Learning about Mining

These are some notes of mine from reading this article and a reading group convo.  Apologies for any errors/misrepresentations: I learn by writing this type of note.


Mineralization associated with detachment faults because change in pressure creates conditions for minerals to rise.


Isothermal fluid: minerals in solution from the magma



Northern Greece has both Placer Au and supergene Au-bearing iron oxides.

Pangaeon mountain (hills) discussed for precious metal wealth in ancient Greek authors, e.g. Herodotus, Thucydides.  Evidence of both underground and surface mining at 25 sites and 12 smelting sites.

On the island of Thasos directly off-shore likewise significant deposits accesses in antiquity.  The mineral wealth takes the form of Ag-rich Pb-Zn carbonate replacement and Au-rich Cu-Fe-Mn deposits in veins and lenses of mostly oxidised massive and disseminated ore in marble and schists.  In the classical-Roman period at least 5 Ag mines are known and two Au.


In an area of about 100 km2 extending from ancient Philippoi to Palea Kavala and Petropigi there are more than 150 ore occurrences rich in Fe, Mn, Pb, Zn, Cu, Ag, and Au, and numerous underground galleries are believed to have operated between 6th century BC and the Ottoman period.  Perhaps same as that discussion in Herodotus 6.46, Theophrastus On stones 17, Lucretius 6.810, and Plutarch Cimon 4.2.


Metangitsi shows evidence of Mining from the 5th century through Middle ages and Ottoman period.  This region’s mineralization includes: Cu-Au porphyry, Pb-Zn-Ag-Au carbonate replacement, Cu-skarn and oxidized Mn.


Different mines even on a smallish island like Thasos all have different Isotopic signatures.  This is because of different timing of events and slightly different creation conditions (if I understood discussion correctly!).  But no tracer is 100% indication of origin.  The more isotopes/ionization you use the better your identification.  Zinc is perhaps too volatile.  Copper can be misleading because it may be added from a different source, ditto lead, at least in some historical contexts.  Copper is less distinctive of the environment.  Tin isotopes not fully understood.    Trace elements, e.g. arsenic.  antimony isotopes might be a potential tracer.  Volatile at v high temps.  Could you sample it given minuscule amount in coin?  Raises question of destructive testing processes.

Recycling of brass might explain zinc in Eastern Roman coins.  ?  Check Haim Gitler’s work on Severan Silver checking Mattingly’s categorization.

Brass complicated process because of Zinc only mastered by Romans in 1st Cent BCE.  (Check)

Forthcoming work from Gil Davis and Ken Sheehy discussion when in 6th century BCE Athens began removing all gold from silver.

In about 2 weeks Metallurgy in Numismatics (Royal Numismatic Society) will be out! Must purchase ASAP.

Vaxevanpoulos – fame in antiquity doesn’t translate it scale of mining.  Forthcoming work on this.



New Bibliography on Concordia

I have an old unpublished paper I’m thinking about getting ready for publication as a short article.  This is a little investigation into what I’ve missed since I last worked on the topic.

Sánchez Madrid, Nuria. “Democracia, concordia y deliberación pública en la « Política » de Aristóteles.” Logos 51 (2018): 35-56. Doi: 10.5209/ASEM.61642

The Aristotelian conception of the different forms of democracy is analyzed, paying special attention to the books of «Politics», in order to identify some connections between the theoretical coordinates of public deliberation that are chosen in them and the judgment about the political forms they consider appropriate. The praise of ὁμόνοια is also taken into account in the «Nicomachean Ethics», which is presented as an inalienable condition of social cohesion in the polis, as well as the general Aristotelian distrust towards the political vision of πλῆθος and the practices of drawing and extended voting in Athenian democracy in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. It is intended to draw some relevant conclusions about the reasons, fundamentally epistemological, that prevent a thinker like Aristotle from understanding democracy as a political form beneficial to the human community.
Not directly relevant to my piece but possible good background on Ciceronian conceptions.
Marcattili, Francesco. “Inversione della norma ed integrazione sociale: per un’interpretazione dei templi a cella trasversale.” Atti della Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia. Serie III, Rendiconti 89 (2016-2017): 705-744.
The examination of historical sources and archaeological evidence relating to cross-cell temples, which spread in the territory of Rome starting from the 2nd century BC, highlights their conception according to a precise religious and cultural logic, as intended essentially to divinities who have the task of welcoming groups and individuals perceived as marginal or external to the community and rituals such as “manumission”, as shown clearly the Tiberian phase of the temple of Concordia.
As this potentially discusses earlier temple and use a must to review.
Pina Polo, Francisco. “The « tyranny » of the Gracchi and the concordia of the optimates: an ideological construct.” In Costruire la memoria : uso e abuso della storia fra tarda repubblica e primo principato: Venezia, 14-15 gennaio 2016, Edited by Cristofoli, Roberto, Galimberti, Alessandro and Rohr Vio, Francesca. Centro Ricerche e Documentazione sull’Antichità Classica. Monografie; 41, 5-33. Roma: L’Erma di Bretschneider, 2017.
To justify the violence of the “optimates”, the historians of the late republic, perhaps starting from Calpurnius Piso Frugi, portrayed the Gracchi as aspiring tyrants and legitimized their murder without trial, in turn reconverting the past events of Cassius, Maelius and Manlius in appropriate «exempla» of lawful tyrannicide by private individuals
TOP OF THE LIST ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL READING!!  ooo and I found another great chapter on Historical Knowledge among the Romans in the Late Republic when looking at his academia.edu page.
The concord between parents represents an ideal of Roman society in the republican era. In literary testimonies, however, concord is never mentioned for the whole family but concerns only two members, the father and the son (Quadrig., Fr. 56 Chassignet and fr. 57 Peter) or the spouses ( Plaut., Amph. 474-475; Afran., Fr. 6 Daviault; Liu. 38, 57, 2-8; etc.). One of the two is systematically the “pater familias,” that is, the one who exercises authority and to whom obedience was due. Concord concerns only individuals who are not entirely subject to the “patria potestas.” It allows the “pater familias” to bring order to his “familia” and thus give it a social value within the community of citizens. Family concord thus legitimizes the father’s claims to apply concord among all citizens.
Akar, Philippe. Concordia: un idéal de la classe dirigeante romaine à la fin de la République. Histoire Ancienne et Médiévale; 122. Paris: Publ. de la Sorbonne, 2013.
I’ve now bought the book (10+ days for delivery 😦 ), but Hannah’s review tells me he doesn’t talk about hand clasping iconography without concordia legend so I know my article has at least a few new things to say.
By choosing to relate the events from the enemy’s point of view, Justin offers his readers a unique story, notably by collecting oral testimonies from his relatives who served in the Roman army. He presents the Romans and the Parthians as two equal powers and extols the military qualities of the latter by recounting the Roman defeats. In Iust. 41-42, Justin shows that Pompeius Trogus  believed in the duration of a peaceful and harmonious empire (“concordia”), thus approaching the ideas of contemporary “pax Augusta”.
Probably not relevant for my little article project, but as I’m supposed to be a leading expert on Trogus and his contemporaneous views of history I should read this and have a professional opinion. :-/  Ah, she’s written a book and seems to focus on Trogus for her work.  Good stuff.  I’m not sure I have much more I want to say on the topic, but glad it is being worked on.
Farrés Juste, Oriol. “La amistad cívica en Aristóteles: concordia y fraternidad.” Anales del Seminario de Historia de la Filosofía 32, no. 1 (2015): 41-67.
The importance of friendship in the context of Aristotelian political philosophy is verified in its specific weight in comparison with justice, since Aristotle himself maintains that civic friendship is even a higher objective than that of the search for justice. The role of concord, as a special type of civic friendship, is analyzed in terms of preserving unity and stability of the polis. To capture its significance, the role of concord is proposed as a complement to the political condition of the human being. Concord is necessary in light of the tendency to fight between the parts of the city, between the demos and the oligarchs. Since this fight endangers the continuity of the polis, the harmony between citizens becomes a privileged antecedent of the principle of republican fraternity.
Again like above I’m adding to this list because of a Aristotle’s influence on Cicero, but at least from the description it sounds quite different than my own perspective of Roman use of the rhetoric.
Rutledge, Steven H.. “Conflict, culture, and concord : some observations on alternative memory in ancient Rome.” In Cultural memories in the Roman Empire, Edited by Galinsky, Karl and Lapatin, Kenneth., 225-239. Los Angeles (Calif.): J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015.
Exploration of the role of class in the preservation and visual depiction of Roman cultural and historical memory, and the conflicts and tensions therein. Case-studies on the competition between L. Mummius Achaicus and L. Licinius Lucullus over dedications on the Aventine and on Tiberius’ restoration of the Temple of Concordia.
I actually have this edited volume on my bookshelf I bought it over two years ago at a conference. Have I read it?! NO.  Of course not. (even though I’m supposed to know all about Mummius… or did 15 years ago…)  So this gets second place on the reading list.
Brenot, Claude. “Un discours monétaire sur la Concorde: le monnayage de Pupien, Balbin et Gordien III César.” Cahiers du Centre Gustave Glotz 25 (2014): 231-241.
The new coins from Antoniani, which were decided by Pupienus and Balbinus, form a group of their own. The representations on the reverse focus on the «dextrarum iunctio». The six legends refer to a speech by Pupienus after Aquileia’s victory. They emphasize the basics, conditions and advantages of the Concordia, which is symbolized by the «dextrarum iunctio».
Way too late to be relevant on content but makes the list as it has coins and generally I want to see how individuals are talking about abstractions and Roman politics on coins, so for methodological completeness it needs reading.
The cosmos was understood in Antiquity as the result of the harmonious conjunction of opposites, the same that was seen in the nature of things, in human behavior, in society or in the sounds of music. This idea materialized in the Latin language in a rich series of formations that used, above all, the preverb “com-“, which were opposed by others that used, above all, the preverb “dis-“. Such is the case of the couple “concors” (concord) / “discors” (discord), whose etymology, uses and meaning are studied.
My gut tells me I don’t need to read this for this particular paper and yet I’m intrigued, so perhaps I will.
The study of the structures of the «Tabularium» and of the inscriptions relating to it is resumed, reviewing the recent contributions concerning this building and arguing about the existence on site of a temple dedicated to «Iuno Moneta». In addition, the 277a-b fragments of the «Forma Vrbis», depicting an area of the city so far unidentified, are placed on the slopes of the Capitol, recognizing the substructures of the «Arx», the «Scalae Gemoniae» and a part of the cell of the temple of Concordia Augusta.
I think I know this basic idea from reading Davies 2017 on this debate but I’m curious to learn more.  This is the problem with generating a reading list I end up with all sorts of fun distractions among the relevant stuff.
Bianco, Elisabetta. “Concordia senza « homonoia ».” Historika  3 (2013): 287-322.
Starting from literary sources, lexical survey on the families of compounds characterized by the prefix “homo-” and related to the idea of concord (ὁμολογέω, ὁμογνωμονέω, ὁμοδοξέω, ὁμοβουλέω, ὁμοδογματέω, ὁμο, ὁμο, ὁμο and σύν related to the sphere of concord (συμφράδμων, ὁμοφράδμων, συμφρονέω, συμπνέω, συνεκπίπτω): a wide variety of terms emerge for the many facets of the Greek idea of concord in the world.
Another linguistics paper this time focused on things Greek so even less relevant, BUT good to know this linguistics approach is one that’s being used…

Cristofoli, Roberto. “Epicureo e politico: Lucio Calpurnio Pisone Cesonino.” Giornale Italiano di Filologia N. S. 3, no. 1-2 (2012): 63-82.

The study presents the various political positions taken up by Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, Caesar’s father-in-law and follower of Epicurean philosophy, during his whole life. In particular, it focuses on his political strategy in the last year of his life, starting from the assassination of Julius Caesar. At the end of the analysis, he seems to have aimed at the concordia ordinum, being hostile towards the excessive power of single individuals: all this drove him to neutrality even on the occasion of the struggle between his son-in-law and Pompey, and, in 44 b.c., to side against Antony at first, and then with him, when the position of the future triumvir was weakened.

I find this interesting application of rhetorical vocabulary for modern interpretation.  I want to know HOW the author deduces that this framework explains Piso’s actions.

Cataldi, Silvio, Bianco, Elisabetta and Cuniberti, Gianluca, eds. Salvare le « poleis », costruire la concordia, progettare la pace. Fonti e Studi di Storia Antica; 16. Alessandria: Ed. dell’Orso, 2012.

This edited volume is all on things Greek but putting it on this list just so I don’t forget it exists.  Lots of Homonoia stuff.

Cappelletti, Silvia. “« Scis quanta sit manus, quanta concordia »: (Pro Fl. 66) : la comunità giudaica di Roma tra I sec. a.C. e I sec. d.C.” Rivista Biblica 59, no. 3 (2011): 301-329.

Just relevant if I end up discussing the pro Flaccio.

Thomas, Jean-François. “De la paix des armes à la tranquillité de l’âme: étude lexicale de « pax » et de certains « synonymes ».” Revue des Études Latines 89 (2011): 56-75.

On this topic now we can see Hannah Cornwall but again just for the record.

Cornell, Tim J.. “Political conflict in archaic Rome and the republican historians.” In « Partiti » e fazioni nell’esperienza politica romana, Edited by Zecchini, Giuseppe. Contributi di Storia Antica; 7 – Storia. Ricerche, 3-30. Milano: Vita e Pensiero, 2009.

Our knowledge of the political history of republican Rome, practically absent in the fragments and indirect evidence of coeval historiography, derive almost exclusively from Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Sources of the two historians are the late annalists. Both authors promote concord, probably reflecting the liberal-conservative ideology of the sources themselves, which welcomed the new popular rights

This seems like a necessary piece to read along side Pina Polo above for evolution of historiographical tradition.  So gets 3rd place on my reading list.


Scheid, John. “Théologie romaine et représentation de l’action au début de l’Empire.” In Antike Mythen: Medien, Transformationen und Konstruktionen, Edited by Dill, Ueli and Walde, Christine., 122-131. Berlin ; New York: De Gruyter, 2009.
The Roman priests and emperors developed a polytheistic way of thinking that split the mystery of divine power into a series of specialized gods, which together covered all aspects of the work of a deity. Initially, Augustus did not allow himself to be honored by statues, but divided his own merits into three divine forms: Salus Publica, Concordia and Pax, which created his harmony with Tiberius, the preservation of the salvation of the Roman people and the restoration of peace Expressed. Over time, his actions found a more global expression with the establishment of the Numen Augusti around AD 9 and his own deification in 14. Similar deities represented the divine power of the emperor under Tiberius.
This is the afterlife of ideas explored by Anna Clark which I’m so fond of citing.  I’m intrigued by how this might evolve in theological thinking…
Lobur, John Alexander. Consensus, concordia, and the formation of Roman imperial ideology. Studies in classics. London ; New York: Routledge, 2008.
This looks like it goes hand in hand with Scheid.
Scherrer, Peter. “Agrippina minor als Concordia ? :: Bemerkungen zu den imperialen Reliefs am Sebasteion in Aphrodisias.” In Thiasos: Festschrift für Erwin Pochmarski zum 65. Geburtstag, Edited by Franek, Christiane. Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Klassische Archäologie der Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz; 10, 873-884. Wien: Phoibos, 2008.
The representation of emperors with tropaion and / or prisoners, which is relatively common with four of eleven reliefs, and the other appearance of the Nike Sebaston and subjugated provinces on the early imperial monument suggests that the victoriousness of the Julian-Claudian family should be demonstrated in a closed chain of ancestors. With the well-known ancestral pride of the Agrippina minor, which had been transferred to Nero, Drusus maior as Germanian winner would be expected here in addition to Tiberius and Germanicus. It is therefore worth considering naming Emperor No. 5, which has so far remained unknown. The depiction of Agrippina with cornucopia can be combined not only with Ceres or Fortuna, but also with Concordia.
Might matter for comparative iconography.
Solmy Fauque de Jonquières, Céline. Consensus et Concordia de la fin de la République à la mort d’Alexandre Sévère. [S. l.]: [s. n.], 2008.
Cavagna, Alessandro. “« Homonoia » ed « euthenia » su una moneta alessandrina di Antonino Pio.” In Tra concordia e pace: parole e valori della Grecia antica : giornata di studio : Milano, 21 ottobre 2005, Edited by Daverio Rocchi, Giovanna. Quaderni di Acme; 92, 303-317. Milano: Cisalpino, 2007.
Might matter for comparative iconography, but less likely…
Daverio Rocchi, Giovanna. “La concordia: tema culturale, obiettivo politico e virtù civica.” In Tra concordia e pace: parole e valori della Grecia antica : giornata di studio : Milano, 21 ottobre 2005, Edited by Daverio Rocchi, Giovanna. Quaderni di Acme; 92, 3-38. Milano: Cisalpino, 2007.
Homonia overview

Belgammel Ram

Ridiculously excited to read this well illustrated article on the Belgammel Ram, esp. because of how different the metallurgical profile is from preliminary tests of the Egadi Rams.  LOW LEAD only 8%.

Adams, J.R., Antoniadou, A., Hunt, C.O., Bennett, P., Croudace, I.W., Taylor, R.N., Pearce, R.B., Earl, G.P., Flemming, N.C., Moggeridge, J., Whiteside, T., Oliver, K. and Parker, A.J. (2013), Analysis of the Hellenistic‐Roman Belgammel R am, from Libya. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 42: 60-75. doi:10.1111/1095-9270.12001


Image modified from that published in World Archaeology Magazine online.


Musing on the Muses

McCabe suggested to me that the obverses of RRC 410 represent the muses themselves and I am propagating a fiction of Grueber’s followed by Crawford.  He also points out I need to read P. Davis’ piece “Erato or Terpsichore : a reassessment”in Essays Witschonke (Davis accepts that 410/2-10 is obverse Apollo: the article focuses on reverses.)

Now I have to make up my own mind about what I see.  The symbols as labels on the obverse makes good sense and better sense than some silly control-mark system–the correlation to the reverse is clear — This is a big part of Davis’ point and how he clarifies Reverse IDs.

Do those heads look like Apollo?  Kinda sorta not really.  There are three Apollo types common on republican coinage: Archaic Curls, Loose Alexander/Helios like curls, and updo with tendrils down the neck.  Here are some comparative images of the three basics types.  The Apollo/Hercules with Lyre type is of the archaic curls varietal (RRC 410/1)

The rest of the series has an updo style but no tendrils and the roll around the forehead is different. The only updo with no tendrils that is definitely Apollo is RRC 504/1 and it is not a close visual parallel.  That male gods could have an updo with no tendrils is shown by Bonus Eventus on Libo’s coinage (RRC 416/1).  Most goddesses on Roman coinage have an earring and necklace and crown, or crown and veil to indicate gender (Pietas, Moneta, Concordia).  Is there a reason Muses wouldn’t wear jewelry?  Here are a bunch of muse (and Apollo) representations for within a 100 years of the coin (Red = from Moregine excavations near Pompeii; Yellow = House of Julia Felix, Pompeii).  I can’t spot any necklaces but I definitely see earrings.

I wanted to be certain it is a Muse on the obverse.  It’s logical.  It makes sense.  But I’m still ambivalent.  I may be I will be convinced when I read Davis?

same day update:

The ambiguity of gender in such images is an ambiguity concerning Apollo that was well understood in Roman antiquity:

“Amphion took in marriage Niobe . . . by whom he had seven sons and as many daughters. These children Niobe placed above those of Latona [Leto], and spoke rather contemptuously against Apollo and Diana [Artemis] because Diana was girt in man’s attire, and Apollo wore long hair and a woman’s gown. She said, too, that she surpassed Latona in muber of children. Because of this Apollo slew her sons with arrows as they were hunting in the woods on Mount Sipylus, and Diana shot and killed the daughters in the palace, all except Chloris.”

Hyginus, Fabulae 9.2: “superbiusque locuta est (sc. Niobe) in Apollinem et Dianam, quod illa cincta uiri cultu esset, et Apollo ueste deorsum atque crinitus, et se numero filiorum Latonam superare.”

In modern times Caroline Gordon summarized Niobe’s view of Leto’s Children as “a mannish girl and a girlish boy”.

Eternal Rome

“Supposing I had died, would the commonwealth have died with me, would the sovereignty of Rome have shared my fate? No, Jupiter Optimus Maximus would never have allowed a City built for eternity, built under the auspices and sanction of the gods, to be as short-lived as this fragile mortal body of mine. ”

Livy 28.28


Just a quote on a theme that interests me.  Early blog post.

Must look at Livy’s vocab on this more generally…

Fannius’ Temple


ANS specimens with images; Yale specimens with images

Cody, Jane M. “New Evidence for the Republican Aedes Vestae.” American Journal of Archaeology 77, no. 1 (1973): 43-50.  doi:10.2307/503231.

(ref thx to McCabe)

Cody connect this type to RRC 428.



BUT Zollschan, Linda. (2007). The Temple on the Cistophori of C. Fannius. Klio. 89. 125-136. 10.1524/klio.2007.89.1.125.  Say NO, not a temple of Vesta but related to the Bona Dea and thus to the prosecution of Clodius.

I don’t have an opinion YET….

Must check Metcalf, Carbone, and Elkins…



Mars and Tarpeia?


I never realized I had an opinion on this or that the opinion would be controversial.  But the identity of the figures in this scene from the Basilica Aemilia (other than Tarpeia obv.) are disputed.  I lean pretty strongly to seeing the far left figure as Mars in a “this is what happens when you F*** with my city” attitude.  Maybe at a stretch I could be Romulus but I don’t think so.  Figure reads divine.