Like Father, Like Son

15BCE, RIC 1 394:

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(very rare)

48 BCE, RRC 446/1:

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Just a hunch but I doubt it was very politic to have chosen a Pompeian type, even if familial, for resurrection on the coinage under Augustus…

For the Calpurnius Pisones legendary ancestor Calpus, son of Numa, see Hor. Ars P. 292; Laus. Pis. 3, 14; Plut. Numa 21,2.

 

More on the Iconography of the Penates

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Detail of the Ara Pacis panel showing the Aeneas offering sacrifice

In past posts, I’ve worried quite a bit about the penates.  I may have to write this all up eventually as a proper article or something.  I’m still working on Dionysius ahead of my Yale talk this coming Saturday.  And, my work led me back to passage on the Penates in book 1.   And I found this comment by A. E. Dumser on the aedes Penates on the Mapping Augustan Rome Website.

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Here are some more images just for further context:

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Notice the prominent placement of this panel and even the depiction of the Penates shrine itself in relation to the monument as a whole. Aeneas’ piety is echoed by the piety of the those who are participating in the sacrifice at this very altar.

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Update 6/30/17 – just a bibliographical reference for when I come back to the penates:

M. Stöckinger, Inalienable Possessions : the di penates in the Aeneid and in Augustan Culture, p. 129-48 in Mario Labate, Gianpiero Rosati (ed.), La costruzione del mito augusteo. Bibliothek der klassischen Altertumswissenschaften, Band 141.   Heidelberg:  Universitätsverlag Winter, 2013.  ISBN 9783825361136.

Hercules Revived

Denarius 19/18, Rome. Moneyer M. Durmius. M DVRMIVS – III VIR Bust of young Hercules to r., wearing diadem and carrying club on r. shoulder. Rev. CAESAR AVGVSTVS SIGN RECE Kneeling, bare headed Parthian to r. holding signum to which is attached a vexillum marked X. 3,82 g. RIC 314. BMC 59. C. 433b. Ex L. A. Lawrence Coll., Auction Glendining, London, 7 December 1950, lot 359. UBS auction 78, lot 1299.

My favorite thing about numismatic databases are the things that pop up that I wasn’t looking for.  This is a great example.  There aren’t many known specimens, but there are two in the British Museum (example 1, example 2). Its obverse clearly echoes a much earlier republican didrachm (RRC 20/1).

Anonymous moneyer. AR Didrachm (6.85g) minted at Rome, 270-265 BC. Diademed head right of young Hercules, with long sideburn; club and lion’s skin over right shoulder. Reverse : ROMANO. She-wolf standing right, head reverted, suckling the twins Romulus and Remus. Sear 24; RSC 8; Craw 20/1; Syd 6. Provenance: The Hunter Collection; Ex Superior Stamp & Coin, NYINC Auction, December 8-9, 1995, lot 847. Ira and Larry Goldberg auction 72, lot 4115.

It’s always interesting to see an awareness of earlier types surfacing after such an extended period–over two centuries regardless of how one wishes to date RRC 20/1.  That said, it also raises questions about why this earlier type might have been attractive in this moment under Augustus.  Hercules is usually associated with his rival Antony.  As is Hellenistic Kingship. The connotations of the obverse type seem at odds with the Augustan program.  Perhaps this explains its rarity? Perhaps the moneyer thought better of the design choice?  A choice which at first which might have been attractive simply because of its antiquity and Augustus’ own rhetoric of conservative restoration?

287 out of 410 days: Tripods, Libertas, Victory

RRC 498/1. C. Cassius with M. Aquinus. Aureus, mint moving with Cassius 43-42, AV 8.41 g. M·AQVINVS·LEG· – LIBER – TAS Diademed head of Libertas r. Rev. C·CASSI – PR·COS Tripod with cauldron, decorated with two laurel branches. B. Cassia 12. C 2. Bahrfeldt 56. Sydenham 1302. Sear Imperators 217. Calicó 63.

I was thinking about tripods in a totally different framework when I came across the very smart work of Carsten Hjort Lange (again!).  In his 2009 book, Res Publica Constituta, he gives a new reading of the famous plaque from the Palatine in light of the use of tripods on the coinage of 42 BC (p. 172ff).  A great read, but too long to extract here just follow the link!

Greek influences

I also came across a reading of the Tripods on the Coins of Herod (same time frame) that I thought delightfully sensible:

Obverse of Bronze Coin, Jerusalem, 40 BC – 4 BC. ANS 1944.100.62799
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From p. 110 of The Coins of Herod: A Modern Analysis and Die Classification edited by Donald Tzvi Ariel, Jean-Philippe Fontanille (Brill 2011). Image links to google books.

Further non-numismatic support for the idea that the tripod could be a general symbol of victory can be found here.

234 out of 410 days: Dressing up as Mercury

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A great image.  I’m putting it up here just as I don’t want to forget it.  I enjoy how both aspects of Mercury are emphasized: bringer of wealth (purse), as well as bringer of peace (caduceus).

The image is from Galinsky, Venus, Polysemy, and the Ara Pacis Augustae, AJA 96.3 (1992): 457-75, at p. 473.  Here’s what it says there about:

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