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Hieron II156 viewsHead of Poseidon left

ornamented trident, dolphins at sides

Bronze AE 20
6.96g, 20mm

Syracuse Sicily mint
270-215 BC

SNG Cop 856, SGCV I 1223?


Hieron II was tyrant and then king of Syracuse, c. 270 to 215 B.C. His rule brought 50 years of peace and prosperity, and Syracuse became one of the most renowned capitals of antiquity. He enlarged the theater and built an immense altar. The literary figure Theocritus and the philosopher Archimedes lived under his rule. After struggling against the Mamertini, he eventually allied with Rome.
1 commentsJay GT4
(0235) MAXIMINUS I THRAX14 views235 - 238 AD
Struck 236 AD--2nd emission
Silver denarius, 20.0 mm; 2.909 g
O: IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right (no cuirass?), from behind;
R: PAX AVGVSTI (to the peace of the emperor), Pax standing facing, head left, raising olive branch in right hand, transverse scepter in left
Rome mint; RSC III 31b (no cuirass), RIC IV 12 var. (cuirassed), BMCRE VI 70 var. (same), Hunter III 8 var. (same), SRCV III 8310 var. (same)
(ex FORUM)
000c. Sextus Pompey76 viewsSextus Pompeius Magnus Pius, in English Sextus Pompey, was a Roman general from the late Republic (1st century BC). He was the last focus of opposition to the second triumvirate.

Sextus Pompeius was the youngest son of Pompey the Great (Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) by his third wife, Mucia Tertia. His older brother was Gnaeus Pompeius, from the same mother. Both boys grew up in the shadow of their father, one of Rome's best generals and originally non-conservative politician who drifted to the more traditional faction when Julius Caesar became a threat.

When Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 BC, thus starting a civil war, Sextus' older brother Gnaeus followed their father in his escape to the East, as did most of the conservative senators. Sextus stayed in Rome in the care of his stepmother, Cornelia Metella. Pompey's army lost the battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC and Pompey himself had to run for his life. Cornelia and Sextus met him in the island of Mytilene and together they fled to Egypt. On the arrival, Sextus watched his father being killed by treachery on September 29 of the same year. After the murder, Cornelia returned to Rome, but in the following years Sextus joined the resistance against Caesar in the African provinces. Together with Metellus Scipio, Cato the younger, his brother Gnaeus and other senators, they prepared to oppose Caesar and his army to the end.

Caesar won the first battle at Thapsus in 46 BC against Metellus Scipio and Cato, who committed suicide. In 45 BC, Caesar managed to defeat the Pompeius brothers in the battle of Munda. Gnaeus Pompeius was executed, but young Sextus escaped once more, this time to Sicily.

Back in Rome, Julius Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March (March 15) 44 BC by a group of senators led by Cassius and Brutus. This incident did not lead to a return to normality, but provoked yet another civil war between Caesar's political heirs and his assassins. The second triumvirate was formed by Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus, with the intention of avenging Caesar and subduing all opposition. Sextus Pompeius in Sicily was certainly a rebellious man, but the Cassius and Brutus faction was the second triumvirate's first priority. Thus, with the whole island as his base, Sextus had the time and resources to develop an army and, even more importantly, a strong navy operated by Sicilian marines.

Brutus and Cassius lost the twin battles of Philippi and committed suicide in 42 BC. After this, the triumvirs turned their attentions to Sicily and Sextus.

But by this time, Sextus was prepared for strong resistance. In the following years, military confrontations failed to return a conclusive victory for either side and in 39 BC, Sextus and the triumvirs signed for peace in the Pact of Misenum. The reason for this peace treaty was the anticipated campaign against the Parthian Empire. Antony, the leader, needed all the legions he could get so it was useful to secure an armistice in the Sicilian front. The peace did not last for long. Octavian and Antony's frequent quarrels were a strong political motivation for resuming the war against Sextus. Octavian tried again to conquer Sicily, but he was defeated in the naval battle of Messina (37 BC) and again in August 36 BC. But by then, Octavian had Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, a very talented general, on his side. Only a month afterwards, Agrippa destroyed Sextus' navy off Naulochus cape. Sextus escaped to the East and, by abandoning Sicily, lost all his base of support.

Sextus Pompeius was caught in Miletus in 35 BC and executed without trial (an illegal act since Sextus was a Roman citizen) by order of Marcus Titius, Antony's minion. His violent death would be one of the weapons used by Octavian against Antony several years later, when the situation between the two became unbearable.

Sicilian Mint
Magn above laureate Janiform head
PIVS above, IMP below, prow of galley right
Sear RCV 348, RPC 671, Sydenham 1044a, Cohen 16
43-36 BC

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
074 Philippus I. (244-249 A.D.), RIC IV-III 0040b, Rome, AR-Antoninianus, PAX AETERN, Pax (Peace) standing half-left, #172 views074 Philippus I. (244-249 A.D.), RIC IV-III 0040b, Rome, AR-Antoninianus, PAX AETERN, Pax (Peace) standing half-left, #1
avers:- IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
revers:- PAX AETERN, Pax (Peace) standing half-left, holding branch and scepter.
exergo: -/-//--, diameter: 21,5mm, weight: 4,38g, axis: 7h,
mint: Rome, date: 244 A.D., ref: RIC-IV-III-040b, p-, RSC 103, Sear 2563,
"This reverse was issued to recognize the peace achieved in Persia and promises that it will endure forever."
074 Philippus I. (244-249 A.D.), RIC IV-III 0041, Rome, AR-Antoninianus, PAX AETERN, Pax (Peace) running left, #164 views074 Philippus I. (244-249 A.D.), RIC IV-III 0041, Rome, AR-Antoninianus, PAX AETERN, Pax (Peace) running left, #1
avers:- IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
revers:- PAX AETERN, Pax (Peace) running left, holding branch and sceptre.
exergo: -/-//--, diameter: 22mm, weight: 4,51g, axis: 1h,
mint: Rome, date: 244 A.D., ref: RIC-IV-III-041, p-, RSC 102, Sear ,
"This reverse was issued to recognize the peace achieved in Persia and promises that it will endure forever."
074 Philippus I. (244-249 A.D.), RIC IV-III 0069, Antioch, AR-Antoninianus, PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS, Pax standing facing, Scarce, #166 views074 Philippus I. (244-249 A.D.), RIC IV-III 0069, Antioch, AR-Antoninianus, PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS, Pax standing facing, Scarce, #1
avers:- IMP C M IVL PHILIPPVS P F AVG P M, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
revers:- PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS, Pax standing facing, head left, holding olive-branch and transverse sceptre
exe:-/-//--, diameter: 21mm, weight: 3,95g, axis: h,
mint: Antioch, date: 244 A.D., ref: RIC-IV-III-069, p-76, C-113,
History: The reverse legend on this coin "peace established with Persia" makes reference to one of Philip's first acts as emperor - the peace treaty with the Sasanian king Shapur I. Also, the P M used in the obverse legend refers to 'Persicus Maximus' as opposed to 'Pontifex Maximus.'
08 01 Otho RIC I 483 viewsOtho. 15 Jan. to April 69 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. 69 A.D. (3.27g, 18.9mm, 6h). Obv: IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right. Obv: PAX ORBIS TERRARVM, Pax, draped, standing left, right holding branch, and left caduceus. RIC I 4, RCV 2156, RSC 3. Ex Warren Esty Personal Collection.

At 3 months, Otho had the shortest reign in the Year of the Four Emperors. During much of Nero’s reign, Otho administered Lusitania, and followed Galba when he marched on Rome. Upon Galba’s naming another as his successor to the throne, with some of the rankers of the Praetorian Guard, Otho staged a coup, had Galba murdered, and was declared Emperor.

THis is an odd reverse message for an emperor complicit in the murder of his one-time allie and predecessor Galba, while the legeons of Vitellius were Marching on Rome. PAX ORBIS TERRARVM "Peace on the Earth" is ironic given the civil war going on in Rome at the time.
5 commentsLucas H
104. Antoninus Pius37 viewsAntoninus Pius

The long reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius is often described as a period of peace and quiet before the storm which followed and plagued his successor, Marcus Aurelius. In addition to the relative peacefulness, this emperor set the tone for a low-keyed imperial administration which differed markedly from those of his two immediate predecessors, Trajan and Hadrian. Antoninus managed to govern the empire capably and yet with such a gentle hand that he earned the respect, acclaim, and love of his subjects. Antoninus Pius died in March of A.D. 161, after giving the appropriate imperial watchword which so typified his reign, "equanimity". He was soon afterward deified by the Senate.

RI2. Denarius. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIIII, laureate head right / FELIC SAEC COS IIII, Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus & leaning on short column. RSC 361. RIC 309
1307 - 1327, EDWARD II, AR Penny, Struck 1311 - 1316 at Durham, England21 viewsObverse: + EDWAR ANGL DNS hYB. Crowned and draped bust of Edward II facing within circle of pellets. Cross pattee in legend.
Reverse: CIVITAS DVNELM. Long cross, the upper limb of which is in the form of a bishop's crozier, dividing legend into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of inner circle.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 1.2gms | Die Axis: 7
SPINK: 1469

Undated Penny, Class 11a, struck under Bishop Kellawe. Bishop Kellawe was enthroned as Bishop of Durham in 1311 but he died in 1316 so this coin was struck during the five years between those two dates. These coins were sometimes called “poker pennies” because the shape of the crozier on the reverse is reminiscent of an old iron fireside poker. It's an unfortunate nickname considering the reputed manner of the King's death.

Edward II
Edward II was crowned King of England when his father, Edward I, died in 1307. However Edward II caused discontent among the barons by his close relationship with Piers Gaveston and in 1311 the barons pressured the King into agreeing to wide-ranging reforms which included Gaveston being banished. Angered, Edward responded by revoking the reforms and recalling his favourite, but in 1312 a group of barons, led by the Earl of Lancaster, seized and executed Gaveston.
The war with Scotland was not going well either, the English forces were pushed back and in 1314 Edward was decisively defeated by the Scottish King, Robert the Bruce, at the Battle of Bannockburn.
When this was followed by a widespread famine in England opposition to Edward II's reign grew until, in 1325, when Edward's wife, Isabella, was sent to France to negotiate a peace treaty she turned against Edward, allied herself with the exiled Roger Mortimer, and refused to return. In 1326, Mortimer and Isabella invaded England with a small army. Edward's regime collapsed and he fled into Wales, but he was soon captured and in January 1327 he was forced to relinquish his crown in favour of his fourteen-year-old son, Edward III. Edward II died in Berkeley Castle on 21 September the same year, reputedly horrifically murdered on the orders of the new regime by having a red hot poker inserted into his rectum.

Bishop Kellawe, Bishop of Durham
Richard de Kellawe was sub-prior at St. Cuthbert's, Durham, and on the death of Antony Bek in 1311, Kellawe was chosen to replace him as Bishop of Durham by the monks. The palatinate of Durham was at this time in a deplorable condition owing to the Scottish wars, and in 1312 Kellawe even received a papal dispensation for not attending the council at Vienne in consideration of the state of his province. Troubles with the Scots continued after Bannockburn and the Palatinate was now so exhausted that it could not even provide for its own defence and Bishop Kellawe had to purchase peace with a levy of fifteen hundred men and a gift of one thousand marks.
On 10th October 1316, at Middleham, Bishop Kellawe died. He was buried in the chapter-house at Durham. His grandly adorned tomb was destroyed when the chapter house was demolished in 1796.
2 comments*Alex
1371 – 1390, Robert II, AR Groat minted at Perth, Scotland4 viewsObverse: + ROBERTVS DEI GRA REX SCOTORVM. Crowned bust of Robert II facing left, sceptre topped with a lis and with a star at its base before, within double tressure of six arches broken at the king's neck, small trefoils in spandrels, surrounded by beaded inner circle. Mintmark, cross pattée in legend and small crosses in spaces between words. The whole within beaded outer circle.
Reverse: + DnS PTECTOR MS ┼ LIBATOR MS (God is my protector and redeemer) / VILLA DE PERTh X. Long cross pattée dividing two concentric legends separated by two beaded circles into quarters, pierced mullet in each quarter of inner circle. Mintmark, cross pattées in both inner and outer legends, but cross set as saltire in inner legend, small cross over crescent after DnS in outer legend. The whole within beaded outer circle.
Diameter: 30mm | Weight: 3.87gms | Die Axis: 12
SPINK: 5136 | SCBI: 35, 460-72

Robert II's coinage was maintained at the same standard and in the same general style as that of David’s last issue, but coins were struck at Perth and Dundee in addition to those of the Edinburgh mint.

Robert II was the first Scottish king of the Stewart line, he was the son of Walter, the sixth hereditary High Steward of Scotland, and of Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert the Bruce. Robert II acted as regent during part of the period of imprisonment in England of David II and was himself imprisoned in England when Edward III was declared to be David’s successor. The Scots never accepted this arrangement and, after several years of secret negotiations between David II and Edward III, in 1370 Robert was released. He peacefully succeeded to the throne on David II's death the following year.
Robert II succeeded to the throne at the age of 54 and was viewed by many in his kingdom as past his best. In November 1384 he was effectively deposed by his eldest son John, Earl of Carrick. John, however, was seriously injured after being kicked by a horse, and Robert II's second son, Robert, Earl of Fife, later the Duke of Albany, was appointed as Guardian of Scotland instead. Robert II died at Dundonald Castle on 19 April 1390, and was buried at Scone. He was succeeded by his son John, who confusingly took the name Robert III, probably because in Scotland "John" was a name too closely associated with John Balliol, the erstwhile protégé of Edward I.
antpius as-concordia.jpg
138-161 AD - ANTONINUS PIUS AE as - struck 140-143 AD62 viewsobv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TRP COS III (laureate head right)
rev: CONCORDIA EXERCITVM / S.C. (Concordia standing left, holding Victory and aquila)
ref: RIC III 678, C.140 (2frcs)
10.26gms, 26mm

This reverse symbolises the concord between the emperor and the army. The reign of Antoninus Pius was the most peaceful in the entire history of the Principate; while there were several military disturbances throughout the Empire in his time, the Moors in Mauretania (AD150), the Jews in Iudaea (for seventeen years the Romans didn't allow the Jews to bury their dead in Betar, after the Bar Kokhba revolt), the Brigantes in Britannia (AD 140-145, the Antonine Wall being built ca. 40 miles further north), the different Germanic tribes at the Germania limes, the Alans in Dacia (AD158), and had to put down rebellions in the provinces of Achaia and Egypt (AD154).
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


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:

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.


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,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Thomas Banchich, Canisius College
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families Used by permission.

Edited By J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

1422 - 1461, HENRY VI (First Reign), AR Halfpenny, Struck 1430 - 1434 at Calais, France30 viewsObverse: HENRICVS (pinecone) REX (mascle) ANGL. Crowned facing bust of Henry VI within circle of pellets. Mintmark: Cross patonce in legend.
Reverse: VIL(mascle)LA CALISIE (pinecone). Long cross pattée dividing legend around inner circle of pellets into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of circle.
Diameter: 15mm | Weight: 0.45gms
SPINK: 1885

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

Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471. The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months when his father died.
This was during the period of the long-running Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) and Henry is the only English monarch to also have been crowned King of France (as Henri II), in 1431. During his early reign several people were ruling for him and by the time Henry was declared fit to rule in 1437 he found his realm in a difficult position, faced with setbacks in France and divisions among the nobility at home. Henry is described as timid, shy, passive, well-intentioned, and averse to warfare and violence; he was also at times mentally unstable. Partially in the hope of achieving peace, Henry married the ambitious and strong-willed Margaret of Anjou in 1445. The peace policy failed and the war recommenced with France taking the upper hand such that by 1453 Calais was Henry's only remaining territory on the continent.
With Henry effectively unfit to rule, Queen Margaret took advantage of the situation to make herself an effective power behind the throne. Starting around 1453 Henry began suffering a series of mental breakdowns and tensions mounted between Margaret and Richard of York, not only over control of the incapacitated king's government, but over the question of succession to the throne. Civil war broke out in 1459, leading to a long period of dynastic conflict, now known as the Wars of the Roses. Henry was deposed on 29th March 1461 after a crushing defeat at the Battle of Towton by Richard of York's son, who took the throne as Edward IV. Margaret continuing to resist Edward, but Henry was captured by Edward's forces in 1465 and imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Queen Margaret, who was first exiled in Scotland and then in France, was still determined to win back the throne on behalf of her husband and son. So, when Edward IV fell out with two of his main supporters, Richard Neville the Earl of Warwick and George the Duke of Clarence, Margaret formed a secret alliance with them backed by Louis XI of France. Warwick returned with an army to England, forced Edward IV into exile, and restored Henry VI to the throne on 30th October 1470, though Henry's position was nominal as Warwick and Clarence effectively ruled in his name.
But Henry's return to the throne lasted less than six months. Warwick overreached himself by declaring war on Burgundy, whose ruler responded by giving Edward IV the assistance he needed to win back his throne by force. Edward retook power in 1471, killing Warwick at the Battle of Barnet and Henry's only son at the Battle of Tewkesbury. Henry was again imprisoned in the Tower where, during the night of 21st May he died, possibly killed on Edward's orders.
2 comments*Alex
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
150 Antoninus Pius44 viewsAntoninus Pius AE As . 155-156 AD. IMP CAES T AEL HADR ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right / TR POT XIIII COS IIII S-C, ANNONA AVG in ex. Annona seated left, holding corn ears & cornucopiae, modius to left. Cohen 49. RIC 880

25 mm

In 155 A.D.
"Emperor Antoninus Pius starts a new war against the Parthians who are led by Vologases IV. The war is brief and results in an inconclusive peace.
Rome states that while it will not be recognized as an official religion, Judaism must be tolerated.
To restore peace between the Jews and Romans, Antoninus relegalizes circumcision.
The Romans begin to abandon Hadrian's Wall."
1603 - 1625, JAMES I (JAMES VI of Scotland), AR Sixpence struck in 1605 at London2 viewsObverse: IACOBVS•D:G:MAG:BRIT:FRA:ET•HIB:REX. Crowned and armoured bust of James I of England facing right, VI in field behind bust and mintmark (Rose) in legend above.
Reverse: •QUAE•DEVS•CONIVNXIT•NEMO•SEPARET• Square topped shield bearing the arms of England, Scotland and Ireland; 1605 above. Mintmark (rose) in legend.
Second coinage (1604 – 1619) and fourth bust with long square cut beard.
Diameter: 26mm | Weight: 2.8gms | Die Axis: 10
SPINK: 2658

The sixpence was first introduced during the reign of Edward VI in 1551, it had a facing portrait of the king with a rose to the left and the denomination VI to the right.
With the accession of James VI of Scotland to the throne of England, reigning there as James I, the royal titles and the coat of arms were altered on the coinage. The Scottish lion rampant and the Irish harp now made their appearance in the second and third quarters of the royal coat of arms of the newly formed United Kingdom and, from 1604, MAG BRIT replaced ANG SCO in the King's titles.

The infamous “Gunpowder Plot” took place on November the fifth in the year this coin was struck. The plot, to blow up the English Houses of Parliament, was foiled when a Justice of the Peace, Sir Thomas Knyvet, was secretly informed of a Catholic plot and, after giving orders for a search of the area, discovered Guy Fawkes in a cellar below the Parliament building. Thirty-six barrels of gunpowder were found and Guy Fawkes was arrested for treason and charged with trying to kill King James along with the members of Parliament who were scheduled to sit together next day.
Guy Fawkes, also known as Guido Fawkes, was tortured and questioned over the next few days and eventually confessed. He was sentenced to being hung, drawn and quartered. However, immediately before his execution on the 31st of January 1606 he fell from the scaffold where he was about to be hanged and broke his neck, so avoiding the agony of the mutilation that followed.
Guy Fawkes has become synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot which has been commemorated in Britain on the 5th of November ever since. His effigy is traditionally burned on a bonfire, usually accompanied by a fireworks display.
When I was young, on the run-up to “bonfire night”, children used to make their own “Guy” and then tout it through the streets with cries of “Penny for the Guy” something like today's Hallowe'en “trick or treat”. But this has pretty much died out now having been replaced by officially staged events.
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
1793 AE Halfpenny, Emsworth, Hampshire.69 viewsObverse: PEACE AND PLENTY. Dove carrying olive-branch flying above cornucopia spilling out the fruits of the earth.
Reverse: HALFPENNY. Britannia, portrayed as a helmeted, plumed and draped female figure wearing a breastplate emblazoned with the union flag, seated facing left on tea-chest; her right hand resting on a terrestrial globe and her left arm on an anchor; a crowned lion, it's head turned facing, reclining left at her feet; in exergue, 1793.
Edge: “CURRENT EVERY WHERE ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦".
Diameter: 29mm
Dalton & Hamer: 11

Issued by John Stride, a grocer and tea dealer from Hampshire, this token was manufactured by Peter Kempson in Birmingham and the dies were engraved by Thomas Wyon. This token is a mule of the reverse of Dalton & Hamer 10 (Hampshire), here used as the obverse and the reverse of Dalton & Hamer 11. It may have originally been intended that these mules would be sold to collectors, but as a large number exist it seems that they must have been sold to merchants and entered general circulation.
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.
1923 D Peace Silver Dollar16 viewsNORMAN K
1926 S Peace Silver Dollar12 viewsNORMAN K
1at Galba31 views68-69


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.
1au Otho36 views69

Bewigged head, right, IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P
Securitas stg., SECVRITAS P R

RIC 10

Suetonius wrote: Otho was born on the 28th of April 32 AD, in the consulship of Furius Camillus Arruntius and Domitius Ahenobarbus, Nero’s father. In early youth he was so profligate and insolent that he earned many a beating from his own father. . . . After his father died, he feigned love for an influential freedwoman at Court, though she was old and decrepit, in order to win her favour, and then used her to insinuate himself among the emperor’s friends, easily achieving the role of Nero’s chief favourite, not only because they were of a similar disposition, but also some say because of a sexual relationship. . . .

Otho had hoped to be adopted by Galba as his successor, and anticipated the announcement daily. But Piso was chosen, dashing Otho’s hopes, and causing him to resort to force, prompted not only by feelings of resentment but also by his mounting debts. He declared that frankly he would have to declare himself bankrupt, unless he became emperor. . . . When the moment was finally ripe, . . . his friends hoisted him on their shoulders and acclaimed him Emperor. Everyone they met joined the throng, as readily as if they were sworn accomplices and a part of the conspiracy, and that is how Otho arrived at his headquarters, amidst cheering and the brandishing of swords. He at once sent men to kill Galba and Piso. . . .

Meanwhile the army in Germany had sworn allegiance to Vitellius. When the news reached Otho he persuaded the Senate to send a deputation, advising the soldiers to maintain peace and order, since an emperor had already been chosen. However he also sent envoys with letters and personal messages, offering to share power with Vitellius, and marry his daughter. With civil war clearly inevitable, on the approach of Vitellius’s advance guard, who had marched on Rome led by their generals, . . . Otho began his campaign vigorously, and indeed too hastily. . . .

His army won three engagements, but of a minor nature, firstly in the Alps, then near Placentia, and finally at a place called Castor’s, and were ultimately defeated in a decisive and treacherous encounter at Betriacum (on the 14th April). . . . After this defeat, Otho resolved to commit suicide, more from feelings of shame, which many have thought justified, and a reluctance to continue the struggle with such high cost to life and property, than from any diffidence or fear of failure shown by his soldiers. . . . On waking at dawn (on the 16th of April, AD69), he promptly dealt himself a single knife-blow in the left side of his chest, and first concealing and then showing the wound to those who rushed in at the sound of his groaning, he breathed his last. . . . Otho was thirty-six years old when he died, on the ninety-second day of his reign. . . .

Neither his bodily form nor appearance suggested great courage. He is said to have been of medium height, bandy-legged and splay-footed, though as fastidious as a woman in personal matters. He had his body-hair plucked, and wore a toupee to cover his scanty locks, so well-made and so close-fitting that its presence was not apparent.
1ax Titus96 views79-81

AE, Ankyra, Galatia
Laureate head, right AY KAICAP TITOC CEBASTO. . .

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.
2 commentsBlindado
1be Hadrian44 views117-138

Laureate head, right, HADRIANVUS AVG COS III PP
Fortuna standing left with rudder on globe and cornucopia, FORTVNA AVG

RIC 759

According to the Historia Augusta, "Bereft of his father at the age of ten, he became the ward of Ulpius Trajanus, his cousin, then of praetorian rank, but afterwards emperor, and of Caelius Attianus, a knight. He then grew rather deeply devoted to Greek studies, to which his natural tastes inclined so much that some called him 'Greekling. . . .' In the 105-106 second Dacian war, Trajan appointed him to the command of the First Legion, the Minervia, and took him with him to the war; and in this campaign his many remarkable deeds won great renown. . . . On taking possession of the imperial power
Hadrian at once resumed the policy of the early emperors and devoted his attention to maintaining peace throughout the world. . . . [I]n this letter to the Senate he apologized because he had not left it the right to decide regarding his accession, explaining that the unseemly haste of the troops in acclaiming him emperor was due to the belief that the state could not be without an emperor. . . . He was, in the same person, austere and genial, dignified and playful, dilatory and quick to act, niggardly and generous, deceitful and straightforward, cruel and merciful, and always in all things changeable. . . . Hadrian's memory was vast and his ability was unlimited ; for instance, he personally dictated his speeches and gave opinions on all questions. He was also very witty. . . ."

After this Hadrian departed for Baiae, leaving Antoninus at Rome to carry on the government. But he received no benefit there, and he thereupon
sent for Antoninus, and in his presence he died there at Baiae on the sixth day before the Ides of July.

According to Eutropius: After the death of Trajan, AELIUS HADRIAN was made emperor, not from any wish to that effect having been expressed by Trajan himself, but through the influence of Plotina, Trajan's wife; for Trajan in his life-time had refused to adopt him, though he was the son of his cousin. He also was born at Italica in Spain. Envying Trajan's glory, he immediately gave up three of the provinces which Trajan had added to the empire, withdrawing the armies from Assyria, Mesopotamia, and Armenia, and deciding that the Euphrates should be the boundary of the empire. When he was proceeding, to act similarly with regard to Dacia, his friends dissuaded him, lest many Roman citizens should be left in the hands of the barbarians, because Trajan, after he had subdued Dacia, had transplanted thither an infinite number of men from the whole Roman world, to people the country and the cities; as the land had been exhausted of inhabitants in the long war maintained by Decebalus.

He enjoyed peace, however, through the whole course of his reign; the only war that he had, he committed to the conduct of a governor of a province. He went about through the Roman empire, and founded many edifices. He spoke with great eloquence in the Latin language, and was very learned in the Greek. He had no great reputation for clemency, but was very attentive to the state of the treasury and the discipline of the soldiers. He died in Campania, more than sixty years old, in the twenty-first year, tenth month, and twenty-ninth day of his reign. The senate was unwilling to allow him divine honours; but his successor Titus Aurelius Fulvius Antonius, earnestly insisting on it, carried his point, though all the senators were openly opposed to him.
1 commentsBlindado
1cu Trebonianus Gallus24 views251-253

AE Viminacium

Laureate, draped bust, right, IMP C GALLVS P FELIX AVG
Moesia standing facing, head left, hands outstretched over a bull and a lion at her sides, PMS COL VIM

Moushmov 56

For Gallus' perfidy against Decius, see the Decius entry. Zosimus reports regarding Gallus' reign: Gallus, who declared his son Volusianus his associate in the empire, published an open declaration, that Decius and his army had perished by his contrivance. The Barbarians now became more prosperous than before. For Callus not only permitted them to return home with the plunder, but promised to pay them annually a sum of money, and allowed them to carry off all the noblest captives; most of whom had been taken at Philippopolis in Thrace.

Gallus, having made these regulations, came to Rome, priding himself on the peace he had made with the Barbarians. And though he at first spoke with approbation of Decius's mode of government, and adopted one of his sons, yet, after some time was elapsed, fearing that some of them who were fond of new projects might recur to a recapitulation of the princely virtues of Decius, and therefore might at some opportunity give the empire to his son, he concerted the young man's destruction, without regard either to his own adoption of him, or to common honour and justice.

Gallus was so supine in the administration of the empire, that the Scythians in the first place terrified all the neighbouring nations, and then laid waste all the countries as far by degrees as the sea coast; not leaving one nation subject to the Romans unpillaged, and taking almost all the unfortified towns, and many that were fortified. Besides the war on every side, which was insupportably burdensome to them, the cities and villages were infested with a pestilence, which swept away the remainder of mankind in those regions; nor was so great a mortality ever known in any former period.

At this crisis, observing that the emperors were unable to defend the state, but neglected all without the walls of Rome, the Goths, the Borani, the Urugundi, and the Carpi once more plundered the cities of Europe of all that had been left in them; while in another quarter, the Persians invaded Asia, in which they acquired possession of Mesopotamia, and proceeded even as far as Antioch in Syria, took that city, which is the metropolis of all the east, destroyed many of the inhabitants, and carried the remainder into captivity, returning home with immense plunder, after they had destroyed all the buildings in the city, both public and private, without meeting with the least resistance. And indeed the Persians had a fair opportunity to have made themselves masters of all Asia, had they not been so overjoyed at their excessive spoils, as to be contented with keeping and carrying home what they had acquired.

Meantime the Scythians of Europe were in perfect security and went over into Asia, spoiling all the country as far as Cappodocia, Pesinus, and Ephesus, until Aemilianus, commander of the Pannonian legions, endeavouring as much as possible to encourage his troops, whom the prosperity of the Barbarians had so disheartened that they durst not face them, and reminding them of the renown of Roman courage, surprised the Barbarians that were in that neighbourhood. Having destroyed great numbers of them, and led his forces into their country, removing every obstruction to his progress, and at length freeing the subjects of the Roman empire from their ferocity, he was appointed emperor by his army. On this he collected all the forces of that country, who were become more bold since his successes against the Barbarians, and directed his march towards Italy, with the design of fighting Gallus, who was as yet. unprepared to contend with him. For Gallus had never heard of what had occurred in the east, and therefore made only what accidental preparations were in his reach, while Valerianus went to bring the Celtic and German legions. But Aemilianus advanced with great speed into Italy, and the armies were very near to each other, when the soldiers of Gallus, reflecting that his force was much inferior to the enemy both in number and strength, and likewise that he was a negligent indolent man, put him and his son to death, and going over to the party of Aemilianus, appeared to establish his authority.
1cx Valerian38 views253-260


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

RIC 125

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

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

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

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

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

Valerianus had by this time heard of the disturbances in Bithynia, but his district would not allow him to confide the defence of it to any of his generals. He therefore sent Felix to Byzantium, and went in person from Antioch into Cappadocia, and after he had done some injury to every city by which he passed, he returned homeward. But the plague then attacked his troops, and destroyed most of them, at the time when Sapor made an attempt upon the east, and reduced most of it into subjection. In the mean time, Valerianus became so effeminate and indolent, that he dispaired of ever recovering from the present ill state of affairs, and would have concluded the war by a present of money; had not Sapor sent back the ambasadors who were sent to him with that proposal, without their errand, desiring the emperor to come and speak with him in person concerning the affairs he wished to adjust; To which he most imprudently consented, and going without consideration to Sapor with a small retinue, to treat for a peace, was presently laid hold of by the enemy, and so ended his days in the capacity of a slave among the Persians, to the disgrace of the Roman name in all future times.
1de Postumus31 views259-268


Radiate, draped & cuirassed bust, right, IMP C POTVMVS PF AVG
Virtus standing right, holding spear & shield, VIRTVS AVG

RIC 93

Postumus rebelled against Gallienus and ruled Gaul, Spain, and Britain. Eutropius wrote: When affairs were in this desperate condition, and the Roman empire almost ruined, POSTUMUS, a man of very obscure birth, assumed the purple in Gaul, and held the government with such ability for ten years, that he recruited the provinces, which had been almost ruined, by his great energy and judgment; but he was killed in a mutiny of the army, because he would not deliver up Moguntiacum, which had rebelled against him, to be plundered by the soldiers, at the time when Lucius Aelianus was endeavouring to effect a change of government.

According to the Historia Augusta: This man, most valiant in war and most steadfast in peace, was so highly respected for his whole manner of life that he was even entrusted by Gallienus with the care of his son Saloninus (whom he had placed in command of Gaul), as the guardian of his life and conduct and his instructor in the duties of a ruler.- Nevertheless, as some writers assert though it does not accord with his character he afterwards broke faith and after slaying Saloninus seized the imperial power. As others, however, have related with greater truth, the Gauls themselves, hating Gallienus most bitterly and being unwilling to endure a boy as their emperor, hailed as their ruler the man who was holding the rule in trust for another, and despatching soldiers they slew the boy. When he was slain, Postumus was gladly accepted by the entire army and by all the Gauls, and for seven years he performed such exploits that he completely restored the provinces of Gaul. . . . Great, indeed, was the love felt for Postumus in the hearts of all the people of Gaul because he had thrust back all the German tribes and had restored the Roman Empire to its former security. But when he began to conduct himself with the greatest sternness, the Gauls, following their custom of always desiring a change of government, at the instigation of Lollianus put him to death.

Zonaras adds: Galienus, when he had learned of [his son's death], proceeded against Postumus, and, when he had engaged him, was initially beaten and then prevailed, with the result that Postumus fled. Then Auriolus was sent to chase him down. Though able to capture him, he was unwilling to pursue him for long, but, coming back, he said that he was unable to capture him. Thus Postumus, having escaped, next organized an army. Galienus again marched upon him and, after he had penned him in a certain city of Gaul, besieged the usurper. In the siege, the sovereign was struck in the back by an arrow and, having become ill as a result, broke off the siege.
1di Claudius Gothicus26 views268-270

AE antoninianus

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

RIC 57

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

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

Egypt being thus reduecd by the Palmyrenians, the Barbarians, who survived the battle of Naissus between Claudius and the Scythians, defending themselves with their carriages which went before them, marched towards Macedon, but were so distressed by the want of necessaries, that many of them and of their beasts perished with hunger. They were met likewise by the Roman cavalry, who having killed many of them, drove the rest towards Mount Haemus; where being surrounded by the Roman army, they lost a vast number of men. But a quarrel ensuing between the Roman horse and foot soldiers, the emperor wishing the foot to engage the Barbarians, the Romans, after a smart engagement, were defeated with considerable loss, but the cavalry, coming up immediately, redeemed in some degree the miscarriage of the infantry. After this battle, the Barbarians proceeded on their march, and were pursued by the Romans. The pirates who cruized about Crete and Rhodes retired without doing any thing worthy of mention; and being attacked by the plague on their way home, some of them died in Thrace and some in Macedon. All that survived were either admitted into the Roman legions, or had lands assigned for them to cultivate and so become husbandmen. Nor was the plague confined to the Barbarians alone, but began to infest the Romans, many of whom died, and amongst the rest Claudius, a person adorned with every virtue. His death was a severe loss to his subjeets, and was consequently much regretted by them.
1dk Aurelian28 views270-275

Radiate, cuirassed bust, right, IMP AVRELIANVS AVG
Aurelian & Severina or priest standing facing each other, each holding short sceptre, sacrificing at altar between them, S in ex, PIETAS AVG

Zosimus recorded: Aurelianus, having regulated the empire, went from Rome to Aquileia, and from thence into Pannonia, which he was informed the Scythians were preparing to invade. For this reason he sent orders to the inhabitants of that country to carry into the towns all their corn and cattle, and every thing that could be of use to the enemy, in order to distress them with famine, with which they were already afflicted. The Barbarians having crossed the river into Pannonia had an engagement, the result of which was nearly equal. But the same night, the Barbarians recrossed the river, and as soon as day appeared, sent ambassadors to treat for peace. |25

The Emperor, hearing that the Alemanni and the neighbouring nations intended to over-run Italy, was with just reason more concerned for Rome and the adjacent places, than for the more remote. Having therefore ordered a sufficient force to remain for the defence of Pannonia, he marched towards Italy, and on his route, on the borders of that country, near the Ister, slew many thousands of the Barbarians in one battle. Several members of the senate being at this time accused of conspiring against the emperor were put to death ; and Rome, which before had no walls, was now surrounded with them. This work was begun in the reign of Aurelianus, and was finished by Probus. At the same time Epitimius, Urbanus, and Domitianus, were likewise suspected as innovators, and were immediately apprehended and punished. During these occurrences in Italy and Pannonia, the emperor prepared to march against the Palmyrenians, who had subdued all Egypt, and the east, as far as Ancyra in Galatia, and would have acquired Bithynia even as far as Chalcedon, if the inhabitants of that country had not learned that Aurelianus was made emperor, and so shook off the Palmyrenian yoke. As soon as the emperor was on his march thither, Ancyra submitted to the Romans, and afterwards Tuana, and all the cities between that and Antioch. There finding Zenobia with a large army ready to engage, as he himself also was, he met and engaged her as honour obliged him [an defeated the enemy. . . .

[Having crushed Palmyra and razed it] He then entered Rome in triumph, where he was most magnificiently received by the senate and people. At this period also be erected that sumptuous temple of the sun, which he ornamented with all the sacred spoils that he brought from Palmyra; placing in it the statues of the sun and Belus. After this he easily reduced Tatricus with his rebellious accomplices, whom he brought to signal punishment. He likewise called in all the counterfeit money, and issued new, to avoid confusion in trade. Besides which he bestowed on the people a gift of bread, as a mark of his favour; and having arranged all affairs set out on a journey from Rome. . . .

During his stay at Perinthus, now called Heraclea, a conspiracy was thus formed against him. There was in the court a man named Eros, whose office was to carry out the answers of the emperor. This man had been for some fault threatened by the emperor, and put in great fear. Dreading therefore lest the emperor should realize his menaces by actions, he went to some of the guard, whom he knew to be the boldest men in the court; be told them a plausible story, and shewed them a letter of his own writing, in the character of the emperor (which he had long before learned to counterfeit), and persuading them first that they themselves were to be put to death, [h]e endeavoured to prevail on them to murder the emperor. The deception answered. Observing Aurelianus to go out of the city with a small retinue, they ran out upon him and murdered him.

RIC 138
1do Probus20 views276-282

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
1ds Diocletian13 views284-305

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.
1ds2 Carausius19 views287-293

AE Antoninianus

Radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right, IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG
COMES AVG, Victory standing left holding wreath & palm. ML in ex

RIC 15

Eutropius recorded: During this period, Carausius, who, though of very mean birth, had gained extraordinary reputation by a course of active service in war, having received a commission in his post at Bononia, to clear the sea, which the Franks and Saxons infested, along the coast of Belgica and Armorica, and having captured numbers of the barbarians on several occasions, but having never given back the entire booty to the people of the province or sent it to the emperors, and there being a suspicion, in consequence, that the barbarians were intentionally allowed by him to congregate there, that he might seize them and their booty as they passed, and by that means enrich himself, assumed, on being sentenced by Maximian to be put to death, the imperial purple, and took on him the government of Britain. . . .

With Carausius, however, as hostilities were found vain against a man eminently skilled in war, a peace was at last arranged. At the end of seven years, Allectus, one of his supporters, put him to death, and held Britain himself for three years subsequently, but was cut off by the efforts of Asclepiodotus, praefect of the praetorian guard.
1dt Maximianus22 views286-305, 306-308, 310

Quarter Follis

Laureate head, right, IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS P F AVG
Genius standing left, with modius on head, cornucopia & patera, GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, SIS in exergue

RIC 146

Eutropius records: [Diocletian] 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. . . . While disorder thus prevailed throughout the world, while Carausius was taking arms in Britain and Achilleus in Egypt, while the Quinquegentiani were harassing Africa, and Narseus was making war upon the east, Diocletian promoted MAXIMIAN HERCULIUS from the dignity of Caesar to that "of emperor, and created Constantius and Maximian Galerius Caesars. . . .

Maximian the emperor, brought the war to an end in Africa, by subduing the Quinquegentiani, and compelling them to make peace. . . .

Herculius was undisguisedly cruel, and of a violent temper, and showed his severity of disposition in the sternness of his looks. Gratifying his own inclination, he joined with Diocletian in even the most cruel of his proceedings. 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.

But after the death of Constantius, CONSTANTINE, his son by a wife of obscure birth, was made emperor in Britain, and succeeded his father as a most desirable ruler. In the meantime the praetorian guards at Rome, having risen in insurrection, declared MAXENTIUS, the son of Maximian Herculius, who lived in the Villa Publica not far from the city, emperor. At the news of this proceeding, Maximian, filled with hopes of regaining the imperial dignity, which he had not willingly resigned, hurried to Rome from Lucania. . . , and stimulated Diocletian by letters to resume the authority that he had laid down, letters which Diocletian utterly disregarded. Severus Caesar, being despatched to Rome by Galerius to suppress the rising of the guards and Maxentius, arrived there with his army, but, as he was laying siege to the city, was deserted through the treachery of his soldiers.

The power of Maxentius was thus increased, and his government established. Severus, taking to flight, was killed at Ravenna. Maximian Herculius, attempting afterwards, in an assembly of the army, to divest his son Maxentius of his power, met with nothing but mutiny and reproaches from the soldiery. He then set out for Gaul, on a planned stratagem, as if he had been driven away by his son, that he might join his son-in-law Constantine, designing, however, if he could find an opportunity, to cut off Constantine, who was ruling in Gaul with great approbation both of the soldiers and the people of the province, having overthrown the Franks and Alemanni with great slaughter, and captured their kings, whom, on exhibiting a magnificent show of games, he exposed to wild beasts. But the plot being made known by Maximian's daughter Fausta, who communicated the design to her husband, Maximian was cut off at Marseilles, whence he was preparing to sail to join his son, and died a well-deserved death. . . .
1ea Licinius16 views308-324


Laureate head, right, IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG
Jupiter standing left with thunderbolt and sceptre, eagle at foot with wreath in its beak, A over μ (Mu) over dot in right field, dot SIS dot in ex, IOVI CONSERVATORI

RIC 225a var

According to Zonaras: Maximinus took as colleague in his rule Licinius, who derived his lineage from the Dacians and was the brother-in-law of Constantine the Great. After he had made him colleague in his sovereignty and left him in Illyricum to defend the Thracians, who were being plundered by barbarians, he himself proceeded to Rome, to battle against Maxentius. Then, being suspicious of his own soldiers and fearing lest they desert to the enemy, he desisted from battle and departed. He regretted his appointment of Licinius, first plotted secretly against him, and then openly joined battle with him. He attacked him, was repulsed, defeated, and fled, and in his flight did away with himself. . . .

Eutropius adds: 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, 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.
1ec_2 Constantine the Great18 views307-337


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.


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.
1eo Jovian85 views363-364

AE 3, Heraclea

Diademed bust left, draped & cuirassed, D N IOVIANVS P F AVG
VOT V MVLT X in wreath, Mintmark HERACA

RIC 110A

Zosimus recorded: A meeting of the officers and soldiers was afterwards convened, in order to appoint a successor to the empire : since it would be impossible for them without a ruler to avoid the dangers to which they were exposed in the midst of an enemy's country. The general voice was in favour of Jovianus, the son of Varronianus, tribune of the domestic forces. When Jovian had assumed the purple and the diadem, he directed his course homewards with all possible speed. . . . They then marched forward four days, continually harassed by the enemy, who followed them when they were proceeding, but fled when the Romans offered any resistance. At length, having gained some distance of the enemy, they resolved to crops the Tigris. For this purpose they fastened skins together, and floated over. When the greater part had gained the opposite bank, the commanders crossed over in safety with the remainder. The Persians, however, still accompanied them, and followed them with a large army so assiduously, that the Romans were in perpetual danger, both from the unfavourable circumstances in which they were placed, and from the want, of provisions. Although the Roman army was in this condition, the Persians were willing to treat for peace, and for that purpose sent Surenas with other |90 officers to the Roman camp. Jovian, upon hearing this, sent to them Sallustius, prefect of the court, together with Aristaeus, who, after some discussion, agreed on a truce for thirty years. The conditions were, that the Romans should give up to the Persians the country of the Rabdiceni, and that of the Candueni, Rhemeni, and Zaleni, besides fifteen castles in those provinces, with the inhabitants, lands, cattle, and all their property ; that Nisibis should be surrendered without its inhabitants, who were to be transplanted into whatever colony the Remans pleased. The Persians also deprived the Romans of great part of Armenia, leaving them but a very small part of it. The truce having been concluded on these conditions, and ratified on both sides, the Romans had an opportunity of returning home unmolested, neither party offering or sustaining any injury, either by open force; or secret machination.

Jovian marched through all the towns in great speed, because they were so filled with grief [because they were being given over to Persian rule], that the inhabitants could not look patiently on him; such being the custom and disposition of those countries. Taking with him the imperial guard, he proceeded to Antioch. . . . Jovian now turning his attention to the affairs of government, made various arrangements, and sent Lucilianus his father-in-law, Procopius, and Valentinian, who was afterwards emperor, to the armic.s in Pannoriia, to inform them of the death of Julian, and of his being chosen emperor. The Bavarians who were at Sirmium, and were left there for its protection, as soon as they received the news, put to death Lucilianus who brought such unwelcome intelligence, without regard to his relationship to the emperor. Such was the respect they had to Jovian's relations, that Valentinian himself only escaped from the death they intended to inflict on him. Jovianus proceeding from Antioch towards Constantinople, suddenly fell sick at Dadostana in Bithynia, and died after a reign of eight months, in which short time he had not been able to render the public any essential service.
1eu Theodosius25 views379-395


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.
20. Philip I.14 viewsAntoninianus, 244-245 AD, Antioch mint (or "Unknown mint").
Obverse: IMP C M IVL PHILIPPVS PF AVG PM / Radiate bust of Philip I.
Reverse: PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS / Pax holding branch and transverse sceptre.
3.25 gm., 21 mm.
RIC #69; Sear #8941.

On Roman coins, PM usually stands for Pontifex Maximus. However, the PM at the end of the obverse legend on this coin (and on the following 2 coins) is usually taken to mean Persicus Maximus -- a title Philip took for himself to commemorate his "victory" over the Persians. It exists only on the earliest coins of Philip I minted in Antioch, but was soon dropped as word got out that the "victory" was really a hastily concluded peace treaty which gave the Romans no advantages whatsoever. The PM is found at the end of the obverse legend or under the bust.
The reverse legend celebrates the lasting peace with Persia.

Recent research indicates that the first series of coins attributed to Antioch by RIC may have been produced at what is currently being called the "Unknown mint." This coin and the next 2 coins are from that mint.
201. Septimius Severus14 viewsPax

In Roman mythology, Pax (Latin for peace) (she had the Greek equivalent Eirine) was recognized as a goddess during the rule of Augustus. On the Campus Martius, she had a temple called the Ara Pacis, and another temple on the Forum Pacis. She was depicted in art with olive branches, a cornucopia and a scepter. There was a festival in her honor on January 3.

Septimius Severus 193-211AD

Denarius 3.15g Obv: Head of Septimius Severus right 'L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VIII' Rev: Pax seated left holding a branch and scepter 'P M TR P V COS II PP'

202. Septimius Severus55 viewsThe Caledonians are next mentioned in 209, when they are said to have surrendered to the emperor Septimius Severus after he personally led a military expedition north of Hadrian's Wall, in search of a glorious military victory. Herodian and Dio wrote only in passing of the campaign but describe the Caledonians ceding territory to Rome as being the result. Cassius Dio records that the Caledonians inflicted 50,000 Roman casualties due to attrition and unconventional tactics such as guerrilla warfare. Dr. Colin Martin has suggested that the Severan campaigns did not seek a battle but instead sought to destroy the fertile agricultural land of eastern Scotland and thereby bring about genocide of the Caledonians through starvation.

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

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

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

From the Fairfield Collection.

ex-cng EAuction 329 481/100/60
1 commentsecoli
240 Valerian I40 viewsValerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.
Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1700l (Samosata), RIC V 287 (Antioch), SRCV III 9967 (uncertain Syrian mint), Fine or better, Syrian mint, 258 - 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVT ORIENTIS (restorer of the East), turreted female (the Orient) presenting wreath to the Emperor standing left holding spear, pellet in wreath above; Ex Forvm

"The false propaganda on the reverse is particularly ironic considering Valerian's fate. After years of war and great losses, Valerian arranged peace talks with the Sasanian Persian emperor Sapor. He set off with a small group to discuss terms and was never seen again. In Rome it was rumored that Sapor was using his stuffed body as a footstool."
2 commentsRandygeki(h2)
306. Trebonianus Gallus28 viewsGaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus (206 - August, 253), was Roman emperor from 251 to 253, in a joint rule with his son Volusianus.

Gallus was born in Italy, in a family with respected ancestry and a senatorial background. He had two children in his marriage with Afinia Gemina Baebiana: the future emperor Gaius Vibius Volusianus and a daughter, Vibia Galla. His early career was typical with several appointments, both political and military. He was suffect consul and in 250 was nominated governor of the Roman province of Moesia Superior, an appointment that showed the confidence of emperor Trajan Decius in him. In Moesia, Gallus was a key figure in repelling the frequent invasion attacks by the Gothic tribes of the Danube and became popular with the army.

On July 1, 251, Decius and his co-emperor and son Herennius Etruscus died in the battle of Abrittus, at the hands of the Goths they were supposed to punish for raids into the empire. When the army heard the news, the soldiers proclaimed Gallus emperor, despite Hostilian, Decius' surviving son, ascending the imperial throne in Rome. Gallus did not back down from his intention to became emperor, but accepted Hostilian as co-emperor, perhaps to avoid the damage of another civil war. While Gallus marched on Rome, an outbreak of plague struck the city and killed the young Hostilian. With absolute power now on his hands, Gallus nominated his son Volusianus co-emperor.

Eager to show himself competent and gain popularity with the citizens, Gallus swiftly dealt with the epidemic, providing burial for the victims. Gallus is often accused of persecuting the Christians, but the only solid evidence of this allegation is the imprisoning of Pope Cornelius in 252.

Like his predecessors, Gallus did not have an easy reign. In the East, king Shapur I of Persia invaded and conquered the province of Syria, without any response from Rome. On the Danube, the Gothic tribes were once again on the loose, despite the peace treaty signed in 251. The army was not pleased with the emperor and when Aemilianus, governor of Moesia Superior and Pannonia, took the initiative of battle and defeated the Goths, the soldiers proclaimed him emperor. With a usurper threatening the throne, Gallus prepared for a fight. He recalled several legions and ordered reinforcements to return to Rome from the Rhine frontier. Despite these dispositions, Aemilianus marched onto Italy ready to fight for his claim. Gallus did not have the chance to face him in battle: he and Volusianus were murdered by their own troops in August 253.
309. Gallienus33 viewsOne of the key characteristics of the Crisis of the Third Century was the inability of the Emperors to maintain their hold on the Imperium for any marked length of time. An exception to this rule was the reign of the Emperor Gallienus. The fact that Gallienus served as junior Emperor with his father, Valerian, from 253 to 260 may have had something to do with his successes. Father and son each wielded his authority over a smaller area, thus allowing for more flexible control and imperial presence. Another, more probable reason, lay in Gallienus's success in convincing Rome that he was the best man for the job. However, Gallienus had to handle many rebellions of the so-called "Gallienus usurpers".

In 260, Valerian was taken prisoner by Sapor, King of Persia while trying to negotiate a peace settlement. Although aware that his father had been taken alive (the only Emperor to have suffered this fate), Gallienus did not make public Valerian's death until a year later. His decision hinged on the fact that Romans believed that their fate rose and fell with the fate of the Emperor, which in turn depended upon his demonstrating the proper amount of piety (Latin pietas) to the gods and maintaining their favor. A defeated Emperor would surely have meant that the gods had forsaken Valerian and, by extension, Gallienus.

Gallienus's chief method of reinforcing his position is seen in the coinage produced during his reign (see Roman currency). The coinage provides clear evidence of a successful propaganda campaign. Gallienus took pains to make sure that he was regularly represented as victorious, merciful, and pious. The people who used these coins on a daily basis saw these messages and, with little evidence to the contrary, remained supportive of their Emperor.

There were, however, those who knew better. During Gallienus' reign, there was constant fighting on the western fringes of the Empire. As early as 258, Gallienus had lost control over a large part of Gaul, where another general, Postumus, had declared his own realm (typically known today as the Gallic Empire). As Gallienus' influence waned, another general came to the fore. In time-honored tradition, Claudius II Gothicus gained the loyalty of the army and succeeded Gallienus to the Imperium.

In the months leading up to his mysterious death in September of 268, Gallienus was ironically orchestrating the greatest achievements of his reign. An invasion of Goths into the province of Pannonia was leading to disaster and even threatening Rome, while at the same time, the Alamanni were raising havoc in the northern part of Italy. Gallienus halted the Allamanic progress by defeating them in battle in April of 268, then turned north and won several victories over the Goths. That fall, he turned on the Goths once again, and in September, either he or Claudius, his leading general, led the Roman army to victory (although the cavalry commander Aurelian was the real victor) at the Battle of Naissus.

At some time following this battle, Gallienus was murdered during the siege of usurper Aureolus in Mediolanum; many theories abound that Claudius and Aurelian conspired to have the emperor killed. Be that as it may, Claudius spared the lives of Gallienus' family — Gallienus' wife, Iulia Cornelia Salonina, had given him three sons: Valerianus (who died in 258), Saloninus (died in 260 after becoming co-emperor), and Egnatius Marinianus — and had the emperor deified.

Gallienus Antoninianus - Minerva
OBVERSE: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust right
REVERSE: MINERVA AVG, Minerva standing right with spear and shield.
23mm - 3.7 grams
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).
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
324-328/9 AD - Helena - Van Meter 4 - PAX PVBLICA24 viewsAugusta: Helena (324-328/9 AD)
Date: after 328/9 AD (Posthumous)
Condition: Mediocre
Size: AE4

Flavia Julia Helena Augusta
Bust right; diademed and draped

The people are at peace.
Pax standing left.
Exergue: unknown

VM 4
1.57g; 16.8mm; 150°
324-328/9 AD - Helena - Van Meter 4 - PAX PVBLICA - 2nd Example35 viewsAugusta: Helena (324-328/9 AD)
Date: after 328/9 AD (Posthumous)
Condition: Fine
Size: AE4

Flavia Julia Helena Augusta
Bust right; diademed and draped

The people are at peace.
Pax standing left.
Exergue: unknown

VM 4
1.69g; 15.6mm; 165°
35. Severus Alexander.15 viewsDenarius, ca 223 AD, Rome mint.
Obverse: IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG / Laureate bust of Severus Alexander.
Reverse: PAX AETERNA AVG / Pax standing, holding branch and sceptre.
2.24 gm., 20 mm.
RIC #165; Sear #7886.

Issued early in the reign of Severus Alexander, the reverse of this coin promises that the new reign will be one of eternal peace.

Notice that on the reverse sides of this coin, there is sort of an upside-down shadow of the portrait on the other side. This is an example of "clashed dies" -- the two dies were struck together without a flan in between them. The reverse die was damaged, and this damage showed up on any coins that were subsequently struck from it.
4 Innocent XII 1699 Half Piastre M 28106 viewsAn amazingly frank portrait of this elderly and ailing pope who died the next year. The reverse features Noah's ark landing on Mt Ararat with water gushing out from below as it makes landfall. The reverse translates " His place is made in peace" and is an abbreviation of Ps 75:5.1 commentsstlnats
4.4 Hadrian denarius58 views132-134 CE
Rome Mint
18.8 mm, 2.841 g

rev. TRANQUILLITAS AVG COS III PP Tranquillitas, goddess of tranquillity, is closely associated with Peace, and is often depicted in the same way.
Ironically, this coin was minted during the height of the Second Jewish War (132-135), a disastrous event for the Romans, who suffered severe losses, including the elimination of the entire legion XXII. 12 legions were needed to subdue the rebellion over the course of three years.
1 commentsEcgþeow
403. Carausius37 viewsMarcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius (d. 293) was a Roman usurper in Britain and northern Gaul (286–293, Carausian Revolt).

Carausius was a man of humble origin, a Menapian from Belgic Gaul who distinguished himself during Maximian's campaign against the Bagaudae rebels in Gaul in 286. As a result, he was appointed to command the Classis Britannica, a fleet based in the English Channel, with the responsibility of eliminating Frankish and Saxon pirates who had been raiding the coast. However, he was suspected of keeping captured treasure for himself, and even of allowing the pirates to carry out raids and enrich themselves before taking action against them, and Maximian ordered his execution. In late 286 or early 287 Carausius learned of this sentence and responded by declaring himself Emperor of Britain and northern Gaul.

He could count on the alliegance of the three legions based in Britain, as well as one in northern Gaul. How he was able to win support from the army when his command had been sea-based is uncertain. The emperor briefly assumed the title Britannicus Maximus in 285, and the British towns of Wroxeter and Caistor by Norwich towns show signs of destruction around this time, so it is possible Carausius won the army's support during military action in Britain shortly before his rebellion. Alternatively, if the accusations of larceny are true, he could perhaps afford to buy their loyalty. He also appears to have appealed to native British dissatisfaction with Roman rule: he issued coins with legends such as Restitutor Britanniae (Restorer of Britain) and Genius Britanniae (Spirit of Britain).

Maximian, busy with wars on the Rhine, was unable to challenge him immediately, but in the Autumn of 288 he began massing troops and ships for an invasion. In 289 an invasion of Britain intended to dislodge him failed badly due to storms, although a naval defeat is also possible. An uneasy peace continued until 293, during which Rome prepared for a second effort to retake the province, while Carausius began to entertain visions of legitimacy and official recognition. He minted his own coins and brought their value in to line with Roman issues as well as acknowledging and honouring Maximian and then Diocletian. Coinage is the main source of information about the rogue emperor; his issues were initially crude but soon became more elaborate and were issued from mints in Londinium, Rotomagnus and a third site, possibly Colonia Claudia Victricensis. A milestone from Carlisle with his name on it suggests that the whole of Roman Britain was in Carausius' grasp.

It has been speculated (namely, by the historian Sheppard Frere) that the rebellion of Carausius endangered Diocletian's vision of a strong, centralized government based on his tetrarchy. In any case, by early 293 Constantius Chlorus had gained control of northern Gaul, including the rebel's stronghold and port of Bononia, on which Carausius was heavily dependent. Constantius built a mole across the harbour mouth to ensure it did not receive maritime aid.

Constantius also regained the allegiance of the rebellious Gallic legion and defeated the Franks of the Rhine mouth who seem to have been working in league with Carausius. Weakened by these setbacks, Carausius was assassinated, possibly at York, by his treasurer, Allectus.

aVF/aVF Carausius Antoninianus / Pax / Green Patina and Nice Style

Attribution: RIC 895
Date: 287-293 AD
Obverse: IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right
Reverse: PAX AVG, Pax standing left, holding branch and transverse sceptre.
Size: 20.91 mm
Weight: 3 grams
406. Galerius40 viewsChristians had lived in peace during most of the rule of Diocletian. The persecutions that began with an edict of February 24, 303, were credited by Christians to the influence of Galerius. Christian houses of assembly were destroyed, for fear of sedition in secret gatherings.

Detail of the Arch of Galerius in Thessaloniki.In 305, on the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, he at once assumed the title of Augustus, with Constantius his former colleague, and having procured the promotion to the rank of Caesar of Flavius Valerius Severus, a faithful servant, and (Maximinus II Daia), his nephew, he hoped on the death of Constantius to become sole master of the Roman world. Having Constantius' son Constantine as guest at Galerius' court in the east helped to secure his position.

His schemes, however, were defeated by the sudden elevation of Constantine at Eboracum (York) upon the death of his father, and by the action of Maximianus and his son Maxentius, who were declared co-Augusti in Italy.

After an unsuccessful invasion of Italy in 307, he elevated his friend Licinius to the rank of Augustus, and moderating his ambition, he retired to the city Felix Romuliana (near present day Gamzigrada,Serbia/Montenegro)built by him to honor his mother Romula, and devoted the few remaining years of his life "to the enjoyment of pleasure and to the execution of some works of public utility."

It was at the instance of Galerius that the last edicts of persecution against the Christians were published, beginning on February 24, 303, and this policy of repression was maintained by him until the appearance of the general edict of toleration, issued from Nicomedia in April 311, apparently during his last bout of illness, in his own name and in those of Licinius and Constantine. Lactantius gives the text of the edict in his moralized chronicle of the bad ends to which all the persecutors came, De Mortibus Persecutorum ("On the Deaths of the Persecutors", chapters 34, 35). This marked the end of official persecution of Christians.

Galerius as Caesar, 305-311AD. GENIO POPVLI ROMANI reverse type with Genius standing left holding scales and cornucopia
406a. Galeria Valeria24 viewsGaleria Valeria was Diocletian's daughter and, to cement the alliance between Diocletian and Galerius, Valeria was married to Galerius. It appears that this was not a very happy marriage. Galeria Valeria was sympathetic towards Christians during this time of severe persecution and it is possible that she was actually a Christian herself. The imperial couple were not blessed with any children during their eighteen year marriage. After Galerius died in A. D. 311, Galeria Valeria and her mother went to live at the court of Maximinus Daia, the caesar who became emperor of the East upon the death of Galerius.

Maximinus proposed marriage to Valeria soon afterward. He was probably more interested in her wealth and the prestige he would gain by marrying the widow of one emperor and the daughter of another than he was in Valeria as a person. She refused his hand, and immediately Maximinus reacted with hatred and fury. Diocletian, by now an old man living in a seaside villa on the Dalmatian coast, begged Maximinus to allow the two women to come home to him. Maximinus refused and had Valeria and her mother banished to live in a village in Syria.

During the civil war that erupted between Maximinus and Licinius, Valeria and Prisca disguised themselves and escaped, trying to reach the safety of Diocletian's villa. In the meantime, Diocletian had died, leaving the women without a haven of safety to which to run. For fifteen months the two royal fugitives traveled from one city to another, always living in fear of being discovered and in search of a little peace.

Finally, they were recognized by someone in the Greek city of Salonika. They were hastily taken to a square in the city and beheaded before a crowd of citizens who had once revered them as empresses. The bodies of Valeria and her mother were afterwards thrown into the sea.

Galeria Valeria Follis. AD 308-311. GAL VAL-ERIA AVG, Diademed & draped bust right / VENERI V-ICTRICI, Venus standing left, holding apple & scepter, * to left, G to right, (dot)SM(dot)TS(dot) in ex.
501. Constantine I Alexandria Posthumous23 viewsAlexandria

The city passed formally under Roman jurisdiction in 80 BC, according to the will of Ptolemy Alexander but after it had been previously under Roman influence for more than a hundred years. Julius Caesar dallied with Cleopatra in Alexandria in 47 BC, saw Alexander's body (quipping 'I came to see a king, not a collection of corpses' when he was offered a view of the other royal burials) and was mobbed by the rabble. His example was followed by Marc Antony, for whose favor the city paid dearly to Octavian, who placed over it a prefect from the imperial household.

From the time of annexation onwards, Alexandria seems to have regained its old prosperity, commanding, as it did, an important granary of Rome. This fact, doubtless, was one of the chief reasons which induced Augustus to place it directly under imperial power. In AD 215 the emperor Caracalla visited the city and for some insulting satires that the inhabitants had directed at him, abruptly commanded his troops to put to death all youths capable of bearing arms. This brutal order seems to have been carried out even beyond the letter, for a general massacre ensued.

Even as its main historical importance had formerly sprung from pagan learning, now Alexandria acquired fresh importance as a centre of Christian theology and church government. There Arianism was formulated and where also Athanasius, the great opponent of both Arianism and pagan reaction, triumphed over both, establishing the Patriarch of Alexandria as a major influence in Christianity for the next two centuries.

As native influences began to reassert themselves in the Nile valley, Alexandria gradually became an alien city, more and more detached from Egypt and losing much of its commerce as the peace of the empire broke up during the 3rd century AD, followed by a fast decline in population and splendour.

In the late 4th century, persecution of pagans by Christians had reached new levels of intensity. Temples and statues were destroyed throughout the Roman empire: pagan rituals became forbidden under punishment of death, and libraries were closed. In 391, Emperor Theodosius I ordered the destruction of all pagan temples, and the Patriarch Theophilus, complied with his request. It is possible that the great Library of Alexandria and the Serapeum was destroyed about this time. The pagan mathematician and philosopher Hypathia was a prominent victim of the persecutions.

The Brucheum and Jewish quarters were desolate in the 5th century, and the central monuments, the Soma and Museum, fell into ruin. On the mainland, life seemed to have centred in the vicinity of the Serapeum and Caesareum, both which became Christian churches. The Pharos and Heptastadium quarters, however, remained populous and left intact.

veiled head only
RIC VIII Alexandria 32 C3

From uncleaned lot; one of the nicer finds.
501. Constantine I Cyzicus GLORIA EXERCITVS29 viewsCyzicus

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

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

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

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

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

RIC VII Cyzicus 110 R5


5050 EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian Tetradrachm 117-18 AD Dikaiosyne standing20 viewsReference.
RPC III, 5050 (this coin). Dattari-Savio Pl. 65, 1347 (this coin).Emmett 833.2

Issue L B = year 2

Laureate head of Hadrian, r., drapery on l. shoulder

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

12.52 gr
25 mm

From the Dattari collection.

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

The sculptures of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia have as their unifying iconographical conception the dikē of Zeus, and in poetry she is often the attendant (paredros) of Zeus.
In the philosophical climate of late 5th century Athens, dikē could be anthropomorphised as a goddess of moral justice.
She was one of the three second-generation Horae, along with Eunomia ("order") and Eirene ("peace")
509. Jovian21 views09. Jovian39 viewsJovian was born at Singidunum in A.D. 330, the son of the commander of Constantius II's imperial bodyguards. He also joined the guards and by A.D. 363 had risen to the post that his father had once held. He accompanied the Roman Emperor Julian on the disastrous Mesopotamian campain of the same year against Shapur II, the Sassanid king. After a small but decisive engagement the Roman army was forced to retreat from the numerically superior Persian force. Julian had been mortally wounded during the retreat and Jovian seized his chance. Some accounts have it that on Julian's death Jovian's soldiers called out "Jovianus!" The cry was mistaken for "Julianus", and the army cheered Jovian, briefly under the illusion that the slain Emperor had recovered from his wound.

Shapur pressed his advantage and Jovian, deep inside Sassanid territory, was forced to sue for peace on very unfavourable terms. In exchange for safety he agreed to withdraw from the provinces east of the Tigris that Diocletian had annexed and allow the Persians to occupy the fortresses of Nisbis, Castra Maurorum and Singara. the King of Armenia, Arsaces, was to stay neutral in future conflicts between the two empires, and was forced to cede some of his kingdom to Shapur. The treaty was seen as a disgrace and Jovian rapidly lost popularity.

After arriving at Antioch Jovian decided to hurry to Constantinople to consolidate his position.

Jovian was a Christian, in contrast to his predecessor Julian the Apostate, who had attempted a revival of paganism. He died on February 17, 364 after a reign of eight months.

Jovian AE3. D N IOVIA NVS P F AVG, diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right / VOT V MVLT X inside wreath
510. Valentinian I55 viewsFlavius Valentinianus, known in English as Valentinian I, (321 - November 17, 375) was a Roman Emperor (364 - 375). He was born at Cibalis, in Pannonia, the son of a successful general, Gratian the Elder.

He had been an officer of the Praetorian guard under Julian and Jovian, and had risen high in the imperial service. Of robust frame and distinguished appearance, he possessed great courage and military capacity. After the death of Jovian, he was chosen emperor in his forty-third year by the officers of the army at Nicaea in Bithynia on February 26, 364, and shortly afterwards named his brother Valens colleague with him in the empire.

The two brothers, after passing through the chief cities of the neighbouring district, arranged the partition of the empire at Naissus (Nissa) in Upper Moesia. As Western Roman Emperor, Valentinian took Italia, Illyricum, Hispania, the Gauls, Britain and Africa, leaving to Eastern Roman Emperor Valens the eastern half of the Balkan peninsula, Greece, Aegyptus, Syria and Asia Minor as far as Persia. They were immediately confronted by the revolt of Procopius, a relative of the deceased Julian. Valens managed to defeat his army at Thyatria in Lydia in 366, and Procopius was executed shortly afterwards.

During the short reign of Valentinian there were wars in Africa, in Germany and in Britain, and Rome came into collision with barbarian peoples never of heard before, specifically the Burgundians, and the Saxons.

Valentinian's chief work was guarding the frontiers and establishing military positions. Milan was at first his headquarters for settling the affairs of northern Italy. The following year (365) Valentinian was at Paris, and then at Reims, to direct the operations of his generals against the Alamanni. These people, defeated at Scarpona (Charpeigne) and Catelauni (Châlons-en-Champagne) by Jovinus, were driven back to the German bank of the Rhine, and checked for a while by a chain of military posts and fortresses. At the close of 367, however, they suddenly crossed the Rhine, attacked Moguntiacum (Mainz) and plundered the city. Valentinian attacked them at Solicinium (Sulz am Neckar, in the Neckar valley, or Schwetzingen) with a large army, and defeated them with great slaughter. But his own losses were so considerable that Valentinian abandoned the idea of following up his success.

Later, in 374, Valentinian made peace with their king, Macrianus, who from that time remained a true friend of the Romans. The next three years he spent at Trier, which he chiefly made his headquarters, organizing the defence of the Rhine frontier, and personally superintending the construction of numerous forts.

During his reign the coasts of Gaul were harassed by the Saxon pirates, with whom the Picts and Scots of northern Britain joined hands, and ravaged the island from the Antonine Wall to the shores of Kent. In 368 Count Theodosius was sent to drive back the invaders; in this he was completely successful, and established a new British province, called Valentia in honour of the emperor.

In Africa, Firmus, raised the standard of revolt, being joined by the provincials, who had been rendered desperate by the cruelty and extortions of Comes Romanus, the military governor. The services of Theodosius were again requisitioned. He landed in Africa with a small band of veterans, and Firmus, to avoid being taken prisoner, committed suicide.

In 374 the Quadi, a Germanic tribe in what is now Moravia and Slovakia, resenting the erection of Roman forts to the north of the Danube in what they considered to be their own territory, and further exasperated by the treacherous murder of their king, Gabinius, crossed the river and laid waste the province of Pannonia. The emperor in April, 375 entered Illyricum with a powerful army. But during an audience to an embassy from the Quadi at Brigetio on the Danube (near Komárom, Hungary), Valentinian suffered a burst blood vessel in the skull while angrily yelling at the people gathered. This injury resulted in his death on November 17, 375.

His general administration seems to have been thoroughly honest and able, in some respects beneficent. If Valentinian was hard and exacting in the matter of taxes, he spent them in the defence and improvement of his dominions, not in idle show or luxury. Though himself a plain and almost illiterate soldier, Valentinian was a founder of schools. He also provided medical attendance for the poor of Rome, by appointing a physician for each of the fourteen districts of the city.

Valentinian was a Christian but permitted absolute religious freedom to all his subjects. Against all abuses, both civil and ecclesiastical, Valentinian steadily set his face, even against the increasing wealth and worldliness of the clergy. His chief flaw was his temper, which at times was frightful, and showed itself in its full fierceness in the punishment of persons accused of witchcraft, fortune-telling or magical practices.

Valentinian I; RIC IX, Siscia 15(a); C.37; second period: 24 Aug. 367-17 Nov. 375; common. obv. DN VALENTINI-ANVS PF AVG, bust cuir., drap., r., rev. SECVRITAS-REI PVBLICAE, Victory advancing l., holding wreath and trophy. l. field R above R with adnex, r. field F, ex. gamma SISC rev.Z dot (type xxxv)
511. Valens37 viewsAfter a brief stay aimed at building his troop strength and gaining a toehold in Thrace, Valens moved out to Adrianople. From there, he marched against the confederated barbarian army on August 9, 378 in what would become known as the battle of Adrianople. Although negotiations were attempted, these broke down when a Roman unit sallied forth and carried both sides into battle. The Romans held their own early on but were crushed by the surprise arrival of Visigoth cavalry which split their ranks.

The primary source for the battle is Ammianus, who is quoted at length by Edward Gibbon (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, XXVI). Valens had left a sizeable guard with his baggage and treasures depleting his force. His right wing, cavalry, arrived at the Gothic camp sometime before the left wing arrived. It was a very hot day and the Roman cavalry was engaged without strategic support, wasting its efforts while they suffered in the heat.

Meanwhile Fritigern once again sent an emissary of peace in his continued manipulation of the situation. The resultant delay meant that the Romans present on the field began to succumb to the heat. The army's resources were further diminished when an ill timed attack by the Roman archers made it necessary to recall Valens’ emissary, Count Richomer. The archers were beaten and retreated in humiliation.

Gothic cavalry under the command of Althaeus and Saphrax then struck and, with what was probably the most decisive event of the battle, the Roman cavalry fled. The Roman infantry was abandoned, surrounded and cut to pieces. Valens was wounded and carried to a small wooden hut. The hut was surrounded by the Goths who put it to the torch, evidently unaware of the prize within. According to Ammianus, this is how Valens perished.

When the battle was over, two-thirds of the eastern army lied dead. Many of their best officers had also perished. What was left of the army of Valens was led from the field under the cover of night by Count Richomer and General Victor.

J.B. Bury, a noted authority on the barbarian invasion of Europe provides specific interpretation on the significance the battle; It was "a disaster and disgrace that need not have occurred."

For Rome, the battle incapacitated the government. Emperor Gratian, nineteen years old, was overcome by the debacle, and until he appointed Theodosius, unable to deal with the catastrophe which spread out of control.

Date: 364-367 AD
Obverse: D N VALEN-S P F AVG, Cuirassed and draped, pearl diademed bust right.
Reverse: RESTITV-TOR REIP, Valens stg. Looking r. holding labarum in r. hand and Victory on globe presenting wreath on emperor on l. hand. TES delta in exergue.
517. Arcadius32 viewsFlavius Arcadius (377/378–May 1, 408) was Roman Emperor in the Eastern half of the Roman Empire from 395 until his death.

Arcadius was the elder son of Theodosius I and Aelia Flaccilla, and brother of Honorius, who would become a Western Roman Emperor. His father declared him an Augustus in January, 383. His younger brother was also declared an Augustus in 393.

As Emperors, Honorius was under the control of the Romanized Vandal magister militum Flavius Stilicho while Arcadius was dominated by one of his ministers, Rufinus. Stilicho is alleged by some to have wanted control of both emperors, and is supposed to have had Rufinus assassinated by Gothic mercenaries in 395, but definite proof of these allegations is lacking. In any case, Arcadius' new advisor Eutropius simply took Rufinus' place as the power behind the Eastern imperial throne. Arcadius was also dominated by his wife Aelia Eudoxia, who convinced her husband to dismiss Eutropius in 399. Eudoxia was strongly opposed by John Chrysostom, the Patriarch of Constantinople, who felt that she had used her family's wealth to gain control over the emperor. Eudoxia used her influence to have Chrysostom deposed in 404, but she died later that year.

Arcadius was dominated for the rest of his rule by Anthemius, the Praetorian Prefect, who made peace with Stilicho in the West. Arcadius himself was more concerned with appearing to be a pious Christian than he was with political or military matters, and he died, only nominally in control of his empire, in 408.

Bronze AE 4, RIC 67d and 70a, choice aEF, 1.14g, 13.8mm, 180o, Antioch mint, 383-395 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICE, Victory advancing left holding trophy over right shoulder, dragging captive with left, staurogram left, ANTG in ex; Ex Aiello; Ex Forum
535b Hadrian Sestertius, Roma 117 AD Concordia78 viewsReference.
RIC cf535b; BMC cf1104; Strack cf502; Banti 145 ( 1 example)

Laureate, heroically nude bust right, baldric (sword) strap around neck and across chest, loop on shoulder, seen from front

Concordia seated left on throne, cornucopia at side, holding patera and resting elbow on statuette of Spes standing left set on low basis.

24.78 gr
35 mm

When he became emperor following the death of Trajan in 117 AD, questions immediately arose regarding the validity of Hadrian's succesion. Although it is clear from Hadrian's early career and marriage to Sabina (Trajan's grand-niece) that the emperor brought his young kinsman within the imperial court, Trajan, unlike Nerva before, made no move to adopt Hadrian formally, instead possibly preferring others. This fact prompted Hadrian, in the early days of his reign to emphasize his legitimacy to the succession. Hadrian declared Trajan divus and ordered his ashes installed in the Column of his newly complete Forum. Trajan's name and titles were incorporated into the new imperial nomenclature, a privilege reserved solely for legitimate heirs. At the same time, coins were struck to associate the new reign with the previous administration and declare a peaceful transferral of power. The legend DAC PARTHICO (in the dedicatory dative), clearly refers to Trajan, while the Concordia reverse type (to date, uncommon with the addition of Spes), emphasized by the inclusion of CONCORDIA in the exergue, demonstrated Hadrian's potential willingness for the time to continue Trajan's policies, thereby insuring continued political harmony, something which disintegrated as Hadrian's reign progressed.
1 commentsokidoki
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:

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 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
703b, Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia107 viewsBronze AE 16, RPC I 2966 (1 specimen), F, Phrygia, Hierapolis, 3.300g, 15.6mm, 0o; Obverse: TIBEPIOC KAISAR, laureate head right; Reverse: IERAPOLEITWN ZOSIMOS [...], Apollo Archegetes (Lairbenos) standing left, playing lyre; reverse countermarked with star of six rays, in oval punch, 2.5 x 3.5 mm, Howgego 445 (3 pcs, 1 of which from this magistrate); dark patina; very rare. Ex FORVM.

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

TIBERIUS (A.D. 14-37)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

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

. . . .

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

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

[For the complete article please refer to]

By Garrett G. Fagan, Pennsylvania State University.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families Used by permission.

Hierapolis in History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hierapolis in the Bible

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
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]

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 Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

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

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.
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.

710a, Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.135 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


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]]


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.


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.


[[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.
Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

74. Arcadius.43 viewsAE 2, 383, Constantinople mint.
Obverse: D N ARCADIVS P F AVG / Diademed bust of Arcadius, holding spear and shield. Hand of God above, holding wreath.
Reverse: GLORIA ROMANORVM / Arcadius standing, holding standard and shield. Captive seated at left.
Mint mark: CONΓ*
5.44 gm., 24 mm.
RIC #53b; LRBC #2154; Sear #20783.

Edward Gibbon writes of Arcadius: "He received a princely education in the palace of Constantinople, and his inglorious life was spent in that peaceful and splendid seat of royalty, from whence he appeared to reign . . ."
1 commentsCallimachus
81-96 AD - DOMITIAN & DOMITIA AE19 of Adramyteion43 viewsobv: AYT DOMITIANOC KAI CEB GEPM[ANIKOC] (laureate head right)
rev: DOMITIA CEB ADR[A] (draped bust right)
ref: RPC 2910 (just two specimens cited)
mint: Adramyteion
4.08gms, 19mm, plated
Very rare

Domitia Longina or simply Domitia married to Domitian in 70 A.D. In 81, Domitian became the new Roman Emperor and Domitia became the new Roman Empress. In 83 she had an affair with an actor called Paris, who was executed for this, and Domitia exiled after the divorce. In 91 Domitian recalled her from exile to Rome as a Roman Empress. Years after Domitian's death, Domitia still referred to herself as an Emperor's wife. She died peacefully about 130 AD. Some coins of her were minted during Domitian's reign.
Adramyttium (Adramyteion) was an ancient city of Mysia at the head of the Gulf of Adramyttium facing the island of Lesbos, and at the base of Mt. Ida.
88 BC - In Celebration of the Slaughter of 80,000 Romans in Asia Minor271 views Ionia, Smyrna, 88-85 BC, AE 25
Diademed head of Mithradates VI of Pontos right.
ZMYPNAIΩN right, EPMOΓENHΣ/ΦPIΞOΣ to left of Nike standing right, palm frond over one shoulder while crowning the city’s ethnic with wreath.
Milne, Autonomous Smyrna 340; Callataÿ pl. LI, P-Q; SNG Copenhagen 1206.
(25 mm, 14.86 g, 12h)

This coin was struck in the First Mithradatic War, at a time when Mithradates VI had all but expelled the Romans from Asia Minor. A civic issue from Smyrna, it was an overt statement of the city’s support for Mithradates in his campaign against Rome as well as a celebration of Mithradates success in freeing most of Asia Minor from the Roman yoke. The issue probably commenced shortly after Mithradates had organised the murder of 80,000 Roman citizens in a single night across the cities of Asia Minor in the Spring of 88 BC. The issue was short lived, as the tide of military fortune quickly turned against Mithradates when he had to face Sulla. Ultimately, he was forced to negotiate a truce (the Treaty of Dardanos) with the Romans in 85 BC, bringing Asia Minor firmly back into the Roman Empire. This brought this coinage to an end. However, the peace was short lived and hostilities between Rome and Mithradates resumed two years later, continuing intermittently for the next twenty years until Mithradates death in 66 BC following a succession of military defeats at the hands of Pompey the Great.
1 commentsLloyd
Abbasid Caliphate: al-Hadi (169-170AH / 785-786CE) AR dirham, al-Muhammadiya (Album-217.2; Lowick-1666; NHR-70A)21 viewsObverse Field:
لا اله الا الله وحده لا شرك له
There is no deity except (the one) God alone. He has no equal

Obverse Margin:
بسم الله ضرب هذا الدرهم بالمحمدية سنة سبعين و مئة
In the name of God. This dirham was struck in Muhammadiya in the year seventy and one hundred

Reverse Field:
محمد رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم الخليفة الهادى
Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, peace be upon him. Caliph al-Hadi
بر below

Reverse Margin:
محمد رسول الله ارسله بالهدى و دين الحق ليظهره على الدين كله ولو كره المشركون
He sent him with guidance and the true religion to reveal it to all religions even if the polytheists abhor it.
Abraham Lincoln 1862 Indian Peace Medal68 viewsObv: ABRAHAM LINCOLN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, draped bust of Abraham Lincoln (16th President) facing right, 1862 below.

Rev: In the center, within a circle is a village scene including children playing baseball in front of a school and a church steeple; in the foreground an Indian, wearing full chief's feathered head-dress, operates a horse-drawn plough; in the outer ring, an Indian pulls the hair of a foe, preparing to scalp him with a knife; below and to the left is a quiver of arrows, on the right is a crossed bow and a peace pipe; below center is the head of an Indian princess with eyes closed.

Engravers: Salathiel Ellis (obverse), Joseph Willson (reverse).

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1862 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
1 commentsMatt Inglima
Abraham Lincoln 1862 Indian Peace Medal55 viewsObv: ABRAHAM LINCOLN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, draped bust of Abraham Lincoln (16th President) facing right, 1862 below.

Rev: In the center, within a circle is a village scene including children playing baseball in front of a school and a church steeple; in the foreground an Indian, wearing full chief's feathered head-dress, operates a horse-drawn plough; in the outer ring, an Indian pulls the hair of a foe, preparing to scalp him with a knife; below and to the left is a quiver of arrows, on the right is a crossed bow and a peace pipe; below center is the head of an Indian princess with eyes closed.

Engravers: Salathiel Ellis (obverse), Joseph Willson (reverse).

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1862 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
Aeolis, Myrina. Pseudo-autonomous AE17. AD 253-268. Amazon Myrina47 viewsObv: MVPE-INA, draped, turreted bust of Amazon Myrina left.
Rev: ΜVΡEΙΝΑΩΝ, Tyche in long chiton with cornucopia in l. and rudder in r., standing left.

Myrina, mythological queen of the Amazons. According to Diodorus Siculus she led a military expedition in Libya and won a victory over the people known as the Atlantians, destroying their city Cerne; but was less successful fighting the Gorgons (who are described by Diodorus as a warlike nation residing in close proximity to the Atlantians), failing to burn down their forests. During a later campaign, she struck a treaty of peace with Horus, ruler of Egypt, conquered several peoples, including the Syrians, the Arabians, and the Cilicians (but granted freedom to those of the latter who gave in to her of their own will). She also took possession of Greater Phrygia, from the Taurus Mountains to the Caicus River, and several Aegean islands, including Lesbos; she was also said to be the first to land on the previously uninhabited island which she named Samothrace, building the temple there. The cities of Myrina (in Lemnos), possibly another Myrina in Mysia, Mytilene, Cyme, Pitane, and Priene were believed to have been founded by her, and named after herself, her sister Mytilene, and the commanders in her army, Cyme, Pitane and Priene, respectively. Myrina's army was eventually defeated by Mopsus the Thracian and Sipylus the Scythian; she, as well as many of her fellow Amazons, fell in the final battle. -Wikipedia
1 commentsancientone
Aksumite Empire: Armah (ca. 630-650) AR Unit (Hahn, Aksumite 71.2; Munro-Hay Type 151; BMC Axum 566)8 viewsObv: ነገሠ አረመሐ (neguš ’ArmaH; King Armah); Crowned bust of Armah facing right, holding cruciform scepter; cross-tipped grain ear to left
Rev: ሠሀለ ወሰለመ (šáhl wa-salám; Mercy and Peace); Church façade
Allectus- Pax Avg.jpg
Allectus- Pax Avg77 viewsAllectus, summer 293 - 296 or 297 A.D.

Radiate draped and cuirassed bust right

IMP: Imperator, leader of the army
C: Caes
ALLECTVS: Allectus
P F: Pius Felix, Pious and happy
AVG: Augustus, emperor

PAX AVG, the divine peace

PAX: Peace
AVG: Divine

Pax standing left holding scepter and branch

Domination: Bronze antoninianus, Size 16 mm.

Mint: Cologne or Camolodunum mint

Comment: The coin is 'Barbarous'. It's so well established, unfortunately, that we're stuck with it. It refers to coins struck unofficially during times of shortage, which would be comparable with the tokens which circulated in Britain in the late 18th-eatly 19th centuries at a time when there was a shortage of copper coinage. The term 'barbarous' comes from an old, now discredited, idea that they were struck by 'barbarians' outside the empire.
John Schou
Andrew Jackson, 1829 Indian Peace Medal32 viewsObv: ANDREW JACKSON PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, draped bust of Andrew Jackson (7th President) facing right, A.D. 1829 below.

Rev: PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP, two clasped hands, crossed peace pipe and tomahawk above.

Engravers: Mortiz Furst (obverse), John Reich (reverse)

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1829 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
Andrew Johnson, 1865 Indian Peace Medal41 viewsObv: ANDREW JOHNSON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, bust of Andrew Johnson (17th President) facing right, 1865 below.

Rev: Columbia, holding an American flag, clasping hands with an Indian Chief, before a tomb surmounted by a bust of George Washington. At the feet of the Indian are the attributes of native life, and behind him is a buffalo hunt; at the feet of Columbia and behind her are the emblems of maritime and industrial progress.

Engraver: Anthony Paquet

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1865 (20th Century restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
Antoninianus; SPES FELICITATIS ORBIS; RIC 7015 viewsPhilip I, 244-249 Antoninianus, Antioch Mint, AD 244-245, 20mm, 2.88g. Obverse: Radiate, draped bust right. 
Reverse: Spes advancing left, holding a flower in her right hand and holding up the hem of her skirt with her left. 
Reference: Sear RCV (2005) 8967; RIC IV 70. The obverse legend gives Philip the titles of 'Pius Felix', not used for him at Rome, and 'P. M.' which here must represent not 'Pontifex Maximus', but 'Persicus Maximus', 'greatest of Persian conquerors' – though actually, he negotiated a peace with the Persians. Ex Moremoth1 commentsPodiceps
Antoninus Pius.jpg
Antoninus Pius33 viewsTitus Aurelius Fulvius Boionius Arrius Antoninus was born around 86 A.D. to a distinguished family. After a typical senatorial career he made a name for himself as proconsul of Asia. He was adopted as Emperor Hadrian`s heir in February 138 A.D. and succeeded soon after. His reign was long and peaceful, a Golden Age of tranquility and prosperity. He died in 161 A.D., leaving Marcus Aurelius as his successor.

Silver denarius, RIC 175, RSC 284, BMC 657, F, Rome mint, 2.669g, 17.7mm, 0o, 148 - 149 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate head right; reverse COS IIII, Annona standing left holding corn-ears over modius left and anchor; fire damaged, slightly wavy flan;
Antoninus Pius RIC III, 202b243 viewsAntoninus Pius 138-161
AR - Denar, 3.27g, 18.0mm
Rome AD 148-149
head laureate r.
Tranquillitas, draped, standing frontal, head r., holding rudder and corn-ears
in exergue: TRANQ
RIC III, 202b; C.825 (without PIVS, a slip); BMC 736
scarce; EF

TRANQUILLITAS, tranquillity, an abstraction personified for the first time on coins of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. She is shown with the attributes which seem to hint at an association with the grain supply, a rudder and ears of grain, sometimes a modius or a prow, therefore related to ANNONA and SECURITAS, meaning the peaceful security of the Roman Empire.
1 commentsJochen
Antoninus Pius, Denarius 60 viewsANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P , laureate head right
COS IIII, Peace standing left, holding spceptre and olive branch
3.0 gr
Cohen # 258
Potator II
Ara Pacis39 viewsThe Ara Pacis Augustae (Latin, "Altar of Augustan Peace"; commonly shortened to Ara Pacis) is an altar in Rome dedicated to Pax, the Roman goddess of Peace. The monument was commissioned by the Roman Senate on July 4, 13 B.C. to honor the return of Augustus to Rome after three years in Hispania and Gaul, and consecrated on January 30, 9 B.C. Originally located on the northern outskirts of Rome, a Roman mile from the boundary of the pomerium on the west side of the Via Flaminia, it stood in the northeastern corner of the Campus Martius, the former flood plain of the Tiber River and gradually became buried under 4 metres (13 ft) of silt deposits. It was reassembled in its current location, now the Museum of the Ara Pacis, in 1938.

Joe Sermarini
Aspendos Pamphylia Greek Wrestlers70 viewsPamphylia, Aspendos mint, silver stater, 370 - 333 BC, 10.383g, 22.5mm, die axis 0o, SNG Cop 233, SNG Paris 87, SNG Von Aulock -, SGCV II 5398 var
OBV: Two wrestlers, the left one holds the wrist of his opponent with his right and right forearm with his left hand, ∆Α between their legs
REV: ΕΣΤΦΕ∆ΙΙΥΣ on left, slinger, wearing short chiton, discharging sling to right, triskeles on right with feet clockwise, no trace of incuse square

In 333 B.C., after Alexander took Perga peacefully, Aspendos sent envoys to offer surrender if he would not take the taxes and horses formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king.
Agreeing, Alexander went on to Side, leaving a garrison behind. When he learned they had failed to ratify the agreement their own evnvoys had proposed, Alexander marched to the city.
The Aspendians retreated to their acropolis and again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to harsh terms -
they would host a Macedonian garrison and pay 100 gold talents and 4.000 horses annually.

EX: Forvm Ancient Coins
4 commentsRomanorvm
Aspendos, Pamphylia, 333 - 250 B.C.79 viewsWith the influence of the Olympics games.

Silver stater, Tekin Series 5, SNGvA 4578, SNG BnF 122, SNG Cop -, Arslan-Lightfoot -, gF, weight 9.107g, maximum diameter 24.8mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 330 - 250 B.C.; obverse two wrestlers, on left holds the right wrist of his opponent with his right hand and right forearm with his left hand, E between their legs, rounded edge; reverse EΣTΦE∆IY, slinger, wearing short chiton, discharging sling to right, O between legs, triskeles above club on right, round border of dots; scarce;


After Alexander took Perga peacefully, Aspendos sent envoys to offer surrender if he would not take the taxes and horses formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. Agreeing, Alexander went on to Side, leaving a garrison behind. When he learned they had failed to ratify the agreement their own evnvoys had proposed, Alexander marched to the city. The Aspendians retreated to their acropolis and again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to harsh terms - they would host a Macedonian garrison and pay 100 gold talents and 4.000 horses annually.

This type is a late example and likely among the last of the wrestler and slinger staters. Struck during economic crisis, perhaps resulting from the harsh terms set by Alexander after their treachery, the flans are underweight, crudely cast and appear to be of debased silver. The wrestlers and slinger are carelessly depicted. It is not as attractive as earlier examples but it is certainly much scarcer.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.

*With my sincere thank , Photo and Description courtesy of FORVM Ancient Coins Staff.
2 commentsSam
Aspendos, Pamphylia, 333 - 250 B.C.85 viewsAspendos, Pamphylia, 333 - 250 B.C.
With the influence of the Olympics games.

Silver stater, Tekin Series 5, SNGvA 4578, SNG BnF 122, SNG Cop -, Arslan-Lightfoot -, VF, weight 8.97 gr., maximum diameter 24.8mm, die axis 0o.
Aspendos mint . Struck between 330 - 250 B.C.
Obverse ; two wrestlers, on left holds the right wrist of his opponent with his right hand and right forearm with his left hand, E between their legs, rounded edge.
Reverse ; EΣTΦE∆IY, slinger, wearing short chiton, discharging sling to right, O between legs, triskeles above club on right, round border of dots; very rare.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection. NO. AGAP 3324
After Alexander the great took Perga peacefully, Aspendos sent envoys to offer surrender if he would not take the taxes and horses formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. Agreeing, Alexander went on to Side, leaving a garrison behind. When he learned they had failed to ratify the agreement their own evnvoys had proposed, Alexander marched to the city. The Aspendians retreated to their acropolis and again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to harsh terms - they would host a Macedonian garrison and pay 100 gold talents and 4.000 horses annually.

This type is a late example and likely among the last of the wrestler and slinger staters. Struck during economic crisis, perhaps resulting from the harsh terms set by Alexander after their treachery, the flans are underweight, crudely cast and appear to be of debased silver. The wrestlers and slinger are carelessly depicted. It is not as attractive as earlier examples but it is certainly much scarcer.

1 commentsSam
Barbarous Imitation, Tertricus-I, AE-3, PAX type, #0168 viewsBarbarous Imitation, Tertricus-I, AE-3, PAX type, #01
avers:- - C-TERICVS-AVG-, Radiate, draped bust right.
revers:- Confusing text- ..II-I-E-II-VG.., Pax (?) standing right, holding branch of peace and sceptre.
exerg: -/-//-- , diameter: mm, weight:g, axis: h,
mint: , date: , ref: ,
Benjamin Harrison, 1889 Indian Peace Medal36 viewsObv: BENJAMIN HARRISON PRESIDENT, bearded bust of Benjamin Harrison (23rd President) facing left; U.S.A. 1889 below.

Rev: PEACE within a sunburst, above; scene of a farmer showing a Native American chief the benefit of civilization; in exergue: crossed peace pipe and tomahawk, encircled by laurel wreath.

Engravers: Charles E. Barber (obverse), George Morgan (reverse)

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1889 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 59 x 76 mm
Matt Inglima
Peace of Amiens BHM 538.JPG
BHM 0538. The Peace of Amiens, 1802.125 viewsObv. Angel standing, reaching down to clasp the hand of kneeling woman, angel holds a branch and scroll in her left hand, pedestel between the two figures MY SOUL DOTH MAGNIFY THE LORD/in exergue MARCH 27 1802/ K.N.K
Rev. Veiled female figure standing facing, arms uplifted, cross in left hand, radiant light above her head, ornate domed structure at her feet to left, intaglio portrait of a man to her right WE PRAISE THEE O GOD/ in exergue THANKSGIVING/ JUNE 1

Engraved by J. G. Hancock in 1802 to celebrate a mass held at St. Pauls cathedral commemorating the peace between France and Britain.
Bithynia, Nikaia, Domitian, BMC 2040 viewsDomitian, AD 81-96
AE 26, 8.54g
Bust, laureate, r.
Head of Herakles, bearded, laureate, l.
RPC 239; BMC 20
rare, VF, deep green patina

The metropolis of Bithynia was in fact Nicomedia but Nicaea raises a claim upon that title as is shown by a coin issued under Domitian with the legend "the Nikaians, the first of the eparchias". From this claim emerged a legal dispute which finally was decided by Valens in that way, that Nicaea and Nicomedia both was allowed to call themselve the first city of Bithynia but that only Nicomedia was the metropolis. But this vain title was useless: By the new arrangement of the provinces Chalcedon became the metropolis of the anterior Pontus. It's known a discourse from Dion of Prusa - who lived in the time of Domitian - in which he challenged the Nicomedians to peace with the Nicaeans.
1 commentsJochen
Bramsen 0107.JPG
Bramsen 0107. Paix de Luneville, 1801.106 viewsObv. Bust of Bonaparte. On the base of the bust, the artist's name, ANDRIEU F.
Rev. an elegant female figure emblematic of peace, she holds in her right hand, which is extended, an olive branch, in her left a cornucopia filled with fruit and wheat ears, her hair and costume is à la grecque, with a laurel wreath round the head.
Legend, PAIX DE LUNÉVILLE. On the ground whereon she stands, ANDRIEU F.

Struck to commemorate the
King George V Medal.JPG
British End of War Medal, King George V60 viewsBritish Civilian medal issued in 1919 to commemorate the end of The Great War.
Obverse: QUEEN MARY- KING / GEORGE / V, Juggate busts of Queen Mary and King George left, both wearing ornate crowns.
Reverse: PEACE-VICTORY / THE GREAT WAR, Victory standing facing holding dove and wreath, scene of farmer plowing left, and soldier with artillary gun right.
Dated 1919
38mm, 18.8gm
1 commentsJerome Holderman
Bruttium, Rhegion, 415-387 B.C., Drachm 26 views14mm, 3.89 grams
Reference: Sear 502; B.M.C.1.38
Lion's scalp facing.
PHΓINON, Laureate head of Apollo right, olive-sprig behind.

"Dionysios I, after concluding a peace with the Carthaginians, went about securing his power in the island of Sicily. His troops, however, rebelled against him and sought help from, among others, the city of Rhegion (Diod. Sic. 14.8.2). In the ensuing campaigns, Dionyios I proceeded to enslave the citizens of Naxos and Katane, with whom the Rhegians shared a common history and identity (Diod. Sic. 14.40.1). This association was a source of anger and fear for the inhabitants of Rhegion. The Syracusan exiles living there also encouraged the Rhegians to go to war with Syracuse (Diod. Sic. 14.40.3). The overarching strategy of Dionysios I included extending his power into Italy by using Rhegion as a stepping stone to the rest of the peninsula. In 387 BC, after a siege that lasted eleven months, the Rhegians, on the brink of starvation, surrendered to Dionysus. Indeed, we are told that by the end of the siege, a medimnos of wheat cost about five minai (Diod. Sic. 14.111.2). Strabo remarks that, following Dionysios' capture of the city, the Syracusan “destroyed the illustrious city” (Strabo 6.1.6).

The next decade or so of the history of Rhegion is unclear, but sometime during his reign, Dionysios II, who succeeded his father in 367 BC, rebuilt the city, giving it the new name of Phoibia (Strabo 6.1.6). Herzfelder argues that this issue was struck by Dionysios II of Syracuse after he rebuilt the city, and dates it to the period that Dionysios II is thought to have lived in the city. Due to civil strife at Syracuse, Dionysios II was forced to garrison Region, but was ejected from the city by two of his rivals circa 351 BC (Diod. Sic. 16.45.9).

The coin types of Rhegion, founded as a colony of Chalcis, are related to its founding mythology. Some of the earliest tetradrachms of the city, from the mid-5th century BC, depict a lion’s head on the obverse, and a seated figure on the reverse. J.P. Six (in NC 1898, pp. 281-5) identified the figure as Iokastos, the oikistes (founder) of Rhegion (Diod. Sic. 5.8.1; Callimachus fr. 202). Head (in HN), suggested Aristaios, son of Apollo. Iokastos was one of six sons of Aiolos, ruler of the Aeolian Islands. All of the sons of Aiolos secured their own realms in Italy and Sicily, with Iokastos taking the region around Rhegion. Aristaios, born in Libya, discovered the silphium plant, and was the patron of beekeepers (mentioned by Virgil), shepherds, vintners, and olive growers. He also protected Dionysos as a child, and was the lover of Eurydike. The replacement of the seated figure type with the head of Apollo circa 420 BC also suggests the figure could be Aristaios. An anecdote from the first-century BC geographer Strabo (6.1.6 and 6.1.9), which connects Rhegion’s founding to the orders of the Delphic Oracle and Apollo, as the reason for the advent of the new type could be simply serendipitous.

Different theories exist for the lion’s head on the coins of Rhegion. The lion’s head (or mask as it is sometimes described) first appeared on the coinage of Rhegion at the start of the reign of Anaxilas, in about 494 BC. E.S.G. Robinson, in his article “Rhegion, Zankle-Messana and the Samians” (JHS vol. 66, 1946) argues that the lion was a symbol of Apollo. He makes a comparison to the coinage of the nearby city of Kaulonia, “At Kaulonia Apollo’s animal was the deer; if at Rhegion it was the lion, the early appearance and persistence of that type is explained. The lion is a certain, though infrequent, associate of Apollo at all periods.” The link, he suggests, is that the lion was associated with the sun, as was Apollo himself.

The lion’s head could also relate to the exploits of Herakles, who had some significance for the city. The extant sources tell us that Herakles stopped at southern Italy near Rhegion on his return with the cattle of Geryon (Diod. Sic. 4.22.5). It was here that supposedly a bull broke away from the rest of the herd and swam to Sicily (Apollod. 2.5.10). Though but a passing reference in Apollodorus, it is very possible that the Rhegians venerated Herakles. Indeed, Herakles was a very important figure throughout the entire area. Dionysios of Halicarnassus says that “in many other places also in Italy [besides Rome] precincts are dedicated to this god [Herakles] and altars erected to him, both in cities and along highways; and one could scarcely find any place in Italy in which the god is not honoured” (I.40.6). As the skin of the Nemean Lion was one of the main attributes of Herakles, the lion’s head may refer to him through metonymic association."
1 commentsLeo
Mauricius Tiberius.jpg
BYZANTINE, Mauricius Tiberius55 viewsMauricius Tiberius, 582 - 602 AD
Solidus, Constantinopel, 4,29g, VF

obv: O.N.MAVRC.TIb.PP.AVG (Dr. and cuir. bust facing, wearing plumed helmet and holding gl. cr.)
rev: VICTORIA AVGGI (officinae I), (angel stg. facing, holding staff surmounted by P and; in ex., CONOB)

"Maurice Tiberius
August 13, 582 through November 22, 602.
Maurice Tiberius was an excellant military officer and was responsible for the curbing the Persians during the end of Justin II's reign. And during his reign he used diplomatic means to bring peace with the Persians. The western part of the empire saw a reuniting of control over much of Italy, Sicily and North Africa, but the Balkans proved to be his downfall. Due to losses of territory and prestige in the Balkan peninsula, a military revolt occurred with Phocas taking over as emperor. Maurice Tiberius and his two sons fled Constantinople, only to be slain a month or so later"
CALABRIA, Tarentum184 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
Caracalla AE provincial, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior (Nikyup, Bulgaria) (211 - 212 AD)16 viewsΑΥ Κ Μ ΑΥΡ – [ANTΩNINOC], laureate, draped bust right / Y ΦΛ OYΛΠIAN – NIKOΠOΛIT + ΠΡOC I in exergue, Nemesis-Aequitas standing left, holding scales in extended right hand and measuring rod (whip? sceptre?) in the crook of left arm, wheel at foot left.

Ӕ, 26 mm, 9.22 g, die axis 8h (turned coin)

I do not have access to any of the relevant provincial catalogs and cannot check any entries, but based on other similar coin descriptions on this site some numbers that may be close to this type are: AMNG I/1 1576-77, 1877-78; Varbanov (engl.) 3134, 3148, 3248; Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (HrHJ) No.,

AY[TOKPATΩΡ] K[AICAP] = Imperator Caesar, Μ[ΑΡΚΟC] ΑΥ[ΡΗΛΙΟC] ANTΩNINOC = Marcus Aurelius Antoninus aka "Caracalla". NIKOΠOΛIT[ΩN] PROC I[CTPΩN] ("πρός"="toward", but also "near to", like Latin "ad"; Istros = the lower Danube). ΦΛ OYΛΠIAN = Flavius Ulpianus, who was Roman governor of Lower Moesia (Moesia Inferior) starting from 210 to about 213. Before 211 Septimius Severus was still in charge; Caracalla visited the city in 211-212, was displeased with it and closed the mint (it was reopened only after his death), so the likely minting years are 211-212. All governors of Lower Moesia had titles on coins of either ΗΓ[ΕΜΟΝΑΣ] (governor of equestrian rank) or ΥΠ[ΑΤΕΥΟΝΤΟΣ] of the province (ΤΗΣ ΕΠΑΡΧΕΙΑΣ) (consular legate of senatorial rank). Y before the name of Flavius Ulpianus indicates the latter.

Aequitas = justice, equality, conformity, symmetry. Nemesis was originally understood as honest distributor of fortune, neither bad nor good, but in due proportion. Later it gained aspects of justice and divine retribution, but in Nemesis-Aequitas her qualities of honest dealing is emphasized. It symbolizes honesty, equality and justice of the emperor towards his subjects. The scales here mean honest measure rather than justice, the long stick she carries is most probably a measuring rod, but may also be a whip (symbol of punishment) or a sceptre (symbol of imperial power). The wheel may be the Wheel of Fortune (Rota Fortunae), but may also just symbolize equality.

CARACALLA, *4 April 188 Lugdunum (Lyon, France) † 8 April 217 (aged 29) road between Edessa and Carrhae ‡ 26 Dec 211 – 8 Apr 217 (not counting joint rule with his father and brother)

His birth name was Lucius Septimius Bassianus, then he was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus at the age of 7 as part of his father's attempt at union with the families of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. He got the agnomen "Caracalla" after a Gallic hooded tunic that he habitually wore and made fashionable. He was also referred to as Tarautas, after a famously diminutive and violent gladiator of the time. The firstborn of the famous imperial couple Septimius Severus and Julia Domna, he was groomed to be emperor together with his brother Geta. They both were given titles of Caesars and even full Augusti before their father's death. But it was not going to happen, since the brothers hated each other. In 202 Caracalla was forced to marry the daughter of Gaius Fulvius Plautianus, Fulvia Plautilla, he immediately grew to hate them both. By 205 Caracalla had succeeded in having Plautianus executed for treason, probably fabricating the evidence of the plot himself. Then he banished his wife together with his own baby daughter first to Sicily and then to the largest of the Aeolian islands, Lipari. As soon as his father died, Caracalla ordered to strangle them both.

Septimius Severus died on 4 February 211 at Eboracum (present day York) while on campaign in Caledonia, north of Roman Britannia. Caracalla and Geta jointly ended the campaign by concluding a peace that returned the border to the line demarcated by Hadrian's Wall. During the journey back to Rome they continuously argued and finally decided to divide the empire, Caracalla was to rule in the west and Geta -- the east. They were persuaded not to do this, but their hostility was only increasing. On 26 December 211, at a reconciliation meeting arranged by their mother, Caracalla had Geta assassinated by members of the Praetorian Guard loyal to himself, Geta dying in his mother's arms. Caracalla then persecuted and executed most of Geta's supporters and ordered a damnatio memoriae pronounced by the Senate against his brother's memory. Geta's image was removed from all paintings, coins were melted down, statues were destroyed, his name was struck from papyrus records, and it became a capital offence to speak or write Geta's name. In the aftermath of the damnatio memoriae, an estimated 20,000 people were massacred. Those killed were Geta's inner circle of guards and advisers, friends, and other military staff under his employ.

In 213, about a year after Geta's death, Caracalla left Rome never to return. He went north to the German frontier to deal with restless Germanic tribes through wars and diplomacy. While there, Caracalla strengthened the frontier fortifications of Raetia and Germania Superior, collectively known as the Agri Decumates, so that it was able to withstand any further barbarian invasions for another twenty years. Then it became evident that he was preoccupied with Alexander the Great. He began openly mimicking Alexander in his personal style and started planning an invasion of "Persia", the Parthian Empire. He even arranged 16,000 of his men in Macedonian-style phalanxes, despite this foration being obsolete for centuries. Caracalla's mania for Alexander went so far that he persecuted philosophers of the Aristotelian school based on a legend that Aristotle had poisoned Alexander. This was a sign of Caracalla's increasingly erratic behaviour. When the inhabitants of Alexandria heard of Caracalla's claims that he had killed his brother Geta in self-defence, they produced a satire mocking this as well as Caracalla's other pretensions. So in 215 Caracalla travelled to Alexandria and responded to this insult by slaughtering the deputation of leading citizens who had unsuspectingly assembled before the city to greet his arrival, before setting his troops against Alexandria for several days of looting and plunder. Following the massacre at Alexandria, Caracalla moved east into Armenia. By 216 he had pushed through Armenia and south into Parthia and pursued a series of aggressive campaigns in the east against the Parthians, intended to bring more territory under direct Roman control. In the following winter, Caracalla retired to Edessa (Şanlıurfa, south-east Turkey) and began making preparations to renew the campaign by spring. On 8 April 217 Caracalla was travelling to visit a temple near Carrhae (Harran, southern Turkey), where in 53 BC the Romans had suffered a defeat at the hands of the Parthians. After stopping briefly to urinate, Caracalla was approached by a soldier, Justin Martialis, and stabbed to death. Martialis had been incensed by Caracalla's refusal to grant him the position of centurion, and the Praetorian Guard Prefect Macrinus, Caracalla's successor, saw the opportunity to use Martialis to end Caracalla's reign. In the immediate aftermath of Caracalla's death, his murderer, Martialis, was killed as well. Three days later, Macrinus declared himself emperor with the support of the Roman army.

Caracalla's reign was marked by domestic instability, the massacres he enacted against the people of Rome and elsewhere in the empire, and external invasions from the Germanic people. Surprisingly for such a brute, Caracalla was also notable for some statesmanship, perhaps due to some help of his mother, who stayed in Rome and performed many administrative duties in her son's absence. The most famous is the Antonine Constitution (Constitutio Antoniniana), aka the Edict of Caracalla, which granted Roman citizenship to nearly all freemen throughout the Roman Empire. The edict gave all the enfranchised men Caracalla's adopted praenomen and nomen: "Marcus Aurelius". Domestically, Caracalla was known for the construction of the Baths of Caracalla, which became the second-largest baths in Rome, and building a temple to Serapis, Graeco-Egyptian god of healing, whom he thought to be his divine patron, on the Quirinal Hill. The numismatists will always remember him because of the introduction of a new Roman coin denomination, currently designated "antoninianus" after him. The reduced silver purity of the new coins caused people to hoard the old denarii and thanks to this now we can enjoy lots of well-preserved early Roman silver coins.

Caracalla was one of the cruellest and most tyrannical Roman emperors. That was why in the 18th century Caracalla's memory was revived in the works of French artists trying to draw the parallels between him and King Louis XVI. But there were also other narratives surrounding his name: in the 12th century, Geoffrey of Monmouth started the legend of "Bassianus" as the king of Britain, who won the kingship by fighting his brother over it.
Yurii P
Carian Islands, Rhodes17 viewsSear 5074 var., SNG Copenhagen 750-751 & 858-9, SNG Helsinki 384-392 var., SNG Keckman 384-421, SNG von Aulock 2796-2797 var., BMC Caria pg. 238-239, 74ff var., Laffaille 503 var.

AE 10, circa 350-300 B.C.

Obv: Diademed head of Rhodos right, hair rolled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
CH'ING-NING T'UNG-PAO24 viewsLiao Dynasty (foreign tribe to China)
Bronze 1 cash
Minted under Emperor TAO TSUNG,
reign title: CH'ING-NING, AD 1055-1064
24.9mm, 3.85g

The Liao were a Tartar Dynasty known as the Ch'i-tan or Ki-tan Tartars, first established by T'ai Tsu in AD 907 during the period of the 5 dynasties. The dynasty lasted for 218 years until AD 1125, ruling from their capital at Beijing. For most of their existence they existed along side the Northern Sung Dynasty, in what appears to be somewhat less than peaceful co-existance.

Samson L2
Chester A. Arthur, 1881 Indian Peace Medal30 viewsObv: CHESTER A. ARTHUR - PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 1881, bust of Chester Arthur (21st President) facing left.

Rev: PEACE within a sunburst, above; scene of a farmer showing a Native American chief the benefit of civilization; in exergue: crossed peace pipe and tomahawk, encircled by laurel wreath.

Engravers: Charles E. Barber (obverse), George Morgan (reverse)

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1881 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 59 x 76 mm
Matt Inglima
CHINA - 10 Kingdoms: Former Shu Kingdom92 viewsCHINA - 10 Kingdoms: Former Shu Kingdom, AE Cash, OBV.: Guang Tian Yuan Bao/REV.: Plain. Minted in 918 A.D. by Wang Jian (907-918 A.D.). Hartill #15.38.
David Hartill's book quotes Schjoth, saying: "The currency of father and son of the Wang family was coarse and vile. Those seen at the present day are unfinished, sometimes with a smooth reverse; sometimes with a rim. Wang Jian began his career as a village thief; he enlisted as a soldier, rose through the ranks, and by 901 was virtually an independent ruler, with his capital at Chengdu, in Sichuan. His regime provided a peaceful haven for artists and poets."
Cilicia, Mallos, Valerian I SNG Lev. 1298107 viewsValerian I AD 252-260
AE 31, 19.89g
bust, cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. MALLO COLONIA (lat.)
Amphilochos, naked except chlamys, stg. l., holding laurel branch, boar below. Behind him tripod on podium with globe above, snake winding around.
S C in exergue
SNG Levante 1298 (same obv. die); SNG Paris 1933 (same obv. die); BMC 13; SGIC 4498
Rare (only 13 coins of Valerian's time known!), about VF, light roughness, small casting spots (from making)
added to

MALLOS was one of the oldest cities in Cilicia. The hero AMPHILOCHOS is said to be the founder. He was fighting before in Thebes and Troy. He and his brother Mopsus were the most famous seers in Greece. They decided to rule Mallos alternately. Mopsus was first. But when he should give the rule to Amphilochos it came to a deadly duel where both were killed. After their death their souls got along peacefully and temples were built to celebrate them. The oracle of Mallos was said to be more real than that of Delphi!
Under Severus Alexander Mallos became a Roman Colonia. Therefore the Latin inscriptions.

For more information look at the thread 'Coins of mythological interest'
2 commentsJochen
Cilician Armenia, Seljuq of Rum: Hetoum I and Kaykhusraw II Bilingual Tram (Album-1221, Nercessian-325)54 viewsIn compliance with a peace treaty previously signed by Levon I with the Seljuq Sultan of Rum, Kaykhusraw I, Hetoum struck silver coins bearing both Armenian and Arabic legends. Known as bilingual issues, Hetoum struck them first with Kaykhusraw’s son, Kayqubad I, and later with Kayqubad’s son, Kaykhusraw II.

King on horseback trotting to right holding sceptre over right shoulder, a cross above horse’s
tail and crescent over horse’s head. Armenian legend around - ՀԵԹՈՒՄ ԹԱԳԱՒՈՐ ՀԱՅՈՑ, Hethum King of the Armenians

السلطان الاعظم, The Sublime Sultan
غياث الدنيا والدين, Protector of the World and Faith
كيخسرو بن كيقباد, Kaykhusraw, Son of Kayqubad

Reverse Top Margin:
ضرب ﺑﺴﻴﺲ سنة أربع و, Struck in the City of Sis, the Year Four and

Reverse Left Margin:
أربعون, Forty

Reverse Right Margin:
وستمائة, And Six Hundred
1 commentsSpongeBob
Commodus RIC III, 15229 viewsCommodus, AD 177-192
AR - denar, 18.03mm, 2.76g, 0°
Rome, AD 186/187
Laureate head r.
in ex. COS V PP
Jupiter Exsuperator in himation std. l., resting with raised l. hand on sceptre and holding in outstretched
r. hand branch
ref. RIC III, 152; C. 242; BMCR 213
scarce, about VF

RIC III, p. 359: "In this year falls the reform of the calendar of Commodus, who renamed some of the months. Hence come the type of Janus in a shrine and of Jupiter Exsuperator with the branch of peace: 'Exsuperator' was the name for the month December."

Jupiter Exsuperator was the highest god in Commodus' scala of gods. The beginning of a kind of henotheism (Chantraine,1975)
Constantine I Campgate23 viewsConstantine I AE3 "Campgate-Trier" FTN* Constantine I "the Great" AD 306-337 AE3 "Blessed serenity (peace).
Obv: CONSTA-NTINVS AVG- Laureate bust right, wearing imperial mantle, holding eagle-surmounted scepter.
Rev: PROVIDEN-TIAE AVGG - Campgate with two turrets and one star. Exe: PTR (dot in crescent) Trier mint: AD 322 = RIC VII, 475
Constantine II- BEATA TRANQVILLITAS new.jpg
Constantine II- Beata Tranqvillitas70 viewsConstantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D

Laureate and cuirassed bust right



IVN: Junior

N C: Noble Ceasar


BEATA: Divine


Showing: BEATA TRANQVILLITAS, altar inscribe VO/TIS / XX surmounted by globe, three stars above, C left, R right

Domination: Bronze, AE 3, size 20 mm
Mint: PLC, Lugdunum .Oficina ???

The uneasy peace that followed was celebrated on coins with the legend BEATA TRANQVILLITAS ("The blessed tranquillity"), subsequently abbreviated to BEAT TRANQLITAS, showing an altar inscribed VOTIS XX. Above the altar is a globe, signifying that the whole world was at peace, but not for long. An invading force of Sarmatians under their king Rausimondus were defeated in the province of Pannonia and celebrated on coins of Constantine with SARMATIA DEVICTA ("Sarmatia conquered"). At the same time the two Caesars, Crispus and Constantine Junior celebrated their Quinquennalia on coins with a laurel wreath enclosing the words VOT X and legend CAESARVM NOSATRORVM ("our Caesars"). The vows were suscepta, five years completed and looking forward to the tenth anniversary. A second war against the Visigoths occupied most of AD 323, before Constantine embarked on his final showdown with Licinius, ending with the defeat of Licinius at Chrysopolis in AD 323. Licinius survived until AD 325, when he was executed by Constantine.
1 commentsJohn Schou
Constantine The Great- Beata Tranqvillitas.jpg
Constantine The Great- Beata Tranqvillitas62 viewsConstantine the Great, early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

Laurete and cuirassed bust right


AVG: Augustus



BEATA: Divine


Showing: BEATA TRANQVILLITAS, altar inscribe VO/TIS / XX surmounted by globe, three stars above, C left, R right

Domination: Copper, AE 3, size 18-19 mm

Mint: PLC, Lugdunum. RIC VII 131, R4, minted 321.Oficina ???

The uneasy peace that followed was celebrated on coins with the legend BEATA TRANQVILLITAS ("The blessed tranquillity"), subsequently abbreviated to BEAT TRANQLITAS, showing an altar inscribed VOTIS XX. Above the altar is a globe, signifying that the whole world was at peace, but not for long. An invading force of Sarmatians under their king Rausimondus were defeated in the province of Pannonia and celebrated on coins of Constantine with SARMATIA DEVICTA ("Sarmatia conquered"). At the same time the two Caesars, Crispus and Constantine Junior celebrated their Quinquennalia on coins with a laurel wreath enclosing the words VOT X and legend CAESARVM NOSATRORVM ("our Caesars"). The vows were suscepta, five years completed and looking forward to the tenth anniversary. A second war against the Visigoths occupied most of AD 323, before Constantine embarked on his final showdown with Licinius, ending with the defeat of Licinius at Chrysopolis in AD 323.
John Schou
CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C (the 2nd) / GLORIA EXERCITVS AE3 follis (317-337 A.D.) 23 viewsCONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, cuirassed bust right / GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers facing each other, holding spears and shields, with one standard between them, devices on banners not very clear, but probably dots or "o". Mintmark: Epsilon SIS in exergue.

AE3, 18-19mm, 1.65g, die axis 2 (turned medal alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

IVN = IVNIOR = Junior, NOB C = Nobilitas Caesar, Gloria Exercitus (noun + genitive) "The Glory of the Army", officina Epsilon (workshop #5), SIScia mint (now Sisak, Croatia).

Siscia mint combined with two standards and IVN NOB C variety points to only two types, RIC VII Siscia 220 and RIC VII Siscia 236, both of Constantine II, with possible officinas A, delta, gamma and epsilon. So even though the name is not very clear and theoretically the officina letter may be B rather than E, we can be sure that it is Constantine and that officina is E. Type 236 should have dots before and after the
mintmark, and it doesn't seem the case here, so this must be RIC VII Siscia 220, officina epsilon. Minting dates according to some sources: 330-335 AD.

Flavius Claudius Constantinus Augustus, born January/February 316, was the elder son if Constantine the Great and his second wife Fausta. Constantine II was born in Arles (south of modern France) and raised a Christian. On 1 March 317, he was made Caesar. A child general: in 323, at the age of seven, he took part in his father's campaign against the Sarmatians. At age ten, he became commander of Gaul, following the death of Crispus. An inscription dating to 330 records the title of Alamannicus, so it is probable that his generals won a victory over the Alamanni. His military career continued when Constantine I made him field commander during the 332 campaign against the Goths.

Following the death of his father in 337, Constantine II initially became augustus jointly with his brothers Constantius II and Constans, with the Empire divided between them and their cousins, the Caesars Dalmatius and Hannibalianus. This arrangement barely survived Constantine I’s death, as his sons arranged the slaughter of most of the rest of the family by the army. As a result, the three brothers gathered together in Pannonia and there, on 9 September 337, divided the Roman world between themselves. Constantine, proclaimed Augustus by the troops received Gaul, Britannia and Hispania. He was soon involved in the struggle between factions rupturing the unity of the Christian Church. The Western portion of the Empire, under the influence of the Popes in Rome, favored Catholicism (Nicean Orthodoxy) over Arianism, and through their intercession they convinced Constantine to free Athanasius, allowing him to return to Alexandria. This action aggravated Constantius II, who was a committed supporter of Arianism.

Constantine was initially the guardian of his younger brother Constans, whose portion of the empire was Italia, Africa and Illyricum. Constantine soon complained that he had not received the amount of territory that was his due as the eldest son. Annoyed that Constans had received Thrace and Macedonia after the death of Dalmatius, Constantine demanded that Constans hand over the African provinces, to which he agreed in order to maintain a fragile peace. Soon, however, they began quarreling over which parts of the African provinces belonged to Carthage, and thus to Constantine, and which belonged to Italy, and therefore to Constans. Further complications arose when Constans came of age and Constantine, who had grown accustomed to dominating his younger brother, would not relinquish the guardianship. In 340 Constantine marched into Italy at the head of his troops. Constans, at that time in Dacia, detached and sent a select and disciplined body of his Illyrian troops, stating that he would follow them in person with the remainder of his forces. Constantine was engaged in military operations and was killed in an ambush outside Aquileia. Constans then took control of his deceased brother's realm.
Yurii P
Constantius II RIC VIII, Alexandria 58609 viewsConstantius II 324 - 361, son of Constantin I
AE - AE 3, 4.68g, 21mm
Alexandria 2. officina, 348 - 350
draped bust, pearl-diademed head l., holding globe with r.
helmeted soldier walking r., head l., holding reversed spear l. and
leading young barbarian out of his hut, tree behind
exergue: ALEB
RIC VIII, Alexandria 58; C.53
VF, sandpatina
added to

This issue celebrates the fact that AD 342 under Constans the Franks were taken over the Rhine and settled in Taxandria (Belgium). This was a peaceful act (the barbarian would not been dragged but guided!) done by negotiations and the Franks had to fight for the Romans.
Crawford 417/1a, Roman Republic, Rome mint, moneyers L. Aemilius Lepidus Paullus and L. Scribonius Libo, 62 BC., AR Denarius.72 viewsRoman Republic, Rome mint, moneyers L. Aemilius Lepidus Paullus and L. Scribonius Libo, 62 BC.,
AR Denarius (18-20 mm / 3,72 g),
Obv.: [P]AVLLVS. LEPIDVS - CONCORD head of Concordia r., wearing veil and diadem.
Rev.: PVTEAL SCRIBON / LIBO , Puteal Scribonianum (Scribonian well, the "Puteal Scribonianum" well in the Forum Romanum near the Arch of Fabius), decorated with garland and two lyres, hammer at base.
Crawf. 417/1a ; Syd. 927 ; Bab. / Seaby Aemilia 11 ; Kestner 3422 ; BMC Rome 3383 ; CNR Aemilia 62 .

A puteal was a classical wellhead, round or sometimes square, set round a well opening to keep people from falling in. Such well heads (putealia) might be of marble, enriched with bas-reliefs. - The puteal is on the reverse of the coin adorned with garlands and two lyres. It is generally stated that there were two putealia in the Roman forum; but C. F. Hermann, who has carefully examined all the passages in the ancient writers relating to this matter (Ind. Lect. Marburg. 1840), comes to the conclusion that there was only one such puteal at Rome. It was in the forum, near the Arcus Fabianus, and was dedicated in very ancient times either on account of the whetstone of the Augur Navius (cf. Liv. I.36), or because the spot had been struck by lightning. It was subsequently repaired and re-dedicated by Scribonius Libo, who had been commanded to examine the state of the sacred places. Libo erected in its neighbourhood a tribunal for the praetor, in consequence of which the place was, of course, frequented by persons who had law-suits, such as money-lenders and the like.

The Puteal Scribonianum (Scribonian Puteal) or Puteal Libonis (Puteal of Libo), building in the Forum at Rome, dedicated or restored by a member of the Libo family, perhaps the praetor of 204 BC, or the tribune of the people in 149 BC. In its vicinity the praetor's tribunal, removed from the comitium in the 2nd century BC, held its sittings, which led to the place becoming the haunt of litigants, money-lenders and business people. According to ancient authorities, the Puteal Libonis was the name given to an erection (or enclosure) on a spot which had been struck by lightning; it was so called from its resemblance to the stone curb or low enclosure round a well (puteus) that was between the temples of Castor and Vesta, near the Porticus Julia and the Arcus Fabiorum (arch of the Fabii), but no remains have been discovered. The idea that an irregular circle of travertine blocks, found near the temple of Castor, formed part of the puteal is now abandoned. See Horace, Sat. ii.6.35, Epp. i.19.8; Cicero, Pro Sestio, 8; for the well-known coin of Lucius Scribonius Libo, representing the puteal of Libo, which rather resembles a cippus (sepulchral monument) or an altar, with laurel wreaths, two lyres and a pair of pincers or tongs below the wreaths (perhaps symbolical of Vulcan as forger of lightning), see C. Hulsen, The Roman Forum (Eng. trans. by J. B. Carter, 1906), p. 150.

L. Scribonius Libo, was the father-in-law of Sextus Pompey, the son of Pompey the Great. On the breaking out of the civil war in 49, he sided with Pompey, and was given command of Etruria. Shortly afterwards he accompanied Pompey to Greece, and was actively engaged in the war that ensued. On the death of Bibulus (48) he had the given command of the Pompeian fleet. In the civil wars following Caesar's death, he followed the fortunes of his son-in-law Sextus Pompey. In 40, Octavian married his sister Scribonia, and this marriage was followed by a peace between the triumvirs and Pompey (39). When the war was renewed in 36, Libo for a time supported Pompey, but, seeing his cause hopeless, he deserted him in the following year. In 34, he was consul with Mark Antony.

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
Crispus ALAMANNIA DEVICTA Sirmium39 viewsThe Alamanni were continually engaged in conflicts with the Roman Empire. They launched a major invasion of Gaul and northern Italy in 268, when the Romans were forced to denude much of their German frontier of troops in response to a massive invasion of the Goths. Their depredations in the three parts of Gaul remained traumatic: Gregory of Tours (died ca 594) mentions their destructive force at the time of Valerian and Gallienus (253–260), when the Alemanni assembled under their "king", whom he calls Chrocus, "by the advice, it is said, of his wicked mother, and overran the whole of the Gauls, and destroyed from their foundations all the temples which had been built in ancient times. And coming to Clermont he set on fire, overthrew and destroyed that shrine which they call Vasso Galatae in the Gallic tongue," martyring many Christians (Historia Francorum Book I.32–34). Thus 6th century Gallo-Romans of Gregory's class, surrounded by the ruins of Roman temples and public buildings, attributed the destruction they saw to the plundering raids of the Alemanni.

In the early summer of 268, the Emperor Gallienus halted their advance in Italy, but then had to deal with the Goths. When the Gothic campaign ended in Roman victory at the Battle of Naissus in September, Gallienus' successor Claudius II Gothicus turned north to deal with the Alamanni, who were swarming over all Italy north of the Po River.

After efforts to secure a peaceful withdrawal failed, Claudius forced the Alamanni to battle at the Battle of Lake Benacus in November. The Alamanni were routed, forced back into Germany, and did not threaten Roman territory for many years afterwards.

Their most famous battle against Rome took place in Argentoratum (Strasbourg), in 357, where they were defeated by Julian, later Emperor of Rome, and their king Chnodomar ("Chonodomarius") was taken prisoner.

On January 2, 366 the Alamanni crossed the frozen Rhine in large numbers, to invade the Gallic provinces.

In the great mixed invasion of 406, the Alamanni appear to have crossed the Rhine river, conquered and then settled what is today Alsace and a large part of Switzerland. Fredegar's Chronicle gives an account. At Alba Augusta (Aps) the devastation was so complete, that the Christian bishopric was removed to Viviers, but Gregory's account that at Mende in Lozère, also deep in the heart of Gaul, bishop Privatus was forced to sacrifice to idols in the very cave where he was later venerated may be a generic literary trope epitomizing the horrors of barbarian violence.

Sirmium RIC 49

Crispus AE3. 324-325 AD. FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate head right / ALAMANNIA DEVICTA, Victory advancing right, holding trophy & palm, treading upon bound captive on right, .SIRM. in ex.

need new pic
Crusader States, Normans of Sicily, William II, AD 1166-1189, AE Trifollaro, Spahr 117.75 viewsCrusader States, Sicily, William II, AD 1166-1189, AE Trifollaro (24-25 mm), 8,82 g.
Obv.: Facing head of lioness within circle of dots.
Re.: Palm tree with five branches and two bunches of dates, within circle of dots.
Biaggi 1231, Spahr 117 ; Grie 210 (Roger II); Thom 2480 .

William II of Sicily (1153-1189), called the Good, was king of Sicily and Naples from 1166 to 1189.
William was only thirteen years old at the death of his father William I, when he was placed under the regency of his mother, Margaret of Navarre.
Until the king came of age in 1171 the government was controlled first by the chancellor Stephen du Perche, cousin of Margaret (1166-1168), and then by Walter Ophamil, archbishop of Palermo, and Matthew of Ajello, the vice-chancellor.
William's character is very indistinct. Lacking in military enterprise, secluded and pleasure-loving, he seldom emerged from his palace life at Palermo. Yet his reign is marked by an ambitious foreign policy and a vigorous diplomacy. Champion of the papacy and in secret league with the Lombard cities he was able to defy the common enemy, Frederick I Barbarossa. In 1174 and 1175 he made treaties with Genoa and Venice and his marriage in February 1177 with Joan, daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, marks his high position in European politics.
In July 1177, he sent a delegation of Archbishop Romuald of Salerno and Count Roger of Andria to sign the Treaty of Venice with the emperor. To secure the peace, he sanctioned the marriage of his aunt Constance, daughter of Roger II, with Frederick's son Henry, afterwards the emperor Henry VI, causing a general oath to be taken to her as his successor in case of his death without heirs. This step, fatal to the Norman kingdom, was possibly taken that William might devote himself to foreign conquests.
Unable to revive the African dominion, William directed his attack on Egypt, from which Saladin threatened the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. In July 1174, 50,000 men were landed before Alexandria, but Saladin's arrival forced the Sicilians to re-embark in disorder. A better prospect opened in the confusion in Byzantine affairs which followed the death of Manuel Comnenus (1180), and William took up the old design and feud against Constantinople. Durazzo was captured (June 11, 1185). Afterwards while the army marched upon Thessalonica, the fleet sailed towards the same target capturing on their way the Ionian islands of Corfu, Cephalonia,Ithaca and Zakynthos. In August Thessalonica surrendered to the joint attack of the Sicilian fleet and army.
The troops then marched upon the capital, but the troop of the emperor Isaac Angelus overthrew the invaders on the banks of the Strymon (September 7, 1185). Thessalonica was at once abandoned and in 1189 William made peace with Isaac, abandoning all the conquests. He was now planning to induce the crusading armies of the West to pass through his territories, and seemed about to play a leading part in the Third Crusade. His admiral Margarito, a naval genius equal to George of Antioch, with 60 vessels kept the eastern Mediterranean open for the Franks, and forced the all-victorious Saladin to retire from before Tripoli in the spring of 1188.
In November 1189 William died, leaving no children. Though Orderic Vitalis records a (presumably short-lived) son in 1181: Bohemond, Duke of Apulia. His title of "the Good" is due perhaps less to his character than to the cessation of internal troubles in his reign. The "Voyage" of Ibn Jubair, a traveller in Sicily in 1183-1185, shows William surrounded by Muslim women and eunuchs, speaking and reading Arabic and living like "a Moslem king."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
Domitian RIC-843122 viewsAR Cistophorus, 10.65g
Rome mint (for Asia), 82 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG P M COS VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: Aquila between two standards, one surmounted by a banner, the other by a hand
RIC 843 (C). BMC 252. RSC 667. RPC 865 (9 spec.). BNC 222.
Acquired from Coldwater Coins, February 2014.

Domitian minted a small series of cistophori at Rome early in his reign for distribution in Asia Minor. This military type was newly introduced previously by Titus on his cistophori and continued to be identically struck under Domitian. It is not clear why a military type was struck for such a prosperous and peaceful region. Previously these cistophori were attributed to Ephesus, but it is fairly clear style wise they belong to Rome.

Honest wear with clear legends and devices. A real beauty in hand.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
Domitian Sestertius, Adlocutio, RIC 288140 viewsDomitian. A.D. 81-96. Æ sestertius (33 mm, 22.94 g). Rome, A.D. 85. Laureate bust right, wearing aegis / Domitian standing right, clasping hands with general over altar; two soldiers behind. RIC 288; Cohen 497. BMCRE 344, RCV 2775, Kampmann 24.129 Near VF. F500 VF2500

The representation on the rev. of this issue is a very controversial one. For some it depicts the arrival in Rome of the general Agricola due to the fact that the scene is first shown in the same year in which Domitian had to recall the British general. In reality the theme has a much more general meaning: in ca. AD 85 the Daci started to invade the Roman province of Moesia. The Roman army was seriously defeated, comparable to the defeats of P. Quinctilius Varus in AD 9. From all over the empire troops were sent to Moesia, in the end 9 legions were stationed against the Daci. In this context the Concordia between the emperor and his army is seen, the handshake over the burning altar remembers the oath of allegiance. By how important the harmony in the army was, is shown by the defection of Antonius Saturninus, legate for the Upper Rhine. This defection forced Domitian in AD 89 to agree to an unsatisfactory peace agreement with the Daci; but this agreement would not last for more than a couple of years.
3 commentsmattpat
Egypt, Alexandria, Antoninus Pius, Emmett 158521 viewsAntoninus Pius, AD 138-161
AE - drachm, 20.71g, 33mm
struck AD 144/45 (year 8)
Laureate head r.
rev. Isis enthroned r., l. breast nude, nursing infant Harpokrates, who std. on her l. knee and holding
palmbranch in his l. hand; burning altar before.
in field L-H (year 8)
ref. Emmett 1585; cf. Geissen 1473 ("with this altar not edited for year 88")
Very rare, G/F+
ex coll. Keith Emmett

The composition and the style of the rev. is very calm and serene. The observer obtains the feeling to be the witness of a very intimate and peaceful moment.
Elizabeth I, 1558 - 160371 viewsEngland, Elizabeth I, 1558 - 1603. Silver sixpence, Spink 2578B, North 2015, tun mintmark, VF, light scratches, toned, Tower mint, weight 2.838g, maximum diameter 27.5mm, die axis 270o, 1592. Obverse: ELIZAB D'G' ANG'FR:ET:HIB REGI, crowned bust left, rose behind; Reverse POSVI DEV ADIVTOREM MEV (I have made God my helper), quartered coat-of-arms (passant lions and fleurs-de-lis) on long cross fourchée, 1592 above shield; ex A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd., Autumn Argentum Auction 2009. Ex FORVM.

Elizabeth I, 1558 - 1603
Elizabeth Tudor is considered by many to be the greatest monarch in English history. When she became queen in 1558, she was twenty-five years old, a survivor of scandal and danger, and considered illegitimate by most Europeans. She inherited a bankrupt nation, torn by religious discord, a weakened pawn between the great powers of France and Spain. She was only the third queen to rule England in her own right; the other two examples, her cousin Lady Jane Grey and half-sister Mary I, were disastrous. Even her supporters believed her position dangerous and uncertain. Her only hope, they counseled, was to marry quickly and lean upon her husband for support. But Elizabeth had other ideas.
She ruled alone for nearly half a century, lending her name to a glorious epoch in world history. She dazzled even her greatest enemies. Her sense of duty was admirable, though it came at great personal cost. She was committed above all else to preserving English peace and stability; her genuine love for her subjects was legendary. Only a few years after her death in 1603, they lamented her passing. In her greatest speech to Parliament, she told them, 'I count the glory of my crown that I have reigned with your love.'
Edited by J.P.Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
Felicitas270 viewsJulia Mamaea, died 235, mother of Severus Alexander
AR - Denar, 3.22g, 19mm
Rome AD 230
draped bust, diademed head r.
Felicitas sitting l., holding caduceus l. and cornucopiae r.,
l. foot on footstool

FELICITAS, personification of 'happiness' in the sense of prosperity and
success, here of the state (PVBLICA)
1 Caduceus, herald's staff, originally carried by Mercury, later decorated
at the top with a pair of serpents and often winged. Suggesting peace,
stability and concord
2 Cornucopiae, 'horns of plenty', overflowing with fruits and ears of grain,
a motif borrowed from Greek art, symbol of prosperty (brought to the people by
the emperor)
1 commentsJochen
France (Feudal): Duchy of Brittany. John I, “the Red” (1237-1286)36 viewsRoberts 4611 var., Poey d'Avant 356 var. (plate 11, no. 14), Boudeau 36-37 var. , Duplessy 73 var. (apparently no pellet on obverse after the X in the sources)

AR denier, Vannes mint [?], ca. 1250 [?], 19 mm.

Obv: + IOhANNES•DVX•, central cross.

Rev: + B-RIT-ANI-E, triangular shield of the house of Dreux in Brittany consisting of three spots and field of ermine.

John I (c. 1217/18–1286), known as John the Red due to the color of his beard, was the son of Duke Peter I, Duke of Brittany jure uxoris and Alix of Thouars, hereditary Duchess of Brittany. He was hereditary duke from 1221, upon his mother’s death, but his father ruled as regent until he reached adulthood. He experienced a number of conflicts with the Bishop of Nantes and the Breton clergy. In 1240, he issued an edict expelling Jews from the duchy and cancelling all debts to them. He joined Louis IX of France in the Eighth Crusade (1270), and survived the plague that killed the king. The duchy of Brittany experienced a century of peace, beginning with John I and ending with Duke John III's reign in 1341.
1 commentsStkp
FRANCE - Jeton, Louis XIV115 viewsFRANCE - Jeton, brass. Allegorical reference to the Peace of Ryswick. Obverse: The bust of King Louis XIV right (old head with a ribbon in his hair), surrounded by the legend: LVDOVICVS MAGNVS . REX Denticled border. Reverse: In the center, Jupiter seated on a cloud, lightning poses next to him, with an eagle at his feet. Around the legend: ET VICTOR FVLMINA PONIT (Victorius, he rests his lightning). Crossed palms in exergue. Denticled border. Edge: Plain. 27 mm. The Treaty of Ryswick or Ryswyck was signed on 20 September 1697 and named after Ryswick (now known as Rijswijk) in the Dutch Republic. The treaty settled the Nine Years' War, which pitted France against the Grand Alliance of England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the United Provinces.[dpaul7
France. The Taking of Fontarabie7 viewsFeuardent cf. 13216-13223; La Tour cf. 2181-2187

Jeton, brass; minted in Nuremburg, 24 mm, 180°

Obv: LUD • XV D • G FR • -- ET N • REX, bust of Louis XV (1715-1774) facing left.

Rev: PACIS FIRMANDÆ EREPTUM PIGNUS (= peace strengthened, recovered, assured), Helmeted France on the left, standing to the right facing helmeted Spain, holding out an olive branch.

The jeton commemorates the capture of Fontarabie/Hondarribia (in the Spanish Basque country, on the French border) on June 16, 1719 by James I Fitz-James, Duke of Berwick, during the War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718–1720). By the Peace of Utrecht, the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1714) ended with the Spanish inheritance divided between the Austrian Habsburgs and Spain to create a balance of power in Europe. Soon thereafter, Spain invaded Italy in an attempt to regain territories lost to the Habsburgs. Britain, France, the Dutch Republic and Austria formed the Quadruple Alliance to prevent Spanish revanchism.

Berwick (1670-1734) was the illegitimate son of James II Stuart, King of England and Scotland. He became a French citizen in 1703, Marshal of France in 1706 and Knight of the Golden Fleece in 1714, after his storming of Barcelona that year, essentially ending the War of the Spanish Succession. He resigned his titles in 1718 in favor of his son but remained in office by commission. Following the War of the Quadruple Alliance, Berwick was not called to serve in the field again until, 1733, when he led the Army of the Rhine in the War of the Polish Succession. He was decapitated by a cannonball during the Siege of Philippsburg in 1734.
Franklin Pierce, 1853 Indian Peace Medal30 viewsObv: FRANKLIN PIERCE, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, bare head of Franklin Pierce (14th President) facing left; 1853 below.

Rev: A settler and a Native American standing, facing each other before an American flag; "LABOR," "VIRTUE," and "HONOR" inscribed above within three oval-shaped links of chain-like scroll; field landscape in background.

Engravers: Salathiel Ellis (obverse), Joseph Willson (reverse).

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1853 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
FRIEDE FRIEDE, Medals of King Frederick II, the Great 1742,85 viewsFRIEDE FRIEDE, Medals of King Frederick II, the Great 1742,
Medals of King Frederick II, the Great 1742 Silver Medal, unsigned, GW Kittel, at the peace of Breslau.
avers:- FRIEDE FRIEDE ! / PUBLIC•IN BRESLAV/ D•27•IUN 11•, The winning interconnected arms of Prussia and Austria / Hungary, about dove with olive branch, in section two lines characters.
revers:- ES KOMT GOTT EN / WIR VNS VERSEHN / VND LAESSET VNS/ VIEL GVTS / GESCHEN•, Beaming triangle over five lines of text. The back inscription of the coin contains the year as a chronogram.
exe:-/-//--, diameter: 32,5mm, weight:9,14g, axes:0h,
material: AR, mint: , artist: unsigned, GW Kittel , date:1742 A.D.,
ref: F. u. S. 4274; Old. 539 a; Pax in Nummis 525 var.,
Gallienus (Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus) (253-268 A.D.)12 viewsSRCV 10288, RIC-V (S) 236, Göbl 569a, Van Meter 168

AE Antoninianus, 4.16 g., 22.49 mm. max., 0°

Rome mint, struck during solo reign (260-268 A.D.), in 264-266 A.D.

Obv: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right.

Rev: MART-I PACIFERO (=To Mars, the peacemaker/pacifier), Mars standing left, raising olive branch in right hand, resting left hand on shield and spear.

RIC rarity C, Van Meter VB1.
Gallienus (Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus) (253-268 A.D.)7 viewsSRCV 10288, RIC-V (S) 236, Göbl 570a, Van Meter 168

AE Antoninianus, 2.28 g., 18.08 mm. max., 180°

Rome mint, first officina, struck during solo reign (260-268 A.D.), in 264-266 A.D.

Obv: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right.

Rev: MARTI PACIFERO (=To Mars, the peacemaker/pacifier), Mars standing left, raising olive branch in right hand, resting left hand on shield and spear, A in left field.

RIC rarity C, Van Meter VB1.
Gallien 1.jpg
Gallienus - antoninianus13 viewsGALLIENVS AVG.
PAX AVG. , Peace standing left holding branch and transverse sceptre, to the left : T.
George Washington, 1789 Indian Peace Medal31 viewsObv: GEORGE WASHINGTON PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, bust of Washington (1st President) facing right, 1789 below.

Rev: PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP, two clasped hands, crossed peace pipe and tomahawk above.

Note: Despite the fact that this medal uses a portrait of George Washington made in the 1780's by French engraver Pierre Duvivier, no peace medals of this type were distributed during his administration. This medal, with the Reich "Peace" reverse, was most likely produced in the 1820's as part of the U.S. Mint's Presidential series.

Engravers: Pierre Simon Duvivier (obverse), John Reich (reverse)

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1789 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
Gordian I Africanus / Athena61 viewsGordian I Africanus, Egypt, Alexandria. A.D. 238. BI tetradrachm (22 mm, 12.47 g, 12 h). RY 1.
O: A K M AN ΓOPΔIANOC CЄM AΦ ЄVCЄB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian I right
R: Athena seated left, holding Nike and spear; in left field, date (L A).
- Köln 2600; cf. Dattari (Savio) 4656 (legend); Kampmann & Ganschow 68.6., Ex Coin Galleries (16 July 2003), 264.

Perhaps the most reluctant of Emperors, Gordian I (Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus Augustus) was Roman Emperor for one month with his son Gordian II in 238, the Year of the Six Emperors. Caught up in a rebellion against the Emperor Maximinus Thrax, he was defeated by forces loyal to Maximinus before committing suicide.

According to Edward Gibbon:

"An iniquitous sentence had been pronounced against some opulent youths of [Africa], the execution of which would have stripped them of far the greater part of their patrimony. (…) A respite of three days, obtained with difficulty from the rapacious treasurer, was employed in collecting from their estates a great number of slaves and peasants blindly devoted to the commands of their lords, and armed with the rustic weapons of clubs and axes. The leaders of the conspiracy, as they were admitted to the audience of the procurator, stabbed him with the daggers concealed under their garments, and, by the assistance of their tumultuary train, seized on the little town of Thysdrus, and erected the standard of rebellion against the sovereign of the Roman empire. (...) Gordianus, their proconsul, and the object of their choice [as emperor], refused, with unfeigned reluctance, the dangerous honour, and begged with tears that they should suffer him to terminate in peace a long and innocent life, without staining his feeble age with civil blood. Their menaces compelled him to accept the Imperial purple, his only refuge indeed against the jealous cruelty of Maximin (...)."

Because of the absence of accurate dating in the literary sources, the precise chronology of these events has been the subject of much study. The present consensus among historians assigns the following dates (all in the year 238 A.D.) to these events: March 22nd Gordian I, II were proclaimed Emperors in Africa; April 1st or 2nd they were recognized at Rome; April 12th they were killed (after reigning twenty days); April 22nd Pupienus and Balbinus were proclaimed Emperors; June 24th Maximinus and his son were assassinated outside of Aquileia; July 29th Pupienus and Balbinus were assassinated and Gordian III proclaimed as sole Augustus.
3 commentsNemonater
Grover Cleveland, 1885 Indian Peace Medal32 viewsObv: GROVER CLEVELAND PRESIDENT, bust of Grover Cleveland (22nd and 24th President) facing right; U. S. A. 1885 below.

Rev: PEACE within a sunburst, above; scene of a farmer showing a Native American chief the benefit of civilization; in exergue: crossed peace pipe and tomahawk, encircled by laurel wreath.

Engravers: Charles E. Barber (obverse), George Morgan (reverse)

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1885 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 59 x 76 mm
Matt Inglima
Helena, AE4, Constantinopolis17 viewsRoman Imperial, Helena, AE4, Constantinopolis. 13.63mm, 1.1g

Obverse: FL IVL HELE-NAE AVG, ornamental mantle and necklace, hair elaborately dressed.

Reverse: PAX PV-BLICA, Pax standing left holding branch and sceptre. Mintmark: CONS. "Public Peace"

Reference: RIC VIII Constantinoplis 38
Heraclius, Follis, Ravenna mint, 630-631 AD (year 21), Sear 91426 viewsHeraclius (610-641 AD)

630-631 AD (year 21)


Obverse: DD NN HЄRACLIVS ЄT HЄRA CONST PP AVCC (or similar), Heraclius, crowned, in military attire and holding long cross, standing facing, foot on prostrate figure (a Persian?) below; to right, Heraclius Constantine, wearing crown and chlamys, holding globus cruciger, standing facing

Reverse: Large M; Above, cross; To left, ANNO; To right, XXI ; Exergus, RAV

Ravenna mint

This issue commemorates the victory of Heraclius over the Sasanid kingdom in 629 AD.

After years of war between Romans and Sasanids, in 612, Heraclius launched a major counter-offensive in Syria in 613. He was decisively defeated outside Antioch by Shahrbaraz and Shahin, and the Roman position collapsed. Over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Palestine and Egypt and to devastate Anatolia. Meanwhile, the Avars and Slavs took advantage of the situation to overrun the Balkans, bringing the Roman Empire to the brink of destruction.
During these years, Heraclius strove to rebuild his army, slashing non-military expenditures, devaluing the currency and melting down Church plate, with the backing of Patriarch Sergius, to raise the necessary funds to continue the war. In 622, Heraclius left Constantinople, entrusting the city to Sergius and general Bonus as regents of his son. He assembled his forces in Asia Minor and, after conducting exercises to revive their morale, he launched a new counter-offensive, which took on the character of a holy war. In the Caucasus he inflicted a defeat on an army led by a Persian-allied Arab chief and then won a victory over the Persians under Shahrbaraz. Following a lull in 623, while he negotiated a truce with the Avars, Heraclius resumed his campaigns in the East in 624 and routed an army led by Khosrau at Ganzak in Atropatene. In 625 he defeated the generals Shahrbaraz, Shahin and Shahraplakan in Armenia, and in a surprise attack that winter he stormed Shahrbaraz's headquarters and attacked his troops in their winter billets. Supported by a Persian army commanded by Shahrbaraz, the Avars and Slavs unsuccessfully besieged Constantinople in 626, while a second Persian army under Shahin suffered another crushing defeat at the hands of Heraclius' brother Theodore. Meanwhile, Heraclius formed an alliance with the Turks, who took advantage of the dwindling strength of the Persians to ravage their territories in the Caucasus. Late in 627, Heraclius launched a winter offensive into Mesopotamia, where, despite the desertion of the Turkish contingent that had accompanied him, he defeated the Persians at the Battle of Nineveh. Continuing south along the Tigris, he sacked Khosrau's great palace at Dastagird and was only prevented from attacking Ctesiphon by the destruction of the bridges on the Nahrawan Canal. Discredited by this series of disasters, Khosrau was overthrown and killed in a coup led by his son Kavadh II, who at once sued for peace, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories. Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with a majestic ceremony in 629.

Sear 914, D.O. 297, B.M.C. 452, T. 282, B.N. 5, M.I.B. 253a.



6,98 g.
Heraclius, Follis, Ravenna mint, 630-631 AD (year 21), Sear 914, celebrating the defeat of the Sasanid kingdom and the restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem. 103 viewsHeraclius (610-641 AD)

630-631 AD (year 21)


Obverse: DD NN HЄRACLIVS ЄT HЄRA CONST PP AVCC (or similar), Heraclius, crowned, in military attire and holding long cross, standing facing, foot on prostrate figure (a Persian?) below; to right, Heraclius Constantine, wearing crown and chlamys, holding globus cruciger, standing facing

Reverse: Large M; Above, cross; To left, ANNO; To right, XXI ; Exergus, RAV

Ravenna mint

This issue commemorates the victory of Heraclius over the Sasanid kingdom in 629 AD.

After years of war between Romans and Sasanids, in 612, Heraclius launched a major counter-offensive in Syria in 613. He was decisively defeated outside Antioch by Shahrbaraz and Shahin, and the Roman position collapsed. Over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Palestine and Egypt and to devastate Anatolia. Meanwhile, the Avars and Slavs took advantage of the situation to overrun the Balkans, bringing the Roman Empire to the brink of destruction.
During these years, Heraclius strove to rebuild his army, slashing non-military expenditures, devaluing the currency and melting down Church plate, with the backing of Patriarch Sergius, to raise the necessary funds to continue the war. In 622, Heraclius left Constantinople, entrusting the city to Sergius and general Bonus as regents of his son. He assembled his forces in Asia Minor and, after conducting exercises to revive their morale, he launched a new counter-offensive, which took on the character of a holy war. In the Caucasus he inflicted a defeat on an army led by a Persian-allied Arab chief and then won a victory over the Persians under Shahrbaraz. Following a lull in 623, while he negotiated a truce with the Avars, Heraclius resumed his campaigns in the East in 624 and routed an army led by Khosrau at Ganzak in Atropatene. In 625 he defeated the generals Shahrbaraz, Shahin and Shahraplakan in Armenia, and in a surprise attack that winter he stormed Shahrbaraz's headquarters and attacked his troops in their winter billets. Supported by a Persian army commanded by Shahrbaraz, the Avars and Slavs unsuccessfully besieged Constantinople in 626, while a second Persian army under Shahin suffered another crushing defeat at the hands of Heraclius' brother Theodore. Meanwhile, Heraclius formed an alliance with the Turks, who took advantage of the dwindling strength of the Persians to ravage their territories in the Caucasus. Late in 627, Heraclius launched a winter offensive into Mesopotamia, where, despite the desertion of the Turkish contingent that had accompanied him, he defeated the Persians at the Battle of Nineveh. Continuing south along the Tigris, he sacked Khosrau's great palace at Dastagird and was only prevented from attacking Ctesiphon by the destruction of the bridges on the Nahrawan Canal. Discredited by this series of disasters, Khosrau was overthrown and killed in a coup led by his son Kavadh II, who at once sued for peace, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories. Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with a majestic ceremony in 629.

Sear 914, D.O. 297, B.M.C. 452, T. 282, B.N. 5, M.I.B. 253a.



6,98 g.
Herakleia, Lucania105 views281-278 BC
AR Drachm (16.5mm, 3.82g)
O: Head of Athena, three-quarters facing right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with Scylla throwing stone; Φ behind.
R: Owl with wings closed, standing right on olive branch; club to right, |-HPAKΛEIΩN above, ΣΩΣI to left.
Van Keuren 114; HN Italy 1411
ex NAC

The colony of Herakleia was a joint venture between the cities of Taras and Thurii, founded in 432 BC and intended to encourage peace between the two embattled polis’ and show a united front against the indigenous tribes of southern Italy. To this end Herakleia became the center of the newly formed Italiote League, probably around 380. This alliance consisted of emissaries from the Greek cities of Kroton, Metapontum, Velia, Thurii, and most notably Taras.
A century later, the period of this coin, Pyrrhus defeated the Roman Consul Laevinius near here, causing the Romans to try a different strategy. A political treaty was struck in 278, granting very favorable terms to the Greek city, and Herakleia became an ally of Rome. As a result the headquarters of the Italiote League was moved to Taras.
8 commentsEnodia
IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG / P M S COL VIM / Ӕ30 (239-240 AD)18 viewsIMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right / P M S CO - L VIM, personification of Moesia standing facing, head left, arms outstretched over a lion (right) and a bull (left). AN • I • in exergue.

Ӕ, 29-30+mm, 16.75g, die axis 1h (slightly turned medal alignment), material: looks like red copper.

IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG = Imperator Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordianus Augustus, P M S COL VIM = Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium = Colony of Viminacium, in the province of Upper Moesia, AN•I• = the first year. 238 AD was the infamous "year of the 6 emperors", so 239-240 was the first sole ruling year of Gordian III. The bull is the symbol of Legio VII Claudia, based in the capital of Moesia Superior, Viminacium itself, and the lion is the symbol of Legio IV Flavia Felix based in another city of Moesia Superior, Singidunum (modern Belgrade). Due to size this is most probably a sestertius, but large dupondius is another possibility, since it is clearly made of red copper and sestertii were typically made of expensive "gold-like" orichalcum, a kind of brass (but in this time of civil strife they could have used a cheaper replacement). Literature fails to clearly identify the denomination of this type.

A straightforward ID due to size and clear legends, this is AMNG 71; Martin 1.01.1 minted in Viminacium, Moesia Superior (Kostolac, Serbia).

Gordian III was Roman Emperor from 238 AD to 244 AD. At the age of 13, he became the youngest sole legal Roman emperor throughout the existence of the united Roman Empire. Gordian was the son of Antonia Gordiana and an unnamed Roman Senator who died before 238. Antonia Gordiana was the daughter of Emperor Gordian I and younger sister of Emperor Gordian II. Very little is known of his early life before his acclamation. Gordian had assumed the name of his maternal grandfather in 238 AD.

In 235, following the murder of Emperor Alexander Severus, Maximinus Thrax was acclaimed Emperor. In the following years, there was a growing opposition against Maximinus in the Roman senate and amongst the majority of the population of Rome. In 238 (to become infamous as "the year of six emperors") a rebellion broke out in the Africa Province, where Gordian's grandfather and uncle, Gordian I and II, were proclaimed joint emperors. This revolt was suppressed within a month by Cappellianus, governor of Numidia and a loyal supporter of Maximinus Thrax. The elder Gordians died, but public opinion cherished their memory as peace-loving and literate men, victims of Maximinus' oppression.

Meanwhile, Maximinus was on the verge of marching on Rome and the Senate elected Pupienus and Balbinus as joint emperors. These senators were not popular and the population of Rome was still shocked by the elder Gordians' fate, so the Senate decided to take the teenage Gordian, rename him Marcus Antonius Gordianus like his grandfather, and raise him to the rank of Caesar and imperial heir. Pupienus and Balbinus defeated Maximinus, mainly due to the defection of several legions, particularly the II Parthica, who assassinated Maximinus. However, their joint reign was doomed from the start with popular riots, military discontent and an enormous fire that consumed Rome in June 238. On July 29, Pupienus and Balbinus were killed by the Praetorian Guard and Gordian proclaimed sole emperor.

Due to Gordian's age, the imperial government was surrendered to the aristocratic families, who controlled the affairs of Rome through the Senate. In 240, Sabinianus revolted in the African province, but the situation was quickly brought under control. In 241, Gordian was married to Furia Sabinia Tranquillina, daughter of the newly appointed praetorian prefect, Timesitheus. As chief of the Praetorian Guard and father in law of the Emperor, Timesitheus quickly became the de facto ruler of the Roman Empire.

In the 3rd century, the Roman frontiers weakened against the Germanic tribes across the Rhine and Danube, and the Sassanid Empire across the Euphrates increased its own attacks. When the Persians under Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia, the young emperor opened the doors of the Temple of Janus for the last time in Roman history, and sent a large army to the East. The Sassanids were driven back over the Euphrates and defeated in the Battle of Resaena (243). The campaign was a success and Gordian, who had joined the army, was planning an invasion of the enemy's territory, when his father-in-law died in unclear circumstances. Without Timesitheus, the campaign, and the Emperor's security, were at risk.

Gaius Julius Priscus and, later on, his own brother Marcus Julius Philippus, also known as Philip the Arab, stepped in at this moment as the new Praetorian Prefects and the campaign proceeded. Around February 244, the Persians fought back fiercely to halt the Roman advance to Ctesiphon. Persian sources claim that a battle occurred (Battle of Misiche) near modern Fallujah (Iraq) and resulted in a major Roman defeat and the death of Gordian III. Roman sources do not mention this battle and suggest that Gordian died far away from Misiche, at Zaitha (Qalat es Salihiyah) in northern Mesopotamia. Modern scholarship does not unanimously accept this course of the events. One view holds that Gordian died at Zaitha, murdered by his frustrated army, while the role of Philip is unknown. Other scholars have concluded that Gordian died in battle against the Sassanids.
Philip transferred the body of the deceased emperor to Rome and arranged for his deification. Gordian's youth and good nature, along with the deaths of his grandfather and uncle and his own tragic fate at the hands of the enemy, earned him the lasting esteem of the Romans.
Yurii P
INDIA, Kushan-Huviska-oHpO142 viewsKushan Empire, Huvishka, Gold Dinar, 21 mm, 7.80g, OhPo (Oesho) or Shiva type (with 4-arms)

Obv: Bearded King's bust emerging from clouds holding a short mace/goad in right hand and a sceptre/sword in left hand, flames coming out from the right shoulder. The King is wearing beautiful clothes and ornaments but the overall look of the King, bearded and with heavy jowl, is nomadic, barbaric and fierce. If the desire was to convey an image of a fierce and uncompromising warrior, then the same has been communicated very well by the die engraver. The King rising from the clouds and with flames coming out from shoulders indicate the King's claim to divinity.

Rev: 4-arm Shiva, nimbate and wearing a 'dhoti' (Indian loin cloth), holding in various arms, Damru or the celestial drum (upper right), Kamandla or water-pot with water pouring forth (lower right), Trishul or trident (upper left) and a Mrig or antelope held by its horns (lower left). The kamandla with water pouring forth symbolizes the blessing of the God on the King's investiture featured on the Obv while the Mrig held by its horns symbolizes the control of (an ascetic) Shiva over sensory perceptions, desires etc of which a fast moving and easily agitated deer/antelope is a symbol. Shiva is also known by various other names with the most popular ones being "Maha Yogi" (Great Ascetic) where Shiva is shown with matted hair and ash smeared over body sitting in "Padmasana" (Padma - Lotus, Asana - yogic posture). He is also termed as "Pashupatinath" (Lord of Animals or Wild Beasts) where the reference to animals/wild beasts is to the wild passions/desires etc that leads mere mortals astray but over which Shiva has mastery and full control. Shiva is also called "Mahadeva" (The Great God), "Mahakaal" (The Great (controller of) Death, Destruction or Time, a reference to Shiva's ability to destroy (evil/ignorance) for new creation and creativity), "Neelkanth" (Blue Throated Lord, a reference to Shiva's selfless act of consuming poison generated from the churning of the ocean to elicit the elixir of life that the Gods drank to become immortal), "Rudra" (Fierce, Mighty, Terrifying etc, a reference to Shiva's ability to eliminate evil and usher peace), etc.

A very fine piece of art in which the swaying 'rudraksha mala' (garland) around the neck of Shiva conveys the necessary vigour and motion together with the other objects shown in the iconography viz vibrating drum, pouring water etc. The facial features of both the King and the Deity complement each other symbolizing common association with the King claiming his right to rule as a "Dev-putra" (Son of God) with the blessing of the God. A powerful iconographic symbol.
2 commentsmitresh
IONIA, Phokaia.38 viewsThe ancient Greek geographer Pausanias says that Phocaea was founded by Phocians under Athenian leadership, on land given to them by the Aeolian Cymaeans, and that they were admitted into the Ionian League after accepting as kings the line of Codrus. Pottery remains indicate Aeolian presence as late as the 9th century BC, and Ionian presence as early as the end of the 9th century BC. From this an approximate date of settlement for Phocaea can be inferred.

According to Herodotus the Phocaeans were the first Greeks to make long sea-voyages, having discovered the coasts of the Adriatic, Tyrrhenia and Spain. Herodotus relates that they so impressed Arganthonios, king of Tartessus in Spain, that he invited them to settle there, and, when they declined, gave them a great sum of money to build a wall around their city.

Their sea travel was extensive. To the south they probably conducted trade with the Greek colony of Naucratis in Egypt, which was the colony of their fellow Ionian city Miletus. To the north, they probably helped settle Amisos (Samsun) on the Black Sea, and Lampsacus at the north end of the Hellespont (now the Dardanelles). However Phocaea's major colonies were to the west. These included Alalia in Corsica, Emporiae and Rhoda in Spain, and especially Massalia (Marseille) in France.

Phocaea remained independent until the reign of the Lydian king Croesus (circa 560–545 BC), when they, along with the rest of mainland Ionia, first, fell under Lydian control[8] and then, along with Lydia (who had allied itself with Sparta) were conquered by Cyrus the Great of Persia in 546 BC, in one of the opening skirmishes of the great Greco-Persian conflict.

Rather than submit to Persian rule, the Phocaeans abandoned their city. Some may have fled to Chios, others to their colonies on Corsica and elsewhere in the Mediterranean, with some eventually returning to Phocaea. Many however became the founders of Elea, around 540 BC.

In 500 BC, Phocaea joined the Ionian Revolt against Persia. Indicative of its naval prowess, Dionysius, a Phocaean was chosen to command the Ionian fleet at the decisive Battle of Lade, in 494 BC. However, indicative of its declining fortunes, Phocaea was only able to contribute three ships, out of a total of "three hundred and fifty three". The Ionian fleet was defeated and the revolt ended shortly thereafter.

After the defeat of Xerxes I by the Greeks in 480 BC and the subsequent rise of Athenian power, Phocaea joined the Delian League, paying tribute to Athens of two talents. In 412 BC, during the Peloponnesian War, with the help of Sparta, Phocaea rebelled along with the rest of Ionia. The Peace of Antalcidas, which ended the Corinthian War, returned nominal control to Persia in 387 BC.

In 343 BC, the Phocaeans unsuccessfully laid siege to Kydonia on the island of Crete.

During the Hellenistic period it fell under Seleucid, then Attalid rule. In the Roman period, the town was a manufacturing center for ceramic vessels, including the late Roman Phocaean red slip.

It was later under the control of Benedetto Zaccaria, the Genoan ambassador to Byzantium, who received the town as a hereditary lordship; Zaccaria and his descendants amassed a considerable fortune from his properties there, especially the rich alum mines. It remained a Genoese colony until it was taken by the Turks in 1455. It is a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church.

IONIA, Phokaia. Circa 521-478 BC. AR Hemidrachm (9mm, 1.54 g). Head of griffin left / Quadripartite incuse square. SNG Copenhagen –; SNG von Aulock 2116; SNG Kayhan 512-6. VF, dark toning.
ISLAMIC, Islamic Dynasties, Hafsids, Abu Zakariya Yahya I, AV Dinar54 viewsIslamic Dynasties, Hafsids, Abu Zakariya Yahya I, AV Dinar, 4.76g, Tilimsan mint, minted 1242-49 AD


Central square
al-wahid allah / muhammad rasul allah / al-mahdi khalifat allah / tilimsan
“the one God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, al-Mahdi is the Viceroy of God, Tilimsan (in tiny letters)”

Marginal segments
12:00 o’clock: bism allah al-rahman al-rahim, 9:00 o'clock: salla allah ’ala sayyidna muhammad, 6:00 o'clcok: wa ilahukum ilah wahid, 3:00 o'clock: la ilah illa huwwa al-rahman ’ala sayyidna muhammad,
“in the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, God’s blessing be upon Muhammad, and your god is a single god, no god but He, the Merciful, the Compassionate”


In central square
al-shukr lillah / wa’l-minna lilla / wa’l-hawl wa al-hul wa’ al-quwwa billah
“thanks be to God and Grace be to God and power and strength be to God”

Marginal segments
12:00 o’clock: al-amir al-ajall, 9:00 o'clock: abu zakariyya yahya, 6:00 o'clock: ibn abu muhammad, 3:00 o'clock: ibn abu hafs
“the Great Prince, Abu Zakariyya Yahya, bin Abu Muhammad, bin Abu Hafs”

The Hafsids were descended from Shaykh Abu Hafs ‘Umar, who was a companion and helper of Ibn Tumart, known as al-Mahdi, in the early years of Almohad growth. Abu Zakariya Yahya I was the first ruler of the dynasty, which ruled in Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli for over three and a half centuries from 627 to 982 H/1230-1574 AD. He began his claim to independence by omitting the Almohad ruler’s name from the khutba (the imam’s speech before Friday prayer) on the grounds that he was undermining the purity of his dynasty’s traditions, and took the title Amir. At this time the Maghrib was divided into three, with the town of Tilimsan (Tlemcen) held by the Ziyanids, Fas (Fez) by the Marinids and Tunis, the Hafsid capital, by Abu Zakariya Yahya. However, Yahya went on to conquer all of Ifriqiya, annex Algiers and capture Tilimsan, which he immediately returned to the Ziyanids on condition that they gave him their allegiance.

By the time of his death in 647 (1249) Yahya’s overlordship was acknowledged by the entire Maghrib, including northern Morocco as well as part of Spain. Yahya’s reign was a time of peace and prosperity, with treaties made with European states and Spanish Muslim craftsmen and scholars settling in the Maghrib.

There were three stages in the development of the coinage of Yahya I, the first from 627-634, when he was still serving as an Almohad governor, the second from 634 to 640 when he placed the name of the Almohad ruler as well as his own on the coinage, and the third, this coin, from 640 to 647 when only his name appeared, with the title al-amir al-ajall (the Great Prince), although he continued to recognise the spiritual ties to the Almohad doctrine of al-Mahdi.

The superb quality of both the calligraphy and magnificent striking of this coin suggests that Yahya considered it to be of particular importance in promoting public recognition of his power and prestige.
Italy, Rome, The Column of Focas279 viewsThe Column of Phocas at Rome was erected before the Rostra and dedicated to the Emperor on 1 August 608. It was the last addition made to the Forum Romanum. The Corinthian column has a height of 13.6 m (44 ft). Both the column and the marble socle were recycled from earlier use. It still stands in its original location. An English translation of the inscription follows: To the best, most clement and pious ruler, our lord Phocas the perpetual emperor, crowned by God, the forever august triumphator, did Smaragdus, former praepositus sacri palatii and patricius and Exarch of Italy, devoted to His Clemency for the innumerable benefactions of His Piousness and for the peace acquired for Italy and its freedom preserved, this statue of His Majesty, blinking from the splendor of gold here on this tallest column for his eternal glory erect and dedicate, on the first day of the month of August, in the eleventh indiction in the fifth year after the consulate of His Piousness. Source: Image released to public domain.Joe Sermarini
Italy, Sicily, View of Solanto from the ruins of Soluntum (aka Solus, Solous, and Kefra)64 viewsView of Solanto from the ruins of Soluntum (aka Solus, Solous, and Kefra), Sicily

Solus (or Soluntum, near modern Solanto) was an ancient city on the north coast of Sicily, one of the three chief Phoenician settlements on the island, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) east of Panormus (modern Palermo). It lay 183 meters (600 ft) above sea level, on the southeast side of Monte Catalfano 373 meters (1,225 ft), in a naturally strong situation, and commanding a fine view. The date of its founding is unknown. Solus was one of the few colonies that the Phoenicians retained when they withdrew to the northwest corner of the island before the advance of the Greek colonies in Sicily. Together with Panormus and Motya, it allied with the Carthaginians. In 396 B.C. Dionysius took the city but it probably soon broke away again to Carthage and was usually part of their dominions on the island. In 307 B.C. it was given to the soldiers and mercenaries of Agathocles, who had made peace with the Carthage when abandoned by their leader in Africa. During the First Punic War it was still subject to Carthage, and it was not until after the fall of Panormus that Soluntum also opened its gates to the Romans. It continued to under Roman dominion as a municipal town, but apparently one of no great importance, as its name is only slightly and occasionally mentioned by Cicero. But it is still noticed both by Pliny and Ptolemy, as well as at a later period by the Itineraries. Its destruction probably dates from the time of the Saracens.

Excavations have brought to light considerable remains of the ancient town, belonging entirely to the Roman period, and a good deal still remains unexplored. The traces of two ancient roads, paved with large blocks of stone, which led up to the city, may still be followed, and the whole summit of Monte Catalfano is covered with fragments of ancient walls and foundations of buildings. Among these may be traced the remains of two temples, of which some capitals and portions of friezes, have been discovered. An archaic oriental Artemis sitting between a lion and a panther, found here, is in the museum at Palermo, with other antiquities from this site. An inscription, erected by the citizens in honor of Fulvia Plautilla, the wife of Caracalla, was found there in 1857. With the exception of the winding road by which the town was approached on the south, the streets, despite the unevenness of the ground, which in places is so steep that steps have to be introduced, are laid out regularly, running from east to west and from north to south, and intersecting at right angles. They are as a rule paved with slabs of stone. The houses were constructed of rough walling, which was afterwards plastered over; the natural rock is often used for the lower part of the walls. One of the largest of them, with a peristyle, was in 1911, though wrongly, called the gymnasium. Near the top of the town are some cisterns cut in the rock, and at the summit is a larger house than usual, with mosaic pavements and paintings on its walls. Several sepulchres also have been found.


Photo by Allie Caulfield from Germany.
Joe Sermarini
Italy- Forum Romanum- The basilica of Trajan.jpg
Italy- Forum Romanum- The Forum of Trajan58 viewsThe Forum of Trajan has a more complicated foundation than the other Imperial Forums. The piazza is closed, with the Basilica Ulpia. At the back of this the Trajan column was elevated between the two Libraries, and it was believed that the complex concluded with the Temple dedicated to Divo Trajan. One entered the piazza through a curved arch passageway, a type of arch of triumph, in the center of a convex wall decorated with jutting columns.
An equestrian statue of Trajan occupied the center of the piazza, which was bordered by porticos with decorated attics-similar to the Forum of Augustus but with Caryatids instead of Daci. Spacious covered exedras opened up behind the porticos. The facade of the basilica, that closed the piazza, also had an attic decorated with Daci statues. The inside of the Basilica had 5 naves with columns along the short sides and apses at both ends; the very spacious central nave had two floors.
The Trajan Column was closed in a small courtyard, bordered by porticos opposite of the Library's facade. These were constituted of large rooms with niches in the walls and decorated with two types of columns.
The temple was probably of an enormous dimension and probably closed by a fenced portico. Today's archeological excavations in the Forum of Trajan have demonstrated that the Temple of Trajan's position is not what it was hypothesized to be in the past. Archeological evidence has clarified the findings in the area to be Insulae- remains of houses rather than those from a temple structure. These findings lie underneath what is today the Province headquarters- the palazzo of Valentini, next to the Column's location.
Rather, the temple was probably situated exactly in the middle of the forum area, where excavation is now taking place.

The Forum of Trajan was utilized as a splendid area of representation for public ceremonies. We know, for example, that in 118 A.D. Adriano publicly burned tables with citizen's debts in the piazza, as a statement to the treasury.
Also, in the late epoch, exedras behind the lateral porticos were used to host poetry readings and conferences.
Court hearings and ceremonies for the freedom of slaves were probably held in the apses of the Basilica.
The Library was probably used as a sort of historical archive of the Roman state and also conserved republican annals.
The sculptural decorations in the various Forum spaces transmitted messages of imperial propaganda of Trajan.
Above all was the celebration of the Daci conquest and the victorious army with focus on the achievement of peace. The representation was sculpted into the walls with images of the conquests.
Images of cupids watering griffins on the entrance wall allude again to the peacefulness of the Empire's power.
The expansion and growth of the Empire, completed with the campaign towards the Orient and interrupted by the death of the Emperor, would have allowed Trajan to consider himself the new founder of Rome.
His representation as a hero is justified in his sepulcher in the base of the Column, in the heart of the city.

Forum of Trajan

107 A.D. - Dacia (Romania) conquered and work begins;
January 15th 112 A.D. – Inauguration of the Forum and the Basilica Ulpia;
May 18th 113 A.D. – Inauguration of the Trajan Column;
117 A.D. – Trajan dies and the arch of triumph is ordered by the Senate;
125-138 A.D. – Probable dedication to the temple on behalf of Adrian.

Complex Area: 300x180 meters
uncovered piazza area: 120x90 meters

Area of the Basilica Ulpia: 180x60 meters
Height of Trajan's Column: 39.81 meters
John Schou
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and The Arch of Septimo Severo 1.jpg
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and The Arch of Septimo Severo 140 viewsThe Arch of Septimus Severus was built in AD 203 to celebrate his victories over the Parthians. The original inscription dedicated the arch to Severus and his two sons Geta and Caracalla. However, following Severus' death in AD 211 Caracalla had Geta murdered and his name was erased from all public buildings. On the arch, Caracalla had the words Optimis Fortissimique Princibus inscribed to replace Geta's name. The Arch is highly decorated with panels depicting scenes from the Parthian campaigns and the following triumph

The reign of Septimius provides an interesting example of the persecution meted out to Christians under the Roman Empire. Septimius made no new laws against Christians, but allowed the enforcement of laws already long-established. There is no evidence of systematic persecution, and there is much evidence that not only was the Emperor not personally hostile to the Christians, but he even protected them against the populace. There were doubtless Christians in his own household, and in his reign the Church at Rome had almost absolute peace. On the other hand, individual officials availed themselves of the laws to proceed with rigor against the Christians. Naturally the emperor, with his strict conception of law, did not hinder such partial persecution, which took place in Egypt and the Thebaid, as well as in proconsular Africa and the East. Christian martyrs were numerous in Alexandria (cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, ii. 20; Eusebius, Church History, V., xxvi., VI., i.). No less severe were the persecutions in Africa, which seem to have begun in 197 or 198 (cf. Tertullian's Ad martyres), and included the Christians known in the Roman martyrology as the martyrs of Madaura. Probably in 202 or 203 Felicitas and Perpetua suffered for their faith. Persecution again raged for a short time under the proconsul Scapula in 211, especially in Numidia and Mauritania. Later accounts of a Gallic persecution, especially at Lyons, are legendary. In general it may thus be said that the position of the Christians under Septimius Severus was the same as under the Antonines; but the law of this Emperor at least shows clearly that the rescript of Trajan had failed to execute its purpose.

John Schou
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Constantine The Great.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Constantine The Great71 viewsArch of Constantine
The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch in Rome, situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected to commemorate Constantine's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312 AD. Dedicated in 315 AD, it is the latest of the extant triumphal arches in Rome, from which it differs by the extensive re-use of parts of earlier buildings.

General Description
The arch is 21 m high, 25.7 m wide and 7.4 m deep. It has three archways, the central one being 11.5 m high and 6.5 m wide, the lateral archways 7.4 m by 3.4 m each. The lower part of the monument is built of marble blocks, the top (called attic) is brickwork revetted with marble. A staircase formed in the thickness of the arch is entered from a door at some height from the ground, in the end towards the Palatine Hill. The general design with a main part structured by detached columns and an attic with the main inscription above is modelled after the example of the Arch of Septimius Severus on the Forum Romanum. It has been suggested that the lower part of the arch is re-used from an older monument, probably from the times of the emperor Hadrian (Conforto et al., 2001; for a defence of the view that the whole arch was constructed in the 4th century, see Pensabene & Panella). The arch spans the Via Triumphalis, the way taken by the emperors when they entered the city in triumph. This route started at the Campus Martius, led through the Circus Maximus and around the Palatine Hill; immediately after the Arch of Constantine, the procession would turn left and march along the Via Sacra to the Forum Romanum and on to the Capitoline Hill, passing both the Arches of Titus and Septimius Severus. During the Middle Ages, the Arch of Constantine was incorporated into one of the family strongholds of ancient Rome. Works of restoration were first carried out in the 18th century; the last excavations have taken place in the late 1990s, just before the Great Jubilee of 2000.

The decoration of the arch heavily uses parts of older monuments, which are given a new meaning in the context of the Constantinian building. As it celebrates the victory of Constantine, the new "historic" friezes illustrating his campaign in Italy convey the central meaning: the praise of the emperor, both in battle and in his civilian duties. The other imagery supports this purpose: decoration taken from the "golden times" of the Empire under Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius places Constantine next to these "good emperors", and the content of the pieces evokes images of the victorious and pious ruler. Another explanation given for the re-use is the short time between the start of construction (late 312 at the earliest) and the dedication (summer 315), so the architects used existing artwork to make up for the lack of time to create new one. As yet another possible reason, it has often been suggested that the Romans of the 4th century lacked the artistic skill to produce acceptable artwork and therefore plundered the ancient buildings to adorn their contemporary monuments. This interpretation has become less prominent in more recent times, as the art of Late Antiquity has been appreciated in its own right. It is, of course, possible that a combination of two or all three of those explanations are correct, as they are not mutually exclusive.

Above the middle archway, the main inscription (see below) takes the most prominent place of the attic. It is identical on both sides of the arch. Flanking the inscription on both sides, there are pairs of relief panels above the minor archways, 8 in total. They were taken from an unknown monument erected in honour of Marcus Aurelius, and show (north side, left to right) the emperor's return to Rome after the campaign (adventus), the emperor leaving the city and saluted by a personification of the Via Flaminia, the emperor distributing money among the people (largitio), the emperor interrogating a German prisoner, (south side, left to right) a captured enemy chieftain led before the emperor, a similar scene with other prisoners, the emperor speaking to the troops (adlocutio), and the emperor sacrificing pig, sheep and bull. Together with three panels now in the Capitoline Museum, the reliefs were probably taken from a triumphal monument commemorating Marcus Aurelius' war against the Sarmatians from 169 - 175, which ended with his triumphant return in 176. On the largitio panel, the figure of Marcus Aurelius' son Commodus has been eradicated after the latter's damnatio memoriae. On top of each of the columns stand marble statues of Dacian prisoners from the times of Trajan, probably taken from the Forum of Trajan. From the same time date the two large (3 m high) panels decorating the attic on the small sides of the arch, showing scenes from the emperor's Dacian Wars. Together with the two reliefs on the inside of the central archway, they came from a large frieze celebrating the Dacian victory. The original place of this frieze was either the Forum of Trajan, as well, or the barracks of the emperor's horse guard on the Caelius.

Main Section
The general layout of the main facade is identical on both sides of the arch. It is divided by four columns of Corinthian order made of Numidian yellow marble (giallo antico), one of which has been transferred into the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano and was replaced by a white marble column. The columns stand on bases showing victory figures on front, and captured barbarians and Roman soldiers on the sides. The spandrels of the main archway are decorated with reliefs depicting victory figures with trophies, those of the smaller archways show river gods. Column bases and spandrel reliefs are from the times of Constantine. Above each lateral archway are pairs of round reliefs dated to the times of emperor Hadrian. They display scenes of hunting and sacrificing: (north side, left to right) hunt of a boar, sacrifice to Apollo, hunt of a lion, sacrifice to Hercules, (south side, left to right) departure for the hunt, sacrifice to Silvanus, hunt of a bear, sacrifice to Diana. The head of the emperor (originally Hadrian) has been reworked in all medaillons: on the north side, into Constantine in the hunting scenes and into Licinius or Constantius I in the sacrifice scenes; on the south side, vice versa. The reliefs, c. 2 m in diameter, were framed in porphyry; this framing is only extant on the right side of the northern facade. Similar medaillons, this time of Constantinian origin, are placed on the small sides of the arch; on the eastern side, showing the Sun rising, and on the western side, the Moon, both on chariots. The main piece from the time of Constantine is the "historical" relief frieze running around the monument under the round panels, one strip above each lateral archway and at the small sides of the arch. These reliefs depict scenes from the Italian campaign of Constantine against Maxentius which was the reason for the construction of the monument. The frieze starts at the western side with the "Departure from Milan". It continues on the southern, "outward" looking face, with the siege of a city, probably Verona, which was of great importance to the war in Northern Italy; also on that face, the Battle of Milvian Bridge with Constantine's army victorious and the enemy drowning in the river Tiber. On the eastern side, Constantine and his army enter Rome; the artist here has avoided to use the imagery of the triumph, as Constantine probably did not want to be shown triumphant over the Eternal City. On the northern face, looking "towards" the city, two strips with the emperor's actions after taking possession of Rome: Constantine speaking to the citizens on the Forum Romanum, and distributing money to the people.

Inner Sides of the Archways
In the central archway, there is one of the large panels of Trajan's Dacian War on either wall. Inside the lateral archways, eight portraits busts (two on each wall), destroyed to such an extent that it is not possible to identify them any more.

The main inscription reads:


Which means in English:

To the Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantinus, the greatest, pious, and blessed Augustus: because he, inspired by the divine, and by the greatness of his mind, has delivered the state from the tyrant and all of his followers at the same time, with his army and just force of arms, the Senate and People of Rome have dedicated this arch, decorated with triumphs.

The words instinctu divinitatis ("inspired by the divine") have been much commented. They are usually read as sign of Constantine's shifting religious affiliation: The Christian tradition, most notably Lactantius and Eusebius of Caesarea, relate the story of a vision of the Christian god to Constantine during the campaign, and that he was victorious in the sign of the cross at the Milvian Bridge. The official documents (esp. coins) still prominently display the Sun God until 324 AD, while Constantine started to support the Christian church from 312 on. In this situation, the vague wording of the inscription can be seen as the attempt to please all possible readers, being deliberately ambiguous, and acceptable to both pagans and Christians. As was customary, the vanquished enemy is not mentioned by name, but only referred to as "the tyrant", drawing on the notion of the rightful killing of a tyrannical ruler; together with the image of the "just war", it serves as justification of Constantine's civil war against his co-emperor Maxentius.

Two short inscriptions on the inside of the central archway transport a similar message: Constantine came not as conqueror, but freed Rome from occupation:

LIBERATORI VRBIS (liberator of the city) - FUNDATORI QVIETIS (founder of peace)

Over each of the small archways, inscriptions read:


They give a hint on the date of the arch: "Solemn vows for the 10th anniversary - for the 20th anniversary" and "as for the 10th, so for the 20th anniversary". Both refer to Constantine's decennalia, i.e. the 10th anniversary of his reign (counted from 306), which he celebrated in Rome in the summer of 315 AD. It can be assumed that the arch honouring his victory was inaugurated during his stay in the city.

John Schou
James A. Garfield 1881 Indian Peace Medal29 viewsObv: JAMES A. GARFIELD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 1881, bust of President Garfield (20th President) facing left.

Rev: PEACE within a sunburst, above; scene of a farmer showing a Native American chief the benefit of civilization; in exergue: crossed peace pipe and tomahawk, encircled by laurel wreath.

Engravers: Charles E. Barber (obverse), George Morgan (reverse)

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1881 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 59 x 76 mm
Matt Inglima
James Buchanan, 1857 Indian Peace Medal36 viewsObv: JAMES BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, bust of James Buchanan (15th President) facing right, 1857 below.

Rev: A settler and a Native American standing, facing each other before an American flag; "LABOR," "VIRTUE," and "HONOR" inscribed above within three oval-shaped links of chain-like scroll; field landscape in background.

Engravers: Salathiel Ellis (obverse), Joseph Willson (reverse).

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1857 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
James K. Polk, 1845 Indian Peace Medal27 viewsObv: JAMES K POLK PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, draped bust of Polk (11th President) facing left, 1845 below.

Rev: PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP, two clasped hands, crossed peace pipe and tomahawk above.

Engravers: John Chapman (obverse), John Reich (reverse)

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1845 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
James Madison, 1809 Indian Peace Medal27 viewsObv: JAMES MADISON PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. A.D. 1809, draped bust of James Madison (4th President), facing left.

Rev: PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP, two clasped hands, crossed peace pipe and tomahawk above.

Designer: John Reich

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1809 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
James Monroe, 1817 Indian Peace Medal29 viewsObv: JAMES MONROE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. A.D. 1817, draped bust of James Monroe (5th President) facing right.

Rev: PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP, two clasped hands, crossed peace pipe and tomahawk above.

Engravers: Mortiz Furst (obverse), John Reich (reverse)

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1817 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
John Adams, 1797 Indian Peace Medal32 viewsObv: JOHN ADAMS PRESIDENT OF THE U. S., bust of John Adams (2nd President) facing right, A. D. 1797 below.

Rev: PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP, two clasped hands, crossed peace pipe and tomahawk above.

Note: The John Adams medal was likely produced in the 1820's as part of the Mint's Presidential series. Even though it used the "Peace" reverse, it was never issued for that purpose.

Engravers: Mortiz Furst (obverse), John Reich (reverse)

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1797 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
John Quincy Adams, 1825 Indian Peace Medal29 viewsObv: JOHN QUINCY ADAMS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, draped bust of John Q. Adams (6th President), facing right; 1825 below.

Rev: PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP, two clasped hands, crossed peace pipe and tomahawk above.

Engravers: Mortiz Furst (obverse), John Reich (reverse)

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1825 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
John Tyler, 1841 Indian Peace Medal23 viewsObv: JOHN TYLER, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, draped bust of John Tyler (10th President) facing left, 1841 below.

Rev: PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP, two clasped hands, crossed peace pipe and tomahawk above.

Engravers: Ferdinand Pettrich (obverse), John Reich (reverse).

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1841 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
Jordan, Jerash (Ancient Gerasa), The Oval Forum in Jerash, and the Cardo Maximus3 viewsThe Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, the Oval Forum in Jerash, and the Cardo Maximus, with modern Jerash in the background.

Ancient Greek inscriptions from the city support that the city was founded by Alexander the Great and his general Perdiccas, who allegedly settled aged Macedonian soldiers there during the spring of 331 BC, when he left Egypt and crossed Syria en route to Mesopotamia. However, other sources, namely the city's former name of "Antioch on the Chrysorrhoas, point to a founding by Seleucid King Antioch IV, while still others attribute the founding to Ptolemy II of Egypt.

After the Roman conquest in 63 BC, Jerash and the land surrounding it were annexed to the Roman province of Syria, and later joined the Decapolis league of cities. The historian Josephus mentions the city as being principally inhabited by Syrians, and also having a small Jewish community.[19] In AD 106, Jerash was absorbed into the Roman province of Arabia, which included the city of Philadelphia (modern day Amman). The Romans ensured security and peace in this area, which enabled its people to devote their efforts and time to economic development and encouraged civic building activity.[20]

Jerash is considered one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. And is sometimes misleadingly referred to as the "Pompeii of the Middle East" or of Asia, referring to its size, extent of excavation and level of preservation.

Jerash was the birthplace of the mathematician Nicomachus of Gerasa (Greek: Νικόμαχος) (c. 60 – c. 120 AD).

In the second half of the 1st century AD, the city of Jerash achieved great prosperity. In AD 106, the Emperor Trajan constructed roads throughout the province, and more trade came to Jerash. The Emperor Hadrian visited Jerash in AD 129–130. The triumphal arch (or Arch of Hadrian) was built to celebrate his visit.

The city finally reached a size of about 800,000 square meters within its walls. The Persian invasion in AD 614 caused the rapid decline of Jerash. Beneath the foundations of a Byzantine church that was built in Jerash in AD 530 there was discovered a mosaic floor with ancient Greek and Hebrew-Aramaic inscriptions. The presence of the Hebrew-Aramaic script has led scholars to think that the place was formerly a synagogue, before being converted into a church.

Azurfrog, 2 November 2013
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Joe Sermarini
Kyzikos Mysia Lion and Boar43 viewsKyzikos, Mysia, c. 450 - 400 B.C. Silver Hemiobol, 0.395g, 10.3mm, 45o, SNG Kayhan 57 ff.; SNG BnF 375; SNG Cop 49; BMC Mysia p. 35, 120; SNGvA -,
OBV: forepart of boar running left, tunny fish upwards behind;
REV: head of roaring lion left, star of four rays above, all in incuse square;

During the Peloponnesian War, 431 - 404 B.C., Cyzicus was subject alternately to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians. In the naval Battle of Cyzicus in 410, an Athenian fleet completely destroyed a Spartan fleet. At the peace of Antalcidas in 387, like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia. Alexander the Great captured it from the Persians in 334 B.C.

EX: Forum Ancient Coins
2 commentsSRukke
Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 450 - 400 B.C.7 viewsDuring the Peloponnesian War, 431 - 404 B.C., Cyzicus was subject alternately to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians. In the naval Battle of Cyzicus in 410, an Athenian fleet completely destroyed a Spartan fleet. At the peace of Antalcidas in 387, like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia. Alexander the Great captured it from the Persians in 334 B.C.
GA87967. Silver hemiobol, von Fritze III 14; SNG Kayhan 57; SNG BnF 375; SNG Cop 49; BMC Mysia p. 35, 120; SNGvA -, VF, toned, light marks, light etching, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, weight 0.347g, maximum diameter 9.8mm, die axis 180o, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse forepart of boar running left, tunny fish upwards behind; reverse head of roaring lion left, star of four rays above, all in incuse square
Mark R1
L. Marcius Philippus - AR denarius12 viewsRome
¹113 BC
²113-112 BC
helmet, diademed bust of Philip V king of Macedon right with goat's horns
equestrian statue right, holding laurel branch, flower below
¹Crawford 293/1, SRCV I 170, Sydenham 551, RSC I Marcia 12
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
ex aurea

Reverse shows equestrian statue of L. Marcius Q. f. Philippus who had concluded a peace treaty with Philip V of Maced in 197 BC.
Moneyer was good speaker and important politician. He was tribune 104 BC, consul 91 BC. He was against granting of citizenship to Roman allies what led to Civil war.

"... A final intriguing element on the coinage of the Philippi which unites it across half a century and the shift in emphasis from Makedonian to Roman royalty, is the flower which appears in the same place on the reverses of RRC 293 and 425 (beneath the hooves of the horseman and the equestrian statue of Q. Marcius Rex). Crawford (RRC, 308) calls attention to the Roman tradition about the conception of Mars (legendary ancestor of clan Marcia) when Juno was fertilised by a flower. But to accomodate the distinctively Makedonian theme of RRC 293, it might be preferable to see it as a lily and already understood as a generic symbol of royal blood. This notion seems to originate with the shift of the Achaemenid seat of government from Persepolis to Susa (literally, the city or place of the lily), and this flower is found on both Hasmonaean and Seleukid royal coinage in Hellenistic times before eventually finding its way into the Merovingian and eventually the Capetian regalia. ..." Mark K.P. from McCabe's sites.
L. Mussidius Longus (42 B.C.) denarius (AR)96 viewsObv.: CONCORDIA (diademed and veiled bust of Concordia) Rev.: L MVSSIDIVS LONGVS (two joined hands holding caduceus) Diameter: 20 mm Weight: 3,3 g RIC 5

Struck in the same year as the Battle of Philippi, this coin is a touching testament of the hope for peace in a period of civil strife.
L. Mussidius Longus - AR denarius9 viewsRome
42 BC
radiate draped bust of Sol facing slightly right
two statues of Venus Cloacina standing on platform
Crawford 494/43, RSC I Mussidia 7, Sydenham 1094, SRCV I 495
ex Lanz

"The rev. shows the shrine of Venus Cloacina whose fundaments could be seen today on the Forum Romanum in Rome at the South side of the basilica Aemilia. This sanctuary is one of the oldest on the Forum. It is so old that even the Romans didn't understand its real meaning and invented myths to explain it. Cloacina probably is derived from the ancient Latin word 'cluere', meaning 'to purify'.

After the rape of the Sabin women a war broke out between the Romans and the Sabins. The raped women bravely went between their fathers and their new husbands ans so stopped the slaughter. A reconciliation should have been occured at this very place with an expiation and purification (cluere!) ritual. There Myrtles had played an important role. It is said that they were found here and they were used for purification because they should have great purification power. Furthermore they were sacred to Venus, the ancestor of the Romans.

Then at this place Vergina or Virginia, the beautiful daughter of Lucius Virgineus, a plebeian centurio, was killed by him to avoid the shame to become the slave of the tyrannic decemvir Appius Claudius Crassus. Appius Claudius was fallen in love to her and claimed that she was the daughter of a slave who had escaped from him. Due to the rigorous Laws of the Twelve Tables then she too was his property. This murder led to the abolishment of the decemviri (449 BC) and Lucius Virgineus became the first elected tribune. This story probably based on the myth of Lucretia who was raped by the son of king Tarquinius Superbus and because of that commited suicided. This event was the end of the Etruscian kings in Rome and the begin of the Roman Republic.

The sanctuary of Venus Cloacina marks the place where the Cloaca Maxima reaches the Forum and takes the river Velabro. This river was the frontier between the region of the Romans and the Sabins where now the adversary parties have made peace. ... The sanctuary was not roofed but made by a round embracing wall and two cult statues. Originally it was probably the shrine of Cloacina. The origin of her cult and the erection of her sanctuary probably belongs to the the first period of the history of the Cloaca Maxima, either of the time of its construction or of the time of an important renovation even though the tradition ascribed it to Titus Tatius. In the course of time Cloacina was identified with Venus and called Venus Cloacina. In doing so the fact could have played a role that the myrtles were sacred to Venus. So this myth, the reconciliation of the Romans and the Sabins, could be the attempt to explain these unknown connection. ..." from Jochen's Coins of mythological interest
Louis XIV 168110 viewsCatalog: Feuardent 12708
Material: Brass, Weight: 7.3gm.
Diameter: 27.00 mm
LOUIS XIV - Alsace Propaganda jeton struck in 1681 to celebrate the surrender of Strasbourg. On reverse: the temple of Janus, closed, to mean it is now peace time. Legends LOUIS LE GRAND ROY DE FRANCE IEN AY LA CLEF (='j'en ai la clé', i.e. I keep its key) Uneven color on reverse.
1 commentsAncient Aussie
Low Countries, silver jeton 1579: rejection of peace & the beheading of the counts Egmont and Horne 136 viewsObverse: xPRAESTAT•PVGNARE•PRO•PATRIA, Spanish cavalry and foot soldier battling with Dutch cavalry and foot soldier
Reverse: QVAM•SIMVLATA•PACE•DECIPI•1579, rose above, beheaded bodies of the counts Egmont and Horne lying on the ground, their heads on a pike

Minted in: Dordrecht
2 commentsRomaVictor
Low Countries, silver jeton 1603: the siege of Ostend174 viewsObverse: ALIVD•IN•LINGVA•ALIVD•IN•PECTORE, fox on the ground staring at cock in a tree, rosette above
Reverse: IN•ADVERSIS•VIRTVS•1603 (in chronogram), view on the town of Ostend, which is surrounded by redoubts/dugouts and trenches, rosette between pellets above

Minted in: Dordrecht

The Siege of Ostend was a three-year siege of the city of Ostend (in present-day Belgium) during the Eighty Years' War and one of the longest sieges in history. It is remembered as the bloodiest battle of the war, and culminated in a Spanish victory. It is said "the Spanish assailed the unassailable; the Dutch defended the indefensible." Described as a "long carnival of death", in 1603, General Spinola assumed command of the Spanish forces. Under his able leadership, the Spanish tore Ostend's outer defenses from the exhausted Dutch and put what remained of the city under the muzzles of their guns, compelling the Dutch to surrender. The cost of the victory was enormous: 35,000 men in the blasted trenches and dugouts surrounding the ruined city. The devastation led to the first serious discussions for peace but the negotiations, instead, produced a Twelve-Year Truce (1609-1621) between Spain and the United Provinces.

The obverse of this jeton refers to Aesop's fable of the Fox and the Crow (though a cock is depicted). This fable warns against listening to flattery.
Low Countries, silver jeton 1607: suspicion against peace 113 viewsObverse: (rosette) MENTEMQVE•MANVMQVE•, Hermes giving the magic herb Moly to Odysseus (?) to protect him from Circe's magic/charmes, MOLY above
Reverse: NON•TEMERE•FALLITVR•NON•FIDENS, hand reaching an olive branch to armoured Dutch soldier, S•C• below

Minted in: Dordrecht

This jeton was struck to commemorate the peace negotiations in Dordrecht in 1607 - 1608 which eventually led to the 12 year peace (1609 - 1621) during the 80 year war. It was clearly struck to warn the Dutch to be wary towards any peace offerings the Spanish might make.
1 commentsRomaVictor
Lucania Thourioi Stater 385 - 360 BC.83 viewsObv ; Helmeted head of Athena, helmet decorated with Skylla holding trident.
Rev ; QOURIWN, bull butting; fish in exergue.
G/aVF , 20.8 mm, 7.44 gr.


Thourioi, was a city of Magna Graecia on the Gulf of Tarentum, near the site of the older Sybaris. It owed its origin to an attempt made in 452 BC by Sybarite exiles and their descendants to re-people their old home. The new settlement was crushed by Croton, but the Athenians lent aid to the fugitives and in 443 BC Pericles sent out to Thourioi a mixed body of colonists from various parts of Greece, among whom were Herodotus and the orator Lysias.
The pretensions of the Sybarite colonists led to dissensions and ultimately to their expulsion; peace was made with Croton, and also, after a period of war, with Tarentum, and Thourioi rose rapidly in power and drew settlers from all parts of Greece, especially from Peloponnesus, so that the tie to Athens was not always acknowledged. The oracle of Delphi determined that the city had no founder but Apollo, and in the Athenian Expedition in Sicily Thourioi was at first neutral, though it finally helped the Athenians.

Thourioi had a democratic constitution and good laws, and, though we hear little of its history till in 390 BC it received a severe defeat from the rising power of the Lucanians. Many beautiful coins testify to the wealth and splendor of its days of prosperity.

In the 4th century BC it continued to decline, and at length called in the help of the Romans against the Lucanians, and then in 282 BC against Tarentum. Thenceforward its position was dependent, and in the Second Punic War, after several vicissitudes, it was depopulated and plundered by Hannibal in 204 BC.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
3 commentsSam
M. Aemilius Scaurus & Pub. Plautius Hypsaeus26 viewsIn 67 BCE, Hyrcanus II ascended to the throne of Judea. Scarcely three months later, his younger brother Aristobulus II incited a rebellion, successfully leading the uprising to overthrow Hyrcanus and take the offices of both King and High Priest. Hyrcanus was confined to Jerusalem, where he would continue to receive revenues of the latter office. However, fearing for his life, he fled to Petra and allied himself with Aretas, who agreed to support Hyrcanus after receiving the promise of having the Arabian towns taken by the Hasmoneans returned to Nabataea by Hyrcanus' chief advisor, Antipater the Idumaean.

Aretas advanced towards Jerusalem at the head of 50,000 men, besieging the city for several months. Eventually, Aristobulus bribed Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, deputy of the Roman general Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus. Scaurus ordered Aretas to withdraw his army, which then suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Aristobulus on the journey back to Nabatea.

Despite the compliance of Aretas, in 62 BCE Scaurus marched on Petra. However, a combination of the rough terrain and low supplies, obliged Scaurus to seek the aid of Hyrcanus, now High Priest (not king) of Judea, who sent Antipater to barter for peace with Aretas. The siege was lifted in exchange for several hundred talents of silver (to Scaurus himself) and recognition of Roman supremacy over Nabatea. Aretas would retain all Nabataean territory and possessions, becoming a vassal of the Roman Empire.

M. Aemilius Scaurus & Pub. Plautius Hypsaeus. 58 B.C. AR denarius (18.8 mm, 3.75 g, 3 h). Rome mint. M SCAVRV above, AED CVR in exergue, EX - SC on either side, REX ARETAS in exergue, King Aretas kneeling beside camel right, offering olive branch / P HVPSAEVS/AED CVR above, C·HVPSAE COS/PREIVER in exergue, CAPTV on right, Jupiter driving quadriga left. Crawford 422/1b; Sydenham 913; RSC Aemilia 8. Fine.
Macedonia, Amphipolis228 viewsAmphipolis was an ancient city of Macedonia, on the east bank of the river Strymon, where it emerges from Lake Cercinitis, about 3 m. from the sea.

Originally a Thracian town, known as Ennea Odoi ("Nine Roads"), it was colonized by Athenians with other Greeks under Hagnon in 437 BC, previous attempts--in 497, 476 (Schol. Aesch. De fals. leg. 31) and 465--having been unsuccessful.

In 424 BC it surrendered to the Spartan Brasidas without resistance, owing to the gross negligence of the historian Thucydides, who was with the fleet at Thasos. In 422 BC Cleon led an unsuccessful expedition to recover it, in which both he and Brasidas were slain (see Battle of Amphipolis).

The importance of Amphipolis in ancient times was due to the fact that it commanded the bridge over the Strymon, and consequently the route from northern Greece to the Hellespont; it was important also as a depot for the gold and silver mines of the district, and for timber, which was largely used in shipbuilding. This importance is shown by the fact that, in the peace of Nicias (421 BC), its restoration to Athens is made the subject of a special provision, and that about 417, this provision not having been observed, at least one expedition was made by Nicias with a view to its recovery.

Philip of Macedon made a special point of occupying it (357), and under the early empire it became the headquarters of the Roman propraetor, though it was recognized as independent. Many inscriptions, coins, etc., have been found here, and traces of the ancient fortifications and of a Roman aqueduct are visible.

Alexander III, 336-323 BC, Silver Tetradrachm, Price-113, struck 323-320BC at Amphipolis, 17.12 grams, 25.3 mm. Choice VF

Obv: Head of Herakles wearing lion skin headdress
Rev: Zeus enthroned with sceptre and eagle, parallel legs, Macedonian helmet in left field

Well centered and struck with a full EF reverse. Attractive lifetime issue of Alexander III 'The Great'. G5
2 commentsecoli
Macedonian Kingdom, Philip II, 359 - 336 B.C., Lifetime Issue135 viewsSilver tetradrachm, Le Rider 233 (D130/R188); SNG ANS 385 ff., VF, Pella, 14.163g, 25.4mm, 225o, 342 - 336 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse "FILIPPOU", naked youth on horse pacing right on horseback holding palm, thunderbolt below; ex CNG 214, 82; very high relief sculptural portrait, nice style, lifetime issue. Ex FORVM.

Philip II expanded the size and influence of the Macedonian Kingdom, but is perhaps best known as the father of Alexander the Great. He personally selected the design of his coins.

Philip II of Macedon (382 BC–336 BC; in Greek Φίλιππος = φίλος (friend) + ίππος (horse), transliterated Philippos) was the King of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination. He was the father of Alexander the Great, Phillip III Arrhidaeus, and possibly Ptolemy I Soter, founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Born in Pella, Philip was the youngest son of King Amyntas III and Eurydice. In his youth, (ca. 368 BC–365 BC) Philip was a hostage in Thebes, which was the leading city of Greece during the Theban hegemony. While a captive there, Philip received a military and diplomatic education from Epaminondas, was involved in a pederastic relationship with Pelopidas and lived with Pammenes, who was an enthusiastic advocate of the Sacred Band of Thebes. In 364 BC, Philip returned to Macedonia. The deaths of Philip's elder brothers, King Alexander II and Perdiccas III, allowed him to take the throne in 359 BC. Originally appointed regent for his infant nephew Amyntas IV, who was the son of Perdiccas III, Philip managed to take the kingdom for himself that same year.

Philip's military skills and expansionist vision of Macedonian greatness brought him early success. The hill tribes were broken by a single battle in 358 BC, and Philip established his authority inland as far as Lake Ohrid. He used the Social War as an opportunity for expansion. In 357 BC, he took the Athenian colony of Amphipolis, which commanded the gold mines of Mount Pangaion. That same year Philip married the Epirote princess Olympias, who was the daughter of the king of the Molossians. In 356 BC, Philip conquered the town of Crenides and changed its name to Philippi. Philip also attacked Abdera and Maronea, on the Thracian sea-board. Also in 356 Alexander was born and his race horse won in the Olympics in He took Methone in 354 BC, a town which had belonged to Athens. During the siege of Methone, Philip lost an eye.

Not until his armies were opposed by Athens at Thermopylae in 352 BC did Philip face any serious resistance. Philip did not attempt to advance into central Greece because the Athenians had occupied Thermopylae. Also in 352 BC, the Macedonian army won a complete victory over the Phocians at the Battle of Crocus Field. This battle made Philip tagus of Thessaly, and he claimed as his own Magnesia, with the important harbour of Pagasae.
Hostilities with Athens did not yet take place, but Athens was threatened by the Macedonian party which Philip's gold created in Euboea. From 352 to 346 BC, Philip did not again come south. He was active in completing the subjugation of the Balkan hill-country to the west and north, and in reducing the Greek cities of the coast as far as the Hebrus (Maritza). For the chief of these coastal cities, Olynthus, Philip continued to profess friendship until its neighboring cities were in his hands.

In 349 BC, Philip started the siege of Olynthus. Olynthus at first allied itself with Philip, but later shifted its allegiance to Athens. The Athenians did nothing to help Olynthus. Philip finally took Olynthus in 348 BC and razed the city to the ground. In 346 BC, he intervened effectively in the war between Thebes and the Phocians, but his wars with Athens continued intermittently.

Macedonia and the regions adjoining it having now been securely consolidated, Philip celebrated his Olympic games at Dium. In 347 BC, Philip advanced to the conquest of the eastern districts about the Hebrus, and compelled the submission of the Thracian prince Cersobleptes. Meanwhile, Athens had made overtures for peace, and when Philip, in 346 BC, again moved south, peace was sworn in Thessaly. With key Greek city-states in submission, Philip turned to Sparta; he sent them a message, "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city." Their reply was "If." Philip and Alexander would both leave them alone. Later, the Macedonian arms were carried across Epirus to the Adriatic Sea. In 342 BC, Philip led a great military expedition north against the Scythians, conquering the Thracian fortified settlement Eumolpia to give it his name, Philippoupolis (modern Plovdiv).

In 340 BC, Philip started the siege of Perinthus. Philip began another siege in 339 BC of the city of Byzantium. After unsuccessful sieges of both cities, Philip's influence all over Greece was compromised. However, Philip successfully reasserted his authority in the Aegean by defeating an alliance of Thebans and Athenians at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. He erected a memorial of a marble lion to the Sacred Band of Thebes for their bravery that still stands today. Philip created and led the League of Corinth in 337 BC. Members of the League agreed never to wage war against each other, unless it was to suppress revolution. Philip was elected as leader (hegemon) of the army of invasion against the Persian Empire. In 336 BC, when the invasion of Persia was in its very early stage, Philip was assassinated, and was succeeded on the throne of Macedon by his son Alexander the Great.

Philip’s Assassination

The murder happened in October of 336 BC, at Aegae, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Macedon. The court had gathered there for the celebration of the marriage between Alexander of Epirus and Philip's daughter. While the king was entering unprotected into the town's theatre (highlighting his approachability to the Greek diplomats present), he was killed by Pausanias of Orestis, one of Philip's seven bodyguards. The assassin immediately tried to escape and reach his associates who were waiting for him with horses at the entrance of Aegae. He was pursued by three of Philip's bodyguards and died by their hands.
The reasons for Pausanias' assassination of Phillip are difficult to fully expound, since there was controversy already among ancient historians. The only contemporary account in our possession is that of Aristotle, who states rather tersely that Philip was killed because Pausanias had been offended by the followers of Attalus, the king's father-in-law.

Whatever else that may be written about Philip II it must be recognized that he was responsible for making Macedon the ascendant Greek power. He reorganized the Macedonian army. It was this army that Alexander the Great inherited. Phillip II trained some of Alexander’s best generals: Antigonus Cyclops, Antipater, Nearchus, Parmenion, and Perdiccas.

According to the Greek historian Theopompus of Chios, Europe had never seen a man like king Philip of Macedonia, and he called his history of the mid-fourth century BCE the Philippic History. Theopompus had a point. Not even his better known son Alexander has done so much to change the course of Greek history. Philip reorganized his kingdom, gave it access to the sea, expanded its power so that it could defeat the Achaemenid Empire, and subdued the Greek city-states, which never regained their independence again. To achieve this, he modernized the Macedonian economy, improved the army, and concluded several marital alliances. The result was a superpower with one weakness: it was as strong as its king. When Philip's son Alexander died, the institutions were too weak, and Macedonia never recovered.
Ed. by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
Laureate and cuirassed bust of Macrinus right

Felicitas standing left holding long caduceus and cornucopiae

Rome 217 AD

Sear 7331, RSC 19a, RIC 62

Scarce/Rare: 5 specimens in Reka Devnia Hoard (Cohen 19)


Wildwinds speciman #2

Macrinus was the Praetorian prefect during the reign of Caracalla. After hearing a prophecy that he would become Emperor Macrinus feared that Caracalla would have him killed. In order to save his life he arranged Caracalla's assassination and he and his son Diadumenian seized power and were accepted by the senate. Macrinus concluded an unfavourable peace with the Persians. This disgrace, magnified by propaganda of Julia Maesa, Caracalla's aunt, inspired the Syrian legions to revolt. In the ensuing conflict Macrinus was defeated. He fled, only to be betrayed and executed.

SOLD to Calgary Coin June 2017
2 commentsJay GT4
MAFJa34 Apotheosis7 viewsMarcus Aurelius


Bare head, right, DIVVS M ANTONINVS PIVS
Eagle flying aloft, bearing Marcus Aurelius sitting left on its back, holding sceptre, CONSECRATIO SC

RIC 659 (Commodus)

Marcus Aurelius died on 17 March 180 in Vindobona (Vienna). The Historia Augusta records, Now his death came about like this: when he had begun to be ill, he called his son to him and first requested of him that he should not belittle what remained of the war [Commodus instead negotiated a hasty peace]. . . . Then he stopped eating and drinking, being eager to die, and made his illness worse. . . . On the seventh day, he became worse and allowed only his son in to him, and he even sent him away at once, in case he caught the disease. When he had done so, he covered his head as if wanting to sleep, but during the night he breathed his last."

Commodus had his father deified. Perhaps he found Faustina among the gods.
Marcus Aurelius.jpg
Marcus Aurelius42 viewsMarcus Aurelius was recognized by the emperor Hadrian as a fine and capable youth and was betrothed to the daughter of Aelius. The emperor Antoninus Pius adopted him and in 145 A.D. he married Antoninus` daughter, Faustina II. In 161 A.D., he succeeded Antoninus as Augustus, immediately proclaiming Lucius Verus his co-emperor. Although known for his adherence to the philosophy of Stoicism and as a naturally peaceful man, Marcus` reign was disturbed by war with Parthia, plague and then a long, hard war along the Danube frontier. He died on March 17th, 180 A.D. and was deified by the senate soon after.

Silver denarius, RIC 185, RSC 208, BMC 459, gF, Rome mint, 2.723g, 19.1mm, 0o, 168 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, laureate head right; reverse FORT RED TR P XXII IMP V COS III, Fortuna seated left holding rudder in right and cornucopia in left; wavy, fire damaged flan;
Marcus Salvius Otho128 viewsAD 69 January 15 to mid-April. 20mm, 3.35 g. Rome mint.
O: IMP M OTHO C[AESA]R AVG TR P, Bare head right
R: PAX ORBIS TERRARVM, Pax standing left, holding olive branch and caduceus.
- RIC I 4; RSC 3.

Otho assumed the title of Pont Max on March 9, 69. This type was therefore likely struck in the first two of his three month reign. Mattingly observed that PAX ORBIS TERRARVM could have been Otho's cry to counter the "Salus Generis" and "Pax P R" of the Galban faction of the civil wars.

Long before there was Metta World Peace, there was Otho. While his earlier denarii took features from Nero's coinage and Plutarch says Otho took Nero's name, signing imperial documents "Nero Otho", this is much less offensive than the fact that Nero took Otho's wife.

For some very interesting reading on the style and composition of Otho denarii, see
4 commentsNemonater
Mars Pacifero204 viewsSeverus Alexander 222-235
AR - Denar, 3.12g, 20.5mm
Rome AD 222
draped, cuirassed bust, laureate head r.
Mars standing , head l., holding olive-branch and reversed spear
RIC IV/ 2, 160; BMCR 68; C.173
good VF

MARS PACIFER, Mars the Peace-bringer. Depicted with olive-branch and reversed spear as signs of peace. Reminds us of the old saying 'si vis pacem, para bellum (If you want peace, prepare war)'. The Corinthian helmet is borrowed from Greek art.
Marti Pacifero54 viewsObv. PROBVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right,
Rev. MARTI PACIF, armoured and helmeted mars advancing left, holding olive twig in right, spear and shield in left, cape billowing behind, RQ{Gamma} in exergue,
Rome Mint, AD 282,
20 mm, 3,43 gr
Refs. RIC 177

Historia Augusta 16: "post haec Illyricum petiit. priusquam veniret, Raetias sic pacatas reliquit ut illic ne suspicionem quidem ullius terroris relinqueret. in Illyrico Sarmatos ceterasque gentes ita contudit ut prope sine bello cuncta reciperet quae illi diripuerant. tetendit deinde iter per Thracias atque omnes Geticos populos fama rerum territos et antiqui nominis potentia pressos aut in deditionem aut in amicitiam recepit. his gestis orientem petiit atque itinere potentissimo quodam latrone Palfuerio capto et interfecto omnem Isauriam liberavit, populis atque urbibus Romanis legibus restitutis. barbarorum, qui apud Isauros sunt, vel per terrorem vel urbanitatem loca ingressus est. (...) veteranis omnia illa quae anguste adeuntur loca privata donavit, addens ut eorum filii ab anno octavo decimo, mares dumtaxat, ad militiam mitterentur, ne latrocinare umquam discerent." - [20]causae occidendi eius haec fuerunt: primum quod numquam militem otiosum esse perpessus est, si quidem multa opera militari manu perfecit, dicens annonam gratuitam militem comedere non debere.

"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 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, rightened 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, and while on his march he captured and killed a most powerful brigand, named Palfuerius, and so set free the whole of Isauria and restored the laws of Rome to the tribes and the cities. By fear or favour he entered the places held by the barbarians living among the Isaurians, (...) And so all those places which were difficult of access he gave to his veterans as their own private holdings, attaching thereto the condition that their children, that is, the males only, should be sent to the army at the age of eighteen, in order that they never might learn to be brigands." - "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 labour, saying that a soldier should eat no bread that was not earned"
Martin Van Buren, 1837 Indian Peace Medal23 viewsObv: MARTIN VAN BUREN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, draped bust of Martin Van Buren (8th President) facing right, A.D. 1837 below.

Rev: PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP, two clasped hands, crossed peace pipe and tomahawk above.

Engravers: Mortiz Furst (obverse), John Reich (reverse)

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1837 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.30 viewsBronze follis, (SBCV 494), weight 11.8g, max. diameter 31.9 mm, 2nd officina, Constantinople mint, 590 - 591 A.D.; Obv. D N mAVRC TIbER PP AVC, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield in left, Rev. large M, cross above, ANNO left, σ I II (year 9) right, B (2nd officina) below, CON in exergue. Brown with dusty green desert patina.

Background Info courtesy Forvm Ancient Coins;

Joint rule with Theodosius (his son), 29 March 590 - 22 November 602 A.D.
Maurice Tiberius, a successful general, was selected by Tiberius II Constantine as his successor. Although he achieved a favorable peace in Persia and was able to stem the losses of territory in Italy and Africa, much of the Balkans were lost. Focas, a junior officer, led a military revolt against Maurice and was declared emperor in November 602. Maurice and Theodosius, his son and co-emperor, were captured and murdered.

Steve E
Maximianus- Pax AVGG.jpg
Maximianus- Pax AVGG43 viewsMaximian, 285 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

Radiate, cuirassed bust right


IMP: Imperator, leader of the army
MAXIMIANVS: Maximianus
AVG: Augustus, emperor

No P in the obverse legend.

PAX AVGG, Peace of the emperors

PAX: Peace
AVGG: Emperors (2 G´s)

Pax standing left, Victory on globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left

Domination: Antoninianus, size 20 mm

Mint: B in exergue, Lugdunum, Officina 2. Minted in Lugdunum (//B), Emission 7, Officina 2. Spring A.D. 290 A.D. 291. Reference(s) – Cohen 438. Bastien 380. RIC V Part 2 – 399 bust Type F
John Schou
Medal 09. Entry of Princess Alexandra into the City of London.111 viewsObv: Bust of Alexandra ALEXANDRA
Rev: City of London welcomes Princess led by Prince of Wales; on left is Hyman and on right are Peace and Plenty WELCOME ALEXANDRA
Exergue: MAR: 1863 Separated by the Arms of the City of London
Signed: J.S. WYON SC./J.S. & A.B. WYON SC.
Mintage: 350

This group of medals, commonly called The City of London Medals, constitutes a series struck by THE CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF LONDON to celebrate the accomplishment of their most notable public works, or to commemorate events of national and civic importance. The standard reference book, published in London, 1894, is NUMISMATA LONDINENSIA, which includes those medals issued from 1831 to 1893. In this wonderful book, the medals are photographed and the events prompting their issue are described in great detail by Charles Welch. Subsequent to the publication of Numismata Londinensia, several other medals have been issued by the Corporation of London. Those medals issued from 1831 to 1973 are described in Coins and Medals, November 1977, where their mintage figures are provided (most of the medals were struck in numbers between 350 and 450; a notable exception is the lead, glass enclosed piece commemorating the Removal of Temple Bar from the City of London, which is extremely rare). Descriptions and other interesting historical notes are included in excellent compendia published more recently. (see British Historical Medals by Laurence Brown, and British Commemorative Medals and their values by Christopher Eimer.)
(shamelessly stolen from

1 commentsLordBest
Middlesex 283a25 viewsObv: G. WASHINGTON THE FIRM FRIEND OF PEACE & HUMANITY, military bust of George Washington facing right.


Edge: Milled

Half Penny Conder Token

Note: This token is also listed among American colonial pieces.

Dalton & Hamer: Middlesex 283a
SPQR Coins
Millard Fillmore, 1850 Indian Peace Medal26 viewsObv: MILLARD FILLMORE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, bust of Millard Fillmore (13th President) facing right, 1850 below.

Rev: A settler and a Native American standing, facing each other before an American flag; "LABOR," "VIRTUE," and "HONOR" inscribed above within three oval-shaped links of chain-like scroll; field landscape in background.

Engravers: Salathiel Ellis (obverse), Joseph Willson (reverse).

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1850 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
MODERN MILLED (up to 19th Century), England, Oliver Cromwell, 1658 CE17 viewsAR Shilling, milled, dies engraved by Thomas Simon, Pierre Blondeau's Drury House, London mint, dated 1658 CE.

Obverse: draped and laureate bust of the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell left, legend: OLIVAR• D• G• R P• ANG SCO HIB &c PRO around.

Reverse: crowned coat-of-arms of the Protectorate, date in legend above, legend: PAX• QVÆRITVR• BELLO ( peace is sought by war ) around.

ESC 1005, SCBC 3228, North 2745, Lessen J28, KM A207

Acquired: OTC, October 1991, Londinium - The Coin Store, North York
Scribonius Probus
Morgan Dollar - 188927 viewsUS Morgan Dollar, 1889 Philadelphia Mint.

This one was given to my father by a neighbor when he was a young boy growing up, he gave it to me for my Birthday this year. My first and only Morgan Dollar in my collection. I have never been a big fan of them, always preferred Peace Dollars.
*NOTE: The fingerprint on the reverse seems to have been made a long time ago, it also seems to have become part of the toning, and won't just come off with a wipe, unless one were to clean the coin with some solution I imagine, which I would never do to such a coin..... The print was probably made back, long before my father recieved these coins in the 1950s..... since they have sat in a safe deposit box since then.
2 commentsrexesq
Morgan Dollar - 1889 - cut.5 viewsUS Morgan Dollar, 1889 Philadelphia Mint.

This one was given to my father by a neighbor when he was a young boy growing up, he gave it to me for my Birthday this year. My first and only Morgan Dollar in my collection. I have never been a big fan of them, always preferred Peace Dollars.
MUSA, Parthia: Phraatakes and Musa, 2 BC to $ AD84 viewsBI tdr., 12,56gr, 28,1mm; Sellwood 58.1var.(month), Shore 323, Sunrise 403var.;
mint: Seleukia; axis: 12h;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/broad 4 layer diadem and ribbon; at the ribbon end year date BIT(?)=1 AD; short hair in 2 waves, mustache, medium-long tapered beard; wart; earring, multiple necklace; cuirass w/collar adorned by a suite of opposing dashes; traces of goddess in the right and left upper field; legend: BACI ΛEΩ C BACI ΛEΩ N only partially visible; dotted border 8 to 10:30h;
rev.: female head, right, w/tiara and double diadem below, 2 loops and 2 ribbons; the tiara consists of 5 large pearls in a row, above a row of 8 smaller pearls and above them another row of medium-sized pearls - the remainder of the tiara is off the flan; earrings and a pearl necklace, multiple necklace below, 2 more strings of pearls across the breast, the shoulders are covered by a folded robe; between the diadem ribbons and the neck the letters ΔAI=ΔAIΣIOY (May); legend: Θ EAC O(YPANIAC MOYCHC) BACI
Λ ICHC; dotted border 5 to 10h; very dark patina;

ex: The New York Sale XXXIV (2014)

The Italian slave girl Musa came to Parthia as part of a peace deal between the Emperor Augustus and King Phraates IV in 20 BC. She bore him a son, Phraatakes, and soon rose in his favor from concubine to queen. To rid herself of competition she persuaded the king to send his other sons to Rome for safety. In 2 BC she and her son poisoned Phraates IV, and Phraatakes became king. Much to the shock of the Romans and Greeks, she proceded to marry her son and became co-ruler but the blissful arrangement lasted only six years. The disgusted Parthian nobility deposed the couple in 4 AD. Phraatakes escaped to Syria were he died soon after. Musa was never heard of again.
2 commentsSchatz
Nero 6 viewsNero ARA PACIS or Altar of Augustun Peace, Lugdunum mint 65 AD, Ae AS 9.9gm, RIC 1 526.Ancient Aussie
Néron as.jpg
Nero - As48 viewsIMP. NERO CAESAR AVG. GERMANIC.; laureate bust right.
Rev.: PACE P.R. VBIQ. PARTA IANVM CLVSIT (He brought everywhere the Peace of the Roman People, then closed the temple of Janus). The themle of Janus with its doors closed at last. S C.

I like this coin... I bought it in Tunis, covered with dirt (the coin, not me). Took me 2 hours of discussion with the dealer before we agreed on the price.
Nero / Caius Cestius Gallus62 viewsSELEUCIS and PIERIA, Antioch. Nero. AD 54-68. Æ As (30.5mm, 15.36 g, 12h).
Caius Cestius Gallus, legatus Syriae. Dated year 115 of the Caesarean Era (AD 66/7).
O: Laureate head right; coiled serpent to right. IM • NER • CLAV • CAESAR
R: ЄΠI ΓAIOY KЄCTIO Y ΛNTIO ЄT • ЄIP in five lines within wreath (In the magistracy of Gaius Cestius, Antioch, year 115)
- McAlee 294 = Superior, (9 December 1989), lot 2827 (same dies); RPC I – Extremely rare, the second known.

Josephus lays much of the blame for the Jewish revolt at the feet of Florus, the Roman procurator of Judaea. Florus was notorious for his cruelty and greed. In 66 C.E. he demanded 17 talents from the temple treasury, using the pretense that it was needed by the Emperor. The Jews refused, ridiculing his request by taking up a mock collection for the “poor Florus.”

Florus responded by sending troops to loot and pillage the Upper-Marketplace in Jerusalem. Thousands of Jews were killed, including woman and children. Rather than bringing the city under control, Josephus reasons, “What more need be said? It was Florus who constrained us to take up war with the Romans, for we preferred to perish together rather than by degrees. The war in fact began in the second year of the procuratorship of Florus and in the twelfth of Nero's reign.”

The Sicarii, or “dagger-men,” took the fortress of Masada and killed the Roman garrison stationed there, establishing the first rebel stronghold. The fortress of Antonia was also captured and the Roman soldiers stationed there were slain. The remaining Roman holdouts surrendered under the agreement that their lives would be spared but they too were slaughtered. At the same time, the daily sacrifices for the Emperor were discontinued. A mixture of elation and fear gripped Jerusalem as they awaited the inevitable Roman response.

Gaius Cestius Gallus, Legate of Syria in 66 C.E., was the response. On Nero’s order, he assembled a force at Antioch comprised of legio XII Fulminata, detachments from the three other legions based in Syria, six cohorts of auxiliary infantry and four alae of cavalry. He also had military support from the Jewish ruler Herod Agrippa II and two other client kings, Antiochus IV of Commagene and Sohaemus of Emesa.

Within three months Gallus, with his force of over 30,000 troops, began working their way down from Galilee to Jerusalem, attacking key cities such as Chabulon, Joppa and Antipatris. Although enduring successful raids from the rebels, the Romans finally enter and set fire to the suburbs of Jerusalem as the rebels retreated to the safety of the temple fortress.

After setting fire to Bezetha, north of the temple, Gallus encamped in front of the royal palace, southwest of the temple. At that time, Josephus says he could have easily taken the city since pro-Roman Jews were ready to open the gates of the city for him. A six day delay, however, strengthened the insurgents. The zealots attacked and killed the pro-peace faction in the city, murdering their leaders, then assaulted the Romans from the wall. The advance units of the Romans employ the Testudo, overlapping their shields over themselves like the back of a tortoise, and began undermining the walls. After five days they are on the verge of success when, for an undetermined cause, Gallus called off the attack. In History of the Jews, Professor Heinrich Graetz suggests: “[Cestius Gallus] did not deem it advisable to continue the combat against heroic enthusiasts and embark on a lengthy campaign at that season, when the autumn rains would soon commence . . . and might prevent the army from receiving provisions. On that account probably he thought it more prudent to retrace his steps.” Whatever the reason, Gallus decided to abruptly leave Jerusalem.

Gallus, with evidently little battlefield experience, suffered one humiliating defeat after another during the retreat. By the battles end the losses amounted to 5,300 infantry, 480 cavalry, all the pack animals, artillery and the eagle standard of the legio XII Fulminata. With the rebels emboldened by their shocking victory, the stage is set for the Romans to return in greater force. This time, however, Nero would send general Vespasian.

Cestius Gallus died a broken man in 67 C.E. Tacitus described the outbreak of the revolt to Gallus death as follows: “the endurance of the Jews lasted till Gessius Florus was procurator. In his time the war broke out. Cestius Gallus, legate of Syria, who attempted to crush it, had to fight several battles, generally with ill-success. Cestius dying, either in the course of nature, or from vexation.” - The Histories V
4 commentsNemonater
Nero Sestertius Temple of Janus105 viewsObv.
Laureate head right

Temple of Janus with doors shut, denoting peace throughout the empire
1 commentsancientdave
Nero(54-68 AD) Bronze As 65 AD16 viewsObverse: Laureate Head right; NERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP
Reverse: Temple of Janus, doors to the right; PACE PR TERRA MARIQ PARTA JANUM CLVSIT, S-C across field

RIC I 306, Sear 1974 diam 25 mm, wt 7.6 gm

Although history has given Nero a bad press he was a popular emperor in his time, notably because of his lavish expenditures on entertainment and the general peacefulness of his reign which he memorialized by showing the temple of Janus with doors closed signifying that Rome was at peace. Unfortunately empires are built on wars and conquest, not peace, and it is likely that the dissatisfaction of the army was the cause of his overthrow.
Nero, Denarius 360 viewsRome mint, AD 64/65
NERO CAESAR, laureate head of Nero right
AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS, Nero standing facing, holding branch and victory on globe
3,32 gr
Ref : RCV #1941, Cohen #45, RIC # 47
The following comment, from NFA, auction XX catalog, # 118 :
Nero's coinage reform of A.D. 64 saw a reduction in the weight standard of both the aureus and denarius denominations. A whole new range of reverse types was introduced with an unmistakably imperial flavor, in marked contrast to the senatorial types of the pre-reform coinage. This coin depicts a standing figure of the emperor, wearing the radiate crown of the sun god Sol, holding a branch of peace and a small figure of Victory. An allusion to the settlement of the Parthian question, following Corbulo's successes in Armenia in A.D. 63, seems unmistakable. It is tempting to identify this reverse type with the statue of the sun god, with the facial features of the emperor, erected by Nero in front of his Domus Aurea (Golden House), which was one of the principal features of the reconstruction following the Great Fire of Rome in A.D. 64. The Flavian Amphitheatre (Colosseum) was later erected on the site of the Domus Aurea's ornamental lake, and received its popular name from its close proximity to Nero's statue
7 commentsPotator II
Nero, RIC 265, Sestertius of AD 66 (Temple of Janus) 110 viewsÆ sestertius (28.86g, Ø35.95mm, 6h), Rome mint, struck ca. AD 65.
Obv.: NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head of Nero facing left.
Rev.: PACE P R TERRA MARIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT (around) S C (in field), Janus temple with closed double doors right.

RIC 265; BMCRE 160; CBN 373; Cohen 144; Mac Dowall (The Western Coinages of Nero, ANS NNM 161) 153; cf. Sear (Roman Roins & Their Values I) 1958 - for a similar issue from Lugdunum with a variant form of obverse type

Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear, Ancient Coin Certification Service (A.C.C.S.) on November 3, 2014, Ref 061CR/RI/CR/E .

Historical background (by David Sear): The reverse depicts the "Twin Janus" (IANVS GEMINVS) and relates to the achievements of the celebrated Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. His victories in the East led to a settlement with Parthia over the vexed Armenian question, occasioning the ceremonial closing of the doors of the "Twin Janus" signifying peace throughout the empire (AD 65). The nature of this curious structure, situated in the Roman Forum, is best explained by John Melville Jones in A Dictionary of Ancient Coins - "It consisted of two arched gateways joined by walls, without a roof. When the Roman went to war, the gates were opened and when they were at peace, the gates were shut. The structure was not a temple in the strict sense of the word and was referred to as "the Janus". It is represented on coins of Nero, some of which show it from one side and others from the opposite side, so that it is clear it had gates at each end. The accompanying inscription translates to: "Peace being provided on land and sea for the Roman People, he closed the Janus"
2 commentsCharles S
Nero, RIC 326, Sestertius of AD 66 (Temple of Janus) 66 viewsÆ sestertius (26.2g, Ø34mm, 6h), Rome mint, struck AD 66.
Obv.: IMP NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P P P, laureate head of Nero facing left.
Rev.: PACE P R TERRA MARIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT (around) S C (in field), Janus temple with closed double doors on the right.

RIC 326 (R2); Coh. 162
ex MPO (Netherlands, 2007)

The full reverse legend would read: PACE POPVLO ROMANO TERRA MARIQUE PARTA IANVM CLVSIT, which means "Peace having been given to the Roman people on the land and on the sea, he closed the Janus temple".
2 commentsCharles S
Nero, RIC 459, As of AD 65 (Ara Pacis) 51 viewsÆ As (10.8g, Ø28mm, 6h), Lugdunum mint, struck AD 65.
Obv.: NERO CLAVD CAESAR·AVG GER·P M·TR·P·IMP·P·, bare head of Nero left; globe below at tip of bust.
Rev.: ARA PACIS (below) S C (left and right in field), Ara Pacis: the Altar of Peace, with decorated front panels and central double doors.
RIC 459

The Ara Pacis was built by Augustus and inaugurated in 9 BC, one year after the inauguration of the great altar in Lugdunum. The reverse shows the walled enclosure surrounding the altar.
Charles S
Nero: 54 - 68 AD21 viewsAE As; Rome Mint
Struck 66 AD
Obv. - laureate head right; IMP.NERO.CAESAR.AVG GERM
Rev. - Temple of Janus, closed doors on right, signifying peace within the Empire; latticed window on left; S / C either side
7.18 grams
Nerva Aequitas Ӕ As (c. 97 A.D.)8 viewsIMP NERVA CAES [AVG P M TR P ? COS ? P P], laureate head right / AEQVITAS AVGVST + S - C across fields, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae

Ӕ, oval 25+ to 28mm, 10.23g, die axis 7.5h, base metal seems yellow, orichalcum? Can it be a dupontius?

Mint: Rome. Regnal period is end 96 – Jan 98 AD, so 97 is the most probable minting year.

End of the obverse legend is missing, so TR P and COS numbers are unknown. Thus three types are possible:

TR P COS II --> RIC II 51, Sear 3060 var
TR P COS III --> RIC II 77, Cohen 7, BMC 127, Sear 3060
TR P II COS III --> RIC II 94, Cohen 10

IMPerator NERVA CAESar AVGustus Pontifex Maximus (the high priest, starting with Augustus the emperor was always the head of state religion) TRibunitia Potestas (Tribunal power, the function of the tribune of the people, originally an important republican official, was "hijacked" by Augustus when he was building the imperial structure of power and subsequently became another emperor's title, renewed every year and thus very useful for dating coins, no number means first year of reign, II second), COnSul (under the Empire, the office of Consul remained of some importance and was held by the Emperor with some frequency) II or III (Nerva started his 3d consulship in 97, so II would mean minting year of 96, he also became a consul for 98, but since he died in January, COS IIII is very rare), Pater Patriae (Father of his Country, the title was held by most Augusti but usually not at the very beginning of the reign, in this case it was probably assumed immediately because of Nerva's old age). Aequitas = justice, equality, conformity, symmetry. Nemesis was originally understood as honest distributor of fortune, neither bad nor good, but in due proportion. Later it gained aspects of justice and divine retribution, but in Nemesis-Aequitas her qualities of honest dealing is emphasized. Aequitas Augusti symbolizes honesty, equality and justice of the emperor towards his subjects. The scales here mean honest measure rather than justice, and the cornucopia is self explanatory. SC = [Ex] Senatus Consulto (Senatus is genitive, Consulto is ablative of Consultum) = by decree of the Senate, i. e. the authority of the Senate approved minting of this coin (necessary to justify issue of copper alloy coins for which the intrinsic value was not obvious). As or assarius – the basic Roman bronze coin, reintroduced and firmly established for centuries by Augustus (often minted of pure red copper).

On the obverse to the right of the neck there is a mysterious symbol (looks like a special field mint mark in LRB, but these were not used before 4th century I think), which is too far in to be a distorted letter of the legend.

NERVA, *8 Nov 30 (or 35) AD (Narni, central Italy) † 27 Jan 98 AD (aged 67 or 62) Gardens of Sallust, Rome ‡ 18 Sep 96 – 27 Jan 98 (effectively abdicated in autumn 97 naming Trajan as his successor)

Marcus Cocceius Nerva was born in the village of Narni, 50 kilometers north of Rome. Ancient sources report the date as either 30 or 35. He had at least one attested sister, named Cocceia, who married Lucius Salvius Titianus Otho, the brother of the earlier Emperor Otho. Like Vespasian, the founder of the Flavian dynasty, Nerva was a member of the Italian nobility rather than one of the elite of Rome. Nevertheless, the Cocceii were among the most esteemed and prominent political families of the late Republic and early Empire, attaining consulships in each successive generation. The direct ancestors of Nerva on his father's side, all named Marcus Cocceius Nerva, were associated with imperial circles from the time of Augustus.

Not much of Nerva's early life or career is recorded, but it appears he did not pursue the usual administrative or military career. He was praetor-elect in the year 65 and, like his ancestors, moved in imperial circles as a skilled diplomat and strategist. He received many high honors during the reign of Nero and Flavians, including two ordinary (!) consulships of 71 and 90, usually for services that remained unclear, so probably of highly delicate and clandestine nature, e. g. he played a prominent role of uncovering at least two major conspiracies against the ruling emperors. During 69, the transitional Year of the Four Emperors he was nowhere to be seen, but then emerged on the winning Flavian side, which was quite a feat for a former Neronian loyalist and a relative of one of the defeated emperors, Otho. It is also known that Nerva had excellent literary abilities praised by his contemporaries.

On 18 September, 96, Domitian was assassinated in a palace conspiracy organised by court officials. The same day the Senate proclaimed Nerva emperor in somewhat obscure circumstances. Modern historians believe Nerva was proclaimed Emperor solely on the initiative of the Senate, within hours after the news of the assassination broke, to avoid the inevitable civil unrest, and neither him nor the Senate had anything to do with the conspiracy. The change of government was welcome particularly to the senators, who had been harshly persecuted during Domitian's reign. As an immediate gesture of goodwill towards his supporters, Nerva publicly swore that no senators would be put to death as long as he remained in office. He called an end to trials based on treason, released those who had been imprisoned under these charges, and granted amnesty to many who had been exiled. All properties which had been confiscated by Domitian were returned to their respective families. Nerva also sought to involve the Senate in his government, but this was not entirely successful.

Nerva had to introduce a number of measures to gain support among the Roman populace. As was the custom by this time, a change of emperor was to bring with it a generous payment of gifts and money to the people and the army. This was followed by a string of economic reforms intended to alleviate the burden of taxation from the most needy Romans. Furthermore, numerous taxes were remitted and privileges granted to Roman provinces. Before long, Nerva's expenses strained the economy of Rome and necessitated the formation of a special commission of economy to drastically reduce expenditures. The most superfluous religious sacrifices, games and horse races were abolished, while new income was generated from Domitian's former possessions. Because he reigned only briefly, Nerva's public works were few, instead completing projects which had been initiated under Flavian rule. This included extensive repairs to the Roman road system and the expansion of the aqueducts. The only major landmarks constructed under Nerva were a granary, known as the Horrea Nervae, and a small Imperial Forum begun by Domitian, which linked the Forum of Augustus to the Temple of Peace.

Despite Nerva's measures to remain popular with the Senate and the Roman people, support for Domitian remained strong in the army, which led to problems. Upon his accession, he had ordered a halt to treason trials, but at the same time allowed the prosecution of informers by the Senate to continue. This measure led to chaos, as everyone acted in his own interests while trying to settle scores with personal enemies.

The situation was further aggravated by the absence of a clear successor, made more pressing because of Nerva's old age and sickness. In October 97 these tensions came to a head when the Praetorian Guard laid siege to the Imperial Palace and took Nerva hostage. He was forced to submit to their demands, agreeing to hand over those responsible for Domitian's death. Nerva was unharmed in this assault, but his authority was damaged beyond repair. He realized that his position was no longer tenable without the support of an heir who had the approval of both the army and the people. Shortly thereafter, he announced the adoption of Trajan as his successor, and with this decision all but abdicated.

On 1 January, 98, at the start of his fourth consulship, Nerva suffered a stroke during a private audience. Shortly thereafter he was struck by a fever and died. His largest legacies were avoiding the civil war after the fall of Flavians and establishing a new dynasty that ruled almost until the end of the 2nd century and achieved "the golden age" of the Roman empire.
Yurii P
Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D., Antioch, Syria195 viewsBronze AE 26, BMC Syria, p. 182, 261, aVF, Antioch mint, weight 13.524g, maximum diameter 25.0mm, die axis 0o, Jan - Sep 97 A.D.; Obverse: IMP CAESAR NERVA AVG III COS, laureate head right; Reverse: large S C in wreath, D below; unbelievable portrait. Ex FORVM. Photo courtesy FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families
Nerva (96-98 A.D.)

David Wend

Although short, the reign of Marcus Cocceius Nerva (A.D. 96-98) is pivotal. The first of Edward Gibbon's so-called "Five Good Emperors," Nerva is credited with beginning the practice of adopting his heir rather than selecting a blood relative. Claimed as an ancestor by all the emperors down to Severus Alexander, he has traditionally been regarded with much good will at the expense of his predecessor, Domitian.

Nerva could claim eminent ancestry on both sides of his family. On the paternal side, his great-grandfather, M. Cocceius Nerva, was consul in 36 B.C.; his grandfather, a distinguished jurist of the same name, accompanied Tiberius on his retirement to Capri in 26 A.D. On his mother's side an aunt, Rubellia Bassa, was the great-granddaughter of Tiberius. In addition, a great-uncle, L. Cocceius Nerva, played a part in the negotiations that secured a treaty between Octavian and Antony in 40 B.C

Early Career and Life under Domitian
Nerva was born on 8 November, 30 A.D. Little is known of his upbringing beyond the fact that he belonged to a senatorial family and pursued neither a military nor a public speaking career. On the other hand, he did hold various priesthoods and was a praetor-designate. More importantly, as praetor designate in 65, Nerva was instrumental in revealing the conspiracy of Piso against the emperor Nero.

As a result, he received triumphal ornaments and his statue was placed in the palace. Following Nero's fall in 68, Nerva must have realized that support of Vespasian and the Flavian cause was in his best interests. In 71 his loyalty was rewarded with a joint consulship with the emperor, the only time that Vespasian ever held the office without his son Titus. It was under the reign of Vespasian's other son, Domitian, that Nerva's political fortunes were ultimately determined, however. He shared the ordinary consulship with Domitian in 90, an honor that was perhaps the result of his alerting the emperor about the revolt of Antonius Saturninus, the governor of Upper Germany, in 89. Even so, like so many others of the senatorial class, Nerva came under scrutiny in the final years of Domitian's reign, when the emperor was unwilling to tolerate any criticism.

Whether or not Nerva was forced to withdraw from public life during Domitian's final years remains an open question. What is not in dispute is that he was named emperor on the same day that Domitian was assassinated in September, 96. Indeed, in some respects the accession was improbable, since it placed the Empire under the control of a feeble sexagenarian and long-time Flavian supporter with close ties to the unpopular Domitian. On the other hand, Nerva had proven to be a capable senator, one with political connections and an ability to negotiate. Moreover, he had no children, thereby ensuring that the state would not become his hereditary possession.

Imperial Initiatives
Upon taking office, Nerva made immediate changes. He ordered the palace of Domitian to be renamed the House of the People, while he himself resided at the Horti Sallustiani, the favorite residence of Vespasian. More significantly, he took an oath before the senate that he would refrain from executing its members. He also released those who had been imprisoned by Domitian and recalled exiles not found guilty of serious crimes. Nevertheless, Nerva still allowed the prosecution of informers by the senate, a measure that led to chaos, as everyone acted in his own interests while trying to settle scores with personal enemies.

In the area of economic administration Nerva, like Domitian, was keen on maintaining a balanced budget. In early 97, after appointing a commission of five consular senators to give advice on reducing expenditures, he proceeded to abolish many sacrifices, races, and games. Similarly, he allowed no gold or silver statues to be made of himself. Even so, there was some room for municipal expenditure. For the urban poor of Italy he granted allotments of land worth 60 million sesterces, and he exempted parents and their children from a 5% inheritance tax. He also made loans to Italian landowners on the condition that they pay interest of 5% to their municipality to support the children of needy families. These alimentary schemes were later extended by Trajan, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius.

Because he reigned only briefly, Nerva's public works were few. By early 98 he dedicated the forum that Domitian had built to connect the Forum of Augustus with the Forum of Peace. It became known as the Forum of Nerva, or the Forum Transitorium. Nerva also built granaries, made repairs to the Colosseum when the Tiber flooded, and continued the program of road building and repairs inaugurated under the Flavians. In addition, pantomime performances, supressed by Domitian, were restored.

In the military realm, Nerva established veterans' colonies in Africa, a practice that was continued by the emperor Trajan. Normal military privileges were continued and some auxiliary units assumed the epithet Nervia or Nerviana. We are not well informed beyond these details, and any military action that may have occurred while Nerva was emperor is known sketchy at best.

Nature of Nerva's Government
Nerva's major appointments favored men whom he knew and trusted, and who had long served and been rewarded by the Flavians. Typical was Sextus Julius Frontinus. A consul under Vespasian and governor of Britain twenty years earlier, Frontinus came out of retirement to become curator of the water supply, an office that had long been subject to abuse and mismanagement. He helped to put an end to the abuses and published a significant work on Rome's water supply, De aquis urbis Romae. As a reward for his service, Frontinus was named consul for the second time in 98. Similarly, the emperor's own amici were often senators with Flavian ties, men who, by virtue of their links to the previous regime, were valuable to Nerva for what they knew. Thus do we find the likes of A. Didius Gallus Fabricius Veiiento, one of Domitian's ill-reputed counselors, seated next to Nerva at an imperial dinner. Nerva was less willing to consult the Senate as a whole. In many cases he preferred the opinions of his own consilium, and was less submissive than many senators would have liked. This attitude may have been responsible for hostile discontent among several senators.

Mutiny of the Praetorians and the Adoption of Trajan
It was not long before the assassination of Domitian came to work against the new emperor. Dissatisfied that Domitian had not been deified after his death, the praetorian guards mutinied under Casperius Aelianus in October 97. Taking the emperor as hostage, they demanded that Nerva hand over Domitian's murderers. The emperor not only relented, but was forced to give a public speech of thanks to the mutineers for their actions. His authority compomised, Nerva used the occasion of a victory in Pannonia over the Germans in late October, 97 to announce the adoption of Marcus Ulpius Traianus, governor of Upper Germany, as his successor. The new Caesar was immediately acclaimed imperator and granted the tribunicia potestas. Nerva's public announcement of the adoption settled succession as fact; he allowed no time to oppose his decision. From the German victory, Nerva assumed the epithet Germanicus and conferred the title on Trajan as well. He also made Trajan his consular colleague in 98.

Death and Deification
On January 1, 98, the start of his fourth consulship, Nerva suffered a stroke during a private audience. Three weeks later he died at his villa in the Gardens of Sallust. From his headquarters at Cologne, Trajan insisted that Nerva's ashes be placed in the mausoleum of Augustus and asked the senate to vote on his deification. We are further told that he dedicated a temple to Nerva, yet no trace of it has ever been found. Nor was a commemorative series of coins issued for the Deified Nerva in the wake of his death, but only ten years later.

Nerva's reign was more concerned with the continuation of an existing political system than with the birth of a new age. Indeed, his economic policies, his relationship with the senate, and the men whom he chose to govern and to offer him advice all show signs of Flavian influence. In many respects, Nerva was the right man at the right time. His immediate accession following Domitian's murder prevented anarchy and civil war, while his age, poor health and moderate views were perfect attributes for a government that offered a bridge between Domitian's stormy reign and the emperorships of the stable rulers to follow.

Copyright (C) 1998, David Wend.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
PACI AETERNAE, RIC 11812 viewsSeptimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D. Silver denarius, RIC IV 118, RSC III 357, SRCV II 6319, F, Rome mint, 3.083g, 16.2mm, 0o, 198 A.D.; obverse L SEP SEV PERT AVG IMP X, laureate head right; reverse PACI AETERNAE (eternal peace), Pax seated left, olive branch in right, long scepter in left. Ex FORVMPodiceps
Pamphylia, Aspendos (Circa 380-325 BC)27 viewsAR Stater

24 mm, 11.08 g

Obv: Two wrestlers grappling. Control: KI.

Slinger in throwing stance right. Triskeles right in field; countermark.

SNG France 104; SNG von Aulock 4557.

Aspendos was an ancient city in Pamphylia, Asia Minor, located about 40 km east of the modern city of Antalya, Turkey. It was situated on the Eurymedon River about 16 km inland from the Mediterranean Sea; it shared a border with, and was hostile to, Side. The wide range of its coinage throughout the ancient world indicates that, in the 5th century BC, Aspendos had become the most important city in Pamphylia. At that time, according to Thucydides, the Eurymedon River was navigable as far as Aspendos, and the city derived great wealth from a trade in salt, oil and wool.

There are two stories associated with Aspendos that I found interesting. In 389 BC Thrasybulus of Athens, in an effort to regain some of the prestige that city had lost in the Peloponnesian Wars, anchored off the coast of Aspendos in an effort to secure its surrender. Hoping to avoid a new war, the people of Aspendos collected money among themselves and gave it to the commander, entreating him to retreat without causing any damage. Even though he took the money, he had his men trample all the crops in the fields. Enraged, the Aspendians stabbed and killed Thrasybulus in his tent.

Many years later when Alexander the Great marched into Aspendos in 333 BC after capturing Perge, the citizens sent envoys asking him not to garrison soldiers there. He agreed, provided he would be given the taxes and horses that they had formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. After reaching this agreement Alexander went to Side, leaving a garrison there on the city's surrender. Going back through Sillyon, he learned that the Aspendians had failed to ratify the agreement their envoys had proposed and were preparing to defend themselves. Alexander marched to the city immediately. When they saw Alexander returning with his troops, the Aspendians, who had retreated to their acropolis, again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to very harsh terms; a Macedonian garrison would remain in the city and 100 gold talents as well as 4,000 horses would be given in tax annually.
Nathan P
RI 132de img.jpg
Pax219 viewsProbus Ant.
Obv:– IMP C PROBVS . P . F . AVG, Radiate, cuirassed bust right
Rev:– PAX AVG, Pax standing left, holding olive-branch and sceptre
Minted in Lugdunum (IIII in exe) Emission 8, Officina 4, Autumn to Late A.D. 281
References:– Cohen 401, Bastien 367 (2 examples), RIC 91 Bust type F

'Peace' here holding an olive branch and scepter. Some coins show an olive branch with cornucopia or cadeuceus.
Pax54 viewsObv. IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, helmeted and cuirassed bust left holding spear over right shoulder and shield on left
Rev. Pax standing left, olive branch in right, transverse scepter in left, Q right, XXI in ex;
Antoninanus, 3.25 gr, 21 mm,
Refs. RIC V 711

Historia Augusta 20 "Brevi," inquit, "milites necessarios non habebimus." quid est aliud dicere: Romanus iam miles erit nullus? ubique regnabit, omnia possidebit secura res publica. orbis terrarum non arma fabricabitur, non annonam praebebit, boves habebuntur aratro, equus nascetur ad pacem, nulla erunt bella, nulla captivitas, ubique pax, ubique Romanae leges, ubique iudices nostri."

"Soon," he said, "we shall have no need of soldiers." What else is this than saying: "Soon there will not be a Roman soldier? Everywhere the commonwealth will reign and will rule all in safety. The entire world will forge no arms and will furnish no rations, the ox will be kept for the plough and the horse be bred for peace, there will be no wars and no captivity, in all places peace will reign, in all places the laws of Rome, and in all places our judges."
1 commentsSyltorian
RI 030a img~0.jpg
Pax (seated)230 viewsVespasian Denarius
Rev:– PON MAX TR P COS VI, Pax seated left, holding olive branch, left hand at side
References:– RIC 90, RSC 366

Another example of Pax but this time seated rather than standing.
N5-Peace Dollar.jpg
Peace Dollar23 viewsPeace Dollar, 1925

Minted 1921-1935, 26.73 gr., 38.1 mm, reeded edge, .900 silver, .100 copper, Designer: Anthony De Francisci.

1925, E.F., 10,198,000 minted.

Reference: KM 150
Daniel Friedman
Peace Dollar - 192543 viewsUS 1925 Peace Dollar, Philadelphia Mint.
3 commentsrexesq
Peace Maker12 viewsObv: PEACE MAKER, a cannon aiming left.

Rev: STAND BY THE FLAG, the Stars and Stripes on a pole surmounted by the cap of Liberty, 1863 below.

Fuld 169/213
Matt Inglima
Pescennius Niger173 viewsPESCENNIUS NIGER. 193-194. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.2 g). Antioch mint. O: Laureate head right, IMP CAES C PESC NIGER IVSTI AV / BONIE V ENTVS, Fides standing left, holding plate of fruit and two grain ears. Obverse double struck. RIC IV var

When Pescennius was proclaimed emperor by his troops in AD 193, he knew his reign as emperor would not be peaceful. He quickly set out to issue huge sums of denarii in his name to pay his troops and to win the loyalty of others. To do this, like so many before him, Pescennius reduced the fineness of his denarii to a point that they were equivalent to the Caesarean drachm.

Considering his short bid for power, the variety of Niger denarii is amazing.

The scarcity of his coinage belies the fact that it was struck on a monumental scale, and we can only assume that after his defeat at the hands of Septimius Severus in AD 194 his coins were meticulously recalled and melted. Although it has been extensively published, there are such a huge number of minor varieties that no single catalogue is without numerous lacunae. It appears that the all of Niger's coins were struck at Antioch and possibly a subsidiary mint operating at Caesarea in Cappadocia.

This example illustrates the high level of quality control at the mint!
2 commentsNemonater
Radiate, only draped (!) bust right
Peace standing half-left, holding branch with right hand and sceptre with left one
RIC - Bland - Òvàri -, 4,69g , Antiochia , RRR
Philip Arab26 viewsAv. IMP IVL PHILIPPVS PIVS FEL AVG, below the bust PM
Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Peace standing half-left, holding branch with right hand and sceptre with left one
RIC 72 Bland 1 Òvàri -, 3,53g , Antiochia R+
Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Peace standing half-left, holding branch with right hand and sceptre with left one
RIC 69 Bland 4 Òvàri -, 4,33g , Antiochia
Philipp I RIC IV, 6962 viewsPhilipp I Arabs AD 244-249
AR - Antoninian, 5.10g, 22mm
Antiochia AD 247
Radiate, draped, cuirassed bust r.
Pax standing l., holding branch and transverse sceptre
RIC IV/3, 69, C.113
Scarce; about EF

Philip's first important task was the problem of ending the war in the East. Philip was more fortunate in his negotiations than Macrinus had been. Philip made a peace treaty with the Persian king Shapur in which Philip agreed to pay the equivalent of 50 million sesterces, and possibly an annual tribute. The treaty enabled the new emperor to travel westward to Rome.
2 commentsJochen
PLOTINA, The lady that changed history.142 views(An incredible PORTRAIT in the format of a Sestertius of PLOTINA)
The most influential of all Roman Empresses, she was interested in philosophy and in the doctrines of Epicurus, virtue, dignity and simplicity. She provided Romans with fairer taxation, improved education, assisted the poor, and tried to make Roman society ever more tolerant. Plotina was well known for her high moral standards and her kindness, as well as for her support for her husband: she travelled with him to the East and was present at his deathbed. It is said that when Plotina entered the imperial palace after her husband Trajan had become Emperor, she turned to those gathered at the steps and declared “I enter here such a woman as I would wish to be when I leave.” Plotina was instrumental in ensuring that Hadrian, who she greatly liked and was Trajan’s ward, succeeded peacefully to the throne on Trajan’s death
Postumus, RIC V, 7433 viewsPostumus, AD 260-269
Billon-Antoninian, 3.67g, 22.50mm, 180°
Trier, AD 262
Bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. MINE - R - FAVTR
Minerva Fautrix, helmeted, advancing l., holding in l. hand spear and shield and
in raised r. hand olive-branch
ref. RIC V/2, 74; C. 195; RSC 195a; Mairat 45-50; AGK 44
VF, attractive
ex CNG 11/2007
From Forum Ancient Coins, thanks!

The rev. seems to honour the Legio I Minerva. The interesting reverse legend MINER FAVTR stands for Minerva Fautrix, the favouring (partisan) Minerva. Perhaps the message is that Minerva offered Postumus wisdom, military power (note the spear and shield), and peace (note the branch) (FAC)
2 commentsJochen
Presidential Indian Peace Medals 1789 - 188933 viewsIndian Peace medals were issued by the United States Mint from 1801 to 1889 (Washington and John Adams medals were produced in the 1820's). This gallery consists of restrikes minted during the 20th Century.

Note: No medals were minted for 9th President William Henry Harrison, who died one month after taking office. A medal honoring Harrison's brief Presidency was issued in the 1880's, but is not a part of the Peace series.

To see individual medals with full descriptions, click link below:

Indian Peace Medals
Matt Inglima
Probus19 viewsAE- Antoninianus
IMP C PROBVS PF AVG; Radiate bust left in imperial mantle, holding eagle tripped scepter, and branch or flowers
PAX AVGVSTI ; Pax standing left, holding olive-branch and sceptre./ T in right field
RIC 712var.
Note: This interesting bust type probably celebrates the second consulate of Probus in A.D 278.
The branch in his hand could be a symbol for his consulship or the symbol of peace.
1 commentsJulianus of Pannonia
Ptolemy I Soter as Satrap Tetradrachm -- 311-305 BC17 views13.92 g, 28 mm, 0°
Alexandria Mint
Silver Tetradrachm; Very Rough, Edge Chip, Scratches
Minted during reign of Ptolemy I as Satrap
Svoronos 146; SNG Copenhagen 18

Obverse: Head of Alexander III Right with Horn of Ammon, Clad in Elephant's Skin and Aegis.
Reverse: AΛEΣAN∆POY (Of Alexander), Athena Alkidemos (Defender of the People) Advancing Right, Brandishing Spear and Shield; Eagle on Thunderbolt.

Ptolemy I Soter (Savior) (c. 367-283 BC) was a close boyhood friend and later trusted bodyguard and general of Alexander the Great. On Alexander's death, Ptolemy received Egypt as his inheritance. He ruled for 18 years as 'Satrap' of Egypt, but in 305 BC took the title of Pharaoh. He ruled for a further 20 years before dying peacefully in bed, the only of the Diadochi to do so (305-283 BC). He succeeded in creating a stable and prosperous kingdom which his dynasty ruled for 293 years. Most knowledge of Alexander the Great comes from works based on his lost account.
The design of these tetradrachms are my favorite Alexander coin.. Luckily, I was able to find one in rough, but still beautiful, condition for much less than the common price tag.
Ptolemy I Soter Tetradrachm -- 305-285 BC9 views13.70 g, 26 mm, 180°
Alexandria Mint
Silver Tetradrachm; Edge Chip
Minted during reign of Ptolemy I as Pharaoh
SNG Copenhagen 49

Obverse: Diademed Head of Ptolemy I Soter Right, Wearing Aegis.
Reverse: ΠTOλEMAlOY (Of Ptolemy), Eagle Standing on Thunderbolt, Facing Left.

Ptolemy I Soter (Savior) (c. 367-283 BC) was a close boyhood friend and later trusted bodyguard and general of Alexander the Great. On Alexander's death, Ptolemy received Egypt as his inheritance. He ruled for 18 years as 'Satrap' of Egypt, but in 305 BC took the title of Pharaoh. He ruled for a further 20 years before dying peacefully in bed, the only of the Diadochi to do so (305-283 BC). He succeeded in creating a stable and prosperous kingdom which his dynasty ruled for 293 years. Most knowledge of Alexander the Great comes from works based on his lost account.
Purchased from FORVM member, Kallisto. Thank you very much, love the coin.
Rhodes, Caria. (Circa 305-275 BC)34 viewsAR Didrachm

18 mm, 6.41 g

Obverse: Helios head in three-quarter view on the right.

Reverse: POΔΙΟΝ (RODION) above and Ε-Υ to left and right of rose with bud to right; in left field, bunch of grapes.

SNG Keckman 452; R. Ashton in: Money and Its Uses in the Ancient Greek World (Oxford 2001), p. 104, 158; H. Troxell, The Norman Davis Collection, ANS 1969, #228.

This coin was minted either during or in the years following one of the most notable sieges of antiquity, when, in the midst of the Successor Wars, Demetrius Poliorcetes, son of Antigonus I, besieged Rhodes in an attempt to make it abandon its neutrality and close relationship with Ptolemy I.

The citizens of Rhodes were successful in resisting Demetrius; after one year he abandoned the siege and signed a peace agreement (304 BC) which Demetrius presented as a victory because Rhodes agreed to remain neutral in his war with Ptolemy (Egypt).

Several years later the Helepolis (Demetrius' famed siege tower), which had been abandoned, had its metal plating melted down and - along with the money from selling the remains of the siege engines and equipment left behind by Demetrius - was used to erect a statue of their sun god, Helios, now known as the Colossus of Rhodes, to commemorate their heroic resistance.
1 commentsNathan P
RIC 0772 Vespasianus25 viewsObv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, Laureate head right
Rev: PON MAX TR P COS VI, Peace seated left, holding branch
AR/Denarius (20.32 mm 3.32 g 6h)
RIC 772 (C3), BMCRE 161-164, RSC 366
RIC 0772 Vespasianus (var)49 viewsObv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS, Laureate head right
Rev: PON MAX TR P COS VI, Peace seated left, holding branch
AR/Denarius (19.09 mm 3.41 g 6h)
RIC 772 (C3) variant (missing final AVG in obverse legend)
3 commentsFlaviusDomitianus
RIC 1407 Vespasian Eastern Denarius128 viewsIMP CAES VESPAS AVG
Laureate head of Vespasian right

Turreted and draped female bust right below, horizontal Φ

Ephesus, 69-70 AD


RIC 1407 (R); V1407, RPC 813


Ex-T.C. collection, Ex-Calgary Coin.

The Flavians as bringers of peace to the world.
8 commentsJay GT4
RIC 1407 Vespasian Eastern Denarius75 viewsIMP CAES VESPAS AVG
Laureate head of Vespasian right

Turreted and draped female bust right below, horizontal Φ

Ephesus, 69-70 AD


RIC V1407 (R); RPC 813


Ex-T.C. collection, Ex-Calgary Coin.

The Flavians as bringers of peace to the world.

New photo
8 commentsJay GT4
ric3667 viewsElagabalus
Orichalcum Sestertius

Obv: IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: PAX AVGVSTI (to the peace of the emperor), Pax advancing left, raising olive branch in right hand, scepter in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking near her waist.
32 mm, 21.56 gms

RIC 366
Charles M
Roger II, Norman King of Sicily; 1127-1130 AD25 viewsRoger II (Hauteville), Norman King of Sicily; AE Double Follaro; Spahr 53; Date: 1127-1130 AD; 5.3 grams, 20.74 mm; VF; Obverse: Christ enthroned, facing; Reverse: Emperor standing, facing, R above II in left field; a nice example of this scarcer bronze. Ex Ancient Imports.

"In Roger II Europe saw one of the greatest and most colourful rulers of the Middle Ages. Born of an Italian mother, raised in Sicily where--thanks to his father's principles of total religious toleration--Greek and Saracen mingled on equal footing with Norman and Latin.

Roger's most astonishing political achievement was to weld together the three great civilisations of the Mediterranean--Latin Greek and Arab--so that they worked together in peace and harmony, and to do so in a century in which they were everywhere else at each other's throats: the century of the Crusades, and less than a hundred years after the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western Churches" (Norwich, John Julius. The Middle Sea, A History of the Mediterranean. New York: Doubleday, 2006. 102,104).

Edited by J.P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
ROMAN EMPIRE - HADRIAN28 viewsHadrian AD 117-138 Copper As "PAX AD 121" "I bring peace to the empire of Rome" Obv: IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG - Laureate bust right with drapery on left shoulder Rev: P M TR P COS III S C - Pax standing left, holding olive branch and cornucopia. Rome mint AD 120-121 = RIC II, p. 420, 616b; Cohen 1142, 11.445 g.dpaul7
ROMAN EMPIRE - HELENA17 viewsHelena AD 324-328 AE 4 PAX PVBLICA "The People are at peace" Helena and her son Constantine the Great were canonized by the Church for their role in making the Christianity official religion of the Roman Empire. Today they are celebrated as St. St. Constantine and Helena. Obv: FL IVL HELENA AVG - Diademed, mantled with necklace Rev: PAX PVBLICA - Pax standing left, holding branch and transverse scepter. , 1.39 g.dpaul7
ROMAN EMPIRE - TREBONIANUS GALLUS31 viewsTrebonianus Gallus Silver Antoninianus "Pax" GREAT PORTRAIT Trebonianus Gallus AD 251-253 Silver Antoninianus "To eternal peace" Obv: IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG - Radiate bust right, draped and cuirassed Rev: PAX AETERNA - Pax standing left, holding olive branch and transverse scepter Milan (Mediolanum) mint: AD 251-253 = RIC IViii, p. 166, 71; Cohen 76, 3.78 g.
ROMAN EMPIRE, Elagabalus, AR Denarius8 viewsRSC III 38a, RIC IV 73, BMCRE V 38, SRCV II 7512, gVF, centered, toned, Rome mint, weight 3.332g, maximum diameter 19.3mm, die axis 180o, 219 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing facing, head right, vexillum in right, standard in left.

This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
Ruslan K
ROMAN EMPIRE, Herennia Etruscilla32 viewsObv: HER ETRVSCILLA AVG
Diademed and draped bust, right. Crescent behind shoulders.
Pudicitia veiled and standing left, holding sceptre and right hand drawing veil.
Antoninianus, 3.9 gm, 22.1 mm, Rome RIC 58b.
Commentary: Herennia was descended from a noble Etruscan family and this fact and that she was wife to Trajan Decius is about all that is known about her. Declared Augusta in 249, she survived the death of her husband and presumably lived the remainder of her life in peace and comfort.
Nero Sesterzio Partaiani.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Nero, sesterius637 viewsNero, Sestertius. On reverse the temple of Janus with closed doors. Nero was a pacifist, he was proud that during his reign there was peace, so the doors of the temple were closed. 3 commentsPLINIUS
ROMAN EMPIRE, Philip I, AR antoninianus39 viewsPhilip I Ant "Roma, the eternal" Philip I "the Arab" AD 244-249 Silver Antoninianus "I have brought eternal peace to Rome, the eternal city." Obv: IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG - Radiate bust right, draped and cuirassed. Rev: ROMAE AETERNAE - Roma sitting left, holding Victory and scepter. Rome mint: AD 247 (5th Issue- 6th Officina)
RIC IViii, 44b, page 73 - Cohen 169
ROMAN EMPIRE, Valerian I (253-260)35 viewsObv: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG
Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae
Antoninianus, 3 gm, 20 mm, Rome RIC 209
History: Commissioned by Gallus to the Rhine to gather an Army, the news that Gallus had subsequently been murdered prompted the Legions to proclaim him Emperor. On his arrival to Italy, the forces of the pretender Aemilian had no heart for battle and executed him. The Senate quickly ratified his regime and the appointment of his son, Gallienus as co-Augustus. With all points of the Empire collapsing under the strain of barbarous invasions, father and son agreed to geographically split their responsabilities with the son headed to the West and Valerian focused to the East. His first order of business was to quell the widespread and destructive rampage of Shapur I. The Battle Order implemented by Valerian met with great success in the recovery of territory and elimination of localized revolts. Then disaster struck. The plague decimated his legions to the point where he was forced to withdraw into the city of Edessa. He saw little option, but to sue for peace and proceeded to make the colossal error of going to Shapur in person with a small retinue of advisors. Shapur was delighted to take advantage of the situation and promptly placed this unwise emperor in chains. He spent the remainder of his life being tortured and tormented by his captor who found it amusing to use him as a footstool to mount his horse. On his eventual death, Shapur reportedly had his body skinned and put on display, truly the low point of a profoundly troubled Empire.
ROMAN EMPIRE, Vespasian, Silver Denarius30 viewsStruck 70 AD, Rome mint, 19mm, 3.2g, VF, RIC I 29

OBVERSE: Laureate head of Vespasian, right. IMP[ERATOR] CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG[USTUS] (Commander Caesar Vespasian, the Revered One).

REVERSE: Goddess of Peace, Pax, seated left, holding branch and caduceus. COS ITER TR[BUNICIA] POT[ESTATE] (Consul again, Tribune of the People).
Michael H4
ROMAN REPUBLIC, Janus/Prow Series, Aes Grave As - Crawford 35/162 viewsRome, The Republic.
Janus/Prow Series, circa 225-217 BCE.
AE Aes Grave As (256.29g; 64mm).

Obv: Head of Janus; - (value mark) below neck.

Rev: Prow right; I (value mark) above.

Reference: Crawford 35/1; Vecchi, ICC 74; Sydenham 71.

Provenance: Ex Kuenker Auction 280 (26 Sep 2016), Lot 315; ex Hannelore Scheiner Collection; acquired 1966 from Martin Nading of Fort Wayne, IN.

Aes Grave were a significant departure from the previous Roman bronze money in that Aes Grave were denominated with marks of value, and thus did not require weighing. The prow series of Libral Aes Grave was a very large issue. E.J. Haeberlin included nearly 1,200 examples of the As in the weight analysis within his monumental "Aes Grave". The Prow series Aes Grave was initially based on an As of about 270 grams. The iconography likely refers to the role of Rome's new and powerful navy in the victory over Carthage in the First Punic War and to the closing of the doors of the Temple of Janus in recognition of the peace. This same iconography subsequently became emblamatic of the As for several centuries of Roman struck bronze coinage.
5 commentsCarausius
RPC-1651-Vespasian (1)121 viewsAR Didrachm, 6.77g
Caesarea, Cappadocia mint, 76-77 AD
Obv: AYTOKPA KAICAP OYЄCΠACIANOC CЄBACTOC; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ΔOMITIANOC KAICAP CЄB YIO ЄT Θ; Domitian standing, l., holding branch
RPC 1651 (19 spec.).
Ex Pegasi VAuction 32, 19 May 2015, lot 314.

For dynastic reasons Vespasian frequently featured his sons on the coinage, even in far-flung provinces. Here we see Domitian "son of the Augustus" togate as consul, holding an olive branch in a suggestion of peace.

Although a bit worn, it's a decent example in good "local" style, similar to the denarii struck at Ephesus.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC-1651-Vespasian (2)55 viewsAR Didrachm, 6.93g
Caesarea, Cappadocia mint, 76-77 AD
Obv: AYTOKPA KAICAP OYЄCΠACIANOC CЄBACTOC; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ΔOMЄTIANOC KAICAP CЄBA YIO ЄT Θ; Domitian standing, l., holding branch
RPC 1651 var. (19 spec.).
Acquired from Forvm Ancient Coins, July 2018.

A 'local' style Cappadocian didrachm with an unusual reverse legend variant. Here we have 'ΔOMЄTIANOC' instead of 'ΔOMITIANOC', and 'CЄBA' instead of 'CЄB'. The odd spelling of Domitian's name with an 'Є' occurs only a handful of times on extremely rare bronze provincial coins. To my knowledge this variant legend is confined to just one reverse die. Nemonator has a die match in his Forvm gallery. RPC have not assigned it a separate catalogue number, but it is noted in the 2017 Addenda.

The reverse features Domitian 'son of the Augustus' togate as consul, holding an olive branch in a suggestion of peace. An interesting provincial dynastic type.

Richly toned in fine 'local' style.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
Rutherford B. Hayes Indian Peace Medal26 viewsObv: RUTHERFORD B. HAYES - PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, Bust of President Hayes (19th President) facing left.

Rev: PEACE within a sunburst, above; scene of a farmer showing a Native American chief the benefit of civilization; in exergue: crossed peace pipe and tomahawk, encircled by laurel wreath.

Engraver: George Morgan

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: circa 1877 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 59 x 76 mm
Matt Inglima
S.954 Eadmund25 viewsPenny of Eadmund, king of East Anglia, 855-870.
Moneyer: Beaghelm
S. 954

Eadmund (or Edmund), later to be sainted and forever known as St. Edmund (of the Bury St. Edmund's fame) was the last independent king of East Anglia. He managed to keep order in his kingdom when the Viking "Great Heathen Army" landed an invasion force in 865, and made some sort of peace with them, providing a brief respite. The Vikings went north and attacked Northumbria, took York, set up a puppet government there, and then came south again. This time, the East Anglians resisted, but were crushed by the Viking army. Eadmund died, either in battle, or shortly after.

Ex- Triskeles Auction 309 (lot 438)
S.964 Imitation of Alfred48 viewsViking penny imitating Alfred, king of Wessex 871-899
Moneyer: unknown
Mint: unknown (probably East Anglia)
S. 964

Viking imitation of the well-known 'Londonia' type struck for King Alfred. Alfred was the only king of England to carry the moniker 'the great', due to his success in saving his kingdom and people from destruction at the hands of the Vikings.

This type copies the official penny of Alfred featuring the monogram of the city of London, which copies earlier monograms seen on Roman, Gothic, and Frankish coins. The original is believed to have been struck to commemorate the retaking of London from the Danes, ca. 886. This imitation presumably dates from a few years later.

Alfred struck a peace treaty with Guthrum, warlord of the Danes, probably after retaking London. This established a boundary for Danish territory and brought some peace to England for a period. Presumably trade between the two peoples began, and the Danes started minting coins imitating the contemporary issues from Wessex.

This particular coin is almost certainly a Viking imitation due to the crude style and low weight (1.2g). It was double struck about 10 degrees off, and as such the imagery is a little muddled, but still quite readable.

Ex- Downies
Salus, goddess of health safety and general welfare.350 viewsCrispina -- Died 182/3 CE. Wife of Commodus. Augusta, 177-182/3 CE.
Orichalcum Sestertius (31 mm, 21.12 gm). Rome mint, 177-182 CE.
Obv: CRISPINA AVGVSTA, Bare-headed & draped bust r.
Rev: SALVS SC, Salus seated l., feeding out of patera snake coiled round altar, l. arm on side of chair.
RIC-672a, BMC-420, Cohen-33, Sear-6010.

Salus was an old Roman goddess often identified with Hygieia, a daughter of Aesculapius. While the name SALVS appears on many Roman coins, it is often not in a true medical context, but rather in a political sense that peace and safety prevailed in the Empire. She usually holds a scepter and is shown feeding a snake from a patera.
4 commentsEmpressCollector
Securitas219 viewsHelena, died AD 328, mother of Constantin I
AE - AE3, 2.96g, 17mm
Cyzikus 2. officina, AD 325/6
bust draped, with necklace, pearl-diademed head r.
Securitas draped, diademed, standing l., with r. hand holding down a branch,
with l. raising her robe
exergue: SMK[B] dot
RIC VII, Cyzicus 39; cf. C.39; LRBC.1177
R2; uncirculated, partially silvered

SECURITAS, security, connected with the ideas of Peace and Victory. Sometimes depicted as leaning on a column (meaning security for itself). Here providing security for the empire.
1 commentsJochen
Seleukos I Nikator / Quadriga of Elephants17 viewsSeleukos I Nikator. 312-281 BC. AR Tetradrachm (27mm, 17.13 g, 4h). Seleukeia on the Tigris II mint. Struck circa 296/5-281 BC.
O: Laureate head of Zeus right
R: BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King) left, Athena, brandishing spear and shield, in quadriga of elephants right; anchor above,ΣEΛEYKOY (Seleukos), two monograms in exergue.
- SC 130.20c corr. (monogram); ESM – (but obv. die A42); HGC 9, 18a; NFA XXII, lot 339 (same dies); CNG 96 lot 530 (Same Dies).

For this variety, 130.20c, SC cites NFA XXII, lot 339, but the monogram is not clear in the photograph. The present coin, from the same dies as the NFA piece, clearly shows that the diagonal line in the lower left of the monogram is not present.

Seleucus I was the founder of the Seleucid dynasty. His kingdom at its highest point extended from Thrace and Asia Minor in the West to Bactria in the East and from the Black Sea in the north to the borders of Egypt in the South. Out of all of the Successors of Alexander the Great, he was the one who came closest to restoring the entirety of the Macedonian Empire. Although Seleucus had been appointed satrap of Babylonia by an assembly of Alexander’s former generals in 321 BC, Antigonos, who was made strategos of Asia at the same time sought to remove the satraps that he could not control and thereby become the new master of Alexander’s Empire. Realizing the danger, Seleucus escaped from Babylon to the Egyptian court of Ptolemy. With Ptolemy’s assistance, Seleucus was able to return to Babylon and reclaim his satrapy in 312 BC. In 306/5 he embarked upon an eastern campaign to gain control of the Upper Satrapies.

This series of tetradrachms served as a reminder of the 500 war elephants Seleukos received in settlement with Chandragupta in the Peace of 303. The treaty is celebrated on the reverse which depicts a militant Athena being pulled by four elephants equipped with horned headdresses.

Elephants were the equivalent to the tank of the ancient Greek world. The elephants of Chandragupta had a pivotal role to play in Seleucus’ reign. Thanks to their timely arrival at the Battle of Ipsos (301 BC), it was possible for Seleucus and his allies to defeat and kill Antigonos, thereby ending an ever-present threat to his security. With Antigonos gone, Seleucus could safely rule his eastern kingdom. In 281 BC Philetairos and other cities and rulers of western Asia Minor invited Seleucus to march west and destroy his sometime ally, Lysimachos, who had made himself very unpopular in the region. Seleucus acquiesced to this request, defeating and killing Lysimacus at the Battle of Korupedion. This victory gained for Seleucus all of Lysimacus’ former territory in Asia Minor and Thrace, but he was not able to savour this triumph for long. Later in the year, as he marched through Thrace, Seleucus was murdered by a refugee from the Ptolemaic court.
1 commentsNemonater
Septimius Severus - Founder of peace80 viewsDenarius (fourré) 201
O/ SEVERUS - PIUS AUG Laureate head right
R/ FUNDAT-OR - PACIS Septimius, veiled, standing half-left, holding branch and roll
C 205var. - RIC 265var.
Mint: ?
The coin has lost the silver thin layer and is burnt
Septimius Severus Denarius24 viewsSilver denarius, RIC IV 265, RSC III 205, SRCV II 6282, VF, Rome mint, 201 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse FVNDATOR PACIS (founder of peace), Severus, togate, standing left holding olive branch in right and scroll in left;Philoromaos
Septimius Severus Denarius. RIC 1605 views
Septimius Severus Denarius. SEVERVS AVG PART MAX, laureate bust right / FVNDATOR PACIS, Severus, veiled, standing left with branch and book. RSC 203.

The “Restorer of Peace”
Septimius Severus Fvndator Pacis32 viewsSilver denarius, RIC IV 265, RSC III 205, SRCV II 6282, gVF, Rome mint, weight 3.322g, maximum diameter 19.0mm, die axis 180o, 201 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse FVNDATOR PACIS, Severus, togate, standing left, olive branch in right, scroll in left;
This reverse type announces achievement of Peace. Hence the Emperor is wearing civilian clothes and holding the olive branch which is usually held by the goddess Pax.

Ex Forvm Ancient Coins
1 commentsRomanorvm
Sev Alexander Sestertius - Pax Advancing Left 'PAX AUGUSTI'.19 viewsAncient Roman Empire
Emperor Severus Alexander (222 - 235 AD)
AE (Bronze) Sestertius, Rome Mint.

obv: IMP CAES M AUR SEV ALEXANDER AUG - Laureate and draped bust right. Seen from behind.
rev: PAX AUGUSTI - PAX (Peace) advancing left, holding branch in one hand and carrying a sceptre,
'S C' to either side.

4 commentsrexesq
Severus Alexander (Marcus Aurelius Alexander) (Caesar, 221-222 A.D.; Augustus, 222-235 A.D.)6 viewsSRCV 7884, RIC IV 160, Van Meter 26.

AR Denarius, 2.37 g., 19.69 mm. max., 180°.

Rome mint, second emission, struck 222 A.D.

Obv: IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate, draped bust right, seen from behind.

Rev: MARTI P-A-CIFERO, Mars standing facing, head left, branch upward in right hand, reversed spear in left.

"Mars the Pacifier" alludes to victory in war as an effective way to achieve peace.

RIC rarity C, Van Meter VB1.
Siam, Gambling Token: 1760-1821 AD66 viewsUniversal Peace and Harmony

Gambling tokens were first introduced during the Ayudhya period by Chinese gamblers. They were made from tin or brass between 1760 - 1821 AD. Between 1821-1875 AD, the tokens were made from porcelain. They are found in many different forms and shapes: multi-sided or cirular, flat and with a wide range of designs such as flowers, animals, aquatic animals and Chinese mythological figures. The value of each token was inscribed in Chinese on the reverse side of token. There are more than 5,000 designs. Later, they were used in commercial transactions as well, and became in effect legal tender. In 1875 AD, the government prohibited their use for commercial purposes.
Sicily, Syracuse. Agathokles (Circa 317-289 BC)23 viewsAE 21, 8.90 g

Obverse: ΣΩΤΕΙΡΑ (Soteira - "the saving goddess); head of Artemis right, wearing triple-pendant earring and necklace, quiver over shoulder

Reverse: ΑΓΑΘΟΚΛΕΟΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΟΣ (By the King Agathokles); winged thunderbolt. Calciati II pg. 277, 142; SNG ANS 708.

The son of a potter who had moved to Syracuse in about 343 BC, Agathokles learned his father's trade, but afterwards entered the army. In 333 BC he married the widow of his patron Damas, a distinguished and wealthy citizen. He was twice banished for attempting to overthrow the oligarchical party in Syracuse.

In 317 BC he returned with an army of mercenaries under a solemn oath to observe the democratic constitution which was established after they took the city. Having banished or murdered some 10,000 citizens, and thus made himself master of Syracuse, he created a strong army and fleet and subdued the greater part of Sicily.

War with Carthage followed. In 311 BC Agathocles was defeated in the Battle of the Himera River and besieged in Syracuse. In 310 BC he made a desperate effort to break through the blockade and attack the enemy in Africa. After several victories he was at last completely defeated (307 BC) and fled secretly to Sicily.

After concluding peace with Carthage in 306 BC, Agathocles styled himself king of Sicily in 304 BC, and established his rule over the Greek cities of the island more firmly than ever. A peace treaty with Carthage left him in control of Sicily east of the Halycus River. Even in his old age he displayed the same restless energy, and is said to have been contemplating a fresh attack on Carthage at the time of his death.
Nathan P
Sicily, Syracuse. Hiketas II. (Circa 287-278 BC)42 viewsAE 22, 10.11 g

Obverse: Wreathed head of Persephone left; ear of grain behind; ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΩΝ (SYRAKOSION)

Reverse: Female driving biga right; star above, A in exergue

CNS II 123 Ds 95; SNG ANS 759 var.

Hiketas (Greek: Ἱκέτας or Ἱκέτης) was tyrant of Syracuse, during the interval between the reign of Agathokles and that of Pyrrhus. After the death of Agathokles (289 BC), his supposed assassin, Maenon, put to death Archagathus, the grandson of Agathocles; and assuming the command of the army directed his arms against Syracuse. Hereupon Hicetas was sent against him by the Syracusans, with a considerable army: but after the war had continued for some time, without any decisive result, Maenon, by calling in the aid of the Carthaginians, obtained the superiority, and the Syracusans were compelled to conclude an ignominious peace. Soon after ensued the revolution which led to the expulsion of the Campanian mercenaries (originally hired by Agathokles), afterwards known as the Mamertines: and it must have been shortly after this that Hiketas established himself in the supreme power, as we are told by Diodorus that he ruled nine years. He was at length expelled from Syracuse by Thynion, an event which took place not long before the arrival of Pyrrhus in Sicily, and must therefore be referred either to 279 or 278 BC.
1 commentsNathan P
Sicily, Syracuse. Timoleon (Circa 344-338 BC)37 viewsÆ Hemidrachm (24.5mm, 15.84 g).

Timoleontic Symmachy coinage. First series.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Timoleon then proceeded to systematically take over the government of the various tyrannies in his domain, gave cities a greater level of autonomy, and established a new constitution at Syracuse. Shortly thereafter he died peacefully of old age in the mid-330s BC after earlier retiring voluntarily from public office when his eyesight failed. He was buried in the agora of Syracuse and the following inscription was made to commemorate his deeds: ‘He overthrew the tyrants, subdued the barbarians, repopulated the largest of the devastated cities, and then restored their laws to the people of Sicily’ (Plutarch, 187).
2 commentsNathan P
8.3 MM AND 0.45 GRAMS. Sear 5940v
OBVERSE – Bearded diety about to slay lion, within incuse square
REVERSE – Galley with zig-zag waves below

Like most Phoenician cities, Sidon was built on a promontory facing an island, which sheltered its fleet from storms off the sea, and became a refuge during armed incursions from the interior. lt surpassed all other Phoenician cities in wealth, commercial initiative, and religious significance. At the height of the Persian Empire (550 - 330 BC) Sidon provided Persia, a great land power, with the ships and seamen it needed to fight the Egyptians and Greeks. This vital role gave Sidon and its kings a highly favored position during that period.
Glass manufacture, Sidon's most important enterprise, was conducted on such a vast scale that the very invention of glass has often been attributed to it. Exceedingly vigorous, too, was the production of purple dye for garments of royalty, as attested by Murex Hill, a huge mound of remains of the shellfish Murex trunculus from which the dye was obtained. Sidon was also famous in ancient times for its gardens and its twin-basin harbor.

Like other Phoenician capitals, Sidon suffered the depredations of a succession of conquerors. At the end of the Persian era, unable to resist the superior forces of the emperor Artaxerxes lll, the desperate Sidonians locked their gates and immolated themselves in their homes rather than submit to the invader. More than 40,000 died in the flames. Shortly after, in 333 BC, the decimated city was too weak to oppose the triumphal march down the coast of Alexander the Great, and sued for peace.

Antonivs Protti
Spain- Taragona- Amphitheatre.jpg
Spain- Taragona- Amphitheatre46 viewsThis conventional seating may be observed at the amphitheatre at Tarragona in northern Spain. Tarraco, its Latin name, was the capital of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. The seating is essentially the same as that found in Rome’s Colosseum. The amphitheatre’s construction is dated to the second century AD, a time of extensive building of centres of public entertainment throughout the Mediterranean. On the right side, the seating was hewn from the bedrock, while on the left, or seaward side, the seating was built up from blocks, a phenomenon also found at Syracuse in Sicily.

However, in a recent visit to Pompeii some interesting divergence from the norm is easily to be observed, for which no reason appears to have been voiced. The town of Pompeii, destroyed in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79, had a population in excess of 10,000, and was clearly a place of sufficient wealth to

sport not only an amphitheatre seating 20,000, but also a traditional Greek theatre and a smaller building called the Odeon. The "large" theatre, as it is now called, can seat an audience of 5,000, the "small" theatre, which was roofed, had accommodation for 500. Seating was according to rank, it is supposed, two side boxes (rather like the royal boxes of later theatres) for honoured guests, an inner cavea for the decurions or magistrates of the town, the middle rows for the more wealthy members of the community, the upper tiers for the ordinary citizens. If one looks closely it is clearly noticeable that this inner cavea consists of the first four or five rows of benches.

It is clear that, unlike the earlier form of the Greek theatres, the front rows are considerably wider than those higher up in the auditorium. The size of the seating is far beyond the dimensions of even a large and well-endowed personage, extending inwards for a good metre or more. The reasons for the additional size are unclear, because the larger width does not make these benches any more comfortable for the sitter, if anything they provide less support than the more narrow benches above. Presumably, the spectators brought cushions with them for lengthy performances in much the same way as fans for rugby or cricket matches do today. One solution may be that the wider seating allowed the dignatory to relax by reclining as if at dinner though this can hardly have been a posture acceptable for a quasi-religious festival nor one which would have endeared these wealthy members of the community to their less well-endowed fellows higher up, even if conspicuous consumption was the order of the day, particularly during the Roman empire.

In the "large" theatre the first four rows, in the "small" theatre and in the amphitheatre the first five rows stand out from the rest and, in fact, have their special place denoted by a partition. In some of the theatres in Greece, the officials judging the competitions, which were part and parcel of the festivals, and high ranking citizens might occupy a special bench, or the first row of the auditorium, but the broad nature of the bench at Pompeii appears unique. Pompeii began as a Oscan settlement in the 8th century BC and was heavily Hellenised by the 6th century. Thereafter, Pompeii had a fairly chequered history, being conquered and lost by the Etruscans and Samnites, before becoming a Roman colony in 80 BC. The Samnites of the central hills and the more local Oscan speakers, an Italic dialect which survived down to the period of the empire, remained culturally and linguistically influential, and it is possible that the Greek practice of uniformity in seating was altered by these Italic tribes who, at times, controlled Pompeii. On the other hand, there could be direct Roman or even Etruscan influence, though this formalised partitioning of seating is not seen in any of the archeaological sites in Rome or in nearby Campania, for example at Puteoli or at Capua. Finally, as for what purpose the large widths were intended, without clear evidence, and certainly with no ancient mention, means that speculation takes over. It could be that wooden seats rather like thrones were brought in, even sedan chairs for the high and mighty of the town, though it is worth bearing in mind that high-backed chairs easily obscured the views of those scarcely less wealthy immediately behind. The Roman males, it will be remembered, tended to lounge on low couches when they ate, rather than sitting in upright seats, which became popular only in the later Byzantine period. It also seems likely that, given the amount of space, it was not just the men who were seated here but entire families - perhaps picnic baskets as well. Refreshments were provided during performances, but the wealthy possibly brought their own equivalents of the modern cool bags and six-packs. The illustrations of the three places of entertainment at Pompeii do not appear to suggest that these special seating are the product of modern reconstructions, some of which have proved disastrous to ancient sites; and, therefore, there seems to be no alternative to accepting at least the idea that preferential seating was the order of the day in this rather provincial town on the Bay of Naples. Etruscan tombs often show their owners in a reclining position as if at a meal, and other forms of entertainment also feature which, overall, might suggest an influence here from north of the River Tiber.

Having dwelt at length, as it were, with the bottoms and the bottom-most seats of the ancient theatres and amphitheatres I now want to move on to the general ambience of the structure. The Roman amphitheatre or hippodrome were dirty smelly places where, by the end of the day’s proceedings, the stench from the dead and dying must have made an abatoir a sweet-smelling location. It is recorded that sprinkler systems were used in the Colosseum to spray the audience and the arena floor with scented water to alleviate the foulness of the atmosphere. By way of contrast, the Greek theatre must have been a place of peace and serenity, except for sore buttocks and aching backs.

Many commentators of the ancient theatre have sadly noted that the early pristine form, as found today at Epidaurus and Segesta, generally underwent alterations during the Roman period. It is noted that the slightly more than a semi-circular design was largely filled in during later antiquity by the Roman scena; and today many examples of the traditional Greek theatres sport Roman brickwork at the front which reached the same height, in some cases, as the uppermost tier of the cavea or auditorium. This height also allowed for a velabrum or canvass cover to be used to provide shade or shelter from the elements. At Taormina, ancient Tauromenium, for example:

"The brick scenic wall was preceded by a row of nine granite columns crowned by Corinthian capitals, which had both a decorative and bearing function, in that they supported the higher parts of the stage. The niches in the wall contained marble statues. On the sides, there are remains of the ‘parascenia’, square rooms used by actors and for scenic fittings. The actors entered the stage through side openings. A further row of sixteen columns closer to the orchestra framed the decorative front of the stage."

This is quite a departure from the earlier simplicity of the Greek theatre. However, it is certainly arguable that Baroque is not necessarily less pleasing than Romanesque even if blocking out the natural view also took the theatre out of its topographical or geographical context. For the purists among us, more sacrilege occurred, for instance, again at Taormina, where the first nine rows of the seating were removed making the orchestra large enough for gladiatorial combats and beast hunts, while at the same time allowing the audience safety high above the blood sports taking place below them. Of course, the construction of a front wall can easily be accounted for by the changing tastes in the entertainment itself, while the local audience presumably knew the view pretty well, and did not come to the theatre to gaze at Mount Etna. Furthermore, Taormina, high up on a hill overlooking the sea, had no extra space on which to build a new amphitheatre, more regularly the venue for gladiatorial combats. And it is also quite possible that there were simply insufficient funds. Taormina was neither a large nor a wealthy city.

Meanwhile, at Delphi the scena was "low so that the audience could enjoy the wonderful view", says one expert. Nonetheless, while the modern tourist may find the view as gratifying if not more so than the ruined theatre, the ancient audience came too see and hear the performances in honour of the Pythian Apollo. The ancient Greeks did not come for the view, they came for theatrical, religious even mystic experience. It is the modern philistine in us who enjoys the view. That being the case, the construction of the ancient theatre had little to do with searching for a site with a nice aspect, though these obviously exist, even in abundance, but for acoustic perfection and adequate accommodation. Finally, the best seats were closest to the stage and its proceedings, while the worst seats, for looking at the productions, had the best views. Does this mean that the most wealthy, with the largest bottoms, were obliged to watch the entertainment with no chance of letting the mind wander to the natural surroundings? Or does it mean that the women, slaves and poorest citizens, who sat high above the productions, probably could not hear or see what was going on hence took in the nice view instead. Therein lies the morality tale embedded in the title of this paper. If you had the means you were forced to take in the culture. If you were female or poor you could let your mind wander to other matters, including wonderful views of nature.
John Schou
Struck A.D.289 - 293, CARAUSIUS, AE Antoninianus minted at Londinium (London, England)4 viewsObverse: IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG. Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Carausius facing right.
Reverse: PAX AVG. Pax standing facing left, holding olive branch in her right hand and vertical sceptre in left; across field, S - P: in exergue, MLXXI.
Diameter: 23mm | Weight: 3.9gms | Die Axis: 6 | Some remaining patches of silvering.
Unlisted. cf.RIC V ii : 98

Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius, of Menapian origin and commander of the fleet under Maximianus, rebelled and set himself up as Emperor in Britain in A.D.287. All attempts by the central Empire to dislodge him failed and he adopted the title "Caesar" c.A.D.289 having negotiated a peace with Diocletian. He was murdered by Allectus, one of his chief ministers, in A.D.293.
Struck c.1615 - 1616, Louis XIII and Anne d'Autriche. AE (Brass) Jeton8 viewsObverse: LVDO•XIII D G FR•ET•NA•ANNA•AVSTR•HISPAN. Crowned jugate busts of Louis XIII and Anne facing right, both wearing ruffs.
Reverse: Crown and two branches above two hearts, between which are the scrolled words CARITAS / *SPES* / *FIDES* in three lines above * L * - * A * (for Louis and Anne) either side of facing eagle. Below, scroll bearing the words •HANS•LAVFER•; in exergue H – L (for Hans Laufer) either side of floral device.

Struck at Nuremburg, Germany
Die engraver: Hans Laufer
Dimensions: 27.1mm | Weight: 3.87gms | Die Axis: 12
Ref. M: 3714 | Feuardent: 12329

Hans Laufer became Guild master at Nuremburg in 1611, though he had been responsible for issuing jetons from 1607. He died in 1632.

Louis XIII became king of France and Navarre in 1610, shortly before his ninth birthday, after his father Henry IV was assassinated. He ruled France until he died of Tuberculosis in 1643. Anne was betrothed to him at the age of eleven and, on 24th November 1615, they were married by proxy in Burgos. The marriage following the tradition of cementing military and political alliances between France and Spain that had begun with the marriage of Philip II of Spain to Elisabeth of Valois in 1559 as part of the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis. Anne and Louis, both fourteen years old, were pressured to consummate their marriage in order to forestall any possibility of future annulment, but this was ignored and Louis' mother, Marie de Medici, continued to conduct herself as Queen of France, without showing any deference to her daughter-in-law. However, in 1617, Louis conspired with Charles d'Albert, Duke of Luynes, to dispense with his mother's influence and she was ousted in a palace coup d'état which also saw her favourite, Concino Concini, assassinated. Louis turned now to Cardinal Richelieu as his advisor but Anne was opposed to Richelieu and became embroiled in several intrigues against him. This inevitably created tension between Louis and Anne. But despite this, and after having endured several stillbirths, in 1638 Anne finally gave birth to a son, the future Louis XIV, and the Bourbon line was further secured when in 1640 she gave birth to a second son, Philippe.
Struck c.1667, Louis XIV and Marie-Thérèse, AE (Brass) Jeton7 viewsObverse: +LVD•XIIII•ET•MAR•THER•D•G•FRA•ET•NAV•REX•ET•REG. Busts of Louis XIV and Marie Therese facing one another. To the left, draped and laureate bust of Louis XVI facing right. To the right, draped bust of Marie Therese facing left, small crown on the back of her head.
Reverse: VINCIT•DVM•RESPICIT (The sun dissipates the clouds). Radiant disc of the sun with facial features parting billowing clouds below; in exergue, 1667.

Struck at Lisse, Netherlands
Die engraver: Unknown
Dimensions: 27mm | Weight: 6.1gms | Die Axis: 6
Ref. Feuardent: 13069

Marie-Thérèse, daughter of Philip IV of Spain, was born on the 10th of September 1638. She was also called Marie-Thérèse D'Autriche because the Spanish Kings of those days had a Hapsburg-Austrian origin and her name refers to that and not the home country were she was born and lived.
In 1660 Philip IV, and the entire Spanish court accompanied Marie-Thérèse to the Isle of Pheasants, in the Bidassoa, where she was met by Louis XIV and his court. She and Louis XIV were married in 1660, the marriage agreement being one aspect of the peace negotiations that took place between Spain and France during 1659 and 1660. On the day of her wedding, Marie-Thérèse wore a gown covered in the royal fleur-de-lys and it is said that her uncovered hair proved to be so thick that it was difficult to attach a crown to it. This might account for the odd positioning of the crown as it appears on her bust.
Jetons commemorating the marriage, bearing the busts of Louis XIV and Marie-Thérèse, were issued each year from 1660 through to 1673. Marie-Thérèse died on 30th July, 1683.
Struck c.1699, LOUIS XIV (1643 – 1715), AE (Brass) Jeton5 viewsObverse: LVDOVICVS•MAGNVS•REX•. Head of Louis XIV facing right; T•B in small letters below head.
Reverse: NEC•PACE•MINOR•. Hercules standing facing, head left, leaning on club in his left hand and holding cloak at his hip with his right; in exergue, crossed palms.

Struck at unidentified mint, possibly Caen, France
Die engraver: Thomas Bernard
Dimensions: 26.5mm | Weight: 5.1gms | Die Axis: 6
Ref. Feuardent: 12788

Thomas Bernard entered the King's service while still young and from 1685 to 1688 famously engraved dies to produce a history of Louis XIV in gold medallions. He was Engraver General at the Caen mint between 1693 and 1703.

This jeton was struck under the authority of the “Extraordinaire des Guerres” in commemoration of the signing of the “Peace of Rijswijk” on the 20th of September 1697. This treaty settled the War of the League of Augsburg (Nine Years' War), which had seen France pitted against the Grand Alliance of England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the United Provinces.

Louis XIV was unusual by taking particular pleasure from having a large collection of coins and medals, claiming that he used his coins to instruct himself in classical history. He enjoyed his coin collection so much that, at Versailles, he had his cabinet of coins and medals placed where visitors passed every day, between the grand staircase and his apartments, so that he could see them and show them off.
Sweden - Adolf Fredrik (1751-1771) 2 ore SM - SM 16853 viewsRev: two crossed arrows (indicating the origin of the cupper from the province of Dalarna), crown in upper field, 2 ÖR - SM in side fields and 1759 below.

Obv: A. F. S. G. V. R (Adolphus Fridericus Svecorum Gothorum Vandalorumque Rex); lion standing l. on shield with royal crown abowe and surrounded by the Swedish three crowns.

Adolph Frederick was the first king of the house of Holstein - Gottorp. He was a weak king in the hands of the Swedish parliamentary government. But his regin was fairly peacefull. He is most famous for his death that occured after he consumed a very large meal, topped off with 14 servings of his favourite dessert: semla served in a bowl of hot milk. He is thus remembered by Swedish school children as "the king who ate himself to death."
Sweden - Gustav III 1771 - 1792, 1 riksdaler 1782161 viewsObv. GVSTAVUS III D. G. REX SVECIAE., bust right.
Rev. FÄDERNESLANDET (The Fatherland), 1 - Rd (1 riksadaler), 17 - 82, O - L (for the moneyer Olof Lidijn), crowned shield with the swedish three crowns.
Edge inscription: MANIBVS NE LAEDAR AVARIS (May I be spared injury from avaricious hands).
Minted in Stockholm.
Die engraver: Gustav Ljungberger
4,1 cm in diam., 29,4 g.

King Gustav III is known in Sweden for his peaceful "revolution" to restore absolute monarchy in 1789 (the very oposite of the French revolution the same yaer). He also led a not entierly successful war against Russia. He was assassinated by a conspiracy of noblemen when he attended a masked ball 16 March 1792.
Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II 275 - 215 B.C.212 viewsBronze AE 27, Sear GCV 1 1221 var., Lindgren 587 var. 18.022g, 27.4mm, 270 deg, Syracuse mint, c. 275-215 B.C.; Obv. diademed head of Hieron left, beardless; Rev. horseman prancing right, holding couched spear, N below (E in Sear example, Pi in Lindgren), no legend shows in ex. (as in both ref. examples), could be off flan; rough mottled green patina.
Ex Forvm Ancient Coins

photo and Historical background: by Forvm Ancient Coins

Historical background;

Hieron II was tyrant and then king of Syracuse, c. 270 to 215 B.C. His rule brought 50 years of peace and prosperity, and Syracuse became one of the most renowned capitols of antiquity. He enlarged the theater and built an immense altar. The literary figure Theocritus and the philosipher Archimedes lived under his rule. After struggling against the Mamertini, he eventually allied with Rome.
8 commentsSteve E
Taras, Calabria56 views470-450 BC
AR Didrachm (17mm., 7.82g)
O: Taras riding dolphin right, holding cuttlefish in right hand, left hand extended.
R: Hippocamp right; TAPA beneath, scallop shell below.
Vlasto 107(?); cf McGill II, 3; HN Italy 827; SNG ANS 837; SNG Cop 772-773
ex ACR Auctions; ex Praefectus Coins

The hippocamp reverse type was undoubtedly one of the first non-incuse didrachms minted at Taras, occuring at the very beginning of the fifth century. However these small module coins were minted slightly later than the spread-flans, probably 470-450 BC.

"He [Poseidon] towers on high above the peaceful waves, urging his team of Hippokampoi with his three-pronged spear: frontwise they run at furious speed amid showers of foam, behind they swim and blot out their footprints with their tails."
~ Statius, Achilleid 1. 25 ff
1 commentsEnodia
TEMPLE, Nero, AE27 As (65 AD)108 viewso/ NERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP, laureate head right.
r/ PACE P R VBIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT//S|C, the Temple of Janus, latticed window to left, garland hung across closed double doors on the right.
10,79g. 27mm. Rome mint.
RIC 306

The main Temple of Janus stood in the Roman Forum. It had doors on both ends, and inside was a statue of Janus, the two-faced god of boundaries. The Temple doors were closed in times of peace and opened in times of war.
1 commentsAugustin Caron
Tetricus I- PAX new.jpg
Tetricus I- Pax37 viewsTetricus I, mid 271 - spring 274 A.D.

Obverse:Radiate draped and cuirassed bust right


IMP: Imperator,
C: Caesar
TETRICVS: Tetricus
PF: Pius felix,
AVG: Augustus,


PAX: Pax, Peace
AVG: Augustus, Emperor

Showing: Pax standing left holding olive branch in right and vertical scepter in left

Domination: Antoninianus, Bronze, size 19 mm

John Schou
Tetricus I- PAX AVG.jpg
Tetricus I- PAX AVG34 viewsTetricus I, mid 271 - spring 274 A.D.

Radiate draped and cuirassed bust right


IMP: Imperator, leader of the army
C: Caes
TETRICVS: Tetricus
P F: Pius Felix, Pious and happy
AVG: Augustus, emperor

PAX AVG, The peace of the emperor

PAX: Peace
AVG: Emperor

Pax standing left holding branch and sceptre

Domination: Bronze antoninianus, size 17 mm

Mint: Gallic??

Comment: The coin might be barb but the official coins of this time period are generally pretty crude, so it is often not easy to distinguish between official and forgery. This coin is too worn to be sure one way or the other
John Schou
Tetricus II- SPES AVGG.jpg
Tetricus II- SPES AVGG42 viewsTetricus II, Caesar mid 271 - spring 274 A.D.

Radiate draped and cuirassed bust right


C: Caius
PIV: Pius
ESV: Esuvius
TETRICVS: Tetricus
CAES: Ceasar


SPES: Hope
AVGG: More than one emperor

Spes advancing left holding flower and raising drapery

Domination: Antoninianus, Bronze, size 18 mm

Mint: Treveri (Trier), RIC 270.

Gallic, if the bust is radiate, draped and cuirassed then the mint is probably Trier. If the bust is radiate and cuirassed only then the mint is probably Cologne.

Caius Pius Esuvius Tetricus II was the son of the Governor of Aquitaine, in the breakaway Gallo-Roman Empire (Gaul, Spain, and Britain) established by Postumus. After Victorinus, the successor to Postumus, was murdered, Tetricus' father was acclaimed Tetricus I, Augustus. His father later elevated the young Caius to Caesar, but their reign was cut short, peacefully, when Tetricus deserted his own troops to surrender to Aurelian. In gratitude, Aurelian later restored Tetricus I as a Senator, and even installed him as Governor of Lucania, and Tetricus II returned to normal life, as a private citizen.

John Schou
Tetricus II-  Spes Publica.jpg
Tetricus II- Spes Publica46 viewsTetricus II, Caesar mid 271 - spring 274 A.D.

Radiate draped and cuirassed bust right

The words CVS CAES being visible in front of the radiate bust of the youthful, unbearded male.

C: Caius
PIV: Pius
ESV: Esuvius
TETRICVS: Tetricus
Caes: Caes
IMP: Imperator


SPES: Hope
PVBLICA: Republic

Showing: Spes advancing left, holding flower in right and raising skirt with left.

Domination: Antoninianus, Bronze, size 18 mm
Mint: Trier mint, struck 251-253 AD. RIC 272, Cohen 97.

Caius Pius Esuvius Tetricus II was the son of the Governor of Aquitaine, in the breakaway Gallo-Roman Empire (Gaul, Spain, and Britain) established by Postumus. After Victorinus, the successor to Postumus, was murdered, Tetricus' father was acclaimed Tetricus I, Augustus. His father later elevated the young Caius to Caesar, but their reign was cut short, peacefully, when Tetricus deserted his own troops to surrender to Aurelian. In gratitude, Aurelian later restored Tetricus I as a Senator, and even installed him as Governor of Lucania, and Tetricus II returned to normal life, as a private citizen.
John Schou
Tetricus II- SPES PVBLICA.jpg
Tetricus II- SPES PVBLICA55 viewsTetricus II, Caesar mid 271 - spring 274 A.D.

Obverse:Radiate draped and cuirassed bust right

The words CVS CAES being visible in front of the radiate bust of the youthful, unbearded male.


CVS: C. Pivs Esuvius
CAES: Caes

C: Caius
PIV: Pius
ESV: Esuvius
TETRICVS: Tetricus
Caes: Caes
IMP: Imperator


SPES: Hope
PVBLICA: Repulic

Showing: Spes advancing left, holding flower in right and raising skirt with left.

Domination: Antoninianus, Bronze, size 18 mm
Mint: Gallic???

Caius Pius Esuvius Tetricus II was the son of the Governor of Aquitaine, in the breakaway Gallo-Roman Empire (Gaul, Spain, and Britain) established by Postumus. After Victorinus, the successor to Postumus, was murdered, Tetricus' father was acclaimed Tetricus I, Augustus. His father later elevated the young Caius to Caesar, but their reign was cut short, peacefully, when Tetricus deserted his own troops to surrender to Aurelian. In gratitude, Aurelian later restored Tetricus I as a Senator, and even installed him as Governor of Lucania, and Tetricus II returned to normal life, as a private citizen.
John Schou
Tetricus II- SPES PVBLICA 1.jpg
Tetricus II- SPES REBVPLICA44 viewsTetricus II, Caesar mid 271 - spring 274 A.D.

Radiate draped and cuirassed bust right

The words CVS CAES being visible in front of the radiate bust of the youthful, unbearded male.

C: Caius
PIV: Pius
ESV: Esuvius
TETRICVS: Tetricus
Caes: Caes
IMP: Imperator


SPES: Hope
PVBLICA: Republic

Showing: Spes advancing left, holding flower in right and raising skirt with left.

Domination: Antoninianus, Bronze, size 18 mm
Mint: Gallic???

Caius Pius Esuvius Tetricus II was the son of the Governor of Aquitaine, in the breakaway Gallo-Roman Empire (Gaul, Spain, and Britain) established by Postumus. After Victorinus, the successor to Postumus, was murdered, Tetricus' father was acclaimed Tetricus I, Augustus. His father later elevated the young Caius to Caesar, but their reign was cut short, peacefully, when Tetricus deserted his own troops to surrender to Aurelian. In gratitude, Aurelian later restored Tetricus I as a Senator, and even installed him as Governor of Lucania, and Tetricus II returned to normal life, as a private citizen.
John Schou
Thailand "ancient" Ayudhaya, Silver bullet coin -- 1 Baht, King Songthom, 1612 - 1628 AD101 viewsAyudhaya Kingdom; King Songthom, 1612 - 1628 AD; AR "Bullet" Coin, 14.7 gms, EF.

The kingdom of Ayutthaya (Thai: อยุธยา) was a Thai kingdom that existed from 1350 to 1767. King Ramathibodi I (Uthong) founded Ayutthaya as the capital of his kingdom in 1350 and absorbed Sukhothai, 640 km to the north, in 1376. Over the next four centuries the kingdom expanded to become the nation of Siam, whose borders were roughly those of modern Thailand, except for the north, the Kingdom of Lannathai. Ayutthaya was friendly towards foreign traders, including the Chinese, Indians, Japanese and Persians, and later the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, British and French, permitting them to set up villages outside the city walls. The court of King Narai (1656-1688) had strong links with that of King Louis XIV of France, whose ambassadors compared the city in size and wealth to Paris.

After a bloody period of dynastic struggle, Ayutthaya entered into what has been called its golden age, a relatively peaceful episode in the second quarter of the eighteenth century when art, literature, and learning flourished. There were foreign wars. The Ayutthaya fought with Nguyen Lords (Vietnamese rulers of South Vietnam) for control of Cambodia starting around 1715. But a greater threat came from Burma, where the new Alaungpaya dynasty had subdued the Shan states.

In 1765 Thai territory was invaded by two Burmese armies that converged on Ayutthaya. The only notable example of successful resistance to these forces was found at the village of Bang Rajan. After a lengthy siege, the city capitulated and was burned in 1767. Ayutthaya's art treasures, the libraries containing its literature, and the archives housing its historic records were almost totally destroyed, and the city was left in ruins.

The country was reduced to chaos. Provinces were proclaimed independent states under military leaders, rogue monks, and cadet members of the royal family. The Thais were saved from Burmese subjugation, however, by an opportune Chinese invasion of Burma and by the leadership of a Thai military commander, Phraya Taksin.

All that remains of the old city are some impressive ruins of the royal palace. King Taksin established a capital at Thonburi, across the Chao Phraya from the present capital, Bangkok (Kruen Thep).

The ruins of the historic city of Ayutthaya and "associated historic towns" in the Ayutthaya historical park have been listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

The city of Ayutthaya was refounded near the old city, and is now capital of the Ayutthaya province.
Thessaly. Thessalian League7 viewsSear 2237; Rogers 4-42 var. (unlisted magistrate's symbol).

AE trichalkon, 7.99 g., 21.85 mm. max., 270°

Struck 196 - 27 B.C., probably in Larisa.

Obv.: Laureate head of Apollo right.

Rev: Athena Itonia striding right, hurling spear held in her right hand, shield on her left arm, ΘEΣΣA -- ΛΩN flanking, uncertain magistrate's symbol to near right.

The Thessalian League was a loose confederacy of city-states and tribes in the Thessalian valley in northern Greece. Philip II of Macedon took control of Thessaly in 344 B.C. After the Second Macedonian War (200-197 B.C.), the victorious Roman general T. Quinctius Flamininus declared all of Greece "free." He reorganized the Thessalian league, creating a federal council, the synedrion, and annually changing officers, strategoi. The seat of the league was in the largest Thessalian city, Larisa. It continued to exist even after Thessaly became part of the new Roman province of Macedonia in 146 B.C., although it then had little autonomy.

The Apollo head on the obverse reflects Thessaly's long-standing involvement in the Delphic Amphictyony, an association of Greek states that administered and protected the temple and oracle of Apollo at Delphi.

Athena Itonia, was the patron deity of Thessaly, whose sanctuary was located between Larisa Kremaste and Pherae. The image probably represents the cult statue of the goddess. Athena is depicted as an Athena Promachos (the Forefighter), advancing in full armor with spear and shield. Athena Itonia was not only a war goddess, but a goddess of the arts of peace, especially poetry.
Thomas Jefferson, 1801 Indian Peace Medal31 viewsObv: TH. JEFFERSON PRESIDENT OF THE U. S. A. D. 1801, three-quarter bust of Thomas Jefferson (3rd President) facing left.

Rev: PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP, two clasped hands, crossed peace pipe and tomahawk above.

Note: Medals of this design were carried by the Lewis and Clark Expedition from 1804 to 1806.

Designer: John Reich

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1801 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 76 mm
Matt Inglima
Thurii, Lucania57 views300-280 BC
AR Didrachm (21mm, 7.67g)
O: Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet ornamented with Skylla hurling a stone.
R: Bull butting right; ΘOYPIΩN and ΘE above, tunny fish in ex.
SNG ANS 1081; HN Italy 1870; Sear 443v (no inscription on exergual line)
From the Frederick H. Rindge collection; ex Jack H. Beymer

Rising from the ruins of New Sybaris, Thurii was originally planned by Perikles of Athens as a Greek utopia. Scientists, artists, poets and philosophers from all over the Greek mainland were encouraged to immigrate to southern Italy around 443 BC to help establish this new city tucked against the mountains between two rivers on the west coast of the Tarentine Gulf. Among those accepting the challenge was Herodotus, who finished his ‘Histories’ here before his death in 420. The sophist Protagoras of Abdera also came, and was commissioned to write the new city’s democratic constitution.
However this idea of a peaceful colony of free-thinkers was destined to be short-lived. By 413 BC the colony was at war with mother-city Athens, and in 390 Thourii suffered a significant defeat by the Lucanians. In response the Thurians called in help from Rome to deal with this threat, and then again in 282 for its’ war with Taras. The city was plundered by Hannibal of Carthage during the second Punic war, who left it in ruin.
2 commentsEnodia
Ti. Veturius - AR denarius14 viewsRome
²139 BC
¹137 BC
head of Mars right wearing winged and crested helmet
Oath-taking scene*, two standing warriors holding spears and facing attendant kneeling in center, holding sacrificial pig.
¹SRCV 111, Crawford 234/1, Sydenham 527, RSC I Veturia 1
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
ex Aurea

This type revived the reverse of gold coinage issued in 217 - 216 B.C. and broke the 75-year tradition of Roma obverses with Dioscuri or chariot reverses on denarii.

*Oath-taking scene most probably refer to the peace treaty between Romans and Campanians, concluded by T. Veturius Calvinus in 334 BC, which granted Campanians citizenship. Other interpretations are truce with Samnites made by moneyer's ancestor, consul T. Veturius Calvinus after the battle of the Caudine Forks in the second Samnite war where Romans were ingloriously defeated; mythical conclusion of the agreement between king Latinus and Aeneas or Titus Tatis and Romulus, oath-taking of representatives of Alba Longa and Romans before the battle between Horatii and Curatii.
1 commentsJohny SYSEL
TITUS58 viewsTitus. 79-81 AD. Rome mint, 18mm 3.2g, Struck January-July 80 AD.
O: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head right
R: TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, dolphin coiled around anchor. - RIC II 26a; BMCRE 72; RSC 309

The short reign of Titus witnessed three major calamities. First, on 24 August 79 AD, only one month after his accession, was the eruption of Mount Vesuvius which overwhelmed Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae, and Oplontis. The following year, while still in Campania supervising the relief work , a devastating fire and epidemic of plague broke out in Rome.

The above coin was minted in 80 AD, and, according to Mattingly, in BMC II, pp. lxxii-lxxiii, was part of a series commemorating the supplicatio and lectisternium voted by the Senate after the eruption. As part of the atonement ceremony to seek peace with heaven, sacred couches, pulvinaria, were arranged, each bearing attributes or emblems of the gods. In this particular case the dolphin and anchor represent Neptune.

In contrast, B. Damsky, in "The throne and curule chair types of Titus and Domitian," in SNR 74 (1995), pp. 59-70, after reviewing all the interpretations suggested by various scholars, theorized that this coin, and others minted at the same time, refers not to the ceremony following the eruption, but rather to the occasion for rejoicing and spectacles held in June 80 to inaugurate the completion and opening of the Amphitheatrum Flavium or Colosseum.

Others claim this reverse is a connection to Augustus. The Roman historian Suetonius, in De vita Caesarum, tells that Augustus deplored rashness in a military commander and so σπεῦδε βραδέως (speûde bradéōs) was one of his favorite sayings. This classical adage and oxymoron meaning "make haste slowly" or "more haste, less speed" benefitted the two most praised Roman emperors, Augustus and Titus.

Both of these men possessed a unique greatness of soul, and with an incredible gentleness joined with courtesy and the amiable popularity of their manners, they bound the hearts of all to them. But, nonetheless, when affairs demanded force, they accomplished the greatest actions with diligence equal to their gentleness.
2 commentsNemonater
Titus as Caesar RIC 42353 viewsÆ Sestertius, 23.43g
Rome mint, 72 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAES VESPASIAN IMP PON TR POT COS II; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PAX AVGVSTI; S C in field; Pax stg. l., with branch and cornucopiae
RIC 423 (C). BMC 633. BNC 619.
Ex Holding History, eBay, 16 March 2019.

After the recent Civil War and Jewish and Batavian rebellions this common Pax reverse type from 72 had special propaganda value for the new Flavian regime: peace and prosperity. It would be one of the more popular themes of Vespasian's coinage. Unsurprisingly, this Pax type is shared with Vespasian.

Worn, but in fine style with a nice dark chocolate patina.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
Titus as Caesar RIC 62775 viewsÆ As, 10.28g
Rome mint, 73 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAES IMP PON TR P COS II CENS; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., leaning on column, with caduceus and branch
RIC 627 (R). BMC p. 153 note. BNC 682.
Acquired from Olding, MA Shops, May 2019 = Olding, List 96, March 2019, Sammlung Fritz Reusing, no. 164. From the collection of Fritz Reusing (1874-1956), acquired from O. Helbing of Munich, 1929; inherited and continued by Reusing's nephew Paul Schürer (1890-1976).

Pax in various guises and types was struck repeatedly throughout Vespasian's reign for both himself and Titus Caesar. This variant with Pax leaning on a column was a perennial favourite. Pax's popularity on the coinage can perhaps be explained by Vespasian's construction of the Temple of Peace which was completed in 75.

Nice old cabinet toning.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
Titus as Caesar RIC 78372 viewsAR Denarius, 3.47g
Rome Mint, 75 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAESAR IMP VESPASIAN; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PONTIF TR P COS IIII; Pax std. l., with branch
RIC 783 (C2). BMC 172. RSC 162. BNC 148.
Ex Harry N. Sneh Collection.

Part of the great issue of denarii in 75 AD, this type for both Vespasian and Titus was minted in very large quantities. Presumably this reverse is a nod to the Temple of Peace which was completed in the same year. A fairly common denarius.

Good, strong portrait on this one.
Titus as Caesar RIC 858109 viewsAR Denarius, 3.25g
Rome mint, 76 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAESAR IMP VESPASIAN; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS V (high in field); bull stg. r.
RIC 858 (R). BMC 186. RSC 52. BNC 163.
Ex Harry N. Sneh Collection.

This denarius of Titus as Caesar from 76 AD obviously shows a bull (even those with a passing knowledge of farm animal anatomy can tell the difference) and not a cow, but the question is why was this type minted with both sexes portrayed, sometimes ambiguously?

The BMCRE proffers this type as a reference to the famous 'Cow of Myron' statue and the coin commemorates the placing of it in Vespasian's new Temple of Peace. If this is so, why do some of the types show a bull?

Perhaps the type is nothing more than an agricultural reference like so many of the other denarii the Flavians issued in the last half of Vespasian's reign.

Decent coin with good metal and a well rendered bull on the reverse.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
Titus as Caesar RIC-1444128 viewsAR Denarius, 3.42g
Ephesus mint, 71 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: IMPERATOR T CAESAR AVGVSTI F; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PACI ORB TERR AVG; Turreted and draped female bust, r; below EPHE
RIC 1444 (R2). BMC p. 98 note. RSC 127. RPC 845 (0 spec.). BNC -.
Acquired from Ephesus Numismatics, April 2010.

The reverse features a turreted female bust, most likely Tyche with the attributes of a City Goddess. Here she is symbolic of the world peace Vespasian has inaugurated after the recent Civil War and revolts in Judaea and Batavia. The type was also struck for Vespasian and Domitian as Caesar and is one of the more fascinating reverses minted at Ephesus.

8 commentsDavid Atherton
Titus as Caesar RIC-1470102 viewsAR Denarius, 3.00g
Ephesus Mint, 74 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: IMP T CAESAR COS III; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PACI AVGVSTAE (from high r.); Victory adv. r., with wreath and palm; at lower r. star; below, annulet
RIC 1470(C). BMC 479. RSC 123. RPC 857 (3 spec.). BNC 370.
Ex Harry N. Sneh Collection.

Even at the mint of Ephesus Titus shared many reverses with Vespasian, this Victory included; 'The Imperial Peace'.

A wonderful, stylish obverse die was employed here making this coin a good example of what Ephesus was capable of. A bit off-center, but it can be forgiven.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
Titus as Caesar RIC-156096 viewsAR Denarius, 3.38g
Antioch Mint, 72-73 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAESAR IMP VESP PO-N TR POT; Bust of Titus, laureate, draped, bearded, r.
Rev: CONCORDIA AVGVSTI; Concordia std. l., with patera and cornucopiae
RIC 1560 (R2). BMC 514. RSC 44. RPC 1932 (5 spec.). BNC -.
Ex Lanz, eBay, 25 September 2008.

A rare early type of Titus as Caesar from Antioch copying a reverse of Vespasian. Peace and harmony is the theme on display here.

Aside from the off-center obverse, a decent coin from a mint well known for quality control issues at the time.
3 commentsvespasian70
Titus Flavius Vespasianus Augusta, RIC 230 c, Rome 80 CE18 viewsTitus, Dupondis
Obverse: IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P COS VIII, Translate: Imperator Titus Caesar Vespasian August, great Pontiff, dressed in power tribunicienne, consel for the eight time. Titus bust left
Reverse: PAX AVGVST, S C, Translation: the peace of Augustus. Pax (peace) draped, standing left, holding a Caduceus in the left hand and in right hand a olive branch.
25 mm diam., 12.7 g
sold 2-2018
Titus RIC 7040 viewsÆ As, 8.70g
Rome mint, 79 AD
Obv: IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P COS VII; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., leaning on column, with caduceus and branch
RIC 70 (R2). BMC p. 253 note. BNC -.
Acquired from Münzen & Medaillen, September 2019.

Titus' first issues of bronze as Augustus struck in 79, dated COS VII, are all very rare. They were produced sometime during the last six months of the year after his rise to the purple at the end of June, presumably in very modest numbers based on the meagre specimens that have survived antiquity. This As from that scanty issue features the familiar Pax and column type, likely based on a familiar cult image of the deity. Pax is holding a caduceus, an allusion to the peaceful prosperity credited to the emperor. Missing from both the London and Paris collections.

Worn, but with a beautiful olive green patina and bold legends.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
Titus RIC-15560 viewsÆ Sestertius, 22.74g
Rome mint, 80-81 AD
Obv: IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., with branch and cornucopiae
RIC 155 (C). BMC 171. BNC 162.
Acquired from Marti Numismatics, January 2019.

Pax was a fairly common reverse type struck for Titus. This particular Pax with branch and cornucopiae is a carry-over from Vespasian's coinage. Apparently, the propaganda value of peace was quite limitless. Despite the wear, this coin features one of the most magnificent coin portraits of Titus I have come across in either silver or bronze. Truly the work of a master engraver! There is one peculiar thing I have noticed about Titus' bronze coinage, the left facing portraits tend to be in a finer style than the right facing ones. Perhaps a talented engraver at the mint preferred his portraits facing left?

Worn, but in exceptionally fine style with an appealing dark patina.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
Titus RIC-23026 viewsÆ As, 12.12g
Rome mint, 80-81 AD
Obv: IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P COS VIII; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., with branch and caduceus
RIC 230 (C). BMC 212. BNC 219.
Acquired from London Ancient Coins, November 2019.

A common carry-over Pax type from Vespasian's reign. She is seen here with an olive branch and Felicitas' caduceus. The perennial propaganda value of advertising and taking credit for peace on the coinage cannot be underestimated.

A fine style left facing portrait.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
Trajan Denarius - Pax (RIC 190a)80 viewsAR Denarius
Rome 103-107 AD

Obv: Laureate draped bust of Trajan (R).

Rev: PAX (Peace) standing (L) holding Branch and Cornucopia, resting foot on a Dacian captive.

RIC II 190a RSC 405a
2 commentsKained but Able
Trajan Denarius - Pax (RIC II 30)28 viewsAR Denarius
Rome 98-99AD

Obv: Laureate bust of Trajan (R)

Rev: PAX (Peace) seated (L) holding branch and scepter in R and L hands

RIC II 30 RSC 592
Kained but Able
Trajan Denarius - Pax 2 (RIC II 30)73 viewsAR Denarius
Rome 98-99AD

Obv: Laureate bust of Trajan (R)

Rev: PAX (Peace) seated (L) holding branch and scepter in R and L hands

RIC II 30 RSC 592
4 commentsKained but Able
Trajan Denarius - Pax and Dacian (RIC II 188)31 viewsAR Denarius
Rome 106 AD

Obv: Laureate draped bust of Trajan (R)

Rev: PAX (Peace) seated (L) holding branch and sceptre. At her feet a kneeling Dacian.

RIC II 188 RSC 417
Kained but Able
Trajan Denarius - Pax Burning Arms (RIC II 259)60 viewsAR Denarius
Rome 114-117AD

Obv: Laureate bust of Trajan (R), draped far shoulder.

Rev: PAX (Peace) standing (L) holding cornucopia, setting fire to pile of arms with torch. PAX in exergue.

RIC II 259 RSC 198
Kained but Able
Trajan denarius Pax17 viewsAR Denarius
Trajan, 98-117 CE
Diameter: 19mm, Weight: 3.12 grams, Die axis: 7h

Laureate and draped bust to right.

Pax standing left, holding branch and cornucopia.

Mint: Rome

- Trajan was granted his fifth consulship in 103 and his sixth in 112 CE, so this coin dates within this period.

Ex Colonial Coins & Medals Brisbane, 2010
Tranquillitas244 viewsAntoninus Pius 138-161
AR - Denar, 3.27g, 18.0mm
Rome AD 148-149
head laureate r.
Tranquillitas standing r., holding rudder and corn-ears
in exergue: TRANQ
RIC III, 202b; C.825 (without PIVS, a slip); BMC 736
scarce; EF

TRANQUILLITAS, tranquillity, an abstraction personified for the first time on coins of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. She is shown with the attributes which seem to hint at an association with the grain supply, a rudder and ears of grain, sometimes a modius or a prow.
TRANQUILLITAS reappears on an antoninian of Philip I with sceptre and capricorne. Here she must considered an imperial virtue like Pietas or Nobilitas rather than a blessing. The legend occurs once more on the coinage from Licinius II to Constantine II in the form of BEATA TRANQVILLITAS accompanied by the type of a globe on an altar. Here the message is similar to Hadrian's, the peaceful security of the Roman Empire.
Trebonianus PAX AETERNA.jpg
Trebonianus PAX AETERNA47 viewsTrebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D.

Radiate bust right

Obverse: IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG: Imperator Caesar Caius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus Augustus

IMP: Imperator, supreme army commander
C: Caesar
C: Caius
VIB: Vibivs
TREB: Trebonianus
Gallvs: Gallus
AVG: Augustus, emperor

Pax: Peace
Aeterna: Eternal

Pax standing left holding branch and scepter

Domination: Silver antoninianus, size 20 mm

Mint: Roma, special edition, 6th officina, end 252 CE, RIC 71, (CBG ; Rome XVII, n¡126502)

Comment: The CGB catalogues make interesting attempts to reconstruct the coinage, but are of course heavily dependent on earlier attempts, and by no means always propose the best solutions
1 commentsJohn S
Ulysses S. Grant 1871 Indian Peace Medal25 viewsObv: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / "LET US HAVE PEACE" / LIBERTY JUSTICE AND EQUALITY, Bust of President Grant (18th President) facing right, peace pipe and olive branch below.

Rev: ON EARTH PEACE GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN, The globe set before the HOLY BIBLE and agricultural tools above the date, 1871.

Note: This was the only peace medal that did not include the name of the President.

Engraver: Anthony Paquet

Mint: Philadelphia, Date: 1871 (20th Century Restrike), Bronze, Diameter: 63 mm
Matt Inglima
Union Forever9 viewsObv: FIRST IN WAR, FIRST IN PEACE, equestrian statue of George Washington facing left, 1863 in exergue.

Rev: UNION FOR-EVER within a wreath, shield below.

Fuld 173/272
Matt Inglima
UNITED STATES - Native American Dollar #222 viewsUNITED STATES - Native American Dollar #2, CU-NI-MG-NI clad CU; 2010-P. "Great Law of Peace". dpaul7
Vespasian * Victory, Byzantium, 70-74 AD. * AR Denarius156 views
Vespasian * Victory, Eastern Mint - Byzantium, Silver Denarius
PACI AVGVSTAE * ‘To the Augustan Peace.’

Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPAS AVG COS II TR P P P * Vespasian, laureate, head right facing.
Rev: PACI AVGVSTAE * Victory standing left, holding wreath in right hand, arm raised and extended, holding palm frond vertical in left hand and crossing left-shoulder, arm straight down to side. Thighs together, left knee slightly bent in classical pose. Mint mark in lower left field - ligate BY.

Exergue: (Blank)

Mint: Byzantium
Struck: 70-74 AD.

Size: 17.51 x 17.26 mm.
Weight: ca. 3.0 grams
Die axis: 355°

Condition: Utterly superb & beautiful, notwithstanding the notable wear to the Victory reverse. Gorgeous, bright, clear and gleaming luster. Nicely struck, and superb relief over-all, to images and extant legends.

RSC, 278
BMCRE, 446
RIC II, 323, pg. 53

4 commentsTiathena
Vespasian Denarius, Pax32 viewsAR Denarius
Vespasian, 69-79 CE
Diameter: 20mm, Weight: 3.37 grams, Die axis: 7h

Laureate head to right.

Pax seated on throne to left, holding branch.

Mint: Rome

- This coin can be dated to 75 AD, the year Vespasian held the 6th Consulship.
- Denarii minted under the reign of Vespasian had a target weight of 3.4 grams and an average silver content of 91%.

Ex Rudnik Numismatics, 2005
2 commentsPharsalos
vesp titus dom curule chairs.jpg
Vespasian RIC 06191 viewsAR Denarius, 3.07g
Rome mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: TITVS ET DOMITIAN CAES PRIN IV; Titus and Domitian, togate, seated l. side by side on curule chairs, each holding branch extended in r. hand, l. hands at sides
RIC 6 (R). BMC 46. RSC 541. BNC -.
Acquired from Frank L. Kovacs, July 2006.

A reverse that announces Vespasian's desire to found a dynasty. Titus and Domitian are represented here as magistrates holding the branch of peace. A rare type.

A coin that looks much better in hand than the picture allows. I was pleasantly surprised when I first saw it. A reverse I have sought after for quite sometime. Earlier this year (2006) Harlan J Berk sold a coin of this type that was both an obv. and rev. die match with mine. After a casual look around, I was able to locate another die match.
vespasian pax 71.JPG
Vespasian RIC 41134 viewsAR Denarius, 3.20g
Rome Mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VE-SP AVG P M; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: TRI POT II COS III P P; Pax, draped, seated l., holding branch in extended r. hand and winged caduceus in l.
RIC 41 (C2). BMC 61. RSC 566. BNC 45.
Acquired from Nemesis, June 2005.

Pax was a dominant reverse type for Vespasian, one could say it was his 'campgate'. After the Civil Wars and the war in Judaea, peace was something everyone wanted and needed. There are at least four different reverse types that depict Pax on his denarii.

A lovely coin with a solid portrait.
Vespasian RIC II 077228 viewsVespasian 69-79 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint 75 A.D. (3.48g, 19.8m, 6h). Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right. Rev: PON MAX TR P COS VI, Pax seated left, holding branch. RIC II 772, BMC 161, RSC 366.

While Pax/peace was a continuing theme on Flavian coinage, this type was issued in truly massive quantities in 75 A.D. according to the updated RIC. This may have a connection with Vespasian’s newly built Temple of Peace in Rome.
Lucas H
Vespasian RIC II 143474 viewsVespasian 69-79 A.D. AR Denarius. Ephesus Mint. 71 A.D. (3.36g, 17.1m, 7h). Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPAS AVG COS III TR P P P, laureate head right. Rev: PACI ORB TERR AVG; Turreted and draped female bust, r; EPE in left field. RIC II 1434 (R); BMC 459; RPC 835.

This reverse type is unique to Ephesus, and identity of the female isn’t clear. Mattingly speculates she could be Tyche describing the crown as composed of towers bringing to mind a city, or perhaps Cybele, or Great Mother. The message of peace brought to the world by Vespasian however, is clear. This type with the EPHE to the left of the female, is more scarce that V1433 with EPHE below. Neither Mattingly, nor the authors of RPC distinguish between the types with differing placements of the monogram as Carradice and Buttrey do.

This example is a pleasure in hand. The lettering is sharp on both sides. While the reverse is a bit off center, the details of the figures are well preserved as is the monogram.
5 commentsLucas H
Vespasian RIC II 146530 viewsVespasian. 69-79 A.D. AR Denarius. . Ephesus Mint. 74 A.D. (3.19g, 17.7mm, 0h). Obv: [IMP CAE]SAR VESPAS AVG COS V [TR P P P], laureate head right. Rev: [P]ACI AVGVSTAE (from high right); Victory advancing right; with wreath and palm; at lower l, annulet, at lower r., star. RIC II 1465 (R2).

Due to the death, disruption, and devastation of the Civil War, each of emperors, after Nero, during the Year of Four Emperors used Peace as a theme on their coinage as a theme to try and assure the Romans the carnage was over. The coins from Ephesus with the star and annulet marks are all scarce. While off center on the obverse, this specimen has a well centered reverse. This example also has an interesting 0h die axis.
2 commentsLucas H
Vespasian RIC-24341 viewsÆ Sestertius, 25.77g
Rome mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPAS AVG P M TR P P P COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PAX AVGVSTI; S C in field; Pax stg. l., with branch and cornucopiae
RIC 243 (C3). BMC 555. BNC 516.
Acquired from Wallinmynt, September 2019.

The standing Pax is one of the most common types encountered on Vespasian's sestertii struck during the great bronze issue of 71, mirroring the prominent role Pax played on his early denarii. Colin Kraay counted a staggering 31 obverse dies paired with this sestertius reverse type alone. Here Pax is represented holding a cornucopiae (on the denarius she holds a caduceus) symbolising the emperor's gift of peace and prosperity to the empire.

A strong veristic portrait in good metal.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
pars coins vesp.JPG
Vespasian RIC-546191 viewsAR Denarius, 3.50g
Rome mint, 73 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESP AVG CENS; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PONTIF MAXIM; Vespasian, togate, seated r., feet on stool, holding vertical sceptre in r. hand and branch in l.
RIC 546 (C3). BMC 98. RSC 387. BNC 86.
Acquired from Pars Coins, March 2004.

A reverse that echoes the 'Tibute penny' of Tiberius. Vespasian as 'peace bringer'.

One of my favorite reverse types, here in excellent condition. The detail on the toga is magnificent.
2 commentsVespasian70
Vespasian RIC-70067 viewsAR Denarius, 2.68g (Plated?)
Rome Mint, 74 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: OB CIVES SERVATOS around oak wreath
RIC 700 (R2). BMC p. 7 †. RSC 275. BNC -.
Ex Private Collection.

A very rare variant of the oak wreath type struck for Vespasian in 74. The much more common variants of this type have SPQR within the oak wreath. Alternately, here we have the legend OB CIVES SERVATOS around the wreath: OB CIVES above; SERVATOS below. This variant is so rare Mattingly citing Cohen in BMCRE stated in a footnote that this type needed verification. Curiously, in the RIC concordance with the first edition, this type is listed as old RIC 17 'Unverified: plated hybrid?' (again citing Cohen) without a new corresponding RIC number even though it is in the catalogue as RIC 700 with no such disclaimers. My example possibly has evidence of being plated; however, the flaking and cracking on the surface could just be due to preservation issues, the style is consistent with official denarii, and it is a double die match with the similarly worn RIC plate coin which shows no signs of plating. Additionally, Curtis Clay has an example from different dies that is solid silver.

The corona civica was originally a military honour bestowed upon a Roman who had saved a fellow citizen's life in battle. It was one of the greatest public honours. In the imperial era the honour developed from a coveted military decoration into an imperial emblem granted by the Senate to the emperor. The wreath was made of oak leaves and is sometimes called a corona quercea after the common name for the oak. The Wreath was awarded to Vespasian by the Senate for rescuing the Roman people from civil war and bringing about peace.

NB: The coin was originally posted here in 2015:
1 commentsDavid Atherton
vesp seated 74.JPG
Vespasian RIC-702127 viewsAR Denarius, 3.39g
Rome Mint, 74 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PON MAX TR P COS V; Vespasian, togate, seated r. on curule chair, feet on stool, holding vertical sceptre in r. hand and branch extended in l.
RIC 702 (C). BMC 136. RSC 364. BNC 110.
Acquired from Barry P. Murphy, March 2004.

A coin that represents the Emperor as peace-bringer.

This reverse type brings to mind Tiberius' famous "tribute penny". The figure here is male, not female however.
Vespasian RIC-773118 viewsAR Denarius, 2.89g
Rome Mint, 75 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, bare, l.
Rev: PON MAX TR P COS VI; Pax, bare to the waist, seated l., holding branch extended in r. hand, l. hand on lap
RIC 773 (R3). BMC -. RSC -. BNC -.
Acquired from eBay, November 2017.

Here is an interesting situation of an extremely rare obverse paired with the most common reverse type ever struck for Vespasian's denarii. The Pax type with the common laureate right portrait was struck in vast quantities to commemorate the opening of the Temple of peace. The bare head left portraits are seen sparingly (Buttrey - 'Fleetingly') on the denarii of 75 and 76 exclusively with the seated Pax reverse. This denarius is the second known specimen of the exceedingly rare bare head COS VI Pax from 75. Unsurprisingly, it shares obverse dies with the unique specimen cited in RIC. The bare head portraits seem to have been the experimental work of one engraver operating at the mint in 75/76. Too bad this portrait variant didn't catch on, it has a delightfully attractive spare elegance.

Struck in fine style and in good metal.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
Vespasian RIC-79472 viewsAR Quinarius, 1.36g
Rome mint, 75(?) AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: VICTORIA AVGVSTI; Victory adv. r., with wreath and palm
RIC 794 (C). BMC -. RSC 614. BNC 254.
Acquired from Traianvs Coins, September 2017.

Vespasian's moneyer's struck a great issue of undated quinarii in 75, possibly in conjunction with the opening of his Temple of Peace. Two standard Victory types (seated and advancing) were employed along with various variant legend spellings and orientations. The variations are: obverse legend - VESPASIANVS or less commonly VESPASIAN; reverse legend - AVGVSTI or less commonly AVGVST. The reverse legend can also either be oriented from low r. or high l. This coin is considered one of the more 'common' variants with VESPASIANVS in the obverse legend and AVGVSTI in the reverse, oriented from low r. Even so, it is a very rare piece, as are all Flavian quinarii compared with the denarii.

Struck on a large flan and in good mid-period style with the small portrait head.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
vesp heifer.JPG
Vespasian RIC-841135 viewsAR Denarius, 3.60g
Rome Mint, 76 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: COS VII (high in field); Cow stg. r.
RIC 841 (C). BMC 177. RSC 118. BNC 153.
Acquired from Old Roman Coins, March 2004.

A reverse that may be part of Vespasian'