Crucible and Furnace

Or would I say forge or kiln?  I better look up some obscure Latin if I’m going to continue worrying about  the identity of objects on the Papius series (j/k).  Anyway this is relevant to ancient technologies around metal refinement and thus would be familiar to those engaged in mint operations.Capture.JPG

If this is really Crawford symbol 24 like the catalogue suggests, than the drawings (or they specimens they were based on) were poor indeed.

Another Republican Die?!

The idea of a real republican die for the main mint surviving seems completely improbable.  I just can’t make up a story whereby this would happen.  This must be an imitation, but a nice one… Hubbed?  There are imitations known but not this fine (and another example).  Just reacting.  But the control mark isn’t one detailed by Crawford 1974: p. LXVIII-LXIX (not that those sketches are perfect, but their usually pretty good).  The rightly catalogue says: “Für das Symbol vgl. 148.”  But this clearly isn’t Crawford’s 148 as that is a pair of animal heads.  There is a small chance that it matches Crawford’s 86: a lamp hook and a lamp.  Helps if I look at the right plates…. Strangely the odd symbol makes me think it is more genuine.  Hmm.. Must think more: Papius is on my list of future projects.



(in the Princeton museum)

The sort of object needed to hang up one of these (or as Crawford says, a cooking pot):



Portrait of a Moneyer

This is just fun.

C. 101 (Mattingly) or 104 (Crawford) this novus homo makes a VERY conservative coin (RRC 318/1) (gorgeous specimen though!):


By 94 he’s consul.  And Cicero’s brother is using him as a positive exempla by the late 60s:


Then his son (so Crawford, I think perhaps grandson — we don’t know the moneyer’s filiation I don’t think, but I need to go through Cicero’s letters again to double check) in 51 BCE puts his portrait on a coin (RRC 437):


I don’t think we have any other portraits of moneyers except Brutus…  And none where the portrait is from the regular coin series.  That’s your trivial detail for the day.

I guess I had good instincts on the grandson thing… I’ve ordered this via ILL and will update blog as I read more:



Woytek, Bernhard E. and Zawadzka, Anna. “Ockham’s razor: a structural analysis of the denarii of Coelius Caldus (RRC 437).” Numismatic Chronicle 176 (2016): 135-153.

Responding to all this:

Ryan, Francis Xavier. “Die Legende IMP.AV.X auf den Denaren des Triumvirn Caldus.” Schweizer Münzblätter = Gazette Numismatique Suisse 56, no. 222 (2006): 39-42. Doi: 10.5169/seals-171948

Badian, Ernst. “Two numismatic phantoms: the false priest and the spurious son.” Arctos 32 (1998): 45-60.

Evans, Richard J.. “The denarius issue of CALDVS IIIVIR and associated problems.” The Ancient History Bulletin V (1991): 129-134.