Saturday, April 24, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Samosata, Gallienus, Göbl 1682m 

IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | VOTA ORBIS, Two victories fixing shield inscribed SC to palm tree.

I like this attractive reverse design. While the coin isn't uncommon, it's usually seen in rather poor condition, and I've bought far too many of them, each a little nicer than the last. I usually try to avoid the needless expense of these incremental upgrades, but emotion overcomes reason for this one. As you can see, I'm still in need of a really great example.

An old eBay auction listing from wcnconline says the reverse legend "(r)efers to vows made by the entire world for a prosperous ten first years of rule for Gallienus and Valerian I"

Friday, April 23, 2004

Æ23, Anazarbus in Cilicia, Valerian, 253 CE, SNG Cop 59 

ΑVΤ Κ ΟVΑΛΕΡΙΑΝΟC CΕ, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | ΑΝΑΖΑΡΒ[ΟV ΕΝΔΟΞ ΜΗ] ΕΤ ΒΟC, City goddess standing left, holding prize crown left, Τ / Γ / Γ in left field, Α / Κ / Μ in right.

Some info on Anazarbus.

The Α / Κ / Μ lettering on the reverse is Anazarbus's claim to be first, most beautiful, and greatest city in Cilicia. Such claims were common. In Cilicia, Tarsus made identical claims, as did other cities in their own provinces. While they Anazarbus and Tarsus were busying themselves claiming primacy, Mallus, origin of Tuesday's coin, was the actual capital of Cilicia.

ΕΤ ΒΟC is a civic date, year 272 since the incorporation of the city into the Roman empire in 19 BCE.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Antioch, Gallienus, Göbl 1636c 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | VIRTVS AVG, Mars advancing right, holding transverse spear and globe right, branch in exergue.

Plutarch, in Coriolanus  I.3, says:
"It is perfectly true, however, that in those days Rome held in highest honour that phase of virtue which concerns itself with warlike and military achievements, and evidence of this may be found in the only Latin word for virtue, which signifies really manly valour; they made valour, a specific form of virtue, stand for virtue in general."

(tr. Bernadotte Perrin, Loeb Classical Library)

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

AR denarius, Roman Republic, Safra?, 150 BCE, Crawford 206/1 

Helmeted head of Roma right, X behind | Victory in biga right, holding reins and whip. SAFRA below, ROMA in linear frame beneath.

Crawford and David Sear say that since there's never a mark of any sort between S and AFRA that this coin must have been issued by an unknown moneyor with the cognomen Safra (or beginning with those letters), but older sources forgive the lack of punctuation and take this as an issue of Spurius Afranius or similar.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Æ32, Mallus in Cilicia, Valerian, Sear GIC 4498 

IMP [C LI]C VALERIANVS PI FE [AVG], Laureate cuirassed bust right | M[ALL]O COLON[IA], Amphilocus standing facing, head left, holding branch left. Boar at his feet left, large serpent-entwined tripod on base right. SC in exergue.

Some info on Mallus.

This is, I think, the most appealing portrait I've seen on any coin of this era, Imperial or Provincial.

I mentioned yesterday the pleasure of finding a coin different from any I already own. Add to that a city that's new to me, and we've moved on to excitement.

Too, I got it for a very reasonable price, since it wasn't worth the dealer's time to try to hunt up the details on what it is, with the legends so hard to read.

A picture of a nicer one at Wildwinds.

Monday, April 19, 2004

"with some historical sources claiming they fled Troy after its fall" 

Via rogueclassicism, ruins of Chamars, the most important Etruscan city, may have been found.

Billon antoninianus, Rome, Valerian, Göbl 810d 

IMP VALERIANVS P AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | TEMPORVM FELICITAS, Felicitas standing facing, head left, holding long cauduceus left and cornucopia right.

Felicitas again, standing this time, on a coin proclaiming Good Times, a legend unique (for Valerian and family) to this coin. Hubris comes in many forms.

I like the coinage of this family, with its many shortcomings, but it is repetitive, and finding a legend that I don't already have is a special pleasure.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Æ23, Augusta Traiana in Thrace, Gallienus, Varbanov 506 

ΓΑΛΛΙΗ_ΝΟC ΑVΓ, Radiate head right | ΑVΓΟVCΤΗC ΤΡΑΙΑΝΗ[C], Demeter standing facing, head left, holding grain ears left and long torch right. Δ in right field.

Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, shown here holding ears of grain.

Like the coin I posted on Friday, this is a four-assaria piece, as indicated by the Δ on the reverse. Also like that coin, it has a noticeable centration hole, in this case on the obverse.

This concludes my coins of Augusta Traiana.

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