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Faustina Friday – The Concordia Issues Under Marcus Aurelius


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Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina fanatics! I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead of you. Today we're going to examine a rather limited reverse type, the Concordia seated and standing issues under Marcus Aurelius.

In sharp contrast to the numerous Concordia types issued under Antoninus Pius, about which I have
previously written
elsewhere, the Concordia issues under Marcus Aurelius were much more limited in scope; the Concordia standing issue was only struck in the middle bronze denomination[1] and the Concordia seated issue was only struck in the aureus and middle bronze denominations.[2] For this reason, the coins are poorly understood and come up infrequently in the numismatic market. I consider myself lucky to have acquired specimens of these reverse types for my collection. Apart from the aureus, all coins illustrated are from my own collection.

The Concordia Standing Issue


47295094_FaustinaJrCONCORDIASCstandingas.jpg.8535181e8dfde7f023e400629344f2a2.jpg

Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman Æ as, 12.67 g, 25.1 mm, 11 h.
Rome, c. AD 161-166.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust, right, wearing double strand of pearls (Beckmann Type 7 coiffure).
Rev: CONCORDIA S C, Concordia standing facing, head left, holding patera in extended right hand and double cornucopia in left hand.
Refs: RIC 1625; BMCRE 968; C 48; RCV 5291; MIR 6-7/10b.


As noted above, this reverse type was only issued under Marcus Aurelius in the middle bronze denomination. Mine is an as; although the photo looks brassy, copper red appears through the patina on the high points, particularly on the reverse. Mattingly, however, notes the specimen in the British Museum collection is a dupondius.[3]

The purpose of the issue is unknown, which is not uncommon for an allegorical reverse type such as Concordia. That this reverse type was only struck in the middle bronze denomination raises the question of whether it might have been issued for New Year's day, for New Year's asses were sometimes struck with their own reverse types, not shared with other denominations.[4]

Dating the issue is problematic. Szaivert (MIR) assigns the Concordia seated reverse type to "Phase 2," from AD 161-164, but is silent about the Concordia standing type.[5] Beckmann studied only the aurei of Faustina the Younger and assigns the Concordia seated aureus to AD 166 based on die-linkage and hoard studies,[6] which I discuss in greater detail below. However, there is no evidence that when an allegorical reverse type appears with both seated and standing varieties (such as Juno, Salus, or Concordia), they were issued concurrently. Quite the opposite is true, and such cases usually represent separate issues. The standing Concordia reverse type was not issued in gold, and therefore falls outside of the scope of Beckmann's die-linkage study of the aurei and is not easily dated.

I have dated the coin to c. AD 161-166 on the basis of her hairstyle, the Beckmann Type 7 hairstyle, which I have
previously discussed
at this forum. However, hairstyles provide only a loose approximation of date of issue. Beckmann's study confirms that more than one hairstyle may appear on coins struck with the same reverse die and that earlier hairstyles sometimes recur anachronistically. This particular coiffure was used over a long period of time.

The available specimens are all of the same bust type and hairstyle, but the reverse may depict Concordia holding either a single or double cornucopiae. Although the number of online examples is tiny,[7] I am not able to find any that are die-matches to my coin and they don't appear to be die-matches with each other, either so I don't think the issue was extremely limited.

The Concordia Seated Issue


1882790322_FaustinaJrCONCORDIAseatedaureusunderMarcusNAC.jpg.35a97aa465e545c88c202f175adde9ec.jpg

Aureus (RIC 561), Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG, Auction 34, lot 30, 24 November 2006.


529912752_FaustinaJrCONCORDIASCseatedMBunderMarcus.jpg.3e5d9a5bcd41fdcdd1225d826354202b.jpg

Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman Æ as, 9.03 g, 24.5 mm, 11 h.
Rome, c. AD 166.
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust, right, wearing double-strand of pearls (Beckmann Type 7 coiffure).
Rev: CONCORDIA S C, Concordia seated left, holding patera and resting left arm on side of throne.
Refs: RIC 1627; BMCRE 969-970; C 59 var.; RCV 5292; MIR 5-7/10a.


In contrast with the Concordia standing issue discussed above, dating the Concordia seated issue can be done with much more precision. Beckmann's die-linkage study of the aurei of Faustina the Younger implies a date of AD 166. He notes a die link sequence (chain 8 ) that begins with three reverse types that make their first appearance: HILARITAS standing with palm and cornucopiae, VENVS VICTRIX standing with Victory and shield, and CONCORDIA seated with patera.[8]

1554668210_BeckmannChain8.jpg.89916e444027160706f4d0f43469967e.jpg

Die-linkage chart of Faustina's aurei diagramming the appearance of the Venus Victrix, Hilaritas, and Concordia reverse types, c. AD 166 (Beckmann, p. 62).


On stylistic grounds, particularly the appearance of the type 9 hairstyle (which I have discussed previously elsewhere), Beckmann concludes that chain 8 must follow chain 7, a very long sequence that began c. AD 161-163. He notes that two die pairs in chain 8 (including the Hilaritas H7 die illustrated above) were found on aurei in the great Trier hoard. He notes:

The latest coins in this hoard are three die-linked aurei of Marcus Aurelius dated by tribunician power to AD 166. This gives a probable terminus ante quem of 166 for chain 8. The three aurei of Marcus in the Trier hoard dating to 166 (all struck with the same reverse die) show Victory with a shield inscribed VIC PAR; they celebrate the Parthian victory which he shared with Lucius Verus, for which the co-emperors celebrated a triumph in October 166.[9]


In contrast to the aurei, the middle bronze denomination exhibits more variety. The bust on the middle bronze is typically found with the Beckmann Type 7 bust and may appear with a stephane. The reverse design exhibits minor variations as well. Concordia sometimes rests her arm on a small statuette of Spes, which sometimes rests on a cornucopiae extending under the throne.[10] There is no reason to believe that these variants are indicative of a separate issue, however.

Let's see your coins depicting Concordia, particularly those of Faustina! Post comments or anything else you feel is relevant!

~~~

Notes


1. The denarius of this reverse type (RIC 670, citing Cohen 45) is unofficial. The British Museum considers it a hybrid (BMCRE p.397*) and Cohen gives no authority for his entry. A comprehensive review of online databases reveals no other specimens.

2. This denarius (
BMCRE 85; Strack 520a, citing the British Museum specimen) is crude in style and differs in its depiction of Concordia compared to the corresponding aureus and middle bronze (Concordia holds a branch or flower instead of a patera and there is a globe under her throne instead of a cornucopiae). The British Museum specimen is probably an ancient forgery. A comprehensive review of online databases reveals no other specimens.

3.
Mattingly, Harold, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, vol. 4, Antoninus Pius to Commodus. London, 1940, reprinted with alterations 1968, s.v. no. 998, p. 543.

4. Curtis Clay @curtislclay
, post #5 in "Faustina Friday -- a Pondersome Dupondius." Coin Talk, https://www.cointalk.com/threads/faustina-friday-a-pondersome-dupondius.372253/#post-5311634.

5, Szaivert, Wolfgang, Die Münzprägung der Kaiser Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus und Commodus (161/192), Moneta Imperii Romani 18. Vienna, 1989, p. 230.

6. Beckmann, Martin, Faustina the Younger: Coinage, Portraits, and Public Image, A.N.S. Numismatic Studies 43, American Numismatic Society, New York, 2021, pp. 61-61.

7. I have been able to find only seven examples of this coin: BnF specimen cited by Cohen (double cornucopiae); British Museum specimen (cited in MIR),
BMCRE 968 (dupondius; single cornucopiae); Bertolami, E-Auction 32, lot 831, 11 January 2016 (as; double cornucopiae); Wildwinds specimen, contributed by Roma, June 2010 (as; single cornucopiae); Münzkabinett der Universität Göttingen AS-02233 (as; double cornucopiae); Münzsammlung des Seminars für Alte Geschichte der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität 02500
(as; double cornucopiae); My specimen (as; double cornucopiae).

8. Beckmann, op. cit., p. 62.

9. Beckmann, op. cit., p. 63.

10. See, for example, Classical Numismatic Group, Inc., Electronic Auction 147,
lot 271, 6 September 2006.

Edited by Roman Collector
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I know this coin, not sure how, but I can swear I have seen it!

Concordia is a common deity on coins and I have a few. It symbolizes harmony in marriage and society in general, so a good symbol to have.

image.png.d575830b182c56420da1afaf9ecb47a9.png

The very popular Otacilia Severa antoninianus

image.png.dc8362238301d0adf68890c2c749ea54.png

This doesn't depict Concordia but it has a CONCORDIA legend. One of my favorite Gallienus coins because of the different style, fully silvered .. and one of my favorite reverse types.

image.png.e8684dddc675323451e2440ff04d20dd.png

Another example on my Julia Paula.

image.png.ebf4ff9b015b99aaf07ec58348756ad6.png

Same reverse type on my Orbiana denarius.

Interesting - a reverse mainly used for empresses.

I have only one coin with Concordia (in fact the Homonoia equivalent) standing - on this Alexandrian tetradrachm from Maximianus

image.png.308d46452e2ccc522175e9bb9710ed2b.png

 

Edited by ambr0zie
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Nice bronzes...and thanks for the interesting article as always..A bronze of Faustina is high on my want list as I do find her portraits appealing...

Here's a couple of Concordia one seated the other standing.

normal_FII_TOGETHER-removebg-preview.png.baf86957fdebec27474c17ac0a9c58a2.png

Faustina II Junior Silver Denarius 3.36g.,17mm, Rome mint, A.D. 154-156,

Obverse. FAVSTINA AVG-PIIAVGFIL Draped bust of Faustina right,

Reverse. CONC-O-RDIA, Concordia seated left, holding flower & resting left arm on cornucopiae set on globe below seat.

(RCV 4704; RIC 502a)

commodus_together-removebg-preview.png.0a4a00f384164da90255b43d3f5cc73d.png

Commodus Denarius (light weight) RIC#126

Commodus AR Denarius.Rome mint 186 AD 1.87gr 17mm

Obverse-M COMM ANT P FEL AVG BRIT, laureate head right

Reverse- P M TR P XI IMP VII COS V PP, Concordia standing front, head left, holding standard in each hand.CONC MIL (below)

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