Leovigild: The obverses of Leovigild's autonomous "mintless" trientes bear busts facing right (types 1 a-d, and several variations), with a cross on the breast. These busts developed from those of the earlier anonymous trientes of Leovigild and his predecessors on which appear the names of Justinus I, Justinian and Justinus II, these in turn evolving from the trientes in the name of Anastasius struck toward the end of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse and during the first years of the rule in Toledo.2
While these busts face to the right and are therefore in the tradition of the contemporary Byzantine tremisses, it would appear that the breast ornamentation (such as it is) develops rather from the Byzantine solidi with facing busts; at least the bust types 1 a and 1 c suggest this evolution. The circle on the left "shoulder" (right, to the viewer) probably derives from the knot on the left shoulder of the emperor which appears at least as early as Zeno,3 while the corresponding circle on the other shoulder may at first have been suggested by the finger of the hand holding the scepter, later misunderstood and stylized to balance the first.4 The several styles of related busts are doubtless attributable to different mints in Spain, but material of established provenance is still too scanty to warrant positive attribution.1
The reverses of all Leovigild's "mintless" coins bear the grotesque, characteristically Visigothic stylized "Victory" striding right (at this date more resembling an insect than the goddess) , deriving ultimately from a common Roman prototype,2 the figure of Victory, right or left, holding a crown in one hand and a palm leaf in the other.3
The types listed and illustrated on pp. 54–66 are to a considerable degree generalized and conventionalized. Examination of the plates will reveal that there are many modifications and variations which it would be impracticable to represent as distinctive sub-types; but at least the principal traits of Visigothic iconography are provided for in this scheme, and despite the fact that numerous variations are not represented, the reader will be better able to identify a given type by reference to this classification than by the customary simple "buste de face," "busto de perfil," "busto diademado," etc.
The development of these busts can most conveniently be studied in Reinhart's plates: Deutsches Jahrbuch für Numismatik, 1938, pl. 7; ibid. 1940/41, pls. 7, 9, 10, 11; Archivo Español de Arqueologia, 1945, figs. 1, 2, 4; and cf. for similar degeneration of imperial busts among the Merovingians, Deutsches Jahrbuch für Numismatik, 1939, pls. 3–4.
Cf. Tolstoī, Monnaies Byzantines, pls. 9–10.
For various degrees of similar stylization of these "knots" see such Frankish imitations of Anastasius as those of the "Trésor de Chinon" (Charles Robert in Annuaire de la Société FranÇaise de Numismatique et d'Archéologie, VI (1882), pl. IV.
Bust type 1 c, with the "Victory" reverse, also occurs on the earliest issue of Toleto on which the name of the mint appears (the unique coin published by Florez).4 Thereafter, not only at Toleto, but also at Barcinona, Cesaragusta, Rodas, Tirasona, Reccopolis, Ispali, Italica, Elvora and Emerita, there are issues of Leovigild with the same bust (1 c) on the obverse but with a new reverse, the cross on four steps (three at Rodas and usually at Emerita). This reverse derives from the cross on four steps of Tiberius II Constantinus (Emperor, A. D. 578–582), who was, of course, Leovigild's contemporary.
With the introduction of this new reverse type we arrive at a point d'appui for the discussion of the chronology of Leovigild's coins. The cross-on-steps reverse cannot date before the very end of 578 or the beginning of 579, for Tiberius' issue of this type occurred between September and November, 578.5 We must, therefore, date Leovigild's Victory reverse types to the ten years between 568 and 578, the most probable approximate break-down of these earlier types being: (a) the anonymous types (not dealt with in this volume), 568 - ca. 574;1 (b) Types A-C (Nos. 1–3 in the catalogue), with the names of Justinus II (or the like) and Leovigild, ca. 575–576; (c) Types D-G (Nos. 4–7 in the catalogue), with Leovigild's name on both obverse and reverse, also ca. 575–576; (d) Type H (No. 8 in the catalogue), with REX INCLITVS on the reverse, ca. 576–578. While the comprehensive dates for the "mintless" issues can be accepted as quite secure, the particular chronology for the several groups is presented with great reserve, for one must eonsider the probability that several of these types were being struck simultaneously at different mints, as Reinhart has suggested.
For the rest of Leovigild's issues I propose the following chronology.2 The coins with bust to the right (type 1 c) obverse, and crosson-steps reverse, were struck at the mints named between 579 and 584 at the latest. During this period we have the following more or less certain date indications from non-numismatic sources that enable us to fix the dates of the cross-on-steps reverse:3 Rodas, ca. 581; Emerita, late 582; Italica, 582 or 583; Ispali, 584. For the other mints at which the 1 c/cross-on-steps type was issued (Barcinona, Cesaragusta, Tirasona, Reccopolis, Toleto, Elvora), we have no sure external chronological guide, but the dates cannot be later than 584, because : (a) the new facing busts were introduced at Cordoba in 584 (see the history of the city, p. 106), and (b) all these mints (except Tirasona), as well as Rodas, Ispali and Emerita, issued coins with facing busts after abandoning the 1 c/cross-on-steps type. Two years (584–586) is the minimum we can allow for the types with facing busts; at Ispali there are various combinations of facing busts after 584, the year in which the first Gum Deo obtinuit Spali (etc.) coins of 1 c/cross-onsteps type were struck. There is one other quite certain historical event that supports this chronology: the coin of Portocale with facing busts, which in all probability dates from the year 585.4 Aside from these considerations, 584 was the year in which Hermenegild's rebellion was finally suppressed, and a strong case can be made for the introduction in this year of the facing bust reverse (and obverse) in recognition of Reccared's now exclusive position as heir to the throne.
Cf. Reinhart's attempts in D.J.f.N., 1940/41, pp. 81–84, and in A.E.d.A., 1945, pp. 226–230.
Cf. Reinhart's articles referred to above, Madrid, pp. 139 ff., and Stefan, pp. 108–110, for the proposed dating of these earlier types.
Cf. Reinhart, "Die früheste Münzprägung im Reiche der Merowinger," D.J.F.N., 1939, p. 40, and idem, "El Arte monetario Visigodo," Boletin del Seminario de Estudios de Arte y Arqueología (Valladolid), X (1943–1944), p. 54.
I am not in complete agreement with Reinhart's dating or with Cabré's arguments in Zorita de los Canes, although I have of course taken their discussions into consideration, as well as the earlier arguments of Görres and the fanciful Fernandez -Guerra.
For Reinhart's criticism of Mateu y Llopis' emphasis on Byzantine influences in the "art" of the earlier Visigothic coinage ("El Arte monetario Visigodo," A,E.d.A., 1943, pp. 172–193), see the former's article in the Boletín (Valladolid), cited in the footnote immediately above, pp. 53–57, and A.E.d.A., 1945, p. 220.
Cf. the histories of the individual mints and the sketch of Leovigild's career (pp. 21–23) for the documentation.
What became of this specimen? In view of the fact that the coin is unique, that it has never been illustrated except in a drawing, and that its present whereabouts is unknown, it is perhaps proper to question its authenticity.
The description of the coin of Bracara, allegedly with 1 c bust on obverse and reverse is almost certainly wrong (see the catalogue, p. 197). Aside from the fact that the date must be 585, there is no other known example of a coin with profile bust on both obverse and reverse.
B,M.Cat. Imperial Byzantine Coins, I, p. 105, note 2, p. 108, note 1.
It has generally been accepted that in the new types with facing bust on obverse and reverse, the reverse bust represents the heir apparent. Some have been inclined to see in the reverse the portrait of the queen, or of the emperor, but neither proposal is likely.1 Although the concept of representing the son and heir on the reverse almost certainly occasioned the introduction of the two facing busts in Leovigild's time, in the later course of Visigothic history, when opposition to hereditary succession to the throne was repeatedly expressed through legislation and uprisings, it seems scarcely likely that the reverse could have represented the heir apparent; and I imagine that the second bust came simply to be a convention without meaning, or, if the reverse was considered to represent anyone at all, it was thought of as another representation of the ruler.
There appears to be no immediate prototype for the facing busts introduced by Leovigild in the last years of his reign. The ultimate inspiration is certainly from the contemporary Byzantine facing types, but all of Leovigild's facing busts are so original in their appearance that we must essentially credit the Visigoths with the creation of a new numismatic type. It is true that there is one contemporary Merovingian coin with a facing bust quite similar to some of Leovigild's: a tiers certainly correctly attributed to Childebert II (575–596), rather than Childebert I (511–558), first published by A. de Longpérier.2 There is some reason to believe that there may have been borrowing here, one way or the other, for marriages were proposed between Reccared and Rigonthe (Rigunta), daughter of Chilperic, or Clodosvinta, daughter of Childebert, and perhaps between Leovigild's daughter and Childebert. A Frankish embassy to Leovigild about 582, and Visigothic embassies to Chilperic about 584 and in 587, were concerned with these negotiations.1 However, H. Longuet, who has made a detailed study of this and later Merovingian facing busts in a very interesting article,2 quite persuasively denies that there was any Visigothic influence in the creation of Merovingian facing busts, and maintains rather that the various types developed on the one hand through imitation of Byzantine facing busts and on the other through barbaric deformations of the facing Byzantine Victory.3 Whether there was any exchange of influence or not among Visigoths and Merovingians in this respect, the fact remains that the facing bust became the Visigothic type par excellence, whereas it was, on the whole, exceptional among the Merovingians.
To return to Leovigild's facing busts, it is to be noted that there are several quite distinctive experimental types at Narbona, Reccopolis and Emerita (3 a-g), while at Cesaragusta the characteristic Tarraconese type (4 a, b, d), which was to persist for a long time to come in this province, is introduced. Elsewhere in Tarraconensis (at Barcinona and Rodas), as well as at Narbona, Reccopolis and mints in Baetica, Lusitania and Gallaecia, there appear several varieties of the simple common Visigothic facing bust with criss-cross breast and rounded or angular neck-line ( 5 a, b, c, h, k, 1, m, aa). At Emerita, in addition to the distinctive types (3 d and e) and the common type (5 1), there is one issue with a reverse somewhat resembling the low bust characteristic of Barcinona under Reccared, Liuva II and Witteric (6 a, d), and finally at the same mint on two issues, the earliest form of the eventual standard Lusitanian (or Emeritan) obverse bust makes its appearance (8 a). At Cordoba we meet with the earliest form of the pleated-toga bust which later in its degenerated skeletonlike guise was to become the conventional Cordoban type (9 a, b).
A distinctive feature of all the facing busts, with the exception of Leovigild's first experimental ones (where in some cases the king appears to be wearing a crown),1 and of some of the childlike busts toward the end of the Visigothic coinage, is the bare head and long flowing locks descending almost to the shoulders in braids or curls on each side of the head. The long hair was the "badge of nobility and perhaps of racial superiority" of the Gothic kings,2 and there is little doubt but that this characteristic of the Visigothic facing bust is a true reflection of the "national" quality of the new coinage; that is, we have here the evidence not only of a divorcement from imperial ties but of the conscious creation of a proud and peculiarly Gothic independence of style.
Cf., for example, C. Piot in RNB 1842, p. 264; Heiss, p. 29; Elias Garcia, Lamecum, pp. 11–13. Contra: Reinhart, A.E.d.A., XX (1947), pp. 127–128.
Cf. Lot, Pfister & Ganshof, p. 259, Menéndez Pidal, pp. 100, 105, 111, Traité, p. 73.
Notice des monnaies franÇaises composant la collection de M. J. Rousseau , Paris, 1847, no. 90, pp. 27–28 (cf. Robert, II, p. 68, no. 3; Traité, I, p. 73, fig. 180).
"Les triens mérovingiens au buste de face," in RN, 1930, pp. 173–190; cf. also idem, "A propos du monnayage mérovingien," in RN, 1939, p. 51.
There are Merovingian facing busts from Chalon-sur-Saone, Compreignac, Diablentas, Paris, Cambrai, Aosta, Lausanne, Avenches, Tonnerre, BesanÇon, St. Jean-de-Maurienne, Laon, Chitry-les-Mines, Candes, Argentat, Troyes, Foix, Thiverzay, Sées, Celle-l'Éivécault, and Angers. They can best be reviewed in Longuet's article in RN 1930 (pl. VII); cf. also Belfort, nos. 51, 586, 1239, 1331, 1611, 1735, 2117–18, 3372–80, 4249, 4783, 4797; Traité, p. 162, and, for Chalon-sur-Saone, G. de Ponton d'Amécourt in Annuaire de la Société FranÇaise de Numismatique, pp. 37–152, pls. VI-VII. There are some English sceattas with facing busts, almost certainly related to the Merovingian: cf. B.M. Cat. of English Coins, Anglo-Saxon Series, I, nos. 143–150 (pl. III, nos. 14–18).
Beginning with the final issues of Leovigild and extending down through Tulga's coinage, and at some mints even later, there were developed, as indicated above, certain provincial styles. These may be summarized as follows:
A. Tarraconensis: The prevailing type is the quite distinctive Tarraconese bust (type 4), wearing the paludamentum fastened with a fibula, usually on the right shoulder, occasionally on the left (Leovigild and Reccared at Cesaragusta, Reccared at Dertosa and Tirasona). The inspiration is essentially Roman rather than Byzantine. Leovigild's issue of this type at Cesaragusta shows the fibula in the form of a rosette, perhaps indicating a pin encrusted with jewels, resembling some of the fibulae found in Visigothic graves.3 Barcinona did not conform to the type, having under Reccared, Liuva and Witteric a squat bust of its own (6 a, b, c), as noted above in the discussion of Leovigild's types. As no issues of Barcinona are known between Witteric and Egica, one is unable to say whether the mint eventually adopted the Tarraconese type. Gerunda followed the lead of Barcinona under Witteric but conformed to the Tarraconese type under Sisenand and Chintila. Rodas likewise used the type of Barcinona under Reccared; no further specimens of its coinage are known until Egica. The borderland mint of Valentia employs the Tarraconese type under Suinthila, but more universal types (5 f, o) under Chintila.1
Outside the province, Narbona makes use of the Tarraconese type in the time of Suinthila and Chindasvinth, but otherwise uses several varieties of the common style of Carthaginensis, Baetica, etc.
B. Carthaginensis: The commonest types are 5 d, e, and f, a simple facing bust, with criss-cross breast, the essential elements being converging oblique lines, the spaces between them filled with a sort of basket-weave or lattice-work of crossing lines. At the capital, Toleto, the usual form is 5 e. Frequently the breast takes the form of two slanting "ladders" meeting at the neck (f). There are several minor varieties: the cross-in-face bust similar to 5 f at Mentesa (5 g), the three-vertical-line bust (5 1) under Tulga at Beatia, and under Liuva at Toleto (5 n), and some other similar crude types resembling Gallaecian issues.
C. Baetica: The general type does not differ essentially from that of Carthaginensis, i. e., the simple facing bust: 5 e or f at Asidona, Barbi, Eliberri, Ispali, Malaca and Tucci. At Ispali under Leovigild there are some distinctive variations: elongated busts (5 h, m), and the angular three-vertical-line bust (51) which is relatively common in other provinces. The mint of Cordoba, in addition to the ordinary 5 e under Suinthila and Sisenand, has a distinctive bust of its own, which first appears under Leovigild (9 a, see above p. 47) and then degenerates into a type (9 b, c) which is characteristic of the mint down to the time of Chindasvinth. The same type is copied at Eliberri under the latter ruler. Chintila introduces a new type at Cordoba, the breast taking the form of a cross (10 a); and this is continued under Tulga and Chindasvinth, and copied under the latter at Eliberri. Also under Chindasvinth and Reccesvinth the breast is sometimes in the form of a wheel, probably in origin a chrismon (10 b), and finally under Reccesvinth only the head remains (10 d, e, f).
D. Lusitania: It has become customary to speak of a "Lusitanian" type, the breast of the obverse bust rounded and suggesting a breastplate (8 a-d), the reverse a peculiarly elongated bust, the lower extremities of which usually project into and interrupt the marginal legend (7). This type appears under various rulers at a number of Lusitanian mints (Egitania, Eminio, Lamego, Valentia, Veseo), but it is so regular and characteristic at Emerita from Reccared down through Chindasvinth that it might more properly be called the "Emeritan type." While this is the predominant type, nevertheless at a number of Lusitanian mints varieties of the common facing busts appear sporadically: 5 e at Caliabria and Coleia, 5 l at Contosolia, 5 d at Egitania, 5 d, e at Elvora, a variation of 5 l at Emerita, 5 a, d, 1, m and r at Eminio, 5 1 at Lamego, 5 f, 1 at Monecipio, 5 d, e and 1 at Salmantica, and 5 f, o at Totela. At Emerita under Tulga there is an issue with a chrismon or cross in the breast (10 c), doubtless inspired by Cordoban types. An extraordinary issue of Sisebut, also at Emerita (No. 194) revives the cross-on-steps of Leovigildan type.
E. Gallaecia: The principal characteristic of the numerous but sparsely represented Gallaecian mints is the crudity of the busts, which are of the common, essentially Carthaginensis facing types, 5 a, d, e, f, i, j, l, n, o, q, t, u, v, w, x, y, z, aa, the most typical perhaps being the somewhat elongated triangular three-vertical-line bust (5 1, n, o, etc.). It is interesting to note, especially in the light of diocesan and administrative circumstances (see the individual mint histories), that at quite a few Gallaecian mints the influence of Lusitania is evident in the occasional appearance of the distinctive "Emeritan" busts, usually on both obverse and reverse, occasionally on one side only: at Bracara under Witteric and Chindasvinth, at Calapa and Fraucello under Chindasvinth, at Celo(?) under Sisebut, at Lucu under Sisebut and Chindasvinth, at Pannonias under Witteric, at Portocale under Sisebut and Suinthila, and at Tude under Reccared, Witteric and Sisebut. At Georres, Suinthila has an issue on which appears a distinctive bust (8 e), doubtless inspired by the Lusitanian obverse. Finally at several Gallaecian mints (Cassavio, Lucu, Mave, Pincia and Toriviana) certain peculiar busts and faces appear, which I have grouped together under type 12 (a, b, c, d, e).
As Reinhart has pointed out,1 there has been a tendency to classify Visigothic coins too rigidly along provincial lines and according to too many type categories. There are, in fact, only four main types: the Tarraconese (with Narbona), the Carthaginensian and Baetican (of which the Gallaecian is a crude variety), the Cordoban, and the Emeritan.2 At all events, it is to be remembered that broadly speaking the "provincial" classification is valid only in the period between Reccared and Reccesvinth.
Taken by some writers to be positive evidence bearing out Isidore's statement to the effect that Leovigild was the first Goth actually to wear a crown. Cf. Reinhart, 1941, p. 190. Or is it a helmet? See Reinhart, loc. cit., footnote 1, p. 46, above.
See p. 90, where the mint of Valentia is discussed.
Die Münzen ... von Toledo, pp. 89–90.
Cf. F. S. Lear's note on decalvation in "The Public Law of the Visigothic Code," Speculum, 1951, pp. 15–16.
Reinhart prefers three, with the Gallaecian as an "Abart" of the Carthaginensian; but I consider the Cordoban type to be sufficiently distinctive to classify it alone. On the classification of provincial types, see also Beltrán, Suevia, pp. 97–99.
Cf. Reinhart, 1941, p. 191.
Early in the year 649, when Chindasvinth proclaimed his son Reccesvinth as joint ruler, a revolutionary change takes place in the style of Visigothic coinage: the facing bust is abandoned on both obverse and reverse, and in its place the old Leovigildan profile bust (1 c) is revived on the obverse, while on the reverse a mint monogram is introduced. During his independent rule Reccesvinth modifies the type by eliminating the cross on the breast (1 g, h) and restoring to the reverse the cross-on-steps of Leovigild's time;1 and even while Chindasvinth was alive there appear other varieties of the bust with oblique breast and shoulder lines and distinctive diadem (with infulas projecting at the back of the head), facing to the right at Ispali (1f) and Emerita (1f, i and j), and also to the left at Ispali (1 e).
These busts in turn give rise to a whole series of busts to the right of quite original types, which I have classified together as type 2, the principal varieties of which number nearly 40. These distinctive profile busts begin with Reccesvinth during Chindasvinth's lifetime at Toleto (2 h) and with independent issues of Reccesvinth at Narbona, Tarracona, Egitania and Bracara; and continue down through Roderic and Achila II. They include both bare-headed and helmeted types (the latter sometimes with a cross surmounting the helmet, and usually with infulas at the rear),2 mostly beardless but some bearded,3 some of quite respectable artisanship but most of extreme crudity. Certain of these perhaps were inspired by contemporary Byzantine models,4 but in general they appear rather to be original Visigothic creations. Wamba is responsible for a further innovation, the bust holding a cruciform scepter (2 ee-ll), later used also by Ervig, Egica and Suniefred. It has been suggested that Heraclius' recovery of the Holy Cross was influential in bringing the symbol into prominence both on the reverses and in the form of the scepter on the obverse.1
Some writers indicate that the reverse is copied from Heraclius' coins, but I see no reason to suppose that the prototype was other than Leovigild's (ultimately Tiberius Constantine's) cross-on-steps. Also, if a contemporary Byzantine model were to be sought, it would be the similar reverse of Constans II (641–668) rather than that of Heraclius.
For a discussion of Gothic helmets and their representation on Visigothic coins, see Reinhart, Los yelmos visigodos.
E.g., types 2 j, gg, ii, possibly influenced so far as the beard is concerned, by some of Constantine IV's coins ( B.M. Cat. Imp. Byz. Coins, n, pl. XXXVI, 3, 9, 10, etc.); cf. Mateu y Llopis, Archivo Esp. de Arqueologia, 1945, pp. 52–53. Reinhart (Germania 1941, p. 191) comments on the emergence of the beard in the later Visigothic period, as contrasted with the clean-shaven appearance of the earlier faces.
Compare, for example, 2 a and d with tremisses of Constantine IV (B.M. Cat. Imp. Byz. Coins, II, pls. XXXVI, 6–7, XXXVIII, 2–5).
Despite Reccesvinth's sweeping changes in iconography, the familiar facing bust is not entirely discarded. Although the profile bust first makes its appearance before Chindasvinth's death, there is one independent issue of Reccesvinth's at Toleto with the facing busts of his predecessors (5 e). We have already noticed some front-view faces under Reccesvinth at Cordoba (10 d, e, f), which probably evolved from earlier facing types there, in which the breast was replaced by a cross or chrismon.2 Also under Wamba, Ervig, Egica, and Wittiza occasional issues appear, especially at Tarracona,3 with facing busts which are reminiscent of the old types (5 e, o, p, q, s, u).
Furthermore, a new series of front-view busts of quite different style evolves, the first appearing at Cordoba under Reccesvinth. These busts I have grouped together under type 11 (a-s), although many of them bear only a slight generic resemblance to each other. Wamba does not employ these types, but varieties appear under Ervig at Cordoba, Eliberri, Ispali, Elvora and Emerita; under Egica at Mentesa, Toleto, Eliberri, Ispali, Emerita and Salmantica; on an exceptional issue under Egica & Wittiza at Gerunda; under Wittiza at Cesaragusta, Gerunda, Toleto and Cordoba; under Roderic at Egitania; and under Achila II at Narbona and Tarracona. One group (roughly 11 a-j) includes grotesque heads, virtually without bodies, some surmounted or backed by a nimbus or cross; and it has been suggested with reason that this type represents the figure of the Saviour.4 It is certainly possible that several of these types, including those in which the arms of the cross look more like the ears of some comic character, were derived from Byzantine models, but in the hands of the Visigothic die-engraver the product is far removed from the figure of Christ on coins of Ervig's contemporary, Justinian II.1 There is, for example, a remote resemblance between bust types 11 h, i and j, and the reverse of Justinian's coin, B.M.Cat. Imp.Byz. Coins, II, pl. XXXVIII, 25. Another group, especially 11 n and o, is suggestive of certain Merovingian busts.2
Cf. Mateu y Llopis, loc. cit. in footnote 3, p. 51, above, pp. 47–52.
Is it possible that 10 d and e inspired the heads which appear on some Merovingian coins as far north as Rouen (Civitas Rotomagensium)? Cf. Belfort, no. 3844; an especially good example in Prou & Bougenot, "Cat. des deniers mérovingiens de la trouvaille de Bais," RN 1906–1907, pl. VII, 12.
A few at Barcinona, Cesaragusta and Cordoba.
Cf. Mateu y Llopis, loc.cit. in footnote 3, p. 51, above, pp. 53–54; idem, Inscrpiciones, p. 150, and Ampurias IX-X (1948), p. 438.
Finally, during the joint rule of Egica and Wittiza (ca. 698–702) we meet with an entirely new type — on the obverse confronting busts or figures with scepter or long cross between them, and on the reverse mint monograms (similar to those of the joint rule of Chindasvinth and Reccesvinth). The type, the only one during this period, takes a number of different forms (13 a-n),3 in some of which the busts are quite recognizable as such, while in others the busts are elongated and appear like standing figures having only a remote resemblance to the human form. The commonest is the "three-legged" type (13 f), which appears in several variant forms at a dozen mints in Carthaginensis, Baetica, Lusitania and Gallaecia. Although this Visigothic type is quite distinctive in its barbaric appearance, the concept of representing the two rulers on either side of a cross is again a borrowing from Byzantium; iconographical prototypes may be found among coins of Constantine IV with Constans II's two sons Heraclius and Tiberius on the reverse.4 The resemblance is remote, but the idea is essentially the same. The Visigothic figures are, with one exception, in profile, while the Byzantine are, of course, facing; the exception is an issue of Cordoba (type 13 n), in which the round-headed busts appear fullface, and for which one might seek a special prototype in a copper coin of Constantine IV with Heraclius and Tiberius struck at Rome.5 The coins of Egica & Wittiza doubtless inspired a similar type in the Merovingian kingdom, for example a coin of Vellavorum civitas.6
B.M.Cat. Imp.Byz.Coins, II, pl. XXXVIII, 15–17, 20–22, 25, etc.
Cf. RN 1930, pl. VII, 24–26, 33–35, RN 1939, p. 51, Traié, I, fig. 260; see also the discussion of possible earlier Merovingian relationships on p. 47, above.
Only the principal sub-types are represented; there are many variations and gradations.
B.M.Cat. Imp.Byz.Coins, II, pl. XXXVI, 1–3, 8–10, pl. XXXVII, 5–11, etc.
Op.cit., pl. XXXVIII, 6.
Belfort, no. 4697 = Robert, pl. VII, 17 = Traité, I, fig. 254. Robert's attribution to the first quarter of the 7th century of course cannot be correct, if the borrowing was from the Visigoths.
4 c Reccared: Cesaragusta, Dertosa, Tarracona, Tirasona.
Liuva: Cesaragusta, Tarracona.
Witteric: Cesaragusta, Tarracona, Tirasona.
Gundemar: Cesaragusta, Sagunto, Tarracona, Tirasona.
Sisebut: Cesaragusta, Sagunto, Tarracona, Tirasona.
Suinthila: Narbona, Calagorre, Cesaragusta, Tarracona, Tirasona, Valentia.
Sisenand: Cesaragusta, Gerunda, Tarracona.
Chintila: Cesaragusta, Gerunda.
Tulga: Narbona, Cesaragusta, Tarracona.
Sisebut: Acci, Mentesa, Eliberri, Ispali, Coleia, Lucu, Portocale.
Suinthila: Mentesa, Saldania, Toleto, Barbi, Cordoba, Ispali, Tucci, Coleia, Elvora, Salmantica. Sisenand: Castelona, Toleto, Asidona, Barbi, Cordoba, Ispali, Tucci, Bracara, Mave.
Chintila: Acci, Toleto, Ispali, Tucci, Mave.
Tulga: Beatia, Toleto, Ispali.
Chindasvinth: Beatia, Toleto, Ispali, Asturie, Bracara. Reccesvinth: Toleto.
5 f Reccared: Mentesa, Monecipio, Totela, Portocale, Tude(?).
Witteric: Catora, Georres, Lauruclo.
Suinthila: Acci, Eliberri, Tucci, Lucu, Pincia, Semure. Sisenand: Narbona, Acci, Castelona, Mentesa, Eliberri, Malaca.
Chintila: Acci, Valentia, Eliberri.
5 l Leovigild: Rodas, Saldania, Ispali, Emerita, Portocale.
Reccared: Narbona, Tarracona, Contosolia, Eminio, Monecipio, Salmantica, Arros, Tude, Emerita (variant).
Witteric: Eminio, Laetera, Palentucio, Pannonias.
Sisebut: Lamego, Calapa, Laetera, Pincia, Semure.
(All amorphous, variant types)
7 Reccared: Emerita, Eminio, Monecipio.
Liuva: Emerita, Eminio.
Witteric: Emerita, Bracara, Pannonias.
Sisebut: Egitania, Emerita, Eminio, Veseo.
Suinthila: Egitania, Emerita, Eminio, Portocale.
Sisenand: Egitania, Emerita.
Chintila: Emerita, Eminio, Valentia.
Tulga: Egitania, Emerita.
Chindasvinth: Egitania, Emerita, Lamego, Bracara, Calapa, Fraucello, Lucu.
8 c Reccared: Emerita, Eminio.
Liuva: Emerita, Eminio.
Witteric: Emerita, Eminio, Tude.
Sisebut: Egitania, Emerita, Eminio, Veseo, Lucu, Portocale, Tude.
Suinthila: Egitania, Emerita, Eminio, Portocale.
Sisenand: Egitania, Emerita.
Chintila: Emerita, Eminio, Valentia.
Tulga: Egitania, Emerita.
Chindasvinth: Egitania, Emerita, Lamego, Bracara, Calapa, Fraucello.
The legends surrounding the busts on Visigothic coins are straightforward and simple and for the most part present no difficulties of interpretation. The general rule is: on the obverse, the Latinized name of the king, followed by REX (frequently abbreviated RE or R, and, from the time of Chindasvinth to the end, very often ); on the reverse, the name of the mint, usually followed, or occasionally preceded, by an epithet referring to the ruler, usually either PIVS or IVSTVS, sometimes abbreviated. The king's name is sometimes introduced by DN (Dominus noster): Leovigild (no mint-name, Narbona, Toleto, Elvora, Emerita); Reccared (Emerita); Liuva II (Tarracona, Toleto, Ispali, Elvora, Emerita, Eminio, Portocale); Chindasvinth (Cordoba, Ispali). From the time of Wamba onward the name is frequently preceded by IDNMN(INDINM, INDINME, etc., etc.), signifying In Dei nomine. At Toleto under Egica there are several occurrences of IN+PINM, etc., which would appear to be a combination of Latin and Greek, standing for In Christi nomine. Of the two commonest epithets, PIVS is used by 20 rulers, IVSTVS by 13; the former occurs at 62 mints, the latter at 28. Approximately 20 mints use both PIVŞ and IUSTVS.
There are certain exceptions to this general scheme of conventional inscriptions, especially during the period of Leovigild and toward the end of the kingdom. Leovigild's earliest autonomous issues (without mint-name) still bear vestiges of the name of the Byzantine emperor on the obverse, and other mutilated survivals of Byzantine formulae such as CON, ONO, etc., for CONOB (Constantinople, obryzum, "refined gold"). Leovigild's "mintless" type H bears REX INCLITVS ("illustrious king") on the reverse. The epithet VICTOR appears at several mints with reference to Leovigild, Reccared, Sisebut, Suinthila, Chindasvinth and Egica; and FELIX is applied to Reccared at Narbona. Several of Leovigild's issues carry remarkable legends containing allusions to historical events: see especially Rodas, Reccopolis, Cordoba, Ispali, Italica. Hermenegild has an unusual legend, REGI A DEO VITA. During the joint reigns of father and son (Chindasvinth & Reccesvinth and Egica & Wittiza), the usual reverse bust is replaced by a mint monogram, and the circular legends contain the names of the two rulers, one on each side; the names of the latter pair of rulers are frequently followed by various abbreviations of the formula REX REGES (i. e., "King Egica [and] King Wittiza, kings").
These, in brief, are the principal characteristics of the Visigothic coin legends. For further details the reader should consult the section of this volume dealing with the individual rulers (where the chief variations in the spelling of the name of each king are listed), the mint histories (where the different spellings of each mint-name and the several remarkable legends are discussed), and the corpus itself.1
The student will also want to consult certain of Mateu y Llopis' articles, such as his monographs on particular mints, his Inscripciones, and his two articles on Nombres de Lugar. See the bibliography.
Seventy-nine mint-names have so far been met with on the coins of the Visigoths of Spain:2 one in Narbonensis, ten in Tarraconensis, seven in Carthaginensis, nine in Baetica, 13 in Lusitania, 38 in Gallaecia, one to which a province has not been assigned. The largest
|Chindasvinth & Reccesvinth ..||0||0||1||1||1||0||1||4|
|Egica & Wittiza||1||5||2||5||4||3||1||21|
|MINT||Leovigild||Hermenegild||Reccared||Liuva II||Witteric||Gundemar||Sisebut||Suinthila||Sisenand||Iudila||Chintila||Tulga||Chindasvinth||Chindasvinth & Reccesvinth||Reccesvinth||Wamba||Ervig||Egica||Suniefred||Egica & Wittiza||Wittiza||Rideric||Achila II||TOTALS|
|MINT||Leovigild||Hermenegild||Reccared||Liuva II||Witteric||Gundemar||sisebut||Suinthila||sisenand||Iudila||Chintila||Tulga||Chindasvinth||Chindasvinth & Reccesvinth||Reccesvinth||Wamba||Ervig||Egica||Suniefred||Egica & Wittiza||Wittiza||Roderic||Achila II||TOTALS|
|MINT||Leovigild||Hermenegild||Reccared||Liuva II||Witteric||Gundemar||Sisebut||Suinthila||Sisenand||Iudila||Chintila||Tulga||Chindasvinth||Chindasvinth & Reccesvinth||Reccesvinth||Wamba||Ervig||Egica||Suniefred||Egica & Wittiza||Wittiza||Roderic||Achila II||TOTALS|
|No Mint Name||57||(7)||64|
Reccared and Suinthila are represented at the largest number of mints (each 36), Witteric and Sisebut follow next (32 and 31 mints). Suinthila has the largest number of specimens (660), Sisenand is next (442), Reccared third (441).
It should be recalled in connection with these statistics that the accident of the discovery of the hoard of La Capilla is a distorting factor that should be taken into consideration, with respect to the commonness not only of certain mints but also of particular rulers. The bulk of this hoard belongs to the period between Sisebut and Sisenand. For example, La Capilla accounts for almost two-thirds of Suinthila's and nearly three-quarters of Sisenand's known specimens;1 without the hoard, the coins of Reccared would be the most common by far. The mints most heavily represented in the hoard were located in Baetica, Lusitania and Carthaginensis, in the following order: Emerita, Ispali, Eliberri, Cordoba, Barbi, Tucci, Mentesa, Acci. While coins from several of these mints are generally relatively common, others, but for the hoard, are not. For example, roughly two-thirds of the known coins of Barbi and Tucci are from La Capilla, as are four-fifths of those of Acci. The proportion is even more striking in the case of some of the less common mints: e. g., only 19 coins of Castelona are known, and 14 of these are from La Capilla; two of the three known coins of Fraucello, and seven of the eight of Asidona, are from the hoard; and several mints (Aliobrio, Leione, Senabria) would be unknown were it not for the find.
In general it is interesting to note that there is a gradual diminution in the number of mints after Suinthila. This is especially true during the rules of Chindasvinth (except in Gallaecia, where ten mints were active), Reccesvinth and Wamba: in Reccesvinth's reign only two of ten known mints in Tarraconensis appear to have issued coins, one of seven in Carthaginensis, two of nine in Baetica, two of 13 in Lusitania, and two of 38 in Gallaecia; and in Wamba's time the number is even further reduced. However, many mints resumed activity toward the end of the kingdom: under Egica the total of which we have specimens rises again from five in Wamba's time to 19, and during the joint rule of Egica and Wittiza to 20.
In the following pages a brief history of each mint-city is given, together with a listing of the rulers who struck there and the principal spellings of the name; and the epithets, remarkable inscriptions, monograms and bust types in use at each mint.
Rulers: Leovigild, Reccared, Witteric, Suinthila, Sisenand, Tulga, Chindasvinth, Reccesvinth, Ervig, Egica, Egica & Wittiza, Wittiza, Achila.
Spelling:NARBONA.2 Single doubtful instance of NARVONA under Reccared. Epithets: PIVS — all rulers except Suinthila and Egica & Wittiza. FELIX — Reccared.
Remarkable legend: NARBONA GAL·E·R· or GALER·A — Leovigild.
Types: Leovigild: the first issues bear distinctive obverse and reverse facing types (3 a, b, c), the later issues more common facing types (5b, c, k).
Reccared and Witteric: facing types (5 d, 1, r).
Suinthila: Tarraconese type (4 c).
Sisenand: facing type (5 f).
Tulga and Chindasvinth: Tarraconese type (4 c).
Reccesvinth: distinctive obverse busts, right (2 e, w); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Ervig: obverse, bust, right, holding cross (2 ee); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Egica: obverse, bust, right (2 f, k), also holding cross (2 ff); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Egica & Wittiza: obverse, confronting busts (13a, b); reverse, mint monogram.
Wittiza: obverse, crude bust, right (2 v); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Achila: obverse, facing bust, perhaps imitating Wittiza at Toleto (11 g), and crude head, right, in several varieties (2 y and variations); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Modern Narbonne, Aude, southern France; Roman Colonia Iulia paterna Claudia Narbo Martius decumanorum, or simply Colonia Narbo Martius, founded 118 B. C., later the capital of Gallia Narbonenais. The Celtiberian settlement and mint of Nero(?) was located about four kilometers N. by W. of Narbonne on an eminence now known as Montlaurès. In 414 the Visigoth Ataulf celebrated in Narbona his marriage with Galla Placidia, sister of Honorius. After numerous entries and exits, including Theodoric I's siege of 436 and a Visigothic occupation of 462, the city finally passed definitively into Visigothic hands ca. 477. It was a royal residence under Gesalich (507–511) and Liuva I (568–573), and capital during the period of the latter's undivided reign (568–569). Narbona was a diocesan seat perhaps as early as the 4th century, and was the site of the provincial council of November 1, 589, at which the decrees of the Third Council of Toledo were proclaimed to Visigothic Gaul. The Narbonese revolt against Wamba is reflected in the absence of any coinage from this mint during his reign. After several attacks, beginning as early as 712, Narbona (Arbūnah, ) was occupied by the Arabs under al-Samḥ b. Malik about 719, and perhaps temporarily even earlier; but the city was retaken by Pépin le Bref about 751.
Achila II's coins of Narbona, of two distinct types, are of prime importance in enabling us to reconstruct at least hypothetically the history of the final days of the Visigothic kingdom in the north. Whether Achila was defending the city in 719 is not known, but the style of the coins at least suggests that he ruled in Narbona for several years after 710 (the probable date of the death of Wittiza) or 711 (the defeat and disappearance of Roderic).
Narbona figures as a Merovingian mint, with the mint-name in monogram.1 The possibility of the existence of an imperial mint at Narbo has been much discussed; in the most recent examination of the subject, "the conclusion surely is that there was no Roman Imperial mint there."2
The legend NARBONA GALER (GALERA), which is preserved on only two specimens (HSA and Vidal Quadras y Ramon) has not been satisfactorily explained. It has been suggested that the meaning is Narbona Galliamm; 3 that or C should be read S, and that SACER or SACER A is intended ;4 or that the die-engraver misspelled GALLIA or GALLIAE;5 or that the letters should be transposed to read C. ARELA and that therefore the issue was struck at Arles(!);1 or that the epithet "doit être rapprochée de celle de Flavia, qu'on trouve sur les monnaies lombardes de Charlemagne, un siécle plus tard."2 None of these explanations is convincing, the only suggestion at all likely being that of Heiss: the presence of the dots may indicate an abbreviation.
Doubtless because of French interest in the history of Narbonne, forgeries and fabrications of Narbona issues are common. There are known examples of Leovigild, Sisebut, Sisenand, Chintila, Chindasvinth, Egica, and Wittiza.
Amardel, Roi Achila, pp. 425–440; Carson, pp. 144–145; Catholic Encycl., III, p. 331; García Villada, II1, pp. 75, 94; Görres, Anfänge, p. 594; Hill, Narbonensis, pp. 2–3; Lévi-ProvenÇal, Histoire, pp. 39–41, 46; Lübker, pp. 699–700; Menéndez Pidal, passim, p. 294; Oxford, p. 597; P.-W., Suppl. VII, cols. 515–549.
Prou, p. 503.
Ibid., p. 4.
It is to be noted that throughout these mint histories the epigraphy of the mint names is generally normalized, the primary aim being to represent the spelling, not the epigraphy. Abbreviations, points, etc. are only exceptionally mentioned. For epigraphical details and for minor varieties in spelling, the reader should consult the catalogue.
Carson, p. 148.
Blanchet, p. 188.
Heiss, p. 39.
Meynaerts, 1850, p. 3.
Rulers: Leovigild, Reccared, Liuva, Witteric, Egica, Egica & Wittiza.
Spelling: BARCINONA. Under Egica, BARCINON·. One instance of VARCI-NONA under Leovigild.
Epithets: IVSTVS — Leovigild to Witteric. PIVS — Egica.
Remarkable legend: REX VARCINONA (Leovigild).
Types: Leovigild: first type, obverse "Early Visigothic" bust, right (1 c); reverse, cross on 4 steps; later type, facing busts resembling 5c.
Reccared, Liuva, Witteric: distinctive facing busts of Barcinona type (6 a, b, c).
Egica: obverse, facing busts (5 p); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Egica & Wittiza: obverse, confronting busts (13 c); reverse, mint monogram.
Modern Barcelona, in Cataluña; ancient Barcino, of Iberian origin, site of the Augustinian colony Faventia Iulia Augusta Pia. In 414 Ataulf was forced to abandon Narbo, and, crossing the Pyrenees into Spain, took up his residence in Barcelona, where he died in the summer of 415. The city figures prominently in Visigothic history both as a political and an economic center, and as the seat of a bishopric, it having been an episcopal see from very early Christian times. It was the site of two provincial councils, those of the years 540(?) and 599. Variant spellings of the name in the mediaeval diocesan lists are Varcinona and Barcilona.
The exceptional spelling VARCINONA on the earliest specimen of the mint is interesting in that it suggests a local substitution of V for B in pronunciation as early as the 6th century. It may, however, simply be an error.1
There is no ready explanation of the apparent inactivity of the mint between 610 and 687.2
Cambridge I, pp. 278, 403; Catholic Encycl., II, p. 289; E. of I., s. v, Barcelone (French ed.); García Villada, II1, p. 76; Heiss, p. 45; Lévi-ProvenÇal, Histoire, pp. 22, 39, 123, 125ff.; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 57, 294; P.-W. III, col. 7; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Spelling: C:Λ:LΛC·OR RE.
Type: facing busts of Tarraconese type (4 c).
Almost certainly modern Calahorra, province of Logroño, on the Ebro, Roman Calagurris Nasica (sometimes spelled Calagorris), among the oppida civium Romanorum of the district of Caesaraugusta, a municipium under Augustus (Calagurris Iulia Nasica), an episcopal seat in pre-Visigothic (middle 5th century) and Visigothic times.
The name calaqriqš (Calaqoriqoš) appears on Celtiberian coins; the Roman coinage bears Calagurri Iulia Nasica and Municipium Calagurri (Iulia). With only a single specimen of the Visigothic mint preserved, and that inscribed with interspersed points, some of which quite evidently do not indicate omitted letters, it is impossible to determine with any certainty from numismatic evidence what the spelling of the name in the Visigothic period was. This one specimen suggests Calagorre or Calacorre. Various spellings occur in the mediaeval lists: Calacurre, Calagurre, Calagorra, Calagurra, Calahurra, Callahora.
Rulers: Leovigild, Reccared, Liuva, Witteric, Gundomar, Sisebut, Suinthila, Sisenand, Chintila, Tulga, Chindasvinth(?), Ervig, Egica, Egica & Wittiza, Wittiza.
Spelling: With one or two exceptions, the name is always abbreviated by means of double (:), and sometimes single, points. The commonest spelling and abbreviation down through Tulga is CE:ΛR:C·O:TΛ (for CESARACOSTA), but there are numerous minor variations. It may be that the single point after the second C implies that this letter is to be read G, but no true G () appears before Ervig. Under Ervig, Egica and Wittiza the name is spelled in full CESΛVSTΛ, or the equivalent with abbreviations.
Epithets: IVSTVS — all rulers through Chintila. PIVS — Ervig, Egica, Wittiza. Frequently, doubtless because of the length of the mint-name, there is no epithet.
Types: Leovigild: first type, obverse, "Early Visigothic" bust, right (1c); reverse, cross on 4 steps; later type, facing busts of Tarraconese type (4 a, b, d).
Reccared through Tulga: facing busts of Tarraconese type (4 c, d).
Ervig: obverse, facing busts (5 p); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Egica: first type, obverse, facing bust (5 s); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, obverse, bust, right (2 f); reverse as before.
Egica & Wittiza: obverse, confronting busts (13 d); reverse, mint monogram.
Wittiza: first type, obverse, facing bust (5 p); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, obverse, distinctive facing bust (11 q); reverse as before.
Modern Zaragoza on the Ebro in the province of the same name, Celtiberian Salduba (Salduvia, Saldubia), and site of the Augustan colony of Caesaraugusta, ca. 19 B. C.1 A mint was located here in Celtiberian times (SALDUIE?) and under Roman rule, also later under the Arabs (Saraqustah, ), and doubtless after the reconquest when Zaragoza became the Aragonese capital.
The region of Caesaraugusta was occupied by the Suevians in 449, and the city was taken by the Visigoth Euric in 473 or 476. It was the seat of an important diocese, the city having a long pre-Visigothic Christian history, reputedly dating back to the Apostle James and in any case figuring as an episcopal see as early as the mid-third century. Cesaraugusta (sometimes Cesaragusta, in the mediaeval lists) was the site of three provincial councils, the first in 380(?), the second and third in 592 and 691 respectively, and was a preeminent center of learning and letters, especially in the 7th century. The city first fell to Mūsa b. Nuṣayr in 714.
The meaning of the legends on the unique coin in the Hispanic Society collection, evidently TOLEOBGILDVS and BICESARCAIV, is uncertain. As stated in the catalogue (No. 17),1 I have accepted Beltrán's attribution to Cesaragusta. This attribution involves the reading of ⊏ as C (or G) in the reverse legend, but as E on the obverse — a somewhat embarrassing circumstance. The legends are perhaps to be read LEOBGILDVS+TO and BI CESARCA IV, with some possibility of interpreting them as Leovigildus iusto (iustus) bis Cesaracosta, but admittedly this solution raises more questions with respect both to the arrangement of the letters and to an implied second capture of the city than it resolves.
As for the legends C·E:T:VI and C·EƧTΛVVI under Reccared, of which the latter gave rise to much speculation and to the supposed existence of a mint "Cestavi," as well as to fabrications of this "mint," I have concluded that these words are the product of die-engravers' errors; the matter is discussed in the catalogue under No. 59.2
One might be tempted to read the mint monograms and on coins of Chindasvinth & Reccesvinth, of Reccesvinth alone, and of Egica & Wittiza, as Cesaragusta; but there are two rather telling arguments against such attribution. In the first place, the important letter R is lacking; and in the second, we already have an unmistakable mint monogram (with the letters C, S, R, G) for Cesaragusta under Egica & Wittiza.
Cf. Campaner, p. 205, note 3; Mateu y Llopis, Barcelona, pp. 3–4.
25 B.C., according to Octavio Gil Farrés, whose article, "La ceca de la Colonia Caesarea Augusta," Ampurias, XIII (1951), pp. 65–111, appeared too late for consideration here.
Mateu y Llopis, Barcelona, remarks on but does not attempt to explain the hiatus.
Campaner, p. 214; Catholic Encycl., III, p. 148; Hill, pp. 174–180; Lévi-ProvenÇal, Histoire, pp. 90, 122; Madrid, p. 282; Menéndez Pidal, p. 279; P.-W. III, cols. 1327–28; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Cambridge I, p. 413; Catholic Encycl., XIII, pp. 468–469; E. of I., s.v. Saragosse (French ed.); García Villada, II1, p. 75; Hill, pp. 86–98; Lévi-ProvenÇal, Histoire, p. 21; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 31, 65, 75, 279, 289, 294, 418; P.-W. III, cols. 1287–88; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Remarkable legend: DERTOSΛIEECΓ:
Types: facing busts of Tarraconese type (4 c,d).
Modern Tortosa on the Ebro in the province of Tarragona, Roman Dertosa Ilercavonia, originally a settlement of the Ilercavones, also known as Hibera, which name was preserved under the Romans, the full title being Municipium Hibera Iulia Dertosa Ilercavonia. A mint was located here in imperial tiimes, and possibly earlier. The Visigothic occupation is reported to have taken place in the year 506. Dertosa was an episcopal seat in pre-Visigothic as well as Visigothic times, the diocese having been created, according to official Catholic view, in the 4th century. In the diocesan lists the name varies: Dertosa, Tortosa, Tarrasa.
To judge by the very scant numismatic evidence, the Visigothic mint was established under Reccared, possibly in connection with some special event reflected in the legend DERTOSΛIEECΓ: (Dertosa fecit?), and was immediately abandoned thereafter.
The Arab occupation took place at an early but undetermined date during the conquest, and the city was for several centuries the farthest fixed outpost of Islam in Catalonia. In the 11th century a mint was located at Dertosa (Ṭurṭūshah, ) under the 'Āmirid slave kings and the Hūdids. According to Heiss,1 the building which served as the Arab mint still existed when he wrote, but I have not been able to trace his authority for this statement. Might he perhaps have confused the dār al-şinā'ah (naval arsenal), of which the foundation inscription dated 333 A. H. (944/5 A. D.) exists, with a dār alsiklcah (mint)?
See the references there to earlier discussions.
See the references there for "Cestavi."
Catholic Encycl., XIV, p. 785; E. ofI., s. v. Tortosa; Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, pp. 128–131; Hill, pp. 74–75,103; Lévi-ProvenÇal, Inscriptions, pp. 83–84; idem, Histoire, p. 128; Madrid, pp. 274–275; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 83, 279; P.-W. V, cols. 246–258; Vádzquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Rulers: Witteric, Sisenand, Chintila, Reccesvinth, Egica, Egica & Wittiza, Wittiza, Achila.
Spelling: GERONDA (Witteric); GERVNDA (Sisenand, Chintila, Achila); GERVNΘA (Reccesvinth, Egica, Wittiza).
Epithet: IVSTVS —Witteric, Sisenand, Chintila. PIVS—Reccesvinth, Egica, Wittiza, Achila.
Types: Witteric: facing busts, reverse of Barcinona type (5 j, 6 a).
Sisenand, Chintila: facing busts of Tarraconese type (4 c).
Reccesvinth: obverse, bust, right, of obscure type; reverse, exceptional cross and pellets.
Egica: obverse, bust, right (2 b); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Egica & Wittiza: first two types, obverse, confronting busts (13 c, g); reverse, mint monogram; third type, obverse, facing bust (11 b); reverse as before.
Wittiza: obverse, facing bust related to third type of Egica & Wittiza (11 c); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Modern Gerona, capital of the province of the same name, the Gerunda of the classical geographers, a town of the Ausetani. It has been suggested that Celtiberian coins bearing the legends GRDSA or KRSA are to be attributed to Gerunda. The creation of an episcopal seat at Gerunda is believed to have taken place in 247. Little is known of the history of Visigothic Gerunda except that it was the site of the council of 517, that Reccared paid a visit to the tomb of St. Felix there, and that it figured in the insurrection of Duke Paul against Wamba. In the ecclesiastical lists the name appears both as Gerunda and as Gerona. It was called Jarūndah in Moslem times. There are few details of the limited Arab occupation, which dated probably from ca. 714 under 'Abd al-'Azīz b. Nuṣayr. The city returned to the Christians in 785.
Mateu y Llopis has pointed out the Greek influence in the spelling of the mint-name (Δ under Sisenand and Θ under Reccesvinth and successors), and has suggested that the latter phenomenon may be the result of analogy with the Θ in the spelling of the name of Reccesvinth, in both cases the Greek dental fricative being used to indicate a "soft dental." It is quite possible that local pronunciation of the D is reflected in the use of this Θ and also of the DS (?) in the proposed Celtiberian identification. The use of the "uncial" C (G), often misread S, which it resembles, and of ∊, the latter under Reccesvinth, Egica and Wittiza, is not without interest.
The monogram is ingenious, representing G, E (on the vertical arm of the cross), R, VN (in combination), ΘΛ (in combination).
The single specimen of Achila II, not yet illustrated or described in detail, is of first class importance, and it is to be hoped that it will eventually receive full publication.
Monnaies Antiques, p. 130.
Catholic Encycl., VI, p. 530; Hill, p. 61; al-ḥimyari, p. 248; Lévi-ProvenÇal, Histoire, pp. 22,40,91; Mateu y Llopis, Gerona, pp. 168–172; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 123, 279, 294; P.-W. VII, cols. 1284–85; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Rulers: Leovigild, Reccared, Egica.
Spelling: RODAS (Leovigild, Reccared, Egica); RODA (Leovigild).
Remarkable legend: CVM DI RODA.
Types: Leovigild: first type, obverse, bust, right, of "Early Visigothic" type (1 c); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, facing busts (51).
Reccared: facing busts of Barcinona type (6 a).
Egica: obverse, bust, right, holding cross (2gg); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
The modern town of Rosas on the northern side of the gulf of the same name in the province of Gerona, northeastemmost Spain, occupies and covers the ruins of the ancient Rhode ('Pόδε), an emporium founded, probably in the 5th century B.C., by Phocaeans from Massalia.1 The ruins have not yet been positively identified. The earliest coinage consists of drachms datable to the first half of the 4th century. It has sometimes been stated that Roda or Rodas (one cannot tell from the few coins preserved which was the preferred spelling) was an episcopal see in Visigothic times,2 but the name does not occur in the lists of sedes, and the error is doubtless the result of confusion with Roda in the province of Huesca, to which the see formerly located at Lerida was transferred when the latter town fell to the Arabs, and which later, in 1101, under Pedro I of Aragon, was removed to Barbastro. The bishop with authority over the Roda in question must have been seated at Empurias (Ampurias). References to Roda in Moslem times concern the Roda of Huesca and other localities, not Rosas.
The unique coin of Leovigild with the legend CVM D I RODA belongs to the same class of special issues as those of Cordoba, Ispali and Italica with analogous legends. It has been suggested that the I stands for intravit, the unabbreviated legend being Cum d(eo) i(ntravit) Roda. This is not an unreasonable assumption, although DI may simply stand for DEO, the verb lacking, as it appears to be in the coin of Italica. The date of the event is unknown, but that of the issue must be between 578 and ca. 583, possibly 581, the year of Leovigild's campaign against the Basques.
The meaning of the letter N, which occurs between the name of the mint and the epithet IVSTVS on the two trientes of Leovigild's of later type (HSA and Stroganoff) cannot be explained except perhaps as a survival of the earlier ON O in the exergue.
After Reccared, no issues of Rodas are known until the rule of Egica, nearly a hundred years later. The recent publication of the specimen in the Iustituto de Valencia do Don Juan confirms the hitherto weakly documented evidence for the operation of the mint of Rodas at this late date.
Campaner, 1873, pp. 48–50; Catholic Encycl., II, pp. 285–286; Görres, Leovigild, p. 142; Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, p. 84; Hill, pp. 6–7; Madrid, pp. 269–270; P.-W. IA, col. 954; Zorita de los Canes, p. 30.
A tradition to the effect that the colony was first established by Rhodians has little foundation.
E. g., Heiss, p. 58, and idem, Monnaies Antiques, p. 84.
Rulers: Gundemar, Sisebut.
Types: facing busts of Tarraconese type (4 c).
Modern Sagunto in the province of Valencia, 15 miles north-northeast of the capital, the famous classical Saguntum, known as Murviedro, Murvedro, Murvedre, etc. (murus vetus, murum veterum, or perhaps muri veteres) in later mediaeval times,2 and until 1877. Originally an Iberian fortress of the Edetani, the city became allied with Rome and stood heroically against Hannibal in 219 B. C. until its fall. Recaptured under Scipio it became in the period of Augustus a municipium. The ancient coinage, Iberian and later bilingual, beginning with ca. 250 B. C., is plentiful and presents many problems. Following a decline in later Roman and early Gothic times the city was restored to prominence under the Visigoths. It was not, however, an episcopal seat, and in the period of Gundemar and Sisebut the city was under the Metropolitan of Tarraconensis.
The exact date of the Moslem occupation is not known (ca. 714), but as Murbīṭru = 3 (from Murviedro, etc.) Sagunto was well known to the Arab geographers, who remark, among other things, on the Roman theater there.
Only two specimens of the Visigothic mint are known, one of Gundemar and one of Sisebut. On both, the name is spelled SAC·VNTO. The point after the C, as in some other instances, may perhaps be intended to indicate that C is to be read as G. While Sagunto is the ablative of Saguntum, and it can be argued that the classical form was still in use in the 7th century, it is more likely that Sagunto had by then become the accepted form the name.
Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, pp. 217–218 (288–290 for ARSE); Hill, pp. 111–127; al-ḥimyari, p. 217; Mateu y Llopis, Ampurias, 1941, pp. 88–89; P.-W. IA, cols. 1755–56; Yāqūt, IV, p. 486.
Just when this name gained currency is uncertain; it occurs in the so-called Division of Wamba (probably late 11th century).
Also vocalized Murbayṭar; commonly spelled Morbiter by non-orientalist Spanish writers.
Rulers: Leovigild, Reccared, Liuva, Witteric, Gundemar, Sisebut, Suinthila, Sisenand, Tulga, Reccesvinth, Wamba, Ervig, Egica, Egica & Wittiza, Wittiza, Achila.
Spelling: TARRACONA and minor variations (Leovigild, Reccared, Witteric, Gundemar, Sisebut, Suinthila); TARRACO (generally, from Liuva forward). The classical spelling TARRACO does not occur until Liuva, but thenceforth it is the dominant form, although the earlier Visigothic TARRACONA2 is used sporadically as late as Suinthila. Both TARRACONA and TARRACO are very frequently abbreviated with double (:), and sometimes single, points, the letter most commonly omitted being the second A. Exceptionally under Reccared we meet with TERR:CONA and TARRACON E. Unabbreviated TARRACO occurs under Witteric, Reccesvinth, Wamba, Ervig, Egica, Wittiza and Achila. The curious split form of the name, that is, with the first part of the name in the fourth quarter and the last part in the first quarter, is the usual form in the period of Sisebut, Suinthila and Sisenand.
Epithets: IVSTVS3 — Leovigild, Reccared, Witteric, Gundemar, Sisebut, Suinthila, Sisenand, Tulga, Egica. PIVS — Reccared, Liuva, Witteric, Suinthila, Reccesvinth, Wamba, Ervig, Egica, Wittiza, Achila.
Remarkable legend: BTΛRΛCONΛIVTƧ (Reccared).
Types: Leovigild: facing busts of unknown type.
Reccared: facing busts of Tarraconese type (4 c); also two exceptional issues of small diameter, one with facing busts (5 1), the other with obverse facing bust resembling 5 k, and reverse equilateral cross.
Liuva through Tulga: facing busts of Tarraconese type (4 c).
Reccesvinth: first type, obverse, bust, right, of modified "Early Visigothic" type (1 g); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, obverse, bust, right, of irregular type ( 2 cc); reverse as before; third type, obverse, bust, right, of distinctive type (2 d); reverse as before.
Wamba: first type, obverse, facing bust (5 e or u); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, obverse, bust, right (2 n); reverse as before.
Ervig: obverse, facing bust (5 q); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Egica: first type, obverse, facing bust, similar to Egica at Barcinona (5 p); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, obverse, bust, right, of modified "Early Visigothic" type (1 h); reverse as before; third type, obverse, bust, right, holding cross (2 kk); reverse as before.
Egica & Wittiza: obverse, confronting busts (13 a, c); reverse, mint monogram.
Wittiza: obverse, facing bust of Egica's first type (5 p) and of a type similar to Egica's at Cesaragusta (5 s); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Achila: obverse, facing bust of distinctive type (11 s); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Modern Tarragona, capital of the province, 54 miles southwest of Barcelona, the famous ancient Tarraco, founded by Etruscans ca. 550 B. C., or perhaps first settled much earlier (ca. 1100 B. C.) by the Tyrseni; taken by the Romans in 218 B. C., named Colonia Iulia Victrix, and later, under Augustus, as capital of Tarraconensis and all Hispania Citerior, titled Colonia Iulia Victrix Triumphalis Tarraco. The plentiful coins with Celtiberian legend CESE are indisputably attributed to Tarraco, and there is an extensive series of imperial issues. The traditional attribution of numerous bronzes of the Constantinian period, with the mint-mark T, to Tarraco has been much discussed and questioned: more recently opinion has inclined to reject this attribution in favor of Ticinum. 1
Tarraco suffered numerous vicissitudes at the hands of Vandals, Suevians and Goths during the decline of the Empire, and was taken by Euric about 476. While the tradition of St. Paul's visit to Tarraco lacks historical confirmation, there is no doubt that the Christian history of the city begins very early, certainly as early as the 3rd century with Bishop Fructuosus; and by 384 it had become an archdiocese, which it was under the later Visigoths and has continued to be, with some interruptions, down to the present. Tarragona was the site of the provincial council of 516, and was the scene of the "martyrdom" of Hermenegild in 585 after his removal from Valentia. The long series of Visigothic coins of Tarracona (so called at least as early as Leovigild) is testimony to the importance of the city: of the completely sovereign rulers only Chintila and Chindasvinth are unrepresented.2
At the time of the collapse of the kingdom, Achila II's claim to suzerainty in the region is evidenced by the unique specimen of Tarracona in the Vidal Quadras y Ramón collection. The city was perhaps raided by the Arabs about 714, and fell in 724 or shortly thereafter, but within a century it was restored to the Christians and subsequently changed hands between Moslems and Franks several times. The Arabic name was Tarrakūnah .
Catholic Encycl; XIV, pp. 459–461; E. of I., s. v. Tarragone (French ed.); García Villada, II1, pp. 53, 200, 204; Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, pp. 115–118; Hill, pp. 39–50; al-ḥimyari, pp. 153–154; Lévi-ProvenÇal, Histoire, pp. 22, 128; Mateu y Llopis, Tarragona; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 75–76, 105, 279, 294; P.-W. IVA, cols. 2398–2403.
Mateu y Llopis characterizes this form of the name as "romance o vulgar" (Tarragona, p. 76).
For the most comprehensive treatment of the Visigothic coinage of Tarraco, see Mateu y Llopis, Tarragona. It should be noted that in the corpus accompanying this article there are many duplicate references to the same specimen, giving the impression that there are more specimens of a given issue than actually exist.
Frequently spelled IVSTO.
Rulers: Leovigild, Reccared, Witteric, Gundemar, Sisebut, Suinthila.
Spelling: TIRASONA, occasionally TIRASONE. The name is always abbreviated, usually with two points (:) standing for the S. Occasionally another set of points, or single points, within the name appear to have no significance.
Epithets: IVSTVS — Reccared, Witteric(?), Gundemar, Sisebut, Suinthila. PIVS —Reccared.
Types: Leovigild: obverse, bust, right, of "Early Visigothic" type (1c); reverse, cross on 4 steps.
Reccared through Suinthila: facing busts of Tarraconese type (4c,d).
Modern Tarazona, in the province of Zaragoza, 52 miles west-northwest of the capital, Roman Turiaso, a municipium founded on the site of a settlement of Iberian origin. The ancient city lay on the road between Caesaraugusta and Numantia. Coins with Iberian legends, as well as later Latin coinage under Augustus and Tiberius, exist. Tirasona was the seat of a bishop in Visigothic times, and there are shadowy and conflicting reports of an earlier history of the diocese of Turiasonensis (5th century?). Variant spellings of the name in the mediaeval ecclesiastical lists and documents include Tirassona and Tarrazona, as well as Tirasona. The city (Ṭarasūnah, ) was taken by the Arabs early in the third decade of the 8th century; and later, alternating with Tudela (Tuṭīlah), became the seat of governors of the Marches.
The publication of the collection of the Hispanic Society of America adds two names, Leovigild and Witteric, to the list of kings during whose rules the mint at Tirasona was active.
Rulers: Suinthila, Chintila, Egica, Egica & Wittiza.
Epithet: IVSTVS —Suinthila. PIVS —Chintila, Egica.
Types: Suinthila: facing busts of Tarraconese type (4 c).
Chintila: facing busts, differing on obverse and reverse (5 f,o).
Egica: obverse, bust, right, of distinctive type (2 z); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Egica & Wittiza: obverse, confronting busts of common type (13 f); reverse, mint monogram.
The modern coastal city of Valencia, capital of the province of the same name, Roman Valentia (Valentia of the Edetani), founded in 138 B. C. by D. Junius Brutus, a colony in imperial times. The coins with Latin legends bear VALENTIA and VAL. It appears likely that Valentia was among the coastal towns occupied by the Visigoths during the reign of Euric (466–484). Its documented ecclesiastical history begins with Bishop Justinianus (531–546), mentioned by St. Isidore; in 546 a provincial council was held at Valencia, and the oldest monastic school in Spain is stated to have been located there. It was the first site of Hermenegild's banishment after his removal from Seville. In the numerous mediaeval episcopal lists, and in the earliest, of the late 7th century, Valentia (sometimes spelled Balentia) is included under the Toletum Metropolis, that is, in Carthaginensis, where indeed it did belong in the Diocletian administration, to which the Visigothic ecclesiastic divisions were adapted. However, in the early Empire the region was included in Tarraconensis, and, as Mateu y Llopis has pointed out in his monograph on the Visigothic mints of Sagunto and Valentia, it is evident from the unique coin of Valentia issued by Suinthila, and from those of Sagunto under Gundemar and Sisebut, all of Tarraconese type, that in those rules both towns were considered as belonging to Tarraconensis, as they did in republican and older imperial times. Later, after Suinthila's definitive expulsion of the Byzantine authority from these coastal regions, Valentia was assigned to the Carthaginensian metropolis. The later ecclesiastical history of the diocese, particularly in the 13th century after the reconquest, reflects the borderland nature of its location, the Archbishops of Toledo and Tarragona contending for jurisdiction.1 In the late 15th century Valentia became an Archdiocese, which it is today.
The city fell to the Arabs in 714, about the same time as Sagunto, Jativa and Denia, and became known as Balansīyah . It was the seat of a governor in the period of the Emirate and Caliphate, and after the breakup of the latter in the early 11th century it became the capital of an important independent kingdom, and later was attached to Toledo. Its prominence in the days of the Cid is well known and extensively documented. Balansīyah was a Moslem mint from 'Āmirid days onward until the reconquest, and thereafter it had its own Christian numismatic history.
The fabrication of a coin of Leovigild of Valentia (VALENTA), probably invented to supplement the numismatic history of Valence on the Rhone but attributed by many writers to the Valentia under discussion, "Valencia of the Cid," is discussed among the forgeries, pp. 455–6. The only genuine coins that can confidently be attributed to this mint are the unique piece of Suinthila in the Valencia University Library, and the very rare ones of Chintila and Egica. One other issue of Chintila is properly attributed to the Valentia of Lusitania. One coin of Egica & Wittiza, with the mint-name in monogram, is probably correctly assigned to the Valentia under discussion here.
Catholic Encycl., XIV, pp. 452–453; Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, p. 190; Hill, pp. 162–168; al-ḥimyari, p. 150; Lévi-ProvenÇal, Histoire, p. 41; Menéndez Pidal, p. 279; Smith, Dictionary, 8.v, Turiaso; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Numismatic writers frequently list Valentia under Chintila and Egica as a mint of Carthaginensis: e.g., Reinhart, p. 100.
Beltrán, pp. 434, 441–442; Catholic Encycl., XV, pp. 251–253; E. of I., 8. v. Valence (French ed.); García Villada, II1, pp. 52–53; Görres, Byzantinischen Besitzungen, pp. 530–532; Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, pp. 222–223; al-Ḥimyari, pp. 59ff.;Lübker, p. 1081; Madrid, pp. 307–310; Mateu y Llopis, Ampurias 1941, pp. 92–95; idem, Hallazgos V, p. 70; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 77, 90, 105, 278, 294, 391; P.-W. VIIA, cols. 2148–50; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31. See also C. Torres, "La fundación de Valencia," in Ampurias, XIII (1951), pp. 113–119, which appeared after these pages had gone to the printer.
Rulers: Sisebut, Suinthila, Sisenand, Chintila, Egica.
Spelling: ACCI, sometimes abbreviated ACI, with or without points to indicate the omitted letter.
Epithet: IVSTVS — Sisebut to Chintila. VICTOR — Egica.
Types: Sisebut: facing busts (5 e).
Suinthila, Sisenand: facing busts (5 f).
Chintila: facing busts (5 e, f).
Egica: obverse, bust, right, of distinctive crude type (2 s); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Modern Guadix el Viejo, near Guadix, in the province of Granada, 26 miles east-northeast of the provincial capital, ancient Acci, a city of the Basetani in classical Tarraconensis, and a colony of Augustus, entitled Colonia Iulia Gemella Acci. A mint was located here under Augustus, Tiberius and Caligula. The history of the diocese of Acci is reported to extend back to St. Torquatus in the 1st century; Felix of Acci presided at the Council of Elvira in 303, and the names of subsequent Acitanian bishops who attended later councils are recorded. The region of Orospeda, which probably included Guadix, was brought directly under Visigothic control during Leovigild's expedition to suppress the rebellion in the southeast in 577.
To the Arabs Acci was known as Wadi 'Āsh and Wādi'l-Ashi, i. e., river or valley of Ash or Ashi, derived from the name Acci; and the modern name Guadix of course comes from the Arabic. The town flourished during the first centuries of Moorish occupation, but during the Muwaḥid period and for some time thereafter it suffered eclipse. The episcopal see was restored in 1492, and Guadix is still a diocese today.
The presence of the epithet VICTOR on Egica's issues of Acci quite possibly relate to his suppression of the revolt of Sisebert, Metropolitan of Toledo, which occurred in the fifth year of Egica's reign, or perhaps to one of the other uprisings that marked his rule; but what local significance there may be with reference to Acci, if any, is not recorded in written history.
Eleven of the 39 known specimens of Acci are in the collection of the Hispanic Society of America, and most of the rest were in the hoard of La Capilla. A coin of Acci in this find supposedly with the legend "JAJITA," which occasioned much discussion, has been shown simply to bear a retrograde writing of Suinthila's name.1
Cambridge, II, pp. 180–181; Catholic Encycl., XIV, p. 172, XVI, p. 43; E. of I., 8. v. Guadix; Görres, Leovigild, p. 143; Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, p. 256; al-Ḥimyari, p. 233; Maqqari, I, pp. 46, 353; Melón, p. 170; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 101, 132, 278; P.-W. I, cols. 139–140; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Rulers: Tulga, Chindasvinth.
Spelling: BIATIA (Tulga), BEATIA (Chindasvinth).
Types: Tulga: facing busts (5 e, 1).
Chindasvinth: facing busts (5 e).
The modern commune of Baeza, in Jaén province, 19 miles northeast of the provincial capital, ancient Beatia, Biatia, Viatia or Vivatia, a city of the Oretani. Little is known of the early Christian history of Beatia; it must have been taken by Leovigild in his southern campaign of 570. As an episcopal seat the first occurrence of the name is in connection with the Eleventh Council of Toledo (675), and thereafter in the diocesan lists it reappears as Biatia, Viatia, Baecia, Biacia, Viacia, etc. The diocese of Castulo was transferred to Beatia between 666 and 675, and the see of Beatia itself was removed to Jaén in 1248 after the restoration of the city to the Christians under Ferdinand III of Castile in 1226. The Arabic name for the town was Baiyāsah .
A triens of Reccared issued as Pincia was mistakenly attributed by Velazquez, Florez and later writers to Beatia; and several coins of Egica & Wittiza belonging to Elvora and uncertain mint (catalogue No. 490) have also been wrongly assigned to this mint.3
Rulers: Sisonand, Chintila.
Spelling: CASTELONA, CASTILONA. There are numerous apparent variations under Sisenand, but actually in every case one of these two forms is intended.
The more common spelling is with E. It is impossible to tell whether this vowel is E or I on the single specimen of Chintila, for the name is here abbreviated CΛST·L·NΛ.
Epithet: PIVS (always abbreviated).
Types: Sisenand: facing busts (5 e, f).
Chintila: facing busts (5 j).
The name of ancient Castulo and of the mediaeval town is preserved in modern Las Ventas and El Molino de Cazlona, two miles north of Linares in Jaén province, but no significant remains of the early Christian town have been uncovered, although stones from Castulo have been used in construction in Linares. Possibly the ruins called Castro de la Magdelena, about five kilometers south of Linares, are to be identified as those of Castulo. A city of the Oretani on the Baetis, Castulo was located near important lead and silver mines and lay on the highway from the Pyrenees to Gades and the ocean. The city fell first to the Carthaginians, later temporarily to the Romans, and finally after several vicissitudes it came under permanent Roman control in 206 B. C. A mint here issued plentiful coinage with Iberian, bilingual and Latin legends; the activity of the mines and its strategic commercial location on the Baetis, then navigable at this point, evidently raised the Roman city to a position of great prominence.
Castulo appears to have been a diocese as early as 298, the Episcopi Castulonenses being, with those of Beatia somewhat later, the predecessors of the Bishops of Jaén. In the Visigothic period Castulo was an episcopal see under Toledo at least until 656, but shortly thereafter authority was transferred to Beatia (q. v.). Such of the mediaeval ecclesiastical lists as contain the name of the diocese give it in the form Castilona, Castelona and Castalona, the first two agreeing with the coins.1 The Arabic name Qasṭulūnah restores the original u (or o).
Most of the known specimens of Castelona, including the seven in the HSA collection, come from the hoard of La Capilla.
Cf. p. 29, footnote 1, p. 37, footnote 1.
Catholic Encycl., VIII, p. 267; Görres, Anfänge, p. 601; al-ḥimyari, p. 72; Hübner, MLI, p. 243; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 278, 318 (notes 62 and 64); Melón, p. 170; Smith, Dictionary, I, p. 384; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Cf. Beltrán, pp. 408, 416.
Catholic Encycl., VIII, p. 267; Heiss, Mommies Antiques, p. 284; al-ḥimyari, pp. 191 (note 2), 248 (note 13); Lévi-ProvenÇal, Histoire, p. 237; Mata, pp. 18–20; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 278, 318 (note 64); P.-W. III, cols. 1778–80; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Rulers: Reccared, Witteric, Gundemar, Sisebut, Suinthila, Sisenand, Egica, Egica & Wittiza, Wittiza.
Spelling: MENTESA. The final A is sometimes indicated by points. Under Suinthila and Sisenand E is frequently rendered I⋮, that is, the horizontal strokes are widely separated from the vertical, giving the impression that the vowel is I; actually E is always present.1
Types: Reccared: facing busts (5 f).
Witteric, Gundemar: facing busts (5 e).
Sisebut: facing busts as Witteric and Gundemar (5 e), and with cross on face (5 g).
Suinthila: facing busts (5 e).
Sisenand: facing busts as Reccared (5 f), and with cross on face (5 g).
Egica: first type, obverse, head facing similar to Ervig at Cordoba (11d); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, obverse, exceptional cross on mound; reverse as before.
Egica & Wittiza: confronting busts and figures, of several types (13 d, h, k, l).
Wittiza: first type, obverse, bust, right, of indeterminate type, somewhat resembling 2 k; reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, obverse, facing bust, distinctive variation of 11b; reverse as before; third type, facing bust of uncertain type; reverse as before.
The site of Visigothic Mentesa has been identified by an inscription as modern La Guardia, about five miles southeast of Jaén, the capital of the province of the same name. It was originally a town of the Bastetani (Mentesa Bastia), and was situated on the highway from Carthago Nova to Castulo.2 Mentesa is listed among the bishoprics of Toledo in Visigothic times and is regularly spelled in the mediaeval episcopal lists as on the coins. That Mentesa (Mantīshah, ) was a semi-independent city-principality in Umayyad times is clear from several references to the fortress and its "lords" in the Arabic chronicles.
Gundemar is represented by one specimen in the HSA collection, and one recently acquired by Reinhart; and most of the known specimens of Suinthila and Sisenand are from the hoard of La Capilla and hence in the HSA collection.
The form Castulona, given by Heiss and subsequent writers on the basis of the single specimen then available, was assumed to be the correct one, by analogy with classical Castulo, but actually, as noted above, the second and third vowels are lacking on that specimen, their omission being indicated by points.
The legend on one specimen is transcribed MENTPS:, but this is doubtless a misreading arising from a misunderstanding of an E with separated horizontals, read as P.
Akhbār Majmū'ah, pp. 258–259; Dozy, Histoire, I, p. 226, II, pp. 38, 55, 100; al-ḥimyari, p. 248 (note 14); Lévi-ProvenÇal, Histoire, pp. 244, 288; Menéndez Pidal, p. 278; Melón, p. 170; P.-W. XV, col. 963; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
It is not to be confused with the Mentesa of the Auscetani or Mentesa of the Oretani (Villanueva de la Fuente). The proper identity is indicated by the position of the name in the diocesan lists.
Rulers: Leovigild, Reccared, Wittiza.
Spelling: RECCOPOLIT and RECCOPOLITA (Leovigild); RECCOPOLI (Leovigild, Reccared); RECCOXPOLI (Leovigild); RECCOPOLV (Reccared); RECCOPVLI (Reccared); [REC]COPVL·(Wittiza).
Epithet: PIVS (Wittiza).
Remarkable legends: FECIT, FECI, FEI (Leovigild, Reccared).
Types: Leovigild: first type, obverse, bust, right, of "Early Visigothio" type (1 c); reverse, cross on 4 steps; second type, facing busts (5 a); third type, obverse, facing bust, crowned (3 f); reverse, different facing bust, crowned (3 g). The difference in the obverse and reverse bust of the third type suggests that Reccared is represented on the reverse and that the issue dates after Reccared's association in his father's rule.
Reccared: facing busts (5 a).
Wittiza: obverse, bust, right (2 g); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
There is now almost universal agreement2 that the site of Reccopolis is to be identified with ruins located on the elevated land known as Cerro de La Oliva (formerly called Rochafrida), about one kilometer southwest of the pueblo of Zorita de los Canes, close to the river Tajo, in the southern part of the province of Guadalajara. The earlier identification with the neighboring sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Recápel, at the confluence of the Tajo and the Guadiela, near Almonacid de la Sierra, can now be abandoned. According to the chronicler, John of Biclaro, Leovigild founded (condidit) and named Reccopolis in A. D. 578 in honor of his son Reccared, built there numerous public works, and extended extraordinary privileges to the inhabitants.3
The tradition relating to Leovigild's founding of the city was preserved in Arab times, as for instance in the 10th century description of Spain by Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Razi ("Crónica del Moro Rasis"), the name of Reccopolis as given in the Spanish translation being rendered "Racupel." According to this account, the Castillo of Zorita de los Canes1 was built with stones taken from Reccopolis. Later Moslem geographers record the name: Yāqūt (A. D. 1228) spells Raqawbil and places it near Zorita; al-ḥimyari has Raqābil and repeats the story that Leovigild (Lūbīyān) built the city and named it after his son .
The recent excavations on the site, in the course of which a hoard of 90 early Visigothic trientes was found in close connection with the ruins of a Christian basilica, have served to amplify our scant knowledge of Reccopolis. The most important result of these excavations is the discovery that the basilica was several times rebuilt and remodeled, and that the original building does not date from the period of Leovigild but is rather "paleochristian," or perhaps Byzantine, and was constructed as early as the beginning of the 5th century. The final alterations appear to have been undertaken by Leovigild, after his campaign against the region of Orospeda (577), in order to adapt the church to the Arian ritual.
As the latest coins in the hoard of Zorita de los Canes, found in Leovigild's stratum of the basilica, were of the REX INCLITVS, Victory-reverse type, and no specimen of the mint-name, cross-onsteps type was present, the excavator, Juan Cabré Aguiló, argues that the hoard dates from ca. 580–583, and hence that Reccopolis was pillaged, burned and razed at this time by the native, anti-Arian, Spanish Christian population. Reccopolis therefore no longer existed when the types of Leovigild and Reccared with cross-on-steps reverse began to be struck (else there would have been specimens in the hoard); as a corollary, the Reccopolis coins of Leovigild and Reccared must be fabrications of later date, presumably invented by modern scholars to "document" the history of the famous city. Pio Beltrán and Mateu y Llopis have discussed and countered various aspects of Cabré Aguiló's thesis.
We may certainly accept the conclusion, based on apparently sound archaeological findings, that Reccopolis was not founded by Leovigild but that an earlier Christian or Byzantine settlement on the site of what is now known as Cerro de La Oliva was rebuilt, further developed, enlarged or "adorned" by him, and was thereupon named Reccopolis, whether, as traditionally believed, after the name of his son, Reccared, or, as Cabré Aguiló suggests, for Ciudad del Rey (from rec, rix, ric). But with regard to the numismatic aspects of the question, two observations should be made. In the first place, the argument ex silentio with respect to the absence of Reccopolis coins in the hoard is not at all convincing; nor can the chronological arguments relating to the destruction of the city, based on the presence of the hoard in the "baptistry" of Leovigild, be considered entirely reliable.1 In the second place, we must reject Cabré Aguiló's related assertion that "las cuatro emisiones de trientes de Leovigildo y Recaredo publicadas por Heiss... deben ser falsas." Both Beltrán and Mateu y Llopis have pointed out that this argument can be valid only if all of these coins with the name of Reccopolis are forgeries. Surely this cannot be the case, for the corpus of known specimens contains:
Leovigild: 1. HSA; 2. Copenhagen (Heiss); 3. VQR (Heiss); 4. Gómez-Moreno. Reccared: 5. Florez; 6. VQR (Heiss); 7. VQR; 8. Academia (Heiss); 9. Mabbott; 10. VQR.
With the possible exception of nos. 9 and 10, every one of these coins is from different obverse and reverse dies; it is most improbable, to say the least, that so many different fabrications of such distinct types could exist. Aside from this consideration, my close examination of two of the coins (nos. 12 and 9) at first hand, and a hurried handling of the VQR specimens, convinces me that the first two at least are not fabrications and that the latter also betray no outward characteristics of spuriousness; furthermore, the entire VQR collection is noted for its almost complete exemption from counterfeits. No. 2, illustrated by an engraving in Heiss and by a photograph in Reinhart's Münzen... von Toledo," appears to be genuine; such atypical features as it presents (its size, the "beaded" lines of the cross, the thin characters) do not argue against its authenticity, considering the fact that the coin belongs to an experimental and transitional period in Visigothic numismatic development. Finally, no. 4 is stated to have come from a find at a place called El Alijar, in the province of Cáceres, and its appearance, as illustrated by Ramón y Fernández, does not arouse suspicion.
All these considerations taken together are sufficient to refute the assertion, or hypothesis, that genuine coins of Reccopolis under Leovigild and Reccared do not exist.
The unique specimen of Wittiza should have an important bearing on the whole question of the history of Reccopolis, particularly with regard to its alleged destruction within Leovigild's lifetime; but unfortunately the single damaged piece in the VQR collection is too obscure to serve as a firm basis for discussion.
With regard to the form of the name of the mint appearing in the several varieties of legends, Florez argued that RECCOPOLI was probably an indeclinable rendering of RECCOPOLIS, and that the meaning was "Reccopolis made (the coin)." Heiss inclined toward the other likely alternative, a Latinized ablative, i. e., "made in Reccopolis." Görres suggested that RECCOPOLIM was intended, that is, "Leovigild built Reccopolis," but obviously this reading is impossible in the case of the coins of Reccared.1 I myself favor the ablative (or locative) interpretation; it would also apply perhaps to the form RECCOPOLV. At best, the die-engravers appear to have been puzzled about how to render the legend, for the forms not only of the mint-name but of FECIT vary in every instance. As for RECCOPOLIT and RECCOPOLITA on the two earliest specimens, the only ready interpretation that presents itself is that an adjectival form is in tended (RECCOPOLITANA?), in both cases abbreviated. The only likely explanation of RECCOXPOLI (on the coin from Cáceres) is that X is a cross turned on its side.
Cabré y Aguiló (including Beltrán's reply); E. of I., s. v. al-Rāzi (Lévi-ProvenÇal); Görres, Anfänge, pp. 616–617; idem, Leovigild, pp. 146–147; idem, Rekared, p. 272; Heiss, pp. 38–39; al-ḥimyari, p. 161; Madrid, p. 300; Mateu y Llopis, Review of Zorita de los Canes in Ampurias, IX-X (1948), pp. 435–437; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 102, 108 (note 27); Ramón y Fernández, p. 89; Yāqūt, II, p. 802; Zorita de los Canes, especially pp. 7, 33–35, 41–54.
An excellent photograph of the castle in Zorita de los Canes, pl. II.
Beltrán, using the same numismatic evidence, concluded that the excavated ruins cannot be those of Reccopolis at all because the hoard (pre-578) antedates the founding of the city.
The most recent comprehensive treatment of the identification of Reccopolis is in Juan Cabré Aguiló's "El Tesorillo Visigodo de trientes de las excavaciones...en Zorita de los Canes" (see bibliography, s. v. Zorita de los Canes).
No. 1 is slightly under weight, but it is a little chipped and worn.
"... Civitatem in Celtiberia ex nomine filii condidit quam Reccopolis nuncupatur, quam miro opere et moenibus et suburbanis adomans, privilegia populo novae Urbis instituit."
Rulers: Leovigild, Reccared, Witteric, Suinthila, Chindasvinth.3
Epithets: IVSTVS — Leovigild, Chindasvinth. PIVS — Reccared, Witteric, Suinthila.
Types: Leovigild: facing busts (5 l).
Reccared: facing busts (5 d).
Witteric: facing busts (5 r).
Suinthila: facing busts (5 e).
Chindasvinth: facing busts (5 q).
Modern Saldaña,, on the Carrión river, in the province of Palencia, about 60 kilometers north-northwest of the capital of the province and about 30 kilometers south of the foothills of the Cordillera Cantabrica. Roman remains testify to the antiquity of the site, but little is known of its history. On the borders of Gallaecia, it has been alternatively reckoned in that province or in Carthaginensis. Visigothic occupation of the town appears to date from Leovigild's campaign against Cantabria in 574; the later coins are evidence that it continued to be a northern outpost of Visigothic dominion. It is interesting to note that one of the two (or more?) known coins of Suinthila struck at Saldania was found in a cemetery at Pamplona, a town which appears not to have been a Visigothic mint, but in an area which was evidently penetrated by Suinthila in his expedition "contra incursus Vasconum".
Not much is known of Saldania in the Arab period. It was abandoned by the Berbers along with other northern regions after the middle of the 8th century; later it was the seat of the "Beni Gomez," descendants of Gomez Diaz, Count of Saldaña, and figured in a campaign of the great al-Manṣūr in the late 10th century.1
It will be noted that the known coins of Saldania are very scarce, and that two of them (Leovigild and Reccared), each unique, are in the collection of the Hispanic Society of America.
In Anfänge, pp. 616–617, Görres attempts to explain away the difficulty of Reccopolim (sic) fecit under Reccared on the grounds that while Leovigild actually founded the city, Reccared was closely associated with this founding and carried the building forward. Basing his numismatic observations in this article solely on Rasche, Görres mistakenly renders the legend unequivocally as RECCOPOLIM; in later articles he makes it clear that this is a reconstruction.
Dozy, Histoire, II, p. 130; Lévi-ProvenÇal, Histoire, pp. 439–440; Madrid, pp. 299–300; Mateu y Llopis, Hallazgos III, pp. 223–224, 229; Menéndez Pidal, p. 101.
Madrid (p. 299) and Reinhart (p. 100), probably on Mateu's authority, name Chintila among those who struck at Saldania, but I do not know where any specimens are located.
Rulers: All except Hermenegild, Iudila and Achila.
Epithets: IVSTVS —Leovigild. PIVS —all others.
Remarkable legends: TOLETO REX (Leovigild). TOLETO REGE (Leovigild).3
Types: Leovigild: first type, obverse, bust, right, of "Early Visigothic" type (1 c); reverse, Visigothic "Victory," right; second type, obverse as above; reverse, cross on 4 steps; third type, facing busts (5 a).
Reccared: facing busts (5 d).
Liuva: facing busts (5 n).
Witteric: facing busts (5 d).
Gundemar: facing busts (5 e).
Sisebut: facing busts (5 d).
Suinthila, Sisenand, Chintila, Tulga, Chindasvinth: facing busts (5 e).
Chindasvinth & Reccesvinth: first type, obverse, bust, right (2 h); reverse, mint monogram; second type, obverse, bust, right, of "Early Visigothic" type (1 c); reverse, mint monogram.
Reccesvinth: first type, facing busts (5 e); second type, obverse, bust, right, of modified "Early Visigothic" type (1 h); reverse, cross on 3 or 4 steps.
Wamba: first type, obverse, bust, right (2 h); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, obverse, bust, right (2 b); reverse as before; third type, obverse, bust, right, holding cross (2 ff); reverse as before.
Ervig: obverse, bust, right (2 j); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Egica: first, second and third types, obverse, bust, right (2 j, variation, 2 m, and 2 c); reverse, cross on 3 steps; fourth and fifth types, obverse, bust, right, holding cross (2 gg, hh); reverse as before; sixth type, obverse, facing bust (11k); reverse as before.
Suniefred: obverse, bust, right, holding cross (2 gg), similar to Egica's fourth and fifth types; reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Egica & Wittiza: obverse, confronting busts and figures (13 f, k); reverse, mint monograms.
Wittiza: first type, obverse, bust, right, resembling 2 j; reverse, cross on 3 steps; second and third types, obverse, facing bust (11 m, o); reverse, cross within vine-like border fourth type, obverse, facing bust (111); reverse, cross; fifth type, facing bust (11r); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Roderic: obverse, bust, right (2 x); reverse, cross on 4 steps.
Modern Toledo, capital of the province, 40 miles south-southwest of Madrid. The name is doubtless of Celtic origin. A stronghold of the Carpetani, Toletum was conquered by Rome in 192 B. C. and became a civitas stipendiaria of Carthago Nova, where coins of Iberian type with Latin legends were issued.
Although some of the traditions concerning the earliest Christian history of Toledo have been rejected as lacking historical foundation, there is no doubt that Christianity was introduced into the region in the 1st century, and Toledo (Toleto) became the seat of a diocese at least as early as the 3rd century and the metropolis of Carthaginensis in the 5th century, certainly well before 527 when we have the first authentic proof of its status as such. First under Valia (416–419), and definitively under Euric (466–484), the city came under Visigothic control, and after the Kingdom of Toulouse came to an end in 507 and the Visigothic center of gravity shifted beyond the Pyrenees, Toleto, well fortified and strategically situated, eventually became the chief city of the new kingdom in Spain. While Athanagild is reported to have selected Toleto as the seat of government (567), it appears that only under Leovigild did it become the official and effective capital. We know that it was called urbs regia in the acts of the Third National Council convened in 589.
As political capital, diocesan, and later primatial archepiscopal see of Spain, and site of the most important general Councils, the city became the center of the civil, ecclesiastical and cultural life of the Visigoths. The most famous of the National Councils held in Toleto was the Third, in May, 589, when Reccared and his followers abjured the Arian heresy and professed the Catholic doctrine of the Council of Nicea. The Basilica of Santa María was consecrated for use by the Catholics on April 13, 587.
In 714 Toleto (Ṭulayṭulah, ) fell to Ṭāriq b. Ziyād. Its history during the period of the Umayyad Caliphate was a stormy one, punctuated by many rebellions; after the collapse of the Caliphate in the early 11th century, the city became the capital of the independent kingdom of the Dhu'l-Nūnids, later in the same century was annexed by the king of Badajoz, and finally (in 1085) was retaken by the Christians under Alfonso VI of Castile. A mint was located here after the fall of the Umayyad Caliphate as well as after the reconquest.
Next to Emerita the Visigothic coins of Toleto are commoner than those of any other mint (513 specimens listed in the corpus). The only great rarities are those of Liuva (3 specimens), Gundemar (3), Tulga (10), Chindasvinth & Reccesvinth (6), Suniefred (1), and Roderic (1).1
The name of Shalṭāniyah (but spelled in the Arabic text) appears in the so-called "Partage de Constantin" (al-ḥimyari, pp. 246–247), described as the "country of the son of Gomez." Lévi-ProvenÇal identifies this name as Celtiana, equivalent to "la territoire des Célticos," in the northwest corner of Spain.
Forgeries of the latter are common.
Catholic Encycl., XIV, pp. 755–759; E. of I., s. v. Toledo (Lévi-ProvenÇal); García Villada, II1, pp. 41, 61, 64ff., 200, 204; Görres, Anfänge, pp. 611–612; Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, pp. 262–264; Menéndez Pidal, passim; P.-W. VIA, col. 1673.
Dubious? See footnote, catalogue No. 28 (d).
Spelling: ASIDONA. The name is sometimes mistakenly spelled ASIDONIA by modern writers. The coins confirm the spelling by the anonymous 7th century geographer of Ravenna. Some of the later episcopal lists give "Asidonia."
Type: facing busts (5 e).
Probably2 modern Medina-Sidonia (also historically known as Sidonia), a commune in Cádiz province, 19 miles east-southeast of the capital, classical Asido (Asido Caesarina?), a town of the Turdetani. There are bilingual (Punic and Latin) coins with the legend ASIDO. Little is recorded of the early Christian history of Asidona; we know, however, that it was a suffragan episcopal seat of Seville and was first represented by Bishop Rufinus at the Second Council of Seville (619).3 In 571 Leovigild recovered Asidona from the Byzantines.
Known to the Arabs as Shadhūnah and later as Madīnat Ibn al-Salīm (not to be confused with Madīnat Sālim—Medinaceli), the town figured in the earliest history of Islam in Spain, situated as it was near the site of the battle between Ṭāriq and Roderic in 711. The following year Shadhūnah fell to Mūsa b. Nuṣayr.
Only eight specimens of the Visigothic mint are known, seven of them from the hoard of La Capilla. Five of these are in the HSA collection.
E. of I., 8. v. Medina-Sidonia (Lévi-ProvenÇal); Görres, Byzantinischen Besitzungen, pp. 518ff.; idem, Leovigild, p. 140; Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, p. 370; al-ḥimyari, pp. 123, 195; La Capilla, pp. 107–108; Lévi-ProvenÇal, Histoire, pp. 15, 19; Madrid, pp. 319, 338; Mateu y Llopis, Nombres de Lugar, 1940, p. 73; Melón, p. 172; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 278, 318; P.-W. II, col. 1579, IV, col. 540; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
It has been argued that Asido is rather to be identified with Jerez de la Frontera, or with the abandoned site of Cidueña, but I have adopted Hübner's identification.
Or, according to other authority, at the Fourth National Council in 633. Cf. Menéndez Pidal, p. 318. It is interesting to note that the only known coins date from 631–636.
Rulers: Sisebut, Suinthila, Sisenand, Tulga.
Types: Sisebut: unknown.
Suinthila, Sisenand: facing busts (5 e).
Tulga: facing busts (5 v).
Although several authorities, following Florez, have identified Barbi with an ancient "Municipio Barbitanus," near Tucci, which latter is the modern Martos, southwest of Jaén, I see no reason not to accept the identification proposed by Fernández y López and Hübner, i.e., Singilis or Singili Barba, a municipium before the time of Vespasian, located according to the itineraries between Ostippo and Anticaria (Antequera), and perhaps in the vicinity of La Pizarra, between Alora and Cártama in Málaga province. The very close proximity of the "Municipio Barbitano" to Tucci, also a mint in the time of Sisebut, Suinthila and Sisenand, makes the former identification less likely; also there is as yet no known representation of a mint in the district of Astigi, to which Singili Barba belonged. The name Barbi occurs in the Lex Visigothorum. Hübner suggests that this form of the name derives by analogy from Singili Barba.
A very large percentage of the known specimens of this mint issued by Suinthila and Sisenand come from the hoard of La Capilla, and many of these are in the collection of the Hispanic Society of America.
Rulers: Leovigild, Reccared, Witteric, Sisebut, Suinthila, Sisenand, Chintila, Tulga, Chindasvinth, Reccesvinth, Wamba, Ervig, Egica, Egica & Wittiza, Wittiza.
Epithet: PIVS — Reccared, Witteric, Sisebut, Suinthila, Sisenand, Chintila, Tulga, Chindasvinth, Reccesvinth.
Remarkable legends: CORDOBA BIS OPTINVIT (Leovigild). CORDOBA PATRICIA (Chindasvinth, Reccesvinth, Wamba, Ervig, Egica, Wittiza).
Types: Leovigild: facing busts of distinctive Cordoban type ( 9a, b).
Reccared: facing busts of Cordoban type (9c).
Witteric, Sisebut: facing busts of Cordoban type (9b).
Suinthila: first type, facing busts of Cordoban type (9b); second type, facing busts of general type (5 e).
Sisenand: facing busts of general type (5 e).
Chintila: first type, facing busts of Cordoban type (9 b); second type, obverse, facing bust of Cordoban type (9 b); reverse, facing bust with cross in place of breast (10 a).
Tulga: similar to Chintila's second type.
Chindasvinth: first and second types, facing busts of Cordoban type (9 b); third type, similar to Chintila's second type, but within circle; fourth type, obverse, facing bust of Cordoban Type (9 b), within circle; reverse, facing bust with chrismon in place of breast (10 b), also within circle.
Reccesvinth: first type, obverse, facing head within circle (10 d); reverse, facing bust with chrismon in place of breast (10 b), also within circle; second type, obverse, facing head within circle (10 e); reverse, cross on 3 steps, also within circle; third type, obverse, facing head (10f); reverse, facing bust of late type (11 a); fourth and fifth types, obverse, bust, right, of modified "Early Visigothic" type (1 h); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Wamba: first, second and third types, obverse, busts, right (2 n, p and t); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Ervig: first type, obverse, bust, right (2 r); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, obverse, facing bust (5 o); reverse as before; third and fourth types, obverse, facing busts of late types (11 b, d); reverse as before.
Egica: first type, obverse, bust, right (2 o, p); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, obverse, bust, right, holding cross (2 ii); reverse as before.
Egica & Wittiza: first type, obverse, confronting busts (13 f); reverse, mint monogram; second type, obverse as before but within circle; reverse, cross and circular legend, within circle; third type, obverse, pair of facing busts (13 n); reverse, mint monogram; fourth type, as third, but obverse within circle.
Wittiza: first and second types, obverse, bust, right (2 u, bb); reverse, cross on 3 steps; third type, obverse, facing bust of late type (11 b) similar to one of Ervig's; reverse as before.
Modern Córdoba (Cordova in English), capital of the province of the same name, on the Guadalquivir River, the ancient Corduba of Hispania Ulterior, a Roman colony founded probably during the Pompeian occupation of 46–45 B.C. on the site of an earlier town containing a vicus of Roman citizens from the time of the campaigns of M. Claudius Marcellus (169, 152 B.C.). The name Colonia Patricia takes the place of Corduba under Augustus and thereafter. Under Roman rule the city soon became the military and commercial capital of Baetica.
The Christian history of Cordoba may have begun as early as the apostolic period, but the name of the founder of the see is unknown; the earliest recorded bishop was Severus, ca. 279. It was, of course, the seat of an important diocese throughout the Visigothic period, and the name occurs, always as Cordoba, on all the mediaeval lists of sedes of the Metropolis of Ispalis.1 During the reign of Agila, Cordoba was the center of the rebellion in Baetica which took place in 551. Subsequently, ca. 567–572, probably as a result of the struggle between Agila and Athanagild, the city fell into Byzantine hands, but it was recovered by Leovigild in the latter year. In 584 Cordoba was temporarily occupied by Hermenegild after his flight from Seville, but in the same year it surrendered once more to Leovigild, who was, it seems, aided on this occasion by Byzantine treachery, for the Greeks are reported to have received from Leovigild a bribe of 30,000 solidi.
The fame of Cordoba under the Arabs (Qurṭubah, ), especially during the Umayyad period, is proverbial. The city fell to Mughīth al-Rūmi, a freedman, in 711, doubtless with the connivance of the resident Jews; and from 719 onward until the collapse of the Caliphate early in the 11th century, it was the capital of Muslim Spain (the principal, if not the only, al-Andalus of the coins).2 The later vicissitudes of Cordoba do not concern us here; it returned to Christian hands with Ferdinand III of Castile in 1236.
Of special interest among the Visigothic coins of Cordoba are the historically commemorative ones struck by Leovigild in 584 with the legend CORDOBA BIS OPTINVIT, referring to the two occasions of his capturing the city (see above). These coins are of first-class importance in determining the chronology of Leovigild's issues. Also remarkable is thelegend CORDOBA PATRICIA, harking back to the Augustan Colonia Patricia, first introduced by the Romanizing Chindasvinth and in constant use on the coins thereafter until the end of the kingdom. Great rarities in the long series of Cordoba are the unica of Witteric (Acad, de la Historia),3 and of Sisebut (HSA).
Florez, p. 238; La Capilla, pp. 71–76; Madrid, p. 322; Melón, p. 181; P.-W. IIIA , cols. 235–236.
In modern times, before 1851, Córdoba was suffragan to Toledo, but since that date it has been, as formerly, within the Archiocese of Sevilla.
Catholic Encycl., IV, pp. 359–360; E. of I., a. v. Córdoba (C. F. Seybold); García Villada, II1, p. 52; Görres, Anfänge, p. 602; idem, Leovigild, pp. 140–141; idem, Byzantinischen Besitzungen, pp. 516, 518–526; idem, Hermenegild, pp. 46–49; Grant, pp. 4–5; Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, pp. 296–297; Mateu y Llopis, Córdoba, pp. 50ff.; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 95, 100, 105, 278; Miles, Umayyads, pp. 33–43, 50–51; P.-W. IV, cols. 1221–24; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
For the unique Umayyad coin (in the HSA collection) bearing the mintname Madīnat Qurṭubah, see Miles, Umayyads, p. 50–51.
See the discussion of the authenticity of this coin, pp. 243–4.
Rulers: Chintila, Egica & Wittiza.
Spelling: EGABR (Chintila). EGABRO (Egica & Wittiza).
Types: Chintila: facing busts, types unknown.
Egica & Wittiza: first type, obverse, confronting busts (13 f), within circle; reverse, sprig and circular legend, within circle; second type, obverse, unknown; reverse, mint monogram.
Modern Cabra, a commune in Córdoba province, 37 miles southeast of the capital city, ancient Igabrum,2 an Iberian city, the name of whose inhabitants is preserved in inscriptions. The name (Egabro) appears in the lists of mediaeval episcopal sedes and also in the Leges Visigothorum, where it is listed as a territorium, interpreted by Manuel Torres as being equivalent to a "provincia-condado" under the administration of a iudex. To the Arabs the town was known as Qabrah , whence the modern name.
Rulers: Reccared, Witteric, Gundemar, Sisebut, Suinthila, Iudila, Sisenand, Chintila, Chindasvinth, Ervig, Egica, Egica & Wittiza.
Spelling: ELIBERRI, ELIBERI; exceptionally ILIBERRI, LIBERRI and LIBERI under Reccared. The spelling ELIBER under Suinthila, (Iudila), and Sisenand is probably simply an abbreviation, and other anomalies during this period are the result of careless engraving. The spelling ELIVERI occurs on one specimen of Ervig.
Epithets: PIVS — all rulers. IVSTVS — Reccared.
Types: Reccared: facing busts (5 d).
Witteric, Gundemar, Sisebut: facing busts (5 e).
Suinthila: facing busts (5f).
Sisenand, Chintila: facing busts (5 f).
Chindasvinth: obverse, facing bust with cross in place of breast (10 a) similar to Cordoba; reverse, facing bust of Cordoban type ( 9 b).
Ervig: first type, obverse, bust, right (2 r); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, obverse, facing bust of late type (11 h); reverse as before.
Egica: obverse, crude facing bust of late type (11 e); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Egica & Wittiza: obverse, confronting busts (13 f), with and without scepter.
In the vicinity of mediaeval and modern Granada, ancient Iliberri in Hispania Baetica, one of the celeberrima oppida between the Baetis and the coast (Pliny), a city of the Turduli, belonging under the Romans to the Conventus Cordubensis and known by them, according to inscriptions, as municipium Florentinum Iliberritani. Coins with Iberian legends are known. The exact location of the city is disputed, the most convincing archaeological (epigraphical) evidence pointing to a village named Atarfe, some eight kilometers west of Granada, in the Sierra de Elvira, which latter name derives from Eliberri; other finds suggesting a hill opposite the Alhambra in Granada itself, the site of the later Moorish Alcazaba.
Eliberri (also spelled Iliberri and Illiberri in the mediaeval lists) was the site of the famous and important first council of bishops in Spain, known as the Council of Elvira, held in the early 4th century, probably ca. 305. The diocese of Eliberri (later of Granada) is reported to date back to 64 A.D., and the names of 62 bishops from St. Cecilius to Agapius (957) are recorded; in 1493 Granada became an archdiocese. The town and district was known to the Arabs as Ilbīrah , whence the Spanish Elvira, sometimes as Qasṭīlah , located by the mediaeval Moslem geographers close to Granada, between Atarfe and Pinos Puente at the foot of the Sierra de Elvira. Ilbirah was a flourishing town during the Caliphate, but the inhabitants began to desert it for Granada early in the 11th century.
The number of known specimens of the Visigothic mint of Eliberri is greatly increased by the publication of the Hispanic Society collection, which includes 22 specimens of Suinthila and 14 of Sisenand, most of these from the hoard of La Capilla. Rare issues are those of Gundemar (4 specimens), Iudila (1), Chintila (2, one of which in the HSA collection), Chindasvinth (1), and Ervig (3).
al-ḥimyari, pp. 178–179; Madrid, p. 331; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 220, 278; P.-W. IX, col. 965; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Sometimes rendered Aegabro.
Catholic Encycl., V, pp. 395–396, VI, pp. 723–724; Dozy, Recherches (3rd ed.), I. PP. 327–340; E. of I., s. v. Elvira (C. F. Seybold); Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, pp. 325–326; al-ḥimyari, pp. 30, 37; Melón, p. 173; Menéndez Pidal, p. 278; P.-W. IX, cols. 1060–61, Suppl. III, cols. 1211–15; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Rulers: All (including Hermenegild), except Iudila, Suniefred, Roderic and Achila.
Spelling: ISPALI. Leovigild's issues bear abbreviations, SPALI, SPLI, SPL, SPI.
Remarkable legends: CVM D[E]O OPTINVIT SPALI, and variations (Leovigild). CVM DEO SPALI ADQVISITA (Leovigild). VRB ISPALI PIVS (Chindasvinth).
Types: Leovigild: first and second types, obverse, bust, right, of "Early Visigothic" type (1 c); reverse, cross on 4 steps; third type, facing busts of various sub-types (5 a, h, k, l, m).
Hermenegild: obverse, bust, right, of "Early Visigothic" type (1 c); reverse, Visigothic "Victory," right.
Reccared: facing busts (5 d).
Liuva, Witteric, Gundemar, Sisebut, Suinthila, Sisenand, Chintila, Tulga, Chindasvinth: facing busts (5 e).
Chindasvinth & Reccesvinth: first type, obverse, bust, left, of modified "Early Visigothic" type (1 e); reverse, mint monogram; second type like the first, except bust faces right (1 f).
Reccesvinth: first type, obverse, bust, right, of modified "Early Visigothic" type (1f); reverse, mint monogram; second type, obverse, bust, left, of "Early Visigothic" type (1 e); reverse, cross on 4 steps; third type, obverse as second type but bust faces right (1 f); reverse, cross on 3 steps; fourth type, obverse, bust, right, of modified "Early Visigothic" type (1 h); reverse, cross on 3 or 4 steps; fifth type, obverse, bust, right, of uncertain type; reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Wamba: obverse, bust right (2 b); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Ervig: first type as Wamba; second type, obverse, bust, right, holding cross (2 jj); reverse as before; third and fourth types, obverse, facing busts of late types (11 r, n); reverse as before.
Egica: first type, obverse, bust, right (2 b); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, obverse, bust, right, holding cross, resembling 2 jj; reverse as before; third type, obverse, facing bust of late type (11 p); reverse as before.
Egica & Wittiza: first type, obverse, confronting busts (13 f); reverse, mint monogram; second type, as first but monogram within circle.
Wittiza: first type, obverse, very crude bust, right (2 aa); reverse, cross on 3 steps; second type, facing (?) bust of indeterminate type; reverse as before.
Modern Sevilla (Seville), capital of the province of the same name, ancient Hispalis, or Hispali (probably more correctly Ispalis), a Turdetan city first mentioned in Julius Caesar's Spanish campaigns, designated, as on coins of Augustus, Colonia Iulia Romula. The modern name derives from the colloquial Latin Spalis, and the forms on the coins of Leovigild are interesting in this connection. In the Roman period the city became one of the most important in Baetica, along with Gades and Corduba, particularly as commercial emporium, located as it was on the left bank of the navigable Baetis.
The diocese (now an archdiocese) dates from the 1st century, and a Bishop Sabinus attended the Council of Elvira. In 467 Pope Simplicius appointed as his vicar Bishop Zenón of Ispali to put the affairs of Baetica in order, which would imply the existence of the archepiscopal see here at this date. Especially famous in the long line of bishops were Leander, who was instrumental in the conversion of Hermenegild and, in 586 or early 587, of Reccared, to Catholicism, and who presided at the Third Council of Toledo in 589; and Isidore, the noted historian. In the mediaeval episcopal lists the name is spelled Ispali, Ispalis, and sometimes Hispali.
Between approximately 411 and 428, with a short interruption, Ispali was occupied by the Vandals, and was taken by the Suevian Rechila about 441. A little more than a century later it came definitively into the unified Visigothic kingdom under Athanagild. In 579 Hermenegild made the city his capital at the time of his conversion and of his rebellion against his father, and it was undoubtedly here that his trientes were struck.1 In 583 Leovigild began the siege of the city which ended the following year with its surrender under attack and the flight of Hermenegild. Leovigild's coins with the legends CVM D[E]O OBTINVIT SPALI (etc.) and (if genuine, see the catalogue) CVM DEO SPALI ADQVISITA, undoubtedly refer to this event.
Ispali was the site of provincial councils in 590 and 619, the latter presided over by St. Isidore. In 712, after a siege of a month or perhaps longer, the city (Ishbīliyah, ) fell to Mūsa b. Nuṣayr and was chosen as the Moslem capital by Mūsa's son Ἁbd al-Ἁzīz, who married Roderic's widow. About 719 the seat of government was transferred to Cordoba. A mint existed at Ishbīliyah under the 'Abbādids, Murābiṭs, Muwaḥḥids, and the later Hūdids. The city was reconquered by Ferdinand III in 1248 after a siege of sixteen months.
The exceptional legend VRB ISPALI PIVS under Chindasvinth (two specimens) is of interest as a reflection of the strong classical influence predominant in Visigothic Spain during the middle of the 7th century.1
Beltrán, Suevia, p. 88; Catholic Encycl., XIII, pp. 744–746; E. of I., s. v. Seville (Lévi-ProvenÇal); García Villada, II1, pp. 51–52, 56, 60, 75, 126, 200; Görres, Byzantinischen Besitzungen, pp. 518–526; idem, Hermenegild, pp. 13, 27–28, 38ff., 46; Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, pp. 392–394; al-ḥimyari, pp. 24–28; Menéndez Pidal, pp. VIII, 22, 29, 96, 103, 105, 286, 294; P.-W. VIII, cols. 1963–65; Miles, Umayyads, p. 34; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
See p. 24 for the legends on Hermenegild's coins.
Epithet: PIVS (on obverse with name of king).
Remarkable legend: CVM DEO ETALICA.
Type: obverse, bust, right, of "Early Visigothic" type (1 c); reverse, cross on 4 steps.
Ruins in the vicinity of modern Santiponce, formerly known as Sevilla la Vieja and Campos de Talca, seven or eight kilometers northwest of Seville on the right bank of the Guadalquivir; ancient Italica, an outpost against the Lusitanians founded ca. 205 B.C. by Scipio Africanus, given municipal status perhaps by Julius Caesar, certainly by Augustus. The coins issued by Augustus, Tiberius et. al. bear MVNIC ITALIC PERM AVG, etc. Italica was the home of Trajan and Hadrian, and from the latter received the title Colonia V(ictrix?) Italicensium. It became a first-class commercial center and exported large quantities of olive oil; its huge amphitheater, the fourth largest in the Roman world, is witness to its civic importance, certainly equal to that of Hispalis.
That Italica was the seat of a diocese of the Ispali Metropolis we know from the mediaeval episcopal lists. We also know that Leovigild occupied Italica and strengthened its walls during the course of his siege of Ispali in 583–584.3 The unique coin in the collection of the Hispanic Society of America,4 with a legend resembling those of Leovigild's at Ispali, must date from 582 or 583 and commemorates one of Leovigild's victories in the course of his campaign of pacification in Baetica. The inscription is probably to be read CVM DE[O] O[BTINVIT] ETALICA. Whether the initial letter of the mint-name is an error or rather represents a contemporary pronunciation and spelling is uncertain.
To the later Moslems in Spain Italica (Ṭāliqah, ), then in ruins, was known as the site of an ancient and important capital, and its remains, including a remarkable statue of a young woman (goddess?) are described at some length by Maqqari and al-ḥimyari. It must have been during the course of the first centuries of Moslem occupation that the city fell into complete ruin, and thereafter, and until relatively recent times, the ancient structures on the site served as a quarry for the neighboring Sevillans.
Cf. Mateu y Llopis, Hallazgos IV, p. 248.
E.of I., s. v. Seville; Görres, Hermenegild, pp. 45–46; Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, pp. 378–380; al-ḥimyari, pp. 8, 26, 149–150; Lübker, p. 505; Maqqari, I, pp. 60, 367 -368 (valuable bibliographical note by Gayangos listing descriptions of the ruins); Menéndez Pidal, pp. 105, 278; Oxford, p. 462; P.-W. IX, cols. 2283–84; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Johannes Biclarensis: "Leovigildus muros Italicae antiquae civitatis restauravit."
There is, so far as I have been able to determine, no reason whatever to suspect the authenticity of this remarkable coin.
Type: facing busts (5 f).
Modern Málaga, capital of the province of the same name, on the coast in southern Spain, ancient Malaca, founded by Tyrians soon after Gades (ca. 1100 B.C.), and next to Gades the most important of their colonies in Spain. Coins with Punic inscriptions (MLKA) were struck here in the 4th-3rd centuries B.C., but there appears to have been no mint at Malaca in the Roman period. Very little is known of the city's Roman history, which began in 205 B.C. It was at first a civitas foederata, later, under the Flavian emperors, a municipium.
The earliest known bishop of Malaca is said to have been Patricius, present at the Council of Elvira early in the 4th century; but the name of the diocese does not actually appear until the Sixth Council of Toledo (638). In the interim Malaca, with contiguous localities, was under Byzantine control, except during Leovigild's campaign of the year 570; and it was not until the reign of Sisebut that the city came definitely into Visigothic hands. Although the diocese appears to have been suppressed after the Arab invasion (it fell in 711) and until the reconquest by Ferdinand and Isabella, there is evidence that the church was still active in Malaca in the 12th century. The city was known to the Arabs as Mālaqah and ranked among the most important of southern Spain; a mint existed here under the Hammūdids and successors, Murābiṭs and Naṣrids.
Only three (or perhaps only two) specimens of the Visigothic mint are known.2 With regard to the spelling of the name on the coins, the evidence of the existing specimens is not conclusive, but probably MALACA, not MALAGA, is intended, although the peculiar form on the HSA specimen might be read either way. The name appears commonly as Malaca on the mediaeval church lists, but the forms Mallaca, Malace, Malacha and Malaga also occur.
Catholic Encycl., IX, p. 565; E. of I., s. v. Malaga (Lévi-ProvenÇal); Görres, Byzantinischen Besitzungen, pp. 518ff., 530–532; idem, Anfänge, p. 601; Heiss, Monnaies Antiques, pp. 311–313; al-ḥimyari, pp. 213–215; Mateu y Llopis, Hallazgos IV, pp. 243–244; Menéndez Pidal, pp. 278, 318 (note 67); P.-W. XIV, cols. 823–824; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
See pp. 314–5.
Rulers: Leovigild(?), Sisebut, Suinthila, Sisenand, Chintila, Ervig, Egica & Wittiza.
Spelling: TVCCI, TVCI. The omission of one of the C's is usually but not always indicated by dots. Under Ervig the name is spelled out in full. Epithets: IVSTVS — Sisebut, Suinthila, Sisenand, Chintila. PIVS — Suinthila, Ervig.
Types: Leovigild: unknown.
Sisebut: facing busts, type unknown.
Suinthila: facing busts (5 e, f).
Sisenand, Chintila: facing busts (5 e).
Ervig: obverse, bust, right (2 q); reverse, cross on 3 steps.
Egica & Wittiza: obverse, confronting busts (13 e, f); reverse, mint monograms.
Modern Martos, a commune of Jaén province, 14 miles southwest of the city of Jaén, ancient Tucci, a town of the Turduli, Roman Colonia Augusta Gemella, mentioned simply as Gemella in the war with Viriatus, 141 B.C. The identification is established by inscriptions found on the site. Other unidentified Tucci's (or I-tucci), named by Appian and Pliny and in the Itinerarium Antonini, were also located in Baetica. In pre-Visigothic and Visigothic times Tucci (sometimes confused in the lists with Tude) was an episcopal seat. It was represented at the famous Council of Eliberri. The early Arabic rendering of the name was Tush , sometimes wrongly vocalized Tash; but in the latter half of the 10th century the town became known as Mārtush (or Mārtosh), after the name of the district, whence the modern name.
The existence of the single coin of Leovigild is doubtful: see p. 193. Most of the specimens of Suinthila and all but two of those of Sisenand are in the HSA collection and are from the hoard of La Capilla. One of the two known specimens of Ervig, and two of the five specimens of Egica & Wittiza, are also in the HSA collection.
Dozy, Recherches, I (3rd ed.), pp. 311–313; Menéndez Pidal, p. 278; P.-W. VIIA, col. 765; Vázquez de Parga, pp. 22–31.
Type: facing busts (5 e).
Ruins now known as Castello deCalabre,2 in north-central Portugal, on the Douro, five kilometers northeast of Almendra and 12 kilometers southeast of Vila Nova de Foz-Coa; ancient Caelobriga, possibly identical with the Kοιγιóβόιγα, a city of the Coelerni, mentioned by Pliny. Caliabria (also spelled Calabria and Caliabrica in the episcopal lists) was the seat of a diocese, said to have been transferred there from Viseu and not regularly represented at the councils of Toledo, the name of the bishop being absent on the records of the Ninth to Fourteenth and the Sixteenth