ERIC III small update

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by rasiel, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. rasiel

    rasiel New Member

    A big hello to all ancient Roman coin fans :)

    I wanted to give a small update on progress for my next ERIC book. I'm struggling at the moment with Galerius. Maybe I find the coinage too boring or maybe it's just that my mojo isn't there at the moment. It's not a good sign when I'm sitting in front of the computer staring at a coin but instead thinking about how I need to pick up more chili mix at the grocery store and, by the way, I'm running low on printer ink so I need to swing by Office Depot too... I've been in this mode now for a whole week! On a good day I can study several hundred coins and on days like today just a dozen can take hours with all the mental distractions.

    On a less whiny note, I've finished the section on the Byzantine Constans (Constans II as known to most) which unlike now with Galerius was satisfying to put together. In case there are any Byzantine enthusiasts reading this, I'm including a link to a draft of this section which will be most useful to those already familiar with ERIC's numbering system (explained in the introductory sections) and if you have ERIC II all the better since you can compare the two side-by-side.

    The main improvement in ERIC III will be the highly detailed info on rarity. Whereas typical reference works generally cite references in a lump category like "R3" or "scarce" this revision will now tally how many of each of the varieties have been noted. The benefit is that you can tell at a glance which varieties are common and which are actually rare and to what degree; particularly useful in sorting out the rarity of the issues within that reign. The second main improvement has to do with pricing. Again, moving on from the "rough guesstimate" as noted elsewhere here we work with real prices attained at auction. I can typically fit in two or three such sample prices realized along with venues and dates for each variety. In the case of the earlier imperial sections I've included grades in the pricing too. While this doesn't say x coin is therefore worth y amount at least it does give a general idea of what to expect and should be far more reliable overall.

    Anyway, see link at bottom of http://dirtyoldbooks.com/eric3/

    The question I get asked most often is when will it come out and for how much. Sorry, I just don't know. At the current rate it looks like this will take several years and price depends on a lot of factors but hopefully somewhere in the neighborhood of ERIC II. I'm also considering the eBook and cheaper "Aorta" routes, we'll see!

    Ras
     
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  3. Rudi Smits

    Rudi Smits Member

    Keep up the good work ! I got both ERIC II and the Aorta (easy to take with me to a coin fair)...
     
  4. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Thats how I feel about his coinage also, just absolutely boring. It also doesnt help he is my least favorite roman emperor in history. You'll get your stride soon.

    Hopefully you'll get done quicker then a few years too :D The rarity portion looks to be the most interesting update at this time.

    Thanks for the update. I enjoy my Aorta book too.
     
  5. bobbyhelmet

    bobbyhelmet Member

  6. bobbyhelmet

    bobbyhelmet Member

    BTW I quite like Galerius :(
     
  7. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter Dealer

    I do too - there are a number of interesting and attractive reverse types, I'd love to get a silvered follis of his in my set.
     
  8. bobbyhelmet

    bobbyhelmet Member

    My most silvered 'boring' Galerius :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]

    C VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB C - Bust right, Laureate
    GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI - Genius, naked standing left, modus on head holding patera and cornucopiae
    296AD - RIC VI Lugdunum 17b (p243)
     
  9. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter Dealer

    That, sir, is a nice coin!
     
  10. Eng

    Eng Senior Eng

    Thanks for the update Ras, you have have a lot of fans here...:thumb:...i like the Byzantine coins too...i just pick up a Constans ll..
     
  11. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Well, here is another boring coin from the good ol' boring G-man ...

    galerius a.jpg galerius b.jpg
     
  12. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

    Just curious is "Aorta" a paperback of Eric II ???? :rolleyes:
     
  13. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member


    A pair of Max's -
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  14. Rudi Smits

    Rudi Smits Member

    Waaw ! An Amazing Galerius ! Must be a unique mule, as the obv reads '...MAXIMIANVS...' :foot-mouth:
     
  15. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter Dealer

    From ERIC I...

    C VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB C is an obverse legend associated only with the coins of Galerius.

    His full name was Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus Augustus.

    :)
     
  16. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Ripley's post illustrates what is unfortunately the most interesting part of Galerius' coinage and one that absolutely must be addressed by any book o the subject. "A pair of Max's" is one pre reform Maximianus and one post reform Galerius. Between pre/post and Max/Gal (not to mention Maximinus II and Maxentius) the coinage provides a hurdle which trips up new collectors and dealers who should know better alike. There are some pretty nice variations on the obverse portraits (mostly helmeted) that sell well over my ceiling but I agree in general that Galerius is not a major candidate for becoming my next specialty. The most many of us get out of him is the satisfaction of being able correctly to identify the coins and a hope that we will exit this life in an easier manner than did he.


     
  17. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Tough love time: The main question we each might ask is: "I own ERIC (ERIC II, AORTA or all of them). Do I need ERIC III?" I must say that there is appeal in the rarity system as proposed but its value in a practical sense depends a great deal on the accuracy and completeness of the data collected. That will mostly depend on which resources are sampled to get the data and how they are ranked. Will it find a way to avoid duplications from one coin being listed a half dozen times before it finally sells just to be relisted again by the new owner? Will it cover private sales by dealers who do not do business online but have a significant impact on the supply of the highest and lowest priced coins? How will it avoid the 'problem' of RIC ratings where coins become R5 because of a moved dot which is of interest to a fraction of a percent of buyers but coins only slightly more common (we have seen five rather than one is 'slightly') codes out to be only R3 but there are a thousand buyers looking for the coin (I saw a Martinian at Baltimore).

    These questions will make or break the usefulness of the feature and, perhaps, make a difference on whether each of us wants to upgrade our ERIC's to the new version. I'd call the task Herculean bordering on impossible BUT I also believe that IF it can be done, there is no one more likely to pull it off than Ras. His past efforts have been impressive. This new one will be, I suspect, of a size that old guys like me will need help lifting. Will it fit my/our needs and make it a must have addition to the library or will it be like the size 18 shoes of a basketball hero: interesting that they exist but not a practical consideration for my needs? Time will tell; I wish Ras well.

    Concerns: My wife bought a Nook. Some books available are wonderful in the way they utilize the features; others are just pictures of paper pages. Is the numismatic market ready for an e-book fully indexed and cross referenced, searchable in both word and photos (obviously enlargeable and existing by the thousands) that will make us all wonder why we ever wanted those old fashioned paper things? Would the massive effort required to make the step into a fully featured ePub version be rewarded by cash sales? I have gone on record several times with my opinion that the era of paper for books is nearing a close. I wonder what book will go down in history as the last successful effort in the old format. Are we close to a place in publishing equivalent to the time when all those long distance telephone lines turned into scrap copper with the launch of a few satellites? My coin book collection occupies 20 feet of shelving and several boxes in the attic. I would love the whole thing to be converted magically into a resource as searchable as acsearch and Wildwinds. I'm old fashioned. I trust some people now young and tech-savvy will collect ancient coins in 2063 but I wonder what will be in the boxes in their attics. Crates of hard drives?
     
  18. Rudi Smits

    Rudi Smits Member

    I got multiple books (also the 'important' refenrece books on pdf, but I must admit I still keep grabbing my books to help ID a coin instead of a quick search on the internet, although I use wildwinds and acsearch a lot, or to open a pdf file and scroll my fingers off... I cant help it, but I still prefer to feel paper in my hands, instead of a bunch of '0's and 'I's... I think the paper books will never disappear out of our lifes... I got a library of several thousands of reference books and auction sales. Close to 300 ft of shelves... My guess is most of you will agree. We love paper !
    About the new ERIC III : a massive work, as is also ERIC II (on my shelf). Useful ? Yes ! Portable ? Nope. But I got the light weight Aorta ;-).
    Ras rules :)
     
  19. RaceBannon

    RaceBannon Member

    Indeed. I fell victim to this very mis-attribution and I've only been collecting Roman Imperials for a couple of months now. Luckily the knowledgeable members on this very forum were kind enough to jump in and provide guidance.

    Here's the coin originally sold to me as a Maximianus I, now re-posted with my attempt at correct attribution.

    Galerius; 297-298 AD
    Bronze AE Follis; Heraclea mint; 29mm/9.2 g
    OBV: GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES; Laureate Head Right
    REV: GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genus standing left holding patera & cornucopia
    RIC VI 20 b, G

    Best way to learn is to dive right in and learn from your mistakes. The sheer volume and variety of coins, mintmarks, legends, overlapping emperors using the same or similiar names makes it a real challenge. Therein lies the fun.

    And after many stabs at this one, I still might not have nailed it, but I'm getting better. References like ERIC III are a big help to me as a beginner, thanks for all the work you put in rasiel!
     

    Attached Files:

  20. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    rx3960bb2066.jpg rx4040bb1723.jpg

    Again stating I'll not dispute the comment that Galerius is among the most boring of coins to collect, I will point out that there are things to study and understand. These also point out why I am not a fan of books which are mostly laundry lists of what exists offered with no explanation as to 'why' or any other enrichment beyond the list. The two coins above are both post reform folles of Galerius. Each has something in the legends that might show up in a catalog listing but that I would like to see explained by a book rather than just listed. I realize that a majority of coin buyers simply do not care about such things so more books will be sold filling their wants than mine.

    The first coin is from Siscia (SIS) mint workshop B. Any catalog will tell you that. I prefer a book that will explain the I in the field (I'm not certain of that) and the XXI (I believe in my answer for that). The second coin has mintmark SMNA which most books will cover (at least the NA part - some will gloss over the SM) but where do you go to understand the pile of letters (called a ligature) that follows the end of the reverse legend? Catalogs may reproduce it or even expand it to CMH but I believe a book on coins of Galerius should explain the purpose of that mark. Right now I can't find CMH on my site either so maybe I should not be so hard on others who omit it from their works as well. I have other things I consider a higher priority to add competing for my web authoring time. A problem is that including everything I might like to see explained in a book (or website) will turn a simple list into an encyclopedia so authors have to decide what goes in and what stays out. We all choose which books to buy according to how well the author's list of ins and outs agree with our needs or desires.
     
  21. rasiel

    rasiel New Member

    WOW, I want to say thanks to each of you for taking the time to chime in on this thread. Thanks to Mat too for emailing to keep me on track!

    I'm actually neutral on Galerius. I don't necessarily have a problem with "boring" coins. The boring aspect is one that makes it more easily inventoried and this to a certain extent describes all of Roman coinage. It's why a comprehensive reference book on Greek coins would be much bigger and a much tougher project to pull off.

    And I want to particularly thank Doug for his queries and observations. Now, to clarify:

    Tough love time: The main question we each might ask is: "I own ERIC (ERIC II, AORTA or all of them). Do I need ERIC III?" I must say that there is appeal in the rarity system as proposed but its value in a practical sense depends a great deal on the accuracy and completeness of the data collected. That will mostly depend on which resources are sampled to get the data and how they are ranked. Will it find a way to avoid duplications from one coin being listed a half dozen times before it finally sells just to be relisted again by the new owner? Will it cover private sales by dealers who do not do business online but have a significant impact on the supply of the highest and lowest priced coins? How will it avoid the 'problem' of RIC ratings where coins become R5 because of a moved dot which is of interest to a fraction of a percent of buyers but coins only slightly more common (we have seen five rather than one is 'slightly') codes out to be only R3 but there are a thousand buyers looking for the coin (I saw a Martinian at Baltimore).

    I spent months, not kidding, on thinking through how I was going to approach this and I recognized the pitfalls you listed. First of all I made the decision to only consider market rarity as opposed to absolute rarity. This means that rarity should be evaluated based on how easy or difficult it is to acquire a given coin in the understanding that it does little good to a collector to know that a major museum has a collection of 10,000 of some certain coin that no one has ever seen sold. Likewise, collectors fall for RIC R5-rated coins thinking that they really are rare when you can find them listed over and over. My second decision was to consider only coins sold through open, public auctions when determining values while still culling coin data from fixed price sales to determine rarity. You just can't get an accurate sense of prices for even the most common of issues when you mix in auction data and dealer asking prices. On top of that when a dealer posts a coin for sale that price is usually open to haggling and the actual selling price not disclosed.

    Relisted coins are an easier problem to deal with. You just ignore all but the first. This is only really an ebay problem and sellers who customarily "fish" for the best prices by repeatedly listing the same coin over and over again get flagged and removed from the database along with sellers of fakes and other problem dealers. On the other hand, if a coin is bought on, say, a CNG auction and then sold two weeks later on ebay there is no reason not to consider both sales as relevant since, after all, we are gauging the market availability (as opposed to trying to gather a population report).

    The last problem has an elegant solution. You just need two separate tiers. The first tabulates prices and rarities across the reign and is subdivided only by denomination while the second you iterate every sale instance in every single variety. You get the best of both worlds this way; you are able to see at a glance just how rare and costly those Martinians are taken as a whole compared to the coins of another emperor AND you get to see whether even within that rare coinage some slight variation such as the presence or absence of a dot is more or less rare. YES, it is a tremendous amount of work but this is the kind of job I'm cut out for (some days are better than others evidently!)

    I agree in principle with Doug's second thread regarding more info on details. It's a given that a book on coins is a failure if it doesn't teach about coins. But you also have to consider the model. No coin book will meet all needs. And my work on ERIC is no exception. If you want an ERIC-style reference but also as deeply technical as Göbl or Estiot and which also includes the rich bibliography and tables and flowcharting in RIC and the historical background of Gibbon you really are better off getting all of them separately. It's just not feasible as a commercial project even if I had all the know-how and will. And certainly not least, in my case especially, many times I just don't KNOW the information. For a perfect example, while I know that the terminal CMH monogram is unique to the mint of Nicomedia I have no idea what it actually stands for.

    I'm definitely attempting to address fleshing out more general info on coin details via expanded section introductory notes (see as example on the posted chapter on Constans) but I realize other authors, or myself in some future project, are better prepared to answer more of the "why's and what for's" than my main focus here which continues to be on the "how's and when's".

    Ras
     
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