Restitutor Coins

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by hotwheelsearl, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I just saw this thread about Trajan's restoration coinage:

    Which got me thinking about other restoration coins.

    I have these three that I like from Aurelian, Probus and Valentinian.

    Aurelian BI Ant Cyzicus mmA.JPG
    Aurelian - RESTITVT*ORBIS
    This means RESTORER OF THE WORLD, basically, which makes sense because Aurelian did, in fact, "restore the world" by taking back a couple secessionist empires and fending off usurpers.
    I like this text because it's sort of an interesting ligate - intentional or not.
    The full text would be RESTITVTOR ORBIS. However, the last two letters of the first word and first two letters of the second word are the same, so why not just ligate them together into RESTITVTORBIS! (of course, they did put the dot between the T and the O, so maybe they were in fact just abbreviating the RESTITVTOR part.)

    Probus AE Ant RIC V Antioch 925.JPG
    After Aurelian Probus kept it that train going and also proclaimed himself the restorer of the world. In this one, there is no dot between the T and the O, so maybe the ligate is intentional here.

    Finally, last one I have is:
    Valentinian I AE3 RIC IX Sirmium 6a.JPG
    Valentinian I - RESTITVTORREIP
    Instead of restoring the entire world, Valentinian "only" restored the republic. Which is odd, come to think of it, since Rome hadn't been a republic for a couple hundred years at this point. But still, pretty neat proclamation of authority and power. Under Valentinian the Great Conspiracy was defeated, so it certainly seems like he earned his title.

    What other RESTITVTOR coins are there from the later empire?
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Septimius Severus 12.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right
    REVERSE: RESTITVTOR VRBIS, Roma seated left holding palladium & spear, round sheild below
    Struck at Rome, 207 AD
    1.9g, 19mm
    RIC 288

    Valens 13.jpg
    AV Solidus
    OBVERSE: DN VALENS PER F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right
    REVERSE: RESTITVTOR REIPUBLICAE, Valens standing right, holding labarum in right hand & Victory on globe in left, cross to left. Mintmark star ANTE star
    Struck at Antioch, 364 AD
    3.6g, 19mm
    Antioch RIC 2d,xxxvii-5
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  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    We are taught that the Romans did not space words. Here is a Aurelian with the OR repeated.

    But my favorite clearly finishes RESTITVTOR leaving a large space before BIS. Latin students will know that BIS means twice so are we the read this as restorer of the world or as two times restorer? Both is at least twice as good as either alone.
  5. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Aurelian, RESTITVTOR ORBIS/BC, Cyzicus
    Aurelian, RESTITVT ORIENTIS/P, Mediolanum
  6. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    It's amazing how many emperors used the phrase RESTITVTOR VRBIS, or variations of it, & how few were really successful :smuggrin:. My favorite is pictured below. The engraver did a great job with the reverse of this coin :happy:.

    1883246-009, AK Collection.jpg
  7. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

    I find it interesting that late 4th century emperors claimed they were restoring the republic, which Rome had not been for over 400 years. In fact they were promoting the dominate at the time, where every ruler was called "dominus noster" - Our Lord.
  8. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    It seems to me the terms Restoration/Restitution are employed in different ways by collectors, and sometimes dealers, in describing Roman Imperial coins. The terminology can refer to previously issued coins struck from newly engraved dies or coins newly struck to celebrate or commemorate some notable accomplishment or assumption of a title by the Emperor or member of his family.

    In order to pay homage to the coinage issued by revered Julio-Claudian Emperors, the Restoration/Restitution coinage issued by Titus (and other Flavian Emperors) is catalogued and described in popular Reference resources such as RIC, BMCRE, COHEN, ERIC, et al, as always including RESTITVIT or REST in the reverse legend (occasionally in the coin field). These coins are often described and discussed in great detail in reference books, and, being rarely offered in the trade, are usually relatively expensive.

    Example coins:

    7C273262-514E-443C-96D7-2DAFBAB17935.jpeg Augustus As - RESTITVIT in reverse legend (end). Restored by Titus.

    Claudius sestertius - REST in reverse legend (end). Restored by Titus.

    It seems there is still some controversy or confusion relating to the depiction on the reverse of the Antoninus Pius coins which illustrate a Corinthian octostyle (eight column) structure versus the hexastyle (six column) original structure depicted on the Caligula Sestertius.

    The consensus now appears to be that the Antoninus Pius building engineers, while generally adhering to the original design, were permitted to exercise some of their own discretion in designing the Temple depicted on the Antoninus Pius restoration coins.

    But the question remains in my mind: was that really the case, or was the rebuild of Antoninus Pius based on the restoration by Domitian after a fire - no depiction of which has survived?

    CAIUS (CALIGULA), SESTERTIUS, BMCRE Vol. I, Rome, No. 69 (Pl. 29.12)
    (40-41AD, 35mm, 26.2gm)

    Obverse depiction: Personification of Pietas, draped, seated left
    Inscription: C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG PM TRP IIII PP (in exergue): PIETAS

    Note: Also BMCRE 41, RIC 36 - with obverse legend: C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PM TR POT

    Reverse depiction: Caligula, veiled and togate, standing left holding patera over altar - attendants (victimarius) on either side holding bull for sacrifice - hexastyle temple of Divus Augustus, surmounted by quadriga and festooned with garlands, in background. Reverse Horizontal Inscription: {small lettering} DIVO AVG and below: S C (left and right)

    16.67mm, 3.73 grams

    Obverse depiction: bust of Antoninus Pius, laureate, facing right
    Obverse Inscription: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII

    Reverse depiction: Octastyle Temple with figures (Augustus and Livia) inside.
    Reverse Inscription: AED DIVI AVG REST - COS IIII in exergue. On this coin REST in the reverse inscription refers to the restoration of the Temple by Antoninus Pius rather than restoration of the coin.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  9. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    We have seen the Rome issue of this reverse type for Septimius Severus above but it does occur as a scarcer type from Laodicea-ad-Mare

    Obv:– L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX, laureate head right
    Rev:– RESTITVTOR VRBIS, Severus in military garb standing left sacrificing over a tripod
    Minted in Laodicea-ad-Mare. A.D. 198-202
    Reference:– BMCRE 671. RIC 512A (S). RSC 600

    Last T in RESTITVTOR re-engraved from an O.




    Aurelian - RESTITVTOR EXERCITI, Mars in military dress standing right, holding spear in left hand, giving globe to Emperor standing left , holding long sceptre in left hand


    Probus - RESTITVT SEC, Emperor standing left, holding globe and sceptre, crowned by Victory holding palm

    Probus - RESTITVT ORBIS (Siscia)
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