Friday, March 10, 2006

Æ23, Antioch in Pisidia, Gallienus, BMC 138var 

IM[P C P ΛIC G]AΛΛIH[NVS ...], Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | AN_TIO_CH COL, Tyche of Antioch standing left, holding branch in right hand and cornucopia in left. Γ beneath branch, S R across lower fields, Four pellets in exergue.

I took an interest when this was offered, since I already had coins that were quite similar but with two or three pellets in the exergue, or with no pellets and SR in exergue.

Upon inspecting it after I won it, I had a bad news/good news experience. Consider these two together. I think they may share a reverse die and both have four pellets in the exegue, although the left-most is largely off the flan in the first example.

So, bad news because I've again unintentionally bought a duplicate of something I already own, but good because I'm at least questioning something I was sure of and perhaps shouldn't have been.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

“621 copper alloy coins” 

Via Cronaca, a hoard of Carausius and Allectus antoniniani has been found in Britain.

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Antioch, Göbl 1668ierr 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | IOVI CONSERAVT (!), Jove standing left, holding globe in right hand and long scepter with left. PXV in exergue.

The reverse is supposed to say IOVI CONSERVAT, but on at least this one die, the engraver got it wrong. It lacks the amusement value of the VINO REGINA errors I've come across but, like them, they fuel speculation that at least some of the engravers were illiterate, at least in Latin, and were simply copying by rote.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

“two horses, one of them headless, were found in ditches” 

Via Archaeology in Europe, evidence of ancient cattle mutilation uncovered in Britain.

AR denarius, T. Cloulius, Roman Republic, 128 BCE, Crawford 260/1 

Head of Roma right, ROMA beneath, wreath behind | Victory in a biga right, horses rearing, grain ear beneath them, T·CLOVLI in exergue.

A nice bit of traditionalism, there's nothing revolutionary (and not much contemporary) in this design which looks back to designs a decade or more earlier. The significance of the element that would have had been clear to Romans of 128 BCE, the grain ear beneath the horses, is quite lost to speculation now. Some ancestor of this Cloulius may have done something notable with Rome's grain supply, or there may be a punning allusion to an ancestor's name that sounded like a word related to grain, but probably it's something clear to them at which we can't guess.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Æ21, Miletus in Ionia, Gallienus, BMC 167 

AVT K ΠO ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHN, Laureate draped cuirassed bust right |EΠI AP ΔIOΓE MIΛHCIΩN, Cultus statue of Artemis facing, holding patera in right hand and bow with left.

It's certainly true that I love building up a part of my collection issue from one city, as I've mentioned the last few times I've posted a coin of Tyre. I also have a special fondness for adding a coin from a city that's new to me, as today. Miletus was quite a city, too, with a history that dates back to well before the Hittites, predecessors to the Myceneans we think of as the first Greeks.

I'm not a historian by hobby, but obtaining this coin gives me a reason to learn a little about this ancient city, and prompts me to try to find more about its place in the Roman world in the middle of the 3rd Century.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Billon antoninianus, Valerian, Antioch, Göbl 1573a 

IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | VENVS VICTRIX, Venus standing left, leaning on shield right, holding helmet left and transverse scepter.

A recent Celator  article discusses Aphrodite (roughly equivalent to Venus) as a martial goddess worshipped in cities opposed to those who honored Athena so I think it's interesting to see a much later Roman treatment of this goddess in a martial way.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Welcome to the neighborhood! 

I've learned this weekend of two new(ish) ancient coin blogs, linked on the right: Ancient Coins, written by dealer/scholar/activist Dave Welsh and Ancient Coin Collecting, written by dealer/collector/author/publisher/activist Wayne Sayles.

Pay them a visit!

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