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Portraits Of Power - The Faces Of Imperial Rome

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Sweden
745 Posts
 Posted 04/22/2021  5:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Finn235, that is an awesome collection of Gallic Emperors you have there!

I find the double sestertii of Postumus especially interesting, I haven't really seen a good explanation to why he chose to revive those. Finding them in good condition is not easy (they were often overstrikes of old coins), but I would like to share this one, recently acquired, and in decent condition:



Double sestertius, 261, Postumus, Trier. RIC V 123.
Obv: IMP C M CASS LAT POSTVMVS P F AVG.
Rev: FIDES MILITVM.

It is a sturdy piece of copper, especially compared to the slim antoninianii - 22.6 g, 34 mm, 4.5 mm thick at the high reliefs. Radiated to indicate the double value, like the antoninianus.
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6081 Posts
 Posted 04/29/2021  09:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
No worries Paul! Always happy to explain anything that may not be clear!

I wasn't sure, but I do believe the --- EQVIT types are exclusive to Aureolus in the name of Postumus, so he was probably trying to suck up at least a bit.

@erafjel, beautiful double sestertius! I have been trying for one for years; never seen to be the top bidder. His bronzes come in laureate, radiate, and helmeted - while the large radiate bronzes of Decius are definitely double sestertii, the distinction is less clear with Postumus, as they aren't even consistently heavier than the laureate bronzes. I wonder if they could perhaps be medallions instead?
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
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United States
6081 Posts
 Posted 05/25/2021  11:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Tetricus I, 271 - 274


AE Antoninianus
IMP C TETRICVS P F AVG, Radiate draped bust right
SPES PVBLICA, Spes walking left, holding flower and raising hem of robe


AE Antoninianus
IMP TETRICVS P F AVG, Radiate, cuirassed bust right
HILARITAS AVGG, Hilaritas standing left, holding palm and cornucopia


IMP C TETRICVS P F AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
VIRTVS AVGG, Virtus standing left, holding spear and shield


AE Barbarous Radiate, uncertain reverse type


AE barbarous radiate, reverse possibly Apollo holding lyre?



After the sudden death of Victorinus in 271, Victoria seems to have enlisted Tetricus, who at the time was serving as the governor of Gallia Aquitania. His reign was deeply troubled, as the raids from the Germanic peoples had increased in frequency and ferocity, and Tetricus struggled to keep his troops paid--officially minted antoninianii dipped down to 1% silver or even less, and were supplemented by a massive wave of unofficial token coinage, today called barbarous radiates, which are about as common as official coins. In 273 to bring some measure of political stability, Tetricus elevated his young son Tetricus II to the position of Caesar. The new Roman emperor, Aurelian, however, had just succeeded in bringing the Palmyrene empire back under imperial control, and was now poised to reclaim Gaul and Britannia. Their forces met at the Battle of Chalons, and surrendered without much fight. Some historians claim that the battle was just a show by Tetricus - he knew he would not win, and negotiated a surrender with Aurelian prior to the battle--if he surrendered, his troops would have surely murdered him and set up another in his place. Tetricus and his son were paraded through Rome in Aurelian's triumph, but afterward pardoned and allowed to retire to obscurity.

For reasons unknown, the provincial citizens selected Tetricus' antoninianii as their small change of choice, and the overwhelmingly vast majority of unofficial "barbarous radiates" are modeled after Tetricus and his son. Archaeological studies have revealed that the later crude barbarous radiates were being produced as late as the 280s and likely circulated until Constantine was able to provide a suitable small coin of official minting.
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
Edited by Finn235
05/25/2021 11:22 pm
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 Posted 05/26/2021  09:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Enjoyed the new post, Steve. Well done.
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 Posted 05/26/2021  09:56 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Tetricus II

As Caesar


AE Antoninianus
C P E TETRICVS CAES, Radiate draped bust right
PIETAS AVGG, Priestly implements


AE Antoninianus
C PIV ESV TETRICVS CAES, Radiate draped bust right
SPES AVGG, Spes walking left, holding flower and raising hem of robe


AE Antoninianus, probably barbarous
(...) TETRICVS CAES, Radiate bust right
SALVS (AVGG?) Salus standing left, holding patera to snake rising from altar
*This coin is of convincing style, but is too small and Tetricus II did not produce unambiguously official coins depicting Salus*


AE Antoninianus, Barbarous made with stolen official die?
CA (PIV?) ESV TETRICVS (?), Radiate draped bust right
Illegible, Hilaritas-type figure standing with palm

This fascinating piece is either the most skilled barbarous obverse ever made, or else it was made from a presumably official obverse that was looted from the mint and paired with a homemade reverse. It is notable that the obverse legend does not seem to match any known official examples, and the final letters are indistinct, leaving the title unknown but presumably still CAES.

"As Augustus"

AE Barbarous Radiate
(...)ETRICVS PF AVG, Radiate head right
PAX AVG, Pax standing left holding scepter and branch


Tetricus II was the young son of Tetricus I, elevated to the office of Caesar in 273. He is scarcely mentioned in contemporary histories, and based on the portrait on his coinage, he was probably about 8-14 years old. He shared a consulship with his father in 274, may have briefly been raised to Augustus in that year. Numismatic evidence for this elevation is at best dubious, as unofficial emissions are just as plentiful as the official, and can sometimes be of convincing style. Following their defeat, Tetricus was paraded with his father in Aurelian's triumph, and was allowed to return to life as a private citizen. The Historia Augusta claims that he went on to become a senator in his later years.
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
Edited by Finn235
05/26/2021 10:22 am
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Spain
2309 Posts
 Posted 05/29/2021  05:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As always Steve really interesting write ups with some great looking portraits.....I do like the look of the wacky Barbarous types....
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