Friday, December 29, 2006

Æ25, Nicomedia in Bithynia, Valerian/Gallienus/Valerian II, ... 

Lindgren & Kovacs 181

[AVT OVAΛEPIANOC ΓAΛΛIHNOC OVAΛEPIANOC K], Laureate bust of Valerian right facing laureate bust of Gallienus right. Between and below them, bare-headed bust of Valerian II right | NIKO[MH]ΔEΩN / TPIC NEΩKO / PΩN, Three prize crowns, two palm branches in the center crown, one each in the others.

A promise of stability in the empire, grandfather, father, and son, that would in never be fulfilled: Valerian II died in Western Europe around 257 and Valerian Sr died in the East a year or two later. Gallienus stayed in power (and stayed alive) until 268.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Antioch, Göbl 1651e 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head left | PROVIDENTIA AVG, Mercury standing left, holding caduceus right and purse left.

Seen with various obverses and mintmarks, PROVIDENTIA AVG from this mint is associated with Mercury.

The same legend from Rome or mediolanum instead displays Providentia the goddess (or personification) of forethought.

While forethought seems appropriate for Mercury, god of trade, profit and commerce this characteristic seems equally appropriate to most other gods, too.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

AR denarius, Sabina, Rome, RIC 396 

SABINA AVGVSTA, Diademed draped bust right | VENERI GENETRICI, Venus standing facing, head right, holding apple right and raising drapery from right shoulder.

Vibia Sabina was the wife of the emperor Hadrian and lived, without still-famous incident, until 136 or 137. Salacious rumor says that Hadrian was fond of older women and fonder of younger men.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Æ28, Tarsus in Cilicia, Salonina, SNG von Aulock 6082 

KOPNHΛIAN C_AΛΩNINA, Diademed draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders | TAPCOV M_HTPOΠOΛE / ΩC, Kybele seated right, drum beneath her elbow, lions beneath and before the throne. A / M / K in left field, Γ / Γ in right.

By adding a rich vein of eastern mythology to Roman, the city of Tarsus had many themes to draw on and the relatively large bronze coins to provide a canvas on which to display them.

While this example has the roughened and discolored surface typical of cleaning by electrolysis, details are not excessively worn and a great deal of detail is visible.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Æ as, Salonina, Rome, Göbl 490z 

CORNELIA SALONINA AVG, Diademed draped bust right | PVDICITIA, Pudicitia standing left, drawing veil over head with right hand, holding scepter transverse in left. S_C across fields.

The imperial bronze coins were of smaller denomination then the antoniniani, which were, at least notionally, of silver. The Gallienus-era bronzes were either made in relatively small quantities or they only survive in such small quantities, and are more valued by collectors than the antoniniani, which are more obtainable in high condition.

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