Friday, January 19, 2007

Æ tetradrachm, Alexandria, Gallienus, Emmett 3806(13) 

AVT K Π ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC CEB, Laureate draped bust right | LIΓ, Eagle standing right, wreath in beak, transverse palm behind. Regnal year across fields.

Coins from Roman Egypt show the year of reign of the emperor, counted in the Alexandrian year. While this shows year 13, instead of IΓ, has an error, and seems to say 1T. I've seen other examples for sale but can't tell if this happened because an engraver's error, or if the die was originally find but developed a crack.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Antioch, Göbl 1649f 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirrased bust right | CONSERVATOR AVG, Aesculapius standing left holding a rod around which a serpent is entwined.

On Monday I mentioned that the staff of Aesculapius, a synbol of medicine and healing, is today often confused with the caduceus, staff of Hermes. I suspect that attempts to convince people and companies to adopt the single-snake staff of Aesculapius and replace the dual snake caduceus would be futile.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Æ sestertius, Lucilla, Rome, RIC 1763 

LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, Draped bust right | VE-NVS / S-C, Venus standing left holding apple in right hand and scepter with left.

Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla was the daughter of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina the Younger and was married to the emperor Lucius Verus until his death. She was accused of involvement in plotting against her brother, the emperor Commodus and was put to death by him. This is seen in the movie Gladiator.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Æ21, Alexandria Troas, quasi-autonomous, BMC 52var (legends) 

CO_L TRO, Turreted draped bust of Tyche right, vexillum behind | TRO, Horse grazing right, tree before, herdsman standing behind holding pedum.

There's more than a little guesswork in dating quasi-autonomous coins that do it for you. It requires comparing the coin to one featuring an emperor, for a known date. This comparison may include diameter, thickness, weight, engraver's style, and may require further expertise that I don't have.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Billon antonianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 381x 

IMP GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | FELICIT PVBL, Felicitas seated left, holding caduceus in right hand and cornucopia in left. T in exergue.

The modern association of the caduceus, staff of Hermes, with medicine and healing is probably due to confusion of this symbol with the staff of Asculapius which featured a single snake.

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