16 out of 234 days: 1548 Firmum Picenum Hoard

Update later the same day.

Original post below. I write these as I dive in an I like to preserve my train of thought. And, then sometimes post publication new stuff is shared with me by generous colleagues, like Seth Bernard. Who found that Crawford has tracked down records of this hoard in 2003, AND had seen another more recent one that was then unpublished and so leaving yet another content list to track down.

What I don’t understand is why Crawford assumes these are denarii… or that the asses are of the struck variety rather than the cast. I don’t see anything in the Latin to confirm that summary. The epigraphic evidence would suggest 1st Punic War date at least to my untrained eye….

The meat of this article is really the appendices just masses of data on where coins were found.


This is not the post I started writing this morning. That one may appear later today or whenever it is finished, it’s on more aes grave bibliography I was reading. This is a side note…

I went looking for images/info on Mater Matuta to round out my understanding of a findcontext and landed on this Arachne search result and as I read I found a hoard report from a completely different part of the early Roman Italy!

Extremely frustratingly I can’t find the inscription (yet!) in any of the typical epigraphic databases (I tend to start with Clauss/Slaby) and that seems supremely odd as it is clearly published. I also checked Coin Hoards and came up with zilch. My thought is if I can find a better publication of the inscription I might find the coin types. The next stop was to figure out what type of quaestors are making this offering: fines officers!

This got me to an article I’ve now ILL requested:

Piacentin, Sofia. 2021. “Public Fines in Italy Outside Rome.” In Financial Penalties in the Roman Republic, pp. 60-76. Brill.

But! The publisher’s preview gave me a head start:

Turns out Marengo is a PROLIFIC epigrapher with numerous interesting publications that I am studiously not letting myself consider reading at this time. This is the relevant one for the above inscription:

Marengo, Silvia Maria. “Le « multae ».” In Il capitolo delle entrate nelle finanze municipali in Occidente ed in Oriente: actes de la Xe rencontre franco-italienne sur l’épigraphie du monde romain : Rome, 27-29 mai 1996,. Collection de l’École Française de Rome; 256, 73-84. Roma: Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, 1999. Which gloriously turns out to be open access!

The above inscription with the coin hoard is her no. 2:

Which with this transcription let me get the databases to spit it out:

Publications: CIL 09, 05351 = CIL 01, 00383 (p 879) = CIL 05, *00429,012 = ILLRP 00593 = D 06132 = Questori 00278

and gave me an image too:

Still no more information on the hoard…. I guess I’ll have to track down all the publications at some point…

I did however let me try to retrieve it the plaque from Gallica (BnF image database). Picenum, Firmum, and Fermo, gave me nothing relevant, neither did ‘inscription’, but that last search term did return a whole host of yummy images, especially of the fragments of the tablette ilaques.

Location of Firmum Picenum (mod. Fermo)

It was a long standing iron age settlement but made a Latin Colony c. 264 BCE (Vel. Pat. 1.14.8), and then sided with Hannibal… We can assume a deposition of this hoard was mid third century based on letter forms and history of the colony.

The development of the quaestorship in the third century has been a hot topic, furthered by the discovery of the Egadi Rams. I’m not sure yet how the use of the title in colonies intersects. I’ve not read enough. Here’s some starter bibliography…

Prag Jonathan R. W. The quaestorship in the third and second centuries BC. In: L’imperium Romanum en perspective. Les savoirs d’empire dans la République romaine et leur héritage dans l’Europe médiévale et moderne. Besançon : Institut des Sciences et Techniques de l’Antiquité, 2014. pp. 193-209. (Collection « ISTA », 1302) (open access – the whole volume is fascinating!)

Prag, J. (2014). Bronze rostra from the Egadi Islands off NW Sicily: The Latin inscriptions. Journal of Roman Archaeology, 27, 33-59. doi:10.1017/S1047759414001159

Prag, Jonathan R. W. “A Revised Edition of the Latin Inscription on the Egadi 11 Bronze ‘Rostrum’ from the Egadi Islands.” Zeitschrift Für Papyrologie Und Epigraphik 202 (2017): 287–92. http://www.jstor.org/stable/26603819.

Pina Polo, Francisco and Díaz Fernández, Alejandro. “Chapter 2: The development of the quaestorship and the so-called Italian quaestors”. The Quaestorship in the Roman Republic, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2019, pp. 25-50. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110666410-004 (again the whole volume is super relevant)


Today

  • Lafayette reply
  • Review grad student apps by Jan 19
  • Finalize LETTER draft
  • Read more on Aes Grave
  • Circle back to department about any Jan planning meetings

Not Today (but maybe tomorrow, or the day after)

  • post conference Rome accommodation
  • Teaching requests for Fall 2023
  • Set time table for any collaborative RRDP work/publication prep that needs to happen this semester: Chicago pub, INC pub, collaboration with RACOM, etc…
  • Circle back to Capito project
  • Consider ask for funding from Dean’s office
  • Begin Med school rec letter
  • record mini myth
  • find out what is on that v old harddrive and back up to cloud
  • Write up Teaching Eval
  • Cancel at least one more digital membership
  • renew Coinarchives

What would the Romans call it?

This is a follow up to an old post

Festus says: 

Rodus, vel  raudus significat rem rudem et inperfectam;  nam saxum quoque raudus appellant poetae, ut Accius in Melanippo: “Constit[u]it, cognovit, sensit,  conlocat sese in locum celsum; hinc manibus rapere  roudus saxeum grande[m] et grave[m]”; et in Chrysippo: “Neque quisquam a telis vacuus, sed uti cuique  obviam fuerat, ferrum alius †saxio rudem†.” Vulgus  quidem in usu habuit, non modo pro aere inperfec to, ut Lucilius, cum ait: “plumbi pa<u>xillum rodus li nique matexam”; sed etiam signato, quia in manci pando, cum dicitur: “rudusculo libram ferito”, asse  tangitur libra. Cincius de verbis priscis sic ait:  “Quemadmodum omnis fere materia non deforma ta rudis appellatur, sicut vestimentum rude,  non perpolitum; sic aes infectum rudusculum. Apud  aedem Apollinis aes conflatum iacuit, id ad rudus appellabant. In aestimatione censoria  aes infectum rudus appellatur. Rudiari ab eodem  dicuntur, qui saga nova poliunt. Hominem inperi tum rudem dicimus.” Rudentes restes nauticae, et asini, cum voces mittunt.       

Working translation:

Rodus, or raudus, signifies an unfinished and imperfect thing; for the poets also call a rock raudus, as Accius in Melanippus:

“He stood, perceived, and recognised; betook And placed himself in a high place; thence seized In hands a huge and heavy unhewn rock.” [this quote is a modified Loeb trans.]

and in Chrysippus:

“Nor was anyone without a weapon, but they came together, some with iron, others with unhewn rock.”

The common people indeed had it in use not only as Lucilius says, for unrefined bronze, as when he says:

“a little lump of lead and a [fine?] cord [of flax? silk?]” [see below: Isodore also quotes this line with more context]

but also symbolically, in the disposal of property [manumission?!], when it is said: “Let the scale be struck with rudusculo,” as an as touches the scale. [cf. Varro, LL 5.163!]

Cincius says of the ancient words:

“In the same way that almost every material that is not deformed is called rudis, just as a garment is rude, as in not refined; so is unwrought bronze called rudusculum. Near the temple of Apollo was situated fused[?] bronze, which was called rudus. In census appraisals unwrought bronze is called rudus. Rudiari are called thus because they adorn new cloaks. We call an ignorant person, rudem.” [I’ve no idea what the penultimate sentence about rudiari means; I want it to be about rudiarii, i.e. manumitted gladiators, but I just can’t make it work to have that meaning.]

Rudentes [can mean either] the naval ropes, [or] the donkeys when they bellow.

Tangential update 1-19-23:

Quote from:

CRAWFORD, Michael H. Thesauri, hoards and votive deposits In: Sanctuaires et sources: Les sources documentaires et leurs limites dans la description des lieux de culte [online]. Naples: Publications du Centre Jean Bérard, 2003 (generated 19 janvier 2023). Available on the Internet: <http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/878&gt;. ISBN: 9782918887218. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/books.pcjb.878.

He translated asses as money but I think given how many actual asses one finds in these things perhaps we should leave it be in the original language.

16 out of 234 days: News of the Nemi photos

Turns out there are two sets of the photographs of Nemi finds taken by Lord Savile, not only the ones in the BM I’ve been trying to located but also in Nottingham. These aren’t fully digitized (yet), but the internal collections database has turned up wonderfully detailed descriptions of each print AND notes on how they correspond to photographs in the BM. So the BM photos exist clearly, and once I get the funds to go see the Nemi coins in person, I’ll also be able to study the photographs (maybe, hopefully even share them). I’ve seen one sample image and it is of high quality and the coins are legible (but only one side). I’m particularly interested that the photos seem to specify WHERE on the site the coins were found and other materials from the same find spot.

I wonder if Lord Savile kept a journal and if his personal papers are on deposit in some accessible archive…

You can get a sense of these photos from a blog post from 2013 by Pete Bounous, no coins but some low res images of votive offerings.

The 1893 catalogue of the first exhibit in Nottingham of the Nemi material is also available online. It is well illustrated for the time but alas no coin images. However, it does nicely distinguish the find spot of the aes rude from the aes grave!

p. 5

The ritual foundation deposit under the entrance fits well with other similar foundation finds.

Other things in the catalogue that charmed me was the great enthusiasm of the time for the letter forms used to spell DIANA on this bronze handle.

p.36-37

I’m also delighted with this report of a base to go with one of the small bronze statues. So often those figures are de contextualized from their original function, I find this satisfying to know of:


I’ve been overestimating what I can get done in a day. I’m going to try to put less on the today list.

Today

  • BM archivist reply
  • Review grad student apps by Jan 19
  • LETTER
  • Other email correspondence as necessary

Not Today (but maybe tomorrow, or the day after)

  • post conference Rome accommodation
  • Teaching requests for Fall 2023
  • Circle back to department about any Jan planning meetings
  • Set time table for any collaborative RRDP work/publication prep that needs to happen this semester: Chicago pub, INC pub, collaboration with RACOM, etc…
  • Circle back to Capito project
  • Consider ask for funding from Dean’s office
  • Begin Med school rec letter
  • record mini myth
  • find out what is on that v old harddrive and back up to cloud
  • Write up Teaching Eval
  • Cancel at least one more digital membership
  • renew Coinarchives

15 out of 234 days: Venusia’s weight standard

ANS Specimen acquired 1922 unknown to Haberlin

I was getting my brain warmed up trying to think of the monetary landscape in the pre 1st Punic War period. So I looked at RRC 13/1 distribution and colonization efforts again and that got me thinking what I knew about the coinage of Venusia.

Luckily “past me” had ordered Burnett 1991, so I found a pdf on file. I was interested in the idea that the fractions might be on a different weight standard than the whole unit. I’ve not looked at the fractional weights but I thought I’d see if I could re look at the data and include any specimens not known to Haeberlin (his plates). I only found one in trade and the one illustrated above in the ANS. I’ve found none in: Oxford, Yale, Princeton, Cambridge, Michigan, Capitoline, IKMK (I’ve not checked my Copenhagen or Glasgow image files yet). With only 13 specimens no average or median is going to be very conclusive, but a box and whiskers gives some idea of shape of the data. A close cluster with relatively short whiskers and two extreme outliers.

243.29 ANS 1922

320.58 Paris

327.55 Naples Cat. 1.571

329.97 ANS = Weber Cat. 2.118 (purchased from D. Stilianpoulos, Smyrna, 1898)

331.1 Naples Cat. 345 (Garrucci pl.65,6)

332.28 Trade

333.59 Venosa 1903

333.69 von Bunbury

335.4 Venosa 1903

336.94 Venosa 1903

338.51 BM

339.35 Venosa 1903

356.37 Venosa 1903

I don’t know where the Hoard of 5 specimens found in 1903 and purchased by Haeberlin ended up. It is this hoard’s find location that has lead to the association of the type with the colony.

There is some relatively recent bibliography that I’d like to read on the colony:

Stek, Tesse D.. “Motivazioni e forme alternative dell’espansionismo romano repubblicano: il caso delle colonie latine nelle aree interne appenniniche.” In Paesaggi mediterranei di età romana : archeologia, tutela, comunicazione, Edited by Mastrocinque, Gianluca. Bibliotheca Archaeologica; 47, 135-146. Roma: Edipuglia, 2017.

Casarotto, Anita, Pelgrom, Jeremia and Stek, Tesse D.. “Testing settlement models in the early Roman colonial landscapes of Venusia (291 B. C.), Cosa (273 B. C.) and Aesernia (263 B. C.).” Journal of Field Archaeology 41, no. 5 (2016): 568-586. Doi: 10.1080/00934690.2016.1211474

Grelle, Francesco. “Le colonie latine e la romanizzazione della Puglia.” In Epigrafia e territorio, politica e società : temi di antichità romane. 8, Edited by Pani, Mario. Documenti e Studi; 42, 165-199. Bari: Edipuglia, 2007.

Perhaps I’ll diagram weights of the smaller denominations next…


Today

  • BM conservation reply
  • BM archivist reply
  • Cancel at least one more digital membership
  • renew Coinarchives
  • Review grad student apps by Jan 19
  • Banking documents
  • LETTER
  • Other email correspondence as necessary
  • PROOFS
  • PEER REVIEW

Not Today (but maybe tomorrow, or the day after)

  • post conference Rome accommodation
  • Teaching requests for Fall 2023
  • Circle back to department about any Jan planning meetings
  • Set time table for any collaborative RRDP work/publication prep that needs to happen this semester: Chicago pub, INC pub, collaboration with RACOM, etc…
  • Circle back to Capito project
  • Consider ask for funding from Dean’s office
  • Begin Med school rec letter
  • record mini myth
  • find out what is on that v old harddrive and back up to cloud
  • Write up Teaching Eval

Lake Nemi Coin Finds

associated with the recovery of the ships

Good news, the Cesano pdf arrived. Bad news, no photos of republican specimens. Also, based on the lamp article I was expecting more republican material and lots more coins overall, ho hum.

Still it is interesting that they are ALL asses no other denominations… does that make it more likely they are ritual deposits?

RRC 183/1 – 169-158 BCE

RRC 182/1 – 169-158 BCE

RRC 85/2 – 211 BC – 210 BCE

RRC 191/1 – 169-158 BCE

maybe RRC 134/2 – 194-190 BCE, Crawford resolves monogram L PL H but I can imagine it being misread as LAP an I can find no other candidate types.

RRC 174/1 – 169-158 BCE

Description of find spots


Currency Bar Finds known in 1882

From Gallica; Donum citation

“When I mapped findspots for #NotAllElephants I used “Find spots taken from Vecchi 2014, pp. 29-31 with the addition of Lavinium, Sutri, Viterbo, and the region north of Naples.”

A draft map of Vecchi’s list appeared on this blog.

I’m worried I might have missed the following find spots from Garrucci’s list, but they could be listed in Vecchi under another place name!

Ardea (area of the Rutules)

Tarquinii

Fabbro near Orvieto

Fiesole

Now if I’d mapped in Google Earth this would be much more simple to reconstruct and check. Doh. I’m going to leave the question for today, but definitely want to circle back and follow up.

aes signatum

11 out of 234 days: Aes Grave outside Peninsular Italy

Ugly screen shot of the interactive Google Earth project you are welcome to view

I was collecting bibliography yesterday and was impressed with the running theme of specimens found outside Italy. The Croatian finds don’t surprise me too much because of the Mazin hoard with its roman currency bar fragments (so called aes signatum, see #NotAllElephants). I’d tentatively relate the fragmentary nature of the find in Switzerland to a similar phenomenon. Martínez Chico is right to emphasize the military camp finds at La Palma from the Prow series and events of 2nd Punic War to explain eastern Iberian find patterns and I’d transfer that logic to all the yellow dots in Sicily. The green dots (series 14 and 18) on the Sicilian eastern coast remind me of the patterns noted by Jaia and Molinari 2011, i.e. the association of these early series with the fortification of the Tyrrhenian seacoast line.

The nice thing with building this sort of representation in Google Earth is I can keep adding to it as I come across more references.

ILL still hasn’t given up any treasures as of yet.

The other thing from this morning of note is that the Portuguese variant of RRC 18/1 has Apollo facing left on both sides. I’m concerned however that I don’t understand Martínez Chico assertion that there are two already known variants, A and B. As far as I can tell this is just about the photographer’s choice, but maybe I’m being dense….

link to publication

It is demoralizing to see the same things on my to do list as yesterday. It isn’t that I didn’t do any of the things, I touched them all. It’s just they all need to be touched again. As is the nature of the work. Progress is the key.

Today

  • First steps on Aes Grave project – collect more bibliography
  • More Italy visit logistics
  • More AAH logistics
  • Book flights
  • More BM communications
  • Schaefer follow up
  • follow up with Lafayette

Not Today (but maybe tomorrow, or the day after)

  • Teaching requests for Fall 2023
  • Circle back to department about any Jan planning meetings
  • Set time table for any collaborative RRDP work/publication prep that needs to happen this semester: Chicago pub, INC pub, collaboration with RACOM, etc…
  • Circle back to Capito project
  • Consider ask for funding from Dean’s office
  • Begin Med school rec letter
  • record mini myth
  • find out what is on that v old harddrive and back up to cloud
  • Write up Teaching Eval
  • Rosen Fellowship refs – Jan 16
  • Cancel at least one more digital membership
  • renew Coinarchives
  • Review grad student apps by Jan 19

Some Aes Grave Bibliography

From L’Année philologique

Martínez Chico, David. “Reciente hallazgo de « aes grave » – as – en el Algarve (Portugal).” Revista Portuguesa de Arqueologia 20 (2017): 107-111. [pdf online]

A new « aes grave » coin is documented, dated approximately between 275 and 270 BC. C. Although it is part of a private collection, it is known that it was found in southern Portugal, specifically in Figueirinha (S. Marcos da Ataboeira, Castro Verde). An attempt is made to relate this finding to other coins also recovered in the Iberian Peninsula. It is concluded that this Roman coin must have been brought to the region after the outbreak of the Second Punic War.

Martínez Chico, David. “La moneda « aes grave » hallada en la península ibérica y su relación con la segunda guerra púnica.” Rivista Italiana di Numismatica e Scienze Affini 117 (2016): 21-33. [pdf online]

The sporadic diffusion of Roman coins of the “aes grave” type in the Iberian Peninsula is attested only after the outbreak of the Second Punic War and to a much lesser extent than the coin production in silver.

Werz, Ulrich. “Ein Aes grave aus Rheinau.” Archäologie Schweiz = Archéologie Suisse = Archeologia Svizzera 38, no. 4 (2015): 36-39. Doi: 10.5169/seals-587490

A cut “semis”, unearthed in Rheinau in 2011, is the first “aes grave” discovered on Swiss territory. This is a fragment of a coin minted after the monetary reform of 217 BC. J.-C., which reduced the weight of these pieces from 324 to 368 grams.[sic!] This currency did not arrive at the place of its discovery through monetary circulation, but through an exchange.

Hollstein, Wilhelm. “Ovids « Fasti » und das « aes grave » mit der Prora.” In « Noctes Sinenses »: Festschrift für Fritz-Heiner Mutschler zum 65. Geburtstag, Edited by Heil, Andreas, Korn, Matthias and Sauer, Jochen. Kalliope; 11, 59-67. Heidelberg: Winter, 2011.

Ovid leaves in Fast. 1, 229ff. interpret the Prora on the reverse of RRC 35/1 through the Janus on the obverse to indicate the arrival of Saturn in Latium. However, the coin dates to 241 BC, as do RRC 28/3, 35/2 and 35/3. BC, more precisely to the capture of Falerii and the victory in the naval battle of the Aegean Islands. As H. W. Ritter (=> 82-10324) has already seen, Janus on the front of 35/1 and Jupiter directing the quadriga on the back of 28/3 refer to the first victory, as well as Minerva on the front of 35/3 . The Prora on the reverse of the coins refer to the latter victory. On the obverse of 35/2 Saturn is not depicted as assumed by H. Mattingly (=> APh 3, p. 184, under H. Mattingly, 4th title), but because of the two victories Jupiter as the triumphant par excellence. The beardless Janus on the obverse of 28/3 represents the closure of the arch of Janus after defeating the Carthaginians.

Jaia, Alessandro M. and Molinari, Maria Cristina. “Two deposits of aes grave from the sanctuary of Sol Indiges (Torvaianica/Rome): the dating and function of the Roman libral series.” Numismatic Chronicle 171 (2011): 87-97. [on file – obviously it is like my favorite article of all time!]

Molinari, Maria Cristina. “Gli esemplari di « aes signatum » e « aes grave » dalla collezione del Medagliere Capitolino.” Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma 111 (2010): 15-53. [academia.edu] [jstor – photos slightly higher quality] Extremely important, esp. Appendices.

See also:

Molinari, Maria Cristina. “Un Ripostiglio Di ‘Aes Grave’ Proveniente Dai «Colli Vaticani» (Roma).” Bullettino Della Commissione Archeologica Comunale Di Roma 105 (2004): 115–22. jstor. [NOTE: The end in particular is very important for its discussion of find context and how it may related to a cult center. Bellona-Ma, Magna Mater]

Bruni, Stefano. “Sulla circolazione dell’« aes grave » di Volterra: nuovi contributi.” Rivista Italiana di Numismatica e Scienze Affini 100 (1999): 47-56. [ILL requested]

Reporting of the discoveries of Volterra coins, completing the contribution of F. Catalli (=> 47-08252), with particular regard to the northern borders of the city territory

Bar, Marc. “À propos du poids des plaques d’aes signatum, de leur nature et de leur fonction.” Rivista Italiana di Numismatica e Scienze Affini 95 (1993): 277-286. [ILL requested]

Burnett, Andrew. “The beginnings of Roman coinage.” Annali dell’Istituto Italiano di Numismatica XXXVI (1989): 33-64. [on file, obviously]

Ercolani Cocchi, Emanuela. Catalogo della collezione numismatica di Carlo Piancastelli. Aes grave. Moneta Romana repubblicana. Forlì: 1972. [next ANS visit]

From Donum:

no author set. “Aes Signatum and Aes Grave of the Morgan Collection” Coin Collector’s Journal, N.S Vol. 18, no. 6 (Nov.-Dec., 1951), pp. 125-129.

Orsi 1908 [Donum citation]

In the News of the excavations (1902, p. 217-218) I announced the discovery in the territory of Visrini (Catania) of a one libral standard uncia of Latium (astragalus [knuckle-bone]; Garrucci, pl. XL, fig. 40) and in that of Ragusa of two Latin quadranti (Head of Hercules – Prow of ship). These three pieces would have been the first specimens of aes grave found, or at least reported, in Sicily, and introductory, it should be noted, not by modern coin dealers, but in antiquity. Following the discoveries of 1902, I have noted others in the following years; and I have always used the greatest scruple in eliminating those pieces that have fallen on the antiques market, for which there may be

legitimate suspicion they were of modern import; whereas I have taken great account of those seen in the hands of country people. A as on the reduced libral standard comes from Castrogiovanni (Janus — Prow, see Garrucci, Table XXIX, 8), of which it was not possible for me to take the weight. From the territory of Nolo a semis of gr. 40.5 (Head of Jupiter — Prow of ship). From a hoard of several aes grave, found according to some in Naxos, according to others, in Piazza Armerina, there were two uncia from Latium (astragalus – Globulus [knucklebone-dot]: Garrucci Pl XXXV11, 6; barley grain with globulus [dot] – Idem, Garrucci Table XXXIV, 6). Another quadrans similar to those announced in 1902 comes from the Ragusa area; finally, from the countryside of Catania a triens from Latium (Dolphin 3 dots— double thunderbolt 3 dots see Garrucci Plates XXXVII, 3). All of these pieces predate, and some by quite a lot, 268 BCE; they serve to highlight the history, still so uncertain, of the commercial relations between Rome, Latium and Sicily in the centuries IV and III BCE. While the consular money of the III – I a. C. are very frequent in Sicily, aes grave had not been reported by anyone up to now, or at least it had gone unnoticed.

Next ANS visit look at publications of Spinelli, S. Giorgio, Il Principe di.

To be continued…

Bonačić Mandinić, Maja. “Aes grave iz Jesenica.” Archaeologia Adriatica 2, no. 1 (2008): 235-242. [full text]

In the collection of the Archaeological Museum in Split, there is a copy of an aes grave of the Apolon/Apolon type (RRC 18/1). It belongs to the issue of the mint in Rome from 275 to 270 BC. It was found around 1901 in Jesenice. Any details about the context of the find are not known. Jesenice is a village at about 200 to 250 m above sea level, on the slope of Perun – the southern slope of the Mosor mountain. Along with other Hellenistic finds from the wider area of Jesenice, along the coast between Split and Omiš, this find could testify to the connection of the Illyrians with the Greeks from Isa and Faros, through the nearby Epeti, that is, with the first Roman merchants who most likely came to contact with the Illyrians. In addition to the aes grave from Jesenice, in the collection of the Archaeological Museum in Split, there are three more semis, fractions worth half of the aes grave. There are two bull/wheel types (RRC 24/4), issue from 265-242. ex. BC, and one of the Saturn/ship bow type (RRC 35/2), issue from 225-217. ex. Kr. Such an early Roman coin in the Illyrian area did not serve as money, but was most likely considered a valuable bronze object with a distinctive appearance, so it was stored as such, and was not used to make other bronze objects.

10 of 234 days: UPenn Nemi connection

The Cesano 1940 (lake?) Nemi coin catalogue has not yet arrived from ILL, but it’s less than 24 hours so I must be more patient, maybe I’ll get to blog about that in a day or two.

My poking around brought to my attention that the UPenn Museum also was a major purchaser of artifacts from the late 19th century excavations at the sanctuary of Diana

From Flickr

Their online catalogue suggests just shy of 50 objects. The main agent in the acquisition of Nemi material for UPenn seems to have been Mrs. Lucy Wharton (Joseph) Drexel in 1897. That she acquired? (paid for?) along with the ‘fine art’ this weight leads me to believe its is just possible she (or the university agent) might have also brought back coins, even ugly ones.

Catalogue entry (a shame the exact dimensions including mass aren’t recorded)

UPenn also has a pretty decent coin collection, more than 20k specimens when all periods are included, of which the vast majority are Roman. While I cannot say I looked at all their coins, it seemed pretty clear from entries that provenance before 1929 was typically not recorded. My suspicion is that if they got Nemi sanctuary coins they didn’t record them as such. Archival paperwork on the Nemi acquisitions in the museum might answer those questions, but even better would be to fine the Savile photos that Crawford mentions (see earlier post.)

A collection of photos donated by Lord Savile to the British Museum illustrates a number of pieces not otherwise attested, which have been included in the list below, and there may well have been more.

He also says:

A number of pieces were published by E. J. Haeberlin in his Aes Grave as forming part of his own collection and a number of others as having been part of the stock of the dealer X. Pasinati in 1895.

Given the excellent quality of Haeberlin’s images; it should be possible to establish where at least some of these coins from the Pasinati’s stock ended up. I’m making a right pest of myself at the BM as C&M doesn’t seem to have the photos and I am now banging round the other departments asking questions and favors.


Transitioning between projects is so hard. It’s weird. I was so eager to be done with Dionysius and to give my full attention to the coins, but yet finding the most productive steps is harder than anticipated. The habit of worrying about whether my work is good enough and whether I can actually do it is also hard to break. What if I collect all this data and it is all meaningless? I’m a wee bit under the weather (yes, the covid test is negative, and yes I’ll test again before going to NYC this weekend), and that has my mood down I suspect. We’re finally in double digits on the enumeration and yes without a doubt real progress has been made. The running discipline is good to help reassure myself of that.

Today

  • First steps on Aes Grave project – collect relevant bibliography
  • More Italy visit logistics
  • More AAH logistics
  • Book flights
  • More BM communications
  • Schaefer follow up
  • follow up with Lafayette

Not Today (but maybe tomorrow, or the day after)

  • Teaching requests for Fall 2023
  • Circle back to department about any Jan planning meetings
  • Set time table for any collaborative RRDP work/publication prep that needs to happen this semester: Chicago pub, INC pub, collaboration with RACOM, etc…
  • Circle back to Capito project
  • Consider ask for funding from Dean’s office
  • Begin Med school rec letter
  • record mini myth
  • find out what is on that v old harddrive and back up to cloud
  • Write up Teaching Eval
  • Rosen Fellowship refs – Jan 16
  • Cancel at least one more digital membership
  • renew Coinarchives
  • Review grad student apps by Jan 19

The Nemi Temple

Terracotta model of a temple pediment, from the sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis. From Nemi, loc. Giardino, Sanctuary of Diana.Mid-Republican period, 4th-3rd c. BCE Villa PoniatowskiMuseo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, Rome, Italy. IMAGE from Dan Diffendale (link)

Dan’s photos are always SO good! If you go to his photo stream he has a few more of this same object from different angles. The detail I wanted to record other than just the existence of this object and its location is the center image, which to my eye in this photo looks like three seated women and I’d be tempted to read as a representation of the cult image.

Here’s another detail from another of Dan’s photos at a slightly higher resolution:

I’m interested in how different (less archaic) this representation is than that on RRC 486/1. I wish I could make out the attributes better on the terracotta model.