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Visigothic coins


Tejas

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Some Visigothic Tremisses were shown in another thread. I thought I open a new thread for this particular series, so that it does not get burried under barbaric coins.

I have quite a few Visigothic coins. I keep them in a bank vault most of the time and have never really photographed them before. I start off with a Tremissis in the name of Libius Severus (461-465).

Obv.: DN SEVERVS PF AVG

Rev.: VICTORT AAVGGG - COMOB

Mint: Toulouse (?)

Weight: 1.45 gr., 14mm, 6h

The condition is not great, but coins in the name of Libius Severus are much rarer than those of his successors. Note the reverse was copied from a Solidus and not from a Tremissis.

The coin will have been minted during the reign of Theoderic II (453-466) or Euric (466-484).

 

Libius.PNG

Edited by Tejas
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Here is another Visigothic Tremissis of the Kingdom of Toulouse. The coin was minted in the name of Zeno (474-491)

Obv.: C (inverted) N Zeno PERP AVG

Rev.: VICTORI A AVGGG - CONOB

Mint: Toulouse (?)

Measurements: 1.3gr, 14mm, 6h

The coin was minted under Euric (466-484) or Alaric II (484-507).

These coins were mentioned in a Burgundian law code, which forbid the circulation of these coins in the Burgundian kingdom, because of their low weight standard. The coins were called Alariciani in the law code.

zeno.PNG

Edited by Tejas
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The next Tremissis was minted in the name of Anastasius (491-518).

 

Obv.: DN ANASTASIVS PF AVG

Rev.: VICTORIA AVGVSTORVA T - COMOB

Mint: Narbonne or Toledo (?)

Measurements: 1.47gr, 14mm, 4h

This coin can theoretically have been minted under Alaric II (484-507), Gesalic (507-511), Theoderic the Great as regent (511-526) or Amalaric (511-531). Given the new style and weight standard, I think that these coins were not minted before the battle of Voillé in 507. I think Theoderic the Great is the most likely instigator of the new-style Tremissis for the Visigothic kingdom of Toledo.

Anas1.PNG

Edited by Tejas
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Great coins!

For the second Anastasian one from a Roma Auction, the earliest I could trace it was Freeman & Sear. Manhattan Sale II. 04/01/2011. Is any info on the provenance of the first one?

Agree that Theodoric is the likely issuer:
- The coin below of a similar style has Θ at the beginning of the legend - Theodoric? Cannot find earlier provenances, but it came from a Spanish auction (no old tickets were included).
- The weight is now aligned with the Ostrogothic series. 
- I have never come across a PERP version to link to the early period.

Regarding Toledo, it is hard to know. One was found in the Alise-Saint-Reine (Alesia) Hoard, far from Toledo, but it was deposited much later. There were a few of similar types in the Gourdon Hoard. It would be good to know of any found in Spain.

 

image.png.899705e231ad2c6ed0b52e8a1ba1212a.png

Cayón Subastas. Auction December 2015. 12/12/2015

Edited by Rand
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Great coin! I think this is actually an Ostrogothic issue. If so, it belongs to the first issues under Theoderic. I agree, that the Theta is likely Theoderic's mark. Also, this coin became the model for Burgundian and Visigothic Tremissis, while the Ostrogoths soon adopted the new style with a facing Victoria. I could be Metlich 10a.

The same may actually be the case for my two Tremisses in the name of Anastasius. According to Metlich, the T at the end of the reverse legend also functioned as mark of Theoderic. Metlich wrote (p.21) that the T was so small that it was soon dropped, suggesting that this is also an early issue.

As for provenance, the second coin comes from Roma and CNG. I don't have a provenance for the first one right now. I may have bought it via Ebay.

Edited by Tejas
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I have an Ostrogothic pair of VPW type - looks a bit different, with a more typical Italian style, but not far away in style. So the previous one could related.  Still the obverse style follows the same pattern and legends as your typical Visigothic coins.

 

I doubt it was Theodoric who introduced the VPW type - likely Burgundians in 491, using spoils of the Liguria invasion. They started it from a PERP issue (which paralleled with similar solidi) and continued the series.

I feel Theodoric minted some VPW to use for the 511 campaign against Burgundians and Franks.

 

image.jpeg.3dfae3e6ec6e1e42f6c6ec01bfcdeb9a.jpeg

 

Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG. Auction 93. 24/05/2016

image.jpeg.43ac1e829861a594c41bb6b69c3ba37b.jpeg

Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG. Auction 93. 24/05/2016

Edited by Rand
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These are fanastic coins! 

As for the dating, I don't know Metlich (following Grierson and Blackburn) argues that the VPW type was introduced by Theoderic. The presence of Theta and T on these coins suggests that this happened before AD 500, when Theoderic agreed to drop all personal marks on gold coins. 

Here is a Burgundian type:

burg.PNG

Edited by Tejas
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Yes, Methlich has a good reasoning point. However, plenty of Visigothic coins with Theta or T are clearly from the end of the Anastasian reign. There are also a few solidi with a ’T’ on the chest, which are later from the reign, but those are hard to attribute and could be Clovis’s son (I do not own them to show).

 

image.jpeg.30e24900365b73c75aad46eca5c54da0.jpeg

Roma Numismatics. Auction 11. 07/04/2016

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@Tejas and @Rand, these are all astounding, and your coolly arcane back and forth on the scholarship is, at least vicariously, fascinating. 

@Tejas, you couldn't have been more right to keep this separate from the 'barbarous' thread.  To wallow in the obvious, (largely or mainly domestic) 'barbarous' minors are an entirely separate beast from coins demonstrably known to have been issued by discrete, real-live Germanic kingdoms.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rand said:

Yes, Methlich has a good reasoning point. However, plenty of Visigothic coins with Theta or T are clearly from the end of the Anastasian reign. There are also a few solidi with a ’T’ on the chest, which are later from the reign, but those are hard to attribute and could be Clovis’s son (I do not own them to show).

 

I suppose the problem is that the imitators would have also copied the Ts and Thetas, without knowing what they meant. Tomasini, Wallace "The Barbaric Tremissis in Spain and southern France, Anastasius to Leovigild" has a detailed discussion about the dating and possible origin of the VGW tremisses (pp 45)

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54 minutes ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Ah ok, I thought this was one of the coins. Too bad. Then this is rather wishful thinking (or just profit increasing)...

This is a Quarter-Siliqua of Witiges. These coins were previously attributed to Amalaswintha, but this attribution is no longer accepted, for the following reasons: 

1. There are Half-Siliaquae of Witiges, but no Quarters. It is inconceivable that he didn't mint Quarter-Siliquae. He put his name of the Half-Siliquae and revived the (modified) Theoderic monogram on the Quarters, probably to stress is link to the Amal dynasty to which he did not belong.

2. There are stylistic reasons to place these coins in the reign of Witiges, rather than Amalaswintha. 

3. There was really no reason or cause for Amalaswintha to have minted coins in hier own name. The Gothic nobles did not accept a queen, so she ruled in the name of her son Athalaric, whose name and monogram was put on the coins. 

 

The Quarter-Siliquae of Witiges are rare and desirable.

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Here is a Tremissis in the name of Justin I (518-527)

Obv.: DI IVSTINVS PP AVG

Rev.: VICTORIA AVGSTORVM - COMOB

Mint: Narbonne or Toledo (?)

Measurements: 1.44 gr., 14mm, 6h

The bust has a cross on the breast, meaning that it was minted later, i.e. after the types without the cross. I think the coin was minted during the reigns of Amalaric (511-531) or Theudis (531-548); probably late in the reign of Amalaric.

Justin1.PNG

Edited by Tejas
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2 hours ago, Tejas said:

This is a Quarter-Siliqua of Witiges. These coins were previously attributed to Amalaswintha, but this attribution is no longer accepted, for the following reasons: 

1. There are Half-Siliaquae of Witiges, but no Quarters. It is inconceivable that he didn't mint Quarter-Siliquae. He put his name of the Half-Siliquae and revived the (modified) Theoderic monogram on the Quarters, probably to stress is link to the Amal dynasty to which he did not belong.

2. There are stylistic reasons to place these coins in the reign of Witiges, rather than Amalaswintha. 

3. There was really no reason or cause for Amalaswintha to have minted coins in hier own name. The Gothic nobles did not accept a queen, so she ruled in the name of her son Athalaric, whose name and monogram was put on the coins. 

 

The Quarter-Siliquae of Witiges are rare and desirable.

Oh no - you are destroying my dream of once owning a coin of my beloved Amalaswintha. This makes me really sad... 😄 

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4 hours ago, Tejas said:

I suppose the problem is that the imitators would have also copied the Ts and Thetas, without knowing what they meant. Tomasini, Wallace "The Barbaric Tremissis in Spain and southern France, Anastasius to Leovigild" has a detailed discussion about the dating and possible origin of the VGW tremisses (pp 45)

‘Nothing is certain.’ Lord Elrond

Tomasini’s work is grand, but it was done nearly 60 years ago using a fraction of material available now, including some important types. 

As great as it stands, the work could have been strengthened by 

  • Correlating with solidi types.
  • Linking with coins in Zeno’s name to help with mints attribution. The reverse changed to VPW, but obverse styles have some promise.
  • More consideration of historical events that could be driving the minting.
  • Metallurgical considerations.

I keep returning to Tomasini’s book … Still, it may be good to have an open mind. Thank you for your coins and thoughts!

image.png.014b79b9a17fcf18a9849110b18fed44.png

Edited by Rand
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These are great coins. Unfortunately, I don't have any, apart, perhaps, from this, which I'm assuming is Visigothic since it has Romanesque features and was found near a Visigothic tremissis.

Visigoth Cut Quarter Tremissis, 507-586
image.png.7d5ccbdc52a2606d5579bde34bf10199.png
Visigothic. Gold, 8mm, 0.26g. Profile bust; partial AVG legend. Victory; partial legend. Found on the Isle of Wight in 2021; Portable Antiquities Scheme IOW-FA583E. Found near a Visigothic tremissis of Leovigild, IOW-FA517C.

Edited by John Conduitt
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9 minutes ago, John Conduitt said:

These are great coins. Unfortunately, I don't have any, apart, perhaps, from this, which I'm assuming is Visigothic since it has Romanesque features and was found near a Visigothic tremissis.

Visigoth Cut Quarter Tremissis, 507-586
image.png.7d5ccbdc52a2606d5579bde34bf10199.png
Visigothic. Gold, 8mm, 0.26g. Profile bust; partial AVG legend. Victory; partial legend. Found on the Isle of Wight in 2021; Portable Antiquities Scheme IOW-FA583E. Found near a Visigothic tremissis of Leovigild, IOW-FA517C.

Pity someone needed change. Likely Visigothic, but cannot see very close dies in the Anastasian period, so perhaps from a later period.

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21 hours ago, John Conduitt said:

These are great coins. Unfortunately, I don't have any, apart, perhaps, from this, which I'm assuming is Visigothic since it has Romanesque features and was found near a Visigothic tremissis.

Visigoth Cut Quarter Tremissis, 507-586
image.png.7d5ccbdc52a2606d5579bde34bf10199.png
Visigothic. Gold, 8mm, 0.26g. Profile bust; partial AVG legend. Victory; partial legend. Found on the Isle of Wight in 2021; Portable Antiquities Scheme IOW-FA583E. Found near a Visigothic tremissis of Leovigild, IOW-FA517C.

Actually, please have a look at the first coin on the thread, posted by Tejas. Timewise, this would be far away from Leovigild, though.

Edited by Rand
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