Question on decent rulers on Ancient Coinage

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by kevin McGonigal, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Having a sense of humor is not the same thing as being a luntic. Both cause laughter but what we used to call 'funny, ha ha' is not the same as 'funny, sheesh'.
    Kentucky and Orange Julius like this.
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  3. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    We cannot forget 'the delight and darling of the human race'.

    AR Denarius, 3.10g
    Rome Mint, 24 June-1 July 79 AD
    RIC 1 (R). BMC 1. RSC 334a.
    Obv: IMP T CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
    Rev: TR POT VIII COS VII; Trophy; below, captive kneeling r.
    Acquired from Hail Cesare, August 2004.
  4. AngelDeath

    AngelDeath Well-Known Member

    Try the Byzantine empire get a Pope or two in there.
  5. lrbguy

    lrbguy Well-Known Member

    How are these remarks not imposing standards of morality from a modern cultural point of view onto ancient cultures? Your premise needs work, I think.
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  6. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I suppose they are impositions of modern notions of decent behavior on past people so I'll modify my premises to what ancient and medieval rulers were considered decent by the standards of their contemporaries. Sometimes good enough, is, well good enough. I guess it does sound unreasonable to expect that they should have behaved as we might have liked them to. Perhaps if I leave a blank spot where Caligula would have gone I can collect eleven Caesars.
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    By those standards, I might accept Augustus, Claudius, Galba, Vespasian and Titus. Welcome to the Five Caesars. Can't tolerate Galba? Four?

    Whatever period of history you study, there might be problems finding admirable men among politicians and power mongers.
    randygeki and David Atherton like this.
  8. NormW

    NormW Student Of Coinology Supporter

    Like some of the previous posts, history is subjective. Jefferson owned slaves but was in favor of abolition. Sounds like he was a hypocrite. But the rest of the story..... Virginia had a law that a plantation owner who was in mortgage debt was not allowed to sell or free slaves. So even though Jefferson was an abolitionist , because he was not the greatest businessman and was in debt alot, he was not allowed to free his slaves.

    This is not to say Julius Caesar, who manged to kill more Romans than any barbarian army could ever manage, was mis understood. But the world was certainly a different place back then.
    Alegandron likes this.
  9. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    There is a Greek coin with Homer depicted on the reverse. Maybe that helps? Also plenty of Greek coins depict God's and goddesses or mythological scenes that might let you get away coins with emperors...but that might not fit your theme. Maybe best to take a leader on a case by case basis? Find one that moderately interests you either from the historical perspective or you think their counselor look nice and do your own research. Read a nice secondary source, consult the primary ones, and make your own conclusion. You may learn a lot or form new opinions about what is acceptable in your collection.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  10. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    You might consider an anonymous Byzantine follis.
    My coins, above, are not quite as good as the Basil II below from
    anonymous follis Basil II 970 AD.jpg
    The person pictured was a pretty good guy, depending on who you ask. The person who issued the coins is another story.
  11. norenxaq

    norenxaq Member

    perhaps the janapadas were ruled by an assembly who advised the king, hence republic?

    also, buddha was never a king. nor was he depicted on coins until around the first century ad by the kushans
    Parthicus likes this.
  12. arnoldoe

    arnoldoe Well-Known Member

    well, going by the standards of the time, I guess it depends who you ask..
    I doubt the Gauls who had their families murdered and spent the rest of their lives as slaves were big fans of Julius Caesar.
    Maybe Hilter was a good guy too, i mean you cant judge him by today standards.
    Alegandron likes this.
  13. Aethelred

    Aethelred The Old Dead King Supporter

    I have intentionally avoided getting too deep into this thread as I think it has everything needed to become an open can of worms at any moment. Having said that, my method of collecting has more to do with who/where I find interesting than who I think might have been "good." Like everyone I do possess a worldview and cannot help imposing that worldview on my thoughts about the people represented on the coins I collect, but that is not a deciding factor in making a purchase decision.

    At any rate I believe the reason for studying history is to glean lessons from the past in the hope that they might enlighten future decisions we make. I think there is something to be learned from everyone, the monsters and the good guys. And of course you could argue that we all combine varying degrees of good and bad.
    Pellinore likes this.
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