Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A coin of two Trajans, son and father

Trajan was the successor of the emperor Nerva and pre-decessor of Hadrian. The coin above shows the emperor Trajan on one side and his natural father, Marcus Ulpius Traianus senior, seated on the other.

Trajan senior was born in Hispania into a Roman family of Italian stock. His paternal ancestors moved from Italy and settled in Italica (near modern Seville, Spain) in the Roman Province of Hispania Baetica.

He was the first member of his family to enter the Roman Senate. Some time before 67, Trajan Sr. may have commanded a legion under the Roman General Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. Under the future emperor Vespasian (who was at the time the Roman Governor of Judea), he commanded the tenth legion, Legio X Fretensis, during the First Jewish–Roman War between 67-68. During this time, he came into favour with the future emperor.

Due to his successes, Vespasian awarded Trajan Sr. the governorship of a province, although which one is unknown, and a consulship in 70. In later years, he served as a Roman Governor of Hispania Baetica, Syria, in 79 or 80 governed an unknown African province and then western Anatolia. During his time in Syria, he prevented a Parthian invasion.

Coins depicting Trajan’s natural father are difficult to find. The most cost effective way of acquiring a coin of this Roman personality is to get one which shows him seated on a curule chair on the reverse honouring him post mortem with the legend DIVVS PATER TRAIAN. The above coin is for sale and can be purchased by following the link to Mauseus on vCoins HERE.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

A coin of Valerian from Anemurion

Valerian I, AE 27mm Anemurion (Anemurium) in Cilicia

 A bronze coin of Valerian I (253-60 AD), made in the third year of his reign. The unlucky Roman emperor Valerian reigned for seven years before he was captured by the Sasanian ruler Shapur I and spent the rest of his life in captivity.

The above coin itself is not a product from a Roman mint as such but rather one that was made in a provincial mint that made coins for local circulation and for local commerce in the eastern provinces. The main part of the reverse is the mint name, ANEMOVPIŅ N in Greek script.

 The ruins at Anemurion

Anemurion (Anemurium in Latin), located in what is now Turkey but in Roman times was Cilicia. It was situated in on a high bluff knob (Cape Anamur) that marks the southernmost point of Asia Minor, opposite Cyprus.

The theatre

The ruins of its theatres, tombs and walls are still visible and were first mentioned by Francis Beaufort, an English naval captain who explored the south coast of Turkey in 1811-12 and who published his discoveries in Karamania. Excavations have revealed extensive traces of the city's buildings, tombs and history from the 1st century after Christ until the city's abandonment around 650 when Arab attacks made the coast unsafe.

Teams have uncovered a large theatre, a small covered theater or odeon, several public baths decorated with mosaic floors (some converted to industrial use in late antiquity), four early Christian churches (also with mosaic floors and donors' inscriptions), a possible civil basilica (law court), sections of the city walls and aqueducts, and a number of minor structures. Work in the city's extensive necropolis of several hundred tombs built above ground has revealed and conserved wall paintings (including the four seasons) and more mosaic floors.

 Ruins on the shore

The last coins minted in Anemorion were in the mid third century before its capture by the Sasanians in 260.

The coin at the top of this note is for sale and can be purchased by following the link to Mauseus on vCoins HERE.