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One Justinian for Two Coins

Vel Saties

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Today I am happy to share with you my most recent acquisitions regarding coins of the so-called "Sirmium Group", commonly called "gepid siliques".
I managed to integrate two very interesting coins into my collection. I don't have the availability of @Tejas (Which from now on I will mention by his surname as a scholar should in an article.) who has several of these coins in his collection (in addition to those that were stolen from him by damned thieves) and as I have repeated several times I am more interested in having a catalog of photos and data than physical coins.
So my purchases are very "prudent".


These are two 1/4 siliqua coins in the name of Justinian I whose bust on the right stands out on the obverse.
The first of the two coins belongs to the series with reverse with INVICTA ROMA legend (Gennari 2017 Type 7 – Justinian I – INVICTA ROMA, Faltin 2019 Group Q3a: "With legend on the reverse").

This is a truly rare issue. Both Faltin and Gennari in their works list three specimens each, two of which correspond. Gennari also lists a coin (no. 168) of the same obverse die as the two he mentioned.
The other coins I know of (the one in my possession and others cited by Asolati and whose images I saw) all have in common at least the obverse die which seems to be the fil rouge of this production. Only Faltin lists an interesting coin in his possession that has no connection with other dies and therefore stands out from the others.

Gennari wrote (p. 75): "Within the coins in the name of Justinian the obverse die O98 create a fundamental die link because it shows unequivocally that the INVICTA ROMA and the anepigraphic coin with simplified monograms, even though retrograde, are all linked and were all contemporaneous."
The second, however, belongs to the series with an epigraph reverse with a monogram in the crown.
(Gennari 2017 Type 8 – Justinian I – anepigraphic reverse, Faltin 2019 Group Q3b.2: Wreath and monogram with letter ‘T’ or ‘I’).

With the previous coin it has in common the same coinage of the right and, in fact, the rights of the two currencies are totally superimposable, net of fractures and wear and tear. One thing that is extremely interesting to me regarding the second coin is the fact that the minting of the right (which, I repeat, had already been used in the previous issue too) was "squeezed" like an olive, if you pass the comparison to me, also using it when this broke and was extremely worn. In fact, if you observe the details of the obverse, apart from a mark on the emperor's face (from 10 o'clock to 4 o'clock), the engravings of some hairs are extremely clear and precise while the rest of the face and the letters are very mixed due to the consumption of the die.

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Another reflection on these specific later issues, despite the small number of specimens remaining (in particular in relation to the issue with the reverse "invicta roma" aut similia) is that the minting of the obverse was not only used for the two issues which scholars categorize as distinct, but which from the analysis of the degree of wear of the coinage seems to be possible to affirm that the Gennari type 7 / Faltin type Q3a issue (reverse "invicta roma") is prior to the Gennari type 8 / Faltin type Q3b (reverse monogram in crown).

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As regards the bibliographical references and direct minting relationships, the first of the two coins has the same pair of cones as the specimen Münzzentrum Rheinland, Auction 176, Lot 615, 11-12.05.2016 cited by Faltin at no. 3a.2 page 55 which presents in reverse a pseudo-legend that I personally read as:


This is a "degenerate" variant created by illiterate workers who formally but not substantially imitate the reverse with the correct legend. The Theodoric-derived monogram is also found in retrograde form.

The second of the two coins is exactly the Gennari 172b p. 183 and has the same pair of dies as the Faltin 3b.1 p. 156 (which however, in consideration of the degree of consumption in particular of the obverse die, was certainly created before my copy).

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