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A Coin and a Quote...


ewomack
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I read about, and works by, many of the subjects on the coins that I purchase. It adds an extra dimension for me and often guides my selections.

So I had a thought: Post a coin and a quote or a passage either by or about its subject, be it human, non-human, or anything.

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Marcus Aurelius. AR Denarius. Struck 161/2 AD. M ANTONINVS AVG, bare head right / CONCORD AVG TR P XVII, COS III in exergue, Concordia seated left, holding patera, resting left elbow on statuette of Spes set on base. 18mm 3.4gm

"The best revenge is not to be like your enemy"
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 6, §6

Edited by ewomack
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Posted (edited)

Nice coin and quote!

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from Mediations:

"Every soul, says Plato, parts unwillingly with truth.  You may say that same of justice, temperance, good-nature, and every virtue.  Is is most necessary to keep this ever in mind; for, if you do, you will be more kindly towards all men."

"Whatever is beautiful at all is beautiful in itself.  Its beauty ends there, and praise has no part in it.  Nothing is the better or the worse for being praised; and this holds also of what is beautiful in the common estimation: of material forms and works of art.  Thus true beauty needs nothing beyond itself, any more than law, or truth, or kindness, or honor.  For  none of these gets a single grace from praise or one blot from censure.  Does the emerald lose its virtue if one praise it not? Can one be scanting praise depreciate gold, ivory, or purple, a lyre or dagger, a flower or a shrub?"

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Edited by robinjojo
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Maybe a bit too general but I love this quote.

The great sculpture represents the grander summits of the achievement of an age; but the coins show the general level of art, out of which these summits arose, and without which they could not have arisen....In Greece the coins often provide more than mere footnotes to history. And of all parts of the Greek world, this is most true of Sicily, where the extraordinary, almost feverish individual development of the independent cities is brilliantly reflected in the constant changes of their currency. G.F.Hill  1903
 
 
SICILY. Syracuse. Agathokles (317-289 BC). Tetradrachm.
Obv: Wreathed head of Arethusa left; three dolphins around; NK below neck. Rev: ΣYPAKOΣION.
Charioteer driving quadriga left; triskeles above, monogram in exergue.
 
 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Great idea for a thread! Although Caesar never actually said "Et tu, Brute?" (no doubt he would have, if he'd taken a moment to edit his last words!), according to Suetonius he really did look despairingly at Brutus and exclaim ''Kai su teknon,''* Greek for ''You too, child.'' 

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καὶ σύ, τέκνον for the pedants in the crowd.

Edited by Phil Davis
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"If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more." -Brutus, Act 3, Scene 2.

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“Eternity was in our lips and in our eyes.” -Cleopatra (Act 1, Scene 3)

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Yes--a great idea for a thread! I have actually been wanting to build a generator of random quotes on money, coins, or numismatics, or ancient history or philosophy, and then pair them up with a random image of my coins.  

 

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THRACE. Maroneia. AE 16 mm. 3.66 g. C. 400-350 BCE. Obv: prancing horse; rev: grapes in vine.

"I am compelled to write at length on this point because people now are largely ignorant of the ancient writings."

Simplicius of Cilisia on the philosopher Parmenides.  This quote was written more than 1,500 years ago.

Edited by NathanB
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Vae, puto deus fio; ( S--t! I think I'm becoming a god!) said Vespasian as he was dying.

 

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Oderint, ut metuant. (Let them hate me , as long as they fear me) - Caligula.

 

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Veni, Vidi, Vici!   ( I came, I saw, I conquered ! ) -  C. Julius Caesar.

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“What an artist dies in me!”  Nero probably didn't really say that, but that's Suetonius' (Nero 49) story and he's sticking to it! (Or, "What an artist the world is losing!" in the Loeb Classical Lib. translation on Penelope.)

The reverse below shows Nero as Apollo, radiate, playing a lyre/kithara. Suetonius famously described not only statues of this type, but the Roman Imperial Dupondii and Asses. (Nero liked to portray himself radiate in general, as a sun god, but especially as Apollo in his role as Apollo Musagetes, the music god.) The RIC versions may have first been struck a couple years before my Provincial type, which clearly copied them.

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Roman Provincial. Thessaly, Koinon of Thessaly. Nero (Augustus, 54-68 CE) Æ Diassarion (22mm, 9.52 g, 6h). Struck under Aristion, strategos, ca. 66-8 CE.
Obv
: ΝЄΡΩΝ ΘЄCCΑΛΩΝ. Laureate head right.

Rev: APIΣTIΩN/OΣ ΣTPATH/ΓOY. Apollo Kitharoidos standing right, holding kithara in his left hand, playing it with his right.
Ref: Rogers Type 79; BCD Thessaly II 931.1 var. (arrangement of legend); Burrer Em. 1, Series 1, 1.1 (A1/R1 – this coin, illustrated on pl. 9); RPC 1439 (this coin cited, RPC Suppl. 1 & Online, as Burrer 1.1).
Prov: Ex-BCD Collection; CNG EA 325, “Coinage of the Thessalian League from the BCD Collection,” (23 April 2014), Lot 29; Peter J. Merani Collection (NVMMIS HISTORIAM DISCENS, Part II); CNG e-Auction 490 (21 April 2021), Lot 65.

 

People are fond of saying Nero didn't really fiddle as Rome burned. Actually he did fiddle while Rome burned -- he just wasn't in Rome. He was returning from one of his musical and theatrical tours when they fire broke out. When the Great Fire started in Rome in 64, it seems that Nero was performing elsewhere in Italy.

From what I can tell, Nero seems to have been a popular and bemusing attraction to the Greeks, which is probably why he hung around them. (He is documented with varying degrees of certainty as having (victoriously) competed in games in many Roman-Greek colonies across the provinces -- in Patras, in Corinth, Nikopolis, and Achaea, etc.)

They were also thrilled that he liberated large regions, and hopeful that he'd liberate others. This coin was almost certainly coincident with his Greek musical tour of 66/67 CE (a couple years after the fire), shortly after his liberation of Achaea. I haven't managed to figure out if Nero's "liberation of Achaea" included Thessaly -- in which case this flattering coin would be their thank you -- or if they issued this flattering coin in hopes that he would liberate Thessaly as well.

Edited by Curtis JJ
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“But since thou canst not be my wife, at least thou shalt be my tree; my hair, my lyre, my quiver shall always have thee, oh laurel!”
-- Apollo to Daphne, Ovid, Metamorphoses.

This one features all of Apollo's accoutrements in the Ovid quote: Laurel branch, lyre, and quiver.

[IMG]
Marcus Aurelius, Caesar AD 139-161.
Roman Provincial Æ 17.5 mm, 2.88 g, 7 h.
Pisidia, Palaeopolis, shortly after AD 147.
Obv: ΑVΡΗΛΙΟϹ ΚΑΙϹΑΡ, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: ΠΑΛΑΙΟΠΟΛЄΙΤΩΝ, nude Apollo standing facing, head left, quiver at shoulder, holding laurel-branch, resting arm on lyre.
Refs: RPC IV.3 7691 (temporary); SNG BnF 1654; von Aulock Pisidiens 1086-9.
 

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“Eventually one realizes that the simple recording in one’s mind of hundreds, perhaps thousands of related coin images has become a virtual time bridge between Antiquity and our Era.”

BCD. 2004. “A Note from the Collector,” in BCD Olympia. Zurich: Leu Numismatics.


Same quote on my BCD Collection Biblio. page.

Not one coin, but one coin type (here are 11 of my Phalanna AE with BCD's tags, but I've got dozens more, so I hope his quote is true!):

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Edited by Curtis JJ
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"You have lived, O man, as a citizen of this great city; of what consequence to whether for five years or three?  What comes by law is fair to all.  Where then is the calamity, if you are sent out of the city, by no tyrant of unjust judge, but Nature herself who at fist introduced you, just as the praetor who engaged the actor again dismisses him from the stage?  But, say you, I have not spoken my five acts, but only three.  True, but in life three acts make up the play.  For he set the end who was responsible for it composition at the first, and for its present dissolution.  You are responsible for neither.  Depart then graciously; for he who dismisses you is gracious."

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4 hours ago, Octavius said:

Vae, puto deus fio; ( S--t! I think I'm becoming a god!) said Vespasian as he was dying.

3 hours ago, Prieure de Sion said:

„Vae me, puto, concacavi me!“ Last words of Claudius, 54 AD, in the "Abridgment" of Seneca the Younger, therefore implausible.

Just FYI everyone, I suspect there may be a corruption from the Samoan or Portuguese original.

Per Google Translate:
"Vae, puto..." in Samoan reportedly means "feet, feet..." (or "leg fall" or "drop foot")...
Further mixing-and-matching:
"Vae puto me..." in Samoan is apparently "Foot drop me..." or "Fallen legs and..."
And "Vae puto me fio ..." = "Falling feet with strings..." (in Samoan) or "Go f--- me wire" (in Portuguese).
The Portuguese translation of Vespasian's full quote is "Come on, goddamn wire."

Samoan and Portuguese just sounded like the two most plausible languages the emperors could have been speaking, but they probably had diplomatic business all over the world, so they might've been speaking any number of other languages when Seneca Jr & Suetonius quoted them. Read it again and it does kinda sound like maybe they were discussing the import of exotic foreign goods (shoes, string, wire...). I'm just saying.

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I'm not trying to upset anyone, just reading Shelley last night and found this familliar with my thoughts.

 

“Man would have been too happy, if, limiting himself to the visible objects which interested him, he had employed, to perfect his real sciences, his laws, his morals, his education, one-half the efforts he has put into his researches on the Divinity.”   Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

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Caria, Mylasa AR Tetartemorion. Circa 420-390 BC. Forepart of roaring lion to left; head reverted / Bird to right, pellets in field above left and below right; all within incuse square. AR 0.26g.

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"I found Rome a city of brick, and left it a city of marble" , Caesar Augustus.

 

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"Pecunia non olet", Money doesn't smell - Vespasian's retort to his son Titus regarding his urine tax.

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Quote

 “But what evil have I done? Whom have I killed?”   Didius Julianus

...actually these are famous last words, but still a famous quote said to be uttered...

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Edited by ominus1
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Posted · Administrator

The alleged prophecy that Hadrian would himself assume the purple one day:

"But who is yonder man, by olive wreath
Distinguished, who the sacred vessel bears?
I see a hoary head and beard. Behold
The Roman King whose laws shall stablish Rome
Anew, from tiny Cures' humble land
Called to a mighty realm. Then shall arise . . ."

 

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Money doesn’t talk, it swears…

-“Half of the people can be part right all of the time
Some of the people can be all right part of the time
But all of the people can't be all right all of the time
I think Abraham Lincoln said that
I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours
I said that”

Edited by Etcherdude
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Julian II (360 - 363) AE1 (BI Maiorina); Thessalonika Mint; Obv: DN FL CL IVLIANUS PF AUG; Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; Rev: SECVRITAS REIPVB; Bull standing right, two stars above;*TESΓ in exergue; Ref: RIC 226; NGC Graded Ch. XF

"So never think that you are free, my friend, as long as you are ruled by the belly and nether regions. They are masters who can either furnish you the means of pleasure or take them away. And even if you prove stronger than them but remain enslaved to the opinions of the crowd, you have not yet reached freedom or tasted its nectar, 'I swear by him who entrusted me with the secret of the tetrad.'"
-Julian II, "Against the Ignorant Cynics (Oration 9)"

Julian didn't practice Cynicism, but he loathed what it had become in his own time. Socrates and Diogenes of Sinope remained the Cynic exemplars and some 600 years after they lived, Cynicism had, in Julian and other's opinion, degenerated into a mere 'literary' form where adherents wrote about the "glory" of the Cynic life but lacked the courage to live it fully themselves. "Against the Ignorant Cynics" rails against this de-evolution.

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"The eyes do not err if the mind governs them."

--

The coin: SELEUKID KINGDOM. Seleucus, but uncertain which one(!). AE 16 mm, 4.9 g. Obv: Artemis; rev: Apollo, seated on omphalos, with BASILEOS SELEUKOU on either side. It's a very humble coin, but it is one of my favourite coin photographs that I have taken, and I think the design fits very well with the proverb.

The quote: proverb by Publilius Syrus (active 85–43 BC/BCE).

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Antoninus Pius

The Senate gave him the title ''Pius'' (meaning ''dutiful'') either because he had Hadrian declared a god, or because he freed Senators whom Hadrian had planned to execute. He may not have even wanted the job of emperor, as he took time to accept it. After becoming ruler, when his wife Faustina said he was too frugal, Antoninus replied, ''Foolish woman, now that we have gained an empire, we have lost even what we had before.'' He then returned most of the gold given to him as gifts.

 

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On 8/10/2022 at 11:31 AM, expat said:

Antoninus Pius

The Senate gave him the title ''Pius'' (meaning ''dutiful'') either because he had Hadrian declared a god, or because he freed Senators whom Hadrian had planned to execute. He may not have even wanted the job of emperor, as he took time to accept it. After becoming ruler, when his wife Faustina said he was too frugal, Antoninus replied, ''Foolish woman, now that we have gained an empire, we have lost even what we had before.'' He then returned most of the gold given to him as gifts.

 

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If only Job's wife, Mrs. Socrates, and Mrs. Pius were around to tell their side of things...

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  • 3 weeks later...

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Justinian I Follis (540/1 - Year 14), Constantinople mint, Obv: DN IVSTINIANVS PP AVG, helmeted, cuirassed bust facing holding cross on globe and shield; cross to right. Rev: Large M, ANNO to left, cross above, XIIII (date) to right, A below, CON in exergue, Sear 163

"How could anyone put Justinian's ways into words? These and many even worse vices were disclosed in him as in no other mortal: nature seemed to have taken the wickedness of all other men combined and planted it in this man's soul. And besides this, he was too prone to listen to accusations; and too quick to punish. For he decided such cases without full examination, naming the punishment when he had heard only the accuser's side of the matter. Without hesitation he wrote decrees for the plundering of countries, sacking of cities, and slavery of whole nations, for no cause whatever. So that if one wished to take all the calamities which had befallen the Romans before this time and weigh them against his crimes, I think it would be found that more men had been murdered by this single man than in all previous history."
-Procopious, Secret History, Chapter VII

 

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