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Caracalla e il Circo Massimo (replica)
Replica di sesterzio della serie lula47.
Per la lista completa delle repliche, v. dettaglio.
CARACALLA - ROMAN IMPERIAL COIN " PADUAN " " COPY " museo quality repro.
Prezzo di partenza: EUR 24,99 08 set 2012

fig. 1
Cliccare sull'immagine per ingrandire
Roma, 8.9.2012
Egregio Lettore,
riporto di seguito gli elementi che mi è stato possibile raccogliere sulla moneta di figura:

Sesterzio1, Zecca di Roma, 213 d. C.2, RIC IV/I 500b (pag. 295), BMC V 253 (pag. 478), Cohen IV 237 (pag. 168), indice di rarità "R3".

Descrizione sommaria:
D. M AVREL ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRITAN3. Caracalla, busto laureato e corazzato a destra.
R. P M TR P XVI IMP II4. COS IIII/S C  in esergo. Circo Massimo; la parte frontale formata da undici archi e da un grande arco sulla destra; dietro, a sinistra, grande arco sormontato da una quadriga frontale con auriga; a sinistra e a destra della spina mete e statue; sulla destra tre quadrighe in corsa a sinistra, spettatori in galleria; sullo sfondo a sinistra un tempio, affiancato da un colonnato articolato su tre file di archi e da una quadriga.

La ricerca nel web di sesterzi della tipologia di figura ha prodotto i seguenti risultati:

  1. Description: Caracalla. 198-217 AD. Æ Sestertius (23.02 gm, 1h). Struck 213 AD.  M AVREL ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate, draped, and cuirassed young bust right, seen from behind P M TR P XVI IMP II COS IIII P P/S C in exergue, aerial view of chariot race in the Circus Maximus: spina with obelisk of Augustus flanked by metae and statues; arena surrounded by colonnaded arcade; triumphal arch surmounted by quadriga and carceres at either end. RIC IV 500a; Banti 46; BMCRE 251; Cohen 236. Coin from CNG coins.
  2. Source Stack's Auction The Golden Horn Collection (12.01.2009) Lot 2325  ( «  |  » ) Price 9500 USD Description Caracalla, 198-217 A.D. Sestertius, 213 A.D. Rome. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust r.; M AVREL ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT. Rv. View of the Circus Maximus showing central obelisk, spina, chariots and other figures; PM TRP XVI IMP II, COS IIII PP SC in ex. Originally just a barrier for the track, the spina was used as a site to place statues of various gods. RIC 500a [busto corazzato RIC 500b], Cohen 236. Marvelous reddish chestnut-brown. Very minor smoothing and miniscule spot of verdigris. Bold, crisp and eminently pleasing types. Near Extremely Fine and Choice. (15,000-17,500) The reverse here infers Caracalla's commitment to the well-being and entertainment of the people - for the Circus was the most popular and tried and true diversion for the masses that an emperor could give. Set on a flat plain between the Palatine and Avertine hills, the Circus Maximus had been home to horse races since the time of the Etruscan king Tarquinius Priscus. And in fact the first Roman games, the Ludi Romani were held there. In ca. 50 B.C. Julius Caesar greatly expanded the site to accommodate some 270,000 or more spectators. By the time of Augustus, the Circus Maximus - along with the theater and the Colisseum - was also a forum where the populace could make their opinions known. To more easily view the races, Domitian connected his new Palatine palace with the Circus, while to add more dignity, Trajan installed marble seating replacing much of the wood seating. By the Second Century A.D., the Circus - the circus in Juvenal's "bread and circuses" -- was used for athletic competitions, beast hunts and other "crowd pleasers" in addition to chariot racing.
  3. Source Münzen & Medaillen AG Basel Auction 93 (16.12.2003) Lot 218  ( «  |  » ) Price 5000 CHF (~3970 USD) Description KAISERZEIT CARACALLA, 198-217. No.: 218 Schätzpreis/Estimate: CHF 3500.- d=33 mm Sesterz, 213. M AVREL ANTONINVS - PIVS AVG BRIT Drap., gep. Büste mit L. n. r., vom Rücken gesehen. Rv. P M TR P XVI IMP II / COS IIII P P / SC Der Circus Maximus während eines Wagenrennen in perspektivischer Vogelschau: im Vordergrund eine Arkadenhalle mit zwölf Bögen, r. ein Eingangstor, l. ein zweites, darauf eine Quadriga, die rückwärtige und die seitliche Begrenzung als Kolonnaden mit je einem Tempel; im Innern der grosse Obelisk von Augustus zwischen zwei kleineren Obelisken, dazwischen die Spina; nahe der r. Kolonnade drei Quadrigen. 21,06 g. BMC 477, 251. RIC 295, 500a. C. 236. Hill, Severi 33, 1372. Sehr selten. Dunkle, olivgrüne Patina. Schrötlingsriss. Sehr schön Provenienz: Erworben von Fr. Thilo-Schmitt, Zürich für 75.- Franken. Es dauerte Jahrhunderte, bis der Circus Maximus, die grösste Anlage für öffentliche Darbietungen, die je in Rom gebaut werden sollte, fertig war. 250.000 Besucher fanden laut Plinius in der Kaiserzeit hier Platz. Angelegt haben soll ihn schon Tarquinius Priscus, der erste König von Rom, obwohl der Sage nach schon viel früher hier Wagenrennen stattfanden. Hier im Circus ist die Sage vom Raub der Sabinerinnen zu lokalisieren, die gekommen waren, um eines der Wagenrennen mitzuerleben. 329 v. Chr. wurden die Verschläge gebaut, in denen die Pferde auf den Start zu warten hatten, 174 v. Chr. stellte man die berühmten sieben Eier auf, mit deren Hilfe man die Runden beim Wettrennen zählte. Agrippa fügte im Jahr 33 v. Chr. noch sieben Delphine aus Bronze hinzu, die zum selben Zweck umgekippt werden konnten. Im Jahr 10 v. Chr. liess Augustus hier einen 23 Meter hohen Obelisk aufstellen, der im Jahr 1587 auf die Piazza del Popolo versetzt wurde, wo man ihn heute noch besichtigen kann. Der Circus Maximus diente vor allem für Wagenrennen, von denen die wichtigsten während der Ludi Romani vom 4. bis zum 18. September stattfanden.
  4. Source Freeman & Sear Auction Mail Bid Sale 15 (27.06.2008) Lot 384  ( «  |  » ) Description ROMAN EMPIRE. Caracalla (AD 211–217). Orichalcum sestertius (21.06 gm). Rome, 213. M AVREL ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Caracalla right / P M TR P XVI IMP II COS III P P, Circus Maximus, arcade with 12 arches in foreground, large monumental arch at either end, obelisk of Augustus on low wall (spina) in infield behind, on either side turning-posts (metae) composed of 3 large gilded bronze cones grouped on a high semicircular base, to immediate right of obelisk lap-indicator with room for 7 egg-shaped balls (ova) above, to its right column surmounted by statue facing left, to immediate left of obelisk shorter counting-device with room for 7 dolphins (delphinae) atop, charioteer in quadriga emerging from the stalls (carceres) on upper left, S C below. RIC 500a (R3). An attractive example of this rare and desirable sestertius. Dark and light brown patina. Good very fine Ex Peus 384, 11 February 2005, lot 713. Estimate: $14,000.
  5. Source LHS Numismatik AG Auction Auction 100 (23.04.2007) Lot 528  ( «  |  » ) Price 8000 CHF (~6608 USD) Description The Romans The Roman Empire Estimate: CHF 5'500.00 -. Sestertius (Orichalcum, 30.70 g 1), 213. M AVREL ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Caracalla to right. Rev. P M TR P XVI IMP II COS IIII P P S C View of the Circus Maximus in Rome, with its twelve entrances as seen from the Forum Boarium; to left and right are triumphal arches surmounted by statuary; above are the shrines at the far side of the Circus; at the center is the spina with its central obelisk and on the right are three chariots racing to left. BMC 252. C. 236. Hill 1372. RIC 500b. Very rare. Attractive glossy dark green patina. Some pitting in the patina, otherwise, extremely fine. Ex Hess-Leu 9, 2 April 1958, 360.
  6. Source Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG Auction Auction 51 (05.03.2009) Lot 355  ( «  |  » ) Price 30000 CHF (~25530 USD) Description Auction 51 Part I The Roman Empire Caracalla augustus, 198 – 217 Sestertius 213, Æ 23.33 g. M AVREL ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust r. Rev. P M TR P XVI IMP II View of the Circus Maximus with its arches, the obelisk, the spina, chariots; in the background, a temple and a colonnade. In exergue, COS IIII P P / S C. C 236. BMC 251 and pl. 75, 4 (this reverse die). RIC 500a [busto corazzato RIC 500b]. Very rare and in superb condition for the interesting and fascinating issue. Well struck and centred on a full flan with an appealing enamel-like dark green patina. Flan crack at four o’clock on obverse, otherwise about extremely fine / extremely fine Ex Triton sale II, 1998, 958. From the William James Conte collection. The skeletal outline of the Circus Maximus that remains today is little more than a pale indication of the grand structure that was a focal point for entertainment in Rome. This hippodrome is said to have been Rome’s oldest stadium, having originated from a simple racetrack between the Aventine and Palatine hills without a formal structure, to one incorporating wooden, and then stone benches, and finally a massive superstructure. Over time it was decorated with monuments, statues, trophies, shrines, arcades, towers, porticoes, triumphal gates and arches, and with gilded metae at each end of the spine (spina) of the sand racetrack. A tall obelisk of Ramesses II was shipped to Rome in 10 B.C. by Augustus, who placed it in the center of the spina, and yet another was added by Constantius II. Pliny the Elder describes the Circus as able to accommodate 250,000 people, but this figure no doubt includes spectators who were viewing from the slopes of the flanking hills. However, at its peak in the mid-4th Century A.D. it could seat more than 200,000 people. The Circus was damaged on many occasions, including by fire during the reigns of Augustus and Nero. Restorations to the structure, it would seem, are celebrated by Trajan, who issued sestertii showing the hippodrome; these coins certainly were the prototype upon which Caracalla’s engravers based their work, for both show the structure from the same elevated perspective to display the exterior and interior, as well as many decorative features. A variety of events were held there, including parades, theatrical events, foot races, boxing and wrestling matches, equestrian contests, and bloody spectacles such as gladiatorial combats (ludi gladiatorii) and exotic animal hunts (venationes). Trajan issued coins showing a speech he gave to citizens in the hippodrome, which was a prime location for Romans to witness triumphal processions. Chariot racing (ludi circenses) was the most popular event to be held in the Circus. In Trajan’s time two dozen races would have been held in a day, with eight teams competing in each event. A race consisted of seven predictably dangerous laps that could be completed in less than ten minutes. The chariots were usually pulled by teams of two, three or four horses, though occasionally there were teams of six horses – certainly more of a crowd-pleasing novelty than a practical event. It would seem the chariot races had become even more popular by the later 4th Century A.D., when contorniates showing charioteers, their teams, and races in the hippodrome were issued in many varieties. Estimate: 30000 CHF.
  7. British Museum (v. link) (page address): Description Bimetallic copper alloy coin. (obverse) Bust of Caracalla, laureate and cuirassed, right. (reverse) View of the Circus Maximus, with chariot-racing. Inscription Content: M AVREL ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT Inscription Content: P M TR P [XVI I]MP II Inscription Position: reverse exergue Inscription Content: COS IIII P P / S C Dimensions Weight: 33.81 grammes Die-axis: 12 o'clock. RIC4 500b, p.295 (type).
  8. British Museum (v. link) (page address): Description Copper alloy coin. (obverse) Bust of Caracalla, laureate and cuirassed, right. (reverse) View of the Circus Maximus, with chariot-racing. Inscription Content: M AVREL ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT Inscription Content: P M TR P [XVI I]MP II Inscription Position: reverse exergue Inscription Content: COS IIII P P / S C Dimensions Weight: 30,37 grammes Die-axis: 12 o'clock. RIC4 500b, p.295 (type). The reverse records the rebuilding of parts of the Circus Maximus by Caracalla.
  9. Ausstellung im Bode-Museum, Raum 241 BM-025/010 Städte und Monumente M AVREL ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT. Drapierte Panzerbüste des Caracalla mit Lorbeerkranz in der Rückenansicht nach r. P M TR P XVI IMP II // COS IIII P P / SC. Ansicht des Circus Maximus mit Spina in der Mitte der Rennbahn samt Obelisken sowie angrenzenden Architektur. Auf der Bahn r. ein nach l. fahrendes Gespann. Date 213 n. Chr. Denomination Sesterz Material Bronze Weight 25,23 g Diameter 32 mm Die-axis 12 h Mint Rom Reference RIC IV-1 Nr. 500; Friedländer - von Sallet Nr. 1032 E. Object number 18200449.
La moneta di figura è la replica di un sesterzio di Caracalla, sottoposta da lula47 ad un processo di "invecchiamento" chimico per simulare la presenza di una patina. A parte l'errore di cui alla nota3, non si vede perché si sia ritenuto di qualificare, come copia del Paduan, questa replica.
Giulio De Florio


(1) Raccolgo in tabella le caratteristiche fisiche dei sesterzi della tipologia di figura ricavate dai link di cui sopra e dal manuale BMC:

Riferimenti Peso (g)  Diametro (mm) Asse di conio (h)
Link1 23,02 - 1
Link3 21,06 33 -
Link4 21,06 - -
Link5 30,70 - 1
Link6 23,33 - -
Link7 33,81 - 12
Link8 30,37 - 12
Link9 25,23 32 12
Non si dispone di dati in ordine alla replica di fig. 1.
(2) La moneta fu battuta nel 213, quando Caracalla fu investito per la volta dei poteri di tribuno.
(3) Marcus AVRELius ANTONINVS Pius AVGustus BRITANnicus. La leggenda del dritto è palesemente errata (BRITAN al posto di BRIT).
(4) Pontifex Maximus TRibunicia Potestate XVI IMPerator II COnSul IIII Pater Patriae. La moneta celebra la ricostruzione di parti del Circo Massimo ad opera di Caracalla.
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