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In 321 B.C., the Romans, deceived into thinking Lucera was under siege by the Samnites, walked into an ambush and were defeated. The town threw out the Samnites, sought Roman protection, and in 320 B.C. was granted the status of Colonia Togata, which meant it was ruled by the Roman Senate. To strengthen ties, 2,500 Romans moved to Lucera. Roman culture merged with the native one slowly, probably accompanied by cross-cultural marriages, but Lucera was a steadfast supporter of Rome. By the 2nd century B.C., the rustic town was transformed into a proper Roman city with houses, public buildings, paved roads, sidewalks and services for travelers, accommodation for livestock with running water, and warehouses for storing goods. GB86125. Bronze uncia, SNG ANS 709; SNG Cop 663; SNG BnF 1368; SNG München 504; HN Italy 682; BMC Italy p. 141, 62; Hunterian -, VF, rough, weight 4.084 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, Luceria mint, c. 211 - 200 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, bow and quiver at shoulder, pellet behind; reverse LOVC-ERI, toad seen from above; very rare; $430.00 (€378.40)
Roman Republic, M. Tullius, 120 B.C.
The wreath might represent an eclipse that occurred on 11 November 120 B.C., which the Romans declared indicated divine support for their recent victories in southern France. The reverse more likely commemorates the victories of Servius Tullius, the moneyer's ancestor, over the Sabines. He was the first Roman to be awarded the laurel wreath. The mark of value (X) on the reverse is very unusual.RR92757. Silver denarius, SRCV I 155, Sydenham 531, Crawford 280/1, RSC I Tullia 1, Choice aEF, beautiful style, attractive iridescent toning, light marks, weight 3.924 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 120 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Roma right, ROMA behind; reverse Victory in a quadriga right, reins in both hands, palm frond in left, wreath above, X below, M•TVLLI in exergue; $350.00 (€308.00)
Roman Republic, Q. Pomponius Musa, 66 B.C.
Many of the Roman moneyers had a solid sense of humor and word play with homonyms was very popular. Pomponius Musa, playing on his name, issued ten types each depicting Hercules Musagetes (Conductor of the Muses) or one of nine different Muses, creating one of the most interesting and sought after series of the Republican coinage. This coin depicts Melpomene, the muse of Tragedy. RR89043. Silver denarius, RSC I Pomponia 14, Crawford 410/4, Sydenham 816, SRCV I 354, VF, attractive head of Apollo, light toning, light marks, off center, some encrustation, weight 3.453 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 66 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, scepter behind; reverse Melpomene, muse of tragedy, standing left, resting right hand on club, tragic mask in left, MVSA downward on left, Q POMPONI downward on right; ex Harlan J. Berk auction 156, lot 242; $340.00 (€299.20)
Roman Republic, Fragment of an Aes Formatum Brick, 4th Century B.C.
In Coins of the Roman Republic in The British Museum, Grueber wrote, "In the find at Vulci, besides the aes rude and the aes signatum there was a number of rough brick-shaped pieces in very poor condition, without any imprint and nothing to indicate their value; their weight varying from an ounce to a pound...These pieces would appear to be intermediate between the as rude and the aes signatum." In Aes Grave, Das Schwergeld Roms und Mittelitaliens, published in 1910, the same year as the British Museum Catalog, Haeberlin differentiated these cast shapes from aes rude and introduced a new term for them, aes formatum.RR87168. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, Haeberlin p. 4, pl. 4 , 1-3; fragment of a brick shaped aes formatum, 214.5g, 62.1x47.6x15.4mm, broken from the end and includes one corner, VF, very rare; $320.00 (€281.60)
Roman Republic, Fragment of an Aes Formatum Large Domed Disc Ingot, 4th Century B.C.
Called aes formatum by Haeberlin, this very rare bronze currency was a precursor to the issues of aes grave but later than aes rude. Presumably, molten bronze-iron alloy was poured into a shallow hole in the dirt. This left a disc-shaped metal mound with a flat reverse. Broken examples like this one are much more common than complete ones. AR12017. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. Haeberlin p. 4, pl. 2.7; fragment, fragment, broken from a large domed ingot, weight 45.4 g, maximum diameter 99.7 mm, Italian mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse convex obverse; reverse flat reverse; very rare; $170.00 (€149.60)
Central Italy, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C., Aes Rude Fragments
Aes rude is the earliest type of money used by the population of central Italy. They are just irregular pieces of bronze with no marks or designs. More advanced types of currency were used later: Aes Signatum and Aes Grave, and in the end, normal struck coins.LT12228. Bronze Lot, Lot of 8 aes rude fragments, average weight c. 30g, $170.00 (€149.60)
Roman Republic, Anonymous, 86 B.C.
This type is from a late, massive, and intriguing anonymous issue undoubtedly struck by the moneyer triumvirate of Gargonius, Ogulnius and Vergilius. Their signed coins (SRCV I 263 - 265) have identical types and are scarce or rare.RR91806. Silver denarius, Crawford 350a/2, Sydenham 723, RSC I 226, BMCRR I Rome 2622, RBW Collection 1333, SRCV I 266, VF, light golden toning, some die wear, light graffito obverse right field, weight 4.014 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 86 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, thunderbolt below neck truncation; reverse Jupiter in quadriga right, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, reins in left hand; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 31 (10 Mar 2019), lot 375; $170.00 (€149.60)
Roman Republic, Ti. Minucius C.f. Augurinus, 134 B.C.
In 135 B.C., the First Servile War began. After the Second Punic war, an over-abundance of slaves caused them to be ill-fed by their masters, and they soon began to provide for themselves by robbery. Several decades of increasing tension finally broke out into war. The rebel leader was Eunus, a slave whose master had hired him out as a magician for parties. Eunus would humorously tell his audiences that he was a prophet, that someday he would be king, the classes would be reversed, and aristocrats would killed or enslaved - except for those that tipped him for the show. During the revolt he did spare the lives of at least some aristocrats who had tipped him. The war lasted until 132 B.C. Eunus was captured, but he died before he could be punished. This was the first of three slave revolts against the Roman Republic; the last and the most famous was led by Spartacus.RR92161. Silver denarius, Crawford 243/1, Sydenham 494, BMCRR Rome 1005, RSC I Minucia 9, Russo RBW 212, SRCV I 120, aEF, light marks, slightly off center, reverse die wear, small edge splits/cracks, weight 3.356 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 134 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Rome right, X (XVI monogram, mark of value) behind; reverse Ionic column surmounted by statue between two togate figures facing center, RO-MA divided above, TI MINVCI downward on left, AVGRINI downward on right; ex CGB Numismatique Paris; $165.00 (€145.20)
Roman Republic, Fragment of an Aes Formatum Large Domed Disc Ingot, 4th Century B.C.
Called aes formatum by Haeberlin, this very rare bronze currency was a precursor to the issues of aes grave but later than aes rude. Presumably, molten bronze-iron alloy was poured into a shallow hole in the dirt. This left a disc-shaped metal mound with a flat reverse. Broken examples like this one are much more common than complete ones.RR86151. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. Haeberlin p. 4, pl. 2.7; fragment, weight 199.40 g, maximum diameter 66.1 mm, Italian mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse convex obverse; reverse flat reverse; rare; $160.00 (€140.80)
The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49-27 B.C.
THE HISTORY AND COINAGE OF THE ROMAN IMPERATORS 49-27 BC by David Sear
The brief period covered in this book witnessed the violent transition of the Roman state from a republican constitution, presided over by the Senate, to a full military autocracy under the control of one man, the Emperor Augustus. In reality, the events of these years were merely the culmination of a movement which had been gathering strength over the preceding half-century, since the rise of men such as Marius and Sulla. Caesar had put events into motion by his invasion of Italy and his challenge to Pompey's dominant position in Roman politics. With his assassination on the Ides of March, 44 B.C., Caesar's role was inherited by his youthful great-nephew Octavian who, against seemingly hopeless odds, succeeded in eliminating his rivals for supreme power, notably Mark Antony and his ambitious consort Cleopatra, queen of Egypt. This book traces in detail the unfolding of this drama. Each of its six chapters includes a comprehensive catalogue listing of all the relevant coin types and varieties, each with a full discussion of its significance in the interpretation of the events of the period. Information on the rarity of each type, including estimates of current value, is presented in a separate table. The numerous, though less precisely understood, local coinages of the Imperatorial period are listed in an extensive appendix. Whilst providing a comprehensive numismatic reference work for the age of transition from Republic to Empire the author has also aimed to heighten the historian's awareness of the vital role which may be played by the numismatic evidence in the detailed chronicling of event.BK43171. The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49-27 B.C. by David R. Sear, a detailed survey including valuations for collectors, 1998, 360 pages, illustrated throughout, hardback; $140.00 (€123.20)
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Crawford, M. Roman Republican Coinage. (Cambridge, 1974).
Grueber, H.A. Coins of the Roman Republic in The British Museum. (London, 1910).
Haeberlin, E. J. Aes Grave. Das Schwergeld Roms und Mittelitaliens. (Frankfurt, 1910).
Rutter, N.K. ed. Historia Numorum. Italy. (London, 2001).
Seaby, H.A., D. Sear, & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Volume I, The Republic to Augustus. (London, 1989).
Sear, D. R. The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49 - 27 BC. (London, 1998).
Sear, D. R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Stannard, C. The local coinages of Central Italy in the late Roman Republic: provisional catalogue, Oct 2007.
Sydenham, E. Aes Grave, a Study of the Cast Coinages of Rome and Central Italy. (London, 1926).
Sydenham, E. The Coinage of the Roman Republic. (London, 1952).
Thurlow, B. and I. Vecchi. Italian Cast Coinage. (Dorchester, 1979).
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