Saturday, October 30, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Köln, Göbl 889i 

GALLIENVS·P·F·AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust left with decorated shield on near shoulder and spear on far | DEO MARTI, Tetrastyle temple with statue of Mars within, holding spear right, leaning on shield left.

Part of an interesting little mini-series, featuring Vulcan on the reverse of the coins for Valerian, Segetia, protectress of seeds in the ground, on the coins of Salonina, and, as here, Mars on the coins of Gallienus. This example has an appropriately martial portrait of the emperor.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Æ30, Side in Pamphylia, Salonina, unknown 

ΚΟΡΝΗΛΙΑ CΑΛΩΝΙΝΑ CΕΒ, Diademed draped bust right on crescent, I before, breaking legend | CΙΔΗΤΩΝ·Α·ΝΕΩΚΟΡΩΝ / ΝΑVΑΡΧ / ΙC, Large galley sailing left above two smaller sailing right.

While the compass wasn't known to the ancients, and navigation was by landmark and by the relatively stable winds of the Mediterranean, aquatic travel was vital to the Romans, both as a way of moving troops, and as a way of bringing food from where it was grown to where it was most needed.

The city of Side here announces that it not only has a Neokorate temple of the imperial cult, but is also Navarchvs, an imperial harbor.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Mediolanum, Göbl 1372a 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head right | SECVR TENPO, Securitas standing facing, head left holding scepter left and resting on column right, MS in exergue.

The legend on the reverse is nearly off the coin here, so it isn't very clear that this does say TENPO not TEMPO, but the coin is only known this way, abbreviating TEMPORVM as TENPO. Göbl attests over 100 examples of this, so it's not an uncommon coin, I assume quite a few reverse dies were used, all with this same misspelling. Silly Romans.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

AR denarius, Antoninus Pius, Rome, RIC 61 

ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, Bare head right | AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing facing, head left, holding scales left and pertica right.

Titus Aurelius Fulvius Boionius Arrius Antoninus Pius succeeded Hadrian in July, 138. Adopted by Hadrian earlier that year, following the death of Aelius Verus, whom Hadrian had originally nominated to be his successor, Antoninus earned the epithet "Pivs" for the extravagant funeral he arranged for his adoptive father.

His reign is remembered as an uneventful time of good government, free from notable insurrections, conspiracies, or corruption. Gibbon approved, but really it's rather boring, given some of the other material we have to work with.

He died, of natural causes, in March, 161.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Æ tetradrachm, Alexandria, Salonina, Emmett 3856(12) 

ΚΟΡΝΗΛΙΑ CΑΛωΝΕΙΝΑ CΕΒ, Diademed draped bust right | LΙΒ, Elpis standing left, holding flower left, hitching skirt right. Palm in left field, regnal year in right.

The coinage of Roman Egypt is a worthwhile study of its own, a closed economy where neither imperial coins nor those from other provinces circulated. Good sites on the coinage here and here, my own limited effort here.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Mediolanum, Göbl 990n 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right, one ribbon behind, one forward across shoulder | LEG II ADI VI P VI F, Pegasus springing right.

Another of my special favorites, the "Legionary series," coins that specially honor the legions that served under Gallienus. The legion on this coin, Legio II Adiutrix, was raised from naval forces by Vespasian.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Æ29, Syedra in Cilicia, Salonina, SNG Levante 446 (this coin) 

ΚΟΡΝΗΛΙΑ CΑΛΩΝΙΝΑ CΕΒ, Diademed draped bust right, IA before | CΥΕΔ_ΡΕΩΝ, Ares seated right on rock. holding spear left and shield right.

Sometimes it's just luck, good or bad.

Back in March I posted this coin, very similar to today's. Clearly I missed seeing that when I decided to buy today's coin, perhaps blinded by the provenance.

But, on a closer look, they're different enough to tell myself that they're different enough: the reverse legend breaks differently, CΥΕ_ΔΡΕΩΝ on the earlier post versus CΥΕΔ_ΡΕΩΝ today.

Works for me, anyway.

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