Friday, April 27, 2007

Æ33, Syedra in Cilicia, Salonina, SNG Copenhagen 254 

KOPNHΛIA CAΛΩNINA [CEB], Diademed draped bust right, IA before | CYE_ΔPE_ΩN, Water basin, three one-handled vases above, palms to either side. ΓYMNACIA / PXIA in two lines in exergue.

The Gymasiarchia noted on the reverse was the winner of some sort of athletic competition whose prize is shown.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 502f 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head right | SECVRIT AVG, Securitas standing left, leaning on column right, right hand raised over head.

Securitas is often seen in this pose which presumably acts as an identification for the illiterate. Often Roman coins show a deity or personification in a distinctive posture, or with a distinctive attribute which serves to identify them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Æ25, Hostilian, Viminacium, Sear 4291 

C VAL HOST M QVINTVS CAE, Bare-headed cuirassed bust right | PMS C_OL VIM, Tyche standing, head left, with bull right in left field and lion left in right field. AN XII in exergue.

Gaius Valens Hostilianus Messius Quintus was son of Trajan Decius and Herennia Etruscilla and the brother of Herennius Etruscillus. In 251, when his father and brother went to make war on the Goths, Hostilian was raised to the office of emperor and left at Rome to occupy the throne. When they were killed in battle, Hostilian soon conveniently succumbed to plague, a rare natural death.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Æ23, Antioch in Pisidia, Gallienus, Lindgren & Kovacs 1256var 

IMP CAES P LIC GALLIOII AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right | ANTIO_CH CICL, Vexillum with eagle on top between two standards. SR in exergue.

Antioch was a colony city with, a place for legionaries to retire to, Latin was used on coins, although here the engraver clearly was illiterate. Various misspelled legends from this city are readily available. I don't know how common illiteracy was among engravers was throughout the empire, as a whole, but it seems that they were usually capable of memorizing a few words if they needed to. At Antioch. not so much.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Silvered Æ antoninianus, Gallienus, Rome, Göbl 366a 

GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate head right | PAX AVG, Pax standing left, raising branch in right hand and holding long transverse scepter in left. V in left field.

A poorly struck PAX that show some damage from, perhaps, mechanical cleaning. The bust style looks a bit unusual, particularly the neck truncation and the contours of the face. Speculating for no purpose, perhaps sometimes an engraver who usually worked on something other than coins was drafted for mint work when there was a contract for a specific need.

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