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50 Emperors & Empresses


LONGINUS
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I thought I’d commemorate the milestone with a “one of each” poster of favorites in my collection.

 

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’ve been on a mission — and enjoying immensely — restoring my collection of Imperial denarii that I sold off in 2020 but later came to regret. My goal has been to rebuild my lost collection with coins of the XF quality range with excellent portraits.

 

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The folks in this forum are always a tremendous inspiration to me.

How many emperors and empresses are represented in your collection?

I’d love to hear about the milestones in your ancient coin collecting journey.

Edited by LONGINUS
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Always admired your elegant presentations, @LONGINUS. Plus your exigence in choosing coins for your collection.

After fiddling with my Excel file for the collection, just the Imperial section, I have 84 different emperors/empresses (including Diva/Divus issues, or coin with emperor as Augustus same individual with a coin issued as Caesar)

I am very happy with having 38 imperial coins with empresses portraits. Not milestone numbers, but getting there. 

Edited by ambr0zie
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Very nice group but the obvious question is why you chose to display them in an order other than standard.   I see you included some Caesars that never were Augusti so I included them in my body count of 114 (and holding - all the cheap ones are gone).  There comes a point where most collectors stop caring about adding people who are expensive and did nothing in history and develop a desire to have more than one coin of other people (your favorites).   My last 'new face' was a Marius in 2013 which I only bought because it was cheap for a Marius. Since then, all my new people have been not Roman Imperials (Republican, Greek, Byzantine, Eastern etc.).  

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@LONGINUS.

Lovely collection and beautiful display...I have 52 different emperors/empresses but in all sorts of different denominations. 

Here's one of my favourites..

normal_sev4.jpg.141dcaee5f4566b1cd1ad8abb9b48c8d.jpg

Severus Alexander. 222-235 AD. AR Denarius (2.89 gm, 20mm). Rome mint. Struck 228 AD.
Obv.: IMP SEV ALE-XAND AVG, laureate head right.
Rev.: PM TRPVII COSII PP , Mars standing right, holding shield and spear.
RIC IV 83; BMCRE 503; RSC 337. aEF.

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That's a gorgeous collection! Most of mine are nowhere near the quality of yours. I'm slowly collecting the Roman emperors - mostly when one comes up for cheap. I counted seven on your presentation that I don't have.

Here's one I picked up recently.

Crispina.jpg.b61b6e048f31a72e5b41f64616e659f8.jpg

Crispina 177-182
AR Denarius 3.93g, 18mm
Bust of Crispina right "CRISPINA AVGVSTA"
Clasped hands "CONCORDIA"
RSC 8
Ex Aegean Numismatics

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Good golly Mrs Molly, DR your eye for artistry has no boundaries. 

From the amazing display and presentation to the coins themselves you are all class!

Your Augustus, Nero, Vespasian et al are freaking masterpieces!

I'll add my most recent Roman; a Nero Divus Claudius to upgrade my silver Claudius portrait (a broken fourré). Now that I look closely, I think I also upgraded my Nero portrait, despite the, I assume Scoops, that deform Claudius seem to have flattened Nero's blonde/ginger hair:

3239708_1662397056.l-removebg-preview.png.16e0e8a9eb0f63cbdd255f1b45b2b9cb.png

Edited by Ryro
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Great accomplishment, and as always a lovely presentation! You've been acquiring and sharing with us many coins this year. What are your next targets? 

I've so far collected about 35 emperors/empresses. I tend to focus on interesting reverses more, including imperatorial/republican coins. From there, I'll see where my collection interest will take me. Perhaps more Greek coins, or later imperial coins (soldier emperors)? 

You also asked about milestones. I have many, so to say. The completion of my 12 C's set for example. Or the 'good emperors' in silver. Individual coins have also been milestones, so to say, because they were difficult to acquire. Below you may find two examples of such coins, which I truly cherish.

Cheers, keep on collecting! 

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0_16.png.b30ef4e35bbf8bf1c5f788673fe0fdb9.png

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21 hours ago, dougsmit said:

Very nice group but the obvious question is why you chose to display them in an order other than standard...

Thank you and I agree that the chronology needs work. I had them roughly arranged by death/end of reign. I’ve reordered a few spots and reposted the image.

Every time I change something on the poster I learn something new about the coins and the emperors.

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21 minutes ago, LONGINUS said:

 I had them roughly arranged by death/end of reign.

That explains it.  I would suggest using the standard order as used in sales catalogs and standard references which generally keeps families together with a wife following her husband and the children following her.  When there were other relatives (brothers, grandmother) they had to be slipped in where it made the most sense.  The order by death date causes some odd pairings like Caracalla's wife being next to his brother but not next to him.  Of course there are imes where one person might appear twice as wife of one emperor and mother of the next (Julia Domna) or daughter of one and wife of the next (Faustina II) so decisions have to be made.  The easy way would be to pick one of your major coin suppliers (like CNG) and follow the order they use.  It gets worse when you get into later rulers with more than one Augustus, more than one Caesar, wives, former wives and nephews so following a standard order is better.  My favorite period is that of Septimius Severus who was one of the five so called emperors of 193 AD but is usually listed last of the five because he was the one who won and lasted longest leaving power to his family.  Commodus died on the last night of 192 AD (therefore is not counted in the five).  The next morning, Pertinax became emperor only to be killed by the Praetorians and replaced by Didius Julianus who issued coins for his wife and daughter.  This so outraged the Roman world that three generals volunteered to avenge Pertinax we usually place Pescennius Niger first and, interestingly Clodius Albinus second. Albinus accepted a deal with Severus to be his junior Caesar but comes first in the list even though it places his coins before his boss.  He later broke off and issued coins as Augustus but that was a year later so one of the emperors of 193 has no coins as emperor (Augustus) that year.  Therefore, the five do seem to be listed in order of death.  Is this is not confusing enough?  I'd suggest a Severan list like this:

Pertinax

Didius Julianus

Pescennius Niger

Clodius Albinus

Septimius Severus

Julia Domna

Caracalla (eldest son and first to be named co-Augustus)

Plautilla (wife of Caracalla but not to his liking)

Geta (second sone named co-Augustus later but killed by his brother)

Then we stick in Macrinus and his son Diadumenian who were not related but it just works better if we call them Severans, too.

Then we move onto the child Elagabalus who owed his position to his grandmother Julia Maesa but her coins follow those of the wives (three girls but one was wed to him twice so became #2 and #4) and his mother Julia Soaemias who get listed before her mother Julia Maesa (the real power on the scene).  Next we have a second grandson Severus Alexander followed by one wife and one mother who outlived Julia Maesa (her mother) to take over the last position in the dynasty list. 

This is not the only confusing period in the list but you have to allow for the system encouraging anyone who had a bunch of soldiers to say he was emperor and dare others to prove him wrong.  Anyone not confused by the situation simply is not paying attention.  At least in the Severan period we have some written histories from that day but later what we know is partly from written histories generations after the events and evidence like coins. Fortunately (or not) the guys known only from coins are mostly rare enough few of us will ever own one. 

Pictures:

Pertinax

rd0030bb1735.jpg.60be993c7530ae370c69c4b2c7061db0.jpg

Didius Julianus:

rd0042fd3304c.jpg.b90bc753e58465ee61cf9ce16d798b0e.jpg

Pescennius Niger:

rd0052nt3485.jpg.c4d215b5427f1946ecbf13236435faf5.jpg

Clodius Albinus as Augustus:

rd0150b02071lg.jpg.74591667d5ffa473e323c29ede92532f.jpg

Septimius Severus:

ri3580bb0899.jpg.0d82eaaae6bfde57bf52880c24afaa96.jpg

Julia Domna:

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Caracalla: 

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Plautilla:

rm6930bb0977.jpg.b583e6493d2a20d54e231f549f9402f8.jpg

Geta:

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You will notice that my coins are not as nice as yours.  Finding these exact coins as a MS perfect set will take a while.  Happy hunting.  You have a really nice start to a collection. 

 

 

 

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The order used to arrange the coins in a collection is different from collector to collector.

For my modern coins collection (specialized for my country) I used the logical method - chronologically. This makes sense but I had the pleasant surprise to add some coins that weren't in plan due to rarity/price. So I had to rearrange it. This happened about 3 times.

And to make it even better, I bought also some varieties that weren't in plan so I put them all in a separate page in the album. Even if I use Leuchtturm coin holders, I still don't like fiddling with them.

For ancient coins I chose a method that might sound illogical or lazy, but works best for me. I add the coins in the album in the exact order I buy them in (I also follow the order I buy them from auctions). My album starts with a Constantine I follis because this was the first coin I removed from the envelope when receiving my first ever wins. And currently the last coin, number 363, is a Carinus tetradrachm from Alexandria. This works for me because I don't sell coins. In my "personal catalogue" the coin "references" are basically the number they entered my collection. So for me this order is absolutely normal.

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Who knows, in 500 years, a collector will proudly present his coin with the catalogue reference "ambr0zie 246". Boy, I can't wait - I think I'll be very proud too.

 

Now speaking seriously, using normal chronology, respecting deaths/end of reigns is very logical and scientific but still imperfect. I noticed you have a Geta as a boy coin in the image. I am sure you would want to add also a coin with him as a young man and one as an adult, bearded. Would you add the new coins between 41 and 42?

What about a denarius with Domna's portrait, but from Caracalla's reign?

Or a Faustina I lifetime denarius? Or Faustina II - coins issued by Pius? Domitian as Caesar? ( @dougsmit also noticed this).

This is NOT a criticism, please don't interpret this way.

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2 hours ago, dougsmit said:

That explains it.  I would suggest using the standard order as used in sales catalogs and standard references which generally keeps families together with a wife following her husband and the children following her.

Thank you for putting this together. It’s very helpful.

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5 hours ago, ambr0zie said:

I am sure you would want to add also a coin with him as a young man and one as an adult, bearded.

This brings me to my prime opinion against 'one per ruler' collecting.  Most personalities in the Roman series have more than one 'look' either due to mint, age or some other factor.  I like coins that were significant in history for some reason so I am little motivated to cry because I will never own some of the great rarities from people no one even then knew much about.  I will never have a Silbannicus.  I'm less inclined to have the women of Trajan's family that the empresses who were known to play a role in history (Maesa, Severina).  To me a collection needs several coins of the big names before spending the big money on rare guys.  Is that why I have over 100 coins of Septimius Severus for each one of Pescennius Niger?  No, I'm addicted to Septimius and used to buy any I saw that I did not have.  It does explain why my only Gordian is number III.  Geta comes in three ages and two mints.  There are also Provincials and coins in various metals.  I could see having a dozen of his coins before I started to worry about being obsessed.  It is a hopeless hobby.  I bought two more Geta coins last week and, yes, 'obsessed' is probably a fair comment.  We each will collect in our own way.  Below is one of my two new Geta coins.  I had to have it for a reason only a few will understand and was willing to overlook that terrible cut on the reverse.  Which do you see first: the cut or the left facing portrait? Every time I look at it, I see something else that makes me wonder.  I like coins with questions. 

pm1503aa3296.jpg.b532929477d002624fb9049eeb546ea6.jpg

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Hi all, I'm new here and just registered after reading this great post.

@dougsmit, interesting post about the Severans. I'd like to own one day a nice denarius from Pertinax. What a great story about this son of a formal slave to reach the highest rank of emperor.

@LONGINUS, what  a beautiful display of coins. I'd like that very much to do also with my collection. Is there a template you used for this? Is this something you could share, perhaps a link? I'm jealous about your beautiful coin from Orbiana!

I started a Roman coin collection just a while ago, but with this below coin I'm very happy about. Although the back side could be better, it has the most beautiful portret of Maximinus Thrax (235-238) I've seen so far. 🙂 Another recent purchase I'm happy about is the below denarius from Domitian (86-96). Both coins are even more beautiful in hand. Hmm, this all sounds like I developed a serious new addiction.. any cures for this?

 

 

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Edited by Coinmaster
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10 minutes ago, Coinmaster said:

@LONGINUS, what  a beautiful display of coins. I'd like that very much to do also with my collection. Is there a template you used for this? Is this something you could share, perhaps a link?

Welcome to the forum @Coinmasterand thank you for your kind words!

I really don’t have any links to templates. I have a number of backgrounds and formats from my past poster designs that I pull up and customize to fit my new layouts. I like to experiment with colors and textured backgrounds such as fabrics, parchment paper, sandstone, marble etc. I’m using a graphics program called Adobe InDesign which is the primary software program that I use when I’m doing design work for the Government, church, and various charities.

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2 hours ago, Coinmaster said:

Ah, many thanks @LONGINUS, both the welcome and explanation. It looks impressive! You could make a living out of that creativity, but it seems you already do, great job! 😉

I made a living doing it for 20+ years and although the work was enjoyable it was nowhere near as fun and rewarding as creating and displaying ancient coin graphics on this forum.

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21 hours ago, dougsmit said:

Which do you see first: the cut or the left facing portrait? Every time I look at it, I see something else that makes me wonder.  I like coins with questions.

Why is he facing left? What victory was Geta celebrating?  What coin was overstruck?  Why aren't there more of these?....curious to know the questions you see....

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One other is why the style is so different from the right facing ones.  Geta is not the obvious choice for a victory coin. The left matter is probably number one.  Is that a lazy S following the KAI?  Is it overstruck or a clash with a different reverse type? Is the cut find damage or ancient.  The one below came with it but is relatively boring.  On the other hand isn't a flaming alter interesting for a kid? 

pm1507aa0355.jpg.28f63af3d8475d91df5954ef9012b5cc.jpg

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