Saturday, January 07, 2006

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Antioch, Göbl 1651a 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | PROVIDENTIA AVG, Mercury standing left, holding caduceus right and purse left. VIIC· in exergue.

Also Cohen 877 (no mint assignment), RIC 619, "holding baton and cornucopiae" (mint of Asia), cf. Sear RCV III 10336 (VIIC· in exergue) (Antioch).

While the coin was minted in or around 265 CE, between Cohen in 1880's, RIC in 1927, Göbl in 2000 and Sear in 2005, knowledge has increased recently.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Billon stater, Bosporus Kingdom, Rheskuporis, MacDonald 611/3 

BACIΛEωC PHCKOYΠOP[IΔOC], Laureate bust of Rheskuporis IV(V) right | Laureate bust of Roman emperor right, globe in right field., ΘμΦ (dynastic year 549 = 252-253 CE) beneath. (This was produced in a transitional year, and it's not obvious which emperor was intended.)

It's not certain how many kings Rheskuporis the Bosporus kingdom had, so while we know which king this was issued for, numbering isn't agreed on. The Roman emperor in 252 and the beginning of 253 was Trebonianus Gallus, so this probably isn't meant as Valerian or Gallienus, but "generic Roman Emperor" is probably the most accurate description.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Antioch, Göbl 1617l 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | VIRTVS AVG, Mars standing left, holding spear right, leaning on shield left. Crescent in left field.

Antioch minted a complex series of these, with no field marks, with a star in the left field, or in the exergue or, finally, as here, with a crescent in the left field. (Star in right coins were minted at Antioch, but not with this reverse.)

The precise significance isn't clear but, based on the use of numbers at other mints, these probably mark which workshop, and which official, was responsible for the coin to allow discrepancies to be addressed.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Numerian, Ticinum, 283-284 CE, RIC 447C 

IMP NVMERIANVS P F AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | PROVIDENT AVGG, Providentia standing left, holding cornucopia with left hand. In right, ears of grain over modius. VXXI in exergue.

Marcus Aurelius Numerianus was the younger son of Carus and was raised to Augustus only after the death of his father.

Numerian is remembered more for his death than his life: his father-in-law, the Praetorian prefect Arrius Aper concealed knowledge of Numerian's death (in which Aper may have had a hand) by closing his body in a litter, until the stench of the rotting body became overwhelming.

Ticinum today is Pavia, Italy. It began minting Imperial coins under Aurelian.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Æ tetradrachm, Alexandria, Valerian, Emmett 3713(6) 

A K Π ΛI OVAΛEPIANOC EVEVC, Laureate draped cuirassed bust right | LS, Nike flying right, holding wreath and palm. Regnal year across fields.

I like the way Nike flies while standing with her skirt billowing out, it makes me think of Morticia Adams.

Monday, January 02, 2006

AR antoninianus, Gallienus, Köln, Göbl 870l 

GALLIENVS·P·F·AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right | IOVI VICTORI, Statue of Jove standing left, holding Victory in right hand and scepter in left, all on large pedestal marked IMP / C E S.

There's another, less common, variant with IOVI VICTORI on the column and the legend GALLIENVS CVM EXEC SVO (an abbreviated Gallienus and his army) so the inscription on the column here is taken to mean The general and his army. I don't know of anything quite like it on any other Roman coin.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Æ34, Sagalassus in Pisidia, Valerian, SNG Copenhagen 214 

[AV K Π Λ OVAEPIANOC], Laureate draped cuirassed bust right, I before | [CAΓA]_ΛAC_CEUN ΠP_Ω_TH ΠICIΔΩN, Temple of the Dioscouri.

Castor and Pollux, the Dioscouri.

The legend on the reverse informs us that Sagalassus is the foremost city of Pisidia.

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