Need help with identification

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by JakeTheCoinGuy, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. JakeTheCoinGuy

    JakeTheCoinGuy New Member

    Hey guys got another one here, Its very small about the size of a pea, there appears to be a bust facing right, and the letters VOT X MVIX XX in a wreath and help is appreciated thanks- Jake

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  3. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Admittedly these late roman bronzes aren't my forte, but using Tesorillo's ID by reverse type pages, my best guess is Theodosius. Hopefully someone else can confirm.

    The reverse legend is probably VOT X MVLT XX (or if your coin really has some other characters, an error or barbarous/unofficial coin?). Using Tesorillo's ID by reverse, combined with the size (AE4) your coin has to be either Jovian, Gratian, Valentinian II, Theodosius I, or Arcadius.

    On your coin's obverse you can discern ".... _O (break) S...", and of the five possibilities Theodosius's name is the only one that has OS together.

    Ten different mints struck this type for Theodosius.
  4. JakeTheCoinGuy

    JakeTheCoinGuy New Member

    Firstly thank you very much!
    Secondly yes the observe appears to have the O and S with a space between them
  5. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    The DO at the end of the left side obverse inscription nails this as Theodosius. It's probably Theodosius I. You can search CNG or VCoins for "Theodosius MVLT" or just go to Wildwinds and compare Theodosius I and Theodosius II to verify.
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  6. JakeTheCoinGuy

    JakeTheCoinGuy New Member

    Thank you very much your expertise is greatly appreciated
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    For those who like a side of 'why' with their information:
    For much of the later Roman period, coins showed extra honor to the ruler by splitting his name into left and right parts with an opening over the head. When there were multiple Augusti, the senior and adult rulers would be flagged as 'top dog' by this split while their junior associates would have the legend in one continuous sweep around the edge leaving no break above the head. To make things a bit more confusing, some rulers started out as junior Augusti with continuous legends but later were promoted to more honored status with broken legends. Why this was considered better is wholly beyond me but it seems to be the way the Romans of the period saw the matter and can, as here, provide a little help in understanding what we see. We must note, however, that this does not make a hard and fast rule and there are rulers with continuous legends that were the only Augusti so we can not take the matter as a certain sign of a junior. Why? I wish we knew.
  8. JakeTheCoinGuy

    JakeTheCoinGuy New Member

    Wow, odd that they considered that a sign of respect.. very interesting. Thanks for the info!
  9. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Interesting! But... if it is not consistent, how do we know that it was intentional and denoting status or honor, rather than simply a style choice of the coin designer or engraver?
  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter in hoc signo vinces

    Thanks Doug. I never saw it that way - as an honorific.
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  11. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    You can't make any blanket statements when you are talking about coin types that span 100 years and come from over a dozen different mints, but the pattern is pretty obvious. After the defeat of Licinius, Constantine's coins have his head rising into and splitting the inscription while his sons heads are below it until after his death. Likewise with Valentinian and Valens - split inscriptions - and their Caesars, and Theodosius I and his top dog, split inscription; subordinates, unbroken.

    In some cases the results are fairly comical. Valentinain II had an unbroken inscription for much of his reign--D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG--harmless enough. After the death of Theodosius I, however, it became the same as Valentinian I's: D N VALENTINI - ANVS P F AVG. No big deal except for certain offset-struck coins, where the left half of the inscription is off the flan and all you see if the emperor's head with the inscription ANVS P F AVG.
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