Brought to you by the letter "G"

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Orange Julius, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    I received this fun coin in the mail today and am just starting to learn a bit about it... but I also need some entertainment on this Friday night, so thought I'd start a post.

    Although I'd like to see your Severina coins... I'd like to dive into those AVG(G... and maybe a third G) coins. The addition of a G to AVG (Augustus), refers to another Augustus (or sometimes Caesar).

    Who do the "G"s represent where it may be an interesting case? What are the issues where Gs are added or removed due to people entering and exiting the stage and where do they help us narrowly date events? Let's see those AVG(G)(G) coins and talk about them!

    I'm assuming my two "G"s refer to Aurelian and Severina... I'll be looking to learn more about this...

    Severina standing right clasping hand of Emperor standing left
    gamma XXIR
    RIC V-1 Rome 3; Sear 11704
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coin! AVGG probably does refer to Aurelian and Severina.

    The coins of Herennia Etruscilla are interesting because in some instances, the same reverse type was issued with AVG in the inscription and in other instances, with AVGG in the inscription.

    Etruscilla FECVNDITAS AVG antoninianus.jpg
    Herennia Etruscilla, AD 249-251.
    Roman AR antoninianus, 4.16 g, 22 mm, 7 h.
    Rome, AD 250-251.
    Obv: HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust, right, on crescent.
    Rev: FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecunditas standing left, extending right hand to child standing right on left, and holding cornucopia in left hand.
    Refs: RIC 55b, Cohen/RSC 8; RCV 9492; CRE 541.


    Etruscilla FECVNDITAS AVGG antoninianus.jpg
    Herennia Etruscilla, AD 249-251.
    Roman AR antoninianus, 3.6 g, 22 mm, 8 h.
    Rome, AD 250-251.
    Obv: HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust, right, on crescent.
    Rev: FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecunditas standing left, extending right hand to child standing right on left, and holding cornucopia in left hand.
    Refs: RIC 56, Cohen/RSC 11; RCV 9492; CRE 542.

    The same situation also occurs in copper alloy:


    Etruscilla FECVNDITAS AVG sestertius.jpg
    Herennia Etruscilla, AD 249-251.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 14.04 gm, 28.3 mm.
    Rome, AD 250-251.
    Obv: HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: FECVNDITAS AVG SC, Fecunditas standing left, right hand extended to child standing at her feet; holding cornucopiae.
    Refs: RIC 134a; Sear 9504; Cohen 9; Hunter 12.


    Herennia Etruscilla, AD 249-253.
    Roman Æ as, 8.47 g, 23.4 mm, 1 h.
    Rome mint, 6th officina, AD 251.
    Obv: HERENNIA ETRVSCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: FECVNDITAS AVGG S C, Fecunditas standing left, her right hand extended to child standing at her feet, holding cornucopiae in left.
    Refs: RIC 135b; Cohen 13; RCV 9507; Hunter 13; ERIC II 53.

    The existence of these coins with AVGG in the inscription is thought-provoking because during her tenure as empress, Herennia Etruscilla was the sole woman on the throne. AVGG is plural. To whom does the "fecundity of the august ones" refer? The empress and her husband? The empress and some daughter-in-law? The problem is that apart from numismatic evidence, we wouldn't even know Herennia Etruscilla was the wife of Trajan Decius! We know next to nothing about her.

    Banduri writes about this very issue in his 1718 tome, Numismata imperatorum Romanorum a Trajano Decio ad Palaeologos augustos. This admittedly does not reflect the most modern scholarship on these coins. The middle bronzes with both the AVG and AVGG legends are listed:


    Note there is a footnote in the listing with the AVGG legend. It reads:


    This is translated as "This coin does not praise the fecundity of the empress but that of the emperor and the empress* ..." The remainder of the footnote mentions the existence of similar issues of the Empress in silver and notes their rarity.

    Banduri believed AVGG refers to Decius and his wife.

    *Augustorum is genitive plural; literally "of the august ones," and would have to refer to the imperial couple.

    The AEQVITAS reverse type also occurs with both AVG and AVGG in the inscription. I only have the AVGG version:

    Etruscilla AEQVITAS AVGG.jpg
    Herennia Etruscilla, AD 249-253.
    Roman AR Antoninianus, 4.10 g, 23.3 mm, 5 h.
    Antioch, AD 250-251.
    Obv: HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust right on crescent, hair smooth and with a long plait carried up the back of the head.
    Rev: AEQVITAS AVGG, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae
    Refs: RIC 64; RSC 3d; RCV 9491; CRE 540; Hunter p. xcix.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
    eparch, Sulla80, Finn235 and 14 others like this.
  4. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    Of course, once you get into and beyond the tetrachic era, double and triple Gs become ubiquitous. Here's a few:
    Constantius I
    Bronze Nummus
    Siscia mint, A.D. 300-301
    Rev: SACRA MONETA AVGG ET CAESS NOSTR - Moneta, standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae
    SIS in exergue; [star] in left field, B in right
    RIC 135a
    28mm, 9.5g.

    Licinius I
    Bronze Nummus
    Antioch mint, A.D. 317-320
    Rev: IOVI CONS-ERVATORI AVGG - Jupiter, standing, facing left, chlamys hanging from shoulder, leaning on scpeter and holding Vicotry on globe; captive at feet
    SMANT in exergue; E in right field
    RIC 106
    19mm, 3.3g.

    Valentinian II
    (Bronze) AE III
    Siscia mint, A.D. 378-383
    Rev: CONCO-R-DIA AVGGG - Roma seated, holding globe and reverse spear; left leg bare
    ASISC in exergue
    RIC 27(c)
    18mm, 2.3g.
  5. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    Theodosius I
    (Thanks to Bing for this coin)
  6. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..according to a article written up in FORVM the extra G(s) stand for other rulers also.. Phillip l (The Arab) Annon antoninanus 3.67gms 001.JPG Phillip l (The Arab) Annon antoninanus 3.67gms 003.JPG Phillip l, (AVGG) denarius
  7. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    Two more. One of the father/son coins of Valerian (referencing Gallienus):
    Valerian I
    Silver Double Denarius
    Antioch mint, A.D. 253
    Rev: PIETAS AVGG - Two emperors, emperor at left sacrificing at altar with patera, emperor at right, sword on belt, holding eagle-tipped scepter
    RIC 284
    24 x 22 mm, 3.5g.

    And Salonina, also referencing Gallienus (her husband):
    Silver Double Denarius
    Asia mint (Antioch?), A.D. 255-258
    Rev: CONCORDIA AVGG - Gallienus, on left, shaking hands with Salonina, on right.
    RIC 63 (joint reign)
    21mm, 4.0g.
  8. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    Found another. A sestertius of Balbinus referencing his good relations and cooperation with Pupienus (yeah, right!):
    Bronze Sestertius
    Rome mint, A.D. 238
    Rev: CONCORDIA AVGG - Concordia seated, facing left, holding patera and cornucopia. SC in exergue.
    RIC 22
    28mm, 19.8g.
  9. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Please remember that denarii of Philip are of the greatest rarity. Your coin with a radiate crown is a double denarius or antoninianus.

    IMO the best of the GGG coins are those issued by Carausius in his attempt to convince Diocletian and Maximianus that he was one of them. It did not work.

    Carausius C mint

    Diocletian London mint

    Maximianus London mint - the GGG is off flan on this one but the London mintmark proves it was from the series.

    I have a backup coin for this but no better. (Anyone want it?) Finding any of these in high grade will be hard but nice ones are ridiculously expensive. I do not have the London GGG for Carausius or the C mint versions for the other two. They are want list items. ru3485yy9998.jpg

    No on my want list because of my being realistic is the famous triple portrait GGG coin:
  10. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    What Doug said. I’ve missed out on a number of these, but finally managed to pick up a decent Maximianus AVGGG struck by Carausius a few weeks ago. I haven’t had the time to take my own pictures yet. Seller’s pics and description:

    Maximianus Herculius, first reign 286-305 Antoninianus Londinium circa 291-292 (Under Carausius), Æ 24.5mm., 4.56g. IMP C MAXIMIANVS P F AVG Radiate and cuirassed bust r. Rev. PAX A-VGGG Pax standing l., holding olive branch and scepter; S/P//MLXXI. RIC 34. C 462.
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Just a guy making his way in the universe

  12. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    O, ok Doug, thanks.:)
  13. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    GGG can refer to an issue shared by three emperors, such as this one:

    Roma seated, helmeted head left, holding globe on viewers left

    Common for Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius. 12 Mints.

    Gratian, 367-383.

    Valentinian II, 375-392

    Theodosius, 379-395.

    This issue is dated to the overlap in their reigns but not later than 383 because Arcadius, elevated in 383, is not included.

    Gratian was the son of Valentinian and became Augustus under Valentinian as a child of seven (in this late period the title "Caesar" was not being used for heirs; children began as "Augustus"). When Valentinian died in 375 Gratian's younger half-brother Valentinian II was also made Augustus. Theodosius, a successful general, was elevated to emperor in 379 shortly after Valens was killed in the disastrous battle of Adrianople and it was obvious an older military man was needed. His son, Arcadius, was not included in the issue.

    From the beginning of the reign of Valentinian in 364 scholars often use the number of G's to help date coins in this era when up to four rulers were active at the same time. See this page:

    Time Line -- Who issued coins when? (A.D. 364-455)

    The number of x's in a column is the number of simultaneous rulers in that time period. Coins issued in that period usually have that number of G's.
  14. Aleph

    Aleph Active Member

    Saw the title and thought you meant something like this.
  15. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    I'd like to learn more about the Carus, Carinus and Numerian coins too.

    There are AVG, AVGG and AVGGG for each. They seem to contradict themselves at times. This coin of Carus shows AVGGG for all three of them (and the next, just AVGG) but many other Numerian and Carus coins as Caesar only have AVGG while Carus is supposedly still alive. I'm guessing the AVGG simply can mean the "Augusti" as in the group?

    Also, I'm assuming we can identify where Numerian is gone but Carinus is still kicking'. Need to look into this a bit more... anyone have more information on these?

    Not my coins... from Wildwinds:

    Here's one of Numerian... only looking out for the Securitas of Numerian... forget you Carinus!

    Again, not my coin - from Wildwinds:

    I suppose the AVG(G)(G) is not such a strict rule.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  16. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    @Roman Collector
    That last Herennia Etruscilla coin is cool. You can tell the final "G" was added after the legend was initially added. I can see the engraver looking at his finished work and realizing his omission, thinking "Ugh.." *facepalm* Haha. It's fun to laugh at someone's mistake 1850 years later
  17. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    @Aleph Cool coin, what is that?
  18. Aleph

    Aleph Active Member

    Hey OJ,
    it’s a Roman AE tessera, circa first century. There are 12 different letter/monogram/galley combinations in this enigmatic series some of which are included in Cohen.
    arizonarobin and Orange Julius like this.
  19. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Just a guy making his way in the universe

    Does anyone know the first emperor that used the AVGG on the reverse? My guess is late 2nd early 3rd century. I know the Gordians used it before Balbinus and Pupienus, but I am not sure whether Severus did, and for that matter Caracalla did not, nor did Elagabalus or Severus Alexander.
  20. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    From the dictionary of roman coins :
  21. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    There are many GG coins under Septimius Severus:


    Denarius. 19 mm. 3.35 grams.
    Sear II 6255. RIC 248. Struck 202 and "depicts his actual entry into the city" [of Rome].
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page