My First Jotapian

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Suarez, May 26, 2019.

  1. Suarez

    Suarez Well-Known Member

    The title is obviously tongue in cheek :- )

    Even in the best of times the careers of a Roman emperor who attained the throne by overthrow would be incessantly preoccupied with avoiding a similar fate. The worries of a field general whose soldiers renounced their loyalty to Rome to bestow this honor on their commander were multiplied many times over. Once proclaimed, any such rebellion had to take stock of the cold, hard facts. The renegade legion posed an immediate choice to every other legion scattered throughout the territories. Do they remain loyal to the incumbent or transfer their allegiance to the upstart rival? Human nature being what it is that choice tends to fall on the safest rather than the philosophical or morally correct one. And the numbers typically favored the emperor with the strongest following. This, of course, rarely bode well in theory or practice for the usurper.

    Jotapian's calculations were hopelessly optimistic. The very fact that he is one of the most obscure imperial hopefuls is proof enough that whatever rosy forecast led him to his decision was, sadly, much too rosy. While the specifics of the deciding moment are long lost to history, the rallying cry that united his men in their doomed course against emperor Philip began when he stood on a podium on that fateful day. He set the blame for the callous murder of Gordian III, the rightful and blameless heir, squarely on his shoulders. He tediously enumerated each and every following injustice and act of corruption befalling the empire that brought them to their present, wretched state of affairs. He roused them with the might of their courage and the inevitability of their success. He reminded them that he was a member of the house of Severus Alexander and that the time had come to avenge his kinsman for the good of all Romans.

    Well, something like that.

    In reality Jotapian's insurrection lasted barely longer than the time it took the messengers to deliver the news to the nearest loyalist general. That would be Trajan Decius, a far more capable military leader who was stationed nearby. Messengers going in the other direction brought Jotapian news that Decius was coming and the mood in the camp suddenly dropped to zero. It is speculated that by the time Decius's columns appeared on the horizon Jotapian was already cold in the ground at the hand of his own soldiers; hoping in this desperate deed to gain forgiveness for their transgressions.

    The extreme brevity of this rebellion would almost certainly have escaped even footnote status were it not for the fact that Jotapian managed to print a little money with his name on it to alert future historians. Minted under emergency conditions with neither appropriate facilities, nor qualified engravers, nor even decent quality metal stock for coining specie, Jotapian comes across looking like an undignified zombie. This fact, of course, means absolutely nothing to collectors of Roman coins all of whom would love to add one to their collection. An extensive survey of auction catalogs dating back to the early 20th century counts just 17 other coins of his. This reason alone places his importance to numismatists today far above the meager historical waves he managed during his lifetime. Rooting for the underdog, I hope these bragging rights gives his ghost some comfort at least!

    Part of my Roman Emperors collection
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  3. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    What an awesome rarity, congrats! I look forward to your next one.
  4. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Wowza-- what a fantastic score and engaging writeup! Congratulations, @Suarez :)
  5. Joseph_8314

    Joseph_8314 Member

  6. Alegandron

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

    Super congratulations on this incredible coin! Well done!

    Nice write up also.
  7. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

  8. Limes

    Limes Well-Known Member

    thats a very, very nice coin to add to the collection indeed!
  9. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

  10. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Wow, great coin and another great write-up...Congrats!
  11. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    A feather in your cap for sure, congrats.
  12. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Roma Invicta

    Very nice pick-up at @Suarez ! I despair at the fact that I will never have a Jotapian or Regalianus, and hence my collection will forever be incomplete. It would be nice to have some of the so-called "30 tyrants" of the Historia Augusta.
  13. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Super duper congrats!!

    Good to know that we can all have a Jotapian relative in our collections. :D

    Screen Shot 2019-05-26 at 8.45.36 AM.jpg
    AE dupondius

    (BTW, thanks for the excellent ERIC II listings on Sev Alex... much appreciated.)

    I'd be interested to hear more about how your new coin was authenticated. A die match in Bland? etc.
    Johndakerftw, Alegandron and Bing like this.
  14. Suarez

    Suarez Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your congratulatory messages. I wish you were all here at my home this chilly Sunday with your own coins for a chat and show and tell! :- )

    I'm dialing back things a bit and will be rerouting more of my disposable income into the far more boring collection of securities known as a 401K. Of course, I've said that before and then something I just gotta have pops up. You all know how that goes.

    Ps. Anyone seen that Allectus aureus listed by Noonan Webb? So tempted...
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