Featured There is more to life than Roman Imperial Coins

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by svessien, May 4, 2020.

  1. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Times like these make you think. Things are happening, the world is changing - hopefully to the better.

    How have I spent my limited time on earth?

    Did I bury myself in a geek world of Sear books and RIC volumes, shutting myself out and distancing myself from the great variety of impressions and experiences that life has to offer?

    Did I spend my resources on something that gave me only an instant rush, a false sense of joy, or as Ebenezer Scrooge would call it "humbug"?

    These questions are on my mind these days.

    I have come to a conclusion: There is more to life than Roman Imperial Coins.

    There are for example Byzantine coins! Here is Romanus IV Diogenes with Eudocia, Michael VII, Constantius and Androcius on a Histamenon Nomisma that was struck in Constantinople sometime between 1068-71:

    Romanus IV Diogenes Histamenon Nomisma.jpg

    Around the same time there were things going on up in the Anglo Saxon reign of Britain: The Danes and Norwegians were coming in longboats with shields and swords, and went so far as to conquer the green island. That was done by Knut den Mektige (the Mighty), or Canute the Great as he is known in English, in 1016. Here he is with a pointed helmet, on a penny struck in Lincolnshire between 1022 and 1029 AD:

    Knut den Mektige penny.jpg

    Eventually, the Norwegians didn't keep up with time (what else is new), but the Danish sure did. Here is a nine-penny (nipenning), or Gros from one of the important Danish kings, Eric of Pomerania, who was a Polish prince who lived 1382-1459 and became King of Norway as Eric III 1389-1442 and King of Denmark and Sweden 1396-1439, in Denmark as Eric VII. The Danish kingdom would continue to be a force to be reckoned with for centuries, until it chose the losing side during the Napoleonic wars, had to give up Norway and Schleswig-Holsten and chose to focus on making great beer, red hot dogs and furniture for the coming 200 years.

    Erik af Pommern  nipenning 1430.jpg

    Then there are of course Roman Provincial coins. Case closed.
    Here's a tetradrachm with Vespasian and Titus, struck in Antioch in the "holy year" 69/70. It's a holy year because father and son happened to burn down the temple of Solomo at the time while they were around. Perhaps this coin is made from some of the silver they plundered there? Who knows?

    Vespasian tet.jpg

    And, let's face it: Some modern coins have something going for them too (yes, I know you hold all these coins as modern, Doug). Here's a 5 mark Eichbaum from the Weimar Republic; a restoration into silver coinage after the miserable years of hyperinflation. And what a restoration! I hold this as one of the best designs of the 20th century:

    Weimar Eichbaum 1927.jpg

    And at last: The occasional pick up of a Republican coin that was just outside your area of collecting, but hey... 35 pounds? Come here sweetheart, you belong to daddy now:

    Sear 254 Cornelius C Lentulus .jpg

    Now you can behold what isolation and major dramatic events have led me to. And I haven't even shown the Parthian and Sasanid coins. What about you? Have you reached out to the wider numismatic history in desperation, giving in to the human instinct of hoarding before disaster strikes? Show us, please!
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
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  3. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Supporter! Supporter

    Well, apparently there are some over in the US coins section who only collect 1983 LMC's....:D...they're not changing much...:p:joyful::joyful::joyful::jawdrop:...
    DonnaML, Brian Bucklan and svessien like this.
  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    I suppose I could collect U.S. coins with odd errors here and there. No, I don't think I will...
  5. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    For me, these weeks of quarantine lead to more time for reading, including The Travels of Marco Polo, Burton Raffel's relatively new translation of the Cantar de mio Cid, and Peter Jackson's 2017 monograph The Mongols and the Islamic World.

    By accident, this has made me "venture east" and stray away a little from my usual collecting fields of medieval Central Europe, Rome, and the occasional Greek.

    Orient, MA – Umayyaden in Spanien, Abd al-Ramman II, 822-52, dirham,  230AH, Al-Andalus.png
    Umayyads in Spain (Emirate of Córdoba), under Abd al-Rahman II, AR dirham, 844/5 AD (1230 H), Al-Andalus mint. Obv: beginning of kalima, mint-date-formula around. Rev: Surah 112 and IX, 33. 22mm, 1.80g. Miles 122; Album 342; Vives 197. Ex Allen G. Berman.

    Orient, MA – Mongolen, Dschingis Khan, Jital, Album 1973, Foto 2.png
    Great Mongols, under Genghis (Chingiz) Khan or slightly later, BI jital, 1220s/1230s AD, Nimruz (Sistan) mint. Obv: "Qa’an / al-‘adil" ('the just khan'). Rev: " zarb / Nimruz" ('struck in Nimruz'). 14.5mm, 3.42g. Ref: Tye -; Album 1973.

    Orient, MA – Delhi Sultanat, Muhammad II, 1296–1315, 2 gani, Tye 419.png
    Delhi Sultanate, under Ala ud-Din Muhammad Khalji, AE 2 gani, 1297–1316 AD. Obv: “shah Muhammad” in circle; around, legend in Nagari: “Sri sultan Alavadin” (mostly off flan). Rev: “al-sultan al-azam ala' al-dunya wa'l din”. 16mm, 3.26g. Ref: GG D233.
    Paul M., tenbobbit, DonnaML and 7 others like this.
  6. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    "... but not much more", as Morrissey sang.

    I've been reorganising my collection recently, taking lots of photographs and finding things I'd forgotten totally about - this nice Faustina, for example -
    BMC 328 (A. Pius), similar to RIC 404 (A. Pius), though the veiled head isn't in RIC:

    This weekend (it's a public holiday here today, so still weekend for me!), I rehoused all my denarii from Vespasian to Severus Alexander to a vintage 216-room, 3-storey timberframe home:

    I found a few more after that, but they still all fit and there's some room for expansion :)

  7. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    That’s a nice RIC collection, Aidan.

    I consider that my main area too, but it has been inspiring to look at other areas.
    I have a collection of roman emperors, Norwegian types, and a «coins in history» collection. I build on the last one every now and then, obviously lately.
    Paul M. and akeady like this.
  8. J.T. Parker

    J.T. Parker Well-Known Member

    Mr. Orielensis,
    If you want another historic tome to plow through I highly recommend Dr. Peter Green's "Alexander to Actium" written while he was the Dougherty Centennial Professor of Classics at U. Tx Austin. (970 pages of Classical 'bliss')
    By the time you finish reading it twice this Covid thing may just be a bad memory..Ha!
    Broucheion and Orielensis like this.
  9. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    It remains to be seen how 'all this' will affect the survivors. I have a distant cousin who is a respiratory unit nurse (prime time) who has had to get used to some patients not making it. She was able to do that realizing that most of her patients did survive and be discharged. The news covered the story of a doctor who committed suicide because she could not. One job we have is to make sure that life is worth living when this calms down. For some of us, the coins play a part in that. That may not be high minded but it is a fact.

    For years I collected Roman coins almost exclusively but in 1997 I started my website and started expanding my interests. I now collect things I like almost exclusively struck/hammered without machinery. I did buy one half dime because I thought it was cool that it did not say 5 cents instead but that was over 10 years ago and US has not tempted me since. So far this year I bought eleven coins: 3 Imperial, 1 Republican, 2 Greek, 1 Byzantine, 1 Parthian, 2 Sasanian and 1 Armenian. All have been shown on CT. I regret there have been no Provincials and that keeps me from saying I am balanced. I am not a specialist to the point that I will not look at other coins. If not for the cancellation of three coin shows I planned to attend, I would probably have four or five times as many coins. I am looking forward to normal days, as are we all.
    Paul M., zumbly, Valentinian and 3 others like this.
  10. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    Thanks - Roman Republic is my main area, but like you I have other sidelines. I have nothing Norwegian, except some modern coins, but someday I'll get a Hiberno-Norse coin or two :)
    svessien likes this.
  11. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    When I started collecting ancient coins in 2003, your website was one of the go-to places for me to learn about coins. I’ve always found your writing and attitude towards collecting inspiring, for example to be open minded, find the beauty in imperfection and there’s no full set.
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
    Paul M. likes this.
  12. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    And he should know ´cause he was there when Anthony opened a crate of ale and said those famous words to Cleopatra...
    Sulla80, akeady and Orielensis like this.
  13. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    Some coins are bigger than others :D
  14. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

  15. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    As I like to travel, and my main focus is architecture on ancient coinage, I also collect more modern coins that depict building masterpieces on world coins, here is a couple of more recent "souvenirs kN553ySmK4fFbpA9T26mgB7jxoX6W8.jpg upload_2020-5-5_6-33-55.png IMG_20190911_124537.jpg IMG_20190911_125906.jpg
    Castel del Monte built 1204 a fantastic castle chock full of marble high on a hill found this building on the way to Bari in Southern Italy last October. Although I could not find the coin there when I got back I found and purchased it in Melbourne for a dollar :D
    Paul M., zumbly, Sulla80 and 5 others like this.
  16. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Supporter! Supporter

    That's quite a boarding house...imagine the stories told at that dinner table! :happy::D;)
    akeady likes this.
  17. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    And a coin/token from one of my favorite places in England York, which depicts Clifford's Tower one side and York Abbey the other another type I bought back here in Australia. Clifford's Tower.jpg IMG20170716121545.jpg Clifford's Tower York.jpg
    Paul M., PlanoSteve, zumbly and 5 others like this.
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