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Rare Antioch Licinius + cross-issue die link

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Posted (edited)


I was very happy to just receive the top and bottom two coins here, both issued at Antioch by Maximinus Daia for Licinius c.310-311 AD.

There are three consecutive issues shown here, with the last focusing on Daia himself plus one type (IOVI) for Galerius. Coins of this last issue for Licinius are all very rare, so I jumped when I saw it! What makes it doubly neat is that it's an obverse die link to the top coin from two issues prior! I bought these two coins from the same seller, who said he bought them as part of the same group.

The die linked coins are both from officina 9, marked as Epsilon + Delta (5+4). The Epsilon on the bottom coin is under the green deposits. It's fun to see the entirely practical placement of these E+D officina marks and the issue marks, working with the available space left by the two different reverse types. On the first type the altar is also part of the issue mark.

The issues show here are as follows:

1) This is the last issue of the altar-marked post-Carnuntum group RIC 118-151, which includes all members of the new tetrarchic lineup, with Daia and Constantine having now been begrudgingly elevated to augusti. The new GENIO EXERCITVS type (here RIC 147b for Licinius) is common enough for all the tetrarchs (Galerius, Licinius, Constantine, as well as Daia himself).

2) This issue is only mentioned by RIC in a "no crescent" footnote on p.639 to the following RIC 152-155 issue, but can be seen to be a distinct issue (vs just "missing crescent" error coins) by the types included, which are basically just for Daia + Galerius.

This is the start of a post-Carnuntum coinage reform by Daia, breaking away from the types issued by senior augustus Galerius. Daia introduces new IOVI, HERCVLI and SOLE types, perhaps suggesting himself as Hercules to Galerius's Iovi (cf 1st tetrarchy Diocletian + Maximianus as Jupiter+Hercules). It's possible that the SOLE "quadriga left" type (RIC 142-143) is also part of this issue, which does include Licinius (but very rare for him).

3) RIC 152-155. Daia continues with his new reformed types, but now restores VIRTVS to the mix. This issue seems just as political as the preceding one, consisting mostly of IOVI for Galerius, and the other types (HERCVLI, SOLE, VIRTVS) for Daia himself. Anything outside of this pattern is very rare, although we do see both SOLE and VIRTVS for Galerius and Licinius, such as my new Licinius SOLE (RIC 154b).

In this issue we see the early SOLE INVICTO legend transitioning to an unlisted SOLI INVICTO, which is what will be used in the following issue (with star vs crescent in field). It's not entirely clear on my Licinius, even under 10x loupe, whether the legend is SOLE or SOLI.

I haven't bought many coins so far this year, but was very happy to get his pair. Although my focus is on Constantine, the Antioch coins issued by Daia are a major side interest. Unlike his "any type as long as it's IOVI" neighbor Licinius, Daia seems to have taken an interest in his coinage and wielded it for propaganda purposes.


Edited by Heliodromus
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  • Heliodromus changed the title to Rare Antioch Licinius + cross-issue die link
Posted (edited)

It's interesting that Daia never extended his IOVI/HERC/SOLE coinage reform to Alexandria (only GENIO and VIRTVS types there), which is unusual for the time (normally any emperor would issue the same types from all mints under his control, outside of special issue exceptions). Also interesting that Serapis not only appears as an Alexandrian localization, but also at Antioch.

When Licinius gained control of Daia's territory's in 313 AD, it seems he was initially a bit uninspired (as usual in coinage matters) in how to update the Alexandrian coinage. He evidentially didn't want to continue Daia's GENIO AVGVSTI type, but didn't initially make the more obvious step of extending his own ubiquitous IOVI types to Alexandria, so instead has the somewhat odd idea to replace Daia's GENIO AVGVSTI type with a less emperor-specific GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, but retaining the head of Serapis. For time being he even retained (or failed to notice, perhaps) Daia's misepelling of his name with two N's (LICINNIVS).



Edited by Heliodromus
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RIC completely botches the listing of Daia's Antioch quadriga types, which it lumps together as RIC VI Antioch 140-145, despite there clearly being two separate groups consisting of:

1) Daia as caesar (+Galerius), facing quadriga, SOLI INVICTAE/INVICTO, helmetted fancy busts

2) Daia as augustus (+Licinius), quadriga left, SOLE INVICTO, plain busts

RIC 140-141 don't appear to exist, combining the facing quadriga type with the SOLE INVICTO legend. They also mix Daia as caesar with Daia as augustus, and the fancy helmetted busts from the facing quadriga group with a plain laureate bust from the following group. The listed RIC 141 ANS and BM specimens are nowhere to be seen.

RIC 142-143 (quadriga left) with Daia as augustus are out of sequence here, and should be about a year later after Daia's elevation to augustus. As suggested above, they probably belong to the unlisted "missing cresent" group. The Licinius type, RIC 143, is misdescribed as quadriga right when it's really left.

RIC 144, SOLI INVICTAE facing quadriga for Galerius, is correct, but RIC omits it's counterpart for Daia which is one of the most common coins of the entire quadriga group.

RIC 145a-b, SOLI INVICTO facing quadriga, for Galerius & Daia, are correct, other than having the same rarity rating for Galerius & Daia, while in reality Daia is merely scarce but Galerius very rare (same is true for the INVICTAE legend).

I was finally able to upgrade my Daia quadriga left (RIC 142) last year after playing the long game and waiting for best part of 20 years for a nice decently priced one!


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Nice coins shown by Heliodromus of these very interesting issues from Antioch mint.

For the “quadriga to left” type there seem to be no Constantine and Galerius examples known. Licinius is much rarer than Maximinus with only 3 examples known from one officina (I) which seem to all be die-linked. Maximinus is known from basically all the A – I officinae but for a yet missing Γ example.

All my 3 examples of this type have a pearl-rand diameter of c.22mm and are 11h to 12h. Weights vary from 6 to 8g.

Quadriga left-type_RIC VI Antioch 142 and 143_Maximinus II and Licinius I.jpg

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5 hours ago, galeriusmaximinus said:

Maximinus is known from basically all the A – I officinae but for a yet missing Γ example.

NIce coins!

Do you happen to have a picture of an officina E+D specimen? I also have not seen Γ.

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