Saturday, April 03, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Rome, Valerian, Göbl 107b 

IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | ANNONA AVGG, Annona standing facing, head left, holding cornucopia right and grain ears over a modius left.

I've posted ANNONA coins before, and before that, and by & by I'll do so again. The corn dole, as much as any institution, was a symptom of what brought down the republic and replaced representative government, very imperfect as it was, with a regal system that lasted for over 500 years.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Æ31, Tarsus in Cilicia, Salonina, SNG von Aulock 6082 

ΚΟΡΝΗΛΙΑΝ C_ΑΛΩΝΙΝΑ, Diademed draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders Π before and behind | ΤΑΡCΟV Μ_ΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΕ / ΩC, Kybele seated right, drum beneath her elbow, lions beneath and before the throne. Α / Μ / Κ in left field, Γ / Γ in right.

A Turkish government site (in English) about Tarsus.

Tuesday I featured a coin of Gallienus, from Tarsus, with Athena posed Kybele-like astride a lion. Here, a coin from that city issued for Gallienus's wife Salonina, featuring a very characteristic Kybele, crowned, sitting on a throne with her arm on a drum and lions at her feet.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Köln, Valerian II (posthumous), Göbl 911e 

DIVO VALERIANO CAES, Radiate draped bust right | CONSACRATIO, Valerian II riding eagle skywards.

Upon his death, Valerian II was deified, and ascended to heaven on the back of an eagle. All standard stuff in the imperial cult of this era. Deceased women rode to heaven on a peacock.

The spelling of the reverse legend? As long as there've been standards, standards have been slipping.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"no moving companies could guarantee safe transfer of the pieces" 

Via UNRV, trouble moving the mosaics of Zeugma, flooded behind the Birecik Dam. Also, Northern Illinois University group to search for lost city of Alicia, in Sicily.

Æ drachm, Alexandria, Hadrian, 133-4 CE, Emmett 1002(18) 

[ΑVΤ ΚΑΙC ΚΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟC CΕΒ], Laureate draped bust right | L_Ι_Η, Isis Pharia walking right, holding large sail, Pharos of Alexandria in background to right. Regnal year across fields.

Back in November I posted an Alexandrian coin of Commodus that depicts the Pharos, this one of Hadrian concentrates more on the Isis of the Pharos, but the lighthouse is there, and unmistakeable.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Æ31, Tarsus in Cilicia, Gallienus, BMC 328 

ΑV ΚΑΙ Π ΗΓ ΓΑΛΛΙΗΝΟC CΕΒ, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right. Π before and behind | ΤΑΡCΟV Μ_ΗΤΡΟΠΟΛ_ΕΩΝ / Α Μ Κ Γ Γ, Athena, holding Nike, seated on lion walking right.

More about Tarsus.

Athena holding Nike is common, but lions are usually associated with Kybele. I don't know if this reverse indicates a hybrid Athena-Kybele, some incident in myth that associated the two goddesses, or some contemporary event that associated their cults in Tarsus.

Mar 28, 2005: Updated the title with the BMC attribution, now that I know it.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Rome, Valerian II (posthumous), Göbl 262g 

DIVO CAES VALERIANO, Radiate head right | CONSECRATIO, Eagle standing left with wings open, head right.

Like Saturday's coin, a posthumous issue for Gallienus's son, this time with an eagle reverse.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Æ31, Tarsus in Cilicia, Gallienus, SNG Levante 1197 

ΑV ΚΑΙ Π ΗΓ ΓΑΛΛΙΗΝΟC C[ΕΒ], Radiate draped cuirassed bust right. Π before and behind | ΤΑΡC_ΟV ΜΗΤΡ_ΟΠΟΛ, Athena, representing the Koinoboulion (Assembly) of Tarsus, seated left, dropping ballot into urn, resting arm on shield, and holding cornucopiae; Α Μ Κ in left field, Γ Γ in right field. ΚΟΙΝΟΒΟVΛΙΟΝ / ΕΛΕVΘΕ in exergue.

More info on Tarsus.

Even under the emperors, even in the provinces, forms had to be observed and the appearance, at least, of representative government had to be preserved. Here Tarsus makes a number of boasts, and depicts the act of voting, Roman style. Except for the sitting down part: they voted standing up.

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