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New coin - Julia Domna


CPK

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I'd been looking for a nice denarius of Julia Domna to add to my collection. They're quite common generally, but I am picky about portrait style and most JD portraits seem a little too harsh (who can blame her, with a son like Caracalla!) Just recently, though, I had the chance to buy this coin, which features one of the most charming portraits of Julia Domna I've seen yet:

JuliaDomnadenariusMATERDEVM.jpg.d954c3c5330daf15747eecda5b985deb.jpg

JULIA DOMNA as Augusta, AD 193-211
AR Denarius (19.61mm, 3.10g, 6h)
Struck AD 198. Rome mint
Obverse: IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust of Julia Domna right
Reverse: MATER DEVM, Cybele seated left on throne flanked by two lions, holding branch in extended right hand and scepter in left hand, resting left arm on drum set on left knee
References: RIC IV 564 (S), RCV 6593
A scarce type, lightly toned, with an attractive portrait.

The reverse is also an interesting type, depicting Cybele the mother goddess (MATER DEVM), an ancient Phrygian deity.

Thanks for looking! Feel free to post your own Julia Domna coins.

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That's a charming coin.
I like the symbolism of the Matri Deum reverse on the coins featuring Julia Domna, as it is obvious to assume that she should be identified with the goddess. And it's a very good example of the strategic use of divine imagery for propaganda. For some reason I just find it more interesting than Pudicitia or any of the other reverses. Maybe because ir shows some megalomania?

Here are my Domnas:

image.jpeg.3ac4c36ce368b06a05b199a5b231c008.jpeg

image.jpeg.96be03d060d18394af9d9bd72cbad5b5.jpeg

Edited by Salomons Cat
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That's a lovely coin, @CPK. It's well-centered and the portrait is very sensitive and flattering.

The date assigned to the MATER DEVM seated type depends on who you read. 
Hill assigns the two varieties to two separate issues (but on what basis, I don't know; I suspect engraving style). Hill states the variety without the scepter was issued in AD 198 and assigns it its own catalog number. RIC, BMCRE and RSC assign it separate numbers as well. Cohen notes an aureus with this reverse type (so he does distinguish the two varieties) but does not note a denarius with this reverse variety. This variety is unlisted in Sear (RCV) and in Temeryazev & Makarenko (CRE).

DomnaMATERDEVMnoscepterdenarius2.jpg.16272064f61533c3043422a00a04377a.jpg
Julia Domna, 193-211 CE.
Roman AR denarius, 2.84 gm, 17.5 mm, 6 h.
Rome, 198 CE, issue 1.
Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: MATER DEVM, Cybele enthroned left, flanked by two lions, holding branch and resting elbow on drum; no scepter.
Refs: RIC 565; BMCRE 54-55; RCV --; Cohen --; RSC 126a; Hill 340; CRE --.

Hill reports the variety with the scepter was issued in AD 200 and assigns it its own catalog number. RIC, BMCRE and RSC assign it separate numbers as well. Unlike the above example, this coin is listed in Cohen, Sear and in Temeryazev & Makarenko:

DomnaMATERDEVMwithscepterDenarius.jpg.b261685a0ab94727e3c2b892cc8fde31.jpg
Julia Domna, 193-211 CE.
Roman AR denarius, 3.41 gm, 18.5 mm, 11 h.
Rome, 200 CE, issue 9.
Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right
Rev: MATER DEVM, Cybele enthroned left, flanked by two lions, holding a branch and scepter, resting elbow on drum.
Refs: RIC 564; BMCRE 51-53; RCV 6593; Cohen/RSC 123; Hill 344A; CRE 306.


If these truly represent two separate issues, then it seems reasonable to assign different catalog numbers to them.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Salomons Cat said:

That's a charming coin.
I like the symbolism of the Matri Deum reverse on the coins featuring Julia Domna, as it is obvious to assume that she should be identified with the goddess. And it's a very good example of the strategic use of divine imagery for propaganda. For some reason I just find it more interesting than Pudicitia or any of the other reverses. Maybe because ir shows some megalomania?

Here are my Domnas:

image.jpeg.3ac4c36ce368b06a05b199a5b231c008.jpeg

image.jpeg.96be03d060d18394af9d9bd72cbad5b5.jpeg

Thanks! Wow - that is a beautiful set! Those portraits are exceptionally well-done, especially the first coin. 🤩

7 minutes ago, Roman Collector said:

That's a lovely coin, @CPK. It's well-centered and the portrait is very sensitive and flattering.

The date assigned to the MATER DEVM seated type depends on who you read. 
Hill assigns the two varieties to two separate issues (but on what basis, I don't know; I suspect engraving style). Hill states the variety without the scepter was issued in AD 198 and assigns it its own catalog number. RIC, BMCRE and RSC assign it separate numbers as well. Cohen notes an aureus with this reverse type (so he does distinguish the two varieties) but does not note a denarius with this reverse variety. This variety is unlisted in Sear (RCV) and in Temeryazev & Makarenko (CRE).

DomnaMATERDEVMnoscepterdenarius2.jpg.16272064f61533c3043422a00a04377a.jpg
Julia Domna, 193-211 CE.
Roman AR denarius, 2.84 gm, 17.5 mm, 6 h.
Rome, 198 CE, issue 1.
Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: MATER DEVM, Cybele enthroned left, flanked by two lions, holding branch and resting elbow on drum; no scepter.
Refs: RIC 565; BMCRE 54-55; RCV --; Cohen --; RSC 126a; Hill 340; CRE --.

Hill reports the variety with the scepter was issued in AD 200 and assigns it its own catalog number. RIC, BMCRE and RSC assign it separate numbers as well. Unlike the above example, this coin is listed in Cohen, Sear and in Temeryazev & Makarenko:

DomnaMATERDEVMwithscepterDenarius.jpg.b261685a0ab94727e3c2b892cc8fde31.jpg
Julia Domna, 193-211 CE.
Roman AR denarius, 3.41 gm, 18.5 mm, 11 h.
Rome, 200 CE, issue 9.
Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right
Rev: MATER DEVM, Cybele enthroned left, flanked by two lions, holding a branch and scepter, resting elbow on drum.
Refs: RIC 564; BMCRE 51-53; RCV 6593; Cohen/RSC 123; Hill 344A; CRE 306.


If these truly represent two separate issues, then it seems reasonable to assign different catalog numbers to them.

Thanks! That is interesting, Roman Collector. Lovely coins, too!

I got my date from Sear. I should have checked if the date given in RIC IV differed.

Edited by CPK
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The coin that started this thread is a very nice portrait from a mid period of the Rome mint.  My favorite coins of hers are from the early years including those from the Eastern mints.  There is a great variation in portrait quality from all of the periods and some earlier coins almost look older than the later coins when you would expect her to look older.  I have no good explanation other than some die cutters were more skilled. 

Alexandria denarius

rk5000bb2294.jpg.e9168798277c4c8b4ad6e099805de68a.jpg

 

"Emesa" denarius (later period)

rk5230b00172lg.JPG.518700631afe3e683e0adaf9414f9d16.JPG

 

"Laodicea" 

rk5460bb0073.jpg.c110f03b6a61d19b0be8d052d97d6c31.jpg

 

Rome early

 rl5650bb2050.jpg.bafd93684f50d571ae14eaf6b1c36e38.jpg

 

Rome middle period

rl6020bb0515.jpg.e422c01f708b16e5c83050e3cf883768.jpg

 

Rome later

rl6190bb0536.jpg.2de07cb8de9fe43d7f3e2e557f682418.jpg

 

Don't overlook bronze coins.  This sestertius is from my favorite portrait die for Julia but I never found a high grade example from this die.  I probably could not have afforded it anyway.

rl6230b00197lg.jpg.3134ac5eb782676b7268caa1325ee6ae.jpg

 

Of course there are provincials including my favorites, Alexandria (tetradrachms)

Early (year 2)

pa1190fd1381.jpg.e251cb0ecb4ddb67c9a9ba6e937957b0.jpg

 

Later (year 20 during the very short period after Septimius died but before Geta was killed)

pa1300fd3426.jpg.662ea5434bb7e6443cae514ea1fd3fea.jpg

 

Of course there are hundreds of other Provincial cities (you will not get them all).  This is Antioch in Pisidia.

pk1150bb1250.jpg.d56370672dc3fde2a57cd143c7a1bff3.jpg

 

One might develop a large collection of nothing but Domna coins.  If you run out of officially issued coins, there are always the barbarous options.  

re6360bb1783.jpg.a65846b4fcc6e79c48fd13342dc85c30.jpg

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The only two Julia Domnas I have in which she doesn't look either sour or positively furious are, first, this pentassarion from Marcianopolis with confronted busts of Julia D. and Septimius S.:

image.jpeg.53f3f2be63525dc8ff4aae4ac5b1251a.jpeg

And, second, this example of the denarius with Isis and Harpocrates on the reverse:

image.jpeg.8013192af4bf1becd9957c01f9c32680.jpeg

Edited by DonnaML
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One of the most popular empresses, with lovely portraits and interesting reverse themes. 

This denarius was the first ancient coin with a woman's portrait I have seen. I identified it myself (and it was the first post I ever made regarding an ancient coin)

image.png.bc81dda0486f23c454c2bafe95616904.png

Two types already shown in this thread, but among my favorites:

image.png.1fb18a4b3beaa2a4573d12c99f26dbef.png

image.png.83d693c6f2b12114e5c0ea0966b7326e.png

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Posted · Supporter

 

9 hours ago, ominus1 said:

very nice!...i really like that portrait.:very attractive all 'round! :)

Thank you!

8 hours ago, Octavius said:

Very pretty coin @CPK. She has a rare and attractive smile on your coin. Nice!

Here is a sestertius with Juno Lucina on reverse, guardian of pregnant women or childbirth...

of7G6jDeZ9aq3xABi5eJ8B8kMb4Q25.jpg.b4cf4b968ff7d7a916c00ba254774248.jpg

Thanks! That is a spectacular sestertius (from your collection I'd expect nothing less! 😉 ) - great details on both obv. and rev., and a lovely patina!

8 hours ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

The denarius certainly has a charmer of a portrait!  I don't think I have any coins of Domna, unles one is kicking around in the bag of provincials.

Thanks! There are great portraits to be found among provincial coins too.

7 hours ago, dougsmit said:

The coin that started this thread is a very nice portrait from a mid period of the Rome mint.  My favorite coins of hers are from the early years including those from the Eastern mints.  There is a great variation in portrait quality from all of the periods and some earlier coins almost look older than the later coins when you would expect her to look older.  I have no good explanation other than some die cutters were more skilled. 

Alexandria denarius

rk5000bb2294.jpg.e9168798277c4c8b4ad6e099805de68a.jpg

 

"Emesa" denarius (later period)

rk5230b00172lg.JPG.518700631afe3e683e0adaf9414f9d16.JPG

 

"Laodicea" 

rk5460bb0073.jpg.c110f03b6a61d19b0be8d052d97d6c31.jpg

 

Rome early

 rl5650bb2050.jpg.bafd93684f50d571ae14eaf6b1c36e38.jpg

 

Rome middle period

rl6020bb0515.jpg.e422c01f708b16e5c83050e3cf883768.jpg

 

Rome later

rl6190bb0536.jpg.2de07cb8de9fe43d7f3e2e557f682418.jpg

 

Don't overlook bronze coins.  This sestertius is from my favorite portrait die for Julia but I never found a high grade example from this die.  I probably could not have afforded it anyway.

rl6230b00197lg.jpg.3134ac5eb782676b7268caa1325ee6ae.jpg

 

Of course there are provincials including my favorites, Alexandria (tetradrachms)

Early (year 2)

pa1190fd1381.jpg.e251cb0ecb4ddb67c9a9ba6e937957b0.jpg

 

Later (year 20 during the very short period after Septimius died but before Geta was killed)

pa1300fd3426.jpg.662ea5434bb7e6443cae514ea1fd3fea.jpg

 

Of course there are hundreds of other Provincial cities (you will not get them all).  This is Antioch in Pisidia.

pk1150bb1250.jpg.d56370672dc3fde2a57cd143c7a1bff3.jpg

 

One might develop a large collection of nothing but Domna coins.  If you run out of officially issued coins, there are always the barbarous options.  

re6360bb1783.jpg.a65846b4fcc6e79c48fd13342dc85c30.jpg

 

 

 

Thank you! That's a great assortment that really shows how wide the portrait variation can be. I really like that Year 2 Alexandrian tetradrachm.  

5 hours ago, DonnaML said:

The only two Julia Domnas I have in which she doesn't look either sour or positively furious are, first, this pentassarion from Marcianopolis with confronted busts of Julia D. and Septimius S.:

image.jpeg.53f3f2be63525dc8ff4aae4ac5b1251a.jpeg

And, second, this example of the denarius with Isis and Harpocrates on the reverse:

image.jpeg.8013192af4bf1becd9957c01f9c32680.jpeg

Nice coins! Is that bottom one ex Dieterle / AK Collection, by any chance?

4 hours ago, ambr0zie said:

One of the most popular empresses, with lovely portraits and interesting reverse themes. 

This denarius was the first ancient coin with a woman's portrait I have seen. I identified it myself (and it was the first post I ever made regarding an ancient coin)

image.png.bc81dda0486f23c454c2bafe95616904.png

Two types already shown in this thread, but among my favorites:

image.png.1fb18a4b3beaa2a4573d12c99f26dbef.png

image.png.83d693c6f2b12114e5c0ea0966b7326e.png

Very nice coins, especially the sestertius!👍

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I recently updated my photograph of this one:-

Obv:– IVLIA DOMNA AVG, Draped bust right
Rev:– MONETAE AVG II COS, Moneta standing left, holding scales and cornucopia
Minted in Emesa. A.D. 194
Reference(s) – RIC -; BMCRE -; RSC -.

One of the rare dated reverse series. The third known example, others in Paris and Vienna. Die match to the Paris example.

RI_065ak_img~0.JPG

Here is the same reverse type but reverse die but used for Septimius Severus

Obv:– IMP CE L SEP SEV PEPT AVG, Laureate head right
Rev:– MONETAE AVG II COS, Moneta standing left, holding scales in right hand, cornucopiae in left
Minted in Emesa. A.D. 193
Reference:– BMCRE -. RIC IV -. RSC -.

3.18g, 18.87mm, 0o

RI_064il_img.jpg

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Terrific coins in this thread - I really like Julia Domna's coins.  One of my most recent is this green one from Stobi in Macedonia.  It took me a while to track down the attribution - there are a lot of Nike types from Stobi.  It was interesting to see the Museum of Fine Arts Boston paid over $1200 for one similar to this (and an obverse die-match to mine) in 1962 - my guess is these were pretty scarce before metal detectors and the fall of the Iron Curtain (but if somebody wants to give me $1200 for it, I'm interested!): 

image.jpeg.5354489203dd0eb64aeb4dc67f87909b.jpeg

Julia Domna  Æ 21 (c. 193-217 A.D.) Stobi, Macedonia  IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right / MVNICIP ST[O]BENSI, Nike advancing right carrying wreath and palm. SNG Copenhagen 333; See Numista #281817 (but wrong description and attribution) (6.11 grams / 21 mm) eBay Feb. 2024  $15.50

Note: Many variations of reverse legends.  The only matches I found with correct(?) attribution was the Gorny & Mosch and Savoca die-match specimen.  Numista illustrates same type (#281817) but the description is wrong (Nike with "shield held on knee").  MFA Boston is an obv. die-match but reverse legend does not match this one.

Die-Match Obv. (?) & Rev.:

Same coin:

Gorny & Mosch Giessener Auct. 263; Lot 3369; 07.03.2019

Savoca Numismatik 33rd Silver Auction; Lot 208; 12.05.2019

Die-Match Obverse: 

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Accession Number 62.423 Note: Reverse inscription does not match mine: MVNICIP S[T]OBENSIV  Provenance:  Münzen und Medaillen, A.G., Basel, Switzerland; May 9, 1962: purchased by MFA for $ 1,221.00 (this is the total cost for 62.364–62.462)

Here are die-matches - the bottom one with the notch is the Boston MFA example - it is a die-match obverse only; an extra final V is on the reverse:

image.jpeg.dead3d5b3ab7e26bf42d2190ac5aec00.jpeg

 

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Posted · Supporter
4 hours ago, Marsyas Mike said:

Terrific coins in this thread - I really like Julia Domna's coins.  One of my most recent is this green one from Stobi in Macedonia.  It took me a while to track down the attribution - there are a lot of Nike types from Stobi.  It was interesting to see the Museum of Fine Arts Boston paid over $1200 for one similar to this (and an obverse die-match to mine) in 1962 - my guess is these were pretty scarce before metal detectors and the fall of the Iron Curtain (but if somebody wants to give me $1200 for it, I'm interested!): 

image.jpeg.5354489203dd0eb64aeb4dc67f87909b.jpeg

Julia Domna  Æ 21 (c. 193-217 A.D.) Stobi, Macedonia  IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right / MVNICIP ST[O]BENSI, Nike advancing right carrying wreath and palm. SNG Copenhagen 333; See Numista #281817 (but wrong description and attribution) (6.11 grams / 21 mm) eBay Feb. 2024  $15.50

Note: Many variations of reverse legends.  The only matches I found with correct(?) attribution was the Gorny & Mosch and Savoca die-match specimen.  Numista illustrates same type (#281817) but the description is wrong (Nike with "shield held on knee").  MFA Boston is an obv. die-match but reverse legend does not match this one.

Die-Match Obv. (?) & Rev.:

Same coin:

Gorny & Mosch Giessener Auct. 263; Lot 3369; 07.03.2019

Savoca Numismatik 33rd Silver Auction; Lot 208; 12.05.2019

Die-Match Obverse: 

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Accession Number 62.423 Note: Reverse inscription does not match mine: MVNICIP S[T]OBENSIV  Provenance:  Münzen und Medaillen, A.G., Basel, Switzerland; May 9, 1962: purchased by MFA for $ 1,221.00 (this is the total cost for 62.364–62.462)

Here are die-matches - the bottom one with the notch is the Boston MFA example - it is a die-match obverse only; an extra final V is on the reverse:

image.jpeg.dead3d5b3ab7e26bf42d2190ac5aec00.jpeg

 

Nice coins! The Stobi mint seems to have produced some very nice portraits of Julia Domna.

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Great post, @CPK, and your excellent denarius features some beautiful imagery. Julia Domna, being the first Roman Empress in my collection, will always be a favorite of mine. I’m constantly on the lookout for portraits of her with expressive eyes and beautiful facial features, such as on your coin.

 

This graphic is from a while back; I’ve purchased a fifth Julia Domna denarius that I need to photograph and add to my digital images.

 

image.jpeg.e69e3fe696ea3bd31d6f98b7358f6e1e.jpeg

 

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Posted · Supporter
14 hours ago, LONGINUS said:

Great post, @CPK, and your excellent denarius features some beautiful imagery. Julia Domna, being the first Roman Empress in my collection, will always be a favorite of mine. I’m constantly on the lookout for portraits of her with expressive eyes and beautiful facial features, such as on your coin.

 

This graphic is from a while back; I’ve purchased a fifth Julia Domna denarius that I need to photograph and add to my digital images.

 

image.jpeg.e69e3fe696ea3bd31d6f98b7358f6e1e.jpeg

 

Thanks @LONGINUS - that is a wonderful set of denarii! I especially like the top left - a very finely done portrait!

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Nice coins in this thread!

I have this one of Julia Domna.

JuliaDomna.jpg.8b6cc8ab3ceb1bf4716892f9ba7b2157.jpg

Julia Domna. Augusta. (AD 193-217). AR Denarius. Rome mint.

(Struck under Septimius Severus, circa AD 207-211)

O: IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right.

R: FORTVNAE FELICI, Fortuna standing left, holding cornucopia and resting arm on rudder.

RIC IV 552 (Septimius)

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Silver coin (AR Denarius) minted at Rome for JULIA DOMNA, Wife of SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS, between 211 - 217 A.D. Obv. IVLIA.PIA.FELIX.AVG.: dr. bust r. Rev. VENVS.GENETRIX.: Venus seated l., holding apple and sceptre; before her, cupid-standing r., hand on her knee. RCS #1867. RSCIII #205. RICIV #C389(b). DVM #51.

Silver coin (AR Denarius) minted at Rome for JULIA DOMNA, Wife of SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS, Between 196 - 211 A.D. Obv. IVLIA.AVGVSTA.: dr. bust r. Rev. IVNO.: Juno stg. half left, holding patera sceptre; in front, peacock stg. l., head turned back.  RSCIII #82. RICIV #S559. DVM #26.

Silver coin (AR Denarius) minted at Rome for JULIA DOMNA, Wife of SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS, Between 203 A.D. Obv. IVLIA.AVGVSTA.: dr. bust r, hair waved and fastened in plait. Rev. PIETAS.PVBLICA.: Pietas standing l., at Altar, raising both hands.  RCS #1847. RSCIII #156. RICIV #574.

DAW-154 OBV.jpg

DAW-154 REV.jpg

DAWA-205 OBV.jpg

DAWA-205 REV.jpg

DAWB-374 OBV.jpg

DAWB-374 REV.jpg

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Just recently received my second Julia Domna. I try to obtain, like you, portraits that are not too severe. A great acquisition for your collection that you show, and a fantastic array of images provided by everyone.

zWF47xpGXt8Cn34T9PkHMwj52oHbYm.jpg.2ee65570cc3f2242c3381fb863790953.jpg20240229_160836__2_-side-removebg-preview.png.24f3ab9806f25a6128d7d5dcfc4abb7a.png

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Nice coins, everyone! Great portrait, @CPK; I've been really enjoying your posts about your new purchases!

image.png.ffc502b6da563bd23ea2632065f5e263.png

Here is my only example of Julia Domna.

I am also proud to announce that it is my very own photo - progress is slow but my photos are slowly improving... 😁

HD

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@Herodotus and @Jims,Coins, very nice Domna coins!

6 hours ago, expat said:

Just recently received my second Julia Domna. I try to obtain, like you, portraits that are not too severe. A great acquisition for your collection that you show, and a fantastic array of images provided by everyone.

zWF47xpGXt8Cn34T9PkHMwj52oHbYm.jpg.2ee65570cc3f2242c3381fb863790953.jpg20240229_160836__2_-side-removebg-preview.png.24f3ab9806f25a6128d7d5dcfc4abb7a.png

Thanks! Excellent pair you have. 👍

6 hours ago, Hughie Dwyer said:

Nice coins, everyone! Great portrait, @CPK; I've been really enjoying your posts about your new purchases!

image.png.ffc502b6da563bd23ea2632065f5e263.png

Here is my only example of Julia Domna.

I am also proud to announce that it is my very own photo - progress is slow but my photos are slowly improving... 😁

HD

Thanks HD! Great coin - and nice photography job too. I like how you've arranged the coin's information along with the image. 👍

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I prefer the eatern issues

Julia Domna Denarius

Obv:– IVLIA DOMNA AVG, Draped bust right
Rev:– FELECI[TAS] TEMPOR, Basket of grains and fruit.
Minted in Emesa. A.D. 194 - 195
Reference(s) – cf RIC IV 619; cf BMCRE 415;

The FELECI is clear but I am supposing the TAS based upon the spacing and what would appear to be the ghosting of the letter that have been lost through clogging.

RI_065bz_img.jpg

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