Featured The Most Ironic LRB, or: How to represent the Sack of Rome in your collection

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Severus Alexander, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Fantastic post!
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  3. Here's a crummy Honorius AE3 and asn Arcadius AE 2, a couple of the players in the drama you have outlined.




  4. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Great post!

    I don't actively collect the terminal empire, beyond "one of each emperor" and I gravitate toward the nicer types.

    I do have a small baggie of unattributed coins - I always save the ones from lots that "could" be one of the white whale emperors or usurpers, or ones that really stand out to me. I think I have one of this type that could be a post sack barbarian imitation. The flan is small enough that there is nothing but the portrait on the obverse, and the reverse only has the lower half of Roma and OF to the left.

    As for my late Roman coins...

    CONCORDIA AVGGG, Cyzicus (404-406 AD)
    Arcadius cross ae4.jpg

    Aelia Eudoxia, Arcadius' wife and mother of Theodosius II
    Aelia eudoxia salvs reipvblicae.jpg

    VIRTVS EXERCITI, Cyzicus (Never realized how hard it is to find a "nice" AE of his until I started really looking!)
    Honorius virtvs exerciti.jpg

    Theodosius II as a toddler
    Theodosius ii cross concordia avggg heraclea.jpg

    Later in life
    Anepigraphic cross reverse, Antioch
    Theodosius ii cross wreath ANT D.jpg

    One of the unknowns, *maybe* Johannes?
    Possible Johannes Victoria Avgg.jpg

    Definitely Johannes
    Johannes AE4 victory captive.jpg

    I have briefly owned a couple ratty AE Valentinian IIIs, but I found this tremissis delightfully affordable in comparison
    Valentinian iii tremissis victoria avgvstorvm.jpg
  5. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    I was going to report this post for setting me off on a frantic 2 hour search through undescribed lots of LRBs on eBay...:woot:

    Really, really well done (including the fiction!), SA. Although I'm still a little grumpy about the 2 hours I spent looking for a coin minted in c. 409, I did fine a Constantine LRB from London that I might bid on, so I guess it wasn't completely wasted time. :banghead:

    Of all the ancients, LRBs are usually towards the bottom of my list, but thanks to this post, they are climbing my charts! Thanks, I think....:D
  6. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    Great post. I really enjoyed it.

    Bronze coins of Honorius in decent conditions are really not so easy to find. Here is my largest Honorius bronze (AE2) GLORIA ROMANORVM. I think this is in fact the largest bronze denomination that was struck for this Emperor, for whom gold and silver is much more common than large bronzes. Screenshot 2020-01-21 at 19.44.16.png
  7. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    This Honorius bronze (AE3) from my collection shows Honorius and Theodosius II on the reverse. Since Arcadius, who is missing from the reverse, died in 408, this coin may have been minted close to AD 410 I think. Screenshot 2020-01-21 at 19.56.09.png
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
  8. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    I love this series, which was produced in Antioch for Honorius, Arcadius and Theodosius. Luckily I have all three in decent condition.

    Screenshot 2020-01-21 at 20.05.45.png Screenshot 2020-01-21 at 20.08.03.png Screenshot 2020-01-21 at 20.10.34.png
  9. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Severus Alexander.....Wow! What a super thread and some lovely coins shown by everyone!.....I have one contemporary imitation of Arcadius 12mm...

    Looks to have DNARCA-DIVSAVG.....with a missing PF on the obverse..The reverse I think is a SALVS REI-PVBLICAE with a staurogram in left field....Maybe Nicomedia....
  10. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    I also want to show a coin from my collection that is related to the sack of Rome of AD 410. Below is an imitative Siliqua of Honorius. The coin was found at Walcott, Folkingham in Lincolnshire(the coin is registered in the UK).
    The mintmark is Trier, but no Siliquae were struck for Honorius in Trier. In fact the type is only known from Britain and was almost certainly made there.
    In 410 Honorius abandoned Britain, telling its people to fend for themselves. The inflow of Roman silver dried up and these imitative Siliquae are probably among the first coins minted by people in the now independent Britain.

    Screenshot 2020-01-21 at 20.24.46.png
  11. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    This is very likely but is there any literature regarding these imitations? Would very much like to learn more of the type.
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  12. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    Fascinating post!

    Here is an Siliqua of Honorius struck in Rome in either 407 or 408 during the first siege of Rome. As with the LRB’s there is a clear deterioration of size, weight and design.

    Honorius AR Siliqua
    Minted 407-408 CE
    1.29 Grams
    Rome mint

    Compare this pitiful siliqua to one of Maximus struck only 20 years earlier. Note that on paper in 407 Honorius controlled double the territory and resources that Maximus would have in 387.

  13. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Tejas, That is a great score :D! It's very possible the coin was made in Gaul by German barbarians & ended up in Britain like so many other official issues...
  14. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Thanks for the continuing comments, everyone! I'm very happy the post has struck a chord. :shame:

    Post-408 is right. Grierson says this two-standing-emperors type was the last AE3/centenionalis, which was abandoned as early as 413 or as late as 423. It was issued only in the East, at a reduced 1.6g standard that seems never to have been adopted in the West. Both of you have very nice examples! I'd be curious to know their weights.

    I've never seen an imitative example, though surely they must exist. Although (as you can see in the OP) the official mint products are pretty miserable sometimes, and often as small as you describe. Would love to see a photo sometime!

    Not super easy to find, but far from impossible for eastern mints. This type in particular can often be quite nice, in good style & well struck. Big contrast with the Rome products! I got this Antioch example from Frank Robinson way back in 1991:
    Screen Shot 2020-01-21 at 11.15.55 PM.jpg

    An AE2 is definitely not easy to find - nice coin! The AE2 (double centenionalis or majorina) was discontinued and demonetized in 395, thus their scarcity.
  15. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I love this series too, but only have one crappy one! All three of those are beauties.

    What an awesome coin, I haven't seen one if these before! On the want list now, big time, but it seems they are hard to come by...

    That's a nice illustration of the point about quality. Great coin for the issue, though, and I don't think those Rome mint examples are very easy to come by. (They're normally dated 404-408... is there a reason to date yours more specifically? I don't know much about these...)

    Thanks, @Spaniard! Are you sure that's an imitation? If it's a western mint product maybe it could be official. (Although the obverse lettering does look pretty sketchy...)
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  16. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    We will perhaps never know for sure, but personally, I don't think that the Vandals, Suevians and Alans, who crossed the Rhine in AD 406/407 minted any coins while plundering and ransacking Gaul. The same I think is true for the Burgundians and Franks, who also had crossed the Rhine at that time, but partly with Roman endorsement (the Frankish tribes actually attacked the Vandals trying to prevent their crossing into Gaul, but without much success).

    I think these very early Siliqua imitations were the product of abandoned provinces, i.e. regions were some sort of Roman life and trade continued for which they still needed small silver denominations, which were, however, no longer flowing in in sufficient numbers. Find spot evidence suggests, that the coin I showed above was made in Britain, and it was probably made by Romano-British locals who had to fall back on their own resources when official Rome withdrew.

    According to Stephen Bland from the BM silver circulated for about another 30 years after AD 410 in Britain, but with official coins heavily clipped and unofficial ones displaying increasingly lighter standards. The coin above probably belongs to the beginning of this Phase, perhaps to the time from about AD 410 to 420.
  17. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    As promised, here is the possibly barbarous example of the type
    Unknown vrbs roma felix.jpg

    It's a little clearer in hand; these tiny module AE4s are tough to photograph, especially when parts of the patina are glossy. No legend is visible except OF below the elbow, and the tops of the letters in the mintmark. The officina letter unfortunately is worn off.
  18. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Thanks for posting this, Finn. It is pretty grotty looking, but I'm inclined towards official... at least once you take the corrosion into consideration, it doesn't depart far enough from other official issues to be obviously an imitation. The exergue (SMROM) looks OK too.

    In my scrambles, I neglected to comment on two important contributions above.

    So jealous!! :troll: Thanks for virtually completing the set for me!

    Thanks, Mike... and sorry for the lost time. Although surely if it's time looking at coins, it counts as well spent?! :shy:
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