Unusual Septimius Severus- Imitative? Limes?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Multatuli, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus Supporter

    Hi folks!

    After a long long time without showing up, I'm coming back here. In the last seven months I had several events in my life, making my access here a bit difficult (birth of my daughter, new home, with a always stressful change of address, severe illness of my mother-in-law). Anyway, here I am.

    Recently, I got a Septimius Severus' denarius that made me pay more attention for it. I believe that it just can be an imitative earsten coin, but except by the observe legend, the coin looks like a unusual type.
    It was struck in a small flan (17mm), and weighs 2.3g. It's not a common weight, but I know that the first issues made on Rome mint, when the emperor wasn't home, fighting on the eastern can be a low weight and a low style control. Besides, there is no evidence to be a plated coin. I made an exam under the microscope. It is real silver. There's also no evidence of having been cast.
    The details on reverse, including the legend (HILARITAS) are well done, with Hilaritas standing left, holding a patera on the right hand and a long palm branch on the left hand. The closest Hilaritas reverse that I know is one of Elagabalus, but no children at his feet (RIC IV 190), and with the legend HILARITAS AVG.
    On observe, the bust of Septimius don't look an imitation (it's really good), but the legends are completely out: (I)MP SEPT SEVE-RVS AVG[...completely unreadable].
    At first, I thought on hybrid, but the observe legends and the reverse are not previously described. Then, I thought on an imitative, but the style is really better than the most. A limes, maybe? But the coin is made of fine silver.
    I don't believe in a ancient forgery, precisely because be made of silver. That's no make sense to me.
    Could you help me, guys? Doug Smith, a little help, please??
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
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  3. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Sorry, can't add anything but want to eavesdrop on the conversation.
    Multatuli likes this.
  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    It does not fit in any of the official mint descriptions as usually described. The metal is too poor for the date. I would call it uofficial but not barbarous. I have a few including one enough like it to make me suspect it is a die duplicate. Does it read AVGVST or AVGVIIP???
    I would not call the silver fine but they are not plated. There are many solid/billon silver Septimius coins that do not fit the usual mints. My example was given to me by the late Septimius scholar Roger Bickford-Smith who did not study barbarous and gave me some knowing I found them interesting.
  5. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    Welcome back Multatuli! In case you are still searching for a name for your daughter, Septimia wouldn’t be bad. Or Severa? Anyway, your coin looks like an army workhorse. That similarity Dougsmit has found, is really amazing! A nice piece of history.
    Multatuli likes this.
  6. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES! Supporter

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  7. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus Supporter

    Fantastic, Doug! Thank you again for your great help. At least we know that the two coins are “sisters”. It is curious to know where and how they circulated. I believe that the variety of coins was so great at the time that if they put a picture of the Mickey Mouse on the reverse, and it would appear to be good silver, it would circulate without major problems for some time.
  8. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus Supporter

    Thank you @Pellinore, @Kentucky and @chrsmat71!
    Thanks too about the girl’s nanes! Lol
    Maybe for a next baby! But I don’t believe that my wife would agree...
    Besides, Severa in portuguese means angry! So um the future, the name will ward off the boys!
  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Tribunicia Potestas

    Interesting coin and thanks for sharing. My only Severus was picked up a couple of weeks back....Neptune with trident type


  10. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    There are quite a few "unofficial" / "Barbarous" coins of the period made with convincingly good silver. Here are a few of mine.

  11. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Biblical Artifacts Supporter

    We missed you, @Multatuli ! I mean it! Welcome back! Major life events distract us for periods of time but it makes our return to the forum that much more welcome. I'm glad that you got through the challenges and now have time for the always educational, fulfilling, and satisfying hobby of ancient coin collecting. I don't know much about the coin you posted other than your and Mr. @dougsmit s thoughts about it. If it's an ancient imitative issue, that is certainly very interesting, and perhaps even more so than an officially sanctioned coin.

    Anyway here's an imitative coin from another ancient kingdom.

    Immitation Drachm.jpg

  12. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Definitely. Few of us remember when people though it important that a silver coin marked ten cents would contain ten cents worth of silver. I often wonder how many Romans paid attention to which denarius they spent and which they kept.
    "Hey, Marcus, go down to the baker and buy bread but use that Antony denarius, not the Domitian that has better metal." "OK, Dad, but last time you did that, he stuck us with that day old loaf."
  13. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Biblical Artifacts Supporter

    My two fourées

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  14. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus Supporter

    Great coins, @maridvnvm! As we can see, there are many variations with regard to style. Some are very close to the official style, others give us in a small glance.
    What in my opinion betrays my coin is the structure of the obverse legend, not the legend style.
    Deacon Ray likes this.
  15. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus Supporter

    Thank you so much, Deacon! I miss the forum and all of you too! Great coins, by the way!
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  16. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    I have a couple of "barbarous" of Septimius Severus, too. Both silver but porous. The style of the bottom one seems good enough to me that it could be from an official but "irregular" Eastern mint. There's a misspelling on the reverse (OICTOR instead of VICTOR) but legend blunders were fairly common in the East. On the top coin the portrait isn't very good and the legends are nonsense.
  17. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus Supporter

    That's the point! The style of bust and the deities/pictures on reverse are not always crude. What often draws attention to these SS denaries are precisely errors in the legend, when it has some meaning.
    benhur767 likes this.
  18. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    The Greek way of spelling Latin words that begin with V (like Vespasian) used an O so OICTOR is not hard to accept if you pronounce it 'wicktor'. That is an interesting barbarous Septimius.
  19. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    Thank you for this information, it's something I didn't know. I should learn some basic Greek.
    Multatuli likes this.
  20. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    "It's all Greek to me":)
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  21. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus Supporter

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