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Author Topic: A thread for scarce and/or interesting GLORIA EXERCITVS soldiers & standards.  (Read 48624 times)

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Offline Vincent

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Interesting enough when the mints were notified of the reduction and change to one standard, three Eastern mints cities thought that included to change the reverse of their city commemoratives to the two soldiers one standard reverse!
Many catalogs describe these as hybrids, but it was just a misunderstanding by the officials on what to do! Regardless, this provides us collectors today with more to add their hunt.

And Victor Clark's page toward the end
http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/comm/

Interesting side collection 🙂

Offline Flav V

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Vincent, as i understand only some mints changed their reverse for the size reduction? Therefore the other mints have still two standards but with lower size?

Offline Vincent

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Not familiar with those other mints...are you? This is the only example I know of that is out of the ordinary.
Of course, there may be isolated cases of such during the period of transition... The Roman Empire was vast and communications, by in large, primitive. During this period monetary policy was always in a flux and the currency unstable, especially the  lower denominations for the common folk

Offline Heliodromus

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Flav, the mints did all change the Gloria Exercitvs design from 2 standards to 1 standard at this same time as the weight reduction in 335AD.

I'm sure the type with Gloria Exercitvs (1 standard) reverse and Vrbs Roma/Constantinopolis obverses were issued after 335AD, but it's not obvious exactly when - could either be 335-337AD when Constantine was alive, or 337-340AD after his death when these eastern mints (Heraclea, Constantinople, Cyzicus & Nicomedia) were controlled by Constantius II. Many of these types are double listed both in RIC VII (when Constantine I was alive) and RIC VIII (after his death), so those authors don't seem sure either.

We also see Vrbs Roma/Constantinopolis obverses paired with a different reverse, VOT XX MVLT XXX, later c.347AD issued by Constantius II from all his mints (above four, plus Antioch and Alexandria), which has to be deliberate given that other Vrbs Roma/Constantinopolis types were not being issued at that time.

So, what to make of the 335-340AD Vrbs Roma/Constantinopolis Gloria Exercitvs types ? Although rare, they don't seem rare enough (especially from Constantinople) to be mules. I find it hard to believe they are due to a misunderstanding at these mints (we could ask why suddenly after 335AD and not before when Gloria Exercitvs with 2 standards were being issued?). Given that these were only issued from Constantius II's mints, and given his later obviously deliberate pairing with VOT XX MVLT XXX, it seems to me most likely these were issued deliberately by Constantius II after Constantine's death in 337-340. I'm not sure why we don't also see them from Antioch and Alexandria - it's possible that they exist but (like Nicomedia, Cyzicus) are just very rare, or maybe this was just a very brief type immediately following Constantine's death, and was limited to the mints geographically clustered near Nicomedia where Constantine died.

Ben

Offline Vincent

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Nice recap, Ben, and some valid points of consideration. Seems different sections of the divided Empire had some independence and divination in coin types.
I just read this paper by David Woods on the period of Constantine the Greats death and it is worth reading over for those among us collecting this period

Numismatic Evidence and the Succession to Constantine I

David Woods
Numismatic Chronicle 171 (2011)

https://www.academia.edu/7070181/Numismatic_Evidence_and_the_Succession_to_Constantine_I?email_work_card=title


ONTROVERSY
 surrounds the sequence of events between the death of Constantine Inear Nicomedia on 22 May 337 and the promotion of his three surviving sons –Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans - from the rank of Caesar to Augustusin Pannonia on 9 September following.
 The primary problems concern the dateof the massacre of most of their male relatives within the wider Constantinianfamily, including Dalmatius their cousin and fellow Caesar, together with his chiefsupporters, and the establishment of responsibility for this event. Unfortunately, theearliest surviving literary sources allude only
eetingly to the events of this crucial period and their authors clearly felt inhibited by the continued reign of one of the biggest benefactors of the events of that summer, Constantius II, from treating themas fully and frankly as they might otherwise have done. On the other hand, laterauthors are usually prejudiced against Constantius II at least, if not his father and brothers also, chie
y on account of their religious policies, so that their accounts arenot necessarily as reliable as they may at
rst seem, even when they do not actuallycontradict one another, which they often do. Hence there is a need to look beyondthe literary sources and to extract the maximum information possible from the onlyexactly contemporary evidence that we have for the events of 337, the coinage.Burgess seeks to do precisely this in a recent paper where he reconstructs the eventsof the summer in detail, relying chie
y on a careful analysis of the coin data.
 The purose of this note, however, is to highlight the hidden assumptions underlying hissubsequent interpretation of the results of his analysis of the coin data, the fact thatthe evidence does not always prove what he claims it to prove, and to suggest analternative interpretation of the analysis where possible

He questions the conclusions of the write up by Burgess in his paper The Summer Of Blood

Very interesting...a lot we can only surmise

Offline SC

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    • A Handbook of Late Roman Bronze Coin Types 324-395.
What is very interesting about the Vrbs Roma/Constantinopolis Gloria Exercitvs types is the geographic distribution of their production.  Though more common at some mints than others, they were clearly made at the four Propontic mints plus the nearby mint of Thessalonica.  To me, these types offer some of the best evidence for the administrative power of the Rationalis Summarum.  It appears that, for some reason, the rationalis summarum with responsibility for the Propontic mints issued instructions to make these coins.


The following is small except from my forthcoming book on late Roman coin types (in which I also address these hybrid types):

"Mint Structure.

Important decisions about late Roman coinage – what, when and how much – were made at the highest level, generally by the central offices of the Comes Sacrarum Largitionum.(24) During periods when the Empire was divided, there was usually a Comes Sacrarum Largitionum in each part of the Empire, though one was in theory superior. Sometimes this supreme Comes Sacrarum Largitionum had control or influence over the others, sometimes not. Within the Comes Sacrarum Largitionum, minting fell under the scrinium a pecuniis (coinage office).

Each mint had its own Procurator Monetae who was under the (or one of the) Comes Sacrarum Largitionum.(25)  There was also an intermediate level of bureaucracy between the Comes Sacrarum Largitionum and the mints - the Rationalis Summarum, a regional official in charge of several mints. This latter fact helps explain why certain groupings of mints are often seen, during the late Roman period, to share certain traits - designs, mint and field mark forms."

SC
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(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline Heliodromus

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I'd missed Thessalonica - an interesting mint for these if it was deliberate. RIC VIII lists these (58, 59) both as R4, yet is only able to cite Voetter-Gerin as a source. There is a specimen of RIC 58 on WildWinds. I'd like to see a few more of these before being convinced they are not mules.

RIC also lists a single (R5) Vrbs Roma from Trier, RIC VII Trier 541, which I'd consider most likely a mule unless other specimens can be found.

I also have the Rome coin below in my photo files, which again I'd assume is a mule - especially as there are no others from any mint for this earlier time period.

The reason Thessalonica is interesting is because it is the only mint not controlled by Constantius II, instead being in Constans territory (age 14 at the time). I'd be a bit leary of drawing any conclusions from this without being convinced it was intentional, but if so the mint clustering on geographical proximity basis rather than entire emperor-controlled territories (no Antioch or Alexandria, no other mints of Constans), along with the rarity of these types, might point to the interregnum after Constantine's death as the time when these were issued, and there may have been a period of confusion and less centralized control.

Ben

Edit: Looking at the RIC VIII introductions for Heraclea and Constantinople, I see that control of Thraciae (incl. these two mints) from 337-340 is unclear. The Constantinople introduction says it first passed to Constantine II in 337, then only to Constantius II in 340, but that would represent a weird gerrymandering of control. It would seem more logical if it had originally been given to Constans, on whose other territory it bordered, although that would then require him to have voluntarily given it to Constantius II in 340 after he killed Constantine II and assumed his eastern territory.

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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I'd missed Thessalonica - an interesting mint for these if it was deliberate. RIC VII lists these (58, 59) both as R4, yet is only able to cite Voetter-Gerin as a source. There is a specimen of RIC 58 on WildWinds. I'd like to see a few more of these before being convinced they are not mules.

RIC VIII THESSALONICA 58 and 59 are both from officina  :Greek_epsilon: which is expected because officina  :Greek_epsilon: struck exclusively Urbs Roma and Constantinopolis before (RIC VII THESSALONICA 229 and 230). But there is an interesting exception: also majority of Delmatius coins comes from officina  :Greek_epsilon:

http://www.nummus-bible-database.com/rechercher-une-monnaie.htm?page=1&personnages=17&ateliers=21&collections=&vendeurs=&motscles=&numric=228&numnbd=&legendes=&nombreResultats=10&btRechercher=Rechercher

30 coins with clear officina letter
A - 2 ex.
B - 6 ex.
:Greek_Gamma: - 3 ex.
:Greek_Delta: - 4 ex.
:Greek_epsilon: - 15 ex.

I wonder if they could use good die prepared for Delmatius together with Urbs and Constantinopolis obverse dies just for a small addition to their production.
Lech Stępniewski
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Poland

Offline Vincent

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Thank you 😌 all for the recent posts and much appreciated and absorbed!
These also had me fascinated and it is indeed indicative of the structure authority of the mint districts, IMOP.
One other later type that has caught my attention was the later issue of the Eastern mints of the VICT AVG type of Constantius Ii and Constans ..Victory advancing left, holds wreath and palm.
According to the LRBC it was minted at Heraclea, Constantinople, Nicomedia, Cyzicus, Antioch and Alexandria.
A small As module issue of say circa 341-346?
Any thoughts about these...I only have one in my own collection

Offline SC

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    • A Handbook of Late Roman Bronze Coin Types 324-395.
So, with the VICT AVG you have a different situation.

In 341, presumably not long after the dust settles from Constantine II's death, you have a switch from the 330-341 coinage model (the GE, VR, Constantipolois + family) to a new model. 

By 342 this model has settled to the VICTORIAE DD AVGG Q NN Two Victories type in the West and the Vota type in the East, but at the start, in 341, you have an entirely Victoria-based model. 

Various one and two Victory types are in use in the West from 341 to likely early 342, before settling on the Two Victories type.  But in the East, the one victory VICT AVG (VICT AVGG at Alexandria) was used 341 to 342 before being replaced by the Vota.

The idea of a break in coinage for several years during this period is very outdated thinking (even LRBC had the coinage struck through 341-346 (they used a too-early start date of 346 for the FTR coinage).  By the 1990s the break-in-coinage theory was no longer in vogue.

SC

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Offline Vincent

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That clarifies the sequence for me, thank you so much for taking time to explain.
Suppose the Eastern part of the Empire had a slow down in small change output because the VICT AVG are hard to come by  on the marketplace, while the Western type is very common.

Offline Heliodromus

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The VICT AVG types are certainly very scarce, but given the volume of coinage issued both before and after (the western-only VN-MR and vota types), it doesn't seem there was any production constraint. Some mints such as Antioch, running with 15 officinas (!!!) must have had huge output.

Ben

Offline Vincent

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Thank you for the clarification once again. Seems  the monetary system was unstable and from what I read the two brothers initiated their currency reform in an attempt to reform it with the Fel Temp Repartio  series. But that's for another post.
There is certainly not a lack of LRBC on the marketplace.

Offline SC

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    • A Handbook of Late Roman Bronze Coin Types 324-395.
There may have been fewer coins minted in the East.  There was certainly more coinage circulating already and so less need to strike new coinage.  Any small AE coin of roughly the same size could be used as change in much of the East so Judaean, Nabataean, Seleucid, Ptolemaic, Greek, and of course a huge mass of "Roman provincial", etc. were still in use.

That said, for 341-348 you need to take into account the scarce VICT AVG/AVGG of 341-342 plus the quite common VOT XX MVLT XXX and VOT XV MVLT XX types.

In the West there was still a huge number of earlier cons, especially those of 330-341, but likely far less coins than in the East, so there was likely more need for coinage - despite the lower population.  But the Western coins of 341-342 include many scarce types - VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM of Lugdunum, VICTORIA AVGG one victory and two victories of Siscia and Sirmium, and the two victories both facing left of Rome.  The normal VICTORIAE DD AVGG Q NN Two Victories type was likely only struck at Trier, Arelate and Thessalonica at this time.  It is only when the VICTORIAE DD AVGG Q NN Two Victories type spread throughout the West in 342-348 that the numbers really took off.

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(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline Flav V

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Nice exlpanations Congius and Otlichnik  :)

 

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