The final unciae?

Have I forgotten the small change? No! I just took two speaking engagements on new topis the first two weeks of the semester on top of other research commitments, accidentally fell in love with my great great grandfather and started a website for that project, had some proofs to deal with (we are now through proofs and actually really in production and printing!!!), and next week I get to onboard and train the new full-time researcher on RRDP for 92-75 BCE. It’s all good stuff, but wow my calendar is full of meetings and little time to THINK about coins. But I’m awake and kiddos aren’t yet so me and cup of coffee are here….

L. Thorius Balbus (RRC 316) and L. Appulius Saturninus (RRC 317) both stuck unciae, but were not included by Crawford in RRC but instead reporting Saturninus’ uncia as a fake on p. 551, n. 83, where as Russo 1998, pl. 21, 95 accepts it as genuine as do I, as did Babelon Appuleia 5 and Sydenham 581a, and most others, I think.

Do you disagree? I want to know why! Send me a message!

In trade. 3rd known specimen?

One kiddo is awake and looking at RRC plates next to me…. This might all have to wait… Yup just had a long conversation about this specimen in 44/2 with a 5 year old, quite interesting actually, and now I have to find viking helmets to compare to corinthian helmets…. BACK LATER

Right. I’m back (at least for now). Now to track down the other specimens…. And that wasn’t so hard as Schaefer seems to have done all the work. The thing to notice is that we only know one reverse die but from 3 specimens. Strongly indicating that this was a v v small issue. The Russo specimen is much lighter but not unreasonably so given apparent porus condition.

Schaefer Binder 2, page 96 detail
Paris specimen obv.
Paris specimen rev.
Schaefer binder 2, p. 101 detail – I don’t think this auction has been digitized… do you have a better photo of this specimen? I’d be most grateful. And isn’t that a funny looking Roma on the obverse v. lumpy? The letters on reverse almost look too perfectly clear but that could all be photo distortion. Would love to see a second specimen. Ho Hum.

So the interesting thing about these two moneyers is both are known historical figures or at least presumed to be the same men as those who are known from the literature. I have a few posts on Saturninus on the blog, but there is much much more that could be said about the man (Wikipedia entry).

Ok back to kiddos.. and once again I’m going to try to pick up my chain of thought after baking handpies, crocheting 1/2 a mitten and playing board games….

So Thorius is known from Cicero (we think) and a relative seems to have made bronze coins in the East in the 20s BCE, see earlier post. He apparently was best known to his contemporaries as an Epicurean type.

I wonder (just speculating here so bear with me) if it is more than coincidence that the men who made these unciae and some of the preceding group are men known to us as historical figures or who seem from their coins be engaged in popular politics. Did it take a certain amount of chutzpah to issue these near worthless but clearly useful small coins? Compare for instance the strange Bes and Dodrans issues by C. Cassius, a known radical (early post on these issues). Note that HBMattingly thinks I take as plausible that the moneyer IS the consul of 124 BCE (not his son as Crawford would have it). The type dates from c. 130 BCE (so Molinari) and being moneyer 6 years or so before your consulship isn’t completely preposterous.

Am I done with my survey of small change… Not quite we’ve surveyed all the unciae, but I feel compelled to look at other denominations as well… New post to follow on the end of the sextans.

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