Jump to content

Marsyas Mike

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

1 Follower

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

Marsyas Mike's Achievements

Grand Master

Grand Master (14/14)

  • Posting Machine
  • One Year In
  • Conversation Starter
  • One Month Later
  • Very Popular

Recent Badges



  1. Very interesting (and attractive) countermark @robinjojo These Middle Eastern countermarks on Byzantine hosts are fascinating. I posted a couple that came my way on CT: Byzantine Wars with Islam in Syria & Palestine - A Heraclius Countermark In my quest for cheap ancient countermarks, I recently landed a pitted follis of Maurice Tiberius with what looked like a countermark - the seller correctly identified the host coin, but missed the countermark. In hand, I was (I think) able to attribute it, a monogram of Heraclius' name in a circle. It was apparently issued by Heraclius during his Syrian wars with the Muslim Arabs, and was used in Palestine. The most helpful information was from a "sold" listing on FORVM - I quote from this listing: "Heraclian countermarks on Byzantine copper coins in seventh-century Syria" by Wolfgang Schulze, Ingrid Schulze and Wolfgang Leimenstoll discusses finds near Caesarea Maritima, where this example was found, and concludes, "During the military conflict between the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim Arabs in Syria in the years 633-36 Byzantine coins were countermarked by the Byzantine military with a Heraclius monogram. Countermarking most probably was exercised predominantly in Palestine I and was carried out to revalue the few circulating copper coins in order to remedy the general supply gap and disastrous shortage of cash." This is the FORVM coin in the listing - the countermark is beautiful: https://www.forumancientcoins.com/c...fld=https://www.forumancientcoins.com/Coins2/ The FORVM example has a much clearer countermark than my example. The host coin on mine, despite some pitting problems, is remarkably intact in terms of identifying characteristics - the oddly under-sized reverse compared to the full-size obverse is interesting. The countermark, unfortunately, is not very clearly struck - my "enhanced" version show why I am attributing the way I am. Any corrections (or disagreements) welcome, as always. I was staring pretty hard to attribute this and I might be seeing things. Are there any others of these out there? This Palestine countermark seems to be scarcer than the Sicilian issues of Heraclius, but I think these were all issued in abundance. My example: Byzantine Empire Æ Follis Heraclius (c. 633-636 A.D.) Countermark on Maurice Tiberius (585-586 A.D.) Constantinople/Palestine Mint Host coin: [M]AVRIC TIB[ER PP AVG], helmeted & cuirassed bust facing / Large M, ANNO left, cross above, II / II right, Є below; CON in exergue. SB 494, MIB 65d-67d. (11.31 grams / 27 mm) Countermark: HRC cruciform monogram in 9 mm circle. Schulze HCM type 1b https://www.cointalk.com/threads/byzantine-wars-with-islam-in-syria-palestine-a-heraclius-countermark.329326/ Byzantine Follis with Eagle Countermark: Last Stand at Caesarea Maritima against Islam? Feast or famine; with ancient countermarks, I find that either there is no information on them whatsoever, or a feast, with an abundance of information. This unappetizing Byzantine follis I recently found on eBay turned out to be a feast, with several theories on why it got countermarked and where. First the coin (some may find the ugliness of this coin to be disturbing, so viewer discretion advised): Byzantine Empire Æ Follis Heraclius (c. 610-640 A.D.) Caesarea Maritima (Egypt?) Host coin: Constantinople (?) follis star | cross | star type of Justin I (SB 62) (518-527 A.D.) or Justinian I (SB 160) (527-538 A.D.) Countermark: Stylized eagle, pellet above, in 9 mm circle. (9.64 grams / 30 x 28 mm) eBay Oct. 2023 I've only been able to find one other sale of these online, which fortunately was from FORVM, which can always be relied upon to give a lot of information. Here is FORVM: Byzantine Empire, Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.; Palestina Prima Countermark Due to new finds around Caesarea Maritima, Wolfgang Schulze re-attributed this countermark from Egypt to Palestina Prima. David Woods proposes that "Nicetas, the cousin of the future emperor Heraclius, ordered the countermarking of these coins as he advanced from Egypt into Palestine during the summer of 610 in order to signal the change of government from Phocas to the Heraclii." Another possible date is after the recovery of Syria from the Persians in 628. Schulze dates it to the Arab siege of 637 - 640 A.D., to which Caesarea succumbed. This is only the third example known of this eagle countermark applied to a coin of Maurice Tiberius. Woods identified the other examples, as "a careless accident." SH77069. Bronze follis, Hahn MIB II 65b, DOC I 22 var. (no 4th officina), SBCV 494; for countermark see Schulze INR 2009, and Woods (Heraclius, Palestina Prima), countermark: VF, coin: aF, areas of corrosion, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, weight 11.287g, maximum diameter 31.5mm, die axis 180o, coin c. 583 - 584, countermark c. 610 - 637; obverse DN mAV - RC P P AV, crowned bust facing, crown with cross and pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand, shield on left shoulder; reverse large M (40 nummi) between ANNO and II (regnal year 2), Δ (4th officina) below, CON in exergue; countermark: in exergue, eagle standing facing, head right, wings raised, in a round punch; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (found at Caesarea, Israel); very rare countermark; SOLD https://www.forumancientcoins.com/c...p?param=77069q00.jpg&vpar=1376&zpg=87823&fld= Unlike FORVM's example, the host coin on my example is the more common Justin I / Justinian I follis; I suspect mine is Justin I, based on the spacing of the letters, but I am not entirely sure of this, as the middle NVS/ANVS part of the legend is missing. The mintmark on mine is also mostly missing, but I think I can make out the N for CON. I was able to locate Schulze's article on academia.com, and find his theories observations on what, where and why for this countermark to be very compelling. The Byzantine ‘Eagle’ Countermark –Re-attributed from Egypt to Palestine by WOLFGANG SCHULZE ABSTRACT During the turbulent years of the Arab conquest of Syria in the 30s of the seventh century CE, a series of Byzantine countermarks was in use. One of them, the ‘eagle’ countermark, has been attributed for a long time to Egypt and may now be re-attributed to Palestine on the basis of new evidence. This countermark may have been applied on old and worn Byzantine coins in order to revalue them during the siege of Caesarea (637–640 CE). INTRODUCTION Byzantine coins bearing a countermark depicting an eagle with upraised wings were first published over 30 years ago (Bendall1976:230). Up to now such countermarks were known exclusively on coins of Justin I and Justinian I (Fig. 1)The round countermark shows a standing bird (‘eagle’) with wings curved upward and a pellet above. It has a diameter of approximately 8 mm and is placed exclusively on the reverses of the host coins. Evans stated that “all [countermarks]are placed at approximately the same place on the reverses of folles, obscuring the offcinae , but carefully avoiding disfiguring the M or the mintmark.” (Evans 2006:24). Looking at the coins in the catalogue below, we can be more precise. On most of the coins, the application of the countermark at the same place of the host coin is indisputable. The countermarks are usually placed on the mintmark or on the offcina, disfiguring one or the other and sometimes both. But nevertheless there are four coins with countermarks placed indiscriminately beside or on the M (Cat. Nos. 1, 10, 16, 21).In contrast to the worn host coins, the countermarks are usually fresh. Takinginto account the fact that Bendall only knew of three specimens and that we can use the evidence of 25 specimens today, his statement “the designs of the countermarks are as worn as the coins” (Bendall 1976:230) cannot be maintained. It seems that several ‘eagle’ countermark dies were in use, sometimes of fine, sometimes of rough style. This could point to a larger production than their rarity in excavations, museums or in trade may suggest (Fig. 2). https://www.academia.edu/6830710/Th...termark_Re_attributed_from_Egypt_to_Palestine The article goes on with various other aspects and theories about this countermark and the tumultuous history of those times. Feel free to share any other Byzantine and/or Arabic countermarks, etc. https://www.cointalk.com/threads/byzantine-follis-with-eagle-countermark-last-stand-at-caesarea-maritima-against-islam.408462/#post-24797151
  2. Interesting post - and good eye picking up that variant @Claudius_Gothicus. I've got what I think is one of the common ones (my attribution on Gallienus and family are usually uncertain): Gallienus Antoninianus (264-265 A.D.) Mediolanum Mint GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right / BON EVEN AVG, Bonus Eventus standing facing, head left, by altar, holding patera and ears of corn, [MT in exergue]. RIC 470k (var. legend? See note) Göbl 1391a. (3.11 grams / 20 x 18 mm) eBay June 2018 Lot @ $5.43 Attribution Note: OCRE fails to provide reverse legends; gallienus.net notes BON EVEN as a variation: "RIC 470 lists only BON EVENT or BONVS EVENTVS AVG as reverse legend"
  3. An exceptionally interesting coin type, @Roman Collector. The idea of these limited issues is very appealing - Hadrian's issues for his erstwhile successor Aelius comes to mind, though these Faustina I types are far scarcer. I want one! Sorry to say I don't have one of these to share, but the Salus cradling the snake type came my way recently for Valerian - a somewhat scarce type for him, from what I can find. I wonder if he was sick when this was issued? The Persians gave him other things to worry about, unfortunately: Valerian I Antoninianus (c. 255-257 / 257-259 A.D.) Mediolanum (Milan) Mint IMP VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right / SALVS AVGG, Salus standing right, feeding serpent held in arms RIC V 252; Cohen RSC 202a; Göbl MIR 836 b (5 ex.). (2.54 grams / 21 x 19 mm) eBay April 2024 Note: OCRE breaks this down: RIC V 252a: draped (two examples, both cuirassed!) RIC V 252c: draped & cuirassed All other sources just cite 252. Mints location and dates vary: RIC/OCRE and most auctions: Mediolanum, 257-259 A.D. CGB.fr Viminacium 255-257 A.D.
  4. I do have some difficulty with the RPC countermark database - I've never really figured out a way to search it, so I just scroll page after page. There might be more Hercules countermarks on another page deeper in?
  5. I think that is a pretty good guess. My thoughts exactly.
  6. Very interesting countermarks @Severus. The PR has been connected to the rebellion of Vindex against Nero. See the Baker Collection here: http://www.romancoins.info/countermark-Richard-Baker.html and http://www.accla.org/actaaccla/baker2.html A bunch of these PR countermarks showed up on CNG a couple years ago and some of these drifted down to eBay where they went cheap sometimes. I posted on CT about these here: https://www.cointalk.com/threads/budget-countermarks-vindex-pr-and-lysimachos-with-seleucid-anchor.341027/#post-3574205 Mine are in poor condition: The Hercules head countermark is a mystery to me - the countermark itself is used a lot on provincials - the RPC countermarks database shows several - see here: https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/countermark But I don't know - I've never seen one with a PR countermark What ever it is, it is pretty cool!
  7. Here is one that I took a gamble on - seller listed it, for obvious reasons, as a fourree, but I thought that brown and green mess looked like surface adhesions that might be removable. Top photo is seller's photos. Bottom photo is after some distilled water soaking and scraping. It weighs 3.16 grams - I think it's silver and official. You can see where the crud was removed - my scraping skills (and eyesight) are not exactly top-notch, and I suspect the bronze disease caused some pitting, especially at 12 o'clock reverse. But it does look overall less awful.
  8. These aren't exactly "beautiful" but they arrived in old paper envelopes that gave a nice, dark tone to them. The green crud is an extra; I thought about trying to remove it, but it looks stable and since these mostly get cleaned to shiny white, I thought I'd leave them alone:
  9. Very interesting thread and coins. These also come with countermarks - the star countermark is regularly encountered on these (32 in RPC), but like most ancient countermarks, the reason why is unknown (as far as I can tell). The countermark does seem to be targeting this particular issue (see RPC countermark notes below), which is bit unusual, countermarks being usually found on a wide array of hosts in the Roman East (for instance Antioch). These are the small, dumpy flan types, so the peribolos and temples are not very clear: Antoninus Pius Æ 20 Zeugma, Commagene (138-161 A.D.) [ΑΥΤΟ] ΚΑΙ ΤΙΤ [ΑΙΛ ΑΔΡΙ(Α) ΑΝΤωΝΙΝΟϹ ϹΕ(Β) (ΕΥ)] laureate head right / [ΖƐΥΓ]ΜΑΤƐωΝ, tetrastyle temple fronted by peribolos with grove of trees; Γ upper left. (11.08 grams / 20 x 17 mm) eBay Dec. 2023 RPC IV.3 8532; BMC 8-11; Butcher 6; SNG Copenhagen 28. Countermark: Star within a star-shaped punch, 5 mm., obv. Howgego GIC 453; RPC Countermark 573. Note: 32 examples of this countermark on RPC; all but two are on RPC 8532. Here's another one: Antoninus Pius Æ 19 Zeugma, Commagene (138-161 A.D.) [ΑΥΤ...ΚΑΙ(Ϲ)... ΤΙ ΑΙΛΙ ΑΔΡΙΑ] ΑΝ[ΤωΝΙΝΟΝ ϹƐ], laureate head right / ΖƐΥ[ΓΜΑΤƐωΝ], [A or B in right field?], tetrastyle temple atop colonnaded peribolos containing grove (7.18 grams / 19 mm) eBay Dec. 2022 $5.00 Attribution: Numeral letter is probably in right field, based on visible spacing, which would be: RPC IV.3 5752 (temporary) RPC IV.3 5752 (letter in r. field); RPC IV.3 8532 (letter in l. field); Countermark: Star within a star-shaped punch, 5 mm., obv. Howgego GIC 453; RPC Countermark 573. Note: 32 examples of this countermark on RPC; all but two are on RPC 8532.
  10. My new Faustina I seated Aeternitas (or whoever she is) and phoenix came in - out of the holder it looks a lot better. Too bad about the hole, but at least it is small and doesn't hit any of the legends or design: Faustina I Æ Sestertius (c. 155-161 A.D.) See notes. Rome Mint DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right / [AET]ERNITA[S] | SC in exergue, Aeternitas seated left on throne holding phoenix nimbate on globe and scepter. RIC III Antoninus Pius 1103Aa; BMCRE 1482-1486. (23.87 grams / 31 x 29 mm) eBay March 2024 Roman Collector Num. Forvm: RIC 1103A(a); BMCRE 1482-86; Cohen 15; Strack 1265; RCV 4606 Rome, ca. AD 155-161. "The issue...belongs to the fifth and final of these, which commenced in AD 150 for the tenth anniversary of Faustina's death and deification but continued for some years afterward These coins generally bear the late obverse inscription DIVA FAVSTINA..." Die-Match Obverse: ibercoin Online Auction 65; Lot 408; 23.03.2022 (error: description says DIVAE in obverse legend) Gorny & Mosch Giessener Münzhandlung Online Auction 267; Lot 3664; 17.10.2019 Here are a couple of die-matches: Thanks again @Roman Collector for your informative posts.
  11. Great snag, @Orange Julius. I too seek out the iffy photos, nice coins - from the same seller, apparently, here's my Gordian III sestertius ($32.95): Seller photo: My photo: Here's another one that was a pleasant surprise - Trebonianus Gallus Temple antoninianus: Seller's photo: My photo:
  12. And maybe a bit of the Hapsburg prognathic/underbite jaw?
  13. I seem to have kronenthaler fever. This just came in - minted in Milan, it is called a crocione, but it is to kronenthaler specifications. The Milan mint issues have FRANCISC on the obverse, and the engraving work in the legends are nicer (in my opinion - look at the numerals in the date). Too bad about the hole: Italy, Milan 1794 M Crocione Francis I (1792-1795) Milan Mint FRANCISC•II•D•G•R•I•S•A• GER•HIE•HVN•BOH•REX•M, laureate bust r. / ARCH•AVST• DVX•BVRG•LOTH•BRAB•COM•FLAN•1794, Burgundian cross with three crowns, Golden Fleece below (29.00 grams / 39 mm) (holed) eBay March 2024 KM 239 (C 59.1); Davenport 1390; Mont. 165; Gigante 13. Edge Lettering: LEGE ET FIDE
  14. Recently an 8 reales from homeland Spain came my way with what is called a "first bust" type (so I gleaned from auctions). I don't know much about these, but this bust looks more like Ferdinand VII, of course, since he lived in Spain, but it is not quite the classic FVII bust that came later. Too bad about the hole: Spain 1809 8 Reales Ferdinand VII (first bust) Seville Mint FERDINANDUS VII · DEI · G ·· 1809 · draped bust right / HISPANIARUM · REX · | around crowned arms, R | S - 8 | C·N | across fields KM 451; (old C 136b); ME Cayon 15810; Calicó 635. (26.87 grams / 38 mm) eBay Nov. 2023 Lot @ $20.83
  15. This one's weird, unlisted, fake, something...but I found another one on FORVM: Julia Domna Æ (?) Denarius (c. 196-211 A.D.) Unknown / Unofficial Mint IVLIA D AVGVSTA draped bust right / FIDES PVBLICA, Fides standing right, holding corn-ears and basket of fruit. RIC IV -; BMCRE -; RSC III - (Unofficial issue; see notes) (2.46 grams / 16 mm) eBay Mar. 2020 $3.26 "This coin combines the obverse of a Julia Domna denarius with reverse of a Caracalla denarius. The style is not official. It is an ancient counterfeit. The core is probably base metal." http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?zpg=8921 Note: Per OCRE, there are eight FIDES PVBLICA types for Caracalla: RIC 8, 19, 24Aa, 24Ab, 24a, 24b, 330A and 334. Here's another odd-ball Julia Domna I posted on CT a while back: Julia Domna Æ (?) Denarius (c. 196-211 A.D.) Unknown Mint IVLIA AVGVSTA bust right / IMP[ERII FELI]CITAS, standing female facing, head right, holding grain or thunderbolt (?) in left hand, column or altar to right (?) Unattributed "Limes" or barbaric imitation (3.36 grams / 18 mm) eBay Jan. 2019 $2.24 "...reverse type is IMPERII FELICITAS. It clearly begins IMPER and ends in CITAS. However, the goddess here clearly holds a branch, whereas Felicitas holds a caduceus on the only Severan issue with this reverse type, a denarius of Caracalla, RIC 9 (Rome), RIC 331 (Eastern mint). That type depicts Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus in right hand and child on left arm." (RC et al., Coin Talk) https://www.cointalk.com/threads/julia-domna-a-very-ugly-denarius-id-help-please.331780/
  • Create New...