Saturday, February 12, 2005

Billon antoninianus, Valerian, Rome, Göbl 89c 

IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | APOLINI PROPVG, Apollo standing right with drawn bow.

About a year ago I posted this slightly earlier coin with a shorter obverse legend. The differences in the bow are interesting, but I haven't seen enough examples yet to know if they're diagnostic, in the case of an imperfectly readable obverse.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Æ30, Side in Pamphylia, Gallienus, SNG PFPS-847 

AVT KAI ΠOV ΛI EΓN ΓAΛΛIHNOC CEB, Laureate draped bust right, I in right field | CIΔHTΩN NEΩKOPΩN, Athena standing facing, head right, holding thunderbolt right and spear left, with palm at feet right, pomegranate in left field.

ΣΙΔΗ, ancient Greek for pomegranate, was a homonym for the name of the city, and the pomegranate became a punning shorthand badge.

At various times the lunate sigma, C, became a fashionable alternate form of Σ, much as alternate forms of "f" were popular at the time of the Declaration of Independence.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Mediolanum, Göbl 1383a 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head right | A[ETER]N AVG, Sol standing facing, weight on his left leg, holding globe right, raising hand left. MT in exergue.

Like Monday's coin, this issue from Mediolanum (today Milan) features Sol on the reverse. Unlike it, it's attested as common, with over 100 examples noted by Göbl. Yet it's taken me years to find one, and I settled for one in as poor a state as this. Perhaps I'll regret the purchase next week upon seeing one with no more wear than on the day it was minted.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

AR denarius, L. Appuleius Saturninus, Rome, 104 BCE, Crawford 317/3b 

Head of Roma left | Saturn in quadriga right, holding harpa. A below horses; L SATVRN in exergue.

Minted in the year of the second servile war, a failed slave revolt in Syracuse after the governor halted the Senate's decree of emancipation for those slaves from states that had made alliance with Rome.

The moneyor, Saturninus, earned the wrath of Gaius Marius soon after.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Æ17, Cyme in Aeolis, quasi-autonomous, BMC 120var... 

(rev leg KVM_A_IΩN)

KVM_H, Turreted bust of the Amazon Kyme left | KVM_AIΩN, Tyche standing facing, head left, holding cornucopia right and rudder left.

Getting a good catalog attribution for this took a bit of looking. Varieties with the obverse bust facing right were easy to find in the books, but I had to go back to the British Museum Collection, published in the early 20th century, to find the left-facing bust, and even then I couldn't find a left-facing bust obverse matched with this legend break on the reverse.

The Amazon Kyme looks quite like the Amazon Smyrna seen in this post from last month.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Mediolanum, Göbl 1140k 

IMP GALLIENVS P AVG, Radiate head right, slight drapery on both shoulders | ORIENS AVG, Sol standing facing, head left, holding a globe right and raising his hand left.

Supply and demand, again and again. Per Robert Göbl, there's quite a small supply of these, he attests only two examples. Per eBay, it's worth $14, since the demand is even smaller than the supply.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Æ tetradrachm, Alexandria, Gallienus, Emmett 3796(12) 

AVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC CEB, Laureate cuirassed bust right | LIB, Athena standing facing, head left, holding spear left and shield at feet right. Palm right, regnal date in left field.

Khufu, or Cheops, buried in the Great Pyramid, ruled from 2551 to 2528 BCE, about 2,800 years before this coin was minted. The coin was minted about 1,750 before now.

As distant from us as the Roman empire is, the time of the great Pharaohs was far more distant from them.

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