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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numism  |  Reading For the Advanced Collector  |  Topic: Macrinus at Bithynium (Claudiopolis), Bithynia 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Macrinus at Bithynium (Claudiopolis), Bithynia  (Read 3966 times)
curtislclay
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« on: May 11, 2009, 09:17:37 pm »

Recueil Général des monnaies grecques d'Asie Mineure, publishing the coinage of Bithynia as known from European museums, private collections, and publications up to 1908, included only one coin of Macrinus at Bithynium:  BMC 11, RG 51, pl. XLIII.4, an AE 27 with incomplete obv. legend, short-bearded portrait, and rev. Tyche standing left.

Obviously a lot more than that was struck: Hans von Aulock, resident in Istanbul after WWII and with ready access to coins excavated in northern Asia Minor, was able to acquire three larger coins of Macrinus from that mint, AE 31-33, from three different obv. dies, with one of the reverses showing the emperor raising a spear on a horse charging right, while the other two, from the same reverse die, showed Zeus seated with an eagle at his feet.  I show these three coins below, in scans taken by Susan Headley from SNG von Aulock 312-4.

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curtislclay
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2009, 12:17:01 am »

Recently I too acquired an AE 32 of Macrinus from Bithynium, from yet a fourth obverse die and with the new reverse type of Serapis seated, wearing calathos, extending hand over three-headed monster at his feet, legend BIThVNI - E - WN ADPI around, ANWN in exergue. 17.85 gr., yellow metal, with rotation dimples like the three Aulock coins, see scan below.

All four of these large Macrinus obverse dies at Bithynium show a curious arrangement of the obverse legend: the final word AVG is separated from the rest of the legend and placed right side up under the bust, as though it were the last word of a reverse legend being placed right side up in the exergue.

The wear and centering of the BM AE 27 of Macrinus at Bithynium prevent us from seeing whether its obverse legend too was arranged in the same odd fashion.  No other obverse legend on coins of Bithynium of other emperors illustrated in RG and SNG von Aulock shows this quirk, however, and I cannot recollect seeing it on a Roman provincial coin of any other mint either.

Can Forvm members show other coins of Macrinus at Bithynium?  I found none in CoinArchives, Wildwinds, Berk photofile, Lindgren, Kraft's System, or Peus' Burstein Sale.

With at least five coins of Macrinus now known from this mint, we might expect one of Diadumenian to turn up too, but apparently none are known to Forvm's Diadumenian specialist, Malcolm Megaw!
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curtislclay
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 12:16:06 am »

Pat Lawrence just posted another Bithynian coin, of Nicomedia, in her collection, which also shows AVG written right side up under the bust. That peculiarity and the general stylistic similarity suggest to me that the same engraver, or at least the same workshop, cut the dies for both of these mints during Macrinus' reign.
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 03:18:12 pm »

My Nicomedia Macrinus is smaller:
• 08 08 03 AE 27  13,24g.  Nicomedia, BithyniaMacrinus, laureate, draped bust to r.  From l. of shoulder AV (?) K M OPEL SEV    E MAKREINOS and below bust probably AVGRev., Nemesis stg. l., the goad in her r. hand, scales in her l., and a tiny wheel, like a cartwheel theta, at her feet.  NEIKOMEDEO    N DIS NEOKORON, with eta or omega as required.  This reverse not mentioned HN or GIC or Varbanov IV, which repeats GIC.

But I agree about the style and legends and technique of engraving.

Pat
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curtislclay
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2011, 11:05:34 am »

Here is a Diadumenian from Nicomedia with KAICAP written upright below the bust: just sold, regrettably not to me, in CNG E256, 25 May 2011, lot 237.
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