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Gordian_Antioch.jpg
32 viewsGordian III. A.D. 238-244. AR antoninianus. Antioch, A.D. 238/9. Superb EF, spectacular portrait nicely centered on a large flan with nearly full borders and excellent metalpaul1888
Pupeinus ric 10a.jpg
RIC-10(a) Pupienus Clasped Hands827 viewsIMP CAES M CLOD PVPIENVS AVG - Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
CARITAS MVTVA AVGG - (Mutual Clarity of the Emperors), clasped hands

This is the scarcer variant of RIC 10. Superb portrait. David Sear ANCCS certified.
From Forum ancient Coins
12 commentsjimwho523
lg004_quad_sm.jpg
"As de Nîmes" or "crocodile" Ӕ dupondius of Nemausus (9 - 3 BC), honoring Augustus and Agrippa29 viewsIMP DIVI F , Heads of Agrippa (left) and Augustus (right) back to back, Agrippa wearing rostral crown and Augustus the oak-wreath / COL NEM, crocodile right chained to palm-shoot with short dense fronds and tip right; two short palm offshoots left and right below, above on left a wreath with two long ties streaming right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agrippa had several children through his three marriages. Through some of his children, Agrippa would become ancestor to many subsequent members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He has numerous other legacies.
Yurii P
CnCorneliusLentulusMarcellinusARDenariusSear323.jpg
(503f) Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus Silver Denarius86 viewsCn. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus Silver Denarius, Sear-323, Cr-393/1a, Syd-752, RSC-Cornelia 54, struck 76-75 BC at Spanish Mint, 3.94 grams, 18 mm. EF. Obverse: GPR above Diademed, draped and bearded bust of the Genius of the Roman People facing right, sceptre over shoulder; Reverse: EX in left field, SC in right field; CN LEN Q in exergue, Sceptre with wreath, terrestrial globe and rudder. An exceptional example that is especially well centered and struck on a slightly larger flan than normally encountered with fully lustrous surfaces and a most attractive irridescent antique toning. Held back from the Superb EF/FDC by a small banker's mark in the right obverse field, but still worthy of the finest collection of Roman Republican denarii. Ex Glenn Woods.

Re: CORNELIA 54:

“Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus may be the same moneyer whose issues have been already described (no.s 702-704). Mommsen suggested that these coins were struck in 74 B.C. as a special issue, authorized by the Senate, to defray the cost of armaments against Mithridates of Pontus and the Mediterranean pirates. But Grueber’s view that they were struck in 76 B.C. by Cn. Cornelius Lentulus acting in the capacity of quaestor of Pompey, seems more in accordance with the evidence of finds" (see: G. ii, p. 359n and The Coinage of the Roman Republic, by Edward A. Sydenham, 1976, pgs. 1).

H. A. Seaby shows the coin with the smaller head (Roman Silver Coins Vol. I, Republic to Augustus pg. 33) while David R Sear shows a coin sporting a larger version (Roman Coins and Their Values, pg. 132).

“Cn. Lentulus strikes in Spain in his capacity as quaestor to the proconsul Pompey, who had been sent to the peninsula to assist Q. Caecillus Metellus Piusagainst sertorius”(Roman Coins and Their Values, by David Sear, Vol.1, 2000, pg. 132).

This is not an imperatorial minted coin for Pompey. At the time these coins were minted the Procounsel Pompey was sent to Spain to aid in the war against Sertorius. The moneyer Cn Lentulus served as his Quaestor where he continued to mint coins for Rome.

CN = Cneaus; LEN = Lentulus

Cneaus was his first name. His last, or family name is Lentulus and this clan is a lesser clan within the Cornelii, which is what his middle name of Cornelius implies.

Q = This tells us that he was a Quaestor, or Roman magistrate with judicial powers at the time when the coin was issued, with the responsibility for the treasury. Had this been a position that he once held it would be noted on the coin as PROQ or pro [past] Questor.

For Further Reading on the Cornelia 54 & 55:

Coins of the Roman Republic in the British Museum, by H. A. Grueber. London, 1910, Vol. II, pgs. 358, 359, 52, 57

Roman Silver Coins Vol. I, Republic to Augustus, by H.A.Seaby 1952, pgs. 32-33

The Coinage of the Roman Republic, by Edward A. Sydenham, 1976, pgs. 122, 241

Roman Coins and Their Values, by David Sear, Vol.1, 2000, pg. 132, 133

Roman Republican Coinage Volume I by Michael H. Crawford 2001, pg. 407

by Jerry Edward Cornelius, April 2006, THE 81 ROMAN COINS OF THE CORNELIA
http://www.cornelius93.com/Cornelia54.html
1 commentsCleisthenes
Brutus-Syd-907.jpg
013. M. Junius Brutus.58 viewsDenarius, 54 BC, Rome mint.
Obverse: BRVTVS / Bust of L. Junius Brutus.
Reverse: AHALA / Bust of C. Servilius Ahala.
4.09 gm., 19 mm.
Syd. #907; RSC #Junia 30; Sear #398.

The moneyer of this coin is the same Brutus who killed Julius Caesar. However, this coin was minted about a decade earlier. It portrays two ancestors of Brutus:

1. L. Junius Brutus lead the Romans to expel their king L. Tarquinius Superbus. He was one of the founding fathers of the Roman Republic, and was elected one of the first consuls in 509 BC.

2. C. Cervilius Ahala. In 439 BC, during a food shortage in Rome, Spurius Maelius, the richest patrician, bought as much food as he could and sold it cheaply to the people. The Romans, always fearful of kings, thought he wanted to be king. So an emergency was declared and L. Cincinnatus was proclaimed Dictator. Maelius was ordered to appear before Cincinnatus, but refused. So Ahala, as Magister Equitam, killed him in the Forum. Ahala was tried for this act, but escaped condemnation by voluntary exile.
4 commentsCallimachus
saloninaant.jpg
036. Salonina.79 viewsBI Antoninianus. Eastern mint.

Obv. Draped bust right, on crescent SALONINA AVG

Rev. Ivno standing left holding patera and sceptre, peacock at feet IVNO REGINA.

RIC13s. aUNC. Simply superb, perfect style, fabric and strike on perfectly round flan with full silvering. Very rare in this condition.

4 commentsLordBest
tacitusant~0.JPG
046. Tacitus, 275-276AD. BI Antoninianus. 26 viewsBI Antoninianus. Ticinum mint.
Obv. Radiate and cuirassed bust right. IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG

Rev. Mars left, holding branch, spear and shield. MARTI PACIF, S in exe.

RIC VI 145F, Cohen 60..

Lovely, silvered coin. EF. Superb full circle centering on both sides.
LordBest
theodosius2~0.jpg
074. Theodosius II, 402-450AD. AV Solidus.487 viewsAV Solidus. Constantinople mint. Obv: DN THEODO-SIVS PF AVG - Three-quarters bust right, draped, cuirassed, holding spear over right shoulder and shield in left hand Rev: VOT XXX MVLT XXXXS - Constantinopolis seated left, holding cross on globe and scepter, her left foot sits on the prow of a galley and at rear of her throne, a shield sits; in right field, a 'star'. Exe: CONOB : AD 430-440, RIC X, 257 (s) Scarce, page 259/ 4.48 g. Choice FDC.
15 commentsLordBest
Philip-II-RIC-238var.jpg
70. Philip II as Augustus.57 viewsAntoninianus, 249 AD, Antioch mint.
Obverse: IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG / Radiate bust of Philip II facing right.
Reverse: PM TR P VI COS P P / Radiate lion walking right.
4.40 gm., 21.5 mm.
RIC 238 / 239 var; Sear 9272 / 9273 var.

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

The portrait on this coin is a superbly engraved portrait, but it is not the portrait of a 11 or 12 year old boy. A radiate lion is a symbol not often seen on Roman imperial coinage. It is associated with solar cults of the East and likely has the same meaning as the radiate crown on the emperor's portrait: the power and authority of the emperor is equated with the power and authority of the sun god. The radiate lion on this coin was certainly the invention of the mint of Antioch since the prototype on which this reverse is based -- the millennium coin with a lion on the reverse, RIC 12 -- is not a radiate lion.
1 commentsCallimachus
Aegina_Stater_5b.jpg
Aegina * Sea-Turtle | Skew-pattern incuse - AR Stater, 480-456 BC.223 views
Aegina * Sea-Turtle | Skew-pattern incuse - Silver Stater

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

Exergue: None.

Mint: Aegina
Struck: 485-480 BC.

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

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

Refs:*
Sear, GC 1858.
Milbank, 13 (sim.?)
1 commentsTiathena
Alexander_III_The_Great_Lifetime_Issue_Ionia_,_Miletos_Mint_.jpg
Alexander III The Great, Macedonian Kingdom, 336 - 323 B.C., Lifetime Issue. Ionia, Miletos mint.32 viewsSilver Drachm, Müller Alexander 763; SNG Cop 895; SNG Alpha Bank 629; SNG Saroglos 771; SNG München - ; Price 2090, Choice good Very Fine , as found Superb Fine Style, toned, centered, bumps and marks, Ionia, Miletos mint, weight 4.004g, maximum diameter 18.0mm, die axis 0o, struck between 325 - 323 B.C.,.
Obverse ; head of Alexander the Great as Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck.
Reverse ; AΛEΞAN∆POY ( means " Of Alexander " in Ancient Greek ), Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, feet on footstool, right leg forward, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter topped with lotus vertical behind in left hand, ∆H monogram left.


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

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



FORVM Ancient Coins. / From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
3 commentsSam
Alexander_Athena_Tet_Master_01b.jpg
Alexander III | Athena, Lysimachos * Thrace, AR Tetradrachm, Lampsakos, ca. 323-281 BC.202 views
Alexander III | Athena, Lysimachos * Silver Tetradrachm

Obv: Diademed head of Alexander III with horn of Ammon.
Rev: Helmeted Athena enthroned left holding Nike in outstretched right hand, left arm resting on shield, ΒAΣIΛEΩΣ in right field, LYΣIMAXOY in left field. Monogram inner left, below Nike.; crescent below exergual line.

Exergue: Crescent

Mint: Lampsakos
Struck: 301-299 BC.

Size: 30.055 mm.
Weight: 15.07 gms.
Die axis: 0°

Condition: In very fine condition, bright, clear, sharp images on each side, superb relief, well centered and nicely struck.

Holed and plugged.

Refs:*
Sear Greek Coins and their Values, (SG) Number, 6814

Status: TCJH, Private Collection.
4 commentsTiathena
DSC01739.JPG
Alexander III, the Great AR Drachm SUPERB 287 viewsAlexander III, The Great. Ruler of the Ancient World 336-323 BC.
Silver Drachm 17mm (4.28 grams)
Struck in the name of Alexander the Great.
Probably LYSIMACHEIA mint. Simbles similar to Lysimachos´ ca 301-297

Obv:
Head of Hercules right, wearing lion skin headdress.
Rev:
ALEXANDROU, Zeus seated left, griffin monogram below, monogram below. _sold :o(

Lisandro III de Macedonia,
Lisandro Magano
(greco: Ἀλέξανδρος Γ' ὁ Μακεδών, Aléxandros trίtos ho Makedόn)
Re de Macedonia,
Egemone de la Liga elenica,
Faraon d'Egito,
Re dei Re.
SOLD
2 commentsAntonio Protti
Alexander_III_Herakles-Weapons.jpg
Alexander the Great * Macedonia, 337 to 323 BC. Bronze drachm151 views
Obv: Alexander III guised as Herakles in lion skin headdress, right-facing, enclosed within ornamental dotted circle.
Rev: (Top to bottom) * Lighting bolt, knotted Olive-branch club right-facing, AΛEXANΔΡ[OY], Unstrung bow in ornamented traveling/storage case, Monogram Δ.

Exergue: (N/A) Monogram Δ present in undefined exergual space.

Mint: (Pella?)
Struck: 337-323 BC.

Size: 18.50 mm.
Weight: 6.38 gms.
Die axis: 360°

Condition: XF. Exceptionally lovely coin, more-so in hand. Superb high relief and all details distinct and present.
Beautiful tone, rather dark-golden in the higher relief’s contrast delightfully against a yet-darker gold background in the lower areas of the flan. The flat area around the portrait and within the dotted circle is a strong, accentuating black-olive (not well-communicated by the present image).
Exquisite example of the type.

Refs:*
Not found in Sear GCATV.
Sear 6739, is an Ć 20. Partially descriptive.
4 commentsTiathena
Antoninien_de_Trajan_Decius_Superb.jpg
antoninien de Trajan Decius 96 views22mm.,2,96g, Superbe
Trajan Decius AR Antoninianus. IMP TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right / ADVENTVS AVG, emperor on horseback left with raised hand & sceptre. RIC 1b, Cohen 6. RIC 1b
sear5 #9365
_5054
6 commentsAntonivs Protti
Antoninien_de_Philippe_I,Superbe.jpg
AR antoninien de Philippe I51 views23mm., 4,06 g,
Philip I AR Antoninianus. 247 AD. IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right / ROMAE AETERNAE, Roma sitting left, holding Victory & sceptre. RSC 169. RIC 44b. sear5 #8952
_4363
4 commentsAntonivs Protti
Antoninien_de_Philippe_II,Superbe.jpg
AR antoninien de Philippe II43 views 23mm.,3,14g,
Philip II AR Antoninianus. 245 AD. M IVL PHILIPPVS CAES, radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right / PRINCIPI IVVENT, Philip II, in military dress, standing right with globe & transverse spear. RIC 216c, RSC 54. RIC 216c
sear5 #9242
_4614
1 commentsAntonivs Protti
Trebonianus_Gallus_AR_Antoninianus.jpg
AR antoninien de Trebonianus Gallus 32 views23mm.,3,40g, Superbe
Trebonianus Gallus Billon Antoninianus. Milan mint, 251-253 AD. IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG, radiate draped & cuirassed bust right / PIETAS AVGG, Pietas veiled standing left, raising both hands; to left, altar. RIC 72, RSC 88. RIC 72. Sear'88 #2790
_5936
1 commentsAntonivs Protti
markianopolis_19_caracalla_domna_HrJ(2013)6_19_46_27.jpg
ARCH, Caracalla & Julia Domna, Moesia inferior, Markianopolis, 19. HrJ (2013) 6.19.46.27142 viewsCaracalla & Julia Domna, AD 198-217
AE26, 11.43g, 26.27mm, 45°
struck under governor Quintilianus
obv. [ANTWNINOC] AVGOVCTOC IOVLIA - DOMNA
confronted busts of the Imperial pair
rev. VP KVNTILIANOV MARKIANOPOLITWN
Triumphal arch, with two floors, three doors, two windows; above four figures, from
l. to r.: Caracalla with sceptre(?), Severus, Julia Domna, and - a bit smaller - Geta
on r. side E (for Pentassarion)
ref. a) AMNG I/1, 695 (1 ex., Mandl)
b) Varbanov (engl.) 1041
c) Hristova/Jekov (2013) No.6.19.46.27
d) BMC 20
rare, about VF/superb EF

This type seems to depict a triumphal arch erected in Marcianopolis. For the 4 figures on top will be no other interpretation possible than that suggested by A.v.Sallet (Cat. Berlin 58, 11) of the Imperial family...So we have in te middle Severus and Domna, on the l. side Caracalla and on the r. side a bit smaller Geta. The triumphal arch seems to be erected under Severus but appears not until Caracalla's sole reign, probably at the beginning because Geta is depicted too (Pick).
1 commentsJochen
CeolnothBiarnred1.jpg
Archbishop of Canterbury, Ceolnoth110 viewsStruck c.865-868AD Kent, Canterbury mint. AR Penny 1.20g Ceolnoth Group III. Floriated Cross type. Obv tonsured bust facing, breaking inner circle 'ARCHIEP- CEOLNOD'; Rev 'BIARNRED MONETA' (Moneyer Beornraed) around, in inner circle a floriated cross. S.895? (Group III) N.247.

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

Gareth Williams at the British Museum kindly commented:

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

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

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

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


AlexB
Very_rare_and_superb_bronze_drachm_(without_a_letter_in_front_of_bust)_of_Ardashir_I_Kushanshah_(ca_230-250_AD),_Kushano-Sassanians_(Kushanshahs.jpg
Ardashir I Kushanshah (ca.230-250 AD), Kushano-Sassanians (Kushanshahs) 123 views19000
Very rare and superb bronze drachm (without a letter in front of bust) of Ardashir I Kushanshah (ca.230-250 AD), Kushano-Sassanians (Kushanshahs)
Size: 17mm, 2.6grams, bronze.
Notes: Bust of Ardashir facing right, wearing a long earring, double cornucopea behind bust, without a Brahmi letter in front of bust, Pahlavi legend MaZDISN BaGI ARTaHShaTR RaBI KUShAN spread on the obverse and the reverse / Goddess Anahita half-standing beneath a canopy, holding wreath above altar and a long scepter. Uncertain mint (Harid or Kabul?). Cribb SI 19, #16var. (Bactrian issues); Mitchiner ACW 1264-1265 var.; Gobl Kushan 1028var.
These extremely rare and beautiful coins are rarely offered for sale, I could locate only a single specimen offered for sale in the recent years. This coin is probably one of the nicest coins of this type in existence.

Antonio Protti
Ardashir_I_Kushanshah.JPG
Ardashir I Kushanshah (ca.230-250 AD), Kushano-Sassanians (Kushanshahs) 51 viewsVery rare and superb bronze drachm (without a letter in front of bust) of Ardashir I Kushanshah (ca.230-250 AD), Kushano-Sassanians (Kushanshahs)
Size: 17mm, 2.6grams, bronze.
Notes: Bust of Ardashir facing right, wearing a long earring, double cornucopea behind bust, without a Brahmi letter in front of bust, Pahlavi legend MaZDISN BaGI ARTaHShaTR RaBI KUShAN spread on the obverse and the reverse / Goddess Anahita half-standing beneath a canopy, holding wreath above altar and a long scepter. Uncertain mint (Harid or Kabul?). Cribb SI 19, #16var. (Bactrian issues); Mitchiner ACW 1264-1265 var.; Gobl Kushan 1028var.
These extremely rare and beautiful coins are rarely offered for sale, I could locate only a single specimen offered for sale in the recent years. This coin is probably one of the nicest coins of this type in existence.


1 commentsAntonivs Protti
ArsakesII.jpg
Arsakes II65 viewsAR Drachm (16mm, 4.09 g, 12h). Rhagai-Arsakeia(?) mint. Struck circa 211-209 BC. Head left, wearing bashlyk and earring / Archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, holding bow; to right, eagle standing facing, head left, with wings displayed; APΣAK•Y downward to left. Sellwood 6.1; A&S Type 6, obv. 6/1, rev. 6/2; Shore 4; Sunrise 241-3.

Arsakes II, son of Arsakes I, ascended the Parthian throne about 210 BC. At roughly the same time, the Seleukid king Antiochos III (223-187 BC) marched out of Ecbatana to recover the eastern Seleukid provinces that were lost to the young Parthian kingdom. Justin (41.5.7) comments that Arsakes II fought with admirable gallantry against Antiochos, and finally became his ally. Whether the Parthians resumed minting after the return of Antiochos returned to Ekbatana in 205 BC, after his Baktrian expedition, cannot be ascertained. It is possible that, until his defeat by the Romans at the Battle of Magnesia in 190/189 BC, Antiochos held sway over Iran at least as far east as the Baktrian frontiers and thus suppressed the circulation of non-Seleukid currencies. Unfortunately, the exact date and circumstances of the death of Arsakes II are unknown. The superb condition of the great majority of S6 drachms of Arsakes II implies that they were minted and almost immediately interred at around the time of Antiochos III’s eastern expedition to Parthia and Baktria in 209 BC (from CNG).
3 commentsThatParthianGuy
Athena_Owl_Tet_2d.jpg
Athena * Owl, Athenian AR Tetradrachm * 449-413 BC.480 views
Athena * Owl, Archaic style Athenian Silver Tetradrachm.

Obv: Head of Athena right-facing, archaic almond shaped eye, crested helmet engraved with three olive-leaves & floral scroll, wire necklace, circular earring, hair neatly drawn across forehead in parallel curves and which falls below the neck guard of the helmet in elegant, looped coils, neck truncated with row of dots.
Rev: AOE vertical in right field, Owl standing erect to the right, head facing, prong tail, feet resting on bottom line of the lower plane of the incuse, pellet in center of forehead; to left olive twig and crescent, all engraved within incuse square.

Exergue: (None)

Mint: Athens
Struck: 449-413 BC.

Size: 22.26 x 23.63 mms
Weight: 17.8 grams
Die axis: 90°

Condition: Absolutely gorgeous. Beautifully toned, bright, clear, lustrous silver with superb high-relief details both sides.

Refs:*
Sear, GC, 2526; Vol. I, pg. 236.

12 commentsTiathena
Superb_Both_Aetolia.jpg
Athens New Style Tetradrachm c90/9 BC6 viewsObs : Athena Parthenos right in tri-form helmet
29 mm 16.53 gm Thompson issue (new) 75
Thompson catalogue: IMITATION Obs : 1420 Rev : NEW
Rev : ΑΘΕ ethnic
Owl standing on overturned panathenaic amphora
on which month mark A control ? below
2 magistrates : XENOCLES HARMOXENOS
RF symbol : Aetolia ?
All surrounded by an olive wreath
cicerokid
Athens_Tetradrachm.jpg
Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, 449 - 413 B.C.462 viewsSilver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31 ff., SGCV I 2526, EF, light scuff on cheek, 17.184g, 25.6mm, 180o, Athens mint, obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AQE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square;

A superb beauty ex FORVM .


The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.

*With my sincere thank , Photo and Description courtesy of FORVM Ancient Coins Staff.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
9 commentsSam
Augustus_RIC_86a.jpg
Augustus - [RIC 86a, BMC 41, CBN 1132, Cohen 19]86 viewsSilver denarius, 3.13g, 18.44mm, 90 degree, Colonia Patricia mint, 19 B.C.

Obv. - CAESAR AVGVSTVS, bare head right

Rev. - SIGNIS RECEPTIS, Aquila on left and standard on right flanking S P Q R arranged around shield inscribed CL V

A superb piece with a particularly beautiful portrait and an attractive tone.

This famous and historically important denarius of Augustus commemorates the reconquest of the legionary eagles from the Parthians. These signa where lost, when Crassus was defeated at the battle of Carrhae and their return back to Rome was one of the greatest diplomatic successes Augustus had.

The CL V on the reverse of this issue represents the clipeus virtutis, which was - according to the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, the funerary inscription giving the achievements of Augustus - a golden shield displayed in the Curia Iulia that was given to Augustus by the Senate and the Roman people (Senatus PopulusQue Romanus) in commemoration of his virtue, piety, justice and clemency. Even though it seems to be obvious that Augustus must have been awarded the shield right after he achieved absolute power and declared the restoration of the Republic, Sydenham suggests "that there is no decisive evidence as to the exact date at which the golden shield was conferred, but the coins on which it is represented are of later date than the year BC 27". When, in 19 BC, the Parthians returned the standards they had captured from Crassus in 53, there would have been an excellent opportunity to once again recall Augustus' pietas, one of the virtues recorded on the clipeus.
___________

Purchased from VCoins seller Ancient Artifacts & Treasures, Inc. at the 2013 BRNA Dalton, GA coin show

Sold 25Apr2015 to Lucas Harsh Collection
2 commentsrenegade3220
Aurelian_Mars_Presentation.jpg
Aurelian * Emperor and Mars, 270-275 AD. Æ Antoninianus.81 views
Aurelian * Emperor and Mars * Bronze Antoninianus.

Obv: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG * radiate, cuirassed bust right facing.
Rev: RESTITVTOR EXERCITI, Mars the aggressor on the left facing right, presents Aurelian the globe (..the world) with his right hand; Aurelian standing opposite on his right, left-facing * Mars holding a spear in left hand, Emperor receiving the globe with his right hand, holding scepter in his left hand.
Officina letter Γ below globe, between the warriors.

Exergue: XXI

Mint: Cyzicus
Struck: 274-275 AD.

Size: 24 mm.
Weight: 4.64 grams
Die axis: 0°

Condition: Quite superb, although with some effacing of the Legends on both sides.
Letter A effaced from [A]VRELIANVS, on the Obv.
Rev. shows – EX[ERC]ITI
In all, beautiful condition; superb, well-centered strike. Lovely universal bronze-gold patina, and excellent details.

Refs:*
Cohen 206
RIC Vi, 366F (s) Scarce, page 306
(Rated Scarce by RIC).

Tiathena
Aurelian, Fortuna Redux.jpg
Aurelian- FORTVNA REDVX99 viewsSilvered Antoninianus

obv: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, bust radiate, cuir., rt.
rev: FORTVNA REDVX, Fortuna seated l. by wheel and cornucopiae
*T in exergue- Siscia mint
RIC 220
VF

Superb gloss patina... truly a work of art in hand.
wolfgang336
mazaios~0.jpg
Baal or Zeus (Interpretatio Graecia) on Cilician Stater of Satrap Mazaios258 viewsCirca 361-334 B.C. AR Stater (10.88g, 24mm, 5h). cf. SNG Levant-106; SNG Paris-. Obverse Baal of Tarsos enthroned left, head facing, holding club, bunch of grapes, wheat ear, and eagle in right hand, lotus-headed scepter in left hand, B’LTRZ (Baaltarz) in Aramaic behind, M below throne, all within a circle of dots. Reverse lion bringing down bull, attacking with teeth and claws, MZDI (Mazdai) in Aramaic above, unlisted ankh symbol, wheat ear below, all within a circle of dots. Sharply struck on an excellent metal with areas of flat strikes on high points. Choice superb EF/EF. Toned, lustrous.

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

The depiction of Phoenician-Canaanite god Baal on Cilician coinage suggests the preeminence of his cult in Tarsos. He is shown enthroned, most probably on Mount Zaphon. The symbols corn-ear/barley and grapes suggest Baal’s capacity as a god involved in the seasonal cycles of life and death, or a more specific reference to Cilicia’s fertile plains. The iconography of this late coinage is also a syncretic mixture of other cultures, including Greek. The treatment of the god’s body gives us a hint of the extent of influence of Hellenic culture exerted in Eastern Asia Minor long before Alexander’s conquest, and it is said that Baal could be equated with Zeus in the Greek context. After the conquest of Alexander III of the East, Mazaios was appointed governor of Babylon. The new coinage of Alexander was strongly influenced by Mazaios’ pre-Alexandrine coinage (the Zeus Aetophoros commonly found on the reverses of his tetradrachmai is a direct descendant of this). The reverse depicts the City’s Emblem and clearly has an underlying meaning now lost to us. Some say it symbolizes the victory of Day over Night, while others suggest military conquest and subjugation of the enemies by the Persian Empire. Marvin Tameanko has persuasively argued (see Celator, Jan. 1995, pp. 6-11) that the kneeling bull (without the lion) is symbolic of Zeus, as attested on scores of later Greek and Roman coins; and the lion is symbolic of the supreme god Baal of the Cilicians. This concludes the lion-over-bull motif on this coin delivers a message that is blatantly direct and simple, if the argument put forward is to be believed.
4 commentsJason T
0280-210np_noir.jpg
Balbinus, Antoninianus 102 viewsAntoninianus struck in Rome in 238 AD
IMP CAES D CAEL BALBINVS AVG, Draped and radiate bust of Balbinus right
PIETAS MVTVA AVGG, Clasped hands
4.23 gr
Ref : RCV #8486, Cohen #17

Superbe et trčs jolie patine
2 commentsPotator II
228-1-Blk.jpg
C. VALERIUS FLACCUS XVI - Denarius, RRC 228/131 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Era: c. 140 BC
Metal: AR
Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma R; Behind, XVI downward. Border of dots


Reverse: Victory in biga r., Holding reins in l. hand and whip in r. hand; above FLAC; below monogram of C. VAL.C.F. Line border

Mint: Rome
Weight: 4.03 gm.
Reference: RRC 128/1
Provenance: Aureo & Calico Alba Longa sale, November 7, 2018, Lot 710; Ex. NFA XXVII, Dec 4-5, 1991, Lot 343.

Sear plate coin for this type in Roman Coins and their Values. This issue is one of the five issues listed in RRC with the mark of value XVI instead of X, signaling the re-tariffing of the denarius. Beautiful toning, well centered and Superb EF.
3 commentsSteve B5
Vlasto_836.jpg
Calabria, Taras.52 viewsSilver Nomos (6.64 g), ca. 272-240 BC.
Sy… and Lykinos, magistrates. Youth on horseback left, crowning horse with wreath; behind and below in two lines, magistrate's names: ΣY and ΛYKI/NOΣ. Reverse: TA-PAΣ, Phalanthos riding dolphin left, hurling trident; behind, owl standing left, head facing. Vlasto 836; HN Italy 1025. Gorgeous iridescent toning. Superb Extremely Fine.
1 commentsLeo
imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-3qs59GR6xcPDlCaligula_2.jpg
Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Brass Dupondius 10 viewsNERO ET DRVSVS CAESARES - Nero and Drusus on horseback riding right
C. CAESAR. DIVI. AVG. PRON. AVG. P. M. TR. P. III. P. P. around large S. C. - Legend surrounding large S C
Mint: Rome (39-40 AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 13.04g / 32mm / 6h
Rarity: R3
References:
RIC I 42 (Gaius)
BMCRE p. 156, n. ‡
Provenances:
Artemide Aste
Acquisition/Sale: Artemide Aste Internet 46e #266 $0.00 02/19

The Gary R. Wilson Collection

The TR P III (39-40 AD) date of Caligula's base coinage is the scarcest of all his dates. The TR P (37-38 AD) is the most common followed by his TR P IIII (40-41 AD). Caligula did not issue base coinage from Rome with the TR P II (38-39 AD) date.

From: Incitatus Coins
Nero and Drusus were the elder brothers of Caligula, and the sons of Germanicus. Both were heirs of Tiberius and both were killed by the machinations of Sejanus. Caligula survived Sejanus, and the subsequent years, to become emperor. He immediately proclaimed his informed uncle Claudius as his co-consul, an appointment made so that Caligula could, in essence, rule as sole consul. Claudius was given the modest
task of preparing a celebration of Caligula's brothers, including statues in their honor. According to 'I Claudius', Claudius encountered difficulty in completing these statues on time. The completed statues appear on this coinage.

ODERINT, DUM METUANT (LET THEM HATE, SO LONG AS THEY FEAR). — CALIGULA


From Joe Geranio:
The dupondii issues of the brothers of Caligula , Nero and Drusus Caesar was no doubt to remind the Roman populace about the Dioscuri the saviors of the Roman state. The Dioscuri won a miraculous battle in 496 B.C. and then on the same day appear in the Roman Forum to tell the populace about the victory, no doubt Caligula wanted to associate himself with the Dioscuri with this issue of the gods represented as Nero and Drusus Caesars galloping on their horses with ease as though the wind is blowing in their hair. This familial propaganda would cement that the sons of Germanicus and Agrippina would reign and were in control.

This type was issued by Caligula for his two deceased brothers, Nero Julius Caesar and Drusus Julius Caesar Germanicus. Nero Caesar was Tiberius' oldest adoptive grandson and was the emperor's most obvious successor until 29 A.D. when he was accused of treason along with his mother, Agrippina the Elder. He was exiled to the island of Ponza where he was either induced to commit suicide or starved to death before October 31. In 30, his brother Drusus Caesar was also accused of treason and exiled and imprisoned. He starved to death in prison in 33, reduced to chewing the stuffing of his bed.

From Suetonius:
But he (Claudius) was exposed also to actual dangers. First in his very consulship, when he was all but deposed, because he had been somewhat slow in contracting for and setting up the statues of Nero and Drusus, the emperor's brothers.


From COINWEEK:
THE ANNALS OF THE ROMAN HISTORIAN TACITUS (56 – 117 CE) survived in one damaged medieval manuscript at the Monte Cassino monastery. The section covering the reign of Emperor Caligula is missing, and we rely largely on fragmentary chapters of Cassius Dio’s Roman History (155-235 CE) and the Twelve Caesars of Suetonius (c.69 – 140 CE), a gossip writer who was the Perez Hilton of Imperial Rome. There are few contemporary eyewitness sources – some passages in the writings of Seneca (4 BCE – 65 CE) and Philo of Alexandria (c. 25 BCE – 50 CE ).

The story is not a happy one.

The future emperor was born on August 31 in the year 12, probably at Antium (Anzio) south of Rome. His father Germanicus, nephew of Emperor Tiberius, was a successful and popular general. His mother, Agrippina “the Elder”, was the daughter of Marcus Agrippa, the brilliant organizer who was largely responsible for Octavian’s victory in the Roman civil war (32-30 BCE).

“Caligula” is a nickname. It means “little boot” in Latin, because as a child he wore a miniature military uniform including tiny hobnailed boots, much to the delight of his father’s veteran legionaries. He grew up to dislike it. His given name, which appears on his coins, variously abbreviated, was Gaius (or Caius) Julius Caesar Germanicus. “Caesar” here is not a title, but a personal name, inherited through Germanicus Julius Caesar, grandson of Emperor Augustus, the adopted son of the famous Julius Caesar (100 – 44 BCE).

A New Hope
“TO MAKE AN INEXPERIENCED AND ALMOST UNKNOWN YOUNG MAN, BROUGHT UP UNDER A SERIES OF AGED AND REPRESSIVE GUARDIANS, MASTER OF THE WORLD, ALMOST LITERALLY OVERNIGHT, ON THE SOLE RECOMMENDATION THAT HIS FATHER HAD BEEN A THOROUGHLY DECENT FELLOW WAS TO COURT DISASTER IN A QUITE IRRESPONSIBLE FASHION.”
–BARRETT, CALIGULA: THE CORRUPTION OF POWER (1990)

When the reclusive, miserly and increasingly paranoid Emperor Tiberius died on March 16, 37 CE at the age of 78, most Romans greeted Caligula’s accession joyfully. Caligula’s early coinage celebrates his descent from his great-grandfather, the deified Augustus.

Caligula’s laurel-crowned portrait appears on the obverse of his gold aurei and silver denarii surrounded by his titles. On one reverse, which bears no inscription, the head of Augustus, wearing the sun god’s spiky radiate crown, appears between two stars. Another type omits the stars and adds the inscription, “Divine Augustus, Father of the Nation”. On some examples, the portrait seems to have the features of the unpopular Tiberius, who was never deified by the Senate. Perhaps the mint engravers, who had copied and recopied the portrait of Tiberius for 22 years, automatically reproduced a familiar face.

On his birthday in the year 37, Caligula dedicated the Temple of Augustus, which had been under construction for over two decades in the Roman forum. The event is commemorated on a magnificent brass sestertius. On the obverse a veiled seated figure is labeled PIETAS (“piety”) – an untranslatable Latin term for the Roman virtue that combined profound respect for ancestral traditions and meticulous observance of ritual obligations. The reverse shows Caligula in his role as Pontifex Maximus, high priest of the state religion, sacrificing an ox before a richly decorated temple. The finest known example of this coin sold for over $269,000 USD in a November 2013 Swiss auction.

Addressing the Guards
The orderly succession and survival of any Roman emperor depended on the Praetorian Guard, an elite force of bodyguards stationed in the capital. It was organized into nine battalions, or “cohorts”, each of 500 to 1,000 men.

On his accession, one of Caligula’s first official acts was to present each guardsman with a thousand sestertii bequeathed by Tiberius in his will, adding another thousand of his own. The reverse of a rare bronze sestertius, which may have been specially struck for this payment, shows Caligula standing on a platform with his arm raised in a formal gesture of greeting to a rank of guards. The abbreviated inscription ADLOCUT COH means “Address to the Cohorts”. Remarkably, this coin lacks the inscription SC (“by decree of the Senate”), which normally appeared on all Roman bronze coinage. An outstanding example of this type (“undoubtedly the finest specimen known”) brought over $634,000 in a 2014 European auction.

Family Ties
Caligula issued numerous types honoring the memory of his parents. Some of these continued under the reign of his uncle and successor, Claudius.

A handsome brass dupondius (worth half a sestertius or two asses) shows Germanicus riding in a chariot, celebrating his triumph (May 26, 17 CE) over German tribes. On the reverse, Germanicus stands in armor, holding an eagle-tipped scepter as a symbol of command. The inscription reads, “Standards Regained From the Defeated Germans”. This commemorates the return of sacred eagle standards captured when Roman legions of P. Quinctilius Varus were ambushed and annihilated eight years previously (September, 9 CE) in the Teutoburg Forest of north-central Germany. Examples of this type have sold for $500 to $3,000 in recent auctions.

Agrippina the Elder, mother of Caligula, was honored on a bronze sestertius. The obverse inscription surrounding her strong, dignified portrait translates: “Agrippina, daughter of Marcus, mother of emperor Gaius Caesar”. On the reverse, the legend “To the Memory of Agrippina” appears beside a carpentum, a ceremonial cart drawn by two mules that paraded an image of Agrippina on special occasions.

A superb, pedigreed example of this coin (“Very rare and among the finest specimens known. A delicate portrait of sublime style, Tiber tone”) sold for over $98,000 in a November 2013 Swiss auction. More typical examples sell for $1,000 to $3,000.

Perhaps the best-known coin of Caligula is a rare sestertius that depicts his three sisters, Agrippina the Younger, Drusilla and Julia Livilla as the personifications of Securitas, Concordia and Fortuna respectively. Caligula was close to his sisters, and lavished public honors on them in a way that shocked traditional Roman values. This inevitably led later writers to charge the emperor with incestuous relations, a rumor that is almost certainly false.

In recent auctions, exceptional examples of this type have sold for prices ranging from $15,000 to 21,000. Worn or corroded examples that have been “tooled” to improve the detail can sometimes be found for under $2,000. Cast forgeries are common, mostly modern, some dating back to the Renaissance that are collectable in their own right.

Small Change
Perhaps the most enigmatic coin of Caligula’s reign was the smallest regular Roman denomination, the quadrans. It took 64 of these little coppers to equal the value of one silver denarius – a day’s pay for a manual worker. On the obverse, the emperor’s name and titles surround a “liberty cap” – the felt hat worn by freed slaves – bracketed by the letters “SC”. The reverse inscription continues the emperor’s titles, surrounding the large letters “RCC”.

For many years, the consensus of numismatic scholars was that this abbreviation stood for remissa ducentesima, celebrating Caligula’s repeal of an unpopular one-half percent sales tax (“one part in two hundred” – “CC” being the Roman numeral for 200). A brilliant 2010 study by David Woods argues that this interpretation is unlikely, and RCC probably stands for something like res civium conservatae (“the interests of citizens have been preserved”).

The quadrans is probably the most affordable coin of Caligula, with decent examples appearing at auction for under $100.

The Making of a Monster
SO MUCH FOR CALIGULA THE EMPEROR; THE REST OF THIS HISTORY MUST NEEDS DEAL WITH CALIGULA THE MONSTER.
— SUETONIUS, THE TWELVE CAESARS, 22.1

Caligula fell seriously ill in October, 37 CE. After he recovered, his personality (always rather dark) took a decided turn for the worse. He became increasingly paranoid, ordering the execution or forcing the suicide of many who were previously close to him. He reportedly took special delight in having people tortured to death in his presence. As his increasingly bizarre expenditures emptied the treasury, he had wealthy Romans executed in order to seize their assets. Nevertheless, Suetonius reports that Caligula was devoted and faithful to his fourth and last wife, Milonia Caesonia, “who was neither beautiful nor young”.



The Death of Caligula

On January 24, 41 CE, conspirators including Cassius Chaerea, an officer of the Praetorian Guard, stabbed Caligula to death as he left a theatrical performance. Caesonia and her young daughter were also murdered. The only certainly identifiable contemporary portrait of Caesonia appears on a rare provincial bronze issued by Caligula’s childhood friend, Herod Agrippa I (11 BCE – 44 CE), the Roman client-king of Judaea.

Collecting the Monster
Gold and silver issues of Caligula are scarce, and in high demand from collectors, especially those determined to complete a set of the “Twelve Caesars” – all the Roman rulers from Julius Caesar to Domitian. Some of the bronzes are quite common, particularly the bronze as with Vesta reverse – decent examples can be found at auction for well under $200. For bronzes in the highest grades, with pristine surfaces and untouched patinas, the sky’s the limit.

For an emperor who was supposedly feared and hated by the Romans by the end of his short reign – only three years and 10 months – Caligula’s coins seem to have a good survival rate, and few that reach the numismatic market are mutilated. Some have the first ‘C’ of the emperor’s personal name filed off or scratched out, but it is rare to find deliberate ancient gouges or cuts across the portrait.

Any collector approaching the coinage of Caligula seeking evidence of madness, decadence and depravity will be disappointed. Coinage is conservative, and these coins present an idealized portrait of a rather dorky young man, along with a series of stock images reflecting the conventions of classical art that the Romans adopted from the Greeks
Gary W2
imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-8hDqgyvl4MzVjv-Agrippina.jpg
Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Brass Sestertius (Agrippina I)7 viewsAGRIPPINA M F MAT C CAESARIS AVGVSTI - Bust of Agrippina the Elder, right, her hair falling in queue down her neck
SPQR MEMORIAE AGRIPPINAE - Carpentum, with ornamented cover and sides, drawn right by two mules
Mint: Rome (37-41AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 22.00g / 34mm / 180
Rarity: Common
References:
RIC 1-Gaius 55
Trillmich Group II; BMCRE 81-5 (Caligula)
BN 128 (Caligula)
BMCRE 86-7 (Caligula)
Cohen 1
Acquisition/Sale: sesterc1975 Ebay

The Gary R. Wilson Collection

Caligula's mother.

ODERINT, DUM METUANT (LET THEM HATE, SO LONG AS THEY FEAR). — CALIGULA

Agrippina Sr.,one of the most tragically unfortunate women of Roman history. Agrippina was destined to achieve the highest possible status that did not happen. In 29AD she was deprived of her freedom, and in 33AD of life itself. This sestertii dedicated to Agrippina was produced by her son Caligula, The inscription, SPQR MEMORIAE AGRIPPINAE, is itself dedicatory from the Senate and the Roman people to the memory of Agrippina.

Of this coin, minted at Rome, in gold and silver, Agrippina occupies the most distinguished place, namely the obverse side. She styles herself (by implication) the wife of Claudius, and, in direct terms, the mother of Nero; as though the government of the empire had been in her hands, and her son only Caesar. It is on this account that Tacitus (Ann. 23), asks -- What help is there in him, who is governed by a woman? It is not to be wondered at therefore, adds Vaillant, if the oaken garland was decreed to this woman and to her son, as it had already been to Caligula and to Claudius, ob cives servatos, by the Senate, whom she assembled in the palace, where she sat discreetly veiled. Praest. Num. Impp. ii. 60.

Agrippina the Elder, mother of Caligula, was honored on a bronze sestertius. The obverse inscription surrounding her strong, dignified portrait translates: “Agrippina, daughter of Marcus, mother of emperor Gaius Caesar.” On the reverse, the legend “To the Memory of Agrippina” appears beside a carpentum, a ceremonial cart drawn by two mules that paraded an image of Agrippina on special occasions.

Three issues of sestertii were struck in honour of Agrippina Senior, one of the most tragically unfortunate women of
Roman history. She began life as a favoured member of the Julio-Claudian family during the reign of her grandfather
Augustus, and upon her marriage to Livia’s grandson Germanicus, she seemed destined to achieve the highest possible
status.
However, upon the death of Augustus and the accession of Tiberius, her life took a turn for the worse: supreme power had
shifted from the bloodlines of the Julii to the Claudii. Though her marriage represented and ideal union of Julian and
Claudian, it was not destined to survive Tiberius’ reign. Germanicus died late in 19 under suspicious circumstances, after
which Agrippina devoted the next decade of her life to openly opposing Tiberius until in 29 he deprived her of freedom,
and in 33 of life itself.
The sestertii dedicated to Agrippina are easily segregated. The first, produced by her son Caligula, shows on its reverse a
carpentum; the second, issued by her brother Claudius, shows SC surrounded by a Claudian inscription, and the third is
simply a restoration of the Claudian type by Titus, on which the reverse inscription is instead dedicated to that emperor.
Though both Caligula and Claudius portrayed Agrippina, each did so from their own perspective, based upon the nature of
their relationship with her. The inscription on Caligula’s coin, AGRIPPINA M F MAT C CAESARIS AVGVSTI, describes
her as the daughter of Marcus (Agrippa) and the mother of Gaius (Caligula). While Claudius also identifies her as
Agrippa’s daughter, his inscription ends GERMANICI CAESARIS, thus stressing her role as the wife of his brother
Germanicus. It is also worth noting that on the issue of Caligula Agrippina has a slender profile like that of her son,
whereas on Claudius’ sestertii her face is more robust, in accordance with his appearance.
The carpentum reverse is not only a superbly executed type, but has a foundation in the recorded events of the day.
Suetonius (Gaius 15) describes the measures taken by Caligula to honour his family at the outset of his reign, which
included gathering the ashes of his mother and brothers, all victims of persecution during the reign of Tiberius. Upon
returning to Rome, Caligula, with his own hands, transferred to an urn his mother’s ashes “with the utmost reverence”; he
then instituted Circus games in her honour, at which “…her image would be paraded in a covered carriage.”
There can be little doubt that the carpentum on this sestertius relates to the special practice initiated by Caligula. The
inscription, SPQR MEMORIAE AGRIPPINAE, is itself dedicatory from the Senate and the Roman people to the memory
of Agrippina.
Gary W2
Caracalla_comme_Caesar_AR_denier,Superbe~0.jpg
Caracalla AR Denaius, Supperb. 40 viewsCaracalla AR Denaius, Supperb.
3,17g.,19mm _13721
SOLD
3 commentsAntonivs Protti
Caracalla_comme_Caesar_AR_denier,Superbe.jpg
Caracalla AR Denaius, Supperb. 3,17g.,19mm 50 viewsRef Caracalla Denarius, RIC 54b, RSC 175cf, BMC 262
Caracalla Denarius. ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate draped bust right / PART MAX PONT TR P IIII, two Persians bound & seated back to back at base of trophy. RSC 175.
1 commentsAntonivs Protti
Caracalla_Fides_2c.jpg
Caracalla | Fides * Rome * AR Denarius - 198-217 AD.96 views
Caracalla | Fides * Silver Denarius

Obv: Laureate bust right. ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM
Rev: Fides Militum facing, head left, standing between and holding two standards either side in left and right hands. PM TR P XVIII COS IIII PP

Exergue: Clear

Mint: Rome
Struck: 198-217

Size: 20.40 mm.
Weight: 2.83 grm.
Die axis: 0°

Condition: Excellent. Clean, clear, well centered and struck, superb images and good legends. Lustrous silver with some light toning on the obverse.

Refs:*
Sear, 1937
Van Meter, 63/11

Status: TCJH, Private Collection.
3 commentsTiathena
0530-301.jpg
Carus, Antoninianus53 viewsLyon mint (Lugdunum), 4th officina, AD 282
IMP C M AVR CARVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
SALVS AVG, Salus standing right, feeding a snake. D in left field
3.78 gr
Carus, antoninien, Ref : Cohen # 74, RIC # 16, Bastien # 464, RCV -

Superbe, avec son argenture
Potator II
Cherronesos,_Thrace,_c__400_-_350_B_C_.jpg
Cherronesos, Thrace, c. 400 - 350 B.C. Silver Hemidrachm.107 viewsObverse ; lion forepart right, head turned back left.
Reverse ; Quadripartite incuse square with alternating raised and sunken quarters; X and pellet in one , Λ and pellet in opposite sunken quarter.
Cherronesos mint. Circa ; 400 - 350 B.C.; 2,28 gr 17 mm. Superb Choice Extremely Fine.

SNG Cop 824-843var (Beizeichen). Very Rare.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
2 commentsSam
Super_Mazaios.jpg
CILICIA, Tarsos. Mazaios. Satrap of Cilicia, 361/0-334 BC238 viewsSNG Copenhagen 313, Casabonne series 2, group C, 23.2mm, 10.94 grams, Struck 361 - 334 B.C.
 
Obverse: Baaltars seated left, holding eagle, grain ear, grapes, and scepter, Aramaic letters to right and left
Reverse: Lion attacking Bull to left, Aramaic letters above from right to left MZDI for Satrap Mazdai , Mazaios or Mazaeus ).

Incredible reverse , one of the best ever known if not the best , and incredible Aramaic art.

(Under Study)
A superb beauty from the Sam Mansourati Collection.
2 commentsSam
mazaios.jpg
Cilicia, Tarsos. Satrap Mazaios. AR Stater.126 viewsCirca 361-334 B.C. AR Stater (10.88gm, 24mm, 5h). cf. SNG Levant-106; SNG Paris-. Obverse Baal of Tarsos enthroned left, head facing, holding club, bunch of grapes, wheat ear, and eagle in right hand, lotus-headed scepter in left hand, B’LTRZ (Baaltarz) in Aramaic behind, M below throne, all within a circle of dots. Reverse lion bringing down bull, attacking with teeth and claws, MZDI (Mazdai) in Aramaic above, unlisted ankh symbol, wheat ear below, all within a circle of dots. Sharply struck on an excellent metal with areas of flat strike. Choice superb EF/EF. Toned, lustrous.

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

The depiction of Phoenician-Canaanite god Baal on Cilician coinage suggests the preeminence of his cult in Tarsos. He is shown enthroned, most probably on Mount Zaphon. The symbols corn-ear/barley and grapes suggest Baal’s capacity as a god involved in the seasonal cycles of life and death, or a more specific reference to Cilicia’s fertile plains. The iconography of this late coinage is also a syncretic mixture of other cultures, including Greek. The treatment of the god’s body gives us a hint of the extent of influence of Hellenic culture exerted in Eastern Asia Minor even before Alexander’s conquest, and it is said that Baal could be equated with Zeus in the Greek context. After the conquest of Alexander III of the East, Mazaios was appointed governor of Babylon. The new coinage of Alexander was strongly influenced by Mazaios’ pre-Alexandrine coinage (the Zeus Aetophoros commonly found on the reverses of his tetradrachmai is a direct descendant of this). The reverse depicts the City’s Emblem and clearly has an underlying meaning now lost to us. Some say it symbolizes the victory of Day over Night, while others suggest military conquest and subjugation of the enemies by the Persian Empire. Marvin Tameanko has persuasively argued (see Celator, Jan. 1995, pp. 6-11) that the kneeling bull (without the lion) is symbolic of Zeus, as attested on scores of later Greek and Roman coins; and the lion is symbolic of the supreme god Baal of the Cilicians. This concludes the lion-over-bull motif on this coin delivers a message that is both blatantly direct and simple, if the argument put forward is to be believed.
6 commentsJason T
nagidos.jpg
Cilicia. Nagidos AR Stater50 viewsCirca 400-385/4 BC. (24mm, 10.76 g, 11h). Casabonne Type 6; Lederer 23; SNG France 25 (same dies); SNG Levante –. Obverse: Aphrodite seated left, holding phiale, left arm around the shoulders of Eros, who stands left behind her, with his arms extended. Reverse: Dionysos standing left, holding grape bunches on vine and thyrsos; Π in exergue. Superb EF, lightly toned, a touch of die wear on obverse.

Ex CNG Inventory 93935 (c. Jan 1990-Jan 1993). Ex CNG Electronic Auction 347, Lot 252.

The prominence of Aphrodite on coins of Nagidos indicates that an important sanctuary must have existed in that ancient colony of Samos. It must be noted that there were two forms of Aphrodite in the ancient Greek pantheon (or at least in literature). The first was Aphrodite Ourania signifying the “heavenly” or “spiritual” as opposed to the more “earthly” aspect of her, better known as Aphrodite Pandemos “for all the people.” On the coins of Nagidos, she is paired with her son Eros, the god of earthly passion. The representation of the two deities together on the coins of Nagidos denotes that, even in ancient times, the Greeks already categorized the earthly, physical and carnal type of love (represented by Eros) to that of the celestial love of body and soul (Aphrodite Ourania). The subordination of Eros in the iconography of the coin, represented as a juvenile winged figure, under the guidance and protection of the goddess, tells us the superiority of the spiritual aspect of love over the physical representations of it.
1 commentsJason T
Claudius_II_Gothicus_Roman_Provincial_Egypt.jpg
Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt.36 viewsBillon tetradrachm, Dattari 5392; Geissen 3038; BMC Alexandria p. 303, 2327; Milne 4240; Curtis 1701; SNG Cop 847; Kampmann-Ganschow 104.25; Emmett 3883, VF, well centered on a tight flan, attractive style, dark patina with coppery high points, 10.116g, 20.3mm, 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 269 - 28 Aug 270 A.D.; obverse AVT K KLAVDIOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse bust of Hermanubis right, wearing modius with lotus-petal in front, himation over shoulder, date LB (year 2) in left field, winged caduceus over palm in right.
Anubis, represented as a jackal or as a man with the head of a jackal, was the Egyptian god of the dead. He presided over the embalming of the dead and conducted souls into the underworld. The Greeks and Romans often scorned Egypt's animal-headed gods as bizarre and primitive (they mockingly called Anubis the Barker) but they also identified Anubis with Hermes, morphing them into Hermanubis.
EX; FORVM Ancient Coins / The Sam Mansourati Collection.

**My comment; A Superb reverse . This is what I like to call, a forbidden to touch reverse for married gentelmen.
2 commentsSam
Constantine_Beata_Tranqvillitas_Lugdunum.jpg
Constantine I AE Follis, Lugdunum61 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC VII 126, EF, Lugdunum mint, 321 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX, three stars above, C left, R right, PLC in ex; superb olive patina, R1


1 commentsPhiloromaos
constantiusII_siscia_243.jpg
Constantius II RIC VIII, Siscia 24354 viewsConstantius II AD 337-361, son of Constantine I
AE - Centenionalis (AE 3), 1.99g, 18.9mm
Siscia 4th officina, AD 348-350
obv. DN CONSTAN - TIVS PF AVG
bust, draped and cuirassed, perl-diademed , r.
rev. FEL TEMP - REPARATIO
Emperor, in military clothes, stands l. in galley, phoenix on globe in right,
labarum in left, Victory seated steers in stern
in ex. ASIS and symbol #4
RIC VIII, Siscia 243; LRBC 1135
Choice EF, nice patina, fantastic strike and condition, superb example of the type
From Forum Ancient Coins, thanks!
1 commentsJochen
Constantius_AE_Campgate_Superb.JPG
Constantius II, Caesar 337-347 AD, Augustus 347-355 AD. Antioch Constantius II, as Caesar, AE3 Follis. 325-326 AD. 11 viewsFL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, laureate cuirassed bust left / PROVIDENTIAE CAESS, campgate with two turrets and star above, SMANTH in ex. RIC VII 66 Antonivs Protti
Constantius II Fel Temp Pheonix.jpg
Constantius II- Constantinople RIC 9383 viewsobv: DN CONSTAN-TIVS PF AVG
rev: FEL TEMP REPARATIO, pheonix standing on globe, radiate
CONSA in exergue
RIC Constantinople 93- Scarce
EF

Absolutely gorgeous patina- jade green with superb gloss.
wolfgang336
Domitian_unpublished_Cos_II.jpg
COS II denarius (RIC 680 for Vespasian) for Domitian38 viewsDenarius for Domitian. Rome mint. 73 AD. 2.89 grs.
Observe : Laureate head right. CAES AVG F DOMIT COS II. From low right.
Reverse : Domitian on horse left. Right hand raised and sceptre in left.

Weight is low but the coin is not plated.
Superb style.
3 commentslabienus
forumcrispus.jpg
Crispus, Follis82 views
Superb EF! Nice silvering (seen better on original!)

I like this coin, because it shows you, how the coins used to come out of the mint. Would almost surpass any QC even today! Wouldn't say anything more against the late Roman empire. This coin shows both art and craftsmanship.
4 commentshelcaraxe
Macedonian_Kingdom_1c_img.jpg
Demetrios Poliorketes, Macedonian Kingdom, c. 289 - fall 288 B.C., Silver tetradrachm, Newell p. 97, 9176 viewsObv:– Demetrios diademed head right with horns of a bull, the animal sacred to Demetrios' patron deity
Rev:– BASILEOS DEMETRIOY, Poseidon standing left, right foot on rock, trident in left (apparently inspired by the Lateran Poseidon, a statue by Lysippos, court sculptor of Alexander), monogram left
Minted in Pella, c. 289 - fall 288 B.C.
Reference:– Newell p. 97, 91 and pl. VIII, 12, SNG Cop 1179 var.
17.0192g, 29.3mm, 45o

Ex-Harlan Berk. Ex-Forvm, where it was described as gVF, superb portrait, tight flan.
4 commentsmaridvnvm
Macedonian_Kingdom_1c_img~0.jpg
Demetrios Poliorketes, Macedonian Kingdom, c. 289 - fall 288 B.C., Silver tetradrachm, Newell p. 97, 9164 viewsObv:– Demetrios diademed head right with horns of a bull, the animal sacred to Demetrios' patron deity
Rev:– BASILEOS DEMETRIOY, Poseidon standing left, right foot on rock, trident in left (apparently inspired by the Lateran Poseidon, a statue by Lysippos, court sculptor of Alexander), monogram left
Minted in Pella, c. 289 - fall 288 B.C.
Reference:– Newell p. 97, 91 and pl. VIII, 12, SNG Cop 1179 var.
17.0192g, 29.3mm, 45o

Ex-Harlan Berk. Ex-Forvm, where it was described as gVF, superb portrait, tight flan.

Updated image of an old coin from my collection.
2 commentsmaridvnvm
Macedonian_Kingdom_1c_img~1.jpg
Demetrios Poliorketes, Macedonian Kingdom, c. 289 - fall 288 B.C., Silver tetradrachm, Newell p. 97, 9156 viewsObv:– Demetrios diademed head right with horns of a bull, the animal sacred to Demetrios' patron deity
Rev:– BASILEOS DEMETRIOY, Poseidon standing left, right foot on rock, trident in left (apparently inspired by the Lateran Poseidon, a statue by Lysippos, court sculptor of Alexander), monogram left
Minted in Pella, c. 289 - fall 288 B.C.
Reference:– Newell p. 97, 91 and pl. VIII, 12, SNG Cop 1179 var.
17.0192g, 29.3mm, 45o

Ex-Harlan Berk. Ex-Forvm, where it was described as gVF, superb portrait, tight flan.

Updated image using new photography setup.
1 commentsmaridvnvm
Thasos_Dionysos_Herakles_3b.jpg
Dionysus | Herakles * Thasos, Thrace - AR Tetradrachm, After 148 BC.98 views
Dionysus | Herakles - Silver Tetradrachm.

Obv: Head of Dionysus wreathed in ivy, right-facing, long free-coils of hair falling upon shoulder.
Rev: Herakles, nude, standing facing, head left, holding olive-branch club at rest, draped in lion's skin, left hand resting on hip. M Monogram between right knee and club: HPAKΛEOYΣ, down-vertical in right field - ΘAΣIΩN, horizontal below - ΣΩTHPOΣ, down-vertical in left field.

Exergue: ΘAΣIΩN

Mint: Thasos
Struck: post 148 BC.

Size: 33.62 mm.
Weight: 16.91 grm.
Die axis: 0°

Condition: Beautiful overall. Well centered, nicely struck. Bright, clear and lustrous silver, superb devices and legends. Subtle, but distinctive toning.

Refs:*
Sear, GCV, 1759.
2 commentsTiathena
DivaFaustinaSr-v2.jpg
Diva Faustina - RIC 348 (Antoninus Pius)10 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Era: Late After A.D. 141
Metal: AR
Weight: 3.18
Obverse: DIVA FAV STINA. Bust of Faustina r. Hair elaborately bejeweled with pearls
Reverse: AETER NITAS. Fortuna, veiled draped standing l., Holding globe on extended r. hand and vertical rudder, close to side on l.

Mint: Rome
Weight:.
Reference: RIC III 348 (Antoninus Pius)
Provenance: Purchased from CNG at Denver ANA, Aug. 16, 2006

Superb EF
2 commentsSteve B5
Domitian_RIC_763.jpg
Domitian - [RIC II part 1 763 (C3), RSC II 283, BMCRE II 218, BnF III 193, Hunter I 88]75 viewsSilver denarius, choice VF, 3.289g, 18.3mm, 180 degree, Rome mint, 14 Sep 93 - 13 Sep 94 A.D.

Obv. - IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIII, laureate head right

Rev. - IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right, spear vertical behind in left, grounded shield at feet behind

Superb portrait, excellent centering, and rainbow toned reverse.
___________

Purchased from Forum Ancient Coins

Ex. FORVM Dealer Photo
1 commentsrenegade3220
T294.jpg
Domitian as Caesar RIC-29471 viewsĆ Sestertius, 24.01g
Rome mint, 80-81 AD (Titus)
RIC 294 (C). BMC 231. BNF 238.
Obv: CAES DIVI AVG VESP F DOMITIANVS COS VII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: S C in field; Minerva adv. r., with spear and shield
Acquired from Olding, MA Shops, May 2019 = Olding, List 96, March 2019, Sammlung Fritz Reusing, no. 177. From the collection of Fritz Reusing (1874-1956), inherited and continued by Reusing's nephew Paul Schürer (1890-1976).

An exquisite sestertius struck for Domitian as Caesar under Titus featuring his patron deity Minerva. DIVI AVG VESP F tells us the coin was struck after Vespasian's deification. The date of Vespasian's consecratio is dated by the epigraphic evidence sometime between September 8, 79 - May 29, 80, so this sestertius could not have been struck much earlier than June 80. The Minerva reverse was one of the more common types struck during this second bronze issue for Domitian Caesar under Titus.

Although fine portraits can occasionally be seen in silver, it is on the larger canvas of the bronze where the full flower of Roman imperial portraiture can be seen. This sestertius has one of the finest portraits of Domitian I've come across. A superb example of the imperial engraver's art.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
D78.jpg
Domitian RIC 7840 viewsĆ Sestertius, 25.82g
Rome mint, 81 AD
RIC 78 (C2). BMC 261. BNF 276.
Obv: IMP CAES DIVI VESP F DOMITIAN AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P COS VII DES VIII P P; S C in field; Minerva stg. l., with spear
Acquired from Vilmar, December 2018.

While Domitian's initial denarius output is dominated by the carry-over pulvinar types from Titus, his first issue of sestertii have a more personal touch with the reverses featuring his patron deity Minerva. These first bronze coins were not struck in massive quantities and likely date between mid October and 31 December 81. The reverse legend indicates he is consul for the seventh time and has already been voted as consul for the eighth time beginning 1 January 82.

Superb portrait with an aged brassy appearance.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
D99a.jpg
Domitian RIC 99146 viewsAR Denarius, 3.40g
Rome mint, 82 AD
RIC 99 (R). BMC 25. RSC 592a.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR POT COS VIII P P; Minerva stg. l., with Victory and sceptre; at feet, shield
Acquired from Pars Coins, eBay, 20 January 2016.

A rare coin that is part of the first issue of 82, but the last to be struck on the old standard. After this issue Domitian would increase the fineness and weight of the denarius as part of a coinage reform. Minerva and Victory did not become one of the standard Minerva types that were struck year after year until the end of the reign. It made its last appearance in this issue and is the scarcest type of the series.

Struck with new dies in superb veristic style. A really beautiful denarius showcasing the fine technical and artistic craftsmanship of the Rome mint.
8 commentsDavid Atherton
D183.jpg
Domitian RIC-183326 viewsAR Denarius, 2.90g
Rome mint, 84 AD
RIC 183 (R3). BMC - . RSC - .
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG GERMANIC; Bust of Domitian, laureate, draped, bearded, l.
Rev: P M TR POT III IMP V COS X P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
Acquired from Forvm Ancient Coins, April 2014.

84 AD probably saw the peak of artistic quality with Domitian's precious metal coinage. Two years previous, the fineness of the denarius was increased and the style radically changed from the earlier issues. Upon Domitian's accession the veristic style of Vespasian and Titus still dominated, after the reform it became more idealised and much finer. By 84 the style had evolved to such a high degree that the mint was able to produce these finely engraved draped busts, albeit in small quantities. This extremely rare coin struck in 84 is an exquisite example of the new idealised style. This is the second known specimen of the type. Much experimentation was going on at the mint at this time with reverse types, busts, and style. I assume the amount of time an engraver spent on rendering these highly polished pieces was considerable, which could perhaps explain why they were not struck more commonly. RIC theorises the drapery represents a military cloak commemorating Domitian's recent German victory. Afterwards, the style remained idealised and fine but the finer portraits would sometimes appear with an aegis, the draped busts consigned to an experimental cul-de-sac. The idealised style would continue to evolve throughout the reign reaching baroque proportions by 88. It's a shame that this fine portrait bust was struck sparingly.

Ian Carradice speculated in his 1983 monograph Coinage and Finances in the Reign of Domitian that the same engraver who did this piece may have worked on an earlier left facing portrait from 81 (see my Domitian RIC 75). Although left facing portraits are extremely rare in Domitian's reign and it is not out of the realm of possibility that the same engraver was working at the mint three years later and produced another left facing bust, to my eyes the styles seem too different to warrant that conclusion.

The bust of Domitian here is superbly rendered, one of the finest portraits of Domitian I've ever seen on a denarius. Same obverse die as the unique specimen cited in RIC.

13 commentsDavid Atherton
D221.jpg
Domitian RIC-22145 viewsĆ As, 10.23g
Rome mint, 84 AD
RIC 221 (C2). BMC 288. BNF 304.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMITIAN AVG GERM COS X; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r., with aegis
Rev: MONETA AVGVST; S C in field; Moneta stg. l., with scales and cornucopiae
Acquired from Marti Classical Numismatics, September 2018.

In 82 Domitian reformed the coinage by increasing the weight of the gold and fineness of the silver. Production of the bronze coinage was suspended while the mint was reorganised and resumed in 84 with new reverse types. Appropriately, one of the first types struck on the bronze after the coinage reform was Moneta, 'mint goddess of the emperor'. Mattingly believes Moneta in this context can be seen as symbolising Domitian's control of the mint and as paymaster to the empire. A fitting reverse design for an emperor who cared so much for his coinage.

Superb portrait and nice brown patina.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D344.jpg
Domitian RIC-34498 viewsAR Denarius, 3.20g
Rome mint, 85 AD (fifth issue)
RIC 344 (R2). BMC - . RSC 186.
Obv: IMP•CAES•DOMIT AVG•GERM•P•M TR P V; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP•VIIII COS XI CENS•POT P•P•; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her side (M3)
Ex CNG E363, 11 November 2015, lot 319.

An extremely rare denarius from the fifth issue of 85. Coined shortly after Domitian reduced the fineness of the denarius by 5% to the old Neronian level after having raised it in 82 to the Augustan standard. RIC cites Paris and Oxford with examples of this type.

Struck on a large flan (21 mm!) in superb fine style.

4 commentsDavid Atherton
D454a.jpg
Domitian RIC-45443 viewsAR Denarius, 3.46g
Rome mint, 86 AD
RIC 454 (R). BMC p. 320, †. RSC 208.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VI; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIIII COS XII CENS P P P; Minerva adv. r., with spear and shield (M1)
Acquired from Forvm Ancient Coins, October 2015. Ex Jyrki Muona Collection.

This denarius from the rare fifth issue struck after mid September 86 at a time when Domitian's imperial acclamations were piling up rather quickly due to campaigns along the Danube. These issues tend to be superb in style and craftsmanship.

A nicely toned coin with a regal portrait.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D661.jpg
Domitian RIC-661138 viewsAR Denarius, 3.13g
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
RIC 661 (R). BMC 150. RSC 244.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XVII COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
Acquired from CNG, November 2014.

All the coins that record Domitian's 17th imperial salutation are quite rare. Most likely it was awarded for some long forgotten battle during the campaign against the Dacians. A military diploma dated 7 November, 88 records Domitian as IMP XVII, so this issue must have been struck briefly at the end of 88 and/or very early in 89.

The portrait style is quite superb. The engravers at Rome were really doing some outstanding work during this time period.


8 commentsDavid Atherton
D689c.jpg
Domitian RIC-689108 viewsAR Denarius, 3.41g
Rome mint, 90 AD
RIC 689 (C2). BMC 164. RSC 261.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P; Minerva adv. r., with spear and shield (M1)
Acquired from Aegean Numismatics, April 2015.

This denarius exemplifies the fine quality and high standards the Rome mint upheld during Domitian's reign, even during large issues such as this one struck in 90 AD. No new imperial acclamations are recorded for Domitian in 90. He became COS XV on 1 January and continued to be TR P VIIII until mid September.

A superb portrait struck on a large flan (20mm) and well centred. A very respectable denarius.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D709a.jpg
Domitian RIC-70923 viewsĆ As, 10.61g
Rome mint, 90-91 AD
RIC 709 (C2). BMC 452. BNF 482.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XV CENS PER P P; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: VIRTVTI AVGVSTI; S C in field; Virtus stg. r., foot on helmet, with spear and parazonium
Acquired from Prafectus Coins, August 2019.

The Virtus type was struck repeatedly on Domitian's middle bronze from 84 onwards. I. Carradice in his 1983 monograph on Domitian's coinage says the following concerning the type - 'Virtus is a military type, symbolic of the courage of Domitian and the mutual devotion between the army and emperor.' Virtus first appears on the coinage in the flurry of Germania Capta types that were struck soon after Domitian's German triumph. She is depicted in traditional Amazon attire.

A superb example in fine style.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
D769a.jpg
Domitian RIC-769109 viewsAR Denarius, 3.77g
Rome mint, 94 AD
RIC 769 (C). BMC 221. RSC 284a.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with spear (M4)
Acquired from Forvm Ancient Coins, December 2017. Ex G&N 14, 2 March 2017, lot 602.

Struck between mid September and 31 December. Although the frequency rating in RIC rates this denarius as 'common' it is a fairly rare dating combination, owing to the fact it was minted for just a few months.

Superb style and in fantastic condition.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
D788.JPG
Domitian RIC-788166 viewsAR Denarius, 2.95g
Rome mint, 95-96 AD
RIC 788 (C2). BMC 231. RSC 293.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. r. on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r., owl (M2)
Acquired from Pegasi, May 2014. Ex Pegasi Auction 17, 6 November 2012, lot 467 (unsold).

An exquisite denarius from the last great issue of Domitian's reign. The coin is in superb late style with a portrait exhibiting the "lofty aspiration" upward gaze. Common to be sure, but this one is uncommonly beautiful.

Struck on a large flan and perfectly centered.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
86682q00.jpg
Elagabalus9 viewsRSC III 246, BMCRE V 225, RIC IV 131, SRCV II 7542, Thirion 302, Superb EF, fine style, toned, centered on a large flan, 3.228g, 19.4mm, 180o, Rome mint

ex forum coins, from the Jyrki Muona Collection; ex CNG Triton XX (10 Jan 2017), lot 808; ex Dr. Patrick H. C. Tan Collection;
arash p
Elagabalus.jpg
Elagabalus Siver Denarius57 viewsElegabalus...218-222 AD
Silver Denarius
Minted: 221 AD
Obv: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, Draped bust right, laureate, horned
Rev: PM TR P IIII COS III P P, Emperor standing left sacrificing out of patera over lighted altar, holding branch in right hand, star in left.
Ric 46 Sear 7536

Blast white with a superb portrait.
4 commentsTravis C
Ionie.jpg
Electrum hekté from Phokaia.68 viewsElectrum hekte, Bodenstedt em. 32, 7 (d/γ); Weber III 5736 (= Bodenstedt 7); Boston MFA 1906, SNG Kayhan -; SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Ionia -, Rosen -, EF, superb archaic style, well struck, tight flan, 2.529g, 10.1mm, 0o, Phokaia (Foca, Turkey) mint, c. 521 - 478 B.C.; obverse archaic style head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet, almond shaped eye, slight smile, long hair in rows of dots, dotted necklace, seal upward behind; reverse quadripartite incuse square;6 commentslabienus
Gordian_III_AR_Denarius.jpg
Emperor Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.35 views Silver denarius, RIC IV 115, RSC IV 243, Hunter III 33, SRCV III 8680, Choice aMS, about as struck, light rose tone on luster, full circles centering, nice portrait, sharp reverse detail, radiating flow lines, Rome mint, weight 2.861g, maximum diameter 20.6mm, die axis 180o, 241 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P III COS II P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 3 years, consul 2 times, father of the country), Gordian standing right, wearing military garb, transverse spear in right hand, globe in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection (purchased from Alan Walker at NYINC early 2000's.

Gordian looks rather smug on the obverse and stands proud with the world in his hands on the reverse.

FORVM Ancient Coins./ The Sam Mansourati Collection.

*Superb
2 commentsSam
Philip_I_,_The_Syrian_.jpg
Emperor Philip I the Syrian, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.38 viewsSilver antoninianus, RIC IV 75A (R); RSC IV 130, SRCV III 8945, Hunter III -, EF, superb strike with sharp dies, nice metal, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, weight 4.966g, maximum diameter 22.4mm, die axis 0o, 247 - 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for four years, consul, father of the country), Felicitas standing left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex dear friend Barry Murphy.

FORVM Ancient Coins./ The Sam Mansourati Collection.
*Incredible art


Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
1 commentsSam
RIC_VI-Geta-15a-wht.jpg
Geta, Denarius PRINC IVVENT, RIC 15a12 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Era: After c. 200-202 AD
Metal: AR
Obverse: PSEPT GETA CAES PONT; Draped bust r. Bare head. Young portrait
Reverse: PRINC IVVENT - Geta stg l. holding branch in r. long spear pointing down in l.
Mint: Rome
Weight: 3.05 gm.
Reference: RIC IV Part 1, 15a (Geta).
Provenance: Purchased from Munzen und Medaillen AG, at Pittsburg ANA convention, Aug 11, 1989

Superb EF, Superb old gray toning, good style, fully centered and complete.
2 commentsSteve B5
Macedonian_Kingdom,_Alexander_III_The_Great,_336_-_323_B_C_,_Lifetime_Issue_~2.jpg
Greek, Alexander III The Great, Macedonian Kingdom, 336 - 323 B.C., Lifetime Issue.234 viewsSilver Drachm, Müller Alexander 763; SNG Cop 895; SNG Alpha Bank 629; SNG Saroglos 771; SNG München - ; Price 2090, Choice good Very Fine , as found Superb Fine Style, toned, centered, bumps and marks, Ionia, Miletos mint, weight 4.004g, maximum diameter 18.0mm, die axis 0o, struck between 325 - 323 B.C.,.
Obverse ; head of Alexander the Great as Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck.
Reverse ; AΛEΞAN∆POY ( means " Of Alexander " in Ancient Greek ), Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, feet on footstool, right leg forward, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter topped with lotus vertical behind in left hand, ∆H monogram left.



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

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



FORVM Ancient Coins. / From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
Sam
athTetNico.JPG
GREEK, Attica, Athens, Tetradrachm 449-414 BC 144 viewsAttica, Athens AR Tetradrachm after 449 B.C. Obv-Helmeted head of Athena right. Rev-Owl standing, facing, with olive sprig and crescent behind. Nice even gray toning with superb high relief portrait. Struck 449-414 B.C.E. Super sharp detail . 17.00 g, Starr 22 ff.
4 commentsNico
Kelenderis_Cilicia_Stater.jpg
GREEK, Cilicia, Kelenderis, Stater c. 425 - 350 B.C.146 viewsSilver stater, SNG Levante 23 (same dies); SNG Cop 83 (same dies); SNGvA 5631 (same dies); BMC Lycaonia p. 54, 20 ff. var. (no dolphin); SNG BnF 66 var. (same), VF, superb style, well centered, light toning, 10.685g, 20.9mm, 270o, Kelenderis mint, c. 425 - 350 B.C.; obverse nude horseman facing sidesaddle on horse rearing right, whip in right; reverse KELEN, goat kneeling right, looking back, dolphin right in exergue.

Kelenderis was a port town, one of the oldest in Cilicia, described in Hellenistic and Roman sources as a small, but strong castle. The rider on the obverse may be Castor, who was not only a horse trainer but also the protector of sailors, an appropriate type for a port town.

*With my sincere thank and appreciation , Photo and Description courtesy of FORVM Ancient Coins Staff.
From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
2 commentsSam
56812q00.jpg
GREEK, Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III the Great, 336 - 323 B.C.24 viewsSH56812. Gold stater, Price 2633; Müller Alexander 30, aEF, rev die wear, fine style, Lydia, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, weight 8.597g, maximum diameter 17.0mm, die axis 180o, c. 323 - 319 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake, wearing necklace and pendant earring; reverse AΛEΞAN∆[POY], Nike standing half left, wreath in extended right, stylus in left, race torch left below wing, monogram off flan below right wing; a few small die breaks, lustrous fields, superb bust of AthenaJoe Sermarini
77066q00.jpg
GREEK, Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Gold stater21 viewsSH77066. Gold stater, Price 172, Müller 105, Choice aEF, mint luster, superb style, high relief, good strike, weight 8.580 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 270o, Macedonia, Amphipolis mint, c. 327 - 325 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right wearing earring, necklace, and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Nike standing left, wreath in right hand, stylus in left hand, trident-head downward (control symbol) in left field, struck during the lifetime of Alexander the Great.Joe Sermarini
1_(2)~0.jpg
GREEK, Macedonian Kingdom, Lysimachos (305-281 BC), AR Drachm, Thrace189 viewsKINGS of THRACE, Macedonian. Lysimachos. 305-281 BC. AR Drachm (19mm, 4.34 g, 1h). Ephesos mint. Struck 294-287 BC. Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, with horn of Ammon / Athena Nikephoros seated left, left arm resting on shield, spear behind; tripod to inner left, Greek Z in exergue. Thompson 170 var. (monogram); Müller –; CNG 75, lot 114 corr. = Gorny & Mosch 152, lot 1287 (same obv. die); Numismatica Genevensis SA VII, lot 165 = Gorny & Mosch 155, lot 59. Superb EF, toned.

This issue parallels Thompson 170, which has the tripod to the inner left and a monogram on the throne or in exergue. For a drachm of the present variety, with the Greek Z on the throne, see CNG E-199, lot 98 (struck from the same die as the present coin).
1 commentsLeo
86213q00.jpg
GREEK, Phokaia, Ionia, c. 521 - 478 B.C., Electrum hekte25 viewsSH86213. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt em. 32, 7 (d/γ); Weber III 5736 (= Bodenstedt 7); Boston MFA 1906, SNG Kayhan -; SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Ionia -, Rosen -, EF, superb archaic style, well struck, tight flan, Phokaia (Foca, Turkey) mint, weight 2.529g, maximum diameter 10.1mm, die axis 0o, c. 521 - 478 B.C.; obverse archaic style head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet, almond shaped eye, slight smile, long hair in rows of dots, dotted necklace, seal upward behind; reverse quadripartite incuse squareJoe Sermarini
12093q00.jpg
GREEK, Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Lysimachos Type, Gold stater21 viewsSH12093. Gold stater, SNG Cop 1089 var. (monogram), Choice EF, weight 8.232 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Byzantium (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 100 - 85 B.C; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great (with the features of Mithradates VI), wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, holding Nike and resting left arm on shield, transverse spear against her side, BY on throne, AP monogram under right arm, trident and two dolphins in exergue; fantastic style with superb portrait of Mithradates as Alexander the Great!Joe Sermarini
24848q00.jpg
GREEK, Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C., Gold tetradrachm17 viewsSH24848. Gold tetradrachm, Svoronos 604; BMC Ptolemies p. 40, 4 - 5; SNG Cop 133; SGCV II 7790, superb aEF, weight 13.813 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 265 - 260 B.C.; obverse A∆EΛΦΩN, jugate busts of Ptolemy II Philadelphos, diademed and draped, and Arsinoe II, diademed and veiled, shield behind; reverse ΘEΩN, jugate busts of Ptolemy I Soter, diademed and wearing aegis, and Berenike I, diademed and veiledJoe Sermarini
06869p00~0.jpe
Greek, Ptolemy VI, 204-181 B.C730 views6869. Silver tetradrachm, BMC-, SNG Cop -, gVF, 13.87g, 26.2mm, 40o, Salamis, Cyprus mint, 177-176 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, owl in left field, LE (regnal year 5) over SA (Salamis mint, Cyprus) in right field; superb portrait, fantastic style, extremely rare, possibly unique;3 commentssalem
RS051-Roman-AR_denarius,_Hadrian_(117-138_AD)-04700.jpg
HADRIAN (117-138 AD), AR denarius, Roma68 viewsObverse- Hadrian Denarius. IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate bust right, draped far shoulder.
Reverse- P M TR P COS III, Roma seated left on cuirass, shield behind, holding Victory and scepter.
RIC 77, RSC 1103, 19 mm, 3.5 g.
Ex- Mathew Baca, through a swap on Collectors Universe, November, 2011.
While it's not super high grade or anything, I just really like the look of this coin... a lot. With a nice expressive portrait, full legends on both sides, good centering, and some handsome grey-brown toning that sets off the devices superbly, what's not to like? Got this in a trade with Mat, who's been good to deal with. I've been pleased to take on a few of his castoffs. A pretty decent Trajan denarius also came with that deal, but this was the coin that cinched the swap for me.
3 commentslordmarcovan
Helena_Augusta_Ć_Follis.png
Helena. Augusta, AD 324-328/30. Ć Follis 42 viewsHelena. Augusta, AD 324-328/30. Ć Follis (19mm). Siscia mint
Diademed and mantled bust right / Securitas standing left, holding branch and raising robe; ЄSIS(double crescent).
RIC VII 218.
Superb golden brown patina. Ch aEF.
6 commentsSam
Poblicia_Den_2a.jpg
Helmeted Roma | Hercules with Nemean Lion, AR Serrate Denarius, 80 BC. Poblicia.81 views
Helmeted Roma | Hercules and Nemean Lion, Serrate Silver Denarius.

Obv: Roma draped, in twin-feathered plumed Phrygian-styled helmet, right facing; ROMA behind, control mark S above.
Rev: Hercules standing left, wrestling and strangling the Nemean lion, club below, encased bow with two arrows in left field; S, above; C POBLICI Q F in right field.

Exergue: None.

Mint: Rome
Struck: 80 BC.

Size: 18.73 mm.
Weight: 3.8 grm.
Die axis: 90°

Condition: Quite fine. Beautiful, bright, clear and lustrous silver. Excellent surfaces and devices in superb relief.

Refs:
Sydenham, 768
Crawford, 380/1
2 commentsTiathena
41348Syracuse,_Sicily,_c__405_B_C_,_KIMON_.jpg
Hemilitron, c. 405 B.C. Arethusa/ wheel of four spokes, “SU-RA” & two dolphins; KIMON?10 viewsSyracuse, Sicily, c. 405 B.C., KIMON? Bronze hemilitron, SGCV I 1186; Calciati II p. 45, 19, VF, Syracuse mint, 2.833g, 15.9mm, 270o, c. 405 B.C.; obverse head of Arethusa left, hair bound with ampyx and sphendone, signature KIM in low field to right; reverse, wheel of four spokes, “ΣΥ−ΡΑ” in upper quarters, two dolphins in lower quarters. The master-engravers who signed their work in gold and silver also engraved dies for bronze coins. This coin is unsigned or the signature is off flan. While the engraver is uncertain, this beautiful coin does exhibit the superb style of Kimon. Ex FORVM, photo credit FORVMPodiceps
ferdinand ii.jpg
HUNGARY - FERDINAND I463 viewsFerdinand I 1550 Hungary AR Denar "Madonna" SUPERB Obv: PATRONA VNGARIE Radiant Madonna with child in Inner circle with K B on both sides. Rev: FERDINAND D G R VNG 1550 - Shield of arms , 0.66 g. dpaul7
HUN_Ulaszlo_I_Huszar_609_Pohl_147-4.JPG
Huszár 609, Pohl 147-4, Unger 475g, Réthy II 143A 158 viewsHungary. Wladislaus I (Ulászló in Hun.) (1440-1444). Billon denar, 1.18 g., 17-18 mm.

Obv: + MOnETA WLDISLAI D, Polish eagle.

Rev: + REGIS VnGARIE ETCR, Two-part shield (patriarchal cross and Árpádian stripes), B-n/* (privy mark) in fields.

The type was struck in 1444 (per Huszár & Pohl & Unger). This privy mark was struck at Buda (now Budapest) under a collective mark (per Pohl).

“Owing to inner strife and disordered general conditions, the coins [of this period] were usually minted with extremely low precious metal content; moreover, poor mintages were often struck with negligently engraved dies. As a result of the hurried, superficial minting, it was sometimes doubtful whether a faulty coin had been issued officially, or was a forgery” (Huszár 1963). This coin is a superb example of the type.

Huszár/Pohl rarity rating 5.
Stkp
INDO-SCHYTHIAN,_AZES_II,_35_BC-_2_AD,_Silver_Tetradrachm_XF.jpg
INDO-SCHYTHIAN, AZES II, 35 BC- 2 AD, AR TETRA41 viewsINDO-SCHYTHIAN, AZES II, 35 BC- 2 AD, DEFINITIVE COINAGE NORTH-EASTERN PROVINCES, CIRCA 20-1 BC, AR TETRADRACHM, 8.78 GRAMS, 26 MM ,TYPE OF PALLAS REVERSE RIGHT HAND OUTSTRETCHED; MINTED IN TAXILA SIRSUKH (B), MITCHINER vol 6, MIG TYPE 846d , SENIOR GROUP 4, 98.104T, IN SUPERB XF CONDITION. _12000Antonivs Protti
Lion_of_Ionia_Drachm.jpg
IONIA, Miletos (Miletus). Circa 360-325 BC. AR Drachm43 viewsAR Drachm ( 3.45 Gr )
Laureate head of Apollo left / Lion standing left, head right; star above, MI (civic) monogram to left, magistrate name exergue.
Ch EF , Superb Style.

The Sam Mansourati Collection.
2 commentsSam
IONIA,_Miletos__Late_6th-early_5th_century_BC__AR_Obol_.png
IONIA, Miletos. Late 6th-early 5th century BC. AR (Silver) Obol. 57 viewsObverse : Forepart of lion.
Reverse : Stellate pattern within incuse square.
Grade : Very Fine /Superb Extremely Fine of the type. A fine example of the very early coins in history.
W : 1.34 Gr.

The Sam Mansourati Collection.
*12 of these were a month pay for a soldier at that time , with this wage soldier would have super life.

Given as a Present to a dear friend and brother, Mr. Nathan Suggs , on 01/16/2019 .

1 commentsSam
Hafsid,_Abu_Zakariya_Yahya_I,_1230-49_AD,_AV_Dinar,_4_76g,_Tilimsan_(Tlemçen),_Album-499_2,_H-548.jpg
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

Obverse

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”

Reverse

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.
mitresh
PET080_Jerash_Plaza.JPG
Jordan, Jerash - Oval Plaza171 viewsJerash is ancient Gerasa in Jordan, one of the Decapolis cities. The superb Oval Plaza stands at one end of the Cardo.Abu Galyon
Jovian_VOT_2b.jpg
Jovian * VOT V / X, Heraclea, 363-364 AD. Æ298 views
Jovian * VOT V MVLT X, Heraclea, Bronze

Obv: D N IOVIANVS PF AVG * Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust left.
Rev: VOT V MVLT X * Within bound laurel-wreath.

Exergue: HERAC B

Mint: Heraclea
Struck: 363-364 AD.

Size: 20.69 mm.
Weight: 3.48 grams
Die axis: 220°

Condition: Quite lovely and appealing coin. Very-nicely centered and confidently struck. Some very light but gentle wear, and two tiny spots of corrosion - one on each side respectively. Superb portrait of this briefly-empowered successor of Julian the Great.
Lovely dark-olive patina – near-black. That which suggests possible silvering on the obverse is not, but is merely some reflected light in the photograph.

Refs:*
RIC 111
LRBC 1913

Tiathena
Julia_Maesa_249(struck over brockage).jpg
Julia Maesa, RIC 249 (clashed dies)56 viewsJulia Maesa, AD 218-224 or 225
struck AD 218-220
obv. IVLIA MAESA AVG
Bust, draped, r.
rev. FECVNDITAS AVG
Fecunditas stg. l., extends hand over child l. and holding cornucopiae in l. arm
RIC IV/2, 249; C.8; Sear 7749

A superb coin with choice old toning. The strange phenomena on the reverse is caused by 'clashed dies', that is a struck without a flan between. So a faint, depressed (and reversed) outline of the portrait and several letters surround the figure of Felicitas can be seen.
The other possibility, a 'restruck brockage', is doubted by all specialists.

1 commentsJochen
069.png
Julian of Pannonia40 viewsJulian of Pannonia, Usurper (284-285).
BI Antoninianus, Siscia mint.
Obv: IMP C M AVR IVLIANVS PF AVG. Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: FELICITAS TEMPORVM. Felicitas standing facing, head left, holding caduceus and sceptre; in field, S-B; in exergue, XXI.
RIC 2., C. 1 (Fr. 150). BI. g. 3.14 RRR. Very rare.

Notes from the seller (Artemide LI, Lot 322):
"A superb example. Deep brown patina. Minor areas of weakness, otherwise about EF/Good VF."
4 commentsMark Z
justinian_XIII.JPG
Justinian I follis100 viewsFollis, 539-540, Nicomedia, 2nd officina, 21,1g, 45mm, superbe heavy green patina.1 commentsvercingetorix
AE_Byzantine_Justinianus_Large_Follis.jpg
Justinien le Grand,AE follis, Nikomedia,Superbe66 viewsJustinien le Grand, follis AE. Monnaie Nikomedia,
Obv. DN IVSTINI ANVS PP AVG En face , buste cuirassé, traverser ŕ droite, tenant globe avec la croix.
Rev. Grand M, ANNO gauche, ŕ droite l'année du rčgne, + ci-dessus, B ci-dessous, NIKO
35,5mm., 19,49g. patine vert fonsé, Superbe
sold

2 commentsAntonivs Protti
Kelenderis_Cilicia_Stater~0.jpg
Kelenderis, Cilicia, Stater c. 425 - 350 B.C.134 viewsSilver stater, SNG Levante 23 (same dies); SNG Cop 83 (same dies); SNGvA 5631 (same dies); BMC Lycaonia p. 54, 20 ff. var. (no dolphin); SNG BnF 66 var. (same), VF, superb style, well centered, light toning, 10.685g, 20.9mm, 270o, Kelenderis mint, c. 425 - 350 B.C.; obverse nude horseman facing sidesaddle on horse rearing right, whip in right; reverse KELEN, goat kneeling right, looking back, dolphin right in exergue.

Kelenderis was a port town, one of the oldest in Cilicia, described in Hellenistic and Roman sources as a small, but strong castle. The rider on the obverse may be Castor, who was not only a horse trainer but also the protector of sailors, an appropriate type for a port town.

*With my sincere thank and appreciation , Photo and Description courtesy of FORVM Ancient Coins Staff.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
3 commentsSam
B793BA9B-40D3-497D-BC02-AA3B4AAA6895.jpeg
KINGS of PAEONIA. Patraos. Circa 335-315 BC. AR Tetradrachm17 viewsKINGS of PAEONIA. Patraos. Circa 335-315 BC. AR Tetradrachm (26 mm, 12.62 g, 8h). Lustrous EF. Damastion mint(?). Laureate head of Apollo right / Warrior on horse rearing right, spearing enemy warrior who defends with shield and spear. Paeonian Hoard 434. Superb EF with unusually well struck up types. Irregular flan (not clipped or cut1 commentsMark R1
1_(2).jpg
KINGS of THRACE, Macedonian. Lysimachos. 305-281 BC. AR Drachm94 viewsKINGS of THRACE, Macedonian. Lysimachos. 305-281 BC. AR Drachm (19mm, 4.34 g, 1h). Ephesos mint. Struck 294-287 BC. Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, with horn of Ammon / Athena Nikephoros seated left, left arm resting on shield, spear behind; tripod to inner left, Greek Z in exergue. Thompson 170 var. (monogram); Müller –; CNG 75, lot 114 corr. = Gorny & Mosch 152, lot 1287 (same obv. die); Numismatica Genevensis SA VII, lot 165 = Gorny & Mosch 155, lot 59. Superb EF, toned.2 commentsLeo
coins73.JPG
Kyme, Aeolis35 viewsCumae (Cuma, in Italian) is an ancient Greek settlement lying to the northwest of Naples in the Italian region of Campania. The settlement is believed to have been founded in the 8th century BC by Greeks from the city of Cuma and Chalkis in Euboea upon the earlier dwellings of indigenous, Iron-Age peoples whom they supplanted. Eusebius placed Cumae's Greek foundation at 1050 BC. Its name comes from the Greek word kyma (κύμα), meaning wave - perhaps in reference to the big waves that the peninsula of Κyme in Euboea has.

There is also a small, modern Greek Euboean city called Kύμη (Kyme or Cuma or Cyme) as well as the nearby recently excavated ancient Greek city of Cuma [1], the source point for the Cumae alphabet. According to a myth mentioned by Aristotle and Pollux, princess Demodike (or Hermodike) of Kyme, is the inventor of money. (Aristot. fr. 611, 37; Pollux 9, 83,[2])

Cumae was the first Greek colony on the mainland of Italy (Magna Graecia), there having been earlier starts on the islands of Ischia and Sicily by colonists from the Euboean cities of Chalcis (Χαλκίς) and possibly Eretria (Ερέτρια) or Cuma (Kύμη).

Cumae is perhaps most famous as the seat of the Cumaean Sibyl. Her sanctuary is now open to the public. The colony was also the entry point onto the Italian peninsula for the Cumean alphabet, a variant of which was adapted by the Romans.

The colony spread throughout the area over the 6th and centuries BC, gaining sway over Puteoli and Misenum and, thereafter, the founding of Neapolis in 470 BC.

The growing power of the Cumaean Greeks, led many indigenous tribes of the region, notably the Dauni and Aurunci with the leadership of the Capuan Etruscans. This coalition was defeated by the Cumaeans in 524 BC under the direction of Aristodemus. The combined fleets of Cumae and Syracuse defeated the Etruscans at the Battle of Cumae in 474 BC.

Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the last mythical King of Rome, lived his life in exile at Cumae after the establishment of the Roman Republic.

Cumae was also a place where a widely influential early Christian work The Shepherd of Hermas was said to have been inspired by way of visions.

The colony was built on a large rise, the seaward side of which was used as a bunker and gun emplacement by the Germans during World War II.

In Roman mythology, there is an entrance to the underworld located at Avernus, a crater near Cumae, and was the route Aeneas used to descend to the Underworld


Kyme in Aeolis, c.350-250 BC, Ae 9-16 mm, cf. Sear 4186-7

Obv: Eagle
Rev: One handled vase (or cup, it is upside down in photo)
From Ebay

Check
ecoli
494,43_L__Mussidius_Longus.jpg
L. Mussidius Longus - AR denarius9 viewsRome
42 BC
radiate draped bust of Sol facing slightly right
two statues of Venus Cloacina standing on platform
L·MVSSIDIVS·LONGVS
CLOACIN
Crawford 494/43, RSC I Mussidia 7, Sydenham 1094, SRCV I 495
3,4g
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
Johny SYSEL
ANT 1 copy.jpg
Licinius II, Ae3, struck 318-319, 3.25gm 17mm52 viewsObv/ DN VAL LICIN LICINIVS NOB C; laur., dr. and cuir. bust l., holding globle and sceptre in l. hand, mappa in r. hand.
Rev/ IOVI CONSERVATORI CAESS; Jupiter stg. l., holding Victoryon globe in r. hand and sceptre in l. hand., captive before. Delta in r. field. SMANT in exergue.
RIC VII, 29 (Scarce)

Superb coin; if not for the off flan strike I'd rate this one at close to FDC...but that's just me. ;-)
2 commentsMayadigger
L_Verus_Armenia_3a.jpg
Lucius Verus * Armenia - AR Denarius * 161-169 AD.160 views
Lucius Verus * Mourning Armenia - Silver Denarius

Obv: Bare head, right: L VERVS AVG ARMENIACVS
Rev: Armenia seated on the ground left-facing, in attitude of mourning, weight placed on left arm, accoutered with bow and quiver, shield to front leaning and resting against raised right leg, vexillum behind: TRP III IMP II COS II

Exergue: ARMEN

Mint: Rome
Struck: 163 AD.

Size: 18 mm.
Weight: 3.3 gms.
Die axis: 180°

Condition: Superb! Near mint. Very clean with bright, silvery luster.

Refs:*
RSC 6
RIC III, 501
MIR 18, 62-14/10
Sear RCV 1537 (1988 ).
6 commentsTiathena
RIC___BMC-284-LuciusVerus-wht-2.jpg
Lucius Verus, Denarius8 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Era: After c. 163-64 AD
Metal: AR
Obverse: L VERVS AVG ARMENIACVS; bust cuirassed r. head bare

Reverse: TRP IIII IMP II COS II; Mars stdgr., holding spear; l. hand on shield

Mint: Rome
Reference: BMC Vol IV 284; Not in RIC w/bare headed bust.
Provenance: Purchased from CNG Aug 14, 1997

Superb EF, Medium gray and irridescent toning., Luster. For some reason, after several attempts, I’ve never been able to capture the beauty of this coin photographically
1 commentsSteve B5
brutus_Cr433.JPG
M. Junius Brutus, Crawford 433/1156 viewsM. Junius Brutus, 85 BC - 42 BC, the most famous of Caesar's assassins
AR - Denar, 3.96g, 19mm
54 BC
obv. Bust of Liberty r., no jewels in hair above forehead.
LIBERTAS to l.
rev. The consul L. Junius Brutus walking l. between two lictores preceded by an
accensor.
exergue: BRVTVS
Crawford 433/1; Sydenham 906a; Junia 31a
EF

The rev. type recalls the expulsion of Tarquinius Superbus, the last King of Rome, by L. Junius Brutus, the moneyer's ancestor, who in 509 BC was elected the first consul of the newly formed Republic. 'Libertatem et consulatum L. Brutus instituit.' (Tacitus Ann. 1, 1)
This type illustrates the strong republican view of M.Junius Brutus! Caesar should had know that
4 commentsJochen
Macedonian_Kingdom,_Alexander_III_The_Great,_336_-_323_B_C_,_Lifetime_Issue_~1.jpg
Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III The Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Lifetime Issue148 viewsSilver Drachm, Müller Alexander 763; SNG Cop 895; SNG Alpha Bank 629; SNG Saroglos 771; SNG München - ; Price 2090, Choice good Very Fine , as found Superb Fine Style, toned, centered, bumps and marks, Ionia, Miletos mint, weight 4.004g, maximum diameter 18.0mm, die axis 0o, struck between 325 - 323 B.C.,.
Obverse ; head of Alexander the Great as Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck.
Reverse ; AΛEΞAN∆POY ( means " Of Alexander " in Ancient Greek ), Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, feet on footstool, right leg forward, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter topped with lotus vertical behind in left hand, ∆H monogram left.

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

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

Coin is also listed at ; Superb and Masterpiece Portraits Gallery ;

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-131066



FORVM Ancient Coins. / From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
3 commentsSam
Manuel_I_Comnenus,_1143-1180.jpg
Manuel I. 1143-1180 AD, Constantinople. Billon Aspron Trachy.27 viewsMP-QV to left and right of Mary, nimbate, seated facing on throne without back, holding beardless, nimbate head of Christ before her / MANOVHL DECPOTHC (or similar), Manuel, crowned, wearing chlamys and divitision, standing facing, holding labarum and patriarchal cross on globe. SB 1964, BMC 56-57; DO 12b.11.
3,05g., 27mm. Superbe
_2234
Antonivs Protti
RIC-37var-MarcusAurelius-blk.jpg
Marcus Aurelius Denarius20 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Era: After c. 161-162 AD
Metal: AR
Obverse: IMP M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG - Laureate head R.
Reverse: CONCORD AVG TRPP XVI. Concordia std l. extending patera in r. COS III in exergue

Mint: Rome
Weight: 3.15 gm.
Reference: RIC 37 var. (RIC III)
Provenance: CNG, purchased Oct. 16, 1987

Minor variation with COS III in exergue. Superb EF with bright luster.
2 commentsSteve B5
0140-210np_noir.jpg
Marcus Aurelius, Denarius - 009095 viewsRome mint, AD 170
M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXIIII, laureate head right
COS III, Fortuna standing left, holding rudder and cornucopia.
3.30 gr
Ref : Cohen # 136, RCV # 4888

Style fruste mais exemplaire superbe
1 commentsPotator II
Junia_31.JPG
Marcus Junius Brutus61 viewsObv: LIBERTAS, head of Libertas with her hair in a bun, facing left.

Notice the interesting placement of the banker's mark by Libertas' eye. It almost gives the illusion that she is weeping. But for whom?

Rev: Lucius Junius Brutus (consul 509 BC) walking in procession left, between two lictors (official bodyguards) carrying axes, preceded by an accensus (public official who saw to civic functions), BRVTVS in exergue.

Footnote: A decade after he issued this denarius Marcus Junius Brutus' name would go down in infamy as the main conspirator in the assassination of Julius Caesar. His actions would plunge Rome into turmoil that would last for many years. Brutus' deep Republican sentiments are displayed in this issue honoring his illustrious ancestor Lucius Junius Brutus who deposed the last Etruscan King of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, in 509 BC and established the Republic.

Silver Denarius, Rome mint, 54 BC

4 grams, 19 mm, 270°

RSC Junia 31, S397
2 commentsSPQR Coins
1549_LUTHER_Leaf_37.jpg
Martin Luther Wittenberg Bible Woodcut Leaf81 viewsDate: AD 1549, Wittenberg, H. Lufft, rare
Size: 12x7.5 inches

These are two woodblock prints with illuminated letters and depict passages from the book of Jeremiah. This superb leaf comes from: Biblia Das ist – Die gantze Heilige, Shrifft – Deudsch. Mart. Luther (Ubers), Wittenberg, H. Lufft, AD 1549.
This was printed about three years after his death and demonstrates his skills as he translated the Bible from Greek and Latin into German. Hans Lufft (1495–1584) was a German printer and publisher, commonly called "the Bible Printer," because in 1534 he printed at Wittenberg the first complete edition of Luther's Bible, in two quarto volumes with illuminations in gold and colors by Lucas Cranach. Lufft printed in the 40 years following more than 100,000 copies of the German Bible. He also printed most of the other works of Luther.
1 commentsNoah
Maximinus_Thrax_Salus_3b.jpg
Maximinus I 'Thrax' * Salus - AR Denarius * 235-238 AD.111 views
Maximinus I 'Thrax' * Salus - Silver Denarius

Obv: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right. IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG
Rev: Salus seated left, feeding serpent arising from altar to front from patera extended in right arm, left elbow resting on seat: SALVS AVGVSTI

Exergue: Clear

Mint: Rome
Struck: 235-238 AD.

Size: 20.07 mm.
Weight: 3.16 gms.
Die axis: 180°

Condition: Beautiful: clear, sharp, distinct images and legends in superb relief, with some notable wear to the serpent.
Lovely silver luster overall.

Refs:*
RIC 14. RSC. 85a.
BMCRE 99, pl. 36.

Status: TCJH * Private Collection
Gift from a very dear friend.
4 commentsTiathena
Maximinus_Thrax_AR_denier,Superbe.jpg
Maximinus I, Thrax, 235-238 AD. Denarius (late portrait), Superb.36 views2,47 g.,20 mm,
Maximinus Thrax Denarius. IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right / SALVS AVGVSTI, Salus seated left, feeding from patera a serpent arising from altar. RSC 85a, RIC 14, BMC 99.
Antonivs Protti
Maximinus_I__AD_235-238__AR_Denarius.png
Maximinus I. AD 235-238. AR Denarius.41 viewsLaureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind / Providentia standing left, holding wand over globe and cornucopia.
Rome mint. Superb obverse / VF.
2 commentsSam
0252-210np_noir.jpg
Maximus, Denarius68 viewsDenarius struck in Rome in 236 AD
MAXIMVS CAES GERM, Bare bust of Maximus right
PRINC IVVENTVTIS, Maximus standing left with two standards
3.31 gr
Ref : Cohen #10, RCV #8406

Superbe
Potator II
markianopolis_caracalla_domna_moushmov495.jpg
Moesia inferior, Markianopolis, 19. Caracalla & Julia Domna, HrJ (2013) 6.19.46.2774 viewsCaracalla & Julia Domna, AD 198-217
AE26, 11.43g, 26.27mm, 45°
struck under governor Quintilianus
obv. [ANTWNINOC] AVGOVCTOC IOVLIA - DOMNA
confronted busts of the Imperial pair
rev. VP KVNTILIANOV MARKIANOPOLITWN
Triumphal arch, with two floors, three doors, two windows; above four figures, from
l. to r.: Caracalla with sceptre(?), Severus, Julia Domna, and - a bit smaller - Geta
on r. side E (for Pentassarion)
ref. a) AMNG I/1, 695 (1 ex., Mandl)
b) Varbanov (engl.) 1041
c) Hristova/Jekov (2013) No.6.19.46.27
d) BMC 20
rare, about VF/superb EF

This type seems to depict a triumphal arch erected in Marcianopolis. For the 4 figures on top will be no other interpretation possible than that suggested by A.v.Sallet (Cat. Berlin 58, 11) of the Imperial family...So we have in te middle Severus and Domna, on the l. side Caracalla and on the r. side a bit smaller Geta. The triumphal arch seems to be erected under Severus but appears not until Caracalla's sole reign, probably at the beginning because Geta is depicted too (Pick).
3 commentsJochen
nikopolis_sept_severus_AMNG1276cf.jpg
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, 14. Septimius Severus, HrHJ (2018) 8.14.14.02 (plate coin)380 viewsSeptimius Severus, AD 193-211
AE 28, 12.83g, 27.58mm, 225°
struck under governor Ovinius Tertullus
obv. AV.K.L.C. - CEVHROC P
laureate head r.
rev. VPA OOVIN TERTVLLOV NIKOPOLIT PROC I
Youthful unbearded Herakles, nude, stg. facing, head r., resting with r. hand
on his club, holding in l. hand his bow and lion-skin over l. arm
ref. a) not in AMNG:
obv. AMNG I/1, 1275
rev. AMNG I/1, 1276 var. (has NIKOPOLI)
b) not in Varbanov (engl.)
c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2018) No. 8.14.14.2 (plate coin)
rare, EF+, superb green patina

Here Herakles seems to be prepared for starting his labors. One of my most beautiful Provincial coins!
11 commentsJochen
nabatea_aretasIV_Meshorer114cf.jpg
Nabatean Kingdom, Aretas IV & Shuqailat I, Meshorer 114128 viewsAretas IV Philopatris, 9 BC - AD 40
Nabatean: Harithath
AE 18, 3.45g, 18.10mm, 330°
Petra, AD 23-40
obv. Jugate busts of Aretas IV and queen Shuqailat, draped and laureate, r.
in l. field ח (for Harithath), in r. field ש (for Shuqailat)
rev. 2 crossed filleted cornuacopiae
between Nabatean legend in 3 lines:
חרתת / שקי / לת
from r. to l. (transcribed):
HRTT / SQY / LT
= Harithat / Shuqailat
ref. Meshorer Nabatean 114; SNG ANS 1438
EF, superb sand patina

The Nabatean name of Aretas was Harithath. Originally he was named Aeneas. His 1st wife was Huldu (AD 1-16), his 2nd wife his sister Shuqailath (since AD 23). Under his reign the Nabatean kingdom reached its largest expansion. He was called Aretas the Great. He is not related to Aretas III. The Nabatean is the origin of the Arabic script.
3 commentsJochen
The_Lost_Arch_of_Nero_Ori_,_Sestertius.jpg
Nero Historical Ori., Sestertius - The Lost Arch - 170 viewsThe Lost Arch of Nero. This arch is undoubtedly the one that Tacitus says was voted to Nero for Corbulo's victory in Armenia in 58, and that he further reports was being constructed "in the middle of the Capitoline Hill" in 62, despite a successful invasion of Armenia by the Parthians in that year. No traces of the arch have ever been found. The arch was completely destroyed either shortly after Nero's death with the damnatio memoriae Nero received when the senate proclaimed him an enemy of the state, or in one of the two fires that consumed the Capitoline hill in 69 and 80

Orichalcum Sestertius, RIC I 392, BMCRE I 329, BnF II 77, Cohen I 307, Mac Dowall WCN 410, Choice gVF, superb portrait, excellent detail in arch ornamentation, 25.245g, 34.8mm, 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER PM TR P IMP P P, laureate head right, globe at point of bust; reverse triumphal arch; surmounted by statue of Nero in a facing quadriga, led by Pax on left and Victory on right, and flanked below by two soldiers; front ornamented with statue of Mars in a niche and bas-reliefs of small figures; garland hanging in arch;



***With my sincere thank and appreciation , Photo and Description courtesy of FORVM Ancient Coins Staff.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
7 commentsSam
0100-210np_noir.jpg
Nerva, Denarius -80 viewsDenarius minted in 97 AD
IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TRP COS III PP, Laureate head of Nerva right
AEQVITAS AVGVST, Equitas standing left, holding cornucopia and scales
3.69 gr
Ref : Cohen #6, RCV #3019v.
0175
Superbe monnaie en main, difficile a photographier
Potator II
Copan Stele.jpg
New World, Maya, Copan, Honduras715 viewsMayadigger - The most Southern City of the ancient Maya was Copan, "Zotz" in Maya. The name Zotz means "Bat." Cppan was the "Paris" of the Maya world. The archetecture and entablature was just superb. Seen in this photo, we see the stele of Yax Kuk Mo, "Blue Quetzal Macaw." As it turned out, Yax Kuk Mo came from Teotihuacan, in the Valley of Mexico. An imported Prince as it were...2 commentsMayadigger
1286_487_Capitolinus.JPG
Petillius Capitolinus - AR denarius10 viewsRome
43 BC
eagle on thunderbolt half right
PETILLIVS / CAPITOLINVS
hexastyle temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Roman Capitol), richly decorated roof
F__S
Crawford 487/2b; SRCV I 486, RSC I Petillia 3, Sydenham 1151
3,90g
ex Aurea
ex Helios

The first temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus was finished by Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and consecrated in the first year of Republic in 509 BC. In 83 BC the temple burned down and new temple was built again in 69 BC. Moneyer could be a person from Satires of Horace where Petillius, curator of the temple, was supposedly stealing valuables from it.
Johny SYSEL
0310-210np_noir.jpg
Philippus I, Antoninianus 42 viewsRome mint, AD 247
IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
P M TR P IIII COS II P P , Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopiae
5.16 gr 20/23 mm
Ref : RIC IV, part 3 #3

Superbe
Potator II
Plautilla_AR_denier.jpg
Plautilla AR Denarius, Superb.46 viewsRef Plautilla Denarius, RIC 369, RSC 25, BMC 429
Plautilla AR Denarius. PLAVTILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right / VENVS VICTRIX, Venus standing left holding apple & palm, leaning on shield, Cupid at her feet. RSC 25.
2,57g.,19mm, _9353

2 commentsAntonivs Protti
2.jpg
Postumus28 viewsSuperb bust left, with features of Hercules1 commentsSTEPHANE R
postumus_315(c).jpg
Postumus RIC V, 315(c)90 viewsPostumus 259 - 268, Gallic Empire
AR - Antoninianus, 3.66g, 19.9mm
Cologne 262/268
obv. IMP C POSTVMVS PF AVG
draped, cuirassed bust, radiate head r.
rev. M - ONET - A - AVG
Moneta standing l., holding scales and cornucopiae
RIC V/2, 315(c); C.199
nearly MS, superb portrait
from Forum Ancient Coins, thanks!

Remarkable is that the die originally has an AVGG on the rev. This second G then was removed. His son Postumus jun. for some time was his co-ruler (from Alex, but see the comment of Pscipio!)
2 commentsJochen
Probus_Alexandria_4ex.jpg
Probus * Eagle, Alexandria, Egypt * 276-282 AD. Billon Tetradrachm216 views
Probus * Eagle with wreath, Alexandria, Egypt *

Obv: A Κ M AYP ΠΡOBOC CΕB * Laureate, draped and cuirassed, right facing.
Rev: Eagle standing right facing, wings partially extended, bound wreath in beak. L and Z to left and right fields, respectively.

* Legend: A K M AYP ΠΡOBOC CΕΒ * (Autokrator Kaisaros Markos Aurelios Probos Sebastos).

L Z * Year VII of the Emperor's Reign.

Exergue: (Clear)

Mint: Alexandria
Struck: 281-282 AD.

Size: 18 mm.
Weight: 7.09 grams
Die axis: 0°

Condition: Superbly well preserved. Clear and sharp in its relief and details with strong images both sides from an apparently well centered and forceful strike on this notably thick billon planchet. Very lovely, dark-ash patina.

Refs:*
BMC, 2436
Milne, 4649
Curtis, 1873
Dattari, 5558
Emmett, 3982
Geissen, 3154

6 commentsTiathena
Probus_RIC_202.jpg
Probus - [RIC V 202]149 viewsSilvered antoninianus, 4.836g, 24.9mm, 0 degree, Rome mint, 279 A.D.

Obv. - IMP PRO-BVS AVG, radiate bust left wearing imperial mantle, wreath on chest, eagle tipped scepter in right

Rev. - SOLI I-NVIC-TO, Sol in quadriga left, raising right, globe and whip in left, R crescent E in ex

Excellent centering, full legends, superb bust, and lovely mottled appearance

Full circles strike and full silvering
___________

Purchased from Forum Ancient Coins

Ex. FORVM Dealer Photo
4 commentsrenegade3220
1402.jpg
PROBUS RIC 861 H2 BUST OFFICINA 133 viewsOBVERSE: IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG
REVERSE: SOLI INVICTO
BUST TYPE: H2 = radiate bust left in consular robe, holding eagle-tipped sceptre (scipio)
FIELD / EXERGUE MARKS: -/-//KAA
WEIGHT 4.03g / AXIS: 1h
RIC: 861
COLLECTION NO. 1402

Note: Superbe strike and quality of details, especially on reverse. Virtually as struck and stunning!
2 commentsBarnaba6
0520-305np_noir.jpg
Probus, Antoninianus 74 viewsSiscia mint
IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate ust of Probus left, wearing imperial mantle (bust type H)
SOLI INVICTO, Sol in quadriga, XXIT at exergue
3.77 gr
Ref : Cohen #662, RCV # 12038 var, RIC 767

Superbe exemplaire avec patine dorée
2 commentsPotator II
PTO.jpg
Ptolemy VI, 204-181 B.C212 viewsSilver tetradrachm, BMC-, SNG Cop -, gVF, 13.87g, 26.2mm, 40o, Salamis, Cyprus mint, 177-176 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, owl in left field, LE (regnal year 5) over SA (Salamis mint, Cyprus) in right field; superb portrait, fantastic style, extremely rare, possibly unique6 commentssalem
0290-210np_noir.jpg
Pupienus, Antoninianus153 viewsAntoninianus struck in Rome in 238 AD
IMP CAES PVPIEN MAXIMVS AVG, Draped and radiate bust of Pupienus right
PATRES SENATVS, Clasped hands
4.91 gr
Ref : RCV #8522 var., Cohen #21

Superbe
5 commentsPotator II
Picture_13.png
Q. Antonius Balbus 83-2 B.C., Serrate Denarius23 views3.63g, 5h, Rome Mint.
Laureate Head of Jupiter right, SC behind/Victory driving quadriga right, holding reins, palm frond and wreath, B below horses.
Crawford 364/1d, Sydenham 742b, Antonia 1.
CNG grade: Superb EF, lightly toned. My annotation: Reverse struck off center.
1 commentsLarry M2
_(KGrHqJ,!g4E7P9OcI2TBPEY3)uJsg~~60_12.jpg
ROMA Commermorative 33.3-334 ap.J-C33 viewsObv. VRBS ROMA, buste casqué et cuirassé ŕ gauche.
Rev: louve allaitant Romulus and Remus, au-dessus de deux étoiles.
Marque d'atelier: SMHG
18mm.,2,62g .,patine vert foncee,Superbe SOLD

Heraclea
RIC VII 129 Urbs Roma commemorative AE3. 330-334 AD. VRBS ROMA, helmeted cuirassed bust of Roma left / she-wolf left, suckling Romulus and Remus, star-three vertical dots-star above, SMHe in ex.
_3205
1 commentsAntonivs Protti
Caracalla_Denarius_Asclepius.jpg
Roman Empire , Emperor Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.48 viewsSilver Denarius.
Ref; RIC IV 251; RSC III 302; BMCRE V p. 451, 103; Hunter III 27; SRCV II 6834, Very Fine , excellent portrait, slightly off center on a broad flan, some die wear, Rome mint, weight 3.232g, maximum diameter 19.2mm, die axis 180o, Struck in 215 A.D..
Obverse : ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate head right.
Reverse : P M TR P XVIII COS IIII P P (high priest, tribune of the people for 18 years, consul 4 times, father of the country), Aesculapius standing slightly right, head left, leaning on snake-entwined staff in right hand, globe at feet on right.


Asclepius is the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek mythology. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts, while his daughters Hygieia, Meditrina, Iaso, Aceso, Aglaea and Panacea (literally, "all-healing") symbolize the forces of cleanliness, medicine, and healing.

The Sam Mansourati Collection./Given as a souvenir to a superb dear friend Dr. Joseph Diaz.
3 commentsSam
Gordian_III_Antoninianus_-_Abacus_.png
Roman Empire , Emperor Gordian III , AR Antoninianus / Abacus24 viewsGordian III. AD 238-244. AR Antoninianus (4.78 gr ).
Obverse : IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG Radiate draped and cuirassed bust right.
Reverse : LIBERALITAS AVG II , Liberalitas standing, head left, holding abacus and cornucopia.
RIC IV 36; RSC 130.
Choice gVF . Pleasant & Superb portrait.
Sam
GORDIAN_III_AR_DENARIUS_SALUS.jpg
Roman Empire , Emperor Gordian III. AD 238-244. AR Denarius97 viewsGordian III. AD 238-244. AR Denarius (20 mm, 2.92 g, 1 h) . Rome mint, 4th officina. 7th emission, struck AD 240.

Obverse : Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right .
Reverse : Salus standing right, feeding serpent from patera.

References: RIC IV 129a; RSC 325.
Superb extremely fine .

Salus was a Roman goddess. She was the goddess of health and the daughter of Asclepius God of Medicine .
Hygieia for Ancient Greeks.

New Owner : Miss. Arianna Parrillo.

EX ; The Sam Mansourati Collection./ NO. RI 2032

Marcus Antonius Gordianus (January 20, 225 – February 11, 244), known in English as Gordian III, was a Roman Emperor from 238 to 244. Marcus Antonius Gordianus' mother was the daughter of Gordian I and the sister of Gordian II. This made him the grandson and nephew of the two Gordian emperors. His younger sister was called Gordiana. Gordian had assumed the name of his maternal grandfather in 238.
It was the public hostility towards the successors of the Gordian emperors which brought the thirteen year old boy to the attention of the Roman senate. Not only was he a Gordian and hence to the ordinary Roman people's liking, but so too was his family very rich. Rich enough to finance a bonus payment to the people.So Gordian III became Caesar (junior emperor) alongside the two new Augusti Balbinus and Pupienus. But only a few months after this, Balbinus and Pupienus was murdered by the praetorian guard.This left Gordian III accede to the throne as emperor.
In 241 Gordian married Furia Sabinia Tranquillina, the daughter of Timesitheus. Gordian joined Timesitheus who was campaigning against the Persians. When Timesitheus died of an illness, he was replaced by Philip the Arab who was to become emperor when Gordian III died in 244. How Gordian died is not known, although Philip blamed it on an illness and it is thought that Philip engineered a mutiny. Gordian III was deified after his death. Gordian ruled from 238-244.

Gordian III is considered one of the most powerful men in the world.
1 commentsSam
Philip_I__AR_Antoninianus.png
Roman Empire , Emperor Philip I (AD 244 - 249) , the Syrian AR Antoninianus. 30 viewsRome mint, struck between 244 - 245 A.D.
Obverse : IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
Reverse : VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory advancing right, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left.
Weight 4.15 Grams, maximum diameter 23 MM
Superb EF , well centered, mint luster , RIC IV 49b, RSC IV 227.

An extraordinary reverse.

From the Sam Mansourati Collection.
Sam
Julia_Domna,_Augusta_194_-_8_April_217_A_D_.jpg
Roman Empire , empress Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D. (Wife of emperor Septimius Severus , mother of emperor Caracalla and co-emperor Geta.)91 viewsSilver Denarius, RIC IV S546, RSC III 14, BMCRE V S10, SRCV II 6576, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, 3.253 gr, 18.9 mm , 0o, Rome mint, struck in year 200 A.D.
Obverse : IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right.
Reverse : CERERI FRVGIF, Ceres seated left, heads of grain in right hand, long torch behind in left hand.
Scarce.
Gorgeous portrait.

The most powerful woman in Roman Empire history.

FORVM Ancient Coins/ The Sam Mansourati Collection / Given as a Christmas present to a superb dear friend.

*Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.

***Julia Domna was the second wife of Septimius Severus and mother of Caracalla and Geta. An intelligent, talented and beautiful woman, Julia Domna exercised great influence during her husband's reign and practically administered the empire for her sons. In 217 A.D. after the assassination of Caracalla, she possibly committed suicide by starvation or she died of breast cancer.
2 commentsSam
Magnentius_AE__Chi_Rho.jpg
Roman Empire , Magnentius AE 2343 viewsObverse : DN MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, bare head, draped bust right.
Reverse : SALVS DD NN AVG ET CAES, Chi Rho flanked by A , and ω .
Superb early Christian A Chi-Rho ω .VF. Struck AD 350-353.

The first fully Christian design coin in history.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."


The Sam Mansourati Collection.
Under study.
3 commentsSam
Magnentius.png
Roman Empire , Magnentius AE 23.18 viewsObverse : DN MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, bare head, draped bust right.
Reverse : SALVS DD NN AVG ET CAES, Chi Rho flanked by A , and ω .
Superb early Christian A Chi-Rho ω .VF. Struck AD 350-353.
Very nice details with even olive-green patina. 23 mm, 4.44 gr.

The first fully Christian design coin in history.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."



The Sam Mansourati Collection / EX Mr. John McIntosh.
Sam
sept_sev_cybele.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE - Septimus Severus29 viewsROMAN EMPIRE - Septimus Severus (193-211 AD) Marcianopolis AE 18 Cybele SUPERB MOESIA INFERIOR. Marcianopolis mint AE 18 mm, 4.47 g. Obv.: Laureate, draped bust right. Legend n Greek. Rev.: Cybele seated left between two lions. Legend in Greek. 1 commentsdpaul7
Caracalla_AR_Moneta.jpg
Roman Empire / Emperor Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.43 viewsSilver Denarius
ANTONINVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate bearded head right.
MONETA AVG, Moneta standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left.
Rome mint. Superb.

RIC 224, RSC 165.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
Sam
Claudius_II_Gothicus_AE_Antoninianus.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE / Emperor Claudius II Gothicus ( AD 268-270 ) 24 viewsAE Antoninianus , with a superb portrait.
Obverse: IMP CLAVDIVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right
Reverse: FIDES MILIT, Fides ( goddess of trust ) standing left holding two Legionary ensigns. S in Exergue.
Mediolanum ( Milan ) mint AD 268-270.
Weight: 3.4 gr. Diameter: 18 mm.
Reference: RIC VI 149 Mediolanum.

Coin is listed as a masterpiece ;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-126910

**The Golden Legend of 1260 AD recounts how St. Valentine refused to deny Christ before the "Emperor Claudius" in 270 AD ( in some ref ; 269 AD as he was beheaded in that year 269 AD ,per Sam) and as a result was beheaded. Since then, February 14 marks Valentine's Day, a day set aside by the Christian church in memory of the Roman priest and physician.
Sam
Maximinus_I_Denarius_Salus~0.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE / Emperor Maximinus I (AD 235 - 238) Silver Denarius Salus 89 viewsMaximinus I, 235 - 238 AD
Silver Denarius, Rome Mint, struck Mar 235 - Jan 236 A.D.
20mm, 3.23 gr.
Obverse: IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Maximinus right.
IMP[erator] MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG[vstvs] Emperor Maximinus Dutiful Augustus

Reverse: SALVS AVGVSTI ( [Dedicated to] To the health of the Emperors ) , Salus ( Hygieia - Greek - ), seated left, feeding snake rising up from altar, from Patera in right hand, resting left elbow on throne.

References ; RIC 85
A superb Choice EF masterpiece example , artistic and well executed dies.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection./ NO. RI 20450
Given as a souvenir to a dear friend. ( 8/18/2016 )

Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks (Her name is the source of the word "hygiene." ) , who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.

*The logo of Pharmacology was taken from Salus 's Patera and snake .
1 commentsSam
Roman_Emperor_Severus_Alexander.jpg
Roman Empire / Emperor Severus Alexander Silver Denarius70 viewsRIC IV 120, RSC IV 440, BMCRE V 930, SRCV II 7915, FDC, high relief portrait, light toning, 3.165g, 20.0mm, 0o, Rome mint, 233 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P XII COS III P P, Sol standing left, radiate, nude but for cloak on shoulders billowing behind, raising right commanding the sun to rise, whip vertical behind in left; uncirculated, superb!;

Ex FORVM Ancient Coins

*With my sincere thank . Photo and Description , courtesy of FORVM Ancient Coins Staff.

Coin is considered best of the type ;

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-101968


From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
1 commentsSam
04816q00.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Agrippa, Copper as, RIC I Caligula 58451 viewsAgrippa, Military commander, friend of Augustus, grandfather of Caligula, great-grandfather of Nero

Copper as, RIC I Caligula 58, SRCV I 556, superb EF, weight 10.34 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 38 A.D.; obverse M AGRIPPA L F COS III, head left wearing a rostral crown; reverse Neptune standing half left, dolphin in right, trident in left, S - C across fields; bold high relief strike on a large flan with no wear, beautiful green patina, extraordinary portrait, spectacular!

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa was a boyhood friend of Augustus and a renowned military commander on land and sea, winning the famous battle of Actium against the forces of Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra. Declared Augustus' successor, Agrippa's brilliant career ended when he predeceased Augustus in 12 B.C. He was married to Augustus' daughter Julia; father of Gaius and Lucius Caesars, Agrippa Postumus, Julia and Agrippina Senior; grandfather of Caligula, and great-grandfather of Nero.

7 commentsJoe Sermarini
24852q00.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.15 viewsSH24852. Gold aureus, RIC III 233e, Calico 1530 (same obv die), Cohen II 314, aEF, weight 7.0221 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 153 - 154 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVII, laureate head left; reverse COS IIII, Antoninus Pius, togate, standing left, globe in extended right, scroll in left; superb obverse portrait, recognizable portrait on reverse, minor blemish on the second I on the reverse, ex Harlan Berk; scarceJoe Sermarini
30323q00.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Gold aureus13 viewsSH30323. Gold aureus, RIC III 281c, Calico 1680, Cohen II 1032, BMCRE IV 912 var. (laureate head right), Choice aEF, weight 7.197 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 157 - 158 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P IMP II, laureate and draped bust left; reverse COS IIII, Victory walking left, extending wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand; superb high-relief bust, well centered, great style; rareJoe Sermarini
Caracalla_rector_orbis.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, CARACALLA RECTOR ORBIS285 viewsCaracalla, 199-200 AD. A superb Caracalla denarius with a youthful bust and a reverse, where the emperor is depicted as the fixer of the world. ANTONINVS AVGVSTVS, laureate, draped & cuirrassed bust right / RECTOR ORBIS, Caracalla as Sol standing front, head left, holding globe and spear reversed. RIC 39b12 commentsHELEN S
Constantine_Beata_Tranqvillitas_Lugdunum~0.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Constantine I AE Follis, Lugdunum93 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC VII 126, EF, Lugdunum mint, 321 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX, three stars above, C left, R right, PLC in ex; superb olive patina, R11 commentsPhiloromaos
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ROMAN EMPIRE, Constantine I. AD 307/310-337. Ć Follis Antioch mint, GLORIA EXERCITVS SUPERB EXAMPLE303 viewsConstantine I. AD 307/310-337. Ć Follis (17.3mm, 2.43 g,). Antioch mint, 4th officina. Struck circa AD 333-335.CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG Rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / GLORIA EXERCITVS Two soldiers standing facing one another, each holding spear; two signa between; SMANΔ. RIC VII 86
4 commentsAdrian W
293_AD_CONSTANTIUS_1_LONDON_MINT_FOLLIS_BOTH.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Constantius I, AE Follis, London Mint 94 viewsConstantius I as Caesar (A.D. 293 - 305), Bronze Follis, 9.41g., 27mm, London mint, c. A.D. 300 onward, Group I, Class II(a), laureate cuirassed bust right, FL VAL CONSTANTINVS NOB C, rev., Genius standing left modius on head, holding cornucopiae with chlamys over left shoulder, patera in right from which liquor flows, exergue blank, GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, (RIC VI, 14a), almost extremely fine, dark black patina, rare, superb!2 commentsjcm-houston
faustaspes.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Fausta AE Follis, Rome mint. R4, FDC.1006 viewsAE Follis. Bust of Fausta right FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG/Fausta standing holding Constantine II and Constantius II SPES REIPVBLICAE. Rome Mint. R4, the finest known Fausta bronze. Full copper mint lustre covered in a thin browny green patina. Simply superb.7 commentsLordBest
G3-R39-rome-bot.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Gordian III - RIC 039 - Antoninianus - Virtus -Rome mint793 viewsIMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG - Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
VIRTVS AVG - Virtus standing left , holding spear & palm branch, chalmys on arm, shield against leg


AR Ant. Rome Mint 238 -240 AD Superb example of this boy emperor, and unbelievable reverse...
6 commentsjimwho523
Gratian RIC IX Nicomedia 39a var obv and rev.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Gratian, RIC Nicomedia 39a29 viewsGratian
AE4
Nicomedia Mint. 378-383 A.D.
12mm. 1.00g.
Die Alignment: 185 degrees
Obv: DN GRATIA(dot)NVS PF AVG - Pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: VOT/XX/MVLT/XX - wreath surrounding legend.
Exergue: SMNA
Ref: RIC IX Nicomedia 39a var. Cohen 77var. Sear '64-4046var. VM 53var.
Notes: Unlisted obverse legend with dot. Superb little coin. Appears a lot better in hand. Thank you to Helvetica for helping to attribute this coin.
seraphic
licinius-genio.gif
ROMAN EMPIRE, Licinius I GENIO POP ROM Follis99 viewsLicinius I
IMP LICINIVS PF AVG - Laureate and cuirassed bust right
GENIO POP ROM - Genius standing left, turret on head, loins draped, holding cornucopia. T-F in fields, BTR mint mark
Trier (316 A.D.)
RIC VII Trier 121

Absolutely superb coin! The hairlines and beard are very detailed, and the reverse is incredibly detailed right down to Genius' boots and turreted head.
5 commentsHolding_History
plautillafdc.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Plautilla AR Denarius Superb UNC718 viewsRome mint, Issue II, AD 202. PLAVTILLA AVGVSTA, Bust, draped, hair coiled in ridges, either vertical or horizontal and fastened in bun at back/CONCORDIA AVGG, Concordia standing l., holding patera and scepter. RIC 363a, Sear 7065, BMC 236,411-414, RSC-1, Cohen-1, Hill 583. UNC, full proof like luster.9 commentsLordBest
Roman_Empire_Emperor_Severus_Alexander_-_Sol.jpg
Roman Empire, Severus Alexander 204 viewsEmperor Severus Alexander / Sol - Silver Denarius
RIC IV 120, RSC IV 440, BMCRE V 930, SRCV II 7915, FDC, high relief portrait, light toning, 3.165g, 20.0mm, 0o, Rome mint, 233 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P XII COS III P P, Sol standing left, radiate, nude but for cloak on shoulders billowing behind, raising right commanding the sun to rise, whip vertical behind in left; uncirculated, superb!;

Sam Mansourati Collection / Ex FORVM Ancient Coins

*With my sincere thank . Photo and Description , courtesy of FORVM Ancient Coins Staff.
8 commentsSam
Severus_Alexander__AD_222-235__AR_Denarius~0.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.71 viewsSilver denarius, RIC IV 250b; RSC III 501b; BMCRE VI p. 201, 875; Hunter III 74; SRCV II 7922, Choice EF, excellent portrait, superb reverse detail, small edge cracks, Rome mint, weight 2.841g, maximum diameter 20.0mm, die axis 160o, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse PROVIDENTIA AVG (the foresight of the Emperor), Providentia (or Annona) standing left, grain downward in right hand over modius overflowing with grain at feet on left, cornucopia in left hand.

Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. When Severus Alexander was away on his Persian and German campaigns (231-235) he continuously struck Annona types. With the legend PROVIDENTIA AVG, "The Foresight of the Emperor," he assured that, though he was away, he would be carefully monitoring Rome's grain supply!

FORVM Ancient Coins./ The Sam Mansourati Collection.
3 commentsSam
theodosius2.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Theodosius II Solidus1316 viewsAV Solidus. Constantinople mint. Obv: DN THEODO-SIVS PF AVG - Three-quarters bust right, draped, cuirassed, holding spear over right shoulder and shield in left hand Rev: VOT XXX MVLT XXXXS - Constantinopolis seated left, holding cross on globe and scepter, her left foot sits on the prow of a galley and at rear of her throne, a shield sits; in right field, a 'star'. Exe: CONOB : AD 430-440, RIC X, 257 (s) Scarce, page 259/ 4.48 g. FDC.
11 commentsLordBest
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ROMAN EMPIRE, VALERIAN I AS RIC 195176 viewsRome mint, AD 255-258
IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
IOVI CONSERVATORI, Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and scepter. S - C in field
10.0 gr
Ref : RIC # 195, RCV # 10032, Cohen # 96

Although it's not superb, I posted this example here as it's far better than the one shown on Wildwinds. It's quite rare and I don't remember seeing a better one during the last few years.
4 commentsPotator II
vespa086.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Vespasian BMCRE 2179 viewsRome Mint, 69-70 AD
RIC 16 (R), BMC 2, RSC 5
Obv - Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev - Bare heads of Titus on l. and Domitian on r., facing one another.
VF

This coin was issued by Vespasian during the first year of his reign to announce the beginning of a new dynasty. After the chaos of the Civil War, Rome badly needed stability and Vespasian would provide it.

This has become one of my favorite coins in my collection. The toning is superb and the fine style of the portraits are to die for.
2 commentsVespasian70
m36659.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Procilius, AR Denarius11 viewsL. Procilius. 80 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.98 g, 2h). Rome mint. Laureate head of Jupiter right / Juno Sospita advancing right, hurling spear and holding shield; serpent to right. Crawford 379/1; Sydenham 771; Procilia 1. Superb EF, fine old cabinet toning.FabiusMaximus
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, M. Aemilius Scarus and Pub. Plautius Hypsaeus, AR Denarius19 viewsM. Aemilius Scarus and Pub. Plautius Hypsaeus. 58 BC. AR Denarius.

Obv: M SCAVR AED CVR EX S C ; King Aretas III of Nabatea kneeling before camel in an attitude of supplication, holding reins and olive-branch tied with fillet.
Rev: P HVPSAEVS AED CVR CAPTV C HVPSAE COS PREIVER ; Jupiter in quadriga left, hurling thunderbolt, scorpion below horses.
ex: Eden Seminary Collection
Aemilia 8
(3.9 gm)
Beautiful "Old Cabinet Toning", and Superb detail on this popular issue.


This denarius was struck to commemorate the defeat by Pompey's general Marcus Scaurus of Aretas III, supporter of John Hyrcanus II in his battles against his brother, Aristobulus II.
This is one of the earliest instances of a moneyer commemorating on his coins an event connected with his own history. When M. Aemilius, one of the most noted men of his time, was Governor of Syria, he repressed the incursions of the Nabathean Arabians, comp
FabiusMaximus
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Roman Republic, Q. Antonius Balbus 83-2 B.C., Serrate Denarius74 viewsRoman Republic • Q. Antonius Balbus 83-2 B.C., Serrate Denarius
3.63g, 5h, Rome Mint.
Laureate Head of Jupiter right, SC behind/Victory driving quadriga right, holding reins, palm frond and wreath, B below horses.
Crawford 364/1dSydenham 742b, Antonia 1.
CNG grade: Superb EF, lightly toned. My annotation: Reverse struck off center.
Larry M2
AntoSeBestPortret.jpg
Roman, Antoninus Pius superb portraits from two sestertii from the same die373 viewsThe nicest portrait of Antoninus Pius in my collection, twice.
Sestertii minted Rome, A.D. 140-144.
Left: 28.4g, Ř 33-34mm, 12h (RIC 621) / Right: 24.4g, Ř 32-34mm, 12h (RIC 641)
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PI-VS P P TR P COS III, laurate head right
2 commentsCharles S
24852q00~0.jpg
ROMAN, Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.51 viewsSH24852. Gold aureus, RIC III 233e, Calico 1530 (same obv die), Cohen II 314, aEF, weight 7.0221 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 153 - 154 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVII, laureate head left; reverse COS IIII, Antoninus Pius, togate, standing left, globe in extended right, scroll in left; superb obverse portrait, recognizable portrait on reverse, minor blemish on the second I on the reverse, ex Harlan Berk; scarce1 commentsJoe Sermarini
16768q00.jpg
ROMAN, Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.55 viewsSH16768. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1592, RIC I 541, BMCRE I 664, superb EF, weight 3.850 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Asia Minor mint, 27 - 20 B.C.; obverse laureate head right, dot border; reverse AVGVSTVS, capricorn left, holding globe, cornucopia above, rudder below; extraordinary high relief impossible to capture in a photograph, lustrous and nearly as struck; rare1 commentsJoe Sermarini
carodessos~0.jpg
Roman, Caracalla AE 26 of Odessos, Thrace148 viewsOBV: AVK MAV ANTWNINOC; Laureate, draped cuirassed bust seen from behind, REV:ODHCCEITWN; The Great God of Odessos offering sacrifice over a lighted altar.
The portrait of Caracalla as a youth is beautifully modeled and very idealized. Usually the provincial mints did not produce this quality of coin sculpture, superb even in a worn condition.


Moushmov 1610
daverino
33843q00.jpg
Roman, Diadumenian, mid May - 8 June 218 A.D.230 viewsSH33843. Silver denarius, SRCV II 7449, RIC IV 102, BMC 87, Cohen 3, EF, Rome mint, weight 3.339g, maximum diameter 20.9mm, die axis 0o, as Caesar, 11 Apr 217 - mid May 218 A.D.; obverse M OPEL ANT DIADVMENIAN CAES, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINC IVVENTVTIS, Diadumenian, in military dress, standing left, head right, standard in right, short scepter in left, two grounded standards right; mint luster, superb portrait2 commentsJoe Sermarini
Claudius_II_Gothicus_AE_Antoninianus~0.jpg
ROMAN, Emperor Claudius II Gothicus ( AD 268-270 )168 viewsAE Antoninianus , with a superb portrait , (as found patina)
Obverse: IMP CLAVDIVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right 
Reverse: FIDES MILIT, Fides ( goddess of trust )standing left holding two Legionary ensigns. S in Exergue.
Mediolanum ( Milan ) mint AD 268-270.
Weight: 3.4 gr. Max Diameter: 18 mm.
Reference: RIC VI 149 Mediolanum.



**The Golden Legend of 1260 AD recounts how St. Valentine refused to deny Christ before the "Emperor Claudius" in 270 AD ( in some ref ; 269 AD as he was beheaded in that year 269 AD ,per Sam) and as a result was beheaded. Since then, February 14 marks Valentine's Day, a day set aside by the Christian church in memory of the Roman priest and physician.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
4 commentsSam
Gordian_III_antioch.jpg
Roman, Gordian III106 viewsGordian III. A.D. 238-244. AR antoninianus (23 mm, 5.05 g, 6 h). Antioch, A.D. 238/9. IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirased bust of Gordian III right / LIBERALITAS AVG, Liberalitas standing facing, head left, holding pileus and scepter. RIC 186; RSC 127a. Superb EF, spectacular portrait nicely centered on a large flan with nearly full borders and excellent metal.
paul1888
GordianIII.jpg
Roman, Gordian III Superb Portrait139 viewsGordian III AR Antoninianus, RIC 86, RSC 121

Gordian III AR Antoninianus. IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right.
LAETITIA AVG N, Laetitia standing right with wreath & anchor. RSC 121.
yavor8310
77277q00.jpg
Roman, Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D.34 viewsSH77277. Silver denarius, RIC IV 92b, BMCRE V 80, RSC III 122c corr. (Antioch), Hunter III 32 var. (draped, no cuirass), SRCV II 7365, Choice EF, nearly as struck, light tone on luster, superb portrait, well centered, small edge cracks, weight 3.140 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, obverse IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS TEMPORVM (time of security), Securitas standing facing, head left, scepter in right hand, left leg crossed in front of right, leaning with left forearm on columnJoe Sermarini
Maximinus_I_Denarius_Salus.jpg
ROMAN, Maximinus I (AD 235 - 238) Silver Denarius Salus 207 viewsMaximinus I, 235 - 238 AD
Silver Denarius, Rome Mint, struck Mar 235 - Jan 236 A.D.
20mm, 3.22 grams
Obverse: IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Maximinus right.
IMP[erator] MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG[vstvs] Emperor Maximinus Dutiful Augustus

Reverse: SALVS AVGVSTI ( [Dedicated to] To the health of the Emperors ) , Salus ( Hygieia - Greek - ), seated left, feeding snake rising up from altar, from Patera in right hand, resting left elbow on throne.

References ; RIC 85
A superb Choice EF masterpiece example , artistic and well executed dies.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection./ NO. RI 20450.
Given as a souvenir to a dear friend. ( 8/18/2016 )


Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks ( Her name is the source of the word "hygiene." ), who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.

*The logo of Pharmacology was taken from Salus 's Patera and snake .
5 commentsSam
VICTORIA AVG.jpg
Roman, Postumus332 viewsSUPERBE silvered AE ant, Postumus (259 - 268 A.D.), IMP C POSTVMVS P. F. AVG, Radiate head right / VICTORIA AVG, Victoria walking left, with captive at her feet. C. 377 - R.I.C. 891 commentspostumus
3.jpg
Roman, Victorinus, cuirassed bust left98 viewsFlawless and superb portrait of Victorinus3 commentsSTEPHANE R
RPC1941_(2).jpg
RPC-1941-Vespasian67 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 14.19g
Antioch mint, 69-70 AD
RPC 1941 (2 spec.).
Obv: AYTOKPAT KAIΣA OYEΣΠAΣIANOY; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: (T) ΦΛAYI OYEΣΠ KAIΣ ETOYΣ NEOY IEPOY; Laureate Head of Titus, r.; in r. field, B
Acquired from Agora Numismatics, June 2017.

A RPC group 2 tetradrachm attributed to Antioch, but style wise very similar to Alexandria. RPC speculates the Alexandria style tetradrachms were either struck in Alexandria and then shipped to Antioch, or less likely Alexandrian mint workers were sent to Antioch and produced the coins there. Kevin Butcher speculates these Alexandria style tetradrachms were ordered by the southern Syrian cities from the Alexandria mint for circulation in that part of the province. Of note, Galilee, Samaria, and Judaea were a part of the province of Syria at the time. Interestingly, these tetradrachms in which Titus' portrait is featured on the reverse may have been circulating in the very region where he commanded the legions fighting the Jewish War. Most likely they were struck during the massive military build up before the siege of Jerusalem, providing strong evidence of the important role Titus Caesar held at the time.

This regnal year 2 type is more commonly seen with a star behind Titus' portrait on the reverse. This is the rarer variant lacking the star.

Struck in superb 'Alexandria' style. Normally these come much cruder.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1953a.jpg
RPC-1953-Vespasian73 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 14.65g
Antioch mint, 69 AD
RPC 1953 (6 spec.).
Obv: AYTOKPA OYEΠACIANOC KAICAP CЄBACTOC; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ЄTOYC NЄOY IЄPOY•A; Eagle with wreath in beak standing, l. on club; in l. field, palm branch
Ex Pegasi BB151, 21 February 2017, lot 227.

A rare regnal year one tetradrachm struck at Antioch between mid July and 30 September 69. The Syrian legions declared Vespasian emperor sometime in mid July. Soon afterwards, according to Tacitus in his Histories - 'At Antioch gold and silver currencies were struck.' The Judean provenance of many Syrian tetradrachms indicates they were used to pay the legionaries fighting the Jewish War. The style suggests Antioch as the mint. According to K. Butcher and M. Ponting these tetradrachms were struck at 70% silver fineness.

In very fine Antiochene style with a superb portrait.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1959.jpg
RPC-1959-Vespasian76 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 14.55g
Antioch mint, 69-70 AD
RPC 1959 (1 spec.).
Obv: AYTOKPA KAIΣA OYEΣΠAΣIANOY; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ЄTOYC NЄOY IЄPOY B; Eagle with wreath in beak on club to l.; in l. field, palm branch; crescent between eagle's legs
Acquired from Zuzim, January 2016.

Syrian tetradrachms come in several styles and were struck at different mints for distribution in the province. This rare specimen is in very fine Antiochene style and most likely was struck at Antioch. The issue can be dated to Vespasian's second regnal year around the time of the siege and fall of Jerusalem by Titus Caesar and probably was part of payments awarded to the troops.

A nice chunky piece with a superb portrait of the old soldier.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC2463a.jpg
RPC-2463-Titus114 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 12.61g
Alexandria mint, 79-80 AD
RPC 2463 (12 spec.).
Obv: AYTOK TITOY KAIΣ OYEΣΠAΣIANOY ΣEB; Head of Titus, laureate, r.
Rev: OMO-NOIA; Homonoia seated, l., with olive branch; date LB to l.
Acquired from Praefectus Coins, January 2018.

The first issue of Alexandrian tetradrachms for Titus were struck in regnal year 2, 29 August 79 - 28 August 80. They are not as plentiful as the regnal year 3 tetradrachms, perhaps indicating their production began in mid 80 and continued into the following regnal year. Three reverse types were initially coined for Titus - Euthenia, Homonoia, and Sarapis, none of which are carry-overs from Vespasian's tetradrachm issues. Butcher and Ponting have found Titus' tetradrachms were struck with near 19.5% silver fineness from recycled metals, consistent with the earlier issues minted for Vespasian.

Superb portrait of Titus, one of the best I've seen from this mint.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC2464c.jpg
RPC-2464-Titus 80 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 12.70g
Alexandria mint, 79-80 AD
RPC 2464 (13 spec.).
Obv: AYTOK TITOY KAIΣ OYEΣΠAΣIANOY ΣEB; Head of Titus, laureate, r.
Rev: ΣAPA-ΠIΣ; bust of Sarapis, r., date LB before bust
Ex JW Harper Collection.

No coinage for Titus at Alexandria was struck during his first regnal year (24 June to 28 August 79), so the earliest coins from that mint are dated to his second regnal year (29 August 79 to 28 August 80). There had been a four year gap since the last issue of tetradrachms were struck under Vespasian. Three reverse types were initially coined for Titus - Euthenia, Homonoia, and Sarapis, none of which are carry-overs from Vespasian's tetradrachm issues. Butcher and Ponting have found Titus' tetradrachms were struck with near 19.5% silver fineness from recycled metals, consistent with the earlier issues minted for Vespasian.

Engraved in good Alexandrian style. Both busts are superb.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
sepsevsest.jpg
Septimius Severus Sestertius40 viewsOrichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 720, choice aVF, Rome mint, 21.780g, 29.4mm, 0o, 196 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VIII, laureate head right; reverse FORTVNAE REDVCI S C, Fortuna seated left holding rudder and cornucopia, wheel under seat; nice green patina, superb portrait; scarce. Ex. FORVMfordicus
Severus_alexander_AR_joined.jpg
Severus Alexander Denarius7 viewsSeverus Alexander. A.D. 222-235. AR denarius (19 mm, 3.12 g, 12 h). Antioch, A.D. 222.

Laureate, draped and cuirassed of Severus Alexander right / Victory running right, holding wreath and palm. RIC 302; BMC 1020-4; RSC 561. Superb EF, tiny planchet flaw in reverse field.
grattius
severus_alexander_184c.jpg
Severus Alexander RIC IV, 184(c)47 viewsSeverus Alexander AD 222-235
AR - Denar, 3.22g, 19.6mm
Rome AD 228-231
obv. IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG
bust draped, head laureate r.
rev. ABVNDAN - TIA AVG
Abundantia standing r., emptying cornucopiae with both hands
RIC IV/2, 184(c)
nice EF, superb details on rev.!
Jochen
Severus_Alexander_AR_Sol.jpg
Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.132 viewsSilver denarius, RIC IV 120, RSC III 440, BMCRE VI 930, Hunter III 66, SRCV II 7915, Superb EF, excellent portrait, fantastic Sol, perfect centering, a couple small encrustations on the obverse, tiny edge cracks, Rome mint, weight 3.056g, maximum diameter 20.2mm, die axis 180o, 233 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P XIIII COS III P P, Sol standing left, radiate, nude but for cloak on shoulders billowing behind, raising right commanding the sun to rise, whip vertical behind in left.

Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. It is commonly claimed that the date of 25 December for Christmas was selected in order to correspond with the Roman festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."

FORVM Ancient Coins / From The Sam Mansourati Collection
9 commentsSam
Syracuse_Ć_Hemidrachm.jpg
Sicily, Syracuse Ć Hemidrachm. Time of Timoleon and the Third Democracy, circa 344-317 BC8 viewsLaureate head of Zeus Eleutherios right, ΖΕΥΣ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΟΣ around / Upright thunderbolt; eagle to right, [ΣΥ]ΡΑ[ΚΟΣΙΩ]Ν around. CNS II, p. 167, 72; BMC 313-314; SNG Copenhagen 727; SNG ANS 477-488. 15.61g, 25mm, 11h.
Good Very Fine, and from dies of superb style. Some smoothing to rev.
Leo
40C5EAE0-2E6B-49F6-B3D0-9306B0823993.jpeg
Syracuse Fourth Democracy (289 - 287 B.C.)22 viewsNumismatic evidence suggests that republican government existed for a few years between the death of Agathokles and Hicetas' assumption of power; this is sometimes referred to as the Fourth Democracy (289 - 287 B.C.). GB88303. Bronze AE 22, Calciati II p. , 148 Ds 59/1, cf. SNG Cop 782 (uncertain control), HGC 2 148 (R2) var. (∆ vice thunderbolt), SNG ANS -, gVF, superb style, well centered on a tight flan cutting off the obverse legend, brown patina, some hard green encrustation, Syracuse, Sicily mint, weight 8.524g, maximum diameter 21.7mm, die axis 270o, 289 - 288 B.C.; obverse DIOΣ EΛEYΘEPOY, laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios left, thunderbolt behind; reverse thunderbolt with four wings, ΣYPAK/OΣIΩN in two lines, above and below; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 110; ex Harlan J. Berk.4 commentsMark R1
sicily.jpg
Syracuse, Sicily, Tyrant Agathokles, 317 - 289 B.C.218 viewsSilver tetradrachm, Ierardi 40 (O7/R23), SNG ANS 639 (same dies), SNG Delepierre 701, SNG Lloyd 1479, Boston MFA 460, HGC 2 1348 (S), SNG Cop -, SNG München -, gVF, superb classical style, excellent centering on a tight flan, toned, flan flaw on obverse, Syracuse mint, weight 16.954g, maximum diameter 25.2mm, die axis 270o, c. 317 - 310/305 B.C.; obverse head of Persephone (or Arethusa) left, crowned with grain, wearing triple-drop earrings and a pearl necklace, surrounded by three dolphins, NI below; reverse quadriga galloping left, young charioteer wearing long chiton, kentron in right hand, reins in left hand, triskeles above; ΣYPAKOΣIΩN over AI monogram in exergue; ex Helios Numismatik, auction 6 (9 March 2011), lot 345; scarce.



With an army of mercenaries, through deceit, and after banishing or murdering some 10,000 citizens, Agathocles made himself master of Syracuse and later most of Sicily. Machiavelli wrote of him, "It cannot be called prowess to kill fellow-citizens, to betray friends, to be treacherous, pitiless, and irreligious" and cited him as an example of "those who by their crimes come to be princes." According to the historian Justin, very early in life Agathocles parlayed his remarkable beauty into a career as a prostitute, first for men, and later, after puberty, for women, and then made a living by robbery before becoming a soldier and marrying a rich widow.

FOVM Ancient Coins / From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
7 commentsSam
Chersonese_Lion-Pentacle.jpg
Thracian Chersonese AR, Lion * Pentacle Hemiobol838 viewsThracian, Chersonese 480-350 BC.
Silver Hemiobol

Obv: Forepart of lion right, head reverted left, tongue protruding.
Rev: Quadripartite incuse square, pellet with ligate AΓ and Pentacle monograms.

Size: 14.10 x 13.4 mms.
Weight: 2.31 grams
Die Axis: 180°

Condition: Superb! Appears mint or near mint condition. I can’t imagine it looked much if at-all different the hour it was struck. Bright, clear, stunning luster, perfectly centered and well-struck in all areas on an excellent flan. Gorgeous coin which a mere photo cannot do justice.

Similar to: Sear Greek Coins and their Values (SG) Number sg1604/05
14 commentsTiathena
V431.jpg
Titus as Caesar RIC 43155 viewsĆ Sestertius, 25.13g
Rome mint, 72 AD (Vespasian)
RIC 431 (R). BMC 636. BNF 625.
Obv: T CAES VESPASIAN IMP PON TR POT COS II; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: S C in exergue; Titus stg. r., with branch and sceptre, in quadriga r.
Acquired from Wallinmynt, February 2019.

In 71 AD Vespasian and Titus held a double triumph celebrating their victory in the recently concluded Judaean War. The spectacular triumph was held a few days after Titus' arrival from the East in June and could be viewed as his effective homecoming party. Mary Beard has shrewdly observed that the triumph served as 'the Flavian coronation, the official launch party and press night of the Flavian dynasty.' It was the first time after Vespasian's rise to the purple that the whole family could be seen together by the Roman populace. Vespasian and Titus were identically dressed riding in matching quadrigas while Domitian trotted alongside on a splendid mount. The procession included massive towering floats depicting various 'battles' (one wonders how the makeshift naval battle on the Sea of Galilee was rendered?) that were so enormous many onlookers feared they would topple over. Booty from the destroyed Temple (the famous Menorah for one) along with other Eastern flavoured treasures were on display. Much of these treasures were likely manufactured in Rome for the event - a lavish sham in other words. The war ravaged region really didn't have much to offer in the way of razzmatazz show pieces, even the Temple's coffers were likely depleted by war's end. Despite all this, it cannot be underestimated how important this manufactured spectacle was for the young dynasty. The legitimacy and prestige the triumph provided to the family was worth every propaganda penny the regime spent on it, allowing Vespasian to announce to the world that Titus was his chosen heir. By showcasing his eldest son on an equal footing in the procession, it left little doubt who would succeed after his death. Coins were struck in all metals to commemorate the event. Here is a rare sestertius struck for Titus Caesar in 72 showing him in triumphal dress riding in a triumphal quadriga, the type is more commonly seen in silver from Antioch. The same reverse was identically struck for Vespasian, clear numismatic evidence of Vespasian's intentions for his son. The piece itself serves as a superb memento of the 'Greatest Show on Earth' triumph put on by the Flavian regime in the late First century.

The fine style portrait on the obverse is quite impressive, unmarred by three punch marks from antiquity.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
V635.jpg
Titus as Caesar RIC 6352 viewsĆ As, 10.08g
Rome mint, 73 AD (Vespasian)
RIC 635 (R). BMC - . BNF 688.
Obv: T CAES IMP PON TR P COS II CENS; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: S C in exergue; Titus stg. r., with branch and sceptre, in quadriga r.
Acquired from Marc Breitsprecher, September 2019.

In 71 AD Vespasian and Titus held a double triumph celebrating their victory in the recently concluded Judaean War. The spectacular triumph was held a few days after Titus' arrival from the East in June and could be viewed as his effective homecoming party. Mary Beard has shrewdly observed that the triumph served as 'the Flavian coronation, the official launch party and press night of the Flavian dynasty.' It was the first time after Vespasian's rise to the purple that the whole family could be seen together by the Roman populace. Vespasian and Titus were identically dressed riding in matching quadrigas while Domitian trotted alongside on a splendid mount. By showcasing his eldest son on an equal footing in the procession, it left little doubt who would succeed after his death. Coins were struck in all metals to commemorate the event. Here is a rare As with a reverse depicting Titus Caesar in a triumphal quadriga, a clear commemoration of the joint triumph. Oddly, this type is more commonly seen in silver from Antioch. The piece serves as a superb memento of the 'Greatest Show on Earth' triumph put on by the Flavian regime in the late First century.

Not in the BM. RIC cites only a specimen in the Paris collection (BNF 688).

Worn, but the major devices are still quite visible.
David Atherton
Titus_nep_ant.jpg
Titus as Caesar RIC-1561 (1)92 viewsAR Denarius, 2.98g
Antioch Mint, 72-73 AD (Vespasian)
RIC 1561 (C). BMC 516. RSC 122. RPC 1933 ( 14 spec.).
Obv: T CAES IMP VESP PON TR POT; Bust of Titus, laureate, draped, bearded, r.
Rev: NEP - RED; Neptune stg. l., foot on globe, with acrostolium and sceptre
Ex Harry N. Sneh Collection.

This denarius of Titus as Caesar minted in Antioch has a lot of problems with it. The odd flan shape, the poor surfaces, and of course the double strike, all conspire to create a very unique and problematic coin! Antioch did not have superb quality control at the time...this coin is a great example of such.

Despite all that, I'm quite taken with it. The portrait is quite lovely and the horribly double struck reverse is oddly interesting.


David Atherton
trajan_66.jpg
Trajan RIC II, 6680 viewsTrajan AD 98-117
AR - denarius, 3.27g, 18.0mm
Rome AD 101-102
obv. IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM
head, laureate, r.
rev. PM TRP COS IIII PP
Victory inscribing shield set on cippus, foot on helmet
RIC II, 66; C. 247; BMC 112
aUNC, superb mint luster, sharp, light toning
from Forum Ancient Coins, thanks!

Strack, Trajan, p.107: "A depiction which points to the end of a war or a campaign after a gained victory here as well as similar on the Trajan's column after the termination of the first Dacian war."(Curtis Clay)
2 commentsJochen
alexandria_troas_SNGcop114.jpg
Troas, Alexandreia, civic issue, Bellinger A49078 viewsTroas, Alexandria, time of Gallienus, AD 253-268
AE 24, 5.12g
obv. ALEX - TRO
Bust of city-goddess (Tyche), draped and turreted, r., behind vexillum inscribed
CO/AV
rev. CO - L - AVG - TRO
Eagle, with raised wings, flying r., holding in his talons forehead of bull
Bellinger A490 (type 47); SNG Copenhagen 114; BMC 53-56
EF, superb specimen

The depiction is referring to the founder myth of Alexandria: The eagle carrying a bull's head which is a common occurence from now [Commodus Caesar] on, must refer to a foundation legend, like that told of Antioch on the Orontes, of an eagle carrying part of a sacrificial animal to a spot where the new city was destined to raise (Bellinger).
5 commentsJochen
LT47c-1883.jpg
USA, Seated Liberty dime love token, 188349 views"PETE" on fence, with chick hatching from egg below. This nice pictorial was superbly engraved by a master craftsman. I think the symbolism of the hatching chick indicates this was once a christening gift when Pete was born. I have the same theory about the "stork" themed pieces in this set. This one has had some admirers in the past. Ex-eBay. Total number of 1883 dimes struck at all mints = 7,674,673.2 commentslordmarcovan
LT50b-1886b.JPG
USA, Seated Liberty dime love token, 188622 views"P. L." below lighthouse and seascape, with partial ornamental border and scroll above. Ex-"rarecoinsgallery" (eBay). Considering the technical proficiency shown in the superb engraving on this piece, it's rather surprising that the artist let his tool slip and caused the apparent flaw on the "P". Perhaps a master carved the design and the coin was kept on hand until somebody else later added the initials? Total number of 1886 dimes struck at all mints = 6,583,208.lordmarcovan
valens.jpg
Valentinian I, 25 Feb 364 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.80 viewsBronze AE3, RIC 10(a), superb EF, 2.29g, 17.6mm, 180o, Antioch mint, 364-367 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINI-ANVS P F AVG, pearl diademed draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA RO-MANORVM, Emperor advancing right, head left, dragging captive and holding standard, ANTG in ex; scarce
2 commentssalem
Master_Set_Piece_2c.jpg
Vespasian * Victory, Byzantium, 70-74 AD. * AR Denarius155 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.

Refs:*
RSC, 278
BMCRE, 446
RIC II, 323, pg. 53

4 commentsTiathena
vesp titus domitian.jpg
Vespasian RIC 16439 viewsAR Denarius, 3.04g
Rome Mint, January - June 70 AD
RIC 16 (R). BMC 2. RSC 5. BNF 1.
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: CAESAR AVG F COS CAESAR AVG F PR; Bare heads of Titus on l. and Domitian on r., facing one another
Acquired from Ephesus Numismatics, November 2005.

This coin was issued by Vespasian during the first year of his reign to announce the beginning of a new dynasty. After the chaos of the Civil War, Rome badly needed stability and Vespasian would provide it.

This has become one of my favorite coins in my collection. The toning is superb and the fine style of the portraits are to "die" for.
4 commentsVespasian70
V238aa.jpg
Vespasian RIC-23876 viewsĆ Sestertius, 25.68g
Rome mint, 71 AD
RIC 238 (C). BMC 552. BNF 509.
Obv: IMP CAES VESPAS AVG P M TR P P P COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: MARS VICTOR; S C in field; Mars, armoured, adv. l., with Victory and trophy
Ex CNG E443, 1 May 2019, lot 530.

A sestertius struck in Vespasian's great bronze issue of 71. The reverse features the first Mars type coined for the new emperor, copied from one previously struck for Vitellius. Mars is seen here in full military dress instead of the heroic nude he is normally depicted as on the contemporary denarii. This MARS VICTOR type pays proper respect to the god of war for granting Flavian success in the recently concluded Jewish War (an open display of celebration for defeating Vitellius would be taboo on the coinage). The portraits from this aes issue can be quite extraordinary. C.H.V. Sutherland in his book Roman Coins writes: 'Vespasian's aes, however, and not merely the sestertii, developed a full magnificence of portraiture ... The beauty of this work lay in it's realism, strong in authority and yet delicate in execution ...' (p. 189). Perhaps, a portrait such as this is what Sutherland had in mind when he wrote that passage.

The minor porosity does not detract from the superb veristic portrait and beautiful dark brown patina.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
V710sm.jpg
Vespasian RIC-71072 viewsAR Quinarius, 1.45g
Rome mint, 74 AD
RIC 710 (R). BMC 142. RSC 613.
Obv: IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS V CENS; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: VICTORIA AVGVSTI; Victory adv. r., with wreath and palm

The quinarius during Vespasian's reign was always struck with one of two standard 'Victory' types (seated or advancing) traditionally assigned to the denomination from Republican times. The historical nature of the reverse is in complete keeping with the programme of antiquarian types Rome was coining during the reign.

In decent condition with hints of rainbow toning on the obverse. A superb portrait and stylish reverse for such a small coin.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
V759a.jpg
Vespasian RIC-759119 viewsĆ Dupondius, 14.46g
Rome mint, 74 AD
RIC 759 (C). BMC p. 219 note. RPC 1983 (6 spec.). BNF 905.
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, l.
Rev: PON•MAX•TR•POT•P•P•COS•V CENS; Winged caduceus between crossed cornuacopiae
Ex eBay, 16 October 2018. Ex Klassische Münzen.

Traditionally, the issue this rather strange dupondius is from has been attributed to various different mints over the years. Ted Buttrey writing in the RIC II.1 Addenda commented extensively on it. Because both the Addenda has yet to see the light of day and T. Buttrey's thoughts on the subject are important (and indeed likely correct), I have largely quoted it in full here with some minor editing.

'RIC 756-767 are irregular Dupondii, which should be taken together with Asses, semisses and quadrantes (RIC 1564-1581), forming together a single extraordinary issue in four denominations, distinct in typology and metal, as well as overall character from the regular coinage of the year. Although Eastern in aspect and reverse type, the circulation area of the dupondii is almost exclusively Gaul, Germany, Italy – i.e. the West, with scarcely any penetration of the East. Finds of the smaller denominations are rarely attested anywhere, East or West. The Eastern finds appear to be simply the débris of Mediterranean circulation.

Previously the series had been attributed to Commagene (BMCRE II, pp.217-222), then as a likelihood to Antioch (e.g. RPC II 1982-2005). The correct attribution to Rome is proved by mules of the dupondii with regular issues (Buttrey, “Vespasian’s Roman Orichalcum: An Unrecognized Celebratory Coinage” in David M. Jacobson and Nikos Kokkinos, Judaea and Rome in Coins, 65 CBE – 135 CE (2012). The series had nothing to do with Syria or with the East at all, yet it was purposefully designed to appear non-Roman: the suppression of the traditional reverse sub-inscription S C throughout; the suppression of the radiate crown of the Dupondius; the shifting of the consular dating from the obv. to the rev.; the striking of all four denominations in orichalcum; and most obviously the selection of rev. dies which reek of the East.

There is nothing like this series in the whole of Roman imperial coinage. It is a deliberate act of Orientalism, imposing the flavour of the East on a Western coinage. The key to its understanding is the reverse type of the dupondius, two crossed cornuacopiae with a winged caduceus between. It replicates the type of an obscure issue of the Galilean city of Sepphoris, an issue which had been, astonishingly, signed by Vespasian himself (ΕΠΙ ΟΥΕCΠΑCΙΑΝΟΥ, “on the authority of…”) when on duty there in the last days of Nero. The dupondius-sized bronze was accompanied by a half-unit with the type of a large, central S C – again signed by Vespasian, and now imitated on the As of the orichalcum series with the wreath of the As of Antioch (RPC I 4849-50).
The whole of this series memorializes not Vespasian the conquering general (IVDAEA CAPTA, VICTORIA AVGVSTI), but the man. His re-use of earlier coin types is well-known; here he re-uses his own, harking back to his career just prior to his final success in seizing the empire. And the series was struck in 74 A.D., co-terminous with the celebration of Vespasian’s first quinquennium.'

The coin itself is a superb example in very fine style. Beautiful dark golden patina with highlights of emerald green.
8 commentsDavid Atherton
V980var_.jpg
Vespasian RIC-980 (2)86 viewsAR Denarius, 3.20g
Rome mint, 77-78 AD
RIC 980 (C). BMC 216 corr. RSC 216 corr.
Obv: CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, right.
Rev: IMP XIX across field; Modius, standing on three legs, containing six ears of corn upright and two hanging over the sides
Acquired from Forvm Ancient Coins, July 2018.

A rare and, to my knowledge, unique variant of the common modius type. Normally just five corn-ears are seen standing upright with two hanging over the sides, here there are six standing upright. This deviation from the stock design was perhaps an engraver's error or whim. The modius type celebrates the emperor's provision of free grain to all Roman citizens, certainly a most valuable propaganda type! Normally, Vespasian shared his reverse designs with Titus Caesar - the modius was not one of them, perhaps emphasising Vespasian's sole responsibility for the grain supply. Unusually, the type was not directly modelled from any coin designs struck in the past and was part of an agrarian series of denarius reverse types struck between 77 and 78.

A superb portrait and well centred strike.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
V1414.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-1414141 viewsAR Denarius, 3.40g
Ephesus mint, 70 AD
RIC 1414 (R3). BMC - . RSC - . RPC 822 (1 spec.).
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPAS AVG COS II TR P P P; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: AVG and BY in oak wreath
Ex Harry N. Sneh Collection.

This is an extremely rare type from the very rare "BY" COS II series. When the new RIC volume was first published only one known example (Vienna) of this type was known, since then my coin and another example from a CNG auction in 2008 have surfaced.

Not only is this coin rare but the portrait is very stylish and the condition is superb. The best known specimen of the type and a beauty in hand.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
V1434a.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-1434124 viewsAR Denarius, 3.28g
Ephesus Mint, 71 AD
RIC 1434 (R). BMC 459 var. RSC 293 var. RPC 835 (14 spec.) var.
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPAS AVG COS III TR P P P; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PACI ORB TERR AVG; Bust of woman, draped, wearing crown of towers, r.; EPHE in l. field
Acquired from Künker, June 2016. Ex Nudelman Numismatica Auction 10, 13 June 2011, lot 46.

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

Fantastic portraits in superb Ephesian style.
8 commentsDavid Atherton
ElagabalusAe26.jpg
[1007c] Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.35 viewsElagabalus AE 26; 26.62mm, 12.7g; Nicopolis ad Istrum, 218-222 A.D. Obverse: Radiate bust of Elagabalus right; Reverse: Aequitas left; VF/aVF; portrait of superb style . Ex Ancient Imports.

On his website, Doug Smith says, "Coin style, if judged as good or bad, must be judged only on how well it reflects the spirit of the times that produced it"
(http://dougsmith.ancients.info/style.html).

I have several coins struck during the reign of Elagabalus (not all are shown), and this bronze has two distinctions: it is the least expensive, and it is my favorite. In this portrait, I think that the die cutter captured in his compositon of Elagabalus's face a glimpse of self-awareness, a reflection of the insecurity of being a teenage emperor.


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

ELAGABULUS (218-222 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, the "last of the Antonines," is better known to history as Elagabalus, the name of the sun-god of the Syrian city of Emesa. Elagabalus, the emperor, was a high-priest of this deity, and his active promotion of the god was among several actions that made him an object of scorn and ridicule among the Roman aristocracy. As a youth, living in Emesa with his mother in the household of his grandmother, Julia Maesa, he began to perform in the hereditary family role of high-priest at the temple of the god Elagabalus. Leading Syrian families used their teenager's public displays as high-priest to channel soldiers' discontent with the emperor Macrinus into sedition. Elagabalus's promotion of the cult of the Emesene sun-god was certainly ridiculed by contemporary observers, but this cult was popular among soldiers and would remain so. Moreover, the cult continued to be promoted by later emperors of non-Syrian ethnicity, notably Constantine the Great, calling the god The Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus).

Much has been made by many historians concerning Elagabalus’ behavior. His three marriages, two to the same Vestal virgin, produced no heir and received considerable contemporary derision. The paramours of his homosexual infatuations, the topics of notorious rumors, became skoffed-at administrative appointees whose favor insulted the aristocracy. His bizarre habit of carrying a large stone while walking backwards through the streets of the capital was considered possible insanity. If there is any understanding of “Elagabalus’ rock,” it rests with the knowledge that both Elagabalus, the sun-god of the Syrian city of Emesa and the source of the emperor’s adopted name, and the Carthgenian goddess Tanit possessed, as was common in Semitic religions, a large stone that was the focus of worship. Elagabalus (the emperor) brought these stones together in a ritualistic “marriage of the gods.” The Elagabalus (god of Emesa) stone was a focus of devotion for Elagabalus the Emperor.

The beginning of the 222 found the emperor ever more closed in. Elagabalus increasingly refused to have contact with his advisors. Government was approaching gridlock as officials were unable to figure out who had authority. A failed attempt by Elagabalus to persuade soldiers to kill his cousin, Marcus Julius Gessius Alexianus (the future emperor Severus Alexander), proved his undoing. Elagabalus and his mother were murdered the evening of 11 March 222. Their bodies were dumped into the Tiber and their memories condemned. Marcus Julius Gessius Alexianus was proclaimed emperor but did not take the name Antoninus, connected as it was with the failed reign of his predecessor.

Scholars have often viewed the failure of Elagabalus' reign as a clash of cultures between "Eastern" (Syrian) and "Western" (Roman), but this dichotomy is not very useful. The criticisms of the emperor's effeminacy and sexual behavior mirror those made of earlier emperors (such as Nero) and do not need to be explained through ethnic stereotypes. Elagabalus is best understood as a teenager who was raised near the luxury of the imperial court and who then suffered a drastic change of fortune brought about by the sudden deaths -- probably within one year -- of his father, his grandfather and his cousin, the emperor Caracalla. Thrust upon the throne, Elagabalus lacked the required discipline. For a while, Romans may well have been amused by his "Merrie Monarch" behavior, but he ended up offending those he needed to inspire. His reign tragically demonstrated the difficulties of having a teenage emperor.

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
ElagabalusPanoramaNewLens1.jpg
[1007d] Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D. 21 viewsThis is the same coin as 1007c in this gallery. This is my photo using a Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 lens set on f/4 for 1 second. Neither the obverse nor the reverse images were "touched-up" after their shots. Click on photo to enlarge.

J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Elagabalus AE 26; 26.62mm, 12.7g; Nicopolis ad Istrum, 218-222 A.D. Obverse: Radiate bust of Elagabalus right; Reverse: Aequitas left; VF/aVF; portrait of superb style . Ex Ancient Imports.

On his website, Doug Smith says, "Coin style, if judged as good or bad, must be judged only on how well it reflects the spirit of the times that produced it"
(http://dougsmith.ancients.info/style.html).

I have several coins struck during the reign of Elagabalus (not all are shown), and this bronze has two distinctions: it is the least expensive, and it is my favorite. In this portrait, I think that the die cutter captured in his compositon of Elagabalus's face a glimpse of self-awareness, a reflection of the insecurity of being a teenage emperor.


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

ELAGABULUS (218-222 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, the "last of the Antonines," is better known to history as Elagabalus, the name of the sun-god of the Syrian city of Emesa. Elagabalus, the emperor, was a high-priest of this deity, and his active promotion of the god was among several actions that made him an object of scorn and ridicule among the Roman aristocracy. As a youth, living in Emesa with his mother in the household of his grandmother, Julia Maesa, he began to perform in the hereditary family role of high-priest at the temple of the god Elagabalus. Leading Syrian families used their teenager's public displays as high-priest to channel soldiers' discontent with the emperor Macrinus into sedition. Elagabalus's promotion of the cult of the Emesene sun-god was certainly ridiculed by contemporary observers, but this cult was popular among soldiers and would remain so. Moreover, the cult continued to be promoted by later emperors of non-Syrian ethnicity, notably Constantine the Great, calling the god The Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus).

Much has been made by many historians concerning Elagabalus’ behavior. His three marriages, two to the same Vestal virgin, produced no heir and received considerable contemporary derision. The paramours of his homosexual infatuations, the topics of notorious rumors, became skoffed-at administrative appointees whose favor insulted the aristocracy. His bizarre habit of carrying a large stone while walking backwards through the streets of the capital was considered possible insanity. If there is any understanding of “Elagabalus’ rock,” it rests with the knowledge that both Elagabalus, the sun-god of the Syrian city of Emesa and the source of the emperor’s adopted name, and the Carthgenian goddess Tanit possessed, as was common in Semitic religions, a large stone that was the focus of worship. Elagabalus (the emperor) brought these stones together in a ritualistic “marriage of the gods.” The Elagabalus (god of Emesa) stone was a focus of devotion for Elagabalus the Emperor.

The beginning of the 222 found the emperor ever more closed in. Elagabalus increasingly refused to have contact with his advisors. Government was approaching gridlock as officials were unable to figure out who had authority. A failed attempt by Elagabalus to persuade soldiers to kill his cousin, Marcus Julius Gessius Alexianus (the future emperor Severus Alexander), proved his undoing. Elagabalus and his mother were murdered the evening of 11 March 222. Their bodies were dumped into the Tiber and their memories condemned. Marcus Julius Gessius Alexianus was proclaimed emperor but did not take the name Antoninus, connected as it was with the failed reign of his predecessor.

Scholars have often viewed the failure of Elagabalus' reign as a clash of cultures between "Eastern" (Syrian) and "Western" (Roman), but this dichotomy is not very useful. The criticisms of the emperor's effeminacy and sexual behavior mirror those made of earlier emperors (such as Nero) and do not need to be explained through ethnic stereotypes. Elagabalus is best understood as a teenager who was raised near the luxury of the imperial court and who then suffered a drastic change of fortune brought about by the sudden deaths -- probably within one year -- of his father, his grandfather and his cousin, the emperor Caracalla. Thrust upon the throne, Elagabalus lacked the required discipline. For a while, Romans may well have been amused by his "Merrie Monarch" behavior, but he ended up offending those he needed to inspire. His reign tragically demonstrated the difficulties of having a teenage emperor.

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
TisnaiosSNGCop283.jpg
[103tis] Tisna, Aiolis, 350 - 300 B.C.168 viewsBronze AE 17, SNG Cop 283, choice gVF, 3.960g, 16.7mm, 180o; Obverse: horned head of river-god Tisnaios left, slightly facing; Reverse :TIS/NAION either side of one-handled cup; superb and unusual style!; rare. Ex FORVM.


The following research was done by Jochen (Tribunus Plebis, 2006; Procurator Caesaris; Caesar), a member extraordinaire of the FORVM Discussion Boards, and the originator and leading contributor to our Coins of Mythological Interest Board:

"Von Mogens Herman Hansen, Thomas Heine, An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis, Oxford University Press, p.1051: 835. *Tisna (Tisnaia) Map 56. Lat. 38-45, long. 27.05 but see 'infra' C:? The toponym Tisna can be reconstructed from the city-ethnic attested by C4 coin legends (infra). Presumably the community took its name from the river Tisna, a personification of which was depicted on Tisna's coins. Tisna struck bronze coins in C4. Types: obv. beardless male head l., horned (river god Tisnaios); rev. one-handle vase, or spearhead, or sword in sheath; legend TISNAI or TISNAIO or TISNAIOS or TISNAION (Imhoof-Blumer (1883) 275 nos.241-42; Head, HN2 557; Robert (1937) 189; BMC Troas 149; SNG Cop Aeolis 283). The book I found under books.google.de It is the first lexicon of all identifiable Greek city states of the Archaic and Classical period (c. 650-325 BC).

You can see that Tisna must be a small city in Aiolis known only by its coins. It is not mentioned in 'Der kleine Pauly' nor depicted in my Historical Atlas.
[The emphasis is mine, J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.]


Aeolis (Ancient Greek Αιολίς Aiolís) or Aeolia was an area that comprised the west and northwestern region of Asia Minor, mostly along the coast, and also several offshore islands (particularly Lesbos), where the Aeolian Greek city-states were located. Aeolis incorporated the southern parts of Mysia which bounded it to the north, Ionia to the south, and Lydia to the east. In early times, the Aeolians' twelve most important cities were independent, and formed a league: Cyme (also called Phriconis), Larissae, Neonteichos, Temnus, Cilla, Notium, Aegiroessa, Pitane, Aegae, Myrina, Gryneia, and Smyrna.

According to Homer's description, Odysseus, after his stay with the Cyclopes, reached the island of Aeolus, who provided him with the west wind Zephyr.

Aeolis was an ancient district on the western coast of Asia Minor. It extended along the Aegean Sea from the entrance of the Hellespont (now the Dardanelles) south to the Hermus River (now the Gediz River). It was named for the Aeolians, some of whom migrated there from Greece before 1000 BC. Aeolis was, however, an ethnological and linguistic enclave rather than a geographical unit. The district often was considered part of the larger northwest region of Mysia.

By the 8th century BC, twelve of the southern Aeolian city-states were grouped together in a league. The most celebrated of the cities was Smyrna (modern Izmir, Turkey), but in 699 BC, Smyrna became part of an Ionian confederacy. The remaining cities were conquered by Croesus, king of Lydia (reigned 560-546 BC). Later they were held successively by the Persians, Macedonians, Seleucids, and Pergamenes. Attalus III, the last king of Pergamum, bequeathed Aeolis to Rome in 133 BC. Shortly afterward, it was made part of the Roman province of Asia. At the partition of the Roman Empire (395 AD), Aeolis was assigned to the East Roman (Byzantine) empire and remained under Byzantine rule until the early 1400s, when the Ottoman Turks occupied the area.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeolis

Ed. by J.P.Fitzgerald, Jr.

Thank you, Jochen.
Cleisthenes
CIIGRICV197unlistedvar.jpg
[1114a] Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.58 viewsSilvered antoninianus, RIC V 197 var (pellet in exergue), aEF, 3.880g, 21.1mm, 0o, Antioch mint, 268 - 270 A.D.; Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, scales in right, cornucopia in left, • in exergue; full silvering, bold strike, excellent centering and eastern style, rare this nice; rare variety. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Claudius II Gothicus (268-270)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

M. Aurelius Claudius, known to history as Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, was born in either Dalmatia or Illyria on May 10, probably in A.D. 213 or 214. Although the most substantive source on Claudius is the biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (SHA), this account is riddled with fabrications and slanted with fawning praise for this particular emperor, who in the fourth century was viewed as an ancestor of Constantine's father and thus of the ruling imperial family. This biography, attributed to one Trebellius Pollio, must be read with extreme caution and supplemented with information from other sources, including Aurelius Victor, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Eutropius, Orosius, Zonaras, and Zosimus, as well as coins and inscriptions.

The SHA account describes Claudius as being tall, with fiery eyes, and so strong that he could knock out the teeth of man or beast with one punch. It also says that Trajan Decius rewarded him after Claudius demonstrated his strength while wrestling another soldier in the Campus Martius. The SHA author suggests that Claudius may have been descended from the Trojan King Ilus and even from Dardanus, son of Zeus and ancestor of the Trojan royal family, but these suggestions are very likely fabricated to further ennoble Claudius and his putative descendants, the family of Constantine. The SHA biography also includes false letters attributed to the emperors Trajan Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, all attesting to their high opinions of Claudius. Reference is made in these letters to Claudius' service as tribune in an otherwise unattested legion V Martialis and also as general in command of Illyria, but these positions may also be fictitious. One can assume that Claudius had served for some time in the army, at least under Gallienus and perhaps also under several earlier emperors.

There is some evidence that Claudius was wounded in Gallienus' campaign to put down the revolt of Ingenuus and that he later served with Aureolus under Gallienus in the war with Postumus. By 268, when Gallienus took his troops into Italy to put down Aureolus' revolt, Claudius had emerged as heir-apparent to Gallienus and may also have been involved in the plot to assassinate the emperor. Aurelius Victor says that when Gallienus was killed by his own troops besieging Aureolus in Milan, Claudius as tribune was commanding the soldiers stationed at Ticinum, some twenty miles to the south, and that prior to dying Gallienus designated Claudius as his heir. Victor goes on to claim that after succeeding to the purple Claudius forced the Senate to deify Gallienus. The SHA account states that the soldiers mutinied after Gallienus' death and had to be quieted with a donative of twenty aurei each before settling down and accepting their new emperor. Once in power, Claudius quickly dealt with Aureolus, who surrendered and was killed almost immediately. The new emperor also demanded clemency for the supporters of Gallienus.

The story of Gallienus' deathbed selection of his successor is doubtful at best and is very likely an attempt to deflect blame for the assassination plot from Claudius. The suggestion that the new emperor pressured the Senate to deify Gallienus is more difficult to assess. It is true that securing divine status for one's predecessor is generally seen as a pious act (e.g. Antoninus Pius requesting deification of Hadrian) that reflects positively on the initiator and the story, recorded only in Aurelius Victor, could just be a fabrication used to build up Claudius' moral reputation. What is difficult to penetrate is the biased condemnation of Gallienus that particularly dominates the Latin sources. They make it hard to see why anyone would want to deify Gallienus and so the story seems out of place. However, deification of a predecessor could also be interpreted as the expected thing to do and the act could have fostered legitimacy of the new emperor and gained support from those who were still loyal to Gallienus so it may well have taken place.

The first major challenge facing the new emperor was that of the Alemanni, who had invaded Raetia and Italy. After an early defeat, Claudius replaced some irresponsible officers and soldiers, designated Aurelian as cavalry commander, and led the army to a decisive victory over the Alemanni. This victory earned Claudius the title of Germanicus Maximus and several of his coin-types appear to refer to victory over the Germans.

In 269 Claudius served as consul with Paternus. This year would also feature his major campaign against the Goths. There are indications that Spain separated itself from the Gallo-Roman Empire of Postumus and Tetricus and recognized Claudius, at least nominally, as emperor. In addition, rebellion within Gaul itself demonstrated the weakening of this independent state, although Claudius avoided engagement at Augustodunum and chose only to send a small force to protect Narbonese Gaul. While Claudius concentrated on protecting Roman territory against the Alemanni and Goths, Zenobia extended her Palmyrene Empire by taking Antioch, parts of Asia Minor, and most of Egypt. Although Eusebius and Sulpicius Severus portray the period between the reign of Valerian and that of Diocletian as a peaceful pause in the persecution of Christians, the Acts of the Martyrs does list some individuals allegedly martyred during Claudius II's reign.

The coins issued by Claudius II provide some limited insight into his reign. In addition to the standard "personified virtues" coins that are common with most emperors of the second and third centuries, Claudius struck coin-types proclaiming the security of the Empire (SECVRITAS PERPETVA and PAX AETERNA), the fidelity of the army (FIDES MILITVM), and military victories over the Germans and Goths (VICTORIA GERMAN and VICTORIAE GOTHIC). In addition, Claudius Gothicus' mints struck some other interesting and unusual coin-types. For example, Claudius is one of very few emperors who issued coins portraying the god Vulcan. These must have been limited issues because they are struck only by the Antioch mint and are very rare. The type shows Vulcan standing, with his special tools, the hammer and tongs, and features the unique inscription REGI ARTIS. A variant type with a similar image has been described as carrying another unique coin inscription, DEO CABIRO, and interpreted as depicting one of Vulcan's sons, the Cabiri, with the same tools. However, the existence of this variant type is doubtful. Although the reason for honoring Vulcan (and his sons?) with these coins is unclear, there may be a connection to the fact that the Cabiri were patron gods of Thessalonica who had protected that city against an attack by the Goths. Although a connection between Claudius Gothicus and the Cabiri as defenders against Gothic attacks is relatively attractive, it is weakened somewhat by the fact that Valerian and Gallienus had also issued coins with Vulcan in a temple so there may be some other reason for his reappearance on coins in this period.

Claudius II issued an unusual and scarce series of coins that features a pair of deities, who are presumably conservatores Augusti, on each reverse. The AETER AVG type depicts Apollo and Diana, who, as gods of the sun and moon, are associated with the concept of aeternitas. A type featuring Serapis and Isis is combined with a CONSER AVG inscription and one of Hercules and Minerva with one of CONSERVATORES AVG. Apollo and Diana are depicted with a SALVS AVG inscription, Aesculapius and Salus with one of SPES PVBLIC, and Vulcan and Minerva with VIRT AVG. The general message is that these deities will protect the future of the empire and the emperor.

Other unusual coin-types include MARS VLTOR, the god Augustus had honored with a temple for securing revenge for Caesar's assassination. This deity had appeared on Roman coins in the reigns of Galba and Severus Alexander. Claudius II also minted coins with rarely-seen NEPTVN AVG [see this reverse type in my collection] and SOL AVG types. The latter coin indicates some early interest in the god who would become so dominant a few years later on the coins of Aurelian, yet Claudius also used the INVICTVS AVG inscription that Gallienus had paired with an image of Sol with one of Hercules. ROMAE AETERNAE coin-types were fairly common in the mid-third century, but Claudius II issued an unusual variant type on an aureus that showed the goddess in her temple and echoed the SAECVLVM NOVVM images associated with Philip I. In addition, Claudius introduced a IOVI VICTORI reverse combined with the image normally paired with a IOVI STATORI inscription and a IOVI FVLGERAT reverse inscription, both of which had not been used by any of his predecessors. Andreas Alföldi suggested that Claudius' GENIVS SENATVS type signified improvement of the relationship between emperor and Senate following the senatorial hostility toward Gallienus.

Claudius Gothicus also produced coin-types with reverses of goddesses customarily found paired on coins with images of the Roman empresses. The deities portrayed include Ceres, Diana, Diana Lucifera, and Diana Victrix, Minerva, Venus, and the goddess naturally associated with the image of an empress, Juno Regina. One might suggest that Claudius issued these images because he had no empress with which to pair them, but an examination of other emperors' reigns during this period reveals that those emperors who did not issue coins bearing the empress' image also did not strike these particular goddess types. Although Ceres and Venus images are sometimes paired with an emperor's portrait, Diana Lucifera is rarely found on emperors' coins and Claudius II is the only emperor paired on coins with Juno Regina. In addition, Claudius was the first emperor to issue imperial coins that featured an isolated image of the exotic Egyptian goddess, Isis Faria.

Claudius II's short reign was vulnerable to internal as well as external attack. There may have been a revolt in 269-270 led by a Censorinus, although the date and even the existence of this usurper remain in doubt. The SHA includes him as the last of the "thirty tyrants" and lists a whole series of offices for him, including two consulships, but no other record exists to confirm such service. The SHA account states that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline. His tomb is listed as being in Bologna, which may provide some idea of the location for the revolt. Henry Cohen dates the revolt to the beginning of the year 270, perhaps on the basis of a reference in the Epitome de Caesaribus, but suggests that coins attributed to Censorinus in earlier works may not exist.

The Gothic challenge in 269 proved to be the greatest that Claudius II would face. The Goths assembled a large invading force, reportedly amounting to 320,000 men transported on a fleet of at least 2,000 ships, and first attacked coastal cities along the Black Sea in Moesia. After passing into the Aegean the Goths besieged Thessalonica. At this point, in 269, Claudius left Rome to stop the invasion. The Goths then sent the larger segment of their troops on land toward the Danube, while the fleet took the remaining group to continue the naval attack on Aegean coastal cities. Claudius sent Aurelian's cavalry to Macedonia to protect Illyria from attack, while he commanded the forces blocking the route to the Danube. In the area of Doberus and Pelagonia, the Goths lost 3,000 men to Aurelian's cavalry. At Naissus in Moesia, Claudius' force succeeded in killing some 50,000 Goths. There were follow-up operations on both land and sea, but the Gothic War had essentially been won. Staving off the attacks of the Goths was a major contribution to the survival of the Roman Empire. It was a significant step leading to the subsequent success of Aurelian and the resurrection of the Empire under Diocletian and Constantine. When the Goths eventually succeeded in taking parts of the western Empire in the fifth century, their disruption to the course of civilization was likely much less violent than it would have been had they succeeded in the third century.

In addition to bad weather, a lack of supplies, and hunger, plague was a major factor in the defeat of the Goths. Many of the Gothic prisoners were either impressed into Roman military service or settled on farms as coloni. Claudius received the title Gothicus in recognition of his triumph over the Goths. At some point he had also been given the title Parthicus, but the unlikelihood of any conflict with the Parthians in his short reign makes this difficult to explain. Perhaps Damerau was correct in his suggestion that a Parthian unit may have been involved in one of the battles with the Palmyrenes, although on this front there were few achievements to claim. In any case, Claudius' victory over the Goths was short-lived. The emperor himself caught the plague and died at Sirmium early in 270. He was 56 years old. Claudius' brother, Quintillus, became emperor briefly before losing out to Aurelian. Claudius also had another brother, Crispus, and the SHA traces the link to Constantius through Crispus' daughter Claudia.

The Roman Senate showed its respect for Claudius Gothicus by setting up a gold portrait-shield in the Curia and by approving his deification. He was also honored with a golden statue in front of the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and a silver statue set on a column on the Rostra.

In many ways, Claudius II received more adulation and honor in his Nachleben than he had during his lifetime. In the fourth century, attempts to link Constantine's family to Claudius resulted in the phrases of adoration and outright fabrication that dominate the SHA life and most of our other sources. Constantine even issued commemorative coins honoring Claudius. These carried inscriptions such as: DIVO CLAVDIO OPT[IMO] IMP[ERATORI], MEMORIAE AETERNAE, and REQVIES OPT[IMORVM] ME[RITORVM]. A tradition grew that changed the story of Claudius' death in some sources. In this version, Claudius, instead of dying from the plague, had actually performed a devotion, in response to an oracle found in the Sibylline Books, and sacrificed his life so that Rome could win the Gothic War. One of the most surprising things about the SHA account is that it ignores this more dramatic tradition and has Claudius simply dying from the plague.

One must, of course, reject the excessive claims of the SHA to the effect that Claudius II was "destined to rule for the good of the human race" and would, had he lived longer, "…by his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have restored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those men of old." However, Claudius Gothicus was clearly a good emperor who made a significant contribution to protecting and restoring the Empire. In the third century there aren't too many emperors who merit such an assessment.

Copyright (C) 2001, Richard D. Weigel. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/claudgot.htm


Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=741&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
CIIGRICV214.jpg
[1114b] Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.53 viewsBronze antoninianus, RIC V 214, VF, 2.930g, 20.3mm, 180o, Antioch mint; Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate bust right; Reverse: NEPTVN AVG, Neptune standing left, dolphin in right, trident in left hand, • in exergue; excellent centering. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Claudius II Gothicus (268-270)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

M. Aurelius Claudius, known to history as Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, was born in either Dalmatia or Illyria on May 10, probably in A.D. 213 or 214. Although the most substantive source on Claudius is the biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (SHA), this account is riddled with fabrications and slanted with fawning praise for this particular emperor, who in the fourth century was viewed as an ancestor of Constantine's father and thus of the ruling imperial family. This biography, attributed to one Trebellius Pollio, must be read with extreme caution and supplemented with information from other sources, including Aurelius Victor, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Eutropius, Orosius, Zonaras, and Zosimus, as well as coins and inscriptions.

The SHA account describes Claudius as being tall, with fiery eyes, and so strong that he could knock out the teeth of man or beast with one punch. It also says that Trajan Decius rewarded him after Claudius demonstrated his strength while wrestling another soldier in the Campus Martius. The SHA author suggests that Claudius may have been descended from the Trojan King Ilus and even from Dardanus, son of Zeus and ancestor of the Trojan royal family, but these suggestions are very likely fabricated to further ennoble Claudius and his putative descendants, the family of Constantine. The SHA biography also includes false letters attributed to the emperors Trajan Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, all attesting to their high opinions of Claudius. Reference is made in these letters to Claudius' service as tribune in an otherwise unattested legion V Martialis and also as general in command of Illyria, but these positions may also be fictitious. One can assume that Claudius had served for some time in the army, at least under Gallienus and perhaps also under several earlier emperors.

There is some evidence that Claudius was wounded in Gallienus' campaign to put down the revolt of Ingenuus and that he later served with Aureolus under Gallienus in the war with Postumus. By 268, when Gallienus took his troops into Italy to put down Aureolus' revolt, Claudius had emerged as heir-apparent to Gallienus and may also have been involved in the plot to assassinate the emperor. Aurelius Victor says that when Gallienus was killed by his own troops besieging Aureolus in Milan, Claudius as tribune was commanding the soldiers stationed at Ticinum, some twenty miles to the south, and that prior to dying Gallienus designated Claudius as his heir. Victor goes on to claim that after succeeding to the purple Claudius forced the Senate to deify Gallienus. The SHA account states that the soldiers mutinied after Gallienus' death and had to be quieted with a donative of twenty aurei each before settling down and accepting their new emperor. Once in power, Claudius quickly dealt with Aureolus, who surrendered and was killed almost immediately. The new emperor also demanded clemency for the supporters of Gallienus.

The story of Gallienus' deathbed selection of his successor is doubtful at best and is very likely an attempt to deflect blame for the assassination plot from Claudius. The suggestion that the new emperor pressured the Senate to deify Gallienus is more difficult to assess. It is true that securing divine status for one's predecessor is generally seen as a pious act (e.g. Antoninus Pius requesting deification of Hadrian) that reflects positively on the initiator and the story, recorded only in Aurelius Victor, could just be a fabrication used to build up Claudius' moral reputation. What is difficult to penetrate is the biased condemnation of Gallienus that particularly dominates the Latin sources. They make it hard to see why anyone would want to deify Gallienus and so the story seems out of place. However, deification of a predecessor could also be interpreted as the expected thing to do and the act could have fostered legitimacy of the new emperor and gained support from those who were still loyal to Gallienus so it may well have taken place.

The first major challenge facing the new emperor was that of the Alemanni, who had invaded Raetia and Italy. After an early defeat, Claudius replaced some irresponsible officers and soldiers, designated Aurelian as cavalry commander, and led the army to a decisive victory over the Alemanni. This victory earned Claudius the title of Germanicus Maximus and several of his coin-types appear to refer to victory over the Germans.

In 269 Claudius served as consul with Paternus. This year would also feature his major campaign against the Goths. There are indications that Spain separated itself from the Gallo-Roman Empire of Postumus and Tetricus and recognized Claudius, at least nominally, as emperor. In addition, rebellion within Gaul itself demonstrated the weakening of this independent state, although Claudius avoided engagement at Augustodunum and chose only to send a small force to protect Narbonese Gaul. While Claudius concentrated on protecting Roman territory against the Alemanni and Goths, Zenobia extended her Palmyrene Empire by taking Antioch, parts of Asia Minor, and most of Egypt. Although Eusebius and Sulpicius Severus portray the period between the reign of Valerian and that of Diocletian as a peaceful pause in the persecution of Christians, the Acts of the Martyrs does list some individuals allegedly martyred during Claudius II's reign.

The coins issued by Claudius II provide some limited insight into his reign. In addition to the standard "personified virtues" coins that are common with most emperors of the second and third centuries, Claudius struck coin-types proclaiming the security of the Empire (SECVRITAS PERPETVA and PAX AETERNA), the fidelity of the army (FIDES MILITVM), and military victories over the Germans and Goths (VICTORIA GERMAN and VICTORIAE GOTHIC). In addition, Claudius Gothicus' mints struck some other interesting and unusual coin-types. For example, Claudius is one of very few emperors who issued coins portraying the god Vulcan. These must have been limited issues because they are struck only by the Antioch mint and are very rare. The type shows Vulcan standing, with his special tools, the hammer and tongs, and features the unique inscription REGI ARTIS. A variant type with a similar image has been described as carrying another unique coin inscription, DEO CABIRO, and interpreted as depicting one of Vulcan's sons, the Cabiri, with the same tools. However, the existence of this variant type is doubtful. Although the reason for honoring Vulcan (and his sons?) with these coins is unclear, there may be a connection to the fact that the Cabiri were patron gods of Thessalonica who had protected that city against an attack by the Goths. Although a connection between Claudius Gothicus and the Cabiri as defenders against Gothic attacks is relatively attractive, it is weakened somewhat by the fact that Valerian and Gallienus had also issued coins with Vulcan in a temple so there may be some other reason for his reappearance on coins in this period.

Claudius II issued an unusual and scarce series of coins that features a pair of deities, who are presumably conservatores Augusti, on each reverse. The AETER AVG type depicts Apollo and Diana, who, as gods of the sun and moon, are associated with the concept of aeternitas. A type featuring Serapis and Isis is combined with a CONSER AVG inscription and one of Hercules and Minerva with one of CONSERVATORES AVG. Apollo and Diana are depicted with a SALVS AVG inscription, Aesculapius and Salus with one of SPES PVBLIC, and Vulcan and Minerva with VIRT AVG. The general message is that these deities will protect the future of the empire and the emperor.

Other unusual coin-types include MARS VLTOR, the god Augustus had honored with a temple for securing revenge for Caesar's assassination. This deity had appeared on Roman coins in the reigns of Galba and Severus Alexander. Claudius II also minted coins with rarely-seen NEPTVN AVG [see this reverse type in my collection] and SOL AVG types. The latter coin indicates some early interest in the god who would become so dominant a few years later on the coins of Aurelian, yet Claudius also used the INVICTVS AVG inscription that Gallienus had paired with an image of Sol with one of Hercules. ROMAE AETERNAE coin-types were fairly common in the mid-third century, but Claudius II issued an unusual variant type on an aureus that showed the goddess in her temple and echoed the SAECVLVM NOVVM images associated with Philip I. In addition, Claudius introduced a IOVI VICTORI reverse combined with the image normally paired with a IOVI STATORI inscription and a IOVI FVLGERAT reverse inscription, both of which had not been used by any of his predecessors. Andreas Alföldi suggested that Claudius' GENIVS SENATVS type signified improvement of the relationship between emperor and Senate following the senatorial hostility toward Gallienus.

Claudius Gothicus also produced coin-types with reverses of goddesses customarily found paired on coins with images of the Roman empresses. The deities portrayed include Ceres, Diana, Diana Lucifera, and Diana Victrix, Minerva, Venus, and the goddess naturally associated with the image of an empress, Juno Regina. One might suggest that Claudius issued these images because he had no empress with which to pair them, but an examination of other emperors' reigns during this period reveals that those emperors who did not issue coins bearing the empress' image also did not strike these particular goddess types. Although Ceres and Venus images are sometimes paired with an emperor's portrait, Diana Lucifera is rarely found on emperors' coins and Claudius II is the only emperor paired on coins with Juno Regina. In addition, Claudius was the first emperor to issue imperial coins that featured an isolated image of the exotic Egyptian goddess, Isis Faria.

Claudius II's short reign was vulnerable to internal as well as external attack. There may have been a revolt in 269-270 led by a Censorinus, although the date and even the existence of this usurper remain in doubt. The SHA includes him as the last of the "thirty tyrants" and lists a whole series of offices for him, including two consulships, but no other record exists to confirm such service. The SHA account states that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline. His tomb is listed as being in Bologna, which may provide some idea of the location for the revolt. Henry Cohen dates the revolt to the beginning of the year 270, perhaps on the basis of a reference in the Epitome de Caesaribus, but suggests that coins attributed to Censorinus in earlier works may not exist.

The Gothic challenge in 269 proved to be the greatest that Claudius II would face. The Goths assembled a large invading force, reportedly amounting to 320,000 men transported on a fleet of at least 2,000 ships, and first attacked coastal cities along the Black Sea in Moesia. After passing into the Aegean the Goths besieged Thessalonica. At this point, in 269, Claudius left Rome to stop the invasion. The Goths then sent the larger segment of their troops on land toward the Danube, while the fleet took the remaining group to continue the naval attack on Aegean coastal cities. Claudius sent Aurelian's cavalry to Macedonia to protect Illyria from attack, while he commanded the forces blocking the route to the Danube. In the area of Doberus and Pelagonia, the Goths lost 3,000 men to Aurelian's cavalry. At Naissus in Moesia, Claudius' force succeeded in killing some 50,000 Goths. There were follow-up operations on both land and sea, but the Gothic War had essentially been won. Staving off the attacks of the Goths was a major contribution to the survival of the Roman Empire. It was a significant step leading to the subsequent success of Aurelian and the resurrection of the Empire under Diocletian and Constantine. When the Goths eventually succeeded in taking parts of the western Empire in the fifth century, their disruption to the course of civilization was likely much less violent than it would have been had they succeeded in the third century.

In addition to bad weather, a lack of supplies, and hunger, plague was a major factor in the defeat of the Goths. Many of the Gothic prisoners were either impressed into Roman military service or settled on farms as coloni. Claudius received the title Gothicus in recognition of his triumph over the Goths. At some point he had also been given the title Parthicus, but the unlikelihood of any conflict with the Parthians in his short reign makes this difficult to explain. Perhaps Damerau was correct in his suggestion that a Parthian unit may have been involved in one of the battles with the Palmyrenes, although on this front there were few achievements to claim. In any case, Claudius' victory over the Goths was short-lived. The emperor himself caught the plague and died at Sirmium early in 270. He was 56 years old. Claudius' brother, Quintillus, became emperor briefly before losing out to Aurelian. Claudius also had another brother, Crispus, and the SHA traces the link to Constantius through Crispus' daughter Claudia.

The Roman Senate showed its respect for Claudius Gothicus by setting up a gold portrait-shield in the Curia and by approving his deification. He was also honored with a golden statue in front of the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and a silver statue set on a column on the Rostra.

In many ways, Claudius II received more adulation and honor in his Nachleben than he had during his lifetime. In the fourth century, attempts to link Constantine's family to Claudius resulted in the phrases of adoration and outright fabrication that dominate the SHA life and most of our other sources. Constantine even issued commemorative coins honoring Claudius. These carried inscriptions such as: DIVO CLAVDIO OPT[IMO] IMP[ERATORI], MEMORIAE AETERNAE, and REQVIES OPT[IMORVM] ME[RITORVM]. A tradition grew that changed the story of Claudius' death in some sources. In this version, Claudius, instead of dying from the plague, had actually performed a devotion, in response to an oracle found in the Sibylline Books, and sacrificed his life so that Rome could win the Gothic War. One of the most surprising things about the SHA account is that it ignores this more dramatic tradition and has Claudius simply dying from the plague.

One must, of course, reject the excessive claims of the SHA to the effect that Claudius II was "destined to rule for the good of the human race" and would, had he lived longer, "…by his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have restored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those men of old." However, Claudius Gothicus was clearly a good emperor who made a significant contribution to protecting and restoring the Empire. In the third century there aren't too many emperors who merit such an assessment.

Copyright (C) 2001, Richard D. Weigel. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/claudgot.htm


Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=741&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
ClaudiusIIGothicusRIC34.jpg
[1114c] Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.50 viewsAntoninianus. RIC 34. Weight, Size. F. Rome mint. Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, Radiate, draped bust right; Reverse: FIDES EXERCI, Fides standing left, holding two standards. Ex Maridvnvm


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Claudius II Gothicus (268-270)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

M. Aurelius Claudius, known to history as Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, was born in either Dalmatia or Illyria on May 10, probably in A.D. 213 or 214. Although the most substantive source on Claudius is the biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (SHA), this account is riddled with fabrications and slanted with fawning praise for this particular emperor, who in the fourth century was viewed as an ancestor of Constantine's father and thus of the ruling imperial family. This biography, attributed to one Trebellius Pollio, must be read with extreme caution and supplemented with information from other sources, including Aurelius Victor, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Eutropius, Orosius, Zonaras, and Zosimus, as well as coins and inscriptions.

The SHA account describes Claudius as being tall, with fiery eyes, and so strong that he could knock out the teeth of man or beast with one punch. It also says that Trajan Decius rewarded him after Claudius demonstrated his strength while wrestling another soldier in the Campus Martius. The SHA author suggests that Claudius may have been descended from the Trojan King Ilus and even from Dardanus, son of Zeus and ancestor of the Trojan royal family, but these suggestions are very likely fabricated to further ennoble Claudius and his putative descendants, the family of Constantine. The SHA biography also includes false letters attributed to the emperors Trajan Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, all attesting to their high opinions of Claudius. Reference is made in these letters to Claudius' service as tribune in an otherwise unattested legion V Martialis and also as general in command of Illyria, but these positions may also be fictitious. One can assume that Claudius had served for some time in the army, at least under Gallienus and perhaps also under several earlier emperors.

There is some evidence that Claudius was wounded in Gallienus' campaign to put down the revolt of Ingenuus and that he later served with Aureolus under Gallienus in the war with Postumus. By 268, when Gallienus took his troops into Italy to put down Aureolus' revolt, Claudius had emerged as heir-apparent to Gallienus and may also have been involved in the plot to assassinate the emperor. Aurelius Victor says that when Gallienus was killed by his own troops besieging Aureolus in Milan, Claudius as tribune was commanding the soldiers stationed at Ticinum, some twenty miles to the south, and that prior to dying Gallienus designated Claudius as his heir. Victor goes on to claim that after succeeding to the purple Claudius forced the Senate to deify Gallienus. The SHA account states that the soldiers mutinied after Gallienus' death and had to be quieted with a donative of twenty aurei each before settling down and accepting their new emperor. Once in power, Claudius quickly dealt with Aureolus, who surrendered and was killed almost immediately. The new emperor also demanded clemency for the supporters of Gallienus.

The story of Gallienus' deathbed selection of his successor is doubtful at best and is very likely an attempt to deflect blame for the assassination plot from Claudius. The suggestion that the new emperor pressured the Senate to deify Gallienus is more difficult to assess. It is true that securing divine status for one's predecessor is generally seen as a pious act (e.g. Antoninus Pius requesting deification of Hadrian) that reflects positively on the initiator and the story, recorded only in Aurelius Victor, could just be a fabrication used to build up Claudius' moral reputation. What is difficult to penetrate is the biased condemnation of Gallienus that particularly dominates the Latin sources. They make it hard to see why anyone would want to deify Gallienus and so the story seems out of place. However, deification of a predecessor could also be interpreted as the expected thing to do and the act could have fostered legitimacy of the new emperor and gained support from those who were still loyal to Gallienus so it may well have taken place.

The first major challenge facing the new emperor was that of the Alemanni, who had invaded Raetia and Italy. After an early defeat, Claudius replaced some irresponsible officers and soldiers, designated Aurelian as cavalry commander, and led the army to a decisive victory over the Alemanni. This victory earned Claudius the title of Germanicus Maximus and several of his coin-types appear to refer to victory over the Germans.

In 269 Claudius served as consul with Paternus. This year would also feature his major campaign against the Goths. There are indications that Spain separated itself from the Gallo-Roman Empire of Postumus and Tetricus and recognized Claudius, at least nominally, as emperor. In addition, rebellion within Gaul itself demonstrated the weakening of this independent state, although Claudius avoided engagement at Augustodunum and chose only to send a small force to protect Narbonese Gaul. While Claudius concentrated on protecting Roman territory against the Alemanni and Goths, Zenobia extended her Palmyrene Empire by taking Antioch, parts of Asia Minor, and most of Egypt. Although Eusebius and Sulpicius Severus portray the period between the reign of Valerian and that of Diocletian as a peaceful pause in the persecution of Christians, the Acts of the Martyrs does list some individuals allegedly martyred during Claudius II's reign.

The coins issued by Claudius II provide some limited insight into his reign. In addition to the standard "personified virtues" coins that are common with most emperors of the second and third centuries, Claudius struck coin-types proclaiming the security of the Empire (SECVRITAS PERPETVA and PAX AETERNA), the fidelity of the army (FIDES MILITVM), and military victories over the Germans and Goths (VICTORIA GERMAN and VICTORIAE GOTHIC). In addition, Claudius Gothicus' mints struck some other interesting and unusual coin-types. For example, Claudius is one of very few emperors who issued coins portraying the god Vulcan. These must have been limited issues because they are struck only by the Antioch mint and are very rare. The type shows Vulcan standing, with his special tools, the hammer and tongs, and features the unique inscription REGI ARTIS. A variant type with a similar image has been described as carrying another unique coin inscription, DEO CABIRO, and interpreted as depicting one of Vulcan's sons, the Cabiri, with the same tools. However, the existence of this variant type is doubtful. Although the reason for honoring Vulcan (and his sons?) with these coins is unclear, there may be a connection to the fact that the Cabiri were patron gods of Thessalonica who had protected that city against an attack by the Goths. Although a connection between Claudius Gothicus and the Cabiri as defenders against Gothic attacks is relatively attractive, it is weakened somewhat by the fact that Valerian and Gallienus had also issued coins with Vulcan in a temple so there may be some other reason for his reappearance on coins in this period.

Claudius II issued an unusual and scarce series of coins that features a pair of deities, who are presumably conservatores Augusti, on each reverse. The AETER AVG type depicts Apollo and Diana, who, as gods of the sun and moon, are associated with the concept of aeternitas. A type featuring Serapis and Isis is combined with a CONSER AVG inscription and one of Hercules and Minerva with one of CONSERVATORES AVG. Apollo and Diana are depicted with a SALVS AVG inscription, Aesculapius and Salus with one of SPES PVBLIC, and Vulcan and Minerva with VIRT AVG. The general message is that these deities will protect the future of the empire and the emperor.

Other unusual coin-types include MARS VLTOR, the god Augustus had honored with a temple for securing revenge for Caesar's assassination. This deity had appeared on Roman coins in the reigns of Galba and Severus Alexander. Claudius II also minted coins with rarely-seen NEPTVN AVG [see this reverse type in my collection] and SOL AVG types. The latter coin indicates some early interest in the god who would become so dominant a few years later on the coins of Aurelian, yet Claudius also used the INVICTVS AVG inscription that Gallienus had paired with an image of Sol with one of Hercules. ROMAE AETERNAE coin-types were fairly common in the mid-third century, but Claudius II issued an unusual variant type on an aureus that showed the goddess in her temple and echoed the SAECVLVM NOVVM images associated with Philip I. In addition, Claudius introduced a IOVI VICTORI reverse combined with the image normally paired with a IOVI STATORI inscription and a IOVI FVLGERAT reverse inscription, both of which had not been used by any of his predecessors. Andreas Alföldi suggested that Claudius' GENIVS SENATVS type signified improvement of the relationship between emperor and Senate following the senatorial hostility toward Gallienus.

Claudius Gothicus also produced coin-types with reverses of goddesses customarily found paired on coins with images of the Roman empresses. The deities portrayed include Ceres, Diana, Diana Lucifera, and Diana Victrix, Minerva, Venus, and the goddess naturally associated with the image of an empress, Juno Regina. One might suggest that Claudius issued these images because he had no empress with which to pair them, but an examination of other emperors' reigns during this period reveals that those emperors who did not issue coins bearing the empress' image also did not strike these particular goddess types. Although Ceres and Venus images are sometimes paired with an emperor's portrait, Diana Lucifera is rarely found on emperors' coins and Claudius II is the only emperor paired on coins with Juno Regina. In addition, Claudius was the first emperor to issue imperial coins that featured an isolated image of the exotic Egyptian goddess, Isis Faria.

Claudius II's short reign was vulnerable to internal as well as external attack. There may have been a revolt in 269-270 led by a Censorinus, although the date and even the existence of this usurper remain in doubt. The SHA includes him as the last of the "thirty tyrants" and lists a whole series of offices for him, including two consulships, but no other record exists to confirm such service. The SHA account states that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline. His tomb is listed as being in Bologna, which may provide some idea of the location for the revolt. Henry Cohen dates the revolt to the beginning of the year 270, perhaps on the basis of a reference in the Epitome de Caesaribus, but suggests that coins attributed to Censorinus in earlier works may not exist.

The Gothic challenge in 269 proved to be the greatest that Claudius II would face. The Goths assembled a large invading force, reportedly amounting to 320,000 men transported on a fleet of at least 2,000 ships, and first attacked coastal cities along the Black Sea in Moesia. After passing into the Aegean the Goths besieged Thessalonica. At this point, in 269, Claudius left Rome to stop the invasion. The Goths then sent the larger segment of their troops on land toward the Danube, while the fleet took the remaining group to continue the naval attack on Aegean coastal cities. Claudius sent Aurelian's cavalry to Macedonia to protect Illyria from attack, while he commanded the forces blocking the route to the Danube. In the area of Doberus and Pelagonia, the Goths lost 3,000 men to Aurelian's cavalry. At Naissus in Moesia, Claudius' force succeeded in killing some 50,000 Goths. There were follow-up operations on both land and sea, but the Gothic War had essentially been won. Staving off the attacks of the Goths was a major contribution to the survival of the Roman Empire. It was a significant step leading to the subsequent success of Aurelian and the resurrection of the Empire under Diocletian and Constantine. When the Goths eventually succeeded in taking parts of the western Empire in the fifth century, their disruption to the course of civilization was likely much less violent than it would have been had they succeeded in the third century.

In addition to bad weather, a lack of supplies, and hunger, plague was a major factor in the defeat of the Goths. Many of the Gothic prisoners were either impressed into Roman military service or settled on farms as coloni. Claudius received the title Gothicus in recognition of his triumph over the Goths. At some point he had also been given the title Parthicus, but the unlikelihood of any conflict with the Parthians in his short reign makes this difficult to explain. Perhaps Damerau was correct in his suggestion that a Parthian unit may have been involved in one of the battles with the Palmyrenes, although on this front there were few achievements to claim. In any case, Claudius' victory over the Goths was short-lived. The emperor himself caught the plague and died at Sirmium early in 270. He was 56 years old. Claudius' brother, Quintillus, became emperor briefly before losing out to Aurelian. Claudius also had another brother, Crispus, and the SHA traces the link to Constantius through Crispus' daughter Claudia.

The Roman Senate showed its respect for Claudius Gothicus by setting up a gold portrait-shield in the Curia and by approving his deification. He was also honored with a golden statue in front of the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and a silver statue set on a column on the Rostra.

In many ways, Claudius II received more adulation and honor in his Nachleben than he had during his lifetime. In the fourth century, attempts to link Constantine's family to Claudius resulted in the phrases of adoration and outright fabrication that dominate the SHA life and most of our other sources. Constantine even issued commemorative coins honoring Claudius. These carried inscriptions such as: DIVO CLAVDIO OPT[IMO] IMP[ERATORI], MEMORIAE AETERNAE, and REQVIES OPT[IMORVM] ME[RITORVM]. A tradition grew that changed the story of Claudius' death in some sources. In this version, Claudius, instead of dying from the plague, had actually performed a devotion, in response to an oracle found in the Sibylline Books, and sacrificed his life so that Rome could win the Gothic War. One of the most surprising things about the SHA account is that it ignores this more dramatic tradition and has Claudius simply dying from the plague.

One must, of course, reject the excessive claims of the SHA to the effect that Claudius II was "destined to rule for the good of the human race" and would, had he lived longer, "…by his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have restored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those men of old." However, Claudius Gothicus was clearly a good emperor who made a significant contribution to protecting and restoring the Empire. In the third century there aren't too many emperors who merit such an assessment.

Copyright (C) 2001, Richard D. Weigel. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/claudgot.htm


Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=741&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
HadrianAequitasAR_denarius.jpg
[903a] Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.92 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II 228 var (bust type), gVF, Rome, 2.849g, 17.8mm, 180o, 134 A.D.; Obverse: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, head right; Reverse: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, scales in right, scepter in left; excellent portrait; scarce. Ex FORVM. Photo courtesy of FORVM.

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

Hadrian (A.D. 117-138)
Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

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

So Edward Gibbon concluded the first paragraph of his massive The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, referring to a period which he also styled the happiest of mankind's history. Hadrian was the central figure of these "five good emperors," the one most responsible for changing the character and nature of the empire. He was also one of the most remarkable and talented individuals Rome ever produced.

The sources for a study of Hadrian are varied. There is no major historian for his reign, such as Tacitus or Livy. The chief literary sources are the biography in the Historia Augusta, the first surviving life in a series intended to continue Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars. Debate about this collection of imperial biographies has been heated and contentious for more than a century. The most convincing view is that which sees the whole as the work of a single author writing in the last years of the fourth century. The information offered ranges from the precisely accurate to the most wildly imaginative.

Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the 230s, produced a long history of the empire which has survived, for the Hadrianic period, only in an abbreviated version. Fourth century historians, such as Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, occasionally furnish bits of information. Contemporaries or near-contemporaries of Hadrian, such as Arrian, Fronto, Pausanias, and Plutarch, are also useful. Papyri, inscriptions, coins, and legal writings are extremely important. Archaeology in all its aspects contributes mightily to any attempt to probe the character of a man and emperor whose personality and thoughts defy close analysis and understanding.

Early Life and Career
Hadrian was born on January 24, 76. Where he saw the light of day was, even in antiquity, matter for debate. Italica, in Hispania Baetica, was the birthplace of Trajan and was also considered that of Hadrian. But the HA reports that he was born in Rome, and that seems the more likely choice, since it is the more unexpected. The actual place of one's birth was, however, unimportant, since it was one's patria which was crucial. Hadrian's ancestors had come to Spain generations before, from the town of Hadria in Picenum, at the end of the Second Punic War. Italica's tribus, to which Hadrian belonged, was the Sergia. His father, P. Aelius Afer, had reached the praetorship by the time of his death in 85/86, his mother, Domitia Paulina, came from a distinguished family of Gades, one of the wealthiest cities in the empire. His sister Paulina married Servianus, who played a significant role in Hadrian's career. Trajan was the father's cousin; when Afer died, Trajan and P. Acilius Attianus, likewise of Italica, became Hadrian's guardians.

At the age of about ten, Hadrian went to Italica for the first time (or returned, if he had been there earlier in his childhood), where he remained for only a brief time. He then returned to the capital and soon began a rapid rise through the cursus honorum; he was a military tribune of three different legions in consecutive years, a series of appointments which clearly marked him for a military career, and reached the consulate as a suffect at the age of 32, the earliest possible under the principate. At Trajan's death, he was legate of the province of Syria, with responsibility for the security of the east in the aftermath of Trajan's Parthian War.

(For a detailed and interesting discussion of Hadrian's reign please see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/hadrian.htm])

Literary and artistic achievements
Hadrian was a man of extraordinary talents, certainly one of the most gifted that Rome ever produced. He became a fine public speaker, he was a student of philosophy and other subjects, who could hold his own with the luminaries in their fields, he wrote both an autobiography and poetry, and he was a superb architect. It was in this last area that he left his greatest mark, with several of the empire's most extraordinary buildings and complexes stemming from his fertile mind. The anonymous author of the Historia Augusta described Hadrian as Fuit enim poematum et litterarum nimium studiosissimus. Arithmeticae, geometriae, picturae peritissimus.

He rebuilt Agrippa's Pantheon into the remarkable building that survives today, reconstructing the accustomed temple facade, with columns and pediment, but attaching it to a drum which was surmounted by a coffered dome. The latter was pierced by an oculus nine meters in diameter, which was the main source of illumination. Height and diameter were identical, 43.3 meters. The dome remained the largest in the world until the twentieth century. As was his custom, he replaced the original inscription of Agrippa on the architrave; seldom did he put his own name on a monument.

He also left his mark on almost every city and province to which he came. He paid particular attention to Athens, where he completed the great temple of Olympian Zeus, some six centuries after construction had begun, and made it the centerpiece of a new district of the city.

Hadrian's relationship with philosophers and other scholars was generally fractious. He often scorned their achievements while showing his own superiority. An anecdote about an argument which he had with the eminent philosopher and sophist Favorinus revealed the inequity of such disagreement. Although Favorinus was correct, he gave way to Hadrian, and when rebuked by friends, replied, "You advise me badly, friends, since you do not permit me to believe that he who commands thirty legions is the most learned of all."

Hadrian's literary taste inclined toward the archaic and the odd. He preferred Cato to Cicero, Ennius to Vergil, Coelius Antipater to Sallust, and disapproved of Homer and Plato as well. Indeed, the epic writer Antimachus of Colophon supplanted Homer in Hadrian's estimation. The biographer Suetonius held office under Hadrian but was discharged in 122 for disrespect to the empress. The historian Tacitus, who may have lived into Hadrian's reign, seems to have found no favor with the emperor.

His best known literary work is the short poem which he is said to have composed shortly before his death. These five lines have caused commentators much interpretative woe.

animula vagula blandula
hospes comesque corporis
quae nunc abibis in loca
pallidula rigida nudula
nec ut soles dabis iocos! (25.9)

"Little soul, wandering and pale, guest and companion of my body, you who will now go off to places pale, stiff, and barren, nor will you make jokes as has been your wont."
. . .

Reputation
Hadrian died invisus omnibus, according to the author of the Vita. But his deification placed him in the list of "good" emperors, a worthy successor to the optimus princes Trajan. Hadrian played a significant role both in developing the foreign policies of the empire and in its continuing centralization in administration. Few would disagree that he was one of the most remarkable men Rome ever produced, and that the empire was fortunate to have him as its head. When Aelius Aristides delivered his oration To Rome in 143, he had Hadrian's empire in mind when he said,

"But there is that which very decidedly deserves as much attention and admiration now as all the rest together. I mean your magnificent citizenship with its grand conception, because there is nothing like it in the records of all mankind. Dividing into two groups all those in your empire - and with this word I have indicated the entire civilized world - you have everywhere appointed to your citizenship, or even to kinship with you, the better part of the world's talent, courage, and leadership, while the rest you recognized as a league under your hegemony. Neither sea nor intervening continent are bars to citizenship, nor are Asia and Europe divided in their treatment here. In your empire all paths are open to all. No one worthy of rule or trust remains an alien, but a civil community of the World has been established as a Free Republic under one, the best, ruler and teacher of order; and all come together as into a common civic center, in order to receive each man his due.”

Scholarly work on the emperor, above all biographies, has been varied in quality. Much the best, as the most recent, is by A.R. Birley, who presents all that is known but underscores how much is conjecture, nay even guesswork. We still do not really know the man. An enigma he was to many while alive, and so he remains for us. Semper in omnibus varius; omnium curiositatum explorator; varius multiplex multiformis: these are descriptions of him from antiquity. They are still valid more than 1900 years after the emperor's death.

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
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