A few days ago, I finally received a Republican denarius I had won in an Artemide auction in late March. Together with another denarius that I purchased in AMCC 2 last year, it constitutes a small set: both coins were produced for Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius (c. 130–63 BC), one of the most successful Roman generals of the Civil War, consul together with Sulla in 80/79 BC, and leader of the conservative political faction of the Optimates.
The two denarii struck by him in 81 BC, during a time when Sulla permitted his generals to produce their own money, are full of fascinating political references to this troubled period in Roman history. Both bear a bust of Pietas (embodying “loyalty,” “devotion,” or “filial piety”) on the obverse, identified by her symbolic animal, the stork. This is a reference to the moneyer’s cognomen “Pius,” which had been awarded to him for his repeated attempts to have his father, the war hero Metellus Numidicus (c. 160–91 BC), recalled from exile....
Recent increases in postage rates remind me of a time in the 19th century when the government decreased the postage rate and issued a new coin to make the purchase of postage stamps easier. In 1851 Congress reduced the postage rate for a letter from five to three cents and authorized a new coin, the Silver Three Cent Piece or “Trime,” to facilitate the transition.
Very few customers in rural post offices would have had three large cents available to purchase the new three cent stamps. Large cents did not circulate well outside of the big cities, especially Philadelphia.
Although the mint had been issuing Large Cents for almost 60 years, the big pennies were never popular and were seldom seen in circulation outside of the big cities. Therefore it was highly unlikely that a customer in rural post office would have had three cents to purchase a stamp, and it was almost equally unlikely that a postal clerk would have had two...
Sidon (mod. Saida) is situated in modern day Lebanon and was an important commercial center and maritime power located on the coast of Phoenicia (Mediterranean coast of Lebanon). It lies approximately 40 kilometres south of Beirut and north of Tyre.
Archaeological evidence dates the earliest remains in Sidon to the Paleolithic era. The city of Sidon, like all other Phoenician cities of the coast, was successively part of the territory of Egypt of Ramses II (-1275), then of the Assyrians (-701) with Sargon, then of the Babylonians (- 585) of Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus of Persia (-539), Alexander the Great (-333) and finally under the Roman occupation (-64). Its importance was manifested by the fact that its name was preceded by ‘Cur’ meaning country whereas Tyre, its southern neighbor, was described as ‘Uru’ or city. The relationship with Tyre was never certain with both cities either coming together against a common foe or allying with invaders at the territorial expense of the other....
Hello everyone! Those of you that have kept up with me the last couple of years know that challenge coins are a passion of mine. If you don't know, challenge coins are a sort of unofficial medal given from one military member to another - typically as recognition for a job well done but also to commemorate certain missions, deployments, or sold as a symbol of unit pride. There are a few stories about the origin of challenge coins, however, I'm in agreement with numismatist, retired Master Sergeant Ray Bows that these stories are legends. If you would like to read his opinions, check out the article below:
Over the years in my military career, I've accumulated a few. These are the first coins I've collected, even before I considered myself a collector. As I began collecting trade tokens and learning more about military monies, challenge coins became an interest, specifically early examples. I only "collect" coins relevant...
The phrase, The Last of the Romans probably rings a bell for most readers and contributors to Coin Talk, except that if readers were asked just who the last of the Romans was, we would get very different answers. For some it might have been one of the commanders of the Roman Army desperately trying hold off the barbarians at the gates of Rome, maybe a Stilicho or an Aetius. Perhaps a late Roman emperor such as Romulus Augustulus fits the definition. For pious Christians that last of the Romans might have been Pope Gregory the Great. For Medieval Crusaders that last truly Roman ruler (and proto Crusader) was thought to have been the Byzantine soldier and emperor Heraclius. For students of early Medieval England it could have been the sub Roman warrior, Artorius.
Well, I have my own candidate for that role, though hardly a novel one, the late Eastern Roman Emperor, or Byzantine, if one prefers, the Illyrian peasant of the Balkans, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius better know to most by his...
BRONZE MEDAL - ANHALT AWARD FOR ARTIST CAROLINE BARDUA
Medal Depicting the Duke and Duchess of Anhalt-Bernburg, Oak Wreath, and Inscription Recognizing Artist Caroline Bardua for Achievements in the Arts and Sciences. The medal was created by the Loos Medallic Establishment, founded by Gottfried Bernhard Loos, and engraved by F. Staudigel.
Depicted on the obverse of this medal is Alexander Karl, Herzog von Anhalt-Bernburg of The House of Ascania, and his wife Friederike Herzogin von Anhalt-Bernburg. The reverse of the medal shows a wonderfully detailed wreath of oak leaves. The inscription attributes the medal as an award given to the painter Caroline Bardua for her achievements in the arts and sciences.
The Duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg was located between the Harz Mountains and the river Elbe, now part of the German Federal state of...
I don't usually purchase fake ancient coins, at least not intentionally, but as a collector of Roman Republican coins I found this one attractive.
This Italian "medalet", 20mm, 11h, 3.7g, by an unknown artist is from the 18th to early 19th century, apparently issued for the Grand Tour trade. Although it reads "P. LEPIDVS" on the obverse, the portrait looks a lot like Mark Antony. The initial image of this post is from Babelon illustrating a denarius of Antony in 31 BC. The reverse draws from one of my favorite Roman republican denarii of L. Aemilius Paullus from 63-62 BC.
L. Aemilius Lepidus Paullus, 62 BC, AR Denarius, Rome mint
Obv: Veiled and diademed head of Concordia right
Rev: Trophy; to left,...
The Great Transformation.Civic Coin Design in the Second Century BC
In 2001 Jonathan Williams and I published an article in which we examined the phenomenon of the paradigm shift in coin design at the mint of Rome, which seems to have begun around the 130s BC. At this point the traditional designs of the denarius began to be abandoned in favour of an annually changing series of designs, which tended to be based on the familial history of the moneyers responsible for the coinage. This was something distinctly Roman, we suggested,to do on the one hand with the relationship between the concepts of money and memory inherent in the identity of Moneta, a word which meant both remembrance, mint (and by extension money), and on the other hand between the strongly familial nature of political competition in the Republic of the second century BC. The spur to this change at Rome is perhaps to be seen in the widening imperial horizons of the Republic in...
Today (like every May 15th) is International day of families. So why not take this opportunity to remember some ancient Roman families' characteristics? Family was an important part of Ancient Roman culture and society. Much of Roman law was written around protecting the basic structure of the family. The family you belonged to had a lot to do with your place in Roman society and whether you were considered a patrician or a plebeian.
A typical Roman family, Pompeii
The "familia" in Rome included more than just the basic family of father, mother, and children. It also included all the people who were part of the household such as the slaves, servants, clients, and freedmen. As a result, some families in Rome grew quite large. The emperor's family often included thousands of members. The legal head of the family was the father or "paterfamilias." He was...
No, I'm not talking about these guys ...
...nor this piece, though it's very nice to listen to while you admire the coins in your collection:
I'm talking about these little guys on the reverse of this denarius of Julia Domna in my collection:
Julia Domna, AD 193-217.
Roman AR denarius, 3.24 gm, 19.8 mm, 1 h.
Rome mint, AD 207.
Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: FECVNDITAS, Terra reclining l. under tree, left arm on basket of fruits, right hand set on globe, spangled with stars; in background, four children advancing right, representing the four seasons.
Refs: RIC 549; BMCRE 21; Cohen/RSC 35; RCV 6579; CRE 389.
Notes: Ex-FORVM Ancient Coins, item SH08039, Feb. 7, 2004.
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