Which tetrarch?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Dec 6, 2018 at 4:10 PM.

  1. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Some collectors think the tetrarchs look a lot alike, and sometimes that is true. But, sometimes they can be easily distinguished. Can you tell which one this is?


    tetrarchhead.jpg

    Most features of the portrait are not very distinctive. But one feature is. Which one?

    [Discussed further below to give you a chance to think first.]

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    ConstantiusGPRmmALE18107b.jpg

    Constantius I, AD 293-305-306, struck as Caesar at Alexandria, c. 302-3.
    FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, laureate head right with curls in his beard
    GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, Genius standing with patera and cornucopia
    S to left, A/P to right, ALE in exergue.
    RIC VI Alexandria 35a.

    Sometimes the tetrarchs look a lot alike, but only Constantius has curls in his beard.

    Show us a Constantius with curls in his beard, or some other tetrarch.
     
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  3. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Neck beard.
    [​IMG]

    Catalog: RIC 118; Coh. 64
    Material: Bronze
    Weight: 7.11 g
    Maximianus I. Herculius, 2nd Government 307-310 AD
    Follis
    Aquileia, 1st Officina, 307 AD
    Vs .: IMP C MAXIMIANVS PF AVG, head with laurel wreath on the
    reverse: CONSERV VRB SVAE / AQP, six columnar Temple with cult image of the Roma

    ex Münzzentrum Müller, auction 72, 1992, lot 533
     
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  4. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Constantius with curls in his beard

    [​IMG]
    Constantius, Argenteus - Antioch mint, 8th officina, c. AD 296-297
    CONSTANTIVS CAESAR, Laureate head of Constantius right
    VIRTVS MILITVM, Campgate, *ANTH* at exergue
    3.40 gr
    Ref : Cohen #318, RCV # 13966 (1100)

    Q
     
  5. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Another argenteus, like Q's, but from a different mint. Some (most?) of Constantius's portraits lack the beard curls... I wonder if this is a mint-specific feature or a time period-specific one.

    [​IMG]
    CONSTANTIUS I
    AR Argenteus. 3.35g, 19.6mm. Serdica mint, circa AD 305-306. RIC 11a (R4), unlisted officina Γ=3. O: CONSTANTIVS AVG, laureate head right. R: VIRTVS MILITVM, three-turreted campgate with seven layers and no doors; .SM.SDΓ. in exergue.
    Note: Rare unlisted officina (Γ). RIC lists only officina A for Constantius, though plate coin shows it is in fact Δ.
     
  6. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    I was not aware that Constantius C. could be identified by the beard. Is this only at specific mints?

    Below are two of my examples that don't show this detail. The bottom one is from a mint that was certainly under Constantius' administration.

    IMG_4506.JPG
    Constantius_Chlorus_British_Invasion_AD_296.jpg

    Cool thread @Valentinian
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 5:34 PM
  7. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    That is an interesting question. I have coins of Constantius that do not have curls in the beard from London, Trier, Lyons, Ticinum, Rome, Aquileia, and Cyzicus. However, this one from Cyzicus does have curls:
    Constantius3CONCORDIAMILITVM0813.jpg

    Others with curls are from Alexandria:
    Constantius3CMmmALE7732.jpg

    and from Serdica (@zumbly also showed one from Serdica above)
    Constantius1GPRmmSMSD0130.jpg

    and
    Constantius4VIRTVSMILITVM.jpg

    I have one from Antioch where the beard is mostly flat but I think it shows curls.
    I hope to see more examples here. I am beginning to think curls do not appear from western mints. That is not to say all eastern mint coins do have curls. As @zumbly mentioned, maybe the time period plays a role.
     
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  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter in hoc signo vinces

    Constantius...appears to have curls in the beard, Siscia

    constantius1.jpg

    constantius2.jpg
     
  9. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    I'm guilty! I was sure it was Diocletian. But, that is the point, right?
     
  10. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    Here's a modest example of a Constantius follis from Antioch, with beard curls. It almost seems to me that he forgot to comb his beard when they took his portrait to send it out east so they can get the coins done there. Then again, the eastern mints have a very uniform portrait accross the tetrarchs with little variation. So, maybe the variation was added by the mint workers? Why are there few (if any) curled beard portraits in the west where Constantius was actually governing? Did Constantius even have beard curls, or did he always comb it into the nice straight lines we see on some coins?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

  12. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Here are examples from Cyzicus, Trier and Lyon with no curls (Seller's picture for the last one, I just got it a few days ago)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Q
     
  13. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    Non curly Lugdunum (early, later and posthumus issues)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Alexandria (curly)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Later Antioch (curly)
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    [​IMG]
    CONSTANTIUS I
    Æ Follis
    O.: CONSTANTIVS NOB CES; Laureate head right.
    R.: SALVIS AVGG ET CAESS FEL KART; Carthago standing facing, head left, holding fruits in both hands // Γ
    Carthage mint, 298-299 A.D.
    8.4g
    31mm
    RIC VI 30a, p. 427
     
  15. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    Here's an AVCTA KART reverse Constantius follius from Carthage, with non curly beard. Due for a re-picture shortly.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    That type is quite rare. Most with that design say FEL KART, and even those are not common. Failmezger lists AVCTA KART as rare for the tetrarchs and I think Maximian is the tetrarch most likely to be found.

    Good catch!
     
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  17. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I think we have determined that if a portrait of a member of the first tetrarchy shows curls in the beard, it is Constantius I. We cannot say that if it does not have curls, it is not Constantius I (that would be the inverse, which is not logically equivalent [As a math professor, I used to teach mathematical logic]). Here is an example:

    Constantius1FIDESMILITVMAVGGmmAQS96307.jpg
    28 mm. 8.85 grams.
    Constantius I, as Augustus 305-306.
    IMP CONSTANTIVS PF AVG
    FIDES MILITVM AVGG ET CAESS NN AQS in exergue
    Fides standing, head left, holding two standards

    RIC Aqulieia 60a, "C. 305-306" This type is only from Aquileia.

    The beard is not curly, but it is Constantius anyway.
     
  18. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    Indeed, thank you, @Valentinian ! This is one of my highlights for my second year collecting actually. :)

    This is a very nice example from Aquileia. There are no western mints that portray Constantius with a curly beard, are there?
     
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