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found that Crawford has tracked down records of this hoard in 2003, AND had seen another more recent one that was then unpublished and so leaving yet another content list to track down.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

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

Day 7 of 234: Still more on RRC 486/1

Days 5-6 were the weekend. And, now that I have a family, I have a better appreciation of the need to stop oneself from working every possible moment.

Grueber 1910 (see last post) cited Borasi 1898 and it is indeed it not only has a very nice sketch/transcription of the stone, but also a discussion of the earlier speculations on the coin including background to the historical dating of it and a little on what was known then on the cult of Bellona in the region. Perhaps fuel for deeper digging

Borasi and others keep mentioning a hybrid type with Augustus and RRC 486/1 and the legend “imp. Caes. Augus, tr. pot. iix.” as reported by Borghesi. I wondered if any of these hybrids have turned up more recently. I’ve not tracked one down yet, but I did come across TWO fun Spanish hybrid types using the obverse of RRC 407/2 and the reverse of RIC 1 404 (or 405). Kind of wild they use different dies but from the same types.

Specimen link
specimen link
Just a nice specimen of RRC 486/1

I don’t think these goddesses are Oak Nymphs or Oak-Grove Lares (Querquetulanae) anymore than they were Larch trees, but its always good to review the evidence, before dismissing it.

Varro LL 5.49

Not my most satisfying warm up writing, but good enough… on to the lists.


Today

  • Spend EVEN MORE time with Dionysius
  • More Italy visit logistics
  • More Rutgers coordination as needed
  • More Princeton coordination as needed
  • Dr. Liz letter

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

  • Teaching requests for Fall 2023
  • Circle back to department about any Jan planning meetings
  • Book flights
  • 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
  • follow up with Lafayette
  • Write up Teaching Eval
  • Follow up old student/tree sunset
  • Rosen Fellowship refs
  • Finalize AAH logistics
  • Cancel at least one more digital membership
  • renew Coinarchives

Day 4 of 234: More on RRC 486/1

Grueber 1910 (repr. 1970): 569-570 has deliciously erudite footnotes! And yet, like so often he doesn’t explain the theories he’s dismissing. I know they are wrong and so does he, but what a lot of work to make others dig through. It makes me slightly more fond of Crawford’s dismissive asides as he condemns his predecessors. at least I know where he stands and where to look.

I use the 1970 reprint of Grueber as Crawford had a hand in its re issue and correction of errors of the 1910 edition, but if you don’t have it on your shelves or happen to be in need of it away from home, there is a digitized version of the original BMCRR.

Next time I am in Rome I must make a pilgrimage to this inscription in the baths of Diocletian in the section on oriental cults! Strange to think I must have walked by it half a dozen times in the past but not noticed its numismatic connection.

What does it mean? At first reading, It seems to be that this guy Eros wanted to make a dedication to Bellona and needed Accoleius and his colleague’s permission to do so. Our moneyer’s name is in the last line. Also notice the TALL Is which Grueber discusses as a means of indicating the long vowel sound. The stone itself is from Lanuvium.

The back of this same stone has it’s own epigraphic designation in some databases:

Also of note for our current assumptions that this coin represents the cult image at Nemi, is that at two members of the same gens as the moneyer are attested at finds from the sanctuary at Nemi. One clearly played some role in local politics in the early first century CE. AND wait for it… our own dear Lord Savile scooped up this v stone (along with the vast majority of the coin finds from the excavations) and brought it to Nottingham! (I’ll be sure to pay my respects when I visit.)

The other attestation is from a list of names of uncertain function (see line five).

The Lanuvium makes sense once we look at the maps. Lanuvium is only about an hour and 20 minute walk away, and is the next nearest ancient community to the sanctuary after Ariccia.

Screenshot taken from ToposText

There is only one instance of gens in epigraphy from Rome itself and that seems to have been a funerary inscription that was reused in the construction of the walls of the tomb of Caecilia Metella

Right. More to learned and share here obviously, but I’m done warming up, and am ready to tackle the to do list!


Today

  • Submit Signed Tow by 5 pm Jan 6
  • Spend MORE time with Dionysius
  • Contact more curators about feasibility of collections visits concurrent with this trip (progress)
  • BM/Rowan Follow Up
  • Rutgers Follow Up
  • Enter Dates of things in Family Calendar to avoid nasty surprises
  • AAH Logistics (progress)
  • Cancel at least one digital membership
  • Princeton Follow Up (here’s a link the awesome cast bronze collection there!)

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

  • Spend EVEN MORE time with Dionysius
  • Teaching requests for Fall 2023
  • Circle back to department about any Jan planning meetings
  • Book flights
  • 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
  • follow up with Lafayette
  • Write up Teaching Eval
  • Follow up old student/tree sunset
  • Rosen Fellowship refs
  • Finalize AAH logistics
  • Cancel at least one digital membership
  • More Rutgers coordination as needed
  • More Princeton coordination as needed