Featured The first Roman captives & "trophy tableau monument"

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Curtis, Sep 18, 2023.

  1. Curtis

    Curtis Well-Known Member

    A pair of Republican Quinarii I’ve been wanting for a few years now...especially the first one

    I finally found the right ones in Jacquier Auction 51 last week. (Sammlung R.L., a multi-generation family collection, formed c. 1890s-2010.)

    (So, not actually mine yet, just coins I’ve won at auction.)

    C. Fundanius AR Quinarius (1.67g). Crawford 326/2.
    Fundanius Quinarius Trophy Tableau 326-2 Jacquier 51 Slg RL.jpg

    T. Cloelius AR Quinarius (1.75g). Crawford 332/1a.
    Cloelius Quinarius Trophy Tableau 332-1a Jacquier 51 Slg RL.jpg

    What makes them interesting:

    These are the first coins to depict a bound captive and trophy (what Lauren Kinnee [2016, 2018] calls the “trophy tableau monument” -- or just "trophy tableau"). Trophies appeared on Greek coins, but the captives were a Roman innovation -- a succinct representation of their imperialistic outlook and attitudes toward non-Romans.

    In this case, the trophies (mannequins adorned w/ captured weapons, armor, carnyxes) are also being crowned by Victory (i.e., sanctioning the defeat of Rome’s enemies).

    Fundanius Cloelius Trophy Gray31.png

    The design specifically commemorates Marius’ victories in the Cimbrian War against the Cimbri and Teutones.

    In fact, the coins probably memorialize an actual scene from Marius’ Triumph in 101 BCE, in which the captured king Teutobodus was paraded through the streets of Rome:

    Their king, Teutobodus himself … having been captured in a neighbouring forest was a striking figure in the triumphal procession; for, being a man of extraordinary stature, he towered above the trophies of his defeat.
    Florus, Epitome of Roman History, Book 1, Ch XXXVIII: 10 (Loeb 1929: p. 171).​

    From there, the design was adopted by Roman sculpture, famously on the tomb of Caecilia Metella in Rome, c. 25 BCE (the captive’s face and torso are missing, but the rest of the “trophy tableau” is visible).

    This is an interesting case, then, in which the coins came first, and the rest of the artwork followed the numismatic lead:

    Caecilia Metella Tomb Trophy Tableau  Sergey Sosnovskiy 2006 CC (ed).png
    [Sergey Sosnovskiy 2006 CC-BY-SA (ed)]
    Caecilia Metella Tomb Trophy Tableau Kinnee from Foglia in Paris 2000.png
    [L. Kinnee 2016: p. 199, from G. Foglia in Paris 2000; see also Gerding 2002 & Piranesi in Rome: Tomb of Caecilia Metella]

    …It was then copied and modified on numerous other Roman Republican, Imperial, and Provincial coins over the next 600 years. With only a handful of exceptions, almost every emperor produced at least one captives type (ending with the AE minima of Zeno’s second reign, c. 476-491 -- a type unfortunately still absent from my collection).

    The two most recognizable are probably (1) Julius Caesar’s two-captives-and-trophy denarius, c. 54 BCE, and (2) Vespasian’s extensive Judaea Capta coinage.

    CONSERVATORI-Julius Caesar Captives Denarius.png
    Vespasian Denarius Judaea Capta.png

    I previously posted on the two-captives-and-trophy motif, and it’s variations from Julius Caesar through Constantine’s sons: https://www.cointalk.com/threads/ca...o-constantine-others-if-you-have-them.374729/

    (Also: A page on my website showing >100 coins from my “Barbarians, Captives, and Enemies” collection, though I haven’t yet added the new pair of Quinarii: https://conservatoricoins.com/selections-from-the-bce-collection/ )

    If you can get access to them, I highly recommend:

    Kinnee, Lauren. 2016. “The Trophy Tableau Monument in Rome: from Marius to Caecilia Metella.” Journal of Ancient History 4 (2): 191-239.
    (Not free online anywhere I can find, unless you have university/library access, but I'm more than happy to email the PDF to anyone who asks.)​

    Kinnee, Lauren. 2018. The Greek and Roman Trophy: From Battlefield Marker to Icon of Power. NY: Routledge.

    Among others -- there's a lot of great literature on barbarians and captives in Roman culture and coinage.
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  3. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish)

    What a wonderful pair of coins and a great write up to go with it!

    I had never thought before about how the Romans added the captive to the traditionally Greek type. Very interesting.

    Here are a few relevant coins.

    Even though this example lacks the captive, I think these early Victoriatii must be among the very first Roman coins to depict a trophy in the Greek style.
    Roman Republic
    AR Victoriatus, mint in Sicily, struck ca. 211-208 BC
    Dia.: 17 mm
    Wt.: 3.3 g
    Obv.: Head of Jupiter right
    Rev.: ROMA; Victory right crowning trophy
    Ref.: Crawford 70/1, Brinkman Group B

    …and this one is one of my favorite coins from one of my favorite collections. Marcus Aurelius and a reference to his campaigns in Germania.
    Roman Empire
    Marcus Aurelius
    AR denarius, Rome mint, struck AD 173
    Dia.: 19 mm
    Wt.: 3.31 g
    Obv.: M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXVII; Laureate head right
    Rev.: IMP VI COS III; German captive seated left at foot of trophy
    Rev.: RIC 280
    Ex Walter F. Stoecklin Collection, Amriswil (1888-1975), Ex Obolos 9, lot 303 (March 25, 2018); Ex Orfew Collection purchased privately in Nov. 2019
  4. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    "Trophy tableau" monuments are a very interesting conventional iconography. During the late republican and the imperial period, the bound captives are most often shown kneeling or sitting. But on some depictions the barbarian captives are standing, as early as on this denarius of 62 BC (not my coin):
    (Paullus Aemilius Lepidus. Denarius. 62 BC. Rome (Crawford 415/1). Obv.: Veiled and diademed head of Concord right, PAVLLVS LEPIDVS CONCORDIA., around. Rev.: TER. above trophy, L. Aemilius Paullus on right, Perseus and his two sons as prisoners on left, PAVLLVS, in exergue)

    Under Tiberius, on the triumphal arch of Orange, we see trophies flanked by a standing couple of mourning Barbarian captives, man and woman (not my triumphal arch):


    This iconography was still reproduced in the early 4th c., on the Arch of Constantine in Rome for example.

    I did not read this in any book or article, but I wonder if this iconography could be the origin of the conventional depiction of the Crucifixion, Mary and John standing mourning at the foot of the Cross. As early as the 2nd-3rd c. Christian authors assimilated the Cross to a trophy. Tertullian : "Per tropaeum crucis (Christus) triumphavit" (Adv. Marc. IV, 20). Augustine: "ipsam crucem de diabolo superato tanquam tropaeum" (In Ev. Ioh. 36,4).

    trophée et crucifixion.jpg
    Trophy and standing Barbarian captives, Arch of Constantine
    Early medieval Crucifixion icon
  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    T CLOULIS.jpg
    AR Quinarius
    OBVERSE: Laureate head of Jupiter right
    REVERSE: T CLOVLI, Victory crowning trophy on top of Gaulish captive
    Struck at Rome 98 BC
    2.1g, 13mm
    Cr332/1, Syd 586, Cloulia 2
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: Laureate head of Janus; M•FOVRI•L•F around
    REVERSE: Roma standing left erecting trophy, gallic arms around, ROMA to right, PHLI in ex.
    Struck at Rome, 119 BC
    3.81g, 18.35mm
    Crawford 281/1, Syd 529, BMCRR (Italy) 555, Furia 18
  6. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else Supporter

    Same as @Bing shows above
  7. Curtis

    Curtis Well-Known Member

    Very interesting captives & Republican era trophies!

    Compared to the ones I just posted, the early Victoriati with Victory & trophy make an interesting comparison. I wonder if the round shield and creseted helmet were meant to represent any particular enemy?

    I hadn't noticed before, but by the time of those Furius types with Janus on the obverse, you can see that the trophies have begun to looks distinctively Gallic/Germanic, with the Carnyx (beast-headed horn / standard). By then, all that was left was to add the captured warrior!

    Very interesting, @GinoLR , about the crucifix imagery and its similarity to the trophy. I had not heard of that before, but it immediately makes sense. That might also help to explain why the "two-captives-and-trophy" reverse type began to disappear soon after the Empire turned toward Christianity. (I believe it disappeared after Constantine & his sons.)

    The Paulus Aemilianus Lepidus type is on my want list. There are a few others of those, depicting the defeated kings as captives. (Some of the other ones are more in the pose that later became "kneeling personifications," sometimes holding up objects -- even babies -- to signal submission.) Perseus' hands are behind his back (maybe his sons too?) -- I haven't learned yet if that's just "standing with hands behind the back" or if he's bound? Neither one would surprise me. I need to look into it.
    Carl Wilmont and expat like this.
  8. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Very interesting post (and coins). Centuries later, here are two of the type from Septimius Severus denarii - one with and one without trophy:

    Septimius Severus - Den. Captives both types 17 &23  (0cc).jpg
  9. Curtis

    Curtis Well-Known Member

    Those are great types! I still need to add at least one from the Parthicus Arabicus et Parthicus Adiabenicus series.

    As I understand (please correct if mistaken), they commemorate Septimius' punitive expeditions into Arabia and Parthia, regions supporting Pescennius Niger, annexing and installing client rulers.

    The AE Sestertii (one nice example) & Provincials (one from Nikopolis ad Istrum) are also impressive. I don't know if this imagery is used on the Arch of Septimius Severus (there are other captives shown), but I would expect it (some of the friezes are missing, though).

    Septimius (then Caracalla) continued with less detailed & artistic versions. I picked up this one for its interesting & rare arrangement, with the bound captive standing (this design first used on a Vespasian Judaea Capta Sestertius, then Domitian & Marcus Aurelius Sestertii):

    Septimius Severus denarius Trophy Captives Standing.png

    Examples from his son, Caracalla, still looking quite youthful (top left is Victor Clark's VCoins photo), struck 201 CE:
    Caracalla AR Denarius PART MAX Captives x4.jpg

    The "Parthicus Maximus" referenced on the rev. types above is his father's title, not his own. However, 10 years later (211 CE), when Septimius died, Caracalla received the title. Unlike his father (and Marcus Aurelius & Lucius Verus before him), Caracalla merely inherited the title "Parthicus Maximus," rather than earning it through victorious battle (though, still a child, he did accompany Septimius on the campaign). In 216, he did initiate his own Parthian campaign, but was shortly assassinated by Macrinus.

    The Provincial AE below, from Caracalla's (eventual) successor (and cousin?) Elagabalus shows two small captives underfoot.

    No doubt the young ruler was trying to invoke the military achievements of Septimius, in the tradition of his predecessor Caracalla (issued in Nikopolis, where Septimius had issued many captives coins, as did Caracalla after him).

    I've shown this one before, as it's a new favorite:

    Elagabalus Nicopolis RPC VI 1197.png

    Ex Lindgren Collection (Antioch Associates BBS 42 [15 Nov 2002], 72), presumably meant for the canceled (c. 2001) vol. 4 of his Greek/RPC bronzes.
    Fortunately, it still found its way into the right places:
    Heather Howard's Elagabalus ref. coll., then onto Wildwinds, George Spradling Coll. & Coinproject (38-074),
    into HHJ Addenda 3, #149 & then a plate coin in the HHJ Nicopolis 2015-2021 print vols., and RPC VI 1197 "plate coin";
    also J. Winnett (Tantalus 16683) & zumbly collections/inventory.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2023
    Eric the Red, Bing, Curtisimo and 4 others like this.
  10. Carl Wilmont

    Carl Wilmont Well-Known Member

    Interesting write-up, @Curtis, with great additional information and examples on the page that you referenced from your website! Nice posts above of other coins and sculpture with this imagery.

    Here are a couple of Judaea Capta examples issued under Titus.


    Titus, 79-81. AR Denarius (18 mm, 3.27 g, 7 h). Rome mint, 79 AD, after 1st of July. [IMP] TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M (outward); laureate head of Titus to left. Rev. TR P VIIII IMP XIIII COS VII P P; male Jewish captive kneeling right at base of trophy of arms with hands bound behind his back. Hendin 1583a. RIC 31.

    Judaea. Caesarea Maritima. Titus (79-81 AD). AE (24 mm, 12.88 g).
    AY[TOKPT]ITOΣ KAIΣAP, laureate head of Titus right. Dotted border. / IOYΔ[AI]AΣ EAΛWKYIAΣ, Judaea seated facing left in attitude of mourning at left of base of trophy, her arms tied behind; pelta-shaped shield to right of base of trophy. RPC II 2313; Meshorer 384; Hendin 1449.
  11. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Those are some great examples from the kid. Here are my two Caracalla captive types (RIC 54b and RIC 65):

    Caracalla - Den. captives RIC 54b Jan 2017 (0).jpg

    This one needs a cleaning:

    Caracalla - Den. captives RIC 65 Aug 2018 (0).jpg
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