Here is a scarce and iconic type of Trajan. It is missing most of it´s inscriptions due to wear but still is nice in hand and features my favorite yellow Tiber tone.
It is one of Trajan´s final Sestertii, for unlike an earlier variant of this type (our friend Ro has one of those) it includes his Victory title PARTHICUS which he only received in AD 116.
This issue celebrates the apex of the rule of the OPTIMUS PRINCEPS, his comprehensive political settlement in the East, resulting from the success of the military campaign of AD 115, i.e. the annexion of Armenia, the invasion of Mesopotamia, and the conquest of Parthia, affecting territory as far north as the Caucasus.
IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC PARTHICO PM TR P COS VI PP -
Laureate bust of Trajanus right, wearing paludamentum /
REGNA ADSIGNATA S C -
Trajan seated left on high platform, accompanied by a lictor with fasces and another officer, handing a diadem to the first of three bearded...
The Mardin Hoard: Islamic Countermarks on Byzantine Coins, a 1977 79-page paperback, discusses a hoard found in southern Anatolia of c. 13,500 copper coins of which roughly 2,200 had Arabic countermarks. The hoard was bought by Baldwin and Sons of London in 1972 and they allowed it to be studied before is was disbursed. I bought two coins in 1977 that may well have come from that hoard, although I didn't know that at the time. They are interesting because the same countermark is on two coins that were issued many years apart.
The coins have been oriented so the countermark is at 12:00. Each countermark is a "w"-shaped symbol, possibly "Lillah" (for "Allah"). The coin on the left is very worn half-follis (with a large "K" for 20-nummia) of Anastasius. It is 27 mm. It is Sear 43, MIBE 52, attributed to 512-518 AD. The coin on the right is Sear 1836, 29 mm, an anonymous Class D follis attributed to Constantine IX,...
This coin became rosey pink as a result of being overcooked in the annealing oven. Though many simply become a darker grey, some tend to be copper colored. Some become copper colored in spots, some can also become so even on one side, such as this one I won on GC last night. (MS65 by NGC)
Nickels are 75% copper, and it is believed that the copper particles can be drawn outward toward the surface. It sometimes even leaves a copper crust or shell, which can flake off or separate in large sections. Some of you may remember this one I posted awhile ago with just the outer shell and no planchet. (MS62 by PCGS)
Parthian Kingdom. AR drachm (3.68 g, 21 x 16 mm). Phraatakes (2 BC- 4 AD). Mithradatkart mint. Obverse: Diademed bust left, star and crescent before, Nike with wreath behind. Reverse: Seated archer, blundered pseudo-Greek legend around, Mithradatkart mintmark below. Sellwood 56.6, Shore 317. This coin: Frank S. Robinson Auction 105, lot 99.
"There once was a man called Oedipus Rex
You may have heard about his odd complex
His name appears in Freud's index
'Cause he loved his mother"
-Tom Lehrer, "Oedipus Rex"
Oedipus, of course, was fictional, but the king who issued this coin really did murder his own father and marry his own mother. To tell his story properly, we need to back up a generation.
In 20 BC, the Parthian king Phraates IV and the Roman emperor Augustus made a peace deal. Phraates returned the Roman military standards and prisoners-of-war that had been captured in various previous battles, and as a personal gift Augustus sent...
I want to write about photos. This post was inspired by a recent win in a Naville auction. Here is their photo:
Roman Republican denarius of moneyer
C. Coelius Caldus, 51 BC
Portrait of an ancestor C. Coelius Caldus who was Consul in 94 BC and defeated the Salluvii in Gaul.
C∙COEL∙CALDVS COS below neck. Spear and carnyx behind.
The reverse is complicated:
table with figure behind preparing epulum
III VREP (VR ligate)
on left, trophy with carynx and oval shield|
on right, trophy with Macedonian shield
IMPAX donw left, CCALD down right
CALDVS IIIVIR below [He loved advertising his name. It is on this coin four times! Is that a record?]
Crawford 437/4b. Sear I 406.
The surface is bad--what I call "dry" and porous. They cited it as ex CNG in 2003 and I found an photo on-line at CNG:
They only had this small image, but it confirms that the coin is dry and porous.
It is rare enough that I wanted it...
For a while now I have been interested in dipping my toes into the coinage of the Ancient Sasanian and Parthian Empires. Until now I had yet to buy my first example due to the (to me) intimidating nature of studying these issues and my general lack of knowledge of Iranian history compared to Greco-Roman history. However, when I saw this budget Sassanid come up at a recent JA auction at a fair price I figured, what the heck, I can study it as well as I can and see if I get bit by the eastern coinage bug (plus its provenanced to a fellow CTer ).
Khusro II (AD 590 – 628)
AR Drachm, BBA mint (court mint), Regnal year 30, struck ca. AD 619 / 620
Obv.: Pahlavi script at left and right. Khusro bust facing, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted border, crescent and stars at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock.
Rev.: Date (left) and mint mark (right). Fire altar with two attendents, inside triple dotted border,...
The past number of months I've been focusing more on coinage between Augustus and Gordian, and seem to have been neglecting my LRBs (about 2 dozen), most of which had not even had their photo taken yet. So here's a thread where I'll progressively post those in 5-6 coin chunks over the course of the coming days or something as to not inundate you with too much infinite scrolling.
LATE ROMAN BRONZE
If you have similar coins please share!
Or if you have more info on one, share that too!
Or if I have messed up the IDing, feel free to correct me!
I'll start with some basics of the LRB collecting lineup:
Constantine I, AE3
Rome Commemorative, 335-337 AD
Obverse: VRBS ROMA, helmeted head of Roma left, wearing imperial mantle and...
I continue to add to my Eastern earlier issues of Septimius Severus whenever I find something slightly different. I am going to bore you all now with some of the minutiae of my speciality.....
The "Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm" type is common enough with two entries allocated in RIC based upon whether the obverse legend is PERTE (RIC 461a) or PERET (RIC 461b). There are sub-variations that appeal to a specialist like myself with regards to how the obverse legend breaks e.g. the normal P-ERET and P-ERTE vs the less common PE-RET and PE-RTE or IMP II vs IMP I-I vs IMP - II. None of these legend breaks impact on RIC number. There are a number of reverse dies with diverse legend breaks too though I think that attempting a proper study of all die combinations would be a work of many years.
I have just obtained a new minor variation where the engraver has missed an R on the reverse leading to VICTO AVG. Nothing earth shattering but adds to the range to possibilities in...
In 1994 a North Carolina coin dealer told me this tale, or the bare bones of it, anyway.
It allegedly happened near Orangeburg, South Carolina, in the wake of the wide swath of destruction wrought by Hurricane Hugo on the Carolina Lowcountry.
Now bear in mind that the tale I'm about to tell you is from a secondhand word-of-mouth story I heard 24 years ago, so it's been embellished over many retellings, and by now it's more legend than factual account.
(Edit: and I've embellished it even more here, after making it into sort of a short serial. Ever go to the movies and see "Based On Actual Events" at the beginning of the film? Well, sometimes you've got 90% fiction painted atop 10% fact. Think of this tale that way, though even the few "facts" are hearsay. But something like this might have happened. I for one like to believe that it did.)
I found the story...
Trajan (AD 98 – 117)
AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck ca. AD 107 – 108
Dia.: 19.1 mm
Wt.: 2.94 g
Obv.: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TR P; Trajan laureate bust right, left shoulder draped.
Rev.: COS V PP SPQR OPTIMO PRINC; Danube, velificatio, reclining on rocks, right hand holding the prow of a ship. Left arm resting on overflowing container of water. DANVVIVS in exergue.
Ref.: RIC II 100
When I refer to Trajan as “the best” my intention is not to clickbait everyone into an argument about who should be considered the best Roman emperor (even though that kinda sounds like fun…). OPTIMVS PRINCEPS (the best first citizen, I.E. the best emperor) was an actual title given to Trajan by the senate due to his ability to hold power while keeping the people appeased and the senate feeling important. While modern observers can rightly debate the merits of this...
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