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Author Topic: The Seated Concordia in Rome  (Read 1428 times)

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Offline slokind

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The Seated Concordia in Rome
« on: May 31, 2007, 07:20:19 pm »
Hadrianic coins, in all three metals, give very strong evidence of the character, at least the traits, of the cult stantue of Concordia at Rome.  Though Concordia does not always lean on the head of Spes, and indeed on some the latter stands on a support behind the throne, and the cornucopiae beneath the throne is on some omitted, counting only the listings where Spes is present (see RIC II, p. 494), there are more than seems practical to list here.  Almost seven years ago, I saw such a Spes far away on a reverse at Pautalia, for which see below (its condition is no one’s idea of a COTD).
Though mostly marked ‘C’ the denarii don’t come up every day, and AV and aes both are beyond my means.
More important, I have my own reasons, as an art historian, for honoring Hadrian.  He may not have been a paragon as a husband by the norms of daytime television, and he and Sabina were not so handsome as Antoninus Pius and his family or so glamorous as Julia Titi and her circle, but Sabina’s portraits are arguably a high-water mark in Imperial portraiture, considered for combining ideal form (not the same as flattery or ‘formalism’) with rigorous adherence to actual structure and features.  The best of her coins like her best portraits (such as that in the Mus. Naz. Romano (once “Terme”), illustrated fig. 106 in Donald Strong’s Roman Art = D. Kleiner, Roman Sculpture, fig. 206) bear out this judgment.
So, a month early, I gave myself a birthday present: a portrait die of Sabina as good as on an aureus, and in better condition than any other coin that I have.  And on the reverse is my Concordia.
It is such a shame to limit one’s notion of Hadrianic art to the Antinoos statues, though they certainly are part of the picture.  Arguably, in her portraits Hadrian honored his empress more nobly than his young friend.
• 30 05 07 AR denarius  3.47g axis 6:30h RomeSabina, draped bust to r.  SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG PP.  Rev, Concordia std. on throne with Spes as arm rest, holding patera (phiale mesomphalos) in her outstretched r. hand.  CONCOR DIA AVG.  "Rome, 128-c. 137,  BM-895, C-12, RIC-398...Cornucopia beneath throne".  The descr. is initialed cc.
As for the Geta at Pautalia, I still cannot be more certain of its listing in Ruzicka:
• 07 XII 00 AE30 Pautalia, ThraceGeta, laureate head or bust to r.  AVT K P SEP     TIM GETA SEB or KAI (so well as I can see).  Rev., Kybele*wearing kalathos enthroned to l., holding figure of Nike in her r. and cornucopiae in crook of her l.; behind her, on a pedestal, the canonical type of Elpis to l.  OVLPIAS    PAVTALI  and in exergue AS.  All sigmas lunate.
* The divinity is perh. rather the City Tyche acc. by Elpis, far likelier to hold a Nike than Cybele is.  And the coin may be Ruzicka’s no. 893.  It is not illustrated in Varbanov’s vol. II (Bulg.), and, given the uncertain identification, I cannot find it there with any confidence.
In The Cult Images of Imperial Rome, 1987, fig. 62, Cornelius Vermeule illustrates the Concordia from a sestertius of Sabina but without the obverse and without spelling out the legends.  I cannot really say how the image at Pautalia may be related to that in Rome.  For the Type, Vermeule recommends Aelius's aureus of AD 137, which probably does have an RIC number, just for starters, but this volume of what seem to be museum lectures doesn't give any.  Probably RIC p 393, no. 443.  BM, but I don't have vol. III.
Pat L.

Offline slokind

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Offline moonmoth

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Re: The Seated Concordia in Rome
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2007, 01:18:56 am »
There is a sestertius of Tiberius which shows the temple of Concordia in Rome, illustrated here with an example from Coin Archives.  Interestingly, when you can see the detail, the statue of Concordia appears to be holding a short sceptre in her left arm, which I don't think ever appears on Concordia coins.  It seems too straight and too narrow at the top to be a cornucopia.  The second image is from this page:

http://www.uark.edu/ua/metis2/zanker/zanker_txt.html

Bill

"... A form of twisted symbolical bedsock ... the true purpose of which, as they realised at first glance, would never (alas) be revealed to mankind."

Offline Robin Ayers

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Re: The Seated Concordia in Rome
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2007, 01:44:00 am »
Pat- That is one of the most attractive portraits I have seen for Sabina - Congrats to you on a beautiful coin.


Quote
the statue of Concordia appears to be holding a short sceptre in her left arm, which I don't think ever appears on Concordia coins

My Sabina/Concordia shows Concordia holding sceptre:
O: SABINA AVGVSTA HADRIANI AVG PP
Draped bust right
R: CONCORDIA AVG
Concordia seated left, holding patera and scepter

RIC 399a, RSC 25, BMC 905 Rome mint
Ar Denarius; 3.509g; 18.6mm
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Offline moonmoth

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Re: The Seated Concordia in Rome
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2007, 04:05:02 am »
Nice coin!  That's a long sceptre, whereas the one on the sestertii looks like a short one, so that is close, but not exactly the same.

"... A form of twisted symbolical bedsock ... the true purpose of which, as they realised at first glance, would never (alas) be revealed to mankind."

Offline Pscipio

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Re: The Seated Concordia in Rome
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2007, 04:19:23 am »
I don't collect denarii myself, but when they are from good dies, they can be wonderful.

Lars
Leu Numismatik
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Offline slokind

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Re: The Seated Concordia in Rome
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2007, 02:23:34 pm »
"The famous sestertius of Tiberius" must indeed figure in any discussion of the Temple of Concord, and it does prove that the seated rather than the standing Concordia was its cult image.  I'd hate to be certain that the short stick shown on it is one thing or another, but a scepter is the likelier bad choice because Concord hardly held a short sword.  The literature is immense.  The general footnote on p. 69 of Vermeule, op. cit., cites Jocelyn Toynbee; on p. 73, Vermeule says, "The statuette of Spes next to the throne of Concordia may have been a removable attribute, for it is omitted on many Roman imperial coins and is occasionaly replaced by the cornucopiae."  I haven't managed to track down that opinion, and, of course, it could be Vermeule's own, though there are very few new opinions on the temple and its statue.  The Types section of the Hadrian part of RIC II has nothing in particular, and I don't have BMCRE III.
In any case, I will post the two coins illustrated in Vermeule's "Cult Images...", though they have only general labels.  Then I'll see if Jocelyn Toynbee has anything in "Medallions" (I don't have the Mattingly Festschrift). 
P.S. One aureus I found and whose link I posted above shows that even outstanding denarius dies are not up to outstanding aureus dies!  Pat L.
I found nothing in the pages he cited in J. T.'s "Medallions".
For the specimens illustrated in Kent & Hirmer, Roman Coins, no. 163, and in Bauten Roms auf Münzen und Medaillen (Antike by H. Kühlmann & B. Overbeck), not the same specimens, the descriptions say (for the latter) Concordia std on a throne with patera in r. and cornucopiae in l., the whole on a round base, and (for the former) simply holding cornucopiae and patera.  Kent's coin is "Berlin; as BMC 132"; that in Bauten... is London BM and "BMC 116".  I'm not sure they'd not break up into printer's dots if scanned.

 

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