New Roman Provincial -- Apparently Never Posted on CT Before

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, Nov 22, 2020 at 2:07 PM.

  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I've never tried to buy an ancient coin at an auction with a live component (it would be much too nerve-racking to me, as well as too tempting to spend too much), but I do sometimes bid at auctions with specific closing times like Frank Robinson's and the VAuctions sales from Pars Coins. I found this one quite appealing, and although there were other bidders the final price was quite reasonable.

    The coin is usually described as "rare" (although there are at least a dozen examples at both acsearch and RPC), and I can't find any evidence that anyone has ever posted the type here.

    Julia Paula (first wife of Elagabalus), AE 21, 219-220 AD, Mysia, Parium [Parion in Greek]. Obv. Draped and diademed bust right, IVLIA P-AVLA AVG / Rev. Capricorn right, holding globe between hooves, cornucopia above, CGIHP [Colonia Gemella Ivlia Hadriana Pariana -- colony founded by Julius Caesar] below. RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. VI, 3858 (temporary); RPC Online at; Lindgren & Kovacs 289 [Lindgren, H.C. & Kovacs, F.L., Ancient Bronze Coins of Asia Minor and the Levant (San Mateo, CA 1985). 21 mm., 5.67 g., 10 h. (Purchased from VAuctions, Pars Coins, Sale 354, Lot 195, Nov. 16, 2020.)

    Julia Paula - Capricorn Parium COMBINED.jpg

    (For those who may not be aware, the legend is in Latin rather than Greek, despite the fact that Parium was in Mysia, in Anatolia on the south coast of the Sea of Marmara, because Parium had the status of a Roman colony.)

    I have one question: is the capricorn playing water polo, or basketball?

    This is my only other Julia Paula coin, a denarius:

    Julia Paula (first wife of Elagabalus). AR Denarius 219-220 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. IVLIA PAVLA AVG, draped bust right / Rev. CONCORDIA, Concordia seated left, holding patera; star in left field. RIC IV-2 211 (Elagabalus), RSC III 6a, BMCRE 172 (Elagabalus). 21 mm., 2.49 g., 6h.

    Julia Paula,  AR Denarius _.jpg version.jpg

    (The only similarity in the two portraits is that the hairstyles vaguely resemble each other, at least in outline. A coincidence?)

    And this is my only other coin showing capricorns, a Divus Vespasian:

    Divus Vespasian AR Denarius, 80 AD Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate head right, DIVVS AVGVSTVS VESPASIANVS / Rev. Foreparts of two capricorns springing in opposite directions, supporting round shield inscribed S C; globe below. RSC II Vespasian 497 (ill.), RIC II-1 Titus 357 (2007), old RIC II Titus 63 (1926), Sear RCV I Titus 2569 (ill.), BMCRE Titus 129. 17 mm., 2.84 g., 6 h.

    Divus Vespasian AR Denarius - Capricorns jpg version.jpg

    Please post your coins of Parium/Parion, of Julia Paula, and/or showing capricorn(s).
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020 at 2:22 PM
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  3. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    A very desirable coin indeed! I like the "capricorn playing volleyball" reverse a lot.

    Julia Paula is one of the rarer Severan empresses. I got a single coin by her – the same type of denarius Donna has shown:
    Rom – Julia Paula, Denar, Concordia.png
    Julia Paula, Roman Empire, denarius, 219–220 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IVLIA PAULA AVG; bust of Julia Paula, hair waved and fastened in plait, draped, r. Rev: CONCORDIA AVG; Concordia, draped, seated l., holding patera in extended r. hand; in field l, star. 19.5mm, 3.00g. Ref: RIC IV.2 Elagabalus 211.

    These are traditionally attributed to Parium, but there is good reason to tentatively attribute them to Olbia instead (see the discussion here):
    Magna Graecia – Mysien, Parion, drachm Gorgoneoin.png
    "Mysia, Parium" (more likely Olbia), drachm, ca. 480 BC. Obv: Gorgoneion. Rev cross-shaped incusum. 12.2mm, 3.14g. Ref: BMC 4–8; Sear Greek 3917; SNG Copenhagen 256, SNG von Aulock 1318.
  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Your denarius is a beautiful example.

    I hadn't thought of volleyball as an option!
    +VGO.DVCKS and Orielensis like this.
  5. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coin @DonnaML, you're on a roll this year it seems! No coin of Julia Paula in my collection, nor one with a capricorn. I'd really like to add a coin with capricorn one day... (And I'll have to research the symbolism a bit more, of a capricorn playing sports. Does it have to something with the zodiac calender? Does the capricorn play water polo with Aquarius'?)

    I like the nerve-part! The excitement when the coin you want comes up, unsure if you can grab it without exceeding your max, bidding against other bidders (internet, but still). I like the live version more, but 1) there's only one auction house in my country that does live bidding which I could attend, but for 2) the auctions times are not suitable for people like me who have a day job and kids... :-(
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Nice catch, @DonnaML! A scarce one.

    Here's one featuring the elusive Cornelia Supera:

    Cornelia Supera, wife of Aemelian, Augusta, 253 CE.
    Roman provincial Æ 20.5mm, 3.78 g, 7 h.
    Mysia, Parium, AD 253.
    Obv: G CORN SUPERA, diademed and draped bust right.
    Rev: C. G. I. H. P., Capricorn right, cornucopiae on back; globe between legs (Sear describes as a star, but this appears to be a globe).
    Refs: SGI 4408 (var.); SNG Von Aulock 7448.
  7. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you!

    You're young. I've had enough excitement in my life!
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  8. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Nice! And I'm sure it's a globe. If not a ball: perhaps capricorns playing sports in the Sea of Marmara was a thing in Parium.
    +VGO.DVCKS and Roman Collector like this.
  9. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @DonnaML.......Very nice coin!...Have been recently looking at this reverse design, as it's my star sign, on Caracalla coins as I do find the style appealing...Yours has very nice detail and the Julia Paula portrait is a lot more difficult to find....Congrats.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  10. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Well-Known Member

    No Julia Paula for me. Missed one in a recent auction, the coin was from Troas, Alexandria with the classic reverse with the horse. My budget was limited, I had other coins in the auction on the short list, the condition was not too good (also tooled) so I let it go and I don't regret it.
    However, I can offer a capricorn, this one is practicing long jump (or high jump?), apparently, to compete with your basketball player.
    Mysia, Kyzicos. Augustus. RPC 2245.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020 at 3:19 PM
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    I don't have a coin with a capricorn yet @DonnaML - yours is a nice example. I like the basketball theory! ;)
    +VGO.DVCKS and DonnaML like this.
  12. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Titus 1.jpg
    Fouree Denarius
    OBVERSE: CAES VESPAS AVG TR P COS III, Laureate head right
    REVERSE: Foreparts of two capricorns springing in opposing directions, supporting round shield inscribed S C; globe below
    Struck at Rome, 80/1AD
    3.06g, 18mm
    RIC II 357 (Titus); RSC 497
  13. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Nice catch @DonnaML

    My only Julia Paula is imperial, and not the best ever I'm afraid (@Orielensis' specimen has a tremendous portrait though)

    Julia Paula Denarius - Rome mint, AD 220
    IVLIA PAVLA, draped bust right
    CONCORDIA, Concordia seated left, holding patera
    2.97 gr
    Ref : RCV # 7655, Cohen # 6

  14. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    That is exactly the reason I don't bid in overseas auctions these days.

    I only bought my Paula because I liked the hair on her forehead.

    Capricorns come in large from Titus

    and tiny as part of legionary standards from Septimius Severus. A few of the legions in his series used them on some of their coins so you may have to look at a few to find one with Capricorns. This one is LEG III ITAL from Rome mint. The most common ones are from LEG XIIII GEM M V but only some of the dies used capricorns.
  15. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Neat-o coin, Donna.

    Here's a similar Capricorn from Caria:

    Caria Tabae Flavian Portrait (7).JPG

    Caria, Tabae Æ 17
    (time of Domitian, 81-96 A.D.)
    Orthrios, priest (or Orthrios Hieron, magistrate).

    ΔHMOC [TABHNΩ]N, Laureate head of Demos right, with Flavian features (?) / ΔIA OP IЄ. Capricorn right. RPC II 1257;
    SNG Copen. 542-3; BMC 41-3.
    (2.65 grams / 17 mm )

    Here's a Capricorn countermark from Parium, maybe:

    CM - Capricorn on Oxen plowing AE May 2020 (0).jpg

    Claudius Æ 16
    Macedon, Philippi /
    CM for Mysia, Parium
    (c. 41-54 A.D.)

    [TICLAV-AVG], bare head left / Two priests plowing right.
    RPC I 1660 ; SNG BN 1458
    (3.29 grams / 15 mm)
    Countermark: Capricorn in 3 mm square, obv.
    Howgego 303 (16 pcs) (Parium).

    Notes: "Howgego notes the capricorn was a standard type for Parium. The capricorn was a symbol of |Augustus| and was probably adopted as a symbol of the city after a Augustan refoundation of the colonia. Howgego notes that the capricorn countermarks on the colonist plowing types may have indicated a devaluation of the coins." FORVM listing

    Somewhat confusing information online; some say host coin is from Philippi, with countermark for Parium. Some say host is from Parium with no reference to Philippi whatsoever. Howgego says the countermark is for Parium.
  16. Alegandron

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

    Cool AE Provincial, @DonnaML ! Looks gorgeous.

    Dunno, kinda looks like NY Yankee baseball silliness to me... :)

    I have nary a Provincial of hers. Nor a Capricorn... I am a Cancer. However, I have one of her Denarius minted at the Antioch mint. Does that qualify as a quasi-provincial? :D

    Julia Paula Augusta AD 219-220 AR Denarius 18 mm 3.10g Antioch mint AD 219-220 - Venus Genetrix seated left holding apple scepter RIC IV 222 RSC 21
  17. Brian Bucklan

    Brian Bucklan Well-Known Member

    Here's an Alexandria Egypt type of Julia Paula with reverse of Homonoia standing left raising right hand and holding double cornucopia:
    Julia Paula Alexandria 2.jpg
  18. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ...i'm wif ya! ...& great provincial Donna! :)
    +VGO.DVCKS and DonnaML like this.
  19. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    A nice find @DonnaML - I like the the coloring and the crisp images on your coin (a fantastic Vespasian, too!). Here's a coin from the same colony issued within a year of yours:
    Macrinus Capricorn.jpg
    Marcus Opellius Macrinus, 217-218 AD, Parium, Mysia, AE (22.5mm, 7.09g)
    Obv: IMP C M OPE SEV MACRINVS, bust laureate, draped, cuirassed right, border of dots
    Rev: Capricorn right, extending front legs to hold globe, cornucopia above back; C G I H P below, border of dots
    Ref: AMC 13405, RPC Online missing?

    What is the C G I H P? The "H" was added for Hadrian, to recognize his generosity to the city of Parium, with the "H" added it reads Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana. Gemella because Parium and Lampsacus were founded together as twin colonies (see CGIL RPC I 2270). Under Hadrian's rule, Parion saw heavy investments in construction.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020 at 7:24 PM
    +VGO.DVCKS, PeteB, Orielensis and 9 others like this.
  20. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    From what little I know, it certainly appears that the capricorn was a common symbol on the coins of Parium. I had read that Julius Caesar is supposed to have founded the colonia (hence the I in CGIHP) , but never read before that Augustus refounded it, or that the capricorn was a symbol of that refounding. Until @Sulla80's post just now, I had wondered why Hadrian's name is in there too, as the "H." But why not Augustus?
    +VGO.DVCKS, PeteB and Marsyas Mike like this.
  21. eparch

    eparch Well-Known Member

    @DonnaML - yours is a pleasing example.
    Another coin from Parion
    Mysia, Parion AR Hemidrachm. 4th century BC.
    Bull standing left on exergual line, head reverted, pellet between rear leg; ΠA-RI above and below
    Facing gorgoneion with open mouth and tongue protruding.
    BMC 14-16; SNG France 1356-1357; SNG Aulock 7423
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