Friday, August 18, 2006

Æ25, Serdica in Thrace, Gallienus, cf. Varbanov (2002) 509 

AVT ΓAΛ_ΛIHNOC, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | [OVΛΠ]_IAC CE_PΔIK[HC], Statue seated facing within tetrastyle temple.

I'm not certain who the figure in the temple is. I can see from the Bulgarian-language edition of Varbanov that similar coins were minted for a number of different gods, and I look forward to English-language publication of this volume in hopes that it'll help me figure this coin out in detail.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Æ antoninianus, Salonina, Antioch, Göbl 245b 

SALONINA AVG, Diademed draped bust right on crescent | VENVS GENETRIX, Venus standing left, holding helmet in right hand and scepter in left. Child at feet left. VI in right field.

Even though succession in the Roman empire didn't necessarily descend along on the basis of primogeniture, an emperor with a son could be expected to nominate a son as his successor, and an emperor without a son was certainly a sign that a fight over sucession might be waiting ahead.

Two sons of Gallienus and Salonina, Saloninus and Valerian II reached an age that made them suitable for a junior position, although they both then died before their parents.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Æ3, Jovian, Heraclea, RIC 108 

D N IOVIANVS P F AVG, Pearl-diademed draped cuirassed bust left | VOT / V, Legend in in two lines with central pellet, all within wreath. HERACB in exergue.

Flavius Iovianus succeeded Julian II in 363 accomplished little more than suing for peace, giving the Persians very favorable terms, and himself dying in 364.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Æ28, Heliopolis in Coele-Syria, Valerian, Lindgren III 1283... 

(same dies)

[IMP CAES P LIC] VALERIANVS P F AVG, Laureate draped cuirassed bust right | COL IVL AVG FEL, Agonistic urn, two palm branches protruding, on table with griffin legs. HEL in exergue.

Another coin from an ancient city that's still notable, Heliopolis is today Baalbek, Hezbollah stronghold and a place where the wire services and networks might notice the cost of using polically-motivated local stringers without continuous and thorough fact-checking.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Billon antoninianus, Valerian II, Köln, Göbl 910e 

DIVO VALERIANO CAES, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | CONSACRATIO, Eagle standing left, wings open, head pointed up.

Some of the poor appearance of this coin is due to material being leached out when the coin was in acidic conditions in water or wet soil. In time coins in these conditions become porous and brittle.

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