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Gallienus and Claudius II imperial coinage in the East


seth77
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Hi everybody,

I have just joined this new venue at the invitation of VGO DUCKS and I think I'm going to use this occasion to focus on my rekindled love for the Late Empire and a newfound love for Eastern local coinage or "provincial" coinage. I will probably also add from time to time content on feudal coinage, which is what I was mainly posting on CT, but this area has been less and less available lately, during this year or so.

The late Gallienus imperial coinage in the East is rather distinct style-wise and billon-wise, the PXV series from Antioch in 267 enjoying 80-120/1000 in silver title, quite high for the period (K.J.J. Elks - The Eastern Mints of Valerian and Gallienus: The Evidence of Two New Hoards from Western Turkey NC Vol. 15 (1975) pp. 91-109 p. 109), especially if one compares it to what was going on in the European mints at the time.

These two coins that will open this thread come from the same lot, a ca. 60EUR small lot of 15 late Romans, mostly pre and post-reform radiates. The Claudius II radiate comes from Brian Bucklan.

877088523_gallienuspxv.thumb.jpg.5b9d21f4c405563d4d72b463df83cd16.jpg

AE20mm 2.41g, billon antoninian, Antioch mint, seventh issue 267.
GALLIENVS AVG; radiate, draped cuirassed bust right seen from back
SOLI INVICTO; Sol standing facing, head left, extending arm and holding globe
PXV in exe.
RIC 611F (Mediolanum), Gobl (MIR) 1663i (Antioch), Elks 'Hoard A' p. 108 (Cyzicus)

 



947070556_gallienusspqr.thumb.jpg.e646bd4df36f940d1268ba39d248ef32.jpg

AE21x20mm, 3.12g, antoninianus, Smyrna mint, ca. early to mid or perhaps just the summer of 268.
GALLIENVS AVG; Bust right, radiate, cuirassed and draped, seen from rear
VENER VICTRIX; Venus standing left, leaning on sheld right, holding long scepter diagonally and helmet left
SPQR in exe.
RIC V-1 660, Gobl (MIR) 1537

The SPQR specimen particularly is interesting, because it is possibly the first emission at Smyrna (according to Gysen - A propos des ateliers de Smyrne et de Cyzique que sous Claude II le Gothique' CENB 36, no. 2 (1999), pp29-41 and Mairat - L'ouverture de l'atelier imperial de Cyzique sous le regne de Claude II le Gothique RN (2007)) after the mint turned from local "provincial" mint to Imperial mint, sometime in the first part of 268. The SPQR series for Gallienus is scarcer than the subsequent series for Claudius II, implying possibly a shorter minting period very close to Gallienus' death.

 

Claudius continues the SPQR marking and some of the types introduced by Gallienus until the mint is moved, probably around early 269.

2132983644_romaegothicus.JPG.c60dbad7726b4bb6161b2fd8bbcbdb83.JPG

AE21mm, 3.58g, antoninianus, 2nd Phase of minting at Smyrna, end of 268 - early 269.
IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS AVG; Bust right, radiate, cuirassed and draped with paludamentum, seen from rear; • underneath bust
ROMAE AE - TERNAE; Roma std l., shield leaning against throne, holding Victory on globe in r. hand and spear in l. hand.
SPQR in exe.
RIC V-1 241, RIC Online #836

Notes: Part of SPQR series, this coin was minted before the mint operation moved to Cyzicus. 7 specimens recorded by Estiot in Ric Temp, but others are known. The type was carried over from Gallienus, which makes this specimen one of the early emissions for Claudius, although very likely NOT the earliest -- note the long obverse legend that names the emperor as C M AVR CLAVDIVS AVG and not the simpler Gallienus-style CLAVDIVS AVG that was used in September 268.

 

I'm going to use this thread to pile on specimens from these two mints -- with the addition of Cyzicus for Claudius II after January 269. Everyone who wants to participate is highly welcome and appreciated.

Edited by seth77
adding some info
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Congrats on a Terrific OP, @seth77.  Interesting to hear about the shift in your interests.  I entirely agree about the shrinking options for finding new feudal.  I'm still looking, though ...granted, a little forlornly.  Meanwhile, even from here, the variety of later Roman across mints, even where 'official' issues are concerned, is very engaging.  Given my otherwise total ignorance, it's always fun when new synapses light up.

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The thing is that what I found extremely interesting in feudal coinage -- especially from areas like Berry or Languedoc for instance --, the high degree of variation and diversity in polities and types I have found lately in Roman "provincial" coinage. Imperial coinage from the Late Empire has always been an interest and the Eastern coinage of Gallienus and onward has a quality that is usually lacking in Europe up until Aurelian operates his reform around 274. It's weird that nobody added anything to this thread considering that these coins -- maybe apart from the SPQR series -- are not really rare.

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2 hours ago, seth77 said:

It's weird that nobody added anything to this thread considering that these coins -- maybe apart from the SPQR series -- are not really rare.

I wonder if some people were intimidated by your rare examples, thinking they had to do likewise for it to be interesting!  (Also we're all just finding our way around here, your post may have slipped below the waterline.)  I know @Claudius_Gothicus will be able to go to town on this theme (please do!) but I will get things rolling with some more common examples.

Here's an ex David Hendin coin I've had for ages, issued in Antioch around 263-4 (RIC 673, Göbl 1616i):

image.thumb.jpeg.91b8ac410616de0387eeb668ae69f6fb.jpeg

And here's another Antioch from the same time (264 actually) that's dated TR P XII COS V:

image.jpeg.f23cba5bbfa944d03553bdce4639044c.jpeg

Did you mean for us to include Claudius II at Antioch, or only his Smyrna/Cyzicus stuff?  Here's an Antioch (late 268-early 269, MER/RIC temp 1018):

image.thumb.jpeg.8a2e042af72afc4d61e38e91aad40214.jpeg

I think the style similarity to the Gallienus Antioch products is pretty clear.

Here's my only Claudius Cyzicus, but it's a later one, mid-Sept. 270 (MER/RIC 983temp):

image.thumb.jpeg.b3897dea9fee17dcf7ab1d58b90a7c26.jpeg

 

OK, now for some wild speculation.  Are you familiar with the "other" mint of Macrianus and Quietus?  Here's an example:

image.thumb.jpeg.1e2838ef4ce60edcf46def9c949ff67d.jpeg

These have a very different style from the (presumed) Samosata products.  Mattingly suggested the mint was Emesa, but nobody seems to have much idea.  It occurred to me the style is somewhat similar to the Smyrna/Cyzicus products from Gallienus and CII.  Is this a crazy idea?!  The Macriani were limited as to the mints they could use, and I think this is a possibility.  If Smyrna had this previous experience as an Imperial mint that might also explain why Gallienus decided to use it later, despite its vulnerability to attack by sea.  Grateful for any thoughts you have about this "other" mint of the Macriani.

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Gosh, it is Sunday nite. I am hungry... need a snack!

DARK CHOCOLATE CLAUDIUS II

upload_2022-2-14_21-48-30.png
RI Claudius Gothicus CE 268-270 AE Ant 24x21mm 2.3g FORTVNA REDVX; Fortuna standing left rudder and cornucopia Z RIC 41

Edited by Alegandron
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My nicest SPQR Claudius II is this one formerly from Finn Johannessen's collection.  The tag it came with indicated that it was a gift from Charles Euston.  It's one of four specimens illustrated in the MER-RIC database, where it's listed as having been acquired from an MA-Shops seller in 2008, possibly by Euston before he gave it to Johannessen.  I really like how distinctive some of these eastern mint portraits are. 

1214962473_ClaudiusII-FJCollSmyrnaMinerva2558.thumb.jpg.50c2fd108fd3f1942e4cb7a22f8402c8.jpg

CLAUDIUS II GOTHICUS
AE Antoninianus. 3.52g, 21.8mm.
Smyrna mint, circa end AD 268 - early AD 269.
New RIC V/1 Online temp #811 (4 spec., this coin cited and illustrated).
O: IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right.
R: MINERVA AVG, Minerva standing right, holding spear and resting left hand on shield resting on ground; SPQR in exergue.
Ex Finn Johannessen Collection (a gift from Charles Euston, 9 Jun 2010)

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Here's another CII SPQR, again from Johannessen's collection.  It has an interesting reverse combination of Mercury with a PROVIDENTIA legend.  This time the tag indicates that it's the "Second known specimen according to Jerome Mairat."  In the MER-RIC database, there are indeed only two specimens at this time, including this one . It's by the far also the worst one known.  😳

437122901_ClaudiusII-FJCollProvidentiaMercurySmyrna2361.thumb.jpg.4d5c1b5ee70e295ee58e8ce7e1649cdb.jpg

CLAUDIUS II GOTHICUS
AE Antoninianus. 3.37g, 21.5mm. Smyrna mint, circa end AD 268 - early 269.
New RIC V/1 Online temp #854 (this coin cited and illustrated).
O: IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; two dots below bust.
R: PROVIDENTIA AVG, Mercury standing left, holding purse in right hand and short-handled caduceus in left hand; SPQR in exergue.
Ex Finn Johannessen Collection (purchased from Walt Miskavage, 17 Nov 2003)

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Just so you know, @seth77, I only noticed this thread for the first time this evening. I'm still trying to find my way around here. It's sort of like CT, but sort of not!

Out of all my Gallienus coins, I have only one from Antioch, from a little bit earlier than the period you're discussing.

Gallienus, Billon Antoninianus, 264-265 AD, Antioch Mint, 11th emission (Göbl).*  Obv. Radiate head left, GALLIENVS AVG / Rev. Lion walking left, bucranium [bull’s head] in front of paws, P M TRP XIII; in exergue, C VI PP [CVI = COS VI], palm branch left below. RIC V-1 602 var. obv. [bust draped & cuirassed] & rev. [lion radiate]; RSC IV 847 var. rev. [lion radiate]; Sear RCV III 10327 var. rev. [lion radiate]; Göbl MIR [Moneta Imperii Romani] Band 36, No. 1622a [see http://www258.pair.com/denarius/coinage.htm, Coinage of Gallienus and Family, with Göbl numbers, descriptions, & images for Gallienus coins]. 21 mm., 4.05 g., 12 h.**

image.thumb.jpeg.d7604c7018caf08938e0e20c86882003.jpeg

*See Euston, Charles, Gallienus to Antioch ? A new PROFECTIO type of antoninianus from the mint at Antioch, A.D. 264, in Bulletin du cercle d’études numismatiques [BCEN] 52/2 (2015), at p. 2: “Göbl’s 11th emission begins with another lion reverse; lion (not radiate), left with a bull’s head between its paws (MIR 1622). This reverse is also dated, but to Gallienus’ 13th tribunician power (TRP XIII). Interestingly, this type straddles both the 12th and the 11th emissions as it exists both with and without the palm frond as exergual marker. This mark in the exergue is, in fact, the primary indicator of the 11th emission.”

**See Manders, Erika (2012), Coining Images of Power: Patterns in the Representation of Roman Emperors on Imperial Coinage, A.D. 193–284. Impact of Empire (Roman Empire, c. 200 B.C.–A.D. 476), at pp. 296-297 [portions available on Google Books], stating that “[f]our coin types [of Gallienus] [NB: in fact, there were more than four] bear a legend consisting of standard imperial titalature and show a lion with a bull’s head between his paws or a radiate lion (sometimes with a bull’s head between his paws. . . . These types might refer to the victories of Odaenathus [of Palmyra], Rome’s ally, gained over the Persians, probably in 262-263 and 267. This hypothesis is strengthened by the thirteenth Sybilline Oracle’s description of the Persians as ‘venom spitting beasts’ who have been destroyed by Odaenathus, the ‘sun-sent, dreadful, fearful lion, breathing much fire.’” Other authorities have expressed skepticism regarding this interpretation.  See, e.g., Woods, David (2018). "From Caracalla to Carausius: The Radiate Lion with Thunderbolt in its Jaws". British Numismatic Journal. British Numismatic Society.

 

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Great examples everyone, keep'em coming. At first I thought to keep Cyzicus for another separate topic but the series SPQR keeps these two mints Smyrna and Cyzicus so closely connected that it certainly belongs here. @Severus Alexander raises a very interesting point regarding the different style of some of the Macriani radiates which I have not considered. My opinion would be that most Imperial coinage in the 260s has a "familiar" look. In fact this is probably what inspired Elks when studying his Asian hoards to attribute them all to Cyzicus. RIC V is useless for keeping track of mints -- distinctly Eastern output is assigned to Mediolanum and 'Asian mint' becomes an all-encompassing attribution for everything and anything. Samosata (and the presumed secondary mint?) were closed after the defeat of the Macriani by Odenathus, who was the de facto ruler of the East for much of the 260s. He certainly minted in the name of Gallienus in Antioch -- some series very likely outside of Rome's directions and orders -- to finance his Persian campaigns. Identifying these series minted by Odenathus might make an interesting research and it's something I consider pursuing.

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6 hours ago, zumbly said:

My nicest SPQR Claudius II is this one formerly from Finn Johannessen's collection.  The tag it came with indicated that it was a gift from Charles Euston.  It's one of four specimens illustrated in the MER-RIC database, where it's listed as having been acquired from an MA-Shops seller in 2008, possibly by Euston before he gave it to Johannessen.  I really like how distinctive some of these eastern mint portraits are. 

1214962473_ClaudiusII-FJCollSmyrnaMinerva2558.thumb.jpg.50c2fd108fd3f1942e4cb7a22f8402c8.jpg

CLAUDIUS II GOTHICUS
AE Antoninianus. 3.52g, 21.8mm.
Smyrna mint, circa end AD 268 - early AD 269.
New RIC V/1 Online temp #811 (4 spec., this coin cited and illustrated).
O: IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right.
R: MINERVA AVG, Minerva standing right, holding spear and resting left hand on shield resting on ground; SPQR in exergue.
Ex Finn Johannessen Collection (a gift from Charles Euston, 9 Jun 2010)

It's a double die-match:

2071347500_minervaavg.JPG.356a8ac8b049fc33b964133537375c6a.JPG

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Here are some of my favorite Claudius II coins from Antioch:

[IMG]
Claudius II Gothicus, AD 268-270.
Roman billon antoninianus, 4.07 g, 22.4 mm, 5 h.
Antioch, officina 5, issue 1, end 268-end 269.
Obv: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: SALVS AVG, Isis standing left, holding sistrum and situla; Є in exergue.
Refs: RIC 217A; MER/RIC temp 1024; Cohen 256; RCV 11370; Huvelin 1990, 10; Normanby 1109.

[IMG] Claudius II, AD 268-270.
Roman billon Antoninianus, 4.12 g, 20.6 mm, 5 h.
Antioch, 1st emission, AD 268-269.
Obv: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate and draped bust of Claudius Gothicus, right.
Rev: NEPTVN AVG, Neptune, standing left, holding dolphin in right hand and trident in left hand; A in exergue.
Refs: RIC 214; MER/RIC temp 1018; Cohen 183; RCV 11353; Hunter 78; Huvelin 1990, 5.

[IMG] Claudius II, AD 268-270.
Roman billon antoninianus, 3.41 g, 19.4 mm, 11 h.
Antioch, 3rd emission, early-mid 270.
Obv: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate head, left.
Rev: IVNO REGINA, Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter; peacock at feet.
Refs: RIC 212 (3L); Cohen 133; MER/RIC temp 1048; RCV --; Alfoldi 24/3; Huvelin 1990, 39.
 
 
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I'm a big fan of Smyrna ants, and am trying to collect as many as possible. I'm still searching for a reasonably priced Salonina SPQR (I saw one in a previous Roma auction, but missed out because I wanted to buy a couple of other lots).

Anyway, here are the ones I currently own

Claudius II - P M TR PO P P (Wolf & Twins). Doubtless the scarcest of the bunch.

969072631_claudiusiipmtrpopp.thumb.png.77ab70c9393b4e51e3a45929baf0801d.png

 

Claudius II - ROMAE AETERNAE. The same type as @seth77's example.

198755116_claudiusiiromaeaeternaespqr.thumb.png.809dd7debfb2220fdb3073aad265828e.png

 

Claudius II - SALVS AVG. Unusually, this one is fully silvered. Annoying green tint from when I photographed it that isn't really there on the coin (unfortunately, the green deposits are very real).

797725418_ClaudiusIISALVSAVGSPQR.thumb.png.7dddab9ce63a50fe7a21ac1920004c3a.png

 

Gallienus - VIRTVS AVG. My only SPQR ant of Gallienus, bought for cheap somehow misdescribed as Roman Provincial on eBay.

1250701467_gallienusvirtvsavgspqr.thumb.png.7a425461a35f106a840006acfe356d76.png

 

I also own a couple of "SPQR but probably not Smyrna types", most likely minted in Cyzicus rather than Smyrna:

 

Claudius II - PAX AETERNA AVG

1883033887_claudiusiipaxaeternaspqr.thumb.png.b87f7e05dbcaca1b360cbd5286f51e79.png

 

Claudius II - VICTORIAE GOTHIC

446447112_claudiusiivictoriaegothicspqr2.thumb.png.c9aa61baff2143c45ed98ca8c9bb3086.png

 

Claudius II - VICTORIAE GOTHIC (this time with bust left)

1364252666_claudiusiivictoriaegothicbustleft.thumb.png.76247db022b3655a287b0bbdd1c87af5.png

 

Claudius II - VIRTVS AVG

1986967182_claudiusiivirtvsavgspqr.thumb.png.316cdae01eb892bc34b80edf4356405f.png

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I have a Claudius II PAX AETERNA SPQR antoninianus. From what I can tell from the OCRE website it is an un-draped RIC 237 bust variant that they attribute to Cyzicus. None of the Gallienus or Salonina SPQR for me (yet!). These types have interested me but I have not been actively searching for them. 

1553692958_2423351_1639340804_l2.jpg.79e1c728aba641a440f4978ea5c1c03f.jpg

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At Smyrna there were many types minted, many rare to very rare (so the actual output of each type might have actually been low), but by the time the minting operation moves to Cyzicus, sometime probably early in 269, there are fewer types and the output grows steadily. Actually the whole 268 SPQR series that goes from Gallienus to Claudius II seems to be a rather experimental phase, fluctuating in terms of output and reverse types. The series "normalizes" once at Cyzicus and once three reverse types seem to be favored for a regular production: FORTVNA REDVX, PAX AETERNA and VICTORIAE GOTHIC around mid 269. If you look for a SPQR of Claudius II, chances are these three types will be what you first see.

There is also an interesting coupling around the theme of Fortuna -- FORTVNA AVG at Smyrna with the goddess with cornucopia and patera next to small altar in late 268 and then FORTVNA REDVX at Cyzicus with the goddess holding cornucopia and rudder in mid 269 (Fortuna returning). This pairing might be significant and as such, its significance might explain why this type became a regular issue by mid 269.

2759581_1650446433.thumb.jpg.293a4e46e2798c1c3d5d0e572e0938a1.jpg

 

gothic.JPG.9d887d2564d7375e3d6d3c1ed1c7cdb5.JPG

Edited by seth77
added some info
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Lots of fun coins in this thread. Here’s my Claudius II PAX AETERNA and VICTORIAE GOTHIC from Cyzicus.
ClaudiusIIRIC237.thumb.jpg.d31f5dbffa9b16d9c9288aefdb638f44.jpgClaudius II

OB: IMP CM AVR CLAVDIVS AVG, 3 dots below

PAX AETERNA F Pax standing left olive branch and sceptre SPQR

RIC V-1, 237 Cyzicus

ClaudiusIICyzicusRIC.thumb.JPG.26b7cc2b005ba3cfcbaa1d9bd485184a.JPG
Claudius II Gothicus

Ob: IMP CLAVDIVS P F AVG Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust r.; two dots below bust.
Rev. VICTORIAE GOTHIC Trophy between two seated captives.

C 308 var. (SPQR in exergue). RIC 252 var. (SPQR in exergue).

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As for more eastern mint Gallienus coins… I have many but also many with no photo or bad photos. Here’s a few. I’ll try to photograph some more. 
 

I have these all listed as Antioch or “Asian mint.” @seth77, you mention that RIC V-1 is useless for assigning eastern mints. Is there more accurate information on where these coins were minted?

868840370_GallienusAntiochRICV-1-606.thumb.JPG.2f3255f4872979e53fdeec773521d882.JPG

AETERNITAS AVG / PXV

GallienusAntiochRICV-1-652.thumb.JPG.0a2220322410843c3f3312180885dfbe.JPG

PAX FVNDATA (Peace founded… oh really…)

GallienusAntiochRICV-1-644f.thumb.JPG.015ecd94c5a5b5d77471d6d5d4e4054f.JPG

IOVI STATORI

GallienusAntiochRIC632.thumb.JPG.84dd832bdfb24ccca66dc224d86d1678.JPG

CONSERVATOR AVG

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8 hours ago, Orange Julius said:

As for more eastern mint Gallienus coins… I have many but also many with no photo or bad photos. Here’s a few. I’ll try to photograph some more. 
 

I have these all listed as Antioch or “Asian mint.” @seth77, you mention that RIC V-1 is useless for assigning eastern mints. Is there more accurate information on where these coins were minted?

 

I think that 'Asian mint' was conclusively attributed to Antioch by Gobl in Moneta Imperii Romani (36, 43, 44). Prior discussions, like the one I mentioned in OP by Elks tried to identify all Asian coinage as Cyzicus. Antioch was supposedly under Sassanian occupation after the defeat of Valerian in 260, but by 262 or thereabouts the city was ruled by Odenathus in the name of Gallienus. The further campaigns of Odenathus against the Persians could be perhaps correlated with some high output of coinage at Antioch -- minted by Odenathus in the name of Gallienus but by his own authority and his own reverses (?) until about 264 at the earliest. My view is that any periodical articles regarding this era will round what is already known from Gobl, Sear and Estiot-Mairat.

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Here's a rather peculiar PAX AETERNA spec (the regular RIC Temp #940) on a very wide flan 23mm and with a distinctly short and thin lettering. This was also a Brian Bucklan buy of ca. 8 years ago for these exact reasons.

699419991_clauspqr.JPG.fbe89b56960a38cbd7e924e7b751440e.JPG

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Nice thread, I appreciate the variety of examples that have been posted! Anyway, @Severus Alexander summoned me to post some coins, and post some coins I shall: here's a few Claudius II, both from Smyrna and Cyzicus. Unfortunately I don't actually have that many, since finding examples that are both interesting and attractive enough is not that easy, and when it comes to the SPQR issues I'm also lacking both Gallienus and Salonina, though I'm hoping to rectify this soon enough. 

 

Firstly, two from Smyrna:

620076846_IMPCMAVRCLAVDIVSAVG-VIRTVTIAVG(1).jpg.0418cb2d983478544de84c0adccb5096.jpg

Roman Empire, Claudius II (268-270), Antoninianus, Smyrna mint.

Obverse: IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind;

Reverse: VIRTV-TI AVG, trophy of arms, helmet left, flanked by two bound captives, SPQR in exergue;

RIC V 255; RIC V Online 822;

 

604713860_IMPCMAVRCLAVDIVSAVG-VIRTVTIAVG(2).jpg.cfc3fde76b32e9f8133ab263c01059ed.jpg

Roman Empire, Claudius II (268-270), Antoninianus, Smyrna mint.

Obverse: IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind, two dots below;

Reverse: VIRTV-TI AVG, Mars standing right, holding spear pointing up in right hand and resting left hand on shield on the ground, SPQR in exergue;

RIC V - ; RIC V Online 825;

The VIRTVTI AVG group from Smyrna contains four varieties, the most common one featuring a trophy (copied from Gallienus' identical type, it will evolve into the famous VICTORIAE GOTHIC issue from Cyzicus) while the three other one show Mars and are the successors to the previous emperor's very rare MARS AVG type. The VIRTVTI AVG variant will be later ported over to Cyzicus' short first emission but, like most of Smyrna's types, will be abandoned almost immediately.

 

Now, two from Cyzicus:

1323723878_IMPCMAVRCLAVDIVSAVG-VENVSAVG.jpg.60e374c4ec3939e87a340d8593f02a69.jpg

Roman Empire, Claudius II (268-270), Antoninianus, Cyzicus mint.

Obverse: IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind;

Reverse: VENVS AVG, Venus standing left, holding helmet in right hand and transverse spear pointing down in left hand, shield to the right resting against her;

RIC V 245; RIC V Online 874; La Venera 9862; Mairat 2007, 13/1;

 

1284925540_IMPCMAVRCLAVDIVSAVG-VICTORIAEGOTHIC.jpg.c92e9811572f6c736127248a82d07e68.jpg

Roman Empire, Claudius II (268-270), Antoninianus, Cyzicus mint.

Obverse: IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust left, seen from behind, two dots below;

Reverse: VICTORI-A-E GOTHIC, trophy of arms, helmet left, on each side, a bound and seated captive;

RIC V - (c.f. RIC V 251); RIC V Online 926; Cope et al. 1997, p. 146;

The first coin belongs to the very first emission of Cyzicus, as VENVS AVG, quite common from Smyrna, was carried over but abandoned after a very short production run - despite legends and depictions being the same, you can tell the difference between the Smyrna and the Cyzicus version thanks to the portrait style and the absence of SPQR on the latter. The other coin is a very rare left-facing variant of the very common VICTORIAE GOTHIC type - I'm pretty sure that it is the Cyzicus issue with the greatest variety of bust types.

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This type for Gallienus at Antioch marked PXV is fast becoming one of my favorite types for the era:

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AE20mm 4.18g, billon antoninian, Antioch mint, seventh issue 267.
GALLIENVS AVG; radiate, draped cuirassed bust right seen from back
AETERNITAS AVG; Saturn veiled, draped standing right, holding scythe
PXV in exe.
RIC 606 (Mediolanum), Gobl (MIR) 1662k (Antioch), Elks 'Hoard A' p. 108 (Cyzicus)

 

I had an entry on CT about this type, from which I will add here:

The relatively few specimens recorded in the studied hoard by Elks (3 specs) is by no means an indication of rarity of the type. The series is copious in trade and in collections, but it seems that this particular representation is often overlooked although it's very interesting and singular in Roman coinage.

Saturn is the Roman alias of the earlier Cronos (Khronos from the Orphic Protogonos theogony) and is well known for two things (besides starring in Children of the Corn in the 1980s): 1. castrating his father Uranus with that scythe and 2. devouring his own children (so that they won't do him the way he did his pops). As one of the earlier gods and 'king of the Titans' he was the god of Time -- as an unstoppable and all-devouring force of the Cosmos, a chaotic and extremely destructive force.

The legend AETERNITAS AVG is also interesting in this context, as it shows the taming of the original fearful character of Cronos from the overseer of chaos, destruction and decay to the symbol of the eternal Cosmos.

Why is this iconography so rare in coinage? I think that not many emperors would have considered advertising a tie to such a dark and archaic character as Saturn, especially since the Roman tradition already had a representation of eternity -- the goddess Aeternitas. Besides that, Saturn did not convey the filial piety that Roman morals enforced, and the attitude Gallienus took after his father's capture by the Persians in 260 might have struck some as rather funny in the context.

But what I think is the case here with the pairing of Saturn and the AETERNITAS AVG legend, is to hint at Gallienus as the master of all the turbulence and chaos that was happening at the time during the military crisis -- the defeat and capture of his father, the usurpations, the Gallo-Roman Empire, the death of his son -- and still here was Gallienus, holding tribunincian powers for the 15th time. He had been riding the waves for what seemed like an eternity, all things considered.

And another one just dropped from Fedex, with some consistent silvering still showing in its uncleaned state:

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AE20x18mm 3.03g

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There are some great coins and posts on this thread. I would like to share this Gallienus.  I have an interest in standards, ensigns and particularly  trophies from the point of view of their use as propaganda. 

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Gallienus, 253-268 Antoninianus circa 261, billon 20mm., 3.37g. Radiate head r. Rev. Fides standing, with two ensigns. C 238. RIC 480 (Mediolanum).

Ex- Navilles 2017.

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The most regular types at Cyzicus in mid to late 269, when the output of the mint stabilized and from a multitude of types which were coined for this series at Smyrna in the last quarter of 268, the mint settled for a few types, of which PAX AETERNA and VICTORIAE GOTHIC became common.

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These coins even when mediocre have a distinct quality and personality.

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