Diadumenian Intermediate coins from Marcianopolis

 

 

There are a series of coins issued for Diadumenian in Marcianopolis that can be seen to lie between the sizes of the smallest 1 assarion size and the main 5 assaria coin (by far the most diverse and plentiful). A single type with the G denomination indicates a tariff of 3 assaria, while most of the other coins lying within this middle band are generally smaller in diameter and weight, unmarked with a denomination and are considered to be 2 assaria.

 

The two assaria pieces seem to have been produced as the result of only three obverse dies.

 

Example 1

Ob. M OPELLIOC ANTWNEINOC K

Rev. MARKIANO-POLEITWN

Ref. Moushmov 595; Hristova/Jekov 6.25.31.1 (r.6); Varbanov (Eng.) Vol.1. No. 1324

4.40g, 22mm

 

Example 1 shows a bare head left as the obverse type while the reverse shows Cybele seated left between two lions, holding patera and resting arm on drum. The engraving has been very well done on this die with a considerable amount of detail on a relatively small flan. Indeed there seems to have been a tendency, in this series to use small flans in the striking process as many examples only show partial legends.

 

Example 2a Example 2b

Ob. M OPELLIOC ANTWNEINOC K Ob. M OPELLIOC ANTWNEINOC K

Rev. MARKIANO-P-OLEITWN Rev. MARKIANO-P-OLEITWN

Ref. Moushmov 606; AMNG 789; Ref. Moushmov 606; AMNG 789;

Hristova/Jekov 6.25.10.1 (r.5); Hristova/Jekov 6.25.10.1 (r.5);

Varbanov (Eng.) Vol.1. No. 1341 Varbanov (Eng.) Vol.1. No. 1341

6.59g, 22mm 6.39g, 22mm

 

Examples 2a and 2b use the same obverse die as Example 1 and the reverse depicts Hermes standing with purse in right hand and kerykeion over right arm. Hermes was the patron of merchants, travellers, shepherds, poets and thieves and was thought of as the messenger of the gods. His unique staff (Kerykeion in Greek and Caduceus in Latin) has two entwined snakes and he is often seen carrying a purse. Due to his swiftness of foot Hermes was closely associated with athleticism and his statues adorned many stadiums and gymnasiums. Example 2b has a different reverse die from 2a.

 

Example 3

Ob. M OPELLIOC ANTWNEINOC K

Rev. MARKIANO-POLEITWN

Ref. -

4.72g, 21mm

 

Example 3 again used the same obverse die as the previous two with Homonoia standing left holding patera and cornucopiae, lit altar at feet on the reverse.

 

Example 4

Ob. M OPELLIOC ANTWNEINOC K

Rev. MARKIANO-POLEITWN

Ref. Varbanov 1345; AMNG I 790 (courtesy of Apollo Numismatics)

4.81g, 21mm

 

Example 4 shows a very similar but different obverse die to the previous coins, the reverse showing Hygieia standing right, holding snake in right hand and patera in left.

 

Example 5

Ob. K M OPELLIOC ANTWNEINOC

Rev. MARKIAN-OPOLEITWN

Ref. -

5.39g, 21mm

 

Example 5 is a difficult coin to classify. The size and weight put the coin clearly in this 2 assaria series yet the obverse die is unlike the others and the reverse of Hygieia has already been covered by that in Example 4, in a series where, in general, only one die seems to have been prepared for each type. However the likely explanation is that this set of dies was prepared at a different time from the others in the series.

 

 

 

Example 6

Ob. M OPELLIOC ANTWNEINOC K

Rev. MARKIANO-POLEITWN

Ref. Moushmov 599; AMNG 793; Hristova/Jekov 6.25.35.1 (r.6); Varbanov (Eng.) Vol.1. No. 1332

5.76g, 21mm

 

Example 6 was produced using the same obverse die as Examples 1-3 while the reverse of one of Nemesis- Aequitas (or Dikaeosyne) holding scales in her right hand, cornucopia in her left arm and a wheel at her feet.

 

Example 7

Ob. M OPELLIOC ANTWNEINOC K

Rev. MARKIANO-POLEITWN

Ref. Hristova/Jekov 6.25.38.3 (r6); AMNG 1/785; Varbanov (Eng.) Vol1. No. 1362

4.55g, 20mm

 

Example 7 uses the same obverse die as that in Example 4. The reverse shows Tyche seated left, holding rudder in her right hand and holding a cornucopia in her left arm.

 

Example 8

Ob. M OPELLIOC ANTWNEINOC K

Rev. MARKIANO-POLEITWN

Ref. Courtesy of Nemesis Vcoins sales

5.00g, 22mm

 

Example 8 again uses the obverse die seen in examples 4 and 7, the reverse showing Tyche standing left, holding rudder in left hand and cornucopia in right arm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Example 9

Ob. M OPELLION ANTWNEINOC K

Rev. MARKIANO-POLEITWN

Ref. Ebay sales November 2006

6.7g, -mm

 

Example 9 is an unusual coin in this intermediate series in that the obverse bust shows Diadumenian draped. There seems to have been an effort to ensure that the 2 assaria pieces retained the undraped head as a means of easy identification. Although the coin is similar in weight (this particular example) the legend seems to indicate this coin is akin to that with the Artemis reverse in the next example. There does not appear to be a G denomination mark, but the combination of legend, bust type, probable size and a weight of reasonable comparison supports the supposition that this is a 3 assaria piece.

 

Example 10a Example 10b

Ob. M OPELLION ANTWNEINOC K Ob. M OPELLION ANTWNEINOC KAISAR

Rev. MARKIANO-POLEITWN Rev. MARKIANO-POLEITWN

Ref. Moushmov 588; AMNG I, 249, 787; Ref. AMNG 877, (Private Collection Germany)

SNG Budapest 157; Hristova/Jekov 6.25.13.1 (r.4);

Varbanov (Eng.) Vol.1. No. 1310

7.83g, 23mm 7.08g, 23mm

 

Example 10a in the series shows a similar obverse type to Example 8 (but a different die) and the reverse shows Artemis, huntress, with hound advancing fight, with right hand reaching for an arrow in quiver at shoulder and left hand holding bow; Γ to lower right. In mythology, Artemis was the daughter of Leto and Zeus and the twin of Apollo. She is the goddess of the wilderness, the hunt and wild animals, though for city dwellers she is the patron of fertility and childbirth. Her bow and arrows were made by Hephaestus and the Cyclopes. Example 10 shows a similar reverse type but a different die. It is interesting how the obverse bust looks similar to that most commonly seen on the 2 assaria coins and how the engraver managed to squeeze the full spelling of Caesar into the legend.

 

In summary there appears to be a distinction between the 2 assaria coins in the 4.5-6.5g and 22mm diameter range, all produced from three obverse dies, and a 3 assaria range consisting of two types, a G marked Artemis type with weights greater than 7g and an unmarked three graces type.

 

References

Varbanov I., Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values; Volume I Dacia, Moesia Superior, Moesia Inferior; (English Edition) 2005; Adicom Publications

 

Hristova N. & Jekov G,; Markianopolis The coins of Moesia Inferior I-III c.A.c.; Southwest University Press, Blagoevad 2006 ISBN 954-680-274-3