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

Countermarked Imperial Roman and Roman Provincial Coins

A countermark is a stamped or punched impression adding elements of design to a coin after it was originally struck. The practice of countermarking coins was widespread throughout antiquity. It was particularly common in the provinces of the Roman Empire. Countermarks were applied to coins for many reasons, including revalidation, revaluation, devaluation, and propaganda. Exactly when and why any individual countermark was applied is often uncertain.

Pergamon, Mysia, c. 134 A.D.

|Pergamon|, |dupondius|
Eurypylos was a Mysian hero of the Trojan War. His image is otherwise unknown on coinage. Like Bellerophon at Corinth and Dionysos at Tium, this image of a local hero appears modeled on Antinous. Homer (Odyssey 11.522) has Odysseus say that Eurypylus was, next to Memnon, the most beautiful man he had ever seen.

The strategos I. Pollion is named on several coin types of Pergamon during the reign of Hadrian, including one for Sabina (RPC III 1737) and another for Antinous (RPC III, 1738).

The link between Pergamon and Paphos, evidenced by this coin, is not well understood. However, the same reverse was used, from Hadrian to Philip I, on coins struck to honor an alliance between Sardes and Paphos.
RP96071. Orichalcum dupondius, RPC Online III 1740 (4 spec.), SNG BnF 1897, Weber 5206, SNG Cop -, BMC Mysia -, F, porous, reverse off center, countermark obscure, weight 11.652 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, time of Hadrian, c. 134 A.D.; obverse HPΩC EYPYΠYΛOC (Hero Eurypylos), head of hero Eurypylos (with the features of Antinous) right, flowing hair, uncertain oval countermark; reverse ΠEPΓAMHNΩN EΠI CTP ΠΩΛΛIΩNOC (Pergamon, struck under strategos Pollion), temple of Aphrodite at Paphos, in which conical xoanon, semicircular walled courtyard, ΠAΦIA (of Paphos) across the courtyard; extremely rare, the 5th known; $1200.00 SALE |PRICE| $1080.00
 


Jerusalem, Judaea, Legio X Fretensis Countermarks, c. 68 - 132 A.D.

|Roman| |Countermarked|, |AE| |26|
The boar and the galley were emblems of the tenth legion Fretensis, stationed in and around Jerusalem.
CM38681. Bronze AE 26, Hendin 802, countermarks F, weight 10.974 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, obverse Flavian? profile visible, LXF countermark; reverse galley and LXF boar countermarks; rare; SOLD


Nero Claudius Drusus, Born 38 B.C., Died 9 B.C., Issued by his Son Claudius

|Roman| |Countermarked|, |sestertius|
The countermark NCAPR was applied to numerous orichalcum coins of the reigns of Tiberius and Claudius. NCAPR is most often explained as "Nero Caesar Augustus Populo Romano." Others believe NCAPR abbreviates "Nummus Caesare Augusto Probatus" or "Nero Caesar Augustus Probavit" (probavit means approved). Excavations of the Meta Sudans and the northeastern slope of the Palatine Hill in Rome indicate that this countermark was applied for Nero's congiarium (distribution to the people) in 57 A.D., which supports the Populo Romano interpretation. Varieties of this relatively common countermark are identified by some authors as applied in either Italy, Spain or Gaul. The countermark is not found on coins bearing the name or portrait of Caligula. Clearly any coins of Caligula that were still in circulation and collected for application of the countermark were picked out and melted down, in accordance with his damnatio, rather than being countermarked and returned to circulation. A NCAPR countermark has, however, been found on a Vespasian dupondius which, if genuine and official, seems to indicate the N may refer to Nerva, not Nero.
RB16474. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I Claudius 109, BMCRE I Claudius, 208, BnF II Claudius 108, Cohen I 8, SRCV I 1897; countermark: Pangerl p. 121, 60, VF, attractive burgundy and olive patina, some corrosion, weight 28.884 g, maximum diameter 35.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 42 - 43 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVDIVS DRVSVS GERMANICVS IMP, bare head left; countermark behind: NCAPR in a rectangular incuse punch; reverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP P P, Claudius seated left on curule chair, togate, branch in right hand, surrounded by arms and shields, S C in exergue; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

Baker, R. "The Countermarks Found on Ancient Roman Coins: A Brief Introduction" in SAN XV (1984). pp. 52-58.
Barag, D. "The countermarks of the Legio Decima Fretensis" in Kindler Patterns. (Tel-Aviv, 1967).
Barag, D. & S. Qedar. "A Countermark of the Legio Quinta Scytica from the Jewish War" in INJ 13 (1994).
Howgego, C. Greek Imperial Countermarks. RNS, Special Publication No. 17. (London, 1985).
Kenyon, R. "The countermark PROB on coins of Claudius from Britain" in NC 148 (1988).
Martini, R. Nomismata 6: The Pangerl Collection Catalog and Commentary on the Countermarked Roman Imperial Coins. (Milan, 2003).
Mac Dowall, D. "Two Roman Countermarks of A.D. 68" in NC 1960, pp. 103 - 112, pl. VII.
McAlee, R. The Coins of Roman Antioch. (Lancaster, PA, 2007).
Rosenberger, M. The Rosenberger Israel Collection Volume IV: The Coinage of Eastern Palestine, and legionary countermarks, Bar-Kochba overstruck. (Jerusalem, 1978).
Seyrig, H. "Monnaies contremarquées en Syrie" in Syria 35 (1958), pp. 187-197.
Topalov, S. New Contributions to the Study of the Countermarking of Coins in the Area of the West Pontic Cities, 3rd - 1st c. B.C. (Sofia, 2002).
Werz, U. "Die Gegenstempel von Kalkriese und der Münzumlauf in frühtiberischer Zeit in der Germania inferior und superior" in Wiegels, p. 237 - 252.
Werz, U. Gegenstempel auf Reichs - und Provinzialprägungen der römischen Kaiserzeit - Katalog der Sammlung Dr. Konrad Bech, Mainz. (Speyer, 2004).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
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