Antiochene Caracalla, Brought to you by the letter B

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Justin Lee, May 15, 2019.

  1. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I just got this Caracalla from Antioch to add to my Roman Antioch (Syria) collection. It's got all the traditional characteristics of the type: bearded and curly haired obverse bust (by the time Elagabalus was old enough for a beard, he was well into using Deltas and Epsilons), loads of leaves in the laurel wreath on the reverse (14 to be exact, almost double those of AP and others at the usual 8), and an eagle below the large SC. But this one has an interesting extra character, a B, to the right of the eagle, something I haven't seen before in my shirt experience (and haven't had a chance to consult my books yet). Either the letter is above the SC or below without an eagle, or no letter at all.

    I'm currently traveling this week for work, so sadly can't jump right to leafing through a reference book, and not being able to find anything so far with a letter like this online in my searches, I'm reaching out to the community with all your great knowledge to see if you all can help track it down?

    Here is my new coin in question:

    Thank you all in advance!
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  3. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Interesting variety - sorry I can't help. I do have one of the more common types, with just the eagle (but head right, not left like the OP). In my limited experience, these can be a challenge to attribute thanks to all the varieties and the usually poor condition of my specimens:

    Caracalla - Antioch SC Feb 2019 (0).jpg

    Caracalla Æ 21
    (c. 198-217 A.D.)
    Syria, Seleucis & Pieria
    Antiochia ad Orontem

    Laureate head right, AVT • K • M • AV[ • ANTΩ]NEINOC / S • C within wreath terminating in circle with pellet, eagle with head right below.
    McAlee 686; Butcher 456 (?)
    (7.70 grams / 21 mm)
    dlhill132, cmezner, TIF and 5 others like this.
  4. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES! Supporter

    I have a left facing bust Caracalla from Syria, it has an epsilon above the SC and something else I've never been able to make out. Delta?

  5. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Finding a Caracalla from Antioch in that condition is quite a score. Most that I've seen are pretty worn. Congratulations on a beautiful coin. Sorry I can't help with the attribution.
    Justin Lee likes this.
  6. TTerrier

    TTerrier Well-Known Member

    Just running out the door to work but I think it is McAlee 698 - rated very rare! A great looking coin.
    cmezner and Justin Lee like this.
  7. cmezner

    cmezner Well-Known Member

    Have a common Caracalla, with an obverse that I like, but the reverse - Tyche - is ugly:wideyed:, in hand one can see Tyche holding branch and cornucopia, but can't take a good enough picture showing it. Is there a way I can clean just the reverse :confused:?

    Æ23, Pisidia, Antioch, 206 - 211 AD
    Ref.: Krzyzanowska Group C CAR19.37-38 var (rev legend with CAS instead of CAE); BMC Lycia, Pamphilia and Pisisdia p.182, 41 - 43 var (?); RPC 6109;
    Obv.: IMP CAES M AVR ANTONINVS A, laureate head right
    Rev.: ANTIOCH GENI COL CAS Tyche of Antiocheia standing left, holding branch and cornucopia

    upload_2019-5-16_22-25-17.png upload_2019-5-16_22-25-30.png
  8. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Yep, soak it in DW and only brush the reverse with a cut down toothbrush.

    Here's my only coin from Antioch in Pisidia:

    Septimius Severus, Ruled 193-211 AD
    AE23, Pisidia, Antioch

    Obverse: L SEPT SE-V AVG IMP P, laureate head of Septimius Severus right.
    Reverse: ANTI-OCH G-ЄNI COL CAЄ, Genius (or god Mên?) wearing modius, standing facing, head left, holding branch and cornucopiae.
    References: SNG Cop 30, Krzyznowska 39 var. (obverse legend, as Krz 43)
    Size: 23mm, 4.2g
  9. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Thanks! I'm finally home and also looked it up in Butcher... It's Butcher 455.

    And it appears to be a reverse die match with the plate coin, with it's twisted S.

    Thank you all for the help and support!
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  10. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    And looks like it is an obverse match with this one (different reverse with no B):

    I wonder if the B (and smaller denomination with the A) we're prototypes as Antioch celators got back to work in their workshops after a pause in AE coin mintage of this type. Maybe they made one reverse die for B (large denomination) and one for A (smaller denomination) and they struck coins with them until they wore out and made new ones without the letters. Something to ponder?
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Tribunicia Potestas

    Cool coin @Justin Lee ! And a nice example of a Caracall provincial.
    Justin Lee likes this.
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