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Author Topic: When does Roman Provincial Start?  (Read 329 times)

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Offline Virgil H

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When does Roman Provincial Start?
« on: September 03, 2021, 01:09:06 am »
My collection has made it to a point that it needs to be better organized, especially as I have coins that are across the board, from Greek to Crusader and Byzantine. My issue if how to determine what is Greek and where Roman Provincial starts. It seems like this should be clear cut, but it isn't that simple for me. I was going by dates of Roman takeover as a dividing line, but, for some cities, it is not so easy to determine when exactly they stopped being Greek or independent or when they became part of the Empire. One coin I have from Colophon is a case in point. Are there any hard and fast rules on this?

Thanks,
Virgil

Offline Altamura

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Re: When does Roman Provincial Start?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2021, 05:16:34 am »
... Are there any hard and fast rules on this? ...
No :).

As in many other situations in life there is not only black and white but a lot of grey :-\.

In recent years there has been a lot of evidence that there have been coin emissions from Greek cities which are looking perfectly Greek but have been produced under Roman influence for Roman needs. Is this already a provincial coinage?
Or what about the coinages of all the client kingdoms? Or Spanish imitations of Roman republican coins produced because there has been a lack of small change?

What you can do is to have a look at RPC online whether they list a coin or not: https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/
But also this is not free from contradictions. In the introduction they write "It presents for the first time an authoritative account of the coins minted in the provinces of the empire" but list e.g. coins from client kingdoms before these have been integrated into a province. (Perhaps this has also been a step to expand the own business area, science is not always completely neutral :).)

Regards

Altamura

Offline shanxi

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Re: When does Roman Provincial Start?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2021, 05:32:23 am »
Yes it's not easy, especially if we talk about republican times, e.g about the coin below. It's from Pergamon issued in the year 85-76 BC.

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=125470

In 85BC Pergamon was already for 40 years part of the roman provinvce of Asia, and more important, after the first Mithridatic War it was no longer a free city. Nevertheless you will not find it in RPC. So what is it? Greek or Roman Provincial::) IMHO a pure question of definition, and this can be different depending on your point of view.

Offline Kevin D

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Re: When does Roman Provincial Start?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2021, 11:54:19 am »
Another good book is ‘Coinage And Money Under the Roman Republic’ by Michael Crawford, which discusses many of these issues.

Offline Meepzorp

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Re: When does Roman Provincial Start?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2021, 03:19:44 pm »
Hi VH,

As others have pointed out, it is a grey area. Much of it depends on geography. Generally speaking, the closer a city is to Rome, the earlier it transitioned from Greek to Roman Provincial. For example, coins issued by cities on the Italian peninsula or the island of Sardinia transitioned sooner than cities further away.

Meepzorp

Offline DzikiZdeb

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Re: When does Roman Provincial Start?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2021, 03:21:07 pm »

In 85BC Pergamon was already for 40 years part of the roman provinvce of Asia, and more important, after the first Mithridatic War it was no longer a free city. Nevertheless you will not find it in RPC. So what is it? Greek or Roman Provincial::) IMHO a pure question of definition, and this can be different depending on your point of view.

On the other hand, we have in RPC Tyre, which, after the creation of the province of Syria in 64 BC, was granted the semi-independent status of "civitas foederata" (allied community) and continued to struck its shekels unchanged without any Roman accent until the reign of Nero.

Offline Virgil H

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Re: When does Roman Provincial Start?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2021, 09:10:24 pm »
Thank you to all for your helpful comments. I am not losing sleep over this, but I am happy to see that I am not the only one with these issues. It is an interesting question. Adding to that is handling the coins of "Kings of" at various times. I think Pergamon may fall into one of these grey areas. I keep "Kings of" coins in separate categories, although I suppose in some cases they might also be RPC coins (I haven't specifically looked). I know Pergamon was under the Roman realm before the last king died, but it is all so messy. LOL. I am reading Green's Alexander to Actium now and I knew it was a mess, but had no idea.

Virgil

 

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