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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Military| ▸ |Legionary||View 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.

Julia Mamaea Augusta, 222 - 235 A.D. Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Julia| |Mamaea| |Augusta,| |222| |-| |235| |A.D.| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |21|
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.
RP110615. Bronze AE 21, RPC Online VI T30682 (this coin); cf. SNG Leipzig 68, SNG Cop 514, Rec Gn 628, Lindgren I A146A, McClean 7498, VF, green patina, scratches, off center, weight 4.840 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse IOVΛIA MAMAIA AVΓ (VΓ ligate), bare-headed draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, with looped plait at the back of neck, ornate drapery; reverse three standards topped by wreaths (outer two perhaps topped with crude Capricorns or eagles), N-IKA-IEΩ-N across field below center divided by standards; this coin is the only specimen of this variation on RPC Online; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - Late May 238 A.D.

|Maximinus| |I|, |Maximinus| |I| |Thrax,| |20| |March| |235| |-| |Late| |May| |238| |A.D.||denarius|
This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RS112664. Silver denarius, RIC IV 18a, RSC III 9, BMCRE IV 137, SRCV III 8307, Hunter III 6, aVF, centered, flow lines, die wear, irregular flan with part of edge ragged, weight 2.332 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Jan 236 - Mar 238 A.D.; obverse MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse FIDES MILITVM (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides standing half-left, military standard in each hand; from the Collection of Dr. Jregen Buschek; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |23|
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.
RP99995. Bronze AE 23, RPC Online VI T3128; SNG Leypold 170; McClean 7489 (Caracalla); SNGvA 513; Rec Gen p. 471, 571; BMC Pontus p. 167, 93, Choice VF, green patina, some encrustation, small spots of light corrosion, closed crack, weight 4.700 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse M AVP ANTΩNINOC AVΓ, laureate head to right; reverse three legionary standards topped with wreaths, NI-KA-IE-ΩN (ΩN ligate) above exergue line divided by the standards; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |23|
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.
RP110609. Bronze AE 23, cf. Rec Gen II.3 p. 477, 617; RPC Online VI T3248; BMC Pontus p. 168, 101; SNG Cop 520; SNGvA 623, VF, green patina, centered, earthen deposits, scratches, edge crack, weight 5.565 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, obverse M AVP CEVH AΛEZAΔPOC A, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse three standards, each topped with a wreath, NI-K-AI-E/ΩN in two lines, the first divided by the standards, the last two letters in exergue; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.||denarius|
Augustus built the temple of Mars the Avenger on the Capitol to house the recovered legionary eagles, which had been lost by Crassus and Antony to the Parthians.
RR34983. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1623, RIC I 105a, BMCRE I 373, BMCRR Rome 4419-4420, BnF I 1202, RSC I 190, EF, beautiful coin, glossy even gray tone, weight 3.800 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Patricia (Cordoba, Spain) mint, 18 B.C.; obverse CAESARI AVGVSTO, laureate head right; reverse Temple of Mars Ultor (Mars the Avenger), domed round hexastyle shrine with acroteria, set on podium of three steps, containing aquila between two signa militaria, MAR - VLT divided across the field; SOLD


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., CHORTIS SPECVLATORVM

|Marc| |Antony|, |Mark| |Antony,| |Triumvir| |and| |Imperator,| |44| |-| |30| |B.C.,| |CHORTIS| |SPECVLATORVM||denarius|
Speculatores served the legions as spies, scouts, messengers, lookouts, and executioners. Aboard ship speculatores stood watch as lookouts in a turret (specula) at the stern, explaining their unusual standards. Normally ten speculatores were assigned to each legion. Anthony formed a separate cohort of speculatores which served him personally and also acted as his personal bodyguard. Augustus would later create a speculatorian cohort at Rome to serve as the inner corps of the praetorian guard. This coin probably refers to the naval equivalent, who were comparable to the Marines and provided a shipboard bodyguard for Antony.
SH76389. Silver denarius, SRCV I 1484, Crawford 544/12, Sydenham 1214, BMCRR II East 185, RSC I 6, Sear CRI 386, Choice VF, well centered on full flan, toned, banker's mark and V graffito on obverse, scratches, weight 3.636 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Patrae(?) mint, autumn 32 - spring 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with fluttering banners at prow, border of dots; reverse CHORTIS SPECVLATORVM, three standards, each decorated with two wreaths and a model war galley prow, border of dots; ex CNG auction 76/2 (12 Sep 2007), lot 3262; ex John A. Seeger Collection; this ex-Forum coin is now in the Fitzwilliam Museum; rare; SOLD


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG VI - Ferrata, the "Ironclad"

|Marc| |Antony|, |Mark| |Antony,| |Triumvir| |and| |Imperator,| |44| |-| |30| |B.C.,| |LEG| |VI| |-| |Ferrata,| |the| |"Ironclad"||denarius|
The VI Ferrata, the "Ironclad," was an old legion of Caesar's that fought for Antony. It was retained by Augustus and later served in Syria and Judaea. The VI Victrix, on the other hand, was one of Octavian's legions. This Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus issued a 'restitution' of the type, presumably in connection with the latter's Eastern campaigns.
SH76382. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/19, Sydenham 1223, BMCRR II East 197, RSC I 33, Sear CRI 356, Choice EF, near perfect centering, light toning, slightly uneven strike, contact marks, areas of porosity and light corrosion, weight 3.664 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANTAVG / III VIRRPC, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - VI, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; ex Forum (2005); SOLD


Roman Military Diploma Fragment, Auxiliary of Arabia Petraea, Reign of Hadrian, 117 - 138 A.D.

|Ancient| |Writing|, |Roman| |Military| |Diploma| |Fragment,| |Auxiliary| |of| |Arabia| |Petraea,| |Reign| |of| |Hadrian,| |117| |-| |138| |A.D.|
This bronze fragment is part of a "Roman Military Diploma," a legal document in the form of a bronze two-leaved hinged tablet engraved to record the award of citizenship and the legal right of marriage to an honorably discharged auxiliary soldier of the Roman army after 25 years of service. These diplomas are often found as fragments because they were frequently cut up and divided among heirs, serving as de facto deeds to a portion of the veteran's land. This fragment is from a diploma type issued for auxiliary troops retiring in Arabia Petraea during the reign of Hadrian. This diploma likely read as follows:

Imperator Caesar DIVI Traiani Parthici f.
divi Nervae nepos TRAIanus Hadrianus Augustus,
pontifex maximus, tribunicia potestate ..., consul ...,
pater patriae, equitibus et peditibus qui militaverunt
in alis ... et cohortibus ... quae apellantur...
ALAE VI...
VI HISPpanorum...et sunt
IN ARAbia sub ... quinis et vicenis pluribusve
stipendiis emeritis dimissis honesta missione,
quorum nomina subscripta sunt, civitatem dedit et
conubium cum uxoribus quas tunc habuissent, cum est
civitas iis data, aut, si qui caelibes essent, cum
iis quas postea duxissent dumtaxat singulis singulas.
[date]
[name of the military unit and its commander]
[name of the recipient (and names of his relatives
also receiving citizenship)]
Descriptum et recognitum ex tabula aenea quae fixa
est Romae in muro divi Augusti ad Minervam.
AS99089. Bronze military diploma fragment, auxiliary of Arabia Petraea, clear letters, green patina, 2.292g, 23.8x17.7mm, 1.0mm thick, letters average 4.2mm tall, reign of Hadrian, 11 August 117 10 July 138; Tabella 1, outside face: left edge border with two lightly incised lines, three lines of Latin inscription: ALAE(corum) V[I ...] / VI HISP[ANORVM...ET SUNT] / IN ARA[BI SVB...]; Tabella 1, inside face: two lines of Latin inscription: ...DIVI.. / ...TRAI... (note, the inner face of diplomas repeats most of the same information on the outer face but is abbreviated and some information is omitted); SOLD


Clodius Albinus, Late 195 or Early 196 - 19 February 197 A.D.

|Clodius| |Albinus|, |Clodius| |Albinus,| |Late| |195| |or| |Early| |196| |-| |19| |February| |197| |A.D.||denarius|
The Historia Augusta says of Clodius Albinus, "He was tall of stature, with unkempt curly hair and a broad expanse of brow. His skin was wonderfully white; many indeed think it was from this that he got his name. He had a womanish voice, almost as shrill as a eunuch's. He was easily roused, his anger was terrible, his rage relentless. In his pleasures he was changeable, for he sometimes craved wine and sometimes abstained. He had a thorough knowledge of arms and was not ineptly called the Catiline of his age."
RS87921. Silver denarius, RIC III 20b (R) var.; Hunter III 26 var.; BMCRE IV 284 var., RSC III 24 var., SRCV II 6166 var. (all var. none with slight drapery), gVF, iridescent toning, off center, scratches and marks, edge cracks, weight 2.701 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, issued as Augustus; obverse IMP CAES D CLO SEP ALB AVG, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse FIDES LEGION COS II, clasped hands, holding aquila (legionary standard topped with an eagle standing on thunderbolt above wreath); rare; SOLD


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

|Carausius|, |Romano-British| |Empire,| |Carausius,| |Mid| |286| |-| |Spring| |or| |Early| |Summer| |293| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Legio VIII Augusta was created by Pompey. It fought the Gallic Wars for Caesar and crossed the Rubicon with him; however, at Thapsus it fought against him. The legion fought in Egypt and later participated in the invasion of Britain. In 69 A.D. it declared for Vitellius. Soon after, it moved to the Rhine frontier where they served for more than 400 years. An inscription from 371 A.D. recorded the legion was then stationed at Argentoratum (Strasbourg). There may have been a detachment serving in Britain at the time of Carausius' revolt. Septimius Severus used the legion in his Parthian war.
RA73239. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 77 (R2); Hunter IV 11; Webb Carausius 97 - 99; Cohen VII 145, F, green patina, slightly off center on a broad oval flan, earthen deposits, light marks, areas of light corrosion, weight 4.236 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 45o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 291 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse LEG VIII AVG, bull standing right, ML in exergue (or blank); from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; SOLD







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