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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Rarities||View Options:  |  |  |   

Rare Roman Coins
Britannicus, Son of Claudius and Messalina, b. 12 February 41 - d. 11 February 55 A.D., Alabanda, Caria

|Other| |Caria|, |Britannicus,| |Son| |of| |Claudius| |and| |Messalina,| |b.| |12| |February| |41| |-| |d.| |11| |February| |55| |A.D.,| |Alabanda,| |Caria||AE| |23|
Of this type, RPC I notes, "Uncertain. This coin was published by Mi 3.307.22, and is known from a Mionnet cast. The coin [the Mionnet specimen] has been tooled ('médaille retourchée') but may perhaps represent a genuine denomination." Our coin allays the RPC I doubts. The denomination is 1/3 of 18.5g RPC I 2818.
SH88430. Orichalcum AE 23, RPC I 2821 (= Mionnet III, p. 307, 22), F, porous, weight 6.496 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alabanda (Doganyurt, Aydin, Turkey) mint, 50 - 54 A.D.; obverse KΛAV∆IOC BPETANNIKOC KAIΣAP, bare-headed and draped bust right; reverse AΛABAN∆EΩN, Apollo Kissios standing left, nude, bow in right hand with raven on top, sheep standing left at feet on left ; ex Forum (2013), ex J. S. Wagner Collection; of greatest rarity; $720.00 (€590.40)
 


Nero and Poppaea, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Nero| |and| |Poppaea,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
RPC Online I notes, "The date does look like L IB, but the coin is very battered." and "Confirmation required. Poppaea died in AD 65, so it seems unlikely that coins should have been made for her in year 12." This is the Dattari Collection plate coin and Dattari identified it as year 12. In Alexandria, Nero's year 12 began on 29 August 65 A.D. According to Suetonius, one day in the summer of 65, Poppaea quarreled fiercely with Nero over his spending too much time at the races. She was pregnant with her second child. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her. This coin suggests her death was likely on or after the 19th of August. It would have taken 9 days or more for the news of her death to reach Alexandria. This coin may have been a trial strike or perhaps one of very few struck during the first days of the new year.
RX93590. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari-Savio pl. 7, 199 (this coin!); RPC Online I 5289A (this coin!, the only spec.), aVF, brown tone, corrosion, scratches, rough, weight 7.834 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 29 Aug 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAV KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AYTO, radiate bust of Nero right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust of Poppaea right, L IB (year 12) lower right; from the Kreuzer Collection, ex Naville Numismatics auction 51 (21 Jul 2019), lot 301; ex Dattari Collection; this is the only known example of this type dated year 12!; unique!?; $600.00 (€492.00)
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Tyre,| |Phoenicia||dichalkon|
Romans refounded Tyre as a colony in 64 B.C., when Pompey annexed Phoenicia to the Roman Empire. Tyre flourished under the Rome and remained a Roman port city, even under the Byzantine Empire, until the 7th century when it was taken by Muslim conquest.
RP96396. Bronze dichalkon, BMC Phoenicia p. 289, 465 var. (murex shell on right); Rouvier -; Baramki AUB -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Cop -, F, rough dark green patina, earthen deposits, weight 16.345 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, Oct 253 - Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, laureate bust right; reverse COL TVRO METR, river-god (Adonis?) standing facing, head left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right hand dropping incense on flaming altar at her feet on left, long grounded reed vertical in left hand, murex shell on left; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1971 Caesarea Maritima surface find; Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; extremely rare; $400.00 (€328.00)
 


Numerian, February or March 283 - October or November 284 A.D.

|Numerian|, |Numerian,| |February| |or| |March| |283| |-| |October| |or| |November| |284| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Consular busts are scarce for this dynasty.
RA93244. Billon antoninianus, Bastien 562 (3 spec. cited), RIC V-2 -, Cohen VI -, SRCV III -, Hunter V -, La Venèra -, Choice aVF, well centered, flow lines, tiny encrustations, scattered light porosity, weight 3.080 g, maximum diameter 22.85 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 6th emission, c. 284 A.D.; obverse IMP C NVMERIANVS AVG, radiate bust wearing imperial mantle right, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse MARS VICTOR (Mars the Victor), Mars advancing right, nude except for helmet and cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, transverse spear in right hand, trophy over left shoulder in left hand, C in right field; very rare; $370.00 (€303.40)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||drachm|
The Nilometer measured the height of the annual Nile flood. Sixteen cubits was considered the ideal height of the annual Nile flood. Less could mean drought or famine. Even in modern times, grand celebrations were held when the flood reached 16 cubits. In years when the flood failed to reach 16 cubits, the celebrations were canceled, and prayers and fasting were held instead. The peak flood occurred at the end of August, which explains why the Egyptian year began on 29 August.
RX95862. Bronze drachm, RPC Online IV.4 T15735 (3 spec.); Dattari-Savio pl. 138, 2705bis var. (draped); Emmett 1613/10 (R5); Geissen -; Milne -; BMC Alexandria -; SNG Cop -, aF, well centered, light corrosion, obverse edge beveled, weight 20.203 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 146 - 28 Aug 147; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P ANTWNINOC CEB EYC, laureate head right; reverse L ∆E-KATOY (year 10), Nike standing right, nude to the waist, left foot on helmet, inscribing NI/KH on an oval shield set on her left knee and a column before her; extremely rare; $310.00 (€254.20)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Apollonia Salbace, Caria

|Other| |Caria|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Apollonia| |Salbace,| |Caria||AE| |30|NEW
This coin is an obverse die match to a coin struck by the neighboring city, Alabanda, Caria, SNG München 464, RPC Online VI T5384. Dies shared by more than one city in the region were first discovered by Konrad Kraft in 1972. Groups of smaller cities in Anatolia shared traveling mints, which would sometimes use the same obverse dies for more than one city.
RP92646. Bronze AE 30, Apparently unpublished; RPC Online -, SNG BnF -, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Caria -, F, porous, turquoise and earthen adhesions, reverse flatly struck, weight 11.787 g, maximum diameter 29.7 mm, die axis 180o, Apollonia Salbace (Edremit, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AYP CEY AΛEΞAN∆PO-C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CTPA AΓAΘEINOY TOY IH AΠOΛΛΩNIATΩN (strategos Agathinos, son of Hie.(?), Apollonia), Zeus standing slightly left, head left, wearing himation and chlamys, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; extremely rare, this is the only specimen of the type known to FORVM; $300.00 (€246.00)
 


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D.

|Julia| |Domna|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.||denarius|
This type is not listed in the major references because, when they were published it was not yet recognized the type was also struck at Alexandria. All the Alexandria mint specimens, distinguished from other specimens only by their style, were confused with the similar denarii struck at Rome. Roger Bickford-Smith identifies this style as struck at Alexandria. He dates this reverse type to the first months of 195 A.D. and notes this obverse legend, IVLIA DOMNA AVG was used only briefly before it was replaced with IVLIA AVGVSTA.
RS96910. Silver denarius, Bickford-Smith p. 56 & pl. 1, 10; RIC IV -; BMCRE V -; RSC III -; Reka Devnia -, VF, toned, flow lines, small edge cracks, legends weak, weight 2.680 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, c. Feb 195 A.D.; obverse IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse VENVS FELIX (Venus who brings good fortune), Venus standing half-left, apple in extended right hand, drawing drapery from shoulder with left hand; rare; $280.00 (€229.60)
 


Otacilia Severa, Augusta, February or March 244 - September or October 249 A.D., Pella, Macedonia

|Pella|, |Otacilia| |Severa,| |Augusta,| |February| |or| |March| |244| |-| |September| |or| |October| |249| |A.D.,| |Pella,| |Macedonia||pentassarion|
Pella is an ancient city located in Central Macedonia, Greece, best known as the historical capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedon and birthplace of Alexander the Great.
RP93126. Bronze pentassarion, RPC Online VIII U68748 (4 spec.), Moushmov 6494, Varbanov III 3764 var. (obv. legend, R5), SNG ANS -, BMC Macedonia -, gVF, striking bold portrait, brown patina, small deposits, light marks, central dimple on reverse including circular lathe marks, weight 9.489 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 90o, Pella mint, Feb/Mar 244 - Sep/Oct 249 A.D.; obverse M OTACIIL SEVERA EY (Y upside down), draped, bust right, wearing stephane; reverse COL IVL AVS PELLA, Fortuna seated on ornamented chair left, holding hand to mouth, left arm resting on back of chair; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $240.00 (€196.80)
 


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.||sestertius|NEW
This obverse legend is listed in references with reverses depicting three, four, or five soldiers. Specimens with six soldiers on the reverse in Cohen III, RIC III, and noted in BMCRE IV (refs. Cohen) all have the obverse legend, M COMMODVS ANT AVG P BRIT FELIX. The four specimens on Coin Archives with six soldiers all share the same obverse legend with our coin. Perhaps RIC III copied an error by Cohen?
RB97213. Orichalcum sestertius, Hunter II 126 var. (same obv. die, 5 soldiers), RIC III 468d (R) var. (obv. leg.), Cohen III 138 var. (same), BMCRE IV 579 var. (4 soldiers, note), F, green patina, tight flan cutting off reverse legend, weight 23.587 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 186 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANT P FELIX AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XI IMP VII COS V P P, Commodus standing left on platform, haranguing six soldiers, three legionary standards on the far side of soldiers, S - C (senatus consulto) across fields, FID EXERCIT (loyalty of the army) in exergue; rare; $200.00 (€164.00)
 


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Mallos, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Macrinus,| |11| |April| |217| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Mallos,| |Cilicia||AE| |38|
There were no specimens on Coin Archives, or the many websites we searched. We know of only one other specimen of this type, an ex FORVM coin, RP23043, 21.344g, but only 32.3 mm diameter. SNG Levante 1283 and 1284 were struck with the same obverse die, but the reverse depicts the city goddess Tyche seated on rocks over a river god swimming below.
RP92558. Bronze AE 38, Apparently unpublished; BMC Lycaonia -, SNG Levante -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, Ziegler -, Lindgren -, RPC Online -, et al., aF, green patina, earthen deposits, porosity, spots of corrosion, legends mostly weak or worn, small edge splits, weight 21.520 g, maximum diameter 37.5 mm, die axis 180o, Mallos mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAIC MAPK OΠEΛ CEYHP MAKPEINON CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, countermark behind: S C in a round punch; reverse MAΛ IEP ΠOΛ ΘEOY AMΦIΛOCOY (Mallos holy city of god Amphilokos), Zeus seated half left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; huge 37.5 mm bronze!, from the Errett Bishop Collection; extremely rare; $180.00 (€147.60)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l?Empire Romain. (Paris, 1880 - 1892).
Estiot, S. "L'Or romain entre crise et restitution (270-276 apr. J.-C.). I. Aurélien" in Journal des Savants 1 (1999), pp. 51-148.
Giard, J., P. Besombes & S. Estiot. Monnaies de l'Empire romain. Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998 - ).
Göbl, R., et al. Moneta Imperii Romani. (Vienna, 1984 - present).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham, et al. The Roman Imperial Coinage. (London, 1926 - 2020).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. (London, 1923 - 1963).
Monnaies de l'Empire Romain / Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276 (RIC V Online) http://www.ric.mom.fr
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow. (Oxford, 1962 - 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values. (London, 2000 - 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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