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Search results - "Africa"
DenGCesare-1.jpg
38 viewsC. IVLIVS CAESAR - Denarius - Mint in Africa - 47-46 B.C.
Ob.: Diademed head of Venus right
Rev.: Aeneas walking left, carrying Anchises and the Palladium. Behind CAESAR
gs. 3,6 mm 18,2
Cr458/1, Sear RCV 1402 Syd 1013.

Maxentius
DenCnCornelioBlasio.jpg
26 viewsDenarius, 112/111 B.C. Rome Mint
CN. CORNELIVS CN.F. BLASIO - Gens Cornelia
Obv.:Mars, helmeted, right (or Scipio Africanus), CN. BLASIO CN.F. before (var. N retrograde), bucranium behind. XVI (in monogram) above
Rev.: Juno, Jupiter being crowned by Minerva; letter Θ in field, ROMA in ex.
Gs. 3,25 mm. 20,6x18,4
Crawford 296/1c, Sear RCV 173, Grueber 626



Maxentius
Hadrian_Denarius_Africa.jpg
22 viewsHadrian Travel Series AR Den. 3.46 gm. AFRICA reclining l. holding scorpion & cornucopia, basket of fruit at feet, elephant-trunk headdress. RIC 299 paul1888
Scipio_Bronze.jpg
Scipio Africanus31 viewsSCIPIO AFRICANUS
Æ15, Spain, Carthago Nova, (2.4g) c. 209 B.C.

Male Roman style head left, probably Scipio Africanus before he was given title Africanus / Horse head right

SNG Cop. 298, Lindgren Eur. Mints 6. Toynbee p. 18-19. VF, green patina, encrust.

This coin may be the earliest depiction of a living Roman. Carthago Nova also produced rare likely portraits of Hannibal.
RR0029
Sosius
Hadrian_RIC_299.jpg
15 Hadrian Denarius - Travel Series30 viewsHADRIAN
AR “Travel Series” Denarius (2.8g); 136 AD.
HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, Laureate head right / AFRICA, Africa reclining left holding scorpion & cornucopiae, basket of grain at feet
Sear 3459 vars, RIC 299, RSC 138
Note: underweight, but appears genuine
RI0093
1 commentsSosius
Gordian_I_Tetradrachm_Alexandria_Dattari_4659~0.jpg
32 Gordian I Africanus62 viewsGORDIAN I
BI Tetradrachm of Alexandria, Egypt (22mm, 12.90 g, 12h). Dated RY 1 (AD 238)

AK M AN ΓOPΔIANOC CЄM AΦP, Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Nike seated left; LA (date) to left.

Köln 2602; Dattari 4659; K&G 68.10. Good VF, untouched brown patina with scattered red and green.
Ex Editions V. Gadoury, Auction 2012, 1 December 2012, Monaco, Lot 335.
Ex CNG 93, May 2013
4 commentsSosius
001590_l.jpg
32 Gordian I Africanus34 viewsGORDIAN I AFRICANUS
AE Sestertius, Rome Mint
27-29 mm, 17.75 g
March 19 to April 9, 238 A.D.
IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind / VICTORIA AVGG, S-C, Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm.
RIC IV, 2, p. 161, 12. Very rare. Good portrait and fully readable name. Very fine.
Ex-Auctiones

Gordian I, an 80-year-old senator, was proclaimed as emperor during a revolt in Africa but commited suicide after his son and co-ruler Gordianus II was defeated by Maximinus' legate. Their rule only lasted for 20 days, hence the rarity of their coins.
Sosius
Sklavengeld_Karneol.jpg
'Slave money', carnelian66 views25,4x13.60x11.90mm, 7.87g

This so-called 'slave money', part of a chain, was made in the first half of the 19th century in Idar-Oberstein/Germany for London. From London it was shipped to West Africa to buy black slaves.
Jochen
Vandals_-__Thrasamund,_496-523_AD,_N_Africa.JPG
106 viewsVANDALS, Thrasamund. 496-523.
Æ Nummus (10mm, 0.40 g)
Contemporary Vandalic imitation. Carthage mint.
Diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
Victory standing left, holding wreath and palm
MEC 1, 31-2; BMC Vandals 37-41
Ardatirion
Anonymous_AR_dirhem_of_the_Muwahhid_dynasty,_Fez_mint,_1129-1242_AD.jpg
85 viewsAL-MAGHREB (North Africa), Almohads (al-Muwahhidun). Anonymous. Circa AD 1160-1269
AR Dirhem. Fez mint
Hazard 1096; Album 497
Ardatirion
islamic_2.jpg
66 viewsEAST AFRICA, Kilwa Sultanate. 'Ali bin al-Hasan. Late 5th century AH / 11th century AD
Æ Fals (21mm, 2.68 g, 3 h). Kilwa Kisiwani mint.
Inscription in two lines; star at center
Inscription in three lines
Album 1180; Walker, Kilwa 12; SICA 10, 589-91; Zeno 87054 (this coin)

Acquired in the 1960's, likely through circulation in Dar-es-Salaam.

Chittick ("On the Chronology of the sultans of Kilwa" in NC 13, 1973), the excavator of Kilwa Kisiwani, notes that these issues were found in the earliest stratigraphic layers and accordingly reassigns them to the first sultan of Kilwa. Walker and Freeman-Grenville gave them to an otherwise unattested 13th century ruler of the same name. However, the picture is muddled by finds from the excavations at Songo Mnara, occupied only between the 14th and 16th centuries, where this type was among the most numerous to be found. The type is unlikely to have remained in circulation for such a long period and may been reissued by subsequent rulers.
Ardatirion
ISLAMIC_3.jpg
84 viewsEAST AFRICA, Kilwa Sultanate. Suleyman bin al-Hasan. AH 702-717 / AD 1302-1316
Æ Fals (23mm, 2.06 g, 11 h). Kilwa Kisiwani mint.
Inscription in two lines; star at center
Inscription in three lines
Album 1183; Walker, Kilwa 3; SICA 10, 602-11; Zeno 87052 (this coin)

Acquired in the 1960's, likely through circulation in Dar-es-Salaam.

The dating is adapted from Chittick ("On the Chronology of the sultans of Kilwa" in NC 13, 1973) - Bosworth (The New Islamic Dynasties) gives different dates. However, considering the uncertain nature of both the chronologies and how they relate to the coinage, particularly in light of the finds at Songo Mnara, all dates should be considered hypothetical.
Ardatirion
00074x00.jpg
32 viewsEAST AFRICA, Kilwa Sultanate. al-Hasan bin Sulayman. Circa AH 715 / AD 1315
Æ Fals (20 mm, 1.92 g, 9h)
Kilwa Kisiwani mint
Inscription in five lines
Inscription in three lines
Album 1183; Walker, Kilwa VIII; SICA 10, 613-21
Ardatirion
constantius_i_africa.jpg
(0293) CONSTANTIUS I CHLORUS50 views293 - 305 AD (As Caesar)
struck 297 - 298 AD
AE 28.5 mm, 6.96 g
O: CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, laureate head right
R: FELIX ADVENT AVGG NN, Africa standing left holding scepter and elephant tusk, lion over bull at feet on left, H in left field
PKT in exe
Carthage
laney
coins2.JPG
000c. Sextus Pompey76 viewsSextus Pompeius Magnus Pius, in English Sextus Pompey, was a Roman general from the late Republic (1st century BC). He was the last focus of opposition to the second triumvirate.

Sextus Pompeius was the youngest son of Pompey the Great (Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) by his third wife, Mucia Tertia. His older brother was Gnaeus Pompeius, from the same mother. Both boys grew up in the shadow of their father, one of Rome's best generals and originally non-conservative politician who drifted to the more traditional faction when Julius Caesar became a threat.

When Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 BC, thus starting a civil war, Sextus' older brother Gnaeus followed their father in his escape to the East, as did most of the conservative senators. Sextus stayed in Rome in the care of his stepmother, Cornelia Metella. Pompey's army lost the battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC and Pompey himself had to run for his life. Cornelia and Sextus met him in the island of Mytilene and together they fled to Egypt. On the arrival, Sextus watched his father being killed by treachery on September 29 of the same year. After the murder, Cornelia returned to Rome, but in the following years Sextus joined the resistance against Caesar in the African provinces. Together with Metellus Scipio, Cato the younger, his brother Gnaeus and other senators, they prepared to oppose Caesar and his army to the end.

Caesar won the first battle at Thapsus in 46 BC against Metellus Scipio and Cato, who committed suicide. In 45 BC, Caesar managed to defeat the Pompeius brothers in the battle of Munda. Gnaeus Pompeius was executed, but young Sextus escaped once more, this time to Sicily.

Back in Rome, Julius Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March (March 15) 44 BC by a group of senators led by Cassius and Brutus. This incident did not lead to a return to normality, but provoked yet another civil war between Caesar's political heirs and his assassins. The second triumvirate was formed by Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus, with the intention of avenging Caesar and subduing all opposition. Sextus Pompeius in Sicily was certainly a rebellious man, but the Cassius and Brutus faction was the second triumvirate's first priority. Thus, with the whole island as his base, Sextus had the time and resources to develop an army and, even more importantly, a strong navy operated by Sicilian marines.

Brutus and Cassius lost the twin battles of Philippi and committed suicide in 42 BC. After this, the triumvirs turned their attentions to Sicily and Sextus.

But by this time, Sextus was prepared for strong resistance. In the following years, military confrontations failed to return a conclusive victory for either side and in 39 BC, Sextus and the triumvirs signed for peace in the Pact of Misenum. The reason for this peace treaty was the anticipated campaign against the Parthian Empire. Antony, the leader, needed all the legions he could get so it was useful to secure an armistice in the Sicilian front. The peace did not last for long. Octavian and Antony's frequent quarrels were a strong political motivation for resuming the war against Sextus. Octavian tried again to conquer Sicily, but he was defeated in the naval battle of Messina (37 BC) and again in August 36 BC. But by then, Octavian had Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, a very talented general, on his side. Only a month afterwards, Agrippa destroyed Sextus' navy off Naulochus cape. Sextus escaped to the East and, by abandoning Sicily, lost all his base of support.

Sextus Pompeius was caught in Miletus in 35 BC and executed without trial (an illegal act since Sextus was a Roman citizen) by order of Marcus Titius, Antony's minion. His violent death would be one of the weapons used by Octavian against Antony several years later, when the situation between the two became unbearable.

Sicilian Mint
Magn above laureate Janiform head
PIVS above, IMP below, prow of galley right
Sear RCV 348, RPC 671, Sydenham 1044a, Cohen 16
43-36 BC

Check
ecoli
Caesar_AR-Den_Diademed-Venus-Head-Right_C·CAESAR_–_IMP·COS·ITER_A·ALLIENVS_–_PRO·COS_Syd-1022_Crawf_457-1_C-13_Sicily-mint_47-BC_Q-001_axis-9h_17-18,5mm_3,53g-s.jpg
001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), Crawf 457-1, Sicily, AR-denarius, A·ALLIENVS–PRO·COS, Trinacrus standing left,240 views001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), Crawf 457-1, Sicily, AR-denarius, A·ALLIENVS–PRO·COS, Trinacrus standing left,
avers:- C·CAESAR–IMP·COS·ITER, Diademed, draped Venus Head Right,
revers:- A·ALLIENVS–PRO·COS, Trinacrus standing left, placing right foot on prow, holding trisceles in right hand and cloak in left.
exerg: -/-//--, diameter: 17-18,5mm, weight: 3,59g, axes: 6h,
mint: Sicily, date: 47B.C., ref: Crawford-457/1, Sydneham-1022, Babelon-Julia-14, Alliena-1, C-1,
Q-001
"In late 47 BC Caesar was on Sicily, preparing for his assault on the Pompeian forces in north Africa. During this period a small issue of denarii was produced in his name by Aulus Allienus, then the proconsul of Sicily. The reverse shows a figure of Trinacrus, supposedly a son of Neptune, who may have been invented to account for the name Trinacria, commonly used for Sicily. The coins of Allienus must have seen considerable circulation: almost all surviving specimens are considerably worn."
3 commentsquadrans
Caesar_AR-Den_Diademed-Venus-Head-Right_CAESAR_Syd-1013_Crawf_458-1_Aeneas_C-13_Africa-mint_47-46-BC_Q-001_axis-6h_16,5mm_3,59ga-s.jpg
001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), Crawf 458-1, Africa, AR-denarius, CAESAR, Aeneas advancing left, #1105 views001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), Crawf 458-1, Africa, AR-denarius, CAESAR, Aeneas advancing left, #1
avers:- Diademed Venus Head Right,
revers:- CAESAR, Aeneas advancing left, holding palladium and carrying Anchises on his shoulder.
exerg: -/-//--, diameter: 16,5-17mm, weight: 3,59g, axes: 6h,
mint: Military mint travelling with Caesar in North Africa, date: 47-46 B.C., ref: Crawford-458/1, Sydneham-1013,
Q-001
1 commentsquadrans
Caesar_AR-Den_Diademed-Venus-Head-Right_CAESAR_Syd-1013_Crawf_458-1_Aeneas_C-13_Africa-mint_47-46-BC_Q-002_axis-6h_16,5mm_3,33ga-s.jpg
001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), Crawf 458-1, Africa, AR-denarius, CAESAR, Aeneas advancing left, #292 views001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), Crawf 458-1, Africa, AR-denarius, CAESAR, Aeneas advancing left, #2
avers:- Diademed Venus Head Right,
revers:- CAESAR, Aeneas advancing left, holding palladium and carrying Anchises on his shoulder.
exerg: -/-//--, diameter: 16,5mm, weight: 3,33g, axes: 6h,
mint: Military mint travelling with Caesar in North Africa, date: 47-46 B.C., ref: Crawford-458/1, Sydneham-1013,
Q-002
quadrans
Caesar_AR-Den_Diademed-Venus-Head-Right_CAESAR_Syd-1013_Crawf_458-1_Aeneas_C-13_Africa-mint_47-46-BC_Q-003_axis-6h_17-19mm_3,23g-s.jpg
001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), Crawf 458-1, Africa, AR-denarius, CAESAR, Aeneas advancing left, #3111 views001 Caesar (100-44 B.C.), Crawf 458-1, Africa, AR-denarius, CAESAR, Aeneas advancing left, #3
avers:- Diademed Venus Head Right,
revers:- CAESAR, Aeneas advancing left, holding palladium and carrying Anchises on his shoulder.
exerg: -/-//--, diameter: 17-19mm, weight: 3,23g, axes: 6h,
mint: Military mint travelling with Caesar in North Africa, date: 47-46 B.C., ref: Crawford-458/1, Sydneham-1013,
Q-003
quadrans
0059~0.jpg
0059 - Denarius Hadrian 136 AC10 viewsObv/HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP, Hadrian laureate head r.
Rev/AFRICA, Africa, with elephant-skin headdress, reclining l., leaning on rock, holding scorpion and cornucopiae; in front of her, basket of fruit.

Ag, 18.2mm, 3.22g
Mint: Rome.
RIC II/299 [S] - BMCRE 822 - RSC 139
ex-Lockdales, auction 65, lot 706 (ex-colln. 1920s)
dafnis
Julius_Caesar_RSC_12.jpg
01 Julius Caesar, Venus39 viewsJulius Caesar. AR Denarius. Military mint traveling with Caesar in North Africa c. 47-46B.C. (3.88, 19.2mm, 6h). Obv: Diademed head of Venus right. Rev: CAESAR, Aeneas walking left, carrying Anchises and the Palladium. Craw. 458/1. RSC 12, Sear RCV 1402.

Minted to pay his legends during their African campaign against the Pomeians, this coin harkens to Caesar’s mythical origin from Venus. Aeneas, a survivor of Troy, was the son of Aphrodite’s liaison with the mortal Anchises. Aeneas lead a group of survivors, the Aeneads, ultimately to the Italian peninsula.
1 commentsLucas H
P1200525b-horz.jpg
02 - 02 - Julio Cesar (49 - 44 A.C.)23 viewsAR Denario 19 mm de 3,9 gr.

Anv: ANEPIGRAFA - Busto diademado de Venus a derecha.
Rev: Eneas (Aeneas) avanzando a izquierda cargando a su Padre Anquises (Anchises) sobre su hombro izq. y portando Palladium en mano der, CAESAR en campo derecho.

Acuñada durante los años 47 - 46 A.C.
Ceca: Movil legionaria durante sus campañas contra Metelo Escipión (Metellus Scipio) y Labieno (Labienus) probablemente en el Norte de África.

Referencias: Babelon Vol.2 Julia #10, Pag.11 - Sear CRI #55 - Craw. 458/1 - Syd. #1013 - BMCRR East #31 - RSC Vol.I Caesar #12 Pag.107 - Sear RCTV Vol.I #1402 Pag.268 - Cohen Vol.I #12 Pag. 9 - Albert #1400 - Catalli #658, Pag.2001
mdelvalle
Craw_458_1_Denario_Julius_Caesar.jpg
02 - 02 - Julio Cesar (49 - 44 A.C.)28 viewsAR Denario 19 mm de 3,9 gr.

Anv: ANEPIGRAFA - Busto diademado de Venus a derecha.
Rev: Eneas (Aeneas) avanzando a izquierda cargando a su Padre Anquises (Anchises) sobre su hombro izq. y portando Palladium en mano der, CAESAR en campo derecho.

Acuñada durante los años 47 - 46 A.C.
Ceca: Movil legionaria durante sus campañas contra Metelo Escipión (Metellus Scipio) y Labieno (Labienus) probablemente en el Norte de África.

Referencias: Babelon Vol.2 Julia #10, Pag.11 - Sear CRI #55 - Craw. 458/1 - Syd. #1013 - BMCRR East #31 - RSC Vol.I Caesar #12 Pag.107 - Sear RCTV Vol.I #1402 Pag.268 - Cohen Vol.I #12 Pag. 9 - Albert #1400 - Catalli #658, Pag.2001
mdelvalle
Craw_467_1a_Denario_Julio_Cesar_1.jpg
02 - 04 - Julio Cesar (49 - 44 A.C.)28 viewsAR Denario 20/18 mm de 3,5 gr.

Anv: COS·TERT·DICT·ITER, Cabeza de Ceres a der.
Rev: AVGVR / PONT MAX , D (Donativum) en campo der., Emblemas sacerdotales, Simpulum (Copa pequeña con mango), aspergillum/aspersorio (Instrumento para espolvorear o rociar), capis y Lituus/lituo (bastón ritual augural).

Esta serie fue acuñada, probablemente, para el pago de las Legiones Victoriosas en la batalla de Thapsus/Tapso (Túnez), en la cual Julio César consiguió una victoria importante sobre Metelo Escipión y el rey númida Juba I, el 6 de abril del 46 A.C.. Por otro lado Ceres es un emblema de África.

Acuñada 46 A.C.
Ceca: Movil legionaria durante sus campañas probablemente en Útica (Norte de África).

Referencias: Craw. 467/1a, Syd. #1023, BMCRR (África)#21, RSC I Caesar #4a P.106, Babelon II Iulia #16 P.14, Sear RCTV I #1403/1 P.268, Cohen I #4 P.8, Sear Imperators #57
mdelvalle
Craw_459_1_Denario_Q_CAECILIUS_METELLUS_PIUS_SCIPIO.jpg
02-20 - Q. CAECILIUS METELLUS PIUS SCIPIO (47-46 A.C.)26 views Quinto Cecilio Metelo Pio Corneliano Escipión Nasica
AR Denarius 18.2 mm 3.94 gr

Anv: "Q.METEL" sobre la Cabeza laureada de Jupiter viendo a derecha, barba y cabello rizado, "PIVS" debajo.
Rev: "SCIPIO" sobre un elefante avanzando hacia la derecha, "IMP" en exergo.

Escipión fue un comandante pompeyano de las fuerzas anti-Cesáreas. Fruto de esta colaboración fue el matrimonio de Pompeyo con su hija Cornelia (52 a. C.), que se convirtió en su quinta mujer.
Su sede se ubicaba en la capital provincial de Utica, cerca de Cartago, y esta es probablemente la ceca de la acuñación. Derrotado por las fuerzas de César, Escipión se suicidó en el año 46 A.C..

Acuñada durante los años 47 - 46 A.C.
Ceca: Utica - Norte de Africa

Referencias: Sear RCTV Vol.1 #1379 Pag.262 - Craw RRC #459/1 - Syd CRR #1046 - BMCRR (Africa) #1 - Vagi #77 - RSC Vol.1 Caecilia 47 Pag.21 - Babelon I #47 Pag.278
mdelvalle
2-Gordian-I-RIC-1.jpg
02. Gordian I / RIC 1.79 viewsDenarius, March - April 238, Rome mint.
Obverse: IMP M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG / Laureate bust of Gordian I.
Reverse: P M TR P COS P P / Gordian I standing, togate, holding branch, and wearing parzonium.
2.88 gm., 20 mm.
RIC #1; Sear #8446.

The third century saw numerous usurpers in various parts of the Empire. However, the local revolt in Africa which brought Gordian I and his son to power was the first and only time the cause of a usurper was taken up by the Senate before a current emperor was dead. Thus the Gordiani became legitimate Roman emperors, and their coinage, all minted at the imperial mint in Rome, became legitimate coinage of the Empire.

Provenance:
ex Gillardi Collection.
Tinchant sale (1962).
3 commentsCallimachus
0210_RICIV_1_207.jpg
0210 - Denarius Septimius Severus 207 AC26 viewsObv/ SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head of S.Severus r.
Rev/ PM TR P XV COS III PP, Africa standing r. with elephant skin, holding tunica with l.h.; lion advancing r. at her feet.

Ag, 19.1 mm, 2.82 g
Mint: Roma
RIC IV.I/207 – BMCRE V/531
ex-Solidus Numismatik, auction e7, lot 264
1 commentsdafnis
3-Gordian-II-RIC-3.jpg
03. Gordian II / RIC 3.44 viewsDenarius, March - April 238, Rome mint.
Obverse: IMP M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG / Laureate bust of Gordian II.
Reverse: VIRTVS AVGG / Virtus standing, hand of shield, leaning on spear.
2.90 gm., 20 mm.
RIC #3; Sear #8467.
2 commentsCallimachus
Hadrian_AR-Den_HADRIANVS-AVG-COS-III-P-P_AFRICA_RIC-II-_C-_-AD_Q-002_axis-h_mm_g-s.jpg
032 Hadrianus (117-138 A.D.), RIC II 0299, Rome, AR-Denarius, AFRICA, Africa reclining left,65 views032 Hadrianus (117-138 A.D.), RIC II 0299, Rome, AR-Denarius, AFRICA, Africa reclining left,
avers:-HADRIANVS-AVG-COS-III-P-P, Laureate head right.
revers:-AFRICA, Africa reclining left wearing elephant headdress, holding scorpion and cornucopiae, basket of grain at feet.
exerg: -/-//--, diameter: mm, weight: g, axes: h,
mint: Rome, date: 136 A.D., ref: RIC II 299, p-374, RSC 138, BMCRE 816,
Q-001
quadrans
Hadrian_AR-Den_HADRIANVS-AVG-COS-III-P-P_AFRICA_RIC-II-_C-_-AD_Q-001_axis-h_mm_g-s.jpg
032 Hadrianus (117-138 A.D.), RIC II 0299var, Rome, AR-Denarius, AFRICA, Africa reclining left,.64 views032 Hadrianus (117-138 A.D.), RIC II 0299var., Rome, AR-Denarius, AFRICA, Africa reclining left,
avers:-HADRIANVS-AVG-COS-III-P-P, Laureate bust right, with draped and aegis far shoulder.
revers:-AFRICA, Africa reclining left wearing elephant headdress, holding scorpion and cornucopiae, basket of grain at feet.
exerg: -/-//--, diameter: mm, weight: g, axes: h,
mint: Rome, date: 136 A.D., ref: RIC II 299var., p-374, RSC 141, BMCRE 816,
Q-001
quadrans
c3947.JPG
040 Claudius39 viewsClaudius Æ As. TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, bare head left / LIBERTAS AVGVSTA S-C, Libertas standing facing, with pileus and extending left hand. Cohen 47.




"Claudius was born at Lugdunum, in the consulship of Iullus Antonius and Fabius Africanus, on August 1st, 10 B.C., the very day when the first altar was dedicated there to Augustus the God; and he was given the name Tiberius Claudius Drusus. Subsequently he assumed the surname Germanicus after his brother had been admitted into the Julian House as Tiberius's adopted son."
Randygeki(h2)
Septimius-Severus_AR-Den_SEVERVS-PIVS-AVG_P-M-TR-P-XV-COS-III-P-P_RIC-IV-I-207-p118_C-493_Rome-207-Scarce_AD_Q-001_axis-6h_17,5mm_3,44g-s.jpg
049 Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.), RIC IV-I 207, Rome, AR-Denarius, P M TR P XV COS III P P, Africa standing right,314 views049 Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.), RIC IV-I 207, Rome, AR-Denarius, P M TR P XV COS III P P, Africa standing right,
avers:- SEVERVS-PIVS-AVG, Laureate head right.
revers:- P-M-TR-P-XV-COS-III-P-P, Africa standing right, resting hand on hip and holding grain ears; lion to right.
exe: -/-//--, diameter: 17,5 mm, weight: 3,44 g, axis: 6 h,
mint: Rome, date: 207 A.D., ref: RIC-IV-I-207, p118, C-493,
Q-001
1 commentsquadrans
Septimius-Severus_AR-Den_SEVERVS-PIVS-AVG_AFRICA_RIC-IV-I-254-p-160_C-31_-AD_Q-002_1h_18-19mm_3,24g-s.jpg
049 Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.), RIC IV-I 254, Rome, AR-Denarius, AFRICA, Africa reclining left, Scarce!66 views049 Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.), RIC IV-I 254, Rome, AR-Denarius, AFRICA, Africa reclining left, Scarce!
avers:- SEVERVS-PIVS-AVG, Laurate bust right.
revers:- AFRICA, Africa reclining left, holding scorpion and cornucopiae, modius before.
exe: , diameter: 18-19mm, weight: 3,24g, axis: 1h,
mint: Rome, date: 201-210 A.D.,ref: RIC-IV-I-254, p-, C-31, BMCRE-310, Scarce!
Q-001
1 commentsquadrans
RI 064ad img.jpg
064 - Septimius Severus denarius - RIC 25439 viewsObv:– SEVERVS PIVS AVG, Laureate head right
Rev:– AFRICA, Africa, wearing elephant-skin head-dress, reclining left with scorpion & cornucopiae; basket of corn-ears before
References:– VM 8/2, RIC 254, RCV02 6261, RSC 31
maridvnvm
64.jpg
064 Gordian I Africanus. AE tetradrachm43 viewsobv: laur. cuir. bust r. wearing paludamentus
rev: std. eagle with wreath in beak
fld: LA
1 commentshill132
626Hadrian_RIC841.jpg
0841 Hadrian AS Roma 134-38 AD Africa21 viewsReference.
RIC 841f; BMCRE 1712; Cohen 143; Strack 709

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Bust of Hadrian, laureate, draped, right.

Rev.AFRICA S C in ex.
Africa, draped, wearing elephant-skin headdress, reclining left, resting left arm on rock, holding scorpion in right hand and cornucopiae in left; basket of corn-ears front.

10.78 gr
27 mm
12h
1 commentsokidoki
654Hadrian_RIC841.jpg
0841 Hadrian AS Roma 134-38 AD Africa OSTROGOTHS. Uncertain king. Follis circa VI cent.20 viewsReference. very rare
RIC 841; C 147. BMC 1714. MEC I, 66 for countermark.

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Laureate and draped bust right; in front XLII.

Rev. AFRICA
Africa reclining left, wearing elephant-trunk, holding scorpion and cornucopia; in front, basket of corn.

12.22 gr
26 mm
6h

From the E.E. Clain-Stefanelli collection.
okidoki
MariusFundania1Denarius.jpg
0aa Caius Marius40 viewsC. Fundanius, moneyer
101-91 BC

Denarius

Helmeted head of Roma right, control-mark C behind

"Triumphator" (Marius) in quadriga right, holding laurel-branch and staff; a rider sits on near horse, holding laurel-branch, Q above, C FVNDAN in exergue

The reverse shows Marius as triumphator in the quadriga. He holds sceptre and laurel branch. On one of the horses rides his son. The children of the triumphator were - according to tradition - allowed to share the triumph of their father. The Q above refers to the office as quaestor the mintmaster held while minting these coins. FORVM Ancient Coins says of a similar piece, "The reverse refers to Marius triumph after victories over the Cimbri and Teutones. The rider on the near horse is Marius's son, at that time eight years old." Andrew McCabe comments, "The Triumphator on the Fundania denarius is usually taken to be Marius, with his young son on horseback. This would make it the first Roman coin to explicitly portray a living Roman politician. "

Seaby Fundania 1

Marius rose from common origins to become the First Man in Rome. Plutarch in his Life writes: There is a likeness of Marius in stone at Ravenna, in Gaul, which I myself saw quite corresponding with that roughness of character that is ascribed to him. Being naturally valiant and warlike, and more acquainted also with the discipline of the camp than of the city, he could not moderate his passion when in authority. . . . He was born of parents altogether obscure and indigent, who supported themselves by their daily labour; his father of the same name with himself, his mother called Fulcinia. He had spent a considerable part of his life before he saw and tasted the pleasures of the city; having passed previously in Cirrhaeaton, a village of the territory of Arpinum, a life, compared with city delicacies, rude and unrefined, yet temperate, and conformable to the ancient Roman severity. He first served as a soldier in the war against the Celtiberians, when Scipio Africanus besieged Numantia; where he signalized himself to his general by courage far above his comrades, and particularly by his cheerfully complying with Scipio's reformation of his army, being almost ruined by pleasures and luxury. It is stated, too, that he encountered and vanquished an enemy in single combat, in his general's sight. In consequence of all this he had several honours conferred upon him; and once when at an entertainment a question arose about commanders, and one of the company (whether really desirous to know, or only in complaisance) asked Scipio where the Romans, after him, should obtain such another general, Scipio, gently clapping Marius on the shoulder as he sat next him, replied, "Here, perhaps. . . ."

The consul Caecilius Metellus, being declared general in the war against Jugurtha in Africa took with him Marius for lieutenant; where, eager himself to do great deeds and services that would get him distinction, he did not, like others, consult Metellus's glory and the serving his interest, and attributing his honour of lieutenancy not to Metellus, but to fortune, which had presented him with a proper opportunity and theatre of great actions, he exerted his utmost courage. . . . Marius thus employed, and thus winning the affections of the soldiers, before long filled both Africa and Rome with his fame, and some, too, wrote home from the army that the war with Africa would never be brought to a conclusion unless they chose Caius Marius consul. . . .He was elected triumphantly, and at once proceeded to levy soldiers contrary both to law and custom, enlisting slaves and poor people; whereas former commanders never accepted of such, but bestowed arms, like other favours, as a matter of distinction, on persons who had the proper qualification, a man's property being thus a sort of security for his good behavior. . . .

[In Marius' fourth consulship,] The enemy dividing themselves into two parts, the Cimbri arranged to go against Catulus higher up through the country of the Norici, and to force that passage; the Teutones and Ambrones to march against Marius by the seaside through Liguria. . . . The Romans, pursuing them, slew and took prisoners above one hundred thousand, and possessing themselves of their spoil, tents, and carriages, voted all that was not purloined to Marius's share, which, though so magnificent a present, yet was generally thought less than his conduct deserved in so great a danger. . . . After the battle, Marius chose out from amongst the barbarians' spoils and arms those that were whole and handsome, and that would make the greatest show in his triumph; the rest he heaped upon a large pile, and offered a very splendid sacrifice. Whilst the army stood round about with their arms and garlands, himself attired (as the fashion is on such occasions) in the purple-bordered robe, and taking a lighted torch, and with both hands lifting it up towards heaven, he was then going to put it to the pile, when some friends were espied with all haste coming towards him on horseback. Upon which every one remained in silence and expectation. They, upon their coming up, leapt off and saluted Marius, bringing him the news of his fifth consulship, and delivered him letters to that effect. This gave the addition of no small joy to the solemnity; and while the soldiers clashed their arms and shouted, the officers again crowned Marius with a laurel wreath, and he thus set fire to the pile, and finished his sacrifice.
Blindado
Cornelia51QuinVict.jpg
0aa Defeat of Hannibal on Sicily, 222 BC11 viewsCn. Lentulus, moneyer
90-85 BC

Quinarius

Laureled head of Jupiter, right
Victory crowning trophy, CN LENT in ex

Seaby, Cornelia 51

Possibly a reference to this event: [Q. Fabius Maximus, afterwards called Cunctator] broke up his camp at Suessula and decided to begin by an attack on Arpi. . . . Now at last the enemy was roused; there was a lull in the storm and daylight was approaching. Hannibal's garrison in the city amounted to about 5000 men, and the citizens themselves had raised a force of 3000. These the Carthaginians put in front to meet the enemy, that there might be no attempt at treachery in their rear. The fighting began in the dark in the narrow streets, the Romans having occupied not only the streets near the gate but the houses also, that they might not be assailed from the roofs. Gradually as it grew light some of the citizen troops and some of the Romans recognised one another, and entered into conversation. The Roman soldiers asked what it was that the Arpinians wanted, what wrong had Rome done them, what good service had Carthage rendered them that they, Italians-bred and born, should fight against their old friends the Romans on behalf of foreigners and barbarians, and wish to make Italy a tributary province of Africa. The people of Arpi urged in their excuse that they knew nothing of what was going on, they had in fact been sold by their leaders to the Carthaginians, they had been victimised and enslaved by a small oligarchy. When a beginning had been once made the conversations became more and more general; at last the praetor of Arpi was conducted by his friends to the consul, and after they had given each other mutual assurances, surrounded by the troops under their standards, the citizens suddenly turned against the Carthaginians and fought for the Romans. A body of Spaniards also, numbering something less than a thousand, transferred their services to the consul upon the sole condition that the Carthaginian garrison should be allowed to depart uninjured. The gates were opened for them and they were dismissed, according to the stipulation, in perfect safety, and went to Hannibal at Salapia. Thus Arpi was restored to the Romans without the loss of a single life, except in the case of one man who had long ago been a traitor and had recently deserted. The Spaniards were ordered to receive double rations, and the republic availed itself on very many occasions of their courage and fidelity.

Livy, History of Rome, 24.46-47
Blindado
Caecilia47Den.jpg
0aa2 Defeat of Hannibal in the Second Punic War, 202 BC14 viewsQ. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio
Imperator 47-46 BC

Denarius

Head of Jupiter, right, Q METEL PIVS
Elephant, right, SCIPIO IMP

Seaby, Caecilia 47

At least one theory for the depiction of the elephant on the reverse of this coin is that it refers to Scipio Africanus' defeat of Hannibal in the Battle of Zama in 202 BC, which ended the Second Punic War. It could also simply refer to the location of the mint in Africa. Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio became Pompey's father-in-law in 53 BC. in 49, he got the Senate to issue the ultimatum that Caesar disband his army before crossing the Rubicon River or be branded a public enemy. He commanded Pompey's center at Pharsalus. After Pompey's death, he fought on from North Africa. At Thapsus, Caesar routed Scipio again (46 BC). He escaped again only to fall on his sword and drown a few months later in a naval battle near Hippo.
Blindado
Jul_Caes_Den_3_~0.jpg
1) Julius Caesar Denarius - Aeneas31 viewsJulius Caesar
AR Denarius
47-46 BC, military mint traveling with Caesar in Africa

Diademed head of Venus right / CAESAR, Aeneas walking left, carrying Anchises and the Palladium

Cr458/1, Syd 1013, RSC 12; Sear5 #1402

VF, nicely toned
RM0030
1 commentsSosius
Constantius-I_AE-Follis_CONSTANTIVS_NOB_CAES_FELIX_ADVENT_AVGG_NN__H_left,_PKT_RIC_VI_24a_Carthage__298_A_D__Q-001_0h_25-28,5mm_10,38ga-s~0.jpg
121 Constantius I. Chlorus (293-305 A.D. Caesar, 305-306 A.D. Augustus), Carthage, RIC VI 024a, AE-1 Follis, FELIX ADVENT AVG G N N, Africa standing right, #1152 views121 Constantius I. Chlorus (293-305 A.D. Caesar, 305-306 A.D. Augustus), Carthage, RIC VI 024a, AE-1 Follis, FELIX ADVENT AVG G N N, Africa standing right, #1
avers:- CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, Laureate head right.
revers:- FELIX AD VENT AVG G N N, Africa standing right, head left, wearing elephant head headress, standard in right and tusk in left, lion and bull at feet left, H left, PKT in ex.
exerg: H|-//PKT, diameter: 25,0-28,5mm, weight: 10,38g, axes: 0h,
mint: Carthage, date: 298 A.D., ref: RIC VI 024a,
Q-001
2 commentsquadrans
MaxentiusRIC163.jpg
1307a, Maxentius, February 307 - 28 October 312 A.D.68 viewsBronze follis, RIC 163, aEF, Rome mint, 5.712g, 25.6mm, 0o, summer 307 A.D.; obverse MAXENTIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse CONSERVATO-RES VRB SVAE, Roma holding globe and scepter, seated in hexastyle temple, RT in ex; rare. Ex FORVM; Ex Maridvnvm


De Imperatoribus Romanis : An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Maxentius (306-312 A.D.)

Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Salve Regina University

Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius, more commonly known as Maxentius, was the child of the Emperor Maximianus Herculius and the Syrian, Eutropia; he was born ca. 278 A.D. After Galerius' appointment to the rank of Caesar on 1 March 293, Maxentius married Galerius' daughter Valeria Maximilla, who bore him a son named Romulus and another son whose name is unknown. Due to his haughty nature and bad disposition, Maxentius could seldom agree with his father or his father-in-law; Galerius' and Maximianus Herculius' aversion to Maxentius prevented the young man from becoming a Caesar in 305. Little else is known of Maxentius' private life prior to his accession and, although there is some evidence that it was spent in idleness, he did become a Senator.

On 28 October 306 Maxentius was acclaimed emperor, although he was politically astute enough not to use the title Augustus; like the Emperor Augustus, he called himself princeps. It was not until the summer of 307 that he started using the title Augustus and started offending other claimants to the imperial throne. He was enthroned by the plebs and the Praetorians. At the time of his acclamation Maxentius was at a public villa on the Via Labicana. He strengthened his position with promises of riches for those who helped him obtain his objective. He forced his father Maximianus Herculius to affirm his son's acclamation in order to give his regime a facade of legitimacy. His realm included Italy, Africa, Sardinia, and Corsica. As soon as Galerius learned about the acclamation of Herculius' son, he dispatched the Emperor Severus to quell the rebellion. With the help of his father and Severus' own troops, Maxentius' took his enemy prisoner.

When Severus died, Galerius was determined to avenge his death. In the early summer of 307 the Augustus invaded Italy; he advanced to the south and encamped at Interamna near the Tiber. His attempt to besiege the city was abortive because his army was not large enough to encompass the city's fortifications. Negotiations between Maxentius and Galerius broke down when the emperor discovered that the usurper was trying to win over his troops. Galerius' troops were open to Maxentius' promises because they were fighting a civil war between members of the same family; some of the soldiers went over to the enemy. Not trusting his own troops, Galerius withdrew. During its retreat, Galerius' army ravaged the Italian countryside as it was returning to its original base. If it was not enough that Maxentius had to deal with the havoc created by the ineffectual invasions of Severus and Galerius, he also had to deal with his father's attempts to regain the throne between 308 and 310. When Maximianus Herculius was unable to regain power by pushing his son off his throne, he attempted to win over Constantine to his cause. When this plan failed, he tried to win Diocletian over to his side at Carnuntum in October and November 308. Frustrated at every turn, Herculius returned to his son-in-law Constantine's side in Gaul where he died in 310, having been implicated in a plot against his son-in-law. Maxentius' control of the situation was weakened by the revolt of L. Domitius Alexander in 308. Although the revolt only lasted until the end of 309, it drastically cut the size of the grain supply availble for Rome. Maxentius' rule collapsed when he died on 27 October 312 in an engagement he had with the Emperor Constantine at the Milvian Bridge after the latter had invaded his realm.

Copyright (C) 1996, Michael DiMaio, Jr.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
0021-040np_noir.jpg
1400 - Julius Caesar, Denarius250 viewsDenarius minted in North Africa c.47-46 BC
No legend, Diademed head of Venus right
CAESAR, Aeneas left, bearing Anchises on his shoulder
3.91 gr
Ref : HCRI # 55, RCV #1402, Cohen #12
5 commentsPotator II
ConstansVot.jpeg
1405a, Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D. (Alexandria)39 viewsBronze AE 4, RIC 37, gVF, Egypt, Alexandria, 1.54g, 15.0mm, 180o, 345-347 A.D. Obverse: D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl diademed head right; Reverse: VOT XX MVLT XXX in wreath, SMALA• in exergue.

Flavius Julius Constans, third and youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta, was born between 320 and 323 A.D. Primary sources for the life and reign of Constans I are scarce. To reconstruct his life and career, one must draw on a variety of references in both fourth century and later works. Raised as a Christian, he was made a Caesar on 25 December 333 A.D. Constans I and his two brothers, after the death of their father on 22 May 337 and the subsequent "massacre of the princes" in which many other relatives were purged, met in the first part of September 337 in Pannonia to re-divide the empire among themselves. There they were acclaimed Augusti by the army. Constans' new realm included Italy, Africa, Illyricum, Macedonia, and Achaea. Shortly before his father's death, Constans' engagement to Olympias, the daughter of the Praetorian Prefect Ablabius, was announced; although the match was never solemnized because of political reasons.

It would appear that Constans was successful in the military sphere. Following his accession to the purple in 337, he seems to have won a victory over the Sarmatians. In 340 Constans was able to beat back an attempt by his brother Constantine II to seize some of his realm. The latter died in a battle fought near Aquileia and Constans absorbed his late brother's territory. In 341 and 342 he conducted a successful campaign against the Franci. He also visited Britain in 343, probably on a military campaign.

As an emperor Constans gets mixed reviews. In what may be a topos, sources suggest that the first part of his reign was moderate but in later years, however, he became overbearing. The emperor apparently attempted to obtain as much money as he could from his subjects and sold government posts to the highest bidder. His favorites were allowed to oppress his subjects. Sources also condemn his homosexuality. He did have some military success and, in addition to other military threats, he had to deal with Donatist-related bandits in North Africa.

Like his father Constantine I and his brother Constantius II, Constans had a deep interest in Christianity. Together with Constantius II he issued (or perhaps re-issued) a ban against pagan sacrifice in 341. The next year, they cautioned against the destruction of pagan temples. Unlike his brother Constantius II, who supported the Arian faction, he stood shoulder to shoulder with Athanasius and other members of the Orthodox clique. In fact, it is due to his request that the Council of Serdica was called to deal with the ecclesiastical squabble between Athanasius of Alexandria and Paul of Constantinople on one side and the Arian faction on the other.

When Magnentius was declared emperor in Gaul during January 350, Constans realized his reign was at an end. When he learned of the revolt, he fled toward Helena, a town in the Pyrenees. Constans was put to death by Gaeso and a band of Magnentius' assassins, who dragged their victim from a temple in which he had sought refuge.

By Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University and Robert Frakes, Clarion UniversityPublished: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
Constans.jpg
1405n, Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D. (Siscia)56 viewsConstans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D. Bronze AE 3, RIC 241, S 3978, VM 69, VF, Siscia, 2.32g, 18.3mm, 180o. Obverse: D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl diademed draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Phoenix radiate, standing on rocky mound, GSIS and symbol in ex; nice green patina.

Flavius Julius Constans, third and youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta, was born between 320 and 323 A.D. Primary sources for the life and reign of Constans I are scarce. To reconstruct his life and career, one must draw on a variety of references in both fourth century and later works. Raised as a Christian, he was made a Caesar on 25 December 333 A.D. Constans I and his two brothers, after the death of their father on 22 May 337 and the subsequent "massacre of the princes" in which many other relatives were purged, met in the first part of September 337 in Pannonia to re-divide the empire among themselves. There they were acclaimed Augusti by the army. Constans' new realm included Italy, Africa, Illyricum, Macedonia, and Achaea. Shortly before his father's death, Constans' engagement to Olympias, the daughter of the Praetorian Prefect Ablabius, was announced; although the match was never solemnized because of political reasons.

It would appear that Constans was successful in the military sphere. Following his accession to the purple in 337, he seems to have won a victory over the Sarmatians. In 340 Constans was able to beat back an attempt by his brother Constantine II to seize some of his realm. The latter died in a battle fought near Aquileia and Constans absorbed his late brother's territory. In 341 and 342 he conducted a successful campaign against the Franci. He also visited Britain in 343, probably on a military campaign.

As an emperor Constans gets mixed reviews. In what may be a topos, sources suggest that the first part of his reign was moderate but in later years, however, he became overbearing. The emperor apparently attempted to obtain as much money as he could from his subjects and sold government posts to the highest bidder. His favorites were allowed to oppress his subjects. Sources also condemn his homosexuality. He did have some military success and, in addition to other military threats, he had to deal with Donatist-related bandits in North Africa.

Like his father Constantine I and his brother Constantius II, Constans had a deep interest in Christianity. Together with Constantius II he issued (or perhaps re-issued) a ban against pagan sacrifice in 341. The next year, they cautioned against the destruction of pagan temples. Unlike his brother Constantius II, who supported the Arian faction, he stood shoulder to shoulder with Athanasius and other members of the Orthodox clique. In fact, it is due to his request that the Council of Serdica was called to deal with the ecclesiastical squabble between Athanasius of Alexandria and Paul of Constantinople on one side and the Arian faction on the other.

When Magnentius was declared emperor in Gaul during January 350, Constans realized his reign was at an end. When he learned of the revolt, he fled toward Helena, a town in the Pyrenees. Constans was put to death by Gaeso and a band of Magnentius' assassins, who dragged their victim from a temple in which he had sought refuge.

By Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University and Robert Frakes, Clarion University
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
U2476F1OVDKUXTA.jpeg
1405t, Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D. (Thessalonica )39 viewsConstans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D., Bronze AE 3, unattributed; Thessalonica mint, 2.25g, 18.9mm, 0; aVF.

Flavius Julius Constans, third and youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta, was born between 320 and 323 A.D. Primary sources for the life and reign of Constans I are scarce. To reconstruct his life and career, one must draw on a variety of references in both fourth century and later works. Raised as a Christian, he was made a Caesar on 25 December 333 A.D. Constans I and his two brothers, after the death of their father on 22 May 337 and the subsequent "massacre of the princes" in which many other relatives were purged, met in the first part of September 337 in Pannonia to re-divide the empire among themselves. There they were acclaimed Augusti by the army. Constans' new realm included Italy, Africa, Illyricum, Macedonia, and Achaea. Shortly before his father's death, Constans' engagement to Olympias, the daughter of the Praetorian Prefect Ablabius, was announced; although the match was never solemnized because of political reasons.

It would appear that Constans was successful in the military sphere. Following his accession to the purple in 337, he seems to have won a victory over the Sarmatians. In 340 Constans was able to beat back an attempt by his brother Constantine II to seize some of his realm. The latter died in a battle fought near Aquileia and Constans absorbed his late brother's territory. In 341 and 342 he conducted a successful campaign against the Franci. He also visited Britain in 343, probably on a military campaign.

As an emperor Constans gets mixed reviews. In what may be a topos, sources suggest that the first part of his reign was moderate but in later years, however, he became overbearing. The emperor apparently attempted to obtain as much money as he could from his subjects and sold government posts to the highest bidder. His favorites were allowed to oppress his subjects. Sources also condemn his homosexuality. He did have some military success and, in addition to other military threats, he had to deal with Donatist-related bandits in North Africa.

Like his father Constantine I and his brother Constantius II, Constans had a deep interest in Christianity. Together with Constantius II he issued (or perhaps re-issued) a ban against pagan sacrifice in 341. The next year, they cautioned against the destruction of pagan temples. Unlike his brother Constantius II, who supported the Arian faction, he stood shoulder to shoulder with Athanasius and other members of the Orthodox clique. In fact, it is due to his request that the Council of Serdica was called to deal with the ecclesiastical squabble between Athanasius of Alexandria and Paul of Constantinople on one side and the Arian faction on the other.

When Magnentius was declared emperor in Gaul during January 350, Constans realized his reign was at an end. When he learned of the revolt, he fled toward Helena, a town in the Pyrenees. Constans was put to death by Gaeso and a band of Magnentius' assassins, who dragged their victim from a temple in which he had sought refuge.

By Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University and Robert Frakes, Clarion University.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Cnstntine2.jpg
1406a, Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D. (Antioch)28 viewsConstantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D. Bronze AE 3, RIC 87, gVF, Antioch, 2.17g, 17.6mm, 0o, 330-335 A.D. Obverse: CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers, each holding spear and shield on ground, flanking two standards, SMANE in exergue.

Constantine II (February 317 - 340) was Roman Emperor (337 - 340). The eldest son of Constantine I the Great and Fausta, he was born at Arles. Following the death of his father in 337, Constantine II became Emperor jointly with his brothers Constantius II and Constans. His section of the Empire was Gaul, Britain and Spain. At first, he was the guardian of his younger brother Constans, whose portion was Italy, Africa and Illyria. As Constans came of age, Constantine would not relinquish the guardianship, and in 340 he marched against Constans in Italy, but was defeated at Aquileia and died in battle. Constans came to control Constantine II's portion of the empire.
Cleisthenes
Constantine2.jpg
1406c, Constantine II, 337-340 A.D.36 viewsConstantine II, 317-340. AE3, RIC VII, 74 ('theta' = r), page 581 2.22 grams, 333-335 AD, Constantinople mint, VF. Obverse : CONSTANTIVS IVN NOB C - Laureate bust right, draped and cuirassed. Reverse: GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS - Two soldiers looking in at each other and both holding a spear; between them, two standards. CONS (theta) (dot) in exergue. Rare.

Constantine II (February 317 - 340) was Roman Emperor (337 - 340). The eldest son of Constantine I the Great and Fausta, he was born at Arles. Following the death of his father in 337, Constantine II became Emperor jointly with his brothers Constantius II and Constans. His section of the Empire was Gaul, Britain and Spain. At first, he was the guardian of his younger brother Constans, whose portion was Italy, Africa and Illyria. As Constans came of age, Constantine would not relinquish the guardianship, and in 340 he marched against Constans in Italy, but was defeated at Aquileia and died in battle. Constans came to control Constantine II's portion of the empire.
Cleisthenes
Julian2VotXConstantinople.jpg
1409a, Julian II "the Philosopher," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.143 viewsJulian II, A.D. 360-363; RIC 167; VF; 2.7g, 20mm; Constantinople mint; Obverse: DN FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, helmeted & cuirassed bust right, holding spear & shield; Reverse: VOT X MVLT XX in four lines within wreath; CONSPB in exergue; Attractive green patina. Ex Nemesis.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Julian the Apostate (360-363 A.D.)

Walter E. Roberts, Emory University
Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University

Introduction

The emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus reigned from 360 to 26 June 363, when he was killed fighting against the Persians. Despite his short rule, his emperorship was pivotal in the development of the history of the later Roman empire. This essay is not meant to be a comprehensive look at the various issues central to the reign of Julian and the history of the later empire. Rather, this short work is meant to be a brief history and introduction for the general reader. Julian was the last direct descendent of the Constantinian line to ascend to the purple, and it is one of history's great ironies that he was the last non-Christian emperor. As such, he has been vilified by most Christian sources, beginning with John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzus in the later fourth century. This tradition was picked up by the fifth century Eusebian continuators Sozomen, Socrates Scholasticus, and Theodoret and passed on to scholars down through the 20th century. Most contemporary sources, however, paint a much more balanced picture of Julian and his reign. The adoption of Christianity by emperors and society, while still a vital concern, was but one of several issues that concerned Julian.

It is fortunate that extensive writings from Julian himself exist, which help interpret his reign in the light of contemporary evidence. Still extant are some letters, several panegyrics, and a few satires. Other contemporary sources include the soldier Ammianus Marcellinus' history, correspondence between Julian and Libanius of Antioch, several panegyrics, laws from the Theodosian Code, inscriptions, and coinage. These sources show Julian's emphasis on restoration. He saw himself as the restorer of the traditional values of Roman society. Of course much of this was rhetoric, meant to defend Julian against charges that he was a usurper. At the same time this theme of restoration was central to all emperors of the fourth century. Julian thought that he was the one emperor who could regain what was viewed as the lost glory of the Roman empire. To achieve this goal he courted select groups of social elites to get across his message of restoration. This was the way that emperors functioned in the fourth century. By choosing whom to include in the sharing of power, they sought to shape society.

Early Life

Julian was born at Constantinople in 331. His father was Julius Constantius, half-brother of the emperor Constantine through Constantius Chlorus, and his mother was Basilina, Julius' second wife. Julian had two half-brothers via Julius' first marriage. One of these was Gallus, who played a major role in Julian's life. Julian appeared destined for a bright future via his father's connection to the Constantinian house. After many years of tense relations with his three half-brothers, Constantine seemed to have welcomed them into the fold of the imperial family. From 333 to 335, Constantine conferred a series of honors upon his three half-siblings, including appointing Julius Constantius as one of the consuls for 335. Julian's mother was equally distinguished. Ammianus related that she was from a noble family. This is supported by Libanius, who claimed that she was the daughter of Julius Julianus, a Praetorian Prefect under Licinius, who was such a model of administrative virtue that he was pardoned and honored by Constantine.

Despite the fact that his mother died shortly after giving birth to him, Julian experienced an idyllic early childhood. This ended when Constantius II conducted a purge of many of his relatives shortly after Constantine's death in 337, particularly targeting the families of Constantine's half-brothers. ulian and Gallus were spared, probably due to their young age. Julian was put under the care of Mardonius, a Scythian eunuch who had tutored his mother, in 339, and was raised in the Greek philosophical tradition, and probably lived in Nicomedia. Ammianus also supplied the fact that while in Nicomedia, Julian was cared for by the local bishop Eusebius, of whom the future emperor was a distant relation. Julian was educated by some of the most famous names in grammar and rhetoric in the Greek world at that time, including Nicocles and Hecebolius. In 344 Constantius II sent Julian and Gallus to Macellum in Cappadocia, where they remained for six years. In 351, Gallus was made Caesar by Constantius II and Julian was allowed to return to Nicomedia, where he studied under Aedesius, Eusebius, and Chrysanthius, all famed philosophers, and was exposed to the Neo-Platonism that would become such a prominent part of his life. But Julian was most proud of the time he spent studying under Maximus of Ephesus, a noted Neo-Platonic philospher and theurgist. It was Maximus who completed Julian's full-scale conversion to Neo-Platonism. Later, when he was Caesar, Julian told of how he put letters from this philosopher under his pillows so that he would continue to absorb wisdom while he slept, and while campaigning on the Rhine, he sent his speeches to Maximus for approval before letting others hear them. When Gallus was executed in 354 for treason by Constantius II, Julian was summoned to Italy and essentially kept under house arrest at Comum, near Milan, for seven months before Constantius' wife Eusebia convinced the emperor that Julian posed no threat. This allowed Julian to return to Greece and continue his life as a scholar where he studied under the Neo-Platonist Priscus. Julian's life of scholarly pursuit, however, ended abruptly when he was summoned to the imperial court and made Caesar by Constantius II on 6 November 355.

Julian as Caesar

Constantius II realized an essential truth of the empire that had been evident since the time of the Tetrarchy--the empire was too big to be ruled effectively by one man. Julian was pressed into service as Caesar, or subordinate emperor, because an imperial presence was needed in the west, in particular in the Gallic provinces. Julian, due to the emperor's earlier purges, was the only viable candidate of the imperial family left who could act as Caesar. Constantius enjoined Julian with the task of restoring order along the Rhine frontier. A few days after he was made Caesar, Julian was married to Constantius' sister Helena in order to cement the alliance between the two men. On 1 December 355, Julian journeyed north, and in Augusta Taurinorum he learned that Alamannic raiders had destroyed Colonia Agrippina. He then proceeded to Vienne where he spent the winter. At Vienne, he learned that Augustudunum was also under siege, but was being held by a veteran garrison. He made this his first priority, and arrived there on 24 June 356. When he had assured himself that the city was in no immediate danger, he journeyed to Augusta Treverorum via Autessioduram, and from there to Durocortorum where he rendezvoused with his army. Julian had the army stage a series of punitive strikes around the Dieuse region, and then he moved them towards the Argentoratum/Mongontiacum region when word of barbarian incursions reached him.

From there, Julian moved on to Colonia Agrippina, and negotiated a peace with the local barbarian leaders who had assaulted the city. He then wintered at Senonae. He spent the early part of the campaigning season of 357 fighting off besiegers at Senonae, and then conducting operations around Lugdunum and Tres Tabernae. Later that summer, he encountered his watershed moment as a military general. Ammianus went into great detail about Julian's victory over seven rogue Alamannic chieftains near Argentoratum, and Julian himself bragged about it in his later writing. After this battle, the soldiers acclaimed Julian Augustus, but he rejected this title. After mounting a series of follow-up raids into Alamannic territory, he retired to winter quarters at Lutetia, and on the way defeated some Frankish raiders in the Mosa region. Julian considered this campaign one of the major events of his time as Caesar.

Julian began his 358 military campaigns early, hoping to catch the barbarians by surprise. His first target was the Franks in the northern Rhine region. He then proceeded to restore some forts in the Mosa region, but his soldiers threatened to mutiny because they were on short rations and had not been paid their donative since Julian had become Caesar. After he soothed his soldiers, Julian spent the rest of the summer negotiating a peace with various Alamannic leaders in the mid and lower Rhine areas, and retired to winter quarters at Lutetia. In 359, he prepared once again to carry out a series of punitive expeditions against the Alamanni in the Rhine region who were still hostile to the Roman presence. In preparation, the Caesar repopulated seven previously destroyed cities and set them up as supply bases and staging areas. This was done with the help of the people with whom Julian had negotiated a peace the year before. Julian then had a detachment of lightly armed soldiers cross the Rhine near Mogontiacum and conduct a guerilla strike against several chieftains. As a result of these campaigns, Julian was able to negotiate a peace with all but a handful of the Alamannic leaders, and he retired to winter quarters at Lutetia.

Of course, Julian did more than act as a general during his time as Caesar. According to Ammianus, Julian was an able administrator who took steps to correct the injustices of Constantius' appointees. Ammianus related the story of how Julian prevented Florentius, the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, from raising taxes, and also how Julian actually took over as governor for the province of Belgica Secunda. Hilary, bishop of Poitiers, supported Ammianus' basic assessment of Julian in this regard when he reported that Julian was an able representative of the emperor to the Gallic provincials. There is also epigraphic evidence to support Julian's popularity amongst the provincial elites. An inscription found near Beneventum in Apulia reads:
"To Flavius Claudius Julianus, most noble and sanctified Caesar, from the caring Tocius Maximus, vir clarissimus, for the care of the res publica from Beneventum".

Tocius Maximus, as a vir clarissimus, was at the highest point in the social spectrum and was a leader in his local community. This inscription shows that Julian was successful in establishing a positive image amongst provincial elites while he was Caesar.

Julian Augustus

In early 360, Constantius, driven by jealousy of Julian's success, stripped Julian of many troops and officers, ostensibly because the emperor needed them for his upcoming campaign against the Persians. One of the legions ordered east, the Petulantes, did not want to leave Gaul because the majority of the soldiers in the unit were from this region. As a result they mutinied and hailed Julian as Augustus at Lutetia. Julian refused this acclamation as he had done at Argentoratum earlier, but the soldiers would have none of his denial. They raised him on a shield and adorned him with a neck chain, which had formerly been the possession of the standard-bearer of the Petulantes and symbolized a royal diadem. Julian appeared reluctantly to acquiesce to their wishes, and promised a generous donative. The exact date of his acclamation is unknown, but most scholars put it in February or March. Julian himself supported Ammianus' picture of a jealous Constantius. In his Letter to the Athenians, a document constructed to answer charges that he was a usurper, Julian stated that from the start he, as Caesar, had been meant as a figurehead to the soldiers and provincials. The real power he claimed lay with the generals and officials already present in Gaul. In fact, according to Julian, the generals were charged with watching him as much as the enemy. His account of the actual acclamation closely followed what Ammianus told us, but he stressed even more his reluctance to take power. Julian claimed that he did so only after praying to Zeus for guidance.

Fearing the reaction of Constantius, Julian sent a letter to his fellow emperor justifying the events at Lutetia and trying to arrange a peaceful solution. This letter berated Constantius for forcing the troops in Gaul into an untenable situation. Ammianus stated that Julian's letter blamed Constantius' decision to transfer Gallic legions east as the reason for the soldiers' rebellion. Julian once again asserted that he was an unwilling participant who was only following the desire of the soldiers. In both of these basic accounts Ammianus and Julian are playing upon the theme of restoration. Implicit in their version of Julian's acclamation is the argument that Constantius was unfit to rule. The soldiers were the vehicle of the gods' will. The Letter to the Athenians is full of references to the fact that Julian was assuming the mantle of Augustus at the instigation of the gods. Ammianus summed up this position nicely when he related the story of how, when Julian was agonizing over whether to accept the soldiers' acclamation, he had a dream in which he was visited by the Genius (guardian spirit) of the Roman state. The Genius told Julian that it had often tried to bestow high honors upon Julian but had been rebuffed. Now, the Genius went on to say, was Julian's final chance to take the power that was rightfully his. If the Caesar refused this chance, the Genius would depart forever, and both Julian and the state would rue Julian's rejection. Julian himself wrote a letter to his friend Maximus of Ephesus in November of 361 detailing his thoughts on his proclamation. In this letter, Julian stated that the soldiers proclaimed him Augustus against his will. Julian, however, defended his accession, saying that the gods willed it and that he had treated his enemies with clemency and justice. He went on to say that he led the troops in propitiating the traditional deities, because the gods commanded him to return to the traditional rites, and would reward him if he fulfilled this duty.

During 360 an uneasy peace simmered between the two emperors. Julian spent the 360 campaigning season continuing his efforts to restore order along the Rhine, while Constantius continued operations against the Persians. Julian wintered in Vienne, and celebrated his Quinquennalia. It was at this time that his wife Helena died, and he sent her remains to Rome for a proper burial at his family villa on the Via Nomentana where the body of her sister was entombed. The uneasy peace held through the summer of 361, but Julian concentrated his military operations around harassing the Alamannic chieftain Vadomarius and his allies, who had concluded a peace treaty with Constantius some years earlier. By the end of the summer, Julian decided to put an end to the waiting and gathered his army to march east against Constantius. The empire teetered on the brink of another civil war. Constantius had spent the summer negotiating with the Persians and making preparations for possible military action against his cousin. When he was assured that the Persians would not attack, he summoned his army and sallied forth to meet Julian. As the armies drew inexorably closer to one another, the empire was saved from another bloody civil war when Constantius died unexpectedly of natural causes on 3 November near the town of Mopsucrenae in Cilicia, naming Julian -- the sources say-- as his legitimate successor.

Julian was in Dacia when he learned of his cousin's death. He made his way through Thrace and came to Constantinople on 11 December 361 where Julian honored the emperor with the funeral rites appropriate for a man of his station. Julian immediately set about putting his supporters in positions of power and trimming the imperial bureaucracy, which had become extremely overstaffed during Constantius' reign. Cooks and barbers had increased during the late emperor's reign and Julian expelled them from his court. Ammianus gave a mixed assessment of how the new emperor handled the followers of Constantius. Traditionally, emperors were supposed to show clemency to the supporters of a defeated enemy. Julian, however, gave some men over to death to appease the army. Ammianus used the case of Ursulus, Constantius' comes sacrum largitionum, to illustrate his point. Ursulus had actually tried to acquire money for the Gallic troops when Julian had first been appointed Caesar, but he had also made a disparaging remark about the ineffectiveness of the army after the battle of Amida. The soldiers remembered this, and when Julian became sole Augustus, they demanded Ursulus' head. Julian obliged, much to the disapproval of Ammianus. This seems to be a case of Julian courting the favor of the military leadership, and is indicative of a pattern in which Julian courted the goodwill of various societal elites to legitimize his position as emperor.

Another case in point is the officials who made up the imperial bureaucracy. Many of them were subjected to trial and punishment. To achieve this goal, during the last weeks of December 361 Julian assembled a military tribunal at Chalcedon, empanelling six judges to try the cases. The president of the tribunal was Salutius, just promoted to the rank of Praetorian Prefect; the five other members were Mamertinus, the orator, and four general officers: Jovinus, Agilo, Nevitta, and Arbetio. Relative to the proceedings of the tribunal, Ammianus noted that the judges, " . . . oversaw the cases more vehemently than was right or fair, with the exception of a few . . .." Ammianus' account of Julian's attempt at reform of the imperial bureaucracy is supported by legal evidence from the Theodosian Code. A series of laws sent to Mamertinus, Julian's appointee as Praetorian Prefect in Italy, Illyricum, and Africa, illustrate this point nicely. On 6 June 362, Mamertinus received a law that prohibited provincial governors from bypassing the Vicars when giving their reports to the Prefect. Traditionally, Vicars were given civil authority over a group of provinces, and were in theory meant to serve as a middle step between governors and Prefects. This law suggests that the Vicars were being left out, at least in Illyricum. Julian issued another edict to Mamertinus on 22 February 362 to stop abuse of the public post by governors. According to this law, only Mamertinus could issue post warrants, but the Vicars were given twelve blank warrants to be used as they saw fit, and each governor was given two. Continuing the trend of bureaucratic reform, Julian also imposed penalties on governors who purposefully delayed appeals in court cases they had heard. The emperor also established a new official to weigh solidi used in official government transactions to combat coin clipping.

For Julian, reigning in the abuses of imperial bureaucrats was one step in restoring the prestige of the office of emperor. Because he could not affect all elements of society personally, Julian, like other Neo-Flavian emperors, decided to concentrate on select groups of societal elites as intercessors between himself and the general populace. One of these groups was the imperial bureaucracy. Julian made it very clear that imperial officials were intercessors in a very real sense in a letter to Alypius, Vicar of Britain. In this letter, sent from Gaul sometime before 361, the emperor praises Alypius for his use of "mildness and moderation with courage and force" in his rule of the provincials. Such virtues were characteristic of the emperors, and it was good that Alypius is representing Julian in this way. Julian courted the army because it put him in power. Another group he sought to include in his rule was the traditional Senatorial aristocracy. One of his first appointments as consul was Claudius Mamertinus, a Gallic Senator and rhetorician. Mamertinus' speech in praise of Julian delivered at Constantinople in January of 362 is preserved. In this speech, Claudius presented his consular selection as inaugurating a new golden age and Julian as the restorer of the empire founded by Augustus. The image Mamertinus gave of his own consulate inaugurating a new golden age is not merely formulaic. The comparison of Julian to Augustus has very real, if implicit, relevance to Claudius' situation. Claudius emphasized the imperial period as the true age of renewal. Augustus ushered in a new era with his formation of a partnership between the emperor and the Senate based upon a series of honors and offices bestowed upon the Senate in return for their role as intercessor between emperor and populace. It was this system that Julian was restoring, and the consulate was one concrete example of this bond. To be chosen as a consul by the emperor, who himself had been divinely mandated, was a divine honor. In addition to being named consul, Mamertinus went on to hold several offices under Julian, including the Prefecture of Italy, Illyricum, and Africa. Similarly, inscriptional evidence illustrates a link between municipal elites and Julian during his time as Caesar, something which continued after he became emperor. One concrete example comes from the municipal senate of Aceruntia in Apulia, which established a monument on which Julian is styled as "Repairer of the World."

Julian seems to have given up actual Christian belief before his acclamation as emperor and was a practitioner of more traditional Greco-Roman religious beliefs, in particular, a follower of certain late antique Platonist philosophers who were especially adept at theurgy as was noted earlier. In fact Julian himself spoke of his conversion to Neo-Platonism in a letter to the Alexandrians written in 363. He stated that he had abandoned Christianity when he was twenty years old and been an adherent of the traditional Greco-Roman deities for the twelve years prior to writing this letter.

(For the complete text of this article see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/julian.htm)

Julian’s Persian Campaign

The exact goals Julian had for his ill-fated Persian campaign were never clear. The Sassanid Persians, and before them the Parthians, had been a traditional enemy from the time of the Late Republic, and indeed Constantius had been conducting a war against them before Julian's accession forced the former to forge an uneasy peace. Julian, however, had no concrete reason to reopen hostilities in the east. Socrates Scholasticus attributed Julian's motives to imitation of Alexander the Great, but perhaps the real reason lay in his need to gather the support of the army. Despite his acclamation by the Gallic legions, relations between Julian and the top military officers was uneasy at best. A war against the Persians would have brought prestige and power both to Julian and the army.

Julian set out on his fateful campaign on 5 March 363. Using his trademark strategy of striking quickly and where least expected, he moved his army through Heirapolis and from there speedily across the Euphrates and into the province of Mesopotamia, where he stopped at the town of Batnae. His plan was to eventually return through Armenia and winter in Tarsus. Once in Mesopotamia, Julian was faced with the decision of whether to travel south through the province of Babylonia or cross the Tigris into Assyria, and he eventually decided to move south through Babylonia and turn west into Assyria at a later date. By 27 March, he had the bulk of his army across the Euphrates, and had also arranged a flotilla to guard his supply line along the mighty river. He then left his generals Procopius and Sebastianus to help Arsacius, the king of Armenia and a Roman client, to guard the northern Tigris line. It was also during this time that he received the surrender of many prominent local leaders who had nominally supported the Persians. These men supplied Julian with money and troops for further military action against their former masters. Julian decided to turn south into Babylonia and proceeded along the Euphrates, coming to the fortress of Cercusium at the junction of the Abora and Euphrates Rivers around the first of April, and from there he took his army west to a region called Zaitha near the abandoned town of Dura where they visited the tomb of the emperor Gordian which was in the area. On April 7 he set out from there into the heart of Babylonia and towards Assyria.

Ammianus then stated that Julian and his army crossed into Assyria, which on the face of things appears very confusing. Julian still seems to be operating within the province of Babylonia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The confusion is alleviated when one realizes that,for Ammianus, the region of Assyria encompassed the provinces of Babylonia and Assyria. On their march, Julian's forces took the fortress of Anatha, received the surrender and support of several more local princes, and ravaged the countryside of Assyria between the rivers. As the army continued south, they came across the fortresses Thilutha and Achaiachala, but these places were too well defended and Julian decided to leave them alone. Further south were the cities Diacira and Ozogardana, which the Roman forces sacked and burned. Soon, Julian came to Pirisabora and a brief siege ensued, but the city fell and was also looted and destroyed. It was also at this time that the Roman army met its first systematic resistance from the Persians. As the Romans penetrated further south and west, the local inhabitants began to flood their route. Nevertheless, the Roman forces pressed on and came to Maiozamalcha, a sizable city not far from Ctesiphon. After a short siege, this city too fell to Julian. Inexorably, Julian's forces zeroed in on Ctesiphon, but as they drew closer, the Persian resistance grew fiercer, with guerilla raids whittling at Julian's men and supplies. A sizable force of the army was lost and the emperor himself was almost killed taking a fort a few miles from the target city.
Finally, the army approached Ctesiphon following a canal that linked the Tigris and Euphrates. It soon became apparent after a few preliminary skirmishes that a protracted siege would be necessary to take this important city. Many of his generals, however, thought that pursuing this course of action would be foolish. Julian reluctantly agreed, but became enraged by this failure and ordered his fleet to be burned as he decided to march through the province of Assyria. Julian had planned for his army to live off the land, but the Persians employed a scorched-earth policy. When it became apparent that his army would perish (because his supplies were beginning to dwindle) from starvation and the heat if he continued his campaign, and also in the face of superior numbers of the enemy, Julian ordered a retreat on 16 June. As the Roman army retreated, they were constantly harassed by guerilla strikes. It was during one of these raids that Julian got caught up in the fighting and took a spear to his abdomen. Mortally wounded he was carried to his tent, where, after conferring with some of his officers, he died. The date was 26 June 363.

Conclusion

Thus an ignominious end for a man came about who had hoped to restore the glory of the Roman empire during his reign as emperor. Due to his intense hatred of Christianity, the opinion of posterity has not been kind to Julian. The contemporary opinion, however, was overall positive. The evidence shows that Julian was a complex ruler with a definite agenda to use traditional social institutions in order to revive what he saw as a collapsing empire. In the final assessment, he was not so different from any of the other emperors of the fourth century. He was a man grasping desperately to hang on to a Greco-Roman conception of leadership that was undergoing a subtle yet profound change.
Copyright (C) 2002, Walter E. Roberts and Michael DiMaio, Jr. Used by permission.

In reality, Julian worked to promote culture and philosophy in any manifestation. He tried to reduce taxes and the public debts of municipalities; he augmented administrative decentralisation; he promoted a campaign of austerity to reduce public expenditure (setting himself as the example). He reformed the postal service and eliminated the powerful secret police.
by Federico Morando; JULIAN II, The Apostate, http://www.forumancientcoins.com/NumisWiki/view.asp?key=Julian%20II

Flavius Claudius Iulianus was born in 331 or maybe 332 A.D. in Constantinople. He ruled the Western Empire as Caesar from 355 to 360 and was hailed Augustus by his legions in Lutetia (Paris) in 360. Julian was a gifted administrator and military strategist. Famed as the last pagan emperor, his reinstatement of the pagan religion earned him the moniker "the Apostate." As evidenced by his brilliant writing, some of which has survived to the present day, the title "the Philosopher" may have been more appropriate. He died from wounds suffered during the Persian campaign of 363 A.D. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.




2 commentsCleisthenes
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1452 - Julius Caesar, Denarius135 viewsDenarius minted in North Africa in 46 BC
COS TERT / DICT ITER, head of Ceres right
AVGVR / PONT MAX, simpulum, sprinkler, capis and lituum, D in right field
3,81 gr
Ref : HCRI # 57, RCV # 1403/1, RSC # 4a, Cohen # 4
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1497 Hadrian Denarius Roma 134-38 AD Africa24 viewsReference.
RIC II, 299; Strack 297; RIC III, 1497

Bust A1+

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P.
Bare head

Rev. AFRICA
Africa reclining left, wearing elephant-skin headdress and holding scorpion and cornucopia, basket of fruits at her feet

3.20 gr
18 mm
12h
okidoki
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1501s, Valentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D. (Siscia)104 viewsValentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D., Bronze AE 3, S 4103, VF, Siscia mint, 2.012g, 18.7mm, 180o, 24 Aug 367 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.obverse D N VALENTINI-ANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS - REIPVBLICAE, Victory advancing left, wreath in right and palm in left, symbols in fields, mintmark in exergue.


De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of the Roman Emperors and their Families

Valentinian I (364-375 AD.)

Walter E. Roberts, Emory University

Valentinian was one of Rome's last great warrior emperors. Flavius Valentinianus, was born in A.D. 321 at Cibalis (modern Vinkovci) in southern Pannonia. His father Gratian was a soldier renowned for his strength and wrestling skills. Gratian had an illustrious career in the army, rising from staff officer to tribune, to comes Africae, and finally [i/comes Britanniae.

The emperor Jovian died on 17 February 364, apparently of natural causes, on the border between Bithynia and Galatia. The army marched on to Nicaea, the nearest city of any consequence, and a meeting of civil and military officials was convened to choose a new emperor. The assembly finally agreed upon Valentinian.

On 26 February 364, Valentinian accepted the office offered to him. As he prepared to make his accession speech, the soldiers threatened to riot, apparently uncertain as to where his loyalties lay. Valentinian reassured them that the army was his greatest priority. Furthermore, to prevent a crisis of succession if he should die prematurely, he agreed to pick a co-Augustus. According to Ammianus, the soldiers were astounded by Valentinian’s bold demeanor and his willingness to assume the imperial authority. His decision to elect a fellow-emperor could also be construed as a move to appease any opposition among the civilian officials in the eastern portion of the empire. By agreeing to appoint a co-ruler, he assured the eastern officials that someone with imperial authority would remain in the east to protect their interests. After promoting his brother Valens to the rank of tribune and putting him in charge of the royal stables on March 1, Valentinian selected Valens as co-Augustus at Constantinople on 28 March 364, though this was done over the objections of Dagalaifus. Ammianus makes it clear, however, that Valens was clearly subordinate to his brother.

Ammianus and Zosimus as well as modern scholars praise Valentinian for his military accomplishments. He is generally credited with keeping the Roman empire from crumbling away by “. . . reversing the generally waning confidence in the army and imperial defense . . ..” Several other aspects of Valentinian's reign also set the course of Roman history for the next century.

Valentinian deliberately polarized Roman society, subordinating the civilian population to the military. The military order took over the old prestige of the senatorial nobility. The imperial court, which was becoming more and more of a military court, became a vehicle for social mobility. There were new ideas of nobility, which was increasingly provincial in character. By this it is meant that the imperial court, not the Senate, was the seat of nobility, and most of these new nobles came from the provinces. With the erosion of the old nobility, the stage was set for the ascendancy of Christianity. Ammianus makes it clear that actions such as these were part of a systematic plan by Valentinian to erode the power and prestige of the senatorial aristocracy. Several pieces of extant legislation seem to confirm Ammianus’ allegations that Valentinian was eroding senatorial prestige.

Valentinian's reign affords valuable insights into late Roman society, civilian as well as military. First, there was a growing fracture between the eastern and western portions of the empire. Valentinian was the last emperor to really concentrate his resources on the west. Valens was clearly in an inferior position in the partnership. Second, there was a growing polarization of society, both Christian versus pagan, and civil versus military. Finally there was a growing regionalism in the west, driven by heavy taxation and the inability of Valentinian to fully exercise military authority in all areas of the west. All of these trends would continue over the next century, profoundly reshaping the Roman empire and western Europe.

By Walter E. Roberts, Emory University
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
ValentGlRom.jpg
1501s, Valentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D. (Siscia)59 viewsValentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D. Bronze AE 3, RIC 5(a) ii, VF, Siscia, 1.905g, 19.3mm, 0o, 25 Feb 364 - 24 Aug 367 A.D. Obverse: D N VALENTINI-ANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: GLORIA RO-MANORVM, Emperor dragging captive with right, labarum (chi-rho standard) in left, •GSISC in exergue.


De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of the Roman Emperors and their Families

Valentinian I (364-375 AD.)

Walter E. Roberts, Emory University

Valentinian was one of Rome's last great warrior emperors. Flavius Valentinianus, was born in A.D. 321 at Cibalis (modern Vinkovci) in southern Pannonia. His father Gratian was a soldier renowned for his strength and wrestling skills. Gratian had an illustrious career in the army, rising from staff officer to tribune, to comes Africae, and finally [i/comes Britanniae.

The emperor Jovian died on 17 February 364, apparently of natural causes, on the border between Bithynia and Galatia. The army marched on to Nicaea, the nearest city of any consequence, and a meeting of civil and military officials was convened to choose a new emperor. The assembly finally agreed upon Valentinian.

On 26 February 364, Valentinian accepted the office offered to him. As he prepared to make his accession speech, the soldiers threatened to riot, apparently uncertain as to where his loyalties lay. Valentinian reassured them that the army was his greatest priority. Furthermore, to prevent a crisis of succession if he should die prematurely, he agreed to pick a co-Augustus. According to Ammianus, the soldiers were astounded by Valentinian’s bold demeanor and his willingness to assume the imperial authority. His decision to elect a fellow-emperor could also be construed as a move to appease any opposition among the civilian officials in the eastern portion of the empire. By agreeing to appoint a co-ruler, he assured the eastern officials that someone with imperial authority would remain in the east to protect their interests. After promoting his brother Valens to the rank of tribune and putting him in charge of the royal stables on March 1, Valentinian selected Valens as co-Augustus at Constantinople on 28 March 364, though this was done over the objections of Dagalaifus. Ammianus makes it clear, however, that Valens was clearly subordinate to his brother.

Ammianus and Zosimus as well as modern scholars praise Valentinian for his military accomplishments. He is generally credited with keeping the Roman empire from crumbling away by “. . . reversing the generally waning confidence in the army and imperial defense . . ..” Several other aspects of Valentinian's reign also set the course of Roman history for the next century.

Valentinian deliberately polarized Roman society, subordinating the civilian population to the military. The military order took over the old prestige of the senatorial nobility. The imperial court, which was becoming more and more of a military court, became a vehicle for social mobility. There were new ideas of nobility, which was increasingly provincial in character. By this it is meant that the imperial court, not the Senate, was the seat of nobility, and most of these new nobles came from the provinces. With the erosion of the old nobility, the stage was set for the ascendancy of Christianity. Ammianus makes it clear that actions such as these were part of a systematic plan by Valentinian to erode the power and prestige of the senatorial aristocracy. Several pieces of extant legislation seem to confirm Ammianus’ allegations that Valentinian was eroding senatorial prestige.

Valentinian's reign affords valuable insights into late Roman society, civilian as well as military. First, there was a growing fracture between the eastern and western portions of the empire. Valentinian was the last emperor to really concentrate his resources on the west. Valens was clearly in an inferior position in the partnership. Second, there was a growing polarization of society, both Christian versus pagan, and civil versus military. Finally there was a growing regionalism in the west, driven by heavy taxation and the inability of Valentinian to fully exercise military authority in all areas of the west. All of these trends would continue over the next century, profoundly reshaping the Roman empire and western Europe.

By Walter E. Roberts, Emory University
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Theo1Ae3Ant.jpeg
1505b, Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D. (Antioch)75 viewsTheodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D. Bronze AE 3, RIC 44(b), VF, Antioch, 2.17g, 18.1mm, 180o, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D. Obverse: D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: CONCORDIA AVGGG, Constantinopolis enthroned facing, r. foot on prow, globe in l., scepter in r., Q and F at sides, ANTG in ex; scarce.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

THEODOSIUS I (379-395 A.D.)
David Woods
University College of Cork


Origin and Early Career
Flavius Theodosius was born at Cauca in Spain in about 346 to Thermantia and Theodosius the Elder (so-called to distinguish him from his son). Theodosius the Elder was a senior military officer serving in the Western empire and rose to become the magister equitum praesentalis under the emperor Valentinian I from late 368 until his execution in early 375. As the son of a soldier, Theodosius was legally obliged to enter upon a military career. He seems to have served under his father during his expedition to Britain in 367/8, and was the dux Moesiae Primae by late 374. Unfortunately, great controversy surrounds the rest of his career until Gratian had him hailed as his imperial colleague in succession to the emperor Valens at Sirmium on 19 January 379. It is clear that he was forced to retire home to Spain only to be recalled to active service shortly thereafter, but the circumstances of his forced retirement are shrouded in mystery. His father was executed at roughly the same time, and much speculation has centred on the relationship between these events.

[For a very detailed and interesting discussion of the Foreign Policy of Theodosius and the Civil Wars that plagued his reign, please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/theo1.htm]

Family and Succession
Theodosius married twice. His first wife was the Spanish Aelia Flavia Flaccilla. She bore him Arcadius ca. 377, Honorius on 9 September 384, and Pulcheria ca. 385. Theodosius honoured her with the title of Augusta shortly after his accession, but she died in 386. In late 387 he married Galla, daughter of Valentinian I and full-sister of Valentinian II. She bore him Gratian ca. 388, Galla Placidia ca. 388/390, and died in childbirth in 394, together with her new-born son John. Of his two sons who survived infancy, he appointed Arcadius as Augustus on 19 January 383 and Honorius as Augustus on 23 January 393. His promotion of Arcadius as a full Augustus at an unusually young age points to his determination right from the start that one of his own sons should succeed him. He sought to strengthen Arcadius' position in particular by means of a series of strategic marriages whose purpose was to tie his leading "generals" irrevocably to his dynasty. Hence he married his niece and adoptive daughter Serena to his magister militum per Orientem Stilicho in 387, her elder sister Thermantia to a "general" whose name has not been preserved, and ca. 387 his nephew-in-law Nebridius to Salvina, daughter of the comes Africae Gildo. By the time of his death by illness on 17 January 395, Theodosius had promoted Stilicho from his position as one of the two comites domesticorum under his own eastern administration to that of magister peditum praesentalis in a western administration, in an entirely traditional manner, under his younger son Honorius. Although Stilicho managed to increase the power of the magister peditum praesentalis to the disadvantage of his colleague the magister equitum praesentalis and claimed that Theodosius had appointed him as guardian for both his sons, this tells us more about his cunning and ambition than it does about Theodosius' constitutional arrangements.

Theodosius' importance rests on the fact that he founded a dynasty which continued in power until the death of his grandson Theodosius II in 450. This ensured a continuity of policy which saw the emergence of Nicene Christianity as the orthodox belief of the vast majority of Christians throughout the middle ages. It also ensured the essential destruction of paganism and the emergence of Christianity as the religion of the state, even if the individual steps in this process can be difficult to identify. On the negative side, however, he allowed his dynastic interests and ambitions to lead him into two unnecessary and bloody civil wars which severely weakened the empire's ability to defend itself in the face of continued barbarian pressure upon its frontiers. In this manner, he put the interests of his family before those of the wider Roman population and was responsible, in many ways, for the phenomenon to which we now refer as the fall of the western Roman empire.


Copyright (C) 1998, David Woods.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

There is a nice segue here, as we pick-up John Julius Norwich's summation of the reign of Theodosius, "Readers of this brief account of his career may well find themselves wondering, not so much whether he deserved the title of 'the Great' as how he ever came to acquire it in the first place. If so, however, they may also like to ask themselves another question: what would have been the fate of the Empire if, at that critical moment in its history after the battle of Adrianople, young Gratian had not called him from his Spanish estates and put the future of the East into his hands? . . . the probability is that the whole Empire of the East would have been lost, swallowed up in a revived Gothic kingdom, with effects on world history that defy speculation.

In his civil legislation he showed, again and again, a consideration for the humblest of his subjects that was rare indeed among rulers of the fourth century. What other prince would have decreed that any criminal, sentenced to execution, imprisonment or exile, must first be allowed thirty days' grace to put his affairs in order? Or that a specified part of his worldly goods must go to his children, upon whom their father's crimes must on no account be visited? Or that no farmer should be obliged to sell his produce to the State at a price lower than he would receive on the open market?

Had he earned his title? Not, perhaps, in the way that Constantine had done or as Justinian was to do. But, if not ultimately great himself, he had surely come very close to greatness; and had he reigned as long as they did his achievements might well have equalled theirs. He might even have saved the Western Empire. One thing only is certain: it would be nearly a century and a half before the Romans would look upon his like again" (Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium, the Early Centuries. London: Penguin Group, 1990. 116-7;118).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.



Cleisthenes
Theod1GlrMan.jpg
1505c, Theodosius I, 379 - 395 A.D. (Constantinople)84 viewsTheodosius I (379 - 395 AD) AE3. 388-394 AD, RIC IX 27(a)3, Third Officina. Seventh Period. 20.27 mm. 4.8gm. Near VF with black and earthen patina. Constantinople. Obverse: DN THEODO-SIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, & cuirassed bust right; Reverse: GLORIA-ROMANORVM, Theodosius I standing, facing, holding labarum and globe, CONSB in exergue (scarcer reverse). A Spanish find.



De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

THEODOSIUS I (379-395 A.D.)
David Woods
University College of Cork


Origin and Early Career
Flavius Theodosius was born at Cauca in Spain in about 346 to Thermantia and Theodosius the Elder (so-called to distinguish him from his son). Theodosius the Elder was a senior military officer serving in the Western empire and rose to become the magister equitum praesentalis under the emperor Valentinian I from late 368 until his execution in early 375. As the son of a soldier, Theodosius was legally obliged to enter upon a military career. He seems to have served under his father during his expedition to Britain in 367/8, and was the dux Moesiae Primae by late 374. Unfortunately, great controversy surrounds the rest of his career until Gratian had him hailed as his imperial colleague in succession to the emperor Valens at Sirmium on 19 January 379. It is clear that he was forced to retire home to Spain only to be recalled to active service shortly thereafter, but the circumstances of his forced retirement are shrouded in mystery. His father was executed at roughly the same time, and much speculation has centred on the relationship between these events.

[For a very detailed and interesting discussion of the Foreign Policy of Theodosius and the Civil Wars that plagued his reign, please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/theo1.htm]

Family and Succession
Theodosius married twice. His first wife was the Spanish Aelia Flavia Flaccilla. She bore him Arcadius ca. 377, Honorius on 9 September 384, and Pulcheria ca. 385. Theodosius honoured her with the title of Augusta shortly after his accession, but she died in 386. In late 387 he married Galla, daughter of Valentinian I and full-sister of Valentinian II. She bore him Gratian ca. 388, Galla Placidia ca. 388/390, and died in childbirth in 394, together with her new-born son John. Of his two sons who survived infancy, he appointed Arcadius as Augustus on 19 January 383 and Honorius as Augustus on 23 January 393. His promotion of Arcadius as a full Augustus at an unusually young age points to his determination right from the start that one of his own sons should succeed him. He sought to strengthen Arcadius' position in particular by means of a series of strategic marriages whose purpose was to tie his leading "generals" irrevocably to his dynasty. Hence he married his niece and adoptive daughter Serena to his magister militum per Orientem Stilicho in 387, her elder sister Thermantia to a "general" whose name has not been preserved, and ca. 387 his nephew-in-law Nebridius to Salvina, daughter of the comes Africae Gildo. By the time of his death by illness on 17 January 395, Theodosius had promoted Stilicho from his position as one of the two comites domesticorum under his own eastern administration to that of magister peditum praesentalis in a western administration, in an entirely traditional manner, under his younger son Honorius. Although Stilicho managed to increase the power of the magister peditum praesentalis to the disadvantage of his colleague the magister equitum praesentalis and claimed that Theodosius had appointed him as guardian for both his sons, this tells us more about his cunning and ambition than it does about Theodosius' constitutional arrangements.

Theodosius' importance rests on the fact that he founded a dynasty which continued in power until the death of his grandson Theodosius II in 450. This ensured a continuity of policy which saw the emergence of Nicene Christianity as the orthodox belief of the vast majority of Christians throughout the middle ages. It also ensured the essential destruction of paganism and the emergence of Christianity as the religion of the state, even if the individual steps in this process can be difficult to identify. On the negative side, however, he allowed his dynastic interests and ambitions to lead him into two unnecessary and bloody civil wars which severely weakened the empire's ability to defend itself in the face of continued barbarian pressure upon its frontiers. In this manner, he put the interests of his family before those of the wider Roman population and was responsible, in many ways, for the phenomenon to which we now refer as the fall of the western Roman empire.


Copyright (C) 1998, David Woods.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

There is a nice segue here, as we pick-up John Julius Norwich's summation of the reign of Theodosius, "Readers of this brief account of his career may well find themselves wondering, not so much whether he deserved the title of 'the Great' as how he ever came to acquire it in the first place. If so, however, they may also like to ask themselves another question: what would have been the fate of the Empire if, at that critical moment in its history after the battle of Adrianople, young Gratian had not called him from his Spanish estates and put the future of the East into his hands? . . . the probability is that the whole Empire of the East would have been lost, swallowed up in a revived Gothic kingdom, with effects on world history that defy speculation.

In his civil legislation he showed, again and again, a consideration for the humblest of his subjects that was rare indeed among rulers of the fourth century. What other prince would have decreed that any criminal, sentenced to execution, imprisonment or exile, must first be allowed thirty days' grace to put his affairs in order? Or that a specified part of his worldly goods must go to his children, upon whom their father's crimes must on no account be visited? Or that no farmer should be obliged to sell his produce to the State at a price lower than he would receive on the open market?

Had he earned his title? Not, perhaps, in the way that Constantine had done or as Justinian was to do. But, if not ultimately great himself, he had surely come very close to greatness; and had he reigned as long as they did his achievements might well have equalled theirs. He might even have saved the Western Empire. One thing only is certain: it would be nearly a century and a half before the Romans would look upon his like again" (Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium, the Early Centuries. London: Penguin Group, 1990. 116-7;118).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
0023-065.jpg
1608 - Lepidus and Octavian, Denarius149 viewsDenarius minted in Italy, 42 BC
LEPIDVS PONT MAX III V R P C, bare head of Lepidus right (NT and MA in monograms)
C CAESAR IMPIII VIR R P C, bare head of Octavian right (MP in monogram)
3.78 gr
Ref : HCRI # 140, RCV # 1523, Cohen # 2

The following from forum catalog :
"Lepidus was a faithful follower of Julius Caesar, and he served as Praetor and Consul. When Caesar was assassinated, Lepidus was in charge of the cavalry and commanded a legion. This position secured him a place in the Second Triumvirate along Marc Antony and Octavian. His cut was Africa. When Octavian attacked Sextus Pompey's Sicily, Lepidus' ships and troops supported him. In an uninspired move, Lepidus thought he could force Octavian to leave him the island. The two armies separated and isolated skirmishes occurred, but soon the soldiers sick of yet another civil war, acknowledging Octavian's superiority deserted Lepidus en-masse. Lepidus left the island as a simple civilian, retaining only his priesthood, but he was the only defeated Imperator not to suffer a violent death."
2 commentsPotator II
commodus_RIC259a.jpg
177-192 AD - COMMODUS AR denarius - struck 191 or 192 AD35 viewsobv: L AEL AVREL COM-M AVG P FEL (laureate head right)
rev: PROVIDENTIAE AVG (Hercules standing right, his foot is placed on the prow of a vessel, resting club on treetrunk right and holding thunderbolt; clasping hands with Africa, who wears elephantskin on head, in her left hand holding sistrum, at her feet lion)
ref: RIC III 259a (R), RSC 643 (20frcs)
mint: Rome
2.86gms, 18mm
Rare

This coin legend and type is regarded to the African fleet of corn transports. The elephant's head, the sistrum, and the lion are attributes peculiar to Egypt and to Africa proper, which were the granaries of Rome. But Commodus having sent his ships for freights of corn is on this coin represented paying worship to Hercules, and he himself plants his foot on the prow of one of the vessels, as if showing care for his new colony.
1 commentsberserker
194_Septimius_Severus_Dupondius_RIC_680_1.jpg
194_Septimius_Severus_Dupondius_RIC_680_16 viewsSeptimius Severus (193 – 211 AD)
AE Dupondius, Rome, 194 – 195
L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP IIII;
Radiate head right
AFRICA, S-C;
Africa, in elephant-skin head-dress, standing right, holding corn-ears in fold of robe(?), lion at feet
10, 04 gr, 24 mm
RIC IVa, 680; BMC V, 523; C. 30
ga77
AugustusDenApollo.jpg
1ai Augustus25 views27 BC-14 AD

Denarius
Laureate head left, AVGVSTVS DIVI F
Apollo stg. Right, IMP XII

Van Meter notes that after about 15 BC, Augustus moved the production of gold and silver to Lugdunum and underscored the end of the moneyer issues by using "IMP" on the reverse.

RIC 180

Suetonius summarized Augusts' life in these words: He lost his father at the age of five (58BC). At twelve he delivered a funeral oration in honour of his grandmother Julia, Julius Caesar’s sister (51BC). At sixteen, having assumed the toga, he was decorated by Caesar during the African triumph (46BC) even though he had been too young to fight. When Caesar went to conquer Pompey’s sons in Spain (in 46BC), Augustus followed, despite still being weak from severe illness, and despite being shipwrecked on the way, with a minimal escort, over roads menaced by the enemy, so endearing himself greatly to Caesar, who quickly formed a high opinion of Augustus’ character, beyond merely his energetic pursuit of the journey.
After recovering the Spanish provinces, Caesar planned an expedition against the Dacians, to be followed by an attack on Parthia, and sent Augustus ahead (in 45BC) to Apollonia in Illyria, where he spent his time studying. When news came of Caesar’s assassination (in 44BC), and that the will named him as the main heir, Augustus considered seeking protection from the legions quartered there. However he decided it would be rash and premature, and chose to return to Rome, and enter on his inheritance, despite the doubts expressed by his mother, and strong opposition from his stepfather, the ex-consul Marcius Philippus.

Augustus went on to levy armies and rule the State; firstly for a twelve-year period (from 43BC to 30BC), initially with Mark Antony and Lepidus and then (from 33BC) with Antony alone; and later by himself for a further forty-four years (to his death in AD14).

In his youth he was betrothed to Servilia, the daughter of Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus, but on his reconciliation with Mark Antony following their first dispute, the troops begged them to become allied by some tie of kinship, and he married (in 43BC) Claudia, Antony’s stepdaughter, born to Fulvia and Publius Clodius Pulcher, even though Claudia was barely of marriageable age. However he quarrelled with Fulvia, and divorced Claudia before the marriage had been consummated.

Not long afterwards (in 40BC), he married Scribonia, whose previous husbands had been ex-consuls, and to one of whom she had borne a child. He divorced her also ‘tired’, he wrote, ‘of her shrewish ways,’ and immediately took Livia Drusilla from her husband Tiberius Nero though she was pregnant at the time (38BC), loving and esteeming her alone to the end.
Blindado
ClaudiusAsLibertas.jpg
1ap Claudius29 views41-54

As
Bare head, left, TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP
Libertas, LIBERTAS AVGVSTA SC

RIC 97

According to Suetonius: Claudius was born at Lugdunum (Lyon) on the 1st of August 10BC in the consulship of Iullus Antonius and Fabius Africanus, on the day when the very first altar to Augustus was dedicated there, the child being given the name Tiberius Claudius Drusus. When his elder brother Germanicus was adopted into the Julian family (in 4 AD), he added the name Germanicus also. He lost his father when still an infant (in 9 BC), and throughout his childhood and youth was severely afflicted by various stubborn ailments so that his mind and body lacked vigour, and even when he attained his majority he was not considered capable of a public or private career.

Nevertheless, he applied himself to liberal studies from his earliest youth, and often published examples of his proficiency in each area, though even so he was excluded from public office and failed to inspire any brighter hopes for his future. His mother Antonia the Younger often condemned him as an unfinished freak of Nature, and when accusing someone of stupidity would say: ‘He’s a bigger fool than my son Claudius.’ His grandmother Augusta (Livia) always treated him with utter contempt, and rarely even spoke to him, admonishing him, when she chose to do so, in brief harsh missives, or via her messengers. When his sister Livilla heard the prophecy that he would be Emperor some day, she prayed openly and loudly that Rome might be spared so cruel and unmerited a fate.

Having spent the larger part of his life in such circumstances, he became emperor at the age of fifty (in AD41) by a remarkable stroke of fate. Caligula’s assassins had dispersed the crowd on the pretext that the Emperor wished for solitude, and Claudius, shut out with the rest, retired to a room called the Hermaeum, but shortly afterwards, terrified by news of the murder, crept off to a nearby balcony and hid behind the door-curtains. A Guard, who was wandering about the Palace at random, spotting a pair of feet beneath the curtain where Claudius was cowering, dragged the man out to identify him, and as Claudius fell to the ground in fear, recognised him, and acclaimed him Emperor.

Eutropius summarizes: His reign was of no striking character; he acted, in many respects, with gentleness and moderation, in some with cruelty and folly. He made war upon Britain, which no Roman since Julius Caesar had visited; and, having reduced it through the agency of Cnaeus Sentius and Aulus Plautius, illustrious and noble men, he celebrated a magnificent triumph. Certain islands also, called the Orcades, situated in the ocean, beyond Britain, he added to the Roman empire, and gave his son the name of Britannicus. . . . He lived to the age of sixty-four, and reigned fourteen years; and after his death was consecrated3 and deified.

This was the first "good" coin I ever bought and therefore marks the begiining of an addiction.
Blindado
GalbaDenVictory.jpg
1at Galba31 views68-69

Denarius

Laureate head, right, SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M TR P
Victory standing on globe, VICTORIA PR

RIC 111

Suetonius recorded: Servius Galba, the future emperor was born on the 24th of December, 3BC, in the consulship of Marcus Valerius Messala and Gnaeus Lentulus, at a hillside mansion near Terracina, on the left of the road to Fundi (Fondi). He was formally adopted by his stepmother Livia Ocellina, and took the name Livius and the surname Ocella, also changing his forename to Lucius, until he became Emperor.

It is common knowledge that when calling on Augustus to pay his respects, with other boys of his age, the Emperor pinched his cheek, and said in Greek: ‘You too will have a taste of power, my child.’ And when Tiberius heard the prophecy that Galba would be emperor in old age, he commented: ‘Well let him be, it’s no concern of mine.’

Galba achieved office before the usual age and as praetor (in 20AD), controlling the games at the Floralia, he was the first to introduce a display of tightrope-walking elephants. He next governed Aquitania, for almost a year, and not long afterwards held the consulship for six months (in 33AD). When Caligula was assassinated (in 41AD), Galba chose neutrality though many urged him to seize the opportunity for power. Claudius expressed his gratitude by including him among his intimate friends, and Galba was shown such consideration that the expedition to Britain was delayed to allow him to recover from a sudden but minor indisposition. Later he was proconsul in Africa for two years (44/45AD), being singled out, and so avoiding the usual lottery, to restore order in the province, which was riven by internecine rivalry and an indigenous revolt. He re-established peace, by the exercise of ruthless discipline, and the display of justice even in the most trifling matters. . . .

But when word from the City arrived that Nero was dead and that the people had sworn allegiance to him, he set aside the title of governor and assumed that of Caesar. He then began his march to Rome in a general’s cloak, with a dagger, hanging from his neck, at his chest, and did not resume the toga until his main rivals had been eliminated, namely the commander of the Praetorian Guard in Rome, Nymphidius Sabinus, and the commanders in Germany and Africa, Fonteius Capito and Clodius Macer. . . . His prestige and popularity were greater while winning power than wielding it, though he showed evidence of being a more than capable ruler, loved less, unfortunately, for his good qualities than he was hated for his bad ones.

He was even warned of the danger of imminent assassination, the day before his death, by a soothsayer, as he offered the morning sacrifice. Shortly afterwards he learnt that Otho had secured the Guards camp, and when his staff advised him to carry the day by his presence and prestige, by going there immediately, he opted instead to stay put, but gather a strong bodyguard of legionaries from their billets around the City. He did however don a linen corselet, though saying that frankly it would serve little against so many weapons. False reports, put about by the conspirators to lure him into appearing in public, deceived a few of his close supporters, who rashly told him the rebellion was over, the plotters overthrown, and that the rest of the troops were on their way to congratulate him and carry out his orders. So he went to meet them, with such confidence, that when a soldier boasted of killing Otho, he snapped out: ‘On whose authority?’ before hastening on to the Forum. The cavalrymen who had been ordered to find and kill him, who were spurring through the streets scattering the crowds of civilians, now caught sight of him in the distance and halted an instant before galloping towards him and cutting him down, while his staff ran for their lives.
Blindado
VitelliusDenVesta.jpg
1av Vitellius42 views69

Denarius
Portrait, right, A VITELLIVS GERMAN IMP TR P
Vesta std., PONT MAX

RIC 107

According to Suetonius: Lucius’s son Aulus, the future emperor, was born on the 24th of September 15AD, or according to some authorities on the 7th, during the consulship of Drusus Caesar and Norbanus Flaccus. . . . His boyhood and early youth were spent on Capreae (Capri) among Tiberius’s creatures, he himself being marked by the nickname of ‘Spintria’ (sex-token) throughout his life, and suspected of having secured his father’s first promotion to office by surrendering his own chastity. As he grew older, though contaminated by every kind of vice, Vitellius gained and kept a prominent place at court, winning Caligula’s friendship by his devotion to chariot-racing and Claudius’s by his love of dice. With Nero he was even closer. . . .

Honoured, as these emperors’ favourite, with high office in the priesthood, as well as political power, he governed Africa (under Nero, in 60/61AD) as proconsul, and was then Curator of Public Works (in 63AD), employing a contrasting approach, and with a contrasting effect on his reputation. In his province he acted with outstanding integrity over two successive years, since he served as deputy also to his brother who succeeded him (61/62AD) yet during his administration of the City he was said to have stolen various temple offerings and ornaments, and substituted brass and tin for the gold and silver in others. . . .

Contrary to all expectations, Galba appointed Vitellius to Lower Germany (in 68AD). Some think it was brought about by Titus Vinius, whose influence was powerful at that time, and whose friendship Vitellius had previously won through their mutual support for the ‘Blues’ in the Circus. But it is clear to everyone that Galba chose him as an act of contempt rather than favour, commenting that gluttons were among those least to be feared, and Vitellius’s endless appetite would now be able to sate itself on a province. . . .

He entered Rome to the sound of trumpets, surrounded by standards and banners, wearing a general’s cape, sword at his side, his officers in their military cloaks also, and the men with naked blades. With increasing disregard for the law, human or divine, he then assumed the office of High Priest on the anniversary of the Allia (18th July), arranged the elections for the next ten years, and made himself consul for life. . . .

Vitellius’s worst vices were cruelty and gluttony. . . . By the eighth month of his reign (November 69AD) the legions in Moesia and Pannonia had repudiated Vitellius, and sworn allegiance to Vespasian despite his absence, following those of Syria and Judaea who had done so in Vespasian’s presence. . . .

The vanguard of Vespasian’s army had now forced its way into the Palace, unopposed, and the soldiers were ransacking the rooms, in their usual manner. They hauled Vitellius, unrecognised, from his hiding place, asked his name and where the Emperor might be. He gave some lying answer, but was soon identified, so he begged for safe custody, even if that meant imprisonment, claiming he had important information for Vespasian regarding his security. However his arms were bound behind him and a noose flung over his head, and he was dragged along the Sacred Way to the Forum, amid a hail of mockery and abuse, half-naked, with his clothes in tatters. His head was held back by the hair, like a common criminal and, with a sword-point under his chin so that he was forced to look up and reveal his face, he was pelted with filth and dung, denounced as arsonist and glutton, and taunted with his bodily defects by the crowd. For, Vitellius was exceptionally tall, and his face was usually flushed from some drinking bout. He had a huge belly, too, and one thigh crippled by a blow from a four-horse chariot which struck him when he was in attendance on Caligula who was driving. At last, after being tormented by a host of cuts from the soldiers’ swords, he was killed on the Gemonian Stairs, and his body dragged with a hook to the Tiber.
1 commentsBlindado
VespDenSalus.jpg
1aw Vespasian44 views69-79

Denarius
Laureate head, right, IMP CAES VESP AVG CEN
Salus seated left with patera, SALVS AVG

RIC 513 (C2)

Suetonius wrote: The Flavians seized power, and the Empire, long troubled and adrift, afflicted by the usurpations and deaths of three emperors, at last achieved stability. True they were an obscure family, with no great names to boast of, yet one our country has no need to be ashamed of. . . . Vespasian was born in the Sabine country, in the little village of Falacrinae just beyond Reate (Rieti), on the 17th of November 9 AD in the consulship of Quintus Sulpicius Camerinus and Gaius Poppaeus Sabinus, five years before the death of Augustus. He was raised by his paternal grandmother Tertulla on her estate at Cosa. . . .

Under Claudius, he was sent to Germany (in 41 AD) to command a legion, thanks to the influence of Narcissus. From there he was posted to Britain (in 43 AD), where partly under the leadership of Aulus Plautius and partly that of Claudius himself, he fought thirty times, subjugating two powerful tribes, more than twenty strongholds, and the offshore island of Vectis (the Isle of Wight). This earned him triumphal regalia, and a little later two priesthoods and the consulship (in 51 AD) which he held for the last two months of the year. . . . He won, by lot, the governorship of Africa (in 63 AD), ruling it soundly and with considerable dignity. . . .

An ancient and well-established belief became widespread in the East that the ruler of the world at this time would arise from Judaea. This prophecy as events proved referred to the future Emperor of Rome, but was taken by the Jews to apply to them. They rebelled, killed their governor, and routed the consular ruler of Syria also, when he arrived to restore order, capturing an Eagle. To crush the rebels needed a considerable force under an enterprising leader, who would nevertheless not abuse power. Vespasian was chosen, as a man of proven vigour, from whom little need be feared, since his name and origins were quite obscure. Two legions with eight divisions of cavalry and ten cohorts of auxiliaries were added to the army in Judaea, and Vespasian took his elder son, Titus, along as one of his lieutenants. . . .

Yet Vespasian made no move, though his follower were ready and eager, until he was roused to action by the fortuitous support of a group of soldiers unknown to him, and based elsewhere. Two thousand men, of the three legions in Moesia reinforcing Otho’s forces, despite hearing on the march that he had been defeated and had committed suicide, had continued on to Aquileia, and there taken advantage of the temporary chaos to plunder at will. Fearing that if they returned they would be held to account and punished, they decided to choose and appoint an emperor of their own, on the basis that they were every bit as worthy of doing so as the Spanish legions who had appointed Galba, or the Praetorian Guard which had elected Otho, or the German army which had chosen Vitellius. They went through the list of serving consular governors, rejecting them for one reason or another, until in the end they unanimously adopted Vespasian, who was recommended strongly by some members of the Third Legion, which had been transferred to Moesia from Syria immediately prior to Nero’s death. . . .

Vespasian, an unheralded and newly-forged emperor, as yet lacked even a modicum of prestige and divine majesty, but this too he acquired. . . . Returning to Rome (in 70 AD) attended by such auspices, having won great renown, and after a triumph awarded for the Jewish War, he added eight consulships (AD 70-72, 74-77, 79) to his former one, and assumed the censorship. He first considered it essential to strengthen the State, which was unstable and well nigh fatally weakened, and then to enhance its role further during his reign. . . .
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1bq Didius Julianus93 views193

Sestertius

Laureate head, right, IMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG
Concorde w/ standard, CONCORDIA MILIT SC

RIC 14

According to the Historia Augusta: Didius Julianus. . . was reared at the home of Domitia Lucilla, the mother of the Emperor Marcus. . . . [T]hrough the support of Marcus he attained to the office of aedile [and] praetor. After his praetorship he commanded the XXII Legion, the Primigenia, in Germany, and following that he ruled Belgium long and well. Here, with auxiliaries hastily levied from the provinces, he held out against the Chauci as they attempted to burst through the border; and for these services, on the recommendation of the Emperor, he was deemed worthy of the consulship. He also gained a crushing victory over the Chatti. Next he took charge of Dalmatia and cleared it of the hostile tribes on its borders. Then he governed Lower Germany. . . .

His consulship he served with Pertinax; in the proconsulship of Africa, moreover, he succeeded him. Pertinax always spoke of him as his colleague and successor. After [Pertinax'] death, when Sulpicianus was making plans to be hailed emperor in the camp, Julianus, together with his son-in-law, . . . discovered two tribunes, Publius Florianus and Vectius Aper, who immediately began urging him to seize the throne; and. . . conducted him to the praetorian camp. When they arrived at the camp, however, Sulpicianus, the prefect of the city and the father-in-law of Pertinax, was holding an assembly and claiming the empire himself, and no one would let Julianus inside, despite the huge promises he made from outside the wall. Julianus then . . . wrote on placards that he would restore the good name of Commodus; so he was admitted and proclaimed emperor. . . .

Julianus had no fear of either the British or the Illyrian army; but being chiefly afraid of the Syrian army, he despatched a centurion of the first rank with orders to murder Niger. Consequently Pescennius Niger in Syria and Septimius Severus in Illyricum, together with the armies which they commanded, revolted from Julianus. But when he received the news of the revolt of Severus, whom he had not suspected, then he was greatly troubled and came to the senate and prevailed upon them to declare Severus a public enemy. . . . Severus was approaching the city with a hostile army. . . and the populace hated and laughed at him more and more every day.

In a short time Julianus was deserted by all and left alone in the Palace with one of his prefects, Genialis, and with Repentinus, his son-in-law. Finally, it was propose'd that the imperial power be taken away from Julianus by order of the senate. This was done, and Severus was forthwith acclaimed emperor, while it was given out that Julianus had taken poison. Nevertheless, the senate despatched a delegation and through their efforts Julianus was slain in the Palace by a common soldier. . . .
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Denarius

Laureate head, right, SEVERVS PIVS AVG
Septimius, togate and veiled, standing left holding olive branch, FVNDATOR PACIS

RIC 265

According to the Historia Augusta: After the murder of Didius Julianus, Severus, a native of Africa, gained the empire. His home town was Lepcis Magna, his father was Geta and his ancestors had been Roman knights before citizenship had been given to all. . . . He himself was born on the third day before the Ides of April, when Erucius Clarus, for the second time, and Severus were the consuls [11 April A.D.146]. . . .

After his departure to Germany he conducted himself in such a way in his governorship as to increase his reputation, which had already become noteworthy. Up to this point his military activity was as a private citizen. But then, after it had been learned that Commodus had been murdered and, moreover, that Julianus held the empire amid universal hatred, he was proclaimed emperor by the German legions at Carnuntum, on the Ides of August, although he did put up some resistance to the many who urged him on. He gave the soldiers . . . sesterces each. Then, after strengthening the provinces which he was leaving in his rear, he marched on Rome. All yielded to him wherever he went, while the armies of Illyricum and Gaul, under the pressure of their generals, had already sworn allegiance to him - for he was received by everyone as the avenger of Pertinax. At the same time, on the instigation of Julianus, Septimius Severus was declared a public enemy, and envoys were sent to the army who were to order the soldiers to desert him, on the instructions of the Senate. At first, when Severus heard that the envoys had been sent by authority of a senatorial decree, he was very frightened. Afterwards, by bribing the envoys, he ensured that they spoke in his favour before the army and crossed to his side. Having learned this, Julianus caused a decree ofthe Senate to be passed regarding his sharing of the empire with Severus. It is uncertain whether or not he did this as a trick, since he had already, before this, dispatched certain men, well known for their assassinations of generals, who were to kill Severus. Similarly he had sent men to assassinate Pescennius Niger, who had also assumed the position of emperor in opposition to him, on the instigation of the Syrian armies. But Severus escaped the hands of those that Julianus had sent to murder him and sent a letter to the praetorian guard, giving them the signal either to desertJulianus or to kill him. He was obeyed at once; Julianus was killed in the palace and Severus was invited to Rome. Thus Severus became the victor merely at will - something that had never happened to anyone - and hastened to Rome under arms. . . .

The same emperor, although implacable towards offences, likewise displayed singular judiciousness in encouraging all hard-working persons. He was quite interested in philosophy and the practice of rhetoric, and enthusiastic about learning in general. He took some measures against brigands everywhere. He composed a convincing autobiography dealing with both his private and his public life, making excuses only for the vice of cruelty. With regard to this, the Senate pronounced that either he ought not to have been born or that he ought not to die, since he appeared to be both excessively cruel and excessively useful to the republic. . . . . He died at Eboracum [York] in Britain, having subdued the tribes which appeared hostile to Britain, in the eighteeneh year of his reign, stricken by a very grave illness, now an old man. . . .

This emperor wore such meagre clothing that even his tunic scarcely had any purple, while he covered his shoulders with a shaggy cloak. He ate sparingly, being very addicted to his native vegetable, sometimes fond of wine, often abstaining from meat. His person was handsome, he was of huge size,(Dio Cassius, who knew Severus personally, says that he was small) with a long beard and curly white hair. His face inspired reverence, his voice was resonant but with a trace of an African accent right up to his old age. He was equally beloved after his death, when envy, or the fear of his cruelty, had disappeared.
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Denarius

Laureate, horned & draped bust rightt, IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG
Elagabalus standing left, sacrificing from patera over lit tripod altar, holding branch, star in field left, SVMMVS SACERDOS AVG

RIC 146

The Historia Augusta, in the life of Caracalla, notes: Bassianus lived for forty-three years and ruled for six. . . . He left a son, who afterward received, like his father, the name Antoninus Marcus Antoninus Elagabalus; for such a hold had the name of the Antonines that it could not be removed from the thoughts of the people, because it had taken root in the hearts of all, even as had the name of Augustus.

In the life of Macrinus is recorded: Now there was a certain woman of the city of Emesa, called [Julia] Maesa or Varia; she was the sister of Julia, the wife of [Septimius] Severus Pertinax the African, and after the death of Antoninus Bassianus she had been expelled from her home in the palace through the arrogance of Macrinus. . . . This woman had two daughters, [Julia Soaemias] and [Julia] Mamaea, the elder of whom was the mother of Elagabalus; he assumed the names Bassianus and Antoninus, for the Phoenicians give the name Elagabalus to the Sun. Elagabalus, moreover, was notable for his beauty and stature and for the priesthood which he held, and he was well known to all who frequented the temple, and particularly to the soldiers. To these, Maesa, or Varia as she was also called, declared that this Bassianus was the son of Antoninus, and this was gradually made known to all the soldiers. Maesa herself, furthermore, was very rich (whence also Elagabalus was most wasteful of money), and through her promises to the soldiers the legions were persuaded to desert Macrinus. . . .

Finally, when he received the imperial power, he took the name Antoninus and was the last of the Antonines to rule the Roman Empire. . . . He was wholly under the control of his mother [Soaemias], so much so, in fact, that he did no public business without her consent, although she lived like a harlot and practised all manner of lewdness in the palace. For that matter, her amour with Antoninus Caracalla was so notorious that Varius, or rather Elagabalus, was commonly supposed to be his son. . . . In short, when Elagabalus' message was read in the senate, at once good wishes were uttered for Antoninus and curses on Macrinus and his son, and, in accordance with the general wish and the eager belief of all in his paternity, Antoninus was hailed as emperor. . . .

After he had spent the winter in Nicomedia, [218-219] living in a depraved manner and indulging in unnatural vice with men, the soldiers soon began to regret that they had conspired against Macrinus to make this man emperor, and they turned their thoughts toward his cousin Alexander, who on the murder of Macrinus had been hailed by the senate as Caesar. . . . Among the base actions of his life of depravity he gave orders that Alexander, whom he had formally adopted, be removed from his presence, saying that he regretted the adoption. Then he commanded the senate to take away from Alexander the name of Caesar. But when this was announced to the senate, there was a profound silence. For Alexander was an excellent youth, as was afterwards shown by the character of his rule, even though, because he was chaste, he was displeasing to his adoptive father he was also, as some declare, his cousin. Besides, he was loved by the soldiers and acceptable to the senate and the equestrian order. Yet the Emperor's madness went the length of an attempt to carry out the basest design; for he despatched assassins to kill Alexander. . . . The soldiers, however, and particularly the members of the guard, either because they knew what evils were in store for Elagabalus, or because they foresaw his hatred for themselves, formed a conspiracy to set the state free. First they attacked the accomplices in his plan of murdering Alexander. . . . Next they fell upon Elagabalus himself and slew him in a latrine in which he had taken refuge.
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1cf Orbiana23 viewsDenarius

Draped bust, right, SALL BARBIA ORBIANA AVG
Concord std, CONCORDIA AVGG

RIC 319

Orbiana married Severus Alexander about 235, but her mother-in-law convinced him to banish her to Africa. Herodian recorded: Mamaea secured for Alexander a wife from the aristocracy. Although he loved the girl and lived with her, she was afterward banished from the palace by his mother, who, in her egotistic desire to be sole empress, envied the girl her title. So excessively arrogant did Mamaea become that the girl's father, though Alexander esteemed him highly, could no longer endure the woman's insolence toward him and his daughter; consequently, he took refuge in the praetorian camp, fully aware of the debt of gratitude he owed Alexander for the honors he had received from him, but complaining bitterly about Mamaea's insults. Enraged, Mamaea ordered him to be killed and at the same time drove the girl from the palace to exile in Libya. She did this against Alexander's wishes and in spite of his displeasure, but the emperor was dominated by his mother and obeyed her every command.
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Denarius

Laureate draped bust, right, IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG
Pax stg, PAX AVGVSTI

RIC 12

Herodian recorded: There was in the Roman army a man named Maximinus whose half-barbarian family lived in a village in the most remote section of Thrace. They say that as a boy he was a shepherd, but that in his youthful prime he was drafted into the cavalry because of his size and strength. After a short time, favored by Fortune, he advanced through all the military ranks, rising eventually to the command of armies and the governing of provinces.

Because of his military experience, which I have noted above, Alexander put Maximinus in charge of training recruits for the entire army; his task was to instruct them in military duties and prepare them for service in war. By carrying out his assignments thoroughly and diligently, Maximinus won the affection of the soldiers. He not only taught them their duties; he also demonstrated personally to each man what he was to do. . . .

He won their devotion by giving them all kinds of gifts and rewards. Consequently, the recruits, who included an especially large number of Pannonians, praised the masculinity of Maximinus and despised Alexander as a mother's boy. . . . The soldiers were therefore ready for a change of emperors. . . . They therefore assembled on the drill field for their regular training; when Maximinus took his position before them, either unaware of what was happening or having secretly made prior preparations for the event, the soldiers robed him in the imperial purple and proclaimed him emperor. . . .

When he assumed control of the empire, Maximinus reversed the situation, using his power savagely to inspire great fear. He undertook to substitute for a mild and moderate rule an autocracy in every way barbarous, well aware of the hostility directed toward him because he was the first man to rise from a lowly station to the post of highest honor. His character was naturally barbaric, as his race was barbarian. He had inherited the brutal disposition of his countrymen, and he intended to make his imperial position secure by acts of cruelty, fearing that he would become an object of contempt to the Senate and the people, who might be more conscious of his lowly origin than impressed by the honor he had won. . . .

[A]fter Maximinus had completed three years as emperor, the people of Africa first took up arms and touched off a serious revolt for one of those trivial reasons which often prove fatal to a tyrant. . . . The entire populace of the city quickly assembled when the news was known, and the youths proclaimed Gordian Augustus. He begged to be excused, protesting that he was too old. . . .

[In Rome], the senators met before they received accurate information concerning Maximinus and, placing their trust for the future in the present situation, proclaimed Gordian Augustus, together with his son, and destroyed Maximinus' emblems of honor. . . . Embassies composed of senators and distinguished equestrians were sent to all the governors with letters which clearly revealed the attitude of the Senate and the Roman people. . . . The majority of the governors welcomed the embassies and had no difficulty in arousing the provinces to revolt because of the general hatred of Maximinus. . . .


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Antoninianus

Radiate draped bust, right, IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG
Liberalitas standing left with abacus & cornucopiae, LIBERALITAS AVGG II

RIC 38b

The Historia Augusta records: Philippus Arabs was made prefect of the guard [in 243]. This Philip was low-born but arrogant, and now could not contain himself in his sudden rise to office and immoderate good fortune, but immediately, through the soldiers, began to plot against Gordian, who had begun to treat him as a father. . . . Timesitheus [Gordian's father-in-law] had stored up such a quantity of supplies everywhere, that the Roman administration could not break down. But now Philip intrigued first to have the grain-ships turned away, and then to have the troops moved to stations where they could not get provisions. In this way he speedily got them exasperated against Gordian, for they did not know that the youth had been betrayed through Philip's intriguing. In addition to this, Philip spread talk among the soldiers to the effect that Gordian was young and could not manage the Empire, and that it were better for someone to rule who could command the army and understood public affairs. Besides this, he won over the leaders, and finally brought it about that they openly called him to the throne. Gordian's friends at first opposed him vigorously, but when the soldiers were at last overcome with hunger Philip was entrusted with the sovereignty, and the soldiers commanded that he and Gordian should rule together with equal rank while Philip acted as a sort of guardian.

Now that he had gained the imperial power Philip began to bear himself very arrogantly towards Gordian ; and he, knowing himself to be an emperor, an emperor's son, and a scion of a most noble family, could not endure this low-born fellow's insolence. And so, mounting the platform, with his kinsman Maecius Gordianus standing by him as his prefect, he complained bitterly to the officers and soldiers in the hope that Philip's office could be taken from him. But by this complaint in which he accused Philip of being unmindful of past favours and too little grateful he accomplished nothing. Next he asked the soldiers to make their choice, after openly canvassing the officers, but as a result of Philip's intriguing he came off second in the general vote. And finally, when he saw that everyone considered him worsted, he asked that their power might at least be equal, but he did not secure this either. After this he asked to be given the position of Caesar, but he did not gain this. He asked also to be Philip's prefect, and this, too, was denied him. His last prayer was that Philip should make him a general and let him live. And to this Philip almost consented not speaking himself, but acting through his friends, as he had done throughout, with nods and advice. But when he reflected that through the love that the Roman people and senate, the whole of Africa and Syria, and indeed the whole Roman world, felt for Gordian, because he was nobly born and the son and grandson of emperors and had delivered the whole state from grievous wars, it was possible, if the soldiers ever changed their minds, that the throne might be given back to Gordian if he asked for it again, and when he reflected also that the violence of the soldiers' anger against Gordian was due to hunger, he had him carried, shouting protests, out of their sight and then despoiled and slain.

Eutropius wrote, "When Gordian was killed, the two PHILIPS, father and son, seized on the government, and, having brought off the army safe, set out from Syria for Italy. In their reign the thousandth year of the city of Rome was celebrated with games and spectacles of vast magnificence. Soon after, both of them were put to death by the soldiery; the elder Philip at Verona, the younger at Rome. They reigned but five years. They were however ranked among the gods."
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Antoninianus

Radiate draped and cuirassed bust, right, IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG
Victory standing left, holding wreath and palm, VICTORIA AVGG

RIC 125

Persians surrounded Valerian's army in the East in 260 and took the emperor prisoner. He died on an unknown date in captivity.

Zosimus noted: The nations subject to the Romans being unable to endure [Maximinus'] monstrous cruelty, and greatly distressed by the ravages he committed, the Africans proclaimed Gordianus and his son, of the same name, emperors, and sent ambassadors to Rome, one of whom was Valerianus, a man of consular rank, who afterwards himself became emperor. . . .

Aemilianus advanced with great speed into Italy, and the armies were very near to each other, when the soldiers of Gallus, reflecting that his force was much inferior to the enemy both in number and strength, and likewise that he was a negligent indolent man, put him and his son to death, and going over to the party of Aemilianus, appeared to establish his authority. But Valerianus brought into Italy from beyond the Alps a vast army, with which he deemed himself secure of conquering Aemilianus. The soldiers of Aemilianus, who saw that his conduct was more like that of a private sentinel than of an emperor, now put him to death as a person unfit for so weighty a charge.

By these means Valerianus became emperor with universal consent, and employed himself in the regulation of affairs. But the excursions of the Scythians, and of the Marcomanni, who made an inroad into all the countries adjacent to the empire, reduced Thessalonica to extreme danger; and though they were with muct difficulty compelled to raise the siege by the brave defence of those within, yet all Greece was in alarm. The Athenians repaired their walls, which they had never thought worth their care since Sylla threw them down. The Peloponnesians likewise fortified the Isthmus, and all Greece put itself upon its guard for the general security.

Valerianus, perceiving the empire in danger on every side, associated his son Gallienus with himself in the government! and went himself into the east to oppose the Persians. He entrusted to his son the care of the forces in Europe, thus leaving him to resist the Barbarians who poured in upon him in every direction. . . .

Valerianus had by this time heard of the disturbances in Bithynia, but his district would not allow him to confide the defence of it to any of his generals. He therefore sent Felix to Byzantium, and went in person from Antioch into Cappadocia, and after he had done some injury to every city by which he passed, he returned homeward. But the plague then attacked his troops, and destroyed most of them, at the time when Sapor made an attempt upon the east, and reduced most of it into subjection. In the mean time, Valerianus became so effeminate and indolent, that he dispaired of ever recovering from the present ill state of affairs, and would have concluded the war by a present of money; had not Sapor sent back the ambasadors who were sent to him with that proposal, without their errand, desiring the emperor to come and speak with him in person concerning the affairs he wished to adjust; To which he most imprudently consented, and going without consideration to Sapor with a small retinue, to treat for a peace, was presently laid hold of by the enemy, and so ended his days in the capacity of a slave among the Persians, to the disgrace of the Roman name in all future times.
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AE antoninianus

Radiate, draped & cuirassed bust, right, IMP FLORIANVS AVG
Victory & Flor, CONCORDIA MILITVM

RIC 116Q

Half-brother to Tacitus, he reigned only two months before his troops killed him rather than fight an army under Probus. Concordia Militvm did not really work out for him. Zosimus recorded, "An universal civil disturbance now arose, those of the east chusing Probus emperor, and those at Rome Florianus. The former of these governed all Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine, and Egypt; but the latter was in possession of all the countries from Cilicia to Italy; besides which the homage of all the nations beyond the Alps, the Gauls, Spaniards, Britons, and Africans was paid to him. When both therefore were ready for war, Florianus came to Tarsus, resolving to encamp there, leaving his victory over the Scythians at the Bosphorus unfinished, by which he gave them an opportunity of recovering themselves and returning home, though he had cut off their retreat. Probus protracted the time, because he came with less preparation for a battle. By these means it came to pass, that the weather, being exceedingly hot, a pestilential disorder broke out amongst the troops of Florianus, most of whom were Europeans, and consequently unaccustomed to such excessive heat, by which many were taken off. When Probus understood this, he thought it a proper time to attack the enemy. The soldiers of Florianus, attempting what exceeded their strength, fought some slight skirmishes before the city, but nothing being done worthy of notice, some of the troops of Probus deposed Florianus. Having performed this, he was kept in custody for some time, until his own soldiers said, that it was the will of Probus that he should share the empire. Florianus therefore assumed |32 the purple robe again, until the return of those who were sent to know the true resolution of Probus. On their arrival they caused Florianus to be killed by his own soldiers."
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AE antoninianus

Radiate draped & cuirassed bust, right, IMP C M AVR CARINVS AVG
Aequitas stg. Left, AEQVITAS AVGG

RIC 238

According to the Historia Augusta: He was the most polluted of men, an adulterer and a constant corrupter of youth. . . . He was left by his father as Caesar in Gaul and Italy and in Illyricum, Spain, Britain, and Africa, all of which had been voted to him, and he exercised there a Caesar's powers, but with the permission to perform all the duties of an Augustus. Then he defiled himself by unwonted vices and inordinate depravity. . . . He appeared in public as consul contrary to his father's wish. He wrote arrogant letters to the senate, and he even promised the senate's property to the mob of the city of Rome, as though it, forsooth, were the Roman people. By marrying and divorcing he took nine wives in all, and he put away some even while they were pregnant. He filled the Palace with actors and harlots, pantomimists, singers and pimps. He had such an aversion for the signing of state-papers that he appointed for signing them a certain filthy fellow, with whom he used always to jest at midday, and then he reviled him because he could imitate his writing so well. . . .

When he learned that his father had been killed by lightning and his brother slain by his own father-in-law, and that Diocletian had been hailed as Augustus, Carinus committed acts of still greater vice and crime, as though now set free and released by the death of his kindred from all the restraints of filial duty. He did not, however, lack strength of purpose for claiming the imperial power. For he fought many battles against Diocletian, but finally, being defeated in a fight near Margus, he perished.
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Quarter Follis

Laureate head, right, IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS P F AVG
Genius standing left, with modius on head, cornucopia & patera, GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, SIS in exergue

RIC 146

Eutropius records: [Diocletian] thus became master of the Roman empire; and when the peasants in Gaul made an insurrection, giving their faction the name of Bagaudae, and having for leaders Amandus and Aelianus, he despatched Maximian Herculius, with the authority of Caesar, to suppress them. Maximian, in a few battles of little importance, subdued the rustic multitude, and restored peace to Gaul. . . . While disorder thus prevailed throughout the world, while Carausius was taking arms in Britain and Achilleus in Egypt, while the Quinquegentiani were harassing Africa, and Narseus was making war upon the east, Diocletian promoted MAXIMIAN HERCULIUS from the dignity of Caesar to that "of emperor, and created Constantius and Maximian Galerius Caesars. . . .

Maximian the emperor, brought the war to an end in Africa, by subduing the Quinquegentiani, and compelling them to make peace. . . .

Herculius was undisguisedly cruel, and of a violent temper, and showed his severity of disposition in the sternness of his looks. Gratifying his own inclination, he joined with Diocletian in even the most cruel of his proceedings. But when Diocletian, as age bore heavily upon him, felt himself unable to sustain the government of the empire, he suggested to Herculius that they should both retire into private life, and commit the duty of upholding the state to more vigorous and youthful hands. With this suggestion his colleague reluctantly complied. Both of them, in the same day, exchanged the robe of empire for an ordinary dress, Diocletian at Nicomedia, Herculius at Milan, soon after a magnificent triumph which they celebrated at Rome over several nations, with a noble succession of pictures, and in which the wives, sisters, and children of Narseus were led before their chariots. The one then retired to Salonae, and the other into Lucania.

But after the death of Constantius, CONSTANTINE, his son by a wife of obscure birth, was made emperor in Britain, and succeeded his father as a most desirable ruler. In the meantime the praetorian guards at Rome, having risen in insurrection, declared MAXENTIUS, the son of Maximian Herculius, who lived in the Villa Publica not far from the city, emperor. At the news of this proceeding, Maximian, filled with hopes of regaining the imperial dignity, which he had not willingly resigned, hurried to Rome from Lucania. . . , and stimulated Diocletian by letters to resume the authority that he had laid down, letters which Diocletian utterly disregarded. Severus Caesar, being despatched to Rome by Galerius to suppress the rising of the guards and Maxentius, arrived there with his army, but, as he was laying siege to the city, was deserted through the treachery of his soldiers.

The power of Maxentius was thus increased, and his government established. Severus, taking to flight, was killed at Ravenna. Maximian Herculius, attempting afterwards, in an assembly of the army, to divest his son Maxentius of his power, met with nothing but mutiny and reproaches from the soldiery. He then set out for Gaul, on a planned stratagem, as if he had been driven away by his son, that he might join his son-in-law Constantine, designing, however, if he could find an opportunity, to cut off Constantine, who was ruling in Gaul with great approbation both of the soldiers and the people of the province, having overthrown the Franks and Alemanni with great slaughter, and captured their kings, whom, on exhibiting a magnificent show of games, he exposed to wild beasts. But the plot being made known by Maximian's daughter Fausta, who communicated the design to her husband, Maximian was cut off at Marseilles, whence he was preparing to sail to join his son, and died a well-deserved death. . . .
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ConstantiusChlorusFollisGenio.jpg
1du Constantius I17 views305-306

Quarter Follis

Laureate head, right, IMP CONSTANTIVS P F AVG
Genius standing left, modius on head, naked except for chlamys over left shoulder, holding patera and cornucopiae. Mintmark: SIS, GENIO POPVLI ROMANI

Also known as Constantius Chlorus.

RIC 167

After being names Caesar, according to Eutropius: A battle was fought by Constantius Caesar in Gaul, at Lingonae, where he experienced both good and had fortune in one day; for though he was driven into the city by a sudden onset of the barbarians, with such haste and precipitation that after the gates were shut he was drawn up the wall by ropes, yet, when his army came up, after the lapse of scarcely six hours, he cut to pieces about sixty thousand of the Alemanni. . . .

CONSTANTIUS and GALERIUS were made emperors; and the Roman world was divided between them in such a manner, that Constantius had Gaul, Italy, and Africa; Galerius Illyricum, Asia, and the East; two Caesars being joined with them. [Zosimus adds: Three years after Dioclesian died, and the reigning emperors, Constantius and Maximianus Gallerius declared Severus and Maximinus (who was nephew to Gallerius), the Caesars, giving all Italy to Severus, and the eastern provinces to Maximinus.] Constantius, however, content with the dignity of emperor, declined the care of governing Africa. He was an excellent man, of extreme benevolence, who studied to increase the resources of the provinces and of private persons, cared but little for the improvement of the public treasury, and used to say that "it was better for the national wealth to be in the hands of individuals than to be laid up in one place of confinement." So moderate was the furniture of his house, too, that if, on holidays, he had to entertain a greater number of friends than ordinary, his dining-rooms were set out with the plate of private persons, borrowed from their several houses. By the Gauls1 he was not only beloved but venerated, especially because, under his government, they had escaped the suspicious prudence of Diocletian, and the sanguinary rashness of Maximian. He died in Britain, at York, in the thirteenth year of his reign, and was enrolled among the gods.
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DelmatiusAE3GlorEx.jpg
1eg Delmatius21 viewsCaesar 335-337

AE3, Thessalonica

Laureate, cuirassed bust, right, FL DELMATIVS NOB C two soldiers holding spears and shields with two standards between them, O on banner, GLORIA EXERCITVS. Mintmark: SMTSD.

RIC 202D

Zosimus recorded: After Constantine had oppressed and tormented the people in these various modes, he died of a disease, and was succeeded by his three sons, who were not born of Fausta the daughter of Maximianus Herculius, but of another woman, whom he had put to death for adultery. They devoted themselves more to the pleasures of youth than to the service of the state. They began by dividing the nations between them. Constantine the eldest, and Constans the youngest, having for their share all beyond the Alps, together with Italy and Illyricum, the countries bordering on the Euxine sea and all that belonged to Carthage in Africa; Constantius obtained all Asia, the east, and Egypt. There were likewise others who shared in the government; Dalmatius, whom Constantine made Caesar, Constantius his brother, and Hanniballianus, who had all worn robes of purple embroidered with gold, and were promoted to the order of Nobilissimates by Constantine, from respect to their being of his own family. . . . The empire being thus divided, Constantius who appeared to take pains not to fall short of his father in impiety, began by shedding the blood of his nearest relations. He first caused Constantius, his father's brother, to be murdered by the soldiers ; next to whom he treated Dalmatius in the same manner, as also Optatus whom Constantine had raised to the rank of a Nobilissimate.

A great-nephew of Constantine the Great.
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ConstansAE3GlorEx.jpg
1ei Constans21 views337-350

AE3

RIC 93

Rosette diademed, draped & cuirassed bust, right, CONSTANS P F AVG
Two soldiers standing to either side of one standard with chi-rho on banner, GLORIA EXERCITVS, [A]SIS-crescent in ex.

Constans received Italy, Africa, and the Balkans when the empire was divided. He took charge of the remainder of the West after Constantine II imprudently attacked him in 340. Zosimus recorded, "Constans, having thus removed his brother, exercised every species of cruelty toward his subjects, exceeding the most intolerable tyranny. He purchased some well favoured Barbarians, and had others with him as hostages, to whom he gave liberty to harrass his subjects as they pleased, in order to gratify his vicious disposition. In this manner he reduced all the nations that were subject to him to extreme misery. This gave uneasiness to the court guards, who perceiving that he was much addicted to hunting placed themselves under the conduct of Marcellinus prefect of the treasury, and Magnentius who commanded the Joviani and Herculiani (two legions so termed), and formed a plot against him in the following manner. Marcellinus reported that he meant to keep the birth-day of his sons, and invited many of the superior officers to a feast. Amongst the rest Magnentius rose from table and left the room; he presently returned, and as it were in a drama stood before them clothed in an imperial robe. Upon this all the guests saluted him with the title of king, and the inhabitants of Augustodunum, where it was done, concurred in the same sentiment. This transaction being rumoured abroad, the country people flocked into the city; while at the same time a party of Illyrian cavalry who came to supply the Celtic legions, joined themselves with those that were concerned in the enterprize. When the officers of the army were met together, and heard the leaders of the conspiracy proclaim their new emperor, they scarcely knew the meaning of it; they all, however, joined in the acclamation, and saluted Magnentius with the appellation of Augustus. When this became known to Constans, he endeavoured to escape to a small town called Helena, which lies near the Pyrenean mountains. He was taken by Gaison, who was sent with some other select persons for that purpose, and being destitute of all aid, was killed. "
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ValentinianAE3GlorRom.jpg
1ep Valentinian22 views364-375

AE3

Pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right , D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG
Emperor in military dress, advancing right, head left, holding labarum, dragging captive behind him. No fieldmarks. Mintmark: dot GSISC, GLORIA ROMANORVM

RIC 5a

According to Zosimus: Several discussions were held among the soldiers and their officers, and various persons were nominated. At length Sallustius, the prefect of the court, was unanimously elected. He excused himself on the pretext of his advanced age, which disabled him from being of service in the present critical circumstances. They then desired that his son might be emperor in lieu of himself. But his son he told them was too young, and from that as well as other causes unable to sustain the weight of an imperial diadem. They thus failed in their wish to appoint so distinguished a person, who was the most worthy of the age. They therefore elected Valentinian, a native of Cibalis in Pannonia. He was an excellent soldier, but extremely illiterate. They sent for him, he being then at some distance: and the state was not long without a ruler. Upon his arrival at the army, at Nicaea in Bithynia, he assumed the imperial authority, and proceeded forward. . . .

I have now to state, that while Valentinian was on his journey towards Constantinople, he was seized with a distemper, which increased his natural choleric temper to a degree of cruelty, and even to madness, so that he falsely suspected his sickness to proceed from some charm or poison which Julian's friends had prepared for him through malice. Accusations to that effect were drawn up against some distinguished persons, which were set aside by the discretion of Sallustius, who still was prefect of the court. After his distemper abated, he proceeded from Nicaea to Constantinople. The army and his friends in that city advised him to choose an associate in the empire, that if occasion should require, he might have some one to assist him, and prevent their again suffering as at the death of Julian. He complied with their advice, and after consideration, selected his brother Valens, whom he thought most likely to prove faithful to him. He declared him associate in the empire. . . . Affairs being thus disposed, Valentinian deemed it most prudent to place the east as far as Egypt, Bithynia, and Thrace, under the care of his brother, and to take charge of Illyricum himself. From thence he designed to proceed to Italy, and to retain in his own possession all the cities in that country, and the countries beyond the Alps, with Spain, Britain, and Africa. The empire being thus divided, Valentinian began to govern more rigorously, correcting the faults of the magistrates. He was very severe in the collection of the imposts, and particularly in observing that the soldiers were duly paid. . . .

Meantime the Barbarians beyond the Rhine, who while Julian lived held the Roman name in terror, and were contented to remain quiet in their own territories, as soon as they heard of his death, immediately marched out of their own country, and prepared for a war with the Romans. Valentinian. on bring informed of this, made a proper disposition of his forces, and placed suitable garrisons in all the towns along the Rhine. Valentinian was enabled to make these arrangements by his experience in military affairs. . . . [T] he emperor Valentinian, having favourably disposed the affairs of Germany, made provisions for the future security of the Celtic nations. . . . Valentinian was now attacked by a disease which nearly cost him his life. Upon his recovery the countries requested him to appoint a successor, lest at his decease the commonwealth should be in danger. To this the emperor consented, and declared his son Gratian emperor and his associate in the government, although he was then very young, and not yet capable of the management of affairs. . . .

Valentinian, thinking he had sufficiently secured himself from a German war, acted towards his subjects with great severity, exacting from them exorbitant tributes, such as they had never before paid; under pretence that the military expenditure compelled him to have recourse to the public. Having thus acquired universal hatred, he became still more severe; nor would he enquire into the conduct of the magistrates, but was envious of all whe had the reputation of leading a blameless life. . . . For this cause, the Africans, who could not endure the excessive avarice of the person who held the military command in Mauritania, gave the purple robe to Firmus, and proclaimed him emperor. This doubtless gave much uneasiness to Valentinian, who immediately commanded some legions from the stations in Pannonia and Moesia, to embark for Africa. On this the Sarmatians and the Quadi, who had long entertained a hatred for Celestius, the governor of those countries, availing themselves, of the opportunity afforded by the departure of the legions for Africa, invaded the Pannonians and Moesians. . . . .

Valentinian, roused by the intelligence of these events, marched from Celtica into Illyricum, for the purpose of opposing the Quadi and the Sarmatians, and consigned the command of his forces to Merobaudes, who was a person of the greatest military experience. The winter continuing unusually late, the Quadi sent ambassadors to him with insolent and unbecoming messages. These so exasperated the emperor, that through the violence of his rage, the blood flowed from his head into his mouth, and suffocated him. He thus died after having resided in Illyricum nearly nine months, and after a reign of twelve years.
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ValentinianIIAE3UrbsRom.jpg
1et Valentinian II19 views373-392

AE3, Nicomedia

Pearl-diademed, draped & cuirassed bust rightt, D N VALENTINIANVS IVN P F AVG
Roma seated on cuirass, holding spear and Victory on globe, VRBS ROMA

The SMN mintmark indicates that the coin was minted in Nicomedia, but RIC does not list this reverse type for that mint.

Sim to RIC 51

Zosimus reports: Valentinian being dead, the tribunes Merobaudes and Equitius, reflecting on the distance at which Valens and Gratian resided, the former being in the east, and the latter left by his father in the western part of Gaul, were apprehensive lest the Barbarians beyond the Ister should make an effort while the country was without a ruler. They therefore sent for the younger son of Valentinian, who was born of his wife the widow of Magnentius, who was not far from thence with the child. Having clothed him in purple, they brought him into the court, though scarcely five years old. The empire was afterwards divided between Gratian and the younger Valentinian, at the discretion of their guardians, they not being of age to manage their own affairs. The Celtic nations, Spain, and Britain were given to Gratian; and Italy, Illyricum, and Africa to Valentinian. . . .

Affairs being thus situated in the east, in Thrace, and in Illyricum, Maximus, who deemed his appointments inferior to his merits, being only governor of the countries formerly under Gratian, projected how to depose the young Valentinian from the empire, if possible totally, but should he fail in the whole, to secure at least some part. . . . he immediately entered Italy without; resistance, and marched to Aquileia. . . . This so much surprised Valentinian, and rendered his situation so desperate, that his courtiers were alarmed lest he should be taken by Maximus and put to death. He, therefore, immediately embarked,and sailed to Thessalonica with his mother Justina, who, as I before mentioned, had been the wife of Magnentius, but after his decease was taken in marriage by the emperor Valentinian on account of her extraordinary beauty. She carried along with her her daughter Galla. After having passed many seas, and arriving at Thessalonica, they sent messengers to the emperor Theodosius, intreating him now at least to revenge the injuries committed against the family of Valentinian. He was astonished at hearing of this, and began to forget his extravagance, and to lay some restraint on his wild inclination for pleasure. . . . Theodosius then delivered to Valentinian as much of the empire as his father had possessed; in which he only acted as he was enjoined by his duty to those who so merited his kindness. . . .

intelligence was brought that the emperor Valentianian was no more, and that his death happened in this manner: Arbogastes, a Frank, who was appointed by the emperor Gratian lieutenant to Baudo, at the death of Baudo, confiding in his own ability, assumed the command without the emperor's permission. Being thought proper for the station by all the soldiers under him, both for his valour and experience in military affairs, and for his disregard of riches, he attained great influence. He thus became so elevated, that he would speak without reserve to the emperor, and would blame any measure which he thought improper. This gave such umbrage to Valentinian. . . .

Eugenius became the sincere friend of Arbogastes, who had no secret which he did not confide to him. Recollecting Eugenius, therefore, at this juncture, who by his extraordinary learning and the gravity of his conversation seemed well-adapted for the management of an empire, he communicated to him his designs. But finding him not pleased with the proposals, he attempted to prevail on him by all the arts he could use, and entreated him not to reject what fortune so favourably offered. Having at length persuaded him, he deemed it advisable in the first place to remove Valentinian, and thus to deliver the sole authority to Eugenius. With this view he proceeded to Vienna, a town in Gaul, where the emperor resided; and as he was amusing himself near the town in some sports with the soldiers, apprehending no danger, Arbogastes gave him a mortal wound.
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TheodosAE4VotMult~0.jpg
1eu Theodosius25 views379-395

AE4

Pearl diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right, D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG
VOT V MVLT X within wreath, ASISC in ex

RIC 29d

Zosimus recorded: [Valentinian] commanded some legions from the stations in Pannonia and Moesia, to embark for Africa [to crush a rebellion]. On this the Sarmatians and the Quadi. . . , availing themselves, of the opportunity afforded by the departure of the legions for Africa, invaded the Pannonians and Moesians. . . . The barbarians therefore revenged themselves by plundering all the country along the Ister, carrying off all that they found in the towns. The Pannonians were by these means exposed to the cruelty of the barbarians, while the soldiers were extremely negligent in the defence of their towns, and committed as much mischief as the Barbarians themselves in all places on this side of the river. But Moesia was free from harm, because Theodosius, who commanded the forces there, courageously resisted the Barbarians, and routed them when they attacked him. By that victory he not only acquired great renown, but subsequently attained the imperial dignity. . . .

When the affairs of the empire were reduced to this low condition, Victor, who commanded the Roman cavalry, escaping the danger with some of his troops, entered Macedon and Thessaly. From thence he proceeded into Moesia and Pannonia, and informed Gratian, who was then in that quarter, of what had occurred, and of the loss of the emperor [Valens] and his army. Gratian received the intelligence without uneasiness, and was little grieved at the death of his uncle, a disagreement having existed between them. Finding himself unable to manage affairs, Thrace being ravaged by the Barbarians, as were likewise Pannonia and Moesia, and the towns upon the Rhine being infested by the neighbouring Barbarians without controul, he chose for his associate in the empire, Theodosius, who was a native of a town called Cauca, in the part of Spain called Hispania Callaecia, and who possessed great knowledge and experience of military affairs. Having given him the government of Thrace and the eastern provinces, Gratian himself proceeded to the west of Gaul, in order, if possible, to compose affairs in that quarter. . . .

During the stay of the new emperor, Theodosius, at Thesslonica, a great concourse arrived there from all parts of persons soliciting him on business, both public and private; who having obtained of him whatever he could conveniently grant, returned, to their homes. As a great multitude of the Scythians beyond the Ister, the Gotthi, and the Taiphali, and other tribes that formerly dwelt among them, had crossed the river, and were driven to infest the Roman dominions, because the Huns, had expelled them from their own country, the emperor Theodosius prepared for war with all his forces. . . . The army having made this good use of the occasion afforded by fortune, the affairs of Thrace, which had been on the brink of ruin, were now, the Barbarians being crushed beyond all hope, re-established in peace. . . .

Meanwhile, the emperor Theodosius, residing in Thessalonica, was easy of access to all who wished to see him. Having commenced his reign in luxury and indolence, he threw the magistracy into disorder, and increased the number of his military officers. . . . As he squandered the public money without consideration, bestowing it on unworthy persons, he consequently impoverished himself. He therefore sold the government of provinces to any who would purchase them, without regard to the reputation or ablity of the persons, esteeming him the best qualified who brought him the most gold or silver. . . .

Maximus, who deemed his appointments inferior to his merits, being only governor of the countries formerly under Gratian, projected how to depose the young Valentinian from the empire. . . . This so much surprised Valentinian, and rendered his situation so desperate, that his courtiers were alarmed lest he should be taken by Maximus and put to death. He, therefore, immediately embarked,and sailed to Thessalonica with his mother Justina. . . . [A]rriving at Thessalonica, they sent messengers to the emperor Theodosius, intreating him now at least to revenge the injuries committed against the family of Valentinian. . . . The emperor, being delivered from this alarm, marched with great resolution with his whole army against Maximus. . . . Theodosius, having passed through Pannonia and the defiles of the Appennines, attacked unawares the forces of Maximus before they were prepared for him. A part of his army, having pursued them with the utmost speed, forced their way through the gates of Aquileia, the guards being too few to resist them. Maximus was torn from his imperial throne while in the act of distributing money to his soldiers, and being stripped of his imperial robes, was brought to Theodosius, who, having in reproach enumerated some of his crimes against the commonwealth, delivered him to the common executioner to receive due punishment. . . . The emperor Theodosius, having consigned Italy, Spain, Celtica, and Libya to his son Honorius, died of a disease on his journey towards Constantinople.
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scipio_mett_den.jpg
2) The Pompeians: Scipio Metellus Pius34 viewsQ. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio, Imperator
AR Denarius.
Military mint in Africa, legate Eppius, 47-46 BC.

Q METELL SCIPIO IMP, laureate head of Africa right in elephant skin headdress, grain ear before, plow below / EPPIVS LEG F C, Hercules standing facing, naked, hand on hip, leaning on club set on a rock.

Cr461/1, Syd 1051, Caecilia 50.
RM0040
2 commentsSosius
severus_RIC254.jpg
202-210 AD - SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS denarius53 viewsobv: SEVERVS PIVS AVG (laureate head right)
rev: AFRICA (Africa, wearing elephant-skin head-dress, reclining left with scorpion & cornucopiae; basket of corn-ears before)
ref: RIC IVi 254, RSC 31 (3frcs)
mint: Rome
2.67gms, 19mm
Scarce

This type was minted to mark the visit of Severus to Africa in 207 AD.
The coin has nice black patina, in reverse scratching, though the patina is good: throw a glance at the pattern of corn-ears or the tail of scorpion.
2 commentsberserker
107182.jpg
205b. ORBIANA65 viewsGneaea Seia Herennia Sallustia Barbia Orbiana is best known as the wife of Severus Alexander. Possible one of three wives that he had. Little is known of Orbiana. She was from a distinguished family, the daughter of Senator Seius Sallustius Varius Marcinus. She was married to Severus Alexander around 225 when he was about 16. She must have initially met with the favor of Severus Alexander's mother Mamaea but this didn't last long. Orbiana had too much influence with Severus Alexander and this led to direct confrontation with Mamaea. Whether real or not, a plot was found to be led by Orbiana's father to turn the praetorian guards against Severus Alexander and put himself in power. The marriage between Severus Alexander and Orbiana was dissolved at Mamaea's insistence in 227 AD. Shortly later, Sallustius was executed and Orbiana was banished to North Africa.

ORBIANA, wife of Severus Alexander. Augusta, 225 AD. AR Denarius (19mm, 2.83 gm). Diademed and draped bust right / Concordia seated left, holding patera and double cornucopiae. RIC IV 319; RSC 1. VF

1 commentsecoli
Denarius P.CATO.jpg
22-01 - M. PORCIUS CATO (47/46 A.C.)60 views Mejor conocido como M. CATO UTECENSIS Propraetor y fiel adherente del partido de POMPEYO "El Grande" .

AR Denarius 18 mm 3.0 gr
Anv: Busto vestido de mujer (Roma o Libertas) viendo a derecha - "ROMA" (MA en ligadura) detrás y "M·CATO PRO·PR" delante del busto.
Rev: Victoria sentada a derecha portando Palma sobre hombro derecho y corona de laureles en mano izquierda. "VICTRIX" en Exergo.

Ceca: Utica - Tunez
Referencias: Sear RCTV Vol.1 #1381 Pag.263 - Craw RRC #462/1b - Syd CRR #1053a - BMCRR (Africa)#18 - RSC Vol.1 Porcia 10a Pag.81
mdelvalle
Craw_462_1b_Denario_M__Porcius_Cato.jpg
22-01 - M. PORCIUS CATO (47/46 A.C.)22 views Mejor conocido como M. CATO UTECENSIS Propraetor y fiel adherente del partido de POMPEYO "El Grande" .
AR Denarius 18 mm 3.0 gr

Anv: Busto vestido de mujer (Roma o Libertas) viendo a derecha - "ROMA" (MA en ligadura) detrás y "M·CATO PRO·PR" delante del busto.
Rev: Victoria sentada a derecha portando Palma sobre hombro derecho y corona de laureles en mano izquierda. "VICTRIX" en Exergo.

Ceca: Utica - Tunez

Referencias: Sear RCTV Vol.1 #1381 Pag.263 - Craw RRC #462/1b - Syd CRR #1053a - BMCRR (Africa)#18 - RSC Vol.1 Porcia 10a Pag.81
mdelvalle
761Hadrian_RIC225var_.jpg
227 var. Hadrian Denarius Roma 134-38 AD Hadrian & Roma standing26 viewsReference.
Strack 218; RIC cf 227; C.cf 94; BMCR cf 584

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Bare head right

Rev. ADVENTVS AVGVSTI
Roma standing left, holding spear, and parazonium on hip?? and clasping hands with Hadrian standing right, holding a roll.

3.35 gr
18 mm
7h

Note.
Strack saw two similar coins in Vienna and Sofia with same die pair.

This denarius was Rome struck during the latter part of Hadrian’s reign, and which fall into three classes or categories: 1) a series of coins commemorating the visit or arrival (adventus) of the emperor to each province; 2) another series which commemorates the restoration (restitutor) of the province by the emperor; and 3) an additional series which commemorates the military strength (exercitus) of province, for those provinces which had legions stationed within them. In addition to these three categories of commemorative issues that are collectively known as Hadrian’s ‘travel’ series, there are a further two related groups of coins. The first is quite extensive and simply commemorates the various provinces, with the provinces of Egypt, Africa, Hispania and Gallia being the most common. Then there is a much smaller issue which commemorates the emperor’s final return (adventus) to Rome, after his subjugation of the Jewish zealots under Simon Bar Kochba led to the pacification of the province of Judaea, of which this coin is a particularly handsome specimen. After spending more than half his reign on the road, and especially after having just inflicted such a crushing defeat on the recalcitrant Jews, Hadrian’s homecoming was a momentous occasion in the capital which was warmly welcomed by the citizens. The reverse shows the city of Rome personified as the goddess Roma, helmeted and draped in military attire, holding a spear and clasping the hand of the now elderly emperor who is depicted togate and holding a roll in the guise of a citizen, standing before her. The legend which appears on the obverse of this coin was only employed ca. A.D. 134-138. As Hadrian returned to Italy during A.D. 136 and died not two years later, this coin belongs to the very last issue of coinage struck at Rome during his principate.
1 commentsokidoki
rjb_fol6_01_09.jpg
305b24 viewsConstantius I as Caesar 293-305 AD
AE Follis
Obv: CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES
Laureate bust right
Rev: FELIX ADVENT AVGG NN
Africa standing left, at feet lion
gamma/-//PKT
Carthage Mint
RIC (VI) Carthage 22a
mauseus
coin244.JPG
307. Aemilian31 viewsMarcus Aemilius Aemilianus was born about AD 207 either on the island of Jerba in Africa, or somewhere in Mauretania.
His career saw him becoming senator and reaching the office of consul. In AD 252 he then became governor of Lower Moesia.

In the spring of AD 253 the Goths broke the treaty made with the emperor Trebonianus Gallus. Aemilian quickly drove them out of Moesia and then, crossed the Danube crushing the Gothic forces.

In a time when Rome suffered continuous setbacks his unexpected triumph made him an outstanding leader in the eyes of his men. So, in July or August AD 253 Aemilian was proclaimed emperor by his troops. The new emperor didn't waste time. Immediately he marched his troops into Italy, rapidly moving on Rome. Only fifty miles north of the capital, at Interamna, they were were approached by the much inferior army of unprepared emperor Gallus and with his son and co-emperor Volusianus. Their troops however, realizing themselves dead if they were sent to fight Aemilian's much larger and more experienced Danubian forces, turned on them and killed them, leaving Aemilian sole emperor.

The senate, having only recently declared Aemilian a public enemy under Gallus, immediately confirmed him as emperor and Aemilian's wife Gaia Cornelia Supera was made Augusta.

All the empire now lay at Aemilian's feet, but for one big problem. Publius Licinius Valerianus, called to aid by the late Trebonianus Gallus, was marching toward Rome. His emperor might have been dead, but his usurper was still alive, giving Valerian all the reasons needed to carry on towards the capital. In fact the soldiers of his Rhine armies now declared him emperor in place of Aemilian.

As Aemilian now moved north to face his challenger history repeated itself. His own soldiers not wanting to fight a army they thought superior to their own, turned on him near Spoletium and stabbed him to death (October AD 253). The bridge where he died was afterwards known as the pons sanguinarius, the 'bridge of blood'.

Aemilian had ruled for only 88 days.

Aemilian AR Antonininus. 253 AD. IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate draped bust right / VIRTVS AVG, Virtus standing left, foot on helmet, holding branch & spear. RSC 60. RIC 12. Ex-WCNC
ecoli
447_Hadrian_RIC322.jpg
322 Hadrian Denarius Roma 134-38 AD Africa23 viewsReference. Rare
RIC II 322; RSC 1223; BMC 871

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Laureate head right

Rev. RESTITVTORI AFRICAE
Hadrian standing left, holding volumen, about to raise Africa who is kneeling right, holding grain ears and wearing elephant skin headdress; between them, two upright stalks of grain.

3.40 gr.
17 mm
6 h.
1 commentsokidoki
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322 Hadrian Denarius Roma 134-38 AD Africa13 viewsReference.
RIC 322e; RSC 1223; BMC 871

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Bust of Hadrian, laureate, draped on left shoulder, right.

Rev. RESTITVTORI AFRICAE
Hadrian, togate, standing left, holding roll in left hand and extending right to raise up Africa, wearing elephant-skin headdress, holding corn-ears, kneeling right; corn-ears center

3.13
17 mm
6h
okidoki
spinosaurus4inch.jpg
4" Spinosaurus Tooth104 viewsSpinosaurus (meaning "spine lizard") is a genus of theropod dinosaur which lived in what is now North Africa, from the lower Albian to Cenomanian stages of the Cretaceous period, about 106 to 93.5 million years ago. This genus was first known from Egyptian remains discovered in the 1910s and described by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer. These original remains were destroyed in World War II, but additional skull material has come to light in recent years. It is unclear whether one or two species are represented in the described fossils. The best known species is S. aegyptiacus from Egypt, although a potential second species, S. maroccanus, has been recovered from Morocco. Spinosaurus is often postulated as a piscivore, and work using oxygen isotope ratios in tooth enamel suggests that it was semiaquatic, living both on land and in water like a modern crocodilian.ancientone
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4) Juba II and Cleopatra Selene28 viewsKINGS of MAURETANIA
Juba II, with Cleopatra Selene. 25 BC-24 AD.
AR Denarius (18mm, 2.95g)
Caesarea mint. Struck circa 20 BC-AD 24.

Diademed head right / Star in crescent. MAA 97; SNG Copenhagen 567. VF, weak strike.

For almost fifty years Juba II maintained order in North Africa as one of Rome's most loyal client kings. In AD 11, he had been given Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleopatra VII of Egypt, as a wife by a grateful Augustus, and their son, Ptolemy, succeeded him in AD 24.

Ex CNG
RM0005
2 commentsSosius
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402. Maximianus54 viewsMarcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius (c. 250 - July, 310), known in English as Maximian, was Roman Emperor (together with Diocletian) from March 1, 286 to 305.

Born to a poor family near Sirmium (city in Pannonia), Maximian made a career in the army until 285, when the new emperor Diocletian, a friend of his, made him caesar (sub-emperor) and the ruler of the western part of the empire. The next year Maximian became augustus next to Diocletian, and in 293, when Diocletian introduced the Tetrarchy, Constantius Chlorus became Maximian's caesar and married Maximian's daughter Flavia Maximiana Theodora.

During his reign, Maximianus had several military successes, against the Alemanni and Burgundians in northern Germany, against the Carpi on the Danube frontier and against Carausius, who had rebelled in Britain and declared himself emperor there. He also strengthened the frontier defenses in Africa.

On May 1, 305, Diocletian and Maximian retired together; it is clear that this was not a voluntary act of Maximian's, but that he was forced to do so by Diocletian. Galerius and Constantius Chlorus became the new emperors; Flavius Valerius Severus and Maximinus Daia became their caesars. When Constantius died the next year, Maximian's son Maxentius took the western emperorship, and named Maximian to be his augustus. Maximian resolved the conflicts around this emperorship by defeating Severus and Galerius in battle and bringing Constantius' son Constantine on his side by having Constantine marry his daughter Fausta.

However, in 308 Maximian rebelled against his own son, and marched upon Rome, but was beaten and forced to find refuge with Constantine in Gaul. In 310 he declared himself emperor for the third time, but was unable to defend himself against Constantine, who forced him to commit suicide.

For his own and his colleagues' victories, Maximian received the titles Germanicus Maximus V, Sarmaticus Maximus III, Armeniacus Maximus, Medicus Maximus, Adiabenicus Maximus, Persicus Maximus II, Carpicus Maximus, Britannicus Maximus.

Maximianus 286-305, Reform Follis - Siscia Mint
9.16g
Obv: Bust of Maximianus right "IMP MAXIMIANVS PF AVG"
Rev: Moneta standing left holding a scale and cornucopiae "SACRA MONET AVGG E CAESS NOSTR" "SIS" in the exergue.
RIC 134b
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408. Maxentius34 viewsMarcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius, more commonly known as Maxentius, was the child of the Emperor Maximianus Herculius and the Syrian Eutropia; he was born ca. 278 A.D. After Galerius' appointment to the rank of Caesar on 1 March 293, Maxentius married Galerius' daughter Valeria Maximilla, who bore him a son named Romulus and another son whose name is unknown. Due to his haughty nature and bad disposition, Maxentius could seldom agree with his father or his father-in-law; Galerius' and Maximianus Herculius' aversion to Maxentius prevented the young man from becoming a Caesar in 305. Little else is known of Maxentius' private life prior to his accession and, alth ough there is some evidence that it was spent in idleness, he did become a Senator.

On 28 October 306 Maxentius was acclaimed emperor, although he was politcally astute enough not to use the title Augustus; like the Emperor Augustus, he called himself princeps. It was not until the summer of 307 that he started usi ng the title Augustus and started offending other claimants to the imperial throne. He was enthroned by the plebs and the Praetorians. At the time of his acclamation Maxentius was at a public villa on the Via Labicana. He strengthened his position with promises of riches for those who helped him obtain his objective. He forced his father Maximianus Herculius to affirm his son's acclamation in order to give his regime a facade of legitimacy. His realm included Italy, Africa, Sardinia, and Corsica. As soon as Galerius learned about the acclamation of Herculius' son, he dispatched the Emperor Severus to quell the rebellion. With the help of his father and Severus' own troops, Maxentius' took his enemy prisoner.

When Severus died, Galerius was determined to avenge his death. In the early summer of 307 the Augustus invaded Italy; he advanced to the south and encamped at Interamna near the Tiber. His attempt to besiege the city was abortive because his army was not large enough to encompass the city's fortifications. Negotiations between Maxentius and Galerius broke down when the emperor discovered that the usurper was trying to win over his troops. Galerius' troops were open to Maxentius' promises because they were fighting a civil war between members of the same family; some of the soldiers went over to the enemy. Not trusting his own troops, Galerius withdrew. During its retreat, Galerius' army ravaged the Italian countryside as it was returning to its original base. If it was not enough that Maxentius had to deal with the havoc created by the ineffectual invasions of Severus and Galerius, he also had to deal with his father's attempts to regain the throne between 308 and 310. When Maximianus Herculius was unable to regain power by pushing his son off his throne, he attempted to win over Constantine to his cause. When this plan failed, he tried to win Diocletian over to his side at Carnuntum in October and November 308. Frustrated at every turn, Herculius returned to his son-in-law Constantine's side in Gaul where he died in 310, having been implicated in a plot against his son-in-law. Maxentius' control of the situation was weakened by the revolt of L. Domitius Alexander in 308. Although the revolt only lasted until the end of 309, it drastically cut the size of the grain supply availble for Rome. Maxentius' rule collapsed when he died on 27 October 312 in an engagement he had with the Emperor Constantine at the Milvian Bridge after the latter had invaded his realm.

Maxentius Follis. Ostia mint. IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG, laureate head right / AETE-RNITAS A-VGN, Castor and Pollux standing facing each other, each leaning on sceptre and holding bridled horse.
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Scipio.jpg
47-46 BC Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio68 viewsQ METEL SCIPIO IMP
head of Africa right, laur. and clad in elephant's skin, corn-ear before, plough below

EPPIVS LEG F C

Naked Hercules standing facing right, hand on hip resting on club set on rock

North Africa
47-46 BC

Sear 1380/1

Born Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica. He was adopted by his uncle by marriage and father's second cousin Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius. He married Aemilia Lepida, daughter of Mamercus Aemilius Lepidus Livianus (son of the Censor Marcus Livius Drusus and wife Cornelia Scipio and adopted by Mamercus Aemilius Lepidus) and wife Claudia (sister of Appius Claudius Pulcher (Senior)), and was the father in law of Pompey the Great, married to his daughter Cornelia Metella, called Quinta Pompeia for being his fifth wife.

He was Tribune in 59 BC and became Consul with Pompey the Great in 52 BC. During Caesar's civil war, he served the party of Pompey and fought against Caesar and Marcus Antonius. In 49 BC he was sent as Proconsul to Syria and the following year he took part in the Battle of Pharsalus, where he commanded the center of the Republican battleline. After Pharsalus he fled to Africa were he commanded an army with Cato the Younger, losing in the Battle of Thapsus. After the defeat he tried to escape but was cornered by the fleet of Publius Sittius when he wrecked the ship as he tried to escape to the Iberian Peninsula, to continue to fight from there. He committed suicide by stabbing himself so he would not fall at the hands of his enemies.

SOLD to Calgary Coin June 2017
1 commentsJay GT4
caesar.jpg
47/46 BC Julius Caesar84 viewsDiademed head of Venus right, wearing necklace, hair collected into a knot, falling in two locks

CAESAR
Aeneas, naked, advancing left, head facing, holding palladium in extended right hand and bearing his father, Anchises, wearing long tunic and hood, on his left shoulder.


Military mint moving with Caesar in North Africa.

47-46 BC

3.5g

Crawford 458/1; CRI 55; Sydenham 1013; RSC 12.

Ex-Munzhandlung Polak

The reverse depicts Aeneas’ flight from Troy, with his elderly father Anchises on his shoulder. Virgil's epic poam The Aeneid tells the story of Aeneas. When Troy was sacked by the Greeks, Aeneas, after being commanded by the gods to flee, gathered a group of Trojan's and then travelled to Italy and became progenitors of the Roman people.

Probably struck in Africa during Caesar’s campaign against the remaining Pompeian's. The obverse depicts Venus, from whom Caesar claimed descent via Iulus, son of the Trojan prince Aeneas, who was the son of Anchises and Venus.
1 commentsJay GT4
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502. CONSTANTINE II156 viewsFlavius Claudius Constantinus, known in English as Constantine II, (316 - 340) was Roman Emperor (337 - 340). The eldest son of Constantine I and Fausta, he was born at Arles, and was raised as a Christian.

On March 1, 317, Constantine was made Caesar, and at the age of seven, in 323, took part in his father's campaign against the Sarmatians.

At the age of ten became commander of Gaul, after the death of his half-brother Crispus. An inscription dating to 330 records the title of Alamannicus, so it is probable that his generals won a victory over Alamanni. His military career continued when Constantine I elected his son field commander during the 332 campaign against the Goths.

Following the death of his father in 337, Constantine II became Emperor jointly with his brothers Constantius II and Constans. His section of the Empire was Gaul, Britannia and Hispania.

At first, he was the guardian of his younger brother Constans, whose portion was Italia, Africa and Illyricum. As Constans came of age, Constantine would not relinquish the guardianship and in 340 he marched against Constans in Italy, but was defeated at Aquileia and died in battle. Constans came to control his deceased brother's realm.

CONSTANTINE II, as Caesar. 317-337 AD. Æ Reduced Follis (18mm, 2.74 gm). Siscia mint. Struck 321-324 AD. Laureate head right / VOT / X in two lines across field; all within wreath; SIS sunburst. RIC VII 182. Ex-CNG
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504. CONSTANTIUS II148 viewsFlavius Iulius Constantius, known in English as Constantius II, (7 August 317 - 3 November 361) was a Roman Emperor (337 - 361) of the Constantinian dynasty

Constantius was the second of the three sons of Constantine I and his second wife Fausta. Constantius was born in Sirmium (in Illyricum) and named Caesar by his father. When Constantine died in 337, Constantius II led the massacre of his relatives decended from the second marriage of his grandfather Constantius Chlorus and Theodora, leaving himself, his older brother Constantine II, his younger brother Constans and two cousins (Gallus and his half-brother Julian) as the only surviving adult males related to Constantine. The three brothers divided the Roman Empire among them, according to their father's will. Constantine II received Britannia, Gaul and Hispania; Constans ruled Italia, Africa, and Illyricum; and Constantius ruled the East.

This division changed when Constantine II died in 340, trying to overthrow Constans in Italy, and Constans become sole ruler in the Western half of the empire. The division changed once more in 350 when Constans was killed in battle by forces loyal to the usurper Magnentius. Until this time, Constantius was preoccupied with fighting the Sassanid Empire, and he was forced to elevate his cousin Gallus to Caesar of the East to assist him, while he turned his attention to this usurper.

Constantius eventually met and crushed Magnentius in the Battle of Mursa Major, one of the bloodiest battles in Roman history, in 351. Magnentius committed suicide in 353, and Constantius soon after put his cousin Gallus to death. However, he still could not handle the military affairs of both the Eastern and German frontiers by himself, so in 355 he elevated his last remaining relative, Julian, to Caesar. As Julian was hailed Augustus by the army in Gaul, Constantius saw no alternative but to face the usurper with violent force. As the two armies sought engagement, Constantius died from a fever near Tarsus on November 3, 361, and Julian was hailed Augustus in the whole of the Roman empire.

Constantius took an active part in the affairs of the Christian church, frequently taking the side of the Arians, and he called the Council of Rimini in 359.

Constantius married three times, first to a daughter of Julius Constantius, then to Eusebia, and last to Faustina, who gave birth to a posthumous daughter, Faustina Constantia, who later married Emperor Gratian.

CONSTANTIUS II. 337-361 AD. Æ 18mm (2.41 gm). Siscia mint. Struck 351-355 AD. D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right / FEL TEMP REPARATIO, soldier spearing falling enemy horseman who wears conical hat; at right, shield on ground; ASIS. RIC VIII 350. Good VF, green patina. Ex CNG
1 commentsecoli73
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510. Valentinian I56 viewsFlavius Valentinianus, known in English as Valentinian I, (321 - November 17, 375) was a Roman Emperor (364 - 375). He was born at Cibalis, in Pannonia, the son of a successful general, Gratian the Elder.

He had been an officer of the Praetorian guard under Julian and Jovian, and had risen high in the imperial service. Of robust frame and distinguished appearance, he possessed great courage and military capacity. After the death of Jovian, he was chosen emperor in his forty-third year by the officers of the army at Nicaea in Bithynia on February 26, 364, and shortly afterwards named his brother Valens colleague with him in the empire.

The two brothers, after passing through the chief cities of the neighbouring district, arranged the partition of the empire at Naissus (Nissa) in Upper Moesia. As Western Roman Emperor, Valentinian took Italia, Illyricum, Hispania, the Gauls, Britain and Africa, leaving to Eastern Roman Emperor Valens the eastern half of the Balkan peninsula, Greece, Aegyptus, Syria and Asia Minor as far as Persia. They were immediately confronted by the revolt of Procopius, a relative of the deceased Julian. Valens managed to defeat his army at Thyatria in Lydia in 366, and Procopius was executed shortly afterwards.

During the short reign of Valentinian there were wars in Africa, in Germany and in Britain, and Rome came into collision with barbarian peoples never of heard before, specifically the Burgundians, and the Saxons.

Valentinian's chief work was guarding the frontiers and establishing military positions. Milan was at first his headquarters for settling the affairs of northern Italy. The following year (365) Valentinian was at Paris, and then at Reims, to direct the operations of his generals against the Alamanni. These people, defeated at Scarpona (Charpeigne) and Catelauni (Châlons-en-Champagne) by Jovinus, were driven back to the German bank of the Rhine, and checked for a while by a chain of military posts and fortresses. At the close of 367, however, they suddenly crossed the Rhine, attacked Moguntiacum (Mainz) and plundered the city. Valentinian attacked them at Solicinium (Sulz am Neckar, in the Neckar valley, or Schwetzingen) with a large army, and defeated them with great slaughter. But his own losses were so considerable that Valentinian abandoned the idea of following up his success.

Later, in 374, Valentinian made peace with their king, Macrianus, who from that time remained a true friend of the Romans. The next three years he spent at Trier, which he chiefly made his headquarters, organizing the defence of the Rhine frontier, and personally superintending the construction of numerous forts.

During his reign the coasts of Gaul were harassed by the Saxon pirates, with whom the Picts and Scots of northern Britain joined hands, and ravaged the island from the Antonine Wall to the shores of Kent. In 368 Count Theodosius was sent to drive back the invaders; in this he was completely successful, and established a new British province, called Valentia in honour of the emperor.

In Africa, Firmus, raised the standard of revolt, being joined by the provincials, who had been rendered desperate by the cruelty and extortions of Comes Romanus, the military governor. The services of Theodosius were again requisitioned. He landed in Africa with a small band of veterans, and Firmus, to avoid being taken prisoner, committed suicide.

In 374 the Quadi, a Germanic tribe in what is now Moravia and Slovakia, resenting the erection of Roman forts to the north of the Danube in what they considered to be their own territory, and further exasperated by the treacherous murder of their king, Gabinius, crossed the river and laid waste the province of Pannonia. The emperor in April, 375 entered Illyricum with a powerful army. But during an audience to an embassy from the Quadi at Brigetio on the Danube (near Komárom, Hungary), Valentinian suffered a burst blood vessel in the skull while angrily yelling at the people gathered. This injury resulted in his death on November 17, 375.

His general administration seems to have been thoroughly honest and able, in some respects beneficent. If Valentinian was hard and exacting in the matter of taxes, he spent them in the defence and improvement of his dominions, not in idle show or luxury. Though himself a plain and almost illiterate soldier, Valentinian was a founder of schools. He also provided medical attendance for the poor of Rome, by appointing a physician for each of the fourteen districts of the city.

Valentinian was a Christian but permitted absolute religious freedom to all his subjects. Against all abuses, both civil and ecclesiastical, Valentinian steadily set his face, even against the increasing wealth and worldliness of the clergy. His chief flaw was his temper, which at times was frightful, and showed itself in its full fierceness in the punishment of persons accused of witchcraft, fortune-telling or magical practices.

Valentinian I; RIC IX, Siscia 15(a); C.37; second period: 24 Aug. 367-17 Nov. 375; common. obv. DN VALENTINI-ANVS PF AVG, bust cuir., drap., r., rev. SECVRITAS-REI PVBLICAE, Victory advancing l., holding wreath and trophy. l. field R above R with adnex, r. field F, ex. gamma SISC rev.Z dot (type xxxv)
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513. Gratian30 viewsFlavius Gratianus Augustus (April 18/May 23, 359 - August 25, 383), known as Gratian, was a Western Roman Emperor from 375 to 383. He was the son of Valentinian I by Marina Severa and was born at Sirmium in Pannonia.

On August 4, 367 he received from his father the title of Augustus. On the death of Valentinian (November 17, 375), the troops in Pannonia proclaimed his infant son (by a second wife Justina) emperor under the title of Valentinian II.

Gratian acquiesced in their choice; reserving for himself the administration of the Gallic provinces, he handed over Italy, Illyria and Africa to Valentinian and his mother, who fixed their residence at Milan. The division, however, was merely nominal, and the real authority remained in the hands of Gratian.

The Eastern Roman Empire was under the rule of his uncle Valens. In May, 378 Gratian completely defeated the Lentienses, the southernmost branch of the Alamanni, at the Battle of Argentovaria, near the site of the modern Colmar. Later that year, Valens met his death in the Battle of Adrianople on August 9.

In the same year, the government of the Eastern Empire devolved upon Gratian, but feeling himself unable to resist unaided the incursions of the barbarians, he promoted Theodosius I on January 19, 379 to govern that portion of the empire. Gratianus and Theodosius then cleared the Balkans of barbarians in the Gothic War (377–382).

For some years Gratian governed the empire with energy and success but gradually sank into indolence, occupying himself chiefly with the pleasures of the chase, and became a tool in the hands of the Frankish general Merobaudes and bishop Ambrose of Milan.

By taking into his personal service a body of Alani, and appearing in public in the dress of a Scythian warrior, he aroused the contempt and resentment of his Roman troops. A Roman general named Magnus Maximus took advantage of this feeling to raise the standard of revolt in Britain and invaded Gaul with a large army. Gratian, who was then in Paris, being deserted by his troops, fled to Lyon. There, through the treachery of the governor, Gratian was delivered over to one of the rebel generals and assassinated on August 25, 383.

RIC IX Antioch 46b S

DN GRATIA-NVS PF AVG
CONCOR-DIA AVGGG
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514. Valentinian II34 viewsValentinian II (371 - 392) was elevated as Western Roman Emperor at the age of four in 375, along with his half-brother Gratian.

Valentinian and his family lived in Milan, and the empire was nominally divided between them. Gratian took the trans- Alpine provinces, while Italy, Illyricum in part, and Africa were to be under the rule of Valentinian, or rather of his mother, Justina. Justina was an Arian, and the imperial court at Milan struggled against the Catholics of that city, led by their bishop Ambrose. The popularity of Ambrose was so great that the emperors' authority was materially shaken. In 387, Magnus Maximus, a Roman consul who had commanded an army in Briton, and in 383 (the year of Gratian's death) had declared himself emperor of Western Rome, crossed the Alps into the valley of the Po and threatened Milan.

The emperor Valentinian II and his mother fled to Theodosius I, the Eastern Roman Emperor and Valentinian's brother in law. Valentinian was restored in 388 by Theodosius, following the death of Magnus Maximus.

On May 15, 392, Valentinian was found hanged in his residence in the town of Vienne in Gaul. The Frankish soldier Arbogast, Valentinian's protector and magister militum, maintained that it was suicide. Arbogast and Valentinian had frequently disputed rulership over the Western Roman Empire, and Valentinian was also noted to have complained of Arbogast's control over him to Theodosius. Thus when word of his death reached Constantinople Theodosius believed, or at least suspected, that Arbogast was lying and that he had engineered Valentinian's demise. These suspicions were further fueled by Arbogast's elevation of a Eugenius, pagan official to the position of Western Emperor, and the veiled accusations which Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, spoke during his funeral oration for Valentinian.

Valentinian II's death sparked a civil war between Eugenius and Theodosius over the rulership of the West in the Battle of the Frigidus. The resultant Eastern victory there led to the final brief unification of the Roman Empire under Theodosius, and the ultimate irreparable division of the Empire after his death.

Bronze AE3, RIC 22, VF, 2.19g, 17.7mm, 0o, Arelate mint, 378-383 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIAE AVGGG, Victory advancing left holding wreath in right and palm frond in left, [S]CON in ex;Ex Aiello;Ex Forum
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515b. Magnus Maximus35 viewsA Spaniard, Maximus was proclaimed emperor by his troops in 383, while serving with the army in Britain. Later legend made him King of the Britons; he handed the throne over to Caradocus when he went to Gaul to pursue his imperial ambitions.

Following his destruction of Gaul, Maximus went out to meet his main opponent, Gratian, who he defeated near Paris. Gratian, after fleeing, was killed at Lyon on August 25, 383. Soon after, Maximus managed to force Valentinian II out of Rome after which he fled to Theodosius I, the Eastern Roman Emperor. Maximus made his capital at Augusta Treverorum (Treves, Trier) in Gaul. He became a popular emperor, although also a stern persecutor of heretics.

Theodosius I and Valentinian II campaigned against Magnus Maximus in July-August 388. Maximus was defeated in the Battle of the Save, near Emona, and retreated to Aquileia. Andragathius, magister equitum of Maximus and killer of Gratian, was defeated near Siscia, his brother Marcellinus again at Poetovio. Maximus surrendered in Aquileia and although pleaded for mercy was executed. However, his wife and two daughters were spared. Maximus' son, Flavius Victor, was defeated and executed by Valentinian's magister peditum Arbogast in the fall of the same year.

What happened to his family is not related, although it is clear that they survived and that his descendants continued to occupy influential posts. We encounter a possible daughter of Magnus Maximus, Sevira, on the Pillar of Eliseg, an early medieval inscribed stone in Wales which claims her marriage to Vortigern, king of the Britons. Another daughter was possibly married to Ennodius, proconsul Africae (395). Their grandson was Petronius Maximus, who was another ill-fated emperor, ruling in Rome for but 77 days before he was stoned to death while fleeing from the Vandals on May 24, 455. Other descendants included Anicius Olybrius, emperor in 472, but also several consuls and bishops such as St. Magnus Felix Ennodius (Bishop of Pavia c. 514-21).

Magnus Maximus AE-4

Obv: MM right, DN MAG MAXIMVS PF AVG; Reverse: SPES ROMANORVM, campgate with two turrets and star above. Coin is nice VF for this small issue.
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516a Johannes42 viewsAfter the death of Honorius on August 15, 423, his closest male relative was Valentinian, son of Galla Placidia. Valentinian was currently at Constantinople. This power vacuum allowed Ioannes, the primicerius notariorum (chief notary) to seize power in the west. Virtually nothing is known of Ioannes himself, though he was said to have had a mild character. He was supported by the magister militum Castinus and by Aetius, son of the magister militum Gaudentius. After his acclamation at Rome, Ioannes transferred his capital to Ravenna. Ioannes' rule was accepted in Gaul, Spain and Italy, but not in Africa. Ioannes' attempts to negotiate with the eastern emperor Theodosius II were unsuccessful. He seems not to have had a firm grasp of power and this encouraged eastern intervention. In 425, Theodosius II sent an expedition under the command of Ardabur the Elder to install Valentinian as emperor in the west. Ardabur was captured, but treated well, as Ioannes still hoped to be able to negotiate with Theodosius. Ardabur, however, persuaded some of Ioannes' officials to betray him. After his capture, Ioannes was taken to Aquileia where he was mutilated, then executed. Three days after Ioannes's execution, one of his generals, Aetius, arrived in Italy with a large force of Huns. Rather than continue the war, Valentinian bought off the Huns with gold and Aetius with the office of comes.
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602a. Valentinian III31 viewsIn the early years of his reign, Valentinian was overshadowed by his mother. After his marriage in 437, moreover, much of the real authority lay in the hands of the Patrician and Master of Soldiers Aetius. Nor does Valentinian seem to have had much of an aptitude for rule. He is described as spoiled, pleasure-loving, and influenced by sorcerers and astrologers. He divided his time primarily between Rome and Ravenna. Like his mother, Valentinian was devoted to religion. He contributed to churches of St. Laurence in both Rome and Ravenna. He also oversaw the accumulation of ecclesiastical authority in the hands of the bishop of Rome as he granted ever greater authority and prestige to pope Leo the Great (440-461) in particular.

Valentinian's reign saw the continued dissolution of the western empire. By 439, nearly all of North Africa was effectively lost to the Vandals; Valentinian did attempt to neutralize that threat by betrothing his sister Placidia to the Vandal prince Huneric. In Spain, the Suevi controlled the northwest, and much of Gaul was to all intents and purposes controlled by groups of Visigoths, Burgundians, Franks, and Alans. In 454, Valentinian murdered his supreme general Aetius, presumably in an attempt to rule in his own right. But in the next year, he himself was murdered by two members of his bodyguard, ex-partisans of Aetius.

Although Valentinian was ineffectual as a ruler, his legitimate status and connection to the old ruling dynasty provided a last vestige of unity for the increasingly fragmented Roman empire. After his death, the decay of the west accelerated. The different regions of the west went their own way, and the last several western emperors, the so-called "Shadow" or "Puppet" Emperors, not only were usually overshadowed by one barbarian general or other, but also were limited primarily to Italy.
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AugustusAE19Sardeis.jpg
702a, Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.40 viewsAugustus, 27 BC - 14 AD. AE 19mm (5.98 gm). Lydia, Sardeis. Diodoros Hermophilou. Obverse: head right. Reverse: Zeus Lydios standing facing holding scepter and eagle. RPC I, 489, 2986; SNG von Aulock 3142. aVF. Fine portrait. Ex Tom Vossen.

De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers

AUGUSTUS (31 B.C. - 14 A.D.)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

In the course of his long and spectacular career, he put an end to the advancing decay of the Republic and established a new basis for Roman government that was to stand for three centuries. This system, termed the "Principate," was far from flawless, but it provided the Roman Empire with a series of rulers who presided over the longest period of unity, peace, and prosperity that Western Europe, the Middle East and the North African seaboard have known in their entire recorded history. Even if the rulers themselves on occasion left much to be desired, the scale of Augustus's achievement in establishing the system cannot be overstated. Aside from the immense importance of Augustus's reign from the broad historical perspective, he himself is an intriguing figure: at once tolerant and implacable, ruthless and forgiving, brazen and tactful. Clearly a man of many facets, he underwent three major political reinventions in his lifetime and negotiated the stormy and dangerous seas of the last phase of the Roman Revolution with skill and foresight. With Augustus established in power and with the Principate firmly rooted, the internal machinations of the imperial household provide a fascinating glimpse into the one issue that painted this otherwise gifted organizer and politician into a corner from which he could find no easy exit: the problem of the succession.

(For a very detailed and interesting account of the Age of Augustus see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/auggie.htm)

Death and Retrospective

In his later years, Augustus withdrew more and more from the public eye, although he continued to transact public business. He was getting older, and old age in ancient times must have been considerably more debilitating than it is today. In any case, Tiberius had been installed as his successor and, by AD 13, was virtually emperor already. In AD 4 he had received grants of both proconsular and tribunician power, which had been renewed as a matter of course whenever they needed to be; in AD 13, Tiberius's imperium had been made co-extensive with that of Augustus. While traveling in Campania, Augustus died peacefully at Nola on 19 August, AD 14. Tiberius, who was en route to Illyricum, hurried to the scene and, depending on the source, arrived too late or spent a day in consultation with the dying princes. The tradition that Livia poisoned her husband is scurrilous in the extreme and most unlikely to be true. Whatever the case about these details, Imperator Caesar Augustus, Son of a God, Father of his Country, the man who had ruled the Roman world alone for almost 45 years, or over half a century if the triumviral period is included, was dead. He was accorded a magnificent funeral, buried in the mausoleum he had built in Rome, and entered the Roman pantheon as Divus Augustus. In his will, he left 1,000 sesterces apiece to the men of the Praetorian guard, 500 to the urban cohorts, and 300 to each of the legionaries. In death, as in life, Augustus acknowledged the true source of his power.

The inscription entitled "The Achievements of the Divine Augustus" (Res Gestae Divi Augustae; usually abbreviated RG) remains a remarkable piece of evidence deriving from Augustus's reign. The fullest copy of it is the bilingual Greek and Latin version carved into the walls of the Temple of Rome and Augustus at Ancyra in Galatia (for this reason the RG used to be commonly referred to as the Monumentum Ancyranum). Other evidence, however, demonstrates that the original was inscribed on two bronze pillars that flanked the entrance to the Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome. The inscription remains the only first-person summary of any Roman emperor's political career and, as such, offers invaluable insights into the Augustan regime's public presentation of itself.

In looking back on the reign of Augustus and its legacy to the Roman world, its longevity ought not to be overlooked as a key factor in its success. People had been born and reached middle age without knowing any form of government other than the Principate. Had Augustus died earlier (in 23 BC, for instance), matters may have turned out very differently. The attrition of the civil wars on the old Republican aristocracy and the longevity of Augustus, therefore, must be seen as major contributing factors in the transformation of the Roman state into a monarchy in these years. Augustus's own experience, his patience, his tact, and his great political acumen also played their part. All of these factors allowed him to put an end to the chaos of the Late Republic and re-establish the Roman state on a firm footing. He directed the future of the empire down many lasting paths, from the existence of a standing professional army stationed at or near the frontiers, to the dynastic principle so often employed in the imperial succession, to the embellishment of the capital at the emperor's expense. Augustus's ultimate legacy, however, was the peace and prosperity the empire was to enjoy for the next two centuries under the system he initiated. His memory was enshrined in the political ethos of the Imperial age as a paradigm of the good emperor; although every emperor adopted his name, Caesar Augustus, only a handful earned genuine comparison with him.

Copyright © 1999, Garrett G. Fagan.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Augustus (the first Roman emperor, in whose reign Jesus Christ was born) is without any doubt one of the most important figures in Roman history.

It is reported that when he was near death, Augustus addressed those in attendance with these words, "If I have played my part well, applaud!"

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr
Cleisthenes
GalbaAEAs.jpg
707a, Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.67 viewsGalba AE As, 68-69 AD; cf. SRC 727, 729ff; 27.85mm, 12g; Rome: Obverse: GALBA IMP CAESAR…, Laureate head right; Reverse: S P Q R OB CIV SER in oak wreath; gF+/F Ex. Ancient Imports.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Galba (68-69 A.D.)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary


Introduction
The evidence for the principate of Galba is unsatisfactory. The sources either concentrate on the personality of the man, thereby failing to offer a balanced account of his policies and a firm chronological base for his actions; or, they focus on the final two weeks of his life at the expense of the earlier part of his reign. As a result, a detailed account of his principate is difficult to write. Even so, Galba is noteworthy because he was neither related to nor adopted by his predecessor Nero. Thus, his accession marked the end of the nearly century-long control of the Principate by the Julio-Claudians. Additionally, Galba's declaration as emperor by his troops abroad set a precedent for the further political upheavals of 68-69. Although these events worked to Galba's favor initially, they soon came back to haunt him, ending his tumultuous rule after only seven months.

Early Life and Rise to Power
Born 24 December 3 BC in Tarracina, a town on the Appian Way, 65 miles south of Rome, Servius Galba was the son of C. Sulpicius Galba and Mummia Achaica. Galba's connection with the noble house of the Servii gave him great prestige and assured his acceptance among the highest levels of Julio-Claudian society. Adopted in his youth by Livia, the mother of the emperor Tiberius, he is said to have owed much of his early advancement to her. Upon her death, Livia made Galba her chief legatee, bequeathing him some 50 million sesterces. Tiberius, Livia's heir, reduced the amount, however, and then never paid it. Galba's marriage proved to be a further source of disappointment, as he outlived both his wife Lepida and their two sons. Nothing else is known of Galba's immediate family, other than that he remained a widower for the rest of his life.

Although the details of Galba's early political career are incomplete, the surviving record is one of an ambitious Roman making his way in the Emperor's service. Suetonius records that as praetor Galba put on a new kind of exhibition for the people - elephants walking on a rope. Later, he served as governor of the province of Aquitania, followed by a six-month term as consul at the beginning of 33. Ironically, as consul he was succeeded by Salvius Otho, whose own son would succeed Galba as emperor. Over the years three more governorships followed - Upper Germany (date unknown), North Africa (45) and Hispania Tarraconensis, the largest of Spain's three provinces (61). He was selected as a proconsul of Africa by the emperor Claudius himself instead of by the usual method of drawing lots. During his two-year tenure in the province he successfully restored internal order and quelled a revolt by the barbarians. As an imperial legate he was a governor in Spain for eight years under Nero, even though he was already in his early sixties when he assumed his duties. The appointment showed that Galba was still considered efficient and loyal. In all of these posts Galba generally displayed an enthusiasm for old-fashioned disciplina, a trait consistent with the traditional characterization of the man as a hard-bitten aristocrat of the old Republican type. Such service did not go unnoticed, as he was honored with triumphal insignia and three priesthoods during his career.

On the basis of his ancestry, family tradition and service to the state Galba was the most distinguished Roman alive (with the exception of the houses of the Julii and Claudii) at the time of Nero's demise in 68. The complex chain of events that would lead him to the Principate later that year began in March with the rebellion of Gaius Iulius Vindex, the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis. Vindex had begun to sound out provincial governors about support for a rebellion perhaps in late 67 or early 68. Galba did not respond but, because of his displeasure with Neronian misgovernment, neither did he inform the emperor of these treasonous solicitations. This, of course, left him dangerously exposed; moreover, he was already aware that Nero, anxious to remove anyone of distinguished birth and noble achievements, had ordered his death. Given these circumstances, Galba likely felt that he had no choice but to rebel.

In April, 68, while still in Spain, Galba "went public," positioning himself as a vir militaris, a military representative of the senate and people of Rome. For the moment, he refused the title of Emperor, but it is clear that the Principate was his goal. To this end, he organized a concilium of advisors in order to make it known that any decisions were not made by him alone but only after consultation with a group. The arrangement was meant to recall the Augustan Age relationship between the emperor and senate in Rome. Even more revealing of his imperial ambitions were legends like LIBERTAS RESTITUTA (Liberty Restored), ROM RENASC (Rome Reborn) and SALUS GENERIS HUMANI (Salvation of Mankind), preserved on his coinage from the period. Such evidence has brought into question the traditional assessment of Galba as nothing more than an ineffectual representative of a bygone antiquus rigor in favor of a more balanced portrait of a traditional constitutionalist eager to publicize the virtues of an Augustan-style Principate.
Events now began to move quickly. In May, 68 Lucius Clodius Macer, legate of the III legio Augusta in Africa, revolted from Nero and cut off the grain supply to Rome. Choosing not to recognize Galba, he called himself propraetor, issued his own coinage, and raised a new legion, the I Macriana liberatrix. Galba later had him executed. At the same time, 68, Lucius Verginius Rufus, legionary commander in Upper Germany, led a combined force of soldiers from Upper and Lower Germany in defeating Vindex at Vesontio in Gallia Lugdunensis. Verginius refused to accept a call to the emperorship by his own troops and by those from the Danube, however, thereby creating at Rome an opportunity for Galba's agents to win over Gaius Nymphidius Sabinus, the corrupt praetorian prefect since 65. Sabinus was able to turn the imperial guard against Nero on the promise that they would be rewarded financially by Galba upon his arrival. That was the end for Nero. Deposed by the senate and abandoned by his supporters, he committed suicide in June. At this point, encouraged to march on Rome by the praetorians and especially by Sabinus, who had his own designs on the throne, Galba hurriedly established broad-based political and financial support and assembled his own legion (subsequently known as the legio VII Gemina). As he departed from Spain, he abandoned the title of governor in favor of "Caesar," apparently in an attempt to lay claim to the entire inheritance of the Julio-Claudian house. Even so, he continued to proceed cautiously, and did not actually adopt the name of Caesar (and with it the emperorship) until sometime after he had left Spain.

The Principate of Galba
Meanwhile, Rome was anything but serene. An unusual force of soldiers, many of whom had been mustered by Nero to crush the attempt of Vindex, remained idle and restless. In addition, there was the matter concerning Nymphidius Sabinus. Intent on being the power behind the throne, Nymphidius had orchestrated a demand from the praetorians that Galba appoint him sole praetorian prefect for life. The senate capitulated to his pretensions and he began to have designs on the throne himself. In an attempt to rattle Galba, Nymphidius then sent messages of alarm to the emperor telling of unrest in both the city and abroad. When Galba ignored these reports, Nymphidius decided to launch a coup by presenting himself to the praetorians. The plan misfired, and the praetorians killed him when he appeared at their camp. Upon learning of the incident, Galba ordered the executions of Nymphidius' followers. To make matters worse, Galba's arrival was preceded by a confrontation with a boisterous band of soldiers who had been formed into a legion by Nero and were now demanding legionary standards and regular quarters. When they persisted, Galba's forces attacked, with the result that many of them were killed.
Thus it was amid carnage and fear that Galba arrived at the capital in October, 68, accompanied by Otho, the governor of Lusitania, who had joined the cause. Once Galba was within Rome, miscalculations and missteps seemed to multiply. First, he relied upon the advice of a corrupt circle of advisors, most notably: Titus Vinius, a general from Spain; Cornelius Laco, praetorian prefect; and his own freedman, Icelus. Second, he zealously attempted to recover some of Nero's more excessive expenditures by seizing the property of many citizens, a measure that seems to have gone too far and to have caused real hardship and resentment. Third, he created further ill-will by disbanding the imperial corps of German bodyguards, effectively abolishing a tradition that originated with Marius and had been endorsed by Augustus. Finally, he seriously alienated the military by refusing cash rewards for both the praetorians and for the soldiers in Upper Germany who had fought against Vindex.

This last act proved to be the beginning of the end for Galba. On 1 January 69 ("The Year of the Four Emperors"), the troops in Upper Germany refused to declare allegiance to him and instead followed the men stationed in Lower Germany in proclaiming their commander, Aulus Vitellius, as the new ruler. In response, Galba adopted Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus to show that he was still in charge and that his successor would not be chosen for him. Piso, although an aristocrat, was a man completely without administrative or military experience. The choice meant little to the remote armies, the praetorians or the senate, and it especially angered Otho, who had hoped to succeed Galba. Otho quickly organized a conspiracy among the praetorians with the now-familiar promise of a material reward, and on 15 January 69 they declared him emperor and publicly killed Galba; Piso, dragged from hiding in the temple of Vesta, was also butchered.

Assessment
In sum, Galba had displayed talent and ambition during his lengthy career. He enjoyed distinguished ancestry, moved easily among the Julio-Claudian emperors (with the exception of Nero towards the end of his principate), and had been awarded the highest military and religious honors of ancient Rome. His qualifications for the principate cannot be questioned. Even so, history has been unkind to him. Tacitus characterized Galba as "weak and old," a man "equal to the imperial office, if he had never held it." Modern historians of the Roman world have been no less critical. To be sure, Galba's greatest mistake lay in his general handling of the military. His treatment of the army in Upper Germany was heedless, his policy towards the praetorians short sighted. Given the climate in 68-69, Galba was unrealistic in expecting disciplina without paying the promised rewards. He was also guilty of relying on poor advisors, who shielded him from reality and ultimately allowed Otho's conspiracy to succeed. Additionally, the excessive power of his henchmen brought the regime into disfavor and made Galba himself the principal target of the hatred that his aides had incited. Finally, the appointment of Piso, a young man in no way equal to the challenges placed before him, further underscored the emperor's isolation and lack of judgment. In the end, the instability of the post-Julio-Claudian political landscape offered challenges more formidable than a tired, septuagenarian aristocrat could hope to overcome. Ironically, his regime proved no more successful than the Neronian government he was so eager to replace. Another year of bloodshed would be necessary before the Principate could once again stand firm.

Copyright (C) 1999, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


Cleisthenes
VitelliusARdenariusVesta.jpg
709a, Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.44 viewsVITELLIUS AR silver denarius. RSC 72, RCV 2200. 19mm, 3.2 g. Obverse: A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; Reverse - PONT MAXIM, Vesta seated right, holding scepter and patera. Quite decent. Ex. Incitatus Coins. Photo courtesy of Incitatus Coins.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Vitellius (69 A.D.)

John F. Donahue
College of William and Mary


It is often difficult to separate fact from fiction in assessing the life and reign of Vitellius. Maligned in the ancient sources as gluttonous and cruel, he was also a victim of a hostile biographical tradition established in the regime of the Flavians who had overthrown him. Nevertheless, his decision to march against Rome in 69 was pivotal, since his subsequent defeat signalled the end of military anarchy and the beginning of an extended period of political stability under Vespasian and his successors.

Early Life and Career

Aulus Vitellius was born in September, 15 AD, the son of Lucius Vitellius and his wife Sestilia. One of the most successful public figures of the Julio-Claudian period, Lucius Vitellius was a three-time consul and a fellow censor with the emperor Claudius. Aulus seems to have moved with equal ease in aristocratic circles, successively winning the attention of the emperors Gaius, Claudius, and Nero through flattery and political skill.

Among his attested public offices, Vitellius was a curator of public works, a senatorial post concerned with the maintenance and repair of public buildings in Rome, and he was also proconsul of North Africa, where he served as a deputy to his brother, perhaps about 55 A. D. In addition, he held at least two priesthoods, the first as a member of the Arval Brethren, in whose rituals he participated from 57 A.D., and the second, as one of the quindecemviri sacris faciundis, a sacred college famous for its feasts.

With respect to marriage and family, Vitellius first wed a certain Petroniana, the daughter of a consul, sometime in the early to mid thirties A.D. The union produced a son, Petronianus, allegedly blind in one eye and emancipated from his father's control as a result of being named his mother's heir. Tradition records that Vitellius killed the boy shortly after emancipation amid charges of parricide; the marriage soon ended in divorce. A second marriage, to Galeria Fundana, daughter of an ex-praetor, was more stable than the first. It produced another son, who was eventually killed by the Flavians after the overthrow of Vitellius, as well as a daughter. Galeria is praised by Tacitus for her good qualities, and in the end it was she who saw to Vitellius' burial.

Rise to Power and Emperorship

Without doubt, the most fortuitous moment in Vitellius' political career was his appointment as governor of Lower Germany by the emperor Galba late in 68. The decision seemed to have caught everybody by surprise, including Vitellius himself, who, according to Suetonius, was in straitened circumstances at the time. The choice may have been made to reduce the possibility of rebellion by the Rhine armies, disaffected by Galba's refusal to reward them for their part in suppressing the earlier uprising of Julius Vindex. Ironically, it was Vitellius' lack of military achievement and his reputation for gambling and gluttony that may have also figured in his selection. Galba perhaps calculated that a man with little military experience who could now plunder a province to satisfy his own stomach would never become disloyal. If so, it was a critical misjudgement by the emperor.

The rebellion began on January 1, 69 ("The Year of the Four Emperors"), when the legions of Upper Germany refused to renew their oath of allegiance to Galba. On January 2, Vitellius' own men, having heard of the previous day's events, saluted him as emperor at the instigation of the legionary legate Fabius Valens and his colleagues. Soon, in addition to the seven legions that Vitellius now had at his command in both Germanies, the forces in Gaul, Britain, and Raetia also came over to his side. Perhaps aware of his military inexperience, Vitellius did not immediately march on Rome himself. Instead, the advance was led by Valens and another legionary general, Aulus Caecina Alienus, with each man commanding a separate column. Vitellius would remain behind to mobilize a reserve force and follow later.

Caecina was already one hundred fifty miles on his way when news reached him that Galba had been overthrown and Otho had taken his place as emperor. Undeterred, he passed rapidly down the eastern borders of Gaul; Valens followed a more westerly route, quelling a mutiny along the way. By March both armies had successfully crossed the Alps and joined at Cremona, just north of the Po. Here they launced their Batavian auxiliaries against Otho's troops and routed them in the First Battle of Bedriacum. Otho killed himself on April 16, and three days later the soldiers in Rome swore their allegience to Vitellius. The senate too hailed him as emperor.

When Vitellius learned of these developments, he set out to Rome from Gaul. By all accounts the journey was a drunken feast marked by the lack of discipline of both the troops and the imperial entourage. Along the way he stopped at Lugdunum to present his six-year-old son Germanicus to the legions as his eventual successor. Later, at Cremona, Vitellius witnessed the corpse-filled battlefield of Otho's recent defeat with joy, unmoved by so many citizens denied a proper burial.

The emperor entered Rome in late June-early July. Conscious of making a break with the Julio-Claudian past, Vitellius was reluctant to assume the traditional titles of the princes, even though he enthusiastically made offerings to Nero and declared himself consul for life. To his credit, Vitellius did seem to show a measure of moderation in the transition to the principate. He assumed his powers gradually and was generally lenient to Otho's supporters, even pardoning Otho's brother Salvius Titianus, who had played a key role in the earlier regime. In addition, he participated in Senate meetings and continued the practice of providing entertainments for the Roman masses. An important practical change involved the awarding of posts customarily held by freedmen to equites, an indication of the growth of the imperial bureaucracy and its attractiveness to men of ambition.

In other matters, he replaced the existing praetorian guard and urban cohorts with sixteen praetorian cohorts and four urban units, all comprised of soldiers from the German armies. According to Tacitus, the decision prompted a mad scramble, with the men, and not their officers, choosing the branch of service that they preferred. The situation was clearly unsatisfactory but not surprising, given that Vitellius was a creation of his own troops. To secure his position further, he sent back to their old postings the legions that had fought for Otho, or he reassigned them to distant provinces. Yet discontent remained: the troops who had been defeated or betrayed at Bedriacum remained bitter, and detachments of three Moesian legions called upon by Otho were returned to their bases, having agitated against Vitellius at Aquileia.

Flavian Revolt

The Vitellian era at Rome was short-lived. By mid-July news had arrived that the legions of Egypt under Tiberius Julius Alexander had sworn allegiance to a rival emperor, Titus Flavius Vespasianus, the governor of Judaea and a successful and popular general. Vespasian was to hold Egypt while his colleague Mucianus, governor of Syria, was to invade Italy. Before the plan could be enacted, however, the Danube legions, former supporters of Otho, joined Vespasian's cause. Under the leadership of Antonius Primus, commander of the Sixth legion in Pannonia, and Cornelius Fuscus, imperial procurator in Illyricum, the legions made a rapid descent on Italy.

Although his forces were only half of what Vitellius commanded in Italy, Primus struck first before the emperor could muster additional reinforcements from Germany. To make matters worse for the Vitellians, Valens was ill, and Caecina, now consul, had begun collaborating with the Flavians. His troops refused to follow his lead, however, and arrested him at Hostilia near Cremona. They then joined the rest of the Vitellian forces trying to hold the Po River. With Vitellius still in Rome and his forces virtually leaderless, the two sides met in October in the Second Battle of Bedriacum. The emperor's troops were soundly defeated and Cremona was brutally sacked by the victors. In addition, Valens, whose health had recovered, was captured while raising an army for Vitellius in Gaul and Germany; he was eventually executed.

Meanwhile, Primus continued towards Rome. Vitellius made a weak attempt to thwart the advance at the Apennine passes, but his forces switched to the Flavian side without a fight at Narnia in mid-December. At Rome, matters were no better. Vespasian's elder brother, Titus Flavius Sabinus, the city prefect, was successful in an effort to convince Vitellius to abdicate but was frustrated by the mob in Rome and the emperor's soldiers. Forced to flee to the Capitol, Sabinus was set upon by Vitellius' German troops and soon killed, with the venerable Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus set ablaze in the process. Within two days, the Flavian army fought its way into Rome. In a pathetic final move, Vitellius disguised himself in dirty clothing and hid in the imperial doorkeeper's quarters, leaning a couch and a mattress against the door for protection. Dragged from his hiding place by the Flavian forces, he was hauled off half-naked to the Forum, where he was tortured, killed, and tossed into the Tiber. The principate could now pass to Vespasian.

Assessment

Vitellius has not escaped the hostility of his biographers. While he may well have been gluttonous, his depiction as indolent, cruel, and extravagant is based almost entirely on the propaganda of his enemies. On the other hand, whatever moderating tendencies he did show were overshadowed by his clear lack of military expertise, a deficiency that forced him to rely in critical situations on largely inneffective lieutenants. As a result he was no match for his Flavian successors, and his humiliating demise was perfectly in keeping with the overall failure of his reign.

Copyright (C) 1999, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
VespasianPax_RICii10.jpg
710a, Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.138 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, 10, aVF, 3.5 g, 18mm, Rome mint, 69-71 AD; Obverse: IMP CAESA[R] VESPASIANV[S AV]G - Laureate head right; Reverse: COS ITER [T]R POT - Pax seated left holding branch and caduceus. Ex Imperial Coins.


De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 69-79)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (b. A.D. 9, d. A.D. 79, emperor A.D. 69-79) restored peace and stability to an empire in disarray following the death of Nero in A.D. 68. In the process he established the Flavian dynasty as the legitimate successor to the Imperial throne. Although we lack many details about the events and chronology of his reign, Vespasian provided practical leadership and a return to stable government - accomplishments which, when combined with his other achievements, make his emperorship particularly notable within the history of the Principate.

Early Life and Career

Vespasian was born at Falacrina near Sabine Reate on 17 November, A.D. 9, the son of T. Flavius Sabinus, a successful tax collector and banker, and Vespasia Polla. Both parents were of equestrian status. Few details of his first fifteen years survive, yet it appears that his father and mother were often away from home on business for long periods. As a result, Vespasian's early education became the responsibility of his paternal grandmother, Tertulla. [[1]] In about A.D. 25 Vespasian assumed the toga virilis and later accepted the wearing of the latus clavus, and with it the senatorial path that his older brother, T. Flavius Sabinus, had already chosen. [[2]] Although many of the particulars are lacking, the posts typically occupied by one intent upon a senatorial career soon followed: a military tribunate in Thrace, perhaps for three or four years; a quaestorship in Crete-Cyrene; and the offices of aedile and praetor, successively, under the emperor Gaius. [[3]]

It was during this period that Vespasian married Flavia Domitilla. Daughter of a treasury clerk and former mistress of an African knight, Flavia lacked the social standing and family connections that the politically ambitious usually sought through marriage. In any case, the couple produced three children, a daughter, also named Flavia Domitilla, and two sons, the future emperors Titus and Domitian . Flavia did not live to witness her husband's emperorship and after her death Vespasian returned to his former mistress Caenis, who had been secretary to Antonia (daughter of Marc Antony and mother of Claudius). Caenis apparently exerted considerable influence over Vespasian, prompting Suetonius to assert that she remained his wife in all but name, even after he became emperor. [[4]]

Following the assassination of Gaius on 24 January, A.D. 41, Vespasian advanced rapidly, thanks in large part to the new princeps Claudius, whose favor the Flavians had wisely secured with that of Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius' freedmen, especially Narcissus. [[5]] The emperor soon dispatched Vespasian to Argentoratum (Strasbourg) as legatus legionis II Augustae, apparently to prepare the legion for the invasion of Britain. Vespasian first appeared at the battle of Medway in A.D. 43, and soon thereafter led his legion across the south of England, where he engaged the enemy thirty times in battle, subdued two tribes, and conquered the Isle of Wight. According to Suetonius, these operations were conducted partly under Claudius and partly under Vespasian's commander, Aulus Plautius. Vespasian's contributions, however, did not go unnoticed; he received the ornamenta triumphalia and two priesthoods from Claudius for his exploits in Britain. [[6]]

By the end of A.D. 51 Vespasian had reached the consulship, the pinnacle of a political career at Rome. For reasons that remain obscure he withdrew from political life at this point, only to return when chosen proconsul of Africa about A.D. 63-64. His subsequent administration of the province was marked by severity and parsimony, earning him a reputation for being scrupulous but unpopular. [[7]] Upon completion of his term, Vespasian returned to Rome where, as a senior senator, he became a man of influence in the emperor Nero's court. [[8]] Important enough to be included on Nero's tour of Greece in A.D. 66-67, Vespasian soon found himself in the vicinity of increasing political turbulence in the East. The situation would prove pivotal in advancing his career.

Judaea and the Accession to Power

In response to rioting in Caesarea and Jerusalem that had led to the slaughter in the latter city of Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers, Nero granted to Vespasian in A.D. 66 a special command in the East with the objective of settling the revolt in Judaea. By spring A.D. 67, with 60,000 legionaries, auxiliaries, and allies under his control, Vespasian set out to subdue Galilee and then to cut off Jerusalem. Success was quick and decisive. By October all of Galilee had been pacified and plans for the strategic encirclement of Jerusalem were soon formed. [[9]] Meanwhile, at the other end of the empire, the revolts of Gaius Iulius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, and Servius Sulpicius Galba , governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, had brought Nero's reign to the brink of collapse. The emperor committed suicide in June, A.D. 68, thereby ensuring chaos for the next eighteen months, as first Galba and then Marcus Salvius Otho and Aulus Vitellius acceded to power. Each lacked broad-based military and senatorial support; each would be violently deposed in turn. [[10]]

Still occupied with plans against Jerusalem, Vespasian swore allegiance to each emperor. Shortly after Vitellius assumed power in spring, A.D. 69, however, Vespasian met on the border of Judaea and Syria with Gaius Licinius Mucianus, governor of Syria, and after a series of private and public consultations, the two decided to revolt. [[11]] On July 1, at the urging of Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, the legions of Alexandria declared for Vespasian, as did the legions of Judaea two days later. By August all of Syria and the Danube legions had done likewise. Vespasian next dispatched Mucianus to Italy with 20,000 troops, while he set out from Syria to Alexandria in order to control grain shipments for the purpose of starving Italy into submission. [[12]] The siege of Jerusalem he placed in the hands of his son Titus.

Meanwhile, the Danubian legions, unwilling to wait for Mucianus' arrival, began their march against Vitellius ' forces. The latter army, suffering from a lack of discipline and training, and unaccustomed to the heat of Rome, was defeated at Cremona in late October. [[13]] By mid-December the Flavian forces had reached Carsulae, 95 kilometers north of Rome on the Flaminian Road, where the Vitellians, with no further hope of reinforcements, soon surrendered. At Rome, unable to persuade his followers to accept terms for his abdication, Vitellius was in peril. On the morning of December 20 the Flavian army entered Rome. By that afternoon, the emperor was dead. [[14]]

Tacitus records that by December 22, A.D. 69, Vespasian had been given all the honors and privileges usually granted to emperors. Even so, the issue remains unclear, owing largely to a surviving fragment of an enabling law, the lex de imperio Vespasiani, which conferred powers, privileges, and exemptions, most with Julio-Claudian precedents, on the new emperor. Whether the fragment represents a typical granting of imperial powers that has uniquely survived in Vespasian's case, or is an attempt to limit or expand such powers, remains difficult to know. In any case, the lex sanctioned all that Vespasian had done up to its passing and gave him authority to act as he saw fit on behalf of the Roman people. [[15]]

What does seem clear is that Vespasian felt the need to legitimize his new reign with vigor. He zealously publicized the number of divine omens that predicted his accession and at every opportunity he accumulated multiple consulships and imperial salutations. He also actively promoted the principle of dynastic succession, insisting that the emperorship would fall to his son. The initiative was fulfilled when Titus succeeded his father in A.D. 79.[[16]]

Emperorship

Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. Although many particulars are missing, a portrait nevertheles emerges of a ruler conscientiously committed to the methodical renewal of both city and empire. Concerning Rome itself, the emperor encouraged rebuilding on vacated lots, restored the Capitol (burned in A.D. 69), and also began work on several new buildings: a temple to the deified Claudius on the Caelian Hill, a project designed to identify Vespasian as a legitimate heir to the Julio-Claudians, while distancing himself from Nero ; a temple of Peace near the Forum; and the magnificent Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), located on the site of the lake of Nero 's Golden House. [[17]]

Claiming that he needed forty thousand million sesterces for these projects and for others aimed at putting the state on more secure footing, Vespasian is said to have revoked various imperial immunities, manipulated the supply of certain commodities to inflate their price, and increased provincial taxation. [[18]] The measures are consistent with his characterization in the sources as both obdurate and avaricious. There were occasional political problems as well: Helvidius Priscus, an advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, was exiled after A.D. 75 and later executed; Marcellus Eprius and A. Alienus Caecina were condemned by Titus for conspiracy, the former committing suicide, the latter executed in A.D. 79.
As Suetonius claims, however, in financial matters Vespasian always put revenues to the best possible advantage, regardless of their source. Tacitus, too, offers a generally favorable assessment, citing Vespasian as the first man to improve after becoming emperor. [[19]] Thus do we find the princeps offering subventions to senators not possessing the property qualifications of their rank, restoring many cities throughout the empire, and granting state salaries for the first time to teachers of Latin and Greek rhetoric. To enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus, and he also put on lavish state dinners to assist the food trades. [[20]]

In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern. He restored the depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders with eligible Italian and provincial candidates and reduced the backlog of pending court cases at Rome. Vespasian also re-established discipline in the army, while punishing or dismissing large numbers of Vitellius ' men. [[21]]
Beyond Rome, the emperor increased the number of legions in the East and continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England, the pacification of Wales, and by advances into Scotland and southwest Germany between the Rhine and the Danube. Vespasian also conferred rights on communities abroad, especially in Spain, where the granting of Latin rights to all native communities contributed to the rapid Romanization of that province during the Imperial period. [[22]]

Death and Assessment

In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!" [[23]] In fact, public deification did follow his death, as did his internment in the Mausoleum of Augustus alongside the Julio-Claudians.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century.

Bibliography

Since the scholarship on Vespasian is more comprehensive than can be treated here, the works listed below are main accounts or bear directly upon issues discussed in the entry above. A comprehensive modern anglophone study of this emperor is yet to be produced.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Flaviani, 2 vols. Rieti, 1983.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Vespasianei, 2 vols. Rieti, 1981.

Bosworth, A.B. "Vespasian and the Provinces: Some Problems of the Early 70s A.D." Athenaeum 51 (1973): 49-78.

Brunt, P. A. "Lex de imperio Vespasiani." JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

D'Espèrey, S. Franchet. "Vespasien, Titus et la littérature." ANRW II.32.5: 3048-3086.

Dudley, D. and Webster, G. The Roman Conquest of Britain. London, 1965.

Gonzalez, J. "The Lex Irnitana: A New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

Grant, M. The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to the Rulers of Rome, 31 B.C. - A.D. 476. New York, 1985.

Homo, L. Vespasien, l'Empereur du bons sens (69-79 ap. J.-C.). Paris, 1949.

Levi, M.A. "I Flavi." ANRW II.2: 177-207.

McCrum, M. and Woodhead, A. G. Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian Emperors Including the Year of the Revolution. Cambridge, 1966.

Nicols, John. Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae. Wiesbaden, 1978.

Scarre, C. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. London, 1995.

Suddington, D. B. The Development of the Roman Auxiliary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian, 49 B.C. - A.D. 79. Harare: U. of Zimbabwe, 1982.

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

Wardel, David. "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol." Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

Wellesley, K. The Long Year: A.D. 69. Bristol, 1989, 2nd ed.


Notes

[[1]] Suet. Vesp. 2.1. Suetonius remains the major source but see also Tac. Hist. 2-5; Cass. Dio 65; Joseph. BJ 3-4.

[[2]] Suetonius (Vesp. 2.1) claims that Vespasian did not accept the latus clavus, the broad striped toga worn by one aspiring to a senatorial career, immediately. The delay, however, was perhaps no more than three years. See J. Nicols, Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae (Wiesbaden, 1978), 2.

[[3]] Military tribunate and quaestorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3; aedileship: ibid., 5.3, in which Gaius, furious that Vespasian had not kept the streets clean, as was his duty, ordered some soldiers to load him with filth;,they complied by stuffing his toga with as much as it could hold. See also Dio 59.12.2-3; praetorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3, in which Vespasian is depicted as one of Gaius' leading adulators, an account consistent with Tacitus' portrayal (Hist 1.50.4; 2.5.1) of his early career. For a more complete discussion of these posts and attendant problems of dating, see Nicols, Vespasian, 2-7.

[[4]] Marriage and Caenis: Suet. Vesp. 3; Cass. Dio 65.14.

[[5]] Nicols, Vespasian, 12-39.

[[6]] Suet. Vesp. 4.1 For additional details on Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see D. Dudley and G. Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain (London, 1965), 55 ff., 98.

[[7]] Concerning Vespasian's years between his consulship and proconsulship, see Suet. Vesp. 4.2 and Nicols, Vespasian, 9. On his unpopularity in Africa, see Suet. Vesp. 4.3, an account of a riot at Hadrumentum, where he was once pelted with turnips. In recording that Africa supported Vitellius in A.D. 69, Tacitus too suggests popular dissatisfaction with Vespasian's proconsulship. See Hist. 2.97.2.

[[8]] This despite the fact that the sources record two rebukes of Vespasian, one for extorting money from a young man seeking career advancement (Suet. Vesp. 4.3), the other for either leaving the room or dozing off during one of the emperor's recitals (Suet. Vesp. 4.4 and 14, which places the transgression in Greece; Tac. (Ann. 16.5.3), who makes Rome and the Quinquennial Games of A.D. 65 the setting; A. Braithwaite, C. Suetoni Tranquilli Divus Vespasianus, Oxford, 1927, 30, who argues for both Greece and Rome).

[[9]] Subjugation of Galilee: Joseph. BJ 3.65-4.106; siege of Jerusalem: ibid., 4.366-376, 414.

[[10]] Revolt of Vindex: Suet. Nero 40; Tac. Ann. 14.4; revolt of Galba: Suet. Galba 10; Plut. Galba, 4-5; suicide of Nero: Suet. Nero 49; Cass. Dio 63.29.2. For the most complete account of the period between Nero's death and the accession of Vespasian, see K. Wellesley, The Long Year: A.D. 69, 2nd. ed. (Bristol, 1989).

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

[[12]] Troops in support of Vespasian: Suet. Vit. 15; Mucianus and his forces: Tac. Hist. 2.83; Vespasian and grain shipments: Joseph. BJ 4.605 ff.; see also Tac. Hist. 3.48, on Vespasian's possible plan to shut off grain shipments to Italy from Carthage as well.

[[13]] On Vitellius' army and its lack of discipline, see Tac. Hist. 2.93-94; illness of army: ibid., 2.99.1; Cremona: ibid., 3.32-33.

[[14]] On Vitellius' last days, see Tac. Hist. 3.68-81. On the complicated issue of Vitellius' death date, see L. Holzapfel, "Römische Kaiserdaten," Klio 13 (1913): 301.

[[15]] Honors, etc. Tac. Hist. 4.3. For more on the lex de imperio Vespasiani, see P. A. Brunt, "Lex de imperio Vespasiani," JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

[[16]] Omens: Suet. Vesp. 5; consulships and honors: ibid., 8; succession of sons: ibid., 25.

[[17]] On Vespasian's restoration of Rome, see Suet. Vesp. 9; Cass. Dio 65.10; D. Wardel, "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol," Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

[[19]] Ibid.; Tac. Hist. 1.50.

[[20]] Suet. Vesp. 17-19.

[[21]] Ibid., 8-10.

[[22]] On Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see esp. Tac., Agricola, eds. R. M. Ogilvie and I. A. Richmond (1967), and W. S. Hanson, Agricola and the Conquest of the North (1987); on the granting of Latin rights in Spain, see, e.g., J. Gonzalez, "The Lex Irnitana: a New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

[[23]] For this witticism and other anecdotes concerning Vespasian's sense of humor, see Suet. Vesp. 23.

Copyright (C) 1998, John Donahue. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, an Online Encyplopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/vespasia.htm
Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.





Cleisthenes
DomitianARDenariusHorseman.jpg
712a, Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.160 viewsDomitian, as Caesar, AR Denarius. 77-78 AD; RIC 242, VF, 18mm, 3.18grams. Obverse: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIA[NVS], laureate head right ; Reverse: COS V below man with hand raised out behind him on horse prancing right. RSC 49a. Scarce. Ex Zuzim Judaea.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Domitianus(A.D. 81-96)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Domitian was born in Rome on 24 October A.D. 51, the youngest son of Vespasian, Roman emperor (A.D. 69-79) and Domitilla I, a treasury clerk's daughter. Little is known about Domitian in the turbulent 18 months of the four (five?) emperors, but in the aftermath of the downfall of Vitellius in A.D. 69 he presented himself to the invading Flavian forces, was hailed as Caesar, and moved into the imperial residence.

As emperor, Domitian was to become one of Rome's foremost micromanagers, especially concerning the economy. Shortly after taking office, he raised the silver content of the denarius by about 12% (to the earlier level of Augustus), only to devaluate it in A.D. 85, when the imperial income must have proved insufficient to meet military and public expenses.

Domitian's reach extended well beyond the economy. Late in A.D. 85 he made himself censor perpetuus, censor for life, with a general supervision of conduct and morals. The move was without precedent and, although largely symbolic, it nevertheless revealed Domitian's obsessive interest in all aspects of Roman life. An ardent supporter of traditional Roman religion, he also closely identified himself with Minerva and Jupiter, publicly linking the latter divinity to his regime through the Ludi Capitolini, the Capitoline Games, begun in A.D.86. Held every four years in the early summer, the Games consisted of chariot races, athletics and gymnastics, and music, oratory and poetry.

Beyond Rome, Domitian taxed provincials rigorously and was not afraid to impose his will on officials of every rank. Consistent with his concern for the details of administration, he also made essential changes in the organization of several provinces and established the office of curator to investigate financial mismanagement in the cities. Other evidence points to a concern with civic improvements of all kinds, from road building in Asia Minor, Sardinia and near the Danube to building and defensive improvements in North Africa.

While the military abilities of Vespasian and Titus were genuine, those of Domitian were not. Partly as an attempt to remedy this deficiency, Domitian frequently became involved in his own military exploits outside of Rome. He claimed a triumph in A.D. 83 for subduing the Chatti in Gaul, but the conquest was illusory. Final victory did not really come until A.D. 89. In Britain, similar propaganda masked the withdrawal of Roman forces from the northern borders to positions farther south, a clear sign of Domitian's rejection of expansionist warfare in the province.

Domitian's autocratic tendencies meant that the real seat of power during his reign resided with his court. The features typically associated with later courts - a small band of favored courtiers, a keen interest in the bizarre and the unusual (e.g., wrestlers, jesters, and dwarves), and a highly mannered, if somewhat artificial atmosphere, characterized Domitian's palace too, whether at Rome or at his Alban villa, some 20 kilometers outside of the capital.

On 18 September, A.D. 96, Domitian was assassinated and was succeeded on the very same day by M. Cocceius Nerva, a senator and one of his amici. The sources are unanimous in stressing that this was a palace plot, yet it is difficult to determine the level of culpability among the various potential conspirators.
In many ways, Domitian is still a mystery - a lazy and licentious ruler by some accounts, an ambitious administrator and keeper of traditional Roman religion by others. As many of his economic, provincial, and military policies reveal, he was efficient and practical in much that he undertook, yet he also did nothing to hide the harsher despotic realities of his rule. This fact, combined with his solitary personality and frequent absences from Rome, guaranteed a harsh portrayal of his rule. The ultimate truths of his reign remain difficult to know.

Copyright (C) 1997, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Perhaps the reverse of this Domitian/Horseman specimen depicts Domitian as he rode a white horse behind his father, Vespasian, and his brother, Titus, during their joint triumph celebrating their victory over Judaea (see: Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars. Trans. Robert Graves. London: Penguin, 2003. 304).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
735Hadrian_RIC840.jpg
840 Hadrian Sestertius Roma 134-38 AD Africa19 viewsReference.
RIC 840; C.142; Strack 709

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Bust of Hadrian, laureate, draped, right.

Rev. AFRICA S C
Africa, draped, wearing elephant-skin headdress, reclining left, resting left arm on rock, holding scorpion in right hand and cornucopiae in left; basket of corn-ears and poppy front.

23.30 gr
32mm
12h

Note.
From the E.E. Clain Stefanelli collection
okidoki
88-Edward-VIII.jpg
88. Edward VIII.24 views10 cents, 1936.
Obverse: EDWARDVS VIII REX ET IND IMP TEN CENTS / Crown.
Reverse: EAST AFRICA 10 1936 / Four elephant tusks.
Mint mark: KN on obverse, King's Norton Mint in Birmingham.
11.15 gm., 31 mm.
(old Seaby #4065.)
Callimachus
484Hadrian_RIC941.jpg
941 Hadrian Sestertius Roma 134-38 AD Africa24 viewsReference.
Strack 769; RIC 941f; BMCRE 1789; C.1228

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P,
laureate and draped bust right.

Rev. RESTITVTORI AFRICAE, in Ex.SC,
Hadrian, togate, standing left, on right, holding roll in left hand and extending right hand to raise up Africa, wearing elephant-trunk headdress, kneeling, facing him, on left, holding corn-ears in left hand; corn-ears growing in center

24.65 gr
34 mm
6h
okidoki
zeugitania.jpg
AE 1717 viewsCarthage, Zeugitania, North Africa, c. 310 - 290 B.C. Bronze AE 17, SNG Cop 109 ff., F, Sicilian (?) mint, 2.372g, 15.0mm, 225o, c. 310 - 290 B.C.; obverse head of Tanit left wearing wreath of grain and pendant necklace; reverse, horse standing right, date palm tree behind. Tanit was a Phoenician lunar goddess, worshiped as the patron goddess at Carthage. Ex FORVMPodiceps
RI 064ad img~0.jpg
Africa463 viewsSeptimius Severus Denarius
Obv:– SEVERVS PIVS AVG, Laureate head right
Rev:– AFRICA, Africa, wearing elephant-skin head-dress, reclining left with scorpion & cornucopiae; basket of heads of grain (called corn ears in the UK) before
References:– VM 8/2, RIC 254, RCV02 6261, RSC 31

Personification of North Africa
maridvnvm
hadrian_africa.jpg
Africa denarius18 viewsRobert R8
axum_anon.jpg
Aksumite, Anonymous53 viewsObverse: Draped bust right, wearing headcloth ('King')
Reverse: Greek cross within circle, with greek legend ('May this please the country')
Date : Circa AD 340-425
Reference : Munro-Hay Type 52; BMC Aksum 140
Grade : VF
Weight : 1.12 g
Metal : AE
Comments : 13mm, The most common of all axumite coins, they are generally attributed to King Ezana, the first Christian King of the Axumites. Part of now Ethiopia, Axum (Askum) was in the path of the ancient commercial trade routes between Africa, Arabia, and India, as a result it became a very wealth and cosmopolitan centre in the ancient world. In the second century AD, Aksum expanded its empire acquired tribute states on the Arabian Peninsula across the Red Sea, conquered northern Ethiopia, and then finally conquered Kush.

In the fourth century, King Ezana, converted to Christianity under the influence of a Syrian bishop named Frumentius and declared Axum to be a Christian state. Axum remained a strong empire and trading power until the rise of Islam in the seventh century AD, when it became cut off from its major trading partners. However, because the Axumites had sheltered Muhammed's first followers, the Muslims never attempted to overthrow Axum as they spread across the face of Africa.

Of general interest they are the only coins minted in sub saharian africa during the ancient times and one of the first nations to offically convert to Christianity and to show Christian icons on their coins.
Bolayi
Alexander.jpg
Alexander III Tetradrachm Price 299991 viewsKINGS OF MACEDON. Alexander III ‘the Great’, 336-323 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 25 mm, 17.13 g, 12 h), Tarsos, struck under Balakros or Menes, circa 333-327.
O: Head of Herakles to right, wearing lion skin headdress.
R: AΛEΞANΔPOY Zeus seated left on low throne, holding long scepter in his left hand and eagle standing right with closed wings in his right.
- Price 2999. A rare early and unusual issue from Tarsos, "Officina B", bearing no symbol.

Alexander the Great (356 B.C.–323 B.C.) has been recognized as the greatest stratelates (roughly, ‘general’) in history. His army consisted of 30,000 infantryman and 5,000 cavalrymen. In 334 B.C., when he was 22 years old, he embarked on a campaign starting from the capital of Macedonia, Pella, and he created the Macedonian Empire within 8 years, by 326 B.C. The Macedonian Empire extended from Greece to India and North Africa. Alexander fought in the front lines in every battle, thereby encouraging his fellow warriors to do their best. He was never a spectator in battles, and the rear line was not for him. In each battle, just as any of his soldiers, he faced the risk of not seeing the sunset. He was in danger of “dining in Hades,” as they said about soldiers who died during battle. All his soldiers saw Alexander’s back in every battle.

By comparing these early Tarsos tetradrachms to the staters of Mazaios (Pictured below) it is easy to see the identical forms of the throne, scepter, footstool and other details. The drapery is rendered in a similar manner, the Aramaic inscription of the one and the Greek inscription of the other share the same curve following the dotted border. This evidence indicates the two series of coins were the common product of a single mint.

2 commentsNemonater
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Alexander Severus Silver Denarius 39 views59850. Silver denarius, SRCV II 7923, RIC IV 252, RSC III 508a, BMCRE VI 813, VF, scratches, 3.143g, 19.8mm, 0o, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.;

obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate bust right with drapery on left shoulder;

reverse PROVIDENTIA AVG, Providentia (or Annona) standing left, stalks of grain in right over modius, anchor in left

Annona with a modius and anchor suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces, especially from Africa, and its distribution to the people. When Severus Alexander was away on his Persian and German campaigns (231-235) he continuously struck Annona types. With the legend PROVIDENTIA AVG, "The Foresight of the Emperor," he assured that, though he was away, he would be carefully monitoring Rome's grain supply!
1 commentsColby S
nero_tet.jpg
Alexandria - Nero Billon Tetracrachm108 viewsNero (Augustus)
Africa, Alexandria
Billon Tetracrachm 12.31g / 23.3mm / -
Ob: ΝΕΡΩ ΚΛΑΥ ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒ ΓΕΡ - radiate bust right wearing aegis
Rv: ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑ - eagle standing left holding palm under wing, L IA (year 11) left
Mint: 29 Aug 64 - 28 Aug 65 A.D
Refs: Dattari 270; Milne 228; Curtis 83; BMC Alexandria p. 20, 165; Geissen 163
Scotvs Capitis
unkvanbarOR.jpg
Anonymous Vandalic Period Issue11 viewsAnonymous Vandalic Period Issue, AE4, 5th Century AD, North Africa
Legend represented by strokes
Pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right
Legend represented by strokes
Victory advancing left, wreath upward in right hand, palm in left
10mm x 11mm, 0.69g (*and the second one is 10mm, 0.71g)
Wroth, Coins of the Vandals, Victory type 21-31, Pl. III, 10
9/10mm .54g
casata137ec
seleukosIVlaodike.jpg
Antiochus IV Epiphanes. AE16. Queen Laodice148 viewsSELEUKID KINGS of SYRIA. Antiochus IV Epiphanes serrated AE16. 175 - 164 B.C. Seleucia-in-Pieria mint. Veiled bust of Laodice IV r. Border of dots / BASILEWS ANTIOCOU, North African Elephant (Extinct) head left, prow of galley right. Houghton 113

The North African elephant was a possible subspecies of the African bush elephant, or possibly a separate elephant species, that existed in North Africa until becoming extinct in Ancient Roman times.
1 commentsancientone
pmsestantonino.jpg
ANTONINUS PIUS62 viewsAE sestertius. 139 AD. 24,62 grs. Laureate head right. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP / Africa standing half-left, wearing elephant's skin headdress, holding crown and cornucopiae. AFRICA. In fields S C. COS II in exergue.
RIC 574, C 24, BMCRE 1175.
1 commentsbenito
pmsestantonino~0.jpg
ANTONINUS PIUS32 viewsAE sestertius. 139 AD. 24,62 grs. Laureate head right. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP / Africa standing half-left, wearing elephant's skin headdress, holding crown and cornucopiae. AFRICA. In fields S C. COS II in exergue.
RIC 574, C 24, BMCRE 1175.
1 commentsbenito
867_Antoninus_Pius_Annona.jpg
Antoninus Pius - AR denarius9 viewsRome
152-153 AD
laureate head right
ANTONINVS AVG P_IVS P P TR P XVI
Annona standing left, hand on modius, holding grain ears, modius situated on prow
COS__IIII
RIC III 221, RSC II 290, BMCRE IV 786

This reverse suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people.
Johny SYSEL
Antoninus_Sest_2.jpg
Antoninus Pius Sestertius48 viewsAE Sestertius, AD 139.
Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right,
Rev: AFRICA COS II S-C, Africa, wearing elephant-skin head-dress, standing left, holding crown and cornucopiae

(RIC 574; C 24; RCV 4145).
1 commentsTanit
AntoSed8.JPG
Antoninus Pius, RIC 574, Sestertius of AD 139 (Aurum Coronarium: Africa)64 viewsÆ Sestertius (22.43g, Ø32mm, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 139.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right.
Rev.: AFRICA (around) COS II (in ex.) S C (in field), Africa, draped, wearing elephant skin headdress, standing left, holding a diadem of pearls and cornucopiae.
RIC 574 (R); BMCRE IV 1177; Cohen 24; Strack 773 (4 collections); Banti 10 (1 specimen: this one illustrated); Sear (Roman Coins and their Values II) 4145 var.

ex CNG printed auction 93; ex Robert O. Ebert Collection; ex Walter Niggeler Collection (Part 3, Leu: Münzen und Medaillen AG, 2 November 1967, lot 1290).

Part of a series celebrating Antoninus' remission of half of the special tax (aurum coronarium) normally levied on the provinces at the time of the accession of an emperor.
(photo: CNG)
Charles S
ANTOSef4-2.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 576, Sestertius of AD 139 (crown series - Africa)28 viewsÆ Sestertius (26,92g, Ø 33mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 139.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head right.
Rev.: AFRICA around, COS II in ex., S C in field, Africa wearing elephant headdress, standing left, holding wreath and cornucopiae, scorpion at her feet.
RIC 576 (*) var. (rev. Africa holding 'basket' instead of wreath); BMCRE 1175 var. (no scorpion on reverse); Cohen 21 (*) (15 fr); Strack 772 (4 collections); Banti 12 (2 spec.); Sear (Roman Coins and their Values) 4145 var.
Ex Almanumis (Gérard Krebs, Nîmes, France) (2015)

Part of a series celebrating Antoninus' remission of half of the special tax (aurum coronarium) normally levied on the provinces at the time of the accession of an emperor.
________________________________
(*) the term "lion's head" and "tête de lion" in the description of the reverse in RIC 576 and Cohen 21 respectively is based on a misinterpretation of the reverse representation of the Paris specimen by Cohen and should be changed to "scorpion". It is correct in Strack 771.
Charles S
Antoas19~0.jpg
Antoninus Pius, RIC 862a, As of AD 148-149 (Munificentia)49 viewsÆ As (8.57g, Ø26mm, 11h). Rome mint. Struck 148-149 AD.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG - PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate head right.
Rev.: MVNIFICENTIA AVG around edge COS IIII / S C in ex., elephant walking right.
RIC 862a; Cohen 565'Foss (RHC) 128:51

This coin was struck in conjunction with very impressive games and displays (for which many elephants were imported from Africa) for the 900th anniversary of the founding of Rome celebrated on April 21st, 147 AD.
Charles S
leg_vii.jpg
AR Legionary Denarius LEG VII56 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C, galley r. mast with banners at prow

LEG VII, legionary eagle between two standards

Patrae mint 32-31BC

The VII Claudia Pia Fidelis is one of the oldest Imperial legions, on campaign with Caesar during his conquest of Gaul and Caesar's British invasions. During the civil war against Pompey, the seventh served at Pharsalus in 48BC and later in Africa at Thapsacus. The unit later served with Octavian at the Philippi. The unit seems to have existed into the 4th century AD, where it was recorded guarding the Middle Danube.
3 commentsWill Hooton
PtolemyREX.jpg
AUGUSTUS & PTOLEMY OF NUMIDIA AE semis176 viewsAVGVSTVS DIVI F
bare head of Augustus right

C LAETILIVS APALVS II V Q, REX PTOL (Ptolemy, King) within diadem

Carthago Nova, Spain, under sole 'duovir quinqunennales' C Laetilius Apalus.

18.5mm, 5.3g.
RPC 172.

Ex-Incitatus

Ptolemy of Numidia was the son of King Juba II of Numidia and Cleopatra Selene II. He was also the grandson of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII on his mohter's side. He was named in honor of the memory of Cleopatra VII, the birthplace of his mother and the birthplace of her relatives. In choosing her son's name, Cleopatra Selene II created a distinct Greek-Egyptian tone and emphasized her role as the monarch who would continue the Ptolemaic dynasty. She by-passed the ancestral names of her husband. By naming her son Ptolemy instead of a Berber ancestral name, she offers an example rare in ancient history, especially in the case of a son who is the primary male heir, of reaching into the mother's family instead of the father's for a name. This emphasized the idea that his mother was the heiress of the Ptolemies and the leader of a Ptolemaic government in exile.

Through his parents he received Roman citizenship and was actually educated in Rome. Amazingly he grew up in the house of his maternal aunt, and Antony's daughter Antonia Minor, the youngest daughter of Mark Antony and the youngest niece of Augustus. Antonia was also a half-sister of Ptolemy's late mother, also a daughter of Mark Antony. Antonia Minor's mother was Octavia Minor, Mark Antony's fourth wife and the second sister of Octavian (later Augustus). Ptolemy lived in Rome until the age of 21, when he returned to the court of his aging father in Mauretania.

Ptolemy was a co-ruler with his father Juba II until Juba's death and was the last semi-autonomous ruler of Africa. On a visit to Rome in 40 AD he was seen by the Emperor Caligula in an amphitheather wearing a spectacular purpal cloak. A jealous Caligula had him murdered for his fashionable purple cloak.

Sold to Calgary Coin Feb 2017
2 commentsJay GT4
Augustus_RPC_I_99.jpg
Augustus, AE Semis, RPC I 995 viewsAugustus
27 B.C. – 14 A.D.

Coin: AE Semis

Obverse: PERM CAES - AVG, Bare headed bust facing left.
Reverse: IVLIA TRAD, in two lines within a Civic Crown.

Weight: 9.27 g, Diameter: 23.2 x 22.4 x 2.9 mm, Die axis: 230°, Mint: Julia Traducta, Spain, struck between 12-10 B.C. Reference: RPC I 99

According to Strabo, between 33 - 25 BCE, the name "Iulia Traducta" ("transferred Iulia"), refered to the fact that part of the population had been moved from the city of Iulia Constantia Zilitanorum in North Africa.
Masis
Joel.jpg
AXUM Joel57 viewsObverse: Crowned facing bust
Reverse: Latin cross
Date : Circa 600
Reference : Hahn, Aksumite 61b; Munro-Hay type 134; BMC Axum 481
Grade : Near VF
Weight : 0.81g
Metal : AE
Comments : 11mm, green patina
Bolayi
armah1.jpg
AXUM. Armah50 viewsObverse: Armah enthroned right, wearing crown, holding cruciform scepter
Reverse: Cross connected to ring by stem; wheat stalks emerging from ring
Date : Circa 630-650
Reference : Hahn, Aksumite 72a; Munro-Hay type 153; BMC Axum 573
Grade : Near VF
Weight : 1.85g
Metal : AE
Comments : 20mm, light deposits, flan break
Bolayi
British_West_Africa.jpg
British West Africa57 viewsKm20 - 1/10 Penny - 1943
Km21 - 3 Pence - 1938H
Daniel Friedman
Vandal_ab.jpg
Bronze nummus - Vandal kingdom153 viewsVandal kingdom. Æ nummus (10 mm, 0.45 g). Obverse: Diademed and draped bust right. Reverse: Eagle or zoomorphic deity within wreath. Wroth 3:18.

Very rare. A similar coin in British Museum (Wroth 3:18) was purchased from Mr. J. Doubleday in 1849 and was believed to originate from Northern Africa. Probably struck in the Vandal kingdom during the time period from c. 450 to 530. One possibility is that the coin imitates Ostrogothic 10 nummi coins with an uppright eagle minted in Rome for Theoderic the great. The vandal king Thrasamund was married to Amalfrida, the sister of Theoderic, from 500 to 523 AD. The coin may perhaps have been struck during this time period. Another possibility is that the reverse shows the Egyptian god Anubis. Comments and alternative interpretations are welcome.

Ex Poncin collection; CNG 134, lot 455, 2006; Beast Coins Auction I, lot 205, 2009
3 commentsjbc
RPC783.jpg
Byzacene Hadrumetum - Augustus - AE Semis RPC 78332 viewsAE Semis - Time of Augustus, c. 10 AD, AE17, (3.91g) Hadrumetum, North Africa,.
Obv: L FLAMIN CAPIT Head of Neptune right, trident behind.
Rev: L ELIEV PERT Head of Sol right.
RPC 783.
Tanit
Sear-281.jpg
Byzantine Empire: Justinian I (527-565) Æ Nummus, Carthage (Sear 281; DOC 309; MIBE 193)16 viewsObv: Diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust of Justinian I to right
Rev: Large A
Dim: 10 mm, 0.53 g, 4 h

This issue was struck shortly after Belisarius defeated Gelimer, the last king of the Vandals, which reunited the African provinces with the Empire.
Quant.Geek
Heraclius.jpg
BYZANTINE, Heraclius, c.A.D.610-641, AV Solidus124 viewsAlthough Heraclius decisively defeated Parthia, his army was in turn defeated by the invading Muslims when a sandstorm blinded his troops at the battle of Yarmuk and as a result, the Levant, Egypt and North Africa were all lost.2 commentsgoldcoin
Mauricius Tiberius.jpg
BYZANTINE, Mauricius Tiberius55 viewsMauricius Tiberius, 582 - 602 AD
Solidus, Constantinopel, 4,29g, VF

obv: O.N.MAVRC.TIb.PP.AVG (Dr. and cuir. bust facing, wearing plumed helmet and holding gl. cr.)
rev: VICTORIA AVGGI (officinae I), (angel stg. facing, holding staff surmounted by P and gl.cr.; in ex., CONOB)

"Maurice Tiberius
August 13, 582 through November 22, 602.
Maurice Tiberius was an excellant military officer and was responsible for the curbing the Persians during the end of Justin II's reign. And during his reign he used diplomatic means to bring peace with the Persians. The western part of the empire saw a reuniting of control over much of Italy, Sicily and North Africa, but the Balkans proved to be his downfall. Due to losses of territory and prestige in the Balkan peninsula, a military revolt occurred with Phocas taking over as emperor. Maurice Tiberius and his two sons fled Constantinople, only to be slain a month or so later"
Nico
749_467_Caesar.JPG
C. Julius Caesar - AR denarius5 viewsmoving mint (Africa or Sicily)
I - IV 46 BC
head of Ceres right, grain wreath
DICT·ITER__COS·TERT
sacrificial implements: simpulum, aspergillum, capis (jug), lituus
AVGVR / PONT·MAX
M
SRCV I 1403, Crawford 467/1, RSC I 4
3,7g
ex Aurea

Ceres symbolizes Africa as granary of Rome. M on reverse means munus - payment for soldier's service. These coins probably served to pay Caesar's veterans after battle of Thapsus.
Johny SYSEL
Caesarea.jpg
Caesarea Mauretania106 viewsObverse: Head of Africa r. with elephant skin, two spears to l.
Reverse: CAESAREA Dolphin l.
Mint : Caesarea
Date : 27 BC-AD14
Reference : RPC-881 (only 3 spec.), Sear-5225
Grade : F
Weight : 5.23g
Metal : Bronze
Acquired: 07/08/04
1 commentsBolayi
1VIII_campgate.jpg
Campgate: Valentiniano III, zecca di Roma (o imitazione vandala di Genserico)39 viewsVALENTINIANO III (425-455 d.C.), zecca di Roma (o imitazione vandala Genserico)
AE, 1,0 gr, 10 mm
D/ [D N VALЄN AVG], busto perlato, diademato, drappeggiato e corazzato a dx
R/ [CAS-VIC], camp-gate con due torrette, stella in alto
RIC X 2160-2163
Nota dalla discussione sul FAC (dicembre 2012): "Se ufficiale e della zecca di Roma, oppure imitativa e battuta a Cartagine, i pareri si contrappongono e, ovviamente, ognuno ha argomenti a favore del proprio parere. Il Ric la colloca tra le monete ufficiali di Valentiniano III, ma dice anche che "attribution to the mint of Rome may be questioned. [...] The possibility that some at least are African should be retained...".
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo, Roma Italia (7 dicembre 2012, numero catalogo 170), ex Ricardo Veltri collection, Longchamps, Buenos Aires Argentina (prima del 2012)
paolo
Caracalla.jpg
Caracalla - Dea Caelestis98 viewsCaracalla (198-217) Silver Denarius - 3.02 grams, 18.9mm.
Minted at Rome, circa: 201-206 Reference: RIC-IV-I-130a-C
Obv: Laureate and draped youthful bust of Caracalla facing right - ANTONINVS PIVS AVG
Rev: The Dea Caelestis, holding thunderbolt and sceptre, riding on lion running right over waters gushing from a rock - INDVLGENTIA AVGG IN CARTH
Well centered and struck with light toning and even wear on both surfaces. A historically interesting coin that celebrates the completion of Carthage aquaduct
1 commentsBolayi
diad111.jpg
Caracalla Denarius. 196-19841 viewsOb. ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right
Rev. INDVLGENTIA AVGG, IN CARTH below, Dea Caelestis (Cybele) riding lion springing right, holding thunderbolt & scepter

Ref. RIC 130a, RSC 97, BMC 280

Cybele, the mother of the Gods was the favourite deity of the Carthagenians; here the lion, which Virgil tells us (Æneid lib. 3) was tamed by Cybele, may be taken as an emblem of Africa (Septimus Severus, Caracallas father, originated there).

-:Bacchus:-
1 commentsBacchus
SGCV_6444_Medio_Calco_CARTAGO.jpg
CARTAGO - Nor-África 12 viewsAE 1/2 Calco 15 mm 2.9 gr.

Anv: Cabeza coronada de Tanit a izquierda, vistiendo triple pendiente.
Rev: Caballo estante a derecha, palmera en segundo plano, 3 puntos en formación triangular, en campo derecho.

Tanit fue la diosa más importante de la mitología cartaginesa, la consorte de Baal y patrona de Cartago. Era equivalente a la diosa fenicia Astarté; también fue una deidad bereber. Fue la diosa de Ibiza (Islas Baleares, España). Wikipedia

Acuñada: 325-300 A.C.
Ceca: Cartago - Nor-África

Referencias: Visona #16 - MAA #18f - Sear GCV II #6444 Pag.596 - Jenkins & Lewis #12 Plate.26 - Müller II #163 Pag.95 - SNG Cop #109 - Calciati III #20 - Henzen #384-9
mdelvalle
carthage_k.jpg
CARTHAGE17 viewsÆ Unit, 16mm, 2.8g, 5h; Carthage mint, c. 400-350 BC.
Obv.: Wreathed head of Tanit left.
Rev.: Horse standing right; palm tree in background.
Reference: SNG Copenhagen (Africa) 109 / 17-120-128
1 commentsJohn Anthony
1281_Carthage.jpg
Carthage - AE8 viewsc. 400-350 BC
head of Tanit left wearing wreath
horse galloping right
MAA 15; SNG Copenhagen (Africa) 96
ex Savoca
Johny SYSEL
punicOR~0.jpg
Carthage, Punic Spain, SNG BM Spain 6738 viewsMobile military mint, Punic Spain, C. 237-209 B.C. AE, 13mm 1.46g, MHC 114; CNH 42; SNG BM Spain 67
O: Wreathed head of Tanit l.
R: Helmet l.


After putting down the mercenary revolt, Hamilcar Barca and other Carthaginians went to Spain to “start over” in the only remaining significant Carthaginian possession outside of North Africa. They extended Carthaginian influence beyond the Punic cities of southeastern Spain and utilized the local mineral resources to help re-establish the Carthaginian empire. Hamilcar drowned in 231 BC and was succeeded by his son-in-law, Hasdrubal, who founded Carthago Nova in 229 BC. Hasbrudal was assassinated in 221 BC. Hannibal Barca succeeded his brother-in-law. In 219 BC, Hannibal took Saguntum. Rome responded by declaring war and Hannibal made preparations to invade Italy. After Hannibal was in southern Italy during the Second Punic War, Spain continued to support his efforts until P. Cornelius Scipio (later Africanus) captured Carthago Nova in 209 BC. Carthaginian forces were driven out of Spain by 206 BC and Rome maintained control after the Second Punic War.
casata137ec
Carthage.jpg
Carthage, Second Punic War (220-215 BC)28 viewsAE Trishekel

29 mm, 18.21 g

Obverse: Head of Tanit left, wearing wreath of grain ears and single-pendant earring

Reverse: Horse standing right; palm tree in background to left.

MAA 84; Müller, Afrique 147; SNG Copenhagen 344.

The Second Punic War formally began when the Carthaginian general Hannibal and his army crossed the Alps in November of 218 BC and descended into Northern Italy. Battles raged on Italian soil for nearly 15 years until Hannibal and what remained of his army sailed for North Africa in the summer or fall of 203 BC. Shown above is a typical example of what would have been a lower-value coin issued by the Carthaginians in the early stages of the war.

Carthage was a Phoenician colony, and as such the Carthaginians were related to the Hebrews and the Canaanites (among others). Culturally they had much in common, including the use of the shekel as the primary unit of money. Likewise, the Carthaginians worshipped a variety of deities from the ancient Middle East. One in particular was the goddess Tanit. A Phoenician (Punic) goddess of war, Tanit was also a virgin mother goddess and a fertility symbol.
2 commentsNathan P
64035p00_copy.jpg
Carthage, Second Punic War, c. 216 - 205 B.C.21 views
64035. Silver quarter shekel, Robinson NC 1964, p. 44, group I, 3; SNG Cop 348 -349; Alexandropoulos 78; HN Italy 2015, VF, scratches, 1.733g, 13.6mm, 45o, Carthage mint, c. 216 - 205 B.C.; obverse head of Tanit left, wreathed with grain, wearing necklace and earring, dot border; reverse horse standing right, dot border; ex Ancient Eagles;
MagisterRiggs
52097p00.jpg
Carthage, Zeugitania, North Africa, 201 - 175 B.C.15 viewsBronze trishekel, SNG Cop 409 ff. (various symbols), Fair, 11.078g, 26.8mm, 0o, Carthage mint, 201 - 175 B.C.; obverse head of Tanit left, wreathed in grain; reverse horse striding right, Punic letter below; scarceMagisterRiggs
thumb_57636p00.jpg
Carthage, Zeugitania, North Africa, 300 - 264 B.C.24 viewsFrom Forum: Bronze AE 15, cf. SNG Cop 144 ff., aF, 5.571g, 18.8mm, 270o, Sardinian mint, obverse head of Tanit left wearing wreath of grain, earring and necklace; reverse horse's head right;

Wish Tanit had kept her head on this coin....but LOVE the horse!
1 commentsMagisterRiggs
thumb_58489p00~0.jpg
Carthage, Zeugitania, North Africa, c. 400 - 350 B.C.12 viewsBronze AE 17, cf. Alexandropoulos 18, SNG Cop 109 ff., Müller Afrique 163, SGCV II 6444, F, 1.606g, 13.9mm, 270o, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse head of Tanit left wearing wreath of grain and pendant necklace; reverse horse standing right, date palm tree behind;MagisterRiggs
Constantinus I 3 D~0.jpg
Carthago - Constantinus I - Follis39 viewsAE Follis. Carthago.
Obv.: FL VAL CONSTANTINVS NOB CAES
Rev.: CONSERVATO - R - AFRICAE SVAE, SE in l. field, F in r. field, Delta in ex.
Africa stg. facing, head l., in long drapery with elephant-skin head-dress, r. holding standard, l. tusk; at feet to l., lion with captured bull.

RIC VI, Carthago 58; struck c. early 307; scarce
Tanit
Constantinus_3.jpg
Carthago - Constantinus I - Follis26 viewsAE Follis. Early 307 AD.
Obv: FL VAL CONSTANTINVS NOB CAES
Rev: CONSERVATOR AFRICAESVAE / SE F in field / delta in exergue ;Africa standing facing, head left, in long drapery with elephant-skin head-dress, right holding standard, left tusk; at feet to left, lion with captured bull.

RIC VI Carthage 58
Scarce
Tanit
1311_462_Cato.JPG
Cato Uticensis - AR denarius7 viewsUtica
47-46 BC
draped bust Roma or Libertas rirgt
M·CATO·PRO·PR
Victory seated right, holding patera and palm
VIC(TR)IX
Crawford 462/1c, SRCV 1381, RSC I Porcia 9, Sydenham 1052, BMC Africa 15
ex Savoca
Johny SYSEL
Central African States - Cameroon.jpg
Central African States - Equatorial African States – Cameroon40 viewsKM24 - 5 Francs - 1958Daniel F
RIC_Claudius_RIC_I_94.JPG
Claudius (Tiberius Claudius Drusus Germanicus) (41-54 A.D.)26 viewsRIC I (Claudius) 94

AE dupondius (27-28 mm). Rome mint, struck ca. 41-50 A.D.

Obv: TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, bare head, left.

Rev: CERES AVGVSTA, SC in exergue, Ceres veiled and draped, seated left on ornamental throne, holding two grain ears and a long torch.

Note: Issued in response to bread riots in Rome, as part of an ongoing publicity campaign to reassure Romans of the adequacy and stability of the grain supply from North Africa. Ceres (=Demeter) was the goddess of grain, and was primarily worshipped by plebeians, and in rural areas.

RIC rarity C

From an uncleaned coin lot.
Stkp
Claudius_Ceres_RIC_94.JPG
Claudius Ceres RIC 9424 viewsClaudius, Rome, dupondius, 41 - 54 AD, 10.7g, 26.74mm max., Van Meter 14, RIC 94, SEAR 5 1855
OBV: TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG PM TR P IMP,
REV: CERES AVGVSTA S C, Ceres enthroned left, holding two corn ears and long torch

This issue was a publicity issue to assure Roman citizens of an
ample supply of grain from N Africa.

Possible contemporary imitation.
Romanorvm
Claudius_I_RIC_I_110.jpg
Claudius, AE Dupondius, RIC 1104 viewsClaudius
Augustus, 41 – 54 A.D.

Coin: AE Dupondius

Obverse: TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, bare-headed bust facing left.
Reverse: CERES AVGVSTA, Ceres, seated to the left, holding Wheat-ears with her right hand and a Torch, diagonally, with her left. S C in exergue.

Weight: 10.13 g, Diameter: 27.3 x 25.2 x 2.1 mm, Die axis: 210°, Mint: Rome, struck between 50 - 54 A.D. Reference: RIC I 110

This was issued to assure Roman citizens of an ample supply of Grain from Africa.
Masis
Claudius_I_RIC_I_94.jpg
Claudius, AE Dupondius, RIC I 943 viewsClaudius
Augustus, 41 – 54 A.D.

Coin: AE Dupondius

Obverse: TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, bare-headed bust facing left.
Reverse: CERES AVGVSTA, Ceres, seated to the left, holding Wheat-ears with her right hand and a Torch, diagonally, with her left. S C in exergue.

Weight: 7.42 g, Diameter: 25.6 x 26.4 x 1.5 mm, Die axis: 20°, Mint: Rome, Reference: RIC I 94

This was issued to assure Roman citizens of an ample supply of Grain from Africa.
Masis
Cornelia_19.JPG
Cnaeus Cornelius Blasio Cn.f107 viewsObv: Head of Mars (sometimes referenced as Scipio Africanus) facing right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet, XVI in monogram above, CN BLASIO CN F before, caduceus behind.

Rev: The Capitoline Triad: Jupiter holding a scepter and a thunderbolt standing facing between Juno on the left and Minerva on the right, the latter crowns Jupiter with a laurel wreath, ROMA in exergue.

Silver Denarius, Rome mint, 112 - 111 BC

4 grams, 19 mm, 270°

RSC Cornelia 19, S173
1 commentsSPQR Coins
commodus1.jpg
Commodus 88 viewsObverse: L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL Commodus Laureate head right
Reverse: PROVIDENTIAE AVG Commodus, as Hercules, standing right with foot on prow, resting club on tree trunk and holding thunderbolt, clasping hands with Africa who wears elephant-skin headdress and stands right holding sistrum; to her feet, a lion
Mint : Rome
Date : AD 191-192
Reference : RIC III 259a; MIR 18, 861-4/30; RSC 643
Grade : Good VF
Weight : 3.48 g
Denom : Denarius
Metal : Silver
Comments : The elements comprising this reverse type portray a personified Africa and the emperor Commodus as Hercules and represent the African fleet of corn transports as Africa was the granary of Rome. 16mm
Bolayi
Commodus.jpg
Commodus - Hercluea and Africa52 viewsObverse: L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL - Laureate head Commodus right
Reverse: PROVIDENTIAE AVG - Hercules standing left, foot on prow, resting club on a tree trunk behind and holding thunderbolt while clasping hands with Africa, who stands right, wearing elephant skin and holding sistrum; lion at her feet
Mint : Rome
Date : AD 191-192
Reference : RIC III, p. 396, 259a Rare; Cohen 643
Grade : aVF
Weight : 3.04g
Denom : Denarius
Metal : Silver
Acquired: 03/04/04

Comments : Issued c.192 A.D., to mark the establishment of a fleet of ships to bring North African grain to Rome which he renamed the Commodiana Herculea, and Commodus' foresight (PROVIDENTIAE AVG) in doing so. The ship's prow makes reference to the role of Rome's overseas provinces, in feeding the capital.
Bolayi
Commodus_RIC_259a.JPG
Commodus, 177 - 193 AD28 viewsObv: L AEL AVREL (COMM) AVG P FEL, laureate head of Commodus facing right.

Rev: PROVIDENTIAE AVG, Commodus dressed as Hercules, standing front, head left, naked, foot on prow, resting a club on a tree-trunk, clasping hands over corn-ears with Africa, who stands before him facing right, she wears an elephant's skin headdress and holds a sistrum, lion at her feet.

Note: Refers to the foresight of the emperor in reorganizing the North African grain fleet that was renamed Commodiana Herculea.

Silver Denarius, Rome mint, 192 AD

2.6 grams, 18 mm, 180°

RIC III 259a, RSC 643, S5687, VM 90
1 commentsSPQR Coins
commse19.JPG
Commodus, RIC 641, Sestertius of AD 192 (Providentiae)37 viewsÆ Sestertius (26.15g, Ø30mm, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 192.
Obv.: L·AEL·AVREL·CO-MM·AVG·P·FEL, laureate head right.
Rev.: P M TR P X IMP VII COS IIII (around) S C (in ex.), Commodus as Hercules, naked, standing left, foot on prow, holding club left resting on tree trunk or rock(s), receiving corn-ears from Africa, standing right, togate, wearing elephant-skin head-dress, holding sistrum (brass rattle, an Egyptian musical instrument) in left, lion at her feet.

RIC 641 (R); Cohen 644 (15fr.); BMC 718; Sear 5796

During the last year of his reign, the megalomania of Commodus reached insane levels. He renamed many things of importance after himself including the twelve months year, even the city Rome, the citizens of Rome, the Senate and so on. This issue marks the renaming of the African grain fleet to "Commodiana Herculea"

ex cgb.fr (2014); ex Alessandra Brunetti (London, 2010); ex coll. Prof. M. Caselli.
2 commentsCharles S
1000-15-160.jpg
Commodus.21 viewsCommodus. A.D. 177-192. AR denarius (17.5 mm, 2.63 g, 1 h). Rome mint, A.D. 192. Rare. L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, head right wearing lion's skin headdress / PROVIDENTIAE AVG, Commodus, as Hercules, standing left, foot on prow, holding club, clasping hands with Africa who is wearing elephant skin headdress and holding sistrum, a lion at her feet. RIC 259a; RSC 643; BMCRE 356. aVF, ecoli
coin_4_quart.jpg
CONSTANS PF AVG / GLORIA EXERCITVS AE4 follis (337-350 A.D.)30 viewsCONSTANS - PF AVG, (laurel and?) rosette-diademed, draped (and cuirassed?) bust right / GLORI - A EXER - CITVS, two soldiers facing each other, holding spears and shields, with one standard between them, the device on banner difficult to discern, maybe a little dot or O. Mintmark: SMTSA or SMTSΔ in exergue.

AE4, 16mm, 1.37g, die axis 12 (medal alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

P F AVG = Pius Felix Augustus = the pius (dutiful) and fortunate (happy) emperor. Gloria Exercitus (noun + genitive) "The Glory of the Army", SMTSA/Δ= Sacra Moneta Thessalonica, officina A or Δ (i. e. workshop #1 or #4).

CONSTANS - PF AVG legend and Thessalonica mint for a one standard design point at just a single type: RIC VIII Thessalonica 57, with both SMTSA and SMTSΔ mintmarks possible. Minting date listed for this type is late, 346-348 A.D.

Flavius Julius Constans Augustus. Born c. 323. The third and youngest son of Constantine the Great and his second wife Fausta. Caesar since Dec 333 (to his father, who was the only Augustus before his death in 337 -- and together with his brothers Costantine II (eldest) and Constantius II (middle), who were elevated to caesars earlier).

Augustus since Sept 337, also joint with his brothers (Constantius got the East while the other brothers shared the West). At first he was under guardianship of Constantine II, but that relationship was very quarrelsome. In 340 Constantine II was killed in an ambush during military operations against Constans' troops in Italy, and Constans inherited his portion (i.e. the whole West) of the Empire.

As an emperor Constans led a few successful military campaigns and was also known for his activity regarding religions: was tolerant to Judaism, promulgated an edict banning pagan sacrifices, suppressed Donatism in Africa and championed Nicene Orthodoxy against Arianism (which was supported by Constantius, this led to open warfare between the brothers). He was openly homosexual, which ultimately led to his downfall: the army was tired of the rule of Constans' favorites and barbarian bodyguards, of whom he was very fond of. Assassinated by usurper Magnentius, who led the army revolt, in Feb 350. His only remaining brother, Constantius later defeated Magnentius and consolidated the whole empire under himself.
Yurii P
coin_8_quart.jpg
CONSTANS PF AVG / GLORIA EXERCITVS AE4 follis (337-350 A.D.)25 viewsCONSTAN-S PF AVG, laurel and rosette-diademed, draped (and cuirassed?) bust right / GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers facing each other, holding spears and shields, with one standard between them, O ("dot"?) on banner. Mintmark: BSIS* in exergue.

AE4, 15.5mm, 1.41g, die axis 6 (coin alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy.

P F AVG = Pius Felix Augustus = the pius (dutiful) and fortunate (happy) emperor. Gloria Exercitus (noun + genitive) "The Glory of the Army" BSIS* = officina B (workshop #2), SIScia mint (now Sisak, Croatia), issue mark *

Mintmark BSIS* corresponds to only one type, RIC VIII Siscia 78 with the description matching this coin (except the banner device is described as "dot").
I in SIS missing due to clogged die or just got lost due to damage? Minting years mentioned for this coin are 346-348 A.D.

CONSTANS, * c. 323 † February 350 (aged ~27) in Vicus Helena, southwestern Gaul (Elne, southern France)
‡ 25 December 333 – 337 (as Caesar in Constantinople under his father); 337 – 340 (joint emperor with Constantius II and Constantine II, over Italia and Africa); 340 – 350 (after defeating Constantine II, Western Emperor, together with Constantius II in the East).

More biographical info in http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-147486
Yurii P
coin16_quad_sm.jpg
CONSTANS PF AVG / GLORIA EXERCITVS AE4 follis, 346-348 10 viewsCONSTAN - S PF AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust left, the laurel leaves are denoted as longish shapes / GLOR - IA EXERC - ITVS, two soldiers, helmeted, draped, cuirassed, standing front, heads turned toward each another, each holding inverted spear in outer hand and resting inner hand on shield; between them, a standard, device on banner large dot, with 3 badges. Mintmark AQS in exergue, palm branch "upright" in both left and right fields.

Ӕ4, 15.5mm, 1.10g, die axis 6h (coin alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

RIC VIII Aquileia 22: ID straightforward thanks to unusual obverse and palm branches in the fields, even if the mintmark were unclear.

P F AVG = Pius Felix Augustus = the pius (dutiful) and fortunate (happy) emperor. Gloria Exercitus (noun + genitive) "The Glory of the Army" AQuileia mint, S = officina #2.

CONSTANS, * c. 323 † February 350 (aged ~27) in Vicus Helena, southwestern Gaul (Elne, southern France)
‡ 25 December 333 – 337 (as Caesar in Constantinople under his father); 337 – 340 (joint emperor with Constantius II and Constantine II, over Italia and Africa); 340 – 350 (after defeating Constantine II, Western Emperor, together with Constantius II in the East).

More biographical info in http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-147486
Yurii P
coin12_quart.jpg
CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C (the 2nd) / GLORIA EXERCITVS AE3 follis (317-337 A.D.) 23 viewsCONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, cuirassed bust right / GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers facing each other, holding spears and shields, with one standard between them, devices on banners not very clear, but probably dots or "o". Mintmark: Epsilon SIS in exergue.

AE3, 18-19mm, 1.65g, die axis 2 (turned medal alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

IVN = IVNIOR = Junior, NOB C = Nobilitas Caesar, Gloria Exercitus (noun + genitive) "The Glory of the Army", officina Epsilon (workshop #5), SIScia mint (now Sisak, Croatia).

Siscia mint combined with two standards and IVN NOB C variety points to only two types, RIC VII Siscia 220 and RIC VII Siscia 236, both of Constantine II, with possible officinas A, delta, gamma and epsilon. So even though the name is not very clear and theoretically the officina letter may be B rather than E, we can be sure that it is Constantine and that officina is E. Type 236 should have dots before and after the
mintmark, and it doesn't seem the case here, so this must be RIC VII Siscia 220, officina epsilon. Minting dates according to some sources: 330-335 AD.

Flavius Claudius Constantinus Augustus, born January/February 316, was the elder son if Constantine the Great and his second wife Fausta. Constantine II was born in Arles (south of modern France) and raised a Christian. On 1 March 317, he was made Caesar. A child general: in 323, at the age of seven, he took part in his father's campaign against the Sarmatians. At age ten, he became commander of Gaul, following the death of Crispus. An inscription dating to 330 records the title of Alamannicus, so it is probable that his generals won a victory over the Alamanni. His military career continued when Constantine I made him field commander during the 332 campaign against the Goths.

Following the death of his father in 337, Constantine II initially became augustus jointly with his brothers Constantius II and Constans, with the Empire divided between them and their cousins, the Caesars Dalmatius and Hannibalianus. This arrangement barely survived Constantine I’s death, as his sons arranged the slaughter of most of the rest of the family by the army. As a result, the three brothers gathered together in Pannonia and there, on 9 September 337, divided the Roman world between themselves. Constantine, proclaimed Augustus by the troops received Gaul, Britannia and Hispania. He was soon involved in the struggle between factions rupturing the unity of the Christian Church. The Western portion of the Empire, under the influence of the Popes in Rome, favored Catholicism (Nicean Orthodoxy) over Arianism, and through their intercession they convinced Constantine to free Athanasius, allowing him to return to Alexandria. This action aggravated Constantius II, who was a committed supporter of Arianism.

Constantine was initially the guardian of his younger brother Constans, whose portion of the empire was Italia, Africa and Illyricum. Constantine soon complained that he had not received the amount of territory that was his due as the eldest son. Annoyed that Constans had received Thrace and Macedonia after the death of Dalmatius, Constantine demanded that Constans hand over the African provinces, to which he agreed in order to maintain a fragile peace. Soon, however, they began quarreling over which parts of the African provinces belonged to Carthage, and thus to Constantine, and which belonged to Italy, and therefore to Constans. Further complications arose when Constans came of age and Constantine, who had grown accustomed to dominating his younger brother, would not relinquish the guardianship. In 340 Constantine marched into Italy at the head of his troops. Constans, at that time in Dacia, detached and sent a select and disciplined body of his Illyrian troops, stating that he would follow them in person with the remainder of his forces. Constantine was engaged in military operations and was killed in an ambush outside Aquileia. Constans then took control of his deceased brother's realm.
Yurii P
CNGBlasio.jpg
Cr 296/1d AR Denarius Cn. Blasio Cn.f. 34 viewso: Helmeted male head (Mars or Scipio Africanus?) right; [mark of value] above, prow stem behind
r: Jupiter standing facing, holding scepter and thunderbolt, crowned by Juno on left and Minerva on right
Cn. Blasio Cn.f. 112-111 BC. AR Denarius (17mm, 3.86 g, 6h). Rome mint. Helmeted male head (Mars or Scipio Africanus?) right; [mark of value] above, prow stem behind / Jupiter standing facing, holding scepter and thunderbolt, between Juno on left and Minerva on right, crowning Jupiter with wreath; Π between Jupiter and Minerva. Crawford 296/1d; Sydenham 561b; Cornelia 19.
2 commentsPMah
522Scipio.jpg
Cr 311/1 AR Denarius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus 8 viewsRome (19.2 MM AND 3.86 GRAMS)
OBVERSE – Laureate head of Jupiter left
REVERSE – Jupiter in quadriga right, brandishing thunderbolt, L SCIP ASIAG in ex
Syd 576 Sear 188 Craw 311/1
Cornelia 24

The moneyer is likely the grandson of L Cornelius Scipio, son of Scipio Africanus.
Keeping track of the Scipiones is an annoying task.
PMah
433G429Cordia.png
Cr 463/3 AR Denarius Mn. Cordius Rufus10 views46 BCE
o: Head of Venus right, RVFVS SC behind
r: Cupid on dolphin right; below, MN [ligate] CORDIVS
Crawford 463/3; Cordia 3
3.70g. (2h)

Although this coin is a nice specimen, and the type is very popular, I find it hard to get excited about this issue.
Cordius was presumably a Caesarian minting between the battles of Pharsalus and Munda. The times were rather grim, both for the huge armies and the populace on which they were billeted. Cordius does not seem to be a significant personage.

The coin seems remarkably light-hearted and that seemingly drives its popularity in modern collecting -- "hey, it's a kid on a dolphin, what's not to like?"

It may reflect payment to troops crossing to (or leaving) Africa under the benevolent gaze of Caesar's ancestor Venus and her son Cupid (whose father is Mars). Given that the first part of the Caesarian army was scattered by storms, perhaps these coins were intended to reassure the follow-up troops that they would not end up scattered to the winds and eaten by lions, tigers and bears. Venus also looks vaguely like some of the later coin portraits of Caesar (or Eleanor Roosevelt).
PMah
575AA204comb.png
Cr 467/1 AR Denarius J. Caesar22 viewso: COS.TERT.DICT.ITER. Head of Ceres right
r: AVGVR above, PONT.MAX. below. Simpulum, sprinkler, capis and lituus; M in right field
Minted in Africa, c 46 b.c.
3.37 gms; 19.00 mm
This coin is not a beauty and may have been a pendant at some point. Yet it is one of those intensely historical coins, minted on either side of the Battle of Thapsus, which ended the old Republican resistance to Julius Caesar. This type, with "M" ligate in reverse field right, has been said to indicate "Munus" (gift in the sense of obligation); the other variation has "D", presumably "Donativum" (gift in the sense of "here you go, poorer person"). I personally find the distinction between M and D somewhat odd and perhaps there was a more sophisticated distinction being made. As the marks appear on coins of equal value, it seems a very obscure way of distinguishing among soldiers and mere beneficiaries.
1 commentsPMah
Republik_5.jpg
Cr. 296/1, Republic, 112 BC, Cn. Cornelius Blasio28 viewsCn. Cornelius Blasio
Denar, Rome, 112 BC
Obv.: [CN. BLASIO] CN. F., helmeted head of Mars (Scipio Africanus??) right, star above
Rev.: ROMA, Jupiter, scepter in left, thunderbolt in right, between Juno and Minerva
Ag, 3.82g, 17mm
Ref.: Albert 1084, Sear 173, Crawford 296/1
Ex Lanz Numismatik
shanxi
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Crusader States, Normans of Sicily, William II, AD 1166-1189, AE Trifollaro, Spahr 117.75 viewsCrusader States, Sicily, William II, AD 1166-1189, AE Trifollaro (24-25 mm), 8,82 g.
Obv.: Facing head of lioness within circle of dots.
Re.: Palm tree with five branches and two bunches of dates, within circle of dots.
Biaggi 1231, Spahr 117 ; Grie 210 (Roger II); Thom 2480 .

William II of Sicily (1153-1189), called the Good, was king of Sicily and Naples from 1166 to 1189.
William was only thirteen years old at the death of his father William I, when he was placed under the regency of his mother, Margaret of Navarre.
Until the king came of age in 1171 the government was controlled first by the chancellor Stephen du Perche, cousin of Margaret (1166-1168), and then by Walter Ophamil, archbishop of Palermo, and Matthew of Ajello, the vice-chancellor.
William's character is very indistinct. Lacking in military enterprise, secluded and pleasure-loving, he seldom emerged from his palace life at Palermo. Yet his reign is marked by an ambitious foreign policy and a vigorous diplomacy. Champion of the papacy and in secret league with the Lombard cities he was able to defy the common enemy, Frederick I Barbarossa. In 1174 and 1175 he made treaties with Genoa and Venice and his marriage in February 1177 with Joan, daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, marks his high position in European politics.
In July 1177, he sent a delegation of Archbishop Romuald of Salerno and Count Roger of Andria to sign the Treaty of Venice with the emperor. To secure the peace, he sanctioned the marriage of his aunt Constance, daughter of Roger II, with Frederick's son Henry, afterwards the emperor Henry VI, causing a general oath to be taken to her as his successor in case of his death without heirs. This step, fatal to the Norman kingdom, was possibly taken that William might devote himself to foreign conquests.
Unable to revive the African dominion, William directed his attack on Egypt, from which Saladin threatened the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. In July 1174, 50,000 men were landed before Alexandria, but Saladin's arrival forced the Sicilians to re-embark in disorder. A better prospect opened in the confusion in Byzantine affairs which followed the death of Manuel Comnenus (1180), and William took up the old design and feud against Constantinople. Durazzo was captured (June 11, 1185). Afterwards while the army marched upon Thessalonica, the fleet sailed towards the same target capturing on their way the Ionian islands of Corfu, Cephalonia,Ithaca and Zakynthos. In August Thessalonica surrendered to the joint attack of the Sicilian fleet and army.
The troops then marched upon the capital, but the troop of the emperor Isaac Angelus overthrew the invaders on the banks of the Strymon (September 7, 1185). Thessalonica was at once abandoned and in 1189 William made peace with Isaac, abandoning all the conquests. He was now planning to induce the crusading armies of the West to pass through his territories, and seemed about to play a leading part in the Third Crusade. His admiral Margarito, a naval genius equal to George of Antioch, with 60 vessels kept the eastern Mediterranean open for the Franks, and forced the all-victorious Saladin to retire from before Tripoli in the spring of 1188.
In November 1189 William died, leaving no children. Though Orderic Vitalis records a (presumably short-lived) son in 1181: Bohemond, Duke of Apulia. His title of "the Good" is due perhaps less to his character than to the cessation of internal troubles in his reign. The "Voyage" of Ibn Jubair, a traveller in Sicily in 1183-1185, shows William surrounded by Muslim women and eunuchs, speaking and reading Arabic and living like "a Moslem king."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

my ancient coin database
1 commentsArminius
cyenaica_drusus.jpg
CYRENAICA, Cyrene. Drusus, with Tiberius and Germanicus Gemellus53 viewsObverse: Laureate head of Drusus right
Reverse: Bare heads of Tiberius and Germanicus, vis-à-vis
Mint : Cyrene
Date : Struck circa AD 23
Reference : RPC 947; Lindgren III 1589 (this coin)
Grade : VF
Weight : 9.23 g
Denom : As
Metal : AE
Dealer : CNG
Acquired: 14/05/08
Comments : Black-green patina. From the Patrick Villemur Collection. Ex Henry Clay Lindgren Collection (Classical Numismatic Group 37, 20 March 1996), lot 1223.
Bolayi
titus_ric115_elephant.jpg
Denarius; Elephant walking left17 viewsTitus denarius. IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head right / TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP, elephant walking left. RSC 303, BMC 43, RIC 115, Sear RCV I 2512. Ex Ferenc G. Seems to be a representative of the (now extinct) North African Elephant (Loxodonta africana pharaoensis)1 commentsPodiceps
dio9.jpg
Diocletian Follis4 viewsBillon Follis

Obv.: IMP DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG; Laur. hd. r.
Rev.: FELIX ADVENT AVGG NN ; Africa stg. facing, hd. l., holding standard and elephant's tusk, lion holding bull's hd. at feet to l. / I in field

SEAR 12754
Tanit
dio7.jpg
Diocletian Follis7 viewsBillon Follis

Obv.: IMP DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG; Laur. hd. r.
Rev.: FELIX ADVENT AVGG NN ; Africa stg. facing, hd. l., holding standard and elephant's tusk, lion holding bull's hd. at feet to l. / I in field

SEAR 12754
Tanit
dio8.jpg
Diocletian Follis6 viewsBillon Follis

Obv.: IMP DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG; Laur. hd. r.
Rev.: FELIX ADVENT AVGG NN ; Africa stg. facing, hd. l., holding standard and elephant's tusk, lion holding bull's hd. at feet to l. / N in field

SEAR 12754
Tanit
coin15_quad_sm.jpg
DN CONSTANS PF AVG / GLORIA EXERCITVS AE4 follis, Constantinople, 346-348 6 viewsDN CONSTA - NS PF AVG, pearl and rosette-diademed head only, right / GLOR - IA EXERC - ITVS, two soldiers facing each other, holding spears and shields, with one standard between them, device on banner large "o"? Mintmark CONSS (or CONSI?) in exergue.

AE4, 15.5mm, 1.35g, die axis 6h (coin alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

RIC VIII Constantinople 45? Obverse legend crystal clear, reverse not so much, but seems no trailing dot, definitely pearls, rosettes – unclear, a pity, because in this type they are special "square pearl rosettes with a pearl in the centre"; device is most probably "o", weird shape due to damage (but I would not completely disregard "star" or "chi-rho" possibility); CONSS almost certain, but CONSI may be possible. This most probably narrows the type down to RIC 45. But if we allow CONSI, it allows for another, more exotic possibility of * device on banner (RIC 54).

DN = Dominus Noster = Our Lord, P F AVG = Pius Felix Augustus = the pius (dutiful) and fortunate (happy) emperor. Gloria Exercitus (noun + genitive) "The Glory of the Army" CONStantinopolis, S = officina #6.

CONSTANS, * c. 323 † February 350 (aged ~27) in Vicus Helena, southwestern Gaul (Elne, southern France)
‡ 25 December 333 – 337 (as Caesar in Constantinople under his father); 337 – 340 (joint emperor with Constantius II and Constantine II, over Italia and Africa); 340 – 350 (after defeating Constantine II, Western Emperor, together with Constantius II in the East).

More biographical info in http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-147486
Yurii P
coin_3_quart.jpg
DN VALENS PF AVG / GLORIA ROMANORVM AE3/4 follis (364-378 A.D.) 19 viewsDN VALEN-S PF AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right / GLORIA RO-MANORVM, Emperor walking right, head left, (probably) holding labarum, dragging captive behind him. V(?) in left field, star (or point) over Δ in right field. Mintmark worn off.

AE3/4, 17mm, 1.96g, die axis 12 (medal alignment), material: bronze/copper-based alloy

DN = Dominus Noster = Our Lord, P F AVG = Pius Felix Augustus = the pius (dutiful) and fortunate (happy) emperor. GLORIA ROMANORVM = Glory of the Romans. The labarum (Greek: λάβαρον) was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧, a christogram formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" (Greek: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, or Χριστός) — Chi (χ) and Rho (ρ). It was first used by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great.

GLORIA ROMANORVM with the captive was a very popular reverse design for Valens' coins, minted at many mints all over the empire. But star or dot over Δ in right field is characteristic only of one mint, Thessalonica. Examples include various types of RIC IX Thessalonica 26b (star over Δ) and 31 (dot over Δ). These types are dated 367-375 or 375-378 A.D., with some letter in the left field usually indicating later, 375-378 issue. Mintmark for these types is always TES, sometimes with dot before or after.

Flavius Iulius Valens. Born in 328 in Cibalae (in present-day Croatia) into an Illyrian family. His older brother Valentinian was later to become Valenitinian I the Great, another emperor.

His father Gratian (aka the Elder or Gratianus Funarius or Gratianus Major), a Roman soldier of common birth, rose through the ranks to become "protector domesticus" during the reign of Constantine the Great [A member of an elite guard unit/staff member with various important duties . After serving under the emperor for a certain duration, the Domestici would be able to become leaders themselves and potentially command their own regiment of legionnaires in the military], and later tribune and comes. He was forced to retire due to suspicion of embezzlement, but later recalled back to active duty to serve Constans. Again fell into disrespect and lost all estates when Constantius came to deal with Magnentius, because he was suspected to support him, but never lost influence with the army, which helped to promote careers of his sons.

Brothers grew up in various estates in Africa and Britain. While Valentinian had been distinguished in an active military career, Valens, though already 35 years old, had not participated in either the civil or military affairs of the empire previous to his selection as Augustus by his brother. In February 364, reigning Emperor Jovian, while hastening to Constantinople to secure his claim to the throne, died in his sleep during a stop at Dadastana, 100 miles east of Ankara. Valentinian, a tribunus scutariorum, who owed his advancement to the deceased, was elected by the legions to succeed Jovian. He was proclaimed Augustus on 26 February, 364. It was the general opinion that Valentinian needed help to handle the cumbersome administration, civil and military, of the large and unwieldy empire, and, on 28 March of the same year, at the express demand of the soldiers for a second Augustus, he selected his brother Valens as co-emperor in the palace of Hebdomon. Both emperors were briefly ill, delaying them in Constantinople, but as soon as they recovered, the two Augusti travelled together through Adrianople and Naissus to Mediana, where they divided their territories. Valentinian then went on to the West, where the Alemanic wars required his immediate attention.

Valens obtained the eastern half of the Empire Greece, Egypt, Syria and Anatolia as far east as Persia. He was back in his capital of Constantinople by December 364. Valens was utterly undistinguished and possessed no military ability: he betrayed his consciousness of inferiority by his nervous suspicion of plots and savage punishment of alleged traitors, but he was also a conscientious administrator, careful of the interests of the humble. He was an earnest Christian. Like the brothers Constantius II and Constans, Valens and Valentinian I held divergent theological views. Valens was an Arian and Valentinian I upheld the Nicene Creed. Valens was baptized by the Arian bishop of Constantinople before he set out on his first war against the Goths. Not long after Valens died the cause of Arianism in the Roman East was to come to an end. His death was considered a sign from God. His successor Theodosius I would favor the Nicene Creed, and suppress the Arian heresy. Valens, sometimes known as the Last True Roman (his co-emperor brother was dead in 375), was defeated and killed in the Battle of Adrianople against a confederated Gothic army on 9 August 378, which marked the beginning of the collapse of the decaying Western Roman Empire.
Yurii P
rhino_domitien.jpg
Domitian - quadrans21 viewsThis African rhinoceros was the third rhino which had been brought alive to Rome (the first one was an Indian rhino seized by Octavius in Cleopatra's Alexandrian zoo, the second one was seen in Rome later during Augustus' principate. Pliny's mention of a rhino in the games given by Pompey is probably a mistake).
Domitian's rhino could have been the first African rhino in Rome. He has been opposed in the Colosseum to a bear and perhaps also a bull. The fight has been narrated by Martial.
Ginolerhino
Domitian_Quadrans_Rhino.jpg
Domitian Quadrans Rhino86 viewsObv.
Rhinoceros advancing left

Rev.
IMP DOMIT AVG GERM
SC


I love this issue for several reasons. First, this little coin represents the only depiction of a rhinoceros in all of Roman numismatics. This fact just intrigues me, it seems so odd that it is such a unique one off appearance. I enjoy the fact that the depiction shows two horns, confirming that it is an African Rhinoceros. This coin led me on a little journey in trying to understand why this animal was depicted, why only once, and why at that particular time. It turns out that this coin was struck to depict a specific rhinoceros, displayed in fights in the Colosseum for the first time.

Martial describes the games in which this took place in his Liber De Spectaculis. The great T.V. Buttrey wrote a fantastic article on this in which he shows that this little coin points to a different date for these games. I dare you to read this article and not want to get one of these coins!

Domitian, the Rhinoceros, and the Date of Martial's Liber' De Spectaculis by T.V. Buttrey

http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/pdf_files/129/1291956404.pdf
3 commentsancientdave
D251.jpg
Domitian RIC-25184 viewsÆ Quadrans, 3.32g
Rome Mint, 84-85 AD
Obv: (No legend) Rhinoceros stg. l.
Rev: IMP DOMIT AVG GERM; S C in centre
RIC 251 (R). BMC -. BNC 542.
Acquired from Marc Breitsprecher, February 2019.

A few years into Domitian's reign an extraordinary issue of quadrantes were struck featuring a rhinoceros. Although the coins are undated, their production can be narrowed down between late 83 when he assumed the title Germanicus and 85 when the consular date XI appeared on the quadrantes. The type is highly unusual and breaks with the standard obverses that were normally featured on the quadrans. One may ask, why a rhinoceros? Certainly the animal was rare in Rome and most difficult to obtain. The rhinoceros depicted on the coin is the African species, identified by the two horns. Martial in his book 'On Spectacles' tells of such a rhinoceros in the Colosseum. Presumably, these coins were struck with that very 'star performer' in mind. Ted Buttrey wrote about this coin type in his article Domitian, the Rhinoceros, and the Date of Martial's "Liber De Spectaculis": "it is wrong to write off the rhinoceros of Domitian's coin casually, as if the coin were a picture postcard from the zoo: 'This is a rhinoceros'. No, coin types are pointed. Everything has to do with imperial advertisement and with its importance at the moment of issue: 'This is my rhinoceros'. Domitian's rhinoceros, in its supremacy in the arena might well stand as a metaphor for the invincible success of the emperor conquering general who had recently assumed the historically-weighted title of Germanicus." Coming back to Martial, he also speaks of tokens being showered upon the cheering crowds - could these quadrantes struck cheaply and in massive quantities have been gifts to the cheering mob at the arena? In essence, can this coin double as currency and a souvenir from a long ago day at the games in the Colosseum?

This variant of the famous rhinoceros quadrans is somewhat rare (no examples in the BM) because of the obverse legend beginning in the upper right, more commonly it begins in the lower left. Artistically, most of the rhinos depicted on these coins have a lot to be desired. Some look like wild boars with horns added for effect. Happily, the animal depicted on this coin's obverse indeed looks every part the powerful and fearsome beast which awestruck Roman audiences - as a matter of fact, it appears to be charging with its head down. Perhaps the engraver was a witness to the very games martial describes?

As mentioned above, the rhino depicted on the coin is the two-horned African species. In contrast, the Indian rhino has one horn. Pliny in his Natural Histories describes the rhinoceros as a one horned creature (although confusingly he confirms its Ethiopian origins), Martial said it had two. The rhino was so rare in Rome, Pliny had to go all the way back to the games of Pompey the Great in 55 BC to find a reference for the animal on display in the city, apparently it was a one-horned Indian rhino. At any rate, both the numismatic evidence and Martial's description coincide rather nicely to confirm that Domitian, at great expense no doubt, brought to Rome an African rhinoceros for his shows in the new Colosseum. The surviving coins featuring this fantastic beast prove how important a feat this was to the emperor.

Well centred with a lovely green patina and fine style.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
D367.jpg
Domitian RIC-36761 viewsÆ Dupondius, 11.64g
Rome mint, 85 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XI CENS POT P P; Head of Domitian, radiate, bearded, r., with aegis
Rev: ANNONA AVG; S C in exergue; Annona, std r., holding open on lap by two ends bag full of corn-ears; in front of her stands a small figure, l., also holding two ends of bag, and in the background, stern of ship
RIC 367 (C). BMC 347. BNC 364.
Ex eBay, August 2019.

A most curious reverse type was struck for Domitian on his dupondii for a short period between 84-88. Here we see Annona seated holding open a bag(?) of corn-ears and a mysterious small figure standing before her holding the other end of the bag with a ship's stern in the background. Overall, the reverse likely alludes to Domitian's care of the corn supply, hinted at by the stern, here a symbol of the all important African grain ships. The small individual before Annona has variously been described as a 'boy', a 'child', or ambiguously as just a 'figure'. H. Mattingly has the most imaginative explanation in BMCRE II - 'Annona herself, the spirit of the corn-supply, and the ship, the symbol of the overseas corn, are familiar: but who is the small figure who stands before her? He is certainly no child, but only a man reduced to tiny proportions beside the goddess; and the fact that he is bare to the waist may suggest that he is an Italian farmer. If this interpretation is right, the type records a definite policy of Domitian to encourage the growing of corn in Italy.' Mattingly may be correct about the overall meaning, but I think the figure is indeed a child, symbolic of the emperor's care, through Annona's auspices, for his subjects.

Flatly struck on one side, but in fine style.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
East Africa.jpg
East Africa51 viewsKM22 - 1 cent - 1935 Daniel F
9.PNG
EAST AFRICA:King George V 0 CENTS BRONZE5 viewsEAST AFRICA:King George V (1910 to 1936) 10 CENTS BRONZE Date-1934

Obverse: Central hole divides crown and denomination surrounded by legend GEORGIVS V REX ET IND IMP:TEN CENTS

Reverse: Curved tusks flank the centre hole:EAST AFRICA:10:1934

Grade:FINE Size:31mm
discwizard
EB0874_scaled.JPG
EB0874 Galerius / Africa10 viewsGalerius 305-311, AE Follis, Carthage circa 298 AD.
Obverse: MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES, laureate head right.
Reverse: FELIX ADVENT AVGG N N, Africa standing facing, head left, in long drapery with elephant-skin headdress, holding standard and tusk, at feet to left, lion with captured bull, I to left. Mintmark PKΔ.
References: RIC VI Carthage 26b; Sear 14336.
Diameter: 27.5mm, Weight: 9.462g.
EB
edward-viii-1a.jpg
Edward VIII18 viewsPenny of Edward VIII (1936)
British West Africa issue
Mint: Kings Norton (Birmingham)
O: EDWARDVS VIII REX ET IND:IMP: ONE PENNY
R: BRITISH WEST AFRICA 1936

Coins of Edward VIII were not produced in the UK other than a few patterns, which are very rare. His early abdication made coinage unnecessary. Coins were produced in his name for some of the territories, including British West Africa (Nigeria and Ghana).

Ex- eBay
Nap
Antoas19.jpg
Elephant301 viewsAntoninus Pius. 138-161 AD. As (8.6g, 26mm, 11h). Rome mint. Struck 148-149 AD. Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG - PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate head right, Rev.: MVNIFICENTIA AVG [around] COS IIII [in ex.] S C [below], Elephant walking right. RIC 862a; Cohen 565.

This coin was struck in conjunction with very impressive games and displays (for which many elephants were imported from Africa) for the 900th anniversary of the founding of Rome celebrated on April 21st, 147 AD.
2 commentsCharles S
Ethiopian_Coptic_Bible-004.jpg
Ethiopian Coptic Ge’ez Bible (ca. 18th Century)11 viewsEthiopian Handwritten Coptic Ge’ez Bibles were produced as early as the fourteenth century until the late 19th century throughout Ethiopia, the first country to become an independent African nation. Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia in the 4th century when Syrian missionaries first translated the Bible into Ge’ez, the language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The surviving body of Ge’ez literature in composed almost entirely of Christian liturgy, as education was exclusively the responsibility of priests and monks. The bibles produced typically contain the gospels of the New Testament, recounting the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the foundation of the Christian faith with illuminated miniature paintings depicting the lives of the Saints.Quant.Geek
Ethiopian_Coptic_Bible-003.jpg
Ethiopian Coptic Ge’ez Bible (ca. 18th Century)7 viewsEthiopian Handwritten Coptic Ge’ez Bibles were produced as early as the fourteenth century until the late 19th century throughout Ethiopia, the first country to become an independent African nation. Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia in the 4th century when Syrian missionaries first translated the Bible into Ge’ez, the language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The surviving body of Ge’ez literature in composed almost entirely of Christian liturgy, as education was exclusively the responsibility of priests and monks. The bibles produced typically contain the gospels of the New Testament, recounting the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the foundation of the Christian faith with illuminated miniature paintings depicting the lives of the Saints.Quant.Geek
Ethiopian_Coptic_Bible-002.jpg
Ethiopian Coptic Ge’ez Bible (ca. 18th Century)10 viewsEthiopian Handwritten Coptic Ge’ez Bibles were produced as early as the fourteenth century until the late 19th century throughout Ethiopia, the first country to become an independent African nation. Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia in the 4th century when Syrian missionaries first translated the Bible into Ge’ez, the language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The surviving body of Ge’ez literature in composed almost entirely of Christian liturgy, as education was exclusively the responsibility of priests and monks. The bibles produced typically contain the gospels of the New Testament, recounting the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the foundation of the Christian faith with illuminated miniature paintings depicting the lives of the Saints.Quant.Geek
Ethiopian_Coptic_Bible-001.jpg
Ethiopian Coptic Ge’ez Bible (ca. 18th Century)9 viewsEthiopian Handwritten Coptic Ge’ez Bibles were produced as early as the fourteenth century until the late 19th century throughout Ethiopia, the first country to become an independent African nation. Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia in the 4th century when Syrian missionaries first translated the Bible into Ge’ez, the language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The surviving body of Ge’ez literature in composed almost entirely of Christian liturgy, as education was exclusively the responsibility of priests and monks. The bibles produced typically contain the gospels of the New Testament, recounting the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the foundation of the Christian faith with illuminated miniature paintings depicting the lives of the Saints.Quant.Geek
1061Hadrian_fourre_RIC315.jpg
Fouree 315 Hadrian Aureus/Denarius Roma 134-38 AD Hadrian and Africa standing vis-à-vis13 viewsReference
cf RIC 315

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Laureate head right

Rev. ADVENTVI AVG AFRICA (sic)
Hadrian standing right, raising his right hand, facing Africa standing left, holding patera and grain ears; altar between (bull on ground missing)

2.70 gr
19 mm
6h
okidoki
French_Equatorial_Africa.jpg
French Equatorial Africa24 viewsKm6 - 1 Franc - 1948Daniel F
French West Africa~0.jpg
French West Africa35 viewsKm4 - 2 Francs - 1948
Km5 - 5 Francs - 1956
Km7 - 25 Francs - 1956
Daniel F
Severus_Alexander_35.jpg
G166 viewsSeverus Alexander Denarius

Attribution: RIC 212, RSC 556
Date: AD 228-231
Obverse: IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate head r.
Reverse: VICTORIA AVG, Victory stg. l., holding wreath and palm
Size: 19.4 mm
Weight: 3.30 grams
(Bust of Severus Alexander: Louvre, Paris)

After being granted the title of Caesar in AD 221, Severus Alexander was elevated to Augustus a year later upon the murder of Elagabalus. To be sure, however, the true power of Alexander’s reign did not lie in his hands, but rather in the cunning of his mother, Julia Mamaea. So much influence and persuasion did she have over her feeble son, that she arranged his marriage to a patrician girl named Orbiana, and then, fearing her father, had her exiled to North Africa and had her father killed. Although Alexander cared for his wife, he did nothing to oppose his mother. Throughout his entire reign, military unrest was a constant. Nevertheless, Alexander needed the military to face a resurging foe, the Persians. In AD 226, Persian king Ardashir or Artaxerxes, rose up against and defeated the Parthian king Artabanus. The great Persian Empire had returned and placed its attention on the territories recently conquered by the Romans in northern Mesopotamia. Alexander launched a campaign to fend off the invading Persians. The Persian War in AD 232 saw heavy losses on both sides and was not viewed as a great victory. No sooner had Alexander returned to Rome when he was brought news of the Germans breaching the Rhine frontier in numerous places. In AD 234, he mustered his troops to confront this new invasion. Alexander preferred diplomacy tried to bribe the Germans into leaving. His troops saw him as a coward and further despised him for limiting their pay and bonuses. They sought new leadership in a Thracian soldier named Maximinus. One morning in AD 235, Maximinus exited his tent and was adorned with the purple imperial cloak over his shoulders and declared emperor by the army. He pretended to be surprised, but this was a staged performance carefully planned out to shift power. Alexander was encamped nearby at Vicus Britannicus and became enraged at the news. Upon the approach of Maximinus and his troops the next day, Alexander’s troops abandoned him and changed sides. “Trembling and terrified out of his wits, Alexander just managed to get back to his tent. There, the reports say, he waited for his executioner, clinging to his mother and weeping and blaming her for his misfortunes…They burst into the tent and slaughtered the emperor, his mother, and all those thought to be his friends or favorites.” – Herodian VI.9
8 commentsNoah
Julius_Caesar.jpg
Gaius Julius Caesar212 viewsFebruary-March 44 BC. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.90 g, 5h). Rome mint. P. Sepullius Macer, moneyer. Laureate and veiled head right / Venus standing left, holding Victory and scepter; shield at base of scepter. Crawford 480/13; CRI 107d; Sydenham 1074; RSC 39. From the Jörg Müller Collection.

Alföldi arranges Crawford 480 series coins in (44 BC) month order as follows:

RRC 480/1, Buca - January
RRC 480/2, DICT QVART - early February
RRC 480/3/4/5, CAESAR IMP - late February
RRC 480/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14, DICT PERPETVO - early to mid March
RRC 480/17/18, CAESAR IMPER - late March
RRC 480/19/20, PARENS PATRIAE - April
RRC 480/15/16, MARIDIANVS - April
RRC 480/21/22, CLEMENTIAE CAESARIS and Mark Antony - April

"Iconography, historical meaning:

The rev. can be understand easily: The Iulians ascribed their gens back to Aeneas who was the son of Venus (Aphrodite) and Anchises.Venus was the tutelary goddess of the gens Iulia and hence of Caesar. 46 BC Caesar has consecrated together with his new built forum also the temple of Venus Genetrix, the ancestress of his gens. On this denarius with Victory, spear and shield it is rather Venus Victrix.

The portrait on obv. is imposing by its realistic depiction. It was for the first time that a living ruler was pictured on a Roman coin. This too raised suspicion that Caesar - even if he wasn't acclaimed king - would behave as such.

Caesar's portrait attracts attention by the wreath he is wearing. It protrudes notable wide beyond his forehead. Furthermore it is padded and very ragged. This characteristic received too little attention until now. There is every indication that it is not a usual wreath but a corona graminea, a Grass or Blockade crown. This crown was dedicated by the army to that commander who has freed them from an encirclement and saved them from certain death. The crown was composed from flowers and tuft of grass which was plucked at the location of their liberation. This crown was regarded as the highest of all crowns! Pliny (nat. 22, 6) has known only of 8 persons with this honour:
1. Lucius Siccius Dentatus, tribunus plebis 454 BC
2. Publius Decius Mus, 343 BC, 1st Samnite War, dedicated even by 2 armies!
3. Marcus Calpurnius Flamma, 258 BC, at Carmina on Sicily
4. Quintus Fabius Maximus, after the departure of the Carthaginians from Italy, 203 BC
(dedicated by the Senate and the people of Rome, possibly posthumous)
5. Scipio Aemilianus Africanus
6. Gnaeus Petreius Atinas, centurio during the war against the Cimbri
7. Lucius Cornelius Sulla, during the Allied War at Nola 89 BC
8. Quintus Sertorius, 97 BC aa military tribune in Spain under Titu Ddius.
To Caesar and Augustus the crown was dedicated by the Senate!

The veil Caesar is wearing as Pontifex Maximus for lifetime.

DICTATOR PERPETVVS

During Republican times a dictator was designated when the state was in an emergency situation. His position was always temporally limited, yes, sometimes designated only for a single task. In the beginning Caesar too was dictator limited to 1 year and had to be designated again for the next year. Already 46 BC Caesar has been nominated dictator for 10 years but the title had to be renewed each year. So we know of coins with DICT, DICT ITER (= again, for the second time), IC TER (for the third time) and DICT QVART.

Since the proclamation as king has failed the title dictator disappeared from the denarii and were replaced by IMP. But soon behind Caesar's head appeares a star, a crescent, or Victory's spear stands on a star. These celestial signs - and that was understod by all - stand for divinity and should raise Caesar high above all Romans. Incompatible with the idea of a republican constituted Rome.

The point of culmination in this series is the legend DICT PERPETVO of this coin. Now the title of dictator was no more temporally limited but was valid like his office as Pontifex Maximus for all his life and it no more was necessary to confirm the title each year. That actually was a spectacular violation of the Roman constitution! The fact that he appeared at the Lupercalia on February 15. 44 BC in the ancient robe of kings strengthened the suspicion that he was looking for the kingship. In fact he has publicly
refused the royal crown that was offered to him by Marcus Antonius, but his authority to exert power was equal a king even without bearing the title of king. That was the most hateful title of the Roman Republic.

Now he has passed a line that his republican enimies couldn't tolerate any more if they still wanted to be taken seriously. So this coin actually led to his murder by the conspirators. So "The coin that kills Caesar" is by no means an exaggeration.

The planned Parthian War:

Caesar has planned a war against the Parthians. In March 44 BC he wanted to start for a campaign to the east. His assassination inhibited this intention. In science disputed are the goals which Caesar has had in mind with his war. They are reaching from a boundary adjustment, as Mommsen suggested, to world domination like Alexander the Great, as Plutarch is writing: According to him Caesar after the submission of the Parthians would go across Hyrcania at the Caspian Sea, then round the Black Sea via the Caucasus, invade the land of the Scyths, attack Germania and would finally return to Italy through the land of the Celts. In this way he would have conquered the world known to the Ancients and his limits were only the shores of the surrounding Okeanos.

Probably Sueton who was sitting directly at the sources was more realistic. And we know of the campaigns of Marcus Antonius and Augustus who surely have known Caesar's plans and have used them for their own purposes. It's clear that Caesar doesn't want to repeat the errors of Crassus who perished at Carrhae, and has tried to avoid he Parthian cavalry units. Therefore a route through Lesser Armenia is most probable. And there was hope that the Mesopotamian cities would raise against the Parthians. Caesar had gathered an army of 16(!) legions, a huge power that alone by its mere bigness would ensure the victory. Caesar was no gambler, rather a cautious and prudential commander.The famous "veni, vidi, vici" doesn't exist longer. What he actually had in mind we don't know. It's speculative. But there is every indication that it was a reorganisation of the east. And that rather by establishing client-kingdoms than creating new Roman provinces.

Probably the conspirators were afraid of Caesar's Parthian War, because a victory, which was possible or even probable, would have strengthen Caesar's position and has made him practically invulnerable." - Jochen
4 commentsNemonater
caesar_aeneas_reverse.jpg
GAIUS JULIUS CAESAR, 100 - 44 BC134 viewsGaius Julius Caesar, 100 - 44 BC. Denarius, Africa, 47 - 46 BC.
Obverse- Head of Venus right.
Reverse- CAESAR/ Aeneas carrying Anchises and Palladium out of Troy.
Cr. 458/1; A. 1400.
3.77 g, 18 mm
2 commentsb70
Galerius D 1.jpg
Galerius Follis32 viewsGalerius AE28 Follis. c 298 AD. MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES, laureate head right / FELIX ADVENT AVGG N N, Africa standing facing, head left, in long drapery with elephant-skin headdress, holding standard & tusk, at feet to left, lion with captured bull .

RIC 26b
Tanit
galerius_carthago_26(b).jpg
Galerius RIC VI, Carthago 26(b)83 viewsGalerius AD 305 - 311
AE - Follis, 11.36g, 28.5mm
Carthago 4th officina, c. AD 298
obv. MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES
laureate head r.
rev. FELIX A - D - VENT AVGG NN
Africa stdg. facing, head l., in long drapery with elephant-skin head-dress, r.
holding standard, l. tusk; at feet to l., lion with captured bull.
in l. field: I
exergue: PK Delta
RIC VI, Carthago 26(b)
VF
added to www.wildwinds.com
2 commentsJochen
gelimer.jpg
gelimer181 viewsGelimer, (530-534 AD)

Obverse: KART HAGO - Soldier facing, holding spear in left hand r.
Reverse: Horse's head, with bridle, facing left, XXI in exergue
Mint : Carthage
Date : 530-534 AD
Reference : MIB I-23, MEC-45
Grade : VF
Weight : 6.74g
Denom: Nummi
Metal : Bronze

Comments: The last king of the Vandals in Africa, who lost his kingdom to General Belisarius who was sent to Africa in 533 by Justinian the Great to return Africa to the Roman empire and avenge the imprisonment and execution of Huneric, a Romanized Vandal king who had been overthrown by Gelimer. 22.9 mm. From the Garth R. Drewry Collection. Ex Stack's 3-5 May 1984, lot 183 Ex:Stack's 05/84, Lot 1832 ex CNG 67, Lot: 1830.
3 commentsBolayi
german-east-africa_1906-J_1-heller_obv_01_rev_01_inside-flip.JPG
German East Africa 1906 - J 1 Heller ( Hamburg Mint )57 viewsDeutsch Ostafrika 1906 J ( Hamburg Mint )
1 Heller

*photos taken through coin flip.
rexesq
germaneastafrika.jpg
German east Africa. Wilhelm II 1888 - 1918. Bronze Heller 1913-J.35 viewsGerman east Africa. Wilhelm II 1888 - 1918. Bronze Heller 1913-J. DEUTSCH OSTAFRIKA, Crown with ribbon above date (1813) / Value within wreath, mint-mark below.

KM 7
oneill6217
eastsdks.jpg
German east Africa. Wilhelm II 1888 - 1918. Copper Pesa 1891.61 viewsGerman east Africa. Wilhelm II 1888 - 1918. Copper Pesa 1891. DEUTSCH OSTAFRIKANISCHE GESELLSCHAFT .1891., crowned eagle with arms on breast / Value and date within inner circle within wreath.

KM 1
oneill6217
Scheuch-1879v.jpg
Germany, Third Reich: Meissen Porcelain Medal, 1941 Campaign in Africa (Scheuch-1879v)32 viewsObv: Panzer facing left in the desert
Rev: Helmet on sword and oak leaves
SpongeBob
GordianIAfr.jpg
Gordian I Africanus / Athena63 viewsGordian I Africanus, Egypt, Alexandria. A.D. 238. BI tetradrachm (22 mm, 12.47 g, 12 h). RY 1.
O: A K M AN ΓOPΔIANOC CЄM AΦ ЄVCЄB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian I right
R: Athena seated left, holding Nike and spear; in left field, date (L A).
- Köln 2600; cf. Dattari (Savio) 4656 (legend); Kampmann & Ganschow 68.6., Ex Coin Galleries (16 July 2003), 264.

Perhaps the most reluctant of Emperors, Gordian I (Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus Augustus) was Roman Emperor for one month with his son Gordian II in 238, the Year of the Six Emperors. Caught up in a rebellion against the Emperor Maximinus Thrax, he was defeated by forces loyal to Maximinus before committing suicide.

According to Edward Gibbon:

"An iniquitous sentence had been pronounced against some opulent youths of [Africa], the execution of which would have stripped them of far the greater part of their patrimony. (…) A respite of three days, obtained with difficulty from the rapacious treasurer, was employed in collecting from their estates a great number of slaves and peasants blindly devoted to the commands of their lords, and armed with the rustic weapons of clubs and axes. The leaders of the conspiracy, as they were admitted to the audience of the procurator, stabbed him with the daggers concealed under their garments, and, by the assistance of their tumultuary train, seized on the little town of Thysdrus, and erected the standard of rebellion against the sovereign of the Roman empire. (...) Gordianus, their proconsul, and the object of their choice [as emperor], refused, with unfeigned reluctance, the dangerous honour, and begged with tears that they should suffer him to terminate in peace a long and innocent life, without staining his feeble age with civil blood. Their menaces compelled him to accept the Imperial purple, his only refuge indeed against the jealous cruelty of Maximin (...)."

Because of the absence of accurate dating in the literary sources, the precise chronology of these events has been the subject of much study. The present consensus among historians assigns the following dates (all in the year 238 A.D.) to these events: March 22nd Gordian I, II were proclaimed Emperors in Africa; April 1st or 2nd they were recognized at Rome; April 12th they were killed (after reigning twenty days); April 22nd Pupienus and Balbinus were proclaimed Emperors; June 24th Maximinus and his son were assassinated outside of Aquileia; July 29th Pupienus and Balbinus were assassinated and Gordian III proclaimed as sole Augustus.
3 commentsNemonater
H4a.jpg
Gordian I Africanus AR Denarius91 viewsGordian I Africanus AR Denarius. March - April 238 AD. Rome mint. IMP M AND GORDIANVS AFR AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind. / ROMAE AETERNAE, Roma seated l. on shield, holding victory and leaning on sceptre. RIC 4

VERY RARE - R2
EXTREMELY FINE - AS MINTED

Ex. G. Steinberg Collection
Ex. Numismatica Ars Classica AG, Zurich 16 nov. 1994, 662
Ex. Hess-Divo 2007
5 commentsTrajan
GordII.jpg
Gordian II Africanus / Victory64 viewsGordian II Africanus. Silver Denarius, AD 238. Rome.
O: IMP M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian II right.
R: VICTO-RIA AVGG, Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm.
- RIC 2; BMC 28; RSC 12.

Gordian II (Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus Augustus), was Roman Emperor for one month with his father Gordian I in 238, the Year of the Six Emperors. The double "GG" in "AVGG" (Augustus) on the reverse was to show that power was shared between the two men although Gordian II did not receive the additional title of high priest or Pontifex Maximus. He died in battle outside of Carthage.

Confronted by a local elite that had just killed Maximinus's procurator, Gordian's father (Gordian I) was forced to participate in a full-scale revolt against Maximinus in 238 and became Augustus on March 22.

Due to his advanced age, Gordian I insisted that his son, Marcus Antonius Gordianus (Gordian II), be associated with him. A few days later, Gordian entered the city of Carthage with the overwhelming support of the population and local political leaders. Meanwhile in Rome, Maximinus' praetorian prefect was assassinated and the rebellion seemed to be successful. Gordian in the meantime had sent an embassy to Rome, under the leadership of Publius Licinius Valerianus, to obtain the Senate’s support for his rebellion. The senate confirmed the new emperor on 2 April and many of the provinces gladly sided with Gordian.

Opposition would come from the neighboring province of Numidia. Capelianus, governor of Numidia, loyal supporter of Maximinus Thrax, and who held a grudge against Gordian, renewed his alliance to the former emperor and invaded Africa province with the only legion stationed in the region, III Augusta, and other veteran units. Gordian II, at the head of a militia army of untrained soldiers, lost the Battle of Carthage and was killed, and Gordian I took his own life by hanging himself with his belt. The Gordians had reigned only twenty-two days.
3 commentsNemonater
bDGORDIIS+bR.jpg
Gordianus II Africanus - Sestertius234 views9 commentsRugser
Kyrene,_North_Africa,_Ptolemy_Apion,_c__101_-_96_B_C_.jpg
GREEK, North Africa, Kyrene mint. c. 101 - 96 BC.21 viewsNorth Africa, Kyrene mint. c. 101 - 96 BC. Bronze quarter-obol, Fair, 1.214g, 12.2mm. Obv: diademed head of Ptolemy I as Zeus right, wearing aegis, hole from minting process. Rev: head of Libya or Isis right, PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS. Ref: Buttrey: The Extramural Sanctuary of Demeter and Persephone at Cyrene, Libya, Final Reports, Volume VI, 542 - 603. Rare

Ptolemy Apion was a son of Ptolemy VIII, perhaps by an Egyptian concubine. This makes him a half-brother of Ptolemy IX and X. Ptolemy Apion died in 96 B.C., without an heir, leaving his kingdom to the Roman Republic. According to Butrey, Apion's coinage was nothing but very small change, with a peak about 1.3 grams. Buttrey notes, "the Greek coinage of Cyrenaica, of glorious tradition, ended in the lamentable small bronzes of Apion."
Bard Gram O
Kyrene_North_Africa_Ptolemy_Apion_101-96_BC_Rare.jpg
GREEK, North Africa, Kyrene mint. c. 101 - 96 BC. 17 viewsNorth Africa, Kyrene mint. c. 101 - 96 BC. Bronze quarter-obol, F/VF, 1.141g, 13.6mm. Dark patina, untrimmed flan edges. Obv: diademed head of Ptolemy I as Zeus right, wearing aegis, hole from minting process. Rev: head of Libya or Isis right, [PTOLEMAIOU] BASILEWS. Ref: Buttrey: The Extramural Sanctuary of Demeter and Persephone at Cyrene, Libya, Final Reports, Volume VI, 542 - 603. Rare Bard Gram O
Carthage,_Zeugitania,_North_Africa,_c__300_B_C_,_Sicilian_mint.jpg
GREEK, Zeugitania. Sicilian mint. c. 300 B.C. 31 viewsCarthage, Zeugitania (North Africa). Sicilian mint. c. 300 B.C. Bronze AE 15, 2,38 g, 14.6mm, VF. Nice green patina. Obv: date-palm. Rev: Pegasos right. Ref: SNG Cop 1018 var (Pegasos left), BMC -. Rare1 commentsBard Gram Okland
0278LG.jpg
HADRIAN73 viewsAR denarius. 134-138 AD. 3,4 grs. Laureate, draped bust right. HADRIANVS AVG COS III / Africa reclining left, wearing elephant skin headdress, holding scorpion and cornucopia; basket containing grain ears and poppy at feet. AFRICA.
RIC 299(f). RSC 141 b. C 141.

2 commentsbenito
hadrafrica.jpg
HADRIAN32 viewsAR denarius. 134-138 AD. 3,4 grs. Laureate, draped bust right. HADRIANVS AVG COS III / Africa reclining left, wearing elephant skin headdress, holding scorpion and cornucopia; basket containing grain ears and poppy at feet. AFRICA.
RIC 299(f). RSC 141 b. C 141.

2 commentsbenito
Hadrian - Africa.jpg
Hadrian - Africa130 viewsObverse: AVG COS III PP, laureate head right.
Reverse: Africa, wearing elephant trunk on head, reclining left, holding scorpion and cornucopiae and resting left elbow on rock, a basket of corn in front
Mint : Rome
Date : 134-138 AD
Reference : RIC II 299; RSC 140
Grade : VF
Weight : 3.5g
Denom : Denarius
Metal : Silver
Acquired: 17/06/04

Comments : This issue commemorates Hadrian's travels to Africa in 128 AD. He was the first Emperor to visit Africa. Not to be confused with Mauretania, which he visited in 123 9where he personally oversaw a revolt in this troublesome area). When he went to Africa it rained on his arrival for the first time in the space of five years, and for this he was beloved by the Africans. Hadrian heaped benefactions upon the province and numerous fortresses and military roads were built in Africa.
3 commentsBolayi
HadrianAfrica.jpg
Hadrian / Africa denarius49 viewsHADRIAN, AD 134-138
AR Denarius
18 mm, 3.53 gm, 6h
Rome
Obv: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate head right
Rev: AFRICA, Africa with elephant skin headdress, reclining on rock, holding scorpion and cornucopia, basket of fruit before her.
Ref: RIC 299
6 commentsTIF
HadrianEgypt.jpg
Hadrian denarius70 viewsHADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
laureate head right

AFRICA
Africa reclining left, wearing elephant scalp headdress, scorpion in right, cornucopia in left, basket of grain before her at feet

Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D

3.06g

RSC II 138, RIC II 299, BMCRE III 816, Sear 3459

Part of Hadrian's "travel series"

Sold to Forum 2015
1 commentsJay GT4
972Hadrian_cf_RIC299contemp.jpg
Hadrian Denarius 134-38 AD Africa reclining eastern mint33 viewsReference
cf RIC 299; Strack --

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P.
Laureate head right

Rev. AFRICA
Africa reclining left, wearing elephant-skin headdress and holding scorpion and cornucopia, basket of fruits at her feet

2.42 gr
20 mm
6h
1 commentsokidoki
Hadrian9.jpg
Hadrian Denarius RIC 299, Africa35 viewsOBV: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, Laureate head right
REV: AFRICA, Africa reclining left holding scorpion & cornucopiae, basket of grain at feet
2.76g. 18.5mm

Minted at Rome, 136 AD
Legatus
hadrian rest africae1.JPG
Hadrian RESTITVTORI AFRICAE111 viewsHadrian Denarius, Rome c. 132 AD

OBV. HADRIANVS AVG COS III OP
REV. RESTITVTORI AFRICAE
Hadrian standing r. raising kneeling Africae

BM-874, C-1229 (5 Fr.), RIC 323(d)

Ex Harlan J Berk
2 commentsmarcvs_traianvs
hadrian._restitvori2.jpg
HADRIAN RESTITVTORI AFRICAE36 viewsHADRIAN. 117-138 AD. Æ As (26mm, 8.73 gm). Struck 134-138 AD. Laureate and draped bust right / RESTITVTORI AFRICAE, Hadrian standing left, holding roll, raising kneeling Africa, who wears an elephant's skin headdress and holds two grain ears; three grain ears growing between. RIC II 942; BMCRE 1793 var. (bare-headed and draped bust right); Cohen 1227. Near VF, dark green patina.

From the Rudolf Berk Collection.
Bolayi
Hadrian_Africa.jpg
Hadrian Sestertius59 viewsAE Sestertius

HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
Laur. and Draped bust of Hadrian right

ADVENTI AVG AFRICAE SC
Hadrian standing right his right hand raised, facing Africa standing left sacrificing over altar between them and holding corn-ears in left, sacrificial bull beside altar

Rome 136 AD

Sear 3559

Ex-Arcade coin

Sold!
Jay GT4
hadrian._restitvori.jpg
Hadrian, Restoration Africa60 viewsObverse: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate head of Hadrian right
Reverse: RESTITVTORI AFRICAE Hadrian standing r. raising kneeling Africa, who wears elephant-skin headdress and holds wheat ears, while two further wheat stalks spring from the ground before her
Mint : Rome
Date : AD 132
Reference : BM-874, C-1229 (5 Fr.), RIC-323
Grade : VF
Weight : 3.37g
Denom : Denarius
Metal : Silver
Acquired: 2/02/05
Comments : Hadrian is normally shown facing left on the reverse, this coin has him facing right.
2 commentsBolayi
Hadrse34-3.jpg
Hadrian, RIC 645, Sestertius of AD 128 (Hadrian riding)38 viewsÆ sestertius (27.7g, Ø33.5mm, 5h). Rome mint. Struck AD 128.
Obv.: HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right (drapery on left shoulder).
Rev.: P M TR P COS III (around) VIRT AVG / S C (field), Hadrian, on horse prancing left, raising right hand.
RIC 645; BMCRE 1313; Cohen 590; Strack 590; Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali II-2) 298 (23 spec.); Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 117/78
ex Holleman (1998).

Commemorates Hadrians' visit to Africa in 128, seen as a new military departure.
1 commentsCharles S
HADRAS07-2.jpg
Hadrian, RIC 841, As of AD 134-138 (Africa)9 viewsAs (9.4g, Ø28mm, 6h). Rome, AD 134-138.
Obv.: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate and draped bust right.
Rev.: AFRICA around, S C in ex., Africa reclining left, holding scorpion and cornucopiae, basket of fruit at feet.
RIC 841 (S); Cohen 143; RHC 117/81
Ex Holleman, Enschede, Jan. 1997

Issued to ark Hadrian's visit to Africa in 128, seen as new military departure
Charles S
Hadrse38.jpg
Hadrian, RIC 941, Sestertius of AD 135-138 (Restitutori Africae)64 viewsÆ Sestertius (24.9g, Ø33mm, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 135-138.
Obv.: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P laureate draped bust of Hadrian facing left.
Rev.: RESTITVTORI AFRICAE (around) S C (in ex.), Hadrian, togate, standing left, holding roll in left hand and extending right hand to raise up kneeling Africa extending her right hand to him; Africa wears elephant trunk head-dress and holds corn ears in her left hand; in the centre, corn ears growing.
RIC 941(R); Cohen 1228; Strack 769; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 117:80
ex Mike R. Vosper

This issue refers to Hadrian's visit to Africa in AD 128, where he passed laws to stimulate agriculture.
Charles S
Portus_Traiani-2.jpg
HARBOUR, TRAJAN, AE Sestertius (Portus Trajani)175 viewsPortus Trajani
Æ Sestertius (26.66g, Ø35mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 104-111.
Obv.: IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P laureate draped bust of Trajan facing right.
Rev.: (PORTVM TRAIANI around, S C in ex.), Basin of Trajan's harbour (Portus Traiani), near Ostia, surrounded by warehouses, ships in centre.
RIC 471 (R2); Cohen 305; BMC 770A; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 104:59
ex Jean Elsen Auction 95; ex coll. A. Senden: "L'architecture des monnaies Romaines".

Due to the vulnarability of Portus Claudii, witness the events of 62 AD when a violent storm destroyed some 200 ships in the port, Trajan built a second one farther inland behind the port of Claudius. The work was carried out in the years 100-112 AD, and included improvements of the Claudian harbour. It was a hexagonal basin enclosing an area of 39 hectares, and communicating by canals with the harbour of Claudius, with the Tiber directly, and with the sea. The capacity of the harbour was much enlarged, and many new warehouses were built around it, remains of which may still be seen: The fineness of the brickwork of which they are built is remarkable. The sides of the hexagonal basin were over 350 m, the maximum diameter more than 700 m., and 5m deep. The bottom was covered with stones, at the north end gradually sloping upwards, to reach a depth of only one meter at the edge of the basin.

The basin could contain more than 100 ships that did not moor alongside the quays, but at a straight angle. It was surrounded by a few wide treads (total width c. 6 m.). On the quays was a wall, with five narrow doorways (1.80) on each side of the hexagon. The doorways are too narrow for wagons. Apparently the goods were unloaded and carried by slaves. This can also be seen on several reliefs and mosaics. The wall facilitated the control of the flow of goods, for the Customs Service and the levying of import duties (the portorium).

The hexagon may have been designed by Apollodorus of Damascus, the architect of Trajan's Market in Rome. No other harbours are known with this shape, suggesting that it was chosen not only for practical purposes, but also for aesthetic reasons.

Portus was the main port of ancient Rome for more than 500 years and provided a conduit for everything from glass, ceramics, marble and slaves to wild animals caught in Africa and shipped to Rome for spectacles in the Colosseum.
3 commentsCharles S
hiempsal_II.jpg
hiempsal II101 viewsObverse: Beardless Male head (Hiempsal?) r., wreathed with corn
Reverse: Free horse galloping rt., Punic letters {=ht) below
Mint :
Date : c. 106-60 BC
Reference : Grose-10027, SG-6603
Grade : VF
Weight : 1.73g
Denom : Drachm or quinarius
Metal : Silver
2 commentsBolayi
Hiempsal.jpg
Hiempsal II - Horse galloping87 viewsObverse: Veiled head of Demeter r., wreathed with corn
Reverse: Free running horse r., Punic H below, palm tree behind
Date : c. 106-60 BC
Reference : Mazzard-81, Muller-48
Weight : 6.87g
Acquired: 29/04/04

Comments : AE 20, Hiempsal II. was the son of Gauda, the half-brother of Jugurtha. In 88 B.C., after the triumph of Sulla, when the younger Marius fled from Rome to Africa, Hiempsal received him with apparent friendliness, his real intention being to detain him as a prisoner. Marius discovered this intention in time and made good his escape with the assistance of the kings daughter. In 81 Hiempsal was driven from his throne by the Numidians themselves, or by Hiarbas, ruler of part of the kingdom, supported by Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, the leader of the Marian party in Africa. Soon afterwards Pompey was sent to Africa by Sulla to reinstate Hiempsal, wh
1 commentsBolayi
Unidentified.jpg
I sense an African theme...24 viewsTop left: Can I sing some U2? "I stillllll haven't found... what I'm looking forrrrrr..."

Top and bottom right: Ptolemaic, not sure exactly which Ptolemy. Gorgeous though.

Bottom left: Carthaginian.
Bronze, 17 mm at widest, 4 grams (by my terrible kitchen scale)
Head of Tanit left, obverse
Prancing (or rearing?) horse right, reverse
60-75 degree die axis (ish)
EvaJupiterSkies
SeptimiusSeverus-Denar-a-ROM-Africa-RIC207-a.jpg
I-SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS - a-007-Denar-ROME-RIC I/IV/207 28 viewsAv) SEVERVS PIVS AVG
Laureated bust right

Rv) PM TRP XV COS III PP
Africa standing right, wearing an hat skilled like an elefant head, holding out drapery with fruits, right at her feet lion

Weight: 3,0g; Ø: 19mm; Reference: RIC IV/I/207; ROME mint; struck.207 A.D
sulcipius
Hadrianus-Denar-AFRICA-RIC299.jpg
III-HADRIANUS -a- Denar RIC II/29929 viewsAv) HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
Bare head left

Rv) AFRICA
Africa with Elephanthat reclining left, holding scorpion and cornucopiae; in front there is a basekt with fruits

Weight: 3,3g; Ø: 18mm; Reference: RIC II/299; ROME mint; struck: 134 A.D. - 138 A.D.
sulcipius
Hadrianus-Denar-RESTAFR-RIC322.jpg
III-HADRIANUS -a- Denar RIC II/32228 viewsAv) HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
Laureate head right

Rv) RESTITVTORI AFRICAE
Emperor dressed with toga standing to the left, raises kneeling Africa, who carries elephant cap, and carring corn-ears, between them corn-ears are growing, too

Weight: 3,4g; Ø: 19mm; Reference: RIC II/322, Rome mint, struck: 134 A.D. - 138 A.D.
sulcipius
Hadrianus-Sesterz-AFRICA-RIC840var.jpg
III-HADRIANUS -a/1- Sestertius RIC II/840 var45 viewsAv) HADRIANVS AVG COS III PP
Laureate, draped bust right

Rv) AFRICA SC
Africa, carring elephants cap reclining to the left, holding cornucopiae and corn ears putting ellbow on a rock

Weight: 26,1g; Ø: 32mm; Reference: RIC II/841;
ROME mint: struck: 134 A.D. - 138 A.D.
sulcipius
lg2_quart_sm.jpg
IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG / P M S COL VIM / Ӕ30 (239-240 AD)18 viewsIMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right / P M S CO - L VIM, personification of Moesia standing facing, head left, arms outstretched over a lion (right) and a bull (left). AN • I • in exergue.

Ӕ, 29-30+mm, 16.75g, die axis 1h (slightly turned medal alignment), material: looks like red copper.

IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG = Imperator Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordianus Augustus, P M S COL VIM = Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium = Colony of Viminacium, in the province of Upper Moesia, AN•I• = the first year. 238 AD was the infamous "year of the 6 emperors", so 239-240 was the first sole ruling year of Gordian III. The bull is the symbol of Legio VII Claudia, based in the capital of Moesia Superior, Viminacium itself, and the lion is the symbol of Legio IV Flavia Felix based in another city of Moesia Superior, Singidunum (modern Belgrade). Due to size this is most probably a sestertius, but large dupondius is another possibility, since it is clearly made of red copper and sestertii were typically made of expensive "gold-like" orichalcum, a kind of brass (but in this time of civil strife they could have used a cheaper replacement). Literature fails to clearly identify the denomination of this type.

A straightforward ID due to size and clear legends, this is AMNG 71; Martin 1.01.1 minted in Viminacium, Moesia Superior (Kostolac, Serbia).

Gordian III was Roman Emperor from 238 AD to 244 AD. At the age of 13, he became the youngest sole legal Roman emperor throughout the existence of the united Roman Empire. Gordian was the son of Antonia Gordiana and an unnamed Roman Senator who died before 238. Antonia Gordiana was the daughter of Emperor Gordian I and younger sister of Emperor Gordian II. Very little is known of his early life before his acclamation. Gordian had assumed the name of his maternal grandfather in 238 AD.

In 235, following the murder of Emperor Alexander Severus, Maximinus Thrax was acclaimed Emperor. In the following years, there was a growing opposition against Maximinus in the Roman senate and amongst the majority of the population of Rome. In 238 (to become infamous as "the year of six emperors") a rebellion broke out in the Africa Province, where Gordian's grandfather and uncle, Gordian I and II, were proclaimed joint emperors. This revolt was suppressed within a month by Cappellianus, governor of Numidia and a loyal supporter of Maximinus Thrax. The elder Gordians died, but public opinion cherished their memory as peace-loving and literate men, victims of Maximinus' oppression.

Meanwhile, Maximinus was on the verge of marching on Rome and the Senate elected Pupienus and Balbinus as joint emperors. These senators were not popular and the population of Rome was still shocked by the elder Gordians' fate, so the Senate decided to take the teenage Gordian, rename him Marcus Antonius Gordianus like his grandfather, and raise him to the rank of Caesar and imperial heir. Pupienus and Balbinus defeated Maximinus, mainly due to the defection of several legions, particularly the II Parthica, who assassinated Maximinus. However, their joint reign was doomed from the start with popular riots, military discontent and an enormous fire that consumed Rome in June 238. On July 29, Pupienus and Balbinus were killed by the Praetorian Guard and Gordian proclaimed sole emperor.

Due to Gordian's age, the imperial government was surrendered to the aristocratic families, who controlled the affairs of Rome through the Senate. In 240, Sabinianus revolted in the African province, but the situation was quickly brought under control. In 241, Gordian was married to Furia Sabinia Tranquillina, daughter of the newly appointed praetorian prefect, Timesitheus. As chief of the Praetorian Guard and father in law of the Emperor, Timesitheus quickly became the de facto ruler of the Roman Empire.

In the 3rd century, the Roman frontiers weakened against the Germanic tribes across the Rhine and Danube, and the Sassanid Empire across the Euphrates increased its own attacks. When the Persians under Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia, the young emperor opened the doors of the Temple of Janus for the last time in Roman history, and sent a large army to the East. The Sassanids were driven back over the Euphrates and defeated in the Battle of Resaena (243). The campaign was a success and Gordian, who had joined the army, was planning an invasion of the enemy's territory, when his father-in-law died in unclear circumstances. Without Timesitheus, the campaign, and the Emperor's security, were at risk.

Gaius Julius Priscus and, later on, his own brother Marcus Julius Philippus, also known as Philip the Arab, stepped in at this moment as the new Praetorian Prefects and the campaign proceeded. Around February 244, the Persians fought back fiercely to halt the Roman advance to Ctesiphon. Persian sources claim that a battle occurred (Battle of Misiche) near modern Fallujah (Iraq) and resulted in a major Roman defeat and the death of Gordian III. Roman sources do not mention this battle and suggest that Gordian died far away from Misiche, at Zaitha (Qalat es Salihiyah) in northern Mesopotamia. Modern scholarship does not unanimously accept this course of the events. One view holds that Gordian died at Zaitha, murdered by his frustrated army, while the role of Philip is unknown. Other scholars have concluded that Gordian died in battle against the Sassanids.
Philip transferred the body of the deceased emperor to Rome and arranged for his deification. Gordian's youth and good nature, along with the deaths of his grandfather and uncle and his own tragic fate at the hands of the enemy, earned him the lasting esteem of the Romans.
Yurii P
Fatimids,_al-Mustansir_Billah,_Gold_Dinar,_21mm,_4_12_g,_Misr_(Cairo)_mint,_dated_AH_472_(AD_1079,1080).jpg
ISLAMIC, Fatimids, Caliph al-Mustansir Billah, AV Dinar, Misr (Cairo) mint65 viewsFatimids, Caliph al-Mustansir Billah, Gold Dinar, 21mm, 4.12 g, Misr (Cairo) mint, dated AH 472 (AD 1079 / 1080)

The featured specimen is a lovely example and the most distinctive of the "bulls-eye" type coinage introduced by the Fatimid's. It is visually very striking and immediately grabs attention with its unusual legend arrangement and calligraphy. This coin is of the type first used by al-Mustansir Billah's great-great grandfather, al-Mu‘izz.

Legends

Obverse

Inner circle
la ilah illa allah muhammad rasul allah
“no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God”

Middle circle
wa ‘ali afdal al-wasiyyin wa wazir khayr al-mursilin
“and ‘Ali is the most excellent of the caretakers and the vizier of the best of the messengers”

Outer circle
muhammad rasul allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi wa law kariha al-mushrikun
“Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions, even though the polytheists detest it” Sura 9 (al-Tawba) v. 33

Reverse

Inner circle
al-mustansir billah amir al-mu’minin
“al-Mustansir billah, Commander of the Faithful”

Middle circle
da’a al-imam ma’add li-tawhid illa lahu al-samad
“the Imam Ma‘add summons all to confess the unity of God the eternal”.

Outer circle
bism allah duriba hadha’l-dinar bi-misr sana ith'nain‘ wa sab'ain wa arba‘mi’a
“in the name of God, this dinar was struck in Misr the year two and seventy and four hundred”


Al-Mustansir’s sixty-year reign was one of the longest in the history of Islam. He was only seven years old at the time of his accession, but was led by his wazir Abu’l-Qasim al-Jarjara‘i until he was old enough to rule on his own.

During his reign new dynasties emerged, while others either disappeared from the scene or shifted their alliances. The Zirids in the Maghrib, for so long allies of the Fatimids, transferred their allegiance to the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad.

In 447 H (1055 AD) the Saljuq dynasty of Iran and Iraq took the place of the Buyids, who, in 334 (946), had brought an end to the Abbasids’ temporal power. For a short time the Fatimids took advantage of this situation.

Ever since their arrival in Egypt in 358 (969) they had coveted the city of Baghdad, and in 450 (1058) a Saljuq military officer by the name of al-Basasiri took up the Fatimid cause.

Using money and supplies provided by al-Mustansir, he marched into Baghdad while the Saljuq leader Tughril Beg was away, and had the khutba (the imam’s speech before Friday prayer) read and coins struck in al-Mustansir’s name.

This proved to be a brief adventure, for the next year al-Mustansir withdrew his financial support, and an angry Tughril Beg drove al-Basasiri out of Baghdad. When his successor Alp Arslan occupied Aleppo in 473 (1080) he caused the Fatimid caliph’s name to be omitted from the khutba in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

While there were internal disturbances and frequent wars throughout al-Mustansir’s long reign, Fatimid Egypt was well administered and prosperous, thanks to rich revenues and gold from Africa. Industry and agriculture thrived, and it was a time of intellectual, literary and artistic brilliance. It was then that the first university was established in the Muslim world, al-Ahzar, which is still active today.
mitresh
Islands off Tunisia.jpg
Islands of Tunisia - Crab48 viewsIslands of Tunisia, Second Century BC, AE 16, 3.19g. SNG Cop-477-8. Obv: Herakles stg. r., Punic letters before. Rx: Crab, Punic letters belowBolayi
256-3-horz.jpg
Italy – Genoa – 1139 – 133910 viewsSilver Grosso, Biaggi-838

Before 1100, Genoa emerged as an independent city-state, one of a number of Italian city-states during this period. Nominally, the Holy Roman Emperor was overlord and the Bishop of Genoa was president of the city; however, actual power was wielded by a number of "consuls" annually elected by popular assembly. Genoa was one of the so-called "Maritime Republics" (Repubbliche Marinare), along with Venice, Pisa, and Amalfi and trade, shipbuilding and banking helped support one of the largest and most powerful navies in the Mediterranean. Through Genoese participation on the Crusades, colonies were established in the Middle East, in the Aegean, in Sicily and Northern Africa.

The collapse of the Crusader States was offset by Genoa’s alliance with the Byzantine Empire, which opened opportunities of expansion into the Black Sea and Crimea. When I purchased this coin it was identified as as an annonomous issue from Genoa’s trading post at Caffa. The Black Death was imported into Europe in 1347 from the Genoese trading post at Caffa (Theodosia) in Crimea, on the Black Sea.

I purchased this coin at least 30 years ago at a coin show outside Baltimore. The dealer had a small box full of these coins. “Your Choice” for $10. This coin seemed to just jumped out at me screaming buy me, so I did.

NGC MS-62

Cost $10
Richard M10
2009-03-22_03-29_Sizilien_389_Solunto.jpg
Italy, Sicily, View of Solanto from the ruins of Soluntum (aka Solus, Solous, and Kefra)64 viewsView of Solanto from the ruins of Soluntum (aka Solus, Solous, and Kefra), Sicily

Solus (or Soluntum, near modern Solanto) was an ancient city on the north coast of Sicily, one of the three chief Phoenician settlements on the island, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) east of Panormus (modern Palermo). It lay 183 meters (600 ft) above sea level, on the southeast side of Monte Catalfano 373 meters (1,225 ft), in a naturally strong situation, and commanding a fine view. The date of its founding is unknown. Solus was one of the few colonies that the Phoenicians retained when they withdrew to the northwest corner of the island before the advance of the Greek colonies in Sicily. Together with Panormus and Motya, it allied with the Carthaginians. In 396 B.C. Dionysius took the city but it probably soon broke away again to Carthage and was usually part of their dominions on the island. In 307 B.C. it was given to the soldiers and mercenaries of Agathocles, who had made peace with the Carthage when abandoned by their leader in Africa. During the First Punic War it was still subject to Carthage, and it was not until after the fall of Panormus that Soluntum also opened its gates to the Romans. It continued to under Roman dominion as a municipal town, but apparently one of no great importance, as its name is only slightly and occasionally mentioned by Cicero. But it is still noticed both by Pliny and Ptolemy, as well as at a later period by the Itineraries. Its destruction probably dates from the time of the Saracens.

Excavations have brought to light considerable remains of the ancient town, belonging entirely to the Roman period, and a good deal still remains unexplored. The traces of two ancient roads, paved with large blocks of stone, which led up to the city, may still be followed, and the whole summit of Monte Catalfano is covered with fragments of ancient walls and foundations of buildings. Among these may be traced the remains of two temples, of which some capitals and portions of friezes, have been discovered. An archaic oriental Artemis sitting between a lion and a panther, found here, is in the museum at Palermo, with other antiquities from this site. An inscription, erected by the citizens in honor of Fulvia Plautilla, the wife of Caracalla, was found there in 1857. With the exception of the winding road by which the town was approached on the south, the streets, despite the unevenness of the ground, which in places is so steep that steps have to be introduced, are laid out regularly, running from east to west and from north to south, and intersecting at right angles. They are as a rule paved with slabs of stone. The houses were constructed of rough walling, which was afterwards plastered over; the natural rock is often used for the lower part of the walls. One of the largest of them, with a peristyle, was in 1911, though wrongly, called the gymnasium. Near the top of the town are some cisterns cut in the rock, and at the summit is a larger house than usual, with mosaic pavements and paintings on its walls. Several sepulchres also have been found.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soluntum

Photo by Allie Caulfield from Germany.
Joe Sermarini
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and The Arch of Septimo Severo 1.jpg
Italy- Rome- Forum Romanum and The Arch of Septimo Severo 140 viewsThe Arch of Septimus Severus was built in AD 203 to celebrate his victories over the Parthians. The original inscription dedicated the arch to Severus and his two sons Geta and Caracalla. However, following Severus' death in AD 211 Caracalla had Geta murdered and his name was erased from all public buildings. On the arch, Caracalla had the words Optimis Fortissimique Princibus inscribed to replace Geta's name. The Arch is highly decorated with panels depicting scenes from the Parthian campaigns and the following triumph

The reign of Septimius provides an interesting example of the persecution meted out to Christians under the Roman Empire. Septimius made no new laws against Christians, but allowed the enforcement of laws already long-established. There is no evidence of systematic persecution, and there is much evidence that not only was the Emperor not personally hostile to the Christians, but he even protected them against the populace. There were doubtless Christians in his own household, and in his reign the Church at Rome had almost absolute peace. On the other hand, individual officials availed themselves of the laws to proceed with rigor against the Christians. Naturally the emperor, with his strict conception of law, did not hinder such partial persecution, which took place in Egypt and the Thebaid, as well as in proconsular Africa and the East. Christian martyrs were numerous in Alexandria (cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, ii. 20; Eusebius, Church History, V., xxvi., VI., i.). No less severe were the persecutions in Africa, which seem to have begun in 197 or 198 (cf. Tertullian's Ad martyres), and included the Christians known in the Roman martyrology as the martyrs of Madaura. Probably in 202 or 203 Felicitas and Perpetua suffered for their faith. Persecution again raged for a short time under the proconsul Scapula in 211, especially in Numidia and Mauritania. Later accounts of a Gallic persecution, especially at Lyons, are legendary. In general it may thus be said that the position of the Christians under Septimius Severus was the same as under the Antonines; but the law of this Emperor at least shows clearly that the rescript of Trajan had failed to execute its purpose.

John Schou
Juba.JPG
Juba I84 viewsObverse: Diademed, draped bust of King Juba right, with pointed beard and hair in formal curls, scepter at shoulder, REX IVBA before
Reverse: Octastyle temple, Neo-Punic legend on either side (Yubai hammamleket).
Mint : North Africa-Numidia
Date : BC 60-46
Reference : Sear GCV, Vol II, 6607
Grade : VF
Denom: Denarius
Metal : Silver
Acquired: 07/07/04

Comments: The temple shown on the reverse is possibly a mix of Greek and Punic architecture with the flat roof with pediment a Punic style.

One of the last kings of Numidia (c. 60–46 BC), Juba supported the Pompeian side in the Roman civil war between Pompey and Julius Caesar. The kingdom fell in 46 BC at the Battle of Thapsus and was formed into a new province, Africa Nova. Caesar had Juba’s young son, Juba II, taken to Rome to be brought up in his household.
1 commentsBolayi
juba_1a.jpg
Juba I73 viewsObverse: Head of Numidia right, wearing lion’s skin headdress
Reverse: Lion walking right, Punic "SYWBI'Y / HMMLKTI'Y" above
Date : Circa 60-46 BC
Reference : MAA 36; SNG Copenhagen 532-3
Grade : VF
Weight : 10.10 g
Metal : AE
Dealer : CNG 151, Lot: 121
Acquired: 02/11/06
Comments : 22mm
1 commentsBolayi
juba_bockage.jpg
Juba II, Brockage88 viewsObverse: Diademed head of Juba II
Reverse: Ditto
Mint :
Date : 25BC – 23AD
Reference : SNG COP 592m
Grade : EF
Weight : 3.3g
Denom : Denarius
Metal : Silver
2 commentsBolayi
juba_II_a.JPG
Juba II, King of Mauretania (25 BC-23 AD).130 viewsObverse: REX IVBA, diademed head right
Reverse: Elephant walking right
Mint : Carthage
Date : 25 BC-23 AD
Reference : SNG Copenhagen 577; Mazard 1350
Grade : VF
Weight : 3.79g
Denom: Denarius
Metal : Silver

Comments: The elephant is possibly taken from denarius minted by Julius Caesar or Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio both struck during the civil war period ca. 48-46 B.C, both of which showed an elephant and would have been used extensively in Mauritania (N. Africa.)
3 commentsBolayi
CaesarVenus.jpg
Julius Caesar115 viewsAR denarius, 18.17mm (3.86 gm).

Head if Venus right, diademed, wearing earring and necklace; hair in knot / Aeneas walking left, holding palladium and bearing Anchises on his shoulder, CAESAR to right. North African(?) mint, struck 47 BC.

Crawford (RRC), 458/1; Sydenham (CRR), 1013; RSC Julia, 012; RCTV, 1402.
4 commentssocalcoins
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Julius Caesar43 viewsJulius Caesar
46 BC
Africa (perhaps Utica) or Spain
3.45 g
20 mm
--- COS TERT DICT ITER (Consul Tertius Dictator Iterum)
Head of Ceres, right.
--- AVGVR PONT MAX (Augurus Pontifex Maximus)
Simpulum, sprinkler, capis and lituus. Letter D.
Sydenham 1023 - Crawford 467/1a
1 commentsArgentoratum
caesar100~0.jpg
JULIUS CAESAR34 viewsAR denarius. Military mint traveling with Caesar in North Africa . 47-46 BC. 3,81 grs. Diademed head of Venus right / Aeneas advancing left, head facing, holding palladium and Anchises. CAESAR to right.
Crawford 458/1. RSC 12.

benito
caesar100~0~0.jpg
JULIUS CAESAR18 viewsAR denarius. Military mint traveling with Caesar in North Africa . 47-46 BC. 3,81 grs. Diademed head of Venus right / Aeneas advancing left, head facing, holding palladium and Anchises. CAESAR to right.
Crawford 458/1. RSC 12.

benito
Caesar_Aeneas.png
Julius Caesar28 viewsJULIUS CAESAR. Denarius (48-47 BC) 3.66 g 17 mm. Military mint traveling with Caesar in North Africa.
Obv: Diademed head of Venus right.
Rev: CAESAR.
Aeneas advancing left, holding palladium and carrying Anchises on his shoulder.
Crawford 458/1; CRI 55.
1 commentsRob D
00717.jpg
Julius Caesar (RSC I 12, #717)9 viewsRSC I 12, AR Denarius, North Africa Mint, 47 - 46 BC.
OBV: Diademed head of Venus right, wearing necklace, hair rolled back.
REV: CAESAR; Aeneas walking left, nude, carrying his father, Anchises, on his left shoulder, palladium in right hand.
SIZE: 18.3mm, 3.76g
MaynardGee
Aeneas.jpg
JULIUS CAESAR - Aeneas126 viewsObverse: Diademed head of Venus right
Reverse: CAESAR, Aeneas walking left, carrying Anchises and palladium
Mint : Military mint travelling with Caesar in North Africa
Date : 47-46 BC
Reference : Crawford 458/1; CRI 55; Sydenham 1013; RSC 12
Grade : VF
Weight : 3.16
Denom : Denarius
Metal : Silver
Acquired: 29/04/04
1 commentsBolayi
JC_458-1_NavN_pic.jpg
Julius Caesar Denarius - Cr 458/135 viewsJulius Caesar Denarius. 47-46 BC, mint in Africa. Diademed head of Venus right / CAESAR, Aeneas walking left, carrying Anchises and the Palladium. Cr458/1, Syd 1013. 1 commentsAldo
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Julius Caesar Denarius, RSC 12109 viewsMint in Africa, Julius Caesar Denarius, 47-46 BC AR 19mm 3.44g, Cr458/1, Syd 1013, RSC 12
O: Diademed head of Venus right
R: CAESAR, Aeneas walking left, carrying Anchises and the Palladium

(The "S" to the right of the bust appears to be a bankmark)
6 commentscasata137ec
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Julius Caesar, (c.46-45 BC), AR Denarius, mint in North Africa.20 viewsObv. diademed head of Venus right,
Rev. Aeneas walking left carrying his father Anchises and holding Palladium. caesar behind
References: (Cr. 458/1; Syd. 1013)
Broken
1 commentsCanaan
Julius_Caesar_1a_img.jpg
Julius Caesar, denarius, RSC 1227 viewsObv:- Diademed head of Venus right
Rev:- CAESAR, Aeneas walking left, carrying Anchises and the Palladium.
Mint in Africa. 47-46 BC.
Reference:- Crawford 458/1, Sydenham 1013.
1 commentsmaridvnvm
byz_1_pan.jpg
Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.45 viewsBronze follis, (SBCV 217), weight 13.8g, max. diameter 30.85 mm, 3rd officina, Antioch (Theoupolis) mint, 527 - 538 A.D. Obv. D N IVSTINIANVS PP AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse large M between two stars, cross above, Γ beneath ( for 3rd officinia), Θ Υ Π O Δ Σ in ex. Olive green patina.

Background Info. courtesy Forvm Ancient Coins;

Joint rule with Justin I (his uncle), 4 April - 1 August 527 A.D.
Justinian I served his uncle, Emperor Justin I, throughout his reign formulating most imperial policy. Recognizing his brilliance, he was rapidly promoted and in the final months of Justin's reign he was made co-emperor. Justinian's sole rule began on 1 August 527 and lasted almost four decades during which he re-conquered much of the empire lost during the preceding century, including North Africa, Italy, and parts of Spain. He is well known for his codification of the legal system. His grand scale building program included St Sophia, which still stands as the centerpiece of modern Istanbul. Unfortunately his ambitious efforts strained the empire's resources and depleted the treasure built by Anastasius. Most of the territory he gained was lost shortly after his death.

In 538, the Persians led by Khosrau I sacked the city of Antioch.

Steve E
Khusru II.jpg
Khusru II47 viewsObverse: Head of Khusru II right with an inscription naming him around
Reverse: Fire altar flanked by two attendants with the mint mark to the right and the date mark to the left
Mint : Gar
Date : AD 595 Year 4
Reference :
Grade : gVF
Weight : 4.15g
Denom: Drachm
Metal : Silver
Acquired: 01/08/04

Comments: Khusru II, during his life time was able to extend his empire to including Turkey, Syria and Egypt which was occupied by the Sasanian empire from 618-628 A.D. and to reputably occupied other parts of Africa, extending his empire as far south as Askum and west as Cyrene. Until Heraclius was able to consolidate his take over off the Byzantine empire and counter-attacked and recover most of the territory earlier lost by Byzantine.
Bolayi
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KINGS of MAURETANIA. Juba II, with Cleopatra Selene98 viewsObverse: REX IVBA, Diademed head of Juba right
Reverse: BACCILICCA KLEOP[ATPA], Star and crescent
Mint : Caesarea
Date : Struck circa 16-17 AD
Reference : MAA 85; SNG Copenhagen 590; Mazard 300
Grade : VF
Weight : 2.77 g
Denom : Denarius
Dealer : Ancient Imports
Comments : Juba was married to the only surviving child of Cleopatra VII, Selene (goddess of the moon). This may be a reference to Juba's wife depicted on the reverse.
2 commentsBolayi
juba_II_star.JPG
KINGS of MAURETANIA. Juba II, with Cleopatra Selene. 74 viewsObverse: REX IVBA, Diademed head of Juba right
Reverse: BACCILICCA KLEOP[ATPA], Star and crescent
Mint : Caesarea
Date : Struck circa 16-17 AD
Reference : MAA 85; SNG Copenhagen 590; Mazard 300
Grade : EF
Weight : 2.96 g
Denom : Denarius
Dealer : Baldwin's
Comments : Juba was married to the only surviving child of Cleopatra VII, Selene (goddess of the moon). This may be a reference to Juba's wife depicted on the reverse.
Bolayi
kyrene_lyra.jpg
Kyrene: Apollo/ Lyre22 viewsKyrene, N. Africa, c. 308 - 277 B.C. Bronze AE 17, SNG Cop 1266; BMC Cyrenaica pg. 64, 319; Müller 270, VF, 3.748g, 17.2mm, 0o, obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse K-Y/P-A, lyre with four strings; overstruck. ex FORVMPodiceps
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L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP [VIIII?] / P M TR P V COS II P P / Septimius Severus Fortuna denarius (197 AD) 18 viewsL SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP [VIIII?], laureate head right / P M TR P V COS II P P, Fortuna standing left, holding rudder on globe in right hand, cornucopiae in left.

AR (post 196 mint, so probably 54% purity), 17 mm, 3.48g, die axis 12h.

Both small flan and image style (bust, wreath, shape of the rudder etc.) point towards the mint of Rome rather than the Eastern one. A bit heavier than expected (the standard supposed to be 3.41g), but WildWinds reports a 3.63g denarius of this type. Unfortunately it is impossible to read the number after IMP (it can be either VIIII or X for TR P V), but based on the spacing and, perhaps, a hint of V I think it is VIIII. So this must be RIC IV 104, BMCRE 229, RSC 442 type. Two other, less probable ID possibilities: RIC 115A (Rome, IMP X) and RIC 493 (Eastern mint, Laodicea ad Mare(?) IMP VIIII).

Lucius SEPTimius SEVeverus PERTinax AVGustus IMPerator (in this case not just an imperial title, but a military one, "invested with the Nth imperial acclaim", a victorious general, the number refers to important victories when the title was renewed); Pontifex Maximus (the high priest, starting with Augustus the emperor was always the head of state religion) TRibunitia Potestas (Tribunal power, the function of the tribune of the people, originally an important republican official, was "hijacked" by Augustus when he was building the imperial structure of power and subsequently became another emperor's title, renewed every year and thus very useful for dating coins) V (5th year means 193+4=197, give or take the actual date of renewing the title), COnSul (under the Empire, the office of Consul remained of some importance and was held by the Emperor with some frequency) II (during or after the consulship of 194 and before next one in 202), Pater Patriae (Father of his Country, the title was held by most Augusti but was usually not assumed at the very beginning of the reign). Denarius was the staple of Roman monetary system from 211 BC to mid 3d century AD.

SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS, *11 Apr 145 in Leptis Magna (Khoms, Libya) † 4 Feb 211 (aged 65) Eboracum (York, England) ‡ 14 April 193 – 4 February 211

Septimius Severus was born in the Roman province of Africa. He came from a wealthy and distinguished family of equestrian rank, had Roman ancestry on his mother's side (gens Fulvia was one of the most famous plebeian clans in Rome) and descended from Punic, and perhaps also Libyan, forebears on his father's side. Several members of his family held important imperial offices (although, strangely, not his father who seemed to have no career to speak about). He was trilingual, speaking Punic, Latin and Greek, and got some classical education, but probably less than he wanted to. At 17 he was helped by his influential relatives to relocate to Rome, to be presented to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, and start his political career. With some difficulty he started to advance through the cursus honorum, holding a variety of offices. His career was helped by the Antonine Plague of 166, Septimius avoided it by returning to Leptis Magna for a while, and when he was back in Rome he found his competition conveniently thinned out. Despite him going through an impressive number of offices in a very short time there is very little record of his actual accomplishments in 170s and 180s.

In 191 Severus was appointed governor of Pannonia Superior (one of the provinces on Danube frontier) by Emperor Commodus (on advice from one of Septimius' friends). When the hell was unleashed by the assassination of Commodus on 31 December 192 and 193, , the infamous Year of the Five Emperors started, as a general in charge of significant army Severus was able to fight for the highest office. While he moved on Rome, Pertinax, the first Emperor of 193, was killed by the Praetorian Guard, and the next one, Didius Julianus, who famously bought the emperorship at an auction, was condemned by the Senate and executed, so Septimius entered Rome virtually unopposed. He then wisely appeased the powerful governor of Britannia, Clodius Albinus, who was also proclaimed the Emperor, by offering him the title of Caesar, which implied some degree of co-ruling and a chance to succession (Albinus did not give up that easy, reasserting his claim in three years, but then he was easily dealt with at the Battle of Lugdunum in Gaul). Afterwards he had to fight off the final pretender, Pescennius Niger, the former governor of Syria, who was proclaimed the Emperor by the eastern legions. Losing no time, Severus sent a considerable vanguard force to the East and, later, joined in with additional armies. In a series of battles in 193-195 Niger and his supporters were defeated. The last to surrender was Byzantium, which held even after the head of Niger was sent there. It is interesting to note that during this campaign Septimius visited the tomb of his famous fellow countryman, Hannibal Barca in Libyssa (Gebze, Turkey) and ordered to cover it with fine marble. Severus also took an opportunity to wage a short punitive campaign beyond the eastern frontier, annexing the Kingdom of Osroene as a new province.

After consolidating his rule over the western provinces, Severus waged another brief, more successful war in the east against the Parthian Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 197 and expanding the eastern frontier to the Tigris. He then enlarged and fortified the Limes Arabicus in Arabia Petraea. In 202 he campaigned in Africa and Mauretania against the Garamantes; capturing their capital Garama and expanding the Limes Tripolitanus along the southern desert frontier of the empire. In 208 he travelled to Britain, strengthening Hadrian's Wall and reoccupying the Antonine Wall. In the same year he invaded Caledonia (modern Scotland), but his ambitions were cut short when he fell fatally ill in late 210, dying in early 211 at Eboracum (York, England), and was succeeded by his sons Caracalla and Geta, thus founding the Severan dynasty. It was the last dynasty of the Roman empire before the Crisis of the Third Century.

In the context of this coin it is interesting to note, that, due to huge military expenses, upon his accession Severus decreased the silver purity of the denarius from 81.5% to 78.5%, although the silver weight actually increased, rising from 2.40 grams to 2.46 grams. Nevertheless, the following year he debased the denarius again because of rising military expenditures. The silver purity decreased from 78.5% to 64.5% – the silver weight dropping from 2.46 grams to 1.98 grams. In 196 he reduced the purity and silver weight of the denarius again, to 54% and 1.82 grams respectively [corresponds to this issue]. Severus' currency debasement was the largest since the reign of Nero.
Yurii P
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L. Censorinus76 viewsL Censorinus Denarius. 82 BC. Laureate head of Apollo right / L CENSOR, the satyr, Marsyas, standing left with wineskin over shoulder; behind him, column surmounted by draped figure (Minerva?). Syd 737, Cr363/1d.


In 82 B.C.

"Sulla defeats Samnite allies of Rome in the Battle of the Colline Gate, and takes control of Rome.
Gaius Marius the Younger is besieged at the fortress city of Praeneste in Latium. After a fierce resistance, Marius committs suicide.
Gnaeus Pompeius is ordered by Sulla to stamp out democratic rebels in Sicily and Africa, while the young Gaius Julius Caesar is acting as a subordinate of Sulla in the east.
After his campaigns in Sicily and Africa, Pompeius gets the insulting nickname of adulescentulus carnifex, the "teenage butcher".
4 commentsRandygeki(h2)
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Late Roman Redware Oil Lamp40 viewsRoman 4th cent, North African. The tondo and edges decorated with geometric patterns. 5.62 in, 14.28 cmsTLP
Lopadusa.jpg
Lopadusa59 viewsLopadusa, island off Sicily (2nd century BC).
Attribution to this mint is uncertain however.
Some scholars believe the mint was in North Africa instead.

obv: naked warrior standing right
rev: crab; punic letters below

Montenegro #5804, (cross ref. to SNG Cop (Nord Africa) #477)
Lindgren (European Mints) 667; listed under "Island between Sicily and Tunisia, uncertain mints"
Calciati #4
Rare R2
1 commentsTanit
M__PORCIUS_CATO.jpg
M. PORCIUS CATO AR Quinarius; GENS PORCIA, Cr462/2, Porcia 11, Liber33 viewsOBV: M • CATO • PRO • PR, wreathed head of Liber right
REV: Victory seated right, holding palm branch over her left shoulder and patera in her right hand, VICTRIX in ex.
1.4 g, 13 mm

Struck at Utica, Africa, 47-46 BC
Legatus
M_Cato_the_younger.jpg
M. Porcius Cato Uticensis - AR Quinarius6 viewsUtica
46 BC
head of Bacchus or Liber right wearing ivy wreath
M·C(AT)O·PRO·PR
seated Victory right holding patera and palm
VIC(TR)IX
Crawford 462/2, SRCV I 1383, Sydenham 1054a,RSC I Porcia 11
1,8g
ex Aureo and Calico

"This coin was struck under Senate authority in Utica, North Africa where Cato was propraetor at the beginning of the civil war. The design is copied from an issue by another M. Cato in 89 B.C. Cato preferred to die with the Republic rather than outlive it. Defeated by Caesar he committed suicide in 46 B.C." ForumAncientCoins note
Johny SYSEL
porcius_Crawford462.2.jpg
M. Porcius Cato, Crawford 462/238 viewsM. Porcius Cato, gens Porcia
AR - Quinarius, 13.8mm, 1.95g
Utica/North Africa, 47/46 BC
obv. M.CATO.PRO.PR
Youthful head of Bacchus, wearing ivy wreath, r.
rev. Victory, std. r., holding patera and palm-branch
in ex. VICTRIX (TR as monogram)
Crawford 462/2; Sydenham 1054a; Porcia 11
rare, VF+
From Forum Ancient Coins, thanks!

This coin was struck under Senate authority in Utica, North Africa where Cato was propraetor at the beginning of the civil war. The design is copied from an issue by another M. Cato in 89 B.C. (Crawford 343)
Cato preferred to die with the Republic rather than outlive it. Defeated by Caesar he committed suicide in 46 B.C. (FAC)

Jochen
Mcato.jpg
M. Porcius Cato-Uticensis42 viewsM. Porcius Cato-Uticensis, AR Quinarius, minted in Africa, circa 47/6.
Obv: M. CATO. PRO.-PR Head of Liber r.; wearing ivy wreath.
Rev: Victory std. r., VICTRIX in ex.

Cr. 462/2. Syd. 1054a. Seaby Porcia 11.
Tanit
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Magnus Maximus, Usurper and Emperor of Britain, Spain, Gaul & Africa, 383-388 AD.12 viewsMagnus Maximus, AE2, Trier. 387-388 AD. DN MAG MAX-IMVS PF AVG, pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right / REPARATIO-REIPVB, emperor standing left, raising kneeling woman. Mintmark SMTRP. RIC IX Trier 85. Antonivs Protti
Timbukto.JPG
Mali, West Africa, Timbukto1900 viewsYes it does exist! although it has lost a lot from its glory days in the 14th and 16th centuries, still a fascinating place to visit. Meaning well of the woman named 'Bouctou'. In its day 25,000 students are reputed to have studied there at any one time. Some of the manuscripts can still be viewed; on such varied subjects at medicine, astronomy and arithmetic; sadly they are not well preserved.4 commentsBolayi
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Marc Antony24 viewsRef Marc Antony RSC 32 denarius
Marc Antony AR Denarius. 32-1 BC. Praetorian galley travelling right / LEG V, legionary Eagle between two standards. Cr544/18, Syd 1221.

Legion V was founded in transalpine Gaul in 52 BCE by Julius Caesar. It was the first legion to be recruited in the provinces, and Caesar paid the soldiers from his private purse. After playing key roles in Caesar's conquest of Gaul , the Fifth Alauda was also with Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon in 49BC. It then went on to fight the Republicans in the African campaign (46BC).

After Caesar's assassination in 44BC, the Fifth Alauda sided with Antonius, and participated in Antonius' ill-fated war against the Parthians. From there, the Fifth Alauda fought against Marcus Agrippa at the battle of Actium, and after Antonius' defeat, Octavian assumed control of the legion and transferred it to Merida .
simmurray
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Marc Antony 20 viewsRef Marc Antony RSC 32 denarius
Marc Antony AR Denarius. 32-1 BC. Praetorian galley travelling right / LEG V, legionary Eagle between two standards. Cr544/18, Syd 1221.

Legion V was founded in transalpine Gaul in 52 BCE by Julius Caesar. It was the first legion to be recruited in the provinces, and Caesar paid the soldiers from his private purse. After playing key roles in Caesar's conquest of Gaul , the Fifth Alauda was also with Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon in 49BC. It then went on to fight the Republicans in the African campaign (46BC).

After Caesar's assassination in 44BC, the Fifth Alauda sided with Antonius, and participated in Antonius' ill-fated war against the Parthians. From there, the Fifth Alauda fought against Marcus Agrippa at the battle of Actium, and after Antonius' defeat, Octavian assumed control of the legion and transferred it to Merida .
simmurray
Scarpus.jpg
Mark Antony43 viewsObverse: Head of Jupiter-Ammon right with ram's horn, M ANTO COS III IMP IIII
Reverse: Victory advancing right, holding wreath and palm. ANTONIO / AVG - SCARPVS IM/P
Exe:
Mint : Cyrene
Date : 31 BC
Reference : Crawford 546/2a; CRI 390; Sydenham 1280; RSC 1
Grade : F
Weight : 2.91 g
Denom : Denarius
Metal : Silver

Comments : L. Pinarius Scarpus, Imperator, 17mm, The final issue struck in Antony's name.
Bolayi
LEG_VI.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary Denarius LEG VI 100 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
galley r. mast with banners at prow

Rev LEG VI legionary eagle between two standards

Patrae mint 32-31BC

The photo appears to show this as LEG VII but in hand you can see that the second I is a scratch
Background History on the VI Legion

Raised in Cisalpine Gaul in 58 BC by Julius Caesar, the Sixth Legion served with him during his tenure as governor and was withdrawn to Spain in 49 BC where it earned the title “Hispaniensis”.

Later seeing action at Pharsalus in 48 BC, Julius Caesar took the 6th to Alexandria to settle the dispute in Egypt with Cleopatra. Alexandria was laid to siege and the 6th was almost wiped out losing almost two thirds of its entire manpower. Julius Caesar eventually triumphed when reinforcements arrived.

Julius Caesar took his “Veteran Sixth Legion” with him to Syria and Pontus. The Legion then served in Pontus under Caesar in 48 BC and 47 BC. This culminated in the battle of Zela where victory was won by Legio VI.

During Caesar’s African war against Scipio, the Sixth Legion deserted en masse from Scipio to reinforce Caesar and fought under him.

The legion was disbanded in 45 BC after Munda establishing a colony at Arelate (Arles), but was re-formed by Lepidus the following year (44 BC) and given over to Marcus Antonius the year after that. Following the defeat of the republican generals Cassius and Brutus in successive battles at Philippi in 42 BC and the subsequent division of control between Antony and Octavian, a colony was again formed from retired veterans at Beneventum in 41 BC (this is the colony which it is believed became Legio VI Victrix) and the remainder of Legio VI Ferrata was taken by Antony to the East where it garrisoned Judea.

Legio VI fought in the Parthian War in 36 BC.

Another Legio VI Victrix evidently saw action at Perusia in 41 BC, which presents us with a problem because the official Legio VI Ferrata was at that moment with Anthony in the East. This is explained in Lawrence Keppie's excellent book The Making of the Roman Army - from Republic to Empire (pp.134); “Octavian did not hesitate to duplicate legionary numerals already in use by Antony. The latter had serving with him legio V Alaudae, legio VI Ferrata and legio X Equestris. Soon we find Octavian's army boasting of a legio V (the later Macedonica), legio VI (the later Victrix) and legio X (soon to be Fretensis). Of these, legio V and legio X, and less certainly legio VI, bore under the empire a bull-emblem which would normally indicate a foundation by Caesar; but the true Caesarian legions with these numerals (Alaudae, Ferrata and Equestris) were with Antony.”

It would seem, therefore, that Octavian had again used the veterans of Caesars Sixth Legion, this time from those left at Beneventum, to form the core of his own Sixth Legion used at Perusia.

Both Legio VI’s (Ferrata and Victrix) fought at the Battle of Actium, after this event the legio VI Ferrata was dispatched back to Judea and the next time we hear of the legio VI Victrix was in Spain.

Legio VI Ferrata was severely mauled at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC by the forces loyal to Caesar's nephew and heir, Octavian. Following the Battle of Actium, another colony of veterans seems to have been created at Byllis, probably together with soldiers from other legions, and the remainder of VI Ferrata was moved to Syria/Judea where it was to remain.

From 9 BC to 73 AD the VI Ferrata was garrisoned the area of Judea. It was in this time frame that Jesus Christ was tried before Pontius Pilatus, the Roman Governor of Judea.

From 54 AD to 68 AD the Legion served under Corbulo at Artaxata and Tigranocerta against the Parthians. In 69 AD the Legion returned to Judea and fought in the Jewish Civil War. As the Jewish Civil War wound down, the sixth was placed under Mucianis and fought against Vitellius. Legion VI was largely responsible for Mucianis victory over the forces of Vitellius during the brief Roman Civil War .
Titus Pullo
Scarpus~0.jpg
Mark Antony Scarpus denarius102 viewsM ANTO COS III IMP III
Head of Jupiter Ammon right

ANTONIO AVG SCARPVS IMP
Victory walking right holding wreath and palm

Cyrene summer of 31 BC
2.86g
Sear 1486

In the will of Caesar, Scarpus received one eighth of certain legacies after the legacies given to Octavian. He along with his cousins from the will became heirs to his great uncle.

Scarpus became an ally to Mark Antony and commanded for him against the war on Marcus Brutus and Cassius Longinus. In the years leading up to Actium 31 BC, Antony appointed Scarpus to the military command of Cyrenaica. Scarpus had with him four legions to command. During his time in Cyrenaica Scarpus had control of the currency mint in Cyrene, as he became a moneyer. Scarpus had issued various coins bearing Antony’s name and Scarpus’ name was inscripted as an issuer of these coins.

After Antony & Cleopatra were defeated by Octavian at Actium, Scarpus withdrew his support from Antony and gave his support (including his legions) to Octavian. Antony after the defeat sailed back to North Africa and sent messengers to Scarpus for help.
Scarpus refused to see Antony’s messengers and put them to death. He gave his legions to Gaius Cornelius Gallus, Octavian’s lieutenant to command.

Augustus then appointed his cousin as Governor of Cyrenaica. Scarpus as he did for Antony, became a moneyer and issued various coins bearing Augustus’ name. On these coins, Scarpus had his name inscripted as an issuer of the coins.
2 commentsJay GT4
Masinissa.JPG
Masinissa - Horse galloping135 viewsMasinissa ruler of the North African kingdom of Numidia, and an ally of Rome in the last years of the Second Punic War SNG Cop 510 13 Obverse: Bust of king l. Reverse: Horse galloping l., Punci letter below
Size: 27.86 mm Weight: 12.3 grams Typical crude

Comments: Masinissa grew up in Carthage as a hostage to keep his father loyal to Carthage. He fought for Carthage against the Romans in Spain from 212 to 206 and then when Hasdrubal Barca left for Italy, Masinissa took command of the Carthaginian cavalry in Spain. When the Carthaginians were forced out of Spain in 206 Africanus released Masinissa captive nephew and Masinissa defected to Rome and the rest is history.
1 commentsBolayi
iol.JPG
MAURETANIA, Iol-Caesarea113 viewsObverse: Head of Isis left, wearing vulture headdress with horns above
Reverse: Three wheat-ears
Mint : Iol-Caesarea
Date : Late 3rd-2nd century BC
Reference : MAA 145; SNG Copenhagen 679
Grade : VF
Weight : 5.69 g
Denom : AE
Dealer : CNG
Acquired: 19/12/07
Comments : 22mm.
Bolayi
byz_2_pan.jpg
Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.30 viewsBronze follis, (SBCV 494), weight 11.8g, max. diameter 31.9 mm, 2nd officina, Constantinople mint, 590 - 591 A.D.; Obv. D N mAVRC TIbER PP AVC, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield in left, Rev. large M, cross above, ANNO left, σ I II (year 9) right, B (2nd officina) below, CON in exergue. Brown with dusty green desert patina.

Background Info courtesy Forvm Ancient Coins;

Joint rule with Theodosius (his son), 29 March 590 - 22 November 602 A.D.
Maurice Tiberius, a successful general, was selected by Tiberius II Constantine as his successor. Although he achieved a favorable peace in Persia and was able to stem the losses of territory in Italy and Africa, much of the Balkans were lost. Focas, a junior officer, led a military revolt against Maurice and was declared emperor in November 602. Maurice and Theodosius, his son and co-emperor, were captured and murdered.

Steve E
Mauricius_Tiberius_(582-602)_tremissis_(AU).png
Mauricius Tiberius (582-602) tremissis (AU)140 viewsObv.: DN TIBERI PP AVG (Draped, cuirassed and diademed bust of emperor right) Rev.: VICTORI MAVRI AVI (Cross potent) Exergue: CONOB Diameter: 17 mm Weight: 1,45 g SB 488

Mauricius was a very active emperor and enacted several important reforms, including the creation of the exarchates in Africa and Italy.
1 commentsNick.vdw
CollageMaker_20180531_122510323.jpg
Maximianus11 viewsFirst reign, 286-305 AD
AE Follis, Carthage mint, 2nd officina. Struck 297-298 AD
Obverse: IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, Laureate head right.
Reverse: FELIX AD-V-ENT AVGG NN, Africa standing facing, head left, wearing elephant skin headdress and holding signum and tusk; at feet to left, lion with captured bull; H in left field; PKS in exergue.
References: RIC VI 23b, RCV 3630, Van Meter 035
Justin L
MAXIMIANUS_12.jpg
MAXIMIANUS AE Antoninianus15 viewsOBVERSE: IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right
REVERSE: FELIX ADVENT AVGG N N, Africa standing facing, looking left, wearing elephant-skin headdress, holding standard and elephant's tusk, lion with captured bull at feet, H in right field, mintmark PKB
Struck at Carthage. AD 298
RIC VI 25b
Legatus
256-3-horz~0.jpg
MEDIEVAL, Italy, Genoa, 1139 – 133947 viewsSilver Grosso, Biaggi-838

Before 1100, Genoa emerged as an independent city-state, one of a number of Italian city-states during this period. Nominally, the Holy Roman Emperor was overlord and the Bishop of Genoa was president of the city; however, actual power was wielded by a number of "consuls" annually elected by popular assembly. Genoa was one of the so-called "Maritime Republics" (Repubbliche Marinare), along with Venice, Pisa, and Amalfi and trade, shipbuilding and banking helped support one of the largest and most powerful navies in the Mediterranean. Through Genoese participation on the Crusades, colonies were established in the Middle East, in the Aegean, in Sicily and Northern Africa.

The collapse of the Crusader States was offset by Genoa’s alliance with the Byzantine Empire, which opened opportunities of expansion into the Black Sea and Crimea. When I purchased this coin it was identified as as an annonomous issue from Genoa’s trading post at Caffa. The Black Death was imported into Europe in 1347 from the Genoese trading post at Caffa (Theodosia) in Crimea, on the Black Sea.
Richard M10
alfonso 6, time of El Cid~0.jpg
MEDIEVAL, Spain, Alfonso VI, King of Castille-Leon, A.D.1070-1109, AR Dinero92 viewsAlfonso VI was born c.A.D.1040, he was King of Leon from 1065 to 1070 and King of the reunited Castile and Leon from 1072 until his death in 1109. By 1077 he had proclaimed himself “emperor of all Spain” and his oppression of his Muslim vassals led to the invasion of Spain by an Almoravid army from North Africa in 1086. His name is also associated with the national hero of Spain, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, better known as El Cid, who was alternately Alfonso's enemy and indifferent supporter.1 commentsgoldcoin
521500_498608040176112_742449065_n.jpg
Meteorite15 viewsNorth West African 53H
Rare Class B
Mesosiderite
1 commentsRandygeki(h2)
533563_506052496098333_1442254399_n.jpg
METEORITE21 viewsMETEORITE GIBEON etched 1.58 grams Namibia, Africa , 1836 . Specimen exhibits nice Widmanstratten lines1 commentsRandygeki(h2)
Micipsa_1.jpg
Micipsa126 viewsObverse: Laureate and bearded head left
Reverse: Horse galloping left; pellet below
Date : 148-118 BC
Reference : MAA 18a; SNG Copenhagen 505; Mazard 50; Müller 32
Grade : VF
Weight : 13.6g
Metal : AE
Acquired: 01/03/06
Comments : dark green and brown patina, flan flaw on reverse , 6mm, Ex Classical Numismatic Group 41 (19 March 1997), lot 1046
4 commentsBolayi
Middlesex_1039b.jpg
Middlesex 1039b25 viewsObv: AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER, kneeling African man in chains.

Rev: MAY SLAVERY & OPPRESSION CEASE THROUGOUT THE WORLD, two clasped hands.

Edge: PAYABLE AT LONDON LIVERPOOL OR BRISTOL

Note: The "Am I Not a Man..." slogan, with the image of a man in chains was also adopted by the abolitionist movement in the United States. In the 1830's it was modified into a uniquely American token that reversed the gender of person. Depicting a similarly bound woman, it stated: "Am I Not a Woman and a Sister?"

Half Penny Conder Token

Dalton & Hamer: Middlesex, Slavery 1039b
SPQR Coins
Middlesex_317.jpg
Middlesex 31715 viewsObv: MRS. NEWSHAM THE WHITE NEGRESS, a woman standing half left.

Rev: TO BE HAD AT THE CURIOSITY HOUSE CITY ROAD • NEAR FINSBURY SQUARE LONDON 1795

Edge: Plain

Note: Hall's Curiosity House in London boasted many "oddities" of the day. There were animals, people with deformities, and an albino woman from Africa. Many of Hall's "curiosities" appeared on tokens advertising his business.

Half Penny Conder Token

Dalton & Hamer: Middlesex 317
SPQR Coins
Lixus_in_Morocco.jpg
Morocco, Lixus65 viewsLixus is the site of an ancient Roman city located in Morocco just north of the modern seaport of Larache on the bank of the Loukkos River. The location was one of the main cities of the Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana .

Ancient Lixus is located on Tchemmich Hill on the right bank of the Loukkos River (other names: Oued Loukous; Locus River), just to the north of the modern seaport of Larache. The site lies within the urban perimeter of Larache, and about three kilometers inland from the mouth of the river and the Atlantic ocean. From its 80 meters above the plain the site dominates the marshes through which the river flows. To the north, Lixus is surrounded by hills which themselves are bordered to the north and east by a forest of cork oaks.

Among the ruins there are Roman baths, temples, 4th century walls, a mosaic floor, a Christian church and the intricate and confusing remains of the Capitol Hill.

Lixus was first settled by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC and was later annexed by Carthage. Lixus was part of a chain of Phoenician/Carthaginian settlements along the Atlantic coast of modern Morocco; other major settlements further to the south are Chellah (called Sala Colonia by the Romans) and Mogador. When Carthage fell to Ancient Rome, Lixus, Chellah and Mogador became imperial outposts of the Roman province Mauretania Tingitana.

The ancient sources agree to make of Lixus a counter Phoenician, which is confirmed by the archaeological discovery of material dating from 8th century BC. It gradually grew in importance, later coming under Carthaginian domination. After the destruction of Carthage, Lixus fell to Roman control and was made an imperial colony, reaching its zenith during the reign of the emperor Claudius I (AD 41-54).

Some ancient Greek writers located at Lixus the mythological garden of the Hesperides, the keepers of the golden apples. The name of the city was often mentioned by writers from Hanno the Navigator to the Geographer of Ravenna, and confirmed by the legend on its coins and by an inscription. The ancients believed Lixus to be the site of the Garden of the Hesperides and of a sanctuary of Hercules, where Hercules gathered gold apples, more ancient than the one at Cadiz, Spain. However, there are no grounds for the claim that Lixus was founded at the end of the second millennium BC.

Lixus flourished during the Roman Empire, mainly when Claudius established a Roman Colonia with full rights for the citizens. Lixus was one of the few Roman cities in Berber Africa that enjoyed an amphitheater: the amphitheater at Lixus. In the third century Lixus become nearly fully Christian and there are even now the ruins of a paleochristian church overlooking the archeological area. The Arab invasions destroyed the Roman city. Some berber life was maintained there nevertheless until one century after the Islamic conquest of North Africa by the presence of a mosque and a house with patio with the covered walls of painted stuccos.

The site was excavated continuously from 1948 to 1969. In the 1960s, Lixus was restored and consolidated. In 1989, following an international conference which brought together many scientists, specialists, historians and archaeologists of the Mediterranean around the history and archaeology of Lixus, the site was partly enclosed. Work was undertaken to study the Roman mosaics of the site, which constitute a very rich unit. In addition to the vestiges interesting to discover the such mosaics whose one of sixty meters representing Poseidon. Lixus was on a surface of approximately 75 hectares (190 acres). The excavated zones constitute approximately 20% of the total surface of the site.

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on July 1, 1995 in the Cultural category.
Joe Sermarini
ah2.jpg
Neolithic (New Stone Age) arrowheads43 viewsNorth Africa 9000 - 3000 BC4 commentsTibsi
[901a]_NervaAntiochAE26.jpg
Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D., Antioch, Syria195 viewsBronze AE 26, BMC Syria, p. 182, 261, aVF, Antioch mint, weight 13.524g, maximum diameter 25.0mm, die axis 0o, Jan - Sep 97 A.D.; Obverse: IMP CAESAR NERVA AVG III COS, laureate head right; Reverse: large S C in wreath, D below; unbelievable portrait. Ex FORVM. Photo courtesy FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families
Nerva (96-98 A.D.)

David Wend

Introduction
Although short, the reign of Marcus Cocceius Nerva (A.D. 96-98) is pivotal. The first of Edward Gibbon's so-called "Five Good Emperors," Nerva is credited with beginning the practice of adopting his heir rather than selecting a blood relative. Claimed as an ancestor by all the emperors down to Severus Alexander, he has traditionally been regarded with much good will at the expense of his predecessor, Domitian.

Ancestry
Nerva could claim eminent ancestry on both sides of his family. On the paternal side, his great-grandfather, M. Cocceius Nerva, was consul in 36 B.C.; his grandfather, a distinguished jurist of the same name, accompanied Tiberius on his retirement to Capri in 26 A.D. On his mother's side an aunt, Rubellia Bassa, was the great-granddaughter of Tiberius. In addition, a great-uncle, L. Cocceius Nerva, played a part in the negotiations that secured a treaty between Octavian and Antony in 40 B.C

Early Career and Life under Domitian
Nerva was born on 8 November, 30 A.D. Little is known of his upbringing beyond the fact that he belonged to a senatorial family and pursued neither a military nor a public speaking career. On the other hand, he did hold various priesthoods and was a praetor-designate. More importantly, as praetor designate in 65, Nerva was instrumental in revealing the conspiracy of Piso against the emperor Nero.

As a result, he received triumphal ornaments and his statue was placed in the palace. Following Nero's fall in 68, Nerva must have realized that support of Vespasian and the Flavian cause was in his best interests. In 71 his loyalty was rewarded with a joint consulship with the emperor, the only time that Vespasian ever held the office without his son Titus. It was under the reign of Vespasian's other son, Domitian, that Nerva's political fortunes were ultimately determined, however. He shared the ordinary consulship with Domitian in 90, an honor that was perhaps the result of his alerting the emperor about the revolt of Antonius Saturninus, the governor of Upper Germany, in 89. Even so, like so many others of the senatorial class, Nerva came under scrutiny in the final years of Domitian's reign, when the emperor was unwilling to tolerate any criticism.

Whether or not Nerva was forced to withdraw from public life during Domitian's final years remains an open question. What is not in dispute is that he was named emperor on the same day that Domitian was assassinated in September, 96. Indeed, in some respects the accession was improbable, since it placed the Empire under the control of a feeble sexagenarian and long-time Flavian supporter with close ties to the unpopular Domitian. On the other hand, Nerva had proven to be a capable senator, one with political connections and an ability to negotiate. Moreover, he had no children, thereby ensuring that the state would not become his hereditary possession.

Imperial Initiatives
Upon taking office, Nerva made immediate changes. He ordered the palace of Domitian to be renamed the House of the People, while he himself resided at the Horti Sallustiani, the favorite residence of Vespasian. More significantly, he took an oath before the senate that he would refrain from executing its members. He also released those who had been imprisoned by Domitian and recalled exiles not found guilty of serious crimes. Nevertheless, Nerva still allowed the prosecution of informers by the senate, a measure that led to chaos, as everyone acted in his own interests while trying to settle scores with personal enemies.

In the area of economic administration Nerva, like Domitian, was keen on maintaining a balanced budget. In early 97, after appointing a commission of five consular senators to give advice on reducing expenditures, he proceeded to abolish many sacrifices, races, and games. Similarly, he allowed no gold or silver statues to be made of himself. Even so, there was some room for municipal expenditure. For the urban poor of Italy he granted allotments of land worth 60 million sesterces, and he exempted parents and their children from a 5% inheritance tax. He also made loans to Italian landowners on the condition that they pay interest of 5% to their municipality to support the children of needy families. These alimentary schemes were later extended by Trajan, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius.

Because he reigned only briefly, Nerva's public works were few. By early 98 he dedicated the forum that Domitian had built to connect the Forum of Augustus with the Forum of Peace. It became known as the Forum of Nerva, or the Forum Transitorium. Nerva also built granaries, made repairs to the Colosseum when the Tiber flooded, and continued the program of road building and repairs inaugurated under the Flavians. In addition, pantomime performances, supressed by Domitian, were restored.

In the military realm, Nerva established veterans' colonies in Africa, a practice that was continued by the emperor Trajan. Normal military privileges were continued and some auxiliary units assumed the epithet Nervia or Nerviana. We are not well informed beyond these details, and any military action that may have occurred while Nerva was emperor is known sketchy at best.

Nature of Nerva's Government
Nerva's major appointments favored men whom he knew and trusted, and who had long served and been rewarded by the Flavians. Typical was Sextus Julius Frontinus. A consul under Vespasian and governor of Britain twenty years earlier, Frontinus came out of retirement to become curator of the water supply, an office that had long been subject to abuse and mismanagement. He helped to put an end to the abuses and published a significant work on Rome's water supply, De aquis urbis Romae. As a reward for his service, Frontinus was named consul for the second time in 98. Similarly, the emperor's own amici were often senators with Flavian ties, men who, by virtue of their links to the previous regime, were valuable to Nerva for what they knew. Thus do we find the likes of A. Didius Gallus Fabricius Veiiento, one of Domitian's ill-reputed counselors, seated next to Nerva at an imperial dinner. Nerva was less willing to consult the Senate as a whole. In many cases he preferred the opinions of his own consilium, and was less submissive than many senators would have liked. This attitude may have been responsible for hostile discontent among several senators.

Mutiny of the Praetorians and the Adoption of Trajan
It was not long before the assassination of Domitian came to work against the new emperor. Dissatisfied that Domitian had not been deified after his death, the praetorian guards mutinied under Casperius Aelianus in October 97. Taking the emperor as hostage, they demanded that Nerva hand over Domitian's murderers. The emperor not only relented, but was forced to give a public speech of thanks to the mutineers for their actions. His authority compomised, Nerva used the occasion of a victory in Pannonia over the Germans in late October, 97 to announce the adoption of Marcus Ulpius Traianus, governor of Upper Germany, as his successor. The new Caesar was immediately acclaimed imperator and granted the tribunicia potestas. Nerva's public announcement of the adoption settled succession as fact; he allowed no time to oppose his decision. From the German victory, Nerva assumed the epithet Germanicus and conferred the title on Trajan as well. He also made Trajan his consular colleague in 98.

Death and Deification
On January 1, 98, the start of his fourth consulship, Nerva suffered a stroke during a private audience. Three weeks later he died at his villa in the Gardens of Sallust. From his headquarters at Cologne, Trajan insisted that Nerva's ashes be placed in the mausoleum of Augustus and asked the senate to vote on his deification. We are further told that he dedicated a temple to Nerva, yet no trace of it has ever been found. Nor was a commemorative series of coins issued for the Deified Nerva in the wake of his death, but only ten years later.

Conclusion
Nerva's reign was more concerned with the continuation of an existing political system than with the birth of a new age. Indeed, his economic policies, his relationship with the senate, and the men whom he chose to govern and to offer him advice all show signs of Flavian influence. In many respects, Nerva was the right man at the right time. His immediate accession following Domitian's murder prevented anarchy and civil war, while his age, poor health and moderate views were perfect attributes for a government that offered a bridge between Domitian's stormy reign and the emperorships of the stable rulers to follow.

Copyright (C) 1998, David Wend.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Norfolk_54.jpg
Norfolk 5421 viewsObv: A female seated holding a scroll inscribed: BOULTER’S EXHIBITION of NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL CURIOSITIES, YARMOUTH in exergue.

Rev: UNDIQUAQUE COLLIGITUR, three figures representing Asia, Africa and America presenting various curiosities to Britannia who is recording them in a book, 1796 in exergue.

Edge: PUBLISHED BY JOS. DANL. & JNO. BOULTER

Half Penny Conder Token

Dalton & Hamer: Norfolk, Yarmouth 54
SPQR Coins
Comb26082018094915.jpg
North Africa, Andalus, Almuwahideen dynasty Almahdi Ben Tumart 555 AH9 viewsالوجه :
لا الاه الا الله
الأمر كله لله
لا قوة الا بالله

الخلف :
الله ربنا
محمد رسولنا
المهدي امامنا
Silver dirham Mitch. 421, 1.5 grams
Canaan
carthago_SNGcop109.jpg
North Africa, Carthago, SNG Cop. 10947 viewsAE 17, 3.19g
struck 400-350 BC
obv. Head of goddess Tanit, crowned with grain, l.
rev. Horse stg. r., palm-tree behind
SNG Copenhagen 109; Alexandropoulos 18
VF

Tanit was the main-goddess of Carthago. The Horse is a symbol for Carthago and the palm-tree stands for prosperity.
Jochen
seleukosIVlaodike~0.jpg
North African Elephant (Extinct)166 viewsAntiochus IV Bronze. Seleucia-in-Pieria mint. Veiled bust of Laodice IV r. Border of dots / BASILEWS ANTIOCOU, North African Elephant (Extinct) head left. Houghton 113 ancientone
NumidiaSNGCop504OR.jpg
Numidia, North Africa, Micipsa, SNG Cop 50419 viewsAfrican mint, Kingdom of Numidia, North Africa, Micipsa, 148 - 118 B.C. AE, 25.9mm 14.949g, SNG Cop 504, SGCV II 6597 var. (pellet below horse)
O: laureate head of king (Micipsa?) left with pointed beard, dot border
R: horse rearing left, linear border, punch or countermark on left foreleg
casata137ec
IMG0001_8.jpg
oil lamp21 viewsroman oil lamp
11 cm
origin: North Africa
2-3 century AD
frederic
Papiria_1.JPG
Papiria 130 viewsPapiria 7 (122BC) moneyer Cn. Papirius Carbo cos. 113BC

Denarius
Ob: Helmeted head of Roma with curl on shoulder; behind X, border of dots
Rev: Jupiter in quadriga holding reigns and scepter in left hand and hurling fulmen in right (fulminans); below CARBO in exergue ROMA. Line border

BMCRR II 449

Sydenham 415

Crawford 279

Ex: Colesseum Coin Exchange 2006; toned

Northumberland refers to this incredibly informative letter:

Ad Fam IX 21 to TO PAPIRIUS PAETUS (AT NAPLES) 46BC

Well, but letting that pass, how did it come into your head, my dear Paetus, to say that there never was a Papirius who was not a plebeian? For, in fact, there were patrician Papirii, of the lesser houses, of whom the first was L. Papirius Mugillanus, censor with L. Sempronius Atratinus--having already been his colleague in the consulship--in the 312th year of the city. But in those days they were called Papisii. After him thirteen sat in the curule chair before L. Papirius Crassus, who was the first to drop the form Papisius. This man was named dictator, with L. Papirius Cursor as Master of the Horse, in the 415th year of the city, and four years afterwards was consul with Kaeso Duilius. Cursor came next to him, a man who held a very large number of offices; then comes L. Masso, who rose to the aedileship; then a number of Massones. The busts of these I would have you keep--all patricians. Then follow the Carbones and Turdi. These latter were plebeians, whom I opine that you may disregard. For, except the Gaius Carbo who was assassinated by Damasippus, there has not been one of the Carbones who was a good and useful citizen. We knew Gnaeus Carbo and his brother the wit: were there ever greater scoundrels? About the one who is a friend of mine, the son of Rubrius, I say nothing. There have been those three brothers Carbo-Gaius, Gnaeus, Marcus. Of these, Marcus, a great thief, was condemned for malversation in Sicily on the accusation of Publius Flaccus: Gaius, when accused by Lucius Crassus, is said to have poisoned himself with cantharides; he behaved in a factious manner as tribune, and was also thought to have assassinated Publius Africanus. As to the other, who was put to death by my friend Pompey at Lilybaeum, there was never, in my opinion, a greater scoundrel. Even his father, on being accused by M. Antonius, is thought to have escaped condemnation by a dose of shoemaker's vitriol. Wherefore my opinion is that you should revert to the patrician Papirii: you see what a bad lot the plebeians were. (trans. Evelyn Shuckburgh)
Petrus Elmsley
eumenia_BMCphrygia21.jpg
Phrygia, Eumeneia (Fulviana), Fulvia BMC Phrygia 2133 viewsFulvia, wife of Marcus Antonius, c. 41-40 BC
AE 20, 7.43g
struck under magistrate Zmertorix, son of Philonidas
obv. Head of Fulvia as winged Nike, draped, with chignon, r.
rev. Athena, in chiton and peplos, helmeted, advancing l., holding spear and round
shield
FOVLOVIANWN / ZMERTORIGOC / FILWNIDOV
RPC I 3139; BMC Phrygia 21
rare, good F

Fulvia was the first real woman depicted on a coin!

Fulvia was first married to P. Clodius, the Roman firebrand. After his violent death in 52 BC she married C. Scribonius Curio, who likewise met an untimely end in Africa. She married Mark Antony in 44 BC, and became an outspoken defender of his interests in Rome while he campaigned in the east (and enjoyed the attentions of Cleopatra). The city of Eumenia was re-named Fulviana in her honor by Antony's partisans. By 40 BC Fulvia's strident attacks on Octavian had provoked a reaction, and she had to flee first to southern Italy and then to Greece. She met Antony at Athens, where he upbraided her for antagonizing Octavian when he was trying to maintain a semblance of cordial relations. Fulvia died at Sicyon shortly thereafter. Sometime afterward these coins struck at "Fulviana" had their ethnic scratched off.
Jochen
SeptimiusPisidiaAntiochAE22.jpg
Pisidia, Antioch. Septimius Severus. 198-217 AD. 105 viewsPisidia, Antioch. Septimius Severus. 198-217 AD. AE 22mm (5.21 gm). Obverse: Laureate, head left. Reverse: Mên standing facing, head right, foot on bucranium, holding sceptre and Nike on globe; cock at feet left. SNG France 3, 1118. Cleaning scratches, very fine. Ex Tom Vossen.

De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Septimius Severus (193-211 A.D.)

Michael L. Meckler
Ohio State University

Introduction
Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman empire after the tumultuous reign of the emperor Commodus and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus' murder. However, by giving greater pay and benefits to soldiers and annexing the troublesome lands of northern Mesopotamia into the Roman empire, Septimius Severus brought increasing financial and military burdens to Rome's government. His prudent administration allowed these burdens to be met during his eighteen years on the throne, but his reign was not entirely sunny. The bloodiness with which Severus gained and maintained control of the empire tarnished his generally positive reputation.

Severus' Early Life and Acclamation
Severus was born 11 April 145 in the African city of Lepcis Magna, whose magnificent ruins are located in modern Libya, 130 miles east of Tripoli. Septimius Severus came from a distinguished local family with cousins who received suffect consulships in Rome under Antoninus Pius. The future emperor's father seems not to have held any major offices, but the grandfather may have been the wealthy equestrian Septimius Severus commemorated by the Flavian-era poet Statius.

The future emperor was helped in his early career by one of his consular cousins, who arranged entry into the senate and the favor of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Life as a senator meant a life of travel from one government posting to another. Moorish attacks on his intended post of Baetica (southern Spain) forced Severus to serve his quaestorship in Sardinia. He then traveled to Africa as a legate and returned to Rome to be a tribune of the plebs. Around the year 175 he married Paccia Marciana, who seems also to have been of African origin. The childless marriage lasted a decade or so until her death.

Severus' career continued to flourish as the empire passed from Marcus to Commodus. The young senator held a praetorship, then served in Spain, commanded a legion in Syria and held the governorships of Gallia Lugdunensis (central France), Sicily and Upper Pannonia (easternmost Austria and western Hungary). While in Gallia Lugdunensis in 187, the now-widowed future emperor married Julia Domna, a woman from a prominent family of the Syrian city of Emesa. Two sons quickly arrived, eleven months apart: Bassianus (known to history as Caracalla) in April of the year 188, and Geta in March 189.

News of Pertinax's assassination 28 March 193 in an uprising by the praetorian guard quickly reached Pannonia, and only twelve days later on 9 April 193, Severus was proclaimed emperor. Septimius Severus had the strong support of the armies along the Rhine and Danube, but the loyalty of the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, was in doubt. Severus' envoys from Pannonia offered Albinus the title of Caesar, which he accepted.

The Civil Wars with Albinus, Niger, and Didius Julianus
In the city of Rome, Didius Julianus gained the support of the praetorian troops and was promoted as the successor to Pertinax. Although Julianus' authority did not extend much beyond Italy, Severus understood that legitimacy for a Roman emperor meant having one's authority accepted in Rome. He and his army began a swift march to the city. They met practically no resistance on their advance from Pannonia into northern Italy, as Julianus' supporters defected. By the beginning of June when Severus reached Interamna, 50 miles north of Rome, even the praetorian guard stationed in the capital switched sides. Didius Julianus was declared a public enemy and killed. Septimius Severus entered Rome without a fight.

Civil war was not yet over. Another provincial governor also had his eyes on the throne. In Syria, Pescennius Niger had been proclaimed emperor on news of Pertinax's death, and the eastern provinces quickly went under his authority. Byzantium became Niger's base of operations as he prepared to fight the armies of the west loyal to Severus.

Niger was unable to maintain further advances into Europe. The fighting moved to the Asian shore of the Propontis, and in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south. Asia and Bithynia fell under Severus' control, and Egypt soon recognized Severus' authority. By late spring, Niger was defeated near Issus and the remainder of his support collapsed. Syria was pacified. Niger was killed fleeing Antioch. Byzantium, however, refused to surrender to Severan forces. Niger's head was sent to the city to persuade the besieged citizens to give up, but to no avail. The Byzantines held out for another year before surrender. As punishment for their stubbornness, the walls of their city were destroyed.

Severus' Eastern Campaigns
During the fighting, two of the peoples of upper Mesopotamia -- the Osrhoeni and the Adiabeni -- captured some Roman garrisons and made an unsuccessful attack on the Roman-allied city of Nisibis. After the defeat of Niger, these peoples offered to return Roman captives and what remained of the seized treasures if the remaining Roman garrisons were removed from the region. Severus refused the offer and prepared for war against the two peoples, as well as against an Arabian tribe that had aided Niger. In the spring of 195, Severus marched an army through the desert into upper Mesopotamia. The native peoples quickly surrendered, and Severus added to his name the victorious titles Arabicus and Adiabenicus. Much of the upper third of Mesopotamia was organized as a Roman province, though the king of Osrhoene was allowed to retain control of a diminished realm.

The tottering Parthian empire was less and less able to control those peoples living in the border regions with Rome. Rome's eastern frontier was entering a period of instability, and Severus responded with an interventionist policy of attack and annexation. Some senators feared that increased involvement in Mesopotamia would only embroil Rome in local squabbles at great expense. The emperor, however, would remain consistent in his active eastern policy.

Legitimization of the Severan Dynasty
Severus also took steps to cement his legitimacy as emperor by connecting himself to the Antonine dynasty. Severus now proclaimed himself the son of Marcus Aurelius, which allowed him to trace his authority, through adoption, back to the emperor Nerva. Julia Domna was awarded the title "Mother of the Camp" (mater castrorum), a title only previously given to the empress Faustina the Younger, Marcus' wife. Bassianus, the emperor's elder son, was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and given the title Caesar. It was this last step that marked a decisive break with Albinus.

Albinus had remained in Britain as governor during the struggles between Severus and Niger. Although Albinus had not attempted open revolt against the emperor, he seems to have been in communication with senators about future moves. By the end of 195, Albinus was declared a public enemy by Severus. The governor of Britain responded by proclaiming himself emperor and invading Gaul.

A weary Roman populace used the anonymity of the crowd at the chariot races to complain about renewed civil war, but it was Gaul that bore the brunt of the fighting. Albinus and his supporters were able to inflict losses on the occasion of the initial attacks, but disorder was so great that opportunistic soldiers could easily operate on their own within the lands under Albinus' nominal control.

The tide began to turn early in 197, and after a Severan victory at Tournus, Albinus found himself and his army trapped near Lyon. A battle broke out 19 February 197. In the initial fighting, Albinus' troops forced the Severans into retreat, during which Severus fell off his horse. When the Severan cavalry appeared, however, Albinus' army was routed. Lyon was sacked and Albinus, who was trapped in a house along the river Rhône, committed suicide. Severus ordered Albinus' head to be cut off and sent to Rome for display. Many of Albinus' supporters were killed, including a large number of Spanish and Gallic aristocrats. Albinus' wife and children were killed, as were many of the wives of his supporters. Tradition also told of the mutilation of bodies and denial of proper burial. The emperor revealed a penchant for cruelty that troubled even his fervent supporters. A purge of the senate soon followed. Included among the victims was Pertinax's father-in-law, Sulpicianus.

Severus and the Roman Military
Severus brought many changes to the Roman military. Soldiers' pay was increased by half, they were allowed to be married while in service, and greater opportunities were provided for promotion into officer ranks and the civil service. The entire praetorian guard, discredited by the murder of Pertinax and the auctioning of their support to Julianus, was dismissed. The emperor created a new, larger praetorian guard out of provincial soldiers from the legions. Increases were also made to the two other security forces based in Rome: the urban cohorts, who maintained order; and the night watch, who fought fires and dealt with overnight disturbances, break-ins and other petty crime. These military reforms proved expensive, but the measures may well have increased soldiers' performance and morale in an increasingly unsettled age.

One location that remained unsettled was the eastern frontier. In 197 Nisibis had again been under siege, and the emperor prepared for another eastern campaign. Three new legions were raised, though one was left behind in central Italy to maintain order. The Roman armies easily swept through upper Mesopotamia, traveling down the Euphrates to sack Seleucia, Babylon and Ctesiphon, which had been abandoned by the Parthian king Vologaeses V. On 28 January 198 -- the centenary of Trajan's accession -- Severus took the victorious title Parthicus Maximus and promoted both of his sons: Caracalla to the rank of Augustus and Geta to the rank of Caesar.

Before embarking on the eastern campaign, the emperor had named Gaius Fulvius Plautianus as a praetorian prefect. Plautianus came from the emperor's home town of Lepcis, and the prefect may even have been a relative of the emperor. The victories in Mesopotamia were followed by tours of eastern provinces, including Egypt. Plautianus accompanied Severus throughout the travels, and by the year 201 Plautianus was the emperor's closest confidant and advisor. Plautianus was also praetorian prefect without peer after having arranged the murder of his last colleague in the post.

Upon the return to Rome in 202, the influence of Plautianus was at its height. Comparisons were made with Sejanus, the powerful praetorian prefect under the emperor Tiberius. Plautianus, who earlier had been adlected into the senate, was now awarded consular rank, and his daughter Plautilla was married to Caracalla. The wealth Plautianus had acquired from his close connection with the emperor enabled him to provide a dowry said to have been worthy of fifty princesses. Celebrations and games also marked the decennalia, the beginning of the tenth year of Severus' reign. Later in the year the enlarged imperial family traveled to Lepcis, where native sons Severus and Plautianus could display their prestige and power.

The following year the imperial family returned to Rome, where an arch, still standing today, was dedicated to the emperor at the western end of the Forum. Preparations were also being made for the Secular Games, which were thought to have originated in earliest Rome and were to be held every 110 years. Augustus celebrated the Secular Games in 17 B.C., and Domitian in A.D. 88, six years too early. (Claudius used the excuse of Rome's 800th year to hold the games in A.D. 47.) In 204 Severus would preside over ten days of ceremonies and spectacles.

By the end of 204, Plautianus was finding his influence with the emperor on the wane. Caracalla was not happy to be the husband of Plautilla. Julia Domna resented Plautianus' criticisms and investigations against her. Severus was tiring of his praetorian prefect's ostentation, which at times seemed to surpass that of the emperor himself. The emperor's ailing brother, Geta, also denounced Plautianus, and after Geta's death the praetorian prefect found himself being bypassed by the emperor. In January 205 a soldier named Saturninus revealed to the emperor a plot by Plautianus to have Severus and Caracalla killed. Plautianus was summoned to the imperial palace and executed. His children were exiled, and Caracalla divorced Plautilla. Some observers suspected the story of a plot was merely a ruse to cover up long-term plans for Plautianus' removal.

Severus and Roman Law
Two new praetorian prefects were named to replace Plautianus, one of whom was the eminent jurist Papinian. The emperor's position as ultimate appeals judge had brought an ever-increasing legal workload to his office. During the second century, a career path for legal experts was established, and an emperor came to rely heavily upon his consilium, an advisory panel of experienced jurists, in rendering decisions. Severus brought these jurists to even greater prominence. A diligent administrator and conscientious judge, the emperor appreciated legal reasoning and nurtured its development. His reign ushered in the golden age of Roman jurisprudence, and his court employed the talents of the three greatest Roman lawyers: Papinian, Paul and Ulpian.

The order Severus was able to impose on the empire through both the force of arms and the force of law failed to extend to his own family. His now teenaged sons, Caracalla and Geta, displayed a reckless sibling rivalry that sometimes resulted in physical injury. The emperor believed the lack of responsibilities in Rome contributed to the ill-will between his sons and decided that the family would travel to Britain to oversee military operations there. Caracalla was involved in directing the army's campaigns, while Geta was given civilian authority and a promotion to joint emperor with his father and brother.

Severus was now into his 60s. Chronic gout limited his activities and sapped his strength. The emperor's health continued to deteriorate in Britain, and he became ever more intent on trying to improve the bitter relationship between his two sons. He is reported to have given his sons three pieces of advice: "Get along; pay off the soldiers; and disregard everyone else." The first piece of advice would not be heeded.

Severus died in York on 4 February 211 at the age of 65. His reign lasted nearly 18 years, a duration that would not be matched until Diocletian. Culturally and ideologically Septimius Severus connected his reign to the earlier Antonine era, but the reforms he enacted would eventually alter the very character of Roman government. By creating a larger and more expensive army and increasing the influence of lawyers in administration, Severus planted the seeds that would develop into the highly militaristic and bureaucratic government of the later empire.

Copyright (C) 1998, Michael L. Meckler. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
plautilla_369.jpg
Plautilla RIC IV, 36952 viewsPlautilla, killed 212, wife of Caracalla
AR - Denar, 3.6g, 18mm
Rome AD 204(?), struck under Septimius Severus
obv. PLAVTILLA - AVGVSTA
draped bust, bare head r.
rev. VENVS VICTRIX
Venus bare to waist, standing l., holding apple and palmbranch, and
resting left elbow on shield; at her feet l., Cupido, holding helmet
RIC IV/1, 369; C.25; BMCR. 429
Scarce; about VF

Plautilla came from Africa, was very proud and immeasurable rich. When her father was killed she was exiled to the Lipari islands and killed AD 212 by Caracalla. Her face on this coin is horrible!
BTW Due to Patricia Lawrence it is the only known issue where Cupido holds a helmet!
Jochen
Belt_11.jpg
Propeller Sword Belt Stiffeners118 viewsA variety of propeller-shaped sword belt stiffeners, circa 4th to early 5th century AD. These items were spaced along the sword belt to keep the side belt from bending under the weight of the sword. Parallels can be found in Soupault, variant 1a, from Hirsova and Dierna Romania; and Roman Military Equipment, 2nd edition, figure 137, #3, 5 and 7 from Neuss Germany and Zenkovarkony Hungary. They were found across the Roman empire especially in Western Europe, the Balkans and North Africa. The example at the upper right is actually a lead matrix used to prepare moulds and was found in Lower Austria. The design exactly matches stiffeners from Richborough UK.otlichnik
Birmingham_-_Manille.jpg
PROTO-COINAGE, Manilla, 19th Century, Manufactured in Birmingham12 viewsManillas like this one were manufactured in Birmingham in the 19th century for use in Africa where they were traded for palm oil and ivory.
Manillas (an ancient form of money or barter coinage) were originally metal bracelets or armlets. Later forms were made of copper, bronze, or brass open rings. The term is derived from the Spanish for bracelet or manella.
During the 1470s Portuguese explorers became aware that, all along the west coast of Africa, copper bracelets and leg-bands were a means of exchange. These early Portuguese traders bought tusks of ivory, peppers, and slaves by exchanging currency ‘bracelets’ acceptable to the Africans. Eventually manillas became known as slave trade money after they were used by Europeans to acquire slaves. the slave trade in question being that to England and the Americas prior to 1807.
The earliest use of manillas was in West Africa. As a means of exchange they originated in Calabar which was the chief city of the ancient southeast Nigerian coastal kingdom of that name. It is recorded that in 1505 a slave could be bought here for 8-10 manillas, and an elephant’s tooth for one copper manila.
Numis-Student
punic4.jpg
Punic - Carthage - AE 1749 viewsCarthage, Zeugitania, North Africa, c. 310 - 290 B.C. Bronze AE 17
Obverse: head of Tanit left wearing wreath of grain and pendant necklace;
Reverse: horse standing right, date palm tree behind.
SNG 109

Tanit
Spain,_Carthago_Nova,_Scipio_Africanus,_209-206_BC,_Æ_25.jpg
Punic Spain, Carthago Nova, Second Punic War, struck ca. 209 BC, Æ25 20 viewsBare male head left (Scipio Africanus?).
Horse standing right, palm tree behind.

Burgos 425; Villaronga CHN Class XI, 282; SNG BM Spain 127-128; Robinson 7(p); Muller III, 13, 4; Sear GCV 6575.

(25 mm, 11.6 g, 12h).
Freeman & Sear.

The coins of Robinson’s Series 7 are of two styles, one Punic in character, the other more Roman in character. Robinson suggested that the latter represents the coinage of Carthago Nova after its capture by Scipio in 209 BC, and that the head on the obverse is a portrait of Scipio himself, while the heads of Punic type basically reflect the features of Hannibal. Villaronga simply calls both male heads.
1 commentsn.igma
Metellus Pius.JPG
Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio128 viewsObverse: Q METEL PIVS - Laureate head of Jupiter facing right
Reverse: SCIPIO IMP - Elephant walking right
Mint : N. African Mint
Date : BC 47-46
Reference : Sear-1379, Cr-459/1, CRI-45, RSC-Caecilia 47
Grade : VF
Weight : 4.02g
Denom: Denarius
Metal : Silver
Acquired: 05/08/04
1 commentsBolayi
caecilia.jpg
Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio39 viewsQ. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio, Imperator, AR Denarius.
Military mint in Africa, legate Eppius, 47-46 BC.
Obverse: Q METELL SCIPIO IMP, laureate head of Africa right in elephant skin headdress, grain ear before, plow below.
Reverse: EPPIVS LEG F C, Hercules standing facing, naked, hand on hip, leaning on club set on a rock.
Caecilia 50, Syd 1051, Cr461/1
1 commentsb70
00a1d~0.jpg
Q. CAECILIUS METELLUS PIUS SCIPIO34 viewsAR denarius. 47-46 BC. Mobile military mint North Africa . 3.45 gm, 12h. Q.METEL. Laureate head of Jupiter right , PIVS below. / Elephant walking right,trunk raised. SCIPIO above,IMP in exergue. Toned. Craw 459/1. RSC Caecilia 47.
Triton VIII, Lot.944 Freeman & Sear FPL 10 Lot 76. Ex Claude collection.
CNG photograph.
benito
355.jpg
Q. CAECILIUS METELLUS PIUS SCIPIO 86 viewsAR denarius. 47-46 BC. Mobile military mint North Africa . 3.45 gm, 12h. Q.METEL. Laureate head of Jupiter right , PIVS below. / Elephant walking right,trunk raised. SCIPIO above,IMP in exergue. Toned. Craw 459/1. RSC Caecilia 47.
Triton VIII, Lot.944 Freeman & Sear FPL 10 Lot 76. Ex Claude collection.
benito
Scipio.jpg
Q. CAECILIUS METELLUS PIUS SCIPIO22 viewsObv: SCIPIOIMP - Q.METELL, Small head of Africa right, wearing elephant skin headdress; grain ear to right; plow below.
Rev: LEG.FC - EPPIVS, Hercules standing facing, right hand on hip, leaning on club draped with lion skin and set on rock.
Size: 18mm, 3.51g
Mint: Thapsus? - Military mint traveling with Scipio in Africa 46 BC
ID: Crawford 461/1.
ickster
Q__Caecilius_Metellus_Pius_Scipio.jpg
Q. Caecilius Q.f. Q.n. Metellus Pius Scipio Nasica and M. Eppius - AR Denarius6 viewsUtica
47-46 BC
head of Africa right, laureate and clad in elephant scalp, stalk of grain right, plough below
Q·METELL__SCIPIO·IMP
naked Hercules facing, leaning on club set on rock draped with lion's skin
EPPIVS__LEG·F·C
Crawford 461/1, SRCV I 1380/1 (large Africa head), BMCRR Africa 10 (same), RSC I Caecilia 50, Sear CRI 44, Sydenham 1051
3,9g
ex Busso Peus

Scipio held consularship in 52 BC. After defeat in Pharsalus he flrd to Africa where he allied with king Juba I. This issue was struck before the battle of Thapsus where he commited suicide.
M Eppius was questor in 52 BC and administrator of field treasury, legatus fisci castrensis (LEG.F.C).
Johny SYSEL
Vesp_Countermark.jpg
Q. Metellus Pius Scipio w/ Vespasian Countermark38 viewsQ. Metellus Pius Scipio. Silver Denarius 47-46 BC. Military mint traveling with Scipio in Africa.
O: Q METEL above, PIVS below, laureate head of Jupiter right, c/m: IMP VES (ligate) in incuse rectangle.
R: SCIPIO above, IMP in exergue, elephant advancing right.
- Crawford 459/1; HCRI 45; Sydenham 1050; Caecilia 47.

A Pompeian loyalist, Q. Metellus Pius Scipio introduced the legislation that recalled Caesar from his Gallic command, thus precipitating the Civil Wars. This denarius was struck while Scipio was in supreme command of the Pompeian forces in North Africa, the elephant an obvious reference to the province, and was probably struck during the later stages of the campaign in a mobile mint traveling alongside the forces (stylistically it is quite distinct from the coins of Scipio struck at the provincial capital of Utica). In 46 BC, Caesar finally managed to corner the Pompeians at Thapsus, where he inflicted a crushing defeat. After the battle Scipio committed suicide knowing that, despite Caesar's usual leniency towards his enemies, he would not allow so persistent an foe as Scipio to survive.

The countermark applied during Vespasian's rule is interesting proof that this older coinage continued in circulation.
3 commentsNemonater
360.jpg
Q.CAECILIUS METELLUS30 viewsAR denarius. 46 BC. 3.87 grs. Head of Africa right,wearing elephant's skin ,corn stalk and Q METELL before, SCIPIO IMP behind, plough below. /
Hercules standing facing, leaning on club. EPPIVS on right, LEG F.C. on left. Craw.461/1. RSC Eppia 1, Caecilia 50.
Ex Barry P. Murphy. CNG 728278.
benito
00qcmet.jpg
Q.CAECILIUS METELLUS 85 viewsAR denarius. North Africa mint. 46 BC. 3.87 grs. Head of Africa right,wearing elephant's skin ,corn stalk and Q METELL before, SCIPIO IMP behind, plough below. / Hercules standing facing, leaning on club. EPPIVS on right, LEG F.C. on left. Craw.461/1. RSC Eppia 1, Caecilia 50.
Ex Barry P. Murphy.

benito
1nummo_vandalo_unite.jpg
Regno vandalo di Sardegna, nummo, Ilderico (523-530 d.C.)33 viewsREGNO VANDALO IN SARDEGNA - ILDERICO (523-530 d.C.): NUMMO
AE, zecca sarda, 0,43gr., 8mm.
D/ Busto corazzato, paludato e diademato di Ilderico a destra; intorno, pseudo-leggenda DN HILDRIX REX, costituita da trattini. Il tutto entro cerchio lineare.
R/ Vittoria stante verso destra.
Rif.: Lulliri 73
Nota: questa emissione fa parte delle imitazioni sardo vandaliche ai tipi nord africani a nome di Ilderico. Altre interpretazioni collocano la produzione in Nord Africa.
Provenienza: collezione Berardengo, Roma Italia (30 settembre 2007, numero catalogo 73); ex collezione Marco Piga (Cagliari, fino al 2007).
Discusso sul sito lamoneta.it nel 2007 e sul sito FAC italiano (http://www.forumancientcoins.com) nel dicembre 2012.
paolo
dio6.jpg
Roman Diocletian Follis18 viewsBillon Follis

Obv.: IMP DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG; Laur. hd. r.
Rev.: FELIX ADVENT AVGG NN ; Africa stg. facing, hd. l., holding standard and elephant's tusk, lion holding bull's hd. at feet to l. / I in field

SEAR 12754
2 commentsTanit
Didius_Julianus,_AE_sestertius.jpg
Roman Empire / Emperor Didius Julianus, Bronze sestertius106 viewsDidius Julianus, AE sestertius

Obverse : IMP CAES M DID SE VERIVLIAN AVG
Laureate head right.

Reverse : P M TR P COS Fortuna standing holding rudder set on globe and cornucopiae , S C at sides

Fine , weight 21.290g, maximum diameter 28.6mm, die axis 180o, 28 Mar - 2 Jun 193 A.D.

Rare. RIC IV 15 , Cohen 12 (30 Fr.), SRCV II 6076

From the Sam Mansourati collection.

“Auction of the Empire”, Didius Julianus became an emperor placing the biggest bid.

Caesar Marcus Didius Severus Julianus Augustus, the son of Quintus Petronius Didius Severus and Aemilia Clara, was born in Milan on either 30 January 133 or 2 February 137 with the correct date being unknown. He was raised and educated in the household of Domitia Lucilla, mother of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, and rose through Roman public distinction through the support of the Emperor and his mother. In 170 CE, Julianus commanded the XXII Primigenia Legion in Mogontiacum (Mainz), Germany. Then he replaced Pertinax as proconsul of Africa., and Pertinax, now emperor, was murdered by the Praetorian Guard. This began the event known as, “Auction of the Empire”, which Didius Julianus is infamous for winning. He outbidded the father-in-law of Pertinax, Titus Flavius Claudius Sulpicianus, who was the prefect of Rome, by offering to pay the Praetorian Guard 25000 sesterces for the throne.The Senate declared Julianus emperor in fear of the Roman army, but his rule was to be short-lived; Three other generals and governors across the empire declared themselves the rightful heir, and Septimius Severus marched on Rome. The people of Rome despised and rejected Julianus from the start, because they believed he was involved with the corruption. Without the support of Rome, the Imperial Guard would not fight for Julianus and Severus marched into the palace, declared himself emperor, and killed Didius Julianus after just sixty-six days of rule.
2 commentsSam
Clodius_Albinus.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE / Emperor Clodius Albinus (195 - 197 A.D.), as Augustus.38 viewsSilver Denarius.
Obverse : "IMP CAES D CLO ALBIN AVG" Laureate head right.
Reverse : "SPE AVG COS II" Spes advancing left, holding up flower and raising skirt.
Lugdunum mint.
2.04 Gr . Max 17 mm. aF . RIC 41 ( The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume IV, Part 1, # 41 )

Ex J. S. Vogelaar Collection
EX CNG eAuction 223, Part of Lot 583

Decimus Clodius Septimius Albinus was born between 140 and 150 A.D. He came from a wealthy, if not noble, family from Hadrentum in Africa. He was raised to the Senate by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, and was Governor of Bithynia during the revolt of Avidius Cassius. He remained loyal to Aurelius, and also served with distinction under Commodus. Albinus was the Governor of Britain at the time of Commodus’ death in 192 A.D. As one of the leading men of the empire, it was rumored that Albinus was at the least aware of the conspiracy. Pertinax, and then Didius Julianus would succeed Commodus on the throne. After the murder of Julianus, Albinus, along with Pescennius Niger , and Septimius Severus were the three leading men in the Empire. Both Niger and Severus were hailed as Augutus by their legions. Albinus reached an agreement with Severus, in which Albinus supported Severus, and kept the Western Empire under control, while Severus took his legions east to deal with Niger. In return, Severus named Albinus Caesar, and made him his heir. After dealing with Niger, Severus proclaimed his eldest son, Caracalla, as Caesar, thus breaking with Albinus. Left with no choice, Albinus was declared Augustus in 195 A.D, and led his legions from Britain to the continent, where he made his headquarters at Lugdunum (modern Lyons). Albinus was unable to secure the support of the German legions, and was repulsed in his attempts to invade Italy. Finally, in February of 197, Albinus was defeated and killed in a battle near Lugdunum. Severus was left as the sole Emperor of Rome.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
Sam
AntoSed8~0.JPG
Roman Empire, ANTONINUS PIUS. Banti plate coin85 viewsÆ Sestertius (22.43g, Ø32mm, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 139.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P, laureate head of Antoninus Pius facing right.
Rev.: AFRICA (around) COS II (in ex.) S C (in field), Africa, draped, wearing elephant skin headdress, standing left, holding a diadem of pearls and cornucopiae.

RIC 574 (R); BMC 1177; Cohen 24; Strack 773; Banti (I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali : Aelivs - Antoninvs Pivs) 10 (1 specimen, this one illustrated on p.37)

ex CNG printed auction 93; ex Robert O. Ebert Collection; ex Walter Niggeler Collection (Part 3, Leu: Münzen und Medaillen AG, 2 November 1967, lot 1290).
(photo: CNG)
Charles S
a25b.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Caracalla, AR Antoninianus99 viewsCaracalla AD 196-217 Silver Antoninianvs 4.61g
Obv: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM - Laureate head right.
Rev: P M TR P XVIII COS IIII P P – Large African lion radiate with thunderbolt in jaw and walking left.
Rome mint: AD 216-217 = RIC IVi, 283c (r) Rare, page 254 - Cohen 367
2 commentsNico
Constantius-I_AE-Follis_CONSTANTIVS_NOB_CAES_FELIX_ADVENT_AVGG_NN__H_left,_PKT_RIC_VI_24a_Carthage__298_A_D__Q-001_0h_25-28,5mm_10,38ga-s.jpg
Roman Empire, Constantius I. Chlorus (293-305 A.D. Caesar, 305-306 A.D. Augustus), Carthage, RIC VI 24a, AE-1 Follis, FELIX ADVENT AVGG NN, Africa standing right, #1377 views121 Constantius I. Chlorus (293-305 A.D. Caesar, 305-306 A.D. Augustus), Carthage, RIC VI 24a, AE-1 Follis, FELIX ADVENT AVGG NN, Africa standing right, #1
avers:- CONSTANTIVS-NOB-CAES, Laureate head right.
revers:- FELIX-AD-VENT-AVG-G-N-N, Africa standing right, head left, wearing elephant head headress, standard in right and tusk in left, lion and bull at feet left, H left, PKT in ex.
exerg: H|-//PKT, diameter: 25-28,5mm, weight: 10,38g, axes: 0h,
mint: Carthage, date: 298 A.D., ref: RIC VI 24a,
Q-001
6 commentsquadrans
2-Gordian-I-RIC-1~0.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Gordian I, RIC 1.65 viewsDenarius, March - April 238, Rome mint.
Obverse: IMP M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG / Laureate bust of Gordian I.
Reverse: P M TR P COS P P / Gordian I standing, togate, holding branch, and wearing parzonium.
2.88 gm., 20 mm.
RIC #1; Sear #8446.

The third century saw numerous usurpers in various parts of the Empire. However, the local revolt in Africa which brought Gordian I and his son to power was the first and only time the cause of a usurper was taken up by the Senate before a current emperor was dead. Thus the Gordiani became legitimate Roman emperors, and their coinage, all minted at the imperial mint in Rome, became legitimate coinage of the Empire.

Provenance:
ex Gillardi Collection.
Tinchant sale (1962).
2 commentsCallimachus
bpAd1D5Hadrian.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Hadrian, AE As32 viewsObv: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Laureate and draped bust, right.
Rev: AFRICA S C
Africa reclining left, holding scorpion and cornucopia, basket at feet.
As, 8.4 gm, 24.9 mm, RIC 841
Massanutten
CollageMaker_20180531_122510323~0.jpg
Roman Empire, Maximianus, First reign, 286-305 AD53 viewsAE Follis, Carthage mint, 2nd officina. Struck 297-298 AD
Obverse: IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, Laureate head right.
Reverse: FELIX AD-V-ENT AVGG NN, Africa standing facing, head left, wearing elephant skin headdress and holding signum and tusk; at feet to left, lion with captured bull; H in left field; PKS in exergue.
References: RIC VI 23b, RCV 3630, Van Meter 035
Justin L
SeptimiusSeverus-moeda1.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Septimius Severus 146-211AD.15 viewsAR Denarius of Septimius Severus 146-211AD.

Minted in 207AD during his visit to Africa.

Weight: 4.3gr
Ø: 20mm

Obv: SEVERVS PIVS AVG - Septimius Severus right.

Rev: PM TR P XV COS III PP - Figure of Africa wearing an elefant skin head-dress, standing right, a lion at her feet.

EF/EF

Sear ?? - RIC 207a - Cohen 493 - VM 118/1.
Jorge C
image00275.jpg
ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Julius Caesar, AR Denarius48 viewsRome. The Imperators.
Julius Caesar, 47-6 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.87g; 18mm).
Military Mint in North Africa.

Obverse: Diademed head of Venus facing right, wearing necklace.

Reverse: Aeneas walking left, carrying his aged father, Anchises on his shoulder and the palladium in his right hand; CAESAR in right field.

References: Crawford 458/1; HCRI 55; BMCRR (East) 31-5; Julia 10.

Provenance: Ex Stöcklin Collection [Nomos 14 (17 May 2017) Lot 275]; ex E. J. Haeberlin Collection [Cahn-Hess (17 Jul 1933), Lot 2663].

Struck in Africa near the end of Caesar’s civil war struggle with Pompey, the coin advertises the mythical roots of the Julia gens descent from Venus and Anchises. The obverse depicts the goddess, Venus, while the reverse shows Aeneas carrying his aged father, Anchises, from Troy. Sear thought that among Caesar’s coinage, this issue was second in size only to the "elephant" coinage, and Crawford estimated 390 obverse dies and 433 reverse dies.
4 commentsCarausius
LepidusCombined.jpg
ROMAN IMPERATORIAL, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, AR Denarius - Crawford 495/2d55 viewsRome. The Imperators.
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Octavian, 42 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.70g; 20mm).
Military Mint in Italy.

Obverse: LEPIDVS· PONT· MAX· III· V· R· P· C; bare head of Lepidus facing right.

Reverse: C· CAESAR· IMP· III· VIR· R ·P· C; bare head of Octavian facing right.

References: Crawford 495/2d; HCRI 140a; Sydenham 1323var (rev legend); Aemilia 35var (rev legend); BMCRR (Africa) 29-31var (rev legend); Banti & Simonetti 7 (this coin illustrated).

Provenance: Ex Leu Numismatik Auction 8 (30 Jun 2019) Lot 949; Bank Leu 7 (9 May 1973) Lot 317; Joseph Martini Collection [Baranowsky (25 Feb 1931) Lot 1273] and [Rodolfo Ratto Auction (24 Feb 1930) Lot 1334]; Rodolfo Ratto Fixed Price List (1927) Lot 629; Dr. Bonazzi Collection a/k/a Riche Collection [Rodolfo Ratto Auction (23 Jan 1924) Lot 1352].

This reverse die differs from most of this denarius issue in that the inscription begins with the initial “C” for Octavian's first name (Caius), while the remainder of the issue begins, simply, "CAESAR." The coins appear to celebrate the formation of the Second Triumvirate, although it is unclear why Lepidus did not also strike coins with Antony’s portrait.

This particular example appeared in a remarkable number of important Roman Republican coin sales between 1924-1931, including sales of the collections of Dr. Bonazzi and Joseph Martini.
4 commentsCarausius
0021-040.jpg
ROMAN IMPERATORS, JULIUS CAESAR denarius154 viewsDenarius minted in North Africa c.47-46 BC
No legend, Diademed head of Venus right
CAESAR, Aeneas left, bearing Anchises on his shoulder
3.91 gr
Ref : HCRI # 55, RCV #1402, Cohen #12
1 commentsPotator II
ConstantiusI_RIC-24a.jpg
Roman Imperial: Constantius I, as Caesar (293-305 CE) Æ Follis, Carthage (RIC 24a)24 viewsObv: CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES; Head laureate facing right
Rev: FELIX A - DV - ENT AVGG NN; Africa in elephant-skin headdress standing left holding vexillum and tusk, lion attacking bull at feet, PKT in exergue, H in left field

The H in field indicate that Constantius was a Herculian rather than Jovian Caesar.
1 commentsQuant.Geek
Hannibal.jpg
Roman Medal 9 viewsScipio the African, (236-183 BC), with Hannibal (247-183) by Valerio Belli circa 1520

Bronze 41 mm.

Obverse: SCIPIO ΛFRICΛNVS, bareheaded bust of Scipio Africanus left
Reverse: ΛNIBΛL PVNICVS, bareheaded bust of Hannibal left.

References: Johnson & Martini 795
Tanit
88002183.jpg
Roman North African Bowl32 viewsBowl. Roman (North Africa), 3-4th centuries AD. Terra sigillata with two smaller and two larger fish on rim. Height: 4.6cm. Thick earthen encrustation. Small area of rim repaired. TLP
rjb_2010_03_25.jpg
Roman North African redware22 viewsFragment depicting a date palm tree1 commentsmauseus
rjb_2010_03_24.jpg
Roman North African redware27 viewsFragment depicting a sheep walking rightmauseus
rjb_2013_12_08.jpg
Roman North African redware22 viewsRim from a large, square North African redware dish, 4th-5th century AD.1 commentsmauseus
15209134281481306291510.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Scipio Asiagenus, 106 BCE - Crawford 311/1a33 viewsRome, The Republic.
L. Scipio Asiagenus, 106 BCE.
AR Serrate Denarius (3.95g; 19mm).
Rome Mint.

Obv: Laureate head of Jupiter facing left; R● (control mark) behind.

Rev: Jupiter in quadriga galloping right, hurling thunderbolt and holding scepter; L●SCIP●ASIAG in exergue.

References: Crawford 311/1a; Sydenham 576; BMCRR 1372; Cornelia 24

Provenance: Ex Gemini XII (11 Jan 2015), Lot 287; HJB 163 (25 March 2009), lot 224; ex A.K. Collection [Triton XII (6 Jan 2009), lot 462 (part)]; Münzhandlung E. Button Auction 101 (28-29 October 1959), Lot 149.

Each control mark in this series is a single die. The reverse recalls the moneyer's ancestor, L. Cornelius Scipio (son of Africanus), who had a victory against the Syrians in 190 BCE and took the name Asiagenus. The moneyer was likely the L. Cornelius Asiaticus that became consul in 83 BCE. He served in the Social War and was allied with Marius at the time of his consulship. He was imprisoned by Sulla and released. However he was later proscribed by Sulla and fled Rome.
3 commentsCarausius
lamp.jpg
Roman, North African, Pyriform Terracotta Lamp, 4th Century A.D.68 viewsRoman, North African lamp, Choice, orange terracotta lamp, pyriform shape, palm design around the shoulder, 4 1/4" long, heavy carbon deposits on nozzle.
EX: Alex G. Malloy Collection; FORVM
(Notes and Picture from the FORVM website)
1 commentsMark Z
Pupienus portrait - RIC 10(a).jpg
Roman, Pupienus, April - June 238 A.D.919 viewsMARCVS CLODIVS PUPIENVS MAXIMVS was born about 164. He was a Senator in 238 when the revolt of the Gordians broke out against Maximinus I, and he was one of the Senate's "Committee of Twenty" to oversee the defense of Italy in support of the Gordians. When the Gordians were quickly killed in Africa, the Senate made Pupienus and a Senator named Balbinus co-Augusti. Pupienus was to lead the army and Balbinus was to administrate. Maximinus was soon killed by his own men at Aquileia but discontent in Rome led to the murder of Pupienus by the Praetorian Guard on July 29, 238. This portrait is from a Antonianus (ex-Forum) in my collection (see jimwho523's gallery for actual coin)13 commentsjimwho523
Sear_0281.jpg
Sear 028121 viewsJustinian I (527 – 565 CE) Nummus, weight 0.65g, diameter 9mm. Wroth ( i.e. the old British Museum Vandals, Ostrogoths and Lombards catalogue) attributed this type to Hilderic, but it is most likely a Byzantine imperial issue: from the mint at Carthage (or possibly another North African mint) and struck soon after the end of the Vandalic War in 534. Abu Galyon
Sear_0286.jpg
Sear 028615 viewsJustinian I (527 – 565 CE) Decanummium, weight 5.24g, diameter 20mm. A very convincing case can be made – based on finds, style, and overstrikes on known coins from Carthage – that this type is a North African issue, either struck in Carthage (so Hahn) or at a hypothetical mint at ‘Constantine in Numidia’ (so Bellinger, explaining the CON mintmark). Abu Galyon
ric10smaller.jpg
Second_RIC 1069 viewsThis coin was reportedly found in North Africa together with denarii of Clodius Macer and Galba. Although gorgeous in my view, it too had to find another keeper at one stage. Luckily it found someone who really cares. The reverse die is a bit worn and there is a flan crack, but the obverse is something else...1 commentsjmuona
E205AEFE-D39A-49BF-BB64-C9B1E9FFC635.jpeg
Septimius Severus 12 viewsSeptimius Severus. AD 193-211. Æ Sestertius (31mm, 26.45 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck AD 194. Laureate bust right, slight drapery / Africa standing right, wearing elephant skin headdress and holding grain ears; at feet to right, lion standing right. RIC IV 668; Banti 8. Near VF, green-brown patina, a few scratches.ecoli
S_Severus_Carthage-Lion.jpg
Septimius Severus * Dea Caelestis Riding Lion * African 'Tour,' 206AD * AR Denarius121 views
SEVERVS, Silver Denarius

When Septimius with his Imperial family took their tour of Rome's African possessions, most notably Carthage and Lepcis, in addition to many works of beautification, he also built a new aqueduct in Carthage and improved, with perhaps another, the water supply in Lepcis. This coin commemorates Septimius the indulgent benefactor, showing Dea Caelestis riding a lion which leaps over water cascading from the aqueduct.


Obv: SEVERVS PIVS AVG - Laureate head right
Rev: INDVLGENTIA AVGG - Dea Caelestis riding right on lion, leaping over water gushing from rock to the left, and holding a thunderbolt and scepter.

Exergue: IN CARTH

Mint: Rome
Struck: 204 AD.

Size: 19 mm.
Weight: 3.5 grams
Die axis: 0 degs.

Condition: Beautiful, bright clear luster

Refs:*
RIC IVi, p. 125, 266D
Cohen 222
D. Sear II, p. 459, 6285

3 commentsTiathena
septsest.jpg
Septimius Severus AE Sestertius 194 AD22 viewsObverse: Laureate Head Right; L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP III
Reverse: Africa standing right holding out drapery containing fruits, Lion standing at right: AFRICA S-C ,RIC 668, Cohen 26

Diam 26 mm, Wt 18 gm
daverino
Septimius_Severus_Africa.JPG
Septimius Severus Africa16 viewsSEPTIMIUS SEVERUS, Silver denarius, Rome, struck 206 - 207 AD, 3.2g, 17.9mm, Cohen 493A, BMC 530, RIC IV-I PG. 118, 207A
OBV: SEVERVS PIVS AVG, Laureate head right
REV: P M TR P XV COS III P P, Africa standing right, holding scepter with snake entwined, lion at feet on right.

RARE
Romanorvm
Septimius_Severus_4.jpg
SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS Denarius, RIC 207, Africa 14 viewsOBV: SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right
REV: P M TR P XV COS III P P, Africa standing right, holding out folds of drapery containing fruits, lion at feet walking right
2.7g, 18mm

Minted at Rome, 207 AD
Legatus
Septimius_Severus_RIC_207a_1.jpg
Septimius Severus RIC 207a45 viewsDenarius (3.98 - 18mm)
obv. SEVERVS PIVS AVG
laureate head right
rev. P M TR P XV COS III P P
Africa standing half right, wearing elephant scalp headdress, with right holding out drapery with fruits in the fold, lion at her feet right
Rome mint AD 207
RIC 207
1 commentsHG
Septimius_Severus_RIC_211.JPG
Septimius Severus, 193 - 211 AD22 viewsObv: SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head of Septimius Severus facing right.

Rev: PM TRP XV COS III PP, Victory standing right, resting right foot on a helmet, inscribing a shield attached to a palm-tree.

Note: Commemorates victories in North Africa in 207 AD.

Silver Denarius, Rome mint, 207 AD

3 grams, 18.5 mm, 180°

RIC IVi 211, RSC 489, S6340, VM 117/3
SPQR Coins
Septimius_Severus_RIC_253.JPG
Septimius Severus, 193 - 211 AD19 viewsObv: SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate bust of Septimius Severus facing right.

Rev: AFRICA, Africa standing right, wearing an elephant-skin headdress, emptying crops from the fold of her dress, a lion at her feet.

Note: This coin was issued to commemorate a visit by Septimius Severus to his native Africa in 207 AD.

Silver Denarius, Rome mint, 207 AD

3.4 grams, 18.5 mm, 180°

RIC IVi 253, RSC 25, S6260, VM 8/1

Ex: FORVM
SPQR Coins
Septimius_Severus_RIC_207~0.JPG
Septimius Severus, 193 - 211 AD19 viewsObv: SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head of Septimius Severus facing right.

Rev: PM TRP XV COS III PP, Africa, wearing an elephant-skin headdress, standing right, holding out drapery of gown with fruits in its fold, snake in left hand (?); at her feet is a lion facing right.

Note: Commemorates the emperor's visit to his native Africa in 207 AD.

Silver Denarius, Rome mint, 207 AD

3.1 grams, 19 mm, 0°

RIC IVi 207, RSC 493, S6341, VM 118/1
SPQR Coins
15975q00.jpg
Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.22 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 119A, aVF, Rome mint, 2.185g, 16.7mm, 0o, 197 - 198 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP X, laureate head right; reverse SALVTI AVGG, Salus seated left, with patera in right hand feeding snake coiled around altar; scarce;

Septimius Severus, a native of Leptis Magna, Africa was proclaimed emperor by his troops after the murder of Pertinax. He is at the same time credited with strengthening and reviving an empire facing imminent decline and, through the same policies that saved it, causing its eventual fall. Severus eliminated the dangerous praetorians, unified the empire after turmoil and civil war, strengthened the army, defeated Rome`s most powerful enemy, and founded a successful dynasty. His pay increases for the army, however, established a severe burden on Rome. Future emperors were expected to increase pay as well. These raises resulted in ever-increasing taxes that damaged the economy. Some historians believe high taxes, initiated by Severus pol
cwonsidler
SeptimiusBrit.jpg
Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.14 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 241, RSC 542, gVF, Rome mint, AD 210; Obverse: SEVERVS PIVS AVG BRIT, Laureate head right; Reverse: P M TR P XVIII COS III P P, Neptune standing left, holding trident dolphin, foot on globe. Ex Maridvnvm.


Septimius Severus

His health fading and weak from gout, Severus would set out one last time on military campaign. This time it was Britain which demanded the emperor's attention. The Antonine Wall had never really acted as a perfectly successful barrier to the troublesome barbarians to the north of it. By this time it had in fact been virtually abandoned, leaving the British provinces vulnerable to attack from the north. In AD 208 Severus left for Britain with his two quarrelsome sons. Large military campaigns now drove deep into Scotland but didn't really manage to create any lasting solution to the problem.

Lucius Septimius Severus died at York, England, 4 February, 211.

Throughout his reign Severus was one of the outstanding imperial builders. He restored a very large number of ancient buildings - and inscribed on them his own name, as though he had erected them. His home town Lepcis Magna benefited in particular. But most of all the famous Triumphal Arch of Severus at the Forum of Rome bears witness to his reign.
(http://www.roman-empire.net/index.html)


Septimius Severus, a native of Leptis Magna, Africa was proclaimed emperor by his troops after the murder of Pertinax. He is at the same time credited with strengthening and reviving an empire facing imminent decline and, through the same policies that saved it, causing its eventual fall. Severus eliminated the dangerous praetorians, unified the empire after turmoil and civil war, strengthened the army, defeated Rome's most powerful enemy, and founded a successful dynasty. His pay increases for the army, however, established a severe burden on Rome. Future emperors were expected to increase pay as well. These raises resulted in ever-increasing taxes that damaged the economy. Some historians believe high taxes, initiated by Severus policies, played a significant role in Rome's long-term decline. . . (Joseph Sermarini).


Severus had clear political vision, still he cared nothing for the interests of Rome and Italy. He nourished within himself the Punic hatred of the Roman spirit and instinct and furthered the provincials in every way. He was revengeful and cruel towards his opponents, and was influenced by a blindly superstitious belief in his destiny as written in the stars. With iron will he labored to reorganize the Roman Empire on the model of an Oriental despotism. . .

Severus rested his power mainly upon the legions of barbarian troops; he immortalized them upon the coinage, granted them, besides large gifts of money and the right of marriage, a great number of privileges in the military and civil service, so that gradually the races living on the borders were able to force Rome to do their will. . .

During the reign of Severus the fifth persecution of the Christians broke out. He forbade conversion to Judaism and to Christianity. The persecution raged especially in Syria and Africa.
Written by Karl Hoeber. Transcribed by Joseph E. O'Connor.
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XIII. Published 1912. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
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Septimius Severus, Denarius, AFRICA5 viewsAR Denarius
Septimius Severus
Augustus: 193 - 211AD
Issued: 202 - 210AD
19.6mm 1.90gr 6h
O: SEVERVS PIVS AVG; Laureate head, right.
R: AFRICA; Africa, reclining left, wearing elephant skin headdress, holding scorpion and cornucopiae, basket of corn ears at feet.
Rome Mint
RIC IV-1 Rome 254; Cohen 31.
Aorta: 749: B3, O81, R16, T2, M4.
Naville Numismatics/Mattia Torre Auction 49, Lot 496.
5/12/19 7/5/19
Nicholas Z
5773_5774.jpg
Septimius Severus, Denarius, PM TR P XV COS III PP11 viewsAR Denarius
Septimius Severus
Augustus: 193 - 211AD
Issued: 207AD
18.5 x 17.5mm 2.90gr
O: SEVERVS PIVS AVG; Laureate bust, right.
R: PM TR P XV COS III PP; Africa standing right, wearing elephant headdress, resting hand on hip, holding out folds of drapery and holding grain, lion to right at feet.
Rome Mint
RIC IV Septimius Severus 207; Sear 6341; RSC 493.
Aorta: 805: B3, O81, R255; T3, M4.
Roma Numismatics E-Sale 41, Lot 838.
12/4/17 12/23/17
Nicholas Z
Septimus.jpg
Septimus - Africa48 viewsObverse: SEVERVS PIVS AVG - Laureate head right
Reverse: AFRICA Africa standing r. wearing elephant-skin headdress, lion at her feet.
Mint : Rome
Date : AD 207
Reference : BM-309, C-25 (3 Fr.), RIC-253
Grade : VF
Weight : 3.43g
Denom: Denarius
Metal : Silver
Acquired: 07/07/04

Comments: Scarce: 18 specimens in Reka Devnia hoard. This type was struck in AD 207 to commemorate an Imperial visit to Severus' home province of Africa that year. During this trip he gave honours to the Punic god of healing (equivalent to the Roman Aesculapius), so it seems very likely that Severus was suffering some illness at the time.
Bolayi
septimus_afr_rec.jpg
Septimus Severus, Africa Reclining34 viewsObverse: SEVERVS PIVS AVG Laureate head right
Reverse: AFRICA Africa reclining, holding scorpion and caducopiae, l. modius
Mint : Rome
Date : 207AD
Reference : RIC 245
Grade : VF
Denom : Denarius
Metal : Silver
Bolayi
septimus_afr.jpg
Septimus Severus, Africa with Snake62 viewsObverse: SEVERVS PIVS AVG - Laureate head right.
Reverse: P M TR P XV COS III P P - Africa standing right wearing elephant skin headdress and holding a snake in left hand; at feet to right, a lion.
Mint : Rome
Date : AD 207
Reference : RIC IV 207, BMCRE 531, RSC 493
Grade : EF
Weight : 3.05g
Denom : Denarius
Metal : Silver
1 commentsBolayi
septimus_dea.jpg
Septimus Severus, Leaping Lion113 viewsObverse: SEVERVS PIVS AVG - Laureate bearded head right.
Reverse: INDVLGENTIA AVGG - Dea Celestis holding scepter and thunderbolt, seated facing rt on lion springing rt
Water gushes from spring behind her.
Exe: IN CARTH
Mint : Rome
Date : AD 202 - 210
Reference : RIC IVi, 266D, page 125 - Cohen 222 - SEAR RCV II (2002), #6285, page 459, BMC 335
Grade : gVF
Weight : 3.23g
Denom : Denarius
Metal : Silver

Comments : INDVLGENTIA AVGG literally meaning indulgence of the emperor to Carthage, Septimus and imperial family toured Carthage and North Africa. While there, they probably gave a favour to Carthage, most likely an a new aqueduct. Dea Celestis was the patron-deity of Carthage who is depicted riding the lion.

ex Forum
3 commentsBolayi
Septimus Herculea.jpg
Septimus, Herculea and Liber56 viewsObverse: L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP III Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust r
Reverse: [DIS AV]SPICIB TR P II COS II P P [S C] Hercules and Liber standing l., Hercules holding club and lionskin, Liber emptying cup to panther at his feet and holding thyrsus.
Mint : Rome
Date : 194 AD
Reference : BM-507, C-120 (40 Fr.), RIC-669c
Weight : 17.00g

Comments: Liber and Hercules shared a temple on the Quirinal, erected by the emperor Septimius Severus. That temple was the second largest ever built in Rome, with columns over 21 meters high and a central square that covered 13,000 square meters. The gods were paired in the new cult because they were the patron gods of the emperor's birthplace at Lepcis Magna in North Africa.
Bolayi
s-l500_(2).jpg
Sicily, Syracuse. Agathokles (Circa 317-289 BC)23 viewsAE 21, 8.90 g

Obverse: ΣΩΤΕΙΡΑ (Soteira - "the saving goddess); head of Artemis right, wearing triple-pendant earring and necklace, quiver over shoulder

Reverse: ΑΓΑΘΟΚΛΕΟΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΟΣ (By the King Agathokles); winged thunderbolt. Calciati II pg. 277, 142; SNG ANS 708.

The son of a potter who had moved to Syracuse in about 343 BC, Agathokles learned his father's trade, but afterwards entered the army. In 333 BC he married the widow of his patron Damas, a distinguished and wealthy citizen. He was twice banished for attempting to overthrow the oligarchical party in Syracuse.

In 317 BC he returned with an army of mercenaries under a solemn oath to observe the democratic constitution which was established after they took the city. Having banished or murdered some 10,000 citizens, and thus made himself master of Syracuse, he created a strong army and fleet and subdued the greater part of Sicily.

War with Carthage followed. In 311 BC Agathocles was defeated in the Battle of the Himera River and besieged in Syracuse. In 310 BC he made a desperate effort to break through the blockade and attack the enemy in Africa. After several victories he was at last completely defeated (307 BC) and fled secretly to Sicily.

After concluding peace with Carthage in 306 BC, Agathocles styled himself king of Sicily in 304 BC, and established his rule over the Greek cities of the island more firmly than ever. A peace treaty with Carthage left him in control of Sicily east of the Halycus River. Even in his old age he displayed the same restless energy, and is said to have been contemplating a fresh attack on Carthage at the time of his death.
Nathan P
South_Africa1.jpg
South Africa69 viewsKm25 - 1 penny - 1941 (Union of South Africa)
Km35.1 - 3 pence - 1950 (Union of South Africa)
Km56 - 1/2 Cent - 1962
Km98 - 1 cent - 1979
Km82 - 1 cent - 1989
Km132 - 1 cent - 1994
Km66.2 - 2 cents - 1965
Km83 - 2 Cents - 1983