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Sear-2217.jpg
10 viewsJohn Comnenus-Ducas. As emperor of Thessalonica, 1237-1242. BI Trachy (20mm, 1.67 g, 6h). Type R, Variety A. Thessalonica mint. Outstretched wing to left / Facing half-length bust John, holding banner decorated with two cross-in-rings. DOC 31; SB 2217. VF, dark green and brown patina, hint of roughness, small flan split.


From the Iconodule Collection.
Quant.Geek
image00075.jpg
12 viewsParthian Kingdom. Vologases IV . A.D. 147-191. Æ 18 Dichalkon (17.89 mm, 3.53 g, 12 h). struck A.D. 154. Bust of Volgases IV facing with long, tapered beard, end cut square; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, horn on side and long, curved earflaps; to right, Seleucid date (= SE 466 = A.D. 154) / Nike seated left on column; palm in left field. Sellwood ICP 84.142; Shore --. VF, tan patina with greenish encrustation in recesses, edge split. Quant.Geek
Augustus_-_Nemausus_halved.jpg
2 Augustus and Agrippa AE As of Nemausus18 viewsSplit for change in antiquity.

RI0004
Sosius
louis1-denier-melle-lin.JPG
D.609 Louis the Pious (denier, Melle, class 2)49 viewsLouis the Pious, king of the Franks and Holy Roman emperor (813-840)
Denier (Melle, class 2, 819-822)

Silver, 1.48 g, 20 mm diameter, die axis 3 h

O/ +HLVDOVVICVS IMP; cross pattée
R/ META / . / LLVM

Louis' deniers correspond to his father's (Charles the Great) ``novus denarius'', whose weight is supposed to be near 1.7 g with a certain variability.

This denier is typical of Class 2 of Louis' coinage (819-822).
A circular inscription of the name of the ruler surrounds a cross pattée on the observe. The quite surprising Hlvdovvicvs initially comes from the germanic name Chlodowig ("Clovis"). This one was first transcribed to latin as Chlodowicvs. The initial C then disappeared, which explains the H at the beginning. The w(=vv) finally became a standard v, which gave Lvdovicvs (Louis). The imperial title imp is also given.

The reverse consists of the mint name, in field. The mint name may be split in 2 or 3 lines.
Droger
RI 064cl img.jpg
064 - Septimius Severus denarius - RIC 406a25 viewsObv:– I-M-P CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, Laureate head right
Rev:– MART VICTOR, Mars advancing right carrying spear and trophy
Minted in Emesa. A.D. 194-194
Reference:– RIC 406a (Scarce)

Unusual with the split start to the obverse legend.
maridvnvm
DiocleAnt.jpg
1301a, Diocletian, 284-305 A.D. (Antioch)98 viewsDIOCLETIAN (284 – 305 AD) AE Antoninianus, 293-95 AD, RIC V 322, Cohen 34. 20.70 mm/3.1 gm, aVF, Antioch. Obverse: IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, Radiate bust right, draped & cuirassed; Reverse: CONCORDIA MILITVM, Jupiter presents Victory on a globe to Diocletian, I/XXI. Early Diocletian with dusty earthen green patina.


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

Diocletian ( 284-305 A.D.)

Ralph W. Mathisen
University of South Carolina


Summary and Introduction
The Emperor Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (A.D. 284-305) put an end to the disastrous phase of Roman history known as the "Military Anarchy" or the "Imperial Crisis" (235-284). He established an obvious military despotism and was responsible for laying the groundwork for the second phase of the Roman Empire, which is known variously as the "Dominate," the "Tetrarchy," the "Later Roman Empire," or the "Byzantine Empire." His reforms ensured the continuity of the Roman Empire in the east for more than a thousand years.

Diocletian's Early Life and Reign
Diocletian was born ca. 236/237 on the Dalmatian coast, perhaps at Salona. He was of very humble birth, and was originally named Diocles. He would have received little education beyond an elementary literacy and he was apparently deeply imbued with religious piety He had a wife Prisca and a daughter Valeria, both of whom reputedly were Christians. During Diocletian's early life, the Roman empire was in the midst of turmoil. In the early years of the third century, emperors increasingly insecure on their thrones had granted inflationary pay raises to the soldiers. The only meaningful income the soldiers now received was in the form of gold donatives granted by newly acclaimed emperors. Beginning in 235, armies throughout the empire began to set up their generals as rival emperors. The resultant civil wars opened up the empire to invasion in both the north, by the Franks, Alamanni, and Goths, and the east, by the Sassanid Persians. Another reason for the unrest in the army was the great gap between the social background of the common soldiers and the officer corps.

Diocletian sought his fortune in the army. He showed himself to be a shrewd, able, and ambitious individual. He is first attested as "Duke of Moesia" (an area on the banks of the lower Danube River), with responsibility for border defense. He was a prudent and methodical officer, a seeker of victory rather than glory. In 282, the legions of the upper Danube proclaimed the praetorian prefect Carus as emperor. Diocletian found favor under the new emperor, and was promoted to Count of the Domestics, the commander of the cavalry arm of the imperial bodyguard. In 283 he was granted the honor of a consulate.

In 284, in the midst of a campaign against the Persians, Carus was killed, struck by a bolt of lightning which one writer noted might have been forged in a legionary armory. This left the empire in the hands of his two young sons, Numerian in the east and Carinus in the west. Soon thereafter, Numerian died under mysterious circumstances near Nicomedia, and Diocletian was acclaimed emperor in his place. At this time he changed his name from Diocles to Diocletian. In 285 Carinus was killed in a battle near Belgrade, and Diocletian gained control of the entire empire.

Diocletian's Administrative and Military Reforms
As emperor, Diocletian was faced with many problems. His most immediate concerns were to bring the mutinous and increasingly barbarized Roman armies back under control and to make the frontiers once again secure from invasion. His long-term goals were to restore effective government and economic prosperity to the empire. Diocletian concluded that stern measures were necessary if these problems were to be solved. He felt that it was the responsibility of the imperial government to take whatever steps were necessary, no matter how harsh or innovative, to bring the empire back under control.

Diocletian was able to bring the army back under control by making several changes. He subdivided the roughly fifty existing provinces into approximately one hundred. The provinces also were apportioned among twelve "dioceses," each under a "vicar," and later also among four "prefectures," each under a "praetorian prefect." As a result, the imperial bureaucracy became increasingly bloated. He institutionalized the policy of separating civil and military careers. He divided the army itself into so-called "border troops," actually an ineffective citizen militia, and "palace troops," the real field army, which often was led by the emperor in person.

Following the precedent of Aurelian (A.D.270-275), Diocletian transformed the emperorship into an out-and-out oriental monarchy. Access to him became restricted; he now was addressed not as First Citizen (Princeps) or the soldierly general (Imperator), but as Lord and Master (Dominus Noster) . Those in audience were required to prostrate themselves on the ground before him.

Diocletian also concluded that the empire was too large and complex to be ruled by only a single emperor. Therefore, in order to provide an imperial presence throughout the empire, he introduced the "Tetrarchy," or "Rule by Four." In 285, he named his lieutenant Maximianus "Caesar," and assigned him the western half of the empire. This practice began the process which would culminate with the de facto split of the empire in 395. Both Diocletian and Maximianus adopted divine attributes. Diocletian was identified with Jupiter and Maximianus with Hercules. In 286, Diocletian promoted Maximianus to the rank of Augustus, "Senior Emperor," and in 293 he appointed two new Caesars, Constantius (the father of Constantine I ), who was given Gaul and Britain in the west, and Galerius, who was assigned the Balkans in the east.

By instituting his Tetrarchy, Diocletian also hoped to solve another problem. In the Augustan Principate, there had been no constitutional method for choosing new emperors. According to Diocletian's plan, the successor of each Augustus would be the respective Caesar, who then would name a new Caesar. Initially, the Tetrarchy operated smoothly and effectively.

Once the army was under control, Diocletian could turn his attention to other problems. The borders were restored and strengthened. In the early years of his reign, Diocletian and his subordinates were able to defeat foreign enemies such as Alamanni, Sarmatians, Saracens, Franks, and Persians, and to put down rebellions in Britain and Egypt. The easter frontier was actually expanded.

.
Diocletian's Economic Reforms
Another problem was the economy, which was in an especially sorry state. The coinage had become so debased as to be virtually worthless. Diocletian's attempt to reissue good gold and silver coins failed because there simply was not enough gold and silver available to restore confidence in the currency. A "Maximum Price Edict" issued in 301, intended to curb inflation, served only to drive goods onto the black market. Diocletian finally accepted the ruin of the money economy and revised the tax system so that it was based on payments in kind . The soldiers too came to be paid in kind.

In order to assure the long term survival of the empire, Diocletian identified certain occupations which he felt would have to be performed. These were known as the "compulsory services." They included such occupations as soldiers, bakers, members of town councils, and tenant farmers. These functions became hereditary, and those engaging in them were inhibited from changing their careers. The repetitious nature of these laws, however, suggests that they were not widely obeyed. Diocletian also expanded the policy of third-century emperors of restricting the entry of senators into high-ranking governmental posts, especially military ones.

Diocletian attempted to use the state religion as a unifying element. Encouraged by the Caesar Galerius, Diocletian in 303 issued a series of four increasingly harsh decrees designed to compel Christians to take part in the imperial cult, the traditional means by which allegiance was pledged to the empire. This began the so-called "Great Persecution."

Diocletian's Resignation and Death
On 1 May 305, wearied by his twenty years in office, and determined to implement his method for the imperial succession, Diocletian abdicated. He compelled his co-regent Maximianus to do the same. Constantius and Galerius then became the new Augusti, and two new Caesars were selected, Maximinus (305-313) in the east and Severus (305- 307) in the west. Diocletian then retired to his palace at Split on the Croatian coast. In 308 he declined an offer to resume the purple, and the aged ex-emperor died at Split on 3 December 316.

Copyright (C) 1996, Ralph W. Mathisen, University of South Carolina
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
DicletianConcordCyz.jpg
1301b, Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 March 305 A.D.62 viewsDiocletian. RIC V Part II Cyzicus 256 var. Not listed with pellet in exegrue
Item ref: RI141f. VF. Minted in Cyzicus (B in centre field, XXI dot in exegrue)Obverse:- IMP CC VAL DIOCLETIANVS AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Reverse:- CONCORDIA MILITVM, Diocletian standing right, holding parazonium, receiving Victory from Jupiter standing left with scepter.
A post reform radiate of Diocletian. Ex Maridvnvm.

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

Diocletian ( 284-305 A.D.)

Ralph W. Mathisen
University of South Carolina


Summary and Introduction
The Emperor Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (A.D. 284-305) put an end to the disastrous phase of Roman history known as the "Military Anarchy" or the "Imperial Crisis" (235-284). He established an obvious military despotism and was responsible for laying the groundwork for the second phase of the Roman Empire, which is known variously as the "Dominate," the "Tetrarchy," the "Later Roman Empire," or the "Byzantine Empire." His reforms ensured the continuity of the Roman Empire in the east for more than a thousand years.

Diocletian's Early Life and Reign
Diocletian was born ca. 236/237 on the Dalmatian coast, perhaps at Salona. He was of very humble birth, and was originally named Diocles. He would have received little education beyond an elementary literacy and he was apparently deeply imbued with religious piety He had a wife Prisca and a daughter Valeria, both of whom reputedly were Christians. During Diocletian's early life, the Roman empire was in the midst of turmoil. In the early years of the third century, emperors increasingly insecure on their thrones had granted inflationary pay raises to the soldiers. The only meaningful income the soldiers now received was in the form of gold donatives granted by newly acclaimed emperors. Beginning in 235, armies throughout the empire began to set up their generals as rival emperors. The resultant civil wars opened up the empire to invasion in both the north, by the Franks, Alamanni, and Goths, and the east, by the Sassanid Persians. Another reason for the unrest in the army was the great gap between the social background of the common soldiers and the officer corps.

Diocletian sought his fortune in the army. He showed himself to be a shrewd, able, and ambitious individual. He is first attested as "Duke of Moesia" (an area on the banks of the lower Danube River), with responsibility for border defense. He was a prudent and methodical officer, a seeker of victory rather than glory. In 282, the legions of the upper Danube proclaimed the praetorian prefect Carus as emperor. Diocletian found favor under the new emperor, and was promoted to Count of the Domestics, the commander of the cavalry arm of the imperial bodyguard. In 283 he was granted the honor of a consulate.

In 284, in the midst of a campaign against the Persians, Carus was killed, struck by a bolt of lightning which one writer noted might have been forged in a legionary armory. This left the empire in the hands of his two young sons, Numerian in the east and Carinus in the west. Soon thereafter, Numerian died under mysterious circumstances near Nicomedia, and Diocletian was acclaimed emperor in his place. At this time he changed his name from Diocles to Diocletian. In 285 Carinus was killed in a battle near Belgrade, and Diocletian gained control of the entire empire.

Diocletian's Administrative and Military Reforms
As emperor, Diocletian was faced with many problems. His most immediate concerns were to bring the mutinous and increasingly barbarized Roman armies back under control and to make the frontiers once again secure from invasion. His long-term goals were to restore effective government and economic prosperity to the empire. Diocletian concluded that stern measures were necessary if these problems were to be solved. He felt that it was the responsibility of the imperial government to take whatever steps were necessary, no matter how harsh or innovative, to bring the empire back under control.

Diocletian was able to bring the army back under control by making several changes. He subdivided the roughly fifty existing provinces into approximately one hundred. The provinces also were apportioned among twelve "dioceses," each under a "vicar," and later also among four "prefectures," each under a "praetorian prefect." As a result, the imperial bureaucracy became increasingly bloated. He institutionalized the policy of separating civil and military careers. He divided the army itself into so-called "border troops," actually an ineffective citizen militia, and "palace troops," the real field army, which often was led by the emperor in person.

Following the precedent of Aurelian (A.D.270-275), Diocletian transformed the emperorship into an out-and-out oriental monarchy. Access to him became restricted; he now was addressed not as First Citizen (Princeps) or the soldierly general (Imperator), but as Lord and Master (Dominus Noster) . Those in audience were required to prostrate themselves on the ground before him.

Diocletian also concluded that the empire was too large and complex to be ruled by only a single emperor. Therefore, in order to provide an imperial presence throughout the empire, he introduced the "Tetrarchy," or "Rule by Four." In 285, he named his lieutenant Maximianus "Caesar," and assigned him the western half of the empire. This practice began the process which would culminate with the de facto split of the empire in 395. Both Diocletian and Maximianus adopted divine attributes. Diocletian was identified with Jupiter and Maximianus with Hercules. In 286, Diocletian promoted Maximianus to the rank of Augustus, "Senior Emperor," and in 293 he appointed two new Caesars, Constantius (the father of Constantine I ), who was given Gaul and Britain in the west, and Galerius, who was assigned the Balkans in the east.

By instituting his Tetrarchy, Diocletian also hoped to solve another problem. In the Augustan Principate, there had been no constitutional method for choosing new emperors. According to Diocletian's plan, the successor of each Augustus would be the respective Caesar, who then would name a new Caesar. Initially, the Tetrarchy operated smoothly and effectively.

Once the army was under control, Diocletian could turn his attention to other problems. The borders were restored and strengthened. In the early years of his reign, Diocletian and his subordinates were able to defeat foreign enemies such as Alamanni, Sarmatians, Saracens, Franks, and Persians, and to put down rebellions in Britain and Egypt. The easter frontier was actually expanded.

.
Diocletian's Economic Reforms
Another problem was the economy, which was in an especially sorry state. The coinage had become so debased as to be virtually worthless. Diocletian's attempt to reissue good gold and silver coins failed because there simply was not enough gold and silver available to restore confidence in the currency. A "Maximum Price Edict" issued in 301, intended to curb inflation, served only to drive goods onto the black market. Diocletian finally accepted the ruin of the money economy and revised the tax system so that it was based on payments in kind . The soldiers too came to be paid in kind.

In order to assure the long term survival of the empire, Diocletian identified certain occupations which he felt would have to be performed. These were known as the "compulsory services." They included such occupations as soldiers, bakers, members of town councils, and tenant farmers. These functions became hereditary, and those engaging in them were inhibited from changing their careers. The repetitious nature of these laws, however, suggests that they were not widely obeyed. Diocletian also expanded the policy of third-century emperors of restricting the entry of senators into high-ranking governmental posts, especially military ones.

Diocletian attempted to use the state religion as a unifying element. Encouraged by the Caesar Galerius, Diocletian in 303 issued a series of four increasingly harsh decrees designed to compel Christians to take part in the imperial cult, the traditional means by which allegiance was pledged to the empire. This began the so-called "Great Persecution."

Diocletian's Resignation and Death
On 1 May 305, wearied by his twenty years in office, and determined to implement his method for the imperial succession, Diocletian abdicated. He compelled his co-regent Maximianus to do the same. Constantius and Galerius then became the new Augusti, and two new Caesars were selected, Maximinus (305-313) in the east and Severus (305- 307) in the west. Diocletian then retired to his palace at Split on the Croatian coast. In 308 he declined an offer to resume the purple, and the aged ex-emperor died at Split on 3 December 316.

Copyright (C) 1996, Ralph W. Mathisen, University of South Carolina
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
13594p00.jpg
1502c, Valens, 28 March 364 - 9 August 378 A.D. (Cyzikus)55 viewsBronze AE 3, S 4118, 2.42g, 16.5mm, 180o,Cyzikus, F/F, obverse D N VALENS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE, Victory advancing left, wreath in right, palm frond in left, SMK L(?) in exergue. Ex FORVM.


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

Valens (365-369 AD.)

Noel Linski, University of Colorado

Valens was the brother of Valentinian I. On March 28, 364, precisely one month after his accession by Roman reckoning, Valentinian appointed his brother Flavius Valens co-emperor at the Hebdomon, the first in a long line of emperors proclaimed there. Themistius was present and later recounted the occasion in his Or. 6. After only two months of co-rulership, the two departed from Constantinople for their native Illyricum. Outside Naissus, in Moesia, they divided their administrative staff between them and at Sirmium they did the same with their mobile forces. Valens was to rule the east, from Thrace in the North and Cyrenaica in the South eastward to the Persian frontier. Valentinian ruled the west. They did not spend long in Sirmium. By late August 365 Valentinian had moved on toward Milan, where he resided for the following year before moving on to Trier, which remained his capital until 375. Similarly, Valens was back in Constantinople by December 364.and he was declared Augustus in 364 A.D. He was given command of the Eastern provinces, where he spent much of his time campaigning against the Goths and Persians.

In 376 A.D., Valens allowed Gothic tribes, who were being driven forward by the Huns to settle in the Danube provinces. The Goths were so badly treated by the Romans that they rebelled. Valens marched against the confederated barbarian army, and on August 9, 378, the two forces met at Adrianople. Although negotiations were attempted, these broke down when a Roman unit sallied forth and carried both sides into battle. The Romans held their own early on but were crushed by the surprise arrival of Greuthungi cavalry which split their ranks.

In one historical account, Valens was wounded in battle but escaped to a nearby farmstead where he was burned to death in a tower by Gothic marauders. The fourth century A.D. Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus does not seem to concur with this story. Regardless, when the battle was over Valens' body was never recovered, 10,000 roman soldiers lay dead and the perception of Roman military invincibility was destroyed.

Adrianople was the most significant event in Valens' career. Though he displayed some talent as an administrator, Valens' persecutions of Nicene Christians and pagan philosophers, his halting efforts at military achievement and his obtuse personality rendered him a less than glorious emperor. To have died in so inglorious a battle has thus come to be regarded as the nadir of an unfortunate career. This is especially true because of the profound consequences of Valens' defeat.

Adrianople spelled the beginning of the end for Roman territorial integrity in the late empire and this fact was recognized even by contemporaries. The Roman historian Ammianus (325-391 AD) understood that it was the worst defeat in Roman history since Cannae. Rufinus (340–410 CE), monk, historian, and theologian; called it "the beginning of evils for the Roman empire then and thereafter."

Noel Lenski, University of Colorado
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
Valens.jpg
1502h, Valens, 364-378 A.D. (Heraclea)51 viewsValens, 364-378 A.D., Heraclea mint, VF, Chi-Rho standard reverse.


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

Valens (365-369 AD.)

Noel Linski, University of Colorado

Valens was the brother of Valentinian I. On March 28, 364, precisely one month after his accession by Roman reckoning, Valentinian appointed his brother Flavius Valens co-emperor at the Hebdomon, the first in a long line of emperors proclaimed there. Themistius was present and later recounted the occasion in his Or. 6. After only two months of co-rulership, the two departed from Constantinople for their native Illyricum. Outside Naissus, in Moesia, they divided their administrative staff between them and at Sirmium they did the same with their mobile forces. Valens was to rule the east, from Thrace in the North and Cyrenaica in the South eastward to the Persian frontier. Valentinian ruled the west. They did not spend long in Sirmium. By late August 365 Valentinian had moved on toward Milan, where he resided for the following year before moving on to Trier, which remained his capital until 375. Similarly, Valens was back in Constantinople by December 364.and he was declared Augustus in 364 A.D. He was given command of the Eastern provinces, where he spent much of his time campaigning against the Goths and Persians.

In 376 A.D., Valens allowed Gothic tribes, who were being driven forward by the Huns to settle in the Danube provinces. The Goths were so badly treated by the Romans that they rebelled. Valens marched against the confederated barbarian army, and on August 9, 378, the two forces met at Adrianople. Although negotiations were attempted, these broke down when a Roman unit sallied forth and carried both sides into battle. The Romans held their own early on but were crushed by the surprise arrival of Greuthungi cavalry which split their ranks.

In one historical account, Valens was wounded in battle but escaped to a nearby farmstead where he was burned to death in a tower by Gothic marauders. The fourth century A.D. Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus does not seem to concur with this story. Regardless, when the battle was over Valens' body was never recovered, 10,000 roman soldiers lay dead and the perception of Roman military invincibility had been destroyed.

Adrianople was the most significant event in Valens' career. Though he displayed some talent as an administrator, Valens' persecutions of Nicene Christians and pagan philosophers, his halting efforts at military achievement and his obtuse personality rendered him a less than glorious emperor. To have died in so inglorious a battle has thus come to be regarded as the nadir of an unfortunate career. This is especially true because of the profound consequences of Valens' defeat.

Adrianople spelled the beginning of the end for Roman territorial integrity in the late empire and this fact was recognized even by contemporaries. The Roman historian Ammianus (325-391 AD) understood that it was the worst defeat in Roman history since Cannae. Rufinus (340–410 CE), monk, historian, and theologian; called it "the beginning of evils for the Roman empire then and thereafter."

Noel Lenski, University of Colorado
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
jdomna_RIC632.jpg
193-196(?) AD - JULIA DOMNA AR denarius49 viewsobv: IVLIA DOMNA AVG (draped bust right, hair coiled and waved)
rev: VENERI VICTR (Venus half naked standing to r., holding an apple and a palm and leaning on a column)
ref: RIC IVi 632, C.194 (5frcs)
mint: Emesa and Laodicea (or probably Rome)
3.5gms, 18mm
Scarce

Julia Domna was the wife of Septimius Severus and mother of Caracalla and Geta. She was a great support for Severus in serving her family and the empire. A staunch opponent to Severus' praetorian prefect Plautianus, she attempted to turn his influence from the emperor. Her attempts to mitigate in the hatred between her two sons did not succeed. However, she seems to have prevented them from splitting the empire between them, fearing an all-out civil war. Perhaps this was one of the turning points of Roman history. If the empire had been divided at this time, future history may have become wholly different. Her greatest tragedy was probably the death of Geta in her arms from the murderers instigated by Caracalla. Nevertheless she continued serving the empire and Caracalla until, he too, was murdered. After bearing Caracalla's ashes to Rome, she starved herself to death.
2 commentsberserker
coin245.JPG
308. Valerian I23 viewsRIC 209 Valerian I 253-260 AD AR Antoninianus of Moesia. Radiate draped bust/Aequitas standing holding balance and cornucopia.

Publius Licinius Valerianus (ca. 200-260), known in English as Valerian, was Roman emperor from 253 to 260. His full Latin title was IMPERATOR · CAESAR · PVBLIVS · LICINIVS · VALERIANVS · PIVS FELIX · INVICTVS · AVGVSTVS — in English, "Emperor Caesar Publius Licinus Valerianus Pious Lucky Undefeated Augustus."

Unlike the majority of the usurpers of the crisis of the third century, Valerian was of a noble and traditional Senatorial family. Details of his early life are elusive, but his marriage to Egnatia Mariniana who gave him two sons: Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus and Valerianus Minor is known.

In 238 he was princeps senatus, and Gordian I negotiated through him for Senatorial acknowledgement for his claim as Emperor. In 251, when Decius revived the censorship with legislative and executive powers so extensive that it practically embraced the civil authority of the Emperor, Valerian was chosen censor by the Senate. Under Decius he was nominated governor of the Rhine provinces of Noricum and Raetia and retained the confidence of his successor, Trebonianus Gallus, who asked him for reinforcements to quell the rebellion of Aemilianus in 253. Valerian headed south, but was too late: Gallus' own troops killed him and joined Aemilianus before his arrival. The Raetian soldiers then proclaimed Valerian emperor and continued their march towards Rome. At the time of his arrival in September, Aemilianus' legions defected, killing him and proclaiming Valerian emperor. In Rome, the Senate quickly acknowledged him, not only for fear of reprisals, but also because he was one of their own.

Valerian's first act as emperor was to make his son Gallienus colleague. In the beginning of his reign the affairs in Europe went from bad to worse and the whole West fell into disorder. In the East, Antioch had fallen into the hands of a Persian vassal, Armenia was occupied by Shapur I (Sapor). Valerian and Gallienus split the problems of the Empire between the two, with the son taking the West and the father heading East to face the Persian threat.

By 257, Valerian had already recovered Antioch and returned the Syrian province to Roman control but in the following year, the Goths ravaged Asia Minor. Later in 259, he moved to Edessa, but an outbreak of plague killed a critical number of legionaries, weakening the Roman position. Valerian was then forced to seek terms with Shapur I. Sometime towards the end of 259, or at the beginning of 260, Valerian was defeated and made prisoner by the Persians (making him the only Roman Emperor taken captive). It is said that he was subjected to the greatest insults by his captors, such as being used as a human stepladder by Shapur when mounting his horse. After his death in captivity, his skin was stuffed with straw and preserved as a trophy in the chief Persian temple. Only after Persian defeat in last Persia-Roman war three and a half centuries later was his skin destroyed.
ecoli
coin199.JPG
401. Diocletian30 viewsThe Emperor Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (A.D. 284-305) put an end to the disastrous phase of Roman history known as the "Military Anarchy" or the "Imperial Crisis" (235-284). He established an obvious military despotism and was responsible for laying the groundwork for the second phase of the Roman Empire, which is known variously as the "Dominate," the "Tetrarchy," the "Later Roman Empire," or the "Byzantine Empire." His reforms ensured the continuity of the Roman Empire in the east for more than a thousand years.
On 1 May 305, wearied by his twenty years in office, and determined to implement his method for the imperial succession, Diocletian abdicated. In 308 he declined an offer to resume the purple, and the aged ex-emperor died at Split on 3 December 316.

AE Follis. IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right / GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, Genius standing left with chlamys, patera from which liquor flows & cornucopiae
ecoli
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4th Century C.E. Heart-shaped belt terminal19 viewsHeart-shaped belt terminal with split end which was riveted to the belt. 34mm x 35mmFiorenza21
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501b. Crispus Ticinum Vota17 viewsCrispus AE3. 322-325 AD.
CRISPVS-NOB CAES, laureate, cuirassed bust left with spear & sheild /
DOMINOR • NOSTROR • CAESS, laurel wreath enclosing VOT • X,
ST in ex

RIC VII Ticinum 171 R4

Slight flan split, quite attractive.
ecoli
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508. Julian II VOTA Sirmium9 viewsSirmium

Sirmium was one of the oldest cities in Europe. Archaeologists have found a trace of organized human life dating from the 5000 BC.

When the Romans conquered the city in the 1st century BC, Sirmium already was a settlement with a long tradition.

In the 1st century, Sirmium gained a status of a colony of the citizens of Rome, and became a very important military and strategic location in Pannonia province. The war expeditions of Roman emperors Traian, Marcus Aurelius, and Claudius II, were prepared in Sirmium.

In 103, Pannonia was split into two provinces: Upper Pannonia and Lower Pannonia, and Sirmius became the capital city of Lower Pannonia.

In 296, Diocletian operated a new territorial division of Pannonia. Instead of previous two provinces, there were four new provinces established in former territory of original province: Pannonia Prima, Pannonia Valeria, Pannonia Savia and Pannonia Secunda. Capital city of Pannonia Secunda was Sirmium.

In 293, with the establishment of tetrarchy, the Roman Empire was split into four parts; Sirmium become one of the four capital cities of Roman Empire, the other three being Trier, Mmediolanum, and Nicomedia. During the tetrarchy, Sirmium was the capital of emperor Galerius. With the establishment of praetorian prefectures in 318, the capital of the prefecture of Illyricum was Sirmium. Sirmium was capital of this prefecture until 379, when the prefecture was divided politically into Eastern and Western Illyricum. The western part (including Sirmium) was included into prefecture of Italia. The eastern part of Illyricum remained a separate prefecture with the capital in Thessalonica.

The city also was an important Christian centre. Several Christian councils were held in Sirmium.

008. Julian II Sirmium

RIC VIII Sirmium 108 ASIRM???

ecoli
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511. Valens37 viewsAfter a brief stay aimed at building his troop strength and gaining a toehold in Thrace, Valens moved out to Adrianople. From there, he marched against the confederated barbarian army on August 9, 378 in what would become known as the battle of Adrianople. Although negotiations were attempted, these broke down when a Roman unit sallied forth and carried both sides into battle. The Romans held their own early on but were crushed by the surprise arrival of Visigoth cavalry which split their ranks.

The primary source for the battle is Ammianus, who is quoted at length by Edward Gibbon (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, XXVI). Valens had left a sizeable guard with his baggage and treasures depleting his force. His right wing, cavalry, arrived at the Gothic camp sometime before the left wing arrived. It was a very hot day and the Roman cavalry was engaged without strategic support, wasting its efforts while they suffered in the heat.

Meanwhile Fritigern once again sent an emissary of peace in his continued manipulation of the situation. The resultant delay meant that the Romans present on the field began to succumb to the heat. The army's resources were further diminished when an ill timed attack by the Roman archers made it necessary to recall Valens’ emissary, Count Richomer. The archers were beaten and retreated in humiliation.

Gothic cavalry under the command of Althaeus and Saphrax then struck and, with what was probably the most decisive event of the battle, the Roman cavalry fled. The Roman infantry was abandoned, surrounded and cut to pieces. Valens was wounded and carried to a small wooden hut. The hut was surrounded by the Goths who put it to the torch, evidently unaware of the prize within. According to Ammianus, this is how Valens perished.

When the battle was over, two-thirds of the eastern army lied dead. Many of their best officers had also perished. What was left of the army of Valens was led from the field under the cover of night by Count Richomer and General Victor.

J.B. Bury, a noted authority on the barbarian invasion of Europe provides specific interpretation on the significance the battle; It was "a disaster and disgrace that need not have occurred."

For Rome, the battle incapacitated the government. Emperor Gratian, nineteen years old, was overcome by the debacle, and until he appointed Theodosius, unable to deal with the catastrophe which spread out of control.

Date: 364-367 AD
Obverse: D N VALEN-S P F AVG, Cuirassed and draped, pearl diademed bust right.
Reverse: RESTITV-TOR REIP, Valens stg. Looking r. holding labarum in r. hand and Victory on globe presenting wreath on emperor on l. hand. TES delta in exergue.
ecoli
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Abraham Lincoln 1860 "Rail Splitter of the West"30 viewsObv: HON. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Three quarter bust of Lincoln facing right, 1860 below.

Rev: RAIL SPLITTER OF THE WEST, a depiction of a frontier scene with Lincoln splitting rails, while an assistant (Stephan Douglas) calmly holds a wedge in place, a log cabin is seen in the distance.

Issued as a campaign medal for the 1860 Presidential Election. It a has been holed for suspension.

Engraver: Ellis

28 mm, 0°

Sullivan AL 1860-41
Matt Inglima
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AFGHANISTAN - HORSE MAN & BULL - SAMANT DEWA -HINDU SHAHI - SILVER COIN - 3.21gm15 viewsSilver drachm (jital), ca.870-950 AD, late Kabul Shahi (Tye #21)
Horseman right, holding banner; Nagari Bhi in the upper left, Adl (?) in Arabic in the upper right / śri samanta deva in Nagari, recumbent zebu bull to left with symbol on rump; to left, star above pellet above crescent. Uncertain mint in (Kabul or Ohind?). 20mm, 3.21 grams. Tye #21. SKU 42565

Samanta Deva just meant "The Feudatory Chield" - it was the title assumed by the Kabul Shahi and their Islamic successors, and was probably not a personal name. Hundreds of types of jitals inscribed "Samanta Deva" (in imitation of this type) were struck by numerous dynasties in the later period. The Kabul Shahi dynasties also called Shahiya ruled the Kabul Valley (in eastern Afghanistan) and the old province of Gandhara (northern Pakistan) during the Classical Period of India, from the decline of the Kushan Empire in the 3rd century to the early 9th century. They are split into two eras the Buddhist-Shahis and the later Hindu-Shahis with the change-over occurring around 870. These coins are of full size and weight, but were probably not minted by Samanta Deva but can be considered anonymous issues of his successors
Antonivs Protti
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Anglo-Saxon bronze strap end84 viewsA tongue-shaped strap-end of Thomas Class E, Type 3 dating to the late Anglo-Saxon period (10t-11th century AD). The attachment end is split to accommodate the strap, and has a central copper-alloy rivet to secure it. The front of the strap-end has a voided median rib, on either side of which it is decorated with a line of four ring-and-dot motifs. The rib extends from the rivet at the attachment end to the tip of the terminal. The back of the strap-end is plain.mauseus
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Apollonia Pontika, Thrace, 410 - 323 B.C.8 viewsApollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in ancient Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis.
GS88290. Silver diobol, Topalov Apollonia p. 387, 6 and p. 596, 56; SGCV I 1657, SNG Cop 459 - 461; HGC 3.2 1315, aEF, slightly off center, some porosity, small edge split, Apollonia Pontica (Sozopol, Bulgaria) mint, weight 1.256g, maximum diameter 10.2mm, die axis 180o, 410/404 - 341/323 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo facing with short hair; reverse anchor flukes up, thick flukes, A left, crayfish right; ex Numismatik Lanz (2010)
Mark R1
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Augustus86 viewsAugustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

Obverse:

Augustus with his bare head right

CAESAR AVGVST PONT MAX TRIBVNIC POT

CAESAR: Ceasar, emperor
AVGVST: Agustus
PONT MAX: Pontifix Maximus,
TRIBVNIC: Tribunicia, tribunal
POT: POTESTAS, the people

Reverse:

M MAECILIVS TVLLVS III VIR A A A F F

M: Marcus
MAECILLIS: Maelcilius
TVLLVS: Tullus
IIIVIR: Triumviri
AAAFF: Auro, Argento, Aeri, Flando, Feriundo,

S . C, Senatus Consultum

I think the dots were used as centering devices, one see them sometimes on Soldiers/Standards coins although on this coin it is certainly a large dot.

Domination: AS, Copper

Mint: Rome

The Roman Moneyers (or you may prefer the title of Mint Magistrates) were also responsible for the minting of gold, silver and bronze coinage and they reported to the Senate. They were known as the Triumviri Monetales or Triumviri Auro, Argento, Aeri, Flando, Feriundo which is abbreviated as III VIR. A.A.A. F.F. which may be translated as 'Commision (or college) of three men under whom gold, silver and bronze coins were struck'. (Note that the order of the metals varies according to different references.) The title 'III VIR. A.A.A. F.F.' occurs rarely on Republic coins and when it is present it is usually seen in an abbreviated form such as 'III VIR'. It is interesting to note that the full title occurs frequently on the reverses of Augustan Aes

The College of the Three Moneyers was a revived republican tradition. This coin was struck under the supervision of Marcus Salvius Otho, an ancestor of the future emperor Otho. Later, the number of members was increased to four, and their names were not included on the coins.

TRP = This is short for tribunicia potestate - "with the power of the Tribune of the Plebs." The government of Rome was split into the Patricians (who were Senators) and the Plebians. Nine Tribunes of the Plebs were elected by both Plebs and Patricians every year to be in charge of the Plebian assembly. These Tribunes could not be injured because it could be punishable by death. They had veto powers, and they could prevent a law from being passed or an election. An emperor cannot technically rule on the Plebian assembly since he is a Patrician, but by taking the title he could be free from injury. On a coin, if this symbol is followed by a number, it depicts how many times he has been elected Tribune of the Plebs.
John Schou
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AVG and TICAE on AUGUSTUS AS (25 BC)317 views(26mm - 10.8g). Obv: Bust right (CAESAR), countermarked "AVG" (AVGUSTUS) & "TICAE" (TIBERIUS CAESAR). Rev: Legend within wreath (AVGVSTVS). Minted in Ephesus. Reference for this coin is RIC 486. Augustus was adopted by Julius Caesar as heir. After the assassination of Caesar, Octavian and Mark Antony fought together and won the resulting Civil War. They shared the rule of the Roman Empire. Antony's alliance with Cleopatra provoked a split with Octavian that led to a new Civil War. At the Battle of Actium (31 BC) Antony was defeated and Octavian became the sole ruler of the Empire. He was declared "Augustus" and became the proto-type emperor of Rome.1 commentskerux
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Baktria5 viewsAlexander the Great's empire split into rival Hellenistic kingdoms ruled by his generals. The most far-flung part was Baktria, his conquests in what is today Afghanistan, western India and Pakistan. Greek settlers ruled over a much larger indigenous population. As centuries went by, this isolated outpost of Greek culture combined elements of both Greek and native traditions, oftentimes reflected in their bilingual coins. The main mints include Aï Khanoum, Bactra, and Pushkalavati.
* Cover art for the Baktrian Coin Gallery *
Anaximander
BCC_MA38_Belt_Terminal.jpg
BCC MA3814 viewsBronze Belt Terminal
Caesarea Maritima
Roman 2nd - 3rd Century CE
Terminal end for a split military
belt. D-shaped loop pendant with
roughly hexagonal sections tapering
to a central ball, and slightly offset
(rotated), with respect to each end.
Length: 5.5cm. Weight:6.46gm.
Surface find, 1971
J .Berlin Caesarea Collection
cf. Shawn Caza, numiswiki article on
military belts, page 26.
(click for larger pic)
v-drome
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C109 viewsTheodosius I AE4

Attribution: RIC IX 26a, Heraclea
Date: AD 379-395
Obverse: DN THEODOSIVS PF AVG; diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust r.
Reverse: SALVS REIPVBLICAE; Victory advancing l. dragging captive,
SMHA in exergue
Size: 13.1 mm
Weight: 1.6 grams

Emperor Gratian appointed Theodosius as co-emperor of the East until Gratian’s death in AD 383 during a rebellion. He then appointed his eldest son as co-emperor of the East, and later, after the death of Valentinian II, his son Honorius as co-emperor in the West. The reign of Theodosius was marked by dealing with the Goths, who now resided within the borders of the empire. The Goths within the Empire had, as a result of the treaties, military obligations to fight for the Romans as a national contingent, as opposed to being fully integrated into the Roman forces. However, many Goths would serve in Roman legions and others, as foederati, for a single campaign, while bands of Goths switching loyalties became a destabilizing factor in the internal struggles for control of the Empire. In AD 390 the population of Thessalonica rioted in complaint against the presence of the local Gothic garrison. The garrison commander was killed in the violence, so Theodosius ordered the Goths to kill all the spectators in the circus as retaliation; Theodoret, a contemporary witness to these events, reports:

“the anger of the Emperor rose to the highest pitch, and he gratified his vindictive desire for vengeance by unsheathing the sword most unjustly and tyrannically against all, slaying the innocent and guilty alike. It is said seven thousand perished without any forms of law, and without even having judicial sentence passed upon them; but that, like ears of wheat in the time of harvest, they were alike cut down.”

Interestingly, despite his often ruthless policies against rebellious groups and persons, Theodosius promoted Nicene Trinitarianism within Christianity and Christianity within the Empire. On February 27, AD 380, he declared "Catholic Christianity" the only legitimate imperial religion, ending state support for the traditional Roman religion.Theodosius I was the last emperor of a unified Roman Empire. He reunited the Easter and Western empires, yet they were split again upon his death. Towards the end of his reign, Theodosius saw the rise of a Gothic leader named Alaric. Alaric had participated in Theodosius’ campaign against the usurper Eugenius in AD 394, but rebelled against Arcadius soon after the death of the emperor.
2 commentsNoah
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Cherronesos, Thrace, c. 400 - 338 B.C.29 viewsSilver hemidrachm, SNG Dreer 107, Weber -; McClean -, BMC Thrace -, Dewing -, SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, SNG Lockett -, SNG Dreer -, SNG Berry, F, small edge split, 2.312g, 12.8mm, Cherronesos mint, c. 400 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left, tongue protruding; reverse quadripartite incuse with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, pellet in one sunk quadrant, I over pellet in the opposite sunk quadrant

ex Forvm
1 commentsRandygeki(h2)
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Cilicia-Irenopolis-Neronias, biga of panthers9 viewsValerian I, Cilicia-Irenopolis-Neronias, biga of panthers. 27mm, 15.95g. Obverse: radiate and cuirassed bust right. Reverse: Dionysos facing, head left, thyrsus in left hand, kantharos in right, in split biga of panthers. SNG Levante 1623; SNG BN 2271-2. ex areich, photo credit areichPodiceps
Commodus- Victoria.jpg
Commodus- Denarius Victoria51 viewsCommodus, marts eller april 177 - 31 December 192

Obverse:
Commodus with laurete head right

M COMM ANT FEL AVG P BRIT

M: Marcus
COMM: Commodus
ANT: Antoninus, Antoninus
FEL: Happy
AVG: Augustus, emperor
P: Pius, pious
BRIT: Britannicus

Reverse:
SAEC FEL PM TR P XI IMP VII COS V PP

SAEC: Happy age, refers to the secular games
FEL: Felix, happy
PM: Pontifix Maximus, literally ”head priest”, the ruler´s title as supreme head of the roman religion.
TRP: Tribunicia Potestas, The Tribunician power, the emperor as civil head of the state.
XI: 11th time
IMP: Imperator, head of the army
VII: 7 th time
COS: Consul,
V: 5 th time
PP: Pater Patria, father of his country

Victoria standing right, foot on helmet, inscribing VO DE (VOTA DECENNALES, every 10 year) on a shield set on upon a palme.

Domination: Denarius, silver, size 18 mm

Mint: Rome, struck 183-184 A.D. RIC 101, type B.

TRP = This is short for tribunicia potestate - "with the power of the Tribune of the Plebs." The government of Rome was split into the Patricians (who were Senators) and the Plebians. Nine Tribunes of the Plebs were elected by both Plebs and Patricians every year to be in charge of the Plebian assembly. These Tribunes could not be injured because it could be punishable by death. They had veto powers, and they could prevent a law from being passed or an election. An emperor cannot technically rule on the Plebian assembly since he is a Patrician, but by taking the title he could be free from injury. On a coin, if this symbol is followed by a number, it depicts how many times he has been elected Tribune of the Plebs.
John Schou
Commodus- Herkules.jpg
Commodus- Hercules62 viewsCommodus, March or April 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.

Obverse:
Laureate head right

M COMMODVS ANTON AVG PIVS

M: Marcus
COMMODVS: Commodus
ANTON: Antoninus, Antoninus
AVG: Augustus,
PIVS: Pius,

Reverse:
TR P VIIII IMP VI COS IIII P P, S C

TRP: Tribunicia Potestas,
VIIII: 9
IMP: Imperator,
VI: 6
COS: Consul,
IIII: 4
PP: Pater Patria,

S—C: Senatus Consulto,

Showing: Hercules standing left, head at right and with clob and bow.

Domination: AS, Copper, size 25 mm
Mint: Rome

TRP = This is short for tribunicia potestate - "with the power of the Tribune of the Plebs." The government of Rome was split into the Patricians (who were Senators) and the Plebians. Nine Tribunes of the Plebs were elected by both Plebs and Patricians every year to be in charge of the Plebian assembly. These Tribunes could not be injured because it could be punishable by death. They had veto powers, and they could prevent a law from being passed or an election. An emperor cannot technically rule on the Plebian assembly since he is a Patrician, but by taking the title he could be free from injury. On a coin, if this symbol is followed by a number, it depicts how many times he has been elected Tribune of the Plebs.



John Schou
Commodus- Jupiter.jpg
Commodus- Jupiter85 viewsCommodus, March or April 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.

Obverse:
Laureate head right

M COMMODVS ANT P FELIX AVG BRIT

M: Marcus
COMMODVS: Commodus
ANT: Antoninus, Antoninus
PFELIX: Pius Felix,
AVG: Augustus,
BRIT: Britannicus

Reverse:
IOVI IVVENI P M TR P XIIII IMP VIII COS V P P S—C

IOVI: Jupiter
IVVENI: Young
P M: Pontifix Maximus, ypperste præst
TRP: Tribunicia Potestas, folkets tribunat
XIIII: 14
IMP: Imperator,
VIII: 8
COS: Consul,
V:
PP: Pater Patria,

S—C: Senatus Consulto

Showing: Jupiter with his head left, naked except for cloak hanging from shoulder: Jupiter holding thunderbolt and sceptre, and there is a eagle at left foot. There is an S at left and an C right for Jupiter.


Domination: Sestertius, Orichalcum, size 30 mm
Mint: Rome

TRP = This is short for tribunicia potestate - "with the power of the Tribune of the Plebs." The government of Rome was split into the Patricians (who were Senators) and the Plebians. Nine Tribunes of the Plebs were elected by both Plebs and Patricians every year to be in charge of the Plebian assembly. These Tribunes could not be injured because it could be punishable by death. They had veto powers, and they could prevent a law from being passed or an election. An emperor cannot technically rule on the Plebian assembly since he is a Patrician, but by taking the title he could be free from injury. On a coin, if this symbol is followed by a number, it depicts how many times he has been elected Tribune of the Plebs.
John Schou
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Constantine 7.14.0038 viewsConstantine
Obv CONSTANTINVS P F AVG
(R.laur.cuir)
Rev SOLI INVICTO COMITI
(Sol raising right hand, holding up globe with left, spread chlamys)
* |
PLN in ex
RIC VI 284 (corr) CT 7.14.003 (C)
4.0g
(The description in RIC VI of the coins 279 - 287 needs expanding. They are all described as "chlamys draped over left shoulder," but they should be split into two issues. One, which has a heavier weight, has a spread chlamys reverse (CT 7.14.001 - 7.14.009), and another with a lighter weight and a reverse which has the chlamys over the left shoulder (CT 8.01.006 - 8.01.011).)
Noviomagus
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Constantius II Half Centenionalis Fel Temp Reparatio Phoenix on Globe50 viewsAE Half Centenionalis
Constantius II, 337-361 CE
Diameter: 17 mm, Weight: 2.90 grams, Die Axis: 6h

Obverse: D N CONSTANTIVS PF AVG
Diademed and draped bust to right.

Reverse: FEL TEMP REPARATIO
Ornately nimbate phoenix standing right on globe, star in field to right.

Mint: SMNB, star in field: Nicomedia

Notes:
- Nicomedia is a rare mint for the Fel Temp Reparatio phoenix on globe type, and this B emission is not listed in RIC.
- There were likely at least 12 officiniae emissions from Nicomedia in the years 349 and 350 CE, but all seem to have been relatively small outputs. I have only been able to view two other different officiniae (both also star in field), and these too show the distinctive Nicomedia nimbus design. This is in contrast to Antioch, were some emissions possess a spectacular nimbus, while others were engraved with a design similar to other mints. Nicomedia may have followed the same pattern, but there are currently to few published specimens to tell.
- This example has a small vertical cut on the reverse splitting the tail feathers of the Phoenix.


Ex Germania Inferior Numismatics (Netherlands), 2016
2 commentsPharsalos
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Cr 282/4 AR Denarius L. Pomponius Cn. f.15 viewsL. Pomponius Cn. f. AR Denarius serratus 118 b.c.e.
o: Helmeted head of Roma right; behind, X; around, L. POMPONI CN F.
r: Bituitus in biga right; in ex, L. LIC. CN. DOM.
3.81 gms; 20.00 mm
This coin is much better in hand.
If the attribution of the reverse figure to Bituitus is correct, this coin commemorates the defeat of one of the most incompetent generals ever defeated by Roman valor, who lost over 120,000 troops according to severely outdated sources. The moneyers are splitting the designs -- Pomponius gets the interesting obverse, yet Domitius, whose father(?) was the winning general a few years earlier, chose a very ordinary reverse. Perhaps there is more to the story than meets the eye.
PMah
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Croatia, Salona - Amphitheatre310 viewsSplit in the backgroundJohny SYSEL
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Croatia, Split - Diocletian's palace362 viewsDiocletian's palace is historical centre of Split - Croatia.1 commentsJohny SYSEL
WPIMG_3722.jpg
Croatia, Split - Diocletian's palace - Cathedral of St. Domnius (St. Duje)324 viewsCathedral of St. Duje is build over Diocletian's mausoleum.Johny SYSEL
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Croatia, Split - Diocletian's palace - peristyle357 viewspart of cathedrale of St. Duje in the left upper cornerJohny SYSEL
WPIMG_3471.jpg
Croatia, Split - Diocletian's palace - peristyle - sphinx400 viewsDiocletian's palace is historical centre of Split - Croatia.Johny SYSEL
WPIMG_3740.jpg
Croatia, Split - Diocletian's palace - silver gate434 viewseast gate leading to the centre of Split.Johny SYSEL
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Croatia, Split - Diocletian's palace - temple of Jupiter297 viewslater converted to babtisteryJohny SYSEL
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Croatia, Split - Diocletian's palace, basement345 viewsRomans who escaped from near Salona in 7th century reocupied Diocletian's palace. They lived in higher floors above basement. These rooms was gradually filled by garbage through holes in ceiling so basment remained preserved until these days. Johny SYSEL
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Croatia, Split - Diocletian's palace, basement303 viewsRomans who escaped from near Salona in 7th century reocupied Diocletian's palace. They lived in higher floors above basement. These rooms was gradually filled by garbage through holes in ceiling so basment remained preserved until these days. Johny SYSEL
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Croatia, Split - Diocletian's palace, temple of Jupiter282 viewsinterior with modern statue
Temple was converted to babtistery later.
Johny SYSEL
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CRUSADER STATES . County of Edessa. Baldwin II , Second reign (1108-1118) . Æ Follis.51 viewsCRUSADER STATES . County of Edessa. Baldwin II , Second reign (1108-1118) .
Æ Follis. 26.6mm, 5.93g . Heavy issue .
Obverse :In three lines ΒΑΛΔ/ΟVINO/KOMH
Reverse :Cross pommee with rays in each quarter.
Usual flan edge split .Trace of an undertype.
Porteous, NC 1975 Class 4 no. 40 ff; Schlumberger Pl. I, 3; CCS 8; Metcalf 107 .
Vladislav D
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CRUSADER STATES . County of Edessa. Richard of Salerno, (1104-1108) . Æ Follis24 viewsCRUSADER STATES . County of Edessa. Richard of Salerno, (1104-1108) . Æ Follis
26 mm, 6.81g . Heavy issue .
Obverse inscription in Armenian or Georgian . Chrismon
Reverse : Cross . B - Λ - Δ - N .
Usual flan edge split .Trace of an undertype (Porteous, NC 1975 Class 1 ; CCS 1 , Baldwin I or Baldwin II )
CCS 3 ; Porteous, NC 1975 - 10 ; Slocum 4-5 .
Ex Lanz .
Very rare .
Vladislav D
164-1a-NAC61.jpg
Denarius, Crawford 164/1a11 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Era: after 179-170 BC
Metal: AR
Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma r. with peaked visor. Behind, “X”. Border of dots
Reverse: Dioscuri r.; in linear frame. “ROMA”. Line border
Mint: Rome
Weight: 3.28 gm.
Reference: Crawford 164/1a
Provenance: NAC 61, 5-OCT-2011, lot 716, Ex Sotheby’s Sale 4, December 1986, lot 34

Comments: The distinguishing characteristics of Crawford 164/1a include:
• Reverse stars are formed by a crescent and a line crossing forming an "X".
• Reverse near rider's cape is split into two trailing segments
• Reverse horses’ manes consist of small dots
• Obverse displays very large triangular griffon tufts

Style is similar to Cr. 165/1 – anchor series. Thought to be quite scarce at one time but many are now becoming available, though rarely in high grade. This coin is about VF.
Steve B5
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Denarius, Crawford 55/16 viewsDenomination: Denarius
Era: c. 211 BC
Metal: AR
Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma r. Behind, “X” . Border of dots
Reverse: Dioscuri r.; in linear frame. “ROMA”. Line border
Weight: 3.69 gm.
Reference: Crawford 55/1
Provenance: NAC 61, Lot 213 5-OCT-2011; Ex NFA-Leu sale 29-MAR-1985, Garrett III lot 860

Comments: Among the rarest of the fully anonymous denari in RRC, there are fewer than a dozen specimens known. This variety displays a rather slender head of Roma in relatively good style. There are four prominent hair locks on neck below helmet, the shortest of which curls up just under Roma’s jaw line. This is the only variety of denarius where some dies render a peaked visor, and some render a splayed visor.
The reverse cape style splits and ends in two points, the points extending roughly equal distances from their point of split. This style follows none of the patterns described elsewhere for other varieties.
For additional discussion see this article by Pierluigi Debernardi: http://stevebrinkman.ancients.info/anonymous/C55.htm
Steve B5
diocletianjuptr.jpg
Diocletian, RIC 329 Treveir 284-305 CE.19 views
Obverse: IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG, Radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right.
Reverse: IOVI CONSERVATOR-I AVGG, TR. Jupiter & Diocletian face to face. Diocletian is standing to the left, turned right, dressed in militrary, holding a scepter in left hand. Jupiter is naked standing at right, turned left, the coat on the shoulder, holding a long Scepter, the left hand and a globe nikephoros in the right hand, giving to the emperor.
Mintmark XXI, Treveir, 23.2 mm., 4.0 g.

Comments: The workshop of Tripolis is rare. Opened at the time of the reform of 274 Aurelian's reign, will close under the diarchy in 290. Antioch, as the nearby workshop of Tripolis, seems to serve as military dispensary supplying the army funds in order to pay the troops in the field.
History: Diocletian, born in 245 in Dalmatia (Split), is an Illyrian Emperor. It is purple after eliminating Aper, praetorian prefect and father-in-law and assassin of Numerien, November 20 284. Fighting first against Carin, youngest son of Carus, he was defeated at the Margus the following year; but Carin is murdered and Diocletian remains only August. He appointed Maximian, a compatriot, Caesar in November 285, then auguste April 1 286. It just created a new political regime, the diarchy where two emperors share political and military power, but Maximian remains subordinate to Diocletian. Diocletian ranks under the Jovian (Jupiter) protection while Maximian was Herculean gasoline (of Hercules). Diocletian spent the first ten years of his reign to make war in the East, while Maximian remains in the West. Diocletian was the first emperor of Bas Empire, in the words of Gibbons, and the originator of the dominate.
NORMAN K
CaligulaCosIIII.jpg
Gaius Caligula COS IIII Denarius160 viewsGaius (Caligula). AD 37-41. AR Denarius, 3.67 g. Rome mint. Struck January AD 41.
O: C CAESAR • AVG • PON • M • TR • POT IIII COS • IIII, laureate head right
R: S • P• Q • R •/P P/OB • C • S • in three lines within oak wreath.
- RIC I -; RIC I (1st ed.) 7 = BMCRE 32 = RSC 23a.

Extremely rare, final issue denarius of Caligula's fourth consulship, which only lasted from 1 January 41 until his assassination on 24 January. The fourth known.

Although the first of these three rare coins, the British Museum piece, was cataloged in the first edition of RIC I, it was left out of the revised edition. In that edition, Giard notes (p. 110, note *) that the BM piece was a misreading of TR POT III COS III. In fact, the first edition was correct, the piece was not misdescribed. The second known example of this type was sold as lot 56 in the Bourgey sale of 17 December 1913. Ironically, Bourgey misdescribed that coin as TR POT III COS III. A third example sold through CNG, printed auction 78 lot 1723.

"On the ninth day before the Kalends of February at about the seventh hour he hesitated whether or not to get up for luncheon, since his stomach was still disordered from excess of food on the day before, but at length he came out at the persuasion of his friends. In the covered passage through which he had to pass, some boys of good birth, who had been summoned from Asia to appear on the stage, were rehearsing their parts, and he stopped to watch and to encourage them; and had not the leader of the troop complained that he had a chill, he would have returned and had the performance given at once. From this point there are two versions of the story: some say that as he was talking with the boys, Chaerea came up behind, and gave him a deep cut in the neck, having first cried, "Take that," and that then the tribune Cornelius Sabinus, who was the other conspirator and faced Gaius, stabbed him in the breast. Others say that Sabinus, after getting rid of the crowd through centurions who were in the plot, asked for the watchword, as soldiers do, and that when Gaius gave him "Jupiter," he cried "So be it," and as Gaius looked around, he split his jawbone with a blow of his sword. As he lay upon the ground and with writhing limbs called out that he still lived, the others dispatched him with thirty wounds; for the general signal was "Strike again." Some even thrust their swords through his privates. At the beginning of the disturbance his bearers ran to his aid with their poles, and presently the Germans of his body-guard, and they slew several of his assassins, as well as some inoffensive senators. (Suetonius - Life of Caligula 58).
10 commentsNemonater
ID0211_Merged_Pegasus_R.jpg
Gallienus - Pegasus Right49 viewsObverse:- [GALLIENV]SA[VG] , Head right cuirassed bust with radiate crown
Reverse:- [SOLICONS]AVG , Pegasus springing right
Exergue:- [A]
RIC 283 GOBL 712u CUNETIO ---- VENERA 3466

A badly conditioned coin, however the bust is rare for this type. There are two examples recorded with the cuirassed bust with both ties off the shoulder in Gobl for the Pegasus facing right type. However the picture is missing from the plate in table 20. Per page 186 in MIR the supposed picture should have come from the Venera hoard ref 3466. Fortunately it is pictured in the Venera Catalog itself. The Venera catalog lists the coin 3466 as having an N in the exergue, however Gobl seems to record it under the Officina A classification. Looking at the picture of coin 3466 it just looks like a double I. I think the Venera catalog description is incorrect since there are normally 3 I's that make up these crude N's and this is just an attempt at an A. Note in my gallery pictures I also have examples of Pegasus coins with officina marks that look like X H or II.

The style of this cuirassed bust is of interest too. The front part of the cuirass is split into two sections. You can just make out a dot in the right hand side of the upper section which make me think that there should be more dots in this section (perhaps 3). In the lower section there seems to be vertical lines. Occasionally I've seen a cuirassed bust with dots but none so far with vertical lines. Which does make me question/wonder if the bust should be classified as something else.
1 commentsnogoodnicksleft
IMG_4736.JPG
German Notgeld: Aachen, Rhineland16 viewsCity: Aachen
State: Rhineland
Denomination: 1 Groschen
Obverse: Bust of older woman facing left, AACHEN on shoulder
Reverse: Large numeral 1 split by legend: ÖCHER / GROSCHE, 1920
Date: 1920
Grade: XF
Catalog #:
Matt Inglima
IMG_4781.JPG
German Notgeld: Aachen, Rhineland11 viewsCity: Aachen
State: Rhineland
Denomination: 1 Groschen
Obverse: Bust of older woman facing left, AACHEN on shoulder
Reverse: Large numeral 1 split by legend: ÖCHER / GROSCHE, 1920
Date: 1920
Grade: VF
Catalog #:
Matt Inglima
JET_GB_To_Hanover.jpg
Great Britain. To Hanover (Cumberland Jack)13 viewsGame counter, gilded bronze; 21.5 mm., 0°

Obv: VICTORIA -- REGINA, bust of Victoria facing left

Rev: TO HANOVER, figure of monkey riding a horse to the right, leaping over a dragon (in the style of St George slaying the dragon), 1837 in exergue.

Edge: milled

When William IV died in 1837, Victoria was crowned Queen of Great Britain. However she was prevented by Salic law, which barred a female from acceding the throne, from also being crowned Queen of Hanover. There was agitation in Britain for the repeal of Hanover's Salic law, to no avail. Her unpopular uncle, Ernest Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland, who was William's oldest male heir, was sent off to Hanover as king. For the first time since the accession of George I in 1714, the unified British and Hanoverian monarchies were split. Ernest's income as King of Hanover was considerably greater than his modest allowance as Duke of Hanover. He therefore hastened to occupy his new throne, and to collect his revenues.

The gaming tokens (commonly known as "jacks") bearing the words "To Hanover" (commonly known as Cumberland Jacks) are satirical pieces. They are usually found with Victoria's portrait on the obverse and the year 1837, in which she and Ernest acceded to their thrones, in the exergue on the reverse. The reverse design is based on that of St. George slaying the dragon found on Britain's gold sovereigns. Instead, they depict Ernest (usually with the face of a monkey) riding a horse and leaping over the dragon in his haste to claim his throne. They express the sentiment that Britain is pleased to welcome Victoria to the throne but bids good riddance to Ernest. They were produced from around the time of Victoria's ascension in 1837 until their production was made illegal in 1883.
Stkp
Hadrian_alexandria.jpg
Hadrian, drachm; Tyche, year 1730 viewsHadrian, 117-138 A.D. Bronze drachm, SRCV II 3770, Dattari 1853, BMC Alexandria 725, aF, Alexandria mint, weight 21.330g, maximum diameter 32.3mm, die axis 315o, 132 - 133 A.D.; obverse ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ ΤΡΑΙ Α∆ΡΙΑ CΕΒ, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Tyche standing left, rudder in right, cornucopia cornucopia in left, L IZ (year 17) in upper left field; large bronze, cleaned and porous; The edge splits are typical for bronzes of this time. They suggest that the flans were not hot enough when struck. FORVMPodiceps
HAITI_PRES_BOYER_1818_25_CENTIME.jpg
HAITI - West Haiti29 viewsHAITI - West Haiti, AR 25 Centimes. Obv.: President Boyer facing left. J*P*BOYER - PRESIDENT L'AN 15 (1818) below bust. Reverse: Arms of Haiti, REPUBLIQUE D'HAITI *25*C*. Usual weak strike. Made when Haiti was split into 2 parts (re-united in 1820). Reference: KM#16.1 commentsdpaul7
Harness_2.jpg
Horse Harness Strap Spliters50 viewsThese bronze items are part of Roman cavalry harness and are used to split one strap into three or to hang three straps from under one horizontal strap. I do not know the era.otlichnik
HUN_Maria_Huszar_566_Pohl_112-1.JPG
Huszár 566, Pohl 112-1, Unger 442a, Réthy II 114, Frynas 26.5, Toma plate I/171 views
Hungary. Mária/Maria (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Zsigmond/Sigismund of Luxembourg)

AR denar; .49 g., 15.02 mm. max., 270°

Obv: + mOnETA mARIE [Gothic-style letters A], Patriarchal cross

Rev: + REGInE VnGARIE [Gothic-style letter A], Crowned M

The type was struck in only in 1383 (per Huszár, Unger and Frynas) or from 1383 through 1385 (per Pohl). It is traditionally viewed as the second of three denarii struck by Mária (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 569). More recently, it has been viewed as Mária 's third type (per Gyöngyössi and Toma), struck in 1386-1387, ending when Zsigmond's coinage began (per Gyöngyössi). This coin, struck without a privy mark in the reverse fields, was probably struck in Buda (per Pohl).

Toma notes twelve legend variations among 456 coins of this type in the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934 (but lists only eleven). They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists three variations among 302 coins struck in Buda (Pohl 112-1). The legends on this coin are as per Toma 1. Toma notes 260 coins with this combination.

Toma further notes three versions of the patriarchal cross and eight versions of the crowned M. There are fourteen obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 411 coins from the hoard, all of which are listed by Toma as being among 271 Buda issues (Pohl 112-1). The cross on this coin is apparently Toma B (wide cross with split ends), which is linked to Toma's crowned Ms a-d; the crowned M appears to be Toma c. Toma notes 96 coins with the B/c combination.

Huszár/Pohl rarity rating 5; Frynas rarity C. The legend combination appearing on this coin is depicted/described in Unger, Réthy and Frynas. The legend combination depicted/described in Huszár and Pohl differs in that there are pellets between words on the obverse and reverse.
Stkp
HUN_Maria_Huszár_566,_Pohl_112-1_2.jpg
Huszár 566, Pohl 112-1, Unger 442a, Réthy II 114, Frynas 26.5, Toma plate I/823 viewsHungary. Mária/Maria (1382-1387 solo reign; 1387-1395 with husband Zsigmond/Sigismund of Luxembourg)

AR denar; .65 g., 13.98 mm. max., 90°

Obv: + mOnETA mARIE [Gothic-style letters A], Patriarchal cross. pellet below.

Rev: + REGInE VnGARIE [Gothic-style letter A], Crowned M

The type was struck in only in 1383 (per Huszár, Unger and Frynas) or from 1383 through 1385 (per Pohl). It is traditionally viewed as the second of three denarii struck by Mária (after Huszár 565 and before Huszár 569). More recently, it has been viewed as Mária 's third type (per Gyöngyössi and Toma), struck in 1386-1387, ending when Zsigmond's coinage began (per Gyöngyössi). This coin, struck without a privy mark in the reverse fields, was probably struck in Buda (per Pohl).

Toma notes twelve legend variations among 456 coins of this type in the Cluj-Mănăştur Hoard, found in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (formerly, Kolozsvár, Hungary), in 1934 (but lists only eleven). They differ mainly in terms of completeness of legends, presence of pellets, and the styles of the letter A. Toma lists three variations among 302 coins struck in Buda (Pohl 112-1). The legends on this coin are as per Toma 1. Toma notes 260 coins with this combination.

Toma further notes three versions of the patriarchal cross and eight versions of the crowned M. There are fourteen obverse/reverse design combinations appearing among 411 coins from the hoard, all of which are listed by Toma as being among 271 Buda issues (Pohl 112-1). The cross on this coin is Toma C (wide cross with split ends and pellet below), which is linked to Toma's crowned Ms c-h; the crowned M appears to be Toma e. Toma notes 14 coins with the C/e combination.

Huszár/Pohl rarity rating 5; Frynas rarity C. The legend combination appearing on this coin is depicted/described in Unger, Réthy and Frynas. The legend combination depicted/described in Huszár and Pohl differs in that there are pellets between words on the obverse and reverse.
1 commentsStkp
Italy- Napoli- Mount_vesuvius.jpg
Italy- Napoli- Mount_vesuvius67 viewsOn August 24 of 79 A.D., the area around Mount Vesuvius shook with a huge earthquake. The mountain's top split open and a monstrous cloud raced upward. The inhabitants of Pompeii were showered with ash, stones, and pumice. A river of mud was beginning to bury the city of Herculaneum. The uncle of Pliny the Younger, known as Pliny the Elder, was a commander of a fleet of war ships at Misenum (see map). He decided to use his ships to rescue people close to the volcano. The nephew describes the huge cloud towering over the area (Radice, 1969):

. . . its general appearance can best be expressed as being like a pine rather than any other tree, for it rose to a great height on a sort of trunk and then split off into branches, I imagine because it was thrust upwards by the first blast and then left unsupported as the pressure subsided, or else it was borne down by its own weight so that it spread out and gradually dispersed. Sometimes it looked white, sometimes blotched and dirty, according to the amount of soil and ashes it carried with it. (p. 427)

Pliny the Elder's ship approached the shore near Pompeii.

Ashes were already falling, hotter and thicker as the ships drew near, followed by bits of pumice and blackened stones, charred and cracked by the flames . . . Meanwhile on Mount Vesuvius broad sheets of fire and leaping flames blazed at several points, their bright glare emphasized by the darkness of night. (pp. 429, 431)

But they could not land because the shore was blocked by volcanic debris, so they sailed south and landed at Stabiae. Hoping to quiet the frightened people, the uncle asked to be carried to the bath house. Afterward he lay down and ate. Next, hoping to quiet the inhabitants, he went to bed. The volcano did not do likewise, however.

By this time the courtyard giving access to his room was full of ashes mixed with pumice-stones, so that its level had risen, and if he had stayed in the room any longer he would never had got out. . . . They debated whether to stay indoors or take their chance in the open, for the buildings were now shaking with violent shocks, and seemed to be swaying to and fro as if they were torn from their foundations. Outside on the other hand, there was the danger of falling pumice-stones, even though these were light and porous. . . . As a protection against falling objects they put pillows on their heads tied down with cloths. (pp. 431, 433)

Finally, the uncle decided to leave. The level of ash and pumice-stone had risen to the point that a hasty departure seemed the best option.

. . . the flames and smell of sulphur which gave warning of the approaching fire drove the others to take flight and roused him to stand up . . . then [he] suddenly collapsed, I imagine because the dense fumes choked his breathing by blocking his windpipe which was constitutionally weak and narrow and often inflamed . . . his body was found intact and uninjured, still fully clothed and looking more like sleep than death. (p. 433)

Later, Pliny the Younger and his mother leave Misenam to escape from the approaching volcanic conflagration. They travel across country to avoid being trampled by the crowds of people on the road.

We also saw the sea sucked away and apparently forced back by the earthquake: at any rate it receded from the shore so that quantities of sea creatures were left stranded on dry sand. On the landward side a fearful black cloud was rent by forked and quivering bursts of flame, and parted to reveal great tongues of fire, like flashes of lightning magnified in size. . . . We had scarcely sat down to rest when darkness fell, not the dark of a moonless or cloudy night, but as if the lamp had been put out in a closed room. You could hear the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants, and the shouting of men; some were calling their parents, others their children or their wives, trying to recognize them by their voices. People bewailed their own fate or that of their relatives, and there were some who prayed for death in their terror of dying
John Schou
bonus_eventus_II_fac.jpg
Julia Domna - Bonus Eventus II7 viewsJulia Domna
Denarius
194 A.D.
Alexandria
Av.: IVLIA DO - MNA AVG / draped bust right
Rev.: BONI E - VENTVS / Bonus Eventus standing left, holding plate of fruit in right hand, grain ears in left
2,96 Gr., 12 h die axis
RIC 608, Coh. 10

Another example of the Bonus Eventus with different Reverse-Legend splitting.
nummis durensis
3~11.PNG
King George VI One Shilling20 viewsKing George VI (1936 to 1952) One Shilling (English) Dated-1947

Obverse Inscription - GEORGIVS VI D:G:BR:OMN:REX - By the Grace of God George VI King of all Britain

Reverse Inscription - ?FID?DEF?IND?IMP?ONE SHILLING? - Defender of the Faith and Emporour of India Crowned Lion standing across a Crown with its tail visible and split in three at the end
discwizard
323_-_315_BC_ALEXANDER_III_AE_Quarter-Obol.JPG
Kingdom of Macedonia, Alexander the Great. AE Quarter-Obol (2 Chalkoi). Struck 323 – 315 BC under Nikokreon at Salamis, Cyprus.10 viewsObverse: No legend. Macedonian shield with Gorgoneion (Medusa) head as the boss in the centre. The shield boss is sometimes called the episema, the Greek name for a symbol of a particular city or clan which was placed in the centre of a soldier's shield.
Reverse: Macedonian helmet surmounted with a horse hair crest; B - A (for BAΣIΛEOΣ AΛEΞANĐPOY = King Alexander) above; mint marks below the helmet, to left, a kerykeion (caduceus) and to the right, the monogram NK (for Nikokreon).
Diameter: 14mm | Weight: 4.6gms | Die Axis: 1
Price: 3162 | Liampi, Chronologie 170-92

This coin is a Type 7 (Macedonian shield type) bronze Quarter-Obol (two chalkoi). Price dated the Macedonian Shield coins as beginning during the latter part of Alexander's life, c.325 BC, and ending c.310 BC. Liampi later argued, based on new hoard evidence, that they were minted as early as 334 BC. This particular coin is dated from c.323 to 315 BC.

Salamis was founded around 1100 BC by the inhabitants of Enkomi, a Late Bronze Age city on Cyprus, though in Homeric tradition, the city was established by Teucer, one of the Greek princes who fought in the Trojan War. After Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, of which Salamis was a part, Greek culture and art flourished in the city and, as well as being the seat of the governor of Cyprus, it was the island's most important port.
Nikokreon had succeeded Pnytagoras on the throne of Salamis and is reported to have paid homage to Alexander after the conqueror’s return from Egypt to Tyre in 331 BC. After Alexander's death, his empire was split between his generals, Cyprus falling to Ptolomy I of Egypt. In 315 BC during the war between Antigonos and Ptolemy, Nikokreon supported the latter and was rewarded by being made governor of all Cyprus. However, in 311 BC Ptolemy forced Nikokreon to commit suicide because he no longer trusted him. Ptolemy's brother, King Menelaus, was made governor in Nikokreon's stead.
In 306 BC, Salamis was the scene of a naval battle between the fleets of Ptolemy and Demetrius I of Macedon. Demetrius won the battle and captured the island.
*Alex
56899q00_(2).jpg
Kingdom of Thrace. Lysimachos AR Tetradrachm185 viewsCirca 297-281 B.C. AR Tetradrachm, Thompson 59, Müller 88 (Sestus mint), 17.146g, maximum diameter 31.2mm, die axis 0o, Mysia, Lampsacus mint. Obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon. Reverse Athena seated left on prow, Nike crowning name in extended right, transverse spear resting against right side, resting left arm on shield behind, KA monogram inner left, herm outer left. gVF. Nice style, beautiful portrait of Alexander.

Ex Otakirak Collection. Ex Stack's, Bowers and Ponterio NYINC Auction 2012, lot 194. Ex FORVM.

Lysimachos, a Macedonian of great physical strength and fortitude, rose to prominence as a σωματοφύλαξ, or “bodyguard” for Alexander the Great. When Alexander’s territories were parceled out during the settlement at Babylon in 323 BC, Lysimachos was given control of Thrace, the Chersonese, and the intervening Black Sea coast. Unfortunately, much of this territory was no longer under Macedonian control, but was claimed by various Thracian tribes. Although Lysimachos was involved to some extent in the early wars of the Diadochs, most of his early years as satrap were preoccupied with subduing the Thracian tribes, an endeavor that was largely unsuccessful. By the time he assumed the royal title in 306/5 BC, his kingdom consisted of little more than the southern portions of Thrace. While this territory included a few already active mints, such as Ainos and Byzantion, Lysimachos was forced to depend on his ally Kassander, the king of Macedon, for coinage, as the sources of bullion were under the control of his enemies. This situation changed in 302 BC, when Lysimachos raised an army at the urging of Kassander and invaded Asia Minor, territory which Antigonos I Monophthalmos controlled, and whose son, Demetrios I Poliorketes, was threatening Kassander’s southern flank in Thessaly. Lysimachos quickly captured much of the Hellespont, and he penetrated as far as Lydia. This territory was rich with both silver bullion and mint cities, including Alexandria Troas, Ephesos, Lampsakos, Magnesia, and Sardis. Lysimachos used these mints to begin striking coinage on his behalf, while at the same time, he apparently sent bullion back to Thrace, where Lysimacheia and Sestos also began to produce coinage for him. These mints initially struck coins of Alexander type for Lysimachos, but later changed to the new Lysimachos type in 297 BC. After Lysimachos and Seleukos I defeated the Antigonids at Ipsos in 301 BC, most of western Asia Minor passed to Lysimachos. He now held some of the most prosperous cities in the Aegean, and soon most of the well-established mints were striking coinage in his name. Many of these same mints were required to pay large sums of tribute in order to fund further campaigns of expansion. One such object of expansion was Macedon, the ultimate goal of all the Diodochs. Since the death of Kassander in 298 BC, it had fallen into chaos and was eventually captured by Demetrios, who was, in turn, driven out by the joint invasion of Lysimachos and Pyrrhos in 288 BC. Initially, Macedon was split between the two, with Lysimachos taking the eastern half and its mint of Amphipolis. By 285 BC, when Lysimachos also obtained the western half from Pyrrhos, Pella also began producing coinage for Lysimachos. His successes, however, were short-lived. Beginning in 284 BC with the murder of his step-sons, Lysimachos became involved in a treacherous game of political and dynastic intrigue. As a result, revolt broke out among the Asian cities under his control, and Seleukos I launched an invasion against him. At the battle of Korupedion in 281 BC, Lysimachos was killed, and his kingdom was subsumed into the Seleukid empire. Ptolemy Keraunos, however, siezed Lysimachos’ European territories after he murdered Seleukos I later that year. Edward T. Newell’s study of Lysimachos’ lifetime issues arranged them according to the territorial expansion of his kingdom. Unfortunately, Newell died before completing his study, and consequently many issues are missing from Margaret Thompson’s survey of his unfinished work. The many ‘unpublished’ coins that have appeared over the past two decades reveal how little is known about Lysimachos’ coinage. Although most catalogs list these unpublished coins as posthumous issues, this is unlikely, as most of his mint cities were taken over by other kingdoms following Lysimachos’ death. The cities that continued to issue his coins as a regular type, such as Byzantion, were mostly ones that regularly conducted trade with cities to the north of Thrace, whose economies were likely dominated by Lysimachos type coinage during his lifetime. A few cities, such as Tenedos, struck brief, sporadic issues of Lysimachos type coins long after his death, but these issues were likely struck for some specific purpose that required this type, and are not part of any regular series. At the beginning of his reign, Lysimachos continued to use Alexander’s coinage types, later modifying them by replacing Alexander’s name with his own. In 297 BC, Lysimachos introduced a new type: the obverse was a portrait of Alexander; the reverse was Athena, Lysimachos’ patron goddess. G.K Jenkins noted the power of the Alexander portrait in his commentary on the Gulbenkian Collection: “The idealized portrait of Alexander introduced on the coinage of Lysimachos in 297 BC is characterized by the horn of Ammon which appears above the ear. The allusion is to Alexander’s famous visit to the oracle of Ammon at the Siwa Oasis in 331, when the god is supposed to have greeted Alexander as ‘My son’.... The best of the Alexander heads on Lysimachos’ coinage...have a power and brilliance of effect that is irresistible. It [is speculated] that these Alexander heads may have derived from an original gem carved by Pyrgoteles, an engraver prominent among the artists of Alexander’s court....” Regardless of the inspiration for the new design, part of the remarkable attraction of this coinage is its artistic variety: each engraver created his own fresh and distinctive portrayal of the world’s greatest conqueror. (Commentary courtesy of CNG).
6 commentsJason T
D544C9DE-D4C6-455C-8610-B9E99A9F9AC0.jpeg
Kios, Bithynia, c. 340 - 315 B.C.17 viewsTraditionally, the earliest precious metal coinage of Kios has been dated after Alexander the Great's capture of Kios in 334 B.C. More recently, however, Oliver Hoover and other numismatists suggest this type, struck on a Persic standard, was probably minted to pay mercenaries to defend against Alexander's invasion, which began in 336 B.C.
GS89610. Silver siglos, Rec Gén I.2 p. 311, 2, pl. XLIX, 7; HGC 7 552 (R2); BMC Pontos -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, VF, attractive style, toned, light marks, a little off center, edge split, Kios (near Gemlik, Turkey) mint, weight 4.890g, maximum diameter 17.6mm, die axis 0o, Nikas, magistrate, c. 340 - 315 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse war galley prow left, ornamented with star over an apotropaic eye, waves indicated on side of hull, NIKAΣ (magistrate's name) above; ex CNG e-auction 438, lot 132; very rare
3 commentsMark R1
IMG_4679.JPG
Lincoln Heritage Trail, 196912 viewsObv: LINCOLN HERITAGE TRAIL, beardless head of Abraham Lincoln facing right.

Rev: KENTUCKY * INDIANA * ILLINOIS 1969, a depiction of Lincoln riding the legal circuit in the Midwest, a log cabin with split-rail fence in background.
Matt Inglima
88881q00.jpg
Macedonian Kingdom, Demetrius I Poliorketes, 306 - 283 B.C., Silverdrachm16 viewsThe bull's horns suggest Demetrius' relationship to Poseidon is the same as Alexander's to Zeus Ammon. The portrait is individualized, but evokes the image of Alexander. Demetrios was the first to assimilate elements of Alexander's deified portrait and the first living ruler to portray himself as a god on coins.
SH88881. Silver drachm, Newell 154, SNG München 1051, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG Cop -, VF, attractive style, toned, edge splits, Euboea, Chalkis(?) mint, weight 4.202g, maximum diameter 20.0mm, die axis 0o, c. 290 - 287 B.C.; obverse Demetrios diademed head right with horns of a bull, the animal sacred to Demetrios' patron deity, Poseidon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ∆HMHTPIOY, Poseidon standing left, right foot on rock, trident in left (apparently inspired by the Lateran Poseidon, a statue by Lysippos, court sculptor of Alexander), monogram inner left; ex Gorny & Mosch Giessener, auction 257, lot 334; very rare
2 commentsMark R1
89767q00.jpg
Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus Restoration LEGIO VI20 viewsSilver Denarius
Roman Imperial - The Principate

Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus

LEGIO VI

Rome mint, 165 - 166 A.D.
VF, toned, shallow scratches, small edge split
18.6 mm / 3.329 g / 0°

Rare

Obverse: "ANTONINVS AVGVR III VIR R P C", War galley, four oarsmen visible, rowing left over waves.
Reverse: "ANTONINVS ET VERVS AVG REST", Aquila in center between two legionary standards, "LEG VI" in center above exergue.

Ex Forvm Ancient Coins 2019 RS89767-165
Ex Collection of a Texas Wine Doctor
Ex CNG e-auction 401 (2017) lot 539.

BMCRE IV p 456, 501, RIC III 248, 443, RSC I Antony 83

MyID: 058A

Image Credit: Forvm Ancient Coins
2 commentsTenthGen
maximinus_II_daia_01.jpg
Maximinus II Daia AR Argenteus22 viewsObv: IMP MAXIMINVS AVG - Radiate, mantled bust left, holding mappa & globe.
Rev: SOLI INVICTO COMITI - Sol driving a split, stationary quadriga facing, his radiate head left, hand raised, holding globe and whip; PTR in ex.
Date: 306 AD
Mint: Trier
Ref: RIC VI 826
Notes: R3
oa
philsestertius1.jpg
Philip I AE Sestertius 247-249 AD66 viewsOBV: IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG; Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
REV: AEQVITAS AVGG; Equitas standing left with cornucopia and scales. S - C in field RIC 166a, Cohen 10

Weight 19.4 gm, diameter 30 mm
This sestertius is a fairly common type but examples are so often misshapen or split at the edges. Also it has one of the liveliest portraits of Philip the Arab that I have encountered. He seems to be keeping a watchful and sardonic eye on the viewer.
2 commentsdaverino
herennia~1.jpg
PIETAS, Herennia118 viewsAR denarius. 108 BC. 3,87 grs. Diademed head of Pietas,with necklace,right. PIETAS ( AT in monogram) behind / Amphinomus carrying his father aloft right, who looks back. M. HERENNI behind. Control letter E before.
Herennia 1a. Cra 308/1b.

The reverse of this coin shows the iconography of the saga of the Catanean brothers in Sicily.
As Pausanias writes ( X.28.4.) " The ancients charished their parents highly as you can see in Katane by the so-called "pious", who when the fire from the Mt. Aitna was flowing onto Katane gold and silver regarded for nothing but escaped one carrying his mother, the other his father. Because they advanced only badly the fire reached them with its flames, and because even then they didn't set down their parents, the fire-stream is said to have split in two parts and the fire flowed around the youth and their parents without causing harm to them. Therefore they were worshipped until now by the Katanaians."
benito
sub_3.jpg
Plautilla - PROPAGO IMPERI (No. 2)10 viewsPlautilla
subaerate Denarius
ca 202 A.D.
irregular mint
Av.: PLAVTILLAE AVGVSTAE / draped bust right (Hill: Ei)
Rev.: PRO - PAGO IMPE - RI / Plautilla and Caracalla standing facing each other, clasping hands.
2,89 Gr., 12 h die axis
(RIC 362, Coh. 21, Hill 575B)

Interesting Revers-Legend splitting.
nummis durensis
213~0.JPG
Quatrième République - Morlon - 1 franc - 1947 splittée8 viewsAluminium, 23 mm
Av./ REPVBLIQVE - FRANÇAISE, buste drapé de la République à gauche, coiffée d'un bonnet phrygien orné d'une cocarde sous une couronne composite de blé, chêne et olivier nouée par un ruban ; sous le ruban MORLON.
Rv./ LIBERTE - EGALITE / FRATERNITE, en deux lignes, 1 / FRANCS au-dessus du millésime 1947 encadré des différents, le tout entre deux cornes d'abondance symétriquement opposées.
Réfs : F-221.10
Gabalor
Caracalla.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Caracalla - VICTORIAE BRIT40 viewsCaracalla, 198-217 A.D.
Denarius, 210-3 A.D. Laureate head r. Rv. Victory rushing r. holding trophy with both hands; VICTORIAE BRIT. RIC 231A.
Tiny edge split. Toned Near Extremely Fine.
superflex
bpS1X2Valerian.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Valerian I (253-260)35 viewsObv: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG
Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: AEQVITAS AVGG
Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae
Antoninianus, 3 gm, 20 mm, Rome RIC 209
History: Commissioned by Gallus to the Rhine to gather an Army, the news that Gallus had subsequently been murdered prompted the Legions to proclaim him Emperor. On his arrival to Italy, the forces of the pretender Aemilian had no heart for battle and executed him. The Senate quickly ratified his regime and the appointment of his son, Gallienus as co-Augustus. With all points of the Empire collapsing under the strain of barbarous invasions, father and son agreed to geographically split their responsabilities with the son headed to the West and Valerian focused to the East. His first order of business was to quell the widespread and destructive rampage of Shapur I. The Battle Order implemented by Valerian met with great success in the recovery of territory and elimination of localized revolts. Then disaster struck. The plague decimated his legions to the point where he was forced to withdraw into the city of Edessa. He saw little option, but to sue for peace and proceeded to make the colossal error of going to Shapur in person with a small retinue of advisors. Shapur was delighted to take advantage of the situation and promptly placed this unwise emperor in chains. He spent the remainder of his life being tortured and tormented by his captor who found it amusing to use him as a footstool to mount his horse. On his eventual death, Shapur reportedly had his body skinned and put on display, truly the low point of a profoundly troubled Empire.
Massanutten
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ROMAN REPUBLIC, Didrachm - Quadrigatus (Crawford 28/3)21 viewsRome, The Republic.
Anonymous, 225-214 BCE.
AR Didrachm/Quadrigatus (7.25 g; 21mm).
Apulian Mint.

Obv: Janiform head with straight neck truncaction.

Rev: Jupiter and Victory on fast quadriga, right; ROMA in relief within linear frame below.

Reference: Crawford 28/3; Sydenham 65; BMCRR 101; Gentilehomme II.B.1.

Provenance: Ex NAC 92 (24 May 2016), Lot 1517.

The last few series of Roman silver didrachm coinage, produced from 225-214 BCE, are nicknamed "quadrigati" because of the common reverse type of Jupiter and Victory in a fast quadriga. Crawford's arrangement of quadrigati into distinct series requires a great amount of study to understand. Collectors and dealers alike often misattribute quadrigati among Crawford's series.

The Crawford 28 series of quadrigati, to which this example belongs, really should be split into two separate series. The first (early) series of 28s are almost certainly the earliest of the quadrigatus coinage - struck in good silver and of fine style in high relief with ROMA incuse in a rectangular tablet. The second (later) series of 28s, shown here, is of lower quality style and fabric; the neck truncation is wide and straight; ROMA is in relief in a linear frame. Like other Apulian coins, they typically show tabs or other signs of cast flan production, visible here at 2h reverse.
1 commentsCarausius
Combined_LT_Victoriatus.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, LT Series Victoriatus - Crawford 98A/1b20 viewsRome. The Republic.
LT Series, 211-210 BCE
AR Victoriatus (3.06g; 18mm).
Luceria mint

Obverse: Laureate head of Jupiter facing right.

Reverse: Victory crowns trophy; LT ligate between; ROMA in exergue.

References: Crawford 98A/1b; RBW 429; Sydenham 137; BMCRR (Italy) 178-80.

Provenance: Ex Andrew McCabe Collection; private purchase in 2012 from CNG #910522; ex CNG 88 (14 Sep 2011) Lot 1130.

About 212 BCE, when the Romans introduced the denarius system, they also introduced a collateral denomination of silver coin, the victoriatus. As evidenced by its different weight standard, debased metal, iconography and missing denominational mark, the victoriatus was not integral to the denarius system but was produced for a special purpose. While the denarius and its fractions, the quinarius and sestertius, all depicted Roma and the Dioscuri, victoriati depicted Jupiter and Victory crowning a trophy. Further, while denarii were produced from nearly pure silver, victoriati were made from debased silver of about 70% purity. Based on the weight standard of Magna Graecia drachms, victoriati were likely designed specifically for payments to Greek cities of southern Italy and hoard evidence supports circulation largely in southern Italy.

Like the L Series victoriati which were also struck in Luceria, Crawford notes three phases of the LT Series victoriati: the first, with a small head and mint/control letters split between obverse and reverse; the second, with larger head and monogram LT on reverse; the last, with careless, spread devices and mint/control marks again split between obverse and reverse. This coin belongs to the second phase of the series’ development. While the L almost certainly represent Luceria, the meaning of the additional letter T is uncertain. Crawford suggests it may be a magistrates initial or indicate the purpose of the expenditure.

Rome ceased issuing victoriati circa 170 BCE. Perhaps because of their debased metal (which discouraged hoarding), victoriati continued to circulate in Gaul for many years until they functioned as de facto quinarii due to metal loss from wear. Their continued popularity caused Rome to later issue quinarii bearing the same devices (Jupiter/Victory and trophy).
1 commentsCarausius
Sacrate_Cow.JPG
SACRED COW! 187 viewsHorseman right, holding banner; Nagari Bhi in the upper left, Adl (?) in Arabic in the upper right / śri samanta deva in Nagari, recumbent zebu bull to left with symbol on rump; to left, star above pellet above crescent. Uncertain mint in (Kabul or Ohind?). 19mm, 2.98 grams. Tye #21. SKU 42564

Samanta Deva just meant "The Feudatory Chief" - it was the title assumed by the Kabul Shahi and their Islamic successors, and was probably not a personal name. Hundreds of types of jitals inscribed "Samanta Deva" (in imitation of this type) were struck by numerous dynasties in the later period. The Kabul Shahi dynasties also called Shahiya ruled the Kabul Valley (in eastern Afghanistan) and the old province of Gandhara (northern Pakistan) during the Classical Period of India, from the decline of the Kushan Empire in the 3rd century to the early 9th century. They are split into two eras the Buddhist-Shahis and the later Hindu-Shahis with the change-over occurring around 870. These coins are of full size and weight, but were probably not minted by Samanta Deva but can be considered anonymous issues of his successors

800-1026 AFGHANISTAN SILVER DRACHM _2600
3 commentsAntonivs Protti
Sear_0159.jpg
Sear 015941 viewsJustinian I (527 – 565 CE) Follis, weight 15.4g, diameter 33mm. Mint of Constantinople, fifth officina. This is the sub-variety where the obverse legend is split by a cross above the emperor’s head. Abu Galyon
Sear_1936.jpg
Sear 193628 viewsAlexius I Comnenus (1081 – 1118 CE) Billon aspron trachy, weight 3.63g, diameter 25mm. Older references attribute Sear 1936 to a provincial mint at Philippopolis. CLBC splits the type into two sub-varieties (2.3.7.A and 2.3.7.B) and suggests that variety A (of which this specimen is an example) likely originates in Constantinople.Abu Galyon
Septimius_Liberalitas_1b.jpg
Septimius Severus * Liberalitas VI, 193-211 AD. AR Denarius76 views
Septimius Severus * Liberalitas VI, Silver Denarius
"Septimius Severus and family's sixth gift of money to the people."
* Sixth Largesse *

Obv: SEVERVS PIVS AVG * Laureate head right.
Rev: LIBERLITAS AVG VI - Liberalitas standing left, holding coin counter in right hand, arm partially extended, and cornucopia in left hand & arm.

Exergue: (Blank)

Mint: Rome
Struck: 208 AD.

Size: 19 mm.
Weight: 2.80 grams
Die axis: 10°

Condition: Beautiful, clear & clean with bright luster. Some mild splitting of the flan from strike, but well-struck. Good full legends and clear, strong images on both sides, with handsome portrait of the Emperor.

Refs:*
Cohen 298
RIC IV, 278a
SEAR RCV II, (2002), 6306, page 461

Tiathena
sept_boni_eventvs_fac.jpg
Septimius Severus - Bonus Eventus II13 viewsSeptiminus Severus
Denarius
194 A.D.
Alexandria
Av.: IMP CAE L SEP S - EV PERT AVG / laureate head right
Rev.: BONI - EVENTVS / Bonus Eventus standing left, holding plate of fruit in right hand, grain ears in left
3,07 Gr., 12 h die axis
RIC 347 , Coh. 66

Another Bonus Eventus, but with different Avers-legend splitting
nummis durensis
302798_0_zoom.jpg
Sicily. Messana. The Mamertinoi. Ae Quadruple Unit (288-278 BC).24 views27 mm, 19.38 g

Obverse: APEOΣ Laureate head of Ares to right; behind, helmet.

Reverse: MAMEPTINΩN Eagle standing to left on thunderbolt.

Calciati I, 92, 3. SNG ANS 402.

After the tyrant of Syracuse Agathocles died in 289 BC, the majority of his mercenaries became unemployed. Some bands dispersed but the Mamertines attempted to stay in Syracuse. Hailing from Campania (a region in southern Italy), perhaps related to the Samnites, the civilized Greeks did not take kindly to a large armed mob of uncultured barbaroi loitering around the Hellenistic center of Sicily. Barred from settling in Syracuse, these mercenaries headed north until they came across the town of Messana on the north-east tip of Sicily.

The city offered its hospitality to the band of mercenaries and in return the mercenaries slaughtered many of the men and leading figures of the city and claimed it for themselves. The women and possessions were split among the mercenaries as their own. It was at this time that the mercenaries seem to officially proclaim themselves as the Mamertines as they began to mint their own coinage. The name Mamertines means the sons of Mamers, Mamers being an Italic war god with the Latin equivalent of Mars. Soon afterwards, the Italian town of Rhegium suffered a similar fate.

With Messana and its sister city of Rhegium across the strait, the Mamertines held a commanding position in Sicily and the shipping routes that passed through the Strait of Messina. With Messana as a base of operations the Mamertines were able to plunder, pirate, and raid the surrounding countryside with considerable success. Syracuse was unable to react immediately due to its internal political disorder. This left Sicily split between Carthage in the west and disunited Greeks and Mamertines elsewhere.

When Hiero II of Syracuse attempted to dislodge the Mamertines in 265, they enlisted the aid of a nearby Carthaginian fleet, whose swift intervention forced Hiero to withdraw. The Mamertines soon regretted the Carthaginian occupation and appealed to Rome for protection, citing their status as Italians. Rome was hesitant to become entangled in a conflict outside of Italy or to come to the aid of the piratical Mamertines. Yet Rome's fear of a Carthaginian stronghold so close to Italy—and greed for plunder in what they assumed would be a short war against Syracuse—outweighed their concerns. The Romans invaded Sicily and marched to the Mamertines' aid.

When the Mamertines learned that the Romans were approaching, they persuaded the Carthaginian general to withdraw his forces from the city. The general, regretting this decision to abandon the city, took the fateful steps of allying with Hiero. The combined Carthaginian and Syracusan forces then besieged Messana. After attempts to negotiate a truce failed, Carthage and Rome began hostilities. Both sides were confident of a quick and decisive victory. Neither side anticipated the horror that was to come: a ferocious, generation-long war that would transform the Roman and Carthaginian empires, upend the balance of power in the western Mediterranean, and set the stage for Hannibal's avenging assault on Italy.
Nathan P
Vlasto_1413.JPG
Taras, Calabria51 views272-235 BC
AR Diobol (11mm, 0.97g)
O: Head of Athena left, wearing Corinthian helmet (T behind?).
R: Herakles standing right, fighting Nemean lion with club in right hand; T to left.
Vlasto 1413
Very Scarce
ex Spartan Numismatics

Herakles Battle With the Nemean Lion
“… so the terrible lion arched himself and sprang from far upon me, raging to taste my flesh. I held in one hand my darts and the cloak from my shoulders, folded; with the other I swung my seasoned club about my ears and smashed it down on his head, but split the wild olive, rugged as it was, asunder on the invincible brute's maned skull. Before he could come at me, he fell, dropping down on the ground and stood on trembling feet swaying his head, for darkness swam about his eyes swaying his head, for darkness swam about his eyes at the stunning shock to the brain's core.”
~ Theocritus, Idylls 25. 132 ff
2 commentsEnodia
ainianes__BMC_Thessaly_12,_18.jpg
Thessaly, Ainianes, BMC Thessaly 12, 1816 viewsThessaly, Ainianes, Hypata, c.302-286 BC
AE - Bronze Dichalkon, 4.30g, 19.2mm, 180°
obv. Bearded head of Zeus, laureate, l.
rev. ANIAN - WN (from upper r.)
Heros Phemios, nude, except chlamys over l. shoulder and extended l. arm, sword
in scubbard, with sidestep stg. l., looking r., raising r. hand with slingshot
to sling a stone; 2 grounded spears leaning diagonal left behind his r. leg
ref.: BCD Thessaly I 1015; BCD Thessaly II 31.1; Rogers 137; SNG Cop 4; BMC
Thessaly p. 12, 18; HGC 4 50 (R1)
VF-, well centered, dark sea-green patina with exposed bronze spots, bumps and
marks, edge split
pedigree:
ex BCD coll. with tag "N. Rous., Jan. 90, 10000drs."

From Forum Ancient Coins, thanks!

The rev. was described by the seller in error as Phemios, singer from Ithaka, who was spared by Odysseus.
1 commentsJochen
1850_Bible.jpg
Victorian Holy Bible130 viewsDate: AD 1850
Size: 5-1/4 x 3-1/2 in.

The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments: Translated out of the original tongues; and with the former traslations diligently compared and revised, by His Majesty's Special Command.
Appointed to be read in churches.
LONDON: Printed by G.E. Eyre ad W. Spottiswoode, priters to the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, and sold at their warehouse, 189 Fleet Street.
M.DCCC.L.

CONDITION: Near Fine. The binding is intact with some signs of inner splitting. The hardcover is cobalt blue in color with a gilt rectangle design pattern on both the front and back. All page edges are gilt. A functional metal clasp keeps the Bible shut.
2 commentsNoah
IMGP4569Vol4brcombo.jpg
Vologases IV., 147 - 191 AD18 viewsAE15, 3,09gr., 15,25mm;
Sellw. 84.155, Shore --;
mint: Seleukia,,, axis: 12h;
obv.: head, left, w/tiara, diadem, loop, and 1 ribbon, single long curved ear flap; mustache, long beard; 2-layer necklace; dotted border 3 - 6h; sprue handle at 11:30, flan split at 15h;
rev: goddess, left, seated on column; in left field large palm branch; dotted border 6:30 - 11h;
Schatz
Wallachia,_Vladislav_I__(cc_1364_-1377_AD_),_AR-Ducat,typ-III_,_IWANAB_ATIC_ABOIBO_A,_IWAN-B_ATI,_MBR,p-10,typ-17,_Q-001_11h_17mm_0,95g-s.jpg
Wallachia, Vladislav I., Vlaicu Voda, (cc. 1364-1377 A.D.), AR-Ducat, Typ-III., MBR, p-10, type-17, Eagle standing left on the top of the helmet,124 viewsWallachia, Vladislav I., Vlaicu Voda, (cc. 1364-1377 A.D.), AR-Ducat, Typ-III., MBR, p-10, type-17, Eagle standing left on the top of the helmet,
avers:- +IWANABЛATICЛABOIBOДA, Split shield of the emperor, left four stripes, right empty.
revers:- +IWAN-BЛATI, Helmet left, cross on the helmet, Eagle standing left on the top of the helmet, head turning right. Six-pointed star in the left field.
mintmark, exe: */-//+, diameter:17,0mm, weight: 0,95, axis: 11h,
mint: Wallachia, date:1364-1377 A.D., ref: MBR, p-10, type-17,
Q-001
1 commentsquadrans
ArcadiusManusDei.jpg
[1601b] Arcadius, 19 January 383 - 1 May 408 A.D.63 viewsARCADIUS AE2. Struck at Constantinople, 378-383 AD. Obverse: D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right, holding spear and shield, Hand of God above holding wreath; Reverse - GLORIA ROMANORVM, emperor standing facing, head left, holding standard & resting shield at side, bound captive seated on ground to left, head right, CONG in exergue. RIC 53b. Scarce. Extremely Fine, some roughness and corrosion.


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


Arcadius (395-408 A.D.)

Geoffrey S. Nathan
University of California at Los Angeles

Introduction and Early Life
The ineffectual life and reign of Flavius Arcadius are of considerably less importance than the quite significant developments that occurred during his reign. Born either in 377 or 378 to then general Theodosius and Aelia Flavia Flacilla, he and his younger brother, Honorius, ruled the eastern and western halves of the Roman Empire respectively from 395.

Shortly after his birth, his father was raised to the imperial purple in 379. Events in Illyricum with the massive influx of Ostrogothic and Visigothic peoples had resulted in the defeat of the Roman army and the death of the emperor, Valens. Theodosius' first task was to confront the Visigoths who had been ravaging the Balkans. Perhaps in the wake of this difficult and almost insurmountable task, the emperor wanted to insure that his infant son would bear some legitimacy should he die on campaign. Whatever the reason, Arcadius was proclaimed Augustus in January of 383 at the age of five or six. In the following year, his younger brother was born and it seems as if Theodosius initially had been interested in preserving the theoretical position of his elder son. While Arcadius enjoyed the status of Augustus, Honorius only achieved the office of consul posterior in 386. Perhaps the eastern emperor had wanted to avoid the possible conflicts that arose earlier in the century with the family of Constantine. Recent events in the west with the assassination of Gratian by Magnus Maximus may have also played a part: Theodosius initially had to leave the murder of his imperial colleague unavenged and leave the boy- emperor, Valentinian II, largely undefended. The profusion of emperors may well have been seen by Theodosius as kindling for civil war. His own autocratic tendencies may have also meant that he saw only one possible successor for himself.

Nevertheless, Theodosius gave Arcadius very little independence in early life. When he went to campaign against Magnus in the late 380's, he placed his son under the Praetorian Prefect of the East, Tatian, who was the de facto emperor in Theodosius' absence. This began a long series of regencies for Arcadius. The strength of Tatian's position with the eastern governing class made the office of Praetorian Prefect all the more powerful in Constantinople, which in turn made it easier to dominate future emperors. When Theodosius replaced Tatian with the more malleable and more ambitious Rufinus in 392, he had appointed a minister who would centralize even greater authority under the prefecture.

By 393, the emperor's situation had changed radically. When events in the west demanded his attention again, Theodosius was in a much stronger position. The ascendancy of the general, Arbogast, and his own puppet emperor, Eugenius, in the west provided Theodosius an opportunity and, indeed, the obligation to take full control of the Empire. The chance for having his own two sons ruling both halves of Rome not only seemed practical and feasible, but such an arrangement would establish himself as the head of a new dynasty. With thoughts in that direction, Honorius was made Augustus in 393 and accompanied his father west in the summer of 394. Arcadius, although near his majority, was nevertheless placed again under the guardianship (epitropos) of the Prefect of the East. In January of 395, Theodosius the Great died and his two sons took theoretical control of the two halves of the Roman Empire.

Early Reign and the Dominance of Rufinus and Eutropius (395-399)
Arcadius was eighteen when he assumed the throne in the east. We do not know whether or not he was ready for the responsibilities. During the mid-380's, the young emperor had been educated in part by Themistius, a famous pagan statesman, philosopher, and speaker. In what way he affected Arcadius is impossible to say, but surely his teachings must have included statecraft. Perhaps because of this influence, the new emperor's attempt to establish himself as an independent force can be seen in a series of laws passed at his accession. In contrast to trying to create a military image for himself, which would not be allowed either by Rufinus or by the eastern court, he attempted to portray himself as a pious Christian emperor. He enacted several comprehensive laws against heresy and paganism.

This was not necessarily an ineffectual strategy. By celebrating his religious piety, he expressed his power in the only way available to an emperor largely controlled by his ministers. He also perhaps sought to gain support and power from the local governing and religious hierarchies in Constantinople. Arcadius also perhaps thought that he was carrying on in the tradition of his father and so, by extension, might share in some of his glory. Rufinus in contrast wanted to tie himself to the emperor through a marriage connection to his daughter. But in April of 395, Arcadius had taken advantage of the Prefect's temporary absence to marry Aelia Eudoxia, whose guardian, the general, Promotus, had been a bitter enemy of Rufinus. Arcadius had been aided in this move by his own grand chamberlain (praepositus sacri cubiculi), Eutropius, and it perhaps indicated the degree to which he wanted to be free of any regent.

But in reality, Arcadius gained little if any power. Rufinus assumed full control of the east, and the Vandal Stilicho, Theodosius' closest advisor and general, took control of Honorius in the west. The tension between east and west quickly grew when Stilicho, in command of all the eastern and western armies, tried to press his guardianship over Arcadius as well. Moreover, there was considerable resentment against Rufinus in the east for using his office to greatly enrich himself and perhaps, too, because he was a westerner. Rufinus, understanding the perils around him, acted quickly. He had Arcadius demand the return of the eastern armies at once. Stilicho acquiesced, perhaps because the general was basing his claim of guardianship on his own legitimacy: to have taken control of the east and Arcadius by force would have undermined his position there and perhaps in the west. The soldiers returned under the command of the Gothic general, Gainas. With the control of the field army, it seemed as if Rufinus was going to be more thoroughly in control of the east and over Arcadius.

He did not long enjoy his victory. When Arcadius and Rufinus came to greet the armies at Hebdoman near Constantinople in November of 395, the soldiers turned on the Praetorian Prefect and cut him down in front of the emperor. Whether Stilicho instigated the assassination is a matter of some debate, but if he did, he received no benefit from it. The armies remained and Arcadius soon fell under the sway of other ministers. Nevertheless, despite the shock and fear Arcadius may have felt at witnessing such a brutal murder, he probably missed Rufinus' presence not at all and even thought it might provide an opportunity to assert his own authority. For the bureaucracy, the death meant that maintaining civilian control over the army was paramount to their own survival.

Soon thereafter, Eutropius assumed Rufinus' place in dominating Arcadius. Since the grand chamberlain could control access to the emperor and commanded the powerful palace bureaucracy, he was well-placed to dictate what and whom the emperor saw and heard. Military officers--frequently Germanic--who dominated the western government, were held suspect by fearful and jealous civil administrators in Constantinople. Eutropius used that fear to his advantage and froze out any access they may have had to the circles of power. His decision to effectively eliminate the military's input in decision-making would eventually lead to his demise.

It is difficult to determine how popular Eutropius was either with Arcadius or with the wider population. As a eunuch and a former slave, the sources generally portray him very negatively. He nevertheless seems to have enjoyed some support from the emperor, likely aided by Eudoxia with whom the grand chamberlain had close ties. The emperor happily took annual vacations in Galatia, apparently upon the Eutropius' suggestion. Moreover, the chamberlain showed great personal courage and talent in leading a campaign against invading Huns in 397/8, for which he won the consulship and the rank of patrician in the following year of 399. He also seems to have gained considerable support from the local clergy by procuring the patriarchate of Constantinople in 398 for John Chrysostom.

Despite Eutropius' rise to power, however, eastern policy changed little. The religious policies of Theodosius and Arcadius continued, including the forced closure of pagan temples in Gaza. More significantly, tension between the two halves of the empire persisted as Stilicho continued to press for his position as guardian. Although Stilicho led periodic raids into Greece and Thrace to attack the new Visigothic king, Alaric, his victories were incomplete and were more likely meant to keep the Germanic people out of western territory. This meant, among other things, that the Visigoths were an enduring problem for the east. Eutropius in turn supported the revolt of the Count Gildo in Africa, which was under western control, in an attempt to destabilize Stilicho's control and further eastern domains.

The failure of the revolt in 398 was the first step in Eutropius' downfall. The decision to exclude the military men of the period, particularly among the growing importance of Germanic officers, created a dangerous situation. By 399, the dissatisfaction with east-west affairs and the Gildo fiasco resulted in a revolt by the Gothic count, Tribigild. He was apparently in collusion with Gainas, who had taken advantage of the crisis to be named chief general in the east (magister utriusque militiae). Gainas quickly reached an agreement with the rebel and part of the settlement was the dismissal of Eutropius, to which Arcadius--at Eudoxia's urging--agreed. The chamberlain took refuge in the Hagia Sophia, and was exiled to Cyprus. But shortly thereafter, in the autumn of 399, Eutropius was recalled, tried and executed in Chalcedon.

The Age of Eudoxia (400-404)
The death of Eutropius precipitated a serious crisis. Gainas, who had wanted high office for years, now tried to force the hand of Arcadius. Having come to a quick resolution with Tribigild, he moved from Thrace towards Constantinople in 400. With the Germanic troops supporting him, Gainas tried for six months to initiate his own primacy-- including seizing the imperial palace--but which failed. He was forced to withdraw personally from the city to regroup and planned to use his troops remaining there to seize the entire city. But they were slaughtered by the inhabitiants and he fled first to Thrace and then to Asia. Eventually Gainas was killed by the Huns later in that year. His attempted coup ensured that Germanic officers would never again be trusted by the eastern government and would forever be kept out of any important decision-making roles.

The likely successor to Eutropius had been the anti-Germanic leader, Aurelianus, who had succeeded to the Prefecture of the East in 399. But Gainas had exiled him, having forced Arcadius to hand him over, and although Aurelianus returned triumphantly after Gainas' departure, he appears to have lost his hold over the emperor. In the meantime, Aelia Eudoxia had done much to forward her own place in the government. In January of 400, she had been named Augusta, a singular distinction offered to only three other women in the previous century. Her position thus gained a semi-official legitimacy afforded to very few Roman empresses. It has been assumed that because of her beauty, her intelligence, and her fecundity (she bore Arcadius five children), she was able to assert her influence to a point where she was the new power behind the throne.

That assessment, while held by many scholars, is not entirely accurate. While there were several events in which she played a crucial part, they were not terribly important moments during Arcadius' reign. But because Eudoxia was enormously wealthy, because she delivered a male heir in 401, and because she was involved in a highly publicized and drawn out political fight with John Chrysostom, this belief that there was an assumption of power is based more on the notoriety of her acts than on actual control. The fact that there was no one clearly dominating the government nor the emperor during this time implies perhaps that Arcadius had more power during these five years of his reign than at any other time.

There are several indications that he did try to improve and assert his own position. The emperor and his court immediately came to some understanding with the west. The east at the very least gave Honorius and Stilicho moral support in their increasing problems with Alaric. In 402, the feeling of goodwill was sealed by a joint consulship between Arcadius and his brother. The emperor also sought to establish his own military prowess and Christian piety with the erection of a column set up in the Hippodrome of Constantinople in 402/3. The column depicted his military victory over Gainas, crowned with a capital emblazoned with the Greek letters chi-rho, symbolizing his devotion to Christ. Arcadius' son, Theodosius II, was born in 401, and was quickly made Augustus at the age of eight months. The eastern ruler was thus interested in assuring his own dynasty.

In all these things, the emperor was largely successful, but they were largely overshadowed by the feud between his empress and the bishop of Constantinople. Eudoxia had already shown herself able in pushing her interests during the baptism of her son. The Bishop of Constantinople, however, was a much tougher opponent than her husband. John Chrysostom, a strong believer in social justice, had boorishly attacked Eudoxia and many of her friends for the conspicuous luxury in which they lived and displayed themselves. At the height of these attacks, John compared the empress to Jezebel. Eudoxia in turn used her considerable influence to inflame hostility among the clergy against the bishop. Working through Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria, in 403 Chrysostom was deposed and forced into exile at a Church council convened by the emperor (the Synod of the Oak at Chalcedon). However, there was soon such turmoil and uproar in the imperial city that the bishop was recalled a few days later. But the public feuding between Eudoxia and Chrysostom continued until at last she had him banished again in 404, this time permanently. Among other things, it caused a breach between Arcadius and his brother, who had, with Pope Innocent I, tried to support Chrysostom.

Eudoxia's victory was short-lived, however. In October of 404, the Augusta died of a miscarriage. Her death was seen by some as retribution for dismissing John. Whatever the reason, her end also signaled a complete retreat into the background by the emperor and no further initiatives seem to have been pushed by the 27-year-old Augustus.

The Final Years: Anthemius and Death (404-408)
The last years of Arcadius' reign were completely dominated by his Praetorian Prefect of the East, Anthemius. It was perhaps fitting that when the emperor seems to have been most retiring, the most able and energetic of his high ministers came to power. Anthemius worked hard to solve a series of governmental abuses, continue to push for Christianization, and secure the east from attack.

Anthemius first seems to have tried to reconcile with the west, so much so that there was a joint consulship between Anthemius and Stilicho in 405. This might have also been meant to symbolize the Prefect's new dominance, however. Additionally, a number of new laws were passed, curtailing paganism, Judaism and heresy. He tried to make use of the continuing problem of incoming Germanic peoples to combat the Isaurian tribes which had been plaguing Asia Minor since 403. While it failed to halt either group's incursions, it was nevertheless a practical and intelligent strategy. As a means of protecting the imperial capital, Anthemius also strengthened the walls around Constantinople. Our records for the last years of Arcadius' rule are quite spotty, but the emperor himself seems to have completely vanished, even symbolically, from the political scene.

In May of 408, Flavius Arcadius died at the age of 31 of unknown causes. Our only physical description of Arcadius is heavily influenced by the generally low regard in which he was held. The emperor was supposedly short, thin and dark-complected. A more kindly correspondent described him as good-natured and temperate. His son succeeded him without any controversy and the government remained unchanged. Arcadius thus left the world much as he entered it: without much significance and overshadowed by more powerful forces.

Assessment
Despite the ineffectual nature of Arcadius and his rule, a number of significant changes occurred during his stewardship of the eastern empire. His inability to forcefully or at least effectively govern meant that there were few consistent or long-range goals of his administration. With the exception of trying to emphasize the emperor's piety, an important development in the history of the Byzantine monarchy, Arcadius and his ministers were for the most part simply reacting to events.

The emperor became an even more remote figure to the general public. Even in the capital city itself, he was rarely seen: we read in one account that people came running to see the emperor for the first time when he happened to be praying in a local church. A series of "orientalizing" court practices no doubt continued in order to emphasize the symbolic separation of the emperor from the rest of society. The hieratic, almost semi- divine nature of the imperial person, also became a feature of the eastern ruler.

Perhaps of greatest importance was the political and cultural split between east and west. With the death of Theodosius, the two halves of the Roman Empire increasingly went their separate ways. For the most part, the west was thrown back upon its own resources, unable to deal with the problems of the fifth century. The east proved more compact and more resilient: it largely weathered the political storms from without and within.

Moreover, Constantinople fully became the imperial capital of the east, a Roma nova. The emperor rarely left the city and the palace officials became more influential than many of the more theoretically important ministers outside the city. Constantinople was also made an archepiscopate and Chrysostom and others started to push strongly for its primacy in the east. Both public and private building projects beautified and enlarged the city. Under Arcadius' reign, it truly became the second city of the Roman Empire.
Finally, the hard stance against Germanic officers in Roman government became a central feature in the east. While the reasons for this development were inspired largely out of fear and perhaps racism, the eastern Roman Empire did manage to avoid the largely detrimental succession of Germanic generalissimos who controlled the west in the fifth century. It also encouraged the eastern rulers in the following century to take hard lines against other peoples, including the Isaurians, the Huns and the Persians. Taken in all, the era of Arcadius was far more important than Arcadius himself. He perhaps had his father's pretensions, but none of the skills or powers necessary to leave his mark on the Empire.

By Geoffrey S. Nathan, University of California at Los Angeles
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
Justinan1Nikomedia.jpg
[1611a] Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.68 viewsBronze follis, S 201, choice VF, 22.147g, 43.8mm, 180o, 2nd officina, Nikomedia mint, 541 - 542 A.D.; Obverse: D N IVSTINIANVS PP AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield decorated with a horseman brandishing a spear, cross right; Reverse: large M, cross above, ANNO left, Xu (= year 15) right, B below, NIKO in ex; full circle strike on a huge flan. Ex FORVM.



De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Justinian (527-565 A.D.).

James Allan Evans
University of British Columbia

Introduction
The reign of Justinian was a turning-point in Late Antiquity. It is the period when paganism finally lost its long struggle to survive, and when the schism in Christianity between the Monophysite east and the Chalcedonian west became insurmountable. From a military viewpoint, it marked the last time that the Roman Empire could go on the offensive with hope of success. Africa and Italy were recovered, and a foothold was established in Spain. When Justinian died, the frontiers were still intact although the Balkans had been devastated by a series of raids and the Italian economy was in ruins. His extensive building program has left us the most celebrated example of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture that still survives: Hagia Sophia in modern Istanbul. His reign was a period when classical culture was in sharp decline and yet it had a last flowering, with historians such as Procopius and Agathias working within the tradition inherited from Herodotus and Thucydides, and poets such as Paul the Silentiary who wrote some of the most sensuous poems that the classical tradition has ever produced. The Codex Justinianus, the Institutes and the Digest of Roman jurisprudence, all commissioned by Justinian, are monuments to the past achievements of Roman legal heritage. Justinian's reign sums up the past. It also provides a matrix for the future. In particular, there was the bubonic plague, which appeared in Constantinople in 542, for the first time in Europe, and then travelled round the empire in search of victims, returning to the capital for a new crop in 558. The plague ended a period of economic growth and initiated one of overstrained resources.

The 'Nika' Revolt
The 'Nika' Revolt which broke out in January, 532, in Constantinople, was an outburst of street violence which went far beyond the norms even in a society where a great deal of street violence was accepted. Every city worth notice had its chariot-racing factions which took their names from their racing colors: Reds, Whites, Blues and Greens. These were professional organizations initially responsible for fielding chariot-racing teams in the hippodromes, though by Justinian's time they were in charge of other shows as well. The Blues and the Greens were dominant, but the Reds and Whites attracted some supporters: the emperor Anastasius was a fan of the Reds. The aficionados of the factions were assigned their own blocs of seats in the Hippodrome in Constantinople, opposite the imperial loge, and the Blue and Green "demes" provided an outlet for the energies of the city's young males. G. M. Manojlovic in an influential article originally published in Serbo-Croat in 1904, argued that the "demes" were organized divisions of a city militia, and thus played an important role in the imperial defense structure. His thesis is now generally disregarded and the dominant view is that of Alan Cameron, that demos, whether used in the singular or plural, means simply "people" and the rioting of the "demes", the "fury of the Hippodrome", as Edward Gibbon called it, was hooliganism, which was also Gibbon's view. Efforts to make the Greens into supporters of Monophysitism and the Blues of Orthodoxy founder on lack of evidence. However, in support of Manojlovic's thesis, it must be said that, although we cannot show that the Blue and Green "demes" were an organized city militia, we hear of "Young Greens" both in Constantinople and Alexandria who bore arms, and in 540, when Antioch fell to the Persians, Blue and Green street-fighters continued to defend the city after the regular troops had fled.

Justinian and Theodora were known Blue supporters, and when street violence escalated under Justin I, Procopius claims that they encouraged it. But since Justinian became emperor he had taken a firmer, more even-handed stand. On Saturday, January 10, 532, the city prefect Eudaemon who had arrested some hooligans and found seven guilty of murder, had them hanged outside the city at Sycae, across the Golden Horn, but the scaffold broke and saved two of them from death, a Blue and a Green. Some monks from St. Conon's monastery nearby took the two men to sanctuary at the church of St Lawrence where the prefect set troops to watch. The following Tuesday while the two malefactors were still trapped in the church, the Blues and Greens begged Justinian to show mercy. He ignored the plea and made no reply. The Blues and Green continued their appeals until the twenty-second race (out of twenty-four) when they suddenly united and raised the watchword 'Nika'. Riots started and the court took refuge in the palace. That evening the mob burned the city prefect's praetorium.

Justinian tried to continue the games next day but only provoked more riot and arson. The rioting and destruction continued throughout the week; even the arrival of loyal troops from Thrace failed to restore order. On Sunday before sunrise, Justinian appeared in the Hippodrome where he repented publicly and promised an amnesty. The mob turned hostile, and Justinian retreated. The evening before Justinian had dismissed two nephews of the old emperor Anastasius, Hypatius and Pompey, against their will, from the palace and sent them home, and now the mob found Hypatius and proclaimed him emperor in the Hippodrome. Justinian was now ready to flee, and perhaps would have done so except for Theodora, who did not frighten easily. Instead Justinian decided to strike ruthlessly. Belisarius and Mundo made their separate ways into the Hippodrome where they fell on Hypatius' supporters who were crowded there, and the 'Nika' riot ended with a bloodbath.

A recent study of the riot by Geoffrey Greatrex has made the point that what was unique about it was not the actions of the mob so much as Justinian's attempts to deal with it. His first reaction was to placate: when the mob demanded that three of his ministers must go, the praetorian prefect of the East, John the Cappadocian, the Quaestor of the Sacred Palace Tribonian and the urban prefect Eudaemon, Justinian replaced them immediately. He hesitated when he should have been firm and aggravated the situation. It may well have been Theodora who emboldened him for the final act of repression. Procopius imagines Theodora on the last day engaging in formal debate about what should be done, and misquoting a famous maxim that was once offered the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius the Elder "Tyranny is a good shroud." Theodora emends it to "Kingship is a good shroud" and readers of Procopius may have thought wryly that the emendation was unnecessary. The formal debate, and Theodora's great scene, was probably a creation of Procopius' imagination, but a splendid one.

The 'Nika' revolt left Justinian firmly in charge. The mob was cowed and the senatorial opposition that surfaced during the revolt was forced underground. The damage to Constantinople was great, but it cleared the way for Justinian's own building program. Work in his new church of Hagia Sophia to replace the old Hagia Sophia that was destroyed in the rioting, started only forty-five days after the revolt was crushed. The two leaders of the Hippodrome massacre, Mundo and Belisarius, went on to new appointments: Mundo back to Illyricum as magister militum and Belisarius to make his reputation as the conqueror of the Vandals in Africa. The 530s were a decade of confidence and the 'Nika' riot was only a momentary crisis.

(for a detailed account of the reign of Justinian I, see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/justinia.htm)

Last Years
Misfortune crowded into the final years of Justinian's reign. There was another Samaritan revolt in midsummer, 556. Next year, in December, a great earthquake shook Constantinople and in May of the following year, the dome of Justinian's new Hagia Sophia collapsed, and had to be rebuilt with a new design. About the same time, the plague returned to the capital. Then in early 559 a horde of Kutrigur 'Huns' (proto-Bulgars) crossed the frozen Danube and advanced into the Balkans. It split into three columns: one pushed into Greece but got no further than Thermopylae, another advanced into the Gallipoli peninsula but got no further than the Long Wall, which was defended by a young officer from Justinian's native city, while the third, most dangerous spearhead led by the 'Hun' khan, Zabergan himself, made for Constantinople. Faced with this attack and without any forces for defense, Justinian called Belisarius out of retirement, and Belisarius, using a scratch force, the core of which was 300 of his veterans, ambushed the Kutrigur horde and routed it. Once the immediate danger was over, however, Justinian recalled Belisarius and took charge himself. The news that Justinian was reinforcing his Danube fleet made the Kutrigurs anxious and they agreed to a treaty which gave them a subsidy and safe passage back across the river. But as soon as they were north of the Danube, they were attacked by their rivals the Utigurs who were incited by Justinian to relieve them of their booty. The Kutrigurs raided Thrace again in 562, but they and the Utigurs were soon to fall prey to the Avars who swept out of the Asian steppes in the early 560s.

There was discontent in the capital. Street violence was on the increase again. There were bread shortages and water shortages. In late 562, there was a conspiracy which almost succeeded in killing the emperor. The chief conspirator was Marcellus, an argyroprates, a goldsmith and banker, and the conspiracy probably reflected the dissatisfaction of the business community. But Justinian was too old to learn to be frugal. He resorted to forced loans and requisitions and his successor found the treasury deeply in debt.

What remained of the great emperor's achievement? His successor Justin II, out of a combination of necessity and foolhardiness, denied the 'barbarians' the subsidies which had played a major role in Justinian's defense of the frontiers, and, to be fair, which had also been provided by emperors before him. Subsidies had been part of Anastasius' policy as well, but that was before the plague, while the imperial economy was still expanding. The result of Justin II's change of policy was renewed hostility with Persia and a shift of power in the Balkans. In 567 the Avars and Lombards joined forces against the Gepids and destroyed them. But the Lombards distrusted their allies and next year they migrated into Italy where Narses had just been removed from command and recalled, though he disobeyed orders and stayed in Rome until his death. By the end of the century only a third of Italy was in Byzantine hands. On the eastern frontier, Justin alienated the Ghassanid allies and lost the fortress of Daras, a reverse which overwhelmed his frangible sanity. For this Justinian can hardly be blamed. No one can deny his greatness; a recent study by Asterios Gerostergios even lionizes him. But if we look at his reign with the unforgiving eye of hindsight, it appears to be a brilliant effort to stem the tide of history, and in the end, it was more a failure than a moderate success.

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

The Church we know today as Hagia Sophia - or Divine Wisdom, its true name - was dedicated by the Emperor Justinian in 537AD. Through many visitudes Justinian's cathedral church of Constantinople still stands, its soring vaults and amazing dome testiments to the human spirit, the engineering talents of its builders and Divine inspiration. In the same fashion that Vespasian's Collesium (the Flavian Amphitheatre) is symbolic of Rome, Justinian's Hagia Sophia is a symbol of Byzantium.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
JohnHyrcanusAntiochos7Lily.jpg
[18H451] Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., for the Seleukid King Antiochos VII106 viewsJohn Hyrcanus [for Antiochos VII]; Lily, AE, Hendin 451, 15mm, 2.92 grams; VF, Jerusalem; 182-180 B.C. This interesting coin was the precursor to the "prutah" which would subsequently be minted in Israel. Struck by John Hyrcanus, King of Judaea, in the name of the Seleukid King Antiochos VII, Euergetes (Sidetes). Ex Zuzim Judaea.

Johanan [John] Hyrcanus
(d. 104 BCE)

Grandson of Mattathias of Modein and chief architect of Judean dominance of Palestine. The youngest and only surviving son of Simon Thassi succeeded his father as high priest in 134 BCE. He was the fourth Hasmonean to rule Jerusalem. But his tenure began with a year-long Syrian siege that forced him to agree to tear down the city's fortifications and renew a tribute to the Greek emperor [133 BCE].

Within a few years, however, he took advantage of political turmoil in Syria following the death of Antiochus VII [129 BCE] to rebuild his forces, reclaim independence and extend Judean control over Palestine and Jordan. On the southern front he forced Judah's neighbors in Idumea [descendents of the Edomites] to accept Judaism and on the northern front he destroyed the rival temple at Shechem in Samaria.

Such triumphs made him the probable subject of messianic tributes by his fellow Judeans. But his own preference for Greek culture made him controversial in Jerusalem. When Pharisees challenged his right to be high priest, he switched his allegiance to the aristocratic Sadducee [Zadokite] party. Still, the Dead Sea Scrolls suggest that other Zadokites probably rejected his leadership and left Jerusalem, labeling him the "wicked priest," who persecuted the priest whom they regarded as the "Teacher of Righteousness."

Copyright 2007, The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Published on The Jewish Virtual Library; http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/index.html


John Hyrcanus
John Hyrcanus (Yohanan Girhan) (reigned 134 BCE - 104 BCE, died 104 BCE) was a Hasmonean (Maccabeean) leader of the 2nd century BC. Apparently the name "Hyrcanus" was taken by him as a regnal name upon his accession to power. His taking a Greek regnal name was a significant political and cultural step away from the intransigent opposition to and rejection of Hellenistic culture which had characterised the Maccabaen revolt against Seleucid rule, and a more pragmatic recognition that Judea had to maintain its position among a millieu of small and large states which all shared the Hellenistic culture and communicated in Greek.

Life and work
He was the son of Simon Maccabaeus and hence the nephew of Judas Maccabaeus, Jonathan Maccabaeus and their siblings, whose story is told in the deuterocanonical books of 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees, and in the Talmud. John was not present at a banquet at which his father and his two brothers were murdered, purportedly by his brother-in-law Ptolemy. He attained to his father's former offices, that of high priest and king (although some Jews never accepted any of the Hasmoneans as being legitimate kings, as they were not lineal descendants of David).

His taking a Greek regnal name - "Hyrcanus" - was a significant political and cultural step away from the intransigent opposition to and rejection of Hellenistic culture which had characterised the Maccabaen revolt against Seleucid rule. It reflected a more pragmatic recognition that Judea, once having attained independence, had to maintain its position among a milieu of small and large states which all shared the Hellenistic culture. All subseqent Hashmonean rulers followed suit and adopted Greek names in their turn.

Achievements
John Hyrcanus apparently combined an energetic and able style of leadership with the zeal of his forebears. He was known as a brave and brilliant military leader. He is credited with the forced conversion of the Idumeans to Judaism, which was unusual for a Jewish leader; Judaism was not typically spread by the sword. He also set out to resolve forcibly the religious dispute between the Jews and the Samaritans; during his reign he destroyed the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim (although their descendants still worship among its ruins), which served further to deepen the already-historic hatred and rivalry between the two groups. Many historians believe that the apocryphal book of Jubilees was written during his reign; some would suggest even at his behest. Some writers, particularly Christian ones, have dated the division of Judaism into the parties of Pharisees and Sadducees to his era; most Jewish writers and some Christian ones suggest that this split actually well predates him. Some historians would go so far as to identify him, as a priest, predominantly with the Sadducee party, which was closely associated with the Temple worship and the priestly class.

Peak and decline of the kingdom
John Hyrcanus represented in some ways the highest point of the Hasmonean Dynasty. The restored Jewish "kingdom" approached its maximum limits of both territory and prestige. Upon his death, his offices were divided among his heirs; his son Aristobulus succeeded him as high priest; his wife as "Queen regnant". The son, however, soon came to desire the essentially unchecked power of his father; he shortly ordered his mother and his brothers imprisoned. This event seems to mark the beginning of the decline of the Hasmonean Dynasty; in just over four decades they were removed from power by the Roman Republic and none of them ever began to approach the level of power or prestige that had pertained to John Hyrcanus or his predecessors.

Modern Commemoration
Tel Aviv has a Yochanan Hyrcanus Street (רחוב יוחנן הורקנוס), as do several other cities in contemporary Israel. In the ealy decades of the 20th century, the Zionist historical perception of the Jewish past tended to approve of and revere strong warrior kings of both Biblical and later periods, and Hyrcanus' exploits earned him a place in that pantheon.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hyrcanus


John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of the folk hero Judah Maccabee. Not long after Hyrcanus assumed power, the Seleukid kingdom marched on Jerusalem. The Seleukid king, Antiocus VII, and Hyrcanus I negotiated a treaty that left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian king. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=922&pos=0

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
PontiusPilate29BCHendin648.jpg
[18H648] Pontius Pilate prefect for Tiberius Prutah, 29 BC48 viewsPONTIUS PILATE PRUTAH, "SIMPULUM;" Hendin 648, AVF/VF, 15.3mm, 2.20 grams, struck 29 C.E. Nice round, good weight Pontius Pilate Prutah.

THE COINS OF PONTIUS PILATE
Jean-Philippe Fontanille

INTRODUCTION
They are not really beautiful, or truly rare, nor are they of very great monetary value. Yet these apparently modest coins carry in their weight an era and an act which would have immense consequence to the history of the world. Indeed, they are closely associated with three basic factors which saw the foundation of Christianity :
1 - The temporal proximity : Most modern experts agree in recognising that the year now designated 30 C.E. marked the trial and the death of Jesus. Given that time-frame, Pilate's coins were minted in 29, 30 and 31 C.E.
2 - The geographic proximity : The most credible hypothesis indicates that these particular coins where struck in Jerusalem, the city in which the significant events took place.
3 - The human proximity : Pontius Pilate himself designed and put the coins into circulation, and of course he was the man who conducted the trial and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

So it is that everyone, whether a believer or simply a lover of history or of numismatics, will find in these coins direct evidence of and witness to an episode the memory of which has survived 2000 years : A momentous event which has to a great extent fashioned the world we know.

Throughout this article we will also note the exceptional character of Pilate's coins: Exceptional in the nature of the images they bear, for the numerous variants they offer, for the presence of countermarks, and above all for the part their originator played in history. The putative appearance of these coins imprints on the Turin shroud has yet to be confirmed by more solid scientific proofs.

Pilate's coins are Roman coins, the words on them are Greek, they were circulated in Judea, and today they are to be found distributed among world-wide collectors after having spent 2000 years buried in the earth. They were minted and used during a period which produced an event destined to change the face of the world, and issued at the command of one of the principal actors in that event. An amazing and dramatic destiny for apparently such humble and unassuming little coins !

For 35 years Pilate's coins were passed from hand to hand every day. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the merchants' ranting, smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices ¬ now haggling over a price, now offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus or Jupiter.

Nobody prays to Jupiter any more [?], but Pilate's coins are surviving witnesses to a time when the first Christians were considered as a messianic sect among several others in the midst of Judaism in crisis. The absolute split between Judaism and Christianity took place from about 70 C.E, the year which marked the tragic ending of the first Jewish rebellion. It was from that time, too, that Pilate's money ceased to be used.

Like each one of us, who carries always a few small coins in the bottom of our pockets; there is no doubt that some of Pilate's coins resonated to the last words of the most famous of all supplicants. A very long story had its beginning...

2. MANUFACTURE AND CIRCULATION
LOCATION OF MINTS
Although the prefects had their residencies in Cesarea, the administrative capital of the province, it seems that their money was minted in Jerusalem. Indeed, a specimen dated year 31 has been found in this town in an incomplete state of manufacture.

DURATION OF USE
It would seem that Pilate's money was in current use for at least 35 years. Indeed, some of it has been discovered among other coins during the excavation of remains of dwellings destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt, which is evidence that they were still in use at that time.

AREA OF CIRCULATION
These coins circulated far beyond the frontiers of Judea. Some samples have been discovered as far away as Antioch in present-day Turkey, nearly 500 kilometres from Jerusalem where they were minted. Others have also been found in Jordan. These limits represent a circulation area of at least 100.000 square kilometres, that is five times larger than the size of the state of Israel. Taking into account that it was a time when distances were expressed in terms of days of march, one begins to see the important influence of these coins.

3. THE IMAGES AND THE TEXTS
THE SIMPULUM
A fairly frequent symbol from the Roman religion of the time, the simpulum was a utensil used by the priests during their religious ceremonies. This little ladle, provided with shaft and a handle, allowed the priests to taste the wine which they poured onto the head of an animal destined for sacrifice, after which the soothsayer was empowered to examine the animal's entrails for signs and portents sent to men by the Gods through the medium of the interpreter. As I pointed, none of this would have been obvious at first sight of the motif except perhaps to a Roman citizen. However, it throws some light on the theory put forward by F.A. Banks [Coins of the Bible Days].

This wasn't the first time that the simpulum appeared on Roman coins, but it is the first time it figured alone. This fact gives an additional specificity to Pilate's coins, not only in the context of Judea but also in comparison with all the other coins of the Empire.

THE THREE EARS OF BARLEY
The three ears or barley are featured on the opposing face of the simpulum. Unlike the simpulum, these ears of barley are not in contravention of the Jewish Law. The motif is nevertheless distinctive because it is the first time it appears on a Judean coin. The motif would reappear twelve years later on one of Herod Agrippa's coin, then on another, much rarer, of Agrippa II (ears of barley held in a hand). After that, the motif disappeared altogether from ancient Jewish coins.

THE LITUUS
The lituus was the wooden staff which the augurs held in the right hand; it symbolised their authority and their pastoral vocation. It was raised toward heavens while the priests invoked the Gods and made their predictions. Legend records that Romulus used it at the time of Rome's foundation in 753 B.C.E. It is interesting to note that the cross used in present times is the direct descendant of the lituus. As with the simpulum, Pilate's coinage is exceptional in that it alone displays the lituus as the sole object illustrated on the face.

THE WREATH
The laurel wreath is a symbol of power and victory, and figures on various ancient Greek and Roman coins. In Judea it can be found during the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134 to 104 B.C.E.). After that, Herod Antipas, speaker for Pilate, used it on all his coins. On Pilate's coins, the laurel wreath figures on the reverse side of the lituus, framing the date.

THE DATES
The notation of dates uses a code invented by the Greeks whereby each letter of the alphabet was assigned a number. This code would be used again in Judaism under the name of Guematria. The system is simple : the first ten letters of the alphabet are linked to units (1,2,3...), the following ten letters to tens (10,20,30...) and the four remaining letters to the first four hundreds. The "L" is an abbreviation meaning "year". Tiberius became emperor on September 17 of year 14 C.E, so we have :

LIS = Year 29 C.E. * LIZ = Year 30 C.E. * LIH = Year 31 C.E.

THE TEXTS
The legends on Pontius Pilate's coins are written in Greek. Judea, governed by the Ptolemy dynasty (301 to 198 B.C.E) then by the Syrians until 63 B.C.E, came under the same powerful influence of the Hellenic culture which touched the other territories of the ancient Persian Empire won by Alexander the Great. In spite of a certain amount of resistance, this Hellenistic heritage eventually crept into every aspect of daily life. Apart from the dates, the texts on Pilate's coinage consisted of only three different words : - TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (Of Tiberius Emperor) on all three coins; - IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Empress Julia) added to the coin of year 29.
http://www.numismalink.com/fontanille1.html


Pontius Pilate
After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ethnarch), Judea was placed under the rule of a Roman procurator. Pilate, who was the fifth, succeeding Valerius Gratus in A.D. 26, had greater authority than most procurators under the empire, for in addition to the ordinary duty of financial administration, he had supreme power judicially. His unusually long period of office (A.D. 26-36) covers the whole of the active ministry both of St. John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ.
As procurator Pilate was necessarily of equestrian rank, but beyond that we know little of his family or origin. Some have thought that he was only a freedman, deriving his name from pileus (the cap of freed slaves) but for this there seems to be no adequate evidence, and it is unlikely that a freedman would attain to a post of such importance. The Pontii were a Samnite gens. Pilate owed his appointment to the influence of Sejanus. The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Cæsarea; where there was a military force of about 3,000 soldiers. These soldiers came up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, when the city was full of strangers, and there was greater danger of disturbances, hence it was that Pilate had come to Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. His name will be forever covered with infamy because of the part which he took in this matter, though at the time it appeared to him of small importance.
Pilate is a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened.
The other events of his rule are not of very great importance. Philo (Ad Gaium, 38) speaks of him as inflexible, merciless, and obstinate. The Jews hated him and his administration, for he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities. Some standards bearing the image of Tiberius, which had been set up by him in Jerusalem, caused an outbreak which would have ended in a massacre had not Pilate given way. At a later date Tiberius ordered him to remove certain gilt shields, which he had set up in Jerusalem in spite of the remonstrances of the people. The incident mentioned in St. Luke 13:1, of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, is not elsewhere referred to, but is quite in keeping with other authentic events of his rule. He was, therefore, anxious that no further hostile reports should be sent to the emperor concerning him.
The tendency, already discernible in the canonical Gospels, to lay stress on the efforts of Pilate to acquit Christ, and thus pass as lenient a judgment as possible upon his crime, goes further in the apocryphal Gospels and led in later years to the claim that he actually became a Christian. The Abyssinian Church reckons him as a saint, and assigns 25 June to him and to Claudia Procula, his wife. The belief that she became a Christian goes back to the second century, and may be found in Origen (Hom., in Mat., xxxv). The Greek Church assigns her a feast on 27 October. Tertullian and Justin Martyr both speak of a report on the Crucifixion (not extant) sent in by Pilate to Tiberius, from which idea a large amount of apocryphal literature originated. Some of these were Christian in origin (Gospel of Nicodemus), others came from the heathen, but these have all perished.
His rule was brought to an end through trouble which arose in Samaria. An imposter had given out that it was in his power to discover the sacred vessels which, as he alleged, had been hidden by Moses on Mount Gerizim, whither armed Samaritans came in large numbers. Pilate seems to have thought the whole affair was a blind, covering some other more important design, for he hurried forces to attack them, and many were slain. They appealed to Vitellius, who was at that time legate in Syria, saying that nothing political had been intended, and complaining of Pilate's whole administration. He was summoned to Rome to answer their charges, but before he could reach the city the Emperor Tiberius had died.
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12083c.htm

As the man who presided over the trial of Jesus, who found no fault with the defendant and washed his hands of the affair by referring it back to the Jewish mob, but who signed the final death warrant, Pontius Pilate represents almost a byword for ambivalence.
He appears in a poor light in all four Gospels and in a favourable light in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter where the Jews take all the blame for Jesus' death.
In the later Acts of Pilate, he is both cleared of responsibility for the Crucifixion and is said to have converted to Christianity.
In the drama of the Passion, Pilate is a ditherer who drifts towards pardoning Jesus, then drifts away again. He tries to pass the buck several times, makes the decision to save Jesus, then capitulates.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Robert Runcie once wrote, "It would have been better for the moral health of Christianity if the blame had stayed with Pilate."
In a poignant moment in the course of the trial, Pontius Pilate responds to an assertion by Jesus by asking "What is truth?"
The truth about Pilate is difficult to ascertain since records are few. Legends say he was a Spaniard or a German, but most likely he was a natural-born Roman citizen from central Italy.
But the fact that he was definitely the Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD helps to establish Jesus as a real person and fixes him in time.
The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Caesarea, a mainly non-Jewish city where a force of some 3,000 Roman soldiers were based.
These would come to Jerusalem during the time of feasts when there was a greater danger of disturbances. This would explain Pilate's presence in the city during the time of the Crucifixion.
Pilate is recorded by several contemporary historians; his name is inscribed on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea in the 1960s with the words, PONTIUS PILATUS PRAEFECTUS PROVINCIAE JUDAEAE.
The governorship of Judea was only a second-rate posting, though having the Jewish religious capital, Jerusalem, on its patch would have increased its importance.
Pilate ruled in conjunction with the Jewish authorities and was under orders from Emperor Tiberius, to respect their culture. He was a soldier rather than a diplomat.
The Jews relied on the Romans to keep their own rebellious factions under control. But they appeared to hate Pilate.
One contemporary Jewish historian Philo, describes him as a violent thug, fond of executions without trial. Another, Josephus, records that, at the start of his term, Pilate provoked the Jews by ordering the imperial standards to be carried into Jerusalem.
But he backed off from an all-out confrontation. On the other hand, later, he helped himself to Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct.
When, according to Josephus, bands of resistance fighters, supported by crowds of ordinary people, sabotaged the project by getting in the way of Pilate's workmen, he sent in his soldiers. Hundreds were massacred.
Anne Wroe, author of a recent book Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man, says that for some modern scholars, given this propensity for violence when the occasion warranted, the idea of Pilate as a waverer is nonsense.
A Roman governor, they point out, would not have wasted two minutes thinking about a shabby Jewish villain, one among many. Wroe's depiction of Pilate, however, suggests he was something of a pragmatist.
His first duty was to keep the peace in Judea and to keep the revenues flowing back to Rome. "Should I have jeopardised the peace for the sake of some Jew who may have been innocent?", she has Pilate asking. "Should I have defied a furious crowd, maybe butchered them, to save one life?"
Whatever the truth about the real Pontius Pilate, such dilemmas are what he has come to symbolise.
Anne Wroe makes the modern comparisons of Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Bill McSweeney, of the Irish School of Ecumenics suggests that "without the Pilates of Anglo-Irish politics, we might never have had the Good Friday Agreement".
Tony Blair has said of Pilate: "It is possible to view Pilate as the archetypal politician, caught on the horns of a dilemma."
Even if, in reality, the Jesus affair was nothing but a small side-show in the career of Pontius Pilate, it had monumental repercussions for his image.
His inclusion in the Christian creeds, in the words of Robert Runcie, "binds the eternal realms to the stumbling, messy chronology of earthly time and place".
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1273594.stm

The Ethiopian Church recognized Pilate as a saint in the sixth century, based on the account in the Acts of Pilate

Although historians can pinpoint the exact date of death of many distinguished historical figures, the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ remains a matter of scholarly debate. Christ’s birth is most often dated between 7-5 BC (some scholars have suggested, however, His birth was as early as 20 BC). Christ’s Death and Resurrection is dated between 29-36 AD.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
PontiusPilate30BCHendin649.jpg
[18H649] Pontius Pilate Prefect under Tiberius Prutah, "LIZ", 30 BC70 viewsPONTIUS PILATE PRUTAH, 'LIZ;' Hendin 649, VF, 15.5mm, 1.90 grams. Struck 30 C.E. Nice historic coin.

THE COINS OF PONTIUS PILATE
Jean-Philippe Fontanille

INTRODUCTION
They are not really beautiful, or truly rare, nor are they of very great monetary value. Yet these apparently modest coins carry in their weight an era and an act which would have immense consequence to the history of the world. Indeed, they are closely associated with three basic factors which saw the foundation of Christianity :
1 - The temporal proximity : Most modern experts agree in recognising that the year now designated 30 C.E. marked the trial and the death of Jesus. Given that time-frame, Pilate's coins were minted in 29, 30 and 31 C.E.
2 - The geographic proximity : The most credible hypothesis indicates that these particular coins where struck in Jerusalem, the city in which the significant events took place.
3 - The human proximity : Pontius Pilate himself designed and put the coins into circulation, and of course he was the man who conducted the trial and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

So it is that everyone, whether a believer or simply a lover of history or of numismatics, will find in these coins direct evidence of and witness to an episode the memory of which has survived 2000 years : A momentous event which has to a great extent fashioned the world we know.

Throughout this article we will also note the exceptional character of Pilate's coins: Exceptional in the nature of the images they bear, for the numerous variants they offer, for the presence of countermarks, and above all for the part their originator played in history. The putative appearance of these coins imprints on the Turin shroud has yet to be confirmed by more solid scientific proofs.

Pilate's coins are Roman coins, the words on them are Greek, they were circulated in Judea, and today they are to be found distributed among world-wide collectors after having spent 2000 years buried in the earth. They were minted and used during a period which produced an event destined to change the face of the world, and issued at the command of one of the principal actors in that event. An amazing and dramatic destiny for apparently such humble and unassuming little coins !

For 35 years Pilate's coins were passed from hand to hand every day. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the merchants' ranting, smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices ¬ now haggling over a price, now offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus or Jupiter.

Nobody prays to Jupiter any more [?], but Pilate's coins are surviving witnesses to a time when the first Christians were considered as a messianic sect among several others in the midst of Judaism in crisis. The absolute split between Judaism and Christianity took place from about 70 C.E, the year which marked the tragic ending of the first Jewish rebellion. It was from that time, too, that Pilate's money ceased to be used.

Like each one of us, who carries always a few small coins in the bottom of our pockets; there is no doubt that some of Pilate's coins resonated to the last words of the most famous of all supplicants. A very long story had its beginning...

2. MANUFACTURE AND CIRCULATION
LOCATION OF MINTS
Although the prefects had their residencies in Cesarea, the administrative capital of the province, it seems that their money was minted in Jerusalem. Indeed, a specimen dated year 31 has been found in this town in an incomplete state of manufacture.

DURATION OF USE
It would seem that Pilate's money was in current use for at least 35 years. Indeed, some of it has been discovered among other coins during the excavation of remains of dwellings destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt, which is evidence that they were still in use at that time.

AREA OF CIRCULATION
These coins circulated far beyond the frontiers of Judea. Some samples have been discovered as far away as Antioch in present-day Turkey, nearly 500 kilometres from Jerusalem where they were minted. Others have also been found in Jordan. These limits represent a circulation area of at least 100.000 square kilometres, that is five times larger than the size of the state of Israel. Taking into account that it was a time when distances were expressed in terms of days of march, one begins to see the important influence of these coins.

3. THE IMAGES AND THE TEXTS
THE SIMPULUM
A fairly frequent symbol from the Roman religion of the time, the simpulum was a utensil used by the priests during their religious ceremonies. This little ladle, provided with shaft and a handle, allowed the priests to taste the wine which they poured onto the head of an animal destined for sacrifice, after which the soothsayer was empowered to examine the animal's entrails for signs and portents sent to men by the Gods through the medium of the interpreter. As I pointed, none of this would have been obvious at first sight of the motif except perhaps to a Roman citizen. However, it throws some light on the theory put forward by F.A. Banks [Coins of the Bible Days].

This wasn't the first time that the simpulum appeared on Roman coins, but it is the first time it figured alone. This fact gives an additional specificity to Pilate's coins, not only in the context of Judea but also in comparison with all the other coins of the Empire.

THE THREE EARS OF BARLEY
The three ears or barley are featured on the opposing face of the simpulum. Unlike the simpulum, these ears of barley are not in contravention of the Jewish Law. The motif is nevertheless distinctive because it is the first time it appears on a Judean coin. The motif would reappear twelve years later on one of Herod Agrippa's coin, then on another, much rarer, of Agrippa II (ears of barley held in a hand). After that, the motif disappeared altogether from ancient Jewish coins.

THE LITUUS
The lituus was the wooden staff which the augurs held in the right hand; it symbolised their authority and their pastoral vocation. It was raised toward heavens while the priests invoked the Gods and made their predictions. Legend records that Romulus used it at the time of Rome's foundation in 753 B.C.E. It is interesting to note that the cross used in present times is the direct descendant of the lituus. As with the simpulum, Pilate's coinage is exceptional in that it alone displays the lituus as the sole object illustrated on the face.

THE WREATH
The laurel wreath is a symbol of power and victory, and figures on various ancient Greek and Roman coins. In Judea it can be found during the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134 to 104 B.C.E.). After that, Herod Antipas, speaker for Pilate, used it on all his coins. On Pilate's coins, the laurel wreath figures on the reverse side of the lituus, framing the date.

THE DATES
The notation of dates uses a code invented by the Greeks whereby each letter of the alphabet was assigned a number. This code would be used again in Judaism under the name of Guematria. The system is simple : the first ten letters of the alphabet are linked to units (1,2,3...), the following ten letters to tens (10,20,30...) and the four remaining letters to the first four hundreds. The "L" is an abbreviation meaning "year". Tiberius became emperor on September 17 of year 14 C.E, so we have :

LIS = Year 29 C.E. * LIZ = Year 30 C.E. * LIH = Year 31 C.E.

THE TEXTS
The legends on Pontius Pilate's coins are written in Greek. Judea, governed by the Ptolemy dynasty (301 to 198 B.C.E) then by the Syrians until 63 B.C.E, came under the same powerful influence of the Hellenic culture which touched the other territories of the ancient Persian Empire won by Alexander the Great. In spite of a certain amount of resistance, this Hellenistic heritage eventually crept into every aspect of daily life. Apart from the dates, the texts on Pilate's coinage consisted of only three different words : - TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (Of Tiberius Emperor) on all three coins; - IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Empress Julia) added to the coin of year 29.
http://www.numismalink.com/fontanille1.html


Pontius Pilate
After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ethnarch), Judea was placed under the rule of a Roman procurator. Pilate, who was the fifth, succeeding Valerius Gratus in A.D. 26, had greater authority than most procurators under the empire, for in addition to the ordinary duty of financial administration, he had supreme power judicially. His unusually long period of office (A.D. 26-36) covers the whole of the active ministry both of St. John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ.
As procurator Pilate was necessarily of equestrian rank, but beyond that we know little of his family or origin. Some have thought that he was only a freedman, deriving his name from pileus (the cap of freed slaves) but for this there seems to be no adequate evidence, and it is unlikely that a freedman would attain to a post of such importance. The Pontii were a Samnite gens. Pilate owed his appointment to the influence of Sejanus. The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Cæsarea; where there was a military force of about 3,000 soldiers. These soldiers came up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, when the city was full of strangers, and there was greater danger of disturbances, hence it was that Pilate had come to Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. His name will be forever covered with infamy because of the part which he took in this matter, though at the time it appeared to him of small importance.
Pilate is a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened.
The other events of his rule are not of very great importance. Philo (Ad Gaium, 38) speaks of him as inflexible, merciless, and obstinate. The Jews hated him and his administration, for he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities. Some standards bearing the image of Tiberius, which had been set up by him in Jerusalem, caused an outbreak which would have ended in a massacre had not Pilate given way. At a later date Tiberius ordered him to remove certain gilt shields, which he had set up in Jerusalem in spite of the remonstrances of the people. The incident mentioned in St. Luke 13:1, of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, is not elsewhere referred to, but is quite in keeping with other authentic events of his rule. He was, therefore, anxious that no further hostile reports should be sent to the emperor concerning him.
The tendency, already discernible in the canonical Gospels, to lay stress on the efforts of Pilate to acquit Christ, and thus pass as lenient a judgment as possible upon his crime, goes further in the apocryphal Gospels and led in later years to the claim that he actually became a Christian. The Abyssinian Church reckons him as a saint, and assigns 25 June to him and to Claudia Procula, his wife. The belief that she became a Christian goes back to the second century, and may be found in Origen (Hom., in Mat., xxxv). The Greek Church assigns her a feast on 27 October. Tertullian and Justin Martyr both speak of a report on the Crucifixion (not extant) sent in by Pilate to Tiberius, from which idea a large amount of apocryphal literature originated. Some of these were Christian in origin (Gospel of Nicodemus), others came from the heathen, but these have all perished.
His rule was brought to an end through trouble which arose in Samaria. An imposter had given out that it was in his power to discover the sacred vessels which, as he alleged, had been hidden by Moses on Mount Gerizim, whither armed Samaritans came in large numbers. Pilate seems to have thought the whole affair was a blind, covering some other more important design, for he hurried forces to attack them, and many were slain. They appealed to Vitellius, who was at that time legate in Syria, saying that nothing political had been intended, and complaining of Pilate's whole administration. He was summoned to Rome to answer their charges, but before he could reach the city the Emperor Tiberius had died.
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12083c.htm

As the man who presided over the trial of Jesus, who found no fault with the defendant and washed his hands of the affair by referring it back to the Jewish mob, but who signed the final death warrant, Pontius Pilate represents almost a byword for ambivalence.
He appears in a poor light in all four Gospels and in a favourable light in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter where the Jews take all the blame for Jesus' death.
In the later Acts of Pilate, he is both cleared of responsibility for the Crucifixion and is said to have converted to Christianity.
In the drama of the Passion, Pilate is a ditherer who drifts towards pardoning Jesus, then drifts away again. He tries to pass the buck several times, makes the decision to save Jesus, then capitulates.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Robert Runcie once wrote, "It would have been better for the moral health of Christianity if the blame had stayed with Pilate."
In a poignant moment in the course of the trial, Pontius Pilate responds to an assertion by Jesus by asking "What is truth?"
The truth about Pilate is difficult to ascertain since records are few. Legends say he was a Spaniard or a German, but most likely he was a natural-born Roman citizen from central Italy.
But the fact that he was definitely the Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD helps to establish Jesus as a real person and fixes him in time.
The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Caesarea, a mainly non-Jewish city where a force of some 3,000 Roman soldiers were based.
These would come to Jerusalem during the time of feasts when there was a greater danger of disturbances. This would explain Pilate's presence in the city during the time of the Crucifixion.
Pilate is recorded by several contemporary historians; his name is inscribed on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea in the 1960s with the words, PONTIUS PILATUS PRAEFECTUS PROVINCIAE JUDAEAE.
The governorship of Judea was only a second-rate posting, though having the Jewish religious capital, Jerusalem, on its patch would have increased its importance.
Pilate ruled in conjunction with the Jewish authorities and was under orders from Emperor Tiberius, to respect their culture. He was a soldier rather than a diplomat.
The Jews relied on the Romans to keep their own rebellious factions under control. But they appeared to hate Pilate.
One contemporary Jewish historian Philo, describes him as a violent thug, fond of executions without trial. Another, Josephus, records that, at the start of his term, Pilate provoked the Jews by ordering the imperial standards to be carried into Jerusalem.
But he backed off from an all-out confrontation. On the other hand, later, he helped himself to Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct.
When, according to Josephus, bands of resistance fighters, supported by crowds of ordinary people, sabotaged the project by getting in the way of Pilate's workmen, he sent in his soldiers. Hundreds were massacred.
Anne Wroe, author of a recent book Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man, says that for some modern scholars, given this propensity for violence when the occasion warranted, the idea of Pilate as a waverer is nonsense.
A Roman governor, they point out, would not have wasted two minutes thinking about a shabby Jewish villain, one among many. Wroe's depiction of Pilate, however, suggests he was something of a pragmatist.
His first duty was to keep the peace in Judea and to keep the revenues flowing back to Rome. "Should I have jeopardised the peace for the sake of some Jew who may have been innocent?", she has Pilate asking. "Should I have defied a furious crowd, maybe butchered them, to save one life?"
Whatever the truth about the real Pontius Pilate, such dilemmas are what he has come to symbolise.
Anne Wroe makes the modern comparisons of Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Bill McSweeney, of the Irish School of Ecumenics suggests that "without the Pilates of Anglo-Irish politics, we might never have had the Good Friday Agreement".
Tony Blair has said of Pilate: "It is possible to view Pilate as the archetypal politician, caught on the horns of a dilemma."
Even if, in reality, the Jesus affair was nothing but a small side-show in the career of Pontius Pilate, it had monumental repercussions for his image.
His inclusion in the Christian creeds, in the words of Robert Runcie, "binds the eternal realms to the stumbling, messy chronology of earthly time and place".
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1273594.stm

The Ethiopian Church recognized Pilate as a saint in the sixth century, based on the account in the Acts of Pilate

Although historians can pinpoint the exact date of death of many distinguished historical figures, the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ remains a matter of scholarly debate. Christ’s birth is most often dated between 7-5 BC (some scholars have suggested, however, His birth was as early as 20 BC). Christ’s Death and Resurrection is dated between 29-36 AD.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
PontiusPilate31BCHendin650.jpg
[18H650] Pontius Pilate prefect for Tiberius Prutah, 31 BC68 viewsPONTIUS PILATUS PRUTAH. Hendin 650, aVF, 14.3mm, 1.94 grams. Minted 31 C.E. FULL "LIH" Date, (H partially hidden behind pretty patina can be revealed.)

THE COINS OF PONTIUS PILATE
Jean-Philippe Fontanille

INTRODUCTION
They are not really beautiful, or truly rare, nor are they of very great monetary value. Yet these apparently modest coins carry in their weight an era and an act which would have immense consequence to the history of the world. Indeed, they are closely associated with three basic factors which saw the foundation of Christianity :
1 - The temporal proximity : Most modern experts agree in recognising that the year now designated 30 C.E. marked the trial and the death of Jesus. Given that time-frame, Pilate's coins were minted in 29, 30 and 31 C.E.
2 - The geographic proximity : The most credible hypothesis indicates that these particular coins where struck in Jerusalem, the city in which the significant events took place.
3 - The human proximity : Pontius Pilate himself designed and put the coins into circulation, and of course he was the man who conducted the trial and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

So it is that everyone, whether a believer or simply a lover of history or of numismatics, will find in these coins direct evidence of and witness to an episode the memory of which has survived 2000 years : A momentous event which has to a great extent fashioned the world we know.

Throughout this article we will also note the exceptional character of Pilate's coins: Exceptional in the nature of the images they bear, for the numerous variants they offer, for the presence of countermarks, and above all for the part their originator played in history. The putative appearance of these coins imprints on the Turin shroud has yet to be confirmed by more solid scientific proofs.

Pilate's coins are Roman coins, the words on them are Greek, they were circulated in Judea, and today they are to be found distributed among world-wide collectors after having spent 2000 years buried in the earth. They were minted and used during a period which produced an event destined to change the face of the world, and issued at the command of one of the principal actors in that event. An amazing and dramatic destiny for apparently such humble and unassuming little coins !

For 35 years Pilate's coins were passed from hand to hand every day. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the merchants' ranting, smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices ¬ now haggling over a price, now offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus or Jupiter.

Nobody prays to Jupiter any more [?], but Pilate's coins are surviving witnesses to a time when the first Christians were considered as a messianic sect among several others in the midst of Judaism in crisis. The absolute split between Judaism and Christianity took place from about 70 C.E, the year which marked the tragic ending of the first Jewish rebellion. It was from that time, too, that Pilate's money ceased to be used.

Like each one of us, who carries always a few small coins in the bottom of our pockets; there is no doubt that some of Pilate's coins resonated to the last words of the most famous of all supplicants. A very long story had its beginning...

2. MANUFACTURE AND CIRCULATION
LOCATION OF MINTS
Although the prefects had their residencies in Cesarea, the administrative capital of the province, it seems that their money was minted in Jerusalem. Indeed, a specimen dated year 31 has been found in this town in an incomplete state of manufacture.

DURATION OF USE
It would seem that Pilate's money was in current use for at least 35 years. Indeed, some of it has been discovered among other coins during the excavation of remains of dwellings destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt, which is evidence that they were still in use at that time.

AREA OF CIRCULATION
These coins circulated far beyond the frontiers of Judea. Some samples have been discovered as far away as Antioch in present-day Turkey, nearly 500 kilometres from Jerusalem where they were minted. Others have also been found in Jordan. These limits represent a circulation area of at least 100.000 square kilometres, that is five times larger than the size of the state of Israel. Taking into account that it was a time when distances were expressed in terms of days of march, one begins to see the important influence of these coins.

3. THE IMAGES AND THE TEXTS
THE SIMPULUM
A fairly frequent symbol from the Roman religion of the time, the simpulum was a utensil used by the priests during their religious ceremonies. This little ladle, provided with shaft and a handle, allowed the priests to taste the wine which they poured onto the head of an animal destined for sacrifice, after which the soothsayer was empowered to examine the animal's entrails for signs and portents sent to men by the Gods through the medium of the interpreter. As I pointed, none of this would have been obvious at first sight of the motif except perhaps to a Roman citizen. However, it throws some light on the theory put forward by F.A. Banks [Coins of the Bible Days].

This wasn't the first time that the simpulum appeared on Roman coins, but it is the first time it figured alone. This fact gives an additional specificity to Pilate's coins, not only in the context of Judea but also in comparison with all the other coins of the Empire.

THE THREE EARS OF BARLEY
The three ears or barley are featured on the opposing face of the simpulum. Unlike the simpulum, these ears of barley are not in contravention of the Jewish Law. The motif is nevertheless distinctive because it is the first time it appears on a Judean coin. The motif would reappear twelve years later on one of Herod Agrippa's coin, then on another, much rarer, of Agrippa II (ears of barley held in a hand). After that, the motif disappeared altogether from ancient Jewish coins.

THE LITUUS
The lituus was the wooden staff which the augurs held in the right hand; it symbolised their authority and their pastoral vocation. It was raised toward heavens while the priests invoked the Gods and made their predictions. Legend records that Romulus used it at the time of Rome's foundation in 753 B.C.E. It is interesting to note that the cross used in present times is the direct descendant of the lituus. As with the simpulum, Pilate's coinage is exceptional in that it alone displays the lituus as the sole object illustrated on the face.

THE WREATH
The laurel wreath is a symbol of power and victory, and figures on various ancient Greek and Roman coins. In Judea it can be found during the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134 to 104 B.C.E.). After that, Herod Antipas, speaker for Pilate, used it on all his coins. On Pilate's coins, the laurel wreath figures on the reverse side of the lituus, framing the date.

THE DATES
The notation of dates uses a code invented by the Greeks whereby each letter of the alphabet was assigned a number. This code would be used again in Judaism under the name of Guematria. The system is simple : the first ten letters of the alphabet are linked to units (1,2,3...), the following ten letters to tens (10,20,30...) and the four remaining letters to the first four hundreds. The "L" is an abbreviation meaning "year". Tiberius became emperor on September 17 of year 14 C.E, so we have :

LIS = Year 29 C.E. * LIZ = Year 30 C.E. * LIH = Year 31 C.E.

THE TEXTS
The legends on Pontius Pilate's coins are written in Greek. Judea, governed by the Ptolemy dynasty (301 to 198 B.C.E) then by the Syrians until 63 B.C.E, came under the same powerful influence of the Hellenic culture which touched the other territories of the ancient Persian Empire won by Alexander the Great. In spite of a certain amount of resistance, this Hellenistic heritage eventually crept into every aspect of daily life. Apart from the dates, the texts on Pilate's coinage consisted of only three different words : - TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (Of Tiberius Emperor) on all three coins; - IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Empress Julia) added to the coin of year 29.
http://www.numismalink.com/fontanille1.html


Pontius Pilate
After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ethnarch), Judea was placed under the rule of a Roman procurator. Pilate, who was the fifth, succeeding Valerius Gratus in A.D. 26, had greater authority than most procurators under the empire, for in addition to the ordinary duty of financial administration, he had supreme power judicially. His unusually long period of office (A.D. 26-36) covers the whole of the active ministry both of St. John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ.
As procurator Pilate was necessarily of equestrian rank, but beyond that we know little of his family or origin. Some have thought that he was only a freedman, deriving his name from pileus (the cap of freed slaves) but for this there seems to be no adequate evidence, and it is unlikely that a freedman would attain to a post of such importance. The Pontii were a Samnite gens. Pilate owed his appointment to the influence of Sejanus. The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Cæsarea; where there was a military force of about 3,000 soldiers. These soldiers came up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, when the city was full of strangers, and there was greater danger of disturbances, hence it was that Pilate had come to Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. His name will be forever covered with infamy because of the part which he took in this matter, though at the time it appeared to him of small importance.
Pilate is a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened.
The other events of his rule are not of very great importance. Philo (Ad Gaium, 38) speaks of him as inflexible, merciless, and obstinate. The Jews hated him and his administration, for he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities. Some standards bearing the image of Tiberius, which had been set up by him in Jerusalem, caused an outbreak which would have ended in a massacre had not Pilate given way. At a later date Tiberius ordered him to remove certain gilt shields, which he had set up in Jerusalem in spite of the remonstrances of the people. The incident mentioned in St. Luke 13:1, of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, is not elsewhere referred to, but is quite in keeping with other authentic events of his rule. He was, therefore, anxious that no further hostile reports should be sent to the emperor concerning him.
The tendency, already discernible in the canonical Gospels, to lay stress on the efforts of Pilate to acquit Christ, and thus pass as lenient a judgment as possible upon his crime, goes further in the apocryphal Gospels and led in later years to the claim that he actually became a Christian. The Abyssinian Church reckons him as a saint, and assigns 25 June to him and to Claudia Procula, his wife. The belief that she became a Christian goes back to the second century, and may be found in Origen (Hom., in Mat., xxxv). The Greek Church assigns her a feast on 27 October. Tertullian and Justin Martyr both speak of a report on the Crucifixion (not extant) sent in by Pilate to Tiberius, from which idea a large amount of apocryphal literature originated. Some of these were Christian in origin (Gospel of Nicodemus), others came from the heathen, but these have all perished.
His rule was brought to an end through trouble which arose in Samaria. An imposter had given out that it was in his power to discover the sacred vessels which, as he alleged, had been hidden by Moses on Mount Gerizim, whither armed Samaritans came in large numbers. Pilate seems to have thought the whole affair was a blind, covering some other more important design, for he hurried forces to attack them, and many were slain. They appealed to Vitellius, who was at that time legate in Syria, saying that nothing political had been intended, and complaining of Pilate's whole administration. He was summoned to Rome to answer their charges, but before he could reach the city the Emperor Tiberius had died.
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12083c.htm

As the man who presided over the trial of Jesus, who found no fault with the defendant and washed his hands of the affair by referring it back to the Jewish mob, but who signed the final death warrant, Pontius Pilate represents almost a byword for ambivalence.
He appears in a poor light in all four Gospels and in a favourable light in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter where the Jews take all the blame for Jesus' death.
In the later Acts of Pilate, he is both cleared of responsibility for the Crucifixion and is said to have converted to Christianity.
In the drama of the Passion, Pilate is a ditherer who drifts towards pardoning Jesus, then drifts away again. He tries to pass the buck several times, makes the decision to save Jesus, then capitulates.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Robert Runcie once wrote, "It would have been better for the moral health of Christianity if the blame had stayed with Pilate."
In a poignant moment in the course of the trial, Pontius Pilate responds to an assertion by Jesus by asking "What is truth?"
The truth about Pilate is difficult to ascertain since records are few. Legends say he was a Spaniard or a German, but most likely he was a natural-born Roman citizen from central Italy.
But the fact that he was definitely the Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD helps to establish Jesus as a real person and fixes him in time.
The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Caesarea, a mainly non-Jewish city where a force of some 3,000 Roman soldiers were based.
These would come to Jerusalem during the time of feasts when there was a greater danger of disturbances. This would explain Pilate's presence in the city during the time of the Crucifixion.
Pilate is recorded by several contemporary historians; his name is inscribed on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea in the 1960s with the words, PONTIUS PILATUS PRAEFECTUS PROVINCIAE JUDAEAE.
The governorship of Judea was only a second-rate posting, though having the Jewish religious capital, Jerusalem, on its patch would have increased its importance.
Pilate ruled in conjunction with the Jewish authorities and was under orders from Emperor Tiberius, to respect their culture. He was a soldier rather than a diplomat.
The Jews relied on the Romans to keep their own rebellious factions under control. But they appeared to hate Pilate.
One contemporary Jewish historian Philo, describes him as a violent thug, fond of executions without trial. Another, Josephus, records that, at the start of his term, Pilate provoked the Jews by ordering the imperial standards to be carried into Jerusalem.
But he backed off from an all-out confrontation. On the other hand, later, he helped himself to Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct.
When, according to Josephus, bands of resistance fighters, supported by crowds of ordinary people, sabotaged the project by getting in the way of Pilate's workmen, he sent in his soldiers. Hundreds were massacred.
Anne Wroe, author of a recent book Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man, says that for some modern scholars, given this propensity for violence when the occasion warranted, the idea of Pilate as a waverer is nonsense.
A Roman governor, they point out, would not have wasted two minutes thinking about a shabby Jewish villain, one among many. Wroe's depiction of Pilate, however, suggests he was something of a pragmatist.
His first duty was to keep the peace in Judea and to keep the revenues flowing back to Rome. "Should I have jeopardised the peace for the sake of some Jew who may have been innocent?", she has Pilate asking. "Should I have defied a furious crowd, maybe butchered them, to save one life?"
Whatever the truth about the real Pontius Pilate, such dilemmas are what he has come to symbolise.
Anne Wroe makes the modern comparisons of Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Bill McSweeney, of the Irish School of Ecumenics suggests that "without the Pilates of Anglo-Irish politics, we might never have had the Good Friday Agreement".
Tony Blair has said of Pilate: "It is possible to view Pilate as the archetypal politician, caught on the horns of a dilemma."
Even if, in reality, the Jesus affair was nothing but a small side-show in the career of Pontius Pilate, it had monumental repercussions for his image.
His inclusion in the Christian creeds, in the words of Robert Runcie, "binds the eternal realms to the stumbling, messy chronology of earthly time and place".
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1273594.stm

The Ethiopian Church recognized Pilate as a saint in the sixth century, based on the account in the Acts of Pilate

Although historians can pinpoint the exact date of death of many distinguished historical figures, the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ remains a matter of scholarly debate. Christ’s birth is most often dated between 7-5 BC (some scholars have suggested, however, His birth was as early as 20 BC). Christ’s Death and Resurrection is dated between 29-36 AD.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

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