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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 (94.00)


Cassandrea, Macedonia, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.

|Roman| |Macedonia|, |Cassandrea,| |Macedonia,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.||AE| |17|
Cassandreia was founded by Cassander in 316 B.C. on the site of the earlier city of Potidaea, at the isthmus of the Pallene peninsula. That Cassander named it after himself suggests he may have intended it to be his capital. If the canal which cuts the peninsula at this point was dug or at least planned in his time, he may have intended to develop his naval forces using it as a base with two harbors on the east and west sides. Cassandreia soon became a great and powerful city, surpassing the other Macedonian towns in wealth. Philip V of Macedon made it his main naval base. At the end of the Roman Republic, around 43 B.C., a Roman colony was settled by order of Brutus. In 30 B.C., Augustus installed additional settlers and renamed the city Colonia Iulia Augusta Cassandrensis. It was destroyed by the Huns and Slavs around 540 A.D.
RP113318. Bronze AE 17, RPC Online I 1513; SNG ANS 233; SNG Evelpidis 1210; BMC 1; AMNG 45, VF, dark patina, earthen deposits, weight 3.152 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 135o, Cassandreia (Kassandreia, Greece) mint, time of Caligula, 16 Mar 37 - 24 Jan 41 A.D.; obverse Vexillum inscribed AVG, flanked by two standards, each topped with a crescent horns up; reverse CAS/SAN/DRE in three lines within wreath; ex Harlan Berk, ex Dr. Michael Slavin Collection; $100.00 (94.00)


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 (84.60)


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |22|NEW
The obverse legend is confirmed by a die match on RPC Online (not yet assigned an RPC specimen number).
RP111563. Bronze AE 22, RPC Online X U85134; cf. Krzyzanowska table 34, VIII/40-58; SNG BnF 1294 ff.; BMC Lycia -, gF, well centered, dark green patina, light deposits, porosity, weight 5.172 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 30o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, c. 253 - 260 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE R ASLL OVNAHHIR, radiate and draped bust right; reverse ANTIO-CHIO CL, eagle atop vexillum flanked by aquila standards, SR in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 946 (part of); $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00 ON RESERVE


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 (47.00)


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; $45.00 (42.30)


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


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


Philippi, Macedonia, 41 - 68 A.D.

|Philippi|, |Philippi,| |Macedonia,| |41| |-| |68| |A.D.||AE| |17|
This coin has traditionally been attributed to Augustus, but due to its copper composition, RPC attributes it as likely from Claudius to Nero; Philippi probably did not issue copper coins during the reign of Augustus.
RP66889. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 1651, SNG ANS 674, SNG Cop 305, Varbanov III 3229, BMC Macedonia 23, AMNG III 14, gVF, weight 3.724 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, Philippi (near Filippoi, Greece) mint, 41 - 68 A.D.; obverse Victory standing left on base, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder, VIC - AVG divided across field; reverse COHOR PRAE PHIL, three standards; nice example of the type; SOLD


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Viminacium, Moesia Superior

|Viminacium|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Viminacium,| |Moesia| |Superior||AE| |29|
Viminacium was a Roman Colony founded by Gordian III in 239 A.D. The usual legend is P.M.S. COL. VIM., abbreviating Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium. The usual type is a female personification of Moesia standing between a lion and a bull. The bull and the lion were symbols of the Legions VII and IV, which were quartered in the province.
SH63944. Bronze AE 29, H-J Viminacium 12 (R2); AMNG I/I 83; BMC Thrace p. 16, 12; SNG Cop 144; Varbanov I -, Nice VF, beautiful fern green patina, weight 17.726 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 0o, Viminacium (Stari Kostolac, Serbia) mint, 242 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse P M S COL VIM, Moesia standing facing, head left, extending hands over bull on left standing right and lion on right standing left, AN IIII (year 4 of the Viminacium colonial era) in exergue; SOLD







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