Over in the Ancient Type Set thread, @dougsmit boldly predicted that it would be possible to build a "reasonably comprehensive set of ancient coins" with just 100 slots to fill. Since I'm a generalist collector, and I also aim to be comprehensive, this prediction inspired me to try to build the smallest checklist I could live with. Here is a first draft that I cobbled together today. As you can tell from the title, I wasn't quite able to keep it to 100. The total number right now stands at ~186 [edit: now 189], and I would be very interested to hear your comments and suggestions! What crucial coin issuers/times am I missing? Can the list stay at 200 or less?
The list aims to be historically comprehensive, not numismatically comprehensive; and it focuses on political and military history, not cultural or social. It's awfully broad-brush, and there's an inevitable Western...
Goodness gracious, snakes alive, as my grandmother would (almost) say. I’ve picked up three very unusual depictions of serpents this year, all with similar motifs. Cue up the Steve Miller Band and behold the marvelous Snake Cowboy:
EGYPT, Alexandria. Domitian. Regnal year 10, CE 90/91. Æ diobol (25mm, 10.86 g, 12h). AVT KAICAP ΔΟ ΜΙΤ CEB ΓΕΡΜ, laureate head right / Agathodaemon serpent, wearing the skhent crown (emblematic of upper and lower Egypt), on horseback galloping left; L I (date) below. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) –; K&G 24.109; RPC II 2585; SNG Copenhagen 214; Emmett 277.10 (R5).
Ex Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex West Coast/Lloyd Beauchaine Collection (Classical Numismatic Group 41, 19 March 1997), lot 1110; Classical Numismatic Review Vol. XVI, No. 1 (January 1991), lot 316; Numismatic Fine Arts Fall Mail...
I wanted to show off a coin purchased in Frank's latest auction and to offer my thoughts about classification of ancient coins. Feel free to post whatever you feel is relevant, of course!
Collectors of modern coins, as you know, put a great deal of emphasis on minor varieties, such as a coin with a small date versus one with a large date or a quarter with Lady Liberty fully clothed verses a quarter where Lady Liberty is experiencing a "wardrobe malfunction." We ancient coin collectors, knowing that each die was hand-engraved, know that no two coins are alike and small variations in design--unless they distinguish one mint from another, for example--rarely mean anything. The concept of variety collecting in ancients is a rather loose one.
But when is a variant not just a variant? In my opinion, when the two "varieties" actually represent two separate issues. As a case in point, I'd like to present a denarius of Faustina Junior I acquired in Frank Robinson Auction 104:...
Hello everyone, and Happy New Year!
Earlier last year, during discussions in the ever popular Toning Premium Thread, I came up with the idea for a Details Discount Thread in which we guessed the discount from retail for details graded coins. As many of you probably saw, we had a decent run, but have been struggling a bit to keep the interest level up.
The leader of the thread, @ddddd , recently proposed declaring @Beefer518 the overall winner and starting a new thread to discuss holder premiums. We all wholeheartedly agreed and the baton was passed to me as the person who first thought up the Details thread. So, along with congratulating @Beefer518 as the Details Discount champion, I am now starting the new year with the Holder Premium Thread. The rules are as follows:
1. Just like the Toning Premium Thread, one coin is posted at a time by the winner of the previous round.
2. Each coin should be in an older...
While a fun exercise, playing "guess what they were thinking" is not likely to be fruitful. Nonetheless, that's what this post is about. This is the coin is question:
Caracalla AD 198-217
Roman AR Denarius 3.37 g; 19.7 mm
Rome mint, AD 211-213
Obv: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head, right
Rev: INDVLG FECVNDAE, Female figure (Indulgentia?), wearing veil and corona muralis, seated left on cerule chair, extending right hand and holding scepter
Refs: RIC 214; BMCRE 73; RCV 6805.
The iconography and inscription on this coin have long puzzled me. Part of the reason is that INDVLG is an abbreviation for indulgentia, which means clemency, lenity, grace, favor. On Roman coin inscriptions, the term typically denotes "either some permission given, some privilege bestowed, or some tribute remitted." The problem, however, is that we don't know how it is declined grammatically because, as an abbreviation, it is missing its...
My first Roman collection was done in 2007-08. It was an "A-to-Z" (Augustus to Zeno) collection, which focused on portrait coins from as many different personalities as I could afford.
My second Roman collection was this "Twelve Caesars" set. I retired this collection in 2013 and have since sold off the coins, but I was proud to say I completed it, which was quite challenging on my modest budget. I stayed under $500/coin here, even for the Julius Caesar lifetime portrait denarius and the Otho (though I did have to stretch a tiny bit above that for the Caligula seen here, which upgraded two prior ones that both succumbed to terminal bronze disease. I've only had two coins with bronze disease ever, and both had be Caligulas. How unlucky is that?)
I think I did OK and managed to put together a fairly respectable collection for the budget. Not everyone agrees...
I am sure that no one in their right mind is collecting Constantine/Licinius coins by mintmark like I am so I am not sure why I am even posting this. But you guys will read anything I have been told, so why not?
The old daddy-o of the Tetrarchy, Diocletian finds himself trapped in billion...a billion Tetradrachm of Alexandria, Egypt that is. A tetrarch on a tetradrachm. Ha. @Mat has got me hooked on looking at these. Once in a while, you find a neat little coin for $5.
Diocletian, Tetradrachm, NO LEGEND, Dikaiosyne
Augustus: 284 - 305AD
Issued: 285 - 286AD
19.0mm 6.30gr 0h
O: A K Γ OYA ΔΙΟΚΛΗΤΙΑΝΟC CεΒ; Laureate, cuirassed bust, right.
R: NO LEGEND; Dikaiosyne (Aequitas) standing left, holding scales and cornucopia.
Exergue: L, left field; B, right field. (Year 2)
sculptor17/Glenn Terry 292455048273
Then a group of...
Hello all, I hope everyone is doing well. I've been working a ton for the last three weeks with no days off so now that I do have time at home, I can open and post all of the packages that have been coming in over that time.
I find myself enjoying collecting the Provincial pieces from Septimius Severus and Julia Domna more and more as time passes. Hence, the title above. Strangely, I am not even 100% certain that I have the attribution right for Philippopolis, but then again, I feel more strongly that it is right than that it is wrong. In any case, I have some Provincials that I would like to share with you.
As is usually the case, I find myself buying imperfect examples that fit my budget. As you can see here the legends are partially off of the flan on both sides and also there is a bit of edge damage here. Overall the coin is pretty in hand as my pictures are the usual hot mess. Here is what I think for this coin. It's obviously Tyche on...
I have been looking forward to this show for months now. I had to miss it last year as my son was sick and the wife had to work, but everything worked out great this year. I was hoping to hit the road by 9:30 am and arrive right at the 12:00 pm opening, but I had a few loose ends to tie up first, so I got a bit of a late start. Traffic was light on the way up, so it only took 2.5 hours to drive there and I arrived just before 1:00 pm.
As I arrived, the parking was pretty full, but I managed to find a spot close to the entrance. Thankfully the parking is free at this event. I made my way to the entrance, where I was greeted with a smile and an offer to take an elongated cent to commemorate this particular PNNA Show. I asked if I could take a few as my kids enjoy them and I wanted to send one out to one of my east coast friends.
I happily paid the $2.00...
The structure generally known as the temple of Augustus has recently been completely uncovered by the removal of the church of S. Maria Liberatric.(see a brief history and pics below) It is a large rectangular construction of brick-faced concrete, with very lofty and massive walls, and belongs to the period of Domitian. It forms a single structural unit shown very clearly by the unbroken lines of bonding courses of tiles which run right through it.
In 1902 the church located on this site, Chiesa di S.Maria Liberatrice, was demolished. It was built in the 13th century and transformed in baroque forms several centuries later (its name was given to another church built in the beginning of the 20th century in Testaccio district). Destruction brought to the light what rests of the more ancient Christian church, S.Maria Antiqua, erected in the 6th century inside of one of the halls of the imperial palace on Palatine Hill, built by Domitian.
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