Saturday, May 08, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Rome, Gallienus, Göbl 583w 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right | VBERITAS AVG, Uberitas standing left holding marsupium left and cornucopia right, E in right field.

Another coin featuring Uberitas and her marsupium, the pouch that marsupials are named for.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Æ33, Seleucia ad Calycadnum in Cilicia, Valerian, Lindgren I 1591 

[...] ΟVΑΛΕ[...]ΑΝ / ΟC, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | ΕΛΕ / VΚΕΩΝΩΝ ΠΡ[ΟCΚΑΛV] / ΚΑΔΝ / Ω, Confronted busts of Apollo, laureate, facing right, laurel branch before, and Artemis-Tyche, facing left, cornucopia behind.

A big lump of bronze and a pleasing design.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Rome, Gallienus, Göbl 158k 

IMP GALLIENVS P F AVG G M, Radiate cuirassed bust right, both ribbons behind | PAX AVGG, Pax standing facing, head left, holding branch left and scepter diagonal. T in left field.

The "G M" at the end of the obverse legend declares Gallienus to be Germanicus Maximus, who's defeated the German tribes. Not entirely untrue, but not the entire truth either. Treaty, bribery and, apparently, a marriage to a chieftain's daughter accompanied military success.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

AR denarius, Roman Republic, 112-111 BCE, Lucius Caesius, RSC Caesia 1 

Diademed bust left of Vejovis seen from the back, drapery on near shoulder,
hurling a thunderbolt. ROMA Monogram behind | ΑΜΦΙ_Π_ΟΛΕΙΤΩΝ, The twin Lares Praestites seated right each holding a scepter, the house-guard dog between them. Head of Vulcan and pliers above monograms of LA and PRE on either side. L.CAESI in exergue.

This Lucius Caesius seems to be otherwise unknown, though one or more like-named individuals appear in history just late enough to be sure that they're not this one. Vejovis is an old god about whom there is little agreement. He may be originally an Etruscan god of healing, he may be an underworld god of death, or vengeance, and he may be a kind of evil mirror image of Jupiter.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Æ26, Amphipolis in Macedonia, Valerian, SNG von Aulock 6770 

ΑVΤ Κ ΠΟ ΛΙ ΟVΑΛΕΡΙΑΝΟC, Radiate cuirassed bust right | ΑΜΦΙ_Π_ΟΛΕΙΤΩΝ, City goddess seated left holding statue of Artemis Tauropolos left. [Tunny fish left in exergue.].

A site with many photos of Amphipolis today, and a page on Artemis, including her aspect Tauropolis that supposes there's truth in the myth of the Amazons.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Mostly not coins, but still... 

Hundredth Monkey links to some info on amazing recovered Iraqi artifacts.

Billon antoninianus, Mediolanum, Gallienus, Göbl 921h 

IMP GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head left | VICTORIA AVGG, Victory standing facing, wings spread, head left, holding palm branches in each hand. A shield on the ground to either side.

It's not that Valerian and Gallienus didn't have victories, but just that they hardly seem characteristic of the reign. Valerian captured alive by Persians, both his grandsons dead shortly thereafter, Gaul seceded from the Empire under control of what may have been his son's assassin. Not a time of unbroken good fortune for the Empire, or the emperor.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Æ26, Neocaesarea in Pontus, Valerian, SNG von Aulock 6770 

ΑV Κ ΠΟ ΛΙΧ ΟVΑΛΕΡΙΑΝΟC, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | ΚΟΙ ΠΟΝΤ ΜΗΤ ΝΕΟΚΑΙCΑ ΕΤ ΡQΒ, Prize crown/wreath.

As promised/threatened on Friday, I believe this reverse is a top-down view of a prize crown or champion's wreath, and that that it shows a band that crosses over the top of the wearer's head, preventing the whole thing from sliding down to the winner's embarrassment and everyone else's amusement.

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