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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Military ▸ LegionaryView Options:  |  |  | 

Coins of the Roman Legions

Legionarii is the name give to the foot soldiers of the Roman legions. The horsemen were distinguished by the appellation of Equites. The term of sixteen years was the period fixed for the service of the Legionarii. Before the reign of Septimius Severus they were not permitted to marry, or at least to have their wives with them in the camp. The military discipline of these troops was very severe. They led a life of great hardship, and made long marches, laden with heavy burdens. During peace they were employed in working on the fortifications of towns and of camps, as well as in repairing the high roads.


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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In 134, Rome retook Jerusalem, the capital of the Bar Kokhba revolt. The following year, the largely destroyed city was renamed Aelia Capitolina. The Jewish diaspora began when Hadrian barred Jews from the city and dispersed survivors of the massacre across the Empire. Legio VI Ferrata rebuilt the legionary fortress in Jerusalem and constructed a Roman temple at Golgotha. An altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Jerusalem Temple. In 136, the Jews were chased from Galilee and Roman Iudaea plus Galilee became Syria Palaestina, the first use of the name Palestine as a designation for Judea.
SH82767. Orichalcum dupondius (or as), RIC II 910 (R2), Cohen II 238, BMCRE II p. 497, ‡ (refs. Cohen); Hunter II - (p. lxvii), SRCV II -, aVF, near black patina, scratches, some porosity, weight 14.285 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse Hadrian, standing right on platform, Praetorian Prefect behind him, addressing officer (centurion?) who stands right and four soldiers, the officer and first two soldiers hold oblong shields, the first soldier holds a vexillum, the following two hold standards, the final soldier unclear, COH PRAETOR S C in exergue; only two sales of the type recorded on Coin Archives, the last in January 2013; very rare; $900.00 (Ä765.00)


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Roman people, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. Genius' image is of a man usually with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a simpulum or patera in one hand, and most often a cornucopia in the other hand. Here Genius wears military garb and holds an aquila, a Roman legionary eagle, indicating he is Genius Exercitus, the genius of the army.
RB87540. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III AP1302A (S), BMCRE VI A1911, Cohen III 648 (6f.), SRCV II 4813, Hunter II 62 var. (slight drapery), aF, dark patina, centered, scrape, scratches, weak legends, edge cracks, weight 26.393 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 151 - 152 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII FIL, bare-headed draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse TR POT VI COS II, Genius Exercitus (Spirit of the Army) standing slightly left, head left, sacrificing with patera in right hand over flaming and garlanded altar, aquila in left hand, S C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; scarce; $100.00 (Ä85.00)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

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Nicaea remained an important town throughout the imperial period. Although only 70 km (43 miles) from Constantinople, Nicaea did not lose its importance when Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Empire. The city suffered from earthquakes in 358, 362 and 368; after the last of which, it was restored by Valens. During the Middle Ages, it was a long time bulwark of the Byzantine emperors against the Turks.
RP84693. Bronze AE 20, Rec Gen II.3 p. 489, 715; Mionnet supp. V 870; cf. BMC Pontus p. 17, 119 (eagles vice capricorns); SNGvA 653 (1 eagle, 2 standards), VF, nice green patina, well centered, weight 20.4 g, maximum diameter 3.538 mm, die axis 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AVΓ, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse N-I-K-A-I/EΩN, four standards, two center standards topped with capricorns, two outer standards topped with wreaths; $60.00 (Ä51.00)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Heliopolis, Coele Syria

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Heliopolis in Coele-Syria was made a colonia with the rights of the ius Italicum by Septimius Severus in 193. Work on the religious complex at Heliopolis lasted over a century and a half and was never completed. The Temple of Jupiter, the largest religious building in the entire Roman Empire, was dedicated during the reign of Septimius Severus. Today, only six Corinthian columns remain standing. Eight more were shipped to Constantinople under Justinian's orders c. 532 - 537, for his basilica of Hagia Sophia.
RY84823. Bronze AE 19, Sawaya 217 ff. (D43/R?), Lindgren III 1279, SNG Cop -, SNG Righetti -, BMC Galatia -, F, highlighting chalky deposits, centered on a tight flan, light corrosion, weight 5.631 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Heliopolis (Baalbek, Lebanon) mint, c. 198 A.D.; obverse ANT - AVC (starting upper right), bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL / HEL in two lines between two legionary eagles, all within laurel wreath; rare; $60.00 (Ä51.00)







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Catalog current as of Sunday, December 9, 2018.
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Legionary