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Faustina Friday – The coins of Colybrassus Issued for Faustina the Younger


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Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina Fanatics! I hope you have a great weekend ahead. Today we'll make an excursion from our usual discussion of Roman Imperial issues and discuss a coin from an obscure mountain town in western Cilicia, Colybrassus. The location of the city was not known with certainty until relatively recently. It's clear that George Francis Hill, writing in 1900, was uncertain of the town's location, and postulated that it was somewhere near Side.[1] David Sear, writing as late as 1991, labels the location of the city with a question mark on his map of the mints of central and southern Asia Minor.[2] We now know that Sear's postulated location was incorrect. Inscriptions found near present-day Ayasofya on the Susuz Dağ, some 20 kilometers (12 mi) northeast of Alanya, at 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) above sea level, confirm the ancient city's location.[3]

ColybrassusMapRPC.JPG.71b3caf1a1da19a8ccec37c2fe4b8c13.JPG

The location of ancient Colybrassus on a modern satellite image of southern Turkey.[4]


In Roman times, the city was home to Legio Pontica,[5] and issued coins from the reign of Marcus Aurelius to that of Trebonianus Gallus.[6] RPC notes the existence of only two issues for Faustina the Younger, both struck with the same obverse die: one depicting Herakles in a pose similar to that on the Farnese statue, and another featuring a nude, right-handed Apollo, standing facing, head left, holding an arrow and bow.

I recently acquired a specimen of the latter type. Prior to me sending photos to RPC,[7] the editors were aware of only two previous specimens, one cited by Svoronos in a 1903 paper in JIAN, and another which sold at a Münzen & Medaillen GmbH auction in 1970. Neither were illustrated. I was able to identify only one additional specimen through an internet search, Savoca, 18th Blue Auction,
lot 1009, 30 March 2019. Mine is therefore the fourth known specimen and the exemplar illustrated at RPC.


FaustinaJrColybrassusApollo.jpg.bd4519e7e8912e51d5790b8f261925e2.jpg

Faustina II, 147-175 CE.
Roman provincial Æ 25.1 mm, 11.07 g, 1 h.
Cilicia, Colybrassus, 161-175 CE.
Obv: ΦΑVϹΤЄΙΝΑ ϹЄΒΑϹΤΗ, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: ΚΟΛVΒΡΑϹϹЄ
Ν, nude Apollo standing, facing, head, l., holding arrow and bow.
Refs: RPC IV.3, 10170 (temporary); J.N. Svoronos, JIAN 6 (1903), 252, no. 713.


The coin features a right-facing and draped bust of Faustina the Younger wearing her hair in a style which most resembles the Beckmann Type 7 coiffure, introduced shortly after the birth of her twins on 31 August, 161 CE.[8] The coin is an obverse die match to RPC IV.3, 17442 (temporary), known from a single museum specimen. I illustrate it below for comparison.

FaustinaJrColybrassusHeraklesRPC.jpg.64d6a393cb58de7a9ff141646da9fa6f.jpg

Roman provincial bronze of Colybrassus issued for Faustina the Younger and depicting Herakles, RPC IV.3, 17442 (temporary). Museum Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel (Germany), Mü 695.


Do you have any coins of Colybrassus? Post your coins of Colybrassus, Apollo with bow and arrow, or anything you feel is relevant!

~~~

Notes


1. Hill, G.F. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Greek Coins of Lycaonia, Isauria, and Cilicia. British Museum, London, 1900, p. xxxiii.

2. Sear, David R. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values: The Local Coinages of the Roman Empire. Seaby, 1991, p. 628.

3. "Colybrassus." Wikipedia, 15 Mar. 2023,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colybrassus.

4. Colybrassus Map. Roman Provincial Coins (RPC),
https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/search/map?city_id=65. Accessed 25 June 2023.

5. Wikipedia, op. cit.

6. Hill, op. cit., pp. 61-63, cites coins from Marcus Aurelius through Valerian II. RPC online illustrates coins from Marcus Aurelius through Trebonianus Gallus. "Colybrassus." Roman Provincial Coins (RPC),
https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/search/browse?city_id=65.

7. I uploaded my own photo and that of the auction firm and the editors chose the auctioneer's images. That is understandable, for the details of the coin are clearer on the seller's photo. My photo, however, better captures the color and appearance of the patina.

8. See the beginning of Die Chain 7, Beckmann, Martin, Faustina the Younger: Coinage, Portraits, and Public Image, A.N.S. Numismatic Studies 43, American Numismatic Society, New York, 2021, p. 164.

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Congrats on such a fine acquisition! This is my only coin from Colybrassus.

colybrassos.jpg.1df55c375c043ba2f6da4bc16e48580a.jpg

Cilicia, Colybrassus. Trebonianus Gallus AE22.

Obv: AYTKRA KAI Γ ΛOY TΡE ΓAΛΛON CB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: KOΛYBΡACCEΩN, Athena, helmeted, walking left, looking right, holding patera and transverse spear.

 

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Nice to see Colybrassus featuring in this thread. As a seasoned armchair traveler, I visited the town virtually when I bought a coin of the little place north of Alanya (this is a favorite tourist spot, but in our days it was known as Coracesium). 

This is not Faustina, but another empress: Tranquillina, the wife of young Gordian III. I just made a picture, and the scratch on the reverse (also another one at the obverse upper edge) is clearer than on the seller's photo, that you may view on RPC, it is coin #7 of RPC VII.2, 2680. However, still a nice coin. 

3284 C. Colybrassus in Pamphylia. Tranquillina (Augusta, 241-244). AE18. Obv: Draped bust to the right. CAB TPANKVΛΛЄINA. Rev. Hermes standing left, holding purse and caduceus. KOΛVBPACCЄΩN. 18 mm, 3.06 gr. From the seller's data: Ziegler 44; SNG BN 551; SNG Levante 338. Ex Dr. P. Vogl Collection; ex auction Bankhaus Aufhäuser 4, lot 417 (7 October 1987). Naumann Auctions, March 2018. 

3284enm.jpg.e759d5916ef523b36e09d63a248d3ca2.jpg

This is a photo of the mint place itself. Probably not an important town in those days, but a military stronghold with its legion. Now a romantic mountain valley not far from the sea. 

Colybrassus.jpg.2158e1e51406261ad003907b5cd5bd49.jpg

Greetings from Colybrassus!

-- Paul

 

 

Edited by Pellinore
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On 6/30/2023 at 6:45 AM, AncientOne said:

Congrats on such a fine acquisition! This is my only coin from Colybrassus.

colybrassos.jpg.1df55c375c043ba2f6da4bc16e48580a.jpg

Cilicia, Colybrassus. Trebonianus Gallus AE22.

Obv: AYTKRA KAI Γ ΛOY TΡE ΓAΛΛON CB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: KOΛYBΡACCEΩN, Athena, helmeted, walking left, looking right, holding patera and transverse spear.

 

All right!! T-Bone!! Thanks for the kind words and for posting that cool coin!

On 6/30/2023 at 9:45 AM, Pellinore said:

Nice to see Colybrassus featuring in this thread. As a seasoned armchair traveler, I visited the town virtually when I bought a coin of the little place north of Alanya (this is a favorite tourist spot, but in our days it was known as Coracesium). 

This is not Faustina, but another empress: Tranquillina, the wife of young Gordian III. I just made a picture, and the scratch on the reverse (also another one at the obverse upper edge) is clearer than on the seller's photo, that you may view on RPC, it is coin #7 of RPC VII.2, 2680. However, still a nice coin. 

3284 C. Colybrassus in Pamphylia. Tranquillina (Augusta, 241-244). AE18. Obv: Draped bust to the right. CAB TPANKVΛΛЄINA. Rev. Hermes standing left, holding purse and caduceus. KOΛVBPACCЄΩN. 18 mm, 3.06 gr. From the seller's data: Ziegler 44; SNG BN 551; SNG Levante 338. Ex Dr. P. Vogl Collection; ex auction Bankhaus Aufhäuser 4, lot 417 (7 October 1987). Naumann Auctions, March 2018. 

3284enm.jpg.e759d5916ef523b36e09d63a248d3ca2.jpg

This is a photo of the mint place itself. Probably not an important town in those days, but a military stronghold with its legion. Now a romantic mountain valley not far from the sea. 

Colybrassus.jpg.2158e1e51406261ad003907b5cd5bd49.jpg

Greetings from Colybrassus!

-- Paul

 

 

Cool, @Pellinore! Thanks for the photo and kind words! Nice Tranquillina, too!

On 6/30/2023 at 12:15 PM, Ancient Coin Hunter said:

Nice coins all. That's a municipality in Asia Minor that I had never heard of.

Yeah, it's pretty obscure!

2 hours ago, PeteB said:

Wow!!! That is, of course, a double die match to my coin. Thanks for posting it. I can now add a third example of this to my photo files. There are five known examples now. Do you have any provenance information about coin, @PeteB?

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