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You are the sun, I am the moon ...

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"You are the sun
I am the moon
You are the words
I am the tune…"

The emperor as sun and the empress as moon is a recurrent theme in Roman numismatic iconography. This is exemplified by the use of the radiate crown on an emperor to assimilate him to Sol, the sun god, and the use of a crescent on the shoulders or forehead of an empress to assimilate her to Diana Lucifera, the goddess of the moon.

This pair of antoniniani from Philip I and his wife, Otacilia Severa illustrate this principle quite well.


Philip I, 244-249 CE.
Roman AR Antoninianus, 3.73 g, 22.4 mm, 7 h.
Rome, 247 CE.
Obv: IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate and draped bust, right.
Rev: AETERNITAS AVGG, elephant guided by mahout with goad and wand, walking left.
Refs: RIC 58; Cohen 17; RCV 8921; Hunter 31.


Otacilia Severa, 244-249 CE.
Roman AR antoninianus; 3.75 g, 22.6 mm, 6 h.
Rome, 248-249 CE.
Obv: OTACIL SEVERA AVG, diademed and draped bust, right, on crescent.
Rev: CONCORDIA AVGG, Concordia seated left, holding patera and cornucopiae, altar at feet.
Refs: RIC 129; Cohen 16; RCV 9150; Hunter 7; CRE 524.

But this practice antedated the use of the radiate crown on the dupondius and antoninianus on Roman provincial coins. This sestertius-sized bronze of Romula depicts Augustus as the sun, with a radiate crown and a sun placed above his head, and Livia as the moon, with crescent above and a globe below her head.


Augustus and Livia, issued under Tiberius, 14-29 CE.
Roman provincial Æ 31 mm, 21.48 g.
Spain, Hispalis, Colonia Romula, 14-29 CE.
Obv: PERM DIVI AVG COL ROM, radiate head of Augustus right; thunderbolt before, star above.
Rev: IVLIA AVGVSTA GENETRIX ORBIS, head of Livia, left; globe beneath, crescent above.
Refs: RPC I, 73SGI-189; Heiss 393, 2; Cohen 169, 3; Alvarez-Burgos 1587; Lindgren II 69; SNG Tubingen 118; SNG Copenhagen 423.13.35.

Similarly, this tiny provincial of Claudia Leucas depicts a radiate male figure on the obverse and a female figure surmounted by a crescent on the reverse. The identities of the figures, though, is a matter of controversy. I favor their identification as Trajan and Plotina. The obverse bust is similar to other coins of Trajan from Claudia Leucas; in addition, the reverse has the facial features and hairstyle of Plotina.


Pseudo-autonomous issue, AD 50-117.*
Roman Provincial Æ 15.2 mm, 3.06 g, 2 h.
Syria: Coele-Syria, Claudia Leucas (Balanea), AD 50-117.
Obv: ΛΕVΚΑΔΙΝ, radiate male head, right.
Rev: ΤΝ ΚΑI ΚΛΑVΔΙΑΙΝ, female head, right, wearing crescent.
Refs: RPC I, 4465; SGI 508; BMC 20, p. 296, no. 1, pl. XXXVII, 1; Lindgren I 2180.

*RPC I (p. 640) notes:

The heads are often identified as Agrippina and Claudius (BMC; Mionnet; Seyrig on the tickets under his coins), but a simple radiate head, presumably of Helios, had occurred under Antony (4458). Imhoof-Blumer noted a similarity with heads of Trajan, but still preferred to date the coin to the period of Claudius or Nero (GRMK, p. 236), perhaps because he thought that the coin came from Apamea, whose coinage ended under Claudius. The origin of the identification as Claudius and Agrippina seems to go back to the misreading of ΤWΝ as ΘΠ (de Saulcy, p. 22, nos 5–6); the date 89 would, on an era of 37, be AD 52.

Others prefer to consider this a pseudo-autonomous issue depicting Helios and Selene.

Post your sun and moon coins!

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Very cool and informative!  I have a somewhat more decrepit version of the Philip Ant, so I'll go a different route for the sun:



Attribution: Mitch 982
Date: 1240/1 AD, AH 638
Obverse: Lion walking right, above, sun flanked by two stars
Reverse: Kufic legend in four lines
Size: 22.07mm
Weight: 2.65 grams


For the moon, I don't know.  I don't think I have any photographed examples of empress Antoninianii.

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Interesting post @Roman Collector  Not really an empress reference, but here's a denarius of Hadrian showing the Sun and the Moon.  I'm sure some other Forum members have a better one:


Hadrian  Denarius (119-122 A.D.) Rome Mint IMP [CAES]AR TRAIAN HAD[RIANVS AVG], laureate, heroic bust right, draped far shoulder / P M TR P [COS III], Aeternitas standing left, holding heads of Sol and Luna. RIC 81; RSC 1114.  (2.78 grams / 18 mm) eBay May 2019      Lot @ $6.50


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The moon...

Salonina Antoninianus, 256-257
Asia, Cologne or Trier? Silver, 23mm, 3.82g. Bust of Salonina, diademed, draped, on crescent, right; SALONINA AVG. Venus, draped, standing left, holding apple in right hand and palm in left hand; behind, at foot, shield; VENVS VICTRIX (RIC 68). From the Beachy Head Hoard II, 1964.

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The sun...

Gallienus 3rd Emission Antoninianus, 259
Samosata. Billon, 22mm, 2.62g. Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust to right, (dot beneath bust); IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG. Emperor standing to right, holding spear, receiving wreath from Roma standing to left, holding spear and shield, wreath in field above; VIRTVS AVG (RIC V.1 (joint reign), 457 var; Göbl MIR 1704b). Purportedly from the Bristol (Somerset) Hoard 1997.

Edited by John Conduitt
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I never considered the radiate bust vs bust on crescent give a hint on this - I always thought that these just mark the value to distinguish from the denarii. 

Here is a popular couple illustrating this 



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KUSHAN EMPIRE GOLD STATER   7.93 g.  Kanishka, AD 127-151.  The reverse features the Moon god Mao, his name recognizable in a Greek-style alphabet and emphasized by the crescent moon on his shoulders. The Kushans have been described as one of the four Eurasian empires of the second century, the others being Rome, Parthia, and China.  The Kushans’ religious life was eclectic and syncretistic, incorporating Hellenistic elements, Old Iranian, Hindu and Buddhist beliefs.  The characterization of the moon as a masculine deity comes from old Iranian religious tradition, later continued in Zoroastrianism.

The Kushans added a letter “sho” to the Greek alphabet to represent the “sh” sound.  It looks like the Anglo-Saxon letter “thorn” although the two letters are almost certainly unrelated.  Knowing this, one can decipher the obverse inscription as something like “shao-nan-shao” which is obviously cognate of modern Persian “shahanshah “ or king of kings, then something like “Kanishki Koshano” or Kanishka of the Kushans.  
The name Mao can be traced back to Old Avestan so perhaps back to 1500 BC, and is cognate to Anglo-Saxon “moon.”   For there to be a common verbal progenitor to moon and Mao, we are being granted a glimpse into the very remote past, perhaps the proto-Indo-European of the late Neolithic.  There is some mind-boggling cultural continuity for you.   


Edited by Hrefn
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Posted (edited)

Here are a couple of examples -- both from the Roman Republic -- of the sun (as radiate Sol) and  the moon (as Luna and/or a crescent) depicted on the same coin. They represent the two earliest of only about half a dozen Roman Republican denarii portraying a radiate Sol on either the obverse or the reverse.

Roman Republic, Mn. Aquillius, AR Denarius, Rome Mint, 109-108 BCE [Crawford], or 108-107 BCE [Mattingly]. Obv. Radiate head of Sol right; beneath chin, X [old mark of value used here (& on several other issues) despite revaluing of denarius from 10 to 16 asses in 136 BCE] / Rev. Luna in biga of galloping horses right, holding reins in both hands; above horses, crescent moon and three stars; beneath horses, a fourth star; MN • AQVIL [MN ligate] below; in exergue, ROMA. Crawford 303/1; RSC I (Babelon) Aquillia 1 (ill. p. 16); BMCRR II Italy 645 (ill. Pl. xcv no. 11); Sear RCV I 180; Albert 1094 (ill. p. 154) [Albert, Rainer, Die Münzen der Römischen Republik (2011)]; RBW Collection - [not included]; for date of issue, see also Mattingly, Harold B., "The Management of the Roman Republican Mint," p. 258 Table 3, in From Coins to History: Selected Numismatic Studies (2004). 18x19 mm., 3.82 g. Purchased 30 Sep. 2023 from Divus Numismatik (Philipp Krüger), Vienna, Austria; ex Marc Walter, Vienna, Austria; ex Numismatica Tintinna, Scandiano, Emilia Romagna, Italy [I couldn't find auction date online]; ex Mario Ratto, Milan, Italy, Fixed Price List Fall 1995, No. 56 [see Richard Schaefer Roman Republican Die Project at http://numismatics.org/archives/ark:/53695/schaefer.rrdp.processed_300-399#schaefer_clippings_output_303_sd, Col. 3, Row 11].*


*The moneyer, Manius Aquillius, was Consul in 101 BCE (see Crawford p. 314) and, in 88 BCE, “was one of the consular legates appointed to prosecute the war in Asia against Mithradates the Great of Pontus” (BMCRR II Italy p. 300 n. 1). His grandson, Mn. Aquillius Mn.f. Mn.n., was a moneyer ca. 71 BCE, and the issuer of Crawford 401/1, which commemorates the senior Mn. Aquillius’s suppression of a slave revolt in Sicily in 101 BCE while serving as Consul. 

According to Crawford, the obverse and reverse types on this issue “need do no more than” reflect the moneyer’s predeliction for the the joint cult of Sol and Luna, with the stars on the reverse representing “the heavens through which Luna passes.” (Crawford p. 314, citing Grueber, BMCRR II Italy p. 300 n. 2; in turn, Grueber cites Babelon, Vol. I p. 212, for the suggestion that the design simply reflects a special interest in the cult by the moneyer’s family.) 

Grueber (id.) is skeptical of the theory, apparently first advanced by A. Vercoutre in 1890, that the four stars on the reverse of this issue were intended to represent “the sign of the constellation Aquila [meaning ‘Eagle’], which is in the form of the letter T, a punning allusion to the [gens] Aquillius. The introduction of Luna and Sol would be due to the desire of the engraver to emphasize specially the representation of this constellation.” Crawford’s failure to mention this theory can presumably be viewed as an implicit rejection of its plausibility. However, RSC I cites the theory at p. 16 (“The stars may be a punning allusion to the moneyer and the constellation Aquila”) without any indication that it should be viewed as farfetched.


Roman Republic, L. Lucretius Trio*, AR Denarius, 76 or 74 BCE.** Obv. Radiate head of Sol right / Rev. Crescent moon surrounded by seven 8-pointed stars (three above and two on each side); TRIO between horns of crescent***; L• LVCRET[I] below crescent.  Crawford 390/1, RSC I Lucretia 2 (ill.), BMCRR I Rome 3245 (ill. BMCRR III, Pl. XLII No. 11), Sear RCV I 321 (ill.), Sydenham 783, Harlan, RRM 1 Ch. 16 at pp. 98-100 [Michael Harlan, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins, 81 BCE-64 BCE (Vol. I) (2012)]. 18 mm., 3.83 g.****


* All authorities agree that the moneyer, Lucius Lucretius Trio, is “not otherwise known” (Crawford I p. 404), except insofar as he was presumably a descendant of seor otherwise related to Cn. Lucretius Trio, moneyer ca. 136 BCE (the issuer of Crawford 237/1). See BMCRR I p. 396 fn. 2 (suggesting that Lucius may have been a grandson of the previous Lucretius Trio). Lucius’s one other coin depicts Neptune on the obverse and Cupid riding a dolpin on the reverse. (See Crawford 390/2, Sydenham 784, RSC I Lucretia 3 [ill.], Sear RCV I 322 [ill.]. BMCRR Rome 3247.)

**See Crawford pp. 82 & 404 (citing the Roncofreddo hoard for the 76 BCE date), RSC I p. 59, BMCRR I p. 396 (same). But see C. Hersh and A. Walker, “The Mesagne Hoard,” ANSMN 29 (1984) (chart 2), dating L. Lucretius Trio’s coins to 74 BCE, which is the authors’ new terminus date for the Roncofreddo hoard. Harlan assigns this moneyer to an even later date, 72 BCE, for the reasons stated at RRM I p. 98.

***The raised dot beneath “TRIO” is a centration dimple and is not part of the design. See the several discussions of such dimples on Coin Talk; see also https://www.ostia-antica.org/dict/topics/mint/mint03.htm: “On a number of Imperial coins from the 3rd and 4th Centuries AD, die "centration dimples" have been found. On one example of RIC 35 minted at Ostia, such a dimple can be clearly seen in the centre of the coin. On the die, this would have taken the form of a small depression. So, what is its function? My suggestion is that the depression is for one of the points of a pair of compasses that were used to 'score' the part of the die where the beading was to be engraved. So, why does the dimple appear on some coins and not on others? After the beads had been engraved, the central area of the coin would be 'filled in' with the rest of the image. In RIC 35, this area contains the raised legs and hooves of the two horses which were engraved over the dimple. On the coin below, that central area is not engraved so the dimple can still be seen.” For the same reason, no dimple is visible on the obverse of my Lucretius Trio denarius.

****The authorities are almost uniform in interpreting the seven stars on the reverse of this coin as a pun or allusion referencing the moneyer’s cognomen, “Trio.” As such, they represent the seven stars of the septem Triones [plough-oxen] within the Ursus Major [Great Bear] constellation. See Crawford I p. 404, RSC I p. 60, H.A. Grueber, BMCRR I p. 396 fn. 3, Harlan, RRM I p. 100; E.E. Clain-Stefanelli, Life in Republican Rome on its Coinage (Smithsonian 1999), p. 93 (“The names of the stars were a ‘type parlant’ to the [cognomen] of the moneyer ‘Trio’”). The seven stars of the septem Triones form an asterism (not the same as a constellation!) currently known in the USA as the “Big Dipper,” and in the UK as the “Plough.” See https://oikofuge.com/septentrionate/.  ***The raised dot beneath “TRIO” is a centration dimple and is not part of the design. See the several discussions of such dimples on Coin Talk; see also https://www.ostia-antica.org/dict/topics/mint/mint03.htm: “On a number of Imperial coins from the 3rd and 4th Centuries AD, die "centration dimples" have been found. On one example of RIC 35 minted at Ostia, such a dimple can be clearly seen in the centre of the coin. On the die, this would have taken the form of a small depression. So, what is its function? My suggestion is that the depression is for one of the points of a pair of compasses that were used to 'score' the part of the die where the beading was to be engraved. So, why does the dimple appear on some coins and not on others? After the beads had been engraved, the central area of the coin would be 'filled in' with the rest of the image. In RIC 35, this area contains the raised legs and hooves of the two horses which were engraved over the dimple. On the coin below, that central area is not engraved so the dimple can still be seen.” For the same reason, no dimple is visible on the obverse of my Lucretius Trio denarius.

Although not mentioned in any of the authorities I’ve consulted, I believe that the separate placement of the cognomen “TRIO” within the crescent moon, surrounded by the seven stars -- rather than at the bottom of the reverse, together with and beneath the gens name LUCRETI, as on this moneyer’s other coin -- also supports the “pun” theory, by suggesting that the TRIO is intended to be seen as associated with, and as effectively identifying, the seven stars.

The only contrary interpretation I have seen is in an article by Mike Markowitz entitled “The Star and Crescent on Ancient Coins,” Coin Week, Sept. 25, 2017 (https://coinweek.com/ancient-coins/star-crescent-ancient-coins/), stating as follows in discussing this coin: “The most visible cluster of seven stars is the Pleiades, important to ancient peoples because its appearance above the horizon marked Spring planting and Autumn harvest seasons. Occultations of the Pleaides by the moon occurred in October and December of 75 BCE, and would have been noted by Romans of that time.” [Footnotes omitted.]  Of course, this interpretation could not be correct if the traditional date of 76 BCE for this coin were accurate (see above). But leaving that aside, the author does not even mention the fact that all other authorities interpret the seven stars as a pun on the moneyer’s cognomen, let alone attempt to explain why he rejects that interpretation. In light of the absence of such an explanation -- and given how common puns on moneyers’ names were on Roman Republican coinage, as well as the weight of authority favoring the septem Triones theory, bolstered (in my opinion) by the separate placement of TRIO within the group of stars -- I am somewhat skeptical of Markowitz’s theory, at least as applied to this coin. (I express no opinion on the meaning of the seven stars and crescent moon depicted on the reverse of a number of Imperial denarii, including denarii of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna minted in Emesa more than two centuries later; see RIC IV-1 Septimius Severus 417 & 629. There are similar reverses on coins issued for Diva Faustina I and Diva Faustina II; see RIC III Antoninus Pius 1199, RIC III Marcus Aurelius 750.) 

Turning to the other design elements on this Lucretius Trio denarius in addition to the seven stars -- the radiate Sol on the obverse, and the crescent moon on the reverse surrounded by the stars -- this is apparently only the second Roman Republican denarius to depict a radiate Sol on the obverse; the first one also depicted a crescent moon and a group of stars on the reverse. (See Crawford 303/1, a denarius of Mn. Aquillius issued ca. 109/108 BCE with a radiate Sol facing right on the obverse, and a reverse depicting Luna in a biga, as well as a small crescent moon and four stars.) The traditional interpretation of the radiate Sol and crescent moon on the Lucretius Trio denarius is that these depictions, like the seven stars, are also a pun -- namely, an allusion to the moneyer’s gens, Lucretia, in the form of a pun on the word “Lux,” meaning “light.” See Grueber, BMCRR I p. 396 n. 3 (“The sun and moon which give the greater light (lux) are intended to refer to the gentile name, Lucretius”), RSC I p. 60 (same). 

However, Crawford does not adopt that interpretation of the depiction of Sol and the crescent moon on this coin, stating instead (see Vol. I pp. 404-405) that “the moon doubtless merely sets the scene,” and that the depiction of Sol “seem[s] to be chosen to complement the . . . reverse type[].” The presence of Sol and a crescent moon (plus Luna herself) together with a group of four stars on the earlier denarius of Mn. Aquillius (cited above) -- for which no pun has been suggested as an interpretation -- would appear to support Crawford’s view that the design elements of Sol (sun) and crescent moon were chosen to accompany the seven stars on this Lucretius Trio coin for thematic reasons, i.e., because they complement each other, rather than as a pun. 

Harlan, by contrast, presents a rather convoluted argument (see RRM I pp. 99-100) for the proposition that the gens Lucretia had a Sabine origin, and, therefore, that “the sun and moon indicate Sabine origin rather than a pun on the name Lucretius.” He points to the fact that “Titus Tatius, the Sabine king who became joint ruler in Rome with Romulus, was the first to build an altar to the Sun and Moon in Rome.” (RRM I pp. 99-100, citing Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 2.50.3; Varro, De Ling Lat., 5.74.)  Part of the argument analogizes to an interpretation of the obverse depiction of Sol and the reverse depiction of a crescent moon and five stars on a later denarius of P. Clodius M.f. Turrinus, issued ca. 42 BCE (Crawford 494/21), as referring to the Sabine origin of the gens Claudia (see RSC I Claudia 17 at p. 32).  Harlan also suggests a connection between the gens Lucretius and the mountain Lucretilus in Sabine territory. (RRM I p. 100.)  However, as noted above, Harlan does accept the interpretation of the seven stars on the reverse as a pun on the moneyer’s cognomen Trio, representing the septem Triones.


Finally, here is an Imperial denarius of an Empress, depicting Luna on the reverse, with a crescent on her head:

Julia Domna (under Caracalla), AR Denarius ca. AD 215-217, Rome Mint. Obv. Draped bust right, hair waved vertically and fastened in large bun in back, six horizontal ridges, IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG / Rev. Luna, draped, crescent moon on head, fold of drapery in circle around head, standing in biga of horses prancing left, leaning forward and holding reins in both hands, LVNA LVCIFERA. 20 mm., 3.18 g., 7 hrs. RIC IV-1 379c (p. 273), RSC III 105 (p. 56), Sear RCV II 7101 (ill. p. 553), BMCRE V 10 (p. 432) (ill. Pl. 67.11). Purchased from Dr. Busso Peus Nachf., Frankfurt a.M., Germany, Auction 434, 17 Apr. 2023, Lot 617; ex CNG Triton XX Auction, Jan. 10, 2017, part of group Lot  614 (consisting of 59 silver denarii of Julia Domna), No. E049*; ex A.K. Collection**; ex stock of Münzen und Medaillen AG, Basel, Switzerland, purchased 1963.


* Photo and description of Lot 614 No. E049 (this coin) from the separate Triton XX A.K. Collection catalogue, which unfortunately is no longer available online. (I already happened to have a copy of the relevant page from that catalogue, which I received from a dealer from whom I bought No. E051 a couple of years ago.)


**The Triton XX catalogue’s group photo and description of Lot 614 and the A.K. Collection. The reverse of my Luna Lucifera denarius (above the small red dot) is among the handful of individual coins illustrated in the photo accompanying Lot 614. 


“Collection of 59 Roman silver denarii and antoniniani of Julia Domna.
AD 193-217. AR Denarii & Antoniniani. Includes the following: 58 AR denarii and 1 AR antoninianus(different mints). Fifty-nine (59) coins in lot. Coins Fine to EF, toned. Photos and detailed descriptions available online at http://ak.cngcoins.com [no longer available online].

The A.K. Collection of the coins of the Roman Empire was carefully assembled over several decades with a great deal of thought and commitment. The present selection consists of 755 silver and bronze pieces, mostly from the reigns of Commodus, Septimius Severus, Caracalla, Geta, Macrinus, and Diadumenian, and includes both Provincial and Imperial issues. There are also lots with a selection of Provincial coins and imitations of Hadrian to Antoninus Pius. The coins have been divided into the following 14 lots: seven lots contain only silver coins; two lots only contain bronzes; four lots containing only Provincial issues; two lots are from A.K.'s collection of Alexandrian coins; and one lot of ancient imitations and fourrées, etc. of silver and bronze coins of Antoninus Pius to Geta.

The quality of the coins ranges from Fine to Extremely fine. This interesting collection includes some very rare coins, as well as pieces from important collections like those of Dattari, Levis, Nägeli, Niggeler, Prince W(aldeck), Rosen, Steger, Stöcklin, and Voirol. In addition, most of the coins are provenanced from auctions or lists or were bought directly from stock such as those of J. Schulman, Amsterdam; Münzhandlung Basel; Münzen und Medaillen AG, Basel; Dr. Wruck and Habelt, Berlin; W. Winkel, Bielefeld;Frankfurter Münzhandlung E. Button, later Schweizerischer Bankverein, and B. Peus Frankfurt; H.P.R. Frey, Freiburg; Lanz, Graz; Rigö Münzenhandlung Konstanz; Naville,Geneva; Kurpfälzische Münzhandlung, Mannheim; Ars et Nummus, Milano; E. Beckenbauer, G. Hirsch, Münchner Münzhandlung K. Kress, and L. von Ohlendorf, Munich; AlexMalloy, New York; Seaby, London; E. Bourgey, Maison Florange, Maison Platt, and J. Vinchon, Paris; L. De Nicola, Rome; H.-W. Müller, Solingen; G. Neider, Stadtbergen; H.H.Kricheldorf, Stuttgart; G. Bernardi, Trieste; H.D. Rauch, Vienna; Bank Leu, and F. Sternberg, Zurich. 

A separate, fully illustrated catalogue of the complete collection has been compiled, containing the photos and full description of all the coins in each lot. This  catalogue will be available during the Triton lot viewing at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, but you may also request that a catalogue be sent to you.”

I strongly suspect, for a number of reasons, that A.K. was the late German numismatist Wendelin Kellner (1931-2023), author of the 2009 book Münzstätte die Alexandria in Ägypten as well as many articles on Roman coins for the Austrian numismatic publication Money Trend.

Edited by DonnaML
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Kushan Empire

AV Dinara ND

Balkh Mint/ Baktria

Kanishka I 127-51AD

Mao Moon Goddess

France/ Bourbon Kings

AV Louis d'or 1691-L 

Bayonne Mint

Louis XIV 1643-1715 "The Sun King"


Imperial Rome

AV Aureus ND 218/9AD

Rome Mint

Elagalabus 218-222

Named after Sun God




lf - 2024-04-30T191831.105.jpg

lf - 2024-04-30T191850.369.jpg



4b67de8eeeded3ec77b80d499ea9d35c (2).jpg

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Sorry to be this late to this party.  Very illuminating, only starting with @Roman Collector's formidable OP, and @DonnaML's predictable tour de force.  

But it's fun that people have been expanding beyond the Roman contexts.  Props are due @Nerosmyfavorite68 for including an Islamic example, from the Seljuqs of Rum.  The 13th c. CE is pretty early for the Islamic appropriation of the crescent and star motif, but there it is, as a variant, to the left of the (can't keep from going here) Man in the Sun.

...Leading to this remarkably comprehensive and well-documented Wiki article on the evolution of the star and crescent symbol, from the Sumerians all the way to the later Byzantines, with stops conspicuously including the Romans.  Often enough, the star represents a sun.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_and_crescent 

So, why not?  Here's a Sasanian dirham of Hormiizd IV, 579-590 CE, with the motif showing up on the margins of the obverse, and the common variant in the upper reverse field, to either side of the Zoroastrian fire.  Cf. Gobl 200-202.


And my example from the counts of Toulouse for which there are pics.  Raymond V (1148-1194), from the neighboring marquisat of Provence, but still emphasizing his status as count.  Obv. +R. COMES.  Rev. The 'Cross of Toulouse,' already established as the family's coat of arms.  D / V / X / M.  ('Dux Marca'.  In Medieval Latin usage, both terms often connoted a territory on the frontier.)  Duplessy 1604.

image.jpeg.18633f935aeacc26085d3fc5dc690136.jpeg image.jpeg.959636108d539f27f2f2c7aa18437fa9.jpeg




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