Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Curtisimo, Jul 4, 2019.
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Even if what I just said it's not the case, it still makes more sense than calling it a turret when it is obviously not a turret. Heck, a tripod BBQ would make more sense...and there where no BBQs in antiquity.
To summarize the coins may also show:
BBQ grills (yum)
Water towers used for showering
Hot oil pots for dumping on enemy heads (ouch)
@TIF , thanks for the great comments and the additional references. I know what you mean about silvering on coins. It can be really hit or miss when trying to capture a photo and usually makes the details look less sharp than they are. Also, I agree with you about the rarery ratings. I’ve had my eye out for a nice Constantine and sons era campgate for a while and the rarity ratings do t seem to make much difference in price. Condition and detail seem to be the drivers.
@Bing , love the Tiberius!
@Severus Alexander , Nice Valentinian III example. One of those is on my list!
@zumbly , all of your examples are top notch. Steve’s open door campgate is unusually well detailed. The stonework looks great. The “turrets” on the yourMagnus Maximus are very interestingly detailed as well.
Great additions @Cucumbor !
That’s a great start to your campgate collection @ken454 ! Some really nice examples.
@Curtisimo , you forgot "hot oil pots", though they most likely would have contained water or sand as the thermic weapon.
As far as I am aware the arched opening at the base of these campgate types have always been considered doorways or gates. In many examples (like my OP) there are even doors that are shown. Sometimes the doors are shown open, like on my example, and more rarely closed. More commonly there are no doors shown, just an opening.
Some great points. A lot of the theories about these depend on how you consider the variations / different issues to be linked.
I for one tend to suspect that there is some continuity between the tetrarchs sacrificing coins of the tetrarchy and the later 2D campgate types (with the campgate types showing a simplified view). It wouldn’t surprise me if this was not the case either though.
I do think that the initial sacrifice scene coins like my Diocletian argenteus show a Roman camp / fort. The legends seem to point to a campaign in Sarmatia as the inspiration. I have done a bit of research on the sacrifice types and hope to get around to a write up about it at some point.
The symbol portrayed is termed differently by catalogers: Christogram, Chi-Rho, Chrismon, Tau-Rho, & Staurogram. IMO: The latter 2 terms seem most accurate.
Pardon the rank speculation. .
This is actually a really interesting theory that I hadn’t considered before.
I couldn’t find any descriptions of an exact mechanism for a devise like this from Roman times but there are some interesting parallels to devices used in medieval Europe.
The use of hot oil as a defense against siege is mentioned by Josephus in AD 67 when he describes its use against the Romans at Jotapata. Other than that the only references I could find were to the use of “fire pots” as grenades / projectiles or reference to Greek fire from the Byzantine period.
It’s an interesting idea though one would wonder why such a device would be so universally shown on the coins for so long and not be mentioned in the sources (same goes for fire signaling IMO). Does anyone know if the idea has been mentioned in any of the numismatic literature on this type?
However, I will posit another theory that deserves a lot of thought. Those are the first known proof of the Pierson Puppeteers. Ergo, Larry Niven's "RingWorld" theory and series are REAL.
TRI-POD, Upright on top, see STAR above the campgate... all pointing to the Puppeteers. All real, all proof of Roman intersteller contact. They already proven they had a Roman Air Force as shown on several of their coins...
Stop the silly non-sense of BBQ Grills and Beacons. Move on.
Puppeteers are IN!
Proof of Roman Air Force (Female Pilot)
RI Mariniana AR Ant 253-254 CE DIVA Crescent - On Peacock flying 21.2mm 3.1g RIC VII 6 Rome
Some of my Campgates (and they depict Puppeteers):
RI Constantine I CE 306-337 Æ Follis 19mm 3.2g Siscia CE 326-7 AVG Laureate R - PROVIDENTIAE AVGG Camp gate 2 turrets no door star RIC 200
RI Flavius Victor 384-388 CE AE4 14mm 1-8g Aquileia Camp Gate Star SMAQS RIC IX 55b-2 LRBC1104
RI Crispus 317-326 CE AE Folles Caesar in Trier Campgate - Heraclea mint
Folks, I am sticking with my Theory. The proof is right here.
Besides, this is the INTERNET. EVERYTHING is real on the Internet.
By the way, @Archeocultura ! WAY COOL EarthQuake Campgate!!!
I feel guilty agreeing with this but I learned to prefer coins with no silvering when I was collection Probus. I know they are the way they are for a good reason but being hard to photograph never earns a coin any points in my book.
Yeah, the legends complicate these intriguingly. Taken in isolation, "VIRTVS MILITVM" naturally suggests a military structure; and "PROVIDENTIAE" just as naturally suggests protective city walls, newly-built or refurbished by the foresight and good sense of the emperor (e.g. Aurelian putting nice big new walls around Rome, etc.).
And yet we see some flexibility in the uh, semiotics: the isometric camp with the tetrarchs in front of it is mainly a "VIRTVS" scene, but it evidently wasn't regarded as an unsuitable illustration of "PROVIDENTIAE". Meanwhile the Constantinian ones go in the other direction, those gates are mostly depictions of "PROVIDENTIAE" but occasionally they show "VIRTVS". I'd almost be inclined to think the gates are meant to just represent the emperor's military virtues in the most generic sense possible. The ambiguity re what structure is depicted could well have been intentional, perhaps.
Just sticking with the Constantine-era campgates, I think there must have been a reason why "Virtvs" structures had doors, even if they were open, while the "Providentiae" types did not. I can't imagine what the reason might have been, but I wonder if most people back then could recognize a different type of structure based upon the doors.
I started a specialized collection of the Constantinian campgates in the late 1980s, and by about 2000 started adding other gate material. It is still an active collection, to which I added new material just a few weeks ago. I'm not particularly interested in the speculative questions about the so-called "turrets," but I am very interested in carrying the work of Patrick Bruun into a new generation of discovery. I was hoping that this thread might bring together people here with SERIOUS interest in the Campgates who wish to start a discussion that is more than just a show-and-tell session gone in a flash.
In addition to the gates on argenti here are some more alternatives to the Constantinian gates.
Bosporus AE29 - Sauromates I - 95-124 AD/CE
Plotinopolis AE28 - Septimius Severus - 193-211
Augusta Traiana AE30 - Caracalla - 198-217
Roman Imperial gates (pre-Constantinian)
The argentei have been represented,
Emerita (Spain) denarius under Augustus - a military retirement center
Cyzikus - Follis under Galerius - immediate precursor to the Constantinian bronzes
If anyone wants to venture into a more detailed look there are some interesting varieties on the campgates, not all of which are known generally by collectors. For example:
Many folks have seen the striated base gates from Siscia, but how many know that this variety comes in three flavors in variance with the dot styles in the top layer of bricks on the gate? The one I show here I call "Siscia gate reverse type VII."
What is the nature of his work?
minted in Thessalonica in 388 A.D.
Separate names with a comma.