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Roman Coins of the 3rd Century Crisis and Decline of the Roman Empire
Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D., Alexandria Troas, Troas
The representation of the decurions of Alexandria depicted on the reverse of this type is unique within the Roman provincial series. The decurions were members of municipal senates responsible for procuring funds for new public works, festivities and games, as well as for welfare networks. Their fiscal responsibilities also extended to the collecting of imperial taxes, for which they were expected to cover any shortfalls.RP87204. Bronze AE 22, RPC IX 432 (12 spec.); Bellinger A409; SNG Çanakkale 376; BMC Troas p.27, 145; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, aVF, dark green patina, reverse slightly off center, tiny encrustations, some legend weak, edge cracks, weight 4.586 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria Troas (Eski Stambul, Turkey) mint, Jun/Jul 251 - Jul/Aug 253 A.D.; obverseIMP CVIBI TRIBO GALLVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverse The curia decurionum of Alexandria in session: nine men wearing togas seated in a semicircle, two outer men seated on curule chairs, two in center holding short staffs, AVG above, two steps below, ALEXAND on upper step, decorative pattern on lower step, TROADA in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics, e-sale 40 (28 Oct 2017), lot 429; very rare; $1450.00 (€1232.50)
Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
In 263 A.D., King Odenathus of Palmyra declared himself ruler of the areawest of the River Euphrates and was given the title Dux Orientalis by Emperor Gallienus.RB86184. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC V J209, Cohen V 132, Hunter IV J24 corr. (described with aegis), SRCV III 10467, aVF, tight flan, dark green patina with light earthen deposits, some corrosion, a few blue-green spots, tiny edge cracks, weight 16.198 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 253 - 255 A.D.; obverseIMP CP LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverseCONCORDIA EXERCIT (harmony with the army), Concord standing left holding patera and double cornucopia, S C (senatus consulto) at sides low across field; the lighter blue-green spots are hard, not powdery, and do NOT appear to be active corrosion; $240.00 (€204.00)
Koinon of Macedonia, Reign of Gordian III, 238 - 244 A.D., Alexander and Bucephalus
Plutarch tells the story of how, in 344 B.C. Philonicus the Thessalian, a horse dealer, offered a massive wild stallion to Alexander's father, KingPhilip II. Since no one could tame the animal, Philip was not interested. Alexander, however, seeing that the horse was afraid of his own shadow, promised to pay for the horse himself should he fail to tame it. He was given a chance and surprised all by subduing it. Alexander spoke soothingly to the horse and turned it towards the sun so that it could no longer see its shadow. Eventually, Bucephalus allowed Alexander to ride him. Embarrassed, Philip commented, "O my son, look thee out a kingdom equal to and worthy of thyself, for Macedonia is too little for thee." Alexander named the horse Bucephalus because the horse's head seemed "as broad as a bull's." Bucephalus died of battle wounds in 326 B.C., in Alexander's last battle. Alexander founded the city of Bucephala (thought to be the modern town of Jhelum, Pakistan) in memory of his wonderful horse.RP87413. Bronze triassarion, SNG Cop 1356; BMC Macedonia p. 24, 121; SNG Saroglos 982; AMNG III 515; Lindgren -, VF, fantastic portrait of Alexander, dark sea green patina, tight flan, central dimples, weight 14.097 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 225o, Macedonia, Beroea mint, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, diademed head of Alexander the Great right, eyes to god; reverseKOINON MAKE∆ONΩN B NE, Alexander galloping his horse Bukephalus right, wearing military garb, spear in right hand, reigns in left hand, cloak fluttering behind; ex Nomos Obolos 10, lot 272; scarce; $180.00 (€153.00)
Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Ephesus
This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Ephesus. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a city’s status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances.RP77249. Bronze AE 33, SNG Hunterian 1957 (same dies); cf. Franke-Nolle, type VII, 736 (Vs. A/Rs. -, unlisted reverse die); BMC Phrygia p. 264, 188; SNG Righetti 1189, aVF, large edge split, potentially active corrosion, weight 17.950 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 190o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse A K Π Λ OVAΛEPIANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, wearing aegis; reverseIEPAΠOΛEITΩ-N K EΦECIΩN, Serapis standing right, kalathos on head, holding transverse scepter; to right, Artemis Ephesia facing, with two supports, flanked by a stag on each side, NE/OK/O in three lines in center field, OMONOIA in exergue; very rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.RA86673. Billonantoninianus, Göbl MIR 1684m (Samosata), RSC IV 792b (Antioch), Hunter IV J68 (uncertain Eastern), RIC V-1 J447 (Asia), SRCV III 10312 (uncertain Syrian), EF, white metal, mint luster, areas of light porosity, weight 3.925 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, 256 - 258 A.D.; obverseIMP CP LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reversePIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronting each other, facing center, sacrificing at flaming altar in center, togate, on left holding eagle-tipped scepter, on right hand on parazonium on left side; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $140.00 (€119.00)
Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia in Homonoia with Sardis
This coin commemorates the homonoia (alliance) between Phrygia and Sardis. Cities in Thrace and Asia minor sometimes formed alliances with other cities. The competition for prestige and rivalry between cities in the East was intense. Alliances could enhance a city’s status by aligning either with many cities or with particularly important ones. Homonoia was part of civic "foreign policy" and might have involved the exchange of delegates and joint celebrations and sacrifices. At least 87 cities issued homonoia coins celebrating their alliances. RP77255. Bronze AE 30, cf. Franke-Nolle, type VI, 848 ff. var. (Vs.C/Rs.-, unlisted reverse die); SNGvA 3668; SNG Tübingen 4054; Lindgren III 596, aF, obverse rough, weight 10.243 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AY• K• - ΠOY• ΛIK• OYAΛEPAN/OC, radiate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from the front, round countermark on face; reverseIEPAΠOΛE/ITΩN - KE - CAP∆IANΩN NEWK/OPΩN, Apollo on left, standing right, plectrum in right hand, kithara in left hand; cult statue of Kore facing, wearing kalathos and veil, OMONOYA in exergue; very rare; $135.00 (€114.75)
Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.
In 248, Trajan Decius put down the revolts of Pacatianus in Moesia and Iotapianus in Syria. In 249, after his legionaries proclaimed him emperor, Trajan Decius marched to Verona, where his forces defeated and killed Philip the Arab.RS86809. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 7, RSC IV 145, Hunter III 40, SRCV III 8949, EF, excellent portrait, well centered and struck, toned, reverse die wear and minor damage, edge slightly ragged, weight 4.279 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 30o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 248 A.D.; obverse IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseP M TR P V COS III P P, Marti Pacifero (Mars the Pacifier) standing left, wearing helmet and military garb, raising olive branch in right hand, supporting grounded shield with left hand, grounded inverted spear leaning on left arm, A (1st officina) left; ex Beast Coins; $130.00 (€110.50)
Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.
In 243, Timesitheus, Gordian's father-in-law and praetorian prefect became ill and died under suspicious circumstances. Gordian III appointed Philip the Arab as his new praetorian prefect.RB76166. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC IV 303a, Hunter III 117, Cohen V 262, SRCV III 8732, Choice VF, attractive green patina with red earthen fill, nice portrait, well centered, light marks, small edge cracks, weight 17.522 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 4th issue, 242 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseP M TR P V COS II P P, Apollo enthroned left, laurel-branch in right hand, left forearm resting on lyre on back of his seat, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $125.00 (€106.25)
Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D.
When Augustus ruled Rome, he was not called emperor or king, he was the Princeps, the "first of men." In the empire, the designated successors to the emperor were named caesar and also given the title Princeps Juventutis, the "first of youths." This is the origin of the English word prince, meaning the son of a monarch.RS86827. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 218d, RSC IV 48, Hunter V 8, SRCV III 9240, EF, excellent portrait, detailed reverse, well centered and struck on a broad oval flan, light tone, flan crack, weight 3.598 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 244 - 246 A.D.; obverse M IVL PHILIPPVS CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reversePRINCIPI IVVENT (to the Prince of Youth), Philip II standing slightly left, head left, wearing military dress, globe in extended right hand, inverted spear in left hand; ex Beast Coins; $125.00 (€106.25)
Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.
Tranquillitas was the goddess of tranquility, security, calmness, and peace. The capricorn had a goat-like forequarter and a hindquarter terminating in a fish tail. The capricorn alludes to the maritime transportation of Egypt’s grain harvest across the Mediterranean to Rome, which was critical to maintaining tranquility within the empire. RB87545. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC IV 156 (S), Cohen V 224, Banti 58, Hunter III 103, SRCV III 9019, VF, centered on a crowded squared flan, light bumps and marks, porosity, edge cracks, weight 15.120 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseTRANQVILLITAS AVGG (to tranquility of [caused by] the two emperors), Tranquillitas standing facing, head left, capricorn in extended right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; scarce; $120.00 (€102.00)
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