A Triga of Quadrigae

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by benhur767, Apr 22, 2021.


Which of the three coins is your favorite?

This poll will close on May 22, 2021 at 12:32 PM.
  1. Caracalla. Rome. Victory in Quadriga

  2. Elagabalus. Rome. Emperor in Quadriga

  3. Elagabalus. Eastern. Stone of Emesa in Quadriga

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    A triga is a three-horse chariot, but in this case it's a three-coin thread!

    A quadriga is a four-horse chariot, although some coins depict chariots drawn by other kinds of beasts such as bulls. I hope you enjoy looking at these three quadriga-themed coins from my collection. In celebration of the quadriga, please share your quadriga-themed coins, or anything you feel is relevant or related.



    AR denarius, Rome, 207(?) CE; 18mm, 3.38g, 7h. BMCRE —, Hill —, RIC —, cf. RSC 622a (Victory in biga). Obv: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG; head laureate r. Rx: VICTORIAE / AVGG in exergue; Victory standing in quadriga galloping r., holding wreath and palm. Very rare; unpublished and possibly unique variety.


    ela_180_2021_0217_01_h (1).jpeg

    AR denarius, Rome, 220 CE; 18mm, 3.21g, 6h. BMCRE p. 556†(cf. Münzhandlung Basel 8, 22 March 1937, lot 917), RIC 36 (R3), RSC 180 (Cohen put the value at 100 francs), Thirion 338 (R2, attributed to Antioch, same dies). Obv: IMP ANTONINVS AVG; laureate and draped bust r. Rev: P – M TR P III COS / III P P in exergue; Elagabalus in slow quadriga l., holding branch and eagle-tipped scepter; he is crowned by Victory, who stands behind him. A very rare type.

    The specimen illustrated in Thirion is a die duplicate of the present coin. Thirion attributes the type to Antioch, contradicting BMCRE, RIC, and RSC, and despite the stylistic consistency with coins struck at Rome.



    AR denarius, Eastern, 218–9 CE. 20mm, 3.24g, 12h. BMCRE 287, RIC 196, RSC 269 (Cohen put the value at 25 francs). Obv: ANTONINVS PIVS FELIX AVG; laureate head r. Rx: SANCT DEO SOLI / ELAGABAL in exergue; slow quadriga r., bearing conical stone of Elagabalus of Emesa, on front of which, an eagle; about it, 4 parasols. Very rare obv. variant showing FELIX in legend, and head only rather than bust draped and cuirassed; 0 in Reka Devnia.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
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  3. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    All three are great but that Elagabal stone is a showstopper! Very well done and great thread idea!
    Here is my quad squad, which includes my latest Macedonian shield on a Roman coin!!!:
    Scipio Asiagenus
    106 BC. AR Serrate Denarius. Laureate head of Jupiter left / Jupiter holding sceptre and thunderbolt in quadriga right. Cr311/1a; Syd 576; Cornelia 24b. 19MM 3.00gm

    C. Vibius C.f. Pansa.
    90 B.C.E. AR denarius (16.5 mm, 3.70 g, 6 h). Rome mint. PANSA, laureate head of Apollo right, liitus below chin / C·VIBIVS·CF, Minerva driving quadriga right, holding reins and spear. Crawford 324/5b;

    Acilius. Denarius. 125 BC. Rome. (Ffc-92). (Craw-271/1). (Cal-64). Anv.: Head of Roma right, ROMA below, BALBVS, (interlace AL), behind, if below chin, all in laurel-wreath. Rev.: Jupiter and Victory in quadriga right, round Macedonian shield below horses, MN. ACILI. (interlace MN), in exergue. Ag. 3,71 g. Choice VF/VF.
    L. Sulla and L. Manlius Torquatus

    82 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.8 g). Military mint traveling with Sulla. Helmeted head of Roma right / Sulla driving triumphal quadriga right; above, crowning Victory flying left.
    As consul for the year 88 BC, Sulla was awarded the coveted assignment of suppressing the revolt of Mithradates VI of Pontus, but political maneuvers resulted in this assignment being transferred to Marius. In response, Sulla turned his army on Rome,!
  4. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    Thanks for the comments! I really like those coins of the Republic, the rearing horses look like they're speeding along.

    I'm not familiar with the Macedonian shield. Is it rare to see depicted on coins?
    Ryro likes this.
  5. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Thanks so much @benhur767! Macedonian shield coins are an area that I specialize in and frankly am just infatuated with.
    The type above is one of the most rare of the few Roman republic coins with Macedonian shields on them. Pardon the lack of rigas, here are a few of the others and a tetradrachm:
    20191109_112627_CD93453C-32BB-44B5-BFAE-E0D185387149-223-00000010E256BE58.jpg IMG_2833.jpg Screenshot_20210407-162917_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png

    Better post the earliest quadriga I (overly) cleaned when I first started:
  6. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ditto!..very high on my want list...:)..i passed up a triga coin the other day and am consoling meself over it..:(..i have 2 quad coins but this is me favorite! :) L Rubrius Dossenus 001.JPG L Rubrius Dossenus 002.JPG
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
  7. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Benhur, All 3 are great coins, but the Emesa stone is numero uno

    P1230118 (2).JPG
  8. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter


    RR Naevius Balbus 79 BCE AR Den Venus SC TRIGA Sulla S 309 Cr 382-1

    225-214 BCE
    Roman Republic
    BILLON Quadrigatus / Janus Didrachm
    Obv: Head of Janus
    Rev: Jupiter in galloping quadriga right
    18.22mm, 4.1 grams
    Ref: Sydenham 64. Crawford 28/3
    Comment: good Fine.
    ex Frank Sternberg Zurich with tag and envelope. Purchased in 1997 for $300.
    Ex: Ancient Imports
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  9. Tony1982

    Tony1982 Well-Known Member

    How about an Octavian with quadriga ?
    40BDC497-E3BA-41C9-BED7-99578AD2B7FE.jpeg And a Titus
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  10. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Action-packed Probus quadriga:

    Probus, AD 276-282.
    Roman billon antoninianus, 4.15 g, 22.05 mm, 6 h.
    Serdica, 4th officina, 4th emission, AD 277.
    Obv: IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate bust, left, in imperial mantle, holding eagle-tipped scepter.
    Rev: SOLI INVICTO, Sol, in spread quadriga, raising right hand and holding whip in left hand; -/-//KAΔ.
    Refs: RIC 861 H; RCV 12040 var. (bust).
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  11. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Stone of Emesa in Quadriga is my favorite. It Rocks.
    DSCN2468.JPG DSCN2469.JPG
    there are plenty of RR 4 horse rides
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  12. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coins with quadrigas. Difficult to chose, but I went for the last one. I have that type too, acquired it this year. Yours is from abvious better quality, I like the eagly on the stone, it's very clear.

    My other coins with quadrigas:
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  13. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter


    RR Pulcher Mallius Mancinus Urbinius 111-110 BCE AR Den TRIGA S 176 Cr 299-1a


    RR Anon AR Heavy Denarius Quadrigatus Didrachm 215-213 Janus Roma Relief tablet S 32 Cr 28-3
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  14. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    They're all great, but my favorite is the Emesa stone coin. I am envious!

    Out of all my Roman Republican coins, I don't have a single one showing a quadriga -- the result of a deliberate and stubborn contrariness on my part. But here's a triga instead, of horses, not coins:

    Roman Republic, C. Naevius Balbus, AR Serrate Denarius, 79 BCE, Rome Mint. Obv. Head of Venus [or Juno, see BMCRR p. 366] right, wearing diadem, necklace and long earring, hair long, S • C [Senatus Consulto] behind / Rev. Victory, naked to waist, driving triga right, with rightmost horse turning head back towards the others; control-number CLIII (= 153, with L in form of upside-down T); in exergue, C•NAE•BALB [AE and LB ligate]. Crawford 382/1b, RSC I Naevia 6 (ill.), Sydenham 760b, Sear RCV I 309 (ill.), Grueber, BMCRR 2926-2976 (this control-number at BMCRR 2964), RRM I Ch. 6 at pp. 28-31 [Michael Harlan, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins, 81 BCE-64 BCE (2012)]. 19 mm., 3.92 g.*

    Naevius Balbus Venus-Victory in Triga Both Sides.png

    * [First two paragraphs of footnote omitted.] Sear . . . notes at p. 130 of RCV I that the three-horse chariot (triga) depicted on the reverse “is rarely depicted on the Republican coinage, the only other example being on a denarius of Ap. Claudius Pulcher issued in 111/110 BC” (Crawford 299/1a). Harlan states at p. 31 that the triga’s current use in Rome in the first century BCE, at a time when it was no longer used by the Greeks, “was only found in the celebration of the Ludi Romani, a religious and ceremonial survival of the games originally held by the dictator Aulus Postumius to commemorate [his] victory [over the Latins] at Lake Regillus” in the 490s BCE (famously aided by Castor and Pollux). As the Roman practice in these games is described by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (7.73.2), the “third horse, joined to the team by a trace, runs alongside the two horses yoked together in the usual way” -- explaining why the third horse on the reverse looks back at the other two. According to Harlan, “Naevius’ imagery is intended to recall that ancient victory which established Roman imperium, echoing the caput rerum theme found on the coinage of Aulus Postumius Albinus [Crawford 372/1]. Victory driving the three-horse chariot shows that all efforts to dispute Roman rule were fated to end in Roman victory.”

    In fact, out of my overall total of approximately 260 ancient coins, this and one other Probus are my only ones with quadrigas:

    Probus, silvered billon Antoninianus, 278-280 AD, Rome Mint [4th Emission, 2nd Officina]. Obv. Radiate bust left in imperial mantle, holding eagle-tipped scepter, IMP PRO-BVS AVG / Rev. Sol in quadriga leaping left, with right hand raised and holding globe and whip in left hand, SO-L-I INVIC-TO; in exergue, R- ᴗ [crescent]-B [Rome Mint, Officina 2]. RIC V-2 202B, Sear RCV III 12038, Cohen 644, see also https://www.probuscoins.fr/coin?id=11.

    Probus - Soli Invicto - Quadriga Left - Rome - jpg version.jpg
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  15. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Here is a remarkable facing quadriga:
    Maximinus II, 305-313
    24 mm. 8.42 grams.
    Struck as Caesar, May 310-May 311 (according to RIC)
    The reverse quadriga has two horses to the left and two to the right. Sol is driving it, fully robed (unlike the common naked depictions from earlier).
    Helmeted bust left with spear and shield. The shield has two horseman left riding down four enemies.
    RIC VI Antioch 145b. Sear IV 14766.
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  16. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    The triga only appears on these two Roman Republican types – as Donna mentioned above, it is a very unusual chariot on Roman coins:
    Römische Republik – RRC 299:1b, Denar, Pulcher, Roma u. Triga (neuestes Foto).png
    Roman Republic, moneyers: Appius Claudius Pulcher, T. Manlius Mancinus, Q. Urbinus, AR denarius, 111–110 BC, Rome mint. Obv: Helmeted head of Roma r.; behind, quadrangular device. Rev: T MAL AP CL Q VR; Victory in triga r., holding reins in both hands. 20.5mm, 3.82g. Ref: RRC 299/1b.

    Römische Republik – RRC 382:1b, Denar, C. Naevius Balbus, Victoria in Triga.png
    Roman Republic, moneyer C. Naevius Balbus, denarius serratus, 79 BC. Obv: diademed head of Venus right, SC behind. Rev: Victory in triga right, C NAE BALB in exergue; above, CLXXXX. Ref: Crawford 382/1b.

    And to make this a quadriga of coins, here are two Republican denarii with chariots drawn by four horses. The first one is a recent purchase which isn't the most exciting type and suffers from some flan and die damage – but it has terrific toning and an interesting collection provenance (never shown on CT before):
    Römische Republik – RRC 256:1, Metellus, Jupiter in Quadriga.png
    Roman Republic, moneyer: Q. Caecilius Metellus Balearicus, AR denarius, 130 BC, Rome mint. Obv: Q·METE (ligated); head of Roma, helmeted, r.; before, crossed X. Rev: ROMA; Jupiter in quadriga, r., holding reins and thunderbolt in l. hand and branch in r. hand. 20mm, 3.87g. RRC 256/1. Ex Peus, Lagerliste 26, lot 99 (1973); ex Prof. Hildebrecht Hommel collection; ex Kölner Münzkabinett.

    The second one is a mor interesting type with a very mysterious deity on the obverse:
    Römische Republik – RRC 352:1c, Denar, L Julius Burso, Genius or Apollo:Quadriga.png
    Roman Republic, moneyer: L. Iulius Bursio, AR denarius, 85 BC, Rome mint. Obv: male head r., with attributes of Apollo, Mercury and Neptune; behind, control-mark (grapes). Rev: L.IVLI.BVRSIO; Victory in quadriga r., holding reins in l. hand and wreath in r. hand; in field, controlmark (FI). 21mm, 3.76g. Ref: RRC 352/1c.

    PS: The stone of Emesa denarius in the original post is simply fantastic!
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
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  17. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @benhur767.....Wow lovely looking coins!....I really like the movement on the reverse of the Caracalla!....Victory is really concentrating and trying to keep them in check!
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  18. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    My favourite quadriga:

    P1170390 (3).JPG

    quadriga on top of a funeral pyre:

    P1180199b (3).jpg
  19. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    Thanks for the compliment. The Emesa coin is one of the nicest in my collection, and I'm fortunate to have it.

    I love that you're actually showing a coin with a triga. A triga coin is something I don't have! It's a beauty, and that pre-Imperial artistic style is incredible.
    DonnaML likes this.
  20. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    Thanks! And I appreciate your image, such a fantastic display. I love seeing the coins grouped together.
  21. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Actually, I have a THIRD Triga: a FLIP-OVER DOUBLESTRIKE TRIGA. :)

    A Triga was Biga with an older third horse a training horse. It calmed the new horses, and gave experience to the new team in training.


    RR Clodius Pulcher T Mallius AR Den 111-110 BCE ERROR Flipover Double-Strike Roma Triga Cr 299-1b S 176


    AR Heavy Quinarius / Half-Quadrigatus / Drachm
    216-214 BCE
    ROMA Jupiter Victory Quadriga LEFT
    Craw 29-4 Sear 35
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