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Io, Consualia


LONGINUS

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A festival in honor of Consus, the protector of grain, traditionally begins on or about August 18–21.

During this celebration all equines were exempted from labour, adorned with flowers, and honored in parades through the towns and cities. As an homage to the holiday I’ve assembled a poster of three favorite denarii with images of a grain modius, sacrificial altar, and a man riding a horse. The emperors on these coins have no special connection with the holiday to my knowledge.

 

image.jpeg.d0a8a01ae8fb4eb49a82f412cfd1b4d0.jpeg

 

Please feel free to post your horses, donkeys, sacrificial altars, or grain harvest related coins.

 

Edited by LONGINUS
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1 hour ago, LONGINUS said:

A festival in honor of Consus, the protector of grain, traditionally begins on or about August 18–21.

During this celebration all equines were exempted from labour, adorned with flowers, and honored in parades through the towns and cities. As an homage to the holiday I’ve assembled a poster of three favorite denarii with images of a grain modius, sacrificial altar, and a man on riding a horse. The emperors on these coins have no special connection with the holiday to my knowledge.

 

image.jpeg.d0a8a01ae8fb4eb49a82f412cfd1b4d0.jpeg

 

Please feel free to post your horses, donkeys, sacrificial altars, or grain harvest related coins.

 

Excellent presentation & coins ☺️.

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Great presentation and coins @LONGINUS

Horse

GaiusNaeviusBalbus79BC.jpg.580d86c7ccd56f459d0fee648941d828.jpg

Altar

MAXIMINUSIThrax(lateportrait)AR.jpg.cdf363ae1be275fd0b36e1f5a7b15055.jpg

Celebration of grain harvest

APiusAnnona-Copy.jpg.9acdc285335126b35dc360caa3cc24b4.jpg

Antoninus Pius AR denarius, Rome, AD 152-153. 18 mm, 3.35 g. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P XVI, laureate head right. / COS IIII, Annona standing left, holding corn-ears in left hand and resting right hand on modius set on prow to right. RIC 221; RSC 290; BMCRE 520.

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Beautiful presentation as always @LONGINUS.  This coin is associated with the Consualia...or at least the story of the first Consualia, a plan by Romulus.

See: https://www.sullacoins.com/post/consualia

TatiusSabine.jpg.e10b5c0958e6b6eff530426bcd908714.jpg

L. Titurius L.f. Sabinus, 89 BC. AR Denarius, Rome. SABIN, Bare-headed and bearded head of King Titus Tatius to right; in field to right, TA (in ligature). Rev. L•TITVRI The abduction of the Sabine women: two Roman soldiers, facing each other, each carrying off a Sabine woman in his arm. Crawford 344/1a.

The Consualia was a harvest festival, held on August 21. Consus, the name of the god, is from condere, “to store up.”   Cicero (writing ~51-54 BC) and Livy (writing ~30 BC) tell the story of Romulus using the Consualia as a ruse to steal the women of neighboring towns.  The association with equestrian Neptune came later from the association of the festival with horses.

Quote

"For when Sabine maidens of honorable lineage had come to Rome on the occasion of the Consualia, to witness the games whose annual celebration in the circus he had just instituted, he ordered their seizure and married them to young men of the most prominent families."

-Cicero, The Republic, II.7

Livy makes an anachronistic association with Neptunus Equester

Quote

"Romulus, concealing his resentment [that their offers for brides were spurned], made ready solemn games in honour of the equestrian Neptune, which he called Consualia. He then bade proclaim the spectacle to the surrounding peoples, and his subjects prepared to celebrate it with all the resources within their knowledge and power, that they might cause the occasion to be noised abroad and eagerly expected. Many people —for they were also eager to see the new city —gathered for the festival, especially those who lived nearest, the inhabitants of Caenina, Crustumium, and Antemnae. The Sabines, too, came with all their people, including their children and wives."

-Livy, History of Rome, 1.9

 Dionysius of Halicarnassus, writing near the end of the 1st century BC, describes some of the practices

Quote
"Consualia, during which it is customary among the latter for the horses and mules to rest from work and to have their heads crowned with flowers."

Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, I.XXXIII

"a subterranean altar, erected near the Circus Maximus, is uncovered by the removal of the soil round about it and honoured with sacrifices and burnt-offerings of first-fruits and a course is run both by horses yoked to chariots and by single horses. The god to whom these honours are paid is called Consus by the Romans, being the same, according to some who render the name into our tongue, as Poseidon Seisichthon or the “Earth-shaker”; and they say that this god was honoured with a subterranean altar because he holds the earth."
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, II.XXXI

 Varro (writing ~47-45 BC), keeps it simple:

Quote

"The Consualia ‘Festival of Consus’ was called from Consus, because then there was the state festival to that god, and in the Circus at his altar those games were enacted by the priests in which the Sabine maidens were carried off."

-Varro, On the Latin Language, VI.20

Plutarch (writing at the beginning of the 2nd century AD) links it to a practice that is not unfamiliar to modern readers:

Quote

"And it continues to be a custom down to the present time that the bride shall not of herself cross the threshold into her new home, but be lifted up and carried in, because the Sabine women were carried in by force, and did not go in of their own accord. And some say also that the custom of parting the bride’s hair with the head of a spear is a reminder that the first marriage was attended with war and fighting; on which topic I have spoken more fully in my “Roman Questions.” Leaving such matters aside, the rape was committed on the eighteenth day of the month once called Sextilis, but now, August, on which day the festival of the Consualia is celebrated."

-Plutarch, Life of Romulus, XV

Tertullian (writing ~197-202 AD) seems to offer reproach for the Roman's origins. And he shares and alternative explanation for the name Consus, named for the god's counsel.

Quote

"Then came the games originally held in honour of Neptune and called Consualia. For he is also styled Consus. After that Romulus named the Ecurria, from horses, in honour of Mars—though they claim the Consualia as well for Romulus, arguing that he instituted them for Consus, the god (they say) of counsel—meaning the particular counsel which he thought out of capturing the Sabine girls to be wives for his soldiers. An honourable counsel, indeed, to this very day just and lawful among the Romans, not to say in God’s eyes! It also contributes to the taint of their origin—lest you think that good which began with evil—that the games began with shamelessness, violence and hate, and a founder who slew his brother and was the son of Mars. There is still (I might add) an underground altar, dedicated to that Consus,a in the Circus, at the first turning-point, with this inscription : “Consus in counsel, Mars in war, Lares Coillob mighty.” Sacrifice is offered on it on the seventh day of July by the state priests, on the twentieth of August by the Flamen of Quirinus and the Vestal Virgins."
- Tertullian, De Spectaculis, V

Altar : Domitian as Caesar, (AD 69-81). Denarius. Rome. Obv: CAESAR DIVI F DOMITIANVS COS VII, laureate head right. Rev: PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS, lighted and garlanded altar.
RIC2 266 (Titus).

DomitianAltar.jpg.543b8071c7f875bfb6b0f91c96a8f5da.jpg

Modius (with grain and poppy) : Antoninus Pius (AD 138-161). Denarius. Rome. Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right. Rev: ANNONA AVG, modius with four grain ears and a poppy. RIC 62a.

AntoninusPiusPoppyModius.jpg.2bdb16576e690902a0ef79668a577674.jpg

Horse : Septimius Severus (AD 193-211). Denarius. Rome. Obv: SEVERVS PIVS AV, laureate head right. Rev: ADVENT AVGG, Septimius Severus on horse rearing left, raising hand and holding spear, and being led by soldier to left. RIC 248.

SeptimiusAdventusAvg.jpg.ce1ac00fa0573935eefc48cf8fa8a815.jpg

Edited by Sulla80
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One Republican type clearly refers to a grain law subsidizing prices:

Cr330s1bSR210n95106.jpg.315ca0c00f59157b35ae0f075ad60b4a.jpg

Reverse legend: AD FRV[mentum] EM[vndum] "for buying grain" EX SC. L. Calpurnius Piso, 100 BC. Crawford 330/1. 
Clearly this type refers to buying grain for the public.
Scholars relate this particular type to a historical law of 100 BC which subsidized grain prices. To place this event in time it takes knowledge (from a treatise of Cicero) of the existence of and date of  L. Saturninus's grain law. The head on the obverse with a harpa (sickle) behind his neck as an attribute of Saturn identifies Saturn--an agricultural deity--which makes a plausible reference to Saturninus. Seriation gives an approximate date of the type to begin with and other grain-related types seem more-distant in time. Putting these together, scholars think this is one type where they have the reference and its date right.

However, it is possible that the type commemorated that event a year or more later when the moneyer interested in commemorating it was in office. It is accepted that in the second century BC and the early part of the first, many coins do not refer to specific events. But, those that do refer to events refer to deeds of the moneyer's family, not to current events of the state. So, if a moneyer from family B is in office when a member of family C does something noteworthy it may (will) not be mentioned on the coins because a moneyer from family B would not publicize family C. Was there a connection between Saturninus and Piso?  The event is firmly fixed in time to 100 BC. Does that mean the coin commemorating the event was issued at the same time rather than later, perhaps years later, when the moneyer was in office and promoting his family?

The timeline page shows that some scholars dated this type to about five years after the event, although Crawford picked the year of the event (100 BC). Seriation and other factors contribute to assigning a date.

 

The above discussion is taken from my two pages on how Roman Republican coins are assigned dates.
http://augustuscoins.com/ed/Repub/dating.html
http://augustuscoins.com/ed/Repub/TimelineTable.html
The first page is the theory. The second page discusses the evolution and dating of types that illustrate changes.

 

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