Saturday, December 27, 2003

Billon antoninianus, Valerian, Antioch, Göbl 1566a 

IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right / VICTORIAE AVGG, Mars standing, head right, holding spear left and shield right.

A bit unusual, the god of war on a coin announcing the victories of the emperors, where Victory herself would usually appear. It's worth wondering if this isn't Mars, but instead just a generic soldier.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Æ25, Nicaea in Bithynia, Gallienus, SNG von Aulock 723 

[...]ΠΟΥ ΛΙΕΓ ΓΑΛΛΙΗΝΟC CΕ, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right / ΝΙΚΑ_ΙΕΩΝ, Gallienus and Valerian, radiate and wearing military oufits, standing face-to-face, clasping hands and holding spears; Homonoia standing right, behind.

The equivalent of the imperial CONCORDIA AVGG coins, declaring good relations between the father and son emperors, who were not, in fact, always in perfect agreement.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Antioch, Göbl 1628a 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head left / AETERNITAS AVG, She-wolf right, suckling twins. Branch in exergue.

Romulus and Remus were part of the Roman foundation myth, and would seem more appropriate on a ROMAE AETERNAE coin than this AETERNITAS AVG, but there you go.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Æ16, Nabataea, Aretas IV, c. 40 CE, Meshorer 113 

Jugate busts of Aretas IV & Shugailat / Crossed cornucopias, Aramaic legend

The Nabatean kingdom, with its remarkable city at Petra, controlled trade routes to the Arabian desert. They became a client of Rome in the last days of the Republic and were subsumed as part of the province of Arabia while Trajan was emperor.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Æ25, Nicaea in Bithynia, Gallienus, BMC Greek 154 

ΠΟ ΛΙΕ Γ ΓΑΛΛΙΗΝΟ CΕΒ, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right / ΝΙΚΑΙ_ΕΩΝ, Dionysus, holding kantharos and thyrsus, seated left in quadriga of elephants left.

Badly worn and harshly cleaned, but how could I not buy it: how often do you see a chariot drawn by four elephants? In fact, I bought two. Long story.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Mediolanum, Göbl 1146m 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head right / DIANA FELIX, Diana standing facing, head right, holding scepter left and bow right. Hound at feet leaping right.

Never let it be said that I missed an opportunity for laziness.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Bad news for the hobby 

Modern forgeries are turning up among uncleaned ancient coin lots. Details and photos here.

Æ26, Heracleia Pontica in Bithynia, Gallienus, unknown 

ΑΥ Π ΛΙ ΓΑΛΛΙΗΝΟC CΕΒ, Laureate draped cuirassed bust right / ΗΡ[...Ν]ΕΩΚ[ΟΡΟΝ...], Herakles, left, strangling Nemean lion. Club in exergue, H in upper field.

Some info on Heracleia Pontica.

This is a rather different interpretation of a common-enough scene of Herakles strangling that lion. Herakles usually stands, holding the lion off the ground, where here he's leaning with pretty good leverage into the off-balance lion.

(correction to obverse legend, recognition of reverse field mark in November, 2004)

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