Help! I'm stumped! Faustina II provincial with boy/dolphin reverse

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, May 31, 2020.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I purchased this one on eBay last night because I'd never seen anything like it. H/T to @Spaniard for informing me about it.

    The inscription is unclear and I'm not even sure whether it's in Greek or Latin. I am sure it's Faustina II. It's 22 mm and weighs 5.83 g. An old collector's tag attributes it to Poroselene, but I'm not so sure that's correct.

    It features a youth (Taras? Cupid? Melicertes?) riding a dolphin, swimming left, reminiscent of the silver coins of Taras.

    Faustina Jr Poroselene.jpg

    There is a coin of Poroselene with a youth riding dolphin reverse, RPC IV.2 10103, but the dolphin is swimming right and the style is very different.


    Moreover, the reverse inscription on that coin reads ΠΟΡΟϹƐΛΗΝƐΙΤΩΝ, and I don't think that's compatible with the few letters on the reverse of my coin. I tried searching for "Poroselene" at RPC to see if the reverse appeared on other coins of this city, but to no avail.

    I know that Corinth issued a number of coins with dolphins, including a few depicting Melicertes riding a dolphin, but an RPC search for "Corinth Dolphin" yields nothing similar, nor does a search for "Faustina Dolphin."

    I need help with this one. Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
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  3. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    Nothing to offer here other than wishes of good luck and complements on an interesting addition.
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  4. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    The legends look Latin to me. 3 - 6 o' clock on the reverse possibly reads [C] I C A for Colonia Julia Concordia Apamea? RPC Online doesn't yield anything for Faustina [edit: with a dolphin] from that city, but take a look at this Commodus with Venus seated on a dolphin:
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  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks for the lead!
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  6. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Intriguing catch in any case... good luck!
  7. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I think you have it! Here's the listing of Antonine coins of Apamea in BMC 13, pp. 112-13. While the British Museum collection has nothing with a dolphin, you'll note the inscriptions read C I C A D D. I think the two duplicated letters below the dolphin's head (that look like d d or p p, depending on if they are upside down or not) may well be D D.

    Capture 1.JPG
    Capture 2.JPG

    Here is one from Apamea of Geta with a similar reverse:

    Last edited: May 31, 2020
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  8. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

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  9. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Another interesting thing --

    Among the four coins of Faustina from Apamea in RPC IV, there is this one (RPC IV.1 4729) where the authors note that the V in Faustina as well as in the reverse legend are rendered as a U. This is exactly what's going on here with my coin.

  10. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nice catch - I was watching that one on eBay and I had no idea what it was. I just liked the way it looked. (No, I did not bid on it!).
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  11. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks, everyone (especially @zumbly ). I've uncovered additional information that proves definitively it is from Apamea in Bithynia-Pontus and which allows me to reconstruct the legends, even though the coin is apparently unpublished. I'll be writing about it when I receive the coin in the mail and photograph it myself. Stay tuned!
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  12. shanxi

    shanxi Well-Known Member

  13. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Yes. That's exactly what I was referring to when I said ...
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