Friday, April 28, 2006

Æ30, Perga in Pamphylia, Salonina, SNG France 593 

KOPNHΛIA CAΛΩNINA CEBA, Diademed draped bust right, on crescent, I before. | ΠEPΓ_AIΩN, Tyche standing left, holding cornucopia with right hand and rudder with left.

Familiarity does breed contempt, I think, as I rummage around for much of anything to say about this. Tyche, a Greek goddess in charge of fortune and destiny, shown on the reverse, is featured on a lot of provincial coins.

The large I, Greek numeral for “10”, in front of Salonina's face marks this as worth 10 units, probably called assaria.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Billon antoninianus, Mariniana, Rome, Göbl 225b 

DIVAE MARINIANAE, Veiled diademed draped bust right on crescent | CONSECRATIO, Peacock standing facing, tail erect, head right, V in left field.

All of the antoniniani for Mariniana are of good metal, as silver in the reign og Valerian goes, all the imperial issues feature a peacock, standing or flying. (The provincial coins, issued only from Viminacium, show a standard reverse for provincial issues of that city.) That they aren't as badly debased as would be expected for later issues is taken as evidence that these were issued not long after Valerian initially took power.

Marianiana probably had been the wife of Valerian (but favorite sister isn't ruled out, nothing of her is written) and, if his wife, perhaps bore Gallienus. She could well have married Valerian after the death of Gallienus's mother. Death in chilbirth was common, and a powerful or ambitious man so widowed would probably remarry within a year or two.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Æ3, Crispus, Treveri, RIC 347 

IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, cuirassed bust left with spear and shield | BEATA TRANQVILLATAS, Globe atop altar marked VOT/IS/XX, three stars above. STR· in exergue.

Flavius Julius Crispus, oldest son of Constantine, was raised to the office of Caesar by his father, who later had him put to death.

Why he was executed is uncertain. His step-mother Fausta is generally thought to have been involved, perhaps to promote her sons Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans. Fausta was herself executed, perhaps by suffocation in a steam-bath, not long after Crispus. Romans played for keeps.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Æ tetradrachm, Alexandria, Gallienus, Emmett 3807(15) 

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

From the final year Gallienus reigned, this shows an eagle (as so many Alexandrian coins do and did hundreds of years before Roman rule.)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Antioch, Göbl 1670k 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right | SALVS AVG, Apollo standing left, holding branch left, leaning on tripod right. PXV in exergue.

Salus, the personification of health (and of recovered health), was widely portrayed and named during this reign: such coins were produced at all seven imperial mints. I lack an example from Köln, but have the other mints represented. This coin of Antioch names Salus but shows Apollo (associated with plague in his role of mouse-hunter, Apollo Smintheus).

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