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Saturday is Saturn day


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The word Saturday can be traced back to the Latin Sāturnī diēs (literally “Saturn's day”). That led to the Old English pronunciation and spelling Saternesdæg, followed by the Middle English Saturdai before English speakers settled on Saturday.

Over to you folks as I don't have a Saturn or Greek Kronos

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Here are a couple of Saturns.

Spanish Imitative Issue.
Roman Republican Æ semis, 5.70 g, 20.1 mm, 4 h.
Uncertain mint, 1st century BCE.
Obv: Laureate head of Saturn, right; S (mark of value) behind.
Rev: Prow, right; S above; ROMA below.
Refs: ACIP 2659; Burgos R44.

Gallienus, 253-268 CE.
Roman billon antoninianus, 4.26 g, 18.8 mm, 12 h.
Antioch, 15th emission, 266-268 CE.
Obv: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: AETERNITAS AVG, Saturn standing right, holding harpa in left hand; PXV in exergue.
Refs: RIC 606; Göbl 1662i; Cohen 44; RCV 10170.

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I have the same Gallienus 🙂


Billon-Antoninian, Antiochia
Obv.: GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate and cuirassed bust right
Rev.: AETERNITAS AVG, Saturn standing l., holding harpa; PXV.
Billon, 3.07g, 19.2mm
Ref.: Kamp. 90.41.2, RIC 606, Göbl 1662k


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I have one Kronos.


Cilicia. Mallos
late 4th century BCE
AR Obol 9,5mm, 0.4g
Bearded head of Kronos to right.
R/ Demeter advancing left, holding grain ear and flaming torch
SNG France -. SNG Levante 158


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I actually have an example, but it has been posted twice in this thread, so now there's a trio.

Gallienus, BI antoninianus, Rome, 267 AD.

AETERNITAS, Saturn reverse.

C 388; Van Meter 13-1.

3..74 grams



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I have only one ancient coin depicting Saturn:

Roman Republic, M. Nonius Sufenas*, AR Denarius, 59 BCE (or 57 BCE according to Hersh and Walker & Harlan), Rome Mint. Obv. Bearded head of Saturn right, with long hair; behind head, harpa with conical stone (baetyl)** beneath it and S•C upwards above it; before, SVFENAS downwards / Rev. Roma seated left on pile of shields, holding scepter in right hand and sword in left hand; behind, Victory left, crowning Roma with wreath and holding palm-branch extending behind her over right shoulder; around to left from 4:00, PR•L• - V• - P•F; in exergue, SEX•NONI [The two parts of the reverse legend, together, stand for Sex. Noni[us] pr[aetor] L[udi] V[ictoriae] p[rimus] f[ecitmeaning Sex. Nonius, praetor, first held the games of Victory.].*** Crawford 421/1, RSC Nonia1(ill.), BMCRR 3820, Sear RCV I 377 (ill.), Sydenham 885, Harlan, RRM II Ch. 13 at pp. 104-111 [Harlan, Michael, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins 63 BCE - 49 BCE (2d ed. 2015)], RBW Collection 1517. 19 mm., 3.95 g.


*”The moneyer is doubtless M. Nonius Sufenas, Pr. 55.” Crawford Vol. I p. 445. But see Liv Mariah Yarrow, The Roman Republic to 49 BCE: Using Coins as Sources (2021), Fig. 3.53 at p. 158, suggesting that in the alternative, the moneyer was “perhaps his son.” M. Nonius Sufenas’s “father, Sextus Nonius Sufenas, was Sulla’s nephew, making the moneyer Faustus’ first cousin once removed.” Id. (Faustus was Sulla’s son.) See also Harlan RRM II at pp. 109-110.

After his term as moneyer, Nonius Sufenas is mentioned in one of Cicero’s letters to Atticus in July 54 BCE: “Now for the news at Rome. On the fourth of July, Sufenas and Cato were acquitted, Procilius condemned. Clearly our stern judges care not one whit about bribery, the elections, the interregnum, treason, or the whole Republic. Cicero, Ad Atticum, 4.15.4; see Harlan RRM II at pp. 104-106 for a proposed identification of the election which was the subject of the prosecution, namely the consular election of 56 BCE.

** See Harlan RRM II at p. 107: "The head of Saturn clearly identified by the harpa and the conical stone beside his head is on the obverse of the coin. The harpa recalls the castration of his father Uranus that resulted in the birth of Venus and the conical stone recalls that Saturn swallowed a stone thinking it was his infant son Jupiter whom he was trying to keep from growing up to replace him. Saturn, always identified by the harpa, appeared five times on Republican denarii." Harlan suggests (id. pp. 107-108) that, as on other coins on which Saturn appears, his image was intended to signal the moneyer’s past or present position holding office as urban quaestor, and, as such, “responsible for the treasury located in Saturn’s temple.”

***This reverse legend, as illustrated by the reverse image, “records the first celebration by an ancestor of the moneyer of the Ludi Victoriae of Sulla.” Crawford Vol. I pp. 445-446.  (That ancestor was the aforementioned Sextus Nonius Sufenas, Pr. 81 BCE, the moneyer’s father [or grandfather] and Sulla’s nephew.)

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Well, this isnt an ancient of course but I thought some might see how the tradition of old gods persisted for some time.  This Swedish Daler of Charles XII was issued along with other old gods as an emergency issue.


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