ERIC III small update

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

  1. bobbyhelmet

    bobbyhelmet Member

    In his book Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity, 294-364 AD. Failmezger proposes the following definition for CMH:

    He does say that this is just speculation and that alternative views may be possible, it does though seem a reasonable assumption.
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  3. bobbyhelmet

    bobbyhelmet Member

    Having done a bit of searching in the past on this issue I can also say that it appears on the following GENIO coins:

    GENIO CA-ESARIS CMH, for Maximinus II and Constantine.
    GENIO AV-GVSTI CMH, for Maximinus II, Constantine, Galerius and Licinius.
    GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI CMH for Maximinus II, and Galerius.

    It appears between 307 and 315 and only in Nicomedia and Cyzicus.

    RIC VI references the coins quite a bit implying its a weight / size issue but never actually says that.
  4. rasiel

    rasiel New Member

    It's an interesting take for sure. I would have guessed something more banal like Cum Moneta H____ but this is where I'm clearly out of my league. In the other example we have the more established use of XXI to denote a 20 to 1 ratio which makes sense but feels awkward when looking at the actual weight relationships. I think the only thing that is truly obvious here is that the Roman tech for denoting mark of value was never more than crude. My own theory is that there was probably always policy to not commit too explicitly and just take it a day at a time since it was always easier to set these tariffed values orally or via posted edict at the time of manufacture and then recant as necessary later otherwise those XXIs could be used against the taxman at an inopportune moment after inflation had sapped their value - something definitely not to the advantage of the government.

  5. CBJesse

    CBJesse Capped Bust Fanactic

    I have a quick question to ask about ERIC II if I may:
    at this point I am more interested in the history of the coins, emperors, mints and so on than the coins themselves, although I know the coins will come in time. Does ERIC II dive into the history surrounding the coins or is it only a reference copy?
  6. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    As a book buyer, I do have some qualms. How complete would ERIC III version of Aorta be versus the hardcover? How much more functional would a electronic version be versus the hardcover?

    I do not mind dropping $150 on a hardcover book, but also have to be concerned is a $30 e-version is a superior product. If it is, spending $150 on a hardcover is a waste of money essentially, as it will never hold its value.

    I would simply say be careful Ras. Most "disposable books", those intended to be updated in the future, go around the $70 mark. Those that are meant to be lasting references are the ones that typically sell for $100-200. By pricing yourself in this bracket, yet releasing lower cost alternatives, you might find your hardcover edition in a very tough place to be. I don't necessarily wish to spend another $150 on another version of ERIC, if:

    1. There will be cheaper versions, just as functional or more so
    2. I believe there will be an ERIC IV.

    Just some things to think about regarding marketing channels.
  7. bobbyhelmet

    bobbyhelmet Member

    I've also wondered about the left field marks on these coins, would love to hear any theories.

    It looks like the entire system contained the letters C, I, L and S for various combinations of all four rulers and all three workshops.
  8. rasiel

    rasiel New Member

    Ah, this is a "philosophical" question and as such one that doesn't have an easy answer.

    Whether this or any other book is worth it under the expectation that at some point it will be replaced by an improved version is a matter of personal preference. It's not just coins. If you've ever bought a PC or a phone or a car you know that sooner or later there's going to be a new version around the corner. And there's going to be a crowd of those who say they'll just use theirs until it wears out and another crowd that will change into the new version as soon as possible.

    You can imagine the catch-22 presented for any business or author considering improving his or her work. If the pool of customers doesn't support the present product line how are the future products going to be funded? Looking at this from a personal point of view there were only 3,000 of the ERIC IIs printed. After they're all sold out do I just play it safe and call it a day? Do I just do a straight reprint and forget about corrections and additions? Or do I move forward and make it the best work that I can?

    The above questions are rhetorical and each carries risks and benefits. In my case I've just opted to go with working to make it better and, yes, ten years from now if a truck pulls up with all the ERIC IIIs I'm naturally going to think "well, now what?" The bottom line is that if I don't start work on an ERIC IV then someone else will. In fact, the day will come, must come, when all my efforts will be outclassed by a successor whose drive and knowledge is superior to mine. Not just because the market demands it but because this sort of progress is written into our genes. The spark that gave rise to my first day at work on ERIC I was to take a look at my Van Meter and say "I can do better" and while it won't serve me the fact is that deep down I would be disappointed if some day when I'm old and crinkly someone didn't pick up their ERIC V or ERIC VI and say "this book sucks" and whip out their quantum laptop and get cracking on doing something better.

    In the meantime all I can do is give an offer of money back if not satisfied. This is how I make a living and if you don't like my work in a small way my having to refund you because the book falls short of expectations is the loudest kick in the pants I can get to let me know I need to improve.

  9. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Not disagreeing really sir, just giving you a perspective from one of your 3,000 customers. If you are talking about a digital edition, (doug asked if it would be searchable, thereby making it more convenient to use than a hardcover), then I have to consider how that affects my decision to buy a hardcover. Those things, as well as price points relative to each other, all come to bear in a purchase decision.

    That is all I was trying to convey.
  10. rasiel

    rasiel New Member

    Maybe it's not showing my best business wisdom in disclosing this but I'll share a little more on the nuts and bolts of printing.

    In terms of raw dollars the printing costs alone for ERIC II came to just under $210,000. To that amount other costs needed to be added. Some books had to be given away for free, the bulk needed to be stored, some were damaged, ads had to be paid and so on. I figured then on a rough amortized cost of $75 per book and simply doubled that to get the list price (so called "keystoning") to allow wiggle room for wholesale purchasers.

    The Aorta run, being smaller and fewer pages and in black and white, cost only $16,000 to print and the whole order came in just one pallet so it could be stored in my garage. And the ebook is basically just a color version of Aorta in pdf and all it took to publish was upload the files.

    The ebook has sold very poorly. It could be that no one knows it's there to buy or that, as Doug pointed out, being a pdf it's not a real ebook but my gut feeling tells me that the big industry shift towards epubs affects references differently than it does novels and self-help books. People - collectors particularly - just prefer leafing through a guide to scrolling around with a mouse or finger. And let's not forget that most coin collectors are generally older and as such prefer the technology they grew up with. The little new blood that comes in from the "Playstation demographic" is going to be more receptive to ebooks but it's still a tiny niche when it comes to Roman coins.

    In each case above I've tried to address a different market audience and I believe where it comes to this niche of the Roman coin collector I'm ahead of the curve in terms of bang for the buck.

  11. rasiel

    rasiel New Member

    And I agree. Having different versions of any product puts the business owner in the position of competing against himself but, so the marketing logic goes, if you don't sell it someone else will so you might as well capture as much of the market share as possible.

    No need to call me sir - I'm just Ras, a regular dude :)
  12. Rudi Smits

    Rudi Smits Member

    Ras, dude, ur doing a great job, no matter what. And i prefer to feel the crispy paper :)
  13. Rudi Smits

    Rudi Smits Member

    Oh, Ras, btw : would you please check my latest post here, on Antinoös ? What's your opinion ?
  14. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Hi Ras ... stevex6 here

    Wow, I absolutely "love" ERIC-II ... it may be the best $150 of coin-bucks that I've ever spent?

    ... ummm, but unless ERIC III is gonna do my dishes, or massage my stuff, then why would I spend another probably $200 on this new version? ... ummm, has that much actually changed?

    SIDENOTE => coincidentally, I just received my CNG "Handbook of Coins of Sicily" .... ummm, because I am all about the coins of Syracuse, Sicily (it seemed like money well spent) ...

    => ummm, what is your/anybody's book reviews on these CNG Handbooks?


    Oh => but "if" you do happen to make a book that massages my stuff, then I will definitely buy that mutha!! (again => I "love" ERIC II)
  15. bobbyhelmet

    bobbyhelmet Member

    I guess as Ras says if he didn't produce the next book somebody would, I suppose its aimed at people like me who are still sitting on the fence and don't own ERIC II. Revised and more complete (if only a little) books could be just the nudge we need.

    PDF reference books are a pain and unless you are running multiple monitors can be slower than just having a book in your hand. I prefer paper unless its a proper, user friendly, searchable database that can generate useful reports like Helveticas tables.
  16. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I couldn't agree more. I have many reference books here on my shelf collecting dust (I know I will get slammed by those of you who are book worms - I like books too so don't eat me alive). I regualarly use on-line reference material first and only go to paper when and if I cannot satisfy my search on-line.
  17. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Bing => if it is a well done coin-book, then I find the paper-references almost as cool as the coins ...

    => oooppss, damn it!! => my old-school just showed-through!! (paper rocks!!)
  18. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    At the bottom of the page under Similar Threads I saw my old post when ERIC II came out. I wondered if anyone who read my review in 2010 and now regularly uses the book would be willing to tell me where I erred in my review, where I was unfair to it or whether my specific criticisms in the review strike you now as reasonable. It is hard to review a completely new work of such size without the time to become comfortable with the way it worked. I admit that then I was thoroughly disgusted with the omission of some of my favorite coins (Anonymous Pagans in particular) and never warmed up to the plates showing only one side of the coins but I tried to be fair. I have not used ERIC II since that review (my copy was not bound which made it harder to flip through - perhaps that made it harder to use) but I still wonder if others found it became easy with practice and became comfortable with the way it was organized.

    I've always been wrong when it comes to publishing. When I took the photos for Victor Failmezger's book I insisted on the release of the CD with all the photos. Most people never looked at the disk and they are probably rare today. I know later shipments of the book did not have the disk and no one missed it. I still predict that eBooks will take over but it seems that it will not happen until the people half my age are gone.
  19. Rudi Smits

    Rudi Smits Member

    Wow ! Impressive review you wrote back then... Took me 15 minutes to read :)
    Of course ERIC II is not the ultimate book. No book will ever be. But it's impressive and useful to me (I kicked out the 10 RIC volumes because I find them too difficult to use), and the old 8-volume Cohen is still great ! I got a massive library, and ERIC II is a high class work. I use it very often... I got 1 problem : or one collects Roman coins, or Byzantine. I dont know anyone who collects both era (in a decent way that is), so why putting '2 volumes' in 1 ? And the problems you stated on the LRB section : 'my' Roman Empire stops at Gordian III. To me, a 'Roman' coin is a denarius or a sestertius, I really dont like these small, copper, flat radiated coins of the later emperors...
    IMO : Ras made a great book, and Doug wrote a great review. Peace. Amen.
  20. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Well to chime in on the ebook thing I admit I do use ebooks alot. I have read many roman books in ebook form and I tend to read magazines now in ebook form also. I tend to use my iphone for all of this since I dont have a tablet but I have thought about getting one its just too many to pick from & I am cheap.

    BUT when it comes to referencing for my comic book and especially coins, I tend to use an actual book. I just enjoy the photos in book better.

    I still use wildwinds & acsearch though.
  21. Ardatirion

    Ardatirion Où est mon poisson

    Certain volumes of RIC may not be the most convenient thing, but to throw them to the curb? You are throwing away important information. RIC is not a mere list of types and coins, it is a logical and scholarly arrangement of the issues. Honestly, if a dealer doesn't cite RIC for a Roman coin, I don't take him seriously.
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