T-Bone Tuesday -- AEQVITAS of Antioch Edition

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Dec 22, 2020.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Trebonianus Gallus' coins of Antioch have a number of distinguishing features. First, they include the abbreviation P F (Pius Felix) in the obverse inscription. Second, they typically include a series of dots or Roman numerals to designate the officina in which they were struck and these may be present on the obverse (below the bust), on the reverse (in the exergue), or most commonly, both sides. They also come in a couple of different bust types, either draped and cuirassed (more common) or simply cuirassed (scarce).

    It is on the basis of these features of the officina marks and the bust styles that three series of issues have been identified.* The first issue shows Gallus cuirassed only, with a fine style portrait, and with officina marks only on the obverse; the second issue is the same but uses officina marks on both sides of the coins; the third issue is the most common and features Gallus draped and cuirassed with a coarse style portrait and officina marks on both obverse and reverse. There are a few issues of Antioch that feature no officina marks at all, such as the common MARTEM PROPVGNATOREM reverse type, but most types do.

    This coin from my collection is of the third series: it features a draped and cuirassed bust with a course style and officina marks on both obverse and reverse. These officina marks consist of a series of dots or Roman numerals indicating any of seven officinae.

    Trebonianus Gallus, AD 251-253.
    Roman AR antoninianus, 3.54 g, 20.7 mm, 5 h.
    Antioch, first officina third series, AD 252-253.
    Obv: IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right; • below.
    Rev: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae; • in exergue.
    Refs: RIC 80; Cohen 6; RCV 9623; Hunter 52; ERIC II 30 var. (different officina marks).

    In contrast, here is an example of the first series, with a cuirassed bust and officina marks only on the obverse (Rauch Auction 81, lot 586, 21 Nov., 2007):


    Here is an example of the second series, with a cuirassed bust and officina marks on both obverse (off flan) and reverse (Naumann Auction 74, lot 423, 03 Feb., 2019):

    A bit about the reverse type:

    This reverse type is unique to the Antioch mint on coins of Trebonianus Gallus, though it was used for his son Volusian at the mint in Rome (e.g. RIC 116). Aequitas, the Roman counterpart to the Greek Dikaiosyne, was the personification of equity and fairness, particularly in commerce and business. She is similar to Justitia in her iconography, but Justitia was the personification of justice and fairness in legal matters. Justitia does not appear on the coins of Trebonianus or Volusian.

    Aequitas is almost always represented as a female figure, clothed in the stola, generally standing but occasionally seated, holding a pair of scales, or very rarely a patera or branch in the right hand, and in the left a cornucopiae or scepter. Some numismatists consider the scepter-like object to be a pertica (measuring rod), which makes sense as a counterpart to the scales as an object for measuring items in the course of commercial transactions. On the coins of Gallus and Volusian, she only appears standing left and holding scales and cornucopiae.


    *Metcalf, William E. “THE ANTIOCH HOARD OF ANTONINIANI AND THE EASTERN COINAGE OF TREBONIANUS GALLUS AND VOLUSIAN.” Museum Notes (American Numismatic Society), vol. 22, 1977, pp. 71–94. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43573549. Accessed 22 Dec. 2020.
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  3. Claudius_Gothicus

    Claudius_Gothicus Well-Known Member

    While I still don't have any coins of dear old T-Bone, I do have two coins of his son Volusian from the Antioch mint, both of which feature Aequitas on the reverse:
    AEQVITAS AVG (Antiochia).jpg
    Volusian (251-253), Antoninianus, Antioch mint, 3rd emission, third officina.
    Obverse: IMP C C VIB VOLVSIANVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind;
    Reverse: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopia. Three dots in exergue;
    RIC 215

    Volusian (251-253), Antoninianus, Antioch mint, 1st emission, second officina.
    Obverse: IM C V AF GAL VEND VOLVSIANO AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind. Two dots beneath;
    Reverse: AEQVITAS AVGG, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopia;

    The second coin is by far the most interesting, since it's an apparently unrecorded mule combining an obverse of Volusian with the reverse of Gallus' very rare RIC 81, which is the only one of his Antioch coins with this reverse legend.
  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    While an IV was shown, we should mention that the dots for officinae were replaced with Roman numerals when the count got too high. Below is VI.
  5. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Interesting post, as always, RC.

    I do not have an Aequitas for Trebonianus Gallus, but here is Felicitas:

    Trebonianus Gallus - Ant FELICITAS Aug 2020 (0).jpg
    Trebonianus Gallus Antonin.
    (251-253 A.D.)
    Antioch Mint (3rd Issue)

    C VIB TREB GALLVS PF AVG radiate, draped & cuirassed bust r., 4 dots beneath / FELICITAS PVBL, Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus & cornucopiae, 4 dots in exergue.
    RIC 82; Cohen 34; RCV 9628
    (4.63 grams / 22 mm)

    Attribution notes: "Gallus' third issue at Antioch has the...same obverse inscription as the 1st & 2nd issues...they are easy to differentiate: The 1st issue shows Gallus undraped and with a fine style portrait with officina marks only on the obverse, the 2nd issue is the same but uses officina marks on both sides...while the third issue...(is) draped with a coarse style portrait.
    "Four Bad Years"

    I do have an Aequitas for Volusian, but from the Rome Mint (RIC 166):

    Volusian - Ant. Aequitas Apr 2017 (0).jpg
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