Saturday, December 10, 2005
Billon antoninianus, Mariniana, Rome, Göbl 216b
DIVAE MARINIANAE, Veiled draped bust right on crescent | CONSECRATIO, Peacock standing facing, tail erect, head left.
There's no documentary evidence of who Mariniana was. By examining her coins (and the dated provincials from Viminacium are particularly useful here, we know the coins were issued near the beginning of Valerian's reign. Since they all name her as divine, it's assumed she was his wife, deceased before he became emperor. Anything beyond that is speculation.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Æ26, Ptolemais-Ace in Phoenicia, Valerian, Rosenberger 85
[tooled], Laureate bust left with shield on left shoulder and spear held over right | COL P_T_OL, Nike standing right, left hand holds shield or wheel on short column.
Apparently from the same obverse die as was used for this coin, it seems to have an identical bust but a very different-looking legend. I believe the legend was worn away (or corroded away) and someone in modern times, hoping to make the coin more sellable, engraved a fantasy legend on it, not knowing what belonged there. (That's, of course, a very bad thing that destroys just about any value it would have otherwise had.)
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Siscia, Göbl 1424aa
GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right | AEQVIT AVG, Aequitas standing left, holding scales in right hand and overflowing cornucopia in left.
One of the most commonly-seen figures on Roman coins, it seems that promises of the equity of the emperor were important.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
IMP NVMERIANVS P F AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | [PR]OVIDENT AVG[G], Providentia standing facing, head left, holding ears of grain in right hand over modius at feet and cornucopia in left hand. VXX[I] in exergue.
Marcus Aurelius Numerianu was the son of Carus and became emperor upon his father's death in December 283. He died under mysterious circumstances eight months later, while bringing the Roman army home from Persia.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Æ tetradrachm, Alexandria, Gallienus, Emmett 3802(9 - HA)
AVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC CEB, Laureate cuirassed bust right | L HA, Eagle standing left, holding wreath. Transverse palm branch behind. Regnal year across fields.
As I mentioned in this post last year, coins of Roman Egypt often refrained from dating a coin of the ninth year of an emperor's reign with a simple Φ, much as our hotels avoid using floor 13.
This one uses the odd notation HA, adding 8 and 1. (Campus Mawrtius posts on Greek numerals here.)
Monday, December 05, 2005
Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 343a
GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head right, one ribbon behind, one forward across shoulder | VIRTVS AVG, Mars standing left, holding globe in right hand and spear in left. P in left field.
The less-common version of this, which differs only in the placement of the officina mark on the reverse.
And yet, I felt the need to
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Æ tetradrachm, Alexandria, Gallienus, Emmett 3817(12)
AVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC CEB, Laureate cuirassed bust right | LIB, Homonia seated left holding double cornucopia right, raising hand left. Palm in right field. Regnal year in left field.
While coins of Roman Egypt are treated like Provincial coins, because Egypt, unlike other Provinces, was under the direct control of the emperor, with the Senate explicitly excluded, it's more accurately seen as its own third category:
- imperial coins that were legal tender everywhere in the empire, except Egypt
- provincial coins, valid along with imperial issues, in their issuing city or province
- Egyptian coins, the only legal tender in their province