Saturday, May 01, 2004
Billon antoninianus, Viminacium, Gallienus, Göbl 827q
IMP GALLIENVS P AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | SPES PVBLICA,Spes standing left, holding flower left, hitching skirt right.
Spes was the Roman personification of hope, here representing the emperor as the hope of the people.
Friday, April 30, 2004
Æ26, Neocaesarea in Pontus, 257-258 CE, Gallienus, SNG Öst. 57
ΑV Κ ΠΟ ΛΙΚ ΓΑΛΛΙΗΝΟC, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | * ΜΗΤ ΝΕ_Ο_Κ[ΑΙ]CΑΡΙΑ / ΕΤ ΡQΓ, Prize crown, two palms protruding, on altar.
A brief note on the Pontus, including Neocaesarea. ΡQΓ is a date, 193 years since the eastern Pontus was annexed to the Roman empire in 64 CE.
Again with the prize for some contest, the details of which are long lost to history. Some of this is foreshadowing for a different view that I'll post Sunday.
Thursday, April 29, 2004
Billon antoninianus, Antioch, Valerian, Göbl 1562a
IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | PACATORI ORBIS, Jove seated left, holding spear right and patera left. Eagle at feet, left.
It's one thing to claim to have pacified the world, and another to convince the world that it's been pacified. Shapur wasn't pacific.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, Bare head right | SECVRITAS P R, Securitas standing facing, head left, holding wreath left and scepter right.
Two weeks ago I posted a coin of Galba. Today, his one-time protégé, later assassin and successor, Marcus Salvius Otho, who reigned for eight weeks.
A difference between Roman culture and our own that is both trivial and remarkable: a vain Roman would often take pride in not hiding physical defects. Suetonius says "because he was somewhat bald, he wore a kind of peruke, so exactly fitted to his head, that nobody could have known it for such" but it's hard to imagine that anyone seeing this coin was fooled.
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Æ drachm, Alexandria, Salonina, Emmett 3847(12)
ΚΟΡΝΗΛΙΑ CΑΛωΝΕΙΝΑ CΕΒ, Diademed draped bust right | LΙΒ, Athena seated left on throne, shield beneath, holding scepter right and Nike left, palm to right, regnal year to left. 264-265 CE.
A good site on the coins of Roman Egypt and the Wikipedia entry on Greek and Roman Egypt.
Monday, April 26, 2004
Æ antoninianus, Rome, Gallienus, Göbl 712bvar
GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head right | SOLI CONS AVG, Pegasus leaping right. A to right of groundline.
Coins like the second example here, where the mintmark intrudes into the reverse legend, convince me that the usual practice was to engrave the figure, then the mintmarks, and finally the legend.
I think this example demonstrates an alternative was to engrave the legend first, then the mintmark, and finally the figure. As seen, this method was not free from problems.
Curtis Clay, on FORVM's message board, isn't buying my reasoning.
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Æ30, Anazarbus in Cilicia, Valerian, 253 CE, SNG von Aulock 5508
ΑVΤ Κ Π ΛΙ ΟVΑΛΕΡΙΑΝΟC CΕ, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | Μ[ΗΤΡΟΠ ΑΝΑΖΑΡ]ΒΟV / Γ Γ / ΕΤ ΒΟC / [Α] Μ Κ, Six prize crowns in two rows.
More about Anazarbus.
I find it interesting that so many of the provincial coins of this time, particularly the larger ones, feature either depictions of competitions or of prizes to be won at them.
Did they advertise coming games, or serve as souvenirs to be carried home by attendees?