An interesting error on the obvserse legend of a follis of Galerius from Alexandria

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by seth77, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member


    This is a regular early follis struck for Galerius, but with a nice quirk, an interesting obverse legend error:

    AE27x26mm 10.68g copper silvered follis, minted at Alexandria, first group, second coinage, cca. 295.
    GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB CAVS; laureate head right
    GENIO POPV - L - I ROMANI; Genius standing left, modius on head, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, right hand holding pathera from where liquor flows, left hand holding cornucopia; * in left field, B in right field.
    cf. RIC VI Alexandria 17b (obverse legend error)

    The error on the obverse legend CAVS instead of CAES could be put in connection with the fact that the new Imperial coinage had just been introduced in 294 and for Alexandria, which used to mint Egyptian coinage in a closed monetary system, the new reform of Diocletian was something completely new, and likely confusing.

    It is very possible that the error, like a similar one noted in NotInRIC (see here) is due to the lack of familiarity by the die cutters, mostly of Greek language and script, with the Latin language and alphabet.

    Another possibility is a contemporary forgery, as Alexandria had one of the most forged coinage during the Tetrarchy, many molds used to cast folles being discovered in Egypt in huge numbers. The soft details and the overall appearance could indicate a cast forgery, but that can also be accounted by the wear and corrosion.

    I have noticed a revival of interest in the Tetrarchy coinage here lately, so please post any Tetrarchy coin you see fit. If possible, error coins would be a bonus.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Amen-Ra-Hotep

    Another from Alexandria:

    Diocletian (A.D. 284-305) AE Follis

    Weight: 6.90 grams

    Diameter: 23 mm

    Mint: Follis struck at Alexandria (ALE Mintmark) between 308 and 310, after his abdication.

    Obverse: DN DIOCLETIANO BAEATISS, laurel-wreathed bust right wearing mantle, holding olive branch and holding mappa in the other hand.

    Reverse: PROVIDENTIA DEORVM, Providentia standing right, extending right hand to Quies, standing left, holding branch and sceptre.

    Reference: Sear 12922, RIC VI Alexandria 80 corr.

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