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Rhine Legions Civil War Denarius (first post!)


Victrix
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Salve!

My coin collection mainly consists of roman military moving mints. They never fail to tickle my fantasy...did the soldier die and get looted, did he survive and got to spend it? Along many other questions. So many interesting events can be linked to these military denarii.

This coin in particular i'm very fond off. A denarius minted by the Rhine Legions. We do not know exactly when the Rhine legions began minting their own coins, althought it did occur at the latest with the victory at the battle of Vesontio and the subsequent open revolt of the legions against Nero. Characteristics for coins from the year 69 are military motifs, we find references to armies,the goddess of victory Victoria, the god of war Mars (in this case).

The questions regarding the mint or mints of the Rhine legions can hardly be resolved. Cologne or the large legionary camps have been suggested,but even less than in the case of Galba can the extensive campaigns of the Rhine legions in 68 be assumed to have relied on monetary supply from a single, permanent mint.

The documented die matches between the denarii in good silver and plated coins clearly show that subaerati are not ancient forgeries,but official pieces. Evidently, silver was scarce on the Rhine frontier,which,given the lack of nearby mines and sudden need to keep tens of thousands of soldiers content with local resources cannot be surprising. The infrastructure of the Germanic Provinces was,for good reasons,not designed for this purpose.

Archeological find maps attest to concentrations of anonymous coins both in the Rhine hinterland and in Gaul, a circumstance that has contributed to assigning them to different warring parties. However it seems much more plausible to relate the distribution of finds to the numerous campaigns of the Rhine armies in 68 and 69, during which troop movements between sites on the Rhine, central and southern Gaul, the Alpine region and northern Italy are frequently attested.

Please share any civil war denarii or imperatorial coinage you may have!  ;D

 

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I don’t own any anonymous civil war denarii, as they’re too rich for my wallet.

Here are some denarii I have that’s relevant to the civil war period:

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3.00g Laureate head of Nero right "IMP CAESAR AVGVSTVS" Jupiter seated left holding a scepter and thunderbolt. "IVPPITER CVSTOS" RSC 119, RIC 53

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Galba. 68-69 AD. AR Denarius (19mm; 2.84 gm; 6h). Rome mint. Struck August-October 68 AD. Obv: IMP SER GALBA AVG, bare head right. Rev: SPQR/OB/CS in three lines within oak-wreath. RIC I 167; RSC 287.

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Vitellius, AR denarius, Civil War Issue AR 18mm/3.1gm Rome mint c. 69 AD Con/ Slightly off-struck to left, otherwise, Very Fine. Obv/ [A VITELLIVS] GERM IMP AVG TR P; laureate head right Rev/ XV VIR SACR FAC; Tripod-lebes with dolphin laying right above and raven standing right below Ref/ RIC Vol One, 109, RSC111, BCM39

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Vespasian Denarius. 75 AD. IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right / PON MAX TR P COS VI, Pax seated left holding branch. RSC 366, RIC 772, BMC 161

Here are my Republican denarii struck at military mints:

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AR Denarius 20mm. 3.95g. Spanish Mint Diademed bust of Genius of the Roman People draped r., sceptre on shoulder; G.P.R. above. Terrestrial globe between rudder and sceptre; EX-S.C. to either side; In ex.: CN.LEN.Q RSC I Cornelia 54; Craw. 393/1a

This type was struck when the moneyer was acting as paymaster to Pompey’s troops in Spain.

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3.16g, 17mm Diademed head of Venus right Aeneas advancing left, holding plladium and carrying Anchises on his shoulder. "CAESAR" RSC 12

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Mark Antony Legionary Ar denarius, 32-31 BC. Military mint moving with Antony. ANT AVG[III] VI R.R.P.C, praetorian galley to r., rev., Aquila between two signa; LEG XXI across fields (RSC 58). 3.5g, diameter 18mm

Edited by MrMonkeySwag96
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Welcome!  Excellent info and coin.

I was happy to have won the two coins below in Leu's sale of the Gollnow Collection of Civil War coinage last year.  The first one was struck by the Rhine legions.

 

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CIVIL WAR. Rhine Legions
AR Denarius. 2.78g, 16.8mm.
Uncertain mint in Gaul or Rhine Valley, circa May/June-December AD 68.
'S P Q R GRoup'. BMC p. 298, * note var. (GENER); CG 113.1 (this coin); Cohen 428 var. (GENER); Martin 87 var. (GENER); Nicolas 80 corr. and var. (GENER, but misdescribed as GENERIS); RIC 69 var. (GENER).
O: SALVS GENERIS [HVMANI], Victory standing left on globe, holding wreath in her right hand and palm frond in her left.
R: S•P•/Q•R• within oak wreath.
Ex Dipl.-Ing. Christian Gollnow; ex Classical Numismatic Group 109, 12 September 2018, 643

 

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CIVIL WAR. Forces of Galba in Spain
AR Denarius. 3.21g, 17.9mm.
Uncertain mint in Spain, Group A.II, 3 April - 2nd half of June AD 68. In the name of Augustus.
BMC 49; CG 146.4 (this coin); Cohen 98 (Augustan prototype); Martin A 10;  Nicolas A8; RIC 92.
O: CAESAR AVGVSTVS, laureate head of Augustus to right.
R: DIVVS - IVLIVS, Sidus Iulium: eight-rayed comet with tail upwards.
Ex Dipl.-Ing. Christian Gollnow Collection, ex Classical Numismatic Group 47, 16 September 1998, 1499

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Nice coin and thread @Victrix!

Here are a couple of mine from the period. 

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CIVIL WAR, 68-69 CE,

Denarius, fouree, Mint in Southern Gaul, Forces of Vitellius in Gaul and in the Rhine Valley. Anonymous, 2 January-19 April 69. Denarius (Silver, 18 mm, 2.5 g, 4 h), Lugdunum. 'Jupiter-Vesta Group'. VESTA P R QVIRITIVM Veiled, diademed and draped bust of Vesta to right; before, burning torch. Rev. I O MAX CAPITOLI-NVS The Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus on the Capitoline Hill: distyle temple with wreath in pediment and acroteria in the form of aphlasta; within, statue of Jupiter seated left, holding thunderbolt in his right hand and scepter in his left. BMC 70. CG 15.8. Cohen 368. Martin 13. Nicolas 15. RIC 128. Rare and of great numismatic interest. Frank Robinson’s notes “F or so BUT much patchy core exposure, somewhat off-ctr, lgnds crude & partly off; bust clear; but pretty ugly. Or, as a certain deity would say, "A beautiful coin, folks, believe me, a beautiful coin, I can tell you that." But Very rare.

Ex: Frank Robinson

 

 

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PR=Populus Romanus

- The Roman People. AE 24.2 MM, 6.5 gr. This countermark was used by the rebels in Gaul under the leadership of Julius Vindex during the months of March through June of 68 CE. Used mostly upon dupondii and Asses. Coin appears intentionally slate as these were known to deface and denounce the current powers that be.

Ex: CNG

I believe these Pseudo-autonomous types from Macedon may as well be from this period:

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This is the only known example on RPC ( my first submission!)

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14 hours ago, Victrix said:

Please share any civil war denarii or imperatorial coinage you may have!  ;D

Sure. Civil war between the Roman Republic and Sertorius in Spain.

 

Gaius Annius T. f. T. n. Luscus und Lucius Fabius L. f. Hispaniensis 82/81 v.Chr.
Silver Denarius of the Roman Republic, Field mint in Spain
Diameter 19mm, Weight 3,69g, buyed at Roma Auction 02.12.2021 
Provenienz: Ex Scipio Collection
Referenz: Crawford RRC 366/1b

 

Obverse: The draped bust with diadem of Anna Perenna is shown looking to the right. Other symbols depicted are: Libra, Caduceus and Carnyx. The inscription reads: C ANNI T F T N PRO COS EX S C.

Anna Perenna (Latin perennis annual or perennial) is one of the many "minor" goddesses of ancient Rome. Her name is probably derived from Latin anus (old woman) or from annus (year) and perennis (annual or eternal, constant, recurring). She probably originated in Etruscan mythology, where she represented an earth mother goddess, and was adopted by the Romans. In Rome she was worshipped as the New Year goddess in March, as March was the first month in the Roman calendar. Anna Perenna is the grandmother of time. She lives simultaneously in the past, present and future. She is therefore the goddess of the current year, all past years and all those yet to unfold. She is the mistress of prophecies into the future and of the history of the past.

She is the symbol of the old and the young and the goddess of the course of the year, her name also means "ever-recurring year". She can see into the future, survey the past and knows everything about the here and now. She stands at the threshold, looks back, at the same time looks forward - and this long before this quality was attributed to the god Janus. Anna Perenna was honoured on 15 March with a general feast in her grove at the first milestone of the Via Flaminia (Feriae Annae Perennae), at which there was apparently plenty of drinking. People wished for as many years of life as it was possible to drink cups, they danced and sang whatever they knew, but especially obscene songs.

According to one of the stories told by Ovid, the feast goes back to an old woman named Anna from Bovillae who, during the battles of the estates between patricians and plebeians, brought home-baked cakes to the starving plebeians every day, thus saving them from starvation. This aischrology, the singing of obscene songs at the feast, goes back to a trick played on the god Mars by the newly deified Anna: Mars had been in love with the chaste Minerva and had asked Anna for matchmaking services. At first she stalled him and when that was no longer possible, she presented herself to him veiled as the bridely Minerva. The crude jokes at the feast would remind us of this successful prank that Anna had played on the god of war.

According to another tradition, she was the sister of the goddess Dido and fled to Aeneas after her death. Here, however, she was threatened by the jealousy of his wife Lavinia. Warned by Dido, who appeared to her in a dream, Anna threw herself into the river Numicius. Anna Perenna is transformed into a nymph and henceforth symbolises the fertilising power of water. In 1999, the fountain of Anna Perenna was discovered and excavated in the Piazza Euclide in Rome by Marina Piranomonte.

There are several theories about the depiction and interpretation of Anna Perenna on the obverse of the coin. Firstly, there could be an intentional name reference between the editor Gaius Annius and Anna Perenna. Another conclusive theory is the reference to the upcoming military conflict against the rebellion of Quintus Sertorius in Spain. Especially since Anna Perenna is credited with being able to see into the future. The meaning of "annare" is "to enter the new year, to continue to bring the old year to a successful conclusion". The reverse depiction of Victoria (soon to be) triumphant also fits in with this. Here, victory over Sertorius is hoped for and propagated with foresight.

The scales depicted stand for justice and the just cause of Gaius Annius. It also stands for the promised restoration of law and order after the crushing of Sertorius' rebellion. The caduceus (staff of Hermes) stands as a symbol of the coming peace. The carnyx is a wind instrument of the Celts, also of the Spanish Ibero-Celts. The carnyx was used in war campaigns, probably to incite the troops to battle and to demoralise the enemy with acoustic warfare. There may be a military reference here to the troops of Gaius Annius, as well as a reference to Ibero-Celtic Spain and the combat operations in the Pyrenees.

The inscription C ANNI T F T N identifies the Master of the Mint Gaius Annius, PR COS identifies him as Proconsul and EX S C points to the Ex. Senatus Consulto, to the decision or decree of the Senate.

 

Reverse: Victoria is shown in a quadriga to the right with a palm branch in her hand. The inscription reads: Q L FABI L F HISP.

The origins of the most common reverse motif of Republican coinage are not to be found in Rome, but in the Greek cities of Sicily. In terms of quality and aesthetics, the coins issued there were far superior to the Roman ones, which is why the officials in charge of minting in Rome liked to borrow Greek pictorial motifs, even if they lost their concrete meaning in the process. The winged goddess of victory as the Greek Nike in the coinage of cities such as Syracuse and Selinunte announces the victory in the chariot race in one of the great Greek competitions; as the Roman Victoria on the hurrying double carriage, she generally symbolises the quick military victory of the army (source: Sonja Kitzberger).

Laurel wreath and palm branch are the typical attributes of Victoria, which were the original victory trophies at the Greek Palaestra and the Panhellenic Games. Both were assimilated and extended in the Roman sense. The wreath and palm branch could also be claimed by someone who had performed many honourable deeds and victories in the military sense. Moreover, Victoria is a winged creature symbolising the fleetingness and proximity of victory and defeat. In Roman victory symbolism, it was Victoria who presented the fruits of success.

At the same time as the first temple to Venus, the first temple to Victoria was built on the Palatine in the 3rd century BC. The first temple was consecrated on 01 August 294 BC by the consul Lucius Posumius Megellus, a second temple was consecrated on 01 August 193 BC by Marcus Porcius Cato. Archaeological excavations were able to locate the first temple "aedes Victoriae" (Victoria Temple) diagonally to the Magna Mater. During the Second Punic War, the meteor of Pessinus was kept in the Victoria temple. Since Victoria is not an actual goddess - but a Roman personification of victory and favourable success - she could be added to the traditional deities and thus received an additional enhancement. Victoria had a military component from the very beginning. Victoria is always depicted winged, often with a ball, wreath, palm branch, ship's bow, shield, victory trophy.

The inscription Q L FABI L F HISP identifies the quaestor Lucius Fabius L. f. Hispaniensis.

 

Historical Background: Quintus Sertorius (born 123 BC probably in Nursia) was a Roman politician and above all a successful general. He came from a family of knights from Nursia in the land of the Sabines and took part as an officer in various battles, for example against the Cimbri and Teutons under Quintus Servilius Caepio and Gaius Marius. In 97 BC he distinguished himself as a military tribune in Spain and in 91 BC as quaestor in the Confederate War. When Sulla thwarted his bid to become tribune of the people, Sertorius became a supporter of Marius in his conflict against Sulla. During the Popular rule in Rome, Sertorius became governor of one of the Spanish provinces as praetor in 83 BC. Shortly afterwards there was a change of power in Italy and Sulla took over. Sertorius was then temporarily expelled to Mauritania by Gaius Annius Luscus, whom Sulla had sent against him, where he successfully intervened in the throne disputes until the Lusitanians elevated him to their leader. Sertorius returned to the Iberian peninsula and was able to establish a rule in Spain independent of Rome for several years, which he first successfully defended against Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius, whom Sulla had sent to the other side of Spain in 79 BC. His quaestor Lucius Hirtuleius fought just as successfully in this side of Spain.

In 77 BC, the fugitive Marcus Perperna and many other Romans joined Sertorius, who now established a counter-senate of 300 Romans and also relied on the local population, who supposedly saw a white hind as a sign that Sertorius was in contact with the gods. In heavy battles, however, he again defended himself against commanders sent from Rome, especially Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, who had come to Spain in 76 BC with 30,000 men. Quintus Sertorius formed an alliance with Mithridates of Pontus in 74 BC. However, he was then stabbed to death at a banquet in 72 BC by a conspiracy headed by Perperna. In his last years, Sertorius tended to trust the local elites rather than his surrounded Roman compatriots. When Perperna's hopes for a supreme command were dashed and his higher-ranking Roman compatriots also felt ignored, a conspiracy was launched against him. Sertorius' death meant the downfall of this Spanish "special empire".

Perperna took command, but could not hold out against Pompey for long, but was defeated by him and taken prisoner. To save his own life, he offered to hand over all Sertorius' papers to Pompey. This would have given Pompey all the names of the rebels, along with all the connections that led all the way to Rome. Apparently, Pompey nobly rejected this new betrayal, had all the papers burned unseen and executed Perperna. However, it can be assumed that this is only Pompey's embellished propaganda - why would he allow such important information to be burnt unread. Spain itself then reverted to Roman rule after more than eight years.

The Gens Annia was a plebeian family in ancient Rome. Livius mentions a Lucius Annius, praetor of the Roman colony of Setia, in 340 B.C. Other Annii are also mentioned during this time in Rome. Members of this Gens held various higher offices from the Second Punic War onwards. A Titus Annius Luscus, for example, became consul in 153 BC. In the second century AD, the Annii attained the empire itself. The Emperor Marcus Aurelius came from this gens.

Gaius Annius T. f. T. n. Luscus was commander of the garrison at Leptis Magna under Metellus Numidicus during the Jugurthine War in 108 BC. In the said year of coinage 81 BC, he was sent by Sulla and the senar with Lucius Fabius Hispaniensis against Quintus Sertorius. Sulla's priorities at this time were more with Sicily and Africa, so he gave the task against the rebel Sertorius into the hands of Gaius Annius.

So Gaius Annius Luscus was probably set in march to Spain in 81 BC. He was then in front of the Pyrenees at the end of May or beginning of June. His contingent consisted of two legions plus auxiliary troops, i.e. a total of about 20,000 men. Wild mountain tribes lived in the Pyrenees and Lucius Iulius Salinator, with 6000 men, had been given the task by Quintus Sertorius of securing the mountain passes against attempts by the Sullans in such a way that they could not penetrate the Spanish province.

However, Salinator's position was taken by the treachery of a certain Publius Calpurnius Lanarius. Iulius Salinator himself was killed in the fighting. About 3000 rebel soldiers were killed, the other half managed to escape to Sertorius. Sertorius then retreated with the remaining men to Carthago Nova, from where he embarked for Africa. Now began an odyssey between Africa and the Spanish coast.

On the Libyan coast, at the river Muluccha, Sertorius tried to land for the first time. However, he lost many of his men due to an attack by hostile natives. He then decided to return to Spain. On the Spanish coast, however, he was again rejected everywhere. In the process, he came into contact with Cilician pirates. Before being expelled by Annius, the pirates had probably established themselves on the island of Ibiza. They must have lost this base shortly after Sertorius left Carthago Nova. Since in his situation he could not be choosy in choosing new allies, it seems that some kind of alliance was formed between Sertorius and the pirates. The aim was a joint attack on Ibiza.

The crew, which had been stationed there by Annius, was taken by surprise. Soon Annius arrived with a fleet of ships and about 5000 men. Sertorius decided on a naval battle. As he had the wind against him, he did not manage to get out of the harbour bay. Because Annius would have had an even greater superiority on land, Sertorius tried his luck until he had lost half his ships on the cliffs. Sertorius then escaped the storm, which by now was becoming more severe, with a few ships. Plutarch claims that this storm lasted for ten days. Apparently it seems to have prevented further pursuit of Sertorius. He landed on some desolate, waterless islands to spend the nights. The following day he sailed southwest along the coast, passed through the Strait of Gibraltar and landed a little above the mouth of the river Baetis.

Sertorius found himself in a hopeless situation. The forces he had at his disposal were by far too weak to return to the province on this side with their help or even to gain a foothold in Africa, as his experiences with the warlike natives had shown. Moreover, he had to fear that his Sullivanian enemies would soon take up the pursuit. In this completely hopeless situation, he heard from sailors of islands in the Atlantic, which were known at the time as the "Islands of the Blessed". Plutarch gives an imaginative description of these islands. Sertorius wanted to sail off, but the pirates refused to follow him. They set off for Africa instead. They wanted to support Ascalis in the dispute over the throne of Mauritania. Sertorius then had to let his resolution go. He, too, now decided to travel to Mauritania - probably not least because the common goal would preserve his small force. So far, Sertorius had suffered nothing but defeats on his flight. It was only in the time that followed in Africa that he was to achieve successes. Successes so good that the soldiers of his pursuer Paciaecus would defect to him and the Lusitanians would finally offer him the supreme command in their battle.

Meanwhile, Sertorius still had about ten ships with 1200 men at his disposal. The troops of Ascalis were defeated, which he himself besieged in Tangier. In this situation, a Roman contingent under the command of a certain Paciaecus intervened in the fighting. Plutarch's account is that this Paciaecus (or Paccianus) had been sent out by Sulla to support Ascalis. Paccianus is said to have been a certain Vibius Paciaecus (Spann), who was a large landowner in Hispania ulterior in the area of the city of Nerja. There is speculation that he was sent by Gaius Annius in pursuit of Sertorius and not by Sulla himself, as the latter had enough to do with his constitutional reforms in 81 BC than to worry about a - at that time - small rebel with a handful of men. Finally, it was also Gaius Annius who was commissioned by Sulla to solve the "Sertorius problem".

Paccianus' troop consisted of about 2000 men when it came to the battle against Sertorius at Tangier. Paccianus was killed and his men defected to Sertorius. He had thus achieved several goals. He had gained a temporary refuge, stabilised his position, raised the morale of his men and was finally able to assert himself militarily. In Mauritania, he now gradually enjoyed greater influence and received further support. He took advantage of the breathing space, reorganised his troops and devoted himself to recruitment and training. Quintus Sertorius stayed in Tangier until about spring 80 BC. Then he was approached by emissaries from Lusitania who wanted to put him in command of the army against Rome. He accepted the offer, as he hoped that with their help he would have a chance to consolidate his position against the rulers in Rome. The rest is known: Sertorius returned to Spain and was able to successfully hold his own against Rome for a long time.

Historically, little is known in detail about Gaius Annius Luscus, except for his battle against Sertorius. Apparently, his campaign against Sertorius was considered a success in Rome. After all, Sertorius had to flee the Spanish peninsula due to the intervention of Gaius Annius and then wandered hopelessly along the coast with a severely depleted force. When Sertorius returned to Spain strengthened, Gaius Annius himself was no longer on the spot. His successors, Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius and later Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, had to deal with the "problem case Sertorius" again.

Very little is historically known about Lucius Fabius Hispaniensis. He may have been a Roman or an Italic colonist from Spain. His epithet probably points to the latter. At first he was quaestor under Gaius Annius and his mint master - from whose Spanish coinage this denarius also originates. Later he joined Sertorius - but, it seems, not of his own free will. For some reason, which is not known, Lucius Fabius got on the Sullivanian proscription lists and was ostracised. So he probably had no choice but to defect to the renegades. Later he was involved in the betrayal and murder of Sertorius and also met his death under Pompey.

 

 

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Edited by Prieure de Sion
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