Here it is by popular request, an ultra-condensed version of my write-up on the evolution of the Indo Sassanian drachm from the Peroz prototype through the end of the Gadhaiya Paisa!
These coins were inspired by the Sassanian silver drachms of Shah Peroz I (459-484), which were by far the most numerous coins in central Asia, largely because Peroz lost three wars against the Hephthalite Huns, and twice was forced to pay enormous ransoms consisting of hundreds of thousands of coins each to free himself and his son Kavadh from captivity. His final loss in 484 resulted in his death on the battlefield.
How exactly these came to inspire the predominant trade currency of medieval India is a source of scholarly debate, but Maheshwari (Imitations in Continuity) argue that the Gurjjar people, who were a nomadic central Asian warrior society and ostensibly slave-mercenaries of the Hunas, migrated south into what is today Gujarat around 500 AD, filling the power void left by the...
Numismatic terminology can be confusing, especially for those new to ancient coin collecting. Part of the difficulty stems from the fact that the terminology in use arises out of a centuries long tradition of studying and writing about coins. Another part of the difficulty is that we truly don't know the names of certain denominations in use in antiquity, particularly the names of the coins of the Roman imperial period after Constantine I. Therefore, our terminology is a mixture of traditional and modern terms, and often there are two (or more) words for the same denomination. This is not an essay about the various denominations. What follows is a discussion of how certain terms pertaining to copper and copper-alloy coins came into being and how we use them today.
What's up with the word brass?
Ancient coins are made out of copper, orichalcum, or bronze. Why such terms as "first brass" or "second brass" when some of these coins aren't even made out of...
Looking for some assistance from the great folks on CT. At last week's Evansville, Indiana coin show I made a significant purchase, for me. Below is a Hamburg double Thaler from the 1600s. I collect German States pretty heavily. My main focus, as many of you know, has been wildman coins. German States coins, in general, have fascinated me for a long time.
In some ways, I kind of took a leap with this purchase. I have wanted a multiple thaler but hadn't found the right one until now. It is lovely in hand, and of course, is an impressive hunk of silver. It is currently in a PCGS holder, graded AU55.
Here is where I am looking for assistance. The PCGS label says "The Annunciation" which by what I find is KM#206. The obverse matches the description but not the reverse. The reverse matches KM#205. While it's possible this is a mule I think it is more likely that this is a variety unlisted in Krause. I have not found any matches after a pretty thorough search.
Does anyone know what...
This coin is one of my favorite denarii. Even though I bought it at the end of last year I have only recently gotten around to taking my own photos of it. As such, I hope the board will not begrudge me the opportunity to give it its own thread and post some general information about it.
Mn. Aemelius Lepidus
AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck ca. 114-113 BC
Dia.: 18 mm
Wt.: 3.83 g
Obv.: ROMA, ligate MA; Laureate, diademed and draped bust of Roma, right. * behind.
Rev.: MN AEMILIO; Equestrian statue right on three arches, L E P between arches.
Ref.: Crawford 291/1
Ex zumbly Collection (AMCC Auction 1, lot 112; December 1, 2018), Ex Demetrios Armounta Collection (CNG E-Auction 325, lot 490; April 23, 2014), Purchased from Colosseum Coin Exchange (with tag)
Obverse: A Beautiful Portrait of Roma
When I think of Roma on Republican era coins I tend to think...
Just picked up this 4th century coin minted at one of my favorite places on my recent visit to South Italy.
Sicily, Eryx, c. 4th century BC. Æ (15mm, 4.86g, 9h). Female head r. R/ Horse stepping r. Horse standing r., with raised foreleg. Campana 49; CNS I, 18; SNG ANS -; HGC 2, 326. Brown patina, VF - Good VF
Eryx, (Erice) Sicily high on a mountain top reached by cable car, would take 45 min compared to 10 via cable car, but even when you reach the old city their was still an up hill walk through this ancient arch.
Well worth the walk to the top first impression of the 11th century Norman castle was awe inspiring with great views of the landscape below.
After entry (pic below) I walked out into the uppermost courtyard, mainly ruins with not much evidence of the Roman temple that once stood in the area, except for an area where diggings have uncovered a...
General Horatio Gates
The Battle of Saratoga
October 17, 1777
The American victory at Saratoga was the turning point of the American Revolutionary War. It not only blunted a major British offensive but more importantly, convinced the French to join the Americans in the war effort. Ultimately French assistance in the form of funds, war materials and naval support would be one of the deciding factors in the French-American victory.
The Saratoga campaign was to have been a three-pronged British attack that was intended to separate New England from the rest of the colonies. Troops, under British General John Burgoyne, moved south from Lake Champlain. A second British contingent marched east from Lake Ontario, and third attack group was scheduled to move north from New York City. Unfortunately for the British, General William Howe decided to take his army south and...
A Chronicle of the Revolutionary War in Medals ...
The Comitia Americana (American Congress) Series is a group of 13 medals that honored heroes and marked major events of the American Revolutionary War. The American Continental Congress authorized eleven medals that were awarded to military heroes. Two other pieces, the Libertas Americana medal and a Benjamin Franklin medal, were financed privately.
The French initially made all but one of the medals. During the late 18th century the French artists produced the finest medals in the world. Proof of their preeminence is showcased by the beauty and superb execution that marks all of these pieces. It would be many years before the United States Mint would be able to rival the artistic merits of the French medallists.
Those who collect the Comitia Americana series have several options and face great challenges if they decide to acquire the earliest mintages of these pieces. The original gold or silver medals that were awarded to...
WARNING: A long, rambling, artistic treatise on a couple of old coins follows.
My last coin purchase of 2018 was this stater of Kelenderis. There have been a number of these on the market over the last year and I like the type, so I have been looking for the right one. Many of these have very ragged flans that lose part of the design. Many are poorly struck with flat spots in the high points. They vary between an archaic style and a more classical style. I picked this one because of its good classical style. Even though it is somewhat corroded, it is still very attractive in hand. In person you don’t notice the rough surfaces as much that the photo highlights. I am very pleased with this as my last coin of 2018.
Circa 420-410 BC, Stater (Silver, 21 mm, 10.34 g, 9 h).
Obverse: Youthful nude rider seated sideways on horse prancing to right, preparing to jump off and run alongside the horse.
Reverse: ΚΕΛEN Goat kneeling right,...
Dear Friends of ancient mythology!
Once again a typical Roman legend: The story of the pious brothers of Catania. And an introduction into the meaning of Roman pietas.
AR - Denarius, 3.91g, 19.22mm, 0°
Rome, ca. 108-107 B.C.
Obv.: Head of Pietas, diademed and with necklace, n.r.
under the chin .X (control mark)
behind PIETAS (AT ligated)
Rev.: One of the Catanian brothers (Anapias or Amphinomus), naked, walking r., wearing his father on his shoulders; he, in himation, has raised his right hand and looks back.
in ex. M.HERENNI (HE ligated)
Ref.: Crawford 308/1a; Sydenham 567; Herennia 1; RCTV 185
The Herennia were an Oscan family. Herennius is the Latinized form of the Oscan first name heirens. For example, the Samnite commander who defeated the Roman army at Caudium in 321 BC was called Heirens. In 121 B.C. the Haruspex Herennius Siculus was imprisoned for his friendship with Gaius Sempronius Gracchus and...
Anthony Wayne, Francois de Fleury and John Stewart
The Battle of Stoney Point
July 15, 1779
Stony Point was the site of a fort on the Hudson River 30 miles north of New York City. A large marshy area to its rear and imposing cliffs 150 feet high made it seem like an impregnable position. In 1779 the British were looking to capture the American fort at West Point. The fall of West Point would have given the British control of the Hudson River and would have isolated New England from the rest of the colonies. To relieve the British pressure on West Point and open the transportation lines from New England, George Washington ordered Anthony Wayne to take the British held forts at Stony Point and Verplanck’s Point.
After a long, forced march, a select group of 1,300 American troops, penetrated the marshes behind the fort and scaled the cliffs in front of it. They surprised the British and captured the fort using only bayonets....
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