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Author Topic: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus  (Read 2101 times)

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Offline timka

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Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« on: May 21, 2019, 09:49:46 am »
Hi,

I would like to share an interesting coin - antoninianus of Philip Arab with portrait of Gordian III. There is also PM below bust, probably standing for Pontifex Maximus.

Probably earlier stocked dies with portrait of Gordian were complemented with the legends of Philip in due time. There are several coins on internet were the portrait of Philip was recut and has some  features  of Gordian III. But this coin seems to show 100% intact portrait of Gordian, hope you agree.

Antioch/RIC 73

Ob. IMP IVL PHILIPPVS PIVS FEL AVG/ PM . Draped and cuirassed bust right
Rv.  SPES FELICITATIS ORBIS Spes walking left

4,39g, 21mm, 7h

Thank you for your time.

Z.

Offline Vincent

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2019, 08:08:45 am »
It is true, initially the celators may have not the actual portrait of the new ruling monarch and did best they could to portray the image on the description or picture they initially were given.
In your case, my own opinion is it is similar, but not 100%. This portrait is more mature looking and shows some facial hair and if not worn, probably a bread. It is Antioch, so close to Philip at the time when he was elected.
So, close but no cigar...p.s. nice coin though

Offline timka

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 03:15:42 pm »
Vincent, thank you for your comment!  Very much appreciated. Still, this portrait looks very much like Gordian for me. Though may be my eyes are not so sharp for this period yet.

Offline jmuona

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2019, 05:48:07 pm »
To me this looks like a slightly unusual Antioch first issue Philip. The later ones - presumed by some to be of a different mint - are quite different.
s.
Jyrki Muona

Offline AMICTUS

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2019, 01:32:26 am »

Most of the portraits of Philip for the first serie (those with PM) at Antioch look more or less like the last ones for Gordian. This seems particularly the case for coins with the SPES reverse (that seems less obvious in the case of PAX or VIRTVS reverses). Even if several features are different, on the whole, the global shape of the head (large and square) and some features remain that of Gordian. This is strengthened by the presence of  PIVS FEL in the obverse legend and the ‘seen from back’ bust (draped in the case of Philip) and points to a continuity in coinage.

Offline Vincent

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2019, 08:37:46 am »
Oh, the PM  probably is to salute him
, Philip made a treaty with Shapur I to end hostilities, and celebrated it with this rare issue from Antioch. Note that the letters P M on the obverse do not stand for the expected Pontifex Maximus, but for Persicus Maximus, and relate to Philip's pride in his accomplishment

Offline AMICTUS

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2019, 11:27:20 am »

Yes. Strangely enough some local bronzes  from Viminacium, dated AN V, also present an obverse legend ending with P M. Part of them have also an obverse portrait retaining some features of Gordian. A connection due to an imperial stop during the journey back to Rome  or to an other reason ?

Offline Priscus

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2020, 12:20:12 pm »
hey,

in my collection i have another piece with the typical Gordian head. I showed this a few years ago in the German forum. I am also of the opinion that this comes from the transition phase in their 244 from Antioch.

Priscus

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-122743

Offline Priscus

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2020, 12:31:32 pm »
Incidentally, it is very interesting that my piece with P.M. is in legend and your piece with P.M. under the bust. This shows that the 1 (spring) and 2 (spring and summer) issues in 244 are not far apart. with that she asks the question again which is P.M. under the bust the first or second issue (?).

Offline timka

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2020, 12:54:17 pm »
Hi Priscus,

Thank you for sharing your coin! Without seeing the legend, I would be sure enough you got a coin with Gordian. I guess       your coin was minted using available dies of Gordian portrait, so that only new legend for Phillip was added at due time.

Hope someone in the know will be able to conclude which one was the 1st, which was the 2nd issue.

 

Offline David Fischer

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2020, 01:34:02 pm »
Quote
It is true, initially the celators may have not the actual portrait of the new ruling monarch and did best they could to portray the image on the description or picture they initially were given.

I've never given this much thought but I have seen this many times on coins of Maximinus I Thrax which bear a striking resemblance to late portraits of Severus Alexander. Maximinus I has a unique face which is very distinctive in his later issues, so it would make sense that the earlier coins were a best-effort amalgam of the two.

Offline Bill W4

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2020, 03:25:22 pm »
In my online wanderings, I have on several occasions seen coins described as Phillip that I thought looked alot like Gordian but never gave it much thought.  Will pay closer attention in the future.   Thanks for this.
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Offline curtislclay

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2020, 02:59:44 pm »
According to Roger Bland's inventory of the Eastern antoniniani of Philip and family, a copy of which he sent me in 2001, there is actually a very rare third issue of this early series too, with P M below the bust on the obv., and the same three rev. types but with simpler legends, namely

PAX AVGVSTI (1 spec. known),

VIRTVS AVG (also one known), and

SPES AVGVSTI (my projection only, not yet attested).

According to Bland, this series began with the commonest types, P M at end of obv. legend and the three rev. types with their long legends, PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS, SPES FELICITATIS ORBIS, VIRTVS EXERCITVS; then switched to a scarcer second issue, P M now below bust and combined with the same three rev. types with long legends; and finally ended with a very rare third issue, P M also below bust, same three rev. types but now with shorter legends.

But in general, rare varieties are likely to have been the earliest types of an issue, which were quickly superseded by other varieties which became standard and were then struck in quantity over a longer period. It seems highly unlikely that this Eastern series of Philip began with the three longer rev. legends, first with P M in obv. legend and then with P M moved to below bust, and then by coincidence changed to three shorter rev. legends just before the series was discontinued.

So in my opinion it is highly probable that the order of the three issues was just the opposite of what Roger Bland proposed, namely

1. P M below bust, short rev. legends, very rare.

2. P M still below bust, same three rev. types but with longer legends, scarce.

3. P M moved to end of obv. legend, same three rev. types with the longer legends, common.
Curtis Clay

Offline AMICTUS

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2020, 10:08:08 am »
This order fits well with the historical context, evenmore if P M is read as Parthicus Maximus (a title also mentioned in a few inscriptions mainly in Moesia and Pannonia, or P(ersicus) M(aximus), rather than Pontifex Maximus: raising into power, ending a campaign and then concluding a peace. Of course a discreet mention of that title, which probably remained unconfirmed, as the peace was at least very costly in amount of gold for the Romans.

Offline Priscus

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2020, 04:17:16 pm »
Hey curtis,

I have only been collecting Philip coins for 25 years, but unfortunately I have never seen the variants you mentioned as a picture. I do not believe the thesis with the short legend, I would assume that it is fouree coins.

PAX AVGVSTI (1 spec. known),

VIRTVS AVG (also one known), and

SPES AVGVSTI (my projection only, not yet attested).

I have already seen the SPES AUGVSTI type for Philip II as SPES AVGVSTORVM in a French collection. However, this piece is also an ancient fake.

In my opinion there were only two types of legends in Antioch in 244/245.

1st period PM in the legend - this was coined longer

2nd period PM under the bust, only was coined shorter

After a short time the antioch mint was closed.

It also makes no sense to put PM under the bust in the first periode. PM for Persicus Maximus was the most important title in 244 that had to be shown as propaganda and this title is supposed to have been added by the cutter at the end?

I believe that some stamps were stolen in the first period because there is a large selection of Fouree Coins with PM in the legend. But to date I haven't found a Fouree Coin with PM under the bust. I think the move of the PM under the bust was a mark of the stamp.

Here are some pictures.
p.s. Jyrki Muona showed a very nice example in his publication (ANNONA AVGG)




Offline Priscus

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2020, 04:21:48 pm »
and more...

Offline AMICTUS

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2020, 03:29:18 am »

P M under the bust could be a hasty addition -where place was available- to a first already prepared usual obverse legend ending with PF AVG, at the time the peace was concluded. Afterwards P M found its ‘normal’ place  at the end of the legend  when the next obverse dies were engraved.

Could not the respective number of coins with  portraits like Gordian III (which are in principle the earliest ones) with PM under the bust or PM at the end of the legend give an indication on the matter.

Part of the 'fourrées' may have been inspired by the local production of Vminacium (AN V) which also added PM at the end of the obverse legend sometimes coupled with portraits of Philip looking like Gordian.

Offline curtislclay

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2020, 07:32:07 pm »
Priscus,

I had never seen Roger Bland's nos. 7-8 either, but he had entered them on his list of official coins, from which he would obviously have tried to exclude plated ancient forgeries, and now he has sent me pictures of the two coins, reproduced below, which seem to confirm his judgement.

The Pax AVGVSTI piece is in Rome ex Gnecchi Coll.; VIRTVS AVG in Yale from the Dura Europos excavations, no. 1248 with photo in the Final Report.

Both coins look official to me, and in a way they confirm each other, since they both copy official types of the same issue, but shorten their rev. legends in a similar way. How likely is it that an ancient counterfeiter would himself have had the idea to shorten the two official rev. legends, or that two counterfeiters should each have had that same idea independently?

Roger Bland's own opinion on re-examining the photos: "Looking at them again, I’d say the obv. of the Dura coin definitely looks regular; I am much less sure about the PAX AVGVSTI coin, but I’d want to spend more time checking the obv. die before reaching a verdict."

However, I was mistaken about the obv. legend of these two coins: both have P M at the end of the obv. legend, as Roger's list correctly indicates, not below the bust, as I was wrongly thinking. That fact suggests a return to Roger Bland's order of the three issues, rather than the opposite order that I proposed above.

Issues 1 and 2: Obv. legend first with P M below bust (Issue 1), then with P M moved to end of obv. legend (Issue 2), each issue using the same three rev. types with their longer legends. I agree that P M probably stands for Parthicus or Persicus Maximus, but think that the placement of these two letters below the bust emphasizes rather than diminishes their importance. It's hard to think of a parallel in any other early imperial issue, except for P D for Primi Decennales being placed below Commodus' bust on sestertius obv. dies in 186 (BMC p. 808). Amictus suggests that P M was added later to a large batch of Philip's obv. dies that had originally been engraved without those letters, but I prefer to think that P M was deliberately placed below the bust from the beginning, in order to stress the importance of the new title. Two minor points that tend to confirm my and Roger's suggested sequence of these two issues: as stated in my previous post a commoner issue will usually have followed a scarcer one, and the issue with P M at end of obv. legend is about five times as common as that with P M below bust. Second, the engravers may simplify a type as time progresses. As Doug Smith pointed out on Forum on 31 Aug. 2009, the VIRTVS EXERCITVS type usually shows Virtus' spear with barbed point downwards in the P M below bust issue, but omits the barbs of the spear point in the issue with P M in obv. legend.

Issue 3: The same three rev. types continued, but with their legends shortened to PAX AVGVSTI, VIRTVS AVG, and the hypothetical SPES AVGVSTI. Perhaps hostilities with the Persians were threatening to break out again, so the legend PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS was shortened to just PAX AVGVSTI, and the other two rev. legends too were shortened for stylistic reasons. The obv. dies continued to include P M in the legend, confirming that with the longer rev. legends too that form (Issue 2)  had followed the form with P M below bust (Issue 1). issue 3 had hardly gotten under way, however, before this entire series was discontinued. The portraits of the two surviving coins no longer resemble Gordian III, confirming that this issue followed Issues 1-2 rather than preceding them as I suggested above.
Curtis Clay

Offline Priscus

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2021, 11:59:59 am »
Hello Curtis,

sorry for the late reply. but i've had a lot of trouble in the last few months. i've also had to think about the hypothetical for quite a while and of course i've been on the lookout for other suitable specimens.
These two from Jim Shaffer's collection are still missing from the list. The Securitas is a barbarian coin. The ANNONA AVGG (!) is quite interesting, as it probably belongs to the minting period in the early year 245. I believe this coin is an imitation from that period. In his essay, Jyrki Muona considers it official.
I think it is not official.

It is striking that, with the exception of the ANNONA AVGG type, the reverse sides shown by Bland and myself are so far from coinages of Gordian III in Antioch:

AEQVITAS AVG RIC 177Gordian III Antioch.
FIDES MILITVM RIC 182 GORDIAN III Antioch
FIDES MILITVM RIC 183 GORDIAN III Antioch
SAECVLI FELICITAS RIC 216 GORDIAN III Antioch
PAX AVGVSTI RIC 214 GORDIAN III Antioch
VIRTVS AVG RIC 205 GORDIAN III Antioch

PIETAS AVG N OTACILIA SEVERA RIC 134 (244/245) Antioch

ANNONA AVGG PHILIP I. RIC 28b (Rome)

In the Babaric style:

AEQVITAS AVG
SECVRIT ORBIS PHILIPP I. RIC 48b

I do not currently consider the PAX AVGVSTI to be official. I consider the VIRTVS AVG to be officiel, but the reverse seems to me to come from Gordian III. I do not rule out the possibility that these specimens were produced as imitations within the mint by the workers themselves.

If I have understood your explanation correctly, you are going back to Bland's theory:

1. issue long variant with PM
2 Issue PM under bust.

I hope that I have understood this correctly?

Because from this my hypothesis is as follows:

First issue in 244/ spring 245
Obv. IM CM IVL PHILIPPVS PF AVG PM

1. SPES FELICITATIS ORBIS
2. PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS
3. VIRTVS EXERCITVS

During this mintage, further forgeries with the reverse stamps of Gordian were made by the mint officials. A clue to this could be that the silver content of the regular antoninian from Antioch decreased (Study of Òvàri on the website of Thibaut Marchal). This could indicate that material was deliberately stolen and that the silver content of the official coin had fallen.

In the early year 245, this fraud was discovered and in order to mark new stamps, the inscription was changed and the PM was pulled under the bust.
Obv. IMP IVL PHILIPPVS PIVS FEL AVG / PM

1. SPES FELICITATIS ORBIS
2. PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS
3. VIRTVS EXERCITVS

As I have already written, I am not aware of any antique forgeries or fouree with the PM under the bust.

After a very short minting period for the 2 issue, the mint is closed. Presumably because the mint officials are not to be trusted. The staff is replaced and the mint is reopened at the end of 246/beginning of 247.

This is reflected in the new style of the coins and the copying of the reverse from Rome. This could indicate that workers were possibly also sent from Rome to Antioch.

It just seems illogical to me to close the mint in Antioch for 18 months. At that time, the region needed a lot of money to pay for the expensive peace with the Persians and the goodwill of the soldiers and the population.

So this is my hypothesis, but to date I have not found any reason for the closure of the mint and an expansion of the mint would not necessarily result in the cessation of production.


 

Offline timka

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2022, 10:31:56 am »


It is striking that, with the exception of the ANNONA AVGG type, the reverse sides shown by Bland and myself are so far from coinages of Gordian III in Antioch:

AEQVITAS AVG RIC 177Gordian III Antioch.
FIDES MILITVM RIC 182 GORDIAN III Antioch
FIDES MILITVM RIC 183 GORDIAN III Antioch
SAECVLI FELICITAS RIC 216 GORDIAN III Antioch
PAX AVGVSTI RIC 214 GORDIAN III Antioch
VIRTVS AVG RIC 205 GORDIAN III Antioch

PIETAS AVG N OTACILIA SEVERA RIC 134 (244/245) Antioch

ANNONA AVGG PHILIP I. RIC 28b (Rome)

In the Babaric style:

AEQVITAS AVG
SECVRIT ORBIS PHILIPP I. RIC 48b

I do not currently consider the PAX AVGVSTI to be official. I consider the VIRTVS AVG to be officiel, but the reverse seems to me to come from Gordian III. I do not rule out the possibility that these specimens were produced as imitations within the mint by the workers themselves.





Hi!

Following up on the above discussion, I would like to add here a bit better-looking specimen with FIDES  MILITVM on the reverse. From what I understood this reverse was grabbed from Gordian III and probably was utilized unofficially by the mint workers, as Priscus suggested above. Though, wouldn't it be ta way too many reverses of Gordian for an unofficial mint operation, AEQVITAS, FIDES MILITVM seated, FIDES MILITVM standing, SAECVLI FELICITAS, PAX AVGVSTI, VIRTVS AVG? Probably, as it was once said, those coins with Gordian reverses were produced by a moving military mint that utilized what it had at its disposal, whatever ready rev dies of Gordian, and low-quality alloys.

This coin is ob/rev die match with a worn specimen with standing FIDES MILITVM, and it is an obv. die match with seated FIDES MILITVM, both coins illustrated above by Priscus.

Ob. IMP IVL PHILIPPVS PIVS PF AVG PM . Draped and cuirassed bust right
Rv.  FIDES MILITVM , Fides standing left holding two standards

22 mm - 4,38g- 6h

thank you for your time

Offline Tibsi

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Re: Philip Arab as Gordian III antoniniaunus
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2022, 05:06:04 pm »
Hi,

Here are my PM series in one picture. In my opinion they was in two issues only.


 

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