Pile on: Coins to Shake-a-spear at/all the coins of characters in Shakespeare's plays

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Alegandron

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

    Watched the Original version every Friday nite as it was released. Coke and a homemade pizza nite.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Not that I really need this, but is that accessible, for free, from a desktop that's dying of old age?
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  4. Alegandron

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

    It is on Prime Video, other platforms. Just Search.
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  5. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Good question.

    At the opening of the novel he does cite several sources, starting on page 7. Since it is a novel and not a scholarly work, there are no footnotes to speak of, so the passage that I posted is fictitious, not in Claudius' actual words. Still, if you look at the design of the reverse, there is a definite Demeter/Ceres harvest theme to it.
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  6. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    One of my favourite sonnets from the Dark lady sonnets.

    In the old age black was not counted fair,
    Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name;
    But now is black beauty's successive heir,
    And beauty slandered with a bastard shame:
    For since each hand hath put on Nature's power,
    Fairing the foul with Art's false borrowed face,
    Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower,
    But is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.
    Therefore my mistress' eyes are raven black,
    Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem
    At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,
    Sland'ring creation with a false esteem:
    Yet so they mourn becoming of their woe,
    That every tongue says beauty should look so.

    Henry V
    Henry V groat.png

    Cuniobelius (known as Cymbelline by Shakespeare) Featuring a very cool


    For those interested in the coins referred to by Shakespeare himself, this book is a must. It was written by a collector and it so happens I own 1 coin from his collection.


    My coin from his collection

    vesp ric 685.jpg
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    I'm getting it, @robinjojo, except that, while you're cordially invited to do this kind of thing on a speculative level, it's really important to maintain the distinction between that, and even the relative (/ as such, thank you, disccrete) level of reliability that you can get either from primary or responsible secondary sources.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Oh, ...Kay. @Orfew, I thought all of them were about the Dark Lady. Have we seen movies where this happens?
    ...Except, as an English major, I had Shakespeare anxiety, the way some people (present company included) had Math (/English: Maths) anxiety. It's been really fun to find out much of any of it I retained.
  9. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

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  10. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    I'm liking the homemade pizza part. Other of it, maybe not so much.
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  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Great thread. My son had a key role in the Tempest a few years back in a middle school performance. Shakespeare and coins = a good match.
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  12. robp

    robp Well-Known Member

    Henry VIII. A 'Sovereign' penny from the episcopal mint at Durham under Bishop Thomas Ruthall (1509-23).

    Followed by a penny from the same mint, but this time under his successor Thomas Wolsey (1523-9). This is the first coinage issue with initial mark Spur Rowel.
    The latter is particularly rare, with only this coin and the Hulett and Stewartby examples problem free out of a corpus of 8
  13. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @Orfew, this has to evoke the 'Sonnet of Black Beauty,' by Lord Herbert of Cherbury, ...an uncle, or something like that, of the Metaphysical poet (and frequent sonneteer) George Herbert.

    Sonnet of Black Beauty

    Black beauty, which above that common light,
    Whose Power can no colours here renew
    But those which darkness can again subdue,
    Do'st still remain unvary'd to the sight,

    And like an object equal to the view,
    Art neither chang'd with day, nor hid with night
    When all these colours which the world call bright,
    And which old Poetry doth so persue,

    Are with the night so perished and gone,
    That of their being there remains no mark,
    Thou still abidest so intirely one,
    That we may know thy blackness is a spark
    Of light inaccessible, and alone
    Our darkness which can make us think it dark.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  14. Alegandron

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

    That was when you had one kind of Coca-Cola. Not really much choice. Pepsi, Coke, 7-up, and Tab. Oh, yeah, and I loved Faygo Red Pop.
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  15. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Now, I'm Liking any pop flavored Red. Kind of like, when you would see blue-colored pop, you could say (especially with decades of hindsight), 'What flavor is that?' And the answer might be, 'Well, It's Blue Flavored.'
    ...No, this Isn't a regional thing. Much more generational; as such, very much, I'm afraid, nation-wide.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  16. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @robp, who can't love these 'sovereign' halfpennies? Never mind ones as top-drawer as yours. Cardinal Wolsey? Just Never Mind.
    Can't find pics of mine (Henry VII, and much more common), but it's quietly mind-blowing how, on the scale of a halfpenny, they could even aspire to emulate the main motif of gold (wait for it) sovereigns, with the king facing, enthroned, and all of that.
  17. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    Carles VI "the Mad" of France (antagonist in Henry V):
    MA – Frankreich, Karl VI der Wahnsinnige, Gros Blanc guenar, 1389.jpg
    Kingdom of France, Charles VI "the Well Liked" or "the Mad," AR blanc guénar, 1389 AD, Tournai mint, 2nd emission. Obv: +KAROLVS:FRANCORV:REX; French coat of arms. Rev: + SIT NOME DNI BENEDICTV, Cantoned cross with two crowns and two fleurs de lis in angles; "secret dot" under 16th letter of legends. 27.5mm, 2.55g. Ref: Duplessy 377A. Ex @Orfew collection; ex AMCC 2, lot 332 (their picture).

    And since I'm a little obsessive when it comes two medieval coinage, I also got a slightly later variety from the Paris mint:
    MA – Frankreich, Karl VI der Wahnsinnige, Gros Blanc guenar, 1411.png
    Kingdom of France, Charles VI "the Well Liked" or "the Mad," AR blanc guénar, 1411 AD, Paris mint, 4th emission. Obv: +KAROLVS:FRANCORV:REX; French coat of arms; annulet under cross in legend. Rev: +SIT:NOME: DNI:BENEDICTV, Cantoned cross with two crowns and two fleurs de lis in angles; annulet under cross in legend. 25.5mm, 2.98g. Ref: Duplessy 377C.

    Edward IV (appears and rises to power in Henry VI, part 2 and 3; dies in Richard III):
    MA – England, Edward IV, AR Groat, London.jpg
    Kingdom of England, Edward IV (second reign), AR groat, 1471–1483, London mint. Obv: EDWARD DI GRA REX ANGL Z FRANC, pierced cross with pellet in lower l. angle; saltire stops; crowned bust facing within a tressure of arches, fleurs on cusps, none above crown. Rev: POSVI DEVM ADIVTORE MEVM; long cross, three pellets in each angle, rose after DEVM; CIVITAS LONDON around inner circle. 25mm, 2.90g. Ref: Spink 2098. Ex Berk 201, lot 517; ex Orfew collection; ex AMCC 2, lot 314.

    Julius Caesar (title character of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar):
    Römische Republik – RRC 443:1, Denar, Julius Caesar, Elephant.png
    Roman Republic, Imperatorial Coinage, Julius Caesar, AR denarius, 49–48 BC, military mint moving with Caesar. Obv: [CA]ESAR; elephant walking r., trampling snake. Rev: priestly implements: culullus, aspergillum, axe, apex. 20mm, 3.70g. Ref: RRC 443/1.
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  18. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    This coin doesn't depict a character from Shakespeare, but it has a connection to the eponymous character in Shakespeare's play, Coriolanus.

    Faustina Jr FORTVNAE MVLIEBRI denarius.jpg
    Faustina Junior, AD 161-175
    Roman AR denarius, 2.82 g, 17.7 mm, 2 h
    Rome, AD 161-175
    Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right
    Rev: FORTVNAE MVLIEBRI, Fortuna Muliebris enthroned left, holding rudder and cornucopiae
    Refs: RIC 683; BMCRE 96; Cohen 107; RCV 5253; CRE 181.

    Fortuna Muliebris (Womanly Fortune) is an aspect of the Roman goddess of luck and fate who cared for the well-being and luck of women, especially married women. According to a legend recorded by Plutarch (De fortuna Romanorum 5.7), worship of Fortuna Muliebris was instituted at a time when Rome was under attack in the 5th century BC by Cnaeus Marcius Coriolanus, a descendant of Ancus Marcius, an early king -- the subject of Shakespeare's play, Coriolanus.

    Once a hero of Rome, he later led an army of Volscians against the city, and refused all the pleadings of the senators and the priests to stop the attack. Until, that is, the matrons of Rome came out to plead with him, including his own mother, Veturia, with his wife and their two young children. They managed to convince him to call it off, and on the spot where Veturia talked him out of it he dedicated a temple to Fortuna Muliebris in honor of them.

    This temple was at the fourth milestone of the Via Latina, one of the main roads out of Rome. Tradition has is that the temple was founded prior to the mid-4th century BC on the 6th day of July, which became its festival day. Her statue there could only be touched by matrons who had been married once, and was credited with being able to speak. After its consecration, Plutarch (ibid) reports the statue pronounced, "Women of the City, you have dedicated me by the holy law of Rome."

    It is likely that Fortuna was a goddess of women and childbirth from earliest times; her oldest cult-center at Praeneste was dedicated to Fortuna Primigenia (First-born Fortune), whose epithet not only referenced her ancient nature but her connection with children and birth, and the site of her oracle in a small cave connects her to the mother goddess of the earth. So, though the epithet of Muliebris may not be her oldest one, the idea of Fortuna as concerned with the fates of women is very ancient. As childbirth was a very risky undertaking in ancient times, Fortuna may have been invoked to preserve the health of the mother and newborn baby, and bring a quick, easy and (relatively) painless delivery.

    If anyone knew about pregnancy and motherhood, it was Faustina Junior. She bore eleven (or possibly thirteen ) children in ten or eleven pregnancies (one or possibly two sets of twins). It’s not hard to imagine that this coin may have been issued as a prayer of thanks for the health of the empress during the course of her reproductive years.

    Here's Leonard Bernstein conducting Beethoven's overture to a tragedy by Heinrich Joseph von Collin about the same historical figure as in the Shakespeare play.

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  19. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Thesus is a main character in A Midsummer Night's dream, as is Hippolyta.

    I don't have any coins depicting these characters but I'm sure they are out there.
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  20. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Hehe! I played Theseus, Duke of Athens, in a play! Sadly, and likewise, no coins...
    Though, speaking of A Midsummer Night's Dream, isn't Puck, at least partially, based on or "inspired by" my man Pan!?
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