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Tejas last won the day on February 19

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  1. This is one of only three coins, which I won at the Leu auction: Crispus, Caesar, 316-326. Follis (Bronze, 19 mm, 3.53 g), Aquileia, 321. CRISPVS NOB CAES Laureate and cuirassed bust of Crispus to left, holding horse by bridle with his right hand and shield on his left shoulder. Rev. CAESARVM NOSTRORVM around wreath containing VOT / X; in exergue, •AQS•. Paolucci-Zub 303. RIC 98. Very rare. A beautiful example of this prestigious issue with a particularly fine rendering of this impressive bust type. Some deposits on the obverse, otherwise, good very fine. I have long been after a coin with this portrait, which shows Crispus with a horse. I wonder what the meaning of it is. Maybe the cavalry played a particularly important role during his campaigns against the Franks and the Alamanni. This campaign took place in 318, 319 or 320. Its main aim was apprently to gain prestige for the young Caesar. While I could not find anything about the cavalry being particularly important in this campaign, I think that contemporaries would have understood the significance of the horse on these coins.
  2. There is sometimes confusion about the attribution of the coin below to eiher Charlemagne or Charles the Bald (843-877). The lettering (wide spaces) and the chevron inside the monogram are sometimes cited as indication that the coin belongs to the reign of Charlemagne, but uncertainty remains. At the weekend I visited a special exhibition at the archaeological museum at Konstanz in southern Germany about the Reichenau Monastery. The exhibition was about the Reichenau manuscripts, but they also showed the Steckborn coin hoard. This hoard was discovered in 1830 near a village called Steckborn. The hoard consisted of 7 north African Dirhems of different governors and one penny like the one below. Interestingly, all 7 Dirhems were minted between 771 and 792. If the penny was minted during the reign of Charles the Bald, it would have been an outlier, that was 50 to 100 years younger than the other coins. Instead, it seems more likely that the penny belonged roughly to the same period as the Dirhems, which indicates that this coin type was indeed minted under Charlemagne.
  3. I was wondering about this too. From the picture no TI or TIB is discernible and VAR next to or above AVG makes perfect sense. Again, I think the strongest argument against VAR being applied ontop of the TIAVG or TIBAVG is the now certain fact that the VAR countermark existed in AD 9, i.e. before the TIB, TIBAVG or TIAVG countermark. In addition, the VAR countermark has never been found on a coin minted after AD 9. Here are two examples of VAR and AVG on asses from acsearch.
  4. That is a good question. The countermark DD is believed to mean Dono Dedit (gave as present), where it is unknown who the donor was. In the case of VAR and CVAL the donors may have wanted to make sure that the recipients knew who their benefactors were. I think it is possible that Varus was able to acquire worn copper asses below face value that were to be recoined. By countermarking the coins he may have reestablished the face value. So besides saving on his donations, he may have been able to make some profit as well. I think it would be quite a coincidence for the two countermarks VAR and CVAL to occur in conjunction and in relation to the Varus battle, where two main protagonists were called VARus and C n VALa if these persons are not related to these countermarks.
  5. That is very interesting indeed. I guess you copied your answer from this source: The Varus Debate (romancoins.info) I think the pro arguments on the site above carry more weight. Also, I think the picture above is inconclusive. The VAR appears next to AVG, the TIB is not visible and may never have been there. The AVG accountermark preceded VAR and is hence consistent. I have not seen the other example, but my guess is that it is another inconclusive example that may have been misinterpreted. Importantly, with the new evidence, which has only just been published, we now know for sure that Kalkriese is the battle field of the Varus battle. And we also know that asses with the VAR countermark have come into the ground on these days in summer AD 9, when the battle took place. Hence, we now know with certainty that the VAR countermark was around in AD 9 and we know that it was on coins used by Varus' legions. According to the link below 96% of the large number of copper coins (nearly 700) found on the battle field carry a countermark, either IMP, AVG, VAR or CVAL. This is the highest concentration of countermarked coins ever found, including the largest number of VAR countermarks. Varusforschung in Kalkriese: Die Örtlichkeit der Varusschlacht (UNIVERSITÄT OSNABRÜCK) (uni-graz.at)
  6. That is a great bust type. Very attractive and rare.
  7. Often battles, or even entire wars, are of no lasting consequence, but some battles in history are of outsized importance. One of these is the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, also known as the Clades Variana, or Varus Battle. The battle took place in northern Germany in 9 AD and Rome lost three entire legions (No. 17, 18 and 19). The humiliation of this loss was such that these numbers were never used again to denote a Roman legion. The battle once and for all stopped Roman expansion across the Rhine and thus helped to establish linguistic boundaries in central Europe. The site of the battle was identified about 30 years ago at a place called Kalkriese. The evidence that led to the discovery of the battlefield initially consisted mainly of Roman coins. The coins also helped to date the site. Unfortunately, this evidence was not entirely conclusive, as the Romans returned to the site a few years later to bury their dead, when they also lost coins in the ground that dated the battle. It has therefore been debated whether the Kalkriese site was the field of the Clades Variana or whether it was the site of a battle that took place a few years later in 15 AD, when the Romans almost lost 4 legions to the Germanic warriors. This second battle is also known as the Battle of the Long Bridges. Scientists have now been able to prove conclusively that the Kalkriese site is the site of the Clades Variana. By analysing hundreds of pieces of metal lost during the battle and comparing the alloys with those of the known sites of the 17th, 18th and 19th legions, they have been able to prove that it was indeed these legions that were annihilated at Kalkriese, and not the legions involved in the Battle of the Long Bridges. Below is one of my Asses with the VAR countermark, which was applied by Varus at the legionary camp at Haltern just prior to the battle.
  8. As I said above, I like the shield depicting the army (or at least a group of soldiers). This decoration was apparently only (or mainly) used at Ticinum. I think it is meant to indicate that Probus had the whole army at his disposal for the defence of the Empire.
  9. Here is a version with full silvering from my collection:
  10. I bought the consular bust type below simply for the finely elaborated cloak that Probus is wearing:
  11. I also have a variant of this bust type with Aegis instead of the shield. The coin is also from Ticinum (Pavia):
  12. I found this Probus Antoninian on Ebay. Probus Obv.: VIRTVS PROBI AVG Rev.: VIRTVS AVG In exergue: QXXT Mint: Ticinum Date: AD 277 The coin was surprisingly inexpensive. I like the bust with the shield showing the Roman army.
  13. If there are no genuine Avitus AE4, then a lot of people have paid a lot of money for Honorius AE4s. Here are my three rarest late Roman AE4s. I call the group the great Germanic generals. From top to bottom: 1. Ricimer, 2. Odovacer and 3. Gundobad. 1 is relatively scarce, depending on the condition. 2. is pretty rare and 3 is very rare.
  14. That is a great find in a group lot. I have only one coin in the name of Eugenius: Eugenius, 392-394 Siliqua Lugdunum circa 392-394, AR 18.00 mm., 2.16 g. Pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust r. Rev. Roma seated l. on cuirass, holding Victory on globe in r. hand and inverted spear in l.; in exergue, LVGPS. RIC 46.
  15. This is perhaps my nicest solidus of Theodosius II: The Tricennalia issue of AD 438/439 Measurements: 4.47g, 21mm, 6h RIC X 257, Depeyrot 81/1 The condition is EF with luster and could hardly be any better. It is of the finest style. In 438 Theodosius II was about 37 years old. The Codex Theodosianus was published and his daughter Licinia Eudoxia was betrothed to Valentinian III. In 439 the Vandals conquered Carthage, which dealt the Roman Empire a serious blow, by cutting it off from its key source of grain. Theodosius' later attempts to expell the Vandals under Gaiseric from Africa were unsuccessful.
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