Macrinus denarius: Dated by Curtis Clay

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by larssten, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    That coin is beautiful @larssten!

    Here's my latest Macrinus
    macrinusephesos.jpg Lydia, Gordus Julia. Macrinus Æ29. Cult statue of Kore.
    Obv: AVT K M OΠЄ CЄO MAKPЄINOC / Laureate and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev: ЄΠ AIΛ ZΩCIMOV APX A TO B IOVΛIA / ΓOPΔHNΩN / Facing statue of Kore between poppy and grain ears.
    Magistrate Ail. Zosimou, first archon for the second time.
    Cf. BMC 41 (for a different type of Macrinus from this magistrate).
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  3. larssten

    larssten Active Member

    Thank you very much @curtislclay for taking the time to both answer my questions about the practicalities regarding the specific Künker catalog item as well as about the article and the background of the dating! I have never heard about a similar situation were COS II precedes COS.

    Of course this raises even some further questions for me:
    - Does Macrinus' refusal to call himself "consul for the second time" tell us something about Macrinus' personality?
    - Or was it just wise of him under the current circumstances, after the overtaking of the throne assassinating Caracalla, to act modestly? Perhaps not sticking his own head out too much?
    - Regarding the COS II minted coins in January 218; Are the significantly more rare than ones struck with only COS ?

    Apologize for any questions with obvious answers; I am still a novice with Roman coins, but its fascinating to learn more intricacies like these :)
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  4. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    Here is one that I used to own that Curtis commented on elsewhere back in 2004....

    Macrinus Denarius

    Obv:– IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, Laureate, cuirassed bust right
    Rev:– PONTIF MAX TR P P P, Jupiter, nude, standing front, head left, holding thunderbolt and sceptre
    Minted in Rome, September 217 A.D.
    References:– RIC 2, RSC 70

    Comments by Curtis Clay:-
    Titles PONTIF MAX TR P P P (no COS) are rare on denarii. No specimens of this coin in Reka Devnia hoard, for example. Combined with medium beard length of portrait increases interest. Macrinus was letting his beard grow and the same coin can also be found with either short or long beard! This is second issue, date c. Sept. 217

  5. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Interesting debate about Macrinus's coin datation, and some awesome examples. My Macrinus have already been posted a few times, anyway, here they are again, for the new comers :)

    Macrinus, Denarius - Rome mint AD 217
    IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, Laureate bust of Macrinus right
    IOVI CONSERVATORI, Jupiter standing holding thunderbolt and sceptre, protecting a small figure of Macrinus
    2.76 gr
    Ref : Cohen #37, RCV #7337

    Macrinus, Tetradrachm - Antioch, ca AD 217-218
    AYG K M OP SE MAKRINOS SEB, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Macrinus right
    DHMARX EXYPATO, Eagle facing, holding wreath in beak, standing on thigh. D E in upper field
    12.76 gr
    Ref : Sear #2948, Prieur # 246_055

    Macrinus, Bronze - Nicopolis mint
    AVT KM .... H MAKRINOC, Laureate and cuirassed bust of Macrinus right
    V M AGRIPPA NIKOPOLITWNPROC IC TR, Tyche standing left, holding cornucopia and rudder
    14.26 gr
    Ref : ANMG #1710

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  6. Edessa

    Edessa Supporter! Supporter

    Another RIC IV 53, this with the cuirassed bust. Purchased for the facial expression. To me it says "Guess who just won the lottery for the Roman Empire?". This same pretty head would eventually be sent to Elagabalus as a trophy. Photo courtesy Heritage. zzz.jpg
  7. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    My interest in Imperial Macrinus never grew past having a short beard and a long beard.
    rn0010bb1672.jpg rn0020bb1200.jpg

    However, for some reason I grew fond of his Provincials of which I have the below and several others but all have short beards. I guess some of the Eastern mints never heard that he was growing out. the few I recall seeing were from Phoenicia.
    pn1550bb2037.jpg pn1560bb1879.jpg

    Does anyone have a long bearded Macrinus Provincial?
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  9. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Long beard Macrinus:

    Macrinus PONTIF MAX TR P COS PP Fides denarius.jpg
    Macrinus PONTIF MAX TR P COS PP Fides denarius Sulzer listing.JPG
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  10. larssten

    larssten Active Member

    It seems like the second coin you posted is almost the same as mine. Mine is a RIC 84 and think yours a RIC 85 with the only difference a little longer beard..?


    Attached Files:

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  11. curtislclay

    curtislclay Well-Known Member


    Both SALVS PVBLICA denarii are of Issue 2, yours from near the beginning of the issue, maybe August 217, because of the short beard; Doug's from near the end of the issue, maybe March-April 218, because of the long beard and the broken obv. legend which was typical of Issue 3.

    Macrinus was a Moor and the first non-senator to ascend the throne. He must have known that his assumption of the title COS II would offend many senators, very few of whom were themselves COS II, and also that turning down that title might win him praise for modesty, an effect which it indeed had in the case of the surviving senatorial historian Dio Cassius.

    Denarii dated TR P II COS II are indeed rather rare. That need not mean a very short period of issue, because denarii with the same types but descriptive legends, like your and Doug's SALVS PVBLICA, were probably also being struck at the same time. Asses dated TR P II COS II are by far the commonest asses of Macrinus' reign, very probably because they were a New Year's issue produced in Dec. 217 and distributed in quantity as New Year's gifts on 1 Jan. 218.

    Issue 2 denarii dated TR P II COS, after the cancellation of COS II, are also rather rare. However two of the five main types of Issue 3 bore the dated legend P M TR P II COS P P, with types of Annona standing and Emperor seated, and are common on denarii.


    Long-bearded portraits of Macrinus at Nicopolis and Marcianopolis are indeed unusual, but do occur; Cucumbor illustrates one above. Another well-known long-bearded provincial is the large bronze coin of Caesarea showing vis-a-vis portraits of Macrinus and Diadumenian, illustrated for example in Sear's Greek Imperial Coins.
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  12. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Here's one... though it's hard to tell that it's COS II:
    Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 11.38.27 PM.jpg
  13. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    Dear Curtis, could you date this As for me?
    Does Macrinus feature a "medium" beard here like on my ex-Waldeck Sestertius listed in your die study (see in my avatar and our correspondence in the German forum)?
    Greetings, JG

    Bildschirmfoto 2020-08-09 um 21.19.01.png
  14. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    Late to the Macrinus party! Here is my humble Macrinus, which includes an interesting find location of Nijmegen (the Netherlands) - one of the cities with large historical importance in the Netherlands:
    ROMAN IMPERIAL, Macrinus. Denomination: AR Denarius, minted: Rome, Italy; 217-218 AD
    Obv: IMP CM OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, bust of Macrinus, laureate, cropped beard, cuirassed to the right.
    Rev: SALVS PVBLICA, Salus, draped, seated left on throne with high back, feeding out of patera in right hand snake coiled round altar and holding sceptre in left hand
    Weight: 3.45g; Ø:18mm. Catalogue: RIC IV 86. Provenance: Found near Nijmegen (Netherlands), ex private collection. Numis nr: 1150656; acq.: 09-2019
  15. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    The Curtis dating is from his article in the 1979 Numismatic Zeitschrift, "The Roman Coinage of Macrinus and Diadumenian ".

    Barry Murphy
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  16. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    I have that paper but Curtis only lists the dies used for Sestertii and Aurei, but no Asses.
    My Sestertius is Clay obverse die No. 2, reverse die No. 42 (this coin referenced):

    Bildschirmfoto 2020-08-10 um 18.26.17.png
  17. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    The original post, to which I was replying, had to do with the dating of a denarius and whether or not the reference "dated by Curtis" meant he saw the coin in hand. Anything about asses, sestertii or anything else I was not referring to, as I didn't read any of the other posts in this thread.

    Barry Murphy
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  18. Alegandron

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

    My only other MACRINUS and is with Son Diadumenian

    RI Didumenian and Macrinus 217-218 CE AE28 Markianopolis mint Serapis
  19. curtislclay

    curtislclay Well-Known Member

    Julius Germanicus,

    In my article I estimated that the long beard might have been introduced on Macrinus' coinage c. 1 Sept. 217. So the scarce dies with medium beard were probably all engraved in c. August 2017. However some of these dies were not immediately withdrawn, but remained in use even after the introduction of the long beard. One middle-bearded As obv. die, for example, is attested coupled with the titles TR P II COS II of early 218. Your obv. die is known to me coupled only with two undated ANNONA AVG rev. dies, as on your coin. So we can't tell whether this obv. die was used only in c. August 217 and was then withdrawn, or might have continued in use a couple of months longer, like the other middle-bearded As die that was still being used early in 218.
  20. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for your expertise, Curtis!
    There seem to have been relatively few As-dies for Macrinus in total. The Kusthistorisches Museum in Vienna was so nice to put their three Annona-Asses online for me, which no less than doubles the number of specimens of that type published:
    Don´t theirs all look to be from the same obverse die as my coin?
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  21. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    My most recent Macrinus was a provincial

    Macrinus - AE27

    Obv:- AYT K M OPELLI CEV MAKRINOC AYG, laureate head right
    Rev:- VP KTA LONGINOV NIKOPOLITWN PROC IC, Aequitas/Dikaiosyne standing right, holding scales and cornucopiae; wheel before (note mixed attribute with Nemesis)
    Minted in Nicopolis ad Istrum. Magistrate Statius Longinus

    References:- AMNG I/1, 1772, not in Varbanov (engl.), Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2018) No.


    I was looking through my trays and I have a Macrinus in my plaster casts....

    Obv:- IMP CAES M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Rev:- PROVIDENTIA DEORVM, Providentia standing left. holding baton over globe and cornucopia
    References (for original coin) :- Cohen 110 (30f.) RIC 195 b

    Framed uniface plaster cast from 19th century.
    Originally mounted on velvet and one would assume in a display case. Traces of velvet still attached to underside of frame.

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