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lg004_quad_sm.jpg
"As de Nîmes" or "crocodile" Ӕ dupondius of Nemausus (9 - 3 BC), honoring Augustus and Agrippa24 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
Denarius91BC.jpg
(501i) Roman Republic, D. Junius L.f. Silanus, 91 B.C.58 viewsSilver denarius, Syd 646a, RSC Junia 16, S 225 var, Cr 337/3 var, VF, 3.718g, 18.6mm, 0o, Rome mint, 91 B.C.; obverse head of Roma right in winged helmet, X (control letter) behind; reverse Victory in a biga right holding reins in both hands, V (control numeral) above, D•SILANVS / ROMA in ex; mint luster in recesses. Ex FORVM.

Although the coin itself does not commemorate the event, the date this coin was struck is historically significant.

MARCUS Livius DRUSUS (his father was the colleague of Gaius Gracchus in the tribuneship, 122 B.C.), became tribune of the people in 91 B.C. He was a thoroughgoing conservative, wealthy and generous, and a man of high integrity. With some of the more intelligent members of his party (such as Marcus Scaurus and L. Licinius Crassus the orator) he recognized the need of reform. At that time an agitation was going on for the transfer of the judicial functions from the equites to the senate; Drusus proposed as a compromise a measure which restored to the senate the office of judices, while its numbers were doubled by the admission of 300 equites. Further, a special commission was to be appointed to try and sentence all judices guilty of taking bribes.

The senate was hesitant; and the equites, whose occupation was threatened, offered the most violent opposition. In order, therefore, to catch the popular votes, Drusus proposed the establishment of colonies in Italy and Sicily, and an increased distribution of corn at a reduced rate. By help of these riders the bill was carried.

Drusus now sought a closer alliance with the Italians, promising them the long coveted boon of the Roman franchise. The senate broke out into open opposition. His laws were abrogated as informal, and each party armed its adherents for the civil struggle which was now inevitable. Drusus was stabbed one evening as he was returning home. His assassin was never discovered (http://62.1911encyclopedia.org/D/DR/DRUSUS_MARCUS_LIVIUS.htm).

The ensuing "Social War" (91-88 B.C.) would set the stage for the "Civil Wars" (88-87 & 82-81 B.C.) featuring, notably, Marius & Sulla; two men who would make significant impressions on the mind of a young Julius Caesar. Caesar would cross the Rubicon not thirty years later.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Aigina_turtle.jpg
002a, Aigina, Islands off Attica, Greece, c. 510 - 490 B.C.80 viewsSilver stater, S 1849, SNG Cop 503, F, 12.231g, 22.3mm, Aigina (Aegina) mint, c. 510 - 490 B.C.; Obverse: sea turtle (with row of dots down the middle); Reverse: incuse square of “Union Jack” pattern; banker's mark obverse. Ex FORVM.


Greek Turtles, by Gary T. Anderson

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

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

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

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

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

(Greek Turtles, by Gary T. Anderson .
1 commentsCleisthenes
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002a. Agrippa 53 viewsAgrippa

A close friend of Octavian (later Emperor Augustus), he won a name in the wars in Gaul before becoming consul in 37 He organized Octavian's fleet and is generally given much credit for the defeat (36 ) of Sextus Pompeius in the naval battles at Mylae and Naulochus (N Sicily). Agrippa took part in the war against Antony, and his naval operations were the basis of Octavian's decisive victory at Actium in 31 He was perhaps the most trusted of all Augustus' lieutenants and rendered many services, notably in putting down disorders in both the East and West. His third wife was Augustus' daughter Julia.

AS. M AGRIPPA L F COS III Head left, wearing rostral crown. / Neptune standing, head left, S C at sides.

It seems like the quality and price of Agrippa coins run the whole spectrum...I think a decent example can be had for as little as $20. This is a bit more than that but I am happy with the quality of the metal and portrait.
ecoli
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0850 Hadrian AS Roma 134-38 AD Dacia35 viewsReference. Scarce
RIC 850;

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Laureate, draped bust right, seen from back.

Rev. in ex. DACIA S-C in field
Dacia seated left on rock, holding vexillum and curved sword (Falx); r. foot rests on globe?

11.52 gr
26 mm
6h

Note.
At the time of the Dacian wars researchers have estimated that only ten percent of Spanish and Gallic warriors had access to swords, usually the nobility. By contrast Dacia had rich resources of iron and were prolific metal workers. It is clear that a large percentage of Dacians owned swords, greatly reducing Rome's military advantage.[7]
Marcus Cornelius Fronto described the large gaping wounds that a falx inflicted, and experiments have shown that a blow from a falx easily penetrated the Romans' lorica segmentata, incapacitating the majority of victims.
1 commentsokidoki
Civil_Wars_RIC_I_121.jpg
09.5 Civil Wars RIC I 12148 viewsCivil Wars. 69 A.D. AR Denarius. Southern Gaul mint. 69 A.D. (2.97g, 18.5mm, 6h). Obv: FIDES, above EXERCITVVM, below clasped hands. Rev: FIDES, above,PRAETORIANORVM, blow, Clasped r. hands. RIC I 121; RCV 2048.

This is thought to be an issue by pro Vitellian forces in southern Gaul for the purpose of influencing Otho’s Praetorians in the capital. In March 69 AD, Vitellian commander Fabius Valens entered Italy from Southern Gaul at the head of a small band to sway the loyalty of Otho’s forces, and this type of coin would have been “bribe” money for that purpose.
1 commentsLucas H
trajan_RIC243.jpg
098-117 AD - TRAJAN AR denarius - struck 112-114 AD127 viewsobv: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI PP (laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder)
rev: SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI (Abundantia standing left, holding cornucopiae and grain ears; at her feet, a child holding a roll), in ex. ALIM ITAL [Alimenta Italiae]
ref: RIC II 243, C.9 (3frcs)
mint: Rome
2.91gms, 19mm

The Alimenta was a welfare program for poor children and orphans. Credit for designing the program is usually attributed to Nerva, but it was increased and formally organized under Trajan. The Alimenta was funded from several sources. Probably, money from the Dacian Wars was used to initially underwrite the program; however, the long-term existence of the program was insured through 5% interest paid by wealthy landowners on loans and estate taxes. Philanthropy was also encouraged and contributed to the total funding.
Under Alimenta, boys of freemen received 16 sesterces monthly, girls received 12, while children borne out of wedlock received a bit less. The Alimenta was supplemented with a special young girls foundation initiated by Antoninus Pius in honor of his deceased wife Faustina. Municipal magistrates administered the alimentary funds and in turn were supervised by imperial clerks who had the status of knights.
1 commentsberserker
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1) Julius Caesar154 viewsDenarius, Rome, Moneyer P. Sepullius Macer, 44 BC, 4.03g. Cr-480/11, Syd-1072; Sear, Imperators-107b. Obv: Wreathed head of Caesar r., CAESAR before, D[IC]T PERPETVO behind. Rx: Venus standing l., looking downwards, holding Victory and scepter resting on star, P SEPVLLIVS behind, MACER downwards before. Same dies as Alfoldi, Caesar in 44 v. Chr., pl. LIII, 6-8. Banker's mark behind Caesar's eye. Good portrait. Some areas of flat striking, otherwise EF

Ex HJB - purchased on the Ides of March, 2011

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

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

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

Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The later biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are also major sources. Caesar is deemed to be one of the greatest military commanders of history. Source: wikipedia
RM0001
13 commentsSosius
DiocleAnt.jpg
1301a, Diocletian, 284-305 A.D. (Antioch)90 viewsDIOCLETIAN (284 – 305 AD) AE Antoninianus, 293-95 AD, RIC V 322, Cohen 34. 20.70 mm/3.1 gm, aVF, Antioch. Obverse: IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, Radiate bust right, draped & cuirassed; Reverse: CONCORDIA MILITVM, Jupiter presents Victory on a globe to Diocletian, I/XXI. Early Diocletian with dusty earthen green patina.


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

Diocletian ( 284-305 A.D.)

Ralph W. Mathisen
University of South Carolina


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright (C) 1996, Ralph W. Mathisen, University of South Carolina
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

1 commentsCleisthenes
DicletianConcordCyz.jpg
1301b, Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 March 305 A.D.56 viewsDiocletian. RIC V Part II Cyzicus 256 var. Not listed with pellet in exegrue
Item ref: RI141f. VF. Minted in Cyzicus (B in centre field, XXI dot in exegrue)Obverse:- IMP CC VAL DIOCLETIANVS AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Reverse:- CONCORDIA MILITVM, Diocletian standing right, holding parazonium, receiving Victory from Jupiter standing left with scepter.
A post reform radiate of Diocletian. Ex Maridvnvm.

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

Diocletian ( 284-305 A.D.)

Ralph W. Mathisen
University of South Carolina


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright (C) 1996, Ralph W. Mathisen, University of South Carolina
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.



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



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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
maurel_RIC1179.jpg
161-180 AD - MARCUS AURELIUS AE dupondius - struck 177 AD43 viewsobv: M.ANTONINVS.AVG.GERM.SARM.TRP.XXXI (radiate head right)
rev: IMP.VIII.COS.III.PP (trophy of base of wich are seated Marcomann (German) woman on right, and Markomann (German) with hands bound behind him on left), S-C in field, DE GERM in ex.
ref: RIC III 1179 (S), C.157 (6frcs)
mint: Rome
13.00gms, 25mm
Scarce

This dupondius celebrates Roman victory a series of wars on the empire’s northern frontier known as the Bellum Germanicum et Sarmaticum. The reverse of this coin speaks of these campaigns with the inscription DE GERM(ANIS) encompassing a military trophy flanked by two captives. The bound men would have come from the barbarian nations that occupied lands across the Danube, for in recent years the Romans had won wars against the Marcomanns, the Quadi, the Jazyges and the Sarmatians.
Many other types celebrated Roman victories in this theatre, and they became the centrepiece of coin propaganda of the era. Considering these wars were not only a source of great financial strain, but they annually cost the lives of many young men, it was essential for Marcus Aurelius to demonstrate success in the form of attractive coin types showing bound barbarians and trophies.
berserker
commodus as-.jpg
166-177 AD - COMMODUS Caesar AE As - struck 175-176 AD49 viewsobv: COMMODO CAES AVG FIL GERM SARM (draped bust right)
rev: SPES PVBLICA (Spes walking left holding flower & raising hem of skirt), S-C in field
ref: RIC III 1544 (M.Aurelius), C.710
mint: Rome
8.92gms, 25mm
Scarce

Commodus is known to have been at Carnuntum, Marcus Aurelius’s headquarters during the Marcomannic Wars, in 172. It was presumably there that, on 15 October 172, he was given the victory title Germanicus in the presence of the army. The title suggests that Commodus was present at his father’s victory over the Marcomanni. Even the title of Sarmaticus he was given in 175.
During the preparations for the campaign against Cassius in Syria, the prince assumed his toga virilis on the Danubian front on July 7, 175, thus formally entering adulthood.
berserker
Saladin_A788.jpg
1701a, Saladin, 1169-11931936 viewsAYYUBID: Saladin, 1169-1193, AR dirham (2.92g), Halab, AH580, A-788, lovely struck, well-centered & bold, Extremely Fine, Scarce.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BIBLIOGRAPHY
H.A.R. Gibb, "The Arabic Sources for the Life of Saladin," Speculum, 25:58-72 (1950). C.W. Wilson's English translation of one of the most important Arabic works, The Life of Saladin (1897), was reprinted in 1971. The best biography to date is Stanley Lane-Poole, Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, new ed. (1926, reprinted 1964), although it does not take account of all the sources.
See: http://stp.ling.uu.se/~kamalk/language/saladin.html
Ed. J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
Saladin_A787.jpg
1701b, Saladin, 1169-1193150 viewsAYYUBID: Saladin, 1169-1193, AR dirham (2.93), al-Qahira, AH586, A-787.2, clear mint & date, double struck, some horn-silvering;VF-EF.

His name in Arabic is SALAH AD-DIN YUSUF IBN AYYUB ("Righteousness of the Faith, Joseph, Son of Job"). He was born in 1137/8 A.D. in Tikrit, Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). In wars against the Christian crusaders, he achieved a significant success with the disciplined capture of Jerusalem (Oct. 2, 1187), ending its 88-year occupation by the Franks. Unlike the notorious conquest by the Christians, who slaughtered the inhabitants of the “Holy City,” Saladin’s reconquest of Jerusalem was marked by civilized and courteous behaviour. Saladin was generous to his vanquished foes—by any measure. When he died in 1193, this man who is arguably Islam’s greatest hero was virtually penniless. After a lifetime of giving alms to the poor, his friends found that the most powerful and most generous ruler in the Muslim world had not left enough money to pay for his own grave.
Cleisthenes
commodus RIC9.jpg
177-192 AD - COMMODUS AR denarius - struck 180 AD43 viewsobv: M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG (laureate cuirassed bust right)
rev: TR P V IMP III COS II P P (trophy of arms with two captives - a man and a woman sitting in german shields)
ref: : RIC 9, RSC 791 (8frcs), BMC 9
3.03gms, 18mm
Scarce

History: Under the command of Marcus Valerius Maximianus, the Romans fought and prevailed against the Quadi in a decisive battle at Laugaricio near (modern Trencín, Slovakia). The movie Gladiator (2000) start with a fictional account of a final battle of the Marcomannic Wars.
berserker
1794_EARL_HOWE.JPG
1794 AE Halfpenny, Emsworth, Hampshire.84 viewsObverse: EARL HOWE & THE GLORIOUS FIRST OF JUNE. "Youthful" bust of Earl Howe, wearing tricorn hat and with hair in long pigtail tied with a ribbon, facing left.
Reverse: RULE BRITANNIA. Britannia facing left, seated on globe, her right hand holding spear, her left arm holding laurel-branch and resting on shield at her side; in exergue, 1794.
Edge: “PAYABLE AT LONDON LIVERPOOL OR BRISTOL •.
Diameter: 29mm.
Dalton & Hamer: 13

During the 18th and 19th centuries Emsworth was a busy little port, known for shipbuilding, boat building and rope making. Grain from the area was ground into flour by tidal mills at Emsworth and the flour was then transported by ship to places like London and Portsmouth. Timber from the area was also exported from Emsworth in the 18th and 19th centuries.

This token was probably issued by John Stride, a grocer and tea dealer with a business in Emsworth, and the dies were likely engraved by Thomas Wyon. The token was probably manufactured by Peter Kempson at his mint in Birmingham.
These 18th century tokens are often generically referred to as “Conder” tokens, the name originating from James Conder, a linen draper from Tavern Street in Ipswich. Conder was an ardent collector of tokens and the author of the standard work on the subject until it was superseded by that of Atkins in 1892.

Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe, Knight of the Garter and Admiral of the Fleet was born on 8th March, 1726. He was a British naval officer notable in particular for his service during the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars. He died on the 5th of August, 1799.

The Glorious First of June, 1794 was the first and largest fleet action of the naval conflict between Britain and the French during the French Revolutionary Wars. The British, under Admiral Lord Howe, attempted to prevent the passage of a vital grain convoy from the United States, which was protected by the French fleet commanded by Vice-Admiral Louis Thomas Villaret de Joyeuse. The two forces clashed in the Atlantic Ocean, some 400 nautical miles west of the French island of Ushant, on the first of June 1794. During the battle both fleets were so severely damaged that both Howe and Villaret were compelled to return to their home ports. Both sides claimed victory and the outcome of the battle was seized upon by the press of both nations as a demonstration of the prowess and bravery of their respective navies.
*Alex
1795_EARL_HOWE_HALFPENNY.JPG
1795 AE Halfpenny, Emsworth or Portsmouth, Hampshire.51 viewsObverse: EARL HOWE & THE GLORIOUS FIRST OF JUNE. "Elderly" bust of Earl Howe, wearing tricorn hat and with hair tied with a ribbon at back, facing left.
Reverse: RULE BRITANNIA. Britannia facing left, seated on globe, her right hand holding spear, her left arm holding laurel-branch and resting on shield at her side; in exergue, 1795.
Edge: “PAYABLE IN LONDON” the remainder engrailed.
Diameter: 29mm.
Dalton & Hamer: 23b

This token was probably issued by John Stride, a grocer and tea dealer with a business in Emsworth, and the dies were likely engraved by Thomas Wyon. The token was probably manufactured by Peter Kempson at his mint in Birmingham.
These 18th century tokens are often generically referred to as “Conder” tokens, the name originating from James Conder, a linen draper from Tavern Street in Ipswich. Conder was an ardent collector of tokens and the author of the standard work on the subject until it was superseded by that of Atkins in 1892.

Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe, Knight of the Garter and Admiral of the Fleet was born on 8th March, 1726. He was a British naval officer notable in particular for his service during the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars. He died on the 5th of August, 1799.

The Glorious First of June, 1794 was the first and largest fleet action of the naval conflict between Britain and the French during the French Revolutionary Wars. The British, under Admiral Lord Howe, attempted to prevent the passage of a vital grain convoy from the United States, which was protected by the French fleet commanded by Vice-Admiral Louis Thomas Villaret de Joyeuse. The two forces clashed in the Atlantic Ocean, some 400 nautical miles west of the French island of Ushant, on the first of June 1794. During the battle, Howe defied naval convention by ordering his fleet to turn towards the French and for each of his vessels to rake and engage their immediate opponent. This unexpected order was not understood by all of his captains, and as a result his attack, though successful, was more piecemeal than he intended. In the course of the battle the two fleets were so severely damaged that both Howe and Villaret were compelled to return to their home ports.
Both sides claimed victory and the outcome of the battle was seized upon by the press of both countries as a demonstration of the prowess and bravery of their respective navies. France because, despite losing seven of his ships, Villaret had successfully bought enough time for the grain convoy to reach safety unimpeded by Howe's fleet and Britain because, since the French were forced to withdraw their battle-fleet to port, they were left free to conduct a campaign of blockade for the remainder of the war.
*Alex
LouisXVIII1815.JPG
1815. Louis XVIII. The Holy Alliance.98 viewsObv. Bust left LVDOVICVS XVIII FRANC ET NAV REX, ANDRIEU F on truncation.
Rev. REGNIS EVROPAE CONCORDIA STABILIENDIS, on shield at centre GALLIA AVSTRIA BORVSS (Prussia) ANGLIA RVSSIA, SACRO FOEDERE IVNCTAE, in exergue ACCESSIT GALLIA NOVEMB MDCCCXV, signed F GATTEAUX Allegorical figures of France and ? facing in each in front of shield and a group of standards bearing the arms of the Great Powers involved in the Napoleonic Wars (Britains, interestingly enough, is at the back, half covered) with a unicorn behind the right figure.
AE50.

This is a confusing medal. It depicts the nations of Austria, Great Britain, France, Prussia and Russia as part of the Holy Alliance. Yet many historical sources say Great Britain never joined due to distaste and constitutional incompatibility with the others reactionary policies. But other sources say Britain did join at the same time as France (November 20, 1815). Who is right? If Britain did not join why are they on the medal, but if they did why is there so much written to the contrary?
LordBest
JuliusCaesarDenVenus.jpg
1aa Julius Caesar166 views60 BC (formation of the First Triumvirate)-44 BC (assassination)

Denarius
44 BC

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

RSC 41

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

Of Caesar's military leadership, Plutarch wrote: He was so much master of the good-will and hearty service of his soldiers that those who in other expeditions were but ordinary men displayed a courage past defeating or withstanding when they went upon any danger where Caesar's glory was concerned. . . . This love of honour and passion for distinction were inspired into them and cherished in them by Caesar himself, who, by his unsparing distribution of money and honours, showed them that he did not heap up wealth from the wars for his own luxury, or the gratifying his private pleasures, but that all he received was but a public fund laid by the reward and encouragement of valour, and that he looked upon all he gave to deserving soldiers as so much increase to his own riches. Added to this also, there was no danger to which he did not willingly expose himself, no labour from which he pleaded an exemption. His contempt of danger was not so much wondered at by his soldiers because they knew how much he coveted honour. But his enduring so much hardship, which he did to all appearance beyond his natural strength, very much astonished them. For he was a spare man, had a soft and white skin, was distempered in the head and subject to an epilepsy, which, it is said, first seized him at Corduba. But he did not make the weakness of his constitution a pretext for his ease, but rather used war as the best physic against his indispositions; whilst, by indefatigable journeys, coarse diet, frequent lodging in the field, and continual laborious exercise, he struggled with his diseases and fortified his body against all attacks. He slept generally in his chariots or litters, employing even his rest in pursuit of action. In the day he was thus carried to the forts, garrisons, and camps, one servant sitting with him, who used to write down what he dictated as he went, and a soldier attending behind him with his sword drawn.
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Lepidus_Antony_Quinarius.jpg
1af Lepidus_212 viewsQuinarius

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

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

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

Cr489/3, Syd 1158a

Lepidus was a member of the Second Triumvirate.

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

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

Other opponents against whom Pompey came were easily mastered by him, but at Mutina, in Gaul, he lay a long while besieging Brutus. Meanwhile, Lepidus had made a hasty rush upon Rome, and sitting down before it, was demanding a second consulship, and terrifying the citizens with a vast throng of followers. But their fear was dissipated by a letter brought from Pompey, announcing that he had brought the war to a close without a battle. For Brutus, whether he himself betrayed his army, or whether his army changed sides and betrayed him, put himself in the hands of Pompey, and receiving an escort of horsemen, retired to a little town upon the Po. Here, after a single day had passed, he was slain by Geminius, who was sent by Pompey to do the deed. And Pompey was much blamed for this. For as soon as the army of Brutus changed sides, he wrote to the senate that Brutus had surrendered to him of his own accord; then he sent another letter denouncing the man after he had been put to death. The Brutus who, with Cassius, killed Caesar, was a son of this Brutus, a man who was like his father neither in his wars nor in his death, as is written in his Life. As for Lepidus, moreover, as soon as he was expelled from Italy, he made his way over to Sardinia. There he fell sick and died of despondency, which was due, as we are told, not to the loss of his cause, but to his coming accidentally upon a writing from which he discovered that his wife was an adulteress.
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LHostiliusSasDenGallia.jpg
1ba Caesar's Siege of Massilia11 viewsL Hostilivs Saserna, moneyer
49-44 BC

Denarius, 48 BC

Head of Gallia, right, Gaulish trumpet behind
HOSTILIVS SASTERNA, Diana of Ephesus with stag

Seaby, Hostilia 4

This piece appears to refer to Julius Caesar's siege of Massilia (Marseille) during the civil war in 49 BC.

In The Civil Wars, Julius Caesar recorded: While this treaty was going forward, Domitius arrived at Massilia with his fleet, and was received into the city, and made governor of it. The chief management of the war was intrusted to him. At his command they send the fleet to all parts; they seize all the merchantmen they could meet with, and carry them into the harbor; they apply the nails, timber, and rigging, with which they were furnished to rig and refit their other vessels. They lay up in the public stores, all the corn that was found in the ships, and reserve the rest of their lading and convoy for the siege of the town, should such an event take place. Provoked at such ill treatment, Caesar led three legions against Massilia, and resolved to provide turrets, and vineae to assault the town, and to build twelve ships at Arelas, which being completed and rigged in thirty days (from the time the timber was cut down), and being brought to Massilia, he put under the command of Decimus Brutus; and left Caius Trebonius his lieutenant, to invest the city.
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AntonPiusAsWreath.jpg
1bh Antoninus Pius47 views138-161

As

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

RIC 171

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

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

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

He died in the seventieth year of his age, but his loss was felt as though he had been but a youth. . . . On the second day, as he saw that his condition was becoming worse, in the presence of his prefects he committed the state and his daughter to Marcus Antoninus. . . .
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MarcAurelSestSalus.jpg
1bj Marcus Aurelius92 views161-180

Sestertius

Laureate head, right, IMP CAES M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG PM
Salus stg, SALVTI AVGVSTOR TR P XVII COS III SC

RIC 843

The Historia Augusta relates: He was reared under the eye of Hadrian, who called him Verissimus. . . . And so he was adopted in his eighteenth year, and at the instance of Hadrian exception was made for his age and he was appointed quaestor for the year of the second consulship of Antoninus [Pius], now his father. . . . After Hadrian's death, Pius immediately got his wife to ask Marcus if he would break off his betrothal to the daughter of Lucius Commodus and marry their own daughter Faustina (whom Hadrian had wanted to marry Commodus' son, even though he was badly matched in age). After thinking the matter over, Marcus replied he was willing. And when this was done, Pius designated him as his colleague in the consulship, though he was still only quaestor, gave him the title of Caesar. . . .

When Antoninus Pius saw that the end of his life was drawing near, having summoned his friends and prefects, he commended Marcus to them all and formally named him as his successor in the empire. . . . Being forced by the senate to assume the government of the state after the death of the Deified Pius, Marcus made his brother his colleague in the empire, giving him the name Lucius Aurelius Verus Commodus and bestowing on him the titles Caesar and Augustus.

Eutropius summarizes: They carried on a war against the Parthians, who then rebelled for the first time since their subjugation by Trajan. Verus Antoninus went out to conduct that war, and, remaining at Antioch and about Armenia, effected many important achievements by the agency of his generals; he took Seleucia, the most eminent city of Assyria, with forty thousand prisoners; he brought off materials for a triumph over the Parthians, and celebrated it in conjunction with his brother, who was also his father-in-law. He died in Venetia. . . . After him MARCUS ANTONINUS held the government alone, a man whom any one may more easily admire than sufficiently commend. He was, from his earliest years, of a most tranquil disposition; so that even in his infancy he changed countenance neither for joy nor for sorrow. He was devoted to the Stoic philosophy, and was himself a philosopher, not only in his way of life, but in learning. . . .

Under his rule affairs were successfully conducted against the Germans. He himself carried on one war with the Marcomanni, but this was greater than any in the memory of man,so that it is compared to the Punic wars. . . . Having persevered, therefore, with the greatest labour and patience, for three whole years at Carnuntum,14 he brought the Marcomannic war to an end; a war which the Quadi, Vandals, Sarmatians, Suevi, and all the barbarians in that quarter, had joined with the Marcomanni in raising; he killed several thousand men, and, having delivered the Pannonians from slavery, triumphed a second time at Rome with his son Commodus Antoninus, whom he had previously made Caesar. . . . Having, then, rendered the state happy, both by his excellent management and gentleness of disposition, he died in the eighteenth year of his reign and the sixty-first of his life, and was enrolled among the gods, all unanimously voting that such honour should be paid him.
3 commentsBlindado
PhilippusAntLiberalitas.jpg
1cn Philippus28 views244-249

Antoninianus

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

RIC 38b

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

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

Eutropius wrote, "When Gordian was killed, the two PHILIPS, father and son, seized on the government, and, having brought off the army safe, set out from Syria for Italy. In their reign the thousandth year of the city of Rome was celebrated with games and spectacles of vast magnificence. Soon after, both of them were put to death by the soldiery; the elder Philip at Verona, the younger at Rome. They reigned but five years. They were however ranked among the gods."
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ProbusAnrConcordMil.jpg
1do Probus20 views276-282

AE antoninianus

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

RIC 332

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

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

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

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

Zonaras described Probus' death differently: There was another rebellion against him. For Carus, who was in command of portions of Europe, recognized that the soldiers under him wished to proclaim him emperor and revealed this to Probus, begging that he be recalled from there. But Probus was not willing to remove him from office. Then the soldiers surrounded Carus, compelled him reluctantly to receive the empire of the Romans, and immediately hastened with him against Italy. Probus, when he had learned of this, sent an army with a commander to oppose him. As soon as those dispatched had drawn near Carus, they arrested their commander and surrendered him and themselves to Carus. Probus was killed by his own guardsmen, who had learned of the desertion of the soldiers to Carus. The duration of Probus’ sole rule had been not quite six years
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GaleriusFollisGenio.jpg
1dv Galerius20 views305-311

Quarter Follis

Laureate head, right, MAXIMIANVS AVG
Genius standing left, modius on head, holding cornucopia & patera, SIS in ex., GENIO POPVLI ROMANI

RIC 169b

Eutropius tells us: Diocletian promoted MAXIMIAN HERCULIUS from the dignity of Caesar to that of emperor, and created Constantius and Maximian Galerius Caesars, of whom Constantius is said to have been the grand-nephew of Claudius by a daughter, and Maximian Galerius to have been born in Dacia not far from Sardica. . . . Galerius married Valeria, the daughter of Diocletian. . . .

Galerius Maximian, in acting against Narseus, fought, on the first occasion, a battle far from successful, meeting him between Callinicus and Carrae, and engaging in the combat rather with rashness than want of courage; for he contended with a small army against a very numerous enemy. Being in consequence defeated, and going to join Diocletian, he was received by him, when he met him on the road, with such extreme haughtiness, that he is said to have run by his chariot for several miles in his scarlet robes.

But having soon after collected forces in Illyricum and Moesia, he fought a second time with Narseus (the grandfather of Hormisdas and Sapor), in Greater Armenia, with extraordinary success, and with no less caution and spirit, for he undertook, with one or two of the cavalry, the office of a speculator. After putting Narseus to flight, he captured his wives, sisters, and children, with a vast number of the Persian nobility besides, and a great quantity of treasure; the king himself he forced to take refuge in the remotest deserts in his dominions. Returning therefore in triumph to Diocletian, who was then encamped with some troops in Mesopotamia, he was welcomed by him with great honour. Subsequently, they conducted several wars both in conjunction and separately, subduing the Carpi and Bastarnae, and defeating the Sarmatians, from which nations he settled a great number of captives in the Roman territories. . . .

Galerius, a man of excellent moral character, and skilful in military affairs, finding that Italy, by Constantius's permission, was put under his government, created two Caesars, MAXIMIN, whom he appointed over the east, and SEVERUS, to whom he committed Italy. He himself resided in Illyricum.
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ConstantinusFollisSol.jpg
1ec_2 Constantine the Great16 views307-337

Follis

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

RIC VII 52

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zosimus described Constantine's conversion to Christianity: For he put to death his son Crispus, stiled (as I mentioned) Caesar, on suspicion of debauching his mother-in-law Fausta, without any regard to the ties of nature. And when his own mother Helena expressed much sorrow for this atrocity, lamenting the young man's death with great bitterness, Constantine under pretence of comforting her, applied a remedy worse than the disease. For causing a bath to be heated to an extraordinary degree, he shut up Fausta in it, and a short time after took her out dead. Of which his conscience accusing him, as also of violating his oath, he went to the priests to be purified from his crimes. But they told him, that there was no kind of lustration that was sufficient to clear him of such enormities. A Spaniard, named Aegyptius, very familiar with the court-ladies, being at Rome, happened to fall into converse with Constantine, and assured him, that the Christian doctrine would teach him how to cleanse himself from all his offences, and that they who received it were immediately absolved from all their sins. Constantine had no sooner heard this than he easily believed what was told him, and forsaking the rites of his country, received those which Aegyptius offered him ; and for the first instance of his impiety, suspected the truth of divination.
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AE 3, Siscia

Pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right, D N VALENS P F AVG
Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm, SECVRITAS REIPUBLICAE. Mintmark dot ASISC.

RIC 7b

Zosimus recorded: [Valentinian was an experienced military man, but] Valens was surrounded with disquietude on every side, having always lived inactively, and having been raised to the empire suddenly. He could not indeed sustain the weight of business. He was disturbed, not by the Persians only, who were elated with their prosperity, which had increased since their truce with Jovian. They made incursions on the provinces without controul, since Nisibis was in their possession, and by distressing the eastern towns, constrained the emperor to march against them. On his departure from Constantinople, the rebellion of Procopius commenced. . . .

{With Valentiniand dead,] Valens was inundated with wars on every side. . . . [Valens' advisers] persuaded him to |107 march forward with his whole army; that the Barbarians were almost destroyed, and the emperor might gain a victory without trouble. Their counsel, though the least prudent, so far prevailed, that the emperor led forth his whole army without order. The Barbarians resolutely opposed them, and gained so signal a victory, that they slew all, except a few with whom the emperor fled into an unfortified village. The Barbarians, therefore, surrounded the place with a quantity of wood, which they set on fire. All who had fled thither, together with the inhabitants, were consumed in the tlames, and in such a manner, that the body of the emperor could never be found.
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AE3

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

RIC 17a

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

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

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

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

After having obtained this victory, Valens marched to Sardes, and from thence into Phrygia, where he found Procopius in a town called Nacolia. Affairs having been ordered for the advantage of the emperor by Naplo, an officer of Procopius, Valens again prevailed, and took him prisoner, and soon afterwards Marcellus, both of whom he put to death.
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AE3

RIC 403

Pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right, DN HONORIVS PF AVG
Two emperors standing facing, heads turned to one another, each holding spear and resting hand on shield, GLORIA ROMANORVM. Mintmark SMKA.

Zosimus wrote: [Theodosius] proceeded with his army to the war [against Eugenius], leaving behind him his son Arcadius, who had some time previously been made emperor. . . . Having done this, he took with him his younger son Honorius, quickly passed through the intermediate countries, and having exceded his expectations in crossing the Alps, arrived where the enemy was stationed. . . . The emperor Theodosius after these successes proceeded to Rome, where he declared his son Honorius emperor, and appointing Stilico to the command of his forces there, left him as guardian to his son. . . . The emperor Theodosius, having consigned Italy, Spain, Celtica, and Libya to his son Honorius, died of a disease on his journey towards Constantinople. . . .

THE whole empire being vested in Arcadius and Honorius, they indeed appeared by their title to possess the sovereign authority, although the universal administration of affairs was under Rufinus in the east, and under Stilico in the west. By these all causes were determined, at their own pleasure; for whoever bribed plentifully, or by any other means of friendship or consanguinity could make the judge his advocate, was sure to succeed in the process. From hence it happened that most of those great estates, which cause the possessors to be generally esteemed fortunate, devolved to these two; since some endeavoured by gifts to avoid false accusations, and others relinquished all their possessions to obtain an office, or in any other manner to purchase the ruin of particular cities. While iniquity of every kind presided, therefore, in the respective cities, the money from all quarters flowed into the coffers of Rufinus and Stilico ; while on the reverse, poverty preyed on the habitations of those who had formerly been rich. Nor were the emperors acquainted with anything that was done, but thought all that Rufinus and Stilico commanded was done by virtue of some unwritten law. . . .

After the autumn was terminated, and winter had commenced, Bassus and Philippus being chosen consuls, the emperor Honorius, who had long before lost his wife Maria, desired to marry her sister Thermantia. But Stilico appeared not to approve of the match, although it was promoted by Serena, who wished it to take place from these motives. When Maria was about to be married to Honorius, her mother, deeming her too young for the marriage-state and being unwilling to defer the marriage, although she thought that to submit so young and tender a person to the embraces of a man was offering violence to nature, she had recourse to a woman who knew how to manage such affairs, and by her means contrived that Maria should live with the emperor and share his bed, but that he should not have the power to deprive her of virginity. In the meantime Maria died a virgin, and Serena, who, as may readily be supposed, was desirous to become the grandmother of a young emperor or empress, through fear of her influence being diminished, used all her endeavours to marry her other daughter to Honorius. This being accomplished, the young lady shortly afterwards died in the same manner as the former. . . . .

For Stilico was desirous of proceeding to the east to undertake the management of the affairs of Theodosius, the son of Arcadius, who was very young, and in want of a guardian. Honorius himself was also inclined to undertake the same journey, with a design to secure the dominions of that emperor. But Stilico, being displeased at that, and laying before the emperor a calculation of the immense sum of money it would require to defray the expence of such an expedition, deterred him from the enterprise. . . .

In the mean time, the emperor Honorius commanded his wife Thermantia to be taken from the imperial throne, and to be restored to her mother, who notwithstanding was without suspicion. . . . Alaric began his expedition against Rome, and ridiculed the preparations made by Honorius. . . . The emperor Honorius was now entering on the consulship, having enjoyed that honour eight times, and the emperor Theodosius in the east three times. At this juncture the rebel Constantine sent some eunches to Honorius, to intreat pardon from him for having accepted of the empire. When the emperor heard this petition, perceiving that it was not easy for him, since Alaric and his barbarians were so near, to prepare for other wars ; and consulting the safety of his relations who were in the hands of the rebel, whose names were Verenianus and Didymius; he not only granted his request, but likewise sent him an imperial robe. . . .

Note: No ancient source reports the sack of Rome by the Goths in 410, they having besieged the city three times, all while Honorius huddled in a besieged Ravenna. Honorius retained his nominal capacity until he died in 423.
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2009-Austria - Carnuntum22 viewsEmperor Marcus Aurelius took advantage of Carnuntum's location in his wars against the Germanic tribes of Marcomanni and Quadi between 171 and 173 AD.
To the column at the arch planning a statue of Marcus Aurelius.
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319. Probus59 viewsAt an early age he entered the army, where he distinguished himself under the emperors Valerian, Aurelian and Tacitus. He was appointed governor of the East by the emperor Tacitus, at whose death he was immediately proclaimed his successor by the soldiers. Florianus, who had claimed to succeed his half-brother Tacitus, was put to death by his own troops, and the Senate eagerly ratified the choice of the army. The reign of Probus was mainly spent in successful wars by which he re-established the security of all the frontiers, the most important of these operations being directed to clearing Gaul of German invaders.

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

Obv:– IMP C PROBVS P F AVG, Radiate, cuirassed bust right
Rev:– RESTITVT ORBIS, Female standing right, presenting wreath to emperor standing left, holding globe and sceptre
Minted in Siscia (* in centre field, XXIQ in exe) Emission 5 Officina 4. A.D. 278
Reference:– RIC 733 Bust type F
3 commentsecoli
353.jpg
353.jpg29 viewsRemi in Gallia, Région de Reims, ca. 60-40 BC.,
Æ 21 (19-21 mm / 5,45 g), bronze, axes irregular alignment ↑↖ (ca. 320°),
Obv.: [AT]ISOS (downwards before) / [RE]MOS (downwards behind) , beardless head facing left, four-pointed floral ornament behind - Tête à gauche, un torque au cou. Légende devant et derrière la tête. Fleur à quatre pétales derrière la nuque, grènetis.
Rev.: lion at bay left, dolphin below - Anépigraphe. Lion élancé à gauche, la queue entre les pattes et enroulée jusqu'au-dessus du dos. Une esse au-dessus de la croupe, grènetis.
DT. 596 ; LT. 8054 var. ; BMC Celtic 71 ; Scheers 147 ; Allen 'Coins of the Celts', illustrated as nos. 446 and 447 .

thanks to Alan ("Manzikert") for the id

Les Rèmes étaient l'un des peuples les plus puissants de la Gaule et les fidèles alliés des Romains. Le territoire des Rèmes s'étendait sur l'actuelle Champagne, le long de l'Aisne. Ils avaient pour voisins les Atuatuques, les Trévires, les Médiomatriques, les Lingons, les Suessions, les Bellovaques et les Nerviens. Ils dénoncèrent à César la coalition des peuples belges de 57 avant J.-C. dont faisaient partie, les Suessions qui partageaient les mêmes lois et les mêmes magistrats. Leur principal oppidum était Bibrax. La capitale de la civitas à l'époque gallo-romaine était Durocortorum (Reims).

The Remi were a Belgic people of north-eastern Gaul (Gallia Belgica). The Romans regarded them as a civitas, a major and influential polity of Gaul, The Remi occupied the northern Champagne plain, on the southern fringes of the Forest of Ardennes, between the rivers Mosa (Meuse) and Matrona (Marne), and along the river valleys of the Aisne and its tributaries the Aire and the Vesle.
Their capital was at Durocortum (Reims, France) the second largest oppidum of Gaul, on the Vesle. Allied with the Germanic tribes of the east, they repeatedly engaged in warfare against the Parisii and the Senones. They were renowned for their horses and cavalry.
During the Gallic Wars in the mid-1st century BC, they allied themselves under the leadership of Iccius and Andecombogius with Julius Caesar. They maintained their loyalty to Rome throughout the entire war, and were one of the few Gallic polities not to join in the rebellion of Vercingetorix.
Arminius
0001SOS.jpg
4) Antony: Sosius48 viewsGAIUS SOSIUS
General to Antony
Æ 26mm (14.5 g). ~ 38 BC.
Cilicia, Uncertain Mint.

Bare head right / Fiscus, sella, quaestoria and hasta; Q below.

Coin has been attributed to multiple rulers, including Julius Caesar, Augustus and Brutus. Now believed to be Sosius, General to Antony and Governor of Syria.

RPC I 5409; Laffaille 324; Grant, FITA, pg. 13. aFine, brown patina, scratches. Rare.
0001SOS


Sosius was wily and accomplished man. A talented general, he received a triumph. However, he consistently picked the wrong side in Rome's Civil Wars (Senate vs. Caesar, then Antony vs. Octavian) yet somehow managed to keep his head.

According to Wikipedia:

Gaius Sosius was a Roman general and politician.

Gaius Sosius was elected quaestor in 66 BC and praetor in 49 BC. Upon the start of the civil war, he joined the party of the Senate and Pompey. Upon the flight of Pompey to Greece, Sosius returned to Rome and submitted to Julius Caesar.

After the assassination of Caesar, Sosius joined the party of Mark Antony, by whom in 38 BC he was appointed governor of Syria and Cilicia in the place of Publius Ventidius. As governor, Sosius was commanded by Antony to support Herod against Antigonus the Hasmonean, when the latter was in possession of Jerusalem. In 37 BC, he advanced against Jerusalem and after he became master of the city, Sosius placed Herod upon the throne. In return for this services, he was awarded a triumph in 34 BC, and he became consul along with Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus as his colleague in 32 BC.

When civil war broke out between Antony and Octavian, Sosius espoused the cause of Antony and violently attacked Octavian in the senate, for which he was forced to flee to the east. In 31 BC, Sosius commanded a squadron in Mark Antony's fleet with which he managed to defeat the squadron of Taurius Rufus – according to Dio 50.14 – and put it to flight, but when the latter was reinforced by Marcus Agrippa, Sosius's ally Tarcondimotus – the king of Cilicia – was killed and Sosius himself was forced to flee. At Actium, Sosius commanded the left wing of Antony's fleet. After the battle, from which he managed to escape, his hiding place was detected and Sosius was captured and brought before Octavian but, at the intercession of Lucius Arruntius, Octavian pardoned him. He returned to Rome and completed his building project on the temple of Apollo Medicus (begun in 34 BC), dedicating it in Octavian's name.

Unknown sons, but two daughters : Sosia and Sosia Galla, possibly by an Asinia,[1] a Nonia or an Aelia. However the name reappears with Q. Sosius Senecio, (consul in 99 and 107).[2] and Saint Sosius (275-305 AD).

Sosius attended the Ludi Saeculares in 17 according to an inscription CIL 6.32323 = ILS 5050 as a quindecimvir.
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4 commentsSosius
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403. Carausius35 viewsMarcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius (d. 293) was a Roman usurper in Britain and northern Gaul (286–293, Carausian Revolt).

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attribution: RIC 895
Date: 287-293 AD
Obverse: IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right
Reverse: PAX AVG, Pax standing left, holding branch and transverse sceptre.
Size: 20.91 mm
Weight: 3 grams
ecoli
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48 BC D. Junius Brutus Albinus118 viewsPIETAS
Head of Pietas right

ALBINVS BRVTI F
Clasped hands holding winged caduceus

3.1g

Rome
48 BC

Sear 427,

Decimus Junius Brutus was a distant relative of Marcus Brutus. He was known as one of Caesar's "most intamate associates" and a friend of Mark Antony. Albinus had served under Caesar in both the Gallic Wars and the Civil War. He participated in the siege of Massilia (Marseilles) that held out against Caesar for months. He also commanded a Caesarian fleet.

Plutarch considered Albinus "of no great courage," but Albinus was a faithful and loyal supporter of Caesar. He was to be Consul in 42 BC along with Lucius Plancus. While awaiting the consulship Albinus was to become Governor of Cisalpine Gaul when the post became available in the spring of 44BC

Albinus was approached by Cassius and Labeo to involve him in the conspiracy to murder Caesar. Albinus wanted to make sure Marcus Brutus was involved before agreeing to the plot. After meeting with Brutus he agreed. Both Brutus and Albinus received notification of a meeting of the Senate on March 15th and Albinus agreed to use an exhibition of his Gladiators after the meeting as protection in case things got out of hand after the murder had taken place. Caesar's retired legionaries were all around the city and none of the conspirators knew how they would react at Caesar's death.

At a dinner at the house of Marcus Lepidus on the night of March 14, 44BC Caesar was in attendence along with Decimus Brutus. Towards the end of the night Caesar's secretary approached for him to sign some letters. As he was signing Albinus posed a philosophical question to him: "What sort of death is best?" Caesar answered "A sudden one"

The next morning the Senate awaited Caesar to arrive. Caesr's wife Calpurnia and the auspeces warned Caesar not to attend the meeting. When Caesar delayed the conspirator's sent Albinus to Caesar's house. Albinus convinced Caesar to at least postpone the meeting in person. Antony was against this idea. Caesar was then murered by the conspirators in the Theater of Pompey in the Campus Martius, Albinus being a key player in the conspiracy.
3 commentsJay GT4
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501. Constantine I Lyons Sol14 viewsLyons

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

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

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

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

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

RIC VII Lyons 34 C3

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coin275.JPG
510. Valentinian I51 viewsFlavius Valentinianus, known in English as Valentinian I, (321 - November 17, 375) was a Roman Emperor (364 - 375). He was born at Cibalis, in Pannonia, the son of a successful general, Gratian the Elder.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Valentinian I; RIC IX, Siscia 15(a); C.37; second period: 24 Aug. 367-17 Nov. 375; common. obv. DN VALENTINI-ANVS PF AVG, bust cuir., drap., r., rev. SECVRITAS-REI PVBLICAE, Victory advancing l., holding wreath and trophy. l. field R above R with adnex, r. field F, ex. gamma SISC rev.Z dot (type xxxv)
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603. Marcian26 viewsMarcian was born in Thrace or Illyria. He spent his early life as an obscure soldier. He subsequently served for nineteen years under Ardaburius and Aspar, and took part in the wars against the Persians and Vandals. In 431, Marcian was taken prisoner by the Vandals in the fighting near Hippo Regius; brought before the Vandal king Geiseric, he was released on his oath never to take up arms against the Vandals.

Through the influence of these generals he became a captain of the guards, and was later raised to the rank of tribune and senator. On the death of Theodosius II he was chosen as consort by the latter's sister and successor, Pulcheria, and called upon to govern an empire greatly humbled and impoverished by the ravages of the Huns.

Upon becoming Emperor, Marcian repudiated the embarrassing payments of tribute to Attila the Hun, which the latter had been accustomed to receiving from Theodosius in order to refrain from attacks on the eastern empire. Aware that he could never capture the eastern capital of Constantinople, Attila turned to the west and waged his famous campaigns in Gaul 451 and Italy (452) while leaving Marcian's dominions alone.

He reformed the finances, checked extravagance, and repopulated the devastated districts. He repelled attacks upon Syria and Egypt (452), and quelled disturbances on the Armenian frontier (456). The other notable event of his reign is the Council of Chalcedon (451), in which Marcian endeavoured to mediate between the rival schools of theology.

Marcian generally ignored the affairs of the western Roman Empire, leaving that tottering half of the empire to its fate. He did nothing to aid the west during Attila's campaigns, and, living up to his promise, ignored the depredations of Geiseric even when the Vandals sacked Rome in 455. It has recently been argued, however, that Marcian was more actively involved in aiding the western Empire than historians had previously believed and that Marcian's fingerprints can be discerned in the events leading up to, and including, Attila's death. (See Michael A. Babcock, "The Night Attila Died: Solving the Murder of Attila the Hun," Berkley Books, 2005.)

Shortly before Attila's death in 453, conflict had begun again between him and Marcian. However, the powerful Hun king died before all-out war broke out. In a dream, Marcian claimed he saw Attila's bow broken before him, and a few days later, he got word that his great enemy was dead.

Marcian died in 457 of disease, possibly gangrene contracted during a long religious journey.

Despite his short reign and his writing off of the west Marcian is considered one of the best of the early "Byzantine" emperors. The Eastern Orthodox Church recognizes him and his wife Pulcheria as saints, with their feast day on February 17.

Marcian AE4.9mm (1.30 grams) D N MARCIANVS P F AV, diademed & draped bust right / Monogram of Marcian inside wreath, * above
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vespa denar01-.jpg
69-79 AD - VESPASIAN - AR denarius - struck 73 AD37 viewsobv: IMP CAES VESP AVG CEN (laureate head right)
rev: SPQR in oak wreath
ref: RIC II 66, C.516 (6frcs)
mint: Rome
Scarce

'...as the usual appointed time when he must distribute subsistence money to the soldiers was now come, he [Titus] gave orders that the commanders should put the army into battle-array, in the face of the enemy, and then give every one of the soldiers their pay. So the soldiers, according to custom, opened the cases wherein their arms before lay covered, and marched with their breastplates on, as did the horsemen lead their horses in their fine trappings. Then did the places that were before the city shine very splendidly for a great way; nor was there any thing so grateful to Titus's own men, or so terrible to the enemy, as that sight.' Flavius Josephus: The wars of the Jews; book V
berserker
AugustusAE19Sardeis.jpg
702a, Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.32 viewsAugustus, 27 BC - 14 AD. AE 19mm (5.98 gm). Lydia, Sardeis. Diodoros Hermophilou. Obverse: head right. Reverse: Zeus Lydios standing facing holding scepter and eagle. RPC I, 489, 2986; SNG von Aulock 3142. aVF. Fine portrait. Ex Tom Vossen.

De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers

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

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

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

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

Death and Retrospective

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

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

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

Copyright © 1999, Garrett G. Fagan.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr
Cleisthenes
TiberiusHierapolis.jpg
703b, Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia101 viewsBronze AE 16, RPC I 2966 (1 specimen), F, Phrygia, Hierapolis, 3.300g, 15.6mm, 0o; Obverse: TIBEPIOC KAISAR, laureate head right; Reverse: IERAPOLEITWN ZOSIMOS [...], Apollo Archegetes (Lairbenos) standing left, playing lyre; reverse countermarked with star of six rays, in oval punch, 2.5 x 3.5 mm, Howgego 445 (3 pcs, 1 of which from this magistrate); dark patina; very rare. Ex FORVM.

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

TIBERIUS (A.D. 14-37)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

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

. . . .

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

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

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

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


Hierapolis in History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hierapolis in the Bible

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
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706 Hadrian Sestertius Roma 132-34 AD Galley left54 viewsReference
RIC 706; Strack 837; C. 657; Banti 337

Obv. HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS
Laureate head right.

Rev. FELICITATI AVG COS III P P S-C in field
Galley moving left with stearman and five rowers; vexillum on prow.

23.61 gr
31 mm
12h

Ex.
Stack's Bowers Galleries January 2013 N.Y.I.N.C. lot 5210

Note.
An acrostolium is an ornamental extension of the stem post on the prow of an ancient warship. Often used as a symbol of victory or of power at sea. (numiswiki)
1st-4th Century AD:
The Ship in Imperial Rome

Realizing its importance, Augustus established the Roman navy along lines similar to that of the legions. In addition to a number of key harbors, from which ships could be deployed, he stationed several fleets (Latin classes) in key areas throughout the empire. Among these, the classis Britannica patrolled the channel between Gaul and Britannia, protecting the shipping lanes. Its strategic regional importance is commemorated in the coinage of several of the period usurpers from the area. M. Aurelius Postumus was the first to do so (lots 676-679). His bronze ship issues carry the legend LAETITIA AVG, emphasizing the source of imperial well-being resides in a strong navy. The usurper M. Aurelius Carausius, commander of the classis Britannica under Diocletian, struck coins commemorating, in part, his control of that fleet and its abilities in keeping the sea lanes open (lot 680). His short-lived successor, Allectus, continued the type (lots 681-684).

One important function of the navy was the transportation of the imperial family on state visits. From the time of Augustus, vessels were dispatched to carry the emperor between the capital and the provinces. One such instance is commemorated in a rare bronze as, struck at Patrae in AD 66/7 (lot 609). The reverse depicts the quinquereme used to carry Nero on his infamous tour of Greece. Hadrian’s extensive travels were recorded with a wide variety of ship types struck at Rome (lots 610-622), and in the East (lot 623). An inscription from Ephesus (Syll. III 3241), records that a local captain, L. Erastus, used his ship to transport the emperor while he was in that area. A coin struck at Alexandria (lot 624) is of particular importance for, in the same year as the coin was struck Antinoüs drowned as the imperial party was sailing up the Nile. Hadrian’s successors continued to travel, now to shore up border conflicts or prepare for one of the periodic wars with Persia (lots 625-627; 631-675). By the middle of the third century AD local issues, rather than those minted at the imperial capital, recorded these events, a sign that the center of power was drifting away from Rome itself.

Warships were not the exclusive vessel of the Roman navy. Providing the empire with an uninterrupted supply of grain, as well as other necessary supplies, necessitated the construction of ship for such a purpose. Unlike the warship, which required speed and strength for ramming, the merchantman (Greek nau~ stroggulh; Latin navis oneraria) was of broader beam. Many of these vessels, like the ponto or more common actuaria resembled the shape of a trireme and could be powered by both oars and sails. Since ships of this type were used to transport vital commodities such as wine and grain, they, like the large ponto, are often those shown on coins from the Black Sea (lots 655 and 664-666). The great Roman merchantman, or corbita, often seen in part on imperial issues commemorating the annona, is more familiar (lots 607-608). Powered by two large sails, it featured a rear cabin in the shape of a swan and was the true workhorse of Roman merchant vessels; its type continued well into the Byzantine period.
3 commentsokidoki
VespasianPax_RICii10.jpg
710a, Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.133 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, 10, aVF, 3.5 g, 18mm, Rome mint, 69-71 AD; Obverse: IMP CAESA[R] VESPASIANV[S AV]G - Laureate head right; Reverse: COS ITER [T]R POT - Pax seated left holding branch and caduceus. Ex Imperial Coins.


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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

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

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


Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.





Cleisthenes
Darth_Vader.jpg
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...35 viewsA NEW HOARD

The coin was allegedly found on the desert planet Tatooine among the ruins of Mos Eisley inside a ruined structure that appears to have been a cantina. Also inside was found the skeletal remains of a humanoid who scientists have named “Greedo” and appears to have been shot first, perhaps by a smuggler or some other scoundrel.

The obverse of the coin is a portrait of a helmeted head facing. Archeologists have named him “Darth Vader”, who at one time may have been a ruler or a “Lord” of some kind.

The reverse has the words “STAR WARS”, with the moneyer's mark below, which appears to be some sort of advertisement or propaganda and might suggest that the people of this particular “Empire” were a war like society...
2 commentsWill J
0029-q0.jpg
Anonymus denarius - rostrum tridens13 viewsRRC 114/1
206 - 195 b.c.
Sign 'Rostrum Tridens'
This sign is for the prow of a warship the 'tridens' being a ram to be used against an enemy ship

Bought from "Hanseatische Münzhandlung Bremen" at Numismata 2004, Berlin
Norbert
RRC544_(2).jpg
Antonius - Legionary Coinage, Legio V Alaudae51 viewsObv. [ANT AVG] IIIVIR RPC, galley right, mast with banners at prow;
Rev. LEG V, legionary eagle between two standards;
18mm, 3,40 gr.
Patrae, military mint of Antony, 31 B.C.
References: RRC544, RSC 32, Sear 1479

Legio V Alaudae was the first legion to be raised from non-Romans. These men were transalpine Gauls, enrolled by Caesar in 52 B.C, and took to wearing lark's feathers on their helmets - hence their epithet, Alaudae, "the Larks". The Fifth was long believed to have been destroyed in, or dissolved after the Batavian Revolt of 69/70 AD, where they participated with the rest of the Rhine legions and the Treveri and Lingones in the uprising. However, epigraphic material now indicates the presence of the Fifth on the Danube in Flavian times. Records disappear again soon afterward, and it may have been lost in the Dacian Wars under Domitian.
Syltorian
LEGIIIIB.jpg
Antony LEG IIII43 viewsMARK ANTONY. 32-31 BC. AR Legionary Denarius. Patrae(?) mint.
O: Galley right
R: LEG IIII, legionary aquila between two standards.
- Crawford 544/16; CRI 353; Sydenham 1220; RSC 29.

A young man named Titus Flavius Vespasianus was in the Fourth Legion and the legion sided with him years later during the Civil Wars.
2 commentsNemonater
l2~0.JPG
Aquileia AQS33 viewsAquileia

A former city of the Roman Empire, situated at the head of the Adriatic, on what is now the Austrian sea-coast, in the country of Goerz, at the confluence of the Anse an the Torre. It was for many centuries the seat of a famous Western patriarchate, and as such plays and important part in ecclesiastical history, particularly in that of the Holy See and Northern Italy.

The site is now known as Aglar, a village of 1500 inhabitants. The city arose (180 B.C.) on the narrow strip between the mountains and the lagoons, during the Illyrian wars, as a means of checking the advance of that warlike people. Its commerce grew rapidly, and when Marcus Aurelius made it (168) the principal fortress of the empire against the barbarians of the North and East, it rose to the acme of its greatness and soon had a population of 100,000. It was pillaged in 238 by the Emperor Maximinus, and it was so utterly destroyed in 452 by Attila, that it was afterwards hard to recognize its original site. The Roman inhabitants, together with those of smaller towns in the neighbourhood, fled to the lagoons, and so laid the foundations of the city of Venice. Aquileia arose again, but much diminished, and was once more destroyed (590) by the Lombards; after which it came under the Dukes of Friuli, was again a city of the Empire under Charlemagne, and in the eleventh century became a feudal possesion of its patriarch, whose temporal authority, however, was constantly disputed and assailed by the territorial nobility.

002. CONSTANTINOPOLIS Aquileia

RIC VII Aquileia 129 R4

Ex-Varangian
ecoli
82000559.jpg
ARGOLIS, Argos33 viewsA Neolithic settlement was located near the central sanctuary of Argois, removed 45 stadia (8 km; 5 miles) from Argos, closer to Mycenae. The temple was dedicated to "Argivian Hera". The main festival of that temple was the Hekatombaia, one of the major festivals of Argos itself. Walter Burkert (Homo necans, p. 185) connected the festival to the myth of the slaying of Argus Panoptes by Hermes ("shimmering" or "quick"), and only secondarily associated with mythological Argus (or the toponym).

Argos was a major stronghold of Mycenaean times, and along with the neighbouring acropolis of Mycenae and Tiryns became a very early settlement because of its commanding positions in the midst of the fertile plain of Argolis.

During Homeric times it belonged to a follower of Agamemnon and gave its name to the surrounding district; the Argolid which the Romans knew as Argeia. The importance of Argos was eclipsed by nearby Sparta after the 6th century BC.[dubious – discuss]

Because of its refusal to fight or send supplies in the Graeco-Persian Wars, Argos was shunned by most other city-states.[citation needed] Argos remained neutral or the ineffective ally of Athens during the 5th century BC struggles between Sparta and Athens.

The Mythological kings of Argos are (in order): Inachus, Phoroneus, Argus, Triopas, Agenor, Iasus, Crotopus, Pelasgus (aka Gelanor), Danaus, Lynceus, Abas, Proetus, Acrisius, Perseus, Megapénthês, Argeus, and Anaxagoras. An alternative version (supplied by Tatiānus[2]) of the original 17 consecutive kings of Argōs includes Apis, Argios, Kriasos, and Phorbas between Argus and Triopas, explaining the apparent unrelation of Triopas to Argus.

After the original 17 kings of Argos, there were three kings ruling Argos at the same time (see Anaxagoras), one descended from Bias, one from Melampus, and one from Anaxagoras. Melampus was succeeded by his son Mantius, then Oicles, and Amphiaraus, and his house of Melampus lasted down to the brothers Alcmaeon and Amphilochus.

Anaxagoras was succeeded by his son Alector, and then Iphis. Iphis left his kingdom to his nephew Sthenelus, the son of his brother Capaneus.

Bias was succeeded by his son Talaus, and then by his son Adrastus who, with Amphiaraus, commanded the disastrous Seven Against Thebes. Adrastus bequethed the kingdom to his son, Aegialeus, who was subsequently killed in the war of the Epigoni. Diomedes, grandson of Adrastus through his son-in-law Tydeus and daughter Deipyle, replaced Aegialeus and was King of Argos during the Trojan war. This house lasted longer than those of Anaxagoras and Melampus, and eventually the kingdom was reunited under its last member, Cyanippus, son of Aegialeus, soon after the exile of Diomedes.

Argos played a role in the Peloponnesian war and beyond.

ARGOLIS, Argos. Circa 90-50 BC. AR Triobol (2.16 g, 1h). Trypis, magistrate. Forepart of wolf at bay right / Large A; T-PY/ΠI-C in two lines around, piloi of the Dioskouroi below crossbar; all within incuse square. BCD Peloponnesos 1169. VF, darkly toned.

Ex BCD Collection (not in previous BCD sales).

Ex-CNG eAuction 82, Lot: 559 110/150

ecoli
ArgosWolf200.JPG
Argos, Argolis142 viewscirca 3rd century BC
AR Triobol (15mm, 2.25g)
O: Forepart of wolf left.
R: Large A, eagle standing right on thunderbolt beneath; IP-EΩ-NO-Σ (Hieronos, magistrate) in corners, all within shallow incuse square.
SNG Cop 42; BCD Peloponnesos 1177; SNG Delepierre 2273; Sear 2795v
ex Empire Coins

The origins of Argos are pre-Mycenaean, making it one of the most ancient cities in Greece.
Argos played a prominent role in The Iliad, being claimed by Hera as "one of the three cities dearest to Me". While they did supply ships and soldiers (including the hero Diomedes) for Agamemnon's war with Troy, Argos later remained neutral during the Graeco-Persian wars. And though ostensibly allied with Athens during her war with Sparta at the end of the 5th century BC, Argos was basically a non-participant.

Recent speculation dates this coin to the time of Cleopatra VII and may in fact have been issued by her. I remain skeptical, however it is an interesting theory.
5 commentsEnodia
68411q00.jpg
Athens, Mithradatic War Issue, 87-86 B.C.26 views"In 87 B.C., Mithridates moved his forces into Greece and established Aristion as a tyrant in Athens. Sulla landed in Epirus and marched through Boeotia into Attica. Most cities declared their allegiance to Rome, foremost among them Thebes. Athens, however, remained loyal to Mithridates. After a long and brutal siege, Sulla's rough battle hardened legions, veterans of the Social War, took Athens on the Kalends of March 86 B.C. They looted and burned temples and structures built in the city by various Hellenistic kings to honor themselves and gain prestige. Months later, only after they ran out of water, Aristion surrendered the Akropolis. Athens was looted and punished severely. Roman vengeance ensured Greece would remain docile during later civil wars and Mithridatic wars."

Bronze chalkous, SNG Cop 307, BMC Attica p. 81, 554; Kroll 97; Svoronos Athens pl. 84, 45 - 48, F, thick flan, 9.775g, 19.7mm, 45o, Athens mint, Mithradates VI of Pontos & Aristion, 87 - 86 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; reverse Zeus advancing right, nude, hurling thunderbolt with right, left extended, A/Q-E flanking below arms, star between two crescents (one above and one below) in lower right field;
jimmynmu
Athlit_Ram_Haifa.jpg
Athlit Bronze War Galley Ram47 viewsThe Athlit ram, found in 1980 off the coast of Israel near at Athlit Bay (just south of Haifa), is the one of a few surviving ancient war galley rams. Carbon 14 dating of timber remnants date it to between 530 BC and 270 BC. It was once fit on the prow of an ancient oared warship. This would be driven into the hull of an enemy ship in order to puncture it and thus sink, or at least disable, the ship. It is made of a single casting of bronze weighing 465kg and measures about 2.10m long. The ram is thus one of the largest bronze objects to survive from the ancient world and is currently on display in the National Maritime Museum, Haifa, Israel. Captured rams were once used to ornament Octavian's battle monument at Actium, Greece. Only the sockets that held them remain. The valuable bronze was melted long ago.

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_ram
http://www.learningsites.com/Athlit/AthlitRam_home.php

For other recovered galley rams see:
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2013/04/rare-bronze-rams-found-at-site-of-final.html
https://www.historytoday.com/ann-natanson/roman-naval-power-raising-ram
1 commentsJoe Sermarini
attalusI.jpg
Attalus I AR Tetradrachm 241-197 BC23 viewsOBV: Diademed head of Philetairos, founder of the Pergamene dynasty, to right
REV: Athena enthroned left resting left arm on shield and placing a wreath on the name of PHILETAIROY with her extended right arm. 'A' in field below Athena's arm - likely Sear 7720
Philetairos was a eunuch trusted by Seleukos to guard the treasury at Pergamon. This he did for many years before eventually striking out on his own and founding a dynasty by adoption. Attalus I, one of his successors was a loyal ally of Rome in its wars with Macedon.
The coin is worn but it still retains much of its original portrait quality. The engravers of royal Greek tetradrachms often tried to capture a subtle atmospheric effect by fading the profile into the fields.
Diam 27.6 mm, wt 15.6 gm
1 commentsdaverino
Augustus.jpg
Augustus28 viewsRoman Empire
Augustus
(Reign as 1st Emperor of the Roman Empire 27 BC-14 AD)
(b. 63 BC, d. 14 AD)


Obverse: CAESAR PONT MAX, Laureate head of Augustus facing right

Reverse: ROM ET AVG, Altar of the Sanctuary of the Three Gauls, Victory on each pedestal





Bronze As
Minted in Lugdunum 15-10 BC


Translations:

CAESAR PONT MAX=Caesar Augustus, Greatest Priest

ROM ET AVG=To Rome and Augustus

Lugdunum=Lyons, France

The Sanctuary of the Three Gauls was founded by Drusus (stepson of Augustus) to federalize and Romanize this area as an Imperial province under Augustus following the Gallic wars of his predecessor Julius Caesar


References:
RIC I 230
ERIC II 632
1 commentsSphinx357
Screen_Shot_2014-11-24_at_12_05_00_AM.png
Aurelian Antoninianus Coin118 viewsThis type refers to Aurelian's defeat of Zenobia's Palmyrene Empire in the east. The captives wear Parthian caps and are typically attributed as Persians. The real captives were more likely Palmyreans. Typical of Roman propaganda, Zenobia's Sasanian supporters are depicted to glorify Aurelian's victory and mask that this was an internal revolt and civil war.

RS52117. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V 151, gVF, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, weight 4.178g, maximum diameter 24.1mm, die axis 180o, 270 - 275 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ORIENS AVG, Sol advancing left, raising right hand, globe in left, two bound captives at feet, TXXT in exergue; near full circles strike, extensive silvering remaining
Colby S
leBon.jpg
Auxonne in France, 1424-1427 AD., Duchy of Burgundy, Philippe le Bon, Blanc aux écus, Poey d'Avant # 5735.95 viewsFrance, Duchy of Burgundy, Auxonne mint (?), Philip the Good (Philippe le Bon, 1419-1467), struck 1424-1427 AD.,
AR blanc aux écus (26-28 mm / 3,27 g),
Obv.: + DVX : ET : COMES : BVRGVDIE , Ecus accolés de Bourgogne nouveau et Bourgogne ancien sous PhILIPVS.
Rev.: + SIT : NOMEN : DNI : BENEDICTVM , Croix longue entre un lis et un lion, au-dessus de PhILIPVS.
B., 1230 ; Dumas, 15-7-1 ; Poey d'Avant # 5735.

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

Rare

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

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

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
Philippi.jpg
Battle of Philippi commemerative coin22 viewsPhilippi, Macedonia, 41 B.C. - 68 A.D.
Obverse: VIC - AVG, Victory standing left on base holding wreath and palm
Reverse: COHOR PRAE PHIL, three military standards

The Battle of Philippi was the final battle in the Wars of the Second Triumvirate between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian (the Second Triumvirate) against the forces of Julius Caesar's assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 BC, at Philippi in Macedonia.
Dk0311USMC
grapevine_gem.jpg
BCC g7x116 viewsRoman Gem Stone
Grape Vine, Grapes, and Tendrils
11.5 x 8mm.
Translucent Carnelian
"Coins with... vine leaf on the...reverse were
struck in Palestine three times - during the first and second wars
against Rome, and by the Procurators in 17/18 CE. The latter coins
were probably struck at Caesarea, where this issue was certainly current"
Anit Hamburger, Gems From Caesarea Maritima, Atiqot,
English Series, Vol. VIII, 1968 p. 21.
(click on Pic for higher resolution)
1 commentsv-drome
105034.jpg
BOEOTIA, Thebes171 viewsIn the late 6th century BC the Thebans were brought for the first time into hostile contact with the Athenians, who helped the small village of Plataea to maintain its independence against them, and in 506 repelled an inroad into Attica. The aversion to Athens best serves to explain the unpatriotic attitude which Thebes displayed during the Persian invasion of Greece (480–479 BC). Though a contingent of 700 was sent to Thermopylae and remained there with Leonidas until just before the last stand when they surrendered to the Persians[1], the governing aristocracy soon after joined King Xerxes I of Persia with great readiness and fought zealously on his behalf at the battle of Plataea in 479 BC. The victorious Greeks subsequently punished Thebes by depriving it of the presidency of the Boeotian League, and an attempt by the Spartans to expel it from the Delphic amphictyony was only frustrated by the intercession of Athens.

In 457 Sparta, needing a counterpoise against Athens in central Greece, reversed her policy and reinstated Thebes as the dominant power in Boeotia. The great citadel of Cadmea served this purpose well by holding out as a base of resistance when the Athenians overran and occupied the rest of the country (457–447). In the Peloponnesian War the Thebans, embittered by the support which Athens gave to the smaller Boeotian towns, and especially to Plataea, which they vainly attempted to reduce in 431, were firm allies of Sparta, which in turn helped them to besiege Plataea and allowed them to destroy the town after its capture in 427 BC. In 424 at the head of the Boeotian levy they inflicted a severe defeat upon an invading force of Athenians at the Battle of Delium, and for the first time displayed the effects of that firm military organization which eventually raised them to predominant power in Greece.

After the downfall of Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War the Thebans, finding that Sparta intended to protect the states which they desired to annex, broke off the alliance. In 404 they had urged the complete destruction of Athens, yet in 403 they secretly supported the restoration of its democracy in order to find in it a counterpoise against Sparta. A few years later, influenced perhaps in part by Persian gold, they formed the nucleus of the league against Sparta. At the battles of Haliartus (395) and Coronea (394) they again proved their rising military capacity by standing their ground against the Spartans. The result of the war was especially disastrous to Thebes, as the general settlement of 387 stipulated the complete autonomy of all Greek towns and so withdrew the other Boeotians from its political control. Its power was further curtailed in 382, when a Spartan force occupied the citadel by a treacherous coup-de-main. Three years later the Spartan garrison was expelled, and a democratic constitution definitely set up in place of the traditional oligarchy. In the consequent wars with Sparta the Theban army, trained and led by Epaminondas and Pelopidas, proved itself the best in Greece. Some years of desultory fighting, in which Thebes established its control over all Boeotia, culminated in 371 in a remarkable victory over the pick of the Spartans at Leuctra. The winners were hailed throughout Greece as champions of the oppressed. They carried their arms into Peloponnesus and at the head of a large coalition permanently crippled the power of Sparta. Similar expeditions were sent to Thessaly and Macedon to regulate the affairs of those regions.

However the predominance of Thebes was short-lived; the states which she protected refused to subject themselves permanently to her control, and the renewed rivalry of Athens, which had joined with Thebes in 395 in a common fear of Sparta, but since 387 had endeavoured to maintain the balance of power against her ally, prevented the formation of a Theban empire. With the death of Epaminondas at Mantinea in 362 the city sank again to the position of a secondary power. In a war with the neighbouring state of Phocis (356–346) it could not even maintain its predominance in central Greece, and by inviting Philip II of Macedon to crush the Phocians it extended that monarch's power within dangerous proximity to its frontiers. A revulsion of feeling was completed in 338 by the orator Demosthenes, who persuaded Thebes to join Athens in a final attempt to bar Philip's advance upon Attica. The Theban contingent lost the decisive battle of Chaeronea and along with it every hope of reassuming control over Greece. Philip was content to deprive Thebes of her dominion over Boeotia; but an unsuccessful revolt in 335 against his son Alexander was punished by Macedon and other Greek states by the severe sacking of the city, except, according to tradition, the house of the poet Pindar.

BOEOTIA, Thebes. Circa 395-338 BC. AR Stater (21mm, 11.98 gm). Boeotian shield / Amphora; magistrate AM-FI. Hepworth, "The 4th Century BC Magistrate Coinage of the Boiotian Confederacy," in Nomismatika Xronika (1998), 2; BMC Central Greece -. Fine.

Ex-Cng eAuction 105, Lot: 34 225/200

2 commentsecoli
233689_l.jpg
Boeotia, Thebes (Circa 379-368 BC)19 viewsAR Stater

22 mm, 11.44 g

Obverse: Boeotian shield

Reverse: Amphora; ΠO-ΘI (Pothi - magistrate) across field.

Hepworth 81; BCD Boiotia 515; HGC 4, 1331

Thebes was the largest city of the ancient region of Boeotia. It was a major rival of ancient Athens, and sided with the Persians during the 480 BC invasion under Xerxes and Sparta during the Peloponnesian war (431-404 BC). In 404 BC, they had urged the complete destruction of Athens; yet, in 403 BC, they secretly supported the restoration of its democracy in order to find in it a counterpoise against Sparta. A few years later, influenced perhaps in part by Persian gold, they formed the nucleus of the league against Sparta. The result of the war was disastrous to Thebes, and by 382 BC a Spartan force was occupying its citadel. Three years later, the Spartan garrison was expelled and a democratic constitution was set up in place of the traditional oligarchy. In the consequent wars with Sparta, the Theban army, trained and led by Epaminondas and Pelopidas, proved itself formidable. Years of desultory fighting, in which Thebes established its control over all Boeotia, culminated in 371 BC in a remarkable victory over the Spartans at Leuctra.
Nathan P
1902_Edward_VII_British_Trade_Dollar.JPG
BRITISH OVERSEAS TRADE. 1902 EDWARD VII AR DOLLAR3 viewsObverse: • ONE DOLLAR •. Britannia standing on shore, facing left, left hand gripping top of shield, right hand holding trident; ship in full sail sailing left behind her; 1902 in exergue.
Reverse: Arabesque design with a Chinese labyrinth, one of the many variations of the Chinese character "shou" for longevity, in the centre, and the denomination in two languages, Chinese and Jawi Malay, the two main languages of the intended areas of circulation.
Diameter: 39mm | Weight: 26.9gms.

The dies were originally designed by George William De Saulles (1862 - 1903), who was later responsible for Edward VII's portrait on the British coinage as well as the reverse of that king's iconic florin which has a passing resemblance to the portrayal of Britannia on this coin.

British Trade Dollars were a direct result of the Opium Wars which began when China tried to stop Britain from selling opium to its citizens. The loser, China, had to open up a number of ports to British trade and residence, as well as ceding Hong Kong to Britain. In the decades that followed, merchants and adventurers flocked to these areas, and international trade flourished. Foreign banks were established and silver coins from all over the world began arriving to pay for tea, silk and Chinese porcelain to be shipped abroad. With the extension of British trading interests throughout the East, it became necessary to produce a special Dollar so as to remove the reliance of a British Colony upon the various foreign coins then in circulation. These .900 fine silver British Trade Dollars began being minted in 1895 and were readily accepted as a medium of exchange throughout the area. They continued being minted up until 1935 when production ceased, but coins struck in 1934 and 1935 are very rare because they were not released into circulation and were mostly melted down. The coin was officially demonetised on August 1st, 1937.
To keep up with demand these coins were minted in Bombay (now Mumbai) and Calcutta (now Kolkata) in India as well as at the Royal Mint in London. The London minted coins have no mint-mark but those struck at Bombay have the mint-mark “B” in the centre prong of Britannia's trident and those minted at Calcutta are marked with a small “C” in the ground between Britannia's left foot and the base of her shield. This coin is a product of the Bombay mint.
*Alex
Calabria_Italy_Taras_on_Dolphin.jpg
Calabria Italy Taras on Dolphin21 viewsTaras, Calabria, Italy, c. 272 - 240 B.C., Silver nomos, Unpublished(?); Vlasto 932 var. (different controls), SNG ANS 1239 var. (same), HN Italy 1044 var. (same), SNG Cop -, BMC Italy -, VF, 6.520g, 19.7mm, die axis 180°,
OBV: Nude warrior wearing crested helmet on horse standing left, holding shield on left arm, horse raising right foreleg, ET (control) before horse, API-ΣTΩN below divided by horse's left foreleg;
REV: Taras on dolphin left, kantharos in extended right hand, trident nearly vertical in left, ΓY (control) behind upper right, TAPAΣ below;

Very Rare variant. EX: Forum Ancient Coins

Taras, the only Spartan colony, was founded in 706 B.C. The founders were Partheniae ("sons of virgins"), sons of unmarried Spartan women and Perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta).
These out-of-wedlock unions were permitted to increase the prospective number of soldiers (only the citizens could be soldiers) during the bloody Messenian wars. Later, however, when they were no longer
needed, their citizenship was retroactively nullified and the sons were obliged to leave Greece forever. Their leader, Phalanthus, consulted the oracle at Delphi and was told to make the harbor of Taranto
their home. They named the city Taras after the son of Poseidon, and of a local nymph, Satyrion. The reverse depicts Taras being saved from a shipwreck by a dolphin sent to him by Poseidon.
This symbol of the ancient Greek city is still the symbol of modern Taranto today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ex-Cng eAuction 103 Lot 2 190/150
2 commentsecoli
Gaius_Caligula_37-41~0.jpg
Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Brass Sestertius 11 viewsC•CAESAR•AVG•GERMANICVS•PON•M•TR•POT - Laureate head left
S•P•Q•R / P•P / OB•CIVES / SERVATOS - Legend within wreath
Mint: Rome (37-38AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 23.74g / 33mm / 180
Rarity: Rare
References:
RIC I 37
Provenances:
WallinMynt (SE)
Acquisition/Sale: WallinMynt (SE) MA Shops-internet

The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.

Per RIC-Rare
Gary W2
Gaius_Caligula_37-41.jpg
Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Brass Sestertius3 viewsC•CAESAR•AVG•GERMANICVS•PON•M•TR•POT - Laureate head left
S•P•Q•R / P•P / OB•CIVES / SERVATOS - Legend within wreath
Mint: Rome (37-38AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 23.74g / 33mm / 180
Rarity: Rare
References:
RIC I 37
Provenances:
WallinMynt (SE)
Acquisition/Sale: WallinMynt (SE) MA Shops-internet

The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.

Gary W2
39-40_AD_Gaius_(Caligula,_37-.jpg
Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Bronze Quadrans 2 viewsC CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG, Pileus between S C - Pileus between S C
PON M TR P III P P COS TERT, around R C C - Inscription around R C C
Exergue:



Mint: Rome (39-40 AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 3.65g / 17mm / 180
Rarity: Scarce
References:
RIC I 45
BMCRE 63
Cohen 6
Provenances:
Bertolami Fine Arts
Acquisition/Sale: Bertolami Fine Arts Internet E-Live Auction 50 #32

There were four different issues of quadrans from Caligula:
PON M TR P III P P COS DES III- 39AD
PON M TR P III P P COS TERT-39-40AD-This Coin
PON M TR P IIII P P COS TERT-40-41AD
PON M TR P IIII P P COS QVART-January 1-24, 41AD

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

The purpose of the pileus and the (related or not) meaning of the RCC inscription remain in dispute and have led to differing hypotheses since the late 18th century, with most modern observers echoing the original hypotheses of Eckel from 1796, who thought that the RCC inscription referred to Caligula's remission of the 0.5% sales tax (hence remissa ducentesima), with the pileus a reference to restored liberty deriving from return of elections to the popular comitia from the Senate. Eckel thus thought the obverse and reverse commemorated separate distinct acts of the emperor.

David Woods' interpretation of the Caligula quadrans is that the liberty it celebrates is the liberty of all free Roman citizens, with the pileus as a their symbol. He reasons that it was Caligula's crackdown on those illegally claiming citizenship that is the focus of the coin's commemoration. This proper enforcement of the rules of citizenship would theoretically play well among the greater masses of the population who normally encounter the quadrans in everyday exchange.

As for the meaning of the RCC reverse inscription, Woods posits that it could be Res Civium Conservatae (The interests of the citizens has been preserved), or something closely related to this.

From The Dictionary of Roman Coins:
R CC Remissa Ducentesima. - Initial letters inscribed on the reverse of a third brass coin of Caligula, commemorative of a tax having been abolished by that Emperor. - The treasury of the state having been exhausted by the civil wars, Augustus, to assist in replenishing the public revenues, had established an impost of the hundredth denarius on all sales. But this burden in the year AD 17, Tiberius, yielding to the petitions of the people, had reduced on-half, that is to say to one denarius for 200. At length, in the year A.D. 39, the whole tax was taken off by Caligula as the inscription, on this small brass coin, of Remissa CC. plainly tells; and Suetonius confirms the fact in saying ducentesimun auctionum Italia remisit, although he does not specify the time.

And that this act of liberality was permanent is proved by medals struck in subsequent years of Caligula's reign, on which the memory of this benefit is gratefully renewed by the Senate. - The obverse is in scribed C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG S C (Caius Caesar Augustus, great grandson of the Divine Augustus) and the type is the pileus or cap of liberty, an allusion made to the right of suffrage granted to the people in the year AD 38.

From COINWEEK: 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.
Gary W2
Caligula_37-41_Quadrans_78_06.jpg
Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Bronze Quadrans3 viewsC CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG SC - Pileus flanked by S C
PON M TR P IIII P P COS QVAT - Legend surrounding RCC large in center of field Exergue:
Mint: Rome (41 AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 2.43g / 18mm / 6h
Rarity: Rare
References:
RIC I (first ed.) 41
BMC 78,80
Paris 126-7
BMCRE I, no. 79
Cohen 8
Acquisition/Sale: hmm shop eBay

he last quadrans minted by Caligula with the mint date January 1-January 24, 41AD.

There were four different issues of quadrans from Caligula:
PON M TR P III P P COS DES III- 39AD
PON M TR P III P P COS TERT-39-40AD
PON M TR P IIII P P COS TERT-40-41AD
PON M TR P IIII P P COS QVAT-January 1-24, 41AD-This Coin

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

The purpose of the pileus and the (related or not) meaning of the RCC inscription remain in dispute and have led to differing hypotheses since the late 18th century, with most modern observers echoing the original hypotheses of Eckel from 1796, who thought that the RCC inscription referred to Caligula's remission of the 0.5% sales tax (hence remissa ducentesima), with the pileus a reference to restored liberty deriving from return of elections to the popular comitia from the Senate. Eckel thus thought the obverse and reverse commemorated separate distinct acts of the emperor.

David Woods' interpretation of the Caligula quadrans is that the liberty it celebrates is the liberty of all free Roman citizens, with the pileus as a their symbol. He reasons that it was Caligula's crackdown on those illegally claiming citizenship that is the focus of the coin's commemoration. This proper enforcement of the rules of citizenship would theoretically play well among the greater masses of the population who normally encounter the quadrans in everyday exchange.

As for the meaning of the RCC reverse inscription, Woods posits that it could be Res Civium Conservatae (The interests of the citizens has been preserved), or something closely related to this.

From The Dictionary of Roman Coins:
R CC Remissa Ducentesima. - Initial letters inscribed on the reverse of a third brass coin of Caligula, commemorative of a tax having been abolished by that Emperor. - The treasury of the state having been exhausted by the civil wars, Augustus, to assist in replenishing the public revenues, had established an impost of the hundredth denarius on all sales. But this burden in the year AD 17, Tiberius, yielding to the petitions of the people, had reduced on-half, that is to say to one denarius for 200. At length, in the year A.D. 39, the whole tax was taken off by Caligula as the inscription, on this small brass coin, of Remissa CC. plainly tells; and Suetonius confirms the fact in saying ducentesimun auctionum Italia remisit, although he does not specify the time.

And that this act of liberality was permanent is proved by medals struck in subsequent years of Caligula's reign, on which the memory of this benefit is gratefully renewed by the Senate. - The obverse is in scribed C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG S C (Caius Caesar Augustus, great grandson of the Divine Augustus) and the type is the pileus or cap of liberty, an allusion made to the right of suffrage granted to the people in the year AD 38.

Per Curtis Clay:
Simply overlooked by Sutherland in his second edition, it would appear.

This quadrans with COS QVAT is scarce, struck only between 1 Jan. 41 and Caligula's assassination on 24 Jan., but well known and unquestionably authentic: BMC 79-80 has two, similarly Paris 126-7, quoted by Cohen 8 from Paris, the first ed. of RIC quotes it from Cohen as you say.

Sutherland (Preface, p. X) says he couldn't supply a concordance to the first edition because that edition frequently "subsumed two or more varieties under the same entry." I don't see how that fact excludes a concordance; and in any case drawing up a concordance would have helped by alerting Sutherland to varieties he had overlooked, such as this one!

From CNG:
A coin with significant historical connections.
On January 1, 41 AD, Caligula became consul for
the fourth time. On January 24 of that year, a
group of conspirators, led by the Praetorian
Prefect, Cassius Chaerea, assassinated the emperor
in an underground tunnel on the Palatine.
The editors of the revised edition of RIC I
neglected to include this issue in the corpus.

From COINWEEK: 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.
Gary W2
imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-B1lgFjNUL7hU2d-Caligula.jpg
Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Bronze Quadrans33 viewsC CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG SC - Pileus flanked by S C
PON M TR P IIII P P COS QVAT - Legend surrounding RCC large in center of field
Exergue:


Mint: Rome (41AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 3.19g / 18mm / 180
Rarity: Rare
References:
BMC 78,80
Paris 126-7
Cohen 8
BMCRE I, no. 79
RIC I (first ed.) 41

The last quadrans minted by Caligula with the mint date January 1-January 24, 41AD.

There were four different issues of quadrans from Caligula:
PON M TR P III P P COS DES III- 39AD
PON M TR P III P P COS TERT-39-40AD
PON M TR P IIII P P COS TERT-40-41AD
PON M TR P IIII P P COS QVAT-January 1-24, 41AD-This Coin

The Gary R. Wilson Collection

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

The purpose of the pileus and the (related or not) meaning of the RCC inscription remain in dispute and have led to differing hypotheses since the late 18th century, with most modern observers echoing the original hypotheses of Eckel from 1796, who thought that the RCC inscription referred to Caligula's remission of the 0.5% sales tax (hence remissa ducentesima), with the pileus a reference to restored liberty deriving from return of elections to the popular comitia from the Senate. Eckel thus thought the obverse and reverse commemorated separate distinct acts of the emperor.

David Woods' interpretation of the Caligula quadrans is that the liberty it celebrates is the liberty of all free Roman citizens, with the pileus as a their symbol. He reasons that it was Caligula's crackdown on those illegally claiming citizenship that is the focus of the coin's commemoration. This proper enforcement of the rules of citizenship would theoretically play well among the greater masses of the population who normally encounter the quadrans in everyday exchange.

As for the meaning of the RCC reverse inscription, Woods posits that it could be Res Civium Conservatae (The interests of the citizens has been preserved), or something closely related to this.

From The Dictionary of Roman Coins:
R CC Remissa Ducentesima. - Initial letters inscribed on the reverse of a third brass coin of Caligula, commemorative of a tax having been abolished by that Emperor. - The treasury of the state having been exhausted by the civil wars, Augustus, to assist in replenishing the public revenues, had established an impost of the hundredth denarius on all sales. But this burden in the year AD 17, Tiberius, yielding to the petitions of the people, had reduced on-half, that is to say to one denarius for 200. At length, in the year A.D. 39, the whole tax was taken off by Caligula as the inscription, on this small brass coin, of Remissa CC. plainly tells; and Suetonius confirms the fact in saying ducentesimun auctionum Italia remisit, although he does not specify the time.

And that this act of liberality was permanent is proved by medals struck in subsequent years of Caligula's reign, on which the memory of this benefit is gratefully renewed by the Senate. - The obverse is in scribed C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG S C (Caius Caesar Augustus, great grandson of the Divine Augustus) and the type is the pileus or cap of liberty, an allusion made to the right of suffrage granted to the people in the year AD 38.

Per Curtis Clay:
Simply overlooked by Sutherland in his second edition, it would appear.

This quadrans with COS QVAT is scarce, struck only between 1 Jan. 41 and Caligula's assassination on 24 Jan., but well known and unquestionably authentic: BMC 79-80 has two, similarly Paris 126-7, quoted by Cohen 8 from Paris, the first ed. of RIC quotes it from Cohen as you say.

Sutherland (Preface, p. X) says he couldn't supply a concordance to the first edition because that edition frequently "subsumed two or more varieties under the same entry." I don't see how that fact excludes a concordance; and in any case drawing up a concordance would have helped by alerting Sutherland to varieties he had overlooked, such as this one!

From CNG:
A coin with significant historical connections.
On January 1, 41 AD, Caligula became consul for
the fourth time. On January 24 of that year, a
group of conspirators, led by the Praetorian
Prefect, Cassius Chaerea, assassinated the emperor
in an underground tunnel on the Palatine.
The editors of the revised edition of RIC I
neglected to include this issue in the corpus.

From COINWEEK: 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.

4 commentsGary W2
imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-B1lgFjNUL7hU2d-Caligula~0.jpg
Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Bronze Quadrans9 viewsC CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG SC - Pileus flanked by S C
PON M TR P IIII P P COS QVAT - Legend surrounding RCC large in center of field
Exergue:


Mint: Rome (41AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 3.19g / 18mm / 180
Rarity: Rare
References:
BMC 78,80
Paris 126-7
Cohen 8
BMCRE I, no. 79
RIC I (first ed.) 41

The last quadrans minted by Caligula with the mint date January 1-January 24, 41AD.

There were four different issues of quadrans from Caligula:
PON M TR P III P P COS DES III- 39AD
PON M TR P III P P COS TERT-39-40AD
PON M TR P IIII P P COS TERT-40-41AD
PON M TR P IIII P P COS QVAT-January 1-24, 41AD-This Coin

The Gary R. Wilson Collection

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

The purpose of the pileus and the (related or not) meaning of the RCC inscription remain in dispute and have led to differing hypotheses since the late 18th century, with most modern observers echoing the original hypotheses of Eckel from 1796, who thought that the RCC inscription referred to Caligula's remission of the 0.5% sales tax (hence remissa ducentesima), with the pileus a reference to restored liberty deriving from return of elections to the popular comitia from the Senate. Eckel thus thought the obverse and reverse commemorated separate distinct acts of the emperor.

David Woods' interpretation of the Caligula quadrans is that the liberty it celebrates is the liberty of all free Roman citizens, with the pileus as a their symbol. He reasons that it was Caligula's crackdown on those illegally claiming citizenship that is the focus of the coin's commemoration. This proper enforcement of the rules of citizenship would theoretically play well among the greater masses of the population who normally encounter the quadrans in everyday exchange.

As for the meaning of the RCC reverse inscription, Woods posits that it could be Res Civium Conservatae (The interests of the citizens has been preserved), or something closely related to this.

From The Dictionary of Roman Coins:
R CC Remissa Ducentesima. - Initial letters inscribed on the reverse of a third brass coin of Caligula, commemorative of a tax having been abolished by that Emperor. - The treasury of the state having been exhausted by the civil wars, Augustus, to assist in replenishing the public revenues, had established an impost of the hundredth denarius on all sales. But this burden in the year AD 17, Tiberius, yielding to the petitions of the people, had reduced on-half, that is to say to one denarius for 200. At length, in the year A.D. 39, the whole tax was taken off by Caligula as the inscription, on this small brass coin, of Remissa CC. plainly tells; and Suetonius confirms the fact in saying ducentesimun auctionum Italia remisit, although he does not specify the time.

And that this act of liberality was permanent is proved by medals struck in subsequent years of Caligula's reign, on which the memory of this benefit is gratefully renewed by the Senate. - The obverse is in scribed C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG S C (Caius Caesar Augustus, great grandson of the Divine Augustus) and the type is the pileus or cap of liberty, an allusion made to the right of suffrage granted to the people in the year AD 38.

Per Curtis Clay:
Simply overlooked by Sutherland in his second edition, it would appear.

This quadrans with COS QVAT is scarce, struck only between 1 Jan. 41 and Caligula's assassination on 24 Jan., but well known and unquestionably authentic: BMC 79-80 has two, similarly Paris 126-7, quoted by Cohen 8 from Paris, the first ed. of RIC quotes it from Cohen as you say.

Sutherland (Preface, p. X) says he couldn't supply a concordance to the first edition because that edition frequently "subsumed two or more varieties under the same entry." I don't see how that fact excludes a concordance; and in any case drawing up a concordance would have helped by alerting Sutherland to varieties he had overlooked, such as this one!

From CNG:
A coin with significant historical connections.
On January 1, 41 AD, Caligula became consul for
the fourth time. On January 24 of that year, a
group of conspirators, led by the Praetorian
Prefect, Cassius Chaerea, assassinated the emperor
in an underground tunnel on the Palatine.
The editors of the revised edition of RIC I
neglected to include this issue in the corpus.

From COINWEEK: 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.

RIC failed to place this issue in the most recent edition. The fact that this issue was only from January 1 to January 24, 41 AD makes this issue rare.
Gary W2
Caligula_37-41_Quadrans_78_06~0.jpg
Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Bronze Quadrans9 viewsC CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG SC - Pileus flanked by S C
PON M TR P IIII P P COS QVAT - Legend surrounding RCC large in center of field
Exergue:


Mint: Rome (41AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 3.19g / 18mm / 180
Rarity: Rare
References:
BMC 78,80
Paris 126-7
Cohen 8
BMCRE I, no. 79
RIC I (first ed.) 41

The last quadrans minted by Caligula with the mint date January 1-January 24, 41AD.

There were four different issues of quadrans from Caligula:
PON M TR P III P P COS DES III- 39AD
PON M TR P III P P COS TERT-39-40AD
PON M TR P IIII P P COS TERT-40-41AD
PON M TR P IIII P P COS QVAT-January 1-24, 41AD-This Coin

The Gary R. Wilson Collection

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

The purpose of the pileus and the (related or not) meaning of the RCC inscription remain in dispute and have led to differing hypotheses since the late 18th century, with most modern observers echoing the original hypotheses of Eckel from 1796, who thought that the RCC inscription referred to Caligula's remission of the 0.5% sales tax (hence remissa ducentesima), with the pileus a reference to restored liberty deriving from return of elections to the popular comitia from the Senate. Eckel thus thought the obverse and reverse commemorated separate distinct acts of the emperor.

David Woods' interpretation of the Caligula quadrans is that the liberty it celebrates is the liberty of all free Roman citizens, with the pileus as a their symbol. He reasons that it was Caligula's crackdown on those illegally claiming citizenship that is the focus of the coin's commemoration. This proper enforcement of the rules of citizenship would theoretically play well among the greater masses of the population who normally encounter the quadrans in everyday exchange.

As for the meaning of the RCC reverse inscription, Woods posits that it could be Res Civium Conservatae (The interests of the citizens has been preserved), or something closely related to this.

From The Dictionary of Roman Coins:
R CC Remissa Ducentesima. - Initial letters inscribed on the reverse of a third brass coin of Caligula, commemorative of a tax having been abolished by that Emperor. - The treasury of the state having been exhausted by the civil wars, Augustus, to assist in replenishing the public revenues, had established an impost of the hundredth denarius on all sales. But this burden in the year AD 17, Tiberius, yielding to the petitions of the people, had reduced on-half, that is to say to one denarius for 200. At length, in the year A.D. 39, the whole tax was taken off by Caligula as the inscription, on this small brass coin, of Remissa CC. plainly tells; and Suetonius confirms the fact in saying ducentesimun auctionum Italia remisit, although he does not specify the time.

And that this act of liberality was permanent is proved by medals struck in subsequent years of Caligula's reign, on which the memory of this benefit is gratefully renewed by the Senate. - The obverse is in scribed C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG S C (Caius Caesar Augustus, great grandson of the Divine Augustus) and the type is the pileus or cap of liberty, an allusion made to the right of suffrage granted to the people in the year AD 38.

Per Curtis Clay:
Simply overlooked by Sutherland in his second edition, it would appear.

This quadrans with COS QVAT is scarce, struck only between 1 Jan. 41 and Caligula's assassination on 24 Jan., but well known and unquestionably authentic: BMC 79-80 has two, similarly Paris 126-7, quoted by Cohen 8 from Paris, the first ed. of RIC quotes it from Cohen as you say.

Sutherland (Preface, p. X) says he couldn't supply a concordance to the first edition because that edition frequently "subsumed two or more varieties under the same entry." I don't see how that fact excludes a concordance; and in any case drawing up a concordance would have helped by alerting Sutherland to varieties he had overlooked, such as this one!

From CNG:
A coin with significant historical connections.
On January 1, 41 AD, Caligula became consul for
the fourth time. On January 24 of that year, a
group of conspirators, led by the Praetorian
Prefect, Cassius Chaerea, assassinated the emperor
in an underground tunnel on the Palatine.
The editors of the revised edition of RIC I
neglected to include this issue in the corpus.

From COINWEEK: 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.

RIC failed to place this issue in the most recent edition. The fact that this issue was only from January 1 to January 24, 41 AD makes this issue rare.
Gary W2
Cappadocia.JPG
Cappadocia13 viewsThe Cappadocians, supported by Rome against Mithridates VI of Pontus, elected a native lord, Ariobarzanes, to succeed (93 BC); but in the same year Armenian troops under Tigranes the Great (Tigran) entered Cappadocia, dethroned king Ariobarzanes and crowned Gordios as the new client-king of Cappadocia, thus creating a buffer zone against the encroaching Romans. It was not until Rome had deposed the Pontic and Armenian kings that the rule of Ariobarzanes was established (63 BC). In the civil wars Cappadocia was now for Pompey, now for Caesar, now for Antony, now against him. The Ariobarzanes dynasty came to an end and a certain Archelaus reigned in its stead, by favour first of Antony and then of Octavian, and maintained tributary independence until AD 17, when the emperor Tiberius, on Archelaus' death in disgrace, reduced Cappadocia at last to a Roman province. Much later it was a region of the Byzantine Empire.ancientone
comp.jpg
Cappadocia, Ariarathes VII ca 110-99 BC, AR Tetradrachm in the name of Antiochos VII (138-129 BC)202 viewsDiademed head of Antiochos VII right, fillet border / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΟΥ Athena standing half-left in crested helmet on short ground line, confronting Nike held in right hand and with left arm balancing a spear while holding a grounded shield decorated with a Gorgoneion head, primary controls ΔI (in ligature) over A in outer left field, secondary controls O-Λ in inner fields, laurel crown around.
Lorber and Houghton, NC 2006, ser. 1, iss. 3 (A1/P1 - coin 12 - this coin); HGC 9 1069; SC 2148; SMA 298; SNG Spaer 1873 (same obverse die).
Uncertain Cappadocian mint, probably Ariaratheia or Eusebeia-Tyana.
From the same obverse die as the first issue to bear a reverse legend in the name of Ariarthes VII with the same O-Λ mint controls (second coin in image).
(28 mm, 16.63 gm, 12h)
ex- Commerce (‘Antiochus VII Posthumous’ Hoard) 2005

This coin is from an extensive imitative series struck by the Cappadocian Kings during the internecine wars for power that plagued the region in the early first century BC. The exact reason as to why coinage imitating that of the deceased Seleukid Syrian ruler Antiochos VII was struck is unknown. However, the utilization of the coinage to pay Syrian mercenaries in familiar coin appears most likely. This coin is most significant in that the obverse die from which it was struck was used to strike a unique coin of similar iconography and with identical mint controls, bearing the name Ariarathes VII in the legend ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ APIAPAΘOY ΦIΛOMHTOPOΣ (image below). This die linkage (only recognized in 2002) confirmed that many of the Antiochos VII issues previously attributed to Syria were posthumous issues made by the Cappadocian Kings commencing with Ariathes VI and continuing through the reigns of Ariarathes VII – IX and Ariobazanes I.

Ariarathes VII who was responsible for the striking of this coin was a hapless pawn in the power struggle for control of Cappadocia between Mithradates VI of Pontus and Nikomedes III of Bithynia. Ariarathes VII was the product of the marriage of Mithradates older sister Laodike to Ariarathes VI. When the latter began to exhibit a degree of independence, Mithradates had him murdered, then appointed Laodike as regent for her young son Ariarathes VII. When Laodike married Nikomedes III of Bithynia, Mithradates expelled her and the Bithynian army from Cappadocia and placed his young nephew Ariarathes VII directly on the throne of Cappadocia. Later, when Ariarathes VII rejected Mithradates offer of his confidant Gordius as an advisor, Mithradates moved with his army to depose Ariarathes VII. The armies of Mithradates and Ariarathes met prepared for battle. At this point Mithradates called for an unarmed discussion meeting with his nephew Ariarathes in the middle ground of the battlefield. In front of the two assembled armies, Mithradates drew a concealed blade and slit his nephew’s throat, thus avoiding battle and clearing the way for a new puppet, his stepson, to be appointed as King Ariarathes VIII.
2 commentsLloyd T
Lg006GreekLarge_quad_sm~1.jpg
Caracalla AE provincial, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior (Nikyup, Bulgaria) (211 - 212 AD)9 viewsΑΥ Κ Μ ΑΥΡ – [ANTΩNINOC], laureate, draped bust right / Y ΦΛ OYΛΠIAN – NIKOΠOΛIT + ΠΡOC I in exergue, Nemesis-Aequitas standing left, holding scales in extended right hand and measuring rod (whip? sceptre?) in the crook of left arm, wheel at foot left.

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

I do not have access to any of the relevant provincial catalogs and cannot check any entries, but based on other similar coin descriptions on this site some numbers that may be close to this type are: AMNG I/1 1576-77, 1877-78; Varbanov (engl.) 3134, 3148, 3248; Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (HrHJ) No. 8.18.35.4-5, 8.18.35.8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caracalla was one of the cruellest and most tyrannical Roman emperors. That was why in the 18th century Caracalla's memory was revived in the works of French artists trying to draw the parallels between him and King Louis XVI. But there were also other narratives surrounding his name: in the 12th century, Geoffrey of Monmouth started the legend of "Bassianus" as the king of Britain, who won the kingship by fighting his brother over it.
Yurii P
9965.jpg
Carrhae in Mesopotamia, Septimius Severus, AE 24, Lindgren 2557121 viewsCarrhae in Mesopotamia, Septimius Severus, AE 24, 193-211 AD
Av.: CEΠTIMIOC [CE]OY.... , naked (laureate?) bust of Septimius Severus right
Rv.: ..Λ]OY KAPPH ΛKA... , front view of a tetrastyle temple, the temple of the moon god Sin, in the middle a sacred stone on tripod, on top of stone: crescent, standards (with crescents on top) on both sides inside the building; another crescent in the pediment.
Lindgren 2557 ; BMC p. 82, #4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
Remi_quarter_stater.jpg
Celtic Gaul - The Remi EL 1/4 stater45 viewsCeltic Gaul - The Remi
EL 1/4 stater - 1.48 g, 11mm
c. 100 BC
Celticized head
Celtic horse galloping r.
Castelin 516 var.

The Remi were one of the staunchest Roman allies in Belgica, fighting alongside Caesar during the Gallic Wars.
Ardatirion
ConstanCommRIC63_ConstantinopleMint.jpg
City of Constantinople Commemorative, 330 - 333 A.D.79 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC 63, VF, Constantinople, 2.524g, 18.5mm, 0o, 330 - 333 A.D.; Obverse: CONSTAN-TINOPOLI, Constantinopolis' helmeted bust left in imperial cloak and holding scepter across left shoulder; Reverse: Victory standing left, right foot on prow, scepter in right, resting left on grounded shield, CONSZ in exergue; nice style. Ex FORVM.

Constantinople Commemoratives minted by the actual city of Constantinople mint are much scarcer than those minted by other Eastern mints.

The village that was to become the site of Byzantium/Constantinople/Istambul was founded c. 658 B. C. by a Greek colony from Megara; the site was then occupied by the Thracian village of Lygos. The chief of the Megarian expedition was Byzas, after whom the city was naturally called Byzantion (Lat. Byzantium). Despite its perfect situation, the colony did not prosper at first; it suffered much during the Medic wars, chiefly from the satraps of Darius and Xerxes. Later on, its control was disputed by Lacedæmonians and Athenians; for two years (341-339 B. C.) it held out against Philip of Macedon. It succeeded in maintaining its independence even against victorious Rome, was granted the title and rights of an allied city, and its ambassadors were accorded at Rome the same honours as those given to allied kings; it enjoyed, moreover, all transit duties on the Bosporus. Cicero defended it in the Roman Senate, and put an end to the exactions of Piso.

The city continued prosperous to the reign of Septimius Severus, when it sided with his rival, Pescennius Niger. After a siege of three years (193-196) Severus razed to the ground its walls and public monuments, and made it subject to Perinthus or Heraclea in Thrace. But he soon forgave this resistance, restored its former privileges, built there the baths of Zeuxippus, and began the hippodrome. It was devastated again by the soldiers of Gallienus in 262, but was rebuilt almost at once. In the long war between Constantine and Licinius (314-323) it embraced the fortunes of the latter, but, after his defeat at Chrysopolis (Scutari), submitted to the victor.

Constantine had chosen this city as the new capital of the Roman Empire, but owing to his wars and the needs of the State, he rarely resided there.

(The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV; Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company;Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
14106p00.jpg
City of Constantinopolis Commemorative, 330-346 A.D. (Cyzikus)48 viewsConstantinopolis City Commemorative, issued by CONSTANTINE THE GREAT AND HIS SONS, of the period AD 330-346, commemorating the transfer of the Seat of the Empire from Rome to Constantinople, AE3/4, aVF, Cyzikus. Obverse: CONSTAN-TINOPOLI, Constantinopolis wearing imperial mantle, holding inverted spear, laureate helmet, bust L.; Reverse: No legend; Victory stg. L., right foot on prow, holding scepter and leaning on shield; star?pellet?SMK pellet? in exergue.

The village that was to become the site of Byzantium/Constantinople/Istambul was founded c. 658 B. C. by a Greek colony from Megara; the site was then occupied by the Thracian village of Lygos. The chief of the Megarian expedition was Byzas, after whom the city was naturally called Byzantion (Lat. Byzantium). Despite its perfect situation, the colony did not prosper at first; it suffered much during the Medic wars, chiefly from the satraps of Darius and Xerxes. Later on, its control was disputed by Lacedæmonians and Athenians; for two years (341-339 B. C.) it held out against Philip of Macedon. It succeeded in maintaining its independence even against victorious Rome, was granted the title and rights of an allied city, and its ambassadors were accorded at Rome the same honours as those given to allied kings; it enjoyed, moreover, all transit duties on the Bosporus. Cicero defended it in the Roman Senate, and put an end to the exactions of Piso.

The city continued prosperous to the reign of Septimius Severus, when it sided with his rival, Pescennius Niger. After a siege of three years (193-196) Severus razed to the ground its walls and public monuments, and made it subject to Perinthus or Heraclea in Thrace. But he soon forgave this resistance, restored its former privileges, built there the baths of Zeuxippus, and began the hippodrome. It was devastated again by the soldiers of Gallienus in 262, but was rebuilt almost at once. In the long war between Constantine and Licinius (314-323) it embraced the fortunes of the latter, but, after his defeat at Chrysopolis (Scutari), submitted to the victor.

Constantine had chosen this city as the new capital of the Roman Empire, but owing to his wars and the needs of the State, he rarely resided there.

(The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV; Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company;Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Civil_Wars_RIC_121.jpg
Civil Wars of 68-69 Clasped Hands68 viewsCivil Wars of 68-69 AD AR denarius. 3.49 g. Minted by pro-Vitellian forces in Southern Gaul.
O: FIDES EXERCITVVM, two clasped hands.
R: FIDES PRAETORIANORVM, two clasped hands.
-BMC 65; Martin 7; RIC² 121 (Group IV) , Ex Jonathan P. Rosen, Ex Auktion Myers/Adams 7, New York 1974, Nr. 269.

The message of a unified fidelity, or loyalty, of the 'armies' (FIDES EXERCITVVM) and the praetorians (FIDES PRAETORIANORVM) would only be an effective propaganda tool if it was distributed among the praetorians.

David R Sear, writing in RCV, agrees with Kraay (Num. Chron 1949, pp 78.) that this interesting, anonymous civil war issue was produced on behalf of Vitellius, to be used as 'bribe money' to suborn the soldiers, as well as the Praetorian Guard, loyal to Otho in the capital. "In March 69 AD, Vitellian commander Fabius Valens entered Italy from Southern Gaul at the head of a small band of secret agents. Their mission was to infiltrate the capital, especially the ranks of the Praetorians, with the object of disseminating pro-Vitellian propaganda and dissociating the guards from their allegiance to Otho. These coins, struck in advance in Southern Gaul, would thus have played a vital role as 'bribe money'. Despite these covert activities, the Praetorians remained loyal to their Emperor, though all was to be for naught, as the following month, the invading army of Vitellius was victorious at the battle of Bedriacum, and Otho took his own life" - David R Sear

Here is the ad from the New york times December 1, 1974 page 208, advertising the Myers/Adams auction 7:
Several thousand foreign coin collectors are expected here next weekend for the biggest event on their winter calendar, the third annual New York International Numismatic Convention. The three‐day show will be held in the Albert Hall of the Americana Hotel, Seventh Avenue between 52d and 53rd Streets. It will open at 11 A.M. on Friday, with the exhibit area and the dealer bourse to remain open till 8 P.M. On Saturday the hours are 10 A.M. to 8 P.M., and on Sunday from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M. There will be an admission charge of 50 cents, for which a badge will be issued that will be good for all three days.
As its title indicates, the show emphasizes foreign numismatics to the point of almost excluding U.S. material. This holds true in exhibits as well as in the bourse and throughout the convention program. All of the exhibits are, again, invitational—noncompetitive—and were selected to assure representation of a wide range of international numismatic interests.

One symbol of the convention's success is that the, number of exhibitors and dealers has grown each year. This year there will be 67 bourse tables, roughly a quarter of them occupied by dealers from Europe and Canada; the remainder will be taken by leading U.S. dealers who have established reputations as specialists in ancient and foreign coins.
The convention will have two auctions, both described in some detail in this column a couple of weeks ago. The first, a “prologue” to the convention, will he the Myers/ Adams auction of ancient Greek and Roman coins at 7 P.M. on Thursday. The second, a two‐session sale of foreign coins and paper money, will be conducted by Henry Christensen, Inc., at 7 P.M. on Friday and 1:30 P.M. on Saturday.
3 commentsNemonater
CivilWarsJupiter_RIC_125a.jpg
Civil Wars of 68-69 Jupiter / Vesta46 viewsCivil Wars. Silver Denarius (3.09 g), AD 68-69 Uncertain mint in Southern Gaul, ca. AD 69.
O: I O M CAPITOLINVS, diademed and heroic bust of Jupiter Capitolinus left, small branch before, with slight mantle showing on near shoulder.
R: VESTA P R QVIRITIVM, Vesta seated left, holding patera and torch.
- RIC 125a (Group IV); AM 96; BMC 72; RSC 432. Ex Dr. Rainer Pudill; Ex Auktionshaus H. D. Rauch GmbH Summer 2010 Lot 490

Struck for Vitellius, perhaps by his commander Fabius Valens, in southern Gaul shortly before the First Battle of Bedriacum, which saw the annihilation of Otho's forces in mid-April, AD 69. This type draws on the two most important cults in Rome. The figure of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus invokes the invincible might of Rome, while the figure of Vesta, who was the goddess of the Rome's sacred hearth, symbolizes the Empire's permanence.
1 commentsNemonater
CivilWarRIC12.jpg
Civil Wars RIC 12167 viewsCivil Wars 68-69 CE. AR Denarius (17.50 mm, 3.39 g). Spanish mint, April-June 68 CE.
O: BONI EVENTVS, Female bust right, wearing fillet; hair rolled and looped above neck
R: VICTORIA P R, Victory standing left on globe, holding wreath in right hand and palm in left
- BMCRE I 292 Note + Taf 50.2; P.-H. Martin, the anonymous coins of the year 68 AD (1974) 82 # 99 PL 9; E. P. Nicolas, De Néron à Vespasien (1979) 1308 No. 31; 1435 f 1456 # 107 Taf 14.107 B; RIC I² Nr. 12 (Spain, 68 n. Chr.) R5 (Group I). Evidently the second known. The above references are all to one example found in Münzkabinett Berlin.

Likely struck by Galba in Spain between April 6 and early June, 68 AD, that is, between the dates of his acceptance of the offer from Vindex and of his receiving news of his recognition by the Senate.

The civil wars at the end of Nero’s reign began with the revolt of the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, Gaius Julius Vindex, probably around the beginning of March of AD 68. Vindex had claimed that he had a force of 100,000 men, and a substantial coinage was certainly needed to pay them.

Vindex offered the leadership of the revolt to Servius Sulpicius Galba, then governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, who was hailed imperator by the Spanish legions at Carthago Nova in April of the same year. The title was cautiously refused, but Galba did declare himself the legatus of the senate and people of Rome. Just a month later, Galba’s confidence would be shaken by the crushing defeat of Vindex near Besançon by the general Lucius Verginius Rufus, governor of Germania Superior. By 9 June Nero was dead, having taken his own life. Galba began his march to Rome, and his brief reign was underway.

Without an emperor to strike in the name of (save for that in honor of the “model emperor” of Roman history, Augustus) the coinage was struck with messages suiting the political climate. The coinage under Vindex possesses a more aggressive air that underscores the militant nature of his revolt, while Galba’s tends to be more constitutional and optimistic in tone. Originally struck in large numbers, as indicated by the number of types employed, the coins of the civil wars are all rare today, having been recalled after the final victory of Vespasian in 69 AD.
5 commentsNemonater
Claudius_Æ_Sestertiu.jpg
Claudius (Augustus) Coin: Brass Sestertius 3 viewsTI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP P P - Laureate head right, NCAPR counterstamp behind bust
EX S C / P P / OB CIVES / SERVATOS - Legend within wreath
Mint: Rome (50-54AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 23.42g / 36.39mm / 180
Rarity: Scarce
References:
RIC² 112
Cohen 38
BMC 185
Sear 1850
Provenances:
Marc Breitsprecher
Old Roman Coins.Com
Acquisition/Sale: Ancient Imports Internet $0.00 8/17
The Gary R. Wilson Collection


The countermark NCAPR was applied to numerous orichalcum coins of the reigns of Tiberius and Claudius. NCAPR is most often explained as "Nero Caesar Augustus Populo Romano." Others believe NCAPR abbreviates "Nummus Caesare Augusto Probatus" or "Nero Caesar Augustus Probavit" (probavit means approved). Excavations of the Meta Sudans and the northeastern slope of the Palatine Hill in Rome indicate that this countermark was applied for Nero's congiarium (distribution to the people) in 57 A.D., which supports the Populo Romano interpretation. Varieties of this relatively common countermark are identified by some authors as applied in either Italy, Spain or Gaul. The countermark is not found on coins bearing the name or portrait of Caligula. Clearly any coins of Caligula that were still in circulation and collected for application of the countermark were picked out and melted down, in accordance with his damnatio, rather than being countermarked and returned to circulation. A NCAPR countermark has, however, been found on a Vespasian dupondius which, if genuine and official, seems to indicate the N may refer to Nerva, not Nero.



The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.

NCAPR counterstamp of Nero behind bust.

From The Museum of Countermarks on Roman Coins website:
There are several interpretations of what this, the most interesting of all Julio-Caludian ctmk., means. The two most likely are:
1. Nero Ceasar Augustus Populi Romani
2. Nero Caesar Augustus Probavit
In the first instance it is a congiarium or public dole given by Nero to the people of Rome. In the second, it is a revalidation of the earlier coins of ones predecessors still in circulation.
Possible is also a later use, eg. by Nerva, or that no emperors name was part of the countermark.

Previously believed to be applied during the reign of Nero, a specimen in the Pangerl collection appears on an as of Vespasian, necessitating a later date for the series. Three distinct production centers can be identified for this issue, in Spain, Gaul, and Italy. The Italian type is distinguished by the frequent joining of the letters NC at the base.

NCAPR (Nummus Caesare Augusto PRobatus?) in rectangular countermark-Translated-'Money Caesar Augustus Approved'
Gary W2
coin_5_quart.jpg
CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG (the 1st) / GLORIA EXERCITVS AE3/4 follis (306-337 A.D.)18 viewsCONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, (laurel and?) rosette diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right / GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers standing inward facing each other, holding spears, shields and two standards between them, "dot" (clearly filled) on banners. Mintmark: SMNE (?) in exergue.

AE3/4, 16.5-17mm, 2.46g, die axis 12 (medal alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

MAX AVG = Maximus Augustus, the Great Emperor, Gloria Exercitus (noun + genitive) "The Glory of the Army", SMNE = Sacra Moneta Nicomedia, "officina epsilon", i. e. workshop#5.

Limiting information to only what is known for sure: the legends with the particular breaks, two standards and four-letter mintmark starting with SM, we conclude that this is definitely Constantine I, and only 3 mints are possible: SMN... Nicomedia (RIC VII Nicomedia 188), SMH... Heraclea (RIC VII Nicomedia 111) and SMK... Cyzicus (RIC VII Cyzicus 76-79). All are minted in 330-335 A.D. If the mintmark is indeed SMN..., two variations are listed: rosette-diademed and laurel- and rosette-diademed (laurels typically designated by longish shapes and rosettes as squares with dots). Since the obverse is worn, it is difficult to judge which one is the case here. One can definitely see the rosettes, but as for laurels... probably, not. Officina may be E or S, but I think E fits better.

Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, aka Constantine the Great, aka Saint Constantine, born 27 Feb c. 272 to Flavius Valerius Constantius (aka Constantius I), a Roman Army officer of Illyrian origins, and a Greek woman of low birth Helena (aka Saint Helena). His father became Caesar, the deputy emperor in the west, in 293 AD. Constantine was sent east, where he rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under Emperors Diocletian and Galerius. In 305, Constantius raised himself to the rank of Augustus, senior western emperor, and Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in Britannia (Britain). Constantine was acclaimed as emperor by the army at Eboracum (modern-day York) after his father's death in 306 AD, and he emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against Emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 AD. He did so many a great deed that there is no point to list them here. Best known for (having some sort of Christ-related mystical experience in 312, just before the decisive Battle of the Milvian Bridge with Maxentius) being the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity and for being a champion of this faith, in particular, he played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which declared religious tolerance for Christianity in the Roman empire, and called the First Council of Nicaea in 325 that produced the statement of Christian belief known as the Nicene Creed. Died 22 May 337, famously being baptized on his deathbed. Succeeded by his 3 sons: Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans.
Yurii P
constantiusII_antiochia_132_#2.jpg
Constantius II, RIC VIII, Antiochia 132 #169 viewsConstantius II, AD 324-362, son of Constantine I
AE - AE 2 (Centenionalis), 4.92g, 24mm
Antiochia, 10th officina, AD 350-355
obv. DN CONSTAN - TINVS PF AVG
draped, cuirassed bust, pearl-diademed head r., wearing necklace
rev. [F]EL TEMP RE - PARATIO
Soldier spearing falling horseman, which stretches arm against him; shield of soldier decorated with wheel, forehead of horse reaches over baseline downwars.
(RIC type FH3 reaching)
field left: Gamma
exergue: ANI
RIC VIII, Antiochia 132; LRBC 2625
nice EF, nearly uncirculated

This issue celebrates Constantius' victory in the battle of Singara 344 AD against the Sassanides and the capture of their successor of the throne.
2 commentsJochen
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Corinthia. Corinth (Circa 405-345 BC)27 viewsAR Stater

19mm, 8.29g

Obverse: Pegasos flying right, below, Ϙ

Reverse:Head of Athena r., wearing Corinthian helmet; on left, aphlaston (upward curving stern of an ancient warship).

Pegasi 246/2; Ravel 652.
1 commentsNathan P
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Coriosolite Bi "boar" stater, region: Armorica (Brittany and Channel Islands), c. 56 BC22 viewsSlightly oval shape, obverse convex, reverse a bit concave. 19-20+mm, 2+mm thick, 5.05g, die axis 6h (coin alignment), material: billon of unknown silver and other metal content.

Obverse: stylized head of a god right (Celtic "Apollo", most probably a Sun or sky god) with three plaits of curly hair forming the triskelion-like spiral pattern, reverse: stylized charioteer driving a chariot right with a boar right under the horse and a curl and leaf device in front of it.

The design is loosely based on golden staters of Philip II of Macedon with laureate head of Apollo right on obverse and a charioteer driving a biga (Mediterranean two-horse chariot) right on reverse.

ID: since the obverse is worn off, it is impossible to determine exactly the variety of this coin. but the reverse features such as no reins, chariot driver's head has no long "nose" and even the weak obverse and strong clear reverse all point to series Y. The pellet eye of the pony, no ears, characteristic shape of the pony's head, "weird" driver and the leaf and curl rather than the quadrilateral banner all point to class I (roman numeral), most probably its middle group I (letter), but earlier group H or later transitional groups J or even K of class III are also possible (only the shape of the eye and nose on the obverse would have allowed to tell definitely). This is a well-developed middle chronological type, minted somewhere west of the river Rance.

Mythological and symbolic connotations of this design are very complex. The spirals (here present in the god's hair and as the device before the horse) were one of the most important Celtic symbols, with its main meaning related to the Sun and life (e. g. the Sun's "growing" from winter to summer solstice and then dwindling back, growing from child to adult, leaves and vines unfolding etc.) The double spiral meant life and death or death and rebirth, the cycle of seasons, that sort of thing. The triple spiral or triskelion was probably of the biggest mystical significance, connected to the godhead, with meaning like past+present+future = eternity or morning + day + evening = time. It definitely had to do with the change of seasons, flow of time, power over life and death. Thus the god's hear all made out of spirals with three main spiral branches. The charioteer also probably represents a deity, probably the same deity representing light and life, hunting the boar representing darkness and death. The boar symbol (if one looks closely, there is a rising or setting sun symbol -- a pellet within a circle over a line -- between the boar's legs) is connected to the darkness because boars are dark and their tusks look like crescent moons. They are also parts of many myths, e. g. Greek darkish stories of the Calydonian Boar hunted by Meleager and his many hero comrades or the Erymanthian boar killed by Heracles as his fourth (by some counts) labor: Celts shared the Greek mythological tradition, but probably imbued it with many of their own mythological connotations. God hunting the boar probably symbolizes the same as the spirals in the obverse: changing of seasons, passing of time, life and rebirth etc.

Coriosolites were a Gallic tribe. In the 1st century BC they were living in the so called "Armorica" (ar mor = by the sea) -- a region of modern Brittany around the river Rance roughly to the south of Jersey. They probably migrated there from Rhineland, running away from the Germanic expansion, since they share some cultural features with the Celtic tribes of the Rhine. This tribe on its own was hardly of much significance compared to the other neighboring Gallic tribes (Unelli, Osismii, Veneti, Redones, Abrincatui etc.), but their coin making is among the best studied of all the Celts because several huge hoards of their coins were discovered in Brittany and Jersey, and studied in detail. When Romans led by Julius Caesar came to conquer Gaul, Coriosolites were actively resisting, first on their own, then as a part of the local tribal union and, finally, contributed to Vercingetorix's war effort. The minting of these coins and hoarding them was probably related to these war activities and subsequent defeat, so since series Y is in the middle of the chronology, it can probably be dated around the middle of the Gallic wars (58 - 50 BC), but since the main event in Armorica, the stand off with Viridovix, happened in 57-56 BC, that's probably the best guess.

In addition to Caesar himself, two other Roman generals who fought Coriosolites should be mentioned: Publius Licinius Crassus (86|82? - 53 BC), a son of Marcus Licinius Crassus, Caesar's co-triumvir, who led the initial assault on Armorica, and Quintus Titurius Sabinus, who defeated the union of three Gallic tribes (Unelli, Curiosolitae, and Lexovii) under the chieftain Viridovix in 56 BC. Ironically to our discussion, when Crassus went back to Rome, his first office there was a monetalis, i. e. a Republican official with authority to issue coins.

A lot more about this type of coins can be learned here:
http://www.writer2001.com/exp0002.htm
Yurii P
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Crawford 417/1a, Roman Republic, Rome mint, moneyers L. Aemilius Lepidus Paullus and L. Scribonius Libo, 62 BC., AR Denarius.70 viewsRoman Republic, Rome mint, moneyers L. Aemilius Lepidus Paullus and L. Scribonius Libo, 62 BC.,
AR Denarius (18-20 mm / 3,72 g),
Obv.: [P]AVLLVS. LEPIDVS - CONCORD head of Concordia r., wearing veil and diadem.
Rev.: PVTEAL SCRIBON / LIBO , Puteal Scribonianum (Scribonian well, the "Puteal Scribonianum" well in the Forum Romanum near the Arch of Fabius), decorated with garland and two lyres, hammer at base.
Crawf. 417/1a ; Syd. 927 ; Bab. / Seaby Aemilia 11 ; Kestner 3422 ; BMC Rome 3383 ; CNR Aemilia 62 .
Rare

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

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

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

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
MAntDeL14.jpg
Crawford 544/29, Marc Antony, for Legio XIV, Denarius, 32-31 BC.82 viewsMarc Antony, for Legio XIV (Gemina Martia Victrix), Patras mint (?), 32-31 BC.,
Denarius (16-17 mm / 3,63 g),
Obv.: above: [AN]T AVG , below: [III VI]R R P C , under oar right, filleted scepter or mast with fluttering banners on prow.
Rev.: LEG - XIV , Aquila (legionary eagle) between two military standards.
Crawf. 544/29 ; Bab. (Antonia) 123 ; BMC 208 ; Sear 369 ; Syd. 1234 .

Die Legio XIV wurde 41 v. Chr. von Augustus aufgestellt. Sie war seit 9 n. Chr. in Moguntiacum (Mainz) stationiert und kämpfte später unter Claudius in Britannien, wo sie 60 oder 61 n. Chr. half, Boudicca niederzuwerfen. Später war die Legion u. a. in Vindobona (Wien) und Carnuntum stationiert. Sie war an den Usurpationen des Saturninus und Regalianus beteiligt.

Legio XIV Gemina Martia Victrix was a legion of the Roman Empire, levied by Octavian after 41 BC. The cognomen Gemina (twin in Latin) suggests that the legion resulted from fusion of two previous ones, one of them possibly being the Fourteenth legion that fought in the Battle of Alesia. Martia Victrix (martial victory) were cognomens added by Nero following the victory over Boudica. The emblem of the legion was the Capricorn, as with many of the legions levied by Augustus.
Invasion of Britain
Stationed in Moguntiacum, Germania Superior, since AD 9, XIIII Gemina Martia Victrix was one of four legions used by Aulus Plautius and Claudius in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43, and took part in the defeat of Boudicca in 60 or 61. In 68 it was stationed in Gallia Narbonensis.
Rebellion on the Rhine
In 89 the governor of Germania Superior, Lucius Antonius Saturninus, rebelled against Domitian, with the support of the XIVth and of the XXI Rapax, but the revolt was suppressed.
Pannonian defense
When the XXIst legion was lost, in 92, XIIII Gemina was sent in Pannonia to substitute it, camping in Vindobona (Vienna). After a war with the Sarmatians and Trajan's Dacian Wars (101-106), the legion was moved to Carnuntum, where it stayed for three centuries. Some subunits of Fourteenth fought in the wars against the Mauri, under Antoninus Pius, and the legion participated to the Parthian campaign of Emperor Lucius Verus. During his war against the Marcomanni, Emperor Marcus Aurelius based his headquarters in Carnuntum.
In support of Septimius Severus
In 193, after the death of Pertinax, the commander of the Fourteenth, Septimius Severus, was acclaimed emperor by the Pannonian legions, and above all by his own. XIIII Gemina fought for its emperor in his march to Rome to attack usurper Didius Julianus (193), contributed to the defeat of the usurper Pescennius Niger (194), and probably fought in the Parthian campaign that ended with the sack of the capital of the empire, Ctesiphon (198).
In support of imperial candidates
In the turmoil following the defeat of Valerian, tXIIII Gemina supported usurper Regalianus against Emperor Gallienus (260), then Gallienus against Postumus of the Gallic empire (earning the title VI Pia VI Fidelis — "six times faithful, six times loyal"), and, after Gallienus death, Gallic Emperor Victorinus (269-271).
5th century
At the beginning of the 5th century, XIIII Gemina still stayed at Carnuntum. It probably dissolved with the collapse of the Danube frontier in 430s. The Notitia Dignitatum lists a Quartodecimani comitatensis unit under the Magister Militum per Thracias; it is possible that this unit is XIV Gemina.

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
hypocaustum.JPG
Czech Republic, Morava 255 viewshypocaustum at roman military camp - times of Marcomannic WarsBohemian
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Czech Republic, Morava region - Brno - V-shaped ditch of Roman temporary camp60 viewsV-shaped ditch of Roman temporary camp in Brno watching ford crosing on Svratka River in area of Marcoman tribe for while sometimes from 172 - 180 AD in time of Marcus Aurelius' Marcomannic Wars.
Dec 2017 excavated
1 commentsBohemian
Darius_I_-_Xerxes_II_Siglos.jpg
Darius I-Xerxes II Siglos --485-420 BC9 views5.54 g, 14 mm
Silver Siglos; Bright Surfaces
Minted sometime between reigns of Darius I and Xerxes II
Carradice Type IIIb A/B (plate XII 16-26); BMC Arabia plate XXV, 17

Obverse: Persian King or Hero in Kneeling-Running Stance Right, Holding Spear and Bow.
Reverse: Rectangular Incuse Punch.

Cyrus the Great conquered the Lydian kingdom of Kroisos in 546 BC. The Persian Empire first struck coins with Lydian types until 510, when the Daric and Siglos were introduced, each bearing the same obverse design that earned the coinage its nickname, “Archers”. The gold Daric (8.3 g) and the silver Siglos (5.3 g) continued the Lydian weight standard, circulating mostly in Asia Minor. Over nearly two centuries their archaic types hardly changed; as they bear no legends, attribution by reign can be difficult. After Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire in 330 BC, Persians used Greek coins - first Alexander's imperial coinage, and then the royal Seleukid coinage that succeeded it.
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Not exactly a Greek coin, but the Persian Wars are incredibly significant in Greek history and inspired me to add this Siglos to my collection.
Hydro
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DN VALENS PF AVG / GLORIA ROMANORVM AE3/4 follis (364-378 A.D.) 17 viewsDN VALEN-S PF AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right / GLORIA RO-MANORVM, Emperor walking right, head left, (probably) holding labarum, dragging captive behind him. V(?) in left field, star (or point) over Δ in right field. Mintmark worn off.

AE3/4, 17mm, 1.96g, die axis 12 (medal alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

DN = Dominus Noster = Our Lord, P F AVG = Pius Felix Augustus = the pius (dutiful) and fortunate (happy) emperor. GLORIA ROMANORVM = Glory of the Romans. The labarum (Greek: λάβαρον) was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧, a christogram formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" (Greek: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, or Χριστός) — Chi (χ) and Rho (ρ). It was first used by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great.

GLORIA ROMANORVM with the captive was a very popular reverse design for Valens' coins, minted at many mints all over the empire. But star or dot over Δ in right field is characteristic only of one mint, Thessalonica. Examples include various types of RIC IX Thessalonica 26b (star over Δ) and 31 (dot over Δ). These types are dated 367-375 or 375-378 A.D., with some letter in the left field usually indicating later, 375-378 issue. Mintmark for these types is always TES, sometimes with dot before or after.

Flavius Iulius Valens. Born in 328 in Cibalae (in present-day Croatia) into an Illyrian family. His older brother Valentinian was later to become Valenitinian I the Great, another emperor.

His father Gratian (aka the Elder or Gratianus Funarius or Gratianus Major), a Roman soldier of common birth, rose through the ranks to become "protector domesticus" during the reign of Constantine the Great [A member of an elite guard unit/staff member with various important duties . After serving under the emperor for a certain duration, the Domestici would be able to become leaders themselves and potentially command their own regiment of legionnaires in the military], and later tribune and comes. He was forced to retire due to suspicion of embezzlement, but later recalled back to active duty to serve Constans. Again fell into disrespect and lost all estates when Constantius came to deal with Magnentius, because he was suspected to support him, but never lost influence with the army, which helped to promote careers of his sons.

Brothers grew up in various estates in Africa and Britain. While Valentinian had been distinguished in an active military career, Valens, though already 35 years old, had not participated in either the civil or military affairs of the empire previous to his selection as Augustus by his brother. In February 364, reigning Emperor Jovian, while hastening to Constantinople to secure his claim to the throne, died in his sleep during a stop at Dadastana, 100 miles east of Ankara. Valentinian, a tribunus scutariorum, who owed his advancement to the deceased, was elected by the legions to succeed Jovian. He was proclaimed Augustus on 26 February, 364. It was the general opinion that Valentinian needed help to handle the cumbersome administration, civil and military, of the large and unwieldy empire, and, on 28 March of the same year, at the express demand of the soldiers for a second Augustus, he selected his brother Valens as co-emperor in the palace of Hebdomon. Both emperors were briefly ill, delaying them in Constantinople, but as soon as they recovered, the two Augusti travelled together through Adrianople and Naissus to Mediana, where they divided their territories. Valentinian then went on to the West, where the Alemanic wars required his immediate attention.

Valens obtained the eastern half of the Empire Greece, Egypt, Syria and Anatolia as far east as Persia. He was back in his capital of Constantinople by December 364. Valens was utterly undistinguished and possessed no military ability: he betrayed his consciousness of inferiority by his nervous suspicion of plots and savage punishment of alleged traitors, but he was also a conscientious administrator, careful of the interests of the humble. He was an earnest Christian. Like the brothers Constantius II and Constans, Valens and Valentinian I held divergent theological views. Valens was an Arian and Valentinian I upheld the Nicene Creed. Valens was baptized by the Arian bishop of Constantinople before he set out on his first war against the Goths. Not long after Valens died the cause of Arianism in the Roman East was to come to an end. His death was considered a sign from God. His successor Theodosius I would favor the Nicene Creed, and suppress the Arian heresy. Valens, sometimes known as the Last True Roman (his co-emperor brother was dead in 375), was defeated and killed in the Battle of Adrianople against a confederated Gothic army on 9 August 378, which marked the beginning of the collapse of the decaying Western Roman Empire.
Yurii P
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Domitian RIC-46099 viewsAR Denarius, 3.35g
Rome mint, 86 AD
RIC 460 (R). BMC (spec. acquired 1989). RSC 210c.
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 stg. l., with spear (M4)
Acquired from A. G .& S. Gillis, April 2013.

All the denarii from this fifth issue of 86 minted after September are quite rare. Domitian was rapidly accumulating imperial salutations during the year, which are likely in conjunction with his Dacian Wars of 85-86. This coin records his fourteenth imperial salutation.

A decent coin with honest wear and a very stylish portrait.

Additional attribution thanks to Curtis Clay.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
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Domitian RIC-651A172 viewsAR Denarius, 3.49g
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
RIC 651A (R2). BMC - . RSC - .
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XV COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
Acquired from Sondermann Numismatics, June 2014.

During 88-89 Domitian's imperial salutations were coming fast and furious due to wars being fought against both the Chatti and the Dacians. As a result, the honours piled up rather quickly. The different issues during the time period are divided up by imperial acclamations. Some issues are rather small, depending how long it was before word reached the mint of a new salutation. It was previously thought when Domitian became TR P VIII in mid September he was at IMP XVI, however, with this new denarius we now know he was still IMP XV. This realisation bumps the number of issues for 88-89 from 6 to 7, this coin being part of the new first issue now dated TR P VIII IMP XV. The issue had to be quite minuscule (T.V. Buttrey joked perhaps struck for only 30 minutes until news of IMP XVI arrived), only this one Minerva type has surfaced, doubtless the other three standard Minerva types were struck alongside but have yet to be recorded. Forvm member tacrolimus reported an example of the type in 2009, a die pair match with my coin. T.V. Buttrey has assigned this coin 651A in the upcoming RIC II.1 addenda.

The coin isn't only rare but also struck in a very fine Flavian baroque style, in good metal and well centered. Even if it was common it would be outstanding.
8 commentsDavid Atherton
D669.jpg
Domitian RIC-66970 viewsAR Denarius, 3.02g
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
RIC 669 (C3). BMC 153. RSC 251.
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IMP XIX COS XIIII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear; shield at her l. side (M3)
Acquired from Ken Dorney, June 2014.

The fourth issue of 88-89 records Domitian's 19th imperial acclamation, the largest issue by far of the time period. With wars being fought against both the Chatti and the Dacians the awards were coming fairly quickly one after another. Also, the revolt of the rebel legate Saturnius occurred in January of 89. Domitian did not take up the consulship in 89 (presumably he was away from Rome on campaign), so the imperial acclamations are the only way to differentiate the separate issues. T.V. Buttrey has proposed that his 19th salutation may in fact be for the victory over Saturnius, dressed up as a German victory (via private correspondence).

A decent coin with some minor corrosion featuring a sorrowful looking Domitian. Better in hand.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
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DYNASTS OF LYCIA. Perikles (Circa 380-360 BC)16 viewsTetrobol. Uncertain mint, possibly Limyra.

18 mm, 2.80 g

Obv: Facing scalp of lion.
Rev: 𐊓𐊁𐊕-𐊆𐊋-𐊍𐊁 ("Perikle" in Lycian), Triskeles ("three legs" in Greek) within incuse circle.

Müseler VIII.47-51; SNG von Aulock 4254-5.

Lycia initially fought for the Persians in the Persian Wars, but on the defeat of the Achaemenid Empire by the Greeks, it became intermittently a free agent. After a brief membership in the Athenian Empire, it seceded and became independent (its treaty with Athens had omitted the usual non-secession clause), was under the Persians again, revolted again (the Revolt of the Satraps), was conquered by Mausolus of Caria, returned to the Persians, and went under Macedonian hegemony at the defeat of the Persians by Alexander the Great.

Pericles, who ruled from 380 BC to about 360 BC, was ruler during the Revolt of the Satraps. The Satraps’ revolt was a rebellion in the Achaemenid Empire of several satraps against the authority of the Great King Artaxerxes II Mnemon. During the Revolt of the Satraps, Pericles declared himself king of Lycia and drove out the Xanthian ruler Arttum̃para. Pericles is regarded as the last king of Lycia. After the revolt failed, the land once again reverted to the empire.

Struck during the reign of Pericles (Perikle), c. 380-361/2 BC, this issue may be connected to Perikles' conquests in Lycia and Caria and/or the satrapal revolt of 362/1. It was, however, struck in great haste and with little quality control: the vast majority of the surviving examples were struck from worn or broken dies and are often poorly centered on small flans.
Nathan P
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Elagabalus82 viewsAE 14, Elagabalus, Antioch, ca. AD 218-222. Obv: Elagabalus right; Rev: Delta Epsilon with star below, all within wreath, dark brown patina with red earthen highlights, some roughness, VF. Not in Lindgren I or III; Not in Sear, Not in Butcher. Lichocka Figure 3, Table VII, 56 (this coin illustrated).

Published in: Lichocka, Barbara, "Delta-Epsilon issues of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander," in Classica Orientalia: Essays Presented to Wiktor Andrzej Daszewski on his 75th Birthday (Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw), pg. 310, Fig. 3, Table VII, 56.
Molinari
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Elagabalus45 viewsAE 26, Elagabalus, Antioch, ca. AD 218-222. Obv: IMPCMAVRANTONINVSAVG; Rev: D E in center, star below, all within wreath, gVF. SGI 3098 var. Lichocka VII, 27 (this coin listed, not depicted).

Published in: Lichocka, Barbara, "Delta-Epsilon issues of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander," in Classica Orientalia: Essays Presented to Wiktor Andrzej Daszewski on his 75th Birthday (Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw), pg. 318, Table VII, 27.
Molinari
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Elagabalus36 viewsAE 20, Elagabalus, Antioch,ca. AD 203-222. Obv: IMPCMAVRANTONINVSAVG; Rev: D E in center, star below, all within wreath, aVF. SGI 3098 var. Lichocka VII, 62 (this coin).

Published in: Lichocka, Barbara, "Delta-Epsilon issues of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander," in Classica Orientalia: Essays Presented to Wiktor Andrzej Daszewski on his 75th Birthday (Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw), p. 320, Fig. VII, 62.
Molinari
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Elagabalus49 viewsAE 22, Elagabalus, Antioch, ca. AD 218-222. Obv: IMPCMAVRANTONINVSAVG; Rev: D E in center, star below, all within wreath, gVF. BMC 205, 447; SNG Munchen 319. Lichocka VII, 36 (this coin listed, not depicted).

Published in: Lichocka, Barbara, "Delta-Epsilon issues of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander," in Classica Orientalia: Essays Presented to Wiktor Andrzej Daszewski on his 75th Birthday (Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw), pg. 319, Table VII, 36.
Molinari
Sear-2141.jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258) AE Trachy, Magnesia (Sear-2141) 8 viewsObv: IC XC in field; Full-length figure of Christ bearded and nimbate, standing on dais; right hand raised in benediction; left hand on Gospel; B B in field
Rev: ΘЄOΔШPOC ΔЄCΠOTHC ΔϪΚΑC ΛΑCΚAΡΙC in two columnar groups; Full-length figure of emperor on left, crowned by Virgin nimbate; Emperor wars stemma, divitision, jeweled loros of simplified type and sagion; right hand holds scepter cruciger; left hand golds globus cruciger

Quant.Geek
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Euboia, Hisiaia.12 viewsSear 2496, BCD Euboia 378-424, BMC 24 ff.

AR tetrobol, 12-13 mm, 3rd-2nd centuries B.C.

Obv: Wreathed head of nymph Histiaia with her hair rolled facing right.

Rev: ΙΣΤ--AIEΩN; nymph Histiaia seated right on stern of galley, wing on side of galley,control symbol(s), if any, below (off flan).

Histiaia, named after its patron nymph, commanded a strategic position overlooking the narrows leading to the North Euboian Gulf. In the Illiad, Homer describes the surrounding plain as “rich in vines.” In 480 B.C. the city was overrun by the Persians. After the Persian Wars it became a member of the Delian Confederacy. In 446 the Euboians revolted, seized an Athenian ship and murdered its crew. They were promptly reduced by Athens. Perikles exiled the population to Macedonia and replaced them with Athenians. The exiled population probably returned at the end of the Peloponnesian War in 404; thereafter they seem to have been largely under the control of Sparta until they joined the Second Athenian Confederacy in 376-375. The city appears to have become a member (for the first time) of the reconstituted league of Euboian cities in 340, but its allegiance during most of the 4th century seems to have vacillated between Athens and Macedonia. It was pro-Macedonian during the 3rd century, for which it was attacked in 208 and captured in 199 by a Roman-Pergamene force. The Roman garrison was removed in 194. To judge from the wide distribution of its coinage, Histiaia continued to prosper. Little is known of its later history, but finds at the site indicate it continued to be inhabited in Roman, Byzantine, and later times. (per NumisWiki)

The date of this extensive coinage is difficult to determine and is the subject of controversy. The bulk of it would appear to belong to the latter part of the third century B.C., and it may have commenced with the cessation of silver issues for the Euboian League circa 267 B.C. There are numerous imitations, of poor style and rough execution, which would seem to have been produced in Macedon just prior to the Roman victory over Perseus in 168 B.C. (per Sear)

Ref: Numismatik Lanz. Münzen von Euboia: Sammlung BCD. Auction 111 (November 25, 2002). Munich.
Stkp
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FORTUNA REDUX.227 viewsAE sestertius. Rome, 211 AD. 28.05 gr. Laureate head right. P SEPTIMIVS GETA PIVS AVG BRIT. / Fortuna seated left on throne, holding rudder on globe and cornucopiae, wheel under seat. FORT RED TR P III COS II P P S C. BMCRE 40. RIC 168a.
Fortuna is the Roman Goddess of Luck, Fate, and Fortune. Usually depicted holding in one hand a cornucopia, or a horn of plenty, from which all good things flowed in abundance, representing her ability to bestow prosperity; in the other she generally has a ship's rudder, to indicate that She is the one who controls how lives and fates are steered. She could also be shown enthroned, with the same attributes of rudder and cornucopia, but with a small wheel built into the chair, representing the cycles of fate and the ups and downs of fortune.
Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars—redux means "coming back" or "returning". She may be one of the later aspects of Fortuna, as the earliest mention of Her is of an altar dedicated by the Senate in 19 BCE for the safe return of the Emperor Augustus
3 commentsbenito
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FRANCE - HENRI IV159 viewsRoyal France, Henri IV, 1602 (reigned, 1589-1610), AR 1/4 Ecu (27x28mm), F+/VF, similar to Ciani 1517 and Roberts 3263. Obv. + HENRICVS IIII D G FRANC E NAVA REX 1602 (with beginning corss of globe), flowered cross. Rev. + SIT NOMEN DOMINI BENEDICTVM, crowned coat of arms with three fleurs de lis, between II and II. The images are well struck, with some weakness, and a little bit of double striking on the reverse. Henri IV was a protestant during the French Wars of Religion, but became Catholic when he inherited the throne. Henri granted official toleration for protestants through the Eidct of Nantes, but was assassinated.dpaul7
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France – Flanders, Charles the Bold: 1467 – 7710 viewsDouble Gros, Roberts #7982

Charles the Bold (or Charles the Rash) was baptised Charles Martin and was Duke of Burgundy from 1467 to 1477. Known as Charles the Terrible to his enemies, he was the last Valois Duke of Burgundy and his early death was a pivotal, if under-recognised, moment in European history.

After his death, his domains began an inevitable slide towards division between France and the Habsburgs (who through marriage to his heiress Mary became his heirs). Neither side was satisfied with the results and the disintegration of the Burgundian state was a factor in most major wars in Western Europe for more than two centuries.

Charles’ end came at the Battle of Nancy. Charles formed a new army and arrived in the dead of winter before the walls of Nancy. Having lost many of his troops through the severe cold, it was with only a few thousand men that he met the joint forces of the Lorrainers and the Swiss, who had come to the relief of the town, at the Battle of Nancy (5 January 1477). Charles perished in the fight, his naked and disfigured body being discovered some days afterward frozen into the nearby river. Charles' head had been cleft in two by a halberd, lances were lodged in his stomach and loins, and his face had been so badly mutilated by wild animals that only his physician was able to identify him by his long fingernails and the old battle scars on his body.

Purchased on eBay

NGC Ch AU-55

Cost $197
Richard M10
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France, Orange - Triumphal Arch253 viewsIt was built on the former via Agrippa to honor the veterans of the Gallic Wars and Legio II Augusta. It was later reconstructed by emperor Tiberius to celebrate the victories of Germanicus over the German tribes in Rhineland.pax
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Gaius/Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Bronze Quadrans 3 viewsC CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG SC - Pileus flanked by S C
PON M TR P IIII P P COS TERT - Legend surrounding RCC large in center of field
Exergue:


Mint: Rome (40-41AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 2.30g / 17mm / 180
Rarity: Common
References:
RIC 1-Gaius 52
Provenances:
London Ancient Coins

obverse: C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG (Gaius Caesar, emperor, great-granson of Divine Augustus)

reverse: PON M TR P IIII P P COS TERT (high priest, holder of tribune power for 4 years, father of the country, consul for the third time)

There were four different issues of quadrans from Caligula:
PON M TR P III P P COS DES III- 39AD
PON M TR P III P P COS TERT-39-40AD
PON M TR P IIII P P COS TERT-40-41AD-This Coin
PON M TR P IIII P P COS QVART-January 1-24, 41AD

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

The purpose of the pileus and the (related or not) meaning of the RCC inscription remain in dispute and have led to differing hypotheses since the late 18th century, with most modern observers echoing the original hypotheses of Eckel from 1796, who thought that the RCC inscription referred to Caligula's remission of the 0.5% sales tax (hence remissa ducentesima), with the pileus a reference to restored liberty deriving from return of elections to the popular comitia from the Senate. Eckel thus thought the obverse and reverse commemorated separate distinct acts of the emperor.

David Woods' interpretation of the Caligula quadrans is that the liberty it celebrates is the liberty of all free Roman citizens, with the pileus as a their symbol. He reasons that it was Caligula's crackdown on those illegally claiming citizenship that is the focus of the coin's commemoration. This proper enforcement of the rules of citizenship would theoretically play well among the greater masses of the population who normally encounter the quadrans in everyday exchange.

As for the meaning of the RCC reverse inscription, Woods posits that it could be Res Civium Conservatae (The interests of the citizens has been preserved), or something closely related to this.

From The Dictionary of Roman Coins:
R CC Remissa Ducentesima. - Initial letters inscribed on the reverse of a third brass coin of Caligula, commemorative of a tax having been abolished by that Emperor. - The treasury of the state having been exhausted by the civil wars, Augustus, to assist in replenishing the public revenues, had established an impost of the hundredth denarius on all sales. But this burden in the year AD 17, Tiberius, yielding to the petitions of the people, had reduced on-half, that is to say to one denarius for 200. At length, in the year A.D. 39, the whole tax was taken off by Caligula as the inscription, on this small brass coin, of Remissa CC. plainly tells; and Suetonius confirms the fact in saying ducentesimun auctionum Italia remisit, although he does not specify the time.

And that this act of liberality was permanent is proved by medals struck in subsequent years of Caligula's reign, on which the memory of this benefit is gratefully renewed by the Senate. - The obverse is in scribed C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG S C (Caius Caesar Augustus, great grandson of the Divine Augustus) and the type is the pileus or cap of liberty, an allusion made to the right of suffrage granted to the people in the year AD 38.

From COINWEEK: 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.
Gary W2
39_AD_GAIUS_CALIGULA.jpg
Gaius/Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Bronze Quadrans 2 viewsC CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG SC - Pileus flanked by S C
PON M TR P III P P COS DES III - Legend surrounding RCC large in center of field
Exergue:


Mint: Rome (39AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 2.63g / 18mm / 180
Rarity: Scarce
References:
RIC 1-Gaius 39
Provenances:
London Ancient Coins
Acquisition/Sale: London Ancient Coins Ebay

here were four different issues of quadrans from Caligula:
PON M TR P III P P COS DES III- 39AD-This Coin
PON M TR P III P P COS TERT-39-40AD
PON M TR P IIII P P COS TERT-40-41AD
PON M TR P IIII P P COS QVART-January 1-24, 41AD

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

The purpose of the pileus and the (related or not) meaning of the RCC inscription remain in dispute and have led to differing hypotheses since the late 18th century, with most modern observers echoing the original hypotheses of Eckel from 1796, who thought that the RCC inscription referred to Caligula's remission of the 0.5% sales tax (hence remissa ducentesima), with the pileus a reference to restored liberty deriving from return of elections to the popular comitia from the Senate. Eckel thus thought the obverse and reverse commemorated separate distinct acts of the emperor.

David Woods' interpretation of the Caligula quadrans is that the liberty it celebrates is the liberty of all free Roman citizens, with the pileus as a their symbol. He reasons that it was Caligula's crackdown on those illegally claiming citizenship that is the focus of the coin's commemoration. This proper enforcement of the rules of citizenship would theoretically play well among the greater masses of the population who normally encounter the quadrans in everyday exchange.

As for the meaning of the RCC reverse inscription, Woods posits that it could be Res Civium Conservatae (The interests of the citizens has been preserved), or something closely related to this.

From The Dictionary of Roman Coins:
R CC Remissa Ducentesima. - Initial letters inscribed on the reverse of a third brass coin of Caligula, commemorative of a tax having been abolished by that Emperor. - The treasury of the state having been exhausted by the civil wars, Augustus, to assist in replenishing the public revenues, had established an impost of the hundredth denarius on all sales. But this burden in the year AD 17, Tiberius, yielding to the petitions of the people, had reduced on-half, that is to say to one denarius for 200. At length, in the year A.D. 39, the whole tax was taken off by Caligula as the inscription, on this small brass coin, of Remissa CC. plainly tells; and Suetonius confirms the fact in saying ducentesimun auctionum Italia remisit, although he does not specify the time.

And that this act of liberality was permanent is proved by medals struck in subsequent years of Caligula's reign, on which the memory of this benefit is gratefully renewed by the Senate. - The obverse is in scribed C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG S C (Caius Caesar Augustus, great grandson of the Divine Augustus) and the type is the pileus or cap of liberty, an allusion made to the right of suffrage granted to the people in the year AD 38.

From COINWEEK: 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.
Gary W2
RIC_Gallienus_RIC-V-1_(S)_572_fortuna_redux.jpg
Gallienus (Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus) (253-268 A.D.)11 viewsSRCV 10219 var. (S in exergue), RIC V S-572 (Siscia), Göbl 586b, Van Meter 82 [?].

BI Antoninianus, 2.41 g., 20.99 mm. max., 0°

Rome mint, sixth officina, struck during solo reign (260-268 A.D.), in 262-263 A.D.

Obv: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right.

Rev: FORT[VNA R]EDVX, Fortuna standing left, holding rudder on globe in right hand and cornucopia in left. Stigma in right field.

Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars (redux means "coming back" or "returning").

RIC rarity C, Van Meter VB1.
Stkp
RIC_Gallienus_RIC_V-S_194A.jpg
Gallienus (Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus) (253-268 A.D.)10 viewscf SRCV 10217-10219, RIC-V (S) 194A (Rome) and 484 (Milan), Göbl 546g, CT 1121, Sear --, Van Meter --

AE Antoninianus, 3.75 g., 24.15 mm. max., 0°

Rome and Milan mint, second officina, struck during solo reign (260-268 A.D.).

Obv: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right.

Rev: FORTVNA REDVX, Fortuna seated left, wheel beneath throne, holding rudder in right hand and cornucopia in left. S in exergue.

Fortuna Redux was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars.

RIC rarity C.
Stkp
RIC_Gallienus_SRCV_10291_Fortuna_redux_rudder_s.jpg
Gallienus (Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus) (253-268 A.D.)10 viewsSRCV 10219 var. (S in exergue), RIC V S-572 (Siscia), Göbl 586a, Van Meter 82 [?].

BI Antoninianus, 3.73 g., 21.18 mm. max., 180°

Rome mint, second officina, struck during solo reign (260-268 A.D.), in 262-263 A.D.

Obv: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right.

Rev: FORTVNA REDVX, Fortuna standing left, holding rudder on globe in right hand and cornucopia in left. S in right field.

Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars (redux means "coming back" or "returning").

RIC rarity C, Van Meter VB1.
Stkp
Coriosolites.JPG
Gaul, Northwest. Coriosolites (57-52 BC)29 viewsBI Stater

5.36 g

Obverse: Celticized head right, hair in large spiral curls, S-like ear; pearl strings flowing around

Reverse: Devolved charioteer driving biga right; ornaments around; below, boar right.

DT 2329; Slg. Flesche - (vgl. 198)

The Coriosolites (one among a number of tribes in the area) inhabited a region called Armorica in what is now northwest France. They were a mixture of Celts who had fled Germanic incursions across the Rhine and the original inhabitants of Armorica, a place where customs and beliefs of the megalithic age still lingered on.

The Coriosolite coinage appears to have constituted a confederate currency, manufactured at the time of the Gallic Wars between 57 BC, the date of the revolt of the Armoricans and 51 BC, the end of the war of the Gauls. For the Armoricans, the war began with invasion by the Roman General Crassus, who subjugated the tribes by fighting each individually and taking hostages. The Celts then formed an alliance to more effectively fight Rome and captured envoys sent by Rome to serve as their own hostages.

Aware of their efforts, Caesar sent three legions under Sabinus who routed the Celts. No more battles were fought in Armorica, but the Armorican resistance continued; some of the population, unwilling to live under Roman rule, banded together and hid in remote areas. Twenty thousand Armoricans (including many Coriosolites) were among the forces that attempted to relieve Vercingetorix at the siege of Alesia in 52 BC.

J.-B. Colbert de Beaulieu defined six classes of Coriosolite coinage. This coin is in Class VI, defined by a nose shaped like a backward 2 on the obverse and, on the reverse, a symbol resembling a ladder on its side in front of a pony with a boar underneath. John Hooker identifies five coin types within Group VI. The coin above is most likely the fifth type (evidenced by the placement of the curl at the bottom of the horse's mane on the reverse). While 1-3 types in Class VI are among the earliest Coriosolite coins (perhaps even preceding the Gallic wars), Hooker asserts that, based on the style of the driver's body on the reverse, types 4 and 5 may have been minted just prior to the forming of the Celtic coalition and capture of the Roman envoys.
1 commentsNathan P
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German Occupation of Poland: Complete Set of Buildings, Issued Aug-Sep-1941 (Michel Deutschland-Spezial #66-#70)10 viewsThis series was issued in Aug-Sep 1941. These stamps are similar to #41, #43, #46, and #51, but in different colors and values. The stamps depict:

8 Gr -- Sandomiersk-Bastion, Krakow Castle
12 Gr -- Yard of the Old Krakow University with Copernicus Monument
30 Gr -- Brigitte Church, Lublin
48 Gr -- Sandomierz City Hall
1 Zł -- Bruehl Palace, Warsaw
SpongeBob
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Germanic Spear Head34 viewsThis iron spear head has the rounded leaf form and high central ridge of a Germanic piece. It dates to the Marcomannic wars and was found in Slovakia. It was thus likely a Marcomanni weapon. It is 32 cm long (almost 13"), 5.2 cm at its widest, and has a shaft that held a 21 mm diameter wooden haft. It had some of its edging restored (nicks were filled in with a black epoxy) by a previous owner, reportedly in the mid-20th century.otlichnik
Hadrse51-2.jpg
Hadrian, RIC 859, Sestertius of AD 134-13830 viewsÆ Sestertius (23,65g, Ø33mm, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 134-138.
Obv.: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, draped bare-headed bust left.
Rev.: MAVRETANIA around, S C in field, Mauretania, in short tunic, standing in front of a horse pacing left, holding it by the reins and holding a javelin pointing downwards in left hand.
RIC 859 (S); BMCRE 1763; Cohen 957; Strack 721
Ex Gorny & Mosch Auction 176, lot 2287 (march 2009).

Mauretania (modern Morocco and NW Algeria) was home to the Numidians or Mauri (the "Moors"), the ancestors of today's Berber people. Since the annexation of Mauretania by Claudius in AD 44, light cavalry (equites Maurorum or Numidarum) were recruited into the regular Auxilia. These dreaded Mauri horsemen had been involved in many Roman wars, and from the Second Punic War until the 3rd century AD, the bulk of Rome's light cavalry (apart from mounted archers from Syria) consisted of Mauri horsemen. On Trajan's Column, they are depicted with long hair in dreadlocks, riding small horses bare-back and unbridled, with a simple braided rope round their mount's neck for control. They wear no body or head armour, carrying only a small, round leather shield. Their weaponry consisted of several short javelins. Numidian cavalry would harass the enemy by hit-and-run attacks, riding up and loosing volleys of javelins, then scattering faster than any opposing cavalry could pursue.
1 commentsCharles S
MMS-319.jpg
Hot Toys Star Wars - The Force Awakens First Order Storm Troopers40 views2 commentsQuant.Geek
Fatimids,_al-Mustansir_Billah,_Gold_Dinar,_21mm,_4_12_g,_Misr_(Cairo)_mint,_dated_AH_472_(AD_1079,1080).jpg
ISLAMIC, Fatimids, Caliph al-Mustansir Billah, AV Dinar, Misr (Cairo) mint65 viewsFatimids, Caliph al-Mustansir Billah, Gold Dinar, 21mm, 4.12 g, Misr (Cairo) mint, dated AH 472 (AD 1079 / 1080)

The featured specimen is a lovely example and the most distinctive of the "bulls-eye" type coinage introduced by the Fatimid's. It is visually very striking and immediately grabs attention with its unusual legend arrangement and calligraphy. This coin is of the type first used by al-Mustansir Billah's great-great grandfather, al-Mu‘izz.

Legends

Obverse

Inner circle
la ilah illa allah muhammad rasul allah
“no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God”

Middle circle
wa ‘ali afdal al-wasiyyin wa wazir khayr al-mursilin
“and ‘Ali is the most excellent of the caretakers and the vizier of the best of the messengers”

Outer circle
muhammad rasul allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi wa law kariha al-mushrikun
“Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions, even though the polytheists detest it” Sura 9 (al-Tawba) v. 33

Reverse

Inner circle
al-mustansir billah amir al-mu’minin
“al-Mustansir billah, Commander of the Faithful”

Middle circle
da’a al-imam ma’add li-tawhid illa lahu al-samad
“the Imam Ma‘add summons all to confess the unity of God the eternal”.

Outer circle
bism allah duriba hadha’l-dinar bi-misr sana ith'nain‘ wa sab'ain wa arba‘mi’a
“in the name of God, this dinar was struck in Misr the year two and seventy and four hundred”


Al-Mustansir’s sixty-year reign was one of the longest in the history of Islam. He was only seven years old at the time of his accession, but was led by his wazir Abu’l-Qasim al-Jarjara‘i until he was old enough to rule on his own.

During his reign new dynasties emerged, while others either disappeared from the scene or shifted their alliances. The Zirids in the Maghrib, for so long allies of the Fatimids, transferred their allegiance to the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad.

In 447 H (1055 AD) the Saljuq dynasty of Iran and Iraq took the place of the Buyids, who, in 334 (946), had brought an end to the Abbasids’ temporal power. For a short time the Fatimids took advantage of this situation.

Ever since their arrival in Egypt in 358 (969) they had coveted the city of Baghdad, and in 450 (1058) a Saljuq military officer by the name of al-Basasiri took up the Fatimid cause.

Using money and supplies provided by al-Mustansir, he marched into Baghdad while the Saljuq leader Tughril Beg was away, and had the khutba (the imam’s speech before Friday prayer) read and coins struck in al-Mustansir’s name.

This proved to be a brief adventure, for the next year al-Mustansir withdrew his financial support, and an angry Tughril Beg drove al-Basasiri out of Baghdad. When his successor Alp Arslan occupied Aleppo in 473 (1080) he caused the Fatimid caliph’s name to be omitted from the khutba in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

While there were internal disturbances and frequent wars throughout al-Mustansir’s long reign, Fatimid Egypt was well administered and prosperous, thanks to rich revenues and gold from Africa. Industry and agriculture thrived, and it was a time of intellectual, literary and artistic brilliance. It was then that the first university was established in the Muslim world, al-Ahzar, which is still active today.
mitresh
Column_of_Marcus_Aurelius_The_Miracle_of_the_Rain.jpg
Italy, Rome, The Colum of Marcus Aurelius with Detail Memorializing the "Miracle in the Rain"47 viewsThe Column of Marcus Aurelius in Piazza Colonna. The five horizontal slits (visible in the middle photo) allow light into the internal stairway. The photo on the right shows detail memorializing the "Miracle in the Rain."

On June 11, 173, during the Marcomannic Wars (166–180), the Roman army in Moravia was outnumbered and surrounded by the Quadi, suffering from the extreme heat, out of water, and on the verge of defeat. Dio writes, "many clouds gathered and a mighty rain, not without divine interposition, burst upon them...when the rain poured down, at first all turned their faces upwards and received the water in their mouths; then some held out their shields and some their helmets to catch it, and they not only took deep draughts themselves but also gave their horses to drink...while those on the one side were being drenched and drinking, the others [the Quadi] were being consumed by fire [lightning] and dying." The Romans were soon victorious. Marcus was saluted imperator for the seventh time and the "miracle of the rain" was memorialized on Marcus Aurelius' column. In 174, Marcus Aurelius officially conferred the title Fulminata (Thundering) to the Legio XII Fulminata.

Photos by Adrian Pingstone released to the public domain.
Joe Sermarini
Italy- Pompeii- Entrance.jpg
Italy- Pompeii- Entrance PORTA MARINA AND THE CITY WALLS36 viewsPORTA MARINA AND THE CITY WALLS
Similar to a bastion, facing west, together with Porta Ercolano it is the most imposing of the seven gates of Pompeii. It takes its name from the fact that its road led to the sea. It has two barrel arches (round arch opening), later combined into a single, large barrel vault in opus caementicium. The ring of the walls visible today, already present in the 6th cent. BC, is over 3200 m long: it is generally a solid ring of wall, protected on the outside by a moat and inside by an embankment, atop which runs the patrol walkway. Twelve towers to the north, where the flat ground made Pompeii most vulnerable, also ensured its defense. Pompeii's definitive entry into the Roman orbit (with the Sullan colonization: 80 BC) reduced the importance of the walls, which were occasionally reused or destroyed to make room for houses and baths.

THE CITY WALLS
Pompeii rests on a plateau of Vesuvian lava, whose walls represented a solid natural protection, just the wall to the north were more vulnerable.
The ring of walls was 3220 m. long. Seven identified gates opened in the walls, while the existence of an eighth (Porta Capua) one was uncertain.
The materials used for the walls were mostly: Sarno stone and grey Nucerian tufo. At the beginning the walls were made of Vesuvian lava or ‘pappamonte’ blocks, later made of a double parallel row, than filled with stones and ground.
During the Samnite wars were built the fortifications with the ‘ad aggere’ system, with an embankment inner the city.
During the 3rd century B.C. was probably built an inner calcareous and tufo row, with buttresses and round the top of the walls ran a patrol walkway.
The last phase of construction of the fortifications was dated about the age before Sulla’s conquest: on the more vulnerable side of the walls guard towers in opus incertum were built, with regular distance.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Constantine The Great.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Constantine The Great71 viewsArch of Constantine
The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch in Rome, situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected to commemorate Constantine's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312 AD. Dedicated in 315 AD, it is the latest of the extant triumphal arches in Rome, from which it differs by the extensive re-use of parts of earlier buildings.

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

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

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

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

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

Inscriptions
The main inscription reads:

IMP · CAES · FL · CONSTANTINO · MAXIMO · P · F · AVGUSTO · S · P · Q · R · QVOD · INSTINCTV · DIVINITATIS · MENTIS · MAGNITVDINE · CVM · EXERCITV · SVO · TAM · DE · TYRANNO · QVAM · DE · OMNI · EIVS · FACTIONE · VNO · TEMPORE · IVSTIS · REM-PUBLICAM · VLTVS · EST · ARMIS · ARCVM · TRIVMPHIS · INSIGNEM · DICAVIT

Which means in English:

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

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

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

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

Over each of the small archways, inscriptions read:

VOTIS X - VOTIS XX SIC X - SIC XX

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




John Schou
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Italy- Rome- The honory column of Trajan36 viewsThe Trajan's Column -
This elegant marble column was inaugurated by Trajan in AD 113, and celebrates his two campaigns in Dacia (Romania) in AD 101-3 and AD 107-8. The column, base and pedestal are 40 m (131 ft.) tall - precisely the same height as the spur of the Quirinal hill which was excavated to make room for Trajan's Forum.
The Trajan Column
The Trajan Column is constructed of giant marble blocks and a spiral staircase leading to the top. The base, excavated inside to re-excavate the tomb, was sculpted with panels of stacked Dacian arms.
A long embellishment goes around the column shaft like a roll of papyrus, leaving the fluting under the Doric capital visible.
The embellishment narrates two Dacian wars, representing the enemy with pride and humanity.
There were 2,500 figures sculpted in similar but various poses to avoid repetitiveness.
The column reaches in height to the top according to correct optics.

A- Hollowness in the Column: The Trajan column is a hollow shaft made of marble. In the area of the Basilica Ulpia, a gray granite fragment is visible with an interesting wavy border.
This was probably from one of the temple columns of 50 feet in height (around 15 meters).
It was probably impossible to extract such monolithic blocks from the mines, so the column was probably constructed by stacking hollow blocks, using these wavy borders to hide the joined areas and reinforce the column's structure.


Spiralling up the column are minutely detailed scenes from the campaigns, beginning whit the Romans preparing for war and ending with the Dacians being ousted from their homeland. The column is pierced with small windows to illuminate its internal spiral staircase (closed to the public). If you wish to see the reliefs in detail there is a complete set of casts in the Museo della Civiltà Romana at EUR. When Trajan died in AD 117 his ashes, along with those of his wife Plotina, were placed in a golden urn in the column's hollow base.

The column's survival was largely thanks to the intervention of Pope Gregory the Great (reigned 590-604). He was so moved by a relief showing Trajan helping a woman whose son had been killed that he begged God to release the emperor's soul from hell. God duly appeared to the pope to say that Trajan had been rescued, but asked him not to pray for the souls of any more pagans. According to legend, when Trajan's ashes were exhumed his skull and tongue were not only intact, but his tongue told of his release from hell.

The land around the column was then declared sacred and the column itself was spared. The statue of Trajan remained on top of the column until 1587, when it was replaced with one of St Peter.
John Schou
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Iustinianus I (527-565) 16 nummi (AE)74 viewsObv.: DN IVSTINIANVS PP AVG (Draped bust of emperor) Rev.: I central, A S P in field Exergue: TES Diameter: 22 mm Weight: 6,51 g SB 175

Though Justinian is often hailed as the greatest of the Byzantine emperors, his Gothic Wars as well as lavish building projects in Ravenna and Constantinople proved to be a very costly affair. The empire was as good as bankrupt when Justinian passed away. The hexagonal shape of the coin is typical for this type.
Nick.vdw
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JETON - General Tolli97 viewsJETON - By Lauer of Nurnberg. Made circa 1814. Probably brass, and sadly 2 holes. Obv erse features the Russain Czar Alexander. Reverse features Barclay de Tolli, Russia. Actually a very scarce Lauer jeton produced at the end of the wars honoring one of the more obscure Russian generals. dpaul7
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Junius Brutus Albinus34 viewsHead of Pietas right

ALBINVS BRVTI F
Clasped hands holding winged caduceus

3.1g

Rome
48 BC

Sear 427; Crawford 450/2; Sydenham 942; RBW 1577

Decimus Junius Brutus was a distant relative of Marcus Brutus. He was known as one of Caesar's "most intamate associates" and a friend of Mark Antony. Albinus had served under Caesar in both the Gallic Wars and the Civil War. He participated in the siege of Massilia (Marseilles) that held out against Caesar for months. He also commanded a Caesarian fleet.

Plutarch considered Albinus "of no great courage," but Albinus was a faithful and loyal supporter of Caesar. He was to be Consul in 42 BC along with Lucius Plancus. While awaiting the consulship Albinus was to become Governor of Cisalpine Gaul when the post became available in the spring of 44BC

Albinus was approached by Cassius and Labeo to involve him in the conspiracy to murder Caesar. Albinus wanted to make sure Marcus Brutus was involved before agreeing to the plot. After meeting with Brutus he agreed. Both Brutus and Albinus received notification of a meeting of the Senate on March 15th and Albinus agreed to use an exhibition of his Gladiators after the meeting as protection in case things got out of hand after the murder had taken place. Caesar's retired legionaries were all around the city and none of the conspirators knew how they would react at Caesar's death.

At a dinner at the house of Marcus Lepidus on the night of March 14, 44BC Caesar was in attendence along with Decimus Brutus. Towards the end of the night Caesar's secretary approached for him to sign some letters. As he was signing Albinus posed a philosophical question to him: "What sort of death is best?" Caesar answered "A sudden one"

The next morning the Senate awaited Caesar to arrive. Caesr's wife Calpurnia and the auspeces warned Caesar not to attend the meeting. When Caesar delayed the conspirator's sent Albinus to Caesar's house. Albinus convinced Caesar to at least postpone the meeting in person. Antony was against this idea. Caesar was then murered by the conspirators in the Theater of Pompey in the Campus Martius, Albinus being a key player in the conspiracy.
2 commentsJay GT4
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Justin II follis Moneta Militaris Imitativa144 viewsFollis, Moneta Militaris Imitativa, issued by an itinerant mint during the persian wars. Imitates the Cyzic mint and the year alltogether; the legend is somewhat blundered; 10.2g, 27mm, desert sand patina.vercingetorix
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Kingdom of Thrace. Lysimachos AR Tetradrachm178 viewsCirca 297-281 B.C. AR Tetradrachm, Thompson 59, Müller 88 (Sestus mint), 17.146g, maximum diameter 31.2mm, die axis 0o, Mysia, Lampsacus mint. Obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon. Reverse Athena seated left on prow, Nike crowning name in extended right, transverse spear resting against right side, resting left arm on shield behind, KA monogram inner left, herm outer left. gVF. Nice style, beautiful portrait of Alexander.

Ex Otakirak Collection. Ex Stack's, Bowers and Ponterio NYINC Auction 2012, lot 194. Ex FORVM.

Lysimachos, a Macedonian of great physical strength and fortitude, rose to prominence as a σωματοφύλαξ, or “bodyguard” for Alexander the Great. When Alexander’s territories were parceled out during the settlement at Babylon in 323 BC, Lysimachos was given control of Thrace, the Chersonese, and the intervening Black Sea coast. Unfortunately, much of this territory was no longer under Macedonian control, but was claimed by various Thracian tribes. Although Lysimachos was involved to some extent in the early wars of the Diadochs, most of his early years as satrap were preoccupied with subduing the Thracian tribes, an endeavor that was largely unsuccessful. By the time he assumed the royal title in 306/5 BC, his kingdom consisted of little more than the southern portions of Thrace. While this territory included a few already active mints, such as Ainos and Byzantion, Lysimachos was forced to depend on his ally Kassander, the king of Macedon, for coinage, as the sources of bullion were under the control of his enemies. This situation changed in 302 BC, when Lysimachos raised an army at the urging of Kassander and invaded Asia Minor, territory which Antigonos I Monophthalmos controlled, and whose son, Demetrios I Poliorketes, was threatening Kassander’s southern flank in Thessaly. Lysimachos quickly captured much of the Hellespont, and he penetrated as far as Lydia. This territory was rich with both silver bullion and mint cities, including Alexandria Troas, Ephesos, Lampsakos, Magnesia, and Sardis. Lysimachos used these mints to begin striking coinage on his behalf, while at the same time, he apparently sent bullion back to Thrace, where Lysimacheia and Sestos also began to produce coinage for him. These mints initially struck coins of Alexander type for Lysimachos, but later changed to the new Lysimachos type in 297 BC. After Lysimachos and Seleukos I defeated the Antigonids at Ipsos in 301 BC, most of western Asia Minor passed to Lysimachos. He now held some of the most prosperous cities in the Aegean, and soon most of the well-established mints were striking coinage in his name. Many of these same mints were required to pay large sums of tribute in order to fund further campaigns of expansion. One such object of expansion was Macedon, the ultimate goal of all the Diodochs. Since the death of Kassander in 298 BC, it had fallen into chaos and was eventually captured by Demetrios, who was, in turn, driven out by the joint invasion of Lysimachos and Pyrrhos in 288 BC. Initially, Macedon was split between the two, with Lysimachos taking the eastern half and its mint of Amphipolis. By 285 BC, when Lysimachos also obtained the western half from Pyrrhos, Pella also began producing coinage for Lysimachos. His successes, however, were short-lived. Beginning in 284 BC with the murder of his step-sons, Lysimachos became involved in a treacherous game of political and dynastic intrigue. As a result, revolt broke out among the Asian cities under his control, and Seleukos I launched an invasion against him. At the battle of Korupedion in 281 BC, Lysimachos was killed, and his kingdom was subsumed into the Seleukid empire. Ptolemy Keraunos, however, siezed Lysimachos’ European territories after he murdered Seleukos I later that year. Edward T. Newell’s study of Lysimachos’ lifetime issues arranged them according to the territorial expansion of his kingdom. Unfortunately, Newell died before completing his study, and consequently many issues are missing from Margaret Thompson’s survey of his unfinished work. The many ‘unpublished’ coins that have appeared over the past two decades reveal how little is known about Lysimachos’ coinage. Although most catalogs list these unpublished coins as posthumous issues, this is unlikely, as most of his mint cities were taken over by other kingdoms following Lysimachos’ death. The cities that continued to issue his coins as a regular type, such as Byzantion, were mostly ones that regularly conducted trade with cities to the north of Thrace, whose economies were likely dominated by Lysimachos type coinage during his lifetime. A few cities, such as Tenedos, struck brief, sporadic issues of Lysimachos type coins long after his death, but these issues were likely struck for some specific purpose that required this type, and are not part of any regular series. At the beginning of his reign, Lysimachos continued to use Alexander’s coinage types, later modifying them by replacing Alexander’s name with his own. In 297 BC, Lysimachos introduced a new type: the obverse was a portrait of Alexander; the reverse was Athena, Lysimachos’ patron goddess. G.K Jenkins noted the power of the Alexander portrait in his commentary on the Gulbenkian Collection: “The idealized portrait of Alexander introduced on the coinage of Lysimachos in 297 BC is characterized by the horn of Ammon which appears above the ear. The allusion is to Alexander’s famous visit to the oracle of Ammon at the Siwa Oasis in 331, when the god is supposed to have greeted Alexander as ‘My son’.... The best of the Alexander heads on Lysimachos’ coinage...have a power and brilliance of effect that is irresistible. It [is speculated] that these Alexander heads may have derived from an original gem carved by Pyrgoteles, an engraver prominent among the artists of Alexander’s court....” Regardless of the inspiration for the new design, part of the remarkable attraction of this coinage is its artistic variety: each engraver created his own fresh and distinctive portrayal of the world’s greatest conqueror. (Commentary courtesy of CNG).
6 commentsJason T
Sardes.jpg
Kings of Macedon. Philip III Arrhidaios, (Circa 322-318 BC)21 viewsAR Drachm

17 mm, 4.20 g

Sardes mint under Philip III Arrhidaios (323-317 BC) in the types of Alexander III

Obverse: Head of Herakles to right, wearing lion skin headdress.

Reverse: ΦIΛIΠΠΟΥ (FILIPPOU) Zeus seated left on throne, holding eagle in his right hand and scepter in his left; to left, bee; below throne, A.

Price P104

This coin is a die match for Nomos Web Auction 6, Lot 330, 11/20/2016 (https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=3481680)

Subsequent to his death in 323 BC, Alexander the Great's sister, Cleopatra, traveled to Sardes (Autumn 322 BC) to lure a husband from among her brother's former generals (who had already begun warring over Alexander's empire). Over the course of the next two years she was visited twice by Alexander's former secretary and now dashing outlaw general, Eumenes of Cardia. The first time Eumenes brought an offer of marriage from the general Perdiccas, who Cleopatra turned away (rightfully, it turned out, as he was killed by his own troops after failing in battle vs. Ptolemy in Egypt). The second time (320 BC) Eumenes offered to ally with Cleopatra to combine his military might and her royal legitimacy.(This was not an offer of marriage, as Eumenes was not Macedonian.) To impress the princess, Eumenes paraded his cavalry back and forth before Sardes. But Cleopatra, though she granted Eumenes an audience, was not willing to become his partisan. Throughout the wars that followed Cleopatra never married or even left Sardes, where she remained as a veritable damsel in the tower keep until her death by assassination in 308 BC.
Nathan P
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L. Farsuleius Mensor, Crawford 392/1b71 viewsL. Farsuleius Mensor, gens Farsuleia
AR - denar, 18 mm, 3.96 gm.
Rome 75 BC
obv. Diademed and draped bust of Libertas r., wearing ear-rings and necklace.
S C and pileus behind
MENSOR before
rev. Armed and helmeted warrior, holding spear, takes togated person into his
biga, driving r.
CXV under horses
L. FARSVLEI in exergue.
Crawford 392/1b; Sydenham 789; Farsuleia 2
about VF, obv. slightly excentric
ex Lakeview coll.

The reverse depiction is heavily propagandistic. It could be related to the 'Lex Iulia de civitate sociis dandi', introduced by the consul L. Caesar (not Julius Caesar!) in 90 BC and offering Roman citizenship to all citizens of Italian municipia who had not raised arms against Rome in the Italian War (Social War).

Another possibilitiy is that it is related to to the recruitment of military troops needed for the wars in Spain (against Sertorius) and against Mithradates in Asia.

In the 1st case it is Roma taking the Roman allies in her biga, in the other case it could be Mars taking the Roman citizens in his war chariot.
2 commentsJochen
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L. Manlius Torquatus and L. Cornelius Sulla52 viewsL. Manlius Torquatus and L. Cornelius Sulla (82 BC). AR denarius 3.99 g. Military military mint with Sulla.
O: Helmeted bust of Roma right, with peaked visor, cruciform earring and necklace, hair in three locks; L MANLI before; PRO•Q behind
R: Sulla, togate, driving triumphal quadriga right, holding branch and reins; above, Victory flying left crowning Sulla with laurel wreath; L•SVLLA•IM in exergue. - Crawford 367/5. Sydenham 757. Manlia 4.
Fine style, light golden toning.

As consul for the year 88 BC, Sulla was awarded the coveted assignment of suppressing the revolt of Mithradates VI of Pontus, but political maneuvers resulted in this assignment being transferred to Marius. In response, Sulla turned his army on Rome, captured it, and reclaimed his command against Mithradates. His prosecution of the first Mithradatic War was successful, but he spared the Pontic king for personal gain. In 83 BC, Sulla returned to Italy as an outlaw, but he was able to win the support of many of the leading Romans. Within a year, he fought his way to Rome, where he was elected dictator. It was during this campaign to Rome that this denarius was struck. The obverse type represents Sulla's claim to be acting in Rome's best interest. The reverse shows Sulla enjoying the highest honor to which a Roman could aspire: the celebration of a triumph at Rome.

We learn from Plutarch that L. Manlius Torquatus was one of Sulla’s generals. This type was struck during Sulla’s political campaign to be elected dictator, following his return to Rome after his victory against Mithridates. Prior to the Mithridatic Wars, L. Manlius Torquatus had been Sulla’s quaestor - a post he had resigned to assume his military role; hence on this issue he is proquaestor.
1 commentsNemonater
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L. Titurius L.f. Sabinus - AR denarius9 viewsRome
¹²89 BC
head of king Titus Tatius right, palm branch right
A·PV / SABIN
two Roman soldiers running left, each bearing a Sabine woman in his arms
L·TITVRI
¹Crawford 344/1c; Sydenham 698b; Tituria 3; RR1 2324, p.297
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
4,2g
ex Solidus

The reverse shows the famous rape of the Sabine women.

"The Sabines were ancient people of central Italy ... From the earliest days there was a Sabine element in Rome. After foundation of the double kingdom of Romulus and Titus Tatius the Romans were called Quirites too (populus Romanus Quiritium), referring to Cures, the capital of the Sabinians, where Numa Pompilius was originated too. The story of the rape of the Sabine women to supply wives for the womanless followers of Romulus is a legend explaining this fact. Many Roman religious practices are said to have Sabine origins. Rome was involved in numerous wars with the inland Sabines; Horatius is supposed to have defeated them in the 5th cent. BC, and Marcus Curius Dentatus conquered them in 290 BC. The Sabines became Roman citizens 268 BC. The Samnites were possibly a branch of the Sabines. Anyway often the Samnites were confused by the Romans with the Sabinians." - Jochen's Coins of mythological interest
Johny SYSEL
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LT 4717var, Gaul, Senones, potin19 viewsSenones tribe (near Sens, Bourgogne, France)
Circa 100-50 BC

Cast potin, 2.98 g, 19 mm diameter, die axis 8h

O/ head of an Indian warrior right, six locks of hair
R/ horse galopping left, one bullet below and one on the left, one bullet at the end of the horse's tail

This coin is supposed to have been struck during Gallic wars, when Caesar was conquering Gaul. It is maybe the most common gallic coin.
Droger
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LT 7396, Gaul, Senones, potin16 viewsSenones tribe (near Sens, Bourgogne, France)
Circa 100-50 BC

Cast potin, 3.12 g, 18 mm diameter, die axis 8h

O/ helmeted head left
R/ stylized horse left, with bullets

This coin is supposed to have been struck during Gallic wars, when Caesar was conquering Gaul.
Droger
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LT 8124, Gaul, Remi, potin14 viewsRemi tribe (near Reims, northeast of France)
Circa 100-50 BC

Cast potin, 4.66 g, 20 mm diameter, die axis 9h

O/ warrior with plait running right, holding torc and spear
R/ beast standing right, with mouth open; object in shape of fibula above; serpent (?) below

This coin is supposed to have been struck during Gallic wars, when Caesar was conquering Gaul.
Droger
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LT 9078, Gaul, Leuci, potin9 viewsLeuci tribe (in Lorraine, northeast of France)
Circa 75-50 BC

Cast potin, 3.16 g, 19 mm diameter, die axis 3h

O/ head of an Indian warrior left, 3 locks of hair
R/ boar standing left with a symbol below

This coin is supposed to have been struck during Gallic wars, when Caesar was conquering Gaul.
Droger
PhilipIIMacedonLifetimeTet.jpg
Macedonian Kingdom, Philip II, 359 - 336 B.C., Lifetime Issue126 viewsSilver tetradrachm, Le Rider 233 (D130/R188); SNG ANS 385 ff., VF, Pella, 14.163g, 25.4mm, 225o, 342 - 336 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse "FILIPPOU", naked youth on horse pacing right on horseback holding palm, thunderbolt below; ex CNG 214, 82; very high relief sculptural portrait, nice style, lifetime issue. Ex FORVM.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philip’s Assassination

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

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

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_II_of_Macedon
http://www.livius.org/phi-php/philip/philip_ii.htm
Ed. by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
M_Aurelius_ric_280.jpg
Marcus Aurelius AR Denarius94 viewsMarcus Aurelius, 161-180. Denarius (Silver, 19 mm, 3.31 g, 6 h), Rome, 173. M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVII Laureate head of Marcus Aurelius to right. Rev. IMP VI COS III German captive seated left at foot of a trophy. Cohen 300. RIC 280. Well centered and attractively toned. Nearly extremely fine.
From the collection of W. F. Stoecklin, Amriswil, Switzerland, acquired prior to 1975.
Obolos 9 by Nomos. March 25, 2018

Marcus Aurelius ruled at a time referred to by some as the "Five good emperors". These leaders were known for the lack of excesses that characterized some earlier emperors such as Nero and Caligula. They ruled during a relatively stable period of Roman history unlike the tumult caused by the 'Year of the four Caesars".

However, this is not to say that all was peace and felicity. The reverse of this coin depicts a German captive under a trophy of arms. The message is clear, Marcus Aurelius has defeated the Germans in battle. The larger context of this coin refers to a series of conflicts known as the Macromannic wars.

I love this coin for the reverse, but I think the portrait is also excellent. The engraver was a person of considerable skill. I also like this coin for its provenance. It was a part of the Stoecklin collection. I would like to know more about when and where it was acquired but the auction house only knew that it was purchased by W.F. Stoecklin sometime before 1975.

This coin is a bit of a departure for me as I usually stay firmly in the 1st century CE with my purchases. However I wanted an interesting coin of this philosopher-emperor and so when I saw it I had to have it.
9 commentsorfew
OthoPax.jpg
Marcus Salvius Otho126 viewsAD 69 January 15 to mid-April. 20mm, 3.35 g. Rome mint.
O: IMP M OTHO C[AESA]R AVG TR P, Bare head right
R: PAX ORBIS TERRARVM, Pax standing left, holding olive branch and caduceus.
- RIC I 4; RSC 3.

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

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

For some very interesting reading on the style and composition of Otho denarii, see http://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Denarii%20of%20Otho
4 commentsNemonater
Mark_Antony_Denarius_91_90.jpg
Mark Antony (Triumvir) Gens: Antonia Moneyer: Military Mint Coin: Silver Denarius 3 viewsANTAVG III VIR. R.P.C. - Galley right under oars
Legion XII Antiqvae - Eagle between standards
Mint: Patras ? (32-31 BC)
Wt./Size/Axis: 2.72g / 18mm / 12h
References:
RSC 40
BMC 222
Cr544/9
Syd 1231
Sear5 #1480
Provenances:
Thierry DUMEZ NUMISMATIQUE
Acquisition/Sale: Thierry DUMEZ NUMISMATIQUE MA-Shops $0.00 10/18
Notes: Nov 23, 18 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection

"ANT AVG | III VIR R P C"
("Antonius Augur | Triumvir rei publicae constituendae")
trans. "Antony Augustus (military title), Triumvirate for the Restoration of the Republic"



From Wikipedia:
Marcus Antonius (Latin: M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N;[note 1] 14 January 83 BC – 1 August 30 BC), commonly known in English as Mark Antony or Marc Antony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy into the autocratic Roman Empire.

Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, and Spain. After Caesar's death in 44 BC, Antony joined forces with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, another of Caesar's generals, and Octavian, Caesar's great-nephew and adopted son, forming a three-man dictatorship known to historians as the Second Triumvirate. The Triumvirs defeated Caesar's murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, and divided the government of the Republic between themselves. Antony was assigned Rome's eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt, then ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, and was given the command in Rome's war against Parthia.

Relations among the triumvirs were strained as the various members sought greater political power. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 BC, when Antony married Octavian's sister, Octavia. Despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antony's relations with Octavian. Lepidus was expelled from the association in 36 BC, and in 33 BC disagreements between Antony and Octavian caused a split between the remaining Triumvirs. Their ongoing hostility erupted into civil war in 31 BC, as the Roman Senate, at Octavian's direction, declared war on Cleopatra and proclaimed Antony a traitor. Later that year, Antony was defeated by Octavian's forces at the Battle of Actium. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they committed suicide.

With Antony dead, Octavian became the undisputed master of the Roman world. In 27 BC, Octavian was granted the title of Augustus, marking the final stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire, with himself as the first Roman emperor.

LEG XII ANTIQVAE
This was Caesar's 12th legion, raised in 58 BC for the campaign against the Helvetii. It served throughout the wars in Gaul (58 to 49), Italy (49), and at Pharsalus (48). It was disbanded 46-45 BC and the colonists were settled at Parma. The legion was reformed in 44-43 BC most likely by Lepidus. The legion was then passed to Antony in 41-31 BC and was present at Actium. It appears on Antony's coinage as LEG XII ANTIQVAE. Colonists were settled at Patrae, Greece alongside men of Legio X Equestris, perhaps by Antony, more likely by Octavian soon after Actium.

The legion's whereabouts during most of Augustus' reign is unclear. The 12th was very possibly the unnamed third legion (with III Cyrenaica and XXII Deiotariana) stationed in Egypt. That unnamed legion disappears from Egypt at just about the same time that Legio XII Fulminata is first found in Syria. By early in the reign of Tiberius, the 12th legion was based at Raphanae.

Above the ship ANT AVG abbreviates the name Antonius along with one of his titles, Augur, a priest of the Roman state religion. Below the ship is his other title III VIR. R.P.C. (tresviri rei publicae constituendae), which loosely translates as “Triumvir for the Reorganization of the Republic”. A triumvir in this case was a member of the “Second Triumvirate” an informal power-sharing arrangement formed in 43 BCE between three men: Antony, Octavian (Julius Caesar’s great-nephew and designated heir,) and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (c. 88 – 12 BCE), last high priest of the Republic and Caesar’s political ally.

From Forvm:
The legionary denarii were struck by Antony for the use of his fleet and legions, most likely at his winter headquarters at Patrae just before the Actian campaign. They may have been struck with silver from Cleopatra's treasury. The legionary denarii provide an interesting record of the 23 legions, praetorian cohorts and the chort of speculatores of which Antony's army was composed. Some of them give the name as well as the number of the legion honored. They have a lower silver content than the standard of the time. As a result they were rarely hoarded, heavily circulated and are most often found in very worn condition. The Francis Jarman collection includes the very rare and scarce named legions and cohorts.
Gary W2
Mark_Antony,_as_Triumvir_43-30_BC.jpg
Mark Antony (Triumvir) Gens: Antonia Moneyer: Military Mint Coin: Silver Denarius 7 viewsANTAVG III VIR. R.P.C. - Galley right under oars
Leg III - Eagle between standards
Mint: Patras ? (32-31 BC)
Wt./Size/Axis: 3.11g / 17mm / 12h
References:
RSC 28
Cr544/15
Syd 1216
Provenances:
Savoca Coins
Acquisition/Sale: Savoca Coins Internet 21st Blue Auction #978 $0.00 06/19
Notes: Jun 23, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection

"ANT AVG | III VIR R P C"
("Antonius Augur | Triumvir rei publicae constituendae")
trans. "Antony Augustus (military title), Triumvirate for the Restoration of the Republic"

ANCIENT MARITIME VESSELS ON COINS
2nd-1st Century BC:
The Roman Quinquereme

Although the Romans included triremes in their fleet, their typical warship (Latin navis longa) was a heavily armed quadreme or a quinquereme (lots 600-606), adapted from Magna Graecian and Syracusan prototypes. More comfortable with infantry tactics, they included a novel device known as the corvus, or “raven.” Located at the bow, the corvus was an iron hook attached to a retractable bridge attached to a pole-and-pulley system. Upon ramming their opponent, the bridge was dropped, and the corvus imbedded itself into the deck of the opposing ship. As a result, the now-locked ships allowed the Roman soldiers stationed on the quinquereme to board the other ship and fight as if the battle were on land.

With the end of the Third Punic War (146 BC), and no longer faced with a major threat in the west, the Romans mothballed their fleet. It would be periodically re-commissioned to deal with pirates, though, as in 67 BC when the Senate enjoined Pompey to put down the Cilician pirates. When his son, Sextus Pompeius, amassed a powerful fleet to contest Octavian in the period immediately following the assassination of Caesar, he issued a denarius recalling both the memory of his father’s accomplishment, and his own naval power (lot 604). Antony’s silver legionary denarii and bronze fleet coinage, struck prior to Actium and used to pay his Roman and Egyptian forces (lots 605 and 606), also attest to the important role of the Roman navy in this period. While the purpose for the striking of a later restitution issue of the legionary type under the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus is a subject of speculation (lots 629 and 630), it does show that the Romans retained the same ship design over the next two centuries.

The wars between Octavian and Antony fundamentally changed the role of naval warfare for the Romans. Agrippa’s naval victories against Sextus Pompey at Naulochus in 36 BC and the combined fleets of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium in 31 BC, demonstrate the decisively integral role that such naval engagements had become. By the founding of the Empire, Rome had definitively established itself as the supreme naval power in the Mediterranean.

Gary W2
Mark_Antony_32-31_BC__Rome.jpg
Mark Antony (Triumvir) Gens: Antonia Moneyer: Military Mint Coin: Silver Denarius 5 viewsANTAVG III VIR. R.P.C. - Galley right under oars
Leg II - Eagle between standards
Mint: Patras ? (32-31 BC)
Wt./Size/Axis: 3.09g / 16mm / 12h
References:
RSC 27
Cr544/14
Syd 1216
Sear'88 #414
Provenances:
Savoca Coins
Acquisition/Sale: Savoca Coins Internet 21st Blue Auction #986 $0.00 06/19
Notes: Jun 23, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection

"ANT AVG | III VIR R P C"
("Antonius Augur | Triumvir rei publicae constituendae")
trans. "Antony Augustus (military title), Triumvirate for the Restoration of the Republic"

ANCIENT MARITIME VESSELS ON COINS
2nd-1st Century BC:
The Roman Quinquereme

Although the Romans included triremes in their fleet, their typical warship (Latin navis longa) was a heavily armed quadreme or a quinquereme (lots 600-606), adapted from Magna Graecian and Syracusan prototypes. More comfortable with infantry tactics, they included a novel device known as the corvus, or “raven.” Located at the bow, the corvus was an iron hook attached to a retractable bridge attached to a pole-and-pulley system. Upon ramming their opponent, the bridge was dropped, and the corvus imbedded itself into the deck of the opposing ship. As a result, the now-locked ships allowed the Roman soldiers stationed on the quinquereme to board the other ship and fight as if the battle were on land.

With the end of the Third Punic War (146 BC), and no longer faced with a major threat in the west, the Romans mothballed their fleet. It would be periodically re-commissioned to deal with pirates, though, as in 67 BC when the Senate enjoined Pompey to put down the Cilician pirates. When his son, Sextus Pompeius, amassed a powerful fleet to contest Octavian in the period immediately following the assassination of Caesar, he issued a denarius recalling both the memory of his father’s accomplishment, and his own naval power (lot 604). Antony’s silver legionary denarii and bronze fleet coinage, struck prior to Actium and used to pay his Roman and Egyptian forces (lots 605 and 606), also attest to the important role of the Roman navy in this period. While the purpose for the striking of a later restitution issue of the legionary type under the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus is a subject of speculation (lots 629 and 630), it does show that the Romans retained the same ship design over the next two centuries.

The wars between Octavian and Antony fundamentally changed the role of naval warfare for the Romans. Agrippa’s naval victories against Sextus Pompey at Naulochus in 36 BC and the combined fleets of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium in 31 BC, demonstrate the decisively integral role that such naval engagements had become. By the founding of the Empire, Rome had definitively established itself as the supreme naval power in the Mediterranean.

Gary W2
LEG_V~0.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary Denarius LEG V 96 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
galley r. mast with banners at prow

Rev LEG V legionary eagle between two standards


Patrae mint 32-31BC

Legio V Alaudae (also known as Gallica) was the first Roman legion composed of provincial soldiers, as opposed to Roman citizens. Caesar paid the soldiers with his own resources, but the legion was later recognized by the Roman Senate. V Alaudae fought in the Gallic wars until 49 BC, as one of the most brave legions of Caesar, then they were moved to Spain. They served with Mark Antony between 41 and 31 BC and probably fought in Actium. After Antony committed suicide, they were merged into Augustus' army in 30 BC.

Their emblem depicted an elephant and was awarded in 46 BC for bravery against a charge of elephants in the Battle of Thapsus.
Titus Pullo
Leg VII.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary denarius LEG VII87 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
galley r. mast with banners at prow

Rev LEG VII legionary eagle between two standards


Patrae mint 32-31BC

SOLD!

Legio VII Claudia Pia Fidelis (faithful and loyal Claudian legion) dates back to the four legions used by Julius Caesar in his Gallic Wars and played a crucial role in The Battle of Pharsalus in 58 BC, and it existed at least until the end of the 4th century, guarding middle Danube. The emblem of this legion, as well as of all Caesar's legions, was the bull, together with the lion.

Legio VII was one of the two legions used in Caesar's invasions of Britain.

Tiberius Claudius Maximus the Roman soldier who brought the head of Decebalus to emperor Trajan was serving in Legio VII Claudia.
Titus Pullo
Legion_VII~0.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary Denarius LEG VII 81 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
galley r. mast with banners at prow

LEG VII
legionary eagle between two standards

Patrae mint 32-31BC

Legio VII Claudia Pia Fidelis (faithful and loyal Claudian legion) dates back to the four legions used by Julius Caesar in his Gallic Wars and played a crucial role in The Battle of Pharsalus in 58 BC, and it existed at least until the end of the 4th century, guarding middle Danube. The emblem of this legion, as well as of all Caesar's legions, was the bull, together with the lion.

Legio VII was one of the two legions used in Caesar's invasions of Britain.

Tiberius Claudius Maximus the Roman soldier who brought the head of Decebalus to emperor Trajan was serving in Legio VII Claudia.

2 commentsJay GT4
ANTLEGX.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary Denarius LEG X101 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
Galley r. mast with banners at prow

LEG X
Legionary eagle between two standards

Patrae mint 32-31BC

LEG X (later called Gemina) was levied in 59 BC or earlier by Julius Caesar. It was the first legion levied by him personally and was raised in Spain. It played a major role in the Gallic war featuring prominently in Caesar's "Gallic Wars." Legio X was his most trusted and loyal Legion. In 45 BC the Legion was disbanded and given land grants in Southern Gaul.

During the civil war that followed Caesar's assassination, Legio X was reconstituted by Lepidus in the winter of 44/43 BC making use of many retired legionaries who re-enlisted. It was eventually turned over to Antony and fought for him until the final Battle of Philippi. The veterans obtained lands near Cremona, and an inscription reports that the name of the legion at the time was Veneria, "devoted to Venus." This alluded to Julius Caesar's claimed descent from Venus.

The newly levied Tenth was then taken by Antony to Armenia for his Parthian campaign. During Antony's civil war, the legion fought for him until his defeat at the Battle of Actium, after which the legion changed sides and moved into Octavian's army. They were then taken to Egypt to finish off Antony and Cleopatra. Octavian never fully trusted the 10th Legion as it had been fiercely loyal to both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After Antony's death Octavian left the legion in the East in Syria. In 29 BC the legion was due to be discharged. When the legionaries pressed for their release and land grants Octavian was slow in complying. Suetonius says that the entire legion rioted and Octavian dishonorably discharged the entire legion.

Octavian now recruited new legionaries to fill the 10th Legion in its traditional recruiting grounds of Spain. Some of the senior Centurions may have re-enlisted for a third term to serve with the 10th. These men would have been in their late 40's or early 50's. The new legionaries marched over land to Syria to take up their posting. The new 10th Legion's home base was on the Euphrates to keep an eye on the Parthians.

The next discharge date would be 14-13 BC. This time the 10th Legion was settled in Beirut and the city was given Colony status. Ten years later the 10th Legion under Publius Quintilius Varus was marched down to Jerusalem to garrison the city after Herod the Great died. The 10th Legion would remain in Jerusalem until 6 AD.
2 commentsJay GT4
ANTVESPcounter.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary denarius LEG X IMPVESP138 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
Galley r. mast with banners at prow
IMPVESP counter mark above galley

LEG X?
Legionary eagle between two standards IMPVESP countermark


Patrae mint 32-31BC

3.01g

Ex-Incitatus

Obverse countermarked IMPVESP during Vespasian's reign showing this denarius was in circulation for well over 100 years! In hand I can make out X for the legion number but can't be sure if any other numerals appear after it. This countermark appears mostly on late Republican and Imperatorial denarii, although denarii of Augustus and denarii of the Flavians struck at Ephesus are also recorded. The MP VES countermarks circulated specifically within the province of Asia Minor. Martini noted that the output of silver coinage in relation to the civic bronze for this region was much smaller during the Julio-Claudian period. This suggests the denarii were countermarked to validate locally circulating silver coinage at an acceptable weight while the regional mints opened by Vespasian were gearing up production, a theory which the countermarking of cistophori with the contemporary MP VES AVG countermarks seems to support. The similarly countermarked Flavian denarii struck at Ephesus can be accounted for then as examples accidentally countermarked by unobservant mint workers during the transition.



LEG X (later called Gemina) was levied in 59 BC or earlier by Julius Caesar. It was the first legion levied by him personally and was raised in Spain. It played a major role in the Gallic war featuring prominently in Caesar's "Gallic Wars." Legio X was his most trusted and loyal Legion. In 45 BC the Legion was disbanded and given land grants in Southern Gaul.

During the civil war that followed Caesar's assassination, Legio X was reconstituted by Lepidus in the winter of 44/43 BC making use of many retired legionaries who re-enlisted. It was eventually turned over to Antony and fought for him until the final Battle of Philippi. The veterans obtained lands near Cremona, and an inscription reports that the name of the legion at the time was Veneria, "devoted to Venus." This alluded to Julius Caesar's claimed descent from Venus.

The newly levied Tenth was then taken by Antony to Armenia for his Parthian campaign. During Antony's civil war, the legion fought for him until his defeat at the Battle of Actium, after which the legion changed sides and moved into Octavian's army. They were then taken to Egypt to finish off Antony and Cleopatra. Octavian never fully trusted the 10th Legion as it had been fiercely loyal to both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After Antony's death Octavian left the legion in the East in Syria. In 29 BC the legion was due to be discharged. When the legionaries pressed for their release and land grants Octavian was slow in complying. Suetonius says that the entire legion rioted and Octavian dishonorably discharged the entire legion.

Octavian now recruited new legionaries to fill the 10th Legion in its traditional recruiting grounds of Spain. Some of the senior Centurions may have re-enlisted for a third term to serve with the 10th. These men would have been in their late 40's or early 50's. The new legionaries marched over land to Syria to take up their posting. The new 10th Legion's home base was on the Euphrates to keep an eye on the Parthians.

The next discharge date would be 14-13 BC. This time the 10th Legion was settled in Beirut and the city was given Colony status. Ten years later the 10th Legion under Publius Quintilius Varus was marched down to Jerusalem to garrison the city after Herod the Great died. The 10th Legion would remain in Jerusalem until 6 AD.
5 commentsJay GT4
antony_mark_XII.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary Denarius LEG XII 69 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
galley r. mast with banners at prow

LEG XII
legionary eagle between two standards

Patrae mint 32-31BC

This was Caesar's 12th legion, raised in 58 BC for the campaign against the Helvetii. It served throughout the wars in Gaul (58 to 49), Italy (49), and at Pharsalus (48). It was disbanded 46-45 BC and the colonists were settled at Parma. The legion was reformed in 44-43 BC most likely by Lepidus. The legion was then passed to Antony in 41-31 BC and was present at Actium. It appears on Antony's coinage as LEG XII ANTIQVAE. Colonists were settled at Patrai, Greece alongside men of Legio X Equestris, perhaps by Antony, more likely by Octavian soon after Actium.

The legion's whereabouts during most of Augustus' reign is unclear. The 12th was very possibly the unnamed third legion (with III Cyrenaica and XXII Deiotariana) stationed in Egypt. That unnamed legion disappears from Egypt at just about the same time that Legio XII Fulminata is first found in Syria. By early in the reign of Tiberius, the 12th legion was based at Raphanae.
Titus Pullo
Antony_XII_Ant~0.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary Denarius LEG XII ANTIQVAE65 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
Galley right mast with banners at prow

LEG XII ANTIQVAE
Legionary eagle between two standards

Patrae mint 32-31 BC
3.33g

SEAR 1480

This was Caesar's 12th legion, raised in 58 BC for the campaign against the Helvetii. It served throughout the wars in Gaul (58 to 49), Italy (49), and at Pharsalus (48). It was disbanded 46-45 BC and the colonists were settled at Parma. The legion was reformed in 44-43 BC most likely by Lepidus. The legion was then passed to Antony in 41-31 BC and was present at Actium. It appears on Antony's coinage as LEG XII ANTIQVAE. Colonists were settled at Patrai, Greece alongside men of Legio X Equestris, perhaps by Antony, more likely by Octavian soon after Actium.

The legion's whereabouts during most of Augustus' reign is unclear. The 12th was very possibly the unnamed third legion (with III Cyrenaica and XXII Deiotariana) stationed in Egypt. That unnamed legion disappears from Egypt at just about the same time that Legio XII Fulminata is first found in Syria. By early in the reign of Tiberius, the 12th legion was based at Raphanae.
Jay GT4
LegXIIANT.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary Denarius LEG XII ANTIQVAE113 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
Galley right mast with banners at prow

LEG XII ANTIQVAE
Legionary eagle between two standards

Patrae mint 32-31 BC
3.57g

SEAR 1480

Ex-Londinium Coins

This was Caesar's 12th legion, raised in 58 BC for the campaign against the Helvetii. It served throughout the wars in Gaul (58 to 49), Italy (49), and at Pharsalus (48). It was disbanded 46-45 BC and the colonists were settled at Parma. The legion was reformed in 44-43 BC most likely by Lepidus. The legion was then passed to Antony in 41-31 BC and was present at Actium. It appears on Antony's coinage as LEG XII ANTIQVAE. Colonists were settled at Patrai, Greece alongside men of Legio X Equestris, perhaps by Antony, more likely by Octavian soon after Actium.

The legion's whereabouts during most of Augustus' reign is unclear. The 12th was very possibly the unnamed third legion (with III Cyrenaica and XXII Deiotariana) stationed in Egypt. That unnamed legion disappears from Egypt at just about the same time that Legio XII Fulminata is first found in Syria. By early in the reign of Tiberius, the 12th legion was based at Raphanae.
4 commentsJay GT4
LegXII.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary Denarius LEG XIII69 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
galley r. mast with banners at prow

Rev LEG XIII legionary eagle between two standards


Patrae mint 32-31BC

SOLD

Purchased as a low budget LEG XII upon viewing in hand it is definately a 13th Legion

Legio XIII was levied by Julius Caesar in 57 BC, before marching against the Belgae, in one of his early interventions in intra-Gallic conflicts.

During the Gallic wars (58-51 BC), Legio XIII was present at the Battle against the Nervians, the siege of Gergovia, and while not specifically mentioned in the sources, it is not unreasonable to assume that Legio XIII was also present for the Battle of Alesia.

Forced to choose either the end of his political career, or civil war, Caesar brought Legio XIII across the Rubicon river and into Italy. The legion remained faithful to Caesar during the resulting civil war between Caesar and the conservative Optimates faction of the senate, whose legions were commanded by Pompey. Legio XIII was active throughout the entire war, fighting at Dyrrhachium (48 BC) and Pharsalus (48 BC). After the decisive victory over Pompey at Pharsalus, the legion was to be disbanded, and the legionaries "pensioned off" with the traditional land grants; however, the legion was recalled for the Battle of Thapsus (46 BC) and the final Battle of Munda (45 BC). After Munda, Caesar disbanded the legion, retired his veterans, and gave them farmlands in Italy.

Reconstituted by Octavian in 41 BC.
Its standard was the lion.
1 commentsTitus Pullo
AntonyLEGXIII.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary Denarius LEG XIII93 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
galley r. mast with banners at prow

Rev LEG XIII legionary eagle between two standards


Patrae mint 32-31BC

New Photo

Legio XIII was levied by Julius Caesar in 57 BC, before marching against the Belgae, in one of his early interventions in intra-Gallic conflicts.

During the Gallic wars (58-51 BC), Legio XIII was present at the Battle against the Nervians, the siege of Gergovia, and while not specifically mentioned in the sources, it is not unreasonable to assume that Legio XIII was also present for the Battle of Alesia.

Forced to choose either the end of his political career, or civil war, Caesar brought Legio XIII across the Rubicon river and into Italy. The legion remained faithful to Caesar during the resulting civil war between Caesar and the conservative Optimates faction of the senate, whose legions were commanded by Pompey. Legio XIII was active throughout the entire war, fighting at Dyrrhachium (48 BC) and Pharsalus (48 BC). After the decisive victory over Pompey at Pharsalus, the legion was to be disbanded, and the legionaries "pensioned off" with the traditional land grants; however, the legion was recalled for the Battle of Thapsus (46 BC) and the final Battle of Munda (45 BC). After Munda, Caesar disbanded the legion, retired his veterans, and gave them farmlands in Italy.

Reconstituted by Octavian in 41 BC.
Its standard was the lion.
Jay GT4
Metapontum.JPG
Metapontum, Lucania114 views330-300 BC
AR Didrachm (21mm, 7.76g)
O: Head of Demeter right, wreathed in grain and wearing triple earring and necklace; ΔAI under chin.
R: Ear of barley with seven grains, leaf to right; plow above leaf, MAX below, META to left.
Johnston C-1; SNG ANS 470; SNG Cop 1227; HN Italy 1581; Sear 416
ex Windsor Antiquities

Founded around 700 BC by Achaean colonists, Metapontum strived to remain neutral through the many wars common in Magna Graecia. They took no active role in the struggle between fellow Achaean colonies of Kroton and Sybaris, although they did give sanctuary to Pythagoras and his followers after they were banished from Kroton. Here he taught until his retirement, and here he died (c. 500 BC).
Metapontum joined Taras in an alliance with Alexander of Epirus during his wars against the Lucanians and Bruttians (332 BC). However when Metapontum declined a similar offer to ally with Kleonymus of Sparta in 303 BC, Taras became hostile and attacked, eventually extorting a large sum of gold from the Metapontines. The animosity between them subsided by 281 BC, when Metapontum once again sided with the Tarentines in an alliance with Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, in the war against Rome.
By this time their influence in the region had waned, and we hear less and less of the city until the Second Punic War (216 BC), at which time Metapontum declared in favor of Hannibal. By 212 BC Hannibal occupied the city, and it seems to have been a major base for his forces. However, after his military reversal Hannibal was forced to give up possession of the region, departing Italy from Metapontum in 207 BC and evacuating the population at the same time. Metapontum would never again play a major role in Magna Graecia, and although Cicero mentions visiting the city, Pausanias tells us that the site was a complete ruin by his time.
3 commentsEnodia
Legionair.jpg
Miles Legio X, 58 - 57 B.C. (Gallic Wars)108 viewsMiles or Miles Gregarius was the Roman army rank for the basic private level foot soldier.

Legio X Equestris was one of the four legions used by Julius Caesar in 58 B.C. for his invasion of Gaul. In the Gallic wars, X Equestris played an important role on Caesar's military success, fighting under Caesar in virtually every battle. For this reason the Xth is sometimes said to be his favorite. Legio X saved the day in the battle against the Nervians in 57 BC. Together with the IXth, the Xth defeated the Atrebates, moved against the Belgians on the other side of the river and captured the enemy camp. From that position, the Xth could see how desperate the situation was for the XII Victrix as well as the VIIth. So, it quickly charged downhill, crossed the river, and attacked the Nervii from the rear, trapping them so that there was little hope of survival.

In Caesar's campaigns Legio X was present in the battle against the Nervians, the invasions of Britain, and the siege of Gergovia. They remained faithful to Caesar in the civil war against Pompey, being present in the battles of Pharsalus (49 BC) and Munda (45 BC). In 45 BC Caesar disbanded the legion, giving the veterans farmlands near Narbonne. During the civil war that followed Caesar's assassination, Legio X was reconstituted by Lepidus (winter 44/43), and fought for the triumvirs until the final Battle of Philippi.

The Xth later followed Mark Antony in Armenia, during his Parthian campaign. During Antony's civil war, the legion fought for Mark Antony until the defeat in the Battle of Actium, after which the legion moved into Octavian's army. The veterans settled in Patras. When the legion rebelled under Augustus, it was disbanded, stripped of its Equestris title, and, being populated with soldiers from other legions, renamed X Gemina. (Source: wikipedia)

Scale of this model: 75mm (1/24)
1 commentsRomaVictor
adfsfhgjk.jpg
MODERN MILLED (up to 19th Century), Bhutan, British occupation, Period II Copper 1/2 rupee 1820 - 1835.15 viewsBhutan is a tiny and remote kingdom nestling in the Himalayas between its powerful neighbours, India and China.
During the 18th Century, the British, in the form of the East India Company, pressed towards the borders of Bhutan. Skirmishes and wars between the British and the Bhutanese continued until 1865, when a treaty was signed between the British and the Bhutanese in which the Duars were ceded to British India in return for a rent of 50,000 Rupees a year.
oneill6217
heyjyje.jpg
MODERN MILLED (up to 19th Century), Bhutan, British occupation, Period III Copper 1/2 rupee 1835-1910 KM 7.213 viewsBhutan is a tiny and remote kingdom nestling in the Himalayas between its powerful neighbours, India and China.
During the 18th Century, the British, in the form of the East India Company, pressed towards the borders of Bhutan. Skirmishes and wars between the British and the Bhutanese continued until 1865, when a treaty was signed between the British and the Bhutanese in which the Duars were ceded to British India in return for a rent of 50,000 Rupees a year.
oneill6217
dionysopolis_sev_alex_BMC1.jpg
Moesia Inferior, Dionysopolis, Severus Alexander, Jekov 165 viewsSeverus Alexander, AD 222-235
AE 26
obv. AVT KM [AVR] - ALEZANDROC
bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. DIONVCOP - OLEITWN
The Great God, in himation and wearing kalathos, stg. frontal, head r., holding
cornucopiae in l. arm and sacrifying with outstretched r. hand from patera over
lightened altar on l. side
AMNG I/1, 381; Jekov no.1; Varbanov (engl.) 502; BMC 1; SGI 3267
about VF, obv. legend incomplete

The rev. shows that the Great God of Odessos was warshipped in the nearby cities too!
Jochen
kyzikos_soteira_SNGparis_596.jpg
Mysia, Kyzikos, pseudo_autonomous, SNG Paris 59671 viewsAE 17, 4.13g
struck c. AD 170-190 (late Antoninian time)
obv. (anepigraphic)
head of Kore Soteira, with grain wreath, r.
rev. KVZIK - KHWN
Jar with two handles
von Fritze, KK 26, 30; SNG Paris 596
rare, about VF, good style
ex coll. J.-P. Righetti

In Kyzikos Persephone was warshipped as Kore Soteira (= Saviour).
3 commentsJochen
trajan_decius_sngparis_cf1294.jpg
Mysia, Lampsakos, Trajan Decius cf. SNG Paris 129440 viewsTrajan Decius AD 249-251
AE 21, 4.15g
obv. AYT KOI TRAIAN DEK[IOC]
bust, draped, laureate, r.
rev. LANYAKHN / [W]N - EPI APOLL[WN?] - ETOY
Priapos stg. l., draped from hips, showing Ithyphallos, holding Thyrsos l. and
Kantharos r.
cf. SNG Paris 1294 (thanks all for attribution!)
Very rare, F+/-VF
added to www.wildwinds.com

LAN erroneous for LAM, but there are some open questions too: KOI seems to be erroneous for KAI, magistrate APOLLONITOS couldn't be found until now.

PRIAPOS was born by Aphrodite in Lampsakos/Mysia. Therefore Lampsakos was the centre of warshipping of Priapos. Here his depiction was more like Dionysos who was said to be his father.
Jochen
neroas.jpg
Nero(54-68 AD) Bronze As 65 AD14 viewsObverse: Laureate Head right; NERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP
Reverse: Temple of Janus, doors to the right; PACE PR TERRA MARIQ PARTA JANUM CLVSIT, S-C across field

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

Although history has given Nero a bad press he was a popular emperor in his time, notably because of his lavish expenditures on entertainment and the general peacefulness of his reign which he memorialized by showing the temple of Janus with doors closed signifying that Rome was at peace. Unfortunately empires are built on wars and conquest, not peace, and it is likely that the dissatisfaction of the army was the cause of his overthrow.
daverino
Aspendos.jpg
Pamphylia, Aspendos (Circa 380-325 BC)26 viewsAR Stater

24 mm, 11.08 g

Obv: Two wrestlers grappling. Control: KI.

Rev: EΣTFEΔIIYΣ.
Slinger in throwing stance right. Triskeles right in field; countermark.


SNG France 104; SNG von Aulock 4557.

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

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

Many years later when Alexander the Great marched into Aspendos in 333 BC after capturing Perge, the citizens sent envoys asking him not to garrison soldiers there. He agreed, provided he would be given the taxes and horses that they had formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. After reaching this agreement Alexander went to Side, leaving a garrison there on the city's surrender. Going back through Sillyon, he learned that the Aspendians had failed to ratify the agreement their envoys had proposed and were preparing to defend themselves. Alexander marched to the city immediately. When they saw Alexander returning with his troops, the Aspendians, who had retreated to their acropolis, again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to very harsh terms; a Macedonian garrison would remain in the city and 100 gold talents as well as 4,000 horses would be given in tax annually.
Nathan P
15450945253671209543617.jpg
Pantikapaion, Thrace31 views304-250 BC
AE 20 (20mm, 5.81g)
O: Head of Pan left, wreathed in ivy.
R: Bow and arrow, ΠAN below.
MacDonald 116.1; SNG Poland II; NM Warsaw 178-79
ex Forvm Auctions (Bartosz Awianowicz)

3 commentsEnodia
Probus_-_Pax.jpg
Pax52 viewsObv. IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, helmeted and cuirassed bust left holding spear over right shoulder and shield on left
Rev. Pax standing left, olive branch in right, transverse scepter in left, Q right, XXI in ex;
Antoninanus, 3.25 gr, 21 mm,
Siscia
Refs. RIC V 711

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

"Soon," he said, "we shall have no need of soldiers." What else is this than saying: "Soon there will not be a Roman soldier? Everywhere the commonwealth will reign and will rule all in safety. The entire world will forge no arms and will furnish no rations, the ox will be kept for the plough and the horse be bred for peace, there will be no wars and no captivity, in all places peace will reign, in all places the laws of Rome, and in all places our judges."
1 commentsSyltorian
coins70.JPG
Pergamon, Mysia33 viewsPergamon or Pergamum (Greek: Πέργαμος, modern day Bergama in Turkey, 39°7′N 27°11′E) was an ancient Greek city, in Mysia, northwestern Anatolia, 16 miles from the Aegean Sea, located on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus (modern day Bakırçay), that became an important kingdom during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 282-129 BC. G34

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

The Attalids ruled with intelligence and generosity. Many documents survive showing how the Attalids would support the growth of towns through sending in skilled artisans and by remitting taxes. They allowed the Greek cities in their domains to maintain nominal independence. They sent gifts to Greek cultural sites like Delphi, Delos, and Athens. They defeated the invading Celts. They remodeled the acropolis of Pergamum after the Acropolis in Athens. The Great Altar of Pergamon is in the Pergamon Museum of Berlin.

Pergamon had the second best library in the ancient Greek civilisation, after Alexandria. When the Ptolemies stopped exporting papyrus, partly because of competitors and partly because of shortages, the Pergamenes invented a new substance to use in codices, called pergaminus or parchment after the city. This was made of fine calf skin, a predecessor of vellum.

When Attalus III died without an heir in 133 BC he bequeathed Pergamon to Rome, in order to prevent a civil war.

Close to the city was a sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of healing. In this place people with health problems could bath in the water of the sacred spring, and in the patients' dreams Asklepios would appear in a vision to tell them how to cure their illness. Archeology has found lots of gifts and dedications that people would make afterwards, such as small terracotta body parts, no doubt representing what had been healed.

In the first century AD, the Christian Church at Pergamon was one of the Seven Churches to which the Book of Revelation was addressed (Revelation 1:11, NRSV).

Pergamon, Mysia, struck by Philetairos, 282-263 BC.
Obv: head of athena wearing attic helmet right.
Rev: FILETAIROU, Asklepios seated left, feeding snake from patera.
SNG BN 1643 ff.

ecoli
Philip_Philadelphos_Silver.JPG
Philip Philadelphos Silver Tetradrachm57 viewsPhilip Philadelphos circa 93 - 83 BC
Silver tetradrachm 15.8 gram
Obverse: Bust Right
Reverse: Zeus on throne Left _15000
SNGIs 2805 Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos AR Tetradrachm. Antioch mint, struck circa 89-83 BC. Diademed head right / BASILEWS FILIPPOU EPIFANOUS FILADELFOU, Zeus seated left, holding Nike in right hand, lotus-tipped scepter in left; monogram below throne, N in exergue; all within wreath. SMA 447, Houghton 394v.

Philip I was a son of Antiochus VIII, and the twin brother of the more dominant Antiochus XI
with whom he initially collaborated in his war against the son of Antiochus Cyzicenus. The twins
expelled Antiochus X from Antioch for a short while in 93. However Antiochus XI ruled briefly
in the capital. Antiochus X returned to defeat them in a battle that cost Antiochus XI his life.
Philip escaped to Cilicia to organize war again with one of his other brothers , Demetrius III.
Around 88 BC Philip was briefly the uncontested sovereign of northern Syria. But the cival war
continued, and on the death of Philip I in 84/3 the inhibitants of Antioch sick of civil wars,
appealed to Tigranes II of Armenia te relieve them of their Seleucid oppressors and to rule them
himself. Tigranes acceded. Philip left one minor son, the future Philip II.
Antonivs Protti
domnapisidia.jpg
Pisidia, Antioch. Julia Domna AE22. Men26 viewsPRO: PISIDIA
PO : ANTIOCHEIA
PZ : Between 193 and 203
TIL: COLONIAE / CAIS
Obverse
VSL: IVLI DOMNA AVG
VT : PORTRAIT WOMAN R / IULIA DOMNA
VA : CLOTHES
Reverse
RSL: ANTIOCH COLONIAE CAIS
RT : MAN STANDING HR(1) / MEN(1) / BIRD LE / COCK
RA : FOOT(1) / ON / BUKRANION / STAFF(1) / PHRYGIAN CAP / CRESCENT / NIKE(1) / WITH / TROPAION
Technical details
M : AE
GEW: 5.7(1)
Bibliographical references
ZIT: KRZYZANOWSKA S148,DOM5.13(1) / COLL WARSCHAU(1)
Additional remarks
FR : VS: IVLI DOMNA AVG RS: ANTIOCH COLONIAE CAIS
ancientone
SeptimiusPisidiaAntiochAE22.jpg
Pisidia, Antioch. Septimius Severus. 198-217 AD. 102 viewsPisidia, Antioch. Septimius Severus. 198-217 AD. AE 22mm (5.21 gm). Obverse: Laureate, head left. Reverse: Mên standing facing, head right, foot on bucranium, holding sceptre and Nike on globe; cock at feet left. SNG France 3, 1118. Cleaning scratches, very fine. Ex Tom Vossen.

De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Introduction
Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman empire after the tumultuous reign of the emperor Commodus and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus' murder. However, by giving greater pay and benefits to soldiers and annexing the troublesome lands of northern Mesopotamia into the Roman empire, Septimius Severus brought increasing financial and military burdens to Rome's government. His prudent administration allowed these burdens to be met during his eighteen years on the throne, but his reign was not entirely sunny. The bloodiness with which Severus gained and maintained control of the empire tarnished his generally positive reputation.

Severus' Early Life and Acclamation
Severus was born 11 April 145 in the African city of Lepcis Magna, whose magnificent ruins are located in modern Libya, 130 miles east of Tripoli. Septimius Severus came from a distinguished local family with cousins who received suffect consulships in Rome under Antoninus Pius. The future emperor's father seems not to have held any major offices, but the grandfather may have been the wealthy equestrian Septimius Severus commemorated by the Flavian-era poet Statius.

The future emperor was helped in his early career by one of his consular cousins, who arranged entry into the senate and the favor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Life as a senator meant a life of travel from one government posting to another. Moorish attacks on his intended post of Baetica (southern Spain) forced Severus to serve his quaestorship in Sardinia. He then traveled to Africa as a legate and returned to Rome to be a tribune of the plebs. Around the year 175 he married Paccia Marciana, who seems also to have been of African origin. The childless marriage lasted a decade or so until her death.

Severus' career continued to flourish as the empire passed from Marcus to Commodus. The young senator held a praetorship, then served in Spain, commanded a legion in Syria and held the governorships of Gallia Lugdunensis (central France), Sicily and Upper Pannonia (easternmost Austria and western Hungary). While in Gallia Lugdunensis in 187, the now-widowed future emperor married Julia Domna, a woman from a prominent family of the Syrian city of Emesa. Two sons quickly arrived, eleven months apart: Bassianus (known to history as Caracalla) in April of the year 188, and Geta in March 189.

News of Pertinax's assassination 28 March 193 in an uprising by the praetorian guard quickly reached Pannonia, and only twelve days later on 9 April 193, Severus was proclaimed emperor. Septimius Severus had the strong support of the armies along the Rhine and Danube, but the loyalty of the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, was in doubt. Severus' envoys from Pannonia offered Albinus the title of Caesar, which he accepted.

The Civil Wars with Albinus, Niger, and Didius Julianus
In the city of Rome, Didius Julianus gained the support of the praetorian troops and was promoted as the successor to Pertinax. Although Julianus' authority did not extend much beyond Italy, Severus understood that legitimacy for a Roman emperor meant having one's authority accepted in Rome. He and his army began a swift march to the city. They met practically no resistance on their advance from Pannonia into northern Italy, as Julianus' supporters defected. By the beginning of June when Severus reached Interamna, 50 miles north of Rome, even the praetorian guard stationed in the capital switched sides. Didius Julianus was declared a public enemy and killed. Septimius Severus entered Rome without a fight.

Civil war was not yet over. Another provincial governor also had his eyes on the throne. In Syria, Pescennius Niger had been proclaimed emperor on news of Pertinax's death, and the eastern provinces quickly went under his authority. Byzantium became Niger's base of operations as he prepared to fight the armies of the west loyal to Severus.

Niger was unable to maintain further advances into Europe. The fighting moved to the Asian shore of the Propontis, and in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south. Asia and Bithynia fell under Severus' control, and Egypt soon recognized Severus' authority. By late spring, Niger was defeated near Issus and the remainder of his support collapsed. Syria was pacified. Niger was killed fleeing Antioch. Byzantium, however, refused to surrender to Severan forces. Niger's head was sent to the city to persuade the besieged citizens to give up, but to no avail. The Byzantines held out for another year before surrender. As punishment for their stubbornness, the walls of their city were destroyed.

Severus' Eastern Campaigns
During the fighting, two of the peoples of upper Mesopotamia -- the Osrhoeni and the Adiabeni -- captured some Roman garrisons and made an unsuccessful attack on the Roman-allied city of Nisibis. After the defeat of Niger, these peoples offered to return Roman captives and what remained of the seized treasures if the remaining Roman garrisons were removed from the region. Severus refused the offer and prepared for war against the two peoples, as well as against an Arabian tribe that had aided Niger. In the spring of 195, Severus marched an army through the desert into upper Mesopotamia. The native peoples quickly surrendered, and Severus added to his name the victorious titles Arabicus and Adiabenicus. Much of the upper third of Mesopotamia was organized as a Roman province, though the king of Osrhoene was allowed to retain control of a diminished realm.

The tottering Parthian empire was less and less able to control those peoples living in the border regions with Rome. Rome's eastern frontier was entering a period of instability, and Severus responded with an interventionist policy of attack and annexation. Some senators feared that increased involvement in Mesopotamia would only embroil Rome in local squabbles at great expense. The emperor, however, would remain consistent in his active eastern policy.

Legitimization of the Severan Dynasty
Severus also took steps to cement his legitimacy as emperor by connecting himself to the Antonine dynasty. Severus now proclaimed himself the son of Marcus Aurelius, which allowed him to trace his authority, through adoption, back to the emperor Nerva. Julia Domna was awarded the title "Mother of the Camp" (mater castrorum), a title only previously given to the empress Faustina the Younger, Marcus' wife. Bassianus, the emperor's elder son, was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and given the title Caesar. It was this last step that marked a decisive break with Albinus.

Albinus had remained in Britain as governor during the struggles between Severus and Niger. Although Albinus had not attempted open revolt against the emperor, he seems to have been in communication with senators about future moves. By the end of 195, Albinus was declared a public enemy by Severus. The governor of Britain responded by proclaiming himself emperor and invading Gaul.

A weary Roman populace used the anonymity of the crowd at the chariot races to complain about renewed civil war, but it was Gaul that bore the brunt of the fighting. Albinus and his supporters were able to inflict losses on the occasion of the initial attacks, but disorder was so great that opportunistic soldiers could easily operate on their own within the lands under Albinus' nominal control.

The tide began to turn early in 197, and after a Severan victory at Tournus, Albinus found himself and his army trapped near Lyon. A battle broke out 19 February 197. In the initial fighting, Albinus' troops forced the Severans into retreat, during which Severus fell off his horse. When the Severan cavalry appeared, however, Albinus' army was routed. Lyon was sacked and Albinus, who was trapped in a house along the river Rhône, committed suicide. Severus ordered Albinus' head to be cut off and sent to Rome for display. Many of Albinus' supporters were killed, including a large number of Spanish and Gallic aristocrats. Albinus' wife and children were killed, as were many of the wives of his supporters. Tradition also told of the mutilation of bodies and denial of proper burial. The emperor revealed a penchant for cruelty that troubled even his fervent supporters. A purge of the senate soon followed. Included among the victims was Pertinax's father-in-law, Sulpicianus.

Severus and the Roman Military
Severus brought many changes to the Roman military. Soldiers' pay was increased by half, they were allowed to be married while in service, and greater opportunities were provided for promotion into officer ranks and the civil service. The entire praetorian guard, discredited by the murder of Pertinax and the auctioning of their support to Julianus, was dismissed. The emperor created a new, larger praetorian guard out of provincial soldiers from the legions. Increases were also made to the two other security forces based in Rome: the urban cohorts, who maintained order; and the night watch, who fought fires and dealt with overnight disturbances, break-ins and other petty crime. These military reforms proved expensive, but the measures may well have increased soldiers' performance and morale in an increasingly unsettled age.

One location that remained unsettled was the eastern frontier. In 197 Nisibis had again been under siege, and the emperor prepared for another eastern campaign. Three new legions were raised, though one was left behind in central Italy to maintain order. The Roman armies easily swept through upper Mesopotamia, traveling down the Euphrates to sack Seleucia, Babylon and Ctesiphon, which had been abandoned by the Parthian king Vologaeses V. On 28 January 198 -- the centenary of Trajan's accession -- Severus took the victorious title Parthicus Maximus and promoted both of his sons: Caracalla to the rank of Augustus and Geta to the rank of Caesar.

Before embarking on the eastern campaign, the emperor had named Gaius Fulvius Plautianus as a praetorian prefect. Plautianus came from the emperor's home town of Lepcis, and the prefect may even have been a relative of the emperor. The victories in Mesopotamia were followed by tours of eastern provinces, including Egypt. Plautianus accompanied Severus throughout the travels, and by the year 201 Plautianus was the emperor's closest confidant and advisor. Plautianus was also praetorian prefect without peer after having arranged the murder of his last colleague in the post.

Upon the return to Rome in 202, the influence of Plautianus was at its height. Comparisons were made with Sejanus, the powerful praetorian prefect under the emperor Tiberius. Plautianus, who earlier had been adlected into the senate, was now awarded consular rank, and his daughter Plautilla was married to Caracalla. The wealth Plautianus had acquired from his close connection with the emperor enabled him to provide a dowry said to have been worthy of fifty princesses. Celebrations and games also marked the decennalia, the beginning of the tenth year of Severus' reign. Later in the year the enlarged imperial family traveled to Lepcis, where native sons Severus and Plautianus could display their prestige and power.

The following year the imperial family returned to Rome, where an arch, still standing today, was dedicated to the emperor at the western end of the Forum. Preparations were also being made for the Secular Games, which were thought to have originated in earliest Rome and were to be held every 110 years. Augustus celebrated the Secular Games in 17 B.C., and Domitian in A.D. 88, six years too early. (Claudius used the excuse of Rome's 800th year to hold the games in A.D. 47.) In 204 Severus would preside over ten days of ceremonies and spectacles.

By the end of 204, Plautianus was finding his influence with the emperor on the wane. Caracalla was not happy to be the husband of Plautilla. Julia Domna resented Plautianus' criticisms and investigations against her. Severus was tiring of his praetorian prefect's ostentation, which at times seemed to surpass that of the emperor himself. The emperor's ailing brother, Geta, also denounced Plautianus, and after Geta's death the praetorian prefect found himself being bypassed by the emperor. In January 205 a soldier named Saturninus revealed to the emperor a plot by Plautianus to have Severus and Caracalla killed. Plautianus was summoned to the imperial palace and executed. His children were exiled, and Caracalla divorced Plautilla. Some observers suspected the story of a plot was merely a ruse to cover up long-term plans for Plautianus' removal.

Severus and Roman Law
Two new praetorian prefects were named to replace Plautianus, one of whom was the eminent jurist Papinian. The emperor's position as ultimate appeals judge had brought an ever-increasing legal workload to his office. During the second century, a career path for legal experts was established, and an emperor came to rely heavily upon his consilium, an advisory panel of experienced jurists, in rendering decisions. Severus brought these jurists to even greater prominence. A diligent administrator and conscientious judge, the emperor appreciated legal reasoning and nurtured its development. His reign ushered in the golden age of Roman jurisprudence, and his court employed the talents of the three greatest Roman lawyers: Papinian, Paul and Ulpian.

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

Severus was now into his 60s. Chronic gout limited his activities and sapped his strength. The emperor's health continued to deteriorate in Britain, and he became ever more intent on trying to improve the bitter relationship between his two sons. He is reported to have given his sons three pieces of advice: "Get along; pay off the soldiers; and disregard everyone else." The first piece of advice would not be heeded.

Severus died in York on 4 February 211 at the age of 65. His reign lasted nearly 18 years, a duration that would not be matched until Diocletian. Culturally and ideologically Septimius Severus connected his reign to the earlier Antonine era, but the reforms he enacted would eventually alter the very character of Roman government. By creating a larger and more expensive army and increasing the influence of lawyers in administration, Severus planted the seeds that would develop into the highly militaristic and bureaucratic government of the later empire.

Copyright (C) 1998, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
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Poland. Jan Kazimir (Casimir IV) (1648-1668)119 viewsAE solidus/szelag (crowned type), dated 1664, struck by Titus Livius Boratini (and for this reason the emission is called a boratynka), at the Ujazdów Castle mint, in Warsaw. 16 mm.

Kopicki 1552, Gumowski 1643, KM 110

Obv: • CAS • REX – IOAN, Bust right, T.L.B. beneath.

Rev: SOLID • REG • – POLO • 1664 •, Crowned eagle with outstretched arms, 1 in shield in center.
Stkp
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Q. Metellus Pius Scipio w/ Vespasian Countermark31 viewsQ. Metellus Pius Scipio. Silver Denarius 47-46 BC. Military mint traveling with Scipio in Africa.
O: Q METEL above, PIVS below, laureate head of Jupiter right, c/m: IMP VES (ligate) in incuse rectangle.
R: SCIPIO above, IMP in exergue, elephant advancing right.
- Crawford 459/1; HCRI 45; Sydenham 1050; Caecilia 47.

A Pompeian loyalist, Q. Metellus Pius Scipio introduced the legislation that recalled Caesar from his Gallic command, thus precipitating the Civil Wars. This denarius was struck while Scipio was in supreme command of the Pompeian forces in North Africa, the elephant an obvious reference to the province, and was probably struck during the later stages of the campaign in a mobile mint traveling alongside the forces (stylistically it is quite distinct from the coins of Scipio struck at the provincial capital of Utica). In 46 BC, Caesar finally managed to corner the Pompeians at Thapsus, where he inflicted a crushing defeat. After the battle Scipio committed suicide knowing that, despite Caesar's usual leniency towards his enemies, he would not allow so persistent an foe as Scipio to survive.

The countermark applied during Vespasian's rule is interesting proof that this older coinage continued in circulation.
3 commentsNemonater
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Rhodes, Caria. (Circa 305-275 BC)31 viewsAR Didrachm

18 mm, 6.41 g

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

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

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

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

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

Several years later the Helepolis (Demetrius' famed siege tower), which had been abandoned, had its metal plating melted down and - along with the money from selling the remains of the siege engines and equipment left behind by Demetrius - was used to erect a statue of their sun god, Helios, now known as the Colossus of Rhodes, to commemorate their heroic resistance.
1 commentsNathan P
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Roman Auxiliary Javelin Point30 viewsThis iron javelin point has a unique waisted, or piriform, shape used by some of Rome's auxiliary troops during the Marcomannic wars. It is 16.2 cm long, 4.5 cm wide at its widest, with a shaft that took a 9mm diameter wooden haft.otlichnik
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Roman Civil Wars 68-6986 viewsNero, Vindex, Galba, Otho, Vitellius x2 and Vespasian x38 commentsNemonater
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ROMAN EMPIRE PROVINCIAL, Elagabalus, Syria, Lichocka Figure 3, Table VII, 56 (this coin illustrated)82 viewsAE 14, Elagabalus, Antioch, ca. AD 218-222. Obv: Elagabalus right; Rev: Delta Epsilon with star below, all within wreath, dark brown patina with red earthen highlights, some roughness, VF. Not in Lindgren I or III; Not in Sear, Not in Butcher. Lichocka Figure 3, Table VII, 56 (this coin illustrated).

Published in: Lichocka, Barbara, "Delta-Epsilon issues of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander," in Classica Orientalia: Essays Presented to Wiktor Andrzej Daszewski on his 75th Birthday (Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw), pg. 310, Fig. 3, Table VII, 56.
Molinari
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ROMAN EMPIRE PROVINCIAL, Elagabalus, Syria, Lichocka VII, 27 (this coin listed)69 viewsAE 26, Elagabalus, Antioch, ca. AD 218-222. Obv: IMPCMAVRANTONINVSAVG; Rev: D E in center, star below, all within wreath, gVF. SGI 3098 var. Lichocka VII, 27 (this coin).

Published in: Lichocka, Barbara, "Delta-Epsilon issues of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander," in Classica Orientalia: Essays Presented to Wiktor Andrzej Daszewski on his 75th Birthday (Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw), pg. 318, Table VII, 27.
Molinari
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ROMAN EMPIRE PROVINCIAL, Elagabalus, Syria, Lichocka VII, 36 (this coin listed)65 viewsAE 22, Elagabalus, Antioch, ca. AD 218-222. Obv: IMPCMAVRANTONINVSAVG; Rev: D E in center, star below, all within wreath, gVF. BMC 205, 447; SNG Munchen 319. Lichocka VII, 36 (this coin).

Published in: Lichocka, Barbara, "Delta-Epsilon issues of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander," in Classica Orientalia: Essays Presented to Wiktor Andrzej Daszewski on his 75th Birthday (Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw), pg. 319, Table VII, 36.
Molinari
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ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Brutus and Lentulus Spinther, 42 BCE42 viewsRome, The Imperators.
Brutus and Lentulus Spinther, 42 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.91g; 20mm).
Military Mint (Smyrna?).

Obv: BRVTVS; axe, simpulum and knife.

Rev: LENTVLVS SPINT; jug and lituus.

References: Crawford 500/7; HCRI 198; Sydenham 1310; BMCRR East 80-1; Junia 41.

Provenance: Ex Stoeklin Collection [Nomos14 (17 May 2017) Lot 301]; ex Munzhandlung Basel 6 (18 Mar 1936), Lot 1483; ex Trau Collection [Gilhoffer & Ranschburg & Hess (22 May 1935), Lot 37].

The sacrificial implements on the obverse refer to Brutus' membership in the college of Pontifs. The implements on the reverse refer to Spinther's membership in the augurate since 57 BCE.

Spinther was the son of P. Cornelius Lentulus, whose nickname was Spinther (reportedly because he resembled an actor by that name). It was a nickname that his father clearly liked as both he and his son later used it on coins. His father was an aristocrat of the Cornelia gens, who was liked by Julius Caesar and worked with Cicero in suppressing the Cataline conspiracy. He was later governor of part of Spain. With Caesar’s help, his father was elected consul in 57BC, when he recalled Cicero from exile. Thereafter he governed Cilicia, at which time Cicero wrote him a still-surviving letter. As relations deteriorated between Caesar and Pompey, both Spinthers sided with Pompey. Despite initial offers of amnesty by Caesar, Spinther senior would not remain neutral and was eventually killed or committed suicide during the civil wars. His son later allied with Caesar’s assassins and struck coins for both Brutus and Cassius.
3 commentsCarausius
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ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, L. Lentulus and C. Marcellus, AR Denarius - Crawford 445/222 viewsRome, The Imperators.
L. Lentulus, C. Marcellus, 49 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.89g; 18mm).
Apollonia in Illyricum Mint.

Obverse: Head of Apollo facing right; L·LENT·C MARC COS surrounding.

Reverse: Jupiter facing right, holding thunderbolt and eagle; to right, alter decorated with garland; to left, * Q.

References: Crawford 445/2; HCRI 5; Sydenham 1030 (R3); BMCRR East 21; Cornelia 65.

Provenance: Ex NAC 92 (24 May 2016), Lot 1866; Vico 120 (2009), Lot 173; Argenor Numismatique Auction 4 (27 Apr 2001), Lot 94.

The dating for this type is firm because it was struck for the consuls, Lentulus and Marcellus, who shared the office in 49 BCE. Both consuls were Pompey supporters who fled Rome when Caesar marched on the City. Lentulus was later killed in Egypt, where he fled with Pompey following the defeat at Pharsalus. Little further is known of Marcellus and he likely died during the wars.

The head of Apollo on this type was chosen because the coins were struck in Apollonia, where Apollo was prominent on the coinage.

The Quaestor that produced these coins was T. Antistius. Antistius was already Quaestor in Macedonia when the Pompeians arrived in flight from Caesar. Cicero reports that Antistius was reluctant to assist the Pompeians who forced him to produce their coins. Antistius’ ambivalence is evidenced by his desire to remain anonymous, choosing only to identiy his office by the letter Q. He was pardoned by Caesar following Pompey’s defeat at Pharsalus.
3 commentsCarausius
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, Spinther AR Denarius60 viewsRome, The Republic.
Pub. Lentulus P.f.L.n. Spinther, 71 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.85g; 18mm).
Rome Mint

Obv: Q●S●C; Hercules head right.

Rev: P●LENT●P●F / [L]●N; Genius Romani seated facing on chair, holding coruncopia and scepter, being crowned by Victory.

Provenance: ex Collection of a Director [Triton XX (10 Jan 2017) Lot 525; ex Eton College Collection [Sotheby's (1 Dec 1976) Lot 219).

In my humble opinion, this is one of the more artistic reverse types of the Roman Republic denarius series – almost Greek in execution. It depicts Genius of the Roman People exerting dominance over the world with one foot on the globe while being crowned victorious. The message may be related to the ongoing wars with Sertorius in Spain, Mithridates in the East and possibly the servile revolt led by Spartacus in Italy (if the 71BC date proposed by Hersh and Walker is accepted, see below). Other members of the Cornelia gens also depicted Genius of the Roman People on their coinages, so the cult of Genius may have been important to the family, or it may be coincidental that the Corneliae happened to strike these coins during strife when the message of the Genius of the Roman People would have been appropriate. Crawford agrees with the latter explanation. SC [Senatus consulto] in the obverse legend suggests it was struck by special decree of the Roman Senate.

The coin is scarce and missing from many major hoards, making it difficult to precisely date. In fact, it’s listed in only four hoards on Table XIII in Crawford’s Roman Republican Coin Hoards. Of those four hoards: in two hoards (Cosa and Palestrina), it’s deemed the final issue (terminus ante quem), lacking the context of later coins; in the third hoard (Tolfa), it’s the next to last issue with the last being a serrate denarius of Q. Creperei Rocus, which Crawford dates to 72BC; and in the fourth hoard (San Gregorio), it appears in the middle context in which Rocus is again the next latest coin. Crawford’s Roman Republican Coinage dates the coin 74BC, concurring with Grueber’s dating in the British Museum Catalogue. David Sear stuck with Crawford’s dating of 74BC in the Millennium Edition of Roman Coins and Their Values. However, in their 1984 analysis of the Mesagne Hoard (which contained no examples of this coin), Hersh and Walker revised the dating to 71BC, which lumps the Spinther issue with several other, non-serrate, “SC” issues of the late 70s. Hersh and Walker re-date the serrate Rocus issue to 69BC, where it is lumped with other serrate issues. In my collection catalogue, I’ve chosen to use the 71BC date proposed by Hersh and Walker, because it fits neatly with the fabric and special circumstances of the coinage and is consistent with the cursus honorum dates discussed in the following paragraph.

The moneyer was the Quaestor, P. Cornelius Lentulus, whose nickname was Spinther (reportedly because he resembled an actor by that name). It was a nickname that he clearly liked as both he and his son later used it on coins. Spinther, an aristocrat of the Cornelia gens, was liked by Julius Caesar and rose through the cursus honorum, beginning with his Quaestorship when this coin was struck. He was elected Aedile in 63BC and worked with Cicero in suppressing the Cataline conspiracy. The date of his Aedileship is important in that 6-8 years was the required waiting period between Quaestor and Aedile in the cursus honorum, the career path for a Roman politician, which is consistent with Hersh and Walker’s proposed dating of this coin issue to 71BC; Crawford’s dating of 74BC implied that Spinther failed to reach the Aedileship for several years after he qualified for the position (being elected in the first qualification year was an important distinction to the Romans, though certainly an accomplishment that many Roman aristocrats failed to attain). He was later governor of part of Spain. With Caesar’s help, he was elected consul in 57BC, when he recalled Cicero from exile. Thereafter he governed Cilicia, at which time Cicero wrote him a still-surviving letter. As relations deteriorated between Caesar and Pompey, Spinther sided with Pompey. Despite initial offers of amnesty by Caesar, Spinther would not remain neutral and was eventually killed or committed suicide during the civil wars. His son later allied with Caesar’s assassins and struck the well-known LENTVLVS SPINT coins for both Brutus and Cassius.

This example comes from the Eton College Collection, which was auctioned by Sotheby’s in 1976. Eton College initiated its ancient coin collection by acquiring a large group of British Museum duplicates in the 1870s, and Eton added to this collection in the ensuing years. By the mid-1970s, the ancient coin market was white-hot, and Eton decided to cash-out the lion’s share of its collection, keeping a representative core for study purposes. I’ve contacted the British Museum’s Department of Coins and Medals to link this coin to the original tranche of BM duplicates purchased by Eton. Unfortunately, before adoption of modern curatorial standards, the BM did not accession duplicates into the BM collection; rather, they simply put duplicates into the “duplicates cabinet” without cataloging them. These uncatalogued duplicates would be sold or traded from time to time to acquire needed specimens for the BM collection. There might be record of the transaction somewhere at the BM, but there would be no description of the duplicates sold. By 1980 or so, the BM began cataloguing all coins, even duplicates. There is an 1880s book published about Eton's Roman coin collection, but it describes only a representative sample of the collection and this coin is not included.

6 commentsCarausius
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RPC-1389-Vespasian 68 viewsÆ25, 9.00g
Apamea, Phrygia mint, Plancius Varus, magistrate
RPC 1389 (15 spec.).
Obv: AYTOKPOTΩP KAIΣAP ΣΕΒΑΣΤΟΣ OYEΣΠΑΣIANOΣ; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r,
Rev: EΠΙ ΠΛΑNKIOY OYAPOY KOINON ΦPYΓIAΣ ΑΠΑMEIΣ; bundle of five corn-ears
Acquired from Tom Vossen, October 2018.

The important crossroads city of Apamea produced only one issue of coins during the Flavian era for the Koinon of Phrygia. M. Dräger has proposed that the issue could have been struck to help finance the Koinon's recovery after an earthquake, citing an ambiguous remark in Suetonius about Vespasian's civic generosity - 'he restored to a better condition very many states throughout the whole world that had been afflicted by earthquakes or fire' (Vesp. 17). It is quite possible that such a disaster occurred during Vespasian's reign in Phrygia since the region is prone to frequent seismic activity. Earthquakes are known to have previously struck the area in 53 and 60 AD and Strabo speaks of such a disaster which rocked the region during the Mithridatic Wars. The issue is undated, but names Plancius Varus, who perhaps is the same person that is recorded as a Flavian legate in Asia during the reign of Vespasian. Varus is thought to have died by 81. The type of five bundled corn-ears echoes a similar reverse of two bundled corn-ears struck by the city under Augustus.

Nice green patina featuring a severe portrait of Vespasian.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
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RRC340/1 (L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi)31 viewsObv. Laureate head of Apollo right, control number XXXII behind,; no mark of value;
Rev. L. PISO FRVGI below horseman galloping right, holding palm, control number XXXXII above, monogram of beneath legend
Rome, 90 B.C.
17 mm, 3.89 gr.
References: RRC340/1, Sear 235/1, SC Calpurnia 12

L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi was the grandson of the consul of 133 B.C., and the father of a moneyer of the same name. He rose to become praetor in 74 B.C., together with Verres.

It has been assumed that the rider, together with the head of Apollo on the obverse, refers to the Ludi Apollinares, created by the praetor L. Calpurnius Piso in 212 B.C. This, at least, is Livy’s suggestion: “The Games of Apollo had been exhibited the previous year, and when the question of their repetition the next year was moved by the praetor Calpurnius, the Senate passed a decree that they should be observed for all time (...) such is the origin of the Apollinarian Games, which were instituted for the cause of victory and not, as it is generally thought, in the interest of public health” (Livy, Per. 25.3). The ‘public health’ issue mentioned by Livy may have been a plague in 208 B.C.; Apollo as a healer-god would have been a natural choice to appeal to. The date of the creation of the games falls into the Punic Wars, and may have served as a distraction from the war. The Ludi started on July 13th and lasted 9 days.

The largest issue of coinage known from the Republic, the denarii of Piso come in over 300 varieties. In 91. B.C. the Italian allies rebelled against Rome, forming a separate and independent nation. The massive issue of coinage minted by L. Calpurnius was required to pay Rome’s soldiers, as she was suddenly confronted by the uprising of her allies. In 90 B.C., with L. Iulius Caesar and P. Rutilius Lupus as consuls, the war remained undecided. Pompeius Strabo managed to capture Asculum, but Caepio was defeated, and Rutilius lost a battle and his life at the river Liris, attempting to attack the Marsi with an untrained army (Appian, B. Civ. 43). By 88 B.C., the war was over, and only the Samnites continued to offer a token resistance. Many of the allies had however acquired Roman citizenship.
Syltorian
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Salah ad-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub71 viewsHis name in Arabic, in full, is SALAH AD-DIN YUSUF IBN AYYUB ("Righteousness of the Faith, Joseph, Son of Job"), also called AL-MALIK AN-NASIR SALAH AD-DIN YUSUF I (b. 1137/38, Tikrit, Mesopotamia--d. March 4, 1193, Damascus), Muslim sultan of Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and Palestine, founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, and the most famous of Muslim heroes.

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

Saladin was born into a prominent Kurdish family. On the night of his birth, his father, Najm ad-Din Ayyub, gathered his family and moved to Aleppo, there entering the service of 'Imad ad-Din Zangi ibn Aq Sonqur, the powerful Turkish governor in northern Syria. Growing up in Ba'lbek and Damascus, Saladin was apparently an undistinguished youth, with a greater taste for religious studies than military training.

His formal career began when he joined the staff of his uncle Asad ad-Din Shirkuh, an important military commander under the amir Nureddin, son and successor of Zangi. During three military expeditions led by Shirkuh into Egypt to prevent its falling to the Latin-Christian (Frankish) rulers of the states established by the First Crusade, a complex, three-way struggle developed between Amalric I, the Latin king of Jerusalem, Shawar, the powerful vizier of the Egyptian Fatimid caliph, and Shirkuh. After Shirkuh's death and after ordering Shawar's assassination, Saladin, in 1169 at the age of 31, was appointed both commander of the Syrian troops and vizier of Egypt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BIBLIOGRAPHY
H.A.R. Gibb, "The Arabic Sources for the Life of Saladin," Speculum, 25:58-72 (1950). C.W. Wilson's English translation of one of the most important Arabic works, The Life of Saladin (1897), was reprinted in 1971. The best biography to date is Stanley Lane-Poole, Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, new ed. (1926, reprinted 1964), although it does not take account of all the sources.
See: http://stp.ling.uu.se/~kamalk/language/saladin.html

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Lilia__Roughcastle.jpg
Scotland, Roughcastle Roman Fort, Lilia43 viewsThese deep pits, which would have had something like a sharpened stake in the centre of them, were known as lilia because they apparently reminded the Romans of lilies. They are shown on Trajan's column in Rome and were also described by Julius Caesar in his Gallic Wars.
Lilia, which have been found at eight different locations along the 39 miles of the Antonine Wall, are part of its defensive system. The defensive line would have consisted of the ditch, the wall and these lilia, which you might call the ancient Roman equivalent of a minefield.
The lilia pictured above are at the Roman fort of Roughcastle a few miles west of Falkirk.
1 comments*Alex
Philip_III_Tetradrachm2.jpg
Seleukos I Nicator Tetradrachm -- Babylon -- 309-300 BC33 views16.407 g, 26.2 mm, 270°
Babylonian Mint
Silver Tetradrachm; High Relief, Tight Flan, Corrosion
Minted by Seleukos as King of Syria; In Name and Style of Alexander
Price 3704; Müller Alexander 714; Armenak Hoard 135

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

Philip III Arrhidaeus was the mentally deficient, bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa, and therefore the half-brother of Alexander the Great. On the death of Alexander he was elected king by the Macedonian Army. He was, however, imprisoned upon his return to Macedonia and in October 317 B.C. he was executed under orders from Olympias, Alexander's mother, to ensure the succession of her grandson. Seleukos served under Alexander III as an infantry general. Following, Alexander's death, he served as Commander of the Companions in Babylon under Perdiccas and Satrap of of Babylon under Antipater. During the renewed Wars of the Diadochi, Seleukos founded the Seleukid Empire in 312 BC. The Seleukid dynasty ruled Syria until Pompey made Syria a Roman province in 63 BC.
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Newest FORVM purchase. A great coin; the picture really doesn't do it justice.
1 commentsHydro
Philip_III_Tetradrachm.jpg
Seleukos I Nikator as Satrap for Philip III Tetradrachm -- 320-315 BC32 views16.94 g, 27 mm, 300°
2nd Babylonian Mint
Silver Tetradrachm
Minted during reign of Philip III; Under Seleukos
Price 140

Obverse: Head of Herakles Wearing Nemean Skin Headdress Right.
Reverse: BΑΣΙΛΕΛΣ FILIPPOU (Of King Philip), Zeus Aëtophoros Enthroned Left Holding Eagle and Staff.

Philip III Arrhidaeus was the mentally deficient, bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa, and therefore the half-brother of Alexander the Great. On the death of Alexander he was elected king by the Macedonian Army. He was, however, imprisoned upon his return to Macedonia and in October 317 B.C. he was executed under orders from Olympias, Alexander's mother, to ensure the succession of her grandson. Seleukos served under Alexander III as an infantry general. Following, Alexander's death, he served as Commander of the Companions in Babylon under Perdiccas and Satrap of of Babylon under Antipater. During the renewed Wars of the Diadochi, Seleukos founded the Seleucid Empire in 312 BC.
______________________________
Either my #1 or #2 favorite coin. Slight evidence of it having been cleaned a bit harshly by a past owner, but I still love how it ended up. Slightly impaired surface, but an amazing strike.
Hydro
Pyrrhus.jpg
Sicily, Syracuse. Pyrrhus (Circa 278-275 BC)23 viewsAE 23mm, 11.43 g

Obverse: Head of Heracles l., wearing lion's headdress; in r. field, cornucopiae.

Rev. Athena Promachos standing r., holding spear and shield; in l. field, thunderbolt.

SNG Copenhagen 811. Calciati 177.

Pyrrhus was king of the Greek tribe of Molossians (west coast of Greece) and later became king of Epirus. One of the greatest military commanders of the ancient world, Pyrrhus took a large army to southern Italy at the behest of the Greek colony of Tarentum in their war against Rome. With his superior cavalry, deadly phalanx, and 20 elephants, Pyrrhus defeated the Romans in a succession of battles but at great cost. After a victory at Apulia (279 BC) where Pyrrhus lost 3,500 men including many officers, he famously commented that, "If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined." It is from this semi-legendary event that the term Pyrrhic victory originates.

In 278 BC, the Greek cities in Sicily asked Pyrrhus to help drive out Carthage, which along with Rome was one of the two great powers of the Western Mediterranean. While successful, his request for manpower and money from the Sicilians for a fleet to blockade Carthage’s final stronghold was met with resistance, forcing Pyrrhus to proclaim a military dictatorship of Sicily and install military garrisons in Sicilian cities. These actions were deeply unpopular and with Sicily growing increasingly hostile to Pyrrhus, he abandoned Sicily and returned to Italy to fight another inconclusive battle against the Romans. Pyrrhus soon ended his campaign in Italy and returned to Epirus.

In 274 BC he captured the Macedonian throne in a battle against Antigonus Gonatus II. But two years later while storming the city of Argos, Pyrrhus was killed in a confused battle at night in the narrow city streets. While fighting an Argive soldier, the soldier's mother, who was watching from a rooftop, threw a tile which knocked Pyrrhus from his horse and broke part of his spine, paralyzing him. His death was assured after a soldier beheaded his motionless body.

Athena Promachos ("Athena who fights in the front line") was a colossal bronze statue of Athena. Erected around 456 BC in Athens, the Athena Promachos likely memorialized the Persian Wars. The very first specific archaistic Athena Promachos coin image was depicted on coins that were issued by Alexander the Great in 326 BC. Ten years later, the Athena Promachos appeared on coins issued by Ptolemy in Alexandria. Pyrrhus' alliance with Ptolemy (I and II) and admiration of Alexander the Great (they were second cousins) undoubtedly inspired the design of this coin with Heracles on obverse (like Alexander's coins) and Athena Promachos on the reverse.
2 commentsNathan P
Sikyon_Lion_Stater.jpg
Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 335 - 330 B.C.207 viewsSilver stater, BCD Peloponnesos 218; SNG Cop 48; Traité III 776; BMC Peloponnesus p. 40, 57; HGC 5 201, gVF, well centered, toned, light marks areas of porosity, 12.150g, 24.7mm, Sikyon mint, c. 335 - 330 B.C.; obverse chimera advancing left on exergue line, right fore-paw raised, wreath above, SE below; reverse dove flying left, N left, all within olive wreath tied on right.

Sikyon was located in the northern Peloponnesos between Corinth and Achaea. Sicyon was known in antiquity for its industries including wood sculpture, bronze work, and pottery. Its central location meant it was frequently involved in the wars of its neighbors, Thebes, Corinth, Athens and Sparta.


From The Sam Mansourati Collection / FORVM Ancient Coins.

7 commentsSam
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Sparta11 viewsACHAIA, Achaian League. Lakedaimon (Sparta). Circa 85 BC. AR Hemidrachm (15mm, 2.32 g, 8h). Laureate head of Zeus right / Achaian League monogram; monogram above, piloi of the Dioskouroi flanking, ΠY below; all within laurel wreath. Benner 15; BCD Peloponnesos 865.1; HGC 5, 643. Good VF, tone, slightly off center. Good metal.

From the J. Cohen Collection.

A note from the previous collector:

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

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

Numismatically, the primary goals of this collection have been broadly achieved by focusing on the smaller issues of the City States within the Peloponnese, no large silver issues beyond the enigmatic Tetradrachms have representation within the collection. The product of my labors is what I believe to be a highly diverse, interesting and accessible group of coins which provides an insight into one of the most interesting periods and regions of the Ancient world.
ecoli
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Sphero Bluetooth-enabled Smartphone-controlled Star Wars BB-8 Robotic Droid6 viewsPicked up one of these cute robotic droids! Hope to have hours of fun in the office :-), after hours of course ;-)SpongeBob
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Struck 1311 - 1316, EDWARD II (1307 - 1327), AR Penny minted at Durham, England17 viewsObverse: EDWAR ANGL DNS HYB +. Crowned and draped bust of Edward II facing within circle of pellets.
Reverse: CIVITAS DVNELM. Long cross, the upper limb of which is in the form of a bishop's crozier, dividing legend into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of inner circle.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 1.2gms | Die Axis: 7
Rare
SPINK: 1469

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

Edward II
Edward II was crowned King of England when his father, Edward I, died in 1307. In 1308 he married Isabella, the daughter of King Philip IV of France, to try and resolve tensions between the two countries.
Edward II caused discontent among the barons by his close relationship with Piers Gaveston, who was arrogant with the power he had as Edward's favourite. In 1311 the barons pressured the King into agreeing to wide-ranging reforms and the newly empowered barons had Gaveston banished. Angered, Edward responded by revoking the reforms and recalling his favourite, but in 1312 a group of barons, led by the Earl of Lancaster, seized and executed Gaveston.
The war with Scotland was not going well either, the English forces were pushed back and in 1314 Edward was decisively defeated by the Scottish King, Robert the Bruce, at the Battle of Bannockburn. Edward was obliged to sign a truce which brought an end to almost thirty years of warfare between the two countries.
When this was followed by a widespread famine in England opposition to Edward II's reign grew until, in 1325, when Isabella was sent to France to negotiate a peace treaty she turned against Edward, allied herself with the exiled Roger Mortimer, and refused to return. In 1326, Mortimer and Isabella invaded England with a small army. Edward's regime collapsed and he fled into Wales, but he was soon captured and in January 1327 he was forced to relinquish his crown in favour of his fourteen-year-old son, Edward III. Edward II died in Berkeley Castle on 21 September the same year, reportedly gruesomely murdered on the orders of the new regime.

Bishop Kellawe, Bishop of Durham
Richard de Kellawe was sub-prior at St. Cuthbert's, Durham, and on the death of Antony Bek in 1311, Kellawe was chosen to replace him as Bishop of Durham by the monks. The palatinate of Durham was at this time in a deplorable condition owing to the Scottish wars, and in 1312 Kellawe even received a papal dispensation for not attending the council at Vienne in consideration of the state of his province. Troubles with the Scots continued after Bannockburn and the Palatinate was now so exhausted that it could not provide even for its own defence and Bishop Kellawe had to purchase peace with a levy of fifteen hundred men and a gift of one thousand marks.
On 10th October 1316, at Middleham, Bishop Kellawe died. He was buried in the chapter-house at Durham. His grandly adorned tomb was destroyed when the chapter house was demolished in 1796.
2 comments*Alex
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Struck 1430 - 1434, HENRY VI (First Reign 1422 - 1461), AR Halfpenny minted at Calais, France24 viewsObverse: HENRICVS (pinecone) REX (mascle) ANGL. Crowned facing bust of Henry VI within circle of pellets. Mintmark: Cross patonce.
Reverse: VIL(mascle)LA CALISIE (pinecone). Long cross pattée dividing legend around inner circle of pellets into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of circle.
Diameter: 15mm | Weight: 0.45gms
SPINK: 1885

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

Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471. The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months when his father died.
This was during the period of the long-running Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) and Henry is the only English monarch to also have been crowned King of France (as Henri II), in 1431. During his early reign several people were ruling for him and by the time Henry was declared fit to rule in 1437 he found his realm in a difficult position, faced with setbacks in France and divisions among the nobility at home. Henry is described as timid, shy, passive, well-intentioned, and averse to warfare and violence; he was also at times mentally unstable. Partially in the hope of achieving peace, Henry married the ambitious and strong-willed Margaret of Anjou in 1445. The peace policy failed and the war recommenced with France taking the upper hand such that by 1453 Calais was Henry's only remaining territory on the continent.
With Henry effectively unfit to rule, Queen Margaret took advantage of the situation to make herself an effective power behind the throne. Starting around 1453 Henry began suffering a series of mental breakdowns and tensions mounted between Margaret and Richard of York, not only over control of the incapacitated king's government, but over the question of succession to the throne. Civil war broke out in 1459, leading to a long period of dynastic conflict, now known as the Wars of the Roses. Henry was deposed on 29th March 1461 after a crushing defeat at the Battle of Towton by Richard of York's son, who took the throne as Edward IV. Margaret continuing to resist Edward, but Henry was captured by Edward's forces in 1465 and imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Queen Margaret, who was first exiled in Scotland and then in France, was still determined to win back the throne on behalf of her husband and son. So, when Edward IV fell out with two of his main supporters, Richard Neville the Earl of Warwick and George the Duke of Clarence, Margaret formed a secret alliance with them backed by Louis XI of France. Warwick returned with an army to England, forced Edward IV into exile, and restored Henry VI to the throne on 30th October 1470, though Henry's position was nominal as Warwick and Clarence effectively ruled in his name.
But Henry's return to the throne lasted less than six months. Warwick overreached himself by declaring war on Burgundy, whose ruler responded by giving Edward IV the assistance he needed to win back his throne by force. Edward retook power in 1471, killing Warwick at the Battle of Barnet and Henry's only son at the Battle of Tewkesbury. Henry was again imprisoned in the Tower where, during the night of 21st May he died, possibly killed on Edward's orders.
2 comments*Alex
Edward_IV_AR_Groat_London.JPG
Struck 1477 - 1480, EDWARD IV, Second Reign (1471 - 1483), AR Groat minted at London, England18 viewsObverse: EDWARD DEI GRA REX ANGL (Z FRANC +). Crowned bust of Edward IV facing within tressure of arches, trefoils on cusps, all within beaded circle. Small crosses in spaces between words in legend. Mintmark, off-flan, pierced cross.
Reverse: POSVI DEVM ADIVTORE MEVM +/ CIVITAS LONDON. Long cross dividing two concentric legends separated by two beaded circles into quarters, trefoil in each quarter of inner circle. Mintmark, pierced cross.
Diameter: 25mm | Weight: 2.7gms | Die Axis: 11
SPINK: 2096 var. (DEI rather than DI in obverse legend)

Edward IV was King of England from March 1461 to October 1470, and again from April 1471 until his sudden death in 1483. He was the first Yorkist King of England. The first half of his rule was marred by the violence associated with the Wars of the Roses, but he overcame the Lancastrian challenge to the throne at Tewkesbury in 1471 and there were no further rebellions in England during the rest of his reign.
In 1475, Edward declared war on France, landing at Calais in June. However, his ally Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, failed to provide any significant military assistance leading Edward to undertake negotiations with the French, with whom he came to terms under the Treaty of Picquigny. France provided him with an immediate payment of 75,000 crowns and a yearly pension of 50,000 crowns, thus allowing him to "recoup his finances.” Edward also backed an attempt by Alexander Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany and brother of King James III of Scotland, to take the Scottish throne in 1482. Edward's younger brother, the Duke of Gloucester (and future King Richard III) led an invasion of Scotland that resulted in the capture of Edinburgh and the Scottish king himself. Alexander Stewart, however, reneged on his agreement with Edward. The Duke of Gloucester then withdrew from his position in Edinburgh, though he did retain Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Edward became subject to an increasing number of ailments when his health began to fail and he fell fatally ill at Easter in 1483. He survived long enough though to add some codicils to his will, the most important being to name his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester as Protector after his death. He died on 9th April 1483 and was buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. He was succeeded first by his twelve-year-old son Edward V of England, who was never crowned, and then by his brother who reigned as Richard III.
It is not known what actually caused Edward's death. Pneumonia, typhoid and poison have all been conjectured, but some have attributed his death to an unhealthy lifestyle because he had become stout and inactive in the years before his death.
2 comments*Alex
1637_-_1638_Charles_I_Twenty_pence.JPG
Struck 1637 - 1638, CHARLES I (1625 - 1649), AR Twenty Pence minted at Edinburgh, Scotland18 viewsObverse: CAR•D:G•SCOT•ANG•FR•ET•HIB•R•. Crowned bust of Charles I, which goes to the edge of the coin, facing left, XX with a small lozenge above and below behind bust; small B (for Briot) below.
Reverse: IVSTITIA•THRONVM•FIRMAT• small B (off flan, for Briot) at end of legend. Thistle with Scottish crown above. The reverse legend translates as 'Justice strengthens the Throne'.
This coin was produced using Briot's new coining press during the third coinage period which ran from 1637 to 1642.
Diameter: 17mm | Weight: 0,8gms | Die Axis: 6
SPINK: 5581

Nicholas Briot, a Frenchman previously employed by the French and English mints, was appointed Master of the Scottish mint in August 1634. He was later joined by his son-in-law John Falconer, who succeeded him in 1646.
Briot's work was of the highest calibre, and his introduction of the mill and screw press gave the Scottish series of coins a technical excellence previously unknown.
After Briot's departure from Scotland in 1638 there was a rapid falling off from his high standard of workmanship. Although considerable use was made of Briot's punches for Falconer's third coinage issues, many of the dies were badly executed, and there was even more of a deterioration during the fourth coinage period which resulted in poorly produced coins of no artistic merit.

After his succession, Charles quarrelled with the Parliament of England, which sought to curb his royal prerogative. Charles believed in the divine right of kings and thought he could govern according to his own conscience. Many of his subjects opposed his policies, in particular the levying of taxes without parliamentary consent, and perceived his actions as those of a tyrannical absolute monarch. His religious policies, coupled with his marriage to a Roman Catholic, generated the antipathy and mistrust of Reformed groups such as the English Puritans and the Scottish Covenanters, who thought his views were too Catholic. He supported high church Anglican ecclesiastics and his attempts to force the Church of Scotland to adopt high Anglican practices led to the Bishops' Wars, and helped precipitate his own downfall.
From 1642, Charles fought the Parliamentary army in the English Civil War. After his defeat in 1645, he surrendered to a Scottish force that eventually handed him over to the English Parliament. Charles refused to accept his captors' demands for a constitutional monarchy, and after temporarily escaping captivity in November 1647, he was re-imprisoned on the Isle of Wight. Although Charles had managed to forge an alliance with Scotland, by the end of 1648 Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army had consolidated its control over England and Charles was tried, convicted, and executed for high treason in January 1649. The monarchy was abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England was declared. The Parliament of Scotland however, proclaimed Charles I's son as King Charles II on the 5th of February 1649.
The political crisis in England that followed the death of Cromwell in 1658 resulted in the restoration of the monarchy whereby Charles II was invited to return and, on the 29th of May 1660, he was received in London to public acclaim. After 1660 all Charles II's legal documents in Britain were dated from 1649, the year when he had succeeded his father as king in Scotland.
2 comments*Alex
KarlXII.jpg
Sweden - Charles XII 1697-1718 - 1 dukat 171871 viewsObv: CAROL . XII . D . G . REX . SVE., draped and quirassed bust right.
Rev: FACT . EST . DOMIN . PROTECTOR . MEVS (the Lord is my defence), crowend royal monogram surrounded by the swedish three crowns. The bottom crown with the year 17 - 18 on eighter side and L - C (for the monyer Lorentz Careelberg).

Charles XII is one of very few swedish kings who has ever reached international fame. He is known as skilled military leader and spened most of his regin involved in different wars. At first he was successfull, but in the later part of his regin he lost many wars and the during the 17th century ever growing swedish empire was only a remnant of its former grandeur at his death. He met his end when he was shot during a war campaigne in Norway in 30 November 1718, while inspecting trenches.
pierre_p77
Taras_didrachm.jpg
Taras didrachm67 viewsHorseman riding left, holding shield and bridle.

Taras seated on dolphin left TAPAΣ beneath.

Tarentum, Calabria 390-385 BC

7.40g

Scarce

Vlasto 384, Period III, 380-345 BC (Age of Archytas); ; Fischer-Bossert 428, gives date of 390-380 and corresponds to SNG ANS 901.

Ex-Calgary Coin; Ex-Alberta Coin;

Tarentum, the only Spartan colony ever to be established, was founded in 706 BC by the Partheniae - Spartan children born to unmarried women as a product of Spartan desperation to ensure the survival and continuation of their demographic during the bloody Messenian wars, who were later disowned and expelled by the state - and Perioeci (subjects, but not citizens of Sparta), under the leadership of the Parthenian Phalanthos. According to legend, Phalanthos consulted the oracle at Delphi, and was told that he should found his new city 'where rain fell from a clear sky'. After much searching, and despairing of finding a suitable location for a city, Phalanthos was consoled by his wife Aethra who laid his head in her lap, and as her tears splashed upon his forehead he understood the oracle's words for his wife's name itself meant 'clear sky', and thus he determined to make the nearby harbour the site of their new home, which they named after Taras, the son of Poseidon and the nymph Satyrion.
4 commentsJay GT4
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Taras, Calabria86 views281-272 BC (Period VII)
AR Drachm (16mm, 2.85g)
O: Head of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with Skylla.
R: Owl with open wings standing right on thunderbolt; TAPANTINΩ[N] to left, ΣΩ upward to right.
Vlasto 1077ff; Cote 432; cf McGill II, 139; Hands Period VII, Type VI; SNG ANS 1320; HN Italy 1018; Sear 373 var.
Struck from worn or corroded dies.
ex Holger Siee Munzhandlung

The Owl drachms of Taras began about the same time as the Herakles & Lion diobols (circa 334 BC), and like the diobols were intended as a federal issue. From the beginning these drachms were minted to the lower weight standard which would not be applied to the didrachms of Taras until 281, the time of the Pyrrhic wars.
It is my opinion that all of the 'open wing' type owls are post-Pyrrhic.

1 commentsEnodia
Taras_Diobol.jpg
Tarentum Diobol -- 4th Century BC16 views1.11 g, __ mm, 150°
Minted at Tarentum
Silver Diobol
SNG Copenhagen 973ff

Obverse: Helmeted Head of Athena Left.
Reverse: Herakles Strangling Nemean Lion; First Labor.

Tarentum, a city in Southern Italy, began as the Greek colony of Taras circa 706 BC. It was the only colony founded by the Lacedaemons. Taros was founded by Partheniae (Sons of Virgins), bastard sons of unmarried Spartan women and Perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta) and named after the son of Poseidon, Taras. Other legends claim that either Taras himself or Herakles founded the city, both of whom are represented on much of the city's coinage. Taras won its first two wars against Rome for control of Southern Italy, but was conquered in 272 BC. The reverse of this coin shows Herakles strangling the Nemean Lion. According to legend, Hera drove Herakles mad, causing him to kill his wife and six sons before he regained his sanity. Seeking to atone, he visited the Oracle of Delphi, Pythoness, who told him that he must serve King Eurystheus of Tiryns for 12 years before being forgiven and gaining immortality. King Eurystheus ordered Herakles to perform 10 labors, but refused to count 2 of them because Herakles had help, leading to the 12 total mythical Labors of Herakles. The first of these was the slaying of a lion impervious to mortal weapons which was terrorizing the polis of Nemea. Herakles solved this feat by strangling it to death with his bare hands.
Hydro
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Thailand "ancient" Ayudhaya, Silver bullet coin -- 1 Baht, King Songthom, 1612 - 1628 AD101 viewsAyudhaya Kingdom; King Songthom, 1612 - 1628 AD; AR "Bullet" Coin, 14.7 gms, EF.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The city of Ayutthaya was refounded near the old city, and is now capital of the Ayutthaya province.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayutthaya_kingdom
Cleisthenes
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The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.54 viewsBronze prutah, Hendin 1360, Fair, Jerusalem mint, 2.669g, 16.8mm, year 2, 67 - 68 A.D.; obverse amphora with broad rim and two handles, year 2 (in Hebrew) around; reverse , vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew) around. ex Forvm

"Discontent and inept rule led to open rebellion in 66 A.D. The Romans distracted by the Civil Wars following the death of Nero were unable to put a speedy end to the revolt. But, in 70 A.D. Titus, sone of the new Emperor Vespasian captured and sacked Jerusalem and destroyed them temple."
Randygeki(h2)
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The Manifestation of 1848 and the Imprisonment of Blanqui13 viewsCast Tin Medal (47mm, 18.73 g, 12h)
UNIVERSELLE RÉPUBLIQUE DÉMOCRATIQUE SOCIALISTE UNE ET INDIVISIBLE (Universal Democratic Socialist Republic, One and Indivisible)/
Bust of Blanqui facing slightly right; liberty cap to left, carpenter's square to right; LE CITOYEN BLANQUI CALOMNIE/ 15 MAI 1848/ PRISONNIERS AU DONJON DE/ VINCENNES DE PAR LES/ REPUBLICAINS/ DU/ NATIONAL (False accusations against Citizen Blanqui, imprisoned in the dungeon of Vincennes by the nation's Republicans)
LIBERTÉ ÉGALITÉ FRATERNITÉ VIVRE LIBRE OU MOURIR! (Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity - Live free or die!)
BOURGEOIS./AVEC L´ÉTAT DE SIÈGE/VOUS AUREZ L´ORDRE COMME/A VARSOVIE ET MILAN./L´HERBE ENTRE LES PAVÉS. LES/CANONS REMPLACERONT LES/CAMIONS PUIS LA/ BANQUE (skull-and-crossbones) ROUTE (Bourgeois, with the state of siege you will have orders as at Warsaw and Milan. The grass between the cobblestones, the cannons will replace the carriages then the road bank.)

Musée Carnavalet ND8752

Ex Mors in Nummis (HJR) Collection (Classical Numismatic Group Electronic Auction 423, 27 June 2018), lot 511
Ardatirion
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TITUS, as Caesar131 viewsTITUS, as Caesar. 69-79 AD. Rome Mint AE Sestertius (36mm, 26.62 g). Struck 72 AD. O: Laureate head right, T CAES VESPASIAN IMP PON TR POT COS II R: Titus in military dress, cloak flying behind him, his horse rearing as he attacks prostrate Jew who is armed with sword and shield. SC in exergue. RIC 430, Hendin 1524, Ex Harry N. Sneh Collection Gemini Auction X, ex Goldberg 41, part of lot 2841 (Alan Levin Collection)

It is likely this coin refers to a battle recorded in Josephus Wars Book V Chapter 2, where Titus was ambushed by Jews who “leaped out suddenly at the towers called the "Women's Towers," through that gate which was over against the monuments of queen Helena.”

Cut off from his men, the account goes on, “So he perceived that his preservation must be wholly owing to his own courage, and turned his horse about, and cried out aloud to those that were about him to follow him, and ran with violence into the midst of his enemies, in order to force his way through them to his own men. And hence we may principally learn, that both the success of wars, and the dangers that kings are in, are under the providence of God; for while such a number of darts were thrown at Titus, when he had neither his head-piece on, nor his breastplate, (for, as I told you, he went out not to fight, but to view the city,) none of them touched his body, but went aside without hurting him; as if all of them missed him on purpose, and only made a noise as they passed by him. So he diverted those perpetually with his sword that came on his side, and overturned many of those that directly met him, and made his horse ride over those that were overthrown.
4 commentsNemonater
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Trajan AE Sestertius, SPQR Trajan crowned by victory RIC 54950 viewsTrajan Æ Sestertius. IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder / S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI S-C, Trajan standing left, holding thunderbolt and hasta, being crowned by Victory. Coin was struck to commemorate the succesfull Dacian wars 107 AD Cohen 516. Ref Trajan AE Sestertius, RIC 549, Cohen 516, BMC 825. mattpat
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Trajan Denarius - Trajan's Column (RIC II 356)63 viewsAR Denarius
Rome 113-117AD
3.33g

Obv: Laureate draped bust of Trajan (R)
IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AUG GER DAC

Rev: TRAJAN'S COLUMN surmounted by statue of Trajan and two eagles at base.
PM TRPCOS VI PP SPQR

Trajan's Column commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Roman Senate. Completed in 113 CE, the freestanding column is most famous for its spiral bas relief, that artistically describes the epic wars between the Romans and Dacians (101–102 and 105–106). Its design has inspired numerous victory columns, both ancient and modern. The structure is about 30 metres (98 ft) in height, 35 metres (125 ft) including its large pedestal. The shaft is made from a series of 20 colossal Carrara marble drums, each weighing about 32 tons. The capital block of Trajan's Column weighs 53.3 tons, which had to be lifted to a height of ca. 34 m.

RIC II 356 RSC 284
2 commentsKained but Able
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Trajan, RIC 528, Sestertius of AD 107 (Victories 2nd Dacian war)47 viewsÆ Sestertius (24.9g, Ø35mm, 6h). Rome mint, struck AD 107
Obv.: IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TR P COS V P P laureate bust of Trajan with aegis (note the detail of the Medusa head on Trajan's chest)
Rev.: SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI (around) S C (in field) Winged Victory standing right, left foot on helment, holding shield insribed VIC / DAC attached to a palm-stump.
RIC 528; Cohen 454; BMR 813; MIR 204cB and pl. 40 (citing 42 examples of this variety); RCV 3201 var. (drapery on emperor's left shoulder); RHC 101-31b

Certificate of Authenticity by David R. Sear / A.C.C.S. ref. 103CR/RI/C/CY on January 9, 2015; graded as a handsome VF, original orichalcum colour wihout patina

Extract of the certificate's Historical and Numismatic Note: The reverse of this handsome orichalcum (brass) sestertius ... commemorates the Roman victories in the Second Dacian War, which led to the annexation of that country. Victory is shown recording the achievement on ashield. The issue is dated by Hill to AD 107, the year that witnessed Trajan's victorious return to Rome from the northern wars and the celebration of a magnificent triumph for the defeat of Decebalus.
Charles S
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Troas, Alexandreia, Caracalla, Lindgren 33169 viewsCaracalla AD 198-217
AE22, 6.1g
obv. ANTONINV - S PIVS AV
bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. GEN CO - L - AVG TRO
Genius standing facing, head l., holding cornucopiae in l. arm and statue of Apollo
in his outstretched r. hand.
Lindgren & Kovacs 331; Bellinger -
about VF
added to www.wildwinds.com

The statue is obviously a cult statue of APOLLO SMINTHEUS. This god was warshipped mainly in Alexandria/Troas. Its meaning is Apollo from Sminthia or Apollo the mouse-exterminator.
"Hear me,..., O god of the silver bow, that protects Chryse and holy Cilla and rulest Tenedos with thy might, hear me oh thou of Sminthe. If I have ever decked your temple with garlands, or burned your thigh-bones in fat of bulls or goats, grant my prayer, and let your arrows avenge these my tears upon the Danans."
(Iliad, I, 37-42, Samuel Butler)

For more information look at the thread 'Coins of mythological interest'
1 commentsJochen
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Trophy of Arms from Trajan's Column95 viewsTrajan’s Column, located in Trajan's Forum, built near the Quirinal Hill, north of the Roman Forum, was dedicated on 12 May 113. The freestanding column is most famous for its spiral bas relief, which artistically describes the epic wars between the Romans and Dacians (101 - 102 and 105 - 106). The relief includes about 2,500 figures and winds 23 times around the shaft for a total length of about 200 meters. The height of the relief increases towards the top of the Column (0.89 m to 1.25 m) with a corresponding increase in the heights of individual figures from c. 60 cm to 80 cm in height. Inside the shaft, a spiral staircase of 185 steps provides access to a viewing platform at the top. Ancient coins indicate preliminary plans to top the column with a statue of a bird, probably an eagle, but after construction, a statue of Trajan was put in place; this statue disappeared in the Middle Ages. On December 4, 1587, the top was crowned by Pope Sixtus V with a bronze figure of St. Peter, which remains to this day.Joe Sermarini
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USA: USS Constellation125 viewsMedal struck from parts of USS Constellation. dated 1797 but struck some time after 1853 of course. 32mm, 13.4g. Obverse: US FRIGATE CONSTELLATION 1797, the warship under sail left. Reverse: THIS COIN STRUCK FROM PARTS OF THE FRIGATE CONSTELLATION THE FIRST SHIP OF THE US NAVY eagle with shield above, cannon below. Ex Ken Dorney. Ex areich. Photo credit areichPodiceps
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Vespasian (Augustus) Coin: Brass Sestertius 2 viewsIMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III - Laureate head right
IVDAEA - CAPTA - Palm tree; to left, Vespasian standing right, foot on helmet, holding spear and parazonium; to right, Jewess seated right on cuirass, in attitude of mourning.
Exergue: SC


Mint: Rome (71 AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 20.89g / 33.07mm / 6h
References:
RIC II 167
Hendin 1504
Sear 2327
BMCRE 543-4
BN 498
Provenances:
Marc R. Breitsprecher
Pegasi auction
Acquisition/Sale: Marc R. Breitsprecher Internet $0.00 11/18
Notes: Nov 8, 18 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection

When Vespasian was proclaimed emperor by the legions in the East in AD 69, he left his son Titus to quell the Jewish uprising led by the Zealots, John of Gischala and Simon bar Giora. Titus accomplished the task in 70 AD, and in the following year, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian celebrated a splendid triumph in Rome. Several different reverse types were employed on the coinage of the Flavians to commemorate the triumph.

The main Judaea Capta coinage was a series of imperial issues struck in gold, silver, and bronze, and provincial issues struck in silver and bronze, to celebrate the Roman defeat of Judaea, the capture of Jerusalem, and the destruction of the Jewish Second Temple during the First Jewish War (66-73 CE). Generally, the reverse of this coinage shows a Jewish female seated in an attitude of mourning beneath a palm tree. Sometimes a bound male captive, or the figure of the victorious emperor or Victory, is found standing on the other side amid weapons, shields, and helmets. While some gold and silver coins bear no legend on the reverse, most issues are inscribed IVDAEA CAPTA, IVDAEA DEVICTA, or simply IVDAEA. The imperial coins were struck for only Vespasian and Titus. Provincial drachms were minted in Asia Minor for Titus (who oversaw the capture of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple). The provincial bronze coinage for Titus and Domitian (who did not participate in any of the actions, but was included by familial association) was struck in Judaea by the Roman administration at Caesarea Maritima and even by the Romanized Jewish ruler, Agrippa II, who was a friend of Titus and his supporter during the war.

From Roma:
Struck for 25 years by Vespasian and his sons Titus and Domitian, the Judaea Capta coins were issued in bronze, silver and gold by mints in Rome, throughout the Roman Empire, and in Judaea itself. They were issued in every denomination, and at least 48 different types are known. The present piece proudly displays imagery of this significant Roman victory, after which Vespasian boldly closed the gates of the Temple of Janus to signify that all of Rome’s wars were ended, and that the Pax Romana again prevailed.

The obverse portrait of Vespasian shows him as strong, robust and in the prime of life; the reverse celebrates Rome and Vespasian’s triumph over the Jewish revolt in Judaea, which Titus had brought to a close the previous year with the capture of Jerusalem after a seven month siege and the destruction of the Second Temple. It had been a costly and devastating war which had cost the lives of twenty five thousand Roman soldiers and somewhere between two hundred and fifty thousand and one million Jewish civilians. The design incorporates Vespasian who stands with his left food on a helmet and holds a spear and parazonium while a Jewish woman is seated in an attitude of mourning. It has been occasionally suggested that the female figure represents Judaea, and it is sometimes noted that the reverse of this coin can be interpreted to reflect the prophecy of Isaiah 3:8, 25-26: 'For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen ... Thy men shall fall by the sword and thy mighty in the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn, and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground'.

The Arch of Titus in Rome, built by his brother Domitian shortly after his death and in commemoration of this victory, depicts the Roman army carrying off the treasures from the Temple of Jerusalem, including the Menorah, after the siege of the city had ended. The spoils were used to fund the building of the Flavian Amphitheatre, more commonly known as the Colosseum, the great lasting monument of the Flavian dynasty.
Gary W2
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Vespasian / Victory on Globe 62 viewsAR Denarius, Uncertain Spanish mint, 69-70 AD
O: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Laureate head left.
R: VICTORIA IMP VESPASIANI; Victory standing left on globe, with wreath and palm
- RIC 1340 (R), BMC 362, RSC 630

A very pleasing dark chocolate patina with bronze highlights. A nice compliment to my Civil Wars denarius with the same Victory on globe reverse. http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-130882
3 commentsNemonater
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Vespasian RIC 41133 viewsAR Denarius, 3.20g
Rome Mint, 71 AD
RIC 41 (C2). BMC 61. RSC 566.
Obv: IMP CAES VE-SP AVG P M; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: TRI POT II COS III P P; Pax, draped, seated l., holding branch in extended r. hand and winged caduceus in l.
Acquired from Nemesis, June 2005.

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

A lovely coin with a solid portrait.
Vespasian70
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Vespasian(us)53 viewsVespasian, denarius.
RIC 547, RSC 516.
Rome Mint, 73 A.D.
2,80 g / 18 mm.
Obv. IMP CAES VESP AVG CEN; Head of Vespasian, laureate, right.
Rev. SPQR in oak-wreath.

The Civic Crown (corona civica) was a chaplet of common oak leaves woven to form a crown. It was reserved for Roman citizens who saved the lives of fellow citizens by slaying an enemy on a spot not further held by the enemy that same day. The citizen saved must admit it; no one else could be a witness. It later became a prerogative for Roman Emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown (originating with Augustus, who was awarded it for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars). Why was Vespasian awarded the corona civica by the 'Senatus Populusque Romanus' ?
3 commentsMarsman
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Vespasian-RIC-154291 viewsAR Denarius, 2.81g
Antioch mint, 70 AD
RIC 1542 (R2). BMC 499. RSC 640. RPC 1916 (5 spec.).
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: VIRTVS AVGVST; Virtus stg. r., l. foot on prow with spear and parazonium
Ex G&N, eBay, 2 May 2011.

Minted at Antioch in 70 AD, this early eastern type of Vespasian is one of only two times that i know of that Virtus appears on Flavian denarii, the other type being Vespasian RIC 1379 a unique coin. Virtus here symbolizes the military prowess of the emperor on both land and sea. The type was normally popular during Roman Civil Wars, so it is not at all surprising that Vespasian issued it coming out of one.

The coin is scratched and the flan is ragged and uneven but the high profile portrait remains showing a unique Antioch style.

3 commentsDavid Atherton
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Victory Inscribing Shield - From Trajan's Column82 viewsTrajan’s Column, located in Trajan's Forum, built near the Quirinal Hill, north of the Roman Forum, was dedicated on 12 May 113. The freestanding column is most famous for its spiral bas relief, which artistically describes the epic wars between the Romans and Dacians (101 - 102 and 105 - 106). The relief includes about 2,500 figures and winds 23 times around the shaft for a total length of about 200 meters. The height of the relief increases towards the top of the Column (0.89 m to 1.25 m) with a corresponding increase in the heights of individual figures from c. 60 cm to 80 cm in height. Inside the shaft, a spiral staircase of 185 steps provides access to a viewing platform at the top. Ancient coins indicate preliminary plans to top the column with a statue of a bird, probably an eagle, but after construction, a statue of Trajan was put in place; this statue disappeared in the Middle Ages. On December 4, 1587, the top was crowned by Pope Sixtus V with a bronze figure of St. Peter, which remains to this day.Joe Sermarini
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Virtus (female)284 viewsGordian III Pius, AD 238-244
AR - Antoninian, 4.84g, 22mm
Rome 1st emission, 5th officina, July 238 - July 239
obv. IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG
Bust draped, cuirassed, radiate r.
rev. VIRTVS AVG
Virtus in military dress, standing front, head l., resting r. hand on oval shield,
set on ground, holding vertical spear in l.
RIC IV/3, 6; C.381
about EF, mint luster

VIRTVS, personification of military virtue, a female figur, here shown clearly by her bare breast r., so looking like an Amazon, helmeted and with military cloak. From the time of the Civil Wars AD 69 until the time of Honorius she played a big role in the imperial coinage. Later often as VIRTVS MILITVM or VIRTVS EXERCITI.
Jochen
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Zeugitana, Carthage, c. 241-221 BC, AE 28 21 viewsHead of Tanit left, wearing wreath of ears of wheat, triple pendant earring and necklace.
Horse standing right, eight rayed star above, Punic letter alef in right field.

Viola, Corpus Numorum Punicorum (2010) CNP-53; Visona (AJN 10) 31 var. (billon double shekel).

(28 mm, 22.67 g, 12h).
Harlan J Berk 190, 29 May 2014, 247.

This rare type was issued between the First and Second Punic Wars. The iconography is almost identical to silver trishekel issues of SNG Copenhagen 185 usually attributed to the period 264-241 BC and associated with the First Punic War. This bronze type was produced in the aftermath of the First Punic War when the Carthaginian treasury was under pressure of war reparations to Rome. The type is unlisted in most catalogues and appears to have been unknown until recently.

This coin came via HJB auction in 2014 with four others of similar type, accompanied by the appearance of several other in commerce around the same time, all bearing the the same distinctive dusty green patina. This co-incident appearance of a rare type bearing a common patina is suggestive of a recently discovered hoard. Before this appearance, the type was not seen in commerce for the preceeding ten years and appears to have been almost unknown so that the 2010 Viola CNP attribution is the only specific reference to the type.

n.igma
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[1001a] Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.62 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 32, RSC 301, VF, 2.966g, 16.8mm, 180o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP III, laureate head right; reverse LIBERO PATRI, Liber (Bacchus) standing left, in right ocnochoe over panther, thysus in left; excellent portrait; scarce. Ex FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Introduction
Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman empire after the tumultuous reign of the emperor Commodus and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus' murder. However, by giving greater pay and benefits to soldiers and annexing the troublesome lands of northern Mesopotamia into the Roman empire, Septimius Severus brought increasing financial and military burdens to Rome's government. His prudent administration allowed these burdens to be met during his eighteen years on the throne, but his reign was not entirely sunny. The bloodiness with which Severus gained and maintained control of the empire tarnished his generally positive reputation.

Severus' Early Life and Acclamation
Severus was born 11 April 145 in the African city of Lepcis Magna, whose magnificent ruins are located in modern Libya, 130 miles east of Tripoli. Septimius Severus came from a distinguished local family with cousins who received suffect consulships in Rome under Antoninus Pius. The future emperor's father seems not to have held any major offices, but the grandfather may have been the wealthy equestrian Septimius Severus commemorated by the Flavian-era poet Statius.

The future emperor was helped in his early career by one of his consular cousins, who arranged entry into the senate and the favor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Life as a senator meant a life of travel from one government posting to another. Moorish attacks on his intended post of Baetica (southern Spain) forced Severus to serve his quaestorship in Sardinia. He then traveled to Africa as a legate and returned to Rome to be a tribune of the plebs. Around the year 175 he married Paccia Marciana, who seems also to have been of African origin. The childless marriage lasted a decade or so until her death.

Severus' career continued to flourish as the empire passed from Marcus to Commodus. The young senator held a praetorship, then served in Spain, commanded a legion in Syria and held the governorships of Gallia Lugdunensis (central France), Sicily and Upper Pannonia (easternmost Austria and western Hungary). While in Gallia Lugdunensis in 187, the now-widowed future emperor married Julia Domna, a woman from a prominent family of the Syrian city of Emesa. Two sons quickly arrived, eleven months apart: Bassianus (known to history as Caracalla) in April of the year 188, and Geta in March 189.

News of Pertinax's assassination 28 March 193 in an uprising by the praetorian guard quickly reached Pannonia, and only twelve days later on 9 April 193, Severus was proclaimed emperor. Septimius Severus had the strong support of the armies along the Rhine and Danube, but the loyalty of the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, was in doubt. Severus' envoys from Pannonia offered Albinus the title of Caesar, which he accepted.

The Civil Wars with Albinus, Niger, and Didius Julianus
In the city of Rome, Didius Julianus gained the support of the praetorian troops and was promoted as the successor to Pertinax. Although Julianus' authority did not extend much beyond Italy, Severus understood that legitimacy for a Roman emperor meant having one's authority accepted in Rome. He and his army began a swift march to the city. They met practically no resistance on their advance from Pannonia into northern Italy, as Julianus' supporters defected. By the beginning of June when Severus reached Interamna, 50 miles north of Rome, even the praetorian guard stationed in the capital switched sides. Didius Julianus was declared a public enemy and killed. Septimius Severus entered Rome without a fight.

Civil war was not yet over. Another provincial governor also had his eyes on the throne. In Syria, Pescennius Niger had been proclaimed emperor on news of Pertinax's death, and the eastern provinces quickly went under his authority. Byzantium became Niger's base of operations as he prepared to fight the armies of the west loyal to Severus.

Niger was unable to maintain further advances into Europe. The fighting moved to the Asian shore of the Propontis, and in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south. Asia and Bithynia fell under Severus' control, and Egypt soon recognized Severus' authority. By late spring, Niger was defeated near Issus and the remainder of his support collapsed. Syria was pacified. Niger was killed fleeing Antioch. Byzantium, however, refused to surrender to Severan forces. Niger's head was sent to the city to persuade the besieged citizens to give up, but to no avail. The Byzantines held out for another year before surrender. As punishment for their stubbornness, the walls of their city were destroyed.

Severus' Eastern Campaigns
During the fighting, two of the peoples of upper Mesopotamia -- the Osrhoeni and the Adiabeni -- captured some Roman garrisons and made an unsuccessful attack on the Roman-allied city of Nisibis. After the defeat of Niger, these peoples offered to return Roman captives and what remained of the seized treasures if the remaining Roman garrisons were removed from the region. Severus refused the offer and prepared for war against the two peoples, as well as against an Arabian tribe that had aided Niger. In the spring of 195, Severus marched an army through the desert into upper Mesopotamia. The native peoples quickly surrendered, and Severus added to his name the victorious titles Arabicus and Adiabenicus. Much of the upper third of Mesopotamia was organized as a Roman province, though the king of Osrhoene was allowed to retain control of a diminished realm.

The tottering Parthian empire was less and less able to control those peoples living in the border regions with Rome. Rome's eastern frontier was entering a period of instability, and Severus responded with an interventionist policy of attack and annexation. Some senators feared that increased involvement in Mesopotamia would only embroil Rome in local squabbles at great expense. The emperor, however, would remain consistent in his active eastern policy.

Legitimization of the Severan Dynasty
Severus also took steps to cement his legitimacy as emperor by connecting himself to the Antonine dynasty. Severus now proclaimed himself the son of Marcus Aurelius, which allowed him to trace his authority, through adoption, back to the emperor Nerva. Julia Domna was awarded the title "Mother of the Camp" (mater castrorum), a title only previously given to the empress Faustina the Younger, Marcus' wife. Bassianus, the emperor's elder son, was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and given the title Caesar. It was this last step that marked a decisive break with Albinus.

Albinus had remained in Britain as governor during the struggles between Severus and Niger. Although Albinus had not attempted open revolt against the emperor, he seems to have been in communication with senators about future moves. By the end of 195, Albinus was declared a public enemy by Severus. The governor of Britain responded by proclaiming himself emperor and invading Gaul.

A weary Roman populace used the anonymity of the crowd at the chariot races to complain about renewed civil war, but it was Gaul that bore the brunt of the fighting. Albinus and his supporters were able to inflict losses on the occasion of the initial attacks, but disorder was so great that opportunistic soldiers could easily operate on their own within the lands under Albinus' nominal control.

The tide began to turn early in 197, and after a Severan victory at Tournus, Albinus found himself and his army trapped near Lyon. A battle broke out 19 February 197. In the initial fighting, Albinus' troops forced the Severans into retreat, during which Severus fell off his horse. When the Severan cavalry appeared, however, Albinus' army was routed. Lyon was sacked and Albinus, who was trapped in a house along the river Rhône, committed suicide. Severus ordered Albinus' head to be cut off and sent to Rome for display. Many of Albinus' supporters were killed, including a large number of Spanish and Gallic aristocrats. Albinus' wife and children were killed, as were many of the wives of his supporters. Tradition also told of the mutilation of bodies and denial of proper burial. The emperor revealed a penchant for cruelty that troubled even his fervent supporters. A purge of the senate soon followed. Included among the victims was Pertinax's father-in-law, Sulpicianus.

Severus and the Roman Military
Severus brought many changes to the Roman military. Soldiers' pay was increased by half, they were allowed to be married while in service, and greater opportunities were provided for promotion into officer ranks and the civil service. The entire praetorian guard, discredited by the murder of Pertinax and the auctioning of their support to Julianus, was dismissed. The emperor created a new, larger praetorian guard out of provincial soldiers from the legions. Increases were also made to the two other security forces based in Rome: the urban cohorts, who maintained order; and the night watch, who fought fires and dealt with overnight disturbances, break-ins and other petty crime. These military reforms proved expensive, but the measures may well have increased soldiers' performance and morale in an increasingly unsettled age.

One location that remained unsettled was the eastern frontier. In 197 Nisibis had again been under siege, and the emperor prepared for another eastern campaign. Three new legions were raised, though one was left behind in central Italy to maintain order. The Roman armies easily swept through upper Mesopotamia, traveling down the Euphrates to sack Seleucia, Babylon and Ctesiphon, which had been abandoned by the Parthian king Vologaeses V. On 28 January 198 -- the centenary of Trajan's accession -- Severus took the victorious title Parthicus Maximus and promoted both of his sons: Caracalla to the rank of Augustus and Geta to the rank of Caesar.

Before embarking on the eastern campaign, the emperor had named Gaius Fulvius Plautianus as a praetorian prefect. Plautianus came from the emperor's home town of Lepcis, and the prefect may even have been a relative of the emperor. The victories in Mesopotamia were followed by tours of eastern provinces, including Egypt. Plautianus accompanied Severus throughout the travels, and by the year 201 Plautianus was the emperor's closest confidant and advisor. Plautianus was also praetorian prefect without peer after having arranged the murder of his last colleague in the post.

Upon the return to Rome in 202, the influence of Plautianus was at its height. Comparisons were made with Sejanus, the powerful praetorian prefect under the emperor Tiberius. Plautianus, who earlier had been adlected into the senate, was now awarded consular rank, and his daughter Plautilla was married to Caracalla. The wealth Plautianus had acquired from his close connection with the emperor enabled him to provide a dowry said to have been worthy of fifty princesses. Celebrations and games also marked the decennalia, the beginning of the tenth year of Severus' reign. Later in the year the enlarged imperial family traveled to Lepcis, where native sons Severus and Plautianus could display their prestige and power.

The following year the imperial family returned to Rome, where an arch, still standing today, was dedicated to the emperor at the western end of the Forum. Preparations were also being made for the Secular Games, which were thought to have originated in earliest Rome and were to be held every 110 years. Augustus celebrated the Secular Games in 17 B.C., and Domitian in A.D. 88, six years too early. (Claudius used the excuse of Rome's 800th year to hold the games in A.D. 47.) In 204 Severus would preside over ten days of ceremonies and spectacles.

By the end of 204, Plautianus was finding his influence with the emperor on the wane. Caracalla was not happy to be the husband of Plautilla. Julia Domna resented Plautianus' criticisms and investigations against her. Severus was tiring of his praetorian prefect's ostentation, which at times seemed to surpass that of the emperor himself. The emperor's ailing brother, Geta, also denounced Plautianus, and after Geta's death the praetorian prefect found himself being bypassed by the emperor. In January 205 a soldier named Saturninus revealed to the emperor a plot by Plautianus to have Severus and Caracalla killed. Plautianus was summoned to the imperial palace and executed. His children were exiled, and Caracalla divorced Plautilla. Some observers suspected the story of a plot was merely a ruse to cover up long-term plans for Plautianus' removal.

Severus and Roman Law
Two new praetorian prefects were named to replace Plautianus, one of whom was the eminent jurist Papinian. The emperor's position as ultimate appeals judge had brought an ever-increasing legal workload to his office. During the second century, a career path for legal experts was established, and an emperor came to rely heavily upon his consilium, an advisory panel of experienced jurists, in rendering decisions. Severus brought these jurists to even greater prominence. A diligent administrator and conscientious judge, the emperor appreciated legal reasoning and nurtured its development. His reign ushered in the golden age of Roman jurisprudence, and his court employed the talents of the three greatest Roman lawyers: Papinian, Paul and Ulpian.

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

Severus was now into his 60s. Chronic gout limited his activities and sapped his strength. The emperor's health continued to deteriorate in Britain, and he became ever more intent on trying to improve the bitter relationship between his two sons. He is reported to have given his sons three pieces of advice: "Get along; pay off the soldiers; and disregard everyone else." The first piece of advice would not be heeded.

Severus died in York on 4 February 211 at the age of 65. His reign lasted nearly 18 years, a duration that would not be matched until Diocletian. Culturally and ideologically Septimius Severus connected his reign to the earlier Antonine era, but the reforms he enacted would eventually alter the very character of Roman government. By creating a larger and more expensive army and increasing the influence of lawyers in administration, Severus planted the seeds that would develop into the highly militaristic and bureaucratic government of the later empire.

Copyright (C) 1998, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
SeptSevArDen.jpg
[1001b] Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.42 viewsSeptimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Silver denarius, RIC 119A. aF. Rome. Obverse: L. SEP. SEVERVS PER. AVG. P. M. IMP. XI, His bearded and laureated head right. Reverse: SALVTI AVGG. Salus seated left feeding serpent arising from altar(?). Scarce. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Introduction
Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman empire after the tumultuous reign of the emperor Commodus and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus' murder. However, by giving greater pay and benefits to soldiers and annexing the troublesome lands of northern Mesopotamia into the Roman empire, Septimius Severus brought increasing financial and military burdens to Rome's government. His prudent administration allowed these burdens to be met during his eighteen years on the throne, but his reign was not entirely sunny. The bloodiness with which Severus gained and maintained control of the empire tarnished his generally positive reputation.

Severus' Early Life and Acclamation
Severus was born 11 April 145 in the African city of Lepcis Magna, whose magnificent ruins are located in modern Libya, 130 miles east of Tripoli. Septimius Severus came from a distinguished local family with cousins who received suffect consulships in Rome under Antoninus Pius. The future emperor's father seems not to have held any major offices, but the grandfather may have been the wealthy equestrian Septimius Severus commemorated by the Flavian-era poet Statius.

The future emperor was helped in his early career by one of his consular cousins, who arranged entry into the senate and the favor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Life as a senator meant a life of travel from one government posting to another. Moorish attacks on his intended post of Baetica (southern Spain) forced Severus to serve his quaestorship in Sardinia. He then traveled to Africa as a legate and returned to Rome to be a tribune of the plebs. Around the year 175 he married Paccia Marciana, who seems also to have been of African origin. The childless marriage lasted a decade or so until her death.

Severus' career continued to flourish as the empire passed from Marcus to Commodus. The young senator held a praetorship, then served in Spain, commanded a legion in Syria and held the governorships of Gallia Lugdunensis (central France), Sicily and Upper Pannonia (easternmost Austria and western Hungary). While in Gallia Lugdunensis in 187, the now-widowed future emperor married Julia Domna, a woman from a prominent family of the Syrian city of Emesa. Two sons quickly arrived, eleven months apart: Bassianus (known to history as Caracalla) in April of the year 188, and Geta in March 189.

News of Pertinax's assassination 28 March 193 in an uprising by the praetorian guard quickly reached Pannonia, and only twelve days later on 9 April 193, Severus was proclaimed emperor. Septimius Severus had the strong support of the armies along the Rhine and Danube, but the loyalty of the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, was in doubt. Severus' envoys from Pannonia offered Albinus the title of Caesar, which he accepted.

The Civil Wars with Albinus, Niger, and Didius Julianus
In the city of Rome, Didius Julianus gained the support of the praetorian troops and was promoted as the successor to Pertinax. Although Julianus' authority did not extend much beyond Italy, Severus understood that legitimacy for a Roman emperor meant having one's authority accepted in Rome. He and his army began a swift march to the city. They met practically no resistance on their advance from Pannonia into northern Italy, as Julianus' supporters defected. By the beginning of June when Severus reached Interamna, 50 miles north of Rome, even the praetorian guard stationed in the capital switched sides. Didius Julianus was declared a public enemy and killed. Septimius Severus entered Rome without a fight.

Civil war was not yet over. Another provincial governor also had his eyes on the throne. In Syria, Pescennius Niger had been proclaimed emperor on news of Pertinax's death, and the eastern provinces quickly went under his authority. Byzantium became Niger's base of operations as he prepared to fight the armies of the west loyal to Severus.

Niger was unable to maintain further advances into Europe. The fighting moved to the Asian shore of the Propontis, and in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south. Asia and Bithynia fell under Severus' control, and Egypt soon recognized Severus' authority. By late spring, Niger was defeated near Issus and the remainder of his support collapsed. Syria was pacified. Niger was killed fleeing Antioch. Byzantium, however, refused to surrender to Severan forces. Niger's head was sent to the city to persuade the besieged citizens to give up, but to no avail. The Byzantines held out for another year before surrender. As punishment for their stubbornness, the walls of their city were destroyed.

Severus' Eastern Campaigns
During the fighting, two of the peoples of upper Mesopotamia -- the Osrhoeni and the Adiabeni -- captured some Roman garrisons and made an unsuccessful attack on the Roman-allied city of Nisibis. After the defeat of Niger, these peoples offered to return Roman captives and what remained of the seized treasures if the remaining Roman garrisons were removed from the region. Severus refused the offer and prepared for war against the two peoples, as well as against an Arabian tribe that had aided Niger. In the spring of 195, Severus marched an army through the desert into upper Mesopotamia. The native peoples quickly surrendered, and Severus added to his name the victorious titles Arabicus and Adiabenicus. Much of the upper third of Mesopotamia was organized as a Roman province, though the king of Osrhoene was allowed to retain control of a diminished realm.

The tottering Parthian empire was less and less able to control those peoples living in the border regions with Rome. Rome's eastern frontier was entering a period of instability, and Severus responded with an interventionist policy of attack and annexation. Some senators feared that increased involvement in Mesopotamia would only embroil Rome in local squabbles at great expense. The emperor, however, would remain consistent in his active eastern policy.

Legitimization of the Severan Dynasty
Severus also took steps to cement his legitimacy as emperor by connecting himself to the Antonine dynasty. Severus now proclaimed himself the son of Marcus Aurelius, which allowed him to trace his authority, through adoption, back to the emperor Nerva. Julia Domna was awarded the title "Mother of the Camp" (mater castrorum), a title only previously given to the empress Faustina the Younger, Marcus' wife. Bassianus, the emperor's elder son, was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and given the title Caesar. It was this last step that marked a decisive break with Albinus.

Albinus had remained in Britain as governor during the struggles between Severus and Niger. Although Albinus had not attempted open revolt against the emperor, he seems to have been in communication with senators about future moves.[[3]] By the end of 195, Albinus was declared a public enemy by Severus. The governor of Britain responded by proclaiming himself emperor and invading Gaul.

A weary Roman populace used the anonymity of the crowd at the chariot races to complain about renewed civil war, but it was Gaul that bore the brunt of the fighting. Albinus and his supporters were able to inflict losses on the occasion of the initial attacks, but disorder was so great that opportunistic soldiers could easily operate on their own within the lands under Albinus' nominal control.

The tide began to turn early in 197, and after a Severan victory at Tournus, Albinus found himself and his army trapped near Lyon. A battle broke out 19 February 197. In the initial fighting, Albinus' troops forced the Severans into retreat, during which Severus fell off his horse. When the Severan cavalry appeared, however, Albinus' army was routed. Lyon was sacked and Albinus, who was trapped in a house along the river Rhône, committed suicide. Severus ordered Albinus' head to be cut off and sent to Rome for display. Many of Albinus' supporters were killed, including a large number of Spanish and Gallic aristocrats. Albinus' wife and children were killed, as were many of the wives of his supporters. Tradition also told of the mutilation of bodies and denial of proper burial. The emperor revealed a penchant for cruelty that troubled even his fervent supporters. A purge of the senate soon followed. Included among the victims was Pertinax's father-in-law, Sulpicianus.

Severus and the Roman Military
Severus brought many changes to the Roman military. Soldiers' pay was increased by half, they were allowed to be married while in service, and greater opportunities were provided for promotion into officer ranks and the civil service. The entire praetorian guard, discredited by the murder of Pertinax and the auctioning of their support to Julianus, was dismissed. The emperor created a new, larger praetorian guard out of provincial soldiers from the legions. Increases were also made to the two other security forces based in Rome: the urban cohorts, who maintained order; and the night watch, who fought fires and dealt with overnight disturbances, break-ins and other petty crime. These military reforms proved expensive, but the measures may well have increased soldiers' performance and morale in an increasingly unsettled age.

One location that remained unsettled was the eastern frontier. In 197 Nisibis had again been under siege, and the emperor prepared for another eastern campaign. Three new legions were raised, though one was left behind in central Italy to maintain order. The Roman armies easily swept through upper Mesopotamia, traveling down the Euphrates to sack Seleucia, Babylon and Ctesiphon, which had been abandoned by the Parthian king Vologaeses V. On 28 January 198 -- the centenary of Trajan's accession -- Severus took the victorious title Parthicus Maximus and promoted both of his sons: Caracalla to the rank of Augustus and Geta to the rank of Caesar.

Before embarking on the eastern campaign, the emperor had named Gaius Fulvius Plautianus as a praetorian prefect. Plautianus came from the emperor's home town of Lepcis, and the prefect may even have been a relative of the emperor. The victories in Mesopotamia were followed by tours of eastern provinces, including Egypt. Plautianus accompanied Severus throughout the travels, and by the year 201 Plautianus was the emperor's closest confidant and advisor. Plautianus was also praetorian prefect without peer after having arranged the murder of his last colleague in the post.

Upon the return to Rome in 202, the influence of Plautianus was at its height. Comparisons were made with Sejanus, the powerful praetorian prefect under the emperor Tiberius. Plautianus, who earlier had been adlected into the senate, was now awarded consular rank, and his daughter Plautilla was married to Caracalla. The wealth Plautianus had acquired from his close connection with the emperor enabled him to provide a dowry said to have been worthy of fifty princesses. Celebrations and games also marked the decennalia, the beginning of the tenth year of Severus' reign. Later in the year the enlarged imperial family traveled to Lepcis, where native sons Severus and Plautianus could display their prestige and power.

The following year the imperial family returned to Rome, where an arch, still standing today, was dedicated to the emperor at the western end of the Forum. Preparations were also being made for the Secular Games, which were thought to have originated in earliest Rome and were to be held every 110 years. Augustus celebrated the Secular Games in 17 B.C., and Domitian in A.D. 88, six years too early. (Claudius used the excuse of Rome's 800th year to hold the games in A.D. 47.) In 204 Severus would preside over ten days of ceremonies and spectacles.

By the end of 204, Plautianus was finding his influence with the emperor on the wane. Caracalla was not happy to be the husband of Plautilla. Julia Domna resented Plautianus' criticisms and investigations against her. Severus was tiring of his praetorian prefect's ostentation, which at times seemed to surpass that of the emperor himself. The emperor's ailing brother, Geta, also denounced Plautianus, and after Geta's death the praetorian prefect found himself being bypassed by the emperor. In January 205 a soldier named Saturninus revealed to the emperor a plot by Plautianus to have Severus and Caracalla killed. Plautianus was summoned to the imperial palace and executed. His children were exiled, and Caracalla divorced Plautilla. Some observers suspected the story of a plot was merely a ruse to cover up long-term plans for Plautianus' removal.

Severus and Roman Law
Two new praetorian prefects were named to replace Plautianus, one of whom was the eminent jurist Papinian. The emperor's position as ultimate appeals judge had brought an ever-increasing legal workload to his office. During the second century, a career path for legal experts was established, and an emperor came to rely heavily upon his consilium, an advisory panel of experienced jurists, in rendering decisions. Severus brought these jurists to even greater prominence. A diligent administrator and conscientious judge, the emperor appreciated legal reasoning and nurtured its development. His reign ushered in the golden age of Roman jurisprudence, and his court employed the talents of the three greatest Roman lawyers: Papinian, Paul and Ulpian.

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

Severus was now into his 60s. Chronic gout limited his activities and sapped his strength. The emperor's health continued to deteriorate in Britain, and he became ever more intent on trying to improve the bitter relationship between his two sons. He is reported to have given his sons three pieces of advice: "Get along; pay off the soldiers; and disregard everyone else." The first piece of advice would not be heeded.

Severus died in York on 4 February 211 at the age of 65. His reign lasted nearly 18 years, a duration that would not be matched until Diocletian. Culturally and ideologically Septimius Severus connected his reign to the earlier Antonine era, but the reforms he enacted would eventually alter the very character of Roman government. By creating a larger and more expensive army and increasing the influence of lawyers in administration, Severus planted the seeds that would develop into the highly militaristic and bureaucratic government of the later empire.

Copyright (C) 1998, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
GetaRic13a.jpg
[1005a] Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D.18 viewsSilver denarius, S 7184, RIC 13a, RSC 90, VM 24, aEF/aEF, 3.5g, 19.38 mm, 180o, Rome mint, as Caesar, 199 A.D. Obverse: P SEPT GETA CAES PONT, boy's bare-headed and draped bust right; Reverse: NOBILITAS, Nobilitas standing right, scepter in left, palladium in right. Ex Ancient Imports.

Publius Septimius Geta was the younger son of the emperor Septimius Severus. Geta's rivalry with his older brother, Caracalla, culminated in Geta's murder less than a year after Severus' death. Tradition soon idealized this victim of fratricide as a gentle prince taken by treachery far too soon.

Geta was born 7 March 189 in Rome, where his family was resident in between provincial governorships held by Severus under the emperor Commodus. The boy was named after Severus' father and was only 11 months younger than his brother, Caracalla.

In the course of the civil wars that established Severus as emperor, Severus used the young Caracalla to solidify popular support by changing the older son's name to connect the boy to the Antonine dynasty and by giving Caracalla the titles first of Caesar, then Augustus. As Caracalla was increasingly being treated as the "heir," Geta was being treated as the "spare." Geta was given the title Caesar and publicly promoted as part of a close-knit, imperial family.

The propaganda, however, was unable to hide completely the family's dysfunctional relationships, especially the increasingly bitter rivalry developing between the now teenagers, Caracalla and Geta. Severus decided to take his family out of Rome and on campaign in Britain to keep his sons busy. While Caracalla commanded troops, Geta was given civilian authority on the island. Geta was also given the title Augustus (more than a decade after his brother received it), which meant that Geta theoretically was co-emperor along with Severus and Caracalla. Geta's increased authority did nothing to improve his relationship with Caracalla.

Soon Severus' health began to deteriorate, and ever more desperate pleas were made for his sons to get along. Septimius Severus died 4 February 211 in York. Caracalla was 22 years old, Geta 21.

The Roman world now had two brothers as joint emperors, a situation that recalled events of half a century earlier, when adopted brothers Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus officially shared the empire. Caracalla might well have been satisfied had Geta behaved like Verus, whose authority was more official than real and who deferred to his older sibling in political matters. Geta, however, saw his authority as being truly equal with that of his brother, and the two were barely on speaking terms during the long trip back to Rome. Once in the city, the situation did not improve. Government ground to a halt as the two bickered on appointments and policy decisions. A later story even claimed the brothers were considering dividing the empire into two.

By the end of the year Caracalla was being advised to have Geta murdered, and after at least one unsuccessful attempt at the start of the Saturnalia festival, Geta was killed in late December 211. One version of events claimed Geta was lured to come without his bodyguards to a meeting with Caracalla and their mother, Julia Domna, to discuss a possible reconciliation. When Geta arrived, he was attacked by centurions. Wounded and bleeding, Geta ran to his mother and clinging to her, died.

Caracalla said the murder came in response to his brother's plottings, and the death started a bloody and violent purge of Caracalla's suspected enemies. Geta's memory was condemned, his name removed from inscriptions, his face removed from sculptures and paintings. Critics of Caracalla looked back wistfully at the murdered prince, who came to be described as a lamb devoured by his ferocious, lion-like brother. Official restoration of Geta's reputation came with the arrival of the emperor Elagabalus to Rome in 219, when Geta's remains were translated into the Mausoleum of Hadrian to join those of his father and brother.

The little reliable evidence about Geta's personality does not seem to support the idealized picture of a gentle prince, but the shocking nature of his death at the instigation of his brother transformed Geta's life into legend.

By Michael L. Meckler, Ohio State University
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.




Cleisthenes
SeverusAlexanderRIC70RSC325s.jpg
[1009a] Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.82 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 70, RSC 325, S -, EF, Rome mint, 2.803g, 20.7mm, 0o, 227 A.D.; Obverse: IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right; Reverse: P M TR P VI COS II P P, Emperor standing left, sacrificing from patera in right over a tripod, scroll in left; cameo-like obverse with toned portrait and legend and bright fields, slightly frosty surfaces, details of head on reverse figure unstruck, slightly irregular flan. Ex FORVM.

In this year Ardashir invaded Parthia and established the Sassanid Dynasty, which claimed direct descent from Xerxes and Darius. The Eastern power grew stronger and the threat to the Romans immense.

Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after the murder of his cousin, Elagabalus. His reign was marked by great economic prosperity, and he enjoyed great success against the barbarian tribes. His mother Julia Mamaea was the real power in the empire, controlling her son's policies and even his personal life with great authority. Severus had an oratory where he prayed under the edict, written on the wall, "Do not unto others what you would not have done to yourself" and the images of various prophets including Mithras, Zoroaster, Abraham and Jesus. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered both Severus Alexander and his mother (Joseph Sermarini).

De Imeratoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Alexander Severus (A.D. 222-235)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"But as Alexander was a modest and dutiful youth, of only seventeen years of age, the reins of government were in the hands of two women, of his mother Mamaea, and of Maesa, his grandmother. After the death of the latter, who survived but a short time the elevation of Alexander, Mamaea remained the sole regent of her son and of the empire." (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. 6: Modern Library Edition, p. 130)

"As the imperial system developed, it disclosed its various arcana one by one. How much does the personality of the ruler matter? Less and less, it should seem. Be he boy, buffoon, or philosopher, his conduct may not have much effect on the administration. Habit and routine took over, with groups and grades of bureaucrats at hand to fill the posts." (Syme, Emperors and Biography, 146)

The passages quoted above emphasize two important aspects of the principate of Severus Alexander (or Alexander Severus), his youth and the influence of women during his reign. The significance of the latter invites brief discourse about the four women known as the "Severan Julias," whose origin was Syria. Julia Domna became the second wife of Septimius Severus and bore him two sons, the later emperors Caracalla and Geta. Her role in the administration of her husband was significant, which her expansive titulature, "mother of the camp and the senate and the country," reflected. Her sister, Julia Maesa, had two daughters, each of whom produced a son who was to become emperor. Julia Soaemias was the mother of Elagabalus, and shared his fate when he was assassinated. Julia Mamaea bore Alexander, who succeeded his cousin; he was very young and hence much under the control of grandmother and mother. For the first time in its imperial history, the empire of Rome was de facto, though not de iure, governed by women.

The literary sources, while numerous, are limited in value. Chief among them, at least in scope, is the biography in the Historia Augusta, much the longest of all the lives in this peculiar collection. Though purporting to be the work of six authors in the early fourth century, it is now generally considered to have been produced by one author writing in the last years of this century. Spacious in its treatment of the emperor and extremely favorable to him on the whole, it has little historical merit, seeming rather an extended work of fiction. It must be used with the utmost caution.

Herodian, whose history covered the period 180-238, was a contemporary of Severus Alexander, and his coverage of the latter's reign is extensive. Another contemporary, Dio Cassius, who was consul in 229 and whose judgments would have been most valuable, is unfortunately useless here, since his history survives only in abbreviated form and covers barely a page of printed text for the whole reign (Book 80). Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, the Epitome de Caesaribus, and other Latin sources are extremely brief, informing us of only the occasional anecdote. Christian writers make minimal contribution; legal texts offer much instruction, particularly those dealing with or stemming from Ulpian; coins, inscriptions, papyri, and archaeology help fill the gaps left by the literary sources.

Early Life and Education
The future emperor was born in Arca Caesarea in Phoenicia on October 1, 208 although some sources put the date three years earlier (as Gibbon assumed, see above), the son of Gessius Marcianus, whose career advanced in the equestrian cursus, and of Julia Mamaea, niece of the then empress, Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. He was raised quietly and well educated, at the instance of his mother. He came into the public eye only in 218, when, after Macrinus' murder of Caracalla and accession to the purple, he and his mother were declared hostes publici. In June of that year, Elagabalus defeated Macrinus and succeeded him as emperor. Alexander and Mamaea were soon rehabilitated. As his cousin's activities, religious, political, and personal, became increasingly unacceptable, Alexander was drawn ever more into public life. In mid 221, he assumed the toga virilis, was adopted by Elagabalus as a colleague, was granted the name Alexander, and elevated to the rank of Caesar. There had been talk that he was the illegitimate child of Caracalla, which won him support among the army, and this was confirmed, at least for public consumption, by his filiation in the official titulature back to Septimius. He was now styled Imp. Caes. M. Aurelii Antonini Pii Felicis Aug. fil., divi Antonini Magni Pii nepos, divi Severi pronepos M. Aurelius Alexander, nobilissimus Caesar imperi et sacerdotis, princeps iuventutis. The connection with Septimius Severus was crucial, since he was the only one of these predecessors who had been deified. Alexander was about 12½ years old. Less than a year later, on March 13, 222, with the murder of Elagabalus, Alexander was hailed as emperor by the army. He considered this date as his dies imperii. He became thereby the youngest emperor in Rome's history. He was immediately thereafter given the titles of Augustus, pater patriae, and pontifex maximus.

His Principate; Grandmother, Mother, Ulpian
Having had no experience in government, the young emperor was largely dependent upon the two senior women in his life to guide his actions. His grandmother, Julia Maesa, may well have died as early as 223, so that his mother, Julia Mamaea, played the major role in the empire's administration from early on until the end. The only other figures who could rival her were the two Praetorian Prefects, both eminent jurists, Ulpian and Paulus, who are well-known to us because of the numerous citations of their legal views and administrative decisions preserved in the Corpus Iuris Civilis. Both were members of Alexander's consilium. Alexander attempted to restore some of the senate's prestige and functions, but with little success. He was even unable to protect Ulpian against the anger of the praetorians, who then murdered the jurist in 223.

Had his principate been peaceful, he might have developed into a significant emperor, certainly in comparison with his immediate predecessors. He was married once, in 225 to Sallustia Orbiana, who received the official titulature Sallustia Barbia Orbiana Augusta, but she was banished to Libya two years later. Her father, L. Seius Sallustius, was perhaps raised to the rank of Caesar by Alexander and was put to death in 227 on a charge of attempted murder of the emperor. The only other recorded uprising against Alexander is that of Taurinus, who was hailed as Augustus but drowned himself in the Euphrates.

According to the HA life, Alexander was a "good" person, and his mother certainly attempted to guide him well, but much of the last decade of his reign was preoccupied with serious military threats against the empire's prestige, nay existence. In those dangerous circumstances, his abilities, which had not earlier been honed, proved inadequate.

Domestic Policy
Perhaps the greatest service which Alexander furnished Rome, certainly at the beginning of his reign, was the return to a sense of sanity and tradition after the madness and fanaticism of Elagabalus. He is said to have honored and worshipped a variety of individuals, including Christ. His amiability assisted his relationship with the senate, which gained in honor under him without any real increase in its power. Besides jurists in high office, literary figures were also so distinguished; Marius Maximus, the biographer, and Dio Cassius, the historian, gained second consulships, the former in 223, the latter in 229.

The emperor's building program made its mark upon the face of Rome. The last of the eleven great aqueducts, the aqua Alexandrina, was put into service in 226; he also rebuilt the thermae Neronianae in the Campus Martius in the following year and gave them his own name. Of the other constructions, perhaps the most intriguing are the Diaetae Mammaeae, apartments which he built for his mother on the Palatine.

The Persian and German Wars
The first great external challenge appeared in the east, where the Parthian dynasty, which had ruled the Iranian plateau and other large areas for centuries, and who for long had been one of Rome's great rivals, was overthrown by the Persian family of the Sassanids by 227. They aspired to restore their domain to include all the Asian lands which had been ruled in the glory days of the Persian Empire. Since this included Asia Minor as well as all other eastern provinces, the stage was set for continuing clashes with Rome.

These began late in the decade, with significant success early on for the Sassanids. But Rome gradually developed a defense against these incursions, and ultimately the emperor, with his mother and staff, went to the east in 231. There actual military command rested in the hands of his generals, but his presence gave additional weight to the empire's policy. Persia's early successes soon faded as Rome's armies brought their power and experience to bear. The result was an acceptance of the status quo rather than a settlement between the parties. This occurred in 233 and Alexander returned to Rome. His presence in the west was required by a German threat, particularly along the Rhine, where the tribes took advantage of the withdrawal of Roman troops for the eastern war.

In 234, Alexander and Julia Mammaea moved to Moguntiacum (Mainz), the capital of Upper Germany. The military situation had improved with the return of troops from the east, and an ambitious offensive campaign was planned, for which a bridge was built across the Rhine. But Alexander preferred to negotiate for peace by buying off the enemy. This policy outraged the soldiers, who mutinied in mid March 235 and killed the emperor and his mother. He had reached the age of 26½ years and had been emperor for almost precisely half his life. He was deified by the senate and received other posthumous honors. With the accession of Maximinus Thrax, the Severan dynasty came to an end.

Death and Evaluation
Tacitus' famous dictum about Galba, that he was properly considered capax imperii, capable of being emperor, until he showed, when emperor, that he was not, could never have been applied to Severus Alexander. A child when chance brought him to the principate, with only two recommendations, that he was different from Elagabalus and that he was part of the Severan family, he proved to be inadequate for the challenges of the time. Military experience was the prime attribute of an emperor now, which Alexander did not have, and that lack ultimately cost him his life. Guided by his mother and employing the services of distinguished men, he returned dignity to the imperial household and to the state. He did the best he could, but that best was not good enough in the early decades of the third century A.D., with the great threats from east and north challenging Rome's primacy and, indeed, existence.

Copyright (C) 2001, Herbert W. Benario. Published on De Imeratoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/alexsev.htm . Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
SevAl.jpg
[1009b] Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.109 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 19, S -, aF, Rome, 2.806g, 20.0mm, 0o, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse P M TR P II COS P P, Jupiter standing left cloak over arms, holding long scepter and thunderbolt. Nice portrait. Ex FORVM.

Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after the murder of his cousin, Elagabalus. His reign was marked by great economic prosperity, and he enjoyed great success against the barbarian tribes. His mother Julia Mamaea was the real power in the empire, controlling her son's policies and even his personal life with great authority. Severus had an oratory where he prayed under the edict, written on the wall, "Do not unto others what you would not have done to yourself" and the images of various prophets including Mithras, Zoroaster, Abraham and Jesus. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered both Severus Alexander and his mother (Joseph Sermarini).


De Imeratoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Alexander Severus (A.D. 222-235)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"But as Alexander was a modest and dutiful youth, of only seventeen years of age, the reins of government were in the hands of two women, of his mother Mamaea, and of Maesa, his grandmother. After the death of the latter, who survived but a short time the elevation of Alexander, Mamaea remained the sole regent of her son and of the empire." (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. 6: Modern Library Edition, p. 130)

"As the imperial system developed, it disclosed its various arcana one by one. How much does the personality of the ruler matter? Less and less, it should seem. Be he boy, buffoon, or philosopher, his conduct may not have much effect on the administration. Habit and routine took over, with groups and grades of bureaucrats at hand to fill the posts." (Syme, Emperors and Biography, 146)

The passages quoted above emphasize two important aspects of the principate of Severus Alexander (or Alexander Severus), his youth and the influence of women during his reign. The significance of the latter invites brief discourse about the four women known as the "Severan Julias," whose origin was Syria. Julia Domna became the second wife of Septimius Severus and bore him two sons, the later emperors Caracalla and Geta. Her role in the administration of her husband was significant, which her expansive titulature, "mother of the camp and the senate and the country," reflected. Her sister, Julia Maesa, had two daughters, each of whom produced a son who was to become emperor. Julia Soaemias was the mother of Elagabalus, and shared his fate when he was assassinated. Julia Mamaea bore Alexander, who succeeded his cousin; he was very young and hence much under the control of grandmother and mother. For the first time in its imperial history, the empire of Rome was de facto, though not de iure, governed by women.

The literary sources, while numerous, are limited in value. Chief among them, at least in scope, is the biography in the Historia Augusta, much the longest of all the lives in this peculiar collection. Though purporting to be the work of six authors in the early fourth century, it is now generally considered to have been produced by one author writing in the last years of this century. Spacious in its treatment of the emperor and extremely favorable to him on the whole, it has little historical merit, seeming rather an extended work of fiction. It must be used with the utmost caution.

Herodian, whose history covered the period 180-238, was a contemporary of Severus Alexander, and his coverage of the latter's reign is extensive. Another contemporary, Dio Cassius, who was consul in 229 and whose judgments would have been most valuable, is unfortunately useless here, since his history survives only in abbreviated form and covers barely a page of printed text for the whole reign (Book 80). Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, the Epitome de Caesaribus, and other Latin sources are extremely brief, informing us of only the occasional anecdote. Christian writers make minimal contribution; legal texts offer much instruction, particularly those dealing with or stemming from Ulpian; coins, inscriptions, papyri, and archaeology help fill the gaps left by the literary sources.

Early Life and Education
The future emperor was born in Arca Caesarea in Phoenicia on October 1, 208 although some sources put the date three years earlier (as Gibbon assumed, see above), the son of Gessius Marcianus, whose career advanced in the equestrian cursus, and of Julia Mamaea, niece of the then empress, Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. He was raised quietly and well educated, at the instance of his mother. He came into the public eye only in 218, when, after Macrinus' murder of Caracalla and accession to the purple, he and his mother were declared hostes publici. In June of that year, Elagabalus defeated Macrinus and succeeded him as emperor. Alexander and Mamaea were soon rehabilitated. As his cousin's activities, religious, political, and personal, became increasingly unacceptable, Alexander was drawn ever more into public life. In mid 221, he assumed the toga virilis, was adopted by Elagabalus as a colleague, was granted the name Alexander, and elevated to the rank of Caesar. There had been talk that he was the illegitimate child of Caracalla, which won him support among the army, and this was confirmed, at least for public consumption, by his filiation in the official titulature back to Septimius. He was now styled Imp. Caes. M. Aurelii Antonini Pii Felicis Aug. fil., divi Antonini Magni Pii nepos, divi Severi pronepos M. Aurelius Alexander, nobilissimus Caesar imperi et sacerdotis, princeps iuventutis. The connection with Septimius Severus was crucial, since he was the only one of these predecessors who had been deified. Alexander was about 12½ years old. Less than a year later, on March 13, 222, with the murder of Elagabalus, Alexander was hailed as emperor by the army. He considered this date as his dies imperii. He became thereby the youngest emperor in Rome's history. He was immediately thereafter given the titles of Augustus, pater patriae, and pontifex maximus.

His Principate; Grandmother, Mother, Ulpian
Having had no experience in government, the young emperor was largely dependent upon the two senior women in his life to guide his actions. His grandmother, Julia Maesa, may well have died as early as 223, so that his mother, Julia Mamaea, played the major role in the empire's administration from early on until the end. The only other figures who could rival her were the two Praetorian Prefects, both eminent jurists, Ulpian and Paulus, who are well-known to us because of the numerous citations of their legal views and administrative decisions preserved in the Corpus Iuris Civilis. Both were members of Alexander's consilium. Alexander attempted to restore some of the senate's prestige and functions, but with little success. He was even unable to protect Ulpian against the anger of the praetorians, who then murdered the jurist in 223.

Had his principate been peaceful, he might have developed into a significant emperor, certainly in comparison with his immediate predecessors. He was married once, in 225 to Sallustia Orbiana, who received the official titulature Sallustia Barbia Orbiana Augusta, but she was banished to Libya two years later. Her father, L. Seius Sallustius, was perhaps raised to the rank of Caesar by Alexander and was put to death in 227 on a charge of attempted murder of the emperor. The only other recorded uprising against Alexander is that of Taurinus, who was hailed as Augustus but drowned himself in the Euphrates.

According to the HA life, Alexander was a "good" person, and his mother certainly attempted to guide him well, but much of the last decade of his reign was preoccupied with serious military threats against the empire's prestige, nay existence. In those dangerous circumstances, his abilities, which had not earlier been honed, proved inadequate.

Domestic Policy
Perhaps the greatest service which Alexander furnished Rome, certainly at the beginning of his reign, was the return to a sense of sanity and tradition after the madness and fanaticism of Elagabalus. He is said to have honored and worshipped a variety of individuals, including Christ. His amiability assisted his relationship with the senate, which gained in honor under him without any real increase in its power. Besides jurists in high office, literary figures were also so distinguished; Marius Maximus, the biographer, and Dio Cassius, the historian, gained second consulships, the former in 223, the latter in 229.

The emperor's building program made its mark upon the face of Rome. The last of the eleven great aqueducts, the aqua Alexandrina, was put into service in 226; he also rebuilt the thermae Neronianae in the Campus Martius in the following year and gave them his own name. Of the other constructions, perhaps the most intriguing are the Diaetae Mammaeae, apartments which he built for his mother on the Palatine.

The Persian and German Wars
The first great external challenge appeared in the east, where the Parthian dynasty, which had ruled the Iranian plateau and other large areas for centuries, and who for long had been one of Rome's great rivals, was overthrown by the Persian family of the Sassanids by 227. They aspired to restore their domain to include all the Asian lands which had been ruled in the glory days of the Persian Empire. Since this included Asia Minor as well as all other eastern provinces, the stage was set for continuing clashes with Rome.

These began late in the decade, with significant success early on for the Sassanids. But Rome gradually developed a defense against these incursions, and ultimately the emperor, with his mother and staff, went to the east in 231. There actual military command rested in the hands of his generals, but his presence gave additional weight to the empire's policy. Persia's early successes soon faded as Rome's armies brought their power and experience to bear. The result was an acceptance of the status quo rather than a settlement between the parties. This occurred in 233 and Alexander returned to Rome. His presence in the west was required by a German threat, particularly along the Rhine, where the tribes took advantage of the withdrawal of Roman troops for the eastern war.

In 234, Alexander and Julia Mammaea moved to Moguntiacum (Mainz), the capital of Upper Germany. The military situation had improved with the return of troops from the east, and an ambitious offensive campaign was planned, for which a bridge was built across the Rhine. But Alexander preferred to negotiate for peace by buying off the enemy. This policy outraged the soldiers, who mutinied in mid March 235 and killed the emperor and his mother. He had reached the age of 26½ years and had been emperor for almost precisely half his life. He was deified by the senate and received other posthumous honors. With the accession of Maximinus Thrax, the Severan dynasty came to an end.

Death and Evaluation
Tacitus' famous dictum about Galba, that he was properly considered capax imperii, capable of being emperor, until he showed, when emperor, that he was not, could never have been applied to Severus Alexander. A child when chance brought him to the principate, with only two recommendations, that he was different from Elagabalus and that he was part of the Severan family, he proved to be inadequate for the challenges of the time. Military experience was the prime attribute of an emperor now, which Alexander did not have, and that lack ultimately cost him his life. Guided by his mother and employing the services of distinguished men, he returned dignity to the imperial household and to the state. He did the best he could, but that best was not good enough in the early decades of the third century A.D., with the great threats from east and north challenging Rome's primacy and, indeed, existence.

Copyright (C) 2001, Herbert W. Benario. Published on De Imeratoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/alexsev.htm . Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Phil2AE21.jpeg
[103b] Macedonian Kingdom, Philip II, 359 - 336 B.C.52 viewsMacedonian Kingdom, Philip II, 359 - 336 B.C. Bronze AE 21, Heavy or Double Unit, SNG ANS 833, aVF, 8.40g, 21.2mm, 0o, lifetime issue. Obverse: head Apollo right, wearing tania; Reverse: FILIPPOU, young male rider right, right hand raised, E right.
Ex FORVM.

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

Struck in commemoration of Philip's Olympic victory. This is one of his earliest issues in bronze.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philip’s Assassination

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

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

While Alexander was a bold and charismatic leader, he owes much of his success to his father.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_II_of_Macedon
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


Cleisthenes
Phillip2Ae.jpg
[103c] Macedonian Kingdom, Philip II, 359 - 336 B.C.43 viewsBronze AE Unit, SNG ANS 896, SNG Cop 589, F, 5.554g, 16.8mm, 0o, Macedonian mint, c. 359 - 336 B.C.; lifetime issue. Obverse: head Apollo right wearing tania; Reverse: FILIPPOU, young male riding horse prancing to right, AI below. Ex FORVM.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philip’s Assassination

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

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

While Alexander was a bold and charismatic leader, he owes much of his success to his father.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_II_of_Macedon
J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
TheodosiusRIC83b.jpg
[1601a] Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D. 65 viewsBronze AE 2, RIC 83(b), EF, Constantinople mint, 4.389g, 22.1mm, 180o, 25 Aug 383 - 28 Aug 388 A.D.; Obverse: D N THEODO-SIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: VIRTVS E-XERCITI, Emperor standing right holding standard and globe, foot on captive, cross in left field, CONSA in exergue. Ex FORVM.


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
AlxJanHen470.jpeg
[18H470] Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103 - 76 B.C.12 viewsJudean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103 - 76 B.C. Bronze prutah, Hendin 470, F, Jerusalem, 1.72g, 14.8mm, 95 - 76 B.C. Obverse: BASILEWS ALEXANDROU (of King Alexander), around anchor; Reverse: star with eight pellets instead of rays (no inscription between) surrounded by diadem; reverse 1/2 off center.

"And now the king's wife loosed the king's brethren, and made Alexander king, who appeared both elder in age, and more moderate in his temper than the rest" (Josephus, Wars, I, IV:1).

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow put more into the treasury than all the others. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
Cleisthenes
AlexJanYehon.jpg
[18H474] Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103 - 76 B.C.13 viewsJudean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103 - 76 B.C. Bronze prutah, Hendin 474, VF, Jerusalem, 2.36g, 15.6mm, 0o. Obverse: Hebrew inscripton, Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; Reverse: double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; obverse and reverse about 1/4 off center.

"And now the king's wife loosed the king's brethren, and made Alexander king, who appeared both elder in age, and more moderate in his temper than the rest" (Josephus, Wars, I, IV:1).

See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=105&pos=0
Cleisthenes
1stJewRevHen661.jpg
[18H661] The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.24 viewsThe First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D. Bronze prutah, Hendin 661, aF, Jerusalem, 2.48g, 17.1mm, 0o, year 2, 67-68 A.D. Obverse: amphora with broad rim and two handles, year 2 (in Hebrew) around; Reverse: vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew) around.

Discontent among the Jews and inept rule by the Romans and their surrogate officials led to open rebellion in 66 A.D. The Romans distracted by the Civil Wars following the death of Nero were unable to put a speedy end to the revolt. But, in 70 A.D. Titus, son of the new Emperor Vespasian captured and sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.

The Amphora: Three kinds of liquids were used in the Temple: water, oil and wine. Water and wine were used for Libation. Oil was used for the Meal Offering in bread eaten by the priests. For lighting, the purest oil was reserved for the Menorah. At the time of The First Jewish Revolt, the Menorah was considered too sacred to depict on coins. The Amphora depicted may be the vessel that held the oil for the Menorah.

The grape and grape vine: Grapes, the vine, and wine were an important part of the ancient economy and ancient ritual. Grapes were brought to the Temple as offerings of The First-Fruits, and wine was offered upon the altar. The vine and grapes decorated the sacred vessels in the Sanctuary and a golden vine with clusters of grapes stood at its entrance.

See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=105&pos=0
Cleisthenes
1JewRev.jpg
[18H664] The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.23 viewsBronze prutah, Hendin 664, aF, Jerusalem, 3.787g, 18.6mm, 180o, year 3, 68-69 A.D.; obverse amphora with broad rim and two handles, year 3 (in Hebrew) around; reverse vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew) around.

Discontent among the Jews and inept rule by the Romans and their surrogate officials led to open rebellion in 66 A.D. The Romans distracted by the Civil Wars following the death of Nero were unable to put a speedy end to the revolt. But, in 70 A.D. Titus, son of the new Emperor Vespasian captured and sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.

The Amphora: Three kinds of liquids were used in the Temple: water, oil and wine. Water and wine were used for Libation. Oil was used for the Meal Offering in bread eaten by the priests. For lighting, the purest oil was reserved for the Menorah. At the time of The First Jewish Revolt, the Menorah was considered too sacred to depict on coins. The Amphora depicted may be the vessel that held the oil for the Menorah.

The grape and grape vine: Grapes, the vine, and wine were an important part of the ancient economy and ancient ritual. Grapes were brought to the Temple as offerings of The First-Fruits, and wine was offered upon the altar. The vine and grapes decorated the sacred vessels in the Sanctuary and a golden vine with clusters of grapes stood at its entrance.

See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=105&pos=0
Cleisthenes
1stJewRev_b.jpg
[18H664] The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.14 viewsThe First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D. Bronze prutah, Hendin 664, Fair, Jerusalem, 2.48g, 18.0mm, 180o, year 3, 68-69 A.D. Obverse: amphora with broad rim and two handles, year 3 (in Hebrew) around; Reverse: vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew) around.

Discontent among the Jews and inept rule by the Romans and their surrogate officials led to open rebellion in 66 A.D. The Romans distracted by the Civil Wars following the death of Nero were unable to put a speedy end to the revolt. But, in 70 A.D. Titus, son of the new Emperor Vespasian captured and sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.

The Amphora: Three kinds of liquids were used in the Temple: water, oil and wine. Water and wine were used for Libation. Oil was used for the Meal Offering in bread eaten by the priests. For lighting, the purest oil was reserved for the Menorah. At the time of The First Jewish Revolt, the Menorah was considered too sacred to depict on coins. The Amphora depicted may be the vessel that held the oil for the Menorah.

The grape and grape vine: Grapes, the vine, and wine were an important part of the ancient economy and ancient ritual. Grapes were brought to the Temple as offerings of The First-Fruits, and wine was offered upon the altar. The vine and grapes decorated the sacred vessels in the Sanctuary and a golden vine with clusters of grapes stood at its entrance.

See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=105&pos=0
Cleisthenes
VespasianJudaeaCaptaHendin754.jpg
[18H759a] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta46 viewsVespasian. 69-71 AD. AR Denarius;17mm, 3.28g; Hendin 759, RIC 15. Obverse: Laureate head right; Reverse: Jewess seated right, on ground, mourning below right of trophy, IVDAEA below. Ex Imperial Coins.

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

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

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

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

Early Life and Career

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

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

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

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

Judaea and the Accession to Power

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

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

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

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

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

Emperorship

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

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

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

Death and Assessment

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

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

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


Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes