My first Antioch tetradrachm of Caracalla, and the meaning of "Delta-Epsilon"

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, May 15, 2022.

  1. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Botox indeed. But he died at Carhae before there was an opportunity for a facelift.
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Well-Known Member

  4. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the great write up. I'll have to go back and reread McAlee. But is it fair to make all these assertions about delta epsilon and to leave the K-A seriers out of the discussion?
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  5. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Well-Known Member

    Great writeup and coins. All of you know how much I like these tets

    My two Caracalla's

    Caracalla (04/02/211-08/04/217)
    Tetradrachme de billon de l'atelier d'Antioche, c. 211-212
    ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ ΑΝΤΩΝΕΙΝOC CΕ Β, Buste lauré de Caracalla à droite
    .ΔHΜΑΡX[.E.Ξ.]YΠΑΤΟ.ΤΟ.ΤΟ.Γ, Aigle de face les ailes déployées, la tête à droite, tenant dans son bec une couronne. Entre ses serres la cuisse d'un animal de sacrifice.
    13.65 gr
    Ref : Prieur # 214A_001 (unique à ce jour avec la légende de revers à laquelle manque le C à TOC.TOG. Avec mes remerciements à Mr Michel Prieur pour les informations complémentaires), McAlee #674v, Sear #2649 var,
    Provenance : VSO Burgan du 17/02/1994

    Caracalla (04/02/211-08/04/217)
    Tetradrachme de billon de l'atelier de Laodicée du cinquième groupe, c. 212-213
    ΑΥΤ.ΚΑΙ.ΑΝΤΩΝΕΙΝOC.CΕ. , Buste lauré de Caracalla à droite
    .ΔHΜΑΡX.E.Ξ.YΠΑΤΟC.ΤΟ.Γ, Aigle de face les ailes déployées, la tête à gauche, tenant dans son bec une couronne. Entre les pattes une étoile
    12.08 gr
    Ref : Prieur # 1176_028, Sear #2659 var
    Provenance : vente Poindessault-Vedrines du 31/03/1997

    And an Elagabal "delta-Epsilon", very similar to @Sulla80's specimen

    Elagabal (16/05/218-12/03/222)
    Tetradrachme de billon de l'atelier d'Antioche, 219
    AYT K M A ANTΩNEINOC CEB, Buste lauré, drapé et cuirassé à droite, vu par l'avant
    ΔHMAPX.EΞ.YΠATOC TOB (2°consulat =219). Aigle de face, ailes déployées, la tête à gauche, tenant une couronne dans son bec. Entre ses pattes une étoile. Δ | Ε dans le champ
    14,11 g
    Ref : Prieur #251, McAlee #762 (rare), Sear #3096
    Provenance : vente privée 15/03/2006 (Ex Dr Nassif Nohra)

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  6. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    @DonnaML thank you so much for posting all this information on the Antioch Δ Є inscription (and congratulations on the lovely new coin). This ΔЄ information is scattered all over the place and it is very nice to have it in this post, all in one place.

    My most recent ΔЄ is this sandy little guy for Diadumenian, with the ΔЄ stacked:

    Antioch - Diadumenian SC May 2022 (0).jpg
    Diadumenian Æ 19
    (217-218 A.D.)
    Syria, Seleucis & Pieria
    Antiochia ad Orontem

    KAI M O ΔI ANTΩNINOC C Є bare-headed, cuirassed bust right / SC within laurel wreath with ive pairs of leaves each side closed by star, Δ above, Є below.
    SNG Cop 235; BMC 408.
    (3.13 grams / 19 x 18 mm)
    eBay May 2022
    Attribution Note: Obverse legend for these is either:
    ...ΔIA ANT...
    ...ΔI ANT...
    ...Δ ANT...
    Attribution follow Wildwinds with ΔI description, although example photos both lack the I.
    SNG Copenhagan 235; BMC 408; SGI 3017.

    Here is a small AE from Elagabalus featuring a large ΔЄ and no SC:

    Antioch - Elagabalus DE lot June 2020 (0).jpg
    Elagabalus Æ 15
    (c. 218-222 A.D.)
    Syria, Seleucis & Pieria Antiochia ad Orontem

    [IMP C M AVR ANTONINVS AVG?], laureate head right / Large ΔЄ; star below; all within wreath.
    McAlee 799
    (3.34 grams / 15 mm)
    eBay June 2020

    Again, thanks for the info, Donna. :)
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  7. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Well-Known Member

    Oh, and I remember now having another "Delta-Epsilon" coin...

    Trebonianus Gallus, Octassaria - SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria. Antioch.
    AYTOK K G OYIB TPEB GALLOC CEB, Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right /
    ANTIOXEWN MHTPO KOLWN, Tyche seated facing within tetrastyle temple; below, river god Orontes swimming left; above temple, ram advancing right, head left; Delta and Epsilon across field. SC at exergue
    21.08 g, (30mm, 6h)
    Ref : Sear # 4350, McAlee 1181; SNG Copenhagen 292 (same rev. die).

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  8. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    Thank you. But I honestly don't understand the point you're trying to make. I have no idea what the K-A series is, but I'm sure that McAlee covers it if it's relevant to the Roman Imperial coinage of Antioch. Why in the world would I have included it in this discussion when, whatever it is, it has nothing to do with the two coins I posted here?
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  9. Edessa

    Edessa Well-Known Member

    Roman Syria, Seleucis and Pieria, Antioch. Elagabalus, AD 218-222. AR Tetradrachm (25mm, 12.74g, 12h). Antioch mint. Obv: [ΑY]T Κ Μ Α-ΑΝΤѠΝЄΙΝΟC-C-ЄB: Laureate bust right, slight drapery. Rev: ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ЄΞ YΠΑΤΟC ΤΟ [Β]; Eagle standing facing on ground line. head left, with wings displayed, holding wreath in beak; Δ-Є above wings; star between legs. Ref: Prieur 261 or 261a (obverse/reverse). Very Fine, nicely toned, good portrait detail, some weak legend. Ex Amphora.
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  10. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @DonnaML ...That's a lovely example!...-Really nice detail...
    Thoroughly enjoyed your well researched write up...Thanks.
    I hadn't posted before as I was hoping to have won a similar coin to the op recently which I could've posted but alas I missed it by 15 bucks:(...
    I only have one Tetradrachm of Antioch which was my secret Saturnalia gift of Gordian III so I don't feel it fits the thread...
    Just to say "Cool coin"......Paul
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  11. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    Here's Caracalla from a mint a little down the way from Antioch.
    PHOENICIA, Tyre. Caracalla. (AD 198-217). Bi Tetradrachm. (23mm, 13.64g).
    Struck (AD 213-215)
    O: ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ ΑΝΤWΝΙΝΟC CЄ; Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
    R: ΔΗΜΑΡX ΕΞ ΥΠΑΤΟC ΤΟ Δ; Eagle standing facing on club right, head and tail left, with wings spread, holding wreath in beak; murex shell between legs.

    And Elagabalus with the Delta-Epsilon...
    SELEUCIS AND PIERIA, Antioch. Elagabalus. (AD 218-222). Bi Tetradrachm. (26mm, 13.17g).
    Struck (AD 219).
    O: AYT K M A ANTⲰNЄINOC-C CЄB; Laureate head of Elagabalus to right, with slight drapery on his left shoulder.
    R: ΔHMAPΧ ЄΞ YΠATOC TO B / Δ - Є; Eagle with spread wings standing facing, head to left and holding wreath in beak; star between the eagle's legs.
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  12. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Well-Known Member

    McAlee writes that the Elagabalus eagle series will a star may be minted at Emesa or Loadicea rather than Antioch. McAlee, p14.
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
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  13. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Well-Known Member

    I mention this small series because it is an outlier in the S-C series. You have S-C with delta E and then the S-C with KA. This type is interdispered with S-C with delta E series. I've only seen the KA on coins of elagabalus, though. There are several elagabalus bronzes in the posts, so I thought I would bring it up to see if there was other ideas out there on the delta E.
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  14. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Well-Known Member

    These large ΔE with a star is a series of weights I am starting on. These range from around 2.7 to just a bit over 10.0g. All elagabalus coins, too. The larger weights are really hard to find. I've got a 9.38g and 24mm version. It's nice and thick, to!

  15. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Well-Known Member

    You might want to reassess your findings. The portrait is more likely to be Severus Alexander. Elagabalus portraits on the bronzes have a rounder / boyish face. Remember, Elagabalus only made it to 18! Check out McAlee 852
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  16. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    If you don't have McAlee, I can check for you to see what it says about this type.
  17. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    Thanks for informing me of this.

    What I've noticed with the Emesan issues is that there are interpuncts separating the legend on the obverse; specifically with three dots directly above the bust.

    While I do see what may be dot-like bumps at the edge of the top of the flan on my coin, it looks as if the protrusion of the laurel wreath intersects where the dots would likely be. I suspect the bumps to likely be remnants of the worn beaded border.

    That stated, I'm not exactly sure how to rule out Laodicea or Antioch, as I'm not clear what features are indicative to assign one or the other. I presume it concerns known dies.

    Here's the coin in a different light:

    I believe that this may be a possible obverse die-match:

    I've yet to find a match that resembles the reverse.
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  18. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Here's a really cruddy tet for Elagabalus I got in an eBay lot - I share it because the three dots above the bust are clearly not part of the beaded border. This is not to say yours might not be the border - I'm know very little about these. But on mine, it is clearly "interpuncts separating the legend."

    As you can see from my notes, my attribution is not a product of self-confidence!

    Antioch - Elagabalus tet lot Nov 2021 (0).jpg
    Elagabalus Billon Tetradrachm
    (219 A.D.)
    Syria, Seleucis & Pieria Antiochia ad Orontem

    [Α]VΤ Κ Μ Α... ΑΝΤωΝ[ΕΙΝΟC CEB], laureate bust right, with slight drapery over far shoulder / ΔΗΜΑΡ[Χ ΕΞ YΠΑΤΟC ΤΟ Β] eagle standing facing, head right, with wreath, Δ-Є, [star below].
    (11.39 grams / 22 x 21 mm)
    eBay Nov. 2021 Lot@$2.50 BIN
    Attribution Notes: Many types of tetradrachm for Elagabalus; characteristics of this one:
    Obv: [Α]VΤ Κ Μ Α... ΑΝΤ...and three dots; laureate bust with slight drapery
    Rev: Eagle head right, ΔΗΜΑΡ...
    McAlee 761; Prieur 254.
    Note: Carrhae mint? Several auctions on acsearch note a Carrhae-type eagle.

    I don't have one of these "K A" types, but just last week I encountered them while working on a Marcus Aurelius Antioch SC type that I thought was Lucius Verus - and found the K A types while going through RPC. So they apparently pre-date Elagabalus, but I don't know anything about them except I'd like to score one some day! Here's an RPC example:

    Antioch - Lucius Verus SC with KA RPC 7154.jpg
    Last edited: May 19, 2022
  19. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    That is lovely - I didn't know they came in Super Size like this for the D-E types. From eBay scrounging, I'd say all the ΔE types are scarce, certainly compared to the SC types.

    Here is a "heavy" ΔE/SC for Macrinus - apparently is is kind of rare because of its heavy size (notes below):

    Macrinus - Antioch SC Jan 2020 (0).jpg
    Macrinus Æ 18
    (217-218 A.D.)
    Syria, Seleucis & Pieria Antiochia ad Orontem

    AVT K M O CE MAKΡIN OCC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right / SC in wreath fastened with star, Δ above, Є below.
    McAlee 722a (Ex. Rare).
    (7.52 grams / 18 mm)
    eBay Jan. 2020

    McAlee notes from a very helpful @Al Kowsky (thanks again, Al!):

    "M.M., Your coin by visual comparison sure looks like McAlee 723c, however, the coin he illustrates weighs only 3.6 gm.

    He does illustrate an Aes coin (722a) 22 mm with a weight of 6.47 gm, listed as Ex. Rare. All the 723 coins a-d are listed as V. Rare. He does add an interesting footnote to 722a:

    "This unique coin appears to be a transitional type, similar in size & weight to the asses of Caracalla. Apparently there was a small initial issue of bronze coins on the weight standard of Caracalla (weighing c. 7 g) prior to the introduction of coinage to the reduced standard (c. 4 g)."

    I don't know of McAlee's speculation with this footnote holds water since all these coins are so rare . Was the weight standard on these small bronze coins tightly held, with so few examples to draw from it's hard to conclude."

    From Coin Talk Post January 30, 2020:

  20. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    @Ryan McVay, I was able to find McAlee's explanation of the KA with some difficulty, because the book has no useful index. The discussion is at pp. 246-247, in the introduction to the section on the coinage of Lucius Verus. He offers two theories, with a preference for the second:

    McAlee p. 246 re meaning of KA.jpg
    McAlee p. 247 re meaning of KA.jpg
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  21. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this, Donna.

    Note the Lucius Verus I posted above from RPC features a palm branch as well as the KA. Verus was partying in Antioch while his generals were fighting the Parthians, so maybe these Capitolian Games were put on in his honor?
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