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  • "Invasion coinage" of Constantius

    It is sometimes amazing how things work out in coin collecting. I have been seeking nice specimens of this coinage for many years without success. Lo and behold, I came across two at the same time (but from different sources), both with much original silvering! Not only that, they are "twins" in the series: 17a (Constantius) and 17b (Galerius) -- the two Caesars. Talk about a lucky day!

    RIC Volume VI (Lugdunum), Group I, (iv), Class I, No. 14-21, c. 296, 10.5-8.75 gm, 28/26 mm
    Plain, truncated, obverse busts -- no mint marks
    Struck in the names of Diocletian & Maximian as Augusti and Galerius & Constantius as Caesars.



    FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB C ............................ GENIO POPV -- LI ROMANI
    CONSTANTIUS (RIC)
    RIC Volume VI, Lugdunum (Lyons), No. 17a


    C VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB C ............................ GENIO POPV -- LI ROMANI
    GALERIUS (RIC)
    RIC Volume VI, Lugdunum (Lyons), No. 17b

    In his introductory notes accompanying the Londinium and Lugdunum sections of RIC Volume VI, Sutherland agrees with Bastien in his assertion that this series of unmarked "reformed" folles was produced at a Boulogne Mint by Lugdenese workers in preparation for the invasion of Britain and that Constantius subsequently carried these coins to Britain when he undertook the invasion in 296. Sutherland had originally accepted this series as being minted in London -- hence the somewhat messy and confusing conspectus for Londinium in RIC VI -- Class I is missing from Group I although Class II and Class III are included. Class I is in the Lugdunum conspectus -- the coins discussed here.

    James
    Last edited by jamesicus; Jan 29, 2016, 05:41 PM. Reason: updated link information
    James
    Britannic Coinage and the Tetrarchy web site
    Britannic coinage and the Tetrarchy - Annotated Photo Gallery
    Significant Historical Events and Coinage Production Information

  • #2
    An excellent pair of coins, James. I am most envious. I hope I may be able to add a little information, as I have recently been struggling through some French references using my rather inadequate schoolboy French.

    Bastien, in an annexe to a later work, Le Monnayage de L’Atelier de Lyons (Wetteren, 1980), - Annexe Atelier Continental Sans Marque pp.125-128 and Plate LXIX revisits this issue. He reaffirms his view that these coins were minted at an unknown continental mint prior to the invasion and concludes that, in reality, there are only four types RIC 14a, 14b, 17a and 17b. The others listed under Lyons by Sutherland are erroneous, either unofficial, lightly struck LA or LB coins or unmarked London coins. He goes on to catalogue these four types each with two different versions; the first “set” with large heads (“effigies larges”) and the second with small heads (“petites effigies”). It would appear that your Constantius is a large head variety and your Maximian is a small head variety.

    Lee
    Lee Toone
    www.hookmoor.com

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    • #3
      Originally posted by leetoone View Post
      .......... Bastien, in an annexe to a later work, Le Monnayage de L’Atelier de Lyons (Wetteren, 1980), - Annexe Atelier Continental Sans Marque pp.125-128 and Plate LXIX revisits this issue. He reaffirms his view that these coins were minted at an unknown continental mint prior to the invasion and concludes that, in reality, there are only four types RIC 14a, 14b, 17a and 17b. The others listed under Lyons by Sutherland are erroneous, either unofficial, lightly struck LA or LB coins or unmarked London coins. He goes on to catalogue these four types each with two different versions; the first “set” with large heads (“effigies larges”) and the second with small heads (“petites effigies”). It would appear that your Constantius is a large head variety and your Maximian is a small head variety.

      Lee
      Excellent information, Lee -- thank you. It makes good sense to me. BTW, Lee my small head 17b is Galerius not Maximian -- I am sure that is what you meant. I would like to quote your above information (with attribution to you, of course) on my web pages -- I will also append my own caveats regarding the coin attribution at appropriate places on my pages -- and in my copy of RIC.

      BTW, the one reliable source for these issues I have been able to locate online is the French dealer CGB -- a VCOIN Dealer -- here is the latest VCOIN search for Boulogne coins -- as can be seen, there are now available RIC Vol. VI, Lugdunum: 14a (Diocletian), 14b (Maximian) and 17b (Galerius) -- the sold 17a (Constantius) is the one I bought. As can be seen they are fairly pricey.

      James
      Last edited by jamesicus; Jun 11, 2009, 09:30 AM. Reason: corrected information
      James
      Britannic Coinage and the Tetrarchy web site
      Britannic coinage and the Tetrarchy - Annotated Photo Gallery
      Significant Historical Events and Coinage Production Information

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jamesicus View Post
        BTW, Lee my small head 17b is Galerius not Maximian -- I am sure that is what you meant. I would like to quote your above information

        James
        Yes, it is what I meant. I'm forever doing that! Feel free to use the information as you wish.

        Lee
        Lee Toone
        www.hookmoor.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by leetoone View Post
          Yes, it is what I meant. I'm forever doing that! Feel free to use the information as you wish.

          Lee
          Me too -- thanks.

          James
          James
          Britannic Coinage and the Tetrarchy web site
          Britannic coinage and the Tetrarchy - Annotated Photo Gallery
          Significant Historical Events and Coinage Production Information

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          • #6
            For completeness, I should probably point out that Bastien does cite one single variety, a follis of Maximian (and I do mean Maximian this time!) with the same obverse legend but with pellets separating some of the words IMP C MAXIMIANVSdotPdotFdotAVG.

            This coin was discovered in the Fresnoy-les-Royes hoard #1751.
            Lee Toone
            www.hookmoor.com

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            • #7
              This discussion is very helpful. Thanks to you both. I also have been studying the unmarked "London" coins for several years.

              From the images James has posted I'm inclined to think the Galerius coin is a London issue belonging to Bastien's "intermediate group." While the Constantius coin you've illustrated displays the taller, open lettering characteristic of the continental issue struck by workers from the mint of Lugdunum, the Galerius coin displays the smaller, tighter lettering more typical of London issues.

              For comparison you might look at Lord Stewartby's "Early Tetrarchic Coins of London from the Market Stainton Finds," NC, Volume 158, 1998, pp. 89-102. Your Galerius is very similar to coins No. 24 and 25 on Plate 28.

              Fitz

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Fitzwilliam05 View Post
                This discussion is very helpful. Thanks to you both. I also have been studying the unmarked "London" coins for several years.

                From the images James has posted I'm inclined to think the Galerius coin is a London issue belonging to Bastien's "intermediate group." While the Constantius coin you've illustrated displays the taller, open lettering characteristic of the continental issue struck by workers from the mint of Lugdunum, the Galerius coin displays the smaller, tighter lettering more typical of London issues ..........
                Thank you for joining this discussion, Fitz. I have only encountered occasional references to the "Bastien intermediate group" -- I think it is a fascinating thesis. I hope both you and Lee can expand on this -- of particular interest to me is how your inclination that my "Galerius coin is a London issue belonging to Bastien's intermediate group" equates with the Bastien reference that Lee quotes? Are all the "small heads ('petites effigies')" 'sets' of RIC VI, Lugdunum/Lyons, No. 14a, 14b, 17a, 17b coins actually London "intermediate group issues"? If so, what attribution (RIC number) would be assigned to my Galerius coin? For instance, would it be a varietal form of London 14b (with a bare truncated neck portrait)?

                .......... For comparison you might look at Lord Stewartby's "Early Tetrarchic Coins of London from the Market Stainton Finds," NC, Volume 158, 1998, pp. 89-102. Your Galerius is very similar to coins No. 24 and 25 on Plate 28 ..........
                I do not have this reference source, Fitz, but would dearly love to have it at hand.
                Last edited by jamesicus; Jun 14, 2009, 01:54 PM. Reason: added "b" to Galerius London RIC14
                James
                Britannic Coinage and the Tetrarchy web site
                Britannic coinage and the Tetrarchy - Annotated Photo Gallery
                Significant Historical Events and Coinage Production Information

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                • #9
                  I found a series of discussions carried on in NC and other sources since 1971 invaluable for trying to sort through these issues.

                  The existence of an “intermediate group” of folles coming directly after the LON issues but before the folles of Class II was first proposed by Bastien ("Some Comments on the Coinage of the London Mint, A.D. 297-313," NC, 1971) and accepted by subsequent scholars (Bernett and Robinson, CHRB, 1984; Stewartby, NC, 1998; Besly, NC, 2002). These coins fall into two groups, those with laureate busts, and those with laureate, cuirassed busts.

                  Both the LON coins and those of the intermediate group appear to be the work of Lugdunese engravers. The LON coins reflect the bust styles of Lugdunum, laureate busts without armor. Both the LON and intermediate coins occasionally follow the die axis alignment of Lugdunum, ↑↑. The armored busts of the intermediate group may represent an effort to incorporate bust styles familiar in Britain during the rule of Carausius and Allectus. The coins of Class IIa and b appear to be the work of less skilled British engravers, familiar with the portrait styles of Carausius and Allectus. These later coins are more numerous than either the LON coins or those of the intermediate group, suggesting that less skilled engravers were pressed into service to mass produce the new coinage for Britain, using the work of the Lugdunese engravers as their artistic models, but adhering to earlier Carausian and Allectian practices such as the ↑↓ die alignment.

                  I have not studied the Bastien source cited by Lee, but from Lee's summary I take it to be one of several efforts by Bastien to correct RIC VI, in this case the section on Lugdunum. The distinction between smaller and larger busts is not one I am familiar with.

                  In assessing the Galerius you've posted I was most persuaded by the lettering. This is not decisive, but more typical of London. In his 1971 article Bastien wrote that despite some similarity in the style of the portraits between the unmarked Lugdunese and intermediate group London coins, "the London folles with the laureate head cannot be confused with those of the 'Unmarked I' group [from Lugdunum]. The lettering of the titles and legends, often of British type on the London folles, is sometimes influenced by the Lyons manner. However, it never possesses the very individual character (big, irregular letters with slender down-strokes) of the Lyons dictus to be observed on the 'Unmarked I' folles." (Bastien, NC, 1971, p. 153)

                  Fitz
                  Last edited by Fitzwilliam05; Jun 15, 2009, 04:10 AM. Reason: spelling

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fitzwilliam05 View Post
                    .......... I assessing the Galerius you've posted I was most persuaded by the lettering. This is not decisive, but more typical of London .......... The lettering of the titles and legends, often of British type on the London folles, is sometimes influenced by the Lyons manner. However, it never possesses the very individual character (big, irregular letters with slender down-strokes) of the Lyons dictus to be observed on the 'Unmarked I' folles." (Bastien, NC, 1971, p. 153) Fitz
                    As I study and digest your most interesting post, Fitz, let me offer a few comments relating to the lettering you describe. I have conducted several analyses of the inscriptional letterforms used on London mint coins and rather than post the many photographic exemplars I have assembled here, I will post a link to my Roman Coin Inscriptional Lettering page that displays these exemplars. I have not yet analyzed or compared the letterforms on my RIC VI Lugdunum 17a and 17b coins (and other exemplars), but I will do so shortly.

                    James
                    Last edited by jamesicus; Jun 3, 2010, 06:45 PM. Reason: eliminated excess content
                    James
                    Britannic Coinage and the Tetrarchy web site
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fitzwilliam05 View Post
                      I found a series of discussions carried on in NC and other sources since 1971 invaluable for trying to sort through these issues ...........

                      Fitz
                      Unfortunately I was still in my Julio-Claudian Sestertii collecting phase at that time, Fitz and so I missed out on those discussions.

                      James
                      Last edited by jamesicus; Jun 14, 2009, 03:32 PM. Reason: corrected wording
                      James
                      Britannic Coinage and the Tetrarchy web site
                      Britannic coinage and the Tetrarchy - Annotated Photo Gallery
                      Significant Historical Events and Coinage Production Information

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                      • #12
                        I'm following this with interest as I'd previously had a similar idea myself - of an unmarked issue from the "LON" celators before the grossly different tall-necked angular coins of class IIa were introduced.

                        I previously posted about this here:

                        http://www.ancients.info/forums/show...light=boulogne

                        (note that my numbering here is RIC Group I classes, although I sloppily refered to them as "groups" in my post)

                        Although I would now correct myself and say that Zsigmunt's coin that started that thread really belongs to class IIb, rather than the proposed intermediate class.

                        Below are a few LON coins, then following three unmarked ones of Diocletian that share the similar fine Allectus-like styling and seem hard to place elsewhere other than as such a proposed "intermediate" group.

                        It's hard to say with 100% certainty where James' Galerius coin fits in, although the lettering argument does carry some weight, and stylistically it would not be out of place with that bottom group of Diocletian.

                        Fitz, would you agree that this bottom group are from the "intermediate" issue, or would you place them elsewhere? Note that one is LDC vs Bastien only noting L & LC.

                        Ben
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          I have been waiting for you to join this discussion, Ben -- glad you are here!

                          Originally posted by Congius View Post
                          I'm following this with interest as I'd previously had a similar idea myself - of an unmarked issue from the "LON" celators before the grossly different tall-necked angular coins of class IIa were introduced ..........
                          Yes you did -- I remember it well!

                          .......... Below are a few LON coins, then following three unmarked ones of Diocletian that share the similar fine Allectus-like styling and seem hard to place elsewhere other than as such a proposed "intermediate" group ..........
                          I am beginning to "catch on" to this, Ben.

                          .......... It's hard to say with 100% certainty where James' Galerius coin fits in, although the lettering argument does carry some weight, and stylistically it would not be out of place with that bottom group of Diocletian ..........
                          Let me revert back to my "Inscriptional Lettering" posting above -- here is my preliminary analysis:

                          The following two contemporaneous "Continental Mint" coins exhibit (to my mind) elegant and stately letterforms somewhat reminiscent of the early Empire -- the letters are mostly carefully formed, delicate and nicely proportioned


                          CONSTANTIUS
                          RIC Volume VI, Treveri, No. 34 (Bronze Copy)


                          CONSTANTIUS
                          RIC Volume VI, Lugdunum (Lyons), No. 17a

                          The letterforms on my Galerius "Unknown Continental Mint' -- tentatively Lugdunum 17b (?) -- coin exhibit, as Fitz opined, cruder (to my calligrapher's eye) and clumsier letterforms reminiscent of London mint engraver's lettering depicted on the following Galerius RIC Volume VI, Londinium, No. 15.



                          GALERIUS
                          RIC Volume VI, Lugdunum (Lyons), No. 17b (?)

                          Based on the inscriptional lettering alone, could my Galerius No. 17b be an "Intermedate Group" coin?

                          James
                          Last edited by jamesicus; Jun 23, 2009, 07:27 PM. Reason: corrected Galerius coin labeling
                          James
                          Britannic Coinage and the Tetrarchy web site
                          Britannic coinage and the Tetrarchy - Annotated Photo Gallery
                          Significant Historical Events and Coinage Production Information

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                          • #14
                            I am glad to "hear" all of the voices in this conversation and appreciate Congius splicing in the earlier thread on this topic which occurred before I joined this site.

                            I followed his link to the image of the Maximian coin posted by Zsigmunt and would suggest this is indeed an intermediate group coin. Stewartby illustrates two very similar coins from the Market Stainton hoard (Stewartby, NC, 1998, Plate 27, nos 12 and 13). Stewartby notes a number of elaborate cuirasses on early unmarked London coins. Of the Maximian coins he writes: "The shoulder-piece, on some examples with palm-leaf decoration, has a line below it which curves up towards the neck, suggesting a fold of drapery not a paludamentum (Pl. 27, 12-13). That this represents some form of robe or mantle is rendered the more probable by the existence of a coin of Diocletian, in the collection of Mr. Malcolm Lyne (Pl. 28, 30), on which there is in addition a similar fold of drapery extending towards the centre of the breast from the far side of the bust," (p. 96).

                            While in this message box I've lost the images you posted, Congius, so I will go back and review them.

                            And, James, I believe your Galerius corresponds to RIC 14b for London. The fact that Sutherland cites Oxford for the coin of record suggests his coin comes from the Fyfiled hoard (it may be the coin illustrated on Pl. VI, no. 68 in the 1946 Ashmolean catalog of the hoard). In reviewing these citations by Sutherland Bastien, Stewartby and others have suggested corrections to RIC VI for London. RIC VI 14b may actually be an intermediate group coin, not a class IIa coin. All of this also reminds us that the classification IIa and IIb are not hard and fast and might better be taken to describe general tendencies in design between which many coins float.

                            Fitz
                            Last edited by Fitzwilliam05; Jun 15, 2009, 06:31 AM. Reason: spelling

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                            • #15
                              Hello James

                              On reflection, your Galerius "Unknown Continental Mint' -- tentatively Lugdunum 17b (?) that I thought may be a "petite effigie" may in fact be what Stewartby described as Group I Class Ib (he describes the LON coins as Class Ia), that is the first of two parts of the intermediate group - those with bare busts. I think Fitz may have made a good call there! The lettering is quite distinct from the usual Lyons style.

                              The second part of the intermediate group are called IIe by Stewartby and come before IIa with an ambiguous type described as IIea - these are all cuirassed. He stresses that there is no clear division between IIe and IIa.

                              Lee
                              Lee Toone
                              www.hookmoor.com

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