Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by seth77, Aug 1, 2020.
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AE (15 mm, 1.50 grams, 12h), Struck A.D. 379-383, Siscia mint, 1st officina
Obverse: D N THEODO-SIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right
Reverse: VOT / V / MVLT / X, in four lines within wreath; ASISC in exergue
Reference: RIC IX 29d.1
Provenance: Triton XI (January 8-9, 2008), Lot 1019
Nice to see a thread about Theodosius I! His coinage, though fascinating both historically and numismatically, is certainly underappreciated.
I particularly like the larger AE coins and their interesting reverse iconography. Also, these can be quite attractive as far as late Roman bronze coins go:
Theodosius I, Roman Empire, AE 2, 378–383 AD, Siscia mint. Obv: DN THEODOSIVS PF AVG; bust of Theodosius I, diademed, draped and cuirassed, r. Rev: REPARATIO REIPVB; Emperor, head l., standing facing, with r. hand raising kneeling turreted woman, and holding Victory on globe in l.; in exergue, BSISC. 22mm, 5.44g. Ref: RIC IX Siscia 26C.
Theodosius I, Roman Empire, AE2, 378–383 AD, Siscia mint. Obv: DN THEODOSIVS PF AVG; bust of Theodosius I, diademed, draped and cuirassed, r. Rev: REPARATIO REIPVB; Emperor, head r., standing facing, holding standard and globe; in exergue, ANTA. 22mm, 4.48g. Ref: RIC IX Antioch 68A. Ex Spring Coins, Texas.
The small AE4s are abundantly available and usually not very pretty. Yet, the first coin below is interesting since it shows a cross in the left reverse field instead of the more common Chi Rho monogram (☧) visible on my second example. Contrary to common belief, the cross wasn't very widely used as a symbol in early Christianity. In fact, the cross on this coin is quite early:
Theodosius I, Roman Empire, AE4, 383–392 AD, Antioch mint. Obv: DN THEODOSIVS PF AVG; bust of Theodosius I, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed, r. Rev: SALVS REIPVBLICAE; Victory advancing l., carrying trophy over shoulder with r. hand, and dragging captive with l.; in l. field, cross; in exergue ANTB. 12mm, 1.16g. Ref: RIC IX Antioch 67B.
Theodosius I, Roman Empire, AE4, 388–392 AD, Cyzicus mint. Obv: DN THEODOSIVS PF AVG; bust of Theodosius I, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed, r. Rev: SALVS REIPVBLICAE; Victory advancing l., carrying trophy over shoulder with r. hand, and dragging captive with l.; in l. field, ☧; in exergue, SMKB. 13mm, 1.40g. Ref: RIC IX Cyzicus 26B.
the symbol in the left field is a tau-rho
Oh, you’re right - now I see it, too. Thanks!
Galla Placidia was the daughter of Theodosius I, not his mother.
Thank you. Boo-boo on my part.
Given the reverse legend VIRTVS ROMANORVM, I think it's quite possible that the reverse figure may be the personification of Virtus, rather than the personification of Roma. True, the two are often depicted similarly, and can be difficult to distinguish. See this excerpt from the book by Myles McDonnell entitled Roman Manliness - Virtus and the Roman Republic (Cambridge 2006), at p. 149:
What leads me to believe that this figure may be Virtus rather than Roma -- even though she is seated, not standing -- is not only the reverse legend, but the fact that the figure is portrayed with a bare right breast. See my comments on the subject in the thread at https://www.cointalk.com/threads/is-there-anything-more-macho-than-the-emperor-as-virtvs.361356/, as well as, most recently, in a comment of mine in the "Follow the coin theme game" thread (see https://www.cointalk.com/threads/follow-the-coin-theme-game-ancient-edition-post-‘em-if-you-got-‘em.300099/page-305#post-4691110).
Also, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm not familiar with portrayals of Roma herself with a bare breast. See the article at FORVM Ancient Coiins about Virtus (https://www.forumancientcoins.com/moonmoth/reverse_virtus.html), commenting as follows about an antoninianus of Philip I (see https://www.forumancientcoins.com/moonmoth/coins/philip_i_009.html for photo): "Virtus wears a helmet and carries a spear, but is this a male? The drapery of the clothing, and the bared breast, suggest otherwise. In fact, Sear (ref. 8974) says this might be Minerva, but Minerva doesn't bare her breast. That would be beneath her dignity, as it would be for Roma."
I tried to photograph it for the first time today, so here it is:
Theodosius I, AE2 (Sear: Maiorina), 379-383 AD, Aquileia Mint, 1st Officina. Obv. Pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, DN THEODO-SIVS PF AVG / Rev. Emperor standing front, head left, offering right hand to turreted female on left to help her rise from kneeling position, and holding Victory in left hand on a globe, REPARATIO REIPVB; in exergue: SMAQP (P = 1st Officina). RIC IX 30d, Cohen 27, Sear RCV V 20497. 22mm., 4.3 g.
(The bluish-green areas on the obverse don't appear to be powdery, and in any event don't seem to have advanced much in the 56 or 57 years I've owned the coin!)
Anyway, I've seen worse (although certainly not in this thread), especially for a quarter! Although I'm still not planning to make it an "official" part of my collection and add it to my catalog.
And I think I see SMRS or Q in the exergue, so rather Rome than Aquileia.
You're quite likely correct. It depends on whether there are four or five letters in the exergue. Perhaps what I thought was the 5th letter is actually the last letter (B) of the reverse legend REIPUB. If it was minted in Rome, then it's RIC IX 43d, Cohen 27, Sear RCV V 20498.
In terms of keeping it all these years, I don't think I've ever thrown out a coin, no matter how poor the condition. I still have all the other cheap "foreign" coins I collected as a child, including on family vacations to Caribbean islands.
Also, I've added the word "turreted," from Sear, to the description of the kneeling female figure on the reverse. I can actually kind of see the turret now that I know what to look for. Presumably she is supposed to represent Tyche or Cybele or some other personification or goddess who's usually depicted that way. Although a pagan goddess seems rather unlikely for someone like Theodosius.
Those are quite a beautiful pair of Father / son coins!
How much is the siliqua of theodosius I with the same condition as yours?
(the Great) was the ending of an empire, many historians mark
17 January 395 AD. the day of Theodosius' death as the beginning of the Middle Ages...
Wow, what a nice group of beautiful Theo's
A heavy VOTIS V miliarense is known for Trier, but as far as I know this is the only known example from Constantinople. The denomination was probably used as a presentation issue, and this one would have been produced somewhere in the range of 379-383. At his hasty elevation to replace Valens? Upon his entry into Constantinople in 380? In 381 when he wowed Athanaric and the other Gothic chieftans with the marvels of the city? Later? I don't know, but I'd sure like to!
Theodosius I - AE4
Obv:– D N THEODO-SIVS P F AVG, Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev:– VOT / X / MVLT / XX within wreath
Minted in Alexandria (//ALEGamma). 9th August A.D. 378 - 25th August A.D. 383
Reference(s) – RIC IX Alexandria 13c (R)
Separate names with a comma.