THE SEVEN STARS, ROMAN SYMBOL

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by PMONNEY, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. PMONNEY

    PMONNEY Flaminivs

    TRIOrev.jpg
    Several Roman coins celebrating deceased prominent personalities, reproduced seven stars on their reverse: for instance, Divus Augustus, Diva Faustina, Diva Paulina.

    In mythology, Zeus made Helice immortal, as a reward for her service by changing her into seven of the brightest stars in Ursa Major. The individuals commemorated on these special coins had served in public functions and it was hoped that Zeus would also reward them by transposing them into heaven among the constellation.

    This was initially the case of L.Lucretius Trio, a prominent Roman citizen, former Consul., whose radiate head is shown on the obverse of a Republican denarius with the seven stars and a moon crescent on the reverse.


    From my collection: LVCRETIA. L. LUCRETIUS TRIO : Radiate head Lucretius or Sol r. Rev: “TRIO / L LVCRETI” Crescent surrounded by seven stars. Mint:Rome. 64 BC. AR.D. gVF. .(3.5 gr./19 mm.), Ref,:Seaby, Lucretia 2,Crawford 390/1

    Dear members, please how your seven star coins.
     

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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    That is an interesting coin, and one I have been looking to buy for my collection. Congrats..
     
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  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    The type was used at Emesa by Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. rg2420bb1332.jpg rk5410bb0868.jpg
     
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  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Diva Faustina II:

    Faustina Jr CONSECRATIO moon and stars denarius.jpg
    Faustina Jr, AD 161-175
    Roman AR denarius; 3.14 g, 17 mm
    Rome, AD 176 or later
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA PIA, bare-headed and draped bust right
    Rev: CONSECRATIO, crescent moon around large star, surrounded by six stars
    Refs: RIC 750; BMCRE 718; Cohen 83; RCV 5219; MIR 63; CRE 172.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
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  6. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Septimius Severus 18.jpg
    SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS I-I laureate head right
    REVERSE: SAECVL FELICIT dot,
    seven stars & crescent
    Struck at Emesa, 194-195 AD
    2.95g, 17.5mm
    RIC 417
     
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  7. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    Septimius Severus. I need a Julia Domna to match, like Doug's. sev_mk_2017_0831_01.jpg
     
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  8. kaparthy

    kaparthy Well-Known Member

    Alternately, those depict the Moon in conjuction with the Pleiades. It might have been perceived as an auspicious event. It might just be the Mintmaster's way to note the date of the striking for this issue. The conjunction would have been long previously predicted and therefore expected.

    See Astronomical Symbols on Ancient and Medieval Coins by Dr. Marshall Faintich.
     
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  9. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    benhur767's example is even more special that most (especially to me as it is a sub-focus area of mine) as it comes from the scarcer AVG II C sub-series. I have Septimius examples from the COS I, COS II and IMP II issues. I don't have a Domna though I have come close a few times.
     
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  10. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    Thanks, maridvnum. Yes, I am not knowledgeable enough by myself to have known the rarity of this variety without it being pointed out to me. It comes from Harlan J. Berk and based on their description (which I'm pretty sure was written by Curtis Clay), I jumped on it. I'm very interested in the Emesene coins of Severus and Domna, and I have to credit both you and Doug Smith for helping to fuel it. Images and information on Doug's website, and his and your posts in this forum are largely to blame. Anyway, I'm working on this as a subspecialty of my own, but I am really just beginning and admire the vast scope of yours and Doug's collection. I'm waiting for the two of you to collaborate on a reference work. :)

    Based on some of your previous posts, I understand that you keep track of dies and have thorough records of the Severan Emesa mint issues beyond those in your own collection. Here is the full description, as I have it, which I should have posted with the image. The photo is my own, and you are welcome to use it if you'd like:

    Septimius Severus. AR denarius, Emesa mint, struck 194 CE; 17mm, 3.26g, 7h. cf. BMCRE 390 note (their obv. COS II not II C and rev. SAECVLI FELICIT), cf. RIC 419, cf. RSC 628d. Obv: IMP CAE L • SEP SE - V PERT • AVG II C; head laureate right. Rx: SAECVLI FELICITAS; Crescent and seven stars. From Harlan J. Berk: “Apparently unpublished with this combination of the rare early obverse legend ending II C and the reverse legend SAECVLI FELICITAS fully written out, not abbreviated. A denarius in Budapest, described by BMC-390 note, also has the unabbreviated reverse legend, but combined with an anomalous obverse legend ending CO III. C. Clay has a plaster cast of that Budapest coin and considers it to be an ancient imitation, so of little relevance to our piece.” VF

    ex Berk BBS 202, 12 October 2017, lot 204
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  11. Daniel_R6

    Daniel_R6 Well-Known Member

    An interesting OP coin, and some lovely examples shared in this thread. I also have an example of Septimius Severus with the seven stars and crescent on the reverse:

    Septimius Severus RIC IV 417 (S).jpg

    Septimius Severus

    AR Denarius, 2.268g
    Emesa mint, 194-95 AD
    Obv: IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, Laureate head right
    Rev: SAECVL FELICIT, Seven stars above and within a crescent with horns up
    RIC IV 417 (S)
     
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  12. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

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  13. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    Thanks for sharing a link to a very informative article. From the article:

    "OUR MOON IS SOLID, not transparent. So it is impossible for a star to appear between the points of a crescent moon. But ancient artists did not care about this, even if they understood it."

    Evidence against Giorgio Tsoukalos's assertion on the show Ancient Aliens that ancient peoples "depicted what they saw," therefore aliens. :)
     
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  14. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Oh, I love this motif. Have never had one.
     
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