Saturday, August 06, 2005

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Antioch, Göbl 1664f 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | LVNA LVCIFERA, Luna standing right, crescent on head, carrying long torch.

An interesting little variation in this coin that honors Luna, goddess of the moon, as the light-bringer, one with and one without drapery flying from her shoulder.

Similar designs were issued from this mint before the loss of Valerian as DIANA LVCIFERA, another name for the moon goddess and FELICITAS SAECVLI. Saecular games were held at Rome, at 110-year intervals (honored more in the breach than in the observance.) The "Zoo Series" probably honors Saecular games, so this legend may be literal, or may use the term more in the sense of "happy age" or "happy era".

Friday, August 05, 2005

Billon stater, Bosporus, Rheskuporis IV(V), 267-268CE, MacDonald 623 

BACIΛEωC PHCKOYΠOPIΔOC, Diademed draped bust right, trident before | Laureate bust of Gallienus right, K before, ΔΞΦ (dynastic year 564 = 267-268 CE) beneath.

The Bosporus Kingdom was, during this time, a client of the Romans, and a buffer against invasion of the Roman empire itself.

There's some disagreement over the numbering of kings named Rheskuporis, since some hold that Aspurgus, who reigned 14-15 CE, adopted the name and thus preceeded Rheskuporis I as the first Rheskuporis.

Bosporan coins bear dates that count from the beginning of the reign of Spartocus III, who acceeded to the throne in 303 BCE.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 599a 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head right | FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing facing, head left, holding standard left and scepter right.

The reverse honors the faithfulness of the soldiers, and this coin was probably produced as the "Gallienic Renaissance," a relatively peaceful period between 263 and 266, came to an end as war against the Goths resumed.

Some cracks in the reverse die are evident.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Æ tetradrachm, Alexandria, Quietus, 260-261 CE, Milne 4150 

A K T ΦIOVN KOVHTOC CEB, Laureate draped bust right | LA, Homonia standing facing, head left, holding cornucopia right, raising hand left. Regnal year in left field.

Titus Fulvius Iunius Quietus was the brother of Macrianus, and claimed the office of emperor with him, in the uncertain conditions after the capture of Valerian by the Sasanian Persians.

Their control of Alexandria was a critical concern for Gallienus, since it was an important port that shipped grain to Rome.

Quietus stayed in the East while Macrianus, and their father, went West. Quietus lived a short time longer than his relatives.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Æ tetradrachm, Alexandria, Gallienus, 266-267CE, Milne 4150 

AVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC CEB, Laureate cuirassed bust right | LIΔ (retrograde), Eagle standing left, head right, holding wreath. Palm branch right, regnal year, retrograde, left.

Milne, which is a catalog of Alexandrian coins at the University of Oxford Ashmolean Museum, contains an entry for this, with the retrograde date. The usually more comprehensive Emmett, which isn't restricted to a single collection, apparently lumps it with 3804(14), identical but for the direction of the date.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Samosata, Göbl 1688m 

IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | VOTA ORBIS, Two victories fixing shield inscribed SC to palm tree.

Göbl assigns this to 256, after the IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG / IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG issues of the previous year.

When used on earlier coins, particulary bronzes minted at Rome, "SC" is understood as Senatus consultum: "by decree of the Senate," but what significance it has on this coin isn't clear. Aeternitas Coins and Antiquities, in this listing, says that Vota orbis "commemorates Valerian’s vows on accession in 253AD", presumably these vows were made before the Senate.

Samosata is now submerged behind Turkey's Ataturk Dam.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Æ tetradrachm, Alexandria, Gallienus, 264-265CE, Emmett 3809(12) 

AVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC CEB, Laureate cuirassed bust right | LIB, Eagle standing facing, head left, wings spread. Regnal year within wreath above, palm in right field.

I've learned to step away from conversations that are going nowhere. This post would evidence that I haven't yet learned to just forget it, though.

Nobody reads weekend posts, right?

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