Caesonia as Salus?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by GregH, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    Being a one-per-ruler collector, I am keen to own a portrait of every Roman personality.
    One personality I don't yet have is Caligula's fourth wife Caesonia.

    The most common coin supposedly with her portrait is this one:

    Caligula & Caesonia Æ27 of Carthago Nova, Spain. C CAESAR AVG GERMANIS, laureate head right / DN ATEL FLAC CN POM FLAC II VIR Q V I N C, head of Caesonia (as Salus) right, SAL AVG across field. SGI 419.

    Caesonia isn't named, yet the female portrait is given the attribution of "Caesonia as Salus". So i am very curious... why should this be attributed as the portrait of such an ephemeral person as Caesonia??

    Could the commonly accepted attribution be wrong? Could this is in fact be Salus AS Salus?
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Many think that Salus is the one portrayed on the coin's reverse and the attribution to Caesonia is fanciful. David Vagi (Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. Vol. 1, Coinworld, 1999, p.148) states:

    "The bust of Salus (health) on aes struck at Cathago Nova ... by Caligula is often misattributed as a representation of Caesonia. In fact, it was struck before they were wed, and it more likely is an allusion to Antonia, whose health was failing as she neared the end of her life."

    Here's my example for comparison:

    Caligula and Caesonia.jpg
    Calligula AD 37-41.
    Roman provincial Æ 28 mm, 11.17 gm.
    Carthago Nova, Spain, AD 37-38.
    Obv: C. CAESAR AVG. GERMANIC. IMP. P.M. TR.P. COS., laureate head of Caligula, right.
    Rev: CN. ATEL. FLAC. CN. POM. FLAC. II. VIR. Q.V.I.N.C., head of Salus right, SAL AVG across field.
    Refs: SGI 419; Heiss 272, 35; Cohen 247, 1; RPC 1, 185; SNG Cop 503.
    dlhill132, Johndakerftw, Ryro and 3 others like this.
  4. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    Ah, much as I suspected. Not that these aren’t interesting coins, but if the attribution to Caesonia is uncertain, then this is outside the scope of my collecting project.
    Still, I see these offered by respectable places like CNG attributed as “Caligula and Caesonia”.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    It sells coins to you and many others. We could have thread here dedicated to tales that increase the demand/value/appeal of coins . Obviously some of us will differ on how much Aureolus there is an a Milan mint Postumus or how many different denarii you need to get a Tribute Penny. Come to think of it, we might be able to add a few without stretching the matter too much. What was the name of Septimius Severus' main man in Alexandria while Septimius was fighting Pescennius up north? Are the Eastern Vespasian's all from the time he was located out there or did he have a supporter issuing coins in his name after he departed? Vetranio issued coins in his own name but dealers would have you pay extra for the ones issued at the same time in the name of Constantius II or even those of the types used issued later in the name of Constantius Gallus. All these coins are interesting and collectible. I would love to have the coin shown here. Whether or not I should have to pay extra due to false demand created by an ID that is a mite spurious is another question.
  6. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    I am quite certain that it is neither she nor Antonia but rather the one whom Caliga favored greatest of all his loved ones (no, not Drusilla) it is Incitatus as Salus on the reverse!
    For funnsies here is a provincial of my favourite bad boy of Rome:
    CollageMaker Plus_20184521153549.png

    LYDIA, Philadelphia
    Neocaesarea. 37-41 AD. Æ
    14mm (2.62 gm). Bare head
    right; lituus under chin /
    Winged thunderbolt;
    ATTAΛIKOC (magistrate).
    RPC I 3026; SNG
    Copenhagen -; cf. BMC
    Lydia pg. 194, 51. VF, black
    patina. Rare. Fomer: Savoca
  7. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Btw, nice catch! I fear I am far too trusting of what labels say and not suspicious enough of whom is really on my coins.:pompous:o_O
    Roman Collector and GregH like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page