Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #numismatics

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Ancient Coin of the Day: A gander at some coins from Britain prior to the Claudian invasion of AD 43, in particular those of Cunobelinus, the origin of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. #ACOTD #Numismatics #Britain 🧵

Image: British Museum (1977,0434.6). Link -… Image
Cunobelinus was a local British ruler who exerted control over a large area of south-east England, ca. AD 10-40, with a capital at Colchester. He claimed to be the son of Tasciovanus, who had ruled a kingdom centred to the north of the Thames.
The Obverse of this coin shows an ear of spelt, with the flanking Legend CA-MV, i.e. ‘Camulodunum’, Cunobelinus’ capital. Strabo (4.5.2) notes that grain is a major export of Britain, so the emblem could refer to Cunobelinus’ international trade. Image
Read 10 tweets
Ancient Coin of the Day: Today is about Didius Julianus, the man who bought the position of Emperor from the Praetorian Guard on this day, 28 March, in AD 193. #ACOTD #Numismatics #Rome 🧵

Image: RIC IV Didius Julianus 1; MoFA Boston (1999.514). Link -… ImageImage
Following their killing of Pertinax on 28 March AD 193, the Praetorian Guard decided to auction off the position of emperor to the highest bidder. Didius Julianus won the day, promising 25,000 sesterces per man (Dio 74.11.5), beginning his brief nine-week reign.
The Obverse of this coin shows a laureate portrait of Didius Julianus, with the Legend IMP CAES M DID IVLIAN AVG – ‘Emperor Caesar Marcus Didius Julianus Augustus’. Image
Read 12 tweets
A few remarks on the assumed discovery of the "new" Emperor/Usurper #Sponsianus from a numismatic point of view: 🧵1/15

Image: #PLOSONE: Authenticating coins of the ‘Roman emperor’ #Sponsian… CC-BY 4.0
At the first place, the new study outlines very well the history of research around the Sponsianus coins. What is new is the emphasis on circulating marks (wear) and especially the study of superficial deposits on the coins. The latter is a really exciting approach. 2/15
I try in the following to present only some points briefly and comprehensibly, which from a (personal) numismatic point of view have received too little weighting or too much. Completeness is not possible on Twitter. 3/15
Read 15 tweets
Ancient Coin of the Day: As today marks the beginning of the end of his reign, a quick look at some of the coins of the Roman Emperor Macrinus! #ACOTD #Numismatics #Macrinus 🧵

Image: RIC IV Macrinus 50c; Münzkabinett Berlin (18277254). Link -…
Marcus Opellius Macrinus briefly reigned as Roman Emperor in AD 217-218, following the murder of his predecessor Caracalla. Indeed, Macrinus - the Praetorian Prefect - was alleged to have had been the instigator of the conspiracy against Caracalla.
He was also the first emperor not drawn from the senatorial class and, given the issues of his brief reign, never had the opportunity to visit Rome.
Read 13 tweets
Ancient Coin of the Day: The last few days have been a bit coin-light, so let’s get back to it with a look at some electrum issues of Thebes, starting with this hemidrachm ca. 360-340 BC. #ACOTD #Numismatics #Thebes

Image: ANS 1959.73.1. Link -…
These fabulous coins come from a series of electrum coins issued by Thebes which is in itself interesting given the lack of gold mines in Boeotian territory, entailing that the dating of these issues has come under recent scrutiny.
The Obverse of this series shows a bearded and ivy-wreathed Dionysus. Dionysus was said to have been born in Thebes, and then famously returned to that City where its king, Pentheus, refused to acknowledge Dionysus' god-head.
Read 9 tweets
New coin: Denarius of Lucius Verus, co-emperor with his adoptive brother Marcus Aurelius from 161 AD until his death in 169. The silver coin has a powerful portrait of the decadent Verus shown early in his reign - and on the reverse Providentia holds the globe and a cornucopia. Image
"Verus allowed his beard to grow long, and it is said that he took such pride in his fair hair that he used to sprinkle gold-dust on his head so that his hair and beard might glow even brighter."

- Historia Augusta, Life of Verus (10.6) Image
"He was a reckless gambler and lived an extravagant life, for example he had his own crystal goblet, which he named Volucer after his favourite horse, that surpassed the capacity of any human draught. Yet he was not cruel and was otherwise no second Nero."

- Historia Augusta Image
Read 4 tweets
1) Tacitus gives a fascinating insight into economies, trade and attitudes towards wealth at the northern frontiers of the Roman empire:

"Germanic peoples take pride not in how much coin they have but in how many animals they own - this is the only measure of wealth they value..
2) "The gods have denied the Germans gold and silver - maybe to punish them or perhaps to do them a favour, I cannot say. We can't be totally certain there are no gold or silver-bearing veins in Germany because after all, who has ever looked?"
3) "Either way, the Germans have a total lack of interest in owning or using gold and silver. The people are indifferent to precious gifts and you can see the silver vessels presented to their leaders thrown aside with disregard as if they were pottery.."
Read 6 tweets
New coin: Roman silver denarius of Trajan minted around 107-108 AD, celebrating the victorious culmination of his Dacian Wars. The near mint state denarius depicts a Roman trophaeum; a victory trophy in the form of a tree stump decorated with captured enemy armour and weaponry.
The trophaeum began as an improvised victory trophy quickly erected on the battlefield but soon became a widely recognised symbol of military victory, recreated in marble and incorporated into triumphal monuments; seen for example on the Arch of Marcus Aurelius in Tripoli, Libya.
Most trophaea consisted of a simple tree stump decorated and anthropomorphised with enemy arms; usually a cuirass and helmet, with shields either side. Enemy captives are often shown sat beneath the trophy in defeat, perhaps imitating an authentic post-battle tradition of display
Read 6 tweets
Currently re-photographing my Roman coins for new website coming soon. Below are some before-and-after shots to give an idea of the extra detail and colour. Believe it or not they are the same coins! #numismatics #StayTuned ImageImage
Galba before and after. ImageImage
Domitian before and after. ImageImage
Read 6 tweets
New coin: Roman Republican denarius minted by the moneyer Quintus Minucius Thermus in 103 BC, during the third of seven consulships held by the Gaius Marius. At a time of fierce conflict with Germanic tribes, the coin bears a portrait of a youthful Mars, god of war. #numismatics Image
The moneyer has used the opportunity to connect himself with the heroic deeds of a namesake ancestor, Quintus Minucius Thermus; consul in 193 who defeated the Ligurian tribes in battle near Pisa and won the distinction of the corona civica, the second highest Roman military award Image
The reverse presents a remarkable depiction of his ancestor's heroism, earning the 'corona civica' by saving the life of a fellow soldier in battle and then slaying the attacking enemy. Thermus can be seen on the left with his oval shield, defending his injured comrade below. Image
Read 4 tweets
New Coin Thread: Roman denarius struck in the name of the deified Antoninus Pius, minted soon after his death in 161 AD by his joint-heirs Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. The coin shows the lost Column of Antoninus Pius dedicated by the co-emperors in the same year. #LostRome
Following his predecessor Hadrian's wishes, Pius held the Roman empire in trust for the young Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. Even after a lengthy 23-year reign, he honoured the agreement, passing the throne peacefully to the joint-heirs who became Rome's first "co-emperors".
The new co-emperors raised a commemorative column on the Campus Martius soon after their adopted father's death in 161AD. It was made from a huge monolithic shaft of polished pink granite imported from Egypt, with no decorative reliefs like earlier the column of Trajan. #LostRome
Read 17 tweets
New coin: Roman denarius of the emperor Antoninus Pius, minted around 147 AD nine years into his reign. The reverse shows Liberalitas who personified the divine virtues of generosity and beneficence, holding a coin dispensing tablet and an overflowing cornucopia. #numismatics Image
The coin commemorates Pius' fourth display of liberality in the form of the imperial 'congiarium'; a state-funded monetary gift to eligible citizens in the city of Rome. The congiarium was usually given in silver denarii at a ceremony presided over by the Emperor himself. Image
The congiaria handouts began with Augustus gifting every citizen the substantial sum of 60 denarii. Later Domitian and Hadrian would give gifts of 75 denarii. By the time of this congiarium by Antoninus Pius, the amount had reached 100 denarii per person. Image
Read 10 tweets
New coin: Roman silver antoninianus "double denarius" of the emperor Pupienus, who ruled jointly with fellow ex-senator Balbinus for just 3 months in 238 AD. The clasped hands on the reverse intend to convince Romans of the harmony between their co-emperors... #numismatics Image
Pupienus is shown around the age of 70, wearing a radiate crown as is usual on antoniani portraits. In April 238 the senate chose to elevate two of their own, Pupienus and Balbinus, in revolt against the thuggish ruler Maximinus Thrax, a move that would anger the Praetorians... Image
The reverse shows the emperors’ clasped hands and proclaims their CARITAS MVTVA – “mutual charity/goodwill”. Other reverses in the same series also assure Romans of their co-rulers’ mutual love (amor), faith (fides) and pietas (duty/devotion). Image
Read 8 tweets
1/6) The massive Trier Gold Hoard: 2,650 Roman aurei coins weighing 18.5 kg. Unearthed in 1993 in the cellar of a Roman administrative building of ancient Augusta Treverorum. The hoard was deposited during the Antonine Plague or 'Plague of Galen' in the late 2nd century AD.
2/6) The gold hoard was discovered by chance during the excavation of an underground parking garage in the city. It is the largest preserved Roman Imperial gold hoard.
3/6) Study has shown the Trier hoard was first deposited in 167 AD at the height of the Antonine Plague: a catastrophic pandemic that killed an estimated 5 million people around the Roman Empire including, in all likelihood, the Roman Emperor Lucius Verus.
Read 7 tweets
Happy 492nd birthday to my main man, Philip II. 🎉

(Prepare yourselves for a *long* thread, all...)

Leone Leoni, medal of Philip II & Hercules, Virtue, & Pleasure, 1548-49, @gardnermuseum. #Habsburgs4life #earlymoderntwitter #earlymodernart #numismatics4life #numismatics
Portraits & copies of portraits & multiples of portraits, all of Philip II.
Get excited.

After a lost 1549 original by Titian: studio of Titian, 1549-50, @museodelprado & unrecorded artist, ca. 1560-1699 (a real specific period for that one), @RCT. #earlymodernart #portraiture
Portraits of Philip II were made by some of the best of the best of the 16th century.

Like this full-length portrait in armor by Titian (1551) in the @museodelprado. #earlymodernart #portraiture #legsfordays
Read 23 tweets

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