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Greek Letters as Officina Marks on Coins of Philip I and Family


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Some Christmas gifts allowed me to complete a small subset of coins of Philip I and his family about which I first learned at @dougsmit's page about Philip's coinage. For reasons that are not entirely clear, with Philip's 8th emission in 248 CE, Philip introduced open marking of the officina (workshops) operating in the Rome mint. The six officinae were at first marked using Greek numerals, but Roman numerals were used for the 9th emission shortly thereafter. Officinae 1, 2, 5 and 6 struck coins for Philip I himself, while officina 3 struck coins for Philip II and officina 4 struck those for Otacilia. The Greek numerals A-Ϛ were placed in the reverse fields, while the Roman numerals of the following emission were placed in the exergue. We know the entire series dates to 248 CE because of the legend on the A coin, P M TR P V COS III. The subset is not difficult to assemble because each of the coins are common. Without further ado, let's get on with illustrating them!

A (Alpha, officina 1), featuring Mars standing left, holding branch and shield, spear resting on arm:

685626386_PhilipIPMTRPVCOSIIIPPMarsAntoninianus.jpg.bc9b483a51b756c2e6f61c5902354491.jpg

B (Beta, officina 2), Tranquillitas standing left, holding capricorn and scepter:

15369341_PhilipITRANQVILLITASAVGGantoninianus.jpg.cea256b905336f6aed78552a6e8d84d3.jpg

 

Γ (Gamma, officina 3), Mars advancing right, holding spear in right hand and trophy over shoulder with left:

315931498_PhilipIIVIRTVSAVGGantoninianus.jpg.cbc993ba5c74c57c883af35b60e1b660.jpg

Δ (Delta, officina 4), Pietas standing left, sacrificing over lighted altar and holding incense box:

1992428431_OtaciliaSeveraPIETASAVGGstandingwaltaranddeltaantoninianus.jpg.4f5723028826415425b8ee298838d7e8.jpg

Є (Epsilon, officina 5), Philip I and II on horseback:

441869723_PhilipIVIRTVSAVGGantoninianus.jpg.9254198d66e315cda7e3f36862e3751f.jpg

Ϛ (Stigma, officina 6), Nobilitas standing right, holding scepter and globe:

1321028289_PhilipINOBILITASAVGGantoninianus.jpg.8216878a8a49325c40ca99c4adff252d.jpg

Do you have any coins of Philip and family with officina marks (Greek or Roman numerals)? Let's see them! As always, feel free to post comments or anything you feel is relevant!

Edited by Roman Collector
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  • Roman Collector changed the title to Greek Letters as Officina Marks on Coins of Philip I and Family

@Roman Collector..

That's an interesting little subset!

Nice coins too!..Thanks for the link to Doug's page an interesting read.

I don't have a Philip with officina number in my collection but something I'll now look out for thanks...

I do have a little subset of officina numbers similar to your set, 5 in total but it's for Licinius I...

20211227_campgate-ccfopt.jpg.a33b9ddbafce0863cdce78d21885139f.jpg

 

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A wonderful set, @Roman Collector. The one with the two Philips on horseback on the reverse has been a coin I've wanted for a long time! It's not that common in nice condition.

The only officina marks I have on coins of Philip I and family are the Roman numerals used on the SAECVLARES AVGG set with animal reverses, issued for the celebrations of the 1000th anniversary of Rome in 248. They follow the exact same pattern as your set: I, II, V, and VI for Philip I, III for Philip II, and IIII for Otacilia Severa. 

Philip I AR Antoninianus, 248 AD, Rome Mint, 1st Officina. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG/ Rev. Lion walking right, SAECVLARES AVGG; I in exergue.  RIC IV-3 12, RSC IV 173, Sear RCV III 8956 (ill.). 23 mm., 3.41 g.  (Games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.a432f91a1f3986be772c76ad41ea43c3.jpeg

Philip I AR Antoninianus, 248 AD, Rome Mint, 2nd Officina. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG/ Rev. She-wolf standing left, suckling twins Romulus and Remus, SAECVLARES AVGG; II in exergue. RIC IV-3 15, RSC IV 178, Sear RCV III 8957 (ill.). 22.75 mm., 4.72 g.  (Games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)  Ex Madroosi Collection (Joe Blazick).

image.jpeg.3836126924652fb16d78343dc65259c6.jpeg

Philip II, Caesar AR Antoninianus, 248 AD, Rome Mint, 3rd Officina. Obv. Radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPVS AVG/ Rev. Moose [North American term for northern European elk]* standing left, SAECVLARES AVGG, III in exergue. RIC IV-3 224, RSC IV 72, Sear RCV III 9275 (ill.). 22 mm., 4.33 g., 12 h. (Games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.cebefa90415bc2cd00515c35d6b825a5.jpeg

* See Sear RCV III at p. 187: "The animal on the reverse has traditionally been identified as a goat, but cf. John Twente in 'The Celator,' Jan. 2002, p. 38. There seems little likelihood of the common goat having been featured as one of the exotic animals in the arena, whereas the northern European elk (North American moose) would have been a most suitable candidate."

Otacilia Severa (wife of Philip I) AR antoninianus AD 248, Rome mint, 4th Officina. Obv. Draped bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulders, OTACIL SEVERA AVG/ Rev. Hippopotamus standing right, jaws open, SAECVLARES AVGG; IIII in exergue. RIC IV-3 116(b), RSC IV-3 63, Sear RCV III 9160 (ill.). 23 mm., 4.52 g. (Games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.753ce9f7ebe56e234cc45cca66ead188.jpeg

Philip I AR Antoninianus, 248 AD, Rome Mint, 5th Officina. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG/ Rev. Stag walking right, SAECVLARES AVGG; V in exergue.  RIC IV-3 19, RSC IV 182, Sear RCV III 8958.  22 mm., 4.32 g.  (Games commemorating 1,000th  anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.d40982b532b92da42f6f5d91cfc7a77b.jpeg

 

Philip I AR Antoninianus, 248 AD, Rome Mint, 6th Officina. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG / Rev. Antelope standing left, SAECVLARES AVGG; VI in exergue. RIC IV-3 21, RSC IV 189, Sear RCV III 8959.  22 mm., 3.54 g.  (Games commemorating 1,000th  anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.47b0655b6803e86daa5fa711e908621b.jpeg

Oddly enough, there's one other Philip I antoninianus that's clearly part of the SAECVLARES AVGG series but does not have any officina number on the reverse:

Philip I AR Antoninianus, 248 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG / Rev. Stone cippus inscribed COS | III in two lines, SAECVLARES AVGG. RIC IV-3 Philip I 24(c), RSC IV 193, Sear RCV III 8961 (ill. p. 154).  23 mm., 4.15 g., 6 h. (Part of series issued in connection with games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)*

image.jpeg.e882c87706f8681828476b9291cd6f45.jpeg

*A cippus was a low stone column, usually square but sometimes round (as here), used for various purposes including as boundary stones and “to preserve the memory of some event.” See https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Cippus
(noting “those cippi which commemorate the Secular Games”). 

This Philip I elephant antoninianus is also generally believed to have been issued in AD 248 (even though it does not bear the SAECVLARES AVGG legend), but also does not bear any officina number:

Philip I AR Antoninianus, ca. 247/48 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG/ Rev. Elephant walking left, bearing driver holding goad, AETERNITAS AVGG. RIC IV-3 58, RSC IV 17, Sear RCV III 8921. 23 mm., 4.2 g.  (Issued in connection with 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.08065b9c768229ec943bea1e93fa71b6.jpeg

Nor do any of the bronzes issued for the same occasion have any officina numbers. See, e.g.:

Philip I AE Sestertius, 248 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG / Stag walking right, SAECVLARES AVGG; S C in exergue. RIC IV-3 160a (p. 89), Sear RCV III 9012. 27x29 mm., 16 g. (Games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.f8b40c9136be87b07b9b7e92b3aaa290.jpeg

Edited by DonnaML
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1 hour ago, DonnaML said:

A wonderful set, @Roman Collector. The one with the two Philips on horseback on the reverse has been a coin I've wanted for a long time! It's not that common in nice condition.

The only officina marks I have on coins of Philip I and family are the Roman numerals used on the SAECVLARES AVGG set with animal reverses, issued for the celebrations of the 1000th anniversary of Rome in 248. They follow the exact same pattern as your set: I, II, V, and VI for Philip I, III for Philip II, and IIII for Otacilia Severa. 

Philip I AR Antoninianus, 248 AD, Rome Mint, 1st Officina. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG/ Rev. Lion walking right, SAECVLARES AVGG; I in exergue.  RIC IV-3 12, RSC IV 173, Sear RCV III 8956 (ill.). 23 mm., 3.41 g.  (Games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.a432f91a1f3986be772c76ad41ea43c3.jpeg

Philip I AR Antoninianus, 248 AD, Rome Mint, 2nd Officina. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG/ Rev. She-wolf standing left, suckling twins Romulus and Remus, SAECVLARES AVGG; II in exergue. RIC IV-3 15, RSC IV 178, Sear RCV III 8957 (ill.). 22.75 mm., 4.72 g.  (Games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)  Ex Madroosi Collection (Joe Blazick).

image.jpeg.3836126924652fb16d78343dc65259c6.jpeg

Philip II, Caesar AR Antoninianus, 248 AD, Rome Mint, 3rd Officina. Obv. Radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPVS AVG/ Rev. Moose [North American term for northern European elk]* standing left, SAECVLARES AVGG, III in exergue. RIC IV-3 224, RSC IV 72, Sear RCV III 9275 (ill.). 22 mm., 4.33 g., 12 h. (Games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.cebefa90415bc2cd00515c35d6b825a5.jpeg

* See Sear RCV III at p. 187: "The animal on the reverse has traditionally been identified as a goat, but cf. John Twente in 'The Celator,' Jan. 2002, p. 38. There seems little likelihood of the common goat having been featured as one of the exotic animals in the arena, whereas the northern European elk (North American moose) would have been a most suitable candidate."

Otacilia Severa (wife of Philip I) AR antoninianus AD 248, Rome mint, 4th Officina. Obv. Draped bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulders, OTACIL SEVERA AVG/ Rev. Hippopotamus standing right, jaws open, SAECVLARES AVGG; IIII in exergue. RIC IV-3 116(b), RSC IV-3 63, Sear RCV III 9160 (ill.). 23 mm., 4.52 g. (Games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.753ce9f7ebe56e234cc45cca66ead188.jpeg

Philip I AR Antoninianus, 248 AD, Rome Mint, 5th Officina. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG/ Rev. Stag walking right, SAECVLARES AVGG; V in exergue.  RIC IV-3 19, RSC IV 182, Sear RCV III 8958.  22 mm., 4.32 g.  (Games commemorating 1,000th  anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.d40982b532b92da42f6f5d91cfc7a77b.jpeg

 

Philip I AR Antoninianus, 248 AD, Rome Mint, 6th Officina. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG / Rev. Antelope standing left, SAECVLARES AVGG; VI in exergue. RIC IV-3 21, RSC IV 189, Sear RCV III 8959.  22 mm., 3.54 g.  (Games commemorating 1,000th  anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.47b0655b6803e86daa5fa711e908621b.jpeg

Oddly enough, there's one other Philip I antoninianus that's clearly part of the SAECVLARES AVGG series but does not have any officina number on the reverse:

Philip I AR Antoninianus, 248 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG / Rev. Stone cippus inscribed COS | III in two lines, SAECVLARES AVGG. RIC IV-3 Philip I 24(c), RSC IV 193, Sear RCV III 8961 (ill. p. 154).  23 mm., 4.15 g., 6 h. (Part of series issued in connection with games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)*

image.jpeg.e882c87706f8681828476b9291cd6f45.jpeg

*A cippus was a low stone column, usually square but sometimes round (as here), used for various purposes including as boundary stones and “to preserve the memory of some event.” See https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Cippus
(noting “those cippi which commemorate the Secular Games”). 

This Philip I elephant antoninianus is also generally believed to have been issued in AD 248 (even though it does not bear the SAECVLARES AVGG legend), but also does not bear any officina number:

Philip I AR Antoninianus, ca. 247/48 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG/ Rev. Elephant walking left, bearing driver holding goad, AETERNITAS AVGG. RIC IV-3 58, RSC IV 17, Sear RCV III 8921. 23 mm., 4.2 g.  (Issued in connection with 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.08065b9c768229ec943bea1e93fa71b6.jpeg

Nor do any of the bronzes issued for the same occasion have any officina numbers. See, e.g.:

Philip I AE Sestertius, 248 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG / Stag walking right, SAECVLARES AVGG; S C in exergue. RIC IV-3 160a (p. 89), Sear RCV III 9012. 27x29 mm., 16 g. (Games commemorating 1,000th anniversary of founding of Rome.)

image.jpeg.f8b40c9136be87b07b9b7e92b3aaa290.jpeg

Great examples of the Roman numeral officina markings! That's a subset I still need to acquire.

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Nice coins all.  Going through my collection I see I don't have any Phillip I or II's with an officina mark. Hence, a plain old Phillip Antoninianus here. The VICTORIA AVGG type may refer to the aftermath of the Battle of Misiche in Iraq. As the Naqsh-i-Rustam relief says:

"When at first we had become established in the empire, Gordian Caesar assembled from all of the Roman, Goth and German lands a military force and marched on Azorestan (Mesopotamia) against the Ērānšahr (Sasanian Empire) and against us. On the border of Asorestan at Misiche, a great frontal battle occurred. Gordian Caesar was killed and the Roman force was destroyed. And the Romans made Philip Caesar. Then Philip Caesar came to us for terms, and to ransom their lives, gave us 500,000 denars, and became tributary to us. And for this reason we have renamed Misiche Peroz-Shapur [literally "Victorious Shapur"]"

Interestingly Roman sources never admitted defeat and Phillip may have tried to spin the confrontation and peace settlement as a kind of victory, he would not have been the first politician to do so.

 

phillip1.jpg

phillip2.jpg

Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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In the same "family" we can mention the antoninianus of the period 280 to 282 issued in Rome and Ticinum, which bear a code indicating the workshop. The word AEQVITI (for Rome, which has 7 workshops), AEQVIT or EQVITI (for Ticinum, which has only 6 workshops), serves as a key.

651.jpg.444fa70756d189bbef14d42f9428b102.jpg

Here the V (quintus) indicates the workshop and the T in the field (5th letter of the word EQVITI) confirms that it is the fifth workshop.

PROBUS
Antoninianus
Ticinum, 281-282
3.93 g - 23.5 mm
C 418 - RIC Vb, 516
IMP C PROBVS AVG, Radiate bust left, wearing imperial mantle and holding eagle-tipped scepter.
PAX AVGVSTI, Pax standing left, holding branch in her right hand and transverse scepter with her left. T in left field, VXXI in exergue.


 

 

Edited by Alwin
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