Featured Brutal scenes on ancient coins

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Marsman, Feb 24, 2019.


    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @otlichnik, it's like, Fine, except, in each case you cite, there was a visual subtext, involving a communal, cultural memory of an actual severed head. (Thank you, extending to dolphins. The whole collective thing. Consider the source, but I Promise you, wherever you were in the Empire, if you could visualize a dolphin, you could visualize its head on a (anachronism alert: ) pike.
    ...Evoking a principle which translates rather well to more recent contexts, where visual rhetoric is concerned. (For instance, the Confederate Battle Flag, as used over the 20th and early 21st-centuries. ...What am I saying? it's this d-mb--ss Month we get! Walk all of that back about three centuries, and you'll be good. ...For as long as I will....)
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
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  3. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Note that despite this, animals still predominated among legionary emblems as late as the reign of Gallienus in the 260s. See this list of reverse types for the Gallienus "legionary series," not to be confused with the much more common coins of his "zoo series": http://www258.pair.com/denarius/cgi-bin/erfind.pl?sstring=legio+milan.
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  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Images of the emperor carried into battle carried a cultural memory of an actual severed head? That sounds implausible to me. Do you have a source?
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    No, and thanks for busting me. I was indulging in An, Ahem, Very speculative attempt to reconstruct how an ostensibly typical legionary on the ground would read the imagery.
    ...Which proceeded to elicit the question of where the symbolism came from, on an administrative level, extending to its initial motivation.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
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  6. Curtis

    Curtis Supporter! Supporter

    Fantastic example @Marsman ! Very rare you can actually see the captive's hair on that issue (or facial expression & many other details present on yours).

    Here's another late 4th century -- Victory dragging captive (these are best understood, I believe, as captured prisoners of war): CONSERVATORI-Theodosius I AE4 Cyzicus Ex-Leu e14 Draft 1.png
    Coin-in-hand video here (on imgur).
    Roman Imperial. Theodosius I (379-395 AD) AE4 Nummus (12mm, 1.49g, 12h). Cyzicus, 388-392 AD.
    Obverse: DN THEODOSIVS PF AVG. Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Theodosius I to right.
    Reverse: SALVS REIPVBLICAE / SMKB in exergue. Victory advancing left, holding trophy over her right shoulder and dragging bound captive behind her with her left hand; Staurogram to left.
    Reference: RIC 26b.
    Pedigree: Ex-Leu Numismatik Web Auction 14, Lot 1496 (Zurich, 13 December 2020). ACSearch record/img here. Notes: From my “Barbarians, Captives, and Enemies” Collection

    And a Constantius Gallus fallen horseman (cuz you can never see too many!)

    CONSERVATORI-Constantius Gallus AE Maiorina Antioch Ex Peus-Second Draft.png
    Roman Imperial. Constantius Gallus (351-354) AE Centenionalis or Maiorina (4.44g, 22mm, 6h). Antioch mint, circa 351-354 AD.
    Obverse: DN CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES. Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right. To left: Δ.
    Reverse: FEL TEMP REPARATIO / AN- (exergue). Roman soldier with crested helmet to spearing fallen horseman (Germanic), reaching upward (FH3), bareheaded (hair braided in rear?), wearing loose tunic and trousers.
    References: RIC VIII 139 (FH3). (Incorrectly cited as 181 by Peus & de Vries.)
    Pedigree: Ex-Dr. Busso Peus Nachf. e-Auction, Lot #599 (Frankfurt, 28 Jan 2020), from the de Vries Collection; purchased from Frank Taylor (Taylor's Coin Service, Brisbane, 1982).

    Coin-in-hand video available along with two others (2nd coin).
  7. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Although this coin has been posted previously, here it is as the representative from the Artuqids of Mardin, an AE dirham, AH 596 (1199-1200 AD). Album 1829.

    14.7 grams

    The common assumption regarding the severed head is that it once belonged on the shoulders of a Crusader.

    D-Camera Artuqids of Mardin, Dirham, AH 596 (1199-1200) Album 1829 14.7g  01-24-21.jpg
  8. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

  9. Kevin Torpey

    Kevin Torpey New Member

  10. Kevin Torpey

    Kevin Torpey New Member

    Oops, it’s a cross on the back, not very brutal.
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  11. Alegandron

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

    BRUTAL! Not because Hercules is strangling the lion. BECAUSE of the STANNARD SCOOP that has ripped Hercules' leg off, while he is fighting that lion!
    That would just plain brutally HURT.

    Roman Republic
    C. POBLICIUS Q. f. . 80 BCE
    Obv: Helmeted and draped bust of Roma right. ROMA behind, I above.
    Rev: Hercules standing left strangling the Nemean lion, club at his feet, bow and arrow in quiver on left. I on upper left, C POBLICI . Q . F.
    Mint: Rome. Struck 80 BCE
    Ref: Cr. 380/1. Syd. 768. Poblicia 9.
    Comment: Stannard Scoop, reverse, Hercules leg - Blank flans were not weighed individually, but as a batch. When the weight was above the target, one roman pound, individual random flans were taken out and gouged. The gouging mark in this coin, therefore, precedes the actual striking of the coin and it's not the result of later damage.
    Ex: Romanorum Ancient Coins
  12. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

  13. Alegandron

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

    LOL, nailed it!
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  14. Kevin Torpey

    Kevin Torpey New Member

    Laughing as I watch The Life of Brian!!!
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