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The Year of Six Emperors


Sulla80

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Posted (edited)

My latest coin from 238 AD (top) is an upgrade. It is a coin that has appealed to me for many years and after losing quite a few in auctions - one landed my way.  At first, these two coins may not look that much different, however there is a legend difference. Also, it is probably misleading to call this an "upgrade" given the coin that it replaces was a counterfeit (in this case properly labelled and purchased as a counterfeit). A coin from an short-reigning emperor that I didn't think likely to end up in my collection.  I think the portrait on this genuine coin is unusually well executed.
PupienusRealFake.jpg.6a592b88956effea7d1d0b0df39a1af9.jpg
Attribution for the top coin:
Pupienus, AD 238, AR Antoninianus, (22mm, 4.98g, 12h), Rome mint, 2nd emission
Obv: Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right of the emperor
Rev: AMOR MVTVVS AVGG, clasped right hands
Ref: RIC IV 9b; BMCRE 82-6; RSC 2

Pupienus reigned with Balbinus for about 3 months before being killed by the Praetorian guard. The year 238 is known as the Year of six emperors.

The reverse legend "Mutual Love of the Emperors" is propaganda that conflicts with the realities of a very tense co-rule.

I have a few additional notes on this coin here: https://www.sullacoins.com/post/the-year-of-six-emperors

and @Prieure de Sion has a nice coin and entry on this emperor in this thread: YOTHR Coins of the Day.

 

Share your upgrades OR coins of any of the six emperors from 238 AD OR anything else you find interesting or entertaining.

Edited by Sulla80
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Posted (edited)

Nice example!

My 238 AD coins are strictly limited to Pupienus and co-emperor Balbinus.

Here's the Balbinus sestertius from that fateful year, which, according to Harlan Berk, came out of Turkey many years ago.

Balbinus, AE sestertius, 238 AD. 

Cohen 21

17.5 grams

D-CameraBalbinussestertius238ADTurkeyHJB17.5gramsRIC1612-10-20.jpg.ea6175a1bb72996bddfe8e3d4cc5be45.jpg

Edited by robinjojo
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Posted (edited)

Nice addition. 

I used to have antoniniani of Balbinus and Pupienus, both showing clasped hands, but sold them some time ago. I now have denarii only and for four of the six dudes (The Maxinimus Thrax was minted prior to 238 though) :

monnaie-antique-av-jc-ap-romaine-republi

bd136f433bdd46038fe2c45f6b472e21.jpg

edee18953d1f434fb34cbab8dae326c9.jpg

bfb1cb31807e4a3285431fcac4a88a9a.jpg

Q

Edited by Qcumbor
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11 hours ago, Qcumbor said:

Nice addition. 

I used to have antoniniani of Balbinus and Pupienus, both showing clasped hands, but sold them some time ago. I now have denarii only and for four of the six dudes (The Maxinimus Thrax was minted prior to 238 though) :

monnaie-antique-av-jc-ap-romaine-republi

bd136f433bdd46038fe2c45f6b472e21.jpg

edee18953d1f434fb34cbab8dae326c9.jpg

bfb1cb31807e4a3285431fcac4a88a9a.jpg

Q

A great set of denarii, Q!

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, robinjojo said:

Nice example!

My 238 AD coins are strictly limited to Pupienus and co-emperor Balbinus.

Here's the Balbinus sestertius from that fateful year, which, according to Harlan Berk, came out of Turkey many years ago.

Balbinus, AE sestertius, 238 AD. 

Cohen 21

17.5 grams

D-CameraBalbinussestertius238ADTurkeyHJB17.5gramsRIC1612-10-20.jpg.ea6175a1bb72996bddfe8e3d4cc5be45.jpg

A nice dark green sestertius of Balbinus COS II, @robinjojo.  I do not yet have a Balbinus - my one provincial example turned out to be a counterfeit.

Edited by Sulla80
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Posted · Supporter

Lovely examples shown on this thread. I don´t have a coin that was minted in 238AD, however I have the beginning and the end of the 6 Emperors. Thrax, whose reign ended, and Gordian III, whose reign began. As of now I am missing the 4 inbetween.

MAXIMINUSIThrax(lateportrait)AR.jpg.01392cfbce1ebe9829080ad4b31aceef.jpg

Gordian-Liberalitas.jpg.f098d65a02208eee1e4953bd69f7bf5d.jpg

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1 hour ago, expat said:

Lovely examples shown on this thread. I don´t have a coin that was minted in 238AD, however I have the beginning and the end of the 6 Emperors. Thrax, whose reign ended, and Gordian III, whose reign began. As of now I am missing the 4 inbetween.

MAXIMINUSIThrax(lateportrait)AR.jpg.01392cfbce1ebe9829080ad4b31aceef.jpg

Gordian-Liberalitas.jpg.f098d65a02208eee1e4953bd69f7bf5d.jpg

Thanks for the post @expat!  I will be happy to have 4/6 of these rulers from 238 - I have no expectation that I will find a Gordian I or II.  A question on your Maximinus denarius - I would have called this denarius an "early" or "mid-reign" portrait for Maximinus - before he developed the more prominent chin and when he resembled a bit more his predecessor Sev Alexander.  Here's a site from @Valentinian that might be interesting http://augustuscoins.com/ed/Maximinus/Maximinus.html.  There is at least one paper that considers acromegalic gigantism as the the potential cause of Maximinus' unusual size and interesting facial features.

"In AD 235 Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus (ca. AD 173-238), known as Maximinus Thrax, became the first Roman Emperor of barbarian origin. Because of his military service, he never actually lived in Rome and was assassinated by his own troops during the siege of Aquileia in May 238. Allegedly one of the tallest individuals in recorded history, scholars maintain that he was affected by acromegalic gigantism (acro-gigantism), an endocrine disorder caused by a tumour in the anterior pituitary gland secreting an excess of growth hormone (GH) causing elevated insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) levels before puberty (prepubertal gigantism)..."

- Armocida E, Bianucci R, Varotto E, de Herder WW, Galassi FM. Hereditary acromegalic gigantism in the family of Roman Emperor Maximinus Thrax. Med Hypotheses. 2020 Mar;136:109525.

Here's my example with a prominent late chin.

MaximinusThrax.jpg.5b7347ad764a7fbf181dad926752c977.jpg

 

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CNG123lot663_AWK_Collection.jpg.8c953b0375e3a9ec7ca97051e68a35d3.jpg

Maximinus I (Thrax), AD 235-238 (struck late AD 236-237) Rome Mint, 3rd emission. AE Sestertius: 19.12 gm, 30.5 mm, 12 h. RIC IV 81. Ex Richard McAlee Collection; Ex CNG Group 87, lot 1084, May 18, 2011.

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It's a really great coin of Pupienus, an emperor whom I'm missing.  Between the two co-emperors, I'd rather have Pupienus.

Here is my filler of Balbinus:

Balbinus-238-AE36TarsusRPCOnlineVII.22997BMCCiliciap.208239G36_4mm_29_502g.jpg.cf6db496e1fe3ca75bbeb963e9e50a53.jpg

RP110639. Bronze AE 36, RPC Online VII.2 2997; SNG Levante 1110; SNG BnF 1624; SNG Cop 380; BMC Cilicia p. 208, 239; Mionnet III, p. 642, 520, Fair, centered, green patina, rough, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, weight 29.502g, maximum diameter 36.4mm, die axis 180o, 238 A.D.; obverse AVT KEC KAIΛ BAΛBEINOC CEB (Imperator Caesar Caelius Balbinus Augustus), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from front, Π - Π (pater patriae) across field; reverse TAPCOV MHTPOΠOΛEWC, Apollo Lykeios standing facing on omphalos, nude, head left, holding forepaws of a wolf in right hand, chlamys over left arm, bow and arrow in left hand, in field A/M/K on left, Γ / B on right;  ex: Forum.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

It's a really great coin of Pupienus, an emperor whom I'm missing.  Between the two co-emperors, I'd rather have Pupienus.

Here is my filler of Balbinus:

Balbinus-238-AE36TarsusRPCOnlineVII.22997BMCCiliciap.208239G36_4mm_29_502g.jpg.cf6db496e1fe3ca75bbeb963e9e50a53.jpg

RP110639. Bronze AE 36, RPC Online VII.2 2997; SNG Levante 1110; SNG BnF 1624; SNG Cop 380; BMC Cilicia p. 208, 239; Mionnet III, p. 642, 520, Fair, centered, green patina, rough, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, weight 29.502g, maximum diameter 36.4mm, die axis 180o, 238 A.D.; obverse AVT KEC KAIΛ BAΛBEINOC CEB (Imperator Caesar Caelius Balbinus Augustus), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from front, Π - Π (pater patriae) across field; reverse TAPCOV MHTPOΠOΛEWC, Apollo Lykeios standing facing on omphalos, nude, head left, holding forepaws of a wolf in right hand, chlamys over left arm, bow and arrow in left hand, in field A/M/K on left, Γ / B on right;  ex: Forum.

A nicer Balbinus than mine(I don't have one) 🙂 quite a portrait!

Edited by Sulla80
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Here is my Virtual Tray for the Year of Six Emperors, 238 AD. These were collected in 2001-2002, some 1,763 years after the events... 

VirtualTray.Yr-of-6-Emperors.238AD(2).jpg.df0f9b1b12c290bfc033ae3bcdcc6eca.jpg 

Maximinus I. 235-238 AD. AR Denarius (3.58 gm, 20.5mm, 1h) of Rome, 237 AD. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM.  / Maximinus standing left in military attire between two standards, holding spear, P M TR P III COS P P. EF. Bt. Louis diLauro, Coral Gables, 2001.  RIC IV.2 #5; BMCRE 161-163; MIR 28-3; RSC III #64; SRCV III #8313. 

Gordian I Africanus. 238 AD (22 Mar.-12 Apr). AR Denarius (2.92 gm, 21.8mm, 12h) of Rome. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, IMP M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG.  / Securitas seated left, holding sceptre, fold of drapery over arm, SECVRITAS AVGG. aEF. Pegasi Numismatics Sale 121 #344.  RIC IV.2 #5; BMCRE 11; Cohen=RSC III #10; SRCV III #8448. 
 
Gordian II Africanus. 238 AD (22 Mar.-12 Apr). AR Denarius (3.25 gm, 21.3mm, 1h) of Rome. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, IMP M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG.  / Providentia standing, facing, head left, legs crossed, leaning on column, holding rod and cornucopiae, globe at feet. PROVIDENTIA AVGG. aEF. Pegasi Numismatics Auction V #476.  RIC IV.2 #1 (same obv die); BMCRE 19-20; Cohen=RSC III #5; SRCV III #8465.
 
Balbinus. 238 AD (22 April-29 July). AR Antoninianus (4.48 gm, 23.9mm, 12h) of Rome. Radiate, draped & cuirrassed bust right, IMP CAES D CAEL BALBINVS AVG.  / Clasped hands, CONCORDIA AVGG. EF. CNG Auction 60 #1784.  RIC IV.2 #10; BMCRE 67-70; RSC III #3; SRCV III #8484.
 
Pupienus. 238 AD (22 April-29 July). AR Denarius (2.91 gm, 21.7mm, 4h) of Rome. Laureate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP C M CLOD PVPIENVS AVG.  / Concordia seated left, holding patera and double cornucopiae, CONCORDIA AVGG. aEF. Bt. Louis diLauro, Coral Gables, 2001.  RIC IV.2 #1; BMCRE 42; RSC III #6; SRCV III #8523.
 
Gordian III. 238-244 AD. AR Denarius (3.67 gm, 21.1mm, 12h) of Rome, 241. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG.  / Gordian standing right in military attire, holding globe and spear, P M TR P III COS II P P. gVF. Bt. Louis diLauro, Coral Gables, 2001.  RIC IV.3 #115; RSC IV #243; Hunter 33; SRCV III #8680.
 
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1 hour ago, Anaximander said:

Here is my Virtual Tray for the Year of Six Emperors, 238 AD. These were collected in 2001-2002, some 1,763 years after the events... 

VirtualTray.Yr-of-6-Emperors.238AD(2).jpg.df0f9b1b12c290bfc033ae3bcdcc6eca.jpg 

Maximinus I. 235-238 AD. AR Denarius (3.58 gm, 20.5mm, 1h) of Rome, 237 AD. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM.  / Maximinus standing left in military attire between two standards, holding spear, P M TR P III COS P P. EF. Bt. Louis diLauro, Coral Gables, 2001.  RIC IV.2 #5; BMCRE 161-163; MIR 28-3; RSC III #64; SRCV III #8313. 

Gordian I Africanus. 238 AD (22 Mar.-12 Apr). AR Denarius (2.92 gm, 21.8mm, 12h) of Rome. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, IMP M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG.  / Securitas seated left, holding sceptre, fold of drapery over arm, SECVRITAS AVGG. aEF. Pegasi Numismatics Sale 121 #344.  RIC IV.2 #5; BMCRE 11; Cohen=RSC III #10; SRCV III #8448. 
 
Gordian II Africanus. 238 AD (22 Mar.-12 Apr). AR Denarius (3.25 gm, 21.3mm, 1h) of Rome. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, IMP M ANT GORDIANVS AFR AVG.  / Providentia standing, facing, head left, legs crossed, leaning on column, holding rod and cornucopiae, globe at feet. PROVIDENTIA AVGG. aEF. Pegasi Numismatics Auction V #476.  RIC IV.2 #1 (same obv die); BMCRE 19-20; Cohen=RSC III #5; SRCV III #8465.
 
Balbinus. 238 AD (22 April-29 July). AR Antoninianus (4.48 gm, 23.9mm, 12h) of Rome. Radiate, draped & cuirrassed bust right, IMP CAES D CAEL BALBINVS AVG.  / Clasped hands, CONCORDIA AVGG. EF. CNG Auction 60 #1784.  RIC IV.2 #10; BMCRE 67-70; RSC III #3; SRCV III #8484.
 
Pupienus. 238 AD (22 April-29 July). AR Denarius (2.91 gm, 21.7mm, 4h) of Rome. Laureate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP C M CLOD PVPIENVS AVG.  / Concordia seated left, holding patera and double cornucopiae, CONCORDIA AVGG. aEF. Bt. Louis diLauro, Coral Gables, 2001.  RIC IV.2 #1; BMCRE 42; RSC III #6; SRCV III #8523.
 
Gordian III. 238-244 AD. AR Denarius (3.67 gm, 21.1mm, 12h) of Rome, 241. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG.  / Gordian standing right in military attire, holding globe and spear, P M TR P III COS II P P. gVF. Bt. Louis diLauro, Coral Gables, 2001.  RIC IV.3 #115; RSC IV #243; Hunter 33; SRCV III #8680.
 

Amazing collection @Anaximander - you have really hit the jackpot.

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On 6/8/2024 at 5:57 PM, Qcumbor said:

I used to have antoniniani of Balbinus and Pupienus, both showing clasped hands, but sold them some time ago... 

The re-introduction of the antoninianus is a notable development in the joint reign (if you can call it that) of Balbinus and Pupienus (238 AD). Caracalla (198-217 AD) introduced it, but its minting ended with the reign of Elagabalus (218-222 AD). 

After Gordian III (238-244 AD), the antoninianus comes to dominate the issuance of Roman silver coins.

PS: Here's two antoniniani from Gordian III's successors: Philip II (244-249 AD) and Trajan Decius (249-251 AD) in a post by @Valentinian on "which-reverse-types-say-i-am-the-new-emperor." 

Edited by Anaximander
Added link to my post on Adventus types.
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Maximinus Thrax from 238 is scarce. That was his year 4 which is explicit on some coins. They, of course, have his late portrait.

image.jpeg.e3d178a41e671772db0046eebaef06ab.jpeg

Denarius. PM TRP IIII COS PP  (year 4)
Struck 238 before April [BMC]
BMC 219
Sear 8314 (no photo)
22-19 mm. 2.25 grams.

This issue is very small. Maximinus lost control of the Rome mint when the Gordians were proclaimed emperors at Rome in the beginning of April, 238. BMC suggests the mint had been preparing even before that by not issuing many coins in the name of Maximinus in 238.  

TRP IIII is rare, with only 1 example among 1855 denarii of Maximinus in hoards listed in BMC, page 88.


image.jpeg.743ae5c30363c92df118bf7c145e61fa.jpegMaximinus. Sestertius. 31-29 mm. 22.90 grams. 
MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM. Final portrait style.
PM TRP IIII COS PP, emperor standing left, right hand raised, left holding long vertical staff, three standards, two on the left and one on the right. 
RIC 40. BMC 221. 
Struck 238 before April [BMC]

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