Interesting paleography on this Æ 23 of Hadrianopolis

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, May 21, 2019.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Post your examples of coins with interesting lettering or anything you feel is relevant.

    If you collect Roman provincial coins, you have undoubtedly noticed different ways of rendering the various letters, such as C for Σ, Є for E, V for Y, + for Φ, Ѡ for Ω, and so forth. You have probably also noted the tendency of some die-engravers to use ligatures, combining various letters, such as A and E to make Æ. Certain ligatures are fairly common: O+Y as Ȣ, A+V as Ꜹ, and a host of ligatures I can't represent here because there is no unicode for them, such as N+E, Ꜹ+Γ, A+P, and Ω+Ν.

    But this coin has some paleographic features I've never seen before. In Faustina's name (ΦAVCTEINA), phi is rendered as ·I· and T E is ligate:

    Faustina Jr Hadrianopolis Hygeia and Asklepios close up.jpg

    Here's the whole coin:

    Faustina Jr Hadrianopolis Hygeia and Asklepios.jpg
    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman provincial Æ 22.7 mm, 6.54 g, 7 h.
    Thrace, Hadrianopolis, AD 147-155.
    Obv: ·I·AVCTEINA CEBACTH, pearl-diademed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: ΜΑΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛΕΙΤΩΝ, Hygieia, feeding serpent from patera, and Asklepios, leaning on serpent-entwined staff, standing facing one-another.
    Refs: RPC (temp) 10453; SNG Cop 560; Jurukova 84-87; Varbanov 3219; Moushmov 2521; Mionnet suppl. 2, 636.

    Here are a couple of other examples struck with this same obverse die for comparison:

    Faustina Jr Hadrianopolis Hygeia and Asklepios Rauch.jpg
    Rauch, Auction 71, lot 276, 4/28/03

    Faustina Jr Hadrianopolis Hygeia and Asklepios Helios.jpg
    Helios, Auction 7, lot 503, 12/12/11
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Tribunicia Potestas

    Very interesting catch @Roman Collector ! There are indeed some unique things about Roman provincials. Nice coin as well.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  4. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I wonder if the ligate TE was planned and intentional or if the engraver forgot the E and found a creative way to include it. I like the phi as ·I·. Cool flyspecking!!
  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I was thinking the exact same thing because in the Latin spelling of her name, there is no E (FAVSTINA) and forgetting it might be easy.

    I have only one other coin of Faustina from this city and it's not ligate on this obverse inscription:

    Faustina Jr Hadrianopolis Hera.jpg

    It's hard to read, so here's a die-match from the French national collection in Paris:

    Faustina Jr Hadrianopolis Hera RPC plate (Paris).JPG
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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