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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Military ▸ LegionaryView Options:  |  |  | 

Coins of the Roman Legions

Legionarii is the name give to the foot soldiers of the Roman legions. The horsemen were distinguished by the appellation of Equites. The term of sixteen years was the period fixed for the service of the Legionarii. Before the reign of Septimius Severus they were not permitted to marry, or at least to have their wives with them in the camp. The military discipline of these troops was very severe. They led a life of great hardship, and made long marches, laden with heavy burdens. During peace they were employed in working on the fortifications of towns and of camps, as well as in repairing the high roads.


Didius Julianus, 28 March - 2 June 193 A.D.

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193 A.D. - The Year of Five Emperors. On 1 January, the Senate selected Pertinax, against his will, to succeed the late Commodus as Emperor. The Praetorian Guard assassinated him on 28 March and auctioned the throne to the highest bidder, Didius Julianus, who offered 300 million sesterces. Outraged by the Praetorians, legions in Illyricum select Septimius Severus as emperor; in Britannia the legions select their governor Clodius Albinus, and in Syria the legions select their governor Pescennius Niger. On 1 June Septimius Severus entered the capital, put Julianus put to death and replaced the Praetorian Guard with his own troops. Clodius Albinus allied with Severus and accepted the title of Caesar. Pescennius Niger was defeated, killed and his head displayed in Rome
SH86628. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC VI 14 (R), BMCRE V 20, Hunter III 8, Cohen III 3, Cayon III 1, SRCV II 6075, nice F, attractive portrait for grade, legends not fully struck, encrustations on reverse, edge crack, weight 19.044 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 28 Mar - 2 Jun 193 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG, laureate head right; reverse CONCORD MILIT (harmony with the soldiers), Concordia Militum standing half left, head left, legionary aquila (eagle) standard in right hand, signum standard in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; rare; $970.00 (824.50)


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG V

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This may have been the famous V Alaudae ('the larks'), a Caesarean legion which remained loyal to Antony but was later retained by Augustus. There are other possibilities, however: V Macedonica, a Caesarean legion about which little is known; V Urbana, disbanded after Actium (and therefore quite likely an Antonian legion); and V Gallica, a Caesarean legion that was probably the one that under Lollius lost its eagle to German raiders in Gaul in 17 B.C.
SH86627. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/18, Sydenham 1221, BMCRR II East 196, RSC I 32, Sear CRI 354, SRCV I 1479, Choice gVF, nice toning, some light marks and scratches, weight 3.622 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT AVG III. VIR. R. P. C., galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - V, legionary aquila between two standards; $580.00 (493.00)


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG VII

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This LEG VII was probably raised by Antony and disbanded by Octavian. It may have been the XV Apollinaris, a legion later was reconstituted by Octavian. The VII Claudia, an old legion of Caesar's, fought for Octavian.
SH82693. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/20, Sydenham 1224, BMCRR II East 198, RSC I 34, Sear CRI 357, Choice aEF, dark iridescent toning, well centered and struck, weight 3.750 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Patrae(?) mint, autumn 32 - spring 31 B.C.; obverse ANT?AVG / III?VIR?R?P?C?, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - VII, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; $500.00 (425.00)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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Legio tertia Italica ("Italian Third Legion") was a legion of the Imperial Roman army founded by Marcus Aurelius in 165, for his campaign against the Marcomanni tribe. The cognomen Italica suggests the legion's original recruits were mainly drawn from Italy. Legio III Italica was in the Danube provinces from its beginning, fighting the Marcomanni invasion of the Raetia and Noricum provinces. In 171 they built the camp Castra Regina, present Regensburg, a strongly defensive position. In the civil war of 193, they supported Septimius Severus and helped him defeat his opponents: first Didius Julianus, then Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus. Their loyalty was extended to Severus' successor, emperor Caracalla, for whom they fought in 213 a campaign against the Alamanni. The legion was still active in Raetia and other provinces in the early 5th century.
RS87236. Silver denarius, RIC IV 7 (S); RSC III 262; BMCRE V p. 21, 10; Hunter III 2; SRCV II -, VF/F, centered on a tight flan, legends weak, reverse struck with a worn die, edge cracks, weight 2.631 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, Rome mint, 193 - 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG, laureate head right; reverse LEG III ITAL TR P COS, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; scarce; $120.00 (102.00)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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This coin was dedicated to the fidelity of the Pretorian Guard or perhaps to "the leaders." In either case, in the end, Gallienus lost the fidelity of his guard and officers. He was ambushed and murdered by his own men. The future emperors Claudius Gothicus and Aurelian were likely both involved in the conspiracy leading to his assassination.
RA90710. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 518d, RIC-1 V S568 (Siscia), RSC IV 216 (Siscia), SRCV III 10211, Hunter IV - (p. lx), Normanby -, VF/F, nice portrait, well centered, ragged tight flan cutting off the tops of legend letters, flan cracks, some corrosion, weight 2.035 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 262 - 263 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse FIDEI PRAET, legionary aquila (eagle) between two legionary standards, the standards on the left topped with a wreath, the standards on the right topped with an open hand; RIC lists this type as common but market evidence clearly indicates it is rare; rare; $90.00 (76.50)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

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Nicaea remained an important town throughout the imperial period. Although only 70 km (43 miles) from Constantinople, Nicaea did not lose its importance when Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Empire. The city suffered from earthquakes in 358, 362 and 368; after the last of which, it was restored by Valens. During the Middle Ages, it was a long time bulwark of the Byzantine emperors against the Turks.
RP84693. Bronze AE 20, Rec Gen II.3 p. 489, 715; Mionnet supp. V 870; cf. BMC Pontus p. 17, 119 (eagles vice capricorns); SNGvA 653 (1 eagle, 2 standards), VF, nice green patina, well centered, weight 20.4 g, maximum diameter 3.538 mm, die axis 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AVΓ, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse N-I-K-A-I/EΩN, four standards, two center standards topped with capricorns, two outer standards topped with wreaths; $70.00 (59.50)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

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Nicaea remained an important town throughout the imperial period. Although only 70 km (43 miles) from Constantinople, Nicaea did not lose its importance when Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Empire. The city suffered from earthquakes in 358, 362 and 368; after the last of which, it was restored by Valens. During the Middle Ages, it was a long time bulwark of the Byzantine emperors against the Turks.
RP70491. Bronze AE 19, Rec Gen II.3 p 489, 716; SNG Cop 526; SNGvA 653; SGICV 3671 var. (two eagles and two standards), VF, flan crack, grainy surfaces, weight 3.492 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AYΓ (AYΓ ligate), radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse N−I−K−AI/EΩN, three standards; $25.00 (21.25)







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Catalog current as of Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
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Legionary