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Faustina Friday – A Special Issue of Augusta in Cilicia for the Imperial Family AD 170/1


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Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina fanatics! Today I'm going to discuss a coin that appears to have been part of an issue for the imperial family. The coin was struck in the city of Augusta in Cilicia.

About the City

Augusta lies ten miles (just over 16 km) north of Adana by the river Seyhan in Cilicia. The city was founded in AD 20 during a period of Roman urbanization of the East Cilician plain after the fall of the Tarcondimotid house in AD 17. Augusta is named after Livia, the wife of Augustus and who served as Augusta from AD 14-29. The ruins of Augusta were discovered by chance in 1955 but were lost when the area was flooded to make the Seyhan dam in the mid-1950s. These ruins included the foundations of a triumphal arch, two colonnaded streets crossing each other at right angles in the manner typical of town planning in Roman Cilicia, a theater, a civic basilica, some shops, a bath building, and a dam on the river. These structures were all of brick and mortar, and probably date to the 3rd century AD.[1]


486781979_AugustainCiliciaMap.JPG.f6075789b939469fd54b3e71bd9bdc56.JPG

Map of Cilicia and its major cities during the Roman Imperial period.[2]


About the Coins

The coinage of the city is dated to the year of the city and therefore city year 1 corresponds to AD 20/1. The coins of this imperial family issue date to city year 151 (Greek ANP), and therefore to AD 170/1. Only three coins appear to have been issued that year, bearing portraits of each of the three surviving members of the imperial family: Marcus Aurelius, Faustina the Younger, and their daughter Lucilla, the widow of Lucius Verus. While the city had earlier issued a handful of coins for Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, and one for Lucius Verus, this was the first and only time that Faustina and Lucilla appear on the coinage of the city. This, therefore, seems to have been an issue to specifically honor the imperial family. Later, Commodus appears on several coins of the city, including one issue on which his wife, Crispina, appears on the reverse.[3]

Images of deities appear on the reverses of this issue of AD 170/1 in honor of the imperial family: Apollo on the coin of Marcus struck on a sestertius-sized module, and the goddesses Nike and Tyche on the reverses of the coins of Faustina and Lucilla, respectively, struck on middle-bronze-size modules. My collection includes that issued for Faustina the Younger but lacks those issued for Marcus or Lucilla. For these, the coins illustrated are taken from RPC IV.3. Roman Provincial Coins online lacked an illustration of the Faustina coin, but I rectified the situation by submitting my coin. It is now the
plate coin at RPC
! Because this is Faustina Friday, I illustrate hers first!

1498396888_FaustinaJrAugustaNikeBiga.jpg.7e00c085df931cb7f8c79a18c2be9e28.jpg

Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman provincial Æ 27 mm, 12.5 g, 1 h.
Cilicia, Augusta, AD 170/1.
Obv: ΦΑΥϹΤΙΝΑ ϹЄΒΑϹΤΗ, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: ЄΤΟΥϹ ΑΝΡ ΑΥΓΟΥϹΤΑΝΩΝ, Nike standing on globe, left, holding wreath and palm-branch.
Refs: RPC IV.3,
6169,2 (temporary); SNG Levante 1249 = Karbach, Augusta 79.
Notes: ЄΤΟΥϹ ΑΝΡ = “Year 151”.
Plate coin at RPC.


752615852_MarcusAureliusAugustaApolloRPC.jpg.a6204652769717fcda8f563028b354cf.jpg

Marcus Aurelius Æ 32 of Augusta in Cilicia. Apollo reverse type. RPC IV.3, 5789.


1014697029_LucillaAugustaTycheRPC.jpg.a4385a21fafff13154539f59e558baef.jpg

Lucilla Æ 27 of Augusta in Cilicia. Tyche reverse type. RPC IV.3, 5790.


Do you have any coins from the city of Augusta? Post comments or any coins you feel are relevant!

~~~

Notes


1. Stillwell, Richard, and Marian Holland Mcallister. Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites. Princeton University Press, 2017, s.v. AUGUSTA Cilicia Campestris, p. 113.

2. Map appears at Dragstra, Laurens. “Gallienus: The Years 260-268.” Corvinus, 24 Oct. 2022,
https://corvinus.nl/2020/01/10/gallienus-the-years-260-268/.

3. See Roman Provincial Coins IV.3 online. “Augusta (Cilicia Pedias).” RPC, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University,
https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/search/browse?city_id=39&page=2.

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Congratulations on your new plate coin !

 

I have only one coin from Augusta

normal_Livia_01.jpg.570438b74610dd70742d7224031c7405.jpg

Livia, wife of Augustus
Cilicia, Augusta
Æ 18mm
Dated year 6 (AD 26/27)
Obv.: IOYΛIΛ [CE]BACTH , Draped bust right
Rev.: [E]TOYC ς AYΓOY CTANWN, Tyche seated right on rock, holding grain ear, river god Saros at feet.
AE, 18mm, 4.36 g
Ref.: SNG Levante 1241 (this coin), RPC I 4009 (this coin)

 

Edited by shanxi
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Congrats on these rare coins from Augusta!

I have a similar one to shanxi's.

Julia.jpg.0c1082928cff2586e6928b31c7a37b6e.jpg

Cilicia, Augusta. Livia AE20

Obv: CEBACTH ΛIOYIA, draped bust right.
Rev: AYΓOYCTANHN ΔΡ, Tyche seated right, holding grain ears; below, half-length figure of river-god Saros swimming right.
SNG Levante 1238; RPC I 4013.

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Congratulations.

I have recently had my eye on a Livia from Augusta but not as a major target so didn't insist on it and lost. Although I remain a generalist collector, I try to avoid  "let's get this and this and that because they're cheap" because 10 cheap coins would take over the budget for my main targets.

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