Roman Empire: bronze antoninianus of Aurelian (ca. 270-275 AD); Sol w/globe

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by lordmarcovan, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    Roman Empire: bronze antoninianus of Aurelian (ca. 270-275 AD); Sol w/globe
    Obverse: radiate, cuirassed bust of Aurelian left.
    Reverse: Sol Invictus, the sun god, holding a globe, bound captive at left. ORIENS AVG legend.

    Ex-eBay, 2 March 2020.

    This was posted here primarily for the purpose of uploading the pictures, but feel free to comment or post your own relevant coins if you like.






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  3. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    To what end? I don't understand.
    Does CT have a photo gallery for members?
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  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    This is a fun issue, @lordmarcovan ! There's an interesting backstory behind these Sol issues of Aurelian. Here's mine:

    Aurelian AD 270-275.
    Roman silvered billon Antoninianus, 3.60 gm; 21.7 mm, 6 h.
    Rome mint, officina 9, issue 11, early – September AD 275.
    Obv: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev: ORIE-N-S AVG, Sol walking r., holding olive branch in r. hand and bow in l. hand, l. foot resting on a captive in oriental dress kneeling on the ground to r., head turned l., r. hand raised; * in left field, XXIR in exergue.
    Refs: RIC 64; MER/RIC temp 1834; RCV 11569; Hunter 23; Cohen 159; La Venera 1321-32.
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  5. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    That's a really nice example. Quite handsome with the silvering.

    I suppose I should still have described mine as "billon", even though there's no exterior silvering left? These were what, five? ten? percent silver?

    I just said "bronze" here. I reckon that's mostly true, with the exception of whatever trace amount of silver is there.

    PS- thanks for the link. I'd already read about some of that, but not all.
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  6. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    It's complicated. Yes, there is indeed a gallery, but for a few reasons, it is not ideal for my purposes here, though it is a good feature. (I think I've maxed out my allowable space in that anyway. Probably need to clean a ton of stuff out.)

    I've been using CollectiveCoin for the past several years, and it's a great site, but it doesn't allow for formatting or hyperlinks in its description fields. But the main reason I'm transitioning away from that is because their servers have become unacceptably slow. Click here and count how long the page takes to load, to see what I mean.

    There are other reasons I won't go into in boring detail. Anyway, if my posting a bunch of cheap ancients has become tedious, don't worry- I'm almost done.

    Besides, if I had posted this in the Gallery, @Roman Collector couldn't have shared his in such detail.
    Roman Collector and Alegandron like this.
  7. Alegandron

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


    RI Aurelian 270-275 CE AE Ant receiving Globe from Jupiter
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  8. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Another Sol type:
    Aurelian, 270-275 AD. Æ Antoninianus (23mm). Rome mint. Obv: IMP AURELIANUS AVG. Radiate and cuirassed bust right. Rev: ORIENS AVG Sol walking left with globe in left hand and raised hand, flanked by two captives. T in ex. RIC V Part I, 62.
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  9. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    Another sharp one. Full circle of beading on the obverse. Sol looks rather like he's about to try an unorthodox bowling maneuver. Or maybe the shot put.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  10. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    Shame the reverse is so off center, but a nice Sol example:
    Billon Antoninianus
    Cyzicus mint
    Rev: ORIENS AVG - Sol, standing left, raising right hand and holding globe in left; captive at feet
    XXL in exergue
    RIC 360
    22mm, 3.8g.
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  11. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    The coin is clearly marked XXI for one part silver and 20 parts alloy metal (mostly copper). Modern people would give a percentage like 90% (9/10) silver but had the ancients made Morgan dollars, they would have considered them 9+1. As a result we would translate XXI as 1/21 or 4.7% Assay report I have seen say this is correct. If you wish to round it off just say a bit under 5%. This is the alloy of the coin interior even if the micro thin silver wash is gone. Our eyes don't see that little silver but that is why they 'advertised' it being there with the silver wash and the XXI (some mints used Greek KA which is 20 and 1). There are a very few coins that test to twice as much silver and are marked XI (or IA if Greek numeraled). My example is the common Tacitus with XI (the few others are rare). Aurelian introduced the concept of alloy marking after the 'problem' he had with the Rome mint workers skimming metal and producing poor coins. Coins before that time used letters in exergue or field to indicate workshops but Aurelian originated the alloy mark which continued into the early folles of Diocletian's reform at a few mints.

    You may read older works that promote the outdated theory that the XXI meant something else. Don't believe everything you read.
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  12. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    This reverse type was being produced with the legends SOLI INVICTO and ORIENS AVG at the same time on alternate strikes.....

    The proof of this comes from examples like the following:-

    Aurelian Ant.
    Obv:– IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, Radiated, cuirassed bust right
    Rev:– SOLI INS AVG, Sol standing left raising right hand, holding globe in left hand standing on captive in front, another captive behind
    Minted at Ticinum
    Reference:– RIC -

    This coin is relatively interesting in that it illustrates the use of two different reverse dies being struck with the same obverse die. The coin combines a SOLI INVICTO and and ORIENS AVG, both with star in left field and PXXT in exe from the mint at Ticinum. Shadow strikes can be seen of the other captives and on the head of Sol from the other strike

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  13. curtislclay

    curtislclay Well-Known Member

    What I call a "Kraay overstrike", since the explanation that two rev. dies were being struck alternately at the same obv. die first occurred to Colin Kraay in 1974, when he and I were discussing such an overstruck coin that the Ashmolean Museum had just acquired.

    The first publication of this idea in a major periodical: in my review of Woytek's Trajan book in Num. Chronicle 172, 2012, pp. 361-2.
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  14. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    That one looks very nice indeed. The o/c reverse doesn't really bother me since it is more than adequately compensated for by all the other positive attributes. Great coin!

    What is the "T" in the exergue of my example in the OP? I am admittedly vague on practically all exergue markings and what they mean. It's not something I have gotten around to focusing much of my attention on just yet. I tend to do less with the later Roman stuff.
  15. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    That is the officina or workshop mark. This coin comes from an issue where the officina were marked with P, S, T etc. For Prima, Secunda etc.
  16. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    So T would be ... Tertia?
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