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Anyone have a reference for this Faustina II of Laodicea?


Roman Collector

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Before I begin, I want to give a big shout out to Dane Kurth! She went above and beyond my expectations when I asked her for help attributing this coin.

Shout Out Thank You GIF by HiBob

This is a recent acquisition. It's sestertius-sized but thinner and doesn't weigh quite as much. It has a "just standing there" reverse type, so it's not the most action-packed provincial coin out there. But it's interesting because it's a puzzle. I'm wondering if it is unique because I can't find a reference anywhere.

It is probably from Laodicea ad Lycum, because its reverse simply reads ΛΑΟΔΙΚΕΩΝ. Coins of Laodicea Combusta typically read ΚΛΑΥΔΙΟΛΑΟΔΙΚƐⲰΝ, and those of Laodicea ad Mare in Syria typically have very long legends, such as ΙΟΥΛΙΕΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΛΑΟΔΙΚΕΩΝ or the Latin inscription COL LAOD C METROPOLEOS.

The reverse figure holds a patera and scepter, identifying her as Hera. In Anatolian iconography, Hera may wear a turreted crown, as on this coin.

The empress wears a hairstyle in use from 154-161 CE (Beckmann Type 5); the obverse inscription corresponds to FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, which came into use on the imperial issues in about August 156. So, I date this coin to 156 to c. 165 (provincial cities often took years to reflect a new hairstyle).

FaustinaJrLaodiceaadLycumJunoorTyche.jpg.174e1a3fc7340408d1a0f73867e755ed.jpg
Faustina II, 147-175 CE.
Roman provincial Æ 31.5 mm, 16.58 g, 6 h.
Phrygia, Laodicea ad Lycum, 156 to c. 165 CE.
Obv: •ΦΑVⳞΤΙΝΑⳞΕΒΑⳞΤΗ•, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: ΛΑΟΔΙΚΕΩΝ, Hera, turreted, standing facing, head left, holding patera and scepter.
Ref: RPC IV.2 –; BMC –; Mionnet –; Wiczay –; unlisted in numerous other sources.

I have looked in many references. I started with RPC online, but it is not referenced there. RPC makes use of several core collections, including Vienna, Paris, Oxford, the British Museum, the BnF, and those illustrated in RG, SNG von Aulock and SNG Copenhagen, so I presume this coin is not listed in those volumes, though I haven't double-checked these myself (with the exception of BMC Phrygia).

I checked Mionnet vol.4 and suppl. 7, and Wiczay, as well as acsearchinfo.

I called in the BIG GUNS and asked Dane Kurth (Wildwinds curator and expert on Anatolian provincial coins). She checked Sestini, and her extended Isegrim xls file (with over 74,000 entries of Asia Minor coins). Dane went WAY BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY and checked Laodikeia in Syria as well as Laodikeia Combusta, with no luck. She also checked the Paris collection (gallica.fr), and, in her personal xls database of various pdfs, she checked any Imhoof articles not yet in her Isegrim list. She consulted SNG France 7, Armstrong's "Phrygia Coinage and Cities", SNG Turkey 11, Engel, Eckhel, Boutkowski, Naury Bey, Gréau and dozens of other articles, also CoinArchives Pro, the Righetti collection sales, plus the same for Laodikeia ad Mare, Syria, just in case. Lastly, she has nearly 400 old and new pdfs under "collections" and searched through them with Agent Ransack and over 660 pdfs under "auction catalogs."

Yet after all this effort, neither Dane nor I have found another example of this coin in the literature.

Anybody have any other ideas? Anybody have a reference?

Of course, please post comments and anything you feel is relevant.

Edited by Roman Collector
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