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Author Topic: Diocletian not in RIC  (Read 410 times)

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Offline Laurentius

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Diocletian not in RIC
« on: October 16, 2021, 07:31:51 am »
Hello!

Possibly the following coin would be something for the category "Unlisted and Unpublished Coins".
A very experienced and predestined numismatist cataloged the piece for me as follows:

Date: AD 296/297, Treveri
Obv: IMP DIOCLETIANVS P AVG - Laureate and cuirassed bust right
Rev: GENIO POPVLI ROMANI - Genius standing left, head towered, naked but for chlamys over left
shoulder, right holding patera, left cornucopiae
mint: TR, C I across fields
9,2g, ∅ 27mm
complete silver brew

1. This combination of letters/sign "C-I" is not in the RIC.
2. With C-Gamma it would be RIC VI Trier 181a
3. The obv. has a slight clashed-die effect. You see the contours of the face to the left of the genius,
    the nose is with the patera.
4. I don't think the "I" was created from a gamma due to the stamp damage; the "I" is too perfectly
    shaped for that.
5. I would catalog the piece as a variant of RIC 181a. ( RIC 181a var. )

I couldn't find any comparisons either.




Offline otlichnik

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2021, 09:41:48 am »
Interesting coin.  Have you consulted Carl-Friedrich Zschucke, Die Großfollisprägung in Trier während der 1. Tetrarchie von 294–305 n. Chr., Trierer Petermännchen Bd. 14 (2000) S. 7–63.

He was an expert of the coinage of Trier.  I have his books on Trier Beata Tranquillitas coins and on the small denominations from Trier but not the above book.

SC

SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Online maridvnvm

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2021, 10:23:47 am »
How would this coin fit within the other contemporary issues around it?

The chronology within RIC seems to be

//TR - c. A.D. 294
A-C _ //TR - c. A.D. 295
A-C     :Greek_Gamma: //TR - c. A.D. 296-297
A-B * //TR - c. 298-299

The symbol in the right field (or lack of) is part of the issue mark. I can see only a few options here. There is a completely unknown small issue with I in the right field - unlikely though someone more familiar with these issues may know of other examples back this theory up?!. The Gamma has partly clogged - also I think unlikely die to the seemingly perfectly formed I, but possible. The Gamma may have been formed by two strokes one vertical and one horizontal and the engraver did not perform the second stroke, This is possible though it is an entirely hypothetical prposal on the formation of the Gamma.

Out of those above my but feel was the third.

Offline Laurentius

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2021, 10:52:11 am »
@ Shawn

Yes, of course I know Zschucke, but unfortunately not personally. But I know someone who knows him.
I have the issue of the "Part piece coinage" from him, because they also fall into my collection area.

But I'm also in contact with the responsible state numismatist. If the opportunity permits again, I wanted
to meet with him on another matter as well.

@ maridvnvm

That's an interesting thought. Maybe we will find the solution this way, thanks for that.

best regards
Ralph



Offline otlichnik

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2021, 01:48:15 pm »
I think that the most likely explanation is that is an engraver's error of 181a.

Officina C but the gamma was mistakenly carved as an I.  After all, it was not a character typically used in Trier.  And it appears to have been a large issue given the fact it is fairly common today.

I think that scenario is more likely than a "perfectly" clogged die or an entirely new issue.

However, if another example appears from a different die (with A, B or C in the left field) would then indicate it was an intentional issue mark.

Shawn
SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2021, 03:00:53 pm »
Very interesting discussion but in my opinion the simplest solution is the best solution: RIC VI TREVERI 181a from officina  :Greek_Gamma: with an engraver's error.

Sorry, my mistake: should be "from the third officina".
Lech Stępniewski
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Offline Laurentius

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2021, 09:13:56 am »
Ok, it seems to be a engraver's error.

I am not that well read about the mint in Trier at the time of the Tetrarchy.
Do I see it correctly, that there were 3 officina at that time? Marked by the
letters A, B, C, to be seen on the left side of Genius, with this type.
Are there any new insights into the meaning of the issue mark on the right.
Often one speaks of the labeling of the individual emissions, or it could also
be internal sign of an Officina?

best regards
Ralph

Offline Heliodromus

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2021, 10:37:25 am »
The first issues from Trier are:

1) TR
2) TR A-C
3) TR A-C + gamma
4) TR A-B + star

The A-C do appear to be the officina, although "C" as an officina designator is strange (expect :Greek_Alpha: :Greek_Beta: :Greek_Gamma:).

The gamma of the 3rd issue appears to be part of the issue mark, not intended to have any meaning as such, although RIC suggests it was chosen for this 3rd issue since gamma=3.

Offline Laurentius

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2021, 01:01:11 pm »
Thank you for your explanation Heliodromus. That brings me some light into the dark.
After Diocletian's coin reform, the mints apparently had a lot to do. With this amount
of expenses in a short period of time, it was hard to keep track of things.

best regards
Ralph


Offline otlichnik

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2021, 03:58:25 pm »
Such marks were important for internal accounting.  Mint officials were legally responsible for the materials given to them.  If they didn't ensure that sufficient coins were made from a batch of material provided, they could lose their income, or even their head.  This of course sometimes led to fraud - for example skimping on the silver content - as is best known from Aurelian's "war" against the moneyers of Rome who appear to have been getting away with making sub-standard coins.

In addition, as fineness levels could change - either officially or due to supply problems or fraud - I believe that such marks could allow officials to know which issues to keep in circulation and which to remove to recover the now-excess silver for the benefit of the State. 

Interestingly, throughout the fourth century there almost never appears to be a standard Empire-wide method of indicating issues.  Sometime a group of mints, often all under a regional mint official or rationales summarum would follow the same pattern.  However, in most cases each mint went its way. So it appears that at Trier the mint master changed the field letters for the 2nd issue, added gamma (Greek 3) for the third issue, but chose star for the fourth issue.  No rules - do what you want....

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Offline Heliodromus

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2021, 07:02:20 pm »
Quote
So it appears that at Trier the mint master changed the field letters for the 2nd issue, added gamma (Greek 3) for the third issue, but chose star for the fourth issue.  No rules - do what you want....

Well, certainly a lot of variety as far as issue marks goes, but the addition of the officina designator does appear to have been coordinated across mints, even if the precise form of it was not.

Diocletian's initiial specification for nummus markings seems to have been just to include the city name (e.g. TR for Trier, R for Rome, etc), which is what we see on all initial issues. There then appears to have been a follow-on order to add an officina designator, which appears at most mints on their second issue. The exceptions are Antioch and Alexandria who used officina designators from the get-go, possibly due to not having started production until this follow-on instruction had been received.

The form of the officina designator does vary a bit. At most mints it was a greek letter (Alpha, Beta, etc). The obvious exceptions are Ticinum and Aquileia which went with latin numbers instead (Prima, Secunda, etc). Rome might have been expected to group with the other Italian mints, but instead stuck with greek.

The only other exception for form of officina designator are these Trier A/B/C ones, which can only be latin letters (not greek). It's interesting to wonder if this was done deliberately, or conceivably an error based on unclear instructions.

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2021, 07:29:23 pm »
The obvious exceptions are Ticinum and Aquileia which went with latin numbers instead (Prima, Secunda, etc). Rome might have been expected to group with the other Italian mints, but instead stuck with greek.

Probably for practical reason: they had at first 9 officinae and Latin letters for numbers would be a mess: Secunda, Sexta, Septima; Quarta, Quinta...

When they reduced the number of officinae to 4 (circa 300), they immediately turned to Latin letters: P(rima), S(ecunda), T(ertia), Q(uarta). The same system was introduced in Carthago but they quickly turned to Greek.
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Offline otlichnik

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2021, 07:44:34 pm »
Makes sense, but it is interesting that the Roman numerals worked ok for Gallienus back in the 260s, albeit with some fudging.  But it is neat to see coins with XI and even XII in the field.

SC
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Offline Laurentius

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2021, 05:53:50 am »
Thank you for your very interesting contributions and the great cooperation,
chapeau!

Since this is obviously a previously unpublished issue, I would suggest adding this coin to
the "unlisted & unpublished coins" category. If that's okay with you?!
With the note, that it could probably be a mistake by the engraver. It would certainly be
clearer, if there was an error in the spelling of the legend. Perhaps it is also a hitherto
unknown additional marking of the Officina.

Of course, I'll be working in the background to get more information.

best regards
Ralph

Offline Heliodromus

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2021, 07:35:22 am »
Quote
Perhaps it is also a hitherto unknown additional marking of the Officina.

Occasionally mints did use additional marks that differed by officina, but this is uncommon (only two instances come to mind). However, in this case the gamma was used at all officinas, not just one, so it's something that differentiates the whole issue, not an individual officina - i.e. it's an issue mark, not an additional officina mark.

Edit: I just realized you were talking about your "I", not the gamma. I suppose we could hypothesize this as the only known example of an unknown issue where either the issue mark is "I", or perhaps even different symbols at different officinas, but we'd need to see more coins to support that. From a sample of one the best explanation is that this is just an error - engraver picking up the wrong punch.


Offline otlichnik

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2021, 08:00:12 am »
Most engraver's errors on regular issues are singular - one simple mistake, when there are several errors it more likely indicates an unofficial issue or copy.

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Offline Laurentius

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2021, 08:32:13 am »
Okay, I understand the subject. The causality lies in the assignment of the markings
as a whole. The "I" as such was not common. Which precludes a standard use.

best regards
Ralph

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2021, 10:12:23 am »
There is a very rare issue from London, mostly known from the Boursies Hoard, with mintmark pattern in fields: star over T star over F



However, three specimens bear slightly different pattern - with "I"!







Two bust types but all three specimens apparently have reverse from the same die.
Lech Stępniewski
NOT IN RIC
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Offline Laurentius

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2021, 11:13:49 am »
Oh yes, lovely coins from London. In general there are beautiful
pieces from this officina. Interesting that this symbol was also used there.

PS: Nice work on your page, I have to see it!

I found another one from Antiochia on acsearch:

https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=391578





Offline Laurentius

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2021, 12:08:34 pm »
Carthage probably used this symbol uniformly for some "FELIX" Rev.

https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=3299467

But it looks like only this one example is known from Trier.
Then it was probably just a "slip-up" after all.

best regards
Ralph


Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2021, 01:46:55 pm »
"I" (Iota) could be of course a proper mark for the tenth officina (like on your coin from Antioch)

Sometimes, like on this coin from Carthago, "I" and "H" is an addition which means Jovian (for Diocletian and Galerius) or Herculian (for Maximian and Costantius).
Lech Stępniewski
NOT IN RIC
Poland

Offline Heliodromus

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2021, 02:31:59 pm »
Quote
There is a very rare issue from London, mostly known from the Bourton Hoard

RIC mostly cites the Boursies hoard (8 specimens total from these two issues), but Lee Toone "Two Enigmatic Issues of London" lists 32 known specimens (28 */T */F, 4 I */I).

Make that 33 since he only includes one of mine!  ;D

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Diocletian not in RIC
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2021, 04:44:17 pm »
Quote
There is a very rare issue from London, mostly known from the Bourton Hoard
the Boursies hoard

I'm probably overworked - another silly mistake.
Lech Stępniewski
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