Saturday, July 31, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Mediolanum, Göbl 921i 

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

In May I posted a coin with this reverse and a left-facing bust. Today, a recent acquisition featuring a bust with slight drapery on the shoulders, not attested for this reverse. There's an odd raised area at the center of the reverse that makes me wonder if this spent time as part of a piece of jewelry.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Æ21, Alexandria Troas, Valerian, Bellinger A436 

IMP LIC VALERIANVS A (S is retrograde), Laureate draped cuirassed bust right | COL AVG TRO, Horse grazing right.

All is not as it should be when coins that mangle the Emperor's name get out of the mint. They got the city name right, though, and a carefully-studied horse, so that's good.

In other Alexandria Troas news, I finally got around to trying to verify that a coin posted last year really is unpublished. And it seems to be, the first known instance of a coin for Valerian II from Alexandria Troas.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Köln, Göbl 877e 

GALLIENVS AVG GERM V, Radiate cuirassed bust left with decorated shield on near shoulder and spear on far | RESTITVTOR GALLIAR, Gallienus in military garb, right, raising kneeling Gallia.

The obverse declares Gallienus has defeated the Germanic tribes five times, and the reverse announces him as the restorer of Gaul.

Minted in Colonia Agripina, today Köln, this well-worn coin is of the joint reign of Valerian and Gallienus, and has a higher silver content than would be seen again in Roman coins for many years.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

AR denarius, Roman Republic, Lucius Caesius, 112-111 BCE, Crawford 298/1 

Bust of Apollo (per Crawford) or Apollo/Jupiter (per Sear) seen from behind, head turned left, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand. AP monogram in right field | Lares Praestites seated facing, with dog between, each holding staff in left hand. Above, bust of Vulcan with tongs over shoulder. LA monogram in left field, PRE monogram in right field, L·CÆSI in exergue.

Minted in 112-111 BCE, at about the time the Land Laws of the Gracchi were being overturned. The bust itself is quite nice, but somebody needed more practice doing hands.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Billon tetradrachm, Alexandria, 255-6 CE, Valerian, Emmett 3708(3) 

Α Κ Π ΛΙ ΟVΑΛΕΡΙΑΝΟC ΕVΕVC, Laureate cuirassed bust right | LΓ, Eirene standing left, holding branch left and scepter right. Regnal year left.

Yesterday's coin featured Mars, the Roman god of war. Today we have Eirene, Greek goddess of peace.

It's unusual for an Alexandrian coin of this late date for its relatively white metal, presumably due to a high silver content.

Only coins minted in Roman Egypt legally circulated there. Outsiders arriving with their own money needed to change it for local coins, paying a fee to do so (and they'd pay again when changing back to their local money when leaving.) It's sometimes stated that the foreign coins supplied the metal for Alexandrian coins. That would be one explanation for the white-metal coins that sometimes show up at this time: a coin of unexpectedly good silver, perhaps dark with age, got tossed into the melt pot.

Or, it has to be said, not.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 657w¹ 

IMP GALLIENVS P F AVG, Radiate head right | MARTI PACIFERO, Mars standing facing, head left, holding branch left and spear right, leaning on shield right. A in left field.

In December, I posted a coin with this reverse with a bust with slight drapery, a combination not attested in MIR.

Here, an obverse legend, IMP GALLIENVS P F AVG, not attested for this reverse.

The reverse legend is dedicated to Marti Pacifero, Mars the Peacemaker, recognition that peace is when you've rendered your enemies are unable to make war, not when you're celebrating a peace dividend while they arm and make plans for your destruction.

Nobody tell Kofi Annan, it'd make him frown.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Æ25, Serdica in Thrace, Gallienus, Varbanov 502 

ΑVΤ Κ ΓΑΛΛΙΗΝΟC, Radiate bust right | ΟVΛΠΙΑC CΕΡΔΙΚΗC, Helios advancing right, holding torch behind, arm raised before.

I've already posted better coins featuring Helios, the Greek sun god, model for the Roman Sol, here and here.

I was surprised that I only had three such coins minted for Gallienus & family, and that I must present here a rather poorly preserved coin. The torch, though, is a nice touch not seen on either of those two coins.

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