My flight of ideas is from coins, man, not mental illness!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Researching this new acquisition for my numophylacium gave me flight of ideas, a symptom of mania or psychosis! :eek: But the only mania I have is a mania for ancient Roman coins!

    L. Cupiennius, 147 BC.
    Roman Republican AR denarius, 3.89 g, 17.7 mm, 3 h.
    Rome, 147 BC.
    Obv: Helmeted head of Roma, right; cornucopiae behind; denominational mark X before.
    Rev: Dioscuri galloping right; L·CVP (VP ligatured) below; ROMA in exergue.
    Refs: Crawford (RRC) 218/1; RSC Cupiennia 1; Sydenham (CRR) 404; RCV 94.

    Cupiennius happens to be the the name of a genus of banana spiders, so that's mostly what you get when you Google it. :wideyed:


    But there isn't much about the dude known as "L. Cupiennius" because he is a Roman "Republican moneyer, known only from his coins." According to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, anyway.

    So then I found myself reading about the Dioscuri -- because they are on the reverse of my coin. Now, I knew from mythology that they were Castor and Pollux, the gods of horsemanship placed in the heavens as the constellation Gemini.


    But I did not know that they -- and not Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson and Andrew McCarthy -- were the gods of St. Elmo's fire!


    Which in turn gave me a John Parr earworm! :headphone: And now I have mediocre mid 1980's dance-rock running through my head! :hungover:

    So, I went from a Roman Republican denarius to spiders to the Dioscuri to astronomy to St. Elmo's fire to 1980's movies and music. :wideyed::wideyed::wideyed:

    Post your Dioscuri coins or coins that make you fly from one idea to another!!
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
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  3. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    I'm pretty sure Emilio is at least a demigod;) and both he and his brother thoroughly approve of your coin...
    But seriously beautiful loving that coin and the way of thought type thinking that is a hallmark to my postings

    Being a Gemini I've always had a special spot for the twins (who aren't even twins, just good buddies)
    singig, ominus1, galba68 and 16 others like this.
  4. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  5. Scipio

    Scipio Well-Known Member

    Here to you your heroes’ statues, the Dioscuri at the Quirinale Palace 27911030-E5C0-4C04-B4F5-3189D9A13860.jpeg
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  6. Scipio

    Scipio Well-Known Member

    And who knows what were they staring at? 62A0B426-DF88-4156-8CA9-011E0B3833C8.jpeg C05F1316-459C-4FE4-A7AC-547C38BF753A.jpeg
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
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  7. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    A beautiful Dioscuri denarius, @Roman Collector !

    Römische Republik – RRC 153:1, Denar, Calpurnius Piso, Roma und Dioskuren (Foto 2).png
    Roman Republic, moneyer: Cn. Calpurnius, AR denarius, 189–180 BC, Rome mint. Obv: head of Roma right; behind, X. Rev: CN·CALP; Dioscuri galloping r.; in exergue, ROMA. 19mm, 3.87g. Ref: RRC 153/1.
    singig, ominus1, TheRed and 11 others like this.
  8. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  9. Scipio

    Scipio Well-Known Member

    @Bing really an amazing piece!
    Ryro and Roman Collector like this.
  10. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Thank you. It's one of my favorites
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  11. Alegandron

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


    Baktria Indo Greco-Baktrian Kingdom Eukratides I Megas 170-145 BCE Dioscuri AE Quadruple Unit
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  12. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Ah yes, the connections that we make from one thing to another, a uniquely human process, and a necessary one when viewing the development of civilization, down to our interconnected technological world.

    Here's the first episode of James Burke's pioneering series, Connections. This episode is called "The Trigger Effect", covering the New York City blackout of 1977, and one of the roots of civilization, ancient Egypt.

    Just last night, or was it early morning, I was thinking about a tetradrachm that I recently posted:

    D-Camera Syracuse tetradrachm Agathokles reshoot 317-310BC 17.0g  Berk 4-8-21.jpg

    The engraver or engravers must have had a profound understanding of the anatomy and dynamics of horses. They had a grasp of motion and how the relationship of the horses' legs and muscles must work in relationship to each other when at a gallop.

    And then I was thinking of Michelangelo's studies of horses:

    michelangelo study of horses.2.jpg

    michelangelo study of horses.1.jpg

    When Europe awoke, in the 15th century, with the Renaissance in Italy, the works of ancient Roman and Greek civilization provided much of the basis for breaking the yoke of medieval thought. The Roman and Greek works helped to spur breakthroughs in art that we have through the present.

    Were ancient Greek and Roman coins part of this "rediscovery"? I have little doubt that they were.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
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  13. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Mania, ancient coins. Yep, I know all about that.

    As for the Dioscuri, here's just the hats:
    Indo-Greek - Antialcidas AE square Jan 2021  (0a).jpg

    Indo-Greek K. Æ Quadruple
    Antialcidas (c. 130-120 B.C.)

    BAΣIΛEΩΣ NIKHΦOPOY ANTIAΛKIΔOY, Zeus laureate bust right, thunderbolt over left shoulder / Kharoshthi legend maharajasa jayadharasa amtialikidasa, palms and pioloi of the Dioscuri, ΔHY lower left.
    (7.64 grams / 16 mm square)
    Bopearachchi 278, série 17B.
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  14. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    I think it’s healthy with a little thought disorder from time to time:)
    The point where it gets unhealthy, is when you feel that there is an obvious and important connection between the moneyer, coin and spider, and you get angry and frustrated because nobody else are able to see it. In fact it worries you a lot that the world is unable to see how big of a threat these spiders are, and how this spiritual connection through time and space between an ancient commander of legions and legions of spiders in the now will become our end if we don’t stand together to face this threat. So you take to the streets to make people aware of the danger. You bring a home made sign and a megaphone.

    None of my coins make me that scared these days, but I think a lot about these coins nowadays:

    D6C57095-4201-4E54-9B3F-EF244897F804.jpeg 2A64E9DB-FF39-43CE-84EC-927012F44C09.jpeg tetrapolis.jpg

    These are 3 out of 4 coin types made in Antioch around 148/47 BC. They all carry the inscription
    «AΔEΛΦΩN ΔHMΩN», which is believed to be an expression of the «brotherly love» between the peoples of Antioch, Apameia, Selecia Pieria and Laodicea. AΔEΛΦΩN ΔHMΩN means something along the lines of «brotherly municipality». It’s also quite possible that this minting was related to a revolt against Alexander Balas in 147 BC. These coins stimulate me to imagine how the days around the revolt have been, and the symbolism on the coins related to the events.
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  15. Scipio

    Scipio Well-Known Member

    40254C13-457A-4E81-989A-2C6890ADAB82.jpeg With the due permissions, I report an interesting write-up posted right now on the Italian numismatic forum

    The legendary twins Castor and Pollux are known mainly for their iconographic representation on the first republican coins and which subsequently rarely appear in imperial coinage. In the republican denarii we find the helmeted head of Rome on the obverse and on the back the twins Castor and Pollux on galloping horses armed with spears, with conical hats and two stars above their heads, demonstrating their divine nature. From this classic iconography it is clear that it was born to remember the famous battle of Lake Regillo which took place in 495 BC., when the Consul Aulus Postumius Albinus defeated the Latin League thanks to their help, following the vote to build a Temple in Rome dedicated to them, in case of victory; victory that actually took place. However, there is another representation of the Dioscuri, different from the classical one, present on a republican denarius posthumous to the first, in which the two twins appear on foot with one hand holding the bridle of their respective horses while the other holds a spear, this denarius was issued by Lucius Memmius. A second republican denarius issued by a distant homonymous descendant of the victorious Consul to the Regillus, Aulus Postumius Albino, shows the two twins at the foot of the horses upside down while, having arrived in Rome to announce the victory of Lake Regillus, they drink the sweaty horses for the long run, at the Giuturna spring in the Forum, a beautiful iconography.
    Returning to Lucius Memmius denarius, the one with the two twins on foot and inside the two horses, it would suggest that this new pose was taken from a statuary group of probable Greek art, historical or archaeological evidence lacks. However, since there was a temple dedicated to them in the Forum in Rome, it would seem strange and anomalous that the Dioscuri were missing one of their statuary works in bronze or marble. If this work, probably Greek, really existed, it was certainly performed with the two twins at the foot of their respective horses as it appears in fact in the coin of Lucius Memmius; alternatively we should interpret it as a realization initiative of the moneyer. The fact is that the statuary pose of this beautiful denarius was resumed many centuries later by Maxentius bringing only the inversion of the figures, with the horses inside with respect to the twins, perhaps a modified copy of the original statue. Even in the existing statues in Rome we can see this inversion of the figures: the Dioscuri of the Campidoglio have horses on their left and right, so the twins would be inside the horses if the two statues were brought close together, as in the denarius of Lucius Memmius; on the contrary, the group of the Quirinale fountain presents the inversion of the figures: the horses are internal and the twins external, as they appear in the Follis of Maxentius. In these statues currently in Rome, were the positions of the twins and horses randomly placed or positioned so on purpose? It is a little "mystery" like that of the coins of Lucius Memmius and Maxentius
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  16. Scipio

    Scipio Well-Known Member

  17. jdmKY

    jdmKY Well-Known Member

  18. Alegandron

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


    AE Aes Grave
    270 BCE
    37mm 55.28g
    Dioscuri R and L
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  19. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ...many here wear those hats..:D check 013.JPG check 015.JPG
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  20. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    This Bactrian tetradrachm of Eukratides, 171-135 BC, has the best depiction of the twins of the ancients that I own.

    D-Camera Bactria Eukratides I tetradrachm 171-135 BC 17.0 Berk  2-7-21.jpg
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  21. singig

    singig Well-Known Member

    very nice coin @Roman Collector ! , a Dioscuri denarius is a must-have for any roman collector :)

    L Cupiennius Denarius. 147 BC. Helmeted head of Roma right; cornucopiae behind / The Dioscuri riding right, L CVP below, ROMA in ex. Cr218/1; Syd 404.
    Cupiennius 1.jpg
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