Friday, March 24, 2006

If we're allowed to buy antiquities, terrorists have already won 

Wayne Sayles catches the “cultural property nationalists and their sycophant brethren” claiming that collectors fund terrorism.

Æ21, Alexandria Troas, Gallienus, BMC 184 

IMP LICIN GALLIEN, Laureate draped bust right | COL AVG TRO, She-wolf standing right, suckling twins.

I apologize that I can't come up with anything to say today, but I'm coming down with some sort of viral thing and don't really feel up to more than choosing a picture from my collection. Here, the Wikipedia entry on the city.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Interesting new post on forgeries at Ancient Coins.

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 610a 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head right | PAX AETERNA AVG, Pax standing left, holding branch in right hand and scepter transverse in left. Δ in right field.

Since the reverse legend ends in AVG, celebrating the eternal peace of the emperor rather than the emperors, I can safely assume this is a coin of the sole reign of Gallienus, after his father was taken captive by the Sasanian Persians.

The bust here, a simple right-facing radiate head, without drapery or cuirass, was by far the commonest type used at the mint of Rome during the sole reign, so it's curious that Göbl doesn't attest any examples of this bust, with this legend, matched with this reverse.

I think sometimes Göbl's counts are off because the coinage of Gallienus was dismissed by collectors because it's ugly and of debased metal. They wouldn't ignore a nice Nero!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

AR siglos, Achaemenid Persians, 450-330 BCE, Sear Greek 4683 

Beardless archer (the Great King) kneeling right holding dagger in his right hand and bow in his left | oblong punch

These Achaemenid sigloi are available, affordable, and fascinating. Along with this version with the king carrying a dagger, another, with the king holding a bow, exists. Some surmise that two mints were at work, each producing one design, but there's no consensus. Additional variety can be found by distinguishing coins with a beardless king from those with a bearded king.

The Persians may have needed these coins to pay off Greek mercenaries during their wars. At least some of them were probably minted in Lydia, once the home of Croesus, sometimes thought to be where the first Greek coins had earlier been made.

What does seem clear is that these, despite having been produced around 450 BCE at the earliest, their appearance and uniface striking resembles what the Greeks had been doing a century earlier.

I had hoped the countermark obscuring the king's left hand would turn out to be something interesting, but even under magnification I can't make any sense of it and assume there are multiple marks there, overlapping.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Æ23, Dium in Macedonia, Salonina, Sear GIC 4634var... 


COP SA_LONINA, Diademed draped bust right on crescent | CO[L IVL D]_IENSIS, Jupiter standing left, holding patera in right hand and long scepter with left, eagle at feet, left. D in left and right fields.

As I was preparing Friday's post, I was surprised that I hadn't already posted this similar coin of his wife, particularly since it's rather nice, especially on the obverse. Portrait's a bit severe, though.

In the intevening time, I did find something about the city. Something in the php code is causing it to display incorrectly in Firefox but IE can handle it alright.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 196d 

IMP GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust left | PAX AVGG, Pax standing left, raising branch in right hand and holding diagonal scepter in right. T in right field.

Well, here's a bad sign: if collecting these many coins of Gallienus sometimes bores me a little, I can imagine why I get more hits from search engines than I do apparent return traffic.

While Göbl attests only two examples of this coin, it's not really very different from this one, with a whopping 16 attested! Knowing that there are differences, knowing that they point to an earlier date for the coin I posted in 2004 and I slightly later date for today's subject, just isn't enough today.

But inertia keeps me going, and I'll feel better about the whole thing soon.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com