What did emperors think of their portraits on coins?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ajax, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    So I asked a question in a recent thread but it didnt get much attention.. maybe its a stupid question... but Im curious if any emperor ever hated or disliked the way they were portrayed on coins? I know they wouldve had some input into it but you see a lot of emperors with some very drastic changes in their portraits. The Gallienus thread is a good example which made me think about this.
     
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  3. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Id like to think Maximinus Thrax would have approved of this drastic makeover. Its almost like ancient plastic surgery.

    Maximinus Thrax denarii.jpg
     
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  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Take a look a Domitian under Vespasian compared to his later years as Augustus.
    Domitian 5.jpg

    as compared to

    Domitian 8.jpg
     
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  5. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    So Domitian gave himself a bit of a nose job
     
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  6. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

  7. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    Here is mine with an interesting nose. This was was minted just weeks into his rule as augustus.
    new domit combined.jpg
     
  8. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    Okay this is now a Domitian thread haha
    Here's a Domitian as caesar Domitian.jpg
     
  9. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Sorry. I didn't mean for it to turn into a Domitian thread, but he was the first to come to my mind. I'm sure there are others, but, for now, I can't think of any.
     
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  10. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    @Bing it's all good I needed a coin to share anyway! It really does show the change even between being caesar and augustus. Makes you wonder what they thought of it. Thanks for sharing
     
  11. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I believe Augustus changed his appearance from that of a young lad to a more severe looking portrait. He also tried to keep his portraits young looking even as he aged. But all I have are the ones that make him appear young:
    Augustus 11.jpg Augustus 5.jpg
     
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  12. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    Pishpash did mention that Augustus only wanted to be seen in his prime on coins and statues. Makes sense Ive never seen a geriatric Augustus. Nice coins Bing!
     
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  13. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Keep in mind the Rome mint style under Vespasian and Titus was semi-verisitic. Domitian changed all that several months after he became emperor to a more idealised one. Arguably, the years 84-88 saw the highpoint of this new style, culminating in what I would call 'Flavian Baroque'.

    Verisitic (81 AD)

    D99a.jpg


    Idealised (85 AD)

    D331sm.jpg

    'Flavian Baroque' (88 AD)

    D568.JPG

    I would assume Domitian was not satisfied with the early verisitc style and ordered his mint master to switch to a more pleasing one when the mint was reorganised in 82.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
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  14. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

     
  15. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    I know what your saying I see a lot of difference in the portraits on coins of the same emperor, so what I do and have done extensively is compare against sculptures that were made in there lifetime (although most are in Rome) to give myself more of an idea of what exaggerations the die engravers did.
     
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  16. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    I bet JC was having second thoughts about his come March 15. :p
     
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  17. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    I took quite a few pics of sculptures of emperors when over there (Rome), just an example Nerva's nose didn't look anywhere as hooked as it is on coins. 511.jpg 000577_l.jpg
     
  18. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    I have about 20 sculpture pics and tried to get the emperors name in as well, not a hundred percent sure but I think this is Domitian (David will like this). 1406.jpg
     
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  19. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Vespasian looked pretty much the same as on coins. 1405.jpg 2015-01-07 01.08.12-28.jpg
     
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  20. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    According to Suetonius Domitian was balding. His portraits in the round suggest he wore some sort of hairpiece.
     
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  21. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    I also posted this thread https://www.cointalk.com/threads/augustus-lived-for-77-years-41-years-emperor.282502/ which has quite a few Augustus comparisons as Bing brought up.
     
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