius may have come into the world ca. 250. His family was from Illyricum. In the army he served as a protector, tribunus, and a praeses Dalmatiarum. During the 270s or the 280s, he became the father of Constantine by Helena, his first spouse. By 288 he was the Praetorian Prefect of the western emperor Maximianus Herculius.

On 1 March 293 Diocletian appointed Galerius as his Caesar (junior emperor) in the east and Constantius as the Caesar of Maximianus Herculius. Caesar in the west. Both Caesars had the right of succession. In order to strengthen the dynastic relationship between himself and Herculius., Constantius put aside his wife Helena and married Theodora, the daughter, or perhaps stepdaughter, of Maximianus Herculius. The union was fruitful and of it there were six issue: Flavius Dalmatius, Julius Constantius, Hannibalianus, Constantia, Anastasia, and Eutropia. To strengthen his bond with Galerius and Diocletian in the east, Constantius allowed Galerius to keep his son Constantine as a hostage for his good behavior.

In the remainder of the time that he was a Caesar, Constantius spent much of his time engaged in military actions in the west. In the summer of 293 Constantius expelled the troops of the usurper Carausius from northern Gaul; after Constantius' attack on Bononia (Boulogne), Carausius was murdered. At the same time he dealt with the unrest of the Germans. In 296 he invaded Britain and put down the revolt of the usurper Allectus. Between 300 and 305 A.D. the Caesar campaigned successfully several times with various German tribes. It is worth noting in passing, that while his colleagues rigidly enforced the "Great Persecution in 303," Constantius limited his action to knocking down a few churches.

On 1 May 305 Diocletian, at Nicomedia, and Maximianus Herculius, at Mediolanum (Milan), divested themselves of the purple, probably because of the almost fatal illness that Diocletian contracted toward the end of 304. Diocletian forced Maximianus to abdicate. They appointed as their successors Constantius and Galerius, with Severus and Maximinus Daia as the new Caesars. The retired emperors then returned to private life. Constantius, as had his predecessor, ruled in the west, while Galerius and Daia ruled in the east. Almost as soon as he was appointed Augustus, he crossed to Britain to face incursions by the Picts where he died at York on 25 July 306 with his son at his side.


CONSTANTIUS I, as Caesar. 293-305 AD. Æ Follis (9.24 gm). Lugdunum mint. Struck 301-303 AD. CONSTANTIVS NO[B CAE]S, laureate and draped bust right, holding spear over right shoulder and shield at left / [GENIO POPV]LI ROMANI; altar-B/PLC. RIC VI 136a. VF, brown patina, some silvering. Ex CNG
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42 BC L. Mussidius Longus130 viewsCONCORDIA
Veiled and diad. head of Concordia right star below chin

L. MVSSIDIVS LONGVS
Shrine of Venus Cloacina consisting of circular platform, inscribed CLOACIN, surmounted by two statues of the goddess

Rome
42 BC

3.42g
Sear 494, RRC 494/42

ex-Canadian Coin

In Roman mythology, Cloacina (Latin, cloaca: "sewer" or "drain") was the goddess who presided over the Cloaca Maxima the main sewer drain in Rome. The Cloaca Maxima is traditionally said to have beeen started by one of Rome's Etruscan kings, Tarquinius Priscus. Despite her Etruscan origins, she later became identified with Venus.

Titus Tatius, who reigned with Romulus, erected a statue to Cloacina as the spirit of the "Great Drain". As well as controlling sewers, she was also a protector of sexual intercourse in marriage. The Romans believed that a good sewage system was important for the success of Rome, as a good sewer system was necessary for the physical health of Roman citizens. Additionally, Romans worshipped Cloacina as the goddess of purity. Cloacina was worshipped as an aspect of Venus at the small Shrine of Venus Cloacina, located in front of the Basilica Aemilia in the Roman Forum and directly above the Cloaca Maxima. The depiction on the reverse of this coin is that shrine.

The image of Concordia could be interpreted to convey the thought of Unity between the triumvirs to defeat Brutus and Cassius. Venus Cloacina on the reverse conveys the thought of purification for the treacherous murder of the dictator Julius Caesar by men who claimed to be his friends.
4 commentsJay GT4
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501. Constantine I GLORIA EXERCITVS Arles21 viewsArles SCONST
15 views
Arles

Over 3000 years of history reside upon this rocky rise just north of the Mediterranean Sea on the Rhône River. Part of ancient Liguria, the site later became a city, Arlate, named by the Celts as the village amidst the marshes. After the Celts came the Greeks who made good use of this easily accessed inland port. The Greeks were displaced by the Romans and with Caesar's defeat of the Phoenicians at Massalia (current-day Marseille) with the help of nearly 20 battle ships built by the Arlesians, Arles became the Roman capitol of Provincia Romana, with the lands formerly under the dominion of Massalia, Glanum and other former Phoenician supporters now hers.

Constantine I AE3. 333-334 AD. CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, rosette-diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right / GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS laurel wreath with dot, SCONST in ex. RIC Vii 375
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501. Constantine I Ostia Sol16 viewsOstia
Although Ostia was probably founded for the sole purpose of military defence — since through the Tiber's mouths armies could eventually reach Rome by water — in time the port became a commercial harbour, and a very important one too. Many of the goods that Rome received from its colonies and provinces passed through Ostia. In this role, Ostia soon replaced Pozzuoli (Puteoli, near Naples).

In 87 BC, the town was razed by Marius, and again in 67 BC it was sacked by pirates. After this second attack, the town was re-built and provided with protective walls by Cicero. The town was then further developed during the 1st century AD, mainly under the influence of Tiberius, who ordered the building of the first Forum. The town was also soon enriched by the construction of a new harbour on the northern mouths of the Tiber (which reaches the sea with a larger mouth in Ostia, Fiumara Grande, and a narrower one near to the current Fiumicino international airport). The new harbour, not surprisingly called Portus, was excavated from the ground at the orders of the emperor Claudius; it has an hexagonal form, in order to reduce the waves strength. The town was provided with all the services a town of the time could require; in particular, a famous lighthouse. Archaeologists also discovered the public latrinas, organised for collective use as a series of seats that lets us imagine today that the function was also a social moment. In addition, Ostia had a large theatre, public baths and a fire fighting service. You can still see the mosaic floors of the baths near today's entrance to the town.

Trajan too, required a widening of the naval areas, and ordered the building of another harbour, again pointing towards the north. It must be remembered that at a relatively short distance, there was also the harbour of Civitavecchia (Centum Cellae), and Rome was starting to have a significant number of harbours, the most important remaining Portus.

Ostia grew to 50,000 inhabitants in the 2nd century AD and in time focused its naval activities on Portus. With the end of the Roman Empire, Ostia fell slowly into decay, and was finally abandoned in the 9th century due to the fall of the Roman empire in combination with repeated invasions and sackings by Arab pirates; the inhabitants moved to Gregoriopolis. In the Middle Ages, bricks from buildings in Ostia were used for several other occasions. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was entirely built of material originally belonging to Ostia. A "local sacking" was carried out by baroque architects, who used the remains as a sort of marble store for the palazzi they were building in Rome. Soon after, foreign explorers came in search of ancient statues and objects. The Papacy started organising its own investigations with Pope Pius VII and the research still continues today. It has been estimated that two thirds of the ancient town have currently been found.

001. Constantine I Ostia

RIC VI Ostia 85 S

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504. CONSTANTIUS II148 viewsFlavius Iulius Constantius, known in English as Constantius II, (7 August 317 - 3 November 361) was a Roman Emperor (337 - 361) of the Constantinian dynasty

Constantius was the second of the three sons of Constantine I and his second wife Fausta. Constantius was born in Sirmium (in Illyricum) and named Caesar by his father. When Constantine died in 337, Constantius II led the massacre of his relatives decended from the second marriage of his grandfather Constantius Chlorus and Theodora, leaving himself, his older brother Constantine II, his younger brother Constans and two cousins (Gallus and his half-brother Julian) as the only surviving adult males related to Constantine. The three brothers divided the Roman Empire among them, according to their father's will. Constantine II received Britannia, Gaul and Hispania; Constans ruled Italia, Africa, and Illyricum; and Constantius ruled the East.

This division changed when Constantine II died in 340, trying to overthrow Constans in Italy, and Constans become sole ruler in the Western half of the empire. The division changed once more in 350 when Constans was killed in battle by forces loyal to the usurper Magnentius. Until this time, Constantius was preoccupied with fighting the Sassanid Empire, and he was forced to elevate his cousin Gallus to Caesar of the East to assist him, while he turned his attention to this usurper.

Constantius eventually met and crushed Magnentius in the Battle of Mursa Major, one of the bloodiest battles in Roman history, in 351. Magnentius committed suicide in 353, and Constantius soon after put his cousin Gallus to death. However, he still could not handle the military affairs of both the Eastern and German frontiers by himself, so in 355 he elevated his last remaining relative, Julian, to Caesar. As Julian was hailed Augustus by the army in Gaul, Constantius saw no alternative but to face the usurper with violent force. As the two armies sought engagement, Constantius died from a fever near Tarsus on November 3, 361, and Julian was hailed Augustus in the whole of the Roman empire.

Constantius took an active part in the affairs of the Christian church, frequently taking the side of the Arians, and he called the Council of Rimini in 359.

Constantius married three times, first to a daughter of Julius Constantius, then to Eusebia, and last to Faustina, who gave birth to a posthumous daughter, Faustina Constantia, who later married Emperor Gratian.

CONSTANTIUS II. 337-361 AD. Æ 18mm (2.41 gm). Siscia mint. Struck 351-355 AD. D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right / FEL TEMP REPARATIO, soldier spearing falling enemy horseman who wears conical hat; at right, shield on ground; ASIS. RIC VIII 350. Good VF, green patina. Ex CNG
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504. CONSTANTIUS II Campgate Nicomedia22 viewsCONSTANTIUS II, as Caesar. 324-337 AD. Æ Follis (19mm - 3.21 g). Nicomedia mint. Struck 328-9 AD. FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust left / PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS•, camp-gate with no doors and two turrets, star above; SMNB. RIC VII 158 note; LRBC -. Good VF, green patina with some spotty silvering. R5
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515a. Aelia Flacilla33 viewsEmpress, wife of Theodosius the Great, died c. A. D. 385 or 386. Like Theodosius himself, his first wife, Ælia Flaccilla, was of Spanish descent. She may have been the daughter of Claudius Antonius, Prefect of Gaul, who was consul in 382. Her marriage with Theodosius probably took place in the year 376, when his father, the comes Theodosius, fell into disfavour and he himself withdrew to Cauca in Gallæcia, for her eldest son, afterwards Emperor Arcadius, was born towards the end of the following year. In the succeeding years she presented two more children to her husband Honorius (384), who later became emperor, and Pulcheria, who died in early childhood, shortly before her mother. Gregory of Nyssa states expressly that she had three children; consequently the Gratian mentioned by St. Ambrose, together with Pulcheria, was probably not her son. Flaccilla was, like her husband, a zealous supporter of the Nicene Creed and prevented the conference between the emperor and the Arian Eunomius (Sozomen, Hist. eccl., VII, vi). On the throne she was a shining example of Christian virtue and ardent charity. St. Ambrose describes her as "a soul true to God" (Fidelis anima Deo. — "De obitu Theodosii", n. 40, in P. L., XVI, 1462). In his panegyric St. Gregory of Nyssa bestowed the highest praise on her virtuous life and pictured her as the helpmate of the emperor in all good works, an ornament of the empire, a leader of justice, an image of beneficence. He praises her as filled with zeal for the Faith, as a pillar of the Church, as a mother of the indigent. Theodoret in particular exalts her charity and benevolence (Hist. eccles., V, xix, ed. Valesius, III, 192 sq.). He tells us how she personally tended cripples, and quotes a saying of hers: "To distribute money belongs to the imperial dignity, but I offer up for the imperial dignity itself personal service to the Giver." Her humility also attracts a special meed of praise from the church historian. Flaccilla was buried in Constantinople, St. Gregory of Nyssa delivering her funeral oration. She is venerated in the Greek Church as a saint, and her feast is kept on 14 September. The Bollandists (Acta SS., Sept., IV, 142) are of the opinion that she is not regarded as a saint but only as venerable, but her name stands in the Greek Menæa and Synaxaria followed by words of eulogy, as is the case with the other saints

Wife of Theodosius. The reverse of the coin is very interesting; a nice bit of Pagan-Christian syncretism with winged victory inscribing a chi-rho on a shield.
1 commentsecoli
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5270 EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian Tetradrachm 120-21 AD Agathodaemon27 viewsReference.
Emmett 803.5; Köln 805; Dattari 1547; Milne 982; RPC III, 5270

Issue L E = year 5

Obv. AVT KAI TPAI ΑΔΡΙΑ CEB
Laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; crescent before.

Rev. L E below
Agathodaemon serpent erect right, wearing skhent and entwining caduceus and grain ears in coils.

12.24 gr
24 mm
12h

notes.
Agathodaimon:
In ancient Greek religion, Agathos Daimon or Agathodaemon (Greek: ἀγαθὸς δαίμων, "noble spirit") was a daemon or presiding spirit of the vineyards and grainfields and a personal companion spirit,[2][3] similar to the Roman genius, ensuring good luck, health, and wisdom.

source:
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins at FORVM
Skhent:
The crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.
1 commentsokidoki
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5756 EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian Diobol AE 129-30 AD Tyche standing22 viewsReference.
Emmett 1144.14; Köln 1021; Milne 1289; RPC III, 5756

Issue L IΔ = year 14

Obv. AVT KAI TPAI A∆PIA CEB
Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right

Rev. LIΔ
Tyche standing facing, head l., holding rudder and cornucopia

9.47 gr
23 mm
12h

Note from NGC.
The goddess Tyche, the protectress of cities and the goddess of good fortune and prosperity, known to the Romans as Fortuna. She often is portrayed on ancient coinage, including on this Egyptian drachm of Hadrian
okidoki
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69-79 AD - VESPASIAN - AR denarius - struck 73 AD44 viewsobv: IMP.CAES.VESP.AVG.P.M.COS.IIII.CEN (Laureate head right)
rev: FIDES PVBL (Clasped hands holding corn-ears, poppy and caduceus)
ref: RIC II 55, RSC 164 (5frcs), BMC 86
mint: Rome
3.32gms, 19mm

The two united hands were meant to symbolize the good faith and fidelity of soldiers and people to the reigning prince - and not to represent Fides in her quality of goddess. Vespasian was censor from 1st July 73 AD- (with Titus).
1 commentsberserker
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702a, Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.37 viewsAugustus, 27 BC - 14 AD. AE 19mm (5.98 gm). Lydia, Sardeis. Diodoros Hermophilou. Obverse: head right. Reverse: Zeus Lydios standing facing holding scepter and eagle. RPC I, 489, 2986; SNG von Aulock 3142. aVF. Fine portrait. Ex Tom Vossen.

De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers

AUGUSTUS (31 B.C. - 14 A.D.)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

In the course of his long and spectacular career, he put an end to the advancing decay of the Republic and established a new basis for Roman government that was to stand for three centuries. This system, termed the "Principate," was far from flawless, but it provided the Roman Empire with a series of rulers who presided over the longest period of unity, peace, and prosperity that Western Europe, the Middle East and the North African seaboard have known in their entire recorded history. Even if the rulers themselves on occasion left much to be desired, the scale of Augustus's achievement in establishing the system cannot be overstated. Aside from the immense importance of Augustus's reign from the broad historical perspective, he himself is an intriguing figure: at once tolerant and implacable, ruthless and forgiving, brazen and tactful. Clearly a man of many facets, he underwent three major political reinventions in his lifetime and negotiated the stormy and dangerous seas of the last phase of the Roman Revolution with skill and foresight. With Augustus established in power and with the Principate firmly rooted, the internal machinations of the imperial household provide a fascinating glimpse into the one issue that painted this otherwise gifted organizer and politician into a corner from which he could find no easy exit: the problem of the succession.

(For a very detailed and interesting account of the Age of Augustus see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/auggie.htm)

Death and Retrospective

In his later years, Augustus withdrew more and more from the public eye, although he continued to transact public business. He was getting older, and old age in ancient times must have been considerably more debilitating than it is today. In any case, Tiberius had been installed as his successor and, by AD 13, was virtually emperor already. In AD 4 he had received grants of both proconsular and tribunician power, which had been renewed as a matter of course whenever they needed to be; in AD 13, Tiberius's imperium had been made co-extensive with that of Augustus. While traveling in Campania, Augustus died peacefully at Nola on 19 August, AD 14. Tiberius, who was en route to Illyricum, hurried to the scene and, depending on the source, arrived too late or spent a day in consultation with the dying princes. The tradition that Livia poisoned her husband is scurrilous in the extreme and most unlikely to be true. Whatever the case about these details, Imperator Caesar Augustus, Son of a God, Father of his Country, the man who had ruled the Roman world alone for almost 45 years, or over half a century if the triumviral period is included, was dead. He was accorded a magnificent funeral, buried in the mausoleum he had built in Rome, and entered the Roman pantheon as Divus Augustus. In his will, he left 1,000 sesterces apiece to the men of the Praetorian guard, 500 to the urban cohorts, and 300 to each of the legionaries. In death, as in life, Augustus acknowledged the true source of his power.

The inscription entitled "The Achievements of the Divine Augustus" (Res Gestae Divi Augustae; usually abbreviated RG) remains a remarkable piece of evidence deriving from Augustus's reign. The fullest copy of it is the bilingual Greek and Latin version carved into the walls of the Temple of Rome and Augustus at Ancyra in Galatia (for this reason the RG used to be commonly referred to as the Monumentum Ancyranum). Other evidence, however, demonstrates that the original was inscribed on two bronze pillars that flanked the entrance to the Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome. The inscription remains the only first-person summary of any Roman emperor's political career and, as such, offers invaluable insights into the Augustan regime's public presentation of itself.

In looking back on the reign of Augustus and its legacy to the Roman world, its longevity ought not to be overlooked as a key factor in its success. People had been born and reached middle age without knowing any form of government other than the Principate. Had Augustus died earlier (in 23 BC, for instance), matters may have turned out very differently. The attrition of the civil wars on the old Republican aristocracy and the longevity of Augustus, therefore, must be seen as major contributing factors in the transformation of the Roman state into a monarchy in these years. Augustus's own experience, his patience, his tact, and his great political acumen also played their part. All of these factors allowed him to put an end to the chaos of the Late Republic and re-establish the Roman state on a firm footing. He directed the future of the empire down many lasting paths, from the existence of a standing professional army stationed at or near the frontiers, to the dynastic principle so often employed in the imperial succession, to the embellishment of the capital at the emperor's expense. Augustus's ultimate legacy, however, was the peace and prosperity the empire was to enjoy for the next two centuries under the system he initiated. His memory was enshrined in the political ethos of the Imperial age as a paradigm of the good emperor; although every emperor adopted his name, Caesar Augustus, only a handful earned genuine comparison with him.

Copyright © 1999, 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.

Augustus (the first Roman emperor, in whose reign Jesus Christ was born) is without any doubt one of the most important figures in Roman history.

It is reported that when he was near death, Augustus addressed those in attendance with these words, "If I have played my part well, applaud!"

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.
Cleisthenes
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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
Nero AE Sestertius.jpg
706a, Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.73 views6, Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D. AE setertius, Date: 66 AD; RIC I 516, 36.71 mm; 25.5 grams; aVF. Obverse: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONT MAX TR POT PP, Laureate bust right; Reverse: S C, ROMA, Roma seated left, exceptional portrait and full obverse legends. Ex Ancient Imports.

NERO (54-68 A.D.)

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

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

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. . . .

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

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

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

Cleisthenes
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.
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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
204Hadrian__RIC759.jpg
759 Hadrian Sestertius, Roma 134-38 AD Fortuna35 viewsReference.
RIC 759; Cohen 763; Sear 3599.

Obv: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
legend with laureate head right.

Rev: FORTVNA AVG legend with S-C
Fortuna standing left, holding rudder on globe and cornucopia.

25.92 gr
30 mm
Good fine.

Ex Walter Steinberg collection
1 commentsokidoki
Album-2522.jpg
Ağ Qoyunlu: Ya'qub (1478-1490 CE) AR Tanka, NM, ND (Album-2522)12 viewsObv: Within cartouche, السلطان العادل يعقوب خان (the Just Sultan, Ya’qub Khan); below, خلد الله ملکه (May Allah preserve his kingdom) where mint name is usually found; margin unread
Rev: Within square, فمن يعمل مثقال ذرة خيرا يره (He who does the weight of one grain of good shall see it); in margin, ابو بكر عمر عثمان علي (the Rashidun - Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali)
SpongeBob
Bacchivs.jpg
A. Plautius70 viewsA. Plautius 54 BCE, denarius, 21mm., Rome mint. O: Turreted head of Cybele right, A PLAVTIVS before, AED CVR SC behind. R: Bacchius (Aristobulus II) kneeling right, extending olive branch, camel at side, BACCHIVS in exergue, IVDAEVS on right. Hendin 1443

The 'Bacchius the Jew' kneeling on the reverse is most likely Judah Aristobulus II, who usurped the throne of Judea from his brother John Hyrcanus II between 67 and 63 BC. In 63 BCE, Pompey the Great sided with Hyrcanus and subjected Jerusalem to a brutal siege and sacking, deposing Aristobulus II. Pompey went so far as to enter the Holy of Holies, defiling the sanctuary and marking the end of the great Hasmonean dynasty.

The Romans now had a foot in the door and were not about to remove it. Hyrcanus became a Roman ethnarch, one who ruled by the grace of the Romans, dependent on their goodwill and support to retain his throne.

Aristobulus was permitted to live as a hostage in Rome, but later escaped and tried to resume the throne, only to be defeated again by M. Aemilius Scaurus. This issue celebrates this unsuccessful attempt to regain control of Judaea.

Behind the scenes, a rich Idumaean chieftain named Antipater continued to manipulate Hyrcanus and to pander to Rome, building influence and power. This set the stage for the eventual rise to power of his infamous son, Herod the Great.

Except for the inscription, this coin is of the same reverse type as Hendin 1441.
2 commentsNemonater
rep33.jpg
A. Postumius A.f. Sp.n. Albinus. 81 BC. AR Serrate Denarius (19.4mm, 3.96 g, 11h).34 viewsRome mint. Veiled head of Hispania right / Togate figure standing left, raising hand, between aquila and fasces. Crawford 372/2; Sydenham 746; Postumia 8; Type as RBW 1393. Good VF, toned, obverse die bulge with resulting depression.

From the Andrew McCabe Collection. Ex Roma Special Auction May 2013 (21 May 2013), lot 1237; Bolaffi Ambassador (26 May 2011), lot 37.
The depression on the obverse shows signs of the struck design within the incuse. This may be the result of a die that bulged after it was engraved; impurities in the metal of the die itself caused it to “bubble,” creating the die bulge. Or perhaps the bulge was already on the face of the die, and instead of planing off the face of the die, the engraver simply engraved over it. [KKW]
1 commentsBritanikus
Album-65.jpg
Abbasid Provincial Coinage of Tabaristan: Sulayman (787-789) AR ½ Dirham, Tabaristan, PYE137 (Album-65)25 viewsObv: Bust right, breast ornament: type 'A' with 3 pellets.'Bakh' (good) in diamond superimposed over bust with winged headdress.
Rev: Fire altar with 2 attendants; stars to right and left of flames.
SpongeBob
Comb22022017105911.jpg
Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan Æ Fals. 27 viewsObv. Caliph standing facing, with left hand on sheathed sword; legend with Caliph’s name.
Rev. Transformed cross; Hums-wāf flanking.
SICA 697-700; Album 3539. 3.65g, 20mm.
Attractive sand patina, Good Very Fine. Very Rare variety with Star in left field.
Canaan
Abdera.jpg
Abdera31 viewsAbdera, Thrace. AR Obol (9 mm, 0.50 g), c. 475-450 BC.
Obv. Griffin seated left, forepaw raised.
Rev. Head of eagle left within incuse square.
May, Abdera, 125.

Rare. Good very fine.
areich
sabinas.jpg
Abduction of the Sabine women.384 viewsAR denarius. 89 BC. 3,65 grs. Bare-headed, bearded head of King Tatius righ. TA (ligate) below chin. SABIN behind / Two Roman soldiers, each carrying off a sabine woman in his arms. L TITVRI in exergue.
Crawford 344/1a. RSC Tituria 1.

Livy. History of Rome. 1.9.
The Roman state had become strong enough to hold its own in war with all the peoples along its borders, but a shortage of women meant that its greatness was fated to last for a single generation, since there was no prospect of offspring at home nor any prospect of marriage with their neighbours. Then, in accordance with the decision of the senate, Romulus sent messengers to the neighbouring peoples to ask for alliance and the right of marriage for the new people: cities, like everything else, start small but later if their own excellence and the gods assist them, they grow in strength and in fame. It was certain that at the beginning of Rome the gods had been propitiated and that it would not lack in valour. Therefore, men should not disdain to join blood and family ties with other men.
But nowhere were the emissaries given a fair hearing. Some scorned, others feared the great power growing in their midst, both for themselves and for their descendants. In more than one place the emissaries were asked, even as they were being sent packing, why they hadn't offered asylum to women (criminals) too: that way they'd have had their marriage and with others of their own rank! The youth of Rome took this insult badly and began to think seriously about the use of force. Romulus, to gain time till he found the right occasion, hid his concern and prepared to celebrate the Consualia, the solemn games in honour of equestrian Neptune. He then ordered that the spectacle be announced to the neighbouring peoples. He gave the event great publicity by the most lavish means possible in those days. Many people came, some simply out of curiosity to see the new city, and especially the nearest neighbours, from Caenina, Crustuminum and Antemnae; the entire Sabine population came, wives and children included. Received with hospitality in the houses, after having seen the position of the city, its walls, and the large number of buildings, they marvelled that Rome had grown so fast. When it was time for the show, and everybody was concentrating on this, a prearranged signal was given and all the Roman youths began to grab the women. Many just snatched the nearest woman to hand, but the most beautiful had already been reserved for the senators and these were escorted to the senators' houses by plebeians who had been given this assignment. The story goes that one woman, far and away the most beautiful, was carried off by the gang of a certain Thalassius, and because many wanted to know where they were taking her, they repeatedly shouted that they were taking her to Thalassius, and that it how the nuptial cry came to be.

The party was over, and the grieving parents of the girls ran away, accusing the Romans of having violated the laws of hospitality and invoking the god who was supposed to have been honoured at that day's festival. Nor did the girls themselves hold much hope. But Romulus went among them in person to assure them that none of this would have happened if their fathers hadn't been so inflexible in not letting them marry their neighbours. But now they would have the status of wives with all the material rewards and civil rights of citizenship and they would have children, than which nothing is dearer. They should cool their anger and give their hearts to the men who had already taken their bodies. A good relationship often begins with an offence, he said. And their husbands would treat them with extra kindness in hope of making up for the parents and country they so missed. The men added their blandishments, saying that they'd been motivated by love and passion, entreaties which are very effective with women.

benito
achaemenid_kingdon.jpg
Achaemenid Kingdom106 viewsAchaemenid Kingdom. Darios I to Xerxes II. Ca. 485-420 B.C. AR siglos. Good Fine. Persian king or hero in kneeling/running stance right, holding spear and bow / Incuse punch. Carradice type IIIb/A-B. dpaul7
Antoninus_Pius_R617_portrait.jpg
AD 138-161 - ANTONINVS PIVS9 viewsAntoninus Pius

Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, 19 September 86 – 7 March 161, was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. He was one of the "Five Good Emperors".

for obverse, reverse and coin details click here
shanxi
probus-Ric547-Ticinium.jpg
AD 276-282 Probus - Pax57 viewsIMPCPROBVSAVG - Radiate, curaissed Bust right.
PAX AVG, EXXI in exe, Pax standing left with branch and tranverse scepter.
Ticinum mint, 20.mm, 2.30 gms, Ref RIC 547, Cohen 399
Nicely silvered with good detail. note that the blue highlights are reflections from scanner, not on coin!
jimwho523
rhodos_ae12.jpg
AE 12; Zeus/ Hibiscus15 viewsRhodos, Caria, c. 225 B.C. Bronze AE 12, SNG Cop 797, nice F, Rhodos mint, 1.967g, 11.7mm, 0o, c. 225 BC; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse PO, rose, sun-disk behind; rare. Based on the unusual Zeus obverse, this small bronze could be connected to Ptolemy III of Egypt. A devastating earthquake struck Rhodes in 226 B.C. It knocked down the Colossus of Rhodes and destroyed the city. Polybius records that Ptolemy III promised the Rhodians '300 talents of silver, a million artabae of corn, ship-timber for 10 quinqueremes and 10 triremes, consisting of 40,000 cubits of squared pine planking, 1000 talents of bronze coinage, 180,000 pounds of tow (for ropes), 3000 pieces of sailcloth, 3000 talents (of copper?) for the repair of the Colossus, 100 master-builders with 350 workmen, and 14 talents yearly to pay their wages. Beside this, he gave 12,000 artabae of corn for their public games and sacrifices, and 20,000 artabae for victualling 10 triremes. The greater part of these goods were delivered at once, as well as one-third of the money named.' This issue shows perceived harmony with, or thanks to Ptolemaic Egypt. -- J. Ashton, Rhodian Bronze Coinage and the Earthquake of 229. Ex FORVMPodiceps
DSC_0011a.jpg
AE Pentanummia Justin I SB 11116 viewsObverse: DN IVSTINVS PP AVG, Diad., dr. and cuir. bust r.
Reverse: The tyche of Antioch seated L., to L. reverse E, all within shrine.
Mint: Antioch
Date: 518-527 AD
Sear 111, DO 57
12mm 2.07gm

Tyche was regarded as a patron deity of luck or good fortune for many cities in ancient greece. Pentanummia under Justin I have the seated figure of the Tyche of Antioch under an Arch. Gierson notes this to be one of the rare examples of a pagen type of diety in sixth century coinage.
wileyc
DSC_0009a.jpg
AE Pentanummium Justin I SB 11135 viewsObverse: DN IVSTINVS PP AVG, Diad., dr. and cuir. bust r.
Reverse: The tyche of Antioch seated L., to L. reverse E, all within shrine.
Mint: Antioch
Date: 518-527 AD
Sear 111, DO 57
10mm 1.99gm

Tyche was regarded as a patron deity of luck or good fortune for many cities in ancient greece. Pentanummia under Justin I have the seated figure of the Tyche of Antioch under an Arch. Gierson notes this to be one of the rare examples of a pagen type of diety in sixth century coinage.
wileyc
Aegina_Stater_5b.jpg
Aegina * Sea-Turtle | Skew-pattern incuse - AR Stater, 480-456 BC.225 views
Aegina * Sea-Turtle | Skew-pattern incuse - Silver Stater

Obv: Sea-turtle.
Rev: Incuse Skew-pattern.

Exergue: None.

Mint: Aegina
Struck: 485-480 BC.

Size: 21.46 x 15.77 mm.
Weight: 11.98 grm.
Die axis: Omni-

Condition: Quite fine. Sea-turtle is missing right hind-leg, but otherwise, Superb relief and wonderful forms in fine style. Good, bright, clear, lustrous silver. Cleaned, without toning.

Refs:*
Sear, GC 1858.
Milbank, 13 (sim.?)
1 commentsTiathena
aelia_flaccilla_Heraclea_25.2.jpg
Aelia Flaccilla, RIC IX, Heraclea 2581 viewsAelia Flaccilla AD 379-388, 1st wife of Theodosius I
AE- AE 2, 4.73g
Heraclea 1st officina, 25 Aug. 383 - 28 Aug. 388
obv. AEL FLAC - CILLA AVG
Bust, draped with elaborate headdress, necklace and mantle, r.
rev. SALVS REI - PVBLICAE
Empress standing frontal, head r., with arms crossed before breast
in ex. dot SMHA
star in l. field, cross in r. field
RIC IX, Heraclea 25 type 2; C.6
scarce, good VF, green patina

Usually all coins of Aelia Flaccilla are not common
4 commentsJochen
PULCHER-1.jpg
Aelia Pulcheria, sister of Theodosius II. Augusta, 414-453 CE.323 viewsÆ 4 (14 mm, 0.82 gm). Constantinople mint, 414-423 CE.
Obv: AEL PVLCH-ERIA AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right, wearing necklace and earring.
Rev: SALVS REIPVBLICAE, Victory seated r., inscribing Christogram on shield set on cippus; CON? in exergue.
Sear 4309; Goodacre 9; Tolstoi 43; LRBC 2226.
1 commentsEmpressCollector
image01857.jpg
Agrippa51 viewsIn the name of Agrippa.
As 37-41, Æ 11.39 g. Head of Agrippa l. wearing rostral crown. Rev. Neptune standing l., holding small dolphin and trident. C 3. RIC 58
Green patina somewhat porous
4 commentsTLP
good.jpg
Agrippa I Prutah134 viewsHendin 553 - Judaea, Agrippa I Æ Prutah. Dated Year 6 = 41/42 AD. ΒACIΛEΩC AΓPIΠA, umbrella-like canopy with fringes / three ears of barley between two leaves, date L L at sides. SGI 5567, AJC II 113 commentsaarmale
Macedon_Akanthos_SNG-ANS_18_gf2.jpg
Akanthos. 500-470 BC. AR Tetrobol 7 viewsMacedon, Akanthos. 500-470 BC. AR Tetrobol (2.33 gm). Forepart of lioness r., head viewed from above, acanthus above. / Quadripartite incuse square.  Good VF.  Pegasi VI #122. SNG ANS 7 #18-21; AMNG III/2 #12 (plate VI #22); ACNAC Dewing 1000, Rosen 84; HGC 3.1 #386; SNG Ashmolean III #2205-2206; SNG Berry 4-5.Anaximander
Alexander_III_The_Great_Lifetime_Issue_Ionia_,_Miletos_Mint_.jpg
Alexander III The Great, Macedonian Kingdom, 336 - 323 B.C., Lifetime Issue. Ionia, Miletos mint.32 viewsSilver Drachm, Müller Alexander 763; SNG Cop 895; SNG Alpha Bank 629; SNG Saroglos 771; SNG München - ; Price 2090, Choice good Very Fine , as found Superb Fine Style, toned, centered, bumps and marks, Ionia, Miletos mint, weight 4.004g, maximum diameter 18.0mm, die axis 0o, struck between 325 - 323 B.C.,.
Obverse ; head of Alexander the Great as Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck.
Reverse ; AΛEΞAN∆POY ( means " Of Alexander " in Ancient Greek ), Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, feet on footstool, right leg forward, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter topped with lotus vertical behind in left hand, ∆H monogram left.


*Lifetime issue. This coin was issued during the lifetime and rule of Alexander the Great. Most Alexander coins were issued after his death.

*Alexander the great believed if the world ruled by one king or leader , will be better for all.
Alexander the great was considered a god after his death.



FORVM Ancient Coins. / From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
3 commentsSam
IMG_4617.PNG
Alexander the Great45 viewsCNG description:

KINGS of MACEDON. Alexander III ‘the Great’. 336-323 BC. AR Tetradrachm (25.5mm, 17.19 g, 11h). Babylon mint. Struck under Stamenes or Archon, circa 324/3 BC. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; in left field, horizontal ear above M; monogram below throne. Price 3611 corr. (symbol). Good VF, lightly toned, slight die shift on obverse, reverse a little off center. Ex CNG.
4 commentsMolinari
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Alexander the great tetradrachm58 viewsObverse:Head of Alexander as Herakles wearing lions skin
Reverse:Zeus on throne holding eagle;S at left and SI under throne
SIDON
25.31mm 15.74g
PRICE False85 same reverse dies

MODERN STRUCK FAKE
One good fake

I bought it (2005) as original 300euro from not blacklisted seller.
maik
coin160.JPG
Alexandria, Egypt; Philip II14 viewsEGYPT, Alexandria. Philip II. As Caesar, AD 244-247. BI Tetradrachm (22mm, 11.35 g, 12h). Dated RY 2 of Philip I (AD 244/5). Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Eagle standing left on ground line, head right, with wings folded, holding wreath in beak; L B (date) across field. Köln 2782; Dattari 5049; K&G 76.1. Good VF, toned.ecoli
coin159.JPG
Alexandria, Egypt; Philip II26 viewsEGYPT, Alexandria. Philip II. As Caesar, AD 244-247. BI Tetradrachm (22mm, 11.35 g, 12h). Dated RY 2 of Philip I (AD 244/5). Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Eagle standing left on ground line, head right, with wings folded, holding wreath in beak; L B (date) across field. Köln 2782; Dattari 5049; K&G 76.1. Good VFecoli
coin167.JPG
Alexandria, Egypt; Philip II16 viewsEGYPT, Alexandria. Philip II. As Caesar, AD 244-247. BI Tetradrachm (22mm, 11.35 g, 12h). Dated RY 2 of Philip I (AD 244/5). Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Eagle standing left on ground line, head right, with wings folded, holding wreath in beak; L B (date) across field. Köln 2782; Dattari 5049; K&G 76.1. Good VFecoli
coin170.JPG
Alexandria, Egypt; Philip II15 viewsEGYPT, Alexandria. Philip II. As Caesar, AD 244-247. BI Tetradrachm (22mm, 11.35 g, 12h). Dated RY 2 of Philip I (AD 244/5). Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Eagle standing left on ground line, head right, with wings folded, holding wreath in beak; L B (date) across field. Köln 2782; Dattari 5049; K&G 76.1. Good VFecoli
coin177.JPG
Alexandria, Egypt; Philip II18 viewsEGYPT, Alexandria. Philip II. As Caesar, AD 244-247. BI Tetradrachm (22mm, 11.35 g, 12h). Dated RY 2 of Philip I (AD 244/5). Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Eagle standing left on ground line, head right, with wings folded, holding wreath in beak; L B (date) across field. Köln 2782; Dattari 5049; K&G 76.1. Good VFecoli
Coronationtet.jpg
ALEXIUS I Lead Tetarteron "Coronation Series" S-NL DOC37293 viewsFull Length figures of John II and of St. Demetrius holding between them a labarum on a long shaft. Emperor weras Stemma, divitision , collar piece and Jewelled loros of a simplified type. Saint wears short military tunic, Breast plate and Saigon. Rev Full length figures of Alexius l. on l. and of Irene holding between them cross on shaft. 20mm Very Good. Thessalonica Mint. DOC 37 The first tetarteron after coin reforms.

This coin is made of lead and it has been recently determined to be the first tetarteron.
Simon
6E9790D0-4445-4942-A057-7EC757D7123C.jpeg
AMISOS (as Peiraieos) AR Drachm. EF/VF+. Hera - Owl over shield.15 viewsObverse: Head of Hera left, wearing ornamented stephanos.
Reverse: ΔΙ - AN / ΠEIP. owl, with wings spread, standing facing on shield.

Very nice exemplar of this scarce drachm, in EF/VF+ condition, really nice in hand, conserving complete details in both sides, bold reliefs and good quality silver.

HGC 7, 229. Amisos mint, 435-370 BC. 5,5 g - 18 mm
Mark R1
faustina_II_tauropolis.jpg
Amphipolis, Macedon. 17-18mm, Artemis Tauropolis riding on bull32 viewsFaustina II. AE18, 161-176 A.D. Amphipolis, Macedon. 17-18mm, 4.21g. Obv: ΦAVCTEINA CEBACTH, draped bust right. Rev: AMΦΙΠΟΛΕΙΤΩΝ, Artemis Tauropolis riding on bull right. Lindgren - (cf. 999 for obverse). Good fine, rare. Ex Rutten & WielandPodiceps
Anastasius_new.jpg
Anastasius I29 viewsObv: Head of Anastasius facing right
Rev: Anastasius Monogram
Minted: Constantinople or Nicomedia, 491-518AD
Size: 8mm, 0.56g
Notes: Although a tiny and not so good example, this coin will always have a place in my collection, as it is my first coin and one I cleaned from a cull batch. This was cleaned while at sea on patrol for the Vancouver Olympics.
ickster
caracalla_combined_1.jpg
ANCIENT FORGERY -Dilver - Caracalla - Nobilitas44 viewsBearded Caracalla looking - apparently - clearly not ancient.
Obverse legend (probably intended as): ANTONINIVSPIVSAVG
Reverse legend (most likely): NOBILITAS
Reverse (again, probably): Nobilitas standing right, holding scepter and palladium, shield to right
(as per Aorta)

Above reflects the best, most likely attribution that I had but it did seem odd that the only attribution that I could come up with was for a 'Quinarius' as it's about the same size as my not-a-quinarius Elagabalus silver coin. I posted it in good faith thinking I'd done a good job to ID it given its condition. Below you can read the comments from other Forum members who told me it was most likely an ancient forgery.

It looks like that rather than go with a recognised, common coin that would stand out against the real thing, the forgers took a chance with a design known to be on the quinarius, but not on the denari. I suppose that they figured that folks would just assume that the mint was making denari with the same features as the quinarius (beared Caracalla, NOBILITAS etc) and not ask too many questions. OR, NOBILITAS was just the shortest reverse legend and the easiest picture to replicate. Why knows? A relic of the otherwise unpublished seedy underbelly of Rome... I like it. Hope you do to.
5 commentsBanjaxed
11826LG.jpg
Anonymous AE Semis69 viewsAnonymous AE Semis. Circa 211 BC. Laureate Bust of Saturn right, S behind / Prow right, S above. Cr56/3; Syd143. 8.79g, 23mm.
Very Good.

Ex Roma Numismatics
Philoromaos
Antigonas_Gonatus_Pan_2b.jpg
Antigonos Gonatas * War-helmed Athena * Pan, 277-239 BC. Æ20157 views
Antigonos Gonatas * Athena * Pan, Bronze Drachm

Obv: Head of Athena right wearing crested Corinthian helmet.
Rev: Pan standing right erecting a trophy; B-A, to left and right of Pan respectively. Φ in lower-left field, ligate monogram between Pan's legs.

Exergue: (Blank)

Mint: Pella (?)
Struck: 277-239 BC.

Size: 18.15 mm.
Weight: 6.64 grams
Die axis: 005°

Condition: Nicely centered strike with good images on both sides. Lovely dark-olive patina (near-black). Showing signs of wear, long usage and the passage of time. Still a lovely coin and very pleasing to the eye.

Refs:*
Price 71
SNG Copenhagen 1205(ff)

1 commentsTiathena
seleukidF_copy.jpg
Antiochos III, Megas28 viewsAE 10, Antiochos III, ca. 222-187 BC, Obv: Apollo facing right. Rev: Apollo standing holding arrow and grounded bow, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΞΟΥ on either side, Good Fine. Hoover HGC 9, 562 (C). Molinari
aeF_copy.jpg
Antiochos IX, Kyzikenos28 viewsAE 20, Antiochos IX, Kyzikenos, ca. 113-95 BC. Obv: Winged bust of Eros facing right. Rev: Nike holding wreath, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΞΟΥ ΦΙΛΟΠΑΤΡΟΣ, Seleukid eradate 111/0 (Beta Sigma) to left. Dark brown patina with red earthen highlights, good VF. SG 7173.Molinari
AntiochosVII H451.jpg
Antiochos VII AE15 Hendin 45157 viewsAe15, 15mm, 2.70g.

Obverse: BASILEWS ANTIOXOS EUERGETOI, Upside-down anchot.

Reverse: Lily in dotted circle.

BPR (131-130 BC)

Hendin 451.

Despite being struck in Antiochos' name, this is dated to the time when Hyrcanus I had actually gained control of Jerusalem, where they seem to have been struck. There is thus a good case for the claim that they were minted by Hyrcanus, and in a very real sense, constitute the first clearly 'Jewish' coins, since they inaugurate the tradition of coins without images. The earlier Yehud coins are probably better seen as 'Israelite' rather than 'Jewish'; they use images, and it's uncertain how far the term 'Judaioi' was in use at the time, or to whom it applied.
Robert_Brenchley
AntiochosVIII.jpg
Antiochos VIII Epiphanes (Grypos)206 views121/0-97/6 BC. AR Tetradrachm (30mm, 16.72 g, 11h). Sidon mint. Dated SE 196 (117/6 BC). Diademed head right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EΠI-ΦANOYΣ, Zeus Ouranios standing left, holding star in extended right hand and scepter in left; to outer left; ΣIΔΩ/IEP/AΣ in three lines above monogram; C9P (date) in exergue. SC 2330.1; CSE 723; HGC 9, 1197g; DCA 268. Near EF, lightly toned. In 121 BCE, a very rare astronomical event occurred in the sky. The moon had eclipsed Jupiter, a significant celestial body of the ancient world. This phenomenon was visible from Antioch, the capital of the then-collapsing Seleucid Empire. Antiochos VIII saw this as a good omen, a harbinger that a great leader would come to Syria, so he struck symbols of the eclipse on the reverse side of Tetradrachms. The crescent above Zeus' head is the moon, and the star hovering above his hand is Jupiter.
5 commentsThatParthianGuy
AntiochosVIII~0.jpg
Antiochos VIII Grypos24 views121/0-97/6 BC. AR Tetradrachm (30mm, 16.72 g, 11h). Sidon mint. Dated SE 196 (117/6 BC). Diademed head right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EΠI-ΦANOYΣ, Zeus Ouranios standing left, holding star in extended right hand and scepter in left; to outer left; ΣIΔΩ/IEP/AΣ in three lines above monogram; C9P (date) in exergue. SC 2330.1; CSE 723; HGC 9, 1197g; DCA 268.

In 121 BCE, a very rare astronomical event occurred in the sky. The moon had eclipsed Jupiter, a significant celestial body of the ancient world. This phenomenon was visible from Antioch, the capital of the then-collapsing Seleucid Empire. Antiochos VIII saw this as a good omen, a harbinger that a great leader would come to Syria, so he struck symbols of the eclipse on the reverse side of Tetradrachms. The crescent above Zeus' head is the moon, and the star hovering above his hand is Jupiter.
ThatParthianGuy
BE5FB05D-256E-4BB2-BC5A-EBDD7980DC10.jpeg
ANTIOCHUS VIII AR Drachm. EF-/EF. Antioch mint. Tripod.11 viewsObverse: Diademed head of Antiochus VIII right.
Reverse: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧοΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝοΥΣ. Sacrificial tripod decorated with laurel branches, two monograms in left field.

Good exemplar of this scarce type (only ONE exemplar auctioned in the last 19 years), in EF-/EF condition, conserving full details in both sides and very bold reliefs checkable at photo.

SC 2304. Antioch mint, 112-110 BC. 3,8 g - 16 mm
Mark R1
031313JSF020.jpg
ANTIQUITIES, Greek, Hellenistic period terracotta statue of a monkey15 viewsA very rare, genuine ancient Greek Hellenistic period terracotta statue of a monkey, dating to approximately 300 - 250 B.C.
The charming creaure is shown seated and clutching a cylindrical vessel under its left arm.
Possibly a votive piece which would have been dedicated at a temple or sanctuary, in thanks for, or in anticipation of a favor.
A fascinating and unusual piece of ancient Greek art.
Condition: Very good, age related encrustation, as shown. Unrestored.

Height: 3 3/4 inches

Provenance:

Ex. Collection of Mr. E. Ohly, United Kingdom.
superflex
1062806-copy.jpg
ANTIQUITIES, Roman, Square glass jar with conical stopper22 viewsSquare glass jar with conical stopper. c.2nd century A.D.
Height (with stopper): 9.5 cm (3.7 inches), Height (without stopper): 7 cm (2.75 inches)

Mineral deposits remain, beautiful iridescence on some areas from age, bottle is intact and in very good condition overall.
collectantic
Laetitia_Barbare_OK.jpg
Antoninianus Gordian III Imitation "Barbarous" LAETITIA AVG N52 viewsIMP CAES MANT GORDIANVS AVG
LAETITIA AVG N

RIC : 221 (S) ; C 118 (3 Francs or) related as a "good" antoninianus
Prototype : an obverse of the Issues 1-3B and a reverse of the Issue 4

Coin Fourree

Weight : 4,15gr

A very beautiful style for this imitation. A typical "barbarous style".
1 commentsChut
Anto_PM_TRPIII_COS_PP.jpg
Antoninianus Gordian III Imitation ???? Hybrid PM TRP III COS PP Emperor altar37 viewsAvers : IMP CAES MANT GORDIANVS AVG
Revers : PM TRP III COS PP, Gordian sacrificing

Weight : 1,98 gr

RIC : 224 ("Hybrids") (S)
This coin is an hybrid : Obverse of the issue 1-3B, reverse of the issue 3C.
The style is very good. It could to seem official. But the weight is too low.
Maybe official dies wich were steal in a official mint ? Or an official celator who made imitations ? Or an official coin with a very low weight ?
1 commentsChut
philip_I.jpg
Antoninianus; VIRTVS AVG, Virtus standing left holding branch & spear. RIC 5212 viewsPhilip I. AR Antoninianus. Virtus standing left. RSC 239, good VF. Philip I AR Antoninianus. IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate draped bust right / VIRTVS AVG, Virtus standing left holding branch & spear. RIC 52, Cohen 239, Sear RCV III: 8974. Ex Vauctions.Podiceps
mTq84zRGbQ9rP6kcfbJ5n2PXFd7apS_(1).jpg
Antoninus Pius 9 views
Antoninus Pius Æ Sestertius. Rome, AD 140. ANTONINVS AVG - PIVS P P TR P COS III, Laureate head right / TIBERIS, Tiber reclining left, leaning on urn which pours out water, resting right hand on ship and holding reed; S-C across field. RIC III 642a; BMCRE 1313; Cohen 819. 26.52g, 33mm, 11h.
Good Fine.
Ancient Aussie
Roma.jpg
Antoninus Pius 28 views
Antoninus Pius. AD 138-161. Æ Sestertius (32mm, 25.3g, 10h). Rome mint. Struck circa AD 141-143. Laureate head right / Decastyle temple, with statues on roof and in pediment. RIC II 622. Good Fine.

The great temple of Venus and Roma was actually composed of two temples back to back. The temple of Venus faced the Flavian ampitheatre and that of Rome overlooked the Forum - both were designed by Hadrian himself. Construction began in 121 AD and and remained unfinished on the emperor’s death in 138 AD. Work was at last completed in 141 AD under Antoninus Pius, the event commemorated on this coin. The temple would be destroyed by fire in 307 and later rebuilt by Maxentius, the remains of which can still be seen in Rome today.
Ancient 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_denarius_italia.jpg
Antoninus Pius denarius Italia33 viewsAR Denarius
Antoninus Pius, 138-161 CE
Diameter: 18mm, Weight: 3.24 grams, Die axis: 7h

Obverse: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TRP COS III
Laureate head to right.

Reverse: ITALIA
Italia towered, seated left on globe, holding cornucopiae and sceptre.

Mint: Rome

Notes:
- This coin can be dated between 140 to 143 CE.
- A scarcer issue of Antoninus, alluding to Italian domination over the world. The cornucopiae symoblises the Roman belief in the prosperity and good fortune they had brought the world
- Denarii minted under the reign of Antoninus Pius had a target weight of 3.4 grams and an average silver content of 88%.

Ex Mike Vosper Coins, 2006
1 commentsPharsalos
antoninus_pius_439.jpg
Antoninus Pius RIC III, 43942 viewsAntoninus Pius, AD 138-161
AR - denarius, 3.41g, 17mm
Rome, AD 162 (under Marcus Aurelius)
obv. DIVVS ANTONINVS
Head, laureate, r.
rev. DIVO - PIO
Statue of the emperor on top of of columna rostrata with base with lattice-work, holding sceptre and globe
RIC III, (Marcus Aurelius) 439; C.435(a); BMC (Marcus Aurelius) 67
about VF/good F, toned
Jochen
abm_antoninus_britannia_as.jpg
Antoninus Pius, as, RIC III, 934, AD 154-5.50 viewsANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVIII, Laureate head right.
BRITANNIA COS IIII, S C, Britannia setaed left.
RIC III, 934, AD 154-5.
Struck 154-5 to celebrate the suppression of an uprising in Britain. It has been argued that this type was struck at a travelling British mint but this is far from certain; stylistically the coins are good and could just as easily represent a 'targeted' issue struck at Rome and then shipped to Britain. Certainly, like the earlier Hadrian asses, they are usually found in Britain.
Weight 10.11g.
Adrianus
AntoSe69~0.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 629, Sestertius of AD 140-144 (Sow) 66 viewsÆ Sestertius (25.9g, Ø32mm, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 140-144.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right
Rev.: S C (in ex.), Sow standing under holm-oak, suckling seven young, an eighth to right.
RIC 629 (S), Cohen 775, BMC 1298, Strack 870; Banti 385 (11 spec.); Sear (Roman Coins & Their Values II) 4226
ex CNG list sale 74; ex CNG list sale 69; ex Tony Hardy collection.

This is part of a series that was minted to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the founding of Rome (April 21, A.D. 147). A white sow nursing thirty piglets, was a good omen for Aeneas to found a settlement on that site, which became the town of Lanuvium, the precursor to Rome. See also Scrofa
Charles S
AntoSee2.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 629, Sestertius of AD 140-144 (Sow)39 viewsÆ Sestertius (24,30g, Ø 32mm, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 140-144.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right.
Rev.: S C in ex, Sow standing under holm-oak, suckling seven young, an eighth to right.
RIC 629; BMCRE 1298; Cohen 775; Strack 870 (3 coll.); Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali II-3) 385 (11 spec.); Sear (Roman Coins & Their Values II) 4226
Ex Numphil (June 2014)

This is part of a series that was minted to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the founding of Rome (April 21, A.D. 147). According to Vergil, The Trojan exile Aeneas sailed up the Tibur until he came upon a white sow nursing thirty piglets, and was to found a settlement on the site of this good omen, the town of Lanuvium, the precursor to Rome. See also scrofa
1 commentsCharles S
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
Apollon-Minerva_VPansa_1a.jpg
Apollon | Minerva Quadriga, C. Vibius Pansa, AR Denarius, 89-88 BC.54 views
Apollon | Minerva in Quadriga, C. Vibius Pansa, Silver Deanrius.

Obv: Laureate head of Apollo right, with heavy locks of hair falling elegantly behind and onto shoulders; PANSA behind.
Rev: Minerva in charging quadriga right, holding trophy and spear.

Exergue: C.VIBIVS.C.F.

Mint: Rome
Struck: 89-88 BC.

Size: 18.36 mm.
Weight: 3.7 grm.
Die axis: 140°

Condition: Quite fine. Very lovely, bright, clear and lustrous tone. Reverse slightly off-centered as seen in photo. Firmly struck, with good devices and excellent relief.

Refs:*
Sear, 242
Sydham, 684
Crawford, 342/5
Tiathena
thasosdrachm.jpg
AR Drachm of Thasos 510-490 BC35 viewsOBVERSE: Satyr running right carrying off a protesting nymph
REVERSE: An incuse square with bar pattern

Thasos was blessed with silver mines and some of the finest wineries in the Mediterranean. They also knew how to have fun as this popular series of coins demonstrates. Actually it is not entirely certain that these coins were minted in Thasos since there is no inscription but it seems a very good guess. It is impossible to imagine anyone producing a coin like this today. The Greeks had an earthy sense of humor. The design of the coin is like a pinwheel of arms and legs which is based on the triskeles motif but here is used to create a whole picture. This coin has a very deep strike and the expressions on the faces of the nymph and satyr suggest she isn't protesting too much and the whole thing isn't to be taken too seriously.

Sear 1358, wt 3.82 gm, diam 17 mm
daverino
afghan.JPG
AR Drachma of the Shahi, ca 900 AD52 views"Bull and Horseman" silver drachm of the Shahi dynasty and Kings of Kabul. OBV; Seated Humped bull with the Sanskrit legend "Sri Semanta Deva" meaning "military commander" above, a trident on the bull's rump.
REV: Horseman with lance.

The Shahi were a Buddhist/Hindu dynasty that ruled from Kabul in the 9th and 10th centuries AD. The Bull (a Hindu symbol) and Horseman drachmas were an enduring type minted in good silver that was mined in the Panjshir Valley of Afghanistan. The Shahi were gradually pushed eastward to Kashmir by Islam until they disappeared as a political group in the 12th century.
2 commentsdaverino
33986_Arab_Pseudo-Byzantine,_Bilad_al-Sham_(Greater_Syria),_c__658_-_680_A_D_.jpg
Arab Pseudo-Byzantine (imitating Constans II, SBCV 1000 and similar)22 viewsArab Pseudo-Byzantine, Bilad al-Sham (Greater Syria), c. 658 - 680 A.D. Bronze follis, Goodwin type E (imitating Constans II, SBCV 1000 and similar), VF, 2.934g, 26.9mm, 315o, obverse emperor standing facing, wearing crown and chlamys, long cross in r., globus cruciger in l.; reverse, large cursive m, blundered letters and symbols around. Ex FORVM, photo credit FORVMPodiceps
Arab Byz 3.jpg
Arab-Byzantine fals - Emesa (Homs, Syria)70 viewsKAΛON / b-Homs (in Arabic) , bust of a Byzantine emperor holding globe with cross.
EMI CHC around large m ; tayyib (= "good", like καλον in Greek) in exergue.
Ginolerhino
philippopolis_arabiae_philippI_Spijkerman3.jpg
Arabia, Philippopolis, Philip I., Spijkerman 3250 viewsPhilip I, AD 244-249
AE 30, 17.30g
obv. AVTOK KM IOVLI FILIPPOC CEB
Bust, draped and cuirassed, r.
rev. FILIPPOPOLITWN - KOLWNIAC
Roma(?), helmeted and wearing long garment, std. l., holding spear in l. hand
and eagle with two small figures in outstretched r. hand; the shield at her side
in l. and r. field S-C
ref. Spijkerman 3
Rare, good VF

The city seems to be Philip's birthplace and was renamed by him. The only coinage of this Philippopolis was for Philip I, often for his deceased father. After Philip's death the coinage was ceased. The figure of the rev. usually is called Roma, but could be Athena too.

For more informations please look at the thread 'Mythological interesting coins'!
1 commentsJochen
arcadius_const_29.jpg
Arcadius RIC X, 29163 viewsArcadius 383 - 408, son of Theodosius I
AV - Solidus, 4.40g, 21mm
Constantinopolis 9.officina, ca. 403 - 408
obv. DN ARCADI - VS PF AVG
bust cuirassed, laureate, helmeted and pearl-diademed
head 3/4 r., with spear across r. shoulder and shield with
horseman spearing enemy at l. shoulder
rev. NOVA SPES REI PVBLICAE
Victory sitting r. on cuirass, shield behind, with l. hand holding shield
on l. knee, scribing with r. hand XX above XXX on it.
field: star and Theta
exergue: CONOB
RIC X, 29
R2; good VF
added to www.wildwinds.com

OB, possibly from Greek obryzon = refined (gold). In the later Roman Empire the word was regularly used to describe gold which had been melted down and testet before being returned for minting
Jochen
Augustus_RIC_359~0.jpg
ARCH, Augustus, RIC 359200 viewsAugustus 27 B.C.-14 A.D. Moneyer L. Vinicius. Rome Mint. 16 B.C. (3.72g, 18.8m, 5h). Obv: Anepigraphic, bare head right. Rev: L Vinicivs in ex., Triumphal arch inscribed SPQR IMP CAE in two lines sur. by Quadriga bearing Augustus, r. holding laurel-branch, l. scepter; smaller arch on sides w archer on l. and slinger on r. RIC I 359 (R2). RSC 544.

This coin depicts Augustus’ triple arch, perhaps the first in Rome. Beginning as a double arch to commemorate his victory at Actium, the third arch was probably added to commemorate the return of the lost standards from Parthia. For a scarce type, this example is well centered and has good details on the reverse including complete legends.
1 commentsLucas H
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
ARKADIA,_Megalopolis__Circa_100-80_BC__AR_Triobol_or_Hemidrachm_(15mm,_2_34_g,_2h)~0.jpg
Arkadia, Megalopolis AR Triobol or Hemidrachm17 viewsARKADIA, Megalopolis. Circa 100-80 BC. AR Triobol or Hemidrachm (15mm, 2.34 g, 2h). Laureate head of Zeus left / Pan seated left on rock, raising hand and holding logobolon; above knee, eagle flyibg left; monogram to lower left. Good VF, tonedOctopus Grabus
Arkadian_League_Peloponnesus_Megalopolis_Silver_Triobol.jpg
Arkadian League Peloponnesus Megalopolis Silver Triobol38 viewsArkadian League Peloponnesus Megalopolis
Silver triobol 2.2 gram good silver
Arkadian League. AR Triobol. 195-188 BC. . Laureate head of Zeus left. / Naked Pan seated left on rock, right hand raised, holding lagobolon in left, before him eagle flying left, AΡK monogram in left field, Δelta in right field. Sear SG 2690; BCD 1547.5; Agrinion hoard 230. _12500

Antonivs Protti
ASP.jpg
Asper60 viewsByzantine silver, Trebizond Empire, John II, 1280-1297 AD, AR Asper

Obverse: St. Eugenius stanidng holding long cross

Reverse: John standing holding labarum and akakia

Diameter approx 23.5 mm,


EMPIRE of TREBIZOND. John II. 1280-1297. AR Asper (2.75 g, 7h). Imitative issue. St. Eugenius, nimbate, standing facing, holding long cross with cross bar on shaft / John standing facing, holding lily-headed sceptre and globus cruciger. Cf. Retowski 16 (same obverse die); cf. SB 2609. Good VF, typical weak strike. ($200)

Retowski's aspers of his group B, section 1 have several anomalous features that set them apart from the normal series. On this one example, the cross held by St. Eugenius has a lower cross bar, not seen on any other example. Most of the Group B, 1 specimens have the saint's name ending in IOV, rather than the IOC or IO seen on standard varieties. On the reverse the emperor's cloak is shown as a single cross-hatched panel lacking the normal decorated chlamys end tied around his waist. In addition, on this unique example the emperor holds a lily-headed sceptre, rather than one with a labarum as on every other type. The lily sceptre does not appear elsewhere in the Trebizond series, but does occasionally show as an attribute in the Bulgarian royal series. See a bronze of Mitso Asen (1256-1263), Radishev p. 93. This coin, and others in group B, 1 are probably imitative issues copying Trebizond types, and may have been struck anywhere along the north shore of the Black Sea, where the Tartar Khanates ruled, occasionally holding the Bulgarian kings as their vassals.

http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=107443&AucID=121&Lot=1136
1 comments Alexios
replicas.jpg
Assortment of replica Biblical coins345 viewsI'm told that these were made in the 50's for use in Sunday schools. 7 coins encased in a slab of plastic. From smallest to largest they are as follows:

Lepton of Caponius 6 AD
Lepton of Pontius Pilate 29 AD
Herod Antipas 29 AD
Denarius of Tiberius14-37 AD
Harod the Great 37 BC
Shekel of Tyre 126 BC
Vespasian 72 AD

Quality is not as good as modern replicas but it makes a nice addition to my desk. I don't think these coins would fool anyone! :D
Titus Pullo
Athena_Pegasos_3a.jpg
Athena | Pegasus - Corinthian Stater, AR - 350-306 BC.90 views
Athena | Pegasus - Corinthian Silver Stater.

Obv: Head of Athena, left-facing, wearing Corinthian helmet over leather cap; Thessalian helmet, behind.
Rev: Pegasus, with pointed wing flying left, quoppa beneath.

Exergue: None.

Mint: Corinth
Struck: 350-306 BC.

Size: 20.14 mm.
Weight: ca. 8.5 grm.
Die axis: 270°

Condition: Fair if worn, but with good silver and good devices. Reverse struck high on the flan. Lovely, brightly toned, clear and fairly lustrous in hand.

Refs:*
BMC, 220
Sear, GCV 2629 (or var).
1 commentsTiathena
Ath_dek_elect_w.jpg
Athens, dekadrachm125 viewsThis is a British Museum electrotype (made by Robert Ready in the late 19th century with his RR mark on the edge) of the largest circulating Greek coin. With the price of these at about $500,000 dollars when they come on the market a good quality reproduction like this is the nearest most of us will come to handling one of them.
48.21 gm, 34 mm; original weighs 42.7 gm.
Manzikert
DSC05515.JPG
ATTICA, ATHENS, AR Trihemiobol, weight 1,02 g, diameter 11 mm, after 449 BC96 viewsATTICA, ATHENS, AR Trihemiobol, weight 1,02 g, diameter 11 mm, after 449. BCSNGCop 50
Obs:Helmeted head of Athena right.
Rev: Owl standing facing, wings spread; olive sprig above.
Beautifuly centered and struck to high relief and good metal. A splendid example of the ancient work of art. The design of this Trihemiobol is ultimately derived from the famous Athenian Dekadrachm. The dekadrachms (and this coin too) stand apart from the Athenian coinage. (the transformation of the revers type from an owl in profile to one facing the viewer)


Antonio Protti
athen_SNGcop31.jpg
Attica, Athens, SNG Copenhagen 31200 viewsThe famous Attic owl, 449-413 BC
AR - tetradrachm (classic style), 17.1g, 24.2mm
obv. Archaic head of Athena r., with almond shaped eye, wearing crested helmet
ornamented with three olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round
earring.
rev. AQE right
owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, prong tail, to left olive twig
and crescent, all within incuse square
SNG Copenhagen 13; Sydenham 2526
nice VF, good metall (Thanks to Salem!)
7 commentsJochen
Kroll_8.jpg
ATTICA, Athens. Circa 454-404 BC. AR Tetradrachm36 views(24mm, 17.20 g, 2h).
Helmeted head of Athena right, with frontal eye / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig and crescent behind; all within incuse square. Kroll 8; HGC 4, 1597. Good VF, toned. Attractive early style.

This tetradrachm belongs among the earlier period of the “frontal eye” issues of the mid-late 5th century. The palmette is still delicate, as is the general style of the owl, and the incuse is rather deep and abruptly transitions to the flat surface.
1 commentsLeo
76001327.jpg
Augustus104 views27 BC-AD 14. AR Denarius (3.65 g, 4h). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Struck circa 15 BC. Bare head right / Bull butting right. RIC I 167a; Lyon 19; RSC 137. Good VF, deeply toned, a pair of bankers’ marks on obverse. Well centered strike on both sides.

From the J. S. Wagner Collection.

Ex CNG, 76 lot: 1327
8 commentsTLP
H1a.jpg
Augustus AR Denarius46 viewsOne of my favorites.

Augustus AR Denarius. Spanish mint. 27-26 BC. Octavian, bare, r. / IMP (above) CAE - SAR DIVI F. Round shield with concentric rows of studs and central boss. RIC 543a

RARE
GOOD VERY FINE
SUPERLATIVE PORTRAIT

Ex. W. Uibeleisen Collection
Ex. Münzen & Medaillen AG Basel 81 (1995), 173.
Ex. Hess-Divo 2007
Trajan
augustus_379.jpg
Augustus RIC I, 37998 viewsAugustus 27 BC - 14 AC
AE - AS, 10.65g, 27mm
Rome 16 BC(?)
obv. TRIBVNIC POTEST CAESAR AVG
bare head r.
rev. C GALLVS LVPERC IIIVIR AAAFF
around SC
RIC I, 379; C.436; BMCR.174
good F

IIIvir AAAFF = Triumvir aere argento auro flando feriundo, man-of-three for bronze-silver-gold casting-striking, one of three Mint Magistrates of Rome, elected annually by the Senate. The last person certainly known to have held this position became consul in AD 235.
Jochen
augustus_467_3.jpg
Augustus RIC I, 46726 viewsAugustus 27 BC - AD 14
AE - Quadrans, 3.37g, 13.4mm
Rome 4 BC
obv.: C RVBELLIVS BLANDVS
around SC
rev.: IIIVIR AAAFF
garlanded altar with bowl-shaped top
RIC I, 467; cf. C.511; BMCR. 269
Scarce; good F

IIIVIRI MONETALES = the three mint magistrates, elected by the Senatus
(In this case really IVviri monetales!)
AAAFF = aere argento auro flando feriundo, for the casting and striking of bronze, silver and gold
Jochen
augustus_86a.JPG
Augustus RIC I, 86a175 viewsAugustus, 27 BC - AD 14
AR - Denar, 3.74g, 19mm
Colonia Patricia(?), ca. 19 BC - 18 BC
obv. CAESAR AVGVSTVS
bare head r.
rev. SIGNIS above, RECEPTIS under round shield inscribed with CL.V between
eagle l. and standard r. S.P.Q.R. at the corners of the shield
RIC I, 86a; BMCR 417; RSC 265
good VF, toned

The eagle standards were introduced by Marius similar to the Ptolemaic eagle to each of his legions. This issue celebrates the recovery of the 3 eagle-standards 20 BC by Augustus, which were lost by Crassus 53 BC at the battle of Carrhae against the Parthians. The 3 eagles thereafter were erected in the new temple of Mars Ultor on the Forum of Augustus. The day of recovery was determined public holiday.
5 commentsJochen
augustus_86a~0.JPG
Augustus RIC I, 86a1418 viewsJochen's Augustus RIC I, 86a
Augustus, 27 BC - AD 14
AR - Denar, 3.74g, 19mm
Colonia Patricia(?), ca. 19 BC - 18 BC
obv. CAESAR AVGVSTVS
bare head r.
rev. SIGNIS above, RECEPTIS under round shield inscribed with CL.V between
eagle l. and standard r. S.P.Q.R. at the corners of the shield
RIC I, 86a; BMCR 417; RSC 265
good VF, toned

The eagle standards were introduced by Marius similar to the Ptolemaic eagle to each of his legions. This issue celebrates the recovery of the 3 eagle-standards 20 BC by Augustus (by negotiations), which were lost by Crassus 53 BC at the battle of Carrhae against the Parthians. The 3 eagles thereafter were erected in the new temple of Mars Ultor on the Forum of Augustus. The day of recovery was determined public holiday.
11 commentsJochen
0521175.jpg
Augustus silver denarius RIC 4325 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 43; RSC II 43; BMCRE II 50;
BnF III 36; Hunter I 21, weight 3.3 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm,
Rome mint, Jul - Dec 71 CE.
Obverse: IMP CAES VESP AVG P M, laureate head right.
Reverse simpulum, sprinkler, jug and lituus, AVGVR above, TRI POT below
Roman emperor Vespasian was most famous for building the Flavian
Amphitheater, also known as the Colosseum. Like many Roman emperors,
Vespasian rose in prominence because of his military skills and work ethics.
Following his ten year rule, he left behind a record of restored order,
stability and good government. He was succeeded by his son Titus in 79 CE,
who had been sent to quell the Jewish revolt of 66-70 CE.
2 commentsNORMAN K
aurelian_wreath_k.jpg
Aurelian, AD 270-2755 viewsPotin Tetradrachm, 20mm, 9.8g, 12h; Alexandria mint, AD 275.
Obv.: A K Λ ΔOM AVPHΛIANOC CEB; Laureate, cuirassed bust right.
Rev.: LE (year 5) in wreath.
Reference: Emmett 3961
From the Collection of JBGood.
John Anthony
leBon.jpg
Auxonne in France, 1424-1427 AD., Duchy of Burgundy, Philippe le Bon, Blanc aux écus, Poey d'Avant # 5735.97 viewsFrance, Duchy of Burgundy, Auxonne mint (?), Philip the Good (Philippe le Bon, 1419-1467), struck 1424-1427 AD.,
AR blanc aux écus (26-28 mm / 3,27 g),
Obv.: + DVX : ET : COMES : BVRGVDIE , Ecus accolés de Bourgogne nouveau et Bourgogne ancien sous PhILIPVS.
Rev.: + SIT : NOMEN : DNI : BENEDICTVM , Croix longue entre un lis et un lion, au-dessus de PhILIPVS.
B., 1230 ; Dumas, 15-7-1 ; Poey d'Avant # 5735.

"PotatorII": "This coin is atributed to Auxonne mint because of the presence of a "secret dot" under the first letter (S) on reverse."

Rare

Imitation du blanc aux écus d'Henri VI d'Angleterre, frappé en France à partir de novembre 1422.

Philip the Good (French: Philippe le Bon), also Philip III, Duke of Burgundy (July 31, 1396 – June 15, 1467) was Duke of Burgundy from 1419 until his death. He was a member of a cadet line of the Valois dynasty (the then Royal family of France). During his reign Burgundy reached the height of its prosperity and prestige and became a leading center of the arts. Philip is known in history for his administrative reforms, patronage of Flemish artists such as Jan van Eyck, and the capture of Joan of Arc. During his reign he alternated between English and French alliances in an attempt to improve his dynasty's position.
Born in Dijon, he was the son of John the Fearless and Margaret of Bavaria-Straubing. On the 28 January 1405, he was named Count of Charolais in appanage of his father and probably on the same day he was engaged to Michele of Valois (1395–1422), daughter of Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria. They were married in June of 1409.
Philip subsequently married Bonne of Artois (1393–1425), daughter of Philip of Artois, Count of Eu, and also the widow of his uncle, Philip II, Count of Nevers, in Moulins-les-Engelbert on November 30, 1424. The latter is sometimes confused with Philip's biological aunt, also named Bonne (sister of John the Fearless, lived 1379 - 1399), in part due to the Papal Dispensation required for the marriage which made no distinction between a marital aunt and a biological aunt.
His third marriage, in Bruges on January 7, 1430 with Isabella of Portugal (1397 - December 17, 1471), daughter of John I of Portugal and Philippa of Lancaster, produced three sons:
* Antoine (September 30, 1430, Brussels – February 5, 1432, Brussels), Count of Charolais
* Joseph (April 24, 1432 – aft. May 6, 1432), Count of Charolais
* Charles (1433–1477), Count of Charolais and Philip's successor as Duke, called "Charles the Bold" or "Charles the Rash"
Philip also had some eighteen illegitimate children, including Antoine, bastard of Burgundy, by twenty four documented mistresses [1]. Another, Philip of Burgundy (1464-1524), bishop of Utrecht, was a fine amateur artist, and the subject of a biography in 1529.
Philip became duke of Burgundy, count of Flanders, Artois and Franche Comté when his father was assassinated in 1419. Philip accused Charles, the Dauphin of France and Philip's brother-in-law of planning the murder of his father which had taken place during a meeting between the two at Montereau, and so he continued to prosecute the civil war between the Burgundians and Armagnacs. In 1420 Philip allied himself with Henry V of England under the Treaty of Troyes. In 1423 the alliance was strengthened by the marriage of his sister Anne to John, Duke of Bedford, regent for Henry VI of England.
In 1430 Philip's troops captured Joan of Arc at Compiègne and later handed her over to the English who orchestrated a heresy trial against her, conducted by pro-Burgundian clerics. Despite this action against Joan of Arc, Philip's alliance with England was broken in 1435 when Philip signed the Treaty of Arras (which completely revoked the Treaty of Troyes) and thus recognised Charles VII as king of France. Philip signed for a variety of reasons, one of which may have been a desire to be recognised as the Premier Duke in France. Philip then attacked Calais, but this alliance with Charles was broken in 1439, with Philip supporting the revolt of the French nobles the following year (an event known as the Praguerie) and sheltering the Dauphin Louis.
Philip generally was preoccupied with matters in his own territories and seldom was directly involved in the Hundred Years' War, although he did play a role during a number of periods such as the campaign against Compiegne during which his troops captured Joan of Arc. He incorporated Namur into Burgundian territory in 1429 (March 1, by purchase from John III, Marquis of Namur), Hainault and Holland, Frisia and Zealand in 1432 (with the defeat of Countess Jacqueline in the last episode of the Hook and Cod wars); inherited the duchy of Brabant and Limburg and the margrave of Antwerp in 1430 (on the death of his cousin Philip of Saint-Pol); and purchased Luxembourg in 1443 from Elisabeth of Bohemia, Duchess of Luxembourg. Philip also managed to ensure his illegitimate son, David, was elected Bishop of Utrecht in 1456. It is not surprising that in 1435, Philip began to style himself "Grand Duke of the West". In 1463 Philip returned some of his territory to Louis XI. That year he also created an Estates-General based on the French model. The first meeting of the Estates-General was to obtain a loan for a war against France and to ensure support for the succession of his son, Charles I, to his dominions. Philip died in Bruges in 1467.

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
JCT_B_S_S___N_Z__Home_for_the_Aged.JPG
B & S. Steinhouse/Nachlass Zkainim Home For the Aged (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)198 viewsAE token, 34 mm., 15.78 gr., undated (but probably minted ca. 1927).

Obv: B & S.S & N.Z. HOME FOR THE AGED, and • MONTREAL •, within border around rim, 25¢ to left and right of building in center, SOUVENIR below building.

Rev: KEEP ME and GOOD LUCK within border in upper and lower rim, “תשליכנו / לצת זקנה אל„ [Do not cast us off in our old age. (Psalm 71:9)] and DO NOT CAST US / OFF AT OUR OLD AGE, in center, between profiles of elderly man and woman facing left and right, respectively.

Ref: Randolph, Marc A. “Jewish Homes for the Aged Tokens,” The Shekel, XXXVI No. 3 (May-June 2003) 14-19, Figure 2.

Note: The B & S. Steinhouse Old People’s Home opened in Montreal in 1923 and soon merged with the Nachlass Zkainim Home. In 1927, encouraged by the newly formed Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Montreal, the combined B & S. Steinhouse/Nachlass Zkainim Home For the Aged amalgamated with the Montreal Hebrew Sheltering Home, a/k/a Moshav Zkainim (which was founded in 1910, and then housed six residents on Evans Street). The institution raised funds for the construction of a larger building on land owned by the Montreal Sheltering Home on Esplanade Street. By 1945, the average age of new residents was over eighty, and increased medical and nursing staff were required. The institution changed its name to Maimonides Hospital and Home for the Aged to reflect this expanded role. The institution still exists, as the Maimonides Geriatric Center of McGill University.

Note: The token was issued sometime between 1923 (when B & S. Steinhouse Old People’s Home opened) and 1945 (when the amalgamated institution changed its name to Maimonides Hospital and Home for the Aged), and probably no later than 1927 (when the combined B & S. Steinhouse/Nachlass Zkainim Home For the Aged) amalgamated with the Montreal Hebrew Sheltering Home, a/k/a Moshav Zkainim). It may even have been issued in connection with the fund drive that was initiated in 1927 to build the larger building on Esplanade Street.
Stkp
Rith_Home___Hospital.JPG
B'nai B'rith Home & Hospital for the Aged (Memphis, Tennessee)75 viewsFE token, 32 mm., 1952.

Obv: B’NAI B’RITH HOME & HOSPITAL FOR THE AGED / MEMPHIS – TENN. around rim, SILVER JUBILEE above building in center and 1927 – 1952 below building.

Rev: GOOD • LUCK • PIECE / CAST • US • NOT • AWAY • IN • OUR • OLD • AGE around rim, candelabra in center with Stars of David to its sides and below, אל תשליכני לעת זקנה [“Cast us not away in our old age” [Psalm 71:9]), beneath candelabra.

Ref: None known.

Founded in 1927 as the B’nai B’rith Home for the Aged, it became a non-profit corporation independent of the B’nai B’rith organization under the name B’nai B’rith Home & Hospital for the Aged, Inc. in December 1954. It also began to do business under the name Memphis Jewish Home in 1992, and under the name Memphis Jewish Home and Rehabilitation Center in 2008.
Stkp
JCT_B__nai_B__rith_Home_for_the_Aged_1937.jpg
B'nai B'rith Home & Hospital for the Aged (Memphis, Tennessee) 20 viewsAE token, 32 mm., 180°.

Obv: B’NAI • B’RITH • HOME • FOR • AGED • MEMPHIS, TENN. / TENTH ANNIVERSARY, around rim, building in center and 1927 • 1937, below building.

Rev: GOOD • LUCK • PIECE / CAST • US • NOT • AWAY • IN • OUR • OLD • AGE around rim, candelabra in center with Stars of David to its sides and below, אל תשליכני לעת זקנה [“Cast us not away in our old age” [Psalm 71:9]), beneath candelabra.

Ref: None known.

Founded in 1927 as the B’nai B’rith Home for the Aged, it became a non-profit corporation independent of the B’nai B’rith organization under the name B’nai B’rith Home & Hospital for the Aged, Inc. in December 1954. It also began to do business under the name Memphis Jewish Home in 1992, and under the name Memphis Jewish Home and Rehabilitation Center in 2008.
Stkp
kushan_kaniskaI_Göbl766cf.jpg
Bactria, Kingdom of Kushans, Kanishka I, Göbl 766 cf.56 viewsKanishka I, AD 127-151
AE 22
obv. BACILEVC BACI - LEWN KANHiKOV (i should be read like sh as in Kushan)
Kanishka, bearded, wearing heavy Kushan cloak and trousers, long boots and
high hat, stg. facing, holding standard in l. hand and sacrificing with r. hand
over altar; from his shoulders emanating flames; club at feet r.(?)
rev. HLIOC
Helios, nimbate, stg. l., r. had hand raised in salvation gestus (Greek style)
left before monogram (tamgha) of Kanishka
cf. Göbl 766 (has HILOC in legend)
rare, good F/VF

Kanishka I was a very important ruler in South-East-Asia. While in his early years he was an adherent of syncretistic religions he later established Buddhism in his empire and became a crucial founder.
This type belongs to Kanishka's earlier years, because the legends are Greek. Later issues have legends in Kushan. Tamgha first was a brand for cattle, later it became a symbol for the nomadic clans too.
Jochen
Eukratides_Silver_coin.jpg
BAKTRIAN KINGS, Eukratides I. Circa 170-145 BC. AR Obol. 15 viewsBAKTRIAN KINGS, Eukratides I. Circa 170-145 BC. AR Obol (0.64 gm; 10 mm). Diademed, helmeted and draped bust right / Piloi of the Dioskouri, each surmounted by star and accompanied by palm; monogram below. Bopearachchi Serie 9C; SNG ANS 496. Well struck on a good metal. Antonivs Protti
H3-Barber Dime.jpg
Barber Dime49 viewsBarber or Liberty Head Dime, 1913.

Minted 1892-1916, 2.5 gr., 17.9mm, reeded edge, .900 silver, .100 copper, Designer: Charles E. Barber.

1913 dime, good, 19,760,622 minted.

Reference: KM 113
Daniel Friedman
BCC_LH7_composite.jpeg
BCC LH718 viewsLead Head
Hollow cast lead figure
of a miniature stylized head.
Inscribed around:
KAΛOK AIPOC
37.5 x 21.5 x 11mm.
10.38gm.
Identical and from the same mold
as BCC LH6. I believe KAΛOKAIPOC
is a personal name, which may(?)
also be translated as "summer" or
"in a good time". Other ideas are
welcome. I have seen three of these,
all from the same mold, all from
Caesarea Maritima.
cf BCC LH6
Surface find, 1974
(click for larger pic)
1 commentsv-drome
bulk1.jpg
Best of a Bad Lot25 viewsI did something that I keep telling myself not to do and that is buy bulk lots of fleabay.

Anyhow out of the 100 I bought only 10% were any good and I use that term loosely

Still lots of cleaning to go, but some of these can not be saved, they are as good as they are going to get
James b4
Coin3.jpg
Between 1 and 2 grams, 15mm at widest, die axis 315 degrees17 viewsWorking on attributing... no good leads, but I'm frustrated in that I'm pretty sure I saw one very similar to this recently somewhere around the boards, but I cannot for the life of me remember where, or what it was... EvaJupiterSkies
Welch_7__Napoleon_III___Eugenie.jpg
BHM 2561. Napoleon III & Eugenie at the London Guildhall.104 viewsObv: Conjoined busts of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie NAPOLEON III ET EUGENIA GALLORUM IMPERATOR ET IMPERATRIX

Rev: Britannia introduces Gallia (France) to Londinia (City of London). CONCORDES SERVAT AMICITIA (Friendship keeps them on good terms)

Exergue: LONDINI RECEPTI 19. APR. 1855 Signed: B. WYON

AE76. Mintage: 350

Welch 7; BHM 194/2561; Eimer 178/1496; Page-Divo 134/233.

This medal commemorates the visit of the Emperor and Empress of France to London in april of 1855. This was one of my 'holy grail' medals, a medal I had been trying to purchase unsuccessfully on and off for seven years.
1 commentsLordBest
BITHYNIA,_Koinon_of_Bithynia__Hadrian_.jpg
BITHYNIA, Koinon of Bithynia. Hadrian. AD 117-138. 96 viewsObverse : AVT KAIC TPAI AΔΡIANOC CEB Laureate head right .
Reverse : KOI-NON Octastyle temple; BEIΘYNIAC in exergue, prow of galley right. SNG von Aulock 283 var. (bare head); SNG Copenhagen 324 var. (same). Good a VF, brown patina, some roughness.
Æ (33mm, 25.11 g, 6h).

EX CNG e- 349 lot 264.
From The Sam Mansourati Collection. / NO. RI 2035
10 commentsSam
nikaia_gallienus_RecGen836.jpg
Bithynia, Nikaia, Gallienus, Rec. Gen. 83662 viewsGallienus, AD 253-286
AE 24, 7.6g
obv. POV LI EG - G[ALLIHN CEB]
Bust, draped and cuirassed, radiate, r.
rev. [NIKAI]E - WN
Dionysos, in long clothes, holding tyrsos and kantharos, std. l. in quadriga of
elephants, advancing l.
Reg. Gen. 836; BMC 154
rare, good F/about VF, provincial style!

There is a similar type for Gordian III. The rev. shows the triumph of Dionysos in India.
Jochen
nikomedia_plautilla_RecGen253.jpg
Bithynia, Nikomedeia, Plautilla, Rec.Gen. 253 var.53 viewsPlautilla, AD 202-211, wife of Caracalla
AE 20, 3.17g, 19.94mm, 225°
obv. FOV PLAV - TILLA CEBA / CTH.
Bust, draped, r.
rev. NEIKOMHDEW - N / DIC NEWKO / RWN
Female ichthyokentaur, diademed, nude, with forefeet of horse and fishtail, ring l. on waves, holding auloi in l. arm and dolphin (?)
in extended r. hand
Rec.Gen. 253 var. (has only CEBA)
extremely rare, good F, nearly black patina (not green!)

For more information please look at the thread 'Coins of mythological interest'
Jochen
Black Constantius II Obverse and Reverse~0.jpg
Black Constantius II22 viewsMy favorite Fel Temp Reparatio. I like the black color and there is good detail on the reverse, someting my other coins are lacking. DNCONSTANTIVSPFAVG inscription on the obverse with a diademed and cuirassed Constantius II facing right. Reverse obvoiusly a FELTEMPREPARTIO of a standing soldier spearing a fallen horseman. I need help getting the dirt on the bottom removed. Any suggestions can be PMed to me are left as a comment.cwonsidler
thebes.jpg
BOEOTIA. Thebes. AR Stater.52 viewsCirca 425-400 B.C. AR Stater (12.08gm, 20mm, 5h). BCD Boiotia-388; Head Pg. 36-classy, pl. III#8; SNG Cop. 286. Obverse: Boeotian shield with club across lower half. Reverse: Volute amphora with fluted shoulders, Θ-E across fields, all within incuse square. Well struck on a very good metal. Struck in high relief. Scarce variety. Choice aEF.

Ex Pars Coins

The coins of Boeotia prominently feature the Boeotian shield on its obverse. This particular coin we have from the city-state of Thebes was minted between 425-400 B.C. during the Peloponnesian War. Thebes, at that time, alongside the rest of the 10 Boeotian poleis, sided with the Peloponnesian League under the hegemony of Sparta against the Athenian Empire. The Boeotian Confederation instituted a form of federal coinage based on the Aeginetic standard. A particular period of Theban coinage reached its numismatic artistic merit at around the same period that this coin was minted (425-400 B.C). Although the obverse always shows the shield, the reverse features the head of Dionysos, Herakles or a volute amphora. The amphora eventually became more popular after 400 B.C on the reverse of most Boeotian coin. Early staters showing the amphora on the reverse could be identified by a rounder vase and the city ethnic in the field and all are contained within a square incuse. Later coinage features the same amphora on the reverse and generally includes various magistrates name and less of the city’s ethnic and all are within a round incuse. The obverse also has a more distinct rounder shield on later coinage. At this later date in the mid- 4th century B.C. Thebes was the leading power in Greece and almost united all the Greek city states, freed Messene from Sparta and subdued the latter. Ironically, this paved the way for Macedonian conquest of Greece and in the process, destroyed Thebes and sold its population into slavery by Alexander the Great in 335 B.C.

1 commentsJason T
Bramsen 0546.JPG
Bramsen 0546. Entree a Berlin, 1806.205 viewsObv. Laureate bust right NAPOLEON IMP ET ROI
Rev. The Brandenburg Gate, in ex: L`EMPEREUR ENTRE A BERLIN LE XXVII OCTOBRE MDCCCVI. DENON Dt. * JALEY Ft.

Following the Battles of Jena and Auerstadt the Prussians fled in all directions, hotly pursued by the French. Berlin was abandoned to them and Napoleon entered in triumph. It was here that he issued the famous Berlin decree, banning British goods from his empire, declaring all products from British colonies subject to confiscation.
LordBest
Venta Silurum Wall construction.jpg
Britain, Caerwent, Venta Silurum, 08, Section of the outer wall.33 viewsVenta Silurum (modern village of Caerwent, Wales, UK) was a Roman city founded sometime after A.D. 75.
The site is open to the public to walk round.

A good view of the construction of the outer wall with inner layers of stone formed in a herringbone fashion providing good internal strength
maridvnvm
Bronze_stater_of_King_Harsha_(1089-1101_AD),_Kashmir,_North_India.jpg
Bronze stater of King Harsha (1089-1101 AD), Kashmir, North India94 viewsEnthroned Ardoxsho facing; Nagari legend: "Harsha Raja" / King standing, Nagari legend "Deva". 19mm, 5.5 grams. Very attractive. Mitchiner NIS 188-189.

These remarkable and attractive coins are the descendants of the gold and silver Kushan staters, and have a distinction of being the longest-minted issue in history - the Goddess/King design remained virtually unchanged in the 1300+ years history of this issue.

From 1089 to 1101 A. D., King Harsha ruled Kashmir. Versed in many languages, a good poet, lover of music and art, he started his rule in a remarkable way, and became famous in northern India. His court was a centre of luxury and splendour. He introduced new fashions in dress and ornaments. His ministers were gorgeously dressed, wore earrings and head dresses, previously reserved for the members of ruling families only. But strangely enough, Harsha's career became a record of follies and misdeeds. The people also suffered from famine, and plague as well, and a considerable section of people became victims of these calamities. A confusion followed these misfortunes, leading to a general rising of the people under two royal princes Uccalia and Succalla. Harsha along with his son Bhoja were murdered, and the Kashmir throne passed into the hands of two princes respectively. Both the princes met the fate of Harsha and when our great historian Kalhan completed his 'Rajatarangini' in 1149 - 50 King Jaisimha, the last great ruler of the Hindu times was ruling the state.

Antonio Protti
Kroton~0.jpg
Bruttium, Kroton (Circa 530-500 BC)29 viewsAR Nomos

28 mm, 7.82 g

Obverse: Tripod, legs surmounted by wreaths and terminating in lion's feet, two serpents rising from the bowl, set on basis of three lines, the center dotted, koppa-P-O (KRO - short for Kroton) to left

Reverse: Incuse tripod as obverse, but wreaths and serpents in outline.

HN Italy 2075; SNG ANS 231; Bement 272.

The importance of the Delphic oracle to the founding of Kroton was celebrated on its coinage from the earliest days. Despite later myths ascribing the founding of Kroton to Herakles, the city's historical oikist is recorded as Myskellos of Rhypai who, on consulting the Delphic oracle about his lack of children was given the response that Apollo would grant children, but that first Myskellos should found the city of Kroton 'among fair fields'. After being given directions on how to locate the site, Myskellos travelled to southern Italy to explore the land that he had been assigned, but seeing the territory of the Sybarites and thinking it superior, he returned once more to the oracle to ask whether he would be allowed to change. The answer came back that he should accept the gifts that the god gave him. A further element of the story is that Myskellos was accompanied on his expedition by Archias of Corinth; the Delphic oracle gave the pair the choice between health and wealth. Archias elected wealth, and was assigned the site of Syracuse, while Myskellos chose health: the favourable climate of Kroton, the eminent skill of its physicians and the prowess of its athletes later earned its citizens this reputation for good health.
1 commentsNathan P
Bruttium_Kroton_SNG-ANS286.jpg
Bruttium, Kroton.20 viewsBruttium, Kroton. 500-450 BC. AR Stater (6.78 gm) w/ medium flan. Delphic tripod with three lion's foot legs, ϘPO-TOИ to l. & r. (retrograde). / Incuse eagle flying r. Good VF. Pegasi VI #87. SNG ANS 286; Dewing 499v (retrograde legend); HGC 1 1447; HN Italy 2095; SNG Cop 1766; SNG Fitzwilliam 757.Christian T
BULGARIA IVAN STATIMIR.jpg
BULGARIA - Ivan Stratismir92 viewsBULGARIA Vidin Kingdom - Ivan Stratismir (1356 – 1396) Reduced silver Grosh, Vidin mint. Rare r4 mint mark grosh. This one is second emission with diameter 18 mm and weight 0.56 g. The first issue has same diameter but weight 1.40 g. This one has unusually good details.
Obv.: Bust of Jesus Christ facing. Legend in Bulgarian between two doted circles.
Rev.: The king enthroned facing. Flower (star?) as a mint mark in the lower field. Legend in Greek between two doted circles.
Ref.: A. Radushev, G. Jecov. Catalog of the Bulgarian Medieval Coins. p. 178, 1.14.4
1 commentsdpaul7
Byz_Lead_Seal~0.jpg
Byzantine Lead Seal12 viewsO: Nimbate bust

R: Monogram

Per FORVM member Gert (thanks!):
Your seal has a monogram that can be solved NIKOLAOV, the genitive of Nicholas, who would have been the owner of the seal, assuming the letter at the bottom extremity is Alpha (and Lambda at the same time, of course).

The portrait on the obverse can well be Saint Nicholas as well, but from the photo I can't say for sure. For this time period (6th/7th century AD) St. Nicholas is quite rare, but with the reading of the monogram in mind, it would be a good guess."
Sosius
normal_Byz_Lead_Seal~0~0.jpg
Byzantine Seal134 viewsO: Nimbate bust

R: Monogram

Per FORVM member Gert (thanks!):
"Your seal has a monogram that can be solved NIKOLAOV, the genitive of Nicholas, who would have been the owner of the seal, assuming the letter at the bottom extremity is Alpha (and Lambda at the same time, of course).
The portrait on the obverse can well be Saint Nicholas as well, but from the photo I can't say for sure. For this time period (6th/7th century AD) St. Nicholas is quite rare, but with the reading of the monogram in mind, it would be a good guess."
Sosius
john2.jpg
BYZANTINE, John II, Sear 260995 viewsTREBIZOND. John II. 1280-1297. AR Asper (22mm, 2.69 g, 6h). St. Eugenius standing facing, holding long cross; star to upper right / John standing facing, holding labarum-headed scepter and globus; Manus Dei to upper right. Retowski 58; SB 2609. Good VF, toned, typical flat spots1 commentsW. Kutschenko
1979~0.jpg
Byzantine, MANUEL Comnenus, AE Half Tetarteron SBCV-1979 DOC 22 CLBC 4.4.11 31 viewsOBV Large, often ill formed letters

REV Bust of emperor, beardless, wearing stemma, divitision, collar piece ( Most frequently decorated with 6 jewels) and paneled loros of simplified type; holds in r. hand labarum on long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 17.33mm

Weight 2.59 gm

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.The half tetartera at 1/1728 Hyperpyron. These coins are much more common than Metropolitan coins and very abundant in today’s marketplace.

This coin is good Very fine, lightly circulated. I believe this to be a perfect example.

DOC lists 27 examples with weights ranging from 1.10gm to 2.96 gm with sizes from 14mm to 18mm.
Simon
Tancred.JPG
BYZANTINE, Principality of Antioch, Tancred, Regent (1101-1103; 1104-1112), AE follis89 viewsCoin 9A

Antioch, Tancred
Principality of Antioch, Tancred, Regent (1101-1103; 1104-1112), AE follis, first type. Obv: bust of St. Peter with cross in left hand. Rev: + / KE BOI / THETODV / LOCOVT / ANKPI+ (Lord help your servant Tacred). Metcalf 49, Malloy (2nd Ed.) 3a. Weight 6.5 grams, about 24 mm. Good Fine. SOLD

Tancred was an important leader who participated in the First Crusade.
goldcoin
300-1-CClaudiusPulcher.jpg
C.PVLCHER - Denarius, RRC 300/113 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Era: c. 110-109 BC
Metal: AR
Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma R. Beaded border.

Reverse: Victory in a Biga; C. PVLCHER below. Beaded border

Mint: Rome
Weight: 4.01 gm.
Reference: Crawford 300/1
Provenance: Lucernae, 25-Jan-2010

Comments:
As do many issues of the last two decades of the 2nd century BC, this issue is usually found with very well executed dies in good style. The present coin is no exception. attractively toned coin, slight weakness at Roma’s visor, otherwise, GVF.
2 commentsSteve B5
60-1a-blk.jpg
Caduceus (early) - Denarius, Crawford 60/113 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Era: c. 211-208 BC
Metal: AR
Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma R; X behind. Border of dots

Reverse: Dioscuri riding r.; Caduceus symbol below.; ROMA in raised letters in frame. Line border

Mint: Unknown mint in central Italy
Weight: 4.72 gm.
Reference: RRC 60/1
Provenance: Aureo & Calico Alba Longa sale, November 7, 2018; Ex. The Goodman Collection, Triton I, December 2-3, 1997, lot 892.

This issue is one of the most crude but distinctive of the early denarii. Lovely light toning, well centered and about EF.
1 commentsSteve B5
Vlasto_157-9.jpg
CALABRIA (Apulia), Taras, c. 470-465 BC. AR Drachm54 views(14mm, 3.20g, 3h).

Forepart of hippocamp r.; pecten below. R/ Diademed head of Satyra r. Vlasto 157-9; HNItaly 839; SNG ANS 846. Rare, Good Fine
1 commentsLeo
Vlasto_509.jpg
Calabria, Taras (c. 344-340 B.C.), Silver Stater.83 views8.03g., 2h
Naked youth on a horse pacing right, crowning the horse with a wreath held in his extended right hand, K(KAA?) and an upright club below the horse, rev. TAP-A-Σ, Phalanthos riding on a dolphin left, holding a kantharos in his extended right hand, and a trident and a shield in his left, Ω below dolphin's tail, waves below.
Fischer-Bossert, Group 49, 685 (V260/R532); Vlasto 509 (these dies); SNG Lloyd 173 (these dies); SNG ANS 960; HN Italy 887. An exceptional example, well-struck from fresh dies and perfectly centred on a flan of good metal, extremely fine and most attractive.
From Sovereign Rarities (2018)

The "K" or "KAL" engraver was one of the finest Greek masters working in the 4th century. His work though rare, can also be found on coins from Heraklea, Metapontion, and Thouroi.
4 commentsLeo
Vlasto_883.jpg
Calabria, Taras AR Nomos. Circa 281-240 BC.5 views6.50g, 20mm, 2h.
Nikokra- and N-, magistrates. Nude horseman galloping right, brandishing spear in right hand, shield and two spears on left arm; N behind, NIKO-KΡA in two lines below.
Taras, nude, astride dolphin to right, holding crested helmet with both hands; TAΡAΣ behind, Ionic capital below.
Vlasto 883; SNG ANS 1203.

Good Extremely Fine; attractive old cabinet tone. Very Rare.
1 commentsLeo
Vlasto_379ff.jpg
Calabria, Taras AR Nomos. Circa 390-385 BC.74 viewsNude warrior on horseback left, holding reins in right hand, small round shield on left arm; A below / Taras astride dolphin left; P and ΤΑΡΑΣ below. Vlasto 379ff; HN Italy 869; SNG ANS 900. 6.98g, 23mm, 8h.

Good Fine.
4 commentsLeo
Vlasto_264.jpg
Calabria, Taras AR Nomos. Circa 425/420-380 BC. 3 views7.56g, 22mm, 5h.
Taras astride dolphin right, extending left arm; Π in left field, TAPA[NTINΩNHMI] around.
Nude youth on horse galloping right, holding reins with left hand.
Vlasto 264; HN Italy 848; Evans IB.1.
Good Fine; old cabinet tone. Extremely Rare, only two other examples on CoinArchives.
Leo
Vlasto_1077.jpg
Calabria, Taras Drachm circa 280-27234 viewsAR 16mm., 3.21g. Head of Athena l., wearing helmet decorated with Skylla. Rev. Owl standing r. on thunderbolt, with open wings. Vlasto 1077. Historia Numorum Italy 1018.

Attractive old cabinet tone, Good Very Fine.
2 commentsLeo
Vlasto_132.jpg
Calabria, Taras Nomos circa 500-48038 viewsAR 19mm., 8.03g. Oecist riding dolphin r., extending arms; below, shell. Rev. Hippocamp l. Vlasto 132. Historia Numorum Italy 827.

Toned, Very Fine/Good Very Fine.
1 commentsLeo
Vlasto_1723.jpg
CALABRIA, Taras. Circa 280-228 BC. AR Obol19 views10mm, 0.46 g, 6h
Horse head right / Horse head right; race torch to right. Vlasto 1723; HN Italy 1075. Good VF, old cabinet toning.
1 commentsLeo
V_804.jpg
CALABRIA, Taras. Circa 280-272 BC. AR Nomos6 views19.5mm, 6.46 g, 2h
Youth on horseback right, crowning self; ZΩ to left, ZAΛO and Ionic capital below / Phalanthos riding dolphin left, holding aphlaston and distaff; ANΘ to right.
Vlasto 804; HN Italy 1014. Good VF
Leo
vlasto_27.jpg
CALABRIA, Taras. Circa 320-315 BC. AV Sixth Stater – Diobol9 views9.5mm, 1.41 g, 11h
Head of Apollo left, wearing laurel wreath; [ΣA] and dolphin to left, TAPAΣ to right
Herakles, raising club overhead in right hand, preparing to strike the Nemean lion as it attacks him from the right; bow and quiver to left, |-H below.
Fischer-Bossert G14 (V11/R14); Vlasto 27; HN Italy 951; SNG ANS 1034; SNG BN 1492–3; SNG Copenhagen 834; SNG Lloyd 186; Boston MFA 73 = Warren 36; Hunterian 20; Jameson 161; McClean 599 (all from the same dies). Good VF.

Apollo was worshipped as the patron of colonists at Tarentum, and he was also the patron of the revered Pythagorean religious order at Tarentum, which existed until the late fourth century. The reverse motif of Herakles fighting the Nemean lion was also used on contemporary silver diobols of Tarentum and its colony Herakleia, though the silver issues usually chose the "tondo" scene of a crouched Herakles wrestling the Nemean lion with a stranglehold (a design also used on the Syracusan gold 100 litrae issue of Dionysios I).
1 commentsLeo
Vlasto_576.jpg
CALABRIA, Taras. Circa 325-281 BC. Stater18 viewsSilver, 20mm, 7.78 g 1
Nude rider on horse prancing to right, holding round shield, two lances, and spear; ΣIM below. Rev. TAPAΣ Phalanthos seated astride dolphin to left, holding spindle over his left shoulder; before, eagle standing right; below, ΦI and waves. SNG ANS 982 ( same dies ). Vlasto 576 ( same dies ). Good very fine.
1 commentsLeo
Vlasto_543–4.jpg
CALABRIA, Taras. Circa 333-331/0 BC. AR Nomos94 views19.5mm, 7.70 g, 2h
Warror, preparing to throw spear and holding shield and two more spears, on horse rearing right; [|- to left], Λ to right, KAΛ and Δ below / Phalanthos, holding crested Phrygian helmet, astride dolphin right; stars flanking, API below. Fischer-Bossert Group 60, 770–3 var. (V303/R– [unlisted rev. die]); Vlasto 543–4 (same obv. die); HN Italy 896. Good VF, toned, a little off center. From fine style dies.

On this coin we see the rider on horseback exercising his martial prowess, galloping forward and preparing to thrust a javelin into an object which the viewer does not see. On his far side he carries a round shield and two additional spears. The reverse depicts the dolphin rider facing to the right, holding a helmet of Phrygian design with cheek guards and a long, sweeping crest. Two stars in the fields flank the dolphin rider, and should perhaps be interpreted as alluding to the Dioskouroi and thus to Sparta. If so, then the design should be seen in light of the ill-fated expedition of the Spartan king Archidamos III. In 343/2 B.C. at the request of the city’s leading citizens, the Spartan king arrived with a fleet and soldiers in order to help the Tarentines to repel incursions by their Italic neighbors, notably the noisome Lucanians to Tarentum’s north and west. He was subsequently killed during the fighting, and the dolphin rider here may be thought of as mourning the slain Spartan king.
3 commentsLeo
Vlasto_1193.jpg
CALABRIA, Taras. Circa 450-380 BC. AR Trias14 views6.5mm, 0.19 g, 11h
Large T; three pellets (mark of value) around / Large T; three pellets (mark of value) around, small P to lower right.
Vlasto 1193; HN Italy 853. Good VF, toned. Very rare.
1 commentsLeo
Vlasto_1162.jpg
CALABRIA, Taras. Litra44 viewsCALABRIA, Taras. Circa 470-450 BC. Litra (Silver, 9mm, 0.80 g 6).
Scallop shell. Rev. Head of nymph to left. HN III 840. Vlasto 1162. A beautiful little coin, nicely toned. Good very fine.


Ex Schweizerischer Bankverein 29, 28 January 1992, 7.
2 commentsLeo
103002.jpg
CALABRIA, Tarentum183 viewsTaranto was founded in 706 BC by Dorian immigrants as the only Spartan colony, and its origin is peculiar: the founders were Partheniae, sons of unmarried Spartan women and perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta); these unions were decreed by the Spartans to increase the number of soldiers (only the citizens of Sparta could become soldiers) during the bloody Messenian Wars, but later they were nullified, and the sons were forced to leave. According to the legend Phalanthus, the Parthenian leader, went to Delphi to consult the oracle and received the puzzling answer that he should found a city where rain fell from a clear sky. After all attempts to capture a suitable place to found a colony failed, he became despondent, convinced that the oracle had told him something that was impossible, and was consoled by his wife. She laid his head in her lap and herself became disconsolate. When Phalanthus felt her tears splash onto his forehead he at last grasped the meaning of the oracle, for his wife's name meant clear sky. The harbour of Taranto in Apulia was nearby and he decided this must be the new home for the exiles. The Partheniae arrived and founded the city, naming it Taras after the son of the Greek sea god, Poseidon, and the local nymph Satyrion. A variation says Taras was founded in 707 BC by some Spartans, who, the sons of free women and enslaved fathers, were born during the Messenian War. According to other sources, Heracles founded the city. Another tradition indicates Taras himself as the founder of the city; the symbol of the Greek city (as well as of the modern city) is Taras riding a dolphin. Taranto increased its power, becoming a commercial power and a sovereign city of Magna Graecia, ruling over the Greek colonies in southern Italy.

In its beginning, Taranto was a monarchy, probably modelled on the one ruling over Sparta; according to Herodotus (iii 136), around 492 BC king Aristophilides ruled over the city. The expansion of Taranto was limited to the coast because of the resistance of the populations of inner Apulia. In 472 BC, Taranto signed an alliance with Rhegion, to counter the Messapii, Peuceti, and Lucanians (see Iapygian-Tarentine Wars), but the joint armies of the Tarentines and Rhegines were defeated near Kailìa (modern Ceglie), in what Herodotus claims to be the greatest slaughter of Greeks in his knowledge, with 3,000 Reggians and uncountable Tarentines killed. In 466 BC, Taranto was again defeated by the Iapyges; according to Aristotle, who praises its government, there were so many aristocrats killed that the democratic party was able to get the power, to remove the monarchy, inaugurate a democracy, and expel the Pythagoreans. Like Sparta, Tarentum was an aristocratic republic, but became democratic when the ancient nobility dwindled.

However, the rise of the democratic party did not weaken the bonds of Taranto and her mother-city Sparta. In fact, Taranto supported the Peloponnesian side against Athens in the Peloponnesian War, refused anchorage and water to Athens in 415 BC, and even sent ships to help the Peloponnesians, after the Athenian disaster in Sicily. On the other side, Athens supported the Messapians, in order to counter Taranto's power.

In 432 BC, after several years of war, Taranto signed a peace treaty with the Greek colony of Thurii; both cities contributed to the foundation of the colony of Heraclea, which rapidly fell under Taranto's control. In 367 BC Carthage and the Etruscans signed a pact to counter Taranto's power in southern Italy.

Under the rule of its greatest statesman, strategist and army commander-in-chief, the philosopher and mathematician Archytas, Taranto reached its peak power and wealth; it was the most important city of the Magna Graecia, the main commercial port of southern Italy, it produced and exported goods to and from motherland Greece and it had the biggest army and the largest fleet in southern Italy. However, with the death of Archytas in 347 BC, the city started a slow, but ineluctable decline; the first sign of the city's decreased power was its inability to field an army, since the Tarentines preferred to use their large wealth to hire mercenaries, rather than leave their lucrative trades.

In 343 BC Taranto appealed for aid against the barbarians to its mother city Sparta, in the face of aggression by the Brutian League. In 342 BC, Archidamus III, king of Sparta, arrived in Italy with an army and a fleet to fight the Lucanians and their allies. In 338 BC, during the Battle of Manduria, the Spartan and Tarentine armies were defeated in front of the walls of Manduria (nowadays in province of Taranto), and Archidamus was killed.

In 333 BC, still troubled by their Italic neighbours, the Tarentines called the Epirotic king Alexander Molossus to fight the Bruttii, Samnites, and Lucanians, but he was later (331 BC) defeated and killed in the battle of Pandosia (near Cosenza). In 320 BC, a peace treaty was signed between Taranto and the Samnites. In 304 BC, Taranto was attacked by the Lucanians and asked for the help of Agathocles tyrant of Syracuse, king of Sicily. Agathocles arrived in southern Italy and took control of Bruttium (present-day Calabria), but was later called back to Syracuse. In 303 BC-302 BC Cleonymus of Sparta established an alliance with Taranto against the Lucanians, and fought against them.

Arnold J. Toynbee, a classical scholar who taught at Oxford and other prestigious English universities and who did original and definitive work on Sparta (e.g. The Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. xxxiii 1913 p. 246-275) seemed to have some doubts about Tarentum (Taranto) being of Spartan origin.

In his book The Study of History vol. iii p. 52 he wrote: "...Tarentum, which claimed a Spartan origin; but, even if this claim was in accordance with historical fact..." The tentative phrasing seems to imply that the evidence is neither conclusive or even establishes a high degree of probability of the truth that Tarentum (Taranto) was a Spartan colony.

CALABRIA, Tarentum. Circa 302-281 BC. AR Drachm (17mm, 2.91 gm). Helmeted head of Athena right, helmet decorated with Skylla hurling a stone / Owl standing right head facing, on olive branch; Vlasto 1058; SNG ANS 1312; HN Italy 1015. VF.

Ex-Cng eAuction 103 Lot 2 190/150
2 commentsecoli
Vlasto_1118.jpg
Calabria, Tarentum, c. 480-470 BC. AR Hexas9 views4mm, 0.13g
Cockle shell. R/ Wheel of four spokes. Vlasto 1118; HNItaly 836. Rare, Good VF
Leo
Vlasto_773.jpg
CALABRIA, Tarentum. Circa 280-272 BC. AR Nomos61 views19mm, 6.45 g, 4h
The Dioskouroi riding left; monogram above, [ΣΩ]Δ-A-M-O-Σ below
Phalanthos, nude, holding two spears, shield decorated with hippocamp, and Nike, who crowns him with wreath, riding dolphin left; ΠY to left, waves below.
Vlasto 773; HN Italy 1011. Good VF, toned, compact flan. Well centered.
4 commentsLeo
Vlasto_319.jpg
CALABRIA. Taras. 425-380 BC. AR nomos57 views6.26 gm
Nude ephebe cantering left, holding bridle with both hands, ΛΕ (retrograde) beneath horse / TARAS, dolphin rider right, wielding trident and pointing with left hand.
HN Italy 850. Vlasto 319 (same dies).
Porous. Edge bump (8:00 obverse) and reverse scratches. Good very fine.

The aristocratic Tarentines were especially proud of their reputation as first-rate horsemen, and the coinage of Tarentum mirrors this pride by displaying all manner of equestrian showmanship. Some of the riders appear in full armor, and those must be cavalrymen in battle, but most appear nude: those riders are surely taking part in the various races and games that the aristocrats loved so much. One of the more dangerous, and most prestigious, of the races was the kalpé. In this form of race the rider would, at a certain stage, slide off his horse and, while holding the reins, run along side. The Tarentine staters show several stages in the process. On this coin we see the very beginning: the rider places his left hand on the horse’s rump and has moved his right hand from the right to the left side of the his horse’s head. On the next lot we see him moving his right leg up over the horse’s back; on other coins (not here) we see both legs stretched out on the left side of the horse just before the rider leaps to the ground. For a short discussion of this event see Sport, p. 79. The actual process of getting off the horse was termed apobates. There are many examples of the initial stages of the apobates to be found in this rich collection.
2 commentsLeo
Vlasto_410.jpg
CALABRIA. Taras. Circa 365-355 BC. AR Nomos 52 views21 mm, 7.89 g, 2 h
Youthful nude jockey riding horse standing right; to right, bearded herm left; below horse, TH. Rev. TAΡ[AΣ] Phalantos, with wild flowing hair, riding dolphin left, holding oinochoe in right hand. Fischer-Bossert 564b (this coin). Vlasto 410 (same obverse die). Beautifully toned and of fine style. Minor areas of flatness, otherwise, good very fine.

From the Prof. Langlotz Collection, Auctiones AG 23, 17-18 June 1993, 185.

This is a particularly charming depiction of the hero Phalanthos, with wild waving hair and an impish smile, indicating how much he is enjoying the dolphin ride.
1 commentsLeo
Taras_Stater.jpg
Calabria. Tarentum. Ar Didrachm. C. 272-240 BC. SCARCE. 78 viewsObv; Nude youth on horseback.
Rev; Taras astride dolphin; owl behind.
SNG Ans 1165ff.
Good silver and surfaces.
6.53g.
19mm.

Ex Den of Antiquity
4 commentsPhiloromaos
Calgula_denarius_ric_2.jpg
Caligula RIC 000287 viewsGaius (Caligula), with Divus Augustus. AD 37-41. AR Denarius
(17.5mm, 3.26 g, 5h).
Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. 1st emission, AD 37.
Obv :Bare head of Gaius (Caligula) right C. CAESAR. AVG. GERM. P. M. TR. POT. COS
Rev: Radiate head of Divus Augustus right, between two stars.
RIC I 2; Lyon 157; RSC 11.
Fine, toned, deposits, chipped at edges, a few scratches.
CNG E-auction 428 Lot 344 September 5, 2018

This is my third denarius of Caligula. Yes, I know the coin has a few problems. The is a chip on the reverse, and there are deposits on both sides of the coin. Having said that, the quality of the silver is very good and the coin feels nice and solid to the touch.

I bought this coin for the artistic portrait of Caligula. I was really quite taken by it. I also like that most of the legend is present and readable. I did not need another denarius of Caligula, but when I saw the coin I had to have it. This coin will make an excellent addition to my 12 Caesars set.

Denarii of Caligula are scarce and they are sought after. It is the perfect storm as far as prices for these are concerned. It is not only the 12 Caesars collectors that drive up the prices for these denarii it is also the reputation of the man. Who would not like to have a coin of this murderous and insane monster that also happens to be a fascinating historical figure?

If you do not want to shell out the money for a denarius, the Vesta reverse As is available quite readily and for very reasonable prices. Everyone should have a coin of this remarkable and storied individual.
5 commentsorfew
new_caius_combined.jpg
Caligula RIC 001433 viewsCaligula and Agrippina AR Denarius, aF, toned, bumps and marks,
(17.84 mm, 2.680g) 180o
Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, end of 37 - early 38 A.D.;
Obv: C CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR POT (counterclockwise), laureate head of Gaius right;
Rev: AGRIPPINA MAT C CAES AVG GERM (counterclockwise), draped bust of Agrippina Senior (his mother), her hair in a queue behind, one curly lock falls loose on the side of her neck,
RIC I 14 (R) (Rome), RSC II 2; BMCRE I 15 (Rome), BnF II 24, Hunter I 7 (Rome), SRCV I 1825
Ex: the Jyrki Muona Collection, Ex: Forvm Ancient Coins.




As you can tell from the photo, this is a worn coin. All denarii of Gaius (Caligula) are scarce, and some are harder to find than others. Denarii of Claudius are also scarce. The speculation is that after Nero debased the denarii, people hoarded all of the good silver coins, and this included denarii of Claudius and Gaius. According to Gresham's law bad money drives out good money. However, this does not explain why there appears to be plenty of earlier denarii available of figures such as Tiberius and Augustus but very few of Claudius and Gaius. We may never have a satisfactory answer.

Now why do I call him Gaius. Caligula (meaning little boots) was a nickname given to Gaius when he was young and travelling with his father's (Germanicus) army. According to contemporary or near contemporary accounts he detested the name. If you were emperor I am sure you would not want to be called "Bootykins".

The reverse of this coin has a portrait of Agrippina the Elder , Gaius' mother. She reportedly starved herself to death 4 years before Gaius became emperor.
orfew
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
Standing_Caliph_Qinnasrin.jpg
Caliphate of Abd al-Malik23 viewsAbd al-Malik ibn Marwan (685 – 705 CE) ‘Standing Caliph’ type, mint of Qinnasrin [Chalcis]. Fals, weight 2.56g, diameter 22mm.

Obverse: Standing bearded figure wearing headdress and long robe, with right hand on hilt of sword. Inscription: abd allah abd al-malik amir al-mu’minin (“The servant of God, Abd al-Malik, commander of the faithful”).

Reverse: Object resembling Greek Φ, resting on four steps; To left, upwards, wāfin (“full value”); to right, downwards, mint designation, bi-qinnasrin. Inscription: the shahada (“There is no God but God alone and Muhammad is God’s prophet.”).

Mint of Qinnasrin [Chalcis]. Reference: Goodwin [2005] p.43, Foss p.79 and D.O. 112-114
Abu Galyon
Standing_Caliph_Halab.jpg
Caliphate of Abd al-Malik9 viewsAbd al-Malik ibn Marwan (685 – 705 CE) ‘Standing Caliph’ type, mint of Halab [Aleppo]. Fals, weight 1.32g, diameter 17mm.

Obverse: Standing bearded figure wearing headdress and long robe, with right hand on hilt of sword. Inscription: abd allah abd al-malik amir al-mu’minin (“The servant of God, Abd al-Malik, commander of the faithful”).

Reverse: Object resembling Greek Φ, resting on three steps; To left, upwards, mint designation, bi-halab; to right, downwards, wāfin (“full value”). Inscription: the shahada (“There is no God but God alone and Muhammad is God’s prophet.”).

Mint of Halab [Aleppo]. Reference: Goodwin [2005] p.43, Foss p.79 and D.O. 115-123
Abu Galyon
BCL_0195.jpg
Caliphate of Mu'awiya 46 viewsMu’awiya (660 – 680 CE). Bilingual series, mint of Homs (Emesa) in Syria. Fals, weight 2.8g, diameter 16mm.

Obverse: Bust facing, crown with cross, wearing cuirass and paludamentum, holding globus cruciger; to left vertically (in Greek) ΚΑΛΟΝ; to right vertically (in Arabic) bi-hims.

Reverse: Large cursive m; ~ * ~ above; to left EMI; to right CHC; in exergue (in Arabic) tayyib [= ‘good’].

Reference: Foss p.50 and D.O. 65-78.
Abu Galyon
Arab-Byzantine_Homs_Bilingual_[2].jpg
Caliphate of Mu'awiya18 viewsMu’awiya (660 – 680 CE). Bilingual series, mint of Homs (Emesa) in Syria. Fals, weight 3.87g, diameter 20mm.

Obverse: Bust facing, crown with cross, wearing cuirass and paludamentum, holding globus cruciger; to left vertically (in Greek) ΚΑΛΟΝ; to right vertically (in Arabic) bi-hims, ✱ below.

Reverse: Large cursive m; ʘ * ʘ above; to left EMI; to right CHC; in exergue (in Arabic) tayyib [= ‘good’].

Reference: Foss p.50 and D.O. 69-71.
Abu Galyon
Arab_First_Bilingual_Emesa.jpg
Caliphate of Mu’awiya50 viewsMu’awiya (660 – 680 CE) First bilingual series, mint of Homs (Emesa) in Syria. Fals, weight 3.8g, diameter 20mm.

Obverse: Standing imperial figure, holding long cross and globus cruciger; in field to right (reading vertically from bottom to top): ΚΑΛΟΝ; in field to left (vertically, in Arabic): bism allah (“in the name of God”).

Reverse: Large M, with rho-cross flanked by stars above and Δ below; to left (vertically) EMH; to right (vertically) CIC; in exergue (in Arabic): tayyib [= ‘good’].

Reference: Foss p.43 and D.O. 40.
Abu Galyon
Arab_First_Bilingual_Emesa_[2].jpg
Caliphate of Mu’awiya37 viewsMu’awiya (660 – 680 CE) First bilingual series, mint of Homs (Emesa) in Syria. Fals, weight 3.53g, diameter 20mm.

Obverse: Standing imperial figure, holding long cross and globus cruciger; in field to right, (reading vertically from bottom to top): KAΛON; in field to left (vertically, in Arabic): bism allah (“in the name of God”).

Reverse: Large M, with rho-cross flanked by stars above and Δ below; to left (vertically) EMH; to right (vertically) CIC; in exergue (in Arabic): tayyib [= ‘good’].

Reference: Foss p.43 and D.O. 40.
Abu Galyon
Arab_Bilingual_Damascus.jpg
Caliphate of Mu’awiya35 viewsMu’awiya (660 – 680 CE). Bilingual series, mint of Damascus. Fals, weight 4.29g, diameter 22mm.

Obverse: Emperor standing, crowned, holding long cross and globus cruciger; to left stylised bird (falcon?) on T-shaped perch; to right downwards ΔΑΜΑCKΟC

Reverse: Large M with rho-cross above; below ∩ over line; to right downwards ḍarb; in exergue dimashq; to left downwards jā’iz (“legal issue of Damascus”)

References: Foss p.46 (type C) and Goodwin [2005], p.37 (number 22).
Abu Galyon
Arab_Bilingual_Damascus_[2].jpg
Caliphate of Mu’awiya19 viewsMu’awiya (660 – 680 CE). Bilingual series, mint of Damascus. Fals, weight 5.31g, diameter 19mm.

Obverse: Emperor standing, crowned, holding long cross and globus cruciger; to left stylised bird (falcon?) on T-shaped perch; to right downwards ΔΑΜΑCKΟC

Reverse: Large M with rho-cross above; below ∩ over line; to right downwards ḍarb; in exergue dimashq; to left downwards jā’iz (“legal issue of Damascus”)

References: Foss p.46 (type C) and Goodwin [2005], p.37 (number 22).
Abu Galyon
Arab_Bilingual_DAMACKOC_[3].jpg
Caliphate of Mu’awiya12 viewsMu’awiya (660 – 680 CE). Bilingual series, mint of Damascus. Fals, weight 3.58g, diameter 20mm.

Obverse: Emperor standing, crowned, holding long cross and globus cruciger; to left stylised bird (falcon?) on T-shaped perch; to right downwards ΔΑΜΑCKΟC

Reverse: Large M with rho-cross above; below ∩ over line; to right downwards ḍarb; in exergue dimashq; to left downwards jā’iz (“legal issue of Damascus”)

References: Foss p.46 (type C) and Goodwin [2005], p.37 (number 22).
Abu Galyon
neap.jpg
CAMPANIA, Neapolis. Circa 275-250 BC. 58 viewsÆ (19mm, 5.42 g, 10h).
Obv: Laureate head of Apollo left; ΝΕΟΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ before; Ξ behind.
Rx: Man-headed bull walking right; above, Nike flying right, placing wreath on bull's head; IΣ below.

Taliercio Series IIIa, 38; HN Italy 589. Good Fine, green patina, some roughness.

CNG Electronic Auction 233, Lot: 47.
4 commentsDino
neapolis_campania.jpg
Campania. Neapolis AR Nomos75 viewsCirca 275-250 BC. AR Nomos (21mm, 7.21 g, 11h). Sambon–; HN Italy 586; BMC 87; SNG France–; SNG ANS–. Obverse: Diademed head of nymph left, wearing triple-pendant earring and necklace; to right, Artemis standing right, holding torch in both hands. Reverse: Man-headed bull walking right; above, Nike flying right, placing wreath on bull's head; IΣ below; [N]EOΠOΛITΩN in exergue. Good VF, toned.