Valentinian Posted February 9 · Member Share Posted February 9 (edited) We have all hard of the recent catastrophic earthquakes in Turkey. That part of Turkey is well-known for powerful earthquakes and was devastated by earthquakes in antiquity. Some ancient coins are relevant. Ancient Antioch is on the same earthquake fault that ruptured a few days ago. Trajan was in Antioch in 115 when a massive earthquake hit and he was almost killed, but (supposedly) protected by Jupiter. I don't have the coin to show, but here is a link to one. Jupiter protects the emperor. https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=6709481 In the next reign Hadrian proclaimed TELLVS STABIL. Denarius. 17 mm. 3.36 grams. Hill says it refers to the 400th anniversary of the temple of Tellus in Rome. (Tellus was the goddess of the Earth.) Foss gives it to the 20th anniversary of the reign "with an image symbolizing the continuity and stability of the age". Stevenson says it is an allusion to earthquakes. It could be a thankful statement that now the earth has stabilized after the terrible quakes. Byzantine coins almost never has reference to current events other than changes in the ruling family, but some events are visible in the fabric of the coins. In 526 there was an earthquake at Antioch that killed a reported 250,000 people. Then in 528 there was a second massive earthquake that killed 5,000 of he already reduced population. After this the remaining hopeful and fearful population renamed it "Theopolis" (less frequently spelled "Theoupolis"), the "City of God." Thereafter, coin mintmarks referenced the new name. I wrote a page on the coins of Justinian and those events:http://augustuscoins.com/ed/interesting/Justinian.html#tragic The two earthquakes were not the only calamities which Antioch suffered. Take a look at that page. One effect of the first earthquake was a drastic decline in the quality of engraving. A second was the mint marks changed to give the new name. The first coin is a pre-earthquake follis of Antioch. Before the earthquakes the city name was Antioch, visible in exergue. (X is a Greek "chi", our CH). 29 mm. 14.42 grams. Sear 213. Compare its quality to this one: 35-32 mm, 14.98 grams. Sear 213, imitation or simply a poorly engraved obverse. Maybe the most skilled mint engraver was killed in the earthquake? The name changed to "City of God" and the coinage recovered and its mintmarks changed to give he new name of the city: Mintmark for "Theopolis" 31-28 mm. 13.52 grams. Sear 216. Again, the website is:http://augustuscoins.com/ed/interesting/Justinian.html Show us anything related, including coins that in any way can be connected to natural disasters. Edited February 9 by Valentinian typo 19 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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