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Tejas last won the day on February 19

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  1. Very interesting thread. I have those two buckles. Not sure if they are Roman military or not. Both were found in western Ukraine, i.e. far beyond the Roman borders. If they are Roman, they could have belonged to Goths, serving in the Roman army. They may also be Germanic imitations of Roman miliary buckles. The top one is silver with engraved ornaments running around the edges. It measures 5 X 5 cm. The bottom one is bronze. It measures 5.5 X 4.6 cm When reattached to a belt, both would be fully functional.
  2. Thanks, I think I understand this series now a lot better than before I started this thread. I never expected it to be so intertwined with the Gothic coins, which are my main focus. I think most collectors are not very interested in these series, which is surprising given that these were the last Roman silver coins in the west.
  3. This coin is also from my collection. This is also a Ravenna half-siliqua of a very different and probably late style. In fact a similar style can be seen in coins of Justin II, so my coin may date to around 565 or so. The weight is 0.73 gr.
  4. Thanks for the comment. Hahn does not reference particular die studies. My reading is that he has done these studies himself for his 1973 publication, but I cannot say how reliable this is given that this was 50 years ago. I managed to find sales pictures of 26 half-sliquae with CN reverse. Most of the coins belong to the later light series. Only four coins have weights higher than 1.3 g. and two coins have weights close enough to 1.3 g. to be counted to the heavy series. My coin with the plan-like symbol is apparently unrecorded and it is the heaviest of all coins. Hahn shows 13 exemplars in his 1973 publication, but since the coins are selected for the symbols, he probably had access to more coins for his work. Below is a coin from my collection, which according to Hahn belongs to the Ravenna light series, i.e. after 552. The coin weighs 0.93 g.
  5. I'm now reading "Von Anastasius I bis Justinianus I (491-565) Einschliesslich der ostgotischen und vandalischen Prägungen" von Wolfgang Hahn, 1973. On pp 56, the author states that there are two distinct series of silver coins, one with a mark of value on the reverse, the other with variations of the cross/christogram on the reverse. Both series started in about 540 when Belisarius conquered much of Italy from the Goths, including Ravenna und Rome. Hahn says that die comparisons leave no doubt (his words) that the series with the cross-variations belong to Ravenna, while the series with the mark of value belongs to Rome. Further, Hahn states that both series were reduced in the weight standard in 552, i.e. after the "final" defeat of the Goths by Narses. Further, Hahn states that the coins were issued in "lustrum-"emissions (5-year cycles with an indiction), which are marked by symbols above or below the mark of value on the reverse. Until 552, there were 3 "lustrum-" emissions, the first 540 - 542 (without symbol). The second lustrum covers the period 542 to 547 and the third lustrum 547 - 552 included the occupation of Rome by the Goths. From 552 when the East Romans retook Rome and Narses took up headquarters in the city, the weight standard was reduced in both Rome and Ravenna. Following Hahn, I think the OP coin belongs to the second or third lustrum, i.e. 542 to 547 or 547 to 552. My second coin above (with the star) was probably minted just after 552 to the lower standard and with the new title PP instead of PF. Below is a quarter-siliqua (120 nummi), which according to Hahn would also belong to the period before 552, when the 125 nummi was introduced.
  6. Actually, I wonder if the OP coin was really minted post 552, i.e. after the second fall of Rome. Maybe it was minted in the period 540 to 546. This would explain the PF title. Maybe all coins minted after 552 have the PP title and a lighter standard, while the very few coins with PF and heavier standard belong to the period 540 to 546 or 547 to 549.
  7. Actually, I think Wolfgang Hahn is probably right and the whole series with marks of value was issued only in Rome. This would suggest that they changed the title from PF to PP at some point. Thus, the first silver issues after the fall of Rome continued with the heavy standard and the PF title and then they moved to the lighter Byzantine standard and the PP title. According to Hahn, the coin below from my collection, would represent the equivalent Ravenna issue: Note this coin weighs 1.52 gr., which is the highest weight I have ever seen for these coins. Also note the name IVSTINIAN without VS and only P in the title. The coin probably dates to 540, i.e. right after the fall of Ravenna and the restablishment of a new mint.
  8. Yes, it is possible that the four symbols in the top picture are all variations of the same symbol . Assuming that this is correct, I can now identify 10 clearly different symbols (plus those that have no symbol). Hahn only mentions 9 symbols (and he divided the four symbols above into two series MIB 64 and MIB 65 and he had probabaly not seen the plant-like symbol on my coin above. So using Hahn's classification I can identify 11 symbols (plus no symbol). I do increasingly think that these symbols mark minting years between 552/553 and 565. The four symbols in the top picture are curious, they look as if some letter or numeral was intended, but I could not identify anything that come close. All other symbols are easy to identify (stars, crosses, X, pellets). Interestingly, Hahn shows an exemplar with the letter S (MIB 63), which he says could indicate the second officina or the indicio year 557/8. Another question is about the mint. Hahn (MIB) says that all coins with CN reverse were minted in Rome. Others seem to attribute some (in fact most) to Ravenna. I think those with the title PF could be attributed to Rome and those with PP to Ravenna, unless of course Rome changed the title from PF to PP. An argument in support of such a change in the title is the fact that all heavy (i.e. early) coins have PF, while all light (i.e. later) coins have PP.
  9. Some of the symbols are difficult to interpret. Are these Greek numerals or letter? Are they all meant to show the same symbol or are they different? Does anybody have a clue? Top left could be a Greek numeral lying on its side. Top right: I have no idea. Bottom left seems different to the others Bottom right: could be the same as top right This symbol could be the same as Bottom left above, only that it sits on top of CN
  10. Tejas


    Get well soon! There is never a really good time and place to get sick, but my timing and placing was particularly bad. I caught Covid in late January 2022. I was in Irkutsk (Siberia) and the war between Russia and Ukraine had just began. Access to cash was diminishing fast and the journey back home through Russia and Finland was quite the adventure.
  11. Hahn stated the idea about the symbols being indications of minting years only speculatively. Hahn mentions 9 different signs, which seems too many for officinae. The maximum period during which these coins were minted is 13 years from 552 to 565. I found examples for 9 signs. Hahn also mentions a coin with an S. In addition, I found examples for coins with two and four pellets, which suggests perhaps that there were also examples with one and three pellets. If correct, this would bring up the number to 12 (including examples without any signs). So it is possible that these signs indicate minting years. Interestingly, I found one example which is stylistically identical to the last issue under Totila. This coin already shows a sign (a star), suggesting perhaps that the system with the symbols were introduced right from the start.
  12. This series was issued at Rome and Ravenna. I also have one from Ravenna. As we have established in other thread the destinction is the title PF for Rome and PP for Ravenna (and everywhere else). The coin below weighs 1.1 g and maybe a heavy example of the light series. The style and condition of this coin is quite exceptional. According to Hahn, the reduction of the coin standard (i.e. the aligning with the Byzantine standard) followed soon after the fall of Rome in 552. So while the first coin above was likely minted in the first weeks or months after the city had fallen, the coin below from Ravenna may date to any time between 552 and 565. Also the bust style indicates the later date. The coin above shows the Ostrogothic style, while the coin below shows a new style that was never seen on Ostrogothic silver. Note the symbol on the reverse (a star) was apparently used at Rome and Ravenna.
  13. During the so called Gothic War, Rome changed hands several times. In 549, the Goths conquered Rome for the second time in the 540s. However, after Justinian had tasked Narses with the reconquest, of Italy, Rome was once again besieged by the Romans and the city fell in 552 after the Battle of Busta Gallorum/Taginae and the death of the Gothic king Totila/Baduila. As usual, the new rulers changed the coin series to mark the event. Below is a Half-Siliqua of the mint of Rome from my collection. The coin weights 1.43 gr., meaning that it belongs to the early, heavy series, which was probably minted very soon after the city had fallen. Most surviving coins of this series belong to the later, light series, with a target weight of about 1 g. Coins of the heavy series are very rare. Also note the small plant-like object above CN. About 9 different signs (usually cross, star, wavy line) are known, but I have never seen this plant. It is not known what these signs indicate. Hahn thinks that they may indicate minting years. Measurements: 1.43 g, 15mm, 6h
  14. Very cool. Could this be a mule or an unofficial mint product?
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