Unciae of the 130s

second known specimen of RRC 240/6: 2.41g, 14mm, 1h, first is in Paris , note Schaefer binder has a different photo of the Paris specimen: 1.66g, 14 mm.
Only known specimen of RRC 241/6 (new number, not in Crawford 1974): 2.43 g.

I thank M. Fischer for kindly sending me the following additional 241/6 specimens! The generosity of those working on RR coins never fails to astound me and warm my heart.

NAC 92, 1594: 1.37 g.
NAC 61, 994 (RBW): 2.23 g.; alt photograph in McCabe Collection
Private collection, McCabe Photograph: 2.29g
Goodman collection = CNG 45, 1549: 2.01 g
Goodman collection = CNG 45, 1550: 1.75 g
CNG 40, 1259: 1.71

RRC 242/5: the Paris specimen remains unique: 3.45 g, 16.2 mm

Only third known specimen of RRC 244/5: 3.87 g.; the first known is in Paris (it’s always Paris isn’t it?!): 4.17 g, 17 mm, 7 die axis. Do you have a better photo of this coin? I’d love one, if you did!
The second known specimen, is only known to ME because of the Schaefer archive (wow I love them so much); the bottom image is an alternate image of the Paris specimen. What is CRIPPA you ask?! Answer in the unofficial Schaefer guide. 3.10 g. Again, if you have a better photo…?

We finally get a mess of specimens (still pretty measly, but beggars cannot be choosers) with RRC 249/4.

To talk about this screen grab of Schaefer’s binder I’m going give each of the 5 specimens names: A1, B1, C1, C2, C3–Cs are numbered top to bottom. A1 earlier sale.
a sixth specimen in trade: 2.79g. and other image of same specimen.
The only known example of RRC 250/3 from Paris but not linked to CRRO for some odd reason. Binder image.

Fischer has sent me a specimen known to Bahrfeld in Ravenna but not included by Crawford that would be 256/5:

Cleaned up machine translation:

“I can also give a picture of the uncia with Q · METE now in the Museo nazionale in Ravenna, based on a print I owe to Mr Icilio Bocci. Plate I, no. 23. Weight 2.5 grams, in very good condition. It proves how poorly the illustration in Riccio, Mon. fam. Plate 54, No. 20, which served as a model for a forgery, which I will talk about further below on p. 30. About the alleged uncia with A · CA in the wreath, see above, p. 17.”

Riccio Pl. 54 is pretty poorly drawn but I do just love that it exists as confirmation at all. Notice also the ELP coin type below! Another rare favorite.

AND sure enough Schaefer already knew this specimen as well, BUT given than it was sold in 1958 (BRU = Count Luigi Brunacci Collection = P&P Santamaria Auction (Rome), 24 February 1958), I don’t think I bother looking for it in Ravenna post pandemic:

Binder 11, p. 167 not properly linked to CRRO yet

Molinari 2016 would (like HB Mattingly new) put this issue in 132 BCE and I follow her judgement on dates in this period. I would note that it clearly displays an OAK wreath like some later issues. This specimen seems like it belongs more to the subsequent period of uncia because of its design, but the moneyer is quite clear no later date seems quite feasible.

21 specimens over 7 different issues is pretty bad for doing any meaningful quantitative analysis, but we can say that the while the specimens are visually very consistent their weights very significantly. I’m pretty happy to say that the weight of these coins was not a major concern in minting operations and thus not particularly tightly controlled in any way.

Do you know of other uncia of this decade that are not listed here? Do let me know!

So why start here? Well it looks like there has been about a 10 to 15 year gap in the making of the uncia before these issues and there seems to be another gap of about 20 years after. Of course another specimen could show up in a few hours and mess my gaps, but we’ll keep chatting. Dates are a big issue here in the hazy late 2nd century. If we presume that relative chronology is ok then the previous uncia was RRC 217/7 (not in Crawford, but Russo 1998, 147, for illustration bottom left specimen on this Schaefer binder page).

Hint: to find a type that isn’t in CRRO but likely known to Schaefer, go to nearest denomination in the issue in CRRO and start from the binder pages listed for that type and you’ll usually find what you need.

RRC 217 matters for dating a whole heck of a lot. A denarius of this issue was over struck by Andriscus as Philip IV meaning that 217 needs to be c. 149-150 BCE NOT 144 BCE as HB Mattingly would have it or 147 BC as Crawford gave us. However both agree on general relative chronology so we probably need to move not just this but surrounding issues earlier.


Fischer also kindly shared with me this note from M.v.Bahrfeld in his “Nachträge und Berichtigungen zur Münzkunde der römischen Republik Bd I S.20” on a uncia from L. Antestius Gragulus (Cr.238)

A slightly cleaned up machine translation (if I’ve made a meaningful error, do let me know!):

“We only know the uncia from the description by Riccio Catalogo p. 34, No. 28, sales catalog p. 13, No. 194; the coin’s whereabouts is not known. I think they are very problematic, by the way. Babelon describes the uncia on p. 148, no. 15, according to Riccio Catalogo p. 34, no. 28. But since he says “helmeted head of the goddess Roma facing right”, while Riccio says “Head of a veiled woman facing left” which suggests he did not consult Riccio, but simply asked Cohen to transcribe it.”

Fischer has kindly supplied a link to Riccio!

2 thoughts on “Unciae of the 130s”

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