Friday, February 16, 2007

Æ26, Viminacium in Moesia Superior, Valerian, Sear GIC 4418var ... 

(rev legend)

IMP P LIC VALERIANO AVG, Laureate draped cuirassed bust right | P M S C_OL VII, Moesia standing, head left, with bull right in left field and lion left in right field. AN XIV in exergue.

Better known, perhaps, for imperial issues early in the joint reign, Vimacium was a Colony city issuing from the time of Gordian III and ending with Valerian & family. This bull & lion reverse was fairly standard, emblematic of VII legion Claudia and IIII legion Flavia, the legions residing there.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Billon antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 582w 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right | VBERITAS AVG, Uberitas standing left holding marsupium in right hand and cornucopia in left.

Uberitas was a personification of success and fruitfulness her marsupium a pouch or purse, the cornicopia repeating the idea of a richness of plenty. It resembles, perhaps, retirement planning that depends on a lottery drawing.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

AR denarius, Aquilia Severa, Antioch, RIC 225 

IVLIA AQVILLA SEVERA AVG, Draped bust right | CONCORDIA, Concordia standing standing left, holding double cornucopia with left arm, sacrificing from right hand over patera. * in left field.

Julia Aquilia Severa was the second wife of Elagabalus, and was a Vestal Virgin and thus quite spectacularly ineligible to marry. Elagabalus was impatient with such customs. Popular opinion was so outraged by this marriage that it quickly ended in divorce, Elagabalus then briefly marrying Annia Faustina. This marriage, too, ended in divorce, Elagabalus again marrying Aquilia Severa, explaining that his sun god Heliogabulus had married Vesta.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Æ28, Metropolis in Ionia, Salonina, uncataloged? 

CAΛΩN XPV COPNH CEBA, Diademed draped bust right on crescent | EΠ CT OVA NEIKIA MHTPOΠOΛEITΩN, Cybele seated on throne left, drum under left elbow.

Another new purchase, this is a provincial issue for Salonina from Metropolis, a city that's very hard to look up, its name having become a synonym for city. I've been unable to find an unambiguous reference to the site of this city, but this my third coin, for which I can't find a catalog entry. The reverse shows Cybele, an Eastern mother goddess often seen as here with concentric circles representing a drum or tamborine.

The goddess is frequently seen in my collection.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Silvered Æ antonianus, Gallienus, Antioch, Göbl 1663k 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right | SOLI INVICTO, Radiate draped Sol standing left, holding globe right and raising hand left. PXV in exergue.

Looking closely at this example reveals little wear from circulation. but significant deterioration of the surfaces which presumably occurred after the coin went into the ground where water and natually-occuring chemicals in the ground in time form corrosive compounds. These primarily bronze coins are more susceptible than the good-quality silver of previous centuries.

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