Saturday, May 22, 2004

"carved between 203-211 CE" 

Via Cronaca, a project to reassemble a long-broken marble map of ancient Rome.

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Antioch, Göbl 1562d 

IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | PACATORI ORBIS, Jove seated left, holding spear right and patera left. Eagle at feet, left.

Only a few weeks ago I posted this similar coin for Valerian, but had to show off the nice reverse (though admittedly, the obverse is no great shakes) on this Gallienus, which must have been struck from a very fresh die. Pretty nice detail for a hand-cut die on a coin about the size of a nickel!

Friday, May 21, 2004

Æ25, Selge in Pisidia, Salonina, SNG von Aulock 5324 

[Κ]ΟΡΝΗΛΙ[ΑΝ CΑΛωΝΙΝΑΝ ΑVΓ CΕΒ], Draped diademed bust right on crescent, Γ before | C[ΕΛ_Γ_]Ε_ΩΝ, Large quadrangular platform, with horns, supporting two vases. All catalogue descriptions are confusing, without a clear coin to understand.

As yesterday, I settled for this coin because nicer examples are so hard to find. Broken, with only a few legible letters, it's no thing of beauty.

Once Selge was an important, populous city. Now it's ruins and some goats. Sic transit and all that.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Mediolanum, Göbl 992r 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right | LEG II ITAL VI P VI F, She-wolf standing left, suckling twins.

As noted here, the wolf suckling Romulus and Remus was part of the Roman foundation myth, and here we see that it was used as the emblem of Legio II Italica "Pia", raised in Italy c.165 by Marcus Aurelius.

The coin itself is horribly worn, recognizable mostly by the left-facing she-wolf, but coins of the legionary series are hard to find, and it'll do for now. It was part of an eight-coin lot on eBay and perhaps could have sold for about what the entire lot realized if it had been worth the seller's effort.

On rereading this, the last sentence isn't clear: the effort to sell this as a single may simply not have been worth it. To some extent this coin is a sow's ear, and finding a suitable buyer would be by no means certain.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Æ16 barbarous radiate 

Radiate cuirassed bust with a few letters around | Spes standing facing, head left, holding flower left, hitching skirt right. Star in lower left field.

A copy of a SPES AVG coin issued for Tetricus, clearly this wouldn't have fooled anyone who was familiar with the real thing. There's much controversy about what purpose they served.

Here a Wikipedia article argues for small change, contemporary with the official prototypes. Here Kent Woodson argues for money of convenience, continuing long after the prototypes stopped circulating. Others hold that at least some were produced specifically for religious/ceremonial use, and as grave goods.

Image hosting for this entry provided by www.ancients.info, which offers free web hosting for non-commercial ancient coin sites.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Billon stater?, Bosporus Kingdom, Rheskuporis V, Anokhin Bosporus 700c 

ΒΑCΙΛΕωC ΡΗCΚ[ΟΥΠΟΡΙΛΟ], Laureate bust of Rheskuporis V right | Laureate bust of Valerian? right, two pellets in right field., ΘμΦ (dynastic year 549 = 252-253 CE) beneath.

I treat this as a very peripheral coin of Valerian and family, but by the date, it's not unlikely that it was issued while Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus was emperor.

In any case, these are the worst portraits I've seen on any coin, much worse than those on a later coin of this kingdom I posted in December.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Mediolanum, Göbl 970v 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right | VIRTVS MIL, Mars standing facing, head right, holding spear left, leaning on shield right.

More geeky collector coolness: Robert Göbl rather tentatively attests one example of this coin, and more surely attests three examples of 971v, the same but with a longer IMP GALLIENVS AVG obverse legend. He plates neither of these and lists no source for 970v (perhaps Vienna Art-History Museum, source for 971v.)

As poorly preserved as this coin is, then, it's something that the foremost authority on this coinage couldn't put his hand to. He didn't have eBay.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Æ22, Isinda in Pisidia, Gallienus, SNG von Aulock 5050 

ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ Π[..] Λ[.] ΓΑΛΛ[...], Laureate draped bust right | ΙCΙΝ_ΔΕΩΝ, Isis seated right, suckling Horus the younger, serpent nearly erect at right.

On Tuesday I posted a coin of the same general design minted at this city for Valerian, executed fairly competently. This, though, shows the least successful die-cutting technique of any official Roman empire issue I've seen. In the coming week, I'll post an even cruder coin from the client Kingdom of Bosporus.

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