My first coin with the Dioscuri

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, May 24, 2020.

  1. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    Nice addition @DonnaML.
    Mn. Cordius Rufus. 46 B.C. AR denarius (18 mm, 3.80 g, 8 h). Rome. RVFV[S · III · VIR] behind, heads of the Dioscuri right, wearing pilei surmounted by stars / (MN_ · CORDIV, Venus Verticordia standing facing, head left, Cupid on her shoulder, holding scales and scepter. Crawford 463/1b; HCRI 63a; Sydenham 976b; cf. Cordia 2c (rev. legend)
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  3. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    Here's a non-riding view of the Dioscuri. Every now and again, they need to water those horses:


    Rome. The Republic.
    A. Postumius Albinus, 96 BCE.
    AR Denarius (3.85g; 18mm).
    Rome Mint.

    Obverse: Laureate head of Apollo facing right; star with eight rays behind head; X below chin; ROMA below neck.

    Reverse: Dioscuri, holding spears and wearing conical caps and capes, facing left and watering horses at fountain; crescent moon in sky; A.ALBINVS.S.F in exergue.

    References: Crawford 335/10a; Sydenham 612var (8-ray star rather than 6-ray) (R4); Postumia 5.

    Provenance: Ex Jean Elsen Auction 135 (9 Dec 2017) Lot 122.
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    @Fugio1, a beautiful coin. It's one of the best examples I've seen, in terms of the degree of detail still visible. From looking at it closely, I realize that I have to revise my description: it's not only the twin on the right who carries a spear pointing downward behind his horse; it's both of them. Now that I know where to look, I can see the spearhead and the top of the spear shaft on my coin beneath the horse on the left, although I still don't see the other end.

    As far as I can tell from what the catalogs say, this coin is not simply "one of the earliest deviations from what had been a pretty standard depiction of the dioscuri riding right for the previous 80 years," it's the very first such deviation in the depiction of the Dioscuri in the 75-year history of the denarius. As Sear points out, it's also the very first denarius ever to have the "ROMA" legend appear on the obverse instead of the reverse. (Does it surprise anyone to learn that that hadn't happened before?) It's also the second denarius to use the monogrammed form of XVI; the first was Crawford 238/1. For whatever reason, this must have been a time of innovation in the denarius coinage. For example, the first denarius ever to have the head of anyone but Roma appear on the obverse was issued just the previous year, in 137 BCE (the Ti. Veturius denarius [Crawford 234/1] with the head of Mars on the obverse, and the reverse showing a youth holding a pig kneeling between two soldiers).

    And thanks so much to everyone for posting all your examples of Dioscuri doing things other than galloping in the same direction! Like so many threads here, it's been both fascinating and educational. I've learned a lot today. (Not about road apples, though. Even growing up in New York City, I've seen plenty of them in my time!)
    rrdenarius and Roman Collector like this.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    At a Baltimore show in 2015, one of the last before his retirement, Jonathan Kern greeted me with. "I've got something for you." Other dealers thought they understood what I should want but Jonathan was usually right. This is the only reclining Dioscuri I have seen.
    Caracalla AE25 - 4 assaria, Tomis, Dioscuri reclining

    Challenge: Who has a coin showing one of the brothers but not both? It exists but I don't have one.
  6. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    That is one unique coin you have there!
    Carausius likes this.
  7. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..o wow! kool coin Donna! i never seen one till now of them riding as such (not to mention in others poses:)) :)...i only have one republican Dioscui twins and just got it last Christmas eve, the last coin i purchased till was @Alegandron's influence on the Dioscuri for me on this type :) check 013.JPG check 015.JPG Antestius AR Denaius 146BC Ob. Roma facing right X front Dog behind with bankers marks.. Rv: Dioscuri twins galloping right..18mm, 3.82gms.
    Marsyas Mike, Sulla80, Bing and 5 others like this.
  8. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Nice addition, @DonnaML!
    I've seen the ones of Geta with just Castor, but don't have one. On the want list, though. Fishing for bonus points: Postumus has a CASTOR as well. Without naming him, this reverse was also used for Commodus and Tacitus. Why was he more popular than this twin?

    My Alexandrian with both twins:

    Antoninus Pius - Drachm Sarapis Dioskouroi 2669.jpg
    AE Drachm. 23.36g, 34.1mm. EGYPT, Alexandria, RY 2 (AD 138/9). RPC Online Temp #14776 (6 spec.); Emmett 1652 (R5); Geissen 1299 . O: ΑVΤ Κ Τ ΑΙΛ ΑΔΡ ΑΝΤωΝΙΝΟС ƐVСƐΒ, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right. R: L Β, draped bust of Sarapis wearing kalathos, facing front; on either side, the Dioscuri, each crowned with star, standing, facing, heads turned towards bust, holding spears and whips.
    Notes: Extremely rare type; unique to Antoninus Pius, and only struck in this year.
  9. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    A rather poor photo - one of my first ancients, a trishekel from Utica, Zeugitana
    ZEUGITANA, Anonymous. Denomination: AE Trishekel , minted: Utica; ca. 200 BC
    Obv: Jugate laureate heads of the Dioskouroi right; stars above.
    Rev: Two horses standing right; Punic legend above.
    Weight: 14.21g; Ø:26mm. Catalogue: MAA A109; Müller 341; SNG Copenhagen 428.. Provenance: Ex private collection; acq.: 02-2019
  10. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  11. Alegandron

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

    Well done, @Andres2 ... I like the Constellation pic with the coins. Nice touch. Great coins also! I wish I had the MEMMIUS .
    Andres2 likes this.
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