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In late summer or fall of 161, Vologases IV of Parthia captured the Roman client Kingdom of Armenia, expelled its king and installed his own; Pacorus, an Arsacid like himself. In 162, Lucius Verus began the war to recover Armenia and exact vengence. Rome recovered the Armenian capital Artaxata in 163. At the end of 163, Verus took the title Armeniacus, despite having never personally seen combat. Marcus Aurelius initially declined to accept the title, but accepted it in 164. Unfortunately the victorious army returned bringing a pandemic known as the Antonine Plague, which significantly depopulated and greatly weakened the Roman Empire.RB83578. Orichalcumsestertius, BMCRE IV 1092; RIC III 890 corr. (standard & shieldrev. r.), Cohen III 984 corr. (same), MIR 18 95, Cayon III 464, SRCV II 5013, Hunter II -, VF, well centered on a tight flan, green patina, light scrape on obverse high point, some corrosion, weight 23.68 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 164 - Aug 165 A.D.; obverse M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG ARMENIACVS P M, laureate head right; reverseVICT AVG TR P XVIII IMP IICOS III, Victory standing half right, trophy transverse upward to right in both hands, mourning Armenian captive at feet on right, captive seated right with head propped on right hand and left hand on ground, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; $580.00 SALE PRICE $522.00
Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta Issue
This type celebrates the success of Vespasian and Titus in quelling the First Jewish Revolt. Coins commemorating this event are referred to as "Judaea Capta" issues. RIC lists this type as common; we think in error. This is only the second example of the type handled by Forum in nearly two decades.RS84469. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 1120; RSC II 243; Hendin 1488; BMCRE II 388; BnF III 297; Hunter I 161; SRCV I 2262, F, toned, scratches, weight 2.994 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESARVESPASIANVSAVG TR P, laureate head right; reverseIVDAEA DEVICTA (Judaea Defeated), Jewess standing left, draped, head slightly bowed, hands tied in front of her, date palm tree behind her; ex Spink with their round tag; rare; $550.00 SALE PRICE $495.00
Roman Republic, Servius Sulpicius, 51 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit
The reverse probably refers to the naval victory of P. Sulpicius GalbaMaximus. The proconsul in Greece during the First Macedonian War, in 210 B.C. he led the first Roman fleet into the Aegean Sea and captured Aegina, which was plundered and given to the Aetolians, allies of the Romans.RR83521. Fouree silver plated denarius, RSC ISulpicia 8, Sydenham 931, Russo RBW 1553, Crawford 438/1 (official, solid silver, Rome mint, very rare), VF, corrosion resulting in many small platting breaks, scratch in obverse right field, weight 3.807 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial mint, c. 51 - 60 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo, SER downward behind, SVLP upward before; reverse Naval trophy made of captured rudders, anchor, oars, prows, and aplustres, between draped figure on left, nude Macedonian captive on right; very rare; $280.00 SALE PRICE $252.00
Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.
This type is apparently unpublished and this is the only example of the type known to Forum. This reverse was used for very rare (both R5) issues of Licinius I and Licinius IICaesar. CNG e-auction 368, lot 496, is Constantine II with this same reverse, also 5th officina, but with Constantine II on the obverse left holding a Victory on globe and mappa.RL76392. Billoncentenionalis, apparently unpublished, cf. RIC VIISiscia 116 - 117 (for obv.type) and 138 - 139 (for rev.type, issues of the Licinii), EF, excellent portrait, both sides slightly off-center, left side of reverselegend weak, some porosity, a few light marks, weight 2.773 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, as caesar, 320 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate and cuirassedbust left; reverseVIRTVS EXERCIT (courage of the army), vexillum inscribed VOT / XX in two lines, two seated barbarian captives back-to-back flanking base, Christogram (Chi Rhomonogram) left, ESISstar in exergue; ex Scott Collection; extremely rare; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00
Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D.
When this coin was struck in 282, Carinus was still the Prince of Youth, full of promise. Later he would be remembered as one of the worst Roman emperors. This infamy is, however, likely part fiction, supported by Diocletian himself. For example, the (unreliable) Historia Augusta has Carinus marrying nine wives, while neglecting to mention his only real wife, Magnia Urbica, by whom he had a son, Nigrinianus. After his death, Carinus' memory was officially condemned in the Roman proceeding known as Damnatio Memoriae. His name, along with that of his wife, was erased from inscriptions.RS71588. Billonantoninianus, Venèra IV 390 (LV 4227); RIC V, part 2, 182; Cohen VI 97; Hunter III 71; Pink VI-2, p. 28; SRCV III 12302, Choice EF, most silvering remains, well centered and struck, nice portrait, some porosity, weight 4.627 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 2nd issue as caesar, 282 - 283 A.D.; obverseM AVR CARINVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassedbust right; reversePRINCIPI IVVENTVT (to the Prince of Youth), Carinus standing left, globe in extended right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, bound captive seated left at feet on left, QXXI in exergue; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00
Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D.
In 274, Rome greeted Aurelian as Restitutor Orbis ("Restorer of the World") and accorded him a magnificent triumph (victory procession), which was graced by his captives Tetricus I and his son Tetricus II. Aurelian's conquests of the Palmyran Empire and the Gallic Empire reunited the Roman Empire.RA83500. Billondenarius, MER-RIC 1854, RIC V 73, Venèra 1503, BnF XII 260, Cohen VI 257, Choice VF, excellent centering, silvering, weight 2.756 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 11th issue, early - Sep 275 A.D.; obverse IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverseVICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory walking left, wreath extended in right, palm frond in left, bound captive in Parthian garb seated left on left at Victory's feet, head turned back looking at Victory, B in exergue; scarce; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00
Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.
Adventus reverse types commemorate the emperor's arrival at Rome, either at the commencement of his reign or on his return from a distance. They may also refer to his arrival in some other city or province of the empire. At their accession, emperors were not conveyed in a chariot nor in any other vehicle, but went on horseback or on foot when they made their first public entry into the capital of the Roman world.RA76277. Silveredantoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 166 (S); Cohen VI 69; Hunter IV 6; Pink VI-1, pp. 55; SRCV III 11953 var. (obv leg), aEF, magnificent armed bust, most silvering remaining, perfect centering, some corrosion, weight 4.183 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, emission 2, 277 A.D.; obverseVIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), radiate, helmeted, and cuirassedbust left, spear in right hand over right shoulder, oval shield on left shoulder; reverseADVENTVS PROBI AVG (the arrival of Emperor Probus), Probus on horseback left, raising right hand in salute, long scepter in left hand, horses' right foreleg raised over bound captive seated left, R in exergue; scarce; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.
It is no wonder this type is rare. Nicomedia belonged to Licinius. In 321, Constantine pursued some Sarmatians, who had been ravaging territory in his realm, across the Danube into Licinius' territory. When he repeated this chasing Goths who had pillaged in Thrace, Licinius complained that Constantine had broken their treaty. Soon after this issue began, the co-emperors were at war. In 324, this same type was struck for Martinian, who Licinius, after being defeated by Constantine at Adrianople, had appointed as his co-emperor and Constantine's nominal replacement in the west.
The XIIΓ probably indicates that the follis was retariffed to 12 1/2 denarii communes.RT76372. Billonfollis, RIC VIINicomedia p. 607, 43 (R4); SRCV IV 15950, Cohen VII 292; Hunter V -, VF, excellent centering, cleaning scratches, light corrosion, weight 2.870 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 321 - 324 A.D.; obverse IMP C FL VAL CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassedbust right; reverseIOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing facing, head left, nude but for chlamys over left shoulder, Victory on globe offering wreath in his right hand, eagle-topped scepter vertical in left, eagle with wreath in beak standing left on left, X/IIΓ on right above bearded captive at feet seated right with head turned looking back at Jupiter, SMNB in exergue; very rare; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.
In 280 - 281, Probus put down three usurpers, Julius Saturninus, Proculus and Bonosus. The extent of these revolts is not clear, but there are clues that they were not just local problems (an inscription with the name of Probus erased has been found as far as Spain). In 281, the emperor was in Rome, where he celebrated his triumph.RA79969. Silveredantoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 223; Cohen VI 766; Pink VI-1, pp. 57-58/6; Hunter IV -; SRCV III -, Choice EF, perfect centering, bold obverse, excellent portrait, much silvering, reverse die wear, weight 4.205 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Rome mint, emission 6, 281 A.D.; obverse PROBVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassedbust right; reverseVICTORIA GERM (victory over the Germans), trophy of captured arms, flanked on each side at the base by a seated bound captive facing outward, R thunderbolt A in exergue; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00
Maxentius, February 307 - 28 October 312 A.D.
Maxentius, the son of Maximinian, was made in rebellion against Severus II. He invited his father, who had abdicated, to resume rule. Although declared a public enemy at the Conference of Carnutum, he ruled Italy until at the Battle of Milvian Bridge he fell and drowned in the Tiber. His army was defeated by Constantine.RL74570. Billon half follis, RIC VIOstia 61, Hunter V 41 var. (2nd officina), cf. SRCV IV 15035 (Rome), Choice aVF, full circles strike on a broad flan, weight 3.362 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Ostia (port of Rome) mint, 309 - 312 A.D.; obverse MAXENTIVS P F AVG, helmeted and cuirassedbust left, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm; reverseVICTORIA AETERNAAVG N (the eternal victory of our emperor), Victory standing right, left foot on base of cippus supporting shield on which she inscribes VOT / X, captive seated left, MOSTP in exergue; $145.00 SALE PRICE $131.00