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Vota Suscepta vs. Vota Soluta


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The year 158 CE was the 20th anniversary of Antoninus' reign, and was an opportunity for indicating that new vows had been made (vota suscepta) and old vows had been fulfilled (vota soluta). Pius issued complementary coins depicting each situation. They had similar reverse types, but those for the vota soluta depicted a sacrificial bull behind the tripod, for the sacrifice was the result of vows being fulfilled. The bucranium on these coins is thus an important feature of their iconography.

Here's a sestertius from my numophylacium depicting Pius' vota suscepta (no sacrificial bull's head):


297329867_AntoninusPiusVOTASVSCEPTADECIIICOSIIIIsestertius.jpg.2fd2a3eb3e632a0dc96e096314e1e4b3.jpg
Antoninus Pius, 138-161 CE.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 24.27 g, 31.4 mm, 6 h.
Rome, 158/9 CE.
Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII, laureate head, right.
Rev: VOTA SVSCEPTA DEC III S C, Antoninus, veiled, standing l., sacrificing from patera over tripod-altar and holding roll by side; COS IIII in ex.
Refs: RIC 1010; BMCRE 2068-2069; Cohen 1124; Strack 1171; RCV 4262.

Sadly, I don't have the complementary vota soluta sestertius (therefore WITH the bull's head). So, I shall show this one, BMCRE 2067, reading VOTA SOL on the reverse (photo British Museum).

[IMG]


It's all about promises made and promises kept!

 

Edited by Roman Collector
Adding the Naked Eyes video!
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@Roman Collector..Nice Sestertius and an interesting write up...

The VOTA SOLVTA type seems to be less common?...

I do have a VOTA SVSCEPTA from Caracalla and now, after reading your post, will be on the hunt for a VOTA SOLVTA 👀.caracalla_vota.jpg.1ef15ea99f4108ce29208360e6c6eafc.jpg

Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Caracalla
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 206 AD
Material: Silver
Diameter: 20mm
Weight: 3.23g
Mint: Rome
Reference: RIC IV Caracalla 179
Provenance: Ex InAsta Numismatics San Marino

Obverse:
You can see the right-facing bust of Caracalla with a laurel wreath. The inscription reads: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG for Antoninus Pius Augustus.

Reverse:
Caracalla is shown standing left, veiled and dressed in a toga. In his outstretched right hand he holds a patera (sacrificial bowl) over an altar. The inscription reads: VOTA SVSCEPTA X for Vota Suscepta Decennalia (vows for the coming ten years of reign).

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Here's a VOTA SOL, although you wouldn't know it was a bull unless you were told.

Antoninus Pius Denarius, 158-159
image.png.e7844c8cfc40c0c4cc2fa115adc9a519.png
Rome. Silver, 16x18mm, 3.11g. Head of Antoninus Pius, laureate, right; ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P. Antoninus Pius, veiled, togate as a priest, standing left, sacrificing out of patera in right hand over tripod-altar left, holding roll in left hand at side; beside altar, a prostrate, slain bull; VOTA SOL DEC II; COS IIII ([RIC III, 291). From the Westbury Sub Mendip (Somerset) Hoard of 188 denarii, found in 2016.

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14 minutes ago, Spaniard said:

The VOTA SOLVTA type seems to be less common?...

Well, It's easier to make promises than to keep them. 😉 Great coin!!!

3 minutes ago, John Conduitt said:

Here's a VOTA SOL, although you wouldn't know it was a bull unless you were told.

Antoninus Pius Denarius, 158-159
image.png.e7844c8cfc40c0c4cc2fa115adc9a519.png
Rome. Silver, 16x18mm, 3.11g. Head of Antoninus Pius, laureate, right; ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P. Antoninus Pius, veiled, togate as a priest, standing left, sacrificing out of patera in right hand over tripod-altar left, holding roll in left hand at side; beside altar, a prostrate, slain bull; VOTA SOL DEC II; COS IIII ([RIC III, 291). From the Westbury Sub Mendip (Somerset) Hoard of 188 denarii, found in 2016.

Nice one!!! That's what I'm talking about!

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image.png.9c73dfae4665d3736e811850a1aa2775.png

Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius
Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 158/159 AD; Material: Silver; Diameter: 18mm; Weight: 3.20g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC III Antoninus Pius 294Bb; Provenance: Ex Emporium Numismatics Hamburg Germany; Obverse: Bust of Antoninus Pius, laureate, draped, right. The Inscription reads: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII for Antoninus Augustus Pius, Pater Patriae, Tribunicia Potestate Secunda Vicesima (Antoninus Pius, Augustus, father of the nation, holder of tribunician power for the 22st time); Reverse: Antoninus Pius standing left, sacrificing out of patera in right hand over tripod. The Inscription reads: VOTA SVSCEPTA DEC III COS IIII for Vota Suscepta Decennalia Tertia, Consul Quartum (Vows [prayers and sacrifices] undertaken for the third decade of rule. Consul for the fourth time).
 
 
 
 
And here you get the PDF from Julia Sophia Hanelt - Vota or not Vota - thats the question:
https://www.academia.edu/42932404/Vota_oder_nicht_vota_Ein_methodischer_Zugang_zur_Anlassidentifizierung_von_Votageprägen 
 
 
 
 
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Thanks for posting this, @Roman Collector - and thank you for explaining the bull/no bull aspects of this issue.  I didn't know that!  

I've been accumulating VOTA types in my usual haphazard way, and I find attributing these tricky, especially since mine are mostly quite low-grade.  Anyway, here are mine, with my efforts at attributing them: 

This is my best one (RIC 794 var.) - it seems to have an obverse bust with an aegis, which I think I found a die-match for:

683165493_AntoninusPius-Sest.VOTARIC794aegisNov2021(0aa).jpg.e21a6b8af311bad97f200c9903b089f7.jpg

Die-match and aegis close-ups:

1990497238_AntoninusPius-Sest.VOTARIC794aegisNov2021(0diematch).jpg.cc1f9ea0669b91698b550de021843251.jpg

2020825717_AntoninusPius-Sest.VOTARIC794aegisNov2021(0det).jpg.e172e778932164dc0fda37514df6b861.jpg

Antoninus Pius  Æ Sestertius (157-159 A.D.) Rome Mint ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP,  laureate head right with aegis / VOTA SVSCEPTA DEC III COS IIII in exergue, S C, emperor standing left with patera sacrificing over tripod. RIC 794 var. (aegis; see notes). (22.26 grams / 29 mm) eBay Nov. 2021 

Notes:  This example has aegis on bust; it appears to be an obverse / reverse die match for: Auktionshaus H.D. Rauch GmbH Auction 83; Lot 258; 14.11.2008 "Büste mit Lorbeerkranz und Aegis n.r..." RIC 794var (Büste), C 1120var (dito, Av.-Leg.). https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=547728

This one has had a distilled water bath and lots of picking with a pick - which is to say I got rid of the bronze disease so evident in these photos: 

668877797_AntoninusPius-Sest.VOTAlotMAWVDFeb2021(0a).jpg.cd7160be620825f20e4551eb73382dba.jpg

Antoninus Pius      Æ Sestertius (158-159 A.D.) Rome Mint [ANTON]INVS AVG PIVS PP TR P XXII, laureate head right / [VOTA SV]SCEP[TA] DEC [III] [COS IIII in exergue], Pius standing left sacrificing over tripod.  RIC 1010; BMCRE 2068. (23.65 grams / 30 mm) eBay Feb. 2021 Attribution Note:  There are many varieties of the VOTA SVSCEP... sestertius.  RIC 1010 based on this: Obv.:  XXII barely visible Rev.: Break at [SV]SCE-P, top. DEC (worn) at 3 o'clock.

This one has some gloppy patina-bad cleaning issues:

1442328343_AntoninusPius-Sest.SVCEPTADECSep2021b(0).jpg.5809d96a5ee364840f1da47ff5039b2f.jpg 

Antoninus Pius     Æ Sestertius (158-159 A.D.) Rome Mint [ANT]ONINVS AVG [PI]VS PP TR P XXII, laureate head right / VOTA [SVSCEP]TA DEC III, COS IIII in exergue, S C, emperor standing left, sacrificing with patera over tripod. RIC 1010; BMCRE 2068. (22.91 grams / 31 mm) eBay Sept. 2021     Notes:  ""DEC II" refers to ten years for the second time.  The TRP date is year 22 while the vows are paid for 20. This may be because the reckoning of  TRP powers changed in 147 when Antoninus Pius finished year 9 and had year 10 and began year 11, effectively squeezing two years into one." Augustus Coins site (Note:  this coin is DEC III)

This one came from an eBay seller in Switzerland - I like the sandy-black contrasting patina:

1340870314_AntoninusPius-Sest.VOTADECSep2022(0).jpg.30898c30734880a243582b7563a22ca5.jpg

Antoninus Pius      Æ Sestertius (158-159 A.D.) Rome Mint ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P X[X]II, laureate head right / VOTA SV[SCEPTA D]EC III, COS (•?) IIII in exergue, Pius standing left sacrificing over tripod. RIC 1010; BMCRE 2068. (19.31 grams / 30 x 29 mm) eBay Sep. 2022 Switz.      Attribution Note:  There are many varieties of the VOTA SVSCEP... sestertius.  RIC 1010 based on this: Obv.:  X[X]II barely visible; RIC 1034 is XXIII, but only one example in OCRE Rev.: SV[SCEPTA D]EC seems right for spacing; COS IIII; the dot not found on others, that I found, but RIC (print) describes it this way.  (See CT RC)

Here is a dupondius - it is quite awful, so I'm kind of guessing on the attribution:

2099154411_AntoninusPius-DupondVOTAFeb2020(0).jpg.e44077078a95173c2cb8e06f62e68d43.jpg

Antoninus Pius   Æ Dupondius (158-159 A.D.) Rome Mint ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII, radiate head right / [VOTA S]VS[CEPT]A DEC III [C]OS IIII below, S-C across fields, Antoninus sacrificing left over flaming tripod. RIC 1020; BMCRE 2075.  (9.25 grams / 24 mm) eBay Feb. 2020 $3.25 Attribution Note: Many varieties of this type; seller said it was RIC 1018: Obv.:  XXII in legend. Rev.:  Legend seemed a closer match to VOTA SVSCEPTA (RIC 1020) than VOTA SOL (RIC 1018 per seller).  Note there is no bull; others of this type have one.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Marsyas Mike
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You have a knack for finding rare varieties, @Marsyas Mike! That aegis type is not listed by RIC, BMCRE, Cohen or Strack. I can't find another one online apart from yours and the Rauch example (Auktionshaus H. D. Rauch GmbH (Auction 83), 14.11.2008, lot 258). I agree it's a double die-match to the Rauch specimen.

I'm glad you found this little write-up informative! These issues can be quite confusing, with all the different obverse legends, variations in reverse legend, and bust types.

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3 hours ago, Spaniard said:

I do have a VOTA SVSCEPTA from Caracalla

And here is the same reverse type for his dad. The beard on the reverse figure makes it unmistakably clear whom we see here:

1714451865_RomSeptimiusSeverusDenarVotaSusceptaXX.png.d73c943f0cf1d370a3b6dc4784df4974.png

Septimius Severus, Roman Empire, AR denarius, 202–210 AD, Rome mint. Obv: SEVERVS PIVS AVG; head of Septimius Severus, laureate, r. Rev: VOTA SVSCEPTA XX; Septimius Severus, veiled, togate, standing l., sacrificing out of patera in r. hand over altar. 20mm, 3.76g. Ref: RIC IV Septimius Severus 308.

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4 hours ago, Roman Collector said:

new vows had been made (vota suscepta) and old vows had been fulfilled (vota soluta).

I'm pretty much the same way. My new vows are sus and my old vows so-longa. 

Anther great thread capped off with some cherry coins!

Don't ask me why ALL of my Antoninus Pius coins are creepy AF, but they are. This one just halogens to be dope AF as well:

669729042_2002753_1624003122.l-removebg-preview(1).png.97c835b7a51279fed65328928d5a1d6f.png

Antoninus Pius (AD 138-161). AR denarius (18mm, 12h). NGC XF, light scratches. Rome, AD 158/9. ANTONINVS AVG-PIVS P P TR P XXII, laureate head of Antoninus right / VOTA SOL-DEC II-COS IIII, emperor, togate, standing facing, veiled head left, sacrificing from patera in right hand over altar at left, globe at feet, bucranium at base left of altar. RIC III 291b. Purchased from Heritage Auction June 2021 HID09801242017

 Not to mention my ability to find and purchase creepy Ant Pies to not show a few more:

2492127_1642408777.l-removebg-preview.png

share7878537547854338161.png

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2 hours ago, Roman Collector said:

😲😲😲 Let me guess -- somebody SLABBED that one.

I like that sestertius! It's one of my favorite Antoninus Pius reverse types.

Sadly, yes. 

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Here is a site on VOTA coins:

http://augustuscoins.com/ed/VOTA/

Sestertii have a special appeal, but I think the most interesting denarius type is this one:

Caracalla2VOTASOLVTDEC16114g.jpeg.acba79a9ba5ccb43dd1fbac40828e509.jpeg

This rare "SOLVTA" type of Caracalla shows a part of the occasion when vows were fulfilled. The legend is
VOTA SOLVT DEC (vows for ten years fulfilled) 
with COS II in exergue. 

A silver denarius of Caracalla, struck c. 207 AD.
Caracalla standing right holding patera over tripod altar, flute (with two pipes) player facing behind the tripod altar, a sacrificial bull about to be slain by a victimarius with raised ax. A scene with action!
Sear II 6907 variety (Sear's has COS III).

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1 hour ago, ambr0zie said:

Nice coins. 

I have 2 coins with VOTA SVSCEPTA, this Pius dupondius

image.png.b8aa39dbccf4f1e17839445ba5ba8e27.png

and a Marcus Aurelius denarius 

image.png.eeb1b848ba4e5ea262dd2e0a7a8f0bc4.png

Very nice! A variety of denominations!

1 hour ago, Ryro said:

Sadly, yes. 

To the chump who paid $50 to slab that coin:

YARN | No, you're doing it all wrong! | Looney Tunes Golden ...

1 hour ago, maridvnvm said:

And here is another of Septimius with hime clearly identified on the reverse.

1212817152_RI064dimg.jpg.bd547c04d8309af02ac036337bcc5fe5.jpg

Lovely example!

1 hour ago, Valentinian said:

Here is a site on VOTA coins:

http://augustuscoins.com/ed/VOTA/

Sestertii have a special appeal, but I think the most interesting denarius type is this one:

Caracalla2VOTASOLVTDEC16114g.jpeg.acba79a9ba5ccb43dd1fbac40828e509.jpeg

This rare "SOLVTA" type of Caracalla shows a part of the occasion when vows were fulfilled. The legend is
VOTA SOLVT DEC (vows for ten years fulfilled) 
with COS II in exergue. 

A silver denarius of Caracalla, struck c. 207 AD.
Caracalla standing right holding patera over tripod altar, flute (with two pipes) player facing behind the tripod altar, a sacrificial bull about to be slain by a victimarius with raised ax. A scene with action!
Sear II 6907 variety (Sear's has COS III).

That's the most interesting of the Vota types, for sure! Now another for my wish list.

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I had forgotten this one.

Caracalla denarius

Obv:- ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right
Rev:- VOTA SOLVT DEC COS III, Caracalla standing left with patera over altar, holding baton, bull behind
Minted in Rome. A.D. 208
Reference– BMCRE 578 RIC 204. RSC 682

RI_066bw_img.jpg

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