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Coins depicting funeral pyres or funerary rights

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Ron C2:
I am actively collecting severan era denarii and to a lesser degree third century crisis roman silver coinage (among other ancient coin intrests).  There were several emperors in this timeframe that minted commemorative coins for previous emperors, and in some cases, these coins celebrated the emperor's funeral pyre on the reverse, or other funerary rights.

Here's an example from my colleciton of what I'm talking about:

There are all sorts of variations on the commemorative theme, including replicating a prior emperor's issues in sestertii, deceased notables riding flying crane birds into the heavens, or veiled and draped images of the deceased emperor on the reverse, usually seated. What I'm more curious about is coins depicting pyres or specific funerary rights images.

Has anyone got any typical images of these types of coins?  Is there any good literature on how and when the phenomenon started?

Happy for all perspectives, and not just for Roman era coinage :)

Not a coin but related. I lived, for a while, in a Victorian terraced house off Severus Street in Acomb, York. It is the reputed approximate location, down from Holgate Hill, for the funeral pyre of Septimius Severus who died in York in AD211. The former HSBC bank at the end of the street closed to become a tile shop but there is a fabulous reproduction bust of Severus in the courtyard.

Rev Francis Thackeray: ‘Researches into the Ecclesiastical and Political State of Ancient Britain’ . He wrote that Severus died at York in AD211 and his ‘body was carried forth by the soldiers to the funeral pyre, kindled in a place westward of the city, where is a large hill of earth which according to Camden, Radulphus Niger says was called in his time, Siver’s Hill from Severus. His ashes, deposited in an urn of porphyry, were conveyed to Rome and placed in the sepulchre of the Antonines’

If he isn't referring to Holgate Hill the other most likely site to the west of  York is the hill in Acomb where St Stephen's Church is now located.



Ron C2:
What a great story mauseus!

Hi Ron,

My Roman Commemorative Gallery has a variety of commemorative types if you are interested.



Ron C2:
Great gallery Alex! In looking at the coins, there are a lot of reverse motifs, some of which I don't understand the context for.  Do you know which ones are linked to funerary rights?


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