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1755 Saxe-Gotha - Please Explain This Date

 
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 Posted 05/20/2021  09:47 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I recently ran across an image of the 1755 1/24 thaler of Saxe-Gotha, witha a very curious representation of the date 1755 in Roman numerals:


I understand how the last 4 "digits" (CCLV) give the last 255 years of the date, but am curious the explanation of how the first 5 digits get us to 1500 (why not just MD, or even MCCCCC ?).
Or am I getting this completely wrong, and it is meant to be something other than 1755?
Edited by tdziemia
05/20/2021 09:49 am
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 Posted 05/20/2021  10:14 am  Show Profile   Check Tanman2001's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Tanman2001 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have to use ")" as the backwards C.

1000 was originally represented by the greek letter phi, Φ. CI) = Φ.

And I) is half of CI), so it represents 500.

And 1000+500+255=1755.
Edited by Tanman2001
05/20/2021 10:14 am
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 Posted 05/20/2021  11:22 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not sure I understand that, but I'll take your word for it!
Edited by Coinfrog
05/20/2021 11:54 am
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 Posted 05/20/2021  11:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add That Coin Dude to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I believe he meant cI#596; is 1000 and I#596; is 500
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 Posted 05/20/2021  12:19 pm  Show Profile   Check Tanman2001's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Tanman2001 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I believe he meant cI#596; is 1000 and I#596; is 500


That is exactly what I said. The backwards C character doesn't work so I used a ).
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 Posted 05/20/2021  1:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply


So, in other words, NOT Roman numerals, but some kind of strange mashup between Greek alphabet and Roman numerals invented by ?

Confusing, since we can find German states (Palatinate for examle) using M for 1000 on coin dates back in the 1400s.




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 Posted 05/20/2021  1:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumisEd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Really, in 1755 someone was using a Windows 10 Character table to strike the date on a Thaler? LOL.
More chance this is a COUNTERFEIT coin.
Edited by NumisEd
05/20/2021 1:58 pm
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 Posted 05/20/2021  2:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would say it is Roman numerals, just written in an archaic way (for some unclear reason). As pointed out by Tanman2001, (I) for 1000 developed into M, I) developed into D.

M and D written like that can be found on some medieval coins (used as the letters, not the numerals). Haven't seen it on any Roman coins though ...
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 Posted 05/20/2021  2:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumisEd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Perhaps one should test this coin on a scale and with a magnet first. Then talk about the font of the date.
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 Posted 05/20/2021  4:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PNWType to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
More chance this is a COUNTERFEIT coin.
Perhaps one should test this coin on a scale and with a magnet first. Then talk about the font of the date.
OP mentioned this is a photo they found. Whether that exact photo is a counterfeit or not doesn't matter, the coin exists and the date is written like that. Please do your research first

It's a circulating commemorative of the time
Here it is on Numista: https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces47210.html
The same date writing method was used on 4 Groschen of the same year celebrating the same thing:
https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces182372.html

As to the reason, Tanman hit it on the head. Phi meant 1000, then they decided Phi looked a bit like M and they switched to M. Half of Phi looked like D, and they made D 500.
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 Posted 05/20/2021  9:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The photo is of a coin that is authentic.

Very grateful for the explanation by @tanman and @erafjel of how M and D came to represent 1000 and 500. I never knew that.

That still leaves me scratching my head on how the system I learned as "Roman numerals" was really a fusion of Roman and Greek. Unless C, L, X, V and I were also derived from Greek.

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 Posted 05/21/2021  04:41 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The Roman numerals for 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 have Etruscan origin, not Greek. We are then back at the time of the foundation of Rome, around 750 BC or so. That is about the same time as the first Greek colonies in southern Italy, but long before any significant Greek cultural influence on Rome.

The Etruscan numerals were as follows:
I : 1 - think of a finger (thumb or index finger presumably )
Λ : 5 - The V shape of the thumb held out from the four fingers kept together
X : 10 - just two V:s on top of each other ...
(up arrow) : 50 a Λ crossed by a vertical bar (= 10x)
(X with vertical bar through it) : 100 - similar to creating 50 (= 10x)

The I and X symbols remained the same.

The Λ was at some time turned upside down into V.

The (up arrow) was likewise turned upside down into (down arrow), which evolved into an upside down T, which later was simplified to L.

The (X with vertical bar) had an evolution through >I< to )I( to I( and finally just ( or C, probably helped by the fact that 100 in Latin is centum.
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 Posted 05/21/2021  08:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply


Fascinating! Probably there are many other such cultural "artifacts" of the Etruscans that had long lives like this, and of which I remain unaware.
Edited by tdziemia
05/21/2021 08:03 am
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