Septimius Severus - CERERI VRVG

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by maridvnvm, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    Another new addition. I don't tend to buy many COS II coins any more. I couldn't walk past this one.

    Septimius Severus denarius
    Obv:– IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, Laureate head right
    Rev:– CERERI VRVG(sic), Ceres standing left, holding grain ears in right hand, torch in left
    Minted in Emesa. A.D. 194 - 195
    Reference:– BMCRE -. RIC IV -. RSC -

    2.75g. 17.51mm. 0 degrees

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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    That's interesting. The "misspelling" suggests the initial V in VRVG was pronounced as a voiced labial fricative V (the unvoiced being F), not as the W sound we were all taught in Latin class.

    Here's a CERERI FRVGIF from nearby "Laodicea" (now attributed by the British Museum as being minted in Antioch):

    Julia Domna, AD 193-217.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.87 g, 18 mm, 6 h.
    Antioch, AD 196-202 (or later).
    Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: CERERI FRVGIF, Ceres seated left, holding corn-ears in right hand and long vertical torch in left hand.
    Refs: RIC 636; BMCRE 592; Cohen 14; RCV --; CRE 300.
  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Around the world, officials are debating whether to send kids back to school which might be dangerous to their physical health or to leave them at home which will be dangerous to their education (and the mental health of kids and parents). This coin suggests that the die cutter had issues separating V and F. My daughter teaches First Grade and is well aware of this and other traps set for those who did not pay attention to this lesson. Spelling was not a strong point in the "not really in Emesa but we call it that anyway" mint. I don't have this one. Below is a coin cut by the runner up in the spelling bee. Unfortunately, the poor child failed penmanship due to his odd F and the second E in CERER missing the bottom line.

    Also eliminated was the kid who did this one showing a boxy C or E missing the center bar where teacher wanted the F.

    I suppose you want me to show a coin done by the victor in the spelling bee but I have not found it yet from this period. Perhaps Martin has one??? In the previous year's competition there was a contestant who could spell CERER FRVG but that was in the period that used IIC rather than COSII on the obverse. What the mint needed was a diecutter with a strong First Grade education in all matters of alphabet.
  5. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    I have that die pair though not as nice


    Another AVG II C with a different reverse die


    Yet another AVG II C but this time with the even more unusual CERER FRVG II COS reverse legend

  6. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    @dougsmit The first one looks like he came down from that mountain where they filmed Deliverance.
    ominus1 likes this.
  7. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..ahaha....funny you should mention that movie...i just rewatched it last nite :D...(excellent movie btw!)
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Are you suggesting that any faults on the coin might be attributed to prior use as a banjo pick?
    benhur767 and Inspector43 like this.
  9. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    Well, no offense intended, but the subject was design and execution of the artist. I thought that the artist may have been trying to portray a banjo picker.
  10. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    His spelling isn't great, but I think that Ceres is very artfully executed and innovative with detailed bamboo torch.
    benhur767 likes this.
  11. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    Here's a CERER FRVG of Julia Domna attributed to Emesa. No errors, but intriguing because the goddess appears to have been deliberately defaced:
    Julia Domna. AR denarius, Emesa, c. 200 CE; 2.97g. BMCRE p. 102 †, Hill —, RIC S616a (R2), RSC 13a Obv: IVLIA DO–MNA AVG; draped bust right. Rx: CERER F–RVG •; Ceres standing l., holding two corn-ears and lighted torch.

    Die duplicate of 1979,0614.33 in The British Museum.


    Here's a Julia Domna with misspelled obverse legend:

    Julia Domna. AR denarius, Emesa, 193–6/7 CE; 2.92 g. BMCRE S424 var., RIC S632 var., RSC 194 var. Obv: • – IVLA [sic] DO–MNA AVG; draped bust right. Rx: VENER–I – V–ICTR; Venus, naked to waist, standing right with back to spectator and resting left elbow on column, holding apple and palm over left shoulder.

    Die duplicate of a coin in the Barry Murphy Collection:, SEV-470.
  12. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    There is more than one die with this error. I do not have it but there is also an Alexandria mint version as I recall.
    rk5190b01324lg.jpg rk5200b02000lg.jpg

    another die - I have no idea how many dies of these there are.
  13. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    My CERERI FRVG has a misspelling on the obverse, with Septimius's name spelt SEV SEV.

    Septimius Severus - Eastern Cereri Frvg.jpg
    AR Denarius. 2.95g, 17.5mm. Eastern mint, AD 194-195. RIC 371 var. (obv legend). O: IMP CAE L SEV (sic) SEV PERT AVG COS II, laureate head right. R: CERERI FRVG, Ceres standing left, holding wheat ears and long torch.
    Ex Curtis L. Clay Collection
    Notes: Same dies as SEV-237 in the Barry Murphy Collection.
  14. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    The IVLA error does indeed occur at both mints.

    This die has already been seen above


    Doug cited Alexandrian examples... I have a couple


    This one is deemed a hybrid (knot sure how we know) but the reverse die VIRTVS AVG II COS is also used on Septimius Severus. I have a few dies from Alexandria that were used for both husband and wife.

  15. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Reverses were considered appropriate for either men or women at Rome so the scholars assumed the rule was the same in the Eastern mints and considered these coins errors or hybrids. The Eastern mintmasters don't seem to have known that modern scholars would expect them to follow rules of which they never had heard. It works both ways. There are 'female' reverses for Septimius that I don't consider errors as well.
    Roman Collector and benhur767 like this.
  16. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    I agree Doug. We try to see more order or control in the Eastern mints than perhaps there was at Rome. I know of more example of the VIRTVS AVG II COS coins for Domna than for Severus so does that makeit the norm and Severus the Hybrid? I think that the mint simply operated "differently".
    benhur767 and Roman Collector like this.
  17. curtislclay

    curtislclay Well-Known Member

    COS II is Septimius' title, not Domna's, so it would appear that this rev. type was intended for obverses of the emperor not the empress.
    Broucheion likes this.
  18. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    curtisclay is assuming that there was 'intent' so there could be variations or errors from that norm. My belief is that dies were made and combined with less 'intent' than was expected at Rome; perhaps, in some periods, none. It hardly was 'random' but I can not see calling the relatively large numbers of male reverses used with Domna obverses 'errors'. It appears that under some circumstances (time?, place?) the 'rule' was that there was no rule. It would be nice to know, for example, if all the incorrect uses were made earlier and stopped later after the correction communication reached the mint. I have seen no scholarly studies. I do believe that we would be farther along had Bickford-Smith lived and he was an amateur worker not supported by an institution. What little I know or believe I know came from my correspondence with him starting in 1989. What has been learned since his passing?
    BONI EVENTVS II COS (a bit confused by the doublestrike)
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