Saturday, August 14, 2004

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 743u 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right | NEPTVNO CONS AVG, Hippocamp swimming right, N in exergue.

The Zoo Series of Gallienus, each dedicated to a Roman god as the protector of the emperor and featuring an animal associated with the god, is one of the most accessible series of ancient coins, since the more common varieties can be readily had for very reasonable prices.

This website covers the series with far more detail, and less annoying punctuation, than I can hope to.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Æ28, Antioch in Pisidia, Gallienus, SNG Cop 92var 

IMP CA GALIHNVS PIVS AV, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | ANTIOH COL, She-wolf standing right, suckling the twins, under a tree. SR in exergue.

On the site of modern Yalvac, in Turkey, Pisidian Antioch is not the same place as the better known Antioch ad Orontes or any of the many other Antiochs.

While this Antioch used Latin on its coins and proclaimed its colonial status, originally gained during the reign of Augustus, the legends were often badly garbled in the third century, and many variants are seen on examples of the same issue. I have two similar examples of this coin, sharing an obverse die, I think, but the second has the reverse legend ANTIOSHI CO, as best as I can read it.

It's a reasonable guess that Latin was not well-understood by the workers at the mint.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Valerian, Viminacium, Göbl 794d 

IMP P LIC VALERIANO AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | VIRTVS AVG, Virtus standing facing, head left, holding shield and spear right and Victory left.

The third of the three-coin first imperial emission for Valerian from Viminacium, this example shows little wear on the obverse, though the reverse is not nearly as nice. The ancients tended to use dies until they failed catastrophically, so this coin looks much as it did the day it was issued.

It's interesting that this coin uses the legend VIRTVS AVG, which normally would indicate a single emperor, rather than the plural VIRTVS AVGG.

Valerian is shown with a beard, which isn't generally seen. I can't tell if my one provincial from Viminacium with this obverse legend also shows a beard.

Common coin-collector wisdom would be to decide that the mint workers at Viminacium hadn't seen Valerian, or a good image of him, and may not have known that he'd raised Gallienus to be emperor with him.

Or maybe he shaved it off afterwards and didn't raise Gallienus to sit beside him until later than is generally thought.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

AR denarius, C. Licinius L. f. Macer, Roman Republic, 84 BCE, Crawford 354/1 

Diademed draped bust of Apollo hurling a thunderbolt, left | C LICINIVS L F / MACER, Minerva, holding spear and shield, in quadriga, right. Moneyor's name in exergue.

The obverse is a bit clunkier than the similar one an a coin I posted two weeks ago, and the quadriga reverse refers back to the early denarii.

C. Licinius Macer served as Praetor in 68 BCE. He wrote a history of Rome that lost now, except for fragments.

84 BCE, when this coin was minted, the consuls were Lucius Cornelius Cinna and Gnaeus Papirius Carbo (the optimate assassinated in 82, the whole family seems to have used this name.)

Not one of them could produce a decent-looking hand, either.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Nobody asked 

But the answer is Nikon CoolPix 995, in any case.

Æ24, Nicaea in Bithynia, Gallienus, Lindgren III, 199var 

[Π]Ο ΛΙΚ ΕΓ ΓΑΛΛΙΗΝΟC CΕ, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | Ν_ΙΚΑ_ΙΕΩΝ, Tyche standing facing, head left, holding cornucopia right and rudder left.

Tyche is the "old reliable" reverse for provincial coins of this era. I don't know why traditional tutelary gods and goddesses were losing favor, but it seems that this once-minor Greek goddess, refurbished with association with the Roman Fortuna, was ready for the big-time, and was used throughout the empire.

Monday, August 09, 2004

"but a full-blown phobia is overdoing it" 

Dr. Weevil on zenophobia, praenomen, gnomen, and cognomen, and some famous Romans.

Billon antoninianus, Valerian, Viminacium, Göbl 792d 

IMP P LIC VALERIANO AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing facing, head right, holding vexillum left and transverse standard towards right.

Like Thursday's post, this is part of the first imperial emission from this mint, coined early in the joint reign of Valerian and Gallienus. The reverse honors the faithfulness of the soldiers, which is reassuring when you're a new emperor just getting settled in.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Æ24, Alexandria Troas, Gallienus, Bellinger A466 

IMP GALLIENV, Laureate draped bust right | [TROA], Turreted draped bust of Tyche right, vexillum, marked AV/CO, behind.

Like the coin I posted on Tuesday, Bellinger convinced himself that this was privately issued, unauthorized money of convenience. Evidence is lacking.

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