Varus coins from Kalkriese

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Mammothtooth, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Anyone have a Varus coin from the area of his demise..Always wanted to metal detect that area in my dreams. My goals would be modest, a few coins, Helmet, Standard, Short Sword, some jewelry.

    Then a cool German beer served by a Teutonic Princess.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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  3. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Varus never issued coins in Germany. One would have to take it from the middle east where it was issued and had carried it to Germany.
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  4. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    As a commander of 5 legions in the area I thought Varus was able to mint coins at a local level. Is this where the controversy begins on counter struck coins, VAR.
  5. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Many others here are much greater experts on this than I would be. The only Varus coins I have heard of were from around modern day Syria where he was a governor.

    Actually, I have never heard of legion commanders ever given minting privileges. Sounds like a really good way to fund mutinies. I thought the money was always controlled by the emperors or senate to protect against this.
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  6. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter

    Maybe you could get a metal-detected Gaius and Lucius from the Kalkriese,that'll fit the bill nicely,
  7. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Thank you, I am sure you are correct
  8. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Still, a cool beer served by a Teutonic princess would be swell! :)
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  9. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    There are a few of s on CT that has a Varus. None are from Germany that I have seen. Mine is from his work as Governor in Syria.


    RPC 4252, SNG Cop. 92, 20.4mm, 8.03 grams, Dated year 27 = 5/4 B.C.E.

    Obverse: Laureate head of Zeus to right

    Reverse: Tyche of Antioch seated to right, holding palm branch; below, river-god Orontes swimming right, in right field, date ZK (year 27 = 5/4 B.C.E.)

    This rare coin was struck during Varus' assignment as Governor of Syria from 7 - 4 B.C.E. Varus guarded the borders from Parthia and violently quelled unrest in Judaea and Samaria. Josephus records an incident wherein after the death of Herod., Varus occupied Jerusalem and crucified 2,000 Jews.

    Later Varus was transfered to the Northern front, where he met disaster fighting the Germanic tribes in the Teutoburg forest. Three legions under his command, legions XVII, XVIII and XIX were completely annihilated. This caused emperor Augustus great grief and he was said to have cried out on occasion "Quintili Vare, legiones redde!" or "Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions!"
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  10. otlichnik

    otlichnik Well-Known Member

    Military commanders were certainly never allowed to strike their own coinage. And in most cases were likely not allowed to create any coinage.

    However, there appear to be some exceptions.

    There is evidence, shortly after this period, of possible semi-official minting of coinage in Roman military garrisons. Some of the bronze imitations of Claudian bronze coinage from Britain, Gaul and Hispania are thought to possibly have been minted in Roman military camps in order to create enough small change to allow soldiers to interact with local economies as there was not enough officially struck bronze in the regions at this time.

    Also, as noted, it appears that Roman military commanders at times counter-struck worn existing coinage to authorize its circulation.

    See for example, FLEUR KEMMERS, QUADRANTES FROM NIJMEGEN: SMALL CHANGE IN A FRONTIER PROVINCE. Though there are also several articles on the Claudian copies.

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  11. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    8 gold coins found buried at Kalkriese, all predate the battle.
    I think they are gold of Augustus. Also several hundred others that are not gold. Segamentata armor just found, complete, in October 2020. Interesting reading. Roman Shrew cuffs found along with armor. Showing the legionary was cuffed before execution. Not sure of spelling Segamenta Lorica.

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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  12. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing you have just watched Barbarians ? I was literally looking for a counterstamp of VAR after watching it :D
  13. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    Here are two VAR countermarks from my collection. The coins look not very attractive, but the countermarks are rare and nice. The countermarks will have been applied between AD 7 and 9, probably at the legionary camp at Vetera/Haltern in northern Germany. This is not really my main period of interest and not my type of coins, but I had to have some artefact related to "The battle that stopped Rome" (title of a book on the Clades Variana):

    Screenshot 2021-01-25 at 16.53.37.png Screenshot 2021-01-25 at 16.53.59.png
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
  14. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Very nice, I like them. Keep me in mind if you ever decide to sell one. Thank you.

    My favorite battle. In 84 we went to Arminius Monument by Detmold. Now we locate the battle in another area...
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