Featured A Thread Honoring “Campgates.” Post Yours!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Curtisimo, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    They "would" (theoretically) heat water with the reflected sunlight to generate steam, it would become compressed if within a sealed container (while being heated), then have a nozzle that would release a focused blast of steam onto/into your enemies. Possible, but like it said, no evidence to suggest this. Interesting nonetheless.

    Like this, but hotter and deadly:

    It'd be done à la concentrated solar rays: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentrated_solar_power)
    ...similar to your photo posted (below), but the light shining on a water tank rather than directly at your enemies.

    Them Romans were a clever bunch, so I wouldn't put it past them... but, again, no conclusive evidence.
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Licinius I (308 - 324 A.D.)
    O: IMP LICINIVS AVG, Laureate bust left wearing Imperial mantle and holding mappa, sceptre and globe.
    R: PROVIDENTIAE AVGG, Campgate with 6 rows of bricks,
    Pellet in right field, SMHA in exe.
    RIC VII Heraclea 29 (R2)

    Magnus Maximus (383 - 388 A.D.)
    O: D N MAG MAXIMVS P F AVG; Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    R: SPES ROMANORVM; Camp-gate with star between its two turrets // RT
    Rome Mint 387-388 A.D.
    RIC IX 59.3, p. 131, rare.

    From the Doug Smith Collection #1507
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  4. Trebellianus

    Trebellianus VOT II MVLT III


    From East and West in the Roman Empire of the Fourth Century (2015), pg. 54
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  5. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    What's going on in the exergue there? Is that a map of some sort?

    I like the barbarians glumly waiting outside the gates. :D (This strongly suggests to me we're looking at city walls protecting the population.)
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  6. Trebellianus

    Trebellianus VOT II MVLT III

    There's apparently some disagreement as to whether the city depicted on this is Rome or Augusta Treverorum. The author thinks Rome (which surely it must be) and so takes the exergue (which he describes as simply "a body of water") to be the Mediterranean. If the city is actually Augusta Treverorum then we're looking at... the Moselle?

    This feels a little incomplete to me -- not that I could propose anything more specific (although it definitely smells a little map-like).
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  7. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Thanks! I don't think there's any way that can be depicting merely a body of water. (If so it's a unique [and uniquely bad!] depiction.) Certainly not the Mediterranean; if it's Rome, that doesn't even make sense! It would be the Tiber.

    It suggests to me the higgledy-piggledy quasi-grid of farmsteads located outside the city walls. Or on second thought, I'm seeing it now: this thing is a bridge, complete with arches on the left, a bit of a gate (closed) at the bottom entrance, and some crowd-control measures at the top entrance:

    Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 1.58.04 PM.jpg

    ... which would be consistent with a bridge over the Moselle or the Tiber. Though I think it fits best with Trier (which seems more likely to me, given the mint). This is a map of the relevant bit Roman Trier, with the red line indicating the position of the city wall and gate, and the bridge across the Moselle leading up to it:

    Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 1.54.42 PM.jpg

    The bits to the right and left in the exergue that lack water flow lines might correspond to the areas of land on the city-side of the river outside the gates. You can see the gate is set back, creating two triangles between the walls and the river.

    Gosh, I love engaging in amateur speculation. :D
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  8. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    And here's a view of that very bridge in Trier, from when I visited a few years ago. the bridge pillars are the original Roman structure (2nd century). :D

    Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 2.11.36 PM.jpg
  9. Topcat7

    Topcat7 Still Learning

    Some of my 'Campgates'.

    (4) CONSTANTIUS II RIC VII Heraclea 84b.jpg
  10. Topcat7

    Topcat7 Still Learning

    (5) CONSTANTINE I RIC VII Londinium 293
    (5) CONSTANTINE I RIC VII Londinium 293.jpg
  11. Topcat7

    Topcat7 Still Learning

    (8) CONSTANTINE II 325-6 RIC VII. Cyzicus 37 Rare
    (8) CONSTANTINE II 325-6 RIC VII. Cyzicus 37 Rare.png
  12. Topcat7

    Topcat7 Still Learning

    (22) CONSTANTIUS II RIC VII Siscia 217 (9 rows)
    (22) CONSTANTIUS II RIC VII Siscia 217.jpg
  13. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    Great interpretation! I agree, I see three bridges with the center being a large arched one and two smaller bridges on the left and right.

    I’d love to own that coin... but I’d probably have to sell it as that kind of money would do a lot!
  14. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Yes, it could indeed be three bridges. That would suggest Rome is depicted rather than Trier. Probably the Flaminian gate in the centre (now the Porta del Popolo), since it's close to the Tiber. (?)

    To my mind, the most interesting thing here is the support this lends the theory that the so-called "campgates" on coins are actually depicting city walls. If you're right and it's three bridges, that's even better evidence: it would be unusual for a mere army camp to have three nearby bridges across to it!
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
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  15. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Wow, what a great observation! I think you may be correct. Impressive!
  16. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Incredible coin! And, great investigative speculation, @Severus Alexander!

    Here's a picture of both sides of the coin, along with the description, from OCRE.


    AV 2 Solidus. 26mm, 8.93g.
    Trier mint, AD 313-315
    Type: Bust of Constantine I, radiate, draped, cuirassed, right
    Legend: AVGG - GLORIA
    Type: Gate of Trier, in four turrets, closed; statue of Constantine I standing left in middle, holding sceptre in right hand; captive on either side of gate; in front of river, bridge; in background wall of Trier, three turrets
    MintMark: -/-//PTRE
  17. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Is see OCRE got there way ahead of me! :hilarious: Interesting that they're saying it's Trier.

    Sooo.... "campgate" coins are city walls? Whaddya think? The design similarity plus the time frame is just so close. Note the thermal weapon/signal beacon/bacon BBQs on top...

    Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 8.44.37 PM.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  18. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Truly fantastic discussion everyone.

    @Severus Alexander , you definitely called it in terms of the medallion showing a city. Great eye and great logical analysis. To be honest with you I was not able to find much in the way of research / essays that made a systematic case for the “campgates” being city gates (though I’m sure there are references out there that deal with the subject, I just didn’t find them). I still lean toward camp gate based on what I’ve read so far but the existence of the medallion is interesting enough evidence that I want to look more into the city gates hypothesis.
  19. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    The ANS digital library has an old 1921 paper (linked by OCRE) by Agnes Baldwin arguing that the gate on the coin is the bridge gate of Trier, and she cites evidence that it was originally called the Porta Incluta (the Famous Gate). Constantine may have been responsible for refurbishing the walls of the city.
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  20. Johndakerftw

    Johndakerftw Mr. Rogers is My Hero

    My totally rad campgate, courtesy of TIF. Thanks TIF! :woot:

    2AED4147-9DAF-492F-A8B9-65D0D300DA62.jpeg 3FF896E6-6FC8-4245-B6BC-2B00EA6BBB67.jpeg

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  21. cwart

    cwart Senior Member

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