RIC V part 2 is completely messed up for Maximian #607 from Cyzicus

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Do you have a pre-reform antoninianus of Maximian from Cyzicus with the CONCORDIA MILITVM reverse? Having trouble attributing it? Can't find your coin's obverse inscription listed? Don't know what to make of the dots that appear under the bust, in the exergue, or after the reverse inscription? Well, read this paper by Saúl Roll-Vélez (AJN Second Series 26 (2014) pp. 223–243), available here.

    He studied more than 100 examples, went back to the original source used by the authors of RIC, and corrected RIC (and not just for #607). I summarize these corrections here:


    Moreover, he catalogs all of the examples he studied and breaks them down by officina markings, inscription breaks on the reverse, and bust types. He also proposes an issue he attributes to the Siscia mint.

    Interesting stuff. Using his paper and his corrections to RIC, we can attribute this coin from my collection thus:

    Maximian CONCORDIA MILITVM antoninianus.jpg
    Maximian CONCORDIA MILITVM antoninianus exergue.jpg

    Maximian, AD 286-308
    Roman billon pre-reform antoninianus; 3.78 g, 23.0 mm
    Obv: IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right
    Rev: CONCORDIA MILITVM•, Emperor standing r., receiving Victory from Jupiter standing l., Γ below; in exergue: XXI•

    So, we see this is RIC 607 after noting the corrections.

    Consulting Table 1 in Roll-Vélez ...

    Capture 1.JPG
    and noting OL2 reads "IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS AVG"

    Capture 2.JPG

    We can identify this coin as Roll-Vélez 9

    But as detailed as Roll-Vélez's article is, it doesn't list a coin of this officina with a reverse inscription with a dot after MILITVM.

    So clearly, there is more study to be done on this facinating issue.

    I have sent a photo of my coin and my observations to Prof. Roll-Vélez. I'll let you guys know what he has to say about it.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I heard back from Prof. Roll-Vélez, who says,

    "The one truly interesting thing about your coin ... is that it does have a dot at the end of the reverse legend. There are no examples on my table with this, and if there were they would be under the RL1b, which is not stated in the article because I didn't find any specimens. So that makes your coin quite interesting, and I wish I had seen it before I wrote the article! Then again, this kind makes sense, given that officina gamma, as I state in p. 235, is "rather unusual for the CONCORDIA MILITVM..." Perhaps this is also from the mint of Siscia after all, so that would have to be another paper ..."

    So, this was the first example that Roll-Vélez had ever seen of this reverse legend with the dot for officina gamma. It has implications as a mint mark, and raises the question as to whether it was minted in Cyzicus or Siscia.

    So, little ol' me--a curious collector who compared his coin to others described in the literature--was able to discover something new.
    randygeki, Curtisimo, Volodya and 5 others like this.
  4. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    Congratulations on a very interesting discovery!
    britannia40 and Roman Collector like this.
  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    PLEASE POST any examples of Maximian CONCORDIA MILITVM pre-reform antoniniani you have in your collection here so that any new varieties that might have previously been unrecognized will get the recognition that they deserve and the numismatic community will have a better inventory of the various combinations of legend breaks, obverse legends, reverse legends, and officina marks.

  6. Alegandron

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

    WOW! Congrats! Very cool on you!
    britannia40 and Roman Collector like this.
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    ru3570bb2065.jpg ru3590bb1836.jpg
  8. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you, Doug. The top one has obverse legend OL2, bust D2 with an obverse dot, and reverse legend RL1 and officina stigma; XXI in exergue. It is from Cyzicus and is Roll-Velez #16.*

    The bottom one has obverse legend OL1, bust B1, and reverse legend RL4 and officina epsilon delta; dot XXI in exergue. It is from Antioch and is Roll-Velez #23.

    *Roll-Velez comments:

    The entries from officina S in Table 1 (nos. 16–17) account for the large majority of RL1 specimens. This, along with the occurrence of a small bust, suggests perhaps that S is the earliest officina of Cyzicus striking the CONCORDIA MILITVM reverse. Officinae E and Δ are next, and perhaps striking in that order. The dot under the bust appears, notably, only on specimens with RL1 and RL2, all from Cyzicus, and all with no dots on either side of the XXI. This seems to indicate that the dot under the bust made an appearance not at the very onset of the Maximianus CONCORDIA MILITVM output but soon after, only to fade away again promptly.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  9. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    Very cool! Being inquisitive and thorough pays off :)
  10. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member



  11. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  12. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    In a hurry this morning before work, so can't get to them all. @maridvnvm 's first example is from Heraclea and is Roll-Velez #8. His second is from Cyzicus and is Roll-Velez #13. More later today.*

    Thanks, all!!

    *I have a very interesting update to this story, too. Stay tuned.
  13. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

  14. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Maridunum's third coin is from Cyzicus and is Roll-Velez #17.
  15. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

  16. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Yes, but the post was about an article in the AJN by Saul Roll-Velez and my discovery of a previously undescribed reverse inscription for the gamma officina in Cyzicus.
  17. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    Yes, but the title of the post is

    RIC V part 2 is completely messed up for Maximian #607 from Cyzicus
  18. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Okay, now the interesting update to this story.

    Prof. Roll-Velez looked at my coin and compared it to the two examples he was able to find for his study.

    He noticed this coin, from his database:


    Look familiar? Here's my coin:

    Maximian CONCORDIA MILITVM antoninianus.jpg

    Prof. Roll-Valez noticed the photo I sent him matched the one he used for his study. He had failed to notice the dot after MILITVM in the reverse inscription.

    He writes:

    "... it turns out that my example is not just similar, but exactly the same coin as yours. They are one and the same. As it turns out, the painful truth is that I missed the dot when I was writing my paper. Now that's pretty embarrassing. I spent almost a year writing it and comparing pictures and checking and double-checking the information against the coin photos. Over and over again. There was so much information to be analyzed that I almost gave up a few times. And yet, I did miss that dot. Ironic, given that much of the paper is about just that: dots. If it weren't for you I would never have found out! So I have to thank you for that, but also I have to admit to the gravest mistake I made in the paper (so far). Oh, well... A year writing it, two years waiting for publication, and now a lifetime of regret!! Ok, perhaps not, but it's certainly very embarrassing indeed. So forget everything I told you about all the different theories I would have had to re-think if I had the coin when I was writing the paper, because I did have the coin. I just missed that little detail. Wow."
    Volodya, Johndakerftw, TIF and 3 others like this.
  19. dadams

    dadams Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the op and congrats in making a difference in the study of these coins.

    Here is mine:
    Obverse Legend: OL1: IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS PF AVG
    Bust Type: B1: Radiate, cuirassed bust right, viewed from front (“F” in RIC).
    Reverse Legend Break: RL5: CONCORDIA MILI–TVM
    Mint Mark: H // XXI
    Mint City: Antioch
    Roll-Velez #19
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  20. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Sorry to resurrect this complex thread, but I have a Maximianus CONCORDIA MIL-ITVM that I think is RIC V.621, but RIC only lists a DOT XXI mintmark for this reverse with an Epsilon Delta above the exergue:

    Screenshot 2017-07-22 10.11.41.png

    But I've scoured my coin in photo and in-hand, and even in its poor condition, I'm pretty sure there's no dot before the XXI, and I don't think it's just been (mis)struck off-flan:


    Is this a known variant?
    Alegandron and Bing like this.
  21. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Yes, that is type 22 in table 1 of the referenced article here. It is from the Antioch mint.
    Gavin Richardson likes this.
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