Friday, July 07, 2006

Æ27, Anemourion in Cilicia, Valerian, SNG Levante 513var.. 

(reverse legend not retrograde)

AVT K Π ΛI OVAΛEPIANON, Laureate cuirassed bust right, seen from slightly behind | ET B AN_EMOVPIEωN (retrograde), Cultus statue of Diana Ephesia, stag at her feet left, dog at her feet right.

Over two years ago I posted this, a coin quite the same as this, except this has the reverse legend running retrograde, as though the engraver just lost track that the die must reverse the elements from how they're to appear on the coin.

The other details of the reverse die and the portrait of Valerian both look fine, and the portraits of this and the 2004 coin, while not from the same die, are so similar that I think they're from the same hand, so I believe this coin is a product of the official mint, just an error that went uncaught.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Billon antoninianus, Valerian, Rome, Göbl 42d 

IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | APOLINI CONSERVA, Apollo standing left, holding branch in right hand, resting left on lyre at feet.

By dumb luck exactly a week ago I posted a slightly later variant of this differing with the obverse legend IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, P F standing for Pivs et Felix,  “Dutiful and Fortunate” standard additions to an emperor's titles. This version, one of the initial set of issues minted at Rome, which lacks the P F designation, arrived this week and just came due to post.

It was part of a lot including a coin of Tetricus and a posthumous issue for Constantine I, neither of which I particularly wanted, but the cost of the lot was acceptable for this alone.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Æ3, Constantius II, Cyzicus, RIC 100 

FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, Cuirassed laureate bust right | GLORIA EXERCITVS, Two soldiers standing either side of two standards, •SMKΓ in exergue.

Flavius Iulius Constantius, named after his his grandfather, was the “middle” son of Constantine and Fausta but the last to die, surviving his brothers Constantine II and Constans. Constantius himself died in 361 as his army marched against that of his cousin Julian who'd survived a series of family purges Contantius II had hoped would eliminate threats to his throne.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Æ21, Tralles in Lydia, Gallienus, BMC 361, 201 

ΠO ΛIKIN ΓAΛΛIHNOC K, Laureate draped cuirassed bust right | TPAΛ_[ΛI]ANΩN, Tyche standing left, holding cornucopia right and rudder left.

On the site of Tralles now is Aydin, Turkey.

The reverse design is another Tyche standing type, a design I've complained about before due to its ubiquity during this era. If a city went to the trouble to issue coins, I ask, why use a design that mirrors those used by all the neighbors? Was there nothing distinctive about your city that could've been used?

Any why did a city issue coins? Presumably they were useful for small change, since imperial issues smaller than the antoninianus (probably worth two denarii) were not common, but another thought, not my own, concerns the cost to a traveller, preparing to leave the city, paying a small premium to change his locally-made coins, without value elsewhere, into imperial coins, and the tax that the money-changer paid to the city.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Billon; antoninianus, Valerian, Antioch, Göbl 1590a 

IMP VALERIANVS P F AVG, Laureate cuirassed bust right | VICTORIA AVGG,Victory standing left on globe, holding wreath in right hand and palm with left.

I find the reverse design particularly appealing: Victory on a globe. It's not uncommon on Roman coins made prior to this reign but is seen only infrequently in succeeding reigns.

As this photograph shows, either I'm too lazy to brush the bust off the coin and retake the picture or I'm a devotee of the movie director William Beaudine. Or both.

A picture of a coin with a similar design, an odd barbarous coin of a wild style is below:

(thanks to ancients.info for the storage and bandwidth for this photo.)

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