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From busts to coins: name the emperor!

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DVCollector
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 Posted 12/21/2011  4:04 pm Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

I visited a museum today, which had these Roman busts on display. Something that stuck me is how many emperor's busts reminded me of the portrait on coins. Several I knew right away, others were more difficult, possibly due to condition issues. What would you say--can you correctly identify all the busts? I'll post the answers in a couple days.

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6


Formerly jwharper
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 Posted 12/21/2011  5:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bing to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The first looks like Trajan and the last looks like Caracalla. Next to last and the third are perhaps Geta and Elagabulus. The bearded one is Severus Alexander, maybe.

That's the best I can do.
Edited by Bing
12/21/2011 5:02 pm
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 Posted 12/21/2011  5:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've never been particularly good at IDing a coin just off the portrait, unless there's something uniquely distinctive about a particular emperor. My guesses (without looking anything up to try to confirm):
1. Augustus
2. Hadrian
3. Claudius
4. Marcus Aurelius
5. Caracalla
6. Elagabalus

Quote:
Something that stuck me is how many emperor's busts reminded me of the portrait on coins.

It shouldn't be too surprising. It was before photography, or even oil painting, was invented; it's presumed that the Roman die-cutters would use official busts just like these as the models for their coinage portraits.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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 Posted 12/21/2011  7:38 pm  Show Profile Check bobbyhelmet's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add bobbyhelmet to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting thread - Without looking on the web I could only manage:

4. Marcus Aurelius
6. Elagabalus

Not very good! I suspected 5 was Caracalla but wasn't sure enough to go for it till I saw SAPs post.
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 Posted 12/21/2011  7:51 pm  Show Profile Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'll give it a try.

1, Trajan
2, Gordian III
3, Geta
4, Commodus
5, Severus Alexander
6, Caracalla
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 Posted 12/22/2011  01:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It was before photography, or even oil painting, was invented; it's presumed that the Roman die-cutters would use official busts just like these as the models for their coinage portraits.
Yes, that's exactly why I posted these busts; I thought collectors here would enjoy seeing how official busts inspired coin portraits. A bit of trivia: from a few busts still showing traces of paint, it is believed that many Roman busts were painted to appear more naturalistic.

By your posts, quite a few of these busts bear a strong correlation, even if their noses were broken off. Here is one last bust, that also closely resembles the respective coinage:

#7

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 Posted 12/22/2011  05:19 am  Show Profile Check bobbyhelmet's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add bobbyhelmet to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
7. Gordian III?
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 Posted 12/22/2011  05:45 am  Show Profile Check trout1105's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add trout1105 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The intresting thing about these busts is most of them are of juviniles , or so it seems to me.
How on earth did they run an empire with a 15 to 20 year old as emporer
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 Posted 12/22/2011  07:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dougsmit to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just because you are Emperor does not always mean you have a lot of power. Some puppets grow up and actually become the real ruler; others get replaced either with or by the real ruler. Of course puppets are not always children. In the later period, several emperors were selected as figureheads while the power belonged to Germanic generals who were themselves unsuitable to be emperor because they were Arian Christians.
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 Posted 12/22/2011  07:10 am  Show Profile Check trout1105's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add trout1105 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I love this site because you will always learn somthing new.
Thank you dougsmit
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Formerly jwharper
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 Posted 12/22/2011  07:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bing to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
And don't forget the women behind the throne. Mothers, Grandmothers, and wives often ran the empire while their children or weak husbands sat the throne. And don't under estimate these women. They could be very very ruthless.
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 Posted 12/22/2011  07:37 am  Show Profile Check bobbyhelmet's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add bobbyhelmet to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ricimer is the only one I know much about but he was certainly a 'puppet-master'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricimer
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 Posted 12/22/2011  09:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add t0rress to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1.Augustus
2.Tiberius
3.Caligula
4.Commodus
5.Severus Alexander
6. ...
7.Elagabalus
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 Posted 12/22/2011  10:15 am  Show Profile Check bobbyhelmet's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add bobbyhelmet to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thinking about this a bit more I think I'd switch Elagabalus and Caracalla. Even though to many the earlier ones (1-3) are easier I still cant recognise any of them. Guess that reflects the areas I've been collecting in.

4. Marcus Aurelius
5. Elagabalus
6. Caracalla
7. Gordian III / Herennius Etruscus?
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 Posted 12/22/2011  11:30 am  Show Profile Check TJsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TJsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1. Trajan
2. Gallienus
3. Geta
4. Commodus
5. Elegabalus
6. Caracalla

Very cool thread!
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 Posted 12/22/2011  2:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
And don't under estimate these women. They could be very very ruthless.
Yes, wasn't emperor Claudius killed by his own wife?
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