January 3rd 250 AD
Trajan Decius orders sacrifices to be performed by everyone in the Empire to Jupiter and to the well-being of the Emperor. Only Jews were exempted to do so. The sacrifices had to be performed in the presence of a Roman magistrate and be confirmed by a certificate, called a libellus, signed and attested by the magistrate. Even if the original text of the edict has been lost, many examples of certificates have survived.
A Roman libellus, found in Egypt and dated to 250 AD. It confirmed its owner had sacrificed to the gods.
The Edict of Decius was intended to serve as an Empire-wide oath of loyalty to the new emperor, sanctified by the Roman religion. There is no evidence that Decius sought to specifically target Christianity or initiate persecution of its practitioners. An unknown number of Christians have been executed or died in prison for refusing to...
Some of the most used reference books for ancient coins are not new. This was highlighted in a recent thread on CT by @dougsmit for Severans in BMCRE and by @Orfew for Flavians in Sear. For Roman republican coins, RRC was published by Crawford in 1974 – and the many reprints since then do not add new information. Although Crawford RRC is an amazing resource, the discovery of new information didn't end in 1974.
In some cases, the evidence used to assign dates, and connect people can be very thin. This is not generally an issue if you are interested in the coins of Julius Caesar, but is a problem if you are interested in the coins of M. Plaetorius Cestianus. My latest Roman republican coin requires a bit of a deep dive, it is a coin that I am glad to have in any condition. For now I will leave the date off of the attribution. Searching ACSearch you can see some...
I normally post threads on the ancients, and, to a lesser degree, world forum sites. However, I decided to post on this forum a silver medal that I purchased back in March 2017. I am not sure if this forum or the US coins forum is most appropriate, given the non-coin nature of this medal, but I decided to post it here.
This silver medal came without the box. It weighs 21.2 grams. In terms of condition, it shows signs of some handling and cleaning hairlines.
I came across this medal while randomly going through eBay one night. I noticed that this medal was being sold by a French seller in medals based in Montpellier, France. At first glance this treasury medal looked like a typical one issued in the 1950s. The design is different from the earlier type issued in the 1940's, during the World War II in particular, as part of the effort to raise war bonds.
What makes this medal so distinctive is an engraving on the reverse panel, "Grace Kelly...
One of the beneficial attributes of steel is that it can be heat treated in numerous ways to get a wide variety of properties for many different end applications. One of these applications are the dies used to strike coins. I’ve seen terms like “hardening,” “annealing,” and “quenching” in coin-related publications before, and after working with this subject for a year and a half, I’ve gotten to learn quite a bit about how the various heat treating processes work. I thought it would be helpful to share what goes on when heat treating a coin die, like the 1820 half eagle die shown below (I believe this is the ANA’s image).
To start out, steel is characterized as an iron-carbon alloy. Other alloying elements (e.g., manganese, chromium, nickel, molybdenum, etc.) are added to achieve a wide array of properties (e.g., strength, hardness, toughness, corrosion resistance, machineability, etc.). At room temperature, steel is generally made up of two phases...
Dear Friends of ancient Mythology!
I have wanted to write an article on Ahura Mazda for a long time, but have always shied away from it because it seemed like too extensive an undertaking. Now, during my Corona time, I have decided to finally start. For this article, the subtitle of my mythology book applies especially: "Journey to a distant land"! I have 3 coins in my collection that refer to Ahura Mazda, and they are closely related, as we will see. The coin that is at the beginning of the article I have already presented once in an article about Hormisdas. But that was about the Sassanid Great King. The Sassanid Empire was the second Persian empire after the Achaemenid Empire and declined in the 7th century AD due to the expansion of the Islamic Arabs.
Sassanid Empire, Hormizd II, 309-309 AD.
AR - Drachm, 3.48g, 27.2mm, 90°.
Obv.: Legend in Pahlevi, abbreviated and corrupted:
ly. .KLM n . KLM [ydzmrhw'] y gb n s d [y?]z m
(= "The worshipper of...
Geopolitics can be a troublesome thing. Today's friend is tomorrow's enemy, yesterday's rival is today's trade partner. This is certainly true of our times and perhaps was even truer in the ancient world. When it comes to forming complicated alliances the Byzantine Empire is among the first to come to mind, with its biggest frienemy Venice a close second. Their relationship has always been a very complex one, and my latest arrivals, one silver coin from the Byzantine capital and another one from the watery Italian city-state will allow me to research their monetary and cultural connections to some degree of detail. The coinage of these two empires shares many common characteristics and these two coins are no exception despite that they were minted a few centuries apart:
(Tran. Legends: OBV=Jesus Christ conquers, REV= John emperor king of the Romans)
(Legends: OBV=RAGENO S.M.VENETI, REV= IC XC)
I keep seeing coins being posted here with the tag of who used to own and all, even paying some premium for their namesake! whereas every single coin in my collection comes from the retailer, whether be it from Vcoins or just ebay!
Can I simply add my name to the coins to start the provenance from there?!
Hey guys I recently was looking through my safe and found a bunch of international bullion I bought about 5 years ago from a well known, internationally reputable, dealer and among my order were several Australian Kookaburras & Chinese Pandas.
Just for fun I decided to test the dimensions and weight and get a feel for what the real ones are supposed to feel like.
However when I was weighing them I noticed something really strange. ALL of the Australian silver bullion had at least a half of gram of silver more than the Chinese Panda.
Many of the Chinese pandas didn’t even weigh 1 troy ounce!
I understand that the weights among these bullion coins varies even between the same coin by the same country but this was every single coin. I tested at least 40 of each and not once did even the heaviest Chinese Panda weigh more than the lightest Australian Kookaburras.
If you’re losing 1/2 gram of silver per troy ounce purchased that means you’re losing 3 full troy ounces of...
December 6th is St. Nicholas’ day. Today, the saint is most closely associated as the inspiration for Santa Claus, as the original saint was known for his kindness to children. Other more entertaining (if perhaps inaccurate) tales of the saint exist, including his attendance at the Council of Nicaea where he supposedly assaulted the heretic Arius. His feast day is celebrated by giving small gifts such as leaving chocolates or coins in the shoes of children left out her night.
Nicholas punching Arius
In late medieval England, another tradition developed around St. Nicholas’ day. Because of his association with Children, it was the day that some churches (particularly in East Anglia) chose a Boy Bishop for the later feast of the Holy Innocents held on December 28th. During this time, the bishop symbolically stepped down from his duties and allowed a chosen boy from the parish to oversee his duties (excepting saying the mass). The...
Dear Friends of ancient mythology!
The Roman emperor Elagabal (218-222) was actually called Varius Avitus Bassianus and was given the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus as emperor. Elagabal or Heliogabal he was called much later. But Elagabal was actually the name of the god he worshipped, the sun god of Emesa, today's Homs in Syria. To distinguish these two, I will always call the emperor Antoninus. So Elagabal here always means the sun god!
In this article I would like to show where Elagabal comes from and into which cultural landscape he is to be classified.
1st coin: The Holy Stone of Emesa
Syria, Emesa, Antoninus Pius, 138-161
AE 23, 10.19g, 180°
struck 138/9 (RY 1)
Obv.: [AVT KAI TI] AIΛ A [NTO - NEINOC CEB EVC] Awarded head n.r.
Rev.: EMI - [C]HNΩN
Eagle with closed wings standing r. on the Holy Stone of Emesa, head with wreath in beak turned.l., [stone decorated with a star in the middle at the top and a pellet on the left and right].
in right field A (RY 1)
Page 1 of 119