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Off the Beaten Path: A Provincial Puzzle

David Atherton

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I was very intrigued by this coin and decided to make the purchase. Despite researching it for nearly two weeks, I've been unable to crack the mint mystery puzzle.




Æ22, 8.78g
Uncertain mint, Regnal Year 2
Obv: ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΩΡ ΚΑΙ ΟΥΕϹΑΠϹΙΑΝΟϹ ϹΕ; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ΕΤΟΥϹ Β; Nike advancing l., with wreath and palm
RPC 2803 (1 spec.).
Acquired from Savoca Coins, October 2022.

An uncertain mint struck this regnal year 2 coin for Vespasian. The style and fabric suggests a location somewhere in Asia Minor. Unfortunately, the generic Victory type is of no assistance for helping to identify the mint. Since RPC II's publication several specimens of the type have surfaced with a clear reading of the coin's date. RPC online notes: 'Sydenham attributed this coin to Caesarea, but it does not fit into the bronze issues of the city which normally have the name of the proconsul together with the regnal year of the emperor. The year can now be read as 2.'

The coin is thick and heavy for its small size.



Do you have a mint or provincial puzzle? Please show it!

As always, thanks for looking!


Edited by David Atherton
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  • David Atherton changed the title to Off the Beaten Path: A Provincial Puzzle

That is one chunky provincial, @David Atherton!

This one has mystified me for some years. I think it's from Prusias ad Hypium, but I am not sure. It's hard to read and even harder to photograph. It's an ugly photo, but I held the light extremely obliquely to make the inscription and devices stand out.


Roman provincial Æ 14.4 mm, 2.39 g, 1 h.
Bithynia, Prusias ad Hypium???
Obv: [...]ΑΝΤΩΝΙN, laureate head, right.
Rev: ΠΡΟΥϹΙЄΩΝ [...]??? Hermes? nude, clamys over left shoulder, holding purse and caduceus???
Refs: Similar to RPC IV, 30385, but smaller module. Attribution remains uncertain.

Edited by Roman Collector
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12 hours ago, kevikens said:

The reverse looks very much like the back of the hemi-drachmas issue by Caesarea, the one in Cappadocia, Victory advancing left. 

So many mints use the same reverse design for Nike, likely based on a cult image, that it is of no help narrowing down the mint ... or even region.

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