I find the coins struck at Magnesia on the Meander under Themistokles in the later part of his life to be fascinating. When I began to research this coin I found that information on Themistokles after his ostracism is not very easy to find. This is especially true of his coins since many of the primary references are in languages other than English. Therefore, I decided to put together this write up in order to provide a general historic background for the life of Themistokles after his exile and especially to give a more accessible means of categorizing and understanding his fractional coinage and in particular the “tight-cap” head type.
I caution that I am not claiming that this write up is anything close to a comprehensive or a completely accurate treatment of the subject. It is simply a compilation of my own understanding after my research. I will also warn you all ahead of time that this is going to be a loooooong post… even for me.
My one year anniversary in Coin-Talk is fast approaching. In a couple weeks it will be a year since I discovered this wonderful site that opened my eyes to the wonderful world of coin collecting. In fact I purchased my first coin this time last February, so it is a year proper since I started collecting ancients, even though I hardly knew at the time it would turn into a full-time hobby. It has actually come to the point that I can comfortably call it an obsession, but I am not here to point any fingers. I am fully to blame as I always had the tendency to surround myself with beautiful things. As I am writing this, I can hear the voice of Angela Gheorghiou singing "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca in my stereo, and I realise that we are a privileged few, for we have chosen to become guardians to treasures of humanity which is exactly what these ancient coins are. They are not our belongings, we are simply their custodians, making sure that we safeguard them for the generations to come. Or...
Happy New Year! Well, in Russia at least, where 14 January is ‘Old New Year’, since the Orthodox Church still uses the Julian Calendar. As if Russians needed an excuse to drink, they’ve given themselves two New Years, split by Christmas on 7 January.
The Russians have often done things their own way. The Cyrillic alphabet. Onion-domed churches. Vodka made from potatoes. And while other nations cast their planchets, the Russians sliced theirs from wire and beat them flat. That produced strange, misshapen flans that rarely fit the coin’s design.
Dmitry Shemyaka Denga, 1447
Moscow. Silver, 0.5g. Head right, barbarous unreadable legend around. Prince with a crown, К-H in fields, KHѦZЬ ВЕЛИКИ ДМИТРЕИ, ‘Grand Prince Dmitri’ (Huletski, Petrunin and Fishman No. 605B). Dmitry Shemyaka was twice Grand Prince of Moscow and a cousin and rival of Vasily II the Blind, great-grandfather of Ivan the Terrible. He was the second Muscovite Grand Prince...
Large Capped Bust Quarters Collection
I have tentatively completed my large sized Capped Bust quarter date set! Many are aware that bust quarters tend to be less plentiful than their other bust-style counterparts, and I definitely got to experience that first hand over the past couple years. While these are all in the Good to Good+ range, for the most part they are pretty decent when you consider how coins of this type have been abused over the years. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of large capped bust quarters are either lower grade than my coins or damaged. It should also go without saying that I don’t have (and likely will never have) either the 1823/2 or the 1827/3/2, and at the moment I don’t have an 1824/2 (hence “tentatively complete”), but that may change in the future. That said, I did do my best to get respectable examples for the grade for each date, so I am overall very proud of the set. All mintages and rarity ratings are from Steve Tompkins’...
None of the coins of Faustina II issued under Marcus Aureus cause more confusion than those featuring the goddess Ceres holding a torch (Ceres Taedifera, "Ceres the torch-bearer.") Ceres holding a torch appears on three reverse types:
- Ceres standing holding corn-ears and long torch; empress' intermediate hairstyle.
- Ceres seated holding corn-ears (sometimes also with a poppy) and short transverse torch; empress' intermediate hairstyle.
- Ceres seated holding corn-ears and long vertical torch; empress' late hairstyle.
Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 24.67 g, 31.0 mm, 11 h.
Rome, c. AD 170-175.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: CERES S C, Ceres seated left, holding corn ears and long, vertical torch.
Refs: RIC 1621; BMCRE 894; Cohen 36; Sear 5271; Banti 25; MIR 3-6/10c.
Notes: RIC incorrectly cites Cohen...
Hello Cointalk friends, I stumbled across a reference to a giant medallion of Caracalla on Facebook and I thought I would share this most exquisite piece, which of course, is in a museum
This piece was discovered in Egypt as part of a hoard that comprised about twenty similar medallions (now dispersed among various museums), eighteen gold ingots, and six hundred gold coins issued by Roman emperors from Severus Alexander (r. 222-235 CE) to Constantius I (r. 293-306 CE). One of the medallions, now in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, bears an inscription that possibly reads "Olympic games of the year 274", a date corresponding to 242-243 CE. One wonders if Caracalla traveled to Siwa Oasis to consult the Oracle of Ammon, as Alexander had done. When I visited the Oracle a few years ago I didn't hear anything. It's also possible that Caracalla as he aged had a progressively worse mental illness, which might help explain his behavior.
The medallions may have been intended as...
The reverse of the Geta and Septimius is "VICTORIAE BRITTANICAE."
Caracalla is dated "TRP XIIII" (211AD).
I would love to start this article by quoting something from Herodian, then add something interesting but only semi-related to the topic, before posting a long section on the history of the period which these three coins were struck before discussing each coin. However, I am doing this on work time, but I was just so excited about getting the first coin above, a sestertius of Septimius Severus that is a match for the same type struck by Caracalla (rare) and Geta (ridiculously rare). So I am going to post the photographs first - tonight or this weekend will write the article these three coins deserve.
The Caracalla is RIC 483(a), Geta is RIC 186. Septimius is unlisted. Although the reverse scenes are identical, RIC states, for Geta for this type, that the towered figure at right is...
Of African descent, Roman Emperor from 193 to 211 AD, Septimius Severus founded a personal dynasty and converted the government into a military monarchy. His reign marks a critical stage in the development of the absolute despotism that characterized the later Roman Empire. Historian Dion Cassius describes him as a "short, thin, very lively and taciturn man". A few interesting facts about his reign:
A marble bust of Septimius Severus (sold 266,500 USD by Christie's in 2011)
* Severus replaced the Praetorian Guard with a new 15,000-man guard from his own Danubian legions.
* To justify his usurpation, he declared himself the adoptive son of the emperor Marcus Aurelius and claimed descent from the emperor Nerva.
* According to Historia Augusta, Julia Domna came to Severus' attention on the back of a prophecy; he was told about a Syrian woman whose horoscope predicted that she would marry a king.
*Please share what you think relevant. I would also love to be enlightened on info & types I may be unaware of or anything I may have gotten wrong!*
One of my favorite collecting themes is what I call Roman “Barbarians, Captives, and Enemies” coinage (or, my “BCE Collection,” pardon the pun/s; full disclosure: I have a page for it on my just-begun blog/site, for which I may revise this post).
Within that area I include coins with a variety of battle or other military scenes, including the Fallen Horseman and other FEL TEMP REPARATIO series, and, also, those depicting captives (i.e., prisoners of war, presumably destined for slavery or execution). Within the “captives” coinage, one of the most interesting is the type depicting two captives bound to a trophy (c. 46 BC – 337 AD).
In my view, the most fascinating feature of Roman “Barbarians, Captives, and Enemies”...
My latest acquisition is a coin that completes my NGC Registry Set of Jefferson War Nickels. The coin is a 1943/2-P PCGS MS65 5FS with a very light patina and excellent strike and luster. Although this coin now completes my set which is currently ranked 3rd in the NGC registry, I am not finished. My goal is to find a rainbow toned 1943/2-P in MS66 or MS67. Once I do, the set will be finished and this current coin will fall into my duplicate set which will now grab my full attention. Here is a photo of my new piece:
I am very proud of this set and feel a great sense of accomplishment. Believe it or not, this is the first set I have ever completed. I know that technically it is only a subset of the Jefferson series, but it is extremely competitive and not easy to break the top ten in this series. Here is a photo of the completed set along with TPG tags....
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