Featured Juno Martialis

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Coins bearing the reverse inscriptions IVNO MARTIALIS or its dative form, IVNONI MARTIALI, appear only during the brief reigns of Trebonianus Gallus and his son, Volusian. The meaning of the epithet Martialis has been a subject of scholarly debate. As Joe Sermarini notes at Numiswiki, the title "literally means 'of or belonging to Mars' or 'warlike,' but the depictions of Juno Martialis on the coins are not warlike. The epithet may refer to Juno as the mother of Mars. Or perhaps she is Juno of March - her festival was on 7 March. Perhaps the title refers to her temple in the Campus Martius, the old 'Field of Mars' down by the Tiber. She is sometimes equated with Juno Perusina, as Perugia was where Trebonianus Gallus came from, and as such is sometimes called Juno Martialis Perusina by modern scholars."

    This coin is an antoninianus of Trebonianus Gallus, dating from 251-253 CE.

    Trebonianus Gallus IVNO MARTIALIS antoninianus.jpg
    Trebonianus Gallus, AD 251-253.
    Roman AR antoninianus, 4.04 g, 19.8 mm, 8 h.
    Rome, AD 251-253.
    Obv: IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev: IVNO MARTIALIS, Juno seated left, holding corn ears and scepter.
    Refs: RIC 35; Cohen 46; RCV --; ERIC II 73.
    Notes: A version of this coin (RIC 69), struck at an uncertain mint (per Sear; RIC attributes this issue to Milan; CNG postulates Viminacium), bears the shorter obverse legend IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG. Coins of the Antioch mint (RIC 83; Cohen 47) also bear the shorter obverse legend as well as officina marks in the form of dots or Roman numerals in the exergue on the reverse.


    Juno is shown enthroned, holding a transverse scepter, and in her extended right hand she has some objects which are not entirely certain. The listing in RIC expresses doubt with a question mark:

    Trebonianus Gallus IVNO MARTIALIS antoninianus RIC listing.JPG

    Sulzer, writing in 1777, described them as spicae, "ears of grain" ...

    Trebonianus Gallus IVNO MARTIALIS antoninianus Sulzer listing.JPG

    Cohen describes them as épis, also meaning "ears of grain," but notes "Eckhel, au lieu d’épis, a vu des ciseaux" (Eckel, instead of ears, saw scissors), using the Latin forficulam (little scissors) to describe them ...

    Trebonianus Gallus IVNO MARTIALIS antoninianus Cohen listing.JPG

    However, if one examines a number of these coins, one finds many which are so unlike shears or scissors as to make that impossible; for example, my coin shows three objects drooping from Juno's hand. Moreover, why would Juno be holding scissors? Even though grain is more typically an attribute of Ceres, not Juno, I think ears of grain are depicted here.

    Juno Martialis certainly seems to have been important for Trebonianus Gallus and his son, even though she is obscure to us today. In addition to the above type, other coins of Trebonianus Gallus and Volusian bear the dative inscription IVNONI MARTIALI and depict a small round temple or shrine decorated with garlands in which Juno sits, holding a shield, such as on this sestertius of Volusian sold by Auktionen Meister & Sonntag in 2013:

    1612086.jpg

    You may see a line drawing of this reverse type and read more about it in Stevenson and Smith's The Dictionary of Roman Coins, available online at Forum.

    1234565.jpg

    So, where was the temple depicted on this coin? The Dictionary of Roman Coins mentions a temple to Juno Martialis in the Forum, but doesn't cite a source for this. As noted in Sermarini's article in Numiswiki, the epithet Martialis suggests such a temple may have stood on the Campus Martius, the Field of Mars where the troops were trained and where there were already three temples to Juno. Alternatively, the epithet may refer to the Campus Martialis, a small area at the foot of the Caelian hill, though there were apparently no permanent structures there.

    The temple is so consistently rendered on these coins, such as on this breathtaking medallion sold by CNG ...

    711559.jpg

    ... that it's hard to believe the structure didn't exist in antiquity. But in fact, apart from these coins and a few others of the same period, there is no evidence of such a temple, or even that a cult of Juno Martialis existed at all.

    Post anything you feel is relevant!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Redditor Lucis Aeternae

  4. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Interesting write up RC, one of the later temple coins. Volusion Sestertius. mB55FF8i2aYTyR9R4wqHKy3oXfQ76o.jpg
     
  5. Jochen

    Jochen Well-Known Member

    Juno Martialis

    Very interesting! I have worked on Juno Martialis 10 years before and the results you can find in my book "Coins and Ancient Mythology". Here is the full article. I hope it is of interest too:

    One of the most remarkable coins we find at Trebonianus Gallus and his son Volusian. It is the type with the rev. legend IVNO MARTIALIS. This legend doesn't occur in the time before nor in the time after him. I confess that I will not be able to unravel the mystery, but I have compiled what was thought about it in the past. Peculiarly all works I found are from the 19th century. I couldn't find more recent works. But I have added some suggestion which should be new. I hope that this article can give you an impression what this is about at all. But first three specimens from my collection:

    #1
    Trebonianus Gallus, AD 251-253
    AR - Antoninianus, 3.53g, 20.70mm
    Antiochia, AD 251-253
    obv. IMP CC VIB TREB GALLVS AVG
    Bust, draped and cuirassed, radiate, r.
    beneath bust 4 dots
    rev. IVNO MARTIALIS
    Iuno Martialis, in long garment, std. l. on throne, holding in l. arm transverse sceptre and in r. hand pair
    of grain-ears(?)
    in ex. 3 dots
    ref. RIC V/1, (Antiochia) 83, pl. 13, 18; C.47
    Scarce, VF+, slightly toned
    The dots are probably the officina numbers. We see that the obv. die was made by the 4th officina and the rev. die by the 3rd officina.

    treb_gallus_(antiochia)83.jpg
    #2
    Trebonianus Gallus, AD 251-253
    AR - Antoninianus, 3.19g, 23.24mm
    Antiochia, AD 251-253
    obv. IMP CC VIB TREB GALLVS AVG
    Bust, draped and cuirassed, radiate, r.
    rev. IVNO MARTIALIS
    Iuno Martialis, in long garment, std. l. on throne, holding in l. arm transverse sceptre and in r. hand pair
    of grain-ears(?)
    ref. RIC V/1, (Mediolanum) 69, pl. 13, 15; C.46
    about VF/F+, slightly toned, flan crack at 2 o'clock
    treb_gallus_(mediolanum)69_#1.jpg
    #3
    Trebonianus Gallus, AD 251-253
    AR - Antoninianus, 2.95g, 22.53mm
    Antiochia, AD 251-253
    obv. IMP CC VIB TREB GALLVS AVG
    Bust, draped and cuirassed, radiate, r.
    rev. IVNO MARTIALIS
    Iuno Martialis, in long garment, std. l. on throne, holding in l. arm transverse sceptre and in r. hand pair
    of grain-ears(?)
    ref. RIC V/1, (Mediolanum) 69, pl. 13, 15; C.46
    about VF/F+, slightly toned, flan damage on rev. at 6 o'clock
    treb_gallus_(mediolanum)69_#2.jpg
    (1) About the attribute:
    Grain-ears

    The usual description of the object in the r. hand of Juno is 'grain-ears', in RIC correctly provided with a question mark. Pichler writes: "As I kann see on originals - even on less conserved ones - it is obvious: for a single ear the elaboration is too massive; the attribute is hold downwards; it's broader at the top, thinner at the bottom and looks in principle like a slightly opened pair of compasses of hand length. That there are other specimens showing ears I don't want to deny."

    So we have coins where the object looks like ears, f.e. coin #1 from Antiochia, and others where it looks rather like a pair of tongs, f.e coin #2 and #3 from Mediolanum. Now the coins showing grain-ears usually were struck in Antiochia whereas the coins with the characteristic different type came from Mediolanum. Because the temple with the statue of Juno Martialis was located in Rome, I think that the die-cutters in Italy should be better informed what this attribute really was and how it actually looks than their colleagues in Antiochia. The objection - which often could be read - that it was actually a pair of grain-ears and that the die-cutters of the different looking coins have no more understood the sense of the attribute is not convincing. Grain-ears were depicted on many coins all over the Empire. What should be misunderstood? This very objection turns actually against the interpretation as grain-ears. What indeed could be misunderstood that is the unusual depiction of a pair of tongs, scissors or a double knife, which then because of lack of knowledge were depicted as grain-ears. Iconographically grain-ears occur at Ceres, Annona, Tellus and Ops, and some more. But looking at these grain-ears you see immediately the differences.

    Another argument against the hypothesis of grain-ears is the epitheton 'Martialis', meaning 'warlike', in any case establishes a relation to Mars. So one must be puzzled that the 'warlike Juno' should have grain-ears in her hand, which is not really warlike. It's not convincíng at all and to put it briefly: grain-ears are obsolete!

    Therefore I began to search for alternatives. In the first part of the article I will present the different interpretation with some comments. I want to start with the earliest description of this type which comes from the famous archaeologist Johannes Joachim Winckelmann:

    Winckelmann: Tongs as military operation
    Wickelmann (AD 1717-1768) was the supervisor of the ancient monuments in Rome and the very founder of archaeology. He writes about a find: "Between the goddesses on the mentioned Etrurian altar especially a Juno should be noticed, who holds with both hands a great pair of tongs, and was depicted by the Greeks in the same way. That was Juno Martialis and the tongs indicate probably a special kind of battle formation called tongs, forceps, and it was called fighting like tongs, forcipe et serra proeliari, if an army in a battle split in such a manner that it could grasp the enemy in the middle and could open the formation in the battle so that it could attack the enemy from behind too."
    But against Winckelmann's suggestion Visconti (Mus. Pio-Clem. t.6.p.6. et 85.) has already stated that the figure with tongs in its hands originally was Vulcanus who has lost his upper part and has become a female deity only by an ignorant addition.

    Roscher: Obstetric forceps
    Roscher, in his monumental work, suggests, that Iuno Martialis like Iuno Lucina or the Greek Eileithya has been a goddess of delivery, if her attribute which she holds in her r. hand (like the ancient Hera statue in Argos) could be verified without doubts as an obstetric forceps. A statue with this attribute was said to have stood in Argos, but Pausanias has not seen it. I think this interpretation is a bit devious because it misses the warlike attitude of the epitheton Martialis.

    Visconti: Bunch of herbs
    G.B.Visconti (AD 1722-1784), successor of Winckelmann as supervisor of the ancient monuments in Rome, identifies twice -when he spoke of the three-sided Borghesian altar, which was described by Winckelmann - the scissors as groppo d'erbe, bunch of herbs, (Museo Pio-Clementino T.VI.p.86 and in Monumenti Gabini p.215).
    According to an ancient myth Juno has born Mars solely by the touch of this herbs.
    That's why she was called Martialis. General opinion was that the parents of Mars were Jupiter and Juno (Hesiod Theog.v.921; Apollodor). But a few said that Juno has born Mars alone without any help by Jupiter because she wanted to give him back the affront that he has created Minerva alone out of his head. Mars has been conceived by the touch of a flower which has the goddess Flora has given to her. (Ovid. Fast. V.v.229). This myth is relative young und shall have been originated by Latin poets (Hederich). This story is today naturally often told by feminists!

    Lenormant: The scissors of the Fates
    Lenormant (nouv. gal. mythol. 76, explanation to pl. 10, 13, 14) interprets the scissors as symbol of the Fates like the shearing knife of the Lysippean Kairos. There are actually coin types from Mediolanum where Juno holds a tripartite object so that each of the Fates might have been accommodated. Trebonianus was in need of war fortune, Lenormant explains, and an amicable relationship to the Fates would be highly appreciated. But W.H.Smith, who reports this interpretation, holds the scissors of the Fates in this sense as far too little active.

    Pichler: The scissors as warlike instrument
    Pichler too holds Juno's attribute for scissors but he interprets the scissors more warlike and ressembles in this sense the opinion of Winckelmann. He reminds that scissors, forfex, not only mean a peaceful kitchen instrument. There are indeed depictions on intaglios or Pompejan wall paintings where scissors are used for cutting flowers. But this peaceful instrument can't be suggusted here. The Forfex in the r. hand of the goddess can't be called Forficula, because in relation to the entire figure it is at least of hand length if not arm length. The peaks are separated in an angle. So the shape of a V is indicated which is called forfex if it is a unit of troops which is arranged in this shape. Flav. Renatus Vegetius (epit. inst, rei militar. III, 18), a Roman military writer, has worked about that lengthily. This military arrangement has the purpose to attack the enemy - advancing in the shape of a cuneus - from both sides in the flank. Wether Trebonianus really has used this tactics is not known. But around AD 375 (Vegetius) is was a known maneuver.

    Eckhel: Hair cutting shears
    The great Eckhel was the first one who recognized in Juno's attribute hair cutting shears. He supports his argument by learned quotations, summing up in these words: "At vero iterum aio nummos huius argumenti copiosos, et nitidissimos musei Caesarei certam nobis forficulam offerre." Here is the background: According to the Eudocia Violarium of Villoison it is told that in the temple of the Argivan Hera has stood a statue with scissors. This was a symbol of cleanliness because with the scissors the hairs were cut and this promotes the cleanliness of the body. The same is said by Suidas about Hera and by Codinus too in his desription of Constantinopolis (p.44.ed.Lugd). It is remarkable that this ancient type of the Argivan Juno was brought out under the Roman emperor Treboninanus and his son Volusian when in AD 251 a big plague devastated the provinces, and was depicted frequently on coins, obviously to demonstrate that the plague could be fighted by hygienic activities. Juno usually throning in a small round temple - but without her temple too like here - is holding in l. hand her sceptre and in her r. hand scissors or better a double knife, which was used in the same way, but often is called a pair of grain-ears in error. But so as Winckelmann erred of course in calling the figure of Vulcanus on that altar Juno with tongs so for sure they are barber shears, occuring at several Greek writers and in anagrams of the Analektes (a kind of anthologies), which were used for cutting hairs and often for beards too instead of a shear knife. The Greek poet used the term phalis. However the term scissors or shears is inappropiate. This instrument (machairai kourides, Pollux II.32.X.140. s.Sabina, or the Toilette of A Roman Lady,
    Th.I. S.313.Th.II.S.60.f.), consisted of two knifes which joined with their sharpnesss and should be called better double knife.

    In this times Juno was usually allegorized according to the Stoic point of view with the air between sky and earth. And from here it was said originate all desease miasmas.
    Juno might appear at that juncture a deity whose aid ought to be propitiated, because, according to Tullius "The air which floats between the skies and the ocean is consecrated to the name of Juno; and it was this region (or element) which, having contracted some taint, brought destruction on men". Now it is needful to explain two new concepts: The Four Element Theory and the Miasma Theory.

    Excursion: The Four Elements Theory
    The theory of the four elements fire, water, earth and air goes back probably to the Greek natural philosopher Empedokles (c.494 BC - 434 BC). He has introduced the four elements as gods and has already assigned Hera to the air. His theory has been developed later, f.e. by Platon (Krat. 404c), Aristoteles and not least by the Stoics. Then in Alexandria it got by its usual connection to religion a spiritual touch and became a secret lore (esoterism). Juno was responsible for the lower thick air, Jupiter for the upper thin air, or she for the 'Aer' and Jupither for the 'Aether' (Phurnus. de N.D. c.3; Cicero de N.D. I.II.c.26). The anagramatic relation is obvious if Greek letters were used: HRA - AHR!

    Excursion: The Miasma Theory
    This concept, going back to Hippokrates of Kos (460 BC-375 BC), states that epidemias arises by noxious evaporations coming out of the ground, were carried away by the air and thus propagate deseases. This theory was still common in the 19th century, until Robert Koch in AD 1884 convincingly demonstrated by his pur cultures the connection between the Cholera bacterium and the Cholera desease.
    There is no need to mocking about that. Max von Pettenkofer f.e. was a convinced supporter of the Miasma Theory and trying to falsify Koch he swallowed a pure culture of Cholera bacteria without falling sick. Today we know that he as pathologist was immun. Nevertheless he succeeded with his Miasma Theory in fighting the Cholera pandemia of AD 1892 in Munich by sanifying the Munich wastewater system from which the miasmas are said to come from the ground!

    One should consider that Böttiger has written his paper in AD 1826, so long before the discovery of bacteria by Pasteur or the proof by Koch that they are actually the cause of deseases. Until that time the Miasma Theory was widespread and the people was open for this concept, a fact difficult to understand by us 'enlightened' people today.

    If we want to evaluate and judge the meaning of the depiction correctly we must look at the time in which she was done. Gallus' short reign was overshadowed continously by desasters. But the most worst of all was the awfull plague, an epidemia that killed too his Co-emperor Hostilian, the son of Trajan Decius. This epidemia raged one and a half decades in the entire Roman Empire, devasted the provinces and led to heavy losses of people and in the army.

    Cholera_art.jpg

    (2) About the name:
    Now we have to talk about the name MARTIALIS, which gives us another riddle.
    Literally martialis means 'belonging to Mars' (Georges) or 'sacred to Mars' (Stowasser). So it is not automatically equal to 'warlike', but naturally this meaning resonates too.
    a) The relation to Mars results from the myth that Juno is the mother of Mars. Festus testifies that Mars as Mars Gradivus, who is foregoing the battle, has rised from the grass. The grass was sacred to Mars, mentioned Servius (ad Aen.XII, 119). If the grass was sacred to Mars then it is possible that the unclear object in Juno's hand could be a vegetable object. If we recall the parthogenetic birth myth of Mars with the aid of a flower then Juno could signifying fertility.
    b) Related with the explanation of Juno as fertility goddess is the opinion that this coin was struck in honour of Baebiana who was the wife of Trebonianus but never got the title Augusta, because she had to abandon the title in favour of Herennia Etrusca. A so-called consolation may be. Devious I think.
    c) Another explanation understands under the term Martialis simply the 'Juno of March' because her festival was celebrated on March 7th on the Campus Martius. I think that this explanation is a bit superficial. I think Juno Martialis has played an important role for Trebonianus. And the most important event in his life was the plague which threatened the Empire basically. Therefore the connection of a such important deity for the emperor only with a mere date seems indeed to be featureless.
    d) Then we have the claim that Juno Martialis is equated with Juno Perusina, Juno of Perugia. Perugia in Etruria, one of the important cities of the Twelve Etruscan Cities, was the home of Trebonianus, which got many privileges from the emperor. Already Octavian has brought the goddess to Rome where she was said to be called Iuno Perusina Martialis. That's historically possible, but doesn't help us to explain her name or her attribute at all. I have read too that she was warshipped already since the Rape of the Sabine Women.
    e) So we come to the last explanation of her name as 'warlike', even though indirect by her relation as mother of Mars. That has something sounding well. But then we had to interpret the attribute as warlike too in one or the other way. Mighty in the struggle against plague, that would match the interpretation which I prefer. That Iuno Martialis is connected to the plague now should be obvious I hope.

    The festival of Juno Martialis was - already mentioned - celebrated on March 7th on the Campus Martius. But her temple according to Sext. Rufus stood on the Forum Romanum. Sadly until today no remains of her temple have been found which could shed some light on our problem.

    Summary
    The resume of most of the scholars is resignating. Eckhel writes: "But why Juno is in this instance called Martialis, I have not been as yet able satisfactorily to ascertain." Overbeck (Griech. Kunstmythologie 1873, Hera p.155-157) prefers "to accept Juno Martialis - especially because of her changing and unclear attributes - as an unsolved riddle which to solve we have not much hope even in future because of the singularity of her entire appearance". But even if we have without new archaeological or epigraphical discoveries little hope to solve the riddle the connection with the terrific events of its time, plague and war, corresponds most naturally with the conception of powerof Juno and Mars. They together with all other Olympian gods were invoked to stay the plague which has afflicted the empire.

    I have added a pic from the 19th century, which shows an allegory of the Cholera epidemia. The pic from an unknown artist is now in the National Library of Medicine, Washington/USA.

    Sources:
    - Pausanias, Buch I, Argos
    - Cicero, De natura deorum
    - Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon
    - Michael Grant, Die römischen Kaiser

    online:
    - Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums,
    - Karl August Böttiger, Ideen zur Kunst-Mythologie, 1826
    - William Henry Smith, Descriptive catalogue of a cabinet of Roman imperial large-
    brass medals, 1834
    - S. W. Stevenson, A Dictionary of Roman Coins, 1889
    - W.H.Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie
    - http://www.roman-emperors.org/trebgall.htm
    - Dr. Fritz Pichler; Numismatische Zeitschrift, Band 5 (1873), Wien, S.92-101
    - http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Joachim_Winckelmann
    - http://www.dictionaryofarthistorians.org/viscontig.htm

    Best regards
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  6. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

  7. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Splendid Jochen. A real numismatist of the first order!
     
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  8. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Wow! That's exactly the type of discussion I was hoping for! What a thread!
     
  9. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    What a fascinating post! This is a great example of how Coin Talk can expand the knowledge of a single type in one place (Jochen, that mythological background research is dazzling!). Thanks for getting this going, Roman Collector.

    Back in March I landed a Trebonianus Gallus IVNO MARTIALIS from Antioch (RIC 83). Thanks to this post I am more excited about it now (it is not very pretty). I am not entirely sure if I am interpreting the Officina marks correctly - my specimen is a bit crude on very base metal. As with all my coins of this era, I went to Sonic.net for more information - there you can find an extensive collection of the various Officinae marks. According to this site, this appears to be the most common "second issue" from that mint. As for the Antioch mint issues it says this:

    "Gallus' third issue at Antioch has the exact same obverse inscription as the first and second issues, and RIC does distinguish between any of the three issues. Nevertheless they are easy to differentiate: The first issue shows Gallus undraped and with a fine style portrait with officina marks only on the obverse, the second issue is the same but uses officina marks on both sides of the coins, while the third issue coins show Gallus draped with a coarse style portrait. I am starting to collect data on all the officina marks. The officina data for Gallus Antioch coins in RIC isn't of much use because it mixes all the issues."

    http://sonic.net/~marius1/mysite/Gallus Antioch Third Issue.htm.

    Here's mine (VII / VII officina, maybe) - it is draped and the portrait style qualifies as "coarse style" I think. As for what she is holding in her hand, could those be "obstetric forceps" as posted by Jochen? I don't know nothin' about birthin' babies, but it doesn't look like grain ears or scissors to me:

    Trebonianus Gallus - Ant. IVNO MARTIALIS rev. $10 BIN Mar 2018z.jpg
     
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  10. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    Great post RC!
     
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  11. Jochen

    Jochen Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much! I have found that the coins showing grain-ears usually were struck in Antiochia whereas the coins with the characteristic different types (scissors, tongs and so on) came from Mediolanum.

    Jochen
     
  12. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Mine is from the Rome mint, and whatever those three things are that Juno is holding, they don't look like tongs or scissors to me:

    Trebonianus Gallus IVNO MARTIALIS antoninianus.jpg
     
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  13. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting reading. I have two common Gallus:

    image.jpg image(1).jpg
     
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  14. Jochen

    Jochen Well-Known Member

    I think they show LIBERTAS and PIETAS.

    Jochen
     
  15. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    I've just picked up this coin from my old folders. Obverse shows Trebonianus Gallus facing his son Volusian. The reverse has a temple with a deity within. But the design is not circular like the OP images above. Antioch- SNG Cop 293.

    TrebGallus      Volusian ANTyche.jpg TrebGavol sng Cop 293.jpg
     
  16. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    This thread has been a great example of in-depth research pursued by numismatists who are willing to leave no stone upturned in search of reasonable answers.
     
  17. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Great thread but once again I take issue with the whole concept of a "Best Answer" notation when there the OP didn't even ask a question!

    The Best Answer button little to no value on most boards and only serves to deter people from opening the thread now that they see it has been "answered" (which is hasn't, because there wasn't a question asked!!).

    Death to the Best Answer button! Really. Enough is enough. Please, @Peter T Davis, disable this rarely used but typically misused button! Everyone, please read this thread in the Support section to see the issues involved and to fully understand the problem.

    • It is nonsensical to mark a Best Answer when there was no question asked.
    • Who decides what is or isn't a Best Answer?
    • What if a better Best Answer comes along in future days/weeks/months?
    • The "Best Answer" post gets moved to the second post in the thread; the altered position can be disruptive to the flow and understanding of the thread (not an issue in this particular case)
    • If a question is asked and a Best Answer determined, shouldn't the thread be closed? After all, a Best Answer has been identified. (I'm not in favor of this-- just making a point to emphasize the worthlessness of the Best Answer concept)
    • "Best Answer" might be appropriate for a "What is this coin" post, but little else.
    • Sometimes people click "Best Answer" as a joke; worse yet, sometimes those jokes turn into green "Answered" tags :(.
    • When used in a thread for which the OP did not ask a question, it can diminish the OP's post, essentially saying "hey, your post wasn't good enough. This other one is better." Not cool.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  18. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    @TIF, that's the best answer to the "is the best answer button of any use ?" question :D

    Q
     
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  19. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I'm tempted to flag your post as "best answer" :p
     
  20. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    While I fully agree with TIF's point on this I just see this as another problem we can't let bother us too much because we are dealing with canned software and owners who are much too consumed with more significant matters like protecting CT from spammers and evils of more weighty nature to listen to the likes of us. There are several things I would like to see changed but the fact remains that this list is pretty much a love it or leave it situation and we will not see the faults as we see them corrected. The Best Answer thing is not tops on my list but remembering the trouble we had getting Ancients separated from modern World coins, I don't see any change happening. Coin Talk is and will remain primarily a venue for modern US and bullion buyers. I wish there were a way of separating discussions out a bit more but many people here complain about the more stringent rules over on Forvm which caused some of us to move most of our activity here. Features like Best Answer and (the one I hate) Recent Topics are put into canned software to sell the package to as many different users as possible. I don't know just how customizable this XenForo one is and how much trouble it would be to disable such matters even if the owners agreed that it was a good idea. My personal experience with software started in the 1980's when I was tasked to talk not to the people who were writing the program but to IBM employees whose job it was to talk to the customer and the programmers who really believed they knew everything about everything (and this was before The Big Bang Theory and Dilbert made it fashionable to be and to laugh at Turbo-geeks). Features that are put into canned software are a lot like accessories they make you buy on a car to get the ones you wanted. Some can be ignored more easily than others. I bought my last car because it did not have a Satellite radio antenna and a electronic key system. That meant I had to ignore several things the manufacturer saddled me with. Perhaps we will have to use Ignore here as well.
     
    7Calbrey likes this.
  21. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    If it can be easily disabled, great. If not, there is another very simple solution. A moderator has to review and authorize the nominated Best Answer. The moderators could just stop authorizing the Best Answer, especially when having a "best answer" isn't appropriate to the thread!

    Edited: I'm happy to see that the B.A. tag has been removed from this thread. Thanks!
     
    Alegandron, dougsmit and 7Calbrey like this.
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