My first siliqua- Arcadius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Parthicus, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    I recently won my first siliqua from John Anthony's auction:
    Roman Empire, Treveri mint. AR siliqua (18mm, 1.6g). Arcadius (383-408). Obverse: Laureate and draped bust right, DN ARCADIVS PF AVG around. Reverse: Roma seated left, holding globe with Victory; VIRTVS ROMANORVM around, TRPS in exergue. RIC 106b. From John Anthony auction, ex H8Modern collection.

    When we read about the past, we sometimes encounter truly remarkable individuals like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, or Napoleon, who can inspire everyone around them and seemingly bend the course of history by the sheer force of their will. Well, Arcadius was the opposite of that, a sluggish mediocrity who was manipulated by others throughout his life and was little more than a figurehead for those who had the real power. His father, Theodosius I (aka Theodosius the Great) had been a strong leader who managed to hold together both the Eastern and Western halves of the empire, but unfortunately his two sons Arcadius and Honorius did not inherit their father's talent. Arcadius was elevated to the rank of Augustus in 383, at just 6 years old. When Theodosius died in 395, Arcadius was given rule over the East while Honorius took over the West. Early on Arcadius was dominated by a counselor named Rufinus, but Rufinus was murdered in 395, possibly on orders from Stilicho, who already controlled Honorius and may have wanted control over both halves of the empire. However, a eunuch named Eutropius gained the upper hand, with the help of a beautiful young woman named Eudoxia who soon became Arcadius's wife. The empress and the eunuch did not get along for long, and in 399 Eudoxia convinced her husband to dismiss Eutropius. Eudoxia also clashed with the powerful Bishop of Constantinople, St. John Chrysostom, and in 404 she was able to have Chrysostom deposed, but died the same year. Finally, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius took over the role of puppet-master until Arcadius's death in 408, aged 31.

    Despite the weak emperor who issued it, this is quite a nice little coin. I like the portrait style, and the overall quality of design is good considering the weak state of the empire. This was my first late Roman silver coin, and now I may become hooked if I find another quality piece soon.
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  3. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    Emperor Theodosius commissioned St. Arsenius to educate his kids, Arcadius and Honorius. One can wonder whether the kids were too fond of their faith to really get into the nitty gritty of, and not-so-Christian, politics. Just a guess, really. It's also not healthy to become Emperor of the Roman Empire when you're 6 years old.

    Really nice coin, by the way! A siliqua is still on my list!
    GerardV and Parthicus like this.
  4. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Congrats! I have yet to own a siliqua.

    Quite the startled appearance he has, due to the large eye in that portrait. It's as though he had too much caffeine.

    Similar things have been said about the little owl I'm presently using as an avatar.

    I quite like the antique grey toning on that siliqua of yours.

    (And on my Taras owl, too, for that matter. It's a nice look.)
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum

    Nice siliqua. I don't own any at all. That needs to be rectified. Also enjoyed the history lesson.
    GerardV likes this.
  6. Alegandron

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

    Great job snaring the Siliqua from Johnny the Supplier, @Parthicus !

    I did the same a couple years ago...

    RI Arcadius AR Siliqua 383-408 CE Roma Seated.jpg
    RI Arcadius AR Siliqua 383-408 CE Roma Seated
    GerardV, dlhill132, chrsmat71 and 8 others like this.
  7. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    The only Arcadius I own is not an attractive coin at all, but it does come with an interesting story.

    dlhill132, chrsmat71, Sallent and 7 others like this.
  8. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    A very nice coin!
  9. Ajax

    Ajax Supporter! Supporter

    Great coin @Parthicus. I really wanted that one but I always seem to over-do my budget by the time Johns auctions come around. Nice write up too!
    Here's my only Arcadius from one of the @Ken Dorney giveaways.
  10. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    well done, Parthicus , very nice little silver coin.

    Only have a bronze of Arcadius

    Arcadius son.JPG
  11. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    Nice coin! Congratulations! I love late Roman and Byzantine silver. Attached is one of my favorites. A common coin, but nice to look at. 31053a.jpg
  12. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Indeed nice to look at, and not that common, surely - certainly not in comparison with the bronzes.

    I note he has that "over-caffeinated", wide-awake look again, here. :p

    And nice grey toning, again. I like that.
  13. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter in hoc signo vinces

    Thanks for the historical background. I have several of Arcadius, though no Siliquae. Here's one from Antioch:



    And another one, not as good.



    And of course, one with the campgate reverse.

  14. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum

  15. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    A very nice siliqua!

    AE4, as co-Augustus with his father, Siscia mint.
    Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 3.32.55 PM.png
    AE3, Constantinople mint.
    Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 3.32.42 PM.png
    And some shots I took of a head of Arcadius in the Istanbul archeaological museum:
    Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 11.09.31 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 11.09.56 AM.png
  16. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter in hoc signo vinces

    There's a memorial plaque in Istanbul by the hippodrome that says that Theodosius the Great was the last Roman emperor. I emailed the mayor that that wasn't really the case (no response). Anyway....
  17. Sallent

    Sallent Supporter! Supporter

    Great OP siliqua. I thought about buying that one from JA a month ago, but ultimately went with a Roman Republic Denarius.

    I do have a siliqua of Valens with the same theme though, and it is also an Ex: John Anthony.

    valens k (1).jpg
  18. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter in hoc signo vinces

    That's a nice one @Sallent
    Sallent likes this.
  19. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES! Supporter

    Nice new coin and write up @Parthicus !

    A siliqua is high on my list, if that coin had been the the sale before I may have given you some competition for that one...nice looking.
  20. dlhill132

    dlhill132 Member Supporter

    Parthicus, sweet new siliqua.

  21. SIliquae

    SIliquae Well-Known Member

    I've 15 siliquae of Arcadius, but this one is for me a graal. NotInRic, coming for a ancestral collection, sold first time around 1932, and again in 2013 to me.
    This is the only siliqua of Arcadius with a non-broken legend DN ARCADIVS P F AVG. Certainly the first issue as "minor August" around 4-7 years old. No more coin as it found in my research....


    Silique, 383-385, R5
    Dominus Noster Arcadius Pius Felix Augustus, Notre Maître Arcadius Pieux et Heureux Auguste
    Buste à droite, drapé et cuirassé, tête diadémée (Perles).
    Urbs Roma, La ville de Rome
    Rome casquée assise à gauche sur un trône, tenant un globe nicéphore de la main droite et une lance renversée de la main gauche.

    Silver - 2.27 gr, /17 mm / 12h
    RIC IX 53c-Var, RSC manque
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