Featured Gold Medallion of Caracalla

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ancient coin hunter, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

    Hello Cointalk friends, I stumbled across a reference to a giant medallion of Caracalla on Facebook and I thought I would share this most exquisite piece, which of course, is in a museum

    This piece was discovered in Egypt as part of a hoard that comprised about twenty similar medallions (now dispersed among various museums), eighteen gold ingots, and six hundred gold coins issued by Roman emperors from Severus Alexander (r. 222-235 CE) to Constantius I (r. 293-306 CE). One of the medallions, now in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, bears an inscription that possibly reads "Olympic games of the year 274", a date corresponding to 242-243 CE. One wonders if Caracalla traveled to Siwa Oasis to consult the Oracle of Ammon, as Alexander had done. When I visited the Oracle a few years ago I didn't hear anything. It's also possible that Caracalla as he aged had a progressively worse mental illness, which might help explain his behavior.

    The medallions may have been intended as prizes to be given out at that event. Alternatively, they may have been issued by Caracalla directly (ruled 198-217 CE), who is portrayed on the this medallion in profile, bearing a shield on his shoulder decorated with the image of Nike in a racing-chariot. The back depicts Caracalla's distant predecessor King Alexander of Macedon (r. 336-323 BCE).



    According to Herodian, images of Alexander were celebrated all over the Empire. Cassius Dio refers to a 16,000 man force established by Caracalla and equipped with long pikes and 4th-century B.C.E. armor, duplicating the Macedonian phalanx.

    Clearly, Caracalla's megalomania knew no bounds, as he believed he was the 2nd coming of Alexander, that is until he was assassinated at Carrhae in Syria.

    Anyway, I thought I would share this most interesting piece. Sadly I don't have the size and weight but it appears quite hefty. I would tend to accept the notion that the medallions were issued by Caracalla himself.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

    Also, feel free to post any Caracallas you have. I'm adding this coin from Thessalonica. Note the scale armor worn by Caracalla which appears to match what he is wearing on the Medallion....

    MACEDON, Thessalonica

    Caracalla. 198-217 A.D. AE 26, 14.9 grams, 7h

    Obverse: Laureate and cuirassed bust right, in

    scale armor

    Reverse: Nike advancing left, holding a small Cabeirus and palm

    Reference: Touratsoglou Em, II:a

    ex: JAZ Numismatics


  4. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Alexander Caracalla (198-217 AD) Alex boarhunt Gulbenkian Museum Lisbon klein.jpg
    Alexander bux the great olympic medal.jpg
    another one:

    Alexander Egypt Olympias medal klein.jpg
    kountryken, Plautilla, Ryro and 12 others like this.
  5. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker Supporter

    That is an awesome medallion. Thanks for sharing.

    I like how Alexander is rolling his eyes at the suggestion that Caracalla is in any way related to himself.

    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  6. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter

    I had never heard of these pieces. Fascinating-is there a write up- of the hoard,its contents and he medallions themselves anywhere?
    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  7. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Wouldn’t it be cool if modern Olympic medals were gold like that
    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

  9. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    book Alexander karsten dahmen.jpg

    *Its an expensive issue without color pics, but a nice overview of the coins of Alexander III
  10. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter

    Thanks! I'll see if I can persuade the University of Warwick,( Home of Clare Rowan,Michael Scott,Kevin Butcher, Stanley Ireland etc), to order a copy if its not already in the library!

    Update Not only have they got it but they got the e book which I have downloaded. Oh it's good to have a staff library pass.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
  11. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    How about an age progression of Caracalla:
    Caracalla 1.jpg Caracalla 11.jpg Caracalla 8.jpg Caracalla 7.jpg Caracalla 6.jpg Caracalla 4.jpg Caracalla 10a.jpg
    I_v_a_n, kountryken, tibor and 14 others like this.
  12. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Those are truly impressive pieces. Thanks for sharing this info, I did not know it.

    I wonder why these coins and the gold were burried. I tried a quick but unsuccessful search.

    Here's a sestertius of Caracalla of mine. The reverse refers to the massacre of his troops in Alexandria, in 215 AD!
  13. Alegandron

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

    Thanks for the info, @ancient coin hunter .

    RI Caracalla 198-217 AR Quinarius CE 213 1.3g 13.6mm Laureate - Victory Wreath Palm RIC IV 101 RSC 450 RARE
  14. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Well I guess where I live, I have zero chance of finding anything of value. Off to the East/ OakIsland, they have been lookin g for a Templar treasure since 1795. However, if I found such a coin, score/ my coll 1 museum o;)
  15. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

    I'd be looking for that Templar Treasure!!!
    panzerman likes this.
  16. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Seems the Lagina brothers are getting very close. I would love (hope) the "Ark of the Covenent" is buried in the Oak Island "Money Pit". Would also be nice if someone found a hoard(1000+ coins) of FDC ID MAR aurei/ then you and I could have one for our coll.;)
  17. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

    Now how did the ark of the covenant get to oak island?
  18. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  19. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    According to the Oak island historians, "Knights Templar" who had removed those artifacts from Acre, before the forces of Baybars conquered the City.
    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  20. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

  21. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Alternate theory, Oak Island Van Lines Inc.
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