Curtisimo Posted July 16, 2022 · Supporter Share Posted July 16, 2022 (edited) ROMAN REPUBLIC M. Volteius M.F., Moneyer AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck 78 BC Wt.: 3.65 g Dia.: 17.1 mm Obv.: Laureate head of Jupiter right. Rev.: Façade of the Aedes Iovis Optimi Maximi Capitolini (Temple of Jupiter the Best and Greatest on the Capitoline Hill), with winged thunderbolt in pediment; M. VOLTEI. MF in exergue. Ref.: Crawford 385/1; Sydenham 774; Volteia 1 Ex Minotaur Coins (private purchase May 2022) The MoneyerM. Volteius M.F. According to Crawford, this moneyer is only known from his coins. He was moneyer in 78 BC and issued coins with five different designs. Each of the designs correspond to five different Roman festivals and show the deity associated with those festivals: Ludi Romani (Jupiter), Ludi Plebeii (Heracles), Ludi Cereales (Ceres), Ludi Megalenses (Attis?) and Ludi Apollinares (Apollo). Reverse Type: The TempleAedes Iovis Optimi Maximi Capitolini According to tradition, the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill was dedicated in 509 BC. It was considered the most important religious building in Rome all the way down to the Christian era. The first iteration of the building was burned in a fire in 83 BC and the second building was not rededicated until 69 BC. Therefore, the temple was not yet completely rebuilt when this coin was struck. That has led to some questions about accuracy, and whether it is meant to portray the first or second building. All iterations of the temple had three chambers. The central chamber was dedicated to Jupiter and housed the famous cult statue made by Vulca of Veii discussed below. The other two chambers were dedicated to Minerva and Juno. We see the doors to these chambers on the coin. Marvin Temeanko, in his book Monumental Coins makes the case that the first building was tetrastyle (4 frontal columns) based on the known examples of Etruscan temples of this period . He uses the tetrastyle temple on the reverse of this coin as evidence to make the argument that this coin type shows the first building and not the second (which was hexastyle). However, the more common view is that the building was always hexastyle. Archeological excavations have revealed the original foundation of the temple and Tacitus states that the second building was rebuilt on the same large foundation as the first . The large clear spans that would be needed for a temple with four frontal columns on such a large foundation make it much more likely that the building was hexastyle from the beginning. Fig. 1: Comparison of the Temple of Jupiter on the coin (78 BC) with the depiction of it during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-180). The use of 4 columns was probably artistic shorthand. It is known securely that the temple had 6 frontal columns during the time of Marcus Aurelius, but it is shown here with 4 (Author’s Photos) Fig. 2: The original foundations of the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline. The foundations are located below the Capitoline Museum building. (Author’s Photo) Fig. 3: This model shows the extant foundation in relation to the original temple. It is located in the Capitoline Museum (Author’s Photo) Fig. 4 & 5: The above are my photos of displays from the Capitoline Museum that show the Capitoline Hill in the Iron Age (top) and the Archaic Age (ca. 500 BC) (bottom). (Author’s Photos) Obverse Portrait: The deityJupiter the Best and Greatest It is clear from the reverse type that the obverse portrait is meant to depict Capitoline Jupiter, whose epithet, Optimus Maximus, roughly translates to “Best and Greatest.” The obverse of this coin shows a portrait of Jupiter in a somewhat crude, almost archaic, style which does not seem uncommon for the god on Republican coins. This leads me to wonder how much the engravers may have been influenced by the most famous artistic representation of Capitoline Jupiter at the time: the cult statue housed in the temple. The cult statue of Jupiter was created ca. 509 BC by the Etruscan sculptor Vulca of Veii. Pliny notes that Vulca’s sculptures of deities were the best of the period and were valued more than gold . It was made of terracotta and showed Jupiter standing while holding a thunderbolt in his right hand. The statue was painted in the Etruscan style and had a red face. The fame of this statue led to a tradition of triumphators painting their face red in imitation of the statue during their triumphs. The statue was destroyed in the same fire that destroyed the first temple building in 83 BC . However, we may be able to get an idea of what it looked like because there are roughly contemporary examples of terracotta statues of Zeus / Jupiter in the Etruscan style that have survived to the present day. I took the below photo at the Paestum Museum. It shows a terracotta statue of Zeus made ca. 520 BC. Note the red face and archaic style. Fig. 6: Terracotta statue of Zeus at the Paestum Museum. Note the red face and archaic features (Author’s Photo) Whether there is a stylistic connection to the statue or not, the thought adds some interest (for me) to the portrait of Jupiter on this example. References  Pliny the Elder, Encyclopedia 35.157  http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Europe/Italy/Lazio/Roma/Rome/_Texts/PLATOP*/Aedes_Jovis_Capitolini.html  Tameanko, Marvin; Monumental Coins: Buildings and Structures on Ancient Coins (pp. 139-145) Please post your: Coins of M. Volteius M.F. Coins showing the Capitoline Temple of Jupiter Coins showing a portrait of Jupiter Capitoline Triad coins Anything you want Edited July 17, 2022 by Curtisimo 21 3 2 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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