Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by kevin McGonigal, Dec 14, 2019.
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I found this one and the explanation : (translated from French)
If there were, among the Syro-Phoenician tetradrachms, only one series whose attribution was absolutely certain, it would be that of Sidon. The two symbols used, Europe on the bull and the chariot of Astarté are attested for the city not only by municipal bronzes but by History and mythology.
Concerning Europe, the representation is that which one finds in all antiquity: the princess, seated on the bull, holds a veil that swells the wind above her head.
Astarté's chariot is mounted on wheels and contains a betyl. Depending on the corners, the details are more or less clear but the best representations are found on the bronzes.
Note that the sigma are engraved in C.
In the TSP database maintained by Michel Prieur, nine copies are now listed, three of which are in museums, two in Paris, ex collection Seyrig and Chandon de Briailles, one at the American Numismatic Society, ex Newell. Our copy, which comes from the sale Amphora 63 (July 01, 1997), n ° 158, is 1360_007. History: After the assassination of Geta, Caracalla ordered the 'damnatio memori و' of his brother. The 'Antoniniana Constitution' was promulgated in 212. All the inhabitants of the Empire became Roman citizens. The following year, he undertook a campaign in Germania and won many victories over the Germans, the Iapyges and the Goths. He received the title of 'Germanicus'. The end of the reign was marked in 215 by the Monetary Reform and the creation of the Antoninian. Caracalla begins a final campaign against the Parthians. He is assassinated after celebrating his vicennalia.
. It may never be possible to pinpoint exactly which one of the 7 your coin is . Your coin is one of the "war issues" struck from AD 215-217, when the silver content was reduced to about 35%.
Your coin appears in excellent condition with some original luster. Despite the die shift on the obverse & an incomplete inscription on the reverse I would value your coin in the $150-200 range.
Yes, I did notice some doubling on the face of Caracalla though I did not know that came from a "die shift". I found some for sale on a few web sites. Apparently they can get pretty pricey depending on condition and strike. I usually don't pay much attention to rarity as a factor in collecting coins. What I want in my coins is an attractive appearance and this one will do nicely as a Caracalla Phoenician Tetradrachma. Thanks for your input.
Caracalla's 4th consulship was his last, and began in 213, so the date range (except as amended by the apparent alloy debasement, beginning, evidently, in 215) on the basis of the stated date would be between 213-217.
Yes. I saw in the Sear Greek Imperials where the D meant fourth consulship on coins from many different mints. I saw some listed as B, presumably the second consulship. I did not see any alphas or gammas. I wonder if his earlier tetradrachmas mostly went into the melting pot once these debased coins went into circulation. Thanks for your information
Relatively high value coins like tetradrachms weren't necessarily struck every year. Emissions like this were more typically struck specifically to pay for supplies and soldiers' salaries for military campaigns like the one Caracalla was pursuing against the Parthians at the time.
Of course Gresham's Law has always been an active factor and debasements of currency will always at least tend to drive the existing stock of higher intrinsic value coins out of circulation, too.
The Roman army - the legions, at any rate - consisted of lifetime professionals. "Home", as a concept, somewhere they aspired to return to, was nowhere nearly so strong as it had been with the Greek/Celtic mercenaries. The Roman soldiers served until they had fought in X number of campaigns (the number changed from time to time, but usually took an entire adult lifetime) and until they were retired, "paroled", presented with their army diplomas and settled on a piece of land in a newly created military retirement settlement, wherever the army happened to be at any given time was "home", wherever it might be.
I'm not sure the actual legionnaires had access to or carried very much money. However, armies and cohorts within armies did tend to be transferred and/or travel all around as their services were needed in various conflicts or to garrison the frontiers, etc, and they certainly brought at least a few coins with them. Metal detecting finds in hinterlands like Britannia will occasionally include "erratic" items from distant places which you wouldn't think would be in circulation there. These are very much the minority of types found, however.
Chances are tetradrachms like these were created primarily to buy bulk equipment and supplies for the whole army, pay huge bribes, etc, and few of them were actually in the soldiers' hands. The soldiers had some small change for personal things, but to the extent any of them was able after having their equipment, food, etc, deducted from their pay and devoting a fairly large percentage of what was left to the burial societies and/or a few sending it to a wife or family somewhere, their wealth, such as it was, existed on the army's books and the balance might eventually be paid out to them sometime, but soldiers on the march - and they marched everywhere they went - or in the field don't really carry or use much money.
, we were given MPC (military payment certificates) that we called "funny money", see photos below. The largest MPC note was for $10, & Vietnamese civilians would accept these notes without a problem .
Thanks to both of you. I am somewhat more familiar with the various kinds of "occupation" currency of the 20th Century, though I have no idea what troops stationed in foreign countries use today. Perhaps credit cards. I have always just wondered what Roman troops serving in the Greek speaking eastern provinces of the Empire were paid in and whether such coins show up in the archaeological record of the Latin speaking West and whether this indicates that such coins were in general circulation outside the province of their issue. Modern archaeological findings of imperial denarii in Syria, or Bithynia or Cappadocia might not be unusual but finding coins from Antioch or Caesarea in Italy or Britain or Spain , depending on the frequency of such finds, might be an indication that somebody, troops or merchants, found that at least the silver issued in eastern mints, had empire wide circulation use. I wonder if anyone has done any research into this and what the research might show.
many theories, but some of the most plausible) explaining the existence of so-called "Limes Denarii" (I'll explain another time why this name is both ridiculous and impossible, although I'm afraid the name is now permanently stuck on this particular class of coin) concerning how they might have been created and used officially in border/garrison/war zone areas. These very faithful copies of denarii, primarily of the Severans, cast in low-grade billon or potin and occasionally found "silvered", used to be a scarce curiosity last century. Since the late 90's and with the enormous stock of coins entering the market at that time and since, they have become fairly common. Rather than being, necessarily, local copies of the circulating coinage, these might have been officially produced as scrip for soldiers' use and/or were circulated as tokens in place of bullion-based coin for which they would, eventually, be exchanged. The idea being that this could prevent large quantities of high-value bullion coin from falling into the hands of the "barbarians at the gates" - or whatever the enemy of the day may have been - and could be used to de-stabilize and/or interfere with normal commerce.
An example of a so-called "Limes Denarius" of Septimius Severus:
Separate names with a comma.