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Parium (Parion)

Ancient coins of Parion, Mysia for sale in the Forum Ancient Coins consignment shop.


Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.

   Parium, a city of Mysia, on the Propontis, built by the Parians, inhabitants of an island in the Aegean Sea, afterwards a Roman colony, founded by Julius Caesar, whence its name of Juila; it also took the name of Augusta, from its having been re-peopled with veteran colonists by Augustus.  This city possessed the privileges of the Jus Italica.  Its ruins are still to be seen near a place now called Kamares, or Porto Camera.  Its coins, which are numerous, consist of autonomes, colonial autonomes, and colonial imperials: the last-named include the reigns of Nerva ? Trajan, Antoninus, M. Aurelius, Commodus, Plautilla, wife of Caracalla, Geta, Macrinus, Severus Alexander, Valerianus, Gallienus, and Salonina.  These colonial imperial coins, some of which are very rare, have Latin legends.  In the time of Trajan, and antecedent to his reign, it appears the only initial letters inscribed on the reverse of the Parian medals were C.G.I.P.  Colonia Gemella Julia Pariana;  but after Hadrian, who was a great benefactor to, and embellisher of, this colony, the city of Parium, as if to perpetuate the memory of those benefits, always added the letter H to the others already enumerated, and thenceforth they read C.G.I.H.P.  Colonia Gemella Julia Hadriana Pariana.  This is an observation of the Abbé Belley, quoted by Pellerin, and supported by the authority of the two following medals, the one being dedicated to Trajan, the other to Antoninus Pius:

1.--IMP. CAESARI. TRAIANO. AVG. GER. DA.--Laureate head of the Emperor.

Rev. -- OPTIMO PRINCIPI. C. G. I. P. D.D.-- A capricorn, having on the top of its back a cornucopia.

Pellerin, in referring to this example, says--This medal in particular servers to prove that Vaillant (who has edited no medals of Parium under Trajan,) and other antiquaries have been wrong in attributing certain medals [viz., those with the initial letters separate, C.G.I.H.P.] to the city of Hippo, in Africa, and he asserts that all such, as well as the above, belong to Parium, in Mysia.  (lange, i. 270.) - See Hippo.

2. --ANTONINVS AVG.-- Head of Antoninus crowned with laurel.

Rev. C. G. I. H. P.  A colonist driving two oxen.

Vaillant furnishes no coins of Parium under Antonine; but here Belley gives one dedicated to the immediate successor of Hadrian, and we see H. added to the other letters (C.G.I.P.) inscribed on the coin of Trajan above described.

 On coins of M. Aurelius, Commodus, and Caracalla, is the type of Ceres walking with a lighted torch in each hand, accompanied by the separated initial letters C.G.I.H.P.A.  All these Vaillant assigns to the city of Hippo.  But Pellerin, with greater shew of probability, affirms them to be of Parium, adding "on n'en connoit point de la colonie d'Hippo."

 The only coin which Vaillant assigns to Parium is a second brass of M. Aurelius, which has for the type of its reverse a woman, clothed in the stola, standing with a military ensign in the right hand, and a horn of plenty in the left.  The legend is one respecting which there can be no mistake viz., COL. PARIA. IVL. AVG.  Doubtless to be read Colonia Pariana Julia Augusta.

   Among the colonial coins of Commodus apparently unknown to Vaillant, but given by Pellerin, who for the reasons above alluded to attributes them all to Parium, are the following:--A youthful and beardless male figure is seated, and before him is an ox, which seems to be holding up one of his fore feet to him, as if it were wounded, and the animal was praying the man to cure him.

  This coin, and some others of Commodus and Gallienus, bearing a similar type, were edited by the Abbé Belley in one of his dissertations, and the interpretation of the legend, as offered by him, is DEO AESCulapio SVBvenienti.--Pellerin, on the other hand, reads it DEO AESCulapio SVBurbano.

  The other types of this colony given by Pellerin to supply the omissions in Vaillant are

  1.  The colonist at plow, as in Commodus and in Geta.

  2. Hygeia, with her attributes of patera and serpent.

  3. Capricorn and cornucopia, as in Commodus and Aemilianus.

  4. The wolf suckling the twins, as in Commodus, Severus Alexander, and Gallienus; and the Genius of the City standing at an altar, as in Macrinus and in Salonina.

   These different coins are inscribed C.G.I.H.PA., or PAR.  or PARIA.--And it deserves remark that there are points between the first four letters of the legend, but none between PA. and PAR., which are at the end.  "This circumstance (says Pellerin) serves to show that each of them belongs to the colony of Parium, and the more convincingly so as, in their form and workmanship, they resemble other medals, whose legend is terminated by the entire word PARIANA.

  M. Dumersan gives from the Allier de Hanteroche cabinet the following brass coin of this colony (in Pl. xii. No. 15).

  Obv. -- M. BARBATO. MAN. ACILIO II VIR. C.G.I.P.  Naked head to the right.

  Rev.--P. VIBIO. SAO. CAES. Q. BARB. PRAEP. PRO. II. VIR.  Colonist at plow.

  Vaillant appears to have been unaware that there were coins of Cornelia Supera struck in the colonies, but Pellerin has edited one, which he assigns to Parium, in his Recueil, tom. 1, p. xxi., and gives an engraving of it, on account of its singularity, in p. 207--as follows: Gnea CORNElia SVPERa AVG.  Head of the Empress. --Rev.: C. G. H. I. P.  A capricorn with globe between its feet, and a cornucopia on its back.

The letters (says Pellerin) C.G.H.I.P. signify Colonia Gemella Hadriana Julia Pariana.

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