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Old Jan 29, 2012, 03:57 AM   #1
Joe Geranio
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Marcus Agrippa As- Struck Under Caligula or Tiberius? Joe Geranio

What do you think? Was this coin struck under Caligula or Tiberius?
Joe Geranio


From notes and books and articles: On Agrippa aes issues

Mattingly recognized this issue being assigned to Caligula in BMCRE1 pg. cxxxiii
Michael Grant in NC, 8 (1948) pg 125-26
Sutherland- CRIP 102

Sutherland wrote: "Whose abundant frequency has long made them a puzzle to interpret , were more probably struck under Gaius, to judge from the dates of other coinages which reproduce the designs'/, although he has regarded it as just possible that they came out at the very end of Tiberius' principate, CRIP 102 no.2) After Anne Robertson wrote. (Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet 1 (1962) pg. lxv, added a technical argument in favor of the coins being struck under Gaius. The fact that the obverse and reverse types on these coins are regularly at 180 in relation to one another, for this did not become the regular die arrangement for aes coinage prior to Gaius reign. It was usual in the middle years of Tiberius' reign, but not dominant. These arguments have convinced Macdowall NC7 (1967) 47, no.5 that the majority of these aes issues must have been Caligulan, while Giard believes the attribution of the whole issue belongs to Caligula is, at present, the most probable hypothytheis, on grounds of community both of style and of countermarks. (Rev Num. 10 v.6 (1968 ) 80-81.

However, Sydenham has already urged (NC 17) 1917 that Caligula's reign was too short for so vast an issue, and after the publication of Sutherlands book Carl Kuthmann argued afresh in favor of attributing the whole issue to the reign of Tiberius, other aes issues being, in his view, ample in number and size to fill Caligula's reign. (Schweizer Munsblatter 4 1954 73-7. He suggested that the coins of Caesaraugusta in Spain which Sutherland gave as his example of coins reproducing the design of Agrippa asses were probably struck, not under Caligula, as Sutherland held, but under Tiberius. In A.D. 37, and that the appearance of countermarks from Claudius' reign on some of the Agrippa asses (Kray Vindonissa 48) Is not at all suprising , the reign of Caligula being so short. He also suggested that the reign of Tiberius is the most likely historical context for this advertising of Agrippa , since there was a strong personal tie, through Vipsania, between Agrippa and Tiberius (CE Stevens has quoted Velleius 2. 127) For Agrippa's high standing A.D. 30 (NC 7 . 3 (1963) p.262. But the fact that Caligula was Agrippa's grandson, none between Agrippa and Caligula (Suetonius Gaius 23) Mattingly has said in conversations, " that he still holds these historic considerations as weightier than the numismatic arguments against inception under Tiberius. He believes that the bulk , at least, of this issue was produced between 22- 31 A.D. Note 576. While Sejanus was influential , unfortunatley the political question , cui bono? Who is most likely to have wanted to advertise Agrippa? Above all to the troops on the Rhine and Danube frontiers , and at what period? cannot be given an answer that will convince everyone, as is shown in the diversity of views about personal relationships at this period. See: (Anne Boddington AJP 84 1963 1-16) S. Jameson, however, has argued, on the evidence of the die axis and of hybrids that occur, that one of these 3 groups into which she believes the issue can be divided began began to be produced in about 22-23 A.D. ; minting "will have covered a span of several years". (NC 7. 7 (1967) 95-124. But prof. Robertson draws a different conclusion from the die-axis and John Nicols (ANS Museum notes 19 1974) has shown the flimsiness of the hybrid evidence, the fact that 18 halves of asses of the other great issue, celebrating the providentia of Augustus , were found at Vindonissa , but no halves of these asses is, as he says, "fairly strong evidence against assigning a mid-Tiberian date to the Agrippa as.

Grant States: If one weighs up the historical and numismatic arguments, no one of which is desicive, it seems most likely that the production of these asses began in the later years of Tiberius' reign, already with the intention , with the intention, at least that the issue would be large. However, C.M Kraay while believing that the major part of it, including all the coins struck at Rome, belongs to Tiberius' last years , has pointed to find evidence indicating that in Gaul some production ran much longer. (Vindonissa 10 35)
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Old Jan 30, 2012, 06:18 AM   #2
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A fascinating discussion, Joe. I had always made the presumption that these were from the reign of Caligula, but perhaps it is the enormous output for the issue, and especially, from such a short reign, that causes me to now think this attribution as somewhat problematic. Perhaps a future archeological discovery, with some corroborating evidence one way or the other, will shed additional light on the true date of these interesting coins.
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Old Jan 30, 2012, 04:24 PM   #3
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Pantheon,

I am fighting an uphill battle here, but it just not fit historically that Gaius would strike this issue, I am waiting or library articles from the ANS on the subject and am working on an article. The die-axis at 180 is a issue for a Tiberian issue, but Tiberian also had some of these axis issues, just not as common. . Much more to come/

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Old Jan 31, 2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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Gaius and Agrippa.

I have forgotten my Julio-Claudian family tree in my old age, but did not Caligula have some family connection to Agrippa.

More to the point, why do we assume that an issue such as this has to be attributed to Tiberius or Caligula? Could it not be the issue was begun under Tiberius and then continued under Caligula?

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Old Jan 31, 2012, 04:08 PM   #5
Joe Geranio
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coin minted with the portrait of Agrippa.

See Suetonius 23- Caligula hated being related to his grandfather, Agrippa and stated

He was unwilling to be thought or called the grandson of Agrippa, because of the obscurity of his birth; and he was offended if any one, either in prose or verse, ranked him amongst the Caesars.

So my point on this matter is , he would not have had a coin minted with the portrait of Agrippa.

Thanks,

Joe
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Old Jan 31, 2012, 07:59 PM   #6
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There is a problem with that: Suetonius is notably unreliable. He was the ancient equivalent to a market scandal sheet writer. How did he know that? What was his source? Do any of the other ancient authors write anything similar?

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Old Jan 31, 2012, 09:41 PM   #7
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Yes, of all he is most unreliable. I am looking for some dedication to Agrippa in the Arval Brethern. More to come.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 01:58 AM   #8
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just more raw date, more to come.



REVISTING JAMESONS THOUGHTS ON THE MARCUS AGRIPPA AES- THE DATE OF THE ASSES OF MARCUS AGRIPPA



Initial theories and changes of the following views of L. Lafranchi-

Due to familial assimilation stylistic similarity between Agrippan asses and the Imperial family of Caligula, Lafranchi assigned these issues to the reign of Caligula. He saw a familial dynastic connection. See reference below for first theory by Lafranchi.
See: I Diversi stilli nella monetazione romana: gli assi ed I dupondi commeamortivi d Augusto e di Agrippa, RIN 1910, 21ff.

Lafranchi changes his mind almost 40 years later on the Agrippan asses and thinks they were struck under Claudius, not Caligula.
See: La Monetazione Imperatorial e Senatoria di Claudio I Durante il quadrennio 41-44 RIN 1949, 41 ff.

Voetters Views and LaFranchi Response

Voetter thought that the Agrippan Gaius issues could be assigned to either principate due to the high volume number of hybrids available.
See: Vienna Monatsblatter no. 24, 25 and 26. 1908

C.M Kraay- Views on Caligulan or Tiberian Strike

Kraay first believes that issues were struck under Caligula, but due to Kuthmann’s observations on the Caesaraugusta imitations from Spain, Kraay has changed his mind to a Tiberian strike date.
Original view by Kraay: Because there were so many issues of this series of Agrippan asses with the Claudian countermark, TIAV. Not commonly found on coins before Caligula’s principate.
See: SMzB 1952, 53, and 56.
For Revised Kraay View, see: Die Munzfunde die Vindonissa 34f.
M. Grant as Jameson notes, NC 1948, 116. Grant states the first time an issue was found with the TIAV countermark was in 29-30 A.D.
There is a reference to the Spanish moneyers reproducing the Agrippa type with other types for Caligula and there is also a mention on an issue of Caligula being the grandson of Agrippa from an unknown mint in Asia Minor. RN, 1911, 432.

H. Kuthmann’s Views on Caligula and Tiberius dates

Due to the large number of bronze coinage that has survived Kuthmann has issues with the Agrippa asses being struck under Caligula for so brief of a principate.
See: SMzB 1054, 73ff.
See: For Spanish imitations, A.Vives, La Moneda Hispanica IV, 84, nos. 66-67.








The M. Agrippa as series from Spain. Regarding Kuthmann’s observation on imitations of the Agrippa aes type from Caesaraugusta in Spain. It seems in earlier scholarship S. Jameson, Kraay and others who get into Portrait study on these imitations , this is dubious at best, and I usually always look at portrait types, square chin, or with terms like "square and sloping styles" as Kraay mentions for Vindonissa issues. Which he puts into two groups, one for the Rome mint and all others for provincial mints. I do admit that the Rome mint Agrippa aes are superior in style and consistency, but sometimes this portrait study from provincial mints can be a bit far reaching? The Roman Imperial mint would have by far the best portraiture for numismatics and would have been exactly how the living princeps would have wanted that coin represented. On the obverse and I agree with Jameson that there are actually three portrait groups we should look at, Group A is of the best quality and consistency are from Rome-

Group A - Jameson Observations

A square set of the head, and treatment of the eye, which is always marked HORIZONTALLY" giving a stern and determined appearance (may be too much read into this) to the face. The hair is finely executed, especially the forelock, the tips of which curl slightly outwards, away from the forehead.

Group A- On Appearance

The obverse of the Agrippa aes issue represents a balanced uncluttered appearance, the relief is high; the legend is drawn in large even letters, which are well spaced and give no impression of cramping the portrait. In comparison to the other 2 groups the "COS" will be seen to be larger and equally spaced. At this time , I only would like to concentrate on the obverse portrait types of Jameson and not the reverse.

Group B- More on Jameson Observations

The portraits of Agrippa in group be often look similar to portraits in group A, but; the execution of the features is very different. The eyes vary, sometime the brow is at an angle as though the eye was gazing upward, the hair is neatly executed but with less detail. Sometimes the eyebrow is curled, the forelock is either more ruffled or more often cropped of in a short fringe.

Group B- On Appearance

The legend of the letters in "COS" often the "O" is smaller the the other two letters and tends to be spaced closer to the "S", leaving a gap between it and the "C". Jameson as well as others believe this group belong to the Tiberian, Claudian or Neronian deviation.

Group C - Portrait observations Jameson

The coins of this group are quite distinct in style, the portraits have a great deal of variation. The main features are similar in that the head slopes back and is more spread, the relief being less high , especially at the base of the neck, the hair is of a courser texture than those of Groups A and B. The forelock is short and almost always combed into a fringe which clings tightly to the forehead. The chin is prominent, often the depth of the chin to base of neck appears greater than that of forehead to crown.

Groups C- Appearance

The legends in this group are often not consistent, being cramped or has height differences.

Now, I did not include all of Jameson’s pyhscological theories on the Agrippa portrait which seemed to prevail pre- 1970's. If you want to know more read:

RIC first edition had this issue struck under Tiberius BMC Tiberius 161.

WEIGHT ON JAMESON”S CHART- Three Groups of Agrippa Aes

Out of more than 100 coins Group A shows a Maximum weight of 13.50 gm , this is on the high end , and is extremely heavy, although one-third weigh between 11.50 and 12.50 gm. And the weight for any issue never drops below 10.25 gm. Average weight is between 10.25 and 11.00. Group B and Group C are averaging the same but weights decline respectively from groups A, B and C.

THE DIE AXIS RELATIONSHIP

In the case of the Tiberian issue , it has been shown , on the evidence of the die axis relationship and the types with which the Agrippa portrait is combined to form hybrids , that probably originated in mid range of Tiberian rule. The Agrippa as groups issued under Tiberius was probably around 22-23 A.D.

Jameson goes on, the die axis under Caligula is ÓÔ , BUT; this is also so in the reign of Tiberius, with two exceptions (neither asses). The Agrippa coins always have the reverse die-axis in a downward position. Sutherland has demonstrated from an examination of the die-axis of the aes coinage throughout the reign of Tiberius that while hh is dominant at the beginning and end of the reign , *¯ predominates during mid reign. In particular the providential asses. Of the 29 asses of the Agrippa type, both countermarked and non-countermarked, the reverse die-axis is a follows: 10 specimens show ¯, 10 l, and 9 m. Therefore , if these issues are correctly attributed to Tiberius, they are more likely to have been attributed to the middle part of his reign. 22-23 A.D.

See: NC, 1941 100 and for Provedentia asses 111.

Marcus Agrippa, a Biography, (Roma 1965) , no. 132. No.39. Dating and methods of explaining Agrippa issues and hybrids.

Jameson Legends for Hybrids Evidence

IMP CAESAR DIVI F AVGVS IMP XX

DIVVS AVGVSTUS PATER

TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST PM TR POT XXIII? SC

TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F PM TR POT XXIIII SC

PONTIF MAXIM TRIBUN POTEST XXXVII SC

PONTIF MAXIM TRIBUN POTEST XXXVIII SC

SC PROVIDENT

CCAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT

SC (MINERVA)

ROME ET AVG (LOCAL STYLE)


THE REVERSE OF THE AGRIPPA AES - SC

Group A - SC

The SC from group A of Jameson/Kraay’s (Die Munzefunde von vindonissa 35) chart shows the extremely large bold SC , the C is very round and almost a full circle. On better specimens the C varies in thickness according to Jameson.

If the SC is studied on the Tiberian aes is studied , they do not seem so rotund, more square than round. The letters themselves are thicker , the C is not fully fashioned on the Tiberian issue as on Group A asses, but broadens into the serifs. As is sometimes the case with the “C” of Claudian asses. Jameson goes into great depth on these issues of legends and serifs and flan distinction, see page 109-10 of NC , Vol. VI, 1966.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:12 PM   #9
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Trust Suetonius?

Certainly, Suetonius writes that Caligula felt embarrassed to be descended from Agrippa and disliked him, but how reliable is Suetonius? Not very, it seems to me. He was a scandal writer--one of his other works, not preserved, was "Lives of Famous Roman Prostitutes." He would have been working for a supermarket scandal sheet if he lived today. No rumor is too ridiculous or untrustworthy for him to report. He lost his post under Hadrian for gossiping about imperial matters. Perhaps Caligula did privately dislike his connection to Agrippa out of some misplaced snobbery, but would it have been wise to advertise that publicly? We always ought take Suetonius cum grano salis.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 09:03 AM   #10
Joe Geranio
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No doubt Suetonius would have loved house wives of New Jersey, and I always take him with a grain of salt. Thanks,
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 06:53 PM   #11
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Oops!

Joe,

Sorry for the almost repeated post about Suetonius; I forgot I had made the same observation earlier.

Not sure I am much impressed with the argument that Caligula's reign was too short to have coined the mass of Agrippa aes. Much of Claudius' and Nero's aes was struck in a very few years, as was most of Augustus' Gaius and Luciius denarii, the older theory that they were continued well after the boys' deaths now being largely discounted.

I wonder too why Tiberius would have wanted to honor Agrippa particularly?

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Old Dec 30, 2012, 10:43 PM   #12
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Thanks for the reply, as much as we have the rumors about Caligula and Agrippa vs. Tiberius and Agrippa, First and foremost in Imperial Propaganda of Caligula the 37-41 A.D. coinage. Caligula shows a pattern, Father, Mother, Sisters, Brothers and a DIVUS AUGUSTUS DUPONDIUS.

As Susan Wood points out in her article, we see a string of firsts with Imperial Women with Caligula's coinage: The first issue of imperial coinage to show a woman on obverse and reverse (Agrippina sest undated). The first time living women are named on imperial coinage, ie; three sisters sestertii. Caligula had a good memory about not liking someone or a situation that he did not want on his coins. The 3 sisters sestertii were only issue in the first year of his reign, why, well Drusilla died and the other 2 Julia and Agrippina were caught up in a conspiracy against him. So, does Agrippa fit in with his dynastic plans? Not really, Suetonius or not.

Tiberius- Wanted to be the great General type, he was a military general and loved his previous wife dearly. The power vaccum of Tiberius was Arippa, Augustus and Livia, so he would have wanted to ally himself with these folks during his life and into his principate, and I really believe he had an actual love for Vipsania Agrippina his wife and daughter of Agrippa. This supposed power structure to Caligula would have meant nothing. Except to be aligned with Augustus. Much more on this, but you get the picture.

The coins of the early empire speak at least to the truth of HOW they wanted to be portrayed. Suetonius, some truth, but lots of axes to grind.
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