I bought a modern medal

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Sulla80, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Апостол Павел,(“Apostle Paul”, Andrei Rublev c. AD 1410; Zvenigorod, Russian Federation (Public Domain image)

    Inspired by @Roman Collector's courageous confession, I decided that I should also come clean. I try to rationalise my modern purchase, with the justification that there is a story that starts with Nero and the time of the Apostle Paul's death. An early source describes his death this way:

    “For the same cause [Envy] did Paul in like manner receive the reward of his patience. Seven times he was in bonds; he was whipped, was stoned; he preached both in the East and in the West; leaving behind him the glorious report of his faith. And so having taught the whole world righteousness, and for that end traveled even to the utmost bounds of the West; he at last suffered martyrdom by the command of the governors”
    -The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Clement bishop of Rome, c. 97 AD, 3.13-14
    Nero AE As.jpg
    Nero, Æ As, Lugdunum, circa AD 67
    Obv: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P MAX TR P P P, bare head right, globe at point of bust
    Rev: Victory flying to left, holding shield inscribed S P Q R; S-C across fields
    Ref: RIC II 543, (or 541, or 605?)

    Nero, the ultimate "governor" at the time, blamed Christians for the famous fire during which he is said to have “fiddled”. Nero, after the fire of July 19, 64 AD, according to Tacitus, attempted to distract from the rumor that the fire had taken place by his order, shifting blame to the Christians:

    “Therefore, to scotch the rumor, Nero substituted as culprits, and punished with the utmost refinements of cruelty, a class of men, loathed for their vices, whom the crowd styled Christians.”
    -Tacitus, Annals, XV.44 26-27

    St. Paul was executed close to this time circa AD 65-67. His body was buried outside the walls on the Via Ostiensis that ran West toward the Port of Ostia Antica. His tomb became a place of worship with a “cella memoriae”, a memorial that would attract pilgrims through years of persecution.

    I try to rationalise my modern purchase, with the justification that there is a link with Constantine & Licinius in 313 AD and the Edict of Milan (Mediollanum) declaring religious tolerance and ending formally Roman persecution of Christians. Constantine ordered the building of a basilica above the tomb of St. Paul which was consecrated November 18, 324 AD by Pope Sylvester I (314 AD - 335 AD).
    Constantine I.jpg
    Constantine I “The Great”, 307/10-337, Follis, Heraclea, struck AD 313-314
    Obv: IMP C FL VAL CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, Laureate head right.
    Rev: IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG / E / SMHT, Jupiter standing facing, head left, holding Victory on globe and sceptre; at feet to left, eagle.
    Ref: RIC 5
    Llicinius I.jpg
    Licinius I, 308-324, Follis, Nicomedia, struck 317-320
    Obv: IMP LICINIVS AVG, Laureate and draped bust of Licinius to left holding mappa in his right hand and globe and scepter in his left
    Rev: IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG, palm – A, SMN, Jupiter, naked but for cloak, standing front, his head turned to left, holding Victory set on globe in his right hand and long vertical scepter with his left
    Ref: RIC VII 24

    But perhaps I will stop making excuses and share the modern medal, issued after the fire on June 15, 1823, that destroyed the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. This large, rare, well-preserved, commemorative medal by G. Girometti was issued in 1825 with an image of the ruins of the church, haunting and beautiful - it brings fresh to mind the tragic fire of Notre Dame from last year.
    St Paul Fire 1823.jpg
    Papal States, Leon XII, 1823-1829, Bronze Medal, 1825, commemorative issue of Santa Maria in Trastevere Church
    Size: 66.35g, 51mm
    Ref: Bertuzzi 52, Patrignani 35
    Leone XII Papal Medal AE.jpg

    The Basilica was rebuilt with attention to original detail and on December 10, 1854, Pope Pius IX (1846-1876) consecrated the restored Basilica. There is a a virtual tour of the Papal Basilica - St. Paul Outside the Walls, and more of the history can be found here.

    Share your modern medals, or coins of Nero, Licinius I, and Constantine I, or anything else you find entertaining or interesting.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
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  3. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    you have an interesting medal with lots of details!
    I bought this silver bullion coin because it has the only steelyard scale I have seen on a coin.
    Tunisia 1 denar steelyard scale ebay 6.5.19.jpg
    DonnaML, Ryro, Hamilcar Barca and 6 others like this.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @rrdenarius, I'm needing the whole motif, with Jugurtha stuck between Rome and Carthage. ...Yike. Has to make me think of little medieval European baronies, balancing precariously between major counties and duchies.
    Sulla80 likes this.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @Sulla80, you can give up apologizing. ...Granted, from here, the leadup, with the more familiar numismatic context, was worth, ahem, your pain. ...I'd never heard of that fire. ...Really poignant, especially with your reference to Notre Dame. (Among some of us, to paraphrase Napoleon, scratch a Protestant, and you get ...at least Some of this. ...Yeah, Notre Dame was tough, even from here.)
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
    Sulla80 likes this.
  6. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Nice 1969 Tunisian 1 Dinar - I like the whole set
    DonnaML, Edessa, Ryro and 4 others like this.
  7. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    Well, the Basilica was built up again in the 19th century, that's something. And they found the sarcofagus of (possibly) Saint Paul there, in 2006. Your stunning medal reminds me (naturally) of this medal, that you could buy to help pay for the rebuilding of Notre Dame. But then, yours has a spectacular patina, too.

    Notredame 2019.jpg
    Edessa, Ryro, Roman Collector and 4 others like this.
  8. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Struck after the French Revolution and Napoleon, probably during the period of the Restoration in France, the following medal celebrates Christian Marriage in opposition to Civil Marriage which was adopted after the Revolution. R.Gayrard

    Fr.M 1789-1841       R.Gayrard.jpg Fr.Medal Christ       Marriage.jpg
    Pellinore, Edessa, Ryro and 3 others like this.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    ...Only wish that, eventually, the relation between the two might evolve into something calmer than a zero-sum game.
    Sulla80 likes this.
  10. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  11. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    I think the general wish is that we could see French medals and Tunisian medals and even ancient coins from Asia minor as beautiful and not invalidating each other :)
    Thanks, Pellinore, that is an amazingly detailed medal & I hope to again see the inside of Notre Dame.
    +VGO.DVCKS and 7Calbrey like this.
  12. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    ...Only that I wish they could consensually coexist. I have very settled convictions on the subject, but I realize that (not unlike, for instance, the early Christians) I live in a pluralistic society.
    7Calbrey likes this.
  13. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Stunning medal and great ancients, Sulla!
    I just shared one of my napoleon medals in the last "modern" ancients thread. But I've got a few more up my sleeves:smuggrin:
    Here is one of my largest chunks of metal:
    Napoleon I. Bonaparte,
    France, 1804-1814, 1815, one. Br.-Hohlmed. O.J. unsigned. Uniform. Brb. Napoleon I. r. 65mm. vz
    Former: Emporium Hamburg

    Here is with the love of his life, whom here sadly divorced due to her inability to produce am heir, Josephine:
    Napoléon FRANCE,PremierEmpire. 1804-1814. AR Medal (35mm, 24.11 g, 12h). On the Coronation Festival at the City Hall of Paris. By N.G.A. Brenet. Dated AN XIII (1804/5). NAPOLEON JOSEPHINE ., jugate busts of Napoleon, laureate, and Josephine, draped and wearing tiara and necklace, right; BRENET below /
    FIXA PERENNIS IN ALTO SEDES., laureate eagle nesting facing in mountainous terrain on branches of laurel and oak, head right, with wings displayed; BRENET below talon; FÊTES DU COURONNEMENT/DONNÉES/À L’HOTEL DE VILLE/AH XIII. in four lines in exergue. Bramsen 359. Toned, minor marks and hairlines. EF.
    Ex: Monnaies d’Antan

    And the floozy of a princess he left her for, Mary Louise:
    Napoleon Bonaparte, J. Andrieu e D. Denoy, France, 1810, Argento, g 36,35, mm 40,00, D/ (The busts of Napoleon and Maria Louise, to right)
    Below the cutting of the neck: ANDRIEU F . / DENOY D.
    (Napoleon and Marie Louise are holding hands, old clothes, next to an altar decorated with a bow and arrow and the text: J. JOUANNIN)
    In exergue: Ir . AVRIL . M . DCCCX / DENON . D .
    Medal for the marriage of Napoleon and Marie Louise of Austria April 2nd 1810. Ex: in Asta
  14. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Terrific examples, @Ryro. The last one is, at imminent risk of a bad pun, striking. The neo-Roman borders evoke some kind of happy medium between Paduans and that bicycle token of the dekadrachm of Syracuse (...oh, no, that's in some other recent thread).
    Ryro likes this.
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