Saturday, September 04, 2004

Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 732b 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head right | NEPTVNO CONS AVG, Capricorn swimming right. Stigma in exergue.

The capricorn, a mythological aquatic goat, is one of the Gallienus "Zoo" coins that long eluded me. so even this low-grade example is a welcome addition to the collection. Better examples are pictured here, and a good overview of the Zoo here.

Update 10:57 EST: Corrected the last link.

Friday, September 03, 2004

International Foundation for Victims of Terror Acts 

Via Instapundit, the Command Post points to this fund to help children who were injured, or lost parents, in the terrorist attack on a school in Beslan.

Æ28, Irenopolis in Cilicia, Valerian, SNG von Aulock 5598 

ΑVΤ Κ Π ΛΙ VΑΛΕ[...]ΑΝ[...], Radiate cuirassed bust right | ΙΡΗΝΙΟΠ_Ο_ΛΙΤΩΝ Δ, Hygeia, left, standing facing Aesculapius who holds a snake-entwined staff.

The exact location of Irenopolis isn't certain. It may at Kars, a center of Turkish rug-making.

Based on my two examples, coins of Irenopolis seem to have been frequently countermarked. This example has a standing figure countermark on the obverse. Another like coin, an uncertain countermark on the reverse.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

"there are 300,000 coins" 

Via Dave Welsh on the Moneta-L list, Haaretz reports on a huge hoard of hundreds of thousands of Alexander Jannaeus prutot (like this), found in the shallow waters of the Dead Sea.

And a loaf of bread cost ten prutot.

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Mediolanum, Göbl 1149k 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head right, slight drapery on both shoulders | VIRTVS AVG, Mars standing facing, head left, holding reversed spear right and shield left. P in exergue.

You can see, at the 1 O'Clock to 3 O'Clock positions on the reverse, that when this coin was struck it was so far out of position that part of the blank bent up around the reverse, punch, die. Having done that, it shows some things about the size and shape of that die.

The Romans left almost no written records of mint operation, so evidence from the coins themselves can be a valuable source.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Billon tetradrachm, Nero, Alexandria, 64-65 CE, Emmett 118(11) 

ΝΕΡΟ [ΚΛΑV] ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒ ΓΕΡ, Radiate bust right, aegis on shoulder | ΑV_[ΤΟ]ΚΡΑ, Eagle standing left on thunderbolt, palm behind, regnal year LΙΑ in left field.

Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina the younger (who became the fourth wife of Claudius,) was renamed Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus on his adoption.

Architect of the murder of his mother, and the enforced retirement of Seneca, and perhaps the killer of his second wife, Poppaea Sabina, Nero was, until quite recently, seen as history's greatest monster.

The monster news cycle isn't what it used to be.

Oh yeah, Nero. Died, tradition has it by his own command, but not his own hand, June 9, 68, the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors, and was replaced by Galba.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Æ25, Serdica in Thrace, Gallienus, Varbanov 482 

ΑVΤ ΓΑΛ_ΛΙΗΝΟC, Laureate draped bust right | ΟVΛΠΙΑ_C CΕΡΔΙΚΗ[C], Artemis advancing right, holding bow and drawing arrow from quiver, hound running at feet.

Always a popular figure on Roman coinage, Artemis/Diana was the chaste goddess of the hunt, and always in a bad mood. Which you'd be, too.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Antioch, Göbl 1654a 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | VENER VICTRICI, Venus standing left, leaning on sheld right, holding long scepter diagonally and helmet left. VIIC· in exergue.

This martial aspect of Venus seems to be related to Aphrodite Areis, the warlike goddess of love (and lover of Mars) as she was worshipped by the Spartans.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Æ21, Athens, quasi-autonomous, c.264-267 CE, SNG Copenhagen 396 

Helmeted head of Athena right | ΑΘΗ_ΝΙΑΩΝ, Athena standing facing, head left, holding shield on ground right, feeding snake at feet left; olive tree left.

Just in time for the end of the Olympics, this issue from Athens, from a time before the end of the ancient Olympics.

I have a page documenting my small collection of Athenian coins here. I'm very fond of Athenian coins, but I've found that I don't have the income to be able to collect everything I like, so a coin like this, that fits my Gallienus & family collection as well as Athens, is especially appreciated.

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